How One Sentence landed me on the show Snapped.

Funny how one simple sentence can make you the star of the show Snapped. Okay, I didn’t go that far. Because let’s face it. Orange is not my color. And I don’t want to be someone’s beatch! But when my husband asked me, “Your still cooking?” and not in the let me help you way. More like in the “Who the hell takes 6 hours to meal prep” way. I swear to god I saw red. It’s really a thing. Who knew? He’s just lucky that I had managed to dirty every single one of our knifes. And they were in the dishwasher. Because after the last couple of days I was officially about to loose my SHIT! And not in the cute way that civilized woman do. I was going to redefine the phrase “psychotic episode”. But before we get to this moment. We must journey back to what led me here.

It all can be tied to one word…KETO. My daughter and I weren’t having much success on our “diets”. So, we decided to try something new. Operation become skinny bitches(okay I’ll settle for not loosing consciousness when I try to zip up my pants) was in effect. And my daughter was the mastermind. Literally. I don’t even know how the hell to pronounce keto correctly. When people ask me what keto details. I give them that blank look. And tell them, “Hell if I know! My daughter meal prepped everything this week”. I know how pathetic. I mind of well had said, “My mommy packed all my meals for me”.They even came with little sticky notes. Don’t worry I pulled on my big girl panties and ordered a book. Come at me next week with those questions. I’ll be like one of those brainiacs on Jeopardy. “Keto diet for $500 Alex”. Who knows they might want me to be their spokesperson. (At this time I still haven’t opened the book. I’m working on it!)

Basically for the last week I’ve had the same meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mean I have a lot of different personalities and I need my meals to be like that. I decided to take over on planning the dinners and my lunches. I ordered a book from Amazon. Unfortunately, they don’t have the “I needed that book like yesterday” option. So, I spent a couple of hours stalking my cousin’s Pinterest board and picking out recipes. By the way, thanks Kristy for doing all the hard work. I just swiped through her board like I was ordering off the home shopping network.” Ya, I’ll take the recipe and that one. Screw it I’ll take them all!”

It was all fun and games until I had to put this plan in motion. Little did I know at the time;Meal Prepping is not for the weak,It’s more for the Betty Crockers (on steroids)of the World. You know the ones who know their way around the vegetable aisle and kitchen. I spent 4 hours grocery shopping at 3 different stores. Most of the time I was just trying to find the items on my list. It was like a scavenger hunt designed by a health nut. Seriously I spent so much scanning shelves I’m surprised I’m not in a neck brace today. And if I wasn’t looking for items I was squinting at the price tags. For instance ,I needed Almond Flour for one of my recipes. I paid almost $8 for a 16 o.z. bag. Do you realize that I can get a 32 o.z. bag of generic all purpose flour for $1.48. Like who ever invented that shit was a genius!!! Hey, I’m going to invent “healthy” flour and charge 4 times the amount. And a normal person would think who would be stupid enough to buy it? I’ll tell you? I was stupid enough to buy it! I now feel the need to add it into everything I am cooking. Even if it’s not called for in the recipe. Screw it! I’m getting my damn $8 worth in flour!

The sad part was there were a lot of items that I had to google. Because I didn’t know what the hell the shit was. Xanthan Gum is not really gum. It’ more like a unicorn. Because I still wasn’t able to find it. I mean I looked for a very long time. Like so long that I think my internal cussing started becoming vocal. Not only that I tracked down a store employee(who’s probably typing up his 2 Week notice as I share this story). And he couldn’t even find it. If that wasn’t bad enough I had to ask “said employee” where the ginger was. I had no idea what the hell it looked like. At that point I thought he was going to loose his shit. Or spray my stalking ass with mace. I mean he should really be grateful. It’s called Job Security buddy! If it would have made him feel better I would have shared with him that I almost shit myself while he looked for my Xanthan gum! I kind of tried an Atkins coconut/chocolate bar one store back. Oops.!Should no better than to try new items out on my stomach when I’m out in public. My body became on Defcon 5 alert as my stomach made sounds to rival the XF-84H aircraft. So, Mr. employee while you were stressed about getting taken away from your stocking job. I was stressed about wether or not this demon growing in me was going to escape out of my ass. So, you see. We all have problems! TMI people? Just keeping it real!

