Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Fight

Well - it was bound to happen sooner than later...chef and I have officially had our first disagreement. I am being girlie and don't understand (his point of view) and he just doesn't get it (my point of view). At the end of the day - it is all just dumb really, but it still sits underneath the skin and I am not doing a good job of letting it go.

So - here is the story - first off - our schedules always clash, it is rare that we both have a day off. So yesterday - he had the day off, I didn't have to work that night (he knew) and in my mind spelled - time we could spend together. Now I respect he has a lot of things going on and is busy. However, I got the text that he couldn't come over because he had too much to drink and had things to do yet that required the Internet. Okay - well first off - it is never going to sit well with me that we can't hang out because you drank too much. I had alcohol dictate the past 3 years - sure in the hell am not going to start another relationship on that foot. Then what you don't know is that he spent half the afternoon laying by the pool. In my mind - time that could of been spent on the Internet doing whatever needs to be done.

Of course - he doesn't get any of that. He just gets that he had too much to drink, couldn't drive, had work to do that he needed the Internet for and I don't have it and I never come over there.

Urrrg - its like beating your head against a wall. I need to keep reminding myself, let it go, let it go. I mean one fight in two months isn't bad is it? Now if this becomes a pattern....Men - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Cross we bear...

Well - I went through a hundred titles for this blog during my workout last night. I first thought about the power of 25 - 25 pounds gained, running .25 miles at a time but then thinking about everything that has taken place over the past day, week, year, I thought this one was more appropriate.

I think it came from a conversation I had with my brother last night in regards to a letter he received from a well intentioned aunt. In a nutshell - in my extended family - you are either Catholic or they cast stones at you. As long as you are married in a Catholic Church - it doesn't matter if you practice it or even pretend that you had been going as long as you make it seem that way at Grandma's. But that is a rant for another day.

The past year has been one filled with ups and downs. I easily could play the victim role and have all the sympathy in the world - but I don't want it. I chose to carry the cross that lead me to Texas. I was in an abusive relationship long before I moved to Texas, I even saw the signs of what was to come before I packed up my things to move here. Was it worse that I ever imagined and you have ever been told? A 100 times over. Maybe I hid most of it well, maybe I didn't. But, at the end of the day, no one told me NOT to move (nor would I probably of heard them) and so I carried the cross for myself and the Ex and moved to Texas. I carried his cross because I thought I could change HIM, lead by example and show him how to change.

But out of all of this - the Cross changed ME and changed who I am for the better. It was going to take my own doing, my own decision to ask for help when I needed it. I think that what I really took from all of it is that you need to respect others and the crosses they bear. We each have enough weight of our own that it is not OUR responsibility to worry and carry the Crosses of those around us. You are not going to be able to change the distance someone has to carry their cross or lighten their load just because you worry about them or want them to see the light on a subject. Be a friend, be there for them but don't try to change them to believe and see what you believe. You can try and nudge them in the right direction but until they ask you for help with that Cross - you are just creating more weight to carry for yourself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Something New...

Yep that is right - something new - a new vehicle. The Ex finally came through and is helping out. Basically he & I leased a car together last year and had my Explorer. Well, when we split, I couldn't trust him making the payment - so I ended up with both cars. I was able to sell the Explorer and was just stuck with the expensive car! Don't get me wrong - LOVED the Avenger. However, it got all of 19 miles to the gallon around town and we you have a 40 mile communte every day - well not cheap. Plus there was the monthly payment that came with it - over $400.

Well - the Ex has made a lot of improvements in his life and is finally ready to be accountable for things. (Editor note: For my mom's sake - I need to reiterate that I have NO desire to reconcile - just don't feel it is worth my energy to harbor grudges.) So - with him clearing up things and taking the Avenger - he helped get me into a Jeep Patriot. Now - right now the intent is to hold onto it for a year - but we will see.

It is a nice car - but COMPLETELY back to the basics...manual side mirrors, manual locks, no more navigation, no more knowing where the crashes are on the way home so I can detour. But on the positive side, no more huge payments, better gas mileage, cheaper car insurance and UNLIMITED miles. Yeah!!!

And no fears - the new car smell didn't last too long - Guinness decided to get sick all over the back seat on our first drive!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I'm tired of it all. Tired of always working. Tired of always feeling like I have no money. Tired of never being able to go out and meet people. Tired of working two jobs. Tired of working 7 days a week. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Tired of living in a house half remodeled. Tired of feeling like I should be in a better place. Tired of trying to appear happy all the time. Tired of being fat. Tired of having a closet full of clothes that don't fit. Tired of not being able to walk two miles, let alone run a mile! Tired of having more and more work dumped on me at work. Tired of never having time to spend with the man. In reality, tired of just being tired.

Now with that said - I know that it is all extreme exhaustion. I just finished working 76 hours in the past 7 days. I do not care what age you are, please, please do NOT attempt this. It is not recommended! I started my part time job at Lowe's. It appears that when I said I didn't want more than 20 hours a week - it didn't mean much. Needless to say - that was corrected. However, I still had the price of working too many hours in too many days.

Now the fat part is all my own doing. I mean I put the things in my mouth, I don't work out...what do I expect. The ankle is finally healing which means that it will be a matter of a few weeks in which I am back to running. SERIOUSLY - who would of ever thought Jenn would miss running?!?! BUT - I do. I miss it, I miss the calmness that comes with it and how clear a mind feels after a good run. Tonight should be the last day of physical therapy and then Guinness & I will be attempting our first 2 mile walk tonight! Whoo hoo. I will reclaim those clothes in my closet and prove people wrong that say if they don't fit - quit fooling yourself and get rid of them!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mixing It Up

I think this is probably the millionth website I have tried...but here we go again. I have a lot of friends that use it and like it - so why not? What will you find here? Well, my fears, my insecurities, my happy times and everything that is new in my life.

