Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the Old

pack up and move on!

Sure, there are some things I wish I had done differently.  I wish I could have figured out how to put health and hearth before work.  I went into this school year knowing it would be difficult.  Graduate school, midlde schoolers, education reform, constantly jumping through hoops without a moment to create or even to be.  It has not been a healthy year.

Before I get to my list of things I must do, let me complete a list of do nots.


  • I must not be reactive, living each moment because I am worried about someone else's perception of what I do.  I am going in to do my best at the task.
  • I must not sell my time for simple money.  It is precious and finite.
  • I must not lose site of my goals, my self actualization.
  • I must not forget that each day has to be made of certain components that contribute to growth in each of my roles in life.  
  • I must not sacrifice health for ambition.  


The American Dream


I'm not hungry though I may not have food choices or be able to vary the diets of my children so that they are most nutritionally sound.  I am not cold, though I may not have paid the electric bill or yet know from whence that money will come.  I have clothing though it will not get the attention that puts me equal to those who look upon me.    

I have dreamed always of more.  I have worked since I was 14 years old.  I have wanted all that I don't have and worked to get it.  I've poured hours of energy into overtime working 60 and 70 hour weeks.  I have made other men rich.

I am a mother.  I look down into shining faces and all that I might give them is taxed.  The cost of being poor is ripping from me the hope that has gotten me to this day.  I cannot buy a home because my debt to income ratio is too high. Education was my only hope and so my student loans are high.  I cannot refinance my car loan because my debt to income ratio is too high.  I can however pay $1, 675/mo in rent and have no choice but to do so because the alternative is to live in an area that takes hope from my children too.  My USED car is financed at $445/mo for 7 years.  It is not a luxury car  I feel despair creeping in and I could cry... I could accept that this is where I live and just stay here or I could say ENOUGH!  It's enough.  I don't yet know what to do about it but I have to stop the bleeding.  

My son went to cash a payroll check at Bank of America the other day and don't you know they charge to cash checks when the check is drawn on their bank.  One should open a bank account at 10 banks and just keep $2 in each to save money but someone probably thought of that and now they charge you to hold your money and they check your credit and charge you to hold your money.  They drown you in fees.   Is it any wonder people get tired and give up.  If you live in poverty your insurance costs are higher.  You have a sort of credit rating for car insurance and it is NOT based on your driving history???!!

I am always astounded by the fact the people sit in rooms and come up with figures "data" that is so out of place in the real equation.  Human need, suffering, contribution ... these things aren't part of that data.  I think with regard to loans the question is in a totally non human sense how much profit could I stand to make from this person to make loaning them some money worthwhile?  It is not simply about avoiding loss or making some profit.  The cost of being poor is exorbitant.   And the poor man doesn't have options he often cannot simply "take his business elsewhere."  What then?   How do we keep his dream alive.  What then is his pathway to citizenship?

Work hard.  check  ... and?


Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Thoughtlet on Questions ...


I am curious, always have been.  The more I seek information the more I find to wonder about.  Aside from the time (which can probably be argued) I seldom get to the bottom of a problem and that is not for a lack of contemplation.  

In the dizzying cycle of education reform and thinking about thinking, the conversations stray further and further from the obvious and by the time the obvious comes round again it will seem strange and new and will be backed by volumns of research.  Some historian will remember or find that this is the way things were once done.

I have questions.  They provoke thought not always answers.  

Musings over Coffee



I discovered last night that I have grown accustomed to sleeping for 5 hours or fewer and now I just wake up - I'm tired but awake.  I used to love sleep.  I have learned why people get fat.  If all of your time is dedicated to someone else then that moment of edible ecstasy is yours.  Sadly, it is yours to have and to hold for years to come.  I don't binge eat but I had made McDonald's a habit.  I needed the coffee but then needed to survive the day and so I would buy some cookies, someday only cookies and coffee would get me through and some days I realized that I needed more and would buy a sandwich.  I am going to have to load up on healthy snacks.  I am a grazer.  I have never been one who sits down to three square meals but lately if I live on cookies and coffee all day then I over eat a big dinner.

The result of too much work for the machine and not enough sleep has been a terrible temper.  I get so angry so quickly.  I have to get control of it before it kills me.  I have to get off the proverbial treadmill and then I have to get on a real one.  I have been paying for a gym membership and haven't gone in over a year.  I've gained so much weight.  I knew that I had gotten thicker but yesterday I was going out to walk, committed as I am to getting fit and as I walked by a store window I felt like I was looking in a fun house mirror.  Who was that woman.  She had a great a** but her center of gravity was lower than I ever remember it being. She was looking back at me, short and thick.  I looked at an old driver's license on which the weight was 125lbs and dedicated myself to losing 20 lbs.  I started already.  Ah, but I digress... this post is about letting go of the past and daring to make change happen.... RIGHT!... right?

