addendum to "the adventure of finding out what you really feel..."

early this evening i wrote a blog post that ended with: 

"because the truth is that i KNOW that i am indeed awesome and amazing.  ...and incredible and beautiful and smart and accomplished and loving and lovable and loved and all of those important things...  but why can't i reach that "knowing" in moments like this afternoon?  where does the peace of that "knowing" go and why?

this is the point in the blog post when i answer the question myself.  but this time i don't know the answer.  all i know is that i have to figure it out for myself and that no one is going to rescue me (which really fucking sucks).  wish me luck, please."

and I'm back already with an addendum/correction: 
  1. I don't have to figure it out myself (there are several people, some that i already know and share this lifetime with, who can and want to help me figure it out)
  2. I can rescue myself (with their help)
Things are looking better already...

the adventure of finding out what you really feel...

how are y'all liking all these "adventure" titles?  are they satisfactory enough to count as connection to the topic this month or are you over it?  i might be over it, but it's hard to stop myself.

i have had a sense that i'm not at my best for a few days (weeks?  probably only days.  i tend to cast wide nets when i feel crappy) now.  i mean, there's been situational stuff up the wazoo, but i've noticed in the last couple of days that i've gone from reacting to situations (in which the reactions feel shitty) to just feeling shitty (for no apparent reason) most of the time and having to work (hard) to get away from that feeling (<--which is probably not the right thing to do, but i have also been "sitting in" a fair amount of the shitty too.  i'm an equal opportunity coper).

yesterday i had a great evening.  spiderman had his first GREAT! day of kindergarten (that's right... first... after 6 freaking weeks...) and when i heard about it i got to soak in a big wave of relief that soothed my aching body and mind.  and it even lasted!  i had enough energy to prepare for a retreat i'm facilitating tomorrow, do some work for my paid job, connect with some people i adore, and even fold laundry!  i went to bed feeling at peace--that's really all i'm ever missing when i'm missing something; peace.

today the "shit" of late came back a few hours into the morning and made itself comfortable.  like i said, i have been aware of this state of being so i gave it some attention ("hello, i notice you.  and i know you aren't real... so if you want to talk this out so you can say your peace and leave i'm up for that when you are") and plugged along.  i put on some background noise at the office to get me through the work i needed to do, i took a walk at lunch time... i took care of myself.  that "self care" thing seems to be the best thing i ever do for myself.  the shit wasn't fading in the face of self care, however, and i found myself having a text message conversation with the angry wombat that went something like this (by the way, sharing this feels horrifyingly embarrassing, but that's my clue that it's the right thing to write about, so here goes...):

me (about devon, having NO idea where this is coming from...  nothing has actually happened or not happened to create this impression): ...i don't even think she likes me anymore. :(
wombat: what?  no way.  why would you even think that?!
me: because i'm crazy and anxious and depressed and... why would she want to be with someone who is as broken as me?
wombat: (something reassuring about me being amazing and awesome)
me: i don't feel awesome or amazing.  i feel like a worthless piece of shit who can't get her act together and is pathetic and fat and disgusting...
wombat: (something else very loving and supportive)

the fact that i go straight to "the person i am developing intimacy with doesn't like me anymore" when i feel like shit aside (to address in therapy asap)...  i found myself sitting there thinking "IS THAT WHAT I REALLY THINK ABOUT MYSELF?!"

this is not the "circle of life"
they're singing about in the
opening of The Lion King
and in the moment, the answer was yes (which explains why i have been feeling so shitty).  and that was TERRIFYING.

because the truth is that i KNOW that i am indeed awesome and amazing.  ...and incredible and beautiful and smart and accomplished and loving and lovable and loved and all of those important things...  but why can't i reach that "knowing" in moments like this afternoon?  where does the peace of that "knowing" go and why?

this is the point in the blog post when i answer the question myself.  but this time i don't know the answer.  all i know is that i have to figure it out for myself and that no one is going to rescue me (which really fucking sucks).  wish me luck, please.


explore, instead of adventure

Turns out not using a GPS hasn't made me more adventurous... in the same predictable fashion that showed up when I was to trying to "plan" adventures, I'm finding that living without GPS has taken a few opportunities for spontaneity out of my life.  Instead of just going and figuring it out as I go, I look at a map at home before I leave, memorize it, and then hope the memorization was effective.  It usually is.  What brain space am I robbing myself of by memorizing maps of Reseda?  I don't want to know.  I'm calling this experiment concluded.  Back to the luxury of GPS as needed.

