Princess

It was a magical dress
burgandy
fitted
flared
made me feel like a million bucks.
When I entered the room
thought
omg this is how Cinderella felt
as everyone stared at me.
I am not the prettiest girl.
I am not the smallest girl.
Today though
with make up and hair
professionally done
I look stunning.
My date
he arrived
eyes popping out of his head.
That was all
the best compliment
I need nothing more
for tonight
I am a princess.
Sept. 29/18
Photo by Javier Reyes on Unsplash
Advertisements

Heart & Soul

Today’s episode of ‘Let’s see if Jay can keep her cool…..’ is brought to you by…..me!

It has been awhile (okay a long time) since I have given an update as to what is going on with me and T.

The end of the year was difficult for T and I. We had a lot of rough mornings, yelling and screaming and that was just me. He ranted and cried and refused to leave the house. We have to find a balance for next year as I am just so unprepared to deal with this. As well, he is going to soon out weigh me so it will be harder to push him out the door. 🙂 The last time we battled, I ended up grabbing him by the back of the neck and frog marching him into the bathroom. Than dragged him out by his arm. All while he screamed ‘stop hurting me, you’re hurting me.’ This lead to a serious discussion on the way to school let me tell you.

Now for braggy mom to come out. T sailed onto Grade 5. With flying colors. My son is a mostly A student with a couple of B’s thrown in there. The subjects that were the lower grades, well not the ones that he found to be all that enjoyable. What I need to enforce this summer is reading so that he will be going into Grade 5 on par with his peers.

Me time, me time! I have been doing awesome. I am happy. I am confident. Yes, no doubt there are days when I have a little let down but they never last long. I am setting goals for myself and although I have yet to begin working on a single one, I have them. Work is going so amazing.

Stepping down absolutely was the best thing that I could have done. I am not the same person at all. The person who worried. Who controlled. Who followed all the rules. She is gone. I am responsible for T and myself. No one else. Nothing else. I am way more relaxed. I am making changes, ones that are good for me. Exercising. Eating well. I am not sure how it could get any better. Well I can but that is a long conversation for another time.

Now let us fast forward to today’s episode on ‘Can Jay keep her cool?’

First Act: Regular customer is getting ready to pay for his groceries. Pays the same way all the time. I told him the total and hit debit and told him to go ahead and insert. He looked at me sheepishly and said: I’m sorry, I stuck it in too early.’ I bit my tongue so hard to keep from laughing out loud.

Second Act: A lady stops in front of the counter. I ask her how I can help her. This is the following conversation.

‘How can I help you today?’

‘I want a ticket.’

‘What type of ticket are you wanting?’

‘A scratch ticket.’

‘What type of scratch ticket?’

‘I guess they are all scratch tickets aren’t they?’

I could only stand and stare at her.

‘I think I will take a crossword because I like words.’

Third Act: Phone is ringing and I answer it. I do my spiel ‘Thank you for calling blah blah blah blah. How may I help you?’

‘I need a price check.’

‘Okay, on what?’

***To save on space and too boring I will give a synopsis.***

The customer had been in our store and made a purchase for her neighbor of cream. Now when she got home, there was no cream. But she paid for it. And the cashier had given her back change. $15-16. I check with the cashier and no, cream was not left behind. Ask customer if she has her receipt and am told no.

‘M’aam, maybe you were not even charged for it.’

‘But I was. I gave her a $20 and she gave me back change. I just need to know the price so I can charge my neighbor.’

‘But you don’t have the cream?’ (Yes I realize none of my business.)

‘But I paid for it and now she needs to pay me back,’

I go and check for her and come back to phone.

‘$3.99.’

‘Good so $4.00 I will charge her.’

She than hung up. Did not even ask me how we were going to fix this. Was so intent on getting her price that the fact she did not have the product seemed to have flown out the window. I would have loved to be a fly on that wall.

‘Yes Doris? You owe me $4.00.’

‘Where’s my cream?’

‘Well it never made it home with me. You still owe me $4.00 though for the cream.’

And so on and so forth. Shaking my head.

