Monday, December 31, 2012

I Hereby Resolve - 2013


Our - as in the Mommies of the world, givers and sustain-ers of life and those who have given to and sustained us. I will live this year with all my heart. To us!

I enter this year ready.  I am on the starting block.  I have a vision.  I am inspired.  Possibility is within my reach and my goal this year is to put it within reach of many.  I pray for focus and endurance when times are hard.  I pray that when times are good I remember the suffering enough to keep the passion for my cause.  I pray for laughter enough to share.

1.  I resolve to be kind.

2.  I resolve to take one step every day in the direction of my goals... no matter how small.
3.  I resolve to accentuate the positive.  To write down what is right about every difficult situation.
4.  I resolve to work out EVERY day...even if it is simply tightening my stomach muscles while I drive.
5.  I resolve to eat a healthy diet.


6.  I resolve to measure my words.
In the words of Shakespeare, to give every man my ear but few my voice.  I have seen and felt how words hurt or heal. I respect the power of words and hope to always use them wisely.

Source: via adela on Pinterest

7.  I resolve to love.

This year I have learned that I need to love.  The simple act of caring about another human being and easing their suffering in some way completes me.   I have always loved in the way that we all do, but someone stepped into my life this year and awakened in me a desire to share the love of poets.  That love for which the word itself is insufficient, which one must describe using sunrises, sunsets, volcanoes and other things that evoke intense emotion.

8.  I resolve to be grateful.
     My children and I have so much to be grateful for.  I hate Decembers because my finances are usually low and I can't do Christmas in the way that I would like to but I am always shown such incredible love.  In December I am reminded that I am not alone.  My family is different - I think but they are fabulous.  I couldn't ask for better.

9.  I resolve to create.
     As the healing continues and I find that I am not permanently broken, I realize that I have talents and skills that are unique to me.  I doubt myself less and less and I begin to put things together in ways that at least I find beautiful.  Few things are more gratifying.

Source: via adela on Pinterest

10.  I resolve to forgive.
       I remember thinking that I would never forgive him for his selfishness.  It was only after some healing that I could see how selfish and masochistic even that was.  It was hurting me to hurt him except that I was the only person who could feel it.  Do I wish him well?  Maybe in 2014 ;-)

11. I resolve to meditate on good things/I resolve to pray.
12. I resolve to dream.
13. I resolve to reflect daily.
14. I resolve to work hard.

  I resolve to BELIEVE.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Keeping Hope Alive

Source: via Mahalia on Pinterest

I just dropped off my application to rent a townhouse in a better part of town.  I am worried.  I don't feel that I am a risk if for no other reason than because I will not allow my children to be homeless.  It is not a big step up from where I am but it is a better place.  I could immediately see myself at home.  I looked at where I would put my plants and hang my pictures.  I have never wanted to hang my pictures here; most of them are in a box.  There is a place nearby that Sofía might take gymnastics lessons and well I'm excited - but worried.  Hope!!  Oh, I hope.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


This is what life looks like to me now; it is beautiful but I cannot see very far ahead.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The 11th Hour

My lease is up in two days.  My apartment is a piece of ... well, it has a roof and I am grateful for that, not $1,650 or $1,750 grateful but I am grateful that I and my children are not out in the cold today.  I found a townhome  online that I would like to rent but the realtor isn't available.  I left her a message through the site. I found her contact information and left a message at the office and then on her cellphone.  I wait.  She is renting two properties that are a possibility but she is not available.

I was thinking that I will go get the property manager and invite her to walk through my apartment so that she can see some of why I cannot sign a lease for another year and yet I am not willing to rent month to month at over $2,000 (this should be a crime) or a shorter term lease for a large increase as well.  CRIMINAL!!

I need to write a letter to the county about their illogical school hours.  They don't work for me.  It will give me some peace just to say it.  I can't imagine that I'm alone in this.

Aaaaah... I think I'll sit and watch Star Wars today.... at least one movie.


So here I have some words to think about, to live by and perhaps my first pleasure read of 2013.  I will look up her works.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Some Goals

I love resolutions.  They make me feel possible.  I am at an end so I can look back find fault with all I've done to that point and then I can shut the door on those things while vowing to do better.  I try to do this each day but the end of the year is bigger.  The things I envision are bigger as well.  This is a good everyday list.  I have yet to write mine for 2013 but I have started to think about them.   

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 ...

In a few short days I will no longer have a place to live if I do not either convince the property manager to stop ripping me off and allow me to live month to month until I find someplace better OR sign another lease.  The idea of signing another lease here hurts me.  I have chosen a trajectory for life and though I have no idea exactly where it will take me one of my first steps is to get away from here.  I must, however, do it in a way that works for me and mine.

