Some people’s children

As I try to make my way through each day of my existence, I am reminded, almost daily, at the gall of some people.  I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Grown adults behaving badly.  Committing acts they would put their own children in timeout for, but somehow, they’ve justified in their own minds that their bad behavior is ok, using their own excuses and wrong logic to proclaim their bad behavior as ok.  These are also the same people who, when witnessing other people complete the exact same acts, will immediately cry foul, asking for blood, regardless of that person’s reasoning.

It’s funny how reasoning and excuses are ok when they come from one side of this person’s mouth, but they are offended by the same display when the coin flips.

Sometimes the acts are minor.

How dare that person cut me off in traffic, but when, “I’m late for work, it’s ok.  I mean, really.  No one got hurt, so whats the harm.”

Two Black Friday shoppers going for the same item.  One grabs it out of the other’s hands.  The winner is justified, “They should have fought harder, been quicker.”  The loser is offended, “What terrible manners.  How rude.”

The place where it’s most saddening to me is with words.  Deep, cutting, hurtful words flung from one mouth into the life of another, sometimes with the only purpose of cutting down the receiver.  At first, one would witness a lot of these verbal assaults anonymously, online, where one can cowardly hide, hurt, and not have to face their attackee.

Then it moved to opening assaulting others, sometimes ones that they claim to be hold as friends or loved ones.  Mean posts online, rude comments or tweets.  The really sick ones are held under the guise of TBH.  What a horrible thing our young people have created with this trend.  Opening inviting comments from people only to be the receiver of mean, hurtful, ‘honest’ attacks.  We’ve taught a generation to think it’s ok to be cruel and spiteful, as long as you can justify it with ‘just being honest.’

Now the meanness seems to have infected our culture to the core, so much that people will openly abuse others, face-to-face, justifying and excusing themselves with every breath along the way.  Things being said directly to people you claim to love or care for, that you wouldn’t dare utter to others, but you believe you have the right to say because you are so in the right.  Just because you’re related or have known them forever, makes some people believe they can spew vile comments without ramifications.  “What?  They needed to hear that.”  “I’m just saying.”  “It’s not my problem if they can’t handle the truth.”

I’m just so sick of these self-justified bullies spraying all those in their paths.  What gives you the power to believe that your so-called ‘truth’ is 1) wanted or 2) anywhere close to the truth in someone’s life.  If I’ve learned anything in my years on this planet, it’s that there are at least two sides to every story and sometimes can be as many as four or five.  Plus, your unasked for and unnecessary additive is not only unjustified, but mean and hurtful and damaging.

So damaging.

Isn’t it enough?  Aren’t we all hurt and struggling enough?  Don’t we all say enough damaging things inside our own heads that we don’t need others to pile on the fight?

Can the tearing down of those around us please stop?  Can we all agree to that this wasted energy and, instead, put this energy back on ourselves, fixing our own houses or, better yet, using to benefit society as a whole?

I’m just saying….

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It’s a wonder my hair isn’t gray

As I typed that title, I realized that I probably just jinxed myself.  I better not have.  I have been able to go all my 39 years without having to break out the dye on this do…and I don’t want to have to start just yet.

Yes, you read correctly, I typed 39 years.  In my long (too long for me) absence from my blog, I have managed to get a year older and have hit that magically year when I realize that I actually am going to hit that yet-to-be-unmentioned decade soon and had better get my backside into gear if there is anything I want to do before I turn the big 4-0.

I don’t have a particular problem with turning 40, (Of course, I say this having only been 39 for 8 days…) but I’m realizing that putting things off until later is a less and less desirable idea.  That I’m getting closer to the backside of this ride and I can’t keep saying, “I’ll do that someday.”  I’ve also started to realize that I’m getting pretty tired of doing things for other people, things I don’t really want to do, things I have not desire to do.  I’m beginning to understand why people always say, “Don’t mind Grandma.  She has no filter!”  She has no filter because she’s sick and tired of your crap, she doesn’t care less what you think of her anymore, and she’s not going to waste on of the few 1,000 minutes she has left caring what you think.  She doesn’t have to.  Plus, she’s probably a lot happier now than she ever was before.

