Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Face Your Fears and Other Less Important Things Like Urine and Jay Z

Still at it! Still trying to find time most weekdays to write, even for an hour or so. And it's been wooooonderful!

Almond Latte'! The coffee is so delicious here, I don't need to add sugar. Yum.


And, the weather has been so fabulous, they even have their garage door "walls" open today! The breeze is perfect. This is my current happy spot. I want to be here!


Finding time to write is one of the big changes that I've instituted in the past month and a half or so. Some people say that it takes three weeks to form a new habit, some say a month. Whatever the case is, I've been very dedicate to making these new changes into new habits!

 I've been want more authenticity in my life. I want to get back to my true self. It was time for change.
The whole intention is to find ways to become the happiest, most productive, least stressed and anxious version of me. That way I can go on to be more mindful and present in everyday life. Because you know what? LIFE IS AMAZING!!!! And I'm so fortunate to have a wonderful little family, and the best friends a girl could ever ask for, and so many other fortunate things. I just want to enjoy them. I just want to look back when I'm 90 and say: "Wow, I lived life to the fullest!"

The first changes I have made have to do with figuring out who I really am. I've been asking this for quite a while, especially since Noah began school full time. I needed a little identity in addition to my full-time gig as a housewife. I searched, I tried new things like volunteering and being a room parent, and putting on a fundraising auction and running a parenting group and being on the board of the PTA and  crocheting and painting and baking and wool felting and photography and birding. 
After all of that, I found that I really enjoy writing on the blog the most!
And so, my "quiet writing hour" came about. Any day that I am able, I make the two block trip to my favorite coffee shop for an almond milk latte', and I write! Double therapeutic, it lets me be creative and it forces me out of the house.

I know that I've touched on it before, other changes I have made to really nurture my needs. It feels selfish to even talk about MY needs, but I'm learning that is truly is, so important. YOU MATTER TOO!
One big change was acknowledging the need for time to focus and get my housework done. It's always sounded a little funny to me, but I'm finally accepting how important this is.
 I fulfilled this need by lightening my volunteer load and by declining social invitations more often.  Basically, I figured out the amount of time required to be satisfyingly productive - and I found my voice to make that happen!

Probably though, THE BIGGEST THING THAT I HAVE DECIDED TO CHANGE IS MY ANXIETY!

I am completely, 100% DONE, FED UP with worry. 
Worry has been the main "theme" of my life for nine years, and it's not who I am ! It's not who I used to be! 
I remember ten years ago, when living in San Francisco, I must have a had a terrible sinus headache for three months straight. Never ONCE did I worry that it was a brain tumor! Never!

The point is, my true life theme is NOT worry. My theme is laugh, or love or WOO HOO! I AM IN THE WORLD!

Time for a change, and I AM going to do it! :)

In a nut shell, the way that all of this silly anxiety snuck up me was.......
A mix of  pregnancy hormones and medical tests and reading WAY TOO MUCH about what could go wrong. Then there were these and totally harmless, normal heart palpitations that started a snowballing effect of fear.
It was the first time in my life that I felt mortal, instead of young and immortal!

Thankfully things were ok until labor and delivery. I ended up with a frightening emergency c-section like many people do, but unfortunately, something went wrong with the epidural on the operating table. Then it was a real emergency. I was all alone, the doctors and nurses were yelling and panicking like I wasn't even there. They yelled frantically above my head to "not let the husband in! Don't let him in!" and something about the risk of seizure. They had to suddenly put me under general anesthesia. I didn't know what was going on, other than something was really really wrong. I just remember saying "goodbye" to the world, I was going to die, and "goodbye" to my baby too.......... 

(Thank God we were ok. I mean, obviously.)

It wasn't easy afterwards though. I was on heavy, post-op medication, I can't really remember the first night and day so well. I missed everything. Everything......... :(
I missed Noah's birth, I missed being with Jon as he met Noah. I missed the start of our family.  I was so out of it.  It was sad....... 

After that, I couldn't help it. Even though my BRAIN said: "Lauren you are FINE. Everything is OK and will be!", my emotions were nothing but worry. Worry, worry, worry that if I wasn't vigilant, something bad might  happen. And worse, that I wouldn't be there for Noah and Jon.

It took seven years before I could tell the story of Noah's birth without tears. (A story which includes so much more, like 21 hours of stupid epidural free-labor at natural birth center in our hospital, and the first epidural that was also put in the wrong place. Ugh.)  It took me seven years to work through it. I still have pockets of time where I feel a little sad that it all went that way that it did, especially when my friends and family have babies and they have these fantastic pictures of being a family for the first time. Something that I have always always dreamed of.....but will never have. 

But, my experience isn't me. It's just a small part of me, and now more than ever,  it's time for a theme change!

While I visit the dentist and eye doctor and the OB and the cardiologist (Don't ask, I am completely normal and fine) and the dermatologist very regularly, and my internist when I'm sick,  I am behind with my basic physical. I can't believe that I've let it go three years! 

Fear I tell you. FEAR is the only thing that has held me back from scheduling a check up. What if they say something isn't normal? What if my blood sugar or cholesterol or white blood cells are elevated? What if!? What if!?