Today I have to finish laundry and clean house.  I will then walk over to the rental office and invite the property manager to see my apartment so that she can see that this is not worth it, that things don't get repaired around here, that $1,650 a month for this should be a crime.  It hurts.  I give them money that I should be using to feed my children and put them on the soccer team and pay for piano lessons but instead I pay to live here and look at these walls.  It is a horrible cycle, a trap and so I take a deep breath and collect my strength so that I can try to break it...

An aside:

A man was describing his wife to me.  He said, "She makes well within 6 figures.  She has good credit.  She will be fine." After going on about his discontent he decided during that conversation that he loved her.  I made no suggestions but it seems that people had because he gave me arguments against leaving her.  I wouldn't have suggested it.  I just listened.  Life is complicated.  I heard about their friendship, the changes in their relationship with schooling.  I thought about the price that is always there when you get more.  I wondered about the forbidden fruit in Genesis. He mentioned more than once the little girls he refused to name, "that 5 y 7 year old,"... he will be fine.   He was talking to himself... at one moment he was a father, another he was a husband who wanted credit for a job well done and for time served and that easily gave way to him being a man, talking to a woman who didn't know if her heart could hold all of him in the way it was needed.


It was lovely but now that Christmas is behind us I am looking forward to snow.  I was awakened this morning to the lovely sound of bits of ice pelting my window.  I didn't dare to hope though since I had already heard the forecast of it turning to rain.  I love snow.  I like to stand in the window, sip hot chocolate and think while sometimes listening to soft music... it is an awesome time to plan life and to people watch.  It is so calming to even listen to the whisper of the snowfall.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Why Me? - My Own Answer

I suspect it might actually be both.  It's different.  I will be honest with you.  My first impression was surprised interest.  My second impression was insult.  You don't know it but you insulted me.  You used my name to joke with your friend.  I didn't appreciate that.  My next impression was pure curiosity.  I would listen to anything you had to say, though my ears be left flaming.  You play with words... I like that.  This combination of responses means that I will never forget anything you say so the stakes are high.

You sit with me.... talking.  What are we waiting for? ..oh, your neck hurts?  Nope!  Not falling for that one.  'whew'   ...later that evening part of me is proud but the tiniest part regrets.... but I worry that if I practice the laying on of hands miracles will happen and I need to use my powers for good.

But outside of the games and the tension there is something deeper.  A shared knowledge that neither of us knows how to use to make the world a better place and we both want to.  I will go first, being the stronger and braver of the two of us.  I'll let you know what's ahead, okay?  We'll do this.  I think that I have the ingredient that will make your recipe work and it is not a magic pill.  It is ... community.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to Me

I am selfish.  I walked out of my home this morning thinking about others.  It is the season for giving. I parked outside of Barnes & Noble.  Knowing me as I do I should have kept driving but I told myself that a book is what you get the person who doesn't need anything.

Now I should mention that my relationship with bookstores is almost sensual.  I like the feel of books and the  smell of books.  I like to read the titles of books I have no business reading.  I like to browse the "Sex & Sensuality" section, knowing that I can only live vicariously there.  I love the "Self Help" section and the journals with pictures of Paris and Venice and the leather bound ones with the odd type face that gives it such a nice texture.... I like the magazines and the "Humor" section where I try not to laugh like an insane woman...

When I step into a bookstore I have that feeling of being everywhere.  I pick up a book called "Naked" by David Sedaris. I read 1...2 pages ... I check the price which convinces me to put it down.  I bring my intended recipients back to the forefront of my mind and again begin to wander... stuff (Christmas trash) I grab some magazines for the kids... I get a latté and browse a bit more Heaven, I'm in Heaven ...  A naughty board game makes me think of a friend who can turn anything into a conversation about sex.  At his level it really is a talent.  I text him a pic telling him that I don't think anyone could beat him at that game.  I get back a smh?  I smile.  I look at a puzzle game ... it would look nice on a shelf but would it get played?  I wandered and wandered.  I found a couple of things that I would like.   I hope they do I really enjoyed purchasing them.

I picked out no fewer than 10 books that I would buy if I had the means but instead I took pictures of the covers so I can find them online or use coupons to purchase them later.


I do this every year.  I tell myself that I won't do Christmas.  I cannot.  And then here it is December 23rd and I need to find two gifts, just two, or three, maybe four.  Where to go?  It is 7am.  I have to decide quickly  I hate crowds.  I hate traffic.  I don't like buying anything just for the sake of buying something so what do I do?  I will shower dress and get out of the house.  Something small but special....hmmmm.  I have no idea.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Strength in Numbers

It takes shape slowly.  It has for years.  It hit me one day in the depths of my grief over a marriage that I wanted to survive more than anything.  I wanted the marriage to survive, that is.  I wasn't until I realized that I, the essence of me, wouldn't survive the marriage that  I let it go.  My children needed me and I was losing her, the weird, fun, wild, free person I was.  I was sad, alone and overwhelmed with the immensity of the responsibility that I had allowed to happen and yet I was in awe of the magic that each one of them brought into my life.  The sense of responsibility was almost painful.  I had to make it about me without it being about me.