Okay, so I have some questions and want to find people who share them and then get them to dedicate some portion of their time, energy or money to answering those questions in a way that suits them and I haven't done it.   On day one of Christmas break I felt like I suddenly remembered what I was working toward.  I didn't have a paper to write or papers that needed to be graded at that moment and I heaved a sigh of relief and began to hope again.  It felt so good.  I felt possible.

I crocheted two half scarves (lost the crochet hook half way through the first one and started another with a different size yarn.

I've started trying to do a little writing.  It helps me process.  Now to go figure out Obamacare and see if it can help me keep my children covered.

It feels so good not to be tied to anything and yet thoughts of my students return and new ideas pop up.  I mean to make this year great for them.  I needed to heal though... so much of teaching is not about them or about my ability to teach them.  Little time is left to create in the classroom once one has fulfilled so many obligations, even thinking about them is taxing because they battle for time and attention and then on an interpersonal level it is absolutely exhausting.  I stopped creating.  When so many mandates come down one just wants to fulfill obligations but that is like selling your soul.  I have been so afraid of failure with so many mouths relying on me.  My three year plan is almost completed.  Now for the next three.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Mosaic ornament made from broken pieces of CDs. Maybe this could be inspiration for a garden gazing ball.                                              


It was a nice day.  Day 5 of healing time and I am seeing that this year is really taking a toll on who I am and therefore on who my chilren will be.  It is time for change.  I've been angry.  I've had no patience.  All day every day I expect little and get less.  I raise my expectations and experience acute disappointment.  It is the throwing away of my energy.   My gifts have no place there.  Ah, but I digress... I'm still healing.

Christmas was nice.  I cooked all day.  We made cookies.  I enjoyed the time but in an instant something would be broken and whether it was a rule or a trinket I was immediately livid.  My 4 year old reached in and took a handfull of cornbread  from the middle and later told me that he was not happy at me (for the way I reacted).  When I told him that I was "happy at" him, he told me that I was not.  I chased him up the stairs insisting until he laughed.  Later he brought me something and told me that he was going to keep giving me things until I could not be angry any more.

I have reached my limit and am no longer willing to teach where I teach.  I belong to my chilren too and cannot serve these two masters.


Christmas was nice but it was not a day of my making.  My mom and sister sent gifts.  I wouldn't have cared either way except that I could see that the kids were hoping.  We made cookies and they decorated them.  They broke out the toys and put on the clothes immediately.

I'm still frustrated at the task that lies ahead but when I quietly observe I'm thankful.  We've already accomplished a lot.

I just looked at the terms of the loan on the car I bought a year ago and almost cried.  I emailed the salesman to ask that he keep my story in mind when selling cars.  They were horrible.  I walked through and was handed papers to sign.  I needed a car.  I bought it.  A 2011 Nissan Quest.  Financed at $445/mo for 6 years.  I could just cry.  I am going to cut money from somewhere else (don't know where) and start to pay on the principal.  I thought it would be good to open a checking account with Ally Bank simply because it would be easy to make my car payment but they would not open a checking acount to me.  ... I mean, why buy the cow, right?  Except that it was win win.

I'm just reminded about the price of poverty and thinking about how to change it, and thinking and thinking....

... still thinking.

Merry Christmas  ... it really was a nice day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Overwhelm

One day at a time.... Not a week, not a month...just a day...  I see life in terms of weeks, days between weekends and by Sunday night after I've read the weekly memo from my boss I'm exhausted and my week hasn't even begun.  THIS is one of those weeks all I can see is what is to be done.  When I can just tackle the moment I'm fine.  It is difficult to do.  

Sent from my HTC

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pushing Forward

Good morning sleepy head and greet the sunrise as a gift of another day :)




It's amazing how heavy the head can be when you're just trying to hold it up.  Work these days is awful!  Every co-worker I have agrees and we are all making the best of each day as we look ahead and try to create a better tomorrow.

I am taking an online course and so on the first day or so I emailed the professor and explained that I am mother to 7 and teacher to 200+ and that as important as his class is to me it had to be last and somedays I would have nothing less and so if he did not hear from me not to worry I would be back.  I don't quit.  His response was something like, "Part of taking graduate classes is time management."  I laughed.  Ha!  Who can manage time?  Really? I can't.  It manages me.  Time marches on ... waits for no man, or woman.  His response doesn't bother me or it won't unless I can't squeek through.

Balance will mean everything to me this year, diet, exercise, meditation, study.  I must keep some kind of balance.  I don't even have time to write.  I may edit this later.

For so long life has been about survival and I remember the good ole days when I used to take a moment to write, to purge.  I haven't done that in a while.

I sit here on the precipice of.... I'm not sure what.  I don't know what lies beyond now but now lacks beauty. I've listened to so many parents who seem to have me beat.  I am focused on survial, on making sure that there is some food in their bellies.  When I get home I'm exhausted and frustrated.  When they bicker it is more than I can take.  All of my patience is spent on someone else's children.  I started listening to parents and decided that I have to be one.  I can't just be provider; I'm not doing so well at that anyway.  We need time to read and talk and dream.  I need for them to think about how they can decide that their existence should make the world a better place.  I am about to take a deep breath and let go.  I am going to do what I do and not sweat anything else.  I am going to make my peace of mind my focus.  As a mother my peace of mind depends upon the well being of my children. I am going to detach from other things a bit.  I must let go of them and stop worrying.  It will cost me everything.

