Anger Mismanagement

Carmen comes to our office to tidy up the restroom a couple of times each day. She’s a friendly and cheerful woman, considering the fact that she has to clean up behind thirty or so women every day on just our floor alone.

Jane told me that she crossed paths with Carmen in the restroom today. Carmen told Jane that she always seems so happy and it’s true. Jane does have the ability to find humor in any situation. Carmen wanted to know if Jane was ALWAYS happy. Jane explained that she told Carmen she’s not always happy and that sometimes people appear happy on the outside even when they’re not feeling so happy on the inside.

Carmen was intrigued. She asked Jane what she does when she’s not feeling so happy. Jane told me that she admitted to Carmen that when she’s unhappy she says bad words. Really bad words. Carmen wanted to know what bad words Jane said.

At this point in the story, Jane eyed me and said, “You know Carmen’s a Jehova’s Witness, right?”

“Nope. I didn’t know that. What did you tell her?”

“I told her I say, ‘F*CK.’ I like to say it over and over and I like to say it loud.”

“What does Carmen think of you now? Does she think you’re going to hell?”

“No, she wants to save me now.”

I told Jane that when I’m really mad, the bad words just don’t cut it for me. Personally, I’m a thrower. Throwing things makes me feel so bad it feels good. I don’t throw anything of value though. I’m not stupid. I don’t want to regret anything once the anger has passed. I just need a good release. (Just a note: Never throw a bottle of Tylenol unless you are prepared to piece together your pain medication when you need it most.)

Take this past weekend for example. Saturday was a little, shall we say, “maritally unblissful.” Something got into the two of us and the day fell apart. I was on the verge of trying to lure the skittish cat out of hiding with a handful of kitty treats when a snide little remark was uttered and it made my blood boil. (And I’m prepared to admit now, after the fact, that I might have, just maybe had something to do with prompting that snide remark.) The kitty treats never served their intended purpose. They got whipped across the laundry room. Oh YEAH! That felt good for about two seconds! And then who had to suffer because of this little tantrum? Just me. Who had to go vacuum those crunchy little treats out of the corner of the laundry room? You guessed it. Me.

(Hey, I never said my habit of celebrating immaturity was limited to FUN things!)

Jane agreed with me that throwing things feels REALLY good. I was only mildly concerned when she told me that in her younger days, she used to throw scissors at her brothers. (Remind me never to get on Jane’s bad side.)

We then discussed the value of door slamming, which is fulfilling for the shocking noise factor. I had to agree when Jane said half the fun is knowing how much a good door slam irritates the husband. (Shhhhh… don’t tell my husband I said that!) But if you have hollow core doors, don’t even bother. It’s like trying to inflict pain on your hubby by bashing him over the head with a balloon. When having a good spat, it’s important to remember that he or she who steps on the most nerves wins!

Luckily, we came to our senses this weekend before too much stupidity transpired. Mark disappeared into the garage and didn’t resurface until it was clean. I went to the park reserve and walked the trails with my camera and did something much more productive than throwing things around the house that I would only have to clean up behind myself later.

Taking a long walk, with only myself for company and snapping some pictures along the way gave me a chance to think and clear my head and come home for the inevitable exchange:

Hubby: “I’m sorry. I was a jerk.”

Me: “Yes you were.”

I’m totally KIDDING! I apologized and admitted to being a jerk too. All is better now.

So what do you do to vent your anger?


I’m just tired of fighting this battle.

The lack of cooperation is pure frustration.

I am tired of not being able to see clearly.

This morning, I decided I had had enough. I refused to exert any more energy on a lost cause.

So why is it that the day I do nothing with my hair, everyone at work tells me they “love” the new look?

Finding Faith

It was just an off-the-cuff comment that started this whole thing.

“I’ve always wanted to write a blog with you.”

Her comment made me smile. I had always admired her affinity for seeing the glass as half-full, her ability to find the good in even the worst of circumstances, her abundant faith. Why she seemed to like me, I wasn’t sure. In many ways I am the polar opposite of her with my tendency to host self-pity parties, and the way my faith seems to waver from one day to the next. She counts her blessings. Publicly. On her blog. The woman was in a CAR ACCIDENT and wrote about the blessings surrounding that accident! She is truly amazing. I am not amazing.

“I’ve always wanted to write a blog with you.”

The comment kept resurfacing in my mind. In a moment of spontaneity, I asked her if she was serious. I wondered if she was just talking about a guest post on each others’ blogs now and then, or if she really wanted to commit to doing something more permanent.

She responded that she was, in fact serious. She wanted to know what I thought about exploring our faith together in the form of a blog. I was honored. I was excited. Inside, I was a little scared.

I told myself I couldn’t do this. I am not a role model. I don’t go to church on a regular basis. I’m a lapsing Catholic. Sometimes I feel full of the spirit. Sometimes I feel lost and broken. Sometimes I think I don’t even know how to pray. Many times… too many times…. I forget to pray. Sometimes I go to new churches and feel rejuvenated and I return several times. Sometimes I get lazy again or begin to feel defeated and I quit. How can I write about faith on a blog when I don’t even know where I stand?

But in spite of all my doubts, I told her I was interested. I asked questions. “What will we write about? How will we write it? Will we take turns?” Once in a while, a few doubtful thoughts crept into our conversations, but she didn’t buy into it.

She told me there was another blogger she wanted to ask to join us. I have read this bloggers words and she is INSPIRING.  At this point, I was nothing less than intimidated.

“I’ve always wanted to write a blog with you.”