On the up side, I have been made aware of my level of aptitude on Los Angeles streets and freeways which is beyond beginner, but perhaps still just below intermediate.  And you know what?  That's good enough.

I don't have a whole lot to say tonight.  I'm feeling emotionally drained and really just want to cry.  Scratch that.  I want someone to hold me while I cry, but there's no one here so after I write this I get to decide whether I reach out for the support I crave or if I let myself become disappointed in the loneliness that comes up in silence when no one around me has any idea that I am in need...

Yeah, I think I'll reach out.  That sounds a little closer to the path I want to be on.

After a few short days of focusing intently on Positive Discipline my relationship with Spiderman has completely turned around.  We are back in our flow and I am able to see him again as the child I know and love... and what remains is that the child I know and love is in pain... and that hurts.  And I still don't know if I'm supposed to do something about it, and if I am what that something is, and if I know what that something is how I'm supposed to afford it.

ack.  (not even enough juice left for an exclamation point)

So instead of hearing from me (I guess you just did), maybe you want to read about how to be an explorer of the world.  I enjoyed it.  I hope you will too.


choose your own adventure

last night when i was walking to bed in the dark i suddenly stopped.  i needed to reevaluate where i was... something was about to happen (we're talking "bumping an elbow" grade something here, nothing too serious) and i could prevent it with caution.  so, i took an inventory of where i was (right smack dab in the middle of the hallway) and of any obstacles (none) and proceeded.  i immediately jammed the little toe of my right foot into a shelf--really hard--but it didn't hurt and i thought... hmmm...  well, that was interesting.  i've stubbed a lot of toes in my life and it's usually pretty damn painful; hopping-up-and-down-cursing-and-whining-painful... but not this time.

i proceeded with my bedtime routine, lied down, started to drift off, and was jolted out of sleepiness by a throbbing pain that consumed my whole foot.  yee-ouch!  i got up, turned on some lights, discovered that i had split the toe open (and had been bleeding all over the floor) and had essentially lost a toenail, washed and bandaged it, cleaned the floor and rugs, and went back to bed wishing for the gift of immediately-post-injury shock to kick back in so i could sleep.

and i don't remember what happened after that because i fell asleep.  not because it worked, just because i'm good at sleeping.

see--life is an adventure without having to try.

this whole "shock that protects you from pain thing" is something i've been pondering all day.  i can't really tell if i'm in shock or in pain (dear god, i hope this is pain because if this is shock i'm going to lose it when the pain comes) because i'm kind of numb... i am completely focused, but i just don't give a shit.  maybe this is "zen."  nah, i think they call it "depression."  i've never had this kind before.  i usually have the "i want to die (but don't want to kill myself)" kind of depression.  who knows what this "i'm just going to go with the flow because there's nothing else i can do about it--and i'm going to be kind of sulky" shit is.

you may recall that i've mentioned some intentions i had for the year 2012 and how they've ALL come to be my reality...  i was so certain that they had become reality that after a lunch date with devon several weeks ago (that was plucked directly out of the written version of these intentions) i opened an envelope that contained them to verify that i had indeed received everything i'd desired. inside i discovered that i was right--i had asked for a new job, a new home in los angeles, and a sweetheart.  done.  done.  and done.