To think I thought finding the items were going to be my hardest task. HA! As if! First of all, the kitchen and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to go in there and snack on food but hate to cook. Now, that I’m trying to give this diet a shot. I have to turn from Worst Cooks in America into Top Chef. I think I had better odds with last week’s Powerball. But I did give it my all. Even though I probably shouted “Fuck” more than the neighbors cared to hear. I’m sorry okay. But when I realize I’m missing ingredients after I started cooking I got a tad pissed off. I mean as you read above. I spent 4 hours in grocery stores. How is it possible to forget shit? Not only that I got the onion from hell. Don’t know how I didn’t chop my finger off. I cried more than I did when I realized what I could no longer eat(just picture all the items in the candy aisle, ice cream section, and the McDonald’s menu). Don’t even get me started on the damn ginger. I felt obligated to use it. Since it was one of the items that poor store employee had to help me find. But good god that thing needs to come with instructions. I didn’t know what the hell to do with it(You peel it in case you were wondering.) Hey, don’t judge! Have you ever looked at a piece of ginger? It’s not even red and it looks like the knots on a real ugly tree!

Eventually, I did get my meals prepped. To get there I pissed off a store employee and yelled at everyone in my family at least once. Sorry guys! I’m like a snickers commercial. Except, I can’t have one of those. So, throw some lettuce at me or something. I’m sure this diet and lifestyle will get easier. Hopefully before I end up in prison.

Just got off work and have decided I need to find a drive thru liquor store A.S.A.P.

Do they make holsters for these things? Because it would come in handy when cooking in the microwave. Just asking for a friend.

I totally can relate to the book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day”. Like just substitute Kari for Alexander and you have what my day and night was like yesterday. Now, if you follow me on Instagram you will kind of know how my morning went. And for those of you who did read that part. I apologize in advance for sharing it again. But it was the catalyst for my shitastic day yesterday. Yes, people I just invented a new word. It’s basically a shitty day to the 11th power. Basically you will want to go in hiding, move and change your name, or just plain pray for the ground to just open up and swallow you. Because your day was just that bad.Not, that I was lucky enough for any of those things to happen.

Let me set our story up. You see I just got done working 12 hours. I had only slept 3 hours before I went to work. So, I was riding the broomstick and ready for bed. But as luck would have it my life turned into an informercial. Like “Wait since you didn’t go to the staff meeting Monday night. You get to stay over and go to the Thursday morning one. But not only that “we” our going to add and extra half hour to this meeting. ” So, instead of trying to keep your eyes open for one hour. I got to do it for 1 1/2 hours. During that time I was able to ponder the appeal of tattooing eyes on my outer eyelids. Because when you are stuck in a room full of management you don’t want to start falling asleep and drooling on yourself. It doesn’t create good job security.

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t fall asleep in front of management. Oh, no I had to “Go big or Go Home”!That was accomplished by forgetting to make sure my ringer was turned off. I mean I went through 12 hours without that damn phone ringing. So, I assumed it was off. But you want to know when it’s not a good time to discover it isn’t? When the damn guest speaker (aka the Anesthesiologist) is giving their spill. I decide who needs to hear about epidurals. Let’s listen to my cool ringtone instead. Sad thing it wasn’t until the 3rd ring that I realized it was my phone doing the ringing. I was just sitting there thinking how rude ppl. are for having their phone on. Only to find out I was the asshole. And if I didn’t have a pocket vibrating and lighting up with a beat red face. I’m sure no one would have noticed I was the culprit. Note to self: Stop procrastinating and going to the morning meetings after work.

