Happy 2011! It feels like forever since I’ve posted here in COFFEE-ville. After all, it was LAST year! Heh, heh, heh… yeah, lame joke. I’ve heard it about 2.7 billion times in the last couple days from students, and I’ve survived; so, you get to roll your eyes at it, too! Happy to share, thank you very much!
I have to tell you a very funny story that has absolutely nothing to do with COFFEE or the new year or anything relevant, but it is SOOO FUNNY. I think so, anyway!
My youngest, E, will be 4 in February. He’s one of those kids who notices EVERYTHING and remembers the tiniest details. He will say things like, “Mama, remember that time at Ronald McDonald’s house when that girl was crying because her toy fell on the floor and you said that’s why we shouldn’t take our toys into Ronald McDonald’s house?” And I have to think – HARD – about whether this happened, when it might have happened, and how the heck he remembered it. Eventually, I can usually find it in my cache from a couple months before and say, “Yes, Eli. I do remember that. And that is why we don’t take our own toys into Ronald McDonald’s house.” Wow. There’s almost always a connection for him, too, but I swear I can’t figure it out most of the time. He gets it, I guess, which is what matters. That kid has a MEMORY. Scary.
ANYWAY, we were sitting around playing a game and watching tv not too many evenings ago. A commercial came on for Pull-ups training pants. He thought carefully and said, “those kids are still babies. They poop in their pants. Uncle Jason drinks poop, Mama. Did you know that Uncle Jason drinks poop?”
WHAT??? I argued with him for about 10 minutes, patiently saying intelligent things like, “no, Uncle J doesn’t drink poop, Eli. You shouldn’t say that. It’s not true, and it’s gross.”
He continued, confident in the fact that his Uncle does, in fact, drink poop. “Mama, he DOES TOO drink poop. I know he does. I saw him. He drinks the poop out of a red cup.”
That stopped my argument cold. I started laughing so hard. My child was RIGHT, at least partially right, anyway. Holy Poop!
See, my brother chews tobacco – a lot. And when we are at my parents’ house, he always uses a red plastic cup to spit in. That way, no one ever confuses it with a drink. Gag… blech… NASTY!!!!!!
Anyway, I’ve always told the kids (from when they were tiny) that tobacco is “ca-ca.” It’s still called that around my house. SO, Eli, seeing J put that stupid cup of crap to his lips, thought he was DRINKING POOP!!!!!! I was able to explain to Eli that his Uncle wasn’t really drinking poop but spitting poopy stuff into a cup to throw away, and he got it. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard, though, and that story got more than a couple belly laughs over the holidays, too…. Maybe you had to be there, but that’s good stuff, I’m telling you!
Okay, back to business… I took a vacation in my last post from my original COFFEE goals to whine and moan about end-of-semester crud – my apologies for that. It’s part of the job, and I shouldn’t complain about it. I also set a couple of extra goals for myself. I have to brag a bit about those, by the way, because I accomplished EACH OF THEM!!!
1. I got the work done. I had everything graded and entered before I left school for the break. I did NO WORK over the vacation, except to glance briefly at the plans for the first day the night before we went back to school. YAY, Me! That was HUGE!
2. I was focused and PRESENT with the kids! We were enjoyed our outings and time together, so there wasn’t a LOT of downtime at home. When we were home, though, we did even more things together than we usually do, and I reserved as much work (or incorporated the kids into it) as I could for when they were down for the night or otherwise occupied. It felt good, and they appreciated it a lot. I will continue this practice… Truly, I’m committed to this.
3. I did relax and enjoy the break. I did keep activity to a meaningful minimum. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I made the absolute most of the time away from school. It was liberating, to say the least. I’m going to apply this concept to life in general.
4. I wrote – a lot. I reflected on the year, on my life as it is to this point, on the kids, on my “situation…” I dispensed some much-needed and long-overdue forgiveness to a few other people and also to myself. I focused on blessings, and I embraced those I love as often as I could. I also embraced the Season and the time… it was awesome.
It was a good break, a much-needed break. It was well-spent time, and I’m thankful to have had it.
And now, back to COFFEE… since it’s been awhile, I’m going to just list my COFFEE project goals and give you the quick down & dirty update on each.
1. U 2.0 – The end is near. Officially Unmarried 2.0 is sooooooo close. I can almost taste it. I still have my moments of panic and fear, but mostly I feel empowered and brave and good. Please continue to pray and/or keep your fingers crossed for me.
2. The Caffeine Kick – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I’m good here. One cup a day, and I’m not craving more than that. Some days I have my morning Joe, others I wait for an afternoon soda. But I really don’t want more than that anymore… Who knew that was possible? I didn’t! And my headaches are practically gone, which is always the biggest sign that I’ve won the battle w/the stuff.
3. Training for the Half – FOURTEEN weeks to go… HOLY CRAP! If it weren’t for being petrified of having to look P in the eye and tell her I’m not ready and Tom Holland’s wisdom, I’d be nowhere on this. For real. I’m back to eating normally again and have gotten back into the gym groove, and I’m better. I WILL BE READY. I will finish this Half.
4. Book project – I took a break and didn’t do a whole lot on this over the past month. I have contacted several other sources for their stories, so I hope to be very busy on this project in the next month or so…
5. Pondering studenthood – I actually had a couple conversations with key people in regard to going back to school. I did. It’s a matter of deciding how big I want to go. Will a specialist’s degree be enough, or do I need to go all the way to the doctorate? THAT’s the million-dollar question. I’m getting my questions and doubts addressed, and that’s progress.
6. Co-parenting – We made it through the holidays with some back-and-forthing for the kids. It might not have been ideal, but it went. They enjoyed Christmas, got lots (two separate Christmas events’ worth) of cool gifts, had fun on New Year’s Eve, and they are okay. It was difficult and heart-breaking at times, but it was alright. We made it, and ultimately that’s what matters. We’ll keep on keeping on; and as long as the kids are at the fore-front, we’ll keep making it.
So my six goals are down to five, and that feels good. It’s GUUUUUD. Very good. The five remaining goals are long-term, day-by-day goals, but I’m excited to tackle them.
Isn’t it funny how we get all excited about tackling challenges at this time of the year? I mean, I used to write resolutions and such, but that’s really all they were – written resolutions with no action to back them up. I can’t think of but a couple that I actually acted upon or that resulted in some kind of change in my life. That makes me wonder: why is it that we take this time each year to think about what we want and where we want to be? And then why don’t most of us see those things through to fruition? Seriously. Why?
I guess in a way, each of us COFFEE chicks chose challenges and resolved to tackle them when we signed up for this adventure. Following each other’s journeys has been exciting and empowering and uplifting and encouraging. We’ve each accomplished some things, and we each have boldly declared that we’ll be better for this experience. I know I am.
So what’s the difference? What makes a person take action and commit and then follow through? Also, what holds us back? When I’m honest and look at all the resolutions that I’ve made and didn’t act on, I can see that I wasn’t committed to making change. That was mostly because I’ve been such a chicken-$h!t about change, about life really. And so, despite the fact that I could have bettered myself or my life by making those changes I claimed to want to make, I let fear of failure and fear of success and doubt and all that other poop win. I drank the poop, if you will. Huh. Gag… blech… NASTY!!!
Well, COFFEE chicks, I gotta tell you that I’m so proud of us. Proud that we all accepted this challenge, proud that we put it out there, proud that we are finally leaving the poop in the red cups and drinking in the good stuff of life! SO, as we venture boldly into 2011, I beg of you to join me in focusing on the good and please, please, PUH-LEEZE, don’t drink the poop.