Attention Deficit Housecleaning Disorder

My house looks like someone picked it up and shook it. Clothes are tumbling out of closets. Floors are cluttered with picture albums, knick-knacks and Ziploc bags of colored pencils that I am not strong enough to part with until I have them sorted.

I am afraid I will require an intervention.

Where are those reality shows when you need them? Someone needs to bring the blue tarps to make piles on the ground to sort things to keep, toss or donate. I need an organizing guru to hold my hand and tell me it’s okay to cut those colored pencils loose.

I have just a few days to whip my house into shape before the first potential buyer walks through the door. That’s not much time for me to sort through the past fifteen years of memories, not to mention jewelry and shoes.

I’m trying to be strong. While humming “Let It Go” I sort and tell myself that I don’t need the leftover napkins from my great grandmother’s 100th birthday party. (Although I hear my grandmother saying “they are still good napkins”)

I have held on to a recipe written in Spanish for edible play dough for about 20 years and I have no idea why. The problem is the little devil on my shoulder says, “Well, if you’ve kept it this long it must mean something and if you throw it out and then remember why you kept it you will be traumatized.” Damn that little devil!

My only saving grace in the nightmare was calling in my friend Christy.

If you play music, feed her Starburst jellybeans and offer her wine she will help you de-clutter like no other and she is tough.

Last night we were cleaning out my kitchen cabinets and I attempted to open a drawer. She smacked my hand and said, “Don’t get distracted! No drawers until we are done with cabinets.” It was the tough love I needed.

Without Christy this is how my night would have gone. I would open the kitchen drawer and see that it needed organizing.

While organizing that drawer I would find something that belonged upstairs. On the way to return it I would see the empty boxes at the bottom of the stairs that needed to go out to the recycling.

When I got to the recycling bin I would notice that there were several empty Diet Coke (a.k.a. my super fuel) cartons that need to be put in the recycling as well. This would prompt my menopausal brain to remember that I have new cases of diet coke in my car.( Please don’t send me nasty notes about how bad diet coke is for me. I’m letting go of my past and I can’t give up everything all at once.)

At this point my dog would have run over to the neighbor’s house and would be taunting their dog through their patio door. I would have to chase her down and bring her back. The fact that I can’t control a 15 pound dog would weigh heavily on my mind during the short walk home.

I would head to the car and find all the stuff I cleaned out of my desk at work and decide to bring them in and take them to my office.

On my desk there would be something that needed prompt attention so I would sit down and handle that while I decide just to peek at Facebook. From Facebook I would head into the never-ending fresh hell of Pinterest. For an hour or so I would search for tips on how to stage your home to sell which would lead me to believe my house needed more Euro pillows.

A few short minutes and 120.00 later I would be clicking to complete my order on the Pottery Barn website when I notice the time.

I make it back to the kitchen just in time to decide it’s too late to tackle this project and make myself a diet coke and go to bed.

Aren’t you exhausted just reading that? I can’t be left alone with any type of organizational task to accomplish. I must be managed and served heaping doses of tough love.  You have to pry the colored pencils out of my hands and tell me they are going to needy children.

One day soon I see myself standing up in a meeting saying,” Hello, my name is Kim and I have Attention Deficit House Cleaning Disorder and I need supervision.” I only hope they serve donuts and icy cold Diet Coke and they let me pick Christy as my sponsor.

 

 

 

 

 

Hard To Say Goodbye To Trilogy

I don’t know how to say good-bye, I really don’t. My husband and I are relocating to Missouri and of the many things I will miss my Trilogy home is very near the top.

You see I have a job that allows me to work in the home of my residents and I consider it a privilege.  Each morning I wake up, drive to a beautiful campus and  serve some of the best people on the planet.  I get to do this because Trilogy Healthcare has created a company where the residents come first. Period.

I have been in healthcare for 25 years.  The first 23 were spent as a physical therapist assistant specializing in geriatrics.  About six years ago I became so discouraged that I considered leaving healthcare and finding a new profession.  The facility  I was working in was not giving my patients the care they deserved and I left each day worried about how they would fare until I returned.  It got to the point that no matter how much I tried to make up for it I just couldn’t compensate for their lack of quality care.  Then I found Trilogy. [Continue Reading]

Baby Teeth and Moving Boxes

moving-boxesI have got to stop marrying successful men.  Want to know why? Because successful men get promoted and you find yourself cleaning out drawers and closets that you were sure you could leave for your kids to deal with after they pilfered through your good jewelry.

