Archive for November, 2006

What is Happening to Me?

A little known fact about me.  I once helped liberate fourteen animals from a labratory that was affiliated with a major drugstore chain.  It was all very covert and nondestructive.  We saved fourteen animals and gave them good homes.  I hope I don’t go to jail for admitting this online.  It was many, many years ago and I was very young - certainly wasn’t the master mind of the operation.  But I went.

My point in divulging any of this to you is because my identity (if you haven’t noticed from previous blogs) is becoming somewhat illusive to me these days.  I don’t care to be a fist raising activist or someone who is righteously ethical - though that was an outfit I wore for many years.  But, where is the line?  How do we creep into being a reasonable adult with a balanced perspective about their lifestyle without entirely becoming a sell out?  My fear is that I am not becoming “balanced” but lazy. 

I have started taking long walks in the morning.  530am is my target rising time - though it is hard to get out of bed before 6am.  During these long walks alone, I have been thinking.  Thinking about my past.  Thinking about my present.  Obsessively thinking about my future and what kind of person I am turning into.  I have also started to think about who I am not any longer.  Everyone around me seems so pleased to know that I have “loosened up” - I eat fish, I wear leather, I had turkey for Thanksgiving, I drive something very similar to a small SUV (alright, it is a small SUV..), I let my kids watch TV now (only PBS but, still…).  I am far from a perfectionist - seriously.  I never adhered to a “no-TV-vegetarian-econocar-driving” lifestyle because I was a perfectionist about my lifestyle.  Admittedly, I did it out of guilt.  I couldn’t bear having any responsibility for destruction of any kind and, when I had kids, I didn’t want them to be comfortable living an overindulged, destructive lifestyle either.  So, what gives?  What switch got flipped in me?  Am I being lazy or just figuring out how to work within the constraints of the society around me? 

I guess, mostly, I just want to know why I can’t turn it off.  I see all these people, every day, living so simply and easily.  They glide through their day,without even an inkling of a thought for their actions and behaviour.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be like that, I just want to find a middle ground.  Somewhere, there has got to be a middle ground.

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living, Mental Health | No Comments »

I Get Dizzy Just Watching…

I have two sets of friends who each have three kids.  They are brilliant and capable women.  I never thought I would be able to have two kids and somehow I pull it off, sometimes moderately well.  I think something takes you over when you have kids and you just act instead of thinking of acting.  When I watch these women, with their brood of children and their insanity just a boat ride away, I feel nothing but complete admiration for their strength.  Aaaaaaand a huge dose of relief for the fact that I don’t have three kids.  As much as going from an only child to two children is a shock - going from two to three seems maniacally deranged.  You’re outnumbered and, when you’re outnumbered, it seems you live in a complete state of cyclical dizzyness that is gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths to maintain control, gaining control, losing control, taking deep breaths……..

So.  To keep myself from being faced with something I don’t think I will ever be capable of - I have started to think about serious (not just whimsically basing it on the moon cycle) birth control.  Until my husband gets the snippity snip (soon!) we are having to change our ways to insure that our perfectly numbered family and my moderately stable sanity doesn’t get rocked.  Check it out in our health section.

Posted in Lifestyles, Health, Sex | 2 Comments »

Potty Perfect

It’s happening!  The littlest person in our family is finally making her way to the toilet - on her own.  After months of my inconsistant wanting to try, kind of trying and trying and forgetting to maintain the trying - she has finally decided that if she is ever going to crap somwhere besides her pants that she has to take matters into her own hands.  Thank god.  I had no idea, otherwise, how it was going to happen.

So, for the last three days she has been thoroughly dedicated to making every pee and poo in the potty.  This morning she actually got mad and a screamed at me because I was so distracted talking to my mother in law on the phone that I didn’t notice her telling me she had to poop - and, much to her dismay, did it in her pants.  She yelled at me.  For a long time.  Sometimes I don’t feel like the parent.

But, it brings me around to how I used to feel about the whole potty training thing a long time ago.  I had some weird notion back then that I actually had control over this thing - this bizarre potty training thing.  Ha!  What I have come to realize is that, not only do I not have control over it - I have, actually, very little control over anything.  Sure, I’d like to write this blog as if I had spent these last few months intently and compassionately helping my daughter learn her first lesson of independence.  I would love to take full credit for having two children that were both potty trained by the age of two (my son around 15months and my daughter, at 2, well on her way) but, hell, I really had nothing to do with it.  Honestly, the only thing I can take credit for is making them sit in the bathroom with me while I do my own thing and even that was only because I didn’t want to be interrupted.  My point is this:  kids will do it when they’re ready.  I know that most of you know this but, I guess, I didn’t.  I have just been lucky to have two kids who have taken to it like it was a game.  Some people don’t.  I have no clues to give.  I have no suggestions to make.  I just let them walk around naked a lot and that seems to work.  So, for those of you embarking on the potty training journey - good luck and may all the forces of nature be with you.

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Just Realized…

I have lots of friends.  I do.  And I love them all.  I have just realized - or maybe accepted - that I don’t fit in.  And I never will.

