Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Very Loud Very Crowded Week

YOU ALL ARE HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, TERRIBLE CHILDREN!

I've said that more than once this week. Kid 2 is home on leave from his new Navy duty station so all six kids are together for the first time since Christmas.

It's been a week of picking on each other, instigating trouble, inappropriate jokes, extremely loud video game playing, moving back and forth between bedrooms, all ganging up on me for fun and other obnoxious behavior.

I absolutely love it and have been smiling all week.

It's really interesting to watch them interact with each other knowing their time is limited. To see how although they are all mostly young adults now, they still revert to child-like sibling rivalry. They really are growing up yet they are strongly bonded together.

My hope is that someday they will all be grown and independent, yet still gather together at my house to make a mess and make me crazy.

That will be my definition of a parenting success.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quit Writing? Never

June’s IWSG Day Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I've taken many breaks in my writing.

Short breaks. Long breaks. Intentional breaks. Life got in the way breaks. And lots of just plain lazy breaks.

But I really don't recall ever thinking I quit.

Have I ever been discouraged in my writing? Sure. Do I go through periods of wild creativity followed by absolute nothingness. Yep.

But quit writing? How would I even do that?

Writing is just a part of who I am. Even if no one else reads it, I need to get the words out. This blog has saved me more than once.

I've said it many times before -- writing is how I get the crazy out.

I will always write in some way. I will never quit writing.


This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them.





Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Have I Done? It's A Half Marathon

Friend: Hey we should run the St Jude Half Marathon this year!
Me: Yeah that would be fun!
Friend: OK I signed us up. We need to make a training plan.
Me: What? You were serious? Shit

So, yes, it's official. I am committed to the famous St Jude Half Marathon happening December 2, 2017.

My current training plan consists of:

  1. Ignoring the fact I've never run/walked more than a 5K
  2. Ignoring the fact that in the past 4 years I've had knee surgery and within the past 6 months a broken foot and multiple torn tendons and ligaments in that foot
  3. Repeatedly checking the calendar to count the number of available training weeks between now and December 2 (25 weeks that also include one week I will be out of town)
  4. Completed no extra walking except to sustain life and work obligations. For real. I haven't even met my FitBit step goal one time this week
  5. Intentionally not advertised my commitment all over social media the way the rest of my half marathon friends have done
  6. Adamantly remind everyone that does know I have registered, paid for and committed to the half marathon that I will in fact be walking the vast majority of the race

My hope is I will look like this:


And finish like this:



My fear is it will end up more like this:

As of now my goals are simple:
  1. Complete adequate and appropriate training 
  2. Stay injury free
  3. Stay motivated
  4. Finish the race without being last or having the trolley pick me up to get me to the finish line
It's only 13.1 miles. No big deal. Right?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Step Count Too Low & Calorie Count Too High

I'm in another hotel room tonight, this time somewhere in Georgia. The kids aren't sleeping,  they are downstairs in the hotel pool.

I am sitting on the bed with a whole apple pie and a slice of french silk pie. I'll save the apple pie for the kids but that french silk is all mine.

Fields family vacations are usually active vacations with lots of hiking, swimming, etc. We did do a lot of walking this trip and we spent the day yesterday on the beach playing in the waves. But we have also spent A LOT of time in the car.

We have eaten every meal out this trip. Aside from being very costly financially, I'm sure it is costing me calorie wise.

But you know what? IDGAF

It's vacation. I'm living my life.

My FitBit hasn't buzzed with my step goal one day this trip. (I didn't wear it the day at the beach). I haven't even checked my standing on the weekly challenge.

Again. I don't care.

Earlier today I got a text from one of my personal training clients telling me her dad bought donuts and she was struggling not to eat one. I told her eat the freaking donut! Eat the donut and then go for a walk or something. Just don't eat them all.

You have to live your life.

When we get back home this week I will get back on track. More vegetables and more steps.

But tonight, tonight I'm eating pie.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Well Deserved Vacation and A Much Needed Reassurance

I'm writing this from a hotel bed in Charleston, South Carolina. On each of the double beds are kids 4, 5 and 6 all half asleep and more than half sunburned.

We are wore out from our quick weekend vacation/graduation to Charleston to see Kid 2 graduate Naval Nuclear Engineering School.

Side note: This graduation is a BIG deal! The fail/drop out rate for nuclear engineering is some crazy high number but MY KID MADE IT!

