Monday, December 11, 2006

Reasons & Seasons

Maybe I am becoming a bitch in my old age. Maybe...maybe not. I'd prefer to think of it as growing up.

For all of my life I have functioned under the rule of 'once a friend, always a friend'. This has served me wonderfully as I have friends who have weathered a lot with me. It has also been harsh. When someone doesn't continue to make the effort with me that I try to make with them, I spend wasted time wondering if they like me, if not why, and if there is something I can do to make them like me better. Yeah, sounds like Junior High huh. Maybe I never learned these lessons then. Well I am learning them now. It's killer.

I'm finding myself in a strange place. I have so many friends that I make time for, that don't return the favor. I try not to expect a lot. But when I have those moments where I really need someone to talk to, and I scroll down my list, more people on the list than not would divert the attention back to themself, rather than listen.

I also have friends who might not really want to be my friends. Maybe I knew them in school, or dated them, or watched their kids. Somehow I've convinced myself that we are friends and they moved past me a long time ago. Maybe they get emails from me and wonder why I still email them? Maybe I added them to my 'friends' list and they said ok just to be nice.

Then there is this group of people, waiting to be my friend. Trying to make efforts with me that I shirk off. Instead I'd rather send those emails to people who may or may not respond. Or call people who converse with me politely, even though I ask for all details in their life and try to make them important.

Well all that is changing. It's not that I want to slash through the people in my life. I love the people in my life. If you are reading this and are freaked out by what I am saying, you aren't getting what I am saying.

It is more the idea that it is ok to let people go. More importantly, it is ok to be let go by people.

Lori sent me an email the other day on friendship. I'm not usually once for forwards, but the title caught my attention and I was drawn to it. It reminded me of something Stephanie gave me years ago before I left for Germany. It spoke of the variety of people that we meet in our lives, and the relationships that are formed. To be specific, it said that some people come into our lives for a reason (to aide you physically, emotionally, or spiritually). The third kind of friendship it spoke of was those friends who come into our lives for a lifetime. I haven't lived that long, but I am glad to have a handful of these. Specifically TJ who knows me and loves me better than anyone.

The second type, were those friends who come into our life for a season. I think I have failed to realize that it is ok for people to come in for a reason and for just a season. I know that I have been that kind of friend to others - but for some reason when it is someone coming into my life I feel the need to hold on forever.

It is both frightening and wonderful to know that I can let people go. I've already done it (talk about effecient!). Someone from my past sent me a rather hurtful email the other day. I have waited to respond, trying to sort out feelings, avoiding being rash. I finally found the strength to write back, thank them for the things we've shared, and let them go.

Hitting the send button took me about fifteen minutes. Knowing that I've done the right thing though is amazing. I hope that by doing this I can finally start letting people in my life - and letting people go as I need to.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Points of Gratitude

Our family just arrived safely home from a trip to see friends for the holidays. It was great to spend time with friends - a big difference from the previous years. I did miss my family though. Our drive (yes we drove with two kids, over eights hours, in a car WITHOUT a DVD can be done!) was wonderful and uneventful. It gave me some needed quiet time and gave E and I a chance to talk. One of our topics was to recount the things we are grateful for. Here are just SOME of my gratefuls for this year:

~ two healthy, happy, vibrant children
~ friends who love me regardless of my failure to return phone calls
~ my child's ability to 'fake cry'
~ the freedom to quit one job, take another one, and quit yet again
~ choosing to not have tv in our house and discovering new adventures each day
~ a dishwasher that doesn't complain when I haven't done them, even though it's the end of a long day for him
~ parents that treat me like their daughter, their friend, and an adult all at once.
~ not being pregnant this year
~ being able to learn life lessons without serious consequences (yet)
~ San Antonio
~ dark brown eyes that charm me out of frivolent anger
~ free back massages that E gives without complaint (even though he might think them)
~ pancake breakfasts on Sundays with needed conversational therapy
~ the smile I get everytime I read Smash's blog which I check regularly as if she were some close friend
~ Mrs Dash
~ the Children's Museum, Zoo, park, condo playhouse, and any other space I can take my children to get out of the house
~ not being famous
~ Lynette
~ being at a place where my lover knows me better than I know myself, and smiles when I figure things out that he's known for years.
~ watching others find their inner strength as I find mine
~ knowing that my kids think I am beautiful not matter what size I might be.
~ sunshine, blue sky, the ocean, and pieces of nature that grant me peace
~ having another day to try and do something different and better than I did before
~ the fact that there are more things that I am grateful for than I can even remember.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No puppy at Christmas!

