Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I've Journaled A Lot Over The Years, But I Have Nothing To Show For It. I Throw My Writings Out Because I Don't Like To Think That If I Was Hit By A Bus Someone Would Find A Journal Of Mine And Use Something I Wrote Four Years Ago To Define Me Forever. It's Like Someone Finding A Picture Of You In Your Calvin Klein Jeans, Tennis Shoe Roller Skates, And Mork And Mindy Striped Suspenders And Believing That's How You Look Today.

I would have posted something last week, but the delete button won out.  Frankly, I'm glad it did.  If my 'planned' post was floating around out there in cyberspace forever and ever it would have given me an itchy, uncomfortable feeling.  I opened the aforementioned post with the incredibly Eeyore-esque thesis that I feel all my female relationships have disappeared and I'm in a weird place.  Basically, it sounded like, "I have no friends anymore and I could really use them now."  Then I moved on to explain, in thumb-sucking detail, that I was a victim of circumstance - no longer in a position to build relationships with other moms because my kids are in high school and parenting older, increasingly independent children is sort of hard, and also I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I don't have a clue.  Waaaa.

I mean, I do feel there is a lot of change afoot in my life.  A lot.  I'm no longer standing with other moms around the elementary school waiting for our kids to get out and chatting about dance classes and the Science Fair.  The opportunity to talk with other people about where we are in life isn't as readily available as it used to be.  I'm parenting these older, complicated, busy, independent, unfinished, challenging, amazing, evolving people - and it's much harder and more wonderful than I ever imagined it could be.  I'm also thinking about starting a career again and I'm not sure what I'll end up doing or how best to go about making It (whatever It is) happen.  I wish someone would just knock on my door and offer me exactly what I need and want (because even I don't have those answers), but I know that is likely not in the cards.

Thing is though, while it all makes me a little nostalgic for simpler times and sometimes a little weary of the unsteadiness of it all, I don't feel mopey (usually).  Once I gave myself time to think and took a less knee-jerk reaction to a particularly lonely afternoon - I came back to a mindset that has proven itself very reliable for me over the years.  It's this:  choose Love over Fear.  We have the ability to choose to focus on whatever feeling we want, so why not make it a good one?  When Life is uncertain or challenging we get afraid.  Afraid we can't do something, afraid we're not good enough, afraid we'll do something wrong, afraid it's going to be like this forever.  That fear isn't helping us.  It's keeping our head in a bad place, it's paralyzing us to possible action, and it's sucking the joy out of Life.  We need to focus on Love instead.  Love for where we are, Love for who we are with, Love for what we do, and Love for who we are.

It's because we care so much that we become afraid.  We care that things are right and good and okay.  But being afraid won't make it so.  We need to fill our head and our heart with Love (as much as possible), and to trust (and hope and believe and all those other challenging verbs) that this very action of choosing Love instead of being afraid is already helping us move toward the kind of Life we want.*

* Please note:  This is sometimes really hard to do and we need to cut ourselves some slack when we fall a tad short of a blissful mindset.  Just have a glass of wine and try again tomorrow.

I believe Bobby McFerrin said it best, "Don't worry.  Be happy."  Eighties wisdom, indeed.

gratitude:  Burt's Bees lip balm in Watermelon, the orange/pink roses Geoff brought me,  a vacuum that works, the view on our walk today (see below)

thanks and love.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's Eliza's 17th Birthday And I Can't Even Get My Head Around The Fact She Is This Age. Why Didn't 16 Affect Me Like This? Why Do My Kids Grow Up So Quickly? Why Won't She Let Me Homeschool Her For College?

I had such high hopes for cranking out a second blog post - right on the heels of my reintroduction - riding a wave of well-wishes and fresh eyes.  But I have a dog now.  So not only am I not producing blog posts on a timely basis, I'm also not getting a shower in until almost noon and I'm spending an inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos about puppy mouthing and Fetch.

