Tuesday, April 30, 2013

this thing lately.

And if I were fearless, 
then I'd speak my truth
and the world would hear this
That's what I wish I'd do, yeah.
~Sara Bareilles~

sad sammy sue

I've been doing this thing lately...
I've been working on learning to speak my truth.
I've been regularly going to sit on "the couch of angst" as the person I pay to talk to, listen to my story, and provide some guidance, likes to call it. I'll just call her a mentor of sorts - that has a nicer ring to it than that other word.
It's been hard work. Some days I just want to call it quits. I'm so tired of thinking about it and talking about it and ruminating... That couch of angst gets me angsty. It makes me nervous, and I get all red in the face and my social anxiety makes it's appearance again. It'd be easier to just not go.
Speaking your truth isn't easy for a people pleaser / "tell them what they want to hear or just shut-up" person like me. It's scary stuff. To open your mouth and speak truth that might hurt others (okay, that will knowingly hurt others) isn't fun. But it's necessary.
After almost 40 years of living, I've just figured that out: it's necessary.

I know plenty - plenty - of people who just say what they want to say.
No holds barred.
People who unapologetically just speak their truth.
These people amaze me to no end. They sometimes often make me feel really uncomfortable because - oh my good Lord above, did you really just say that in that tone of voice to your husband?! And did you really just call your daughter a brat in front of me?!...
Just saying what you want to say - outloud - is so foreign to me.
I wonder why that is?... I suppose sitting on the couch of angst might help me figure that out. Only time will tell.  I have my suspicious it boils down to that end-all, be-all need to be loved and liked and accepted and wanted and all that teenagey-like stuff. Yada, yada, yada...
Don't get me wrong, I am a master at the internal dialogue.
Oh if you could hear the conversations I have in my head. If you could hear the verbal sling-shots that go unsaid. You'd likely be appalled. You might not even want to be my friend, or read my blog, or friend me on IG or FB. I don't know how you'd react.
And for now I guess I'll never know.
And really how the collective "you" would react shouldn't even matter, right?
Someday. Someday, I hope to be the master at speaking my truth - out-loud.
Even if it stings a little.
And I guess a part of me really hopes that I'll be loved even more for doing so.

But for now, I'll continue to sit on that couch of angst and see how this all unfolds.

sammy sue couch potato

(And sometimes just hitting that publish button is scary stuff.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

lunch with my max.

lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
It's been a week. Personally, and out there in the world.
What a week.
And my tendency when the going gets tough is to check-out with my iPhone or iPad or washing dishes or folding clothes or cleaning bathrooms, and finding a million other things to do just to numb my mind a bit, and escape from having to be present in the moment. Because if I have to be present in the moment I might just have to feel some things I don't really want to feel. Horrifying, I know.
But then I made lunch for my guy, and realized that he's only got eight and a half weeks of school left.
And that means I only get to sit with him while he has lunch before heading to kindergarten for eight and a half more weeks.
So I grabbed my camera and sat down.
I stopped "doing" and just was present for a few minutes.
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
lunch time
My camera helps me do that.
I need to remember that when I want to escape, I really just need to grab my trusty Nikon and start snapping away.
You can't check-out while taking pictures.
And besides that, I need to stop waiting for inspiration to find me and just pick-up my camera and start somewhere.
All great things begin by simply starting right?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

radiant with charms.

macro ranunculus collage

I just finished reading The Language of Flowers, and according to the flower dictionary in the back of the book ranunculus means "you are radiant with charms."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

these two.

Monday April 1st I had my appointment with my ENT to get the splints taken out of my nose since having nose surgery the week before. (I know you just read "splints taken out of nose" and cringed and wondered if you wanted to keep reading...) I took a taxi (expensive ride into downtown Portland!) there and my brother kindly agreed to meet me there and give me a ride home (He knows first-hand the nastiness of this surgery). Last time I had this surgery 22 years ago, I hyperventilated and almost passed out in the office when they took the miles of packing out. (Ewww, right?...) So I planned accordingly this time around. Wasn't going to chance driving myself.

Anyway, Uncle Wes was kind enough to drive me home and then stay and play with Max for a couple of hours until T-ball practice.
These two.
Together... A crazy, hilarious pair.
Two peas in a pod.
They had me laughing so hard - which was quite painful for the schnoz which was still terribly swollen and sporting stitches. (Who knew the nose moves so much when you laugh?!)

