May Resolutions Review

Hey B.

Let’s see… a little check up on my resolutions and how they’re going… ?

 

Week One Jan 3-9 : No more sodas. (I feel like this is super reasonable. I love tea and everything else just as much if not more.)

HAH. I think I succeeded on this one, but it didn’t last long. *sips her Dr. Pepper*  Maybe I should get back to work on this one.

 

Week Two Jan 10-16: No more candy. (This will be so difficult at work.)

You know, this one stuck. I don’t eat candy, really. I am chewing gum lately to trick my brain when I get anxiety, but that’s about it.

 

Week Three Jan 17-23: 6 of 7 days, cut out fast food. (This includes breakfast. Oh, that will be so difficult. I am going to practice Week One and Two.)

HAHAHAHAHAHA…. I really need to fix this. I mean, to be fair, since I bought my lunchbox, I have been having mainly sandwiches and water. But, for breakfast, ugh. I still swing by Chikfila and throw away my money. Not only is it not good for me, but it kills my bank account. (More on Finances later.)

 

Week Four Jane 24-30: Pescetarian again. (Only Fish and Poultry for the meats.)

For the most part, I have done this, though I admit to having Black Forest Ham on my sandwiches. RIP.

 

 

 

New goals for this month? Let’s see.

For the first time, ever, Matthew and I are trying Envelopes as a way to manage money. It’s been pretty great so far because we physically see the money we have and don’t have before we make financial decisions. This is only week one, but it’s already made me that much more conscious, so I’m hoping this one sticks.

gave up gaming, though this wasn’t a goal of mine. It’s a cycle, I know. I play the games for a bit and then I get off them and back to the world for a bit. This is also not out of any ‘games are bad, mmkay’ rant at all. I love games. Just like I love movies and books. Granted, the ones I play have stories that keep me interested as opposed to shooters and stuff, but oh well. It’s worked out, though. I’ve been watching movies again, tv shows I enjoy, and reading. When doing the hobby of roleplaying, I never feel like I have time to do those things, so it’s nice. It was most horrible when I lead the guild. I felt I had to live and breathe the guild, work, sleep, repeat. Thankfully, I had enough sense to still spend time with Matthew and Elijah outside of it, so nothing was truly damaged as far as my life goes. I am proud I had a handle on that and felt I was responsible. Emotionally, eventually, it took a toll but that’s neither here nor there related to time. In any case, I’m writing now. So that’s cool. 

I have been going to bed around 8-10pm more often than not during the week and in turn, been getting up earlier and feeling more energetic and just at peace. While at first, I panicked thinking OH NO MIRANDA, YOU ARE NOT BEING PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR ONLY ‘YOU TIME’, but I was. I was choosing health. I was choosing to be well rested so I could effectively kick ass at work and stuff. I was choosing to shower in the morning before work and wake myself up proper. I was choosing to stick to a schedule. It’s fan-fucking-tastic.

In addition, I want to continue my discovery of faith. I swear, every month that goes by has felt so good. I have never felt so peaceful and healthy. I have stopped feeling like I’m a royal fuck up that’s going to die and end up in the wrong place because I didn’t dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I don’t feel like by doing things I have always done, that I am being ‘wrong’ or ‘sinning’ or not ‘good enough’. I just… Ahh. It’s so nice. I don’t like to shit on things in order to make myself feel better. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m imperfect. I still do it. But I am trying not to.) So any Christians reading this, I speak purely and truly to my own experience and life – and nothing of you and your particular stories. I hope they are wonderful, and they are what you need and breathe. You do you, boo. I’m doin’ me.

The last but not least thing is, I am evaluating my relationships. In that mean, I have a lot of codependency issues I am clearing up with myself, and they have with or without my knowledge affected my friendships in some way, be it minor or major. I don’t know who will stick around afterward, who will come closer, or who will have no clue what I am talking about. I am learning about boundaries, and limits, and self-help, and not putting up with shit I don’t care about. At this point, if people who have seen me in my best, in my worst, and in my struggles of sweet ecstasy don’t want to be around … Fare thee well, Felicia. 🙂  

Relationships go two ways. For me, things that are the most important are Communication. Honesty. Forgiveness. If you can’t meet me on at least two of these, then we’re gonna have a bad time.

