Tuesday, August 25, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

so i feel as though we have established my track record with out of the house encounters. in short, not so good. the outside world: 1. the girl: 0

this morning at yoga proved to be NO exception to that rule.

one of the women in class was telling some of the others about the trip she just returned from. her niece had recently had a baby and this woman had gone to help out. you know, decorate the nursery, hang out with the older child, that sort of thing. so the lynch pin of this riveting tale was this woman's grousing about "how much stuff" came with an infant. apparently any outing required no end of items just for the baby, and that didn't include the older child, a toddler, who had a bunch of stuff he traveled with, too.

so then there's an ensuing discussion among most of the class, predominantly grandparents, all much much older than myself, about how "kids these days" are buying into the whole "stuff idea" when it comes raising their children.

oh, and just so all y'all with children know, your parents, your child's GRANDPARENTS, bitch about you and your kids and your "cockamamie" ideas JUST AS MUCH as you bitch about them and their seeming inability to understand what the fuck you are telling them to do re: your kid(s). and how "they" don't know how to latch in a car seat/fit the plastic nipple in the sippy cup/work the diaper pail/etc. and "how did we ever survive being raised by them," and all that. they have all the same gripes in reverse. no joke, they all think you are just as whack as you all think they are.

just sayin'.

all of a sudden i realize the room has gone silent and i look up from my warm up stretch to see them all looking at me. rather expectantly. so i said to the room in general

"excuse me?"

"i asked, do you have children?"

all eyes on me and i swear this is like only the third time in over a year of being in that class that any of them has ever even spoken to me. and now they were dragging me into some group discussion. but i understood, since most of the women in the room probably hadn't ovulated since before the first bush was in office (no pun intended) i got to be the de facto spokesperson for "kids these days."

"i do, two boys. 8 and 12"

"did you find you needed a lot of 'stuff' when they were real little?"

"not really. two boobs and a sling pretty much did it."

good lord you could have heard a pin drop.

you should have seen the looks on their faces. you'd think i said "nope. just endless whiskey and an illegal, underpaid, exploited, mistreated, nigerian nanny i trafficked here myself."

if they're all going to be offended about the word "boobs" then they really ought to have a chat with the woman in the shorty shorts and flimsy panties. at least my "boobs" are covered and don't jump out at you during the cobbler's pose. and don't even get me started on what i had to endure facing her during the *seated wide legged straddle.*


did somebody mention whiskey?

and it is in that spirit that i bring you this week's moment(s) of zen. otherwise known as "drunk yoga."

take a deep cleansing breath, or a shot, and enjoy.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

what a girl wants.

i have been wanting something for awhile now. it's neither here nor there what it is, for the purpose of this conversation it really could be anything.

wanting something is such an intense feeling. it starts out small, almost a crush. uncertainty. it's fun. it gives one a bit of a lift to the day. to think of it, imagining the possibilities.

but the other half of wanting is acquiring. and therein, more often than not, lies the rub. because wanting is so very easy. getting, not so much.

and sometimes you do, you get what you want. and it feels good. but a lot of the time you don't. and does not getting what you want make the want go away? no. but wouldn't that be nice?

so after a time, that wanting without fulfillment gets a little tiresome. it gets old. it's so one sided. the dark side of the crush.

so the other day i was sitting on the porch feeling that dark side of the want. resenting the feeling. resenting the very thing i wanted. just for being a part of me. the unfulfilled, needy part. feeling weak for the wanting.

and that very thing i desired just became an annoyance. irritating and grating. the beauty all but gone.


and then yesterday i read a story about a woman with prader willi syndrome, a genetic condition that causes one to always be hungry. basically this woman can never eat enough to satisfy her hunger. ever. and there's no cure. and with it comes all the attendant problems of overeating. so not only will this woman never feel satiated she also has to deal with a host of unpleasant and unhealthy problems on top of it. she suffers AND will never be free from want. for all of her life and for the rest of her life it has consumed and will consume her every waking thought.

which brings me to a little nugget i carry with me...quit before you have to.

because while that poor woman, bless her heart, has to suffer, i don't.

what a novel concept. deciding you *don't have to suffer.* somebody should write that down somewhere.

what would happen if we wanted without expecting to be fulfilled? what would happen if we were just happy with the wanting? if it was always the first days of a crush? what would happen if we could achieve some kind of satiation that fulfillment brought, without actual fulfillment?

