Thursday, April 30, 2009

Final April Post!

Well... here it is. My final post for April. I didn't actually manage to post every day in April, but I came pretty darn close -- missing only three out of thirty days. Someone told me they were disappointed that April is almost over and I won't be blogging anymore (they were probably just making small talk, but I'm pretending they were serious). I'm fairly certain that this won't be my last post, although it will be nice to not feel guilty for not meeting my goal when I miss a day. I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed doing this and with how many things I've put out there for anyone to read.

So... what have I learned? Here are a few things that come to mind:

The main thing is how much easier it is for me to share my thoughts in writing than in person. I've always known this about myself, but it has become even more apparent recently. I have made two good friends in the past year or so, by getting to know them first on IM. Thankfully both of these friendships have translated into 'real life' friendships, but I still communicate with both of them a lot on IM. It's easier to express your thoughts to someone when you have the freedom to review what you are telling them and make sure you are really conveying what you mean. That may seem like you're not really being yourself, but I think the opposite is true. I think you are more likely to tell someone what you actually think when you have a minute to really consider it rather than when you just say something off the top of your head. Plus, there are some things that are just easier to discuss without looking someone in the face. Sad, but true. So... yeah. I think blogging has just made it even more obvious to me that I prefer writing to talking.

I have a bad habit of writing the way I talk. I overuse 'really' and 'seriously' and 'totally'. I overuse parenthesis and ellipsis, which is probably confusing to people reading whatever I write. When I use them it's usually because that is the way whatever I'm writing would sound if I were saying it out loud. I also tend to write in incomplete sentences for emphasis and begin sentences with words like 'but' and 'and'. Poor Dr. Headley (my favorite English professor from college). He would probably deny ever knowing me if he were to read anything I write now. Ugh.... so many bad habits!

What else?

I want people to read what I write. This REALLY surprises me. When I started this blog, I really thought about making it private. Even after I posted it publicly, I only told one person I know about it for a couple weeks. The more I wrote and the more I read other blogs, the more I've wanted people to read mine. I like getting comments. Of course positive feedback is ideal, but I want people to be honest. If someone thinks something is annoying or total crap, I really would be okay with them writing that too. I know the point of this is for my own practice and it shouldn't really matter to me if anyone else reads it. But it does matter if people read it and I like it when someone leaves a comment telling me they did.

I like reading what other people post. Well... some people. There are some who only post pictures and stories of their kids or just post pictures of things they like or want to buy. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Lots of people have cute kids who do cute things and lots of people have good taste. I just more enjoy the blogs of people who write about things they've observed or what's on their mind and who have an interesting writing style that makes you wish they would post more frequently. It's strange because once I read over someone's posts, I feel like I've gotten a tiny glimpse of what they might be like and I want them to know I've enjoyed reading what they wrote. Of course, I also don't want to come off as some crazy person, inserting myself unwelcome into their part of the blogosphere. There's a fine line, I guess.

I guess that's enough sharing for the day. This post is getting quite wordy and boring.

Oh... I don't have a partial poem so I will end with something strange and a little disturbing. Some (I assume) well-meaning individual keeps putting girly amenities in the ladies room in the office. Things like lavender soap (in case the normal soap-scented kind provided is not good enough), Better Homes and Gardens magazines (in case you need to stay in a public restroom to catch up on your reading), and fruity smelling lotion (in case you want to ward off water cooler talk by smelling like fruit). The latest addition is some kind of scented oil in a bottle with those diffuser stick things. Now the restroom smells like a candy shop. It's disturbing on many levels. It's also disturbing that I'm writing about it. I'll stop now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Addictions do come in handy sometimes: at least you have to get out of bed for them. ~Martin Amis

Not that I've really spent a lot of time thinking about it, but I've always considered myself a drug-free person. I have friends who smoke, but the habit has never appealed to me. I've never tried any kind of illegal drugs because it honestly never appealed to me. There was never a case of 'I was SO tempted and managed to resist'. I never wanted to try it so I didn't. The reason I'm bringing this up is because I did some silly note thing on Facebook the other day and one of the questions was something about what is essential for you to start the day. Of course, my first thought was coffee. I love coffee and I drink it every day. Then I was thinking about how caffeine is really a drug.... and.... yeah....

According to Wikipedia, "Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but unlike many other psychoactive substances it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions." So not only am I not drug-free, but I am addicted to the most commonly used drug on the planet. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's bad enough to be chemically dependent. It seems even worse to me knowing that my addiction is so incredibly popular.

But, yeah. I am addicted. I must have at least 2 cups of coffee in the morning. And, due to my weekend insomniac status and my often interrupted sleep during the week, I'm usually dragging in the afternoon and need to have some tea or more coffee or other form of caffeine to prevent me from sleeping at my desk. I have absolutely no point here. I'm not planning to quit. I guess I just felt like blogging about my new awareness that I'm a drug addict.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grasping at Straws

There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.
- Samuel Johnson

My middle sister is an amazingly gifted photographer and artist. I am completely in awe of her and her ability to capture people on film (well, it's all digital now, but I like the way the whole 'film' thing sounds). My youngest sister has the most beautiful voice I've ever heard. I once heard her sing The Star Spangled Banner a cappella at a sporting event and I couldn't stop from tearing up that my baby sister was standing in front of all those people with all that confidence and belting it out in that unbelievable voice of hers. For people like that, with such obvious talent, I can't imagine it is difficult to believe they have been given something peculiar to themselves. For people like me, well, not so much.

Growing up with such talented sisters, one might think that I would resent them for being so amazing and me not being amazing, but I don't. I think they are great and I am honestly happy for them and glad that I can enjoy their talents. But I do think that me not having any obvious talent has made me often wonder what I have that is peculiar to me. I'm totally not trying to get anyone to tell me that they think I'm good at something. I am not fishing for compliments. This is just something I've been thinking about lately. Plus, I'm super old now so I don't have a lot of time left to figure it all out. ;)

So... in all this I've been thinking about if I could come up with something to claim as a talent. Writing is the only thing I've ever considered myself to be remotely decent at. I'm not saying I think I'm a talented writer, but I don't suck at it (in my own opinion) and working on this blog I've come to realize that I really enjoy it. So I guess that even if I'm not really great at it, then it's okay for me to claim it as a talent if I can do it and I really like it? Well... maybe not a talent, but a hobby at least?

Anyway, I love that quote at the beginning of this post and I think it has given me some proverbial food for thought. I don't know that this post is really any better than yesterday's, but it is more random and rambling so... well.... that's something.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheat Post

This is a total cheat post, but I couldn't stand the thought of missing two of the last three days. Especially when I'm so close to the end of April.

