Hi, my name is Colandra and I am a writer!

Thirty-one days ago I was invited to join a writing challenge. I was on the fence about starting until I noticed my mentor, Cathy Thompson, had joined. So my mind started wondering if I should give this challenge a try. Then I noticed that several of my teachers had joined the challenge. I knew at that point I had to join as well. Within the first week, I was ready to quit but then my dean, Kelly Andruch, joined. I had to quit my inner bickering and rejoin the challenged. A few more days had passed and I was ready to quit again. Next, I noticed my business manager, Angela Crotty, had joined as well. At this point I am at least 12 days in and three of my colleagues had joined. How could I give up now?! Two of the three people who had joined are math people like me. If they could give it a try then so could I.

Three weeks in and my excitement was at an all time high. The comments noted on my pieces inspired me to keep writing. I am glad I did. I actually finished my 31 day writing challenge. Let me tell you it was a challenge. I actually had to think about things to share. I had to sensor my colorful language. I had to allow people into my thought process. Now I feel so successful. I knew I could write but I did not enjoy doing it. The comments on my posts really inspired me to keep going until day 31. Here I am at 31 days of writing and I don’t want it to end.

Thank you for helping to bring out the hidden me – the writer. Thank you!

 

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Writer’s Block

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(This line represents my thought process – flat line.)

Writer’s block. That’s what I have. I think. Maybe. I guess. I am not sure.

Writer’s block. I didn’t even write until now. This writer’s challenge has made me do some strange things.

Writer’s block. I am a math person. I should know better than to try to write.

Writer’s block. Am I crazy or what? I have to put my thoughts on paper and have people read it. Plus they get to comment.

Writer’s block. Now I know I am crazy. I actually participated in this m  o  n  t  h  loooonngg challenge. I wrote nearly every day.

Writer’s block. I actually enjoyed writing. I believe a little of personality came through each piece of my writing. Some of my piece made you laugh. You know it.

Writer’s block. This challenged had me checking my email regularly for comments. I secretly looked forward to what others thought about my writing.

Writer’s block.  I don’t think I have it anymore. I just wrote a little piece for you to read.

Enjoy!!

What’s that sound?!

Shh!

What’s that sound?

Oh! That’s the ice maker.

Shh!

What’s that sound?

Oh! That’s the heat kicking on.

Shh!

What’s that sound?

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

That’s strange. I haven’t heard that sound in ages.

Silence. That’s the sound I am not used to. That’s the sound I often long to hear. That’s the sound that allows me to clear my head. That’s the sound that allows my body to relax. That’s the sound that makes me happy!!!

Silence is truly golden.

(My family was sound asleep when I was allowed to hear this sound. I had two full hours of silence. What a joy!)

What a Day! What a Day!

Oh how I wish I could turn back the hand of time!

My week has been atypical. Nothing has gone as scheduled. So why would I think today would be any different?

I woke this morning in a mood that said, “You should stay in bed and not answer the phone.” I expressed to my husband, “Honey, I am not feeling like myself. It might be a good idea to take the girls school. I am not in the mood for their bickering.” He says, “I go through this everyday with them. It is time for you to experience what I go through.” He then proceeded to walk out the door. My evilness said to call the locksmith and change the locks. Instead I began arguing with BOTH girls. I normally just argue with one. But the oldest one decided to voice her opinion. UGH!!

No one wanted the oatmeal I made. “It is not like daddy’s. You can’t cook, mom!” “Really, girls! It is instant oatmeal. It is only calling for boiling water.” “Daddy adds other stuff in it.” “What other stuff could he possible add to instant oatmeal.” “I don’t want it.” “Me either!” As we are having this debate the clock is ticking. The minutes are speeding away. My mother was snaking (slithering) to come out of me. “Girls, it is best that you eat that oatmeal and get ready to leave for school.” That fell of deaf ears as they sat and looked at the bowls. It was like a scene from Good Times when no one wanted to eat Thelma’s oatmeal. So my mother finally came out of me. “Get your stuff and let’s go. You will just have to be hungry today. I told your dad to take you girls school and he decided to walk out the door. I won’t walk out the door on you but you will go to school hungry. Now move!” Of course I had the facial expression to show that I meant business.

As we are driving to school, the youngest, my challenging one, just had to say something. For the life of her, she just can’t be quiet and allow me to be angry or to have a moment of silence. “Mom, you know it is not a good idea not to feed us.” Something told me not to look in the rearview mirror. But I did. She had that damn smirk on her face like she just told me something I didn’t know. So I had to go there with my six-year old. “Listen, Sydney, you chose not to eat the oatmeal. So I guess you chose to be hungry until snack time. I am assuming you like the sound of your tummy growling.” She kicked the back of the seat because she didn’t have good comeback for my reply. As she was kicking the seat, a thought appeared in her head. In mid-swing she says, “When are you going back to work? I want daddy to take us to school.” “Young lady, I was trying to get him to take you to school but he walked out the door.” “Mom, can you just drive fast so I can get to school. My teacher will give me some cheerios.” I couldn’t drive fast enough to get her to school. I wanted to run every light. I actually wanted to make her walk to school as I drove alongside her.

