Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas List

I like making Christmas lists. Duh. My sister says they are always silly because I always include a car.
But wouldn't you? I've never actually gotten a car for Christmas, by the way.

This year I want a smaller car with better gas mileage but still I wouldn't be afraid to drive it in the snow. Does this car even exist? Also I need new tires.

My Christmas List
Real life/ I want a washer and snow tires and lessons for my kids,  I don't need much of anything. Maybe snow boots size 8.5 or 9. My kitchenaid might die soon.
Books about vegetarian  cooking. Or someone else to make it

Non broken iPhone 😂😢- sigh... 

Check out the Acqua di Gioia Eau de Parfum Spray from Nordstrom:

Check out the CHANEL ARCHITECTONIC Eyeshadow Palette (Limited Edition) from Nordstrom: want. All things shiny. 

Check out the Urban Decay 'Naked Smoky' Palette from Nordstrom: I Love Make-up! Except wearing it. 

Check out the Prada 60mm Aviator Sunglasses from Nordstrom:

Check out the MOROCCANOIL® Hair Care Set (Nordstrom Exclusive) ($132 Value) from Nordstrom: 

Tight Stuff Tight II size 8 blue -
Wunder Under Pant (Hi-Rise) *Ombre - or plain black. I love their yoga pants. 

Fresh Tracks 1/2 Zip

Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew

Run: Stuff Your Bra III this is so cool to run in. oh look yoga teacher training... 

Uswild 6.5 By 4.9 Foot Huge American Flag Blanket

Running tights and shirt and jacket/ hoodie- long sleeved Tru suit size s this closes in 2 days. Hmm. 

Duh. Except not duh I wish I could actually get this. the more I can wear a blanket the better. Is there a pizza snuggle on my list?  There should be. 

A shiny necklace with a cool stone in it. 

Someone to clean my house. 
A mountain bike. Size small. 😂😂
A trip. That I don't plan. 
Good books to read. 
Stuff for my kids. They are the best ever. 

Christmas lists are amazing. 
What do you want? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Skipping Around

If you've been friends with me for a while you know that I might continue a conversation that we haven't really talked about for several years.
Today was one of the days when I wanted to do that. I remembered the answer to a question someone asked me a month ago and I couldn't remember at the time.
Except we aren't talking as much now and It's one of those weird things where you wonder if you could tell them or if that would be weird so you let it go. Also it was a sort of big thing that I forgot- would it even be believable that I forgot that? let's just bring that up awkwardly and the topic is awkward too for a double win.

If you know me well you also know that I read fast. I skip topics and I read fast. I have pigeon like pattern recognition and I'm shitty at putting laundry away.

This week has been weird. Usually if I have a lot of feelings I can't process I just get sick. I haven't really been sick except the last few weeks apparently my panic levels are too high and my body isn't working right and I sort of had the flu or something. Making my new years resolution to be present harder. I wanted someone else to come and bring me - I don't know- those parenting energy pills where you win some kind of parenting award and people don't judge how you answer your kids.

So today when my daughter started crying I was like- hey kid can you like not do that right now because I'm in the middle of being weird and trying to get to the gym and I just don't want to pretend to be the best single mom on earth right now. WAIT I didn't say that. Just the feelings part of me said that. Kids give zero effs- and actually adults too- when they need support.

Let's back up for a minute and say last night I met with a group of people and it was sort of energizing and positive and made me realize I'm always on my guard about people questioning me and I usually don't say what I think or feel. It's just my thing. I feel like saying what your opinions are one of the surest way of your opinion changing the next day and belief is usually a fluid thing. I've gone through times of surety and I've lost that feeling of surety. I think belief is more fluid than most people want to think because their need for safety is greater than their honesty.  They talked about promoting stigma and how there is a cycle between Stigma, Shame and Silence.  I left feeling like the group was going to do something to change the world for the better. That's such a rare feeling in a lifetime of being bombarded with facebook memes and football games.

Maybe I also promote the stigma and don't share and want security even if I don't believe it.
Tonight I visited my friend Deepthi that shared her wonderful Indian Vegan cooking with me. My kiddos got to play with her dog. MY KIDS WANT A DOG. and their dad back.

