This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Can't Squeeze it All In

Not enough minutes, hours, days to accomplish everything. I am behind in life and falling a few steps further each day. Ever feel this way? Yes? Good. Can you tell me how to fix it?

My priorities are out of whack. My routines have all but disappeared. My calm and smooth demeanor has been replaced with frazzle. And since my hair is already frizzy, this combo could be deadly. 

There's a crazy scripture that just about says that if something is causing you to sin cut it off. This isn't figurative language in this passage. It's speaking of ones hand. Literally. Luckily for me my hands are innocent enough. Nope. For me it's the call of television. And I think it's time to cut it off. 

I read another great quote recently that mostly says we always think something is going to be a really big deal until we do it or change it (or cut it off). But once we do it, we are left wondering what the big deal was. Why didn't we do this sooner. 

So, we are going to become those people. We are going on television hiatus. I don't know how long, and we aren't foregoing movies. That would be like ripping the veins out of my right arm. But we are cutting our cable and saving ourselves about $70/month. 

Just typing that makes me cringe. I could be putting $70/month more toward my car payment. That means I could pay my car off three months early. It means I could put that money in my fat ceramic pig and have enough money to take my kids to Disneyland next Christmas if I felt like it. It means I could pay for my going to be driving soon teen's insurance. It means I could give 14 homeless people $5, enough for a meal, every month. It means I could pay for all three of my big kids to go to church camp. 

If I were approached by a dapper stranger with two briefcases, one with money for cable and the other with any of these other options, I would never choose cable. I've been duped for two years. Five years. Dare I say 15 years we have paid for cable? And for what? Shows that keep me from playing card games with my kids. A time killer that keeps me from writing or working or taking a walk in the sunshine. A glowing rectangle that draws us in like moths to an ominous blue buzzing lantern? Yah well. I'm out. 

I'm choosing the other briefcase. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Only 9:49: a ramble

Does it matter that it's only 9:49 and already I have had to deal with a disgruntled parent, a tantrum throwing seven year old, a dog wearing a sweater, a bag of ice melted on my counter, more repeating than I should ever have to do, more repeating than I ever want to do, and more repeating?

Should I call it a day? Should I throw in the towel? Should I call it belly up? Should I look into new cliches?

Sometimes I feel like someone or something has laid eggs in my brain and is trying to control me. But I'm taking a stand. I'm going to choose a happy attitude even if I have to force slow talking v hyper reactions and plaster a fake smile on my face v a snarl.

I might also choose a nap. First I have to educate young minds. It's literature test day. Real literature, real essays, and real thinking. DEEP. I'm not talking Proust or anything, but I want real thoughts.

Speaking of Proust, does anyone ever know if that guy actually FOUND the lost time? I'd like mine back. You know what I mean? The repeating and the repeating. And repeating.

Makes me think of a joke.

Pete and repeat got in a boat. Pete fell out. Who is left?

Don't make me do this.

"Love is a reciprocal torture" ~Marcel Proust

Let's have it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm Finding

When your kids start to grow up, I mean really grow up, and they leave and discover and experience new things, people always say things like, "It's going to be great! You need to let go," or "She's going to be moving away soon anyway; this is good practice. She needs to fly."


In addition to deciding people tend to repeat phrases they have heard others say (no matter how meaningless and unhelpful they are), I also realized loosening my grip isn't the same as letting go.

Letting go means I suddenly button my lips when they ask for advice or even when they don't, and they sorely need some input.  It means they go from fully depending on me to getting nothing from me in return.

Letting go means I have decided my job as parent is finished.

There's no finish.

I know this part to be true because of the many times I call my own mother for advice and vent sessions, and because I know she will redirect me back to truth and away from what my fickle emotions are trying to convince me.

