Monday, August 24, 2015


what do i want to be when i grow up? ...i have no idea...

i want to be thinner
i want to be healthier
i want to be more hard-working (not so lazy)
i want to be someone my child can admire
i want to be a better mother
i want to be more patient
i want to be more positive
i want to be kinder
i want to accomplish great things, to leave some kind of legacy

but i don't know how.

i can't focus at work. at all. i have no motivation to better myself, or my marriage. staying where i am at in life is a miserable prospect, but changing seems like an insurmountable task. i want to be thin overnight. i want to shed my depression when i wake up tomorrow morning and never have to struggle against it again. i want to be patient and positive and forget the wrongs of my past. but as they say, nothing worth having is easily attained.

i am scared of the process of getting healthy and losing weight. i am scared i will lose a bunch of weight and still hate myself on the inside. still see the fat, ugly monster with the bad attitude in the mirror. i am scared of the challenge of maintaining a lower weight and continuing to struggle with food and exercise for the rest of my life. i am scared to look even more disgusting after weight loss due to all of the loose, sagging skin. i am so scared i can't even begin to try.

i am scared to have another child, but i am scared NOT to. How can our family be complete with only one baby? i get so angry when i see all the people online in the "one and done" groups.... and i feel a jealous rage boiling up inside me whenever i see friends on facebook posting about their second, third and fourth children. IT'S NOT FAIR! 5 years and two miscarriages later... and who am i? i have failed as a woman and a wife. and no one cares.

i feel so alone every day. i try to escape into tv, books, games, shopping and facebook bullshit... i ignore EVERYTHING just to be numb. i am constantly trying to distract myself from the pain inside, to escape from myself and my dissatisfaction with my life. i am so bored at work that i go crazy trying to make myself pay attention and do anything productive each day.

i hate that we are always so disorganized financially, and perpetually behind on our bills... i always feel this pressure inside to just explode or flee. but for no good reason. i have a loving husband, a wonderful son, a job that pays pretty well, a roof over my head, a car that is almost paid off... but still.... i just feel like my soul is twisting and turning in torture, trying to break free. of what, though?? i feel it, but i just don't understand it. i can't even begin to explain it to my husband or anyone else.

so i just curl up in my shell and hide from everything and everyone. i try to block out everything and just recede into my own mind. and the deeper i go, the longer i stay inside, the more unlikely it seems that i will ever be able to climb out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


am i really crazy, or is it society? or both?

every single day is a struggle. i hate the way i look and feel in my clothes, i torture myself over how fat and ugly i am... yet i do nothing to change it. i save a million healthy recipes and never actually cook a single one. i hate the political environment of my current job (and every previous one) yet i make no real effort to leave. i say that i don't want to be late, yet i always wait until the last minute to get ready to go anywhere. i want to advance my career for the sense of pride and accomplishment, but i can't imagine actually working in corporate america forever. i long to write... but i lack inspiration at the end of long days, and i am terrified of making a real effort to have a writing career and falling flat on my face.

every single day is a struggle. i just want to give up and stay in bed and hide under the covers forever. i want to run away from my whole life and go live like a hippie in the middle of a forest somewhere. i feel like sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day mentally toiling away has ruined my life (after only 10 years). I have nothing left to give my family at the end of the day, or myself. I vegetate in front of the TV and just try to go numb. being a numb robot seems like the only way to survive. employers just want you to be a lemming and do whatever they ask without questioning why or suggesting a better way or digging deeper into the process or the reason behind things. so lately i have decided to just do the minimum expected of me and not care at all about the rest. caring gets you nowhere but hurt and persecuted.

i am so lonely. my husband's schedule rarely aligns with mine, and even when it does, neither of us have the energy to do anything meaningful with our time. or the little energy we do have is used up by the time our son goes to bed. so we vegetate, sleep, work, repeat. i know i have a handful of good friends, but texts and facebook chats and long distance phone calls could never take the place of face to face interaction. i usually don't bother to reach out very often because i feel like i am a burden as a human being. i am not going to call someone just to complain...

am i the only one who is so depressed and anxious and alone? on one hand, i feel like a lazy jerk for not fighting harder, doing better, forcing myself to be active and cheer up.... but on the other hand, all of that feels utterly impossible. i feel like i am walking underwater with hundred pound weights chained to my legs. there is a crowd just above the surface yelling at me to just take off the weights and swim out to catch a breath of air, but i can't figure out how to get the chains off.

i am such a failure.

in high school i worked really hard and got good grades, took AP and Honors classes, graduated within the top 25 or 30 students in my class. i only applied to one college and got in early. i made good grades in college too, graduating with honors. i participated in tons of clubs, held offices in those clubs, and was nominated for induction to 4 different honor societies my senior year. i thought i was doing everything right, and that i was really going to be someone important someday. but after a few years in the work force, all dreams of grandeur were shattered. first of all, only the beautiful people with velvet tongues get promoted. secondly, no one cares about your dreams and inspirations and creativity in the real world. they just want you to shut up and do the job and never be late and never talk back.

i thought motherhood would be exciting and validating, but that dealt some crushing blows as well. i utterly drowned in post-partum depression for 4 or 5 months after having my son, prone to fits of crying, screaming, and punching pillows. i failed at breastfeeding and only managed to continue pumping for about 7 months. i was the worst, most impatient mother for the first year of my son's life and i still cringe when i think of the times i screamed at him when he was too little for anything to have been his fault.

and now that he is older, i am still a terrible mother. i frequently let tv be my babysitter on the weekend, while i go in my dark bedroom and hide under the covers. he asks to go to the park or play games and half the time, i just mentally can't do it. i feel bad, but helpless. i just don't know how to find motivation within myself to keep up with demands of my life. i never keep up with the housework or cooking, so there i fail as a mother AND as a wife. not to mention all of the other wifely duties i regularly fail at...

and then there are my toxic relationships with food and money... and well, just forget it.