In one moment I knew that my most important task was being a mother. I knew that in order to be a good mother I had to be whole and I knew that in order to heal I had to help heal another.  As I watched the 2008  political scene I was inspired.  I wondered how many of us, single mothers, would be willing, able to create a community, a safety net for us?  I wondered if we could have help with dignity?  Maybe you don't have bootstraps or you can't reach them because you have a baby in one arm and a toddler in the other.  Maybe I can reach your boot straps because my children are asleep.  We are so much.  Why can't we combine our talents and resources and be great.

I have carried this vision within me even as I cried not knowing what would happen next.  Even as I expressed gratitude for the blessings and charity that came our way.  As each old dream was unearthed and each new dream emerged I have carried this vision because it is this vision that gives me hope that makes me feel like something more than just a very tired woman who fails every day to do the job of the two people who should be raising our children.  I vow repeatedly not to let them pay for my mistakes but sometimes I wonder if they're just fated to...

At low moments everything seems to be dependent upon my credit score.  Working on cleaning it up, I take two steps forward and three steps back.  I need to move to get the children into a better school district with school hours that better fit my schedule and each other's but I need a miracle to make that happen.  How do I put distance between them and a culture of violence?

An exhausted, upset, worried and even frightened mother is not the best example.  All of those emotions live in each moment.  We try not to show those emotions.  We mask them and move on but when we shut off some emotions others are hidden until we don't feel... at least not like we did.  We try to steel ourselves against fate, against those things which are wrong but which we cannot change.  "It is what it is," we tell ourselves until we seem to posses some faith in life to take care of what we cannot.  ...sometimes when it hits the fan and a child is in trouble we just hurt but the story is too long and too complex to explain.  We are bitter because we always wanted the best for them but "we" alone were not enough.

Getting Started

Still thinking...

  • I may have a tentative name for the business...    
    • I wrote down my vision
  • I am outlining the book ... organizing my thoughts around the purpose is the most difficult part
    • ...perhaps it should be a series of essays.  I can do that.  It seems surmountable.
  • I am drawing up a plan.
                        • Thank you Dr TM

Something About Which to Think

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

I will challenge the idea that you are the creator of truth.  You speak, dancing on the boarders of civility with infinite faith in your voice, your power, your figure and your name.  You leave them dazed, unsure if they have been wounded.  We will spar.  I will make you better.  I will not strengthen the scaffold around you.  I will sharpen YOU.  Never once will I highlight an insecurity because you will never question where you stand with me.  I will make you think.  Can you handle that?

Friday, December 21, 2012

It should not be...

It should not be that a mother can't afford to feed her children AND pay for GOOD childcare.
It should not be that the less I have the more it costs to stay alive.
It should not be that I see possibility but it is not available to me or mine because of my credit score.
It should not be that things that are paid up front are more expensive because of credit.
It should not be that I am not enough.

Single Mother's Vacation

I left work at 4pm and winter break begins.  I breathe deeply and sing loudly all the way home.  For a moment I felt like I was passing out... strange. I opened the windows.  I decided that I will work out again and cut out down my sugar intake.

I have 9 days to find a place to live that is worthy of my children.  I need to reflect on this first part of the school year and restructure some of my lessons.  I need to communicate with some parents.  I need to catch up and work ahead in my online class....  I have laundry and housework and mommy work and a budget.  I need to surround myself with all of my responsibilities and find possibility.  It MUST exist.  I will make it.

I must meditate.  I must recommit myself to being better, to being whole.

An aside:
I chuckle to myself thinking that if I told my crush that I wanted to sleep with him I would be speaking literally.  I would like to snuggle up next to him close my eyes and sleep until I awaken not until someone says "mommy" or my alarm goes off...  He is my crush because he is my opposite.  He is distant and ideal.  When I feel weak or overwhelmed he seems so strong.    When I'm cold he just looks so warm.  When I feel strong he shares his weaknesses.  It fulfills some primal feminine need that I have.  It is ethereal because it must be....

The house is a wreck.  I need to clean.   I will begin now.  Paper paper everywhere but none on which to write.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It was so nice to finally hear from you...

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest


I won't even wonder why.  I said something and the humor was lost.  It was wonderful to have someone to talk to and as long as I remember I will feel gratitude.  It was nice.  I will file the smile and whisper and words. I will remember that you said the unthinkable and I smiled because you said it to me.  I was shocked and honored but I listened too.  In one conversation I said to you, "I hope there is another you out there."  By the end of that conversation I was thankful that I didn't meet the you that you were talking about.  I was glad not to hold the other side or one of the other sides to those stories.

I turn away with a smile.  You weren't mine and I knew you wouldn't be.  Someone else will listen and write poetry and read - I hope.  It was a gift but it was perishable and I consumed all that it was.  I say with greedy pleasure.

