What’s Your Motivation?

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today, Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

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Back when I was young and vastly much more energetic, I used to teach high school theater.

Those days were pretty nutty, and involved a lot of plays that took on a bit of a wonky Little Rascals, “Let’s put on a show!” kinda vibe, but you know. I remember once, (and only once) asking a sixteen year old while we were working on a scene, “What’s your motivation here?” He stared at me blankly.  And then I think he answered, “Well, I’m not doing basketball and my parents made me do something extracurricular.” I let it go. Plus, it was for Bye Bye Birdie, so, you know, I bet his true motivation was to break into song and dance at random points without his voice cracking like a sheet of ice.

So, the basic lesson here: Never ask a teenager about motivation. They never really know.

Also: It’s totally fine to ask a Momsie what her motivation is. But sometimes… I too, never really know.

There’s the quick answer to the above: Love God, and love others.

But also, there’s my recovery, marriage, my kids, my service, my writing, my book, my church, my fire baton routine… (Ok, just kidding about the baton part. I can dare to dream, however.)

I think moms have this ever-cycling wheel of What’s Most Important circling in our souls – our children… our husbands… our careers…. our ability to bake the best casseroles for church suppers… And repeat.

It’s an endless cycle of Where Do I Put All My Energy? Energy doesn’t do so well when it’s slathered all over the place, like thin margarine on toast.

Here’s what I would like: when I wake up, I would like a plane flying overhead, with one of those banners behind it, saying something like: DANA. FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS.

Or…

DANA. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BALANCE. BALANCE IS FOR GYMNASTS. GOD HAS YOUR BACK.

Or…

DANA, YOUR CASSEROLES WILL NEVER WIN ANY PRIZES. LET THAT GO. GOD LOVE YOU ANYWAY.

Or, simply:

LET GO, LET GOD.

My motivations can get tangled. Thus, the airplane banner thing would be helpful. I need visual, and large, airborn reminders, I guess. But, it would be kinda weird. The rest of the neighborhood might need a heads up.

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You had me at special snowflake.

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In today’s post I would like to channel my Inner Jim. That’s my dad.

And I would also like to talk about alcoholism.

So, YAY, this post is going to be INTENSE!

Why, you ask?

1. My dad is kinda intense. He likes to grip you by the elbow, in that way that makes the entire side of your body go kinda limp and numb, and he looks you in the eye and says things like, “How are you, REALLY?” and if you lie at all you feel like God might smite you, because God and Jim are *crosses fingers* like THIS.

2. Alcoholism. Nobody attempts that subject without a bit of intensity. I mean, we don’t just say things like, “Hmmmm, I think I might be coming down with a bit of alcoholism today. But, it’s just a tickle at the back of my throat. I’ll just get some rest and I’ll be fine!”

3. I’m in a really weird mood so there’s that.

I am also linking up with my favorite end of the week people: Five Minute Friday! and today’s theme??

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Ok, here’s what I know:

  1. My dad would tell me (as would all the other addicts in recovery) that I am not a special snowflake. I’m no different than anyone else. I have no special backstory that makes my sad issues any more special or sad.
  2. This kinda is a bummer because ever since I was knee-high to a very special grasshopper I KNEW I WAS SO VERY DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE. This explains so much.
  3. And, I am. But also, I’m not. So you know, not confusing at all.
  4. This does not have to be figured out. Really, the only answer to all this is understanding who Jesus is and trucking with him.
  5. Different is good. It means I can wear socks that don’t match and I tend to always (nearly always) break into dance whenever I visit my kids’ school and they stop me at the door with the camera thing. Because the office administrators really need to see me doing the Running Man.
  6. Different, in terms of alcoholism? Not good. I am not different. My addiction and recovery trucks along fine with the men and women, young, old, black, white, green, pink, tall, short, big, small, cat lover, cat hater, educated, street smart, rich, poor, faith-filled, faith-poor, lost, found, tattooed, pierced, pristine, married, single, somewhere in between, person who walks in the doors with the coffee pot on the door.
  7. Everyone should be so lucky as to have an Inner Jim. Just FYI.

