Archive for February, 2009

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Opening up, letting in

February 26, 2009

It’s a rainy day.  My kids are upstairs singing songs about Chihuahuas (don’t ask,)  I have muffins in the oven and a lot on my mind.

My husband and I are experiencing the universe working with us both in a bizarre way – the same issue at the same time with different participants.  We have both each cut someone from our lives because we were tired of being caught up in the never ending drama and the lack of respect we felt from these people.  We were both burned out by boundaries not being respected, trauma, drama, and dishonesty.  We were tired of giving only to be taken advantage of, lied to, lied about,  manipulated, and verbally abused.  It depletes the soul to have that kind of crap in your life.

It also kind of depletes the soul to put too much energy into keeping that kind of crap out of your life.

A few months ago, I decided to just sort of  stop avoiding the person I had cut out.  I had no interest in rekindling our relationship nor did I hope for anything to happen, but I just wanted to stop actively avoiding it.  I decided to let things roll the way the universe wanted them to roll and wait to see how it played out.  The universe keeps telling me in repeated situations that maybe I have learned and grown enough to be able to handle a relationship with this person again.  Maybe I have learned enough tools to let her issues be her issues and let my issues be my issues.  I don’t have a clue whether or not she has changed at all … but I feel that I have.  I have more compassion now than I have had in my life, but I also have the tools to block out the drama that I so desperately want to avoid.  I’m learning you can block the drama while still hanging with the actors.

B has kind of experienced the same thing.  He went fishing with his “person of interest” a couple of weeks ago and had a great time!  YAY!  The person then made plans to fish with B again yesterday …. and then was 4 hours late.  BOO!  B has learned enough, too, that he actually said, “I gave up on you, I’m going with my neighbor.  Maybe in a week or two.”  And it wall worked out in the end.  Maybe the other guy was pissed, maybe he was angry, maybe he … how knows what he was thinking or feeling.  It’s really none of our business.  The point is that B set boundaries and stuck to them and had a great day.  If he can do it, so can I.

So I have decided to let this person back in.  I don’t know if she’s missed me, I know I have missed her.  I have missed her and her children (although I have been able to keep in contact with them some – not as much as I’d like, though.) I’m guarded.  I’m wary.  I’m cautious.  I’m taking baby steps.  We’ll see how it goes… one day at a time.

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Both / And

February 20, 2009

Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain zen master.

Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a letter, insisting on a private meeting.

Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written her, she said, “If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now.”

It’s almost Spring.  I can see blades of green grass poking brave heads out of the ground, I have some crocus blooming in the side yard, and I can see every branch of every tree turning into a Connect The Dot fantasy – they are covered in the little bumps that will become flowers and leaves.  This is the time of year I come alive.  B mentioned the other night that “it’s like things are finally going to get back to normal – almost as if we hibernate all winter long.”  It’s true.  Soon we will spend nearly as many nights in a tent as we do in our beds, dinner will be late or foregone all together as we play in the yard and build fires in our pit, staying up late to watch the stars, play fetch in the dark, or flashlight tag in the trees.

It’s also a fair thing to state that you’ll probably find me drinking a lot of Shiner Bock and Jim Beam and looking like this:

sarah-hat

I used to have a hard time reconciling the part of me that parties like a rock star with the part of me that meditates like a monk.  I used to feel the need to hide one side of me from the other crowd.  In essence, I passed myself notes like the monk in the koan above.

As I am aging and learning and growing and progressing on this journey of life, I’m learning more and more that I do not have to be an Either / Or type of person.  I can, and should, be a Both / And type person.  Life is Both / And.  It is both a joy and a sorrow at times, both a party and a funeral, both easy and hard.  And, apparently, I am a Zen Rock Star.

So here I stand in front of all you saying that I love me and I love all of me enough to do it openly.

Ponder that while I do some yoga and then get drunk.

