Tag Archives: parenting

learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

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learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

I find it interesting how things NEVER turn out the way you think they will. I feel like humans spend a lot of time anticipating things and the ease with which they will happen some strange day in the future…

As soon as I get out of school;

As soon as I get into school;

As soon as I get married;

As soon as I get divorced;

Or in my case, as soon as my kids grow up and move out.

I have a relationship history, baggage let’s say. due to the fact that I am apparently old… I have more than the average of marriages/divorces under my belt but that average was from before I was 23, I am a very different person now and like ALL OF US, with what I know now, of course I would make different choices. But then, I made some pretty grown up decisions that have somehow, made my life easier then, and decidedly more complicated now. What vexes me is that I always thought it would be easier now.

What I am finding however, is that most everyone within what I find to be a comfortable dating age range either has very young children or wants to have them. Many who approach me right out the gate make it clear they are looking for a stepmom not a partner per se (mostly the freshly divorced). It is frustrating. Not to mention, the job I have now is less than encouraging when it comes to parenting or co-parenting. I see the worst in people as it relates to parenting and children. So, there is that, too.

I could have more children; if I got a $7,500 surgery or did IVF, I have checked into it, as recently as two years ago. I have been curious about it a long time. I was even going to do surrogacy until I turned 37, which is the magic age that makes it unprofitable. I am at a point in my life, professionally, psychologically, financially, etc. that I would probably be a really good parent (not to say I wasn’t before, but hey money and education really do help.) I envy some of my friends who are just having their first. My family members, too. Meanwhile, I’m expecting grandkids any day, at the ripe old age of 38. But I really don’t think I would want more of my own; that being said…

I’ve never had kids with someone who wanted kids. I’ve never had kids when I wanted kids. I’ve never really co-parented longer than a couple years. It is all very tempting. Truly. I had my tubes tied at 21? 22? because I love kids. I just couldn’t afford more of them and without support, couldn’t parent more than the two I had, alone.

Once upon a time, I thought that would be attractive to someone. No ticking biological clock. No concerns about a pregnancy oops. No reason to use protection in a relationship. You know? Alas.

Instead, I find that really amazing connections and potential connections, are lost because of it. Sigh. Patriarchy wins again. And I didn’t even get to participate in the conversation, it was just a decision they made. (At a point in dating that had I, as a female, brought up having children, I’m sure it would have been weird…)

Men have no real shelf life when it comes to producing children.

*yes, yes, #notallmen are fertile. I know.*

But in general, if a man can find someone to get pregnant, he can until he dies.

We women, we are burdened with the choices that we have to make to raise the kids we have. We bear the main burden and decisions to keep or not keep a child. Yes, men might participate but we bear the brunt privately and publicly. We are burdened with a window of time to procreate.

We are burdened:

Be pretty. Be young. Be fertile. Be smart. Be humble. Be a feminist (but not so much that I can’t open a car door for you or be manly).

BE.

Be what I want or need in my idea of how things should be.

I wish people could communicate better, I am very upfront about not looking to have more kids or get married.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just that I am not looking for that.

There are always ways to make a family. Family isn’t always about marriage or genetic children. And hey! Technology has made all sorts of things possible. People are having children in their 60s. Men are having babies. Nature and technology can find a way.

Meh, I digress. This post wasn’t meant to be about that particular piece. But regardless, of my ability/inability to breed, navigating online dating is much more difficult than I ever imagined.

Maybe I am too hypervigilant. (*Just because I am hypervigilant doesn’t mean I am wrong… Just FYI)

Maybe I am gunshy. Maybe I don’t know the new world rules of what is appropriate now in nonorganic database dating regarding contact, texting, amounts, context. I never really “dated” before. I was married at 16. I have randomly been with other people over the years, but usually it was friends of friends or friends that I became romantically involved with. The first time I online dated, I got lucky. I ended up spending the larger part of 5 years with the first person I dated from okcupid. So, my experiences have been limited. And everyone seems to have a different idea of what “normal” is.

This dating go round, 25% have been amazing, too awesome, probably. 25% have been boring beyond belief. 25% have been aggressive and controlling. And the last 25%? Oh yeah. Sex offender. Woot. Hell of a learning curve there.

Way to go, filters.

So I will just sit here, like the memes say, and wait for mr/mrs right to break into my house, I guess. Huzzah.

Side note:

*I might have agreed with them in said conversation which never took place. Or maybe I’d have wanted to have a baby. Who knows now.

But you know, I just wanted to know they knew what it felt like to be thirsty. I didn’t want a glass of water.*

Bonus points if you get the reference. 

 

 

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Help me do good work.

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Help me do good work.

Please visit my gofundme.

