Pluviophile Mama

a lover of rain;someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

You’ve Changed — March 19, 2021

You’ve Changed

I’ve read a lot of self help books, listened to the audio books, gone to the conventions, done the meditation, I get it. We need to find and love ourselves and yadda yadda and so on.

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself. There are more than one side to me. I have emotions and different moods and different interest that make it impossible to put me into one category or one box. Even a big one (which it would have to be)! Ha see I can make fun of myself while also loving who I am and the many different versions.

There’s a lot of things not many people know. Like if I could go back and do anything over again… I’d join the military. It wasn’t an option that was presented to me in high school. No not because I’m a woman either. I’m not really sure why other than I was in high school during 9/11 and not many of the girls were jumping to head to Iraq. The point is, that side of me that would want to join, train, push myself, learn a ton, and ride or die serve my country is very appealing to me. It also would have been good for me. Helped the messy, lazier side of me.

The opposite side of me has the desire to be a debutante with fancy dresses, always put together, the vision of class and sophistication. I think overall military training would have helped that side of me. Instead I make due with what I have and try not to drop my kid off at school in my sweats. Try. I can proudly say that in almost a year that’s only happened once. Workout clothes don’t count yet. Baby steps. My friend and I have started a thing… we try to dress every day like we’re meeting and enemy. Which neither of us have but it sets the tone.

Then there’s gangsta Britt. She doesn’t come out often. Mostly cause my mom was not a huge fan and I grew up in the mountains surrounded by cowboys and jocks. Which was delightful overall. But I have that G side that wants to wear giant hoops and red lips while rocking an ‘I don’t care’ attitude and giant sunglasses. It’s really a Khloe Kardashian vibe. I have the sunglasses already.

I’m out going and shy. Introverted but also social. I like adventure and love staying home. I feel very strongly I don’t HAVE to be one thing or the other and my mood changes constantly. I make plans then decide I don’t want to go. That last one is mostly anxiety. Things always sound good then it comes to going and being around people I get uncomfortable. I do better in smaller groups.

I’m learning a lot about myself in my mid-thirties and going through this huge loss has rocked every side of me. It’s more of a struggle every day to put my self together and identify how I feel that day. The urge to stay in sweats is a strong one. Which is stupid because getting up, dressed, and ready to see an enemy actually feels great. It feels more normal and attempts to pull me back to myself. Whichever version that might be.

I read an article about how sometimes we are more comfortable around strangers than we are our own friends. The theory is that when we are around strangers we can try on new versions ourselves that we want to be without our friends calling us out with an “oh my gosh that’s so not you!” With strangers it can be us and they don’t know because they haven’t been around you for ages.

I agree with this. However I also think it depends on your friend group. I have very close friends who know all these sides of me and not one thinks “that’s not Brittany”. Because the closest ones to me know that I’m ever evolving. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do.

I hope no one judges me based on the person I was 15 years ago. Ugh!! Thank goodness I’ve changed and grown. I pray that I’ve matured. Grown more compassionate and understanding. I hope I’ve become less self centered. I know I’ve grown more sure of myself and am less insecure. I may have more anxiety but I have better tools and people to help me with that. I have a better relationship with God.

I like who I’m becoming. Yes I’m still becoming myself at 35. I’m a wife, a mom, a dog mom, a friend, a boss (yup the thought scares me too don’t worry), an employee, and most important I’m me. With all the sides and all the continuing changes. I’m grateful.

Anger? Grief? Who can tell! — March 7, 2021

Anger? Grief? Who can tell!

I’ve always been hot headed. I’m very reactive and I get fired up easily. I’m working on it. Not very hard but it’s better than nothing. Right?

So now two months after losing Nana, a year of my husband being diagnosed with cancer, and countless, equally as important family trials, I’ve noticed I’m a little more level headed overall. Until I drop my purse getting out of the car. Or forget a key ingredient from the grocery store. Or heaven help me if I wake up and my house is a mess because I didn’t clean it.

