Saturday, May 5, 2012

Google is as Google does

Quite some time ago I changed my email address.  Well, since you can't actually *change* your email address with Google, I created a new one.  My blog is connected to my old email address.  So is my YouTube channel.

After searching and searching and SEARCHING I cannot find a way to move all of my things over to my new email address.

But keeping up with one email address is enough, two is just crazy talk.
So I started a new blog.  It's at
Currently it only has new things there, but I will be moving all of these posts over, via copy and paste (thank God I don't write all that much) ;-)

When I finish that I will move my YouTube videos over as well.

When I finish *that* I will cancel this email address and everything that goes with it.

So, please, if you want to continue following my blog come on over there and click subscribe.  I'd really appreciate that if you do that you cancel your subscription over here when you add me over there.

I'm taking attendance after all... :-P

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A big ole lesson in self acceptance

Sometime last week or the week before (if it was over a couple days ago, it pretty much turns into the big abyss of  'a couple weeks ago') I went swimming at the Y.  Zane, Stori, Mamaw, and I packed our things up and went.  My bag got taken out of the locker and rummaged through.  Totally bizarre with the way this particular Y is set up...  Lockers in a public hallway across from family changing rooms.  Anyway, it did.  Nothing got stolen but everything was left on one of the family changing rooms' floor and wet and ya' know.. it never feels good to be 'searched' without your permission.

So that day we came in and I threw all of the towels into the drier for a few minutes to ya' know... dry them.

The next day was a Monday.  Which means I go to the Y for some weight lifting and such.

I was kind of in a little hurry that day so I opted against grabbing my towel out of the dryer.  Since I knew I was running late, I figured I'd skip my warm up and I'm getting used to my new weight lifting routine so I'm going a little slower.  I figured I'd work out lightly enough that I'd learn my new thing a bit better but not work up a sweat.

I got to the Y, dropped the kids off at Child Watch and fantasized about sitting down with a cup of heavily creamed decaf coffee and doing NOTHING all by myself for an hour.  I decided against the fantasy and got changed up and ready.  As soon as my foot hit the floor on the weights floor I was motivated and ready to go!  I forgot all about my plans and did my full warm up and went straight into the weights.  I hardly took breaks and kept my heart rate up.  I was feelin' awesome!  Such a hard workout and it was just what I needed.  Funny how hesitation works.  ;-)  I fantasized about taking the time off, but it was a silly little thought...

I was nearing the end of my workout when I realized my predicament.  I was in a full sweat, tired, and done a little early, 'cause I blasted through it.

And I didn't have a towel.

Now, if you've spent any time in a locker room you know good and well that there are a few people who are really comfortable with themselves.  Every time I see a nakie on the scale I think "Wow!  SHE is awesome.  Fearless, accepting, powerful"  And I know most of these women are a couple generations ahead of me and I think it was more common in their day to shower together in highschool and such.  I grew up, however, in times without showers in the locker rooms at school and I didn't participate in sports much at all.  So walking around in the buff around others just isn't in my toolbox of 'things I do'.

But I was sweaty.

I started to go back and forth about my options.  I had improv practice soon.  As it is on Mondays I get done at the Y, finish dinner (which I have to start earlier in the day on Mondays), connect with the kids over dinner, then leave for practice.  So.

I could not shower and get dressed and do my thing.  I wouldn't have time to shower at home, that's for sure.  Extra deodorant?  A touch of baby powder to absorb the sweat?  Hope no one gets close to me at practice?

I could shower without a towel and get dressed in the shower area while wet and sticky.

I could shower without a towel and prance my happy ass to my locker (which is clear across the whole shabang from the shower area).

I could go home in my workout clothes, try to take a 'bird bath' (ya' know... freshen up the important bits from the sink) and get dressed in regular clothes quickly at home.

As I pondered these options, they each had their drawbacks and their benefits.  My workout was soon finished and I was walking up the stairs and to the locker room, still without a decision being made.  I came to my locker, opened it, and looked into it for the answer.  And there it was.

I ONLY hesitated about the shower because um... I do NOT have a body for displaying.  And frankly, with the weight issues I'm currently dealing with I've got some serious shame about my body.  I always have, in fact.  I have intense body image dysfunction.  I have always concerned myself over if I'm fat here or there or if my skin is a little too soft here or there, etc.  Lots of women do, but it's clear to Jon and myself that this is a serious thing to me.

