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The desire and the doing...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There is a lot to be said for the desire to be better than we are at any given moment. It's part of the stress that moves us to actually *do* something about it.

There is something also to be said for looking at the moments in our lives that we regret, or even the patterns of behavior that disappoint us. Without looking at it, how can one even begin to formulate a plan of change, training, or improvement?

But there is little point in staying there in the place of regret for too long. The past is the past and cannot be changed. The future is an unfulfilled promise. We have only this moment... but if we have a plan, a strategy, a goal to go with our desire... this moment can lead to a brighter future.

Yesterday's sadness was a good part regret over my own behavior and certain behavior patterns over my lifetime. I'm a slow burner, people. I appear to be so laid back and tolerant (to myself) and then out of the blue, something will trip my trigger: usually associated with a perceived injustice toward other people that I have chosen to care about. Definitely if anyone questions my motives! And once in a great while when I'm just plain tired of always being the dependable one.

I had such an episode on Sunday, and I found myself lingering over the analysis of it Monday and even into Tuesday, when it settled with this horrible cloud of sadness over my own inadequacy! And when one is already focused on how inadequate one is (and we all fall short, so says the Bible)... it's easy to pile on more and more as your day and the normal pressures of life occur.

In "the old days"... this kind of thing would lead to days, weeks, months of self-abuse with food. Which allowed me the pattern of transferring my disgust with ANYTHING ELSE to disgust with my overeating!

How much better to let the real issue come to the surface, be faced, accepted, a plan for it brought forward... and soothe myself in ways less self-destructive or abusive. When you read that sometimes the people who most need love are those who seem the least lovable? How about we start applying that to ourselves?

I am pleased with how yesterday turned out. I hope to move forward loving myself, warts and all, and accept that the desire to be better is mother to the ability to do it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THISYEARSMODEL 5/28/2011 12:37AM

    What a beautiful, powerful blog. You rock! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/26/2011 8:15PM

    "In "the old days"... this kind of thing would lead to days, weeks, months of self-abuse with food. Which allowed me the pattern of transferring my disgust with ANYTHING ELSE to disgust with my overeating!"

That statement was my "aha moment" of the month! Oh, how I've missed your blogs. You are such an insightful woman and I really enjoy your blogs.



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MSLZZY 5/26/2011 12:03AM

    HUGS!

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MTULLY 5/25/2011 2:05PM

    Very insightful. Life is always a work in progress, and you are moving right along!

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KALIGIRL 5/25/2011 1:45PM

    "accept that the desire to be better is mother to the ability to do it"
So true - glad to hear you've worked through your low period - sorry I wasn't here to offer more support.
You are one in a million, Barb emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 5/25/2011 10:17AM

    I think many of us were raised to feel like failures if we didn't live up to others' expectations. My mother used food as a measure of how much we loved her ("No second piece of cake- you don't love me!") I am having to learn to love myself and show that love with something besides food. Your blog was something I really needed to read and I'll soend some time today reflecting on it.

Thank you for being such a wise woman and sharing that wisdom with the rest of us!

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_LINDA 5/25/2011 10:15AM

    Nothing you can do about the past, what is done is done, and its just time to get over it and move on. The main focus should be what are you going to do for yourself today? Try to treat yourself with dignity, respect and gentleness. Treat your body with love, give it plenty of good nutrition and exercise. Like everything else, you have to make it a habit of loving yourself. One small step at a time. Treat yourself to something special today and enjoy it to the fullest!

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DEBRA0818 5/25/2011 10:14AM

    I think you hit upon a key element for a lot of compulsive overeaters and obese people -- it feels easier to transfer disgust, anger and despair to ourselves for overeating or being fat than it is to let them hit their intended target. But of course, you are also right that solving things as an adult is ultimately much more satisfying. Right on, Barb!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/25/2011 7:54AM

    Profound and wise and practical too: self-soothing with food compounds the regret!

