Saturday, March 7, 2015

Life Lessons Exists Through Experience

2015 is about positive change.

Yesterday, the whole family was in the car. The kids were supposed to go to a parent's night out, but unbeknownst to us, the gym had cancelled (someone didn't do their job and call us). We were driving to my mom's house to drop them off, and Number One said, "I wish I had an iPod." and Number Two chimed in, "I wish I had a Ninjago," and Darling Daughter said, "I wish I had all the makeup in the world (seriously, is this really my kid?)."

I said, "I don't really want anything. I've decided experiences are the way to go."

Everyone laughed, and I said, "Okay, or maybe I need my book to edit myself. That's my wish. My book should edit itself, or I should have a magical pen that just makes everything come out perfectly with no need to edit. But I don't really wish for any material things."

Then we had a hysterical conversation about how dogs lick their butts and then people's faces, and I made up a new word "poop-lick," which elicited tons of giggles from the kids, and Rob and I laughed about it all night long. This is a little tangent, and if it was in a book it would be deleted as not necessary.

And speaking of Rob. Life is hard. Marriage is hard. And it's no secret things aren't perfect between us. We have a lot of ups and downs. We always have. I think a lot of you already know that. And just being honest, we've told people we were throwing in the towel and giving up. But things change, and I realized there are people who depend on me who wouldn't be able to cope with the change. It's funny how a crisis can sometimes bring two people closer together, and can sometimes drive people further apart. But more importantly I realized I can't find happiness in other people--only in myself. But I can find happiness in experiences. I can also find happiness by dropping my unrealistic expectations of other people. And this is something I'm learning to do. Give without expectation. Be a friend to be a friend, not to expect others to do for you. I do think it's not a coincidence that as my writing becomes more of a priority in my life, my marriage has gotten better. It's infinitely easier to give back to someone else when I feel fulfilled.  Still, Rob and I are very different people. We communicate differently, we look at situations differently, we react differently. There will always be work in our marriage, it will never be perfect (because nothing is-I haven't found the magic pen for that either).  I will have been with this man for fourteen years on St. Patrick's Day of this year, and there's something sort of amazing about that in our throw-away, give-up society.

So this year, we're going for experiences.  Experiences help you enjoy each other. They also stay with you and help you build memories. They make you feel more fulfilled and happier. Whereas objects comes and go, break and bend, and can easily be replaced. Memories tie you together. I'm hoping to find some inspiration in places. Life isn't easy, but no one ever said it was. But the longer I live, the more I enjoy the ups and downs as teachers of enlightenment and the more I realize the power I have to make myself a better person, every single day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Depression Hurts



I've been writing a lot, but I haven't been writing a lot on this blog. I've been concentrated my writing on my writing blog, and as a consequence I feel like my baby blogger has been neglected. I've been updating this blog for over three years now.

I came to blogger in a dark time, that I didn't realize was dark. I had people telling me they thought I was depressed. I had people telling me they would be depressed too if they had lost all of their hair. I didn't believe them even as the swirling vortex of depression was sweeping me away.

Looking back on that time, years ago. I realize I came back into writing for cathartic purposes. At first, I didn't have a goal. I had a lot of boredom. I spent much of my time reading, escaping into a book, and pushing family away. I made some great friends, and that was what I needed at that time-- outside influences.  It's funny how we can't see what is happening to us until we take a step back. For me that step back was three years later: NOW. I look back at that time of my life, and I see someone who was suffering and didn't know where to turn. I was having trouble in my marriage, my hair fell out, my kids were all little bitty and depended on me for so much, my oldest son was having emotional problems of his own, and for me the easiest thing to do was escape.

I did escape in a productive way. I started taking Tae Kwon Do. I made friends through Tae Kwon Do, who told me I was beautiful even if I was bald. Some of those friends even encouraged my writing, and I have them to thank for how far I've come since then. I learned discipline, and I realized how much exercise helped me to relax and to find a direction for the hopeless boredom I felt on the inside. Because for me that's what depression does. It makes me feel bored and unsettled. It makes me flit from one thing to another like a toddler. When I'm depressed, satisfaction is elusive, like that vague term happiness.  

Finding direction is hard, and now I see my son suffering the same symptoms, although he suffers in a different way than me. He has this crazy energy, and he has this need to direct it. Unfortunately when you have so much energy, so much drive, and a mind that won't stop turning, the dark cloud sometimes threatens to rain on you. You sometimes feel like nothing works for you and nothing will fill up that empty place inside.

I have felt like that so much. I still feel like that some days. So my heart aches so much for my son, when I see that he has so many of these same symptoms. My heart aches for him when he struggles with his frustration and anger. I hope he finds his purpose, and I hope his friends understand his struggles--at least a little bit. And until then, Hubby and I are going to help him through.

People who are mentally ill, don't always know when they are spiraling downward until they have landed at the bottom or even until they are climbing out.  Our mental health system in the U.S. is broken. Just ask me. I have to shell out tons of money every year, because my insurance (a reputable agency) will only support ONE psychiatrist (and they just went out of business) in my city of 250k people. ONE. So for people who are suffering or who have children suffering, like me, they often have to dole out dollars they can't afford to part with, but must for their own good or for the sake of their children.

We need to break this stigma. We need to get people the help they need. And more than that, we don't need to be afraid to talk about. Because when we're afraid to talk about it the people who are suffering or who have loved ones who are suffering feel more isolated and more alone.  People need to realize there is no normal.  We are all flawed and broken creatures, but there is help out there.

 I've found my purpose, and having goals and pushing myself every day to achieve has given me more of a sense of who I am and it helps to keep the restless boredom from claiming my life.

You can read more about mental illness here and the different types of disorders that affect 1 in 4 Americans :  http://www.thekimfoundation.org/html/about_mental_ill/statistics.html.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Science Night

Last night, the kids had science night at their school. They go to an awesome school where science and math are emphasized. In the fall, we had a math night.

I took Number Two and Darling Daughter to their activities. We did fun things like make snow, play with magic sand, learned about magnets, and also about conductors and insulators. Did you know a magnet doesn't pick up a key? Or a coin? Even I learned something last night.

We met up with Hubby and Number One in the hallway on the way out, and Number One couldn't stop talking.

"Guess what, Mom? I got to eat liquid nitrogen. You know in the movies, where they have smoke, that's what they use. Isn't that cool? And we made robots. It was so awesome."

It was exciting to see my normally brooding ten year old tween so excited about learning. Isn't that what we all want? For our kids to have a love of learning? Well, his school succeeds in creating that in kids.

Here's a video of him eating the liquid nitrogen. Too cool!

video

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Information Post

Hey folks! If you've been following my writing journey on blogspot, then first, thank you. Secondly, I'm going to start dedicating this blogspot blog more to just personal things. If you love my kids as much as I do, then stay right where you are.

If you want to mostly follow my writing journey, find out about new releases, listen to me rant and rave and go and on and on about writing, read my flash fiction entries, then head on over to http://laurengreenewrites.com and follow me there! Ideally, I'd like it if you followed both pages, because that'd be cool and all.

Secondly, and the last piece of "writing" related work I'm posting on blogspot is this. I'm judging a flash fiction contest today over on http://alissaleonard.blogspot.com/2015/02/finish-that-thought-2-33.html.  Go enter so I have someone to judge!

This weekend was full of gymnastics. Number One had his first meet since he injured his shoulder. He did well, but he didn't place in the top three overall (crazy from where we were last year). His best score was on pommels/mushroom with a 10.0, which was 2nd place. I'll leave you with this little video, so you can bask in his success as much as I do.


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