I have also decided parents tend to be extremists. Because on the opposite side of letting go is enabling. Did you know there are naughty 8 letter words? Well, this one comes across as a swear in parenting circles. Letting go means I swoop in and make up for what they have done. I apologize, I talk to bosses, I argue with teachers even when they are right, I clean my kids' rooms because they keep "forgetting", or I take out loans I can't afford because of their debt. 

So, I've come to the conclusion that I won't do it. I won't let go; I will loosen my grip a little at a time until they can stand on their own. Or fly or whatever else cliche there is. Loosening my grip means I allow my kids to reap the benefits as well as the consequences of their choices. Loosening means their boundaries are bigger, but there are still boundaries. Loosening means there will be options I don't agree with, but rather than taking away that option, I will stand by my kid when they unwisely choose it. Then I will work with them through the consequences, so they choose differently next time. Loosening means that, when they argue with their spouse and come home at midnight, I hug them and send them home. Loosening means something different than letting go.

I have three (mostly) teens. One is almost 12, another almost 13, and the big one is almost 16. I sense my time is limited with them, so I intend to be purposeful. And, my little ones, seven and nine, I have already begun loosening with them. I have no idea what I am doing with any them from day to day, but so far they are likeable creatures, so I am going to keep chugging in this direction. After all, 18 Christmases. That's it. From start to finish that's all I get.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Which One Are You?

I often feel as if there are only two types of people in this world: this time it has nothing to do with Neil Diamond. 

This time I am referring to those with whom absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the other sort: out of sight, out of mind. 

Maybe you're one of these people who doesn't know which category you fall in, but I'm certain you are one or the other. And Id wager you're the latter. Like me. 

It's hard for me to try to have a relationship with someone I don't relate to. If you aren't even in the same country it's going to be a beastly time finding common ground. 

My now hubby/then boyfriend (let's call him Mike) and I got to talking in our dating years. I confessed that I am against three qualities in a man. My betrothed may never be a musician, a cop, or travel for business. I had my reasons, and I stand by them today. 
Musicians make fun flings. In my experiences (and I've had nearly four decades of experiencing musicians) musicians struggle with the reality of what waits for them at home when they are famous or fake famous or not famous at all. I can make my own music. I'm sure there are plenty of healthy musician/groupy wife combos, but I'm just not interested. Get your harmonica and get outta here.

Police have the number one divorce rate and many suffer from anger issues. Move your funny baton down the road. I like your boots, man, but no thanks. 

And world travelers? This goes back to musician mentality with an added dose of  if I got married it means I want to be near you. 

I used to think I was pretty harsh in my rules, but I realized I am a quality time girl. I need your bod near mine if this relationship is going to work. So, if you wanna show the love, visit. 
Of course I can be reasonable. My Izzy (15) is in El Salvador for ten days. I can remember her for ten days. But I miss her. And I'm bored without her. And I may or may not sit next to her bed while she sleeps off mission trip exhaustion. She will never know. It's fine! It will only get creepy when she wakes and I talk with her in my scroachy voice* and call her mrs. Taurance while using my finger as a spokesperson.**

I will be honest and say I am a smidgeon concerned about their college years. I mean. These are my kids. I love even their rough spots because they are my babies. What if they go away and they slip my mind because they aren't close by? I've been working on a solution. We are buying a sweet RV. the big ones. The mansion types. When we retire, we will drive it from kid to kid, wherever they end up, and visit for a month at a time. Then in the winter, The Man and I will hole up in Costa Rica. 
They'll visit. I'm sure they'll visit. 

In the meantime, I'm going to work at being purposeful with anyone who isn't automatically in my every day. Because I still love all of you. I just forget to show it. 

My girl comes home this weekend. We will watch an episode of Gilmore Girls and laugh before the funny things happen and quote it and she will say again that it's weird to her that I may be a real life Lorelai because "she tries to be funny even when it's a really serious situation. She's awkward". And I'm going to choose to take it as a compliment because funny is my safety mechanism. Ahh. Life as it should be. 

*dear Addie. Thank you again for this new word. Scroachy. 
**all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.