Home Sweet AnnaBelle

{May 29, 2010}   28 Going On 30

So, in spite of Thursday being my birthday, things were pretty chill. Funnily enough, I forgot my age until I was reminded. I thought for weeks that I was turning 30. What the hell?! Thank goodness my husband was around to call me a moron and tell me to do the math, or I’d have just skipped right over a whole year of my life!

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting an old friend for tea. What a fantastic birthday gift! I have honestly known this girl since I was about 7 years old, and we lost touch years ago. She has been living in the UK for the last several years working as a teacher, though it sounds like she’ll be returning to this side of the pond in the next 9 months or so. I’m ecstatic.

Some of my best memories from childhood took place at her house. Everything there was always so normal, so stable and so comforting. She lived on a large acreage outside of town, we had so much fun. She, her sister, and myself would spend HOURS just…being kids. It was wonderful. They had an above ground pool, musical instruments, and so much land to explore! It was amazing. It’s the kind of childhood I want to give to my kids. I often think of their home when I ask myself what I want my own children to remember.

They were never wealthy. In fact, they went through a lot of hardship due to circumstances (WAY) beyond their control…But they managed to keep their house. The house that I remembered as being so enormous was actually not the least bit enormous. Not small, just average. I guess I just remember it being full of people and happy times.

Walking through that house was one of the first times I’ve ever been able to recall a period of my childhood with such fondness and nostalgia.

What a WONDERFUL feeling. And a beautiful birthday gift indeed, to know my childhood wasn’t totally lost.


In my quest for “serenity”…whatever the hell that is…I am constantly struck by how much effort I put into complicating my life. My discomfort with peace, and my addiction to chaos is so out of hand, that I find anxiety cropping up where it simply doesn’t belong…Indeed, the very act of being UN-anxious (it’s a word, don’t judge me) induces PARALYZING anxiety in me.

Now that I have children, I am learning how to identify what is my business, and what is not, because I simply do not have time to solve everyone else’s problems any longer.

This is a challenge, in that I am accustomed to often being the “go to girl”. I am the advice-giver, the problem-solver, and the caregiver… and due to these traits, am also often the scapegoat. In the last month or so, my challenge has been to back out of fights that aren’t mine, in every way possible. I will not involve myself in problems I cannot solve, in opinions I cannot change, or in situations that are far-reaching and out of my control.

I have gotten better at identifying what I can control, however. I can control my own behavior in the face of conflict. I HATE conflict, and am inclined to run away like a terrified animal when faced with it. I especially hate being the CAUSE of conflict. Highly triggering to me.  There were so many times growing up that I was told to own everyone’s hostility, anger, and anxiety simply because I was there. I was given too much power, really. To tell a 7 year old that they are causing the breakdown of your family life because they don’t want to go to bed is pretty hyperbolic and pretty damaging to said 7 year old. Then again, that is the nature of alcoholism. Hyperbole is a recurring theme. So, when I think conflict involves me somehow, I am crippled.

The only way I can deal with this at this stage in my recovery is to better identify what is mine, and what is not. I can’t change the whole world just now, but I can change my backyard. I can create more peace in the lives of my kids. I can create for them an addiction and abuse-free home. I can teach them healthy ways of handling conflict. And I can do what I can, where I can to serve humanity.

It’s far more manageable to try to change my own behavior, and to make positive changes in my family and community, as opposed to trying to right all worldly injustice. Trying to do what I simply cannot be expected to do is so very futile. So very disempowering. So very discouraging. And so very heart-killing.

I just have to keep it simple. And I need to let it begin with me.

{May 1, 2010}   All the Small Things…

My seven month old baby has a tooth poking through! WOW! So very many long nights for that teeny little tooth.

When it arrives fully, we will rejoice. Then I will kick the tooth’s ass for putting my kid (and thus, my husband and I) through 2 months of intermittent misery. Now, if there any karmic rightness in this universe, I will sleep for several hours in a row tonight. Whew.

Oh, and my son finally started saying ‘please’. It’s a big whoop. He’s only 21 months old. We may have been a bit overzealous in our encouragement of him, however, since he now expects applause whenever he says it.  Not that we mind, but it’s a bit labour-intensive. You have no idea how many times in a day ‘please’ is (or should be) said until you have to clap your hands every time you hear it.

That’s how you make a very polite narcissist.

et cetera