A different kind of alarming …

It’s four o’clock in the fucking morning, but that part doesn’t matter, seeing that I haven’t had a 20 minute stretch of sleep since I got into bed at seven pm. You see, I’ve been awake dealing with diabetes alarms …. which ones? EVERY FUCKING ONE. Highs, lows, lost signals, suspensions, her phone, my phone, his phone and some how an actual constant siren alarm blasting 100 decibels into his fucking ear. No, of course he didn’t wake up to that … and yeah, it made me think this hell of a night was almost over because why in the fuck would someone have an alarm set like that if it wasn’t time to wake up for work? … I guess I’ll have to keep guessing until morning because it was 3 fucking thirty AM! 

Never have I felt the need to blow off steam in the middle of the night like this. The need to drive a buck twenty down a north country road with the loudest metal my subs can pump before they blow. The urge to fuck and get fucked, until walking is off the table for a week (on a table, even better). The need to run seven miles, as fast as I can, in 25 degree weather until I see stars and/or break a leg off. 

Oh, but instead I’m going to lay here, blood boiling, head filled with “what the fuck am I going to do with my life” thoughts because I’m not only the keeper of this little girl that has no idea how fragile she is;  I am also the vessel for another precious human life. I love them. I love them more than I could ever love myself. I love them more than getting fucked, driving fast, running at lightening speed or anything else for that matter. 

Here I am, justttt reflecting. A life of making all the right decisions. Working my ass off since I was ten, making sound financial investments, getting rid of every man that was bad for me, getting the best education, throwing out all bad habits with drugs, drinking, food and worldly possessions. Never falling apart in body, spirit or mind, no matter what came at me .. because I swore I wouldn’t be like them.  

Them? Everyone. I was better than everyone. My mom. My dad. His mom. His dad. Who is he? Doesn’t matter. All of them! I was better than all of them. I wouldn’t fail. I couldn’t fail. In fact, I was so busy not failing that I forgot why I thought they were pathetic failures in the first place. Until, of course, last night … or was that tonight? I can’t even google the answer to that one. 

There I was, whenever that was, in my fathers house. The one he has been throwing millions of dollars into, his entire life, because it was his parents. God forbid he live his own life and let down those dead fools, who were never even any good to him anyway. 

My kids are running around, begging me, every three seconds, to take some garbage toy home with them. Another floor ornament I can look forward to making disappear in about a day, once it’s been ignored, starting one minute after they, proudly, get me to agree to take it home. 

My dad isn’t even there. He’s in Massachusetts for yet another doctors appointment. My brother is there, taking care of the house and the business that can attribute to 97% of my father’s health issues in the first place. Yeah … my Dad, stubborn, unhappy and alone in a large, old house inhabited, crowded even, with wayward, halfwit failures in their own right. 

There’s my brother. It’s like looking in a mirror. Every. Single. Time. He’s on his phone, trying to get the internet to work, desperate to escape into his video games, but still happier than I’ve seen him in a million moons. He’s already escaped from his domestic responsibilities for the night and now it’s just us in the kitchen. Life was always good when it was just us in the kitchen. 

We aren’t any better than one another and neither of us are really better than our parents. Maybe we are a little different. That’s just it. We are different. Different kids of unhappy. Different kinds of failures. Different things to run away from, but barely. We feel comfort when we are together because when we are alone, without our families, it’s … different.

When you’re kids, you’re just kids. You are exactly who you are and you can’t hide it from your siblings. You knowww them. Standing in front of them, no matter how much time has passed, you will be stripped down to your true self. You see each other more than anyone else could ever see you. You aren’t parents. You aren’t home owners. You aren’t workers. You aren’t successful or worthless. You aren’t smart or dumb, rich or poor, pretty or ugly … you’re just you. 

When you get a little older you try to focus so hard on what you think you should be like. What you wish your life will turn into. Some of us work towards it. Others give up before they start. None of us really end up exactly, genuinely, ourselves. We are still searching a little bit to figure out what it was that we were fighting for the whole time. What if this picture we wanted our life to be wasn’t at all what it was cracked up to be? What if somehow we lost our true selves while fighting to succeed in a cut throat, judgmental world where our harshest critic is ourselves … Or, what’s worse, maybe we never tried. Maybe we thought we were good enough from the jump and we never allowed ourselves to change into anything better because we didn’t see it as better … 

I may never figure out what I want to do with my life. Certainly not before the next alarm goes off at five am, FUCKING WIND CHIMES whyyyyyy .. 

