Thursday, June 23, 2011

When I Grow Up

I was born in 1979.

And thats not a big deal, unless you tell my kids, who say all sorts of great stuff like:


"Did you guys have TV?"


"Did you guys have a computer?"


"Did you have internet?"

No. That came out when I was in college.


And then I feel it.

I'm OLD.

I've grown up.

And it made me think about when I was their age. I use to think :

"When I grow up...."

*I'm going to be a teacher
*I'll be a great mom ( and eat cookie dough all day while my kids go to school)
*My kids will be perfect because I will be perfect
*I will  have a hot body ( not the awkward one I had at 10)
*I will meet the man of my dreams on a cruise ship.  I will be wearing my pink fluffy dress ( It never occurred to me that it wouldn't fit when I grew up) . He will do something that makes me mad. I will stand out on the balcony over looking the ocean.   He will come to me, apologize, and ask me to marry him. I will forgive him ( because I am AWESOME) and We will live happily ever after.

And then I grew up.

I never became a teacher
My kids are normal
My body is still awkward
I've never been on a cruise

The only goal I accomplished was that I DO eat cookie dough whenever I feel like it.  ( Morning or Night)

And you would think that I'd learn.

And yet, at 31, I still tell myself...

"When I grow up really old, then ..."

I'll have healthier boundaries
I won't be so bossy
I'll get in shape
I'll live my dreams
I'll will be fearless
I'll go on a cruise (yes, some dreams never die)

But today,  I realize things change, life has tough obstacles, and I'm stubborn. And if I felt like being truly morbid- which I do- the truth is, I could die at any time.

 And if the past is a reflection of my future, 20 years from now, I will still be :

*Afraid to set boundaries
*Bossing people around when I shouldn't
*Physically out of shape
*Afraid to live my dreams
*Scared of the unknown
*Listening to my friends while they talk about their amazing cruise.

And the only plus side is, I will probably have the BEST cookie dough recipe in town.

So, for today:

I will mess up on boundaries, and say I'm sorry
I will be bossy, but not as bossy as I was yesterday
I'll walk around the block
I will pray about my dreams and let God guide me
I will do one thing that scares me, even if it's small
I will put $20 away each month for a cruise

And I will be grateful that I have finally realized that GROWING UP is overrated.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sometimes we are THAT couple

I have a confession. It will taint your view of me, if you had one, forever. I like to watch people, especially when I am on a date with my husband. But wait, it gets worse.

Then I like to make up stories about them too.

For instance, if I'm at Walmart on a date with my hubby- ( yes, my husband and I tend to call a trip to the grocery store "date night")  and a husband and wife are shopping together, and he is being all sweet and she is looking at him like he's a JERK, I will quickly go to the next isle- turn to Isaac and began explaining everything.

"Did you see the couple on the cereal isle?"

He doesn't even look up.... he just pretends to understand

"Ummm yea, that lady and that guy right?"

Good enough.

"Yes. They were fighting, and he was acting all sweet, but you know what I think?"

Silence- cause I'm not really asking..

" I think he was a big time jerk, and instead of changing, he's just kissing up. But she has probably seen that a few times. But you know what's sad about all of that?"

"Hmmm..." he begins- he is about to say something awful and truthful like,

 "Yeah, they are a lot like us"

But I'm in denial and I'm trying to stroke my ego.

"Well, what's awful and sad about it  is that it MAKES HER look like the bad guy, when he is actually the REAL JERK!"

OH man. I am so glad I'm not them.

At least not this second.

By now my husband just nods. Laughs. The end. I feel better.

That is until, it's my turn to be "THAT" couple, and I am fully aware of it.

And it all started at the movie theater. We went to a $2 movie with another couple. The movie was very clean, which is good, and very stupid- which is funny.

So we left the theater laughing hysterically at all the dumb parts that were suppose to be serious.

Then we walk out to the parking lot, and  I notice a streak down the backside of my husbands pants.

"What is THAT?"

He had sat on some nasty candy that didn't look like candy.

We started laughing so hard that all four of us started crying. And then it hit. I stopped.

"I feel super tired..." I said. And Boom! Narcolepsy.  I was asleep, in the parking lot. Head down, standing up.
But they kept laughing about the pants, and the movie. And I can hear them. The more I hear, the more I laugh inside, the deeper my narcolepsy goes. Now, I am completely bent over, my arms are hanging, and my body is sound asleep.

