NANNY MCPHEE WOULDN’T LIKE THIS

I love how my parents always made me feel free. I know right now if we were able to pick our own parents before this life that I would have picked mine over anyone else on this planet. They always made us kids feel like we could do anything we wanted as long as it was legal and not too dangerous and even then during the teenage years we walked on the edge of that line. I never realized how amazing the feeling of freedom was until I went through relationships and roommates and such that had rules and regulations… those are the worst. I don’t like rules. I don’t like waking up and feeling like ‘this is what you have to do today, and this is how you have to do it’. Have you ever heard that phrase, “choose your battles” when raising your children? My parents were experts at this. They didn’t focus on a military uniformed household, they instead chose to step in when it came to our safety. I could’ve woke up in the morning at 10 years old and decided, ‘I think I’ll give my wardrobe a make over’, start painting my shirts, cutting my sleeves, bedazzling my shoes… and my parents would’ve smiled and told me it was interesting. Mind you if I didn’t like my artistic work, I would’ve had to live with it because we only went shopping for clothes once a year haha. And that is something I have actually done.

When I would tell my friends at school some of my daily activities their mouths would drop open and they would say things like, “your parents let you do that?”. Well yeah… I mean I didn’t ask, but I didn’t get in trouble either. My 7 siblings and I used to do all sorts of things that you’d probably bust your kids hind end for. We used to make biscuit dough and throw it against the chimney to see who could get theirs to stick the highest, play volley ball inside, collect random animals, cut each other’s hair, paintball and firework wars, build forts and zip lines, make a slip and side in the kitchen floor with dish soap and water, carry our mattresses outside and jump through the windows onto them… you know things that would give your parents nightmares. Nanny McPhee would’ve needed some extra magic to subdue us. I didn’t feel like I ever had a bedtime. I didn’t feel like I needed permission to go out into the woods or walk to the neighbors. I didn’t ask if friends could come over or if I could have this dog I found. Sure we had chore lists and the consequences for our actions came from themselves and not my parents, like cutting our own hair was humiliating, no need for further punishment there, or having the chore of cleaning a room we just massacred. The freedom of choice did not come with the freedom of consequence but I’m glad my parents allowed us to learn from our own mistakes instead of forcing us to learn from theirs.

Perhaps it’s why I live the way I live now. Spontaneous trips and random projects. Creative and free. I planned to spend this week in Salem learning about the witch trials, only my flyer mile points don’t come in until the end of the week… meh. So instead we decided to visit with family and do a road trip, which at the last minute turned into a trip to the smokies. I don’t mind what we do, as long as my girls and I can spend time together, I’m sure we will make whatever we do interesting. I’ve been to the smokies countless times, that’s one of the reasons it wasn’t my first choice. I don’t want to relive the same vacation time and time again. I’m an adventurer. I need to explore and do new things. Then I started thinking, we don’t have to stay in the same cabin/hotel, eat the same breakfast and have the same vacation just because it’s the same place we’ve been before… we can do something different in this place. I’ve asked my sister in law who is meeting me there to brace herself for what we are about to do. It will push her comfort zone to the limits… it will test our survival skills… it will be glorious. It is camp grits. Our home away from home for the week.

Isn’t it lovely?

The girls and I will start our journey today and Tonia will join us tomorrow. Gives us an entire day to set up booby traps to keep things interesting for when the gang arrives. The facilities are probably my favorite part, you have to ask the host in advance to bath in this bath tub that’s out in the woods… that way they can light a fire to warm the bath water 😂. Stay tuned for an update on how to not only take a last minute trip with your family but how to do it on a budget! The total cost for this beauty is less than what the average nightly rate is in the Pigeon forge/Gatlinburg area. Even with the added cost of bug spray and fire wood! Let the adventure begin.

Manager of Time

I think if you got a bunch of nurses together we could all write a book on how to accomplish the impossible everyday. Each day when we come into work there seems to be an overwhelming list of task to accomplish. Any sane person would take a blink and say, “um no, can’t finish that all today you crazy”. And trust me, we say it too. Except we don’t walk away, it’s like our brains are wired to say these things and then rebound with internal reverse psychology and say okay watch me get it done!

Recently, I’ve had this calm feeling overtake my normal manic state of mind. My wound tech says she doesn’t like it hahaha. She says I’m too serious and it’s weird. I guess my serious face looks like a mad face. Probably. I took a short break from work to collect myself and it’s like this invisible blanket of patience has been wrapped around me. Perhaps I’ve brainwashed myself with all the meditation. I am one person. I can accomplish one thing at a time. I have one million things to do.

One thing I’ve noticed when tackling a long list of to dos is that when I take a step back and focus on one small task at a time, crossing it off, that the bigger things seem to check themselves off as I go. Completing a bunch of smalls will eliminate some of the bigs.

