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Simply put …

Thanks for sitting next to me!

Well, maybe I am not exactly talking to you. I guess that is a rude way to start a blog, but when I was trying to decide on what my passion might be in life, I thought of sharing my ideas in a public space. When I thought about sharing my ideas in a public space, I thought of WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT? I tried to think of things that matter to me. I tried to think of things that other people might like to read. I tried to think of how I could be the best blogger in the world. I tried to think of what the word “blogger” even meant. I tried to think about not being completely and utterly scared. I tried to just not think about it and do it … and I am not very good at just doing things … so I thought of my husband who is always my “human Xanax” and I decided to just do it! Yay! ( Okay, between you and me, I am literally sweating right now that I just started this whole thing, but that’s okay … I think.)

Why the longest domain name (I think that is what it is called anyway) in the entire world? It is something I say to my husband. With all of the crazy in my life (which is probably mostly fabricated in my sweet little, over-worked mind), I have to remember that all of the good … all of the amazing things that bring joy and sweetness, can be narrowed down to simple actions. A man sat down next to me at my cousin’s husband’s surprise birthday party. Simply put … he sat down next to me. And minus one little hiccup, as my husband likes to refer to as his “shotgun approach”, we have been together ever since. He is not the person who grounds me, he IS my ground. He is simply my favorite.

I have three main people that I talk to about everything. My husband, my sister, and one of my amazing coworkers. I have other friends who get snippets of things going on, but I don’t frequently share everything going on because we all have our own lives and … dang it Gail, keep it simple! Basically, I need a place to clear my head. To put things into perspective. To remind myself that even though I have, what I consider to be, a whole lot of crazy (my husband always says it is just the right amount) up in my head, everything can be broken down into simple acts.

In other words, if you want to feel normal … read my posts. If you want to not feel alone because you struggle with the endless stream of consciousness in your head and you want to share them but are slightly afraid … read my posts. If you just want to support me because you are a kind person …  well, I think you get the point.

I think I am supposed to start creating ideas for blog posts now, or something …

 

I Am a Sports Orphan

WHOOO HOO!!!! GO! GO! THAT WASN’T A PENALTY!! DO YOU NEED GLASSES REF?!?!?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is football season people! Well, that is, I think it is football season. I know, I know, so many of you just cringed. How could I not know for a fact that it is (enter any sport into this blank that you deem appropriate) season?!?! Well … the fact is, I don’t watch sports.

WAIT!!!

Before you never read another post of mine because I am, in your eyes, some anti-American who should be hung for such a crime … I really, like really, want to like sports. I WANT to watch them. I want to be one of the people at the bars who is screaming at the TV and is wearing my jersey (okay, honestly, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a jersey, but it fits the story so hang with me), and all of my friends and I are slapping each other hard on the back and banging our beer mugs together, and rooting for our team, dammit! We are a family! We stick together through thick and thin. Wins or losses! Our team is EVERYTHING TO US!

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Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

Except, not me. I do not have a team. My husband roots for the 49ers and the Dodgers and obviously the Golden Knights and LV Aces, because clearly VEGAS STRONG, duh. But, it is not like we have every one of the above mentioned games on our televisions every time they play. In fact, we don’t even have ESPN.

WHAT?!

Yes … it is true. We barely watch sports in this house.

It is funny when I think back to my childhood and remember the role sports played in my house. How my dad could scream so loud at a TV over and over again and still claim to love sports, was beyond me. I mean, he was kinda scary about it even. There are not that many times during the year in Vegas where you can have your windows open, but when we did, the entire neighborhood knew who my dad was rooting for!

My first husband was the same way. He watched sports all day long on the weekends, and frequently I found myself praying, actually praying, that his team would win so that he would not be in a bad mood.

Maybe that is the reason I shied away. I couldn’t imagine being caught up in something so much that I would let it ruin my entire day, especially if it was literally something I had no control over. And don’t even get me started on my belief in jinxes and always rooting for the underdog!

