Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Forty Fives

April 23rd came and went like any other day. I ran 10 miles that day and it felt great! I really wanted a big-to-do party celebrating this passage of entering my mid-late forties. But time got the best of me and life never slowed down. Translation . . . The last thing I wanted to do was make decisions regarding a day that would revolve around me. CAUSE. I. AM. TIRED. So I will just put that party on the back burner for now. Maybe when I am 50. Cause I am sure I won't be tired then.

I am not one to make random, corresponding age lists every time a birthday rolls around. In fact, I have never done one before. But there's always a first. So sit back. Read. Laugh. Enjoy.

  1. I was born in Kentucky. Fort Campbell to be exact. Compliments of the military.
  2. I don’t have a favorite color. But around 17 years ago my good friend, Kathie, told me not to wear chartreuse, so I don’t. Around this same era, Larry told me red was not my color. I totally agree with him.
  3. My favorite number is ‘2’.
  4. I bailed on attending UC Irvine out of high school because I wasn’t ready to live so far from home. No regrets.
  5. I was a super shy kid. That did not really go away until I became an OR nurse. You learn to become pretty outspoken when surrounded by interns and residents who think they know every thing.
  6. I have been a nurse for 21 years. My love will always be the operating room, minus some surgeons who were and are probably still arrogant assholes.
  7. My all time favorite surgery is anything involving a bi-coronal flap. Go ahead, GOOGLE the image if you are curious. I loved doing these cases with David. He really is talented, smart, and an excellent surgeon. And not an arrogant asshole.
  8. I was a chubby, wubby kid. Moon face and all. The short hair with bangs didn’t help either.
  9. I am in the best shape of my life. Better than high school. Better than college. And even better after having two kids.
  10. I love chips and diet Dr. Pepper. And a McDonald’s Sausage Biscuit.
  11. I never eat breakfast; at least not for breakfast. I also cannot stand drinking water, so I don’t. But I will drop a Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade or Pink Lemonade packet in a Pierre. Yes, that’s right. Can’t pronounce some of the ingredients and I drink it. Willingly.
  12. I was teased a ton when I was a kid because of my eyes. If you haven’t noticed, they are particularly on the small side. Like “slit” small size. The mean kids would ask me if I could see as much as them. I was even asked if I had to tilt my head to see the full length of trees. Did you just laugh?
  13. I am Korean. Not Japanese. Not Chinese. It’s really not all the same. And we really don’t all look alike either.
  14. I love sarcasm.
  15. I am probably jinxing myself, but here goes: I do not have grey hair. I look for them all the time though. I will just chalk that one up to being Japanese, Chinese, I mean Korean. Oh whatever, it’s all the same. #14
  16. I don’t believe everyone deserves forgiveness. Letting go and forgiving are not the same for me. I let go easily because it takes too much of my precious time to let something or someone cause turmoil. I do not take forgiveness for granted nor do I hand it out like candy. But you really have to cross me something fierce for the latter to happen.
  17. No it doesn’t bother me to not forgive or to hold grudges. It takes more effort to be nice to people who I don’t care for than it does to just carry on with my life.
  18. Number 16 is not very Christian-like, huh?
  19. I am not sure if I believe in God. I have a lot of questions that are black and white. Why would God allow children to be molested/raped? Those kinds of questions. And no, I don’t want to attend church with you, but thanks for the offer. Maybe some other time.