Perhaps it was that there was only the one opening and I didn't or don't want THAT position.  I had to be that honest with you but not while you were creating such images.

Goodbye my friend.  I wish you good things.  Perhaps this is God saying that I'm not as strong as my words.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Moment



Yeah, guess where I am?  ....Nope.  Guess again.....  No that's not it either.  .....
Listen.... (opens door to phone box so he can hear passers speak)
Did you hear that?
NOW do you know where I am?....  Uh- Uh  .... I'm in ....

I told you that I wanted to run away.  Yeah, I needed a moment.  I needed good Indian food and a moment at the theater and the ability to get a great cup of tea anywhere.

 I needed to move around for a moment more outside than in but still connected.  How are you?  I wish you were here.  The impossibility of you both fills me and deplets me.  You gave me your truth.  I honor it as I must ... but I don't want to.  I am proud of me though - so strong in my resolve.

Remember that day I wore those boots and that skirt with the slits up the sides.  I so looked forward to what you would say but you..., you... missed.  I was disappointed.  I had so much fun putting that on.  It was more me than you've ever seen. ....I dressed "up" one day and people were shocked.  I guess no one really knew I had knees.    You do that every day and I don't look for your flaws.  I see you as perfect because I can.  It costs me nothing.  You looked exceptionally nice that day, if I recall.

What?  (closes the door to the call box again as if that will make it quieter)  Yeah, you too.  (taps on the door of the phone box)  They're calling me.  I've gotta go.  Hugs.  Take care okay?  Bye.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Twin Birthdays

The wine was for me.  I went to Macaroni Grill with the children and the waitress came over and offered me a taste of the house wine.  It was really nice so when she offered me a glass I said, "yes".  When she poured it into what to me is a Cracker Barrel orange juice glass, I was so disappointed.  The food wasn't good either.  I had  a dish I had gotten numerous times and it just lacked flavor.  I almost never salt my food at restaurants but I had to that day.  I gave the rest to my children later that day.  :-(  Disappointed but still nice to spend an afternoon out with the children.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Sir:

Source: via D Mike on Pinterest

What I would have to say if you were indeed speaking of me...

It would seem that I am over qualified for the position. I am more than you seek. It would have its moments of beauty but it would hurt like hell. I would love you but you know that without me saying so. You can tell how I love but you prepare the ground with honesty. As I keep trying to tell my son, we're wired to love... to have AND to hold.

How I love:
I've never given a damn about flowers unless they are planted. I don't see the love in expensive gifts; a gift, to me, should speak exclusively of our relationship and might even be something one found on the ground. A well timed dandelion will make my week. In my collection I have dried weeds, rocks the shape of hearts, napkins with notes on them and so much more. I crave knowledge and when I find knowledge that excites me I want to share it and that connection is... beyond words.  I also crave what you crave...

I like you but I still don't know where to place you. You're dangerous because you could make me regret, make me consider the moment over the memory and good memories can be painful too. My mother once told me that if you want sex you can't just have it and extinguish the desire you will want more, you will always want more. (She really did :-)

We are alike in some ways that I will never articulate.  When you talk I am looking at you and I am actively keeping myself from saying.  "Yes!!"  "Now!!"  If you are who I hope you are somewhere ages and ages hence we will laugh at today's tension.

I have also looked at your qualifications for my openings and I must say that the job for which you are applying doesn't seem to be the best fit for you, though you do seem to be qualified.  I am afraid that your availability doesn't match with the needs of the opening. One of the issues is that pay would not be commensurate with experience. I have looked over your  experience and education and I do hope that we can reach an understanding. 

What absolute fun you are!  I will even miss trying not to look at you today lest you make me laugh and give away my crush.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


"Never call me at night," I should have said.  "I'll tell you everything you don't want to know.  I am open when I'm tired.  I let my feelings spill out of me, just overflow unchecked," and he had inspired some feelings.  I felt bereft.  I have replayed the words... good words... "bad" words and enjoyed the music of them.  I want to hear the next song....

I was looking for images for the word "play" ... thinking of course of that game of all games.  I can't seem to find the rule book...  I found myself wondering about the uses of that word.... play.... to play a game... winning ...losing... to play an instrument.... to make music... to create... to bring to life the soul's song... to be played be toyed with.  I wrap my mind around all possibilities and steel myself against all possibilities..

Every day I will force myself to forget that we've spoken.  I will throw myself into my work.

When handed his soul I take and put it someplace safe.  I am honored.  When I bare mine I am embarrassed that I felt so comfortable. I imagine it's like being told that you did something unexpected while drunk that you don't remember.  You laugh too, but it is an uncomfortable horrified laugh.

Up at 3 am this morning, I was thinking and doing laundry and washing dishes and thinking and getting ready to cook for the day and writing my paper and doing homework.  I love mornings but still..... thinking. I appreciate the story.  There I sit in the center totally entertained as if I am not the writer but a conscious character awaiting what will befall me next.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Real Page Turner

"I'm an open book," he says.  "Ask me anything," he says.  I am beginning to think that that book is the Kama Sutra - no complaints.  He surprises me every time he opens his mouth and takes me to places that I didn't intend to go during business hours.  He leaves me in screaming laughter.

