Friday, April 25, 2014

The Waiting is the Hardest Part.

If there is anything I have learned from a 15 year yoga practice is to wait.  Just wait. Wait and something will change.  Maybe you are prepared for the result.  Maybe not.

In my last post, I spoke about a change that was going on, a reawakening of sorts.  That was the honeymoon phase of what has proved to be a long, drawn out, uncertain time.  When I would think about it I would ask myself "Well?  What the hell are you waiting on? Get changed and move on already"  But if life were that simple I would be thinner and have a better garden.

All in due time, self.

The moments that catch you unawares seem to be the most poignant.   For some back story, G Dub and I left our church congregation which isolated us from many that we had high emotional attachment to but gave us the space to concentrate on us and our immediate family.  We still can't describe why we needed that as a church family should hold you together, support you. But we have been visiting another congregation, in the meantime, to keep us and the Little Monsters within the faith and not lose sight of this journey.  But I noticed I have been holding back.

This church has music, which is a new component of our worship.  If anyone knows me, music can make me crazy, like when I listen to Metallica while driving; it makes me think nostalgically of past loves or funerals.  Or most importantly, music will drive me to tears.  And tears are not something that I share easily or, God forbid, someone know that I have them.  I have been moved to hidden tears for weeks.  I can't let them fall for fear that they may never stop.  I can't respond to an alter call for fear that they may never stop.  I can't speak about it for fear they may never stop.

Looking into the face of an emotional breakdown and letting go of attachments is proving to be a little much for me.  It's a loss of control over where I'm going.  I can liken this to a hermit crab that grows too big for his shell and is in search of a bigger home to grow and develop.  Letting go of a perfectly good shell only to occupy a space to which you have to fill with meaning and value is a hard concept.  Maybe not for a hermit crab because I'm sure he feels better but it is for me.  So there is why I wait.  Where is my bigger shell?

Going back to yoga.  My body has changed since having the Little Monsters and I need yoga.  It's not like when I started and I could just do whatever I wanted with my body and not worry about the mindfulness of my practice; no, I need it to keep me strong and now to bring acuity and strength to my mind.  I'm not there to socialize.  I have to talk enough.  I'm not there to meet people. I know enough already.  I'm not there for anyone other than this little body that I have been given.  I walk in, do my yoga and leave.  I leave happy. I leave recharged.

I have switched disciplines of yoga too.  Gone are the days of precision with Iyengar.  Give me a vinyasa that opens my heart, that doesn't matter if my pinky toe is pointed correctly, that lets me feel joy at just being able to show up.  Because you know my Monsters will find a way to thwart the best laid plans.  Like today - we were late and I missed the exit on the interstate so I missed the basic class. Today was my first real Ashtanga class.  This was not coincidence.

I was in pain but not like I thought.  I was more open than I thought.  I was sweating more than I thought.  And in Savasana the tears that rolled into my ears told me that all was well.
And the tears stopped just like I thought.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not Even Explainable

Well, hello there. My name is Fastlass, how are you?

 I feel like I have to reintroduce myself. And I'm resurfacing as a newer, if older, woman. Still greatly depended on, still ADD, still the same ol' me but with intelligible thoughts. :)

A reawakening is going on here and it's long overdue. So looooong. While raising the Little Monsters (so coined by PawPaw and said with devotion) I have forgotten about my marriage and about me. And that's fine. The most important job took my time and I kept hearing this benign statement of "You have to make time for yourself". It is physically impossible for my eyes to roll large enough to show how moronic I think these words are. If you know a mother or a mother that works outside of the home, go hug her. And hug her with genuine gratitude. You should be doing this anyway but if it's been a while do it. Now.

