Sunday, March 19, 2017

_______ Makes Me Happy.

If my day could go exactly as I wanted, exactly as I planned, with only my own wants and needs and desires mapping the way, how would it look?  I make up little stories all the time and tell myself, "If I didn't have to work, I could do that all the time," but when I have time off, time to kill, I often wonder what I should do or what there is to do, or, worse still, I lock up at the prospect of all of the things I could be doing and end up doing nothing because I am unable to make a decision.  I keep telling myself I should make a jar of things to do, and when I find myself without an immediate plan, I should pull something from that jar and do that thing.  Why don't I do that?  I should.  And for the girls, too.  For them I'll call it, "No TV Today". 


Sunday, March 12, 2017

My new addiction.

I spend too much time reading the internet.  Reading about things that don't directly impact me, or things that do, but they all have something in common - I can't do anything about any of it.  Well, not much, at least.  I'll meet with a group of women later today to bask in political conversation, in a place where we can yell and bitch and gnash our teeth and complain and cry and be aghast and angry and motivated, where it won't be a huge social faux paus to say things like "Who gives a shit how the soup is, our President is a Russian puppet!"  We'll talk about how scared we are and how small we feel, how helpless and impotent.  We'll talk about the things that scare us the most, the issues we feel need the most immediate attention - and then one of us will remind the rest that we ARE NOT ALONE.  That I may be one person, but when I join my voice with theirs, we become a chorus, and there are choirs practicing this particular song all over our country today, right now.  And we will feel less alone, and a little less afraid, a bit less weak, a smidge stronger.  And we will start to write.  We will each write a letter or a postcard to our representatives on each topic each woman identified as the one most important to her, and we will mail our choir song to the people whose job it is to listen to us sing...

And that makes me feel a little bit better.  It doesn't feel like enough, and it isn't, not by a long shot, but it is what I can do today, while I also do the other stuff, the real stuff, the stuff I should be concerned with, the stuff I was concerned with before the political took over my know, the real stuff.  Like loving my husband, loving my children.  Raising them to be good people, teaching them to give a fuck about other people.  Because that's what we do as parents, right?  We try to teach our kids to be good people, to be compassionate.  Be super smart and funny and awesome in every other way too, but from the get go, at the start, be a good person.  That one thing is the most important. 

I don't know how to balance.  I don't know how to stay woke and not be deeply depressed and sad and angry.  I don't know how to reconcile my love for my Trump-voting fellow humans at the same time I am vehemently hoping for the worst of his policies to have the worst impacts on his voters just as a big fat "WTF WERE YOU THINKING I TOLD YOU SO!"  I am angry at the people who voted for him.  I am angry at them for putting our country, our safety, our very freedom at risk.  I am so angry - and not just on my own behalf.  I am terrified for my children, and I am pissed at his voters for stealing a bright future from them.  See?  I can't balance. I'm all doom and gloom - as I see it, unless he's forced out of office quickly, and our Congress mostly replaced in 2018, we're fucked.  Who needs clean air and water, anyhow?  Who needs our rich history of welcoming immigrants with open arms?  Who needs a respected leader believed to be ethical and moral?  Who needs separation of church and state?  Who needs educated citizenry? 

I cannot compartmentalize, this shit leaches into my thoughts during every conversation.  I could easily turn every exchange into a lecture about current events.  I am not fun at parties anymore. 

Every day I tell myself, "I'm just not going to go down the rabbit hole today, I'm not going to Twitter or Facebook or Reddit..." but I do, and I am like a fucking junkie, getting hits/new tweets/statuses every time I pull that page down to refresh, getting more enraged and outraged and indignant and shocked with each new blow dealt by digging journalists or overreaching strategic advisors...

My dad told me a few days after the election, "The United States has survived the Revolution, the Civil War, the Great has survived bigger things than Donald Trump."  Sometimes, for a few moments, I'm able to step out of the noise in my head and look at it from thirty thousand feet, and I can see that he's right, and it makes me feel better.  Sometimes I tell myself that I am a married white woman with a comfortable income living in a comfortable middle-class home, with plenty of food, access to affordable healthcare, with reliable transportation and two happy healthy little girls to raise - stay the fuck out of politics.  Why do I care?  Why can't I just bury my head in the sand like so many of my friends and not read the shit, not pay attention, pretend it isn't there?  It's not like I am actively working to change anything - I haven't been to any rallies or protests or community events.  I'm just reading shit on the internet and getting pissed off, occasionally releasing a little tension with a bitter tweet or facebook share.  WHY? 

When I'm driving alone, usually I'm trying to find the answers to all of these big issues we're facing - how do you convince people that insuring everyone is the only answer to our healthcare problems? How do we get people to stop being afraid of each other and realize we're all the same? How do we convert coal- and oil-industry workers into entrepreneurs in the renewable energy fields?  I'm asking myself how I can be part of the solution.  Sometimes the answer feels like the big obvious one - run for office if you want to make the laws.  That feels way too scary and hard and like something that couldn't possibly be something I could be successful at, though, so I keep digging and thinking and trying to come up with something, anything.   And then I remember that I can't even get a handle on my laundry situation, so I'm really wasting energy focusing on the wrong shit here. 

