Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I am.

One week, a few years ago, my kids and I watched Mary Poppins followed immediately by Sound of Music. For about a month, they both had moments when they sounded like Julie Andrews.

I'm not going to lie, I didn't hate it.

For the past week, I've been listening to and reading a lot of Liz Gilbert's, Glennon Doyle, and Jen Louden. So forgive me if I have moments when I sound like a wise woman.

This morning, I sat in a coffee shop and wrote while my daughter was at Lego class. Fifteen minutes on the prompt "I am" and ten minutes on "I want."

It was hard. I don't know anymore who I am or what I want. I haven't listened to myself in a long time. But that's why I need to do the work.

I am a healer. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I want to put good out into the world, to share love and peace, to create, and I want to be less attached to that happens to it after.

I want quiet. I want kindness. I want presence.

And a funny thing happened. My timer went off, and I closed my journal and picked up my littlest. She looked up and said "Mommy!" And ran to the door with a smile. And I ran to her with the same smile. And when she wanted to dance outside the door before going to the car, I watched and clapped. And when she said it was my turn, I danced. Then we went to the car, listened to Moana, and both sang at the top of our lungs. 

One of my favorite poems is "Poetry" by Nikki Giovanni. It contains the lines

It only says
I am
And therefore
I concede that you are too.

That's what I need. That's what my kids need. That's what the world needs. I am. You are too.

Friday, September 22, 2017

I want to save the world.

I want to save the world.

I can't remember the first time I had this thought. I remember it was before high school. I remember that when I moved in eighth grade, whenever my friends at my old school were sniping at each other, they charged each other to be nice in my name. "Be nice" was my catch phrase. "Mom" was my nickname.

Around my senior year, someone asked me what I wanted to save the world from. "Nuclear war. Environmental destruction. Global warming. Hate. Anger. Sickness. Pain. You know. All that."

"So you really want to heal the world."

Yeah.

There's an episode of West Wing when the President (Bartlett for Pres 2020) wants to include in his State of the Union that he wants to cure cancer. His pollster, Joey Lucas, one of my favorite characters, says through her signing interpreter, "If he called us here to tell us he'd cured cancer, that would be nice. But he says he wants to cure cancer. I say, Is this the first time he's had that thought?"

I say this to myself all the time.

I want to save the world. Yeah, is this the first  time you've had this thought?

I also have the image in my head of a story I heard as a child about a man walking down the beach throwing beached clams back into the ocean. His companion says, "Look how many there are. Do you really believe you can make a difference." He replies, "I made a difference to that one."

Sometimes I think that's all I can do. And sometimes I think it's enough. And sometimes I don't.

I want to do big work. In my heart and in my soul, I feel called to do something important, something that matters. The kind of work that heals the world. I don't know what it is. I don't know if I'm avoiding it because I'm afraid or if I'm not seeing that what I'm already doing is enough.

I don't know.

I just want to save the world. No, it's not the first time I've had this thought.

Hold me to it, okay?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Stop happening to me

Today I am trying my best to do everything right. My little one had Lego class this morning and instead of running errands, I drove to the mall that has a Starbucks and a big open courtyard of tables to get a coffee and then sit and write. I had my notebook. I parked my car. I walked up the turned off escalator.

There was buzzing everywhere. I looked around and there were tables for a health fair. The downstairs was packed. A band made entirely of senior citizens was playing Eidelweiss on a stage in the middle of the courtyard. There was a line out the door of Starbucks.

This wasn't how I'd planned it.

Of course, I thought to myself, of course it's not going to work. Of course there's no quiet alone time for me. I don't get to sit and write for an hour. Clearly I'm not meant to do this. Clearly I'm doing something wrong. This proves it. This writing thing is never  happening for me and I'm a failure at life and I should be ashamed that I even thought I could ever do anything other than go scan the grocery store for coupon deals.

I'm so tired of thinking like a victim.

I'm so tired of seeing things happening to me. I'm so tired of believing that I don't have any power or control in my own life.

This health fair wasn't happening to me. It was just happening. I was the one choosing to blow everything out of proportion and project meaning about myself and  my goals onto it.

So I got my coffee. I found a table upstairs. I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes and I put pen to notebook for the entire time. Because I can. Because I have a choice. Because it doesn't matter if it's the exact, right perfect thing, if I'm meant to do it, if the universe is on my side. Because I want to write and I can write and it's all for the good. 

