Mother’s Day…I’m Just Not That Into You

I don’t need flowers, I don’t need a fancy dinner, and I don’t need lingerie.

I DO need chocolate.  But I prefer to pick it out myself since I have VERY high standards!

I am referring to Mother’s Day, of course.  While I know that many people appreciate this holiday, I’m not one of them.  I’ve never connected with it, even after I became a mother.  All I cared about growing up was my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – that was it.  This year I’ve felt particularly repelled by the incredible amount of spam that has appeared in my email folder over the past three weeks.

Strawberries for Mother’s Day!!!  Floral bouquets for Mother’s Day!!!  You-name-it for Mother’s Day!

For me this day has become too loaded with happy expectations and it ends in disappointment.  Who needs it? Especially since you all know I have THE best Mother’s Day gift ever:   snooze

Seven-week-old puppy Lucy snoozing on my pillow despite the fact she’s technically not supposed to be on the bed.  Please let that be our secret!

As thrilled as I am to be under Lucy’s spell, she’s not a panacea to all my problems. I’m having one of those days in which PMS symptoms are beginning to rise their ugly heads.  As a result, I’ve been irritable and unable to relax.  All day long I’ve had an annoying feeling that I should be accomplishing a lot more than I’m doing, and I’m not cutting it!

I wish I could just nap in an instant as sweet Lucy does, complete with puppy dreams.  With two lively children in this house, I don’t see a nap in my immediate future.  What will help me is working out and breaking a good sweat.  That’s my plan for the late afternoon.  My workout becomes all the more alluring because it’s the time when I read your blog posts on my Kindle.  All the juicy, incisive, inspiring writing I read makes my elliptical workout whiz by.

Despite my aversion to Mother’s Day, I admit I’ll take advantage of the holiday all the same.  I’m not asking for much, so I’m easy compared to other “high-maintenance” moms. who require high-end jewelry and Creme de Mer.  I want to be able to hang out with fluffball Lucy, write, work out, and eat something yummy at home.  I know the girls have made me gifts at school and those will be the only gifts I need.

The other day I read a fascinating post on Stigmama.com that discusses Mother’s Day in a different light.  Stigmama.com founder/author Dr. Walker Karraa also mentions other topics close to my heart in relation to motherhood, maternal mental health and awareness campaigns.  Dr. Karraa writes in a highly original, powerful way and her perspectives are never boring!  The post is located at:

http://stigmama.com/2014/05/05/mother-may-i/

Speaking of that which is powerful, yesterday I watched the documentary “Running From Crazy” featuring Mariel Hemingway. The film examines the Hemingway legacy and it takes a close look at suicide and the genetics of mental illness.  What affected me the most were the scenes of Mariel having candid mental-illness themed conversations with her two grown daughters.

Neither daughter said she had severe mental illness, but in one scene Mariel told her daughter pointedly she had been “very worried” about her when she suffered depression.  Mariel had every right to be gravely concerned when depression surfaced in her child, as a whopping seven of her family members had taken their lives, “maybe more” as Mariel said.

While watching “Running From Crazy” it occurred to me for the umpteenth time that as a mom with two daughters of my own I’ll always worry about my girls succumbing to bipolar disorder.  I don’t want my Avonlea and Marilla to feel like Mariel Hemingway.  I don’t want them feeling like they are “running from crazy” throughout their lives, sprinting like mad to escape severe mental illness that arose in the generations before them.

On second thought I’d like the money my husband will spend on a Mother’s Day fancy card, flowers, and dinner to go to a meaningful cause: The International Bipolar Foundation.  The International Bipolar Foundation helps those with bipolar and anyone else affected by bipolar, and they’re active advocates.   As we’re a family on a super-tight budget, we rarely donate to non-profits.  However, since I’m fairly certain that money shall be spent on me for Mother’s Day, I’d like to direct it to a place that makes me feel good.

And now that I’ve gotten theses concerns off my motherly chest, I shall forget about putting away dishes, doing laundry and paying bills and return to Puppyland!!!  Happy Sunday.  😉

Advertisements

The Lonely Calm Before the Puppy Storm

sfemale1

This morning is the last morning our household will be dog-less for hopefully the next fifteen+ years.  Tonight we’ll pick up “Puppy”, name t.b.d.  I’m feeling really nervous about this change.  It’s silly, because I consider this to be a joyful occasion, and I’m excited to bring a puppy home.