i have been on anti-depressants for a year and a half now, and they provide a moderate amount of stability, but in eradicating the extreme lows and bouts of rage, they also take away the highs. i just keep slowly sinking further into despair. nothing ever changes, nothing ever gets better. we just work and pay bills year after year for nothing. no matter how much progress we make, disaster will always strike and knock us backwards. what is the point of living? do i really have no purpose here except to circle ever closer to the drain? everything in human society seems to be geared towards attaining large amounts of money and high standards of beauty, neither of which I am skilled at in the least. so why bother even trying? why live at all if only to lead a mediocre life? a life that not only fails by society's standards, but my own as well...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

passion, justice, work and self-analyzation

I have often been accused of getting wildly upset at "nothing" or overreacting to what other people view as small annoyances. When I was a teenager, I classified anyone who balked at my passion/anger/obsessions as a-holes. I had no need for them. I could take zero criticism, be it constructive or destructive. As I have gotten older, gotten married, had a child, and been in the workforce for almost 10 years, I have begun to reevaluate my stance on being passionate. At work, my outrage over internal problems and mistakes and my intense dedication to doing everything perfectly, have widely gone ignored or severely underappreciated. At one temporary position I had right after college, I was actually fired for completing my tasks too quickly and asking for more to do! It seems that the people who get ahead are the butt-kissers who do as little work as possible and shove everything else on those around/below them. But it is not in my nature to be fake, lazy (at work at least), or careless. I am diligent in making sure I follow through all tasks to the end and making sure they are done RIGHT. Yet I and others like me are the most abused and underpaid. Where is the justice in that? I guess that's why they always say "life isn't fair"...

But getting riled up about it doesn't change the system, it just makes me look like an emotional wreck. And possibly get in trouble by complaining about the way things are to the wrong person. So the logical decision is to just clock in, clock out, work at a decent pace, do what is asked of me and never question anything. But what kind of life is that? Just thinking about my career in that way makes the world seem gray and empty, it sucks the life out of me, bit by bit. To quote the movie Wall-E, "I don't want to survive. I want to live!"

But what choice do I really have? I have to help provide for my family and pay my bills. I couldn't dream of ever having the capital to start my own business, and I don't even know what type of business I would like to run. I have too many bills to be able to just quit, and I would probably lose my mind as a stay at home mom anyway. So, I force myself to dial down the passion a few notches and just recently, I began taking an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication to keep my anger in check and lessen the frequency and depth to which I "bottom out" emotionally. I am hoping a reduction in mental anguish will help me cope in this cookie cutter world a little better, as my natural tendencies have not brought me very much success.

This whole thought process is depressing though. Why does the world, and this country especially, value those who follow the crowd over those with fresh vision and different perspectives? Why do we want everyone to be sheep who just fall in line? It makes me understand why people go crazy and live in the woods by themselves, or take their whole family and live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, totally "off the grid". The stress of the 9 -hours-a-day, 5-days-a-week work schedule is enough to put you in a mental institution after a few years. MANY MANY people have to be medicated to deal with this system, not just me. Doesn't that tell you how horrible the system itself really is?

On a related note, I find that the inability of people and institutions to admit they are wrong, is one of the biggest hindrances to effective change. I have experienced this on a personal level as well, and I am still working through it. You really can't stop and change to do something in a new way until you fully admit that the old way is not working. I wonder if our country will ever be able to get to that point politically and socially before the world ends... One of the hardest things for me about going on this new medicine was that I had to admit how much my emotional roller coaster was effecting the people around me, especially my husband and son. I let them down and passed my misery on to them countless times because I was so absorbed in it myself. Also, getting overly worked up over small frustrations really did hold me back, especially at work. For so long, I have been incapable of "picking my battles" - distinguishing between what is really worth fighting for/getting upset over, versus what is a serious problem.

I feel like I am always waging an internal war. One side of me says, "Yeah, bite their head off, they wronged you" and the other side says "it's not worth it, calm down". One side of me argues that my rage against people who behave dishonestly and viciously is righteously founded, while the other side knows that frequently the depth of my response is provoked by my own past pain and jealousy, not just the current circumstance.

My tendency for self-sabotage has long been more prevalent that I realized. By being obsessed with my own misery I avoided any possibility of greatness. Even just the attempt to be great is scary, because of the possibility of failure. Fear is such a powerful tool, the opposite of motivation. No wonder so many dictators have used it for so long. Turning it on yourself is even more effective (i.e. disastrous). I have also long feared love. My childhood was very rough and disappointing in many ways, and I have tried to avoid being so deeply hurt again as an adult. I never dated in high school, or even in college, and I often sought out temporary encounters in my early twenties. I have frequently created fights with friends over something stupid and I have let distance become an issue between us as way to erect a protective wall around myself. Jealousy has often played a key role, as well as low self esteem ("I don't deserve such a great guy or such a great friend").

I often been told that you can CHOOSE to be happy. In the past, I dismissed this as a ridiculous notion. But lately, I have been starting to understand, just a little bit, what that really means. I do have a hand in how my day goes, in how my life goes. I can choose where I place my energy and my focus. I can't control everything, but I can control some things, and use that to my advantage as much as possible. It is a strange realization, and daunting as well. It will be hard to change patterns of thinking and behavior that I have clung to for 30 years. But continuing on the depressing, destructive path I have been on for so long will only bring more misery and pain. It is time to start slowly climbing out of the darkness and into the light. It is time to begin loving myself, being positive, and allowing others to love me too. It is time to focus on the good things in my life and not treat every bad or stressful thing that happens like it is the end of the world. It is time to open my heart up to God again and stop resenting Him. It is time to believe that good things can happen for me, to believe that I can change and that I am not defined by my circumstances or what others think of me. I am good. I am talented. I am smart. I am special. I am worthy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Supermoms, Bad Moms and the rest of us in between...

Every time I log onto Facebook and Blogger I am reminded that I am not a supermom. I wantted to be. I always though I could be. But when the moment arrived and the necessity for me to continue to work full-time after becoming a mother really sunk in, my supermom vision shattered. It has continued downhill from there. I have friends who are supermoms and I read about them on all the mommy and baby websites and it causes me to continually question myself and my abilities as a mother.

