Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 280

I've got to catch something, before it buzzes off to oblivion.  I was doing the dishes and pondering on life.  The choices, the infinite choices, my inability to change anyone's mind.  Letting go of all control, except my own choices. 

I thought about selling our home after almost 9 years, about suddenly living in close proximity with the two people who gave me life.  I thought of broken relationships, about the brother I adore, and the sister in law, who I consider a sister.  And through the annuls of time, who I will always consider one. 

I thought about writing two skits in as many days, about getting a bag of apples for my trouble and how much that delights me.  I thought about writing to my sister in law, and why I write and somewhere deep inside, I know getting paid would be fabulous, but I knew that that's not why I do it.  I think people are impressed by novelists, by professional paid writers, but I think about what's given me the most joy in my writerly life and it's this:

Writing letters to my children and family.  Writing poems to my husband.  Writing to my friends so they know how I feel about them, not letting moments slip by, not letting the best form of expression I have go by the wayside especially when it pertains to life, love and relationships.  What good does a novel do me, if I don't write of the things of here, of now, of the people in front of my face, of the people I walk through life with.

This realization gave me a freedom.  Such a simple concept but a true one.  I have been writing in journals, letters, snippets here and there for one person here or there for as long as I can remember.  I think deep in my heart, I hoped my writing would impact a lot of people and now I realize that my writing only has to impact just one person at a time.  It can be that personal, it can be that unique.  What will matter more that on my epitaph I wrote the great American novel or that I wrote a note to a friend and shared my love, that my gift if you will, was written in my heart.

This won't stop me from writing and trying and querying and still trying to make a wave as opposed to what I used to consider just a ripple.  But the ripples add up and before you know it, there's an ocean that's moving and breathing and reaches and grows making its impact felt.  I will work for apples, but the apples don't matter.  A little girl running for SBO, matters, a sister in law who may or may not be in my life anymore, but who needs to hear that she's worth it and divine, matters.  A woman in the ward who is lonely and thinks no one sees her anymore, matters.  My family matters, my friends matter.  And you know what, I matter.  And if I don't write because of that, my writing is poorer for it. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 278

Hey there.

I'm here.  I'm working hard.  My life this summer is wrapped around the two C's.  Life skills galore.  Their camps and activities.  Each day brings with it some aha moment like when I learn about patience from putting cream on my heels or good, better, best moment watching my son help a blind man up out of a chair, how my laments on not having a good camera/video camera is eased by the caricatures of my family by a dear friend.

T is rocking it at work.  Now is the HR Director over HR, Travel, Compliance, and Front Desk/Reception.  I've never in the 18 yrs I've known him ever seen him this happy at a job.  This is truly his dream job.  I get choked up when I think about it a lot.  There is no one who deserves it more. 

I hope that C looks back and remembers this summer.  He has done some impressive things for scouts.  He just earned his star badge.  He's currently on a 6 day scout camp and is senior patrol leader.  He gave all the boys their "chores" for camp and since there's an odd # of boys, one of them had to have latrine duty twice.  I glanced at the sheet after C had left and there was his own name signed up twice.  Good leader.  Never ask anyone to do something you're not willing to do and more.  6 summers until he graduates.  6 chunks of time where he's with me, left.  I have him work hard and I allow him to play hard when he finishes.

I am teaching him elocution, life skills, how to be more self reliant.  His dad is working him hard in the yard spending time teaching him how to work.  They are fishing together and C takes his buddies to the lake early mornings sometimes hrs before I get up to teach them how to fish.  They catch a few too.  I've been really trusting him in his activities.  This neighborhood is amazing to be a kid in.  It almost reminds me of some of my own growing up.  The lazy summer evening bike rides, the night games of capture the flag, getting together a bunch of change and heading to 7-11 or to get a pizza.     He's stretching his wings, making more choices (which is really really hard for me, but it has paid off in spades)   We are trying to provide opportunities for him to succeed, and not set him up to fail.  He and T go shooting and he will be getting his hunter's safety so the two of them can go hunting this fall.  I've given a lot of the reigns to T to teach this kid how to be a man.  I can't do that.  I can love and nurture and instruct, but this is T's arena and I love seeing their relationship.

