All the Changes, All the Time


Once upon a time, I thought there was a simple solution to everything. Just follow the rules (ha!) and everything will work out a-ok. I have since learned that whether you follow the rules or not, life is going to do what it wants with you. You just have to roll with the punches and be ready for the next one. Deflect, absorb, rebound. The rebounding part is the key.

I am working on that right now. Two weeks ago, I was told I’d b e returning back to my former department, due to a variety of reasons that they say have nothing to do with me or my work. Uh huh. Since I need to keep my job, I am going to do as they say. I will be in a new building, and covering another school most likely. My plan is to show up, be professional, and study my ass off so I can get certifications and get the fuck out of here.

Finish the math class that is going to haunt me until the day I die if I don’t. I need to get the certs fairly quick. Security plus shouldn’t be too difficult. I bought the Kindle book for the Sy-401 version, and the one that has flashcards built into Kindle as well to review. I need to record myself reading it; which is going to require me setting time aside to do so. At least for the ports/key parts, so I can play it over and over again and memorize it. I do much better memory wise when I can hear something.

My feelings are hurt by being moved; I did not want to return to the headquarters here because it is indeed a toxic environment. My plan this time is to not let them get to me; if anyone says or does anything out of line I will be reporting them to HR. I informed both the superintendent, my new project manager, and the director of HR of my intentions. I am clean-slating this but you know what? That doesn’t mean I am your fucking doormat, so don’t even try.

So between studying for the Sec+ and the Math class, blah, and paying the rest of CSM their money, I am busy and broke. The only upside is since we aren’t carpooling anymore, I will be going home, letting out the dogs, then heading back out to the gym to workout. Then I will come home and eat dinner. I am going to try to shift over to an earlier schedule. I was up by 530 today. Didn’t get here till 630, but I told them flat out, I cannot be here at 6. I can be here at 630, and I AM totally cool with using 30min of leave this week every single fucking day so I don’t have to be here until 630, so take your high and mighty bitch attitude and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. Really all I did was smile and say I would put in the leave, no problem.

Supposedly when I get to the one site, I get an office there, but we will see..I have zero faith in anything I am told. Action, not words. Action, action, action. People just talk all the damn time and they never change. It drives me crazy. I have been implementing changes for 19months. That’s a really long time. I decided in Dec 2013 to embark on a fitness journey; it is working. Slowly over time. Really slowly, some months, and I had  a bad two months this year when I didn’t workout and I ate all my sad feels and that sortof sucked..but I am back on track now. Progress collage below. It goes: top two-12/2013 when I started out. Then bottom left, 11/2014. Bottom middle: 1/2015. Top right: 3/2015. Bottom right: today.



Get degree #1. Get certs. Get degree #2. Get new job. Keep working out and become crazy strong and buff. Don’t care so much about size as I do about jiggle. Speaking of which, go get your feet measured. I did, and it was way off from where I had thought! Then I went and got professionally bra fitted, and that was also off, I have been wearing an entire cup size too small. Jeezus. Not so worried about that because as I go back to working out..boobs are the first thing you lose. Seems totally unfair, but I don’t care as much about boobs. They’re fun and pretty and squishy but..I’d rather be very, very healthy.

Other changes:

-We decided based on pet and security deposits not to move

-The Boy has been evicted, is living with friends, and seems to be doing alright. After the initial blowout, we are back on good terms..he just isn’t living in our house anymore.

-Security system installed. Both because of the Boy and because of the neighborhood decline

-AC fixed in my car…omg I will be forever grateful to my Dad for that 2 week loan so I don’t have to drive around with no AC anymore. This summer has been humid, rainy, and disgustingly hot.

=No more BOE, back to being “just a tech”. Which is will free up my time to study and workout.

-Lost some of the weight I gained in May/June.

-the Girl is going to 3rd grade..holy shit

-vacation next week to the beach

Can’t think of anything else right now, but I am sure there’s more. What about you?

