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{November 18, 2010}   These Are The Days…

…or rather, the nights, I will one day wish I had back.

Tonight, LB awoke from his slumber at about 1am with a loud wail. He never wakes up anymore. Since he was about 20 months, he’s been a good night sleeper. By morning, I find myself itching to go get him, missing him so much. LG doesn’t give me much of a chance to miss her, I’m afraid. She’s up quite a lot. ūüėČ Though, I almost don’t mind, because I know that she will probably one day sleep like LB, and I will miss her the same way, so I am trying to relish it. But, I digress…

Tonight, I bounded to him, sad for him that he was sad, but thrilled that I got to hold him, soothe him and snuggle him.

And play with him.

And tickle him.

And give him a banana and kisses at 1am.

And then watch him drift peacefully back to sleep like a  wee babe, while gently curling a lock of my hair around his finger.

I love him so much, it hurts.



{October 14, 2010}   Just Like This

I hope one day, when I’m joyful

I can remember what it feels like to be

Just like this

Aching, recoiling, withdrawing

Missing, hurting

Grimacing at daylight

Praying for sleep

I hope one day, when I’m lonely,

I can remember what it feels like to be

Just Like This

Babes in arms, small dimpled hands tugging at my pantleg

Needing, Wanting, Loving

Chaos everyday, phones and doorbells and noisy toys

Neighbours needing eggs

I hope one day, when I’m wealthy,

I can remember what it feels like to be

Just Like This

Adding water to the dishsoap and turning off lights

Coupon scouting to save

Spurred by the momentum of wanting better for them

Inspired by them

I hope one day, when I’m peaceful,

I can remember what it means to be

Just Like This

Impassioned and angered

Righteous Indignation

Finally speaking my mind after decades of silence

Gagged with white knuckles

I hope one day, when I’m enlightened,

I will remember what it feels like to be

Just Like This

Fumbling, negotiating my self-concept

Trying to define “normal”

Trying to define me without judging others

With Loving Kindness



{September 27, 2010}   Dear Anxiety:

Go fuck yourself. Please. Just let me close my eyes at 1am without racing thoughts and shortness of breath.

Thanks.

P.S. – I know you think it’s funny when the baby wakes me up 10 minutes after I can FINALLY fall asleep. Well, laugh it up, Chuckles. It’s not funny. Nor will I be particularly funny at 6am. I’ll see you then, Asshat. With bells on.

Sincerely,

Very Sleepy & Anxious AnnaBelle



{September 24, 2010}   Let’s Just Be Kind…Please?

So, I’m as much a bitch as anyone. Really. But, I have a few things to say, directed at¬†no one (online) in particular.

First, everyone just needs to relax. Seriously. Stop getting up each other’s asses for comments¬†in which the context is unverified. Assume that people are not out to get you. Assume that they mean well. Assume that they mean to hurt no one. Assume that they are doing the best they can with what they have. One comment/remark/action/incident is not adequate evidence to condemn a person and write off their character entirely.

Just for today: Do something kind for someone who you would ordinarily feel is “undeserving” of your kindness.

Just for today: Respond to that which you find offensive or hurtful with loving kindness.

Just for today: Be that much more gentle.

Just for today: Laugh at something that is stressing the shit out of you.

Just for today: Do something nice for someone.

Just for today: Do something nice for yourself.

Just for today: Realize that your outlook is only one of many, and few (if any) things in life are black and white. No matter how right you think you are, you could actually be “wrong”. Or, at least, not entirely right.

Just for today: Let go of your hang-ups, and those things that cause your bum to pucker, and don’t worry about it. Really. Just…don’t. Your worrying isn’t changing anything but your cardiovascular health.

Just for today: Please remember that everyone is someone important to someone. No matter how vehemently you disagree with them, someone loves them dearly, and would feel a void and loss if they were gone.

Just for today: Remember that life is short and fleeting. Don’t hate people for their petty or misguided mistakes. At their funeral, you won’t remember any of those hang ups anyway. All you’ll remember is the good, and you’ll wonder why the hell you wasted so much energy on the rest of it, and why you wasted so much time.

Just for today: Hold those people close to you, and let go of the hang ups and resentments that create barriers between you. You can always put them back up tomorrow, but just for today, enjoy the love.

That is all.

And also,¬†I’m not high.



{August 26, 2010}   Today I…

So, how did I do?

Here is this morning’s post:¬†

 https://sweetannabelle.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/today-i-will/

My follow up is below:

Took myself too seriously on at least one occasion.

Had a lot of fun with my kiddos.

Did NOT understand that others grieve differently, and snapped at a family member as a result. Whoops. Calling to apologize profusely is on my list for tomorrow.

Wrote a blog post…Actually, 2 blog posts! ūüôā

I did my best to be grateful. I’m definitely grateful for my kids, but still feeling mad as hell about my Dad being gone. So, I’m going to award half points. Yay me.

I did talk to a person on the phone. But I snapped at them. D’oh. Half points again.

