Sunday Confessional and Giveaway Winner Announcement

Heather says:

First order of business. Congratulations to Erin, Random.org chose you (commenter #4) as the winner of  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Flour-Free Eating Giveaway. And there was much rejoicing.

Second order of business. If you are a feed reader, go ahead and click through to the main page today. I’ve given the site a minor facelift, scroll down to the bottom to see the majority of the effort. I believe I need to add one more general category of top content to that section, but I’m not quite sure what it should be, perhaps some of Laundry’s Greatest Hits? I don’t know, I’m stumped.

A while ago, I lost a friend to suicide, none of us had any clue that her life was a charade, from the outside she looked happy. Had I known, I’d have owned up to the fights with my husband that started over stupid crap, but left both of us wondering where do we go from here.  I would have told her that there are days I wonder why I was given the kids I have. We all have those days, we all have those moments we feel we can’t do it. Some of it gets easier as we grow as people, some of it is natural maturation, but that doesn’t make it any easier in the hard times.

No matter how hard we try to make it appear as though we have it together, most of us are really kind of bumbling along. We screw up, we fall on our faces, and occasionally, we look like fools. We have a choice, we can own those moments and learn to laugh at ourselves, or we can let all these little failures turn into a gaping chasm of guilt waiting to consume us in the dark watches of the night. Rather than burying it and pretending that everything is always sunshine, roses, and glittery unicorn poop, I started the Sunday Confessional.

I signed my oldest up for football. He’s six. It’s his first (and mine, too) experience with sports. He doesn’t even know what a coach is. I’ve tried to explain it, but . . . let’s just say he’s taking after my husband and I in the geek department. I don’t even know whether it’s tackle or flag. It doesn’t say on the fliers, it doesn’t say on the website. I don’t know what equipment we need, the coach won’t call me back, probably thinks I’m a neurotic whack job and he’s half right.  The first practice is tomorrow. I’m scared I’m sending my little boy -metaphorically, he’s off the growth chart- into a situation where he’s going to get picked on due to my ignorance. For now, I’m trying to drill into his head that the words are teammates and opponents, not allies and enemies.

What about you? What do you need to get off your chest? Go ahead and make it anonymous if you must, just keep it clean.



23 Comments

  1. Keter on August 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    As a perfectionist, I have to agree with Heather. Growing up, every little mistake, even if there was no way I could have known, was severely counted against me, so that turned me into the kind of person who was wound-too-tight, must know and master every single detail. The past decade has been spent unlearning as much of that perfectionism as I can, but I'm still somewhat that way. The scary part about admitting imperfection is the response you get from people…some use it as an opportunity to attack you or to gloat and act superior. The last thing any of us need when we are down is to get it thrown back in our faces or to have someone's disproportionate negative reaction make things worse for us (such as asking for help on a job and being fired instead of coached, or asking for help with a parenting issue and having someone call child protective services).

    It boils down to trust: do we have friends we can trust, around whom we are sure we can safely let down our guard, and share openly without fear of judgment or criticism? This year, I launched a business doing magickal consulting, mostly Tarot reading and investigating (and usually debunking) paranormal phenomena. I also am an ordained clergyperson, so I do informal, common-sense counseling as part of that practice, and I would say that 90% of the people who come to me actually just want someone they can trust to talk to and to ask advice without fear of repercussions. I've had people sitting on my sofa weeping because they have been holding it in for so long; some are afraid to even talk to the pastor of their church for fear of judgment, loss of social standing, or gossip. That's a sad commentary on how isolated we have become.

    We have to start having these conversations, so thanks for starting this one, Heather.

  2. Moxie on August 9, 2010 at 11:57 am

    You don't have to post this one, since it isn't a confession per se, but as someone who has suffered from severe depression almost my entire life, I would like to comment. Heather, I am so joyful that you have never experienced this. Perhaps you don't realize that a person who is a depressive isn't letting "little failures turn into a gaping chasm of guilt". It doesn't work that way. A depressive can no more help what is happening to them than a diabetic can help not producing enough insulin.
    The pain of depression is beyond belief, so much so that people will, yes, kill themselves to get away from it. A person who has never experienced this pain cannot, cannot know what it is like. Our son, who also experiences depression, calls it "that dark path." Depressives can't "just snap out of it".
    Many depressives hide their condition, if you realize that we are not thinking logically, it makes more sense.
    But, we can be helped. If you think someone might be depressed, don't be afraid to ask, we will tell you, and we would appreciate being lovingly steered to professional help.
    I do applaud you for the Sunday Confessional though! You are reaching out to people, and that is always good.

