Monday, May 28, 2012

The Cult of Mommy

The heat is on. Can you feel it? The hot, hot heat of the full-blown meltdown!

When did parenting become a super cult? I can't for the life of me remember my mom and aunts and their mommy friends hashing out and rehashing our child behavior at the pool or summer cookouts. Is she normal? What's the biting all about? Will he grow up to rob banks or hold up trains?

You betcha. More on this. I have to give S a bath. The C o'M forbids kids going to sleep without some tubby time. I am a dutiful follower, n'est pas?

More Joy, Less Pain

Every day, I make time to think about what I am thankful for--here is a short, incomplete list:
health, good health
kisses and hugs and laughter from the kiddo
jobs, money to live
food to eat
place to live
fun to have
fresh air and sunlight

Monday, May 21, 2012

Please, Go On Vacation, Some of Us Are Working

I have to blast The Pharcyde to drown out the stupid chatter of the office idiots. They can talk about nothing for hours. Quotes from this morning: "My tires need to be rotated. I love salsa but I can't figure out how to make it. Donuts? Yes, donuts. [clapping] Thank God! I love donuts, don't you? Hey, did you watch tv last night? There was nothing good on."

Me [in my dreams]:
"Look, you fucking lazy, stupid, boring douchebags, if you have no work to do, I will give you some. Otherwise, shut the fuck up or you will suffer my wrath. And, for the love of God, stop wearing stonewashed jeans and running shoes to work you idle disgusting ignoramus slobs. When was the last time you ran anyway?  If it wasn't for The Pharcyde, you'd be dead."

For MCA, for the Beasties, for The Pharcyde, and for not going to prison....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strength and Endurance: Mental Athletics

I have varying and fickle feelings about psychology and psychotherapy. I have been to a handful of counselors and psychologists and therapists and feel that they are usually helpful for a few visits and then the problem is solved or discovered unsolvable and that’s that.

Two things have changed my feelings about shrinks and getting shrunk:
1.     I found a shrink that I like. She is cool and very smart. And calls me out and points out how I drop huge and small emotional bombs in the course of normal conversation and how most people probably don’t call me on anything—and they certainly can’t "unpack" the weight of the heavily-emotional and cleverly concealed bombs that I drop, etc. She can. She is good at her job. I respect her.
2.     If I don’t figure myself out a little better, I am going to ruin my life and my daughter’s. Now or never.

What is distraction and what is real? All day we have mental distractions that aren't substantive but function as a place for our minds to escape the present. In a meeting, I will think about groceries and menus for the week--for example. 

To have a distraction-free mind is insanely challenging, especially for brilliant thinkers and over-caffeinated busybodies constantly thinking and challenging and dreaming and moving and shaking. 

My goal is to clear my mind of the past and the future—not easy, but necessary in the course of my personal growth and therapy.  I focus, or strive to focus on the present…what is happening now, right here in this place, in this moment in time. Easier said than done, but the exercise and practice of it forces the mind to a focal point. What am I receiving through use of my senses at this moment? How does my body feel? My mind? My heart? 

It’s very interesting to do these miniature check-ins on the daily. If you've never tried it, it's cool. That's why all those yogi people are so fucking mellow and calm and shit. (I find it insanely fun to try and get them all riled up.)

The practice of focus (which of course, is what yoga and meditation are), the practice itself, makes you more present in your life. It also becomes automatic. I am checking in without even thinking much about it. 

When I get that panicky feeling and start to feel like I am going to be buried alive, I make myself check in…how does your body feel? Shoes are too tight. Take them off. Check. Next, spine is slumpy. Sit up and take a breath. Check. Roll shoulders back and drop them away from your ears. Breath. Check. What does my heart feel? Check, please. 

Doing this keeps me calm (calmer.) I am not so weighted down by the past. I am not in full panic about the future. I am here right now. I am alive. I have sensations and feelings and thoughts and motivations and desires and neutral moments and joy and sadness all in these moments right here. I don't have to live in the past to be happy. I cannot live in the future. I am right fucking here. See me. 

It seems so silly as I type it and think it. But it feels so true to me. I have to be here right now. This is how I get clarity. This is how I have peace. This is how I love. This is how I decide. 

This is making me strong, more patient, more ready. I am stronger. I am agile. I have some peace and a little more space. It's good. It's better. 

Diarrhea of the Brain

Words to think about:
Stronghold A place that is fortified and can be easily defended.

Mandatory Release Let me go. I have served my time.

Surrender You know you should surrender, but you just can’t let go.

Rote predictable unimagined dull expected obvious canned prerecorded

Random notes:

Aren’t you feeling sorry? Salty? A little dejected, unpopular? Is this a pity party or what? I only want to come if it’s a pity party…otherwise, what’s the point, Sucker?