 

 

Anyhow. That’s me.

-M

Here, have some music.

Dear Miranda, Perfection is my Enemy.

Which I know sounds ridiculous because I (we) are constant seekers of perfection. Sometimes it’s a good thing because it helps me constantly push for growth and create new goals. But Perfection is a Frienemy. She LOVES to do this thing where she keeps my mind so busy thinking up all the was I need to make things perfect and all the ways that things are “bad”, “failures”, “losses” and distract me from the fact that I am improving. And it works on me like 98.9% of the time. 

As I stood in the bathroom helping Emily brush her teeth tonight I couldn’t help but feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I’m a mess. There are dishes in the sink that I need to do. There are towels in the dryer that need folding. The living room looks like a tornado hit it. I haven’t hardly made any progress on the stitching project I want to do. I keep messing up on my diet…

This train of thought would have continued in a loop as it usually does, building that tight anxious pressure in my chest that never seems to go away but then I remembered the sermon I heard today at church. We are reading in James and talking about being steadfast and what it means to give thanks for the things that seem to be struggles and TRUST that God is working through them to show himself to us and through us.

And little by little I started to see some of what I had been missing.

I have learned to do dishes after ever meal. I repeat: AFTER EVERY MEAL. So the dishes in the sink that I’m fretting about are a tiny pile.

The towels that are in the dryer are my last load of laundry. All my other laundry has been washed, folded, and put away (with the exception of some grey I still need to fold). I have a totally fresh start to this week.

I used my time wisely with Emily today. The living room is trashed because we played. And we went to church. And we played outside. And when she was hanging out with my parents I used the time opportunity to plan, prep, and put together all three of my meals plus snacks for tomorrow.

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Enjoying the tiny break in the cold weather.

Every day I eat right is a day better then what I had been doing. So yeah… while I might be struggling to get back on the wagon, every little bit I do is an improvement. If I eat great two or three days a week, that is two of three days better then I was before.

I am doing good. I am doing better for myself a little bit at a time. And I will not let perfection destroy the joy of improvement!

-Catie

Dear Catie, Hippy Jesus and Hamptons Jesus.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about religion lately – whether I’m for it, against it, in the middle of figuring out what the fuck about it.

I’m a hot mess about religion, let me tell you – except I don’t need to tell you because you already know (as does anyone else who’s reading this blog.)

(I’m pretty sure God reads our blog.)

So, what threw me off of religion this time was yet another argument I had with my cousin about religion. My cousin grew up with religion in her life. I did not. She has been going to church since she was born. I started (consentually) going in my teenage years (because I wanted to hang out with the cute boys) and then seriously when I was about twenty-years-old. This was during my ‘I want to find Jesus to save my marriage, because I heard you can’t have a marriage without Jesus in it’ phase. When that fell through – and didn’t ‘fix’ my marriage, I gave up again. Then when my marriage fell apart (I am not blaming this on religion at all, by the way, readers), I went back to church to try again.

As you recall, it. was. fantastic. I found people who believed in the same kind of Jesus as I did. This is a direct quote from myself when I was speaking with our mutual friend Melisha / Lareia.

“Shit has been so damn difficult lately, and it’s made me think about religion a lot.

I am torn between Religion and God. I believe God exists, but I just wish I found a group of people who felt the same about him as me – and that’s hard to find. Even more so, I feel like it’s about the relationship between myself and God. Not the relationship between Religion and I. But just like a new friend you’ve met and think is totally awesome and great and all that, you want to introduce them to your friends and you want your friends to like them too because you like your friends and you like this new friend and it would just be so much simpler if you had more than just the two of you to hang out with.

That’s what kills me. I don’t have friends who know my ‘friend’ / God the way I do, or don’t see Him the way I do, or whatever. Now, this isn’t just a ‘I have friends who are atheists’ cry, this is a ‘I have friends who have a different kind of friend named God that they think have rules and regulations on how to be friends and etiquette and blah blah. Like, their God (in my metaphor) is from the Hamptons and there are rules of being that classy and that great. Don’t air dirty laundry. Don’t talk filthy. Don’t wear certain clothing. People can see you, so be on your best behavior 100% of the time.