It’s the little things now that send me screaming through the house throwing things and swatting at the dogs like Mom-zilla. It’s taken these two months for me to realize that it’s not the knocked over purse, or my forgetful ness, it’s actually grief. Grief manifesting itself in anger and frustration.

I can feel it inside bubbling under the surface waiting for something to send it exploding at unsuspecting targets. Like my child asking for the 5th snack before noon. It’s not her fault. But there are days when arguing over eating a healthy meal feels hard so I cave to snacks then I get mad that she’s hungry for more snacks. Then poor Pat walks in and for F’s sake can you help me feed our child 12,000 meals a day.

See it’s not about the snack. It’s grief coming out to sucker punch me when I’m least expecting it. It’s the sadness that I was dealing with internally all morning that chooses to lash out at my unsuspecting family because that’s easier than crying.

I’m sure they would rather me be sad instead. But at some point I have to start living again and I pride myself on being able to power through. It’s only just now occurring to me that sometimes you can’t just power through on your own.

Here’s what’s been helping me get a leash on my Mom-Zilla moments. Going for a walk with friends. Bible study. Praying. Reading.

Fresh air is exponentially helpful when I’m breaking down. Getting out with a friend and moving and talking always leaves me feeling more refreshed and grounded than before

My friend Heather introduced me to the Bible app that has all kinds of Bible studies that I’ve started doing both on my own and with friends. I am a Christian and truly believe in the power of prayer and that God will bring me through this.

I believe that going through this extremely hard time is God changing me. He’s working on me to come out of this more compassionate and understanding. I hope that I can be there for other people turn this horrifying year into one of growth and change. Talking to him and friends daily has brought a kind of peace to the mom-zilla moments that no other substance could provide.

I also don’t know what I’d do without books. Fiction mostly because I rely on that escape at the end of the day. An hour or two to turn out the lights and leave my world behind for a whole different one. One where anything is possible and for the most part I know everything is going to be okay.

I don’t have everything figured out. But I do all I can and give the rest to God.

Are Any Words Better Than No Words? —

Are Any Words Better Than No Words?

Eventually I’ll write about more than just grief I promise. However, for now even though I’m powering through, it’s still front and center in my life.

Sometimes I’ll say something to Pat while we’re driving or hanging out at home and he’ll give me what my friend calls “The Pat Face”. Which is basically a blank stare like he’s confused, indifferent, or baffled but mostly just can’t bring himself to respond. I’d try and take a picture for you but it would turn from The Pat Face to the Pissed face faster than my phone camera can capture the moment.

Anyway after he gives me the Pat Face I have to explain how I got to that topic. It’s usually a long drawn out version of “well I as brushing my teeth and thought of Jeanette cause she cleans my teeth (when I show up!), which got me thinking about hanging out with them and how we should go on vacation, but we should go on a fun vacation, but not with jelly fish, but I like sushi, oh we should go to Vegas and go to Hells Kitchen,” which circles back to my original point of telling him I bought Gordon Ramsey’s cookbook. I can feel all of you giving me the Pat Face right now!!

Needless to say the last two months has got me wondering if saying nothing or even the wrong thing is worse or better than saying nothing at all. I have come to the long, Pat Face initiating, conclusion that saying something is always better.

When Nana passed I had people I hadn’t talked to in years reach out with a single text. “Heard about what happened to Nana and I’m thinking of you. Sorry for your loss”. So simple and yet it warmed my heart in a way I didn’t know I needed.

I have never reached out to people before. I was always uncomfortable and didn’t want to bring it up or remind people of the pain. Then Jeanette said something that stayed with me and I wanted to share with my two followers. When I told her I didn’t want to reach out because of that she said “it’s never out of someone’s mind. That loss and hurt is always there even when people are smiling and talking to you. It’s feels better to acknowledge it than to try and sweep it under the rug”.

