The EO http://extraordinary-ordinary.net The Extraordinary Ordinary Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:55:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 that could be lame http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/04/17/that-could-be-lame/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/04/17/that-could-be-lame/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2016 02:40:36 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6350

If you hardly ever say anything, do people listen more closely when you do?

I used to say a lot here.

My dad is one of those people that doesn’t talk that much. He is also the kind of person that, because he waits to speak, ya best listen when he does. It’s going to be worth listening to, truly. (No pressure, dad.)

My friend Jean had a stroke several years ago. It took a toll on her body and makes it so that her words come out slowly. Her brain will have it all lined up nice, words flowing to sentences and then paragraphs and pages, but it comes out like the dripping of a slow-leak faucet, or sometimes simply like a person who has had a stroke. This can be terribly frustrating for her.

It is one of the things I adore about her.

Well…that’s…lame…she said recently. And that was it. After quite a rant from me. Well, that’s lame.

She will say something like that, after I have given her a five minute ramble about whatever ridiculously irrational thoughts and feelings I am having. I will shoot words at her all rapid-fire like, and she will listen intently and then…

Well…that’s lame…

or, GOOD. See? You are not a victim.

or, STOP. Just stop.

and that sums it up. She’s right. She isn’t going to waste her energy on wrong. No people-pleasing. No beating around the bush. No manipulating. No polite and carefully crafted rambles to caress my ego.

She was right, you know. That day. When I talked about how I went about dealing with something painful. How I was over-thinking myself into a tizzy. She was right. It was lame and I needed to just stop.

Brevity is good. Saying very little can be very good, too.

I know someone else who says, Show up, shut up and shine.

I like that. I want to do it more often.

In the last couple of years, with more silence here in this space, I have probably said more out loud than in the ten years before that. In meetings, with friends and loved ones, to my children. I have been more present. Sometimes painfully present. When I get those notices on Facebook to look back at memories from years past, I see links to this blog, from 2013, 2011…and sometimes I click over to see what I was talking about back then, right here.

I will think, Hm, that’s odd. I don’t know…where did I go? 

Why did the writing stop?

Well, I could go on and on to explain that, and I mean, I really could go on and on to explain that. But we’ve just discussed how not doing that can be a better idea; how good it can be to say less, so I won’t.

I have not forgotten how to write, but I may have lost the ability to trust myself with words.

That could be lame.

I miss writing.

For today, besides all of that up there, I will tell you just this one small thing:

My two oldest, the boys, they were babies (BABIES!) when I started this blog. Now they are lanky long things, thin and electric, floppy-haired and good. They will soon be eleven and nine years old. They could not speak when I started writing here. Well, I suppose Miles was toddler talking. And now they read and write and have friends over and they are trying to figure out really big life questions and they play Minecraft.

With them, and with their spitfire suddenly almost five year old sister, I have changed just as much.

We are here living so many lives, I don’t even know what to say. In the midst of the movement from one life to another, I have lost clarity. You don’t really know how badly you need that until you don’t have it and then people remind you that you need it.

showup

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/04/17/that-could-be-lame/feed/ 6
Yes, honor the pain: On Marianne Williamson, #PPD and compassion http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/01/28/yes-honor-the-pain-on-marianne-williamson-ppd-and-compassion/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/01/28/yes-honor-the-pain-on-marianne-williamson-ppd-and-compassion/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:53:13 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6342

This is for the suffering mother.
This morning my little Elsie Jane alarm clock woke me up whispering “Mommy…Mommy…” you know, how they do. And I groggily came to and whispered back, “huh?” or something lovely like that. Then she started in, like she’d been waiting for so long to talk about something very important…
 
It went like this: Why is there a thing that goes way inside the tennis shoe and comes out and you can pull on it, it’s a tongue…and we have one in our mouth too and then there is gum that we can chew and also the gums where our teeth come out, why are they both gum and tongues?
 
So we talked about that.
 
I was there to talk about that.
 
This is my truth: Part of the reason I can strive for a perspective that sustains my spirit and attitude is because I’m on Zoloft. There was a time when I was brought to the doctor in a zombie-like state, shaking, nauseated. I was about three months postpartum with Elsie. I had experienced this before, but not so severely.
 