There’s no need for me to feel insecure about my abilities as a dog owner.  I lovingly cared for my two dogs Shera and Tara for fifteen years, half of those years as a single gal.  I know I can be a great dog mom.  Despite my confidence, I’m freaked out all the same.

As I type away it occurs to me that change must be behind my anxiety.  I’ve read that positive change can be just as difficult as negative change.  I’m also wondering if PMS could be contributing to my uneasiness and heightened sensitivity.  While PMS could be a culprit, heck, I’m forty-four – for all I know, menopause might be heading on its merry way into my life.  But I hope NOT this year!!! Please God!

At the crack of dawn, my geologist husband jetted out the door to a work site.  I nagged and hurried our girls to get them ready for school.  Our home was filled with frenetic activity and LOTS of noise – our daughters are a handful, and they were amped up with anticipation about tonight’s furry arrival.

After I dropped them off at school, I realized I felt lonely and isolated; more than usual.  Returning to my cold, empty, dark, quiet home did not appeal to me at all.  Despite feeling on the verge of PMS-like tears, I visited one of my favorite coffee shops, Surf City Coffee Co., so I could sit around people and treat myself to a mocha.

imgresimages

Surf City has a very mellow vibe which lends itself well to writing.  There’s free WiFi and I made sure to bring my laptop.  After I walked into Surf City, I received a providential sign from God that I was in the right place.  This event happened while I stood in line waiting to order.  The barista said loudly, out of the blue,

LITHIUM!

Some of you know that lithium is one of my primary meds for bipolar disorder.  My Dad took it long ago, although he suffered the classic side effect of shakiness.  That wasn’t good for his career as a professional violinist, but lithium helped him for a while.  I’ve taken lithium off and on during the past eight years.  My periodic blood level tests check out fine, my initial side effects (shakiness, some hair loss) subsided, and it has worked well for me, especially to prevent mania.  I’m still creative and I don’t feel flat while taking it, as some people unfortunately experience.  I also like the fact that it’s an “old-school” drug, it’s cheap and it comes in generic form.

I wondered why the barista said “lithium” so loudly for no apparent reason!  I laughed after she said it, as a matter of fact, because it simply tickled my fancy!

When it was my turn to order, I asked the barista why she belted out the word “lithium”.

“It’s the answer to our Question of the Day!” she answered cheerfully.

“Ahhhh.” I replied.  In my previous Surf City pitstops, I hadn’t noticed the obvious “Question of the Day” bulletin board hanging from the ceiling right in front of me.  This time I looked up at the board, which read, “At room temperature, what is the LIGHTEST solid element in terms of density?”  I didn’t know this fascinating fact about lithium until today!

After today, when I have my six-hour-long stretches alone at home, I’ll have some very-much-wanted, furry, loving company by my side.  It’s always nice to have quiet, solo time, and I’ll still arrange for that in the months ahead.  But I don’t think I’ll require 100%  alone time, sans dog, all that much.

As a longtime dog owner, I didn’t realize how much I missed having “dog energy” around me since Tara and Shera died six years ago.  Ever since then, I never openly acknowledged the fact that an important part of my life was missing: my pets.  My bipolar depression took over, similar to ooozing lava smothering the land, and depression obliterated my desire for a pet.  Last week I gave myself permission to open my heart to a pet again, and I’m counting the minutes to meeting our new family member.

As my fellow dog-loving friend Carrie said to me, “Spring is the perfect time to get a dog!” and she’s right. I’ve always considered spring to be a symbolic time of renewal.  (Carrie blog’s contains an intriguing animal telepathy post that can be found here: http://fleetiris.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/animal-telepathy/)

Having a pet also marks a positive step in my recovery with bipolar disorder.  I am strong and stable enough to be the primary caretaker of a puppy.  It feels really good to reach this point, and I’m excited to share with you what happens as I adjust to having a delightful “furry baby” charm her way into my heart…and shred some family heirlooms or what have you along the way! 😉

images