I feel annoyed. I feel blessed. I feel right. I feel wrong. I feel overwhelmed and completely in control at the same time. But there isn’t one feeling better than when it’s just us, alone in the kitchen. 

Time, Money, Heart.

I’ve always had this sort of obsession with looking good on paper, both literally and figuratively. Like yeah, it doesn’t hurt to look good in your license picture. I will admit I have delayed getting a picture taken on a bad day. Let’s be honest, they always end up just terrible, regardless. It was always HAVING the license that really made me smile. I remember when I got my first job, (not on the farm) at the ripe age of 13. I remember what it was like to have my first bank book far before that, at about eight years old. I remember my first paper checks (what are those, right?). I remember my first American Express Card. I remember filling out all the paperwork. God I LOVE paperwork. This feeling of paying bills, having a passport, license, registrations, applications, credit cards, asset accounts, insurance documents, diplomas and degrees; It made me feel like a person. Equity, organization and the ability to have the means to get something done has always been my most urgent focus in life.

I am more than positive that my need for being a success on paper was derived solely from feeling like a scattered mess as a child. Having no control, as a child, made me want to be an adult as soon as possible. I grew up too fast and took everything too seriously. As an adolescent, I strived for significance far beyond my years. I craved a significance that embodied a structure and control that I was desperately seeking in my childhood.

I have always felt that if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards. I procrastinate for motivation. I reach further and further than I even need to so that I can catch up with myself. I wholeheartedly believe that the most fierce competition should be with oneself.

As I grow older not much changes, except that I’m not as worried with where the next money will come from. I don’t do this because I’m delusional. I do it because I now know what matters more. I know that if I work hard as much as I can, whenever I can the money will eventually come. Just as they money comes, it will go away. That’s the lesson in life about money .. it comes and it goes. Time, however, time just .. goes. You don’t get more time.

There’s always a point to working hard, making investments and being smart with money. There no point, however, in stressing about something that you can’t control. You’ll never be able to control the price point of the things that you need or want … so if you need it or want it enough … buy it and shut up. If your family needs it or wants it .. buy it and shut up. If you have a slow day at work, remember there will be busier and more lucrative days in the future, just like there were in the past, enjoy the pace and shut up!

I am old enough to have watched people die, too many times. On one’s death bed they are never worried about that slow day at work 15 years prior or how they needed to budget a little more on certain months. They never tell you about how they regret making too much money or too little money. No. If there are any regrets to be spoken of , they are the regrets of lost time and lost relationships. Rarely is it about what they look like on paper, but more how their families and friends see them in their heart.

I have small children. I do not have all the answers. I do know that I would like my children to be motivated and determined to make something of themselves. I expect for them to learn these things about money, time and heart on their own. Far beyond what I want to teach them about the importance of education, infrastructure and success; I want them to know that it is all going to be okay. Is that hippy of me? No. (and ew, never) I believe that my kids will be far more successful if they do not hear the adults in their lives being a slave to work, time, money, price points and the constant battle to look better on paper than the day before. There will always be more money … there will never be more time.

When your heart catches up.

3383E041-C704-4051-91B8-9278AA01D3DDHave you ever loved someone so hard, so long, so much and then they are gone. They leave naturally. Time takes them. You watch them get weaker. They are in pain. You wish more for them, but they are beyond repair. You get the call that they have passed, you aren’t surprised, you aren’t even sad. It’s an empty feeling, but it makes sense. 

Sometimes it takes years for your heart to catch up with your brain, but it does … and when it does … it only takes one picture. One picture of that person that you loved so long, so hard and so much. You can remember their smell, their voice, the feel of their skin on yours. You remember how they called you “kiddo” even when you were 27 years old. 

You remember how they spoiled you with your favorite juice even though it was nearly impossible for them to get to the store themselves. Then you remember even further back, you weren’t even a baby, not even a toddler, rather, a big kid. They lifted you on to their shoulders and boasted about how you were theirs. You remember how strong they were and how genuinely happy they were to know you and show you off. 

You’ll never forget that kind of love. The kind of love that shaped you into a person that demands to be adored and doted on. The kind of love that taught you what love really is and the way a real man should behave. 

I will never forget when it became hard for you to stand up or even be awake for more than an hour a day. Even when you knew you wouldn’t get better, your eyes would light up when you saw me and you’d muster up a joke and a smile. 

Every once and a while, I want to drive to you and I have to remind myself that you won’t be there. It doesn’t makes sense to my brain or my heart. I still see you as that strong man. The man that could fight a moose, toss a kid over his shoulder, beat anyone in a game of cribbage and make everyone laugh. I miss you everyday and you set an example that I will refer to for my entire life. My only hope is that I can make you as proud of me as I am to have been part of you. 