I am sure not only will there be a memo about turning your cell phones off but there will also be another one about not starting fires in the microwave. Before I get to that wonderful 2nd part of my day. Let me create the mood. I decided to pick up a shift. It’s been awhile since I’ve done 4 12 hour night shifts in a row(now, I remember why I don’t). And if that wasn’t bad enough. Once again I only got a little over 3 hours of sleep. So, basically I wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. But I was an extra body to help out. And since I was there the night before I know I had a patient that loves popcorn. So, I brought a couple of bags to pop for them. Seemed like an idiot proof plan. But in true Kari fashion. I managed to screw up that simple task. In my defense the bag did say to set it for 4 minutes. But it also said to listen to when it stops popping. Which I started out doing than I zoned out. Sad thing was I zoned out staring at the microwave.But didn’t pay attention to it until I smelled the smoke. And I mean I was sending some smoke signals. Being the genius I was. I tried to put that shit out before the smoke alarms went off. I threw that bag under water. Which made it smoke worse for a minute. Once, I found the part on “fire”. I frantically soaked the shit out of that(and possibly clogged the kitchen sink in the process). Now, all this was probably a minute tops. But I thought I was battling the”biggest inferno blaze” of microwaves. I thought I was going to die from smoke inhalation before I put that sucker out. Too dramatic.? Well, you would be too if you almost set the hospital on fire!!!

Funny thing was I thought by putting it out. That no one else would know that I burnt popcorn. Like I could just wave my hand and say, “There’s nothing to see here folks”. Almost bought into my self serving b.s. until I stepped out into the hall. At that point, I’m like, “Oh, shit!” So, I’m trying to discretely fan the shit so the alarms don’t go off. I would really hate to see what that videotape footage looked like. Tell me I won’t get chosen for the next random drug test. But I’m going off tangent again. Basically, The whole upstairs stunk like burnt popcorn(which isn’t good when you have respiratory patients). And if that wasn’t bad enough I find out I smoked out the E.R. waiting room on the 1st floor. Not only that staff was concerned at first as to what was going on. Because as luck would have it. The night before are fire alarms kept alarming. So, even though no alarms were going off or announcements were being made. People were wondering if this was the real deal. I don’t think I’ve ever been so mortified before. But I do know that maintence had to set up fans to clear the air. Yea, top that night. I smoked up 2 floors(that’s all we have but it sounded cooler this way)of the hospital. And I’m sure there will be a memo about it. But all I got to say is we are always striving for 100% patient satisfaction. Well, before I sent the patient’s popcorn into a fury ball of fire. I did try making sure they got their favorite snack. Luckily, I had brought 2 bags. I just had an R.N. Cook the 2nd bag.

I was still so embarrassed this morning. That I took the back way out. I couldn’t face walking through the front doors. I’m off for the next 3 days. What are the odds that no one will remember this by the time I come back? Yeah, your right. I need to go into the witness protection program or find a new job. Anyone hiring? As long as the job description doesn’t require me making popcorn. We will be all good in the hood.

Growing up I saw 2 of the world. (hint:because I was crossed eyed) I also lisped so bad Alexa would have needed a translator.

” I roll my eyes; at least a hundred times a day, at my husband. It’s a good thing I was born cross eyed. Otherwise I might have to be concerned about ruining my eyes” -AUTHOR-ME

This post is dedicated to all the misfits out there. Who never felt like they fit in. This is a big Fuck you to all the people who bullied, ridiculed, and laughed at us. Because you might have tried to knock us down with your words. But we got back up. And every time you pushed us. We came back stronger. Like the lyrics from Suicidal Tendencies, “You can’t bring me down!”

Growing up in general sucks! But when you don’t look a certain way or you are different you mind as well paint a target on you. Because those are the things the bullies will zero in on. I spent my youth wishing the saying, “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words can’t hurt me” was true. I wished to be stronger. To not care what people thought of me. But in reality each cruel word chipped away at my self esteem. Eventually, taking away all my confidence. I felt worthless and didn’t think my existence mattered. And when I was 17 I tried taking my own life. But that’s a story for another day. Because this isn’t a story to make you say, “Oh, poor Kari!” No that is not what this is about. It is partly about me confronting the ghosts of my past. But it is mainly to give people hope. Because I guarantee there is someone else going through this right now. This story is for that person. Let me be that light in your darkness.

I guess my first strike against me were my eyes. My dad use to call me”Clarence the Cross eyed monkey”. If I could add a smack my head emoji I would. To this day I still don’t know what the hell that even means. So, yes my left eye use to cross like no one’s business. People probably didn’t know what eye to look at it. That was okay though. Because I didn’t know which one was the real you anyways!