My husband bends over to help me. He is still laughing with everyone else. I can hear people stopping and looking at us. And the thought crosses my mind, "We are THAT couple."

I can hear the story now.

A couple is walking through the parking lot to the movie theater.

The wife turns to her husband.

"Oh my gosh! Did you see THAT couple?"

"Yeah, the one that's falling over and drunk?"

"Yes! Do you think they got drunk before or after the movie?"

"I don't know. But they must be pretty wasted. She's all  slumped over. And then her husband is just standing there laughing, BUT he's so wasted that he crapped his pants, and he doesn't' even know it!"

Then his wife will look at him and say, "We have our problems, but I am so glad we are not THAT couple. I just hope they don't have kids."

And then they will go on their merry little way with their impressions and stories.

And little do they know how impossible it would be to guess the real story.

But from this experience, I have learned one absolute truth.......

God has an incredible sense of humor. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Have Dairy Cow Syndrome

In our society as we have shifted to a more sophisticated way of life, we suppose that somehow we have left behind the horse, the mules, and dairy cows to become more advanced, and savvy. But I wonder if we have really left the animals behind, or have simply viewed ourselves as them, in some morbid sort of away. If you don't follow, then let me lead.

I have dairy cow syndrome.

You maybe thinking...

"I'm sorry that a rash?"

"Shouldn't you keep that to yourself?"

"Did our kids play together recently...ummm... I hope not!"

Or maybe you wonder-

 "What the Heck is that?"

It's simple. You probably have it too.. but not as bad as I did. If so, I feel sorry for you. I hope you can blog and heal as I have.

Dairy Cow syndrome is when we esteem ourselves like we would a good dairy cow. It happens when a majority of our feelings of self worth come from what we produce,  provide, accomplish.

When I think of a good dairy cow, I think "A good dairy cow will...

* Produce
* Be there from sun up to sun down
* Provide for others

It can show up in our career, in our children, in our marriage.

And over time, dairy cow syndrome becomes so ingrained in us, that we began to believe that our achievements define our worth.

And most of us never know we have it, until we can't live it.

I had dairy cow syndrome real bad-

* I worked from sun up to sun down ( sometimes 12 hour days)

* I produced more material and work for my business to keep me busy for weeks

* I provided 50% of our income

I was the queen of dairy cow syndrome. And my dairy cow mentality was going to carry me through life. One day, I would be the millionaire. The best producing, most efficient, most talented, riches dairy cow syndrome afflicted women in town.

Produce Produce Produce,  Provide, Provide, Provide, dairy cow, dairy cow, dairy cow.

Little did I know that my thinking was off base. Deep down I believed that if everything I worked for went away, I would be okay. It's only a game. And if I lost, no biggie! I would just get back up and play again.

That was until I lost. And I couldn't get back up.

When cataplexy struck, and it did strike- over night I was paralyzed, limp, in bed, unable to move.

" If I was cow, they'd shoot me" I told my husband.

He laughed.

Good thing I'm not a cow.

But the days moved on, and no one tried to shoot me.

In fact, I was amazed at how many people took time to serve me.

I remember the widow who came over to bring me homemade bread. I sat on my couch and asked her how she was. She poured out her heart. I felt her pain. I had known her for many years, and for the first time- in a long time-

 I listened.

When the local restaurant owner came to my house once a week to bring my family their favorite meal,    ( which we could no longer afford to buy ourselves), he sat and talked about his life, his business, his dreams and how its struggling. And for the first time, in a long time, I didn't have  meetings to attend, phone calls to make, chores to do around my house. I sat there, limp.

 And  I listened.

And perhaps the best blessing was that my kids came accustom to visiting me in my bed everyday after school. And while they chatted,laughed, and talked about their day, I laid there. I would go in and out of paralysis, but they didn't care. They had so much to say. And for the first time, in a very long time, I didn't have any excuses, cells phones, meeting, urgent computer work to distract me.

So I listened.

Then I realized, perhaps this is the one thing that might help me stop feeling guilty about not being able to produce, produce, produce, provide, provide, provide, provide, do, do, do.

I can listen.

It's a gift I rarely used in the past, and quite frankly, I didn't know I was missing it so badly.

And while I sat and did nothing, I watched miracles pass through my life.

And the more I listened, the more gratitude I felt.

But it wasn't always easy. In fact, most of the time, it was really hard. I felt grateful to be learning how to listen, but I wanted more. I wanted to be able to really contribute,really give back, really help other people, really produce an income. Deep down, I still had dairy cow syndrome.

