27 February 2009

I had a epiphany. (I apparently can't spell it, but I had one).

Okay. So I'm miserable and depressed and really don't have any good reason to be. And really don't want to dwell on the misery and depression, have resolutely decided it doesn't need to define who I am no matter how pervasive it can be. I follow the school of thought that one can 'behave their way to happiness'. In my case, that behaviour might occasionally take the role of too many martinis and drooling over boys that are embarrassingly too young for me, but whatever. It felt good. Mostly.

The problem was waking up in the morning and seeing any point to the day. Same old same old. Get up. Drink coffee in attempt to de-cobweb the noggin, feed the girl, take the girl to school, read blogs that make me laugh, rack brain to come up with appropriately snarky and clever comments on said blogs, maybe do something relating to the cleanliness of my house. Maybe not. Maybe write something. Maybe not. Maybe go to the gym. Maybe not. Etc. Etc.

Not much point to my existence.


I need a point. Yeah, yeah; I'm a stay-ath-home mom, my point of existence is to make sure my daughter's existence is pleasant and loving. Okay, fine. That I can do, but it's an amorphous task. I need a point.

I need a purpose. Every day, I need to know my purpose for that day.


Not being one who is usually comfortable with making cheesy sweeping positive statements, this is going to be out of character. But, maybe it'll work. Maybe not.

Call them goals, daily affirmations, whatever New-Age Feel-good label you want.

Today my purpose is to three hole punch a 230-page manuscript.
And brush my teeth.

Good, then. Done.

26 February 2009

Where the HELL am I?

Why, oh why? Why am I NOT FUCKING SEEING any of my self-indulgent whiny bitching! I thought only myspace deleted stuff? Where is it?

24 February 2009

My alter-ego wrote no attention to the chick behind the curtain.

Catching up
Been awhile since I've bloggded. Nothing much to talk about; which seems to be epidemic here on the Myspace lately. We're all out of topics, are we? And of course, myspace blogs must be topical because, really, who wants to read someone's random stupid daily boring crap?

Haha, you do. Right? Here you go.

So, speaking of MySpace: where is everyone? Oh yeah, you're all on Facebook and Twitter. Me too. I love how I can now find all the same people and follow them somewhere else, getting different little glimpses into their lives.
Why is that? Why isn't Myspace enough anymore? I mean, really, how different are the other social networks? Twitter is basically just like the "status updates" here. Facebook is just one big comment page with a notebook attached and photo albums, right? Are we that capricious and bored that we fool ourselves into thinking that it must be waaaaayyyy more happenin' at another url?
My facebook name is Vanessa Fravel
My Twitter name is NessaLuv.
Just sayin'.

Maybe Tom should poke Rupert and remind him that the little people of the Unwashed Masses don't like to have Big Brother peeking over their shoulder. Just a thought.

I got a job, again. After my happy little four week stint as a "Holiday Cashier' at the Barnes & Noble, I was more than okay being let go, released back into the wild of non-responsiblity and relative autonomy of the housewife gig. Not bored, that's for sure. Nope. Not lonely. Not back to wearing sweats that were chosen based on smell. No, I was just fine.
So I can't really explain why I was so excited when they offered me a 1-hour-per-week position as the Story Lady. I might have yelled something like "Hell Yes!" and bought more new shoes.
It's pretty fun. I get to read a couple of books to the kids whose desperate stay-at-home parent bundles them up and trudges to the upper floor of the bookstore. We do a craft. (Toddlers with scissors; always a good time.) We read some more. I give them sugar and send them back to their glassy-eyed mums who are huddled in a semi-circle trying to remember how to have a conversation with an adult.
I have to admit: I was a little nervous about it. I'm not really "Story Lady" material, you know. But once I put the little martini shakers in their hands and taught them all how to tell the difference between the word "fuck" and the word "buggar", we got on just fine. I might have wanted to choose a book other than "My Life In Gay Porn" from the "Alternative Lifestyles" shelf, but it's a learning process. Apparently those are NOT the picture books that were expected.

What else...what else....Oh! Yeah! I almost forgot.

I wrote a book.


