When the routine is all we have.

Linking up with my people at Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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There are days when I get up, I get dressed, I swig some coffee, and I sashay on out to the world and say,

“World, greetings and salutations! I just had some coffee and my kids are dressed with 75% of their clothes facing the right way, and I’m PUMPED. Let’s DO this!”

Today friends, is not that day.

Today was a wake up, stare up at the ceiling, wish for more sleep, more coffee, more time when my brain didn’t seem to hurt so bad, kind of day.

I was not ready to face it, the day, or anything else for that matter.

I just wanted to pull my covers up over my head and hope for sleep and chocolate and perhaps a Corgi puppy. A puppy would help.

That would get all messy, though. And you know the puppy would also eat the chocolate which is bad and there would be stains on the bed and UGH WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD EVEN PUPPIES.

And that’s when I start in on the whole exhausting mental checklist of Doom:

  1. It’s sunny, but I’m still sad.
  2. My children are healthy. Yep, still sad.
  3. Chocolate is in the house somewhere. SAD. SAD. SAD.
  4. We are fed, watered, have a roof… and still there is this horrible dreadful SADNESS. GO AWAY.

I have no reason for this sadness. And I really hate that. I want it to go away. I want to fight it. But the more I do, the more I get stuck in the sadness. Do you remember that verse in the bible about temptation? It says not to engage. Don’t make eye contact. Just RUN DA HECK AWAY? Well, that’s what I need to do, I think.

But I’m too tired to run.

I hate this sadness SO much that I have a tendency to hunker down and listen to a sour, angry voice inside my head that I like to call my “Inner Asshole” (sounds so inappropriate and kind of gross, but really? It’s just who he is). And he says things like:

“You’ll always feel this way. This day is gonna suck so hard it will just be impossible to even MOVE and your kids will hate you and everything is awful and why even try. Nothing matters except that you know that you are a failure for feeling things so hard that they make you immobile, so for the love of Pete, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MOVE THEN. It’s super important when feeling immobile to KEEP ON BEING THAT WAY.”

But this morning, I did this:

“Hey, Inner Asshole, shut it. (Again, kinda gross.) I gotta go teach a bunch of college kids how to write good.”

And I got up, got dressed, even brushed and flossed (win for me AND the college kids) and got to work.

I didn’t want to.

I really just wanted to stay home.

I kinda hate parenthetical citations, really.

But sometimes? The routine is all we have. And we get up, and floss, mutter the serenity prayer six times, and talk about parenthetical citations, and we hold onto all that stuff as a tiny, bobbing life preserver.

Not a big pink floatie in the shape of a flamingo, folks. Just a tiny, yellow, beat-up life preserver. That’s it. That’s all you get.

The sharks are still out there, but by goodness, I am going to float the heck out of that preserver and paddle on. 

NOT TODAY, SHARK.

NOT TODAY.

 

 

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Life Sentence.

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Something lately has been really really really bugging me.

No. It’s not the coffee cup thing. Don’t leave the post.

Here is my issue: Lately I had a review of The Book (I wrote a book. Did you know?) in a local paper. The review was really nice and well written and we had a great interview prior. It was, all in all, great press and great information about the book.

But.

The final paragraph or so was about my brother. This was a fitting place to end because his story intertwined with mine is really important. He died from alcoholism. I didn’t.

Well, there’s a lot more to it than that – but that’s not the problem. The problem is the final line of the article. It says something like: “After what happened to my brother, I was cured forever.”

No. Just. No.

I don’t think I said it, but to give proper credit to the writer who did a good job (I am not trouncing him – interviews are tough and he did a great job of fact checking and making sure most was copacetic prior to print.)

But, no. I am not cured forever. Chris would certainly understand that.

I understand this: I am an alcoholic. After all this press and marketing and “Wow, I read your book” from my small town peeps, I still have a hard time saying that, ‘out loud’ here for you. After all this time. Still bugs me to say it. Still kinda bugs me to have people say, “Yea you! Good job! You’re awesome! You are in recovery! Woo hoo!” I know. That isn’t quite the way they say it, and I KNOW it’s not quite the way they mean it, but humility is really important in my program, and sometimes all the pats on the back can be a way to forget.

That I’m an alcoholic.

Forever. It is a life sentence. It can be a death sentence if I forget. And it’s a sentence that has given me more freedom than I ever thought possible.

So. Nope. Not cured.

But, forever grateful.

Thus is the essential paradox of my situation. If I think about it too long, I get a big wonky, so most of the time, I just mutter the Serenity Prayer and get a coffee and do the next right thing.

Thank you for listening, readers. Does it sound mushy to say I am grateful for you? Well. I am.

And now, I’m gonna go get a Starbucks and while I stand in line I’m going to lay hands on the barista and speak and pray to Jesus to save her soul.

This should go well.

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To Spanx or not to Spanx. That’s the really dumb question.

Linking up with Free Write Fridayy today!

The theme is:

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Y’all. In this post I am going to somehow tie together elasticized undergarments to my relationship with Jesus.

If this doesn’t merit a Best Blogger Award I just dunno…

Anyhow.