The past four days have been my ideal weather... sunny, 80s, and breezy. I'm pretending bad weather doesn't exist in Ohio, even though the next week is supposed to be cool and rainy. Stupid Ohio weather. Anyway, I wrote this poem earlier last month from a couple ideas I wrote down in the dead of winter. I actually hate winter, except when it makes me feel poetic.

Like snow falling through a gray dusk
on the verge of indistinguishable.
My mind weighed down with layer after layer.
Try to shake it off before it buries Reason in the drifts.
Corners previously clear
mounding over as more time passes.
Now everything looks the same.

I'll try to come up with something better tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Need.... Something

I am a mess of a person. I honestly have no idea how I have been able to accomplish anything at all in life. I wish I could say that my kids are to blame -- that my insanity is caused by all the worry and sleepless nights, but no. I can blame them for the worry and sleepless nights and the gray hair I found the evening after I posted a blog about how young I feel.... but I was a mess long before I had kids.

I had big plans last night. A birthday dinner with two very good friends at a really nice restaurant in downtown Cincinnati, then meeting up with an out-of-town friend from college and his wife for drinks at a Martini Club. Now, I do try to get out and do things with friends without my kids on a regular basis, but it has been probably a year since I had plans like this, dressing up and going downtown, etc. I needed to leave my house at 4:45. I started getting ready at 3:30. My sister was over to watch the boys. It went something like this:

Put on the dress and ask my sister if she thinks the neckline is too low. She gives me the whole 'Whatever you think' thing. I decide that even though I've worn the dress one other time and it wasn't inappropriately low for having a bunch of girlfriends over to my house for my 30th birthday, it was probably too revealing for meeting up with my best guy friend from college when I'm meeting his wife for the first time. So I look at all my other dresses and decide that I still need to wear this one and it won't be too difficult to just stitch the neckline a little higher where it crisscrosses. I start looking for my black thread. I get distracted by thinking about which shoes to wear and come out to the living room wearing one of each. My sister votes for the cute black ones and Luke votes for the funky pewter ones. Owen doesn't vote because he is taking a nap. I decide I will wear flip-flops and take both pair of shoes and ask one of the girls I'm meeting up with because she is my fashion consultant.

I remember I need black thread and I find it. But I can't find a needle so I look in the several places I think one might be, still don't find one, and decide I will do my hair while I think of where a needle might be. I do my make-up. I dig out the sewing machine box, but no needle. Then I realize that I don't have a card for the birthday girl because I tried to find one at Target and all their cards were really lame and the boys were beginning to run amok and being loud in the store (which is not okay with me) so I told myself I would get one later and never did. I look for my box of emergency back-up cards and can't find it. Then I do my hair. Then I think of where a needle is and have to dig out the step ladder to get it from the top closet shelf out of the little box part of the sewing machine. I take off the dress and sew it, but when I put it back on, it pulls funny to one side. I rip that out. I find my purse and make sure I have everything in it. I put on lip gloss, which I don't usually wear, but the dress makes my lips look pale.

I decide that I could probably sew the dress correctly if I could pin it while I'm wearing it and then take it off and sew it. But then I remember my straight pins are on the top closet shelf, which I can't reach. Screw it. I sew the dress while I'm wearing it. It is still slightly revealing, but now it is 4:25 and I really don't have time to mess with it any more. I ask my sister what she thinks and she tells me she thinks it's better even though I think she thinks it looks the same. I look for the card box again. No luck. Oh well. I didn't give her a card last year and she is still my friend so I move on. It is really warm, but I know I will be freezing in the A/C at the restaurant so I look for my red cardigan that I'd left on the counter that morning. I can't find it. I look in the laundry and everywhere I can think of. No luck. I start to look for a black one, but I only have a black wool cardigan and one with black sequins (wow... that is an embarrassing sentence). Then I remember the red one is in the car from when I put it there that morning when I left to run errands.

Ok.... purse, sweater, three pair of shoes....check. All ready and it's 4:45! Oh, but I need a camera. Where is my little point-and-shoot that will fit in my purse? And I should probably put on more deodorant since it's about 90 out. And I have a headache so I take something for that. And get some water in my eco-friendly refillable water container. And get 35 million kisses from an uncharacteristically affectionate Luke. Oh, and I should switch over the laundry so I can run another load in the morning.....

See what I mean? I'm really not a high maintenance girl when it comes to how much time I actually spend on my hair and make-up. It's the fact that I get distracted by 50 million other things. Leaving for church this morning was full of issues too, and I had to go back in the house 4 times (after I'd already strapped the kids in their car seats) to get things I'd forgotten. I don't know if this is genetic (although I doubt it because my sister is very practical and calm) or some form of mental illness or just that I am a complete mess, but it's pretty annoying sometimes. And the fact that I'm writing this for anyone to read is a little scary to me because I really don't think some people believe me when I tell them I'm a mess. Maybe they will now.

My sister suggested that I just start setting out everything I need the night before. She's smart. That would work for a normal person. I guess she forgot for a second that she was talking to me and that I would still certainly forget something even if I tried to get everything ready in advance.

Oh... the funky pewter shoes won, in case anyone cares.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blog Block and Tattoos

So... I, like some other people I know, seem to have blog block today. I will post some randomness to fill this gap in my blog posts.

Tattoos. When I was in college, I thought for two seconds about getting a tattoo. Then I thought... that would be really stupid, since you have no way of knowing if you will still want it 10 years from now. Just get a piercing.

Eight years later, I got a tattoo. And then another one 9 months after that. And next Saturday, I'm getting another and having my second one added to because it feels unfinished. I no longer worry about how I will feel about them 10 years from now. I think the ones I've chosen are pretty timeless... if you can use that word for tattoos. I also have chosen to put them in places that are quite easy to cover.

The reactions you get from people when you have tattoos are widely varied. Some people love them, some hate them. Some are indifferent. My friend Sara wrote a blog once on what she thought people thought about her, being a mom and having several tattoos. Although tattoos, unlike skin color or the shape of your nose, are something you get to choose, I still think it really is important to get to the place where you really don't care if other people disapprove of your appearance before you get a tattoo. If you've really put a lot of thought and effort into your tattoo and chose a really great artist, chances are you are going to absolutely love it and other people's opinions really aren't going to be an issue.

Now I kind of forget why I was writing about this in the first place.

