The one in which I’m mentally challenged… by crossfit.

In crossfit, there is this epic event known as the crossfit open, which leads to the even more epic event, the crossfit games. Anyone can enter the open, while the games are for the most fit athletes in crossfit. So, of course I signed up.

The open is 5 weeks long, one WOD per week. The first week I was a hot mess, but I pushed through and fell in love, much like my year-long love affair with crossfit. As the weeks wore on, I was challenged in many ways, but none more than the mental challenge that comes from being in any activity that involves competition. For me anyway…

When I start something new, I always have this unreasonable expectation that I’m going to be great at it, like awesomely so. Then, when I’m not, I become disappointed with myself. My thought process becomes, “If I’m not great at this, then why am I doing it?” I know, I know, completely ridiculous and unrealistic, but we all have our imperfections, and mine is striving to be perfect at everything. Maybe it comes from being a younger sister to a brother, who in my eyes, everyone thought was perfect at everything. I spent much of my younger years either trying to be great at something like him, or rebelling against his perfection. It caused me to make MANY mistakes in life, some that have repercussions I’m still dealing with today.

I am the type of person that is SO incredibly hard on myself, whether it be my profession, being a parent, daughter, sister, friend, athlete… you name it. My inner voice comes in the form of MANY people, and sometimes that causes me to believe that what those voices are saying are actual truths. It messes with me, and can put a strain on my friendships and relationships in general. You might think you have no impact on my life, but I analyze EVERY little comment you might make to me, or someone else, or a comment you made to someone else and not to me. It may be ridiculous and abnormal, but it’s a part of who I am that I’ve been working to fix. A part I thought I was making progress with, and then the open happened.

I’ve learned as a parent and a teacher, you have to work hard to keep your inner monologue in check, especially when you have impressionable girls (or students) around everyday. One day I looked in the mirror and had to stop myself from saying, “I’m so fat”, or weighing myself several times in one day, or saying out loud, “I can’t do this”, or not eating for a day because I’ve been eating horribly for a week. I NEVER want to hear my girls say or do these things, so censoring our hiding those inner thoughts or actions that want to come out can be quite a challenge, but necessary.

During the open, I began to tell myself that it didn’t matter that I was doing this. It made no impact on anything. It was embarrassing that I was even doing this, because WHO do I think I am? The last WOD came out on Thursday and I showed up to watch a friend do her workout, and it was amazing. There were people there cheering her on, and she was doing everything Rx (the REAL stuff, like chest to bar pull ups and heavy weights and awesome things like that) and I’m thinking, why the hell am I even attempting this!? I’m NEVER going to be able to do that. I want it SO bad, but it’s not in the cards for me. And if it is, it will take years, and I’m over 40, and maybe I have MS, or some other auto-immune disease that will screw my body up, and really, who do I think I am!?!

There is no fantastical conclusion to this story. In true Liz Campbell form, I became defiant. I wasn’t going to finish this last stupid workout. I was done. I was over it, I got what I wanted out of it. I compared myself to the rest of the world of crossfit, and in the end, I wasn’t that impressed with myself. Seriously. My friend told me, “I don’t think I can let you NOT do this! Aren’t you going to regret it? «No» (Insert incredulous look here.)

In the end, at the last minute, I decided I’d do it. I wasn’t going to try my best, because it won’t be good enough, but I’ll do it, because I’m not going to be a quitter, and what the hell anyway. But I did, and I tried hard, and it still doesn’t feel good enough. But hopefully some day in the future I’ll look back and it’ll mean something. If not, oh well. I did talk to some awesome new people after, and cheered other people on. So maybe I made a difference to them. In my twisted mind I can’t see that I would. But I’ll never know and I’ve learned to accept that unknown in my life, sometimes.

Again, I don’t know what the point of all of this is, but someday I hope I’ll look back and realize that I’m ok, I turned out fine, and maybe there are other people who are just as majestically messed up as me. Maybe then I’ll be good enough for myself, or maybe not. But hopefully I’ll be happy with who I am and I won’t give two sh*ts what anyone else thinks of me.

That’s the end game anyway. 😊

Look at my barren field….

6npyrf2I’ve been struggling for the past few, well, weeks, months, years, decades… For someone who wants people to like her so much, I should really stop being such a bitch. I’m finding myself frustrated with nearly everything lately. Irritability is a bitch.