what would happen indeed.

so that's what i did yesterday. i told myself that it's okay if my want gets unfulfilled. that just wanting it is enough. and yeah, easier said than done, right? i hear you. but i want to quit before i have to. i cannot allow a want to determine my happiness. not even for a moment. that thought right there scares me. because in a life of ultimate abundance that's just so whack any way you look at it. glass half full or half empty doesn't mean a thing if you're the one with the bottle.

and it's only been 24 hours, but i'll tell you what. it's nice not to think about it so much. to begin to like the idea again without expectation. to wonder, to get back to some what ifs. the good kind. finding some bit of charm in the uncertainty.

and just as i fell into the thing that eventually created the want so shall i proceed. it's okay to let things free fall a bit. it's okay to let things happen as they will. it's when we start fucking with stuff that situations get all wonky. desperation always steers the hero the wrong direction. just like in the movies.

besides, every one likes a surprise, right? if you go around wanting something to the point of entitlement and expectation and pissiness how in the world will you ever be surprised? and there is not one speck of charm in entitlement or expectation, and certainly not in pissiness.

and if there's no charm in it, what's the point?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

well, we're in the final stretch for the date to auction the house. september 11th looming large on the calendar, more so in our minds. and good lord who's farking idea of a joke was THAT?

as you may imagine things are becoming a bit more "intense," shall we say. the breath quickens, a few more wide eyed looks from the mama to the papa. a well placed what the fuck? or two as reality gets more real. nervous giggles over a bottle of wine and a lot of what ifs. it's funny that after all these years together it may be like starting over again. a little of the ha! ha! funny, and a little of the whoa! funny.

have i started packing yet? purging? organizing? planning? yeah, not so much.

at this point i'd like to think i'm possessing a healthy mixture of optimism and denial. both of which have their places, of course. but combined, and they're like a magical elixir for the damned.

the thing is, i don't think this is over. not by a long shot. i have reason to believe that miracles can and do happen everyday. but i think we discussed that before.

i have to say that one of the things that pisses me off the most is after being here a decade i began to fully expect to get old and die in this house. let the kids deal with the crap and the stuff and all that! but i guess that joke just may be on me. the best laid plans of sillymortals and all that, right?

other than, you know the obvious suckiness that comes with losing a home, i think i'm doing pretty good. still. right now. today. this morning. i'll keep you posted.

i just keep thinking about the story of the medieval muslim king who ruled granada from his huge beloved castle, alhambra. now this being southern spain and muslim, it had always been separate from the rule of ferdinand and isabella. that is until they decided they wanted granada for themselves so the whole country would be unified in strength, but mostly in christianity.

well, the muslim king put up a valiant fight for a decade, but ultimately the spanish army was victorious. and as the king was leaving after surrendering his beloved alhambra, he stopped on a ridge overlooking the castle and let out this huge sigh over his loss. there's even a plaque where he sighed. an actual plaque marking his huge sigh!!! can you imagine? and even today you can visit the spot!!! the section of the ridge is called The Last Sigh of the Moor.

anyhow, so he's heaving this huge sigh and his mother, who lived with him and had also lost her home, goes up to him and smacks him across the face! then she screams at him "don't weep like a woman over what you couldn't defend like a man!"

dysfunctional family dynamics. not a new idea.

i will tell you what. whatever happens i'm not the muslim king and i'm not the mother. there will be no plaque to mark where i lost my shit over this house. there will be no blaming or recriminations. will there be tears? hell yeah! i cry at insurance commercials and parades. you can bet there will be tears. and i may curse the name of the people who still have crap "stored" in my basement, but that's just standard and certainly not plaque-worthy.

the only thing that will mark that i was here are the memories i keep with me. and while it seems a little sad, i don't think it is, really. in the grand scheme of things. to have a happy blessed loving home in your life is a gift. and even if the four walls change shape and color and location the happy blessed loving home is, in the end, not a physical place at all.

but yeah, i'll still cry.

anyhow, so there's your update and my reality. and it is in this spirit i bring you this week's moment(s) of zen. it's nearly 7 minutes long and most of you will hate it and it has absolutely nothing to do with anything in this post.

except that for 30 years it has caused me to bust up with happiness every time i hear it. and if we need anything more for something to be zen and to be shared then i don't know what that is.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

leaps and bounds.

