Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ten things I love today.

1) I have so many friends who are sane, normal women. I know this doesn't sound particularly amazing, but I promise you it is.

2) These capri pants:

Look at the cutouts on the legs! I desperately want to wear them in the sunshine and get a weird tan, just cause.

3) Starbucks. Oh, my love.

Iced coffee, no classic (you must say this or they'll give you the sugary syrup in it). Black and dark as my soul and it's divine.

4) All the Moon Cheese. Every bit of it.

5) Gain in-wash scent booster. It makes my clothes smell like rainbows and cupcakes.


7) Dreaming about parasailing in Key West with the love of my life. Only 235 days away!


9) Of course, this guy right here. Forever.


10) All the Lipsense. Who knew I loved make-up?


What do you love today?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

God hates divorce

Someone told me that many years ago when I was getting a divorce.

"You know. God HATES divorce."

Because that was helpful, right? I mean, my husband left me when I was pregnant with twins and I was twenty-two and alone and scared and really, really sick and had bad preeclampsia and almost died, but the right thing to do was rub salt in my wounds. Clearly.

I didn't really respond, "Me too, bitch." But I felt like it. Oh, how I felt like it.

I was thinking about this earlier today. A few people I know are currently going through divorces. It's on my mind. The state of Christianity in America is on my mind too. It has been a lot lately.

And what I can't get off my mind?

God hates for us to suffer even more than he hates divorce.

I mean, really. I'm no Bible scholar (clearly) but I know this. God doesn't want you to be miserable. If you're sitting at home crying every night while your husband runs around with another woman, God isn't happy about that (and he's super pissed at your husband, that much I'm sure of). If you are married to someone who is verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive of you, God doesn't like that. He doesn't want you there. He doesn't want you to suffer in his name.

But the Bible says!

I know. I know what the Bible says. I have read every inch of the Bible, cover to cover, more than once. I tried really, really hard to stick with my ex-husband specifically because of what the Bible says.

You can't stick with someone who doesn't want to stick with you.

You can say, "But I don't believe in divorce!" Honey, divorce is not the Tooth Fairy. It exists. It sucks. But it happens.

Then life goes on.

I look at my life now and I ask myself, "How could God hate this?"

Really, how could God who is all about love be against my happiness? How could God be against me being married to someone who loves me deeply, who is committed to me, who makes me laugh every day of my life, who is a great father to Jonathan and Megan? How could that possibly not be God's greatest plan?

What if...just what if...you were not following God's plan by marrying that person in the first place?

What if the plan was for you to have a beautiful child with that person? What if that was their place in your life?



We just don't know. It's okay that we don't know.


I'm a person of prayer (POP. I just trademarked that, nobody use it). I pray about all things, all the time. People may think I'm silly. Sometimes I think I'm silly. Like, why does God care about my petty-ass little problems when the whole world is on fire? (Note: God does not condone my use of the words "petty-ass", but I'M WORKING ON IT OKAY?)


I read once that prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue. This is what I believe. God answers my prayers all the time. I don't hear voices, but my heart moves. It doesn't matter what the world is saying, screaming, shouting. I'm going to listen to God.

That's not acceptable to some of you, I know. So instead, how about this?

Every time I get a text from my husband with a picture of the sunset that says, "This is almost as beautiful as you", I will think about what God thinks about divorce. Every time I come home from Zumba and Jason is standing in the kitchen finishing up the meal he prepared for us, I will think about what God says about divorce in the Bible. I didn't think about what God says about divorce the moment that my husband put his arms around me and we both cried together as we watched our son and our daughter graduate from high school, but I promise when they graduate from college and we do the exact same thing, I'll try to remember.

Actually, nah.

Instead, I'll think about how much love I have in my life today. I'll think about how thankful I am that I'm out of a marriage with someone who didn't love me, who didn't want to grow old with me, and who didn't have any respect for our marriage. I'll think about how, even on my worst day, this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

God does not want you to be miserable.


Read that.




Read it again.






Monday, January 16, 2017

Lately

Lately, I am strong. It's nice.

A couple of years ago I discovered that physically I wasn't nearly as strong as I wanted to be (and emotionally? Forget about it. WIMP). I had lost about 100lbs and decided it was time. I was done screwing around. The rest was coming off, come Hell or high water (or both, I'm not picky). I decided to learn to run. Yes, I had to learn how. At the same time, I decided that I would do everything I could to avoid injury and I started taking Pilates classes.

I kind of wish I had videos of my first attempts at Pilates because I'm pretty sure they were hilarious. I tried though and I kept going and now? My core is pretty strong. I can shoot my legs straight out from a tabletop position (harder than it sounds, especially if you have a loose skin belly). I can bench press 200lbs on my legs which, according to an elderly gent at my gym, is pretty bad-ass.

I can do these things. I am strong.

I don't cringe every time my email buzzes now (although sometimes I say "GOOD GOD" if it's too many times in a row). If someone is repeating a story from a fake news site and I know it's absolutely not worth my time to try to correct them because they have their own version of truth, I just change the subject or move on to something else because I've decided, at forty-one years old, that trying to change people's minds is often not worth it. When I do speak up, I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

I'm strong.

