Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Complicated....

Growing up I was shy. Painfully shy at times. I just sat back and watched all the goings on. There were bonuses to this. For example, if I never said anything then I would never say anything stupid. If I kept to myself and didn't let people in, then they couldn't hurt me. The times I did come out of my shell to fit in, I ended up regretting it.

In 6th grade I wanted so desperately to be part of the group of cool girls in my class that I would do anything to have them accept me. One time I agreed to take everyone's change and go into the teacher's lounge and buy sodas for all the girls. This was DEFINITELY NOT allowed. They all were supposed to go with me and stand at the door while I did it. So, as I was putting all the change in and getting 6 sodas, the girls took off running for the playground when they saw a teacher coming. I was left there, dumbfounded, with 6 soda cans in my hand, all alone. I was suspended, of course. Also, my 6th grade teacher started associating me with these girls and then when the time came to recommend classes for me in junior high, she decided I wasn't going to be in the "Honors" classes. I then spent the next 2 years of junior high taking test after test, trying to prove to the teachers that I could handle and Honors English. This all sounds so trivial now, but it was DEVASTATING at the time.

In High School I was in the marching band (that didn't do much for my popularity status, I'll tell ya!). I was just part of the crowd, part of a giant moving crowd, wearing uncomfortable wool uniforms and 10 pound hats on our head in 100 degree heat! But, being in the marching band provided an outlet for my creativity without forcing me to "put myself out there" too much. My last 2 years in high school I played in the orchestra pit for the school musicals. I wanted so badly to be one of the girls on the stage, starring in the musical, but there was no way I would ever be able to stand in front of hundreds of people with them all looking at me. I would literally just die.

In college I started to come out of my shell a little more. It helped that no one knew me. No one knew who I really was. I could more easily express myself and who I was without all the judgement. You see, living in a small town everyone knows you. And if they don't know you, they know your mom, your dad, your siblings, your best friend, your grandma, your dentist. So, people always think they know who you are. In college I didn't have to worry about that. I felt so comfortable just letting loose and being me, but then I had to explain the "new" Heidi to my parents when they would come visit. And how, when people would hear about the "new" Heidi back at home, what would they say??? Oh... the horror!!

Well, I slowly started to become more outgoing. The shy Heidi was in the past. I was enjoying it! But lately I have remembered the benefits of being a recluse, and unfortunately the downside of putting yourself out there. I have also realized that no matter how old you get, women/girls are mean. I have had to come to an agreement with myself that I wouldn't let someone else's opinion of me determine what I thought of myself.

I have to pick myself up by my boot straps every morning and tell myself who's opinion really matters. These 3 beautiful little children looking up at me with these huge, love filled eyes... they matter. What they think of me really matters. I know they love me (even though they really have no other choice) and I know they need me (again... no other choice).

But, its hard. I don't think it ever gets any easier, either. I think I will still be thinking to myself, "What is her problem? Why doesn't she like me?" in 50 years as I am sitting at the "home" playing canasta. That is an exhausting thought! Another 50 years of insecurities? No wonder women are so complicated!

But, men do not have these issues. They don't care who likes them. They don't sit and stew about which guy is talking about them behind their back. They don't worry if their butt looks bigger in their jeans than the guy standing next to them. They don't keep grudges, either. Their lives are so much easier!

So, what are the positives in this situation? Hmmm.... hold on... I'll come up with one.....

I have one... I would NEVER want to be a man. I would have to give up the clothes and accessories and hair! No more handbags. No more Bloomingdales. No child bearing (hmmm... that might not be on the plus side after all). Men have too much hair in all the wrong places and they smell. Their feet are not attractive. They go bald. Women are smarter and have the ability to multi-task. There... with all of the positives of being a girl I guess it is only fair that we have some negatives, too.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What I learned this week...

It's been a while since I posted and I have been trying to come up with something to write about all week. I have also been trying to find time to journal all week. So, at the end of another long, stressful week I have decided to list the things I have learned:

1.) While growing up, my father (an architect) spent many countless nights and weekends at the office. Since Trent works for my dad, he now spends many countless nights and weekends at the office. This week in particular was one of those weeks. I was essentially a single mother of 3 children. This was tiring, stressful, exhausting, challenging, and trying. I did survive the week, though.

So, I learned that I can actually do it all. I can take care of 3 children by myself, keep a house clean, do graduate school homework, take dinner to people in need, and do yard work all by myself. Don't get me wrong... it was almost more than I could handle at times. There is a reason that it takes 2 people to have children because it takes at least 2 people to handle them all! I take my hat off to those women (and men) who do it themselves.

2.) While washing your windows outside, if they are especially dirty, try taking a Swiffer Wet (not the kind with the spray, just the wet pad you hook on) and use that to get the major dirt and grime off. Then, use Windex to clean the window. It worked well.

3.) After deciding to make my own baby food I have refused to buy it since. Although I do keep a few in the cupboard for when we are at restaurants, all the other baby food we used is made by yours truly. The lifesaver in this feat is the Baby Cook from Williams Sonoma.

This little appliance is easy to use and allows me to make baby food all day while still taking care of everything else.
I then use these to store it in my freezer.

Trust me... making baby food is SOOOOO easy!

4.) I learned to make jewelry! I made a quite adorable necklace and bracelet set this week because one my friends (who conveniently lives around the corner) was nice enough to come over and teach me one morning.

5.) Buying the supplies to make your own jewelry is definitely MORE expensive than just running to the mall and buying it yourself. But, not as rewarding, right???? It was fun, though, mostly because we got to sit and chat while we did it.

6.) There are some people in your life who you realize, no matter how hard you try,  you will never be able to live up to their level of success. My friend, who shall remain nameless but probably knows who she is, is one of these for me. She has perfect hair, cute clothes, cute CLEAN house, obedient children, obedient husband, and somehow finds the time to hand make her thank you cards, participate in the school's PTA, be a room mom, hold a church calling, play bunko, and still flutter around as pleasant as can be. I am sure she has her moments, but I definitely feel inferior at times! And I am still trying to master the "snap of the finger" approach to disciplining my children. She has that DOWN!

7.) The grass is always greener.....

A girl I grew up with is currently traveling around Europe, sight seeing and working as a nurse. I stalk her blog. She probably doesn't even know that I do, but I can't help it. I am SOOO jealous! She has complete freedom. She gets to see the world. She only has to worry about herself.

The thing I keep telling myself is that I have an amazing life of my own. I have a roof over my head, a car to drive, adorable children, friends and family, and I am healthy. There are definitely things in my own life to be grateful for. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. While consumed in my own daily life it is easy to be self loathing. It take serious gumption to realize what you have be thankful for it.

8.) Goals are essential. I have a daily "goal" list, or otherwise known as a "To Do List". I give myself "goals" each day. I seriously couldn't survive without my lists. Somehow, being almost 30 and having 3 children has left me with practically no short term memory.

9.) I am a much happier person when it is not 105 degrees outside.

10.) Enjoy the journey because it is over before you know it.