I sort of talked to Danielle. I hope she didn't noticed it was hollow. So I didn't want to talk a ton we went to the gravesite when they asked. Then something hilarious happened. Mark said- "I wonder if Dad is like Frankenstein or like a skeleton?"
He went on to talk about how he knew that there was a dog that died that became Frankenstein but he thinks that dad was a skeleton not Frankenstein. The existential debate between the undead and a pile of bones hasn't been resolved but when we got home it was proclaimed that dad could always be with us. It was so funny though. and I was no help.
Andrew had taken up hopscotch on the headstones. I asked him to stop. He said- I'm hopping to Jesus (there is a statue close by of Jesus.) Danielle commanded him to come back but Andrew continued his gravestone hopscotch.

Overall I feel like that discussion of feelings went well.  Maybe I'm a little confused and feeling broken right now and I don't know why. At the same time I feel fine.

Remember that discussion 10 years about how people who don't try to win at strategy games are just proving they can't compete and are terrible people? Maybe I spoke too soon. Because really that is pretty intense.

Did I ever mention that I love getting books as presents and I need more in a few weeks after I move?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Survivors

Today is world suicide prevention day. It's an invitation to reach out to people who might be struggling. like GET OFF YOUR BOTTOM AND ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING. I don't always think about suicide and John being dead sometimes it seems really like a far away life that didn't really happen.

I don't really know if I was great at this with John before he died. It was a long struggle and his family worked hard and in the end people who are determined to end their lives get to choose if they stay here. One of the hardest things about days of memorial is we spend one day talking about it then the struggle to survive continues for everyone. After you've gone home from your walk where you donated money to something I still go home and my kids dad is dead.

I'ts been 16 months.
I feel like some of what happened to me was ugly. really ugly. Like I was hurting so much and I just resented other people who got sympathy or seemed to get over stuff faster or seemed to get more support from their family or work. Or if they got life insurance or something. My neighbors husband died a few months later and her family bought her a house and she could work part time. I resented her. A lady died on trek and her family got a ton of support. Yep- resented that.  I looked at that ugly part of myself and I'm not sure what to think of it. I don't actually resent support I want people to succeed. It's like when you don't get something and then later your realize you didn't want it but when you are going through it everything is so overwhelming. Not exactly being grateful there. That's part of the ugly part of suicide- when you forget to be grateful for your friends and you resent that suicide deaths are less supported than other ones. The hierarchy or loss shouldn't really be a competition.

It's the part of me that gets jealous and angry. It's the part of me that just wanted to quit when John died- like- was this not enough bullshit? I think we all have that part. Even if you are trying to be grateful. Loss didn't totally make me into a beautiful butterfly of love and support it just pissed me off.  Like CAN WE GET A CLEANUP HERE BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS. I went on leave from work for depression. Yep- didn't really share that with many people. Some people said I was being selfish. Probably true. I was just sort of depressed out of my mind and jealous of my dead ex that got to never pick up the pieces of his own mess.

Pain can make you forget you have a kick ass life and awesome friends and rad kids.

I never got a card from work when John died. I was approved for half day but had the same quota as other full day reps. I drove up to the mountains where I go when I need to be in my place and walked up and just wanted to die. I couldn't think of a way that was going to work for sure. I wanted to be rescued by someone else. Realized I couldn't really do a high stress sales job with double quota. A job I really wanted at a company I sort of loved in healthcare that I also love. When I wasn't hating them both .  I've never experienced a stranger reaction from myself. I wouldn't have made it without friends that sort of pushed me through. Without a training plan I didn't always follow or a race.

Completely weird.

Maybe that's why like 90% of people don't really know how to talk about suicide. The really ugly part that hurt you might be over and you have to find a place to honor that loss and that person's life that doesn't threaten your pain.

Part of why I would write this is that some time one of you is going to have your spouse or child commit suicide. If you live in Utah you will know someone this year most likely. You will be angry and everyone will tell you they were amazing and don't blame yourself and mostly they will be telling you to be quiet. Mostly they will tell you that you cannot be angry even though it is a physiological response. Mostly they will tell you at least you are ok even though you just increased your risk of suicide by at least 25%- you are one of the highest risk groups now and they will tell you to put your kids in sports or they will die by suicide. There are a few groups but not really and you will wonder what's normal.

