Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Four of Thirty Days of Truth - Something I Have to Forgive Someone Else For

I have been thinking of this one all day. I have to say, I have not come up with one thing that I need to forgive. Of all the times that I have been hurt, I have understood the rationale or the circumstance. Of all the times I have been angry, usually the anger has been my problem. It's not to say that I forgive and forget. No, I may never forget (getting dumped the night of the prom?) because forgiveness and not being bitter or wary are two different things. For instance, I confronted a friend in a lie one time. Once my anger wore off, I had forgiven her but I have not been so trusting of her since. Two different things.

And then there are the times that someone I love has been hurt. I can't seem to forgive some of these wrongs but at the same time, they are not my wrongs to forgive.

Finally, some transgressions are just so terrible, they are undeserving of forgiveness and should never be forgiven.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three of Thirty Days of Truth - Something I Have to Forgive Myself For

When my husband and I are asked how we met, I always laugh first before launching into the story. There's the short version, "Oh, he was trying to date my roommate but..." And there's the longer one, the one that you have heard. (Really, it's a nice story so go ahead and read it.) I have no regrets about what began with that Irish coffee but I have always felt terrible that "Christopher" had to get hurt in the process. I am not proud that these two relationships had some overlap and that because I wasn't being honest with myself, I could never have been honest with Christopher. He was a great guy and deserved better treatment. Causing him pain was the most difficult thing I have done and I wish I could have handled the situation better. I don't know how I would have done things differently or how I could have hurt him less. The outcome would have been the same for which I am most grateful. I don't need him to forgive me, I only need to forgive myself or let it go. Is that the same thing? A caterpillar does not consider a less complicated or less painful way to morph into a butterfly. He simply finds a sturdy twig and makes a chrysalis. What happens inside that small chamber is doubtfully easy and often does not end well. But when it does, something beautiful emerges. He doesn't ask for forgiveness nor does he get to choose the process. He begins again as something new. When "Luke" knocked on my door that night, I knew a change in my life could no longer be denied. How could I not forgive myself the process when something so beautiful came of it?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two of Thirty Days of Truth - Something I Love About Myself

I'd love to say that it is my witty charm that is my greatest asset. I love to say that I am a beautiful person with nary a mean thought for anyone. I'd love to say that my hair is my crowning glory and the envy of all my friends, but um, no. This is a post of truth and heartfelt honesty. So while I am in fact, quite witty and charming, that is not the feature I most love about myself.

I love that I am a compassionate person. I buy the homeless man on the corner a sandwich when I stop at the burger joint. I help friends with meals, laundry or child care whenever needed. I give complete strangers jump starts or wait with them for help to come. I volunteer my expertise at the kid's school and in my community. I offer these things and never feel that I am doing too much. I try to do anything I can to help someone who needs it. Don't be fooled though. I am no saint. My compassion is selfish simply because it causes me physical pain to see someone else in pain. I cry when others cry. I can't bear it and I want to reach out and do whatever it takes to remove that pain.

Sometimes, it gets me in trouble. There was the lady that we let into our apartment one night because she said someone was trying to hurt her. She had actually escaped from the mental health facility down the road so the police thanked us, apologized and recommended we don't do that again. Sometimes, I simply get taken advantage of like the time(s) I mysteriously found myself baby sitting without ever having been asked. And sometimes, I end up with homeless kittens in my bathroom needing expensive food and vet care. And baths.

I love that I would do all those things again, because that is who I am. Now if you will excuse me, I have some kittens to feed.

Come on, you know you want to:
Day 01 Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Monday, November 1, 2010

Come Back Home with 30 Days of Truth

Well why not? I haven't posted in over a year so November 1st seems like a good day as any to start a comeback. And with the meme theme of 30 Days of Truth, it may be time to be honest with you and myself about a few things. Even more fitting - today's theme is: What I Hate About Myself. Easy. So let's dispense with what I have been up to since last October and blah, blah, blah (and no, I did not go and have a baby) and get on with the matter at hand.

Day One of Thirty Days of Truth - Something I Hate About Myself

This blog is a prime example: I am all ideas with a huge lack of follow through. There you have it. I have plans, goals and a list of things that must be done. But I just don't get them done. Why is that? I can blame the kids, the laundry, the driving, the cooking and all the other chores but the fact of the matter is, I am missing the gene that carries motivation. Clearly. Oh it's not like my kids are running around naked in filth (all the time, that is). I do get my most basic chores accomplished but usually because there is a deadline or some undesirable consequence. Must get kids to school, must get underwear washed, must buy groceries, must pay bills... You get the idea. But those other things that I want to do? They often just don't happen. I can make the time. I often just don't. Or I allow myself to get distracted by other things I think I need or want to do more.

