Cross the Green Mountain

A few weeks ago my mother said, “You know, looking at you kid’s Facebooks and Instagrams and all that, no one would never even know your father was dying. It’s a little odd.” She’s right, it was a little odd, particularly for me, a lover of all things social media and self-proclaimed open book. But I didn’t know what to say, I am not a “thoughts and prayers needed” kind of girl, and I didn’t need thoughts or prayers. I was having more than enough thoughts for all of us! If my father and I had a relationship status on Facebook, it would be “it’s complicated.” Even last night when my brother called to let me know Dad had died, I had no idea how to feel and had to keep reminding myself of all the recent conversations with friends telling me there is no “right” way to react or feel, only “my way.”

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Dad and Jessi, 1996

Right before my dad went into the hospital, we had an argument that began with my suggesting he move up here so my brother and I could help him out more than we could bein. I pissed him off, and he wrote me off. At his request, I never visited him in the hospital or the rehab facility where he lived his last couple weeks. While it hurt and pissed me off, I understand why he did it. My father was a stoic loner. Ending his life in need of 24/7 care was humiliating. He knew he was dying, he was scared, he was horribly ill and weak, and he just wasn’t able to add dealing with emotional drama to that list.  So it was easier to just ignore it…. me. And I completely understand this because he passed down to me that same ability to cut people off rather than allow them to cause me pain. That trait, given to me by my father, has been mostly blessing my entire life and I am thankful for the strength it has given me over the years.

Anger is so much easier to feel than sadness, forgiveness, or gratefulness. Given the way dad chose to end his life, compounded with the way he lived it, it would be So. Easy. to just say, “Fuck that guy!” I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t swirling around in my head a bit, but each, “fuck that guy,” is met with a good memory, a gratefulness for the traits that made me who I am today, and happiness for him that he no longer living in misery. He had a spot-on Donald Duck impression. He gave all his children passion for music and art. He loved me the best way he could, and in the best way I can, I love him right back.

 

All in a month….

20161026_212836This past month has been CAAAA-RAAAAZY!  Jessi has come home from Richmond, for what was going to be just a visit, but ended up being a stay for some regrouping and replanning for her next adventure.  I am so proud of her for getting out there and giving it a shot, but I am also proud of her for being able to accept defeat in a healthy way!  Richmond, Virginia is not what we thought it was.  The crime is real.  The public transportation is not. One of the straws that broke the camel’s back (And there were already a whole lotta straws on that guy!) in my mind was when her coworker was carjacked at gunpoint.  ONE TICKET TO BANGOR COMING RIGHT UP!  Having her home has been an adjustment for sure, but since it’s 6:58 AM and I am up blogging to the music of the dishwasher, I think I am getting back on track after a couple weeks of sleeping late, eating crap, and feeling overwhelmed.

Part of the reason I haven’t blogged is because I have been so upset about the whole Trump thing,  and knew that any blog post would turn into yet another rant about racism, sexism, ismism…..  Which is pointless, and honestly, making me feel angry and helpless all the time.  And now he’s been voted President by our archaic electoral college system. I am trying to just avoid thinking about it, so…..  moving on…..

School,  School, School!!  Sean is doing much better, but still needs a LOT of “encouragement!”  Piper just finished puppy school!  Lonnie and Jessi are applying to nursing school, and I just finished up 2 more grad school classes!  I am thinking about where I want to do my field experience in February and am leaning toward…. hell…. I am not really leaning toward anything yet I guess. I am dreading the whole thing, and still not sure how I intend to make it all happen….

But for NOW!!  I have 2 weeks off from school and it’s my FAVORITE time of year for projects and stuff, so I am LOVING LiFE!!  We have tried some new recipes. We made bath bombs.  We have Alton Brown’s Aged Eggnog aging in the fridge.  Lonnie is going to make a batch of beer this weekend. We made Lonnie a new website for his D&D stuff coughcoughnerdcoughcough.  It’s almost time to decorate for Christmas.  Black Friday!!! The new Gilmore Girls is coming out ON Black Friday!!  SO. MANY. FUNS!

I think it’s time to head over to Pinterest!

 

 

The half-empty nest

Today marks 1 month since Jessi flew the coop.  Not-gonna-lie, that first week was ROUGH!  There was a lot of crying, sulking, pouting, moping…..  you get the idea.  Since then, I have been ok, we text every day, and she is still including me in knowing stuff about her life.  Less stuff.  But stuff.  This is what she needed, to get away from my influence, Maine, and whatever else, and to have a chance to figure out what she wants and who she is with no distractions. 