Work has been consuming me because I worry about my ability to continue to support my children.  There is no balance in that.  I am taking a deep breath and giving work only what it deserves and no more of my energy than that.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm back!

Aristotle



Well, that didn't work.  I guess it's time to stand up and scream.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I will just do it

get it done!





Today I want to go to the movies - alone - and eat junk food and laugh.  I would then go to a restaurant and have a light meal and a glass of wine and I would organize my thoughts.  I would list the issues in my life that need resolution and then I would think of every possible resolution.

This money would have to come from somewhere ... I would regret it tomorrow.  Usually when I do this I take one of the children with me.  It is a nice opportunity to bond.

This summer has been different than I had planned.  It has been full of things to overcome.  Sometimes get so focused on getting out of our poverty that I forget to be grateful for this moment and how fortunate we are to have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  When I passed my last graduate class I just had this overwhelming sense of relief.  I was so tired at the end that I just pushed.  The next day the next class started.  I am 4 classes from my Master's and it feels good.  It felt good to get through the last one.  I really need to put my shoulder to the grindstone, as they say.

I spend way to much time frustrated at the fact that things are not working as I feel they should but I have to admit I have't done all I can to train and motivate my children to do things as I feel they should be done.  That is the plan for today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Grass is Always Greener

It's summer and I am at home with the kids.  My summer hasn't really been child centered.  I have jumped from one obligation to the next, some more fun than others.  I have taken up Portuguese.  I have worked on my graduate school class and I have tried to get my children to recognize and take responsibility for their chores.

Life is such a struggle that I felt like I hurled my beaten bloodied body over the finish line of that last class no longer even aware of my ranking.  I fell to the ground hoping that it would be judged favorably but even as my eyes closed I knew what I would have done if...

During the school year I run around trying to at least do the minimum to maintain some reasonable quality of life.  By my own measure at the time I have failed in this time and time again.  In retrospect the stress was for naught and we were okay.

This week we switch back to academics so that my children don't fall behind over the summer.  They need to be doing timed drills and reading.  This gives me time to do my own studying and then no one has to fight over who gets to choose the television channel.

I am almost ready to go back to work?!  What's wrong with me.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Laugh

http://media-cache-ec4.pinimg.com/736x/fd/ad/a6/fdada61c9f5a3ae2ab14a1bc972b7bab.jpg


I don't know if this is true but I like it so I've decided to believe it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's all Pointless


I've had a couple of tired grey days, passionless days.  I sat on the balcony and absorbed a little sun and cleaned the kitchen but I was losing the will to do anything.

This was an older post but I was feeling so grey that I couldn't write and so I saved it as a draft.  I just thought I'd post it because this is so true.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just one of Those Days...

False
http://media-cache-ec2.pinimg.com/736x/de/c0/87/dec087d02e1bb217913cd19d529da448.jpg


It's payday!!!!...aaaaand it's gone.

I have to pay a $450 car payment, something toward the electric bill,  buy food, get gas and the next check is all rent so the food I buy has to last a month. I need to commute all next week but after that I don't need to leave the house at all except to go on walks for exercise. I'm feeling my stress level rise.  Add to that, that one of my children only owns boots and another has only 1 pair of shorts and I am thrown totally off balance.  I have no place to escape to get my thoughts and emotions in order either.

I have some books to read and that should help I need to find a corner in which to meditate.  I am really not okay right now.  I need to keep everything going but it would be so nice if I could actually pay something off or catch up on my bills.  I am going to start paying a whopping $10 a check toward the little one's hospital bill and as small as that is, we will feel it.  Looking out over the summer I don't see things improving and at the end of the summer I have to find a way to factor in child care for three.

What I need to do is to prioritize.  I want to buy a home and I can't seem to move forward at all.  I pay $1,675 for rent, more than half my monthly take home pay, with none of the benefits of renting or of ownership.  I am feeling overwhelmed.  I need to do something, but what?  I wonder if anyone would hire me for the rest of the summer but I don't want to go into the new school year already tired and still burnt out.  Last year was tough.  Also the cost of childcare is always more than the pay from a super part-time job.

I was almost sure that I wouldn't want to teach again.  I see education so differently than those who are telling us how it should be done.  Or rather their words are nice but when they put those words into effect it is just more of the same, words and paper, words and paper blah, blah, blah.  If you can't keep my attention and I want to be there how the %&$ are you going to help some children?  I think people don't tap into their inner child.  They are just sold on each new thing that comes along as long as there is some reason behind it, any reason.  I'm frustrated by it but the questions for which I have the answers are never asked.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

 I took a walk with my son today.  These are some of the things we saw.  I made a wrong turn and we walked much farther than planned.  Oh yeah, EXERCISE!  


