January 3rd, 2014 by Jen Hen under Parenting. No Comments.
New Year – I have some confessions to make in the new year. I’m human. I’ve had some… moments.
You know how you want to accomplish all these wonderful things as a parent? You wake up in the morning and you think to yourself, “I’m going to be super parent today and do this craft with the kids, and cook this wonderfully nutritious meal for them, and then we’re going to snuggle together and read this wholesome book teaching great moral values. Maybe we’ll even end the night with a movie as a treat.” Yeah, I have those mornings. Every once in a while I’m delusional and convince myself I’m going to be super mom and actually follow through with this dream. Sometimes I even achieve one or two goals in one day. Today, though? Today we had pizza rolls for dinner. And I fell asleep in the recliner at 7:30pm while X, C and M were playing… and I was mid chew on a cracker M had given me.
Yes, you just read that correctly. Mid. Chew. I woke up some undetermined amount of time later with an open mouth, half chewed and (surprisingly) dry cracker still in my mouth. (How did I not gag? There are advantages to falling asleep sitting upright.) I managed to stay conscious enough to finish chewing and swallow, then proceeded to pass the f-back out until X tapped me to let me know it was actually their bed time. In other words, “Yo. Slacker. It’s time for you to get up out of that chair and tuck us in. Jerk.” Sigh. No reading with the kids. No snuggles. No movie night. No craft. I didn’t even get in the floor and play with them today.
I’ve been cramming in training for a certification I have to complete by the 10th – training that I slacked on during the week of Christmas so I could spend time baking and playing and doing Christmas-family-stuff. As a result I feel like I’m now losing a lot of time. I woke up this morning after five hours of sleep and proceeded to slink through the house before anyone else woke up so I could ease out the door and head for the nearest coffee IV drip and focus on the training away from home while the hubs was left to man the fort. He looked a little crazed when I returned several hours later. Aside from M’s injuries after performing some chair climbing stunt, everyone was unharmed and alive.
But – point being – as much as I want to live intentionally, it’s still a struggle some days. Some days (more often than I care to acknowledge) I’m wiped out at the end of the night and I couldn’t keep my eyelids open with toothpicks even if I wanted to. My eyelids would just have a few piercings and I’d walk around looking like I was trying to start some new warped fad.
I’m hoping that with the general set-up of my semester and the job hours, this will be a semester with a lot of changes that afford more structure to time around the house. I keep telling myself I just need to get through this training (which — I should get back to right now… )
What about you? What do you try to accomplish but feel like you fall short on more than you like?
January 1st, 2014 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
2013… Wow. What a year! No really… what a year.
The year in review.
Migraines and stutters began the year. Brain fog and what-was-I-sayings were common place with my own built in t.v. censors only all my eyes were censoring were random spots that didn’t need censoring.
A semester that brought tears despite the most studying I’ve done EVER. In all of my schooling career (and WOW what a long time that has been).
Another degree change. New friends. Old friendships ending. Rekindling old friendships. Continuing some of the best friendships I could ever ask for and deepening them to a level I never could have possibly imagined.
Going through some gut wrenching sobs and some tough battles, but rising up and rising higher than I’ve ever risen before.
Finding a doc like none-other that has been treating me so effectively that I’m in better shape than I’ve been in a few years with so many things reversed in a short period of time. Woot!
Kid challenges – lots of lessons, lots of heartaches, lots of laughter, lots of successes. Lots of hugs and kisses. We read stories and played games. The oldest two and I went adventuring in Florida and swam in the ocean. We went to Disney and Lil’ C had his first Disney adventure which lit up his face. I cried tears of pure joy as I held C on my hip and put my other arm around X-man. “Are you sad, Mom?” C asked. “No honey. I’m not sad at all. Sometimes I get so happy I cry tears of happy. These are tears of super happy.” “Oh!” And he resumed watching the fireworks light up the night sky behind The Magic Kingdom. It was magic in that place.
Bonnaroo – four days of musical vibrations running through my body. Waking up in the morning to sound checks on the main stage so very close to my tent. Going to sleep hearing the music float over the wall dividing camping from Centeroo. The tears of PURE JOY that poured from my eyes as I watched Paul McCartney on stage playing Paperback Writer, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, Lucy in the Sky, When I’m 64…. the fireworks during Live and Let Die… OHHHHhhhhh the fireworks and that man playing his piano with the pyrotechnics going off all around him and through the crowd. Him strumming those guitars. Him singing into the microphone with the voice that reflects his age but still resonates with that signature sound I and millions of others would recognize anywhere. Jack Johnson. Of Monsters and Men inducing goosebumps all over my body with their tribal closing to their set with Yellow Lights. The free spirited fun of He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister. The raw true country of Kacey Musgraves. The dark smooth alto sound of Trixie Whitley and watching the way she slams the palm of her hand against her electric guitar. The way she glides her fingers over the ivory keys of the piano. Watching the DJ spin and the way people are moved by the electronic techno of Pretty Lights. Feeling the mood of Ed Helm’s. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis moving 30K+ people to raise one finger in unison to show the unity of support for SAME LOVE. And the humor of Thrift Shop while wearing a fur coat in 80+ degree weather. Watching him crowd WALK – the trust he has in his fans. Alt-J. Trombone Shorty. Animal Collective. Method Man. Jim James. Von Grey. —– The meditation experience with The Art of Living group in Planet Roo. Watching people hoolahoop and slack line and paint and be free and dress freely and speak freely. Feeling… HOME.
