Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Rylie Funny

I was upstairs the other day cleaning the girls bathroom. This was LONG overdue. I can remember living in very small, but lovable double wide when the girls were real small and saying I can't wait until I have a two story house because I won't worry what the upstairs looks like. Which is still true to this day.


So anyhoo... the bathroom needed a good scrubbing. I was hard at work cleaning the toilet when Rylie comes in and sits and watches me. She sees me scrubbing the layer of pink mold in the toilet and says " oh thank goodness you are cleaning that toilet, someone had puberty in there."


I about died laughing right there. I was trying to explain to her one that isn't what puberty is exactly. And two no this toilet is just really dirty with pinkish mold. She wasn't following. In her mind there was puberty right there in that toilet!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Press the Stop Button and Re Record.

I saw online today about police finding the missing Oregon mom dead- she committed suicide.

How tragic.

I am sure most people reading that are surprised and even angry, how could this mom with two young kids at home take her own life. I am neither- I am worried. I am worried for this generation of women who are increasingly taking their own lives, or becoming alcoholics, becoming addicted to prescription meds, and simply checking out of their lives. They are desperate to find ways to numb themselves and turn off the voices shouting at them.

I run. I crank my tunes and run the voices right out of my head. I run and cry the whole time. I run and listen to nature. Running is my stop button to the voices, the demands, the never ending needs.

Fifty years ago women were excepted to keep their house clean. Most women refereed to themselves as a "housewife" when asked what they did with their lives. We have evolved now to stay at home moms and working moms. We are still excepted to be the "housewife" our ancestors once were, but now put more priority on our children and maybe take a bit less time on the house, eliminate things such as ironing our curtains and starching our slacks.

The core exception is still there though. We need to keep our house clean, parent our children as well as be friends with them at the appropriate times, exercise ourselves back into the body we had at 18, put our marriage first because after all that's what is best for our kids, buy only organic food, that is when we aren't growing our own, and hold down a job. Full time, part time, volunteer, take your pick. If we are lucky enough to have plenty of income that we dont' need to work for money we are excepted to be classroom volunteers and soccer coaches. If we do need income, and therefore have a job that pays, and we are excepted by society to be a rock star at it, while never taking a sick day, bringing our Paleo lunch to work and giving 100 percent of our attention and focus.

And while we are busy trying to meet all these expectations and working our ass off to do so, all the people we are trying to please are telling us its not enough and things are unraveling as fast as you can do them.  The boss isn't happy with your attendance and is constantly telling you that you aren't doing enough. " I except more out of you." The husband think you don't pay enough attention to him and don't understand why you need a night out. The kids complain you don't play with them enough and "aren't fun anymore." The laundry backs up as fast as you can fold it. The kitchen floor gets sticky again after just being mopped. The dog throws up all over the freshly vacuumed carpet and your grandparents complain they never see you anymore. Thank you cards sit on the counter not mailed and future scrapbook pages clutter your junk drawer. The paycheck you work so hard for is spent before it arrives and the bills are still late.

And women are losing their minds with good reason. The demands are too much. And while I can look at all those things above, the pissed off people and dirty house and put in into perspective, its still the unrelenting noise it causes in your head that drives us to want to numb ourselves. We can't find quiet to process and filter the noise because whenever we get a break from the demands we are so exhausted we crash into a restless sleep. We go to bed with these things still swimming in our heads and when our minds are suppose to be resting, they are busy trying to quiet themselves.

Something needs to change. I don't even know where that change should start. Should it start with me? Should I start being kinder to myself? Should I say good enough and move on? Should I hold on tight to my friends who bring out my strength and are the only ones not looking at me with disappointment?

I should be encouraging other moms.  I should encourage the mom I see at the ice cream place. The one juggling three ice creams, none her own, while wiping faces and listening to the kids bicker one got a bigger one than another. I should say to her, YOU are doing a great job. YOU are doing enough and that is the most important thing. Maybe the change needs to start with us moms encouraging each other, holding onto the friendships that are the first thing we let go of when we are overwhelmed. Lets NOT let go of those friendships. Go visit your friends. Have girls nights. The husband will get over being mad, the kids will stop complaining or move onto complaining about something else and the floor will just stay dirty another night. The work your brought home will wait and the kids will eat McDonald's for one night. All those things will be worth the few hours of mental and emotional rest you will get. Treat yourself to friends.

As for society, I have no idea how to change the bosses, parents, grandparents, kids and husbands who are just never pleased. Time with friends and running will all give rest, but the change that needs to happen is we need to stop listening. We need to record a different song and play that in our minds. I fear that the world is going to miss the wonderful gifts women have to offer. The compassion and kindness that beat out of a woman's heart, the solutions and praise that come from a woman's mind. These things are going to be buried under Merlot and pills. When women become numb these wonderful qualities get lost and the world is missing the unfiltered love and intelligence of women. That is something this world cannot afford to lose.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Carrying the Load

They say that it isn't the size of the load but rather how you carry it. I have thought a lot about this phrase the last few weeks. My load feels very heavy to me, and I need to find a better way to carry it.