what i hadn't remembered, however, is that i wrote a lot about my relationship with spiderman in those desires.  i wanted us to be in the flow; my priorities for his emotional and physical health and wellbeing driving my parenting style and choices and him feeling happy, safe, and therefore receptive to my loving guidance. easy-peasy.

at the time (re-reading the desires/intentions) it didn't seem like that big of a deal...  he was my kid, and i loved him, and he would be fine (and the nightmare of kindergarten hadn't started yet)... so yeah.  2012--done.  and it was only august (i've always been a bit of an overachiever. pffft!).  woot!

um yeah.  not done.  so not done that the universe and whatever forces conspire to give me what i ask for in the form that is most aligned with my spiritual growth path are attempting to get my attention by shoving this shit in my face in the most horrific and painful ways i could imagine and i only just now (like, i've had inklings, but all the floating puzzle pieces clicked into place this morning) caught on to why...

OH!  you mean i'm supposed to be paying attention to this person/relationship?  OH!  you mean that just because it was fun to do the "work" that got me the job, city, home, and sex life doesn't mean it wasn't "work" and i shouldn't mistake it for having been "easy" because nothing is going to be handed to me?  OH!  you mean i can't just will this discomfort away and expect the whole dynamic to change just because i want it to?  OH!  well, why didn't you say so...  geez.

I'm going to try Jane, I'm going to try.
so, i'm doing it.  i'm focusing on spiderman and my role as his mother and our relationship to one another and finding ways to provide him with structure and guidance and limits and boundaries that are loving and respectful and... whatever else they are supposed to be (and you're saying to yourself: isn't that what parenting is?  yeah.  i guess so.  i never had to think about it before though.  0-5 just came naturally.  it worked.)

the remaining problem: i'm pretty cranky about it.  i mean, i'm not complaining too much, and i don't feel any active angst or resentment, but i have this sort of "i'm resigning to this nonsense because it seems like what i am supposed to be doing not because i want to so i'm not going to have a good time doing it" attitude--super attractive right?  right.

also.  it's exhausting.  there is no break.  i had to be the one who is the keeper of the values and holds the cute one with the tremendous powers of persuasion and resistance to them... not fun.

side note: i told him we were going to a bbq yesterday and somehow he translated that to "sausage party" (not sausage fest, you pervs).  today when we were driving home he suddenly remarked: "momma, they didn't cook any sausages at the bbq yesterday.  that was weird!"

damn, i love this kid.  if only love were enough.

i cracked open a parenting book last night for the first time in a couple of years.  i have stacks of them that i read voraciously from pre-conception to about... i don't know... 3?  those first 3-5 years are pretty important they say.  somehow i must have interpreted that to mean that it was essentially done by 5.  oops.

when i flipped "positive discipline" open i rediscovered that the author herself had written me a note...  "To Kate for Spiderman, Enjoy the journey"

the book doesn't say how, though... i guess therein lies the adventure.


the problem with adventure

Just like everything else about life, the problem with adventure is that there are no instructions.  You've heard it before "these darn kids didn't come with an owner's manual!" or "this life must be a practice round, if it were the real thing we'd be given better instructions"  ...wocka-wocka!

free moustache rides... *giggle*
I've spent most of the last hour hoping the magic of the internet will reveal the custom-designed adventure of my dreams... and it hasn't (anyone interested in writing a scavenger hunt for me?  there should be lots of opportunities to break for snacks and drinks with bubbles in them, a considerable amount of tasks that don't involve talking to strangers, but just enough that do to keep it lively, walkable is better than driving-required, and I don't want to have to get naked).
There is a TON of stuff to do here.  I live in a city where people come on vacation (thankfully they've mostly gone back home because school is back in session), but none of it feels particularly adventurous.

I want to go to:
Watts Towers
The "Psychiatry: An Institute of Death" Museum
The Echo Park Time Travel Mart
Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens
any/every waterfall...