23 February 2009

I have so much to do today. And yet, here I sit, finding blogs to read whilst telling myself that I should read them because they're my friends and I love reading what they write and they read my crap so it's only common courtesy, right?
It's not at all about being mildly tired and not wanting to think about stuff that I have to do.
I know what I want to do; I suddenly am FED the fuck UP with my house. We live in a charming little cottage, built in 1941 with all the amenities available at that time. (read: nothing.) It's tiny. It's dampish. The basement is only half finished and we only have one bathroom. We're crammed in here, the three of us, sharing less than 1000 square feet of space with a great Dane, a Dachshund, three supremely annoying cats, and three rabbits and their cages. And shit. Lots and lots of shit. We brought a lot of this shit with us from our old house, which was twice as large. We fell in love with this little charming house and were convinced that it would be easy to live a simpler life, with less stuff.
Five years later, we are overwhelmed with stuff. Of course, it's stuff and not shit. Or has been up to now. Now it's starting to feel more like shit. Overwhelming shit. And even more overwhelming is that I've been having a hard time deciding where to start clearing shit out. Is the laundry room (where no one but I ever tread) more important to clear out than, say, the den because the laundry room's shit is actually starting to overflow and the den is just cluttered? Or do I start on the den because it's where we spend more time and other people can see it?

The mind boggles and runs circles, chasing it's tail until it's so confused it just plops down and ignores the shit to read blogs.

A drawer. That's it. I'm cleaning out a drawer today.
Baby steps.

22 February 2009

Restarting...again....I know...

...I'm lame. After the 'catastrophe' of last weekend, I allowed myself a week to wallow. Silly wallowing, selfish wallowing, destructive wallowing. I've hated every moment of it, yet it was just so...easy.

Here's the thing: it wasn't really a catastrophe. It was startling, it was a little wake up call, it was a reminder that I might not be able to be completely comfortable after all, that there's always a chance I have to put up or shut up and get the hell out. And to prepare for that, both physically and emotionally and financially.

But I've realized it could be worse. It could be SO much worse, this little life of mine. Yes, I am a lonely housewife. Yes, I took the easy road too many times and didn't end up at the destination I wanted in life. Yes, my daughter is not a perfect angel genius. Yes, my husband has demons and issues and there are things that we should get over that we can't get over.

I need to stop whining now, don't I?

Pressing the restart button. Again.

15 February 2009

Because it feels so good when I stop...

Is that why we keep doing repetitive, possibly harmful behaviors? Ones that might just fuck over everything we've worked for and attempted to acheive? Ugh. I was just about to write a whole whiny blog about how nothing bad ever happens to me, so why am I such a whiny fucking baby when--WHAM! The big bad ghost of things past reared up and bitch slapped me today. And made me realize that yes, yes indeed I DO have a great life, a life I am and should damn well be grateful for and at any moment it could all just....float away...on a wave of beer and stress and low self-esteem.

Not my own. The person on whom I depend for all my rose-colored daily existence. I bitch about him, I take him for granted, I count on him to be the one that is strong and trustworthy and solid and not flaky. And then I am painfully reminded that he's human, that he's not living the life he wanted, that he needs someone to take care of him.

I think I dropped the ball. I'm trying to unknot my stomach enough to make the decision as to whether I should pick it up. I swore I wouldn't this time. But I don't think I really thought that 'this time' would actually happen. But it did. I think I have to pick it up though. Not just because I'm in no position, realistically or financially, not to; but because he needs me to pick it up. Because it's been almost eight years since this was something I needed to worry about and I think over those years I haven't been helping him enough. Not that I think that this is my fault, but I think it might be a little my fault. I don't think I'm helping, anyway.

What happened today was his choice, I get that. And he's sorry and won't do it again. And I heard that same thing over and over for a long time. And then it was all better. And now it isn't. I don't know what to do.

13 February 2009

I am SO here right now...

So, did I ever tell you I went to therapy for a while? Actually, I was in and out of therapy a few times, but could only ever find therapists that wanted to talk about how everything that is wrong with me is my mother's fault and would I like more drugs? Not that either of those is necessarily bad. I do believe that some of my problem is my mother (which is one reason that I'm so distressed about how I interact with my daughter), and drugs would be great if I didn't overreact to them.


