Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A reason for my anxiety...

My whole life I have had a storage connection to other people's emotion. More times than not I am able to tell you how and what people are feeling.I don't think of it as a creepy Ghostwhisperer thing. It's more of a Mentalist kind of thing. That is to say that I don't think I am psychic just perceptive. I have q feeling Curly got a bit of that too, but that is a different post...

The reason I mention it is that I may have figured out the reason for my anxiety. My brother was given an initial diagnosis of MS yesterday. They still have to rule out Lyme disease, but the doctors really think it is Multiple Sclerosis. He's been having focus problems for a while now, and to be honest I was worried about him. However, I really that someone was poisoning him. His household has been having some big problems, and so I truly thought his symptoms were related to that. I even encouraged him to get a tox screen done when I was there in January.

If it is MS I am worried for his younger children. They are the same ages as my two kids, and he is their most involved parent. He is also very active with his family. He is outdoorsy. It seems so unfair that someone as axtive as he is would get a disease like MS. I wonder if they will even consider moving closer to us so that they have a support system. I am not sure whether it would be a good idea or not...

Well, I am rambling now because there is too much rattling around in my brain. He I supposed to have some more tests done today. I will update when I know more.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekly Update

My last post was a bit of a downer, and I guess I haven't posted since because I am not sure how to follow it up. 

I did take Bear to the specialist, and her recommendations were exactly what my gut told me to do.  Bear can continue to train with slight modifications, but after nationals she needs a real break.  Plus she will need some physical therapy sessions to help her deal with the Sever's Disease.  The worst news is that she will probably continue to have bouts of Sever's for the rest of her childhood.  So it is very possible this pain will be recurring.  It just means that if Bear wants to be a gymnast she will have to be diligent at doing stretching and strength exercises every day.

Curly Q. did her play this week.  She actually performed it twice.  The first performance was the "regular" one associated with her class.  She did well, but it was the first time she had a singing solo.  She was SO nervous about it, that I think she looked a bit stiff throughout the whole play.  As for the solo it went well.  I have hear her sing it better than she did that night, but I was so proud of her for not letting  her nerves get he best of her.  The second performance was a benefit for Breast Cancer.  Curly Q. played a different part, and so there was no solo to worry about.  Without the added pressure she really let loose, and she looked GREAT!  It was fun to see her hamming it up.  I hope she can continue to loosen up and show how much she enjoys performing.

I am in planning mode right now.  I don't know why, but every May I am ready to start planning things.  I think I am sick of the stuff we have been doing, and I am ready to move on to new stuff.  I was trying to convince the girls to try a pre packaged curriculum.  I had been looking into Oak Meadow, and it looked really good to me.  Unfortunately the girls both really want to go back to unit studies.  I can't blame them.  Unit studies are more fun than anything else we have tried.  The problem is that they are a lot of work to plan.  Even the unit studies that you buy involve a lot of gathering of materials.  Still, I feel like this year we haven't done a lot of school, and what we have done wouldn't be classified as "fun".  I think the problem is that I wanted to be more unschooly, but I just don't have the faith in it that I would need.  So we spent the year alternating between me letting them do what they wanted and me panicking that they haven't done anything.  I don't judge those who can make unschooling work for their family, but I know that I am not one of them.

So as I said I am trying to plan summer.  I have decided to start right in on next year's homeschool stuff after our Florida trip.  When we get back we actually have a week to get back into the swing of things.  Then we have a week of testing.  After that we can do two three week sessions over the summer.  We will break them up to accommodate summer camps, etc. Then we will take a month off from mid August until mid September.  And another break from mid December til mid January.  I really think that schedule is a nice balance between schooling year round and taking a long break.  Plus we usually end up taking breaks at those times anyway.  So if they are built into our schedule I don't have to feel guilty about it.

I have also been working on our summer schedule in terms of other stuff.  I feel like if we don't make a point to see friends during the summer we don't see them at all.  Bear's gymnastics schedule is intense for summer, and it really kind of dominates everything we do at this point.  She will have practice Mon, Tues and Thursday afternoons.  Curly will have dance on Thursday nights.  So Thursdays are pretty much shot.  I figure John can have friends over on Thursdays since we won't be around.  Also, on either Monday or Tuesday (probably Tuesday) one of Curly's friends will spend the afternoon with us while Bear and the other girl's sister are at gymnastics.  We also have to fit guitar lessons in for Curly Q.  That leaves Wed. and Fri. free.  My hope is that we will do fun trips on Friday, and have friends over on Wednesday.  We can still do school in the mornings too!  It sounds like the perfect plan.  Of course I know things won't go according to plan because they never do, but it looks nice on paper

So there you have it.  When I get anxious I plan.  I know it sounds crazy (maybe it is).  The mere act of making the plan is soothing because it feels active as opposed to passive.  So I guess in that way I am feeling better.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Do you remember that feeling of being in trouble that you had as a kid?  That jumpy feeling in your stomach.  Not quite nausea, but butterflies. 

I have had boughts of this type of anxiety throughout my life like everyone else.  As a child I worried about school stuff and friend stuff.  As a college student I worried about grades, scholarships, boyfriends, etc.  Early in my marriage I worried about the compromises I felt I was making.  Later I worried I wouldn't get pregnant.  I now have worries about parenting, money, home maintenance, etc.

These kind of worried are what everyone deals with.  They come into my mind and then leave fairly quickly like a bee flitting from one flower to the next.  I know that everyone who reads this can think of a half dozen such worries. 