Oh... right... My new tattoo will be the word 'Love,' which I know seems incredibly cliché but I'm getting it to represent to me Colossians 3:14 -- "Regardless of what else you put on, wear Love. It is your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it." And I want it on my arm where I can see it every day. (I can see my other ones every day, but one is on my back/shoulder so I need a mirror to see it and the other is on my side where I can't really see it except when I'm getting ready in the morning). I've had quite a few people tell me I shouldn't get it on my arm. That they think it will look strange. That I should get it on my foot if I really have to get it. But isn't it just as bad to get a tattoo you want, but not where you want it, as it is to get a tattoo of something you aren't sure about? It's kind of permanent. It's not like you can peel it off and move it.

So... here is a fake representation of my new tattoo. I want it to be muted green so it's not like a huge black mark on my very pale arm. The script sucks because it is really difficult to write from that angle. (And did I mention my arm is really pale and scary looking?) But... this is what I really want. I think it will turn out okay. As long as I like it, that's what really matters, right?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Old am I?

Remember those girls in college who already seemed too old to be there? I'm not talking about the adult-ed students, either. There were two groups of them... the ones who dressed business casual all the time, who did internships at places like Ernst and Young, who were already plotting how they would be CEO of a major corporation by the time they were 35. Then there were the ones who already dressed like middle-aged soccer moms, who talked constantly about the weddings they'd been planning since they were 9 and what they would name their children (even if they didn't even have a boyfriend at the time). I was not one of those girls. I always felt like I wasn't old enough to be in college yet, even though I started taking college classes my senior year of high school.

And now..... I'm 30. I am married and have two kids and a mortgage and a full-time professional-type job. But I still feel like I'm not really old enough for any of those things. It's certainly not that I feel that I can't handle the responsibility. I got my first 'real' job when I was 14 (a real job being one where you work and receive a paycheck with a paystub that shows what taxes were taken out) By the time I was a junior in high school I was working almost 30 hours a week running the office of a local insurance agent who was just starting out (but still far more interested in playing golf than meeting with his clients). I opened the office most mornings, met with the clients, reviewed their policies, got them to sign all the necessary paperwork, collected, deposited, and reported payments, and, in general, kept the office going since he could usually only be bothered to be in the office for about 12 hours a week. By my senior year of high school I was taking high school classes in the morning, college classes in the afternoon, and working two jobs in-between. I continued to work two jobs through most of college and for some time after I graduated/got married. I have left only one job where I wasn't told that they would be glad to have me back if I were ever interested in returning ( and the one job doesn't count because my manager was a total jerk and couldn't stand that I wouldn't kiss up to him and make him feel important). I don't have issues with responsibility.

So... why do I feel this way? Why do I feel like I'm still 22? It's not that I want to come off as really young or do something youthful and impulsive. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but sometimes.... I really feel like I'm just playing grown up until I actually grow up. I kind of have this feeling like out of the blue someone is going to accuse me of being not grown up enough to have my life.

I just really thought that at 30 I'd feel like more of an adult.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Hate Geese

I realize this is awful, especially on Earth Day, but I really, really hate geese. I like animals, in general. I'm not an animal rights activist, by any means, but I would not purposely hurt most animals unless my life or someone else's was in danger. However, I think I'd make an exception for geese. They are disgusting. They crap all over everything. I have no idea how they produce so much waste. Every day as I'm walking to or from my car in the work parking lot, I have to watch very carefully to ensure I don't step in a giant pile of goose crap and ruin my shoes.

Geese are also extremely mean. They do not care that you are simply trying to walk past them to get to your office so you can sit at your desk and work.. They will run after you and flap their wings if you get too close. If this doesn't make you disappear, they will take to flying and squawking and swooping at your head, like giant pooping bats.

When I was about eight months pregnant with Luke, I was the victim of a brutal goose attack. I was walking to the building after returning from lunch and I heard the screams of two of my co-workers as they ran toward me, away from a goose they had enraged by trying to walk to their car. They ran straight toward me, ducking and running for cover. As I was, at that point, the largest object in the parking lot, the goose singled me out. It came after me, flapping it's hideous, smelly wings and shrieking like a demon.

Pregnant women should not have to run from geese (or be laughed at for this by their co-workers who were watching from the 4th floor windows). I am (obviously) still traumatized by it to this day. This morning as I was walking to the office, I glance up from watching for goose crap to see a lone goose, standing in my path. I reflexively turned away from it to duck behind a car and was almost hit by an oncoming vehicle.

My point is that geese are dangerous and a menace to mankind. I propose extinction for them.

Well... maybe tomorrow. When it's not Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I've listed some of my favorite things. Now I am going to reveal a few guilty pleasures. I think. We'll see when I finish writing if I actually have the guts to click 'publish post.' I think it's much easier to share my favorite things, because I don't really fear what they might tell someone about me. Sure, other people may not have any level of fondness for the things I like, but they can probably see how I could like them. The things I already shared in my favorite things list are mostly sane and reasonable. Guilty pleasures are not. Guilty pleasures are those thing where you know when someone reads them/hears about them they may question if they even want to be associated with you. Like your weirdness may somehow taint them just by their now being aware that you give value to these things. Don't worry. If you're reading this there isn't a way for you to somehow be sucked in to liking these things too. At least I don't think so....

GP1. Lucky Charms Cereal -- so what if I gained 5 lbs in college on a diet of Lucky Charms and croissants from the deli in the common area. It was worth it. I think the little marshmallows might be made of crack. I don't care about that either. They are SO good.

GP2. Taylor Swift -- I don't really like Country music (in general) and I don't really consider myself a romantic person. I don't believe in love at first sight (except with your kids). I don't expect 'romantic' gifts on Hallmark holidays. I don't believe in 'the One.' I'm thinking Taylor Swift believes in all these things if her songs are any reflection of her thoughts on these matters. But I love her. I think her songs are cute and catchy and that she is a very talented songwriter.

GP3. Driving in the car by myself -- I know this doesn't sound like a guilty pleasure, but it is for me. I have a husband and two kids so often when I'm in a vehicle I have someone else with me. However, I have a 50 min (round trip) commute, four days a week. I love it. I can have the windows down (if it's warm, of course). I can listen to whatever music I want (or NPR), as loud as I want. I can yell at idiot drivers. I can get completely lost in my thoughts and there is no one to interrupt. Even if I had the option to work from home every day, I don't think I would because it would mean giving up those fabulous 200 minutes every week of driving in the car by myself.

GP4. Taco Bell -- Yes, I know it's likely what they call 'meat' in their food might not actually come from an animal I would want to admit to eating and yes, I know this is some of the worst food for you anyone can imagine. But it tastes good. And sometimes that is all that matters.

GP5. Bananas and American Cheese -- It sounds gross, I'll give you that. And American cheese seems more like cheese product than real cheese, but I've eaten this since I was little and I still like it.

