Earning Love

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

Having additional time off and not staying crazy-busy has sent me into a bit of a tailspin.

I had no idea how much I crave busyness. During the school year, I rarely have down-time. During the summer, even with my part-time gigs, I underestimated just how much down-time I would have. I seem to have forgotten the negative effect down-time can have on me. Suddenly, I have time to think. And when I have time to think I have time to obsess. And when I have time to obsess, I have time to be anxious about everything. And when I have time to be anxious about everything, I have time for panic attacks.

Before going to bed, while in the shower, while prepping for tutoring, while babysitting, while in the doctor’s office, while waking up in the middle of the night, while preparing for the day… panic, panic, panic.

It didn’t actually occur to me that I was having panic attacks until I took the time to look it up. All I could think was, “What the heck is wrong with you?! Chill, woman. You’re being ridiculous.” But all the chastising in the world couldn’t bring me down from the ledge I was about to hurl myself over. It all came to a head while in the shower one afternoon, freaking out about the numbness in my leg, convinced I had a life threatening disease that was going to kill me right then and there, when I pulled the towel off the rack, tied it around my head and…

A spider, the size of Cincinnati, crawled out of the towel and into my hair. The result? There is no gif adequate enough to properly convey the madness that followed. The screaming, the throwing, the hyperventilating… Winston (who doesn’t get up for anything) actually came to check on me. That’s how bad it was. When I realized I had trashed my apartment and emotionally fallen apart over a spider? I knew it was time to see the doctor.

So, of course, the doctor prescribed me something. But, of course, since it wasn’t a magic pill, it took a few days to kick in. (Actually, I may still be waiting for it to completely kick in…) In the meantime, I surrounded myself with Bible verses and prayer and sleep. (Well, the best sleep I could get when I wasn’t obsessing, worrying, and panicking.)

One night, while in the throes of yet another panic attack that had awoken me at 3:00 in the morning, Winston jumped up on the bed to offer his company… and I immediately launched into what I like to call my, “Have-To” mode.

I have-to cuddle him. I have-to let him know he’s appreciated. I have-to show him he is loved. I have-to give him some attention. I have-to be a better pet parent. I have-to brush him more, feed him less, play with him more, hold him more, leave him home alone less, etc, etc, etc. I have-to do this, that, and the other thing for him, right here, right now, otherwise, it’s all going to fall apart.

Okay, clearly the have-tos play a big part in my anxiety… But it was in the midst of me tearing myself down over how much I wasn’t doing and how much more I could be doing that the following thought crossed my mind…

Maybe Winston just wanted to give me some affection. Maybe he wanted to keep me company. Maybe he wanted to check on me. Why couldn’t I  just let him love me? Why couldn’t I just let myself be loved… period??

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a thought. Maybe it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit. But it was this thought and/or prompting that made me realize… If I can’t even let my cat show me love, how can I ever expect the Lord to get His foot in the door long enough to show me love? I’m always so worried about what I’m doing earn that love – any love – all love – love from family, love from friends, love from coworkers, love from Jack, love from God, even love from my pet. What it boils down to is the fact that I seldom am able to receive love because I’m always convinced that I haven’t earned it. I haven’t done enough, I’ve done too much, I’ve done it too often, I’ve done it too seldom, I’ve done it too late, I’ve done it too early, I did it too eagerly, I did it impersonally, I did this wrong, I did that wrong, I didn’t do the other thing well enough… And until I can fix it all, and tie up the loose ends, and prove I’m worthy of love, I shrug it off, push it away, and ignore it altogether because… anything that unconditional… that free…. can’t be meant for me. I’m not good enough for it.

Why can’t I just receive it? Who said I had to earn it? What makes me think I’d ever be able to earn any of it? EVER?! That’s what’s so amazing about our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love… it’s just always there for the taking… but we’re not taking it… because we’re too busy trying to earn it.

At least I am. And it’s exhausting… and probably an excellent source of all that anxiety.

So, as I settled back under my covers with Winston nestled under my chin and drifted off to sleep, I realized, I can barely do enough to earn my cat’s love, thank God I don’t have to earn His. And with that, I let Him love me, as I settled in for the best morning’s sleep I have gotten in a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Annie and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Week

So, to summarize my week….