All the Changes, All the Time

Friday: 5 days in

We have been following the book this week–for the most part. I did some of it out of order, and the shed is on hold until a-it dries out as everything has been drenched thanks to daily torrential downpours and b-its lower than 80% humidity. Fuck this state, it’s trying too hard to be Florida.

Sunday was clothes. 12 bags. Me, Ivy, husband. I then continued on to do my own art supplies, the shelves above the washer/dryer, the linen closet we use as a supply closet, my purses, jewelry, accessories and shoes.

Monday I did board games, art supplies, and books. You know those blue IKEA bags? One of those full, plus 3 garbage bags and 2 boxes.

Tuesday: Ivy’s room. 4 bags of trash; 2 donate.

Wednesday:  I don’t think I did any purging, just organizing.

Thursday: kitchen. I have to get some boxes for the breakable stuff to go into, then its going to the shed to wait for the mass truckload that will be heading there when the weather cooperates. We have agreed to bring our toaster in to work since GF bread is absolute shite if you don’t toast it, and we don’t want to buy a toaster oven. At home we can use the actual oven. And we have a Ninja. If you don’t have one (ours was gifted to us) GET ONE. Best margarita and smoothie maker EVER…which is really all I use blenders for. :D

Today: linens, blankets, and pillows. Pillows will be more of a throw away item. Last week a twin size comforter and pillow got chucked due to them being shredded beyond repair and the pillow just smelled weird. Since I’d washed it recently I was like..fuck it.

Saturday..the yardsale is canceled so I plan on scrubbing things down. Washing curtains, scrubbing out windowsills (oh man they are GROSS), moving furniture to sweep and scrub the floors. Finishing moving stuff for Ivy’s room, my room, the dining/office area arrangement.

Sunday..NOTHING. Not a damn thing!

Monday..meh. Back to work, 4 day workweek, 6am to 4pm. BLARGH.

So’s quite liberating, ditching all this stuff!

Friday: 5 days in

“Operation Joy”

Written: Saturday while melting in the heat

Last night I read this book my sister in law recommended, “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.

I read the entire book in just a few hours, as it isn’t very long or complex. It was very thought provoking, I am at my mothers house for the day, having crashed here last night so I wouldn’t have to get up at 5 a.m. to drive over here and help her set up this yard-sale I’m currently supervising. My brother and I just got back from hanging up the signs to advertise it, and it’s on Craigslist. I have thus done my part to support this ridiculous endeavor. It’s ninety fucking degrees and I am roasting even though I am sitting in front of the fan I dragged out here. I can handle the heat, but 80% humidity

Anyway, back to the book. It has a simple premise—clear things out the right way and then you won’t relapse into a chaotic disaster, or as my husband so charmingly refers to it, a warehouse.  You start with your clothing, which I think is a good place to begin. Pile all your clothes—all of them, even socks and underwear, in a massive pile, on the floor. Her method relies on you touching each item to see if you get any “joy sparks” short, does this item make you happy?

Don’t think about the following: where it came from, how much it cost, how useful it is “supposed” to be, sentimental value. Just—does it make you really happy? No? Ditch it. Reduce, reduce, reduce. I am fairly sure I’d be down to three shirts and a handful of dresses. No shoes, because right now none of my shoes make me happy.I am looking forward to going home tonight and telling my husband about this technique so we can sort through our clothes tonight or tomorrow morning.

We will make two piles—one for him, one for me, and then sort through them on our own, stuffing things into black trash bags. I very much like the idea of less—less clutter, less clothing, less LAUNDRY. I HATE laundry. With the puppy, I’ve been doing tons of it—he pees on all sorts of stuff, not usually on purpose, but he still does it. Once I am done with my clothes I am moving on to my jewelry, and my small handbag collection.  I have already sorted my nail polish out and set aside the barely used or never used ones. Not sure what I am going to do with those polishes yet, but something. Clothing and shoes are going to those huge bins at the dump for charity clothing.

As we weed through these following items, we will package/price them to sell at the yard-sale so they are ready to go.