Recently Marianne Williamson, a revered author and speaker made some statements on her Facebook page. Marianne’s clearly very strong feelings are focused on “Big Pharma” and the idea that doctors hand out antidepressants (and other medications) like candy and that the system is broken. She isn’t wrong about that. And she isn’t totally wrong about medical doctors not always knowing what the best course of action is for mental illness. This is what she said:
CODE ALERT: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says women should be “screened for depression” during and after pregnancy. Their answer, of course, is to “find the right medication.” And how many on the “Task Force” are on big pharma’s payroll? Follow the money on this one. Hormonal changes during and after pregnancy are NORMAL. Mood changes are NORMAL. Meditation helps. Prayer helps. Nutritional support helps. Love helps. – from Marianne Williamson’s Facebook page (emphasis mine)
This quote in and of itself is not wrong (bear with me), but it caused a huge backlash by those of us who have struggled, or who work in the mental illness field, or are any kind of mental health advocate at all, which should be all of us. The problem with these statements is what was left out.
I am a woman who suffered severe anxiety and depression after each childbirth, with increasing intensity, one at a time. Three times. I am also a woman who worked in the mental health field for ten years as a social worker supporting people with mental illness. I continue this work through Postpartum Progress today, assisting mothers through a terribly traumatic illness (illnesses), answering their questions and cheering them on when they feel as if life is not worth living and that it is because they are doing something wrong, or thinking wrong, or were never meant to be mothers. If you have not experienced severe PPD or other perinatal mood disorders, trust me. Being a mother while whole-heartedly believing you should not be a mother is horrific.
I have yet to meet a suffering mother who does not feel shame and grief and guilt. This makes us so vulnerable. The backlash to Marianne’s comments is because of the valid concern that these mothers, many who have not sought any kind of treatment, are avid followers of this public figure with influence and power. The outrage from advocates is due to what was left out, and what was left out leaves mothers with only one message–medications are bad. What was left out is that we are all different and taking medication is not a failure. Some mothers respond well to other treatment options, besides medications, like prayer and meditation and a good diet and love. Yes, as Marianne said in a follow-up comment, some find the reasons why they are hurting so much to be due to hard truths in their lives they are fighting, and then they work through that and get better. Yes, you can honor the root of your pain and get better. BUT. Some mothers absolutely DO NOT. CANNOT. I was one of those women.
I love God. God loves me. I face down my painful truths almost to a fault. I am insightful and introspective. I fought so hard for that to be enough. I talked to my unconditional friends and family. I begged and screamed and could not stand up. I stood frozen with fear in the middle of my living room, clutching a newborn to my chest while trying to figure out how to take myself out of the picture because I believed my family would be better off without a sad, crying, angry, anxious and uptight ME in their lives. Sitting on the train tracks in my little silver car seemed like the best option most days.
I was biochemically, hormonally and situationally screwed. Or so it seemed. I knew full well that time for myself and eating healthy and prayer were supposed to fix this, but honestly, the racing thoughts and fatigue, the sadness and hopelessness, were barriers to any kind of health. My body was a barrier to my spirituality.
Medication cleared my mind and gave me hope, plain and simple. I could work on the other things that we all need to work on to be whole humans only after medication took the terror from my insides long enough for me to stand up, to walk, to head to therapy and to go for walks outside with strollers.
No, medication should not be handed out like candy and it isn’t the answer to everything always. No way. I love natural remedies as much as the next hippie spirituality-focused woman. But medication never felt like a cop out to me. It never felt wrong. The message Marianne sent with her facebook post is that medication is wrong. That is not just my perception. I think of the mothers suffering in silence, reading her post and how it influences them to see medications as only a Big Pharma Thing. I sit with them in spirit and imagine how they are perceiving her message. This is not something to be flippant about, and each individual mama should be regarded before any influential platform is used for opinions.
Yesterday Marianne said she had nothing to apologize for, but wait wait wait…don’t we all? After this sort of (intentional or not) soapbox rant blows up, there must be some reason for the response, other than people putting their own sensitivity on it. It begs the instigator to take a deeper look–to honor the pain of others
This is not that,
I cannot apologize for what I never said, and i cannot be responsible for someone’s projections onto my words, finding meaning there that simply doesn’t exist. More than anything, I find it sad that women cannot disagree with each other greater respect. – Marianne Williamson, Facebook
No, you can’t apologize for what you never said. But maybe apologize for what you did not say, and certainly should have said.
This sensitive issue was not treated with compassion on either side. Here is why: It is life or death, no matter the projection. That’s not dramatic. It is not irrational. Severe PPD and other perinatal mood disorders are killing mothers. If medication is the first and often temporary vehicle to holistic health, take the medications.
Mama, if you are suffering in this dark hole to the extent that you cannot possibly imagine surviving, if you are so sleep deprived and hormonal and hopeless that you cannot lift your head, I hope your doctor–whatever kind of doctor– hands out medication like candy.
Yeah, okay. Fine, Skittles saved my life. So be it.
It is well with my soul.
I am here to listen to my kids, to feed them, laugh with them, teach them. Because love does help. But not if you cannot feel it without interventions you may have never desired but absolutely need.
I simply wish Marianne would have added something, anything, that would take the shame away for the moms who certainly do need medication. No, not every mother managing hormones and moods in the postpartum period needs meds. And sure, I also wish that every mother who is sick had access to psychiatrists who specialize in maternal mental health, and thankfully many do. But if it is their family doctor (as was my case) or an OB/GYN who prescribes Big Pharma’s meds, so be it. If they do that too often, it is better than never.
Mamas, we are all different, suffering to different degrees. If you need medication, you are not just a pawn in Big Pharma’s schemes, being tricked. I promise. You are not alone. You are not weak. Do not listen to the voices that don’t align with YOUR personal truth. If your gut is screaming that you will not survive, medication most certainly may be an answer for you and there is NO shame in that. I promise.
 #meditateonthis
]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2016/01/28/yes-honor-the-pain-on-marianne-williamson-ppd-and-compassion/feed/ 4
come back home http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/17/come-back-home/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/17/come-back-home/#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2015 14:13:32 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6319

