Sunday, January 15, 2012

Resolution - evolution

I'm not usually one for New Years resolutions.  Personally I think its tough to start a year off with a bunch of changes in the hope to change yourself in 365 days.  For me its much like the notion of a running a marathon having never run before.  Little bit overwhelming.  Ok even a 5k is overwhelming to me!

I do think, however, that it is always good, when given the chance, to reflect on the things we love about ourselves and those we wish to improve upon.

Today I was given the chance to think about one particular way I'd like to evolve. 

My mom called at some point this last week to tell me she'd invited some mutual friends to my parents home for dinner - and would we like to come...hum...would we like to come???

Pause for some background:  The last few weeks have been busy - crazy busy.  Actually more than a couple of weeks.  In fact it seems like since October I've been running pretty much non-stop.  We've been traveling (fun!) and holidaying (fun and stressful!) and attending to normal life stuff.  And...the crucial piece....E has been under an immense amount of stress.  This means long (LONG!) hours.  Frustration.  Days gone.  Late nights.  Tough conversations.  He's been gone a lot - both physically and mentally.   And when he's home I've been in "listening" mode.  Cheerleader.  Supportive wife.   It has been difficult.  For both of us as I've dealt with our normal life and he's focused on his work life.  I'm not complaining.  Its a role we have both played for each other.  Just giving some scope.

So when my Mom called I said I'd think about it....but (and this is the crucial part) my gut said NO!  Partly because I thought about taking the boys down to the hotel Eric is at to swim and spend the night before I have to work tomorrow.  But mostly...because I knew I'd be tired.

But I said I'd think about it.

And when she called again yesterday, in the midst of an incredibly busy day I again said "I'll think about it". 

I didn't follow my gut instinct.

So when she called again today (holy pressure!) and I finally said what I knew all along "No."  I'm whooped.  And while it would be nice to see these friends it would take energy I just don't have right now.

I could tell she was upset.  Or disappointed.  A feeling that would have been lessened had I just said how I felt in the first place. 

And this is a familiar feeling to me.  Knowing that if I'd just said what I needed to at first that the disappointment would be lessened.  Or at least dealt with earlier.  Yet, in an effort to avoid disappointing people, I think I try to stall in hopes that I can find the energy or arrange schedules or do something to fix it so I can avoid the disappointment.  Yet the whole time I ignore my gut instinct.

So that is my hope.  Not necessarily to be completed in a year...maybe it will take more or less time.  I'd like to try and find a way to go with what I be ok with going with my gut.  Even if it means hurt feelings, missed adventures, or the big D word (disappointment).    I'm not sure how to accomplish this...maybe just taking smaller steps...

For now I'm just glad to have identified for the rest of it...well I'm too tired to figure that all out right now :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Westerdaming It

This post is called Westerdaming It.  What it really should be called is:  how to hit an iceberg and not sink.

But that title is too long.

My kids have been reading about the Titanic.  A short fifteen page book that teaches them the watered down (no pun intended) version of the short life of the RMS Titanic.

This book has led to internet searches, and discussions, in a limited 6 & 7 year old scope, of the seaworthiness of the boat, the changes in nautical technology, and of course the choices made by crew/leadership that ultimately led to the fate of the ship and all her passengers. 

The Titanic and it's iceberg have been on my mind.  The ship.  The iceberg. Sinking.  So I set off this afternoon to find out what boats have hit icebergs without sinking.  Turns out that in just May of this year a cruise boat, the MS Westerdam escaped a Titanic-esque fate when it hit a much smaller iceberg in Alaska.

Combine this research (e.g. internet and 15 page book) with my current state of mind and all I've thought about this afternoon is: how to hit an iceberg and not sink.

Earlier this year I hit an iceberg, metaphorically speaking.  And I feel as though my swim through the blue period has all been a fight against sinking.  Sinking into dark places deep in the ocean of depression and anger and soul destruction.

Ok "the dark places deep in the ocean"- I'm corny, but that's stretching the analogy. 

But really.  How do we keep from sinking?  I'm not really asking anyone.  Just typing aloud. 

Right now the three things that come to mind during this journey for me, that have been my lifeboats (oh there's the damn analogy again) are:

- Service.  Long ago my mother counseled me that if I kept my eye on the world outside me, the world inside me wouldn't seem so hard.  Each time I feel overwhelmed by the feelings inside, or the realization of what has occurred, I turn my thoughts back out and try to put someone else into my focus.  Be it a small act like reading with my children or larger acts for people in much more need than me, it has helped to keep focused.  To keep shifting from self-pity to gratitude.

- E.  Husband.  Hubby.  Hubster.  Whatever you call him.  Long nights.  Even longer discussions.  Perhaps a bit of crying (mine, not his) as I've struggled to understand this journey.  As I've tried to heal.  He is not without his faults.  But he is a man who sees me for my own faults, and loves me just the same.  He's the one, that in my darkest blue has told me that from this will come my brightest yellow.  And given that he has been in pain with this too, it's all the more incredible that he's led the way and held fast.