Having a young dog is like having a baby again.  I make sure he has stimulating toys, that he's eating only healthy snacks, I even find myself casually obsessively judging his poop quality to gauge his overall health.  And I'm so proud when he uses his good manners and greets people with a nice 'sit' - a rare event as he has developed the embarrassing habit of what can best be described as submissive peeing.  "Welcome to our home!  Just step over our dog. (Otis is, at this point, laying on his back and peeing on himself) What can I get you to drink?"

I was a little anxious the first time I took him to the dog park.  Like dropping your sweet baby off at preschool for the first time, I worried no one would play with him.  He was fine.  But there is so much else for me to fixate on at this point.  I worry that he's the only dog barking in the park.  Why does he like the dog with the short tail so much?  Why does he steal balls from other dogs?  How did he manage to eat an entire frisbee?  Did I just sit in pee?  Would a dog pee on this bench?  Is this jacket machine-washable?

I was much cooler when I was dealing with my children.  And here they are - my kids, even the furry one.

gratitude:  being a mom to Eliza and J.D., gift cards found at the bottom of my purse, Imitrex, dog toys that can be filled with treats

thanks and love.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thanks To Two Wire Hangers, A Pasta Server, BBQ Tongs, And A Pair Of Scissors, I Cleared Out A Vacuum Clog The Size Of A Chihuahua. What A Rush!

And just like the dawn of a new day, or flu season, Positively Minutiae has returned.  It's been an interesting journey getting to this point.  I drafted a few 'I'm back!' posts, but never felt like they were 'Publish' button-worthy.  They just seemed to ramble on about laundry and dog hair - which are, for better or worse, major parts of my day-to-day existence.   But, I felt like there was more to share - I certainly had more going on inside my head than that and I spent weeks months trying get my thoughts to line up in some kind of logical order so I could assess my situation and get clear on where I was at this point in life.  And in between dinner, laundry, family schedule coordinating (which is, at times, like working in the air traffic control tower at a major airport), dog walking, dog hair removing, vacuuming up dog hair, picking up dog poop, buying/throwing dog toys (guess who got a new dog for Christmas?), grocery shopping, toilet cleaning and the like, it hit me.   I'm at a weird place in life.

This age.  Mid Late-forties.  I don't feel old, but I don't feel all that young either.  My kids are in high school, we have college tours on our calendar now, and I have what some consider to be gray hair although I prefer to look at is a more of an ash blonde, thank you very much.  I see a lot of road behind me.  But I also like skinny jeans, I like strappy high heels, I text (with emoticons if necessary) and Instagram, I listen to current music (although I will never understand dub step) - I'm not at the end of my road.  I even want to have another career.  It's a great/scary/exciting/worrisome/fun/challenging place to be in life and I think that it's highly under-talked about.  I'm hoping Positively Minutiae can fill that gap.

I know I'm not the only one at this place in life.  There are a lot of us out here.  But we're under-represented in the blog world.  When I search the Internet, I can't seem to find blogs talking about this strange and wonderful transition period.  There are a ton of sites for little kid moms - I must say, there simply aren't words to convey how very glad I am that I had Eliza and J.D. before the pressure of Pinterest-worthy parenting became a thing.  And there are a surprising number of blogs for fashionable, fun retirees.  I think it's so cool that someone well into their AARP subscription would jump into the blogosphere - kudos.  But, as far as finding something aimed at those of us in our mid-forties or fifties?  (crickets)

It's strangely like being a teenager again - stuck between childhood and adulthood - only now our zits are wrinkles and we find ourselves parenting through curfews and finals and varsity games; knowing all the while this is only a temporary stage and we'll need to fill a big space in our lives when those activities are no longer a part of our family calendar.  It's a happy and sad place, but a place that if experienced with as much peace and presence as we can muster, we'll emerge from satisfied and ready for the next chapter.  I think.

As usual, I will continue to try to find the humor in it all and to always be grateful.  On that note, I'm off to defrost some meat.

gratitude:  the smell of Otis' (our new dog) neck, quiet mornings with the kids home in bed, a clean kitchen, quality hand lotion.

thanks and love.