Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

Guest Post: 2012 New Year’s Resolutions for Me. January 24, 2012

Please welcome Tara from DoTheseKidsMakeMeLookCrazy. She let me write out her New Year’s Resolutions for her, which was way fun because I enjoy telling people what to do. Then I let her write out mine.

Now she thinks she’s the boss of me.

.

But that might be ok.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mer and I have been friends for 23 years.

That’s longer than twice the length of my marriage.

It’s nearly four times the age of my youngest child.

It’s over five times the amount of time I’ve lived in my current home.

I totally wrote all those statistical-sounding facts because math confuses Mer and I want to remind her that I’m smarter than her.

Why is it important that I appear to be smarter?

So she’ll let me control her, err, make decisions for her.

Kind of like how Britney Spears’ dad gets to spend all of Britney’s money because she shaves her head and drinks a lot of alcohol when she gets sad.

But Mer, regrettably, does not have a lot of money. And she has a freakish amount of hair that she only rarely brushes, let alone shaves.

Therefore, I have to assert my influence over her via less, um, dramatic ways.

I’m writing her New Year’s resolutions.

Me. Divorced, broke, questionably employed, chronically hungry, mother of two.

Don’t worry, I’ve totally got this.

I learned it from watching her.

Are you ready, Mer? Listen up, girl.

Find and make a home. A real home. Whether it’s by yourself or with your man or with a cute little kitten named Rhett. Find a place you adore and want to stay in for a long time. A place that feels like yours. It has to hold all your important stuff, like your shoes and your books and your random photos. I’d really like to add a caveat about keeping it orderly and clean-ish, but I feel that might make your place less yours, which entirely defeats the purpose.

Do not text and drive. Ever. As your mom says, you need to “concentrate”.

Continue to stay in touch with your body. Exercise, nourish, and strengthen it in the best way you know how. I want you to feel and be healthy for a very long time. It’s not impossible that we’ll be in the same nursing home someday and I want you to stay cute enough to rock a colostomy bag.

Decorate your own Christmas tree. Like a real one, where you go and pick out at least 75% of the decorations and put a lopsided star on top. May I suggest candy canes as decoration?

Get moving on this book we’re supposed to be writing. I look to you to be the leader on this project. Lead by writing, as I’m greatly influenced by peer pressure.

Keep your standards high when it comes to your romantic partnership. I know this whole “grown-up relationship” thing is kind of new to you, but I really think you’re getting the hang of it. I would like to shake you really hard to ensure that you learn from all of my mistakes, but I think this long, drawn-out, whiny way that I communicate about my failed relationship seems pretty effective.

On a somewhat related note; don’t be afraid that you’re going to screw up this whole love story that you and Chris have going on. You’re not. If it gets screwed up, both of you will be able to take a bow. So just . . . be present in your relationship. Recognize where you are emotionally. And please, don’t be afraid to plan ahead for the life you want to have together.

Keep storytelling. It’s a gift you have and it should be shared. Most importantly, make sure to post it on youtube. If I can’t be there, then I need to be able to access it later.

Consider getting a kitten. Like, one you’ve picked out yourself and named after some random fictional character or a TV star from an 80s sitcom.

Self-host your blog. Get legit, girl.

Tap into your insight when it comes to your own emotions. Listen to yourself. Listen for that little tingly noise that sounds when your comfort level has been surpassed. Once you hear it, do something about it. Talk to someone, write it out, sing in the car in your loudest voice. Just don’t stuff it down until it erupts in a flood of tears and incoherence. You’ve got a bunch of people who’ve got your back but we’re only useful when you communicate, even if it’s initially in a series of bumps and false starts.

Leave the country at least once in the year 2012. You’re the type of person who may very well get old and become a homebody who doesn’t drive and eats ¼ cup of raisins for breakfast every morning. You need to travel while you’re still spry and can figure out how to use a bidet and tolerate people with weird accents.

Make a three-year plan for your career. Map out something long-term and realistic, but challenging. It could be writing a novel. Officially becoming a freelancer. Searching the want ads until you find something that you’ll really love. I can’t pretend to guess what would be the absolutely perfect job for you, but I want you to focus on figuring it out. You are so talented and I would like you to be emotionally and financially satisfied by the work you do.

Attend BlogHer’12 with me. I promise you, you will be inspired.

Challenge yourself physically at least once this year. Like, run a 5K. Swim across a small lake by yourself. Go camping without the benefit of an electrical hookup. Something outside of your comfort zone that requires the use of your body.

Acknowledge the fact that you are not some sort of grouchy curmudgeon who believes the worst in people. Yes, you had Drew pegged long before I did. Yes, you are better than me at ejecting people from your life who are toxic. But at the end of the day, you are this loving, positive force to the people around you. Own it. Own it enough to direct it toward yourself.