Not sure what a supermom is? Let me fill you in:

She makes her own baby food
She uses cloth diapers
She stays at home
She rarely has a messy house and never a messy kitchen
She homeschools her kids
She makes scrapbooks of her children't cuteness
She only posts of how wonderful her children are, never about the stress and bad times (or does she have any??)
She sews and/or knits or is otherwise ridiculously crafty
She cuts coupons and gets amazing deals on groceries
She makes homecooked meals 90% of the time

So yeah, that should pretty much tell you everything I lack as a mother. All of that and a short temper too. What a mess.

But then I hear about kids like the one my coworker is fostering... Landon is 2.5 years old, doesn't talk, weighs less than 20 pounds due to being starved for most of his life, and he was repetedly beat up by his mom's boyfriend. It's despicable. "Well gosh, at least Logan has a much better life than that," I think. But does he have the best life possible? Does he have the best mother possible? Probably not. I feed him packaged dinners made by Gerber at least 3 times a week. I yell at him when he gets on my nerves for the 15th time in a row, which usually happens about twice a day. But I read to him every day and try to teach him new words and skills with everything we do... making dinner, taking a bath, playing with toys. I am always trying to expand his vocabulary and keep his busy, smart little mind amused. I try to make sure he always eats enough vegetables and drinks plenty of water, and limited juice. I sing to him before bed every night. I cuddle with him in the mornings, especially on the weekends. But our house is consistently a mess and the dishes are never done and clean laundry is always in a pile somwehere, never folded and put away like it should be. And I lose my mind every few weeks from never having any "mickie time" to myself without having to deal with Logan or be at work. I am still not totally "grown-up" when it comes to money and we have lots of debts to pay off, so Logan is growing up in a crappy apartment instead of a roomy house with a yard for him to play in... but I take him to the park almost every weekend to make sure he gets exercise and fresh air...

I don't know. I just feel like Logan deserves a supermom and he didn't get one. And I haven't been able to reconcile myself to that fact since he was born. And now, my husband and I are thinking aboout the possibility of baby #2. We don't want to wait too much longer, but then again, I am terrified. I am already exhausted all the time, stressed, busy, lose my temper too often... with a second baby in the mix, I might actually lose my mind! I am scared that I will go from a mother with a grade of B- or C to a D in an instant. And my husband will want to kill me too, bcecause I will be so insane. Not to mention how fat I am and the fear I won't be able to lose any weight before getting pregnant again... and dooming another baby to a life of obesity like me. I am so worried.

Are there any other "average moms" out there like me who are now on the other side of Baby #2 or #3 and can identify with how i am feeling right now? How did you get through it? It is easier the second time around? Or third? Did you do better than you though you would?

I guess right now I have just got to start setting aside more time for me and I have to start accomplishing my goals one baby step at a time. Eat healthier for dinner one night per week. Work on crafty baby memory things one hour every week. Refuse to buy one thing per week that impulse screams for me to grab. Count to ten and take deep breaths whenever Logan is getting on my last nerve, before I open my mouth to say something to him. I really hope I can improve on Mickie this year... my family deserves better...

Monday, January 16, 2012


The past two months have certainly been a whirlwhind of insanity here in the Herron household. From my last post through New Year's at least one of us was sick at all times, usually two of us at a time. Logan and I passed the same cold back and forth twice I think, but last week I finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotics for my never-ending sinus infection and that has definitely helped. Work in retail during Christmastime was absolute insanity for Tim, of course, and then the last week of the month was CRAZY at my work too, trying to close out month-end and year-end financials. It felt good to be a part of such a good "real" job though, to be THANKED for my hard work and to be given catered lunches at least 4 times in the month of December because I have such an awesome boss. What a 180 degree turn around from my work situation at Christmastime last year!

So the past couple of weeks things have been slowly settling back into a normal routine and to be honest, it hasn't been great for me. You would think that more time to relax would be helpful, but in Mickie-land, it is more time to stew on my own inner thoughts. I am sure most of you can guess, that is a very dangerous thing. I have been trying to wrestle my proclivity towards depression down to a manageable level over and over again since Logan was born. For a while, I can keep it mostly under control, but sometimes, it just comes roaring back and takes over my mind for weeks at a time. I have had the same problem with anger at times, but lately the depression has been much more of an issue. When I get this way, I am very inclined to curl up in my little invisible shell within myself and shut myself off from everyone around me. And then I start to feel lonely and discouraged and then I get mad at God and the world for not making me feel happier and not sending more friends into my path. Or ANY friends in my local area, really. This issue keeps coming up for me again and again, but I don't know what to do about it. I am always torn between wallowing in self-pity and taking action to make things better. Some of you who read this may think that is pathetic, obviously I should get off my lazy butt and go make an effort to make friends, but it's just not that easy for me. I don't even know where to begin. I have thought about asking one of the other moms at Logan's daycare to hang out, but every time I rehearse it in my head it just sounds pathetic and lame. I mean, Logan and her little boy Alex are basically the best friends in their class, and I am pretty sure they would enjoy hanging out together on the weekend, but it just seems weird for me to ask Alex's mom out of the blue. I am such a nerd. And anything else I could do to make new friends, such as taking up a hobby or something has two problems: one, I have no idea what hobby to pick; and two, when do I have time for a hobby and money for a babysitter? So the whole lack of a close friend thing is really getting to me.

The other problem I have been having lately has been a building resentment towards church and God. I love the services at the church we have been attanding for the past 6 months or so, but I am really pissed about how hard they are making it for us to get to know anyone there. They don't do normal Sunday School (like most churches around here now); instead, they do "Life Groups" which meet at someones's house once a week. And they won't place you in a Life Group until you have taken their membership class, which they only offer once every six months, and we could not attend the October classes because they were during Logan's naptime each Sunday. The next class is in March, and who knows if that will fit into our schedule either. So now I am torn between beeing pissed off that we have been attending a church for 6 months and don't know a single person there, and thinking ok, maybe we are the problem, maybe we really need to make some extra effort to get involved by volunteering in the nursery or something. I have just hit the level of frustration now that I don't want to do anything.

