Trust Your Gut….SERIOUSLY!

One thing I have learned to do over the past few years is trust my instincts.  I have figured out that there is something directing me from within and it always seems to know what’s best for me.  Sometimes it leads me to people and places that don’t make a lot of sense, like when it woke me up at 3am insisting that I write a letter to a friend (whose mother was dying) and reveal all of my deepest held beliefs about God and death.  I wrote the letter and emailed it the next day.  My friend lost his mother a week later.  I don’t know what affect my letter had on his grieving process, but I do know I was meant to write it.

In particular, it is important to follow your instincts when it comes to your body and health.  When something is physically wrong with you (like my strep throat incident I wrote about) and you need to see a doctor I think your body lets you know, you sense it.  Today(7-30) I experienced the effects of not trusting my instincts in relation to my body.  On Monday, I had a doctor appointment and scheduled a procedure to take place today.  The procedure is best done when a particular window is open.  For me, the window of opportunity was there but closing quickly.  Everything in me SCREAMED to wait and schedule the procedure later.  But no, no, no…I wanted it done and wanted it done NOW.  Surely they wouldn’t have suggested it if it couldn’t be done.  My gut wouldn’t leave me alone though.  When I got home I emailed a doctor friend and asked whether or not I should cancel the appointment.  She told me it was doable and that it might hurt, but would be OK.  So against every cell in my body, I kept the appointment.

Today I went back for the procedure and HOLY CRAP!!!!!!  Let me just say that the window must be OPEN…slightly open does NOT work.  Until today, the worst pain I had ever experienced was a tie between the pitocin-induced back labor I went through with Bella and the getting out of bed for the first time after my c-sections.  Today I suffered a pain that made me cry AND pass out (well almost).  It was so painful that the procedure was not even completed.  All I can say now is: Dear sweet intuition/higher self, I am so very sorry for ignoring your pleas.  I promise from now on I will listen to you.  I will not let my impatience interfere with the messages you send me.  I totally get what you were trying to tell me, I thank you and desperately wish I’d have listened.

Healthscare, Oops, Healthcare

As I told you yesterday, I have been a bit out of the political loop since the election ended.  I do, however, know that Obama is working on the issue that is currently most important to me.  Even before I paid attention to politics, I have had a fear of being without health insurance.  Mark and I got married when I was 23 years old and after the ceremony I was officially dropped from my parents’ insurance.  I was very aware that I would be uninsured until I found a job with benefits and that scared the crap out of me.  Within a week after our wedding and moving to Columbus, Ohio, I started to get sick.  It was strep throat, but I didn’t know it.  I waited and waited to get better (thinking that without insurance there was no way for me to see a doctor), when finally the pain was unbearable.  I had no choice but to find healthcare.  I ended up at the public health clinic and since our income was only $800 a month, I qualified to see a doctor.  He didn’t even need to swab me to see I had strep(though he did) and gave me antibiotics that knocked it out in a day.  I started working a few weeks after that and haven’t been without health insurance since.  But it remains one of the issues that drives me to vote.

A family member of mine has arthritis and has struggled with health issues because of it for years.  He has always been insured but at various times has had to fight for his coverage with bills as large as 25K hanging over his head.  Another family member lost her husband unexpectedly, which was a major shock.  In the midst of mourning and trying to figure out how her life would go on without him, she also lost her health insurance (since he was the carrier).  Her job does not offer benefits and she has had to go out and find her own insurance, which I am certain does not offer the coverage she had with her husband’s.  Over the past couple of years my daughter has suffered from asthma-type symptoms.  My biggest fear with getting the official diagnosis of “asthma” is that she’ll have a “pre-existing condition” on her record for life, so that when she gets new insurance anything that slightly resembles an asthma symptom could be refused coverage.  Even the doctor decided it was better to watch her over the next few years before he would officially make that diagnosis.


But like I said yesterday, the two sides of politics feed on our fears.  For me, I watch a movie like “Sicko” and decide that the insurance companies’ power over our healthcare system is scarier than that little girl crawling out of the TV in “The Ring, ” but my Republican friends might watch it and say that Michael Moore is a jackass and the whole movie is just propaganda.  Listening to NPR this morning I heard a man say that a universal healthcare system would “give minorities better healthcare than whites.”  I hear this and believe this man has been lied to and manipulated, but I know for a fact there are people in my life who probably believe and feel the same way as him.

