Too Many Things

Blog Challenge, Day 2: 20 Facts About Me

1.) I don’t expect anyone to be interested in this, but if you read it, I’ll make you healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies.

2.) This is pretty much me with new people. e14db6d57a5feb8ec23ff91e16e61d42

3.) Unless we just “click” or I came to the party in a certain super-great mood, or if the room is generating a really comfortable, positive vibe. In any of those cases you might get the top half of that picture. I’m one of those weirdo extroverted introverts. If none of these apply, you’re going to get a purple-haired mouse at your party whose only interaction with you will likely be a few moments of me making borderline inappropriate jokes at exactly the worst time to precisely the worst person before I find an excuse to leave… “Oh I’m sorry, I just remembered – I was scheduled for a colonoscopy today. Bye!”

4.) My husband just asked me what the heck an extroverted introvert is. Basically it just means that I have days where I love being around people & can be just a fun as the average extrovert, but I need a little more down time to recover and recharge my batteries after. I love my people, but I also really value my alone time.

5.) When I said “my people” it felt a little like this:amiraclescienceclaims

6.) I’m the worst at planning ahead. My default is to fly by the seat of my pants so for me to even halfway successfully plan anything it takes a significant effort on my part, and a few other things including, but not limited to: 2 gallons of sweet tea, 67 sheets of paper, 2 pens because I’m going to lose at least one, a calculator, 8 solid hours of pinterest in which I look at everything except planning pins, 2 pounds of confetti, a bottle of rum, absolutely no sleep, & a sorting hat.

7.) Keeping with the previous admission: I fail at birthday parties & yet I just keep throwing them because my kids seem to be under the mistaken impression that I rock at it. What I lack in planning skills I make up for with skills of deception. 😉 Their parties usually end up being some combination of a sparsely decorated kitchen or living room with laundry shoved away in the pantry, epically messy group activities which may not have been thought out quite well enough, a bunch of half-eaten hotdogs & empty chip bags, and a colorful confection of some sort. As long as I don’t forget the cake and the Taylor Swift playlist, my girls are pretty happy. My son just wants knives, bows and arrows, grills…anything he can survive in the wilderness or hurt himself with and he’s there. So, while planning may not be my gift, I at least get some things right.

8.) I am incredibly indecisive. Mostly because I don’t care. Where do I want to eat? I don’t care. What do I want to eat? Don’t care. My kid comes home and tells me their best friend’s mom has a girlfriend…couldn’t care less. When it matters I can make the decision, but sometimes it takes me a while if it’s a big decision. I may suck at planning, but I’m great at pro/con lists!

9.) I often pray multiple times in a day. I don’t drop to my knees, hold up a bible or close my eyes and enter into a prayer posture while my friend is talking to me about her baby goat, but I do have an ongoing internal conversation with The Man at random times throughout the day or week, just whenever the desire strikes me.

10.) I don’t believe prayer in and of itself really solves much, but I do believe it calms the mind, can heal the heart, and give peace to the soul; all things which contribute to being able to think clearly and calmly enough to solve problems, or at the very least, not stress about things which are outside our control. I’m not one of those “just pray about it and it’ll be okay” people; it’s not a magic wand, but I absolutely believe it’s powerful.

11.) I believe miracles occur every day.

12.) I said I pray often, but I have some work to do with listening. Yoga & meditation is for listening.

13.) I am annoyingly inconsistent, even with things which I love and enjoy. Yoga, for instance. I love it. I always feel 1000% better when I do it, yet I still don’t practice everyday. I used to and then for whatever no good reason, I stopped. I plan to work on that this year.

14.) I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. If I decide I want to do something I don’t have to wait until January 1st, or a Monday, or for anything else to happen first: I just do it.

15.) & then I quit 2 days later.

16.) #15 was mostly just funny, but also somewhat accurate. It’s that inconsistency thing again. I have to make very intentional decisions everyday because  – depending on what it is – it’s easy for me to just decide I’m not feeling something one day and give up on it. I hate that about myself so I try not to be that person. Sometimes I fail at that, too. 😛

17.) I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. On the outside, one could perceive me to be the type of person who knows exactly what I want out of my life and big picture-wise, I do. I just haven’t figured out the details in between. You know…like…what I want to be. I have way too many hobbies and interests, but nothing that I feel like is my calling or my purpose. Other than maybe being a mom of course, but I wouldn’t turn down a calling that pays in $20 dollar bills.

18.) Speaking of callings, that’s what I want. I don’t want “just a job, any job, any job will do!” :p I want a purpose; something meaningful and fulfilling. Realistically speaking, I realize that may never happen. Not everyone gets the angel-choir-hallelujah-this-is-what-I-was-meant-to-do epiphany so my biggest goal is just to be fully present wherever I am at whatever moment or phase of life I’m in, & to take it and enjoy it for whatever it is.

19.)  This talking about myself thing is really boring me now. I’m running out of facts, energy & give-a-craps.

