Monthly Archives: July 2010

Going through the Motions

I hadn’t even noticed

That I seemed sad.

Low.

Cranky.

But he did.

“What’s wrong?”

“What’s bothering you?”

Nothing.

Nothing is the matter.

Nothing is wrong.

Although nothing seems quite right.

Just tired.

Off.

On the verge of tears.

For no reason.

Or a reason I can’t find.

Ever feel

Like you’re just going through

The Motions?

Getting through the days.

Not sad.

But not happy.

Feeling the weight

Of the world.

Of Everything.

On your shoulders.

Weak shoulders

Tired of carrying so much.

The schedules.

The timing.

The health.

The decisions.

The worries.

All of it.

Weighing you down.

All day looking at your watch

For when the next Thing

Needs to be done.

Meals.

Naps.

Activities.

Waiting for something to crash

On top of you.

Walking on eggshells.

Through Witching hours.

Off days.

Overtired mornings.

Knowing things should be different.

But not knowing how to change them.

Ever get

Feelings hurt

By friends?

Or who you thought were friends.

Or who you want to be your friend.

But knowing

You’re just being sensitive.

Not everyone can be just

Like you.

Ever Feel like you got

Your hopes up?

And then they’re shattered

When you never

Even had the right

To get them up so high?

Disappointment.

That could have been avoided.

Ever Feel

Like you need a break?

Even though you have breaks.

But your breaks are spent

Looking at your watch

For when your break will be over.

Your Me time

Is usually spent accomplishing things.

For the Us and not Me.

Ever go to sleep

So tired.

So spent.

So dreading

More of the same

Tomorrow.

And the next day.

Can’t find a smile.

Even for him.

The one who notices.

The one who deserves

A happy wife.

A happy mom.

Guilty.

For not being happier.

For not giving more.

Even though I give so much.

But then…

It’s a new day.

And there’s this.

And This.

And This.

And I think

I need to do this.

I can do this.

Because although I feel like

It’s just going through the motions.

They

Need these motions

They are lost without these motions

So I’ll put

My Emotions at bay

Find the Color

Amid the shades of gray

And be mom.

Wife.

Friend.

And hope that That day

Was just a Day

Not the norm.

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My Missing Tooth

I was in a wedding.  A bridesmaid I think.  Although I didn’t know the bride.  She was gorgeous, long flowing hair.  The type of gown you dream of having for a fairytale wedding.  The audience was faceless.  Rows upon rows of personalities, chatting, laughing, joyous personalities without faces.  I don’t recall what I was wearing, although I did take a tremendous amount of time getting ready.  Doing my hair.  Doing my makeup with various brushes that all seemed unfamiliar and awkward in my hands.  And when I went to take a final look in the mirror, my front tooth felt loose in my mouth.  And when I pushed it with my tongue, it fell painlessly and effortlessly into my hand.

I lost my front tooth. Minutes before walking down an aisle lined with hundreds of people.

I felt panicked. Horrified. Out of control with anxiety.  I rushed into the crowd waiting for the bride to serenely walk down the aisle and began desperately asking all of the elderly if they had any Dentucream to loan me so that I could stick my tooth back into the space.  Hannah was trailing behind me asking me over and over and over what Dentucream is and why I needed it and why my tooth fell out and why I looked so strange.  Everyone just stared at me as I pleaded with them for help, barely opening my mouth so that they wouldn’t see the gaping space.  No one understood me and no one cared to help because they didn’t know me.

And worst of all, I kept dropping my tooth that I held in my hand. It kept rolling onto the floor.  Under chairs.  Under people’s feet.  And every time I picked it up it was dirtier and more jagged looking that before.

I finally stuck it into my purse and tried covering my face with my hair and putting more and more lipstick on to detract from the obvious abnormality on my face. But nothing worked.  I was crying. Looking for someone to help me.  Tell me I looked fine. That it didn’t matter.

And then I woke up.

This was how I started my day today.  And I can’t shake it.  I keep feeling my front teeth with my tongue and making sure they are secure in their spots.  I keep wondering why I had this dream.  I used to have dreams about ALL of my teeth falling out one by one throughout a day but this is my first dream about ONE tooth falling out.  It seems as if it must be symbolic of something.