To correct that problem;at the age of 5, I got bifocal glasses. Now days, that’s not really a big deal. Because they have drastically changed the look of them. I mean come on. How many people do you know with perfect vision wear glasses to look “cool”(I was so born in the wrong decade). But back in 1980 those suckers were huge. They were called “Coke Bottle” lenses for a reason. I’m really surprised I didn’t set things on fire when I went outside. Because it looked like some genius stuck 2 magnifying lenses on a frame and sold them as glasses. And if that wasn’t bad enough my parents tried to help me look “cooler”. So, they upgraded me to the “transition” lenses. In the 80’s that was a really bad thing! We’re talking worse than the days when I use to crimp my hair and kill the ozone with Aqua Net. Back then those suckers didn’t transition back right away. We’re talking I had to walk around looking like my Grandpa. And he only wore those huge, god awful looking sunglasses because he had cataracts! So, to all of those other thoughtful parents out there. Please don’t try to help make your kid “cooler”. To this day I rather get blinded by the sun then ever get those lenses!

As you can imagine my elementary school years and parts of Jr. High were filled with real original names and sayings(that was written in extreme sarcasm ppl.) “crossed-eyed” was one on my favorites. Like that person should have won an award for state the obvious! “Four eyes” was one of the most common ones. My parents told me to just tell them, “4 eyes are better than 2 eyes”. I wish I could say that helped. It didn’t. But I give them credit for trying to teach me how to insult people back. And my favorite line said to me was, “Can you see the future in those things?” I wish I had balls back then. Because I would have replied, “Why yes I can. And guess what? You are still an Asshole in the future”. Sad how I think of great comebacks decades later. Where’s a time machine when you need one?

So, your probably thinking that’s not so bad! Well, that was before life decided to become an informercial. “Like wait! If you order bad eye sight now. We will throw in a speech problems too!” And my parents were like, “For Free? OMG what a deal. Throw that one in the “genes” too! That’s right I was a lisping mofo. I was in speech therapy until the 7th grade. Years spent saying, “Sally sales seashells by the seashore”. Years of holding my tongue practicing in the mirror. Years of getting pulled out of class to learn to talk better. That was always fun. Because my peers wanted to know why I was special and got to leave class once a week? I couldn’t even tell them, “Because I’m Special that’ s why!” Because special has the letter S in it. So, they wouldn’t have understood my comeback anyways. So, I always had people copying me and laughing at the way I said things. It caused me to get severe anxiety when I had to do any kind of public speaking. Because I knew there would be snickering while I talked.

I wish I could report that my speech problem magically went away. It didn’t. I’m still screwed when I have to say words with S’s and Th’s in them! Like I’m always screaming at my phone, Alexa, and automated systems. Because they never understand me. I can’t even do voice to text. Because it spells out some crazy shit. I’m like WTF? That’s not what I said! But that’s okay. Because those things can’t laugh at me. I’m no longer afraid to talk in front of people. I don’t like doing it but when your an adult you discover job orientations love making you do exactly that! But it no longer gives me anxiety. Mostly, because I’m older and no longer care what people think of me. Now days most people think I just have an “accent”. So, they always try to guess where I’m from. Usually they guess I’m from the East Coast. Maybe, I need to move there.

And to match all these wonderful physical qualities about myself I got an awesome name. It probably would have been an awesome name till Stephen King made the name “Carrie” famous. And not in a good way. Thanks Stephen! And did you realize my name rhymes with Scary and Hairy? I probably wouldn’t have either until elementary school happened. Like my sister got the cool name Leanne! And I got named after one of the twins my mom use to babysit. Oh, the injustices of it all! Okay, that is slightly dramatic. But it did influence me on choosing names for my kids. I made sure they didn’t rhyme with anything bad. Your welcome kids!

But this story wouldn’t be complete unless we made our main character “Poor”. I mean others had it way worse than us. We had a nice house. Lived in a nice neighborhood. Went to one of the nicest school districts. But it was an illusion sometimes. Because my dad was in construction. And got laid off a lot.Those times were tough. My parents were doing everything they could to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. So, materialistic things like your Clothes being in style or a name brand were definitely not in the budget. We got a lot of hand me downs from one of the neighbor’s nieces. And that was awesome. And in high school I use to babysit a lot. So, I was able to waste money on clothes to “fit in” But Jr. high was like my own personal purgatory. That’s when name brands became a symbol. Unfortunately my Kmart blue light special clothes didn’t have Espirit or Guess written on them. Which gave the “in crowd” lots of ammunition to ridicule me. It’s funny to think how I let something so stupid as that to have so much power over me. Now, days I get most of my clothes from GoodWill. Ha! Take that snobby rich kids!

