2020-10-23 Just Another Friday Soapbox about the End Times

The biggest news of the day is the cold temps. 35 now and headed straight for a hard freeze over night tonight. On one hand that’s rotten as all the annuals including the veggies will be done done. But, I’m not too terribly upset, you know, having neglected that garden for so long this growing season already.

The hard freeze also means I’ll get some relief from my seasonal allergies which had a real hex on me this year. The “Jumanji” year, according to my daughter. On December 31st when the ball drops we’ll all say Jumanji 3 times and be released from this hazardous game. If only.

When she said that I had to admit I’ve never seen any of those movies. Neither the original nor the reboots. Might be something to add to my list. Yeah, that list of movies that people say “wow, you have to see that” and I just shrug. Who has time for that?! 🤷‍♀️

I guess all the variations of terrible occurrences that have been prevalent in 2020 are reminiscent of some twisted game people are stuck in. She didn’t go into a ton of detail explaining, but I get it. The world is in ruin. It’s every person for themselves.

What I did make time for to watch this week was the Netflix documentary “Social Dilemma” that’s a cross between explanation of what goes on behind the scenes at the big tech companies, interviews with people in the know, and a dramatization of a family torn by their addictions to their devices.

The whole thing was disturbing. It makes me want to delete all the apps off my phone. And I’m not even a big user of the social media apps. Neither are my kids thank goodness. C hates that crap and refuses to create accounts. Z has insta, and Snapchat and FB but does not use them much. She uses Discord mostly which is kind of a gamer platform. But all platforms are subject to the same issues.

The sick part of the underbelly of the internet is that it’s not just social media. Data is out there on everyone. Just googling something builds a profile on a person and the information you are “served” is tailored based on that and your geographic location among other things.

We can’t seem to get our act together on healthcare reform in this country enough to make small improvements yet we can feed people information enough to sway elections. That’s disturbing.

And it’s not just the US, it’s global. The real pandemic. More of a threat than any virus that threatens to decimate our population. The internet is destroying the fabric of our societies. Using our humanity against us. We’re reduced to being “users.” Pawns to be played to some agenda that’s not visible to us.

It’s bigger than serving up adds or click bait to get consumers to purchase goods. It’s feeding information that is tailored to keep you clicking. Like a mindless lemming.

I think back to a few months ago when I watched the Ted Kazinski documentary and can’t help but glean a connection. I can’t help but think that Ted’s not wrong. He may have been mad, and amoral but some of his ideas are spot on.

Then I think about that day in May when I was so beat down with bad news of the pandemic and heard a news story that with all the shut-downs and shelter in place orders, the emissions recorded had dropped to the lowest they had been in a long time. And that felt like a silver lining.

Humans can’t get their act together to turn things around with climate change so Mother Nature is doing it for us. Unleashing a pandemic on us.

Where’s Thanos when you need him?

Too far??!! Yeah. Probably.

In any case my brain can’t help but see these connections everywhere. And want to make some changes in my life. Starting with my electronic device. And my kids’ and also having more conversations with them about what the merits are of being a good human, and citizen, and understanding that moderation is key in a lot of indulgences.

Screen time and Participating in social media are just two things. There’s also a need to fact check and not blindly believe what you read.

Anyway. Enough of that soap box. I’m out of time and need to get on with my day and doing what needs doing before that hard freeze.

Good riddance seasonal allergies!

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-20 I Just Can’t Today

I stare down at the glow of the screen of my SE, Evernote open with the date typed into the title. Just the date. I’ve been told I’m a good titler. Yeah, lots of years of practice. But today I’m at a loss. How on earth does one sum up the aching heart that comes from a child that’s hurting who you can’t help.

My Z called me late last night. Late like 1am. She’s crying and needs to talk. Again. She’s depressed, and feeling lost and alone. She’s burdened by the isolation she’s been in, for a lot longer than this pandemic and it’s getting worse. One by one her lifelines have been cut.

Her HS friends broke her heart by abandoning her. Throwing away her friendship like it meant nothing. And she does not have many friends and is so shy she doesn’t make new friends easily. She literally has no one her age to talk to, to laugh with, to love.

With the lack of school friends, she turned to the internet and found a few kindred spirits there. Believe me, as a parent I’m leery of this, but I’ve been watching and know for a fact these girls are legit. I also know she needed these people. People need people.

Her best friend is Alex who lives in California. The other two are in North Carolina and Australia. Yeah, that’s the power of the internet. But the two edges of that sword are that it is easy to communicate but also easy to stop. Alex was her lifeline when her best friend in real life dumped her. Z was devastated and Alex was there, all night long and in the weeks to follow, keeping her company. Day and night.