 

Help JANI!

Gambling

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Gambling

Anyone who has ever been out gambling with me at a casino knows that if I do anything but play penny/nickel slots, I become quite nauseated. Regardless of how much money I have to blow, I always spend my time thinking of what I SHOULD be spending that measly 10 dollars on.

In my personal life, I find that it appears that I gamble a lot. I try to always be willing to put my money where my mouth is and am willing to lose big for the potential payout. It bites me in the ass at times (ok more often than not), but it has always worked out eventually… Even if that payout is only that I have the ability to keep playing.

Right now in my world, I am slightly gun-shy and have the potential to win big and I am fu*king scared as shit. And it is a safe bet! Comparatively speaking. I’m looking down the barrel of a more sure thing than I can remember ever experiencing…

So what is the fear from?

Is it the fear of potential loss?

Is it the fear of trusting in myself?

Is it the fear of trusting someone else?

Is it the fear of a blow to my ego if I am wrong again?

Or is it the fear of being successful?

I am not sure.

My eyes are open but I am jumping off this cliff.

Boom, bitches.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon

Dear Universe:

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Dear Universe:

Jani

123 Main St.

Somewhere, WA 12345

September 18, 2013

RE: Hoops

Dear Universe:

It has come to my attention that while I have jumped through all of your stupid damn hoops from birth through today, apparently I am still missing something… I understand adversity develops character; yet it also breeds contempt. I’ve done all the things I am “supposed” to do (married baby daddy, divorced baby daddy when he done me wrong, went to school, went back to school, got a stupid masters degree, I don’t beat my children, I’m kind and generous, stay conscientious of being positive and helping others, and so on and so on) and I still find I am constantly freaking struggling. Could you maybe back the f**k off for a second?

Now don’t get me wrong, while I am incredibly grateful for the things I have going RIGHT in my world, ie: my love, my kids, my health, my friends, my first world problems, etc.; I do not find it incredibly selfish of me to simply want enough money to make it less hard. I do not like worrying about whether I can pay for my child’s instrument rental or their school supplies or whether I will be able to wash my clothes without having to go to a laundry mat in the event that my W/D break because my landlord is raising my rent yet not continuing to provide maintenance on the appliances. I do not want to worry about if I am going to get child support to pay my car payment so I can go to said laundry mat or my invisible job or my child’s cross country meets.

Can’t I just have a break? One whole annual quarter where EVERYTHING goes RIGHT? Some breathing room would be nice.

Or maybe just a heads up or a clue to what it is I am supposed to be learning that I apparently keep missing?

K thanks.

Respectfully,

Grateful, yet over it.

oh the shame, the SHAME!

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oh the shame, the SHAME!

As this is the first year that I am independently purchasing my kid’s school supplies, clothes, and general new school year BS without the aid of my student loans, suffice it to say things are rather lean…. So I told them to go through the first week with minimal supplies and figure out what they actually need rather than me just spending asinine amounts of money on things the Manchild will lose and the Girlchild will not use and I will just purchase the needed stuff later…

The Girlchild apparently made an editorial comment about this at a friend’s house so the friend’s mom bought her some supplies. DOH!

Way to make me feel like shite. YAY!

So I texted the girl’s mom to tell her thank you and explain my thought process rather than letting her think I was just a poor muthatrucka…I don’t think she believed me.

Then, as I am now an indentured servant with $23478398475845 in student loan debt to Sallie Mae (and considering the fact that my beautiful paid off car was accidentally killed because I forgot about the &*^*^%^* timing belt which caused me to need to buy a new car and have a car payment)…. I have NO effing expendable cash…. So I am down to using credit cards to buy groceries. Yay.

I go to Winco to buy groceries, spend an hour shopping, unloading, ringing up, and DOH!

Winco doesn’t take credit cards.

The shame, the shame.

F**k me.

Someday I will have a really awesome job with a really awesome salary. Until then, I am a poor muthatrucka. White person poor, but poor all the same. Relativity boys and girls, relativity.

two weeks eh? Dang.

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two weeks eh? Dang.

So maybe I have been slightly distracted by life and slowly becoming more distracted…

I hadn’t realized it had been two freaking weeks since I blogged. EEEEP….

But the return is worth it…for example:

I smile for no reason and when no one is there to observe it;

I’m busy as hell between FT work, kids, new friends, old friends, my lovely new boyfriend, etc;

I am running in the run for your lives event tomorrow (my second year!);

I’m also trying to figure out how to cut costs and make extra money….. if you have legal ideas, hit me up cause at this point I am thinking commune….;

My fantasy football draft is tonight *fingers crossed*;

My kids are amazing and responsible and I can do things without a babysitter and they don’t throw rocking parties (YESSSSSSSS)…;

My student loans are arranged to start next week and be $39.45 a month for the next 108 years;

I haven’t killed all of my plants;

I have been writing again, a lot… I have no idea where I find the time….