Sent from my HTC

Saturday, June 15, 2013



Sent from my HTC

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I was thinking today of the things we tell ourselves and how we feed the machine that lifts us up.  The way we put out the energy we want to get back or the thoughts that we want to be praised for.  That is part of why I don't really do Facebook and instead write to an anonymous world.  Really I'm writing to me. I'm processing my thoughts and examining my life.  He fascinates me.  He frightens me.  He said to me that he was an open book and then I shared my blog and he realized that I was more open but not quite open enough.  ...my legs were closed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Encouragement

Perceptions

Source: Uploaded by user via :/ on Pinterest


I recently gave my web address to an old friend and was bothered by the fact that he went silent... not surprised, just bothered.  I realize that we have trouble with reality and that pity gets all mixed in with emotions that we did not choose to feel.  I don't want pity - ever... and I don't deserve it.  I give much and I am very blessed but still I know that I could give more it just wouldn't be without cost more cost.  I find myself exhausted or rather I find my self exhausted.  I try to protect the self whenever I can so that I have something left to give tomorrow.  I know that my plight is rather common but who has the time to cry out.  Sometimes it hurts.  Sometimes we all hurt.  We all have our struggle and our cross to bear.  I just think that when our hurts affect so many we should work together to change things.  Women and single moms really need to unite and form think tank on how we can solve our problems and the challenges our children face.  Let's face it, the lawmakers can't do it without us.  We need to start a real dialogue about education and healthcare and cultural exposure so that we can find a way to be the best parents.  Being sole provider often doesn't leave one with the strength to do much more and it's simply not enough to be revered once your children are grown.  We need a sisterhood.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today's advice from a friend.... FAITH

1.  Keep taking care of His children.
2.  Do for others
3.  Tell him exactly what you want.
4.  Watch and see what He does.

(some small revisions made:-)

Thanks CB

My chives have sprouted!

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

My first lettuce sprout!

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Injustice

Today they came by and took pictures.  I called the rental property and left a message. I just got their email yesterday.  I haven't yet complied with their demands and since I have to pay rent soon it will probably be a couple of weeks before I do.

Here you have a middle man who offers the owner the option to make money without the responsibility of being a landlord and no matter how wrong it is he/she is absolved of all guilt at the unfairness of the proposition and they both make money.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Lesson

Source: weheartit.com via Jodi on Pinterest



Today I learned a lesson.  It was a disappointing lesson and I need to get my head on straight to tackle it.  I am Contacting Legal Aid, the Better Business Bureau and the whoever handles landlord/tenant affairs for my state.  What ever happened to good business?

Two pictures come to mind, a tired boxer pulling on their gloves ... yet again and an exhausted soldier pulling on worn battle weary boots.  I am that person.  Life is a fight and I need to get my head right to fight it.  I cannot fight it in the garden.  I will have to write.  I'm too tired even to write the incident.  I will post the email that has upset me so.  It looks like we will have to move again.

I signed a lease with a property managing company that is an only for profit business.  I pay $1,675 a month in rent and it does not seem to cover ANY maintenance.  I am told that I am responsible for that.   They told me that if they send someone out to fix something, the bill will be sent directly to me.  I pay rent.  I will not invest in a property that I do not own and they want it back better than they rented it to me, adding a note about a hole in the door that they failed to notice earlier.  The door which, incidentally, doesn't even close. They said that I will have to repair or replace it.

The thing is that it isn't just me but my children are also victims of the bursting of the housing bubble and greedy landlords and rental agents who are charging more and more.  I am taking from my food to put them in a little better neighborhood and it just gets more and more expensive.  I am exhausted and my soul feels crushed.  How can I change this?

I wanted to plant flowers and herbs.  I wanted to be here until I could get in a position to buy but along comes a hospital bill and the kids are growing and there is the car payment and the car insurance and the electric bill which is a few hundred a month no matter what I do.  What is the answer?

Tonight I will...  I will do some homework.  I will accept where I am and vow to change it.  I will go to sleep with the first step in fixing the problem.  It seems I will be moving in 8 months.  I didn't want to yet.  Now just to prepare.  I am still not home.

I just want to get to a place where I can provide for my children what they deserve.


Here is the email:


Hello,

I hope this e-mail finds you well. Here is the violation notice from the City. Please make sure this concern is resolved and I noted a few other things that need to be addressed as well. If you have any questions let me know. 

There is poison Ivy growing along the back fence to the left if facing the rear of the home. This needs to be srayed anmaintained as to not come back. The neighbor next to you may need to be made aware as it may be originating from their yard. 


