Hello, I am a hypocondriac

imageI never go to the doctor. Ever. I hate it. I even wait till 12+ weeks when I am pregnant. It’s just not my thing. At all. So this last week when I woke up with chest pain and short breath, you knew I didn’t feel well when I couldn’t get to the doctor’s office fast enough. I thought to myself, “great, I have pneumonia and if I don’t get it treated, they’ll put me in the hospital and my house will fall apart”. And drove me and the babies to the closest urgent care. Yoga pants, bed head and all.

I thought they’d listen to my lungs, give me a prescription and send me on my way.

Boy was I wrong.

When you go into any kind of medical building and you poorly word how you’re feeling with things like “chest pain” and soreness in you arms followed by trouble breathing, they rush you in for an EKG followed quickly by a chest xray.

I can knock that one off my bucket list.

Now imagine me though, sort of shocked, not feeling well, with my three and one year old, getting an ekg. Also mix in the fact I am still nursing and that you can’t have a underwire bra on with an EKG and you end up with breastmilk, screaming toddlers and pleading to all things holy, just to go home.

I was not having a heart attack. I don’t even have a little bit of fluid in my lungs. It’s just Costochondritis and it’s pretty much nothing. I’m a hypochondriac. You could tell by how the nurses looked at me. Ugh the worst.

My chest still hurts. The doctor said it had lots to do with toting around my monster one year old. I don’t think it helps I still hold Dexter as much as he’ll let me. And age. I guess sometimes you don’t realize how much your body has aged.

All and all it wasn’t that fun and I don’t think I will be so eager to go in again.

Health care is so scary. You worry if you don’t go in, something could be terribly wrong but if you do go in and it’s nothing, I always worry they think I am insane. The anxiety talking I realize. But I still wonder. I often wonder why some of *us* get so wrapped up in what people think about us. And why, when most people stop caring, I still do. Better to get looked at, better safe the sorry, they say but I can’t get past the “what if they think I am crazy”. I almost had Davis in the car because I so doubted myself.

I’ve decided to start the doula program this summer. I can’t however decided whether I should do a certified program or a postpartum program. I worry that if I work with woman before and during labor and delivery, I won’t have the know how to teach them to trust their own bodies. I couldn’t ever trust mine. I think my poor husband was ready to deliver our babies in the bathroom because I was so hesitant to call and “bother” anyone. I don’t ever want my mothers to feel like that. But if I couldn’t learn to trust myself, how do I teach them? And I really want to work in the birth arts. I really want to help women and families have the births they want. Especially having seen bother my sister and sister in laws wonky hospital deliveries. But will I be good enough?

I have also waffled with the idea of working as a postpartum doula but focusing special attention on mama’s who’ve lost their little ones. I think there is perhaps a special needs for care in that field. To have a “friend” who knows what to say and how to help. To be there as a physical and emotional support. I’ve only done a little research on it but found little. And as strange as people may find it, I have always had a calling to work with those with loss. It takes all kinds, all hearts and mine is with those mamas.

Making these big leaps is hard for me. I fear failing because I feel like I’ve failed at everything. And I just want to do good… I just don’t know where to start.

All this talk of food

We’ve been cooped up for years. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but sometimes the long days feel like years. The cold weather keeps us in and the lack of things to do with a large family, keeps us away from things. Let’s just say, it’s never a good idea to take 5 children into a place like an arcade. It never, ever ends well. So except for a couple of playdates and pre planned adventures, we’ve mostly been throwing the football inside the house (grumble) and watching crap TV. Oh and eating.

I like to take the cold days and bake. The oven helps keep our kitchen warm. It never seems to stay that way. Who ever built the house’s addition, I don’t think they insulated it properly. Everyone loves the bread. We made two loaves yesterday. One was lovely and the other was like a soapy lemon bar. Barf. It called for Lemon Essential Oils, and I added way to much.

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The kids cleaned up to the good loaf in about 27 seconds. Completely warm, covered in butter and honey. Knowing how much they love it, I want to make it for them every day. A labor of love. Unfortunately, I only have enough honey for one more loaf till grocery day. Luckily, well, depending how you look at it, they go back to school today and so not as much bread will be eaten.

We love food. It’s probably why, despite the baby being darn near, two, I’m still carrying the extra 10/20 pounds. I like to cook for the most part. My family isn’t that excited about many of the things I try and make. My husband specifically has issue with meals without meat. I try and avoid those now. But one this we love is guacamole and they say I am pretty darn good at it around here. I might even be the best.

I don’t really have a “recipe” but here is how I make it.

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What you need:

  • 5/6 ripe avocados
  • 1 medium size plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium size jalapeno, chopped and seeded or if you like heat, leave the seeds in
  • 2-4 limes, fresh
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic, cloves or if you’re like me, in a jar
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt

Cut and peel avocados. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a masher. Stir in lime, salt and garlic salt to taste. Easy.