    • HeatherSolos on August 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      Moxie, in no way do I think that depression is something that can be shrugged off. My goal with the confessionals is to help people understand that it is ok to admit that things are not always ok.
      Depression runs deep in my family.
      I do know the struggle.
      I'm fighting against the idea that we must maintain a picture perfect front to the world.
      We couldn't know to ask the friend we lost because she fought so hard to maintain that image.

      • Moxie on August 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

        More power to you, Heather! I applaud you for the Sunday Confessional!!

  3. Tinkerschnitzel on August 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I used a can of cream of mushroom soup in my hamburger pie last night. I figured I had it and it needed to be used before it expired. At least it had no MSG in it. I also put my youngest to bed with a cup of milk. I know I'm not supposed to, but he's almost 14 months old and still not sleeping all night every night. Honestly, I'm at my wits end, and I'm doing what I can to get sleep.

  4. Rachel on August 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I have a practice test for a major teacher certification exam that my university has to approve you for and I haven't studied! Approval for a practice! Ugh! I honestly haven't even touched the book since last week when I was told by a friend that I would have to take this practice exam in order to take the real test in October. So I have to meet with a lady from my university and convince her that I've been studying for a while so she will approve me to take the practice! Plus I took a short version of the test last night (only 50 questions) and I got 22 out of 50 wrong! There is so much material that could be on the test it is impossible to study for now, since the practice test is on Thursday! The test is a content test for teacher certification or the TExES Generalist. At some point my education classes touched some of the material or should have and they didn't. So it is overwhelming. However, I know I have an awesome God! I am totally relying on Him to help me remember material and for me to do well! If He wants me to pass then I will, if I am meant to take the real test at a later date, then so be it! I am still going to take a practice test in my book and look over some material,but I know God will be there with me! (Sorry if this is really long! I feel better know!) 🙂

  5. renee on August 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Angela – I understand the not applying for a job. I, too, have been applying for up to 5 jobs a week, most with no reply. #1, I don't want to end up taking a job just to have a job and then the one I applied for on Monday calls, and #2, I get so discouraged. It's like, why bother, no one is going to call me. So last week I didn't apply anywhere either.

  6. Angela on August 9, 2010 at 12:41 am

    My confession for the week would be that I did not apply for any jobs this week. For over 6 months I have been applying for 2+ jobs and week, so this week I did not.

  7. caryn verell on August 8, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    i am a regular main street type of person who tries to always do the "right" thing for my home, community, etc.. but this week i rec'd the 3rd court summons in six months for jury selection/jury duty. now i truly do believe that we all should do whatever we need to do to be good citizens, but i could'nt help shouting hooray when i made the phonecall this evening and found out that i do not have to go to court tomorrow morning…and i will not have to dread being selected to sit on a jury. and since i am at the end of the alphabet, the circuit clerk will be starting from the beginning again before my name comes up…that oughta be good for awhile. 🙂

  8. Dr Alice on August 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I just got back from vacation with my parents, sibs and their kids. My folks celebrated their fiftieth anniversary this year and they did not want a party – they wanted to take us all on vacation. So we all went to Hawaii this past week. I feel so lucky to still have them and that they want to be with us. I keep obsessing about how much longer my parents will still be well and when something is going to happen – I am trying to let this go, as no one has control over this sort of thing. I also feel blessed that my nieces and nephews are such great kids (I have none of my own).

  9. anonymous on August 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    My confession is that I go back to work tomorrow, for meetings then teaching next week, and I haven't prepared at all this summer. I just hung out with my family and enjoyed it. I know that's good too, but I have to pull it together fast. Also, I get really stressed and sad this time of year because I love being home with my son and I almost panic about him being at the babysitter full time for a couple of weeks. I have so much to be thankful for, like a job even if it's part time, and I complain every August. This year I've been working on it a lot more, trying to be positive. Also, realizing that I just overdo it in this area. I was almost raised by babysitters and missed my mom so much, so I really overreact to it with my son because I don't want that for him. Anyway, I'm just working on realizing I have a lot more to be thankful for than to complain about.