I got up at 4:30 this morning, on a Sunday, so I could sit alone in the dark with my cup of hot tea (can't grind coffee beans at 4:30 if you want everyone else to stay asleep) and read Twitter and WP and Reuters and NYT in the quiet stillness, without interruption.  I was going to sit here and bathe in the bad news, just splash all around in it.  I'm glad I came here instead.  I think this is probably better for my mental health.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Geneva!

She's 4 now.  My sweet baby who made me a mom turned four years old today.  Well, it's after midnight now so technically her birthday was yesterday, but she was born at 11:36 p.m., so this time four years ago, I still had her naked on my chest.  Or maybe we were trying to nurse for the first time.  We weren't to our room yet, I know that - it was after 3 a.m. before I finally ate, after 21 hours of labor and only a quickly-slurped cup of potato soup Jimi snuck in to my room and slid to me between the nurse's check-ins.  Grilled cheese and fries, that's what I had that morning.  Everything was bland and a little soggy, the way hospital food always is.  I was high on endorphins and the amazement of what I'd just done, and I couldn't stop staring at that little bitty face, that teeny button nose.  She had some bruises on the bridge of her nose and across her brow and a teeny little red strawberry mark on her chest - those all faded long ago.  She's 4 now. 

She can spell her name and writes it with a little nudging.  She's learning to write numbers.  She can "read" - I know she's memorized these books, but it's really neat to hear your child of not-quite-four recite words from a page. 

She's so persistent.  She is so determined.  She's so moody.  She's kind and sweet and good.  She tries so hard to please.  She is a caring and thoughtful and loving big sister, to Cora and Finnegan (whom she calls her "puppy brother".  She has recently started telling me she wants a people brother, but I shut that shit down because no.).  She is bright and sunshiny and full of laughter and goofiness and fun.  She is also grumpy and whiny and petulant, but usually only for a short time. 

She is exactly like me. 
A better version, of course.
Poor girl.
Lucky girl.
Awesome girl. 

I sure hope I'm able to do right by her. 
I hope I can be the mom she deserves, the mom they both deserve.

Happy Birthday, Hiku baby.  You are my sunshine.

Monday, February 13, 2017


I love how happy and full of life my girls are - how easily they laugh, how well they play.  Geneva makes up the best stories, the funnest games, and Cora's right there, right in the middle, picking up every nuance and detail Geneva puts down, playing along flawlessly, filling in the gaps, as if they were created from the same DNA, just slightly reorganized...

They are the best parts of every little thing.  They are the hardest parts of every little thing.  It is magic that they are able to do both of these things, all of these things, at exactly the same moments - and somehow, from the chaos, create beauty.  Exquisite, breathtaking, heartbreaking chaotic beauty. 

I love them with every part of myself.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I don't give a *&$#

I said to Maggie that 37 was going to be the year I stopped giving more weight to the opinions of others than I give to my own.  Well.  I think I said something more like, "I'm going to stop giving a fuck what people think."  Same difference. 

I decided to start practicing on New Year's Day 2017, figuring I'd get a 4-month head start.  It's hard to learn this particular skill, after a lifetime of being overly concerned that everyone around you at the very least isn't mad at you, and at best, is completely comfortable, well-fed, thirst-quenched, and content with all of your most recent actions and opinions.  That last bit there, the way I've lived my entire life, I inherited that shit honestly.  I think.  The women in my family hold opinions, but we don't ever want them to hurt anyone else's feelings.  My Mom, my Aunt Pam, my Cousin Stacy.  Maybe we're not all that way, maybe it's just us.  I don't think Granny was that way.  I remember Granny being more of a "That's just the way it is, whether you like it or not" sort of woman.  Like when she wouldn't let me win at Skip-Bo - "If I have the cards to play, Natalie, I'm going to play it, whether it helps you or not. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."  Such a hard lesson to understand - the lesson of learning to just roll with it. 

I imagine there are about 3 people still seeing my Facebook updates. That's cool.  I can't help the soapbox I keep finding myself on.  I hold back as long as I can, and then I burst with a flurry of political rants and posts and shares...I just want people to love each other.  Stop being so fucking afraid of each other, realize we're all the same, we all want the same things, we're all fighting the same invisible battles...

We don't have to be afraid of each other.  It's bullshit for us to be afraid of our neighbors.  We are all full of the same nervousness, the same awkward fear of rejection.  My self consciousness is exactly the same as yours - we're on a level playing field, we are equal. 

I love you.  I want the best things for you.  You do you your way.  But I get to do me my way.  That's the deal.  We both want what's best for each other, but we each get to define that for ourselves. You don't limit me, I don't limit you.  (Basic "don't kill each other", "don't cheat one another", etc etc apply, of course.) 

This is our only future.  This is the only way forward.  This is the way for my family, what I teach my children.  Please teach yours the same? 

What were your resolutions?  How are you doing at sticking to them? 


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