Category Archives: Positive Self Talk

CPS Should Take Me Away From Myself

cpsThis is the view from my desk right now.

From left to right: A tangled knot of yarn that I’ve managed to untangle and re-tangle about 4 times now. Fell off the couch when I fell asleep on it last night. A dish towel my puppy stole from the kitchen, and a pillow she stole from the couch. Also an old water bottle that is actually something she is legitimately allowed to chew on. The vacuum cleaner that has sat there since Friday, when I vacuumed up the last chew toy she destroyed (pictured behind the vacuum: new destroyed chew toy). And last, but not least, a TV dinner tray that she accidentally drug around and flipped over with her Elizabethan collar.

Now most of this mess, yarn and vacuum aside, happened in the last couple hours (though I should really just put that TV tray away, it’s the fourth time). So since my puppy has been home from surgery and destructively bored in her recovery for the past 6 days now… I’ll let you image the state of the rest of the apartment.

My puppy has finally ceased her hour long tantrum about not being allowed to eat off the counter and fallen asleep. One might suggest that I take this golden opportunity to pick up her mess, revacuum the floor, and… well, let’s face it, leave the vacuum out to vacuum up the next mess she makes. But I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

You see, I feel like I’ve been a pretty good puppy mommy this week. I made her homemade puppy food and puppy treats. Helped her eat and drink and walk when she was on her sedative. Sat with her and soothed her when that sedative gave her puppy nightmares. Held her toys for her so she could get chew leverage inside her Elizabethan collar. Slept on the couch all week so she could sleep next to me (and by next to me, I mean on me) because the bed’s too high for her while she’s on jumping prohibition. Stayed home nearly 24/7 because her dog crate is uncomfortably small with that giant cone around her head.

But there’s someone I’ve been neglecting for the past couple days. Someone I have been depriving of sleep, forgetting to feed, and completely ignoring. Someone I’ve reduced to tears three times in the past two days by overwhelming them with unrealistic expectations and belittling them when they couldn’t meet them.

“Why hello there, Old Me. When did you get back in town?”

If I were a child, Child Protective Services would LITERALLY take me away from myself for the way I’ve been neglecting myself. And the funny thing is, I would never treat a child this way. I would never treat my puppy this way. Hell, I wouldn’t even treat the cat this way.

But for some reason it’s ok to treat Me this way. It doesn’t even cross my mind that it might not be ok until I’m reduced to tears because my head hurts so much, and I’m so exhausted, and I just don’t know what to do about it… oh wait. Maybe I should try eating. My first meal of the day. At 8:30 p.m. When I’ve been up since 6:00 a.m.

YEAH?! You think that might be a good idea?!?!?!

You’ll have to forgive the yelling. I just get so frustrated with myself, because I do this all. the. time. I always say I’m going to put myself first, and I always mean to, but it’s so easy for me to forgetSo easy for me to lose myself in someone I love. Even in a frickin’ puppy.

So I’m not cleaning right now. Messy living room be damned. I’m eating my chili, writing my blog, and taking some time for me.

How to Be Awesome Tip #12: Don’t just know your priorities – live them.

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Southwestern Chicken Salad

swsaladYes, I shamelessly staged my salad for a photograph before tossing it into a bowl with the dressing and mixing it up. I’d post a picture of what it looks like tossed, but it’s in my tummy now, sorry.

So, I woke up this morning exhausted. And I use the term woke up loosely, because I didn’t really sleep at all.

My puppy came home from being spayed and having her rear dewclaws removed yesterday afternoon. Here’s a video of her being adorable, and what I spent most of my evening doing:

It was the only thing that stopped her from crying and chewing at her poor ankles. And because of the Elizabethan collar, she couldn’t even hold the bone for herself. (Don’t mind the noise in the background, that’s just Dexter, Season 8 – no spoilers except that Deb eats.)

So, my little Madelyn puppy usually sleeps in bed with me, but my bed is really high, and she’s not supposed to be jumping, so instead I set her up in the bathroom, then blocked the door off with the couch so she could sleep next to Mommy. Just as I was falling asleep, I got a huge punch in the gut, opened my eyes and saw this:

puppy“Please don’t make me sleep alone on the floor, Mommy.”

So that’s how we slept. Or rather, how she slept. It’s difficult to sleep with a 57 lb puppy tossing and turning in discomfort on your tummy all night.

Anyway, all that is to say, man I’m tired today. And there’s a lot to do that I didn’t get done yesterday. And boy did I just feel not at all like doing any of it, especially making lunch. Couldn’t I just order take out, or even better, delivery? Oh it sounded innocent, but there was that monster of mine sneaking in again! And what it was actually saying, under the guise of “giving me a break,” was Just give up on the clean eating, gluten-free challenge. You’re not worth the effort when you’re tired.

Oh but I am worth the effort. Even when I’m tired. In fact, especially  when I’m tired, I deserve extra TLC, even if I’m the one who has to give it to myself. (After all, if I don’t think I’m worth some extra effort, why should anyone else?)

So I whipped up this delicious southwestern chicken salad – very little effort to chop things while the chicken cooked – and my own homemade dressing. I originally got the dressing recipe from greens & chocolate, but the link no longer works, so I’m going to post it here:

  SOUTHWESTERN RANCH DRESSING
  Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning

  Directions: Mix ingredients. Easy peasy.

And I feel good about myself. No take out binge followed by guilt trip today.