Again, I don’t know the answer to this problem, if there is one.  The power on this seems to be so far out of the hands of average citizens.  I can honestly say that I have no idea what Obama’s plan is (remember from yesterday…head buried in sand).  I do know that it is expensive and I could bet that it serves somebody or some business with money and power greater than mine.  There is a quote I’ve read and heard before…something about judging a society by the way they treat the least among them.  I hope one day our healthcare system will reflect that we are a great society!

Problem with Politics

Before the election, I must admit I was an obsessed Obama girl.  I watched the news every night and visited a blog that posted the poll numbers daily.  I even made myself sick at times worrying about how the thing was going to end.  I stayed up until it was over on election night and watched the president-elect and his cute family take the stage in front of that enormous crowd.  I got chills, shed tears, and then a week or so later preceded to bury my head in the sand.  The reality is, I have a hard time believing that the issues that are important to me will ever really be addressed or changed.  Most of all, I want people to be treated equally in all aspects of life.  But just the fact that we’re all humans makes that nearly impossible.

So this brings me to the point of the post.  Political parties are just another way to divide us.  The leaders of these parties say whatever they can in order to touch on our hopes or fears, so that we will follow without question.  We get so caught up in these hot button issues that we miss opportunities for love and friendship.  I am a registered Democrat and my father is a registered Republican.  During the election he sent me a few emails that nearly sent me over the edge.  I hadn’t told him until now, but I purposely avoided communicating with him as election day drew near because I was afraid that the subject would come up and end with a fight.  I also joined Facebook in the midst of election time and can’t tell you how many times my Facebook checks resulted in me getting offended and pissed off.

Now that the elections are over, I’ve found myself re-connecting with and bonding with some of those very people who offended me.  In October, I was so sure of our differences and now I am so sure of our similarities.  I wish it could feel like this all the time, but Facebook is reminding me otherwise.  The need for drama must continue and it is supplied with the newest quizzes that ask “How satisfied are you with Obama?” “Would you vote for Palin in 2012?”  “Do you agree with same-sex marriage?” and my favorite “I voted against Obama and I stand by that vote.”  I don’t really take many Facebook quizzes and I have decided especially not to take any of those.  I do in fact have some Republican friends that I love and respect and I want to keep it that way!

I’m not sure how I’ll feel as the next political season draws near.  I hope that I can keep my political views out of my personal relationships instead of getting sucked into the drama.  I hope that I can be like my friend Linda.  Linda is the lone Republican in my writing group, only problem is leading up to the election no one knew that.  After an evening of McCain/Palin bashing, we all awoke the next morning with a very nice email from Linda telling us how if she was able to make it to the polls (her mother was sick), she was voting for John and Sarah!  Talk about open-mouth-insert-foot!  She withstood our conversation with a great deal of grace, didn’t appear offended, and most definitely didn’t hold it against any of us!

Creative Visualization

I just reread the book “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.  It is a short book, takes only a few hours to read, but is very informative.  Creative Visualization is putting the Law of Attraction to work for you.  If you don’t know about the LOA it is the idea that our thoughts are things, like attracts like, you reep what you sow, and your consciousness creates your reality.  We use it everyday.  Every time we imagine where we are going to go, what we are going to do, or say, or be we are using Creative Visualization.

I used to use it unconsciously.  When I was a kid I played softball for two years and took gymnastics for a lot longer than that.  In softball, whenever it was my turn to bat, my lack of self-confidence would take over and I’d imagine myself striking out…and guess what?  I always struck out.  In gymnastics, all I wanted was to be able to do a back handspring but I always saw myself landing on my head. So almost  every time I tried I’d land on my head.  There was a few times though that I managed to squelch the vision and do a perfect round-off back handspring.  I knew even then that physically I was capable, but mentally I was sabotaging myself.  The examples could go on and on, but I’ll stop with these two obvious ones.

