You Are Not Alone, Bitch

Some of the most important words of my adult life are right there in that title.  Those words are said by me… and by my Chosen Sisters… so often that I’ve forgotten who said them first.  They’re said through laughter, tears, hugs, smiles, and even through clenched teeth.  It’s our slogan.  Our ward.  It’s also the one thing we all say when, due to grief – happiness – pain – or overwhelming emotion, we can find no other words.

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My Girls – as captured by Passion to Pixels

 

Tomorrow is my very last day in the 9 to 5 world where I sit at a desk and make exactly $X.00 an hour.  From here on out, my success or failure will be determined by exactly how much I’m willing to put in and how much risk I’m willing to take.  What a leap of faith!

Since I made this decision, my husband has been a rock and my kids think it’s a fabulous thing.  They share my vision and support me endlessly.  But they have a horse in this race, so I have to be careful what I say to them about my fears and my insecurities (oh yes… I have them… lots).

It’s my sisters that I turn to when I am paralyzed by my insecurity.  When I’m second guessing myself and my vision.  When I’m inclined to listen to that stupid negative voice in the back of my brain.  It’s in these moments that I’m reminded time and again “You are not alone, Bitch” and I can shake off my fears and get back to the business at hand.

I didn’t realize, until today, that this website is sort of my massive way of sharing our Sisterhood Sentiment with the moms out there who fear that they really are alone and that no one understands the crap they’re going through.  So, if you’re standing in the middle of your living room looking at the remains of your favorite lamp, can’t figure out how you’re going to get that proposal finished and get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour… You Are Not Alone, Bitch.

Carry that with you.  Make it your motto.  Say it to the sisters of your heart when they need it the most.

Want to share your lonely moment of the day with us so we can support you too?  Leave a comment and let us help.

Know It All Moms – They Are We

Just a few minutes ago, I said something to my friend Beth that she probably found NO humor in at all. She was sharing her frustration that her toddler made a mess in the kitchen in the amount of time that it took her to get dressed from her shower. My response?

*snort* SHUT UP! In way too few years you’re going to be sobbing your eyes out because they don’t need you anymore and think back to all of these times as “the good times”… I should know… that’s what I’m doing these days 😉

Does that make me an insensitive know-it-all? Probably. Does that take away my smile at the mental image? Not even a little bit.

You see, 10 years ago, I was in her shoes… sort of. I spent 6 months running on no sleep, working 3rd shift as a single mom catching cat naps here and there when I could during the day with a 2, 4, and 7 year old. It seems like I spent that entire 6 months waking up from every single nap with a house completely destroyed in the time it took me to blink. (I’m STILL trying to figure out how they got the box of condoms out of the top of the bedroom closet and spread all over the living room floor in 38 seconds.)

The only reason I can think about that and smile today is, I’m not looking at those days through the eyes of a toddler’s mother anymore. I’m a decade removed from that age… and after dealing with carpets set on fire, first boyfriends, first broken hearts, second broken hearts, sexting, alternative sexual orientation, religious diversity, and unlimited texting (19,000 in one month for one kid???), a destroyed house in 3.2 seconds and sleepless nights seem like a vacation.

Before too long, I’ll be on here venting and lamenting about something my teenager did and I’m going to be stressed out and irritated and exhausted.. and it’s NOT going to be funny at all. And one of you… the ones who are 5 years or a decade beyond this stage will be saying

“SHUT UP! Wait till they’re calling you from county lockup for the DUI they got coming home from the sorority party… or they borrow $4200 from you that they know you don’t have to give them and never pay it back… or they’re telling you they’re dropping out of college 3 credits shy of graduation because they are IN LOVE and can’t wait one more semester to get married because they’re 2 1/2 months pregnant… then come talk to me about sexting.”

and I’ll be saying

“NO, you SHUT UP because that’s where I am RIGHT NOW and right now it’s not funny because right now that’s what the hell is going on.”

