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Monday, March 28, 2011

Mom ..... my stomach hurts

5:00 am

Picture me sleeping soundly.

The small girl enters the dark room.

Tap tap tap on my shoulder with her pokey little finger.

"Mom, my stomach hurts."

What parent hasn't had this wake up call? Luckily this one wasn't followed by me being awarded a puke fest on my bedroom floor.

What is interesting about this is, I wasn't dragging my sorry arse out of bed to care for my little angel. I actually got up and didn't feel tired. I haven't been tired all morning and I have had NO caffeine in 5 days!  Let's all linger on that for a moment.

I haven't had caffeine in 5 DAYS.  I'm a Gold Card carrying Starbucks member people. I have a love affair with caffeine that runs sometimes deeper than the one for my lovely husband and kids.

I was woken up with a sick kid almost 2 hours before I planned to get up and I AM NOT GROGGY or TIRED.

I don't know about you all but this is a first for me.  This Spring Cleaning ... on me, 9 day toxin cleanse is making a difference in my life in more ways than the cuteness of me in my new capris.

Vanity may rule but energy level is the bonus round for sure.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning ...... on me.

Normally this time of year I'd be cleaning closets and windows. This year I decided to clean out my body toxins too.  A little Spring Break tune up for the almost 45 year old me.

For the last year I've been paying more attention to eating real food and trying to reduce the amount of crap I put in my body. My friend and colleague Lilibeth told me about this 9 day cleanse she had done that really kicked things up a notch and knocked off a few pounds in the process.

Like any full blooded American the healthy lifestyle was interesting but thinking about knocking off a few pounds before Spring Break was enough to kick me into action.

I signed up, wrote the check and started a 9 day cleanse. The hubs and Dude both rolled their eyes and I was careful to explain to the girl this was about toxin cleansing and not weight loss. (parenting requires some good marketing over the cold hard truth sometimes, don't judge)

I'm on Day 4 of the cleanse and holy hype I feel freakin' fantastic. Seriously, I was prepared to be all, "yea, I did it, brag brag check it out" and then move right back into Cheez-It's and cheesecake but this is the real deal.

I wake up in the morning without needing to hit the snooze for an hour. My knee that has been killing me for months doesn't hurt and I feel a big boost in clarity. Of course the increase in clarity may be because I haven't had any kind of booze in a week.

This is proving to me that there is something very real and very scary about all the preservatives and plastic and crap we've added to our lives in the name of convenience.  I'm not saying I won't ever put another Cheez-It in my mouth or devour a bottle glass of Merlot, but I've kicked up my mindful eating a thousands notches. Not to mention I've already lost 6 lbs and almost 4 inches. That doesn't suck. Bring on the bathing suit, I Swiffered the muffin top.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thoughts on: The Disease Called Perfection

I stumbled on this post a few weeks ago.  You may have seen me repost it.  It was powerful and I felt compelled to share it.  Even more compelling, I am still thinking about it weeks later. Thank you to Dan of Single Dad Laughing for putting it out into the universe.

Here is the post to catch you up. The Disease Called Perfection. The post is powerful, the comments profound.

After letting this post percolate, here are some of my thoughts in response.

As the quest for perfection poisons us, I wonder ......Do you know any perfect people? perfect couples? perfect children?

I don't. I have scanned through the list of people that I know well. The ones that I have insight into their real selves, not a single perfect one in the bunch.

Some of them might look perfect from afar. There lies the trap. From a certain distance the picture is perfect. The counters are cleaned, the dog always groomed. Then you step inside their heart and you find they've been hurt, they've been left, they're in some stage of healing.

No perfection really exists. At least not here on earth.

We're chasing something that doesn't exist. We poison ourselves, we poison each other, looking for something we can never find.

That's ridiculous.

As I study my life, I can find a few perfect moments.     Their perfection only rises in relativity to the struggle that got me to that moment. It's not the moment that's perfect, it's the celebration of the quest that got me there.