Tis the season.

It’s that time of year again … out come the long sleeve shirts and jeans, slippers and favorite hoodies. For many kids and many parents, it is the season where people finally give you break. They stop asking what that thing on your kid’s arm is. They stop wondering what is attached to their leg. After all, diabetes is an invisible disease.

This is the time of year I’m most reminded that this disease is everything but invisible. A type one diabetic mom never forgets that their heart and sole is running around with a bomb attached to their little perfect body. I mean that figuratively, while a pump, itself IS a bomb in it’s own right and should always be thought of as such.

This disease is relentless. The days that seem to make the most sense on paper are actually the days when diabetics and diabetic caregivers are the most baffled. Being the mother of a child who is on a treacherous blood sugar battle to the death is like watching an old wooden coaster in New England. You know the one .. it’s the best one at the park, but if you stand at the right angle you can actually see it shift as the car races the tracks. It’s a wooden roller coaster, so it’s okay, right? Yeah, let’s go with that. I guess there is a difference, the people on the coaster knew full well that the coaster seemed sketchy, yet they chose to take a risk, have fun and maybe not die for that five minutes of their life. No child, no parent, NO ONE EVER chose to have type one diabetes, there’s no way to step off that death ride.

In my very specific case, my child will never know a life without this invisible disease. For all intents and purposes it is, just that, to her, invisible. Sure, she sometimes has a tummy ache. When an alarm goes off she knows she can drink a juice box (which she loves!). She gets poked with needles often and understands that she is part robot and that’s just who she is.

This baby has never had to manage her disease alone. One day I will obviously need to teach her. I imagine it will be slowly over time, easy and natural … But here’s what I was thinking … what if I don’t. Crazy, right? More than crazy? Oh for sure!

Right now, I’m the one with diabetes. She has devices on her body, but I’m the one that feels the most emotional and mental pain. I’m the one with the sleepless nights, carb counting, meal prep, bag full of medical supplies and tools. It’s all me. Maybe it is crazy .. but wanting for that to become a burden on her is not something I look forward to. She is a fighter and she’ll be okay. I know this. I would just give ANYTHING to make this disease as invisible to her as this favorite hoodie season makes it look to everyone else.

Officially official.

Ten months of classes. No sleep in Saturdays. No idea what I’m going to wear, last minute, as I gather the kids and rush out the door. A full hour and a half of sitting in a chair waiting for one kid to come out of class as the other goes in. Antisipation for costume reveal. Sock buns. Hair spray. Bobby pins. Sock buns. Sock buns. Tights. More tights. “Where are the tights?” Application of mascra and eyeliner on a squinchy, unwilling little face. Dress rehearsal. Then this day … Recital day! The day they show us what they’re made of … the day they show us what this ten months was all about. Boy did they show me! My son moved !!! (100 times the step up from dress rehearsal) Oh my gawdddd he was so cute, it hurt. A true testament to the fact that a four year old will do anything for bubble gum ice cream. My daughter though … she can dance! Not just follow some direction, look at the older kids and copy. She actually did it! On her own, with pride beaming from her little face. I could actually see her determined mind communicating, confidently, to every muscle in her body. Then the biggest moment of all … when I get to hug my little star and watch the next half of the show with her, just us (and my dad, this year 💜). She is SO happy, so proud, excited and inspired. All I can see is that she’s SO grown up. She’s watching all her friends (I’ve never met a five year old with so many friends!). She’s cheering, clapping, hollering. It’s the official start of summer. Officially! I’ve had this moment with her for three years already and I’ll get to do it again, but not enough. When did my baby get so big? Why won’t time slow down? I’m in awe of this little human. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next, but if we could just slow it down a bit, that would be okay with me. 💓  #tinydancer #officiallysummer #thesemagicmoments

The perfect drug.

There’s this thing we all do, the most important thing we ALL do … MOVE. Moving seems like so very little, but truly, it’s the most important phenomenon. The ability to move is a gift that many squander. Whether you take moving for granted or you were a mover and shaker your entire life, every living thing feels that ache and yearn for movement when they have limitations.

I have been blessed to be acquainted with many great examples in life and I listen to them! My dad is a man that was born with congenital heart disease. He has had many a surgery and many a surgery complication. I have seen him on life support twice, once in a coma for a week. My father has organ function slightly higher than that of a cadaver. Still, every single day he is working, moving, producing and creating with all that he has. He once told me ” if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” My dad sure knows how to use it!