20.) If you read to this point comment with a Supernatural or Harry Potter reference and not only will I recognize you as one of my tribe, but you, too, could be the lucky recipient of some of those healthy, delicious, fat free, calorie free, weight-loss inducing, muscle-building, magical unicorn cookies. Did I mention they’re vitamin-rich also? And invisible?

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Your Bossy, Overbearing Parents And Why You Can’t Wait To Get Away From Them

Dear Kids,

You’re dying to be grown aren’t you? Can’t wait to get out from underneath your parents’ crazy rules and their nearly constant badgering over where you’re going, what you’re doing, why you did that, what you’re thinking, is your homework done, why are you failing, are your chores finished, where’s your common sense, who’s that kid you’ve been hanging out with who smokes, and just what is that fungus growing beside your toilet?! etc…the list is endless right? They just won’t leave you alone. 

You know why they won’t leave you alone? Because they care about you. They love you. Yeah, yeah, you know that already. They tell you constantly. It doesn’t seem like they love you though, does it? I mean really all they do is boss you around and yell at you when you don’t perform the way they think you should. They tell you they want what’s best for you and somehow you don’t see how telling you who you can and can’t hang out with is ‘what’s best.’ You don’t understand how passing calculous is going to make you a better person or why your parents are always up in your business.

It’s not like they ever made any sacrifices for you. It’s not like they give you a place to live, sleep, bathe; it’s not like they provide you with clothes and food or stupid frivolous things like game systems and cell phones just because you like &/or want them. Oh wait…yeah…they do. (And they make sure to remind you of that constantly, right?) But they expect you to earn those things by keeping your grades up and doing chores so it’s not like they’re really giving it to you. You deserve it because you earned it. You earned it by being their child and by (mostly) listening to them. Or did you? Do you REALLY deserve it? What makes you entitled to anything? Your parents have to work for everything they have. Everything YOU have. So how did you earn it?

I’ll tell you; you didn’t. They did. Your parents bust their asses for you to live the life you have and yeah, there are a bunch of people who don’t have it so great and a bunch of parents in the world who, frankly, shouldn’t be. But I promise you, there are people out there in a much worse position than you are. You control your own outcome; why not make sure it’s the best one you can have?

So, I say all that to say this…

Suck it up. Stop racing towards adulthood because being a kid is awesome. The only thing you’re racing toward is a string of crappy jobs, early mornings and late nights, little to no appreciation, too many bills and not enough money to pay them, relationship problems, credit problems, stress, endless hours usually spent at someone else’s disposal, worry, wrinkles, grey hair, sacrifice, always having hard choices to make, sickness, cracking bones, weight gain and erectile dysfunction.

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I’m not saying your adult life can’t be amazing and that it’s inevitably going to suck, but I am saying that it’s not the party you think it is. There’s no one to take care of you when you grow up except you. Yeah, you’ll have a support system if you’re lucky and people that are always there to help, but no one is going to just give you things or do them for you. You have to learn to be self-reliant and responsible and THAT is what your parents are trying to teach you now. They want to see you grow up to be a well-rounded, amazing, contributing member of society and all the things they’re on you about now are just lessons and values they’re trying to teach you to help you succeed in the future. They’re trying to prepare you for adulthood because they know it’s not the carnival ride you perceive in your head. And no, not everything they do and say is going to be right or helpful, but they’re doing the best they can because they really do want what’s best for you. Sometimes, they’ll screw up because we’re all human. Cut them some slack.

Listen to the wisdom your parents and grandparents have to offer you and apply it. Enjoy and appreciate your youth. It really is a beautiful, magical time. It will make adult-hood a much easier transition for you if you try to apply all the positive things you’re learning now & you’ll be happy one day that you didn’t race toward that finish-line called “get out and get a job.” Once you get there, you’re on your own…there’s no going back.

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Death To The BethBot

This is one of those posts. You know….one of those emotional purging, self-discovery posts that only people who really love you (or super nosey people that feed off the despair of others) wants to take the time to read. You have been warned.

…….

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by anxiety to the point that I can’t do anything effectively. I mean, I can do things, but I can’t put my full potential or passion into it. It gets done, but half-assed. I hate to half-ass things. That’s why experiencing anxiety to any degree is a full-on suck-fest for me to the point that I get physically sick. Okay, okay…I suppose it isn’t exactly fun for anybody, but some people handle it better than others. For some, it drives them to perform above and beyond the norm. Why can’t I be one of those people?

