Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cookies in Bed


Our first full week is officially in the books. Last week was a big, sloppy blur of boxes and cramming a whole lot of stuff into not a lot of room. We met teachers and friends and practiced some new routines. Life is so good when there are flowers on the table and not a single smudge in the sink. Everything is shiny and new and different. It's busy and exhilerating...

...and then, one afternoon, it's too bright. Too busy. Something.

I'm grumbly and blue without warning, and not just because I had my first-ever bad Mexican food experience. That's when the real reality sets in - the one that follows us always, the one we unpack with each new move. It's the reminder that I'm still me, they're still them, he's still him. We're all still us, and we still have bad days. We have things to sort through. We're banged up about the shins. We're still prone to the ills of that blasted PMS. (Well, some of us are. Like me, for instance.)

As my friend Tiny reminds me, "Wherever you go, there you are."

It's never a surprise, not really; but it's strange to sit in a spanking new place and feel that nasty dude slink over me like a bad shirt. I want to shake him off, leave him behind, lose him for good.

That's never going to happen. I'm learning to see the beauty in a little angst. It's just one of the things that connects me to you, you to me. Life wasn't meant to be simple. And some of the greatest blessings of my life have closed in on some of the deepest hurts, only to unfurl again into a different sort of lovely, a whole new type of grace.

So maybe I pout a little.  Maybe I do. Not too long, just long enough. I whine to Cory and grump around for a solid three-quarters of an hour. I wrestle with feeling alone and wanting more alone time. I need a new hobby. I need to be settled. I need a routine. I need to be a better friend, wife, mom. I need a sitter. I need more time to do work stuff - wait, I don't actually have a job... I need time away. I need more family time. I don't know what the heck I need.

Turns out, I need to tuck the kids in and go straight to bed. I need to lay on top of the covers and read a mindless magazine for an hour. I need to slice up some fruit and watch a show with my man. I need Orange Milanos. I need to pray about some things and fall asleep before eleven o'clock.

I need to take care of myself, and let myself be taken care of. I need to cut me some slack and not worry when every single day isn't a barn burner.

Morning comes, the kids wake up chattery and full of the kind of hope that I want for myself, so I take it. I hold it with both hands and all my heart, relieved as ever to find that it followed me here, too.

What's your remedy for one of those days? I'm taking notes...

51 comments:

  1. PMS....what do you call "most of your cycle hormone craziness" ?? I need more of Jesus is what that's called - crying out for His help even in the midst of this crazy serving thing that breaks your heart for another life and opens your heart revealing your own yuck. Could we just spend a few moments sobbing together? More of Him - less of me.....hurts. Those kiddos remind me of His fresh perspective - a new day is just that, another try and another chance to give. Thanks for sharing your heart to connect with a sister just a few miles away ;)

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  2. Smile...and go on! (Even when it hurts to do it!) My new goal is to make my self see the "happy" in the very dreadful...there's always something to look forward to. Every day is a Holiday and every meal a feast! My Sunday school teacher used to tell us that and I couldnt keep myself from hating him for it. But Ive grown to believe it! Im a work in progress too!

    May tomorrow be a day filled with giggles and grins from all the lil happy's in your life!

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  3. Oh my. I needed to read this. Thank you! I write a few pages in my journal... and then I throw them away immediately. And most recently I picked up art journaling (watching Donna Downey tutorials) and I'm loving it. A new side of creativity, no rules, big mess, some days a page takes me 5 minutes, some days it takes me over an hour, it just depends on what I want... it helps.

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    1. I LOVE this! Maybe art journaling is the hobby I so desperately thought I needed. ;)

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  4. Well...I have a live webcam of a beach in Hawaii on one screen with a Youtube window open, which is playing Hawaiian music and waves to go with my view! It's the next best thing to being there!! (you could put on a bikini...but not me!)

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  5. I read a blog post like this and feel better knowing someone else has "those days" too.