Meanwhile, me and the God I know and love are kickin’ it back in our sweatpants watching Netflix marathons. We talk about all kind of things – things I’m proud of and things I’m not. And when it’s just us I feel so great and fantastic. I’m relaxed. I feel like I’ve got my shit together – even if the laundry’s not done.

But I still have friends who don’t know him, or they think he belongs in the Hamptons, and I just.. It’s hard. It’s like, not only does believing in him narrow the field of people who I could potentially get along with / date, but even further still, the Him that I believe him narrows the field even more to impossible percentages.

So then, with it being so small a number of people that I’ve met that feel the same, I’ve begun to think in the back of my mind: What if I am in the wrong? What if it’s MEANT to have all the damn rules and Hamptons shit? I mean, he’s GOD, shouldn’t he be treated like royalty like the Hamptons kids?

Or what if my God is an imaginary friend? What if he doesn’t actually exist and I’ve made him up because I seriously cannot deal with life sometimes and rather than feeling like my misery and existence is all for nothing and why not just die today, I made up a story about a creator who gives it purpose, suddenly?

Shit is hard. But no matter how many times I’ve tried, I cannot shake the feeling that he’s real. So, I’m back to the scenario of my God being too chill and loving like a hippy than like the Hamptom kids want.

Ugh. I hope all of that made sense to you. I have the Hampton kids analogy because I wasn’t born in to religion. I wasn’t forced to go to church or anything. I didn’t know about God until I was a teenager, and then I only went because it was the ‘cool thing to do’ in my circle of friends. Then when Elijah was born, I tried discovering more about it, but was shunned because of my circumstance by the Southern Baptist churches and like minded churches.

Then I started looking for nondenominational churches, and I always remember thinking that big churchs that have fancy shit in them must be Hampton like — but the one I found “IBC – Irving Bible Church” is huge, and has a lot of people. So much people that I feel like not everyone in the room is watching me as an outsider, but also that there’s so many people that they split in to study groups for those of even more like-minds… So people like me can find each other, but also more specifically, people like me in my age group, or people like me with kids as a SINGLE parent… That’s one I’d never seen before.”

So, my darling cousin (whom I love enormously, which is why this hurt so much) and I were speaking about a mutual friend we have. This mutual friend has become pregnant outside of wedlock with a guy she fell in love with (at 18/19 years old..sound familiar?) and so now they’re engaged to be wed and are moving to California for it all (where his family lives) and my cousin is.. just not having it.

But that’s besides the point. That just started our little debate, in which Hannah said she couldn’t support anything about any of that, because she’s recently decided that in her ‘faith journey’, she’s going to adopt Admonishment. Admonishment is defined as follows:

“to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner”

“to indicate duties or obligations to”

Now, I understand that this is meant as “gentle and earnest” manners, but to me, it also reads in as a lot of… judging others, disapproving of them, and then suggesting what they ought to do for their own good — which, you know, I just love to hear about. And in addition, there is way too little room between the boundaries of stepping on that line or over it when trying to do this in the most gentle way possible.

Anyway, I don’t believe in getting in other’s business like that, or telling them what they should do or shouldn’t. I don’t feel like it is my job to judge anyone for their sins. That’s God’s job. It’s not my job to see if they’re truly repenting or if they ‘deserve’ Heaven or not. Why would you try? We don’t deserve Heaven, or God’s love. That’s the whole point. We will never be worthy, YET HE LOVES US. How crazy and unconditional is that?

What’s that word I just used? Unconditional? I feel like religion based upon ‘do this or don’t benefit’ or ‘do this and you’re damned’ is kind of against the whole ‘died for our sins’ policy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you ask me for advice, or it’s something life-threatening to you or another, I will probably say, “Hey, think about this before you do it, because it could be a bad time.” But am I going to look down on you? Am I going to judge you, you heathen? No. I am not perfect, and that would make me come off as holier than thou. Which, I personally feel, this Admonishment movement with Hannah is making her come out to be.

We fight all the time over it, and this argument we had the other day.. broke me. I said fuck it. I said if this is how religion is, then why the fuck would I believe in it? It’s so hopeless. I cannot strive with the anxiety every day of wondering if I have been good enough, or if one of my friends is going to fucking judge me because of whatever mistake I made forever. And I love Hannah. I love her so damn much it hurts that we fight like this, over something so vulnerable for me, something so personal to me. To have what I believe, and have struggled so hard to believe shut down as false, to be told I’m doing it wrong, to be told that my God is not the same, not the correct God…

I mean, fuck it, right?