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MIZCATHI 5/25/2011 7:08AM

    I agree that regret is something we should not allow ourselves to wallow in. But sometimes do I want a do over! Still, I am glad you wrote this blog, thoughts I have had many times. Like you, I am also reinventing myself. And like you, I cannot go back there. I must move forward and achieve my goals.

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REJ7777 5/25/2011 6:33AM

    "I hope to move forward loving myself, warts and all..." Me too. But it's not easy to do because I was raised with the teaching that only perfection (no warts!) is acceptable. It's a lifelong challenge to accept myself "warts and all".

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I can say I am glad it was a work day

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Because it was a work day, my food was packed and structured for me. Habit is our friend in this regard. Despite that horrible cloud of "sad", I packed it.

I was feeling pressure and anxiety associated with work, and the sad combined with that... but work is a great tonic... because you are *doing something* about the feelings. I made sure to take my break walks, during which I consciously breathed, paying attention to the fight/flight response to the feelings. Breathing is a good thing... in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for eight. Very calming.

Feelings *do* fade over time. When I got home, I "did something" about one of the sources of the sadness... once I figured out what it was. And I decided to cut myself some slack for being human.

I'm on my way to being "me" again! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA0818 5/25/2011 12:24AM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, Barb!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/25/2011 12:21AM

    Sounds like it was a tough day....and I'm sorry for that. But you are a bootstraps" kind of gal, and tomorrow will be better, I'm sure.

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MSLZZY 5/24/2011 11:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 5/24/2011 9:43PM

    I see that you chose alternatives other than food for coping with your sadness! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/24/2011 9:07PM

    Great ideas for coping strategy! I always found being in motion relieves stress, anxiety and helps with the pain. Hope you get a good night's sleep and that tomorrow is a better day for you!
Hugs,
Linda

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LJCANNON 5/24/2011 8:51PM

    emoticonI am still amazed at how much good those 'Little Walks' do for my psyche. There truly is something therapeutic about putting one foot in front of the other.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/24/2011 8:01PM

    There is nothing like feeling like you again . . . and I like your suggestions. Having a high pressure period at work too, and I appreciate your suggestions for coping with it: little walks sound like a great idea!!

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Empty house syndrome - reprise

Monday, May 23, 2011

When my son was deployed overseas, he came home on leave for 15 days, about mid-way through the deployment. It was harder putting him back on the plane to return to his duty than it was putting him on to go the first time.

I'm kind of having a reprise of that kind of feeling with the pet-free home. When the dog had to be put down in early March, there was this sense of emptiness to the house. I made my son promise not to take me to any shelters or rescue places or pet shops for the next year, so that I could adjust, assess, and make a conscious decision about whether I want the work of another pet.

However, I didn't say I wouldn't help out with HIS pets! And of course, regular readers have seen the fun I had hosting the two kitties that are my fur-grandkids. Their regular humans came to collect them on the way home from the airport (see, I'm not the ONLY one attached to them)... and the house suddenly felt emptier than it had before they came.

So, once again, I have to establish my firm resolve to not rush out and fill that void! And it seems harder than it did with the dog. It's Monday, so back to work is the best strategy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THISYEARSMODEL 5/28/2011 12:53AM

    I so understand the feeling of the empty house...When our beloved kitty (she was really so much more than that) passed away at age 21, her presence had been so full, and the house felt so empty! I told everyone to make me wait at least a year before going to a shelter. When and if your heart is ready, you'll know, and I'm glad the grandkitties can help, even if it hurts when they go back home. emoticon

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REJ7777 5/24/2011 7:35AM

    I can see where the house would feel pretty empty now that the kitties are gone. I know that you spent a lot of time and energy making them feel safe and comfortable.

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_LINDA 5/23/2011 6:21PM

    You are looking at it in sensible way. Pets are wonderful, but are a lot of work, even cats. My Mom decided not to get another dog, as her and her husband are simply too old to look after one 24/7. She did rescue a cat and does get enjoyment out of her. There is not as much interaction with a cat like there is with a dog. You have your dog's attention 100 % of the time, but cats will take you or leave you at their leisure. But cleaning up a litter box all the time isn't much fun. And all that cat fur all over everything, their fur flies everywhere and unlike dogs, they get up on counters, tables and just about anything they can reach that is high!! I think baby sitting them once in a while is a great compromise!

