October lessons…2015 Style

October lessons…2015 Style

The weather here in California is not getting with the program that it is October. It has been hot and humid with very few cool days. We need rain out here and I know there are parts of the world where things are much worse, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t complain a itty bit. As the year draws to its last quarter, I think my reflecting on what I have learned is becoming more blunt and matter of fact. Hopefully my hard-earned wisdom with help you find the same knowledge without as much work.

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It is more than okay to say, “No.”

A few weeks ago I planned a playdate for a Friday afternoon evening, where my mom friends and their kids could stop by and hang for a bit. I promised pizza and drinks. Well my week quickly went from okay to crazy. My grandmother had a major stroke, the kids were giving me major run around on every teenie tiny thing, a few extra work projects fell into my lap and I finally decided it was all too much and cancelled the get together. I just knew if I attempted to pull it off I would stress and be over exhausted and bad company. What I found from this was the amazing group of friends I am blessed with. Almost each one of the women I invited praised me for cancelling. They totally understood. One of my dear friends dropped off flowers. All of them offered help and I sat back in awe and wonder of these fabulous friends. I am so blessed that these people are in my life. I know how great they all are, but by saying no and being honest with them that I couldn’t do it all I was able to see this side of them as well and I am so glad that I did. Of course, one said she would come TP my house and yes that made me love her even more.

If you are like me and need to hear that having a meltdown even as an adult is okay…then it is okay; really it is.

Do you find yourself trying so hard not to lose your mind at the child that questions your every ask? Do you find yourself trying to stay calm as you wait for your child to find their shoe when you needed to leave for soccer 5 minutes ago? Are you constantly stepping on Legos that were supposed to be cleaned up 20 minutes ago? Do you find yourself breathing deeply while you listen to your children bicker and argue about who DID NOT spill the milk all over the kitchen and not tell anyone? Do you ever have to plunge an over-clogged toilet that some sweet child used even though it was already clogged and pray to the God’s of human waste to please not let anything spill over the edges only to have your prayers go unanswered? I can empathize. Sometimes all of this happens in one day and when your children start to argue in the car you lose your mind and snap at them all only to feel terrible 10 minutes later and have to apologize for yelling, but not for being fed up with their behavior. Yep, that’s an average day of parenting and you should cut yourself some slack because we can’t all be Mary Poppins or Florence Henderson – our days don’t fade to black and magically have help. Our days run together and we make it by flying by the ever-loving seat of our very own pants. So don’t feel bad if you lose your shit; it happens, it passes and then maybe two weeks later it happens again, but it will all pass and mostly your kids will remember the good times. Mostly.

Then there are moments like these:

play ball

#forthembecauseofher
#forthembecauseofher
thumbs up

brothers & friends

sleeper

Fluttering together

Fluttering TextFluttering

Give back to the community as a family.

This past September and October we fluttered; which is an awareness and fundraising campaign for a non-profit group Unravel that raises money for pediatric cancer research. They also give money to families with children who are battling cancer. We created some great memories out there, but also along the way learned about bravery, empathy, kindness, and hardship. It is such a wonderful opportunity to help and learn all at the same time. So pick your cause and then fight it together as a family.

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Being scared is human and also more than okay.

I am over-weight. I struggle with that a great deal. It would seem that it would be an easy fix, but so far it has not been for me. I am often afraid that people think I am lazy, undisciplined, and gross all because I can’t get a handle on my weight. Lately, I don’t even want to go out in public because of how I look. I know my life being crazy is an excuse, but still it has been hard to squeeze the “me time” I need into my days.

My best friend is coming to see me and I am terrified that she will no longer be my friend once she sees me. Totally illogical and off-base thinking, but it hasn’t stopped me from actually thinking it. But instead of brandishing myself for my fear; I am embracing it. It is okay to be afraid. I need to move past this fear because the most important thing is showing up and being seen.

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Sometimes those damn Facebook quizzes have too much truth in them for a Friday night or any day of the week really.

So I know you take these because I have seen you post the results from time to time. Those FB quizzes; they suck us in because really sometimes we want to know who our Hollywood boyfriend might be, or what our name really means. So I took the name one and it was great, but it also said I was moody. And right away I was like you stupid FB quiz what do you know…you don’t know me. And then I took breath and was like damn you; how did you know that. I am moody, but I did not need my iPhone to tell me that. Sometimes it’s better knowing and being in a blissful denial than reading in black and white and I right or am I right?

Before I sign off I just want to take a moment and say thank you! Thank you for reading my blog. I have a great audience of friends, family, and internet friends that join here to read and support what I write and I am beyond grateful.