There were some downs… I could focus on the downs, but that’s not my style. I have so many WONDERFUL ups that really gave me such THRILLS this year. There are concerns, there are things that could have been better, there are a few things that will carry over to 2014 that need continued attention (Lyme, Baby M’s medical stuff, etc.), but ultimately? The 2013 year is over. I’ve lived. I’ve had a lot of experiences. I’ve learned a lot of things about a lot of different topics and a lot of people and about myself.
In 2014 — Resolutions? Yeah, I’m making them:
- Continue on a path to Healing my WHOLE self from Within through Nutrition and Growth.
- Gain certification as a C-Print Captionist.
- Graduate from college with my BIS!
- Become even more open hearted and open minded
- Grow as an individual
- Read more books – for pleasure
- Read more books – for knowledge
- Center myself more
- Yoga. To help with 1, 4, 5, and 8.
- QUIT SMOKING. THIS is the year. For 1, and 8.
- Grow as a MOTHER.
- Make arrangements for my next program of study by the end of 2014.
- And… this is going on the resolution list… GO to Bonnaroo 2014 NO MATTER WHAT. For 1, 4, 5, 8, 9.
- Meditate – for all of the above.
- Write more – in general.
- Play piano more – in general.
- Stretch my mind more – in general.
Seems like a lot – but I’m going to do it. I’m writing it down on a piece of paper and hanging it on my bulletin board where I can see it frequently.
What was your 2013 like?
What do you hope for in 2014? Do you have resolutions?
December 28th, 2013 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
I’ve written numerous times on my views – I’m not completely one way or the other (liberal or conservative). Labels don’t really fit me – and I tend to be fluid with some topics while steadfast in others.
I’ve found that I avoid debates more these days. I’ve gotten a bit exhausted with the concept of debating. Exhausted with the redundancy of making points that only fall on deaf ears. I’ve often found myself in the midst of debates that fall on moral values and the number one rule in persuasive speaking is to avoid persuasive presentations that try to change the moral base of your audience. This is the core set of values in people and it is practically impossible to achieve in a limited amount of time. It’s something that has to happen with something so earth shattering, with such an epiphany, such a lightbulb of a moment, that a relatively short segment of time is practically an improbable amount of time to say something that profound.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I’ve brought up the scientific lectures and research on chromosomal DNA. Nor the bio-chemical brain matters. It doesn’t seem to phase people that psychological and psychiatric studies have repeatedly turned their hypothesis into theories. The emotional pleas based on experience and the stories that have been told to me in confidence (and repeated only in the most delicate of matters to select people in delicate ways) are greeted with eye rolls or off the cuff remarks of how they are exceptions instead of quid-pro-quot. But I digress – my calling seems to be, at this time, to work with the people who are in these demographics that I understand and feel empathy and compassion for right now instead of working on the advocacy side of the lines.
I do not doubt that a day will come when advocacy is going to come back into the forefront of the battles I wage. For the time being though, I will continue to immerse myself in the technical writings, the literary works, the research and the journals. I will strive to sponge as much knowledge and understanding into my veins as I possibly can on all those human rights topics that shake me to my core in earth shattering waves of emotion.
Gender diversity. Human sexuality. Women’s rights. LGBTQ rights. Civil rights. HUMAN rights. Rural challenges. Suburban and urban challenges.
Studying – The continued culture of “sweeping” things under the proverbial rug. Shaming various groups. Attempting to silence those who speak up and speak out. —- And learning how to fight against those things effectively.
Seeking out mentors who have gone before and who have broken down barriers for people. Paved the first walk ways. Seeking to understand how the revolutions have formed and have begun changing the systems of oppression for every group before and every group present and every group ahead.
I will continue to do my best to teach my children the importance of rising above social injustices and giving people dignity, respect, and safety. Men, women, and children. Give a voice to those who are weak. Help them find their inner strength and their inner voice. Help my boys use the gifts that they possess to SEE what is in front of them even when people are not talking. Because perceptiveness and intuitiveness are gifts which must not be wasted when they are present. We must practice, polish and use these skills for a greater good. They must listen to their gut instincts when their guts are telling them that things are not right for people and that they need to help people. Because helping is important – turning a blind eye is never the way, even if it is the easier way. The hard way is the way to self-growth and self-discovery in the midst of selflessness.