 This weekend was a total recapture of psyche. G Dub and I are feeling just a nip of guilt at the level of selfishness going on here but also a defiance that screams " WE JUST WANT TO BE TOGETHER AND DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR RULES!" We didn't care about popular convention anyway but well intended and copious unsolicited advice about family has made us bust out like depraved convicts into our happy zones of yesteryear. We giggle at the pics of us as 25 year old children. Blush at the gushy notes and letters. We've had a lull but grown together again with a greater purpose and sense of responsibility. We feel young and in love not roommates reacting to needs. Ahhhh.  No explaining where we have been; just moving forward.

 I'm going to go ahead and mention the inspiration for this entry. We spent last night listening to Lucinda Williams and sat with a couple that were just the nicest folks to be with. We were in the media section, having used my skill at getting to the front of the line and pissing off opponents sans regret, heehee, and met Alicia and Jim. It was cathartic for us! We immediately had topics to speak about and a general sense of good feelings - and they say that don't get out much either due to children so how ......shall I say serendipitous?

 So much so that we were exchanging contact info within 10 minutes of sitting down!? Someone would be interested in reading my blog? Really? Holy Lord, someone wants to know about us and the people we ultimately are? What?? We are not just the Monster's parents, we are still ourselves and it feels amazing to share this with, essentially, the best of strangers.

 We've pinky sworn that this will continue. I will continue with my letters to my children so when they are in therapy they will know exactly where to place the blame, continue with date nights where Bobbie's Dairy Dip is the grand finale, plan my next tattoo.  Smile more.

 G Dub, you are the neutron to my proton. We are the Helium of the universe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whole lotta Shakin' goin' on!

Serenity NOW! That was the battle cry for our 10 anniversary. And for the first time, G Dub pulled off a surprise.

I got a card on my wedding anniversary with a confirmation letter in it. I had a choice whether to open it or not and since I am the gal that wears a new pair of shoes out of the store after purchase I was stunned that I didn't rip it right open. Way back in the Dark Ages when pictures were developed I was also the gal that tore into a newly developed pack of pictures before I made it out the door. I'm just that impatient and cannot wait through morsels of information to get to the finish.
I still didn't open it. Whew, that was tough.

I wanted the element of anticipation. And I wanted to give G Dub the warm and fuzzies that come with pulling off a surprise. It worked and Friday evening we pulled up into Shakertown Village in Kentucky. He kept telling me that we were going to violate my parole by going across state lines ( eye roll). I haven't even come close to breaking the law in 4 years - aside from speeding, of course.

I think he found the quietest location on Earth.

Some comparison stats: The Steele's v. The Average Shakertown Visitor
1. We were the youngest couple lodging there by 25 years. That ain't a joke.
2. The party drug was Cialis. We were not tempted and avoided the pushers.
3. We could walk quickly.
4. We could hear all presentations.
5. We didn't look lost all the time. There were only 10 buildings, come on!?
6. A large tour bus did not drive us there.
7. Instead of being tempted by the Cialis gang, I was more tempted to pick all the produce out of their awesome garden in the middle of the night and make baby food out of it.

All joking aside it was phenomenal. A little back story. G couldn't find a place to go that wasn't hustle and bustle. Big cities are pretty cool but for a day and a half you have to fly there, run to get bags, get transportation, lodge, find a pace to park, transport to entertainment, try to park again, be entertained, get back to lodging, park again, get on the airplane and go home. WoooWee. We do that crap everyday and with little humans attached to us so, no, no crazy big city needed.
Our friend, Rod, had taken G there a few years ago and it made an impression.

Now to talk about the Shakers. I see their point. Maybe not the point that the founder, Ann Lee, was seen as the Second Coming ( although she never claimed it herself) but the redemptive quality of shaking off your sins. That you were not truly cleansed unless you had danced until you had nothing left to give God. Strange as it may have looked I bet it felt good. Like the endorphins after a workout - that feels pretty freeing and now claim that the Spirit moved you and you have a full on religion!
They really did seem like sweet people and man, they could make some cool stuff. I like that they viewed their work as worship. I'm not going to go in tomorrow singing "Peace in the Valley" but it put a nice perspective that I really should do my work to the best of my ability and to appreciate it as a blessing.

