The Book of Faces

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’d hazard to guess that most people do. I love that I can “see” my friends from high school and college even though they’ve moved all over the country. Granted, it’s a little stalker-esque to “follow” someone’s life through pictures, but I still enjoy it. I love being able to share my life and who doesn’t like all those “likes” you get when you post a picture? That’s the whole point, right? Facebook has a ton of good qualities. I mean I keep going back multiple times a day so it must have something I like.

What I don’t like is how Facebook can make me feel about myself and my life. Because you don’t automatically think, “well, they’re posting only the best things”, and take things with a grain of salt when you see pictures of your friends in Aruba or baking the world’s coolest cupcakes for their 10 kids. I’m a pretty straightforward person, both on and off Facebook, so I don’t immediately assume everyone is only highlighting the good. Nope. I think I’m failing as a mom or wife. I don’t travel enough. I don’t contribute enough. I have one kid and can’t get anything done and these people have five kids (five!) and are travelling and doing all these family things. I can barely get through a meal with my little heathen. And Lord, when I post that particular little truth nugget… Let’s just say my bid for mom of the year grows stronger daily. That’s honestly how I feel.

Now I can’t blame that all on Facebook. Some of that is just who I am. I will never feel I measure up to other moms. It’s not going to happen, so you can save your inspiring texts and emails about how awesome I am. I’m good. I know it’s stupid, as my sweet husband points out daily, but I can’t make myself stop. That’s not Facebook’s fault. But if there was no Facebook, and I wasn’t hooked on it, I wouldn’t have that shoved in my face as often and in living color. So I do put some blame on Facebook and social media in general.

I give massive props to people who “quit” Facebook. You go. You have the willpower of a god as far as I’m concerned. I just don’t feel like that’s a valid option for me. It’s literally the only way I “see” some of my family and friends. I also use it for my business. It just isn’t logical to stop using it altogether. But I wonder if I can inspire others to try for a little honesty on there. It always amazes me when I post something like “I hate everyone today” and people start worrying about something tragic going on in my life. I’m just posting my honest opinion at that moment, which is what I like to think everyone is doing, so why the concern? Then it dawns on me – most people are only posting rainbows and roses. They assume your world is ending if you actually post anything non-sunny on Facebook. Nope. I hate people at least one day a week on average. That’s me. No crisis, just putting it out there as more of a public service announcement. I guess I could wear some sort of sign instead, but a Facebook post lets people I don’t see daily know not to call, or God forbid, stop by for a visit. A sign on my person will not do that.

So yeah, I love it…I hate it. I’m addicted to it, even though it sometimes makes me feel like a complete and utter failure. I’m working on that. But how about we all agree to be more realistic on the book of faces? Because if I’m feeling this way, I hate to think how the more vulnerable people in our lives feel. ‘Cause I can guarantee they’re on there reading posts several hours a day. And while I have a full time job and a little heathen at home to keep my mind occupied most of the day, not everyone does. Now don’t go depressing everyone you know on there, but maybe shoot for posting about the not perfect times once in a while. It’s ok to have a bad day and shout it from the internet. I personally love giving someone a good laugh at my expense. And hey, you’ll get lots of encouragement and prayers as an added bonus! Win win.

Kids, am I right?

Ever look at your little one and feel that flush of pride? That feeling that you have the greatest kid ever? I do. Sometimes it just comes over me that he is so special and we are so lucky he is ours. Now, ever look at them and think how did we get here? Did I kill someone in a past life? No? Could be just me, I guess.

It amazes me how fast I can go from one to the other. One minute he’s kissing my cheek and telling me I’m the best mommy and the next he’s screaming his head off because I won’t cook sausage at 8 PM. Or vice versa. He’s screaming about how much he hates me and everything I do in general and suddently it’s like a light comes on and he’s asking me to sing and tuck him in bed. This kid.

And I only have the one. I do have a Great Dane who is exactly like my son, so I think that adds an extra degree of difficulty. Those two are slowly destroying everything we own, including my nap time. Thank goodness they are both so cute and loving. You people with more than one kid, you’re the real heroes. God bless you.

People often tell me how cute my son is and I usually reply with something like, “That’s good, maybe that will help him when he’s a bank robber.” Stunned silence or snorts usually follow. Did I mention I work in a bank? I’m telling you, this kid has the intelligence and stamina to do great things. Will they be legal or illegal, that is the question. I love the Godfather so I feel like I can go either way. Mother of a crime boss probably isn’t that had a gig. In the meantime I watch and listen in fascination at the things his mind comes up with and pray he doesn’t get kicked out of kindergarten.

