in wonky times like these

Mercury is retrograde and honestly in times like these when everything seems to be all wonky and awry all one can really do is take a deep breath and ask themselves…

WWBD?

Because, yes, in astrological, astronomical times like these you know Queen Bey is not affected by crazy emotions, miscommunications and general weirdness as the rest of us are.

Truly.

Why else would folks like Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee get their boy shorts all twisted up believing that Beyonce is what is wrong with the world today?

Right?

Then a moment like this with Jon Stewart reminds us that maybe Bey isn’t as all powerful or as scary as the Fox boys would want us to fear. Because, at the end of the day, she is still just a musician living in “Bubbleville”. But damn, I still wonder sometimes in the dark of night what would Beyonce do especially when Mercury is in retrograde.

 

deal 2015

For the last two years I have chosen a word for the year. It’s so much easier than resolutions, which I never did any way because…why? Three weeks later they are just going to be broken and then comes the guilt, the shame and the self-loathing.

Yeah.

No.

I am already too good at that having perfected it for the last 50+ years.

No resolutions for me. Not ever.

Focusing on one word to sum up who I want to be and how I want to live this year is what I choose instead.

2013 was the year where I chose to embrace. Miles helped to define 2014 for me.

And for 2015?

I thought about it as I began to write down The Big Top calendar. As usual, the days of the month filled up quickly with work schedules, a couple doctor appointments, birthdays, meetings, holiday plans, parties, classes, practices and half marathon training.

Sigh!

Already it promises to be a busy month because even as the kids have grown up what else would I be doing but juggling?

It’s very easy to become overwhelmed as one imagines that there isn’t enough hours in the day while looking at that calendar.

Very easy.

I look at my coffee mug and smirk thinking that yes, I’m just going to have to deal with it.

DEAL!

When it comes to this year I just need to hitch up my big girl panties and just get stuff done.

Leap.

Without fear of failure.

This last year, with a big gulp and a swallow, I began to try to learn and understand just who I am. With a lot of help, I am learning how to be content that I am enough for me and me alone. I’m not perfect and I never will be but I am enough. Enough to take on the hard things, and be okay if everything doesn’t fall into place as planned. It will be okay to not have everything figured out. It will be okay because I am going to just deal with it. I am going to remind myself (often I imagine) that you don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. Sometimes you just need to deal.

In 2015 there will be good days, bad days and ugly days. And with a little luck, hopefully there will be some great days too. Each day I will face and I will deal with it, as I always do. But this year I will deal with intention.

therapy

Sometimes, some days the weight of all that presses down on my heart, my head, my soul is just too much.

Like today. For so many reasons, today was one of those days. The sadness overwhelmed, pressed down and enveloped my very core.

And so I forced myself to run. I didn’t want to; but run I knew that I must do today…especially today. Today I ran because I knew that for at least the 30 minutes and 3.2 miles that I was running all that is right now always weighing down my heart, mind and soul was behind me. It wasn’t gone. Today I feel like none of it will ever be gone in my lifetime. But at least it was behind me for a blessed half hour.

And then reality.

What a bitch reality is.

It wasn’t all bad. No. One problem that in the last month went from bad to worse to clusterfuckedupness when Bill’s car met it’s demise in the Santa Cruz Mountains last month and then when he broke his motorcycle this weekend was solved…with monthly car payments to now worry about. Then again a family with a Bay Area commute to one job and a commute to Stockton with another job and a commute to Modesto for another job and school starting next week there was no way that we could survive with just one reliable vehicle that remains.

I should be thankful. I am. But today was a horrible, rotten, no-good, very bad mental health day and so I let the can-we-really-afford-this-car-payment-when-I-get-cut-from-work-pretty-much-every-scheduled-shift overwhelm me because, I got called off from work. Of course!

Bill handed me the keys telling me to take it for a drive. So I did.

I drove and drove and drove all over the place, past orchards and vineyards and parched fields and into the sunset with the windows rolled down and Iggy Azalea loudly promising that in spite of her 99 problems you won’t be one on the radio.

Therapy, much needed therapy for a pretty emotionally fucked up day.

Tomorrow’s another day. It might be a better day. It might not be. But it will be tomorrow.

One day, one hour, one minute at a time.

It’s therapy.

 

musings and rants of just another dance mom

Before I begin, and before anyone jumps to conclusions after only reading the title, note that these musings and rants could likely be applicable to almost any band mom, soccer mom, baseball mom, football mom, mathalete mom, choir mom, theater mom, debate team mom, cheer mom, __insert child’s extra-curricular activity here__ mom…or dad.

There you are at the latest competitive activity for your awesome child. You are happy, You are proud. You are a little teary because your baby is up there performing her all…and it is the last year for you both. Your kid is awesome! The awards and scholarships they are awarded confirms what you already know but it is still nice to see other people, people whose education and experience makes them qualified to have such an opinion agree with you. So you clap enthusiastically and cheer loudly as she performs and during awards because it makes everything that goes into making this moment possible so worth it.

But then you see what is the embarrassment of riches awarded to the bigger studio/team. Truly you don’t begrudge their achievement because the talent, the originality, the creativity is there so the excess is well deserved. You just wish some of that surplus was weighing down your kid too.

You’re only human.

But would it be worth it? Would your kid have the same opportunities there competing with so many other equally talented and hard-working kids? Perhaps not. Dancers have left the little studio before with the hopes and dreams of this happening only to not make the cut to be part of the elite at the bigger studio because it often requires much more than just talent and ability. It’s happened before, a number of times before that you have seen.