Which brings me to where I’ve been.  I’ve been here, in my home, doing my kid and mom thing.  I’ve thought about writing, but then I’ve always either lost my motivation or I’ve over thought what I wanted to write about and eventually talked myself out of writing all together.

And that’s where I’ve failed.

I started this blog as a way to just be creative and expressive.  I’ve never had a particular focus on purpose.  I wanted to freedom to write about whatever tripped my fancy, whenever I felt the mood hit me.  And I need to get back to that.

Not writing becomes it’s own worst enemy because you over think, over analyze, worry and stress.  Then days turn to weeks and nothing seems important enough to blog about OR if I told you what I really wanted to tell you about issues, I might offend people, so I said nothing.

Enter Grandma.

I’ve decided to channel her.  I’m going to write what I want, when I want, and screw it if it makes people uncomfortable at Thanksgiving dinner.

In order to kick off this new beginning, I toyed with the idea of deleting this whole blog and starting a new one.  But then I remembered, when you get that ill-conceived tattoo at an early age, you can un-tattoo it.  It still exists.  What you can do is take the ink, add to it, and create the new future for yourself going forward.  Plus, I still like a lot of my old stuff.

So I’m keeping it all as is.

Same blog.  Same title.

I’m still Kerry.

I’m still overly organized.

My life is still chaos at times.

I’m just hitting a reboot.  I hope you’ll stick around with me to see what my 39th year brings.

 

Curve balls

As it has with anyone, life has thrown me some curse balls along the way.  What I’ve learned about myself and others and the curve balls themselves has been really interesting.

You probably know by now that I’m a plan making and a list creating fool.  Sometimes I make lists for my plans and vis versa.  It’s a sickness really.  What I also know is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan.  God is a master curve ball pitcher.  Plan to do X and he throws a perfect curve right into your strike zone.  Are you going to stand there and go down looking?  Or are you going to swing a way, take control of the curve, and make it your own?

I gave up a long time ago being mad about God’s curve balls.  I know there is something bigger than me in this universe and I believe I my purpose in life is to figure out, well, what that purpose is.  I don’t know everything.  I don’t have all the answers, but each day I set out on my mission to learn and grown and be a positive force in this world.  Set aside money for one thing, then another thing breaks that takes the funds. Plan an outing for the day and the car won’t start when it’s time to leave.  If I was thrown this type of curve ball, God was just letting me know that my plan wasn’t really his plan and I need to change my line up.  I can deal.

Sometimes I’ve, knowingly or unknowingly, thrown myself my own curve balls.  I forgot to have all my cylinders turned on.  I didn’t pay attention to details.  I knew something was wrong, but I did it anyway, ignoring my gut feelings and morals, forging ahead, believing I knew better.  I swung at a pitch above my head.  I put myself behind in the pitch count.  The only way out is hunker down and protect the plate.  I have to acknowledge my mistakes, accept that I was wrong, eat my crow, then apologize, ask for forgiveness, fix my mistakes and move forward.  Personally challenging at bats build character and humility.

It’s the last type of curve balls that I’m struggling with the most.  Those are the ones that others throw at you.  You have a course of action all in place and someone comes in and makes meaningless changes just to show they have some power or control.  Someone spouts off rude, mean, hurtful comments about another individual, then when caught makes up more lies to cover their tracks or tells you, you should turn the other cheek and let it go.  (Sorry I just made you sing that song.)  How come those who frequently stomp all over the morals and values of humanity, self-centeredly focused on getting their way, are the first ones to throw scripture at others about being loving, kind, and forgiving, but never once consider being remorseful, apologetic, or even owning up to their actions?  Yes, yes, I know. This curve ball is just another one like the others, and I have to flow with it just the same.  But this one’s a stinger.  This one’s a dead ball to the backside.  It stings.  The memory of it is vivid.  It leaves a nasty mark.