- Esteem.  I'm not sure what to call this one actually.  In fact I didn't really know of it's existence in this journey until today.  I had an experience, which for a moment set me back.  As I was engaging in my self-therapy I heard myself say out loud (as opposed to the inside voices which engage in most my self-therapy):  This will not define me. 

Unlike the iceberg which will forever be linked to the RMS Titanic, and to sinking ships in general, my iceberg will not sink me.  It will not define me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Blue Period

It's been a while.

And I thought to start back off I'd show you something that's been making me happy:

This is my desktop on my home office computer. Sunrise*. I love it. Sometimes I sit and eat my breakfast staring at it. Often times I'm staring at it after already watching the sun rise in real life. Morning is underrated - so many people complain about alarms and getting up in the dark. I get it. Morning is a four-letter word to some folks.

For me though there is nothing like rising before everyone else. Sitting in the cool darkness of a quiet house. Lacing up my running shoes, and heading out. Watching the dark turn shades of blue as the sky grows lighter. The stillness of the morning - quiet roads - warmly lit homes - dogs too tired to pay notice my movements - birds just starting their chatter.

And then the moment. The moment when, much like in this picture, the sun peeks over our Blue Mountain. I always stop...turn off my music...and pause for moments...minutes....and breathe...sometimes's a beautiful moment. The moment that holds all the days anticipation in it. Nothing is written, nothing is solid. Possibility abounds. It is...impossible to describe. Every morning.

This is my life. A dark period that Eric and I fondly call my Blue Period. Dark for reasons not relevant to this blog. I am learning to love the dark. To love the stillness, and clarity that comes from this phase. And each day, my blue is turning bright. My sun is peeking over the mountain. I am seeing, as cliche as it sounds, the light again.

And then the moment. The moment when, much like in this picture, the light outshines the dark...I always stop...turn off my thoughts...and pause for moments...minutes....and breathe...sometimes's a beautiful moment. The moment that holds all of my anticipation in it. Nothing is written, nothing is solid. Possibility abounds. It is...impossible to describe.

*one could note that most likely this picture is of a sunset and not a sunrise. Given that I have no idea which is east/west, that's true. But for my intents and purposes, it's a sunrise.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Veteran Traveller

I opened my email yesterday to find this treasure - a story from Brian Andreas:

carries a lot of suitcases but all of them are empty because she's expecting to completely fill them with life by the end of this trip & then she'll come home & sort everything out & do it all again

It happened to come at a perfect moment. I was stressing over the things still left on my to-do list before I leave.

I leave for Kenya in exactly two weeks.

And I'm torn. Torn between being excited for the adventure and completely flipped out over the bits and pieces that need to be taken care of.

The best advice I've been giving (which is good since it was paid advice) is to lean into the experience. Which is what I am trying to do. When I have those moments where the "stuff" is outweighing the excitement I try to visualize myself letting go and leaning in.

Sometimes it works - and sometimes it doesn't. See inside of me I have two fighting personas. One that needs everything planned out and the other that really, really, really wants to be bohemian. Who wants to throw caution to the wind. Like that scene in Pride and Prejudice where Lizzie is standing on the rocks, high above the world, with the wind blowing. She is fully committed to that experience. Oh how I long to stand on those rocks.

I want to take my empty suitcases and fill them, and then head back out again.

Mostly I'm excited. This is huge.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


There is my husband.

He's about ten feet away folding laundry.

He just washed the dishes.

He just picked up all of the left-out toys.

This is after a day full of kids, adventures, parties, in-laws, etc.

I'd like to be helping him. Even more I'd like to walk over and say "let me rub your back".

But I'm not. I'm here. Sitting. Tired. Plain worn out.

Wondering. What would it be like to give 100%? I mean, each day I give 100% - more. But never 100% in each facet of my life. I'm never 100% a wife. At best I might hit 75%.

So I wonder.

What would it be like to say I can give 100% as a mom today. To say that I'm not doing anything else but giving 100% to them. Or to him. Or to myself.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm in a funk.

I think. I'm not sure really.

I'm doing everything I should be doing.



Playing with kids.

Amorous moments with husband I won't divulge online.

Meeting new people.

Chatting with friends.

Still. I can't shake the feeling that something isn't right.

Perhaps I'm just tired - or fried as it were.

It's been a long five months.

That's it. That's all.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This post needs no fancy verbose ramblings of my mind.

It's plain. It's simple.

Cancer sucks.

It makes me want to cry.

It makes me want to never let go of anyone I love.

It makes me completely irrational. Forget anything I've learned about death, disease, and dying. Forget anything about cherishing a good life, even if it's cut short.

It makes me want to be violent.

It makes me want to storm into jails and beat up prisoners who live their lives in comfort after doing heinous things.

Because cancer's brutal truth is it strips life away from good people. Amazing people who live wonderful lives of honesty, truth, and beauty. And it robs them of all that. It does worse than rob - it ravages their very bodies and souls.

Sometimes it spits them out alive to face the world. Sometimes it does not.

It leaves their spouses widows. Their children parentless. Their parents childless.

Cancer is the very essence of unfair.

Damn, it just sucks.