All we heard were birds, bugs and some live music Saturday night. Very refreshing, very renewing.
Then BAM! Monday happened and Max has pink eye, Hank is defiant as ever and it's the end of the fiscal year for our lab funds.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Forgiveness Patience and Scratching My Eyes Out

What is the indication that it's been too long since I've blogged? I've had to reset my password. My oh my how crazy does it have to be for me to not write. As always, I do most of my writing in my head so technically I've been forming thoughts just not ones for the blogosphere.

I need to continue with my letters to my children but, honestly, there are no words to put in perspective the joy and madness that makes our family unit. Hank is 3 and Max is 8 months. Momma and Dadda feel 80 and have the grey hair to back it up.

Since I last wrote Hank has been potty trained (YEAH!! YEAH YEAH!), has learned the Pledge of Allegiance, knows sign language, started preschool and hates me for it, and can say NO with amazing skill and defiance. Max is 20 pounds of lovin. He's crawling to get away from Hank, got 2 teeth, deftly opening kitchen drawers, sustaining bruises from exploring and making sure the everything is thoroughly tasted.

Momma and Dadda are consistently trying to find more hours in the day, nagging each other about how few hours there are to work with in a day, and kissing as much as possible to not miss the joy of life. It's like you go back to courting sometimes where you derive as much sensuality from a long drawn out kiss as you did before you got all jiggy wid it.

Joy. Now there is something to write about. It comes and goes but I'm control freak enough to want it all the time!
I going to come right out and say that I feel self absorbed right now only because I think in a totally different way than before kids. I don't relate to others in the lighthearted way I used to and now catch myself staying in the realm of doing stuff not in the enjoying stuff. Must work on that because time is passing by and I better see it in all it's glory.

Work. Now that's a topic that gives me more peace then I ever thought I'd get from employment. I go to work to RELAX! I work and deal with semi rational humans. No one is screaming. No one is kicking or if they do it's on the sly because I don't see it. These adults ask me for things too but I can get a certain amount of enjoyment from accomplishing something more than household monotony. And I have boundaries at work to help my poor brain let loose for a few hours. I've noticed that people or things do not get me upset like before kids. I just can't care too much that the copier is out of paper. It's only paper and I deal with keeping youngun's alive...seriously, lets get some perspective here puleez.

Hank is heading full into manhood, so he thinks, and dealing with guiding him to be a civil man is proving to be beyond what G and I thought we were up for. Being nice doesn't work and being corporal doesn't work. Momma is trying hard not to damage his psyche this early but life has to happen. All we can do it shrug our shoulders, be there lovingly when we can and teach as we go. My friend Lee Ann said it best " You don't need patience, you need ENDURANCE!" Oh yes, sista you got that right.
Actually, G and I are struggling. Not with our relationship but seeing the good in our lives. We have everything we could ever want, beautiful healthy kids, jobs, cars but aside from all that we have individual expectations and needs that are not getting met. And that happening over a long period of time is like a time bomb. Someone will explode and a house don't run well with guts all in it.

We've tried calendars, schedules, email alerts, free for all schedules where no one knows what the hell is going on, flying family in to help with kiddos, dates, and still there is not system that seems to work for us. Lots of patience and lots of forgiveness is about all that does work and that's good. That means we are till connected on a level separate from the surface. I get joy from that.

We are so blessed and this time is fleeting. So off I go to enjoy this day and the great people that are in it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Multiple Personalities

How can I say this nicely.... TODDLERS ARE INFURIATING!

I kinda feel bad even writing that but I have to just admit and get it out of my system. I shouldn't feel guilty because I feel this way. God knows, I am not the Alpha or Omega on this topic so I'll just join the club.

And please do not get me wrong, I'm am deeply devoted to all the penises in my house. I love these boys but they are such...such...BOYS! UGH! I am greatly outnumbered but will not be outpowered.