GP6. The movie 'Save the Last Dance' (the original one, not the stupid sequel with other actors) -- I realize I really am too old to like this movie and it's kind of cheesy, but I still have to watch this if I see it showing on cable. And I have the DVD.

Okay. That's enough for now. I'm know there are more, but some I just can't bring myself to share, and some I just can't (or don't want to) remember right now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Blog or To Not Blog....

Most of the blogs I've stumbled upon (that I actually care to continue reading) in my very short time in the blogosphere are well established with a very long history of posts. A few are new bloggers or new blogs to well-established bloggers, but most have at least several months worth of history. Many of the more established bloggers have fine-tuned their posting... to only posting when they have something especially interesting or witty or provocative to write about. Some people mostly post photos on their blogs so they don't really post until they have some particularly great photos to share. It makes me wonder about posting every day, because I am typically a 'quality trumps quantity' person. I'm going to try to keep posting every day through the end of April and then see how that goes, but I am afraid of getting out of the habit and slipping back in to never writing (which I guess one could argue wouldn't be so bad if I have nothing quality to write about).

Another thing I've noticed is that while some people have quite a few followers, they have very few comments on their posts. When I check someone's new post, I always feel like I should comment as a kind of "I read your post and here is how it contributed to my day" even if it was just that I got a chuckle out of it or enjoyed a nice picture. But then I wonder what people think when they read it. Do they think it's nice someone 'out there' took the time to read it and leave a comment? Or do they think it's weird that someone they don't know is reading their work and felt it necessary to say something about it? I would think that if people don't want strangers reading their blogs, they would make them private.... But I guess that could be a pain having to maintain a list of people who can read it. Obviously each person might think something different about getting comments from strangers. I don't know. It was just something I was thinking about. I actually like getting comments on my blog. Maybe that also contributes to why I leave comments?

Anyway, I was walking in to the office today and thought of a few new lines for.... something. It's cold and rainy here. Again.

Cloudy skies in mirror puddles on blacktop.
Inescapable dreariness.
On the cusp of Spring,
but trapped in winter's purgatory.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In Defense of Motherhood

I've been reading a lot lately about the pros and cons of parenthood, on other people's blogs and in various articles online and in print. Please note this is not at all an attempt to change anyone's personal feelings about becoming a parent. I sincerely feel that if a person or couple does not want children, they should not have them, should not feel bad about not having them, and should not be made to feel bad about their decision by other 'well-meaning' busybodies. However... after reading an article on the subject in the Sunday paper today.... I just cannot resist the urge to present my side.

Motherhood is not the same for everyone. Yes, it's giving up certain aspects of your previous childless life and yes it's sleepless nights and diapers and sticky kid fingers. But it's also a new purpose to your life and a new confidence and a new kind of fun. It is a trade-off. Yes, I miss being able to just pick up and go wherever, whenever.... but I honestly don't miss going out every weekend and spending a crazy amount of money on dinner and then drinks at a really loud, smoky club or bar after. Yes, I miss being able to have a second job that pays so I could make extra money... instead of now, having two full-time jobs where only one brings in a paycheck. Yes, I miss eating an entire meal uninterrupted, but I don't miss the nights where we ate in front of the TV instead of at the dinner table. Yes, I REALLY (really, really, really) miss sleeping in, but I don't miss having no meaningful reason to get up on the weekends.

Neither life is bad. It is not bad to have nothing to tie you down, to eat nachos for dinner in front of the TV, to spend any extra money you have on going out, to sleep until noon on the weekends, and then spend 5 hours catching up on your tivo when you finally roll out of bed (not that this is the life of all childless people... lots of them are very disciplined and organized and do all kinds of inspiring things with their free time. I'm only using the previous examples because that was my life before kids). But it is also not bad to stay in on a Saturday night to play with your kids, to have your dinner get cold because your 2-year-old is finally getting the idea of using the restroom, to not have extra time or money for going out because you have new responsibilities, or to have to get up early on Saturday because you need to feed your kids breakfast and play with them.

As a parent, you have so many choices to make and you constantly second-guess yourself on almost all of them. You do find yourself doing or saying things you never thought you would do or say. Yesterday I caught a snake in a butterfly net because the boys really wanted to see it. I have cleaned up all sorts of disgustingness without getting sick because I was the only one here to do it. I have held down a 40-hour-a-week job on less than 4 hours of sleep a night for weeks on end. I try very hard to keep my parenting stories under wraps when I am in the company of non-parents unless they ask or I have a particularly hilarious anecdote. But regardless of how much or little I talk about my kids, they are almost constantly on my mind and I am almost constantly loving them/thinking about them/laughing about them/missing them/praying for them/worrying about them/feeling overwhelmed by them.... depending on the situation.

So, yes. Becoming a parent certainly changes you and your life. But you have to figure out how to make it all work for you. I work full time. I make time at least twice a month to go out with friends without my kids. I have (recently acquired) tattoos. I have many friends whose beliefs do not match up with ours. Because my husband and I work opposite schedules, our 'date night' often consists of grilling out and having a bottle of wine with dinner (yes, drinking wine in front of our kids). All these things could probably easily get me thrown out of any reputable Mommy Group, but it's what works for me. It's how I stay me while still trying to be the best mom I can to my kids. It's how my husband and I stay sane. And my kids seem mostly well-adjusted despite all this and the fact that they have a somewhat odd person as their mom (I realize my own assessment of my children really means nothing, but other people have mentioned to me that they seem fine so I'm taking their word for it. ).

I guess the point of all this is that becoming a parent doesn't automatically take away everything that makes you the person you are. If you are deliberate about it, it just brings out another side of you that was previously dormant. Yes, there will be times you'll want to cry and wonder how you will manage. And yes, there will be times you will have no idea what made you think you could handle the responsibility. But there will also be times when you are so insanely happy and really feel like you're 'getting it' and you will wonder why in the world you ever hesitated about taking the leap to begin with. I won't lie and say it's easy to not lose yourself in the role, but I do know it is possible to find a way to make it work if you are determined. The good far outweighs the bad.

Again, I hold to my previous statement that no one should have kids just because of social pressure. People aren't lesser people if they choose to not procreate. If they like kids, they can be amazing aunts/uncles/mentors/friends to the kids of people they know. If they don't like kids, they can do all sorts of amazing other things that don't involve children. But those of us who choose to become parents.... we aren't all unhappy people who have lost themselves in their kids, resentful of our happy-go-lucky childless friends (as the article I read in the paper today suggested). Although... one thing is true. Our lives will never, ever be the same as before. And I really am okay with that.

(And I hope this rambling makes sense to the (maybe) one of you who continued reading to the end.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Windows Down

I have to start by saying that I can't take full credit for the subject of this post. I was reading Irena's post about her home and it reminded me of this old poem I wrote so I dug it out and.... voila! This post.

