Fairy Tale Mom

This is a story about how, for a long time, I did this all wrong. I focused all of my energy on work and the princess and that is all. I didn’t take any time for me. I lost contact with all of my friends. (This could be a result of the post partum depression, but who knows at this point.) Regardless, I wasn’t exactly happy with the way things were going for me.

I still did my job as mommy. I drove the princess to dance class, I took the snacks to school functions and we went to the zoo, all like we were supposed to. But, I was completely empty as I did it. I was bored and depressed and lacking.

Sure, I had a few acquaintances. I would connect with them at the appropriate functions. I spoke to the other moms at the daycare drop off and pick up. I took the time to make sure the dance teachers knew my name. And, I spoke to the girl scout leaders – sometimes.

Well, I started talking more and more to one person in particular and it turned out we had a lot in common. Except, it’s really hard to make friends as adults. So, we weren’t friends. We were acquaintences. I knew her. She knew me. And, most of the time I remembered her name.

Then, we wound up in the same carpool to a field trip. (I drove – how scarry is that?) We went to the zoo. We talked about a book that we both read (and re-read a few more times).

Then, we went to a dance class. It was fun for me, because I like to dance. And, I was so eager to connect with other grown ups. Now, this dance class was in a church. And, I was on a serious search for God. So, it was a huge bonus for me.

I was still unsure of how to deal with the person that invited me. We were on our way to a CHURCH, could I still use “colorful” language? Would she judge me when she found out what a horrible mother I am? I won’t lie – I was nervous.

But, it turns out that MFH embraced all of my flaws and faults – and we became friends. A few years ago today.

And, my friends, *THAT* is a TRUE STORY.

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Ok, so I only worked out a few times this week. (That includes death by Zumba with MFH on Thursday.) I still was really good about drinking water and not much soda. But, I was in training classes at work and it was hard to keep on track.

You see, there isn’t much food you can take with you when you aren’t sure of the facilities or amenities available for storage or reheating. But, I did manage to eat salads most days, and still yogurt for breakfast.

But, my biggest confession is that this weekend I was really not good. With a 6 hour dance competition on Saturday and a very hectic day on Sunday, I ate what was available – that was pizza for dinner.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m back on track. Being on #teamheather is helping so much so I feel awful for letting her down this weekend.

MFH has introduced me to many things in the last few years. I started blogging, and utilizing social media. I started paying much more attention to my need to be more than a mom. I’ve traveled with her to Chicago and New York, making new friends on the way. She introduced me to some great books. And, now she’s brought me along on a journey that I have so badly wanted to take for years.

You see, I have a weight problem. I never thought that I was hiding it, after all, you aren’t blind. However, I wasn’t admitting that I had an issue to myself. I pretended that losing the weight and changing habits would be easy. Well, it hasn’t been easy. Actually, it hasn’t happened at all.

Until, MFH submitted her application to the mamavation campaign. I know that I am very supportive of my friends when they have a goal, so I agreed to join her in her quest. I’ve mostly given up Diet Coke. I used to drink at least 4 cans a day, it was hard to give up. Now, I drink TONS of water. And, today, I realized that my pants are falling down.

Now, I’m not quite good enough to get in all of the hazing work outs every day, but I’m trying to get most of them in. I think it’s making a difference. Mostly, the difference is that I care to make a change.

I’m tired of feeling horrible, and I want a really cute little black dress.

I’ve tried everything else, but I’m banking on MFH and the mamavation team.

I’ve been hearing from my mother for years that I have a weight issue. And, don’t think that I don’t notice that my pants are way bigger than they were 5 years ago.

But, more than that, I’m so sick of getting winded playing with the princess. I want to be healthy. I want to find a way to make better decisions about my body, my life, my health than I have. I am lucky that MFH decided to join bookieboo.com and apply for this challenge.

I’ve been mostly following along. And, while I won’t step on a scale yet. I can tell you that I feel so much better when I take the time to work out. Doing it with my BFF is just a bonus. She is a great motivator and supporter. AND, she didn’t laugh at me when we took our first Zumba class this week.

So, as I make better decisions this week, for my health, I am so grateful to have a support system in place. And, I ‘m grateful for the motivation from a network of great people who know exactly what I’m feeling.

In case I’ve not made this public before, I really didn’t like my old job. I dreaded going every day and desperately wanted out. Now, you would think that I spent hours and hours looking for a new job and applying for positions. Yet, I didn’t.

But, prayer was successful and a new job found me. I’ve been with the new company (another financial institution with a big name) for just a few weeks and am really so much happier.

The environment is better, the systems are better and I’m enjoying the structure and ability to easily access information. The only downside is that while I am in training, I’m driving far away. So, the Princess gets a happier Mommy at home, but still sees less of mommy as I’m always in the car.

I can’t help but be thankful though. I’m being given a great opportunity to learn and grow. So, I’ll take the temporary inconvenience in exchange for the long term gain. I’ll just be really tired in the meantime.

In answer to the "Is the glass half empty...

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Today I was thinking on things that I know for sure. I’m trying, still, to make a difficult decision. There are so many sides to consider and I was trying to wrap my head around the details of the decision so that I could move forward.

It turns out, unlike the Media Mogul Oprah, I don’t know much for sure. I know that I love the Princess beyond measure. I know that I’m fiercely loyal to those that I hold dear. And, I know that caffeine is a driving force in my life.

I’m unsure of so many things. How do I make long term decisions if I continue to question so very many important things in my life?

My primary question today is: Whose happiness is most important? And, what if my happiness causes pain to someone else?

This decision is really weighing me down and preventing me from moving forward or in any direction really. I’m losing so much no matter which way I choose…

So, the question really is this: How do you choose the path to follow when both look equally ominous? Really, How do YOU choose?

