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Day 46 – Tapped out

It has been a week! Busy days at work, after school activities, evening events, and a couple really late nights. Plus, this damn freezing weather and more snow.

Whew!

I’m treating myself and my tired body to a little self-care, which includes a glass of wine an early(ish) bedtime.

Can someone please tell Electra to sleep in tomorrow?

Day 45 – Glow Big Red

The University of Nebraska is celebrating its 150th birthday, and my building was looking mighty pretty when I was leaving campus tonight.

Go Big Red!

Day 44 – Fear of success

I was leading a workshop tonight, and at one point the discussion turned to the fact that people can lose motivation and start to procrastinate because they fear success.

That’s the point where most of the students in the room look at me like I’ve lost my damn mind.

Fear of failure? Now that makes sense. Failing sucks. It feels icky. No one likes to miss the mark have have to own up to a mistake. But fear of success? Who the hell would be afraid of being successful? How does that even work?

Trust me, I’ve got this one. And it can honestly feel every bit as icky as failing. See, fearing success comes from those moments when you start strong. You’re feeling good, firing on all cylinders. But then you hit a point where you start wondering if maybe you set that bar a little high. You start to question whether the pace and expectations you’ve set for yourself just might not be sustainable.

It happened to me in college. I hit the ground running when I arrived at Concordia. First semester, 18 credit hours and a 4.0. Second semester, 17 credit hours and a 3.9. I was making new friends. I was accepted into the Honors Program. I got a job tutoring in the Writing Center. I got an essay published in a national magazine. Life was good…but somehow all the great things happening on the outside just didn’t quite match up with the way I felt about myself. I’d always struggled with self-esteem and not quite feeling like I belonged, and soon that Imposter Syndrome started to take over and I suddenly felt like I was trying to maintain my balance on a very wobbly pedestal.

So, I did what any rational person would do when faced with the shame of admitting that they’re not perfect–I started to self-sabotage, because somehow that seemed a helluva lot less difficult than having to let my guard down and let somebody see that I was just a scared kid who couldn’t for the life of me understand what anyone else saw in me. I started withdrawing from classes, watching my grades slowly dip. I made bad decisions. I even got an F in one of my major classes because I didn’t complete the coursework in time after the professor gave me an Incomplete.

It took me a long time (and a whole lot of therapy) to finally reconcile my expectations of myself, to finally begin to understand that I am smart and capable, that I deserve to take pride in my accomplishments because I worked really fucking hard to earn them. I still managed to graduate with Honors, go onto grad school, build a good life and a successful career.

And I am so grateful for every minute of it.

But still, there are days even now (especially now) when my Imposter Syndrome still whispers, persistently, making me question whether I really have what it takes, whether I really belong.

I guess we’re all just works in progress, aren’t we?

Day 43 – Throwback

I think this is always going to be one of my favorite photos.

This was such a fun day. Cadence was about 3, and we’d spent a day out in the yard at the old house raking about a billion leaves. When Stevie busted out the leaf blower, Cadence thought it was too much fun to run away from his as he blew stray leaves into our piles. I grabbed my camera and caught gold.

I bought a large canvas for Stevie for his birthday, and it has been in his office ever since. After his office was rearranged (and the only photo-hanging wall was made into a giant whiteboard), he finally decided to bring the canvas home. For the last week or so, he has been cleaning and rearranging in the basement, and he told me he was going to hang this downstairs, to which I replied that he most certainly was not, and I promptly swiped the canvas and took it to my office.

Time to do a little decorating!

Day 42 – Late night confusion

At some point, we started feeding Electra five times a day.

Sounds crazy, I know. But here’s the thing–our dog’s one weakness is her absolute addiction to food. There have been a handful of times over the years that she has attempted to eat herself to death. After owning her for a year or two and realizing that she kept waking us up earlier and earlier in the morning because she simply couldn’t last another minute without being fed, we decided to take her twice-a-day feeding and split it up into five smaller meals so she would sleep through the night and give us a little peace.

6:00 am, Noon, 5:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, like clockwork.

But somehow, in her old age, Electra seems to be getting a little senile because anytime I stay up too late, she starts getting antsy and acting like I owe her another round. Case in point–I caught her staring at me about 20 minutes ago.

Then, she got up, walked over, and started barking at me, full freakin’ volume, until I got up and gave her another serving.

She’s either losing her damn mind, or she’s just really damn smart because she seriously just harassed me out of more kibble.

Yep, I just got bested by a dog.

Day 41 – Small victories

What a difference a haircut makes!

After a month or so of asking, begging, pleading, and insisting that Henry please, please, please, please, pretty please let Mommy cut that hair before it becomes a bonafide mullet…

Oh, who am I kidding? H-man and Stevie have both been sporting psuedo-mullets for a few weeks now.

But finally today, I managed to distract Henry enough with the iPad and offer the right kind of bribe (a strawberry Blow-Pop), and lo an behold he finally agreed to let me cut his shaggy hair.

He doesn’t even look like the same kid!

Now, I just gotta get Stevie’s hair taken care of and all will be right with the world again.