During my first marriage I moved seven times in 21 years.  At one point I considered just cutting holes in the moving boxes and making them into furniture to I could be ready for the next move. It would be bedroom dresser brought to you by Bekin Moving Company.

[Continue Reading]

Right Time, Right Place, Rite Aid

imodiumEvery once in a while you have a moment that freezes in time and you know you will remember it forever.  I had one of those on Saturday night at a Rite Aid pharmacy in Flint.

The evening began with me in a wonderful restaurant with the love of my life having a romantic dinner to celebrate his birthday. No kids, no pizza or chicken nuggets. There was just the two of us all alone with real silverware and candlelight.

We ordered drinks and I ordered Salmon Oscar.  It was crab cakes, topped with salmon, lobster and a rich creamy sauce.  It melted in my mouth and I washed it down with a sweet Riesling wine.  It was a wonderful romantic much needed dinner.

We topped off the evening with a rich luscious piece of turtle cheesecake.

On our way to see the musical Shrek I began to feel a rumbling in my stomach that told me my system wasn’t used to such fine dining.

McDonald’s hamburgers in a waxy wrapper are apparently no problem but serve me gourmet food on good china and it’s full system rejection. [Continue Reading]

YETI Addicted

yetiMy newest and most favorite addiction has to be my Yeti Rambler. When my  husband first purchased his I thought it was just another gadget for him to take golfing. He explained to me that it keeps liquid “as cold as scientifically possible”. (insert eyer roll here).

When he opened his cup after it had been sitting in a hot car for six hours I was impressed.  It was full of ice!

After the first night I was hooked! When I woke up there was ice and cold diet coke waiting on my nightstand. Now I’m like a baby with a pacifier. I can’t go anywhere without my Yeti.  As a Southern girl of course I had mine monogrammed.

Add a Yeti to your collection of must haves! I promise you won’t regret it.

Wine, Meds and Beds: Three Step Program

Today I thought about sticking a fork in my eye for pain relief.

I assumed if I maimed myself my boss would forced send me home from work. I really needed to be home under the covers with my emergency Xanax under my tongue. Worst case scenario they would place me on a three day psych hold and I would get three whole days of “meds and beds” as I like to call it.

I was not being selfish. My surrender was purely for the sake of all the other people in my path. The only answer was to  retreat to 1600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and some pharmaceutical intervention. No deep breathing was going to calm this storm.

What causes these days to go so crazy? Is it hormonal? Is it karma? Is it the cycle of the moon? What ever it is I was white knuckling it from the time the alarm went off.  It’s a little unnerving to feel rage before you even open your eyes.

From the moment I was conscious I was perturbed. Have you ever had that feeling?

Every time someone smacks gum you dream of smothering them with a pillow.  Every inconvenience is amplified and every setback no matter how minor makes you feel like the world is crashing down around you. You are on a crazy spiral toward what you hope won’t end with your mug shot on CNN and all you can do is hold on until it comes to a screeching halt.

When these days happen I have my very own three-step program.   First step is my best friend Tara.  I call and explain to her how the world has gone mad and she listens.  Her silence while I rant and periodic validation eases my stress level. When I have reached the lower level of hysteria she explains to me how the whole world is crazy except for us.  I knew there was a reason I loved her. If you find someone that validates your crazy, hold on to them! [Continue Reading]

Regret And The Empty Nest

I’ve got a secret to tell you. You know what the empty nest really is? It’s a big old never-ending Monday morning quarterback session and it sucks

When my youngest left for college I wasn’t one of those weepy moms hanging out at the dorm dreading the goodbye. First of all it was hotter than the hinges of hell and anger is my only real emotion available in sweltering heat. There was a tense hug goodbye mostly due to the fact we both were stinky sweaty and he wasn’t appreciating my design on a dime lecture. By the end of the day I was on my way home to air conditioning and freedom.

How I would fill my time was not a worry I entertained. Hell, I had a list titled Freedom Sweet Freedom that was a mile long. I wasn’t short on plans for the future and the top three were writing, sex with the door open and leaving the liquor cabinet unlocked.

I envisioned myself in a very compromising position wearing nothing but pearls and balancing a martini.

But things didn’t quite work out as I had so eagerly anticipated.

It turns out without someone to parent I was stuck in a playback reel of my worst parenting moments. I ended up crying over scrapbooks while clutching my pearls and drinking straight from the bottle.