We had a piece of a conversation.  It was complicated and left me with a lot to think about in terms of who I am, who I have decided to be.  What I am at present though is totally inspired.  I feel.

I don't trust easily and just when I start to trust anyone I am always disappointed. I just decide to be kind and walk away because that's safe.   I decided that I would be receptive to him but that I will not reach for him.  I have already failed miserably at my decision not to hope.  I know this because I check my phone too often.  My hopes are simple.  I want to hear his voice.  I want to laugh.  I want to hear him laugh and then I go home and face real life -smiling.

"I read people well." he says.  What do you see? I asked.  No answer....

Friday, December 7, 2012

"Let me tell you something," he whispers.  

Climbing Fences

Source: via Ruth on Pinterest

I climbed a fence yesterday.  It wasn't a huge climb but being grown it was such wonderful fun.  I fell asleep thinking about it.  I laughed so hard.  "I climbed a fence today," I thought to myself and when I could contain it no longer I texted my friend.  I climbed a fence today.  It still makes me smile and it made the person driving by smile also. The other teacher I was with yelled out, "Gas is expensive!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

To be Undone

How can I go back to being who I was before I knew ... before I spoke...?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Here & There

I am going to start planning to do nothing on Saturdays but meditate and forgive myself for all that I didn't accomplish during the prior week.  Then, at the end of the day I will create a list for my Sunday and go in with a plan.  I always intend to conquer my world on Saturdays and then suffer from such a deep sense of failure when I don't.  Perhaps if I actually plan to rest and meditate and exercise - non -paper activities I might feel successful.

Last night I worked out.  I will work out every day.  I WILL work out EVERY day!

I find that I am so far removed from my passions that when I take a moment to do what it is that I love to do I feel that I am wasting time.

Yesterday I felt an acute sense of loneliness.  I miss my friends.  I enjoy people but I have few true friends and I miss them.  There are some conversations that I will only have with them and those conversations should be had over wine or coffee and a good meal or a sinful snack NOT the internet.

So, today I focus on the very intense month ahead of me.  I have to find a home for us.  I would like for it to  have a place to plant gardens, flower, herb and vegetable. It has to be a healthy environment and as I sit here I try to clear the clutter and focus on those things.

I will try to live this week in a state of meditation.

Friday, November 30, 2012


...then I have met the most beautiful person.  May he never get glasses as long as our paths cross.  He's mischievous and playful and flattering and awesome.  He makes my days.  I'm too tired to write more but I laughed today.  I wanted to be able to remember that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One of Those Days

I put one foot in front of the other all day.  I walked in circles, repeated myself, said the same things I do all the time. The pile of papers on my table grew.  I spoke more loudly.  I yelled. My voice was shrill.  For moments I would think about where we are going to live or how we are going to make it and I would need to catch my breath.  I pushed through.  And then at the end of the day I decided to speak to someone who doesn't deserve my words and he yelled at me.  Normally I yell back and walk away laughing.  It doesn't get to me.  He is like that.  Today, before I knew what was happening I broke.  I felt the tears come and I turned my back and quickly walked away with him yelling behind me that he was joking.  He wasn't joking.

I walked quickly down the hall looking for a room with no one in it so that I could just cry it out.  I turned the corner and there were people I greeted them quickly and made my way upstairs to an empty room, cried, washed my face and cried again.  Why is everything getting to me now?  Someone came in to clean the room.  I told her how I hate to cry and she told me to cry, to get it all out and then to have some wine and chocolate.  I couldn't find wine but I did buy chocolate.  Now to write a paper and plan tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I hatch such wonderful schemes.  I have plans.  I have purpose.  I also have responsibilities that must be met before I can live in that in-between place where tomorrow is made.  For me, it is in the wee hours, neither day nor night.  ... it does take courage though.  It takes courage to determine which of today's musts can be overlooked for an investment in tomorrow.  I set aside a little time to ensure a life and not just an existence.   

A Strong Finish

Today I have to work but I also have to map out a plan to move forward from now to the end of the year.  Nothing that lies ahead of me is optional but each task must be conquered in an organized, well planned manner.  I cannot do stress this month.

Source: via patricia on Pinterest

I simply must stay focused and handle each task as if it weren't mine.  You know, you go into the office (when you're not a teacher) and you do what lies in front of you without thinking about how it affects your life or doesn't.

I don't have time to even dream right now but if I somehow manage to get these things done, then I will find when I take a moment to reflect that I have indeed moved closer to my goal and my "dream" is tangible.

In that plan for the next few weeks, I must include my health.  That is the only way that I am going to get through it unscathed.  I must schedule glasses of water and stretches and moments to laugh. I must go through checklists and delegate...  I must do a bit of pleasure reading.