Act Four: Answering the phone, giving my spiel and realizing that a) there was no one there and b) the phone had not even rung. Thank goodness I have a great sense of humor with myself and laughed hard.

These are the type of days I have. They make great fodder for the imagination. Today’s though, they were too special to keep to myself. I love talking to people, and while there are those who would prefer to remain silent, the majority like to talk. Which leads me to this gem.

I was checking through a little old lady. She was about 90/92 I believe, she did tell me so that is how I know that it was in the 90’s. We were chatting away and I was explaining to her that sometimes I talk so much (shocker there) that I am not aware of what I am doing.

Case in point: I was chatting away with my customer and trying to scan a product. I kept moving it back and forth and finally looked down to see why I was not getting a beep. Well, it only works when you scan it with the laser, not over the deactivator. The customer and I roared.

By the time I was done, my little old lady was laughing so hard. I handed her back her change and wished her a good day.

She said to me: ‘You are good for my heart and soul. Thank you for making me laugh today.’

And that folks is how I am leaving it. I am good for the heart and soul.

Fairy Tale

Luckless

drifting along

dreams lost

unsettled

broken.

So many times

life intervenes

choices are made…..

I cannot perceive

the path that must be followed

bringing me here.

Crossroads appearing

undecided.

Left or right?

North or south?

I spin

eyes blinded

dizzy

stop

see where my finger points.

Left

haloed in sunlight

aroma of lilacs

happiness flits by.

Left

leading me to you

my footsteps

dancing in delight.

Moving forward

a smile upon my lips

I realize all at once

serendipity

has played a part

in bringing us together.

Photo by Lane Jackman on Unsplash

 

I did it!!!!

img_20180524_2021272738248193699032543.jpg

So…….this will be causing some confusion for my most recent followers and those who journeyed with me for awhile are probably thinking ‘um what did she do now?’ It is well known that I fly all over the place and have the strangest thoughts and feelings. This though, this needed to be done.

I crashed hard this passed Winter. I will not reiterate all I went through, for those who would like to know there are multiple blogs written and posted under Depression. I had a drug addiction problem, I was depressed. I did not believe in myself and it all came to a head when I took 30+ pills on December 23rd.

For three months, I did not work. At a job. I worked at myself. Hard. I looked at what caused me to do this. I looked at what I needed to do to make sure that it never happened again. I looked at my life. At what I wanted and needed to do.

T is my number one priority. And being in charge at work left me little time for him. Even when we were together I was always thinking about what had to be done, how it could be done. Staff issues. You name it, I dealt with it. I was short changing him.

My writing. This is my passion. This is what I am meant to do. I have known since I was 6 years old, if not sooner, that I wanted to be a writer. And than life got in the way. I need to reclaim that.

My mental health. While not all issues were work related, my need to appease male authority figures and be perfect related to my past, but I was projecting it forward. And it was killing me.

When I went back I went back with an open mind. No responsibility. See how things went. And you know what? I loved it. The not being responsible part. The not having to manage people. Or follow up with issues. Or making sure this, that and the next thing were done. I go to work, I work, and I come home. With energy for T and my own desires. Hmmmmmmmmmm……..

The last couple of days, my blood pressure has been elevated. I have been playing scene after scene over in my head about telling my boss I was stepping down. And I knew it had to be now. There was no more waiting. I was making myself ill and irritable because I thought I needed to wait. I didn’t.

I discussed this all with T before hand. Some might think what the heck? Talking to a 9 3/4 year old and asking his opinion? Hell ya! This is his life being affected too and I think that as parents we sometimes forget that. I explained to him that my stepping down meant time in morning but would have to work a little later in evening. He looked at me and said, ‘mom I want more time.’ That decided me right than and there.

Let’s get back on track. Today I went to my boss and asked if he had time for me. Finally around 4ish or so he did. I went to his office and while I teared up a little I explained I needed to step aside. T needs me more and that is what matters. The picture at the very top is me right after I gave my notice of stepping down. The second one is of me this evening after I have told everyone I know that I had done it.

There are a few who think that I am going to regret this but they are wrong. T, my mental health and my writing, that is what is important now.

I finally did it! I finally put not only T but myself first and damn but does it feel amazing.