Do you remember the first time that you were disappointed? I cannot. I do remember one year being incredibly disappointed that there was no puppy under the tree for me at Christmas. I had begged and pleaded. I must have been six or seven at the time. That moment, of searching all over under the tree, no puppy in sight, is still strong in my mind. Pure, utter, disappointment.

The last few days have brought new disappointments to heart. It was the phone call that never came. It has been the realization that people aren't always where they say they'll be. It has been the realization that people aren't always who they say they are. Disappointment is usually accompanied by familiar words 'never' 'did not' 'were not' 'not quite'- all words that confirm the lack of something, or at least the subpar.

As I sit here tonight, I can tell that the last few days have weighed more heavily on me than I realized before. Thus the cathartic writing.

Something struck me though as I was in my mental temper tantrum of disappointments- is disappointment really fair? I know, who cares a damn about fair when you're out in the rain? Yet part of my ever present (read, ever annoying!) quest is to make life as fair as possible for myself and those around.

I should be specific but given the open nature of blogging I am hesitant. Let me leave it at the fact that something of significance happened in my life, and the others who are connected with the situation are reacting in a disappointing (you can't be surprised by that word!) manner. I've spent many moments tonight in tears, and many other moments stewing in anger. While it is quite true that I am an emotional person, prone to tears, I am not usually angry...especially not like I have been tonight.

Just as I was formulating my plan for destruction of disappointment bearers I started thinking through what a conversation might sound like. As I started role playing what the other might say in my mind it dawned on me that what might be in response to my accusations, might actually make sense. That while it might not be my mode of operation, or what seems like normal behavior, or even what might be considered courteous in the given situation - it was not me. All I can do is make sure that when I have the control I do my best not to disappoint and hope that if I do, someone will understand, or at least ask me what happened but not launch into a tirade. It wouldn't be fair.

Honestly I am sure that I do not quite believe that. I am sure that being fair would mean everyone was somehow happy and had their expectations met. I am sure that I am not over the disappointment. I am also sure this needs more thought, and especially more time.

Several years after my puppy was not under the tree I started a campaign. I got it in my head that I wanted a dog. My parents, referring back to their original reason for not getting me one, did not feel like I was ready. I also stopped to ask them why they wouldn't let me have one. That information told me that they were, in a way, disappointment with me. I got more information about my weaknesses than I really wanted at that time - but it motivated me. I wrote my parents letters about how responsible I could be. I picked up whatever extra chores I could do prove that my responsibility level was much higher than they gave me credit for. I started walking the neighbors dog. I got books at the library about different types of dogs. I was determined not to be disappointed.

When I woke up I tore through the stacks of presents, along with my equally excited siblings. No puppy. Nothing even resembling a dog. No stuffed animals. No leash with an invisible dog at the end of it. Nothing except more disappointment. Sure I had loads of other presents under the tree - those wouldn't matter. My parents did not seem to notice my tears. Finally my mom, surely sick of my mix of tears and anger, directed me to open my stocking. It was full of dog food and other doggie items, along with a note to look in the box outside.

And there it was, my own wonderful beautiful puppy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Dear John

October 2nd 2006

Dear John,

I can hardly believe how fast time has flown. In a few short months we would have celebrated an anniversary together. The ninth. They, whoever they really are, say that time will heal all wounds. I am starting to believe that they never had a wound like this. When we broke up I walked away thinking I knew you. Thinking I knew the situation. The more time has passed the more I feel blindsided by who you really are. I’ve been shaken to the core by these revelations.

It will take me a lot of time to regain my confidence, confidence I feel you stole from me. You may revel in this news. You may gloat that you captured another person and sucked the soul out of her. It’s funny, I guess, because the people I met when you and I first connected all warned me. Many of them said I would give my life to you only to lose it in the end. Many of them said that you would take until there was none left. It’s all true. It seemed somehow exciting at the time. Like giving that much to you would be magical. The torture comes not from their warning but from my delusion that it would, WAS, somehow different for me. We spent all that time together, some good some bad, but each day I thought I was making a difference. Each day I thought that with me, you’d be different. Of course now that it is over I see how blind I was.

The part I feel the most angry about is that fact that I am so angry. I was the one who chose to end our relationship, yet I feel like the one who got abandoned. I feel angry towards the people we shared as friends that no longer are my friends. I feel angry towards the person you are with now, as if they would have been able to change you, or control you. I feel angry with myself for believing that things were different. I feel so angry that I have started to doubt myself. Too many moments have been wasted by me thinking about whether I did things right, or if I could have been better. Too many moments have been wasted crying or swearing or grinding teeth. I’ve wondered so much about the people I thought were my friends when I was with you. Wondered where they are now. The reality is that if they were only with me because of you, they will never be the kind of people I love.

