Dear New Year

Try as I might, I am never going to be one who successfully follows through with resolutions. I have, in years past, been the crazy fat lady at the gym, determined to eat better and work out more because she read that doing those things would help cure her depression. I have been that woman who stores the “positivity” posts and joins all the happiness groups because this is going to be the year that I finally make it into the village everyone is talking about. No one wants Wednesday Adams in their village after all.

Like most people, I’ve failed by March. I’m sitting at my desk, munching on Oreos and loathing myself just like I was four months before. New Year’s Resolutions are just not for me.

2016 was profoundly sucktacular. So much personal and public loss, I found myself wishing for the New Year and when the midnight bells rang and nothing felt different, I realized I was just kidding myself to think that a calendar date changes anything. New Year, new things. It’s just bullshit. The date only changes, we don’t. Not that anyone literally things with the New Year, we’re instantly new. But over the years, I feel like I’ve just lost the hope in new beginnings. And I am not sure I want to be that person.

This year I hope though that I can find ways to change. Instead of resolving to be thinner or happier, or to wish that the flip of a calendar would make it all new, I am going to set goals for myself… goals that don’t just come from the new year, new me mentality.

I’d like to write more. Really write. And no like this. I want to find my voice and instead of whining about why I feel sad, I want to make a difference in the mental health community. The first step though is probably taking care of my own mental health. I want to find a way to treat my sads with something other than medication. And I want to be brave enough to say to the people who say things like “Zoloft takes care of that”, that medication isn’t for me. I find value in my unmedicated self and while I am happy it works for you, comments like “drugs take care of that” aren’t helpful. I am clearly putting my vulnerable self out there for you, I am trusting you and you’re making light of it. I am gonna tell people how much that hurts, rather than deleting, retracting and feeling embarrassed about my own chosen path. I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed

I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed about being empathetic. This will be a hard one. I know it doesn’t make sense to people the profound sadness I feel when a child dies, a child I don’t know and that it often sticks with me for months and years after. I cannot turn off those feels without taking out parts of my insides. I can’t say goodbye and the thought of losing someone else is unbearable. It takes my breath away. But I also feel the happy too. I will be the first to celebrate your new life. I am always happy for a wedding, a baby, an achievement. And while those feelings are acceptable, the sad feelings often are not. And we’re supposed to feel for people. I just happen to feel harder than some. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to mourn with the mourning.

The heavy stuff aside, I really want to try new things. The kids have begged to start a YouTube channel and so an “uh oh, I forgot to cancel that membership that is for a full year” mistake means I can use the Skillshare classes to learn video editing and help the kids get the channel they want. Of course, I’ve tried to break it to them that we will likely not the 4million dollar FUNnel Vision family but it could be fun and it will help me to have memories of all the things I know I will always want to remember. I am also excited to have a new tool under my belt. Not that it will be easy to learn but it will be fun to try. I admit, though, I have no idea where to start. And we have no idea what to call it.

I’m ready to let go of the past friendship. The end of last year was tough for me and I found myself wondering where my village was. Well, my village moved on while I stayed still. I’m sure my members got tired of me or grew beyond me and I just couldn’t let go of it. Today, I am going to start saying goodbye to them. It’s okay to have seasonal friends. Someone once told me that. It’s okay that they don’t meet my needs anymore; I clearly stopped meeting theirs too. And that doesn’t mean we hate each other or I have to worry about so and so not liking me anymore but I can choose to focus my energies on people who reach back when I reach out. So old friends, thank you and see you later… because maybe goodbye isn’t the right word.

I really, really, really want to help my friend Laura grow Day’s for Girls. I’ve not felt so excited and passionate about something in a very long time. With each liner and each snap I feel like I am helping someone who truly needs it and she, in return, without even knowing it, is helping me. I am so excited to pack up these bags and possibly send them with my child to be delivered to girls her own age. That she’ll get to see the fruits of our labor and learn that no task, no matter how small, helps people who need help. Laura will perhaps end up thinking I am a crazy person but I am so excited to be involved. I can’t wait to write more about it too!

I want to break outside my Fiverr bubble. The last couple of years I have worked mostly there and let me tell you, making 10.00 a gig isn’t the greatest feeling. While I am not a “professional artist”, I have some talent and it’s worth more than 2.00 an hour. I don’t know where I will do, maybe a stand alone store or etsy but I am gonna start branching out and stop doubting that I know what I am doing. No one started out knowing how to do everything and I am sure that I will stumble along the way but someone is gonna like my stuff enough to buy it. I hope. And I started making these dolls that I am excited about. Hilary, Harry, Carrie… even a potential Donald although I feel he may never sell. He is stuffed with misery I hear, ha ha ha. That was a joke. I am good at these things, I just have to remind myself that they’re good enough to sell and my time is worth it.

 

So that’s it. That’s my Dear New Year letter. Sounds like resolutions I realize but trust me, it’s not. It’s goals. Do-able goals. What are your 2017 goals?

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Getting in the picture

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I won’t even tell you how many photos my computer holds. Albeit the most current years have fewer. I seem to take fewer. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten better or if it’s because I haven’t the same interest I used to. Regardless, there are a lot. I have well documented all the parts of my family that I love. Each child. Each home. Each milestone. I have a photo of it. What I don’t have is any photos of me. There are simply just none.