I want to take adorable pictures of myself next to:
Muffler Man
The Statue of the Businessman whose head is stuck in a building
The 200 orderly lampposts outside of LACMA

and I probably will, but those things don't feel like "adventure" those feel like things to "do."

per el dictionario:


  [ad-ven-cher]  Show IPA noun, verb,ad·ven·tured, ad·ven·tur·ing.
an exciting or very unusual experience.
participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: thespirit of adventure.
a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action ofuncertain outcome.
a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.

In seeking adventurous activities for this weekend I'm finding myself wanting to do a lot of "planning" which seems to be where I'm getting stuck.  If I plan it, it's not as exciting, unusual, bold, risky, hazardous, or of uncertain outcome because I'm a damn good planner...

I have this idea in my head that getting lost somewhere in Los Angeles and finding my way back home will be an adventure... but I don't know "how" to do that.  I've been looking for a manual (there isn't one).

I've got a five year old whose behavior makes him unrecognizable a lot lately--meetings with the principal, navigating the waters of new family relationships and playdates, and homework (homework!) all feel like adventures.

I'm in the early stages of a fantasical relationship--finding the balance between space and connection, learning a new vocabulary of words/facial expressions/wordless moments, and staying in bed all weekend (yes, please) all feel like adventures.

I'm living in a brand new (to me) city--figuring out which trader joe's to go to and when, not using the GPS (I've made it all week so far!  woot!), and aiming to not order the same thing at any given restaurant twice in this next year all feel like adventures.

So maybe that's it.  Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit this week (it makes sense... it's been a difficult week)... Maybe, like I already said (duh) when I welcomed this "month" in, I'm already adventuring.  The adventure of authenticity is enough.

Yes, I could accept the invitation of a stranger to go have drinks or do a variety of other things that sound terrifying but would probably be wonderful... but AND I can go ahead and reward myself with something fun: exploring an absurd establishment or taking seemingly impromptu but completely staged adorable photographs of myself at Los Angeles landmarks--and THEN spending the rest of the day in bed.  I've earned it.


is my authentic self an asshole?

The adventure of authenticity is well under way... and quite an adventure it has been!

Here's some information about me:  I have a very reactive brain.  If I have been triggered enough without enough release of activation my sympathetic nervous system goes haywire; that's the part of you (me) that's responsible for the "fight, flight, or freeze" response when it encounters what it perceives to be danger.

In a healthy nervous system some kind of trigger arouses or activates the sympathetic nervous system alerting other parts of the body (like the adrenal glands, for example) that they are needed... then the nervous system (once the threat has passed) settles back into a relaxed state until the next stimulus occurs.

the goal: pretty, healthy little brain wave action.
I've been there... a lot.  Especially over the the last year or two.  Pretty, healthy little brain wave land is mostly where I live.  I've had a lot of therapy (somatic experiencing, brainspotting, cbt, etc.) and I do a lot of self care work (daily morning pages/journaling, meditation, sunshine/walk breaks, this goddamn blog...) and I've been hanging pretty steadily in this range.

I used to live here (see below):  Stuck on "on."  My reactions were extreme and I stayed activated long after threats had passed until I couldn't manage anymore and I crashed and got Stuck on "off."  Not fun

the past reality: yowza.  crazy town.
This week I'm somewhere in between.  This whole kindergarten transition thing is pushing my buttons in a big way and:

  • I haven't been to therapy in at least a month (longer?)
  • I didn't do any morning pages last week
  • and I didn't blog (dammit) either
and so I'm finding myself in the beginning of that jagged red line in the diagram above.  I am (internally) reacting in a HUGE way to stuff that isn't (always) a HUGE deal... and it's growing tiresome.  I'm aware of it now and have calls in to several hundred (slight exaggeration) therapists to help me come back to pretty little wave land, but before awareness I had started to wonder if my authentic self was an asshole.

I've been adversarial and snotty, whiney and dramatic, loud and insistent, inflexible and erratic...  all within a day or two of committing to this adventure of authenticity.  Usually when I commit to something here it starts happening (seemingly on its own...) and so I found myself wondering this morning if my authentic self was an asshole.  If I commit to authenticity and this is what comes out does that mean that this is who I really am?