Now Alex is starting to become unavailable. Being unresponsive on discord and there’s no explanation.

We moved Z into the dorm at UNL in August and found pretty quickly that she was better off here. She’s been coming home every Friday and staying through Tuesday or Wednesday the following week. She does all her coursework online and has a rare in-person interaction for her classes.

The isolation there is worse. There are no clubs or activities (far as I’m aware) and no meetups in the dorms. It’s all shut down because of the pandemic, There are literally no opportunities there to meet people. And not a lot here at home either.

It’s heartbreaking to hear her cry at 1am (she spent the night at her dads house) and know I can’t comfort her outside of being there to listen. I told her she can come home today. We can spend some more time together, and then I pulled up a blanket in the recliner I had snuck off to to take her call, and we talked for an hour.

I let her know I was here for her and listening. And lamented with her about how this pandemic has just fucked everything up. All our plans. Our vacations and graduations and her freshman year.

And as if that was not enough, she also drops a bomb.. her dads parents, her grandparents have the virus. This is devastating news. They are already high risk because of their age (in their 70s) but it’s worse because they are also both diabetic and her grandpa has a long history with heart disease.

She said her dad told them at dinner and that they were not doing well. They are apparently still at home, resisting going to get help. Not sure why that would be. If it’s true (which is a terrible thing for me to say) this could be the event that breaks both of my children.

Hell, it just might break me too. They were my mom and dad for 18 years of my life. That whole family was a sacrifice I had to make to get out of a bad situation. But now is not the time for that. Now is a time I need to be strong for my children. At the very least be there for them if bad turns into worse.

I just texted my ex. And I’m just walking and crying. How on earth can we get through this? The Universe help me. I’m feeling pretty lost too.

I’m just tired, you know, of trying to smooth everything over and keep on being reliable and responsible. Thank goodness that I am done working or I might just go seriously off the rails. But I gotta keep it together for Z and C and Jim. Just put all my energy into them and myself. You know, secure your own oxygen mask first.

I took Z to vote yesterday and to renew her drivers license. My main motivation for voting early, besides avoiding the crowds on November 2nd, was so I could maybe drive to Austin for Election Day. Another getaway for my sanity I suppose. And because I miss my people. Now Z and I are conspiring to go together. Which I believe she needs as much as I do.

But we’ll be in a holding pattern until we know her grandparents are going to be ok. Which they might not be and I would not want us to be 1000 miles away when bad news falls.

It’s like 2 hours later. I had to take a call from my ex which turned into a long conversation. About Z and C and his parents. It was an ok chat, which is the best I can hope for with that one. He thinks Z needs to see a counselor and or be on meds for depression. Maybe.

What she needs first is a job and some activities and people to keep her busy. I mean, what she really needs is for the pandemic to end but it’s a waste to wish for that kind of change in the world.

Her grandma is doing ok. She’s a tough woman and a fighter. And her grandpa is a fighter too, but he’s been fighting diabetes for 60 years and CHF for over ten. And that’s not good.

My ex tells me they were told not to come to the hospital unless they could not breathe. There are no ICU beds. Beds and vents are in short supply. They are in Iowa, across the river. But I hear that’s happening here in Omaha too.

They think they picked up the virus at a funeral. For someone who died from Covid. And someone at the funeral was positive. Now a bunch of the family has it. Aunts, uncles. My ex did not go because he was feeling ill himself that day and felt it would be irresponsible to go. The most reasonable thing I’ve heard him say in a long time.

He thought about not telling the kids. But decided that if the outcome is not good, they would be really mad if he had not told them sooner. That was another good call. People need time to process information.

I need time too.

Anyway. I’m just worn thin and wonder how today will play out and tomorrow.
And the day after that.

Maybe I need a counselor too.

I guess that’s enough doom and gloom for one day.

Taking it one damn minute at a time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-16 My Morning Commute 🌅

My daily morning drive is less of a commute than it is a taxi service. I know some people think that my son (16 years old since last May) should have his license by now. And perhaps be driving himself to school. That it would be less of a burden on me or time I could be doing other things. It’s about 1 hour round trip, twice each school day.

That adds up to ten hours a week. And yeah, I suppose I could be doing other things, but I rather enjoy the break. It’s an easy cruise and the traffic in Omaha is not that bad. Sometimes I even get the opportunity to chat with my son, just the two of us. Which is valuable. It’s tough for a mom to connect with her teenage son. Can I get a thumbs up on that one??