And then it just hit me.  BlogHer. This big conference where I will have met two people in person.  One I met since starting my blog, because of my blog and one I met years ago with NO connection to my blog (she just happened to work with my husband and now writes an amazing blog!).   And I think deep down, or subconsciously, I’m worried.  Worried that all of these “faceless” friends that I’ll be meeting will see something glaringly wrong with me in person even though we currently have these special relationships through our computer screens.

Does that make me sound super insecure?

I’m not really.  But I can’t help wondering what these first meetings will be like.  Have we already formed our first impressions through our words?  Through our thoughts?  Or will we be going through the first impression process all over again by how we act, how we talk, and how we look?  Will people be surprised to see that I use my hands a lot when I talk?  Will they notice and be turned off by the fact that I use a tremendous amount of sarcasm when I get nervous or when there’s an awkward silence?  Will they take my being quiet when I’m in these new situations as being rude or snobby?

I know I’ll be searching each room I enter for a familiar face.  And most likely, I wont’ find one.  You might be there, but I won’t know. I know I’ll be trying to disguise my insecurities with other characteristics that I’m more confident in.  I’ll be smiling at strangers, hoping for a smile in return.  I’ll laugh at jokes that aren’t so funny, to feel a part of the crowd. I’ll be awkward handing out my newly designed business cards wondering if the person even cares to take one.

But I’m hopeful.  Hopeful that all that’s led up to next weekend will NOT disappoint.  That I’ll find my place. That you will all live up to what I’ve created you to be in my mind.  And that I will live up to what you hope I am as well.

Because although I don’t really have a missing front tooth… I do have other faults that you may or may not see.  And I hope you’ll be ok with that.

To prepare you (on a lighter note) here are a list of what I hope you’ll oversee.  And love me for in the end.

– I have horribly ugly feet.  One of my feet has a bunion that is just the worst. Yet, I love cute shoes and sandals so I have a bit of a dilemma.  If my ugly foot shows through my shoes, you may see me covering that foot with my other foot, leaving me a bit off balance.  Makes for some swaying when I stand in one place.

– I have one of those voices that seems to stop as it comes out of my mouth making it hard to hear me.  So just lean closer.

– I get squeaky when I drink.  Which just makes the above point even worse.  So just lean even closer.

– I have a really bad back ,so sitting in one place for a prolonged period of time is super uncomfortable.  So I shift around a lot in my seat.  I don’t have to pee.  I don’t have hemorrhoids, my back is just angry with me.

– I have IBS which is aggravated when I get anxious and nervous.  So if in the middle of a conversation, I have to run to the bathroom, there you go. If you don’t know what IBS is, lucky you.

– I have very dry hands.  To the point that without even realizing it, I keep them balled in fists for fear that you’ll notice.  Not that you’re checking out the palms of my hands or that you’d even notice the dryness, but I just feel more comfortable that way.

– As I mentioned above, I’m at my most sarcastic when there’s an awkward silence.  So if I make an inappropriate comment, most likely it’s my off sense of humor and please excuse me.

– I’m a lightweight.  One drink, and I’m pretty much done. But I can hang out for a LONG time on that one drink and then I don’t get quite as squeaky so it’s better for everyone.

OK, I feel better now.

I can’t wait to meet so many of you… and if you won’t be at BlogHer, by the time I DO get to meet you, I’ll have all of my teeth and you’ll only see the good parts of me.

Does anyone have a REAL explanation or translation of my dream?  A missing tooth dream?  Do tell!

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Just a Mom – Project Momcasting

I’m Becca.

(You don’t really need to see my FACE do you?  Oh, ok, fine…)

I’m a master overthinker, pro-question asker, and an obsessor of living in the moment.

I am not anything so exciting.  You won’t weep or cheer over my story. I have not been to hell and back nor am I climbing toward an impossible peak.  But I am Real. And although I don’t have a STORY to tell.  I have stories to tell.  Stories that have made ME weep.  Have made ME laugh until my sides, toes and hair follicles hurt.

