Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anyone Up For A Little Branding?

This past week I was asked to speak to a group of women about my nonprofit. I was told it was going to be about 30 women and to just talk a little bit about my past and about how the nonprofit had come about.

I used to do quite a bit of public/motivational speaking to crowds that had 3,000+ people in them, so 30 women was really nothing to me.  In fact, as I left my house that morning I told a friend "I'll call you later, I'm going to go have a little kumbaya session with a few women." As I was driving there I started thinking about what I am going to talk about. "Started," as in "this is the first time I am thinking about what I will be talking about."

Imagine my surprise when I get there and the first thing they say to me is "Ok, lets get you mic'd up and get you on stage for your presentation." Um.....microphone? Stage? PRESENTATION!?

I'm trying to play it cool but inside I'm all OHMYGOSHWHATTHEHELL!!! "So... how many people are you expecting today" I nonchalantly ask.

"Oh, at least a hundred, probably more."

Ok. So I am not here for a kumbaya session, I'm giving a presentation. Well this is just freaking fantastic, I have exactly four minutes now to put a presentation together. Wonderful.

What does someone do when they are thrown for a complete loop and have absolutely no idea how they are going to fix this?

You fake it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Things That Make You Ask "Why?" Part 5

 It's time for another edition of "things that just make you ask why?" Courtesy of Eden's phone.

Why did I call the police, which is something I never do because I don't trust the police? Because the guy at the car wash hit my car with his cleaner cart and refused to give me the business insurance information.

Why did I have a heart attack at work? Because I didn't look at my clients couch before I put my hand on it to lean over and clean the picture on the wall. FYI, mousetraps HURT. I somehow didn't see any of them. Not when I put my right hand on the couch and it snapped, not when I screamed and put my left hand on the couch, not when I backed away out of sheer terror and landed on the couch behind me. Not at any point did I see any mousetraps before they snapped. I mean really, how was I expected to be looking around logically with all the screaming and flailing around that was going on? Seriously though, that was quite stupid of me. Of course there would be mouse traps everywhere, I mean, why wouldn't there be?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Exorcism Is Near

Y'all want to hear about the time my drunk ass was caught throwing shoes at a guy's window at two thirty in the morning and then I shot a dude with a gun? 

Sure ya do.

Seriously though, did I call it, or did I call it when I said that my only hope was now that the female nutcase neighbor was pregnant that maybe they would move? Hell yes, thank you very much. I've written about them so much I don't even know what link to include here, so if you are new scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on the tab that says "neighbors" if you want to get caught up.

I honestly cannot even begin to explain how relieved I am that they are leaving. Seeing them on a daily basis is a pain that has yet to ease, time has not been healing this wound. Everytime I see them I am reminded of not only one of the worst nights of my life, but the pain of being thrown away because of it. I just want it over, I just need them gone. I need, I want, to feel comfortable in my own home again, to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m appreciative for some of the lessons that dealing with them has taught me, but my life will be easier with them gone. The kids won’t be confused as to why they won’t talk to us, I won’t always feel on edge, and the rift that this has caused between our tight knit neighborhood should be healed.

I am so happy.

It didn’t always used to be like this. I was actually friends with Mr. Nutcase Neighbor before Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor even existed. He moved into his house when my daughter was about a year old and he worked an overnight shift at his job. Because I was a stay at home mom and he was home all day, it wasn’t uncommon for us to hang out. We’d sit outside and watch the girl child play and just shoot the breeze. We actually spent a lot of time talking about his dating life and dreaming up new ways to secure him a long term girlfriend. There was one day when my ex came home to find the two of us in the middle of a water hose fight and let me tell you, I thought my ex was going to kill him. Later I found out that Mr. Nutcase Neighbor thought the same thing.

When Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor came around I was pretty excited for him. I offered up my zoo membership so that he could take her and her daughter and helped him clean his house for when she came over. She moved in pretty quickly and that was the first time I really met her. 

Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor and I soon became what I thought were good friends. Nearly every night of the week you would find us sitting outside under the stars or during the winter sitting around a fire just chatting it up. The girl would seriously drink like 15 beers every single night. I’m not even kidding; I actually started counting because I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know how she ever got up for work in the morning or how she even still has a liver. Now I like drinking, don’t get me wrong, but not every night, not even every week.

The closest that I’ve ever been to even getting drunk was one particular night last summer when we jumped the gun and started partying on a Thursday night. We were all sitting outside and at one point I remember looking at Mrs. Nutcase Neighbor and realizing she looked a little blurry to me. At almost that exact moment she tried to hand me another shot to which I replied “No thanks Hun, you are starting to look a little funny,” to which she replied “Hey! Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you!”

Alright, she’s gone.

Monday, April 7, 2014

So Maybe I Should Have Added A Few More Details...

Well, I initially started writing this post as an update to previous blog postings, but after I spent the weekend cringing every time my phone would alert me to a new blog comment on the posting "I didn't win the battle," I'm going to go back and explain some things that probably should have been explained in the original posting. This is sort of going to be a straight forward blog, not our usual sarcasm picture filled funfest, because really, how fun can I make a posting like this? So, if you are new here, I'd suggest starting somewhere else because this posting is going to be boring to you.

Before I even tackle that though, I'd like to welcome all the new readers that followed me over here from my recent article on Skepchick. I'm glad that you are here!!