Why the title "Is the glass really 1/2 full?" Well I know that I have a tendency to look at things as if the glass is half empty - so here is my good effort to change that path!

So - bare with me, sit back for the ride and let's hope it is a good one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pitty Party

That is what my day was like on Wednesday. It started out bad and just continued to go down hill from the moment I got out of bed. The scale curse of the ankle injury continued and I was up 0.2 lbs. To most - this translates to a fart and not a big deal. However, since injurying my ankle, I am officially at my lifetime heaviest - I HATE it. I think I weigh more than I ever did after a knee surgery. Of course - none of my clothes fit and I am refusing to buy more. Won't do it - I need to lose it. Then I had a flat tire. Yep morning after getting it back from being repaired because someone backed into me. Of course - as luck has it - on my way to the repair shop - I dump the smoothie down the front of the white shirt. And why wouldn't Bridgestone have any of that tire in the state of Texas or would it be an expensive tire ($208 when said & done)?

But after a day like that I couldn't of picked a better day to get the email I got yesterday. It wasn't a happy email but the message was loud and clear and hit so close to home. One of the guys that graduated the year before me in high school passed away from cancer. The blog was shared with us and it included a piece he wrote (he was a writer) to be posted after he passed. I share part of Jeff Dodd's final blog here because we all can learn something from him! The part that hit home the most is below. If you wish to read his entire blog - you can follow it at:

I spent a lot of time begging God for healing during those first several months after my diagnosis. I prayed almost constantly that he would perform a miracle and rid my body of the melanoma. I also spent a lot of time wondering—for the first time in my life—whether there really was a God, whether there really was an afterlife, and whether there was any value to prayer. I hadn’t given much thought to these subjects in the past, but they suddenly seemed very important now that I faced the possibility of dying. The lessons I learned in religion class looked quite feeble when I viewed them next to the apparently iron-clad proofs that scientists and atheists made for a wholly material world.

They looked feebler still after the melanoma metastasized to my brain and I underwent brain surgery, lost the use of my leg, and spent a month laying in a bed in the hospital. This rather dramatic sequence of events might have seemed to be an emphatic answer to my questions. See, these might say, this is what will happen. Not because of God but because there is no God. The universe began with a disinterested bang, and it’s been operating in a disinterested cause-and-effect ever since. Prayers are irrelevant.

It would have been difficult for me to dispute this argument, except for a strange event that happened six days before my craniotomy. It was a Monday afternoon, and I had jogged three laps around the Hart Park track in Wauwatosa. Those were the first three laps I had run on a track since high school. I had given up running for more than 15 years because it wasn’t fun for me anymore. But that particular Monday, as I walked past the track, the thought struck me that it might be fun to run again. And it was. Seeing once again the lane markings, feeling the spongy recycled-tire surface under my feet, striding past the grandstands, it all made me remember why I had enjoyed running as a boy and motivated me to want to do it again. Moreover, it renewed my desire to beat this cancer. The fact that I couldn’t extend my left leg when I got home seemed irrelevant.

It wasn’t. That was actually the first symptom of a swelling brain tumor. The following Saturday morning, I underwent a craniotomy.

During the following weeks, it became increasingly more apparent that the surgery had left me with a permanent disability and I would never run again. Surprisingly, I was not particularly angry about this new development. I was grateful that the doctor had been able to remove the lesion. I was grateful that I was close to home and could have lots of visitors. And I was grateful because I had run those laps around the track. Some people might call it a coincidence. From my perspective, however, it was as if God had given me the opportunity to run—and I had chosen to take advantage of the opportunity through my free will—because He knew I would never have that opportunity again.

I began to think of some of the other “opportunities” that had presented themselves in the past year. I had pulled my bike out of the shed for the first time in seven years and taken several rides with each of the kids. Coincidence or opportunity? In the days immediately prior to my diagnosis, I had completed the last task in our home renovation. Coincidence or opportunity? We had taken our first big family vacation the summer before my diagnosis, and the Christmas that preceded my diagnosis—by a mere eight days!—was undoubtedly the best Christmas we had celebrated as a family. Even if I had gone into complete remission, we couldn’t have had another vacation or Christmas like those, so carefree and hopeful with no worries about the future. Coincidence or opportunity?

And then there was Finn. Kelly and I were not expecting to have any more children. Jack was five years old, and we were starting to get comfortable with the notion that God had given us all the children we were meant to have. Then Kelly found out she was pregnant. It took us by surprise, and we wondered to ourselves why God would give us this baby at this time. The timing seemed even worse after my diagnosis. But then Finn was born, and God’s answer was clear. If ever a family needed something to celebrate it was us at that time. Here was a special person that we could love and, equally importantly, who could love us at a time when we needed it most. Coincidence or opportunity?

I am an objective person by nature. I think logically and believe firmly in rational thought. I considered all of these situations carefully and, while admitting that some of them might be coincidences, cannot accept that so many seemingly random events would coincide in such a way by pure chance. Assuming there is a God—and I am convinced that there is for several reasons, not the least of which are Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs—and assuming that He interacts with His creation, then these kind of “opportunities” seem to me like the most probable way He would do so. These opportunities respect the gift of free will and provide comfort without interfering with the forces of nature. Miracles, by their very nature, are not common. And I really do not think we would want them to be any other way.

For some reason, my recognition of these “opportunities” seemed to quell any doubts I had about prayer, Heaven, and God. I think this feeling of acceptance—you might call it Faith—is probably also an answer to a prayer.