My unique stories are those of wanting desperately to live in the moment.  To open my eyes and see what is developing, blooming, and amazing Today.  I am scared to death of missing something.  Of being so focused on mothering Right that I miss Mothering.

I was lost before I found this place.  Alone. Felt thrown into a world of stay at home motherhood that I was totally unprepared for.  I had few local friends to call and cry to. Or with.  I felt suddenly surrounded by overachieving, competitive moms who forced me to retreat further inside my head.  My kids were looking to me to make them feel warm, safe and comforted when I myself felt none of these things.  Yes, I have a husband. A doting, loving, husband, but one that is not HERE in most of the hours that I need him here.  A husband who hasn’t walked in my shoes.  Trendy shoes that used to carry me into my work office and are now comfortable and playground appropriate, but oh so not chic.  And I still struggle daily with how to feel a Part of Something.

I am not a writer.  I do not have thousands of followers.  More like dozens. But they have filled my void. THIS has filled my void. I now have a home for my musings, my wonderings, my obsessions. And I feel normal, welcomed and loved for saying them.

I am self deprecating. I will tell you I suck at being a mom. That I don’t set enough limits. I give too many chances. I want to be my kids’ friend more than their mom. That I believe I’m secretly being filmed for The Nanny show based on the tantrums I’ve endured. I admit I cry.  In front of my kids.  Because I don’t know what else to do.

Instead of a hero, I’m just a mom. A mom that feels like a girl in a mom’s costume. A girl who has so many stories to tell… and I do in a voice that I believe many can relate to.  And this show, this REALITY show should have a mom on a journey that represents what REALLY goes on in so many houses, just like mine.  Where we, as moms, are lost and confused, and looking for a manual to tell us how to do it Right.

If there even is a Right way to do it.

This post was my entry for Project Momcasting.  Because, well, a girl can dream of being on TV even at my old age, right?  Below is the link for more info.  But please don’t now go and submit your unbelievably inspiring, heart wrenching, beautifully written or hysterical entry because then YOU’LL get on the show and I won’t and I’ll have something else to obsess about…  But go read the other entries because truly, they are AMAZING.  And my vote goes to Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary.

http://www.facebook.com/MomCasting

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Am I the Only One – Husband Edition

I know, I know, I’m supposed to do these on Tuesdays but I’m material-less today so I’m lightening it up a bit around here with a special THURSDAY edition of “Am I the only one who…”.

And today my focus is on my husband.  Yup.  Plenty of material here folks.  Those of you (the ONE of you) who knows him might shake your head in disbelief , but for me, the one who lives with him, this is what daily life in chez Drama is like.

Am I the only one with a 39 year old husband who:

Puts (or would like to put) Saucy Sue sweet and sour sauce or Barbeque sauce on just about every meal I prepare?  We should buy stock in Barbeque sauce.  Fish. Pasta. lasagna, pork, sandwiches. You name it – if he ate eggs, they’d be covered in the stuff too.

– Pinches his sides when he decides if he should have a second serving of dessert?  Like a second helping of ice cream will add to his waist line that night?

– Lays out his clothes for work the night before?  I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth before bed and there is his selection for his next day hanging on the towel rack.  It gives me a chance to see how he’ll look the next day since he leaves before my eyes are fully open.  And a chance to tell him if I don’t love his choice.

– Would prefer peeing outside than in the toilet?  I’m telling you, if it weren’t for me, he’d be marking his territory daily.  I think it’s confusing our dog who thinks the grass is HER domain.

– Truly enjoys watching the Bachelorette with me?  I find it incredibly annoying having a commentator throughout MY show but he’s entitled to his opinion and it’s nice having a real time partner to discuss the developments with.

– Thinks I need to be careful with my blog friends?  He reluctantly sent me off and said “have fun” as I left to meet my first IRL blog friend and told me not to give her my social security number.  Yes, he was being sarcastic. Maybe.  I think part of him feared I was meeting an axe murderer or a blog girl friend disguised as a man.  He’s excited for me to go to BlogHer but only because he knows there will be thousands of people there.  And they will be predominantly women.  So I won’t have a Roofie dropped in my drink.

– Enjoys speculating that women in bars or on the train are Escorts, strippers, or Prostitutes.  And doesn’t shut up about it until I agree with him?

