Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson: Sort of (Live@Google)

MKay.  I have always, always loved this Ingrid song.  I relate to it, in the everything-I-do-in-the-world-is- too-big-sorta-way.   But this particular live version, which I stumbled upon serendipitously last night whilst in need of a good cry, is hella-holy-crap good.  And did the trick.   It's all good - but at around 3:30-ish on, it is so expressive that if you don't get a little teary, I think you might be hard of heart.  Listen if you, like me, are a bit masochistic in your melancholy love of melancholy music.  xo

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I have had several (and I DO mean several) what-the-eff-am-I-doing-? moments in the last little while.  So, in an effort to convince myself that I'm not actually a bumbling oaf of a human being, I re-read Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection, an area which I am the moment, I am feeling particularly, um, gifted in.  But - though I really loathe self-helpy stuff, I quite love Brene Brown.  She is honest and talks about her imperfection's so bravely.  It's bloody refreshing.  Plus she swears, and that's a self-helpy book I can get behind ;).

Anyhoo - the re-read was good.  I am feeling, though certainly no less imperfect, much more grounded in my imperfections.  I was particularly struck by her words in closing, some of which I've posted below - just in case any of you and feeling a bit what-the-eff-am-I-doing-? too.

On her idea of a Wholehearted Revolution:

A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, "My story matters because I matter."  A movement where we can take to the streets with our messy, imperfect, wild, stretch marked, wonderful, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives.  A movement fueled by the freedom that comes when we stop pretending that everything is okay when it isn't.  A call that rises up from our bellies when we find the courage to celebrate those intensely joyful moments even though we've convinced ourselves that savouring happiness is inviting disaster.

Revolution might seem a bit dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.  Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance.  You're going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people -- including yourself. One minute you'll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you'll pray that it never ends.  You'll also wonder how you can feel feel so brave and so afraid at the same time.

p. 126


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Whew! and Yowsa!  So it turns out, I was in good company in my tough times as a stay-at-home-mama.  A recent poll (based on 60 000 responses!) shows that stay SAHM's experience significantly more sadness and depression on a daily basis than do working (outside the home) mama's and working women who have had no children.  Read it and weep...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Things I learned from my Mama.

My mom is amazing.  A pretty effing great mom, but bigger than that, just kind of an amazing person.  And she's turning 65 this weekend.  Which got me to thinking about all of the things I've learned from her.  (There's a lot of 'em, because, among many other things, she is a smarty-pants.)

1.  always lead with your heart (because it's usually smarter than your second-guessing brain).
2.  always trust your intuition (we know more than we think we do!)
3.  it's ok to let yourself feel what you need to feel.
4.  it's ok to be intense (sure, you'll scare the shit out of some people, but that's their problem).
5.  don't settle.  Expect amazing.
6.  it's ok to fuck up.  it's how you learn.  (My mom has accepted and loved me unconditionally through far too many fuck ups to mention.  Seriously - it would be an essay a novella a novel)
7.  the painful stuff is important, respect it.  (growing is painful shit.  you don't go through the painful shit, you don't grow.)
8.  when you're feeling sad, find a crying tree.  (Yes, this means a good tree to hang out with a cry on.  try it sometime - feels pretty great.)
9.  take risks.  sometimes, they lead to pretty great things.  and sometimes, to fuck-ups (refer back to #6 here).
10. broke and happy is infinitely better than securely miserable.
11.  garden lots.
12.  walk lots.
13.  a good dog will always see you through the tough spots.
14.  don't forget to breathe.

Happy birthday to my most marvellous mom, and thanks.  For numbers 1-13, and all of the other numbers I didn't have room for, too.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Oh, you are a slippery one,

this hold I want to have on forward
momentum, this drive to stomp sure-footed,
(seams well-stitched and holding steady)
onto that gorgeous terrain in front of me,
breathtaking, uncertain

but like all beautiful things -
it remains just beyond outstretched,
grasping fingertips; ahead of feet
trembling, tentative

and here I stand,
(stubbornly frayed at the edges),
struggling, yet determined,
to put one foot in front of the other

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Glimpses of peace

On an ordinary day
After the kids have passed out
Sticky-faces sighing into clean pillows,
I sit barefooted in the grass,
Sundressed skin still warm from the day.
And one Iris peeking out a wild purple in the otherwise desolate garden.

I am thankful for spring.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 10, 2012

so far, so better

Today, thus far, has really kicked yesterday's proverbial ass.

The fish tank got cleaned.  Sir Albert the Princely Beta Fish (yes, that's his full name) may actually live to see another week.  The cats no longer hate for for forcing them to use a disgusting litter box.  The kitchen got cleaned.  Okay - so it's only one room.  But I can see the floor.  Like, the whole floor.  And the countertops.

Of course, something had to give.  So I spent the better part of the morning playing with the kids in my pyjamas.  Including outside in the front yard.   Because I didn't have time to shower and get dressed.  But I console myself in the fact that, a) the pyjamas were new, and thus clean, and b) my fuchsia kicks matched them delightfully.

Onward to an afternoon of errands...

(um, but first, perhaps, a shower...)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't read this if swearing offends you, or alternatively titled, Motherfucker

Just so you know I'm going to swear gratuitously now.  Just because it motherfucking feels good.

