Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breathe in, breathe out...

My favorite laptop appears to be dead as a doornail. So I started to use the desk top that normally gets used by the kids. Last night, it got sick with a nasty virus and until it gets cleaned, I can't even turn the darn thing on. DH is in the process of cleaning it, but it isn't a quick fix. The virus it got is the same one it got before. Either all the anti-virus updates that we use are completely no good or the darn thing never got cleaned in the first place (which also means all the anti-virus updates we have are no good.) So, now I get to use my LEAST favorite computer just to feel like I am not completely separated from the real world. This is making me feel grouchy and mean.

I know I shouldn't complain. Some people don't have any computers and here I am griping about having three. It would be much easier to be appreciative, though,  if the keys were all where they were supposed to be (why is the Del next to the space bar?) and if the N key was actually there (instead of a space that I have to pound where the N should be.) So I have to use a portable extra keyboard which is exactly like the laptop's keyboard. Grrrrr.... Also, if my hooflings would stop being nasty to each other, I would be eternally grateful. Somehow each of them came home with separate, grouchy moods and it's making the perfect storm of ugliness around here.

There are only two half days of school left of this year and instead of making the girls giddy with anticipation, all three of them have bad attitudes! What is up with that? We had a nice and relaxing three-day weekend so they aren't tired and worn out. Truly I don't know what t he problem is and I don't entirely care. I just want it to stop. I have a hard enough time getting motivated  to just get out of bed. Dealing with bickering and back talk and arguing is just more than I care to put up with.

I'm starting to feel like one of "those" moms. The ones you see in the store with the unruly kids and they just keep yelling and swearing at everything the kids do? Ok, I'm probably not THAT bad, but I don't like feeling like this. I tell the kids, "finish your snack and get started on the chores you didn't finish last night."
Suddenly, I'm a monster. I get disgusted looks of shock and I'm immediately barraged with reason's why they just CAN'T, and how tired they are and how it just isn't fair...Seriously? I'm asking you to pick up your OWN dirty clothes here, not trek, uphill, three miles in the snow.

I don't think I am being unreasonable. Each of them has a section of the house that they are responsible for. LH does the living room and the bedroom. EG does the bathroom and sorts the dirty laundry. TD takes care of the kitchen, but they all do the dishes. DH handles the laundry and the money making. I handle everything else. I don't think it is that big a deal. Any of the areas could be completed in 15 minutes or less (if they didn't spend 45 minutes griping and then put it off for three days.) I admit, my kids have more responsibilities than most of their friends do. (I overheard one of the teens complaining that SHE had to WALK THE DOG EVERY DAY!!! Oh, the humanity!) But, I don't think it is out of the realm of fairness to ask them to do it. for ten years I was in charge of all of it and I only asked them to keep up their rooms. Well, now, I admit that I can't do it all, but it still has to be done.

If they would simply take care of their own stuff, they wouldn't really have a problem. They just don't MAKE SENSE that way. They have to come home from school and explode all over the living room, get a snack and leave a trail of food-mess all over the house like a messy snail track, and fling clothes in every room of the house while getting dressed for bed. No matter the routines I write down, or the rules I yell about, or the threats I make, or pleading I do the house always looks like I have a gaggle of toddlers in here. Actually, I think it looked better when they WERE all toddlers.

My kids all share one bedroom for the time being, so I know they don't have much room for their own things or even really to play in the there. That means is they want to relax, they either mess up their room (that is already a wreck) or they drag their stuff into our one living area. I'll give you one guess where the entire Littlest Pet Shop collection is right now (and it isn't in the LABELED DRAWER that was created for them.) The dining area is connected to the kitchen, so cooking and eating usually take place in almost the same space. I would think that this would mean things are CLEANER because it is only three steps from the dining table to the sink. Not so. It just means the kids get grouchier and more overwhelmed looking at the table AND the counters at the same time.

Laundry? I don't even know why I bother. Once DH washes and dries everything he takes the baskets out of the laundry area so they don't get confused with the dirty stuff and rewashed. Ah, but where do they go? In the dining room (because it shares the doorway with the dining area) or in the living room because it is not quite as far as going ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HALL to the bedrooms. IF the clothes baskets ever make it to the appropriate bedroom, that is usually as far as it will go. Apparently, taking something out of a basket and putting it in the dresser (directly in front f you) is far too much work to do (for anyone but me. (I admit I have clean clothes on  the foot of my bed but that has more to do with the closet door being blocked by the dog than anything else.). It's just too hard. That must be why it never gets done. By the time the clothes are dirty and (eventually) make it back to the laundry room, there is a good chance that they have never even seen the dresser drawer. Most likely they were pulled out of the basket, already unfolded and rumpled, worn until they were about to walk by themselves, and then they were tossed in the bathroom hamper and left until the last moment when it was absolutely necessary for it to be worn.