It seems that I have been having a different sort of worry for the past few months.  This worry feels different.  Instead of a butterfly this worry feels like a rock.  It comes on suddenly, and when it happens I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me.  Sometimes it is related to things grounded in reality like money troubles, but sometimes it is related to things that there is no real reason to even consider like whether I may get skin cancer.  I worry about big things like whether global warming will destroy the earth during my kids lifetime and small things like whether the price of gas will make me unable to go anywhere.

One of the problems with this type of worry is that since I know it is irrational I don't trust my instincts.  I have always had great instincts, but lately I can't be sure if a concern is real or not.  For example, Bear's heel pain.  I waver between thinking it is no big deal to thinking it is a gymnastics ending injury.  What is real?  John says it's no big deal; that an injury like that will take a while to mend.  Her coach recommended a sports medicine doctor.  I don't know what to think.  It is keeping me awake at night.

I think all this anxiety is related to menopause.  I know I am pretty young for it, but my Mom started having symptoms when she was about my age.  Another worry I have is that I will have serious symptoms with menopause.  One of my Mom's sisters basically went crazy when she was gong through the change.  She is fine now, but she had a few rough years.  Another of her sisters fell into a depression that she never surfaced from.  I know that I should go to the doctor, and I will go in June. 

Until then I am thankful that i have surrounded myself with people who help calm my fears as opposed to fanning the flames of them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slow Down....

It's May now, and I have been trying to decided what resolution to work towards.  I would like to work on slowing down, but I am not sure I can do it.  I'm not even sure I know how to do it.  It seems so vague.  When I wrote it what I meant was enjoy the trip as opposed to sprinting towards the finish line.  I have a habit of putting blinders on like a race horse and running like hell to finish things.  It makes me a very efficient person, but I also miss things. 

I am constantly feeling like time is my enemy.  Even the other resolutions I have made so far all involve time.  Time for writing, time for exercising, time for reducing clutter, time to spend with each member of my family.  Some days I feel like I am behind before I get out of bed.  Today, for example, I was up at 6:00 because I started to think of all the things I needed to accomplish.  I need to take Bear around to my Dad's business friends to fundraise; I need to do school with the girls; I need to make a deposit into the fundraising account; I need to clean the kitchen; I need to blog; I need to take the kids to their afternoon activities; I need to wash the girls bedding; I need to vacuum; I need to take flyers about our pizza fundraiser to the pizza place...  The list could go on and on.  As I look back on it I realize that many of these things are not actually "needs".  Some of them are promises that I would feel bad if I didn't keep.  The cleaning tasks don't seem like they should be "needs", but I have been me long enough to realize that I function so much better in a clean space.  So while in a purely objective sense I know that these are not things I need to do.  I do feel they are all necessary.

So if I choose to slow down, how do I do that?  I have no idea.  All my other resolutions have very concrete plans of action.  This one is more vague.  For this month I will do my best to stop and smell the roses.  This blog will help me track how I am doing.

Alabama's song I'm in a hurry can be my anthem...
I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really got to do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is Dead!

Every American who was alive when the towers fell remembers it vividly.  I have trouble remembering almost everything, but that moment is engraved in my mind.  We had just bought my Jeep, and I needed to take it back to the dealership for something.  John and I got up early that morning and heard the news in the car on the way to the dealership.  After we dropped off the car we went to breakfast at a local Greek restaurant.  They had a tv on in the corner, and every single person was glued to it.  As we watched the tragedy I remember being shocked by the stillness in that restaurant.  There were 50+ people in the place, and yet no one spoke. 

I was pregnant at the time with Curly Q.  As I watched I feared what kind of world I was bringing a child into.  Even though it was not rational to take it this far I feared that it could be the beginning of the end.  On the outside I was the voice of reason reminding people that around the world there are many people who live with much more severe daily threats than we were experiencing, but inside I felt my own naivety crumbling.  Over all,  I think it is a good thing to look at the world with open eyes, but the transformation was so abrupt!   Very shortly I started to have difficulties with my pregnancy.  I was put on bedrest and eventually Curly Q. came 2 months early.  I often wonder whether the stress of 9-11 contributed to it.  Maybe it had nothing to do with it, but I have heard that there was a spike in the number of premature births after 9-11. 

The experience still affects me emotionally.  Just writing about it brings tears to my eyes.  It's hard to believe that it can still feel so raw nearly 10 years later.  I do think the timing in my life made it more stressful for me.  Becoming a parent seems like a right of passage that catapults us from self centered kids into responsible adults, and who wanted to be the responsible ones in that situation.

So I am glad to hear that the threat from Osama Bin Laden is gone.  He was not only responsible for the World Trade Center, but also many more atrocities across the globe.  He continued to spout bigotry and bring hate into the world because of his own small mindedness.  So I think it is ok to be glad he is dead, but I worry about just how excited some people are. 

I firmly believe that when you put negative energy out into the world, you get it back.  Does celebrating the death of someone constitute negative energy.  The comments about how people hope he suffered, and the things people are saying to do with his body are definitely negative energy.  I worry in a somewhat spiritual sense what that is doing to them, but I worry more in a physical sense what their behavior is doing for our reputation in the world.  We already have a PR problem.  Many people around the world think Americans are crass and barbaric.  Will our behavior after Bin Laden's death prove them right or can we rise above it.  Can we celebrate the hard work of our soldiers without coming across as savagely cruel.  Can we be happy for those who have been saved from his tyranny and still keep our humanity?  I'd like to think so...