And I’ll be right. And you’ll be right.

child mess
What?
Image By Lindaaslund

BIG HUGS Beth, I’m sorry I was a know-it-all at the wrong moment. I’m still smiling though… because you made me think of those ridiculous condoms all over the house the day I closed my eyes, for “just a minute”. I haven’t thought about that one in a while. And don’t worry. This will look SO much better in 10 years. I promise.

It’s Not About The Ending

On Sunday night, a few friends sat on our sofa with Mark and I and watched the series ending of LOST.  Let me start by saying that we weren’t big Losties in the beginning.  We had no desire whatsoever to watch this stupid show.  One night though, we invited my friend Christopher to dinner and he said “Well, that’s LOST night.  So if I can watch it at your house, great.  Otherwise… you know I work nights and it’s tough for me to schedule things.”  So we chose to waste an hour of our life in order to spend several with someone we missed.

Then there was an inhaler and a guy tied to a tree and a really hot kiss and a “HOLY COW WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” moment… and well… that was it.  For the last 6 seasons, there have been an incredibly high number of those cliff hangering, soul wrenching, laughter inducing, scare you out of your seat, tear jerking moments amid the filler and the plot lines that played out too damned long during our one hour of LOST every week.

Back to Sunday night.  We’ve skipped time with friends, lost out on sleep, cut evenings out short, and made a dozen other sacrifices to be home on LOST night.  To say we were emotionally invested in this finale is an understatement of epic proportions.  To say that the finale was a letdown and I felt robbed would be an equally sized understatement.  I was angry.  Furious.  Could not believe I spent all of this time waiting for The Final Episode of LOST… for that.

lost

This morning, however, my brain accidentally drew a connecting line for me and I think I’m ok.  You see, this is my last week of my job.  As I mentioned, I’m leaving the workforce to be a small business owner, ptsa president, and baker of cookies.  It’s The Ending of an era of my life… the end of this particular series, if you will.  And it’s pretty anticlimactic.

Are you wondering what the hell I’m blabbering on about?  (Mark, don’t answer that).  It isn’t about The Finale.  It never was.  It’s about the million breathtaking moments in between the beginning and the end.  The end will always be a letdown, because the end of the roller coaster ride can never ever compete with the 3 loops in the middle.

I didn’t watch LOST for 6 seasons to get to the end.  I watched to sit on the edge of my seat and wonder what the hell was going to happen next.  And I was never disappointed.  I didn’t quit my job to be a puddle of goo on the couch… it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning of the next rise.

This “series” is going to be filled with moments where I scream “HOLY HELL WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!” and it’s going to be wonderful… and sad… and frustrating… and exciting… and boring… and NONE of it will be about The Finale.

We Do It All For The Children … right?

It would be really easy to say I’m making these major life changes for my kiddos.  As a matter of fact, I’ve probably claimed many times that I just want to go into business for myself and make my own schedule so that I can be there for the girls. 

I want to be here to make their dinner and volunteer at their schools.  I want to host sleepovers and scream at them to STFU at FIVE THIRTY AM after they’ve played Eye of the Tiger back to back 78 times on Rock Band, because the new kid doesn’t know any other songs (swear to god… this really happened).  I want to have the freedom to travel with them on chorus trips and college campus visits.  I do.  But if I said I was doing it all for them, I’d be full of crap.  And you’d know it.

The truth is, I know my moments as a mom who is needed on a daily basis are numbered.  I see them slipping away faster than I ever dreamed possible.  Anna is going to be a Senior in high school and my Faitha just graduated from the 6th grade academy yesterday.  Sierra… my mini-me… is graduating 8th grade today and going off to high school in the fall.  They’re flaunting this… this… maturing into young women in front of me every day!

My heart aches at every achievement… every award… every honors class… every driving lesson.  I’m a hopeless mess at every chorus performance, report card, and glaringly responsible adult decision they make.  They’re growing up and running as fast as their legs can carry them, the legs I taught them to so proudly stand on… and walk on… and run on.  Running toward a future that I foolishly taught them was theirs for the taking.  I’m thrilled for them … amazingly proud… and even more determined that I need to create memories to hold onto once they’ve gone out to conquer the world.