 

 

Reconcile

I find it hard to reconcile

the truth of you

to the truth that I have always known.

I find it hard to reconcile

the notion of you

with the reality that I have always lived.

When suddenly you fell from sight

I sighed with regret

but not dismay

for it is something I am use to.

When weeks went by without a shout

I turned my eyes forward

steeled my heart

and swore off men….

again.

When you sent me a note

apologizing for being a dolt

I was cautiously optimistic

for this was not a part of my reality

apologies

sincere and true.

When again you returned

bearing flowers

a smile

and arms that picked me up

wrapped me tight

with the promise to never let go.

I realized with shame

that all this time

I had assumed

you were going to fail me

just like all the others.

 

 

Supermom

I was messaging with a friend this morning who is suffering from a migraine. She has had it since yesterday morning and still went into work and accomplished a full day. Last night it was at a point where she was considering going to get something stronger from the hospital to help her manage the pain. But like a lot of people that I know (myself included) she pushed through it, ignoring the brutal throbbing in her head. After a full day she went home and made dinner for her children and got ready for today.
We spoke for a little while last evening and she did manage to lay down for a bit but that did nothing to ease the pain. I am assuming that she thought that this morning it would either be gone or have subsided.
Fast forward to my waking up at 3:58 a.m. and ready to start my day. I made myself coffee and as it brewed sat on the couch sending my good morning texts and gif’s to my circle. I do this every day for those of you who may not have read the previous blog. Well within minutes of sending the good morning gif to her, my friend was messaging. She feels awful. Her neck and back and shoulders are all stiff. Her head is not any better. Maybe on the way to work she will stop at urgent care for something.
First I suggested that she take the day off and allow herself the time needed to get through this migraine. Well nope that was not going to work because she could not afford to miss a day of work. I did point out to her that only a few months ago she was getting by just fine on less, one day would not make or break her. She agreed but than messaged back ‘But Jay, as single moms we have to work.’  First I asked her who she sounded like right there? And than I sent her a message saying that I had something really important to tell her so I was sending it all in capital letters, not yelling at her. I am going to put it here word for word in capital letters because this is something that all mothers not just single moms need to hear/read and realize:
IF AS (SINGLE) MOTHERS WE DO NOT TEND TO OUR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL/MENTAL WELLBEING FIRST WE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO USE TO THOSE AROUND US. (I copied it word for word although I added in the mental for this post.)
Really what use are we? Cringing in pain. Near tears. Short tempered with our children and loved ones. We are useless. I am worried that working in front of a computer will only exacerbate her pain. And finally because she has told me her boss is a fairly decent guy I said he would not have any issues and if he did the Wicked Witch of the North (a.k.a. me) would fly down on her broom and have words with him. Takes too long to drive and besides my passport has lapsed so broom it will have to be. And she said that he most definitely would have a problem.
This lead to me thinking about the differences between a boss and a leader. When one works their butt off, getting everything reorganized and up to date, fixing the errors of others, a leader will see the benefits in allowing a worker to stay home to recuperate. They realize one day in the grand scheme of things is better than having them end up taking off a week or more if the illness continues. . But if he/she makes you feel guilt, as though you must come in when you are clearly ill and/or in pain that does not a good leader make. Making people overextend themselves and push through illness/pain is the sign of someone lacking in compassion and empathy.
Bosses who lack in compassion and empathy, they are people who are looking at the bottom line and not putting their employees well being first. Happy employees are efficent employees and generally long term employees who can be counted on to be reliable and willing to work hard at their position.
I use to be that boss. I myself would push through illness or a bout of depression because my bosses have made me feel that I needed to be there. That it was my responsibility come hell or highwater to make my shift and do a good job. This despite having six to seven supervisors on my team who could easily cover for me. So when my staff would call in sick I would get a little tense and snappish about it. (I do have a policy that staff are can call in 3 hours before their shift if feeling under the weather. I have had people try to call me at 7 a.m. for a shift at 6 p.m. and ask them to call back because sleep sometimes does wonders.)
Now though, and I started doing this prior to my latest bout of depression, I do not sweat it when someone calls in sick. I have more than enough people who can and want to pick up extra shifts. If they are scheduled to work the next day, I will call and check on them. Urging them to stay at home if they still are feeling under the weather. I do not want to be that person that is considered callous and insensitive. And reality is all it took was a simple shift in how I thought and priorities. Happier staff I have discovered leads to more productivity and people who want to do a good job for you.
As moms I think our focus is generally outside of ourselves. Children. Parents. Spouses. Friends. Being a good employee. We fall through the cracks because we believe that we are Supermom and can manage everything and anything.  Truth is even Supermom can be felled by the flu or a cold or an injury. The list goes on and on. We need to learn how to take the time to recuperate. There is no one else who will insist on in.

