Monday, July 23, 2012

Mamavation Monday: The Side Effect of Camping

So, I think I told y'all that I was going camping last week. We went and it was fantastic! I was nervous before we went because it'd be the first time for just the three of us. Seriously though, it went awesome. The boys and I had a great time just hanging out, talking, reading and playing cards. Each of the boys got to be in charge of the fire one night and they both cooked their own food. It was fantastic seeing them gain confidence. A year ago, they wouldn't have done anything like that.

There was one side effect though. I actually ate three meals a day. Those of you who have been following along for a while know that this is a big deal. For a while, I went days sometimes without eating. Over time, I've been working on eating again. When we went camping, I had a meal plan and we ate three meals a day, nearly every day. I think one day we skipped lunch because we got a late start.

Now that I'm home, I'm discovering that my body is going huh..that was a good idea. Yay! I still have my moments where I don't want to eat, but they're slowly becoming fewer and further between. On top of that, today I started to clean up/clear out the space where I used to workout. When life became overwhelming, I let that space fall into chaos as well. It's not quite ready for me to get back to work, but it's about halfway there.

Of course, now that things are falling back into place, I'll be leaving home for about 10 days. Yep, that's right. Starting this Friday, I'll be in Phoenix for 10 days! I'm a little bit nervous and a whole lot excited. Instead of rushing places, I'm going to get a chance to sit and just relax with friends. Honestly, I don't do this very often. This is the first time, other than when I go to Canada, that I'll be taking time with friends just for me. It's going to be awesome.

So, my friends, if I'm not here next'll know why! I don't think I'm going to have an internet connection much, if at all, while I'm gone so I probably won't be able to post. However, when I get back, expect a new post and maybe..just maybe...some pictures. I know some of you have been waiting to see the pictures from back in May and rumor has it, they've had to be passed on to a second editor. I'm told that's because of my day glow sunburn and not because I looked wretched. I had considered doing another small shoot when I go out there but we haven't managed to work anything out. Who knows, maybe he'll get a new toy and he'll use me as his guinea pig again.

Until I return...have a great week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Life's a Happy Song

This song will always have meaning to me. It could be because my best friend's name is Walter or that I took my boys to go see the movie it's in and so began their love of The Muppets. It could be any number of things, but at the end of the day, I love this song.

The other night, I was talking to Walter. We were talking about comic book reviews. You see, Walter is an inker in the industry. He's just starting out but already he's done a few books. Back when we were together in Phoenix, he signed one of his books to me :

"To Katrina,
The awesome of awesome. Let life always be a happy song."

I don't know if he knew how much that meant to me or not, but I mentioned the lyrics to this song the other night..Life's a happy song and he pointed out that there's a clause/a caveat on that line..with someone by your side.  It suddenly occurred to me one of the things that has changed for me lately. I no longer see myself as alone in this world.

I told him how that line doesn't have to mean a life partner or anything romantic at all. He's part of what makes my life a happy song. So are my kids and the amazing friends and people that I have surrounded myself with.

It's taken me a long time to realize that the person I need most is me, but that those that walk right along side me are the harmony. They're the rests when I need a break or the fun and silly runs when I need that. Life isn't always easy but it's always a blend of a lot of different notes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Taking Ownership

Only I hold the key to my life.
Do you ever feel as if you have no idea who you are anymore? That's where I've been for the past month or so. When my grandma died, I felt as if one of the very last things holding me to this planet was gone. I wrote last week about my depression and this week might be a branch off of that.

You see, I sat here in tears one night and all I could think was who am I? Almost all my life, I've lived under titles. I was Millie's granddaughter, Peter's wife (or ex-wife), Ben and Roger's mom, but who was I under all of that? I realized that I honestly didn't know. I knew that if I asked those closest to me, I would get a laundry list of adjectives. People would say that I was kind, loyal, funny, smart and a variety of other things. The thing is, that's what people saw me as. Who was I? Who am I?

This led to my 28 days of all about me decision. When I started this part of my journey, I had 28 days left until I went to Phoenix to visit friends. I made the decision and a public declaration (Ok, it was on Facebook.) that for the next 28 days, I wasn't going to take on a single outside project. I would be there for my friends, but to please not approach me asking me for help with anything that would be more than a conversation. For this time period, I would only be doing things for me, my children or our home.

It's been 10 days since I made that decision and in 10 days, I haven't lifted a finger for anyone else. I hope that this doesn't sound selfish but this is really what I needed and those who love me, understand. They know I'm only a phone call, text or im away but for now, I'm not volunteering my time. Do you know what I discovered? When I'm not living my life for everyone else, there is suddenly time for things like cleaning and laundry. There is time for me to read review copies and write my posts. I discovered that I really do love to learn and so I started studying Irish again. Not only that, but I'm reading an autobiography.