I guess it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you can’t make it to clock in before being stopped for another task. When you can’t make it to one patient without being stopped by another. Adding more to your case load before you’ve accomplished the heavy one you already have. I used to round with my mom at the hospital when she would visit her patients and thought how incredibly awesome it was that people would stop her in the hallway to tell her something else going on. It looked exciting, like this woman is important and people go to her with their problems. I find myself parking in the most reclusive entrance to work, slithering in a side door, holding my hand up saying, “whoa I’m not clocked in, give me a minute”. My moms a good woman. It only gets overwhelming if you continue to stare at the big picture. Focus on a small task and work from there. Everyday. Even when it’s not work related, like tidying up your house or going back to school. You are one person. Do one thing at a time, and go from there. Everything else will fall into place.

With love, from a seasoned overwhelmed manager of time.

P.s. For extra encouragement listen to One step at a time by Jordan Sparks… works every time.

Misophonia

How is there not a pill for this yet? The hatred of sound. It’s a ridiculous thing to have to live with. I can’t explain why I went from a pleasant mood to a dark place in the snap of a finger. A place that has me hoping you choke on that chip just so the sound of you mutilating it stops. I understand the irrational extreme my mind goes to, I even tell myself ‘stop being angry crazy lady’ but if the sound doesn’t stop, I go to my dark place. I’d probably be admitted to the psych ward if a picture show displayed the thoughts of my mind when other people chow down on food… or prison.

My sister asked me why I focus on the sound, she says she doesn’t even pay attention or notice it. I don’t seek it out, it’s like a radar detector my mind cannot turn off. If I’m in a restaurant full of people talking and laughing, busy staff members rushing food orders out, music in the background… I will here the repetitive sound of chip after chip being guzzled down by the man 2 tables over… as if he has been one of the children on the television, living in Africa with a belly full of air for all his life, finally introduced to food and binging on it as if he will never taste it again… okay I’m drifting to my dark place again. The gist of it is, I try not to hear it. It finds me, and it gets louder after I’ve zeroed in on it.

I have heard of other people who have this disorder. I would consider mine an extreme case. I wear ear phones to the movies to avoid the sound of popcorn before the show if that helps paint a picture. It’s not just the sound of poor manners either, I can hear you chew when your mouth is closed. I don’t like repetition, a constant knock at the door can set me off. What in the world is wrong with me? And breathing, why is that necessary…

I’ve tried to research out different treatments. They say therapy is an option, but I haven’t been to therapy since they told me I was a high functioning alcoholic. Made me so mad that I never drank again. Take that therapy lady. The other options are sound protection and noise free zones… ear phones check. Noise free zones when I live in a world full of peoples… uncheck. If you see me in public during a food and mingle event, and my face looks like I’ve just entered the dead zone… just know that I’m trying very hard not to envision your slow and painful demise. I feel guilty afterwards if that makes any difference to you 😃.

I’m curious to know the cause. Why is it selective sounds that trigger this psychopath to take up host in my body. It is selective. I absolutely love music. Music is my therapy. All genres too, from instrumental soundtrack to heavy metal. I love the sound of water. That’s a weird thing to love but I do. Rain is my favorite. I once thought about becoming a scientist just to create a pill to subdue the madness. Once the noise stopped I decided to stick with my current field of employment. I guess noise avoidance will have to work for now. Feel free to give me other ideas, I’m all ears… hahaha if you got that 😉.

“That perfect Broken part of me”

I’ve always been a lover of broken things. I could enter a store and see all of these perfect pieces and the one thing I’m drawn to is the only thing tarnished, broken, unique. Sometimes I try to fix it or keep it just the way it is admiring the beauty of the imperfections. I think we spend too much time looking for the perfect thing, place, person, life… when life is perfect imperfect. Maybe the obsession with that picture perfect life is an association with cleanliness. When I think perfect I think clean. Clean is peaceful. Broken things can be clean.

I haven’t posted in my blog for almost a week. My goal was to do daily updates, but this past week I have made a dozen drafts and withheld publishing any of them. I’m saving them for later. I think one of the most helpful things to do in times of trial is to write them down, get it out on paper or type it out, as long as it is out of you. Removing that energy you want to rid yourself of.

This past week I took some time to myself to try to alleviate a decision I’ve made. I know it’s the right decision but it doesn’t make it any easier. I took a spontaneous trip to the middle of no where to visit with nature, old cars, good people and creepy baby dolls. It’s called old car city in Georgia. When I saw pictures online I imagined this place being packed with people and hoped I’d make it early enough to have some space to myself. I stayed most of the day and to my surprise the place was desolate. Imagine taking a trip to an abandon amusement park and having the place to yourself, that’s what this paradise was like. I shared the wooded area with only the creatures within, saw squirrels and a deer between the haunted vehicles. The untouched cars had trees growing inside of them along with the debris of the forest. It was incredible!

My sister flew home over the weekend for a final visit before she deploys. She is soaking up every minute with my girls and spending the days with my mom, siblings, and friends while she is home. We went to the pumpkin patch on opening day and played on all the attractions like little kids, went on a hayride to retrieve our pumpkins, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a bon fire before getting lost in a corn maze at night. I felt like I was on vacation as well. I’m working towards a schedule that will allow me to have more time home with my family. Time is important to me and spending it slaving the days away from my littles isn’t optimal. I miss this. Sometimes when I sit back and take a good long hard breath and look at the bigger picture I feel the best part of me is not being projected in the right places. I’m going to change that.