I am reminded of this every time I attend a meeting, and I remember the words of one of my favorite old-timers there, “Mo.” He would say, “I’m no better than anyone else. And I’m no worse.”

He was right. And here is the thing – doesn’t this also apply to our faith? Doesn’t it also sound a little bit like how Jesus wants us to live?

I mean, we are all in recovery from something. Or we should be. Right?

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The Dance Party.

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So, we had a dance party at our house last night.

Here is what I am observing about dance when it involves a seven and nine year old:

You can’t snicker while you watch them. You just can’t. They totally pick up on it. And then, the dancing is over, and that’s sad.

Red dances like he’s Ellen from Seinfeld. This is a feat to behold and also makes me wonder if he needs medication but you know.

Blonde goes for a much cooler approach. He just stands really still and tries to feel the beat of the music, and then, ever once in awhile he kind of erupts into spasms. I wonder if he needs medication too.

We listened to this song over five times in a row:

 

And then, somehow, Elsa came into the mix. She does that. She’s such a diva for attention.

Anyhow, she starts nasally crooning about the “First Time In Forever,” and then, belts out:

“Why have a ballroom with no balls?”

To which Red answers:

“What, bouncy balls? WHERE?”

And that kinda shut down the whole thing because Momsie was dissolving into giggles.

And that’s how we do dance parties at our house. It’s off the hook, yo.

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Thanksgiving Throwback Because… As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Hi friends!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It’s my favorite holiday. FAVORITE. Why?

Sooooo many reasons. But a lot of them are centered around time with family and great food and just… oh, you know. All that mushy stuff.

I post every year my Top Ten Thankfuls, and thought it might be fun to post last year’s… today. I can do that because it’s my blog.

So without further ado:

Screenshot 2017-11-22 13.14.05.pngMOMSIE’S TOP TEN THANKFULS

Here’s what you have been waiting for, all year!!!!! I know you have. Me too.

Gratitude is the best reset button EVER. I belong to a facebook group where we post, every day, five gratitudes, and did you know? Every time I do it, I feel better. Even on the no good, very bad, worstest days ever. Gratitude is a multi-vitamin for the soul, I tell you.

So, here goes. My annual Thanksgiving Day Top Ten Thankfuls:

(In no particular order, because I’m doing this right after I had some coffee and a Clariton and I am totally squirreled out right now):

  1. Squirrel One and Squirrel Two. Might as well keep it in the rodent family right now. img_57831
  2. Also, of course, head squirrel, the hubster:

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4. Lemon Bars. I know. Kinda random. But really? Everything has been all pumpkin spice all over the place and I’m so over it. Let’s start a new thing – Lemon Bar Season! It could happen.

5.  That The Force Awakens did not rely on bad CGI and there was no Jar Jar in it.

6. My mom’s oyster dressing. I know that I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

7. That Black Friday will be over soon.

8. This guy:IMG_5652He has hopes that one day he will be able to FIT in that box. But, as he keeps getting fatter, and the box stays the same, I admire his optimism.

9: This:

 

10: Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  And he is good.

Amen?

And all God’s people said: Amen.

 

Bonus #11:

Sober Momsie. I just am who I am supposed to be when I don’t have alcohol in me. I operate better.

I know, some would say, “Really?” But, if you knew me before you would not argue, believe me.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

What a Momsie Believes.

I was up at 5 AM folks. FIVE.

That’s when, like, ARMY PEOPLE get up. To go run hills and save the world and all.

I did not run hills, nor save the world, BUT I did laundry and read the bible.

Not at the same time. But still.

And THEN I ate a completely healthy and hearty bowl of steel-cut oats (the oats for hipsters!) and blueberries and I felt all BAM! I’m gonna kick some serious BEHIND today. I’m on FIRE! I had OATS that were cut by STEEL!

And then, in about an hour, I noticed this:IMG_7401-1.JPG

Yep, that’s my laundry installation. It’s got a great aesthetic, and I’m going to leave it in the living room for a very long time, I think.

I call this sculpture, Expansion.

Or:

I Washed A Bunch of Clothes But Folding Them Makes Me Feel Sad

And so, instead of dealing with reality, I decided to take the dog on a walk. I figured when I got home, the laundry will have flown away, like laundry does.

