Another weekend, another party!

Another weekend, another party!

I wonder why my son always hangs out with his friends?

Friday night, game night. Shuffling the cards we have been dealt.

Saturday, a murder mystery party. Strangers in even stranger clothes.

Will the weekend adventures never end?

My son came home late last night. Who is in the house tonight? Strangers that he’s never met. Dressed up in some garish garb. Food prepared, glasses clink. Questioning who the killer is.

We talk and laugh the night away. I wonder if he thinks it’s strange?

Then an unusual thought occurred to me. I had more friends over this weekend than my parents did my whole childhood. Maybe that is what he would find strange. He doesn’t know the me from back then. The person I spent half my life being is just another stranger.

I wonder why my son always hangs out with his friends?

Another weekend, another party!

Until next weekend…

500 followers!!

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Thank you!!

Thanks for following my story! I really don’t tell you how much I appreciate you often enough. (Or maybe I am thinking about my husband…). I need to encourage more and criticize less…

What can I say? I’m always a work in progress…a story that needs writing.

I don’t mean to get sappy and all. But I just wanted to let you know how important you are in my life.

For once, I feel at a loss for words…

Personality strengths

A couple of months back, my daughter Angel was reading a book about personality strengths. I hinted that the book would make a wonderful Christmas gift idea for you know who. I was happy when I saw the CliftonStrengths book wrapped up under the tree for me.

My daughter has some amazing strengths…Woo, Communication, and Positivity to name a few of her top strengths..Compared to her, my top strengths probably make me seem like I am serial killer material.

I took the test online. It asked questions like..Do you focus more on your strengths or your weaknesses? Do you calm or excite people? Hmmm, interesting. It took a lot of thought, but you weren’t given a lot of time to answer the questions.

Here are my top 5 strengths:

  1. Restorative
  2. Achiever
  3. Deliberative
  4. Analytical
  5. Intellection

Restorative is the desire to take things apart, find the problems, and fix them. Problem solving…I am a fixer. I love giving advice. It drives my family insane. I am not a big listener. If someone comes up to me with a problem, I immediately start to work on solving it for them. Sometimes I help people, sometimes I annoy them.

I am very deliberative. It usually takes a long time to make a decision. I look at everything from all angles and can see forward into the if and then of the decision making process. I am very analytical in recognizing when patterns change or are off in any way. I can see all of the minute little details.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a counselor. It was big on my heart to fix broken people. I learned over time that I couldn’t fix people. The problems with people were glaring to me. I felt critical…if only you would change your path…if only you would stop hurting yourself. I just wanted to fix all of the broken people and take away their problems. It is probably a good thing that I didn’t end up being a counselor.

I am a big time achiever. I have to feel like I accomplished something every single day. I am not calm. I cannot relax. I cannot sleep in. I can’t take a day off to do nothing. I want to be a calm person. I fantasize about living a carefree life. But the drum of the taskmaster beats steadily in my head and I live with it. I get shit done. I am happy that way.

I am an intellectual. This strength for me also includes a lot of time spent in introspection. I think, think, think all of the time. The gears in my head always keep grinding.

I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve. People don’t flock to me like I am the next best thing to whatever their best thing is. I am okay with that. I don’t need to be liked or even to feel popular for my well being. I don’t give a hoot about what people think of me. I would rather have deep conversations than talk to you about superficial fluff any day.

Let’s be honest…I am happy to be me.

Narcissistic worry

Last week I read a wonderful post about narcissism. Then I got to worrying…Oh my, am I a narcissist??

Growing up my life revolved around my autistic brother Matt. It was all about Matt…Matt…MATT all of the time. I wanted it to be all about me. ME! ME! ME!
Aren’t I great??

I was on my own for a very short period of time. I graduated from college, got married 2 months later, and got pregnant 2 months after that. I have been a mother since my mid-20’s.

Right after I was out of my parents house (taking care of my brother)…I ended up having three children. Since then it has been pregnancy, having C-sections, breastfeeding, diapers, sick kids, lost teeth, sibling warfare, birthday parties, braces…to today where I have 3 teenagers. My life involves taxiing my kids around, dealing with difficult issues such as sex, drugs, and lets throw rock and roll in there too. Why not?? I have to deal with underage drinking, bad grades, messy rooms, rebellious attitudes…all the normal issues of dealing with teenagers…plus cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

I secretly fantasize about being an empty nester. I want it to be all about me. I don’t want to have to worry about anyone else…I don’t even want to have to take care of pets anymore. I am sick of having to get a pet sitter every time we want to leave. I hate it when the pets bring fleas into my house…or when the dog gets into the garbage…or puke on the carpet…the constant crying for food the minute I wake up in the morning or right when I get home from work…the poop on the floor right outside of the litter box.