Also, the past few weeks the sermons havee been covering the trials and tribulations of Paul, which has been really hard for me. I just can't reconcile my mind with the fact the God is supposed to be loving and compassionate and care about our every concern, yet he let Paul (and many other good Christians over the years) suffer repeatedly just for kicks. That doesn't even make sense. The pastor has been telling us that Paul knew that his earthly suffering was only temporary before experiencing eternal reward in heaven, but I am honestly getting skeptical at this point. I feel like no matter how earnestly I pray or how deep down in depression I get, God doesn't hear me or care that I am suffering. It's all some part of his mysterious "plan" that I suffer and be miserable for 15 years without him putting friends in my life to reach out to me at all. And I know all the comebacks on the other side of the argument too. I know the saying "God helps those who help themselves" and I can partially admit that yes, i need to try harder to find friends and hobbies and happiness in the small hings of daily life instead of expecting God to just rescue me all the time. But it is SO HARD. Every single day I wake up trying to figure out how to not snap at Logan when he gets on my nerves and not cry at my desk from stress and migraines and lack of sleep and self-hatred for the way I look and feel. I never wake up like Cinderella with birds singing and sunshine and a spring in my step. To me, that's not even real. I can't even imagine waking up feeling happy for more than one (fluke) day in a row. Is that really how God meant for me to live this life?? Even if this life IS temporary, that seems pretty horrible. I feel like happiness is always at the other end of the rainbow and I don't even know where the ladder is to get onto the rainbow in the first place. How is that some people are always able to see the positive in life and I NEVER can? Why do I always, always, ALWAYS struggle with controlling my finances, anger, depression, weight problems, etc, when some people seem to find happiness so easily?

Putting all of my weaknesses and problems out here on display may seem absolutely crazy to some of you, but I just don't care anymore. I have to get all of this out of my system and stop stewing on it internally where it is just making me sick. And the other part of it is that I can't stand superficiality. I am real and blunt and honest to the core. I don't know how anyone can make real connections in life WITHOUT sharing intimate details and hardships of their lives. How else can you process what you go through and make true friends?

In honor of my husband, I will end this post with the few good things that I can think of and be grateful for in my life right now.

good health
family nearby (mom, bro, sis)
food in the fridge
beautiful, smart baby boy
loving husband
working vehicles
decent place to live
great job and boss
godiva chocolate
a few good friends, even if we don't keep in touch very often
weekends and holidays off
my new laptop that I am typing on now
lots of toys and books and games for my little boy
good daycare for Logan

Hopefully I can keep adding to this list and TRY to focus on the positive. The only thing I can do is try...

Lyrics | Tenth Avenue North lyrics - Hold My Heart lyrics

Thursday, November 17, 2011

garbage in, garbage out

God and I have had a lot of fights over the years. Obviously, I have lost a lot of them. Well, I have chosen to "win" by doing the action he was telling me not to do, but of course I only brought suffering upon myself in the process. My mom can verify, this was pretty much a pattern with me from the age of two. For some reason, I came into this world fighting authority, always trying to prove that I was in charge. It really sucks when you finally realize that it's not true. It's very tiring too. I still lament the years I spent swimming against the tide when it came to God's direction for my life. It was a very big, miserable waste. I have been trying to do better, especially over this past year; to do more listening and less telling, more obeying and less fighting... But as I have mentioned before, it is very hard to change ingrained attitudes and habits that have been with me for 28 years. But I am trying.

Anyway, on to my original point here. One of the things I have struggled with the most pertaining to God and living a Christian lifestyle is music. I held onto music like a life raft for many many years, especially when I was a teenager, and when I was single after college. I remember in high school I used to wake up to a radio alarm and go to sleep listening to music every day. It was like a drug. I thought it helped me to just block out everything in life that I didn't want to deal with and just get lost in a certain song or a certain CD... I would play what fit my mood and just listen to it over and over again. But what I didn't realize was that listening to angry music from someone like Eminem, while somewhat cathartic, did more harm to me than good. It fueled the flame of my anger instead of helping to extinguish it, which it was I actually needed. Looking back, it was pretty stupid and counterproductive. Especially after God gave me a big fat slap in the face about the issue in 2002 - every single CD I owned was in a black case in my Jeep, parked in my apartment complex in Merritt Island. I came down one Saturday morning after a big, rowdy Friday night football game at Merritt Island High right next door, and my cd case and my portable cd player were gone. I went CRAZY. I was so depressed and upset and angry, not just about the cd's themselves, but the memories and the autographs and chorus cd's I couldn't replace and the MONEY that I had spent accumulating that collection. All of it, GONE, in the blink of an eye. But did I use this opportunity to sit back and think about the lesson I was being taught here? Of course not. I spent the next 7 years or so trying to recapture and replace what I had. But then, in 2009 I met Tim. With our wedding on the horizon and a baby on the way, my priorities changed and something had to give. I sold ALL of my CDs (and even some DVDs) to help pay for the wedding and buy baby things. Of course, we backed up all the music on the computer and transferred it to my MP3 player first, but still. WOW. It was hard to let go of those material possessions that had meant so much to me. But after a while of them being gone, I slowly stopped listening to music quite so much. Sometimes now I will get in the car for a 15 minute trip and don't even turn on any music. (Eek! Gasp!) But most of the time I now turn on Christian radio.

Ever since I started my new job in August and the stress and discontent has drastically lowered in my daily Monday-Friday life, I thought it would be a good idea to improve my mood/attitude each day even further by listening to positive, God-focused music. Now Christian radio has been an issue with me for quite a few years... When I lived with the (awesome) DeVault family one summer in college, it was all I heard. And my mom listens to it pretty much exclusively too. But it always used to bother me... it would somehow grate on my nerves in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. Basically, I thought it was all sappy crap and I couldn't stand the repetition of what seemed like a 20 song loop. Rarely, I would tune in on a Saturday night and actually hear music I liked such as Skillet and DC Talk and P.O.D., but like I said, that was the RARE occasion. But lately, it has been starting to dawn on me that when my mother told me I should "choose" to be happy for all those years, she wasn't just spouting cliches. It's sort of like a sidekick to karma, I think: when you focus on good things and put good things out there in the world, good things come back to you. But not even just that, when you are focusing on the good things, you are less likely to be irritated by every little "bad" or annoying thing that happens in your day. So then you feel happier because you think bad things are not happening as much in your life anymore, but really life hasn't changed at all, you just remembered to put on your rose-colored glasses for a minute. Or rather for me, I finally put on the clear ones rather than the blue grumpy ones. By this point, most readers must be thinking I am an idiot, stating all of these obvious truths about life. But for me they are radical, amazing, brand-new ideas! I may be waaaay late getting some of this stuff, but at least I am getting it at all, right?