Most of the time, however, he’s using the drive to get into his own zone of relaxation. In the mornings I think he sometimes even falls back asleep. That’s ok. I like to have quiet time for reflection too.

The bonus plan these days is that the timing for sunrise coincides exactly with our morning drive. A few days this week it’s been almost completely dark when I leave. And when I arrive home the sun is up and the sky is bright. What I find, in between, is different each day.

Today the sunrise was the most intense I’ve witnessed in a while. Deep pink laced with orange as the light of the sun, not yet showing itself on the horizon lit up a sky full of clouds. So much definition and dimension that the pictures I captured look almost 3D. Amazing!

The view of the sky transformed with lighter shades of those same hues as I made my way to the school. From the entrance ramp for West Dodge Expressway, to the on-ramp of 680, to the big curve as the interstate turns into I-80 east, the it was a kaleidoscope of dazzling color changes.

During the long stretch on southbound 84th street is when the sun finally appeared. The horizon on that part of the drive isn’t really visible, but I could still see the color through the houses, businesses, and trees.

By the time I got to the school, the color had all but been replaced by the hues of blue and white that will likely persist all day.

I go different routes to get home all the time. Today was 84th to Q Street West, which I did on purpose cuz it’s Friday and I was in the mood to treat myself with a vanilla latte from Dunkin’. Large today as I was redeeming my free beverage reward earned from moneys spent on past lattes.

That sweet treat is now waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Gotta get my treadmill time in before I can truly enjoy that reward.

It’s fascinating how some days I’m so down on myself for not being productive enough and other days I feel great about what I’ve accomplished. Makes me think that every fleeting feeling is just a mirage in the desert sands of time.

Fleeting as the colors of the sunrise.

In 6 short hours I’ll make the return trip to pick my son up from school and I look forward to that.

Just as I also look forward to our Friday night, and the weekend. We don’t have
a ton of plans and that’s a nice contrast to the long drives we did last weekend.

Perhaps I’ll crack one of the books in my ever growing stack. Perhaps I’ll be inspired and do some creating. Perhaps I’ll finally get around to opening the mail and paying my bills. Or not. 😜

That’s just my MO. Always pushing the envelope on how long I can procrastinate the adulting.

On that note, my time is up.

Peace, love, and vanilla lattes,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Yes, I did take these pictures while I was driving. Yes, probably not the smartest thing to do. But just look!! Can you blame me??!

2020-10-15 If I’m Being Honest…

I might as well be painfully honest. **Spoiler alert.. Rant city, dead ahead in 30 seconds.

I have not had one of these in a while, but no matter how good life is, it is bound to happen. And the longer I hold the angst inside, the worse it will be when it comes out. And I want to be true to myself and my feelings. And it IS just past midnight and I’m awake with these god-damned thoughts so I might as well. 

First. I’m so fucking sick of politics. Nobody is going to change anybody’s mind so shut up and vote already and move along. We can’t change what happened four years ago and we can’t change what’s going to happen a few weeks from now. It’s bad enough that there are NO GOOD OPTIONS. As an American citizen I’m sick of having no good options. And it does not matter what happens anyway because the ship is too big and heavy to make any course correction that will matter to the individual citizen. Good grief. 
But that’s not what is keeping me from sleeping. 

Secondly. I just found out a few days ago that my final residency for my MFA will be  conducted in virtual format. I was given the option to defer last time, and crossed my fingers and eyes and held my breath but it did me no good. I could stomp my foot and cry about it but that would do me no good either. But it might make me feel better to stomp my foot and cry about it, so consider this pathetic paragraph my version of that. 
I get to graduate on Zoom. Fuck that. Just flipping forget about it already. I’ll just take that piece of paper that I spent 40K of my savings account on and disappear back into the fog of insignificance from whence I came. 
But that’s not what is keeping me from sleeping. 

Thirdly. It’s just past midnight and I’m awake writing this. And that sucks. I want desperately to get a good night sleep. I went to bed at 9:15, exhausted, and with high hopes of getting 8 full hours. When I woke at like 11:15 I thought it might be like 3 or 4 or 5am, but nope, it was 11.  I took some pill to help me get back to sleep, and that might kick in any minute now so if I start slurring my words, that’s why. Also my son was still awake and I was frustrated to find his light on and computer on as well. I’m being honest. I just don’t want to deal with it. 