It changes you.  It changes your outlook.  It changes your feelings.  It changes your future decisions.

But afterwards, you get up, take your base and play ball.

Guess who’s back…

Hello ya’ll!

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been absent for about six weeks around these parts.  (What!  You didn’t notice!?!?!  In the word so Stephanie Tanner…How Rude!)

Well my absence wasn’t particularly planned, and I don’t really have a sellable excuse for it expect, I wasn’t feeling it.

I started this blog a few years ago, because, inside of me, lies this incessant need to write and express myself.  I needed an outlet for that and my personal journal was no longer cutting it.  I’m about to reveal something personal about myself that I don’t tell many people, but I have this dream to one day be a writer.  Because my degree has nothing to do with writing or English, I’ve always felt like a phony saying I wanted to write and be expressive.  So, I started this blog as a way to release those inner feelings.  I’ve purposely never given my blog a particular direction.  I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself.  If I wanted to tell a funny story about my kids, then a self-deprecating tale about myself, followed by the raw emotions of my mom beating cancer, I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t.  And because of that, my blog because a miss-mash of ramblings from my life.

Then about six weeks ago, the ramblings stopped.  Like I said, I can’t pin point one particular thing that was blocking me.  If I could have, I probably could have broken through sooner.  There were the usually end-of-the-year blahs, holiday build up and let down blahs, cold winter day blahs, work stress blahs, identity theft blahs, adults acting like juveniles blahs, family health stress blahs, realizing I’ve entered the sandwich generation blahs, etc.  Over this time, I’ve had a number of ideas or issues pop up that tempted me to run for the keyboard, but, before I could motivate myself to open the Mac, the feeling dissipated and the blahs won out.

Maybe if I had a definite direction for my blog, I might have blown the dust off sooner.  Who knows.

I know that one thing that kept me away was ‘the pressure.’  The pressure of phrasing what I was thinking in a witty or thoughtful enough way.  The pressure of writing a post that others would enjoy.  The pressure of racking up likes and views.  The pressure of not saying something the wrong way and offending others.  Slowly, bit-by-bit, I let this imagined pressure limit me from saying anything at all….and I stopped writing completely.

Well no more.

From now on, for the new year, I’m going back to my roots.  I’m just going to write.  Whatever I feel, whenever the mood catches me.

We all have different opinions, beliefs, feelings, and ideas.  I can love you, care for you, respect you, accept you, tolerate you and value your opinion, but still not agree with you.  And that’s all ok.

Some might like it, some might not, and that’s ok as well.  I’m no longer concerned with how many likes I get or how many views I generate.  I just need to write again.  For my own personal sanity, I need to let all these emotions, feelings, and words out.

I won

Yesterday was a day I had been preparing for, for a number of months.

For fun, on random Saturdays and Sundays during the year, I get up out of my nice, warm, comfy bed before the crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles with a bunch of other weirdos.  Why do we do this you ask?  Do we all think we are going to win?  Hell no!  We do this to prove to ourselves we can push our bodies to the brink and our minds just a bit further….oh, and of coarse the added benefit of the hardware, bananas, and chocolate milk at the finish line!

I originally had all these grand plans for my 9th half marathon.  I have had a stressful spring and summer, haven’t felt much like running or training for anything.  When I committed to running this race, I felt like I was re-committing to myself and my health.  I set up a training plan with the best of intentions.  Then life continued to happen.

The stress from the spring and summer carried over into the beginning of the school year, never slowing down.  I think it actually started doubling its efforts to crush me in September.  My drive fizzled and my training runs tanked.  Oh, I still completed them, if you can really call it that, they were just terrible runs.

As the date on the calendar kept getting closer and closer, my expectations for success got lower and lower.

Then Friday hit.

It has been a particular bad stretch of days at the Ye Ol’ behavior school.  At the end of each day, we look at our imaginary score card for the day to see who won.  The students have been being extra behaviorally disordered this week, pushing us to our brink and challenging our last nerves.

