Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dear Blog...March 9, 2014...Finding Peace...

Dear Blog,

Today I spent some time reading through my mother's medical records. I had asked my dad for them last fall, fresh from our trip out West, fresh for talking with family about it, wanting answers. And then school started, birthdays and holidays happened, and although I read through them quickly, I never looked closely.

Today, after opening the conversation with her side of the family, I spent some time pouring over everything, researching terms and medications, and putting pieces together that hadn't made sense until today.

And I feel oddly peaceful now. I've always thought I was so much like her, but not in this way. She didn't want information of this sort, didn't like the details about what was going on. I am the opposite. I like to break things down, understand, as best I can, what's happening so that I can process the information. Knowledge is power to me, and in that power, I find peace.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dear Blog..March 6, 2014...The Sunny Route

Dear Blog,
Last Friday I took the long way to work, just because it's prettier. No, not really prettier, it's all pretty around here. I look around and I have to acknowledge that this place that I have chosen to call home is visually spectacular.

But not very sunny, especially in winter. So I took the sunnier route. Longer, a little slower, but worth it, to be sure. I may be on to something here, you think?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Blog, February 18, 2014, Tears

Dear Blog,

I can't seem to stop crying. 

I started about 10 days ago, and based on the timing, I blamed in on hormones. But it's not stopping and I just keep crying.

I have always been moved easily to tears, but I'm not generally the type to wallow in them for long. Except now. I feel that I could cry forever and I'm not sure why.

I miss my mom. Of course. I miss my hometown. I miss so many people there. I miss sunshine. I miss sleep. I miss prosperity and the feeling of possibility I once had. I miss the feeling that I had time. I miss being young and cute. I miss being energetic. Winter blues? It's not that I feel depressed...I don't have that dull, listless feeling that comes along with that. I get up in the morning ready for the day, I'm moving through my days fairly easily, I'm just crying. A lot.

We spent this weekend with an old friend, passing through. She was once more my mom's friend than mine, although we are closer in age. We talked and talked and laughed and cried over my mom and the past we shared through her. Maybe it's just time to really mourn, but I can't say I like this much. This feeling of being so bereft. 

On a different, but likely related note, winter is losing it's hold. I can feel spring approaching even though it's not visible yet. It's slightly warmer, sometimes, the air has a different quality. The days are longer and longer already. 

I don't think I will cry when all of this snow melts and green things appear.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear Blog, February 12, 2014, Sleepless

Dear Blog, 

I would love to be a great sleeper. I would love it if part of my obituary some day would read " she could sleep anytime, anywhere, for as long as she needed."


I have been a light sleeper for as long as I can remember. From little, I would wake up to use the bathroom, never a bed wetter me. But in those days I went back to sleep.

For the last week I have been up every night for a couple of hours starting at 3-4 am. I hate this and it's not always, but when it's happening nothing much seems to help.

This morning it happened that Lucy, getting well and cutting the last molar, which I think will continue to try to break through for about 6 more months, wanted to nurse heavily at about 4:15 until about 4:45 (time to wean soon?). Sometimes I can go back to sleep or even kind of sleep through this. But not this week.

So instead I tossed and turned for half an hour, then gave up and started the coffee. And I sat, in the living room, in the quiet.

Quiet. I really, really, love quiet. I wonder if I would sleep better if I had more quiet in my daylight hours?

I'm not sure how to achieve that....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dear Blog, February 11, 2014, Banana Chips

Dear Blog,

I haven't written in you in a long time. I'm busy. I have two children, I work, it's winter and we tend to be sick more, etc, etc.....

But I like to write, have since I was young, (which I don't feel at all these days), so I eventually find my way back here.

I don't have anything dramatic or fascinating to share, just part of an ordinary day.....

Tonight we made banana chips.

Patrick found bananas on sale and brought home about 5 pounds, so we decided to freeze some for smoothies and make banana chips in the dehydrator.