Andddddd I got to see the Silent Comedy do Fleetwood Mac and dance with said boyfriend.

What else could a woman want?

xoxo

Jani

 

 

 

What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

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What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

This is a first draft excerpt of something I am working on….

            As she walked down the sidewalk, barefoot and confused, she tried to put together the jumbled pieces of what the last few days had involved. Thoughts floated in and out of her consciousness, alternating between internal processing of the previous night and external concentration to avoid stepping on glass and goat heads in the gutter. Her feet were leathery tough from years of being barefoot, but it still took effort.

            Self-conscious, she tried to smooth down her long strawberry blond hair which probably hadn’t been brushed in a few of days. She was certain that the people in passing cars were staring at her, knowing all her deepest secrets simply by looking at her. Frustrated by her inability to recall simple details, she knew she had started out the day before with Laynie’s sunflower sandals. She was positive that she remembered taking them off in his mom’s room, but when she went back in there this morning to get them, they were no longer there.

            It was all pretty overwhelming; trying to put memories in sequence after having only just slept a few hours after not sleeping in several days. The first thing she could remember definitively from this last episode was Laynie taking her to the mall to lift some new Mossimo clothes, then flagging down two boys named Shawn and Brody in the parking lot…..but it started much longer ago than that; it had really started the morning she began working at the Western Inn.  That was the first time that she met Katie Kizer.

            Katie Kizer was a pretty girl with a chip on her shoulder you couldn’t see because of her beautiful and thick black hair. She had moved to Belnesse from Portland, Oregon and Lila was immediately taken with her. Katie had stories that made fifteen year old Lila’s small town adventures of sex and drug use seem very pedestrian…. 

To be continued….

Shifting sands and altered plans…

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Shifting sands and altered plans…

Since about April, I have been really evaluating my life and my potential choices; juxtaposing them with the decisions I have made to satiate other people; from parents to romantic partners to my own children. I guess it actually probably started in December;  once the sadness of that failure became more externalized.

But April is really when I started really looking at myself and what I wanted from my life. It was the beginning of the last quarter of my “academic life,” the beginning of really putting energy into getting a “professional” job and realizing what I wanted and needed and accepting what was coming my way.

It was a very humbling and difficult time, but I found the fire again.

Throughout it all, I was able to realize what I wanted; I have looked back through 20 years worth of  journals full of my wants and dreams and thoughts and relationships…and realized that I have often adopted the dreams of my partners…I can do anything and be anyone…It’s a coping skill I suppose…it’s been my resilience, my survival tool set. My gerber…my tweeker toy…ha.

Meh, I digressed into my own head. Anyhow…

Where was I….

Oh yeah…what I want as compared to what I was willing to accept in return for mediocre bootleg versions of love….

Anyway…I am back to knowing what I want. My plans are further inline with what I have wanted since I was 16; minus the inputs of other people’s ideas of what I should be and do. I am going to start this process now, bits by bits…with an eventual time frame of 2-5 years…

I have 28,378,573,850,347,850,375,041,218 books. I am going to read them all again and sell them or give them away. Even the first editions. Even the 1852 “Life among the lowly”. Yep. As much as I love my books, they do nothing but take up room. I have read them all. I will read them again and pay them forward; perhaps someone else can find solace and distraction in them as I have for 28 years.

I am going to pay down my debt until it’s gone so that eventually, in 2-5 years, all I will have is student loans (which hopefully can be paid off and/or forgiven within ten years…).

I have a list of things that scare(d) the fuck out of me from when I was 18 that I wanted to do before I was 21. I am going to start doing them…from swimming  in the ocean to skydiving to going to South America. I am doing them.

I am learning French. Why? I don’t fucking know. But I have always wanted to, so I am going to finish learning it!

I am writing again. Not just this blog. Not just my poems and songs (which I am even playing my guitar again…crazy) but actually working on my stories. Whoa. That’s been a long time coming and I have finally gotten to the point in my life that most of the people I worried about judging me or being angry at me for writing them are no longer people I give a fuck about.

It’s my truth. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you think it’s about you, that’s your shit…not mine.

I am going to finish my tattoos; or at least the ones I know I want now. 😉 Bare skin is precious….I am saving room for the rest of my life….

Anyway, one kid will be on his own in 2 years. The other will be on her own in 4ish years and indicates occasionally she may want to finish that with her other parents. I have been really resistant to that but who knows. Maybe she will change her mind later, maybe not. either way, I will no longer feel the need to provide for anyone but myself, it’s been 18 years since I felt that and it will have been 20 at least by the time I am there again.