Today I will do my assignments for this week and organize the rest of my week.  Dear God,  Please send snow.   Love, ME

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Just Listened

I didn't now you...well, I don't know you and I didn't understand why we were having that conversation.  I just listened.  I deconstructed your face as I watched you speak and I listened.  I wondered why we were still there.  Were you being polite?  I should have warned you that I don't know how to say goodbye.  It feels rude.  It's never the right time to break off a conversation.  I listened but I prefer to write.  If I had known you I would have said,  "Me too!"  When you told me that God had put you there for a reason.  I don't know if my words would have been as sincere.  I have to believe that my struggle is not in vain, that what I have learned about being a mother and a woman will save someone a tear.  I believe that, most of the time, and sometimes I just say it because I need to believe it again.

I would have asked questions when you told me what you want to do because even though it isn't good listening, it made me think of what I want to do and I would have told you all about it.  I just listened.  I would have gotten your opinion.  I would like to know where you would begin if your vision was like mine.  

We are the same. You have lived something good that you want to share and I have lived somethings that I would like to help others to avoid...maybe we are not the same or maybe I just didn't ask the questions.

I would have laughed at you and scolded you for referring to yourself in the way that you did.  I thought hmmm you don't know me and yet you keep talking.  I tried to refer back to the original conversation but it no longer even made sense.

You said the intimate questions are the best ones.  I responded, "I know, aren't they?!!"  I will never ask them.  I will text something simple and you will text something suggestive and you will never see how hard I laugh when I receive your text.  I will respond to that text with the sole purpose of making you laugh harder.  ...and I will NEVER AGAIN correct your grammar!

But you will never know that I will flat iron my hair and workout daily because I understand from whence cometh my laughter and you won't know how you give me my power back.   This is where it must remain and as it must remain.  I've got to be a momma but for a moment in ways that only I am privy to, I get to be a woman too.  

Worth it...

It is always that I should have done more or said something different.  I spend most of my time feeling silly.  I seldom allow myself to be silly, though I love deeply the few people with whom I am comfortable enough to be truly silly....

2012 comes slowly to a close, slowly because the weight of responsibility has slowed me down.  I relived Tuesday's laughs all day Wednesday and then wondered what new laughs I missed because I wasn't in the moment.

After I caught up on my class work and was able to breathe I was able to relax for a moment and remember where I was going, am going.  I was just running, all out, away from poverty and want and constant feelings of not being enough when things are busy and of wanting a moment of quiet luxury once things have slowed.  For just a few moments I can sit back and just enjoy the ride.

If I've learned nothing else, I've learned that life doesn't just stop because you do and if done right, a time of quiet reflection, a momentary pause will help you to give purpose to that very moment which will give purpose to the rest.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Journal

This blog has really been a tool for me.  On one hand I totally intend to do like the rest of those who find success and put these days so far behind me that I won't even remember them but as I seek to help people who are going through these times too, when I have the luxury of doing so I will need to remember.

Another reason for the blog is just that it is cathartic to express some measure of what I am feeling, express as in get out, especially when I am overwhelmed.  This is a glorious moment; the children are asleep.  All I hear is the sound of the washing machine and dryer.  And the first of three assignments is almost finished.  I sip my coffee and wake up.

With any luck I'll have time to do the girls' hair today AND mine.  I can handle this week...yes... YES, I CAN!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It will be Okay...!!!

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

I'm exhausted.  I woke up to screaming children.  "Get outta my room!"  I woke up in a less than sweet mood and I have to fit a lifetime into this weekend so that we can make it through the rest of the year with some measure of hope.  All day every day I say, "Be a peacemaker."  My words fall on deaf ears and I am not the person to teach them how to manage their anger or better relate to each other because I have exempted myself from those rules due to lack of sleep and general overwhelm.

... the children did get it together and started to clean the house.  I am out of words.  I talk and talk and my throat is sore and I'm tired.  I think I'll refrain for a while.  They interpret my silences much better than they do my words.

Lately I've felt my overwhelm physically.  For the first time since having 7 children I feel, um, beaten.  I don't know if that is the word but the constant bickering is getting to me and the only thing that I can do is worse.  How do I teach them to cope when I am not sure that I can?  Being able to cope is one of the most important lessons I can teach. 

Then there is the "compromise"  I must tolerate all of the decisions of my oldest because I need him to do what he is doing and take the little one to school.  That has been the biggest part of the blessing/curse.  I always have to bite my tongue and bury my pride and swallow my tears because when I weigh the benefits against the deficits I cannot afford to do otherwise, if we are going to advance as a family.  The disrespect concerns me most but first I must get through today.  There are real concerns like food and clothing and shelter and pride just has to be put aside. 

Life lacks balance right now.  If there is balance anything is possible but when there is not one must push with the hope that there will be.  This weekend is dedicated to tomorrow.  It is dedicated to eventual balance.  Today is so important.  This cannot be how my story ends.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ready, Set, GO!!!