If she is like this at six what the heck is she going to be like at sixteen?

After dealing with the oatmeal situation, I headed to the eye doctor. I knew I was in need for a new pair of glasses. It had been about two, three, four years since my last eye exam. I decided to go to a new doctor because of convenience. It is closer to my house. I should had gone back home when one of the customers allowed the door to close in my face. He, I said HE, did not hold the door open for me. He was first to get to the door. I was right behind him. He knew I was behind him because we had parked next to each other. Instead of being a gentlemen he closed the freaking door on me. How rude?

Aren’t men supposed to hold the door open for women and children?

It gets better. There are about three secretaries, technicians, I am not sure of their title, at the counter. All three had to talk to the gentlemen. I had an appointment. He didn’t and they purposely made me wait while all three had to answer his stupid questions. Seriously!

How many secretaries are needed to help ONE person?

Of course, I had to get the technicians with the attitude. It was just the hand I was dealt today. I tried putting my most cheerful smile on my face. It didn’t help. She was still rude to me. Her first question to me after I said who I was and the time of my appointment was, “Do you have your medical card?” In my head, I am thinking I have never, ever been asked if I had a medical card. Did she just assume that I am a public aid recipient? I would love to live off the fat of the land but I enjoy going to work everyday. Other thoughts ran through my head and I should probably keep them there. I say to her, “Do you mean my insurance card?” “Oh yes, do you have your insurance card?” Now I wanted to give her a good tongue lashing for her ignorance but I was trying to have a better day because my morning started off wrong. After dealing with her and completing all the necessary paperwork, I had to see the doctor. She informed me that at the ripe age of 41 I needed bifocals. I was also told to go see me my medical doctor because I might have high blood pressure.

How much can a person take in a day?

I probably should have stayed in bed today.

 

 

Rain Don’t Go!! I need to REST.

Rain makes me sleepy.

Rain makes me not want to work – no laundry or dishes.

Rain makes me watch TV all day.

Rain makes me not answer the phone.

Rain makes me ignore the paperwork that calls my name from my bag.

Rain makes me want to eat ice cream.

Rain makes me find a good movie on on-demand.

Rain makes me order a larger pizza to go with my ice cream and movie.

Rain makes me use my popcorn maker to go with the large pizza, ice cream and movie.

Rain makes me stay in the house.

Rain makes me REST.

Why Have a List?

This week is my long awaited Spring Break. While growing up, this week was called clean up week. My mother took the term literally and cleaned every room in the house. I do mean every room – closets included. So like my mother, I had planned to do a lot of cleaning but my mind won’t let me. I even created a schedule to have things done. I noticed creating a schedule keeps me focused. But that mind of mine won’t allow anything to take place.

My scheduled included the following:

Monday – take mom to breakfast and to Macy’s (she needs to spend those gift cards)

Tuesday – tackle the guest room (my sister is coming to stay with me for a few weeks)

Wednesday – go to school (work) and file papers that are rising to the ceiling

Thursday – do a little personal shopping (mama (me) needs a new pair of shoes)

Friday – girls day out (spend the day with the girls)

I know it is only Wednesday but I have yet to complete a task.

Monday – Mom didn’t want to go to breakfast because of a headache. I decided to visit one of my sorority sister – ALL DAY. She kept talking and talking and I couldn’t escape. Plus she’s a great cook. Yum! Yum!

Tuesday – Mom wanted to go to breakfast at 10 am on the north side of Chicago to a restaurant that always has at least an hour wait. We done by 1:30 After breakfast she wanted to go shopping. The couldn’t happen because I had to drive/speed to the south suburbs to pick up my girls by 2:30. My girls made it very clear to me that they did not want to go after school care.  Needless to say the guest room did not get touched because I just didn’t feel like doing it.

Wednesday – I wanted to check off one thing on my list. So I decided after dropping the girls off at school, I would head to work to file the mounds of papers piling up on my desk. I went to breakfast with one of the moms at my kids’ school. Then I headed to work. Once I got to work, I decided I was not in the mood to file those papers. So I had the bright idea to respond to all my emails. That took a few hours. I glanced at the clock and my desk (mounds and mounds of papers) and decided to leave. There goes another task not completed for the week.

Thursday – I think I can mark this task as done. I am going shoe shopping tomorrow. Rain or shine. I am coming home with a new pair of shoes. My mind will not win this battle.

Friday – The girls may have to go to school because I need to get the guest room together. They will understand. Right?

I truly do not understand why my mind and my list would not cooperate with other. I just don’t understand. I hope tomorrow they can agree on the shoes.

She Has Written Me Off!!

It never fails, every time MY phone rings, my youngest daughter is right there when I answer. She has a sixth sense that tells her the phone is about to ring. It rings, she answers. It rings, she listens to the conversation. It rings and she is ready to talk when the caller hangs up.

My latest conversation was with a good friend of mine who is trying to plan a getaway to Vegas for her birthday. Well, my secretary (my feisty six-year old) was right there to listen to every word that came out of my mouth. She is such a smart little cookie that she is able to guess what the caller’s response/question was. After my lengthy phone conversation with my friend, Sydney decided to have her own conversation with me.