Did you know that it’s a good thing to be vulnerable? Especially when your default/fault/defense mode is impenetrable, unfazed, unbreakable. Some people that are delicate and fragile can also be strong. It is not necessary to be opposing.

My chance for loving the way I want to love and getting love returned is dwindling. I have to love myself more to love other people better. I have to remember that I am worthy and loveable and deserving—and yes, it is a remembering thing…I felt that way once before my heart died—sometimes you get so hurt and you can’t stop hurting, so you shut down...that’s easier and a good mode of self-preservation. The trick is that after some shut down time, when you’ve had a break, you have to fire the engine back up and take the leap—find some faith again. I think I have forgotten how to do that. That is what I am trying to remember. 

Love is powerful and important. Love is not enough by itself—it will not pay the bills or teach you science. Love cannot protect you from overdue light bills—or maybe it can? I love myself and my kid so, I will do whatever it takes to pay the bills on time to keep the lights on and keep the debt collectors from hunting me down. I work to keep the peace and to pay someone to teach her science or math or economics or whatever.

I have no idea where I am going with this. Just toying around with some concepts and some realities.

Willie Nelson plays a mean guitar.

Listening to Willie Nelson Heros

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

For The Murmurs

If there was ever a time when a girl with a mustache could change my heart, that time has long since past.

I am flattered, however.

The Wagon (It's No Oregon Trail)

Through the eyes of a recovering alcoholic we all look like drunks, like we are at risk for, if not in the throes of full-blown, addiction. But aren’t we just having some fun? Well, aren't we? Are there not ways to have some fun without drinking? Certainly, yes.

So, part 1, what’s the attraction? What’s the need? Isn’t any mind/mood-altering substance just that—something that changes or alters your perspective, cognition, development, clarity, softening the brute force of life—isn’t that what we are numbing, avoiding, taking a break from? Trying to soften the blows, cushion the mind and soul from the daily grind…. 

Sometimes I drink to forget. Sometimes I drink to remember. Sometimes, I drink because it's fun to let loose a bit, to be social, to be silly and chatty and to let the mind rove more freely--let yourself get down, let yourself go. 

I do not drink every day--in fact most days I do not drink a drop. But I like wine and beer and bourbon. And sometimes, it concerns me that I think about the next time I can have a good, stiff drink. And after particularly nasty days, I crave a drink to wash away the tension in my frontal lobe--a mind eraser, if you will. 

I want to be more conscious and contentious about drinking. Pay attention to what it is that I want when I want a drink, the whyfors, etc. It might not change anything, but I want to know. 

One thing is for sure, yo, I need a vacation.

Part 2: what else to do?

New goals and old goals (in no order):
Make S laugh…play more "mo, mo mama?" 

Run new trails; highbanks, Sharon woods, Blendon woods, etc.
Sign up for 5K and 10K
Take guitar lessons
Clean the house!
Swim, swim, swim in the ocean and pool
Make pretty necklaces with old buttons (not joking)
Lose 20 more pounds, baby! Get that thing back (that thing, that thing, that thing)
Write a trashy teen novel and make a bazillion dollars
Watch all movies in Netflix queue—started with Bill Cunningham’s NY—it made me want to take more pictures. Yea.
Take more pictures
Go camping--take the kid on her first camping trip--what fun!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I can’t write about MCA. I am not ready yet.

The first time I heard Beastie Boys was at my cousins’ grandma Shirley’s house on Pauline Ave. It was spring or early summer of 1987. We were hanging out and Angy and Tony were fighting on the couch and I was standing behind them waiting for them to stop so I could sit down and watch MTV. Then we heard “Kick it! [guitar, drums, bass] You wake up late for school man don’t wanna go…” and we all stopped and stared. It was like, “Whoa, what is that?!!?” Once the lyrics sunk in, we were hooked…The Beasties were so crazy, and fun, and yeah! Eff school! It sucks to be a kid, parents are LAME! We just want to skate and have fun. That record defined our summer that year. 

It wasn’t two days before we badgered Aunt Melynnda into taking us to Buzzard’s Nest to get License to Ill (on cassette tape, of course.) We had to share it, so Angy dubbed me a copy. I was so happy to have it—she wasn’t always forthcoming about sharing music. As happy as I was to have the newest, craziest music out there, I was also embarrassed that I had a dubbed copy and not the real thing…I wanted the art to read and reread as I listened to “Paul Revere” and “Slow and Low” over and over again.

Eventually, I found the tape used at Singing Dog one Saturday a few months later. I was over the moon. Carried that tape around until two years ago-it still had the Singing Dog sticker on it stamped $3.75…I finally sold all of my tapes. Of course now I’m kicking myself. I carried it around for 25 years, why ditch it?