I … just … don’t. But, yes, you guessed it. That is also not what is keeping me awake right now. Well right now it’s the typing keeping me awake but what was it at 11:20, 11:25, 11:30, 11:35, 11:40, 11:45 that was tossing in my head and preventing me from falling back asleep naturally? Stuff with the lit mag. 

Kate was right when she said it’s all work and that people suck. That is what I appreciate about Kate. It is that she is honest. And direct. And I question my own motives with starting this little project and I wonder how much I have in me to continue if it is going to be this way. What is THIS WAY?? 
“This way”, is constantly dealing with situations which give rise to angst in my chest. I just want everything to be smooth. For people to be pleased with their experience with “us”, and frankly, to not feel like I’m lying when I say I’m pleased with my own experience. I’m not sure it’s possible. Start-ups are hard. People are complicated. You can’t please everyone. And what makes all of this more difficult is that I have to rely on another person who, for whatever reason, doesn’t do what they say they are going to do and / or if they do, I’m not aware of it. 

We’re nine months in and it can’t be a fluke as it has happened too many times. The (now) classic volunteering to handle something and then just not doing it. I mean, maybe his is doing those things, but has learned by now (because I have asked countless times that he CC me on communications) that he tells me he will CC me, but then doesn’t. Then I’m stuck. I can’t send the communication because I don’t know if he has already done it. And I can’t let it go because it’s probably something that needs to be done. 
By the way, most communication is ineffective if not done in a timely fashion, so sitting on something for weeks and weeks makes everyone look bad. 

Take yesterday for example. We meet as planned at around 5PM and of the many things discussed, were three different agenda items which require communication. 1) Follow Up with potential script writing editors. 2) Follow up with a person who’s fiction stories we will be publishing with the next issue. 3) Inquiry with a different individual to see if they are interested in being a guest editor/ judge for a future contest we are planning. (Not to mention the countless other ideas we brainstormed about on how to increase the number of quality submissions we get). 

Set aside #3, because that can wait. Perhaps even #1 can wait another week with no ill repercussions. But #2?! That should have gone out Monday as far as I am concerned. So here we are Wednesday (tip-toes into Thursday) and he say’s he’ll do it but didn’t. “I’ll go home right now and do all those and CC you on them.” Direct efffffing quote. I want to trust him. I finish out my evening. I go to bed early, so hopeful, and then wake at 11:20 and check my email and there’s nothing new in my in-box. Grrrrrr. 

So that’s it. That’s what is at the heart of the matter and eating my brains. 
Hopefully the meds I took will put me back to sleep and I’ll wake with a clear head and have regained my composure. I hate that these things affect me so. I’ve even considered just trying to let it go, and let him be the kind of leader he wants to be and help where I can but go off and do my own thing. But that’s not really an option at this point. I’m too personally invested in this. Ugh!! 

I’m just tired. I’m just needing sleep. I’m just….  being honest. 
It’s now almost 1am and I need to get back in bed. Thanks for the therapy session.

Big Yawn,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-04 On Days Like Today

On days like today I’m reminded how my son never wants to go outside. He resists it each and every time that I’ve suggested it, reliable as day turning to night as the sun slides down the sky. It always frustrates me because the outdoors has so much to offer. I ask myself as much as I ask him “why would anyone refuse it?”

The breeze and the sun.
The joy of stopping a fast moving soccer ball before it hits your opponents goal.
The mysticism in breath turning into fog on a cold morning.
The bounty of squirrels and birds busy with their own intentions.
That same cat that comes slinking around the porch at dusk that always makes you wonder if it is going, away from home or towards it. It must have a home right? You think about putting out a bowl of food or water.
And trees. Trees! So many different stories waiting to unfold there in the shade. Or perhaps just a good nap.
Have you ever slept outside?
You really can’t say you have lived unless you’ve slept outside. Exposed and open to every sound. Every star in the sky whispering the dreams they had on the way to greet you in the night. Their big plans for the future.

But he always says “no.”
Tells me he’s in the middle of something or has some excuse or another why not. Too cold. Too hot. Too tired. Too busy.

I try my best to be a good mother and so press a little harder. Coax with promises of fun. Press with my well rehearsed speech about living a balanced life and how important it is. He remains unimpressed. Sometimes he’s looking me in the eye and other times his back is turned.

Sometimes I let it go. And other times I conjure ultimatums. I push to the point he really has no choice. He follows me out the door, slumped shouldered and angry. I can feel his eyes burning the back of my head.