Compassion does not equate to compromising character. Doing what is right means swallowing pride and extending an olive branch. When the olive branch is not accepted, you extend it again. When it’s not accepted again, you extend it yet again. Sometimes, you recognize when it’s time to stop making your arm ache and you simply wait for the other person to reach back out.
Silence is loud. Silence is deafening.
But silence can also be peaceful and welcome and golden.
December 26th, 2013 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
The past few days have been spent in many of the same ways that they are spent most every year – baking, wrapping presents, watching the kids be strung out on sweets they don’t normally get to have in such abundance, and spending time with some family.
The biggest difference though – is that this year my family situation was so completely different. My extended family dynamics changed exponentially and to be honest I wasn’t as tough emotionally as I thought I was about this whole situation. It’s rough. It’s down right sucky and I’m having one helluva time dealing with it.
The short of it – I reported a family member after finding them doing something that was illegal- and just simply wrong. Things that I’ve taken classes over to deal with with other people. Things that I’ve actively advocated against. Things that I’ve long had a voice about. There was a long chain of events that took place – conversations, interactions, etc. as a result of this situation. Without going into further detail, suffice it to say that there are people who have chosen to stop talking to me. I chose not to take my children around the one particular family member – for the time being it has felt like the decision I had to make. I have boys who are impressionable who need to know what is right and what is wrong. One day they will begin interacting with girls in ways that show affection and intimacy and I am doing my very best to make sure that they know what is acceptable and what is not. For as liberal and completely open hearted as I am, even I must draw a line and this was a place that I felt very convicted about.
You see – this stance also represents how I support the other person who was directly, immediately, and long-term effected by the legal situation. This stance is showing my boys and hopefully impressing upon at least X-man, where the stand needs to be made on such an issue. I consulted mentors in the Social Work field. I consulted trusted friends. I consulted trusted elders. I may not be doing what 100% of them would do, but most of what I’m doing is 100% on point of what they believe they would do or what they HAVE done in their past situations.
Regardless – I miss the family that is missing from my life. I miss them so stinking much it makes my heart hurt and I feel like there is a hole. I miss so their faces and their smiles and their laughter. I don’t understand so much of it. Why is there NO communication – none to tell me why the decision has been made as it has? That doesn’t make sense. If you decide to cut someone off, don’t you tell them WHY you cut them off instead of just leaving them to assume? Oh – but wait – I posted a vague status message on my Facebook at one point and that was perceived as a call for attention because apparently I’m “attention seeking.”
And since I’ve heard “it’s not all about you” more than a few times in my life – well… no… I’m not going to agree with that. Because those comments have come from a couple of people who really have no clue what I hold in and don’t tell or share - and I guess don’t know what really goes on from day to day in my life. And that’s fine. I don’t do the things I do to get recognition. I appreciate the people who do notice things that go on.
I just fucking miss my family being whole – but I’m not a victim of circumstance and it is not my “fault” that things are as they are. I have evaluated and reevaluated time and again – I know that I did what I had to do and that my concerns were raw and real and that I did the best I could with what I had. I know the gut wrenching pain that came after – but I know that I am solid and grounded and reality may not be pretty to face, but it’s even uglier to walk away from it and walk around with rose colored glasses. Because rose colored glasses will hide the true beauty of the truly lovely parts in life. I’d lose appreciation for the really great moments if I couldn’t acknowledge those truly ugly moments.
In October and November of this year I went through what were perhaps some of the most challenging seven weeks of my own personal life in recent years. I had two absolutely amazing girl friends literally hold me through. Their all enveloping unconditional and unwavering love and support were such solid rocks. I know without a doubt that had it not been for those two I would have had a complete mental breakdown.
In July of this year I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Co-infections. I’ve been on a journey with ILAD treatment and integrative medicine. I have to say that I’ve been really thankful that I’ve had the push to learn so much more about organic foods/herbs, essential oils, and vitamins. I still have a LOT to learn. I’m going in phases and taking things in stride. I’m not 100% committed at all times with my dietary needs, but I can say that I honestly notice a dramatic difference during those times when I’m eating processed crap instead of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and meats cooked in herbs. So much of a difference that while I really enjoyed lots of sweet yummies during Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was quite excited to make a giant pot of chicken and veggie soup tonight loaded with those natural healers to bring my inflammation down.
I am talking to doc about getting plumbing removed. I am done with having kids. I have three beautiful boys and I need not have another birth child. I’ll willingly “adopt” the boys’ friends (and one day significant others). Perhaps one day I’ll foster. Maybe I’ll even legally adopt at some point. But there will be no more babies coming from my body. Too many reasons this has to happen. February. November. Especially November.