I admit, I am camera-shy but I am regretting, incredibly, that there are no photos with my newborns and I don’t have anything to remember the walks and the crafts and the holidays that I was a part of. It sometimes feels as if I was never there. And that’s not the best feeling.

Photography. Sometimes I miss it. I never totally closed the doors on my business. I keep it “open” for my beloved annual preschool shoots and the few holiday session I do. I take a few families here and there. I miss talking to the people. I miss the connections. I miss that stuff but I am terrible at business and I was failing miserably at it. I think for the most part my clients love their photos but I can’t help but worry that I ruined their memories.

I’ve been looking for a personal photographer. I have contacted several people who either don’t have the time to fit us in their schedule or charge extra for more than 5 people. Absurd. My family is 7. It seems crazy to charge more for people who actually live in my house. It’s not as if we’ll break off into family units. We are a family unit. Just one. Needless to say, I’ve chosen not to book that person.

But looking for a photographer is hard. I have a limited budget. Not because I don’t value photography, I do but because I am a family of 7 on a limited budget and I want the very best I can afford without having to sell a child. And I am nervous that I am going to have photographer’s eye and miss that it’s my beautiful family and only see the pink panty and posing flaws of my last family sitting (which mind you was before Dixon was born).

It’s a lesson in letting go. It’s hard to let go of what I have in my head. I want my photos to look how I feel. Which is probably hard to capture when you subject has resting bitch face.

I probably should just pray for the photographer now.

If I ever find one.

Mom’s ought to be in the photos, right? I gotta make this happen.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

How to be a good baseball player

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When Davis started baseball he had this cute overbite smile and a joyful heart. I’d chase him around the tee ball field and look forward to every bat, every toss and every game. He is the reason I fell in love with baseball. Him and his joy. His tee ball years were fun but I was naive in the world of sports and without knowing that you register in the fall for spring ball, I missed a year throwing him far back in the game. When he moved up to the minors, he was so far behind they asked to keep him back a year. We agreed and so began my struggles as a baseball mom.

He loves it. Loves every minute of it. But there is something about baseball that requires “things”. The right pants, the right helmet, the right gloves and the right bats. He had none of those but the biggest thing he was missing was a travel team and a weekly, private lesson. I had no idea how important these things were to grow ball players.

He played one, short summer on a travel team. We were invited because of some lovely friends. It was a great summer with a wonderful group of coaches and a lot of nice boys. We have amazing memories because of it and he took away some amazing skills. But by the time he entered the majors, I knew we’d failed him. One summer of travel was never going to catch him up. And this year, I felt a lump in my throat watching the 7th graders try out for school teams. Watching boys I know are amazing ball players get turned away made me realize, my son, so far behind doesn’t have a chance in hell. And it’s a shame.

He’s a good ball player. And I am sad they’ll miss that about him. Davis plays hard. He practices every chance he gets. Old Mom can’t get over the fear of his fast pitch  and well, I can’t pitch to bat and so he gets what he can in at the fields and when his dad isn’t at work. With five children, we’re busy. It doesn’t leave a lot of time to toss balls. And lessons are expensive, so I’ve limited him to twice a month. But his skills aren’t what make him good. It’s not that he can throw a fastball or that he’s got a mean swing, even when he’s whacking at the high ones. What makes him a good ball player is all inside.

He’s coachable. I can see his face light up when the coach comes over to help him. He can’t wait to hear how he can do better. And he listens and does what he’s told. Yes, he needs reminding but he respects his coaches and their time and he does what they say and does it with a smile.

He pays attention to his team mates. This year, a new boy joined. His literal first year playing baseball. He noticed his bat had no grip and without hesitation offered up the grip I’d just bought him. He knew this boy needed it more than he did. And he wanted to help his new friend. It was his first thought. He’s always the kid calling from the outfield and the dugout and he always tells his opponents good game. And, I have never heard him crap on a fellow player, even though I’ve witnessed it happen to him. He knows there is no *I* in team. And he wants to be part of a team.

He respects the game. He follows and learns the rules. He’s respectful to the umpires and the fields. And he knows that a spot on the team isn’t just handed to you. He knows you have to earn it. I respect that about him.

I pray for him. A lot lately. That he’ll not beat himself up over a hitless game or that he didn’t get asked to try out for a travel league. I pray that he knows if he never sets foot on a school field that he can still play ball somewhere. And he should, as long as he loves it. I pray that the pressure, insane as it may be, doesn’t wreck it for him. That he doesn’t let a rough season or a mean kid steal his love. And I pray he knows, that even if he always plays in the outfield, that it’s important and we’re proud of him… outfield, pitcher or the kid warming the bench.

I have to pray for myself too. That I stop getting caught up in orange bats and bullshit gossip. This week’s hot ticket is my “nasty divorce”. It doesn’t matter if the other mothers like me, it’s just matters that we all get along so we can be part of our boys’ teams and makes sure they’re getting out of baseball what they should be. I pray that I always remember to thank our coaches for their time, their knowledge and remember that they’re people too. People who make mistakes. And who deserve grace. And I have to pray that I can cut myself some slack when I feel like I have failed my son. I’m there, and that’s not a fail.

I love baseball. I think I’ll always love it. And I thank Davis for starting that.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.