Now, you might be thinking that I suffer from an anxiety disorder or something, but I’ve googled my symptoms (because that’s a fool-proof method of diagnosis, right?) and they don’t really match up with an anxiety disorder so much as just normal levels of anxiety inside a person that obviously can’t handle it in certain situations. Like work situations for instance. When it comes to work I must be perfect. That’s all there is to it. And if I’m not, I get physically ill replaying my screw-ups over and over again in my head as if I can somehow change them if I think about it enough. Half the time it isn’t even that I’ve screwed up necessarily. It’s just that my tastes and the tastes of some of my clients might differ in some areas so they may not care for something I’ve done with their session/photos and I feel like a failure as a result even though it’s hardly something to feel so strongly about. I want to please everyone all the time and I keep trying to convince myself that since I know that isn’t humanely possible I should stop trying, but still….I do. I keep trying for perfection because I’m wired that way. I was programmed to be a “yes person.”

In some aspects of my life I can handle saying no. I can handle being imperfect and I can handle the conflict that comes with simply being a human being whose likes, dislikes and tastes are unique. Like my family life for example. I can handle pretty much anything that comes along here at home with strength and assurance because I know the whole thing isn’t going to implode if I make a mistake or if someone disagrees with me. I just get up tomorrow and try again. I still have the love and respect of my family and I’m confident in my standing within our family. When my husband and I fight, that’s okay because it’s a safe space – I know he isn’t going to leave me or say disparaging things about me just because we had a disagreement. We work it out and we move on without all the nasty stuff. Plus, this is MY family and MY friends. If you don’t feel safe and confident in YOUR OWN space, there really isn’t anywhere in the world you’re going to feel good. In my comfort zone I am the best version of myself.

But when it comes to my work or social interactions with people I’m not that familiar with, I panic. At home, I have to play devil’s advocate all the time; I challenge my husband and kids to think about things from a different perspective and don’t always readily agree to whatever they say/want/ask for. But in other situations, it’s like a switch flips and I automatically turn into the BethBot. You know, the one who is so agreeable it’s mechanical. I can’t help it. In these situations, it’s really hard for me to find that filter in my head that tells me to take the time I need to think things all the way through before I agree. I don’t think, I don’t challenge – I just nod and comply like some foreign submissive version of myself that jumped right out of a 50 Shades novel and I’m later left with that “OH SH!T” feeling you get when you realize you actually can’t or don’t want to do the very thing you so enthusiastically agreed to.

Most people who know me personally will probably tell you that’s not who I am at all. I’m pretty much anti-everything that has to do with submission in any form. Those people generally see me as someone you can’t MAKE do anything she doesn’t want to do. I don’t take sh!t; I don’t like to give in. Compromise? Absolutely, but only when necessary. Being polite? Always. Okay, almost always. Hello, Manners Police over here. *waves* But giving in and doing something I’m really not cool with just to please a family member or close friend? I just generally don’t do it. I may not like telling them no, but I can do it and I have no problems with being honest with people I’m close to whether they like what I’m saying or not. You ask for my opinion; you get my opinion – good or bad.

Those who only know me professionally have not gotten that impression of me, ever. They only know the super-compliant BethBot version. I almost find it impossible to argue in these situations. I don’t know what it is really and it drives me insane. It’s like I completely lose myself when faced with purely professional circumstances and sometimes even people I’m just meeting for the first time. They tend to form an impression of me at the first meeting and I, for some unknown but clearly stupid reason, adhere to whatever I think that impression is (unconsciously, of course) until I can’t maintain that facade anymore and I explode with some emotional outburst worthy of its own bipolar award. In my head, I’m just being polite the way people are supposed to be when meeting someone new or interviewing for a position or just chatting with anyone in general. But apparently, in the other person’s head, I’m so sweet that it makes me an easy, automatic (& mostly inadvertent) target for being taken advantage of. It goes from me just being sweet and polite to me unconsciously trying to live up to the other person’s impression/expectation and only realizing what I was doing when I epically fail at it. And then consequently feeling an even bigger need to please them and prove myself.

My need to please, inability to say no when I need to and my OCD where manners are concerned is a recipe for stress & anxiety. Stress and anxiety are the main ingredients in me half-assing things and my half-assing things is a direct cause of more stress, anxiety and a big hearty helping of disappointment in myself as well as others’ disappointment in me. Can you see how this a vicious never-ending circle of despair for me?

So the only thing to do is to get everything right the first time around so that no one ever feels disappointed in me so that I never feel disappointed in myself effectively annihilating any anxiety or stress. Right…. :/ Because that’s so easy. It would be easier if I could stop just screaming yes to everything before I’ve actually considered whether what I’m being asked to do is feasible or realistic or even if it’s something I WANT to do, but the BethBot takes over and I feel like I have no control over her.

So my new mission for the next however long it takes is to kill the BethBot.

DIE BETHBOT, DIE!!!

She is the source of a vast majority of my misery lately so something has to be done. I can’t stay in my comfort zone all the time and it gets really exhausting continuously trying to live up to the expectations of those that live outside my comfort zone. I would rather consistently be the version of me that my close friends and family get to see everyday; that’s the version of me that I like and that everyone else respects. She doesn’t let herself get walked all over nearly as much like my robot version. Any ideas on how to pull the plug on the BethBot? I’m all ears eyes.