My small girl has taken to giving herself pep talks. She'll be all by herself in a room putting her shoes on and I'll hear her saying "I can DO this. I believe in me."

Maybe I need to follow her example.

I can do this.

I can create my life. It isn't just happening to me.

I believe in me.

Monday, September 18, 2017

If I'm being honest

1. If I'm being honest, back to school has been really hard. BG is struggling with the transition to full day, with not having enough time to play, with having to do busy work that often isn't challenging enough. She's tired, she's anxious, she's crying a lot. So I'm tired, I'm anxious, I'm crying a lot. Because, sponge.

2. I thought by now I'd be writing more. I thought that once little sister was in preschool at the same time as BG was in school and I had two hour blocks to myself three times a week, I'd be deep in this work. I'd be showing up. I'd be the person I'm meant to be and I'd be out in the world and everything would be perfect. I'm not.

3. My other blog, the one where I share teaching stuff I've found useful, is fun to write, but I have all kinds of FEELINGS about it. I wonder if it's what I'm doing to avoid doing my real work, I wonder if I look silly and useless and people are shaking their heads at me for thinking I'm an expert when I'm really not, if I have nothing new or different to contribute to the world and the discussion, if investing myself and my time and energy in it is really just throwing stuff at a bad idea.

4. Sometimes I still feel that way about this blog too.

5. I feel lonely, but at the same time I feel completely peopled out. I long to feel fulfilled and affirmed and seen and heard without ever actually having to see or talk to people. Or risk anything if possible.

6. I just fell asleep on the couch for an hour and a half while Little watched PBS, and she's still watching it now. And part of me absolutely hates that, thinks that I'm the worst mother in the world and that I am proving why I don't deserve to be here on the planet, and part of me is relieved and thinking how my house has stayed clean and it's so quiet and I  haven't felt this rested in a while.

7. I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret publishing this brain dump almost as soon as I do, and I'm pretty sure I need to do it anyway.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This is parenting

I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing the sticky part of my kitchen floor with a yellow microfiber cloth because I can't remember where I put my mop, and I remember the stories of how my grandmother cleaned her entire house top to bottom every weekend, scrubbing the kitchen floor with a brush every week of her adult life. I look up at the pile of dishes in my sink. One of my daughters, then the other, both of whom I have put to bed at least twice yells from the top of the stairs that they need me RIGHT NOW. This is parenting. I am sitting on my couch with my four year old snuggled into my chest telling me about the strange dream she had ("My sister stole my sandals and I was really mad!") I echo her, affirming it, and laughing with her at how strange it was, then press my nose into the warm top of her knotted hair. "You're the best mom a kid could have," she tells me. This is parenting. My little one is asleep on the couch with fifteen minutes left before her sister gets off the bus from first grade, and I am sitting alone in a quiet house with the windows open, spinning a little in my desk chair, as my fingers glide across the keyboard, smarter than I am, catching at all these truths before they fly away into nothingness. This is parenting too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Getting still

BG is at her second day of first grade (I KNOW), and LS just fell asleep on the couch at 11:30 in the morning. It is quiet in my house. I feel like I've been waiting for this quiet for a long time. But even so, I find that I am searching for ways to fill the quiet, ways to keep busy, things to do. I have books to read, audio classes to listen to, facebook lives to watch. I have to clean my house, I have to write, I have to get everything done because I don't know when I'm going to have this space and this stillness again and if I don't do it all now I don't know if I'll ever do it. I don't know when I'll have this space and this stillness again. A few days ago, my kids were playing with their Little People quietly together without me (oh miracle of miracles) and I asked some friends on FB which of the things on my massive self care and personal development checklist would be the best use of my time. One of my friends asked me what my gut said. The truth was, my gut said to do nothing, and surely that couldn't be the right answer. Maybe it is. Maybe I just need to get still for a little while, to stop doing, to be here now alone in the quiet. Maybe that's the most productive use of my time after all.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The voice in my head says

What if I never have anything worth writing about ever again? I want to write every day, I want to get back to a place where writing is just part of who I  am, but the more I do it, the more I hate everything that comes out of me.

I wanted to write about mothering and life, to connect and relate to people, to make people feel less alone, to know they were doing okay. I wanted to create meaning in everyday life, I wanted to be seen and heard.

But it doesn't feel like that's what I'm doing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This morning

I woke up this morning not wanting to do anything. And my kids woke up this morning wanting to do all the things.

