Welcome Back

It has been one year and four months since the night he didn’t want to come home and I texted “Then I think we should get a divorce”. I capped off the evening with a giant Xanax and a call to my mom explaining that my marriage was over for real this time. That night seems like forever ago. Surreal almost. I bet it’s like childbirth- an event so traumatic that our brains simply won’t allow us fully remember the pain, instead it’s broken into hazy memories punctuated with clear, brief, visceral emotional response.

But, for the first time in YEARS- I feel like me again!

Granted, I am back in my hometown, living in the house I grew up in, teaching for the district that I spent all my schooling in and dining at the hole-in-the wall Mexican places that were around 20 years ago- but I have grown. I am different. I am confident, independent and damn proud of my accomplishments. I am definitely not used to looking in the mirror and liking what I see. Typically, I am hypercritical. My arms are too flabby, my nose is too pronounced, my knees bend in a weird way and my C-section scars are too visible and puffy. I have never felt particularly comfortable in my own skin. But, I had to force myself to flip the script. I had to learn to love myself before I would ever begin to heal the real scars. I read books, listened to podcasts, reconnected with old friends, planned weekends away, splurged on massages, went shopping for art and began scouring Facebook for new LulaRoe prints. I became obsessed with bold colors and patterns in effort to beautify my new life.

It seems the more I do for myself, the easier it becomes and then I start wondering what the hell have I been doing for the past 10 years?? When did I get lost in the mix? When did I lose myself in the role of mother, wife and care-taker? When did I let life take over and spit me out with a vengeance? When the fuck did I decide that was the woman I wanted to be or how I wanted to define my life? I let “co-dependent caretaker with an alcoholic husband” become my moniker.

I have my life back. It sounds so.fucking.selfish. So selfish. I know. It has taken over a year to say sorrynotsorry. I do not give a damn.

I don’t live every day feeling less than anymore. I felt deeply ashamed that I couldn’t keep my husband happy. I felt ashamed that he cheated on me. I felt ashamed that I wasn’t a good enough wife or mother. I believed that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, interesting enough, sexy enough or talented enough. I started truly believing that I would never be enough. I told myself that I was just lucky to have a handsome husband, a nice house and good children. I didn’t believe that I could have it all. I rationalized that since I had a fairly decent life on the outside, I needed to settle with constant anxiety and inadequacy on the inside. I began to resign to the fact that a big, deep, supportive, loyal love wasn’t in the cards for me. I didn’t believe I was cut out for that kind of love.

Bullshit.

I deserve it all. We ALL deserve it ALL!

So now, 480-ish days later, I can say I have done pretty fucking well picking up the shattered pieces. I haven’t drank alcohol in 13 months. I lost 40 pounds…then gained back 8. I have doubled the gray hairs on my head with a new career that passionately fulfills me. I have cultivated a home filled with all my favorite people and things. I have remained calm and collected while negotiating a co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband. I have become financially independent.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure I would end up here. I was 6 weeks late moving into our house (due to a squatter situation that I will write about later), I am a first year teacher learning how to manage 150 pubescent 8th graders and I am working my hardest to keep my own kids happy, healthy and sane through a incredibly difficult transition, but I am here. I am standing on my own two feet, feeling the fear and doing it anyways. selfcare

 

 

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Advocare 24 Day Challenge: A Diary

Let me first start by saying, I am not into “diet systems”. I am pretty simplistic: Eat less, Exercise more. I don’t want pills and potions and lotions and powders. A couple months ago a friend from high school asked if I would like to join her next Advocare challenge group. Um, no thank you. Every time a new group rolled around she asked if I would like to participate. Um, no thank you. The other day she messaged me:

Her: I am starting a new 24 day Challenge Class, any chance you would like to participate? I have an extra Challenge box that I would love to give you if you would like to try it out and blog about your experience!

Me: OK!

Two C-sections totally fucked me up. If I ever pay off a credit card, I would like a tummy tuck, but until then…lets do this! I would like to reiterate, as always, I will give an honest account of my personal experience with this product.

Advocare 24 Day Challenge

CLEANSE PHASE:

Day 1-3: There are a lots of components to this “challenge”, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully, there is a detailed instruction book outlining each day and your coach is in contact with you every day for encouragement, exercise ideas, recipe tips and to any questions you may have.

First thing in the morning, you drink a Spark energy drink. Its a powder that you mix into 8oz of water, in place of your morning cup of coffee. I got watermelon flavor…its ok. I am not a soda drinker- so its a bit sucrose with an aspartame aftertaste, but its bearable. I missed my coffee.

Then comes the morning “fiber drink”. I was told to mix quickly with cold water and chug.  Woah. Stir and chug is right. The taste wasn’t awful, but the texture is definitely not my favorite. (MUCH better than the salt flush I endured with the Lemon/cayenne pepper cleanse I did a few years ago)

Alcohol Units: 3 (you are encouraged not to drink…oops)

Exercise Units: 0

Pounds Lost: 4!!! (what?! Awesome.)

