a lot to learn

for one tumultuous year:

falling in love, three times. having my heart broken, three times.

being homeless for almost three months. two apartments, two motels.

losing my car in the middle of the night due to late registration.

having my life threatened by my 14 year old son.

giving up school.

they all come with lessons, don’t they? they must! musn’t they?

i’ve learned that no matter how much i think i know a person, i don’t know every cell. every atom. every intention. i admit, being single sucks. more times than not, i daydream of what was. not what could be. so i know i’m not quite ready for the relationship i’ve always wanted. maybe one day i’ll learn to be at peace with that and be able to move on.

i’ve learned that i need to be responsible. i turned my head a number of times, when i wanted to feel things less. deal with things less. i just wanted to forget and this person was able to give that to me, even if only for a little while. my anxiety has lessened a little bit. i don’t need to take the Klonopin very often, though i do still carry the prescription with me wherever i go. i’ve learned that i need to feel a little more. and deal with things that make me afraid. i’m in the process of moving out, again. for the umpteenth time in three months. i have a fairly good chance (cross myself) of renting an apartment on the other side of the valley. i won’t know for a few days.

i’ve learned i don’t really need a car. i’ve never had much use of them. i’m bad with maintenance. i tend to drive them to the ground in most instances. of course, waking up at 12 a.m. to someone saying “hey, someone towed your car” probably wasn’t the best top-o-the-morning to endure, but i’ve gotten used to those long bus rides with three dozen stops getting me from here-to-there. i actually don’t mind. it’s got me walking more (which means i’m losing weight in the process). i enjoy the longer rides when i can crack open a book and get lost into a story. (currently, “the kingmaker’s daughter” by Philippa Gregory). and economically, well i’m no longer spending $20 every three days on gas. i don’t even have to spend $20 for the entire month.

i’ve learned that i will have to choose my battles. he is fourteen now. Asperger’s syndrome. therapy resistant. ADD. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Depressive Disorder. won’t comply with medication instructions. truant from school for two months. he finally crossed the line and i had him hospitalized. he now has his second fifty one fifty on his juvenile record. a few days later he was picked up by the police at 2 a.m. i’ve been told by social workers that at this point he’s gonna need probation, to hopefully, sort him out. i admit, it hasn’t gotten easier. it isn’t the least bit pleasant. i do not trust my son. and sometimes, at night, i hold my daughter a littler closer because i worry that she’s going to suffer something from all of this. i hope that if she learns anything from what she’s been through, i hope that she learns to be strong.

i’ve learned to re evaluate what i want to do with myself. i kept forcing myself to go back and just get it done with, but it wasn’t what i wanted to do. for months i’ve gone back to my original path, in animal sciences. i’m re-taking two courses that i had to do a medical drop out for. i’m also taking an animal care taking class, with lab, and Biology, with lab. it’s approximately 11 units. 9 hours of labs out of the class room. but i’ve made a point to gather all the information i need to be ready on the first day of class. i know what books to purchase. i know what my schedule is and will keep to it. soon i’ll learn everything else i need to know. in the meantime, i’m going to try to enjoy my 34 days of freedom before school actually begins. i will be giving up my afternoons, putting someone else in charge of Scout three afternoons a week.

i’ve surrendered so much these past 365 days. i’m hopeful that the next 365 will provide for better days. and hopefully in each one of the, i will have learned something.

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tis the season

…to be over.

i know it sounds awfully Bah Humbug of me, but honestly and truly: i woke up this morning and realized “it’s the day after Christmas“. a huge sigh of relief. i know i can’t be the only people pleasing, filled with guilt if you can’t get it, type mother who gets harried during the holidays.

don’t get me wrong. i long for the long strings of holiday lights upon rooftops as i’m driving around town in the early evening. i like the array of colorful wrapping paper and shiny bows. i look forward to weather changing and with it, new holiday menus offering Gingerbread Latte’s and freshly carved turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce. i love the smell of the Christmas tree lots, especially after an evening rain. my heart melts when i hear people singing carols, ringing bells in front of grocery stores, and all the movies that make Christmas so magical.

