You Know What It's Like

Unbelievable! Everyday happenings!

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Who’s That Stranger Looking At Me? (a reality pill worth swallowing)

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am really not that young anymore.  I am not saying I am old, in fact I can never complain about age in my family because I am the youngest of four. My oldest sister being ten years my senior!  Ha, ha, my senior now she would think I was calling her old.  Even my husband is older than my oldest sister so, well I can’t really complain about it to him either!  Everybody else hit their “milestone” birthdays before me so when I turned 30 and 40 well the best they could do is to remind me how much younger I am then they, so quit bitching!

One time I was the “young associate” in the office!  Later I was the” young bride”, ah newly wed!  Eventually I was the “young mother”, love those darlings! Thankfully, I will always be my Mom’s youngest daughter, her baby!  When I was a child she always introduced me in this way “and here is my baby, Jane”, oh I hated it back then, but have grown to love it very much!  Thank you Mom, you forever make me young.

But back to this pondering, how did I get to this reflection in my bathroom mirror?  The things I saw happening maybe five years ago, i.e. a little crease between my brows, a couple extra pounds (oh I can’t eat whatever I want anymore), and an ache here and there.  I think I should have been happier then because now it is five years later and that crease, well it is deeper, the couple of extra pounds are probably ten, some of the aches and pains don’t go away after moving around anymore. And what is this, a frown line now too?  You may have noticed I didn’t mention grey hair and that is only because I inherited my premature greying from my Mom and have been coloring my hair for a good twenty years (shhh).

When I was in my 20’s – 40’s I wasn’t happy with how I looked, I wanted to  be in better shape.  Although I worked out regularly I never got to “the look” that I thought would make me more acceptable. More, happy.  Well you know what? I wish I looked half as good as I looked then, why was I all in a dither?   Why didn’t I enjoy my svelte figure more?

There were other things, I despised my teeth I had a gap, my weak chin, my one eye seemed to be smaller than the other, my ears, my complexion the list could go on and on. I am starting to understand how unrealistically I viewed myself.  Truly I am an attractive enough person and am pretty sure people don’t view me the same way that I view myself.

I am going to try and make a conscious effort to like who I am “now” because in a few years I will have changed in ways I don’t even know yet.  So I have a few more wrinkles, weigh a couple of extra pounds, and have an ache or pain and you know I am going to embrace this and enjoy the physical me that I have become.  I have wasted too many days “becoming”, only to find out that I can’t get to whatever that “ideal” is and then missing out on enjoying the moment.

So I am not giving into aging just embracing it.  I will continue to work out (so what if the body needs and extra day to recover) that pain simply means I’ve done something and something is better than nothing!  Eat healthy, move around, quit judging myself by unrealistic standards. Start giving myself a reality check about expectations.

Okay, so this will be a challenge, it is hard to change a very ingrained thought pattern.  However, now that I can look at it and maybe see it for what it is I can remind myself as often as needed to stay realistic.  Live in the moment and quit thinking “when I get to this or that” I will be…. I think I will just be now! If you are curious my birthday is in February and I will be 45.  See, I told you, I really am not “that young” and I am really not “that old” either.  🙂

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

“Man Charged With Sexual Assault of Young Girl”

I know this is a harsh title but it is how my day began today.

“What? No not this, not this family!”  Dumbfounded, that really is all you can feel when you read that a man who you know, in fact you know the whole family has committed the unthinkable!

I first meant this family about four and a half years ago.  The sudden parents of eight kids ranging from six months to about 15 years. A young couple who discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own had decided to adopt a whole family, an almost unheard of feat. The adoption was unusual because of the number of children, because it crossed state lines, and because all of the children have some “damage” from their past,  both physical and mental difficulties.

It was through an educational situation that I was introduced to this family.  They wanted there youngest to have a good preschool experience.  That coupled with the fact that my agency has a lot of connections to help families with a plethora of needs is how we ended up having a close relationship with them.  We supported them through their year-long adoption process, various health problems, and assessments, lost jobs and financial difficulties.  We celebrated their final paper signing, four years of birthdays, educational and emotional milestones with them.