When we blame an entire religion, or its people, for something terrifying, it makes it easier. It makes it all feel far away, over there, by Them. Those People. The Evil Ones. This is born of fear and insecurity and those are natural things to feel, but we have to work through them and come back home. And if we claim to be Christians, home is where we keep the fatherless and the widow. Home is where we pick up the man who is opposite of us but still us, on the side of the road, bleeding.

189160_a_man_holds_a_baby_saved_from_under_rubble_who_survived_what_activists_say_was_an_airstrike_by_forces_loyal_to_syrian_president_bashar_al-assad_in_masak

(Syria photo credit – Amnesty International)

Do you see how we are all connected? We once were anyway and I can’t remember it and neither can you and most of us are fine with that.

Terrorism, war, carnage…results of isolation and separation and disconnection and fear.

We all did that. Not just politicians or religious fanatics, both Muslim and Christian. We all did that. Most of us choose isolation over connection, every single day. So here we are. Blame us.

I saw pictures of Syria on Facebook. I felt sick. And that thought came back again, that no one wants to run from home unless they are being chased, devoured, demolished, raped, beaten, killed. And if it is not our responsibility to take them in, what do we say to defend ourselves to our God?

I was scared!

So were they.

This is my land!

That was theirs.

They are wrong!

You are wrong.

They are going to take over and persecute us and kill us and there is no money and there is no room and we already don’t have enough and I’m not being unloving I’m just being rational and taxes and I’m tired of people living off me!

Faith or Fear. You choose.

Faith means we explore answers before we shut down. Fear means we shut down before we explore answers. We are better than fear. We are better than shutting down. We are better than this. We have all kinds of creative thinkers, brilliant minds, planners and do-gooders and seekers and game-changers. Let them speak.

Listen.

Nic6335274

(Syria photo credit – BBC world news)

image

(Syria photo credit – Yahoo news

 

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/17/come-back-home/feed/ 1
the buzz of guilt http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/12/the-buzz-of-guilt/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/12/the-buzz-of-guilt/#comments Thu, 12 Nov 2015 17:03:12 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6289

ElsieMommy

The other day she barged into the bathroom while I was finishing my shower.

MOMMY.

What, Elsie?

I have to go the bathroom.

Go for it.

Then I turned off the water and reached for my towel, stayed in the shower more to avoid the chill in the air than to avoid the usual, Your tummy is funny and, I can see your butt!

From her throne, she suddenly blurted, “I love you, Mommy.” So I told her I love her too, of course. And then I added, “You’re my best girl.” And she said, “You’re my best mommy.”

There has always been this sneaking suspicion (or often it’s a very clear, not sneaky, thought) I have that I’m not the best mommy at all, not even close. From my first pregnancy through today, I’ve battled over ten years of self-doubt and guilt. Sometimes it is LOUD and sometimes it’s quiet–a hunch, a subconscious rattling around, butterflies in my funny tummy.

I’m too much of a realist for being such a dreamer. I know that I’m going to fail in some ways, and have. I know that I am going to make magic as a mother in other ways, and have. Sometimes I forget that it will all mix up to be okay. Even when it isn’t.