I wanted therapy that would actually help me. Help me stop the stupid behaviors. Great, thanks, now I know where they came from; can we do the things that will stop them now? Can we work on cutting the loop in my head now? But no, they just wanted to keep talking about my mother and all the men I'd been sleeping with.

Then I accidentally fell into the best therapist ever. And what he did was amazing. He told me to cut the bullshit. To stop acting like a selfish brat and eventually I'd stop feeling like a selfish brat. That, no matter HOW I was feeling at any given moment, I needed to behave in accordance with my own internal moral compass and do the right thing. Eliminating cognitive dissonance would help.
So, for a year or two I:
quit smoking
had sex with my husband even when I didn't want to
didn't yell at my child (mostly)
talked to people I didn't know or like

I lived in the moment. I appreciated what I was doing. I....think I mostly may have just been in a repressive fugue.

I WANTED to do it. I did. I DO. But I think now there might have been a teensy tiny need for me to be spewing some "look what my mother did to me" crap.

So now I'm back to the spewing. Can I spew and be living in the moment and appreciating life and doing the right thing, no matter how depressed I am?

I'm going to give that one more week.

Then I'm going to work on how messed up I am when it comes to time, deadlines and scheduling.

(But I did lose enough weight in the last 3 weeks to fit into my skinny jeans that a month ago I couldn't pull over my thunder thighs, and I haven't had a cigarette...until today, and that was only because I was drinking with my BFF and just wanted one. Or four. But I'm good; patch back on now!)

10 February 2009

Week 3 Am I Supposed to be This Tired?

Bleehhhhhh....Ugh. I thought going to the gym and eating right and not smoking were all supposed to magically make me feel BETTER. I allowed myself to rut for a couple of days, reading blogs, manically spitting out some crap to try to end my book, letting the laundry overflow and the bunny turds build up in the boxes. I deserved a break, right? I went to the gym three whole times last week! Come on! I should get a medal! I cleaned the whole house! Do I get a Kit Kat now?

So today I resolutely jumped out of bed (okay, not really. I'm soooo not a morning person. I ooze out of bed, squinting and wincing and turning off the lights in the rooms before I go into them. Then I sit on the futon next to the kid and watch Curious George with a cup of coffee that I wish was connected via IV to my carotid artery. No jumping.), washed my face and brushed my hair, made the kid breakfast and got her off to school WITHOUT YELLING ONCE, thank you very much, put on my sweats and tennies and folded a load of laundry and did the dishes and went to the gym. Movin' and shakin', that's me.

Now I'm beat. I was up too late last night, which usually happens after a good writers' group meeting. Great people in that group. They're all so supportive and positive about this silly little novel I'm writing, even though right now I'm writing crap. Anyway, I came home and did some emails for the group so I wouldn't forget to do them, then had to sit and drink a glass of wine and dissect EVERY critique from the group. Except for the one from the little religious lady whose only critique for me is that I shouldn't swear. I don't swear, my character does. It's a character flaw. In the character. So I was up too late. I'm sleeeepy today.

I need to go downtown for some errands, but I just don't know if it's gonna happen. I should tho. Fairly important errands; errands that a person who is trying to improve themselves wouldn't put off. Is this my week for working on my procrastination? Wait, I thought this was the week of Being Present.

Ok, then. Presently, I am going to sit my ass on the couch and read a book before picking up the girl from school.
I'll go downtown tomorrow.
And I'll experience and appreciate every moment of it.

08 February 2009

Here Comes Week 3

Wow. Well, that was certainly depressing to read, isn't it? After rereading my post from yesterday, I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut, seeing my sick perspective all laid out like that. I've decided I need to at least try. I do love my daughter, I do. And I do think she's a cool kid; she's funny and has a great memory for odd little bits of information (like her mom), looks at every angle of every situation (like her dad), is really athletic and pretty. I can accept her for whom she is (who she is? I know the who/whom rule, but then I overthink it and get all bolloxed up on it) and cheer her on for everything she does.

But I really probably ought to figure out why so many of the things she does irritate me so much.

Come to think of it, everything irritates me lately. I feel like George Costanza on that episode where he was trying to get out of doing anything by walking around at work acting all pissed off all the time. What is that? I'm just so....pissy.