In this chapter of my life, the “life creating” chapter, I have lost the “it” my dad was referring to so many times. I lost movement by choice. I lost it because being pregnant was more important. I lost it because sitting around breastfeeding my miracles was WORTH it. I lost it because cuddles and book reading was worth it. I lost it because they ARE worth it.

Regardless of why I lost movement or whether it was worth it … it SUCKED to lose it. Something starts to eat away at me when I’m not moving, like an orca in a swimming pool. I crave movement like a drug.

I need to run like a kid, as fast as I can. To run like I’m running away from everything and everyone that bothered me recently. I can actually feel that moment when the endorphins start running through my veins and I become me again. No longer am I my circumstances. No longer am I that awful day I had. No longer am I that dreadful bill I can’t stop thinking about. No longer am I just someones mom, someones daughter, someones friend, sister, employee or wife. I am ME for ME with no one else to report to, feel responsible for or please. I am on that journey of movement all alone. The rewards are my own. My body is my own. Pores that have been soaking everything in and laying dormant open up and push everything out. They push out the harsh self criticism, the self doubt, the situational anxiety and the fear. I’m left with myself. But fresher. Stronger. Clearheaded. Brand new.

There is a healthy balance in life, a strength in getting what you want and being patient for what you can’t have (yet). Through this chapter of life, I have learned a patience that I never knew existed within myself. I have learned discipline, routine and structure in it’s most selfless form. I am amazed at what my body has accomplished and I love it more than I ever have. I know I will always crave movement, but more importantly, I have proven to myself that I am strong enough to be still.

 

 

 

A decade of choice.

Marking one decade of working anywhere gets you thinking whether or not that was the best idea for your life. I have to say, after many thoughts … Yup. It’s been the best idea.

There is this common misconception about servers in restaurants and anyone in the service/retail industry for that matter. People who work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and nights are often frowned upon. I once remember a professor of mine saying “you want a salary”, as if having a annual salary was the only option for success. I see things very differently, I did then. I still do. An annual salary offers a feeling of security, maybe, but is that feeling what everyone wants? No. Some people want to work their asses off and have the challenge of not knowing how much they are going to make per year. Some people want to feel more in control of how much they make, rather giving away all their control to some higher up who makes all the decisions about their life for them.

In the last ten years I have watched people treat servers and bartenders poorly, like garbage, frankly. Somehow these people believe that they are superior lifeforms because they don’t wait on people. It is easy for servers and bartenders to brush these people off everyday, even at every table if need be. You know why that is? We make a shit load of money. We work when WE want to. We have never paid for a babysitter in our lives. We have raised our own children and are happy about who they have become because we KNOW them. We are not jealous of sitting at a computer for eight hours a day. We are not sad about not growing old. We enjoy having awesome friends and working in an exciting fast paced environment. We don’t wish we had “Saturday chore day” (ew). Did I mention we make a lot of money? Like wayyyy more than the people that so rudely judge us. We make more CASH in a day than they made in three at their “important” job. We are not worried that you are smarter than us … because you aren’t. It is a fact that most servers have college degrees, are in college or are serving in addition to a lame job because they HATE their lame job and it makes them poor. We DO have health insurance, vacation time and 401ks.

Mostly, we are uplifted by meanies because they remind us that we are much better people than they are. Restaurant workers get treated so badly that they go out of their way to treat other people well, especially those in the service/retail industry.

The last decade of my life has been a choice. I made the choice to finish my degree and pay for it myself. I made the choice to have a giant wedding and pay for it myself. I made the choice to buy a house and pay for it myself. I made the choice to have children and raise them myself! I decided that doing anything right now other than working in the service industry would mean that I was either not working at all or working while someone else was being paid to raise the children that I have been dreaming about my entire life. I made the choice that my life is about more than me right now. I can make a change whenever I want to because this is MY life. I don’t need to fit anyone else’s mold for what my life should look like.

When you look at how long you’ve worked somewhere and you wonder whether you should feel bummed about it or grateful,  it is important to reflect on the reason you did it. I have a have been able to make good money at a job that compliments and fits my life perfectly. I have never had to take work home with me. I throw on a t shirt and jeans in two seconds and run out the door.

I am grateful and proud of the last decade of my life. I am not the same person as I was ten years ago but I am just as productive. I had goals when I started my job, I reached them. I have goals now and I’m reaching them every single day. I could not have felt as free to be me or reach my own personal goals, challenges and triumphs without this job. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and can call so many of my past and current coworkers family. I can not think of a better way to spend the last decade of my life.

Cheers to ten years! I’m not sad about it at all!