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Please Don’t Divorce

February 14, 2009

“Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

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Megan missed me

February 11, 2009

My friend, Megan, asked me to come back to the blog.  It meant a lot to me that she missed me and I’ve been wanting to write again for a while (frankly, I have missed the feelings of my fingers on the keys,) and it’s warming up a bit, so here I go.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately.  Well, okay, not a lot of time, but certainly more time than I had.  One of the only things I liked about Myspace was that folks would do bulletins and it would be all these memes things that were fun to read and fun to do.  Often times, however, they were written for someone who is 14 years old (read: lame.)  Eventually it wasn’t even enough to hold my interest.  I was bummed, but now Facebook has the same sort of thing going on and, for the most part, they aren’t lame.  I really enjoy doing them and have been “tagged” so many times you’d think I was a piece of luggage.  Just because they are fun and they make me think, I’m going to c&p all zillion of my “25 Things” and all variations of.  Go ahead read them.  I’ll wait….

1) I am responsible for getting my mother drunk for the very first time (or at least for the first time in my lifetime, I believe.  Hell, it damn close anyway, leave me alone.)  She was in her 40s and had returned from a LOSER date (cough cough, snort, sneeze, no comment) who had treated her badly and some guy I knew and I got her schnockered on Frat House Amaretto Sours (amaretto and lemonade.) I think I was 18.

2) For some reason, I have had Sweet Home Alabama swirling around in my brain for 4 days. Neil Young would have my head.

3) I have had a crush on my husband since I was 15 or 16 years old. We married when I was 24.

4) I cannot watch someone drink milk from their cereal bowl without vomiting. 27 years and counting, without fail.

5) I had natural dreadlocks to my waist for 7 years and didn’t shave for close to 9. This time has passed.

6) I can recite all the words to Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me” with no valid reason.

7) My BFF was my husband’s first love.

8) My ears are pierced 9 times, I have 1 nose ring, 2 tattoos, and a toe ring that has only left my body twice since I was 19.

9) I think Homeschooling is WAY easier than folks imagine.

10) I refuse to share my recipe for my famous Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

11) I learned the song “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun.” My father played it on the guitar and we used to sing along as kids. He just happened to be a Methodist minister. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood the irony of learning Amazing Grace to a song about a whore house. To this day, it is my preferred version.

12) One of my original designs was published in a book less than 10 pages away from the work of a Louis Vuitton designer.

13) I’m incredibly proud of the way I have trained my outrageous dog.

14) I have mostly positive memories of high school. I know, I belong in the freak hall of fame.

15) I named my iPhone Karen Walker

16) I have only known my Brother from Another Mother as “outted” although it was years after we met that he finally had that conversation with his family of origin.

AND MORE ….

1. I almost never sort my laundry. It lands in a huge pile below the laundry chute and just gets tossed into the washing machine. The only exceptions to this are hand knitted things, expensive bras (for the 1st 6 months and then those get chucked in the rest, too,) and certain jeans if I’m feeling a little less than svelte.

2. As I type this, the house 3 doors down is burning.

3. I still feel like a kid most times and have to stop myself and think, “Whoa, I’m a mom and a grownup. When exactly did that happen?”

4. I have horrible seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression) and yes, I’ve heard of whatever it is you’re going to tell me will help.

5. I cannot pass a reflective surface without looking into it. It’s an Aries thing.

6. I watched Steel Magnolias every Saturday, without fail, for 8 months or so when I was 21.

7. I have many books that I have never read and many albums I have never listened to.

8. I love stoner flicks and probably always will.

9. I frequently forget to wash my face before I go to sleep at night. I know I know I know.

10. There are lots of things that I tell my kids to not say or do, but the majority of them are not because I have a problem with such things, but because I don’t want the boys to say or do them in front of my Mother In Law.

11. Given the choice between phone and email, I choose email every time.

12. I’m giving up birthwork in favor of sleep and freedom of scheduling. I may get back to it someday, but for now, that train has left the station.

13. I have very serious body image issues and a rather unhealthy relationship with food. I’m working on changing that.

14. I have only left the country once in my life. I literally walked across the border into Mexico, was there for about 3 or 4 hours, and walked back into the US.

15. I have been slowly convincing my husband to move to northern CA for the last 9 years. I’m almost there.

16. My brother and I love each other very much and we get along really well despite have extremely different political views. It has taken us years and years to work this out, but I’m so very glad we have taken the time and effort to do so.

