How I Got Here

I was a bicentennial baby, born in San Angelo, Texas in 1976.  Raised primarily in Kansas,  I am a product of what Sarah Palin once lovingly referred to as ‘Real America.’  I’m a PK (preacher’s kid) and attribute my leftist, bleeding heart tendencies to my upbringing.  I have approximately zero fond memories of junior high and high school.  At a time when I wanted nothing more to be normal and blend in, I had dark freckles, fire engine red hair, sickly pale skin tone, and was as shy, awkward and insecure as they come.  And my fashion sense?  It was as nonexistent then as it is today.  But, unlike today, I was making an effort.  A misguided, miserable, mess of an effort.

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I’m on the right.  In case you didn’t believe what I was saying about my lack of fashion sense.  That’s my friend Kelly on the left.  We were both pretty fly.

I married my husband Chris a long damn time ago.  At the ripe old age of 22.  He was 23. Yes, we were babies.  No, I wouldn’t recommend this to my children.  That perhaps seems harsh, but he’d tell you the same thing; which is likely why we work.  This whole thing probably shouldn’t have worked out, and we’ve both had moments of wondering if it would; but thankfully they were fleeting. Marriage is a choice.  Every. Damn. Day it’s a choice.  But I contend it’s one worth making if you find the right partner.

I’m mom to Jerod, born in the spring of 2002.  Currently 15 years old.  Smart, beautiful, funny, thoughtful, presently steeped in hormonal adolescent angst and, sometimes a real asshole.

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He’s not a fan of photos.  This photo was taken after he pitched a one unearned run complete game.  I tell you this because, when I’m not whining about my kids, I’m bragging on them.  As an aside, be glad this photo isn’t scratch ‘n sniff.  Adolescence stinks.

I’m also mom to Elise, born in the fall of 2004. Currently 12 years old.  Smart, beautiful, funny, thoughtful, presently steeped in hormonal adolescent angst and, sometimes a real asshole.

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When she’s not kicking balls, she’s crushing souls with her iron will.

Both kids are quite active.  Baseball, basketball, soccer, skiing.  I’m an ambivalent sports mom.  Some days I like it, but most days I’m really fucking sick of driving kids to practice and really wish the four of us could sit down and enjoy a meal together like normal people.

Chris sells widgets for a living.  Or something.  I don’t really know.  He doesn’t currently practice patent law but his work is related to it.  Whatever it is he does, he’s passionate and seems to like it.  Sometimes I wish he liked it a little less, traveled a little less, and checked his email a little less.  But, he’s well above average in the dad department, he’s funny, he’s generous, he puts up with my shitty housekeeping, and he doesn’t think twice about donning a ketchup costume to accompany Elise when she trick-or-treats as a hot dog.  Also, his fairly rigorous travel schedule serves as my justification for not getting off my lazy ass and getting a job, so that’s a WIN.

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I hold bachelor of science degrees in biology and clinical lab science.  Actually a drawer holds them and they don’t see the light of day.  And, now that I think of it, I never even actually held the copy of my clinical lab science degree, which may have been an omen, as I haven’t worked outside the home since February 2005.  I should get a job, but the career path I chose for myself was not a great fit. Turns out I actually didn’t have it all figured out when I was 18 years old and choosing what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I used to run.  A lot.  And now I don’t.  And I need to lose 15, if not 20, pounds.  I am constantly waffling between being completely ok with it and engaging in complete self loathing for having let myself get to this point.

This blog is largely the result of two exercises I’ve recently taken part in.  Both were lead by Janelle Hanchett of Renegade Mothering.  Specific workshop titles included How to Stop Giving a Shit What Other People Think, How to Write Even Though You Totally Give a Shit What Other People Think, and What the Fuck is Authenticity.  I came away with some (paraphrased) quotes/ideas that border on life-changing:

  • rethink your approach to fear of being misunderstood, realize it’s GUARANTEED that you will be misunderstood (don’t worry about it happening, just KNOW it’s gonna happen)
  • fear doesn’t respond to reason and logic so it can go fuck itself
  • your ignorance WILL be exposed when you write
  • listen to fear, but don’t let it be your editor
  • start writing crap, something might come of it
  • if you’re drawn to writing, there’s a reason
  • stop trying to be so fucking profound, just tell the truth
  • hang out in the mess, get some humility
  • few things are timeless, get reckless, have fun, just write

I share these thoughts with you so you know the truth:  I’m terrified to be doing this.  I’m going to say things you don’t like.  There will be no sugar-coating of the truth here, because middle age has left me completely and totally incapable of BS.  This blog ain’t for everybody.  It’s not a how-to guide for anything, it’s more of an exercise in misery loving company.