Saturday, October 11, 2014

another attempt at a constellation

I read this post over at Renegade Mothering this morning, and I've been thinking about it all day. I think I used to feel what she describes more intensely back when the boys were younger-- my blog archives have many posts, from back when the boys were babies, complaining about my lack of time, lack of sleep, lack of feeling like a human being. A lot of things are so much better now. For example, these days I get to choose my clothes based on what I want to wear vs what provides the easiest access to my boobs-- it's a small but significant thing. But I also think I've gotten better at resigning myself to what life is like with young kids. Which makes it sound bad, when it just is what it is. I get to hang out with my kids all day and really drink in their childhood, which is awesome. I love that, and have chosen it very consciously. But as with everything, there are ups and downs, good stuff and bad stuff, and things that I miss or wish I had more time for.

I miss writing. I like writing. It feels good when I write a post that I'm proud of, even better when it resonates with others. But I can't tell you how many times I sit down at my computer with ideas of something I want to write, and all the thoughts in my head feel so jumbled up and my brain foggy and I stare blankly at the screen trying to make sense of how to say what I want to say, and even what exactly that is to begin with, and eventually give up. One of my favorite lines from The Fault in Our Stars is when Gus says, "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations." That. YES. What he said.

And I feel like I've totally stagnated with photography. You wanna hear something sad? I bought myself Photoshop Elements like a year ago, when it was on sale for half off. I have opened up the program maybe once in that time. ONCE. I keep meaning to look up tutorials for how to use it, wanting to try out ideas and new techniques, but when I get a bit of free time I just can't muster up the energy for it. Zach rarely gets home before the boys' bedtime these days, so I'm solo parenting during the week and frankly I'll say I've gotten pretty good at it, but once the kids are asleep all I wanna do is flop on the couch and just...sit. Maybe with a book, or some tv. And then there's the always-growing list of books I want to read, and the few times I go dancing and suddenly realize how much I've missed it, and on and on it goes.

What's interesting is that usually when parents talk about this stuff there's a yearning for your "former self," a wanting to get back to who you were before having kids. And that, I don't identify with much. I look back on the person I was before having kids, and I don't have much desire to go back to being her. Not that there was anything wrong with me then, but I feel like I've grown to be more ME in the time since then-- not necessarily because of motherhood, but, well, partially, and also because of just other ways in which I've grown or interests I've developed or whatever in that same period of time. So I guess it's more like I do know Me, I'm not yearning for a different self, it would just be nice to have a bit more space for Myself.

And I'm not meaning to complain or make things sound terrible... I am devoting most of my time, energy, attention to my kids, which means other things get less of it, and that's ok. That's the flavor of shit sandwich I'm choosing to eat at this point in all our lives.

(this post made it past the "jumbled mess of thoughts in my head" to published thanks to it being saturday and Zach taking the boys out of the house for a few hours, giving me the time and peace and quiet in the middle of the day for getting this out)

Friday, October 03, 2014

a rambly post about nothing and everything

So now it's October, and it's weird because the weather hasn't changed at all it still feels the same here as it did in the middle of summer, and as incredibly glad and relieved as I feel about not facing another east coast winter I do miss the fall colors. Pros and cons. I will take my beautiful weather and year-round flip flops and quit complaining.

I've been writing a new blog about our homeschooling. I haven't shared it very publicly because for some reason I've been feeling very shy about it... I suppose part of it is that it all still very new and we're figuring our way through, and I know it's so controversial (we're not only homeschooling, but *gasp* unschooling which is even more certain to ruin my kid's future, right?) and perhaps I'm trying to delay whatever clashes that may bring. I think I also don't want it to seem like I'm pushing things in people's faces or anything. Feathers tend to get ruffled when someone goes against the norm, and sometimes people take it as a personal affront of their own choices. Or maybe I'm just being paranoid and overly sensitive to potential negative reactions or hurt feelings.

All that aside, things are going well, and I'm enjoying having a separate space to write about it.

Earlier this week I was feeling bogged down, it feels like there's been so much loss lately. My brother died 3 months ago. Last week we found out that one of my mom's oldest and dearest friends passed away (it was her time, not unexpected, but still. I have vivid memories of playing with Smurf puzzles at her house as a kid). My brother-in-law posted pictures of his parents, both deceased, honoring the one-year anniversary of his mother's passing. So many wonderful people who did wonderful things and were so loved, gone. So it goes. Life is fleeting and all that jazz. And they are dealry missed, leaving the rest of us to ponder on their memories and what they taught us, the ways they influenced us. They all left their scars, and the rest of us are better for it.

I recently came across a blog post that posed 7 weird questions to help you find your life purpose. The questions are actually pretty good at making you think about what matters to you, and how you want to shape your life. The last one asks what would you do if you knew you were going to die one year from today? A grim question, but one that seems very fitting.  I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and while there are plenty of things I can wish were different about my life right now (friends and family who I wish weren't so far away; personality quirks in myself and my family that I wish were a little different; etc), when it comes down to it if this were my last year on this earth there's not much I would be doing differently. I like living in California, having so many great things so close by. Zach's working a good job that supports our family and that he's enjoying, even if it does mean long hours away from us. Homeschooling isn't perfect, I still get frustrated with my kids and everything, but I really like getting to spend my days with them and having D at home with me. I love having the freedom and flexibility to enjoy our time hanging out together, to be able to drive 2 hours to see a good friend on a random thursday, to spend our time exploring cool things together. I realize we are incredibly lucky to even have this option, and I'm glad we get to take advantage of it.


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