This house is tiny. I think the first apartment I lived in was probably about the same size as this. We don't have room for clutter or mess. Just walking around makes me crazy. But, actually cleaning up everyone else's mess makes me angry on top of worn out. I hate not wanting to let people in the house when they knock on the door, and not having a good place to let the kids do their homework or color and draw. There isn't a place to practice musical instruments or work on posters and projects for school. Maybe this house would work better if we didn't all have so many hobbies, but that would not be nearly as interesting.

I hope you will excuse my monthly rant about housework. I have been working so hard lately trying to get back on track energy-wise, and it feels like the more I do, the less the kids help and the more mess they make. I can't wrap my brain around this. EG has never known me before I got sick. She has only ever known me to be slow and tired and need help. TD was only two when I got sick. It doesn't make sense that they think I am going to go behind them and clean up their disaster area. I never have before. With LH, I can almost understand it, she is rather self-focused much of the time, so if it doesn't get up and bite her, she will never notice it.

In any case, I have stopped being nice and I no longer can tolerate the mess or their general ignorance of it. I hate to have them trapped inside all summer simply because they won't wipe up the PB&J off the counter or move their shoes out of the walkway, but that is about what it is going to come down to. If they won't do it, neither will I. And if they refuse to do the simplest of things, like throwing a PAPER PLATE into the garbage, then maybe I won't do the simplest thing like take them to the pool, the shopping mall, the park...even the grocery store. I'm going to give them until 10:00 each morning to get their 15 minutes of chores done every day. If it isn't done by then, the day's plans get canceled. That's really a shame, too, because I really wanted to get a tan this summer.

What do you guys think? Am I being unfair? Too strict? A big meanie head? Expecting too much of a 13, 9, and 7 yr old? Or is it reasonable to expect them to be able to clean up by themselves, the mess that they made by themselves? Sound off and let me hear what you think.

Deb "The Mean Mom" Lollar

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ok, I get it...Now leave me alone.

My brain is telling my consciousness that something has to change. I keep having dreams that are very vivid, memorable, and seem to be communicating all sorts of things. Most of the time, dreams are your brain's (the physical side) way of "taking out the garbage" so that your mind (the sentient side) can get rid of silly things that clutter it up. All day long, millions of unimportant thoughts cross your subconscious mind. When you don't have time or aren't able to examine those thoughts during the day, your mind files them away for the brain to take care of later. Without dreams, your mind becomes so cluttered with every little thought that you can literally go insane. (Go look up what happens to insomniacs that NEVER sleep.)

For people who wish to see it, all this "garbage dumping" can have an educational side to it. When your brain finds something it really thinks you ought to examine further, you end up with very vivid and memorable dreams. For the most part (I read this somewhere) 50% of your dreams are gone from your memory within 10 minutes of waking up. Within an hour, only 10% of your dreams are memorable - if you remembered them when you first woke up. Only the important stuff ever makes through to the first 10 minutes. Only the critical stuff ever makes it past an hour. If you want to remember it much past there, most people need to write it down or speak it out loud so it can be committed to a more permanent part of the brain.

I often get these very vivid dreams, especially when I have woken up in the morning and then gone back to bed for a short nap. I personally feel that my brain and my mind are capable of much more activity than I get in one day. Because I don't exercise my bran as much as I can (because my body holds me back) my brain likes to tell my mind just what it thinks I SHOULD be doing. In short, I get not only vivid dreams, but meaningful ones - if I take the time to decipher them.

The world of dreams is not as straightforward as the normal world is. That's when you get in to dream translation and deciphering and inner meaning. There are tons of people who feel images and symbols in your dreams always mean something specific. But, while one person feels water is sign of rebirth and positive change, another might feel that water is symbol for death and an omen of something dire in your near future. Some of it makes sense in your gut feelings and you know that there is some glimmer of truth for you. That doesn't mean that every bit of every person's philosophy is 100% true for you. Dreams are a personal thing, after all. Some people say that losing your teeth in a dream is a sign that you fear death. However, my father has dreams where he loses his teeth and it is always a huge relief. He has bad teeth and is always in pain, so for him the teeth thing, er..doesn't hold water.

Anyway, I have been having extremely vivid dreams over the past week and while the dreams aren't exactly recurring , the images and aspects of them are. Often, In my dreams, I keep deciding to run off with an old boyfriend and leave my current life behind. Does it mean I am not fantastically happy and in love my DH? Of course not. I love him more than life and I can't imagine being without him. (Besides, he's already trained.) I'm sure this has more to do with wanting the excitement and thrill that comes with young relationships and making big, bold, daring decisions. Lately, every big decision I have made has caused me to fall flat on my face. I never dream of running off with DH and leaving the world behind. He is my symbol of strength, and solidarity, and security.