Since the divorce five years ago -- and I can't believe it's actually been five years already -- family vacations have been few and far between. These past couple years vacations were actually trips to see Kid 2 graduate Navy boot camp and Kid 3 graduate Army boot camp.

These vacations / graduations have also been funded and supported with the generosity and help of my dad, the kids grandfather.

Today we spent the day at the beach. We parked our toes in the sand a little before 8am and didn't leave until 2pm. It was a tiring, long, hot and fabulous day.

I needed this day. My family needed a day like this.

A day to "vacation like other families", a day to swim and laugh and play before Kid 2 moves on to his next duty station and we probably won't see him for a while.

As we were jumping through the waves today, Kid 2 and I got to talking about the old days. The days of real family vacations spent in beach side hotels. Vacations where budget were much looser and vacation days much longer than a weekend. Vacations where there was a dad in the picture.

But, much to my relief, they weren't sad or bitter memories. We reminisced about the good times and were finally able to laugh at the bad times. When the memory of a good time turned to a memory of it being ruined by their dad's alcoholism or anger, we didn't dwell in that bad moment. We acknowledged it and moved on.

I hope this is a sign of not only recovery for my kids and myself, but also that those bad times haven't damaged us all too bad.

Make no mistake, damage was done. Alcoholism, addiction and anger always damage everyone around them.

But, maybe, at least I hope, that the damage is healing and we are moving forward. Happier and healthier.





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Helping vs Enabling

I was speaking with an old friend the other day and I casually mentioned I was helping out Kid 2 with some phone calls to potential rental homes for he and his friends. Admittedly, I made a joke out of it. Something along the lines of "my grown ass Naval nuclear engineer needs his mommy's help".

My friend said, "you know you're an enabler."

My response was fuck off. Well that was my response in my head. What I wrote was "well duh."

This friend was around during the worst of my marriage to an alcoholic. He saw the damage it did. He saw the hell I was put through.

Or rather, he chose not to see all that.  It was all right out there for the world to see, but funny, how "friends" who, after the fact, tell you how sorry they are, don't step up during the bad times and say anything or offer to help.

But, that was then.

As I thought more about it, I thought no, this really isn't enabling. Any of us who have lived with a loved ones addiction get real good at enabling. We might not recognize it or admit it right away. But we know it and we do it.

Until we know it and we don't do it.

Enabling = a young man who sleeps all day, plays video games, gets drunk/ high and can't find the time to make calls on his own so you do it for him.

Helping = a young man who is about to graduate nuclear engineer school is studying for final exams and doesn't have access to his phone until later in the day when most rental agencies are closed so I make a few simple phone calls for him

BIG difference.

But that enabling term gets thrown around, not in a helpful way, but in a way to let us know we are being judged. We're wrong. We are weak.

To that I say, fuck you.

Walk a mile in my shoes. Spend years living with an alcoholic husband and then fighting for a drug addicted son. Get to the point you will do anything, anything at all, to make the addiction go away. Finally find a place of peace in your life, your child is healthy, you - dare you say it - are finally happy.

Imply I'm weak and I'll remind you how strong I have had to be.

I can't promise I'll never enable anyone again. But I can promise I'll never not help my children when they need it.




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Just Remembered What I Forgot

Or...

I Finally Realized Why I Haven't Been Writing Lately

And it's not laziness!

Well, not just laziness.

I am maxed out on personal training clients at work right now and my empath tendencies are in overdrive. I am worn out from putting all my energy into helping other people that I don't have enough left over energy for myself.

I love my personal training clients and all my class members. I truly do. But I also genuinely care about them. So when they are hurting, I am hurting. When they are struggling, I am struggling to help them. My job, both when training, teaching and as a wellness coordinator is a sort of cheerleader. I need to smile and encourage everyone all day long.

All. Day. Long.

Factor in I often work split shifts, usually 8-2 and then again 4-8, and they make for long days.

So I'm more than a little tired by the time I get home at night.

Well duh. I go through this periodically.

Work a lot - write hardly at all.

Work a little - write like crazy.

It's a crappy balancing act with no balance at all.

It's good that I'm working a lot right now. I need to keep that up. But I also need to balance it out with some self care and some me time. Which, of course, includes writing. I know if I look back through this blog I have written many times about that delicate balancing act.

And, after all this time, I still haven't figured it out.

Yet.




This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them.