Hateful Things

Sometimes  I feel like I’m not thick-skinned enough to be a mom. I am always walking on egg shells, never knowing what I will say or do or look at that will send Peanut into a hateful rage. And always I am left feeling sad and unloved, though I know that she isn’t really herself, that she doesn’t truly mean the things she says to me. She pushes my buttons and I let her, and that makes it worse because then she doesn’t respect me. But then sometimes I can ignore her, sometimes I can make her angry by repeating a simple unemotional phrase for every hateful thing she says.

On Sunday we spent the day in Baltimore at an Orioles game (Go O’s! They finally won with the G Family in attendance!!) and I was taking pictures and dancing to “YMCA” and chanting with the crowd, and doing the wave, much to Peanut’s displeasure. And I didn’t care what she said to me or how embarrassed she was, I just had fun and did what I wanted. But then tonight she made a comment that was so hateful I can’t really believe she even said it, and even though I tried to, I couldn’t ignore her. I told her a story about having regrets with things I said to Angel Mom and thinking about those regrets every day since, and while her eyes watered, I’m not sure she really got the point. It’s all about her right now and there’s no room for me.

But why is it that sometimes I can ignore the hateful things and sometimes I can’t? Why can’t I be consistent in my peace like she is consistent in her anger? I think sometimes I fear that if I am too cold-hearted it will push her away and I can’t bear that, but I also know that I can’t continue to react to her because that will also hurt me. Which hurt is the lesser of two evils?

It’s times like this that I miss my mother the most. I have no one who really knows what I’m going through with Peanut. Even if Angel Mom told me I was the exact same way with her, at least I would know that eventually Peanut and I would be “good” again, that we would be loving, not hateful. I don’t want to be like oil and water anymore. I don’t like feeling like my child that I love so much can’t stand the sight of me. I just want my sweet little girl back.

 

 

Guess I Can Clean-up Later

Wednesday nights I volunteer at the SPCA’s satellite adoption center in a pet store. I do a quick check to make sure everyone looks healthy and then let the cats out of their cages to play while I clean the cages and feed them.

Usually they like to claim the highest perch on the cat tree, or sit on the log book as I’m trying to read the past week’s updates. But lately I have this:

image

It’s kind of hard to clean litter box scoopers when there is a cat sitting in the sink, who is not bothered when the water is turned on. :) When I filled their water bowls he would put his paw in the stream and then lick it off. He stayed in there for an hour. Who am I to judge how he spends his free time? :)

10 Things I Never Thought I’d Say

If you had told me 12 years ago I would say these things to my children, I would have said you were crazy! But yes, I have actually said these things, and recently too!

1. No, you can’t put a dish towel on the floor for Furbaby G to lay on.
2. Please don’t ride on your sister like you’re on a horse.
3. Why are you in the bathroom with the door closed taking pictures with your iPod?
4. Don’t call your mother an idiot.
5. You don’t like pizza or Mac-and-cheese?
6. Don’t bite your toenails.
7. Don’t put your hands down your pants in front of people.
8. No, you can’t eat chocolate chips for breakfast unless they’re in a pancake.
9. I don’t know how I made it this long not knowing everything like you do.
10. Why don’t you clean up the mess instead of telling me where it is?

The Results Are In….

cryingAnd I came in 4th, I think. The way they judge it’s hard to know for sure but I know I didn’t win. I’m bummed.

I was up against 4 good stories, and I’m happy that I was good enough to even be in the contest. Thank you if you read and voted. Thank you if you read but didn’t vote. I know that sounds weird to some, but I’m grateful that you are willing to follow me outside of WordPress. Exposure is exposure and I’m glad someone wants to read my writing no matter where it is.

But what upsets me the most is that some people left comments that really weren’t constructive, or nice even. Why? How can I improve my writing by you saying “Well, I don’t see why this story is even posted here, it doesn’t go with the others…. It’s not funny. …It’s not something I care about. …It’s not prize worthy.”

