Parties, People & Stress

It’s Monday afternoon, and I’m not feeling so good about myself at the moment.

The weekend sucked. My up north friend invited us to her 80’s party. She has one every year and we always miss it. She worked it partially around my schedule- I told her we would go, and we did. But I had two IEPs to write over the weekend, so quite honestly, I took Friday off to make sure I had enough time.

I didn’t even really want to go. The last couple of parties they’ve had I told her no. Reason was that I never get a chance to see her, so when I come up I want just her- not her and her ginormous posse.

We went and it was awful for me. I think my family thought it was okay, but I hated it.

I realize that maybe I have a little PTSD from my drinking. Sometimes parties put me in panic mode and make me want to run, fast!

I barely spent time with my friend and just didn’t even feel like making conversation with anyone. Things would be SO different had I been drinking, that thought never left my mind.

I’ll add that my friend, and all her friends, like all of them, are super nice. It’s not them, it’s me, that’s for sure!

We left around 10 so we could make it home before midnight. I was very glad it was over, and vowed to not go to another wild party for a long time.

The next day we had a birthday party at hubby’s parents to attend. After a few hours, we were all sitting in the living room and people were telling funny stories. They wouldn’t stop- and just talked faster and faster. Someone would end, and someone else would jump in with a new hilarious tale. And this whole time, I was getting more and more anxious- by the time I left I was ready to jump out of my skin, I was so uncomfortable.

It had nothing to do with the people, or conversations. It was me. All me. And I knew that if we hadn’t gone to the 80’s party the night before, my experience would have probably been different. This introvert was spent, and greatly needed some quiet time.

Luckily the in-laws live behind us, so I excused myself after a little while and walked home. I picked up the house, switched laundry and ran the roomba- it felt so good to get things in better order!

I wasn’t feeling good though. I was annoyed that I don’t enjoy parties, or people unless I’m drinking. I was more upset last night than today. Not super upset- just a little bummed- like feeling like I’m missing out on something. Feeling less than, and not worthy– allllll those things.

It was okay though.

I joined this local woman’s online group about a month ago- and they seem wonderful. They post sober friendly stuff and events and hold wellness retreats and things like that. One of their retreats was this weekend. They had rented a house on a lake and went to journal, meditate, do yoga, you know all the things that I’m obsessed with. I knew I couldn’t go because it was the same weekend as my friend’s party.

As I was feeling low last night, I was on facebook and came across pictures of women at this retreat. They had their journals, were relaxed, and looked fabulous.

Then it hit me.

I’m okay. I’m 100% completely okay. It’s okay if I don’t want to hang out with a bunch of people, acting hyper at a loud party.

This is my tribe. These are my people.

So that realization was good.

But now it’s Monday, and my work day is almost over. I haven’t had great connections with anyone all day (not bad connections- just neutral)- and that feels bad. I had two IEPs and they were fine, but I just feel ancy about them and how I’m perceived here. I don’t think my principal likes me. I don’t think the special ed team likes me. I don’t think many people here like me.

I don’t know why I feel so insecure right now. I think I still need to heal my spirit from this past weekend. I will be sure to meditate and journal tonight and/or workout- at least a quick 20 min workout.

I’m going to work overtime on my self-care to feel better each day this week ❤

Spring Break 2023: Mixed Bag

The good has been, really good.

The bad has been, really bad.

This break has been a bit of everything…

It’s Friday, so I should stop talking like it’s over, because we still have nearly three full days left!

This break has been about the perfect mix of relaxation, play and productivity.

On Monday, I cleaned out all my top cupboards in the kitchen. The bottoms were already pretty organized, so it feels good to have a fully organized kitchen (with extra shelf space with all my purging).

Monday was my oldest’s 20th birthday. I had lots of time to clean because he spent the day with friends.

Do you like how they all dressed up for his birthday? You’ll never guess where they went to dressed like that.. I’ll give you a hint, they had to drive an hour and go out of state to get there!

Why in the world do we not have a single Waffle House in Michigan?