This man this “father” not just accused of sexual assault, but also admitting to it. The details are not known yet.  Was it one of his own, a neighbor, someone from their church?  I don’t know.  The paper stated that “after the act he apologized to the girl and then they prayed about it so it wouldn’t happen again.” But obviously it did “happen again”.  How could it happen once, let alone again?

I understand that you can’t possibly pick out the depraved, simply by their looks, and yet,” not this, and not this family”.  That is all that I kept thinking this has sickened me so.  These children who needed stability, love and a second chance left with what, an even worse view of the world, even more mistrust of the people who should love them, protect them?  Why, why, why?

How can someone take the innocence of a child in this way? Could there be any greater sin? Could there be any sicker individual? Why couldn’t we have seen something? Done something? My eyes have wept many tears of sorrow in the past few days and my heart is heavy with sadness…

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Daylight Saving And A Day Late!

Okay, so it was daylight saving in my piece of the world technically until Sunday morning! So Fall back not Spring ahead. Yes, check, got that right. I even set all of my clocks the evening before so I could fool myself into thinking that there had been no time change.

I know you are thinking, well an extra hour of sleep or an extra hour in the day. Well it sounds good on paper but it leaves me tired and out of it for a few days. Plus the sun is a bit different and I don’t know it just doesn’t do this body good.

I took my usual steps of planning and things went off with out a hitch! Yay! Not so fast, actually for some reason my alarm clock decided to make its own adjustment back by one hour but instead of it being at 2:00 am Sunday I guess it was 2:00 am on Monday! So that’s right, I got up one hour late on Monday morning, for pete’s sake, and since I am the family alarm clock,so did everyone else in the household!

Yikes! And on a Monday morning so yes, it was one big rush and I have been extremely tired ever since. It would be nice just to follow this standard time all year-round!

Thanks to technology i.e.(the clock being able to fall back itself) I was nearly late to work! Since technology is fallable i.e. (the clock falling back a day too late) well I am a little scarred. Drat you technology, please don’t fail me again, I depend on you way too much!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Oh Friday How I Love Thee! (even more this week)

Friday, oh how I love thee!  That is definitely how I am feeling today.  Fridays are always good because currently I have Friday to myself and can catch up around the homestead, run some errands and perhaps squander some time blogging.

The arrival of Friday was a bit sweeter this week because it has just been one of those frustrating weeks that you keep repeating to yourself, “What? Really?”.  Oh well now is now and I hope to have time to finish this blog before the rest of my family arrives home.

Sunday – Woke up to so much neck pain.  Now, I would like to say that it was just due to plain old hard labor, but no, just the restless nights of a worrier!  Well that is swell isn’t it?  No one to blame but myself. However,  I do have some things to be concerned with i.e. soon to be unemployed, I am well aware that worrying doesn’t do a lick of good. Coupled with that, I haven’t been running and working out like I should to help with the stress, well there you have it, sore neck and back and it’s my own fault! Hmmm….

Monday – Upon arriving home from work  I was trying to get a handle on the weekend clutter and nurse my sore neck, when a LOUD alarm sounded in my house! I knew that it wasn’t the fire alarm and was horrified to discovered it was my CO detector.  Then I saw the number.  What? 250 plus, I tried resetting it, opened a few windows, and checked our pet cats. Things seemed fine but it warranted a call to the local fire station to have them come and check out the levels for us.

By the time they arrived which really wasn’t more than 10 minutes I was convinced that, maybe I was showing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.  I was tired, my head did hurt, and was I slightly dizzy now too!!  The cats, well um, they are sleeping.  I wonder if they shouldn’t be awake? Of course they do sleep 23 of 24 hours so it’s hard to know.  Well, in  the end it was all alright no CO was present, I wasn’t really exhibiting any signs for anything other then paranoia and well the cats, they speak for themselves.  Time to replace the CO detector! Whew! (dodged a bullet there) We took care of that on Tuesday.