Ok, well the editor thought it was good enough and the other stories didn’t have the same theme either. What can I do about it?

And if you start reading the story and don’t like it, tell me what I can do to help you enjoy future stories! Tell me, “Well I didn’t like the story because I don’t go to yard sales, but I liked how you described telling the lady off. If you could write more like that…” Or maybe “If you developed the characters you saw at the yard sale a little more, I could relate to the story better.” Those are things that help me, not comments to the effect of “your story kinda sucked.”

I did have mostly positive comments, so my feathers are only slightly ruffled. I’m not letting the hateful, unhelpful people stop me from writing. I was looking at some other submission sites and I’m going to keep plugging away on my book. I know successful writers have faced multiple rejections and obnoxious comments before and during their success, and I will learn to shrug them off. I will keep calm and write on.

 

 

 

Why?

Why is it when you get stuck in a bad place and make a hard, conscious effort to change your attitude and how you react to things you can’t control, that the stupidest, smallest thing happens and brings you down and destroys all the pride and happiness you were beginning to feel again?

I wonder sometimes if I’m depressed. Or if I really am the problem.

It’s just too much today. :(

Great News!

I’ve been inspired (and supported by my Daily Horoscope app telling me the time is good for an endeavor I have come back to) to start seriously writing again. I really feel this is what I’m meant to do so I need to get busy getting my words out there.

The other day I was searching for online calls for submissions and found several that may be a good fit. Some are paid and some are exposure only, but regardless I’m able to share my writing and get serious about making writing my career.

So now for the good news….one site features nonfiction by midlife writers. Five stories are selected each week for a contest and the winner gets a cash prize. Even though I am barely eligible to write for this site, I submitted a story and was selected for a contest in a few weeks! :)

When I get the link I’ll share it, and then you can show me the love and Like my story on Facebook and leave a comment. The most likes wins.

Someday maybe you’ll say, I read her first blog before she was famous. :)

Magic Couch Ends Sibling Wars!

Being an only child, I have been asked at least a million times whether I missed having a sibling. I always said, “I don’t know, I guess not.” I figured why would I miss having to share toys and always having someone around to get on my nerves?

But then when my mother passed away, I did miss having a sibling since I had no one to help with the decisions I had to make, and no one who fully understood my loss.

But when I look at Peanut and Bird’s relationship, sometimes I am glad I didn’t have a sibling. I can’t figure it out most times. With hormones about to explode it’s more of a love/hate for Peanut and a love/annoy for Bird. And then it changes when one is sick. It’s almost like an extreme panic sets in.

Yesterday Peanut was complaining about everything that Bird did and said and then he started acting obnoxious on purpose to annoy her, and as usual it brought the statement that we should have had a girl instead of the most annoying creature on the Earth. Sorry I didn’t consider her needs and wants when I became pregnant.

But then he started having a belly ache during dinner and suddenly Peanut changed her attitude. The more he said it hurt the more she worried. She kept telling us he needs to go to the doctor and wouldn’t be soothed by us saying it’s not so serious to need that yet.

So then suddenly she had a belly ache! So they both went to the same couch to lay down and started playing a game on her iPod. The couch must be magical because it wasn’t long before both belly aches were forgotten and Peanut was once again complaining about how annoying he is and she can’t stand him and why couldn’t she have a sister that she would love and care about!

Nope, still not really missing having a sibling, though I wonder if I could use the magic couch to help other families and how much I could charge to create sibling harmony.

10 More Minutes

I was sitting on the porch trying to read and suddenly was inspired to write. I haven’t been in a good place lately so this inspiration came as a nice surprise. Another surprise was that what so easily came out was a short fictionalized story based on my always telling my children that I would love to have just 10 more minutes with my Angel Mom. I’m planning to submit it for publishing after I revise it a little more, so please let me know what you think and if you would read more similar stories.

