Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hopeful Adventures Indeed





So today I've been married six years.  It seems like a blink and forever all at once.  It's funny... my Prince Charming wasn't at all what I dreamed of as a little girl.  He was older, already had children, didn't have a lifelong career, and in general was poor as a church mouse.  But he was funny, and kind, and doting, and worked so hard.  You see I'd dated the perfect boy on paper sometime before I met Mark.  All the boxes checked and I thought that equaled happily ever after, but my heart just couldn't buy in. It turns out that Prince Charming had to be someone that could make me laugh all the time, and make me feel like I was the only girl in the room, and actually listen when I talk.  He wasn't perfect.  We've had one and only one REALLY serious fight and it was before we got married and he will tell you it was his fault (and it TOTALLY was, but I might have contributed slightly in my own roundabout way.) That one fight taught us the one most important lesson ever in relationship land.  You have to communicate.  That's more than talking people it's being honest. We communicate pretty well and that's helpful. And the other end of being honest is listening.  Mark listens.  Sometimes he's listening with blue headphones while I'm yelling with a pink microphone so there are translation issues as those don't compute, but he listens all the same.  And every once in awhile he REALLY surprises me at the little things he picks up. On Friday, before our anniversary date he presented me with a pendant.  Now here's the deal people. I'm a teacher so you know what kind of money I make.  My husband is a computer tech and he makes a good living but we live a good life understanding that things like trips to Tahiti and Europe are out of reach for us and may always be so because of the careers we've chosen.  (Shoot a trip to Disney World is out of reach. Seriously, how do some of you go so much??? I priced that out for this summer for our big birthdays and I was like, "How many thousands did you say????" Great googly moogly!) But, we LOVE our jobs which is priceless.  We are happy.  We see the ocean every year, and for a kid who took exactly two vacations involving overnights that weren't at family homes her entire young life, that's a pretty good deal!  We pay our bills responsibly. (Well mostly responsibly.  Sorry Dave Ramsey.  I love you but I'm going to the dang beach once a year whether that debt snowball is rolling as fast as I'd like it to or not!)  But I digress.  What does all this have to do with anything?   Well you see, for a LOOOOOONG time now I've dreamed of having real actual pearls.  Like legit out of an oyster pearls.  I got addicted to watching those pearl parties on facebook because I love seeing the pretty colors they find.  Pearls are not on the debt snowball list.  Mark has listened.  He heard my very selfish little dream and he listened.  He knows how badly I want to pay our debt off and how hard I'm working to do it.  He knows I would never buy some things for myself.  He's also figured out that going way overboard with like a double strand of pearls would've gotten him killed.   So on our anniversary he handed me a small box and in it was this pendant with one perfect pearl.  Not extravagant or overdone but simple and lovely and just enough.  Not pretentious, not showy, but a little reminder to really appreciate life and living it.  After all, that pearl took that poor oyster a lot of work and time to make. That pendant is like a metaphor for us and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Thank you Mark for listening.  I love you and I couldn't have asked for a better Prince Charming for myself.  Not perfect, but perfect for me.  So for those of you still looking find someone who you can talk to and who listens.  That is the recipe for happiness no matter what because you both feel honored and appreciated.  You feel valued and that is what we all truly want. 

And so ends this extra sappy blog post.  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's That Time...