A half an hour later we are speaking to each other in British accents and laughing. We could be walking the block or, if we’re really lucky there’s a snow covered hill and we have our sled disks with us and we can get a rush from sliding down backwards. Maybe we carry our tennis rackets to the court to volley for a bit or, if it’s a hot day, we might sit by the side of the pool with our feet dipped in.

At least I imagine that’s how it would be if he followed me outside. Each and every time I’ve convinced him, he tries hard to resist letting it show that he’s having a good time until finally he gives in. He says something outrageous and I reply with “bloody hell!”

I know it is in his nature to resist but I also know, that even if he will refuse to admit it, these are the good times we’ll both remember. That he had fun when he finally gave in.

Today, for whatever reason, I was resisting my own plan to spend the day outside. Grumbling at myself as I rolled out of bed that I had promised my Sunday to the Sunshine. With no good reason why.

On days like today I need to remember how wonderful life can be, if we just open the doors and let it breathe.

It was a good day; a satisfying day. And I got to meet the grandmother chinquapin oak tree, not too far off the beaten path. Jack says the tree predates white man being in the area. That means that the tree is older than my heritage in America. That’s an old tree.

I’ve got more to say about my outing today, but it did wear me out a wee bit and I’d like to just sleep on all my thoughts a little.

Perhaps there will be more tomorrow. Perhaps not.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-21 What’s the Truth Behind All the Drama

Last night I had a dream I could not shake. I mean.. I dreamt the dream and woke up multiple times and then fell back to sleep into the same scenario twice.

I’ve got a big assignment due for school. Something that’s going to take months of work and I’ve shown up to the scene empty-handed. I’ve procrastinated past the point of no return and have to ask for an extension. I ask for a day, when what I have to do can still not ever be done in a day.

I get a finger wag and stern talking to from my advisor. Her ass is on the line with this too somehow. I lie to her.

I tell her it’s almost done. That it just needs some polish. That I want it to be awesome and don’t want to wing it.

That last bit is true. I want the outcome to be a success. I really don’t want to wing it. It’s just not who I am. Or at least not who I want to be. Maybe that’s the issue my brain is struggling with. That I feel like I’m faking everything I’m at right now and not doing anything well. Ugh!

Anyway, then my advisor and I part ways and what do I do? I head straight to where the social action is instead of getting to work on my project. Why did I do that??! I was so anxious and nervous and still opted to procrastinate further.

Then I wake up and fall back asleep and it’s a day later and the stakes are higher. I’ve already asked for an extension and I can’t do that again. I’m so terrified of meeting with my advisor again who is basically one of the sweetest women I know. I’m banking on her using that sweetness to hold it together when I tell her I’m still not ready. It’s progressed past my having any control and I’m at the mercy of the Universe.

I’m crossing fingers that I’ve stacked up enough karma points to get me through this moment. My reputation is at stake and I’m positive I’m about to be called out as a fake.

After all, if you fake it till you make it, that’s what you are right??!! Just a fake?

Waking up to real life brought me some relief. I was released from any obligation to continue playing out that scene. Still, it left me laying there haunted. Why brain??… WTH??!!!

Today is my second to last Monday at my job. 8 days to go.

This morning as I was driving my son to school, which is about 50 minutes round trip. I was thinking about leaving my job and team and started to tear up. What is wrong with me? I should be happy, yet was overcome by sadness and fear of regret. This is what I want right?

I look over at my son, asleep in the passenger seat. Is he the project I’m failing at? Have I been Faking parenting him for 16 years and coming up hot at the end of his days at home and not ready.

Isn’t he the reason I’m quitting my job? And Jim and Z and our family life. Or is it so I can selfishly spend my days working on my fitness and my art. What will I choose to do with those extra hours in my day?

Will I check the Gradebook for Coop and be on his case when he starts to slip? We’re a month into school and I’ve only checked once. Epic fail.

Will I get down to work cleaning the toilets and scrubbing floors like a good Cinderella or will I just binge on Jazzercise and Electric Literature?

Time will tell.

As he got out of the car to go into the school, I felt another wave of sadness wash over me. He felt so distant as he said goodbye. I felt like I’d neglected him this weekend because we barely spoke and I was focused on work and prepping for a social gathering.

I pulled out of the parking lot and started to tear up again. Again, WTH?

Then I looked at my phone .. and tapped on my Fitbit app, swiped my finger down to refresh. Swiped my thumb up to scroll down. And there was the answer. It’s exactly 7 days till I get my period. That means prime time for the emotional swells. Mystery solved.