 

So I gave up on Him for a little while. I mean, Hannah has been doing this her entire life, right? So she has all the authority on this over me. I should trust her, believe her. Even if it makes me never want to look towards Him again.

 

And then I had a thought.

 

Miranda. God knows you. He knows you exactly where you are right now in your life, in your past, and in your future – should you choose it. He knows what He’d like, and he knows what you’ll choose. He meets you where you’re at, and he takes you and lifts you up. He is in everything you appreciate, everything you struggle with – guiding you from the straying path. And even in this, even in an argument about Him, He still waits. He knows what hurt it’s causing. He knows that moderation is key. He knows that while mistakes happen, strive for Faith, Hope, and Love. He is forgiving, while condemning – something I believe only he can do, truly and deeply, as he is not human, and he is not prone to these mistakes that humans are – which, again, is why I don’t think we have the right or capacity to do so. Especially those of us without training, education in this specific field, and seminar.

 

So, I still love Him. Thank goodness, He still loves me and I don’t have to worry about how many mistakes I make that will finally make Him leave me. Hannah is going to be how she is, and I can’t change that, but.. I can just not talk to her about God. She just may have to be one of those people who can’t hang with my chill Jesus, and that’s hard – because we’re so close – but it’s also what keeps me sane and I would rather get along with Jesus than with her without him.

 

I hope any of this made sense. I love you, Catie.

 

Miranda

P.S. This gif is hilarious, because as punny as it is, this is literal bible thumping:

 

Dear Catie, It’s Nobody’s Business, But Here’s My Last Six Months In Gifs. (Featuring Emma Stone and the cast of Easy A)

 I mean, not really. I’m figuring it out for the most part and I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come thus far in the journey. But, still. Here’s a quick series of gifs that explain how I feel, despite feeling all of this and having select few people who know little or nothing about me ask me how I’m doing, because… Let’s face it. They’re not doing it out of my best interest. They want the scoop, the dish, and the gold medal of being a friend ‘whose shoulder I can cry on, if I want to.’ Thanks.

When I made the decision to separate, and told close-to-me people. Thanks for the vote of confidence that I have an idea of what my life is like, and what it isn’t.

Which brought this on:

The gold-trophy-award-friend who gives me a shoulder to cry on to win said award (and gossip):

When I go on a date (since our separation):

I mean, dang. How do you really feel about me and my life decisions?

Because I’m tired of hearing this:

One thing I’ve learned about people who are divorced (and those who end up as single parents like myself), is to not be so judgmental. It’d be great if others did the same for me, you know, if you wanna be friends that is.:

So now, on my days off (Sundays), this is me… By myself… Being awesome:

And finally:

Love you, Catie. I’ll end with this:

Dear Catie, I’m grasping at straws. (Warning: Rage)

Okay, real talk. Just so you know, Catie, I am not yelling at you, and as a disclaimer to you and our religious readers, I am not trying to ‘diss’ on any of you, or your Gods. In fact, the world would be fantastic if we could all just agree to love each other because that’s what we’re supposed to freaking do, but I digress. Actually, I digress a lot in this post. Ugh.

 

These are the things that I feel or know:

  • I know that we are not alone in this universe or else-wise. There is so much untouched and undiscovered that we can’t be the only aliens alive.
  • Despite attempting to see the other side of things, I cannot in my heart or sound mind assume that everything is for nothing, and that the creation of it all wasn’t the work of some greater power, some fantastic God or Goddess, a high power – if you will.
  • Things in my life have happened that are so miraculous or coincidental that I have a hard time second-guessing them as proof of either karma or divine intervention.

What I would like to believe:

  • That God exists. One God. A solo, single god. Be it that all the religions are just talking about the same god under different names or one or the other is wrong and it’s actually this guy not the other. I’d like to believe that one exists.
  • That whomever this God is, he is merciful. That he realizes not everyone at all times is going to be on point all the time – or even the majority of the time. That he won’t belittle them or show them the door just because – as humans – we continue to fail.
  • That God truly does forgive, and doesn’t hold the grudges of the things you’ve begged forgiveness for.
  • That God saves. That his son really did die on the cross so that you could make those mistakes.
  • That the bible isn’t just a string of great moral stories fabricated by man to explain the things around them that they didn’t understand, and also to grant us a great sense of morals to follow by so we don’t all kill each other like morons.