The basement laundry room door knob is loose and needs to be tightened

There seems to be a hole in the master bedroom door. I do not see that in the pictures we have prior to your move in. This concern needs to be repaired/replaced

The trash can and recycle cans can not be stored out front of the home. They need to be stored in the rear of the home

Thank you and make it a Great day!
Traci Carter for
Sherri Russell - Broker
DEMCO Properties LLC-our new office: 2126 Espey Ct, Ste F, Crofton, MD 21114

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Garden in May


Today I planted chives and two types of lettuce.  The only problem is I've lost track of some of the other things I planted.  I have these amazing sprouts and I don't know what they are.  I planted okra, sugar snap peas, green beans, cantaloupe and cucumbers.  I am also growing more basil.  Just for fun I planted a "helicopter" and I have a tiny tree growing as well.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It must be PMS...



I've got to stop yelling... I am so tired and tired of repeating myself.  I must have asked him to wash the dishes 5 times and somehow he would end up sitting on the sofa each time or complaining about what someone else was or was not doing.  I just want to stop talking.  My words are so useless.

I am putting on a Portuguese movie and cleaning my room so that I can relax and study later.  I will also work out although my knees are a little achy and I'm not sure why.  Right now I am trying to get a feel for the Portuguese language.  It feels so strange in my mouth.

I am off balance and I need to focus on me.  I will begin my workout again in a moment.  I have to seize this moment though or I will have no energy left.  I hate asking for help even from my children, even though these are their responsibilities.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Into the Silence



What do you do with a memory that never was?  I have this ...thought... it is complex; it has substance and makes me explore my limits.

In moments of mental exploration I have cast all of my inhibitions to the wind and lived every imaginable "what if."  I cannot find a reason to make it okay but for just fractions of a second I feel like I deserve to live that absolute abandon.

I don't know what to do with it.  It is bittersweet.   I have to put it away but where do I put it?  It was real when I woke up this morning and I lay there basking in a few more moments of it.  It was real when my heart skipped a beat this afternoon.

It isn't quite a memory really.
     Remember when I thought of you...?

It was an idea planted by another ... the act itself was sensual and left me ... reaching... eyes closed not wanting it to end.  It was an offer, ...   I must reclaim the real estate in my head; it is so valuable.

"All I have is my word." I get it!

Perhaps, though, it is the gift of clarity.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Source: sfist.com via Cheryl on Pinterest


They are the reason I get up each morning and the reason I sleep so soundly.  They are my laughter and my tears.  They are my fire, my fight.  These days they are the reason I need a vacation, but I can't think of a better reason to exist.      
                        Yoyissima

"My Word is all I Have."



"Sit down Negro, let's talk."
It took my breath away, you know?  That mixture of so many emotions.  That being in my shoes and in yours and in hers at the same time.  I felt shock.  I felt joy.  I felt entrapment.  I felt relief.  I felt disappointment.  ... and the littlest twinge of something without a name. I heard in your voice - confusion.  I could hear the struggle between desire and commitment, between what one wants to do and what one ought to do. You tell a story without the emotion it warrants.  I was caught completely unaware.

I've always said that it couldn't be what you described.  I enjoyed the description.  I am not that and have never been.  I was made for something else, something slower and sweeter, something without limits.  I grew up with so many limits and I don't want any more.  I was only willing to have more in life and again and again I was offered less than I had.  It was no good.

I've learned so much listening to you.  You make me think about the stories we tell ourselves, our pursuits of happiness, how our childhoods shape us, how we deal with adversity and how to love.

suelto




Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stressssssss



The fact that this is the most beautiful pic I've seen in a while should say something.  I have spent the past 16 weeks or so sitting with my feet over the edge.  I'm tired.  I'm worried about my children and my powerlessness.  I want so much for them and I simply cannot reach it.  I only have this moment and I cannot give it to them in the way that I want to.

Sleep is the new sex.  It is glorious.  But then there are alarm clocks and other realities and I must keep going.  I am presented with obstacles and I want to explain why I cannot overcome them at the moment but I haven't the words. I'm tired.

 Yesterday was glorious.  I paid my rent and so I could breathe a sigh of relief.  I cleaned out my savings to do it. I am down to nothing. I was able to go to the grocery store and pick up about 10 items for the week.  That made me feel good also.  I didn't know I'd have it and I did find $15 in the washing machine that I had lost, as I washed ... so maybe it was a good day.

I have been struggling with getting my sons into a good school for next year but I have not the time, the energy nor the resources to make that miracle happen.  It sounds lazy I know but it isn't I am all used up these days.  What I do have is the daily reminder that they are not where they need to be.  I have work to do and must go bed so that I can get up early and get it done.  "God grant me...."


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday in Spring



I think this is true in so many ways.  I haven't blogged in a while.  The school year is coming to and end and the fight gets harder and I wonder more and more why they don't take children into consideration when they spend millions on educating them.

Today I walked to the park with my children, waxed my legs, watered my plants, checked my plants and simply sat in the sun.  It was glorious.  Oh, and I took my daughter to get her hair done.  It was the single sweetest gift I have received in my life - not counting my children and I have gotten such sweet gifts.  My family is amazing.