Windows Down

Windows down.
Breathing deep the cooled,
yet still hot
Drops have ceased to fall
but the residue of rain
clings everywhere.
Brings to mind
almost forgotten
Summer memories.
Of running barefoot in dew-soaked grass.
Of picking clover and dandelions and
presenting them to mom like bouquets of roses.
Of rolling down the backyard hill
over and over without tiring of the fun.
Windows down.
The aroma of wet gravel
mingling with the scent of corn growing.
Makes me feel,
all at once,
And Home.

This homesick and home idea is so incredibly real to me at times. I feel it most strongly in relation to my sisters, but other people or things (like rainy summer days) bring it out as well. I'm an embarrassingly sentimental person, so many things make me feel this way. Many things evoke that feeling in my gut where I feel like I'm losing out by not being THERE.... But these things are also strangely comforting, just in the experience of the memory.

Sometimes my sister and I are sitting my my couch, here in the home I've made with my husband and kids, and I put my head on her shoulder and suddenly I'm 8 again and my sisters are my only peers. I don't know why this happens to me. Often I can just shake it off, but occasionally I get caught up in it and I feel that I would cease to exist without my connection to my sisters (despite that we can drive each other absolutely crazy). I guess it's in those moments you realize what a raw and gaping hole someone would leave in your life if they were to suddenly not be there. I know it's good for me to realize how much I appreciate certain people.... but I sometimes just REALLY hate the fear and vulnerability I feel in those moments.

Friday, April 17, 2009


This year, I gave up complaining for Lent. I'm not Catholic, but I think it's a good tradition to give up something for Lent as a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made for me so I do it (with varying degrees of sucess) every year. I used to give up soda, but now as an attempt at a more healthful lifestyle I only drink it about once a month anyway. Last year I gave up beer, but then I just drank wine so that was... well.... dumb. The most difficult thing for me to give up would be coffee, but since I can't take a vacation from my life for all of Lent, I decided to that to preserve my sanity and not alienate my friends and family.... giving up coffee was off the table.

I'd been noticing how much I was complaining and wondered if I could not do it so I decided to try it for Lent. I think I did ok. Sometimes the line is a little blurred between complaining and observing, but I tried to stay on the side of offering my observations without complaints.

So.... now that Easter has come and gone, ushering in the non-Lent season, I have some complaints I'd like to air. I actually like that I was complaining less so I'm going to try to keep it up, but I think some things just deserve to be complained about.

THE WEATHER: I am SO sick of this stupid Ohio weather! We have one or two 'teaser days' where it's sunny and 70 and you think that nice spring weather has finally arrived! Then the next day will be cold and crap and rain. That's okay for a week or two, but I think we are on week 7 of this and I've had enough! I want sun and warmth and open windows!!!!

STUPID DRIVERS: I have to drive on I-71 everyday. Out in the middle of nowhere where I live, it is only two lanes each direction. I do not joy-ride on the expressway. I actually dislike driving on it and would prefer back roads any day. However, to get to work, any other route would add at least 20 min to my commute. This is why I really have a lot of animosity for people who are out for a leisurely drive on the interstate.... cruising along in the passing lane at 64 MPH. They are still passing the semi-trucks, but barely. And there is a LONG line of traffic backing up behind them and they seem oblivious. ARGH!! I (mostly) gave up cursing at other drivers when I was pregnant with Luke, but seriously? It's really difficult to not curse at someone like that. The only people worse than these people are the ones who do it on purpose.... speeding up when someone has a small window to pass them and then slowing back down when you can no longer pass. I know 'HATE' is a strong word, but.....

OBLIVIOUS PEOPLE: Some people just don't 'get it.' I know that everyone, including me, has their blind spots. Those so-called flaws in their personalities that prevent them from responding to certain people/things/situations in a polite/proper/widely-acceptable way. We all have bad days or times we do something out-of-character (see: April 1 Post). I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about those people who just can't seem to process EVER that they are making someone uncomfortable. That they are weirding people out. That they are being rude and inconsiderate. That they have yet again missed an opportunity to help. That they are the only ones who like to hear them go on and on about their ideas. These are the people who ask for your advice on something and then get offended if your answer isn't exactly what they want to hear. Here is an example: My single 40-something co-worker is always trying to talk 'relationships' with me. He was telling me about the questions he asks women on dates. He said one was "What did you like to wear when you were a little girl?" I looked at him and said, "You can't ask a woman that on a date without her thinking you are some kind of creepy pedophile or going to ask her to dress up like a little girl or something! That is a terrible question!" And he got offended and said he couldn't believe I would think that about him and that was a terrible thing for me to say. He had asked for my thoughts on it and I was honest with him and somehow I was the bad guy. This is the same guy who, when he found out I am 30 said "Really? I thought you were at least 32!" and then got mad when I told him he should never tell a woman he guessed her for older than she is. Ugh.

Okay. Enough complaining. I think I have it out of my system. For now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Far We've Come

I love Matchbox Twenty. That's not what this post is about, I'm just throwing that out there. Their first album came out my senior year of high school. It is one of the few albums I can listen to all the way through and like every song. The song 'Push' is still in my top five songs of all time. I know a lot of true music-ies (like foodies? Not sure... I think there is a term for it, but I don't feel like looking it up.) who can't stand them. Oh well. I love music, but I don't pretend to be one of those people who knows all the trivia and band member names and what instruments they used on each album and how far all their songs went on the charts. I work full time and have two kids. My brain doesn't have room for that kind of stuff. I like what I like. Anyway.... I just got the Matchbox Twenty 'Exile on Mainstream' album so I thought titling this post 'How far we've come' was fitting.

My sister and I have started a project to go through all the boxes of old snapshots my mom had in various locations all over her house. We're sorting them out to scan them so we can have copies of them forever (no, I don't know why). Wednesday night, we were having a sort session and our husbands were looking through them too. I must say I was.... pretty scary from the time I was about 11 until I was 15 or so. I had dorky glasses and super long hair. I was skinny and awkward and self-conscious and weird. Total bookworm.... only not the all-she-needs-are-contacts-and-lipgloss-and she'll-be-prom-queen kind of bookworm. No... the serious socially-awkward-no-amount-of-makeover-can-cure-and-we-pray-she-grows-out-of-it kind of bookworm. My husband spent the evening teasing me mercilessly for this. I lost count of the number of times he said something like "Wow. You were just so weird looking! Not good, Babe." For the most part I don't really care, but I think that when I'm in a situation where I already feel self-conscious I see myself as that person in my mind instead of the moderately more presentable and socially-integrated (but still weird and awkward) person I am today.
Today I feel like I sort of had an eye-opening experience. I had a meeting with a director in our company to review a problem report I'd been frantically working all day to put together. He was questioning my work and that awkward 14 year old reared her ugly head. I looked down at the retro-mod dress and heels I was wearing, thought about all the work and research I'd put into the report, and answered his question with complete confidence in my answer.... despite that I knew it was completely contradictory to what he wanted to hear. I braced myself for a barrage of questions, but he just said 'okay' and moved to the next item.
Confidence.... so elusive and yet so liberating!