Ok, it never does that but it’s a really pretty day. So there’s that.

And I took the dog and we spied this:IMG_7350.jpg

And I wondered if somehow the laundry was trying to tell me something? It made me feel better. Even if it wasn’t about the laundry, somebody, somewhere, was trying to be nice about something. And so, the universe smiled. As the universe does.

THEN, I came across this:IMG_7400.jpg

And I was all, I GOT YOU UNIVERSE; I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING HERE.

And the dog and I strutted home, in the fall leaves, all crunchy and awesome. And I was feeling crunchy and awesome. And Hosmer managed to completely match up his little prancy paws with my ipod.

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Who knew that The Doobie Brothers were Hosmer’s  JAM, y’all?

He was all prancy-prancy and “But what a fool believes, he sees. No wise man has the power to reason away!”

And I was all, “What seems to be, is always better than nothing, than nothing at all!!!” And I think we kinda freaked out an older gentleman who was trying to get in his truck, but I just smiled and waved a lot. And kept singing about fools believing.

And THEN I got home and the universe still had not put away the four tons of clothes in my living room.

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I get it, Universe. There’s only so much that you will do for me. You’re not an enabler, I’ll give you that.

But it still was an awesome morning. So far the art installation of kids’ socks and Star Wars beach towels has not moved. I think it adds a certain touch to house. I might add my whites’ load to it later, to go for a little more height.

And here we are. This is the best song in the history of songs. And there is SUCH good hair going on. Give it a listen, and you will feel all I LOVE YOU, UNIVERSE, too.

Dream A Little Dream With Me.

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Still working on my Change All the Things Big November Plan, and it’s going… sort of ok.

I know, guys! Did that introduction not KNOCK the SOCKS off of you!? Are you not just totally on the edge of your seat? Without SOCKS???

Ok, truth:

Trying to rehab anything is very hard. I mean, have you ever watched Intervention? Not to make light of a serious topic (I never do that. Ok, well yes I do, all the time, but you know my heart’s in the right place. Plus, I am a walking Intervention, so I can poke fun at myself) but trying to get something back from a state of disrepair is HARD.

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Here are the things I have been working on:

  1. Food and all things food related. Like, not eating all the sugar in the house because I am stressed. Case in point: Halloween candy that belongs to my sweet children is STILL belonging to the children and has not been touched by me since that fateful night. I am kind of proud of myself on that one.
  2. Stress level. I am beginning to really appreciate breaking tasks down, and organizing and not waiting until the last minute to get a writing deadline done. And yes, I hear you, editors, cackling away at me. No lie, my mom will plan to make chocolate chip cookies on Friday, and on MONDAY she starts planning ahead by setting a bowl out on the counter. A bowl. She is hard core.
  3. I really really need to stop watching stupid youtube videos. Like, this is just stupid. It’s stupid and bad and stupid. Every time I watch a youtube video (unless it’s Francis Chan) my IQ drops and a cute kitty video dies and I start writing “stupid” too much. Or something like that.

#3 is really not my fault. It all started because I was all #2, and then, I thought, “Hey! Let’s watch cute kitty videos! It will make me laugh and feel better and chortle chortle chortle and the next thing you know, it’s five hours later. It’s physics. An object at rest remains at rest, blah blabbity blah blah blah.

So, the other day I was talking with my sister and she said something really really interesting. She said that her husband asked her, all out of the blue, “Hey, what are your dreams?”

First of all, this now has taken my sister’s husband and put him in the Husband Hall of Fame because holy matrimony that is just the sweetest thing EVER. Like, right now, I am sitting next to my husband and I’m giving him the side eye. And I’m thinking, He never asked me what my dreams are. Huh. I wonder why? Does he not care? Clearly he doesn’t care. My sister’s husband cares.

Ok, reeling it in. Getting off track.

Here’s why the November’s Big Huge Colossal Plan to Change So Much Stuff is occurring:

I need to learn how to dream again.

When I first published my book, I felt like I was floating about in a really happy floaty place called: I Have Always Dreamed of This.