So back to music. Somehow, with the changes I have slowly been making in my life over the past couple of years, Christian music transformed from nails on a chalkboard to uplifting encouragement. I actually hear the words of the songs and take them in, rather than being annoyed by the lack of catchy refrains and pumped-up ROCK sound like I used to. Growing up is weird in so many ways, I swear. Another thing with music that I really feel God has told me is that the reason I never really excelled in singing or songwriting like I dreamt of doing is because I never gave it to Him. Deep down inside me somewhere, the talent is there, but it didn't blossom because I never tried to use that talent to glorify God. BAM! Harsh, God, harsh. I guess we all need harsh truth in our lives sometimes though, and as much as I tried to deny it, this one has definitely become evident for me. And that's in addition to the whole realization of "music is your idol - drop it" side of the equation. Yikes. It's been rough, I'll tell you.

Hopefully, you all can keep following me as I continue to chase this train of thought even further...

Over the past 6 months Tim and I have had the opportunity to visit many different friends and family members on weekend trips and such, which has been great. The one thing negative thing that stood out to me from every single visit, though, is the amount of TV being watched in those households. Not to say that I am going to start a campaign against TV or go all fundamentalist on my friends and relatives, but seriously - WTF? Tim and I cut off our cable a few months ago to save money, and the longer I go without TV, the more I am glad we did it. I makes me feel like a zombie to sit around in a house where the TV is on constantly, even when it is not really being watched. I can't take it anymore. I start to feel like I can't breathe. I need trees and sunshine and fresh air in my life, and I need the darn OCEAN too (but alas, it is much too far away from Greenville). Also, just as music is now becoming an edifying part of my life instead of a destructive force, so too is lack of TV. I am not watching ridiculous relationship soap operas anymore or looking at actresses all the time that stir up my inner jealousy monster or sitting on the couch like a fat blob doing nothing every night. I am playing more actively with Logan and participating more in my own life whereas I used to just have an attitude of giving up - "there's never enough time to get everything done around the house so I will just sit here and do nothing." Now I am not saying that those of you who watch a lot of TV are inept multi-taskers like me, or that you are bad parents or spouses or housekeepers, like I was. But for me, those bad habits and TV watching went hand in hand. It was a hard habit to break, but ended up being so freeing. My husband and I do watch a few shows on Netflix here and there (read: 3 per week, max) and I turn on an episode of Backyardigans for Logan once or twice a week, but that's it. We play or read books or go to the park more, especially on the weekends, and Logan is happier with the change and so am I. You may want to give it a try at your house too. Just once or twice a week, don't turn on the TV in the evening and focus on spending quality time with your family - and see what happens. Get creative with your time instead of falling into the same old routine. Again, a simple truth that finally made it's way through the dense Mickie stubbornness and took effect, to great reward.

Another thing I have stopped doing in recent times is reading trashy publications such as romance novels, Cosmo and other magazines, etc. I am by no means perfect, but it has really helped me to stop and think, "How will the information and ideas in this work affect my mood or improve/degrade my life?" I have always been a person who absorbs external influences like a sponge, and I am finally starting to see that I have control over how many of those influences are negative. Granted, i am not perfect. OMG! on yahoo (celebrity news/gossip) is still one of my guilty pleasures, as is watching veronica mars, but I keep them to a minimum and I am aware of my limits. I pay more attention to how things affect my mood and my temper and I stop them when they get to the point of being a bad influence. It's a never-ending journey of self-improvement and self-awareness, but also of being more aware of the needs of my family and placing them above my own, too.

A final note about all this, with the use of cliches: you really do reap what you sow, you only get out of something what you put into it, and every journey begins with a single step. Also, an important word from Yoda that I am TRYING to live by when it comes to improving my life: "Do or do not, there is no try." I really hope that, one step at a time, I am starting to put more good out there into the world than bad and therefore bringing more good into my life and the lives of the people I know and love.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daycare Nation

As usual, this post has been floating around in my head for weeks... let's hope it types out as good as it sounds in my head!

So, the title of this post is "Daycare Nation". Let me try to explain. To be clear, I would classify myself as approximately 25% feminist, 75% traditionalist. It is my belief that the feminist movement as a whole has been detrimental to American families. Granted, I do want to be treated equally as a human being with intelligence and skillful abilities (hence the 25%), but many of my God-given talents and responsibilities lay at home with my family. Since the 70's there has been a steady increase in the number of moms who work outside the home full-time. I personally see a correlation with this statistic and the rise of fast food consumption, obesity and divorce. At first, this was a choice; women wanted to prove that were just as smart and as capable as men (which of course we are) and they did prove it. But what happened was that all the other things women used to take care of regularly at home started being farmed out to strangers, such as the making of meals and the care of children. Combine that with the constant sense of rush and urgency that permeates our national culture and you can see the snowball effect that developed, and the strain this whole situation puts on marriages and families.

Now, here we are 40 years later trapped in the system. Ok, so maybe not trapped exactly, but that's certainly what it feels like to me. With all of the idiotic bills I racked up before I met my husband (read: credit cards and car loan), it made it so that Tim and I began our life together under a small mountain of debt. Therefore, I HAD to keep working. This is still the situation, even though luckily for the first time in years I have finally found a job that I actually enjoy going to, that doesn't feel like indentured servitude. But the debt is still there. We have talked a few times about me possibly quitting work in a couple years when we have a lot of debt paid off, and staying home with the kid(s). But then I think about how frustrated I get with Logan sometimes and I worry I would go crazy having to take care of him 24/7. Then again, I wouldn't be all tired and stressed from work every day when I pick him up, and I wouldn't be rushing to get some junky quick dinner on the table every night because I would have time to prepare a healthier variety of meals and do more planned, organized grocery shopping. Hmmm...