  20. I would totally benefit from seeing a therapist. EVERYONE would. Trust me, you’re not excluded.
  21. I can’t find the time to see a therapist. AKA I am not ready.
  22. I am currently reading, THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK. I absolutely love it so far. So I guess this book is my therapist right now.
  23. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
  24. I used to curse a lot. Like truck driver mouth, a lot. I never understood how that phrase got coined, but my dad would say that line to me. There’s just something liberating (to me) that comes along with swearing.
  25. I don’t believe in NY resolutions. If you want to do something or change something, than just do it.
  26. I failed at my last NY resolution: To take time for just myself.
  27. I booked a trip without my family for the first time in over 2 years. It’s coming up soon.
  28. I am a nervous flier and I hate flying without my family. My pre-boarding cocktail for long flights is Xanax and Ambien. Needless to say, I will not be partaking in any long flights by myself. I’d never make it off the plane.
  29. I have a lot of guilt when I make time to do things without family (kids or hubby).
  30. I over commit because of #29.
  31. Aside from feeling #29, I love to volunteer at school. Truly. There will come a day when the girls are not going to want me around. Until then, you can find me at their school.
  32. It is absolutely, without a doubt, 100% my job (and David’s) to be the primary role models for Sophia & Kalista. If we are not, then we failed at the most important parental job.
  33. David and I have been together for 19 years. I adored him long before he noticed me.
  34. I never thought I would get married and I was okay with that. At least that is what I told myself years ago.
  35. David and I were on the fence about having children. It really was a toss up. And no, Sophia was not an accident. She was planned. 100%. Oh and Kalista was not an accident either, in case you were wondering.
  36. David wanted and still would have more kids in a millisecond. Not me. When I had Kalista I was 37 and that was old in my books. For ME that is, so don’t get all-defensive.
  37. I hated being pregnant. It stressed me out, especially because I was AMA: ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. Apparently you earn that label at age 35. Even after all the tests came back “normal”, I was stressed. And yes, I took them all. Consequences known.
  38. I did not breast feed either child. And guess what?! My girls and I still bonded! gasp! Must have been a miracle. Told you #14.
  39. The most judgmental moms I encountered were the ones who only breast-fed. Which were the same ones who felt it was a mother’s choice to breastfeed wherever and whenever. Guess having choices are limited to only breastfeeding moms. Way to stick together! #14
  40. I am totally hooked on Thirteen Reasons Why, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and Stranger Things. All on Netflix.
  41. I average about 5 hours of sleep/night. I credit this to #40 and all those years of working/being on-call for the OR. Besides, time’s a ticking. I will sleep when I am dead.
  42. I fear my death. Just going to leave it at that. See #20.
  43. The one person who would totally understand ‘My 45s’ without judgment is gone.
  44. What I really meant to say, “My dad would have understood every point. But he is dead.” Hmmm, maybe #20 doesn’t apply to me! I mean, I just said (typed, whatever; same difference – but then again differences are not the same) that word people substitute because it’s uncomfortable. I am cured! See #14 and #20.
  45. This is my first and only draft. Unedited. Because really. . . the first thoughts to come out are always of the truth and the ones you really want said.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Regrets vs. Wishes