It's early and my coffee cup is empty.  I have so much to do today and I just need to get my mind right first.  I need to embrace optimism.

I can allow myself to read the New York Times in the morning until my coffee cup is empty but then I must start work.  ... my attention is divided. I need to wash but the washing machine is not working properly.  I have work to do for my classes and classwork to do for my job.  I also need to communicate with parents and do my lesson planning for the week.  The easiest and most productive thing to do today will be to design some learning games.

I have long suspected that I had what some might refer to as an attention deficit disorder.  When I was little I would stuff my ears, usually with tissue, if I needed to concentrate.  Yesterday I had to put on earphones but I enjoyed the music too much.  I need to find a corner to read in.  I may go to Panera, I may not.  I spend money that I cannot afford to spend there but I do get work done and I must get through this day having raised my grade from an E.  Overwhelmed with observations, Sandy, sick children and work I dropped the ball.  Today I must pick it up and run.  This is one of those moments where I am running for my life.  The tasks in front of me are not insurmountable but the closer I get to the end of the day the bigger they feel.

I look into my mug and wonder if I should have another cuppa or if it would just make me jittery.  I so enjoy the act of drinking a cup of coffee.  I don't even know that it wakes me up or gets me going.  I like the feel of the warm mug in my hand and the smell of the coffee.

I need to have a fabulous week.

Thinking about the little ones...

One of my children wakes up when I do every morning almost no matter what time it is.  He senses that I am awake and comes out of his room.  I send him back to bed one, two, three times.  He sits in his bed with a chapter book (I am almost certain he can't read whole sentences in the book).  He has decided to be a reader and carrying big books makes him feel smart.

My oldest daughter is finally beginning to care about how she looks and she has accepted that I cannot keep up with her hair so she has started to do it herself.

My second daughter has perfected getting under the skin of her siblings.  She can make them cry with impotent rage by little things she says and does.  They return the favor.

My oldest daughter's twin has found his goofy side and it is maddening.  Why is it that when boys that age play they don't care if the other person wants to play or not?

The baby, who they keep telling me is not a baby, is just the funniest person ever.  Yesterday he wanted chocolate.  His sixth sense is candy/McDonalds detection.  I sent him to go ask his oldest brother.  (I knew there was no more but he doesn't take no for an answer very well.)  My oldest son was taking a shower.  The conversation went something like this, each one yelling through the bathroom door. Mateo is 3 years old.

Isaac:  Hey Mateo hand me a towel.
Mateo:  Isaac, can I have some chocolate?
Isaac: There is no more chocolate.
Mateo:  [after a few seconds of silence].... so you don't need a towel?
Isaac: Ask mom if she'll take us to the store to buy chocolate.

I imagine that Isaac got his towel.  Mateo came back out to me and asked if I could take them to the store to buy chocolate.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I've Got This

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

This is the part of the week when I feel that I have squandered Saturday, my biggest work day.  I feel that way because if I don't have 10 loads of laundry done and a research paper written, if I haven't gone to the grocery store and figured out what the children are going to eat for the next two weeks then ahead of me I see a mountain - or rapids.

The truth is yesterday I pulled up and printed my reading for my online class.  I made two attempts to begin my work but couldn't decide which format I preferred and finally I decided that I didn't have the background information to do my work without doing my readings first so I decided to start with those.

My lease is up in two weeks and I don't even know how to begin to think about where to move.  I need to dedicate a day+ to that but I have so many deadlines looming and so many I've missed.  In a moment I am going to go finish organizing my study space and settle into my work.... after I wash my hair.  I still have to go to the grocery store.

This time of year I feel like an ogre.  I wear jeans not dresses.  I wear my hair in a ponytail and I don't shave but every once in a while I realize that I might actually want to be noticed.  Today I will wash my hair, bleach my upper lip :-) and shave my legs.  I will be a girl again.  It feels endless and useless but for a moment it makes me feel confident.  In the Spring I will make the real transition which involves waxing, threading and  Barbara at the Dominican hair salon - I need to find a new salon though.

My exercise goal is to lose the wiggle on my arms by spring and decrease my overall body fat percentage.  Zumba, I'm back.

... and still I need to steer my cubs to safety.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keep Going

I am cautiously optimistic.  I am behind in my graduate classwork and exhausted after a demanding week in the classroom.  I have thought of 50 things that I would like to accomplish this weekend.  I will begin first thing in the morning. I am tired.  In a moment I will turn on CNN and doze off.

I read the New York Times for the first time since election night - one article.  I haven't had time to do anything. I will keep going.  My daughter is cooking tonight.  I think I am too tired to eat.  I will take a shower and have tea before I sit down. I feel grateful  the week ended much better than it started.  The children are wide awake.

There is so much that I want to do this weekend. I pray for the fortitude and the ability to block out distractions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!!