The internet might save you. You might take a step back and semi fall apart and fall in love with yoga. You might not be able to watch trite movies anymore about happy endings with divorce or with death. I did a lot of yoga. I still work out and have a plan. I still always have lots of plans and I reach out to friends for support.  Stumbling through the haze that was loss for me and grief and depression made me realize how much we are all connected and lift each other up.

Let's take a moment to remember that part of this loss is just angry and ugly and jealous, People who are hurting do ugly things. I saw that with my own anger- I wanted ugly things to happen to people. Not because I actually wanted that I just couldn't see past my own pain and hurt. People told me to be careful not to say I was struggling or it would be hard to get a job. I wasn't convinced I wanted a job. It was like a haze that I couldn't seem to wake up from. One of the biggest risk factors for attempting suicide? Someone in your life completing suicide. Remember that next time you talk to a survivor or family member. Or a friend seems to call out for attention in a post. I am grateful for all the people who were gentle with me when they really didn't have to be and I probably didn't deserve it.

They chose to help me and it means a lot. Today think about how you can help someone choose to stay.

I don't think suicide will go away.  At least the loss won't ever undo itself from my world.
We can work for treatment but part of it will be looking at it like a real illness. Like cancer. Grief and death just don't give a shit. Like mental illness doesn't give a shit if you have work to do and family. Everyone grieves differently and you just have to live through it. I connected with Dese'Rae L. Stage and she had a cool project where she talks about choosing to stay. I like her project because it's based on attempt survivors. people who are saying mental illness happens and you can choose to stay. Tell your story.

Healthcare can do better. There is a project at the university of southern California looking at virtual reality treatment for veterans with PTSD and it is AMAZING. There is a program to help train healthcare professionals to deal with non compliant patients. We can use healthcare IT.
There have been SO MANY INNOVATIONS. I was a beta tester for an app to prevent suicide a few weeks ago- for high risk patients to make a safety plan. It's been amazing to see the support from people and also to see how much further we have to go. I'm involved in some other groups too that have technology that has been shown to reduce risk.

Every time I was angry I decided to try to figure out how to be assertive about it. I'm angry that there wasn't a memorial scholarship for my kids. So I decided we will set one up for John and give scholarships to providers and companies that are looking at ways technology and healthcare IT models can reduce suicide.  Or provide a better support for after it happens. We are starting a support group for survivors of suicide loss for physicians and medical students. I wanted it to be solution focused. I don't want to make noise about something for the sake of noise.

There's a sort of in between place in grief where you are coming back to yourself and then sometimes get dragged back under. I told people I met in the last 16 months that in like a year they'll be like- yeah she's way different than when I met her. I don't really feel 100% back to normal but I'm starting. Now I'm back to planning our support group. We need professional fundraisers and we are starting a facebook group and we need some photography and graphic design talent. We could also use submissions for scholarships. Want to get involved? here are some links: our website our facebook group

want to donate to the fund?
Donate Here

If you're hurting, afraid, or need someone to talk to, please reach out. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada). If you don't like the phone, text START to Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dear New Girl at the Gym and all new people...

Dear new person at the gym childcare today,

I feel like I should explain.
Hi I'm Janae. I noticed today you were talking to my daughter during my yoga class. Well more like consoling her while she cried uncontrollably. I saw your slightly helpless expression as she told me she just misses him so much. I told her to go to the red zone and give back her sticker. I told her we weren't getting a smoothie at orange peel.

I should explain.
I go to yoga because I read this blog about how to deal with grief and it said crying in yoga is good. Today in yoga actually I was really hot and kind of tired. My right leg felt super tight and I'm stressed about money stuff. Like really stressed. It's time to reassess my life. I really loved my shirt and I was so hot I did yoga in my sports bra and pants and I feel really body positive about it.

Every time I get all introspective and tired like that I should know my kids are exploding somehow. But you are new. I feel like I should explain. Her dad died a little over a year ago. We have goals of what to do when she cries and it used to last over three hours a day. But you are new. Once we disastrously met someone swimming that happened to be a dad less than a month after her dad died. She couldn't play with those girls she had to cry the whole time. Because she didn't have a dad. She just needed someone to come and say- I know you have this whole where your dad was.