I loved people¬†unconditionally today. Not all of them, but I’m still calling it a win, since I did not specify initially that it had to be ALL people. ūüėČ

I definitely did NOT wash the kitchen floor, but I DID clean out my son’s closet. So, I’m calling this one a win, too. ūüėČ



{August 22, 2010}   Kids are HILARIOUS

In an effort to clean up my trucker mouth in the presence of my newly verbal 2 year old, I have reverted to the vernacular that was such a part of me once upon a time…When I worked with kids on a daily basis.

Some of my favorite expressions of surprise/joy are: “Holy Hannah!”, “Oh my stars!” and “Oh my word!” (all of which are ultimately used in situations when I would ordinarily say “Holy fuck”, “Holy Shit”, or “Jesus Christ”. The last one doesn’t offend me so much, but it does my husband, so there you go.

I also have silly words/phrases that are meant to substitute, but still sound like the real thing. “Oh, for FOX CREEK!” is a favorite of mine, as is “SUGAR!”.

Then, there are the silly words that are NOT substitutions for profanity, but are entertaining nonetheless. My son will be the only one in the first grade who will be wearing “pantaloons” and¬†eating “roast beast”. Oy.

So, it looks like I did it all in the nick of time. Because today, as I was trying to get my son dressed and¬†I dropped his shirt on the floor, he put his little hands on his rosy little cheeks, and exclaimed, “OH, STARS!”

3 weeks ago, I’d have been telling you about my son’s first F-bomb, I guarantee it.



{August 8, 2010}   The Reality of Reality

Remember how I said reality about my Dad was starting to sink in?

I was so naive.

NOW it’s sinking in. Today, I needed his advice. I said I was going to call him.

Then I cried.

I feel so silly, and I miss him SO. VERY. MUCH.



{July 27, 2010}   The Story of Him

When I was very small, my father was a very elusive figure to me. He worked a lot, and drank a fair bit, so my time with him as HIM was fairly minimal. However, the time that I did have, when he was sober, and spending time with me, was magic.

My Dad spent his life overcoming challenges. He grew up  on a farm, just after the depression. It was a very different time. His sweetness shone through an exterior of courage. He learned love as he went, and expressed it in his own way, a way that may not be readily understood by all.

He was a musician. He grew up with an appreciation for music, on the farm, with my grandfather playing the accordian, my aunts and grandmother singing and playing the piano, my uncle playing guitar and banjo, my father playing guitar, both acoustic and bass, and singing as well.¬†As a young man, he played for crowds, and when he was a little older, he joined a band. That band played venues for 20-odd years. Bars, legions and halls in the area where I grew up still know my Dad’s name.

With my mother, he had 5 children, all of us a little complicated. Of the 5 of us, I am the only one who plays an instrument (I play two, in fact) and the only one who sings. In terms of the rest, they all have their connections with him, too. He always marvelled at how different we all were.

He experienced the aftermath of the depression, in rural Alberta. He experienced loving my mother, his companion of 49 years, 48 of them married. He experienced almost losing a child when my eldest sister was in a near-fatal accident. He experienced my brother grappling with addiction, mental illness and several brushes with the criminal element. He experienced fatherhood, grandfatherhood, great-grandfatherhood. He experienced losing an uninsured home to a fire. He experienced a lifelong battle with the bottle. He experienced pride in his children. He experienced disappointment in his children. He experienced multiple bankruptcies. He always got back on the horse. He experienced crippling poverty, more than once. He nearly lost his wife, just over a year ago to colon cancer.

My bond with my father was unspoken. I was privileged to share with him his greatest love-music. We played together¬†every Christmas, and a few years ago, I did a gig with him and two of his former bandmates at the local legion. I felt his pride for me. He wasn’t the perfect Dad when I was a kid, but he was my partner in crime as an adult. He was ever forgiving, even as I put him through the ringer, and he beamed with pride when he met my children the first time, and took pictures of them the whole time, the last time I ever saw him, on our trip to the zoo at the beginning of July.

On July 11, he left us. He did so on his own terms. He walked into the hospital with chest pains, on his own two feet. He told my mother that he would be leaving “feet first”.

They tried to resusitate him for 47 minutes. I didn’t make it in time. I met my family there, in the hallway, 5 minutes after he was pronounced dead.

Since then, I have been numb. But now, depression is setting in. Waves of grief are flooding in. The flowers are starting to die, petals littering my living room floor, and yet I cannot bear to throw them away because it means he’s really gone.

My guitar sits silent in the corner. I want to play tonight, but it hurts too much. It’s just too raw.

God. I’ll miss him.



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.



{April 18, 2010}   Introductions

Take a deep breath in. Smell that? Mmmm. New blog smell.

So, I’ll keep my intro post short, because these things always come off as a tad disingenuous to me. The abbreviated version is that I am a married mother of two amazing kids. I’m pretty nuts. I have a lot of crap in my head that I’d like to send out into cyber space and hope it comes back prettier.

If you want to know more about me, may I suggest that you read: https://sweetannabelle.wordpress.com/about/¬†. In any case, I hope you enjoy reading my rantings. I have a lot of ’em. Sorry ’bout your luck.



et cetera