But … with that being said … I still wish I could watch sports. I still wish I was part of that “family” whether it is the 49er family for my husband, or the Packer family for my dad, or whatever team/sport I so choose. I know you think there is a simple answer … Gail Ann, turn on the TV and watch them then, and quit complaining. But it isn’t that simple.

I HAVE TRIED!!!

But I zone out! It is a huge celebration (well, my husband says, “Good job, Lover!” and I smile and rock back and forth a little bit in my excitement)  when I watch an entire play from start to finish! I am not sure what is wrong with me, but a play will start,  I will get on my phone, people will start screaming and cheering, I will look up … and have to watch the replay to figure it all out. Sigh …

Not only do I zone out, but I have been known to do something that is quite embarrassing. I have been known to scream and cheer for a play, only to find out that I screamed and cheered for the opposing team! I know! I should be sent straight to sport-watching hell for that offense! I just get so caught up in the action, if I am actually paying attention, that I appreciate the talent no matter what side showed it off.

That doesn’t go over too well with the sport watching families I want to join.

I think I will forever be a sports-watching outcast.

I am a sports orphan.

Will any of you adopt me and teach me your ways? Is there some type of plan I can follow to become a fan, maybe like a diet-plan but instead, a watch-sports plan? Please comment with any advice for a wanna-be sports lover! I am desperate!

 

 

Runaway From Adulthood

I am a teacher. I literally am required to work 183 days out of the year. All of those 183 days are roughly seven and a half hours long. Three nights out of the year I have to attend a “late night” and return to school for a few hours in the evening for one event or another. I am not about to get into whether or not I work extra hours grading papers or writing lesson plans, because to me, that is irrelevant. I am officially only required by my contract to work the above stated times.

My husband is a captain with the fire department. He works 48 hour shifts and then has 4 days off in between. He works overtime on a fairly regular basis, but the older we get we seem to value time together more than money (kind of).

We have four children, three of which are living at home.

Sometimes, we just want to run away! 

I am not sure what it is about the beginning of the year. Maybe it is because that those three said children that are still living at home, plus me, all of a sudden have A LOT to do as compared to the summer. There is the same old complaints of every mother … homework, schedules, lunches, after-school activities, getting laundry done (which reminds me … CRAP, I was supposed to do laundry tonight, not type on my computer while I sip on some wine!) et cetera, et cetera. But let’s just say, it is H A R D – hard!

I am also not sure how the beginning of the year affects my husband. Like the typical male, he isn’t completely in-tune with his feelings, but I have to almost guarantee that he feels the stress of all of the above as well. You know, his house isn’t always clean when he comes home now and there isn’t always dinner on the table. I mean, my husband is amazing and does a ton around the house, but I think every person (male or female) in a committed relationship with a teacher gets a little lazy over the summer. (And a little stressed in the fall!)

Which brings me to the fact that I had to runaway.  

I, like, HAD TO.

Confession time (hopefully my mom or kids don’t read this). In high school, my best friend Crystal and I would frequently get to school, walk up to class, and say, “Nope. Let’s go to Jitters and get coffee.” On a side note, I feel pretty confident that Jitters coffee was mostly sugar, and I am not too convinced I would like it now with my more sophisticated palate (haha) but it was a great escape from high school.

ANYHOW …

Sometimes, as an adult, you just need to runaway from life. And that is exactly what my husband and I dd this past weekend. We ran away on a one-way track … I mean, we did come back and I don’t think it was the wrong way, but you get the picture.

I have been to a few beaches in my lifetime, not a ton, but a few, and I have to say Huntington Beach is one of my absolute favorites. I love the fact that the beach is large, filled with soft sand, isn’t bombarded by restaurants and vendors, and is not laced with personal residences that just make me feel jealous.

My husband and I, while running away from the commitments of life, including our children, like to stay at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.