I need help.

Daily Prayer:
Dear God, Today I am confused and troubled and burdoned with worry. While I trust you to guide me toward the right choices, I find myself listening harder and harder for your voice to speak to me. Please continue to guide me and be with those that I love as we make choices today. Help us to live the life you have designed for us. Amen.

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No. Really, I just quit my job. It is a pretty amazing feeling to leave a job that you don’t really like in the first place. But, it’s a little sad too. I’ve worked with some of those people for 6 years. I know them well.

I met great people in that job. And, I learned a great deal about finance and banking (like all of it, as I knew nothing going into it). But, it was time to go.

After the bank I worked for, and enjoyed for 4 years, got bought by the new company, things just weren’t the same. I knew that I wanted to find something new nearly right away, but I waited. And, as I waited NBF and the fairy and the pirate all found themselves without jobs.

While there was such uncertainty in Fairytale Land, I decided to hold off on my own job search. It felt necessary as I helped with the job searches of those around me, I was too distracted to look on my own. The time came, though, when I just couldn’t ignore an opportunity in front of me.

A colleague of mine, who I never had a great relationship with, told me that she was offered a job with a competitor and passed my name on to the recruiter.

After a 2 month long interview process, I was offered a position with a little bit of a pay increase and a substantial incentive plan.

I am thankful for the opportunity and grateful that someone thought enough of my work ethic to recommend me.

Tonight I realized a few things:
1. I am the worst Girl Scout Treasurer ever
2. I always miss my kid after bed time, even though I’m really excited to put her to bed at night.
3. I need to go to the gym that I joined.
4. I’ve made little progress on my 40×40 list
5. I need a 5 year plan.

It is that last one that has me the most freaked out. I mean, I don’t like where I am financially, physically or spiritually and I have no plans in place to make any changes.

I wrote a whole list, my 40×40, so that I could make plans and I never make plans to complete the list. So, this week I am planning 2 things to complete. I won’t complete them this week, but I will make the plan. I will budget the time and resources necessary.

I will need some serious budget rehab to plan any overseas travel, so that will have to wait until some other major decisions get made in fairytale land this week.

But, I’m sure that I can find 2, just TWO, items that I can complete in the near future.

I’ll keep you posted…

Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks, 09-10. Catego...
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As this year draws to a close, I don’t know if I’m really sad to see it go. This year was a tough one in Fairytale Land. We faced job loss and job struggles, money concerns, and all the uncertainty that we can handle. So as this year ends, I say good riddance.

But, several great things happened in 2010 as well. I met new friends in far away places. I learned a new skill (knitting counts). I gained confidence in some abilities I haven’t used in a while. And, a friend believed in me enough to help me achieve a childhood dream. And, the travel.. I went to the beach and to the mountains and to the plains. All in all, I suppose I had a good year despite some unlikely circumstances.

So, as I go into the New Year, I want to make sure that I am better prepared to tackle the things in life that just tend to come up and also be better able to live in the moment of the many blessings that come my way.

So, as I make my list for 2011, I’m going to include some sort of financial plan, one item to better myself physically, one item to deepen relationships with friends, one item to be a better parent and one completely selfish gift to myself. Now, I’ll spend all day working on the list and another week editing it, but I will go into this year with a better plan than I had last year.

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2007 GMC Acadia photographed at the Washington...
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I’ve never been the kind of person that really cared deeply about the kind of car that I drive.  Getting from point A to point B has always been my primary motivator.  This year has kind of changed that perspective.  I, for the first time ever, have really firm opinions about what I want in a car.  And, it’s not a car that I want.

I’ve been given the opportunity to drive a few vehicles in the Chevrolet line up and they were all pretty fantastic.  As I was driving the Traverse, the Volt or the GMC Acadia I continually reminded myself that a portion of the euphoria was the “new” factor.  The car was clean, there were no french fries on the floor, and no stains from spills in the seats.  That in and of itself was awesome.  I guess I took for granted all of the features that I truly enjoy.

I didn’t even notice what is important to me until we had to rent a vehicle to take the Fairytale Family on a 15 hour road trip for Christmas.  Now, those who know the Fairytale Family know that we take road trips.  We have a plan and a system that works for us and the children ride along relatively well, all 4 of them.  (That was relatively well, they are still kids after all.)  But, the vehicle we used for Christmas was AWFUL for us.  It was a 7 passenger American Made SUV-ish thing that was miserable to drive.

Logistically speaking, there was no room in this car.  Not in the front seat, not in the back and certainly not in the “cargo” area.  And, I use the work “cargo” here very loosely.  There was about 11 inches from the back of the rear seat to the door of the rear gate.  The leg room in any row of seating was missing and there weren’t nearly enough cup holders.  (Cup holders are a very big deal in American made cars – not so much foreign ones.)  The Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia both had room in the back (not tons, but certainly room for a short trip like this one).  And, the leg room in both of the afore mentioned vehicles was AWESOME.

Now, I had never given one thought to an instrument panel until last week.  But, driving the rental was awful.  Where Chevrolet provides an intuitive easy to see display this other car maker did exactly the opposite.  The only thing I could easily read while driving (without moving the steering wheel or looking around the wheel) was the tachometer.  And, I don’t even really know what that does, so I don’t want to be reading it.

Needless to say, I have no real reason to be loyal to a brand when I’ve just recently started caring about car features, but I think when the Fairytale Family looks to buy a new car, I’m looking at Chevy.

For the record, I was not asked by Chevy to write this post, I was not given anything, and I will not receive any other compensation.  I was simply so angry at the other car company that I thought I would express my appreciation for a company getting it right.

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