Dear Diary: Beer With Breakfast

An escaped hyper pit bull at my daughter’s bus stop? This calls for Blue Moon.

So. Here I am. 10:45am. Sitting at my kitchen table. Drinking a beer. My second, actually. I had my first…. Hmm…. 20 minutes ago?

Pick your poison. What’ll it be?
Beer is my drink of choice and Blue Moon is my beer of choice. It’s brewed with orange peel so it’s cool for breakfast, right? I love Belgium-style beers. (New Belgium Fat Tire is another good one.)  My body does not react well to wine or liquor.

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So beer it is. This morning it’s beer because, as I stated above, there was an escaped pit bull at my daughter’s bus stop.

I do not like those dogs. I’m not comfortable with dogs in general, I’m just not used to them. Growing up we had only a few pets- some goldfish, two hamsters, one guinea pig, and the occasional temporary cat. My mom is very allergic to dogs so we never had one, and most of my childhood experiences with dogs were not so good. Dogs are so freakin’ hyper! When I was little even small dogs scared the crap out of me. Big dogs terrified me.
And you have to understand that as a child my parents didn’t have us around the most refined or responsible people. Most of them were not responsible dog owners so their stupid dogs were really stupid and scary- jumping in my face, barking, growling. Pretty much just actin’ a damn fool. It’s no wonder I didn’t like dogs.
Now that I’m older I’m good with small dogs, I’d even like to get one one day. But I’m still very leery of big dogs. I’m also completely distrusting of pit bulls, rottweilers, bull mastiffs, and all the other dogs on the Top Most Dangerous Dogs list, but especially pit bulls.

Pit bull advocates will argue that they’re a “misunderstood breed.”
Bull. Shit.
It’s not about the likelihood of whether or not a pit bull will bite (or out right attack), it’s about the physical harm they are capable of causing.

The dog that was at my daughter’s bus stop this morning is a dog we are somewhat familiar with. It’s a neighbor’s dog. It used to get out a lot but other people complained so they finally took better action to keep the dog in the house or the yard. It’s been a while since this dog has got out, but somehow it did this morning. Several other kids and families were on their way to the bus stop as well, and almost all of them were scared or at least nervous about this dog running around.
It’s a very hyper dog. The owner never takes her for a walk! So when she gets out she bolts straight for people- adults and kids alike. Like I said, she’s a very hyper dog so it’s hard to tell if she’s just trying to play or if she’s being aggressive. I do know for sure that she’s bitten one kid. It was a girl who was visiting at the owner’s house. She was playing with the dog and I guess the dog got confused or too rough…. I don’t know. The fact is the dog bit the girl on the arm.
Luckily, as my dayghter and I were about to walk down to the bus stop I happened to see the dog dash across the street. So my daughter and I got in the car to drive to the bus stop instead. On our way down the street we could see a couple of families (moms and their kids) who were already huddled together because of that stupid hyper-ass dog. Unfortunately,  once we got to the bus stop we saw that the dog was there. Only one kid was ok with that dog- the rest were scared and either standing back frozen with fear or running away, which is the worst thing you can do! But I’m telling you- that dog makes people nervous.
I was parked right at the corner by my daughter’s bus stop. The bus was there waiting for her. But she couldn’t get out. She didn’t want to and I certainly wasn’t going to let her anyway. The dog was on the other corner and the bus was across the street. I was afraid the dog would chase my daughter when she crossed the street to get on the bus.

So she stayed in the car, the bus left, and I ended up having to drive my daughter to school- which isn’t really a big deal, far worse things can happen. However, we did bust our butts to make sure she was ready to go in time for the bus. We even made sure we had time to actually walk to the bus stop. This is an accomplishment for us! And then here that damn dog comes ruining everything.

I tried not to let it ruin my morning, but it kind of did.
It really raised my anxiety, and I just couldn’t seem to let it go.

I was really looking forward to today. I’m going to the craft store to get some fall and Halloween decorations. (I love this season!) And I have a special dinner planned for tonight- crockpot mac and cheese, turkey tenderloin, and baked zucchini. My husband is out of town for work this week so I invited a friend over for dinner. She is an excellent cook and one of the most amazing, generous people I have ever know so I want to make sure I really do it up for her.
But, like I said, my anxiety was up and running and I was starting to feel like I wasn’t going to be able to follow through on all of my lovely plans for the day. So I thought to myself, How can I fix this? What can I do? 
Normally I would take my medicine- Xanax. But I’m out. My appointment is next week so I’m sure I can wait until then for a refill. But since I didn’t have that available I thought, Well, sitting down with a beer would be nice right about now.
I’ll just sit, sip my beer, calm down, and then I’ll be good to go. 

I needed to go the grocery store anyway- macaroni, toothpaste, children’s ibuprofen (my daughter has cough and sore throat). So I just added a six pack to my list. In addition to the beer I also got myself some smoked salmon sushi, an avacado, and ice cream. Whatever I needed to help reset this day.