So… during the day.  I am fine.  Yes, there are some songs that come on the radio or things I see that bring on that sting in the eyes…. but I recover quickly 😉  Being focused on house stuff, weekend adventures, and fitness, has been a huge help to avoid emotional eating or wallowing in my own self-pity.

The last goodbye tackle

During the day.

It’s the weirdo nighttime shit that is disconcerting. A few nights a week I have Jessi dreams where I am crying and sobbing hysterically. The other night I dreamt that she and I were driving her down to Richmond, so we stopped at the grocery store and I was buying ALL THE BAD FOOD for the road trip and sobbing as I wandered through the aisles filling my cart with Pirate’s Booty and Sour Patch Kids.  


Which do I miss more?  Jessi?  or Junk food!?  LOL

Being a mom is sadistic.  You spend almost 20 years bonding and getting attached just to RIP EM OFF YA ::::insert velcro sound here:::::

Day 1 of FITNESS CHALLEGE #3

The goal of these Facebook challenges is to have bettered yourself in some way by the end of the 21 days.  It’s also based on the theory that it takes 21 days to make a habit.  Every day you get 1 point for an exercise photo and 1 point for a healthy eating photo, and every point is an entry for a drawing and a t-shirt.  I won a t-shirt last month!! WINNING!!

Last week was a break from the challenges for the holiday, but it wasn’t a break for me!  Lonnie has finally jumped on board with me and we kissed sugar goodbye last Sunday.  Honestly, for some reason it hasn’t even been that hard.  And it is AMAZING the changes that happen so quickly when junk food and sugar aren’t in my system…

  • I feel thinner and lighter within a couple days.  
  • My mental clarity and focus improve right away.  Which was AWESOME because it allowed me to get COMPLETELY caught up in my coursework. Having that hanging over my head was really bothering me.
  • I actually FEEL LIKE exercising, so it’s not forced and annoying.
  • ENERGY— I HAS IT!  We have made LOTS of progress around the house the past few days.  LOTS of dump trips, sorting, AND we redid Sean’s room for him (He wanted to move into Jessi’s room) and it looks AWESOME!! 

Having this to focus on has helped with the transition of Jessi moving away. Speaking of Jessi; she seems to be doing GREAT down in Richmond.  It’s clear to me now that a big part of this move was to gain some independence from me, so while it’s weird and a little sad for me to not know her every move and feeling and not talk to her as much as I used to.  It’s awesome that she is strong enough to take this step for herself!  Whoa…. typing that brought on the tears a little.  I thought I was done with those!!  DAMNIT!!

Off to pick up Sean who is doing his Monday jog up at the “track.” (air quotes because this is Winterport and the term track is very.  VERY. loose.  It’s really just a worn down path around a soccer field.)

FU July.

As I watch the second of our 2 cars being hauled off by a tow truck–both this morning, I thought myself, “WELL FUCK JULY SO FAR!”  Then I remembered my mom saying in an email the other day, “Blog, girl, blog.  It’s cheaper than psychotherapy 😉

So… July started with my baby moving 12 hours away, and not-at-all in the way we had planned.  The plan was to load her and her friend up in a moving truck, and wave goodbye as they drove off into the horizon.  Then her friend decided she couldn’t go for 2 more weeks, which threw Jessi (and the rest of us) in turmoil over whether or not to go or wait.  From a place of strength and determination, and despite being terrified,  Jessi decided just to go on her own.  ….which was great except we had to figure out how to get her, and at least SOME of her stuff there. After lots of discussion, we ended up buying her a plane ticket from Boston.  We would drive her down, stay one night down there with her, put her on the plane with 2 giant checked bags, and head home.  We also used http://www.busfreighter.com to ship her a bunch of boxes through greyhound.  Cheapest option by far; fingers crossed the boxes make it there.

Since I was dealing with all of Jessi’s stuff, and my emotions surrounding said ‘stuff,’ and was sick the whole beginning of the week with either the flu or Lyme, I totally flaked on my assignments due for school this week.  I did just get one done, but it was late, so I will be marked down, and I still have one more to get done.  I hate that shit.  I am a bit of a perfectionist about grad school.