I’m not going to say that everything magically got better after I became an “adult”. My first husband was verbally abusive among other things. But I’m not here to bash a deceased person or my kid’s father. But I will say that once I got away from all the negativity. I was able to focus on the positive. I was able to start working on myself. Because if you love yourself. It won’t matter what other people say about you. Because if you can look in the mirror and be happy with who you see. Then, that’s all that matters.

Now, I won’t say everyday is “perfect”. I still have days that I struggle. I battle depression. And sometimes that does plague me with old insecurities. But I would like to think that I handle it a little better. I might not have morphed from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. But I’m okay with who and what I have become. I might have struck out in the gene pool. But I did get one hell of a sense humor. And if I couldn’t laugh about life I probably would be in some corner rocking myself. But that’s the beauty of it. I can laugh at myself. Because I know I’m not perfect and I do some stupid shit. But I know I am strong enough to never let other people’s words or actions have any power over me.

To all you kids out there still struggling. My heart goes out to you. I wish we lived in a “perfect” world. But we don’t. But I promise you this too shall pass. That one day you will look back and laugh at yourself for letting people doubt your self worth. But in order to get to that you need to start loving yourself. And surrounding yourself people that love your imperfections. Those are the friends you need in your life. I know during this time in your life you are probably obsessed with looking a certain way or having certain things. But you know what? None of that really matters in life. What matters is what is on the inside. Don’t let these bullies take away your light! You are a star that shines in someone’s sky! Remember you are loved. And that the people taunting you are probably more insecure with themselves. I can’t promise you a life full of perfect blue skies. There will be dark days. But remember to look for the rainbow and the sun afterwards. Because they always come out after a storm!

I tried to save a buck!

I have decided Facebook memories is like your parents telling your most embarrassing stories over and over. This is what happened when I tried to save a little money buying the clearance razor. Who ever said,”It pays to be frugal” was a damn liar!

Why I will never buy a reduced to sale razor again. I was just trying to save a buck or two. My first clue that this was going to be a bad idea is that the damn thing came in a box. So, I had my new razor in a box near by. Get in the tub. Just want to give those legs a quick shave. Quick did not happen. First of all, there was nothing on the box that said “Don’t rip it apart. Because you will need to read the directions”. I just ripped the thing apart. That’s when I discovered I was screwed. I don’t even think this thing was a razor. I’m looking at it and I’m thinking it’s a damn lawn mower. There’s a razor on one side and some kind of trimmer on the other. What the hell. Is this for some kind of amazon women. I thought I bought it in the health/beauty section. Maybe, I was in the pet section. If that wasn’t scary enough. The damn thing required a battery. Which they were so nice to provide. Now, this is where those directions would come in handy. Because I can’t figure out where the hell this battery goes. So, I try to piece the box back together. It would have been a brilliant plan if my hands weren’t wet and I had my glasses on. Wet hands and cardboard becomes unreadable. And no glasses is impossible. But I managed. Figured out the thing twists in the middle. Of course, then I couldn’t figure out which side the positive went on. Had to resort back to the rules. Finally figure that out. Try to twist the thing back together so I can get this show back on the road. Well, the damn thing was not screwing back on. And every time I would almost have it on I would push some kind of button and the thing would make a vibrating sound. What the hell kind of razor is this. Then, the unthinkable happens. I drop the damn battery in the water. By this time I’m thinking hairy legs aren’t so bad. But hell no. I’m going to get this damn razor to work if its the last thing I do. So, I get out of the tub. And go get a new battery. This time I grab my glasses. And of course, the thing screws back on with no problem. After, all that. I found out you don’t need the battery for just the razor part. That’s just for the bush wacker of whatever that thing at the end is for. Now, they tell you. Stupid razors in boxes!

You will never see my face on the tourism brochures for Colorado.