Isn't that stupid!? It's shameful! I'd like to think that I'm a fairly intelligent, level-headed, logically thinking person.  But no matter how much my brain knows that my worries are over-estimated and untrue, my anxiety just seems to butt in. 
 So many "what ifs".

Yesterday I had my very first appointment for a complete physical, at a new practice that I picked out.
It was the culmination of two years of trying to not be afraid. Two years of worry. It was facing my biggest, greatest fears. This was big for me!

Guess what?The staff was AMAZING! They were cheerful and smiley and so so kind. My new doctor was patient and had good answers to my questions. She was knowledgeable and thoughtful. Even the nurse who did my blood draw in the lab, she was fantastic and funny!

The physical went really well. Even though I was having a complete anxiety attack in my mind, and my heart was racing, my blood pressure was good! 123/70. Think how awesome it must be when I'm actually relaxed! :)

Now comes the hard part for me...... for whatever reason lab work holds most of my fears.... If I can just get through the lab work, and everything is ok, I will feel sooooooo much better. My doctor is supposed to call on Monday. Fingers cross, say a prayer, it's all normal. I don't need to be a superstar, I just want to be normal.

I told her that when my labs have been sent home in the past, I over-think them too much, so she was quick to say that she's just call me instead of mailing them, no problem! Isn't that great?

All in all, I'm so so SO glad that I pushed myself the farthest that I could go outside of my comfort zone, to find a new doctor and to go for a check-up!
I came across this saying yesterday morning, as I got ready to leave. It spoke to me more than I could ever say:


Amazing, right? I'm thankful that I ran into this right when I needed it. It was meant to be!
I'm feeling happy right now, but I'm also very nervous about my results on Monday. In the meantime, I look at this for inspiration:


*********************************************************************************
Ok, onward!
Sorry, that deep stuff was kind of long, wasn't it?
 I'll lighten up. Here are a few pictures from the past two days, and what's been going on.


Whaaaa. Feel bad for me! 
(Ok, NO don't. It didn't even hurt.) 
Fiiiine.



 Transitional outfit #3? 

Minus my cropped 3/4 sweater from boden, my usual bag, and my shoes. 
Sorry! I was freaking out, check-up day, forgot a lot, too much on my mind!


"Ruby" Dress - Boden

My shoes could be missing from this photo because I may or may not have possibly, accidentally stepped in what might have been but hopefully was not, my own urine. Possibly. 

Eh hem......And here are my earrings from Anthropologie! (Last year)
This is the thing about Anthropologie; everything eventually goes on sale always.



Yesterday evening was "Back-to-School-Night" at Noah's school. Which, I think must be like curriculum night. We heard a short speech from the Head of School and the Head of the Lower School, and the development office and then walked around campus to see the different "specials" teachers followed by Noah's homeroom.
 (Btw- just so you know, I sat in the front row on purpose for the opening remarks AND I paid attention for the WHOLE time. Which, is a new all-time record for me.) HUZZAH!

While I can't tell you how many different shapes you can make using four toothpicks touching end to end in a linear fashion or at a 90 degree angles, (last night's classroom ice breaker)  I can tell you one thing for sure! The way that I know that Noah's  having a wonderful start to the school year, is by the SMILE on his self-portrait. :)


After Noah came home yesterday because of a "stomach ache", (which may or may not have had to do with a golden marker possible falling onto the glass necklace that he was wearing, and then perhaps mindlessly putting that glass necklace into his mouth later that day, and possibly was then told by a fellow classmate that he would surely start "barfing cat poo" at any moment because of it),
we then went back to school to pick up a friend for a playdate.

Here is my perfect boy as we waited in the parking lot for a while and read. After I told him that I doubt the marker got on his necklace and that no, he would not be "barfing cat poo".
Ummm................



Transitional Outfit #4!
Today is supposed to be about 82 out. Kind of warm! So, I pulled out a wrap dress from last spring, added some flats.

Wrap Dress - Lands End
Flats- Naturalizer last year. (I think DSW)


And here are a pair of earrings form Target that I wore with the dress! I just love these, I wear them all the time and they were under $10!

Ahhhhhhhh! Abnormally small hand! What is wrong with my hand!?

It's not really that small. Weird.

Last but not least, sass it up grrrrl! (I kind of look like an alien, don't I?)
Sunglasses from Target. $12.
Up the sass for less!
(That or just make yourself look kind of lame for only $12.)


WHO SAYS  that you can't fit an ironing board in a Mini Cooper!? Yeah, take that! BOOM!
I have OCI. Obsessive Compulsive Ironing disorder. We all have ironed outfits, every day of the week.
I don't mind ironing, and don't you just feel better when you look crisp and wrinkle free?

Because if OCI, we finally wore out our old iron and our ironing board has been dangerously wobbly and beyond repair for a while. Going to pick out a new iron and ironing board was only the most exciting thing EVER for me! YEEEEEEEESSSSS!


After I left Target and was heading for the grocery store, I thought: "Wow, I must be the only Mom in the country right now, bumping to Jay Z's 'Hard Knock Life'  and sitting next to an ironing board!"
BAD ASS!!!!!





xoxoxox,
Lauren 

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