In a moment Saturday as it usually is, begins.  I haven't done laundry in too long.  It has been a lovely day and I needed it.  I will find something better to write before too long.... I need to stretch my creative legs again...

Kindness

Who has time to be kind?  I went through life full of work and what I must do and then someone was so kind to me that it brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that we always have time to be kind.  We must...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Education

How do I make sure that my children have access to the best education?  For my sons it has been largely terrible.  For my daughters it has been okay, not spectacular, just okay.

Today I learned that my son will not be returning to the school of my dreams.  A school where every child matters and they know how to teach boys.  A school where he felt important.  I'm exhausted.  I cried when I got the letter.  I don't fit in and cannot become part of their community.  I am a single parent.  When other parents can sit and read stories I am in another classroom wishing I could sit and be silly with him and read all the books the afternoon will fit using every voice in my repertoire.

I am looking at academic potential that hasn't been tapped in each of my children and I am saddened by it.  I take a deep breath and accept that I will have to be their teacher.  I have to find the time an resources to broaden their worlds and I learned a bit of that from Mateo's time at NCRC.  I feel so sad today but I am falling into bed all used up every night.  There's nothing else from which to even make a miracle.

I'm running on 2 hours of sleep... perhaps I'll write again...

I'm exhausted and still I am thinking of how to compensate for what we lack so that they have what they need to flourish.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Problem with Religion - For Mom

Source: google.com via Barbara on Pinterest


The problem is that you just raised us to die.
-We were to live careful, waiting
-We were to leave the slate clean
-We were to follow the rules, so many - but we didn't

I want life for you.  You've been still with your eyes forced shut
         to keep out temptation and death hasn't yet claimed you.
Yet you lie there, claiming it. The weight of a secret guilt pressing you down - still.

Awake dear Mother and create the beauty you've been dying for all of these years.
Your grandchildren await the magic they've been told of.
Your children never outgrew their belief

They too sit, turning grey, awaiting their turn - to live.
They've lived in clumsy spurts driven by instinct not example

You were given that greatest of gifts thought only to belong to gods
    ... the ability to create, to speak without the limitation of words
 And it lies there with you locked behind closed lids, dormant.

For those moments when instinct drove you and you lived,
         you were fabulous.

Imagine what it would have been to live purposefully

Not deciding NOT to  but doing..
   something else
   something beautiful
   something creative
   something kind - to you,
               for you, ...for me, ...for us...

But you were not raised to live but to die.
                                                                  Yoyissima




Friday, March 29, 2013

Barnes & Noble

I want to go sit in Barnes & Noble and read my kindle.  Specifically, I want to go sit in the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble and read my kindle.  It might be frowned upon.

I usually go in there and pick out books and then buy them on amazon.  I like the store but I don't have money to just donate.  I save so much money shopping Amazon.  I do always hope I find something that is a good deal when I am in the store.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ahhhhh

... a glass of wine, The Colbert Report and a good nights sleep 'sigh'

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

God grant me...

Today I'm just hanging on...things seem pointless.  The children are bickering.  I am frustrated.  We are all frustrated.



I am struggling to figure out AGAIN how we will make it and I see a chasm ahead of me and I don't know how to get beyond it.  I am thinking and accepting. It is about to get really difficult and I am never sure that I'm up for it.  For the greater part of about 7 years now I have felt pretty empty and yet I still need to give. I have felt myself coming alive again in the past 3 years, slowly. Where is it coming from and how can I  invest it so that it pays off for the people I love the most AND the rest of us, the mommies.  I write the question but I know the answer now to just do it.  I have just a few hours left in this day to make it count.  What can I do today that will be a proper investment in tomorrow?  An investment that I know will pay off.

I still need to get away to rediscover my magic.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

... I'm Ready


Source: oprah.com via Liz on Pinterest

    This is something I should read daily because I really have to commit myself to be being daring. The other day I felt so totally overwhelmed.  The strife in my home is really getting to me.  I have loved being a mother until they all got to an age where they can bicker constantly.  It really gets to me.  I feel like all of life is a struggle and sometimes I want to rest. It is during these times that I realize that I must be more than a mother.  I must have an escape if only for a moment.  Often my escape is this, just writing something.
     But inside... inside I am so much more.  There is so much that goes unsaid.  There are dreams and plans and so much hope.  That me is fabulous.  This me needs a nap.  As I close my eyes though, I remember these words and as I open my eyes I will think on them so that I can dare to be.

Wonder

I have two children who I say were born religious.  That is probably not the best way to put it.  I should say in touch.  I don't take them to church often.  Life is full of drama but church drama is my least favorite drama.  It is wrong on so many levels...


