Jul 23

The Importance of Knowing Vocabulary Definitions

A few of us got in a heated discussion that stemmed from this article 17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex.

I say stemmed from, because the antagonist in this discussion/argument/soap box stroke out, may or may not have actually read the article prior to stating her opinions, however it did serve as the catalyst for this conversation.

I’m going to put the snippets most relevant to what I want to say here for you to read

Antagonist: You don’t want sex then stop opening your legs.

K: Oh dear dear dear dear! “You don’t want sex then stop opening your legs”????!!!! Rape, molestation, child pornography? Not opening your legs will prevent this???? EDUCATION will stop this. Dear dear dear dear….. I fear your above comments can be construed as extremely insensitive to all who have been victims of rape, molestation, sex trafficking, abuse, or pornography. Teaching respect for others, and that saying no is OK, and that it means NO, is essential for ALL people …

Antagonist: C’mon [K]. What is rape? When a girl says to a guy come and take me and then when he does and doesn’t pull out mid thrust he’s a rapist?

K: Technically, [Antagonist], it would indeed be rape. Just as it would, should the woman be initiating the sexual act, and the man desire to stop intercourse, but she continues, that too is rape. It does not require a degree, but it DOES require EDUCATION!

Tabitha: Oh. And for the record, yes, [Antagonist], what you described is rape. If one is having sex and says stop mid thrust and the other doesn’t stop, yep that’s rape. Don’t fucking forget it.

A: it doesn’t matter where in the thralls of sex you are, rape is nonconsenual sex, so after the word no is said, anything after that is rape.

K: And wives CAN be raped by their husbands, as well as husbands raped by their wives. Non-consensual intercourse is rape.

Tabitha: And females can rape females and males are raped too. The fact that we’re having to clarify these FACTS proves that we’re (as a society) lacking in sex education.

D:  Want a personal story? I was married (not to my son’s dad, to clarify, to the first one) to someone who, when I said “I need to be done here” took that as screw me hard till he was done. Neither of us had the sex education and vocabulary definitions to call that what it was. It was rape. I was raped by my husband*. It is completely damaging to be left bleeding and hurt and soaked in the semen of a man who is supposed to love and protect … who took vows before God to do just that… and didn’t. I may not have known what to call it, but I sure felt the damage of it for years. It has taken years and two wonderful caring men who cherished me and listened to me to move me past it… as far as one ever gets.

If you want to read the thread in its entirety – click away – but this is where my part comes in.

My first exposure to the concept of rape was when a college girl from our tiny town was raped by a stranger in the parking lot of her university. This seems to be what most of us think of as rape – some masked bad guy in a dark place who uses violence for sex.

As I got older, there was my friend who was raped in her school bathroom by someone with a knife. There is my Tabitha who woke up to a man she trusted with his hand inside her. There were these stories of women, and there was no gray area, I felt for them, I wanted to … do something for them to help.

I don’t talk about my first marriage. It stays locked in a dirty corner, ignored and hopefully composting into something useful. When absolutely pressed about why it was so brief I might or might not say “because sex shouldn’t be like date rape”.

But even the way I phrase that, belittles what happened to me. Which I did not realize until Sunday night when those words flowed right off my fingers.

My friends had no idea what door they were opening for me …

Someone says stop and the partner doesn’t. It is rape.

No one stuttered. No one threw out any gray areas. No one said, well unless he didn’t really mean it, well if you didn’t scream and struggle, well unless you’d let it happen before …

Someone says stop and the partner doesn’t. It is rape.

I never really knew what to call the messed up situation I had found myself in. I was ashamed, I thought I was broken, sexually frigid, claimed the problems as all my fault. Acted out, shut down, numbed out, you name it, I did it, all the while blaming myself for being broken, broken, broken, and unworthy of anything good.

* I realized after writing “my husband” that that was not true. We were engaged but not yet married. On our wedding day, I downed most of a bottle of vodka and tried to look happy for the grandmothers. When my dad tried to tell me how proud he was of me as we were getting ready to walk down the aisle, I looked at him and savagely said, “Don’t you DARE do that to me right now!” That bottle of vodka kept me from having sex on my wedding night, some four months later I sloshed most of another bottle down my throat and around the bedroom, trying so hard to be normal. A year later, I was gone, escaped the physical surroundings of that relationship, but stuck with the remnants for years.

