Friday, October 5, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

I had an idea of what my life would be. A good adjective to describe my idea would be rigid. I had a very, very rigid idea of what my life would be. Sometimes I wanted it very badly. Other times it seemed like it would be awful and staid and predictable and soul-suckingly dull.

I couldn't tell you which it was because it didn't work out that way.

I spent some time being mad about it. I spent some time blaming certain people for it. I spent some time blaming myself for it. And all of that was justified and true, as well as false. I see that now. Facts remain the same but emotions swish and swirl and I am happy to be on the other side of that particular swishing and swirling.

For those of you that have stuck beside me through all my many, many, MANY ups and downs and back-and-forths, I am truly grateful. Some friends fall away when you start to become someone different. Others just love you, regardless. I am blessed with a lot of the latter and, to be honest, haven't spent too much time lamenting the former.

It's weird not knowing what your life will be when you have already lived 30 years of it. I feel like I should have it together by now. But I don't. And that is okay because what else can it be? Here is what I can say...

I will have one book PUBLISHED by the time I am 40. At least one. Because I am an awesome writer and it is what I was always meant to be. 

I will find a way to overcome my fibromyalgia to the point that I can be active again.


I will NOT waste anymore time worrying about what I could have, should have, would have done differently in the past. All that does is waste time in my present! 

Oh, and for the record... I am glad my life didn't go the way I thought it would. I'd have been very unhappy. I have nothing but gratitude in my heart for the confounding of those "dreams". Honestly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

30 ROCK!

I still have a little over 3 months until I am officially, GASP!, middle aged. I still look like I'm a little kid (so long as I keep my hair dyed) so I am not freaking out too much as far as the actual aging process is concerned. I do wish I had more to show for my 30 years on earth but I figure, fingers-crossed, that I have at least 30 more to make up for what is currently lacking.

One of my fears about myself, being that I am still single, was that I would still find the younger guys attractive, like some sad caricature of a woman unable to let go of the past. I say things like, "Zac Efron is awkwardly attractive" because, to me, he is a little kid (but he is actually 24, so WAY legal) and finding him attractive is awkward! But I don't have an actual crush on him. I just recognize his attractiveness. I also recognize his penchant for shlocky chick-flicks that make me want to gouge my eyes out just to stop being assaulted by the previews. Yeah.

So... the fear of being attracted to younger dudes that remind me of when I was a younger chick... has been proven invalid! About two months ago I met a kid that I will refer to as James Franco because he looked a lot like James Franco. A lot. And I happen to LOVE me some James Franco. He is wacky but intensely attractive and the fact that he is funny only makes me love him more. So here I am spending time (we were admitted to the hospital together and formed a coloring group to pass the time) with a GORGEOUS young man who was also surprisingly polite (he was 20 but his manners and kindness toward women was something that most 40 year old men don't seem to be capable of), hilarious, fun to talk to and easy to talk to about the more serious stuff of life as well. Perfect crush material.

And I felt NADA!

Well, not nada, I felt like I desperately wanted him to fall in love with Becca so that he could be in our family because I just adored him to pieces but in the way you would adore your little brother. If ever there was a way-too-young for me kid that I was going to develop a crush on it would have been him. Instead, I just wanted to give him lots of hugs and find a place for him in our family pictures.

This might seem, okay it actually is, a ridiculous thing to have cared about at all but it was always in the back of my mind... that wondering. Not that women can't have wonderful relationships with younger men... blah, blah, blah... I just kind of don't want to be one of them.

You know what almost-30-year-old-Jen is attracted to? Laugh lines around the eyes, some stubble, and skin that isn't completely flawless. I like a guy that cares enough about what he looks like to brush his teeth, comb his hair and match his clothes on a basic level but mostly, I like a guy that has a sense of humor about life and himself, a guy that cracks a book now and then, and a guy that is respectful of my space and my mind, meaning he gives me my alone time AND doesn't spend our time together trying to "teach" me. Ugh!

And, apparently, almost-30-year-Jen likes 'em in her age range. Oh, yeah.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

UGH! and WHEW!


Other people STRESS ME OUT! I want to help and I want to listen and I want to fix things but I can't. And most people don't really want you to. They just want you to agree with their grievances. Which is fine. ON OCCASION. I just need to learn how to listen without getting attached to the problem. Anyone know how to accomplish that? It would really save me a lot of headaches. Literally. Stress, even for other people, triggers my migraines. How do you tell people this? Um, I love you but don't tell me your problems they make me sick... yeah, that will go over well.


I am very blessed to have Justin and Stephanie in my life. They listen and do their best to understand and even when they don't quite get it they still take my word for it when I tell them the things I need. Stephanie is like my PROTECTOR and she tells me when she notices what things happened in the day that may have contributed to my getting sicker. I started to talk to her about a particular situation the other night but she cut me off to tell me that she already had a plan to deal with it. And her plan was exactly what I was going to ask for. I do not think that in order for the people in our lives to truly love us and mean us well they should be able to read our minds. I am perfectly happy to ask for what I need. But it feels so amazing for someone to just understand on their own every once in a while.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Salutations, Little Pig...

I rescued a pig! Here's how...

Sophie (the 15 month old baby) stalked me up the stairs to my room (which was her room until three days ago) so I generously and magnanimously allowed her to come into the room and then, with even greater love and devotion, I picked up said child and let her look out the window. She loves to look out the window.

As we were looking out of the window I noticed the most terrible squealing sound. It sounded like a small, angry pig. So I looked for weird birds in trees or small babies in yards. At one point I thought I found two sparring turtles, which turned out to be large ping-pong looking paddles... also turtles don't squeal but I was in a tizzy trying to figure out what the sound was so my powers of perception and discrimination were lacking.