The last couple of years have taken me deeper into self-discovery than I wanted to go. I have always struggled with guilt, even before motherhood. I can find reason for guilt in anything I do or do not do. The most benign of things. I assume the worst motivation behind my actions. It’s really pretty weird. Some of us are this kind of weird. And then when something happens that provokes real guilt for real reasons, you’re pretty much screwed. Stuck. Shut down. Afraid.

THEN, if you are so prone to shaming yourself, you will have this shame party for months and years. I am terribly good at this. (Not bragging.)

In times of great stress, I totally forget all my previously learned lessons, and also drop all my tools for living a life of freedom and peace. Then I have friends that look at me and let me cry and then they say it like it is.

For example, my friends say that guilt is the most self-serving distraction. It interferes with my ability to take things at face value, and also? Who can see outside themselves when so swallowed? I can jump from one thought to the next, guilt in tow, and not SEE anything. I can focus on myself with great intensity if guilt is over-taking me. Guilt is heavy and painful and there is no way to see around it to others if it has taken over. Again.

It doesn’t make much sense to people who are not this kind of weird. But thankfully there are people who say, Me too, and this is what you need to do. Then we laugh hysterically because their suggestion for what to do has me flapping my hands above my head like these guilt and shame thoughts can be swatted away–a shaming swarm of bees. Be gone! It’s hilarious, but it’s also an action that provokes a mental picture that demands the guilt and shame to leave–No, no no no, (flap flap flap) you can’t stay.

I am not a shame hive.

I use the guilt like I think it’s going to be a catalyst to light bulb moments, or a good enough punishment for the failures, real and contrived. I allow it in and listen to the buzzing while it makes all the sweet honey bitter.

If there is worry and fear or something going wrong with my kids or anything, underneath it, there is this subtle (and sometimes LOUD), You did this, or, If you had done better/made a different choice/not been so…this would not be happening.

And then my friend Jean says, “Wow, aren’t we powerful today?”

Oh yeah, I forgot. There isn’t anything at all that revolves entirely around me. The hearts and minds and lives of my children are theirs and I am apparently, after all, not the center of their universe. I am here to be one of their greatest supporters, to bear witness and to step away and then step closer, depending. I am here, but only if I am not over there, with guilt and shame.

Go away bees, this isn’t your hive.

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/11/12/the-buzz-of-guilt/feed/ 1
Just Write {196} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/10/27/just-write-196/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/10/27/just-write-196/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2015 17:48:13 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6305

We were talking about something totally other than the next thought that came to my mind and then out my mouth, the way I do,

abruptly

“Hey! Did you find out about your chair!?”

She was stumped, a little mystified, and then laughing hysterically. I had forgotten to tell her my train of thought, to bring her along with my change of subject…

“It must be so exhausting to have your brain!” (She said this with tears streaming down her face, gasps between guffaws.)

In my defense, it is important, this chair business. She purchased it weeks ago and it was to arrive to her home and has not appeared. We need to remember to call that place and demand that chair. We haven’t yet, too many other random things have come to mind and taken over. But still, where has the chair gone…

Earlier we were in the coffee drive-thru, where we had ordered her usual caramel soy latte and a maple clove latte for me. While we waited, I grabbed an essential oils roll-on thingy and wiped it on my neck and on my wrists.

“What’s that?”

“Oh, it’s oils. It is for peace and calming…to calm me down.”

“Oh yeah…good idea…right before you have espresso.”

We laugh so much.

It had been her birthday the day before, so we were going to lunch and to “fart around,” as she likes to say. We ate and we talked about boys and art and religion.

My friend is one of those people who came close to death and survived. Maybe she always was living fully, at least as much as she knew how, but now she is fully aware of the fullness of life, of her one chance.

I am what survives of me.

We have a routine of getting in and out of places and vehicles with her wheelchair and can now do the whole thing very fast and with less small accidents. On the birthday adventure day she started rolling backward after getting in her chair, which pushed me into the sliding door of the van. We laughed again, me pressed up against the van momentarily, her trying to wheel herself forward to free me.

We both know surrender, even if we forget to use it sometimes. We remind each other to use it, this gift of letting go, as often as we must. For her there are never minced words. After her stroke, words are harder to come by, so she chooses brevity with a side of blunt. I love it.

I recently got done with a long Lorelai Gilmore style rant about problems and situations and things, and she listened and nodded and then all she said was, “You are not a victim. Don’t be one. Because you are in control.”