I finished this last night when I should have been sleeping, so it seems a shame to not post it. Ah..... sleep. How I miss you.


A metal chair scraping on concrete.
Something unfinished.
Half-started thoughts linger
like cobwebs
out of reach.
Hesitation sifting into corners
like moonlight through windows.
Longing for a breeze to move the curtain
and reveal the other side.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unfinished Business

So.... I have five draft posts lurking in my post list. All of them are unfinished and I'm not sure if I will ever finish them and post them. In some ways I think I seem like a pretty open person. That I am ok with sharing my thoughts with other people -- not just in a blog but in person as well. Not that I'm an over-sharer (I don't think), but I don't really see the point of not telling someone my thoughts on something if they ask.

But I am also a pretty private person. I have no desire to ever be famous. I like anonymity. I like having my own little world in my head that I don't have to share with anyone. (I know that makes me sound crazy. Which I am, but not in a 'wow, she needs meds' way. More of a 'she's quirky and a little off' way. I don't hear voices or anything.) The world in my head is just where I am always writing. I tend to go over things that happen throughout the day and think of how it would come across if I were writing it down..... Okay, maybe I do need meds.

But some things, when I 'write' them, are too much to share. I don't want people knowing what I thought about a situation. I don't want people knowing what I really wanted to say. I'm glad people can't read my thoughts because then they would know what I really think. And sometimes I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with what I really think.

I guess it kind of goes the other way too. How many of us really want to know what other people are thinking? Some situations are uncomfortable enough and they are only made worse if you venture a guess at what the other person/persons thought. Sadly I usually cannot stop myself from guessing.
I'm thinking it's not so crazy for everyone to have their own world in their head. It's kind of ideal.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Saturday

(Note: This is my post for 4/13, but things kept coming up and I wasn't able to finish/post it till today)

I took the day off work today. It was like a Saturday. A normal family Saturday, not our typical one. Both parents home. Ryan worked on the house while the boys and I went through their toys and sorted out the ones to donate away and the ones to pitch. Then I tried to sort the remaining ones into small clear tubs instead of the two larger cloth bins we had been using. I know that by the end of the week everything will be unsorted, but I felt better having made the effot and having gotten rid of things we no longer need.

I feel like I'm running out of things to write about. I have a lot of lines still, but I'm really having trouble forming them into complete ideas. I'm working on something about expectations. Expectations other people put on us. Something about a box... not fitting in a box. My line is
"How can I fit into something that's only in your mind?"
But all the other stuff that goes with it is lame. Maybe it's just a question for myself and not really supposed to be a poem.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Emotionally Drained

No poem today. This has been an odd weekend. I survived my gathering last night. It seemed to go well, with several people saying they hoped I did it again, so I guess that is a good sign.

The boys had a BLAST this morning with Easter. I don't really play up the whole Easter Bunny thing. I just say they should go find their Easter Baskets, but Luke was still asking a million questions about the Easter Bunny.
"How does the EB get into houses?"
"How does the EB fly?" (no idea where he got that)
"Do you think the EB started at our house or at the first house on our street?"
"Do you think the EB eats candy when he is giving out Easter baskets?"
He is a very inquisitive child.
They got some stickers, temp tattoos, new PJs, a couple train cars, gum, Slinky's, and about 4 pieces of candy in their Easter baskets, but you would have thought it was the most lavish Christmas you can imagine. It was cute how they would look at each thing and be SO excited about it. I'm dreading the days when they are no longer ecstatic over receiving their very own pack of gum.

Later my parents came over and my mom was telling us about my Grandpa's rapidly failing health. He is quite unwell and disoriented now. He will be moving in with my aunt soon, as he can no longer be left alone for very long at all. He's fallen several times and not been able to get up for at least an hour until someone stopped by and found him. I never thought I would be this person, but I don't want to go and see him. I LOVE thinking of him as this sweet, independent guy who used to sing old hymns to my sisters and me. Who always put out a garden and mowed his grass with a tractor and bush hog. Who taught me how to use a tablesaw and a belt sander. He is one of those people who no matter where I was if I met someone who knew him they would tell me at least one story of how he had made a difference in their life. I hate, hate, hate the thought of seeing him completely dependant on other people. He was always taking care of all his friends and family and going out of his way to help wherever he could. I haven't been able to visit him lately since he's been sick and I couldn't take the boys around him. Now that he isn't contagious anymore I know I have to go see him, but I'm really dreading it. I know this is all part of life. That I should be glad of having the luxury of a little time to say good-bye. That many people have experienced far worse things than losing their elderly grandparents.... but I just really hate it and there is nothing more I can really say about it.


I've lost count
of the number of times
you've saved me.
Reached out with
your calm and
made me calm too.
Few others
can make any day better
the way you can.
You love all of me.
My fun.
My crazy.
My teary
rambling songs.

(Note: I had to edit out the original last line. It was too cheesy, which is exactly what I should expect from trying to write poetry at 2AM when I'm completely exhausted.)

So... I made it through my crazy girls' night. Mostly thinks to my sister. That poem is for her. She came over several hours before the party and started working on my 'to do' list. She played with my boys while I cleaned and got ready. She is ALWAYS there when I'm freaking out to help me and tell me it will all be ok. I don't know how she ended up with all the calm and rational-ness (is that a word?) of the family, but I'm so glad one of us did. She is the kind of person who calls me when I'm sick and says "I'll be there soon with some homemade chicken soup to watch your boys and let you rest" and then does that and cleans my house and makes sure my boys are fine while I sleep off the worst flu-bug I've had in years. She always seems to know when I need her. I love that girl.

That's all I have for now. This counts as my 4/11 post even though it's really the next day, right?

Friday, April 10, 2009

A New Poem

I'm finally posting a completely new poem. One that (I think) is finished. Even though it sounds unfinished.... but that is kind of the point.

Unfulfilled expectations
shattering notions half-hearted
and preconceived.
Truths clearly visible,
yet unobserved.
Time --
wasting on the wayside.
Unsure of what happens
when I run out of words.