So my 3 year-old son walks into the living room where I am folding laundry and says, "God's son is my best friend."  Now, I don't know where he get's this because he also often refers to God's brother.  I smile at him and say, "Wow, talk about friends in high places."  He thinks for a moment and says to me, "Is God human?" I say, "No, he's God."  After another moment of silence he askes me what God looks like.  I tell him that I don't know and he says that no one has seen God.  He then says, "Me tink he look like this." He raises one eyebrow seriously and then says, "But me don't know." When him tum (come) me going look at him face.  ... Can we go to his house?  I think for a moment and say, "eventually."  Recognizing my answer as a 'yes' he fist pumps and says "yesssss".  I then say, "But how about he come to our house."  This works wonderfully, he is so excited.  I then add, "but we are going to have to keep the house clean."  He runs off and tells his sister to clean the whole house.  He even asks to clean my room.  He then asks if God can come to his birthday party.  He is so excited right now. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

can't depend on anyone... not even for the necessary... there is no peace, no harmony...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Time OUT

Source: etsy.com via Jenny on Pinterest


... I was replaying the advice of a friend in my head today when I took a moment to look at how far we've come as a family and I realized that we've gotten through the first phase and though the struggles continue it is time to take a moment to start living.  Sometimes we get into the habit if giving up today with the hope of a better tomorrow but Spring is just around the corner and it is time to make memories.  It is time to laugh and attend birthday parties and go to the park and make big plans.  It is time to come out of my shell so that my children know how to come out of theirs.  So, I'm taking a moment.  I'm hanging a calendar and I'm making plans.  I'll stop writing for a moment and start living.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sweetness

I have been really worried about my adolescent son.  The other day I felt so helpless and my words were again falling on deaf ears.  I cried.  When my 3 year old saw me he slowly put his finger in the tear that was running down my cheek.  Then he grabbed my head and kissed my face again and again saying, "Don't cry ever umgin!"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Note to Self

Harmony



I fight every day for balance.  Being the mother of 7 and teacher of about 150 leaves one empty but lately I realize that I need to create harmony. I spend so much of my time saying things that no one wants to hear and I'm tired of speaking.  I am not doing it very well these days.  I know the theory but without balance I set a ball in motion that I cannot stop and then it rolls over me and the days are full of angst and frustration both for my children and for me.  I need to slow down and soak in each moment and enjoy it again.  When we stayed home from school last Wednesday I cooked all day.  It is how I dealt with my frustration.  Today I did the same and I feel too full and surrounded by chaos.  In an attempt to avoid the bickering I turned on the TV and lost the day.  I can't even tell you what I watched after Oprah - that was interesting and I want to read that man's book. The kids weren't quiet enough to let me hear his name but he is from Mexico...-

This morning I got up, made a cup of tea and tried to put on an exercise DVD when I couldn't get it to work I just did some other exercises and then one by one they came down with their requests.  No one said, "Good Morning, Mom."  I then started with my "No" over and over again, and every time I said no I could feel the anger rise within me.  No one had cleaned the kitchen last night so again it was up to me to clean it in the morning.  I don't have the patience to listen as they bicker over whose turn it is or what agreement they came to.  I am AGAIN going to write out their chores and I am going to retire my voice for awhile.  I am wasting energy.

I know that it begins with me and I must commit myself to creating my own harmony.  I must exhibit the patience I exhibit in my classroom with my own children.  Sometimes they need to be shown the way.

...but maybe that's it.  That's what we're lacking.  When who we thought/hoped we had found the final piece to our puzzle... when he walks out, we can no longer find harmony with what remains.  I know that I need to love others but deep, deep inside a small voice cries out, "but who is going to love me." and we shush her because we are ashamed of her existence.  She is the one who got us into this - "Hope."  If we can just stop hoping then we will be happy or content... maybe?  But I have always hoped and I know no other way...

I am going to close my mouth and work on me for awhile.  All of these words that I am stringing together are worthless and I must take some time to find some worth saying.   I saw a quote today that read, "You are a living magnet.  What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts." (Brian Tracy)  I thought of who I met most recently and was horrified.  I really have some thinking to do.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Get Up, Stand Up

Source: rstyle.me via Liz on Pinterest


"No one gives a f*ck about you or your children.  There is no loyalty there."

For a moment it took my breath away to hear these words, but I needed them.  I needed them to remember my voice and my goals and my life and my children and my dreams.  I am loyal to those who I feel are loyal to me and try to be kind to the rest but if life is about growth...?.  My children will never have what they deserve if I do not take chances and I have not been taking chances.

As a mother it is so hard to take chances because the cost of failure affects not only you but your children.  I feel enslaved by that fact and little by little I begin to make changes and to live again, to dare to live.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Building


I hadn't really thought of this.  My new goal is to develop habits, good habits.  I am not a creature of habit really.  I adore the new, it is the only adventure I have these days.  Getting lost (with my possessed GPS)  seeing where making a left will take me.  I need to build the new and that I begin today.  I need to develop the following habits.

1. Exercise - not random :-) My exercise tends to be rather random.
2. Carry lunch - I spend to much on fast food and am not eating a healthy diet.
3. Be kind - I stay on my children to be kind but I am not a good example of kindness when I get home.  I usually just want to get them fed and get to my work or sleep.
4. ... but not least, I need to make sure to strengthen my skills daily.

