Friday, October 24, 2008

I don't even know what to call this post

I had a bit of a meltdown last night. Yeah. Not pretty.

It's late, we're in bed, and I reach for something on my nightstand and knock over the water cup. I was fine as I picked it up, but then I crawled back in bed and just started sobbing.

I think it's partly prepping for our friends to move in. It's partly the havoc of still not having a real front door, having to climb a ladder to get inside, not even having a set place to put my stupid keys, for pete's sake!

So anyway, it's like the perfect storm. So much upheval. And it's been going on for so long. I mean, I haven't had front steps for two weeks. Seriously. That may not sound like a long time, but try climbing a ladder with groceries, laundry, and anything else. Getting ready for interviews in a nice outfit only to step out the door and climb down a ladder.

So I have my meltdown and my hubby just lays there. I think he wanted to comfort me but he can't lay on that shoulder since his accident. But no words, nothing. Then I stop after about twenty minutes. Seriously. I think it's the longest meltdown I've ever had.

And he gets up. Goes downstairs. At this point, I'm thinking...he couldn't get up and walk around the bed and maybe give me a hug, but he can get up and go downstairs. Then he goes outside.

He goes outside ladies! Seriously!

We'd been out shopping for a door and window earlier in the evening and there was a funny noise coming from the wheel well, so he goes outside to check it.
After I had a meltdown.
At 11:15 at night.
Without a word of comfort or a squeeze of the hand or a hug.
He goes and checks on his truck!!!!

Does anyone else see why I'm freaking out here?!

So I've been thinking this morning. You know, it's mostly about our friends moving in. Yes, I've had about a month to prep. And the house will be in order in time. Maybe not the whole thing, but it'll be ready for them.

What I'm freaking out about is twofold. One, they are very neat and orderly and the guy is pretty outspoken about how he wants things. In his own home, he takes care of the kitchen because he just has to have it spic and span. That's not gonna happen in my house. I mean, it's not going to be "just so" all of the time. Two, they are very neat and orderly. So is my husband. So I feel like it's three neat, orderly people against me...housekeeping's worst nightmare. I exagerate a bit. But not much. I appreciate order. I work well when things are how they "should be," but it doesn't happen on a regular basis.

It seems like all my life, my mom has "joked" about how I'm not so neat. They called my room growing up "the swamp." It hurts. Sarcasm isn't a joke. It's not funny. Does it make me want to prove them wrong? Totally. But do I think I can? Never.

I'm also afraid this is the begining, warning signs of a depression. What do I do? I've got to get outside myself.

So what can I do, while I'm supposed to be finishing up prepping the house, to get outside myself? After I finish yelling at this fly buzzing around me, of course. Seriously. I'm totally at my whit's end.

Well, tomorrow is a delivery day for my furniture project with the church. I still need to finish up coordinating that effort. Sunday I'm on my own again coordinating the greeters for the day. We're supposed to have three leaders, but it's just me right now. So I guess I don't need to search long for things to do to get beyond my own problems.

You know, I recall talking to my counselor awhile back about how I tend to have depressions after major stressful events. I'll be fine during the event, like when we were evacuated due to threat of a flood, but afterwards I fell to pieces. I've been out of work for a little over a month now and it's both shocking and a major victory for me that I haven't gone into a depression yet. But all it took was me being locked out of my house and then responding negatively to that. It took me an hour and a half yesterday to get myself back into the house, then I decided to lick my wounds, so to speak, and treat myself to some me-time. I cruised the web, had a nice leisurely lunch, vegged out for a wee bit. Not exactly "getting outside myself" type of activities. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I had the night that I had last night.

Does it make it any easier today? Actually, it does. It shows me that it's not everything else, it's my reaction to it. I'm still in control. It can still be traced back to my choices and decisions. And it tells me I can't just blow off the house, I have to be mature about this and finish the job. Darn it. {wink}

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thrifty Thursday: It's all about attitude

I was going to call this piece "Cheap vs. Thrifty." I got to thinking about all of this saving money and using what we have, not creating unneccesary waste, etc. this morning. Let me back up a bit.

Yesterday I found a pre-formed store-bought pie shell in the back of my freezer, but it was all cracked and in pieces. I put it back in the freezer in my re-organization frenzy, but continued to think about what to do with it.

This morning I decided to experiment with the crumbled and cracked pie shell by adding it to some of my canned grape pie filling and seeing how it turned out.

So it's not wasted, and it's hopefully going to be enjoyed immensely!

Alternatively, I recall an incident last spring involving my mom and my korean sister. Hyung was going back to Korea to be with her real family for the summer and there was a medical bill that needed to be paid. Mom wanted Hyung to bring it with her on the plane, but Hyung's parents said to hold on to it until they decided what to do with it. A week later, they asked mom to mail it to them. She was all upset about how she could have saved 90 cents by sending it with Hyung in the first place! I mean she obsessed over this for weeks! {sigh}

What's my attitude like? Am I obsessing about saving money? Am I getting irritable and generally a pain in the rear about it? Or is it exciting, an adventure, something I'm taking pride in? When I can't save money, or find that I'm forced to waste money (like throwing out bad meat,) is it the end of the world? Is that 90 cents going to make or break my day?