I tend to use more garlic and lime because I like that tanginess but be sure to taste with the “vessel” you’ll be serving your guacamole with. A salty chip mixed with salt guacamole is a bad idea. So you have a fine line.

And eat it in one day, because I don’t care how many tricks are out there to keep it fresh, I think the metallic taste you get from old guacamole will ruin it as soon as a day after.

It’s our favorite. And I hope you like it too.

Food says “I love you” here. Knowing what keeps my little people’s bellies happy, makes me happy. I love teaching them how to mix and measure and finding out whether one likes coconut while another is more fond of banana. I love how knowing what they like, I can give them some personalized attention, with a cookie or a slice of warm bread or even a bowl of dip while we watch their favorite movies. And it’s these little bits of knowledge that I will tuck away for when they’re far away at college or wherever and need a tiny taste of home. I think food is a big part of happy family memories.

I fondly remember as a child going to my Grandma E’s house. She’s always have lemon cookies and cheese for your broccoli. We’d often have lunch together and talk. I can remember the first time she met my future husband. Twirling the thick noodles of The Blue Parrot and teasing him he needed to eat more. Many of my memories of her are tied to food. And all are good, wholesome and love filled. From pizzelles to Furr’s Cafeteria to a half baked meatloaf my mom made, she finished and we shared to celebrate the birth of my sister. I miss her very much.

Fond memories and food. Such good things. What are your fondest recipes and the memories that go with them?

Afraid

findyourself-01Today I got feedback from a Fiverr client that my drawing for them was too childish. I was sort of taken aback by it because if you look through my portfolio, everything is childish. Literally everything.

My proportions are never just right. My color choices are often straight out of a crayola box. There is no doubting my art when you see it. It’s childish. I know that. I know  but the sting of hearing someone didn’t like something I *love* and though, even after looking through my portfolio, that is was too childish, made me feel like I have no idea what I am doing. That I’m too “childish” to do any good.

I put mostly all my photography on the back burner. I pulled my Facebook page after the holidays and stopped both marketing and accepting new clients. I will, only take who I want and do the preschools I love but that’s it. No more weddings. No more babies. Shutting that door was hard for me. Even if it’s still cracked open slightly. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t watch as I was barely staying afloat. I couldn’t figure out how to market or edit or sell myself. I couldn’t get past my own doubt. Or my idea that I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t  get paid, I couldn’t charge right, I couldn’t book and I just couldn’t anymore. My feelings got far too tangled inside a business. I should’ve left it a hobby. Because me and business? We do nothing hand and hand.

I failed at my photography business because I sabotaged myself. Well my stupid brain did.

Now, moving forward I’ve fallen back into working graphic stuff. I say stuff because I really have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I am totally, 100% self taught. I watched YouTube and read a lot and I hoped and prayed I was delivering the right file types. And I don’t reach outside the logos I sell on Fiverr because I don’t know how to deliver a business card that’s universal. What if I send the wrong thing and I have done all that work and now they want their money back? And no one ever picks me on 99 Design but I keep at it even though each elimination is like a stabbing. It’s all squished up in my head. It’s like a big, brain shaped road block. Because let’s face it. I’m really, really afraid.

Afraid.

What makes it easy for some and hard for others? I watch people do it all the time. People who are no more trained than me, or talented than me. Most of the time they’re just like me. So why, why aren’t they so afraid they just can’t start? How do they beat the scary monster.

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I’ve applied to a ton of different places. Target, Giant and other local places. I had one interview last year at a place I really, really wanted to work but because of the schedule, we decided it just wouldn’t work for our family. So this, this is my job until my availability opens up or I can figure out how to go 24 hours a day without sleep. Staying home sometimes makes me feeling guilty. I’m not a great housekeeper and there are many days when I make something frozen for dinner. I read too much. Trying to figure out how to start. Trying to make sure I am doing it right so that I don’t end up cleaning up messes from not having any real training. And I like to play trains more than I like to do the dishes. But I don’t work and when we struggle, I often feel like it’s my fault. Because I don’t provide anything but child care and worry.

And I LOVE my art. I love it. I am very proud of it, most of the time. I can’t imagine people don’t get tired of seeing it but I loved to show the process. And I love to hear when it brings other people joy. I just wish I could get away from my monster and use it to really better my family. Because that’s all I want. To make sure my family it okay. I keep taking the classes and reading the books but I am afraid to really jump in. Because I am so afraid to fail.

So I wonder? How did you beat your scary monster. Even if he was just a two dimension, mint green, grinning idiot? How do you get over the scary hill? How can I just do it, go for and stop letting the fear of failing win. Because I really want to leave a mark somewhere, even if it’s just my own notebook, in my desk….