So if the truth is that even when I've weighed 110lbs as an adult and found myself to be a little too soft somewhere and at my new found 150 (yeah, that's right, I just told you how much I weigh.  And I'm embarrassed, but that embarrassment is silly and if I'm trying to write a post about empowerment and self acceptance then I darned better well be forthcoming) I can appreciate certain curves and softnesses that I never knew I wanted before I had them, then this whole body image thing is really just a mental and emotional space I can choose to be in or not.  Right?


And you know where I don't want to be?


Anywhere.  For any reason.

So I took off all of my darn clothes, and I grabbed my razor and pumice stone and I marched my happy, naked bootay across the whole locker room and into the showers and I cleaned myself.

Because no matter how much I weigh.  No matter how bumpy or not my thighs are.  No matter the shape of my breasts.  No matter the tightness of my belly.

I deserve to be clean.

And that's what it all came down to.  For me.  On that day.

My march to the shower was easy.  The locker room was empty.  And while I started the walk with anxiety in my stomach as I got there and realized no one was around anyway, I felt like a rockstar for doing it.  I was as chipper as a bluebird and even had the desire to sing in the shower.

And when I walked back, I held my shoulders back, my chin up, and again marched my happy, naked bootay across the whole locker room back to my locker.  I passed several women this time.  The anxiety was there.  It was kickin'.  But there was also the joy and pride in myself knowing that I was doing the exact.same.thing. I admire so much in other women.

Just being me.

In the flesh.

I don't plan on never bringing a towel again.  But I do plan on doing this regularly.

Thank God for my body and its ability to morph through life with me.  My mind has been different in stages in my life.  My spirit has risen and fallen with the tides of my experiences.  My energy and the way it is expressed has fluidly been with me in all of my changes.  And so has this body of mine.  Bless it for what it is at this time, as it is simply an interpretation of me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

RAD is not an 'adoption disease'

Being involved in the "RAD community" for a bit over a year now, I can tell you one thing: adoption, adoption, adoption.

Having experienced RAD in our home and recognizing my own severe attachment troubles I can tell you another thing: that whole adoption thing is bullshit.

WHATTTT?????   Did I just say that with the intention to peeve every single one of my RAD-living friends?

No.  I didn't.  I said it because it's true and it needs to be said.

Cause there are a LOT of kids in the world who are living with their biological parents, whom they've always lived with, which are living with RAD and not being given the proper care for their relationship struggles.  Instead, they're being diagnosed as Bipolar or ODD or even with Aspergers Syndrome.

Now, firstly, let me hit the ground running and say I am not a psychologist.  I would never be one, no matter how much the human brain and human emotions excite me.  'Cause I don't want to be dealin' with the folks who are laying in bed with big pharma.  I won't go all the way there today.  But, again, my BIG HUGE ANNOYING BUT NEEDING TO BE HEARD DISCLAIMER is that I am not a mental health professional in any way, nor do I intend to present myself as one.

Good, we have that out of the way.  Whew!

But in my experience, I've seen it already.  We spent 3 years with doctors and counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, even a nearly week-long stay in a 'facility'.  And never was RAD brought up.  It was brought up by a daycare worker 5 years ago, but I knew nothing more than the word and it held no 'gusto' for me until much, much later when I remembered her mentioning it.  So why is it that we now know we have a solid RAD 'case'?

Because 100% of the 'signs and symptoms' are present.

Because the conversations I have with other RAD Moms are ones in which they understand the full extent of the behaviors in our life.

Because after bringing it to the psychiatrist his response was "We keep the RAD diagnosis for kids who have been in and out of foster care for years or have endured a lot of abuse or severe neglect.  We can't medicate for RAD anyway, so let's just keep exploring the mood disorders."  Yeah, so what I was talking about before... in bed with big pharma...

We've brought the idea to a marriage counselor we were seeing (who ended up to be a quack anyway, so we stopped seeing her quickly, but the point is the same.  This is a 'mental health professional'.)  We were sharing some of our marital stresses and one of which was the extreme behaviors we have going on in our house sometimes.  After sharing a pee incident (let me get a "what what!" from my fellow RAD parents!) she looked at Jon and I in awe and said something incredibly rude and unprofessional.