Last month my brother Luke and his family lost their family dog. The were heartbroken at the death of a member of their family. Last week they got a new puppy. I feel guilty for not wanting any responsibilities. I will gladly take care of the pets I have until they are gone…but after that…I don’t even want a fish!

I am also a completely vain person. I envision myself always looking great in a bikini while I gaze at my reflection in the pool. I want to tell my classmates that I was carded this year. I am getting younger while my classmates are so old and weathered that I don’t recognize them anymore. I couldn’t possibly look as old as they do, right??

I also have Mary Poppins syndrome. I think that I am practically perfect in every way. I never admit to having any faults. I strive for perfection.

On a side note**I wouldn’t recommend making deviled eggs for Thanksgiving if you are a perfectionist! Grrrr..

As a child I was punished for making mistakes. One bad grade in elementary school and all of my dolls were taken away for a semester. I was so afraid of making mistakes and not being good enough.

Sometimes I think that harshest judges have been most harshly judged.

I’m working on it, okay?

Yesterday I just realized that my criticism and annoyance with others could be viewed as annoying..

As I sit here gazing in self reflection…I realize that I am probably not a narcissist. I just need a little responsibility free time to myself. I love my family and pets, but sometimes taking care of them all the time can be overwhelming. In a few years I probably won’t know what to do with all of the ‘me’ time.

I figure if I am so worried about being a narcissist, that I am probably not one. Narcissists don’t worry that they are narcissists…Do they?? No, just anxious people worry…Boy, do I feel better..

To think…for a few minutes I thought it was all about me!

Who am I?

Who am I?

Sometimes I wonder who you think I am.

Have the things I told you painted a picture in your mind?

Do you know the kind of person I am by the words I write?

I sometimes think about this in the dead of night…or the early morning light..

Who am I?

Sometimes I don’t even know.

This past week I finished reading journal 4. Last year I started the project of slowly going through all of my old childhood and early adulthood journals. It has been a healing process for me…to finally come to grips with my life…my demons..

My oldest daughter has been begging to read my journals for the past year now. I now am also tasked with the duty of reading my journals with the thought that someday they will belong to my children. I want them to have a certain image of me in their minds, even after I am dead.

Journal 4 was difficult. I was angry. I could feel the rage coursing through my words. I tore out half the pages of my journal, ripped them up, and threw them out (recycling). I crossed out some of the writings with a black pen. I never destroyed a part of my life’s writings before.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t recognize myself. It was like I was reading about another girl.

Maybe I don’t really want to know myself??

I just don’t want my kids to see my darkest days. I am describing a girl that is gone now..

I just started reading journal 5 which was written before journal 4. I will probably be sharing some stories with you…

But how will you know me if I don’t recognize the old me in me anymore??

Do you really want to know the real me anyway??

Or do you think of me as a character in a book with a twisted plot?

 

Life on the high C’s

I spent the last couple of days in supervisor training for work. For the class, we took the DISC personality assessment.

If you are not familiar with it, it goes a little like this. The D’s are the dominant type, that is why the D is the first letter on the assessment. The I’s are second because they sold the idea that they should be. They are the chatty, loud, and persuasive type. The S’s are the agreeable people, they are happy being wherever you put them because they are chill. Then the best is saved for last, the C’s (you know where I rank). The C’s are the type that follows rules and makes sure things are done right.

I am pretty sure that I was raised by two high S’s. You would think that it was an incredibly peaceful environment almost zen like. Sometimes I wonder what my parents were like before I was born. Did they sit around meditating for hours in perfect harmony? I’s sure that all fell apart after I was born. Then within the next 5 years my three younger brothers were born. The second born child, Matt, is severely autistic and was violent at times.

What happened to the strong S’s then? What happened to the peaceful people that went wherever the wind would blow them?

My dad shut down completely. He became depressed and silent. When the silence became too loud for him, he would roar. Then he would retreat into silence once more.

My mother turned her gentle supportive good-natured self into a D. It was unnatural. She hated it. She had to become forceful and direct. She confronted people. She became the ferocious mother bear with an injured cub. I feel like through this she really lost who she was because her hand in life forced her to be someone she was not.

Maybe it is no surprise that I am a high CD…if I were to break it down I am probably 80% C and 20% D.

To tell you the truth, sometimes I try to disguise myself as a S. Growing up in a house of S’s sure makes it easy to do. I know the language even though it is not my own. I even own a wide variety of bohemian clothing. Sometimes I pretend to be someone I am not so I don’t scare people off right away.