Would Michael go into the world scarred because I didn’t make him a hot breakfast every morning? I have Lisa Grodman to thank for that guilt. Damn breakfast cooking mother!

Did I talk to them enough about money and finances or would they end up homeless and bankrupt because I let them slide on that stupid summer math homework?

Would my children dread coming home for break and try to slip home with a cool kids family? Would they dread coming home because I was too nosey? Those are their words not mine; I like to think of myself as actively interested in the lives of my children.

Would they recall all those times that I hid in the van to have a moment’s peace? I vaguely remember threatening to sell our house and get a one room apartment if they didn’t get out from under my feet. I wish I had been more patient and realized one day they would be gone and I would be home alone drowning in vodka and nostalgia.

It just doesn’t seem fair that I have to spend my first days of quiet in 23 years filled with self doubt.

So yes, my nest is empty but my heart is full of regret.

I wish I had been more patient and tolerant.

I wish I had colored more and worried about my house less. I wish I had built more forts and played more Barbies.

I wish we had taken more adventures and road trips where the destination was unknown. I have Angela Youngblood to thank for that guilt. Damn spontaneous road tripping mother!

I wish I had taken time to talk to them, really talk to them more often about things that mattered and not just about the importance of a clean room. From the looks of their dorm rooms that time was clearly wasted.

I wish I had snuggled more and hugged them really hard every chance I got. The kind of hug where they knew I never wanted to let go.

But I did have to let go and there’s no getting back that time. My only redemption will be with the grandchildren I hope to have someday.

So I guess with all this regret and wishing swirling around in my brain it’s a good thing the liquor cabinet is all ready unlocked.

P.S. It’s really hard to relax and have great sex with the door open with all this time consuming regret. Go hug your kids!

 

 

 

 

Love Gorjana

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Birthday divas

Back row:Teresa, Daphne,Renee,Jan,Dana,Monica,Linda

Front row: Me, Lisa and Lisa

 

 

 

 

Loving my new Gorjana bracelet that I received from my fellow Divas for my 51st birthday.  Check them out! Layer the bracelets or wear them alone and you’ll be fabulous! Be sure to wear them on birthday braceletthe same arm as this beautiful purse.

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s My Mother

mother at chinese

If it’s not one thing, it’s my mother.

I think every daughter will agree, including my own. There’s just something about the mother daughter relationship that is filled with raw honesty, undying love and just a smidge of judgment.

From standing up straight to marriage advice mothers have all the answers. Along with their undying devotion comes their assumption that they know best when it comes to everything from your parenting skills to your love life. They are our staunchest critics as well as our biggest fans.

The bond between mother and daughter cannot be broken, but it can be tested. Oh boy, can it be tested.

My mother has the ability to make me want to hug her neck one minute and choke her out the next. She has perfected the art of the compliment/criticism one two punch. For example, she can’t believe as hard as I work that I’m not skinnier.

Try as I may to be a good daughter some days I’m just not up to par.

I am fifty years old and my whites have never been white enough, my dog is too fat and my kids are too skinny. One day my children are spoiled, the next day my children don’t get enough attention. If I lose weight I look haggard and she wants to know if I’m doing drugs but if I gain weight it’s because I don’t prepare enough home cooked meals.

As hard as I work at being the best daughter I can be I know I’m just one late birthday card away from being the black sheep of the family.

I call my mother every day. [Continue Reading]

Vote Like You Are A Fourth Grader

electionYou never forget when someone in your family makes their first run for public office.  You envision your future in the White House and start coming up with cool Secret Service code names.

I know this because when my daughter Ashley was in fourth grade she entered the world of politics. With much thought and discussion as a family she had decided to run against Christian for class student council representative.  It was a very big deal in our household.

She spent all week writing her speech and practicing it in front of her bathroom mirror.  I spent all week worrying about which outfit she should wear and whether or not we should cut her bangs.

We strategized around the dinner table every evening about how she could really help the students she would represent at Grantline Elementary. The issues of longer recess times and less homework seemed to be hot topics that any representative would need to address if he or she were to be a successful leader.

Between making campaign promises and deciding whether or not to cut her bangs, you could say we were immersed in the grade school political arena.

On Election Day I waited patiently in the car line until she jumped in.  I couldn’t tell by the look on her face if she had won or lost so I tried to bring the subject up gently. [Continue Reading]