“So, those are for wearing in public?”
For a fact, today is the most beautiful day of the year in the burg in which I live. I can guarantee it. How can I possibly guarantee it! Because it is the first day of the big conference that my company hosts in town. Which means I have to work. And since this conference was moved to October, the first day has always coincided with the most beautiful day. It’s science.
The weather is changing, which means all the energy that zapped from me from memorial day to labor day just came back home. And I now have energy to blog. Woot. So, I left the thread right after Camp Ginger. Since then….
1. Had my 15-year anniversary at the corporation for whom I work. Which meant a limo ride with DH and the kids and a delicious meal at the Capital Grill. I knew it would be fun, but it was even more fun than I imagined. The limo was great, but the kids’ reaction to the limo was even greater. Their usually blase attitudes were replaced with actual excitement. That limo was a time machine to them being six again. And we got all dressed up – this picture was taken before the limo, so they still were maintaining their 12-year-old “cool”.
2. I took the world’s most boring business trip to LA. I usually have at least some fun while I am out there, but this trip was wake up, go to work, go to hotel, work, sleep, repeat. Blech.
3. I won an award at work for the top 2% of employees. Which was a great thing to happen for my 15 years. For a couple weeks there work was a whirlwind of awards and flowers and dinners and gifts. All back to normal for a couple more weeks, until I have my 4-week long term service award.
4. The kids started middle school (that is what junior high is called now) and they are thriving. They were varying degrees of miserable this summer – too old to be kids, too young to not be kids. But they both are doing really well. They have friends and new speech patterns and it all is weird and great as parents. I am *VERY* relieved the sullen kids who stayed with us this summer have not returned for the fall.
5. DH and I have stopped watching television. We will see how far we get, but so far it has been wonderful. Truly wonderful. I have time and energy to do things – like this – and I don’t feel bleary and exhausted at the end of the day. We are early days, but I am hoping all the benefits remain and my longing for Parks and Rec or Modern Family doesn’t become too great.
2/2 – Messy and delicious!
Our summer adventures wrapped up with Camp Ginger, the last week of July. Regular readers know that Camp Ginger is the once a year event where I plan activities for the kids so they can learn what I am passionate about and we can get to know each other better.
This summer has been a transition summer for us, because the kids, especially my SD are teenagers now. They prefer to be on their own and are starting to assert their need to be independent beings. SIGH. I am trying very hard to let go as much as is appropriate and let that happen. But I don’t want to. So Camp Ginger was not exactly a raging success, but I still am going to capture the memories.
One of our activities was to capture pictures of certain colors. Here are some of the results of that:
Most of my time is spent doing things I would never miss. Responding to e-mails, navigating personal politics, vacant hours of entertainment, wearing a bra, sitting at a desk, sitting in a meeting, sitting on a plane, sitting in a car. Perpetrating the whitewashing of existence by buying into joy and sanity at all times at all expense. Every moment seems to be on the precipice of the next moment, but never really getting there.
Too many of my thoughts are missing things I never really had. A close girlfriend I would talk to almost every day. Skin and hair and flesh I didn’t want to crawl out of. Time off and away. Enough money. Passion. Intellectual curiosity. A child folded into my arms. Actually wanting a fucking salad. A perfect garden. Hardwood floors. Being the object of desire. Being at least as strong as I pretend to be or need to be. Being able to eat something, anything, without it being fraught with failure or success or every hateful thought I have about myself. Running fast and hard.
But tonight I am missing they joys I have known.
When I would get sad like this I would call my friend E. Not sad for any reason, or not any recent reason anyway. And he wouldn’t let me explain. He would just say, “I know, sweetie, I know. It’s ok. I know.” Over and over again until I caught my breath. Until the pain of the shadows of hurt didn’t stab. And I felt so understood and so loved.
When I would spend the night at my great grandmothers and she would get out the prettiest little bowls and put a bit of cherry ice cream in them – one for me and one for her. And I hated the cherry ice cream. But she loved it so much and we would take small spoonfuls. And I was the universe and life was possibility.
My mom always waking before me and coaxing me awake so gently, and allowing me 15 more minutes.
My dad’s joy when one of his fireworks would do exactly what it was supposed to.
My little cat purring just for me – all my joys and sorrows of my childhood reflected in her animal eyes.
I am wondering if to be human means to feel so unknown. I am expected to know so many answers and I know so few. I am afraid of the sadness because I am afraid of the weakness. I am afraid of writing what is my reality because I am afraid of the perception of selfishness. So thank you for reading and allowing me to miss some things.
Recently, I declared myself TV- and video game-free. That isn’t completely accurate, but I have had a lot less of both. I have been practicing, I’ll put it that way. It is daunting to face some moments without automatically flipping on the tv or my iPad. And family time is still hard to shift… sometimes it is hard to think of something to do other than watching TV altogether – otherwise the kids quietly slip into their rooms. But it is getting better. Here are some things I have done instead:
1. Read the NY times – mostly the parts about celebrities and shoes, but a couple thinker articles also.
2. Redone my nails.
3. Cooked leeks.
4. Watched some movies (I don’t count watching movies or Poirot DVDs as vegging out – but I make it is something I want to see and that I pay attention – not multitask.)
5. Sewed and sewed and sewed.
6. Made yummy vegan mandarin chicken salad.
7. Did a lot of online luxury purse window shopping (not a good substitution).
8. Played Fruit Ninja on Kinect with DH – not sure if this is a good substitution or not – still a screen, totally addictive, but my arms feel like they had a good workout.
9. Read some of a book.
10. Learned how to toast slivered almonds.
I am not the austere, intellectual, home-cooking, polished, well-exercised goddess yet. But there is a slllllloooooow transition happening. Which is something. And my nails look great.