December 30, 2009

Christmas has come and gone, and now all that remains is New Year's which I will be spending alone. Don't cry for me; I am beyond excited. My husband is taking the kids to his parents for three days tomorrow and I intend to do ABSOLUTELY nothing while they are gone. I may not even get out of bed, just turn over a few times to prevent evil bed sores.

Regarding my perpetual attempt at weight loss, I am still without a tape measure and a scale. I swear. Although, I am sure if I stepped on one right now I would probably scream. Who loses weight over Christmas? Not this gal. If you do, congrats, you have more will power than me. But, I will get back on my horse and keep trying and eventually I will be rewarded--I hope. Plus, I will have my physical fitness test with the military in the spring and need to start running again to make sure I do well enough to pass. 

I hope everyone passed a wonderful holiday and that you will have an equally happy New Year. 

December 24, 2009

A Frozen Woman by Annie Ernaux

I usually write a short note on the side of my blog for my thoughts on books that I have read, but this book deserves some discussion. This book touched me because I could relate to it on such an emotional level and it helped me discover I am not alone in the world when it comes to having complete feelings of inadequacies and guilt as a mother who wants more to life than being a mother and a wife.

When my son was born I had no idea what to do with a baby, let alone a baby boy. My husband left for Europe when my son was one month old and I was all alone for two and a half months. I had never taken an interest in children and rarely babysat as a child; I just didn't enjoy children. I would like to have been able to say that I instantly felt maternal when he was born, but I didn't. The adjustment from being a young married woman who was able to do what she wanted when she wanted to, to a mother raising her child alone while her husband was at sea was incredibly daunting. I began to resent my child and hated myself for doing so. I kept these thoughts to myself and even edited my words with my doctor (for fear of what she would think of me) before I was put on medication for post-partum depression.

The medication made me feel better, and the thought that whatever I was lacking was just hormonal made me feel much better about myself as well. But what if it wasn't post-partum? What if it wasn't chemical? What if I lack a gene that makes me maternal and makes me want to live for my children? Looking back I wonder if I ever had post-partum. I am beginning to think that I am just not like all the other mothers in the world who are completely content with living their lives for their families. I can't do it. It is just not in me. Maybe I am selfish. No, I know I am selfish. But if I try to keep it to myself and act like I think I should, I might go insane.

I stopped taking medication shortly before becoming pregnant with my second child. The trapped feeling I felt with my first did not occur with my second. I think this was because she was hospitalized shortly after she was born and this devastated me. I felt so fortunate that she ended up being ok that I was almost jarred into feeling maternal. But my need for me-time came back hard and fast.

For almost five years I have cleaned the house, worked, gone to school, made meals, grocery shopped, paid the bills and reared my children and I have left very little for myself. I do not take anything away from my husband. I have been very fortunate to have a husband who helps me as much as he does, though he is messier than both my kids put together.

Last year I hit the breaking point. Me won out. I began reading obsessively and writing and venturing into a world outside of my family. I love it there, but the guilt is tremendous. It also coincided with me joining the Regular Force military and returning to school to take nursing.

Almost everyone I know are model mothers. They play, they do crafts, take their kids everywhere, etc... I feel like I had no business having children and that I don't measure up. My mother told me how selfish I was for returning to school and how my family has to come first. This is true, but what is wrong with wanting more? What is wrong with being Sara and not Jane's mother or John's wife?

A Frozen Woman is about a woman growing from childhood into adulthood and her struggle to conform with the traditional roles of a wife and mother, and how hollow she feels trying to stifle herself into fitting in with this convention. I loved this book because I know I am not alone and that living for yourself as well as your family does not make you horrible, just challenged. It does not mean you love your children any less, even it others might make this assumption.

December 17, 2009

The Men's Room

So I went to see New Moon today--again. I won't admit to how many times I have seen it. I have a bit of an obsessive personality. I find the Twilight series magical. After sucking back a medium drink, I went to the bathroom and didn't realize I was in the men's until I ran into a man after coming out of the stall. Color me pink! What do you say to that? I stumbled and muttered the only thing I could manage, "Is this the men's restroom?" And then we both proceeded to the entrance to check the sign above the door. I was wrong--of course. I can't say I have done that before. Gone into the wrong restroom, sure. Peed in the the wrong restroom, no. And I didn't even notice the urinals. I think I am seriously losing it.

December 12, 2009

Three Weeks of Glorious Vacation

My first term of my second year in nursing is finally over. I went into my exams with A's and with probably end up with B's following three disastrous exams. I mean HUGE! On the bright side, I am confident I passed the term, but it is pretty damn disappointing to do well all term and then drop a letter grade on account of some crazy-ass exams.