When searching for an attachment therapist in our area we saw they were all also specialists in the field of 'adoption issues'.

So if we can go back to the psychiatrist's explanation of why he won't consider that diagnosis, he said it was because Zane didn't endure foster care, abuse, or severe neglect.  My immediate thought from that is that there is a distinction between RAD and PTSD.  Why then would a psychiatrist not even consider RAD in a biologically parented child who doesn't have PTSD?  Further!  Here are the symptoms of childhood PTSD:

  • worry about dying at an early age
  • losing interest in activities
  • having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
  • showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions
  • having problems falling or staying asleep                  
  • showing irritability or angry outbursts
  •  having problems concentrating
  • acting younger than their age (for example, clingy or whiny behavior, thumbsucking)
  • showing increased alertness to the environment
  • repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma

Many of these symptoms are also present in the diagnosis of RAD.  Most of them are present in my child.  Who has not been abused, severely neglected, or lived in foster care.

So it must be with that whole big pharma fellatio business, eh?

Energetically speaking, it is completely logical that a fetus, developing in the womb of a woman who is not attached to said child is experiencing trauma simply by their lack of connection.  Moreso, for said infant to be born to a woman who lacks the ability to emotionally and energetically attach to them.  THAT IS TRAUMA, Y'ALL.

Done and done.  Period.

So, there's a big buzz going around that RAD is being removed from the next installment of the DSM.  Wonder why they're removing it?  Oh, that's right...  ALMOST EVERY SINGLE TASK FORCE MEMBER FOR THE DSM-V IS IN BED WITH BIG PHARMA.

I'm not making it up!

I'm not theorizing!

Go here.

Click on each name.  Look at their professional disclosures.

Yeah.  That's a LOT of financial blow jobs, dontcha' think?

Since RAD is not a medicated disorder, it is being eliminated.

Now, not only are people adopting babies and not being given proper support, but there have got to be thousands upon thousands of children in our very country who, like Zane, are born to their biological parent and raised by their biological parent and are not being supported in getting healthy.

All because big pharma isn't paying anyone to help these kids.  

Fortunately, we have found our voice.  We have a family counselor who agrees and sees it.  She's not an attachment therapist, but she validates us and she cares for Zane and she keeps her ears peeled for anyone in the business in our area who can work with Zane.  Currently he is seeing someone who can help discern what's going on for Zane and giving him his own place to go and talk honestly.  No one has been willing to do this for Zane before.  No one.  Disturbing...

And there ARE ways to heal these relationships.  There ARE methods to managing the emotions and behaviors with this 'disorder'.  Not all children will heal.  For some, it just is their life story to not.  But there are a hell of a lot of kids on this planet who can be healed -RIGHT ALONG WITH THEIR PARENTS- and need to be healed and deserve to feel better.

After all, in my personal view of the whole thing, RAD is not a disorder or a disease.  It is a symptom, itself, of the underlying cause which is a lack of emotional and energetic attachment to other humans.

It certainly is not some disease caused by being adopted. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pudding like diarrhea

YEAH!  That's the exciting Google search of the week that brought someone to my blog.

I definitely hope they're feeling better, though, and that's for real.  Diarrhea sucks.  When it's comparable to pudding, which should be a delightful treat, it's even worse.

Dear person who's pooping like pudding,
I really, REALLY hope your tummy is feeling better.  I also hope you had a moment to sneak around this blog and found something that was fun and entertaining while you were in your suffering.  Or, as my improv director likes to say, it doesn't have to be funny.  Maybe someone could actually stretch or grow from what we do.

Yes, that please.

So, I like stretching and growing, ya know.  I joined Hannah Marcotti's Joy Up a few days ago.  I'd been thinking about it for some time, but I was hesitant.  Mainly because when I first heard of her it was before a fall cleanse.  So I tried the cleanse.  Remember?  Didn't go so well.  Not because of her, her method, or her intent.  I just was NOT prepared or invested.