Via Pinterest. Click photo to be taken to the source.
Via Pinterest. Click photo to be taken to the source.
Until next time,

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More musings from around here…

More musings from around here…

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted lessons for the summer so far, but my mind is a bit filled with jumbles of ideas I have finally decided to write them down all at once.  I am writing these things I am thinking about down to keep my own sanity, feel less alone and maybe just maybe these are things you think, too and then we can think them together.

1. I don’t like to freak people out.

I don't like to freak people out contrary to what this photo shows.
I don’t like to freak people out contrary to what this photo shows.
Recently I was told that I freak people out. Here is what is important to know; I am incredibly skeptical of my gift. I treat it as a gift and I do not abuse it. The only time I ever communicate with the deceased in reference to other people is during a scheduled reading.

I CANNOT read minds. I DO NOT do readings on the spot. I DO NOT pay attention to spirit during a run of the mill get together. They respect the awkwardness I feel about seeing them and usually keep their distance. This is important to me to keep these things separate. As Peter Parker says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Don’t think I am getting high and mighty – the point is that I treat the ability to speak with the dead as a gift and there is a responsibility that comes with that. It isn’t a parlor trick for fun; it is something that is possible and needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

2. There are tons of people who do the same thing as you and there will always be someone better than you.

Stay in your lane
Stay in your lane
To this I say – STAY IN YOUR LANE. Comparison seems to be a naturally occurring phenomenon for most humans. It can be a destructive habit. You need to stay in your own lane. I believe life is about achieving your own personal best; not your neighbor’s, mentor’s or even a societal ideal “personal best”. You just need to pay attention to what you want to achieve, stick to that and do the best you possibly can; that is good enough.

3. The Facebook Showcase

Sometimes I get wrapped up in looking at everyone else’s best self and how spectacularly shiny other people seem and I forget that I am usually seeing the best parts of them. People don’t always post a snapshot of when the kids have gone BAT SHIT CRAZY and the HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A TORNADO hit it and the DOG THREW UP and the PHONE IS RINGING and you have a DEADLINE TO MEET and PEOPLE ARE WAITING TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT with you and you still haven’t got the 10 minutes you need to look at your schedule to answer them – no people don’t post that REAL LIFE stuff. They post the best moments; the smiling shiny moments. We all have them and that is the stuff we want to remember, but really there are moments of all kinds every day and I need to remember that everybody has both kinds of moments.

4. Put your load down

Just set it down – it doesn’t have to be folded and pretty. Just drop it and pick it back up when you can.
My therapist missed me…not really I just decided to start back up again. Basically because well; I have a breakdown about every 4-6 weeks where everything makes me sad and I feel so OVERWHELMED I think I am going to just explode from the amount of crap I am trying to get accomplished in a day. Which I know is silly, I should not be sad and I should not feel overwhelmed, but then I do and then I feel bad about feeling that way. Any way you get it the same vicious cycle. I know some of you are thinking it is a hormonal thing, but it isn’t – I checked – okay there may be some of that there. Any way, when I was talking with her last week we realized I feel OVERWHELMED, I finally set my load of THINGS – HAVE TOS, SHOULD HAVES, WANT TOS, DIDN’TS – down. But these feelings sort of force me to set them down. Of course, my wise therapist says, “Have you ever thought maybe you should set those down more often?”

Well the clouds parted and light shone down from above and there were birds singing – maybe not, but it felt like that. I had written before about another wise friend who said I needed to remember to put my gas mask on first (you know when you are on a plane and the attendant tells you if you are flying with small children put your mask on first before you help them – that her is analogy to me – I know I have really smart friends). I need to at least once a day put my gas mask on first. For me this is exercise and reading. I need to find ways to fit this into my day first and the rest of the stuff can follow.

I am working on this – I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS and that my friends is a beautiful thing. I don’t ever want to be a polished piece of art; I want to be a messy, bunch of paint thrown against a wall in many different colors on different days so when I get to the end of my life and look back I can see all the wacky pieces and see that in all that chaos and uncertainty there was a beautiful work of art.

5. There is no introvert-ing today.

Yesterday, I put all my stuff down (actually took the day off and left my phone in the glove compartment of my car) and spent the day with friends and our kids at the pool. Can I just say it was like breathing in pure oxygen? The mommy guilt that I had felt melted away in the sunlight. Sitting with those moms who talked about their days, which mirrored my own, was refreshing.

At one point as I was off on my own, one of the moms said, “The mommies are over here, Michelle.” And another said, “There is not introvert-ing today, Michelle.” It was just so nice to be with people who knew me, understood where I was at and lovingly reigned me back in. There are no words to express the gratitude I feel for yesterday, for those friends, for the sunshine, and those precious moments of sharing that reminded me we really are all in this together.

