Saturday, October 24, 2009

Forward Motion

"Take advantage of your generation's technology"
Have you ever just really, REALLY wanted to get some work done (like writing a new blog post!), but your kid won't play quietly with his puzzles and leave you alone? That's about the time that I turn on the good ole telly and let it babysit my kid for awhile. No sooner have I turned my back and started walking back to the computer than that familiar and grating voice in my head starts chirping: "That's not how they did it 100 years ago!"

You know the one.

It's the same voice that says "They didn't have anti-depressants 100 years ago." No, they didn't. They had cocaine.

It's the same voice that reminds you "There were no cartoons in the Middle Ages." No, there was Black Death to keep everyone entertained.

It's the voice that makes you ashamed of using technology. Ashamed of taking advantage of modern advancements. And why should you be ashamed? Are you not as good as the people that used to (and still do) make their apple pie from scratch? Maybe not in the area of baking, but in all other aspects, you are.

How best to get rid of this voice? For me, it's to proclaim it's uselessness in the loudest form I can access; i.e. this blog. Therefore, annoying nay-sayer: Pack up. You are evicted. I have no shame in doing things better, faster, stronger than my ancestors.

Two quotes for your brain to chew on:

"The past is another planet"--Glenn Reynolds
This is not to say that the past is so remote that you should neither learn from or remember it. But it is so remote that it shouldn't dictate your daily life.

"If the people from the past could see us now, they would think that we were gods"--paraphase from Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol"

In addition, you will see that this quote has earned a rank in my "Life Lessons" list at the right on my blog. I want to explain that this list isn't a guidebook for me (I've given up trying to find that), and it's not a list of commandments that I must obey. It's just a way for me to collect and display things that I have found to be true. And, that, of course, is what this blog is all about!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Godly Things

I just finished the new Dan Brown novel, "The Lost Symbol," and I found the message completely amazing. I won't give anything away, but here's a hint:

Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that God's Spirit lives in
1 Corinthians 3:16

Those that know me know that I never go spouting Bible verses, but this one is resonates with me.

It's all about empowerment. We are the people that we look for in the heavens. We have the power to do miraculous things, and we have done them. Inside us is the Creator and the Creation.
(side note--I'm beginning to really wish I had majored in Philosophy. But that would probably be about as useful as, say, Geography, huh?)

Despite all the mediocre reviews I've read, the book is fascinating. I suggest anyone who wants to do a little soul-searching (you don't have to search far) to pick it up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Lessons

While reading the many magazines I accumulate each month (seriously, why did I subscribe to so many parenting mags 3 years ago? Just how insecure was I? I was literally at the point where I got about 10 a month. I haven't renewed in 2 years, but they just keep coming) I often go on info-overload. How am I supposed to do EVERYTHING that they say you should? And, of course, I have to do EVERYTHING--magazines are the mecca of human knowledge. Not taking every supplement or making every spinach-infused smoothie for my kids perpetually added to my aforementioned guilt.

And then on top of that are the news programs (which I almost entirely skip unless I'm waiting in a doctor's office). AND the commercials telling you which probiotic yogurt you should be eating this week to make you stop farting.

It's just too much.

Then it hit me: LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Not Dr. Oz's. Not the editor of Parenting or American Baby. Not even Jamie Lee Curtis' (although I'm sure her bowels are spotless).

You are the only person that is ever going to live your life. Do it however you want to. There are no rules (although I've spent 26 years looking high and low for them). You are solely responsible for whatever your life turns out to be.

On the grand scheme of things that's huge news. You can live where you want, be what you want, be with who you want. On the smaller scale (where I usually reside), it's also big news. I don't have to follow the guidelines provided by those that want me to buy something. I CAN eat the more tasty, non-organic, sugar-ridden, higher-fat yogurt I like. I can ignore all the advice to get my baby off the bottle at the moment she turns 12 months old. I can even drink tap water with no fear (we all have to die sometime!). I can do whatever the hell I want.

"Live YOUR Life" has become a mantra for me. Especially at times when I compare myself to others. I am not my neighbor. I am not my friend. I am not Oprah. And that means I don't have to live like them either if I don't want.

These 3 words are slowly evolving my life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guilty as Hell

In the last few years (and certainly since I became a mother) guilt has been a major roadblock on my path to happiness. I frequently get consumed by it, even to the point where I have concluded that my family and friends would be much better off if I was not around.

A few months ago I decided to take a vacation from my problems (thank you "What About Bob?"). I decided I could go one month without feeling guilty for all the things that usually fill up my brain. I had a lot of doubts. What if I completely let loose without all the guilt to weigh me down? What if I go on some sort of crazy spending spree because I don't feel guilty about maxing out my credit card? What if I just sit around and eat bon bons all day (remember when that used to be the stereotypical stay-at-home-mom thing to do?) because I don't feel guilty about the calories? What if...?

Trust in oneself is incredibly underrated. Seriously, what was I going to do without guilt? Go on a murdering rampage? Of course not. Buy a hot tub, plasma TV, and a case of caviar? No. Let my kid watch too much TV? Probably.

I let go of the guilt and I trusted myself to not make bad decisions in the meantime. And you know what? I didn't (not any life-altering ones anyway). I found out that I am inherently a responsible person. I didn't need the guilt to keep myself on the straight and narrow.

Sometimes on this blog, I want to end a post by asking what my readers think or how what I write relates to their lives. I feel like this sounds like I think of myself as a guru or something, which I don't really know if I can pull off. But I would love to hear how you overcome guilt, or about things that you have taken a "vacation" from and how that worked out for you. And I encourage you to face down your worst fears about yourself. You never know what you'll find out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tick Tock

Lately I have compared my life to living inside a clock (an apt analogy if you know my obsession with time). Most of the time I am hanging out, checking the time, just living life. But every so often, I get a foot stuck in the gears and suddenly I am pulled in, turning round and round, getting pummelled by the clockwork. And all I can do is just wait and watch the time go by until finally, for no specific reason, I am spit back out. I am free again, and it is glorious. For a time.

The point is, at this moment I am footloose and fancy free. I feel good and there just really isn't that much going on inside my head. So, I apologize for the lack of posts these last few days.

But give me a week.

Tick tock tick tock...