Now having experienced that new level of pain and loss I understand what she meant. Telling me your sorry I lost Nana is not “bringing it up again” because it never went away. It’s always at the forefront of my mind. It’s always hovering in my peripheral vision. Always the rug I’m standing on waiting to slip out from under me.

It’s always easier for me when people say sorry for the loss or anything really because then it doesn’t feel as “Debbie Downer” if I mention it. It clears the air for me to even talk about it in passing or if it’s in the middle of one of my thought process tangents.

I truly believe it’s better to say something than nothing. Coming from someone who never used to say anything I can now saw with confidence that when I’m in those situations, it even feels better for me to acknowledge it. Saying “I know there are no words but I’m sorry and you’re in my mind” takes pressure off both of us.

I’m aware everyone might not feel this way. But in the grand scheme of things I’d rather acknowledge and let someone know I’m thinking and I care than have them look back and think “wow Brittany didn’t care enough to even send a text”.

So my words of advice is this. A simple something is better than nothing… example if you need one is simply this “I know there are no words! I’m so sorry for your loss and you’re in my thoughts”

Hope this is helpful!

Reading through Pain — March 1, 2021

Reading through Pain

As I’ve mentioned Nana passed away. What I didn’t say was all the other loads of crap going on in my life. 2020 was a crummy year for everyone (understatement of the century, I’m aware) but for my family Covid wasn’t even in the top 10 worst things that have happened.

My grandpa was in and out of the hospital for a better part of the year, nana was in and out of the hospital before she passed, my husband has thyroid cancer for the 3rd time, his grandpa passed away, his uncle was diagnosed and passed from pancreatic cancer, and I’ve had other family members in and out of the hospital.

More than once I’ve been told I’m strong. I appreciate the sentiment but I don’t feel strong. I feel like Evelyn Hugo in the book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. She said “Everyone sort of assumes that when faced with life-and-death situations, you will panic. But almost everyone who’s actually experienced something like that will tell you that panic is a luxury you cannot afford. In the moment, you act without thinking, doing all you can with the information you have. It’s when it’s over that you scream. And cry. And wonder how you got through it.”

While my last year hasn’t been a “life and death” situation it’s been about life. And death. Mixed with turmoil, trauma, hope, connection, and a ton of other things all wrapped up and put on the scariest roller coaster you can imagine. Yes I’ve wanted to throw up many times. like the quote says through it all I’m doing what I can with all the information. Powering through and doing what needs to be done.

I have the best family in the world. We rely on each other and take turns holding each other up and when it comes down to it I’d be lost without them and God.

My other coping mechanism is reading. I’ve always read to escape but over the last year I’m really diving in and getting away from life. Which is probably why I fell head over heels in love with the Throne of Glass series! It was recommended by every platform imaginable and my Instagram book bestie encouraged me to read it. I miss Instagram for that only! Still not going back though.

Anyway I dove right into this series and was hooked. The main character is brilliant and through her story I drew strength. She inspired me and I am a firm believer that books come into our lives for a reason. This seven book series was just what I needed for this season of life.

Throne of Glass Series has so much to offer and there were sections that were extremely emotional. Lots of people post about trigger warnings and I think it’s important for you to know if reading something would be beneficial or triggering. For me reading emotional or powerful things is healing. There are times I can’t even identify what I’m feeling but I pick up my book and next thing I know I’m ugly face crying trying to explain to Pat that it’s both the story and my life making me melt down.

Sometimes you need to cry over fictional characters because crying over your own life means to have to process and deal with it. We aren’t always ready to do that but the release of crying, laughing or getting angry is healing. Even if its over an witch and her dragon (don’t judge me till you read the book).

So if you’re struggling I recommend reaching for a book. Find a friend who can make a good recommendation or ask me! I’ll do my best to bring the perfect book into whatever season you’re in.

This is how invested in the series I was. The last book and I don’t think the 3 of us moved for hours on end.

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