Little C.  Miss social.  Almost all of her friends are older.  I try to find happy mediums for this phenoma.  It's been hard.  Drama in girl world.  Sometimes I get involved, sometimes I bite my tongue.  I remind her to not have a best friend.  That God is her best friend.  Her family are her best friends.  She can have a bunch of friends, but none of this getting jerked around, one day friends, one day not.  We talk about her being a "free agent" not having to get caught up in all of that.  I know that's just my own story coming out.  I've been hurt before so I just chose that for my own philosophy.    In actuality, I love all of her friends.  I feel so blessed.  I love all of both my kids' friends.  She spends time putting on shows, writing invites for all the neighbors, started a band with a couple of pals called "CCM Beat"  They do covers of Taylor Swift songs-she dreams of playing guitar and wants to be a singer.  She's funny.  She has a gigantic temper in which she threatens to run away and shares her disdain of us very loudly, more often than I'm comfortable with.  She's braver than I was at her age.  She has a good relationship with her dad, which I never had, so I wonder what that will mean for her.   More self confidence surely.  She also isn't moving around every other year. 

I often wonder what just those two changes in my life would have meant for me?  Oh well.  It doesn't matter, does it?  I am who I am because of those things and I wouldn't change who I am or where my life is and my trials have gotten me here, so let's just go with it. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 277

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to write a post, but couldn't because somehow my son was made the blog administrator because of his email through school...long complicated story.  Tonight I tried again and lo and behold, it let me sign in!  I hope it continues to work because I have missed this...a great great deal.

I don't even know where to begin so I will just ramble a bit, I suppose.  T loves his job, and is happy there.  It's a situation that is ideal for him and is a major blessing to our family.  I have the energy I need to do the things I need to.  I will leave it at that for now.  I have started Pilates again.  First time last week. 

I finished editing 10 chapters of my novel.  My friend N just self published hers and is now going to a big signing for it in Las Vegas.  After talking to her about it, I realized I just need to finish this thing.  Me not writing is a painful endeavor.  Tonight I will edit more.  My goal is to have the whole thing edited by the time my writing group meets again to have them go over it.   C has offered to help me along the way so I don't get discouraged.  I was so discouraged last time. 

I was so excited to edit that I got up out of bed last night at midnight and worked on it.  That hasn't happened in...ever.

Good night for now.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 275


How does one face these cold grey days?  It's interesting that it's not just a literal thing for me.  Though the literalness of the weather dampens things considerably some days.  We are surviving.  The stake came to visit our family and the lesson they gave to us was that when the scriptures promise us that the saints will 'prosper in the land' it does not necessarily mean monetarily.  That always confused me, honestly it did.  I didn't understand how if we were keeping the commandments, cleaving to our covenants, serving to the best of our abilities, how we seemed to consistently struggle with this one.

We were reminded that this does NOT necessarily mean financial, though of course it can.  It can also be blessing of a spiritual nature.  I needed this distinction and I can respect and freely recognize it. 

I was asked today by a loving bishop where I would like to serve.  This has never happened to me before.  Obviously, a few years back I was told I would be in YWs.  When that didn't materialize almost two years ago, I was surprised, but not disheartened as this has been a great time of growth and understanding.  Apparently, I have been requested there...A LOT.  He wanted to give me the opportunity to choose now or later.  Personally, it does not matter.  The Lord is in charge.  I told him I will stay put.  My time will come.  I need to finish this course.  Besides I worry that my energy level will not be enough to keep up with those girls right now. 

There have been days where I do not understand and where I am jealous.  Jealous of Alma, jealous of early saints, jealous of anyone with energy.  I am not content with resting.  I don't know why.  And yet it is what I do.  I rest.  I'm a rester.  A 15-18 hr a day rester these past weeks.  It would be one thing if the rest was making a marked difference, but I can't say that is what's happening.  I had two days this week where I pushed through, but it is a fine line I walk because when the energy is gone, it is gone in a big way.

