Friday, March 23, 2012

It's oh so quiet...

Just some quick thoughts in between reading chapters for my class this weekend.

Isn't it funny how when you get what you think you wanted at one time, you don't want it when you get it?

I am sitting on the couch in the living room, preparing for my class this weekend.  The house - with the exception of the whirring ceiling fan, the occasional dog collar rattle, and my typing, - is still with silence.

Oh... silence!  I dreamed a few days ago of a beautifully quiet house.

The kids are at my parents' house.  Jim has to work all weekend, and I have class.  My mom and dad agreed to take them to the Sinki east campus for the weekend.

It's kind of funny that I don't know how to read textbooks without PBS kids in the background.  I have no good excuse for study breaks.

I know they're having a good time, but geez... this silence is too much.  I miss the kids.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I admit fear and feeling powerless

I am thinking this morning about the role of fear in our lives.  How does fear impact the conscious choices we make?  How does fear trip up our unconscious circuits?  I am a chronic procrastinator, and fear of failure both paralyzes me to get started, and motivates me to get finished (often right at the deadline).  How does that parallel the way I live my whole life?

Yesterday, I was sitting on the steps of our front porch, watching Willa and Henry play with their new friends who live 2 houses down.  That family is fairly reserved, and the kids have been painfully shy until a few weeks ago.  Suddenly, a switch has been flipped, and their 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son love to play with our kids.  While the kids were tracing the hula hoop with chalk on the driveway, a commotion started down the street.  Two cars were speeding along and honking.  They stopped, side by side, in front of our house.  One guy got out, the other yelled through the window, and drove off.  Clearly they were not friends.  The guy who was out of his car yelled for the guy to come back, using some words that none of those kids have heard before.

"Hey!" I heard myself yell, "you will NOT do this in front of these kids."

I was steady.  I was powerful.  I was protecting the kids, and the moment of sweetness we were all enjoying earlier.  I did not think about it.

The guy (who was an adult), looked at me and mumbled, "sorry lady."  Then he got in his car, yelled, "shut the hell up" and sped away. 

The kids looked at me with their mouths open.  I shrugged and said they must be having a very bad day.  Willa asked if she should tell dad (who was in the basement).  I said it was all over, and everyone was okay, so she didn't need to.  But she slipped into the house anyway.  She was obviously shaken that someone would talk to her mom like that.

I wasn't very troubled by the incident.  It was over, we were all okay.  But then I started thinking about the headlines last month when someone was killed in downtown GR over road rage.  They didn't know each other.  Someone was having a bad day, and it got worse in the blink of an eye for everyone involved.  Illogical, random, and terrible.

Last night I watched the news.  The first four stories:
  •  5 year old hit by a car as he was crossing the street back from the ice cream truck
  • 4 month old died in a home while sleeping, maybe with her mom on the couch
  • 5 high school girls recovering after a terrible car crash
  • college freshman dies at MSU, alcohol a suspected cause
I turned off the tv, and sighed.  My children are out in the world, and there are moments that I can not protect them.

This morning, I read that a woman who is a member of our church passed away last night after a long illness.  Her children are in elementary school. 

People I love are affected by disease and accidents, and illogical and random badness.

The weather has been beautiful this week.  We're breaking records for warmth, and plants that have no business blooming in March are in full glory anyway.  Still, I want to hide my little family away behind locked doors for a while.  I want to color and bake with them, and never, ever let them go.  I will not, of course.  Willa is at school.  Jim is at work.  Henry and I will go for a long walk in a while.  I will not let fear dictate my life.  I do, however, admit the impulse to tuck them, and everyone safely in my pocket.  I admit I wish I had the power to protect everyone from everything by yelling from my porch steps.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Willa the ballerina

Yesterday Willa had her first ever ballet class.  It was amazing.  Not because she left her first 45 minutes of instruction as a pro of the plie, or able to do amazing arabesques. She wasn't.

My usually reserved daughter put on her new leotard, brought to her just before class by her dad as a surprise gift to celebrate her excitement over this fun adventure. She tied her new slippers (bought by her mom because the class listing said she needed them), and strutted into the mirrored room by herself.

I watched as she stretched and smiled at me through the glass wall.  I watched as she swept her arm across her body, and then beam at the teacher.  I watched her doing moves that can best be described as floppy chicken wing jumping.  I'm sure in her mind she was graceful.

I know in my heart she was graceful.  Because this kid has a habit of giving up on things she's not immediately perfect at.  And there she was - flopping with elbows and hair flying everywhere - with a look of pure joy.

When class was over, she raced out of the room and hugged me, blurting out, "I love you, mom!"  We're both very excited about the next class.

Thanks again, Maribeth, for telling me about the class, and for watching Henry during her first class.  It was so nice to be able to focus on her and notice these things.

Taking care of (a little less of) me

Last month I posted about buying (and wearing) jeans a size smaller. 

In the past, I've made some promises to myself that I've broken.  I've made big plans and schedules and goals, and... just never stuck with it.  Because a sinus infection derailed plans, and I didn't start back up.  Or because I just "didn't have time." Or, a zillion other things...

Over the past 2 months, I've been quietly working on my body.  No declarations, no charts, no promises. Just work.  I've been spending time on the elliptical, and use that time to catch up on NPR weekend show podcasts, or sitcoms on the internet.  I've been doing some dance and kickboxing video workouts.  I'm finding that I like that feeling of earning sweat and soreness.  I can feel my body getting a little stronger, and am not as tired as I used to feel.  I took some measurements this week, and the tape meets the end at a smaller number than before.  Improvements. 

I might occasionally use this blog as an accountability space.  Or, I might not. 

Right now, I'm casually dating exercise, and enjoying it.  No labels, 'kay?