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Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh, the Insanity!

Arms braced on the dash, my 17-year-old son turns to me with terror and bewilderment.  I know this not because I am looking at him but because his gaze is burning holes into my heart. Guilt and shame rise in me like steam in a pressure cooker.  I have just slammed into a snow bank after driving way too fast down a windy mountain road covered in snow and black ice.  I groan as the layers of foolishness flash through my thoughts and I hang my head low.

I accepted long ago my level of insanity, which is not to say I believe myself more unbalanced than my neighbor, but a little crazy nevertheless. Perhaps I should back up a moment and define insanity as I depict it here:   to knowingly and willingly do harmful or destructive things to myself or others.  Why do I make these ridiculously idiotic choices? To avoid a long psychological thesis, I will simply conclude it is part of my human condition.

Here are some observations from a single day in the life of me:

1.     Eating candy which has a momentary pleasure, but is followed immediately by muscle swelling and joint pain
2.     Cooking dinner, balancing my checkbooks, talking to a contractor, riding a stick horse and packing lunches simultaneously and all within 30 minutes
3.     Attempting to control my children’s behavior by losing my patience and screaming profanities
4.     Getting angry about choices someone else makes that do not affect me directly
5.      Not communicating needs with my husband and hoping he will “see the light” and change

What the Fox Says?!  Hello? I know things will only end badly.

In taking my own inventory, (I believe to be good and healthy while taking others - totally insane) I observe my lunacy and in that moment a light flicks on in the factory of my mind and the little plastic thingy that holds my six pack together is secured.  With little effort, I can hold all the important things together without loosing my mind. I give myself a mental hug realizing I am just fine and so is everybody else.  Tomorrow I will wake up, partake of the madness and try to remember never to take life too seriously.


Have a great day everybody!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

God Bless America
It’s Not Just for Patriots…Anymore


“WHAT THE FOX SAYS?!!”


Title and lyrics to the incredibly irritating song by Ylvis?, I only wish. This colorful outcry comes out of the mouth of my pretty sweet and not so innocent daughter of four.  I often wonder the fate of my little girl surrounded by three teenage brothers and two over zealous parents in her formative years.  No, this is Alaya’s creative use of profanity.

When I was a young mother of my three boys, I believed it was my job to raise good boys in a bad world; I protected their eyes and ears from all things I deemed inappropriate.  My heros - the Proverbs 31* woman and June Cleaver, so it came as quite a shock when I heard my 3 year old youngest son belt out, “JACKASS!” from the other room.  I did not know whether to laugh hysterically or wash his mouth out with soap.  Unfortunately, I chose the former and fought his abbreviated use of the word for two years, the inventive little “Jack”.

Beginning with my divorce over 8 years ago, I embraced the use of an uninspired, yet powerful vocabulary. Bottled up emotions erupted like volcanoes spewing fire and lava onto anyone and everyone within range. It felt a bit like a cleansing - rather unpleasant and destructive, but out nonetheless. Since then, I have sought better methods of dealing with stress and powerful emotions.

At least one morning a week I perform Yoga by Hemalayaa; I release tensions by making loud animal sounds and flapping my arms like an enchanted tree.  My boys are sure there is something very wrong with me and struggled to manage their own embarrassment. J

Another philosophical technique is to observe the behavior without judgment.  For instance, Laido and I were driving in the Rocky Mountains on a weekend get-a-way without the children this past fall.  As we drove the snowy mountain roads, we were suddenly overtaken by Tourette’s Syndrome.  Every four letter, rotten, disgusting and inappropriate word burst forth from deep inside our guts…then we looked up more in the Urban Dictionary.  We yelled our profanities out the open windows while tiny snowflakes melted into tears of laughter rolling back into our frosted hair. True story, except for the hair part with Laido, he has none.

Lastly, in an effort to bring more positive, loving words to my profuse list of profanity, I have adopted my husband’s unique brand of releasing frustration; so next time I lock my keys in the car or smack my elbow on a wall corner while vacuuming, you may now hear, “GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

Love & light to you all now and always,
Jody



*From the Book of Proverbs in the Bible

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Forty:
A term used to express poor ability in aspects such as balance or speed or agility in the real world… ud (Urban Dictionary)

My life is coming to an end. My days are indeed numbered.  In fact, I will have breathed 14,600 days (that is approximately 252,288,021 inhalations – yes, I am counting) on February 5 of this year.  It all seems so slow.  It has taken me forever, well 40 years, to get here and now the media tells me I will begin to slow down and my mind and body will not be as sharp? My teenage children question my mental acuity, methods and even my physical strength.  I suppose I should listen as they are blessed with a higher, all knowing power in this precious decade of omniscience; still I have not embraced the idea that I am slowing down in any way or that my body has begun to make irreversible changes without my permission.  What is with my aching joints and two day hangovers after a little wine?  Balance, especially mental balance, I see; my brain and emotions fly all over the map at any given moment, but I am not entitled to a little insanity after living 40 years on this crazy planet?  Plus, it’s fun.

Today I had a colorful conversation with Gary at the Whole Food’s Bakery near where I live; we commiserated about raising teenage boys.  He told me he did not swear at his children. I thought, you poor man, how else do they hear you unless you speak their language? The deer in the headlights look immediately shifts to shocked disbelief, then total clarity when I throw a few bombs into the conversation.  Of course, this no longer works for me because I over did it…just a bit; must be that balance thing again.  The beautiful thing about 40 is I do not care about the judgments of store staff – now just give me a screaming toddler – I’ll fix ‘em.

I have long anticipated this milestone birthday, not unlike my 4 year old who dreams of ponies and Santa arriving to help her celebrate her special day. If only the world would revolve around me like it does for my daughter for five minutes.  I imagined myself financially secure, knowledgeable, patient and ready to begin the rest of my life. My life is not how I envisioned it, not even close, yet I have to say it is good – really good. The skeletons in the closets removed while the stories and memories, both positive and negative, collect on the shelves.  Spills and clutter of daily life cover my floor, but now, more often than not, I lovingly accept. I understand the mess as part of the dirt in the garden of my life – entirely necessary and good.

At 40, I am no longer Grody Jody. The child in me still exists, but now I have options.  I can scream, cry, be sensitive, understanding, wise or throw things at any given moment. I find it a bit strange, but friends, family, clients, random people in stores have always called me Kiddo.  Most bear no relation to one another, it is just the name I am given.  Fortunately, I find it endearing.  I wonder how long I will hold the name after 40?
 
Memories pop into my mind like popcorn in the movie of my life, but as I watch the show, the person in the film is no longer me; certainly part of me, but mature and complex like a good Scotch Whiskey. The best thing about being 40 is as my youth passes away, I feel like I get to start over again only this time, I have a secret decoder ring and super powers I lacked as a kid.  Now I am unstoppable! By the way, has anyone ever see the movie, The Incredibles?  The mom’s super powers of elasticity is totally awesome.  Who thought of that?  Probably someone over 40.

In my dreams, I am a super writer. Contemplating what I want to say is interesting, but how I want to say it is infinitely more amusing. In a moment of temporary brilliance, or perhaps weirdness, I discovered the perfect idea:  Funny + Profound = PROFANITY.  Look for it in the next blog post in 2 weeks.

Have a great week and visit me again soon.

Jody


p.s. Gary just left for the day from Whole Foods where I am writing.  He knows my name.  Guess what he said? Good Night Kiddo. Must be on my forehead.