Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday I turned 35 years old. Can I get a hells yea??!!

I have not been much of a birthday fan. I do not mind the getting older thing, it is the I am kind of an asshole thing I can do without.

As long as I can remember, my birthdays have always been filled with family, love, gifts and good food. We all make a point to make sure the birthday person feels love. And I feel it from them, it just never came through from me to me. I have always filled the day reflecting on my life and my relationships and inevitably feel like I royally messed up another year. When I feel that way, the last thing I want to do is be with people who love me unconditionally.

This year was different. This year was amazing. The birthday routine is the same, but I am actually enjoying it this year!

The difference? I am happy with my life and I am happy with myself.

Looking back, I have never had a reason not to be happy with myself.  It was just  my head and mental illness.

This year has been the year of focusing on getting that shit figured out. I by no means have it figured out, but I am in the midst of trying, and that feels damn good.

The reflection this year, surprisingly,  did not really  happen. I did not even notice until today. I do not feel the need for it. I am happy in this day at this time and no need to replay anything.

The family gathering is this weekend and I better get some good shit.

 

Welcome Back (and why I am here)

My head is slowly emerging from the fog of summer and the blur of first days of school.

While driving my youngest to school this morning, my mind was swimming on what I could do today to help my professional life grow and, of course, what I am going to cook for dinner. Getting her out of the car, she grabbed me around the neck, hugged me and whispered, “you are the best mommy ever. Thanks for carrying me.”

Best reminder ever.

When I decided to get into Real Estate, I did not have the vision of being , but to be a human among humans. To show my daughters that I can follow my dreams and they, too, can do and be anything they want.  I didn’t think of the money, the hours, or the way I should start dressing when I made this decision and stated moving toward it. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to do a bit of guilt-free shopping every now and again, the hours may be a bit difficult at first, but we will make it work, and I might need to invest in some better looking yoga pants and some more cardigans (you know to dress it up a bit).

I honestly thought about how much I would love doing it. Love spending my time researching facts and figures to help people understand the market; love reading people and hearing what they want and guiding them to that; love looking at houses and seeing the possibilities of making it someones home; love coming home and my kids asking how work was.

For the first time in my adult life, I feel no need to embellish my profession and make it seem like I am something I am not. When people ask me how my new ‘job’ is going, I can honestly answer “it is great”.  When they ask about how much money I am making or how many listings I have, I can answer them with the truth, “I am learning so much and I absolutely love doing it!” (Of course it is followed with a few numbers and maybe a sales pitch, but you get the point). This is my life now. It seems seamless to me. A perfect fit into my already full life.

*caution* super cliche saying ahead

I do not feel like this is a job start, but a new life path.  That brings me nothing but joy.

Maybe at some point I will get a pencil skirt, blazer and stilettos and hit the ground as saleswoman extraordinaire, but for now I thoroughly enjoy helping people and making my daughters proud of their Mommy because she is proud of herself.

Now I just need to figure out what the hell we are having for dinner.

B

Routine

If I were to be honest with you, I strive for routine and normalcy, but thrive in chaos. This leaves me at a bit of a stalemate most of the time. I have a list and schedule that I can follow and get everything I need to done and have time to do more for myself. Instead, I choose to sit on the couch and think about things (typically while simultaneously surfing the web and catching up on Supernatural on Netflix). Then I give myself about 20 minutes to do the ‘task’ that was scheduled to take all afternoon. I go to bed almost every night exhausted. Not because I am physically wiped out, but from emotionally beating myself up for not following the plan once again. It is a self-designed set up for failure.  I know myself well enough to know that if I want to get something done, I have to not think about it. Conversely, if I want to ensure nothing gets done, I plan it.
I am also too well aware of my fear of success and my fear of failure. When I put those two together, it is a clusterfuck of inaction and self-loathing in its outcome. Unfortunately, as GI Joe (at least in my memory) once said, “knowing is half the battle.” Knowing this about me is only half the journey into the clusterfuck. The other half is taking the action to get out of it. I am in a constant state of trying to get to the later.
Here is the rub, I am not sure I have sufficiently been beaten into a state of willingness to take the action necessary to dig my way out of the jam I actively walked into. I know that I can. But Alphas is on. So maybe tomorrow.