Oh yeah.

She recently moved into an apartment very near me, and she also has a studio across the hall from my office in our freelance collaborative working space just blocks from our homes. I feel like the most fortunate one.

There is no way we were not meant to be friends. Two houses lit up in the night on two different hills, one road connecting to the front doors. A well beaten path has been trod, my feet, her wheels, lifting each other up and out, rolling with it.

I know just where to go.

:::::

This is Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/10/27/just-write-196/feed/ 1
Just Write {195} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/29/just-write-195/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/29/just-write-195/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:46:25 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6301

They used to think the earth was flat and long, dropping off at some point, past the horizon. If this was the truth, last week I may have tried to walk there, to the edge. I may have just continued to walk. That sounds terribly dramatic, but this is what it’s like to be a person with depression and anxiety. It ebbs and flows with no warning. I wake up some days and just know.

Oh no…it’s here, so heavy…I want to start walking…but no, I can’t. That’s too hard.

It’s like waking with an itchy sore throat, a full chest and head. A cold. No cure, so common. Arriving out of the blue and staying until it feels like going.

This week it is gone. Just like that. Poof. I feel…good.

I wish I could explain the sporadic nature of this coming and going, follow its course to the edge and back again, but I can’t. I suppose if I could, I could help so many of you. Since I can’t, maybe it will help to let you know that you are not alone.

That heaviness behind your eyes, the thick murky mind-numbing pain, the aches in your joints, the inability to focus, the pit in your stomach, the palpitations of your heart. I understand all of this and more and let us please not forget that it can pass. That change is the one thing we can count on. Please don’t forget. And please remind me when I forget.

Even when it settles in, this darkness, stubborn and defeating, I see my children. I see them play and argue and sleep. I see them eat and climb into the minivan for school. I see every facial expression and what it means about the beating of their own emotional lives. I see it all.

Today I looked up and saw Miles tying Asher’s shoe. It was the most simple act of kindness. It was completely mind-blowing, heart-blowing and it was everything.

Looking around at all of this is how we survive. Even when we don’t feel it, can’t muster up joy, it is forever ignited in the soul. Pure connection and unconditional love.

I see them and I’m going to be here riding the ebb and flow and telling the truth about it. The earth was never flat anyway.

:::::

This is Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/29/just-write-195/feed/ 3
Just Write {194} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/22/just-write-194/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/22/just-write-194/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 14:20:55 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6298

The light is different when autumn comes. It is less heavy on the air, and more sideways. That might only make sense to me, but that’s okay. We are looking forward to the colors changing, and they will, all of the sudden, when we’re not looking. We do this too, you know, you and I…we change all of the sudden when we aren’t looking. If you stare, it won’t happen. Or it will, but you won’t be able to tell.

Look away, go and do, the change will come.

I have had the feeling of floating through, and not in a good letting-go kind of way. This is more of a stunned silence. Only a creaking on the stairs, or a heavy fog over the water, no light cutting in sideways.

I want to come through to the other side now. It has been a long wait.

When you are the depressive type, you can do all sorts of things and be a little disengaged, or a lot detached, from it all. But I have gotten better before, I believe it is possible again. For now maybe we can just look a little longer, waiting for the change to happen right before our eyes, sitting right here next to each other.

Then we will sigh and turn away and keep going, through, and the light will come through sideways. You cannot shut off this light and maybe it has been blocked but turn away and the shadows will move because we count on change. We must.

This is Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/22/just-write-194/feed/ 2
Just Write {193} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/01/just-write-193/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/01/just-write-193/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:19:52 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6280

So this is the school year, right? Here we are, not ready and not set, saying all the different things that add up to the same thing–Where does the time go?

It was slipping fast this morning, through oatmeal, cereal, toast, showers, lunch boxes and put your shoes on. It will slip past the same way tomorrow and the day after that. And the evenings will be the great gobblers of time too, with their demands for homework and more eating and more dishes, getting to bed to do it again. In between, we will run places for work and sports and appointments and clubs and church and friends and family and life.

That’s where the time goes, I suppose.

In the middle of the sameness of it all, we are each, every grown up one of us, given the chance to see these small ones that we call our very own. There they are, being the only ones ever. Her shoes light up when they slap at the ground, twinkling like her. He didn’t wear socks with his stinky shoes cause he’s all boy, oh well. The mops of hair on their brilliant heads. The smell coming from only our kitchen, mixing itself up with all the favorite things that make us go. The way she acted as if preschool is college and she may never come back, packing all the things in her new striped backpack. How they kiss the guinea pig goodbye and feel sorry for her, that she’ll be alone. Snap the photos to remember, please just smile nice once. Hugs and kisses. Being nervous is okay. Buckle them in, swat a yellow jacket wasp out of the van, save the day. Wave and watch and feel it.