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  6. Yet another commonality among women, those 45 minute wallowing sessions which we don't see coming til they've knocked us over. I have tried to shame, bully and smack myself out of them, but usually they disappear as instantly as they come. Being a woman is a big job, being a woman of God is even bigger, Shannan, knowing we have sisters like you makes it easier. And so much better. Thank you. Hope the crew is all settled into the new digs and loving it there. Hedy King

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  7. Reading your honest, vulnerable words. Ann Voskamp's, A Holy Experience Blog, Sangria, cookie in a mug via Pinterest, modpodge magazine pictures & words & creating cards to write to loved ones.,.

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  8. light the candles and turn on some good music, a little ambiance always helps me. :)

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  9. I've been reading for awhile, not sure if I've commented or not but this post hits home...love the "only to unfurl again into a different sort of lovely". I don't know what the heck I need either but it helps to know I'm not the only one. As far as "those days", some kind of sugary treat, reading till I fall asleep, silence in the house and fresh air help.

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  10. Wow sometimes I think you're posting about me!! Thanks for writing a great post today :)

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  11. My, my, my....here I was the only one who thought I'd run helter-skelter this past week. I love my husband even more for sticking with me this week! I feel like I could run in a million different directions. The kiddo had a rough week, the hubby is continuing his job search (as well as looking into becoming an IronMan--at least he has a hobby), and I felt like I was just 'there'. If that makes any sense.

    I've been working on another children's book, but I am questioning myself every step of the way. I feel frazzled, frayed, and on edge.

    So, when my husband arrived home one night, I looked at him, grabbed the keys and went for a drive. Sans kiddo. Sans hubby.

    I rolled down the windows, turned up the stereo, tapped my hands on the steering wheel, and sang my heart out. I drove til a felt the peace in my soul creeping back in and then I turned around on that country highway, and drove home. It wasn't the cure-all, but it was better.

    Sometimes, better is all we can do.

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  12. You got the Funk! I hate those days but we all have to be in the Funk every now and then.

    I love the Art Journaling idea myself!

    Hope you have shaken it by now and are becoming settled in your new home! That always puts me in a Funk I don't move well at all.Even when I'm excited about it.

    ~Cheers & Blessings Kim

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  13. my remedy is to plan a huge murder mystery party for 40 of my favorite people. Um. Yes. Costumes required.

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  14. A puppy. I'm not joking! Because the best thing I find for lifting my mood, clearing my head and seeing the world straight again is a long walk in the fresh air. So simple, so effective. Guess you don't need a dog but having one makes you walk every day.

    So relate to that notion of discovering your same old self is everywhere you go - I find that on holidays which I totally build up to epic proportions in my mind and then find, oh yeah, we are all just the same here too of course! Which is actually when the real relaxing begins! Bx

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  15. ...no matter where we move...we take us too...and Him...as far as needing a sitter...we all need one of those...for ourselves...and we got promised One of Those too...and finally...as someone who survived both pms and menopause...you can do that too...keep your eye on that jar of zinnias...they were a house warming gift...just for you...from Him...blessings laney

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  16. A walk, a bath, a glass of wine, and writing time alone, in my room. (I'm really glad only have of the marital equation gets PMS.)

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  17. I tend to have a good cry, not an ugly one, but a gentle cry in the shower perhaps. Because when I get to THAT point, I probably haven't showered in two days anyways and that is part of the problem. Quit being so hard on yourself, relax, everything in due time! God's timing is best!
    xoxo
    heather

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  18. I identify with this so much! We just moved as well (well, four months ago) but I struggle with that somehow I thought the move would change us and here we are, still the same us. Working through that!

    Things I do on those days: grab a coffee, get outside (I find some fresh air does wonders for anything), and sometimes even a nap while the Little One because it feels like a restart.

    Will be thinking of you!

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  19. I'm the one taking notes here! And a bad Mexican food day just has to be hard. Not to mention the other stuff. Oh! I know what helps... Watching 3 episodes of Downton in one sitting. And knowing I just started Season 1 with a whole other season ahead of me is so exhilarating.

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  20. Had that yesterday morning. It had been a stressful week with extended family pain/drama, my preschooler having more meltdowns in one week than he's had in a year, and The Hubs starting nursing school. And pms. I started crying and stomping around the house, and then I decided I didn't want to end up screaming at people. So I put the kids in the van, grabbed large vanilla dr. pepper from sonic, and spent some time at the park letting the oldest climb and trying to help my youngest learn to walk. Just getting out of the house helps me sometimes.