So what was it? You know. I know.

I was raped. The end. No stutter, no gray, no apologies. I didn’t have the vocabulary or the understanding of what to call it 15 years ago, but I sure do now. After the healing from the shame and broken and feeling worthless, I have the word to name what happened to me. It was rape.

I write this to scream from the mountaintop of this space of mine

NO MEANS NO! PREACH IT! MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN! PREACH IT, LEARN IT!

NO MEANS NO.

RESPECT THE NO.

(For that matter, respect the silence, respect the I’m not sure, respect the I need to be done, respect the possibility that not everyone in that room is on the same page. Pay attention to who you are with.)

I went through it without knowing what to call it or that I could ask for help. I am still sometimes triggered (Walter trying to force himself on his wife in the kitchen during an ep of Breaking Bad landed me in the bathroom sobbing and angry and triggered and feral for hours ….. Friends naming their new dog the same name as the ex …. I love the dog, but I call him Voldemort …), but I understand why now. Finally knowing what to call it … The word Rape had no sting to it, more of a relief of oh at last I know what it is.

Be gentle with each other today mmkay?

Band Back Together has some good information about helping you or someone else heal after a rape or sexual assault.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 18

#stitchfixfriday 17 Jul 14 ( Stitch Fix 5 )

I am back! To celebrate, let’s go into the sun!

Oh dear, I do declare I may have planted too many sunflowers.

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

Psh. Too many sunflowers, no such thing!

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

I planted EXACTLY the right amount of sunflowers!

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

As far as my eyes can see, they are everywhere!

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

Look at me and my JOY!

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

We got artsy with the pictures and the flowers.

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

I did my best to walk around without my glasses on.

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

Tabitha says, “Your bewbs look HUGE!” I say, “Great, that means my waist should look TINY!”

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

Yes, we traveled to a field of sunflowers to take pictures of me.

Again. Bewbs and tiny waist.

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

Then I used my wig as a merkin.

As you do.

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

The End.

This post is written as part of #stitchfixfriday in hopes of winning a $50 credit towards more Fixes. 

You could help me earn credit too by signing up for a Fix for yourself using my STITCH FIX REFERRAL LINK <– Click right there!

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Jan 08

Anxiety

Anxiety is the churning in my stomach that is connected to the tightening in my throat that is connected to the shallow shortness of my breathing that is connected to my whirling thoughts that are rooted in every fear I’ve ever known and failure I’ve ever feared and every imagined monster under every bed in the world of irrational thoughts that whirl through my head and my throat and my stomach and make me want to scream out but my throat is far too tight.

 

(Because Alyse needed help with homework interviews, and given what is to come in the next, oh, sixteen hours, this was appropriate.)

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Jan 06

Neverending

Is it like this for everyone?

Strip sheets on the bed to wash them. Take sheets to washing machine.

Discover washing machine has damp clothes from who knows when. Rerun washing machine.

Go to put newly washed clothes in dryer. Clothes in dryer. Rerun dryer to fluff.

Take clothes from dryer, put clothes in dryer, wash sheets.

Fold and put away clothes, fold and put away clothes, dry sheets, decide to not wash blanket and quilt.

Discover dog has peed on blanket and quilt. Wash blanket and quilt.

Eleven hours later. Bed remade.

 

A similar story.

Cats pull curtain rod out of wall.

Temperature drops to negative four. Room is cold. Curtains aren’t on wall to block some cold.

Get ready to rehang curtains, find dog has peed on curtains. (incidentally, can one wash microfiber? I think my washer and dryer are actually empty and I could put them straight in there.)

Put dog out to do business. Dog miraculously does business in below frigid temps. Dog comes back in and does happy dance on couch.

Dog leaves spot of mud on couch. I wipe off with my hand.

Not mud.

Poop.

Sigh.

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Jan 02

Missing

Alex has been off with Scout since December 21st. They have run about and touched probably every state in the midwest.

Almost two weeks, they will be back tomorrow. Day 14.

People ask “oh don’t you miss him?”

Well. Um. Not really.

I mean, sure, …. no. No, I really don’t.