To put it simply, I am lazy. And I am so frustrated with myself for that. (Ouch, it hurts me to read that in black and white.)

So what do you hate about yourself? Play along with us. Marty has a great explanation here and now that I remember how to even access my blog, I'll be attempting to pour out the honesty daily. If I can get over my lazy self, of course.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Confessions of a Baby Hogger

I used to tease my sister about this but now I get it. I see them everywhere I go and I just can’t help myself. They stop me in my tracks with their big eyes and gummy grins. I want to say “hello” and make them smile. I resist the urge to sniff their heads. I eagerly wait for an opportunity to hold them and it pains me to return them to their rightful parents. Those yummy, yummy babies.

Last week, I was able to visit with a friend and her newborn. I soaked in the feeling of his little head right in the crook of my neck and the weight of his infant self in my arms. As I was holding him so that he could look around, he turned his huge bright eyes onto me and smiled – a sweet gooey beam as if I were the best idea he’d ever seen. Tears sprang to my eyes and I felt a sharp pain in my right side as I spontaneously ovulated. I was overcome with the desire to have another baby and experience this all again.

Pregnant bellies elicit a similar response. I seem to be surrounded by the blossoming of early motherhood and it’s bittersweet. I wish to hold my hand where I might feel the baby kick. Instead I ask the mother how she is feeling and if she is sleeping well. I let her go ahead of me in line at the store or in the restroom. I try not to be one of those interested but annoying strangers that patronized me when I was pregnant. I saw a mother the other day at the museum. She was largely pregnant and trying to keep up with a toddler. She was walking in that way that made me know she was close to her due date – I could sense the heaviness of the baby on her bladder and the pressure on her cervix. I suddenly had to pee as if my own bladder were empathizing. So strong and familiar was that memory.

I feel like an old woman watching these younger mothers just starting out. I am a seasoned veteran. I am experienced in the arts of baby soothing, public nursing and acrobatic diaper changing. I can interpret the cries of even a stranger’s baby and tell if that child is hungry or just over-stimulated. I have all these skills that I no longer need.

There is no way to fully prepare for parenthood. So much of it, we learn along the way. We become the mothers our children need – a role that is multi-faceted and constantly changing. I can’t claim to know everything and the skills I need right now have yet to be learned. But what do I do with those skills for which I no longer have use? How do I upgrade “Advanced Baby Wearing” to "Remedial Tween Parenting"?

I didn’t expect the closing of the baby chapter to be so difficult. During my third and decidedly final c-section, I consented to a tubal ligation. I wanted family planning to be over and not to be tempted by a fourth pregnancy (which would be riskier for me given my history). Everything about Logan’s birth was relaxed and absolute. I savored each moment with him, instead of worrying if what I was doing were right. He was my third and my last baby and experience had already taught me how fleeting it would be.

I do know that I never want to be pregnant again, that my three boys are more than I can handle and that someday, there will be sleep again. I have many reasons not to expand my family. But those wistful pangs of baby newness are difficult to ignore. The days of containable children are over for me. The ease of being able to calm an upset infant with warm milk and a song is only memory. The joy of those first grins and coos pulled out as a “Hail Mary pass” by a young one after five weeks of not allowing me to sleep more than fifty minutes in a row is replaced by Big Kid delights. There is preschool, the transfer from diapers to “funderwear” and meaningful conversation. There is no baby in my future and babyhood is past.

I’m addicted to babies,” a friend says to me. She wants to get pregnant with a fifth child. “You’re crazy!” I tell her. But secretly, I understand. “So borrow someone else’s baby for a day,” I tease. “No, their heads don’t smell the same. I only like the way mine smell.” I think to myself, I know. I know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm That Mom

You know that mom you see in Target wrestling with a toddler to keep him in the cart and hissing at her other kids through clenched teeth, "This is why I never take you anywhere?" Before you judge her, please come read my comeback post over at Triangle Mamas.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Is Susie Home?

It seems the longer I go without posting, the harder it becomes to create one.