Tuesday and Wednesday – Come home from work , hot compresses, cold compresses, light a lavender candle, try to relax! Oh, what a pain in the neck! Listened to the umpteenth night of horrible screaming noises in the neighborhood.  Not human, but something blood curdling!

Thursday – Well my neck was feeling better.  I promised myself to run on Friday to relieve stress and stave off future neck and back problems.  It was my Friday, so to speak, on Thursday so that felt good until that phone call from my Mom.  “Just wanted to let you know that there have been three sightings of a cougar out in your neighborhood.”   What? Is that what all that awful screaming has been?  My conclusion is, yes I believe that to be the truth.  So it doesn’t look like I am going to be running anywhere by my house on Friday.  Err! And to top of the evening, I discovered I had lost one of my earrings that a dear friend had given me as a gift.  I looked in vain and found nothing.  Oh, dear.  Well at least tomorrow is Friday.

Friday – I really was going to back out of my plan to run today because well I was in no mood for tangle with an angry cougar.  But in the end I decided to drive about five miles out and then run in the opposite direction and was able to put in three miles.  It was decent I think I even ran faster.  They say cougars can have a several mile radius so that alone put extra pep in my step!  Later while vacuuming I saw, my earring!  Now it would be a nice way to end this, saying I picked it up and reunited it with its mate.  Yes that would be nice, but in reality, I saw it just as I was pushing the vacuum over it.  It was instantaneous, hey there’s my earring! Nooooooooooooo!!! I just couldn’t stop in time!  But I did fish it out of the bag somehow.  It is definitely worse for wear though and it looks like that will be a weekend project.

But I survived until Friday and things are looking up!  I will be reading and replying to my blogging friends in the morning! Cheers!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane


Tell Me Something Good…….

I was thinking how after you get to know someone, you don’t really see them any longer. You may wake up to them everyday, send them off to school, or work with them but you don’t necessarily look at them.

When visiting with my daughter, Mariah, after she worked last night I asked her about her boyfriend, MJ, and what he was up to in school. She smiled and said “well he said I looked pretty today, and after that I really don’t know what was going on with the day.” I thought this was sweet he had made her day by reminding her that he thought she was pretty!

So, I challenge myself and anybody else reading this to take the time to look at your friends, spouse, family and tell them something nice. Really look and make them know that you actually saw them today!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

The Story of Feelings

The name of this blog is actually the name of a book by Laurie Berkner.  It is a children’s book that talks about feelings and gives children a description of what they may be feeling, when I cry I am sad and crying makes me feel better.  Laughing makes me feel better, when I am happy, yelling when I am angry is okay and makes me feel better.

I am fortunate to work with preschoolers on a daily basis!  I know some of you will find it hard to believe that I truly adore these three to five-year olds so much.  There is probably not an age that is nearly this honest, this inquisitive,  or this innocent in so many ways.  Trust me I have meant a few kiddos who seem to be a bit too precocious for their wee years, yet even in that, it is usually due to exposure out of their control and I feel that still spotlights their innocence in the matter.

The Story of Feelings is a book that we use in our classroom along with a cd that has an awesome calming song that soothes even our toughest three-foot clients.  Today while singing along to this with the children it spurned me on to think of how disingenuous we become as adults about our true feelings.  It is funny because when we are children we are taught the importance of honesty.  If you lie you are probably a bad child, you will have some unpleasant consequences, maybe you will even go to a bad place. But, little Johnny or Suzie, “honesty is the best policy”. Really?  Of course, we don’t want our children to be anything but truthful. Really?

“Young children can be blatantly honest. With statements and questions such as these. ” They are reallllly old!” “You can’t sing!” “They look like this >.< (furrows eyebrows)  and so I don’t want to play with them!” “Your skin is black.” “They are a boy/girl and I don’t want to play with them!””You’ve got a big butt!””They are a boy so they have a penis, right?” “I don’t like you.” “You look wrong.” You have this or that or you don’t have this or that.  So many honest comments.

In time,  kids discover that you can’t really be honest about things, least of all your feelings.  Of course we all need to teach our children the social graces of when it is okay to say things or ask things. But it isn’t long before we teach them to stifle how they feel as well.  Have you ever seen someone punish their child and then tell them  not to cry about it? Wow!