Well, my one last nerve broke on Friday.  They won….Big Time.  While trying to talk to a student about one of his behaviors, he unleashed on me, a whole different set of aggressive behaviors leading to me filing an assault charge, leaving work early, going to the doctor, and being an emotional wreck.

Their win defeated me.  It broke me.  Not only was I physically hurt, but I was emotionally devastated.  And now I was supposed to take my already sore body and push it 13 miles?  At one point on Friday night, I nearly called my bestie who was driving me to the race to cancel.  But I just couldn’t.

Mind over matter.  You hear that expression all the time, but it wasn’t until I started running long distances, that I truly experienced it in action.  A distance race is so much more mental that physical.  My physical body might be damaged, but my spirit wasn’t broken, yet, and I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.

The race we registered for was a trail run on the Wabash Trace in Iowa.  Many races are of the out and back variety, but this race was not.  For our race, we were shuttled out the start line and left, literally, in the corn fields of Iowa with nothing to get ourselves back to our vehicle with but our over-priced running shoes and our hearts.  It was truly an ingenious plan.  Once you start, there’s no quitting!

Despite his best efforts to injury or maim us with his poor driving skills on gravel roads, our shuttle driver delivered us safely to the start line.

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Hey, at least it wasn’t a short bus……

It was nice to see they support crew gearing up for the event.

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I do believe it’s extremely rude for them to be eating donuts, smoking, and drinking coffee in front of all of us.  F*#$ers!

And could someone please fix the bathrooms?

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This one wouldn’t flush!

At least they were kind enough to leave me something to play with before the race started.

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Corn!  Yippee!

All jokes aside, when you get down to it.  It’s just you, mind and body, pushing yourself to the finish line.

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Let’s do this.

The race started out pretty decent.  The weather was perfect; in the 60s, overcast.

I cruised through miles 1, 2, 3, and 4.

There weren’t that many runners signed up for the race, so by this point, the trail had really thinned out.  It felt like you were all on your own.

This can be good and bad.

Although the scenery was beautiful, a wandering mind is not always your friend.

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With my legs burning in mile 5, my mind replayed my week.  Have you ever seen someone cry and run at the same time?  It’s not pretty and doesn’t do wonders to help you keep up your pace.  I was starting to feel crushed and wondering how I was going to make it to the end.  My physical body was teetering on the edge as it was, now the last of my mentality looked like it was throwing in the towel.

Down, but not out.  Not yet.

Mile 6 called for a change and a mental refocus.  Yes, I had shed tears, but they were out and it was time to keep pushing forward.  My first step was to change up the music.  See you later Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.  Hello Snoop and Dre.

Nothing kicks your pace back into gear like a sippin’ on Gin and Juice followed by Salt N Pepe’s Expression.  It was just the pick me up I needed.

I was cruising into mile 8 when I got leid.

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Hey, freak-o.  Get you mind out of the gutter.

I hit my wall around mile 10 1/2.  To put it mildly, it sucked.  Luckily, about this time, we emerged from the trail into the town where the race would end.  Now, if you’ve ever participated in or been a spectator at a race, you know how uplifting a crowd can be.  The cheers…. the encouraging words…. the signs.

Oh, the signs.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my two favorites, (I feared, if I stopped to snap pics this late in the race, I might not start again) but here’s what they said.

“Go Total Stranger Go!”

and

“Worst Parade EVER!”

Ha!

As I trudged up and down the hills of the town towards the finish, (Seriously, who puts hills at the END of a half marathon???) I got my Tootsie Roll groove on, had OPP thoroughly explained to me frame-by-frame, and learned who the Real Slim Shady is.

I rounded the last corner, saw the finish line, took a deep breath, and finished hard.

What do you do after you cross the finish line?

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This Is How We Do It…..  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist one last one!)

