Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In Brief(ish)

So...Someone is moving out in the next week or two.

We're still together, still love each other, still want a life together.  His moving out won't change how we feel.  What it will do is give him some space of his own, space not full of noise, toys, cats, and mess.  Space where he can have silence, where things will be cleaned and arranged according to his whims, time, and efforts.  Space where things will stay precisely where he left them, not moved by toddler curiosity and hands, or cats, or my sporadic cleaning efforts.

That said, the move isn't by choice.  He would rather not have to pay rent and utilities and miss out on the day to day minutiae of our daughter's life.  He would rather not sleep alone at night.  It will be an odd sort of life we live, a stretched out family.  Luckily, he found a place withing easy walking or bicycling distance.  He'll take meals here and do his laundry, do yard work, tend the gardens.  His life is still here.  His address is all that will change...his address and maybe the things that have driven him to need his own place, things which I will maybe write about one day but not now, not when there's dinner to cook, children to bathe and settle in to beds, laundry to do, ants to vanquish from the kitchen, and a world of things to get ready.

I haven't mentioned it before now because it didn't seem entirely possible...but today he signed a lease, paid a deposit, found out about power and water.  Today it is real.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Wondering...

So many people ask "Why am I here, what's my purpose in life?"

What if there is no purpose.  What if the whole idea of purpose is a myth?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wherein I Do Go On A Bit

We begin with this:  I love my children, above almost everything.

Being "Mommy" or "Mama"* is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for the weak.  It is not for the self-centered, the one for whom ego is first and foremost.  Being a mother requires a relinquishing of Self that would make Buddha proud.  Tired, but the child needs feeding?  No rest.  Sick, but the child needs clean clothing?  Laundry it is.  Ready for a few moments of quiet, but the child wants to sing?  On with the show!  Need new shoes but the child needs nappies or clothing or shoes themselves?  The soles aren't worn completely through, yet...they'll last a little longer.

There are so many sublime moments of parenting, it's easy to understand how, from the outside, those not in the know would think it's all baby food commercials and Hollywood moments of wonder.  It's easy not to see the years of grinding noise, motion, need, want, crying, sleep deprivation, anger, frustration, filth, stink, hunger, and mental exhaustion hidden behind the occasionally vacant gaze and the slightly untidy appearance.  Easy to notice the once coiffed hair gone to simpler-to-maintain ponytails or cut short, the slow decline into denim clad easy-to-wash-the-yoghurt-from fashion but not the cause of the slow slide into nonentity.

Being "Mom" means, to so many, that one has lost any claim to one's self-identity.  We are, simply and ever, "Mom".  We have no name, no spark of our own.  For all intents and purposes, we are nothing more than a nurturing machine for our young.

Imagine, then, the guilt a mother feels when she just wants to have a few minutes of her own.  Imagine how she feels when she is irritated that, for the thousandth time, her child turns down offers of food only to demand to be fed as soon as Mom sits down to eat.  Imagine how she feels when she is sick and needs rest but her kids need caring for.  Guilt.  Tremendous, weighty guilt.  How dare she?

When I see stories of mothers who drown their kids, or leave them in the park or at the store or home alone, or who lock themselves in a room with their computer so they can escape to some fantasy world in the Blue Nowhere, I understand what has happened - the nurture instinct, the loss of self, the lack of sleep, the collapse of the Mother nature.  I don't condone it.  We know, always, that our children are ours to raise up, that harming or abandoning them is wrong.  But...but...it is sometimes easy to see why they would divorce themselves from that Mom drive.

Mothering is work.  It is tiresome, relentless, noisome, identity stealing and very often thankless work.  It is a riot of hormones unceasingly yo-yoing, running rampant through our bodies and brains and often rocketing us into depression or mania faster than a toddler can find the Oreos.  Our bodies become playgrounds for every germ our kids bring home (who says children must be taught to share?), our minds fester with the echoing refrains of countless children's songs, poems, stories, and television theme songs.  Our lives are suddenlt open to criticism and comment from any and every person who knows how to do it better.  We know how to make bee stings hurt less and kiss boo-boos all better, how to sew favorite blankies back together and mend clothing and hurt feelings.  We cook, we clean, we launder, and we bathe.  We drive and clothe and nurse and nurture, and through it all we sublimate ourselves, our needs our wants, and no wonder we are greying and softening and quietly becoming blurs in our own minds.

I love my children above almost everything else.

That said, I believe we've gotten it wrong.  Society, or at least the culture I was raised in, has gotten it wrong.  We should not after all, forget who we are.  We should not, after all, have to give up on our own precious Self.  There should be time in which we can be people in and of ourselves, not identified by our children but by who we are.

I am a writer, a singer, a photographer, and artist, and a mother.  I should not have to give up on any of the former to be the latter.  Who thought of that?  They should be shown the error of their ways.  It is a mistake to give ourselves away for the sake of parenting.  Too easy to resent.  Too easy to blame.  To easy to disintegrate and wonder what happened.  Too easy to snap and become the unthinkable.  Unnecessary.

I love my children and want to keep loving them.  I don't want to become an embittered woman snarling about how she gave up everything for her kids.  I want to be the kind of mother who says "I could have given it up, but how would that serve anything but some faded, out of date perception of what mothering is supposed to be?  No, I held on to who I am and raised my children to be strong, secure, loving, compassionate, fully realized people, in part because they knew that I loved them enough NOT to let go of who I am and to show them that one may love others and one's self in equal measure."