The motherfucking fish hasn't been fed in a few days. His tank is starting to get pretty sketchy. The cat litter is, well, it's pretty motherfucking gross. I did the motherfucking laundry, several motherfucking loads in fact. The proof is in the living room where, in between the motherfucking dust tumbleweeds, lie piles upon piles of laundry that was neatly folded until the children discovered it was fun to jump into like their own personal leaf piles. I cannot yet bring myself to motherfucking refold it and put it away. In short, my home looks like it's been burgled (but by motherfucking burglars who realized that we had nothing good to steal so they just decided to trash the motherfucking place). I am, truly, decidedly, and most certainly-definitely-completely-motherfuckingly overwhelmed in the chaos. Domestic engineer, my motherfucking ass. Housewife. Homemaker. Bwah ha ha!  Motherfucker. This clearly ain't my bag. I am domestically deficient.

Everything feels like a delicate balance and trade-off of what I can and can't force myself to accomplish. I got the motherfucking grass cut, but child services might yank the littles if they made it past the cleanly cut lawn to the innards of my motherfucking home (and as an aside, I did not motherfucking whippersnip the lawn, because i didn't have time and because it's motherfucking annoying, and caught my across the street neighbor doing it for me at 7 am this motherfucking morning. I am, apparently, THAT neighbour).

I have friends with kids who always warn me about the chaos of their houses when I come over. And their spaces are almost always motherfucking immaculate compared to mine. Are they lying? Keeping up with the Jonese? Or are they really that much more able to keep the motherfucking chaos at bay?

From time to time, I like to console myself that despite my very clear (and motherfucking) failure at the domestic, um, arts, I am a pretty good motherfucking mom. However, today, after living in shambles, attempting a playdate that turned put to be mainly motherfucking tantrum damage control, taking the kids to a really gross motherfucking playplace for dinner with no motherfucking nutrients whatsoever, because I couldn't stand the thought if returning to the shambles of my motherfucking house, and then attempting to take them motherfucking shopping for a motherfucking present for my ex (who is a great mother) for motherfucking mothers day (which is a motherfucking joke of a day because it's just plain motherfucking ridiculous to have a day to celebrate an occupation that no one actually motherfucking respects the rest of the 364 days of the year), and said children went ape-shit in all kinds of childlike ways, I lost my motherfucking shit. In motherfucking public.  Like, in an epic motherfucking-screaming-like-a-banshee-in-the-parking-lot kinda way.  It was motherfucking classy.

Those who can teach. Those who can't motherfucking blog?


(OH MAN!  That felt really, really, motherfucking great.)

End of Gender: It's a [Heteronormatively Gendered] Girl! | Bitch Media

End of Gender: It's a [Heteronormatively Gendered] Girl! | Bitch Media

Yup.  Just yup.

A Stay-at-homer telling it like it is...

Oh man.  Oh man.  OH MAN!  I love, love, love when I stumble across a mama telling it like it really is.  Admitting that the dumped out toys, (for the umpteenth time) makes her cry at the end of the day.  That she is often too spent for words.  Admitting that she loses it.  You know, like, a lot.  And this blog post from babble blogger Mindy Berry Walker does just that.  And I find her bravery inspiring.  You go, Mama!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Things I find myself wishing for lately

In no particular order:

  • a cleaning and laundry folding person (ok - all the ones after this are in no particular order!)
  • a fabulous daycare with available space
  • a thicker skin
  • a more equivocal, (careful) heart
  • a beautiful, cheap living space that falls right into my lap
  • a wealthy benefactor/lottery win
  • a louder voice (people often don't hear me.  why don't they hear me?  is it how I talk, or how they listen?)
  • more time to get things done
  • an end to the anxious
  • the urge and inspiration to write again (in case you are wondering why I've been so MIA)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ushering in a new year

It appears as though my birthday is upon me again, in a day or two.  While normally, I'm pretty 'meh-how-did-this-happen-again-and-where-the-hell-did-the-year-go?' about my birthdays (girl's getting older and older!),  this year, I'm kind of excited to send out the old and usher in the new, at least symbolically.  The past year has been fraught with landmarks, decisions and processing that were all on the, you know, agonizing and terrifying side.    Separation, applying for grad school and grants, really, really rough kid times, isolation, loss, a whole lotta therapy.  You know, THAT kind of year.  Some years are like that, I guess (even in Australia - in The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day way;)).  And so, I am feeling the need to shake it off a bit, I guess.

But as my 36 draws to a close, I am also recognizing all of the learning and growing and changing this year has brought me.   I accepted that constant feeling of floundering and learned to give myself a bit of a break.  I found my feet.  I took chances.  I met new, wonderful people who turned out to be great, great friends.  I accepted the scholarship offer to go back to school.  So - as with all things - this past year has been both intensely painful and a time of growth and change.

While I am not so foolish as to think that the painful growth and change is over (is it ever?).   There is housing to find, money to pull out of my ass, and let's not forget becoming the world's older grad student ;)  Nevertheless, I am eager to recognize my leaps and bounds from the past year, and very, very eager to welcome in 37.  Because if there's one thing this past year has taught me, it's that I am one hell of a tough cookie.  So I'm gonna greet 37 dancing my pants off, shaking off 36 (see ya!), celebrating my survival instincts, and gearing up for whatever the coming year decides to throw my way.  BRING IT!