One of my favorite quotes is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, he says, “We would do well to slow down a little focus on the significant & truly see the things that matter most”. I believe that. If we stay so busy that we miss those significant things in our lives then we are far busier than God intended us to be. I was able to accomplish several things I put off for months in one extended weekend I took off work. The dresser I rescued months ago has a new life now, my daughter has a new hair cut, my house is feeling more like home again and my time with my girls feels renewed.

I felt guilty for wanting time for myself this week. I spent the first few days worrying about all the people who would be upset of my absence. But the more time I had to reflect on things I realized I wasn’t just wanting time for myself but I needed it! There is nothing more important than self care, if you don’t take time to care for yourself you CANNOT care for others. I am blessed to have people in my life that respect that and allowed me this peaceful break! You all rock 😉

Let’s play a game

I was picking my girls up from school yesterday, asking them the usual how was school questions. My teenager for the first time mirrored that question back at me and said how was your day mom? Can you believe that?! What a dear. I choose to answer questions like this with the best parts of my day, or the worse parts. Who likes the same ole same “my day was good”… bleh. Those people are boring. What was good or bad about your day, I want details! I told her that I made a spirit stick out of highlighters and how I challenged my wound tech to a race, and how she tricked me saying she wasn’t going to race me but took off running towards the mirror ball on the ceiling… that sneaky girl… I love her. My daughter looked at me with a smirk and said, “that doesn’t sound like work, sounds like you played all day”… haha well yes, I worked but between patients I played a little. Why not? If you are having a boring or hard day at work, I guarantee if you sneak a game in there it will brighten your day up, make you laugh, and give you a fun time to look back on! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve pulled my flashlight out, turned it up on my face in a dark room, just to call the measurements of a wound out in a haunting way 😂. There is no age limit to stop playing games. Recently I was telling a friend about my day at work, he said ‘I want to work where you work’ haha well I’m sure you could make your own workplace a fun place to!

Actually photo of me at work

I just started watching that tv series ‘This is us’. How have I missed this show all these years?! I love it! Something I thought was the most incredible thing was when the family had an awful Thanksgiving. They were at a motel, gas station hotdogs, hot as hades and the kids were miserable. The dad turned the entire thing into a game! Reminded me so much of my parents! What could’ve been the worse Thanksgiving for them turned into a ritual because he made it fun! I’ve done that with my girls countless times. I even convinced them during a scary thunderstorm that I was in charge of the weather and would anticipate a clap of thunder, raising my hands as if they were magic wands and throwing them out into the world. Those fear stricken kids turned into laughing, cackling, amused little girls. I’m going to challenge anyone reading this to play a game today. You will thank me later 😉

Starting Today

If you can stand in front of a mirror at 10 years old in the dark and summon the ghost of Bloody Mary you can stand in front of the mirror today, in the light and repeat this:

Today you are worthy. Today you will smile. Today you will remember you are a daughter of God. Today you will be strong. Today you will be humble. Today you will be kind. Today you will embrace life. Today you will create a new journey. Today you will look forward. Today you will be positive. Today you will be accountable. Today you will be honest. Today you will give charity. Today you will see the good in this world. Today you are a warrior. Today you will be brave. Today you will be healthy. Today you will love. Today you will be passionate. Today you will be happy. Today you will be supportive. Starting today you will be new.

YOU ARE ENOUGH

Do you ever hear that voice inside your head that tells you, ‘you’re not enough’? I went through a therapy once that I would say changed my life. This person counseling me to confront traumatic events from my past had me close my eyes and imagine I was watching my life on a tv screen. He told me to hit the rewind button and go back to the event that caused me so much hurt in my life. An event I had chose to ignore until that day, an event that caused me to build walls that shut people out and made me into a cold person. He asked me to hit the pause button and step inside the tv to have a moment with my former self. I did as I was instructed during this session. I stepped in and saw that young girl, alone and hurt. I hated it. I empathize with that girl. I understood what she was going through. He then told me that in this part I was to imagine my former self could only hear and see me as the scene was paused. He told me to tell her I loved her. He wanted me to tell her all the things I wish she had known at that time. I don’t think I had ever talked to myself before. At least not in a kind way. As silly as it may sound this changed my life. The way I talked to myself before was cruel, I was my biggest critic.

Be your biggest cheerleader! Do not tell yourself you are not good enough, even if everyone else is saying it! Think about it, would you ever look at your child who ask to try out for the basketball team that they are not good enough to make it?! No! The answer is no! Go back to school, apply for that job, get in that gym! You are good enough! Change the way you talk to yourself. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when other people make me feel like I am less important than I am. Maybe someone blows you off, or you fail at something new you tried, it doesn’t matter… try it again, because you are worth more than you think. It took me far too long to realize this. That friend who cuts you out of their life, they don’t deserve you. That guy who ghosted you, he doesn’t deserve you. That school you wanted to get into that sent a regret to inform you notice? You got that right, they don’t deserve you! Move along and prove that you can be just as happy and successful in life without the people who have encouraged those negative voices in your head to gossip.

With all that being said, I AM ENOUGH!