I continued my drive home thinking about poetry. How people won’t want my words because who wants to hear anything about spoiled white Cinderella in her broken castle? Made me think about my ex-husband, oddly enough. And the fact that he inadvertently gifted me books of material during our life together. If only I had a desire to visit that time in my life again.

But no. Like bronchitis.. ain’t nobody got time for that!

As my time today on the treadmill nears it’s end.. I toggle to my work app and see people wishing someone a happy birthday and I start to tear up again.

Yeah.. this ones gonna be a doozie!

On that note… my time is up.
Happy PMS Monday Ya’ll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-13 Moving Day and Memories

Earlier this week I took my daughter to the gynecologist for her first visit. For me, it was one responsibility in a long list of parenting checklist items. Each thing crossed off the list gets her closer to independence and being more prepared to try and navigate adulthood.

Strange to be walking into the same office I walked into 19 years ago when I was in my second trimester carrying her. My OB delivered her. Dr. Sjulin was the first person to touch my daughter as she came into this world. She was the person who reassured me she was ok as she took care of the things that happen during and after delivery that nobody ever talks about.

As far as I can tell they don’t talk about those things because the memory of them pales in comparison to the frenzy of getting a first breath from and stats on this tiny new human as quickly as possible. The rush of it expedited so she could be returned quickly and safely to the weak and incomprehensibly needy arms of her mama.

She was 6 pounds and 6 ounces and just so tiny. Her head was pink and misshaped from the trauma she’d just been through. But she was perfect. No wonder I don’t remember having stitches. No wonder I don’t remember what was said amongst the staff or anything my husband said. The world is silent in the shadow of a miracle.

In a way, taking my daughter into that office was a kind of Baton passing. Mother to daughter. All the conversation and sharing of experiences wrapped up in these steps toward her becoming an adult. It’s a lesson you want to teach your children.. to take care of their bodies and health. To be educated and to be their own advocate.

That was earlier this week. Last night I sat in her room with her with painters tape and a sharpie. I marked her moving bins and laundry baskets with her name and dorm address. I listened while she worried out loud that she has too much stuff and I tried to reassure her it would be fine.

We’ve talked about this day for a while now. Her moving into the dorm room at the university and what it would be like. I’ve reminisced about her first day of kindergarten and how all the parents were coached ahead of time to keep it together because kids are affected by their parents emotions and if you lose it, the kids will have a hard time.

I did good that day. Camera at the ready I kept my cool all the way into the classroom, seeing her grab the hand of her pre-school best friend as they sat next to each other in the circle of tiny humans. She was so excited and happy. I held my composure until I was out that door and down the hall, headed back outside the building. Interesting that the memory of that is also muted. I only remember details of her in the classroom and not much after that.

Today we’re loading all her stuff into the car and driving toward college. By the time this day is over, she will have crossed another threshold and I will once again be trusting the Universe with my precious baby. It’s hard to trust that she will be ok. It’s tough to let go.

But if there is one thing I’ve learned these past few years, it’s that we don’t have to let go. We can hold on to and cherish all these experiences of our lives. I’m not letting her go. I’m helping her enter this next phase of her life successfully.

There’s been no coaching for this day. Just advice. “Wear sunglasses” they said, so people can’t see you’ve been crying.

To that I say, I don’t care.

My daughter is cut from my cloth. She’s got her own checklist and openly admitted to crying when she drove away from her fathers house yesterday. She talked about being really sad to think about not being with her brother anymore. Which I had not considered.

Being divorced, we’re all long used to being apart for days and so I positioned her leaving for school as just a longer time away. For her though, she’s always with her brother. They may not always see eye to eye but they are always together at home, at school, in the car, and on vacation. When she said to me that being apart from her brother was making her really sad, it hit me hard.

She also worried that telling me that might hurt my feelings in some way. Yeah.. that’s MY girl! Sensitive and empathetic. Intelligent and creative. Beautiful inside and out.

I’m excited for her. Also anxious, and nervous, and sharing in her swirl of emotions. I think I’ll be able to keep it together if she does. But the moment she breaks down, it’s game over for both of us.

That’s it folks. Time to stop walking and start doing.

Cheers to Moving Day,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-30 Thursday Status Update

According to my FitBit I’m supposed to be getting my period today. I mean, it’s not 8am, but it hasn’t happened yet. I put myself in a holding pattern waiting for that sweet release, which is typically followed by a leveling of my emotions— the amplitude of the wave hovers closer to the resting point.