So anyway, I hesitated on this Joy Up, with memories of my big giant fail.  A friend/mentor/pal from my first Visionary Mom team put something on her FB wall about it on the first day and said it was the first day and rockin.  I decided to go for it then.  I'm a day behind the rest of the group, because I wanted to get the full 10 days and decided to start the next morning.

I also decided, for myself, that I'd give up FB while I did it.  Cause I'm an addict.  :-D  I know that if I want to experience more JOY then I have to get offline more.  I can't get completely offline since that's where my business is and my bestest tribe of women, from my second Visionary Mom team.  But WOW!  It's been nice not getting on Facebook.  Really nice!  The first day was actually difficult.  I removed the FB app from my phone to help me.

What I noticed, mostly, is that I *think in status updates*.  Ew.  And funny.  How many times throughout the first two days I thought "Put this on FB" was enlightening?  Disturbing?  Something, anyway.  I realized that I experience things with my family -or in my life- and immediately think about sharing them.  Now sometimes that's a great thing.  I love spreading goodness and funniness and what's going on.

But I was taking myself away from the experiences too quickly.

Cheating myself and those around me.  In such a hurry to "spread the moment" to the "world" that I didn't allow myself to EXPERIENCE the moment with myself and those around me.  This is my absolute most favorite part of being off Facebook.  I'm slowing down with those who are here.  And I'm looking for experiences with THEM rather than looking to hear about everyone else's experiences online.  

Even writing this post, right now, I keep thinking...  "Is anyone going to read this?  I'm not posting it on FB.  Maybe it's pointless to write when I can't force it down anyone's throat."


So why do I write?? Because I like to share my thoughts.  Sometimes people will read what I write and they'll feel connection.  Sometimes they'll feel inspiration.  Sometimes frustration.  But the glory of being opinionated and trying my damndest to share those opinions respectfully is bringing about progression.  Whether y'all agree with me or not, thoughts provoke other thoughts.  And thought, insight, seeking is what makes people go forward.

No one can dispute our need, as a people, to move forward.  :-)  No one that I've known of anyway.  I guess there definitely are some.

So back to my stinkin point...

The Joy Up rocks!

I wake up each day and get a touch of feel-good!  I get something to focus on or to do or to think about.  And it's making big changes.  Hannah's hit this experience on the head!  I can't tell you what I've done each day because if you want to know, you need to follow her blog and join in the next one.  (I hope there will be a next one!)

But I'll tell you this:

Meditations that I can fit in my day!
Dance parties!
Rice noodles!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I'm ready to post again.

I've been thinking about it for many days now.  I've considered coming back with a post about:

 Stori being exactly the age Zane was when we moved here (this past Saturday)

My food addiction that I'm struggling with right now

My recent very quick trip ti IL for a funeral and two babies.  My friend and I came up with a clever movie name and said we should make one.  We've said it before, too, because we were some crazy kids and our story is entertaining.  To say the least.

The passionate love I have for my husband and my wish for all people to find a connection like this one

An attaching and healing Zane

My hair and my experiences with it

Our new, insane dog

The slowest-made chicken coop ever that is oh-so-exciting to build

My totally killer backyard and how that relates to perspective

My rockin-awesome business and the celebration that it is real

BUT, none of those inspired me to sit at the keyboard and go at it.  I kind of felt like coming back after a few attacks (both publicly and privately) maybe shouldn't be a big "this is what I think" or sharing of deep thoughts or feelings of mine.

Not because they should be hidden.  In fact, that's the whole fun of blogging.  To inspire thought.

But because I'm still feeling a bit guarded and vulnerable.

However, this is my space and I do have the privilege of knowing the password.  And I want to come back to it.  So, what am I coming back with, you ask?

Today I checked my blog stats as I was coming to write (about what I still hadn't decided and I've done this several times over the past few weeks) and I saw that one of the phrases on Google search that brought people to my blog was:

"Big breast nipples"

With that, I bow and exclaim "SUCCESS!"

Glad to be back, friends. ;-D

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If you build it, they will come

A couple weeks ago I proofread an ebook for a friend.  --I can't WAIT to tell you what it is!!--

What I can tell you is that it's about personal growth.  About rewriting our own histories.  About changing our habits that we no longer want to be attached to.

