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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

What does it mean to be a mother?

Honestly, society says one thing. The Bible says one thing. It means something to each individual. It changes lives. I think sometimes as I watch people who are mothers and sometimes think it is the ultimate in mean girl, obnoxious, clique-y experiences a female can go through. What it means to be a mother has changed in the age of the Internet/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

My birthday is looming and I’ve been thinking about these ladies and the next part of my life a lot. To me, being a mother is being a good example and “teaching life.” I don’t really know how else to say it. I’m so thankful for my mother and so sorry I didn’t follow her example more. Things might have been easier for me. I might not have made so many mistakes. In the last year, people say I look more like my mom and am much more calm like her. All I have to say to that is THANK GOD. She’s not perfect, but she sure got life right.

I’m not a mother and struggle with the knowledge that I probably never will be a mother in the traditional sense. However, I still have a responsibility to children who are in my life to be a good female role model. I have a responsibility as a Junior League member to give my time and effort to women’s and children’s causes. I have a responsibility to carry on in some degree the good example set by my mother and her mother before her. I’m guilty of failing at this and disappointing them many times.

For me, I think you have to find your place in whatever hand is dealt you. Even if you aren’t a mother in the traditional sense as a female you cans still use those characteristics and instincts to still make a difference. I’m everyone’s favorite “aunt” and am becoming more comfortable with this role. Maybe this is all coming about because I’m getting older and time is ticking by. Maybe it’s because I’ve made peace with certain things about the past. It’s probably because my mother set the example of move forward and don’t compare yourself to others. And I guess, I finally learned that lesson and listened to my mother. :)

Making coffee

So the other day I made a pot of coffee. I don’t think I’ve made a pot of coffee in my adult life. I can make an impressive leg of lamb but coffee wasn’t on the menu. It wasn’t what I “did”. It wasn’t my “job”. I don’t know why. It was a bad habit. It was what my boyfriend now ex-husband did. It was his job. It quit being his job 4 years ago. Time flew by but I still wasn’t making coffee. What was I holding on too but another habit or comfort zone issue? I loathe comfort zone issues. Now I’m making coffee.

I’ve been playing this game lately of how frugal can I be. It’s not that I necessarily have too. I want too. I want to see if how little I can spend on food even though I eat mostly beans and vegetables. I want to see what really matters. Starbucks has been something I’ve held onto for years. It was my special thing that made me feel comfortable. If a girl doesn’t instagram her venti, non-fat, no whip mocha did it really happen?

I would never skimp on my skin care but I hate getting hair cuts. Such a waste. I love fashion and designers but I want it at a massive, eBay discount now. I would never buy cheap champagne, but Lord help anyone who takes away my PBR. I don’t know, lately, I’m just over so many things. I’m not interested in much but my career and my relationship. I’m not interested in the comparisons that I let make me feel bad in the past. I’m going to have to get a new car soon. That’s a study in how can I be comfortable but cheap at the same time? I want a BMW, I will probably get another Toyota but upgrade slightly.

I was reading my horoscope and Susan was right. My life is completely different than it was two years ago let alone four years. I made the changes. I woke up this week and just realized the coffee and the past are done. Finally.

I like who I am now. I’m really happy to say it.

Are you my mom and the perils of not getting your Botox re-upped.

Yesterday I had to drive out to Lawrenceville to do a client’s intake and chat with a doctor. Not a big deal except for the traffic and this little event was going to make me late for class. Usually these things only take 30-45 minutes but this time the client’s husband was there and they had a lot of questions.

The client was only 2 months older than me from the information she provided and her husband was approximately the same age. At the end when I was trying to make my escape back to Atlanta the husband looked at his wife and said “Doesn’t she look just like Courtney’s mom?” The wife said “Yes she totally does!” The husband proceeded to ask me if I have family in Loganville, GA which randomly is where my sister lives but no, I’m not related to the people he was thinking of.

Now I’m almost 35 and still get carded on a regular basis but I scrutinize my face daily in the car while driving. Nothing shows all your flaws like the glaring sun. And in my mind I’m still 22 but with a lot more life experience. Truly, youth is wasted on the young. When this man said I looked like someone’s mom I was completely taken aback. Questions flew through my mind. Horrified questions. Who is this person? Why would I be their mom? I’m not old enough to have kids. I was standing there smiling but totally crying on the inside thinking how I need a peel and I need to freeze my face and how could I possibly look this old? Why God? Why?