Syd: Mom, can kids go to Vegas?

(She heard everyone word that we said. I do mean every word. I tried to be as discreet as possible.)

Me: Well, um, well, yes and no.

Syd: What does that mean?

Me: That means kids can go but there is really nothing for kids to do there.

Syd: Well, why do adults go?

Me: We go to have fun.

(My fun includes gambling, partying and a buffet or two.)

Syd: Hmm. Well, I want you to take me to Vegas for my birthday like you are going to do for Aunt Tisha.

Me: (My patience is shrinking quickly.) Listen! You are child and there is nothing in Vegas for a child.

Syd: Well, I still want to go.

Me: (I decided to compromise.) When you turn 21, I promise to take you to Vegas for your birthday.

(I thought that was a pretty good answer.)

Syd: 21! Mom you will be dead by then.

Me: Dead?! I won’t be dead by the time you turn 21.

(Does she know something I don’t know?)

Syd: Yes, you will. You will be old and dead. I will never get to Vegas. (She stomps off – loudly.)

My poor secretary/child has written me off. Wow!

 

They are not leaving me!!!

When we were leaving our 20s we made plans to be married with children by 35. We actually said one child because we did not want to gain weight by having too many babies. By the age of 38 the plans we had made in our twenties were fulfilled plus more. Some of us married twice, one married three times. We all have at least one child, some of us have two, one of us has FOUR. We decided as we were leaving our thirties, that we would travel (girls only) once a year. We are definitely in our forties now, most of us are 42 and the remaining young ones are 41 (that would include me).

Each year since we have turned 40 we have gone somewhere, like Vegas, Miami. Now this year they (not me) have decided to drive to Texas. What the heck is in Texas for me?  

They say it would be a great adventure to road trip (drive) to Texas – 18+ hours with the girls. We can have so much fun – they say. It will give us some time to bond more – I think we do enough bonding. We can stop and sight see. Really?! Aren’t we going to be doing that in Texas? Now we have to sight see along the way to TEXAS.

Yep! I’m not really feeling this trip. But guess what?! I am going! They are not leaving me here in Chicago while the ride off into the sunset. They are not leaving me here in Chicago while they stop in all these towns and collect gifts (I will be collecting magnets). They are not leaving me here in Chicago while they talk and bond and cry and talk and bond and cry (we do that a lot since having children). They are not leaving me here in Chicago while they are child-free for a week. They are not leaving me here in Chicago while they go hang out with the cowboys. They are just not leaving me here in Chicago! Nope! Not happening. No way no how.

So I need to suck it up and get my summer gear together because I am heading to Texas this summer. Giddy up!!!

Calgon Friday

Today is Friday. It is the end of the week. For some, today is a payday. For others, you are waiting for the next Friday for your payday. It is known to all to be the start of the weekend. It is the day you can unwind, have a “few” after work, stay up late, caught a movie, schedule a date, etc. For me, Friday is hmmm! Let me think about that.

What do I do on Friday now that I am married with children? I don’t really know. I can tell what I don’t do anymore:

  • go to parties
  • travel to different colleges (sorority road trips)
  • hang out at my best friend’s house (the party house)
  • go to dinner with the just the “girls”
  • go on regular scheduled dates (twice a month, he had to take me out)
  • go to movies
  • stay up all night (talking – face to face or by phone)
  • play cards

I am sure I missed quite a few things I did when I was childless and single.

Now I think I come home and go to bed on a Friday night. Isn’t that sad?! All day at work, I pray that my kids’ teachers have given them some much knowledge that they are just as tired as I am. That the only thing they should want to do on a Friday is go to sleep with mommy. I also pray that my husband doesn’t get an extra boost of energy and want to go out on a date or catch a movie.

I just want a “Calgon” Friday. I just want to take a long bath with some jazz music playing in the background. Get into my comfy pjs that I would never, ever wear outside and curled up to my pillow. I don’t want a book, a glass of wine, or the tv. I just want my firm mattress and my down-filled pillows. I just want to unwind without hearing the kids in the background, or the husband asking what’s for dinner. I just want a “Calgon” Friday.

Someone please take me away!!! (I just need to relax!)

It Has Feelings, Too!

Psst! Hey you?! Come here!

  • Who me?

Yeah you! Come here!

  • Why?

Just come here! Why are you acting so scary?

  • What do you want?

I just want to know why I haven’t seen you in a while.

  • Why are you looking for me?

Why am I looking for you? Well, actually you should be looking me. The nerve of you!

  • What are you talking about?

When you need me I am there for you. But now that you feel you don’t need me, I don’t see you around anymore.

  • I have no idea what you are talking about.

REALLY!!

  • Yeah really!!

For weeks you come pounding on me, your sweating dripping all over me day or night. You leave your smelly sneakers around me. Now you want to act like you don’t know. Go ahead and gain more weight and I promise you I won’t power up. Go ahead and sign up for another 5K. I promise you – you won’t pound on me again.

  • What?!!

Beep! Powering off!!

This is the conversation I had with my treadmill tonight.