Verdict: So far the daily instruction guide is simple and easy to use, especially with all the components involved. The fiber drink is fairly gelatinous. DO NOT LET IT SIT FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME. Stir and chug. Listen to my words. But, I have never lost 4 pounds in 3 days ever- except that one time I had a stomach bug. I am so staying the course- a little weight loss is always encouraging!

January 13th: She’s got legs…

The twelfth installment of January guest blogs: “Your scary, crazy, amazing goal you would accomplish in 2015 if you could do absolutely ANTHING!” If you would like to participate find me on Facebook- I would love to share your story!

January 13th: Erin: She’s Got Legs

Every year I plan goals for myself, and every year I just can’t seem to make them happen. Am I an inherent failure? Am I setting my sights too high? What is wrong with me that I just can’t seem to set my mind on something and then actually succeed in making it happen? My friends take up skydiving. They learn languages. They join gyms. Every year I make the same great plans, but when the year ends, I’m still afraid of heights. Spanish still confuses me. I’m 5 pounds heavier.

If I could actually accomplish one scary, crazy, amazing goal in 2015 it sure would be hard to know what to aim for. There’s traveling to exotic locations, eating healthier, and paying down my college debt. They all sound so fabulous. But if I could only pick ONE thing, I think I would choose to shave my legs on a regular basis. Yes. My most scary, crazy, amazing goal in 2015 is to shave my legs.

Not counting my Amish friends, shaving ones legs probably doesn’t seem amazing to most people. I think back to 5th or 6th grade when I started shaving. I had been begging my mom for months to allow me to shave, but she kept insisting I was too young. My older sister shaved, and in my mind shaving meant you were a cool mature lady. When my best friend’s mom said she could start shaving, my own mom finally gave in. My friend and I sat on the side of the bathtub in our one piece swimsuits shaving our legs and thinking about how awesome we were. The world was our oyster. We figured soon we would be wearing bras and finding boyfriends. To us, shaving was amazing, and crazy, and a little bit scary too.

Somewhere along the way shaving turned into a part of my beauty routine. I didn’t want to go to the pool without a recent shave, or wear shorts, or sit too close to anyone in the car for fear of poking them with my prickles. I wasn’t big on make up. But when my legs were shaved I felt ready to take on the world.

When I had children, shaving was the first thing to go. Anyone who cares for a small person knows how difficult it is to find time to shower, so finding an extra 5 minutes to shave ones legs usually gets lost in the equation. Occasionally I would sneak in a shave, but with hair that long, and that quick rush, a razor didn’t do much damage. For awhile I didn’t mind it. “Oh well. I’m too busy,” I would think as I put on pants in 99 degree weather.

Recently I began feeling a strong sense of pouring myself into others, and not spending any time on myself. There’s work, and the baby, and my big kids, and my husband. All of whom want and need attention. And I want to give them that attention. But I realized I need to give myself attention to. There’s no point in me saying my amazing wish is to go to the gym everyday, because in the 3 hours between work and bed, that isn’t going to happen. But what could happen, is that I could shave my legs again. I could spend 5 extra minutes on myself a couple times a week doing something that makes me feel happy, and pretty, and well put together. 2015 is about taking myself back and making time for ME, I’ll be doing that by shaving my legs.

Erin Bohn is a hilarious wife and mom of three. She writes about life, adoption and stories from the front line of parenting in the Big Apple. You can follow her on Facebook or check her out at No Bohns About It. com

January 6th: Punch a Pubescent

The fifth installment of January guest blogs: “Your scary, crazy, amazing goal you would accomplish in 2015 if you could do absolutely ANTHING!” If you would like to participate find me on Facebook– I would love to share your story!

January 6th: Anonymous: Punch a Pubescent

So. You want scary, crazy, amazing goals for 2015?  How bout this?  All I want to accomplish in 2015 is to not punch a kid in the face.  That may sound easy, but I guarantee you it is not.  Seriously.  It is my mantra: “Do not punch a kid in the face. Do NOT punch a kid in the face.”  

Let me explain.  I teach middle school.  Not only do I teach middle school, but I teach an elective in middle school.  In other words, the class no kid has to take seriously or take at all.  They see it as a time to socialize and do anything other than the subject they are enrolled in: Art. I frequently find myself asking them “If you hate drawing so much, why did you sign up for this class?”  The answer I get is usually “I didn’t choose it.” or “I’m not gonna take choir, choir’s for fags!” Then I’m stuck with the response, “Don’t use that word, you’re the fag!” (ok, the last part is in my head).

So, maybe if I tell you about my struggles I will get it off my chest and succeed in the goal of, quite simply, not punching a kid in the face.  