but then there’s the other side of the holidays. there’s the financial burden. filling a room full of toys and treats for two children, these days, is much more difficult now that it’s a one income home. there is so much more pressure. this year has been particularly difficult because of the adjustment in moving residence in the beginning of the month, and the transition of Scout’s Kindergarten class. we’ve also had the pleasure of catching a cold, (Scout and i primarily).

i’ve learned from this holiday season. i’m going to make adjustments for next year:

1. knit my mom a Fair Isle sweater

2. our “holidays” will be spent at Disneyland on Thanksgiving weekend (we will celebrate both Scout and my birthdays early)

3. we will be volunteering at a soup kitchen to serve Christmas dinners to the homeless

and i’ll wrap it all up in a big red bow.

Merry Christmas.

(glad it’s over.)

2013 here i come…

as tumultuous as 2012 was, and has been, i am secretly looking forward to the New Year. secretly daydreaming of the days yet to come. you see, i have these big goals stirring in my head. i want to start new things. i want to finish old. somewhere deep down in my heart and soul i need to erase the past couple of years, of the bad decisions i made on my part. i have a few new dreams. and a couple of opportunities that beckoned.

my dreams of 2013

1.  complete reading goals: 52 books in 52 weeks (includes youth novels read to Scout)

2. start a monthly Kids Craft Club at our local library

3. commit to volunteering to knit hats for preemie babies (haven’t decided on which charity i will work with)

4. continue volunteer work for animal shelter (goal: 4 hours/week)

5. put together cupcake recipe book

6. finish semester #2 of year 2 towards my AA in Animal Sciences

7. knit my top 5 favorites on Ravelry:

a. framed pullover

b. Celestite

c. Coastal Hoodie

d. Sock Yarn Sweater

e. anything from Rebecca Danger’s new book Knit a Monster Nursery

8. join a 5K marathon in 2013

9. weight loss goals: 2012 i lost 29 pounds. 2013 i hope to lose 37 pounds

10. start working with a new church (for personal reasons)

11. with tax return:

a. pay mom back $500

b. pay back college fees $230

c. buy a new camera : a canon eos rebel t3i

d. start a fund for Scout

12. happily celebrate the year with my little family:

a. take our first family vacation

b. spend a weekend at Disneyland (Thanksgiving weekend 2013)

13. put my dreams on paper, yarn, fabric…focus on my art

…day in the life of…

waking up to the sunshine peeking through the blinds for the first time in five days.

the smell of Christmas trees as we walked past the lumberyard.

Scout waving the bright green bubble wand into the wind creating various sized bubbles.

finding gnome homes in the mushrooms growing on our neighbors yards.

a deliciously filled chocolate chip bar from the donut shop that sells the most heavenly French beignets.

eating McDonald’s chicken McNuggets for the first time in over twenty years.

finally balancing my budget online.

working on my plan to create a Kids Craft Club at the library.

visiting my old neighborhood park where the grass was a bright green and the leaves were falling from the branches in the chilly autumn breeze.

organizing computer files.

making out a weekly menu with every intention of cooking at home for the first time in two months.

 

 

365 days

it really has been an entire year since i’ve posted. 

twelve months. fifty two weeks. three hundred sixty five days.

some of the past year has been a disaster.