– Has “gotten” everyone in my family with a prank phonecall?  A week before our wedding he called my mom pretending to be Frank Scarfamoodle, a co-worker of Tim’s.  He informed my mom that he hadn’t received his invitation to the wedding, but planned to be there with his wife and was a little disturbed that the invitation had been lost in the mail.  My mom called me frantically that afternoon that Mr. Scarfamoodle wasn’t on our guest list.

– Relentlessly makes fun of Facebook and Twitter but constantly informs me what he WOULD write as his facebook status update and tweet if he did use them.

– Gets the cars washed almost every week?  We have the shiniest cars in town.  The inside might be a disgusting disaster but the outside?  Brand spankin new looking.

– Informs me that everyone at WORK thinks he’s the cutest, funniest, sweetest man that would make the perfect husband… so why don’t I?

– Will go to a party and recognize someone from 5 years prior.  Even remember what they were wearing, what they were eating, who they were with and what football team had played that day and won, but can’t remember that I like CHOCOLATE based ice cream more than vanilla?

– Will put a twenty item list on a scrap of paper an inch square?  He can barely read it but the list is there.

– Played football through college but is better at Yoga than me?

– Doesn’t have a (big) problem coming home to his son dressed as a princess, pushing a baby stroller and wearing Hannah’s princess underwear over his diaper?

– Notices better than I do whether a girl friend of mine has gotten her hair colored or cut?

– Likes to get to the movies 30 minutes early, even if it’s the 15th week the movie has been in theaters, it’s the middle of a week day and there is no possible way the theater will be full?  He likes to find the perfect seats, get snacks and have time to pee (inside of course) before the lights go down and previews start.  Mind you, I find this endearing and wouldn’t have it any other way.

– Can watch the hard core action film 300 over and over on cable and listen to ACDC for hours in concert but also admits to enjoying chick flicks like Love Actually and Bridgette Jones Diary and will dance with the teeny boppers to the Back Street Boys?  (Sorry for selling you out Bub).

– Will still lay with me, cuddle with me, smooch me and adore me even when I haven’t showered, cut my toenails or shaved in Far Too Long?

Really?  Am I the ONLY one?  And who wants to guess whether this list will have me sleeping on the couch for a few nights?

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Hypocrite Me

Do you remember that post I wrote on Fitting In?  The one where I tried to explain to Hannah that she shouldn’t care so much about doing the same things or looking the same as her friends?  The one where I told her that who she IS and how she ACTS is so much more important than what she does or how she looks to fit in?

Well, I need to have Her read that post to Me.

Because today I went shopping.

For clothes I really don’t need, but felt I should have, for this little conference that you may have heard of called BlogHer. A three day conference with thousands of women I don’t know and who don’t know me.  Because over the past few weeks I’ve been inundated and overwhelmed with tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts in regards to what people are wearing and how my wardrobe choices are correlated to who I meet and how I Fit In. Because we all know how we are effected by First Impressions.  And oftentimes what we wear is the first glimpse into who we Are.

So I went shopping. And I thought about those first impressions and how I wanted to be perceived. And I spent money that I Do Not Have.  Because as you know, Tim is the Bringer of the Bacon.  And I am just far too good at consuming the bacon.  But bacon really isn’t so good for me.  I need to stay AWAY from the bacon.  But I bought some clothes that are so Me. Clothes that I never get to wear anymore in my days filled with spraying hoses, dirty playgrounds and swimming pools.  Clothes that I would be so thrilled to put on after a relaxing shower ALONE in the hotel room at the conference. Clothes in which I’d feel Confident and Special in.

But then I got home. And I sat my shopping bag on my bed and I saw the receipt laying on the top of the clothes in the bag.  The high price total glaring up at me. And I shook my head at myself.

Because these clothes don’t make Me. And the clothes I had planned on wearing before I got over-consumed with the fashion of it all won’t break Me. I’ve already made my first impressions.  Or many of them at least.  Through my words. Through my thoughts.  Through my (usually) thoughtful comments and emails and tweets.  And people will remember me from BlogHer (good and bad) because of my incessant question asking, tendency to laugh at everything, failure to use words correctly, issue with talking too quietly in loud places, and squeaky voice when I drink (even a glass of wine).