On Monday, while in the midst of planning for a coworker’s baby shower and doing laundry and grading papers, Sir Winston started dragging his butt across the floor. Just like he had been doing in February. Just like he had done in December. DANG YOU, ANAL GLANDS!

On Tuesday, I had a complete meltdown because of all the things I have yet to do as a teacher this year… and there is no possible way to get it done by NEXT THURSDAY. And despite my control freak tendencies, I was forced to ask for help and delegate responsibilities for both the field trip and baby shower that I had PROPOSED AND PLANNED. (It nearly killed me. I’m not gonna lie…)

On Wednesday, the noises my car was making got so bad I realized I better bring it in before the wheels fell off. And then I spent the evening curled up in the fetal position waiting for the mysterious waves of nausea and light headedness to pass

On Thursday, I brought a bus-load of hooligans to meet some sisters and tour a cathedral amidst waves of nausea and light headedness. Let’s just say it could have gone better.

On Friday, I was forced to cancel the trip to the cabin, the car appointment AND the hair appointment in order to figure out what was up with Winston’s Butt Scootin’ Boogying… and now I am forced to stay home, hawkishly watch his every move, ensure he’s still eating and drinking, and force feed him medicine twice a day while he froths at the mouth. Oh, AND my principal decided yesterday was a good day to pop in for a surprise observation… while I had NOTHING to teach. (I seriously can’t make this stuff up.)

Meanwhile, the man came in with a carpet cleaner to get the remnants of all the CAT DIARRHEA out of my carpet, while I scrubbed everything by hand… and YET, after ALL that, I awake this morning to the scent of cat urine. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, CAT?!

And to top it all off, my shower drain is completely clogged because of all the baths I’ve had to give smelly Sir Winston, the man thinks I’m a complete fruit cake because I’ve been crying about EVERYTHING, my neighbor keeps bothering me and asking me for help despite the fact that I have NOTHING else to give at this point of the week, and the man gets to spend the weekend with the kiddos up at the cabin WITH the boat AND the dock in, while I sit half-heartedly watching TV and staring at Sir Winston to make sure he doesn’t DIE.

Oh, and the cops were called to my apartment building yesterday.

IT HAS BEEN AMAZING.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, ya’ll.

Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…” – Week 33

So, last week I skipped my regularly scheduled post because I was busy whining and wallowing in self-pity. But now that I’m back to being awesome, here’s what made me go, “Hmm…” these past two weeks.

  • Last week I saw a squirrel walking across the street. A squirrel. Walking. It may as well have been Jesus walking on water because that’s how surreal this whole experience was. Have you ever seen a squirrel walk? It’s pretty much the most bizarre thing you will ever witness. Don’t believe me? Next time you see a squirrel, watch how it moves. It’s either running, or hopping, or scampering. It is never, ever, EVER walking. As in putting one foot in front of the other, taking it’s time and just strolling along. I can’t even describe to you how disturbing the whole event was. Why? BECAUSE SQUIRRELS DON’T WALK, IDIOTS.

Duh.

Oh… Dear GAWD.

YAY!

  • This popped up in my Facebook news feed this week:

Why yes, as a matter of fact they are singing about potato salad… And just when you think it couldn’t get any weirder… it totally does.

  • And then there was this…

Which leaves me with so many questions right around the 38 second mark. Because… why? And… how? And… really?

Alrighty, kiddos. I’m pretty sure that’s all I have for this week’s installment. Tune in next week for… well, I don’t know what, but I will. So, tune in and find out. Geeze, is that too much to ask?

Over n’ out, good buddies.

Iced Vanilla Lattes and Blueberry Mini Scones

You guys…

Can we just pause a moment and talk about the phenomenal Iced Vanilla Latte and Blueberry Mini Scone I just finished?

Because… those two things pretty much made my Saturday. (Thus, the reason I capitalized their names.) Pretty much the only thing better might be an Iced Mocha and White Chocolate Raspberry Mini Scone.

I’ve been on an “Iced Coffee-Type Drink Thingy and Scone” kick for quite some time. Funny, because I always thought I hated scones, and then one day that’s all they had left in the case at the coffee shop and I hadn’t had breakfast so I figured, “What the heck…” And then I had one and my life pretty much changed forever.

True story.