  10. Miranna on August 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    My confession…. As great as my mom was, I just realized today that I'm a better cook than she was. That's kind of scary to me.

  11. amikim on August 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing Heather – it's good to know that other families aren't perfect! I think realizing that no one's perfect – and that's ok – is one of the best gifts that we can give our kids. So be confused, 'fess up to it, share your ignorance. Your kid may be embarrassed – or not – but maybe he'll also be relieved.

    • HeatherSolos on August 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

      Thanks, Ami. I know I was in my late twenties before it started to click. Perhaps I'm behind the curve, but even so I just have a soft spot for young women. The standards our society demands are stupidly idealistic and we kill ourselves (some literally) trying to attain them. Life will never be tv set or glossy magazine perfect, nor is it the train wreck of reality tv. I do this series to try keep our expectations in check.

  12. Jennifer Rae Koontz on August 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Oh I'm sure he'll be schooling you on football after two practices, Heather! 🙂

    P.S. I just saw a really scary show about cheerleading. Basically because it's not technically a sport it is not regulated with the same safety standards as sports and is very very dangerous. So everyone keep your kids out of it unless you know and are comfortable with the safety standards your team uses. 🙂

  13. Alison Aikins on August 8, 2010 at 11:42 am

    confession:

    I start my very first teaching job on Tuesday. I have 108 kids for 7th and 8th grade science, it is an inner-city school…and honestly I'm scared out of my wits end!! Everyday I wake up and say "I can do this" but every night I am almost in tears because of anxiety.

    That is my confession for this week: I am scared about being the only adult in the room and having to control these kids.

    • Stacy on August 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Alison,
      I'm a teacher too, and my first day was terrifying, but only because I didn't know what it would be like yet. The first day is scary and there's no way around that. However, it really really really does get better. Little by little, each day you start to "get it" a little more. Now it sounds like a long time from now at this point, but by NEXT year, you'll feel so much better and you'll be proud of yourself for having figured out some things. The second time is a million "times" easier than the first.

      For the first day, just get to know them. Don't try anything super fancy. Just play a fun teambuilder activity and do a little light teaching, maybe something hands-on or just a fun learning game or whatever. Just keep it light. Let them know you are interested in them and that you will also be teaching them. Don't let them have time to get weird on you–just take charge and keep up the pace the first day. Then on the second day, just get down to business learning, but start out with some more teambuilding. It really helps if you seem confident, even if you don't feel it.

    • Dr Alice on August 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      Alison, I'm no teacher but I am throwing this in for reasons of support. If you can find this book at your local library you might find it helpful. It's out of print and the title is "Never Tease a Dinosaur." I think the author's last name is Hannan, and it was printed in 1960 or thereabouts. I was tipped off to it by blogger Ann Althouse; her former elementary school teacher wrote it. He was the only MALE teacher in a 1950's elementary school and the book is a humorous combination of reminiscences and hints. I recently read it on vacation and I think that you will likely find part of it helpful, and all of it will give you that "I am not alone" feeling.

  14. candice on August 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I had NO CLUE how to sign my kid up for kindergarten! Its a week away and we are only 90% sure that he has a school to go to!

    • HeatherSolos on August 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Since my son goes to an online academy, I didn't physically go anywhere to do the signing up. I was paranoid until the books arrived that I had screwed something up.

  15. Jean on August 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

    My biggest's first day of soccer we had the equipment (thankfully they sold it at registration so I knew his would be the same as at least SOME of the kids) but I had no idea if the shin guards went over or UNDER the soccer socks. I so desperately didn't want him to look like a moron due to my own ignorance. I'm guessing that feeling never goes away since we've encountered it a few times since, and I think it's more pressing in the minds of homeschoolers since there's already that "doesn't fit in" thing to deal with. Good luck tomorrow!

    • HeatherSolos on August 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Well, Jean, don't keep me in suspense. Where do they go?

      • Jen on August 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm

        i learned in passing that they go under. but i cheated and did not have to learn for myself. it turns out that they sell these socks with the shin guards inside them. except i wasn't sure if they were machine washable and it took me a few weeks to figure that out…let's just say that they nearly picked themselves up and walked to the washing machine after week #3. they were just fine in the washer. dryer too. so there's my confession, my 4 year old ran around in some really stinky socks because i had no idea how to clean them properly. though in my defense i did figure it out before the season ended. before picture day, even.

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