Gracefully, Grumpily, or Gleefully ... what's your style?
boys both started school last week, one of them for the first time.
While there was a wee bit of clinging and a few tears, their transition
from summer in the country to school in the city has been an amazingly
calm one. My two-year-old couldn't wait to start "my tool" and ran off
into his classroom on day one without a backward glance! For the most
part, my kids handle change with aplomb and excitement. We do a little
prep if there's a big change coming, but don't make a huge deal out of
it, and I'm very thankful that works for us. Most kids are remarkably
adaptable, and learn to accept things, especially those completely
outside their control. Read More
Minimizing the effects of those BIG projects.
I completed the longest run of my life, covering 15 miles before I
collapsed, sweaty and pleased, into a pile that I hardly moved from for
the rest of the day. I noticed near the end of the run that my
fingertips were getting a bit numb. Given the fact that I've had a
history or poor circulation, and I'd been pumping my heart hard for over
2 hours, it didn't surprise me at all. It did get me thinking though,
about what prolonged effort and focus does to a person. Read More
I've always had a thing for perfection, or at least as long as I can
remember. Not necessarily achieving or creating it, but maintaining the
illusion of it. As long as things appeared put together, clean,
creative, tidy, then I considered things perfect. Laboring over school
essays, staying up late to frame art projects, using quarts of white-out
and adding extra illustrations, taking on the roles of decorator,
organizer, designer, finisher, planner ... the list is endless. The
pursuit of perfection has been my downfall many times, my nemesis often,
and my claim to fame never. Read More
I didn't believe in vulnerability until I had kids. I grew up believing
that showing any emotion or softness was weak. Where I got this absurd
notion I'm not sure, but I invested a lot of time and energy into keep
the code: Never show fear, confusion, surprise, incompetence, or
weakness. It certainly earned me a stoic reputation, as well as a
capable but aloof one. Read More
The other day, we were invited to a "closing party" at a very chic art
gallery where my husband had helped draw the conceptual art being shown.
It was an early evening event, and I knew that it would primarily be a
lot of schmoozing and art-world discussion while wandering with glasses
of wine and exotic hors d'oeuvres. When a babysitter wasn't in the
budget for that week, we were told by one of the organizers to "Just
bring the kids!" My mistake was in ever listening to him! While not a
disaster, the evening wasn't a success in terms of model children or
making new connections, and we arrived home tired, frazzled, and
irritated. Read More
Living by the mantra of Keep It Simple, Stupid,
known as the KISS principle, has been one of my most elusive dreams. I
seem to attract complications and complexities like flies at a picnic,
and have grown to believe that I actually call them somehow. The school
mornings where we all get up late and I end up flying around the
kitchen making breakfast and snacks, half-dressed myself, begging sleepy
boys to get into clothes and seats ... they're the ones that I often
secretly enjoy. I'm put to the "how-much-can-I-accomplish-at-once"
test, and usually pass with flying colors. Meanwhile, the rest of the
family is hurried, irritated, and wishing for peace, coffee, and a curl
up in the comfy orange chair with a book. My flip side is that peaceful
mornings like this... (a beautiful photo blog of a year of mornings) call to me strongly too.
Apparently I'm conflicted :). Read More
Or not-so-great, as it may be ...
"I expect I'll be home in an hour."
"I expect you to eat everything on your plate."
"I expect he'll forget to take out the trash."
"I expect to get an A on my test."
Life is full of expectations ... the ones we set for ourselves and
others, and the ones others set for us. They're powerful things, and
have a greater influence on my behavior than I tend to realize.
What's your favorite method?
all human beings have some way of sabotaging their life, or holding
themselves back, what would be your favorite method?
c) Following secondary goals (i.e. goals that won't ultimately make you happy)
e) Not saying "Yes"
f) Not saying "No"
g) Not always telling the absolute truth
h) Acting as the "Lone Ranger"
i) Arrogance/The Need to be Right
k) Controlling life/people
l) Other _____________ Read More
How in-dependent are we? With a determined one-year-old starting to exert his independence in our home, the subject is top-of-mind for me on a daily basis. He fluctuates wildly between wanting to do things for himself, such as managing a spoon or opening a container, and crying to be cuddled, fed, or played with. While he's in complete dependence on his parents, he's reaching for what he can do for himself ... and especially for those things he sees his older brother doing. Read More
It's there if we're willing to find it.
Riding the subway to my group coaching class this week, I looked up at
the two women talking across from me and had a sudden glimpse into the
magnitude of the experience of the human race. A sense of their random
(to me) conversation, their comfort with their own images and
relationships, and the innumerable experiences that led them to that
car that very moment. Times that by 6.5 billion for the number of lives
being lived in the world right now, and I feel a bit of awe. Call me
odd, but this sense of the immensity of human life confronts me every
once in awhile. It doesn't leave me feeling insignificant, but rather
empowered that every life is unique, important, precious, relevant, and
fragile. I end up reflecting on what I'm doing with mine. Read More
As if There's Any Other Way ...
Last weekend, our housemate of
two years moved out. She lived in our front room, and was a happy,
bubbly addition to the house. She often commented on what "super
parents" we were, and how she envied our perfect little family. I would
protest "If you only heard the arguments!" , which she said she never
Truth be told, I found myself always being a bit more careful when she was in the house. Read More
Having survived, and even really enjoyed the holiday season last month, I'm now looking back with some bemusement. It started with my 6-month-old suddenly arriving at the Must-Have-Toy-Now- Or-I'll-Scream stage. Things that drop must be retrieved immediately, and boredom lurks around hidden corners. He's discovered the idea that things can be possessed, at least by his small hands and drooling mouth, and he's addicted. As the holidays often breed Gotta-haves and Gotta-dos in young and old alike, I started thinking about it a bit. Read More