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod

It was some long over-due and much needed laughter in my life.
Love these two.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

sammy and her sticks.

sammy sue

She loves her sticks.

her stick

I take her out to go potty and she prances around, finds a stick and happily carries it up to the deck thinking she gets to bring it inside.

the stick chewer

hold on tight

But woe is Sammy - I tell her to drop the stick.
Momma isn't cleaning up chewed-up sticks around the house.
Poor girl.
It's hard being Sammy Sue.

peering below
Don't feel too sorry for her.
She gets plenty of time on the couch when dad is out of town.

Monday, April 8, 2013

the box of shame.

box of shame

A few weeks ago our microwave broke, so we got a new one. And since I was done with white appliances, and chose a black microwave we kind of had to get a new black oven/stove top. And then since it was driving my husband crazy to have two black appliances, a stainless fridge and a white dishwasher, we bought a new black dishwasher to match. (No new fridge, we just got that one last year.)
Anyway, he installed the dishwasher and we were left with a big cardboard box. And everyone knows that kids love big boxes, right?
So my Maxwell - what does he make? A box of shame. At the time he had been on a kick of watching Despicable Me - and if you've seen it you know the scene where the girl is in the "box of shame" at the home for girls.

So Max made a box of shame. And quickly proceeded to get Sammy to go in it. And then quickly proceeded to convince Gma to help hold the box closed so Sammy couldn't get out, but could only peek through the "window" in the box. Yes, he even used a lot of tape!


She looked so sad in there. Staring up at Gma as if to ask, "Why are you partaking in keeping me in this box? What have I ever done that's so awful? I'm not a bad dog."
It was cute and pathetic all at the same time.

pleading eyes

And a week later Max got in the box. Grinning from ear to ear at that point because it had become the office in his huge fort made of couch cushions and blankets.

max in the box

But it got me thinking - especially after reading Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection -
how many of us recognize the difference between guilt and shame?...
There is a difference. I didn't realize it until I had read Brene's books above.
Guilt tells us we DID something bad. Our behavior was bad.
Shame tells us we ARE bad. That as a person, who did something not so good, that automatically makes our entire being and who we are - BAD.
See the difference? Guilt is about behavior. Shame is about our very being and who we are as a person.
HUGE difference, huh?
Guilt makes us feel bad about something we said or did.
Shame slowly erodes at our sense of self, our sense of worthiness, and sense of whether we are lovable just as we are - good, bad and ugly combined.
Shame leaves us wondering if we are really "enough."

I'm the first to admit that it's quick to make the jump from "your behavior was bad" to "you are bad."
I've put Max in that box.
I've put my husband in that box.
I've put friends and family in that box.
And worse yet, I continue to willing put myself in that box, and label myself as the bad mom/wife/friend/daughter/sister/photographer/etc.
"You yelled at Max - you're a bad person."
"You weren't patient with Max - you're a bad person."
"You snapped at Eric because you're in a bad mood - you're a bad person."
"You yanked on the dog's leash because she's taking forever to go potty while you stand in the pouring rain - You're a bad person." I've shamed myself to the moon and back, ten ways till Sunday.

Think about it. Really think about it...
How many times have you mistaken poor choices in behavior of others as them being bad.
We do it all the time as parents, right? We've all said to our kid, "You're a bad boy/girl. Don't do that again!" When we really should be saying, "Your behavior was not nice/uncalled for/disrespectful/(fill-in-the-blank) Please do not BEHAVE that way again."
See the difference?
Big difference.

ack! let me out

That box is still sitting in our living room. Part of me wants to toss it. Burn it even, as a symbol of telling shame where the heck it can go. And part of me wants to keep it around as a reminder of how often I put others and myself in that box.

And if you are a parent or spouse or sibling or daughter/son or friend to anyone on God's green earth, I highly suggest you read Daring Greatly. And then read it again.

My deep thoughts for Monday.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

gma's birthday, a belly button & some cake.


reading to gma

i spy a belly button

Friends, I'm so behind on my editing and blogging.
I have SO many photos I've taken in the past month that are sitting - waiting to be edited, waiting to be blogged. I don't even know where to begin. 
So, I'll begin here: Gma's third 70th birthday (hee hee...) back on March 12th. She came to visit us the week of her birthday. Max read some Dr. Suess to her in the morning.
And man oh man! - You can't do a birthday without some chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, right?... It was good.

gma's birthday cake

More photos to come. I promise.
I'm slowly getting around to editing.
Don't give up on my just yet!