My kiddo’s favorite YouTube er, retweeted this pic and mentioned them on his show, The Breakfast Stream, so my boys were ecstatic 🤩 It’s all good, clean fun! 🙌🏻🎉

On Tuesday, I worked out hard and was sort of lazy the rest of the day. I can’t remember what I did to be productive, but think I did all the laundry.

On Wednesday, I went to my grandma’s house to visit her. I hadn’t seen her since the summer of 2021 at my son’s graduation party. I’ve been meaning to visit her since last summer, so I was so glad to have the time to see her. My dad, stepmom, uncle David and sister and her kids were there too. My dad ordered pizza and I had stopped at Kroger to get my grandma a small gift. While there I got a bowl of fruit and bag of milk chocolate to share. It was all yummy and all got eaten.

I brought the boys with me and on the way home we stopped at a game store (for my oldest- we were in a new town so he wanted to check it out), and then the dollar tree and a donut shop. The donut shop was 30 minutes from closing so we literally bought the last 12 donuts, so we didn’t get a choice in flavors- but they were SO good!

On Thursday I had a lunch and pedicure date with Peter’s mom, Andrea. We have become good friends over the past couple of years, and we haven’t hung out since the start of the school year. We’ve always enjoyed talking about teaching and school, but it’s different now that we’re teaching in the same district. That was extra fun, talking about happenings, gossip and people we both know or work with from the district. She was supposed to get married this summer, but told me she broke it off. He doesn’t have kids and he is a little too outspoken and opinionated for her taste (in regards to parenting). I was sad to hear this. I’ve never met him, but was so excited for her! I know though, that if it’s not right then it truly is for the best. I want her to find the most perfect guy- she deserves it out of anyone I know.

Now it’s Friday. I had high hopes for today. I wanted to visit Rumi’s bakery this morning, because they have gluten and dairy free donuts and I’ve wanted to try them forever.

I woke up at 4:30, which was fine because I felt awake, having slept a lot yesterday. I thought, cool I’ll get an early start. I did some Reiki during wall sits, and then meditated. Then I got incredibly sick feeling while trying to drink my coffee. I ended up having to turn off everything, I was so chilled and just slept on the couch till 8:00 am. I still don’t feel great and have a minor but nagging headache.

My little sister visited my big sister last night because she’s in Florida for the week. There was definitely drinking and my first thought this morning is that I have my little sister’s hangover! I know it seems far fetched, especially since she’s 1000s of miles away, and I haven’t drank in years, but we are super connected. Very often, we’ll discover that we had the same conversation with a family member the night before, or she think of calling me, and I’ll call her that same instant– it’s definitely weird but has been happening for a while now. I think we’ve had each other’s physical ailments before also.

The headache, the sick stomach from coffee, and then in general, awful chills…. it’s very reminiscent of how I felt after a night of drinking- so yeah, I’m a little hungover today 😭😭😭

While it feels like it’s ending, I keep reminding myself that we still have three days left! This weekend is kind of exciting too, because it’s Wrestlemania. The kids are having a few friends over, and while I don’t care so much for Wrestlemania (I will probably watch a little- it reminds me of when my kids were super young and it was always on on Monday and Friday nights- and that makes me feel warm and happy), I am super excited for all of the delicious snacks we’ll surely have.

So while all this sounds fun and great, it’s still been a sad week. Milo.

He’s gone. It’s cold, and pouring rain today. It’s simply awful to have someone you love just “out there,” missing. How do people go on after losing people, people who go missing and who are never found again? How can you ever stop looking? I guess you won’t.

I think after four months I stopped looking for him. But he came back. Will he come back this time? Will it be in one month? Five months? A year this time? More?

It makes me incredibly sad to think about. While he’s been sick, he hasn’t liked to be outside when it’s below freezing. The night he left it was mild, but we’ve had cold days since. To think of him out there, miserable in the cold makes me cry.

Some people have told me that maybe he left to go die. “They don’t want to hurt us,” they’d tell me. Maybe he left to go die.

Those aren’t exactly words of comfort, but do make me wonder.

The very worst part, is that we were so close to maybe finding answers- to maybe helping him get over this nasal problem and back to his normal mischievous self. Now I have to cancel his appointment, today. It’s not until next week, but I want to make sure that they have enough time to fill that slot. I hope someone on the waiting list gets to get in and save their pet. It’s the only silver lining to this dreadful situation.