But even that is only part of the reason.  The part of me that isn’t “all mom all the time” finally woke up and realized that I need to be running toward the future that’s mine for the taking too.  I’m running toward the future that my heart craves… that makes me smile when I wake up in the  morning… that will show them their mom wasn’t just giving them lip service all these years. 

Holy cow ya’all.  I think I’m finally doing it for ME.

A Note From Ida:

The support I’ve received since deciding to quit the corporate world and since I launched this website two days ago has been mindboggling.  I really need to say thank you to my family, to my friends, and to those of you who have no idea who the heck I am.  I’m honored that you’re all coming with me on this adventure, and oh what an adventure it’s going to be!

This is usually the time that I remind my sisters that there are rules against making me cry at work.  But I’m hereby striking that rule down.  I cry ya’all.  When I’m happy and when I’m sad.  When I’m proud.  When I’m overwhelmed with emotion.  So, I guess I can’t really have that rule anymore and live this dream.

Getting Started Getting It All

I’ve heard a lot of people over the years talking about Having It All.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The ones who sound like the guy on the middle of the night infomercial selling The Chopper…

YOU TOO CAN HAVE IT ALL –  ORDER MY PROGRAM AND WITH JUST 42 SIMPLE STEPS  YOU CAN SLICE, DICE, MAKE JULIENNE FRIES, AND PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE 17 YEARS EARLY WHILE YOU SLEEP.

What. Ever.

I think Having It All is a myth.  What makes me believe that?  Because All changes with every moment that passes.  My goals and family’s needs today will not be the same in 6 months or a year.  They may be similar, but they’ll evolve and grow and change.  I think you can have it all for a fleeting moment, but no longer than that.  When you achieve goals or check something off of the “always wanted to do” list, there’s always a new goal… a new dream… a new definition of what Having It All would include.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve had a list of what a perfect daily life aka It All would be for me.  I’ve wanted to do work I love… and write books… and bake cookies… and travel with my family… and blog… and  grow a vegetable garden… and volunteer at my kid’s school in the middle of the afternoon for no other reason than it’s Tuesday.  My list has evolved over the years and some things have fallen off and others have been added to, but that’s the general gist of what getting it all would be in my world.

I never believed that those things were possible because, really… who actually gets to do that? You work, you come home, you fit in the things you love to do around the things you have to do and you suck it the hell up because that’s what being a grownup is about.

Right?

And then, a few months ago, I started seeing these conversations all over my social network about “Living Your Truth” and “Escaping Mediocrity”  and “Finding Work You Love“.  I started thinking that maybe I could start getting the life that I want instead of the life that I was expected to have.  You could say I started drinking the kool aid!

I started reading books and blogs and news articles about sculpting your life into what you want it to be… and about taking back your own power.  I started telling myself that I would not continue to be the barrier to my own success.  I even started to believe all of that nonsense just a little bit more every day.

My AHA moment, and I know this will sound EXTRAORDINARILY HOKEY, was when Elizabeth posted something on twitter that resonated with me so deeply that I can’t even begin to tell you how it felt.  She said “The best thing I ever did was stop asking people what they thought I should do.”  I stopped in my tracks.

I DO that.  I have amazing fabulous ideas… and I never trust myself enough to just run with it.  I always ask.  I always alter my vision to suit what others see.  I always second guess.  And I always stop JUST short of following through.

And I’ve told you all of that to say this… This website is the beginning of me finally following my heart and GETTING IT ALL… and helping you, my friends, see that you can get it all too.  I don’t know yet exactly what it will look like or sound like, but I couldn’t wait any longer to get started.  The excuse monster was lurking.

I do know that I’ll be sharing interviews of other moms who are getting their own brand of “it all” and how they’re doing it and what their challenges are.  I’ll be telling my own stories and sharing in yours as well.  We’ll figure out the rest together.

So here goes.  I quit my day job.  My last day will be May 28th.  I’m building my own web design business and transitioning to a work from home mom and the president of the PTSA next year and I’m baking the damned cookies.  It’s not going to be easy, but I bet that it’ll be educational… for all of us.

I hope you’ll join me and keep me company and share your stories too.

LOVE!

*Edited and added a teeny bit on 5/20