Work,

Money,

People,

Weight loss,

All of the above, please.

 

As I so often do, I was thinking at work today while trying to maintain my anger management issues, how I’m really not a nice person.  I talk about myself too much, I don’t worry about others enough, I’m irresponsible, and irritating.  I have no will-power, I’m ungrateful for what I have.  The list could go on, and on…

So, to counter-act the tail spin that would likely result from this bout of self-loathing, I’m taking it upon myself to make this blog a thankful journal for the remaining month of December.  For each day I will write at least a short post to remind myself of all that I have to be thankful for.  I thought about posting about positive things about myself, but I would have to have positive things to say about myself, and I don’t right now.  Maybe in a couple of weeks I will have mindfully proven to myself that I can be a good and kind person, and then I can spend a month writing a positive affirmation blog month about that. But for now I need to get my head out of my ass and stop being lost in my barren field of f*cks I don’t give and get my shit together.

Wish me luck!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or not…

schoolsuppliesSo, I am going to do something I probably shouldn’t do, but I’m going to anyway because I had one helluva experience this weekend that I haven’t had since my oldest was in first grade.

My bestie and I were on an errand from God on Sunday.  1.) Because she was getting a new phone after almost chucking hers out the window because it wouldn’t text and other highly necessary operations that are a must for the technically connected… and 2.) because the monster needed his school supplies and there would be no other time to do it in their busy schedule before Meet Your Teacher night later in the week.

She was feeling oddly bad for me because I would be standing around in a phone store looking longingly at the phones that I couldn’t afford because I’m painfully poor and am days away from having a really professional and good paying job which will actually put me back in the economy’s middle class ranking, so she suggested we divide and conquer to make things move a little faster and be more productive.  I would drop her off at the phone store then run and get the school supplies.  Sounds easy, right?  I was excited because I don’t go with the girls, their grandmother is extremely generous in offering each year to buy their supplies for them, so I would get the experience without the stress of it being with my own children arguing over Hello Kitty folders and Frozen backpacks.

No.

No, that’s not even what happened.  When I walked into the store the school supplies were directly in front of me and the mass chaos that was ensuing was both shocking and eye-opening to me as a parent as well as a teacher.

And here is where I revolt from my fellow teachers and throw them all to the wolves.  Because we are BAD people.  I mean bad, as in were are definitely going to hell bad.

I walk up to the school lists and begin to read, thinking, not too bad, not horrible. But then I start searching for the items and realize, these are really specific items being requested on this list. (5) folders, but they must be red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. I get the plastic folders because I know my friend’s son and I think, “hey, he won’t be able to destroy these, at least not easily, right?” So I start looking for the appropriate colors and find all but a yellow.

I am defiant by nature, so when I can’t find a yellow in the plastic version I refuse to switch to the paper version.  It’s just principle now. So I get orange instead.  It’s in the yellow family, a secondary color created by its primary counter parts yellow and red.  Orange will be the new yellow.

Next I had to find specific amounts of crayons, markers, and colored pencils.  Lets be honest, none of the amounts he was supposed to have were correct, me being a teacher I’m thinking, “More is better, right?” 36 colored pencils instead of 24, 10 markers instead of 8, what could 2 additional colors hurt?

Then came the dry erase markers. I don’t disagree with the purchase of these, but when the girls are specified to bring “fine tip” and the boys “chisel tip” I draw the line.  Last time I’m brought dry erasers chisel tip was the norm so I’m thinking easy peasy. Nope, apparently fine tip is all the rage these days.  Stupid, chisel I can make a fat line or a thin line, best of both worlds, but apparently higher education is more specific in their instruction of new teachers these days.  When I was in college we had to practice writing on CHALK BOARDS people.  CHALK BOARDS.  I have a strong aversion to chalk boards.  Like I’m gonna puke if even one squeak comes from a piece of chalk and God FORBID someone scratch their nails on it. I’m gagging as we speak just thinking of it…

At this point I begin to notice I’m walking the aisle mumbling to myself, “Crayons, crayons, pointed tipped scissors, magic erasers. What the f*ck is a Magic Eraser? ”  Over and over again. I think, “People are gonna start staring, so I’d better keep it together.” But then I realize all of these other parents are doing the same thing!