Alright, lets go back to the posting "I didn't win the battle." I can see from the comments that a lot of you didn't agree with my choice to leave my cleaning job and work on the not-for-profit. Initially I was replying to the comments but when people started throwing rocks at each other I decided to step out. I have enough drama in my life, I don't really want to get in an Internet war with people. With that being said, I do appreciate the constructive criticisms that you guys brought up and I am taking them all into consideration.

I do however want to go back and touch on a few things that I probably should have included in the original posting. What you guys need to understand is that you are reading an extremely condensed version of my life that I have consolidated down into a five minute read that you can tackle while on the train or sitting in a school pick-up line. You can't see the back story, you don't get to view the details, you only get the surface story. I know that a lot of you are invested in my life and I walk a fine line between trying not to bore you to death with the details and yet keep you updated.

So now I will go back and bore you with some of the details.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mind If I Pop You With My Stick?

As you all know, my life has been undergoing some major changes recently and it has been nothing short of stressful. This was a long few weeks. A really, really, long few weeks.

One night I found myself sitting at the kitchen table and just feeling absolutely overwhelmed. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotion come over me that I know all too well. It happens to me several times a year. Not enough to really drag me down, but enough to know it a little too well.

That feeling that wells up from my innermost place and erupts to the surface in a selfishness that I’m not proud of. That feeling that always leaves me asking,

"Why me?"

Why me? Why was I chosen to be born into a family where I was unwanted from the start? Why did no one care about me in even the most practical of senses? Why, of all the people in the entire world, why was I so unlucky to meet the one man who would spend years tearing me apart in ways that most people can’t even imagine? Why was I chosen to bear a daughter with special needs and a son who would be damaged by his own father? Why didn’t I get to finish college? Why do I have to struggle so hard financially, when I am working harder than anyone I know? Why me? And why now, when I’m feeling so down, can I not pick up the phone and call a mother that cares? Why in times of crisis, do my own parents, the one's who brought me into this world, not care even care that some of my most basic of needs are going unmet? Why have they never cared? Why me?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Because Normal Is For Boring People

So, yall want to hear about my weird week? Sure ya do, I know half of you tune in daily to watch the train wreck that is the life of one Miss Eden Strong.

I’m ok with that.

Monday: I dropped the kids off at daycare early so that I could run to the grocery store before work. Apparently 7am on a Monday morning is not prime shopping time. I feel fairly confident in making that statement seeing as how I was literally the only person in the store. Since no one else was there, I also felt fairly confident that I could ride my shopping cart as if it were a children’s scooter even faster than I normally do. As I stood at the beginning of a very long aisle, a little voice in my head said “Girl, I bet you could make it to the other end of the aisle with only three start off pushes. “

Yes Eden, challenge accepted.

After three start off pushes I was surprised at how fast I was actually going, a little bit proud even. I was also surprised that apparently at 7:10am other people enter the store. I almost took out an old lady that stepped into the aisle just as I was crossing the finish line. I did not hit her. I did however see her giving me “you are crazy eyes,” so I decided that it would be appropriate to wave at her and announce “HAPPY MONDAY” as if I were some kind of deranged Santa Claus.

Tuesday:  I’m one of those new age hippies that believes in natural healing and homeopathic treatments, so in a work services trade I clean a chiropractic office for a couple hours a week and in return they treat me and the kids for free. Everyone loves to keep the highway of your body healthy, am I right? Crazy? Eh, it’s all the same these days anyways.

Speaking of anyways, one of the chiropractors there is a guy that I went to high school with. He was a grade level higher than me and I’m fairly confident that we didn’t know each other. I am fairly confident of this because I don’t remember him and he must not remember me because he asked me for maiden name one day. “Oh and why is it that you would want that? Could you possibly be looking me up in your yearbook?” I asked him.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Didn't Win The Battle....

As I said before there are some big changes going on around here in an effort to simplify my life into a more manageable creation than that kaleidoscope mess that it currently is. After looking at my schedule I have come to the hard realization that I cannot both found my not-for-profit and run my housekeeping business. I have gotten to the point in the not-for-profit where meetings need to be attended, fundraising needs to be started, and some serious work hours need to be put in. This has become more than a full time job people. So how then, if that has become a full time job, am I also able to have a full time job running my housekeeping company?

I can’t.

I can’t make it work. It’s gotten to the point where it has to be one or the other. I sat down and I looked at the pros and cons of each company. The housekeeping business is bringing in money, albeit after taxes and my RIDICULOUS liability insurance payments, it’s not much. Only about $200 a week. I look at the future I have in that business and it scares me. I see my body breaking down, I see the damage done to my insides after years of being covered in chemicals, and like I said, it scares me. My kids only have one parent and I want to be healthy enough to be around for a long time. I also know that on a full schedule I’m not even making our financial ends meet. I’m working myself to the bone, I still can’t provide for my family, and I don’t see it getting any better.

Then I look at the not-for-profit. It’s a project that I believe so deeply in, just thinking about the women that I will be able to help heals my wounds. It makes me feel like my path was worth it. Like everything that I went through wasn’t in vain, but yet paving the way for my purpose in life. It feels right. It feels more right than anything else has ever felt in my entire life. It feels like it is the reason that I was put on this planet, like it is the purpose of my soul’s creation. It feels like the answer to all the times that I screamed up to the sky and asked “Why!?”

Perfect, right? Except that I'm not getting paid to work on the not-for-profit.