Every morning I am greeted in 1st period by 10 8th grade boys who do not want to be there.  Every morning two of these boys are out of dresscode (same offense every day) and argue with me about getting their lazy asses into dresscode. Just take off the fucking hoodie already!  I know it’s a stupid rule and no, I don’t agree with it, but it’s my job to enforce it so take off the damn hoodie!  Once that fight is over then all 10 of them… they just sit there.  All I ask of them is to work on whatever project it is we are currently working on, they don’t even have to do it well! And all they do is just sit there.  Why am I stuck fighting with 14 year old boys about doing their artwork while I have 15 other students who do want to be there and are just as annoyed as me by their lack of effort and lack of respect?

I get a little break and then 3rd period comes along.  This class includes Tyler and Tyler (not their real names, but they do both have the same name).  These young men have not been taught to sit their asses down.  They have not been told that tattling on other students is going to get their asses kicked.  They have not been informed that they are two of the most annoying humans I have ever met. Or maybe I have informed them of that, I’m not sure, sometimes my filter doesn’t work. The entire class is continuously saying “Tyler and Tyler!  Shutup and sit down!” “But he took my pencil!” “Oh fucking hell!  Nobody cares about your damn pencil!! And snitches get stitches, so shut the fuck up!”  One of their mother’s has a sticker on her car that is hot pink and reads “Spoiled Oil Field Wife” if that explains anything.

The last anecdote I will share with you is a fun one, like REAL fun. I started the year with several special young men in 4th period.  They have since been moved out of my class or had their schedules changed so they are no longer together, but this is a doozy so bare with me.  These boys would spend every single day telling me they would either make me quit, get fired, or at the very least, make me cry.  Well, they did not make me quit, and I have yet to get fired, and I did not cry, but they did manage to make me lose 5 lbs in one day.  How, may you ask?  Laxatives.  Yes, I’m just sitting dealing with my afternoon classes when all of the sudden….. well, you know, I spend the entire 7th period shitting.  And the rest of the evening.  And the next day.  And 5 lbs later I have to go back and face these boys.  Now, nothing was ever proven.  Nobody ever confessed.  Nothing was ever done.  But I know.  And they know. And all I can keep saying to myself every single day since is “DO NOT PUNCH A KID IN THE FUCKING FACE!”

Skinny Jeans Can Suck It.

I am having a feud- with myself. Perhaps I should call it a delusion? In my head I am so much cooler then I am in my real life. I think I have this version of me in my head that I cant (or am too lazy) to actually make into reality.  This woman in my head is awesome. She has her shit together. This woman excels at time management, patience and being fucking awesome. She likes to have fun, is up for anything, has no fear, is secure in herself, is positive and friendly. This woman can cook, craft, do yoga, write, engage in thoughtful discussion, has fabulous beachy waves, a couple new tattoos and a pulled-together boho style with funky stacked jewelry that figured out how to successfully wear skinny jeans.

Memoirs of a Modern Mom: Skinny Jeans can suck it

My real-life self is a bit jealous of the fantasy version my head has conjured. But, I am also fairly sure that with enough exercise, sleep, time, perseverance and hormonal balance, I could become this person that my head seems to be nudging me towards. What is that stupid saying? The journey of a lifetime starts with a single step? I don’t know, something like that…but, I suppose its true. One step at a time, one day at a time…the whole tortoise and the hare idea; slow and steady wins the race. Yes. That is so true- I am very slow. I suppose lazy might even be the appropriate word. Ugh, that makes me sad to even type, but it’s the truth. I am lazy and tired. I think it may just be par for the course while you have little people that require so much attention. I require a lot of sleep, down time and the chance to hear silence. I crave the sound of silence. I crave the ability to be left with my own thoughts without the banter of a 5-year old or the insistent chatter and whine of a toddler.

I get the results from my trip to the endocrinologist next week, so I am hoping to shed some light on whatever the hell is happening with my hormones. Y’all- the doctors exact words were. “tell you husband to hang in there, your hormones are definitely screwed up.” I asked him if I could get that in writing. VALIDATION!! What a weight off my shoulders just to be told that there is a “medical” reason, that there is hope for me yet!

Ah, I know. There are plenty of women out there that  have twice as many kids and twice as much productivity. I have seen enough mom blogs on Facebook and pins on Pinterest to know that there is a pretty determined group of ladies making shit happen! I want to make shit happen! But, currently I am sitting at my computer in the dining room guzzling coffee while my son begs for snacks. (What is it with “snacks”?? Seriously? I just gave you breakfast and now you are still hungry for snacks??)

