September 2016 archive

I Love My Husband

This blog is more a survey…a request to gather information from those of you romantically committed to a partner.

Let me start by saying that I love my husband. I went into our marriage knowing that, like all marriages, we would have our ups and downs. A partnership comes in seasons. Sometimes one person is up, the other person is down, and together you work to find a lovely balance that makes for a gentle and pleasant experience.
You know?
So, speaking of up and down, I’d like to know what you do when you set an alarm clock to get up.
Do you set it for the time you need to get up or maybe a little bit earlier so you can room to snooze?
Do you set two alarms?
I’m just asking because…well…
I am not a morning person. I must take my time, have a cup of coffee, do some reading, maybe a little writing and/or meditation, and then I can begin. It’s true. I’m not proud of the fact that I’m not, nor have I ever been, a person who can set an alarm, put both feet on the floor, and begin my day. But this is me. And I accept me.

'He's always doing something to annoy me - like breathing.'

My husband has to get up very early on the mornings he’s working in town. He has to set an alarm for about 6am. Why? Because he has to leave the house by 7am.
Does he take a shower you ask? Not usually.
Are there a lot of tools to prepare? I don’t think so.
Is it important that he have time to mentally plot out his schedule? No.
He sets his alarm clock for 6am so that he can hit the snooze button every ten minutes for 50 minutes and then spend 10 minutes getting his clothes on and leaving the freaking house. And I’d like to share with the entirety of the free world that this is possibly the most irritating thing my husband has or will ever do.
Like I said, seasons.

Granted, he does give me hugs and kisses and snuggles and loves before he leaves every morning. However, by the time he does, I’m so incredibly angry by the amount of times I’ve gently drifted back to sleep and been VIOLENTLY re-woken up by an alarm clock, I don’t exactly receive his love well. (Which doesn’t deter him in the least.) By the time he leaves I’ve been awake-ish for so long that I just go ahead and freaking start my day. There’s no going back to sleep, no gentle awakening to a new, beautiful day. Just 10 alarms and a loss of will to live.

We love our partners, we do. And if they committed true deal-breakers, we’d have girlfriends/guy friends telling us like it is and helping us plan our escape routes. But there is no escaping these teeny, tiny irritants that you have to endure in a relationship. Yes, they can tell you to laugh it off or that it’s “not the worst thing.” No, no, of COURSE it’s not the WORST thing. But it’s PRETTY BAD. Feel free to comment your partner’s biggest irritant if you’d like to join me in this little rant. Except you, Bear. You keep your mouth shut, I’m perfect.

New Draft

I listen to podcasts all day. I love the true crime ones, the “Dear Abby” kinds, psychological thrillers, and the sermons. I was listening to one the other day, a sermon, and the pastor was quoting the news media. The headline read, “A Revival is Coming to Town,” but the pastor said, “I think they have that wrong. I think the revival is ALREADY HERE!!!” (And everyone cheered and shouted, “Amen!”.)

But I thought to myself, Why does everyone argue with everything?!?!

i-disagree-with-youHave you ever seen those recipe videos on Facebook? They’re all like 2 minutes long (and mostly made of vegetables covered in differently melted cheeses). Read the comments. Almost 90% of the comments are people discussing how they hands in the video look, or how it’s not “healthy”, or whether or not they can get that kind of cheese in their local store. Why can’t you just let a video about cheesey zucchini have it’s place in the world?

Or youtube tutorials. I searched, “Eye makeup tutorial” the other day because I’m 35-years-old and I have no idea how to properly apply eye makeup. I watched a decent little 5 minute clip and then read through the comments. If the poor woman in the video hasn’t committed herself I would be surprised…

Lord have mercy on your soul if you read any and all political comments on news websites.

There is a NEED to have a differing opinion in the world right now. Everyone must FIRST disagree before they even considering listening, let alone agreeing. Even a pastor must start a sermon by disagreeing with something.

And that right there is why I stopped blogging.

If a pastor has something negative to say before he even starts sharing the word of God, what does Joe Shmoe who reads my blog have to say?

