Monday, August 5, 2013

Buzzkill Barb

Buzzkill Barb is a name my friend and I made up as a substitute for the old phrase Debbie Downer used to describe a person who puts a damper on your excitement, or a dream smasher.

I am a planner, I make lists, I research things, and I plan them out...maybe too much.  Don't get me wrong, I can be spontaneous and fly by the seat of my pants if I choose to, but I don't often choose to.  A prime example of this would be the first time I went to a Catholic church. It was for a wedding, and all was good, I could handle the times where we repeated things or the kneeling.  But then came the announcement "Turn to those around you and offer the standard greeting" or something similar to that.  Well, this Baptist girl did what any other Baptist girl would do in greeting time and turned to her neighbor with a smile and a "How are you doing?"  Well, apparently that can't be answered with the normal Catholic greeting response of "And also with you", but since I didn't say the normal greeting of "Peace be with you", my neighbor and I were at a dead silence to which I followed up with "I like your dress."  Yeah, I can fly by the seat of my pants with the best of 'em!

So fast forward to now...I am planning for our vacation to Disney World. We haven't been there in 5 years, and this year my mom and Jake's girlfriend are joining us. I researched almost daily for the best airfares, scanned the "last call resorts" for the best resort for the least money, and then scanned for the best deal on Disney tickets.   I did good. 

We always get a resort with a full kitchen.  I love to cook, and I love to save money even more, and feeding a family of 6 can get expensive.  So in order to make it fun, in my obsessive-compulsive way, I let each person choose their favorite meal for supper.  Then comes the list of meals and what needs to be brought with us and what needs to be bought at the grocery store there.  I mean, if someone's special meal involves a 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder, am I really going to buy a whole container in Florida when I can just throw the spice bottle in a suitcase with my coffee filters and electric skillet?  Ok, stop laughing, have you cooked pancakes and bacon for a family of 6 in a single frying pan?

On to the next list...the checking of the weather, the closest grocery store, the directions from the airport to the resort and from the resort to the parks.

Then there's the list of what to pack.  Again, it's not just throwing shorts and flip flops into a suitcase when you are packing for the family, or in particular, a very stylish 10 year old girl.

Today I felt good, the lists were done, things were getting checked off, I'm staying on top of the laundry so everyone has their favorite clothes clean and ready to be packed.  I excitedly got the Disney DVD out of the mailbox today and practically ran into the house to ask Nathan and Allie to watch it with me, only to be told, "Naaaa, I'm gonna go upstairs" and "I don't want to watch it.  I want to be surprised."  I must have looked sad because the last comment was followed up with "Sorry, but don't you want to be surprised about SOMETHING?"

Apparently, my careful planning, my excessive lists, my knowing exactly what the resort looks like and what they have for amenities and activities, and the exact car we are renting, and the seats we are sitting in on the plane, and what we will eat for every meal doesn't leave much of a surprise.

For the first time ever, I am a Buzzkill Barb, and I don't like it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pushing that Rewind Button

The "Rewind" button - used to go back to a previous time, whether used to hear a song again, go back to a favorite part of a movie, or simply to go back because you missed or didn't hear something and wanted to replay what you missed.

Today I want to push the rewind button, to some favorite parts of my life, to parts that I would like to relive, to times that I miss and would like to replay.

1.  Vacations ~ when all I had to do was make a pile of the clothes I wanted, and my mother would pack them in a suitcase, and I'd hop in the car, full of excitement for an adventure with my family.  I didn't pay for the vacation, I didn't have to find caretakers for our pets, and I didn't even pack for myself, much less make sure the whole family was packed and had all kinds of fun times awaiting them for the next week of their lives.

2.  Pregnancy tests ~ I remember sitting there counting down the minutes until I could look and see the answer.  It was much like sitting in the rollercoaster seat, going up the hill, filled with nervous excitement.  Then you near the top, the peak of the hill, you look at the test and see the + sign and then it's down the hill, arms raised high, cheering and filled with excitement for the rest of the ride and the uphills and downhills, twists and turns, and sometimes being completely upside down that await you.

3.  Wedding day ~ Everything was perfect, well-planned out to be perfect.  The bride and groom stare at each other with the stars in their eyes and nothing but love and happiness in their hearts.  I remember thinking "I will never be mad at this man, we will always be happy and agree on everything and never argue.  We will never experience hard times, and everything is now perfect."  Naive and hopeful was I, and 14 1/2 yrs later, we're still here together, being mad, not always agreeing, in hard and easy times, but the stars and love are still there.

4.  Mothering ~ when I was a young mother, it was just me and my son.  My world revolved around him.  After work, we did what he wanted to do, ate what he wanted to eat, and he had my undivided attention until he went to bed.  Then came a husband, more kids, more errands, sports practices and games, and life became a whole lot crazier.  There was a bigger house to clean, more time spent on errands, a bigger commute to work, and more people to care for and who needed my attention.  And as much as I love crazy and love how our family grew, some days I'd give anything for some time spent with each of my children, one on one, just enjoying each other.

5.  Footloose and fancy free ~ I remember when my time was my time, when I got out of school or work and had all the time in the world to do what I wanted to do and to fill with fun.  Sometimes that meant doing nothing but cruising around with friends to our favorite hangouts, sometimes it meant going shopping, sometimes concerts, but almost all of those times involved my friends.  I have had many crazy adventures that I never thought were crazy at the time, but now in my mature grown-up state of mind, I realize some were quite dangerous and are now the things that keep me up at night while my son is not yet home.

6.  Lessened knowledge ~ I definitely would like to rewind to a time when I knew NOTHING about cancer or pancreatitis, to a time when I didn't know anyone who had cancer, or when the only people I knew who were sick or were dying were elderly people, and not relatives or children.

7.  Fat clothes ~ How about a rewind to the time when the "fat clothes" in my closet were size 8?!?!

8.  Disagreements ~ I'd also like to rewind to a time when no one was mad at me or at least if anyone was, I was unaware of it and didn't feel the sense of loss of a friendship that was once a very big part of my life.

9.  Feeling Needed ~  I loved when my children were less independent.  I know that sounds odd, but I liked to feel needed, to feel that they needed me for rides, for company, for someone to talk to and for hugs and pick-me-ups when they felt down.  I enjoyed being the one they came to, the one whose advice they sought and the one they felt could make it all better.  Feeling needed is much better than feeling like a nuisance.

So can I push the rewind button every so often?  Can I have a wild night out with the girls, dancing and laughing, and staying out late?  Can ShBooms open again just for that one night?  Can I go back to the days when my babies were little?  Can I have my dad and Melanie back? Can Jake's pancreatitis and Grayson's leukemia go away?  Can I go back to my honeymoon in Aruba?  Can I go back to a size 8 and feel fat wearing it?  Can I have my friend back?  And can someone else pack for vacation? We leave Friday.