Community, resentment, and connecting the dots

Stumbling across The BadAssMama Chronicles site yesterday got me thinking. In particular, this post about resenting changes hit home, and I started connecting the dots between some things that have been swirling around in my head lately.  Community, and how it works (or not) in today’s society.  Resentment and frustration (mine particularly) and what’s been causing it.  More things that came to me in the shower this morning, and I hope come back before I’m done writing.  I’m not the only one who thinks best in the shower, am I? 
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Thoughts from above the clouds

I’ve been trying to post this all week, but I just haven’t found the time and energy in the same span of quiet time.  Giving it a try on Friday night finally!

Having the boys gone for two weeks was an amazing experience.  Like I mentioned before, the week alone with my husband was great.  I worked a LOT and we had some good downtime together also.  Getting away for 5 days in FL the second week was utter bliss.  I truly disconnected once I got away from home,  away from all the distractions of coulds and shoulds and maybes that surround me here, whether my kids are home or not.  Vacation is a different story.  

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Almost back in the saddle

One of many bird shots I took in FL … I’m home, the guests are gone, the sheets are washed but not back on the bed yet, and I go to pick up the boys tomorrow.  I have some reflections on spending a week away, and the quietness of the house, but they’re not quite gelled enough to type out.  I hope to get them on paper on the bus tomorrow, on the way to meet my two wanderers.  I’m sure they’ll look different to me, I’m know I’ve changed and so have they.  It will be good, I’ve missed them.

One thing that happened before I left though?  I fell in love with my husband all over again.  A week with just the two of us, without any parenting responsibilities … I felt downright giddy for a bit there!  I was able to see him as Michael again, in focus, not as Dad first and husband later.  D was born 18 months after we were married, and we hadn’t lived together before then, so there wasn’t a whole lot of “just us” time before parenting took over.  It was a distant and very vague memory, but I found myself remembering bits of what that first year felt like as I once again made dinner for just the two of us.  Delicious.  

Freaky Quiet Friday ...

Drawing Michael did of me at age 6 or so, based on an old school photoI’ve been so busy catching up on work (the paying kind) and hanging out with my husband this week that I haven’t managed to blog the last few days.  It’s been utterly blissful to have a quiet house, check many things off my to-do-list, and get out and about on two (yes, two!!) dates with Michael.
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The delights of being irresponsible

Happy Columbus Day, and belated Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!  Hope your weekend has been a good one.  It’s been a crazy whirlwind here, and I’m still touching down.  We had family from Quebec in town for a couple of days, and at the very last minute (around noon today) it was decided that they’d take my boys back to Montreal with them for a couple of weeks.  They left at 4:30!  I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but it might over dinner as my husband and I have a belated anniversary dinner, sans kids.  Yay for a real honest-to-goodness-I’m-actually-going-to-miss-them-soon break!!
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Fly Away and my night off

I promised 2 weeks ago to update you after my night out to see the movie Fly Away, and I’m finally getting to it.  I met up with a friend in the East Village, and we ducked into the theater just as the movie was starting.  There was enough light from the screen to see that the place was nearly empty, but it quickly dimmed enough to not acutally be able to see where the rows were!  After a bit of groping for seatbacks, we found a place to park.   

The film, by Janet Grillo, is a heart-wrenching look at the life and struggles of a single mom (Jeanne) and her teenage daughter Mandy, who is autistic. 

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Q of the Week : Where's your favorite place to relax?

The idea of relaxation seems to go with holidays, right?  Time off from school and work, get-togethers, down-time.  Nicely idealized in pretty menus and gorgeous pictures.  Yet the opposite seems to happen most of the time: lots of rushing and stress, in exchange for some family time or a trip somewhere.   There’s too often a real lack of joy in the journey.  I hope your Easter or Passover or long-weekend-thank-you-very-much wasn’t one of those times, but was full of great memories and moments! 
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Breathe Coaching deadline approaching ...

Just a quick reminder mamas, Heather’s Breathe : Group Coaching for Moms signup deadline is this coming Friday the 29th … get your mojo on and give it a whirl if you’re anywhere near Baltimore!  Deets here, hope you can make it!


Happy Easter and Passover too, may your weekend be a relaxing one :). 

Q of the Week : How are you taking care of yourself these days?