I can’t tell you how many drafts are sitting in the queue of my blog, half-finished thoughts. Sometimes I would gather up massive momentum, my fingers flipping around the keys like a jazz pianist: This is the one. This is the one I’m going to publish!
But I didn’t.
I never did.
I just kept hitting “New Draft” and hoping that I’d think of something worth publishing tomorrow. Because what if someone read it and said, “She’s so self-involved,” or, “Who’s she trying to be?” or, “I don’t even have that cheese in my supermarket…”

Somewhere between the new life and the old life I started changing, and I was terrified to take people along for that ride because they might not like it.

When I was in my 20s, I was known for being the girl who didn’t give an eff what you thought. And I’d tell ya, too. I’d tell ya drunk, I’d tell ya sober, I’d tell ya at brunch, I’d tell ya in the produce section. I wasn’t mean. I just knew what I liked and what I didn’t like, and people liked that about me. And frankly…I liked that about me. Somewhere along the lines, though, as I got older, I noticed one or two people who didn’t like that about me. And even though it was only one or two, they became the only voices I heard. So I tried my best to mimic them in a great psychological attempt to make them happy and make them love me.
Obviously, I didn’t succumb entirely to Pseudo Erin. I found my way back to her in moments here and there. But not with my blog. Keyboard Quarterbacks are waaaay to loud and waaaay to anonymous, and they’d never actually say it to my face. There’s no way to defend myself. It got too real and too scary.

Why would anyone care what I have to say?

Recently, I’ve decided not to care anymore. There’s a good chance people won’t like what I have to say. There’s a good-er chance people won’t like that I won’t always listen to what they have to say. I don’t care if my shoes don’t match my outfit or if my eye makeup looks like a 4-year-old did it or if people are irritated by my cheerful attitude. So why would I care if I write stuff no one reads or no one likes if it came from my soul?! I’m not going to care anymore.

(But I’d really appreciate it if you only wrote nice things about my blog and also gave me a hint about those wings everybody does with their liner now…)

Sorry I Stopped Blogging for Three Months

“You stopped blogging?!”
I know. I know. Sorry. My brain went on retreat. I had some personal work to do, some freedom to feel, and some focus to refocus. I’m not sure if I’m finished, but I’m a whole lot closer than I was three months ago.
I realized that I was living and re-living the parts of my life I don’t like over and over again. I was giving waaaaay too much attention to the things I didn’t like. I had to let go of “reality” because my claws were in it way too deep. I’ll share more on that whole experience when I’m further away from it, but for now, we’re moving on.

ive

I took the liberty of creating the show’s new promotional poster.

And we’re moving on to fall television.
Last week, I was on my period. (Sorry, gentlemen.) I was crying over EVERYTHING. Abe’s balloon popped. I cried. Bear had a miscommunication with a contractor. I cried. I decided I wanted ice cream for dinner.
Cried.
But let me tell you the very lowest point I’ve hit in a long time…
It’s a little show called, This is Us.
I saw Mandy Moore in the previews and I just adore her, so I recorded it with the expectation that we would have a new grown up show/movie to watch that doesn’t include people being blown up or Kevin Hart. (Those are pretty much Bear’s choices when it comes to entertainment. Did you know that you can make the exact same movie 700 times? Kevin Hart knows…) And so Friday night when the kids were fed and settled in, I hit play.

I was physically weeping from my entire body within 5 minutes.
WHOLE. BODY. CRYING.

Bear smiled and held my hand for a few minutes until he realized that with every new scene, I began a whole new series of hiccups and shaking. So, he did what any man would do.
He opened a bottle of wine.
“Here, baby. I got you a wine prize.” (That’s what we call it.)
Still crying.
Then…I’m not kidding…he got out a bar of chocolate.
“Look, sweetie! Yum!”
Still crying.
Finally, he asked, “Do you want me to…hold you?”
But it didn’t matter what he did. I drank the wine. (Sorry, BillieFBB.) I ate the chocolate. (Again. Sorry.) I curled up in his arms. There was no stopping me. This stupid show apparently required me to be 100% dehydrated by the end.