One day at a time. I will consider today the day I was honest with myself and put my goals out there…tomorrow I stack some bracelets and google “skinny jeans for a large ass”. Shut it, I said baby steps. I need more sleep to figure out how to make fabulous beachy waves a reality. #bootcutforever

Social Pariah

I was listening to NPR yesterday after dropping the tiny tot off at school and they were discussing on-line privacy issues. More specifically, the crazy-insane amount of information that Facebook gathers from its bagillion users. Of course, the program also talked about employers searching the social media pages of potential employees as a standard part of the hiring process. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have to clean up my internet presence if I was to interview for a real job sometime in the distant future. I don’t know what kind of “real” job that would be- but am I already screwing myself out of a potential job just by writing my blog?

I am honest, maybe to a fault, and I put out a lot of my musings out there for public consumption. I find it a fabulous outlet to maintain my voice in a sometimes mundane daily life that rarely requires higher level thinking. Fortunately, Dora walks me right through her adventures, with the help of Map. So, lets say that I wanted to be a teacher- I assume my blog antics might cost me the job educating children. I curse, I drink and I am very pro-choice. I voted for Obama, I like reading smutty books and I have tattoos.

Speaking of tattoos…I have three tattoos, none that are visible. I haven’t gotten a tattoo since 2001, and I think that means it’s about damn time for another one. My husband HATES tattoos. He HATES that I want to get another one. But- like the good wife I am, I have delayed my desire for more decorative body art…until now. I have been searching for the perfect tattoo- thank you Pinterest. But, now I am wondering if I am further alienating my chances to enter the work force later?

Do I care? Do I really want a job that wouldn’t hire me based on my adorable visible tattoo? Do I really want to work for a company that won’t hire me because I like to blog about politics? Do I really want to work for a company that thinks my use of Fuck is too flagrant? Eh, I sure hope not. Honestly, I have no true intention to gain full-time employment out in the “real world”. I don’t even know what I would do if I were to find a Mon-Fri gig with benefits and a salary. Currently my benefits are staying in my pajamas all day and my salary is hugs and kisses. But, despite my blogging, my cursing and my penchant for tattoos, my tiny employers still love me anyways. At this point, I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way. Right now, I need to follow my heart- and my heart is firmly entrenched with my family and my beautifully tedious kiddos.

Liebster Award Nomination!

Check it out, I have been nominated by Emily at Vivre, a beautiful lifestyle blog with fashion, food and travel, for a Liebster Award! How exciting! The Liebster is a cyber-award that was created to discover new bloggers and is awarded to those with less than 200 followers. Once awarded you have to nominate other newbie bloggers to receive the award and link back to the blogger who nominated you. (Kind of like a techie-blogger chain letter, but more fun and without the threat of death)

leibster

Emily has written 10 questions to her nominees and my answers are…

  1. why did you start your blog? I started blogging 5 years ago, while on bed rest in the hospital pregnant with my daughter. I needed an outlet and a way to communicate with family and friends. Thus, my mom blog was born. It didn’t really take off until about a year ago when I announced my husband and I were divorcing. I began to connect with so many people and have been fortunate to be a part of such a supportive community.
  2. what is your favorite quote? “Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…” –Gilda Radnor
  3. what does your perfect day consist of? Sleeping in and being awoken to a hot cup of coffee in bed, a leisurely champagne brunch, a bit of shopping, happy hour with friends and a night out with my love. I am not sure where the kids figure in, but maybe they can bring my coffee in the morning.
  4.  what are your pet peeves? Slurping food, writing ALOT (its 2 words people!), canceling last minute.
  5. do you have any guilty pleasures? if so, what are they? Girls night out, Sonic ice, champagne, The Vampire Diaries, romance novels.
  6. who inspires you? Everyone. I love finding out more about people, it’s the sociologist in me. I like to find out what makes people tick and usually it is much more interesting than we initially thought.
  7. what is the best book you have read recently? I will embarrass myself if I tell you the last couple books were romance novels, but I love non-fiction books that make you think. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell is one of my all-time favorites.
  8. what is your favorite childhood memory? Christmas Day, I must have been 11 or 12, I waited until the very end to open a small, super heavy package. I love the optimism and excitement of a kid waiting for something so exciting, even if it was just batteries to my new boom box. Wah wah.
  9. what is your favorite restaurant in the city where you currently live? It’s a tie! El Tiempo is my favorite restaurant near me, but if I am willing to drive 20 miles out of the city, my favorite of all time, forever and ever is El Palenque.
  10. if you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and why? Spain, complete with plenty of free flowing sangria and tapas.

So, newbie bloggers out there, let me know so we can return the Liebster love!

  1. What made you start a blog?
  2. What city have you been to that felt most like home?
  3. What is your favorite curse word?
  4. What mistake have you made that you would never go back and change?
  5. If you could not fail, what dream would you go for?
  6. If you had to jump off a burning building what famous person would you want at the bottom to catch you?
  7. What is your hidden talent?
  8. What is your ultimate goal with your blog?
  9. What advice would the current you offer the younger you?
  10. Who is your guilty pleasure band?

xoxo