You're new. You need to know. The boys will explain their dad over chips and then say he is watching over them. Danielle asked if she would ever see him again and I said not here on this earth on the way to the car. She asked again about orange peel she didn't get the memo that I'm trying to not spend money I don't have. I didn't explain to her. I just said lets go home and I'll make dinner. I missed my swim. Because she was crying. Because there was someone new that needed to know.

I should explain that a little while ago she was in counseling our church paid for. 90 dollars twice a week. Then they couldn't and I think there is a group in salt lake we could join but she wants her old counselor and I can barely get to really hot yoga but I'm getting more organized. I feel like when I'm stressed sometimes she feels it and that can trigger her feelings. Some people are really sensitive to that right? Every new person needs to be told the story.

I met some people the other day but didn't have the energy so I just went with divorced. I'm really getting better at side stepping personal questions. It's just easier than what you experienced.

I know it's hard for new people. And yes it's still hard and no we didn't get life insurance and no they don't see family a lot. Some. No not every week. But some. People don't know what to say or do. They really don't so they just sort of want it to go away. No I'm not handling it as well as I want to and I haven't been as good a friend as I should. Yes I've gotten help but. I don't know how to explain. Thank you for hugging my daughter while she cried about her dad. She needed you to know. So next time she can be silly and know that you know.


Today was a hard day.
I should also explain I opened this gofundme thing up. I sort of wanted to do a memorial right when John died and I wanted everyone to share it and then everyone has the best college plan and I get donations and because college and medical and sometimes I have this dream where it gets crazy popular and then I take my kids to national parks and we do yoga and don't have to worry about if I need a job that pays enough to pay for rent and medical and car and real life and we can take pictures and go to orange peel after she cries in yoga. Plus run on sentences are always good.

 I was surprised about today. If you know someone with a hard loss I think when you meet them - they will need you to know. That's what I've learned about kids. They sort of aren't afraid to need. Even if it's been a little over a year.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Life Update

Over a year ago my friend Robyn told me things would get harder before they got easier. I didn't understand what she meant. Things really did get harder though. This was one of the hardest years of my life and I'm still not even sure why or how. 
A year came and went from the time John died and I was going to post about it but I didn't get out of bed much that day then I didn't have anything meaningful to say. I reopened my etsy shop last week. Because yeah and uniforms. Decided to start selling cookies online. Working with Referring to Solutionreach (patient communication for Dentists and doctors). Teaching German classes and raising money for teachers.  Taking Plexus (ask me- it's  Probiotic). Doing triathlon. Yoga. Friends. 
There's the update.
I don't have a computer right now and I don't have any debt except kids medical stuff but I'm not buying one. I have so many awesome people that have been there for me. Sometimes I'm very angry. Angry that they didn't give me the life insurance so I could take some time off to be with the kids. Angry at his family. Angry at people who get more support when someone dies. Angry that I didn't get the back owed child support or that he couldn't stick around and try to help provide for the kids. Angry that they didn't have a memorial scholarship for my kids to have for their dad. Angry at people who ask why I'm not remarried yet. 

Lake Jenny
Then I'm normal. Sort of like the tide going out and I don't really notice anything. Sometimes I want to go to all the national parks with my kids and homeschool for a year. Then I realize I have a lot of stuff and I need to pay rent. Sometimes I want someone to rescue me. Sometimes I have nightmares about my divorce or John trying to apologize to me. Right before he died he was acting strange and saying he just wanted things to be how they were before one more time and I told him we needed to find a way to parent together and part of that would be him not talking about emotional stuff. Ever. 
I also sometimes miss my old life where I was super naive. 

Someone said they really believe things happen for a reason. She happened to be someone that sort of just saw through my soul from the minute she saw me. Things fell apart for me. I left my sales job I didn't think I could keep up. I am changing teaching jobs. My kids- things have been hard for them. I still don't know how or when to tell them. 

I remember from my divorce moving from being a stay at home mom to being self reliant. Things come together for me. Things are coming together for me now. I'm moving to teach at a school with better health insurance which is a must for my kiddos. John's family paid for Andrews daycare which let me work and was totally awesome.
Heather! she is a fantastic friend. 