SPOILER ALERT
I am going to talk about the final scene of the pilot episode of This is Us. Don’t continue reading if you don’t want to know a huge reveal.

The final scene of the show pulled together a number of lives into a single hospital nursery in the 70s. A father who’d just lost his child during childbirth was seemingly gifted another one who’d been given up by drug-addicted parents. It took me up until that moment to move on to a new phase of my own personal grief. It was all coming out at once. This. is. it: I’m past the anger phase.

I’ve moved on to sadness.

I didn’t get angry over my divorce until about a year and a half after it was finalized. Then I got REAL mad. Luckily I’m surrounded by a GENEROUS group of women who encouraged that anger and listened intently every time I lifted my pointer finger and began, “And ANOTHER thing…”
There was never any indication that there would be more grief when I finally woke up one morning no longer feeling angry. I thought I’d finished that chapter. Especially when I got married again!
But as it turns out, a new husband does not eliminate the pain of having an ex-one of those. They aren’t even related topics in life (although many women do tend to see them as being intertwined and I’d like to beg them to stop doing that). Bear proves that to me everyday in the way that he allows me to continue to grieve my last marriage. He really does.

Side note: I don’t even want to call him my ex-husband anymore. He is not an “ex” that left my life. I talk to him all the time. I raise a child with him and his wife. He is my prior husband. The one from before. My before-husband. Let’s try that.

In the last scene of This is Us, we watch a young couple bringing home a baby that quite obviously does not belong to them. And that unlocked the sadness level of our grieving game.
Several weeks after I moved out for good and my before-husband filed for divorce, we got an email.
It was an email from the adoption agency.
I don’t remember his name. They may have mentioned it, and I may have blocked it out. I still have the email and it’s not something I’m willing to go back and open.
We’d already written to them months before explaining that we were separated and no longer candidates to adopt a new baby. They were shocked, very sad, but completely understanding. After months of adoption classes (that I blogged about) and paperwork and home visits trying to get ourselves on that coveted list, we were off the list. Just like that.
I guess one person didn’t get that memo, though, because we received an email with a picture. He was a little boy, blonde with blue eyes. Born addicted (I’m not sure to what), he was only 16 months old and he needed a forever family that could give him an opportunity at a life he wasn’t currently living. And we were the people chosen to give him that.

I know deep in my heart that he has amazing parents now. I saw the other families in those adoptions classes, all salivating over pictures on the foster websites and rushing through to finish certification in an attempt to qualify for “this set of siblings” or “that baby girl who needs the feeding tube.” They were glorious folks vying for the babies other people gave up on. Not good people or better-than-you people, but the right people.

I desperately thought we were the right people, and as I look back and see how things fell apart, I can’t believe the people we turned out to be. To be clear, I regret nothing and neither does my before-husband. He is incredibly happily married and finding his own way with grace and dignity. But we aren’t who I thought we were. And that makes me sad.

He would be 5. That little boy that was chosen for us would be 5 and I am so sorry and so sad I never met him. I am, on the other hand, so grateful I somehow ended up with two sons anyway. Cub is my little gentle soul, making his way through life with so many random, thoughtful comments and interesting perspectives (and a VERY secret new chicken recipe he shared with his Dad and I that I can’t tell you but it’s going to be REALLY good and he’s going to dye the sauce green so you can’t guess what’s in it based on what color it is). Abe is my ham and my BS detector, constantly calling us all on our misalignment in ways we can’t possibly ignore.
I will never know what role 5 would have played in our family. But I’m thinking about him, and praying that he never feels a sense of rejection by the parents who didn’t have their shit well enough together to accept him as a gift at the time he was offered.

Grief can happen overnight, from beginning to end. It can also take as long as the experience itself took. (I’m hoping my process is somewhere in between.) For now, I’m crying at commercials and rainbows and flourishing flowers and dying flowers alike, because for me it’s all representing the next layer I’ve got to shed. Though I might throw a Kevin Hart movie in there sometimes just to lighten shit up…