And believe me, I won’t remember you by what you’re wearing (well, I might if you’re wearing some incredibly amazing necklace that I probably tried to figure out how to discretely grab from your neck, or if you’re wearing shoes that you obviously are having a really hard time walking in).  I’ll remember how you made me laugh. How you remembered a moving blog post I wrote. How you were welcoming and warm even if there were more interesting or “popular” bloggers around to meet.

I told a blog friend recently that a fabulous personality can compensate for a poor sense of style or fear of being overweight.  But a fantastic, expensive outfit can NOT compensate for a lame personality.

So I’m returning my new clothes (unless I can think of another opportunity to wear these oh so chic outfits) and you’ll just have to love me, and remember me, for Me.  Because if I’m lecturing Hannah for caring too much about everyone else and how she’ll Fit In… I better follow my own words of wisdom.

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I am Me because of Her

Hannah sat at the dinner table tonight quietly eating her salad and perogies. (Honestly, I could stop my blog post right there since this healthy, wellrounded dinner is a first and an event in itself…).  She appeared deep in thought. Staring down at her plate as she ate, not chit chatting as she normally does throughout a meal.  Suddenly, she put her fork down and looked at me and said, “If I was not me, you would not be you.”

I thought for a moment.  Not sure how to respond as I wasn’t sure how literal I should take her comment. Often she makes these statements that must make sense inside her own little head, but they are so obscure, they make little sense to anyone else.  Like earlier today when she told me that there never is a tomorrow because when it becomes “tomorrow” it is then “today”.  Which if I think hard enough about, I can see what she’s getting at, but my brain REALLY hurts.

I digress.

I decided to assume Hannah simply meant that if she was not around, I would not be a mom, and therefore, would not be the same kind of person that I am today. (I’d instead be the carefree, well dressed, gym-toned, manicured, showered, money making woman I ONCE was).

So I said nonchalantly, “That’s right Hannah.  If you weren’t here I wouldn’t be a mom.”

“NO mommy!  That’s not what I meant!” she lamented.

She went on to eloquently say that if she were someone else, I’d also be someone else since I’d have another child who would make me different.

And with that, she ran off, grabbed herself a FudgeTickle and left the room.

But I sat. And pondered. And wondered what had just gone on in her head as she nibbled on her lettuce, cucumber, raisin and carrot salad and potato filled pasta.  Was she thinking what the world would be like without her in it?  Was she imagining her seat at the dinner table being occupied by another little girl?  One maybe with blonde hair, small green eyes, a shy demeanor, and few words?  I tried to recall any conversations we may have had that would have sparked these thoughts about her place in the world and in our family and how she effects me.

Nothing.  It was just another thought stream that fills her busy mind and keeps her up at night (and quiet at the dinner table).

But, she’s so right (once again).  I most definitely would NOT be me, if she was not her.  Every ounce of her makes me who I am.  I didn’t even know I had so many sides, so many facets of myself until she was born. I had yet to discover many of my passions or find my true voice until I had a reason to use them. Who I was, the core of me changed in an instant.

Because Before

Being patient only applied to waiting in line.

Being considerate meant returning a phone call.

Being organized meant neatly stacking a pile of papers.

Being protective meant holding an umbrella for a friend in the rain.

Being aware meant knowing when it was time for a drink of wine.

Being passionate applied to my career. And my hobbies.

Craving alone time didn’t exist.  Being alone made me lonely.

Being in love was never this deep.

And at the same time,

Being worried meant not wanting to speak in front of a large crowd.

Being tired meant getting up at 5:00 for a Step class.

Being cranky only effected Tim.

Yelling meant I screamed at the dog for peeing in the house.

I was allowed to be lazy.

No one got hurt if I turned my back for a moment.

No one looked for me when I was missing.  No one cried if I went out to dinner. No one needed my lap, my arms, my heart and my head all at once and all the time.

She keeps me on my feet.  She keeps me laughing until I cry.  And crying until I laugh.  She keeps me guessing. And second guessing. She makes me think.  And rethink.