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I highly recommend this hotel. Not only is it literally right on the beach (and most of the rooms have some sort of view of the beach), the grounds are beautiful, the smell of the lobby is amazing, and every staff member we have ever encountered is completely friendly and hospitable.

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And let’s just be real, they have a bridge that is connected to the beach so you don’t even have to cross Pacific Coast Highway on street level to enjoy the sounds of the waves! (Also, it is really easy to cross over and use your restroom rather than the less-than-pleasant beach accommodations.)

The hotel offers beach chair, towel, and umbrella rentals for free and their gift shop rents out bikes if you choose to be a beach cruiser.

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It truly is an all-inclusive resort. (No … my husband isn’t burnt, he is just naturally pink!) (And no, we did not utilize the umbrella because I grew up in the nineties and still like the look of having a tan. And yes, I know I might regret this in the future.)

With “all-inclusive” in mind, it is actually a fantastic place to take your kids. They have many planned events to occupy children, they have great restaurants (see future blog-post about growing up in Vegas), and a beautiful spa and salon to rejuvenate yourself in.

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However … with all of that being said, if you are trying to run away from your children (I really, truly, do love my children, but sometimes I just need a break) you can do so here, but you will see and hear a lot of other people’s children. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are one of those people who can completely adopt the principle of, “What do I care, that isn’t my kid?” But it is worth noting for those of you who are planning on a romantic getaway.

Downtown Huntington Beach is only a short 15-20 minute stroll away where there is plenty of shopping, restaurants, and most importantly people watching, for you to enjoy. The Hyatt even offers a shuttle if you would rather choose to get a ride than stumble your way home after too many drinks at Duke’s or Killarney’s! And, ending the night on the beach with a bonfire and s’mores is by far a must!

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My husband and I highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and Huntington Beach in general as your more sophisticated “Jitters” when you want to ditch out on responsibilities and just runaway for a weekend!

Where are your favorite places to runaway to?

Just, Some Nights …

I have been known to be a little obsessive over things. Sometimes, obsessions are good. For example, when I obsess that I have to smell good. That is an obsession that inadvertently makes everyone else happy. No one is offended by Gail’s smell. Gail is not the one who leaves the foul odor behind in the grocery store aisle. However, when I obsess over the fact that I think I was rude at work accidentally, and spend the rest of the day literally feeling nauseous because I don’t want people to think I am an insensitive jerk, that might be an unhealthy obsession.

Another unhealthy obsession is thinking you are a horrible mother, when in fact, you know you are not. Just, some nights … after a day of being nauseous at work (see above), you might feel like the fact that the only thing that is making your night bearable is that cheap glass of wine you love to drink. It relaxes you. It takes the edge off. It makes you able to not feel the need to correct everything out of your beautiful, intelligent, sometimes frustrating teenage girls’ mouths. It makes you more of an accepting person.

But then, you start to obsess that you drink too much or that you are a horrible mom just because you have a glass or two of wine at night. This, my friends, is not a good obsession. This is a spiral into the pits of self-pity and self-hatred, obsession. A.K.A. a bad obsession.

I say, enjoy your nights. Take a little edge off. Have a drink or two if your oils, meditative breathing, and self-talk aren’t working.

Feel free to tell me I’m wrong. Feel free to tell me I’m a horrible mother because I don’t enjoy listening to my daughter’s argue over You Tubers. (Should that even be capitalized??) But know, that I toast your admonishments with a glass of cheap, low-carb wine. Care to join me?

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Wanna Be

There are a lot of people in the world who just seem to know and understand their identity. Falling into easily identifiable groups is as natural as breathing to them. They associate themselves as a “mom” or as “someone who likes to live in a big city” or “I have always wanted to be a doctor” et cetera. I, for one, am definitely not one of those people. In my very first blog post Simply put … (written all of yesterday, haha), I mentioned that I do not know what my passion is. I don’t know where I fit. Many times I feel like the majority of other people have it figured out, and I am just over here bouncing between identities like a ping-pong ball.