the other evening we were having a picnic dinner at the beach on the hood canal. when we finished i took a glass of wine to the sand to relish in the fact that there was a sweet breeze, crashing waves, and i was no longer boiling to death.

down the beach a bit there was a woman with two humongous golden retrievers. are there any other kind? the bigger and darker of the two would wait for the woman to throw the stick and then would bound into the waves in unabashed glee. swimming out, grabbing the stick, and swimming back in. then right before he got to the shore the lighter and "smaller" of the two would wade in and grab the stick and run up to the woman with the stick, drop it, and then jump all around and accept all the praise for retrieval.

meanwhile the bigger of the two dogs would shake and shake and then stand ready to retrieve the stick once again.

i watched this go on for some time and i wondered what the dynamic was here? what was the relationship that had one dog so happy to do all the legwork, and one dog happy to take all the credit? didn't the bigger dog resent the smaller dog for this? did the smaller dog have some issue that prevented him from going in the water? and the woman just kept it up, throwing the stick for the bigger dog, praising the smaller dog for retrieving the stick.

the thing is, the bigger dog looked so happy, the way that dogs always seem to manage to do. just bounding in those waves, waiting for the other dog to get the praise so the stick would once again get thrown. and the smaller dog looked so pleased, dancing on the beach with the stick. soaking up the love. and the woman sure looked happy.

i don't know much about dogs, but i do know enough about relationships to know that any relationship we are not part of is always very different from "our" vantage point. that the people (or dogs) in the relationship are having their own thing. and unless you are in that relationship how could you ever know what is really going on?

it seemed to work for them. this dynamic. this relationship.

then the boybarians and the husband joined me on the beach. and amidst all the watching of the dogs and the small talk the duke started in with yet another thrilling baseball anecdote (insert sarcastic eye rolling here). okay, can i say i love that my boys are so very fanatically interested in something? but to regale me with tales from the 1976 world series games or whatever the ancient baseball topic du jour is is just becoming a. bit. much.

besides escaping the dreariness of the pacific northwest in favor of hanging out with a beer and a hot dog for a game or two under the arizona sun during spring training, or my own kids' games, i am not so much interested in the baseball. i am certainly not interested in ancient history baseball. good lord i can only handle so much.

but the duke takes this stuff seriously. and he does love to tell a story. and he loves to think that everyone is interested in what he has to say. wow, i wonder where he gets that.

so this evening the duke starts in on his story of some ball park's "disco night" that took place some time in the 80s. i think. i don't really know the particulars because the minute he started i turned to the husband and gave him the "i. can't. listen. to. this. please make this not my responsibility. please be so interested that he won't notice that i don't care and am not listening. please take this one for the team."

i had to because kids love nothing more than to be listened to. and they know when we aren't engaged. and that sucks for them. and i couldn't just ignore him or get up and walk away. but i couldn't actually take another baseball story either.

so the husband did. and because we were both sitting there, and because the husband was so engaged, at the end the duke was pleased to have shared something with both of us that he was so interested in. and pleased that we both seemed to be interested, too. even though i wasn't listening and in fact was deep in thought about something completely different. probably along the lines of i wonder why it is we never got into watching all the great shows on HBO and showtime? we'd probably love them. i know we would. and yet we never think about it. or, thinking about something covered in cheese. my deep thoughts often times don't run too deep.

and i realized we were the golden retrievers. the husband was the bigger one. diving in the waves getting the stick, passing it off to me. and i didn't have to do anything but wait to be included in pleasing the duke. even though i didn't do a thing.

and that's parenting in a nutshell. picking up the slack, asking for the slack to be picked up. working together. cohesive. it doesn't have to be 100% 50/50 all the time. it just has to mesh.

there are days i can't get my shit together (i know, shocking) and days the husband can't. there are times i get the accolades for an idea that wasn't mine, and days when i get the blame for a decision i didn't make. parenting is just about making the leap no matter the hurdle. and parenting isn't just one hurdle, but a succession of them. so it's best to be consistent and just go with the rhythm that naturally gets established. whether it's praise or blame, in the end it's just about making the leap.

i'd also highly recommend practicing your "of course i'm listening because this is so riveting please tell me more!" face. it also comes in handy at parties while you plan your escape and on really bad dates.

and in the spirit of those happy dogs in the waves with the stick, i dedicate this post to the memory of melissa's bean dog. bean, you were a kick ass dog, much beloved by all who knew you, and you will be sorely missed. be blessed.