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MSLZZY 5/23/2011 5:31PM

    Pets are wonderful but it is so hard to lose them. They leave such a void. HUGS!

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BUGGYS 5/23/2011 2:50PM

    I had three dogs and had to put my big guy (140lbs.) down in February...that left me with my two little guys. I loved the big one to death and still miss him, especially on our walks but I don't miss the dog hair and the big land mines he left in the back yard! I will never have a house without a pet and you will know when the time is right to add another, Barb...or, maybe not.I have always had a pet to come home to even when I had to put one down so I haven't felt the empty nest syndrome...when my kids left, I still had my daycare and when I retired from that, well, I know love watching 5 grandkids. 4 days a week!!! :)

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ANDI571 5/23/2011 11:05AM

    After our dog passed, we got a cat and I love him to death. I love dogs, but have to keep telling myself how much work they are on taking out (especially during the snow), having people watch them while on vacation. At least with the cat, he pretty much takes care of himself. I love the company he gives. Not sure if something happens to him what I will do. I can't imagine not having a pet though. They are a ray of sunshine.

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WHIPPEACHZ 5/23/2011 10:48AM

    I admire your resolve, as for me a life without pets is a place I don't ever want to live... like children the work is the payment for the pleasure. They give me laughs and love all day long.

Hope you have a great day at work.

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SUNNY332 5/23/2011 10:37AM

    Probably best to head back to work.

Sunny

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DEBRA0818 5/23/2011 9:08AM

    I admire your resolve Barbara, especially in view of the fun you had watching and playing with your son's cats, and the triumph you had of seeing them relax with you. When and if you decide to have another pet, it will be exactly the right time for both of you.
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MARVEEME 5/23/2011 8:11AM

    Yup...back to work is the BEST strategy. Fun as it was, you've made your decision to maintain your freedom for now. Enjoy the best of BOTH worlds without giving in to filling a temporary void. You know it's for the best!

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Antonica takes a turn

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We've been here three days, now. My brother, Kalimdor is a plotter against the humans. I am a one-human cat. That human is my Dad. He wasn't even in my life until I'd been living with Mommy for months. He came home wearing this funny looking thing they call a uniform... all speckled colors so he blends in when he's outside. I adopted him as soon as I realized that as chunky a cat as I am, he will pick me up, put me on his shoulder and carry me around so I can see things from his tall vantage point.

I am still mostly hiding from that grandma person. But I do come out to chase the laser spot that dances. I don't know how it followed us to her house, but I have to chase that thing away every day... several times! Grandma keeps muttering about how I need to go on a kitty Spark program and then that spot shows up and I MUST chase it.

My brother is exploring the house... he even went up the stairs to all those closed doors, and down the stairs to look at the closed doors there, too. The first night I found a place to hide where grandma couldn't find me but while she was sleeping I snuck back to the under couch-cave. But, hate to admit it, both of us have succumbed to purring for the Grandma person.

And we have discovered that the food dish refills... just like at home! Yesterday a funny ringing sounds started the Grandma talking to someone who wasn't here. She said that we were fine, and that she had outlasted our sulk, whatever that means. I kind of suspect she was talking to dad, she called him "Son".

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 5/25/2011 8:42AM

    Great blog, Barb. You are Funny. Thanks.

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LJCANNON 5/24/2011 8:54PM

    LOL, Kitty Spark Plan!! Have you SparkMailed Chris Downie?
emoticonI knew that they couldn't resist you forever.

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MSLZZY 5/23/2011 5:33PM

    How cute!

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KASEYCOFF 5/23/2011 12:00PM

    Barb, this is priceless! Love the cat's-eye-view, LOL!
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SUNNY332 5/23/2011 10:37AM

    Love it!