Shit.

"Can we paint our nails?"

"No, not today."

"If you let us paint our nails, we'll be extra nice."

"Why wouldn't you be nice anyway??"

"Can we use the pottery wheel?"

"No."

"Can we do karaoke?"

"No."

"How about pottery?"

Giant mom head explosion.

I don't know if it's me or if it's them. I'm tired of saying no, tired of saying not now. I don't want my kids to remember me as the mom who always said no not now.

I don't want to be counting down days until school starts. But I kind of am.

We're at library story time now because I needed a break. I hate that I needed a break. And I hate that even though I sat in the back corner to try to read, I haven't gone 5 minutes without a child on top of me.




Monday, August 21, 2017

What happened when I didn't write

Less than a week ago, I committed to writing 100 or more words every day for the next thirty days. And then for the past two days, I didn't.

It sucked, guys. And it didn't.

The truth is the pressure was pretty bad, and the idea that the world was going to end if I didn't write, that it was going to be proof that I wasn't meant to be a writer, that I was going to be a failure for the rest of my life, that something was inherently wrong with me was heavy. So damn heavy.

And what happened on the day when I didn't write?

I was disappointed. I was sad. I felt like I maybe could have done better, like I needed to do a better job at putting what was important to me at the forefront.

But. The world didn't end. Life kept going. And as much as my brain told me that this was proof that I was never going to really be a writer, I sat down today and wrote again. And that part sucked. I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed.

What happened when I didn't write is that I gave myself another opportunity to practice grace. And, as BG says when it's time to sit down at the piano, I HATE PRACTICING. PRACTICING IS BORING.

But that's how you get better. You practice. You sit down. You keep going when you make mistakes. And you give yourself grace.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In which I am like Super Grover 2.0

Today the tiredness is catching up to me. My kids have been watching Elena of Avalor for two hours and I am dipping some kind of incomprehensible fizzy carbonated water thing. I want to be eloquent, I want to be wise, to be dripping with insight and heart. But right now all I can really think to say is that I'm tired.

Sometimes when I feel like this I get scared that it's the depression sinking back in on me. That I don't want to do anything because of this illness that I can never seem to get out from under. And when I feel that way it makes me want to sink into the floor even more, to disappear.

But the important thing is to show up, to keep showing up, to not worry about whether it is any good or what anyone will think. To convince myself that my failure is not as inevitable as I have been telling myself it is. And to get it out of the way because until I do I'm going to be so busy not writing that I'm not going to do anything else.

So now that I've written I'm going to go clean up my house a little and then snuggle my kids and get on with my day. Because I'm not a failure. And I don't need to beat myself to the punch by giving up before I get a chance to be rejected. I just need to show up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

And then she saw me

Today is hard.

I went to the grocery store and forgot to buy what I mostly went for. I spent 15 minutes on the phone trying to get BG registered for a class she wants to take, and turned around to find LS soaked to the skin and a swimming pool on my bathroom floor where she'd been splashing in the sink. Everywhere I look, there is something on my floor that doesn't belong there, even though I spent 3 hours cleaning on Sunday afternoon, and my in laws are coming to visit tomorrow. BG has been asking me every thirty seconds to paint or throw pottery or do something that will create as big a mess as possible, and my answer is always "Not now, not now," and I HATE that.

I'm having a hard time breathing right now.

I yelled at my kids and BG stomped off to her room indignantly. But then. But then.

She poked her head back downstairs and immediately started asking again if she could do something incredibly complicated, requiring my undivided attention, and taking twice as long to clean up as it would actually take to do.

"BG," I said, "I'm not doing great. There's a tornado in my brain. So many tornadoes." This is how my sweet six year old describes her own anxiety to me.

She stopped. She petted my hair. "I'm sorry mommy. It's okay. Go to your room and read, that always helps me. I'll take care of everything."

And so I started to cry. Because she saw me and heard me and I can't remember the last time I felt genuinely seen and heard and validated.

And I started to laugh because there was no way in heck I could leave her in charge of the house and her sister.

And I breathed. And I hugged her. And I kept on trying.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Worth trying

I have trouble trying new things.

These days, I'm a hot mess just muddling through, but at one point in my life (long, long ago) I was good at things.

Certain things.

I never tried out for theater in high school, even though I really wanted to. I didn't even ever tell anyone that I wanted to. Because what if I wasn't good? What if I didn't make it or succeed? So the best thing was to just keep my wanting to myself.