17. At any given time, you can find at least one Justin Timberlake album on my iPhone and on my father’s iPod. It shocks me that it is on mine, but find it to be so earth shattering that it is on BOTH of ours that I suspect it is a sign of the apocalypse.

18. Although I was raised a preacher’s daughter, I am not a Christian. I do not believe in heaven and hell and most certainly not a punitive God. Having said that, I am incredibly spiritual and have a rich connection to my Higher Power.

19. I still have my tonsils and my appendix.

20. I hate movie theater popcorn.

21. I love office supplies and could easily spend thousands and thousands of dollars in an office supply store before you could say, “Where are the Post-It Notes?”

22. My family thinks my middle name is “Tech Support.” It could be worse.

23. Spring is my favorite season and I wish it lasted forever and ever and ever.

24. I once swallowed a contact and my eye doctor laughed until he cried as he ordered me a new one.

25. I feel the need to end these things in a nice, neat, and conclusive way.

AND YET MORE …

1. I have really loved reading everyone’s 25 and am amused at how widespread this meme has become.

2. I don’t indent paragraphs. I stopped doing it in college as a stand against The Man. I’m no longer that sanctimonious, but still don’t indent. In lists, I always ALWAYS leave a space after the number.

3. I am the only female in my house; even my dog is male. I used to think this was ideal, but I have come to realize that I don’t know shit about the Y Chromes and it’s starting to freak me out more than a little.

4. My dog used to belong to my BIL and SIL. There’s not a day that passes that I don’t think, “I am sorry that they are missing out on such a great dog” and also “Holy crap, I hope they don’t realize what they gave up and come and take him back.” I’ve had him for nearly 2 years and am disgustingly in love with him.

5. I won a Pink Hair contest in December. I still have not received the prizes. While I didn’t do it for the prizes, I get a little miffed that I haven’t gotten them yet. On the other hand, it leads me to believe that maybe the masses are as (ir)responsible as I am.

6. At 32 years old, I am just now learning when and how to shut up.

7. I make a huge deal out of my birthday. I grew up without birthday parties or much ado made of birthdays, so when I turned 18, I vowed that every birthday henceforth would be a big deal. Every year (except last) was exceptional. I will make announcements and countdowns until the big day starting about a month in advance. I don’t care how juvenile this is, it’s a part of me. So, if you’re counting, my birthday is April 15. Mail your taxes and send me presents.

8. I love the Beastie Boys, but my favorite album is not one you’d recognize: “The In Sound From Way Out!”

9. It’s common knowledge that I developed a crush on my husband years before we actually had a conversation. What isn’t known is that, for all those years, I had this image in my head of “who he was.” Turns out, my assumptions were completely, radically incorrect. By the time I realized this, however, I loved him even more than I expected and was grateful to have been so wrong.

10. #9 is so disgustingly sweet it makes my teeth ache and the cheese factor is clogging my arteries, but all of that makes it no less true.

11. I just realized I have an unpatchable hole in my favorite jeans. I cannot tell you the pain this causes me. What am I going to do now? I live in these jeans!

12. I have quite extensive experience in roofing, plumbing, dry wall hanging, deck building, demo, house painting, and landscaping. I used to be called MacGyverella (to go, of course, with Brian’s MacGyver.) Thank Elvis on Velvet that we’ve all grown up a bit since then.

13. Almost every answer I give on these things is my second or third choice after having abandoned the first one or two as too personal to be putting on FB.

14. I often leave the “I” out of written sentences, such as “I am glad to hear from you,” “I thought of you,” or “I cannot tell you that.” I almost always start the sentence out with the second word. I do wonder what this says about my self image. Then I think, “Holy crap, I need to stop thinking so much. Maybe I’m just lazy.”

15. As a child, my Mom watched Days of Our Lives and Another World during my nap time. I used to get up from my naps and watch with her. When the canceled Another World several years ago, I cried. I felt like I had grown up with those people. Now I hear Cass’s voice over work on every other freaking commercial and think, “What a waste!”