Monday: I will do art supplies and crafting materials.  This is a stack of our “clutter” right there. We have hobbies—miniatures painting (husband), embroidery (me), painting/drawing/coloring (all of us) and formerly sculpting (husband). I will keep my embroidery supplies—I have them condensed down to one shelf.

Tuesday: dragging stuff out of the shed, and weeding out Christmas.

Wednesday: kitchen and pantry

Thursday: Linens & picture frames

Friday: Load the car.  We may end up sleeping at his parents house that night to assist in their yard-sale Saturday—I think it’d be safe to set things up the night before there since nobody is gonna come along and steal it. Its a community sale so it might get really good traffic. Anything that doesn’t sell is immediately going to the thrift shop right around the corner from his families house.

I am planning a massive cleaning the following week. Scrubbing down the house, room by room, top to bottom. It will feel so much better. I just know it! I am really excited about getting started on it. I love weeding things out. If I am evaluating it on a “does it make me happy/do I love it/am i comfortable in it” basis a bunch of shit is about to take a hike !!

I am at my moms and I just want..boxes. To box things up. They have so many things. THINGS. Things have always been more important to my parents than experiences. Personally, in the past ten years, I have shifted more towards doing things and making things..instead of buying things to fill up an empty spot that really cannot be filled by things. My husbands parents are the same—they have more stuff based on their travels etc but theres a ton of just..STUFF.

Don’t get me wrong—I love shopping. i love going to yard sales and checking stuff out. I like hunting for things, I like finding embroidery supplies on the loose. But I don’t NEED things to be happy anymore. It’s a weird adjustment. I think for my birthday this year, and Christmas, I will ask for gift I can pay for stuff like my gym membership, my Audible subscription. Seriously Audible credits are the best thing someone could give me.

Less stuff is more space..and more space is happiness for me.

It will be interesting to see how the purge goes this week. I am really excited to get started.

“Operation Joy”

A Parenting Rant

Here’s something for you to think about. I’ve spent the past seven years of my son’s life fighting.

With him.

With the school.

With counselors.

With drug rehab.

With police.

With my husband, about my son, and how he treats us.

With my family.

He isn’t a bad kid, just a chemically imbalanced teenager. Impulsive, reckless, thoughtless, rude–but also kind, brilliant, independent, and hard working. Go figure.

It doesn’t matter how you decide to raise your kiddos. It doesn’t matter if they co-sleep, attachment parent, nurse or bottle feed, potty train easily or not at all. Your kiddo is who they are, from the beginning. Yes, you can shape them to a certain extent, and help them and be there for them, and by all means, they should know you love them and would never, ever give up on them. But sometimes you have to let go. Sometimes, you have to shove those little fuckers out of the nest and watch them fall flat on their face. Sometimes, you have to step back and let them fuck things up, so they learn.

My son lived somewhere else for a year, because he didn’t want to follow our simple rule of not bringing drugs home. That was a hard year for me, but I am glad it happened. It gave me the space to have the perspective I needed. He lives at home now, but it has been a constant struggle. His behavior isn’t what it should be, and while part of it is due to the chemical imbalance–> I know this because on his swapped medication, he’s doing far better–that is no excuse.

He isn’t graduating this year. He finally pushed the school administrators so far they gave up-which I fully support. I have been behind the administrators all the way, they have my 100% support and they know it. Some of the things my son have done are so selfish and stupid I can’t even describe them.

He wrecked his car, within 8 weeks of getting it.

He missed over 45 days of school this year. He blew up and screamed in administrators faces. He was “that kid” that is always in the hallways, the office, in trouble. Not usually for doing anything violent, other than yelling (no excuse–yelling at admin is  not allowed) and for voicing his opinions on school, education, and the government.

We taught him to think critically, independently, and to work hard. To do the right thing, because it’s the right thing. We taught him to respect people. He doesn’t always do those things.

