"Opportunities to find deeper power within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." – Joseph Campbell
“Bloom where you are planted.” - Mary Engelbreit
"All great changes are preceded by chaos." - Deepak Chopra
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We were made to cooperate and connect, not to compete." – Lynne McTaggart
Ever find yourself on a roll? Walking around head high, feeling pretty confident that you’ve got this whole work, parenting, relationship, healthy living (insert life area of your choice) thing mastered? Like, “Huh, look at me over here. Doing pretty damn good. Got my ducks in a row. Got my shit figured out. Yep, really liking the direction things are going” and then BAM! You wake up one day and feel like your ass has been kicked right back to square one.
After 6 months of eating healthy, you’re suddenly sneaking your kids’ Halloween candy every night after they go to sleep.
You’ve been killing it at the new job all year but today, a project lands on your desk that leaves you feeling completely overwhelmed and wondering why these people were stupid enough to hire you. Don’t they know you’re incompetent, dammit?
You have skillfully avoided the family melodrama machine for ages, and then cousin Fred sends you an email about how he got left out of Grandma’s will and now he can’t get those hair plugs, so you spend the next week embroiled in a real life episode of Coronation Street.
You’ve been feeling like parent of the year lately. You haven’t lost it on your kids for a whole two weeks, and then someone leaves their toothpaste spit in the sink again and without warning, you’re pulling a Linda Blair on everyone in the house.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating my own mortality a lot. Yeah, I know. That’s a little heavy right? If that makes you uncomfortable, I personally think that’s a good sign. But if you don’t want to ‘go there’, then feel free to stop reading right now, because ladies and gents, it’s gonna get a little real up in here for this one. So you know, your choice.
Still with me? Awesome. I knew you were one of the brave ones.
So yeah, contemplating my own mortality. This is not something I’ve ever really done before, unless you count the obsession I had with death for a short time when I was a kid. Don’t judge, I hear that’s normal. Even if it’s not. Have you met me?
Mostly, I’ve walked through life with a, perhaps irrational at times, sense of immortality. See, me and Noel Gallager (and I'm pretty sure Keith Richards) all had the same plan, to ‘Live Forever’.
OMG! Have you heard the news about Brangelina? Of course you have because you can’t fucking escape it. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Yesterday, an article showed up on my newsfeed titled, 'The Brangelina Divorce - Everything You Need to Know'. I refused to share it or even read it, because people, here's what I (and all of you) REALLY NEED to know about Brad and Angie’s breakup... S.F.A.! In case that’s not an acronym you're familiar with it stands for, Sweet. Fuck. All! THAT folks, is what we all REALLY NEED to know about the whole ordeal. Exactly NOTHING. Rien. Nada. Neinte.
We NEED things like water, food, a roof over our heads and social connection. We NEED to know if we are in clear and present danger. But the details of the Brangelina divorce, are on exactly nobody’s list of ‘things I need to survive’. Clearly, the author of the article in question, was never taught the difference between an actual need, and a weird fucking desire to be a voyeur into other people’s personal lives. There seem to be a lot of folks in the mainstream media who missed that class.
Yep, it’s September! Back to school and all the rest of it. Except for this time, it feels a little (or a lot) different around here.
Back in June, I wrote about how we planned on having a boring summer, free of major commitments or big plans. One where aside from regular work duties, we did a whole lot of whatever we felt like, whenever we felt like it. One where our kids would have to find ways to occupy themselves without constantly being shuttled to day camps or other activities.
When we decided to do this, it was mostly because we were spent. We needed a break from several years worth of juggling too many commitments and having too much on our plates. We just couldn’t fathom another summer that felt like an extension of the busy-ness of the rest of the year. And although we’d already taken some steps to say no to a lot of things that wanted our time and attention, it just wasn’t enough. Once you get a taste of that kind of liberation, you want more. Also, with me working at home, it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to us (financially or otherwise) to send our kids off to camps all summer.
It turns out that we got a lot more than we bargained for. Sure we got more down time than we’ve ever had. Which was the point. But what we weren’t expecting is that the last few months have been kind of like hitting the re-set button for our family in so many ways. We never anticipated it, but we’re all feeling pretty damn good about it right now.
Here's what happened...
I got the call just after 3:30 a few Tuesdays ago. I’m not sure if it’s because on some level I was expecting the other shoe to drop, or because around here, we are no strangers to upheaval and surprises of the, ‘not always warm fuzzy’ variety, but my reaction was underwhelming. Bordering on nonchalant even.
“I just got let go,” he said.
Pause while the thought, “So this is how it’s gonna be eh universe?” runs through my head.
“Wow. I’m really sorry. Are you o.k.?”
His reaction, equally as underwhelming, “Yeah, I’m fine actually. Maybe a little surprised, but really o.k. I’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home and I’ll fill you in more when I get there.”
When we hung up, deep breath, long exhale, and out loud this time, “Well then, here we go again I guess.”
Another life change. Another new beginning.
Today I am teetering on the edge of an all out adult temper tantrum. I can feel it bubbling up every time someone asks me a question, needs help, or bolts into the room spewing a random thought. Like, do you really have to say ALL the things that are in your head out loud?
Every time I hear a knock at the door, the phone ring, or my notifications go off, I am one step closer to losing it. If one more person needs a piece of me today, if one more distraction or interruption happens, I fear, it won’t be pretty.
So many deep breaths. So, so many. I keep reminding myself that I love working from home. Which I do. I love it so hard I could marry it. Except I’m already happily married, and except on those occasions when I have been trying for days to get something accomplished and I just can’t seem to scrape together 10 measly fucking minutes of uninterrupted time. Like today. Or yesterday for that matter.