16. I have many friends and I am so grateful. One particular group of friends is primarily made of people I have never met face to face. I always poo pooed online groups until I was invited to join this exclusive group. They have been together for a decade, I’ve been a member for 3 years. They have been the best 3 years of my life. These women and I share our lives in print, on the phone, over Instant Message, and actually meet in real life once a year. I hope to make the get together soon. I love these women and, since many of them are reading here, I pledge to always bring my brain and to be a Mom who rocks on.

17. I prefer my chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips.

18. I grew up in a house without real butter or olive oil. I cannot survive a single day without either as an adult.

19. I really love cooking, but hate hate hate my cookware. I used to love my cookware, but the more I cook, the more daring I become, the more I learn, the more I realize that nonstick stuff is just gross. Next month, I’m going shopping at a commercial kitchen retailer / restaurant supply place and getting all new pots and pans.

20. I loved Celebrity Rehab and now love Sober House. I also love Intervention. What can I say? I’m drawn to addicts.

21. I drink out of Mason jars at home. Mason jars and coffee cups (wine glasses or champagne flutes if appropriate.) We have matching glassware, but we don’t use it. Mason jars are cheap, easily replaced, sturdy as all hell, and just feel good in your hand. I have no plans to change this. Ever.

22. I used to say that clowns scare me. I need to reword that. It’s not so much that they scare me, it’s just that I don’t trust them and have an overwhelming urge to punch them in the face, kick them in the tender spots, or give them a vicious telling off.

23. Whether or not I’m drinking, I have a bar that is like my second home. It’s just like Cheers!

24. I have an extensive music collection, but nothing gets me through 90+ minutes of 165 HR cardio like a funny movie. I have actually been known to draw attention to myself ’cause I’m laughing so hard while others are grunting and sighing and begging for death. I once nearly killed myself on a tread climber because I was crying in laughter and tripped. I put them on my iPhone and it’s over before I know it. Want my favorites? message me.

25. My father read the entire “Chronicles of Narnia” to us, one chapter at a time, after dinner when I as a kid. I loved this. I imagine we all complained about it, but deep down, it was such a special time. Several years ago, I started doing this with my children. When they were really little, we read Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc. When they could handle it, we moved on to bigger books like Harry Potter. I read about chapter a day during lunch. We’re currently 1/2 way through book 6. I skip no words and have read every single one of them aloud. It’s such a great thing! Dakota now will read a chapter aloud here and there, but I like reading to them the best. It’s my favorite part of the day.

BONUS
26. I’m tagging both of my parents and a step-parent! WHOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!

And that’s where I’ll stop for now, but the thing is that I’ve been asked to do more of these things by folks who were a huge part of my life once upon a time and we’re just not getting reacquainted (beauty of FB.)  I am loving reading theirs and I know that they are enjoying reading mine and I do feel like really connecting again, but at what point does it become self indulgent?  At what point does it become too egotistical or arrogant to keep writing random things about oneself?  I think of these things and I decide to stop writing them.  Then I realize things like:

1.  My dog always *always* follows me into the bathroom.  He sit there all day and all night if I’m in there, regardless of what I’m doing, but he will not look me in the eye until I flush.

2. My oldest son has appointed himself my backup singer.  I think this is hysterical.  It used to be that he only would sing the back up parts, but you should hear this kid improvise!  It’s unreal.  He even scats!  That kid is too much, I tell you.  Too much.

3. I’m currently listening to G-Love and Special Sauce.  I haven’t listened to them in maybe 12 years or so, but suddenly it’s almost all I listen to.  ‘Cause I got Sauce and I like cold beverages.

4. I have a tooth displayed on my desk.  It’s in this funky little box and the tooth itself is in 3 pieces.  It’s really quite disgusting but I love it and I refuse to do away with it.  Sometimes I just sit here and look at it.

5. I think Michael Phelps should turn his gold medals into the biggest, best, most expensive bong ever and I think he should smoke it up on the podium.  It’s POT, folks.  Seriously.  Damn, leave the guy alone.
6.  Sometimes my spell check turns things funny colors.
And now I’ll hit Publish and think of a zillion more things.  3, 2, 1, …