Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perfectly Happy

As I sit and type this, I am missing my 20th High School Reunion.

Yep, not going.

I keep up with many classmates via Facebook.  We are all over the country.  For awhile (during the ten year reunion time) I was even out of state, living in Florida.  I have since moved back "home" and am even now working in the very elementary school I attended. 

I was a "middle-of-the-road" type kid...I was friendly, not too popular, but not unpopular.  I made my way through High School, keeping busy with extra-curricular activities, hanging out with my friends, doing okay grade-wise...I collected my diploma that June day back in 1991 and I was finished.  I went back to my Alma matter just once, to deliver a forgotten notebook to school for one of my sisters.  I can't even recall attending school plays or productions or assemblies for my sisters or brother in the years that followed.  I did not attend any more football games or school plays.  I was ready to move on.  Some friends went away to college, I stayed home.  I went to Community College, and decided it really wasn't for me.  It took me awhile to really find what I wanted to do (it was 1996 and I decided I wanted to work for Disney).  I don't have any stand-out good or bad memories about high is just a chapter of my life I was ready to close.

Fast-forward 20 years, and it is reunion time.  Sure, I live less than ten minutes from my old high school, and I really had nothing planned for the Homecoming Football game, but I didn't go.  It really didn't interest me.  One thing I have noticed, even though we are all 20 years older, I am not sure much has changed.  There are still the "cliques" and "circles" it seems after all these years.  I was reading my Facebook feed this afternoon, and found out that there was a fight at a bar where my classmates were celebrating at after the game.  Really???  We are all pushing 40 and a fight broke out???  Yeah, not interested.  I am sure I would have seen many friendly faces, and we all would have been cordial...but I truly am not interested. 

Do I feel weird not attending???  Not at all.  I still keep in touch with my best friend from those days.  We are still close.  I would call her my close friend, but not my "best" friend.  At my age, I feel a little silly calling someone my "best" friend.  That title would belong to Little Man or Big Daddy, anyway.  Yes, she is a very close friend, and we have fun together, when we can get together.  I am guilty of wrapping myself in my little cocoon of life and pushing "girl time" to the back burner.  We have quite different lives...she is single and has a great career, travels all over the world and loves to work in our community theater group.  I am a Mommy, love my job (I am a big kid at heart) but it is certainly not a glamorous career, we travel to the same place all the time (I am NOT complaining) and my social calendar is more PTO and Cub Scout meetings rather than Cosmos with the girls.

And I am perfectly happy that way.

Today we saw "The Lion King", went to the Scout Shop to pick up Little Man's Cub Scout uniform, had a nice lunch and took a nap.  Tonight I am going to sew patches on the uniform and spend time with my family.  No, not glamorous, but it is just the way I like it.  I will look at the photos, and maybe say something nice about them...

...but I won't say "I wish I were there"...

Love to All.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Have Free Time??? Really??? Me??? stuffed as my calendar seems to be here of late, I seem that have free time, lately.  Really???  Free time???  I can't imagine.  I work 6-8 hours a day, I have a VERY active seven year old.  We have swim lessons, Exerfun classes, Cub Scouts, PTO meetings, school activities, homework, book reports, doctor appointments, and probably half a dozen things I am forgetting.  Granted, my house is nowhere NEAR perfect, we hit the drive-thru a couple nights a week, and I still haven't hit the gym in the mornings...BUT I have managed to find some free time.

You see, I am stepping away from the computer.

No, I am not giving up the computer completely...I am just stepping away.  I LOVE the computer.  I have found some wonderful people with common interests (Disney, anyone?!?!?) and I have been able to catch up with old classmates, co-workers and far-away friends.  I still enjoy this.  I am not going to let it rule my life.

A little over a year ago, Big Daddy let me quit my full-time job.  We had to consider this carefully, as it was a good chunk of our income.  I had worked for my former company for almost eight years, made a decent living and had great benefits.  It was a decision that we did not take lightly.  Of course, it seemed like the job was slowly killing me.  Sounds dramatic, but I had lost zest and zing more than anything.  That is for another blog post!!!  We also had to consider that Little Man was going to full-day Kindergarten and would not be bussed to my parents house after school, as he had when he was in preschool.  (Turns out, he COULD be bussed to my parents house after school...but THAT is for another blog post!!!).  All-in-all, I could quit working full-time, go back to school, and find a way to supplement our income (either by taking care of children in our home or working part-time).  My last day was in late June.  I was in heaven.  I could stay home with Little Man during the summer, take him to the park and the pool and have all sorts of fun in the couple of weeks that we had together before he started Kindergarten.  Yes, we had a great couple of weeks.

Then school started.

Big Daddy was on his summer work schedule, so he was working mornings.  I would get Little Man off to school, and was gung-ho getting the house straightened up, laundry done, and dinner made.