So while I was proofreading this bad boy, I kept thinking about a person in my life who I really wanted to read it.  Someone who is great but doesn't seem to know it.  Someone who holds onto a lot of pain and I wish a release for them.  Someone who I want to be crazy super happy.  I asked the author if I could gift it to this person and the author told me to be careful with that.

I responded with this idea that "no way...  I'll tell this person that this book is incredible and they should give it a try."  I was going to print it out, put it together, the whole works... Because I care and I love them.

I told someone else in my life that I was going to give it to them as well (the "someone in my life" knows the "them") and that person also thought it wasn't such a great idea.  I explained why I thought it was a great gift and was replied to with "be careful".

I've been feeling just-self-righteous-enough lately that I was still going to do it anyway.

Yesterday, a conversation was started on FB about a kid who was kicking his Mom on the way from a store.  Several people said the kid needed a spanking (beating, put in his place, etc).  One person before me recognized there's a chance the child has autism or some other form of health problem that might have caused it.  That maybe the whole story couldn't be told in a recap of one situation.

So I gave that person props for saying that.  YAY!  Then I went on to share that spankings are wrong and an unacceptable form of punishment.

Why-oh-why did I do that??

Because it's damn important to say, that's why.  I know it's not magically going to stop people from doing what they do.  I get that.  But I know when I was a spanker all I ever heard was that he needed more spankings.  I in my gut when I spanked.  I knew it was wrong.

But I had NO ONE to turn to for help on the matter.

Eventually Jon and I just decided to stop.  We just decided it was wrong and we didn't have any idea what the flip we were going to do to try to change Zane's violent behavior (yes, irony, but this isn't actually a spanking post.  I'll get to that one day) but we knew we were going to stop.  It happened again, a few times, from both of us...strictly out of habit.  We both felt guilt after doing it, we were both honest with each other after doing it, and we both never gave up on learning to not do it.

But we had NO ONE to turn to.  Remember?  How I just said that?  Yeah.  Cause it makes a difference, I believe.

Anyway, so that's why I speak out against spanking.  Because at *some* point those parents might decide, for themselves, that they don't want to hit their kids anymore.  And if they've seen/heard/read that I'm firmly against it and I'm a recovered spanker then MAYBE... just maybe they will know they have someone to turn to for support.

So that's why-oh-why I did that.

Well, the conversation took a turn for the worst and next thing I know people are claiming their kids won't be serial killers because they were spanked -which I hadn't insinuated, people were re-defining "hit" and I was being arrogant enough to post a link to the official definition of "hit", spankings were being defended in the name of the "Lord", Dr. Dobson was brought up, etc.  I recognized pain.  I recognized anger.  I recognized fear.  I recognized shame.  I thought I had kind words to share about how hurt a person is to hit their kids and how I knew that pain, because I used to do the same thing.

I then was attacked more brutally than I have ever experienced in my life.  By the one who is a good Christian Mom who spanks with love.  I was damned to an eternity in hell, my existence was judged, and I learned I'm an evil bitch.  With capital letters and lots of exclamation points.  It hurt. Bad. Crazy bad.

And to be frank, as I cried in Jon's arms I questioned if I really do have a nasty spirit.  I asked myself if I really am such a bad person that my intentions weren't clear and if maybe I deserved everything she said to me.  I inquired within myself about who I am and why I was in this position and what had I done to get there. The same things kept spinning around in my head.  Spinning and spinning and replaying.

It was an extremely difficult evening and night.

And you know what the greatest news of all is??

I'm a lot more emotionally healthy than even I knew.  Because that HURT.  But it didn't break me.  It forced me to question.  It forced me inside.  I needed to know why it happened.  But it did not break me.

You know what I concluded?

That she is hurting.  So bad.  She may or may not know how bad she's hurting, but she is.  And I hurt for her. Because I really have been there.  And no one deserves to hurt that bad.  NO ONE.

So, why am I telling these two stories and titling my post after some baseball movie????

Because they're the same story.

And I figured out a little bit in them.

The second story showed me what the author and "someone in my life" were trying to tell me, but I didn't get.

No one is in charge of anyone else's healing.  Or experience.  Or choices.