2 down, 754 to go

I have taken some pride in being a laid back, it-will-all-work-out mom. Two weeks ago, that pride took a major hit. Up until then, I could not wait until my oldest daughters started kindergarten. Knowing we were planning on a full day program, the idea of a whole 6-7 hours big-kidless seemed awesome. One week before the big day, I lost my shit.
As you may know, I am a control freak. At the meet-and-greet for the kids a week before school, we found ut they would be in seperate classrooms. All logic and reason flew from my soul when I read that and I spirled into a holy-shit-I-just-broke-my-kids meltdown. That is not an easy thing to do when I am standing with my two five year olds in a packed hallway where 95% speak spanish (duel immersion school). So I smiled, walked to the edge of the crowd and waited for my husband to arrive to proceed. Seeing his face releived some of the anxitiy, until we had to split up to meet the girls’ teachers. We got through it, I was a total bitch to my kids the rest of the day (becasue that is my coping mechnism) and I cried myself to sleep.
The next couple days were filled with second guessing, deserate searches for jobs to pay $1 million dollars a year for private school, less deperate searches for jobs to pay for therapy and a lot of talking to other moms.
The day off, we were up, dressed, fed and at the bus between the ass crack of dawn and super fucking early. Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, Mom, Dad and little Sister all in attendance. Bus came, girls ran off (without a kiss) and they were gone.They came home, loved school and we did it again the next day (minus the audience). That was it. No more drama. No more tears from me. I was alright.
Then, it was my Baby’s first day of preschool. Like her big sisters, she wanted nothing to do with the kiss-your-mom at the door fiasco. By the time I picked her up, she was happy, tired and ready to go back. I cried all day and then to sleep.

I miss them. But, after surviving the first couple weeks, I am getting stronger, but, unfortunately, the kids are struggling a bit. The lack of play time and quick meal times is starting to show in their attitudes and energy levels. Back to whining and snacking!
The biggest thing I learned from this process is that I am a good mom. I don’t say that to sound egotistical (but, let’s face it, I kind of am), it is just that my kids are ok. They were not afraid to try something new. They have been able to transition into a new environment well. I am also ok. I am not just sitting around watching soaps (despite my desire to). I feel good about this chapter. I am excited, scared and walking forward. There are so many exciting things in the works that I cannot wait to unveil and get moving on. 

Back to school

this is what 2 weeks of no school and husband home from work looks like. Be warned.
My big girls are in preschool for 2.5 hours, 5 days a week. After 2 weeks off, I am ready for them to return. It may not seem like a lot, but it is surprising how 2 hours can wear 4 year olds out. By the time they get home, nap time isn’t a quite as much of a war. Still a war, but not as bad. Now the living room is picked up, I’m watching General Hospital and potentially finishing a project, 2 weeks late.

The Oatmeal Breakfast (aka why I love saturday morning breakfast)

We love oatmeal. It may be a problem.
In of itself, loving oatmeal is not a bad thing. However, as a mother of three who reluctantly does whatever they want from time to time despite my bad ass nature, making and serving said oatmeal is an ordeal.
Here are the instructions so someone can give me when I lose my mind and can no longer function as a member of my family…

  • Start a medium pot of water boiling
  • Add a random amount of oatmeal. If you are a stick-up-you-ass type, go ahead and measure it out according to directions. You are now a Follower.
  • Cook for about a minute. This results in a nice, thick, sticky oatmeal. Just the way I like it. 
  • Spread about half of it on a large plate, put in freezer to cool. 
  • While cooling, toss 4 slices of bread into toaster. 
  • While toast is…um…toasting, start a pot of coffee for yourself. Make it a whole pot, because it typically needs to last about 3 days
  • Once toast is done, butter two for yourself, cut one in 4ths and spread now cooled oatmeal on them for one kid and butter and cut in half for the other. The third kid may yell at you if you give her toast, don’t bother
  • Divide remaining cooled oatmeal into 2 bowls. The other third man out may yell at you if you give her just a bowl of oatmeal, don’t bother.
  • Pour an ungodly amount of brown sugar over all the exposed sticky, tan oatmeal in an effort to hide the fact you are attempting to give your children something good (despite the fact that you are making it decidedly un-good by adding sugar)
  • Place all 456 plates, bowls and cups on the table, return to kitchen, pour a cup of coffee, eat scraps off the counter, return to family eating area, pretend you are at a hipster breakfast place with background noise instead of your own children yelling, eat a entire bowl of oatmeal, two overly buttered pieces of toast in about 3 minutes.
  • If Weekday: run to bedrooms, but out clothes for kids…start the getting ready for school war.
  • If Saturday: Remove youngest from highchair, dust off the sugar from her face and clothes, grab cup of coffee, find couch and stay there for about an hour. 
  • In both scenarios, be sure not to clean up the table. If you do, you will be depriving yourself of the ability for massive amounts of blood to rush to your face every time you step on sticky oatmeal and it gets stuck to your foot, or every time you attempt to scrape dried, hardened brown sugar encrusted oats off the table.

Feel free to use this method, just give me credit. It has taken a lot of sweat and tears to perfect.

Enjoy!
B