If I didn't already know I'd be perfect, it wasn't worth trying. Trying was a problem. Trying too hard was of course an even bigger problem.

In a former life, I was a teacher. And I enjoyed it. So a lot of the time, when I'm home with my kids and I don't know what else to do, I teach them stuff. It's what I do. It's who I am.

So last week, I started a new project. I started a blog called This Mom teaches where I could share books we've read, videos we've watched, projects we've done. It's not stuff I created, really, it's mostly just curating content.

I'm good at that. I've always been good at that. And I like it.

And I'm overcome with major impostor syndrome.

Why do I think I am? Why do I have a right to do this? Why would anyone care what I have to say? What will people think of me when they see this? Will they think this is silly, that I'm silly?

Those voices, they're so real. They're in my head all the time. But this time, I'm not going to let them make me give up. I'm going to try.

It's worth trying.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Running

In eighth grade PE class, we ran a mile once a month, as a way to assess our fitness and to gauge progress. In order to keep us all from running into each other on the track, we were split up into start times based on our previous month's pace. There was a 6-9 minute group, a 9-12, and a 12-15 minute group.

I was in the 12-15 minute group, and I hated it.

The athletes were in the first group. The pretty and popular girls were all in the second group. I was in the group that was barely going fast enough to get a passing grade. "You can walk it in 15 minutes if you hustle," said our teacher, "There's no reason to not be able to finish in that time."

I wanted nothing more than to get into one of the faster groups. I was ashamed.

That was the year I started jogging in place while I watched TV at night. I lost over 10 pounds, probably not in the healthiest of ways. I wanted to be different, to be part of a group where deep in my gut I would never believe I belonged.

I got into the middle group. Then I got my mile time under 10 minutes, a goal that meant more to me than it probably should have.

And it didn't change anything. It didn't fill any of the void in my heart. It didn't make me feel less lonely or cooler or special.

I've been running again this summer. Last night I ran 2.5 miles. My pace hovers just above an 11 minute mile. I'm so much stronger than I was at 13, so much smarter. There's a part of me, though, that still believes that in order to be someone I need to get my pace under 10 minutes. I need to be able to run the whole 5k and get it in under 30 minutes. There's a part of me that thinks that it's not real, that I am not doing it until I get there, until I hit that goal, until I fit into that group.

That's not why I run. I know this. It matters that I get out there and put in the time more than it matters how far or how fast I go. Showing up matters. Until I can get that deep into my skull, can convince that scared 13 year old girl inside me who still just really wants to belong, it will never really change anything. I'll always be running from myself instead of running for myself.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Autumn is coming

It's almost the end of summer. Part of me is relieved, excited, counting down the days until my girls go back to school. But another part of me is disappointed, discouraged, guilty. This summer I was going to do all the things with my kids. We were going to go to the zoo, museums, parks, spray parks, pools. We were going to enjoy each other and really be together.

This is the part where I need Daniel Tiger to sing to me "Sometimes you feel two feelings at the same time, and that's okay."

We spent a lot of the summer, it seems, in the house. We watched a lot of TV. We snuggled some, they fought some, I lost my temper some. I wish I was the kind of mom who had my kids at the pool every day or who played outside with them all the time. But usually I'm the kind of mom who needs to retreat to a quiet room and just not be around her kids for a chunk of the day.

I'm sad about that.

BG is starting first grade this year (I know, right?!!?) and it's her first day of going to school all day every day. Most of the time, I think that's a good thing. I think there's a lot about first grade that she'll love, and I'm looking forward to working in more pockets of time to myself when Little Sister is at preschool, too. But sometimes this sense comes over me like a cloud that I missed it. That was the end of her childhood. I didn't do all the things I wanted to do before they took her from me and now it's too late. 

I failed.

She's six.

My rational brain is telling me that it isn't over, that there's an awful lot of parenting left to do. I know this, in my head.  But.

Back to school has always been a complicated time for me. It's when I miss teaching most. It's when I feel like the year really starts, like I can have goals and new beginnings, like everything is fresh and new and terrifying.

This year, I just want to hold my big girl a little longer, even if it means we're snuggling on the couch and watching Pippi instead of exploring all the national parks. For just a little while, I want time to slow down.

Until they both start climbing on my head and hitting each other and screaming. Then it can speed up again.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Writing

I am sitting on my bathroom floor right now typing this on my phone, earbuds in my ears with nothing playing on them.