It’s funny that I am one of the most uncoordinated people out there. And I live in Colorado. Which is pretty much an outdoors person’s “Disneyland”. There’s hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. But the tourism board will never be using my face to promote those activities. I should be on the poster that shows the ‘city girl “safely at home. Don’t get me wrong I use to love camping. But the older I get ;the idea of laying on rocks and sleeping in the cold, “roughing” it doesn’t sound as much fun anymore. So, I end up packing up the comforts of home to “survive”in the wilderness. Picture the Beverly Hillbillies. And that’s what we look like rolling into the state park. You know the real nature enthusiasts are rolling their eyes at us and thinking “city slickers”!

And don’t get me started on the bathroom situation. As previously stated I have no coordination skills. So, trying to pop a squat in the woods does not go in my favor. Basically while trying not to fall over with my pants around my ankle, holding on to a flashlight in one hand, and the toilet paper in the other. I end up pissing all over myself. And let’s not forget the whole “we’re out in the wilderness” thing.  And I’m not talking about stray dogs and cats.  I’m talking about bears. I already know I’m totally screwed if I run into one.  Face it, I can’t play dead. That would require me being quiet and still for more than a minute. Like that is going to happen.!And it doesn’t matter how many times you are told not to run. If I see a bear my fat ass is running. That would just be my first natural reaction. And seeing that I wasn’t a track star in my day and don’t have the ability to run under pressure. I would probably only get a foot before I tripped over my shoelaces and fell.  I would have better chances of wrapping myself in bacon and hoping I found the only vegetarian bear in the world.

*photo credit to the Great Outdoors

Another big thing here is skiing. Which I thought since I lived here that skiing would come naturally to me. Ya, that didn’t quite work out in my favor either. I went one time as a teenager with my youth group. Those of us who had never skied before got set up with a free lesson. I’m pretty sure my instructor retired after that day. In my defense. It wasn’t really my fault. First, I’m afraid of heights. I realize skiing entailed going down a hill. I just never put a whole lot of thought how you got to the top of that hill. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had to ride on the good old ski lift. I would have pissed my pants. But didn’t think I could pull off the ” I just spilled water “when the snow turned yellow. But my fear of heights would be the least of my problems. Because eventually you have to get off that death contraption. That part was amazingly not bad. But who’s bright idea was it to put a little ramp thingmajigger under it? You should warn uncoordinated people that lovely thing is waiting for them. Because one minute I’m thinking I was ready for the Olympics because I got off the lift without falling. And then the next minute I’m stuck in the snow with my skies up. I didn’t remember signing a waiver to be the side entertainment.

Sadly, the embarrassment didn’t end there. But to make a long story short I plowed into the ski instructor when I couldn’t remember how to stop. Telling me to point my skis towards the mountain doesn’t really help when you are surrounded by them. Basically, the lady decided it would be safer if I waited in the lodge. No tears from me. I hate the cold anyways.

By now you are thinking how sad. This woman belongs in the concrete jungle of New York City if she isn’t going to take advantage of the many outdoor activities Colorado provides. And trust me. I was feeling like a defect too. Until earlier this week I discovered something I could do well in Colorado. It’s called winter driving. Been doing it for years. But Tuesday morning was the first time I tried driving on the interstate in winter conditions and driving blind. It’s not something I would recommend doing. And I hope to not have to do ever do that again. But if you are an adrenaline junkie this is the way to go. I’m being sarcastic people. Please don’t really try this!

Ideally Going 75 mph in the passing lane of the interstate is not the time you want to find out you ran out of windshield wiper fluid. Probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if it hadn’t been snowing and my jeep was getting hit with slush off the roads. And in my great wisdom I kept turning the wipers on. Thinking it was going to miraculously help. Hey, I got dirty slush all over my window. I can’t see. And I’m out of windshield wiper fluid. So, I’ll just put the wipers on real fast and see if that helps. Yes, I know you are wondering how I didn’t test out at genius I.Q. levels. The reality of this situation was the wipers just smeared my window worse.Basically my windshield looked like a baby took his shitty diaper and smeared it all over it. I had one tiny spot that if I lowered myself like a hunch back 90 year old I could make out the car in front of me.

*Yes this is a photo of my actual windshield that day. No I didn’t take the photo while driving. And yes I took this photo. Because when ever I tell my husband I almost died he always thinks I’m exaggerating.