So once you grasp the concept of Creative Visualization you can use it to build a positive life experience.  The key to it, though, is belief.  I will admit that I have tried to apply this principle in certain areas of my life and haven’t seen results.  Like after writing my first novel, I would imagine the phone call I’d get from an agent saying they were just dying to represent me, I’d visualize myself cashing my first advance check, and sitting at some table in Border’s for my book signing.  But the reality was there was too much disbelief between me and this vision.  You have to clear yourself of all the blocks.  You have to believe it and want it without fear.  My vision will not come to fruition as long as I believe that it is “too hard” or hold onto fears of what others might think of me and how the changes of a career like that will affect my life.  Gawain suggests that in this situation you continue to hold onto the vision, write it out along with the negative feelings that bubble up.  If you face and acknowledge the feelings you have at a deeper level, you can eventually let them go and rest in the positive vision until it becomes reality.

Also, a great thought to add at the end of your Creative Visualization is “This or something better is coming to me now.”  Ultimately it is about surrendering…letting go and letting God.  This is a most difficult place to reach.  In reading books by Joel S. Goldsmith, I am reminded of this key step often and I am also reminded of how hard it is to get out of the human picture.  Until you can surrender in the truest sense of the word, it can only help to hold these positive visions!  (For more thoughts on surrendering check out this post over at Owning Pink.)

Great Compliment…Great Timing

So I’ve already written two posts about the preoccupation with my weight.  And I must admit, it is distracting me again.  Since the girls have been out of school for the summer, my gym time has been cut in half, but I do still manage to get there about 2 or 3 times a week.  When I’m at the gym, I notice how fit and attractive people are.  I used to work out at the Y and there was a guy in spin class who looked like Luke Macfarlane.  There was also a personal trainer who looked like one of the football players on Friday Night Lights.  Now I work out at Women’s World and I still notice how fit and attractive people are.  There is one woman who looks like the lead actress in The Departed and another who is completely ripped and looks like she’ll bite your head off until she smiles and then she’s transformed into an angel.

Last Thursday was just an ordinary day at the gym.  Bodypump class was coming to an end and I was putting my weights away.  I walked by a woman and couldn’t help but notice her slim figure and perfect boobs.  It was in that moment that I thought, you know forget the hard work maybe one day I will just get a boob job and a tummy tuck.  I’ve never imagined myself thinking such thoughts, but lately for some reason I have been.  The interesting part of the story though, was that seconds after I had that thought a woman came up to me and gave me the best compliment ever.  She stopped me and said she hoped I wouldn’t think she was weird for saying it, but she had been watching me and thought I was in good shape and I made her want her 20-year-old body back.  ME?!?!  She said this to me, I was on cloud nine and thanked her immensely even adding that visions of plastic surgery had been dancing in my head right before she spoke to me.  I also took it as a little message from the universe (AKA: God) to stop thinking about changing myself and just start loving myself!  I’m trying…I really am!

I’ve also decided that I’m going to get the nerve up to tell all of these beautiful people just how beautiful they are (instead of worrying they’ll think I’m weird).  I know from experience now that it really does make your day to hear it!

The Pretty Pussy Experiment

This is my neighbor’s cat, Marly…what a pretty pussy….

cat_marlSo why do you ask have I posted a picture of a cat that doesn’t even belong to me?  While reading this really interesting post on Owning Pink this week, I joked that I should write my own post about “Pretty Pussy” and Lissa responded by daring me to.  So here it is.  Now for the experiment part of it, I will find out if blog stats really do increase by using a few choice words.

Wishful Love Poetry

I was reading a poem over on “Ronin of the Spirit” that inspired me to dig through my stash of poems and look for one about love and relationships.  I haven’t considered posting any of these before because most of them were written before I met Mark…which would of course mean they are not about him.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t decent poems (or crappy ones, however you want to critique them).  So tonight I pulled out my old poem notebook and this one literally fell out.  Here’s the back story on it:  I was really awful to my high school boyfriend when we broke up and pretty much crushed him.  He was way too good of a person to go through what I put him through and I have always (to this day) regretted it.  We broke up the summer of 93 and the next three years was a huge karmic kick in my ass, b/c almost every guy I encountered after him treated me like crap.  I wrote this poem when I finally reached my “I’ve had it” point.  Interestingly enough I met a really nice guy within days of writing this (I actually put a date on this one) and we dated for 6 months.  Then a month after breaking up with him, I met Mark.