Sweet Freedom

Our family has lived through a weird five years. Some of it I’ve shared with you and some I’m still working up to sharing. All of this means every year by August, I am out of sick days and halfway through my vacation days. And I never, ever roll anything into the new year. I generally have a stranglehold on those last five days, that I haven’t even accrued yet, hoping for some sort of vacation. It is a stressful way to live.

On top of whatever craziness caused me to be off in the first place, when I miss work I worry all day. I fret over using another sick or vacation day that I might need later. I have left my son and my husband at times I didn’t want to because I was saving every minute I could in case of the inevitable heart attack, tornado, trip to the doctor, broken foot, ER visit, kidney stone, etc. I have never felt like I had the freedom to do anything differently. My husband would always say it was no big deal and people understand when you need to be off, but I always felt guilty. My job took up the majority of my life and I couldn’t afford to keep missing.

My husband doesn’t really understand my point of view, mainly because he doesn’t think that way, but also because he accrues time off like crazy. In addition, he has always had some side hobby that he used to make extra money. He could sell something or fix something. I only have my daily job. My hobbies are reading and sleeping and those don’t pay well…or actually happen now that I have a little one. It has been a sore spot with me for years that he actually has time off he can use and money to have a hobby, while I sit in my office with my ag degree staring out an office window. This was not the dream.

But this week something happened. My little one was sick. Pitifully so. Normally I would leave for work and his daddy or grandmother would hold him and pet him all day. He would cry, but I never felt like I had a choice. But this week was different. See I joined Young Living a few months ago. The people involved with this company showed me that there is a different way to live. That you can do something you enjoy, actually help people, AND even make money. And I’m doing it. And I’m loving it.

The freedom of knowing I have a goal date in mind where I will be living the life I want…it makes a huge difference in how I feel and face daily life. I couldn’t go to my daily job that day, but I could work on my oily job from home. It sounds stupid, even to me, but it is the truth. All of this makes a huge difference to me.

If you are out there suffering through another day of doing what you’re supposed to, listen to me. You can do something else if you want. You can change your life and move toward what you love. Set a goal and go get it. It takes work, but doesn’t everything? But you have to start somewhere. Go to youngliving.com and do some research. Contact me through this site. Find me on Facebook (katiesoilyjourney) or Twitter (@katiesoilyjourney). Join Young Living through my link. It is a worthwhile change. I promise.

This Day, Take 2

Today was not my day. No amount of Spearmint and Stress Away could save this day. It’s Monday, so that speaks for itself. I got to work and my phone and computer wouldn’t connect to the internet and therefore the system. No one else was having an issue. Imagine that. Both run off the internet, which is persnickety on a good day. (That’s southern for very difficult x 10). I eventually realized my phone was being an idiot and bypassed it so I could at least get in the system. In the meantime, my visitor arrived. For those that don’t know, my job is loan administration, which basically means I oversee loan operations. And that means sometimes you have people come in to make sure you are doing your job right. Usually it’s stressful, but that’s normal. Add in no phone and no boss and life gets less fun. Luckily his computer worked. Once I had him settled, I went back to working on my stupid phone. After emailing to let people know I had no phone on a day I could really use a phone, I fiddled with it until I considered throwing it through my office window and jumping from the second floor to freedom. It was awesome. In the midst of this, lunch arrived. What could go wrong? Hold on and let me tell you. After waiting 45 minutes, still no lunch. It was a burger and fries, not a four course meal. Turns out my order was placed as a to-go, so it was sitting in the back getting cold the whole time I sat trying to be patient. That’ll teach me. No good deed goes unpunished. You’ve probably heard me say that. Because it’s TRUE and I’m a truthsayer. At least I got it free. Someone asked how it was and I told them it wasn’t half bad for a cold burger and fries. Not exactly the hot burger and fries I expected, but I made it work. I came back and worked on what I now will forever refer to as “my idiot phone” to no avail. I gave up and decided phones are for losers anyway. And I’m a winner. Eventually the day came to an uneventful end and here I am. In my recliner reminiscing. I think I’ll leave my office phone off the hook forever. It was actually quite peaceful looking back. On to Monday, part 2. Deliver me Lord.

It Is Well

It really isn’t. If I’m honest with you and myself, it just isn’t. I would love to give you some really impressive motivational speech. But I can’t, because I’m not feeling it either.