Back in the "boyfriend years" I was never happy with my personal appearance, but now, I look back and I would do nearly anything to be that size and shape again. I was small but curvy and I had long hair and I never needed to wear makeup. Actually, I wasn't that bad looking. Today, I'm bored, and sometimes lonely, and I long for the days when I could look in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I have extra pounds and skin that I am still fighting to reclaim from adult acne and to top it all off I have a bad haircut and I regret starting the whole "dyeing" spiral of eternal coloring. If it meant being that person again, who wouldn't want to go back a few years (at least temporarily.)

Other recurring themes are water, eggs, rabbits, cats, and adorably cute babies. I'm pretty sure this is related to a) reading too much Cheezeburger Network, and b)wishing I had my own baby, kitten, bunny, etc. to snuggle. With all the free time on my hands, I just feel the need to be productive, and you can produce anything more amazing than another human being.

However, while three kids are a handful and DH and I are actually enjoying them being older and more self-sufficient, a part of me is still feeling the biological clock ticking. I have many friends my own age who are pregnant, just had babies, or are still cuddling their toddlers at home. All my life I wanted to be a Supermom. The woman who had a career and babies and just seemed to make it all work. Then I actually HAD babies and I found I wanted nothing more than to stay home and bask in their beauty (until potty training age of course.) I struggled with the pain and guilt of needing to work and not being able to be home with them, or being home with them but not having enough money to make ends meet. I occasionally wish I would have had both girls and boys so DH would have his own little boy to take to Cub Scouts and all that. In reality, though, I am pretty sure I don't have the energy to handle boy toddlers, or boy potty training, or boy children, or boy teens. Besides, with girls like mine, the only part I'm missing is them actually being a Cub Scout.

Generally, I don't like to complain unless I do something about it. I can make all the plans I want and do all I can to prepare for a new start but I haven't gotten much good out of those plans. Unfortunately, it is more like an ice cream binge - it feels so good at the time, but the next day you feel ashamed of your lack of self control and let down that you got nothing out of it.

Sitting here, I can see where I have fallen and failed before. I recognize the pitfalls only in hindsight. I'm a great sprinter. I make it off the starting line and do great for the first quarter mile. Then, I lose energy, momentum, and I don't have the staying power to finish the race. I'm a poster girl for "Too much too fast." I'll jump in with both feet and burn out long before the goal is accomplished. Poor DH sees it happen all the time. When I try to take on a new endeavor, he KNOWS I'll crash and burn. He KNOWS I won't complete the race. However, he has learned not to warn me or tell  me to slow down. The Supermom in me takes all the negative comments and tries to use them to fuel my fire of success. There isn't much energy in negative anything, though and I will crash and burn even harder than before. Only now, I will have the embarrassment of listening to someone say, "I told you so."

So, what's a girl to do? I WANT to do more and have a somewhat normal life, but even the simplest of routines elude me. I WANT to make a difference in the world, but I can't be sure I will even get out of bed every day. I WANT to have something to show for these past seven years of pain and mood swings and fatigue, but there isn't anything there besides 60 extra pounds and a dozen journals filled with depressive bitching. Most people would love to have a life where 75% of the day is free time and you can do whatever you want with it. I feel like I waste 75% of every day because I never do what I want with it. I let my body and my illness set the pace and I feel incredibly wasteful for it.

The only thing I DO know is that I have to do something. I need to make a change - big or small, I don't care - that will put my brain at ease and let my mind know that it can stop digging at me to make a move. I left my boyfriends in the past for a reason. They can stay there, now. Thank you very much.

Deb "The Dreamer" Lollar

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yeah, sure...ok. Whatever

End of the world tomorrow? Not likely. I could be wrong, but I'm not uncertain.
I have many reasons for doubting the hype, but I won't list them out here. It IS something to ponder, if not too deeply. Perhaps, it is just another reminder that we DON'T know when or where our last minutes will be. If  I did have less than 24 hours left, would I be satisfied with what I have done? Would I be ready to go?

After a few minutes, I decided, yes. I believe I have done the best I could with what I have. I apologize when I am wrong. I try to make amends when I err. I pray for those I love and even for those I don't. I hug and kiss everyone in my family every day and tell them that I love them. I have raised my children (so far) to be good, kind, forgiving people. I have taught them to be accepting of all others, which is apparent in their actions and words. They enjoy church and love God and equally enjoy the earth and all her wonders. That seems like a pretty good accomplishment.

