Man it’s been a long time since I’ve written, for that I am sorry! I’ve been completely preoccupied with appointments and family and pets and visitors…oy! Well now you have my undivided attention (except for when my toddler summons me). So I thought I’d talk about some “weird” stuff today. Stuff I think is normal but others often stare blankly, blink slowly, and change the subject over.
I’ll start with the aforementioned “visitors” that we’ve had. I think I mentioned in another post that my husband and I recently bought a house (yay!); well with buying a home comes a bit more out-of-town visitors (wahh!). In our case, it’s almost everybody – we live a good 500+ miles away from almost all of our families. Well, since we’ve moved to Virginia (in 2011) we’ve had a rule: no out-of-town guests can stay with us unless there’s an extenuating circumstance. When our daughter was born my mom stayed with us because she was there to help, but everybody else has been asked to get a hotel. So many people gasp at that – how dare we ask people to stay in a hotel, especially family! Well, in the apartment it was much easier for people to accept our rule because we only had two bedrooms with one bathroom – it was the perfect size for us but super cramped with any more. Now we’ve bought a house and nearly doubled our square footage and people are assuming they can stay with us just because we’ve added a bedroom (that’s actually already in use) and a bathroom. Well, here’s why (we think they’re very good reasons) we have that rule:
- We are a family who thrives on schedule and routine. My husband wakes up for work at 3:15 every morning, has his AM routine, and is out the door by 4:30. Often times he doesn’t return home until 7 or 8 (he gets overtime quite a bit and then twice a week he has night school through his job), eats a quick bite, and is in bed by 9:15 each night. Our daughter wakes up around 6:30 or 7 each day (after waking 1-3x/night), eats breakfast watching her cartoons. She’s incredibly shy and fearful of strangers, so having new people at our house as soon as she wakes up, throwing her from her routine, makes her grumpy, clingy, and just not happy.
- On top of that routine, I work out of my house; I do in-home childcare. Can you imagine going to drop your kids off at the sitter’s house and there’s -x- new people passed out on the living room floor? Not only that, people that you don’t know hanging out around your kid all day? Not cool. Personally, as a mom, I wouldn’t feel good about that. Our third bedroom is the daycare room; I keep the extra car seats, diaper bags, cribs, craft supplies, etc. in there so it’s full, there’s no room for people to sleep there and we don’t own an air mattress (for a reason) so that leaves our couch.
- If those two reasons aren’t good enough for you, that leaves me with our final reason: anxiety and introversion. I know I’ve written before about my anxiety, but both my husband and I are also introverts. We absolutely love having family come and visit, we love seeing everybody, but at the end of the day we need our quiet, alone time to just…wind down. If I don’t get that my anxiety flares up and I lash out and say things I don’t mean to people. I truly don’t mean it, it just happens (think Cady Heron in “Mean Girls” with her word vomit). I know my husband my gets all tense and quiet, but then he’ll lash out later (not physically or anything, but you know men are typically emotionally constipated creatures, so he’ll usually bottle it up and then yell about something silly later). So many people think that anxiety and introversion are curable things, but they’re not. They’re also a nuisance and hinder the fun that you could have with your guests. Regardless, people staying here intrudes on our personal bubbles and then that, in turn, messes with our moods and whatnot. We’d be much happier and more fun during a visit if people just didn’t stay with us.
So we recently had visitors (my SIL, BIL, FIL, niece, and nephew) and at last minute we found out that FIL would be staying with us, not in the hotel like we previously thought. Boy was my husband not happy! We talked about it about and ultimately decided it was okay since my husband was so excited to see his dad, but also they would be arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday, leaving no overlap with my daycare kids. We also found out the day that they arrived that my husband wouldn’t be working so FIL sleeping on the couch wouldn’t interfere with any morning routines. I am so glad to say that the whole trip went so great! I am lucky to have such a cool sister-in-law. Our daughter got along great with our niece, they played together so wonderfully and our daughter was actually sad and confused to not find her around our house (that was a concern for us since daughter is so shy; last time we saw them our niece was very excitable so we were worried she’d be a tad overwhelming..I am so happy there was nothing to be worried about!). I suck at apologies when it comes to having to say sorry for my anxiety because it feels like I’m apologizing for who I am, but if my SIL is reading this I want you to know that we are so glad you came, I hope you understand where we were coming from, and we truly did have a blast.
Now on to the “weirder” part. I have this book that I swear by, it’s kind of like my bible. It’s called Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews. Here’s the book:
It is truly life-changing, at least for me. I promise I get no benefit from promoting this book, I just love it and think everybody should buy a copy, or at least read it. In the beginning of the book you create a totem based on seven questions; each question will give you a different animals and those animals make your totem. However, in reading about the power of each animal you find that there are additional animals you should study that sync up, so to speak, with the first animal. Ultimately, at the end, you have a slew of animals that represent your animal totems. These can change, too, based on your life. My totems, for example, are: dog, wolf, deer, spider, coyote, swan, horse, and raven. You may have more or less because some of your animals may overlap and that’s okay, too.
As I was reading about the coyote today, actually, I realized how similar I am to them. Animal Speak says, “Oftentimes…the coyote makes things more complicated than they need to be….Are you…being too serious?…Are you complicating what is really simple in some area of your life?” The answer would be yes! I know that we complicate things like family visits because we’re so set in our ways of life, we have a hard time loosening up about things. That’s where the wolf comes in; “They live by carefully defined rules,” says Animal Speak. The deer is the most common prey of wolves, and ravens have a connection to them because they often fly over wolves, moving with their hunt, so that they can prey on the animals the wolf hunts. The deer is one of my totems because it’s one I most often see in nature and I love to see them, and the raven is another because of its connection to wolf and coyote.
Did you know that “The raven is a member of the corvids family, to which belongs crows and magpies and other such birds[?]. In truth, the only really significant difference between the crow and the raven is the size, the raven being much larger. It would be beneficial to study the information on the crow for anyone who has a raven as a totem,” a direct quote from Animal Speak. When reading about the crow, the book says, “The male and female build the nest together. The nest is built high up for protection and it is kept very clean. Even the young crows do not foul their own nest.” I think this speaks volumes about me because clutter and mess trigger my anxiety like you wouldn’t believe.
I know to many it sounds silly, and when I tell people about it they often look at me strangely, but I do believe we have a connection to animals and I believe that they resonate within us. When I have dreams about certain animals I look them up. If I encounter an animal in an area that is abnormal to their life I immediately look it up. There has never been a time that this book has steered me wrong and, more often than not, I’m amazed at what this book tells me about the animal. At the very least it’s interesting to read about certain animals find out more than what TV tells us about them.
Well then. This concludes another blog post. I honestly was thinking about writing for so long but was trying to decide what to write and when to write it. I want to write for me, but I also want to write things that are gripping to readers, too.
I also love to hear your feedback. Do you have this book? Have you read it? Would you ever? If so, what are your totems? Do you feel they’re an accurate depiction of you? Feel free to comment!
Until next time….