Last night I went to a clothing swap - everyone brings a bag or box of clothes/shoes that you don’t want and you, well, swap.  I sat admiring all the beautiful women whom I was in the presence of.  They all had style and invested a lot of very successful time in their image.  I admired them.  Truly some of the most beautiful women I will probably every meet.  And not beautiful in the traditional sense - I mean like great hair, vintage style, half sleeve tattooed beautiful.  They have thought a lot about the way they look.  A lot.  And, they have still managed to stay interesting and intelligent.  I felt like I was thirteen again.  Akward and like I wanted to melt into the wall so that no one would notice me.  As a usually very confident and secure woman, this took me greatly by suprise. 

I have gotten used to the fact that I don’t have time or money to really invest in my “image”.  I never really wanted an “image” and never really thought too much about gettting an “image”.  I have always been the kind of girl who rolls out of bed, brushes her teeth, and throws on whatever is closest and cleanest.  I mean, Einstein had five pairs of the same pants and five pairs of the same shoes and five pairs of the same shirt and wore them, interchangable, every day because he was too busy thinking and problem solving to worry about what to wear.  That sounds so brilliant and luxurious to me.  But, you know what?  I don’t want to be that girl anymore.  I want to look like I care about the way I feel about myself.  Because I feel good about myself. 

And, of course, as I reason all this out - I start to realize that I do portray myself as I am.  To be anything other than this - this girl who is so engaged in the act of living that she doesn’t care what she is wearing - is right too.  Right?  But it looks so fun to be cute!

Jesus.  Weren’t identity calamities supposed to subside sometime before the age twenty?? 

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I woke up this morning feeling, still, massively engorged..  I don’t think I will eat for the rest of the week.

My son made fantastic place settings for all of us. I arranged some beautiful autumnal flowers.  And, if I do say so myself, I outdid myself this year with the food.  Quite possibly the best mashed potatoes I have ever made. 

This was the first year we stayed home - we will be doing it again for Christmas.  Usually we traipse off to Florida to visit our family and let the kids catch up with their cousins.  But not this year.  We decided, against all guilt that my mother was setting up against me, that we were going to relax for a change. And, more importantly, let the kids relax for a change. I don’t want to spend our holidays couped up in a car for eight hours anymore.  Of course, while my mom says she understands, she still can’t help but lay it on - and thick. The guilt.. Ohhhh, the guilt.

But, I withstood.  And, this year, we quite possibly had the best Thanksgiving ever. 

Posted in Daily Living, Vacation and Travel | No Comments »

You Don’t Gots ta Burn ya Bra… but……

It never hurts to think a little bit and make small efforts towards the change you want to see in the world.

It’s fair to say that having kids trumps anybody’s (man or woman) intense involvement in social issues.  Yes, we all think about them - and chances are we really want more of a change once we have kids.  But, where we find the time to get out there and rally and volunteer and make phone calls…. I hate to say it, but, in the parenting circles it’s a lot of talk about how much we want things to change but not a lot of action.

I came across this website and it is one that I visit daily now.  Mothers Movement ONline is a resource for social justice issue - and parents that want to stay active despite their time constraints.  Just reading the articles keeps me abreast to some issues that I feel like I have lost involvement in - hopefully, once the kids are older I will not be so seperate from causes and issues that I will be able to jump head first into them when my children are more independent and I have more hours in the day.

I urge any of you out there that feel like you have had to put your inherent activist/social justice interest on hold (rightfully so - social justice begins with good parenting and a loving home.. what we do every day as parents is, truly, at the core of social justice) to keep up with this site - if not every day, at least once a week… It is, at the very least, a way for you to stay aware and make thoughtful, every day decisions. 

Posted in Daily Living, Social Justice | No Comments »

I’ve Been to Paradise, But I’ve Never Been to Me…

There’s a little show in Nashville that travels from venue to venue.. It’s called Guilty Pleasures..  Basically, it’s a group of artists and musicians who organize a one night show (usually every two to three months) and several predetermined people get up and perform the one song that they would never want the world to know they adore..  you know, their Guilty Pleasure…

So, I don’t forsee that I will be performing at this BUT it has raised the question - if I were to perform at this blessed event, which song would I sing?  Ooooooh, the possibilities..

1. any Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians song..  I know they are high on the cheese factor, but I adore all of them.

2.  Islands in the Stream.. You got it - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers..

3. Any Elton John song from the 80s.. they were so bad, yet they felt sooooo good.

4. Then there’s my unyielding love for anything from the wretched days of disco.. I’ve been to Paradise is definately #1 on that list…

I’m sure there are many more but these are my top 4 guilty pleasures of all time..

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Same as It Ever Was…

Well, we made it through our weekends of identity searching.. Of course, I had no idea that we were searching for identities this weekend but, something along those lines happened.  Joseph discovered that he really doesn’t care about football (even though he was completely stoked about it as he left Friday) or tailgating (whew!!) and I discovered that, given enough time in the day, I become unyeildingly productive and return to my inherent artistic temperments. 