The hard part? Realizing he is the one making these choices; nobody can make them for him or make him change until he is good and ready to do so. He will fall, over and over, and we will be there to help him get back up, but we aren’t giving him money. He isn’t going to live with us after he’s 18. He has to learn to survive on his own. Maybe that makes me a shitty parent. I don’t really give a fuck what people think of my parenting anymore, so say and think whatever you like.

The laws in this state are slanted to protect the minor. There is zero anything in place for parents who are dealing with mentally unstable, hostile teenagers. Child Services can be called for something as simple as slapping them across the face, one time, or restraining them so they cannot hurt anyone in the house when they are raging and screaming like a cliched crazy person. Drugs being found on him, our in our home, would cost my husband and myself our jobs. Our house, and probably our landlord (retired military, father in law) his job as a contractor. As a minor, nothing sticks to him. As his parents, anything he does, we are responsible for. He caused hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages to the house. We’ve paid to repair everything. He’s pissed all over his chances with school and internship opportunities.

He keeps getting lucky–lucky they didn’t expel him last year (despite me asking them to) for getting caught with pot at school. Lucky he bullshitted all his counselors into thinking he’s just a little sad. A little depressed. Pot medicates him. I played one of his screaming rampages for his psychiatrist, and she looked horrified. Nothing changed after that. Lucky because he keeps dodging all consequences, for everything.

Juvenile services? Ha. Juvenile detention is full. Unless you’re almost murdering someone I think they just ignore you. He got put on probation, was supposed to have mandatory weekly drug tests. They We never heard from the person again. That person isn’t even working at DSS anymore. Counselors? Again–no help there. No solutions for removing someone you think is harmful to themselves, their family, their sister. Just deal with it until they’re 18.

I read this blog post from a blogger I admire a great deal–Samara. About being arrested for putting her kid out of the car for being rude and leaving him there for 10 minutes, alone. You know what I thought when I read that? awesome.

I’ve threatened to leave my kid in downtown Baltimore. The only reason I didn’t was because I couldn’t physically get him out of the car. I’m strong, but he is about two inches taller and when enraged, stronger. Of course, because I was looking for them, there were no cops nearby either, or I would have flagged them down and asked them to take him away.

Sometimes, you have to show your kids you mean what you say. Ours –who is currently in a “good” period–has cursed both myself and my husband out, to our faces. He has threatened to “make things very, very bad for you” at home. He knows that the system is fucked and how to play it.

Just wait him out, everyone says. Since there is no official help, and all the manners and teaching and support and being there in the world didn’t do a fucking thing, that’s what we’re doing. I’ve done all manner of punishments–grounding, washing mouth out with soap, removal of items. This is the same kid who threw his Xbox 360 across the room because there was a timer put on it to keep him to 2-3hrs a day instead of non stop access.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, your kids do their own thing. Sometimes, when you’re busting your ass to support said kid, they turn into someone you don’t recognize. Sometimes, all it takes it one wrong friend to fuck your kid all up. Sometimes, all the intervention and education and parenting in the world still falls short. Sometimes, the kid needs to realize there are fucking consequences for your actions.

Do you know how frustrating it is, to be attempting to put consequences in place, only to be thwarted at every single turn? Do you know how painful it is to know you walked away from your entire late teens, twenties, sacrificing all kinds of shit, so your kid would grow up in safe places, with food and being warm and in good schools, only to discover the kid has willingly thrown himself back into the cesspool you dragged him away from when he was an infant?

Do you know how difficult it is, when your hands are tied, legally, and you can’t do anything?

Probably not, unless you’ve been there. And the comments on Samara’s post on Scary Mommy made me furious. How dare these fuckers judge? Who do they think they are? They aren’t in her situation. Her kid isn’t their kid. Until you’ve been in those shoes, keep your fucking mouth shut, you judgmental douche canoes.