The Ex and Me

The Ex and me, we don’t always see eye to eye. Different parenting styles, different people, different lives all around.

Last evening one of the girls was over at his place for an evening of drinks and relaxation. And this was what she overheard. All I can say is that I am sure that this is the sweetest thing bar none that he has ever said about me:

‘She is a great mom. We have an amazing relationship and parent so well together. But she speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. But that is okay.’

Now it has taken us a long time to get here. When first we split up and then when I moved out there was so much animosity. We could not tolerate one another and when we did have to interact World War III was simmering beneath the surface. There were a few times where I nearly stabbed him with a fork I was so angry however was able to maintain a level head. I really did not want to go to jail for stabbing him.

I am sure that there are things that I do that he does not agree with. I tend to be more open with T about things. I explain. My parenting is not about ‘do this because I said so’. My actions speak so much louder than my words do and if I want T to be l00x better than I am or ever was, I had better be providing him with a damn good example to follow.

I do have language issues. T is forever telling me to watch it. I have to laugh because he also tells characters in the t.v. shows we watch and any singers with explicit language in their songs, to watch their language. I have heard him a few times use shit or hell. As one of his dad’s siblings is married to someone who was once a farmer, I watched their three kids grow up and using the word shit as young as 5. I cringed but as it was explained to me, they heard it all day long. It was used to fertilize the fields.  So on and so forth. At least T waited until he was 9 before I heard him.

It is also important to me that he treats everyone the same. When he does not say good morning, or thank you, or please with others (i.e. school crossing guard, someone holding the door open for him/him holding doors for others and so on and so forth) I lecture. And I will do so until it becomes second nature.

T is an amazing kid. He is smart. Funny. Has a sarcastic sense of humor much like my own. He is fast to quip.

We were discussing how I needed to ensure that he was properly equipped for school. Jacket, that is a big one a) because at 9 he is too cool to wear proper winter attire and b) because it is March and who wears winter coats in March? Well if you live in Manitoba, you may well be wearing your winter coat until June. As we are going back and forth T looks at me and says if I am to make sure he is properly equipped for school where were his rubber boots? I admit, I barked with laughter before attempting to school my face into a disgruntled mom look, it did not work.

I also see his dad in there too. He is great with his hands. The designs he creates in Scrap Mechanic and Minecraft amaze me. Mechanically inclined as he has been helping his dad in the shop since he was 2. He can fold clothes from the dryer better than I can. (Which is why I hang everything up that can be hung up)

While there are times that I wonder what the Ex is thinking he is a good dad. He loves T with every fiber of his being. And when they have the time to hang out together, they have a blast.

As always this ended up being more about me and T than my thanking the Ex for the kind things he said about me. But I can only take the idea and go with it, the rest flows to my fingers and onto the page.

While neither the Ex nor I were good partners for one another, we are great parents together for T. And really at the end of it, is that not the best example that we both can provide him? He saw the fights between us and now he sees that we talk to one another. That we are friends. These last few months, the Ex helped me with food and lunches for T. He let me keep his share of the baby bonus each month so I could ensure that my bills were paid and I could buy groceries.

He really is not a bad man. And I hope that he is with the woman that is going to make him happy forever. Because I do want him to be happy. I want him to have a love that fills him from head to toes with light and laughter and songs. I was not that person and it is okay. We had a good life together and we have an amazing son. And now we are friends. And I can turn to him for help whenever I need it.