Dear Daddy,

It's 4 years today yet it feels like you've been gone most of my life. Isn't that strange? No matter how many times I wish I could freeze moments, nothing stands still. The only thing that remains constantly frozen is my heartache.

When we left each other, we said everything we wanted to say to one another. It was a wonderful feeling. It still is. You and I parted without regrets. That in itself is something I will always cherish. Having no regret is the best way to live life and to leave life. Thank you for that lesson.

As time passes the thought of, "I regret not . . . " still never crosses my path. But I have a lot of, "I wish . . . ". It's easy to confuse regrets and wishes. I am lucky enough to know the difference. And there is a difference, for I know with regret comes guilt; a self-consuming, useless emotion. 

A fair amount of my wishes may never come true. I can't have it all and I am at peace knowing this. So I am going to make the most of what does come my way. And at times, I am sure if will feel like I do have it all. Just like I felt when I had you.

I love you. I miss you.

Your Little Girl

September 17, 1937 - April 4, 2013

Monday, November 21, 2016

Youth Sports and What ALL Parents Can Learn From a First Grader

This picture is what youth sports should be about. 
Smiles and happiness!
We just returned from a 2-day swim meet with the girls. And I am pretty sure it was the most intense swim meet thus far for our little family. 

Kalista had the flu and missed the first day. But she was able to battle back on the second day and had a great swim. We were so proud she pulled through even with all the tears from nerves and fear. She placed second in her heat and secured a white division time. Not bad for a 6 year old amongst 7 and 8 year olds. The smile on her face was the best!
And then there was Sophia...
Where do I even begin? She truly had a great swim meet. And I am not just saying this from a parent standpoint. One would think someone earning 5 out of 7 personal bests would be excited. One would think. But this is Sophia. Our Type A. Saturday did not give her the results she wanted. The results she had been working to achieve. She swam the hell out of that 50 yd free. She needed a 32.8. She touched with a 33.67. And yes, I know the above pic is not freestyle. That's hard to capture on an iPhone without it looking all like white water. :) 

Oh the tears! Not only from her on the outside, but from me on the inside. To hear your child say, "I hate myself. I didn't do it. I tried so hard. I am so disappointed in myself. This was my time." Well, it's gut wrenching. There was nothing we could say at that moment (and even later that evening) that would have changed how she felt. We knew she was not going to process the logistics of her age, her build, etc. We knew she was super emotional. We listened and we understood how she was feeling. We innately empathized.
This brings me to the real reason why I am writing this post. And I AM NOT an authority on how parents/adults should behave in youth sports. But I can say, Kalista and her first grade class are the authority and definitely have a lesson to teach some parents: EMPATHY. Her class has been learning what it means to be empathetic. What it means to "put yourself in that person's shoes." It has been a wonderful topic of discussion during our routine car rides.

Sophia and I witnessed two separate events at our swim meet. Neither occurrence was from our swim club. I noticed a young girl (either 11 or 12 years old) visibly upset with her performance in the 200 yd IM. In steps her mother. I was sickened with how she handled her daughter's feelings. I sadly watched this mom scold her daughter. I was a few feet away from earshot but a pointed finger in the face and a piercing look did not give way to a positive pep talk. Not one hug. Not one sign of, "Good job." Not one sign of, "I am so proud of you." Not one sign of, "I'm sorry." Even though I had no idea who she was nor had I watched her race, I felt so sad for her. I felt empathy, where the girl's mother did not. Then there was Sophia's encounter. She told us she watched a father yell at his daughter because she was disqualified in the 100 yd breaststroke. As if that athlete didn't already feel upset and disappointed. Sophia said she felt so bad for the girl. She felt empathy, where the girl's father did not.

I am not one to confront total strangers, but the defensive part of me would loved to have told those 2 particular parents too hop in that pool and swim what their daughter's just swam. And the rational part of me would loved to have asked if they could just put themselves in their daughter's shoes? Could they empathize?

It's not a parent's job to critique their athlete. They have coaches who are well versed in this area. THANK GOD! My husband and I are thankful Sophia has a coach (thank you Micaela!) who is not only empathetic but encouraging, nurturing, and understanding all while empowering her with the positive skills she needs to take note in areas that need more focus and effort.

Sadly, I am sure what Sophia and I saw is not an uncommon experience with young athletes. And for that, I wish I could apologize on behalf of their parents. Next time, I may not interfere with those kinds of parents but I will definitely make it a point to acknowledge their athlete's efforts. And just maybe that parent will overhear and learn what my daughter's first grade class has already learned.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dear Daddy,

I use to think a lot about that first year. It was all about the 'firsts' without you. The first birthday. The first Thanksgiving. The first Christmas. The first Father's Day. My first true heartache. 

Now I have come upon the 4th birthday without you. Your birthday. Your 79th birthday. And it's no longer about those 'firsts' but about those 'lasts.' I savor my every lasts with you. From trivial to meaningful; it's all in my heart. 

Happy birthday. I love you.

~ Your Little Girl

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Let's Catch Up

Summer was fun and fast! Here is the condensed version . . . 

Annual Hope Ranch Beach Campout
(aka Shipwrecked)
 Spur of the moment trip to Vegas with these crazy people!
 Hume Lake Camping Trip
The not-so-fun part of this camping trip.
Rock 1 Jim 0
First day of school, Jackson Browne, & Journey
 Labor Day Beach Fest