For a couple of weeks.

Then I started "hanging out" on the computer.  Facebook, twitter, online shopping.  Killing time.  Things started slipping.  Depression took over.  It is hard to describe (perhaps another blog post about this?!?!?) but I kept slipping further and further into my depression.  Even after finding my (then) part-time job with the school district, I was depressed.  The computer seemed to help AND hurt me.

But I am breaking free.

I will still catch up with my friends and family, near and far...but I will not allow myself to get sucked in.  I can't. I can't sit on my couch, in front of this laptop and "dream" about the life I want to lead.  I need to live it.

I am faithfully jumping back on (for about the BAZILLIONTH time) FlyLady, who assures me that "progress, not perfection" and that I can do ANYTHING in just 15 minutes.  I will still try to keep all of my "plates" spinning outside of home and work.  I will be able to do this better while my bottom is not stuck on the couch.

What does this mean for the blog???  It means, I should be able to devote more time to it.  It really does help me.  It is not exciting or glamorous, but it helps.  I would like to do product reviews for people just like me.  Busy moms who want the best for their families, not wanting to "cut corners", but knows that any effort is better than no effort at all.  So, I won't be able to throw that roast in the oven tonight and serve Big Daddy and Little Man the most "home-cooked" of home-cooked meals...whatever.  I found a product that allows me to serve a meal, and we can eat together as a family...and I want to share it.  So, I love to shop and am still working on finding bargains (I have a WAY to go on this one) but I want you to know what to spend your hard-earned money on and what to save.  No, I am not big...and I don't get product endorsements.  I am just a Mom who wants to share.

Love to All.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mama Cub...Scout, That Is...

...still trying to get back into the routine of things...Little Man has been in school for a month exactly.  My calendar is QUICKLY filling up.  I don't know if I can juggle everything.  I have to learn how to say no every once in is hard, but I am learning.

Little Man showed interest in Cub Scouts...we knew it would be a commitment, but I had NO idea how much of a commitment.  Two meetings a month, for starters.  I no sooner signed my $65 check to join, then we were being told about the upcoming "popcorn sale" (which comes after the PTO Entertainment Book sales, during the PTO TJ's Pizza fundraiser and right before the PTO Cardinal's Calendar sale).  Yeah!!!  The night we signed up, we were informed of the Boy Scout Field Day.  Two.  Days.  Later.  I really had planned on taking Little Man (Big Daddy was working overtime that Saturday).  I even bought Little Man a new white tee shirt to tye-dye.  Yeah, after spending 12+ hours at school that Friday, my back was not cooperating with the thought of a Field Day.  When we signed Little Man up for Cub Scouts, we were also told about the semi-annual camp-out...that was scheduled for three weeks later.  I knew there would be camping involved, but I thought we would get a little more "practice" camping or something...I have not been camping in about 20 years...and I didn't like it much then.  IF Big Daddy can get the weekend off, and IF we can get all of the gear together and IF we can figure out even how to use it, then MAYBE we can go to the camp-out.  I am not holding my breath on this one.  We will be more prepared for the Spring camp-out.  I may even think of attending this one!!!  That same night, we were informed of the Cub Scout Car Wash to be held in two weeks.  Sounds like fun...heck, it is only three hours, out in the sunshine and the Scouts will divide 40% of what they earn in their each Scouts account!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!  That will come in handy when it comes time to get his uniform and supplies.  Now, we are also told that the Boy Scouts try to do something every weekend.  Every.  Weekend. 

Yes, this is going to be something enriching for Little Man, but we have a life outside the Boy Scouts.  I have a life outside the Boy Scouts.  Since Big Daddy is still working evenings, I am the one who signed on as the "Adult Partner"...every Cub Scout has to have one.  I am the one attending the meetings, I am the one attending fund-raisers, I am the one attending activities.  I am glad that we signed him up for this, but I am a little worried that it could take over.  I am back to working full-time (34 hours, but 34 EXHAUSTING hours!!!), I am taking Professional Development Courses for my job, I am helping the PTO, I am volunteering in Little Man's classroom, I have a husband, I have a son, I have a house that needs TLC, Little Man has swim, Little Man has Exerfun, Little Man has expressed interest in soccer...most of all, I have Little Man.  Even though Cub Scouts is for Little Man, I have to make sure that I am 100% there for Little Man.  He is going through a lot, and I want to make sure that I am not spread too thin.

Yes, I am excited for Cub Scouts and what it might mean for Little Man, but I will not let it take over our life.  We have our first meeting in the next month, and I will see how it is going to go.  I don't want to sound like a "Debbie Downer" about it, I just did not know what we were in for.

Love.  To.  All.