I'm obviously trying not to be like my mom in this and many other ways. I've begun talking about my "mother issues," and I'm sure you can read even more into this than I can at this point. But it's not all about her.

This summer I found myself obsessing. Trying to force my newfound thrifty practices onto my hubby, and it wasn't pretty. But I think we've settled into a "lifestyle change" and are comfortable with how things are going. He's now used to using rags instead of paper towels. He doesn't mind that we only have one box of kleenex in the house. He gets the importance of checking the circulars and unplugging unused appliances and electronics. It's now "normal."

Sunday we'll be doubling our house occupancy when our friends come to live with us temporarily. Fortunately, they both are quite frugal and non-wastefully minded. If that's a word. Now it is. It won't be quite the shock to their system to see us using rags because they've spent a lot of time here in the last few months. But I always have to ask myself if I'm obsessing and making more of a deal out of this as it needs to be.

Thrifty is good. Cheap is obsession. I don't want to obsess. Please tell me if I'm obsessing. Seriously. I'm obsessing now aren't I? (Just kidding!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Come on in, sit down, can I get you some tea?

We've got a lot of catching up to do, huh?

Well, first of all, take a look out the window. Aren't those colors gorgeous? The trees in my backyard are changing so beautifully. It reminds me of peach sherbert. Or is it sherbet. Or sorbet. Either way, it's so pretty and peacefull.

Yeah, I'll get to the good stuff.

Our friends are still planning on staying with us. Probably through the end of the year. And yes, since I'm still not working, that will be a welcome bit of cash for oil and the mortgage. And speaking of work, I had a very good interview today that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high for. But it's EXACTLY what I want to do. It's not that I don't think I'm qualified, I KNOW I can do the job and I'm qualified for it...I just know that I was also qualified to do the other jobs that I've interviewed for and I didn't get those...

But perhaps it was God's way of keeping me out of work until this came around.

In regards to the house...oi. So much going on! My hubby took off the front porch last weekend and discovered that the front part of the roof was badly in need of replacing, so this past weekend, a group of our friends helped him work on that. I wish our digital camera was still working, but I did manage to get some pictures with the 35mm so we'll see how those turn out.

Unfortunately, my hubby and one of our friends is still working on it! The poor guy. He hasn't taken a day off in three weeks and he has a paying side-project lined up for this coming weekend too. He's so tired and worn down, his shoulder isn't healing from his ATV accident a few weeks ago and frankly, he's getting a bit cranky.

Enough about me. What's going on with you? Are the kids liking school? Are your days more crazy than ever? Find any good recipes lately? (Especially for cranberries and pumpkin stuff!)

Now here's a quick disclaimer about this next part: this is the reason why I don't tell people I know in face-to-face life that I have a blog. Way too personal to share with people you actually know! Ironic, isn't it. But this is my blog about growth and change, and I've gone back and forth in my mind as to whether or not I SHOULD talk about this, but that's the whole point of the blog. To share everything as pertaining to growth. The pain, the joy, the confusion, the dirt. And here's the pain, the dirt, the mud.

It all comes back to the mother, huh? To all the mom's out there, I'm sorry. That's way too general of a statement. But in my case, much of my complexity can be traced back to my mom. Is that better?

I've recently realized the blaring truth that my mom is not Just a control freak. It's way beyond freakish. It's obsession. It's unhealthy. It's beyond unhealthy. It's manipulation, it's exageration, it's self-pity and on and on and on. And I'm becoming just like her.

Yeah. Really scary. I mean, I've recognized the control freak inside of me and we've kind of come to an agreement about that, (me and the control freak inside me,) but it's come to the point that I have to kind of break away.

It hurts. I feel bad. There is this ingrained loyalty that I think most kids have to their parents, and while it doesn't feel natural to "break away," I think there is a natural component there, too. It's probably one of those things kids have to go through as they become adults. And here I am, 32 years old, just coming to this realization. I mean, I thought I HAD gone through this, started living my own life, etc. But for me, this feels different.

It's boundaries, limits, thinking for myself, resisting that siren song of parental guidance. Taking admonishment and still saying no, standing up for myself, understanding that to be healthy I must withdraw for a bit.

A few weeks ago I went to the laundromat to clean all our comforters and winter blankets. I met a woman there who was native american and we got to talking. She noticed my barret that had butterflies engraved on it and she spoke about what the butterfly meant as a talisman. I can't remember all that she said, but I remember in particular what she said about the crysalis stage of the butterflie's life.

It represents withdrawl as a stage of growth. It can be physical, spiritual, emotional, etc. and can last for any amount of time. The point is, in order to fully form as a completed being...the resulting butterfly..., one must go through a period of withdrawl, hibernation, etc.

And my point is, I think this is that time for me. My counselor asked me to write mom a letter (without the intent of giving it to her,) and I'm finding it harder than I thought it would be. It's so ... general. It's not like there was an event or trauma that caused this pain, it was a pattern of life. How do you consolidate that into a sentence, say how it made you feel, and come to a conclusion. Or am I forcing structure into this letter that is restricting this healing process?

I am tempted to just walk away, but I know that's the coward's way out. Maybe for a moment, but eventually I'll have to confront her. And it's up to her to respond. How she'll respond is possibly predictable, but miracles still happen. I'm not counting on it, but it would be nice. And they do happen. I'm living proof.

But that's another story.