I'm getting more connected with the suicide prevention community. Like I'm involved in some really awesome projects in healthcare. Thrilling. Trying to look at options that create a lasting reduction and more support for families. I've been resentful about people who have had support and sometimes I've tried to support more people. I've met people who have made it through really hard stuff and made a difference. It's all about remembering the part that keeps going and the part of you that is designed to survive. We all move forward with wounds. It's exciting to look at how we can use those to help others in their journey.
St George 70.3 super cold
BAM outfit! and the POC sunglasses I lost. I WISH I HAD THESE SUNGLASSES AGAIN.

Sally. Who knows all my secrets somehow ;)

I never wear makeup.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to Help Family after Suicide

This week was a week of advice requests. My facebook persona is successfully exuding confidence and resilience. In all reality today I had two guest boys and got five kids in bed before nine PM so I feel superhuman today.
I am still sort of not sure how to handle the feelings I've had since May and other things I am not sure how to process or that I'm not happy with but sort of just exist so here's my advice. 
1. Death is not absolution. Before you forgive the person for every bad thing and expect a family member to do the same just remember- your need for absolution is actually a need for silence. Death is noisy. Read about the grief cycle if you need to and about normal human responses to death. Anger is part of it. I remember when my friend's husband died she was angry and I was SO CONFUSED. Being angry at someone who is dead seems so futile.  It's normal though. I remember being pissed at my husband when I was married about cleaning up after him. Sometimes I'm still mad. I'm still cleaning up. I'm pissed that my kids are sad. I'm pissed at people who don't understand and I'm pissed at his family. Then I'm not anymore. I'm pissed at people who say it's weird to mourn an ex. I mean seriously there's a lot of information out there that would suggest that it's a normal human response so you're surprise is just a sign of your ignorance. It's just a lot of feelings all at once. So my first piece of advice is to educate yourself. Google- "Is it normal...." It will save you a lot of fights.
2. Things get worse before they get better. My friend Robyn told me that. She was right. Two months after everyone was done and they didn't care anymore and I went home at night and didn't know what to tell my kids and hung up the pictures of Dad and Mom with hearts around them that my son drew. Go by after two months as thought it was the day before because No One cares anymore.
3. Don't ask what you can do. Just DO something. In most cases social security takes a few months so if the father was the breadwinner go give them a gas card or something. My friend had her husband die unexpectedly and people showered her with flowers. I remember talking to her and she said- save your money on flowers and get me a costco gift card. It takes months and longer to sort out financial stuff. I got to find out that my ex didn't have the life insurance policy we had. And social security took months. Luckily I had been working but for most people there is a financial strain and they need a break. My ex died owing me a lot of money and emotionally that was a BIG adjustment. I didn't get flowers which sort of felt weird since I felt like maybe someone would send them to the kids?
4. Be there. Text or in Person. Sometimes just having a person there is what you need.
5. Remember that the risk of suicide goes up in family survivors. My children have an increased risk. I do too. It's a different possibility I never considered when I was making the HORRENDOUS transition from being a stay at home mom to being a single mom and sole provider. I guess you can just quit. Everyone will worship you. Be gentle with people and their family. The other day at Yoga I talked to a friend that confided that she was suicidal after the early death of her husband. It was an interesting interaction because it was intensely difficult for me and I didn't understand why or that it was normal to wonder about that during grief. It reminded me of when I got married and the sealer said some super weird stuff about how sometimes you know someone before this earth and you promise to save them even if they don't make it and I was like- DUDE WHY IS THIS SATURDAYS WARRIOR and I sort of thought it was funny. Then all that funny religious stuff gets weird and you feel like you are in some kind of bad horoscope. Religion has really helped my kids feel like their dad was with them and supporting them.
6. Send constant reminders that you haven't forgotten. I have a friend that sends me articles. Her brother committed suicide several years ago. She knows about support groups. They are just articles and I don't even always respond but I always read them and IT MEANS A LOT.
7. Remember holidays. Like their anniversary. My ex sister in law is sending the kids something for my ex husband's birthday next Friday. His high school girlfriend sent my kids stuff for Christmas. Holidays are hard. I sort of disappear from my friends on holidays whenever possible.
8. Don't tell small children. My kids don't know yet. I feel like I TOTALLY blew it telling them how their dad died. They think he got in a car accident. We go to his grave to clear off the snow and write notes. They love their dad and know he loved them.
9. Suicide isn't a sign of a lack of love. These deaths are far less supported than an unexpected heart attack or cancer. In my case us being divorced made it even more complex and my kids got less support because it was complicated.
10. Write them letters. Another sister in law writes my kids letters. She listens to me even though I'm sure I say stupid things.
11. Hang out with them even if they aren't being present. When you have too much to process emotionally you aren't as present and it can be really hard on friendships and work. Remember it's not about you it's just an emotional reality.
12. Tell the kids stories about their parent. Or the spouse. My kids LOVED hearing stories from John's friends. They have a CD of him that they play for their friends and a book of pictures they all look at. Then they talk about minecraft. It's very strange to watch how it gets mixed in with different Gconversation but the stories are part of their narrative. The stories keep their dad alive.
13. Go places together. I do a lot of yoga and like to work out. I have awesome friends that go with me and I think they realize that's part of me dealing with emotions- I work out. It makes you feel more normal when you are going through something hard. Encourage the "normal" things rather than wondering what that means.
14. Don't tell them they are young and will find someone new. They will never find what was lost. Just like in divorce you can't ever get that version of your life back. It is gone forever and new might be better or it might be worse but it is irreplaceable. That person was important and saying they will find someone is like saying the person didn't matter. I was envious of couples that could co-parent and I will never have that successful relationship. I don't always show up for dates right now. It's nothing personal I just can't handle it. Or if I do they make a joke about how they would have committed suicide too if they had been having trouble or had me as an ex spouse. I didn't even know what to say.  I offered to show the texts before he died about how I was a horrible person and then we didn't go out again. The food was super good and he was a great planner though. Don't rush other people into that.
15. Hugs are good. Today someone randomly asked about my kids' dad and I said he passed away (up from three weeks ago when I blurted out he's dead) and she hugged me and I almost started crying. She knew I had been divorced first and asked how I was. It's super nice to ask and then hug people. No matter how long it's been.