Do you know what else I've done? I've stood up for myself. It made me laugh when two of my friends actually cheered for me when I did this, but suddenly I realized how much I've let my fear of being alone affect how I sometimes allow people to treat me. So, the other night when someone implied that I was a bad person or more accurately that I was doing something morally wrong with my life, I reacted differently. I will admit that for a couple of hours I felt really bad, but then something happened. I got angry. I got angry and I said no. I am not a bad person. I am smart and kind and nice and a good person. I got angry and I said that if people honestly couldn't handle how I live my life, they can choose to not be a part of my life. I stood up for me.

This is good. This is me discovering that deep down, I honestly believe that I'm worthy of being treated right. I'm worthy of being treated right not only by those that I allow in my life (discovery moment: I get to choose!) but also by myself. A friend joked a couple of weeks ago about getting me drunk and having I Am Important tattoed on my forehead. I said you'd add the words to others in there, right? He said no because it's more important that you be important to yourself. He's right. I need to matter to me. So, as another friend told me..This is more than a path of self-discovery. This is you learning to take ownership of your own life.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Support

Wow. According to the clicker, which knows these things, I haven't posted here in a month. I seriously didn't think it had been that long. I guess life came along, scooped me up and before I knew it, time had flown by.  It's late in the day for a Mamavation post but here I am anyway because it's never too late to get, ask for or offer support.

Over the past couple of weeks, some people may have noticed that I haven't been my usual sunshiney self. I was having a really hard time finding the good in most anything and that's really not like me. It wasn't until one of my children asked me why it was that I no longer came downstairs that it clicked with me. While I had been fooling myself that I was happy on the outside, on the inside, I had fallen into the dark arms of depression. I was doing the minimum for getting through each day.

Thank goodness for kids who don't even realize what they're saying sometimes. It was that wake up call that said woah, hang on here. What are you doing? It was that wake up call that led me to reaching out to some of my closest friends and it was knowing that they were out there if I ever needed anyone that helped lead me back into the sunshiney place. It was a really rough week though and it led me to do some looking at myself and figuring out how I can help me and be a better mom to my boys.

For those that don't know, I'm headed back to Phoenix in a mere 26 days. Phoenix is a city that has chewed me up and spit me out more than once and yet, I keep going back. This trip..well, I'm hoping that the 3rd time is the charm and I don't come home in tears again. The purpose of the trip is no more than a vacation. Yep, that's right. For the first time ever, I'm going on vacation all by myself. Eric, who some of you may remember as "my" photographer and one of my closest friends, has agreed to put up with me for a week. This is going to be good for me. Eric will take care of me. If nothing else, he will ensure that I eat. Eating is still a struggle for me but it's one that I'm working on and Eric won't take excuses for why I'm not eating.

Plus, Eric is Mr Popularity. The man is everything socially I never have been..or maybe what I've never allowed myself to be. He's part of the contingent that tells me how much people love me so he might back me in believing that socially perhaps it's been me that's held me back. After all, how can people invite me to do things if they don't know that I exist out here in the middle of nowhere? It might be time to start easing back into circulation. Anyway, the point of me saying he was all popular was the thought that I don't see him letting me just sit in my comfort zone while I'm there. I highly suspect, if we can get transportation, that he'll have me out and about doing things.

Both of those things will be a great help to my mentality and my mindset. Lately, I've been thinking that I need to get back into getting healthy. It's one of those things that when I fall into a depression falls by the way side and it becomes a vicious cycle. However, I did it before and I can do it again. While I've gained back some of the weight that I lost, I haven't by any means gained back all of it. I started out this journey at the low end of a 28 and I'm still a 24. I have the tools and I have the support. I just have to reach out and ask for it.

I have been so amazingly blessed in my life, especially over the past 6 months or so. I've made some incredible friends who hold me up when I'm down and celebrate my successes with me when they come along. They've encouraged me in my writing and they've spent hours listening to me when I just needed an ear. They're helping me get over my fears. I'm a very lucky girl and I can do anything. I just have to believe in myself to try. After all, I didn't become a reviewer by waiting for people to come to me. I had to open the door and go to the people. I won't get anywhere waiting for life to happen to me. I have to make life happen and with the support and love of my friends, I can do that. I don't have to live in a cave..not when there's a whole shiney world out there waiting for me..and y'all know how much I love shinies.

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