It fell to me to process them, as these things often do. I thought I'd do it with the girls, or maybe all four of us, after dinner. But everyone went their separate ways, which is actually unusual for us, in the evening. So I proceeded to slice on my own while Helena worked on a book report (extra credit, "overachieving", she calls it), Lucy cruised around doing what Lucy does (less writing on walls, these days, thankfully) and Patrick continued a tutorial he'd started.

Then, in the midst of my fairly even, 1/8" slices, Lucy showed up and wanted to help. I don't know when I became such a perfectionist, but somehow parenthood seems to have brought that out more in me...something about the so full days and trying to get it all done, ugh!

For a split second I hesitated and then handed her the knife (yes, my two year old is actually quite competent with a knife, supervised, of course). Her slices ranged from thin scraps to 1.5" chunks (which I later did thin out), and it was, of course, all just fine and fun, with her help.

Her attention span for such things is about 10 minutes, and then she was off to something else. But not before I was treated to a song while we worked, which went something like:

"I' always wanted to slice bananas, I always wanted to slice bananas, I always wanted to slice bananas......"

Sometimes I'm the rushed, hurried mom who just needs to get things done, but, thank goodness, sometimes I'm the other type, the one who can just hang out and slice bananas, in any shape or size.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Late season garden gifts

This November some of my good friends have been diligently posting something they're grateful for each day.

In the spirit of such, and the appreciation of plenty... I'm sweetly grateful that the garden I worked much earlier this year is still feeding us well into the fall.

I have definitely begun to supplement our meals with grocery store vegetables, but tonight we're enjoying broccoli from our own land, and last night's salad was ours as well.

May you be blessed with plenty now and always.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gratefully 42

On the eve of my 42nd birthday, I came across this post by Katrina Kenison, This is 55. Katrina's post was inspired by the original, This is 38, by LIndsey Mead at A Design So Vast, which was later reprinted in the Huffington Post.

Reading these posts got me to thinking specifically on what it means to be me,at my age.
Thank you to both ladies, for the inspiration, and the raw, richly beautiful writing. It touched me to my core.

At 42, I'm wise enough to know a few things, and perhaps wiser still to recognize that I have so much more to learn.

Life is a paradox. I tend to like the solid, measurable, concrete elements of life. The permanent things, the ones you can "count on." That's how I prefer to show up in life, to the best of my ability.

But life is inherently fluid and impermanent. And at 42 I know this much: all things have a life cycle and will change. Those that we wish to hold onto forever, like sweet sloppy baby kisses, and those we would like to quickly move on from, like the seemingly endless sleepless nights that accompany those kisses. Breathing deeply and embracing them both make both richer, and neither last longer. Staying present with all things, to the best of my ability, allows me to mine the gold in both. 

At 42 I know quite clearly that my time here is finite, however long it may last. I know that there isn't an endless amount of time to do the things that are important. I know also that what was important at 20 and 30 might look very different at 40 and 50 and beyond.

I know that waiting for things to change doesn't change them and pushing against them doesn't either. I change them, or I accept them if that's what the situation calls for. But I don't wait as long to do either.

I know that no one is here to make me happy...I am here to make me happy. And it is largely my state of mind, not the circumstances which surround me and sometimes envelope me, which creates either happiness or the lack of it. At 42, I know that practicing happiness, like practicing cartwheels, makes one better at it.

I sometimes wish I could share this with my 22 year old self. But she wouldn't have understood or believed Glinda said of Dorothy, in the Wizard of OZ, "She had to learn it for herself."

I have learned that I'm never going to get "there," enough to start doing the things I want, so I'm just going to start doing them now. There doesn't seem to be time, money or anything else in place for what I love, but at 42 I now longer care. 

I haven't been a big fan of my birthdays over the past 20 or so years. It has seemed like a time settle up accounts, and see how much closer to "there," I was. This year I started to do that, and then remembered, there is no "there," there is only here. So here I am, at 42, which is a pretty good place to be. 

Happy my 42nd to you, and may you find the gold wherever and whenever you are in life.