The blog was beginning to take shape. Regular updates showed up in my email inbox. There was no turning back. She told us she was ready for each of us to write our “About Me” pieces for publishing on the new blog. I told her I’d get it to her as soon as possible. The words didn’t seem to come. A few more days passed.

Another reminder showed up. “I need your ‘About Me’ piece whenever you have it done.”

I told her I would get it to her by the end of the day. CRAP! Now I’d given myself a deadline and I still didn’t know what to say. What could I possibly say that would fit in with these amazing Christian women? They were going to see the real me. I should have backed out before it was too late.

“I’ve always wanted to write a blog with you.”

The minutes of the day ticked by. It was getting late. Finally, unable to put it off a moment longer, I decided to simply be honest. I’d put it in her hands. I’d let her decide. Maybe she’d realize she chose the wrong person. At least I could say I tried and I’d let her make the final decision.

I let the words flow. They weren’t what I thought were ideal, but they were honest. I sent them to her with a note telling her how much I’d struggled to say something true and honest. And then the most amazing thing happened. She told me how wonderful it was. She told me that my imperfection (my word, not hers) was exactly the reason she wanted me to join her. She told me she didn’t want three carbon copies of each other. She knew from the beginning that she wanted co-authors from different walks of life. She told me she knew there were people who would identify with each of us in different ways.

“I’ve always wanted to write a blog with you.”

Suddenly I knew whole-heartedly that I wanted to be a part of this. The fear dissolved. Ambition took over. I understood that this is going to be SO good for me. I began to realize that maybe I could help others in the process of exploring my own faith. I knew there was a reason our paths had crossed.

I am going to write a blog with her! (And her!)


Stay tuned for Real Women… Real Life. I hope you’ll come visit us.

More Easter pics

My nephew, Matthew playing with “Flarp.” Doesn’t the Easter Bunny bring fart-noise making toys to all children? After discovering what fun it was, Matthew said to his mom, “Mom, the Easter Bunny sure knows us, doesn’t he?” 

My youngest brother, Craig, proudly showing off his Anti-Monkey Butt powder. He claims he puts this in his boots to absorb perspiration. Uh-huh. Sure!

Kacey, bracing herself for a kiss from Uncle Jim.

You all had Nerf gun wars at your Easter celebrations too, right? Right? Anyone?

The war is on!

Can you tell how much Hannah is enjoying having her mom brush her hair?

The kids’ personalized Easter eggs from their aunt. Brad claims that “the ‘d’ fell off” of his egg.

Good times!

Happy Easter!

Even at 14, 16 and 19 years old, the kids are still happy to find their baskets filled with candy on Easter. They did, however, request that the Easter Bunny not hide the baskets this year. The Easter Bunny was happy with that request as he feels he has exhausted all possible hiding places over the years. 

Brad was anxiously awaiting the Easter brunch, but not so thrilled about having his picture taken before he had been in the shower.

Kacey was also a little on the lazy side today, and showed up at the table prior to hitting the shower. (In spite what the Elmo pajama pants and an old basketball t-shirt might indicate, we CAN afford pajamas. There’s just no arguing the value of matching pajamas against her idea of comfort.)

The kids humored me by dying the eggs yesterday. Jake was adamant that no one eat the eggs he had colored to his liking. Can you guess which of these are his?

After brunch, the kids headed straight for dessert…

Kacey didn’t mind sharing one or two treats with her mom!

It’s been a quiet day so far. Normally we’d celebrate by having brunch with my entire extended family, but things are a little different this year. My parents aren’t due to return from Arizona for two weeks yet. Since my sister will be flying from her home in Illinois to Arizona to help my parents manage the drive back home, she and her family weren’t here to celebrate with us this year either. Mark is working all day again. This is the third big holiday in a row where he’s had to work. For the last few days, I’ve been feeling sad that we weren’t going to be able to celebrate with our normal traditions. But the kids and I decided to have a scaled down version of the traditional brunch menu and celebrate amongst ourselves. We’re going to spend the afternoon visiting with the in-laws, and then we’re going to come home and finish preparing a ham dinner so that Mark can celebrate with his family when he returns from work.

I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and happy Easter weekend!


Look at this stuff!

The fabulous Meleah at Momma Mia Mea Culpa tagged me with the Look at this stuff meme. You have to find five things around your house that say something about the person you are and snap a picture of them. Then tell us about them.

My things? I think they say I have some compulsions. What do you think?

First, we have the CD compulsion. Take a look in the CD cabinet. Those top two shelves have rows of CDs that run three deep. This doesn’t include all the CDs that are floating around in the car either. Or the hundred or so that I purged a couple years ago. Is there a twelve-step program for this? And yes, I’m very aware of the existence of itunes.

Here we have the Jodi Picoult obsession. I can not put these books down. I have read every one I can find.

Imagine how thrilled I was to find this as I was strolling through Target. A BRAND NEW one! I couldn’t wait. I bought the hardcover. I hope Jodi is a quick writer.

Next, we have the blogging and blog following obsession (featuring one of my favorite blogger buddies, Reggie in this picture.) Wherever the lap top is, I can be found.

Here is my camera backpack. Photography is not a compulsion. This is a healthy and normal hobby. I DO love my camera though. Possibly more than one should love a thing. (Although it’s kind of hard to tell the way that lens is balancing lens-side down on the table like that instead of being protected in the case like it should be!)

And finally… my favorite shoes… I mean, slippers. But I don’t wear them as slippers. I prefer to be barefoot in the house. The slippers are what I wear everywhere but the office. But only until flip-flop weather resurfaces.

So… I’m wondering who would be willing to play along on this one….