Monday, March 30, 2009

Gypsies, tramps and thieves

A couple of days ago, I came face-to-face with a sad reality of my past: I was very, very irresponsible with my credit. This is one topic that has been weighing heavily on me lately, mainly because I have begun to wish I could have a nice house my children can grow up in. My credit is really bad and I wish I knew how to fix it.

And what a mess it is to fix.

It's not just unpaid medical bills that have accumulated. It's also things I "bought" but never paid for. It's also that huge stain on my credit report that came about because my parents were irresponsible for paying mortgages and they took that money to the casinos instead. (WHY I never did anything to change that, I will never know. I was naive. Everybody in the family laughed about it but I certainly never laughed about it then and certainly not now.)

I don't know why I was that way. Seeing those piles of unpaid bills and notices was certainly very depressing and I just felt terribly guilty. I felt ashamed of myself, really.

My parents took money that was for medical reasons and bought houses, cars and expensive gifts instead. They also had a gambling problem. They were just throwing that money into the wind, you know? It was seriously mishandled and I was so stupid and naive to sign those forms they put in front of me or let them use my name to get loans or my name and address for their utility bills.

It angers me and it frustrates me. WHY DIDN'T I DO SOMETHING?? Why didn't I say "Look, this is wrong"?

Well, I wasn't the only one in the family who was living dishonestly. Believe me, lies, manipulation, greed, immorality and betrayal go way, way, waaayyy back in my family. (It's no joke that I used to refer to my family as "the mafia.") Nobody said this stuff was bad. Everybody thought it was okay. Avoiding the law became a joke among all of us and having a bad rap was something every single one of us was known for.

Including me...

But I know now that stuff was just wrong. I should have been more vigorous in protecting my credit. Seriously, I should have REALIZED that one day I would want to be able to own a home my children can grow up in, and that I'll need a good credit report to get there. I should have realized I'd feel guilty if I didn't pay for that knickknack I ordered through the mail or if I didn't take care of a doctor's bill IMMEDIATELY. Heck, why didn't I get it that I could ask to pay huge bills in increments??

There's just so much I didn't "get" and didn't understand.

But I am older now. And wiser. Nowadays, I'm more protective about what goes on as far as that stuff is concerned.

These days, I KNOW I have to have good credit. I know how important it is. And I am stronger now, strong enough to stand up for myself and to avoid being in a position where people can use me and use my name to get what they want (usually money). (Unfortunately, I can talk til I'm blue in the face with some people. I have a "friend" who keeps using my name and even my address to get things. Cell phone service, utility service, etc. I have told her REPEATEDLY to STOP USING MY NAME and stop using my address, too. I don't know yet if she has stopped. But she HAS received collection notices at my address. Sigh.)

I have been very depressed and guilty about this. I don't even know if half of what family members have told me about the notices are true. (Mostly, it's a "don't worry about it" response. But I worry!) When I saw those stacks of bills, I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. That right there was proof of my irresponsibility. That right there was proof that I was not being smart about what was going on and what I was doing. I didn't see the bad habits I was imitating from family members but my eyes are wide open now. I am not that person anymore and I have no plans at all to ever be that person again.

I want to lead an honest, trustworthy and charitable life. But how can I do that with that paper trail saying I cannot be trusted?

It's a horrible ache and I've been praying really hard about it. I have asked God for forgiveness but also for what to do. How can I make things right again? What do I need to do to clear away the bad things I did?

I am still hoping that God will lead me to my answer. It all seems so overwhelming. My husband said to just shred all of it then when I pay a bill, the old ones will start to come in. I don't know if that is true, because some of them are REALLY old. And I don't know anything about how the whole "credit industry" works. I'm very clueless about these things.

Except for the fact that I DO need to come clean. On ALL of it. I have to make right what was made wrong.

Part of the reason I am trying so hard to "make it big" with the writing is so that I can make that happen. There's so many old debts incurred, so many current bills to pay, it's like an ongoing process of trying to keep it all in check with what amount I can manage to dole out for it each month.