I’ve heard for years from my family all my failings as a parent. You know when they shut the fuck up? When my brother (12yrs younger) went to college, and got away from my helicopter moms micromanagement, and fucking fell apart. He couldn’t function as an adult. He lost his scholarship and got sent back here. He hasn’t really bounced back, and it’s been several years. He also got busted with drugs, on his return. Right about then my parents stopped bragging and shoving my bad parenting down my throat. You’d think they’d have learned, with me, that it doesn’t matter. I was an atrocious teenager. They weren’t great parents. It doesn’t matter.

He’s my kid. I’ll raise him as I see fit. We told him the truth about everything. We challenged him to think, to criticize, to work his fucking ass off if he wants anything. To not be a goddamn sheep, plowing along and not thinking as he zones out on tv and wastes his life. His glamorization of the drug life, I am confident, will fade, the first time as an adult he can’t just be picked up by us, because the police wouldn’t keep him and said we had to.

Even as a first grader, he never liked or was comfortable in school. Sometimes, the “gifted” kids aren’t. Being gifted isn’t an excuse to be a dick, although he used it as one. Since he’s been kicked out of school and has decided to get his GED, he is like a different person. Our daughter? Loves school. She’s upset on snow days and summer vacation. She’s been like that since Kindergarten. She’s going to 3rd grade next year. Everyone is different. Some kids don’t fit.

They have to find their own way. And some kids? Need to learn their parents mean what they say. Some parents ought to step the fuck up and stop babying their kids. Life isn’t going to. Your boss isn’t going to be OK with you not coming in cuz you don’t feel like it. Sometimes, you have to do shitty jobs to get the job you want. Sometimes, even when you get the job you want, you have to do shitty tasks because the boss asked you to. To be a leader, you have to learn to take orders when needed, and follow them, not piss all over the person giving them to you. Some kids require “tough love.” Some kids, you can love them more than anything—the way I love my son–and you can step back objectively enough to see when he’s in a “mood” or “phase” he’s an unstable asshole. Just because he’s my kid doesn’t mean he gets a free pass  to walk all over me.

He borrows money from me? (Which is no longer a thing, I quit loaning him money.) He paid it back within 2 weeks.

He fucks up? He can walk home from wherever he is.

Wreck your car? Swear it isn’t your fault? Too bad..I’m not getting you a new one, and I  am keeping the insurance money for the paid off car we gave you that you ruined, because now my insurance rates doubled. You can walk or do chores to earn money to buy a bicycle to get around with. Not my problem.

Don’t feel like coming home for dinner? Eat a sandwich when you wander in after curfew. If you bang around in the kitchen enough to wake us up, you WILL get cussed out. We get up ass early for work, and you’re being an inconsiderate dickhead. Your roommates won’t be cool with that, a few months from now when you have them.

Forget your keys and come home at midnight (way after curfew)?? Tough shit, guess you better figure out whose house you’re crashing at.

I will come get you from the police station, then drop you off at a state park so you can walk until you’re not pissed off anymore.

I will make sure you have the basics to live–food, drink, hygiene products. I will talk to you, take you places, spend time with you when you can stand it–but I am not your scapegoat. I’m not your friend. I’m your mother. And despite the state laws trying to interfere with that, I am not raising some pussy kid who whines and cries and bullies to get his way.

But…but..but…Chemical imbalance? Sorry, but there are options. Meds, counseling, working out. Learn how to manage it, because it never goes away. Ignoring it is only going to make you fuck up the life you want. Doesn’t matter if you’re only 17–learn to deal now, so it’s second nature later. I wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to get mine diagnosed, to find the right meds, to find the workouts I could do, to learn the techniques to handle it. It’s a constant battle. I know what he’s dealing with, and I’m sorry, but it’s not an excuse to do what you want, when you want, with no consequences.

Putting your kid out of the car because you warned him you would, and he ignored that and kept being a shit? Good on you, Samara!

My husband’s parents did the same thing, when he was around 12 or so. In Texas. Summer, blazing hot, a few miles from town. He wouldn’t quit being a shit, so they told him to get out of the car. He did. And walked home. No cops involved. He modified his behavior after that.