When I was younger and kept a diary, I’d often start entries with, “Dear Diary, I am sorry it has been so long since I have last written.” I would then go on to explain what I have been up to so that Dear Diary might understand why I had been so neglectful.

I used the same tactic with my pen pal. Usually, months would pass between receiving and returning a letter. I would start each letter with “Dear Pen Pal, I’m sorry it has been so long since I have last written.” I would then go on to explain everything I had been too busy with so that Dear Pen Pal might understand why I had been so neglectful.

I suppose I could do that here. “Dear Blog Reader, I’m sorry…” But to write about all the minutiae of my life for the last month seems like old news, even to me. Blogging has been the one thing that I have not taken the time to do during this time. Suffice to say, I have been living my life and drafting posts only in my head. It’s easier to post there anyway. Writing is a simple task where words flow freely. Seems to happen best while I am in the shower or behind the wheel. Once I have pen or laptop in hand, however, my world becomes riddled with doubt and interruptions.

Actually, that last statement is true about anything I have tried to accomplish lately. The other day, it took me over thirty minutes to start a load of laundry thanks to the presence of young children. I once told my husband that it would be easier to be a stay-at-home-mom if I didn’t have children. I suppose the same could be said for mommy blogging.

In some research on back-yard chicken keeping, I came upon a blogger who referred to herself as the Blurt Blogger (I tried to create a link but now it is password protected) as she tends to blog in a few posts at a time with several weeks in between “blurts.” One of her posts was titled, “Too Busy Living Life to Blog About It.” I thought that title was a pretty adequate summary to my own life.

So if there are any readers out there who haven’t given up on me, let me bring you up to speed:

1. The boys finished school and are in the middle of their incredibly short summer break. By the time I get into a manageable summer routine, they will be back in school – in two weeks to be exact. My best method of coping is to simply Just.Stay.Out.Of.The.House. And while I don’t like to be the type of parent who overbooks her kids, they seem to do much better with less downtime. I often feel guilty about not liking being home with them but there are some factors that make me lose my mind hanging around the house. For one thing, they are just not the type of kids to just go play independently. And if they are, it’s probably not GOOD. Secondly, getting anything accomplished is an infuriating chore (see laundry story above). When trying to get a business email out the other day, I found myself begging Jess to just give me five whole minutes without bellowing my name. Third, if I am in my house, I have an uncontrollable urge to try and keep it clean which you know what an unsatisfying task that can be with kids home. And after the third time of cleaning up the kitchen before lunch, I realize that I won’t need to clean it again if no one uses it. So we leave – for my own sanity.
2. I have decided to start my own chicken flock for reasons that I can’t explain. I’ve just always wanted chickens and so my husband gave me some for my birthday. This new endeavor has required much library and Internet research to learn about the differences in breeds, poultry health-care, housing requirements, etc. Not to mention the actual hands-on care of baby chicks is rather intensive.
3. I have spent a lot of time in the yard cleaning and rearranging my garden. Everything was doing quite well until this past week. Never before has our garden been hit by so many different pests in one season. Aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borers, some fuzzy white insect that I don’t know its name, fungi and deer (by God the deer) have decimated everything. Everything I tell you!
4. Each of my children seems to be coping with some sort of regression. Dean is afraid to go outside because of the flying insects. He believes that he is their number one target (he even has nightmares about them) and I hope this phase passes soon. Jess is stalking me, not letting me out of his sight for half a minute. If I leave the room or walk outside to check on the chicks, within seconds he is calling “MOOOOOOOOM?!” If I had a nickel for every time he has yelled for me… And Logan seems to wake up more at night now than he did as a newborn. We all wake up tired.
5. I am trying to jump-start my business but as a standby, I have been applying for jobs. Since my resume was part of the data that was lost (along with years of pictures) from my computer, I had to rewrite it. This is apparently not the best economy to be looking for a job in health/human services, no matter how awesome I think I am.
6. Can you still call it Spring Cleaning if you have been cleaning for months and now it’s summer? I have been clearing out, reorganizing, moving and shuffling stuff in a way that makes more sense for our needs. This also includes making trips to the thrift store to donate our cast-offs and then shopping for more stuff to organize the stuff that we are keeping.
7. Finally, I am trying to make more time for myself. Reading, taking pictures, gardening, baking and planning sewing projects. I usually only have a moment or two at a time, but I think the desire is a start.

So now you understand why I have been so neglectful. Happy Summer everyone. May your days be filled with bubbles and your evenings with fireflies.