But the important thing is that the people who contributed to this mess are not in control anymore. I am. So from now on, instead of rolling my eyes and saying "thank you, Mom and Dad" whenever I see "LIEN" or "BANKRUPTCY" on my credit report, I will instead see it as a matter that must be resolved. It hurts that this is a burden I have to carry, but at least I now have control over whether it gets better or worse. And at least I see now the bad habits that contributed to it, and that all of those bad habits must never happen again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Give me a break!

This week is Jennifer's Spring Break from school. You would think we'd be taking advantage of that and having fun!

Unfortunately, that hasn't YET been the case. Instead of having fun, we have been doing WORK. Cleaning, organizing, getting rid of old stuff and sorting through everything.

At the very beginning of Spring Break, we both made a list of things we wanted to do. On both lists was getting Jen's room straightened up. And for the most part, that has happened. (I still have to organize her closet and fix her posters, The double-sided tape I bought to hang them up doesn't work, no matter how much of it I use! I'd hate to use tacks, because they are really nice posters.)

Getting the room organized is the ONLY thing on our lists we've managed to get done. We have YET to go play golf, go fishing, have a sleepover and go to the park.

Instead, we've been busy getting work done. My husband has been doing some repairs around the house (FINALLY!!) and I'm still working my way through organizing the house. In addition to being swamped with writing work!

But I am going to MAKE ROOM for some fun. I've spoiled her today but tomorrow is the official "start" of fun time. I've invited Jennifer's friend over for a sleepover and I have promised her we will go out tomorrow and just do something enjoyable. NO WORK. Just a little fun. For once.

Spring Break will be over before we know it. And the last thing I want her to tell her teacher when asked what she did on Spring Break is, "Clean the house."

Here's hoping I can get some of that fun stuff into the picture while there is time for it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodbye, clutter!

It's confession time! Yours truly is a pack rat. Yep, I'm one of those people who saves every little slip of paper, every toy (even broken ones!) and every appliance that just doesn't work anymore or that is no longer any good, for "just in case."

Just in case I need it someday.

Just in case it can actually be fixed and used again.

Just in case somebody wants/needs it.

Just in case I end up housing people who are stranded and they need clothes, old magazines to read or old shoes to wear.

Just in case I want to be that person who has everything for everyone for every single kind of situation.

Well, guess what? Justin Case doesn't live here anymore! And that person is not going to be me! I don't want my home to be some kind of "one size fits all" depot where everyone can find everything. I mean, seriously, what kind of future value will a broken toaster even have??

So I have decided to shed my pack-rat ways. This includes all of the paper clutter, too. I have to admit, I have had stacks of papers in certain places, stacks of books and assorted items stacked up in my bedroom and closets. No more of that, though. I'm getting rid of the clutter. I am going to go minimalist!

If you are a loyal blog-reader, you may be aware that I tried to do this ages ago. But I wasn't able to keep that up for very long. I am hoping that THIS time, I will be able to keep up with it.

I got a lot of the work done yesterday and already I am breathing easier. There really is a physical benefit in getting rid of clutter! I feel more "free" and less bogged down. I feel more organized and it's really easier for me to just "breathe" in my bedroom. We're doing the same for Jennifer's room today and I know she, too, will have the same physical benefits. A clutter-free room has a more positive atmosphere. There's no muck reminding of the past or stress in taking care of a huge pile of "things" that are "in the way" of having more room for activity. And holding on to old things has some kind of psychological effect on a person, because the person will end up holding on to old grievances, old regrets, old pains from the past. (It's all bad stuff, because that excess is "bad" so the things held onto from the past are often "bad" things, too.) And literally getting rid of the "old" is just like making room for the "new." Once the old stuff is gone, new stuff can come in! (Well, except for new clutter. Clutter is just BAD! No matter where you hide it or what you call it.)

I am doing this without any giuidance from books or web sites, but I definitely welcome any advice on living clutter-free. I am open to any tips and tricks on how to save things without causing more clutter. (I'm thinking of putting A LOT of stuff on the computer and back-up CDs, instead of relying on paper so much. I'm also getting a file cabinet and folders to keep my writing files more organized and JUST in one place. I'm also using a bulletin board and I'll be picking up a shoe rack to keep my shoes in just one place, too.) Also, as far as my children's art and school stuff is concerned, I am only saving the MOST IMPORTANT stuff.

