Friday, December 12, 2014

Life is DIY


I have really struggled with whether or not to write this.

I haven’t had time to send thank you notes, check in on friends, reply to play date requests but here I am taking the time for a personal rant.

But I can’t let this go – and as with so much of my life, if I write about it, I will process it and get on with the important things in life like being thankful and keeping up with my friends.

Last week I picked up La C from school at the end of the school day. As she ran in to my arms, her teacher says to me –

“Wow, she seems very happy to see you. By the way what are your work hours? We hardly ever see you.”

This is true.

Juge does morning drop off because I am downtown at my desk at 7:30am.

A medical student, moonlighting as La C’s afterschool babysitter picks her up when school ends at 3:15pm. Me? Still at my desk.

I look at this woman and I want to say –

Well, a lot of things that don’t need to be repeated. And a lot of justifications. And a lot of issues I have with her and...none of it conveyed me - who I am raising this child.  
 
So, what I said was  

"No, you don’t see a lot of me and that is okay – because I see a lot of La C, which is more important."
 
  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Luck of the Draw

There was a thread I read on a local listserve this week that asked what was the meanest thing any one had said to you or about you.

I knew immediately what was the meanest thing anyone had ever said about me.

Someone who had known me a large chunk of my young adult to adult life said that I had been very lucky.

Said in the context of how my life had turned out.

In my estimation, pretty much the most insulting thing you can do is to discount someone's impact on their own life.

Yes, I count my blessings. I know that in the grand scheme of things that I live a life of comfort.

But I got up every day and earned it.

I studied for the grades I received in school. I cultivated the professional relationships. I saved my money. I made hard choices.

This is not to say that I did not have help - on the contrary I had a hell of a lot of help. Or to say that I was not sometimes in the right place at the right time.

Or even, that I was lucky.

Because I was.

I am.

But luck will only get you to the starting line.

The finish line way off in the yonder?

Well, that is all up to what YOU do to reach it.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Step One: Awareness


The lights were dim.
 
Waves of ambient music washed over me.
 
My body was nestled under a heated blanket.
 
A solid two minutes into the facial I realized my jaw was clenched, my teeth grinding, my neck stiff, my shoulders so hunched they melded with my ears.
 
I was reminded of a recent conversation I had with Big Sis as I had an emotional breakdown in the condiments aisle of the 7th Street Giant. (However, that is a story for another day.)
 
She pointed out that I have a “hereditary” tendency to jackknife between dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Meanwhile the present is a fly in my peripheral radar.
 
My problem is I do not live in the moment.
 
As I unclenched my fists under the warm, soft folds of the blanket, I allowed that perhaps Big Sis was on to something.
 
It had been an epically crappy day, preceded by several high stress, unpleasant weeks. But here I was in the lap of indulgent restoration. I should be embracing this moment. Move on from that which has passed. Let go of that which I cannot control. (That last one is a real toughie for me.)
 
I can do this. I released my shoulders. I took a deep, cleansing breath.
 
The spa’s usual zen jungle soundtrack was, today, interspersed with instrumental versions of 1940’s movie scores. As the music from Gone with the Wind wafted over me, I was Vivian Leigh on the MGM soundstage. I pulled deep from within and as my eyes swelled with tears in harmony with the music swelling to a crescendo, I swore – “As god is my witness, I will live in the moment!”.
 
And I did.
 
Right up to the purifying face mask when I mentally reviewed the schedule for the coming weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Best Christmas Ever - Take #39

I think I probably write this every year but here it is again. If you read this blog you may also be a Facebook friend, follow me on Twitter or read my other blog, Styled by KDG, or hang out with me in real life and thus you are likely to have a front row seat to my unabashed holiday joy.

I will ---

1. Mix up Christianity, commercialism, Greek history (hey, where did you think St. Nicholas came from?!), and family traditions in one giant smeary, gooey, lovable glob.

2. Perpetuate the modern day Santa Claus. I will do so without guile. Without concern that I am lying to La C. I will wrap her Santa gifts in special wrapping paper. I will share the story of St. Nicholas as we bake cookies for Santa and Rudolph.

3. Help La C pick out assorted of her toys and books and wrap them up with bows and tinsel to gift anew to kids who may want them more.

4. Put out the Elf on the Shelf. Because one of my new fave holiday traditions is the game of the Love of My Life trying to outwit the very eagle-eyed La C by hiding the Elf in a new spot each day. After which, the newly found Elf is grilled by La C about his past night's travels.

5. Listen to Christmas music until I get a headache.

6. Light the Advent wreath and open each little door on the chocolate filled Advent calendar. For the past Christmases with La C we opened our Advent calendar with her to mark the days toward the universal day of Christmas. But now that she is old enough we will incorporate the lighting of the Advent candles to mark the progression of time to the birth of Christ.

7. Go to church and remember why I need to go more often.

8. Over-compensate in my gift giving. I am a little obssessed with creating an assortment of the "perfect" gifts for folks. I keep adding on...just in case.

9. Completely fail at baking holiday cookies for gifts. I try this every year. We still have gallons of Karo syrup from 2008 when I tried to make sugared jellies for holiday gift bags. I was convinced it was the Karo syrup. It wasn't.

10. Completely lose it at some point before midnight on Christmas Day that this is not the absolutely most picture perfect holiday for La C that it should be.

I completely own the inevitability of #10. I will find fault with everything from the too full schedule, to the spot on her fancy dress, to forgetting some must have stocking stuffer for Alaska that was left in DC, to the neighbor with his fully decorated Christmas tree berating me for my commercial symbols of Christmas rather than the true Christian meaning.

...and then I will forgive myself. After all, Christ has forgiven us for moving his birthday from the fall to December to align with the Winter Solstice festivals. And that is my point. We will all make of this holiday what we will. We will mix and mingle National Lampoon and Luke 2:7. We will give and take. We will celebrate and show mercy.

And we will believe in magic.

Yes we will.

It's called faith.

I have it, how 'bout you?


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sick Day


Being sick as an adult is not quite like it used to be.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ranting & Raving

I would guess that the morning routine in our house is pretty similar to many families. 

I hit the shower while Love of My Life and La C trudge downstairs for breakfast accompanied by Disney music. (I actually downloaded the Tarzan soundtrack to my exercise playlist!). LOML dutifully makes our coffee and feeds the cat who hates him. La C settles in to her chew in a bowl with milk and a bib and a spoon. Basically Cinnamon Life cereal but it has been "chew" since she could first talk. And it is never just "chew". It is "chew in a bowl with milk and a bib and a spoon". And I love that.

Meanwhile, I am upstairs hollering at NPR.  

You see, NPR and I have many deep and meaningful conversations.  We have engaged in numerous debates. And sometimes, we disagree. Loudly.

Every morning I listen to NPR while I get dressed. And I am not afraid to give them a piece of my mind. I stick out my tongue. Stop mid-mascara and google a fact to rebut. I applaud. And sometimes I threaten to write a letter telling them what I really think.  I love it, I really do! 

LOML puts up with this every day, complacently shaving and eyeing me in the mirror while I rant and wave my toothbrush around in the air.

The other morning as I yelled "Ha! You have got to be kidding me!" I turned around to see two little eyes peering at me from under the covers of our bed. 

Uh-oh. 

I went over to La C and said "Boo, you know Mommy is not mad or upset, right? I am just talking to the radio."

"Okay.", she said. "If you are not mad, what is wrong?"

"Nothing. Mommy's just passionate!".

Beats telling her I'm a raving lunatic.