Friday, January 29, 2016

I'm Too Old To Be Stepping In These Piles Of...

It's Friday night. Late. Lisa and the kids are sleeping soundly. I'm in the living room. On the sofa. Typing on my Chromebook that's resting on a makeshift TV tray laptop table. Hot cup of coffee. Finishing off a pint of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz. Slightly high from the combination of coffee ice cream, chocolate bits laced with crushed coffee beans and strong coffee.

And, I'm crying. Yep. Crying.

It's been one of those days. One of those weeks. I've stepped in more piles of proverbial crap than I care to admit. I'm exhausted. This week I allowed myself to be distracted with something, work related, I should have said no to. I gave too much thought to things I laid to rest last year. Blah. Blah. Blah.

At the top of the list, I'm days away from making this blog site public. While it's been a work-in-progress for many months, is finally going to be out there for all to see. Read. Judge. I'm taking this blog site to the next level and the level after that. It's time.

With all of the heads up focus, and being distracted with this and that, I've been too exhausted to avoid stepping in those steamy piles of crap. I know the piles are there. They're always there. Over the years, I've somewhat mastered this steamy, stinky maze of crap. I skip, jump, and dance over the piles of crap.

Not this week.

I've stepped in every pile. I've reverted to this. This! On a more positive note, I've at least mustered up enough stamina to hold it all in until Lisa and the kids go to bed. It's not until after our nightly routine of evening thoughts, goodnight cookies and kisses do I shut the door, grab the tissues, bury my face in several throw blankets and do this. This!

The piles of crap this week, you're wondering?

1. Saying "yes" to something I should have said "no" to. Work related. I can write columns for just about anything, but this, no. It's not that I can't. I can. However, it's miles away from my world. My voice. Too much research. Too many formalities. While I love a good challenge, this extends too far from my realm of enjoyable challenges.

2. The need for validation. I think this has a lot to do with number one. I was sought out. If I said "yes", this validated my experience and talent as a writer. Getting pieces published on 3rd party sites is recognizable. A job well done. Another notch in my belt. At the end of the day, do I really need that? No. I don't. This week, I got sucked into believing I did.

3. I worried too much about offending people. I go through these spurts. I try to write for the masses while, at the same time, writing in my voice. It doesn't work. It never has. When I veer towards writing for the masses, my balance is off. Way off. I know better than to do this. I need to stop. Now. I don't want to edit my way out of the best version of this. Our dog Mom life. My voice. My pen. Our story.

4. Too much sugar. Between PMS and a mild cold, I craved sugar. I caved. I have my limits. Most of the time, I stay within these limits. This week, I did not.

5. I focused too much on having a schedule. When I first began my career, I worked 1st shift. Slowly, that shifted into 2nd. Then, not too long after, I gravitated towards work-'round-the-clock. After almost 10 years of this, I'm still going strong. Once in a blue moon, I get on this short-lived kick where I am convinced I can actually have a schedule. It never pans out. I work at home. I manage 2 blog sites. I freelance. I'm married. I have 3 kids. Bodacious Biscuit Love. The list goes on. Not a single day is like the day before. Schedules don't exist in my world.

6. I wanted permission. Earlier this week, during one of my sob-like-a-baby messes, I told Lisa, "I need you to tell me I have what it takes." We were in the living room. Sipping coffee. Me, on the sofa. Lisa, sitting in the chair. She gave me that look and the much needed pep talk I was craving at the time. I've heard it all before. Lisa is my biggest fan. She always has been. What she was saying to me at that moment, I didn't need to hear. It's not up to her. It's up to me. My job is to just do it. She can't do that for me.

8. Giving too much thought to where I didn't and don't fit in. When I'm feeling like this, I'm reminded of all the times, in the past 5 years or so, I tried to join in. Chime in. Work my way into a conversation that interested me. Lend a hand in. Participate in. At some point, whether it be a look, an action or a comment not meant for my ears, it became apparent I wasn't going to be included. Fit in. Be invited into a conversation.

At the final stretch of my maze o' shit piles, and after sorting through the chaos in my head, I walked to the bathroom. I needed more tissues. On the way out, I went face to face with myself at the mirror.

"You're too old to be stepping in these piles of shit. Too. Old. Put your big girl panties on. Face forward. Onward march. You. Are. Enough."

I am enough. What I'm doing is enough. I don't need validation or permission. If someone is offended by my words or how I present something, well, here's a Band-Aid. I will never be able to please the masses. I will always walk the path of unpopular and dance to the beat of my own drum.

Even if this all happens at 2:30 in the morning...

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