  • i started the year off needing to get a Restraining Order against the guy i was dating. the middle of the year was spent trying to put back the puzzle pieces of the life that Shawn and I was once shared. and the end of the year was me grieving because of the heartbreak of a man i thought i could trust for the rest of my life.
  • i tried going back to school in the Fall. i’d started out with 12 units which dwindled to 9, to 6, to 3, and then to none. i disappointed myself more than i could imagine.
  • in October i lost my apartment. a week later my car was impounded. some of it was due in part to the lack of Shawn’s financial stability in regards to child support. some of it was due to my bad choices. the end result was that the kids and i moved our belongings to a 5 x 10 storage and lived in a motel for seven weeks and my mom’s beat down RV with no electricity or water for a week.
  • i kind of lost my mojo. i was hospitalized three times. i stopped knitting for five months. i became too dependent on those little yellow pills that carry a short term cure for relieving anxiety. i lost 42 lbs this year, mostly from working out and walking more but also from the great amount of stress i’ve been dealing with on a daily basis.
  • Jem was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. he refuses to take any medications for the hyperactivity. he’s gotten much more physical and violent towards me and Scout. dealing with the middle school system was a nightmare, but high school has been worse as he’s been ditching classes after getting into an altercation in gym class. i question my parenting abilities much more now that he’s fourteen and hitting puberty.

but then some of the year has been absolutely spectacular:

  • Scout and i celebrated Christmas together at Disneyland, last year. it was a magical day. her big brown eyes lit up at the sight of Mickey Mouse. she laughed and giggled with other little girls while standing in hour long lines. she fell asleep on the way home, still holding on to her lit up balloon. it was well worth wearing the wrong shoes to walk in and the two bags of Goofy Gummy Ears that i ate.
  • i’ve spent more time giving back through my church. i joined the Women’s Ministry. i volunteered to teach arts and crafts during the week long Vacation Bible School that our church organizes every year (two hundred children this summer). sometimes i spend time with the homeless that come to our church Pantry when they come to pick up their baskets of food.
  • i’ve spent more time with getting to know Scout. she’s become a very grown up five year old girl. she doesn’t mind rescuing snails and making homes for them in a box filled with grass. she’s learned to make friends with different children despite an onslaught of racist and ignorant comments that have come her way. she makes the people she meets smile, whether it’s the bus driver, the grandparent volunteer who reads stories at our local library, or even her new Kindergarten teacher. i admit that the beauty she exerts makes me cry at times.

what dreams may come:

  • i was a week late but i was able to register in the Veterinary Technology program at my local community college and resume the courses that i didn’t finish from about ten years ago. i’m enrolled in 12 units, all of which i can take while Scout is in school and not have to worry about who will watch my kids so i can go to class and study. this is the opportunity i have been looking for to finish school.
  • i found a room for rent in the old neighborhood i lived when i met Shawn. there are a few obstacles that need to be tackled: my roommate and i didn’t know we could only have three people in the household. another is that the management company apparently wants to run my credit. obviously i’m hesitant about both. while i’m searching for placement for Jem, i really don’t know if i can find support fast enough. and i know that my credit is not up to par considering some of the financial choices i’ve made in the past year. i’m trying to remain hopeful that we will be able to sort everything out and that we can move past this, quickly.
  • i committed myself to volunteering for an animal rescue for the next six months. i will be helping to find homes for rescued animals in the Los Angeles area. 
  • i’m determined to learn from my mistakes and work past them this coming year. i want to keep my home. i want to continue my education. i want to separate myself from negative people and live a more positive life. 

after all. i have another three hundred sixty five days to change.

grateful

* my financial aid appeal was approved. i will be receiving a grant and loans to cover my expenses for the Spring 2012 semester.

* hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.

* Christmas shopping was actually pretty fun. still need to work on wrapping gifts when the kids go to bed tonight.

* a successful destash to help pay the deposit on an apartment we hope to be approved for back in Santa Clarita. {i found a one bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood as our old apartment for less rent than what i pay now. i applied for the apartment on tuesday and am waiting to hear back if we’ve been approved. right now they are working on Shawn’s proof of income. we should know, hopefully, on Monday.}

* madelintosh tosh merino light in “well water” for a new sweater.

* volunteer opportunities through our church all of December.

* popcorn, white fudge covered pretzels, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, and the first six “Harry Potter” movies on DVD on a cold, windy Saturday night.

* taking Scout to visit Santa Claus and getting a new animal for her Build a Bear collection. then getting an email the next day for  a free animal. so now getting two animals for the collection, a black teddy bear named “Snow” and a black puppy dog named “Santa”.