No Nelling No More!

you did it

Today marks the 30th day of my No Nelling Challenge, which I embarked upon to help me stop yelling at my kids. When I first got started, I thought that it would be possible to never yell but if it is possible, I’m not there yet. Luckily, I didn’t start over every time I slipped or else I’d be back on day 5. It makes me wonder about the pressure we put on ourselves with sobriety dates. Not that they’re not important but goal reaching and learning isn’t always an A to B, linear process. Read More

Showing Up

nelson mandela quote

I read a blog post written by someone who was very disturbed by a comment she received on one of her posts. She moderates her comments and never posted the one in question but she wanted feedback on if she handled the situation the right way. The commenter told her that he was going through a rough time and that he was considering taking his life. She was understandably freaked out and while she considered emailing him directly, she ultimately chose to ignore it altogether. The situation bothered her so much that she even considered not blogging anymore. What I found interesting is that of all the comments people left in response to her dilemma, only one person suggested that she had missed an opportunity to reach out to the man and to suggest that he seek professional help. All of the other comments echoed the same thought that she was right to protect herself from a possibly unhinged stranger. Read More

Glass Half Fizzy

half fizz

The fizz goes away and leaves you with the good stuff, in this case, water.

Every so often, I wake up with a heavy heart and feel defeated before I even open my eyes. I can feel myself frowning in my half wakened state. Is it any wonder that I have these lines between my eyebrows?

I trudge out of bed, my scowl in place and slip on some armor to wear for the day. It’s a mindless task, serving to hold in my dark mood. I need coffee and wait impatiently as my cup fills. If the k-cup machine is this much of a challenge, I can only imagine what the rest of the day will hold.

This is where I have a choice to make. Not choose to be happy. That’s ridiculous and impossible at this stage. I need to choose whether to learn from experience or reinvent the wheel from piss and vinegar. I’ve been here before and I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. I can either do what works or give the world a big F you and wallow in my gloom.

What doesn’t work is attacking my mood like a problem. I like having problems to fix. I’m good at it. Give me a task and I’ll make a checklist. I will get the job done. Give me a feeling and I struggle to just sit with it. I want to analyze and compartmentalize it until it fits in a box that I can stack on a shelf. Telling myself that I shouldn’t feel this way definitely doesn’t work. Who cares if I should. I do.

What does work is saying yes when I want to say no. Cleaning helps. I need the instant gratification of seeing dog hair disappear. I need to be Queen of the Clean Floor Universe. I need to feel good at something. Crying is always good, especially if the tears are for someone else so that there’s no room for self pity (here’s a good example). Praying helps.

I will bounce back. Sometimes it only takes half a day and sometimes it takes a few. I rarely give myself credit for how resilient I am. I’m the Fruit of the Loom of resiliency. I’m Mrs. Bouncy Bouncybackaton. I am half a cup of determination and the other half is just fizz. I’m tough and tender in all the right places. I am sober and willing and funny and vulnerable. I’m in a bad mood but I’m a badass too. I feel better already.

Make a Wish

make a wish

Sometimes my ability to make decisions quickly complicates my life in unexpected ways. I think God made me this way because if I was in the habit of thinking things through, I’d never take any risks at all. When I decided to start a No Nelling challenge 19 days ago to stop yelling at my kids, I didn’t honestly believe it would be that difficult. I’d just do what other bloggers had done before me and follow the guidelines they set out. Read More

The Audience That Matters

What they think matters.

What they think matters.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a Nelling problem as much as a general piss off/bad attitude problem; a chronic curmudgeon-ness that sneaks its way into my days and plants its stinky butt on my couch.

I’ve found that when I purposefully speak gently and lovingly, even if I don’t feel that way, it makes such a profound difference to my kids that even if it is a big lie, it’s a lie worth telling. Read More

The birds!

The birds!

I took the kids to a park that has a manmade lake with ducks. There’s a big sign that says “Don’t Feed The Ducks” but it doesn’t say anything about the pigeons so I let the kids throw some crushed rice cakes to the birds. Within seconds, a huge swarm of pigeons surrounded my son, which he thought was hilarious. It was pretty funny until a weird dude (by weird I mean a topless version of the “French model” in the State Farm commercials) walked by and spooked the birds. He bizarrely caught one of them as it flew by and held it upside down by its feet. Read More

Fruitcake Tag

dog blog

I’ve been picked by Rutabaga at The Mercenary Researcher to play a game of tag and to pass on a tasty fruitcake! I know that some of you don’t like these blog games and that’s ok. Of course, the only way you’ll know you’ve been tagged is if you have trackbacks enabled and/or read this blog . It’s just that we write about such serious stuff that sometimes we need to take a break to have fun. There’s only so much introspection, struggling for answers and pondering the universe that I can take. So, if you’ve been tagged, please PLAY! It’ll be fun. Read More

Trigger finger being naughty

Trigger finger being naughty

Anyone who is in recovery knows that recognizing triggers is vital to staying in recovery and preventing relapse. I feel confident that I know what most of my drinking triggers are because I put a lot of effort into tracking them in the first months of sobriety. I’m taking the same approach with not yelling. Read More

The No Nelling Challenge

no nelling

I’m a yeller. There. I said it.

I used to think it was because I’m half-Italian but now I think it’s because yelling is my default when I feel like I’m not being heard. I hate not being heard. In fact, when I think of all the times my husband and I have fought in the last nearly 20 years, I blame the escalation of the fights on me feeling like he’s not listening to me. He blames them on me not shutting up, which is directly linked to me having to yell louder to be heard. Read More

Ambrosia and Jesus

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, 1940

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, 1940
Photo credit: Tucsonrodeoparade.org

When I was in elementary school, I was bullied by an older, bigger girl from 1st to 4th grade. Back in those days, it was considered “kids being kids” and complaining did no good. I endured regular abuse from the bus stop to the playground to the classroom. I lived life in a constant state of anxiety and fear but I learned to survive by keeping a low profile. It was a real struggle to get the balance right because I innately craved attention and praise. While I wanted to raise my hand in class and play rambunctiously on the playground, I didn’t want to suffer the consequences of drawing the attention of my bully. Read More