Image courtesy of Coffeegeek, via Flickr. Looks yummy, yes? Anything with muddled coffee and sugar and blood orange, spiked of course, has to be good! Click the pic for the recipe :). This issue is an old one, but so central to the premise of SaneMoms that it’s worth revisiting.  It was brought to mind again by a comment on Christina’s Inside and Out post.

And sometimes I find you even have to defend those moments when you are doing something for yourself, right? My husband lately realized that I was steadily making my way through a series of books and some nasty comments came out about how lucky I was to have time to sit and read during the day while he’s at work and late home every night this week… My response that one of us had to stay sane competely stumped him. I had to fight off my own guilt too about being able to sit quietly for an hour each day, but seriously, if I don’t take care of myself and we BOTH lose it, what good does that do?

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Snow Craziness

Our backyard iglooI’ve got a full-blown case of cabin fever.  Running has taken a big hit, only 2 runs in two weeks, and boy do I miss the outlet.  Then there’s snow, freezing rain, etc, and yes I can go out in it, and should have, but it’s so much freakin effort that I just didn’t bother today.  We all got on each other’s nerves, and I left the supper table in a mess, hid on the computer for awhile, and then catapulted out of my chair at the “Mom, the cat pooped on the couch!” cry from the frontroom.  A frantic cleaning frenzy ensued, most of which had nothing to do with cat poop and everything to do with finding an outlet for my craziness. 
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Tranquility Can Be Found in the Oddest of Places - All You Need is to be in the Right State of Mind (by Darah)

Peace and tranquility can be found anywhere and is in the “mind of the beholder.”

Each year I get an MRI of the brain as a follow up to my surgery. I had this done the other night. I scheduled it for the end of the evening so I could first get everything done for all the little and big people in my life.

It was 8pm and I was waiting in the MRI Lounge enjoying a good read in a national magazine when they called me in.  As usual, by this time of night, I was weary and drained from all that tending to five young children entails.  Nonetheless, the technician started to prep me about taking off my jewelery, removing all metal objects, how to breathe, how to stay motionless, composed, etc.; I knew the drill.  He was assessing my mental state to ensure that he wasn’t going have to sedate some frantic claustrophobic once shoved inside the tunnel for a solid hour.
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What is the best parenting advice you ever received? (by Heather)

A while back I wrote about the worst parenting advice I ever received, the unattainable “enjoy every moment”.  But what about the best parenting advice you received?  I was given two very practical and honest ‘words of wisdom’ that I have found myself revisiting frequently over the last five years.  One is about my keeping my identity, while the other is about keeping my sanity.
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Tip of the Week : Disconnect Completely to Reconnect Fully (by Darah)

After nine full days away from my husband, children and daily life responsibilities, I have realized that the only way to truly find happiness is by disconnecting completely and spending some time ALONE - rediscovering you. Prior to my long-awaited “hiatus” I was misguided. I told myself I would spend my precious few days off considering alternative forms of discipline for my “challenging few,” analyze my marriage, and life in general. My original goal was to return full of great ideas about how I was going to fix my flaws and change the world for the better - starting with my own family.
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What a difference a day makes ...

Yesterday, my father-in-law came and took Douglas for the day.  With Fynn in preschool, that left me with 5 golden hours, the likes of which I hadn’t seen for over two months.  Hours of daylight, alone, without kids.  I was turning in circles wondering what I should do with them.  Work?  Run?  Relax?  Clean?  It was difficult to decide, actually, but I managed to do some of each.  The run sucked, as I was ridiculously tight and couldn’t seem to shake it off.  Then lunch, some cleaning up, blog reading and writing, work for a friend, a bunch of catch-up computer stuff, and then tearing off at top speed to pick up Fynn, cramming in one more phone call while I trotted.  It was a good day, if short on the relaxation aspect!

The difference it made in my week?  Immeasurable.  It set the tone for the week, as something to look forward to, and something refreshing enough to make me more patient and relaxed.  A simple break from routine is enough to recharge me for days.  I hope anyhow, shouldn’t speak too soon as it is only Thursday night, but it was a day well spent and it meant a lot to me.  I had a break, and I loved it.  This schooling gig is hard in all the ways I expected, and then some.  It takes it out of me, and we’re still adjusting.  I can only hope that it gets easier, and that I don’t feel as desperate for breaks as we get more comfortable … until then I’m glad for every little bit I get!