I’ve learned to wait for it. I’ve learned that whatever it is that makes me want to scream or cry might be irrationally inflated by my hormones. It’s actually a lesson that I’ve tried to teach my kids as well. I mean, obviously my son doesn’t have a monthly cycle, but he does have teenage hormones which can wreck havoc on the emotions. I teach that we should try to be in tune with our bodies and recognize that we can be in control of our anger and sadness and yes, even excitement.

Practically speaking, this is one of those things that’s fairly easy to talk about and teach but a lot more difficult to do in practice. I still struggle. I always have to remind myself that whatever I’m feeling is influenced, at least a little, by my hormones. This is why I was waiting for another week before revisiting the question of whether or not I should quit my job. Just a few more days and I’ll be in tip-top condition to make a clear-headed decision.

Good Gawd, I make myself out like an irrational head-case. That’s really not how it is. I mean, it’s not a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing. It’s just my wanting to not make any big decision with just a snap.

Frankly there’s also a lot of variables factoring into this equation that are outside of my control and could change at any moment. For example, if my sons school decides that the students will not be meeting in person at the school for instruction then I would almost certainly need to quit my job in order to ensure that he’s successful this year.

Last spring was a complete disaster. There is just not enough time in the day for me to work the amount of hours that are required by my job and also maintain the household and successfully manage the schooling of the children. Flat out not possible.

Pile on all the side projects and other things I want to do with my life. Pile on the lit mag, my reading and writing, exercise, and just enjoying life. Feels like a no-brainer. Still I wait.

The flip side is my lingering need for a safety net, the satisfaction I get from contributing to a project, and being a part of a team. All positives. But do the positives outweigh my need to reclaim the time I spend on work each week?

This week has actually been a good test. As it turns out my project manager has been absent all week due to emergency surgery on Monday. This has led to my needing to step up and take on some of her tasks as well as keep my own going. Needless to say I’ve put in a lot of hours this week already. Other things have suffered as a consequence. Stupid work ethic!!

Anyhow, today will be a repeat of yesterday and the day before that and of course I have to keep it up until my PM returns. And then how long after that? If the past is any indication, the forest fires will continue to pop up everywhere every week so I can’t count on some lull in the action being a good time to give my notice.

In other status update news we are a hot minute from the end of July. The end of July was my target for being free and clear of any drug that was a benzodiazepine. I’m not there yet. It’s an excruciatingly slow process and the side effects of withdrawal are not pretty. They say that everyone is affected differently so it’s hard to generalize what I am feeling as normal.

I have managed to Stabilize my dose and cut it to .25 mg per day at this point. It’s going to be difficult to cut those tiny little white pills into smaller doses so the next step is to begin skipping days completely. I did that successfully two days ago, but again the side effects are unpleasant.

Just another reason I probably shouldn’t make any rash decisions about my job until I’m finally clear of it. Maybe I can continue to do everything just fine if I can only get my health in check.🤷‍♀️

I think thats enough of a rambling update for today. I’m gonna use the few minutes I have left before starting work to actually take a shower. What a novel concept. It’s funny the things that a person can let go of it in a pandemic. Regular showers for example. Ha!!

Until Next Time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-28 ‘A’ for Effort: The Grad Party Edition

And just like that half a week goes by. When they say “if you blink, you’ll miss it,” they weren’t kidding. There’s a lot of things I could gravitate toward writing about with this 30 minute set, but probably the most relevant is closing the loop with regard to my last post. That was 5 days ago and it feels more like 5 minutes.

In it I was attempting to make myself feel better about my perceived shortcomings as a parent by reframing the negatives into positives.

This past weekend we finally.. FINALLY.. pulled off throwing my daughter a grad party. It was small but in the end the size of the attendees list did not matter as much as the effort we put into it. It doesn’t matter if we only had 10 family members over as long as we set up like it was for 50 people.

Of course I, as her mom, have been waiting for this party for a long time. I have been dreaming about it since the first day I dropped her off at kindergarten. I pulled out all of her memory books that I’ve previously spent hours and hours putting together. I captured many moments from when she was a baby and toddler and when she rolled through elementary like a mighty little boss!

Right about second grade is when I stopped doing the scrapbook thing and started just collecting memorabilia into little plastic bins. I have saved every school picture, every certificate of achievement, piece of artwork, report card, and story/assignment I could get my hands on. It’s a LOT of stuff.

Now with my procrastination there was not a lot that I could do with all of that material. Because it just takes so much time to pull it all out and put things together. But I did manage to complete one book that has all of her school pictures from kindergarten through graduation.