Without a job, the insurance is gone.  I am not at liberty to get $400 worth of blood work each week.  I am not at liberty to see a dr. I'm not sure was the best dr. afterall for my needs or else find yet another one.  I feel guilty for not finding part time work during this time, but I know very clearly that this is not the time.  So I wait.  And I try to learn.  I have learned much.  Really I have even and especially in ways I can't quantify.  I'm not sure even now I could coherently write about what I'm learning because I'm still in the midst of it and hindsight seems to be the best I can do lately.

Endure is a lovely word.  As has been written ad nauseum by myself, I have and do find beauty in the pain, but now I am endeavoring to find a gorgeous patience and an exquisite faith.  Patience was always a word I loathed to pray for and didn't want to speak of much, but I was devoid of it.  I'm trying to befriend it, invite it to my inner circle quite frankly because it's hanging around the outskirts and I might as well admit its there and introduce it around.

So that's it.  My goal for 2013 is to get well.  T's goal is to get a job.  In those simplest of terms, things don't seem so bad.  In fact, they are things that will in fact come to fruition.  I know that as much as I know that I will draw breath tomorrow.  I just need to endure now and find the joy even when the sky is so gray and keep praying for the sun.  It will be here before I know it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 274

Right now I am eating dip by itself, minus the object one would usually immerse into a dip, unless one counts a finger.  For lunch I ate hummus...with a spoon, straight up from the package.  As a predinner snack I read w another spoon and the jar of peanut butter beside me.  What's wrong?  Am I menstruel, eating away my fears in various sauces that distress the waste line?  I saw this movie once with Meg Ryan, scratch that, I watched this scene of this movie once with Meg Ryan, since I kinda loathe her right now, she's my new Gyneth Paltrow, who've I've actually buried the hatchet with.  Anyway, Meg's character was eating a stick of butter right off the cube.  I could do that, I think.

I'm not going to share why I've been indulging in such unhealthy eating habits today.  It involves getting my feelings hurt last night and me knowing I need to have a conversation with someone who may not have meant it, and a pattern of me sweeping everything under the rug to belong, and the fault is probably also mine for just not standing up for myself (can you believe I would not be able to stand up for myself?) but I haven't in this case and now I'm done with that being my reality.  It's no one in my family or even anyone who reads this blog, but I still will stay rather vague.

Last night 20 boys were in my parents' house for C's 12th birthday party.  I had people question my sanity when I asked C who he wanted to have come and he rattled off all the boys names like a drop in the bucket and I wrote them all down and he and I proceeded to contact each one by one.

I think my mental health was also put on trial when I decided that the party should be 4 hrs long so there was time for all the activities and no one felt rushed.  My reasoning was quite simple:  I wanted C to feel like a million bucks.  I knew that as he embarks on these teenage years, there's going to be a significant time when he doesn't feel like a million bucks.  One of C's gifts lies in his ability to be a mediator and facilitator of different groups of people.  He doesn't like it when people haven't been introduced or when someone feels left out.  I completely understand how he feels.

I worried about the different groups of boys, half from school, half from the neighborhood.  Would they mesh?  Would all the boys get along?  They ranged in age from a couple of 9 yr olds all the way to a 14 yr old.  Something amazing happened.  I will liken this to the Scooby Doo sandwich that I used to indulge in in college, when I weighed a buck, ten.  You put everything you like on two pieces of bread from skittles, to captain crunch, to turkey, to tomatoes and you pile them high and bite into this sandwich and somehow as your mouth gets used to all the flavors, it works. 

The same principle happened here.  We had LDS boys, less active boys, boys of other faiths, some who wanted to tear around outside, some who smartly wanted to stay warm and play ping pong and shoot pool, some who cheered at a movie, some who just wanted to talk and keep shooting balls into the pocket of a pool table.  I constantly surveyed the scenes before my eyes.  These boys were figuring it out.  No one stood alone.  Everyone was hanging out together, there was laughter, like the crazy cool sound of 12 year old boy laughter.  They were this scooby doo sandwich that was just so tasty.

It turned out to be this experience that I will always treasure.  My son has been thanking me since it happened and you know what?  Every boy that came to the party said thank you and they were all just as polite as they could be and except for a cat getting thrown into a hot tub, I think it all went rather well...and you know what?  It was kinda funny that a cat got thrown into the hot tub, but I will never admit it to the boys...probably.