Have you ever wanted something so badly and for so long that it consumes you? I have. In my teenage years I always imagined a house full of kids when I “grew up”. But it was not meant to be for me. After many years of heartache, we finally did in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have my beautiful little son. Prior to that I had done a lot of things trying to make this particular dream come true. Many, many things that I never thought I would allow my body to go through. In a way, IVF was a relief. I knew it was going to be intense going in. No surprise there. There was a set process and I knew it was going to suck. I spent a lot of time on the road (I live about two and a half hours from my doctor), taking shots in parking lots and sitting in rush hour traffic after leaving home at 4:30 a.m., sometimes twice a week. Looking back, it seems unreal that I went through that. But I have my son to show for the hard work, so it was fulfilling.

Most people don’t know, but we tried again a few years ago. I spent six months in what I can only describe as pure hell. Hopes up, hopes crushed. Hopes up, hopes crushed. My body would not cooperate like it did the first time. My nurse literally told me they didn’t know what else to do. After all that work, my doctor recommended we give it a try and pray for the best. Those that know me don’t see a kid walking around, so you know how that one went. Not only is IVF an emotional journey, it’s a financial one. To spend that kind of money for heartbreak is another level of misery.

People seem to think that once you have your miracle baby, you should be satisfied and content. And I guess a lot of people are. I am not. I want a brother or sister for my son. I want the chance to have a normal, uneventful pregnancy and delivery. The memory of my last delivery and first month of mommyhood are not pleasant. I guess I should be happy I even have a child, lots of people never do. I know that. But that’s not how it is, so that’s not how I feel.

When you struggle with infertility, you try to remain level at all times. Never get your hopes up. You pray, beg, cry and beg some more sometimes, but never get excited. You keep secrets from your spouse, because you don’t want to disappoint both of you. You lie to yourself to keep your excitement down. Never get your hopes up. Never. I made that mistake recently. I let myself believe for just a second. Just a second. The devastation never gets easier apparently. On top of the disappointment, you’re mad at yourself for being so stupid. I know my issues. I know how miraculous it would have to be to get pregnant without intervention. But I see it happen for others, so why not me?

So. It is not well with my soul right now. I’m trying. I’ve poured out my heart to God and cried hysterically while my sweet husband held me. It simply never gets easier. Fortunately I have my essential oils endeavor to occupy my mind when I have free time. But it still hurts. It hurts every time I see a baby. It hurts every time I hear someone say, “We were so surprised! We didn’t even want another baby!” It hurts every time I see a story of abuse or neglect. It just hurts. Over and over. These days I pray God will take the desire from me. Just take it. The relief of not wanting something I can’t have would be tremendous. I think I would be a totally different person. But it’s still there. I have to make myself stop hoping, because why would God give me a desire he doesn’t intend to fulfill? That seems cruel. But there it is.

I don’t know why I had to get this out. Maybe it will help me, but I doubt it. More likely it will help one of you. Which is wonderful. The only thing I see that has come out of all this is I have been able to talk to other people first hand about my struggle. When I did IVF, I didn’t know anyone else who had done it. I scoured the internet for support groups and information. I kept the whole process a secret. I was almost ashamed I had to go to such lengths. Now I can encourage other people and explain the process. I can empathize. I can encourage. With all of my issues, if I can get pregnant, anyone can. The options are absolutely endless for them. Me, not so much. But I think of all I’ve done and know that I did all I could. It just wasn’t meant to be. And I am afraid I will struggle forever trying to make it well with my soul.

Blessed Silence

I miss the quiet almost as much as I miss sleep. Two long lost friends. Remember when you could quietly read a book? Or just sit? Or go the bathroom? Or shower? Those were the days. We thought we would miss our wild days when we had kids, but alas, I miss sleep and quiet most of all.

My son had delayed speech. He didn’t even say “mama” until after he went through speech therapy at 2. I was so afraid then that he might never speak or speak clearly. I should not have worried. He now starts talking when he wakes up and doesn’t stop talking until he passes out at night. And he talks in his sleep some nights. He does not get that from us. My husband and I once drove 6 hours home from the beach in silence. No radio. No anything. It was glorious.

Tonight I actually found myself begging him to stop talking for just a few minutes while we drove 20 minutes home. Mommy, the introvert, was overstimulated by all the questions and random statements. Thankfully he and his daddy just went on a little outing and it is mostly quiet for a few minutes. Except for Freight Train, of course. He may not be talking, but he is never quiet.

It always amazes me that although he drives me crazy on a daily basis, it is way too quiet when he’s not around. Apparently I’ve adjusted to the noise. I look at him continually and think, “I would never survive two of you with my sanity.” Seriously. How do people with multiple kids keep it together? They’re the true heros.