This weekend it was cold. Cold enough to keep us inside and although we just added on a substantial amount of square footage to our house, toddler feels the need to be up our hind ends all day. This is annoying. Like a wedgie is annoying. Seriously, he's so mad at me for multiplying again that he pushes me away when I have time to cultivate our relationship and engage with him only to latch on to me and scream for me when I literally have my hands full of infant. Usually it's infant's poop or bath time or something where I need a little more than scant attention and I have to push him away. It's like push pull grab around here!

Hank has a quick switch face like one of those blocks with a happy face on side and a mad face on the other only his is Happy Sugar Face on one side and Linda Blair Exorcist Face. Sugar Face/Exorcist/Sugar Face/Exorcist/Sugar Face/ Exorcist/Sugar Face/Exorcist/Exorcist/Exorcist/Sugar Face.
I never know which will appear but I try to kiss kiss the Sugar face and exorcise the green demon head. Poor guy is just really mad at me or the world or whomever is right next to him. And this is considered normal. Normal to whom??

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO......When will the answer be yes?

And I have kicked myself too through all this personality confusion. I'll miss read signals and get ticked when he's trying to "help". "Help" to a toddler isn't really help at all but it means a lot to him so shame on me for not recognizing it right off. You can see it one their face when it dawns on them that you might have boundaries and they feel genuinely bad for crossing it. Thank god, kids are forgiving little souls. Otherwise, I'm screwed.

G Dub's support has been so on target but if I hear "He's only 2" one more time I'm gonna start justifying all my immature mouth spouts or tantrums with " Well, I'm only 38. Come on"

All we can do it love them through it. So when Happy Sugar Face appears I try to drop what I'm doing and give him my full attention even if it's just for a few minutes. Hank is a robust character that fully lives up to his Taurus birth sign. At night, I feel like I've been run over by a bull so there ya go.

Have I even mentioned Max?? Um, no. That's because he is a dream boat. He's soft and squishy and cuddley. Max just goes with the flow happily smiling and laughing at Hank's antics. Have I taken pics of Max? No. Not near as many as I took of Hank at this age! But, oh my, Max warms me with that little spark I need to get it all together and keep it together.

And that's life over here in Crazyville!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"It's not you, it's me"

Yes, it's been a while and I just can't help it. Oh well.

I have two kids and I won't offer up any apologies for crazy language or outright honesty. " I used to care but now I take a pill for that"

Max's birth was my last effort at a natural birth and it was an epic fail - other than having a beautiful baby boy that holds my heart in his bright little eyes. There were drugs that I could not exercise my right to say no to, there were uncontrollable circumstances that were so stressful that all I could do was pray and lay there hoping for it pass quickly, and nurses that got smart mouthed with a pregnant woman at her birth time. Metaphorically, she pulled back a bloody lip. I haven't come to terms with his birth so I can't write it now, even 4 months out.

BUT, I AM continuing my minds eye picture of myself - post-apocalyptic Mom. Think Mad Max meets June Cleaver. Necessities hanging from carabiners on my purse filled with everything that a demanding kid/boss/husband could want. I walk clanging to the car with only a moments notice to whip out the coveted item before some sort of meltdown occurs. Avoidance is the name of the game here. Avoid the meltdown and it's just easier that way. BTW I have a cool twisty John Wayne in an A line skirt walk too.

Avoidance may be the name of the game but the mental energy that it takes to anticipate any and all demands of kids/boss/husband makes my neurons stretch to their limit. Imagine several overstretched rubber bands breaking and snapping back to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody. That's why I'm in therapy.

Therapy isn't really the right word for what I'm doing. Well, ok, yes it is. I prefer a more descriptive title like "Work/Life Balance Class". That sounds more like a frivolous night class at a community college rather than the "Jesus H. Christ, I can't take it anymore!" session that is actually happening. But, it is what it is and if I need to change then I need to find the tools to do so. Fast.