The ups and downs of the week.  The physical pains and the emotional drains.  The falls, the walls, the failures…  Followed by getting back up, trying again, pushing through, and finding success.

My final score card from the week???

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I won!

 

One of those days…

It didn’t look like it would be one of those days when I rolled out of bed.  If I had known what was in store for me, I might have just stayed under the covers.

I started the day in a hole, digging out from the paperwork I abandoned the previous day when I went running for the hills at quitting time.  As I began to scribble on a few pieces of paperwork when…

BBBRRRIIINNNGGG!

WHAT!?!?!  That can’t be the start of the day bell, I’m not caught up yet.  Great.  This better not be a sign.  As I walked to the door, I heard the familiar voice of a student making demands.  No hello, no how are you…just demands.  Man I wish I had worn my armor and closed toes shoes today.

This isn’t my first day at the rodeo, so I strapped in and prepared for the roller coaster ride that I knew was about to become my whole day.  I’ll spare you the details and cut straight to the cliffs notes.

Today I was..

– Called the following names: F*#^ing C*#!  / P*#@y / B^&#% / Stupid A&*$h#@e / Dumbo (clean and funny) / You A#* / Stupid C*#! / F*#^ing A&*$h#@e.  (I quickly realized that we need more swear words in our vernacular, as the student had to keep changing up the combinations so as not to repeat insults.)

-Pushed, grabbed, pulled, picked up, run into and flailed at by flying body parts.

-Insulted and threatened repeatedly.

-A witness to my office be torn up and my desk attempted to be ransacked. (Ha Ha!! I lock that baby everyday for a reason!)  Good luck I’ve played a fair amount of dodgeball and can move away from flying objects.

-A lightning quick magician who wrestled scissors away from angry hands.

-The luck recipient of a milk shower.  Yes, as a finally thank you from my student I wore the milk from their lunch.

Finally, 5 and 1/2 hours later, the dismissal bell rang (why does it sound oddly like a tap out bell?) and I was free to put my angel on a bus and begin my endless phone calls and paperwork.  Crap!  I still have yesterday’s paperwork.

As if I wasn’t already drained and living on one frayed nerve, I received a personal phone call telling me a medical procedure we were waiting for approval on is delayed.  Awesomeness!  Because if my professional life is going to blow up, might as well have a personal crisis join the party.  Sweet!

Last nerve officially gone.

I wanted to put my head down and cry.  (I think I might have a for a little bit, but don’t tell anyone.)

I set my mind on auto pilot, sped through my phone calls, packed up my paperwork to finish at home and made a beeline for the door.

When I got home, I switched into mom mood, hoping I could muster enough strength to push through to bedtime.  I was knee-deep in homework and getting ready to start the sports taxi when it happened.  The universe began its work to even itself out.

Not knowing how much I needed a boost today, a neighbor read my ‘cry for M&MsFacebook post and snuck a package onto my porch.  I opened my door and saw this.

I instantly smiled, laughed, and cried.  She could not have known how terrible my day was.  She could not have known how low I was feeling.  She could not have known how much I needed that.

Thank you Caryn.

 

 

The wrong side of karma

I keep seeing these repeated posts about people waiting for karma to come around and get back at someone with whom they are upset, who they feel they have been wronged by.  Full disclosure, I have had thoughts like this of my own and may or may not have made a similar post in the past.  When I saw such karma postings, I used to give a little giggle and would say to myself, “That’s right Betty (names have been changed to protect the innocent)!  They will get what’s coming to them!”

But I have recently seen, what I call, the wrong side of karma.  The side where the person who is wishing and waiting for karma to get their enemy is actually wrong, whether in actions and words, and is wishing a karma retribution that is ill-advised.

I have come to realize that these ‘wrong side of karma’ wishers are usually ‘my way or the highway’ types of people who then, when they don’t get their way, start calling on karma.  Well who’s to say that the fact they didn’t get their way and are now throwing a temper tantrum isn’t karma’s way of trying to smack them in the face for being so selfish, self-centered, or unwilling to compromise?