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  21. You identified me time..... God time.... Resetting expectations....kids who find joy in the moment. I went to a doc and prescription progesterone creAm.... But I'm in my 40's. Cured the roller coaster.... I get a period and my hubby's head is still attached, no more really low moods. Moving is hard work and unsettling, plus school starting. May you enjoy salsa and chips soon!

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  22. Sleep. Seriously, sleep is so undervalued by us mamas. The best thing I can do for my kids is to not stay up folding laundry, reading blogs, and watching the news simultaneously. It'll all settle down - it's just a kooky time for you right now!

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  23. So often this blog is my remedy. Seriously. With a bowl of dry rice krispies, reading in the quiet dark.

    So often words fail me to comment, but I carry your posts around with me for days. I so often hear your words when I step on a duplo, the toilet is plugged, and my husband has not seen my babies eyes for days. Again, words ring out in quiet, sun filled mornings, a happy little lunch, and when all is just right in the world. I have so realized that they are not really your words that sink into my heart, but what God left there from your blog--because you are so darned available---and I'm grateful. I pray for yu.

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  24. Sleep is so frequently the culprit....or lack of good nutrients.....or just plain the blahs. Life transitions are HARD. Some days I can snap away the cloud hanging over me entirely or at least for a few moments by going for a run, mowing the lawn, laying out for a few in the sun, meeting a friend downtown for happy hour, loving on my dogs, and then just plain thinking about how my complaints truly aren't that bad compared to many, many others. But I'm not going to lie....that doesn't always work these days. Neither does crying. So a lot of days, it's just continuing on, putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that I'll never be given a burden too big for me to carry....

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  25. You described my week. Perfectly. Except I might have thrown in a few expletives for effect. PMS is really the devil. And so is being overworked. And underslept...um, that's not a word, is it? You do need to take care of yourself and have down time!

    Thank you for sharing. You write so beautifully :)

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  26. You need some pets!! They always cheer me up. Oh, and a porch swing to sit on and think with a cold glass of tea.

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  27. I hate to break it to you, but menopause is even worse than PMS. Just a little glimpse. Sorry. That didn't make you feel better, I'm sure. Ummm...

    I always wanted to be one of those women who could linger in a tub with candles, music, and a book. I'm not. Seems mostly I just need to get over myself, get alone with God and pour it all out. Then I pick up a good book and end up falling asleep five minutes into it.

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  28. Generally, I fall apart (in a small or large way, makes no difference), apologize to my husband for being crazy, pray/read my bible, and put myself to bed. Might I recommend a "before 10" type of night next time?

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  29. Tiny here!

    Thanks for blasting me into infamy! ;-)

    In all seriousness, I am touched that you recall my words. I am also hoping you're feeling better today. I am where you were (or perhaps still are)- I cried at a kleenex commercial yesterday, took a two hour nap and told my dog "You're bugging me!"

    I've had better days.

    With another chunk of carrot cake in my hand, I assume today will be better.

    Rock this Sunday, Shiny....smile or howl at it, but rock it.

    xoxo~

    TT

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  30. Honest post. Thanks for putting it out there. I have read your blog for a few years - ever since some one told me our gardens looked similar. I loved reading about your farm. We both loved our rural personal homestead slices of paradise. When you decided to move my heart broke for you, and I was also so glad it wasn't me. I wouldn't ever have to leave my paradise farm. Then one letter the mail changes every thing. We got rezoned into a flood plain, 10 years here and our property value disappeared. Now we are picking up the pieces and and getting ready to start over. Our stories are not exactly the same. It I take some much comfort in home you have embraced the greater plan set before you. When my friends give me the pity look I just feel even stronger that I am faithfully following the path set before me. You and I are both living our happily ever afters. They are not exactly what we drew on our notebooks in high school, but they are exactly the lives we were meant to live.

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  31. And I can't wait to see how pretty you make the new house. I already love the floors and the office nook.