It’s a really nice place. It was all pink and fuzzy and blissful.

Well, actually at times it was also really frenetic and stressful but for the most part I was floaty-floaty.

And then, time passed and I landed back on earth, which is fine and good because we really can’t float all the time. That would be weird and I would never be able to drive my children anywhere, which as you moms all know, that is the reason for my existence.

In the past months I have forgotten all about dreams.

It’s ok. That happens. There’s children and costumes for children (hello October) and appointments and all sorts of animals to take care of who kept getting sick, and I forgot why I like writing. It got buried underneath a pile of laundry, I tell you.

In my life, God comes first. Then the husband, who doesn’t ever ask me about my dreams, then the kids.

And then, somewhere along the way, I forgot that writing and creativity needed to be up there too, somewhere above the laundry. And all sorts of other stuff started to fill in the holes.

I didn’t really realize any of this, when I started out on my Make It All Totally Super Awesome Novemberness. I thought I just wanted to lose a little weight. But instead? This has been a lot of thinking and turning things over in my head.

Funny how that works, eh? Walking away from carbs and eating a whole lotta kale has led to a full fledged epiphany, y’all.

Who knew? Who really knew that kale had that kind of power?

So, I’m halfway through November. I’m finding my groove again. I haven’t eaten sugar for two weeks and I have not died.

In fact, I feel very much alive.

Thanks for listening my friends. I’m now off to snack on some kale pudding.

Just kidding. Kale and I are not at the pudding stage. That’s just crazy.

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Too many kale jokes?

Nah. You can never have too many kale jokes.

 

 

Hello Silence My Old Friend

Linking up with my people today at Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

 

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Guys? Do you know why silence is an OLD friend? Because it had children. And they proceeded to beat ever-lovin treble out of it. And now it’s really tired.

The other day, my husband and I were in the car, with the kids in the back seat, as they usually are.

The radio was blaring static because hubs was searching for his football game and, as we all know, we must first listen to a lot of static before we alight upon it. It’s just the rule. Also, once the golden ticket is achieved and we actually CAN hear a football game then we must make sure to turn it UP really LOUD because it is SO important. As football games always are.

And, in the back seat, the boys were discussing something.

Oh, scratch that. They were just yelling at each other.

Meanwhile, back in the front passenger seat, I was slinking slooooowly down, wondering if there were some of those headphones available… the ones that those dudes that help planes land wear? What are those things called? I dunno. I CAN’T REMEMBER BECAUSE THE NOISE IS KILLING MY SYNAPSES.

Also, there was a possibility I had a sinus headache because allergies have it out for me. And everything is awful.

And… I was a little hungry. And tired. So, you know, I was HALT except I am NEVER LONELY I WONDER WHY.

(For those of you who wonder: “HALT” is an acronym that I learned in my recovery circles. It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, and basically? If you are over two of these at a time? It’s apocolyptic at a def con level 500. Maybe 600. You get what I mean.)

So, I think I might have yelled.

I ADDED to the noise. Yep. Because that’s logical.

And then, we played the Quiet Game, which is just the BEST game in the whole world.

And I stared out at the fields and the trees and breathed in deep. I used to live in silence all the time. My house was … just for me. I had a dog, but he didn’t talk much. I had a cat, but you know, they’re ninjas with fur.

I used to sit and read, in a bed by a window with a huge tree outside… and sometimes a sweet little birdie would come and alight there and sing to me, sweetly, as I read for hours.

And then, I would go up and get a snack and I WOULDN’T HAVE TO SHARE IT WITH ANYBODY.

And, as I stared out the window, at the clouds skudding across the skyline and the sun that hit the leaves and set them aglow, all pretty and fall and glorious, I heard snickering from the back seat.

And then… someone farted.

And lo, the Quiet Game was all over. And with it? The sweet perfume of my past.

But, I just didn’t mind. I belong right here, wedged in a car with all the windows down and now is REALLY loud because massive jets of wind, but you know. I belong here. My hair is now a tangled mess and both kids are basically yapping in the back seats like puppies on crack.

And it’s the best. It is so freaking loud, but it is just crazy good.

 

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