I’m so surprised, and you might be too, that it took so very little to send my anxiety soaring to such a high level. However, anxiety is a complex, multi-layered thing. There usually isn’t just one cause behind it. A pit bull at my daughter’s bus stop will always be a cause for concern, but there’s more to my anxiety this morning. I’ve been having strange, angst ridden, emotional dreams ever since shit went down between me and my mom back in February. Last night I had a dream in which I was very angry at my husband because he purposely left our kids at a fast food/gas station!  So, obviously, in the dream I was very worried about my kids. I’ve also been having a little trouble with my fifteen-year-old son. I’m sure the dream, as well as my concerns regarding my son, had something to do with my anxiety this morning.
I wish this didn’t happen.
There is a voice in my head that’s been saying, Ok, I’ve GOT to get rid of this anxiety thing.
But lately there’s been a different answer.
Maybe you’ll never be rid of it. Maybe it will always be there, for your entire life. There is no getting rid it. You just have to live with it. Minimize it, manage it, but there is no getting rid of it- no cure. 

Well, I’ll manage. I’m feeling better already. I’m going to turn on some music, finish my sushi, make eggs and toast, some coffee, and then I’ll be good to go. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy- shopping, cooking, decorating, dishes, laundry. I like having a lot to keep me busy, but I also like that most of it doesn’t have to be done today. Most of it can wait until tomorrow and I like that. My husband will tell you- I am the Queen of tomorrow.

Eh. I’ll just do it tomorrow.

Like Scarlet-freakin-O’Hara, I am the queen of tomorrow.

scarlett and rhett b&w

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Dear Diary: I’m back (Part 2) Final updates

In my first blog posts, all those months ago, I wrote about being a stay-at-home parent and how I was feeling about it. I also wrote in detail and at length about my dad and brother, Daniel, and I’d like to briefly address those topics.

Last August I was dreading the kids going back to school. It seemed as if I had nothing but emptiness and loneliness to look forward to… Turns out I was needlessly worried because I have been absolutely fine! More than fine- I’ve been loving it, I’m happier than I’ve ever been!
I didn’t even have to find ways of occupying my time. I had been brainstorming about part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities, but I haven’t once felt the need to find something to do. I spent a little time in my daughter’s class, but that isn’t really my thing… All those kids and all that chaos- I don’t tolerate it very well. I have been busy enough with regular daily life things- laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doctor’s appointments, emailing teachers, doing homework, etc.
And I love all of the quiet alone time I have during the day! Lots of alone time is a necessity for my well being, and I am getting plenty of it. I’ve also been feeling like I have purpose. I’m available to do things that my husband, son, and daughter need- often even at a moments notice, and I really like that. I know they do too.
Another key to the success of my stay-at-home-parent-experience is the time that my husband and I get to spend together when he gets home from work. Last school year, and for five years before that, once he got home from work I left for work. We get to see a lot more of each other now that I don’t have the part-time job at night, and because I have all day to myself to get things done at my own pace I’m refreshed and happy when he gets home. We are so fortunate to have a set up like this and it is working very well for us.
So that’s where I’m at regarding the whole full-time-stay-at-home parent thing.

As for my dad and my brother….

Back last summer, at the end of July or beginning of August, I had my dad over at my house  for the first time in years. As I mentioned before, I don’t see much of him. I can’t spend time in his apartment (unhealthy) and because of his drinking I don’t usually have him over to my house. Well, last summer I had my youngest brother bring him over. The visit wasn’t very good and thankfully lasted only an hour, but despite how uncomfortable it was I had resolved to do it again. My goal was to have him over maybe once a month, but I didn’t follow through on that. I have seen him, but not at my house. I’ve given him a ride a few times so that he can pick up his work equipment, but that’s it. However, I have started answering his calls a little more often.
As for my brother, Daniel- the one who’s an addict, in and out of jail and rehab….
I haven’t heard much about him in several months. The only reason I ever knew anything before was because my mom would tell me. Well, I obviously haven’t had any contact with her since February, but even before that, back in January and December, I was keeping more distance between us than usual because I was avoiding having that uncomfortable conversation with her. (See previous post- I’m back, Part 1)
Occasionally my brother Nick will give me an update, but he hasn’t mentioned Daniel for over six months. So the last I knew (from my mom) was that he was in yet another jail/rehab program. However, my dad called this past Monday to wish me a happy belated Mother’s Day, so while I had him on the phone I asked him if he knew anything about Daniel. He didn’t know much, but he knew enough. He was able to tell me that just a few weeks ago Daniel had asked our grandmother (my dad’s mother) for money. Well, we all know what that means.

Honestly, I don’t think he will ever be sober. He will never stop. It is going to kill him. I gave up hope years ago that he will ever stop doing drugs and live a normal life. It’s sad… It’s very sad, because I don’t think he’s ever known a day of peace or happiness in his entire life.
And sometimes, some days, I’m hit with a sort of “survivor’s guilt” because my life is so very different from his. I know peace and happiness everyday. I have my kids, my husband, my husband’s family, friends, a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Our kids go to good schools, we drive nice cars, travel, eat good food, go to nice restaurants…
And on top of all that I have Netflix and books! Ha!
I have Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, and Dr. Frasier Crane.
I have Jane Austen, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and Ripple, The Water Spirit...