Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Death (And Other Grown-Up) Prepping

I am a single, 35 year old mother of 2 with no life insurance, disability insurance, retirement fund or emergency fund. If a bird shits on my life the wrong way everything collapses. I am on the brink of turning 36 and I suppose it is time for me to become a real, live grown-up. First thing first—Death Prepping.

The hardest thing a person will probably ever do for themselves and for their families is create, read and sign their Last Will & Testament. I spent last night’s baseball practice reading and re-reading my Will. It puts lots of things into perspective, especially when you do not have much to leave behind.

I read through the Will, imagining The Girl and The Boy sitting in a lawyer’s office listening to him read my last wishes. Morbid. But necessary. Being prepared for your death is less about you–it is about who you are leaving behind.

I think the thought of doing a Living Will came from (don’t judge me) Grey’s Anatomy. Derrick dying, Meredith having to make whatever decisions, Bailey bugging Ben about what he wanted to do in case it was left up to her–it all translated into real life. What if something did happen to me? Would my loved ones know what I wanted? Hell…did I really know what I wanted? The Will was easy to deal with…the Living Will was what had me reeling.

Thinking about what I wanted done in the event of something I cannot possibly predict was hands down harsh. What if I am pregnant? Do they save me and then the baby? Or just let me go and save the baby? What if they want to amputate a limb? Will it save my life? Can they leave the limb and still figure out a way to save me? How long, if at all, do I want to be hooked up to machines? Who will I appoint to carry out these wishes and pray they do not let their emotions get in the way? See…I told ya…harsh.

To ease some of the morbid tension between my future self and my sick/dead self, I decided to focus on something a little bit more cheery: Retirement. My plan has been (and continues to be) to live out the rest of my days in a Charleston beach house with the ocean as my back yard, teaching horny 20 year olds about literature and writing. I refuse to be 65 skrimping to live. I want to actually set my bills to auto-pay. I want to have several commas in my savings accounts and no negatives in my checking accounts. I want to be able to live in peace with no financial worries.

Planning for your death, sickness, and retired life is exhausting. I was so tired by the time I got done with all of that, I had to go to bed early. But, when I laid my head down on the pillow, I felt accomplished. I felt ready. I felt…like a grown-up.

~SM

Everything I Learned…I Learned From Fast Cars & Toretto

I remember sitting in the theater, packed and hot–teeming with anticipation, waiting for the first glimpses of tricked out foreign cars and mysterious macho actors. From the first scene to the last, I sat on the edge of my seat wishing I, too, could rip through city streets and zip under 18 wheelers. That night, I learned about the Rush.

The Rush is a feeling you get when your body is crackling with electricity. The smile on your face is pure joy. The palms of your hands are sweaty with anticipation. The beat of your heart is beyond normal. The Rush reminds you that you are alive. Every idea, every dream, every ‘what if’ spins around until they blur and you realize you are capable of everything.

I remember sitting in the theater, all of us feeling the sting of the loss of Letty, feeling so heavy in the seat. From the moment she died until the end, nothing quite felt the same. None of it felt….good…except Toretto’s love. That night, I learned about Love & Loss.

We all know Love & Loss–no further explanation needed. That was the night I actually questioned Love…what it was and what it really felt like…if I actually had it. I knew Loss, or at least some version of what I envisioned Loss to be, but I did not know Loss as it was connected to Love.

I remember standing in the isle, shortly after the credits finished rolling. The theater crowd was thinning but when we heard voices, we all froze. Something more was happening. Life was changing. Letty was alive and everything as we knew it was about to be turned upside down. We all stood, frozen, mouths agape at the thought of what was to come. That night I learned of what Possibility felt like.

I buzzed about the Possibilities of Letty for the rest of the afternoon. Possibility is endless. I started to see the Possibility in everything. What if, What would happen if, Where could, How should, Why…. With Possibility, Life becomes much more exciting and unpredictable. The end never seems so fixed when Possibility is involved.

It all sounds kinda nerdy, I guess, but when sitting in the theater watching silver screen friends (who happen to be real life friends) say good-bye to one of their own it didn’t feel nerdy at all. It felt incomplete. It was sad. I was sad. Everything I had learned over the last decade, I had learned through fast cars, corny one liners and bad ass drivers….and here it was….finished yet not on their/our terms.

I walked out of the theater neither interested in staying past the credit roll or bothering to see if there would be a ‘what’s next’. I took the experience, a decade and some change long, and packed it away. I packed away the Love & Loss, the Possibility, the Unfinished, and the Rush and put them on a mental shelf to be revisited later when in need. I smiled to myself thinking of something Toretto said (by which I currently live), “I live life a quarter mile at a time…” That’s all we have really.