I know I already used the visible/unobserved word pairing, but it fits here too. I really, really like that thought so I've decided I can use it more than once. I think this is very fitting, as it describes my feeling of dread that I will wake up one day and have absolutely no words to express anything I want to write about. I'm really enjoying this exercise so I hope that doesn't happen.

On a personal, 'my crazy life' note.... I'm hosting a 'Girlfriend Appreciation Night' at my house tomorrow night. It will be ladies from my past and ladies from my present and ladies I hardly know and some friends of.... all of the above. It's kind of a long story, but I really feel like it's what I'm supposed to do. I don't know about other people, but in my life there are so few moments when what I am 'supposed to do' is so completely clear to me that when I have those moments I don't see any other option than following through. Oh... but did I mention that I have a genetic defect that causes me to FREAK OUT about being in charge of a gathering? About 2 days before I start feeling that 'what the heck was I thinking' feeling in the pit of my stomach. The day of is complete panic and chaos... with me deciding that I don't have enough food or drinks or room or sanity to actually pull the thing off and I'm just a huge bundle of nerves and craziness. (More so than usual) So... if there are no posts from me after this it is because I have succumbed to the insanity and am in a mental ward somewhere, crying that I didn't have the proper quantity of beverage napkins to meet the demand.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Lately I've been feeling a general dissatisfaction. Not dissatisfied with the other people in my life or my life in general... but dissatisfied with myself (it's possible to be dissatisfied with yourself, but not your life, right?). It's not really a funk, since a lot of times I don't think about it. But when I'm all alone... getting ready for work or driving to work or trying to focus on getting something done at work that I don't want to do or cleaning on the weekends after the kids are in bed, I just feel this general questioning and dissatisfaction that I can't quite put my finger on. Like this poem.... which is weird and not quite finished.

Discontent and restless.
An endless stream
of unresolved thoughts.
Baseless frustration
dragging down the
momentum of my day.
Void of inspiration
and needing incentive
to act.

So.... I think I will make a list of the things I know are feeding my discontent. Maybe I can work on resolving or eliminating some of them if I am actually staring at the words and not just leaving them jumbled in my head.

D1 - I am dissatisfied with my job performance. I really like my job. It's the first job I've ever had that I didn't feel like I had mastered within the first two months. I like that it is challenging to me and that I constantly am learning about new things. However, because I feel that it is challenging and I have a lot still to learn, I let self-doubt overwhelm me when questioned about my work. Often times these questions are simply seeking information, but if I am not 100% certain of the answer I begin to doubt what I've done so far. I need to learn to ask ALL the questions so when I am questioned I am ready with an answer I am sure of.

D2 - I am dissatisfied with the amount of time I spend praying. Not really the frequency, but the quality. I usually pray about something a few times an hour.... like "Wow, that person seems to be having a crappy day... please help them have a better day" or "I just remembered that so-and-so was having a medical test today... please help that go well." I always intend to pray more, but when I start trying to pray for a block of time, I get distracted thinking about the people or things I'm praying about.

D3 - I am dissatisfied that I never get up early. There are so many things I could do in the morning if I would get up earlier, but I do not. I hit the snooze bar too many times and then I have to rush around to get in a few minutes working out. Then I rush to get ready and rush to work, always arriving late. I have these visions in my mind about getting up and having plenty of time to work out and then read or write a little while I drink a cup of coffee.... then get ready and arrive to work on time. Sometimes I hate those visions.

D4 - I am dissatisfied with the amount of time I spend reading. I was such a book worm when I was growing up and now I read a couple books a year. Obviously if I woke up earlier I would have more time for reading.....

D5 - I am dissatisfied with my clutter. I come from a very long line of packrats. Thankfully, my husband did not and really helps me curb my packrat tendencies in most cases. However, I still seem to have an amazing amount of clutter. I try to do all the things like going through the mail every day (okay, every other day) and getting rid of everything we don't need, but I still always seem to have a pile of mail I can't discard sitting on our counter. I have stuff stacked on the half-wall by the stairs to take down to the basement. I have piles of papers I carry around in my laptop bag because I made notes on them and might need them at some point. Ugh. I really hate my clutter.

D6 - I'm dissatisfied with my conversation skills. I have no idea what it is, but I always feel like I don't know what to say to people. I can usually do ok making lighthearted banter for a moment or two, but after that I feel like I have no idea what to talk about. And I hate making eye contact with people for very long at all. I usually look off to the side like I'm thinking about something. I'm sure people who don't know me very well think I'm crazy. (I guess they aren't entirely wrong about that.....)

D7 - I'm dissatisfied with my self-doubt and dissatisfaction. I need a plan or something to get rid of it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I have a friend who, when we were in college, would read my poems and help me rewrite them. Not that I had to keep his edits, it was just something to do. Of course, when someone else rewrites your work, it sort of becomes their work. Their phrasing can change the poem to the point that it becomes a whole new poem, loosely based on your ideas. It's still a fun exercise. And I still like to go back and read my old poems and rewrite them. Sometimes I end up discarding all but one or two lines. Sometimes I just keep going back to the original. Here is one I wrote a LONG time ago.... my freshman year of college.


I dread the pain that's coming
when this numbness fades away.
I hate to face reality
when dark becomes the day.
Thoughts come to me in fragments.
Like china --
unmindful --
Emotion grips me
by the throat.
Tears --
my pillow --
Each rhythmic explosion
of my heart
moves time on without me.
Insanity is dancing near
and my heart
won't let me sleep.

It's really rhyming, which I usually dislike, but I think it kind of fits the manic/crazy feel of the poem. Almost as though it started out unintentional and then became necessary for the rhyming to continue in order to finish expressing the thoughts.

But here is a newer, non-rhyming rewrite:


Clinging to the numbness
in attempt to prevent pain from seeping in.
Dreading daybreak.
Looking for solace in the darkness of sleep.
Thoughts fragmented like
jagged edges of broken china.
Tear-soaked pillows
and constricted throat.
My heart
but time moves independent of
my existence.
Insanity --
dancing near.
My heart
keeps me awake.

I'm not sure if I like how the rewrite changes it, but I do think I like it without rhymes.

(And I'm tired now and would like to take a nap.)

Monday, April 6, 2009


Ohio is such a fun place to live. Yesterday it was sunny and 70 and today it is cold and rainy and they are calling for snow later. We had really bad storms last night and our power went out, which is why I didn't post yesterday. I must say I could tolerate being without a lot of things, but electricity (and running water).... not so much. Being without electricity even for a few hours is such a terrible experience and it doesn't help that it usually seems to happen in the middle of the night when Ryan is at work. I barely slept at all last night. Luke has gotten used to sleeping with a fan in his room and a nightlight so when the power goes off he wakes up screaming. He ended up in bed with me. Then Ryan woke me up three times after he got home at 4AM. I feel like I only slept in 15 minute spurts, and not nearly enough of them. I'm so tired that my face feels funny and I feel like if I blink for too long I might fall asleep. I'm not wanting anyone to feel sorry for me. I know there are lots of worse things. Just sharing my current state of existence.