One guys walking down the aisle going, “Oh God, oh God…”, another is mumbling, “Stupid, stupid, stupid…”. I heard a mother say to her daughter, “You’d better make this fridge and microwave last you all four years.”

I ran into another mom looking for a specific brand of pencils.  I directed her to the correct spot, then asked, “Do you know what a magic eraser is?”

“No clue.”

“I’m actually a teacher and I have no idea what it is..” She looks at me with a mixture of hatred and pity and I scurry away.

The breaking point was the crayons.  I was in need of a 24 pack, but could only get the 8 count jumbo size or the 128 mega pack and I figured I’d have one pretty pissed off third grader gunning for me if I brought either of these home.  After angry Snapchats and rantings to my bestie, I stoop about as low as I could go on this “damned from the beginning” pilgrimage and nab a pack out of a pre-packed bag for patrons to purchase for underprivileged school students.  A new low for sure.

As I made my way back to the phone store to pick her up, I was reviewing what purchases might not be actually kosher with the teacher figuring the orange folder might be a bit of a stretch, but surely it couldn’t make that much of a difference right?  Wrong.  I was promptly informed that last year the items that weren’t correct were sent home with a note stating they were not acceptable and new items must be purchased. In fact, she informed me that she fully expected to be back out re-buying all of these same supplies the week after school started because generally half of them weren’t correct.

I was outraged.  I told her if the teacher made a peep she should let me know and I would be up at that school the next day having it out with her.  She insisted it really wasn’t worth it and that buying all new supplies was in turn, much easier.

OMG.

Today she posts this blog from People I Want to Punch in the Throat on my wall about school supplies and teachers.  People I Want to Punch in the Throat found it came from Ginny over at Praying to Darwin and its PURE GENIUS.


 

For all you Mommies dealing with this shit right now, cheers!

School Supplies
by XXXXXXXXXXXX on Monday, September 7, 20xx at 10:31am
************************************************
Dear Mrs. X:
In just over a week, you will be my son’s Grade 1 teacher. He is ever so excited to be under your tutelage. Why, since the last day of kindergarten, entering your class was all he could talk about. He gleefully thrust a piece of paper into my hand on that June afternoon, and said, “Here’s a list of the stuff I need for school next September!”
And I have to admit, I, too, was excited. I’m a school supplies geek from way back. And so, in early August, I set out to buy the items you’d listed. It was on my fourth store that the realization began to sink in.
You’re a crafty bitch, aren’t you?
This list was a thinly disguised test. Could I find the items, exactly as you’d prescribed? Because if not, my son would be That Kid, the one with the Problem Mother, Who Can’t Follow Directions.
For example, the glue sticks you requested. In the 40 gram size. Three of the little buggers. (What kind of massive, sticky project you’ve got planned for the first day of school that would require the students to bring all this glue, I cannot imagine.) But the 40 gram size doesn’t come in a convenient 3-pack. The 30 gram size does. But clearly, those would be wildly inappropriate. So I got the individually priced 40’s, as per your instructions.
Another bit of fun was your request for 2 packs of 8 Crayola crayons (basic colors). The 24 packs, with their 24 *different* colors, sat there, on sale. I could have purchased *three* of the 24 packs for the price I had to pay for the 8 packs. (Clearly, you’ll not be teaching the youngsters any sort of economics lessons this year.) Even the cashier looked at me, as if to say, “Pardon me, ma’am, but are you slow?” as I purchased these non-bargain crayons. But that’s what the list said. And I was committed to following the list.
But the last item, well, now, you saved your malice up for that one, didn’t you? “8 mm ruled notebooks”, you asked for. Simple enough. Except the standard size is “seven” millimetres. One. Millimetre. Difference. Do you realize, Mrs. X., exactly how infinitesimal the difference between 7 mm ruling and 8 mm ruling is? Pretty small, I assure you. The thickness of a fingernail, approximately. But that millimetre, that small bit of nothingness, made me drive to four different stores, over the course of three sweaty August hours. And when I finally, finally found the last remaining 8 mm notebooks, I took no pleasure in my victory. I merely shifted my focus. To you, Mrs. X.
You wanna dance, lady? Let’s dance.
Because I am just batshit crazy enough to play your games. And, in turn, come up with some of my own.
On show and share day, my son will be bringing the video of his birth. It will be labelled, “Ben’s First Puppy.” Enjoy.
He will be given a list of words, and daily, he will ask you what they mean. Words such as “pedophile”, “anti-semite”, and “skank”. Good luck with those.
At some point, you will attempt to teach him mathematics. And I’m quite sure that, like most of your ilk, you will require my son to “show his work”. And he will. Through interpretive dance.
Because that is who you’ve chosen to tangle with, toots. A stay at home mom who is not entirely balanced, and has altogether too much time on her hands. But is, most certainly, A Mother Who Can Follow Directions.
Sincerely,
Ben’s Mom