Statistically this is the worst time of year for depression in average citizens. Blue Monday is coming at us and the holiday season is behind.  Anxiety and depression are no joke. I've battled them my whole life and for the most part I keep their head rearings to a minimum. In fact, I can count the times I've miserably failed at this to the point of losing the humor that makes me me. I have been sensing myself on the verge of another for some time. I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of. It just happens when life piles a ton on you at one time. When I was a kid it was the typical teenage teasing about things like my weight, or my clothes, my hair, or my clumsiness that drove me there.  At that age you want so desperately to feel accepted and it's gutting when you don't.  But lately I've felt a bit more like my adult life is stuck in high school too. No no...Not the one I teach at. I love my job! It's just life has felt very high schoolish lately. I've felt unpopular, unwanted, unneeded, unpretty, and all those other un's that plagued me so much as a kid. Mark has seen me get mentally beaten up and then beat myself up because of this and bless him he's kept my head above water. It's important not to sweep our struggles under the rug. I tried to desperately when Mark was ill and I ended projecting my anger and frustrations in other areas of my life. So this time I've leaned on my husband and that's ok. He reminds me all the time that's how this is supposed to work. It's nice to feel like a team and it's nice to be supported, hugged, loved, and on occasion put in my place. He's reminded me that Ellie hears everything and that I don't want her to grow up thinking it's ok to speak poorly of yourself so I have to stop beating myself up out loud. So if you or someone you love is struggling then find that person you can lean on or be that person for someone else.  Stop speaking badly of yourself. All that does is convince you you aren't worth the trouble. And for heaven sakes pray. Because even though I have an awesome husband and a great support system, God ultimately always needs to be who I turn to before the world begins to right itself. It's in Him I learn that I can do things on my own and it's ok. I can shove away all the frustrations of the people, cliques, squads, pay for play over play for heart groups, and the scale that I have let make me feel inferior or unwanted or overlooked in the past few months. It is a beautiful thing to be finally ok enough to move on in your own skin and maybe someday I'll be there. I finally feel ready to ease in that direction again. In the meantime I'm going to stay home more, enjoy my family more, sing more just for Mark and Ellie and my God because their opinions are the only ones that really matter anyway. This is hard. This sucks. Choosing to be happy is more of a battle than some might imagine. For those of us that struggle it's not that we don't want to it's that our fears fight us every step of the way. But I'll get there. And so can you if you have similar struggles. I only hope that saying all this out loud helps someone else know to hang in there. We all have periods of struggle we have to work through. Ok is out there and so many of us are chasing it. Maybe someday we will even get past that to really awesome:)

Monday, September 5, 2016

My letter to Kaepernick

Dear Mr Kaepernick and friends,

Have you ever really listened to the National Anthem? No seriously. Take a minute and listen to the words. That song is about a dark moment for our young country. A moment that seemed without hope and yet when the sun rose there stood that flag. That flag survived a time when people were tearing the world around them apart. Sound familiar?? It survived a literal war and then many more after. Since the writing of that song think about the power of that symbol. It stood through government indecision, injustice, hatred, attack, tragedy and more. No matter how heavy and awful our situation or the state of our nation that flag is the symbol that we, more than most nations, have the power to grow and change when time shows us we should. That's why we've also enjoyed so much prosperity and freedom. When we stand together and fight for what we believe, that flag is always at our back to remind us that we can make a difference. It reminds us of the bravery of all the men and women in uniform who station themselves all over the world protecting your right to play a game as a career or my right to teach, so that every morning when we wake up we can look up as Francis Scott Key did and see that flag and know that we have another day in a country that encourages us to fight for what's right and to celebrate our differences.  The anthem is an unabashed celebration of that symbol and a subtle reminder of what makes our country great even when we have so much we need to fix. All of this being said I feel that involving these symbols in your protest is disrespectful to all the great protestors who've come before you from the men who founded this nation to be a symbol of standing up for what's right, right up to men like Dr King who fought to change it again when not all were being treated the same. It's spitting in the face of the men and women who helped keep the right to object protected. So yes, please protest injustice! That is what makes America special. Make your voice heard!!! I'm simply asking you to consider other outlets. Because all you accomplish by disrespecting the flag and the anthem is to show everyone that you have no respect for or belief in the United States. If that's truly the case please make sure that you don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya on the way out. I expect you'll want to donate your big salary to organizations and groups that work responsibly to make a difference before you go. Of course the other thing that makes this country great is you don't have to agree with me. I'll still thank you for your time because I believe in approaching disagreements respectfully. 

Best of luck this season, 
Jamie Wright

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Transplant part deux

Two years ago today the biopsy that changed our lives occurred.  No one ever wants to hear the word cancer, and the doctor that told us was as indelicate about it as possible. In fact he was a disaster. It was Dr. Strickland that first laid out what Mark was facing and how we would face it. His team since then, including Dr. Greer, Dr. Kassim, Dr. Savani, and Dr. Jagasia have been nothing short of remarkable!!