The last Beasties album I bought was The In Sound From Way Out. What a long way that record is from License To Ill. 

Ill Communication is easily on my top 25 records of all time list.  

I have stories about all that shit. Not ready yet. More to come. 

Like A Mother

I ordered a hanging basket for my mother for Mother’s Day—not an original gift, I know, but one that is appreciated in my family—we all love flowers and plants and digging around in the dirt, a trait that I’m convinced is more nature than nurture (more on the family history of dirt-loving later.)

So, my mother’s Mother’s Day basket never came. The gal I ordered it from, gave me some elaborate totally-bullshit-sounding story about it.  So it’s Mother’s Day and no basket, no flowers, no card. I am a bad, bad child.  

And now, to add a little more guilt, I am at work instead of playing ringaroundtherosie with my daughter. No gift for mom, no time to buy a gift, too little time to spend with my only child.

This year sucks.

I will get mom some flowers later today or this week, but boooohisss anyway. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Myself, Inside-Out for You

More near misses:

1. Had my first breast check. What I thought might be a lump is a pulled ligament. Doc said since I am losing weight, I need to buy new jog bras as I go along with the weight loss--more support, etc. Who knew that boobs had ligaments? Those ligaments BTW are what make those milk trucks perky, so strengthen those and you won’t sag. Being pregnant and nursing makes those ligaments stretch out and get flabby. Now you fucking tell me.

Bullet dodged. 

2. Title song. Writing a little riddle. How adorable, no?

3. I have a ton to write but I cannot luxuriate presently. More to come. I am not dead or gone nor have I forgotten. Still here. Just working your balls off. [being crude is sometimes a great and mighty release after smiling and nodding and working, restraining myself not to stand on the desk and scream "FUCK YOU!!" with fingers blazing. So for crudeness' and sanity's sake, balls, balls, balls, big, fat, hairy, crooked balls!] 

I am such a charmer. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Not Too Much, Just Enough

Love is one of the highest forms of intelligence. It is complicated to love—deep, true, honest, long-standing, real, meaty love is difficult to find, difficult to give, and (even more?) difficult to receive. For all of love's jawing, we all still show up and sing and dance and paint and write and court our lover Love. We want Love to shine on us--we want to bask in Love no matter the pitfalls. 

For as wonderful and amazing as being in love is, love can be just as sinister as it is enlightening. It can make you light, weightless, spry—somehow you can feel free and supported—what a comfort. But when love rots, it buries you under a thousand pounds of festering sorrow.

Love intimidates even the best of us—specially the best of us. It’s hard to feel worthy when love is so good, so great, so unbelievable—what did I do to deserve something so perfect [as my daughter’s love]? What did I do to deserve something so brutal, so ugly, so devastating? Either way, it’s hard to believe that I could summon such an outcome.

Love conquers all. Everyone is conquered by love. What if I don’t want to be conquered? What if I don’t want to be occupied by love? But what are my choices, really.

Ain’t love grand? Well, isn’t it? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Japanese for S

Here is some stuff about Little S that I don't want to forget. She is 19 months old.
- Instead of saying "yes" or "yeah," she says "hai." My daughter speaks Japanese. "S, would you like a banana?" "Hai!" It's super adorable. She also says "hi" as a greeting, so she knows the difference, but it works for her and we get it so, why not speak Japanese?

- When she wants something from me or D, she uses the sweetest tone of voice, looks up at us all-wide-eyed and says "Mama?" with a raise of her voice and eyebrows and I say "Yes dear" and then she asks for or points to what she wants. She's a player for real.

-  She put on pants by herself last week. She was very proud and went to show her Dad---ta-da!

- She calls all soap and lotion and sunscreen "soap." She loves soap and likes to wash her hands. She also likes lotion and like to rub, rub, rub it on. Sometimes she rubs it on her pants. That's okay. 

- Her favorite song right now is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" followed by "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" in a close second place. She also likes music with horns, trumpets, saxophones, etc. Soul is her thing. 

- Her neck under her chin is the most ticklish spot. She laughs and giggles and loves to be tickled. 

- S likes her toes and our toes. She is obsessed with shoes and feet and toes. She will shove her toes in your face and say "toess, Mama, toess." She wants you to kiss them or tickle them or wash them or play Little Piggies. She tries to put on her own shoes, but struggles so she puts on mine or D's since those are bigger and easier to navigate. The shoe obsession starts now...a true shoe girl, just like mama.  

- Outside is her favorite place right now. She loves to go "ouside mama, ouside mama." Every time she hears a bird she signs "bird" and says "twee, twee, twee.