I have let go of nostalgic friends that I merely kept to remind me of who I was and kept the ones that still fulfill me…the reciprocal relationships that don’t drain me…I have made new friends and established pretty deep relationships with people who have totally surprised me.

I am finally comfortable in my own skin.

Not the skin I wanted them all to see, but my own ACTUAL skin.

The funny thing is the “me” I am finding, is the “me” people have always described; which is ironic…I always thought I had them fooled! I mean, c’mon, Billy? How could you know and I didn’t? Send me a memo next time, I mean shit.

I started out my wanderlusting adolescence with a guitar, a book of poems and a backpack of clothes that weren’t always mine.

I think I might start my neo-wanderlusting midlife that way too.

Huzzah.

xoxo

P.S. Hey Lisa, thanks for reminding me of who I am. ❤

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I’ve come to the point in my academic career where I am three weeks from being DONE unless I want to be a doctor (I do not.) And while I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t seem to bring myself to close the gap. I am just done. It’s like I am halfway up the stairs to some magical f**king Nirvana and out of breath and just don’t give a sh*t anymore. Screw enlightenment. From conversations with most of my fellow classmates, this seems to be a general consensus;  however the fact that my apathy is shared does not push me through this ONE. LAST. WRITING. ASSIGNMENT.

And I know others are spending day after day, hour after hour working tirelessly on this same assignment that I will put much less work into for probably the same grade.

Bring on the guilt.

I find myself wasting time doing other things that I rationalize have to do with my assignment, like creating a cover page that has fancy stuff on it for my portfolio or coming up with amazing acronyms for the name of a program….Or going on Facebook to ask an opinion on wording when lo and behold it has been 2 hours and I haven’t accomplished anything besides getting lost in the timesuck.

Then I feel guilty.

So to get myself back in the right head space to critically self reflect and develop myself as a professional, I come onto this blog and write a new post or a poem or whatever else I can do to keep my ass in this seat sort of focused on coming back to this stupid assignment…

AND SURPRISE  I feel guilty for sitting on my ass. So I go do some burpees cause I said I would and I do some yoga, then I remember I need to flip the laundry and I haven’t eaten today and then a kid needs something like to be fed or paid attention to or clean underwear or someone texts me or calls me or I check my email to see if someone wrote me saying HEY!!!!! COME WORK FOR US NOWWWWWWWWWWW….then when they haven’t I decide to distract myself with some Game of Thrones or turn on slacker to lament out loud with rhythm and the pretend impressionistic stylings of me as Lily Allen or Amy Winehouse or Nina Simone…..then I walk past the desk and see my dry erase board with its giant letters that say:

TRANSFER SUMMARY DUE 5-31-13

PORTFOLIO DUE 6-5-13

TAKE HOME EXAM DUE 6-6-13

And I feel guilty so I sit my big ass back down at the desk.

I do some amazing work for a few and then decide to check on craigslist and the state website for any new job postings because:

I need a muthatruckin J-O-B!

Like a month ago I need one. And I don’t have one. I have so many bills due in like 2 weeks. OMFG

And the student loans….the student loans are enough to make me contemplate skydiving.

So I feel guilty.

Boo. Guilt is a worthless emotion and has not inspired me one iota to take care of business.

Onward.

Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

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Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

So you know that dumb cliché that your children are your karma for what you did as a child?

Payback is a bitch.

Today marked the third LARGE parenting crisis I have had to deal with in the 16 years I have been a parent. Oddly enough, all three of them have happened when my children were the same age as I was, when I experienced practically the same crisis.

It’s really freaking scary. I have made bad decisions as a romantic relationship role model, that is for sure. But as far as everything else: school, work, self-advocacy, critical thinking, self-esteem, encouraging uniqueness, supporting their choices, not being a blind follower, talking about sex, drugs, and unconditional love, etc….I rock that.  I couldn’t imagine having to deal with any of the things I experienced because I have prided myself on being such a “better” parent than I had. And I am a better parent, my toolbox is better stocked. My education is more complete. But better is a relative term, I suppose.

The main difference between my parenting and my childhood is that I have made it a point to do the absolute opposite of what my parents did; in these specific situations.

And it’s hard.

I panic.

I don’t know what a “normal” parent would do.

I don’t always know what the appropriate thing to do is.

I know what I would tell a client.

I know what I would tell a friend.

But they aren’t my kids.

They aren’t me.

They don’t have my experiences.

And therein lies the rub.

All I can do is hope I have interrupted a pattern. Hope that when it’s my children’s turn as parents, that they don’t experience these crises. If they do, I hope they handle it even better than I did.