And now, with THIS girl, I am Me.  I have no idea what I’d be like with another child.  But I do know this Me would be missing something.  It just wouldn’t know what it was.

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Where I Hang

I have this new swing.  It hangs from the ceiling of a small partially enclosed side entryway to my house.  Made of rope and fabric and two overstuffed pillows, it envelopes my body as if I’m wrapped in a cozy sling.  My feet just reach the ground when I sit in it, allowing me to sway from side to side. Back and forth. I imagine this is a bit how Luke felt when I carried him in the sling for the first 5 months of his life. Cradled. Comforted. Fully relaxed.

Where as I used to look forward to putting the kids to bed and curling up on the couch in front of the TV, I now skip down the stairs from their bedrooms, laptop or book in hand and head out to my swing. Normally Tim isn’t home yet, so it allows me some quiet, Me time to close out my day.

I told a good friend of mine about my new favorite spot and she asked where I hung it.  She assumed in the back of my house. By the pool in complete privacy.  Where I can hear the bubbling of the pool filter and watch the fireflies reflect off the water.  I told her in front. Facing the street where I can watch the world pass by.  I hadn’t even THOUGHT of hanging it in the back.  But her surprise made me think.  Why DO I want this swing in the front of my house?  Where anyone can see me.  Where I’m out in the Open.

I’m someone who craves quiet time.  I turn the radio OFF in the car whenever I’m traveling alone. These days I’d opt for a quiet glass of champagne at a dimly lit lounge with my husband over dancing in a club.  A weekend ALONE at a spa?  Bring it on. I don’t need much other company to be happy.  The noise in my own head very often is just enough.

So you’d think I would have chosen a hidden beam, out of view, in total privacy for this swing to hang.  But no. Here I sit at 8:30 at night watching cars whiz by.  In the 20 minutes I’ve sat here, I’ve waved hello to 2 runners and smiled to myself at the 3 or 4 bikers I’ve seen go by with a helmeted toddler seated on the back.  I can hear the three little girls laughing hysterically in the house across the street. Another neighbor has been outside trying (and not succeeding) to train his new dog.  The teenager who lives behind us is talking on the phone on their back deck. I can’t hear the conversation, but the start and stop of her voice lets me know she’s out there presuming she’s in privacy.

Even though I’m alone, I still feel a Part of something. A part of Other people’s somethings.

I’ve always been a people watcher. Living in NYC, I used to sit on a park bench in Central Park with a cup of coffee and just watch. And wonder. Where people were going. Where they were from. If couples were on a first date, a blind date, a last date.  If they looked unhappy because of work, friends, love life or whether that was just their game face which meant nothing at all.

I even used to sit and stare out my apartment window watching the bustling and listening to the chatter below.  Trying to make out bits and pieces of conversations (I never could afford an apartment THAT far off the ground so eavesdropping was possible!), enjoying the escape from my world into someone else’s.  I never would have liked an apartment that faced the “back” (although I did have one that faced a brick wall – again, the money issue).  I liked to face forward. Toward life.

In restaurants, I need to face into the crowd. I like a quiet table but not secluded, where I can’t see what everyone else is up to. I like to speculate about people’s lives. See how they interact. Make assumptions about their relationships.  (You’re thinking I must not be much fun to go out with aren’t you?  Don’t worry, I DO include those I’m with in my thoughts if they’re interested!).  And the perfect seat?  One outside. Where I can see the diners around me AND the pedestrians passing by.

And now here I am. A “front of the house” type person. I wouldn’t want a communal front yard (one reason Central Park grew old for me) but at the same time, I like to be Out there.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  I’m a very open person, letting people in often too early.  But just as I love to watch the world around me, I also welcome others in.  To be a part of MY world, here on my swing.

I wonder what this says about me.  It might sound as if I’m lonely and like to feel included in the world around me by Watching.  And although, yes, some days I AM lonely, it’s not the explanation for my “front of the house” preference.

I simply like to sit quietly on my swing and wonder about the lives of others, as I escape a little from my own.

Are you a “front of the house” or “back of the house” person?

Are you a people watcher?

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?  🙂

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