I don't always act strong. Sometimes I cry my face off. Sometimes I'm so tired I literally can't even cry (this happened a few weeks ago...it wasn't pretty). Sometimes I still forgive things I shouldn't, sometimes I still blame myself for other people's shortcomings, and I am, continually, way too hard on myself. Every day.

Still.

I'm strong in body and I'm strong in spirit.




I would warn you not to mess with me, but you know what? It's okay if you do. I can take it.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Open Letters: Baby-it's-cold-outside edition!*

Dear person I hate-follow on Instagram,

No one really believes your weight loss is real because you photoshop yourself to unrealistic proportions. Eyes, other than those belonging to Princesses of the Disney variety, are not that shape. Never. Ever.

Also, your wig needs some attention. Just trying to help you.

Kisses!
Stephanie




Dear People on Facebook,

You do know that people can actually see and read what you post/like/comment on on Facebook, right? Like every time click "Like" on one of those Biker-Sluts-for-Jesus-Who-Think-Obama-Is-a-Muslim posts, we can all see it?

Just making sure.

Also? You need church.

Love,
Stephanie





Dear husband,

Thank you for being kind, sane, decent, loving, and hard-working. Also, cute. You're my favorite.

Love,
Me




Dear son,

For the love of Jesus, please learn social cues. No one is as interested in the War of 1812 as you are. No one. LITERALLY NO ONE. Especially not me. Here's a hint: when people start ignoring you and/or changing the subject it's because they don't care.

I know you are 18 and think you know everything but...darling, you don't. You don't know jack. You have a long, long, LONG way to go. You've barely even started.

I love you and I think you are very loveable, once you get your head out of your ass. So work on that. I know you can do it.

I love you a million,
Your mom


*not really. It was just catchy.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

*Insert witty platitudes about new year new me or whatever*

As I've mentioned many times, I don't care for resolutions. I do like goals though, and I make them pretty much every day of my life.

That sounds crazy, doesn't it? Well, it's true. One thing I need people to understand is that just because something sounds crazy that doesn't mean it isn't true. When you have severe anxiety and depression like I do you sometimes have to convince yourself to do things like "get out of bed" and "shower" and "not cry" and "want to continue living" and whatnot. I know. Glamorous.

(On a side note, someone said to me the other day and I swear to God this is true, "What do YOU have to be depressed about?" And this, my friends, is what is wrong with the state of mental health in this country. Because 1) I am depressed and continually anxious because MY BRAIN IS BROKE and 2) If you honestly don't understand that I would give absolutely anything to not feel this way every day of my life, then I just can't help you. I have no words. I've spent forty years feeling guilty for being a freak, choking down medications, and getting up every damn day even when I don't want to, and I have seriously no time for this. Call me a special snowflake, call me whatever you want. If you ever develop cancer I'll be sure to call you and ask you why you are laying in bed and tell you all about how if you'd just try harder you wouldn't have cancer, tell you how uncomfortable your cancer makes me, and do my very best to make you feel the way you make me feel about the thing that I can't control even with medication and weekly therapy. Deal?)

Anyway.

Every single day of my life I make a list. Lists help me. They keep me focused. I find a great deal of satisfaction in checking things off lists, usually with a multitude of different colors.

Daily is usually all I can handle, but since it's the first day of this godforsaken new year, I'll try with the 2017 goals.

I posted on Facebook that my primary goal is to be so busy improving myself that I have no time to notice the faults of others. So just ignore that paragraph up there about the jerkoff who asked me what I have to be depressed about. Actually, don't ignore that. It's fine. It happened before this year so it totally doesn't count.

Other goals:

-Continue working towards self-acceptance. Be kinder to myself. Recognize how far I've come and stop worrying about how far I have to go.

-Spend more time petting Ginger and telling her what a good girl she is. She's eleven. I won't have her forever.

-Vacation without phones.

-Say "no" more, without any guilt or regret. It's okay to not do stuff you hate. I know this, yet keep doing stuff I hate. I am happy to say I do less stuff that I hate, but I'd like to get myself to a "zero-doing-things-you-hate" life.

-Pray more. To be fair, I pray a lot but it just sounds like having a conversation with Jesus ("Hi Jesus, it's me Stephanie!"). I think that's fine and I think that, pretty clearly, Jesus hears my prayers. I also think Jesus enjoys my prayers because sometimes they are pretty funny and involve things like not wanting to punch people who are terrible. He knows I'm trying.

-Be bitchier to my children.

Okay, this probably sounds hilarious, but I seriously think I've made their lives way to easy. My first instinct is always to help/fix/rescue/do for and...what good is that doing them? I mean, I'm obviously not going to leave them stranded or whatever, but if my son texts and asks if I can give him a ride home from work or if he should just walk I'm going to say, "You can walk". It's less than 2 miles. And if he's cold, well then next time he'll remember his jacket.

They are almost 19. They are nice and smart and friendly and really good, decent people..who need to start fending for themselves a little more.



That's all I have. That's probably enough.

I just want to be better. I've given up on wanting the world around me to be better, but I can at least work on me.