I have decided that I'm going to write.

I have decided this before. I have failed before. I have given up before anyone had a chance to not like me before.

I have decided that this time I'm going to do it anyway.

I'm going to write every day for the next thirty days and I'm going to do it not to try to accomplish anything concrete but because the work itself has value. Because writing and sharing are important to me and because that matters. Because I want to be seen and heard, and because it's okay to want to be seen and heard.  Because Liz Gilbert says that any talent that isn't used becomes a burden and because life has been feeling awfully heavy lately and I'm ready to lay this one down.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I want this, that this matters to me, and I think it's important to say that too. There's a lot of baggage about wanting things.

So I'm going to sit down and write every day, for the next thirty days. Even if some days that's just a stream of consciousness sitting on a tile floor with a bath towel skimming the top of my head.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sometimes it's still hard

When my babies were babies, I was bored. I didn't know what to do all day long. I was lonely. I didn't know why my newborns wouldn't just talk to me. That was when my depression was really obvious to me, really clear. I sat in my house with my screaming infant on my chest and cried.

It's different now. My kids are four and six. (I know! How did that happen??) They talk to me now. In fact, sometimes I wish they would just stop talking to me for a little while so I could think.

You know what though? Sometimes I'm still bored. 

Because chauffering them to activities isn't fun or interesting. Because I don't always want to read the same picture book again and again all day long. Because I don't wanna clean the house, wash the dishes, fold the laundry.

And somehow, in my brain, bored has turned into boring.

I haven't written because I'm afraid that I'm boring, that no one will care what I have to say.

Today, I remembered something. I remembered how important truth was to me in those early days when I knew I was depressed. I remember how the key for me came from reaching out, from admitting that parenting was hard, from being seen and heard, from having people say "me too."

I remembered that in those early days, I didn't try to be interesting. I didn't wonder how what I had to say was different from what anyone else had to say. I just wrote and published, told the truth, connected. I said that sometimes, it was hard.

Sometimes it's still hard. I bet I'm not the only one who thinks that sometimes their kids are boring, sometimes they want some quiet, sometimes they need to create something themselves or they're going to explode. I have a feeling you're all still out there and you all need truth as much as you ever did, whether you know it or not.

And even if you don't, I need to be here. I need to be telling truth. Hi.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cleaning up

My house has gotten out of control. I have piles everywhere. Laundry overflowing the hampers and the baskets. Odds and ends of things all over the floor. I am completely overwhelmed by the idea of even where to begin with getting things back together.

And so I curl up on the couch and scroll through facebook and try to pretend I don't see it or don't care.

The piles are usually one of the warning signs of depression or burnout. I'm not sure which one this is.

It's been a really long year, and it's an exceptionally long May. In a lot of ways, it has been very satisfying. I've gotten to spend time with each of my kids, I've led an amazing group of kindergarten Girl Scouts. I am proud of these things and in truth I have enjoyed them.

But I'm tired.

Every day I have at least two places I need to get to. I feel like I am constantly on, constantly under a microscope. Like everyone is waiting for me to screw up.

I think that's the anxiety talking. I don't think that's really true.

But I need to find a way to give my brain a break. To shut off for a little while. To meet my fundamental needs of quiet in which to process, of down time in which to rest, of meaningful making and creativity. And even when I carve out small swatches of time, while my kids watch TV or I sit in the car outside piano lessons, I need to find ways to sweep away all the coulds and shoulds and worries and busies. I need clear surfaces in my head in order to really enjoy any down time I manage to find.

So I'm going to make some more clear surfaces in my house. Going to get as caught up as I can with the laundry and the dishes and the paperwork so they aren't nagging me when I try to rest. Going to spend some time cleaning up.

Hopefully, when  the mess is gone, I'll find some of me again.

Monday, May 8, 2017

On discipline

"BG, this is the last time down the slide. Then come with me to the car right away or you have to go to bed with no books."

She goes down the slide, looks me in the eye, runs to the other side of the climbing structure, and walks back up the stairs. I run across the playground, grab her arm and say "No books tonight." She bursts into uncontrollable tears.

I know she isn't faking. This isn't a power play. She is genuinely distraught. She's heartbroken and also shocked.

In a calm and firm tone, I tell her, "You made a bad choice. I know. That's a shame."

The calm is a lie. In my brain, I"m enraged, mortified. She's a bad kid, she doesn't respect me, she never listens to me, everyone just saw her blatantly disobey me.