Believe me, fellow readers who are of a religion, that I am in no way trying to bash your religion. I am not trying to cause doubt in your minds. I am not trying to shit all over Jesus. What I am trying to say is there are things that I know and have cemented in my mind, body, and spirit and then… there are things that I just really wish I felt the same about. But the honest truth is, I have a hard time, a really hard time, with just about everything in the ‘What I would like to believe’ section. I don’t want to doubt it. I don’t want to disbelieve what millions upon millions of other Christians so readily believe and have gone past the trials of not believing. I do.

I’ve been trying to think of the reasons why I can’t wrap  my head around them just yet, and a lot of it has to do with:

  • Guilt / Shame of my life and some the choices I have made. (I’ve made some really good ones, but… we all stumble.)
  • Pressure of very strict religious environments and their lack of acceptance of pretty much anything I’ve ever felt needed some mercy and understanding.
  • People I know directly who are so devout and mean well, but truly, they just push and push and do not understand that they are driving a wedge between myself and wanting to talk to them about anything other than the weather – which, by the way didn’t you know, is a gift from God for those of us who haven’t royally screwed up today/this week/this month/this year.

I’m being catty. I don’t want to be catty, but I’m about to explode. I felt like I almost had a grasp on God, and having a relationship with him, and screw anyone else and all the organized religion that everyone wanted to push on me, and the communities that scrutinized me, and forget them because I had a God that was forgiving and loved me despite my flaws and was working in my heart in the most beautiful ways.

But wait, I’m doing it wrong. He’s merciful… if you deserve it. He forgives you… if you really try to change. He loves you… if you love him back. You can have him… if you change absolutely all of your ways and shed off any sin you currently practice.

Weird. It sounds like he’s becoming a human being instead of an Almighty God. But wait, this wasn’t his doing. This is some of his followers. This is humans, talking about him. This is humans talking about him to me.

Slowly, I began to realize that nothing makes me want to give up religion altogether and stop struggling to believe… more than the people who follow him.

I. Absolutely. Love and Adore. The people who make me feel this way, and it breaks my heart. I also recognize that I, myself, am giving them the permission to get under my skin and grind my gears with their pressure. It is not their fault I am being pushed away, not really. I am within my own power and right to not give them that chance, to not let them in. So I haven’t been. When religion comes up, I bottle up and bow out. When something is said I don’t agree with, I give up even wanting to argue the issue — especially on social medias, where everyone is a winner as long as someone agrees with you. 

I wish I knew others who felt about Him the same way I do – without the bullshit of condemning me and all of that shaming, guilting. We all get it, okay? Just because my sins are on the surface and yours are well hidden doesn’t make you any different from me. People make it so hard to love God with all of their damn nit-picking and rules and … I could rant for days on this agitating experience.

I’m ranting.

I’m sorry.

At the end of the day, I want so badly to believe in God. The same God that every other Christian believes in, rejoices in, and prays to. I want Him to love me so badly because I get that I am not perfect, and never will be, and that’s why He completes me. I want Him to wrap His arms around me and sing to me in the car when He plays that special song just for me – because He knows that’s how I hear Him best – and He knows that because He is God. When I think of Him alone, I am content and peaceful and feel like I can do this.

I’ll let you know how it goes, but I wanted to be open and honest about my feelings. Hopefully, in time, I’ll have posts about how great life is with Him in my life, but today is not that day. Today is a day of great struggle, as now I’m fighting against myself and the world.

Wish me luck,

Mojo

 

Dear Catie, I am Super Woman.

I. Am. Super Woman.

 
In the past two weeks, I have successfully done many things worth celebrating, in my personal opinion.
 