Seriously, who likes a high C or a CD mix? Who likes the rule follower?? Who? Oh, and I don’t follow just any rules. I certainly don’t set my cruise control at 55 mph in a 55 zone. Seriously, I don’t want to be controlled by cruise control! The D in me always urges me to drive faster. I don’t have time to drive slow!

I follow my own rules. It is very important to me that everyone in the house turns off the lights if they leave the room. Did you turn off the lights? Sinner! You are wasting electricity. My husband says, “Alissa, how much electricity do you think your hot tub uses?”

How many people like the blunt, direct truth delivered sometimes without tact? Who likes a stubborn rigid all or nothing thinker?

How many people like it when I clean up after them when they are not done eating or using an item?? Oh, I won’t accept any help either because I am the only one that does things right. Then I get mad that no one helps me.

How does it feel to walk with mud on your shoes in a cleaning freak’s house? How does it feel to watch your neighbor run 20 miles around the neighborhood on a Saturday morning while you watch TV in your pj’s? Does it make you feel just a little bad about yourself?

I continuously have a harsh task master in my head chanting the mantra ‘Get it done! Get it done! Get it done!’ at all times. I can’t sit still without thinking about the things that I need to do.

I never miss a workout when I just don’t feel like it. My calendar is booked through October.

Sometimes I am as jealous of your ability to relax as you are of my drive to accomplish challenging tasks.

My intensity, my discipline, my drive sometimes repels more people than it attracts.

Good thing for my sense of humor!

That’s my real life navigating as a high C.

I absolutely love being me!

 

 

 

 

 

Forever 21?

It has been a rough month. If only I could wipe February off the calendar this year.

There were a few good things that happened though.

The most difficult thing that happened this month was burying my MIL who fought death and wasn’t ready to go.

That was followed by the break up of my daughter Angel with her boyfriend of 3 years, Mitch.

Let’s just say I would rather think about the possibility of planning a wedding instead of a funeral…

It wasn’t in the cards I guess.

Talking about cards… Guess who got carded??

There is someone living out there that thinks I could possibly be under 21.

I went to the grocery store and bought a 6 pack of Madtown Nut Brown Ale. Great beer, by the way. The lady looked at my driver’s license which clearly stated 1974 and glanced at my face several times. I am hoping that she couldn’t believe I looked so young for my age versus she was visually impaired in some way.

Just for a quick comparison…the picture on the left was taken a few days after I turned 21. I remember the night well.

After sipping (not slipping) on mudslides, I decided to highlight my own hair.

Great! Now I’m thinking of songs…slip sliding in the rain…singing in the rain…what a glorious…anyway, back to my hair…

Highlighting my hair was a royal pain. Come to think of it, I don’t know of anyone else that did it besides hairdressers with their own hair.

Highlighting…I remember putting what was like a swimming cap on my head. Then I had to pull through small strands of hair out of tiny holes in the cap with what looked like a knitting needle.

I would not be considered a person that has a lot of patience to sit down and do crafts like knitting.

In fact, the only crafts I like is craft beer.

So, I said screw it, pulled the cap off, and highlighted all of my hair. Kind of gave me the grunge Kurt Cobain hair that was so wicked in the 90’s anyway. Who says that anymore?? That is so wicked.

The picture on the right was taken after I turned 21 for the second time.

I don’t look a day older from picture to picture, right??

Okay, maybe a couple of years**cough**cough**decades..

Forever 21?? Ah, who am I kidding??

It was fun while it lasted though…I chuckled in wicked mad laughter at the thought as I sipped my Madtown Nut Brown…slipped down…sliding…singing in the rain..Great!

 

 

Sink, swim, or walk on water??

It has been a few days since we last spoke.

I haven’t lost interest in you. It just seems harder to find the time…

I did get some sleep since we last spoke. That just makes life better.

I really don’t mind the stresses of everyday life. I don’t, really! I would rather be busy than bored. I have no tolerance for boredom. I can’t handle it. But I also like routine and structure. Go figure?

But sometimes the pendulum swings too far to the side of busyness. Those are the times that I find myself at the fast end of a Tetris game. Things happen so fast that I can’t keep up and none of the pieces fit together. I have been living in this mode for the last couple of weeks now. Then add a couple of sleepless nights with nightmares and I am a completely miserable person to be around.

I have been getting a lot of comments this week from close friends and family. Are you okay?? You don’t seem like yourself lately.. Please try not to worry so much. Are you just tired or are you feeling depressed?? What’s wrong??

I don’t want to be so stressed out anymore. Everyone goes through rough patches in life. I want to be the person that has enough faith to walk on water. Not the person that is flailing around, drowning, barely able to keep my head above water…dragging down those around that notice and are trying to help me.