Untitled (written 7-9-96)

I drove by his house tonight

It was lit up, just like before

When I was there

Just like in the dream

When she wasn’t

I thought it was safe

to call

I wasn’t the voice anyone expected to hear

I used to be

I used to be the one

who ate dinner

stayed over

and took care of him

or him of me

I don’t know which one

I used to feel so complete

Everything I desired or even needed

was in his eyes, smile, and touch

I know it’s not him I long for

I know because I would have stayed

But I didn’t

I just want to remember how it feels

To be complete

or completely satisfied

He once said he couldn’t live without me

I cried, but left anyway

He watched me sleep

Because he knew it was the last time

I wish I could watch him sleep

or someone

and know when I awoke

It would be real

I wonder why my life seems to be

running me in circles

ever since he left

I wish I would unwind

or the batteries would die

and I could remember how it feels

Still Waiting?

When I first found out I was pregnant with both Bella and Callee, I saved the home pregnancy tests.  (I still have them floating around in a drawer somewhere and you can still see the 2 lines.)  In the first few days after taking the tests with them, I left them on the counter and would walk by, look at them and smile every time I went into the bathroom.  Yesterday I broke down and drove to the Dollar Tree and picked up a test.  I came home, took it and quickly realized there was just 1 line, negative!  It’s been sitting on the bathroom counter ever since and  when I go in there, I look at it and smile.  My “friend” finally showed up today and needless to say, I am relieved.  I know some of you were hoping for the positive and if I’d gotten it, after the initial shock wore off, I would have been thrilled.  But I am also thrilled with the negative because it has given me a clear picture of what I really want.  I am going to the doctor on Monday so that Mark can no longer ask the standard question he asks every month during that magic window, “Do you want a baby boy?”  I’m positive he doesn’t even want a baby boy, but he asks as some kind of test to see where I stand and how the release of eggs affects my brain.

So I guess another semi-dramatic moment has come to a close.  This blog will not be turning into the diary of a mad pregnant lady, to the disappointment of some of you.  After being a long-time fan of Celebrity Baby Blog, I could be a little disappointed myself.  People really love them some pregnant ladies!  OH WELL!  Life can continue as normal.  I don’t need to re-purchase all of the baby stuff I gave away when I decided, during Callee’s terrible two’s, that I was done having kids!  And I can continue to enjoy the passion and spontaneity in my marriage that got me in this predicament (of being worried about an unplanned pregnancy) in the first place.

Lady in Wait

As I write this I am a lady in wait and I am imagining what my life will look like if what I am waiting for does not arrive.  I know you are curious, so go ahead and ask.  What will my life look like?  It will look like the life of a mother of 3.  I have always wanted children-as many of them as my life would allow.  When I was 21-years-old I told my best friend that I would have 2 kids if I was poor, 4 if I was rich, and 1 if I was single.

When Callee (my 2nd) was born I started calculating when we could start trying for number 3 (since we fall somewhere in between rich and poor).  I had decided it would be as soon as she was potty-trained.  What I did not take into consideration was what kind of baby, toddler, and child Callee would be.  Callee is beautiful, loving, and funny…but she is also a handful.  Mark’s nickname for her is “demando box” if that tells you anything.  I thought she was just this way around me, but apparently while we were in NC and my mom and sister were watching her, she threw a Titanic of a fit, eventually crying herself to sleep, because they did not watch the movie she picked out.  I know these traits (knowing what you want and making damn sure you get it) will work in her favor when she is an adult, but the battles and struggles Mark and I have had with her have been enough to make me change my mind about growing our family.

I also realized since my second daughter was born that there were other reasons I wanted a 3rd child and they weren’t necessarily good ones.  For starters, I wanted to extend my stay-at-home-mom status.  I always said that I’d go back to work when the girls were in school, one more baby would buy me a few more years.  I also desperately wanted another chance at the natural birth I tried so hard for with Callee, but ended up with a second c-section instead.  I also know that starting at a young age, I put myself into a stereotypical box that defined what I thought I was capable of successfully doing.  One of those roles was teaching little children and the other one was raising them.  After failing at the teacher role, I was banking on the mom role.  I should also add that the excitement, joy, and aliveness that comes with being pregnant and nursing your baby is enough to make you want more.

These days I am content with our family of four.  I love that the girls are at ages where we can really communicate and learn together.  I’m grateful to be done with diapers, high chairs, and pacifiers.  After nursing for 3.5 years consecutively, I’m pleased to be reacquainted with the other use for my breasts.  But all of that being said, I know that my life is being directed by something greater than myself.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.  If my “friend” doesn’t show up in the next couple of days, then I guess an even better friend will show up 9 months from now.