~SM

Its Tough Being Good To You

Right now I am sitting in a nail salon, in a pedicure chair trying to ignore the petite Asian lady with the sparkly pants pick at my toes. I’m watching the girl about ten feet from me getting her nails filed and painted. We decided that while her brother was at practice, we would do girly things. But this girly thing is giving me a heart attack…slowly and quietly.

My mother is the best. She has a straight line to God’s heart and His ear. She often knows just the right prayer to pray and at just the right time without a word from the person she’s praying for. She often sends cards and small amounts of money for us to just spend on things other than regular life. For the kids it’s often candy and for me it’s usually gas, even though her instructions are to use it on myself. Last month, I opened up the mailbox to find an unexpected card with an unexpected blessing in it. How did she know I needed it? I immediately put it up in a safe place and managed to make it to pay day without spending it.

It has been my goal to save it and keep it until I find something worthy to spend it on like a broken pinky toe cast…light bill…bail (just saying), but this afternoon I decided to spend it on me.

So here I sit, getting my toe nails painted practically having a stroke because this seems frivolous and irresponsible. Sure, the rent is paid and yes the power bill is finally caught up. The Boy’s extra curricular activities have a 0 balance and I even managed to get an oil change. But getting your toes and nails painted doesn’t help with putting food on the table or gas in the car (unless you are a porn star). I should have run like the wind when she patted the chair. I should have thrown up the cross and backed out of the door when she told me to pick out a color. I should have been more responsible.

The saving grace…the only thing keeping me from keeling over in this stupid, vibrating chair…is seeing the girl flash me her nails and smile. The anguish, the self-imposed guilt, and the continual running list of better things to do with $30 sorta fade away seeing her pampered and happy. Maybe she’ll remember this moment one day. Maybe she finally feels the boy’s shadow moving out of her sunshine, just a little. Maybe she just feels good about feeling good. It is tough being good to yourself, but sometimes it’s ok to be good to you even if it feels heart attacky in the beginning.

~SM

What IS This, Exactly?

I am not one for a bunch of emotion. I think these past two years have been the most outwardly emotional I have been in quite some time (or maybe ever). I know what those look/feel like. I know what fear looks like; I know what joy feels like; I know what anger says….but as of late I am a walking cesspool of butterflies and smiles. WTF is that???

I caught myself smiling at the ceiling at work one morning–lost in thought. I found myself battling butterflies and squishy insides one afternoon. I called Brooklyn yesterday and literally screamed in her ear for no reason other than just to get whatever this crap is out. What is happening to me?

I left my car keys hanging in the car door. I left my office keys hanging in my desk drawer. I can barely string together a sentence or comprehend what people are saying because my brain is like scrambled eggs (gosh that sounds good right now…I’m starving…see what I mean…lost focus). My heart skips beats and I swear I blush about 50 times a day. I am a walking, barely talking skin bag full of squishiness and fog.

Even now I sit with butterflies in my belly, floating from one end to another. Do I have some sort of disease? Is it Shingles? I have had chicken pox, you know. Scarlet Fever? The Flu? It’s not crabs because my gentiles don’t itch. And, no, I am not with child–this uterus is on lock down. Perhaps the Zombie Virus is a real thing and my body is fighting it with a vengeance? Whatever is happening, it feels funky but it feels good. I feel like I am floating beyond Cloud 9.

~SM

Mommy Dearest

“Nooo moore wire hangers!” Everyone (even if you have not seen the movie) knows the epic, crazy mother, Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) line. Obviously, she would not have won Mother of the Year, but it is also obvious that she had no clue what she was doing (as a parent) and perhaps wanted to. We can all relate to that–can’t we?

I am just going to put it out there for those who do not have children and for those who do but live in a bubble: being a parent sucks. Of course it is a blessing to be in charge of another human life; to watch them grow and blossom; to carry on a part of you–probably the best part of you; but the guilt and the mistakes and the many no-take-backs we as parents endure makes the job pretty sucky. Just sayin. Would I trade it? Absolutely not. Would I trade the parental guilt? Hellz yea I would.

I have been mulling this parental guilt thing over for about a month or so. It started when some kids we knew had private school interviews. Suddenly, thoughts (more like questions really) of why weren’t my kids doing that, am I a slacker parent, did I not work hard enough, did I not make them work hard enough burst any sort of happy bubble I had.  Yesterday, while taking a 15 minute walk in the park, my mind was swimming with thoughts of fitness, weight loss, races I wanted to run, new running shoes–and suddenly the parental guilt came. There I was walking, thinking about myself (literally) and The Boy was at practice down the hill. Shouldn’t I be there watching? Should I have stayed in the car with The Girl and talked to her? Shouldn’t I be thinking about them and school and making flash cards and pounding Life’s rules and regs into their heads? Was I a selfish parent?

