Can I get a Representative?

I recently read Glennon Doyle Melton’s book, Love Warrior.   Oh my gosh – if you have a chance, read it. I loved so many things about it, highlighted so many passages. It spoke to me in so many ways. But one thing that stuck with me most is when she talks about sending her Representative out into the world…not her real self, but who she needed to be in order to be perfect and admired. Yep, I’ll wait. Go read it again. The quote is: “…we can choose to be perfect and admired or to be real and loved.  We must decide. If we choose to be perfect and admired, we must send our representatives out to live our lives.  If we choose to be real and loved, we must send out our true, tender selves.”  There’s risk of being hurt when we are our real selves, but “There is pain in hiding”.  (Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior, pg 225)

I spent much of my childhood, teenage years, and most of my 20’s sending my representative out there. Why? Because I didn’t really like my real self much. I truly believed she wasn’t good enough. My true self was messed up, sad, imperfect, terrified. She didn’t feel worthy of like, much less love. She was afraid of being hurt, afraid of being seen as anything less than having it completely together. That real scared self hangs around even to this day. And yes, sometimes my representative gets sent out into the world when I am scared, intimidated, full of anxiety, or really feeling less-than.

We all put faces on. Sometimes we do have to “fake it til we make it.” There’s no harm in that. Sometimes, we have to be who we want to be until we are that person. But when we are faking our entire person so that others will see us a certain way, we are not only selling ourselves short, we are being unfair to those around us. We are, in a sense, saying we don’t trust them enough with who we are really are, don’t trust they will accept us just as we are, mess and all.

How many times have you met someone who seemed perfect, and it actually turned you off? Yeah, that. I’m always SO intimidated by perfect people. They make me feel less. But after I read this book, I started to wonder how many of those “perfect” people I’ve met are really representatives? How many people do you know who truly have it that together? Just food for thought.

I’m trying to be more mindful of being my true self, particularly with teenagers in my house. They need to know this is a safe place to set their representatives aside, and be who they really are – that their true selves are good enough, accepted, loved deeply. With that practice at home (hopefully), they can gain enough confidence to send their real selves out into the outside world. They will get hurt sometimes. That’s just life, and the risk you take when dealing with other people. But you are good enough – you, just you.

Friday Favorites #22

I’m going to start making up a number for whatever Friday Favorite this is. I can never remember, and I’m too lazy to look it up every time. Hey – novel idea…maybe I’ll just use the date. Duh. That would have been easier right out of the gate, right?

First, I have to say “Thank you” for all the kind words of support you gave me yesterday. Today has been better, much  less emotional and much more rational.  The pain is less. The lump is the same. My mental state is about 1000% better.  It helps to be surrounded by beautiful family and an amazing community of friends who have all reached out.

Baseball is back on my television, which makes me oh so happy. I don’t recognize many of the names after the first couple of innings, but it brings an inner peace just to hear the crack of the bat, the ball hitting the glove, the umpire’s calls, the sound of vendors selling popcorn and peanuts in the background.

How was your week? What are the exciting weekend plans? Anyone on Spring Break already? We have two more weeks of school. Between work, dance, follow up appointments, golf, and school activities, it’s going to be a race to the finish line.

Here’s the list of today’s favorites…

  • Do you love the library? Or would it matter to you if libraries closed? I used to love the library when I was younger. As life circumstances have changed, and electronic books came into being, I tent to buy books more frequently than borrow them from the library. Plus, I’m not often patient enough to deal with a waiting list when I can drive down the street to the big book store and just buy it, or hop on Amazon and have it delivered to my iPad within seconds. Geoff at TanGental shares his thoughts on the library, and some library fiction with his post, Snuggling Between the Covers.
  • The Persistent Platypus wrote something today I really needed.  When life throws you curves, it’s easy to get mired in how bad it is. We aren’t promised easy lives, though, just that we aren’t alone.
  • I’m a grammar geek, so I love grammar memes. Here’s this one, shared by booksandopinions.com 
  • Oh my gosh….Did you see War Games way back in the day? Mr. Siler at Infinitefreetime.com titled  his post today with the words that came on the computer screen at the beginning of that movie.  His post didn’t talk about the movie, but the titled captured my attention, and I was intrigued enough to read. Go check it out..and share your opinion on his topic. I find it VERY interesting.
  • If you’ve followed the Herd for any amount of time, you know I’m a runner.  I loved this post by Running Sunflower. It says exactly everything I would say to running.
  • Again going back to my little emotional meltdown yesterday, this post from a cooking pot and twisted tales reminded me years are short, no day is guaranteed, and to take each day and live it fully.
  • Then there’s this post from International Bellhop because some days,  you just want to run away, and need to imagine a good place to go.
  • Oh lordy but I am so over this year’s presidential election. It’s embarrassing and ridiculous the way it’s going down. I’d love to hear thoughts from our international readers on it.  Truly.  I can’t even watch any of the debates and am getting close to banning the news in our house until it’s over. Colleen at Chatter Master says tells it spot on.
  • And finally, animals. This week needs some pet pictures. This post at Chris the  Story Reading Ape’s Blog just made me smile. Enjoy!

Happy Weekend!

A lump

Well, heck….I’ve lived my life on blast so long, I don’t know how not to (please forgive the grammar wreck).. Since I started blogging way back when….since 2005….I’ve written about the fallout of premature birth, diagnosis, Little Man’s autism, fighting with/through medications, parenting toddlers/little kids/big kids/teenagers/Princesses, being a dance mom/baseball mom/soccer mom/golf mom, training for races, running races, family, extended family, loss and gain….It’s all been out there for the world to see. I can’t stop now.

