About Me

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More overwhelmed than blessed

Alright, it's never a good sign when you start a post by spilling your beer all over the floor by the computer. ugh.

Yes, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. I've been divorced for quite a while now (since August of '05) so I should be in the groove of the single life, right?

I started a new job that should have made life easier, but it didn't. I still trust that it will, but we'll see.

I am giving the "no dating" thing a try and it's not nearly as much fun as the "let men shower you with compliments and stuff" thing that I tried earlier.

So basically, I just need to whine a bit. I know I am incredibly blessed and I really do appreciate all that I have been given and I know that to whom much is given much is expected, but still I say... why is it so hard sometimes?

All right, I cleaned up the beer and don't have any real complaints that are even close to worse than anyone else's so I guess I'll head to bed, hopeful to awake feeling more blessed than overwhelmed.

Everything that needs to be said

Sometimes those who have been around the block a time or two know some things that those of us who are new to the neighborhood should pay attention to. A word on the state of our country from two women who have been here long enough to know:

Margaret and Helen

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spanking Science

I am asked on occasion why it is so bad to spank and my usual answer includes that there is always a better alternative, one that actually addresses the specific issue and that I don't want to teach that if you are bigger you can be in control because of that fact. I came across a really thorough article about all the actual scientific arguments. Why You Shouldn't Hit It is pretty long, here are a some excerpts, but I really recommend reading the whole thing.

What do scientific studies prove about corporal punishment?

"The negative effects on children include increased aggression and noncompliance—the very misbehaviors that most often inspire parents to hit in the first place—as well as poor academic achievement, poor quality of parent-child relationships, and increased risk of a mental-health problem (depression or anxiety, for instance). High levels of corporal punishment are also associated with problems that crop up later in life, including diminished ability to control one's impulses and poor physical-health outcomes (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease). Plus, there's the effect of increasing parents' aggression, and don't forget the consistent finding that physical punishment is a weak strategy for permanently changing behavior."

Why do parents still do it?

"The key is corporal punishment's temporary effectiveness in stopping a behavior... The direct experience of that momentary pause in misbehavior has a powerful effect, conditioning the parent to hit again next time to achieve that jolt of fleeting success ... The research consistently shows that the unwanted behavior will return at the same rate as before. But parents believe that corporal punishment works, and they are further encouraged in that belief by feeling that they have a right and even a duty to punish as harshly as necessary."

So what's the case for not hitting?

"It can be argued from the science: Physical discipline doesn't work over the long run, it has bad side effects, and mild punishment often becomes more severe over time. Opponents of corporal punishment also advance moral and legal arguments. If you hit another adult you can be arrested and sued, after all, so shouldn't our smallest, weakest citizens have a right to equal or even more-than-equal protection under the law? In this country, if you do the same thing to your dog that you do to your child, you're more likely to get in trouble for mistreating the dog."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A new goal

Do you ever see someone and think they:
- have a pretty smile or
- look good in that color or
- have a great attitude or
- have a beautiful smile or
- are great at getting people to cooperate or
- are really organized or...?

How often do you tell them? I try to be nice and positive but I know I can do better.

I read posts on two other blogs about what seemingly insignificant things we remember. They can be positive or negative things that happened or were said to you that really added to who you are. I know every time someone randomly compliments me it catches me off guard and I glow for a bit after. I would love to give someone else that feeling.

So my new goal is to never let a positive thought about someone else go unspoken.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


When Levi was a baby he had a lot of birthmarks and they kept appearing so the doctor kept track of them because it is a sign of a disease called neurofibromatosis, once thought to be what "the elephant man" had. Even if he had had it (which he does not), we were reassured that it was not that big of a deal except in extreme cases. It is characterized by lots of benign tumors, sometimes small, sometimes larger. This is the story of Jessica Stone who has a very active case, but handles it in an amazing way. She had to choose to become deaf in order to remove a tumor and had 30 days to plan. What would you do if you knew that in 30 days you would never hear again?



Alright, so here's what I like today:

Matt Nathanson His music is so pure and powerful his blog is funny and cute and random. I am enamored. :-)

"Come on, Get Higher"
Come on, get higher, loosen my lips, faith and desire and the swing of your hips, just pull me down hard and drown me in love...

Wanting what you don't have does not obligate anyone else to give it to you. Even if they have it. anonymous

When members of a co-op actually cooperate. I know it's a lot to ask...


I've been a bit manic lately. Not terribly so, nothing scary, I didn't buy a bridge or sell a kidney or anything, but still possibly a little more agitated and flighty than normal (yes, I have a normal). I am so fortunate to have a friend who talks to me often enough to notice and close enough to be able to tell me in such a way that I didn't shut him out. I am really just barely above where I should be and I think it is mostly due to sleep disturbances and the change in daylight hours, so I slept a bunch today and feel much better tonight.

But anyway, I did some research (that always calms me. No, really, I'm odd that way) and started what they call in the psych ward "coping strategies." Something that I had forgotten about is how important it is to have a plan for dealing with things that annoy you. If you don't deal with them in a healthy way then they become this monster that is out of control and instead of a cup of chamomile tea to fix it, you need a shotgun and an alibi. This is one of those things that are helpful for everyone, not just the crazies, like me.

So here, for your entertainment and enlightenment are my tips for quick coping:

If you are irritated, put into words exactly what it is that bothers you. Sometimes it is as simple as the tone of voice someone used. So, repeat the offender's words in a pleasant tone, then respond. Maybe it is a situation that someone else is irrationally upset about. Point that out to them (only if it will help) or at least to yourself and then move on.

If you are scared, pretend that you are there with the kids and need to reassure them that everything will be fine. This helps me so much! I am great at making even the scariest situations seem navigable if I have to calm the kids. I'm never lying to them, just assuring them that I have handled a lot and can handle this.

Remember the Golden Rule. Take three deep breaths and only speak when you can say something respectful. To yourself or to others.

Keep a mental or written checklist of problems and how you will solve them: Impulsive? Make yourself take 24 hours to make any decision that can hurt yourself or anyone else in any way. Sleepless? Don't let it go more than a day without a plan. Feeling worthless? Talk to someone about times you have helped others or, better yet, go help someone who will appreciate it. Talking too fast or too much? Take deep breaths while the other person is talking to keep yourself from interrupting, even if it seems like they are taking forever to finish their sentence or story.

Most importantly, find someone, anyone to talk to about it! Hopefully, you can find a friend to talk to who loves and understands you. Otherwise, a therapist would be great. In my case, seeing a therapist would just make things worse since I'm stressed about money and shelling out $100 or so an hour would not help!

So, that's all from psychiatrist Kolbi...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Alright, I try really hard to be positive and not put any bad thoughts into the atmosphere and all that jazz, but I have to admit that this cracked me up.