How to Be Awesome Tip #8: Remember you’re worth the effort.

Where You Ought to Be

sorting

“Oh you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.”

I made this lovely little gem over the weekend, modified slightly from the pattern CRAFTYisCOOL so kindly provided on their blog. And as I was putting the finishing touches on it, it got me thinking two things:

First, that I need to carve a Harry Potter pumpkin to wear it, and definitely crochet my puppy a Hufflepuff scarf so we can match on Halloween.

But secondly, and arguably more importantly (though I do need to get on that scarf), it made me think about labels. You see, I really don’t like labels. I don’t like the Stupid-s and Liar-s and Bully-s. But, and maybe even more so, I also don’t like the Smarty-s and Winner-s and most of all the Perfect-s.

Labels reduce us, box us in, and define us. If you label someone a liar, for example, you remove their option of being something else, or of you seeing them become something else. Maybe they think, “She already thinks I’m a liar, what’s the point in trying to tell the truth? Or in convincing her I’m telling the truth?”

Of course. Negative labels hurt. We called it “name calling” where I used to work, and it wasn’t allowed in the classroom or on the playground. But what’s wrong with Smarty? Winner? Perfect? Those are all nice things to say about someone, aren’t they? What’s wrong with them is that they put the value of the person in the attribute. Do something “stupid”? You’re now worth less in the eyes of everyone who thought you were smart, and most importantly, in your own eyes. Lose a game? You’re no longer a winner. The people who thought you were cool because you were a winner must no longer think you’re cool. How can you face them at school tomorrow?

And perfect. Don’t get me started on how perfect ruined my life. I spent so long trying to be the perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect wife, perfect employee. Perfect people have it all together, all figured out, nothing gets to them, they can solve every problem. And every time I fell short of perfect (which was, you know, every. time.), a piece of me broke. I felt I had let someone down, hadn’t tried hard enough, was a disappointment, was unlovable.

So, how  can I hate labels so much, but still be like LOOK AT THIS CUTE LITTLE SORTING HAT I MADE! EEEE! SO CUTE!?

Because the Sorting Hat reminds us that, while there is power in labels, there’s more power in choices:

Harry: Not Slytherin. Not Slytherin.

Sorting Hat: Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? You could be great, you know. It’s all here in your head. And Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, there’s no doubt about that. No?

Harry: Please, please. Anything but Slytherin, anything but Slytherin.

Sorting Hat: Well if you’re sure, better be… GRYFFINDOR!

How to Be Awesome Tip #5: Define your own labels – don’t let them define you.

Do What U Want

On first listen, I thought this was a song about R. Kelly and Lady Gaga getting nasty in the back of a club… because, you know, that’s kind of what it’s about. And I’ll be honest: Getting nasty in the back of the club isn’t really my thing.

But I couldn’t help listening again, and loving it anyway, because that first line had me:

“I feel good, I walk alone
But then I trip upon myself and I fall
I stand up, and then I’m ok
But then you print the shit
That makes me wanna scream”

 I mean, I really. couldn’t. help it. Because that first line is me – both literally (I’m a super klutz, what can I say?) and figuratively.

A year ago this week, I was filing for divorce. After my husband flipped the futon on me (metal frame and all), I had arranged an intervention, and he had just the most complete non-response I had ever seen… I was finally finished.

Of course, my husband was the son of the perfect principal and the perfect police officer living the perfect life in the perfect little town, so we kept it pretty hush hush. No one outside the family even knew I had filed for divorce, let alone had any inkling as to why I would have.

So when word slowly started to seep out, rumors started to fly. Who was this woman, teaching in a Christian school, divorcing her husband for no apparent reason? And then later, when I started dating a man – a truly wonderful man, who absolutely treats me like the Awesome Amazing Jewel That I Am – rumors really flew.

And I realized, of course, that’s what Lady Gaga was really singing about: Screw people, and what they may say about you – they don’t make you who you are.

So I was thinking about all this, a year later, as I was running this morning, and “Do What U Want” was playing on my iPod. I was thinking about it this morning, because right before I went running, I read this article that one of my friends linked on Facebook:

I AM A PLUS-SIZE WOMAN WHO WORE A LOW-RISE BIKINI TO THE BEACH AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED

f3d5e620-2a09-0132-0942-0eae5eefacd9And when I read this article, I thought to myself, “I really admire this woman.”

Not because she’s brave. That would imply that she should have something to be afraid of – that there’s something inherently strange about her body or her wanting to wear a bikini, that she should expect to be treated differently than someone else who wears a bikini.

No. I admire her because she is obviously COMFORTABLE with her body and LOVES it. And that’s not something I’ve ever really had.

I’m 5′ 7″ and 153 lbs. The BMI says I’m a healthy weight. My boyfriend says I’m beautiful and gorgeous and sexy, and I believe that he thinks so, but I still don’t think so. I still feel like I’m ugly and undesirable. That my thighs look gross in shorts, and that I’d offend someone or embarrass myself if I wore a bikini in public.

These are the lies that live inside my head… my monster, as I like to call it, that whispers hurtful untruths in my ear, trying to tear me down, and make me less awesome.

I’m here to call that monster out. Psalm 139 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; all your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” That means me. And that means you. And that means that whatever anyone else has to say about my body, I am beautiful.

So let’s celebrate our beauty today.

How to Be Awesome Tip #3: Always remember you’re beautiful.