Then I realized that Courtney is a friend of the couple’s daughter. And Courtney is 10 years old, not 20 like the nightmare that was going through my mind. I could have a 10 year old if things had been different. There are so many feelings I have about this and it was a bit of a rude awakening. (This rude awakening happens once a week but its rude every. single. time.) I know all of this. My friend’s are all having baby #2 right now. And I’m starting another business and finishing my MBA.

Am I ok with all of this? Am I going to regret it later? Do I care?

F***!

I laughed to myself when I realized they were referring to a kid. But really, f***, nonetheless.

Lent, Redemption and Paul Williams.

It’s that time of year when people give up Diet Coke for Jesus. Whatever floats your boat.

For me, Lent reminds me of giving unto others, the good that can come when you trust in the Lord and that everyone loves a good redemption story.

The other day me and B watched a documentary about the songwriter and actor Paul Williams. He was extremely famous and if you were a child of the 1970s (as B was) you knew exactly who Paul Williams was or is. Personally, I just like sappy songs from the back in the day. Give me a good B-side and some nostalgia and I’m good to go.

This is the trailer for the documentary.

Paul wrote all the songs. The famous ones that tug at your heart.

I cried when this song played. It reminded me of so many things that I don’t normally think about.

So, so famous. But I still don’t like Babs.

And then this one. Oh, Paul.

(Fun fact: this song was originally used in a bank commercial.)

The story of Paul is one you’ve heard before. He had everything. Money, fame, women and still wasn’t happy. Cocaine and booze didn’t work either. Paul has been sober for many years and is still out there entertaining fans.

The point of this post and tying it in to Lent is that I truly believe God forgives your sins. People ask me (because of my story) a lot about “when does it get better” and “when do you feel normal again.” It gets better when you forgive yourself. God is always on your side. God has already forgiven you. You have to let go and move on. You have to make the decision to take control of your life and move forward. You have to find the new path and the new life. You have to be okay with you.

Lent 2012 really brought this home to me. It really helped me move forward and be grateful for all the blessings that have been been given to me since I hit rock bottom on a Fat Tuesday night in 2009.

The last few scenes of the Paul Williams documentary make that point. Paul doesn’t look back. He keeps moving forward and is happier now than ever.

The documentary was very moving for me and B. It was so well made and really shows a profile of person you just don’t see every day.

Father’s Day – It’s All Good

So tomorrow is Father’s Day. I’m not depressed. I’m not sad. In fact, I think a little after five years after my father’s death I think he would be pleased the way things are going. My sister is getting married this coming Friday to a wonderful guy that we all love and is a wonderful addition to the family. I even think, no know, Daddy would have really liked him. My sister and I have a really good relationship with my step-father. Even my mom’s parents love him and I think that says a lot since my grandfather was probably considered as close to a best friend as my Dad ever had. He is a good companion for my mother and makes her happy and that is all that matters. We have a good family dynamic in my opinion. And I’m not sure I could have said that a year or two ago.

I think its interesting how things change. How you think the pain will never subside. How you think that things will never be happy or smooth ever again. And then they are. I guess its true, this to shall pass. I’m no longer reduced to almost hysterics when I discuss my father. Instead, its more like wonderful, happy, or funny memories. Don’t get me wrong, if I’ve been drinking there will probably be tears which is a bit embarrassing considering my age. But I don’t feel like my world or my family is on the brink of ending any time soon like I used to.

I won’t get into much of my own stuff right now. However, I feel like in the last six months I have finally found peace with many things, like the fact I will probably never have children. Lent and the process I went through then was very profound for me. I finally found some, even a lot, of happiness that I never had before. I’ve said before I would probably already be dead if weren’t for God. This past Lent and in the time after I finally found some happiness and a sense of calm I never experienced in the past. To be honest, I’ve never been very satisfied or happy with anything. I know my Dad never knew it either. I KNOW he would be happy that I found a bit of peace with God’s help.

I will always miss my Dad. Shit, I’ve shed a tear or two typing this. But going forward we’re good. If I had a beer I would pour one out for you.

Love you forever Daddy.

xoxo, L

No pretty pictures from Pinterest here

This is just kind of a brain dump to get some things out.

Last night I wanted a cigarette so bad I almost stopped and bought a pack. But I didn’t it. It was frustrating. Even this morning I still want one. The reason I didn’t stop isn’t because I care about dying or wrinkle or yellow teeth. I didn’t stop because I didn’t want to have a shitty run today. Huffing and puffing along like to not so big bad wolf. Gross.

Had dinner last night with my sister and her boyfriend who I hadn’t met before. I actually really like him and had a lot of fun with them together. This is shocking to me since the relationship with my my sister can be very strained depending on the day.

