Friday, November 27, 2009

Till' You Drop

Have you ever wondered why they call Black Friday, Black Friday? I was wondering this very thing as I stood in line waiting for my turn at the checkout early this morning (before any sane human being would think of rolling out of bed). Clearly I do not place myself in the catagory of sane because I too was there. If you find yourself in this situation and you are lucky enough to a) secure parking location, b) find a cart and c) grab everything on your list before it has been hoarded by the mob (while not getting trampled), than you have to know that karma is automatically going to place you in the longest line possible or one where the person just in front of you has selected many items for which there is no price tag and delays ensue. In my case, the line was so long that it began on the other side of the enourmous store and was being maintained by a giant roll of "caution" tape. Caution is something all Black Friday goers seem to need a lesson in. For one thing, we are all up and driving around in the darkness before we've even gotten the turkey & wine out of our system...before we are even really awake. As if that is not scary enough, we pair this state of grogginess and poor judgement with a general irritation I like to call the "Holiday Ho-Hums" and my kid's call "The Bah-Hum-Bugs." Before the sun came up today, I witnessed many an' Ebaneezer Scrooges in my midst. It is so unfair that our children ask Santa for so many things that we cannot even pronounce and have never seen, nevermind pay for! They peacefully sleep in bed, dreaming up happy little elves peicing everything together in The North Pole's magical workshop. Meanwhile, mom is down at Target wrangling the competition to the ground over the last shelved treasure bearing the 50% off doorbuster tag. This is not a sport for the rational, or weak of heart - it is a fierce and brave sisterhood. Fare well my wild-eyed, crazy-haired, minivan-driving, profanity-screaming, sale-loving mamma's. I am headed home for a well deserved nap-er-roo!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Down Time

Most days I love my life. Today though, I am weakened from this week-long flu that won’t go away, a schedule of “to do” that won’t let up, and kids that seem to never lack energy. They are finally off to school. I am sitting in my room, doubled over and rocking from side to side to see if I can get more sleep upright than laying down. I know this is possible because I have (on more than one occasion) witnessed my husband sleeping peacefully while sitting upright in a chair. The clock is reading 9:27am – this leaves me with approximately 2 hours to attempt some rest and recovery. Glancing now across the room at the heap of laundry laying on my bed, I close my eyes. Breathing in…out…in…out…eyes open again. The phone is ringing and the washing machine alarm just went off. That was a nice little break. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

50 Things

20 Things that have become normal:

1. Not sleeping – ever
2. Not eating – very much and not usually while sitting for long
3. Feeling like there are never enough hours in the day and never completing my (very unrealistic) “to do” list
4. Being tired of the sound of my own voice
5. Wearing PJs all day
6. Being surrounded by spontaneous tantrums and outrageous drama
7. Being late and anxious for any social function or errand I must attend
8. Never dropping my guard and advocating for these children every moment of every day, in any situation; never fully “relaxing”
9. Laughing and crying interchangeably and with no commitment to either one
10. Expecting the unexpected at all times
11. Not being grossed out by anything
12. Letting chaos reign and being okay for lack of control over things I cannot change or help
13. Seeing old things and things I hadn’t noticed in new and exciting ways
14. Have more to loose, but being stronger and braver than ever before
15. Placing more value on my time, feeling like I can always find a better way to be efficient and yet spending more time “in the moment”
16. Cooking (said I never would) and concentrating on healthy meal planning
17. Having (a lot of) extra people in my bed at night
18. Thinking that cuddling on the couch and watching a family movie together is the best “wild night out” I could ever want and the most fun ever.
19. (acknowledgement of) the awesomeness of God and appreciation of the spiritual journey
20. Feeling like no reward in life can compete with a healthy & happy family

20 Things that have become strangely unfamiliar:

1. Religion
2. Bathroom privacy or privacy of any kind
3. Sleep
4. Having a voice or sense of myself
5. Compensation for a day of hard labor
6. Hobbies and reading for pleasure
7. Relaxation and letting everything go once in awhile; being irresponsible
8. Feeling invincible and having nothing of value to loose
9. Being on time and seemingly “having it all together”
10. Expecting that things should go “according to plan” (and for the most part, having them do so)
11. Eating meals sitting down, with foods I enjoy and until I am full
12. Social outings for fun and close female friendships
13. Date nights & Vacations
14. Spending money on things I/we do not “need”
15. Living in a tidy home
16. Going somewhere without an military-style briefing and pre-packed bag
17. Life without doctor’s appointments, school meetings, pharmacy visits, weekly Costco runs, dance, gymnastics and sports classes, scheduled repairs and household maintenance.
18. Talking on the phone (other than to coordinate the above)
19. Being in a car alone; being in a car other than a mini van
20. Quiet

10 Things that I know for sure:

1. No one could ever deeply love and fully understand our children the way my husband and I do (for now, but we welcome the day when family is added)
2. Our bodies cannot be taken forgranted; that good health should be a way of living, and that our focus should be on balance, not rigid restrictions.
3. Disrespect, Discrimination, Bigotry, and Cruelty are Evil and should not be tolerated in ourselves or others, but countered with open love and kindness.
4. There is joy in every day of life and that every tiny gift should be celebrated.
5. Swearing is sometimes very necessary – even if only privately.
6. “Time outs” are more for the parent than the child.
7. That educating oneself, exploring, reading, adventuring…should continue on to the very last breath.
8. Nothing anyone can ever say to you, will be as profound as what they do not, that words really do hurt and that forgiveness is freedom
9. There is humor in almost any situation and that laughing allows the soul to be renewed.
10. Dr Merry’s Potty Pal is the best family-friendly potty training device that ever was invented

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Caught By Surprise

My “to do” list for today was simple. Okay, it was supposed to be simple. This morning was designated for the usual things: basic clean up, deep cleaning, two loads of laundry, lunches for tomorrow, prepare tonight's dinner, and catch up on ebay sales. Why is it then, that I am still staring at an un-made bed and lounging in my pajamas? Gotta’ admit, it feels really good! And in all fairness, Mr Adorable (aka Jim) did drop in un-announced for lunch and dessert while the kids were at school, lol…That is worth a re-shuffle of priorities any afternoon! I feel so lucky to have him and for us to have a sense of humor about things. I feel very, very grateful.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mile In My Shoes

Going Back to “almost the beginning” I can see why my feet have never been able to firmly plant in the ground, and why it takes so many peeled layers just to see my face. Five years ago we moved into this house and that is one story. Five years before that, Jim and I became engaged and started our life together. And in another story altogether is the person I was in my first life.

The first twenty years went by slowly while I was moving through them but now seem like a blurry array of photographs scattered on the floor or an old video that cuts out in the middle of scenes and features a cast of actors you have never seen before. I had so many dreams and ideas as a young girl. I knew I was destined to be a mother, an artist, a teacher, a writer, a person that deeply cares for others. I did not know how difficult it was going to be to get there.

Time passes though. Love and knowledge find a way of moving around obstacles, meeting resolve, closure, peace, hopefulness…

After nearly ten years of “just saying no,” I am ashamed to say that I fantasized about lighting up today. What made me stop back then in the first place? - New hope. When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, everything changed - E-V-E-R-Y- T-H-I-N-G! For a moment, as I glanced down at the double-lined results of my HPT, time froze like it does for Hiro Nakamura on ABC’s “Heroes.”

Though I was not rescuing the entire world during that stand still, I was making a crucial decision to rescue myself. Just like then, there is always new hope and a thousand reasons not to return to the past but instead, to move forward with renewed hope that everything happens for a reason and that there is always a blessing in unexpected changes.