Then one night, after Isaac had put the kids to sleep and cleaned the house, he laid down next me, where I had been laying all day.

I inched towards him and laid my head on his chest. Tears began falling down my cheeks.

"Isaac, I am so scared" I whispered. " What if I'm always like THIS?"

Tired but full of hope he replied, "God has a plan for us Jodi. I know it."

 Then I closed my eyes, began to pray, and I asked God what His plan was for me-

 And for the first time, in a really, really long time, I listened.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Everyones Got "IT"

I've been gone for while. I quit blogging. I quit a lot of things. But I have a good reason. And yes, it has funny elements to it, because most things do, you just have to find IT. So here IT goes.....

My sweet hubby and the kids were all sitting in church. I was the last to join them. I sat down next to my husband and began whispering about plans after church.

Then "IT" hit. At the time, I didn't know what "IT" was but I did know this."IT" would cause me to go completely paralyzed. "IT" looked like I had a blood sugar problem- which I didn't -and "IT" had only happened 2-3 times in the past month, and "IT" was happening at church, in front of everyone. And "IT" was about to become a really awkward and life changing experience.

I looked at my hubby and said. "IT is happening again."

Trying to not cause a scene, my hubby whispered, "IT will be okay."

My head went down into my lap and though my eyes were closed, tears fell all over my cute pencil skirt. 

My hubby took my limp head and propped it up on his shoulder.

Now the Tears were covering his blue dress shirt.

He managed to pass the sacrament to the kids with one hand, while propping up my head with the other.

And though "acting natural" was his main goal, "IT" had never lasted this long in the past, and "IT" was not ending.

"I'm going to pick you up" he whispered in my ear.

The ironic thing is that when "IT" happens, I can hear everything. I never loose consciousness, but I can't respond. My mind began to race. My knight and shining armor was about to drop his sweet little princess flat on her butt. How sad.

But I couldn't move, I couldn't respond.

"I'm going to have 2 other guys help me"- he whispered.

Nice. I can hear them talking to their wives later, "You know Sister Evans is much heavier than she looks...."

And like a dead horse, they picked me up.

Up my legs went in the air with with my red boots dangling. UP my bra went towards my chin.

And all I could think was, 'Im so glad I can't see what I look like."

Then the men laid me down in a room off to the side. Immediately other specialist, Dr.'s and Nurses came to help. I didn't know what was happening which made IT even worse. After 10 minutes of shaking, and being unable to respond, IT calmed down and I began to regain consciousness.

I slowly opened my eyes and saw all the people trying to help me.

"Holy Sh---!" I whispered, and then "Sorry" in the next breath.

Then IT hit again, and all I could think is, "I might be dying and those were my last words!" NICE.

As I was laying there, bra gently edging towards my chin, I was hoping that "IT" was a temporary problem.

2 weeks later "IT" got a name. Cataplexy and Narcolepsy.

And through my experience over the last year and a half, I have learned that everyone has an "IT". IT just has a different name for each person. Sometimes we can see IT, but most of us hide "IT" pretty well.  

And "IT" has a lot of baggage. Because "IT" took a lot of things from me, such as:

*IT stole my independence

* IT drained my savings

* IT caused me to loose my home

* IT paralyzed me 20 to 30 times a day

* IT took away all my superficial vanities

* IT requires a lot of attention

But here is the beauty of all of our "IT's". For everything IT takes away, IT always give more back. And it's ironic how that happens. But even as I write this post, I struggled to find what IT has taken, even though I see "IT's" losses everyday, and I have cried countless times over IT. IT gives so abundantly, that IT is tough to ignore.

* IT forced me to slow down and listen to my children ( when I am paralyzed I can hear but I can't talk :))

* IT forced me to stop being a workaholic

* IT stirred up a strong sense of gratitude for everything I ever had and now have- including my health.

* IT took away my superficial vanities. ( NO matter how cute I think I am, I can land on my butt any minute)

* IT forces me to take life one day at a time, rely on God, and let go of expectations.

Now with treatment, IT shows up 3 times a day instead of 20-30. But since IT will never go away, IT allows me to keep learning. And IT has become a beautiful gift with really ugly packaging.

So I hope that whatever IT you might be struggling with, you can see the beauty, the perks, and how brave you are to deal with the IT in your life. And never think you are alone.

Everyone has IT.