Recently I was signing my book at a really Important Book Signing Event. And yes, I know I keep talking about this, like over and over, but to be honest this whole thing is totally consuming mah LIFE, I tell you. I am a Big Deal! I am super Excited! I am certainly too Famous for cleaning the cat box! If I keep posting about it perhaps the small counterparts in my family might agree!

So far, it’s not worked. I still have to feed them. Needy varmints.

And I know, with the Five Minute Friday theme and all, I should really go for a super spiritual post. But as you know… IF THERE IS A SPANX STORY, IT MUST BE TOLD. And, for reals, it was the first thing I thought of when I thought… “Freedom!”

Well, that and Braveheart. But then he kinda morphed into someone wearing Spanx and shouting in his Scottish accent and it got a bit weird from there.

So, the Spanx story:

As you might know, I purchased a dress for The Big Important Signing. A bit later, whilst journeying through the Cute Money Sucker known as Target, I spied these:

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Ok. It was a DIVINE moment, I thought. I mean, it says, RIGHT ON THE PACKAGING, “Super HIGHER POWER” !!

I grabbed a pack, and clutched it to my sagging body, the crinkly packaging told me sweetly that I could “Live the Dream.” I wasn’t quite sure what the context was – like if I wore them I could finally, finally be asked to sing back up for Gwen Stefani?

Perhaps. But it’s also possible they would just make me feel all confident and non-lumpy for the Very Important Signing.

I bought ’em.

And then, the morning of the signing, I put them on. This in itself is an amazing undertaking. It takes a lot of flexibility and upper body strength to get these suckers on, friends. Also, a lot of grunting and a few moments of claustrophobic panic, but I talked myself through it. Who needs yoga class? We could just put on Spanx every morning.

And BAMMO! They were ON!

I was LIVING THE DREAM!

Ok, let me interject here with one small red flag. The women on the cover of the packaging? They’re, like, CARTOON women. And thus, they are not actually REAL. And also, it seems to me, they are already pretty svelte and possibly, just maybe, THEIR CARTOON WORLDS DON’T REALLY NEED SPANXS IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE THEY’RE LIKE TINY.

So all this living of the dream crap lasted until about twenty minutes later when the Spanx started to want some freeeeeeedom! (Insert Scottish voice for the Spanx from hereon. Makes it more dramatic.) And since the elastic fabric of these guys seem to be possessed with its own sentient abilities – the Spanx started on its master plan of escape. “Listen, you eejit!” said the Spanx. “It’s high time I’ll be takin my leave! Blar blar blar!!”

They started to travel south.

Here I am, all professional, calm and collected, signing books and being so very famous, and at the same time, my undergarments are duking it out, all Scottish style, with my stomach and lower-down lady-bits.

And by that I mean: the Spanx were sloooooooooooowwwwwwwly rolllllllllinnnnnnng down. By painful, strangling inches, the evil torture device headed south every time I moved.

My first thought was: Just don’t move. Just sit as still as a frightened bunny and maybe the Spanx will take pity on you. This plan didn’t really sit well (get it. GET IT. You see that, don’t you?) with trying to be convivial and chatty and, you know, NOT WEIRD, when signing books.

So for a bit, I just tried to accept the Spanx. I serenity prayed at them. I surrendered to the Spanx. “God, grant me the serenity,” I breathed with the last bit of squashed oxygen in me, “To accept that I cannot change out of these…”

But then, I took courage into my own hands, and excused myself from my table and sorta lurched to the bathroom.

It was there that I removed the Spanx. With a lot of grunting and a few choice adjectives, I de-suctioned them. Not an easy feat in a small stall with a lot of rather curious writer-types around. Writer-types have very vivid imaginations, so I dread to think what they were conjuring up in their fertile minds with all this thumping and cursing and “Just OFF! Get OFFA me!  You’re evil! EVIL!!” emanating from my stall.

And then, I did kinda a dumb thing.

(You might want to interject here with, “Just NOW?” which I will allow. I get it.)

The Spanx finally made it to the floor in a beige, defeated heap. I stood, gasping above them. Triumphant. “Demonic SPAWN,” I hissed. And then I kicked them.

Now, it seems Spanx are made out of VERY elastic material. Did you know this? Which also, it seems, makes them kinda boomerangey. Because it was the kicking thing that caught one part of them in my shoe and then they sorta twanged loose and SHOT RIGHT OUTTA THE STALL LIKE FORTY FEET ACROSS THE ROOM.

I then came out of the stall, picked up the Spanx (I SWEAR it kinda growled at me), dropped it in the trash, washed my hands, smoothed my hair, and did my best, so sophisticated walk out of there. So what if it was lunch time and the bathroom was packed with fifty women in shock and awe who had just witnessed a Spanx beat down?

I was free. FREE!!!!!

I could BREATHE, y’all. Breathing is so awesome. SO completely necessary for ones serenity!

So, I pranced it back to the signing table. No, I didn’t just prance, I did my best model STRUT back to the table, friends, to the soundtrack of “I’m Too Sexy for my Spanx”.

And spent the rest of the afternoon, saggy but happy, with my devoted fans. All four of them.

Jesus loves me, this I know. He loves me, even with the foldy bits and the endless neuroses. He loves me enough to say:

“You know? You are beautiful. And I have to tell you. Spanx are from the devil.”

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