In any given month, my husband and I may find one perfect night together with both kids at sleepovers and the local tavern serving his favorite dessert and my favorite wine. We savor over an unexpected night to reconnect and enjoy each other. Our relationship has no chance of being perfect. But for that few hours in a month there's a piece of perfection that can only be observed as such because of the 29 days of struggle and challenge that got us to that point.  If every Saturday night had that space and time, it wouldn't be cherished. That moment is special because of the struggles we go through raising our family.

I love to decorate my house.  It gives me great joy and satisfaction. It's a passion and a hobby. Interestingly, it's not the moment of sitting and taking in my surroundings that give me the greatest joy. It's the Saturday morning garage sale, loading the dirty dusty "find" into the back of my truck. The time of lovingly cleaning it, painting it and fixing it until it finds that perfect spot in my home. It's the challenge that gives me the feeling of perfection when I finally call it home.

Let us gather around our common challenges and recognize our united struggle that brings us together perfectly and gives us those few minutes of joy and satisfaction. The joy of the journey.

Childhood vacations aren't logged into our memory under the perfection of the destination. They're logged in by the struggle. The memory of the three days in the backseat of a Pontiac sitting between my grandparents has a far bigger space in my memory than the 20 minutes we spent looking at Mt. Rushmore. Some journeys I don't even remember the destination, I only remember the struggle. I remember them fondly. The last "motel" room found on a cross country journey with too many family members piled in a room. The drowning boy saved by my father while gathered round a hotel pool. The prayers through the night for my sleeping family while the hurricane pounded at our sliding glass door. The screaming girl refusing to spend the day with Snow White on the Disney Cruise because she'd rather be at the pool with me, her mama.Those moments are special because of the struggle, not their perfection.

Let us not spend a life being poisoned by the quest for perfection. Let us share in the challenges together and remember to pause in the moments that are perfect only in relation to the challenge that got us there. That sounds perfect, the way that God intended.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thankful Thought for Today: There's no Soy Sauce in my Underwear

Just another Manic Monday wasn't just a pop song from the 90's. It was our morning here at the Hession House.

The girl got her skinny leg jeans stuck trying to pull them off over a pair of high top Chuck Taylor's in a fit of panic because her jeans had a spot on them and she HAD to change as the bus was coming down the road.

Dude couldn't believe I'd send him to school today with the kind of cold that felt like a million wasps stinging the inside of his nose on a day when they were working on the farm and the wind blowing around in there would be MISERABLE. quote, unquote.

Those are just a few snips from the highlight reel. Because it's my blog, I won't share many of my unsavory responses or contributions.

Ironically, I was reading before I went to sleep last night and planning a very different day full of healthy food, sunshine, roses and gratitude.

In trying to steer myself back into the world of zen, let me share this moment of thankfulness with you.

As I was unloading the dryer and pulled out this little gem (see pic below), I am ridiculously thankful to the packet makers for their expertise in making a washer/dryer proof pack and that there is no soy sauce in my underwear.

Thank you, Lord. Please let the love flow and the miracles continue.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Two Full Days without my evening Facebook /Twitter time

So on Wednesday I gave up Facebook and Twitter between the hours of 6pm and 9pm. You can read all about that decision here.

Two days into the change.

Wow, my hair is shinier, my abs are flat, and I just cured cancer.

Not quite, but close.

I did watch an entire episode of American Idol cuddled on the couch with my girl; instead of her cuddling herself in beside me and my laptop. Not once did she have to say, "did you see that?" or "watch this mom." because she knew I was watching.

She's calmer. She doesn't have to check and see if I'm engaged in us.

I've settled back in rather quickly to my old life and I like it. Sure, like any addict I find myself instinctively reaching for my phone. Then I smile and realize how much I do that and know that this addict has to put down the crack.

To keep myself in check I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. This has been a big change during the day as well. I can't believe how many times I reach for my phone during the day to check those apps. I hate to think how many minutes, maybe hours, of the day that was consuming in tiny bite size pieces of distraction.