Some stuff I can't part with, though, are things like family photos, books (you can NEVER have too many books!), mementos from people no longer here and just little mementos like a signed CD, autographed photo and unusual items we have found (old/foreign coins, unique rocks, etc.). But, for the most part, we're tossing whatever we can safely part with. It's definitely hard, because I'm so used to being a "clutter queen," but I'm shedding those clutter ways and making room for a more organized and tidy approach to living.

For the longest time, I have wanted to do this. Get everything organized and get rid of the clutter. But I didn't know how. I'd often raise my hands in the air and cry out, "How am I going to tackle this clutter?" Well, I am tackling it now. It's not going to happen overnight but it's definitely happening. I just hope I will be able to make sure I can keep it happening.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In a pinch

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The day we get to wear green, drink green beer and eat corned beef!

But if you really want to be a traditionalist today, don't pinch anyone not wearing green, don't drink any alcohol and don't eat corned beef. Eat ham instead.

This is what I uncovered after something happened at Jennifer's school. A painful childhood memory of St. Patrick's Day had me going nuts in trying to find clothes for Jennifer to wear to school today that had green on them. Then she enlightened me with a rule her school has enacted: No pinching on St. Patrick's Day. If any of the kids pinch someone for not wearing green, they got into trouble. (The above link shares the details.)

This got me curious. I started to question society's tampering with a tradition. Then I had to ask myself: Is it REALLY a tradition to pinch someone for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day?

I'm a research nut, so of course I hit the Internet to find out. I zeroed in on all the usual suspects -- Wikipedia, Yahoo! and Associated Content -- then started reading message board forums, blog posts and assorted Irish-related web sites. Apparently, pinching IS NOT a traditional St. Patrick's Day activity! More surprising, it's not something practiced in the ENTIRE United States! I was surprised to come across people located in different states who were confused about the whole pinching thing and said that it never happened where they went to school. (There are others on the above link echoing that comment.)

As it turns out, the tradition of pinching someone for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day was started by schoolchildren, who pinched someone who forgot to wear green on that day. Even though green is not a popular color in Ireland, green is associated with Ireland because it is a country that is, well, "green." They call Ireland "the Emerald Isle" just because of the fact that it's very, very green year-round. Another argument promoting this custom is that the green color is on the flag (which actually heralds back to their old flag when Ireland was not free).

One other legend is that, back in the day, Irish settlers pinched their misbehaving children

So it's not a St. Patrick's Day tradition to pinch someone for not wearing green. What a relief! It's a school-oriented tradition. (Gee, not surprising. It would naturally happen that a painful tradition would emerge in a place known for having bullies.)

And here's another factoid for you trivia buffs: Long ago, the Protestants in Ireland started wearing orange as a means of protest. (Apparently, the Protestants love to protest in their spare time. LOL) So orange was put on the Irish flag in recognition of their Protestant countrymen. See "Wearing of green"

While you're there, note that the traditional St. Patrick's Day color was not green, but BLUE! I like blue better. It's my favorite color!

But, heck, blue, green or orange -- I think any of those three colors should be just fine to wear on St. Patrick's Day without penalty! Some people just wear a shamrock pin, which in my opinion should be just as good if you can't wear any green. That's the next best thing to recognizing Ireland, aye?

Now, as to the corned beef: One forum I visited had someone on there saying that corned beef is NOT a traditional Irish stipend on St. Patrick's Day. Actually, they eat ham.

Here is a humorous pinching poem I came across on AC.

But, sometimes, this pinching business isn't funny at all. As I shared, kids who normally teased me at school because of my appearance took advantage of that tradition and pinched me REALLY HARD. One brother-in-law who bullied me for years said the green on my shirt "wasn't green enough" and left bruises where he pinched me.

The pinching thing on St. Patrick's Day can get so out of hand, someone even posted this article about defensive measures you can take at work.