I don't really know what advice to really give people. I'm just sort of being normal and sometimes sad and sometimes just tired. I could barely move for a week after it happened I had no idea your body could shut down like that and I didn't understand what was going on. I don't know how to handle John's family but I never did. My kids cry less now and they have fun and then sometimes they talk about how their dad is always with them and sing a song to him. They want to be a part of him. I'm sometimes good at that and sometimes not as present as I want to be or should be. My daughter said she knew I was sad when he died and she was too. She wants to be with her grandmother who is also sad. All the feelings. Remember all the feelings.

I'm always there to talk when I can. I've been supported and lifted up by friends and strangers and family.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Only a Fool Thinks That Life Will Wait

My kids watched the good dinosaur. Then they saw johns family. Now they are watching the John movie. The song he wrote says :
"Sometimes life knocks you down, but always it goes on. The only things you can count out- are the dreams that you count on.
Only fools set their hearts on dreams you can't achieve, and only a fool things that life will wait and give him time to grieve."
I think there was a lot of hope in the belief that life just goes on. Everyone is so full of no excuses and goals. What if our goal was just to be present? What if we could let go of our anger for someone that hurt us? Lately I've been overwhelmed by the people who demand "every story has two sides." I don't always love listening to the same song over and over when it's essentially about dying dreams from a singer that committees suicide.  The person who destroyed my dream of a happy family and some of my faith in humanity. He owed me a lot when he died and I'll never get that dream back. For me my body demands  time and I've been able to stop and learn what death of someone that hurt me would mean. For me it's just emphasized my belief that we are all fragile beings stumbling forward. Not everyone wants what's good and not everyone makes it, like our dreams that die,
I hope it goes on. I hope to live a life that recognizes the immediacy of humanity. To be able to love those that have hurt me because their happiness doesn't change my dream.
Give it time. Your dreams will change into something more beautiful than you can know.
I'm convinced that there is enough goodness for those that want goodness for everyone.

I hope my kids see the beauty behind a song telling us that life doesn't care about us.