So that’s Spring Break 2023 in a nutshell!

My Greatest Teacher

For the first time in 7 years, I felt joy when I saw the date, February 13th.

It was my late mom’s birthday. She died suddenly in 2014. Her birthday, just like her deathday, can be a sad and overwhelming time.

I didn’t allow myself to feel guilty, for feeling joy, on this day, although my ego tried to be persistent.

I would honor her by having a nice, cheery day and would light a candle and say a prayer at 2:13pm, and I did.

When I was five, I found a picture of my uncle Bob. He died of cancer a few years earlier when I was just a toddler.

My mother and I had a conversation about death next. It ended abruptly with me in tears and my mom trying to reassure me.

I was lucky enough, if you call it that, now I call it oblivious and unseasoned, to not have to deal with death much in my early life.

As the years passed, my sisters and I often recognized that it was rare that we were in our 30’s/late 20’s and still had all four of our grandparents.

My mom’s dad was the first to go, from a slew of health issues. He was in his 80’s. It was 2008 and I was 31 years old.

The death, the funeral, all of it was sad, but not unreal. He was old and lived a really great life with a huge family and a lot of kids and grandkids. He lived a fulfilling life and while it was glum, it was a normal thing to have happen at my age.

The next death was much different.

In early July, my mom was rushed to the ER with a bowel obstruction, the day before she was supposed to meet us up north for a family holiday.

My little family had arrived up north the night before, but headed back home when we got the news.

They did surgery that evening, but she died early the next day from being septic. Her car already packed for our Fourth of July holiday.

The days, months and years following were very tough. However, it became apparent to me about a year ago that her death was the worst, and best thing for me to experience in my life.

How ironic, that our conversation about death was cut short so many years ago, never to be brought up again, yet her death turned out to be one of my biggest life lessons.

I’ve grown like never before, since that tragic summer.

The number one, biggest factor in all of my growth was quitting drinking. This was the beginning of a rebirth.

My drinking spiraled after losing my mom. I drank responsibly (for the most part, at least from what I remember 🤷🏼‍♀️), but then again drinking every night was not very responsible. I woke up most mornings not remembering going to bed.

I sank down pretty far, so much that I couldn’t stop drinking. Not even after waking up day after day with miserable hangovers. I would swear that I would quit, or at least cut down. But by evening, the guilt, shame and promises we’re replaced by Betsy, telling me how much I deserve and need a drink. Which of course would turn into half a dozen- or more.

I spent summer 2016 floating in the pool with a drink, telling myself that if I got a sign from my mom or the universe, like a bird landing on the side of the pool, then I would quit. The lack of signs was the perfect excuse to continue sipping away.

And I did, for the entire summer and beyond.

The desire to stop, accompanied by the inability to do so, propelled me into sobriety once I discovered sober groups and started to connect with sober people, who seemed to be having way more fun in life than I was.

This opened the door to an endless path of learning, growth and self-improvement.

My sober studies led to learning about the law of attraction and the life force energy.

My studies on the law of attraction drew me to soul work, where I experienced magic and miracles in everyday life and activities (see all blog entries from the summer 2019- the ‘spiritual’ summer).

The soul work led me to developing a stronger intuition.

Communicating with my intuition urged me to learn more about energy, such as how to perform Reiki and tapping into my psychic abilities.

I never in a million years would have imagined me full out hippie witch in my mid-forties- yet here I am.

Happiness and suffering go hand-in-hand. This may explain why I was such a rotten adult in my 20’s and 30’s. My ego overshadowed everything and I went through life with a ‘poor me’ attitude.

My mom often urged us to be grateful, especially as we all got older. I would reply that “I was grateful, for our home and food.” But I still went through life searching for something that felt empty.

Her death taught me what it’s like to feel grateful, like intrinsically glorious at a given moment for the simplest things in life- and to feel so fortunate for that minute, yet grand, experience.

This post is dedicated to my mom, who continues to teach me deep lessons from the afterlife.

Ironically, the most important thing she and her death taught me is how to find my own peace and happiness amidst the chaos.

Day #690