And we can at least take solace in the fact that a REAL pinch isn't something as painful as this:

As to us? We don't pinch each other for not wearing green. We all think it's kind of stupid and just shrug it off if someone isn't wearing green.

But you can bet we all still wear green, anyway.

One final note: If you're going to drink, please don't drive!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The "in and out of it" day

This morning started out rough. I woke up at 6 coughing up phlegm pretty bad. I took some Comtrex but it was a while before it kicked in and I could go back to sleep. Thankfully, my husband took care of the kids this morning so that I could rest. When I finally got out of bed, I hugged the baby a long time because I sure did miss seeing him in the morning. I tried to get back to work and try to get caught up, but after managing to answer just three e-mails, my thinking processes went south and I had to put the rest of the work off for another time.

Later in the day, I took some more medicine and I was able to function okay. My husband had some errands to run. For a while, I survived okay. Thing of it was, whenever Jesse tried to play with a toy, Jennifer kept interceding and "taking over" his play. I kept reminding her to let him just play with whatever toy he was playing with, especially when he got frustrated over how she "messed up" the way he had everything set up.

Another thing I had to keep telling Jennifer today: "Don't play ball in the house." She got restless and kept kicking the ball around. I swear I started to feel like Carol Brady saying "don't play ball in the house" all the time. Gah!

As Jesse's nap time approached, I remembered to give him his afternoon snack and milk bottle. I put on Blue's Clues and he lied down drinking the bottle, watching it. He loves that show. He had no trouble napping afterwards and I was able to catch up on a bit of sleep, too.

Today I was watching "Haunted History" on the History Channel. They were doing an episode on "Haunted Savannah." Since Savannah is a city I'm including in my next book, I knew I had to watch this show as a little bit of research. (It's about investigators' stories of their investigations of haunted places in different parts of the country.) At one point, I was pointing at the screen and saying, "That house is in my book!" The haunted houses book, that is. Not saying which house, though; you'll have to read the book to find out! Bwa-haha!

They also did a part about the famous murder case involving Jim Williams, which was written about in the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. My good friend, Peter Bowerman, suggested I read that book, and I'm glad he did! It's a good book and seeing them discuss the house and its "ghostly atmosphere" in the show was really interesting. Now I want to watch the movie!

I realized something today: I haven't had coffee for two days. Yikes! So I made myself a cup of French Vanilla Cafe and the world was right again. (haha) It's funny the things you realize you forget about when you're sick. Well, when you are sick, the world is just a haze and all the stuff you're used to, the routines and everything, just change. Everything is on hold. All you know is medicine, hot bath and sleep. That is, if your life is not so chaotic that you can have those things. As it is, I was able to just "zone out" for one whole day while my husband minded the fort. And it does a world of good, too. Better than no day to just sleep and take medicine at all.

Miraculously, I felt well enough to make dinner tonight. I made meatloaf, which is actually a family favorite. Jennifer kept going on about how she LOVES my meatloaf but she couldn't eat all of the meatloaf on her plate. I was just as pleased she ate any of it at all.

I am starting to feel a little better, despite the recurrent cough and runny nose. Still, I'm playing it safe. I told Jennifer we're not going to church tomorrow, because I don't want to risk getting anybody else sick. She was kinda disappointed but I assured her we'll go next week.

Thankfully, she is all better now. I guess grown-ups take longer to recover from colds/flu than children.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sick and writing

This week we were planning to go to a book fair at Jennifer's school. Unfortunately, we didn't get to attend and buy books. First it was because Jennifer got into red at school, so part of her punishment was to not go to the book fair. The second reason why is because she got sick and had to miss a couple of days. By the time she got back to school, the book fair was over.

I have been sick, too. Apparently, I caught whatever it was Jennifer had. (Some kind of mutant form of the cold.) At first, I tried to just blow it off and go about my day doing what I had to do, but by Day Two, it had knocked me off my feet. My brain was fried, I had bad chest congestion, runny nose, coughing and body aches. I couldn't get ANY writing done and I decided to just STAY OFF the computer because any time I tried to read an email, words became jumbled and my eyes wouldn't stay opened.

