Tag Archives: parenting

2018 year in review:

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2018 year in review:

Haven’t done one of these in a couple years. Seems fitting as I am in my 38th year… which is the year I’ve been thinking about since I was 19 years old.

It’s been a wild ride.

And a long life.

Hopefully, I get 38 more years.

1. Codependent is not the same as interdependent… no matter how you package it, some people will never understand the difference.

2. Never take friendships for granted; even after 28 years, they can end without proper maintenance. Even with proper maintenance, people grow apart. That’s ok.

3. There are social contracts that we all must abide by, to some extent. However, any social contract that requires you to be anything but your authentic self (save for concrete moral deviance) can go fuck themselves. This is your life. You probably only get one. Love it. Live it. Choose it. You’re the driver.

4. “Stairway to heaven” really is truth. 🎵“Yes, there are two paths you can go by… But in the long run…There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”🎵 Two paths. Fear or love.

5. If you’re all the way right or all the way left, you can’t see the whole picture. Take a couple steps back and listen.

6. Echo chambers are bad.

7. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is stop parenting.

8. You can lose/leave most of your things and be happy.

9. Dogs really are better than cats. By a small margin. But still better.

10. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. Always choose the job that feeds your soul. If you’re doing things right, someone will feed your belly.

11. When you have enough to feed your belly, feed someone else’s. When you have enough to feed your soul, feed someone else’s.

12. Energy is cyclic. I knew that years ago but I was definitely reminded repeatedly this year. Be mindful of the energy you put out. It’s easy to become comfortable, complacent, and forget.

13. Choose love. Even if it ends badly, you will end up better for it. You can leave with love. You can lead with love. You can heal with love. Always love yourself first. Insert some cliche about airplane oxygen masks.

14. Experiences are better than things. But… sweet gestures are still sweet.

15. Excitement and exuberance count. More than you realize.

16. Gratitude begets gratitude.

17. Douglas Adams really is a genius.

18. You can be aware and understand without co-opting and/or being offended. It really isn’t about you.

19. Except when it is… if you have a boundary, don’t let yourself or anyone else violate it.

20. There is healthy shame and unhealthy shame… learn the difference.

21. People tell you who they are and what they want through actions. You have to listen and watch. They often contradict each other.

22. Timing is everything. Sometimes things circle back around when you’re ready, sometimes they don’t because they were only there for the lesson.

23. The world, and humans, haven’t really changed. Comparisons are moot.

24. You can’t save anyone but yourself.

25. And Hobo Johnson/Frank is a lyrical genius.

Huzzah. Xoxo

Help a stranger, help a friend.

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Help a stranger, help a friend.

Alzheimer’s has touched my family, and now my friends’. I have over 120 some followers, if you all donated a dollar, even that could help. This is a family that in one way or another has influenced my life for over 25 years.

Please see the attached gofundme. https://www.gofundme.com/63k9y-save-my-parent039s-home

“My father is 78 years old and has Alzheimer’s.  The disease is advancing.  My mother and I are his primary caregivers and are doing our best to keep him home with family as it progresses.  Mom is on a fixed income.  I work full time and am also a full time college student, set to graduate this Spring, 2019.  I’ve left school many times over the years in order to help family, I am really pushing to finish now.  We have a hard time making the mortgage payment.  We’re literally at risk of losing the house, at which point I have no idea what we would do.

My dream here is to raise enough money to pay off the house for them and help cover the costs of his very expensive medications and other living needs. I would never dream of asking for money like this, but then I thought “we live in a world where a multi-millionaire can raise millions just so she can be a billionaire.  People set up, and succeed, in GoFundMe campaigns for boob jobs, dream cars, festival tickets, vacations etc.

So I figured I would take a shot in the dark here and see if there is anything I can do to help save my father’s home.  He is a Vietnam-Era veteran who worked his entire life.  He graduated Harvard Law.  Watching him fade away in front of us is so hard.  Thinking of having to put him in a residential home and losing his house is just too much.  I want him to be around family, who love him, until the end.  So I’m making this campaign, and putting it out there and will see what happens.

Blessings to all.”

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. 

 

 

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. ❤