  • I am the primary parent since Matthew and I’s separation. Never before has this job been 24-hrs with simply just me to tend to it. It’s exhausting, but it’s rewarding. So rewarding. Knowing that I am the sole person responsible for making my little man the young man he’ll be puts a huge smile on my face as much as it terrifies me in slight, but I stand proud and I do my best.
  • I work full-time. Still. I only took off a day of work, and I’ve remained with 80hrs for the paycheck. *flexes* I’m a motherfucking bad ass.
  • I have become a better budget-er than I ever was before because I have to be, now. Debt is finally getting paid off, and bills are being paid, and savings is beginning.
  • This entire time, I have managed to keep my head on my shoulders and not lose it. I haven’t blown up. I haven’t broken down. I have stood, become strong. I sleep, I wake up. Every day is a new day, building a stronger foundation on the courage I had the day before. I’m on a roller-coaster that only goes up, babe. (Yes, that’s a quote from The Fault in Our Stars)
 
Did I mention that I run a guild, still? Yeah. I’m still managing a crap ton of people, building friendships and relationships, and enjoying myself while I don’t have the money to go OUT and enjoy myself. I’m reading more. I’m writing more. I’m breathing more.
 
 
One of my biggest fears that held me back in my relationship, and kept me from leaving for over two years, was that I wouldn’t be able to survive without depending on someone.
 
Fuck that. I am Super Woman.
 
Love,
Miranda

Dear Miranda, I once had some resolutions…

So I haven’t thought about this in a while (as in months), or only vaguely but I figured I could go over them once more. Mostly I think its funny how I seem to be doing a lot better than I thought considering I haven’t been consciously thinking of these.

Just for kicks, let’s review:

1. Keep Up with the Health thing.
I have been eating so much Mexican food lately and more fast food then normal. I don’t even have a good excuse other then I’ve been lazy and not giving a fuck. I’ve probably gained between 5-10 lbs since May. I can’t lie… as  am typing this, I’m thinking about what I want for dinner and carbs are at the top of the list.
2. Take a BIG trip.
 My mother and I’s trip to Scotland and Ireland is booked and I’m just waiting around for the day to arrive. Currently I’m stressing the fuck out about having enough (read:any) money to spend while I’m over there, but I AM going over there so there’s that.
 
3. Start an IRA and a savings fund.
 Done and Done. I now have no money because it all went into this shit, but at least I did it.  
 
4. Drink more Water.
 No change. I really suck at this.
 
5. Be more positive/happier.
 I’ve grown so much this year. Seems like I had several years of stagnant and then a TON of change all at once. I wont lie… there have been a lot of growing pains and lots of tears shed this year, but it’s all worth it because for me I can’t be happy with out growth. Things have stabilized a lot however I’m still cultivating a bunch of thoughts and emotions and sorting through “life stuff”.
 
On a side note I have also cut out and separated myself from a lot of the negativity in my life. It’s funny how it seemed so impossible to do this at one point but simply by choosing to do things and be around people who are ALSO working to be happy instead of what I was doing some of the bullshit just disappeared on its own.
 
6. Make time.
 I feel like this is the thing I have been the most overall successful at.
 
As you know with my friend Richard’s limited timeframe left it was a wake up call on top of having been trying to work on this anyway. I have made time for family both far and near, as well as setting aside time for friends, and Emily. Doing things with her makes me feel like less of a failure when she acts like a normal difficult 3 year old. I’ve taken her to the children’s museum. She, Zac, and I go swimming or to the park at least once a week. I’ve let her help me cook and worked puzzles and watched movies and just snuggled with her more than I had been.
 
I’m trying hard not to say “Sorry, I’ve just been busy.” I may not get to be everywhere in person but I’ve been trying to keep up weather it be through texts, or e-mails, or phone calls, or coffee dates, or even this blog.
 
I’m trying to reach out to everyone and trying to repair torn bonds and if I can’t then to let them go and move on.
 
And it’s working.
 
7. Write more. Dance more. Sing more.
I feel like this should just be “Play more” and I feel like it’s pretty much parallel to “make time”.
 
8. Make new friends.
I’m realizing this as an adult with a small child means something different then it used to. I have some friends at work that I love and adore though we rarely (if ever) hang outside of work, yet I’m deeply grateful for them. I feel this is a little victory.
 
9. Don’t kiss all the boys.
This is an epic fail. However… I’m not sorry at all. Every boy I have “kissed” (metaphorically and physically) has been an important part of me figuring my shit out. I don’t want to take it back or change it or start over. I needed it. Which… I think you may have told me at one point. 🙂