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  32. wowza...what a lovely, honest post. :) i can totally, absolutely relate....been there a couple times this week. on these days i need a trip to target to wonder around aimlessly...all.by.my.lonesome...oh and a brownie wouldn't hurt either. :)

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  33. I have a couple mindless magazine reads lying around...I'd be happy to share :)

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  34. "I'm learning to see the beauty in a little angst."

    My new motto. Sincere thanks. :)

    Hang in there.

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  35. Just live it. Don't expect, don't wish, don't fret....just live it. It will all come full circle. And a jar of zinnias ALWAYS makes it better.

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  36. I'm in a three week stretch of one of those days. My cure. Force myself outside. Sure, it hasn't worked so far, but I'm thinking tomorrow it just might.

    Love to you, girl.

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  37. Did you know that "Wherever you go, there you are" is a title of a book about meditation? It's about learning to live in the moment and accept it for what it is, without judgement. Yeah, that's a lesson I'm trying to learn these days... it's not always going so well... in fact, it's not usually going so well. ;)

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  38. Driving. That's my getaway. if the weather allows, windows down and music up loud. I just hop on a road and drive and think until i feel like I'm done thinking, then I turn around and head home

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  39. "Wherever you go, there you are" is also a line from a really loony old Peter Weller/John Lithgow movie called Buckaroo Banzai -- good for a laugh if you like really odd humor.

    I've never found a good cure for those off days where it just feels like the whole world is tilted and you're the only one who notices (or cares). I agree with the person who said sleep is probably the culprit, though PMS is certainly a contributor. Dang hormones.

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  40. I send myself to timeout in my room. I might cry. I pray. I shut my eyes and remember to be grateful. They won't kill each other in the 2-5 minutes that it takes me to pull it together. They witness me losing it and getting it back together. i hope they learn from it. Then I remind myself to breath and that life is messy but it is soooo good. Love your blog. -W

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  41. Hey FPFG! Wow, I feel ya for sure! There's a woman across the street with more kids than me, a cleaner house than me and she's going to school full time. How does she do it? I've decided she is just made differently than me. I'd like to say I never compare myself or my life to her.....

    I've had weird moments when things should be so exciting because they're new (like a freshly painted room or a new appliance that I've waited 13 years to buy....stuff like that). Instead, I tend to feel an odd mix of blue and loneliness. I dont really understand it. Maybe its the crash landing back into the hum-drums.

    Just like the seasons and the tides, I am full of cycles. I'm learning to catch the big waves and go but then ride out the stale times the best I can because another big one will come around sooner or later.

    Thanks for writing:)

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  42. That post came straight out of my heart, through your brain! I am my own constant companion and sometimes I just get plain sick of me. But then sometimes my kiddos, that drive me to find the worst of myself, take me right back to the self that God made me to be. Thank you for your post!
    Vicky, NC

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  43. 1. moving is STRESSFUL
    2. kiddos are sweethearts, but not always the best remedy to a looong day.
    3. this too shall pass (helpful, no?) but oh, so true!

    my MIL used to say "you just need a break" then come get my kids for the afternoon. then when they came back, they were twice as bad, hopped up on oreos and grandma rules (read:none). i remember thinking, "no, what i want is for all of us to be IN the same house and be happy, dang it!"

    but.. ok.. sometimes she was right. take a break from yourself, especially. when i feel myself sliding sideways, i try to release myself from any stress or expectations for the duration. wanna read? do it. want some tea? brew it. microwave popcorn, brownies... eat 'em. today isn't forever. don't feel like fixing supper? don't! order pizza. can't afford it? make scrambled eggs and toast. today isn't forever. watch a movie with your kids, even if the sun is shining and it's 3 o'clock. RELEASE THE PRESSURE, MAN! after all, tomorrow is another day. Jesus said come to him and He will give me rest. even from myself...

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  44. Do just one thing worth remembering that day and go to bed early.
    "Today will never come again, but there's always tomorrow..."
    PS. I never comment on here, but am a big fan. Keep being you. You're a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to many. God bless.

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  45. I listen to the Gettys. And maybe intentionally laugh a lot (assisted by youtube clips from "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?") or have a good cry or read some Terry Prachett. Drinking my PMS tea sometimes helps, too.

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  46. I wish you would write a daily devotional book. Your blog posts are that for me...

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