So, writing was out of the question. I felt bad I couldn't get anything done, because just one look at my email account told me I had to get EVERYTHING done, but I just could not focus or concentrate. I couldn't put sentences together. As much as I hated to, I missed one day on the blog series for Read an E-Book Week. I have decided that, next time around, I will write these blog posts up in advance so they will post automatically.

As it is today, I'm having good and bad moments. Sometimes I can think straight and put sentences together, sometimes not. My strength just comes and goes. When I thought I'd have enough strength to cook lunch this morning, I realized I didn't by afternoon. (I ended up nuking lunch instead.) So I'm on and off the computer, on and off with the housekeeping duties around the house. I'm out of orange juice, out of Comtrex and out of any other medicine that might help alleviate symptoms.

Anyway, I'm hoping I'll be right as rain by the end of the weekend. I am just glad I have been able to resurface today and get SOME things done, get a little catching up done. Until I'm 100% better, that'll have to come in bits and pieces.

Last night, I had one of my usual nightmares. Someone in my family did something to me a long time ago that was a Very Bad Thing, and sometimes I still have nightmares about it. But also in these nightmares, he's hurting my daughter, too. I am trying to figure out a way to cope with those nightmares. I keep telling myself that person is VERY far away and won't be able to get anywhere NEAR my daughter. It's little comfort, though, because of the whole "family ties" thing. You know how they like to say "we're FAMILY, love us anyway"? Yeah, that's what goes on here, too. But I will go through hell and high water to protect my baby girl and not let what he did to me happen to her, too. I suppose I can only do so much to make sure it won't happen. But I have to figure out how to deal with these nightmares. I don't like having them. I could try shrugging it off, say "it's just a bad dream" and go about my day. But that's pretty hard to do.

I don't let the nightmares ruin my day, though. It's just this whole being sick thing that puts a damper on any chance to go out and have fun. Bah!

I got an idea today. I have been trying to figure out how to write my life story in a way that isn't too difficult for me to write. There are lots of bad things that have happened in the past -- not just the abuse. I really don't want to revisit all that. But I think if I write it all out like it's a novel, then maybe it won't be so hard. That's how I wrote about all those dreams I had with that man named Jonathan in them. I wrote it as a novel. Changed names and everything. Then I did it again with November's Child, except I took the whole "literary liberty" thing to the nth level! LOL

But if I do this with my life story, then maybe it won't be so hard to write. Heck, maybe I can take all that bullying I had to deal with in middle school and make it where I cleverly got back at those bullies. Or how I wasn't taken out of a musical performance for "not singing" after all, and I got to sing in front of everyone in that class! Yeah, that'll show 'em! Haha, no, seriously. I will keep EVERYTHING in that "novel" as factual as I can. In fact, the only thing I'll change will be the names.

Well, it's a thought. I'm not crazy about writing my life story, but a lot of people have definitely been asking me to write it. Maybe I will, someday. I know for a fact I'm not at a "high point" in life to even start writing about this life so far lived. I'm not even 50 years old yet! Maybe I'll write it someday. And maybe, when I do write it, I'll pen the whole thing as a novel. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No such thing as a free E-Book?

I have been doing a series of posts at the DC blog, in honor of Read An E-Book Week. At the end of each blog post, you will find a link to where you can download one or more free E-Books. This has been going well, as there are indeed sites and specials where you can get a free E-Book, but I have noticed that some of those so-called "free" E-Books aren't so free after all.

And what you have to do to get your "free E-Book" from these particular sites really has my blood boiling.

I have nothing against signing up for a newsletter, subscribing to a blog or including the gifter's banner on my site all in the name of getting a free E-Book. I DO have certain issues with publishers, companies and writers asking for or requiring the following:

*Your mailing address. (You just KNOW they're going to mail you all of their junk mail if you give this to them. Or even sell your information!)

*Your PayPal info. (What the heck do they need THIS for?? I thought the E-Book was "free.")

*Paying for shipping. (What exactly are they shipping? I'm requesting a FREE ELECTRONIC FILE. Or, at least, I thought it was free?? I don't think so! Like hell I'll pay shipping for an E-Book that is SUPPOSED to be "free.")

