Adventures, Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Good Morning Backyard!

“Can we go camping? Please Mommy!” “We haven’t been on any big adventures in a long time!”

“I wish my love, but it’s really hard to travel and finding good camping spots here is really really hard because of alligators and horrendous amount of mosquitoes. “

“ well. Can we camp out in the yard mommy?!”

It’s about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night when we are having this conversation. I will admit, I’ve had several glasses of wine at this point and even though I’ve pitched and broken down tents hundreds of times, at this particular moment it felt like something that might wake all the neighbors. I sit there deciding what my answer will be as I play the scene in my mind.

Seeing my hesitation and basically reading my mind, my sweet big hearted manipulative boy continues his pitch.

“We don’t need tents Mommy, we can just get our sleeping bags and sleep on the patio. We have a privacy fence now. It’s something different mommy. Its a different kind of adventure. come on Mommy, let’s do something different” cue the big bright smile and sparkling blue eyes.

“You’re right, why not. Let’s do it!”

We went and got our sleeping bags, asked my other kiddo if he wants to join us. Of course he did. The boys, myself, and our dog all got “comfortable” on the hard concrete patio under the blooming mango tree.

We talked for a little while, I told them stories of my hiking days in Georgia and the time I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a few days. They talked about Minecraft and all of the details of it. They tell great stories to fall asleep to.

Being asleep didn’t last long for me. The different sounds in the neighbors yards and the temperature chasing to “it might rain” woke me up. I dozed thru the night, but mostly just took in the moment. I stared at my kids hoping this was one of the memories they hang on to. I watched them with bewilderment as they slept so peaceful on the ground. Mostly I just soaked in the love and happiness of being “us”.

As the sun started coming up I realized I have never bothered to be outside at this time, I am always to busy getting the boys up and ready for school or sleeping on the weekends.

Except when our neighbors had a rooster. The stupid bird from hell woke me up every single Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am. I live in South Florida. We have small yards and close neighbors. I consider it very disrespectful to have a flipping rooster cock-a-doodle-doing on the weekend next to my window. Literally because it somehow kept finding its way into our yard. I never allowed this evil bird to get me out of bed, unless Chase heard it and started whining to go out. In those moments, I couldn’t tell you if the sun was rising or not, all I knew was “cock-a-doodle-fuck-a-doo, hurry up Chase and go poo!” Then buried myself back under the blankets for a few hours.

My boy had a good idea as this was a nice change in routine and I got to see how our back yard wakes up on my terms and not some annoying farm animals.

Thankfully by this night the Rooster was gone. I don’t know what happened to it, but I am glad that something did.

I laid there, my spine in some pain and sending tingling sensations to my fingers. Our sleeping bags covered in leaves and flowers that fallen from the mango tree. I watched as the yard came alive.

Woodpeckers started knocking on the electrical pole, mocking birds singing, green parrots flying by on their way to find breakfast, blue Jays chasing away the singing mockingbirds, various insects emerging, silk worms glistening in the morning rays of light, lizards coming out to warm in the sunlight; yes it was a nice change in pace.

I gained some new perspective and reinforced my appreciation for the small things in life (as well as my bed).

About 7:00, I peeled myself off the ground and cleaned up my blanket. Stretched and popped and took a deep breath of morning air. Then I made myself some coffee and decided to open a book I haven’t read since I was a teenager, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” while the boys continued sleeping on the hard ground.

Wishing y’all a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, & Successful Day!

Lessons As We Grow

“I’m Givin’ Her All She’s Got, Captain!”

One of the many one liners that came from Star Trek. I feel like I’m Captain Kirk and my will power is Scotty from the original Star Trek series. I’m requesting warp speed away from being blown up by Klingons and my Scotty is just like “She can’t take no more, I’m Giving her all She’s Got Captain!”

I am one of those over the top happy people at the office that come in with a sing song “Good Morning Everyone!” everyday, but especially on Mondays. I don’t always feel like being that way, but I choose to be that way. There are some days I force myself to be that way because I know eventually it will be my truth. If I went in with a “leave me alone” or “fuck off” face, or if I complained about being low on energy or tired, then that would be my truth. For the whole day. Then probably the next day. Then all of the days that follow. That’s not the life I want. I want to be happy and I want the people around me to be happy. And if me being happy makes them unhappy, well they can fuck off.

That was me. Now I try to do the same at my “new home office” aka: the kitchen table. Being happy with twin 8 year old boys who struggle with school are ADHD and on the Autism Spectrum, and complete projects is much much much more of a challenge than anything my job can throw at me. My husband works full time and covers Fridays so I can go to my actual office and take a break, I mean, work.

This new normal has made me really work to be happy. I have had to learn how to control my anger, frustrations, and disappointments in a whole new way. In some cases just completely remove emotion when certain situations happen. I have to just apply the solution over and over and over until it takes root, almost in a robotic way. And I have to be ok with it. Because that is what my family needs to be successful.

One of my boys, Ninja D, is on the autism spectrum. Among several things, he has sensitivity issues with some clothes. But its only while he is focused on it. Socks and shoes are his latest reason for dramatic episodes. There is a lot of crying and tantrums and refusing to wear them, but it’s kind of a necessity in life so I make him wear them anyway and tell him that it’s something he is going to have to learn to live with. It’s the same with normal shorts or jeans. The thing is, once you get him to wear the clothes and then make him move onto the next thing like brushing teeth, eating breakfast, talking about minecraft, he forgets that he has this “issue” and it’s no longer a big deal. Sometimes he will remember later in the day and start again, but I move his focus to something else and it’s forgotten again.