One last tackle

Add onto this that this house is a complete shambles.  Since Jessi couldn’t take everything, she had to make choices about what she really wanted to keep and what she didn’t.  Since there was no time for her to dispose of (Goodwill, trash, friends, etc.doritos), it’s all left here for me to deal with.  Also, Sean is moving into her bedroom, and we are moving all of our clothes and stuff into his old room,  so that is also a work-in-progress-disaster.
Emotionally… well… I haven’t cried yet today-even while typing all this, so, just the fact that I consider that a triumph should hint to my recent emotional state.  I miss that girl like crazy!  My movie/shopping/cooking/roadtrip/hang out buddy is 12 hours away now 😦   …in a city all alone!

All I can picture is her when she looked like this, standing in the middle of Richmond, looking like this surrounded by her bags looking lost & confused —(Which is COMPLETELY not the case, BTW!  She is killing it!)

Saturday when we got home from Boston, I allowed myself ONE NIGHT to wallow in Doritos, sour cream, and rum.    Sunday morning we ALL,  even Sean, got back to healthy eating and exercise.   It feels good to be in control and mindful of the fact that I am going to want to eat junk because I am sad, but not giving in to that feeling!  The exercise and running has helped me immensely– just like it did when I went through my divorce.  Gives me something to focus on and also gets out the yucky energy!

Sean, Luna, and I out for an early run this morning… in between the cars breaking

Challenge Complete!

Today is day 21 of my 21-day challenge.

I consider it a resounding success even though I did not “GO HARD AND CLEAN” every day.  I have made serious progress towards fitness.

  • I haven’t had soda in over three weeks and I DO NOT MISS it anymore!
  • I am making exercise a priority more often than not.
  • Day One of t25, I thought I was going to die.  Today…. I felt sweaty, and hot, and it was hard, but NO DYING!!
  • I have more energy
  • I am making small good food choices all day long rather than being “all or nothing.”  This is huge for me.  If I have something “bad,”  it’s fine, it’s called LIVING.  I just have something good next time I am hungry.  No more… “Well I ate that cookie, so THIS DAY/WEEK/MONTH is blown, may as well eat ALL THE THINGS!”
  • I am drinking WATER.  Like…. ON PURPOSE!!  And I don’t hate it!

Since I did so well with this challenge, even though I often half-assed it and did not give it my all.  I have joined another that starts tomorrow and plan to really go hard this time witht the exercise.  I would to be back in my old running shape again.  Fucking Timehop taunts me with that body every day!!

This sucks.

Lesson:  When a good part of your life revolves around talking about where you are going to move away to someday, there are people listening.  People that are at points in THEIR lives where they can take action instead of just talk-talk-talking about it.

Richmond, VA- The city that is stealing my child

It’s no secret that I had a hard time when Jessi went off to college.  But now she is REALLY LEAVING!  Like, ’12 hours away’ leaving.  Like, ‘have to fly there’ leaving.  Like, ‘requires several days off’ to visit leaving.

I am NOT handling it well.  At all.

Friday I spent the day crying.  All. Day.  (It didn’t help that I also binge-watched the Kid’s Baking Championship and when those little kidlets get crying…. damn… that show is ROUGH!)  Then I drank some Rum.  OK, more than some.

Saturday I got pissed off and spent the day angry. “Who the hell does she think she is!!?”  “She just texted me wanting me to bring her allergy meds at work, but she is going to move 12 hours way!!???  WHAT THE FUCK!!!??”  “She spent her whole life being my buddy and getting me all attached to her and now can just go to seeing me like twice a year and not even care!!!??? BITCH!”

Then I googled “my child is moving away”  and found that there are a LOT of message boards with mommies JUST LIKE ME!  I got that little gem that I posted yesterday from that board— clearly I was not quite ready to receive it LOL. Another gem that stuck with me was…

Just remember that they are not running AWAY from you, they are running TOWARDS their life (or something like that).
Something about reading that stuff flipped a switch for me.  I cried a little, then I sighed and got back to looking at cool apartments in Richmond for her to look check out.
Then I decided I needed a little retail therapy and was grateful to have married a man who not only understands the importance of retail therapy, but is totally down to join in.  So, I am now the proud owner of a few new super cute running outfits since I also have a man who is kinda smart and suggested that since running has helped me get through tough stuff in the past, I should run. run. RUN!