In high school, the identity I created for myself, at least in my own head, was that I wanted to be true to myself. That I would always be honest, and that if I said something, I had to stick with it. I was loyal to my actions and comments to a point that made me afraid to change, because obviously, if you change your mind about something … you are a fraud or a wanna be. Obvi, right?

Holy moly was I wrong. If we don’t learn new things, explore new experiences, and let these ideas penetrate our being, we never grow. We never evolve. We never find our niche.

The problem for me is, I have now experienced and learned about a fair amount of things and, like Pink, I want it all! I can listen to Tim McGraw’s, “Where The Green Grass Grows” and fully immerse myself in the fantasy of living on a large piece of land, the tall grasses are swaying in the breeze as my husband and I sit in our rocking chairs, listening to the peaceful river. Sigh. That sounds heavenly. Time will just slow down, how I look in a bikini will not matter, I can bake homemade bread, and cookies, and our family will come back for holidays, and I just won’t have a care in the world.

But, I will! I will have a care in the world!

The song changes to Jay Z’s, “Empire State of Mind”. I want the streets to make me feel brand new! I want the big lights to inspire me! I want someone to have to slip me an Ambien because my city never sleeps! I want to put on my Christian Louboutin heels (which, for the record, I do not even own, but this is my fantasy … leave me alone!) and my black pencil skirt suit, and walk the streets of downtown Manhattan to my high-powered job! (Another confession, I have never been to New York City and I am not even sure if there are “high-powered jobs” in Manhattan at all, but it sounds good in my fantasy, so I am rolling with it!) I can see myself having “business dinners” or “meeting clients for cocktails”. My apartment is amazing. It isn’t too modern, because that is not my thing, but it is clean, and comfortable, and of course it has a view that most of us only get to see in movies (Um … yup, that would be where I got the idea from)! And my husband comes home from work with the kids …

Wait … I don’t want to have some high-powered job that takes up all of my time so that I cannot spend quality time with my family. I don’t want my kiddos to live in a place where they do not even have a yard to play in. And what about my dogs? And my chickens??

So, I actually don’t have chickens. But I want them. I want to wake up in the morning and gather my own eggs for breakfast and put onions and spinach and tomatoes from my own garden, that is fertilized with compost from my worm composting bin, into my family’s omelets. I want to quit using most of modern medicine and try to cure the majority of my ailments with my essential oils and meditation and acupuncture. I want to quit my job, home school my children and be self-efficient. I want to live in a tiny house and

Where would I put the beautiful 11 foot Christmas tree we just bought last year? I need my big house with the tall ceilings so that I can fit all of our ornaments on our tree. I need space to get away from my children (I love them, so much, but let’s be real … we still need space) And I need the big house to decorate and put cute things on the walls and make it match my Pinterest boards.

But, cute things cost a lot of money. Well, to be honest, the things that my husband and I tend to like cost a lot of money and I don’t want to trap our limited funds in our house only. I want to take RV trips and go fishing and light campfires and cook with a cast iron skillet!

I also want to take impromptu trips to Mexico to lay out on the beach and be pampered.

I want to provide the best life for my kiddos by giving them experiences in life they can learn from but I also want to be selfish and give myself those experiences.

I want to hit Megabucks and prove to the world that I will still be a kind person and not let all of the money influence me

I want … ugh … do you see my dilemma?? I could quite literally continue this post for pages and pages, but it is starting to stress me out. I guess what I need to do is remember that I am me. I, and all of my contradictory ideals and fantasies, are my niche.

That’s it people! I AM MY NICHE! (Yay! Confetti is falling from the ceiling, people are cheering, tears of joy are cascading down my cheeks! A revelation has been achieved! One sticker to the blog! It is working for me already! Thank you for sitting next to me while I achieved this milestone!)

The song now changes to Whitney Houston’s, “Greatest Love of All”.

Haha, I am a little bit cheesy and a lot a bit all over the place, but can you relate? Do you know your niche? Do you belong somewhere or do you belong all over the place, like me?