By giving up just a little I've gained so much in my focus and attention without sacrificing the connections I've grown to love. Yesterday I quickly checked Facebook to see if my high school friends, Kris and Mike, who now live in Japan were okay. Then I saw the tsunami warning for California and had to check in on my other friend Pam who lives there.  Facebook is a good thing. As long as it's not at the mercy of what matters most. That's a choice I must make every day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why I Love Facebook & Twitter and why I had to give some of it up

It's no secret that I love Facebook and Twitter.  Let me tell you three of the top reasons why.

1. I finally feel like a decent friend.   - With the pace of life, I'm lucky to find time to be face to face with my friends. Now I can connect at 9pm from my couch with no make up while watching American Idol. No babysitter or cleaning the bathroom required. Sure, I'd love to be sitting in a cafe with my friends sipping a latte and nibbling a scone talking about our quality of life. I'd love to invite my friends for some wine and cheese on any given Friday night. The problem is finding the same time slot available on everyone's frenetically charged calendars. I've had more chats with my high school friends in the last year than I have in the 20 years prior all combined. I love these guys and gals.Now I can actually keep up with their lives and give them some insight into mine.

2. I'm finally an official writer.    I define the difference between an official writer and a wannabe writer by having readers. I've been a writer since 7th grade when Mrs. Garvey put a poem I wrote in one of the school newsletters. Then there was the time in high school when I won the basketball sectional slogan contest. Our Pirate ship has just come in and with its cargo is a sectional win. On both of those occasions there was someone to read what I wrote.  From 1983 to 2009, I didn't have many readers of anything I wrote.  Without readers, your writing wanes and atrophies and eventually dies. Then came blogging. New life breathed. I'm alive again. I'm a writer with readers. Facebook and Twitter have rejuvenated my spirit. I'm once again an official writer thanks to you for reading.

3. I finally can find friends with similar interests.   I've always had cool friends. I have friends with a variety of interests, talents and backgrounds.  I love them all. Not many of them share all of my interests.  Now I can run a couple of searches on Twitter or just tweet about things I love and like magic I'm surrounded by those that write, run, read, sip wine and try to keep their families together. People like me. They send me articles about stuff I love and teach me to be a better writer, runner, reader, wino, and mom.  That's cool.

I used the word finally in each case completely on purpose.  I say finally because Facebook and Twitter have filled a space that I didn't know needed filled.  Now that the gap has been closed, I realize how important that is. Finally, I feel a little more complete. A little more like the me I like to be.

Now, the darker side of Facebook and Twitter. Why I had to give some of it up.

It's exciting to find something you like. You want to do it more. and more. and more.  Because I still only have 24 hours total in the day. My time with Facebook and Twitter had to come from somewhere. I'm not feeling great about the trades and choices I've made.

So, for the spiritual practice of sacrifice, I'm giving up Facebook and Twitter.

Between the hours of 6pm and 9pm.

So, some of you just rolled your eyes. "Wow, big deal, for 3 hours a day, what's the big sacrifice in that!"

6pm to 9pm is family time. This is the time I should be investing into those that should matter most. Not the ones that are easiest to get along with or the ones that post the best comments or the funniest jokes. These are my family, the good, the bad and the ugly.

That's the trap. Distraction into something more interesting, more engaging, but not often the most important. Who doesn't want a diversion from 7th grade homework, or a fight with the hubs? Get me outta here quick. A quick glance at the phone and I'm transformed into an interesting pic of my friend's cat or an article on the best wine to serve with asparagus. Whew, that's way better isn't it?

Is it? ------ Of course not. I'm not an idiot. I'm just distracted.

I've noticed many of my conversations with my husband and kids are not focused conversations. In fact, the girl has begun to resent my iPhone. She sometimes asks for "no phone" time. "Mom, can we watch a movie without your phone or computer?" Ouch. That's the truth smacking me between the eyes.

I still feel great about the top 3 finally reasons above. I want all of those to continue. Not at the sacrifice of those that matter most.

So, "friends" and "followers" for the next 39 days or so, if you want to chat between the hours of 6pm and 9pm eastern, stop by with a bottle of wine or a box of scones. I can't guarantee the bathroom will be clean but we'll be totally invested in our time with you.