Sadly,life wasn’t content with me looking ridiculous when I drove. No, it decided to throw one more challenge in the mix! Life was like, “Shut your whining! You think you can’t see now. Wait till you take the curve where the sun blinds you. That will give you something to cry about!” I was never really a fan of the songs, “blinded by the light” or “I saw the sun”. And I would be damn if those would be the last 2 jingles going through my pea size mind before I died.! That’s when I decided to take matters in my own hands. Like literally! I rolled my window down and tried to wipe my windshield. I assumed since they do it in the movies it had to work. Obviously those scenes are filmed with stuntmen with long legs and arms. Because I was unable to keep my foot on the gas, one hand on the steering wheel, and get the other hand to reach the front of my windshield. Such a shame too.!Because not knowing if I was in my lane or about to hit the median was really not my idea of fun. And hearing a car honk didn’t help either. I didn’t know if they were honking because I crossed over into their lane or because I was  about to kiss concrete. They could have at least gave me a little hint. The suspense was killing me!

Miraculously through all this I didn’t shit myself and match my windshield. But I won’t lie. There were tears and chanting that sounded like this, “I can’t see. Oh my god I can’t see! I’m. Going to die! I’m going to die! OMG I’m going to fucking die” I’m thinking you get the picture. But you know what doesn’t help with a muddy windshield and a blinding sun? Tears! Tears don’t help improve your vision either. But I figured I was already fucked. So, what did a matter if I had bleary eyes on top of it. In all honesty I have no ides how I made it off the interstate in one piece. But I did. And besides one slight break down when the clerk tried to tell me they didn’t have windshield wiper fluid. I survived this ordeal. But I don’t think getting chased by a bear or skiing down a hill with no poles could have jump started my heart as much as driving without windshield wiper fluid on a snowy/slushy day. If anyone is on the Olympic Committee is reading this. I hope you are taking notes on this new extreme winter sport!

And now, I feel like I belong here. I might go glam-camping. Sound like I’m in respiratory distress when I hike. Spend more time tangling my line than I do fishing. And can’t ski worth a damn. But I can drive in some shitty(literally) conditions. That got to count for something. At least I feel I earned a spot on the Colorado tourism brochure. I’m not greedy. Just a tiny spot on the back will do!

The imaginary money tree.

Photo credit to Kitchen fun with my 3 sons

Now, that my kids are grown. I’m grateful for glimpses into the past. Courtesy of Facebook memories. Now, I read these old posts and I laugh. This one was from 8 years ago.

Text 1 from Myles:Mom,were out of food.Are you going to the store?

Reply:son I go to the store every week.Then,I bring it home and my kids become locusts that attack my kitchen.Of course, everyone denies eating anything.But your siblings hide wrappers in their pillowcases and joors.At least,you throw your stuff in the bathroom trashcan.It doesn’t take a detective to figure out where the food went.

Text 2 from Myles:Mom when your at the store can you buy me good hair gel.This cheap crap doesn’t work.

Reply:Son,refer to text 1.Due to the money I waste buying food,expensive hair gel is not in the budget.But your 15 1/2 feel free to get a job.In the meantime,you can use spit or elmers glue since my “cheap”gel is not sufficent.

I think it was my sense of humor that helped me survive these years. The years where your kids thought money grew on trees. And that you just went outside to pick it. If only life was that simple. I remember the days of just going grocery shopping to only see empty cupboards again. Because teenagers have friends. So, it’s like you adopted the neighborhood kids too. And when you tell your kids you can’t afford to feed their friends. Then, you have to die from embarrassment when they take your words to heart. I remember once seeing a mom drop off McDonald’s to her son. I asked my son why? We had enough dinner for his friend too. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “But mom you said we couldn’t afford to feed my friends too!” If there was ever a day I wish the ground could swallow me. It was that day. I couldn’t imagine what that other mom was thinking when her son called and asked her to drop him off dinner. I still turn 50 shades of red thinking about it.