We also pulled out all of her larger art projects and went through everything so she could choose what things she wanted out on display. She also had her own project where she had about 92 photos from both long-ago and high school that she had printed and arranged into two larger collages.

Because of the pandemic we planned it so the party would be outside where the tables and chairs and all of the set up could be fairly socially distanced. It was sort of a last-minute scramble with invites but you know you have to pick a time. We picked 6 PM on Sunday.

As it approached we watch the forecast and saw that there was a high likelihood for rain and thunderstorms during that time. We Made a judgment call on Sunday morning and scramble again to set everything up in the garage. This meant actually cleaning out the garage and moving stuff so that there was room for everything. It was a lot of work but It turned out great!

Yes, it is disappointing that we were not able to have a lot of people over. When it was all said and done and people were leaving and we were cleaning up the garage I told her I was sorry. It’s certainly not what I had in my mind on how the event would go. I’ve attended many graduation parties over the years and really thought that we would have a huge bash. I have to let that go.

We did good. I have to focus on that.

And then blink again and shift that focus to the next phase of her life. The college years. Even as we’ve been shopping for the last couple of weeks for dorm room essentials, I remain somewhat in denial that moving day is fast approaching.

In a few short weeks we will be loading up A vehicle with all of her necessities and driving to Lincoln. A few folks have asked me how I think I’ll feel. And I just don’t know. Will it be like that first day of kindergarten when it’s tough to put on a brave face and hold back tears.

Or will it be a joyful celebration with us dancing down the hallway of her new home? At this moment I can’t predict.

At this moment I’m still entrenched in memories and a little overwhelmed with emotions over her growing up so fast. At this moment I’m looking at all the things we DID do and how far she’s come. I’m feeling proud of us and letting go of mistakes.

I really have done a fine job raising her despite many obstacles. Her future is truly bright. And I have no doubt that whatever she chooses to do, she will be successful.

That’s it. That’s my 30 and I’ve got to cut and run.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-23 Reframing Negatives Into Positives

I’m gonna go with another 30 minute set today. I’ve not got much new anyhow. How about a re-frame session?

Yesterday I had a great conversation with my friend, T, and one of the new thoughts that came out of it was the approach of taking a negative thought and reframing it into a positive. I mentioned to her that I often feel bad about not getting enough done or guilty for not spending more time with my kids. She told me about “reframing.”

Instead, think about the fact that I’ve got an 18 year old that’s successfully enrolled at a 4 year university, has goals and aspirations, and is very responsible. Think about the fact that I did that. I made that human and helped her grow and succeed.

When she said that I was like “wow.” She’s right. And when you spin it like that it, it softens the harshness of the constant angst I feel about not being able to spend more time or any residual guilt about getting a divorce.

I still remember an incident with my daughter freshman year, her first school dance and something I did which upset her to tears. She’s a shorty and when we went shopping for her dress and shoes, I bought her flats.

The day of the dance I drove her to the point she was meeting the group of friends she would be going with. They all gathered in a line for pictures and every single other girl was wearing heels. She was mortified! You can’t see it in the pictures, but she was seriously working hard to hold back her tears.

In the pictures she was at least a head shorter than any other girl. I mean, how was I to know? She was already overly sensitive about being so small and looking extremely young next to her peers. I should have known. But she was still so beautiful and that’s all a mom sees you know. I tried to minimize it, but that only made it worse.

T said Z would not even remember that. I disagreed. She said, put a note on your calendar 4 years from now to ask Z what she remembers about high school dances. That will be the test. I’m totally going to do that!

Anyhow, I need to try and reframe my current worry about unsent graduation announcements or the lack of planning around a party. The graduation never happened. I mean she’s done and she graduated, there was a virtual graduation ceremony which I sat and watched on Facebook that really only included her picture on the screen for about point five seconds. In-person graduation is set for August 2 but that is still kind of iffy at best.

We are planning a somewhat impromptu gathering of a few family members and friends this weekend. Very small, all outside, and late enough on Sunday we won’t have to do much in the way of providing food. She’ll have a few friends over and I’ll have my mom and sister. Some of Jim’s family was invited, but not sure who will show.

I know in years to come I will think about the fact that it wasn’t enough. Especially given that she had a lot of the senior experience swiped by the pandemic. But that’s no excuse really for not having done more, or at the very least sent out announcements. Yeah, I can see how I should probably try to start reframing that now, before it eats at me too much. We’ll see if I can find a way to do that.

On that note my 30 is up. Time to get to work.

Cheers to Thursday,
~Miss SugarCookie