In honor of the rain, I'm going to post a reworked version of an old rain poem. An old poem about rain. An old poem that mentions rain. There we go.

Solitary in a crowd.
Rain thundering on the roof,
but not loud enough to drowned them out.
The deluge attacking windows
blurring everything outside.
Emotions inaccessible.
Those near me don't sense my isolation.
I laugh with them.
And smile.
And the rain still melts my view.

The last four lines are old, but the rest is new. Not sure that I'm completely happy with it, but I wouldn't call it partial or unfinished, so that's something.


Saturday, April 4, 2009


I have serious issues with endings to poems. Here is an example:

Possibilities hold such hope
when no one else can see.
tucked safely in pillowcase corners,
seem alive and strangely tangible.
Few withstand.

Should that last line read: "Few withstand the harsh floodlight of reality's withering gaze"? Or is "Few withstand." okay? When I first wrote it, I had the longer sentence. When I re-wrote it seemed like the two words were enough.

Then I can't decide.

I kind of like how vague it is with the harsh 'few withstand' but I always feel caught between saying more and paring my poems down to the bare minimum. Usually the paring down wins.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What is Crazy? (Too frequent use of parenthesis?)

I got my first tattoo when I was twenty-nine (last May.... and it's something pretty that represents Ryan and the boys). I pierced my navel, but not till I was in college (and no, I don't still have it... To any 16 year-olds out there..... pierced navel+time+two pregnancies=not pretty). I didn't have my first kiss till I was eighteen (and yes, I ended up marrying the guy). Some people might say these are all signs of a late bloomer. I just think procrastination runs so deeply in my veins that I'm always putting things off. Even milestones. Even life experiences. Even major (and minor) decisions. Perhaps I think that if I put things off long enough, something will happen to force my hand and I won't have to decide at all. Maybe I just like working under pressure (like writing this instead of the other thing I should be working on that actually has a deadline... so that when I start working on the other thing I will only have a short amount of time to complete it). That sounds a little crazy.

(I'm pretty sure I'm more than a little crazy.)

A Poem about Being a Crazy Person....

It never stops.
It whispers craziness
in your ear.
Makes your thoughts
veer wildly
this way and that.
Is this what insanity feels like?
The crippling procrastination.
The constant second guessing of words
previously escaped.
The compulsive questioning
of choices.
Mind control?
I wish I could control mine.

I just might be a little too crazy for my own good......

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thank You Anäis Nin

Here is a newly discovered favorite quote:

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." ~Anäis Nin
(Yes, I am aware that she was... ahem.... colorful.... but truth is truth, no matter who says it.)

This is what I love about quotes. That a person can so clearly state something which you were only aware of in the periphery of your mind. I know in some abstract way, I'd thought about this before. How it's amazing that a person can have such a range of friends. If you were to take my closest friends and compare them to each other on the surface, you might think I have multiple personalities. How can I really connect with each of these people? But isn't that one of the amazing things about friends? Why would you want an entire group of friends who are basically the same person? I love how each of my friends 'represents a world' in me. Have I mentioned I love that quote?

And since I now think no post would be complete without yet another partial poem:

I need to know what's next.
My nature dislikes the unknown.
Dislikes ambiguity.
Dislikes the indistinct.
Trusting invisible light is not easy.

That's all I have for now. I realize this is a strange post, but I feel strange.... something to do with a leaking propane canister and some other very odd happenings today. I might possibly blog about all of that over the weekend, although I am trying to keep this more for ideas/poems/thoughts rather than recounting the strangeness I call my life. So... yeah...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Broken and Quick to Judge

Something strange happened to me last week. Or, more accurately, I did something strange last week. I was going to the bank and a lady blew through a stop sign and almost broadsided me. As she passed, I saw she had two little boys in the back seat, about the same age as my boys. I pulled in to the bank and saw that the reason she was in such a hurry was to get to Starbucks. She got out of her car and went in to the shop, leaving her kids in the car. Something in me just snapped..... ugh. I turned around and went to Starbucks and confronted her. I didn't yell or curse or anything like that, but I wasn't nice. I basically told her she shouldn't leave her kids in the car alone and that she should be more careful driving with her kids in the car. I still can't believe I did it, as I really HATE confrontation and try to avoid it at most cost.

Of course, I've been thinking about this a lot, as it was SUCH an unusual thing for me to do. I can only hope that somehow that incident made her a little more aware, although she may have completely forgotten about it by now. I'm not saying I regret it, but the whole thing has me examining my own actions quite a bit. I keep thinking about the line from my March 22 post "I am broken and quick to judge" and how that is even more real to me now. Sure, maybe that lady was just an overly pre-occupied mom who should be paying better attention. But possibly she was late to take her kid to a medical appointment or late to meet a divorce lawyer or late to visit an ailing parent and her kids had kept her awake all night and she really needed that caffeine. I'm not caught up in the 'what if's' or 'maybe's.' I will probably never know what was going on for her that day. (Although I do have this nagging feeling that our paths will cross again... like she's the sister of someone I know or something crazy like that.) Maybe nothing. It doesn't matter. What I keep thinking about is that my first thought was not that she could need some compassion. My first reaction to her was that she needed to be put in her place. Is that love? I don't really think I need to write an answer for that.

So where does that leave me? It's not wrong to confront people. It's not wrong to be concerned about safety, especially when kids are involved. Honestly, I don't really think that lady is bad mom. She was driving a safe, family car and her kids were strapped securely into the appropriate car seats. She probably takes great care to ensure things are as safe for her children as possible and simply made a mistake that day. My lesson here is that I need to be more careful of my motivations. There is a great deal of difference between showing concern by offering a word of caution, and being so indignant over someone's carelessness that you feel it necessary to put them in their place. I'd like to say that it's nice how it seems when you're learning about something there are lots of opportunities to delve even deeper into the subject, but that wouldn't be entirely true. It's uncomfortable and humbling. And this is getting really long and wordy so that's all I'm going to say about it for now.

Oh.... and because it seems I shouldn't post two posts in a row without a partial poem..... here are some lines from an old poem. I don't like the rest of it so I need to write a new beginning.

How harmonious and easeful
to stay where it seems safe.
But what is gained from lingering
where faith and doubt are mingling?