Why I Voted for Obama

As I listen to all of the talk of the election I hope that it comes down to millions of voters like me to whom no one asked any questions.  I hope that we come out in droves and quietly say our piece.  I stood there this morning and watched the place fill up.  I took my 11 year old son so that he could see the process.  We arrived about an hour before voting started and we had walked in the cold to our local polling location.  This morning was the first time this season that I have seen frost.  We talked.

I looked around the polling station and the beauty of where I live is that you see quite a few newer Americans.  I could hear their accents.   There were Indian accents and African accents and the man behind me was born in Jamaica and stood there proudly with his son.  We wanted to quietly make history again.

I signed onto Facebook this morning and read some of the comments under the pictures of our President and I was saddened and disgusted with people.  I think Facebook is not good for me. I signed off remembering why Facebook is something that I don't frequently do.

As my son and I walked back I listened to the rhythm of our steps as we crunched the leaves underfoot.  He told me how he used to cry when I would drop them off at Grandma's and I told him how I felt on all of those days and why I work as hard as I do.

I pray that one by one without fanfare we bundle up and brave the cold so that our children have the best chance.  I don't think that Romney is a terrible person but he has no idea what the struggle is and he doesn't seem to be the least concerned with that door ahead of me that just has the slightest light coming through it and the way give my all every day to be closer to it.  He would close it and I will not let anyone deny my children the opportunities they deserve but how much of my life do I have to give and who will pick up the torch if I have given all?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Make it all Better

It's all starting to feel quite a bit bigger than me.  I have been thinking all morning.  My concerns this week are what are we going to eat and will one tank of gas get me to payday?  I have to put my blinders on but how do I do that when I just want to bury my head in my hands and cry?   This time of year is the worst.  It always is.  I hate Christmas because people to whom I cannot give anything give to me and my children and I have to smile and thank them when really I feel like I owe so much.  I just want to go far away because I cannot afford the transaction that is civilized life. 

Yeah, I know this will pass.  I paid the babysitter $50 of the $160 I owe her but that leaves me $2.13.  I paid part of the electric bill and hopefully that will keep it on.  I have the car payment coming up.  I have too much work to do today to feel like this.  I have done 3 loads of laundry so far and I'm still working.  I am packing away summer clothes because as long as they can reach them they will wear them.  The car breaking down and purchasing the used car wiped out my savings.  I was so proud of that little savings. 

The kids are going to school without lunch every day and I am going without lunch as well but I can handle it.  This should motivate me.  This will motivate me.  I'm going to go wash my hair and sort laundry until I can quiet my mind again enough to read.  I have so much work to do for my students.  Right now though I would like to ostrich; I would like to hide out until things are better.  ...except that I know that they don't get better unless I make them better.  I take a deep breath and plow on vowing to make it better.

Another Beginning


If this is true, I am really living now.  It seems like every day I say that I will do something that I don't complete.  The error I usually make is sitting down.  Once I sit down I fall asleep.  I come in the house from work and feed the children and wash the dishes and put a load of laundry in and I must keep going because if I sit down or lay down I fall into dreams of a different life - the life that I am creating.

Last night after doing all of those things that must be done as I walk in the door I took a shower and then curled up with my laptop ready to work.  Soooo I slept with my laptop last night.   'sigh'.  This morning I am working but decided that before I really begin I must reflect.  I am just a little inspired to work out today.  I think that I am going to start working out again.  I usually give up on anything that involves leaving the house (other than work) for the entire winter.  There are some awesome things going on downtown for kids but I can't seem to get past the weather. 

Today I would like to be able to complete my lesson plan for my observation and write 2 research papers and respond to all of the discussion questions for the entire course.  If I can just do the first 2 things I will feel that I have accomplished something.  First cup of coffee finished I am about to have a cup of tea. 

I had gotten away from working on me.  I will begin my exercises today.  In a small way I had started to exercise again when I got my car.  It just helps me with the sacrifice.  I do my belly exercises while I drive. I need to work on the cardio.  I look in the mirror and I am not entirely unhappy with my body.  I need to tone. 

The most difficult part of single parenting is finding balance.  Time marches on and I must find a way to take care of me physically and to continue to grow spiritually and intellectually while I do the same for each of my children. 

The sun is coming out.  It's going to be a good day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just Breathe

I have to resign myself to the next couple of week.  After I pay the bills there is no money for anything.  There will be no lunches for the kids but there will be dinner.  I will do my best with what we have.  I musn't feel anger or pity it just is what it is.  I just feel overwhelm right now. I hate that I have to give them rice with the latest news on rice. 

Tonight I need to write two papers.  I will write them and I am motivated by what we don't have right now.  I have to get to a better place.  I am sorry that for this moment I cannot give them all.  Deep breaths.  I must make peace with this reality.  For a couple of weeks I am going to bury my head in the sand and just do what I have to do.  I simply must fix things.