Mark was unshakeable during the diagnosis and treatment planning and I was a wreck but two years in we are still here! What a ride it's been and we've had more support than I could ever imagine. Help that I will never be able to repay and friendships and family ties strengthened that have made our lives richer than money ever could. Speaking of which: Thanks to everyone for all their prayers yesterday and today! Mark always seems to be doing so well that you don't realize how serious all this is until you're in the room and they escort the special transplant cooler in and ask if your living will is up to date. Eek!! It reminds you that life is a fragile thing and we have to be grateful for every day.  He's been very tired today but feels good otherwise and we are headed back to reality and work tomorrow. Another hurdle bites the dust!

This journey has been tough but it's grown us into tougher people and better people if I do say so myself. We've truly learned a lot about the definitions of faith and grace.  And we've really learned what it is to humble yourself. Sometimes that means laying it all down in front of God and saying "ok it's yours, you take it and I'll just be right here." When you are a type A control freak that is the hardest lesson to learn as a Christian. And sometimes humbling yourself means graciously accepting a meal or a gift when it appears. When you're an employed professional that is very hard as well. You don't want to need help and sometimes it's hard to just shut up and be humble and accept that God has sent you an angel to give you what's needed. I will spend the rest of my days trying to be that angel for others as often as I am able and always keeping my eyes open for chances. I'm working harder not to miss the little things. I don't always succeed but I'm getting there.

So thank you all once again for being here!

Thus concludes the latest update from Wright land. We are off to prepare for two more days of work and then vacation! Yay! Sometimes reality rocks!

See you soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

High School Fears and Adult Happy Thoughts

Well, we are on the road to my 20 year high school reunion. Holy crap I'm old!!! Lol!! I have always been Patty Simcox (please see list of characters for Grease if I lost you there). I love to be in the thick of it! I don't want to miss a thing or let a moment of life go wasted. (On occasion this has led to gross over-scheduling on my part. Oops!) I try to be the forever figurative cheerleader for involvement and putting yourself out there. 
 
But to be honest I wasn't sure about this one. At our last reunion I was in amazing shape, I felt great, and frankly I think I looked pretty freakin good! 

Not. Now. 

Being big has never been an issue for me as long as I felt good and my health was good! No, seriously! I know no one believes that, but it's true! When you're bigger your whole life eventually you just deal with it. It doesn't mean you need to be a slob! Work out, eat right, do your best, and eventually the self esteem comes. Took me AGES to figure that out!! But stuff happens. You see, I married a great guy and got comfy and we put on a few pounds as a couple, but when Mark got Leukemia I let my health and well being go. Utterly and totally. Grabbing meals on the go and eating hospital food became the norm. There was never time for working out or at least I failed to make time. I don't feel good about how I look right now. So I thought...maybe I should skip this.  I can just visit the people I'm not totally mortified to face, right?  

Then it occurred to me that while I may feel a bit like a blue whale, there may be others in my class that feel the same way and what kind of Patty Simcox would I be if I tucked my tail and hid!! I mean I'm really proud of a lot of my classmates and their accomplishments and I'd like to tell them so! Furthermore I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments dang it! I have an amazing family, great kids (the world's cutest two year old is currently passed out in the car next to me), awesome friends, not one but two masters degrees, I have students who call me mom, I've seen some of the world, and I live where I want doing what I want. All in all that's not too shabby. 

So here we go!! I've put away my high school fears and put on my big girl panties (please note this never translates to granny panties- I'm far from there yet!) and I am ready! In fact I'm kind of pumped!! At our ages you either take what you get or piss off frankly. I am who I am and except for my current mirror reflection- below my kick butt hair that is, I love who I am! 

So to you who might be pondering skipping your reunion, forget it! Just do it!! I LOVED my 10th and I have the same delightfully high expectations for this one. You'll find most of that high school putting on heirs crap stayed in high school! Thank you Lord!!! :) Let's do this!!! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I am not a droid

I discovered this week that I am not a droid.