I get pissy when the wiener dog want to jump up on the sofa and sit on my lap, even thought I love snuggling with him.

I get pissy when the husband leaves a glass on the counter that has a puddle of milk in the bottom, even though the rest of the counter is covered in all my detritus from the day.

I get pissy when the phone rings; I don't want to talk to anyone, that's just too much effort, even though I'm lonely. Conversely, I get pissy when I call someone and they don't answer, even though I very rarely answer my own phone, even when it's someone I really want to talk to. Just too much effort.

I get pissy when I try to find something in the laundry room, which is a certifiable disaster area. MY disaster.


Am I a bitch? Maybe. I think it's just pissiness. Or PissiNess. Hormones? Probably. My face is looking like the astrological map lately, my boobs feel bruised all the time (sorry for the TMI), so the annoying woman-issues could be doing it. Depression? Yeah, pretty sure.

I'm good at reading. I'm good at reading self-help books and getting all excited and doing the whole "Yes I CAN!!!" cheer...for a few days or weeks or months. It's the doing of the needed behaviours that is hard for me. But I try. Then...meh...things start to get all dim and dreary and pissy again. It's just so hard to be a good person sometimes. I have maintenance issues. Meds don't work on me, they make me worse and/or ill.

Okay. So, here's my little plan. I'm going to keep up with the exercise thing. I'm going to increase it to four days a week this week. Exercise helps; it's that whole endorphin release stuff. New research has also shown that smoking makes PMS worse and makes depression worse (My GOD, are they EVER going to find something GOOD about smoking, please? Just one little thing, maybe, to make me feel better about being absolutely besotted with cigarettes and nicotine?), so being off of those might help with the cheerfulness.

I don't like being pissy. It's easy, it's convenient, it gives me a sick sense of power. I don't like it. I don't want to be pissy; I grew up with a pissy mum (I know, she's all cheery now, but she's had some revelations of her own over the last 20 years) and hated how that felt. I don't want that for G, and I'm pretty sure I'm much worse than my mom ever was. So I will be present; that's it. Just present. I will enjoy--no, I will experience just this one moment. I will do my best not to knee-jerk react.
Here comes week 3. Every little moment of it.

07 February 2009

Day 12, Week 2: The Mother of all Bad Mums.

I have a daughter. Just one. We stopped with one because I knew my limitations; I'm not good with little kids, I am not the most patient of people, I'm selfish and saw how exhausted my friends who had more than one are. They never seemed happy with their children, only tired and angry all the time. I had a fantasy that with just one, we'd be so happy together, we'd be very bestest friends and do everything together. She'd love to read, wouldn't ever want to watch TV because playing with her awesome toys is so much better, she'd be able to solve complicated math and language problems and enjoy it, she'd be so creative and want to spend her days happily alone working on brilliant little projects she'd come up with. My life would be idyllic; my child would be a genius prodigy.

I think karma has decided to kick me in the ass.

She doesn't like to read. She has almost never independently sat down in front of her bookcase and started pulling out books and excitedly flipping through them. Getting her to read them is an exercise that needs earplugs. This is heartbreaking for me, the bibliophile author whose ultimate fantasy includes and endless library of books on a deserted tropical island. It also includes a yummy native man, but that's another blog.
She doesn't like to play with her toys. She wants toys; she wants everything she sees and, thanks mostly to overindulgent grandparents and a mother desperate to find something that she'll independently play with, she has two rooms overflowing with stuff. She wants more stuff, stuff that will just sit on her shelf and not get played with. She won't let her friends play with her stuff either.
She'd watch TV all day if I let her. She's not the kind of kid who can have the TV on in the background and still be playing; if it's on, she's a mesmerized veggie bump on the couch. (To be fair, I'm like that too. It's like the opposite of ADHD.)
She's cautious. Which is fine, except sometimes trying to get her to try something new is impossible. She's a watcher, and has been since she was about four months old. She has almost no exploration drive.

My kid is a boring, neurotic lump.