So I guess what I'm saying is that while I want to eat a stick of butter because someone called my mothering skills into question, I will never ever apologize for wanting my son to have this moment.  This one time where he turns 12, gets the priesthood, about to start junior high, passes the sacrament, joins the Young Mens program, all the milestones that comes with the age, and I want him to remember that his parents love him a whole heck of a lot.  And his friends do to.  We started the party with a prayer, believe it or not.  Every head in that room was bowed.  He has a pretty spectacular group of friends, one of whom was just baptized into the church because a group of these boys, my son as one of the ringleaders, made sure he felt included.   Happy Birthday, my precious C. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 272

I began today on my knees, talking out loud barely stopping for breath, let alone letting God get a word in edgewise.  I prayed that I would love well today.  Love better than I usually do.  And most especially my husband and children.  That it would come to me like second nature, instead of croaking and groaning from my insides.

Isn't is funny how when we pray for the opportunities to show we will act and not just talk a good talk, He gives it to us?  I prayed for this and oh, did I get the opportunity.

The news that my friend Ch lost her baby at over six months along this morning, the sob that burst from my own lips as the rawness of Friday's Connecticut tragedy still burned.  I didn't stop for a hairbrush, for makeup, I don't think I was wearing socks, I dropped things and ran to her arms.  There's her whole family, inlaws, a moment of family, and I didn't let myself feel awkward, just that love I prayed for.  We wept together and...there are no words.  When I remember my life, I want to remember I ran to her today.  I thought that was to be it, at least for today.

I was wrong.  And this one I can't talk about yet because oh how my prayer was answered and in the past as I got this same news, I have not always handled it with the love I prayed today, this very day to have.  If I had not felt prompted, humbled today to pray for this, I don't know what would have happened in my reaction, especially in this second moment.

For the second time, I had my arms around a loved one as they wept.  This one bears down on my shoulders, this one I can't weep about yet, I must remain strong. 

Oh, and the poem's almost done.  I will make my deadline.  And I will keep praying to love well.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 271

What if I can't write this poem?  I have 5 days left.  It looms over me, taunting my empty brain.  I can't remember the last time words just wouldn't come.  I think I have completely psyched myself out of this.  My friend prayed about it and felt strongly that I should write this for her family.  And that's a lot to live up to.  I have all the pieces in place, and the words still aren't coming.

How long have I had this assignment?  I thought I had a gift of words.  I wasn't worried.  I hear these lovely passages and wish it was me who wrote them.  But I wrote enough and had enough experience at feeling like I nailed something or wrote something of value that it all equaled out in the end. 

I know this can be simple, but still the words won't come.  I listen to music.  I don't listen to music.  I walk around with notebooks, keep them by my bed, listen in the shower, picture this family in my head, picture myself writing this masterpiece, but nothing...

I even sat by my friend K today in Gospel Doctrine and read the passage in Ether where they lament their weakness in writing and wish the people reading could hear their speaking because it is so much stronger.  I have always felt that way about my writing and its like its a dry well in there.  K told me she wasn't worried about it at all and knew I would be able to do this.  How can she believe this and I can't?  Where is my belief/faith in this?  I've been praying-I even had T give me a blessing.  Nothing was mentioned about this poem specifically, just that the Lord loves me and is mindful of my prayers.

I know I need faith.  I know it.  If this was just for myself...but I adore this family and I don't want to let my friend down.  I don't want to write drivel in describing this family.  I don't want her to feel like her prayer wasn't answered or that I was the wrong person to write this for her.  I can write poetry.  How many poems have I written in my life?  How many?  I have been writing since I was 7 years old.  I'm a writer, aren't I?  I mean, I've written about house plants and snails and feuding couples and babies and anything made to order for whoever needs something.  I can pull them out of my least I thought I could.

I think I have too much pride.  I need humility.  I may be able to consider myself a writer, but that is only because that is how I choose to express myself where I aren't just trying to turn my weakness into strength.  That's reserved for speaking.  Crap.  I know I can do this.  I know...