Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ode to Living Each Day As It Comes

Not so long ago or very far away
I used to plan and peck and analyze
every single day

My life was not spontaneous
My life had little joy
But I believe that this all changed
around the time I had a little boy

For then life came much faster
I had not time to plan
I had to get used to
taking things at hand

And then there came another
and with chaos I've been hit
I admit at times
I've raged and thrown a fit
at the grand injustice
of never having things go my way
but lately I have realized
that I alone cannot shape my day

Each day is a present
I can open and behold
I sit back and let it ride
and try not to fit into a mold
of what I think is perfect
or what I think is right
My goal now is just to be
and sleep well throughout the night

Monday, May 10, 2010

Black & White

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I hope everyone had a nice one. Mine was...well, it was. (This isn't meant to impugn my family, who did a fine job.) Remember that movie, Me, Myself, and Irene? Remember how Jim Carrey's character tries SO HARD to be a calmer version of himself? He takes deep breaths, counts to 10 and does everything in his power to not go postal when everyone seems to be walking all over him? Then at one point he just snaps? I feel like I have been rather overdue for a "snap." I've been talking in my sweetest mommy voice, being my gentlest self to the point of exhaustion. I've always felt that having a good meltdown is the way to reset my clock.

Ever since I became a mother I've been trying to pin down exactly what being one means. Am I the one in control? Am I the maid? Are mother's the one in the house that must constantly swallow their pride and let everyone steamroll them (there IS one of those in every house, right?). Am I just supposed to blend into the background, or am I supposed to be an active participant? The problem is that mom's are supposed to do ALL of those things, usually at the same time. I try to tell myself that being a housewife is no more stressful than if I went to a regular job, but as I sit here feeling the blood rush through my temples at rapid speed, I know that just isn't true.

I am a black & white person. I don't really like it, but I've come to realize that you can't change anything unless you first accept it. I like to put things in a neat little labeled box (not literally), stick a bow on it and tuck it away on a shelf. Motherhood is not something that can be boxed. In fact, not many things can be. I'm not sure, at 27, if I am figuring this out early or late in life. How the world works and how I want to perceive things seems to be at odds. Or maybe I am just feeling negative.

What I want to know is this: What is your primary role as a mother? Mine is the overlord of the household. I make all the decisions; everyone defers to me. I can be a benevolent queen or a malevolent tyrant. I simultaneously love and hate this position. I love that my opinion is valued. But then again, there is an immense pressure that comes along with making all the decisions. Once again, I suppose it all comes down to balance. That's one word I am thinking of striking from my vocabulary.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

If I Wasn't Already Sitting, This Would Have Knocked Me Down

There is something wrong if you are always right.--Arnold H. Glasgow

Yikes. I like to think I'm a pretty self-aware person, but even this one through me for a loop.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Want to know why I haven't been blogging?

It's because of this!:I made a quilt! Winter makes me feel like a shut-in, which in turn makes me feel unproductive (a huge buzz-kill for Virgos). So I took a class in something I've always wanted to learn: quilting. It was fascinating, fresh and fun. What's more, it has really inspired me to use my sewing machine more. This follows what I have noticed in the last few months--I need a project. Whether it be my blog, a book, or a sewing creation, I need something to get inspired by and to focus on beyond what type of diaper to buy. Some people meditate, but I just can't sit still that long.

Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory--General George Patton

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are--Bernice Johnson Reagon

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Valentine

One of the things that I love about my husband is that, after 10 Valentine's Days together, he still finds ways to surprise me. Now, I am not talking about, "Wow! He hid Michael Buble tickets under my breakfast plate" types of surprises. Those are rather few and far between since the kids entered the picture. I am talking about the ways in which he regularly unveils facets of his personality that I don't expect.

Here's my story:

A couple of years ago, in our old house, I was poking around the cabinet under the sink and found evidence of an intruder. I called my hubby at work and he said he would deal with it when he got home. I was a little confused when he didn't enter the door with a box of mouse poison or a trap, but instead put a small dab of peanut butter on the end of a stick and propped it up against a glass vase under the sink. A fairly simple trap, but no doubt complicated enough that a mouse wouldn't see it coming. Our little friend would be stuck in the vase and we could humanly set him free.

There you have it. My husband, the pacifist. I was touched that he didn't want to take any sort of pent-up aggression out on this poor little defenseless mouse. A lot of people might think it was nothing, but I think that day kick-started a lesson that I have been learning ever since: Kindness is rather undervalued sometimes.

Lately, I have also realized just how long my husband and I will (hopefully) be together. I'm figuring we've got a good (knock on wood) 50 years more to go. That's a lot of pleasant surprises.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One Page At A Time

I haven't always been the most confident in my artistic abilities. Growing up, I always labeled myself as "the academic one" and I relegated art and creating to others. Now, this is not without reason. The best self-portrait I can come up with is still a stick figure.

I am finding, however, that creation is a natural form of self-discovery. And since that's what I'm all about these days, I am finding new and cool ways to actualize.

I started out with memo boards. I am terribly frugal, so when I looked up some on the web to put in my kids' rooms, I was shocked at the sticker price. "I can make that!" I dutifully exclaimed. And I did. A nice little Mom-hobby, I figured.

Then came the cooking. One of the highest forms of artwork. In order to make an exquisite meal (not something that I often achieve), everything has to be timed right. And there are so many variations! You can choose cheap meat or fine. Fresh shallots or dried. Even just choosing a pre-made, frozen entree can open you up to new flavor combinations (I try to see the good in everything). And the gadgets! Those will keep you busy and usually lead to trying out new recipes. I sometimes covent the life of a pastry chef.

My new art is scrapbooking (yes, I called it an art). And it is certainly finding ways to fill up my days. The best thing of all--there is no WRONG way to do it! It is the ultimate confidence booster for supposed un-artists like me. Not to mention it's all about lines and balancing. Just the fresh, crisp cardstock is enough to get me going.

Point is, it's never too late to learn something new. The days are long, but the years are short. What else are you going to do with your time?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Odd One Out

I'm trying to listen a bit more than I talk lately (except to my hubby--he always gets an earfull), so I won't say much, but I do want to share my meditation of the moment:

Don't worry about where you fit in, just carve out your own space.
I think I've spent a lot of my life trying to figure out who I need to be like and which people I belong with, and I've just now started to realize that I don't have to be anything. I can break the mold.

Just wanted to share! Love to know your thoughts on this. Have you always felt this way? Never even contemplated it? Or have you always compared yourself to others as well? I'm so interested as to when other people come to these realizations (I assume for some of my Leo friends this one is a no-brainer). I often wonder if I'm behind the curve-but there I go comparing again.