I recognized that although my intention for both of these situations were the same and were so totally clear-to offer help to someone that is hurting- it doesn't do a lick of good to try to help someone who hasn't asked for it.  What that does is offend them.  It tells them that I think they're inadequate.

When I wanted healing from poor relationships, it didn't come because someone told me I was making bad choices.  It didn't come because someone said I was worth more.  It didn't come because someone cast a magic spell.

It came because I wanted it.  Because I realized, on my own, that I wanted better.  I opened my heart for a change and it came.  In the form of some hot barista.  ;-)  Nearly everyone we knew thought we were making a huge mistake but it didn't bother me.  I knew I had opened up to something new and different and there was an experience in the forming of that relationship that told me it was what I wanted.

I was able to experience my healing from my own core, because it wasn't infused with anyone else's perspective, ideas, hints, judgment, or otherwise.

So what do I do from here on out?  How to I still stand up for what I believe without offending?

I can't.  People get offended sometimes.

But what I can do is still be honest about my beliefs and not tag them to even if I'm having a conversation with a person with an opposing belief.

This'll take some practice.

But you know what?  I want to have better interpersonal experiences, so I'm just gonna truck on and learn this new skill.  No matter if it takes one mess up or twelve.

To sum it all up:  If you open the space in yourself for change, it will come.  But no one else can build your Field of Dreams for you.

Dream on, friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

regrets and non-regrets

2 big things on my mind lately.  Firstly let me point out that I don't *actually* regret anything.  It may be cliche to say, but the fact is that everything occuring in the past has lead to here and now and even the most minute detail has the opportunity to have changed everything.  So when I say I have a regret it doesn't mean I wish it didn't happen; it means that I'm aware that I could've done something differently and I appreciate having learned that lesson, but wonder what it would've been like had I done it the way I can now view it, in hindsight.

Make sense?  You got my Shannon-definition down?  Good, let's go...

Regret: It has been a month and a half since I returned from ORLANDO(!!!!!)  I had an incredible time there and enjoyed myself immensely.  I'm saving all money found in the washer and dryer as well as picked up from the ground and around the house for next year.  ;-)

So why the regret, you ask?  Like I said, it's been a month and a half since I came back and I have ONE(1, I) person I talk to regularly.  AND...we don't even talk.  We text.

Why's that a big deal?  Well, the "big guys" told us we would form the tightest bonds and make the closest friendships from this trip, because we would bond over the most intimate parts of our home lives.  I'm not demanding a refund, after all I was awarded that scholarship, remember?

Why didn't I make those friendships?  Is it because I smell bad?  Because I'm ugly?  Because I have big ears?  Because I have big front teeth?  Because I'm a big, fat, meanie-head?  Because I burped on everyone?  Because I farted in my sleep?  Because I'm boring and no fun?  Because I'm a judgmental ass?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

It's because I didn't let myself.

BAM!  Take that, Shannon!  I didn't stay in my house and chat and share.  I didn't ask other women their stories.  I didn't allow myself to ATTACH to anyone there, because I was nervous and scared and insecure and on and on and on.  This is the reason I escorted drunk women around.  I didn't want to experience the seriousness.  I wanted to escape the seriousness.

Oh isn't that interesting, because, hmmm....  I pointed out, to myself, just how insecure I am in attachment, still.  Lots of you don't actually know me.  I started this "If you really knew me..." thing a while back when prompted by my brilliant sister.  But I didn't keep it up, because I didn't want mass judgment.  ;-) So the big secret is...

I have serious attachment problems.  Now that I parent RAD and have learned what RAD is, I am certain that I did not have RAD when I was young, but that I did, and still do, have a version of attachment disorder. Hence my not being able to attach to Zane while pregnant or early in his life which (in addition to other experiences) lead to our current situation.  See, my mom was not a Mom.  When she was around, she wasn't a Mom and when she abandoned ship (I was 9), she did so with ease.  My Dad was neglectful and I was pretty much raised in and out of friends' homes.  Dad later decided to move elsewhere and didn't force me to go with him and I lived in his girlfriend's basement (age 16).  She bought me pudding sometimes.  For "food".  No joke.