We are fed grace in minutia and the mundane, in the daily grind. These are the best miracles.

FirstDay2015x2

This is Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/09/01/just-write-193/feed/ 1
Just Write {192} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/08/25/just-write-192/ http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/08/25/just-write-192/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:46:38 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6272

muddy

They had a bath. It rained hard, and then it stopped. I thought they were riding bike. There were very big puddles all over the place. They found the biggest and the muddiest and the result was a lot of fun, and some memories made, and an upset Mama.

I don’t want them to remember that part.

By the time I took the picture, I had started to laugh, but it was a little late. I asked them to make the face of what they thought I was feeling.

oops.

I told my friend that sometimes I wish I could just shut off that getting upset part of myself. That I want to feel light and free most of the time, instead of stressed and not-free. I’ve realized my tension is deep. No, it doesn’t help that there has been a lot of stress, with medical things, etc…but it’s also that it’s just me. I’ve gotten an up close and personal look at my anxiety and I have no idea how I did not see how big it was, before. I got used to it, in the same way that you get used to anything uncomfortable. A rock in the shoe. A terrible noise off in the distance. Exhaustion.

We are adaptable creatures and sometimes we wake up to realize we have adapted in the wrong direction.

School starts next Tuesday. We have loved summer. The kids have had a great time, with friends and swimming and being with babysitters they have come to love. Summer’s end is always a little sad, especially when these kids grow so much and then put on their first day of school clothes and stand there so big.

But new starts help change the direction. Take off the shoe, let the rock slip out. Walk away from the noise. Rest. Please, let’s begin again.

:::::

This is the return of Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>
http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/08/25/just-write-192/feed/ 1
Just Write {191} http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/2015/08/18/just-write-191/ Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:58:30 +0000 http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/?p=6263

Of all things, a dead spider was in her hair. Had she known, there may have been quite a scene while we dropped off her registration paperwork for preschool.

Elsie Jane is four and she is going to preschool. The third of the offspring is starting full-time preschool. Or, mostly full, since she has Fridays off.

Should we not all have Fridays off?

I stopped her in the entryway of the church and asked her to stand still. She has very fine, very thick hair. It took a while to get the dead spider out, and all the while I was thinking, HOW did it get in here like this? When? In bed? Ugh…gross…DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.

I threw the spider down (sorry, church entry!) and we walked through the double doors and to the office without a mention of what it was. I changed the subject, reminding her how often she’s been to that church. She smiled but I could see it was hard for her because she had just been crying, saying she doesn’t want to start preschool without her brothers.

Isn’t it something how siblings fight and drive each other absolutely crazy but need each other?

It is a temptation to constantly talk to them about how they are doing with the divorce. To ask them questions and carefully provide them with information that’s at a level they understand. It’s a balance, learning when to be quiet and when to work on keeping an open dialogue about hard things, and good things. There is so much that is not theirs to carry, and I work very hard at pulling those things out, carefully and slowly, from the intertwining fine threads that make up our new kind of family.

Later, at bedtime, Asher was very sad because Miles knew something he did not about friends of theirs. One friend had told Miles a secret and asked him not to tell anyone. He was sticking to that and the curiosity and feeling of being left out was devastating to his brother. They are like one, in so many ways, and this tearing apart as they grow is heart-wrenching.

Asher was tired, easily sad, and could not take no for answer. Not sharing this secret triggered all sorts of thoughts and fears with insecurity and a fear of loneliness underneath. I could not fix it.

Bedtime talking also had Elsie describing her earlier naptime while the babysitter was here. She said she got sad, because she missed me, so she chose to sleep in my bed. She said that she was on her side of the bed and then, “I missed you so much so I moved over and moved over until I put my head on your pillow to smell you, and then I went to sleep.”

I leave the dishes, let the grass grow long, remove the spider, don’t mention it. I am listening and carefully choosing what to say, or not say. I am drinking from a fire hose here. I am not thirsty, and there’s water everywhere, don’t mention it.

:::::

This is the return of Just Write, a free-writing exercise in which you sit down with no writing agenda, no pushing for a theme. Watch the details of your stories ignite their own meaning from within:

]]>