I’ve talked to him once, he told me about a semi truck that had run off the slick road and told me that he was going to start keeping a list of all the cars he saw off in the ditches. Past that, there have been some texts meant for each other passed via Scout, but overall, nope.

Single parenting is hard, yo. I have a choice, I can either pine for my little one or I can recharge my mommy battery. I can watch Dexter without having to hit the pause button, I can (and DID) sleep until one in the afternoon.

More important than that is that I believe that sitting around and missing Alex would be asking to take something away from him and Scout. They need each other in a different way than Alex and I do. They need this time together so very much, why would I wish it away from them? Sending them off into their adventures with an open heart seems like the least I can do.

Come tomorrow afternoon, I will be ears perking up at the sound of every car that passes the house. I will get excited come nightfall when they should be back. I will smile as he sits and hugs and kisses each of his pets. I will want to hold the very wiggly boy and feel that love that only glows from my heart when I relax when he is in my arms.

Until then, I’m grateful he is with his daddy who loves him, that he has been taken to see so many who also love him, and forever thankful that he always comes home to me.

Photo 346

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Jan 01

Happy New Year Vision Boards

Vision boards seem to be all the rage. They fit nicely into “The Secret” step of “visualize to materialize”. Knowing that this year is going to bring all kinds of changes, I went ahead and made my own. Of course they aren’t as perfect as I would like, but that’s another challenge for the year – DOING something, even if it won’t be perfect on the first try.

CAM00046

This was supposed to be a project for Tabitha and I, I went ahead and started hers with the thought I have of her often – in case she needed reminding.
CAM00047
*note to self – add “learn better photography skills” to list of things to learn this year.

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Oct 27

Falling Apart to Come Together Better

That moment when you decide paying the bills should not require a double helping of Xanax.

That moment when you realize your yelling has to do with fear of not having enough money and not at all with the issue you’re yelling about.

When you decide that a Masters degree, seven years on the internet, decades of writing experience, five years of etsy and crafting experience need to become worth something.

Deciding you know your worth and it’s time to focus and make life into better for you and your family.

Yeah. I’m there.

I know I’m not unique or alone in this, but for me it’s time to get myself more out there and try to do things smarter rather than hiding out and denying what just isn’t working anymore.

I’ve had my shop up on etsy for over five years. I used to sell lovely hand knit items for babies and children. Then life fell apart and focus was lost and I got away from it.

Well. It’s time to get back in.

Today in the midst of laundry (and more laundry). I’m going to be gathering what I have that needs to get back into the shop. I need to remember I do some really good work and I have a huge network of people who support me.

As of right now, I have a LOT of lovely raw alpaca. I think this black alpaca is the best of the lot. Nicest feel, staple length and workability. I have all the bragging about alpaca’s wonders in the listings (hint: Way. Better. Than. Wool.)

I work with Geek Details on pinback buttons. We have a couple more in the pipeline, just don’t have the images up yet.

1384816_10153331793275618_457987654_n

I’m excited for what we can do – Wanna help? Tell me what you want to see and we will work on making it happen.

 

xoxo

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Sep 17

Facts About Rape Committed By An Air Force Pilot

(Edited January 1, 2014. Since posting this, my site has been hacked three times. Comments on this post are now closed. The purpose of it being here is so Jason Boman’s name is out there where people can find out a version of what happened. I believe this to be the accurate version of what happened, but there are always more than one side to a story. Further searching on the ‘net will bring readers to a blog written by the defense attorney in this case. The defense attorney did his job, and earned the tens of thousands of dollars he was paid to represent Boman in this case. His post reflects this bias as well.

I hope this post provides people with information they would not have had otherwise. That the next batch of people who meet Boman can take this information and decide for themselves if they want to get to know him better.)

(Edited October 22, 2013. Since posting this, my site has been hacked twice. I’ve had this site up for almost seven years and I’ve never been hacked. While I cannot prove a connection, I don’t believe it is a coincidence. Go ahead. Hack away. I still won’t be silent.)

(Additionally, there a couple of comments waiting in moderation, I have not yet answered them or posted them because I do not have all the answers to the questions yet. The Kansas City Star has an article ready to run about this, but they have been focusing on the Daisy Coleman case – which, interestingly affects my town as well. I also hope to have some very good things to say about what has happened since this was originally posted in the next couple of weeks. Until then, thank you for your support and thank you for thinking about this so people can make better choices  in the future.)