And he’s really smart. This isn’t gibberish or baby subjects. He isn’t spouting nonsense. His vocabulary and knowledge sometimes catch me off guard. He uses really big words and in context. Some words are weird coming out of the mouth of a 4 year old. Tonight he keeps talking about things going viral. He was going to take a picture and then it would go viral. He saw something and now it was going viral. Viral is the word of the day. The Disney Channel isn’t just Mickey Mouse Clubhouse anymore it seems. Either that or his 90 year old grandmother is really hip and with it and things we don’t know about go on during the day.

He wears me out just listening to him. Much less watching him move continually while jabbering nonstop. Oh, to have one tenth of his energy. Nevermind, I couldn’t survive that kind of tired.

But for now, it’s just me and the furry children. No sound on the TV. Just the continuous sound of nails on the hardwood as Scout paces waiting on his buddy to get back. And then there will be talking, running and barking until one if them passes out. Wish us luck.

Oils of Our Lives

I’m at a weird point. I’m doing something I really enjoy. Weird. Taking a hobby I’ve had for years and sharing it with a lot of people. Also weird. More people than I ever expected in a few short weeks. I find myself randomly recommending oils in conversation. Which is not me. Then there’s the whole “selling” thing. That is also not me. It’s like I’m a different person. I find myself struggling to balance my desire to share with my need to give people space and not pressure them in any way. Because even when they’re interested in what you have to say, there’s this suspicion that you’re going to trap them into something or force them to sell oils against their will. Or that’s how it feels from my end. I was wary too, so I get that. And let’s be real, you can wrap it up in whatever package you want to, but at the end of the day I do want you to use Young Living and it does benefit me. But whether you know it now or not, it benefits you, too.

The thing is I genuinely like helping people find a solution through oils. And they have other things, people. It’s more than oil. I love knowing that it’s the beginning of something that’s not only good for them, it’s fun. And I love the thought of sharing and talking about oils for enough of a living that I can get more serious with my cattle business. Cows require time and effort and I have neither after working full time.

I also know that there is no trap. I like to think that people know me well enough to know I wouldn’t get talked into anything I hadn’t researched and asked a ton of questions about. And as usual, I had lots of questions. I probably went through everything on the website looking for the catch. I never found it. All I found was a really cool concept that had spread worldwide. And I am confident in the knowledge that if I wake up tomorrow and think, “What was I thinking?”, I can make one phone call to an impartial person and I’ll be done. All the rebates and discounts are not coersion. They are only meant to get oils to more people. Really. And the membership that turns so many people off? Do you have a Sam’s Club membership? Do you pay a set amount each year and get the discount as a result? Do they use the word “membership”? Yeah, that’s my point.

Yes, at the end of the day it is a business for me. It’s a stupid, ridiculous dream, but I’m taking the chance anyway. Because I need a change and inspiration. But if I didn’t like it and believe it could help people, I wouldn’t be doing it. Period.

So the weird place is how do I balance that? I’m having a blast blogging and sharing my experiences with essential oils. That’s a fact. Had I known it would make me happy, I would have started this years ago. But at the end of the day, I do have a goal. I want to work less in an office and more on things I enjoy. I want other people to have that opportunity if they want it. It doesn’t appeal to everyone. I didn’t think it would appeal to me. And I despise being pressured or coerced, so I’m not going to do that for any amount of money. Well, maybe a million per head. That would be hard to turn down. But when you realize you enjoy something and could possibly get financial freedom, you take the chance. And even though I know the business part freaks people out, I do want people to know it’s out there and it’s a lot of fun.

So that’s where I am. I love it. I love sharing it. I hope you love it, too, and let me show you how to get awesome oils at a discounted price. But if you don’t want to, I’m good with that. You can order one at a time or none at all. It’s not for everyone and that’s ok. Please do not let the “sales” and “membership” keep you from trying something new if you want to. Be brave. Have a little faith in me. But most of all, take a tip from me and be true to you. That’s all I’m trying to do.

This day, y’all

Some days are better than others, know what I mean? It’s not that today was a bad day, per se, it’s just blah. I don’t want to be where I am all day doing what I’m doing… today at least.

Most days I really like my job. I used to love it, but “like” is better than where I was before. I love the people I work with and let’s be real, I’m not going anywhere any time soon (so y’all stop panicking). But whatever is up with me makes me dissatisfied with my present situation.

Not my home life. It’s stressful, but whose isn’t? My husband is sometimes the only thing keeping me sane. I’m hanging on to him. It’s work, I think. I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. I mostly repeat myself a lot and hope for the best. My favorite part is solving problems and helping other people figure something out. Everybody deserves answers and I love trying to break it down so it’s easier the next time. And I still do that a lot. But I am not happy there right now.