So this leads me back to the topic of Obesity. I know what you're thinking: even though I work I could find a way to eat healthier at dinnertime. Yes, you're probably right. But dinner isn't even the worst part of the working mother lifestyle. The real cornerstone is BREASTFEEDING. One of the main NECESSITIES of life that has taken a backseat to convenience. Formula is not "just like breastmilk," I don't care what the labels say. If you want your kid to grow up healthy, strong, and not overweight, they need to be breastfed. The use of formula and bottles kills all the natural instincts babies have to stop eating when they are full and to work for their food. And it distances the bond between mother and child. Not even to mention all the benefits the mom misses out on hormonally and otherwise. I know this from what I have read and heard from other mothers, and especially from my own experience with my son. Let me explain...

Within 24 hours of Logan being born his bilirubin(jaundice) levels were creeping up excessively and it was discovered that he was "Koom's positive" which is basically the opposite of RH disease... instead of my body wanting to get rid of him in the womb, his body wanted to get rid of anything having to do with ME after he was born. Therefore, Logan was admitted to the NICU, where he stayed for 5 days. He laid on a special light blanket and had two different special UV lights on top of him to keep his jaundice from getting out of control. And basically the only way to get the jaundice out of his little body was through the liver: i.e. he had to pee and poop it out. To that end, the doctor told the nurses to give Logan tiny bottles of similac formula, even if he had breastfed already, to make sure he was eating as much as possible and consequently excreting as much as possible. I had no idea the doctor ordered the nurses to do this and I was kind of shocked about it, but in the madness of it all, I just went along with it because I just wanted my baby to get well and come home. Thus began the rapid nosedive of mine and Logan's breastfeeding relationship.

Because I began pumping right away at 3 hour intervals instead of nursing my baby at 1-2 hour intervals, my milk supply did not come in very well at first. It seemed like I never had enough to feed Logan to make him full. Then, he would get frustrated because he was a voracious eater (do to being OVERFED in the NICU) plus he hated having to work hard for his food when he knew if he screamed enough he could get a bottle and things would be much easier. We struggled for about two weeks and then I had a mental breakdown and I couldn't do it anymore. So I began pumping round the clock and we gave Logan the pumped breastmilk via bottles until I absolutely gave out due to fatigue when he was 7 months old. I did the best I could with pumping in a stressful, unsupported work environment and keeping it up for 7 months, but it still makes me so angry. It shouldn't have been so hard and so complicated. Breastfeeding should be the natural way to do things. And I should have had more than 6 weeks after his birth (and so should all new mothers) in order to nurture that mother/child bonding and breastfeeding relationship. To this day, Logan still overeats constantly... I try to give him proper portions, but he whines and screams for more at almost every meal. Overeating the first 5 days of his life has followed him to 15 months old... and I am terrified of him continuing to be overweight his whole life because of it.

So back to my original topic... daycare nation. Many working moms try to pump like I did, but many of them give up much sooner. And I do understand why: It is easier to just send a bottle of formula with your child to daycare and mix one at night than have to go through all the trouble of pumping at work and storing the breastmilk properly and keeping up your supply and being the only one to get up in the middle of the night for months on end because you are THE food source. I get it. But in the long run, look what it is doing to our children and our society as a whole. We act like hiring strangers to take care of our children and feeding our them synthetic garbage is okay and normal, but it is not. Mothers being away from their tiny young children for more than 8 hours a day is NOT NORMAL. Obese children are not normal. Depressed, angry, stressed out parents who barely see their children for 2 or 3 waking hours per day should not be the norm for our nation's families.

BUT HOW DO WE BREAK OUT OF THE CYCLE? Do we sell most of our possessions and live in the cheapest crummy apartment we can find and go down from two cars to one? Will trading "busy stress" only be an exchange for "boredom stress" from being stuck around the house with the kids all the time with no money to do anything fun? Would I go crazy from no longer finding a sense of purpose and prosperity in my career? Am I a good enough mother to actually do well for my child by staying home? Could I even handle it? Could I be frugal enough to help my family survive on only one income??

I don't know. I don't know how to fix everything, but I am praying God will show me how to do what is best for my family, because right now I feel totally stuck in limbo. I am excited about my new job that is such a better environment for me, but I still feel guilty every single day when I rush Logan out the door and drop him off at daycare. I know the current system is broken, I have just got to figure out how to fix it. Will you help me??

Monday, August 8, 2011


To begin, I apologize for my delay in posting. I must have started this post a half dozen times before finally getting it written. I do hope that you all enjoy it, now that it is finally here, but I will warn you, it is very personal and very long. So be prepared. ;) 

Many of you who have known me for a while know that I have always struggled with anger issues. Especially as a teenager and even into my college years I had severe problems with controlling my anger and would BLOW UP and scream and yell at people all the time, especially those closest to me. I have also struggled with depression for many years (undiagnosed of course), which reached its worst point during the first few months after my son was born. I have always felt that this is a major weakness that should be controlled and hidden from "polite society" but have found it very hard to do so, as I have a very outgoing/expressive personality by nature. I have been told many times in my life that I just need to "focus on the positive" and "don’t sweat the small stuff, etc." but I have found those mantras EXTREMELY difficult to live by. I have felt at times that being happy was absolutely impossible. It was always a goal that was unachievable. And pretending to be happy when I am not goes against my very core nature. I just can't do it. 

This has affected my attitude for many years. I have been bitter, angry and very jealous, especially of other women around me... those who have been more successful in their careers, had boyfriends or husbands long before I did, are prettier, thinner... girls who are everything I am not. And all this focus on others and my shortcomings served to manifest itself in the continuation of my failures and depression. Slowly, VERY slowly, since meeting my wonderful husband Tim and having a child and being forced to GROW UP a little bit over the past couple of years, I have finally begun to see how futile hating myself is. All of this anger that has been burning inside me for so long is only killing me. Nobody owes me anything, no extra consideration or sympathy; everyone has some type of hardship in their lives, even the pretty, skinny, rich girls (however hard this may be to admit to myself). Nobody is going to wave a magic wand and "fix" me and make me beautiful and confident and perfect. I will never be perfect. I have to work with the few talents I do have and make something happen for myself. I have to appreciate the family and friends and the life that I do have. I have to focus on the positive. As my husband reminds me often, positive breeds positive. And I really hate to admit for the one thousandth time that he is right. But later in this post, I will give you my recent, concrete example of how this is true.