In our classroom we discuss feelings a lot.  A daily question is “how are you feeling today?” Well how do you answer that question?  Nine times out of ten you say “fine”. That is the prescribed answer isn’t it?  That is what we say and that is what people hope to hear because then they can say they are fine too and move on with their day. We all do it, our children hear it.  They learn it.  So our children become conditioned to answer in the same manner. “I am fine.”

This is so ingrained that I don’t know how much we can change, but I do think that I am going to make a conscious effort to think before I answer this question the next time I am asked it.  Well at the very least maybe I can come up with a different adjective that means fine. It sound like this, “Hi, how are you?” ” Satisfactory, thank you.”

Okay my writing is digressing, my teenage daughters are discussing their day and well, I don’t want to miss out.  Maybe I will ask them how they are and see what they answer!   Also I will try to link the “feeling song” before I post this.

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

The Significance of Today……

Today is my Mom’s 73rd birthday! Mom has always been lively, a caretaker,  supportive,  hardworking, a sounding board, an advice giver, a friend, and my biggest fan. I would classify her as an “energizer bunny” of sorts.  She could work circles around people half her age.  The one thing that I have never considered? She’s aging!

Recently, she has had a few health problems.  The “c” word which seems to touch all of us in some way, errr!  Yet, it was skin cancer, treatable, thankfully.  But now I have thought more about her age, more about her mortality!  She has too, I guess, because she has made plans now for those moments that may come when she can’t care for herself.   She has transferred the house into my brother’s and my name.  My name is on her bank accounts and we have been informed  of where “important” papers can be found if we need them.  She has a paid burial plot.

These are all important, good things to have in order.  I know that she feels better planning ahead, yet I have a feeling of dread facing these things.  I have been fortunate to have a Mom who has been there for me and supported me.  Being a mom my self  I now know that I haven’t been as appreciative as I could be for all that she has done for me.

I know part of the concern is that I have to face the fact…. I am going through the aging process too!  Now I say things like, “well when Mom was my age she had already been married for 25 years and was divorced by now”.  “Mom was a grandma when she was my age”.

She raised my brother and myself basically alone on a waitress’ wage.  I knew when things were tough, but I don’t know if I really knew.  What was it  like to live with an alcoholic for all those years and eventually face her own addiction problems?  How did she manage and still be there for us?

I hope that in some way I can be a testament to Mom and her sacrifices.  I will strive to carry out her wishes, whatever they are, in hopes of paying back some of what she has done for me.  Hopefully, I can love my children as unconditionally as she has loved me, even when it was difficult! I will work towards having that boundless energy,  compassionate heart, and her capacity to gain strength through adversity.

She may be preparing for the next step in life but I won’t let her go anytime too soon.  I still look forward to many days ahead!  There are life lessons I have yet to learn from her and I plan on being a good student, a better student then I have been, up to this point.  Cheers, to making the most of every moment!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane







Randomly Passing My Cat On the Stairs!

I was lying awake thinking of what to blog about today, well that may be an understatement.  Okay, so I was trying really, really in earnest to turn my mind off, quiet my thoughts and get some shut-eye, but it just wasn’t happening so here I am. Thankfully my trusty felines, followed me to the kitchen for their daily routine of breakfast coupled with a few ear I scratches and tail rubs.

At this moment we have our eleven year old black, domestic short-haired name, Friday.  Yes, he is no doubt enjoying the fact that his  holiday is fast approaching and he can perch in the window in a very Halloweenesque fashion, occasionally treating the costume wearing audience to a brief back arch silhouette.  Ah yes, a moment of glory for a pampered pet.  He is a kind docile old sort.  On most days after breakfast he enjoys trying to prevent my oldest from getting up for school with his warm inviting purrs and slightly overweight body!  Cat oddities for Friday?  Well he would just as soon run to the kitchen and eat cucumbers then for an open can of tuna and he likes to carefully “wet” his dry cat food in his water before eating it.  Truly, he takes one small piece of food in his mouth and carefully deposits it in his water bowl then uses his paw to scoop it out and eat it!  Yes, off of his scooped paw!  I may have to take a video of this and post it on here. Oh what my cat will do to attempt to make his dry food wet! I guess when he is out of his “stash” of wet this must be his cheap drug of choice!