But now both those phenomenal food items are gone… because I ate them… and now my life is just a little bit sadder and the day a little bit grayer.

images

On the upside, I have another Jon Verdon book to keep me company on this rainy day and a copy of “On the Beach” waiting to be picked up at the library. So, I shan’t be sad for too long. (Has anyone read “On the Beach”? By Nevil Shute? I read it in high school. It’s phenomenal. You should totally read it. Because I said so. What, like you need another reason? Puh-lease.)

In other news, my interview yesterday went amazingly well. I pretty much fell in love with the school and the people I met there. But I’m trying not to get my hopes up. So, every time I start to fantasize about how much I would love to work there, I remind myself that even if they DO want me, the pay might be so minimal that I would have to save up for all those Iced Vanilla Lattes and Blueberry Mini Scones I love so much. And then I come crashing back down to reality. Oddly enough, it seems to be working…

In other-other news, Winston has claimed my desk chair as his “New Favorite Sleeping Spot”. Which means, the minute I vacate the chair, he has taken my place. It would be cute if he didn’t leave his fur all over everything all the time… so much fur that I could easily make sweaters for at least 79% of the world’s population. (You think I’m kidding, but I’m totally not…) And then the second I sit back down my butt gets coated with all this cat fur, and then I go to the coffee shop and can’t figure out why everyone is suddenly staring at my furry butt. *sigh* Pet ownership is hard, you guys…

My point? Ha! That’s a good one… you guys crack me up.

Later, gators.

Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…” – Week 32

I’m not even going to write an introduction. That’s how bad-ass I’m being today.

  • I still have heard nothing about the job. NOTHING. But, that’s probably due to the small-town political debacle the school district currently finds itself in. According to the newspaper, there have been some “very tense” school board meetings. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say, I’m sure the hiring of a few new teachers has fallen a bit on their “To Do” List. So, the waiting game is back in full-swing.
  • Jim Gaffigan is coming out with a new show called “The Jim Gaffigan Show”… starting July 15th… on TV Land. To say I’m excited is an understatement. “HOT POCKETS!”
Who doesn't love a good Logan?

Who doesn’t love a good Logan?

Go Team Logan! Woo-hoo! (Okay, I may have a little too much invested in this show. I may also need a life. This is still up for debate.)

  • This popped up on Pinterest the other day:

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This is probably the only reason I miss Facebook.

  • I may be dangerously close to throwing my laptop and/or internet connection out the window, because if I have one more window pop up asking me if I would like to stop or debug an unresponsive script, I will lose it. I do not understand what it means. Do I have a virus? Do I need to update something? Is my laptop past its prime? WHAT THE HECK IS AN UNRESPONSIVE SCRIPT?!
  • Someone needs to teach Winston that if he is to lie on my bed, he is not allowed to lick and/or smell his nether regions while lying on said bed. The obvious choice would be for me to inform him of that, but right now he’s busy sleeping, and it just seems like an inopportune time and I am lazy. Also, I really need to wash my bed linens…

Okay, that’s all I have this week, peeps. Another pointless post? OF COURSE! Did you enjoy it nonetheless? OBVIOUSLY. (This is not open for discussion. Admit you loved it, and let’s move on.)

Have a fabulous week, kiddos. Over n’ out, good buddies.

Things That Made Me Go “Hmm…” – Week 30

Okay, kids. Let’s try this again. If you happened to read my earlier post (which you didn’t) you’ll know I was too busy wallowing in self-pity and “Mer”-dom to actually write anything of substance. But after a little bit of wallowing and a whole lot of coffee, I’m much better now.

Let’s do this.

Here’s the list of Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…”:

Plus, who doesn’t look good in a sailor uniform? No one. That’s who.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

  • My sister recently introduced me to this brilliant website called “GoNoodle”. It offers a ton of brain break videos for those days when the kiddos can’t seem to focus and sit still. I’m also assuming these videos would be useful for staff meetings, church, airport layovers, or while you wait for your woman to finally be done getting ready. I mean… I’m just thinking outside the box here, but the videos seem like fun for fully grown adults too so, why the heck not?

My sentiments exactly.

  • And lastly, the most terrifying animal on the face of the earth. (No wonder so many people hate cats… still, you gotta wonder what made him that way…)

Alrighty, kids. That’s all I have this week. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of… well… just wait… you’ll see.

Gif Sources: agentmlovestacos.com, www.reddit.com