Another thing that we use to go through was toilet paper. I was almost convinced my kids snuck out in the middle of the night to paint the neighborhood white with it. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat on the pot only to discover that I was left with an empty roll. And don’t get me started on empty toilet paper rolls and lazy people who don’t change them. That’s a whole other blog. But I never did figure out where the toilet paper always disappeared to. But at one point did consider turning our house into a “prison”. Meaning I would give them toilet paper rations for the day. And trust me. If I was raising kids now with what toilet paper cost. I would enforce that rule.

There’s so many other stories connected to how my kids thought we had unlimited cash flow. But for now I’ll just leave you with those. Because some of you are now dealing with these problems. And my heart goes out to you. I remember the frustrations, the guilt of not not being able to buy them everything, and actually the envy of wishing you did have that kind of money. But none of that matters. Because a mothers love is free but worth more than anything you can buy them.

Sometimes a stranger’s smile or sweet words can break the negative shackles on your mind.

“She is a soldier in the war against herself” author unknown

“There are some days where I can’t focus on the book I’m reading. Or I keep changing the radio station. Because nothing sounds good. I flip aimlessly through channels. Nothing can keep my mind focused. Because I know a storm is brewing. As surely as when your bones feel the cold temperatures creeping in. My mind knows when its about to be hijacked. Where I will once again have to fight to have control of it. These are the days that I hate the most. The days where I loose another piece of myself. Someday there will be nothing left of me. But a husk of a person I once was.”

author: Me

The biggest misconception about me is that I’m just the most social and funniest person around. That I would be a blast to hang out with. The truth is I battle to share that smile or make you laugh. That depression is always lurking in the shadows. Waiting for me to let my defense down. You see depression feels like an extension of me. It’s something that has shadowed me for decades. The funny thing there is no “face” to my demon. And it’s not something most people can understand or relate to unless they have experienced it themselves. There are a lot of misconceptions to it. But today is not the day I try to pick those apart for you. Or try to make you understand what I struggle with. Today, I want to show you how we all have the capability of impacting someone’s life with just a smile or with kind words.Today, I want to share something that happened a little over a month ago. 

Before I share that day. Let me share a little fact with you. When I’m out and about I always try to smile at people I pass. It doesn’t matter if I know them or not. And it doesn’t matter if on the inside I don’t feel  like doing it. I feel it’s important to do. Because there might be someone out there hurting worse than you. And that smile might make their day. Some people smile back in return. Some squint at me like they are trying to picture where they know me(surprise you don’t) and other’s look at me like I’m crazy! But that doesn’t deter me. And I never really thought about how a stranger’s smile could really impact a person. I mean in my head I wanted to think it helped. But it wasn’t until I was the recipient of those smiles and a compliment that I understood the power behind it.

Last month I was kind of in the funk. Depression was circling around me like a vulture. Those days are the most exhausting. So, I try my hardest to stick to routines. Like grocery shopping. Did I want to get dressed? No! Did I want to be around people? That would be a No too! But if I knew if I didn’t I would be allowing the demon in. So, I went to the store. But I couldn’t even offer up smiles to anyone. Because my mind was still in a dark place. I was questioning my existence. If I even mattered. And as these dark thoughts ran rapid in my mind. I was lost in the “fog” until I turned the corner and a stranger smiled at me. They did something that I always do. Something that I hoped mattered but wasn’t sure if it did. And you know what I got a few more smiles my way. And a lady complimented me on my necklace. And that might not mean much to you. But on that day it meant the world to me. Because it validated that I was seen. At a time when I thought it didn’t matter if I existed or faded away with the setting sun. Someone took the time to see me! Their smile Acknowledged my existence! And to some of you. This might seem like the most idiotic thing that you ever heard. But to a person who is struggling with depression. A smile is like the sun. It can chase the dark clouds away. It might not end the war. But it can help win the battle for that day.

Never underestimate the power your smile or kind words hold. They are free to give but the reward is much greater than you will ever know. And to those strangers who probably went on with their days. Thinking nothing of what they did. I want to thank you. Thank you for giving me a gift that day.  The gift to realize I do matter!

And for those of you out there who struggle day to day with depression. I want you to know you are not alone. Your story is not over. That is what the semi-colon represents. “It is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” This is your story. Make it whatever you want. But at the end make it about a person who was brave and strong. A person who fought daily with an unseen force. Some days they lost and some days they won. But no matter what they never gave up!