The United States Air Force has a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.

Members of the Air Force attend sessions provided by this program. Of five members and former members of the Air Force I have spoken with, it is estimated there are sessions quarterly, at minimum.

Members of the Air Force are educated repeatedly about what defines sexual assault and what defines consent.

From the above linked site comes the following definition

Sexual Assault
For the purpose of this Directive and SAPR awareness training and education, the term “sexual assault” is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), and other unwanted sexual contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts. (AFI 36-6001)

Followed by this definition

Consent
“Consent” is defined as words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the  sexual conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of  consent through words or conduct means there is no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the one accused use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the sexual conduct at issue shall not constitute consent.

To sum up, in the words of the members of the Air Force I have spoken with

A DRUNK PERSON CAN NOT GIVE CONSENT

Read that again, please

A

DRUNK

PERSON

CAN

NOT

GIVE

CONSENT

This seems fairly easy to understand, right?

This seems like something that, say, a person educated through the Air Force Academy, a person who has earned the rank of Captain, a person who is entrusted with a multi billion dollar aircraft, should be able to understand.

This seems like a concept that Captain Jason Wayne Boman of Whiteman Air Force Base should understand.

(I am not posting his photograph here, because I have not requested permission to use his photo, however clicking his name will take you a photograph.)

On the night of April 27, 2012, Tabitha Phegley was out with friends. She was drunk and she was left at the bar by her friends. (Edited to add at 9pm CDT September 21, 2013: “Friends” who took her car keys and her purse.*)

She and Boman had been acquainted for a few years through mutual friends. He offered her a ride to his place where she could sleep, as she lived out of town at this time.

She chose to trust someone she had  known for a long period of time and someone sworn to uphold certain codes. She believed she was making a better choice than walking alone at night or driving her car while she was drunk.

She woke to Boman with his hands on her. In her. Then having sex with her. (Edited to add at 9pm CDT September 21, 2013: She was sleeping in a guest room. When she woke, she tried to get him to stop.*)

She did not give consent.

Jason Boman had sex with Tabitha Phegley without her consent.

She reported it to the local police, she had the rape kit done. The rape kit was never processed because he admitted he had sex with her.

A number of people witnessed she was drunk.

Jason Boman had sex with Tabitha Phegley when she was drunk.

A drunk person can not give consent.

In graphic form:

a-drunk-person-cannot-give-consent-614x474

In September 2012, the Air Force requested jurisdiction over the case from the Johnson County Missouri prosecutor. The county prosecutor gave them jurisdiction because according to the statutes of the state of Missouri, because Boman did not beat her, the maximum he could be charged with was sexual assault.

Yes, in the state of Missouri, the law will only call if rape if the target is physically abused beyond the sexual assault. (We are the state that has to claim Todd Akin and the “legitimate rape” comment. Apparently some of his reasoning was defined by Missouri Statute Law… My apologies… I said I would stick to the blunt facts … I digress…)

Boman was charged and a court martial scheduled. (Screen capture of JAG docket and charges below. This was taken September 13, 2013.) (If you can not see the photo below click here)

jasonboman

At 237am on September 14, 2013, Boman was found not guilty of “Rape using force” and not guilty of “Aggravated sexual assault on incapacitated person”.

But wait.

The Air Force says that a drunk person can not give consent. Those instructions are crystal clear.

Therefore, my question is, why is Jason Boman free?

He had sex with Tabitha Phegley without her consent. A person who he had been educated could not give consent as she was drunk. Yet he was found not guilty by a jury of his military peers.

Why?

This is where my anger begins to fly.

Why is this man allowed to fly a multi billion dollar aircraft? Why is he continuing to have the prestige of wearing that pilot uniform? Why is he allowed to be free? Why doesn’t he have to register himself as a sex offender? Why isn’t he being dishonorably discharged from the United States Air Force? Why are our tax dollars paying his salary?

Why? Why was Jason Boman found not guilty when he had sex with Tabitha Phegley without her consent?