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REJ7777 5/23/2011 3:23AM

    You've won their hearts! After all, what kitty can resist a laser? emoticon

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THISYEARSMODEL 5/22/2011 8:01PM

    Wow, these cats are frighteningly smart! emoticon Glad to hear they're doing great! emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 5/22/2011 4:22PM

    Love to read blogs from the kitties! It seems they're really growing on you- how will yoou be able to send them home? emoticon

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_LINDA 5/22/2011 11:17AM

    Neat photo! My Mom's cat really loves chasing the laser light too! Sometimes its the only thing she will get moving to.
So glad they are setttling in..

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DEBRA0818 5/22/2011 11:01AM

    Such beautiful kitties too -- they must be worming their way into your affections as you clearly are theirs.
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MNTWINSGAL 5/22/2011 10:47AM

    Barb, the kitty-blogs are hilarious. You are definitely tuned into their minds!

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Kalimdor steals the keyboard

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reporting from our safe-haven cave, this is Kalimdor. My sister Antonica is hiding here with me. We're OK, we've found paths to the provisions and the privy and the human sleeps sometimes, and goes away sometimes, so we can make trips to get a little food and water. But we will ration it, for we do not know whether it is an endless supply like it was back at home.

The big guy, the invader, who claims to be "Dad", (no matter that Antonica thinks the world of him!) took us from Mommy's home in travel bags and put us in this new place. He stayed for a while. He showed us where stuff was, and then he left. And only this strange grandma has been in the house, in terms of humans. We think she may be mean, but this morning I've decided I can take her on.

She took me off my high observation post and dropped me to the floor when I first got here. She seems familiar... I think she came to see us at Mommy's house a few times. She keeps calling herself "grandma".

The grandma human came back yesterday and tempted us with tuna. We declined, but she left it over with the rest of the food, and we later sneaked over to get some. She dangled our toys at us, and even went so far as to drag us out from under our cave hiding place and make us sit on her lap while she stroked our fur. We declined to purr... don't want to encourage her. Still, it's not QUITE as hazardous a place as we thought at first.

She talks at us, this human. Somewhere she's learned our names. But she's pretty cool about leaving us alone when we twitch our ears back or jump off her laps and walk away. What if our normal humans never come back? We're survivors... we could handle this. Just have to figure out how to manipulate the new human. But I miss Mommy. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 5/23/2011 11:07AM

    To cute! emoticon

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MIZCATHI 5/22/2011 8:56AM

    Awww, that is so CUTE! Loved it.

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MSLZZY 5/21/2011 11:17PM

    Cute!

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PENNYAN45 5/21/2011 5:57PM

    Hey there, Kalimdor!

You would be wise to warm up to Grandma while she's the only human in charge of the chow these days.

She sounds like a real softy.

I'll bet you could get her to do just about anything you want....
... if you just snuggled and purred a little!!

Humans are EASY!!

emoticon

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THISYEARSMODEL 5/21/2011 5:53PM

    That's brilliant! Oh how we need an applauding smiley emoticon..

Glad they're doing well! I always suspected cats could read (and apparently spell and type) but were just too crafty to tell us...

Comment edited on: 5/21/2011 6:04:33 PM

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SUNNY332 5/21/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon What fun.

Very creative Kalimdor.....

Sunny

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SHARON2014 5/21/2011 4:49PM

    Dear Kalimdor - please tell Antonica to just chill out for a while. I came to a strange place a few months ago and I am just now getting my hu-mom used to my needs (read demands)! Today I refused my regular food and the hu-dad gave me some roast beef right off of his plate... and served it out on the deck! See what I mean?! Hang in there. Maggie emoticon

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MIZKAREN 5/21/2011 2:40PM

  emoticon

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DEBRA0818 5/21/2011 12:51PM

    emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 5/21/2011 12:36PM

    Love it!

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_LINDA 5/21/2011 12:21PM

    emoticon Cats know where its at! Glad you are getting glimpses of them at least..

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REJ7777 5/21/2011 9:37AM

    Awww.... that's pretty cute! I think they'll survive. emoticon

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