Deep breath. It's over and I can spend the next three glorious weeks reading and writing. Did I mention Scrivener is awesome? I played just a little bit this week in between studying. It is such a little piece of heaven and I haven't gone through all the tutorials yet. Buying a Mac for a 35$ program is hardly economically savvy, but I am not perfect and writing is my soul food so I had tobitch slap my financial conscience and say yes to a Mac, and I am glad I did.

In addition to my not so financially smart purchase, I have also been buying books like they are going out of style and have no clue what to read next. I would like to start my top 100 hundred list in the New Year after I have read the books that cannot fit on my bookcases and have taken root on the wall shelf in my bedroom. The cup have spilleth over, all right. There was a time when I used to put trinkets and picture frames on my bookcase, but that was short lived.

So for now I am thinking I will read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I have read some pretty mixed reviews on it but I am thinking it is right up my alley. I will let you know.

As for the weekly weigh in, it isn't happening this week. My scale is broke, my tape measure is still lost and exams have not been kind to my waist line. I don't need a scale to tell me my ass has gotten bigger this week. But I am still committed and will get back on my horse tomorrow. I hate that losing weight is so constant. You can't ever seem to really break from it because you end up right back where you started.

December 08, 2009

The Definition of Clean

So I am at school yesterday and I call my husband and ask him to clean the bathroom; it really needs to be done and he was off. He says sure because he just got a parking ticket and is trying to smooth things over. I get home and I ask him if he cleaned the downstairs bathroom and he says, "Yep, I just have to scrub." Uh huh. I ask you for a moment to interpret this cryptic response.

Could it mean that he has indeed cleaned the bathroom but has not done the floors which I said HAD to be done above all else? Could it mean he hasn't scrubbed the toilet? I don't know. So last night when I go down to the bathroom I get my answer loud and clear. It means he has not scrubbed the toilet, he has not scrubbed the bathtub, he has not scrubbed the sink or the counter and he has not scrubbed the floor. He has   only picked up anything on the floor. Right. So essentially he has not cleaned the bathroom.

Is it so hard to help around the house? And give me a straight answer if I ask him if he did?

December 06, 2009

Pimp my novel

Last week I was cruising one of my favourite author's website and read that she thought Scrivener was amazing. With my curiosity peaked, I googled it. Scrivener is indeed amazing. I got goosebumps going through its tutorial, and the words "pimp my novel" came to mind.

The only problem with the program is that it can only be used on Mac computers, and I am not a fan of Mac. I hummed and I hawed for about two or three days and then convinced my husband that he needed to get me a Mac for Christmas and that he wouldn't regret the costly purchase when I am a published author (I can dream, can't I). So yesterday he went out and got it for me.

AND I LOVE SCRIVENER. You should really check it out. The other programs that they say are comparable to Scrivener--that can be used with windows--are adequate but it's like comparing a Lada to a VW. There is no comparison. If you don't know what a Lada is, then this is probably confirmation of how extra-ordinary they really are not. My parents bought an ungodly puke green one when I was in high school and I was teased--mercilessly.

I probably should have waited for Xmas though. I have three exams this week and a whole lot of discovering to do with this little-piece-of-heaven-software.

So, until next time.

December 01, 2009

Distracted by the Twilight Saga

I just can't seem to get my ass in gear today. My kids are at daycare, the dog is asleep, the hubby is still away and I can' finally relax. But then again, I have a pathophysiology test and a practical nursing exam tomorrow. Am I studying? Absolutely not. Well, in between commercials maybe.

I don't watch a lot of t.v. anymore--there are exceptions of course. But today I just don't want to do a damn thing. Plus, I am a bit distracted. I went to see New Moon for the second time yesterday (I should have been studying yesterday too). The Twilight Saga tends to get me daydreaming.

I know most people will say they prefer New Moon to Twilight but I can't say I feel the same. New Moon was good, don't get me wrong, but it just didn't have the same effect on me as Twilight did. Let me explain. I used to watch a lot of t.v. and rarely read. Then comes along the Twilight movie. The trailer looked interesting so I went to see it on its opening day and I fell in love. I picked up New Moon book because I wanted to see what happened next, then moved on to Eclipse and finally, Breaking Dawn. These books sparked something in me that I haven't felt in a very long time and I have been reading fanatically ever since. I also started writing again, something I hadn't done since I was a kid.

Some people don't like the books and this is fine--to each his own. But for me it was like a first love, something I won't ever completely get over and will absolutely never forget. So if you haven't read the books I strongly encourage you to do so. They were life-altering for me.

So will I return to studying? I certainly hope so, but the odds aren’t good. I’d rather be writing.