I want to know why the Air Force has chosen to ignore their Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. I want to know why Captain Jason Wayne Boman is free to do as he wants.

We have seen what he does when he does as he wants. He raped a non consenting woman.

If he got away with it once, the message to him is clear. Go ahead, do what you want, the Air Force will give you no consequences.

The message to us is clear as well. We can condone his actions with our silence or we can speak up. We can repost to every social media outlet we can find. We can send this information to our local media. We can contact our representatives. We can ask the leader of the 509th Bomb Wing Brigadier General Thomas A. Bussiere (contact form) why this man’s actions have been condoned.

We will not be silent, and we will not rest as long as those who have sworn to protect, choose to hurt us instead.

* These two details were added because some people asked questions. While these two details do not actually change the basic facts of a drunk person can not give consent, and when you look at the definitions of consent and sexual assault as outlined above, these two details continue to not change the basic facts, if adding these two facts helps someone to understand, then here they are.

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Jul 29

Play Your Game

I went to BlogHer this weekend as a Mic Wrangler, which means my job was to do my best to facilitate conversation while never ever letting go of the microphone.

This year was different, I took a friend who does not blog to Chicago with me. It was my first conference without Flinger or VDog or Lotus with me.

I attended five different sessions, a lunch and hit the expo a couple of times. My calling cards were stickers attached to buttons from Geek Details and Tab and I did our best to blanket the city with smiles created as people laughed at the brilliance of our Amanda Roberts.

I absorbed many pieces of wisdom, and did my best to stick them away in the brain rolodex for when I needed them.

I was happy this whole weekend.

It boiled down to one statement from Courtnee Westendorf.

“Play Your Game”.

Which, as much as anything in the last few years, would define where I have finally landed. On my own two feet, firmly planted on the ground, playing my own game.

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Jun 04

The new face of friendship

Okay. So thats not really the right title but its as good as it will get.

I want to get back to writing so very much but my focus has completely shifted.

I really got rolling on the blogging when i was attached to the tiny human 24 7 and the friends in the computer kept me sane Six (seriously. Six) years later and i know how to find you. You are in my phone. My facebook. My email. My photos. My christmas card list (um sorry guys i still dont have cards sent out for 2012). I have stayed in your homes, actually crossing the entire continent to see you.

I want to write so badly but the stories I have are ones that you my heart friends read through so many other ways.

In six years, we have beaten trolls, mourned miscarriages, welcomed babies, buried spouses, buried parents … sadly … we’ve sat vigil and said our goodbyes to our friends together. Hunched over twitter waiting for the final word. There are divorces, affairs, broken hearts, new romances … I can’t think of a single wedding … OH Piper! Piper got married! We’ve talked about sex, bay-bee, we’ve talked about you and me . . . we’ve rick rolled and walked through temples together. New jobs, published books, prosecuted fraud. Our children have grown up … except for in those tragic times they haven’t. We’ve said fuck cancer – again and again and frelling again. When things have the gone the most wrong, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars to try to make it right for someone else.

This post was longer and more eloquent in my head the other night. But tonight in my haze of not awake not asleep and on my phone, I thought it important to whisper to you in this quiet space and let you know that my silence here is because im so loudly with you elsewhere.

I keep wanting to hatch a plan to do something WITH you. My house just isn’t clean enough to be able to focus on that plan yet. Someday… Someday …

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Mar 30

Entering a new era

Omg. Have a real smartphone and i may just be able to blawg again! (Apologies for the lame post trying to make it work)

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Mar 03

The First Post of the New Year

On December 14th, 2012, my heart broke for my Victoria.

Apparently my door was to blame. 

I’ve done a lot of pondering since that day. The louder the outside world has gotten, the more I have retreated into myself.

I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.

1. None of us want to feel helpless.

2. None of us want our lives to be controlled by someone else.

As far as I can tell, the root of everyone’s opinion can be pulled back to these basic, very, very, at the gut level, things.

I tell you that, to tell you this:

I’ve thought a lot about this blog space of mine – wondering what to do with it, looking at the journey it has taken, considering the rebranding, renaming, whatever.

When I realized, “Kaiser Mommy” has become perfect for me.

I am Kaiser Mommy, dictator of my own life.

I am Kaiser Mommy, protector of my people.