I should just move on. What difference does it make what it looks like now? I haven’t lived there for nearly 20 years, of course things will be different. None of them knew her and didn’t care that each room held different memories and had different ways of making her happy. I just wanted to be inside again, to be nosy mostly, but to also just be near her again and remember her.

My hand must have hovered too close to the doorbell of my childhood house because the door opened. As I stepped through the door and looked in the floor to ceiling mirror that I always imagined was a passageway to another place, I saw the house I remembered shimmering under the house that had been changed since the day my mother left me.

As I called out to the newest owner, wondering how the door opened but now no one was near me, I saw my mother reflected in the mirror.

I thought it was just a memory since I was in our old house but then she hugged me. Immediately I began to cry because it had been 15 years since she was able to hug me and I missed that so much.

“Shhhh, it’s ok. We don’t have much time,” she said as if seeing and hugging your long deceased mother and knowing it wasn’t a dream happened to everyone every day.

“Look what they did to our house! Remember my bookshelf wall and all the hundreds of books I had? And my “quilting/sitting room?”

As I answered I felt that I must be dreaming since I was talking to her as if she had never left me and I was not questioning the impossibility of this being real. “Of course I remember, I thought it made the room seem cozy and I tried to read a lot of them. It seemed like millions when I had to go through them for the auction though!”

The wall that had once been a glorious escape for both of us and separated our family room from the quilting room had been torn down to make another bedroom.

Next we went to my old bedroom, that now had a huge walk-in closet where the door leading from my room to my mother’s bedroom once was. I had spent hours between the doors imagining I was in an elevator going to my penthouse with my celebrity friends.

Suddenly we were in the attic. “Did you know I used to sneak up here and explore when you were at work? I liked to look at all my old school papers.”

“Of course I did. I used to always say mothers always know everything but you didn’t listen!”

Suddenly I remembered she said we didn’t have much time and a flurry of questions came as I began to cry again. “Mom, why do I always dream of you here? Why did you have to go so soon? Did I do everything right? Are you proud of the woman I’ve become? Do you watch over your grandchildren?”

Again she soothed me and said, “I was allowed to be in physical form for 10 more minutes because you needed to know I am always with you. Things will change but you don’t need material things like this old house to stay the same to remember me, or to feel my love for you. I love you but can’t answer any more questions now.”

As she kissed me I found myself on the front porch again, but this time an older woman was looking at me strangely as she held the door partly open.

“Hi. I lived here long ago, and just wanted to tell you this house has a lot of character and I hope you make many happy memories here like my family did.”

As I walked away from the woman who was still staring at me like I was crazy, I noticed a quilted pillow on the porch swing and thought Mom would have liked that pillow.

I’m Still Alive

Life in the Office has been bad lately, to put it mildly. Unfortunately it has also sapped my energy and made me so unhappy I couldn’t even write, or I felt that it would help me to write but no one would want to read it. But then not writing made me even more unhappy.

So what changed? It was something as simple as a 6 item to-do list that broke my funk. I used to write down a few things that I wanted to work on the next day. I didn’t have to finish them, but if I worked on them for at least a half hour then they get crossed off the list. I haven’t been able to do this lately because I plan my day and then I get pulled away from my tasks to do other tasks that are someone else’s high priority so I haven’t been bothering to plan.

But today my boss was away so I planned what I wanted to do…just 6 things: 2 deadlines and 4 tasks that were just regular database/email maintenance things. And I crossed ALL 6 things off my list! It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it was so nice to have full control again and motivation to do these tasks that I haven’t been able to get to, for as long as I wanted to and actually feel like I accomplished something. I don’t remember when I last crossed off my entire list. I needed to feel that sense of accomplishment. As little as the tasks were, they were all mine on my schedule! :)

Tomorrow will be back to normal, but I’m not going to let the Office take all my joy anymore. I’ll just make shorter to-do lists, that still counts as writing if they’re on paper right? :)