This phrase must have originated from people actually carrying a load. A load of lumber, a load of grain, a load of gravel. Physically people had very large loads to carry, and when it was too heavy they needed to figure out how to get the job done.


Today there are tools and equipment to help with the physical work of carrying a large load. Time and experience have made this job easier and offered more alternatives to help. Today people have a much harder time carrying their mental load, their emotional load.


If I had a large load of lumber to carry how would I do it? First I would try to carry it myself using my own strength. If that didn't work I would ask for help. If no help was available I would try to figure out a way to be stronger, lift from the legs, push not pull, pile the load on a different way. If all that failed I would need to become physically stronger and work at that until it happened, perhaps carrying a bit of the lumber each day.


How can I relate this to carrying the load of life that is becoming so heavy? Really its doing the same things. Its trying to do it yourself, its asking for help, its doing it with your strength, and its working at it getting stronger. I need to carry my load from my strength, not my weakness. You use your muscles to carry your physical load, your strongest body parts. I need to use my mental muscles to carry my emotional load, use my strongest parts. I need to use my confidence, not comparison. I need to use my faith and not my fear and I need to use my love and not my anger. I need to recognize those things that build up my strength and take the time to do them. It might seem quicker to carry the load before building up my strength, before building my muscles. But I won't be able to carry it as long as I would have with strength. For me building up my strength means spending time with GOD every day. Its running every day. Its taking the extra 10 minutes to pick up my house and make my bed and make sure my laundry is at least not taking over the bathroom. Taking the time to write and read and watch great movies makes me stronger. Spending time with hubby and making myself go to girls night makes me stronger. These things that I always seem to sacrifice or put on the bottom of the priority list are actually the things that will help lift and carry this load and this life. It is time well vested into the bigger picture. So many people, especially women are trying to carry their loads from their fear, their anger and their comparison with other women. Looking at that its no wonder why more women are putting up walls, crumbling emotionally and spending so much time depleted, hurt and angry. We need to help each other build up our strength. Carry life with strength, and if we don't have strength we need guidance on where to find it and how to build it up.
My intention in writing this blog was so my girls would be able to read about my life as a mom and a woman right in the moment, in the heat, with the hopes it would be helpful to them when they get to become women. So I would say to my girls, life is hard and life is amazing. It is both. You will need a lot of strength to be able to carry you through life so start building it and banking it. Find what makes you feel alive and do it. Find what makes you feel confident and do it. And find what fuels your love and make that a priority. Fear and anger will always compete for your time and energy. It you don't build up your strength they will take over and your life will be carried by them. Work hard to not let that happen. Carrying life with love, confidence and faith are worth the time it takes to build that. Take the time and build those things and it won't matter the size of the load but how you are carrying it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Rain drops dance across the deck

The house is quiet.
Calmness surrounds me.
Rain falls fast outside.
Momma birds gather worms for their young.
Rain drops dance across the deck

Skies darken.
Trees sway and rain falls from their leaves.
The soil drinks deeply.
The dripping rain bounces loudly off my roof.
Rain drops dance across the deck.

The dog wipes his wet face across the couch.
Grass turns greener right before my eyes.
Outside smells of damp earth.
All my  to dos wait as I sit and listen to the heavy rain.
Rain drops dance across the deck.

Children sleep deeply, nuzzled under their warm blankets, their minds and soul unconsciously cozy.
Coffee is stronger, more tasteful, more savored.
Blankets already lumped in chairs seem to set the stage for the day.
Beat, beat, beat goes the rain.
Rain drops dance across the deck. 





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taking back my love of food

I love food, always have. Many, many holiday memories are centered around the cinnamon rolls that we only had at Thanksgiving and the chocolate pie we had at Christmas. I love the smell of something homemade baking and I love the handed down family recipes from my mem of molasses cookies and crazy cake.

I have loved food up until I became a parent of three girls and started listening to the "experts." In this country it is a shame to love food unless of course you are thin, then its a compliment that you can eat all you want and never gain weight. We are told to eat for fuel and that is the only reason for eating in the United States. You should not eat for pleasure, you should not treat yourself with food. If fact now there are methods to eating, vegan, green, clean, paleo ( I have no idea what this one is) and while yes I agree we need to eat good food, healthly food, locally grown food, I also think we making people feel guilty and shaming those of us who simply eat to eat and enjoy it.

Having three girls means eating disorders are forefront in my mind. I spent a large amount of Caitlin's childhood worrying about under eating, and now the switch has flipped to overeating. I have found myself shaming my kids for eating too much of a food they enjoy and eating for pleasure. I let the experts' opinions out weight what I believe and stand for.