You will never be successful. You will never have a relationship that is healthy. You will never grow. You will never keep people around because of love rather than fear.

I was amazing with you. But not because of you, not at all. I thought I was powerful because of you, but I am powerful on my own. I regained my power when I walked away. Someday I will remember what I was like and I will realize that I haven’t lost myself at all, but have rather found myself. I am successful and will continue to be. I have more healthy relationships than I can count. I continue to grow and I will never allow myself to be stagnant again, like I was with you. I will never be scared of you or anyone else again. I will never stay hoping that the next day someone will love me more than they did the day before. I will never give more to someone that won’t give back to me.

In the end, which is what this is, the anger is still there. It won’t be there for me always though. I look into the eyes of my new loves, the people that I surround myself with, and I see a reflection of a strong, passionate, happy woman. And maybe I’ll have a moment where I’ll think of you, and I’ll hope for the best of the people in your life. I’ll hope that they’ll walk away from you too one day, and that they’ll seek something better than what you could ever give them. That moment will be sad but fleeting. Then I’ll go back to the world I live in, the one with you not in it. The world I chose.

This is all. I cannot go on being angry. I cannot go on feeling this way. I do not want to waste anything else on you.

Letting go,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Kissed me on the bench - kissed Kevin on the bench!

Top Five Kisses

‘Kissed me on the bench – kissed Kevin on the bench- MARRIED Kevin!’

In an ode to all things flavored with High Fidelity, here are my top five all-time kisses. Names have been omitted in case I wish to blackmail these people in the future.

Sitting on the counter, him leaning in, me moving away from it. Later sitting on the couch, knowing that the kiss might change the world. It did.

Laundry room of the dorms. Sounds of the buttons on clothes clanking in the dryer. Pressed up against the washer. Lights off. Heat on.

After a fight in the parking lot. Flowers tossed on the ground in anger - same passion driving the kiss. Powerful. Forgiveness granted.

An afternoon picnic filled with surprises. Under a shady tree. New lovers but no awkwardness. Cool breeze, smooth smooching.

Under a desk. Youthfulness combined with rebellious tension. Other young girls angry with my luck. First kiss, lasting impression, humorous story.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I am sitting in class. This is the fifth class for this course. Five classes, five papers, five ramblings on by the teacher, and five million comments from the class clown.

Life has come full circle for me. Here I am at a nice ripe age. In fact my ten year HS reunion is next month. Friends of mine are now Drs - legitimate Drs. Not med students. Not an intern. A Doctor. People I have hired and students have counseled during my first years in management are lawyers and business leaders.

Now as I sit in my class at the local community colleges discussing Ahimsa and Satya and other pieces of Jainism. And the subject matter is fascinating. Yet I find myself doing the same thing that I did so many years ago in Junior High - doodling.

Do you remember those days? They cannot be that long ago right?

In fact my class reminds me those days in more ways than one. There is the guy, G, who sits on the side of class and makes comments not just during class but during breaks. Last week he asked me if I was really as liberal as I seem. This all because I made a hypothetical comment and he took it as reality. He finds it 'helpful' to remind be the official barometer of what is strange in other religions.

Of course everyone has to pack up ten minutes before the imaginary bell starts ringing. It has always driven me crazy and it drives me crazy more now that I've been a teacher.

There's the one student who contests every grade, every missed question, and the teachers ability to correct homework.

And then there is me. Not a lot has changed. I laugh a little too loud at things in class when I get nervous. I'm intelligent but full of self-doubt. I think about things five times before I say them.

And of course I doodle. What hit me tonight was that in years passed I would doodle about my future family and children. I was the future, all in cursive of course, Mrs. Shelly S, Mrs. Shelly C, Mrs. Shelly H. Now I am officially Mrs. Shelly B or depending on my need for independence Ms. Shelly E-B.

The trouble is I can no longer doodle that. I am a Mrs now. I cannot even doodle my kids names. It was such a strange reality zone. I am a wife. I am a mom. Granted these two things don't completely define me BUT they are actually a part of me now. No longer just doodles in my 3rd period French book.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Number Twenty-Three

For the last year I have continually commented, both to myself and those of you unfortunate to hear it, about the pressing emotional need I have felt to lose weight. Two babies in two years has not been good for my physique.

*NOTE it is spelled LOSE not LOOSE. Loose would describe the way I want my pants to feel. Lose is similar to LOSER in that I'd like to be a big LOSER. (no comments from the peanut gallery on that one)*

Over the past six weeks I have made a continual effort to lose weight without any regard to this nagging urge. Why you might ask am I trudging my butt out every 4-5 days for at least 30 minutes of exercise? COMPETITION!