I really thought I could be! I so wanted to be!

Yes. I'm talking about a freaking phone. What's better: the iPhone vs Android debate. Each saying "Come to the dark side! We have cookies!!" And I mean both want you to come to the dark side. There is no good guy! That's the great ruse. Both suck our money and our time, both have amazing features, and both cost a young fortune.

I had convinced myself that I could move to the Galaxy to save myself some money. I liked the phone. But in order to save money I was buying the 5 with the 6 coming out any second and condemning myself to two more years of an adequate phone whose tech was fading fast in favor of the new model.

My friend and tech genius Brian said very plainly (pardon the over used pun) "These are not the droids you're looking for." The Galaxy 6 looks amazing but I am a creature of habit. I knew the apple 6 was amazing and all I had to do was bring it home, plug it up to my computer and all my crap from texts to music would be right there. I fear change. I know Apple is the devil and I have eaten the fruit but I gave in and remained loyal to my clan. Yes I can only use their stuff for as long as we both shall live but I really like their stuff, man!

Now why have I spent time on a blog you probably could give a rats patooty about. Because I realized what the great phone debate was about for me It wasn't about the overloaded phone I kept asking to perform miracles it couldn't handle. It wasn't about who really had the better tech. It was about my worth!! Totally weird right!?!

For two years we've struggled...a lot...financially and mentally. I'd scrimped and saved for a new phone. The money was in the bank. The bills were paid. But I didn't think I deserved the phone. So many of my mom friends suffer this same mentality. We put our family first because we want to (and frankly for a while mine needed me to). We stress, we wonder what we could get for them instead. My husband had to threaten to yell at me yesterday to get me to pull the trigger. I did something for myself. I made a silly, frivolous, "I want this" purchase and then I felt awful. But by the end of the day yesterday I was coming around. It is ok to do something for me every once in awhile:) In fact God reminds me all the time in His word to remember my worth. Truth is it's probably something I'll always struggle with and I know I'm not alone. Why is it so hard for us to believe we deserve good things? And no I don't just mean expensive things. I just mean nice things that also include time for ourselves, or allowing joy to be our first emotion everyday.

So let me remind my mom friends to do stuff for you every once in awhile!! It's ok! And it doesn't have to cost a thing! It could be stopping to paint your toes:) Just do it!! (Nike, Star Wars- I have no issues stealing lines from anyone)

And for my fellow frugal peeps: Get a Sams membership people!! My phone was 50-100 bucks cheaper then AT&T and Best Buy and they offer a coverage for the phone for two years that beats AppleCare in number of replacements and replacement coverage. Crazy pants!!

Ok. I'm off now to play games on my huge screen and put off my real mom jobs a wee bit longer! See  ya soon!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fingerprints


So how sentimental am I? 

Over a year ago a tiny person just learning to walk, finger printed the crap out of my beautiful old barristers. You must understand the love affair I have with these antiques. They are the most valuable furniture in the house and were rescued when someone who didn't know what they had tried to throw them away. I even tried to explain that these were 1930's stackable barristers with their original glass, but they just wanted them gone.  So they got gone into the back of my old pickup. These bookcases were fixtures in an SIU building from the time they were purchased until they moved in with me.  I. Love. These. Bookcases. 

But the fingerprints made by tiny hands were allowed to remain. I left them there for a while so her daddy could see her efforts at moving around the house. It was important he not miss anything...not even the fingerprints, while he was sick. 

Then I got attached. I've dusted around them, cleaned near them, and today I gave in. In the same way I need to stop letting the past weigh on our future, I needed those cases to be clean. So that tiny princess who was just learning to walk when she made them, very articulately asked if she could help. Seemed fitting for her first glass cleaning experience to be those prints. Her much bigger hands helped wipe away the mess. At any rate, the bookcases are spotless and you can laugh if you will but I choose to love both memories:) 

...well and I took pictures.


...also I probably should have thought of the picture thing a lot earlier because that dirty glass has been driving me bonkers!! Lol!! 

More proof that 2 masters degrees does not make me smart. :)