I am Kaiser Mommy, looking at how to improve, trying to do better, figuring out what works better now, and what worked better in the past.

I am Kaiser Mommy, rejector of bull, curator of joy.

With a smile, I realized, that even in the name of this space, I have arrived exactly where I am meant to be.

Talyaa once told me she thought I was a part of showing the world a new kind of woman – a year later, I think I am seeing what she meant. How many women do you know who teach special ed kiddos all day, parent a gifted boy at night, keep a house and life of her own design, spin fiber from her own alpacas to knit into clothing that will cover a gun strapped to her hip, use wireless internet to search how to make corset stays from the French Indian War era, who has a tiny bomb shelter survival cabinet and no idea what is for dinner tonight  . . . all while bucking all norms and happily living with her love – 15 years younger?

I think they broke the mold when they made me.

I had a dream a week ago, full of anxiety and nasty, nasty fear of change. I woke up relieved to realize that I’d lived through all the change and there was nothing to fear. I’m long past the wondering what my life will turn out to be, and nicely settling into the time where I can work to refine it into exactly what I want it to be.

I have some goals set – something to share another day. It was just time to get started in this space again.

 

xoxo

Kaiser Mommy

 

 

 

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Sep 22

Seeing the Joy

Last night I spent too much time on Pinterest, I spent too much time looking at pictures of perfection and the comparison between the perfection and my abs, my makeup, my hideously messy house, my stacks of clean laundry – Well – I got a little tight in the chest and clutchy in my breath.

I’ve been trying to figure out the now and the next. I’ve been trying to get my act together.

Last night, I thought about the last week. Alex’s room is meticulously clean after he and I spent last Sunday cleaning it together in exchange for a LEGO Prisoner Transport. (Legos are hot currency around here – I can get him to clean and sleep through the night in his own bed using them.)

The rest of the house is a pit of dispair.

Except for it’s not.

I thought about why the laundry has been sitting out all week. Well, part of that is procrastination, another part is just not buckling down and doing it.

What did I choose instead?

I chose Alex – we have read books, watched every Busytown Mysteries on Netflix, discussed the intricacies of Huckle Cat’s day, gone to soccer, cuddled on the couch, gone to church, gone to school, done homework, talked about his day, made his lunches.

I chose M’love – we have spooned, slept, showered, bought a 55 year old WWII era gun, field stripped it, greased it, discussed it, shot it – we have watched Scrubs and HIMYM, we have discussed politics, world events, cooked dinners . . . I chose the man who, when Alex was missing his daddy yesterday, turned off what he wanted to do and put on Alex’s current favorite show. The man who marketed a BIG OLE PEPPERONI PIZZA for dinner to make Alex smile when he was sad.

I chose my work – That job I love – I spent almost 40 hours there this week – (I played hooky on Friday afternoon but I was there for PTO and Open House on Thursday night) – I supported coworkers, I tried to be the good instead of the bad, I was joyous in working with my students, I showed kids who weren’t even my responsibility that someone gave a damn about them, I had meetings, I completed paperwork, I was conscientious, I was a damn good employee. (Except for the hooky part – but I didn’t have anything on my schedule and I would have sat in my office and done pretty much nothing – might as well cash out that sick day and go home.)

I even chose Scout – Which people tend to be amazed when the ex-husband is considered a priority – but I’m a much better ex-wife than I was ever a wife – I gave him a place to land for 2 days so he could do the job most important to him – be the daddy to Alex. I supported his parenting, I gave him the space to be the parent for as long as he could, and I rebuilt the Lego Fire house he accidentally shattered while trying to clean up that meticulous Alex room – before Alex got home from school.

I was a neighbor, a daughter, a friend.

I realized last night, that while I may not have YET figured out how to keep a clean house, while I may have put on five pounds of happy fat and my jeans don’t fit again, while I may not have all the money I might like to have – The mess in my world is a sign of all the better things I have chosen to focus on. The mess is a sign of LIVING this awesome life, which is a change for me, usually mess is a sign that the corners of my brain are not okay.

I have everything I have ever truly wanted. I love my house, my car, my job, my son, M’love, my family. I need nothing more. My next lesson to learn is how to take care of what I have.

 

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