Over the past 2 months, Tim and I have been attending a local church here in Greenville. Since we met over two years ago we have been saying we need to go to church together, and we have gone here and there, but not very regularly until now. One of the hardest reasons was because Sunday is usually the only day off during the week that we have together. Most weeknights and Saturdays I am lucky to see my husband for 3 hours in the evening, if at all. So we didn't want to miss a moment of our "day off" time together. But for a while I had been feeling the "pull" that I personally needed to go, so finally a couple months ago, I said, "I am going, with or without you," and we have been going about every other week since then. It is somewhat of a hassle getting Logan ready and making sure we all have breakfast and are bathed and dressed and out the door on time, but once Tim and I settle in at the service (and Logan in the nursery), it is all worth it.I have missed worship time so much and I have missed having a church family. 

I was a member of First Baptist Eau Gallie in Florida from age 12 to 25 and it was really hard to get adjusted up here in SC, especially after failing pretty miserably at keeping up attendance while being away at college for four years. In that time, the church grew tremendously and I lost touch with many of the people I knew there. I went back after college quite a few times, but felt sort of like a stranger in my own home and it never really clicked with me again. And then I moved away... even now, I don't really know anybody at Southside Fellowship either, but finally a light bulb has turned on and I am going not have "fellowship" time with friends and look good as a churchgoer, or going just out of habit, but I am going to build up my relationship with God and to put myself in a better mental and emotional state every week - to be grounded. To have proper focus in my life again... or maybe, for the first time. I am finally realizing that, no, I am not the center of the universe. No, God is not eternally punishing me by making me fat and ugly and forcing me to have a string of unrewarding jobs. It is not about me, it is about HIM and the people around me.

I never realized until recently how ridiculously self-absorbed I have always been. I would pray asking God why he made me so broken and awful, why I couldn't be prettier or have a better career or have a boyfriend and on and on and on. Never did my prayers focus on Him and what I could do for others. Never did my life focus on Him and helping others. I have an extremely bad habit of always thinking about what I want and how I want things to be done without stopping first to think, "what would my husband enjoy doing today?" or "how could I make my mom's day better today?"... It honestly never even occurred to me. I was so wrapped up in the festering pain and hatred inside myself that I could not stop for two seconds to look at what I was doing TO (and not doing FOR) the people in my life that I claimed to love. I think I am finally beginning to understand the true nature of love for the first time. It's a good thing God sent me a husband who is far better than I ever deserved to help teach me that.

So back to the "positive breeds positive" mantra of Tim. Since we have been going to church regularly, we have also finally begun to tithe. We haven't done the exact "10 percent" rule and not every week, but we have given what we can, when we go, and especially made sure to give more when extra money came our way. And now, the blessings just keep coming! In one week's time last month when we were somewhat "pinched" financially, Tim got a bonus check, a looong awaited tax refund came in, and I got a bonus check at work too, which I never expected in a million years. It was amazing! And then, last week, I got a call out of the blue from a company that found my resume online and wanted to interview me. I ACED the interview and they offered me the job the very next day! I start in two weeks!! This is after two and a half YEARS of searching for something really good here in SC and after interviewing with what felt like DOZENS of staffing agencies and applying to HUNDREDS of jobs online and revamping my resume ten times and hoping and waiting and torturing myself over it. I finally let go and turned my focus to where it should have been all along, and look what happened. God is so good.

So in addition to all of this, last week I began a weight loss/get healthy endeavor with my husband, my mom, my sister and a few friends. For the first time, truthfully, I am actually cutting back, counting calories a bit, and trying to be more physically active. I have said that I have tried to lose weight in the past, but my heart was never really in it. This time, it feels very different. I am not putting that pressure on myself where I have to lose weight fast or I beat myself up and sabotage any good I have done by binging at the first sign of trouble. I am not afraid anymore. I will not call myself a failure and give up just for eating one cookie. I am going to do this as well as I can, but I am still going to LIVE and enjoy an indulgent meal now and then. And when I mess up, I will just get over it and start again tomorrow. This time, my goals are simple: I want to be healthy enough to stick around a long time to enjoy life with my family and friends; I want to be a good example for Logan; I want to be healthy enough to someday get pregnant again; I just want to FEEL BETTER, physically and mentally, and this plan will help with both I think. 

So I hope my little TMI entry hasn't scared anyone off from reading my blog. But I am writing what I know, and that is this truth. Of course, every day is a struggle to live by what I am learning. Every day I still have to train myself to re-focus and be positive and be loving and to think about others more than myself. It is REALLY, REALLY HARD. But I know it is the right thing to do and I know that it is rewarding in so many ways. Thank you, to all of my friends and family, who have stuck by me when I have been the biggest jerk on the planet so many times. All I can tell you now is that I have seen the error of my ways and I am trying to do better, one step at a time. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


My brain is constantly racing, constantly filling up with ideas that seem to fall right out of my head when I am not paying attention. As I go about my day, I come up with all kinds of things to talk about in my blog, but when I actually sit down to write, I forget 90% of them. Then the other 10% I don’t know if should right about due to possibly controversies with the topic or with my opinion on the topic. Which brings us to….. "OH WELL, IT’S MY BLOG! I will say what I want to say!" :-P

Lately one of the most constant things I have had on my mind is (for obvious reasons) PARENTING. Sometimes I see and hear about things that other mothers (and fathers) do with/to/for their children and I think I know better, that I KNOW that they are doing something wrong. But then when I hit my high points of frustration with my own son, I fear I really know nothing, and sometimes even doubt that I am a good mother at all.