My sister hadn’t seen me since Thanksgiving day and commented on how good I look. Thanks. It’s kind of weird to know you’ve lost weight, know you feel and look better but somehow still feel like a fat kid. And I KNOW I WASN’T FAT. I just read to many magazines. Anna Wintour’s beauty aesthetic is in my head for life. Maybe I’m still getting used to the lifestyle change I have chosen for myself. I would like to lose 5 more pounds but not really sure that is possible,

I get daily quotes emailed to me from Runner’s World. Here is today’s.

I spent four weeks in total numbness. Six months later, I started running. I could only do ten minutes at a time, but I kept going because I knew that running would get me my life back.

Ryon Lane, runner who shattered his C4 vertebra in a 2008 diving accident

That’s kind of how I feel about everything and part of the conversation I had with my sister last night. I’ve redone my whole life and I’m not done yet. Back in November my mom said some things to me that I really didn’t appreciate and the statements came from her not wanting to be my “therapist” anymore. Well, she’s my mom and I don’t have anyone else. It was hurtful nonetheless to be told “seek help” when in the next breath “you’ve done well” came from out. My response was “I did this all on my own. You didn’t have to pay for rehab or therapy. So fuck off.”

My sister didn’t like that I told my mom to fuck off. But I did. I get so frustrated sometimes that it slips out. Cursing is not something I want to continue. It comes out when I’m doing what my mom considers dumping on her. I do feel somewhat bad about it. But probably not as much as I should.

I’ve been thinking about my divorce and my actions lately. Bleh. It bothers me the way I acted and how stressed out I let myself get before all that happened. It bothers me that I failed.

Drinking. I still drink here and there but not a lot. Every once in awhile I get tanked which I probably shouldn’t since drinking is a slippery slope for someone with a former problem. Also, something discussed last night. I’ve noticed recently how much people I know in real life drink and even how much people drink I “know” via twitter and blogging. Drinking creeps up on you and one minute it’s just a glass of wine then two then the bottle. Everyone always thinks oh that would never happen to me and one day it is you. And since its legal it has this understood acceptability. I find it annoying to see young parents now turning to the bottle and then girls in their 20s thinking its cool to be wino. It’s not. Trust. That’s my two cents.

Anyway, I’ve had a few positive things happen on the job front and maybe something fun on the personal side.

And I lied. Here is a pretty picture.

Jane Birkin. Love her style. Quintessential French.

Goals and Projects 2012

Well, we are half way through January and I’m just doing a post. I would like to post more but when I start to write all of my pent up “stuff” starts to come out. I’ll be honest I probably still need some therapy and I doubt y’all want to be it.

Back to my goals and projects. I don’t have resolutions instead I was always taught to make goals then make a plan of how to achieve it.

1) The right job. I’m not going to beat this dead horse anymore. I have faith I am doing everything I can to get it and it will come.

2) My goal is to graduate my MBA program next year with a 3.75+. My GPA needs some work but this is manageable.

3) Maintain my weight loss and lose 5 more pounds. I’ve been holding steady at 145 and need to get on that last bit. (Remember, I’m 5’9 so I get to weigh more.)

4) Super fit. This means defined arms and a tight stomach. My end date for this is June 1.

5) Run a half marathon. I’m training but slowly. I could probably go run it now. But I my ideal is 1.30 -1.45 hours. Not sure what is actually doable. I will run the half in the fall of this year.

6) My big “crafty” project for the year is to learn to knit and learn to knit well. My first class was yesterday. My second class is tomorrow. When I made cooking a project years a go I spent a year cooking Barefoot Contessa, Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, and pretty much anything else I could find. I could cook before but I couldn’t cook quickly, know how to alter a recipe or smoothly cook for a crowd. By the end of the year I could.

Knitting, I plan to make my mom a throw for her bedroom. That’s the big project/request after I master the scarves. :)

7) Re-engage in volunteering. I physically and mentally have not been up for it last year. But I’m ready to begin again. I had to take care of myself last year.

8 ) I’m moving again to a temporary location. I’ve been fine moving regularly over the last couple of years. By the end of this year I will have a permanent location and I will have bought furniture again. I’m ready to settle down.

This isn’t really a goal but for me its something I have to think about every day. Trusting in the Lord, not getting down and pressing forward. I have felt like I’m on the brink for so many years now and sometimes its to much to take. I remember when I would say the Lord’s Pray with my Dad when he was dying. I know that I have not come this far to fail now. I know that God is here with me. I know that this to shall pass. I think my biggest issue is not questioning and doing everything in my power to follow his path and be positive. God helps those who help themselves.