I keep getting overwhelmed with emotions the past few days. I keep trying to battle these emotions but that battle has not been a winning battle.
The thing is – it’s good to have these emotions, and I know that. It’s good to let things out and to go through the process of healing from the various things that have been weighing on my heart and eating at my core.
The more I try to embrace being carefree, the more I find it a struggle, but I realize this is part of the process of getting to the ultimate state of being care free.
Life feels too rushed. People try to speed through their processes – speed through opening presents or conversations. I feel myself pushing back saying “Slow down! What’s the rush?! Why can’t we just be intentional? Why can’t we savor these moments like we would try to savor a delicate piece of the finest chocolate?” Yet… most wouldn’t savor that fine chocolate, would they? They’d throw it in, chew it up and swallow it without truly tasting it.
My last post was about living intentionally. I’m still working towards this goal. I feel like there are so many around me still moving in a blur and it’s sometimes hard to visit and see people who are in constant “busy” mode. The “glorification of busy” as referred to in so many blog posts in the past few months, has certainly become a “culture” hasn’t it? I wish more people could slow down. Take their time. Enjoy their moments. Embrace the quiet and the solitude. Embrace having nothing to do for a while. Embrace shared quiet moments. Embrace shared conversations that are real and raw and truly LISTEN to the message that is coming out. Truly READ the message being conveyed.
Recently I’ve come back in contact with an old schoolmate. Our exchanges in communication have been truly refreshing. Every message has been long and thought out. Voices have been “present” and “heard” in the messages. “Real” conversations are taking place. I truly appreciate real people and real conversations. I admit there have been a few rushed messages, but only to acknowledge receipt of another message and for brief exchanges of thoughts on a topic. Then truly thoughtful messages resume. It’s almost like the art of letter writing hasn’t died. And I do enjoy the written word.
There’s so much more to write about – but This year… this night… this is it…
August 29th, 2013 by Jen Hen under Child, Parenting, Teen, Toddler. No Comments.
And by Let US live more intentionally, I specifically mean, let my family – I keep going through phases on this and we’re making progress, but we have so very far to go. And the first place we need to start? Myself. Yep – Momma Hen needs to be the first person to make the biggest adjustments. My first move was to deactivate my Facebook account. It was only a temporary move but it was a necessary move. I get sucked into the world of Facebook – the connections, the interaction, the instant contact and instant information, the instant distraction from things. I tune things out. Sometimes I just disconnect from what’s going on and actually happening around me. I found myself doing that as a “defense” mechanism of sorts. Instead of facing a lot of things head on I was choosing to (more…)
June 10th, 2013 by Jen Hen under Places to Go, The Busy Life, Travel Bug, Travels. No Comments.
I did another vanishing act!
I’m pretty good at that.
No really, I’m like a magician and I can’t tell you my secrets because a magician never tells. Watch closely.
January 20th, 2013 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. 2 Comments.
There are those who come into our lives and they’re only around for a short time. But then there are those fantastic people who come into our lives at some point and they hear our heart song and they see straight into our soul and they take us for every good and bad thing that composes the fibers of our being.
January 18th, 2013 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
There’s something I haven’t shared. I haven’t shared it because I haven’t been ready and I’m still not sure how ready I am to share. I still have a LOT of unanswered questions about what is going on with my own body. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve only just begun the quest for medical answers.
There are a lot of details, and I feel like it’s a bit too tedious for me to type it all out right now. The short of it is that since I was 15, there have been spells of headaches mingled with migraines. Chiropractic care has been known to bring relief in the past. Then there came a point where I didn’t have medical insurance and I didn’t seek any care, so I just pushed through and took over the counter medicine when the pain was unbearable, and otherwise I just dealt with it.
However, about three or four years ago something started changing. (more…)
January 17th, 2013 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
Today was the end of my first week as a college senior! After a little over 13 years of college I finally have enough credit hours to be a senior! Sure, I’ll have to be a senior for two years before I graduate, but hey! I’m a senior! And now, some new realities have begun to hit me. (more…)
December 31st, 2012 by Jen Hen under The Busy Life. No Comments.
It’s the last day of the year, right now, as I write this. I thought I should clarify in case you stumble across this blog and it’s actually July 30th, of some future year.
What a year it has been. I feel like there is so much for me to reflect on. Because there is.
I have sucked at keeping up with this site like I was going to. I set out on a journey to start this page about three years ago and my blogiversary has come and gone a few times and I’ve hit a few little peaks and a lot of valleys in my blog journey. I don’t think I’ve come to my summit yet. I think I’m still trying to find my nitch. I have to find my actual voice. The voice I’m willing and able to share. The voice that gives my truth and my transparency that I prefer so that my writing comes with less effort and more ease.
So, 2012… (more…)