Half of the time I have no clue what I am doing. The other half of the time I just throw my hands up and hope for the best. I feel terrible, quite honestly. It feels like everything is moving so fast and I have no control over what is happening. My life is moving in a positive, yet Sadie-centered direction, but at the same time The Kids’ lives are moving at the speed of light in an unknown direction. How does a parent parent that? Am I no better than Joan Crawford when I have a ‘no more wire hangers’ melt down over gum wrappers or shoes or cups being left in random places like the bathroom? Am I a detriment to their success? Am I creating monsters? Are they going to be lazy or driven? Will they aspire to succeed or live on my couch forever? Is it okay for me to live my life too? Are they spoiled? Do I not say no enough?

Ugh…all of these question with no answers is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps I should neutralize that with some cake and think about this later….

~SM

Going Crutchless

Remember that whole spiel on being focused? Well, so far I have been, especially with my health. Understanding the many facets of health helps a person make good decisions about what they are willing to allow into their space. I decided that poisoning my mind and body was not at all a good decision. When forced with making a hard choice, people often say ‘pick your poison’. Well, it is safe to say I picked several and one of which I have put down.

I am not sure when it happened. I think it was the day I stood in the booze isle of Kroger and saw my fave bottle of wine as addiction rather than a relaxing evening. Alcoholic, no, I don’t believe I can claim that title, but I could very easily see myself fitting the description in a few more years at the seemingly innocent rate I was going.

Some people are born with addictive personalities (imo) and I am one of those some people. Mostly due to emotional issues (which I am happy to announce I have less of these days), but also due to genetics. I clearly saw a path to self-destruction in a way that would not end well for anyone.

Of course, that does not mean I cannot enjoy an occasional drink now and then, but it does mean that I cannot enjoy it frequently. It was a necessary crutch for the time and space I was living, but not now. Said crutch is no longer needed.

I am focused on having a better life, a better body, and a better mind. Those things are essential to happiness. I crave happiness much more than I crave voluntarily poisoning my body. It is sort of strange how things and views change in what seems like an instant. Sort of miraculous to actually witness it happening to you for you. God is certainly good–all of the time.

~SM

Tick Tock On The Bio-Clock???

Let me preface this post by saying that I have no intention, I repeat, no intention of having a kid. That being said…

My aunt told me there would come a time when the clock would tick–the bio-clock that is–and it would start small and then get louder and louder until….baby or naugh. I am not sure if it happens after a woman’s children are grown or half way to grown or in her 30’s or mid-30’s, but I am pretty sure mine is ticking just a little bit. On the other hand, it could just be the fact that I am getting older, things are changing and I actually sorta can tolerate children (gasp!).

Quite honestly, I never wanted kids. They are time consuming, body damaging, money hogging, time consuming (not a typo), food gobbling, crudely honest little people. When you have children, you are in charge of a whole person for the rest of your life. Every decision they make essentially comes from how they were raised (this statement excludes people like Hannibal Lecter). You have to worry about them when they are babies and then when they are in grade school and then as teenagers and oh, God, driving and then in college and then after college. It is maddening to think of the responsibility of caring for a tiny person. I never wanted any part in that responsibility. But then….

I am a parent. I would say (aside from their sloppy rooms) I done good. Partially due to the village surrounding The Kids, partially due to values I (ok and The He) were instilled with, and greatly due to God. I (ugh, we) managed to make them okay little people despite my womb’s objections. I should dust off my hands and be done…but…something….tick tick tick….

Babies are popping up everywhere! They are on television. Family members are having them left and right. They are coming into the office. Babies are everywhere and everywhere they are the more I want one to squeeze one and pet one and feed one and name her/him George (yes…Looney Tune ref). I can’t say for certain that is my clock beginning to tick. Perhaps it is. Or perhaps my mind is adjusting to different views of new life. No matter the case for the bio-clock making it’s presence known, it needs to settle down and fast. I can see the finish line. It is right there, just a few miles away…I can’t possibly introduce a new little person into that glorious vision of freedom, clean house, and dinners for one….besides I have no baby daddy potentials. The next baby daddy needs to be pretty freaking awesome both in looks and in bank account. Yea. I said it. And you agreed…a little.   😛

~SM