I have failed to hold onto me, and so I have a long road back, but I realize I need to make the journey.  My kids deserve better than the fractured personality I give them. They deserve better than a mother who only wants to escape, who yells at them constantly and who secretly wishes everyone would just shut the hell up for a few minutes so she can think.  They deserve better than a mother who wishes they'd leave her alone and feels sucked dry by their constant need.  They deserve to feel loved, nurtured wanted, appreciated, and safe.  They deserve patience and understanding, things that are in short supply around here.  They deserve to know, to feel to their roots, that I love them above almost everything else, even when I say "No, you may NOT have six more cookies for lunch."

*Or Daddy or Papa

Friday, August 16, 2013

I'm Workin' On It

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thoughfetti

I'm working at the track this weekend as a control communicator for the Peachstate Porsche Club driver's ed. event.  We're training someone to do the job that one of my oldest friends from the track does, because my friend is ready to hand it over to someone else and get some rest on her weekends.  Selfish.  Heh.

So the person we're training?  The person I suggested and heartily endorse for the position?  My ex sister-in-law.  Yup.

When T and I divorced, Mizz J told me I wasn't getting away that easily!  We call each other sister-outlaw, a phrase my mom coined for herself and HER sister-outalw when she and my dad divorced.  Divorce doesn't mean you have to sever ALL connections.
~~~~~
I spent Friday  running errands with K2.  We went to lunch after.  The kids were at her house with J.  It was lovely.  After we were done, I got to rummage through K2's jeans - I had bemaoned my lack of pants and how the two pairs of jeans I have are getting too big.  She had some hand-me-down-able things, so I tried 'em on.  Three pairs of jeans the richer, me, and they are two sizes smaller than what I have been wearing.  Woot!
~~~~~
I have had a sore throat for two weeks now.  Several nights I have taken pain medication because it keeps me awake.  One night was bad enough I cried.  For more than an hour.  I am tired of hurting...always something...
~~~~~
Sprout has taken to saying "Dammit!"  She uses it appropriately, and I am torn...it's freakin' cute, but...well...she really souldn't use cuss words...yet...
~~~~~
Since when do ten-year-olds act sullen, resentful, and backtalk?  I thought I had a few more years...
~~~~~
I was trying to save money for a bike...and bills and expenses kept foiling me.  I finally built up a few bucks and then?  Someone bought me Blue Beauty, my noble steed.  Now what?  Hmm.  I think...I think...I will be a little selfish...and maybe try to save for a cruise with my friend K2...maybe some other women...but no kids, no mens, just us chicas out on the waves.  At the rate I'm going we'll be able to set sail in...umm...2050 or so.
~~~~~
I am bone tired, soul tired, deeply in need of respite...but I am still kicking.
~~~~~
My band produced a new CD.  It's titled "Rise Up" and it's available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.  I think it's our best one, and it's certainly the only one I have actually listened to willingly, on purpose, more than once.  For what it's worth...
~~~~~
I am slowly adding to my iTunes library.  I find that buying one or two songs at a time suits me.  I like the eclectic mix of noise I can shuffle and play at will.  When a friend plays something I enjoy, I find out what it is and add it to my library.  What are some of your favorite pieces to play?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Someone tell me...

...exactly why I have to get out of bed in the morning?

Dishes?  Pft.  Every time I clean them, more dirty ones pile up.

Laundry?  See dishes.

Floors?  See Laundry and dishes.

I am sore, tired, depressed, broke, and can't frelling breathe.

Two steps forward, one step back?  I don't think so.  More like no steps forward, one steep downward spiral with no end in sight back.

I see people happy and I wonder how the hell they did that.  I thought I was happy...may have been for a while...but it fell apart.

I have come to the conclusion that anyone who is romantically attracted to/loves me?  Is deeply flawed and all it takes is a little time with me to turn even the nicest person into an ass or epic proportions.  I am a curse.
Want to destroy someone's life?  Send 'em my way.  I can do it in record time without even trying.  Hell, the harder I try NOT to, the faster it goes!  Prodigal, me.

So, yeah...why do I hafta get up?  Pft.  I'm going back to bed...

...and if a man so much as LOOKS at me, I am running away as far and as fast as I am able.  It's for his own good...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daisy, Daisy...

Okay, so it isn't built for two and I am not calling it "Daisy", but it IS a bicycle.

On Saturday, Someone and I went on a...gasp...date!  Our second, I think, or maybe third.  A friend came and watched Sprout and the Evil Genius was at his father's, and we were two adults at large in the world with nothing more than thoughts of sushi forming our prospective activities.

We ran a few errands first, then went for sushi at my favorite place - until Saturday, poor Someone has never been there, only feasted on whatever leftovers I brought him.  While even their leftovers are excellent, nothing beats fresh.

Afterwards we headed homeward, but decided on the spur of the moment to stop at our local Evil Empire to see if they had any shorts or shirts Someone could buy for working outdoors in.  He  has a job now, and it is a lot of outdoor work, and jeans and t-shirts are just too hot.

As we were heading over towards the hardware department to investigate oscillating fans, we passed the bicycle display.  The price on the sign gave us pause, caused us to stop and back up.  The bikes on the front rack were all touring bikes, the kind I have longed for for some time.  There, in the middle, as if waiting just for me, was the blue beauty shown above.  Half price.

No kidding.

Half price.

Someone had been paid Friday.  He told me "Grab the bike, you're getting it."

He bought me a blue bike.  The exact bike I have wanted for several years, now.  Sniff.

I rode her today.  Let me just say that when one has not ridden a bicycle for 25 years or so, one may be excused if one...wobbles...a little.  I did not fall off, anyway, and I imagine I will improve with more practice.

I am as excited as a ten-year-old at Christmas!