Some of it is this stupid boot. It is totally screwing up my mojo. But the real problem is somebody convinced me that work could, maybe, on a wing and a prayer, if the stars align, be something different and that I could actually look forward to it for a change. It’s a far off dream and one a lot of other people have had and failed to realize. I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. Are you still crazy if you realize you are crazy? I need to find that out. But right now I have this teeny tiny hope of light at the end of the tunnel.

So I carry on, confusing the heck out of people who know me well. Who is this Katie who is happy and doing something weird, even for her? I like to think it’s the new, better me, but today I just want to lay down and sleep. But have no fear, there’s an oil for that.

Broken Dreams

Sleep, why hast thou forsaken me?  It’s 7:30.  AM.  On a Saturday.  What is the deal??

Sleep is my hobby.  It is my first love.   I could sleep instead of eat any day of the week. The middle of the day is a magical time to sleep as far as I’m concerned.  Today I have no pitter patter of little feet to wake me,  but here I sit.  Awake.  And slightly annoyed because of it.   I have a busy day ahead, I get that.  But couldn’t I have started it 2 hours later?   Yes brain, I think I could have.  Instead I’m sitting here finding things to share with people and contemplating breakfast.  Adulting sucks yet again.  Why DO people do it?  On top of all the other fun adult things you have to do, your brain starts thinking you need to be up at the same time every day like some sort of psycho.  (You guessed it – there are days I’m going to be profound and days I’m going to be normal.  Today is a little south of the latter.)

Sleep, I miss you so.  Please come back.  I swear I’ll do better.

Well, I hope you’re reading this after sleeping in this morning.   I bet you’re well-rested and everything.  Lucky devils.64798836213ee75b136b8656f40a100a

 

Where I am today

I am an almost-40 year old living in a very small rural town in southern middle Tennessee. Yes, we actually describe it that way, because there is nothing recognizable to non-Tennesseans close. I could tell you two hours south of Nashville (Go Preds!), but two hours south of the middle of the state can be many, many of different places. Suffice it to say, it’s rural and wonderful. After growing up in a larger town, my home now is heaven. Less people, more privacy. I have a four-year-old, who I’m beginning to realize really is spoiled, a Great Dane “puppy”, who weighs in at a whopping 130 pounds, and a 12-year-old Blue Heeler, who is taking it all in and wishing we were back to just the three of us. (Imagine Grumpy Old Men in dog form – that’s Pepper.) To say my life is wild feels like a grand understatement. I work in an office full time and as you other working moms know, that doesn’t leave much time for…well, anything else. I don’t consider my job highly stressful most days, but as someone with a degree in Animal Science, office work is not the dream. The dream is being outdoors at least some of the day. The dream is dealing with more animals than humans. The dream is physical labor so I actually sleep soundly at night. And naps. Man, the dream has lots of time for naps. Before marriage and all these wonderful people, I would gladly sleep 12 hours a day. I could lay down any time or place and rest. Really rest. Not much anymore. I can sleep, but rest is foreign to me. I know what you’re thinking, “Well you knew that going in.” I did. But I think I may have miscalculated how little rest I would get. If not for my seriously wonderful husband, I’d be writing this from a nice state facility with fluffy walls and good meds. He literally keeps me from running away and that’s only because I love him too much to abandon him in pandemonium. Which brings us around to the subject at hand. I was desperately seeking something to relax everyone in my house. Sleep is a lot more important than some people think. And I need ALOT of it to function as a normal person. I have dabbled with oils for a while now. (I still have flash backs to books and movies where witches are mixing big pots of all kinds of fun things when I start mixing these things. That’s probably not normal, but that’s me.) Now I am well below expert, but beginning to feel comfortable being a little more adventurous. I recently received my very own starter kit from Young Living. I won’t lie, I’m still skeptical about all the things people claim oils do for them. But I have seen them work to calm me and my family. I have seen lavender sooth an earache and a mixture of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender keep muscles from being sore. And I am willing to keep experimenting while encouraging others to come along with me. Is it for everyone? Of course not. Some people will never spend the time or money it takes to really learn and use the oils effectively. That was me less than 6 months ago. Maybe you don’t have the desire, time, or money to blindly leap into this life. That’s where I come in. I want to share my journey with you, from the tornado (yes, that happened) to searching for a higher purpose, you’ll get every adventure in black and white. Oils will be an important part of the story, but believe me, my life will add all the color you need. Then you decide what you think. To me, oils are about being true to me and doing what’s right for me and mine. They’re totally versatile and you can personalize them exactly to you. Don’t miss out because you don’t quite believe it or understand it. Take the time to keep up with me. I think you’ll like what you read.