6. What the hell is up with media?

I just have to add this because – really – they are the problem. News reporting has become a complete circus – it is overdone, way too dramatic, and way to slanted. What happened to an impartial recording of events that included both good, bad, and just plain old stories?! Sometimes you can find that still on your local news, but I am at a loss with the news. Years ago I stopped watching it because I couldn’t have it on with kids around. So I would read it, but now even that has become difficult. I am just saying…

7. Junior High

Holy Freaking Fruit Loops

HOLY FREAKING FRUIT LOOPS – my oldest is going to be starting Junior High in under four weeks – WHAT THE WHAT?! That is all. My mind is still reeling with thought and yes, I will be throwing up after I drop him off the first day.

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That is mostly it…hopefully you gained something from my jumble and maybe you feel a little less alone. I am hoping now that some of these things sit with me better and make some peace with my own mind.

Until next time,

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P.S. Yes, I used a lot of CAPITALS. YES THEY WERE NECESSARY. No that does not mean I am yelling – it means I am saying it with emphasis.

I think what I would miss most is the ordinary, day-to-day bustle

“It occurred to me that if I were a ghost, this ambiance was what I’d miss most: the ordinary, day-to-day bustle of the living. Ghosts long, I’m sure, for the stupidest, most unremarkable things.”
Banana Yoshimoto, The Lake

I think we all want to be remembered. It must be written in our subconscious or part of our DNA, but we have a common need to be noticed and remembered.

These days that need has catapulted into something more extravagant; almost everyone wants to be famous. Between social media, reality TV and the news it seems like just about everyone has some claim to fame these days. And if they don’t already have a claim to fame they can quickly get one; or so it seems.

I noticed this in myself on Friday, while I was scrolling down through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a picture on Jen Hatmaker’s Facebook page (if you aren’t familiar with Jen Hatmaker you can check her blog out here). She was standing with other writers; one of which happened to be Glennon Melton Doyle – and if you don’t know who she is check out her blog here. And if you do know who they are; I know you felt like I did. I was knee-deep in envy. I so wanted to be in that picture!

The infamous FB picutre Click it to be taken to its original source
The infamous FB picture
Click it to be taken to its original source
I thought about this a lot since Friday. I started out thinking about how I want so desperately to be a well-known author. But the more I thought it about it, the more silly it seemed to HAVE to be extraordinary. To have to be famous or how much that even counts really. So many things have become so OVER the TOP extraordinary these days that maybe there is something to just being ORDINARY.

For instance, you can’t even get into a four-year college any more without being a 4.2 valedictorian, concert pianist, who also happens to volunteer twice a week at the local convalescent home and lettered in field hockey.

Our young kids are so over scheduled with soccer, guitar, language lessons, extracurricular math programs and robotics camps on top of school in the hopes that they will be extraordinary, they don’t even know what it is like to just play.

I think we have forgotten how extraordinary it is to be ORDINARY; to sit content in the daily hustle and bustle of our average lives and find peace in that. We are so busy trying to be someone famous and special that we have forgotten that we are already special to begin with.

I think I would much rather be the voice of the ordinary, the voice of being content with what we have, the reminder for all of us that we are already extraordinary because we are unique and have our own personalized God Given Gifts than one of the extraordinary that HAS to be famous.

There is so much beauty in our lives already that we don’t have to add fame and flash and paparazzi to make a difference or be remembered. We just have to be ourselves and open our eyes to what we are already doing every day.

To find comfort in the simple beautiful moments of laughter, goodnight kisses, a job well done, a phone call from a friend, fresh-cut flowers, a warm bed and clean sheets to sleep in.

Or for example, letting our little ones pick their own clothes, so they can express their independence…

3 year old fashion
3-year-old fashion
Mike Wazowski
Mike Wazowski
Our remembering that one little love story created something magical…

The ring
The ring
Pumpkin patch maze
Pumpkin patch maze
Daddy and Z with the perfect tree
Daddy and Z with the perfect tree
Or watching the world through a child’s eyes…

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kite flying in Newport Beach
Thanksgiving bead necklace making
Thanksgiving bead necklace making
A 3 year old created castle
A 3-year-old created castle
Being with your best friend
Being with your best friend
Or just remembering to look at the beauty of the world around us…

Sunset at the beach
Sunset at the beach
The view from the top of my street
The view from the top of my street
A handwritten note from one of my favorite bloggers
A handwritten note from one of my favorite bloggers
My desk
My desk
It is definitely what is in the small stuff that is going to be remembered and cherished. So after much thought; I don’t want to be in that Jen Hatmaker picture any more. I would much rather be the girl I am; whose life is ordinary and filled with small, magical extraordinary moments.

Your ordinary friend,

M