Don't get me wrong, I love her more than my own life. I remember in the hospital after she was born, having the sudden feeling like I would stand over her and growl at danger. That I would do anything for this silky, serenely wiggly, unfathomably lovely little being. I routinely embarrass myself by crying with pride and longing at every one of her accomplishments and performances. I was a neurotic new mum, scared for her and scared of her. I was so afraid of doing anything wrong, of having anyone think badly of my mothering skills, I think I smothered the joy out of all of it, of all of us. I spent the first two years manically finding activities for us to do, very rarely letting us just stay home and be ourselves, explore who she is.

I want nothing more than for her to be healthy and happy and content with herself.

But I seem to be having trouble accepting that her self is not what I think it should be. So I lose patience and get disappointed in her choices and responses, get impatient with the incessant "buts" and "what ifs" she can pose in any situation (my neurotic mother has instilled and nurtured the worrywort gene quite snugly in my daughter and it irritates the crap out of me with both of them). I yell. A lot. And then I hate myself, because I don't want her to grow up feeling bad about herself, not liking who she is, not knowing who she is, afraid to be brave because it might be wrong or might not be the right decision. I don't want her to someday have to blog about all her self-loathing and bad life choices.

06 February 2009

Day 11--Week 2: Those Chicks Who Put Up With Me

All right. All that other uplifting and heartfelt crap I wrote before belongs on the Domestic Goddess blog. This is the other blog. The secret blog. The painfully honest blog where I'm not trying to impress an audience, but rather get all my stifling unconscious bullshit spewed and purged from the system.

Girls rule. My girlfriends rule. I love hanging out with them and laughing and drinking and smoking and being who I really am without having to plaster a ersatz smile on my face and wax poetic about the virtues of my god-like husband and my genius child. I can say the word 'fuck' and they don't bat an eye, much less feel the need to run to their bishop with extra tithing for the month and thereafter give me a wide berth in the hallways at the kids' school. They understand that I am doofy about rabbits, love Erasure and all things British. They get that I have serious self esteem issues that press me to make a complete ass of myself trying to pick up cute boys in bars after I've had a martini or four. They brave sub-zero temperatures so I can get my nicky fix every hour on the hour, twice that if I'm drinking. They don't care that I have a fashion sense so bad it's nearly negative, that I will always wear impractical shoes, and that my living room is purple. They call me on my bullshit but love me anyway. I probably don't deserve them, but they keep coming back.

So there.

I'm tired today. Tami made me drink tequila last night, which can never lead to anything good. Tequila in my system generally leads to me doing incredibly stupid things and thinking that I am one bad motherfucker. It also makes me puke. Luckily T makes a margarita I can stomach. And Sara made me cry. Stupid Mamma Mia, anyway. I need to find my ABBA cd now.

Okay, that's about enough of the self-indulgent blogging for today. I need to fix a bad chapter full of florid language and obvious 'telling not showing' narrative. Ugh. I think I've lost my mojo on this book. Four years, 160 pages, 100K or so words and it all comes down to sweating the last two chapters. This sucks. I think reading Stephanie Meyer has thrown my voice off. Maybe I should read a few Stephen King/Richard Bachman books to restart the decent writing cells in my prefrontal cortex. They've been poisoned by LDS vampire crap.

Over and Out.

05 February 2009

Day 10--Week 2, The Gym.

Okay. Went to the gym today, for the third time this week. Feeling very smug. This is IT! I'm DOING IT! I'm kicking some ASS! Yes! I think tomorrow I'll get up an hour early and go jogging and then come home and make G a three course breakfast and do all the laundry and clean the laundry room and do all the ironing and then go to the gym and then---

Wait. Stop. Stop me right there.

This is my problem. I tend to do the "all or nothing" thing, especially when it comes to improving myself. All I usually end up improving is how tired I am, how overwhelmed I feel and how many bags of Cheetos and cigarettes I can consume in one day. Then I get all pissy with myself and revert to the rut. (Click on the word rut to see exactly what that entails). It doesn't help, at least on the 'not going to over-do it at the gym' front that I only have six weeks in which to lose 20 lbs. so that I can stand next to Tina and Becky in Tahoe and not feel like the token fat chick.