That’s what I’m planning for the year. Who knows what will happen and how the plan will be altered but I’m sure it will be interesting as always. You know how I love a good story and this year is sure to bring many more.

Merry Christmas and just a few things.

1. I didn’t get that job. It got cut and is being made a contract position. I’m fine with it. I didn’t want to move back to Middle Georgia and transfer schools anyway.

2. I’m looking forward to going to dinner with my mom tomorrow night and then the 10:30 pm service at my church.

3. I found somewhere to move to in the Highlands yesterday. But I’m still looking around. Totally ready to get off Peachtree St. It’s to loud.

4. Bikram kicked my ass yesterday. The teacher just got out of training and was just brutal. Even one of the ladies who goes 5 days a week had to sit down twice. I was just concentrating on surviving.

5. On my way to Bikram yesterday I realized I need to stop running. Stop trying to run from the past and leave Atlanta (six times total). I’ve been non-committal to everything and everyone over the last 2 years. Its time for me to build a life. Or at least commit to a couch. I still haven’t bought any furniture since I sold everything.

6. I’m ready to go back to school. I’m bored since I don’t have a full time job. AND I HAVE A 3.47 GPA.

7. Found someone from my past is getting their karmic retribution. I might have gloated to much. I might still be gloating.

8. This is me. Now.

I feel like I look pretty good. Hard work, etc.

9. Merry Christmas to you. I hope it is your best one ever.

Stories – The day I got a GED

I’ve had a lot of odd things happen in my life. Events that sometimes I’m like really, that happened? Curve balls that were just not part of the plan. I think the first major one happened the summer after my junior year of high school. I had been in a dance camp, Presidential Classroom, and my all-girl’s school had sent me to Girl’s State and I was preparing for senior year. It was going to be full of AP’s, Youth in Government, dance, and applying for college. That summer had been a bit stressful though. My dad who was still in his 40s had suffered a minor heart attack and somehow by miracle driven himself to St. Thomas Hospital since it happened while he was driving on West End Ave. I think that was the catalyst to what happened next.

After he had relatively recovered he decided we were moving to Atlanta. This wasn’t the smartest move but Daddy was having a bit of a midlife crisis and he could move his company wherever he wanted so he felt it didn’t matter. I don’t know why but I was for this change. I probably should have begged to stay but I was ready to go. My parents had kept my sister and I very sheltered our whole lives so I was ready to get out of Nashville. I knew I didn’t want to go to University of Tennessee or Belmont and knew my parents weren’t going to pay for Vanderbilt. They had put me through 11 years of private school. Private college was not an option. And to be honest, at the time, I hated Nashville. I wanted to go to Atlanta, NYC or DC.

Ok, so what was going to happen with me and school? I discussed it with my mom and we weren’t going to be moved until November of 1996. This would have been during my senior year in a new town. And we had called around and none of the private schools in Atlanta would even talk to us since it was so late in the application process. Atlanta is very different from Nashville. In Nashville everyone goes to private school. I realized recently that my entire time growing up I never actually knew anyone who went to public school. It was decided that I was going to get my GED and start college in January. Mind boggling. I just went with it.

My mom took me down to the center where you sign up to take your GED and we filled out the paper work. I remember the lady asking me if I wanted to take the prep classes. I said in the childish monotone I would sometimes use “no, I went to school X. I don’t think I need that.” She stacked all the papers, looked up and said “Well good luck. But I guess you don’t need it.”

The day came to take the test. I didn’t know what to expect but I was kind of nervous. I got up really early and drove myself to the testing center. It was on the opposite side of town and I had never driven in that area by myself. Actually, I had probably never been on that side of town. Looking back this whole situation is so weird. I remember pulling up in my car which was my dad’s old Range Rover at the time. I was in a sweater skirt and tights. There were people outside smoking. They looked like they were straight out of The Outsiders. At least to me that’s what they looked like. They were probably just regular people but to a sheltered kid from a world of uniforms, LL Bean and where kids get hand me down cars of Range Rovers, Porsches, and BMWs all I could think was GANG!!!! OMG!!!! WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME!!!!

The test was all day long and it was taken in blocks according to topics. I had not brought a book or a magazine and this is before smart phones let alone cell phones. My friends had beepers. As I took each test which I finished each section in 20 minutes or less. This means I got to sit quietly in a room all day long watching other people take a GED test. There were a couple of breaks where I did not talk to anyone. I just listened to their conversations which included topics of house arrest and showing each other their house arrest bracelets on their ankles. My eyes were about to pop out of my head. I knew that before the day was out I was going to die of boredom or Ponyboy and Sodapop to kill me.