And lastly, I’m going to save the best for last,and quote your very words back to you. They’re brilliant. Never waste a second of your time or energy on anyone who doesn’t immediately find you hilarious, brilliant, talented, loving and perfect just the way you are.

I love you. Now go kick 2012’s ass.

Tara

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Keys to Sanity May 27, 2011

I moved about two months ago. I went from renting the second bedroom in a two bedroom, one level, condo with a female friend, to renting one of three bedrooms in a town house with a male stranger. It happens.

I like my new place a lot, the room gets lots of natural light, and I can open the windows for fresh air, and I have my own bathroom. The laundry room is right next to my room, so its super easy for me to do this unpleasant chore, but the room is totally insulated so I don’t hear anything when other people do laundry.

My roommate/landlord is pretty chill, although I think he’d like it if I were more social. But I pay my rent on time and leave a rather small footprint across the house, so I figure he’s got little to complain about.

As with any move, I had a lot of things to adjust to: new routines/schedules/habits…you know, the usual.  

For example, in my old place I hung my keys on a hook near the front door. It became a habit really quickly to leave the keys there when I came in, and grab them on my way out. Hardly had to give it any thought at all.

In my new place, I set the keys on top of my dresser in my bedroom. It’s a habit that developed in the early days when the room was a chaos of boxes and random pieces of electronics and I just didn’t want to lose them. Which is to say, it wasn’t a carefully thought out choice about where best to keep my keys when I’m not using them.

One routine that didn’t change was my date nights with Chris. On those nights, I generally go home after work and spend a couple of hours doing chores/getting ready, and then Chris comes to pick me up. Pretty much every time I’ve gone out with Chris, my roommate has been home, and often the front door has been open. In other words, on date nights, I’m neither driving nor locking any doors.

.

On at least four occasions (but possibly more because I’ve stopped counting) I’ve left the house without my keys.

I always realize this oversight in the form of a lightning flash of memory of NOT putting the keys in my purse, just as Chris is turning into my neighborhood at the end of the night. In a panic I grab my purse from where it sits at my feet and shake it, and then start rummaging madly, and fruitlessly, through it.

The first two times this occurred, Chris asked what I was doing. When I said “I don’t have my keys”, he’d mirror my panicked look, and say something to effect of “What are you talking about? How can you not have your keys?! What the hell?”

By the third time, he didn’t ask what I was doing when I grabbed my purse but instead said “Are you kidding? Who leaves the house without keys?!”

Well, me. Clearly.

Duh.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the end of the world. My roommate is always home. I could just bang on the door or call his cell to let me in. This isn’t a situation where I’m going to be sleeping on the sidewalk.

But I really, really don’t want to wake my roommate up to let me in. 

Each time I’ve forgotten my keys, we’ve turned into my street and to my enormous relief found the front door of the house open. 

But then as I’d sit in the car saying goodbye to Chris, I’d become obsessed with the idea that the door could close while we’re sitting there saying (kissing) goodbye.

Which, again, is not the end of the world. To a rational person.

But we’re talking about me here.

So I usually end up offering a rushed “Ihadagreattimetonightthankstalktoyoutomorrow”, going in for a kiss that barely makes contact and then jumping out of the car and speed walking to the front door, and only relaxing when I’m through the door and standing on the landing.

He deserves more than that. We both do.

The whole routine is so ridiculous and traumatic, that after the third time I was sure it would be enough to train me to double-check that I had my keys on future date nights.

And it did.

For about a week.

Last Sunday night we were coming home from my birthday party around 10pm. It had been a great night, at the end of a great week in which Chris had reached new levels of awesome. As we turned into my neighborhood, I immediately knew I didn’t have my keys. As the usual panicked routine set in, I also knew that now the end of the night was about to be ruined and so when Chris offered his usual line: “How can you not have your keys!?” Instead of my normal response of: “I don’t know!!” I started to cry.

There’s clearly way too much emotion involved in this one flakey behavior. I know this. It seems to be the result of a deep-set desire NOT to have to get my roommate to let me in. Which is weird. I know this too.

Maybe its because I don’t want to add another level to the humiliation I already feel at forgetting my keys. Its bad enough Chris has to know about this, I don’t need my roommate to know too.

Maybe my irrational and yet powerful fear that not having my keys means that I WILL be sleeping on the sidewalk, forever, is really just a manifestation of an untapped reservoir of emotion and feelings of insecurity that are a natural by-product of a major life change like a move.

.

I’m pretty sure its the embarassed thing.

.

This week’s date night was to go to Home Depot and get two copies of my house key made. One copy lives in Chris’s car. One key is hidden.

Problem solved.

To quote Chris as I was checking out: “Two copies of your key: $3.26. Peace of Mind: Priceless.”

Indeed.

 

 
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