Thursday, May 28, 2015

15 Minutes

15 minutes is all I've got, so I'll see what I can get through.

I joined Shape Up Rhode Island with some people at work and I got a pedometer.  Yesterday I walked 15,400 steps. No wonder I'm freaking tired.

Mood: sad.  Not angry/sad, which for me is depression.  Not doesn't enjoy activities sad-I don't feel sad while distracted with friends or activities.  I spent a great weekend with friends, and was happily distracted.  I go back and forth between thinking that I need to sit with this sadness, and just really wanting it to go away.

Thoughts: I've been feeling like a loser.  I've been lucky to be a person who has achieved much more than anyone ever expected of me, the downside being that I have so many super conventionally successful friends.  So by someone else's measure, I suck, and then I judge myself for using someone else's measure of my own success.  That's no way to go through life.

LBisms: "Mama, what's personal space?" What a little sweetapuss.  I picked her up at daycare yesterday and she was sitting in wood chips glowering at two little friends on the swings.  LB was mad that she wasn't having a turn on the swings and the story ranged from she was mad to be waiting to the other little girls were being mean and telling her she could never have a turn.  I've been thinking about teaching emotional resilience.  I'm trying to place a positive script in LB's mind.  She definitely feels her perceived injustices very strongly, and instead of distracting herself will sit glowering or go throw herself dramatically on the ground.  Working on it.

My house: I like it, but I need to do the final push and finish painting and acquiring.  My bedroom walls are scuffed and marked.  Of course I left my room until last and now, every morning, when I look at the walls, I think the marks must be a sign that I"m not valuing myself enough.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"I pride myself on being an amazing mother"

When I see this picture, I imagine LB in another 15 years, wearing a hemp necklace and barefoot, hula hooping on the street.

That quote was actually written by someone in one of the big private online lesbian mom groups I'm part of.  And that, my friends, is what I love about the internet.  In my travels through '70s back-to-the-land/old school taciturn New England, and 1980s lower middle class New England, and some 25 years of urban America from Boston to Seattle to Boston to Chicago to Baltimore and now Providence, it never occurred to me that the above was something a person could think or say.

I just don't think mothering/parenting is Amazing-able.  Parenting is life, and you can tell yourself that you are amazing at life, but it's just a series of triumphs and disappointment, choices and things outside your control, learning and not learning that makes up what becomes a life.

We do okay here-my new house needs a name. And I've discovered there's another name for what I call "1970s parenting," which is as close as I get to a philosophy.  "Slow parenting," who knew?  This article about having a slow parenting summer has been making the rounds. Makes sense to me, although it's a little different for working out of the house homes, because I think we feel additional pressure to make summer fun if our kids are in summer childcare that is a lot like what they experience during the school year.

I'm hoping to take LB to this amazing event: the Urban Pond Procession.  Despite being focused on ecology, it's challenging to get to on public transit from our neighborhood.  If the weather is good, we'll go, but if it's rainy, I don't think we can manage.  My alternate rain plan is to take LB to see Alice: A New Musical at the local Jr. High School.  I'm a little worried about her ability to sit through without talking.  With a four and a half year old, would you try it?  Or I could just take my own advice and we could have a quiet day. I feel like I've been over-scheduling LB a bit, just because I don't want us to fall into a sitting sad and alone in our rundown apartment, but I've definitely overcompensated.

And, just now, my four year old got the pizza box out of the fridge and served me a slice of cold pizza. I'm going to pat myself on the back for some amazing parenting.

And, finally, we got a couch!  A kind friend not only gave me the couch, but brought it to me and set it up. People are really nice sometimes.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

How Hard It Is

I've been rocking it as an over-compensating, abandoned, soon-to-be-divorced, lesbian mom.  My introverted self has been constantly busy, and when I'm busy I'm happy.  This week brought a sinus infection and terrible allergies with a tightness in my chest, and it was time to slow down.  I wasn't worried about mother's day, because it's never been a huge deal to me.  But today with no fun plans (but rather, run, work, paint if energy remains), I feel a deep sadness for what I've lost.

There's a go-getum-girl school of divorce that says the way to get over your lost relationship is to get out into the world, and I do think it's good for me to be busy, but I think that school of thought conflates the period of time after mourning with the action people take at that time.  So right now, I can take all the actions of a person not in mourning, but I'll still feel the sadness.  And it sucks.  But it's an appropriate kind of sadness that leads to emotional health. Kind of like the way exercise hurts and leads to physical health.

I've also become the Cassandra of struggling and just-okay marriages.  I just want to scream: "if you want to remain married, you aren't trying hard enough! Your marriage is struggling and you can't find two hours to spend alone with your spouse, you've got to be kidding me!" Nobody hears that person, I didn't listen to that person, until it's too late.

But despite all that there is my wonderful little girl, who got me a pink toothbrush for mother's day, who said: "If you miss me and feel sad, just look at the flowers grandmom and I got you." I'm sad, but lucky.