The test finally ended. I could have taken the whole thing in an hour. I guess my parents when parents thought they were investing in my education they didn’t quite think “I hope my daughter just kills it on the GED exam.” But that was that. I passed the exam (obviously), moved to Atlanta and started college in January. I don’t think of this event much anymore. I usually just tell people I graduated from school X and am done with it. Having a GED doesn’t bother me. I had extenuating circumstances and I’m in graduate school for and MBA now. It’s not a knock on my intelligence. It just happened. My ex-boyfriend used to like to tell people I didn’t graduate HS (he did it in a mean way) and I would feel this need to explain the story. The whole story. And the whole story doesn’t matter. It’s just a blip in a long history of strange, slightly odd events that make up my life. And its my life and I don’t have to make apologies for it or explain it. It’s a road less travelled and I’m proud of it nonetheless.

Organic nachos and other realizations

It’s been a week from hell. Actually a week and two days. I had to write three papers as part of my finals in grad school, I have an exam tomorrow I’ve barely studied for and the world’s longest, break-up is finally over. I had a little bit of a light bulb moment yesterday which was totally annoying but glad I figured it out. I will spare you the details but due to all of that and a few other miscellaneous family issues I’ve been just a bit upset. To be perfectly honest, I can’t stop crying. Mercury retrograde is kicking my a$$.

Anywhoo, today was another rough day. After my bi-weekly chiropractor appointment I decided I wanted to go to Whole Foods and get something to eat. Maybe a slice of pizza or a gelato. I wanted something, anything to make me feel better. (Today was the day I officially lost 20lbs but lets ignore that little tidbit. I only ate shrimp cocktail at Thanksgiving, sometimes you just need some carbs.) I decided to look around since I usually just pick up the few things I like to eat anymore and are healthy at Publix. I wanted to browse the selection especially since Whole Foods steps it up a notch during the holidays.

I started looking at the fruit and spied the guacamole. I love Whole Foods guacamole. And there was their fresh salsa right beside it. I decided that my cheat meal was going to be homemade nachos. I hadn’t had them in forever and used to love eating them when I went out a lot. Years ago I probably ate them once a week at Taco Mac with my ex-husband on free pint night. (That’s when I started gaining the weight.) Tonight there was no beer because I have to study and I rarely drink anymore. Ok, so in my basket went the small containers of guacamole and salsa. All fresh and I guess relatively homemade.

I walked down the aisles looking around but didn’t get anything. Off to the dairy case. Low-fat, organic sour cream it is. The bag of the “natural” corn tortilla chips. Making my way around the store I stopped and tried some kind of red onion cheddar Whole Foods wanted me to buy. No thank you. Just a block of Whole Foods brand cheddar cheese, still organic. Over to the salad bar I went to get a spoonful of jalapenos that I had to put in a giant (yet recycled) salad bar container. There was space left. Obviously, I just needed to taste the fried tofu and the macaroni and cheese. Both of which I’ve had many times before. And just for good measure I picked up two Arden’s Garden Supergreen juices for tomorrow. That’s my “food hangover” remedy.

I go to pay and the cashier tells me its $31.27. Now this is not unexpected. I am in Whole Foods. But to remind myself of happier times was it worth it. To pay $31.27 for organic nachos and a memory that really wasn’t that happy. I already lost all that weight and him and that life. It’s done. It’s in the past. Why do I keep trying to go back to something I don’t even want?

I’ve moved forward. Nothing about me is the same. Not even the way I talk. I barely even curse anymore and I used to have the mouth of the dirtiest sailor who just kissed a whore. Yeah, that bad. But what is it about me that can’t seem to get out of limbo? Why I am I on the slow and winding road instead of the definitive path? Why is this another year from hell no matter how much I pray or ask for guidance?

And before you get all judge-y, if you knew me in real life you would know how generally I put on the happy face. It takes a lot of effort to do that everyday though. Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, yada yada yada. And this all pretty basic stuff but when you are going through change after change after change it takes its toll. I just need to freeze my face with botox so the stress doesn’t start to show.

Those nachos didn’t bring back a lost love or a happy memory. They just reminded me of who I no longer am and how I wished I had just drunk the green juice. They reminded me AGAIN that you can never go back. And it is a good thing and I need to make right choices for the future. Just buy the overpriced juice from now on since, you know, skinny tastes better. ;)