So....calmly.....non-excitedly....not spastic at all...I went to the gym today. It was swimming day, which is my reward on Thursday if I've managed to make it through at least two cardio-and-weights sessions in the week. I love swimming day; I sit in the jacuzzi for a while, I swim some laps and reset my brain by blowing bubbles, I sit in the jacuzzi, I move to the sauna, I shower and put on comfy pants. It's a nice gym day. At least, it was today. Last Thursday, not so much.

See, Wednesday is legs day. Last Wednesday was the first time I've done legs in months. And me, being me, went whole hog on the quads, hams and glutes. Curling, lunging, doing some bizarre side leg-lift off a bench thing I saw a trainer showing some chick, calf raises, all of it. Ok, so I only did one set of each, knowing the mushy consistency of my muscles at present, but still. It was a good 45 minutes of grunting and quivering and trying not to pee. Then a half hour on the elliptical. I figured I was easing in, that if I only did one set I wouldn't be sore the next day.

Buzz! Wrong! I was not just sore the next day; I was jell-o girl. My legs hurt so much, I hobbled and waddled when I had to get somewhere. Any style of locomotion that didn't cause any muscles in my legs to have to contract was my preferred method. I figured I was well due that time in the jacuzzi.

So I hobbled to the car, wincing as I lifted each dead limb into the vehicle. I hobbled into the gym, trying to take actual strides so as not to look like an ass. Hobbled to the locker room to put on my swimsuit without bending my legs, hobbled to the jacuzzi, and melted into the perfectly hot water. Did not want to get out of the hot water, even when my internal temperature gauge started to whistle and yell at me that I was too warm. Finally dragged my now overheated ass out of the jacuzzi and hobbled to the pool, trying to do a cool jump into it but mostly just falling in when my legs gave out. Bobbed up to the surface, cursing and wheezing at the cold water. Did twelve whole laps. Mostly with my arms. Yep, you heard me. 12. Almost a third of a mile. I am destined for greatness.

Today I am not sore, which tells me I can move up to doing two sets of legs. I added three laps, making it an even half-mile (almost. It's a metric-standard conversion that I refuse to try to do in my head. Or a feet-yard-mile conversion. I dunno. I suck at math. I just round it off to 30 laps in a mile and call it good).

It felt good. Am now NOT going to reward self with the rest of the daughter's Halloween candy (I know I know, I need to just throw it out already) or a cigarette. Am now going to go write at least 500 words of what I hope is non-crap.

03 February 2009

Day, uh, 8?

I think? Well, technically, it's been eight big days since I finally just got sick and tired of myself and decided to MAKE A CHANGE. Or two. Or five. But last Friday, in a fit of juvenile rebellion after dropping my daughter off for a sleepover, I fell (or jumped) off the smoke wagon and had a pack. But by Sunday, thoroughly disgusted with myself, I got back on.

Let's be very clear: I am not good at this sort of thing. AT ALL. (For more information, please click here). I like my creature comforts; I live for them. To me, nothing is better than relaxing with a glass of wine, my favorite book or TV show, and a cigarette. Nothing. I DREAM about it, I shit you not. (Mmmmmmm....cigarette....arhghlemph...). I like to sit and poop around on the internet, writing meaningless and fluffy blogs, reading meaningless and fluffy and deep and profound and witty blogs written by far braver people than I, staring at this bloody screen listening to the sound of my own brain cells implode one by one. Yep. I'm lazy. Loooooooove being lazy.

But, hey, guess what? Turns out, being lazy for two years straight lands one (well, ME) right in the middle of a house overflowing with crap and dust,a body actively trying to push the size 10 jeans off of it using only its spare tire, wheezy lungs, wrinkles and bad skin tone, a sexless marriage, and a novel that has been unfinished for too long. Yep. That's the state of my existence right now. Whole mess of crap.

So, here I go. I'm going to try. I'm going to try to do it slooooowly, but I am going to do it. I think my mistake in the past attempts has been to try to do it ALL. Right now, fix it, fix it NOW, ALL OF IT. And I just burn out.

So. Week one was the smoking thing. Which went swimmingly until Friday, so I guess Week two is also the smoking thing and the exercise thing. No pressure. Nope. Just gonna do it. Niiiiice and easy. Yup.