Another New Year is coming, you are one year older, hopefully one year wiser, life is moving forward. Are you setting yourself up for success or failure? We orchestrate our own “personal setup”. Think about the things you want most in life and go get them. A healed family… set yourself up. Reigniting your passion for work… set yourself up. Fiscal freedom… set yourself up. Set yourself up not just for another year… but a greater life.
I wanted to share how Jessie ( my dog whom I adore with all my heart…) came into my life.
Coming from Chicago, I’m a city girl. My first pet was a cat named Kelani and then she went off got preggers by some randy alley cat and then we had a house full of fur balls right before I left home to “discover” myself before university. I come back home and now reality hits me… I abandoned my pets, because my mother just gave them away.
Insert sad conscious and face here.
Fast forward to me living in England and I realized that the British are pet lovers. Cat, Dogs, Rabbits, Horses… husbandry is not lost on the English. I had to learn how to integrate pets into my life. It was really hard for me. I was used to screaming obscenities at stray dogs crossing the alley from 79th and Paulina … and running for my life if he gave chase. Can anyone say “pack mentality”? After a year or so exposed to all these wonderful pets and personalities, I fell into the “love an animal like your English” zone.
My brother-in-law, had 3 dogs. They were wonderful.
Then, the girl Fizz was struck by a hit and run driver and killed instantly. It was the most awful thing. The cries of my in-laws and their children haunted me that night. Even my mother-in-law was weeping, as she had two of Fizz’s pups.
After the grieving process, my brother-in-law brought Jessie – a neutered Wire-Haired Patterdale Terrier home in hopes she would be company to the older male dog, Bud.
… They loathed each other.
Jessie is an alpha b*tch. No pun intended. Seriously. She doesn’t like male dogs without their “meat and two veg”. Bud did not have his two veg and thus Jessie considered him a b*tch too and decided she was to be top dog in their house. Bud was having none of it.
One hot day, we ventured over to the house and apparently Jessie and Bud had been fighting and postering all night long. My brother-in-law said we are going to have to put Jessie down and I said “no”. Please, I will take her. Please. Don’t you know it as soon as I said it… Jessie circled Bud and went for his jugular. It was the most ferocious thing I ever saw. Jessie is like a huggable baby doll, but when provoked she is a killer. It took my then husband, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law to pry her jaws open and save Bud. As they turned around to chastise Jessie, I grabbed her and held her in my arms. I knew that she couldn’t stay after that and we all thought it was best she come home with me.
We left late that night and the children cried out for Jessie. I put Jessie in the back seat and she cried out for the children. That was her second home as she previously lived on a farm. That night at home, I set her water and got some dog food. I wrapped her up in a tattered red couch cover we were using and I held her like a baby. I didn’t know how to communicate to her that she was safe and I would look after her, so I just held her and hugged her. I did that everyday for 4 months.
When I left England, I brought Jessie with me.
She is my baby doll with 4 legs and I adore her.
I made a difference in Jess’ life.
However, she’s made a difference in my heart.
Love you Jessie!
Okay… a lot!
Okay… it is debatable. I can see you sitting in heaven taking score. That is okay, your one line zingers and antidotes kept me out of a lot of trouble in my latter adult years (as party goers who know me refer to as THE SECOND COMING… lol).
I can hear you sassing me now…. “Second coming of what Erica… did somebody record yo’ ass doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing”. My crass and lewd tenacity to party never boded well with my momma.
Like my mom though, I am a party girl turned momma and have given birth to a new generation of woman who is smarter and intellectually moving way faster than I ever did at that age.
Like you momma, I fret over the bills and for the life of me I put more stock in everyone else than I do myself. At almost 40 you would think I would know better, but momma honestly… I am just starting to learn to live yet again. I really did fly by the seat of my pants yet I never quite figured out how to just be here on the ground.
Yes, yes… I look like you more. Now more than ever, I have an enormously fat face and your eyes. I could be your portly twin. I cut my hair short like you towards the end… but know I have my daddy’s hair. I will leave it at that.
Sitting here at the table sipping tea… I am like you most. Reflective, regretful, mourning the lost of a marriage, worried about how my daughter sees me, contemplating what means more happiness or material success.
I am the goofy flake and mom, you were my rock. I adored you to the point I idolized you… then it hurt me to watch you not even meet your own expectations. I think that is why we fought so much. Each of us had enormously high expectations of the other, yet neither one of us wanted to admit… we were neither experts or innately skilled in being humans. We didn’t know how to love each other and just be. Other humans have mastered this necessary art form.
Perhaps that is what hurt us the most… though I am relieved that we finally gave into loving each other for who we were… four weeks before your death, because those four weeks replaced a lifetime of soul crushing pain and all the shed tears. (Yes mom, like you I am a crybaby. I cry at the drop of a hat. More now that I dropped the proverbial load.)
So here I sit… loving you, as though you were sitting here with me having a cup of tea.
It has been so hard being on this planet without you, but I am doing my best with what I have… and you showed me that sometimes you make your way with nothing in your pockets but just with love and kindness in your heart.
You get the most credit for making me fabulous, you made me strong and I am so glad in the end you approved of me because it mattered more than you will ever know.
If you were here, I would jokingly say… Happy Holidays old broad. Only to solicit a scowl and perhaps an eye roll.
I love you immensely, Momma. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
1. I am confused about what fat loss, calorie tracker, diet app to use. (I would like to blame my blog partner @Chicagomom72 for this quaqmire!)
2. I want this fat off my person because essentially, I am 172lbs (5’9 in height) and I should be 145lbs. I am 1.18 of the person I want to be. That is too close to 1.25 of a person. That’s bothers me and theorectically if you used pre civil-war law I’m almost close to the equivalent of two slaves (using the 3/4th rule). Shut it… this is how my mind works. Let’s simplify, I’m an emotional eater and now I’m fat and I don’t want to pinch my own ass. Happy!
Me and my ass.
Me and my BIG ass.
Okay, I don’t have a big ass I have a big stomach, but sometimes people mistake it for a front ass.
HOLD YOUR TONGUE.
Is this a plea for help?
I’m carb’ing and I can’t get up.
…. wait for it. Wait….. Rant over.
Okay, seriously please help me out. Tell me what app you use and how much you plan to lose in the new year. Yes, I am going to increase the number of times I see my therapist. That is for another post. Get out my head.
Today… I came across this quote and posted it as my FB status. I was very moved…
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” – Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)
This was posted on Facebook and I could not get my breath. It was refreshing but it was powerful. Being forced into a situation where I am now a single mother, being raised by a single mother when my parents divorced at the age of 5 …. I have never seen single parent hood as the root cause of problems in America. While agree that a two parent family is best for some situations, living through a divorce has now taught me that good role models and good co-parent from mom and dad can help make single parenthood just as dynamic as a two-parent family. We are in the land of America, where with love, a great support system, good education, hard work, imagination, creative and pure moxie anything is possible. This picture lit up my heart and changed my mind about single parent hood… regardless if you are married or divorced, a parent is still a hero, an idol and a role model for greatness.