That's right. Right now our little family is competing with several other 'teams' in the town's challenge to get fit together!
(I can even hear the Mayor's hyped up speech, the cheers from the crowd, and the shaking of pom-poms)

My Mom, in all the wisdom she's gained from 20/20, Dateline, Primetime, etc, told me that most people do not lose weight unless there is some sort of fear driving it. The particular show she watched had people losing weight to prevent having their dimpled cheeks (think about it) shown on national TV. 4 of 5 Doctor's recommend Nutraslim ~ oh shoot, where was I?

I meant 4 of the 5 participants did lose the weight- and the 5th, she came close. And well she lucked out, or should I say WE lucked out b/c they did not show her pretty little belly on TV.

Don't get me wrong. If I had the fear of Barbara Walters burned into me by those glaring eyes of hers I'd lose the weight too. Not because of anything I would do though- I mean you all would be tracking me down, chasing after me, in hopes to prevent your eyes from melting out of your heads if you saw me on TV.

Rather than work off that fear though I am tuning into one more closely associated with me- fear of losing. Again I'd like to be a big loser but not to a bunch of poster touting, tee-shirt wearing, mostly government working townsfolk.

So when you see me marching up and down the streets of town, on the nightly news, or waving my SEWW fit banner around it's not for team spirit. NO! It's for winning! And when you see me in pictures with the Mayor it won't be because I'm skinny. It will be because we've won (or because I have damn cute kids). We're 23 out of 117- but that's not good enough!

I mean seriously- if it were really JUST about the weight wouldn't I have used that $ 16.48 monthly fee gym membership that I've been paying for?

Go team SEWW Fit! And I'll see you on National TV!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fine Art 101

Art is often in the eye of the beholder. Some have likened Picasso's work to that of a 2-year old. I have a 2-year old and he does nothing like that. Others find harmony, talent, or even themselves in paintings that have nothing more than polka dots. One of my favorite art moments was when my friends and I went to the LACMA. One of the paintings captured my attention- I quite liked it. Two men were seperated by a bridge and seemed to be holding strings that built the bridge itself. I interpreted it as a simplistic view of how friendships are designed and endure.

As I showed my friends it wasn't until one of them noticed that the bridge was actually not made up of string- but out of semen coming from each man's penis. I had not been observant enough to see that each man was naked or that the 'string' was something a little more personal to each one. Needless to say my friends did not like the picture as much as I did.

Art has always been subjective. Those of you who know anything of art (and I know very little) have heard that most painters were not recognized in their time. One of my favorite reads, Girl With The Pearl Earring, told of Vermeer's life painting what he could for money soley for his large family to live on. Often painting subjects he would rather have not, rushing projects to meet client deadlines, or selling pieces of furniture for new paint supplies.

So I realize that the art that I am focused on today- one piece of art in my life lesson- is just as subjective. In fact I'd venture to say that those living in my house even have completely different perspectives. However I have decided that proscratination is a Fine Art. It is one that is studied- even if self-consiously, one that is finely honed, and one that is viewed differently depending on the artist, the subject, and the style used.

Granted as I sit typing this blog while my children eat dinner I too am honing my art. By the end of the night I may have just elevated myself to Fine Art 201. I could be eating dinner myself. Or washing the dishes that have accumulated since breakfast (hate having no dishwasher). There are DC plans to be made. School work to do. Playing with children who could always use the attention.

And yet here I sit.

What is it about procrastination that captures us all? It seems like such a stupid thing to do when it makes our life so much harder once we get moving towards whatever path we should have been on in the first place.

For example, if I were to wash the dishes, instead of writing this riveting blog, then when bedtime rolls around for the boys, rather than having to wash the dishes then after giving two baths, changing two diapers, and getting two bouncy-boys settled- I could sit down and write this blog. Or I could work on the ever growing list I create for myself.

What is hard for me is that procrastination is one of the traits that I hate most in other people- especially those peoplw who directly effect my life. Yet it seems that if I am qualified to teach classes on the Fine Art of it- why should I not expect differently in others.

If I think my life would be better if so-and-so did ______. Wouldn't he/she be just as thrilled if I did _____ instead of whatever else I might be doing? In fact, maybe if I just blame everything on the people who are doing _____ which isn't allowing me to do ____ then I won't be procratinating anymore.

Nope. No more procrastinating for me! Then I'd just be in the victim mentality.

So what do I do? Obviously in the last fifteen minutes that it has taken me to get this far in my blog I have not made the decision to get up and do something. Oh no. That would be admitting my art work IS worth more in this lifetime than after I am dead. And I'm hoping that my family and posterity live off of my future trust fund based off of this amazing talent I have.