These are the three things I encountered today when I tried to get my day's free E-Book.

But here is the icing on the cake, dear readers: I found out about this "free E-Book" offer via the "Read An E-Book Week" partners site. These offers SAY they're giving away free E-Books. But what they don't say is that there's strings attached. I think they should have mentioned there were requirements before letting the good people at the site know of their offers.

Sorry, not gonna do business with THOSE people. Apparently, they have no qualms about deceptive advertising. Outrageous.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

I am ready to kick myself. Apparently, it's Daylight Savings Time today! Not the good kind, where we get to set our clocks back an hour. But the frantic kind, where we have to set our clocks an hour AHEAD and end up scrambling all over the place to get to certain places on time.

Too bad I didn't remember what today was until AFTER I had to be somewhere at a certain time.

Yup. You guessed it. We were late for church. AN HOUR LATE! *bangs head against desk*

Actually, an hour and 15 minutes late. I got me and the kids there thinking we were only 15 minutes late. I should've realized something was up and that it was LONGER than just 15 minutes late when I noticed the usual hosts at the tables in the Children's Ministry were long gone, along with the table settings, member cards, assorted paperwork, etc. I saw all that and thought, 'Wow, they must've cleared out of there FAST!'

But the real funny part came later. As I was sitting in the sanctuary and watching the service. Then it was time for collection and I was thinking, 'Already??' Then we had singing and prayer, then everybody starts breaking away from the pews, hugging each other, holding hands and talking. I take it to mean it was time for the "meet and greet" we usually have during services so I just busy myself with reading the day's literature. Then I turn around to notice the doors are open. With some people walking out of them. And I'm sitting there, looking around and thinking, "Why is everybody...leaving?"

So I figure, okay, church is ending early today. Still, I was confusedly walking around, debating whether I should ask anyone if services were indeed over. I eventually caught sight of my friend, Val. We hugged and chatted briefly. Then I watched her walk away and she just...left. So I guess, yes, services were indeed over! 'Wow,' I think. 'That sure was a short service today. Did they change the times, or something?'

When I got to the nursery to pick up Jesse, I asked about that. They told me that church services were from 10:30 to noon. The only difference? No longer at 12:30. And I was thinking, 'It's not even noon yet! I just looked at my cell and it's only 11ish.' But they were pointing at the clock on the wall and, sure enough, it said the time was NOON.

It wasn't until I got out to the car that it hit me: OH! IT'S DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! DUH!!!

Yeah, no kidding. LOL

P.S. On a positive note, I did just fine leaving the baby in the nursery today. Woo-hoo!! One of the volunteers told me, "He was quiet the whole time." I think it was just new for him and he was curious about the other babies in there.

P.P.S. I just found out today that another friend I have at church has 12 kids. ZOMG!! *faints*

P.P.S.S. I don't know how those moms do it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I hardly got any writing done today. I got some editing work done on the manuscript, but that's about it. When I got the baby down for a nap, the mail was here and I received a letter from my doctor that left me shocked and just...speechless.

Apparently, a test they'd done on me recently revealed that there might be a cancerous growth on my cervix. They want me to come in for a biopsy. If it is cancer, they noted, there is treatment I can receive that will remove the growth.

All I could say after I read the letter? "Oh, my God." After that, I just silently sat in the chair, a whirlwind of emotions raging within me. I was shocked, really shocked. Kinda scared, kinda angry. I am only 34 years old! Still, one of my sisters, who is younger than me, is also dealing with a type of cancer. And my mother has been battling another type of cancer since before I was born.

Then again, I was reminded of something: Cancer knows no age. Anyone, at any age, can get it.

I don't know if it even is cancer, though. The last time I had this test done, we got the same results. The doctor said "cancer" last time. Then she said, "Well, maybe it's not cancer." Then she said "We'll test again and see." So I had to wait, and here we are. Same test results and same possibility.


I am going to stay strong, though. even if it is cancer, I am going to hang in there. Thousands of women have had to deal with this. They have survived. I will, too.

And, at least they caught this early.