Also, this is my fault and the nagging recognition that I told her ten times we were going to leave before actually following through. How could she have known that this time I was really serious?

I'm afraid that I'm a bad mom. I'm afraid that I'm not strict enough, not clear enough, don't have firm enough boundaries and structures and limits. Also that I'm too mean, yell too much, don't give her enough positive attention and that's why she acts up.

I just don't know what the right thing to do is, where the middle ground is. One second I'm too harsh, the next too wishy washy. How can I possibly expect them to behave?

I listen to all the interviews, read all the books, I know all the "right" things to do. But how, in the actual moment when faced with life with my actual children, am I to actually do it right?

This isn't going to be a post with a pithy, sweet, wise realization at the end. I'm six years in and I don't have any answers. I'm so embarrassed that I don't know how to do this part of parenting.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just write

Right now, my house is empty except for me. BG just got on the bus for kindergarten, and little sister went out shopping with her dad. There are a million things I haven't done (just you wait), but I am instead sitting here and typing. 

Because it matters.

I want to eat healthy, I want to exercise every day, I want to finish reading a book, I want to start   acutally follow through on a meditation practice, I want to have a clean house, I want to play with my kids more.  But when push comes to shove, whenever I get quiet and actually listen to the sweetheart voice deep in my head (the one I like to claim doesn't exist the rest of the time), it says simply, Write.

There are other voices that are louder. There's the voice that tells me I don't have anything to say that matters, there's the voice that tells me I am letting down my family and friends and being selfish when I focus on something so "silly," there's the voice that tells me everyone will laugh at me and no one will like me anymore if I put myself out there. Those voices yell in my ears and in my head, and instead of writing - or actually doing any of the other perfectly important things I said above that I want to do - I end up scrolling facebook. I eat. I shop. I mindlessly click on things or watch TV shows I don't even really like. I'm so busy NOT writing that I don't do anything else.

On days when I write something, everything else goes better. I know this. I've known this for a long time. But fear keeps me quiet, guilt keeps me busy, shame keeps me small. Those voices, those feelings, they're real and they're mine and I don't want to judge or be ashamed of them. 

But that quiet voice, the one that tells me to just write, that's me. That's who I am at my core. That's who I want to nurture. 

And so I am. Little by little. I will forget. I will slip backwards. But that's okay. I'll still be here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

All the hot mess mamas say heeey

Right now, my children are running in circles around my house, yelling through megaphones I (for some reason that surpasses my understanding) helped them make out of old cereal boxes and washi tape. My oldest is supposed to put a mystery item in a plastic egg and bring it in to school on Monday and since she has summarily rejected all my suggestions, she's now carrying it around with her and picking things up. There are paper shreds on the floor of every room because I didn't tell my youngest soon enough that she could only use scissors at the table. My oven is preheating for the frozen chicken nuggets I plan to feed my children for dinner.

You guys. I'm tired. All the way to my soul I'm tired.

I feel like I should somehow be parenting differently, that things would be less crazy and chaotic if I had my kids better trained, better disciplined, on a more structured routine. I know that my house would be less of a mess if I occasionally cleaned it. I know there are things I could do differently.

But, y'know, my kids think I'm a good mom. They like the way things are. And inasmuch as I would rather live in a state of less chaos, I want to find ways to do some of this differently.  But it doesn't mean I'm a bad mom. And now my kids are yelling "I love you and want to be with you allllll daaaaay" to each other so maybe I really don't my life to be different at all.

Except maybe without the paper on the floor.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

In which I quietly show up again

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing life wrong.

It's been a busy year. BG started half day kindergarten. Little Sister started preschool. I became a Girl Scout leader.

I feel like I just run in circles, putting out fires, rearranging deck chairs.

I remember a time when my life felt like I was moving forward, like I was accomplishing something, like I was driving the bus and not just struggling to not fall down because there weren't enough seats.

Maybe I don't remember. I don't remember much these days.

When I'm scared, when I'm overwhelmed, I tend to be funny. Snark is my shield. If we're not laughing we're crying, amirite?

And I am. I am right. Laughing at ourselves is a crucial life skill. But it isn't the only life skill.

I want to get back to a place where I can go deep. Where I'm afraid but I do things anyway. I want to put my gifts out in the world because they matter and because I matter. I want to do more than just stare at the wall and try to make it to bed time.

Hi. I missed you.