I have been given a very blessed life that I am every day more thankful for. Sometimes the joy seems like more than I deserve. My cup runeth over, as they say. My loving and wonderful husband is more than I could have asked for. His patience and strength is never ending it seems and he is always there to fill in where I can't. Little Heart is as healthy and strong as any one of her peers (healthier than some, even.) She is becoming an amazing and beautiful young lady. There is no sign of the sickly, tired, and failing child I was warned she would be. Tiny Dancer is a perky and friendly little girl who lives up to her name. Not one hour goes by that she isn't singing and dancing to the music in her head. Evil Genius is first a genius, and second bent on world domination and I really couldn't ask for more. Today when her teacher was cleaning out her room to prepare for the last weeks of school, EG managed to score more than half a dozen books. Each one was chosen with a family member in mind. She even brought me an Eric Carle book that I had never seen because she knows I love the artwork.

I hope that these apocalypse predictions are wrong. There is plenty more I would like to do with my life. I just started really writing my first sci-fi novel and I am so excited. I think it will be a big hit if anyone gets to read it. I want to see my kids grow up to be the amazing adults I know they will be. I want to be alone with DH after they have flown the nest and enjoy every minute of every day being close to him and happy. I want to make new friends and revisit old ones and see the Grand Canyon. I want to heal enough so that I can work again and remember what being a "normal" person feels like. In fact, a daycare is opening in town a few blocks from my home and I would love to have a chance to snuggle babies for a living again.

In any case, whether the wackos are right or not, I thank you, my readers, for letting me ramble and rant at you. I have found an amazing sense of friendship here and the therapy I have gained has helped me heal inside and out more than I ever thought.

So, tonight I'll have a glass of wine and put off doing the dishes and folding laundry. Who wants to spend their last hours on earth doing housework? But just in case I'm wrong, I'll kiss and hug my kids, just like I always do.

Lastingly yours,
Deb "Nonbeliever" Lollar

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On hold...

Novel writing has been temporarily put on hold. I have some things that are taking up a bit more of my time.
I have been hacked.

If it was just facebook, I could handle it. If it was just a sleazy e-mail sent from my hotmail account, I could handle it. But, no. Someone hacked me FINANCIALLY and I am extremely, inconsolably pissed. I know the best I can do is get my money back because no bank wants to spend the time or energy to find the #$^* that did this sort of thing. I have done the responsible, legal things and made sure no one can continue to hack this particular account again, but that doesn't give me a sense of peace. I will most likely have to wait TWO WEEKS for the bank to return the HUNDREDS of dollars that was stolen from me. (Word of advice: banks suck, but small banks suck more.)

What's worse is I know the thieves probably bought a ton of crap at discount and will be selling it even cheaper and making out like, well...bandits. Someone is probably scoring a new TV right now for half price at my expense. If I knew it was a hungry mother buying food for her kids, I might sleep better at night. If I could see that it was medication for someone who was sick, I probably wouldn't even press charges. But I KNOW that isn't the case. I know someone is selling stuff that I can't afford and using the money for other illegal transactions.

I wouldn't wish anyone else ill. It isn't Christian or right to want someone else to hurt and suffer and be in pain. However, I hope and pray that whoever got a hold of my card number will get caught and will learn something from this. That or he gets a bad dose of crack. Either way...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Writing to come

I have gotten, over the last few days, a story line for a set of novels that I would like to write. One outline came from a few years back and another one came from the dream I had this morning. At first, I grabbed my notebook and wrote it all out in a effort to get it out of my head. The more I wrote the more amazing the story became. I took those concepts and fleshed them out some more and then realized how I needed to keep going. The two different concepts rolled right into each other and I realized that what I had in my summary notes were the outlines of at least two, possibly three full novels.

Sitting down with my father (and fellow author) this evening. I realized I had nearly finished the initial story and plot and outline. What I needed to do NOW was sit down and start writing the actual words that would become my books.

That concept scared me. I was afraid that if I started writing that I might lose track of the story and I might make a silly piece of crap instead of the truly moving piece  that will have its readers looking inside themselves to see reflections of themselves in every page. If I let that fear take hold, I will have nothing. If I fight that fear and push on through, I might end up with a book of literary trash. At that point, I will , at least, have something to show all this, even if it isn't a very quality outcome.

I think I would rather fight through the fear and make at least something that is worthy of being read. I want to do this and I need to show myself that I am capable of doing more than day dreaming.

Tomorrow  I am going to attempt the outline and try to determine the actual length of the books and how many books there will be. I will let you know how successful I was.
In order to be able to have my work published one day it can not be shared in whole or in part on line through social networking sites or though online journal and writing sites like blogs. So, I guess I won't share my daily works with you. I may however, be able to show you all some bits and pieces every now and then. Look for me tomorrow or the next day to have an outline to share and I would live to hear feedback on it.

Deb "Journalista" Lollar