"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
Remember when you were a kid and you looked really forward to summer? You couldn’t wait for the bell to ring on that last day of school so you could run out those doors and spend two whole months doing whatever the heck you felt like. The world was your oyster! No commitments, no homework, just hanging with your friends and doing whatever you were in the mood to do. Sometimes that meant doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes... it even meant being bored.
As adults, most of us would do just about anything to have one day of boredom to look forward to. The work doesn’t end just because it’s summer. In fact, depending on your circumstance, it could be an even busier time for you. These days, with both parents working, or single parents having to do it all on their own, and fewer people having family close by who are willing or able to help out with kids, it can be downright chaotic. Summer camps need booking well in advance to ensure you get a spot, not to mention the added cost of putting your kids in these programs or finding and paying for child care, if your kids aren’t old enough to be home alone.
Even when families do have holidays, there is so much emphasis on having to do something special with that precious ‘quality time’. All the planning, expense, packing, travelling, sight seeing, visiting, etc. can be super stressful. We can end up feeling like we need a holiday to recover from our holiday!
I’ve got some bad news for you. There’s really no nice way to say this so I’ll just cut to the chase... I think I’m breaking up with you. Because basically June, you suck!
What happened to you? Remember when you used to be all full of anticipation and promises of summer vacation, lazy days, easy ways, and freedom? Yeah.... those were the days right? But June, you’ve changed. The older I get, the more you disappoint me.
I’ve had about enough of your frenetic, schizo, unstable energy. I’m too old for this shit. You’re all over the map, and I can’t figure out what you want from me. June, don’t hate me for saying this, but I think you forgot to take your meds. Maybe you need a gentle reminder. Did you forget that people are supposed to look forward to you? Did you forget that you’re supposed to be all sunny and green, all curious, carefree and full of life? Sure, you might look like that on the outside, but at your core you’ve morphed into a black hearted devil. You’re like one of those icky Dementors in Harry Potter. Gross.
Another terrible tragedy in the news. Another mass shooting in the U.S. The biggest one to date. Another barrage of news stories and FB posts pontificating about the details, the whos, hows, whys, and what ifs about the event and the people involved. My head is swimming with endless debate about gun control, LGBTQ (human) rights, alleged terrorist connections and religious affiliations, stories of the victims last moments, the accused’s past and current relationships, and family history. The list goes on.
All of it makes me want to cry and kick and grab people by the shoulders and scream at the top of my lungs, "STOP THE MADNESS! Why can’t we just stop the fucking madness already? What the hell is wrong with us?” Wait, don’t answer that... I think I have a theory.
Like so many of you, I am completely overwhelmed with emotion and almost at a loss for words. But, I am trying my damnedest to conjure some up, even if they are rough and messy and bordering on inarticulate, because saying nothing is just not an option. Saying nothing feels like a cop out to me. Saying nothing, means we have given up, and giving up, giving in to the dark side, should never be an option. EVER.
Recently, I had a conversation with a couple of friends about how I'm glad my kids are getting a little older and more independent. I even admitted out loud, that the baby or toddler stages were never really my thing, and that I white knuckled it through most of those years. I knew it was only temporary and that we could handle anything for awhile. Mostly, and in spite of a crapload of chaos that came our way, we did. Although I wouldn't give myself any awards for being the best baby momma on the planet, our kids came out of the baby/toddler years relatively unscathed. At least it seems that way so far.
I've always known I would be a better parent to older kids. You know, the kind who can rationalize, at least some of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love kids! I spent over two decades working with them in some capacity. Babies? Of course they're adorable. It's just that they're even more adorable when I don't have to wake up at 2 a.m. to feed them, or worry every five minutes about why there's no noise coming from the other room. I prefer it when those are someone else's problems to deal with. So now that our kids are at that (sometimes) rational stage - almost 12 and 9, I'm loving it in so many ways. But truthfully, I'm also panicking a little.
I recently started reading Jen Mann's book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat. This was part of my mother's day gift. My husband knows me well. He actually bought it for me because I'm a fan of Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), and she endorsed this book. It's a series of stories from Jen's real life. Bad ass truth telling is my favourite style of writing. It's what I aspire to be brave enough to do, and so it goes without saying that I like the book. In fact, it inspired me to write this post. But since I'm not really a throat puncher, I decided to title my own list, 'People I Want To Smack In The Head'. It seems more true to form.