That's the short, simple, and polite story to get to the point...  Which is that as a 20-something I've begun my attachment process with my husband.  He's the best therapeutic spouse a gal could ask for!  And I've made SERIOUS strides over the past 5 years.  It has been EXTREMELY difficult at times and such a blessing at all times.

But I still don't know how to make friends.  Silly, huh?  I just don't know how.  And all you emotionally healthy people out there are thinking, "Is here really a 'way' to do it?"  Yes.  There is.  And I've not figured it out.  I'm getting closer though.  I have many, many people I consider friends.  But no one I consider a "close" friend.  No one that just shows up at my house.  No one that comes over for no good reason but to hang out. There's one friend who is the closest, as I can call her in tears, but there's still a line in the sand.  And a few that I want to become close with, but don't know how.

And so, I have decided that next year, in Orlando, I will attend the big hoo-hah event where everyone is and I will go say "hi" to the ladies I already know.  But I will stay at my house and I will sit in my pjs and I will relish the opportunity to bond with people.  Even if it doesn't happen yet.  Even if I'm not "there" yet.  I'm going to do it and I'm not going to shut myself off from the opportunity like I did last time.

After all, 99% of those women are parenting attachment issues anyway.  As long as I don't pee on their floor, rage at them, or call them names, it'll still be a vacation from what they already deal with.  AND they can see my nervousness for what it is.  Um, yeah.  Sounds like exactly the place to learn to make friends, doesn't it??  Can we just go next month, please and thank you??

Non-regret: Honoring my desires. Examples:

I've already talked a lot about them, I know...  But do you have ANY idea how empowering it is to have dreadlocked my hair!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?  I love it.  I love them.  I am SO.GLAD. I did it.  I can't say it enough.  I look how I feel.  Such a relief.

I went to an improv jam and got offered a spot in the troupe.  Wow.  THEN, I reached out and asked for help from those around me.  I needed to fill an hour-and-a-half time gap between me leaving for rehearsal and Jon getting home from work, every Monday. A big request.  And it happened.  I asked and it happened.  AND I even have someone who's going to take a full rehearsal time for me so I can start earlier than Jon's shift change.  Wahoo!

I wanted to go to church.  I want a spiritual community.  I want my kids to get the "Sunday school" experience.  I want to have fellowship with coffee and snacks.  I want to hear powerful messages about goodness.  But I didn't want the dogmatic hoopla.  We are not Christians and so we'd like to spare ourselves and the kids from the fire-and-brimstone hoo-hah.  We don't want Zane to come home some Sunday and ask if he's going to Hell.  LOL!  Just not into that.  But we finally got the courage to attend a UU church.  And we love it.  Like crazy mad love.  Awesomeness.  Powerful messages about being good.  Powerful messages about reading a book we may not disagree with because we can still find a lot of inspiration and knowledge in it.  Powerful messages about standing for what we seek out to be truth, but doing so respectfully.  Is it weird to say I'm a total fan of our minister?  Like groupie fan?  Cause I am.  She's brilliant.

I have an eating problem.  I gorge on food.  People don't take me seriously when I say that because I am not obese, but my gorging problem is just as much a problem as it is for anyone who gains the weight to go with theirs.  I don't know why I don't weigh more than I do and frankly I don't care.  I've not been healthy for quite some time and even while boot-camping my heart out I gained weight.  Not because their program sucked (it was AMAZING and I'm really sad to not do it anymore), but because I still ate lots and lots and lots of food. And I wasn't sleeping enough, so my body was storing it all up. One night, a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with a terrible migraine and my face felt swollen and I felt so heavy I couldn't lift myself out of my chair.  So I emailed someone I know and I asked for help.  And I've accepted the help.  And it has been glorious!  It is hard to not eat what I crave (brownies, ice cream, and hot fudge anyone??).  And I even had a beautiful dream about a buffet where there was plenty of delicousness -and large sprites- to choose from.  I was thinking about that buffet all day, too.  Oh yum.  BUT, I am honoring the need to find a balanced, healthier relationship with food.  My meals have been delicious.  Yay for macrobiotics and learning a bit at a time!!  And yay to wonderful women in my life!

I think I'll call that a wrap.  Both ends of the spectrum and yet they're one in the same, aren't they?  Such is life...  Everything is a reflection of its equal-opposite.