I am trying a new approach which is eating more like the French. The French, like a lot of other countries take pride in their food. They teach their children about food and its importance. They use meal times to connect and enjoy the food and the company. Real ingredients are used and calories are not counted. Food is savored and appreciated. In my home meals have become another item on the to do list, they are rushed and stressful. We are often rushing through meal time to get to the next sporting event or social function. Meals in other countries are the social functions. They are not an item to be crossed off but rather cherished as family time.

 I am going to make great meals and we are going to enjoy them. I am going to offer my kids dessert and be happy that they love it. Yes I will have limits and it doesn't mean there is an open fridge policy. Its more my attitude I am trying to change and set as an example for my kids. This country is one of the most obese countries in the world, its also is the one of the most diet and exercise crazed countries. . What gives? I think we teeter between overindulging and depriving ourselves. We let the experts put emotions on us such as shame, guilt, and fear regarding eating. We overindulge and then exercise our ass off and starve ourselves. Then we overindulge again and feel guilty and ashamed while doing so. I am sick of feeling this way and DO NOT WANT my girls on this American food teeter toter any longer. In my opinion the expectations are unrealistic and from the looks of the numbers of obese people in America it isn't working anyway.

I want to take back the love of cooking, eating, gathering and connecting with people over a table of food. I want my kids to have wonderful memories of the food we baked together at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I want pancake Saturday mornings and ice cream cone summer nights. I don't want to overindulge until I feel like shit, or deprive myself to unhappiness. I want middle ground. And I trust it is in that middle ground where we will find balance for our mental, emotional and physical health and where we will feel the strongest.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Are you a doer or a thinker?

This vacation I spent all my time making plans, without actually carrying any of those plans out, simply because I was so busy planning. I tend to be on either end of the extreme, flying by the seat of my pants having no idea what my next move is, or being so involved in making plans I actually don't do anything. I am naturally inclined to lean more on the fly by the seat of my pants side, but once in awhile I get all obsessed with being organized and making  plans. Neither extreme is where I want to be. Neither extreme feels present and productive. I need to be in the middle of a thinker and a doer.
I have spent this vacation sitting at my kitchen counter planning our activities, planning my work and planning my time. In all that planning I never actually accomplished anything and I wasted a whole lot of time. I have spent most of 2014 thinking. Now its time to spend some time doing.
Instead of thinking about going to church I need to go to church.
Instead of thinking about losing weight I need to lose weight.
Instead of thinking and planning when I will organize my pictures, I just need to organize them.
Instead of telling myself every day I need to write more, I just need to write more.
Instead of making a list of all the books I want to read to my kids, I need to read them.
Instead of choosing paint colors in my head, I need to buy the paint and put it on the walls.
Instead of telling myself I should be running, I need to get off my ass and run.

BE A DOER. JUST DO IT.

I have had a few times in my life since having children that I have felt really together. Like the stars aligned and I was able to be it all and have fun doing it. I was productive and rested. I was present with my kids while also planning the future. I was 100% in all areas. I was flowing in the current, not fighting against it. If I think back to those rare times I think what they all have in common is that I didn't have time to think. Those were the times when there was the most going on. My kids were toddlers, we were moving, I had three drop off places each morning. And what is so strange to me is that is those moments of being pushed the hardest and DOING the most, I have the most memories. I was focused enough to soak everything in and remember it. Maybe I spend so much time thinking in the down time that there isn't room for anything else. That is reason enough for me to start doing more and thinking less.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My apology letter to Caitlin

Caitlin,

 I wasn't the best mom to you the other night. I was overtired and overwhelmed and took those things out on you. I was impatient and far to angry for the situation. I'm sorry I wasn't able to put aside my frustrations to be a better mom. I'm sorry I wasn't able to let go of my needs to support yours.

I try, I really do, to dig deep and reach beyond my needs and feeling to be able to understand yours. I had reached my limit of doing for others last night and couldn't dig any deeper to show you any patience. I'm sorry you took the brunt. I'm sorry that your situation was the one that caused the lid to fall off and my emotions and frustrations to come pouring out.

All I can do is to apologize and try harder next time. Everything has a lesson and in this the lesson is to create boundaries and to not allow people to take advantage of them. You will someday be a not so great mom to your kids. And that is okay, its human, its a learning experience. So I write this to you so you can know its okay, you will still be loved and you will still be a great, loving, kind, compassionate mom. All of us knock our lids off and become imperfect. I want you to know that it is okay that everything isn't perfect, but it is still amazing and so are you. These imperfect times strengthen you and deeper your character. You will become MORE in everything from the lessons you learn during the hard times. Those times you need to dig deep, admit when you are wrong and humble yourself build compassion and forgiveness. Cherish those times, learn from them, and then pour yourself a glass of wine.