Finally, I looked straight down and saw a teeny, tiny black pig in a rectangle of a pen. I was confused by this having never seen a pig at the neighbor's house before but I just moved back and it has been seven months so who knows. I also noticed that this small, plastic pen was not anchored to the ground and the angry, teeny pig was ramming into it and making it move.

In response I grabbed a confused Sophie and took off downstairs to ask Stephanie if the neighbors had had the pig for a while. Maybe he rammed into the pen all the time and I just didn't know. Stephanie seemed just as confused about the pig and we ran upstairs to check it out.

And the pig had escaped.

He was still in the yard and Steph saw him so we took off running to save the pig.

Here is what I have learned about this piggy:

His name is Winston.

He does not like being chased, held, or touched.

He feels safe when cornered between a motorcycle, a set of concrete steps and the side of a house.

Anyway, we didn't manage to pick him up but we did manage to alert the neighbors and assist in corralling him into the backyard. He then squealed well into the night and I had to wrestle with whether or not I regretted my decision to save him.

I decided I did not regret it, but it was a close call.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fibromyalgia Beat Down!

I am going to be posting a weekly update of my new and improved health regimen at since I am up here trying to get HEALTHY! As in fighting back against my fibromyalgia because I am sick of sleeping in bed and being in pain.

This plan entails daily ten minute walks, which are supposed to be good for my muscle strength even though it hurts like a mother. I have been assured that it will get better over time.

I will also be eating organic products and a lot more veggies and fruits and whole grains. At some point I will be doing this super awesome 10-day juice fast that I am excited about. The juice is made from all organic produce and is packed with micro-nutrients. It is not a lose-weight-fast it is a pump-your-body-with-real-nutrition-fast.

I will also be trying to ween myself off of all the medications I am on, most of which just mask my pain, and turning to more natural sources for pain management and rehabilitation. As of now this includes using all natural oils to fight those aches and pains I encounter. I can attest that I have had some great success so far. I will also be taking all natural supplements such as pro-biotics to fight my stomach issues and I will be cleansing my body of the excess yeast that is contributing a great deal to my problems.

I know that all sounds hippie-dippy but as someone that has tried chemical medications for YEARS I can assure you that these methods are much preferred, much gentler on the body, and yield results faster and more consistently. I am not rejecting all my medications, nor am I shunning my doctors. I am just looking for a better way to live because what I have been doing for the past year is not living, it has been existing. And while I don't want to stop existing, I sure would love to exist in a happier, healthier state of body and mind.

Therefore, if you are so inclined, you can check out my progress at the link written above. It is also a great site for all health inquiries. There are posts about eating well, about alternative medicine options to keep you and your family healthy, and exercise posts. Otherwise, you can visit me here, at my blog, and read about my travails in writing, pondering, and living, as always. Thanks! Love to you all...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

And Just Like That... She Was Gone...

Oh, hi.

Yes, I decided to not exist for a while. Sorry.

Being back in Pot Hole, as one of my childhood friends so loving refers to our home town, has been, well, pretty much what you'd expect from a town that has inhabitants referring to it as Pot Hole. It's not that town's fault. It's hard starting over some place old. Starting some place new is a cinch, for me anyway. Being new is intoxicating. I miss my Provo life (pre-fibro attack) and I miss my Provo friends and, as conceited or misguided as this may seem, I miss the person that my friends there saw. It was nice to, for a while, have a whole group of people that didn't know the bad parts. It helped me realize that there are definitely good parts that are worth acknowledging, even though it is only to myself.

SO... I have been ill. SHOCK! I have been pretty depressed. SHOCK! And I have been not handling it well. I was super nauseated and unable to sleep for a 38 hour period and this occurred directly after a mental breakdown wherein I informed my mom and sister that I didn't know what the point of my life was (don't worry, I believe in an afterlife so I know killing myself is not a viable option).

I was miserable.

It was around 2 or 3 am and I was soooo tired (and still 16-17 hours away from sleep, unbeknownst to me) but I was sitting in the living room with the television on so that I could at least try and be distracted when I suddenly heard Sting playing a lute and singing Fields of Gold, which is a song like a memory to me. It just transports me. I couldn't tell you why exactly but I love it. And then I felt the overwhelming happiness and hope that art sometimes affords us. I just started to cry and I was so happy to be alive. To be able to hear such a beautiful song and to feel such impenetrable joy for those three minutes.

For all there is in life to lament, for all the pain, betrayal, and lack we may experience there is the exact opposite waiting for us somewhere. There is peace and trust and abundance. We just have to remember that when it gets dark and lonely.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is blog post that Justin put up after I left. I thought that my Justin Draper link was to a defunct site so I hadn't checked it until today when I decided to randomly click on it and see what happened.

What happened was; I CRIED!

Love you Justin and thanks for loving me as your sister;

Goodbye Sister
As you drove away in the car, the kids and I waived goodbye until you were out of sight. I turned around and Caleb said, "Mommy and Jen going to the store." That's when I started crying. "No, Jen is going back home to where her mommy and daddy live. She won't be living with us anymore."

We went upstairs and stood in your room. I told them you were gone. I don't think they understand yet, but they will feel it soon. Steph and I already do.

Jen, you have been a blessing on our home. It helped my wife to have family here. It helped my children to see their aunt and interact with her. It helped me to learn more about myself and others.

Whatever you may think about how I feel and what your influence was this past year, know that it was of God and a strength to all of us. You are a wonderful person and though we know you are doing the right thing by going back to Tucson, we will miss you. Thank you for being a part of our home and our lives.

Your brother