The dramatic episodes over the simplest of things were making me so pissed off. They still make my husband pissed off, we are both getting better at handling situations, I just deal with it more often. That’s an example of what I mean by having to remove emotions from situations. I can’t be pissed off all the time for stupid shit that can’t be helped. His brain operates differently. But at the same time he is a kid. He is a human. He still try’s to get away with whatever he wants. It’s a very tiresome line to walk. And my other boy, he’s not causing many challenges at the moment, but he has had his time in the spot light.

Then there is work. I love work. It’s where I use to feel the most accomplished. I have had to shelf my feelings about work as well. I love working. But because I have to balance family and career more than ever now, I still get projects done, but not as well or efficiently as I know I could if I wasn’t sitting at my kitchen table being interrupted every 5-10 minutes. I have altered my daily schedule slightly, so I start later but work later into the evening in order to do better. Once the boys are done with school, it isn’t so bad. And it could just be in my head, I’m pretty hard on myself, but because I feel that I’m not doing as well as I should be doing with my projects, I feel like a failure. I can’t allow myself to feel like a failure. Because then tomorrow I’m going to feel even worse and then the day after and so forth. I will fall into a very deep hole that is very hard to get out of. I don’t want that for myself again. So, I shelf my feelings about work and complete what I can and hope that when I do return full time to the office that it was enough. Then I can take my emotions off the shelf and start feeling good and proud, and accomplished again. I can start taking steps forward and advancing.

Last night when I was taking a shower, I was thinking about personal shields. I was thinking about how I have to program and keep updating the software of my personal shield. I program it to keep other peoples problems and negative emotions from penetrating my spirit, but still be able to listen to their situations and help if able. My shield allows for positive, fun and inspiration to come threw though. Being near the people I care for and love the most, the battles are frequent and long and there is a constant barrage of torpedo’s., sometimes they learn how to hack the system, in either scenario I need “red alerts” to go off to put emergency shields up. When I feel that surge of anger or when I need to force my mouth to stay shut because I’m about to make someone feel really bad, which puts gas to the fire, I know they have broken thru and I need to think quick to get ahold of myself.

That’s when I call my Mr. Scott to get the shields back up on the double and warp speed out of the situation. Hopefully in the time that I’m having this internal episode of Star Trek, I’m not getting blasted by torpedo’s. Usually Scotty just in the nick of time gets my shields back up and I can be calm about what ever drama is happening at the moment and get through it in one piece. Rarely do I get to warp speed out until I have disarmed the Borgs or the Klingons.

We have love. At the end of the day, these are Lessons as We Grow and I know we will be better for them. But damn, its really really difficult right now.

I hope all of you other Captains out there stay Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER
Lessons As We Grow

Cocoons of 2020

What to say that hasn’t already been said?

This year has been something special.

This year has been transforming.

This year deserves a special name. Like “Year of Butterflies” or “Year of the Moth”. Maybe “The Butterfly Effect”. “Reflection of Human Nature” , “#NOWWHAT?” “#OMGSTOP” , “Year of WTF!!?!?”

I like “Cocoons of 2020” . Because I feel we have all transformed this year into someone or in some cases “something” else.

The majority of us have been cocooned up in our homes for at least 3 months of this year, many of us (like myself) have been inside for almost 8 months of this year. Sure I escape every Friday to go to the office, but mostly I have been home with the kids. Working and Schooling.

I am very fortunate that my work allows me to be home and still be productive (usually after the kids are finished with school or asleep) and my employer is understanding enough to allow me to do it. Being fortunate however does not mean I am without stress, it means that I have chosen, worked hard, and sacrificed to have positive circumstances around me up to this point. I am still with stress because I need to continue to work hard in order to maintain and grow in this environment; while being even more involved with my children’s education and helping them to find ways to grow and evolve in a positive way. I have ALWAYS been involved with their education and well being, but now that we are all home together, it’s more intense.

After having several anxiety attacks brought on by stressing about my kids doing their school work, constantly getting up when they should be working, fighting with one another, feeding them, making them clean their messes, and then deadlines to meet for work, my own health, and on and on on, I reached a point that I have to let go of the “worry” stop trying to control everything, accept that it’s a flexible schedule and just go with the flow. I bought a robovac to help clean the floors (best investment ever!) because one of my kids leaves crumbs everywhere. I don’t know how, but he does. I have had to learn patience on a whole new level as well as a deeper understanding of my kids personal challenges.

And you know what? I’m happy for it. I’m happy for 2020 even though it spoiled all of my travel plans and gave me several anxiety attacks. We have became closer as a family unit and the love in this house is even stronger than before. I think we have all become more comfortable with ourselves as individuals as well. This experience has helped all of us see the reflection in the mirror in a new way.

Yes, we all have definitely been transforming while in our cocoon. There have been “highs” and “Lows”. There has been crying, screaming, laughing, and smiling from all of us and they have learned some new words that cannot be used in school. We aren’t perfect but I think we are getting better and no matter how challenging or angry the day is, we always end it with goodnight hugs and kisses with the promise that tomorrow will be better.

I hope that when the time comes for you to emerge from your cocoon that you come out even more beautiful, strong, and amazing than when you went in. If you have already flown back out into the world, I hope you are doing well and staying safe. For those who have had a difficult time with transformation, remember that the only thing that is consistent is change. Everyone and everything changes in life, how you do it is up to you.

These circumstances will change to. The world will go back to what it was, hopefully better. America will prosper and get back on it’s feet no matter who is elected because that’s what Americans do. Kids will grow up, Parents will grow old. The sun will shine and the moon will glow. The world will turn and take us for a spin, some people lose while others win. I think what a person should ask his/her self is, What do I want my heart be filled with as the world changes? Then take action to make it happen.

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