Instead I turn to- my trusty friend- the internet. And guess what I learn? There are bad and GOOD types of procrastination. Specifically Paul Graham lables good procrastination as doing anything that is more important first than the task you might have originally planned to do.

Again I think subjectivity comes into play. Now instead of wondering whether or not I'm horrible for procrastinating I can just label whatever I am doing as GOOD and whatever everyone else is doing as BAD. Perfect.

Problem ---> Solution. That's my kind of day.

And on that note- with the boys both finished with dinner it seems fitting to...


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dum Dums are not just another type of sucker...

Well today I've decided that Dum Dums are not just another type of sucker. In short- I am another type of sucker. Or for that matter Dum Dums and I are related. I've heard the saying that children in your arms are no longer under foot- in fact my Grandma has actually quoted that directly to me. Honestly I've never really understood it. Then again maybe I've never heard it because I usually have my children in my arms while they are screaming so I can't hear!

My realization of my dummy-hood comes on the celebration of my motherhood. Today is Mother's Day. This celebration is the holy, sacred day for Mother's. In fact, as I toured the local WalMart yesterday (yes it was a BAD day for shopping) doing the rounds buying gifts for all the women in my life I realized that the best Mother's Day gift* would be for Eric to do all of the Mother's Day shopping! That aside it did give me the chance to think about all of the wonderful women that I know in my life. One is my biological mother Grandma KK as she is referred to often. She is my rock. I call her more often than I call anyone else and trust her with things I do not trust myself with.

Others are not mothers to me by birth, and maybe not even related to me by blood. However these not-my-official moms provide a world of sanity, education, love, and friendship that I could not survive without. Some call me weekly even if I fail to dial their number. Some wait for me to call and then talk like we've never not spoken. Often times they watch my kids while I go to a movie, or listen to me sob about the latest drama I've concocted. Regardless it occurs to me that I am 1/2 of what I am because of all of my 'mothers'. And I thank each of you for that.

But as blessed as I may be in friendship and love- I am not so blessed with grade-A mothering skills. Don't get me wrong, I am a good mother. However my child, Will, decided tonight that he did not want to go to sleep. And after he had spent a total of 20 minutes in his bed screaming I of course, decide that it is ok if he comes out on the couch and cuddles while I watch my latest DVD of Scrubs. That just chirps the kid right on up. The canned laughter coming out of the tv was better than candy for him and he was soon bouncing off the walls. C'est la vie (boheme).

This example is just about the umpteenth example of dummy motherhooding that I've exhibited lately. The reality is, as I am rapidly learning, that there is no such thing as perfect motherhood. Those of you, formerly me, out there that think there is will be faced with some sad reality later. I've found that with motherhood the more I stop trying to control everything the more control I actually have. And that also means that I enjoy it more.

As I reflect on the past three Mother's Days that I've celebrated I have found something magical- I love being a mother. I applaud those of you out there that already know having children is not for you. I envy those of you who knew right at the onset that you would love motherhood. You even knew it before you had kids. Me, I hoped that I would love it. I babysat kids and grew close to them- became proud of their growth and progress just like they were mine. But they weren't mine and I got to go home. Becoming a mother has made me stronger, smarter, more patient (a long time coming, I know!), more trusting, and more aware of what love really is. I am so grateful for my children.

This does not mean that Mother's Day was exactly peachy. The notion that Moms would get a day off is a pipe-dream of someone who is not a Mother. Aside from the poop Walker did IN his high chair, not in his diaper in the highchair, more like OUT of his diaper IN the highchair. That was quickly followed up by Walker hitting Will on the head repeatedly with a play car causing Will to scream and cry, which then made Walker scream and cry. I had the Mo Tab in my room! The icing on the cake though was when Walker fell down the stairs. He did want to cuddle though.

And since most of you reading this are excited to hear about the boys- they are great. We have had an amazing week! We've made new friends with Lexi and Molly, not to mention all the animals at the Zoo (Will especially loves the Teddy Bears), started our Salt Lake City Gets Fit Together program, been to Goosey's house, and the best part of this week, participated in the Race for the Cure. That was a perfect way to start the emotions going for the weekend. You can read about that and see a couple of pictures at:

Speaking of pictures, this slideshow from was amazing if you are interested.

Happy Mother's Day,
Shelly, aka Momma B

*this was not meant to distract from the fact that, in typical Eric fashion, my Mother's Day presentS were wonderful. Eric made me (through the wonder that is Apple) books detailing the births of each of my two boys. I highly recommend this type of a gift for anyone in your lives!*