I can’t tell you how many spankings, mouth washed out, grounded, stuff taken away–hell, my parents removed my bedroom door–I got as a kid. It hasn’t fucked me up. It didn’t affect my parenting style. Because we didn’t spank our son. I’ve slapped him three times in his entire life, and he deserved it each and every time. We didn’t coddle him either, so I don’t know if that factors in. I know we gave him almost 100% of our attention, affection, and love his entire life, even after his sister was born. So it’s not due to a lack of attention. Some kids just are difficult. They can grow up to be awesome, if they are willing to put the work in to get that way.

I think she’s an amazing parent. I want to punch the people judging her in the face, because until they’ve been where she is, they need to shut the fuck up. It’s real easy to judge and say what you’d do until you’re in that situation. And bottom line? The kid is fine. Even seeing his mom get arrested (which was ridiculous), he isn’t traumatized for life. Kids are fucking resilient. They learn, they’re tough, they’re smarter than people give them credit for. I’m sure her Little Dude has enough perspective to understand what happened.

Which is something far too many adults lack, based on what I read.

A Parenting Rant

Sucker Punched

Posted @ QUOTEZ.CO
Posted @ QUOTEZ.CO

I found out Monday morning that my best friend of 20 years killed himself last weekend. May 2nd. The day, coincidentally, that my little brother passed away from inoperable brain stem cancer. Just one fucking thing after another lately. Hearing about this, though, has caused a bad reaction in my brain.

I found out because my mother has Facebook and follows both of us. She saw some posts on his page from friends who did know, and asked me what they meant. I looked, saw “RIP” and thought..please let this be some sort of sick joke. I texted–him, and his wife. His wife answered..and told me what happened. I’m not putting the details here, but I am crushed. I can only imagine how absolutely shattered she must be. He left behind a wife, four children (3 biological, 1 adopted daughter) 2 dogs, friends, and family. It is so heartbreaking. I spoke with him two days before hand and nothing indicated anything wrong. Just stressed, he said, but we’re all stressed.

My husband removed me from work, because I pretty much turned into a sobbing wreck and couldn’t do anything else. I cried for almost two hours, and then it just..dried up. I am hollowed out and sad. Not processing well. Back at work today.


In addition to that, we’re dealing with:

-upcoming move, probably July

-another surgery for my hubs, tomorrow–then he’s out of work for a week, couchbound, only allowed up for brief walks.

-the Boy taking his GED, now that he’s been removed from school officially

-waiting to hear back from the juvenile courts about the charges pressed that got him removed from school

-my little one, adjusting to hamster death

-new puppy in the house as of Saturday

So things are busy. I had this conversation with my husband this morning:

im trying to gather everything in need for today and
 i dont even know what the fuck to wear
 its not fine..i suck {in reference to him having to donate me leave}
 i should be stronger, tougher than i am (mentlly)
 wow i cant type
Jennifer Brooks
Barrett Brooks
it’s true
you should
so we’ll work on it
 moving forwards
 B• 8:20 AM
 just like..with all the jason stuff, and worrying about surgery, and puppy training, and ivy adjusting, and then that…was like a horrendous sucker punch
Jennifer Brooks8:21 AM
Barrett Brooks
 it was and is a horrible thing
 B • 8:21 AM
 how do you build mental toughness, anyway?
Jennifer Brooks8:30 AM
Barrett Brooks
 by doing things you hate
 B• 8:49 AM
 Well then I ought to be fine. I’m always doing shit I hate
Jennifer Brooks

…and that about sums it up. I am grateful every day for my life; my family, my children, my job, my friends, both in person and online. If life throws one more sucker punch this year I don’t know what I’m going to do. As it is, I am spending the afternoon tomorrow after his surgery cleaning and puppy/Ivy maintaining and then Saturday doing the same. Refresh. Sorting through stuff so we can sell some things before we move in July.

No more punches, please. I can’t handle any more right now.

Sucker Punched