One thing that bothers me the most is the issue of nutrition. Granted, I am not an expert and I am definitely overweight myself, but I do have some basic skills concerning what I, and my baby, SHOULD eat. (Self-control is a whole other issue, lol). Every day, I make sure that Logan eats plenty of vegetables, plenty of fruits, some form of protein at every meal, and lots of milk and water to drink. I also try to limit his intake of empty carbs and sugar (i.e. juice and crackers). When I see parents feeding their kids fruit loops and juice all day long, it makes me crazy. Or when their child’s meal consists of only some fruit and noodles. Or just fries and soda at McDonalds. I just want to scream at them: "YOU IDIOT!! You are the reason America’s children are having a rising problem with obesity!!"

But then I look at Logan and see how chunky he is and I wonder what I am doing wrong. Like I said, I am trying so hard to make sure he eats balanced meals, but then he does get empty calories at snack-time Monday through Friday at daycare. Also, except for a few rare amazing instances, Logan has not slept through the night since he was about 10 months old (this is of course after waiting until he turned 4.5 months old to even START sleeping through the night in the first place – it was a lovely 5 and a half months while it lasted). So Logan goes to bed at 8:00pm every night, then lately he is up by 11:00pm screaming for a bottle, and we are lucky if he will go back down until 6:30am before wanting another bottle. We have just recently switched him completely to cow’s milk from formula, so at least that is a little bit lighter on the calories, but still! He gets two extra bottles a day that other kids his age are not drinking (I think). He shouldn’t even be taking one when he wakes up because they feed him breakfast at 8am at the daycare, PLUS he is taking that extra one in the middle of the night. I just don’t know what to do. Should I refuse to give him a bottle in the middle of the night and just try to comfort him back to sleep with cuddles? Should I let him cry himself back to sleep until his body adjusts to not getting food at that time? Should I keep feeding him in the middle of the night and cut back his food portions during the day? I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want to make him miserable in the process to fix things. But I also don’t want him to be doomed to be fat his whole life like me. L

The only upside I see to all this is that at least I know that Logan gets PLENTY of nutrients for his little developing brain. At least he is and will be very smart! Some babies I know definitely do not get the proper nutrition they need to feed the development of their growing minds and bodies, and that’s just sad.

I know I have a lot of friends who are parents, but sometimes I feel like it is taboo or weak to ask for help. And my husband always wants to follow doctor’s advice rather than just parental hearsay, since every parent has different views and prejudices, and every child is different. But I think that sometimes reaching out to others who have already been through similar battles to the ones you are facing can give some helpful insight. So, bring it on, people. Logan and I need your help! (Especially me, I haven’t had 8 hours of continuous sleep in a LONG TIME!!)


Mousefreek Mickie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lofty Goals

A quote from the movie Never Been Kissed has stuck with me for years: "to write well, write what you know." This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain and several other authors over the years, and though many disqualify the value of it now, I still believe it holds some merit, especially for writers who are just starting out. But even better may be the following quote from Valerie Sherwood, "Don’t write what you know—what you know may bore you, and thus bore your readers. Write about what interests you—and interests you deeply—and your readers will catch fire at your words." This is what I am setting out to do.

I have held writing close to my heart since I was about 13 years old. I have at least 8 or 10 journals filled with random poetry and prose and diary-style entries trying to figure out myself and the world around me. But all of it has been kept secret, doing me no good in my day-to-day life. Well, hopefully, I can start to change that, even if by the smallest increment at a time. I have long complained about how dissatisfied I am with my career (or lack of one) while working in one frustrating, dead-end, stressful job after another…. I have wished I could go back in time and change my college degree so many times. Political Science and Latin American Studies were fun subjects as a student, but have done me no good in the real world. If only I had chosen a Business major, that would be more versatile and more likely to place me in a position with upward mobility. Or if only I had done Accounting, I have come across countless Accounting positions over the last few years via Temp Agencies that I "almost" qualified for, if only my degree concentration had been in the Accounting field.
Then of course, we come back to writing, well, in a roundabout way, as I always tell stories. My mom has enjoyed decorating cakes for as long as I can remember. She made the most awesome cakes for me and my brothers when were little that I LOVED. Then when I was a teenager, she actually had the chance to take a few decorating classes and learn how to do roses and make the base frosting look professionally smooth and just all different sorts of cool techniques to make her cakes even more awesome. Over the years, many people who have seen (and eaten) her cakes have exclaimed "Why don’t you do these professionally?!" Her response has always been the same: "I decorate cakes like this because I enjoy doing it, if it was my JOB that would take all the fun out of it." This was the thought process that was ingrained into my brain that when it came to considering writing as a college major or for a career. I thought it would take all the fun out of it. But the reality I discovered much too late is that writing for a living would have given me the ability to actually ENJOY my job; to love going to work every day, or for that matter, staying in my pajamas to work from home every day. But alas, the few times I have attempted to get writing-related jobs, I have been turned down because I was never a part of newspaper staff in high school or college, and I did not major in English or Journalism in college. Never mind all of the "First Aid for Your Wallet" articles I co-wrote for SIFE which were published in the St. Augustine Record, or the Annual reports and scripts I did for SIFE, or the three semesters of Writing Center Tutoring that I did for fellow college students. So securing a writing-related job at this point is pretty much a lost cause.
This brings us to my current self-challenge: To write what I know, and to write it well, in a setting that might possibly give me some sort of pride and affirmation of my abilities and self-worth. Hopefully it will also provide a stress outlet and maybe even help me make some new friends/contacts. I have been admiring a couple of my friends’ blogs a lot recently, and stumbled across a few more that are actually written by "professional bloggers", a concept which currently boggles my mind. It would be the ultimate dream come true to be able to do that, or to even use this blog to get a foot in the door to any type of writing position, be it freelance or permanent – anything!
So my question to the few friends and family that currently read my tiny little insignificant blog is this: what topics would you all like to read about? What bothers you every day? What would you like to know more about? What struggles do you face? It is likely that many of us deal with the same things and I would love to do a little research on those key topics, throw in a little of my own experience and opinions, and try to help other people, while helping myself. Even if you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, comments, feedback and ideas will always be greatly appreciated, as the entries start to flow. Thank you to all of you who support me, and many who have believed in me for years already, even when it has been very hard for me to believe in myself.
Yours truly,

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." –Thomas Edison