If you have children, find a way to be alone for a weekend.  I did my share of going out and catching up with friends (until 4am!.. god what was I thinking?  I’m not 20 anymore.. I was in much pain the next morning).. But the best part were those moments when I was completely alone.  I relished every moment.  I highly recommend it.

Aside from the obvious self reconnection that can occur from such a weekend there are also huge (huge!) benefits to your marriage.  I missed my husband. A lot.  He missed me.  A lot.  We have been (ahem.. literally..) inseperable since he got home.  Again, I highly recommend it. 

And, today, we’re back to the grind.  There is laundry to do, articles to write, magazines to edit, baths to give, dogs to walk, bills to pay…. But we do it, today, with renewed energy and admiration for ourselves and one another.  All that just from one little weekend away from it all.  It’s enough to keep you going for a long time to come. 

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The Lost Weekend

Well.  The kids and the husband have left for Atlanta for the weekend.  I suddenly feel like John Lennon on his escapades with Harry Nilsson when Yoko was away.  My fingers are drumming at the possibilities.  Of course, there will be nothing as riotous as that famous weekend of John Lennon’s - no cocaine, no boozin’ it up till the morning light, no regretable affairs.. I just don’t have that in me anymore.  Not that I ever did.  I was only mildly wild when I was young and kidless.  I had my moments though.  But, for the most part, I usually was the girl who wanted to sit and play records, drink wine and talk about books.  Yup.  That’s me.  The middle-aged-before-her-time-geek lady.  This entry is a good example - I mean, who the hell else knows about John Lennon’s lost weekend for christ’s sake.  I do.  I do because I spent countless hours in my room reading the biography of every person that I thought was cool when I was a kid and teenager.  I happened to read all of John Lennon’s biographies.  Every single one.  God.  I was such a geek.

Which brings me back to this weekend.  I like to think that I will go out and pack the weekend with every concert and movie that I haven’t been able to see for the last six years.  Fancy dinners and lots of friends around me. But I am more in the frame of mind to just chill out and pretend that this is my normal life.  I don’t want to rush out and get wild - I want to pretend like I am everyone else that I always envy all those days when I have a thousand things to do and only time to do twelve.  I want, more than anything, to just exhale and look around and catch up with the space I have been moving so quickly within for so long.  I want to actually be able to listen to a song all the way through, and I mean really listen. I want to have an idle conversation with a stranger or a friend.  I just want to be present.  I want to see and hear without forcing myself to hurry away.  I will enjoy this.  Not because I am without my family, who are the loves of my life.  But because I am back with myself again.  Just me.

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Somebody Stop Me..

I have grown accustomed to the fact that, since having children, my body has somewhat become it’s own creature.. Changing and evolving (if you can call it that) into something that I have little control over.  I have grown used to the feathery stretch marks on my belly and have become thankful that they aren’t as bad as some of my friends.  I have dealt with the fact that I have nursed two children and, well, the ladies are a bit tired these days.  There isn’t a lot of “perk” to my jiggle and jerk, if you know what I mean.  I’ve eased into all of these things and thought that I was doing pretty good.

Somehow, as I crouch toward thirty, some scary things are happening to me.  Widening type things.  Things that have nothing to do with producing children.  My body is spreading.  All over the place.  Of course, I’m the only one to notice.  So far.  I can admit that most of it is in my mind - but some of it is not.  And that’s more than I can handle. 

Here’s the thing.  I’m not an jazzercizer.. I don’t really “do” exercise.  In fact, I hate pointless exercise and think that people who go to gyms are weird.  Can’t explain it - I just get annoyed with exercise.  I know this about myself.  No big deal.  I am still very physically active, nonetheless.  I live a very energetic life.  Really.  I do.  Exercise isn’t my problem.  I know what my problem is and I can’t (don’t want to) fix it.

It’s food.  I love it.  I mean, I love it like most people love sex or drinking or - name your addiction.  Seriously.  If you want me to be somewhere, just dangle a carrot in front of me - if food will be there, so will I.  And, here I am, two days into the flu and it’s in front of me and even though I feel like dog shit, I want to eat it.  I love it.  Love. It.

My adoration of food has never been a problem.  Until tonight.  I caught a glimpse of my spreaded out ass today in the mirror.  Sure I was wearing my “sick” pants (a very old and very saggy pair of sweat pants that are far from flattering) but, still.  It looked gross.  And, I know that my love of eating is the cause.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have an actual addiction.  I just love food.  I love cooking it, smelling, picking it out at the farmer’s market, reading about it, planning meals..  

So, what’s a girl to do?  The Dr. Weil trial is going well but, since I have been sick all week, it is hard to be following a health regimen.  All I have felt like doing is sleeping (and eating, somehow).  Perhaps if I keep following it, I will develop a better sense of balancing foods I adore with foods I should eat to age “gracefully” and without the mom butt creeping up on me as fast as it is. 

Posted in Healthy Eating, Healthy Living | No Comments »

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