Through the years, you have witnessed your awkward, knobby knees and elbows kid, who could barely keep the beat, emerge into a talented force to be noticed when she takes the stage whether it be jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, pointe or, her first love, tap. When you witness instructors or dancers from other studios make their way over to compliment your dancer or even have teachers from a rival studio tell you that they loved watching your kid on stage dancing the part of Cinderella you know you made the right decision. Of course the decision was not wholly yours as your dancer made it clear where she wanted to train and learn too.

Still, this weekend you couldn’t help feeling just a little bit of pangs of jealousy because what parent supporting their child’s dreams doesn’t wish for them to be regarded as more than a “Triple Threat” up on that stage and every other stage they may take? Until your kid witnesses the director of another studio angrily wave a six year old off the stage for briefly forgetting choreography and glancing off stage in his direction…and then yelling at the poor little kid backstage…a six year old! Some might ascribe to this Abby Lee-esque tactic of teaching and coaching but seeing first hand the growth and success your dancer has realized you find yourself nodding in agreement with multi-award winning dancers, teachers and choreographers, Derek Hough and Mark Ballas who both maintained that …correct teaching is patience, discipline, confidence building and love..and Miller (and others like that -my words) needs a reality check. Dance is meant to be fun and inspirational, not abusive.

And if that wasn’t enough for you to say to yourself that, yes, we don’t need to be a part of that; there are some of the families, decked out in all the studio gear that identifies who they are and where they come from behaving badly. Case in point, if you’re going to loudly demand a woman with an infant move out YOUR SEAT because there is nothing in and around your seat to indicate that it is yours, you might want to take note that everyone sitting around your seat knows who you represent because of what you are wearing.
Yes, that happened.
The same would go for the other families on your team who insisted all Sunday morning to stand in the front of the auditorium searching for the perfect place to sit, blocking the view of the audience behind them from seeing the dance happening on stage at that very moment. Again, wearing the studio gear makes it very easy to identify who you are and who you represent, especially when all of you are repeatedly asked by many in the audience to please sit down or wait until the dance on stage is done. Everyone gets that you want a good seat to see your child/grandchild/friend on stage but to block the views of families anxious to see their child/grandchild/friend dancing on stage at that very moment?
Really?!
You ask yourself who is that rude? Then you ask yourself if you would want to be identified as part of that…would you want your kid to be a part of that?

Of course the answer is no.

And so you let go those little pangs of jealousy because it was a good weekend for your daughter who dances with all the gold, high gold and special judges’ awards and the scholarship that she is taking home as proof of that. Even more so, her saying out loud, “This was a great weekend!“, makes it so.

selfie love

As if this blog wasn’t self-indulgent enough, I have been participating in a 365 day photo project: the #365feministselfie project.

The what?

Why?

Go ahead and roll your eyes. I know you want to.

You feel better now?

Good.

Talking about one’s sense of self love and self worth, Tamryn Hall recently shared, “It was not a magazine that formed my opinion of myself, it was what my mother told me…“. Ms Hall’s statement struck a very loud chord with me. How true this is. Children learn what they live. She went on recalling all the positive words her mother, her father, her extended family have always said to her about her and how that has always been with her with every success and setback in her life.

When I started writing in this blog, I began because I needed a safe place to put my thoughts, my fears and frustration. My plate was overloaded raising my five children including a very angry teen pushing hard and breaking through as many boundaries as possible and a medically fragile toddler whose weekdays were busy with appointments with specialists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy. My brother had recently died and honestly, it seemed like I was the only member of my family who was mourning him. So much was rattling around in my head that I had to have a place to put it and here is where most of it went. Through the years this has been a place where I could write about what ever I wanted to write about…my thoughts, my fears, my tears, my joys, my opinions…and they all mattered here.

Pretty much my entire life, even now, I have been told what is wrong with me…how I talk, how I walk, the colors in my wardrobe, I’m too skinny, I’m getting fat, my career choice, my parenting choices, my opinions, my beliefs, what I read, what I watch, what I listen to, my thoughts…and on and on and on and on….and it STILL goes on because as I approach my 52nd birthday I still need the correction criticism like I am still a child. It’s hard, very hard to recall ever hearing “I’m proud of you for being you”.

Children learn what they live.

But as this blog grew through the years into more than 3,500 entries, I have evolved and have grown to like me a lot. I like the parent that I am. I like the NICU RN that I am and I wouldn’t settle for anything less. My thoughts, my beliefs and my opinions are indeed my own and they are most definitely just as important as anyone’s…maybe more so to me because they are mine. Ten years of navel-gazing writing has exorcised a lot of demons and damage. Of course, it is a work in progress.

Which brings me to my own #365feministselfie. Pretty indulgent and narcissistic of me, isn’t it? Oh, and definitely attention seeking too.

Enough!

Attention is power.

Of course, the self-portrait is an easy target for charges of self-involvement, but, in a visual culture, the selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you’re feeling, where you are, what you’re doing.

In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Hello, this is me.

I’m discovering that in this exercise.

I’ve never liked nor respected too much the image that reflected back in the mirror at me. I’ve never really seen what my darling husband has seen and still sees…I recently overheard him say that he has a hot wife. I don’t know if I will ever see what he sees or what my kids see; but I am starting to see things in these selfies that I do like…my curves, my edges and my perfect imperfections.

Self-indulgent.

Of course.

Still it is a very important part of my exercise in self-love.

Self-love is about taking care of yourself inside and out. It’s about reminding yourself that even on your worst hair day with a red zit glowing at  the top of your nose, your heart deserves to smile. A smiling heart and a passionate life will create a beauty within that transcends the standards of most. Only the weak and superficial among us will be unable to see the smile that shines from within because they haven’t earned the privilege to see into our souls.

Added bonus is the kids will have a few pictures of me for my memorial someday.

And if the daily blog ruminations and selfies aren’t enough to cluck one’s tongue over…

It’s my birthday month!