And then we have our Chester who is six.  He has a classic tiger-striped forehead, white paws and a white-collar.  Our vet healthcare staff always rave about his beautiful markings.  Funny because as lovely as he looks he can get the most ugly appearance.  His eyes can go from slits to enormous in a nano second!  It reminds me of Puss in Boots from Shrek and it is a little creepy.  But he too is a good cat!  He is my foot warmer at night, my lap cat  when I am trying to blog or quite frankly doing any computer work.  His peculiarities?  He enjoys chewing on any plastic bags, well okay that is wrong he typically chews on the better quality bag, not a grocery store type, but a real good Ziploc storage bag.  Now that he can dig his teeth into.  I have found bags that I thought were out of sight literally deemed barely recognizable any longer.  He doesn’t eat them he just pokes holes in them, they end up appearing like they were shot with a cat-sized automatic assault weapon. Chester also is the house “welcome wagon” and will come running even out of the deepest sleep to welcome us and also our visitors.

So randomly passing your cat on the stairs, well I don’t know why but this strikes me funny every time. I typically use my basement stairs dozens of times during the day and Friday and Chester’s  litter boxes are downstairs so at least several times a week we pass each other on the stairs!  We don’t make any exchanges, no cuddling, petting or “speaking”, just passing each other. We each have a mission at the time that doesn’t involve the other in any way. It is a reminder to me that we are “not alone”.  We actually have fur covered critters that share our whole house with us all day, every day, good days, bad days, just everyday living, they are there experiencing it in their own way. Yes this makes me smile!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

You Know What It’s Like…

So this is just a quick rant because ever since I named my blog it has haunted me that I couldn’t use an apostrophe in its (it’s).  I know it should be there but I couldn’t use symbols etc. when choosing a name.  Yikes! My family would all be hating on me about this.  So I suppose the only way I will be able to live with this, because I do like the title of my blog, is maybe to end each blog with the correct punctuation. This will have to make it all well in the world of grammar and punctuation nazi’s! haha

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Living Life In A Rearview Mirror!?!

You know how you casually glance at your rearview mirror when you are driving? It’s automatic!  We are on auto-pilot until something shakes us into reality.  That is exactly what happened to me about three months ago.

This was a small fender bender.  One minute I was in heavy traffic approaching a stoplight , then as I made the ritual glance in my rearview mirror, I was awaken to the reality that the car approaching me would not be stopping until it engaged my back bumper!  For the most part besides waiting in the rain for 45 mins for the police to show up, this was a pretty hassle-free “bump” in my day. My teenage daughter and I were not hurt, the young female offender was not hurt and the damage to my vehicle was minor.  So yay!

However, now I seem to be panicked every time I approach a stoplight.  I am definitely overly concerned wondering if the person behind me will have the brains to use their brakes correctly!   I am constantly glancing in my mirror, so often now I have actually had to slam on my own brakes.  I call this an overabundance of caution.

Since I have come to face my slight obsession with my rearview, I have had the realization that as adults I think we often live with too much of a rearview.  Keeping our eyes on our past and letting that steer us, driving us on only familiar paths.  When we were children and teenagers we were interested in looking out the windshield, taking in everything as it came into view.  Maybe making a side glance here and there but then eagerly awaiting what was on the horizon.  This may have been a bit whimsical, maybe a little thrill seeking but it seemed to be the zest of life!

If we look back too much we may miss what is in front of us.   As adults we may always make that extra glance.  After all, we have valuable wisdom we can refer to that we have gained through our experiences.  But now I am willing to put my eyes back on the roadway going forward. I am going to step out of my “overabundance of caution”.  I will quit obsessing about what is behind me, reclaiming a little whimsy or possibly even some thrill seeking while pursuing that which is in front of me!  Let’s go!

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