I found a lump on Monday night, a very painful lump, at the base of my throat. I was getting ready for bed, had washed  my face and was putting moisturizer on. My fingertips hit that lump, and I cried out. Then, like a child with a bruise, I kept pushing at it. This is definitely not normal. I asked Spouse to look at it. He could see it, under the skin. I wouldn’t let him touch it, kept putting my own hands in the way. We decided if it didn’t feel better in a couple of days, I would call the doctor. Tuesday morning, I woke up thinking maybe I’d imagined it. Maybe it was the result of a sodium overload over the weekend. My hand went to my throat…no, it was still there, and it still hurt just as much. I tried to ignore it all day, but I kept feeling it there. And I did something you shouldn’t do – I looked it up on the internet. Don’t look stuff up on the internet when you have a lump!

Yesterday morning, I called the doctor. I’ve had it on my list to make an appointment for a physical for months.  They got me in right away. As an aside, I’d love to know how a well-past-forty-person grows almost an inch? Seriously…I’ve been 5’1 3/4″ since I was 15, but the nurse measured me at 5’2 1/2″ yesterday morning. Methinks she may have mis-measured.

They did the usual temperature, blood pressure, height, and weight. Then the doctor came in. She felt the lump for what seemed like forever, pushed and poked at it. She checked my ears, nose, and eyes. I definitely have fluid in one ear, so she prescribed antibiotics. And she gave me the usual, “It’s probably nothing, but….” as she ordered blood work – fasting blood work, heavy on the thyroid testing – and a neck ultrasound. I go back in two weeks.

Today, not so good.  I can’t tell if, because I’m aware it’s there, I feel the lump pushing against my airway, not cutting off my breathing, but just there, ever-so-slightly restricting.  Same with eating…I can just feel it when I’m swallowing. But is that in my head, because I know the lump is there, or is it really affecting swallowing? I ran without any breathing problems this morning. I didn’t even think about the lump when I was running.

And then the meltdown came. Do you ever have those things, those days where you are wondering where you went wrong? What kind of karma is coming back to haunt you? And I let my mind go there…what if it is cancer? My next thought was, “I can’t do that to Daddy. He’s been through enough.” Much less, I can’t do that to my kids, my husband. It  has to be okay. But the tears were near. Whatever it is, it isn’t  normal. And it hurts. Today, I’m not in a good place. I want to hibernate, hide away. I felt the panic attack coming on. I felt the tears waiting to fall.

It’s been a long day. Follow-up appointments have been scheduled, but it’s exhausting thinking about it. Apparently all the follow-ups for Big Man weren’t enough to deal with, I had to get in on the action. Right now, I don’t know it will be okay. I’m trying to believe it will, but it’s hard when you’re mired in that just-tired-and-overwhelmed kind of day. Aren’t you happy you’re along for the ride?

Friday Favorites #19 (I think)

Oh my friends…how long has it been since a real Friday Favorites? Just when you think life is going to settle down……..Two weeks ago, I was in Big Bear for a scrapbooking weekend (yay!), and last week, the Princess had a dance competition (blog post coming). I think I have finally worked out a good routine during the week to balance work, kids/home/pets, and taking care of me, but it doesn’t leave much time for writing. I plan to work on that. But since the craziness for this week with the big job ended last night,  I found myself with time today to go WordPress lurking. I feel like I haven’t seen my virtual friends in forever! It’s been an awesome afternoon hanging out with y’all (No, I’m not southern, but my mom’s momma was…that counts, right?), so I finally have a real live return to Friday Favorites! Go read some good stuff, or not…

  1. This little snippet from bluebird of bitterness just made me laugh. I had to share.
  2. If you have a child on the spectrum, you know there’s a delicate balance between pushing your child (aka therapy), and accommodating him. It’s difficult for me as his mom, much less for me to ask someone who spends 6.5 hours with him a day, to decipher his mood and respond accordingly. Shawna at Not The Former Things had some insight she received in a comment to one of her posts. Okay, peeps, it gave me chills, and a few tears. Go read this. If you have an autistic child, you’ll be nodding your head. If you don’t have an autistic child, you’ll learn something.
  3. Colleen, aka Chatter Master, at The Chatter Blog shared a note from a friend. We all need friends like this in our lives, especially if they write cool notes like this.
  4. Ahhhhh….poetry that makes me see pictures in my head, like this one at Elan Mudrow.
  5. A lot of life is about perspective. We may not think we like something, or that it’s defective, until we turn it around. This particular gem at Bzirkworld makes that evident.
  6. There were so many posts from Jason, A Opinionated Man, today….I had a hard time choosing one. This, Shattered Glass, in the end was my winner for the afternoon.
  7. I find myself just loving words lately, and the way gifted writers use them, thus the poetry-filled shares today. But this one by Alisa Hutton on The Daily Crapper is beautifully crafted.

And now, you’re probably wondering where your Cute Overload link is…..I was destroyed to find out today they are no more. Oh, the site is still there, but no more posts. I’m so sad. So, for now, you’ll have to do with a picture of my littlest pet, Maizy. She, rightfully, assumed the new giant pillow pet that came into the house was her new bed. Imagine her surprise when we informed her it belonged to one of her humans?

Happy Weekend!

Maizy on the pillow pet