As I sat in the chair, trying to process all of this, I started to think about everything going on in life. Something like this really puts things into perspective. I mean, if it is indeed cancer, then that sort of has my days numbered, doesn't it? And there's so much I still want to do in life. So much that I still want to see. I have always believed that we must embrace the day, live life to the fullest and go after our dreams. But I had to ask myself, just how much have I been holding true to that belief? Sure I'm going after my dreams with writing, but what about the other things? Why don't I try to find some way to get a hearing aid that won't hurt when I wear it? Why haven't I tried to learn how to swim or how to fence or how to build a web site? Why did I give up on so much? Give in to so much? Let go of so much?

I mean, really. What have I NOT done in life that I REALLY WANT TO DO?

I just sat there, thinking about all that.

I look at people running and wish I could go running, too.

Well, why don't I?

I look at all of these nice houses people own and wish I owned a house, too. And I'm not even TRYING to improve my credit or get savings put away to make that happen.

Well, why don't I?

The point is, that whole letter just really made me take stock of everything. It just really made me pause and think about everything. Even if it turns out that it's NOT cancer, I still have to look at the things I have done and the things I haven't done. The things I want to do. Deep in my heart, I want to have more children. My heart aches for more children and to have a large family. If the biopsy is positive, that won't be able to happen now. But if it's negative, well....I guess you could say that it's either now or never!

I am not happy with certain choices I have made in life and I know that because of those choices, I can't make everything right again. But this has definitely been an eye-opener for me and made me think, you know, time is running out. Why spend the rest of my life being miserable? Why spend it just...wishing for things but never trying to make them happen? Why do I constantly put up with a living situation that makes me feel less than good?

I mean, really. Why do that to yourself? Who wins in the end?

But something else happened today that also made me pause. Well, I paused after a good dose of yelling and crying.

After I got back from the laundromat, I was standing there next to the door, trying to hold it in since I'd had to go to the bathroom for the past ten minutes, and I was holding out a basket to my husband to take from me. I still had to close the door and the door and the baby was right there in front of me. I had previously held out something for him to take because I had to go back out the door but he didn't so I sat it on the table myself. Instead of taking the basket, he got busy doing something else. (He said he didn't see me holding the basket out.) I sighed in frustration, looking away as I lowered it. He noticed my reaction and angrily grabbed the basket from me and took it to another room. Then he stormed back and said he was sick of my "attitude" towards him.

WHAT ATTITUDE?? I was only expressing my frustration! That's not "attitude."

I was SOOO ANGRY at him for what he did and I'm still angry at him now. It definitely made me rethink my relationship with him. Let's just say it added to my whole episode of taking stock of things in life so far. Some people may see this and think it's not a big deal that a husband angrily grabs something from his wife. Well, you know what? It's a big deal to me. Wanna know why? I grew up in a violent home, where people physically reacted to their anger every day! Now slamming doors, screaming into a pillow and just slamming your fist on a table is one thing, as far as physically reacting to your anger goes. But when you let that physical reaction be directed at a person...that's just crossing the line. YOU DO NOT PHYSICALLY DIRECT YOUR ANGER TO A PERSON. In my family, there were people slapping, hitting, punching, physically attacking, throwing, pushing and throwing things. (Which is why I hate violence. I can't stand it and WILL NOT allow violence in my home.) If he's going to physically react to his anger towards me or anyone else, it can only get worse. Allowing him to angrily grab something from me can lead to something worse. It can lead to pushing or hitting. It's disrespectful. I will not tolerate that kind of disrespect from a man I am married to. I told him, "I don't care how angry you are. You DO NOT do that with me." He might hurt me or one of the children. (He DOES have that in his past, which is why I have never been able to completely and unconditionally love him despite remarrying him. But that's a whole nother story for a whole nother blog post.) I can't allow for him, or anyone in this house, to lose that sense of self-control over their anger. (At least he doesn't drink, in contrast to certain family members who did.)

For this reason, I have been doing a lot of reflecting today. I'm trying hard to avoid being depressed or scared or filled with anxiety. One day at a time. One day at a time. I will keep my faith in God, keep praying that God will watch over us, and see what the future will bring.