Oh yeah, ladies, I’m with you all the way…

More random texts that prove we need our own reality show…

Some nights we like to get movie theater popcorn while watching movies at home. Yes, we’re crazy like that… This insued after I got the popcorn…

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Saturday mornings we go to breakfast, but no one else moves quite as quickly as we prefer…

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This one may be a little confusing as you’ll see I had to delete part of the message because of information that just doesn’t need to be shared EVER again…

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This one because I confused the song played in Shrek Ever After, Live and Let Die, for November Rain when discussing who sang it originally. (FYI – I know Guns and Roses sang November Rain originally and The Beatles Live and Let Die).

The second part is just #everydaywhovianproblems, because yeah, that happens!

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I Date Celebraties… in my head.

Not sure if you knew this about me or not, but figured I’d share because blogs are all about sharing strange idiosyncrasies right? And where in the hell is the spell check on this thing?  (later – found it)IMG_1398

Anyway, yes.  I started out dating Channing Tatum. If you’re my friend on Facebook you may have seen my pic with him a few times. Pretty awesome.

Then I saw The Avengers and sh*t hit the fan so to speak.  Thor. Need I say more?  I created a new pin board on Pinterest titled “My NEW Boyfriend”, because well, Channing just wasn’t cooperating what with all the roles he was working on and the small matter of a wife.. and new child. Yeah, that kind of put a damper on things. So I said goodbye Channing, hello Chris. (Hemsworth in case you were wondering.)

IMG_1399Speaking of, apparently Chris, aka Thor, has a wife and child as well.  Didn’t get the memo we were dating I guess. His loss.

BUT. I’ve found the perfect match.  The others were all young and married with kids and all that other baggage and stuff. But now I’ve discovered this weirdly odd man who is adorable (he grows on you), has a GREAT voice, AND BONUS is BRITISH! He plays a high functioning sociopath on a completely awesome show that has some seriously wicked British humor, I love British humor, and its written by some people who write a show about my hero and role model (time travel).  It’s fate because he’s my age and isn’t married.  Ha! And I never have to actually meet him.  He’s like George Glass on The Brady Bunch. (Google it.) I can totally rationalize it in my head because it’s plausible, but it most likely won’t ever come to anything, so I don’t have to commit! Yay!

Now lets examine why I would rather imaginary date this famous guy with a seriously weird last name instead of finding a nice run-of-the-mill guy closer to home and a little more realistic.  Basically put, I have high expectations.  For myself. And for the person I might possible date. Honestly, it’s not gonna happen, and if we’re honest I’m rocking this whole single thing pretty well, so why mess up a good thing when I can just pretend to be dating a guy who, in my mind, meets all of the expectations I have, or can just look good standing there while I peruse at my own leisure?  It seems win-win to me, although I’m not sure who’s on the other end of the win situation. It’s really just me.tumblr_m323mtwiP91qzpppc

Moral of the story: I’m still not gonna date anyone or ever get married again. Don’t push the issue. I’m perfectly happy in my unrealistic dream world, and no you can’t join.

Best Valentine’s Day EVER.

My best friend and I now refer to each other as hetero-life mates because, well, basically we are. There’s just no other way to describe one picking up the kids and taking them to get their hair cut, while the other stops to get dinner for everyone on the way home. Or one picking up the youngest at daycare and then going to your house to so the dishes, after which the other picks you all up and takes you out to dinner.

No apologies. It is what it is. And frankly it works, so no judgement needed.

This being said, my truly awesome life mate sent me the following texts as this stupid day of professing love went on.

And it was TRULY awesome.

Note: Many of you know I have multiple “boyfriends” (aka Thor, Ryan Goseling, Benedict Cumberbatch…) Fangirling may ensue…

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