Sunday, February 20, 2011

A New Normal

The consumer is a very powerful person.  As the main shopper for a family of four, I haven't always felt this way.  But recently, as a result of health issues in our little nucleus, I have become quite empowered.  No longer will the evil conglomerates and self seeking government regulators control the fate of my family. 

Over the last few weeks, I have had to come to terms with saying good-bye to the normal side of myself.  The side that likes to believe that she is well thought of by her peer base.  Or at the very least, not talked about in exaggerated whispers along with looks of horror.  Now that all partings have been complete, I am free to be as eccentric as my genetics will allow.  Which, unfortunately, is quite high on the spectrum.

The strange girl in the goodwill hat and her facial haired boyfriend, the pseudo intellectual still single over 40 women, & the 'home school' family with a love for mismatched clothes and unkempt hair have all become my regular shopping companions at the farmer's markets and co-ops.  I don't mind really.  They after all have become my new normal and honestly I wasn't all that thrilled with the Cocoa Pebble & Mountain Dew crowd that I was hanging with before. 

At the risk of sounding trite, life is a journey.  Sometimes it is a straight path to the end, but most of the time it is full of twists and turns, much like a game of Chutes & Ladders.  In the end, we all die.  So, we shouldn't focus on the end so much and welcome the twists and turns that shape us.  And, if for some awful reason you are on the straight path, add some of your own twists.  Because after all it's the journey we are here for.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Most Selfish Creature

I think if I had been left to my own devices, I could have been a most selfish creature.  My days drift in a pattern of serving others.  It begins often before I am even awake.  Somewhere between 1 and 3 a.m., when my 6 year old crawls into the bed and I slide over to make room.  Even my smile seems selfless at times.  I often bestow it wearily in my attempt to hide my worry for one of my children.  Daily, I practice giving of myself.  Despite being decades into this practice, I still, at times, find it unnatural.  Which leads me to my current mode of thought:  I could have been a most selfish creature.

I imagine I could spend hours lying in bed each morning, too exhausted from thinking of myself the previous day to get up.  I believe that I could spend an additional few hours powdering my nose and meticulously hiding my flaws.  I suppose I could prepare a meal with only me and my desires in mind and then leave the mess to clean up itself.  Indeed I have no doubt that I could talk endlessly about myself with such flourish that those around me have no choice but to be silenced.  I know that this could all be pulled off with amazingly little effort on my part.

Thankfully, I was not left to my own devices.  And, although at times I resent my responsibilities and find my mind in a state of unrest, I know that these same responsibilities and 'stressful' thoughts are what keep me from being the anti-heroine in my own novel.  They are the catalysts moving my story somewhere, in my humanness, I was never meant to go. A place of wholeness that can only be found in losing myself.  At the end of this exhausting day, I am grateful to my family for helping me become what I should never have been.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beautiful Poetry

I long to write something beautiful and poetic.  To share the depths of my inner being.  Yet, I can never seem to find the right words.  I always have plenty to help find the humor or irritations of life, but never the deep.  I am afraid that the truth is I have closed off that part of me.  The raw vulnerable part that is full of too much.  Too much fear.  Too much pain.  Too much of the unsightly.  I can't even stand to look at it myself.  I have spent years practicing strength.  And, I am strong, too strong.  My strength comes with a hardness that is like an impermeable shell.  I'm not sure I could even shatter it if I wanted to.  And, I don't.  I shudder at weakness of any kind.  I hear my voice now saying, " Exposing weakness only makes you weaker."  Showing the unlovely parts, makes you unlovable." 

I long to write something beautiful and poetic....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

State of Mind

We just had the first blizzard of the season.  I am using the term loosely, since it may have dropped 10 inches of snow.  But, it was enough to cause the local schools to shut down for a couple of days.  The word 'snow-day' is being thrown around a lot and it reminds me of an Erma Bombeck book I read years ago.  She cleverly talked about how moms would whittle snowshoes out of furniture so their kids could walk to school.  No mother can withstand being locked up day in and day out with their bored, whining, apathetic, argumentative children without giving up a piece of her sanity.

These last two snow days have been exceptionally calm around here, though.  The boredom, whining, etc. were all floating around, but since I have been homeschooling for the last 4 years, I can't imagine a day without these old friends. My sanity left with my morning coffee break that I would take each morning after dropping my oldest off at school and putting my youngest down for a Benadryl induced nap.  Quiet has become a state of mind.  I can create it anytime I like.  Just recently, while my youngest was shooting me with his Nerf gun, I decided to enjoy a serene moment with myself.  It was very relaxing.  The best part was when I came back, he was gone.  The only evidence of his former presence, being a plastic gun and a round of soft bullets.

Perhaps, I did give up my sanity years ago.  But, I can't say that I miss it.  And, on those rare moments when I might begin to wonder what it would be like to have it again, I just stop, stare at the wall, block out all forms of reality and enjoy a little quality time with my happy thoughts.