Need I Say More?

Source: zulily.com via Liz on Pinterest



Monday, March 4, 2013

Area for Growth



I envy those people who can willfully make fools of themselves.  It is one of my greatest fears and so when I look foolish it is involuntary.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Grateful




Today I feel so deeply grateful for all that I have and for my journey.  I keep being gifted with these moments where someone is more kind than they have to be and I am reminded of my own responsibility to do the same.


I saw an image of myself the other day and hated it.  I am not getting any younger but as I look at this image I see what beauty is and I hope that I laugh enough to stay beautiful and live with enough purpose that I have balance.  It is amazing how much beauty lives in just a smile.   For just a moment I gave that away again but took it back and ran and by "that" I mean my self worth.  Careless words touched me and I looked in the mirror and wondered what he saw.  It was the smack in the face that I needed never to look for approval in his eyes or his voice again.

If everything happens for a reason then perhaps I met him so that I would be able to see how much I've grown over the past decade and how much I've healed.  I remember being called strong and it was such a stupid word to me because I didn't want to have to be strong.  I would much rather have simply been loved. I have again fallen for me and for the first time in a long time careless words make me look askance at the speaker and not feel stupid for ever thinking more of myself.

Now, just to teach my daughters.  God help me!

P.S. My children said, "Mom, people will think that's you."  They sounded concerned.  I asked them what they saw when they looked at her and then I told them why I find this image to be so beautiful.

Friday, March 1, 2013

'Duh



So, there I was affronted, offended,  I mean, how DARE he speak to me like that!  So I wrote him off.  It's too bad really ... but then I was sitting casually talking to my son saying that I had complimented the man and his response was really bad. When I told my son what I called him, he said, "Of course his response was really bad.  Do you know what that means?"  ... I didn't know.  I thought I had half given him a sweet nickname and here I was offending him.  That's the beauty about life.  You never stop learning.  We shouldn't have been talking anyway but I will miss him.  He filled a little part of my day with something I've needed for so long.  I don't understand that dance though... so I'll just refocus on the things I know.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Help!



Well, my spirit hasn't been crushed just trodden upon by carelessness.  This did make me feel better though.

Too Little Sleep??




This isn't exactly a philosophy that I subscribe to but I see the wisdom here.  I was so disappointed today, and insulted and I realized that I was right a bit ago when I said that I have to cut my losses because I have allowed someone to speak to me in a way that I would never allow and have never allowed and it is mean and crude and today I just felt the height of insult.  There was just nothing more to say.  I simply saw the end of it and at the end of it I wasn't happy it ever was;  I was just disappointed in me.  Every compliment couched in an insult, every insult delivered with a smile.  And it would seem every bit of blatant honesty wrapped in an equal falsehood. I wanted to be sure I give thanks for the kindness that was no matter how it was presented.  I did.  I came out for a minute and it was fun but it is much safer in my shell.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Flirtation

I think I am supposed to get dizzy and confused only I seem to like this particular apparatus   You push me away and I come back faster the harder you push.  It is the swing.  As I drove home I thought of the fact that  I ignore my inner voice and instead indulge my curiosity time and again.  I should know better.  There is something though... distance and then apology and more distance and then contact that always surprises me and makes me laugh.  I walk away S'ing MH always S'ing MH.


It's not a steady push though.  It's kind of like he has 4 swings going at the same time and he pushes and runs to push someone else and misses a few swings and comes back and pushes a couple of times and goes.  When he comes back and is asked how he is he's tired - yeah, no sh...kidding!

And as I sat down with the intention of writing down this particular thought I did a search and  found this image and thought of how those moments of contact are a little bit like this for me.




So as I searched I found so many images that I could use to talk about this subject, like this one.



This one is relevant because there are so many on the same ride and my gut tells me that there are so many on the same ride. I call it hope and though I don't know exactly how I got on it; as I'm looking around I'm terrified (I really am terrified of the swings).

I do have a couple of questions though.  Why do people tell you they are going to call you back when they needn't call nor say that they will?  "I'll call you later," they say.  I want to say either "Don't" or a sarcastic, "I'll be waiting." but instead I just say "okay."  Why keep running back to this swing when you clearly have plenty of swings to push.  I don't pull you.  I am not calling out, "push me, push me"  ...but every time I feel that familiar hand on my back I smile.

He said he reads people well.  What does he see when he looks at me.  It must be a blessing and a curse, a gift like that because when he reaches for me I feel like he can see my vulnerability and it is both what makes him reach and holds him back.  I am ashamed of it.  Do I look lonely?  Is there longing in my eyes when I look at him?  But then he says things like he said the other night and I think for a moment that we needn't even remember that we've ever met but I learn that there are things that I will not say to him.  No, we're safe because we are the same and we will not create the situation in which to do more.  He will never allow me to truly trust him and so I will sit here and allow him to push and occasionally catch me.