"It's not you, it's me". And sometimes it really IS just me. Leave it to me to feel like I have to fix everything to everyone's satisfaction. Productive? No. Unnecessary? Yup. And where the hell does this compulsion come from?? Not only does this impossible task wear me out just trying to find it's source is mind numbing - how did I become a fixer?!

In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy the moments that are passing me by at warp speed. Hank is growing up and I have little Max who is the embodiment of joy. I've said it numerous times but I really do see how parents tune out noise and I've expanded that to tuning out BS. The only way I can handle life is a jumbo sized filter for frivolous BS which is unnatural for me given my last paragraph. Again, hence the "Balance Class".

An unintended consequence of this it that I've had folks think that I have turned on them. Helping them understand the necessity of this is proving to be difficult when it's family - but it is temporary! Other than the presence of G Dub and my kids ( and can I just say now that having the words kid be plural is still so weird!) I can firmly say that NOTHING is constant anymore. I'll be back just give me some room for crying out loud!

My mind keeps reminding me that I am a person unto myself by thinking of how I want to improve or coming up with new things that I want to do. G Dub reminds me too that I overextend, over-analyze and overdo. But there is just so much cool stuff to do and be part of! This is how I can jump the chasm of lamenting about being overstressed to spearheading efforts to create a program for teen moms at a local ministry.
I waffle back and forth daily....shoot, sometimes hourly! I'm tiring to watch. Or to read :D

I'll get back to writing letters to my boys soon. Hank is still a challenge and having Max just added to the happiness we already had in abundance. He's a happy baby and I'm a happy Momma!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting bigger and it's hot out

Holy cow, something I never planned on was having children much less having them in the fall. That means a long hot summer. Hotter than the average hell in TN. In this version of hell your thighs rub together, your clothes are consistently sweaty under the dunlaps and you feel about 10 heavier than you are.

Oh so gone this time are the funny stories about gelatinous bellies while shopping and luxuriously lounging around wondering what's growing in there and names and advice books. I'm chasing a toddler and I don't mean that in a figurative way - it's so literal it hurts! I had friends over the other day and instead of a nice visit I ran from room to room saying stuff like "no hands in the toilet", "keep your clothes on please", "yes, those are Mommy's boots clomp clomp clomp" ," Sorry Caillou's gone night night" , " yes, that's toilet paper", " bye bye poop". I mean, really, it was non stop from room to room with an occasional exasperated inquiry if my guests wanted something to drink or if they were doing ok in there.

I wouldn't say their visit was a dismal failure on my part though; she is older than me ( omg, is that possible?!) and is pregnant with her first child. Just call it a peering into the future kind of visit. No sugar coating going on here. Why shouldn't I give an accurate representation of life at a toddler's house? That's just wrong.

Like the 8 limbs of yoga, a pregnant mother of a toddler has to have the capacity of 8 hands worth of multitasking. Hold the 30 pound toddler with all his blankies and cars, and a supply bag, and my bag with phone and essential electronics. Probably a stuffed animal strangling in a side belt loop. Yep, I have reached pack mule status and I envision me doing this up the Grand Canyon but really I'm just climbing the stairs to get into my house. Criminy, it's no wonder I'm thinner this time. Excerise? Who needs THAT crap?

No matter how much smaller I am there is no escaping the heat and the potential for it draining the life right out of a gal. Or stuffing it all in her feet. My God, I had to go get clunky Dansko clogs to accommodate these babies and I don't even care if I look like one of those books where you match the bottom half with the top half and get weird combos. Add dutch clogs to any outfit and it looks bad so who cares at this point. Now make them wooden and that would just complete the freak transformation.

It's time to sleep and tomorrow is another day. At least we'll be inside. Potty training has begun and saying the word potty 251 times an hour is on the agenda. And so are many sopping towels of pee pee. He likes wearing underwear and that may be my ticket to the nut house. Wish me luck but I bet I'll need more than that!