But through this I have found that I have a lot of people that care about me. Although their concern worries me, maybe I do need to take better care of myself.

I want to be me again.

I will be okay!

I grew up living most of my childhood in fight or flight mode. It was one big adrenaline rush. But the thing is that I can’t seem to turn it off. I don’t want to turn it off. I don’t know how to live any other way. I am like the dog that has been beat too many times, but prefers the harsh owner because that is what I know. It is hard to explain. It is also hard to find that same feeling in healthy ways. So I run marathons and hang out with exciting people.

Tonight I will be going out with my BFF Cindy for beers and burgers. Then tomorrow night the old gang will be getting back together for the first time in years for a night of dinner, games, cocktails, and dancing.

Wow, I will be going out two nights in a row! (It’s not like I have been sleeping all that great on my own after a night at home anyway!) Lol..

I will be hanging out with some very beautiful women that also have a great thirst for adventure which usually equates to some pretty interesting stories…

 

27. My favorite body part

  

Day 27: What is your favorite part of your body and why?

Listen up everybody! My favorite body part is my ear. Sounds kind of wacky, doesn’t it?? But hear me out…

My dad is a very large man with small features. He has small blue eyes, with tiny little ears and nose. The only large feature that he has is big full lips. He has given me all of these features along with his wispy wild not straight nor curly hair.

For a very long time, I had long hair that covered up one of my best features. My best endeavors to control my hair left me with comments of ‘did you stick your finger in a light socket?’. It has been so much easier since I cut my hair. But anyway, back to my ears..

I think I have the perfect ears because they are so tiny. They don’t stick out or have a weird shape to them. I have only met one other person with smaller ears. This can be an issue finding ear buds that fit, but that really is my only complaint.

What I like most about my ears is how they function. I can hear sounds in ranges that most adults can’t hear. I also have the ability to voluntarily shut off my ears to sound. Both of these gifts are pretty rare from what I’ve heard. As I mentioned before, I can hear a pin drop in my neighbor’s house. This has given me a great ear for music and singing.  

14. Five strengths

Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have.

1. I am extremely self-disciplined.

I used to get frustrated when others around me would exhibit a total lack of self-control by eating or drinking too much, spending money that they don’t have, or by saying things that they shouldn’t have said. I have little compassion for messes people get themselves into. I used to be judgmental, but found that these people are only hurting themselves.

Through this, I found that I have a rare gift. I have the ability to control myself and have strong self -discipline. That topped with an innate inability to relax, I have been able to push myself to do things I never could’ve imagined were possible. I’ve learned that I have inspired more people through my example instead of through my judgment of them. In essence, I think I have managed to turn a weakness into a strength.

2. I have a strong work ethic.

I will work hard until the job is done, without break if necessary. I am efficient with excellent time management skills. I can’t sit still and have learned to use this energy to be very industrious.  I will focus on the details of the task and break it down to manageable parts. I will give it everything and be very thorough. I won’t stop until the job is done up to my standards. I love the challenge.

3. I am very organized.

I live my life by rules, structure, and organization. I have the ability to analyze details, mull over things, and come up with some pretty good plans. I am great at problem solving scheduling conflicts. I have no time for spontaneity. My schedule is very routine and I like it that way. If something works, I stick with it. I am also very good at planning non-routine events, such as vacations. I am a walking calendar. If I plan something, I will take every detail into consideration and cater it specifically towards what others would enjoy. That makes me happy.

4. I am loyal.

If you are able to earn my trust, I will be your most loyal companion. If I tell you that I am going to do something, nothing will stop me from doing it. I would be willing to move mountains for you. I may not be your shoulder to cry on, but I will listen to you and keep your secrets. I will nudge you to get back on your feet again. I will protect you. I will fight for you. Even though you may not want this, I will try to fix your problems. I stay calm and collected in stressful situations. I am able to put my feelings on the shelf and make good decisions. I will tell you the blatant truth if you ask. Forget the small talk, let’s get into a deep conversation. I am eccentric. I love adventures. If you come up with an idea, I will be up for anything if my schedule allows. I have a great sense of humor and love to make people laugh.

5. I am independent.

I am not afraid to do things by myself. I would be willing to run a marathon with no one that I know beside me and no one to cheer me on. I don’t care what others think of me. I have no desire to be popular. I wear the kind of clothes that I like. I am not susceptible to peer pressure. I have no desire to be like everyone else. I refuse to be bossed around or controlled. Don’t tell me what to do. I will stand up for myself, those I love, and the principles that I think are right if I am forced to. I am not afraid to say ‘no’. I am not afraid of facing my fears. There is a lot of freedom in living this way.