I was prepared to come to terms with "yes" as an answer and call it "shadow" self (and it is to an extent) or something and write a how-to guide on: What to do you when you realize your authentic self is an asshole.  And I'm still going to (with a twist)... here goes.

What to do when you realize your authentic self is an asshole (in three steps)
  1. Realize it's not
  2. Breathe
Yes, what's coming out of me in this raw and vulnerable space seems automatic... it's certainly instinctual, I'm not having to work at it--it just flies out of me (at the most inopportue moments), but that still doesn't make it who I am.  This is a very authentic version of a version of myself... but not the true/best/authentic self I am committed to adventuring with.  Nope, not at all.

This is the version of myself who thinks there is something she can "do" to make things right and assumes that when things aren't going well it's because she hasn't "done" that thing or those things well enough yet...  She's hurt and scared and is looking for ways to feel better (now) and she isn't particularly helpful.  She's definitely real (I know, I lived with her for a loooooooong time), but she doesn't get to stay if I don't let her.

So, that's the last step: 
    3. Kick out the imposter


No Maps Allowed: Experimenting with Adventure (9/16-10/14/2012)

Howdy Folks!

Welcome back!  Actually, I don't know that you went anywhere... I went away for a week, and I'm back.  Hopefully you just sat here patiently waiting for me--that's what I like to imagine happened.  So when I say "Welcome Back" I imagine that it's really all of you saying it in unison in a sing-song kind of voice... and it's lovely... thank you for the warm welcome...  you're too kind.

For those who are wondering, according to the EI assessment, I am NOT as emotionally intelligent as I thought I was still think I am.  Either that, or I was way too humble when I answered the questions in the assessment.  Some may describe it as a confidence issue but I'm going to stick with humble for today because I'm already too exhausted from emotional cliff diving to go spelunking into another cavern of self discovery today.
this adorable ridiculousness by "Claire,"
the self proclaimed "Queen of Dorks"
features characters from a show called "Adventure Time"
which I've never seen, but makes me very happy.
 and very hungry.

*ahem*  Shall we get on with it?

The moon has completed another cycle and as a result (yes, that's what I'm saying.  These blog themes are a direct response to the phases of the moon.  It's a fact.) it's another "month" on the blog!  This "month's" theme is: No Maps Allowed (experimenting with adventure).

I think it's worth mentioning, it being September and all,  that after 8 months of focusing intently on discovering my best self and finding fulfillment in my life that I'm a lot different today than when I started this experiment.  You may recall early on that I was having trouble getting started because I wanted to do everything all at once... and it was challenging for me to focus on one thing at a time. Well, I did... and for the first few months I gave a lot of attention to parts of myself like my: physical body, my inner artist, my spirit, my intellectual, et cetera.  And with all of that best self development I did start just doing some other things naturally; which took a little bit of the steam out of the FULLfillment Project challenges.

For example, last month didn't feel particularly profound (it was about feeling at "home") because in my practical life, the past 6 months had been about moving my literal home from a place that represented my past to a place I had always longed to live and instantly felt like I belonged in.  The blog entries were really just journaling (don't get me wrong, I know we both love that...) and I didn't come out of it with a different attitude towards home than I had before.  The previous month about money was helpful and fun, but, again, I had just made some major lifestyle changes that freed up hundreds of dollars each month--I'm not rolling in it by any means, but I'm doing fine and I have a new attitude towards money that didn't come from experimenting with it on the blog, it came from having to adjust in an instant when BFO (and his income) left and acquiring some new skills for survival's sake.

When I added "Adventure Time!" to the agenda for the blog way back when it was because "adventure" was something that I dreaded.  It sounded like "scary time" to me, and I don't seek thrills in general.  It's thrilling enough inside my head as it is.  BUT...  I've loosened up a lot.  I've let go a lot.  I am more open.  I am more willing.  I am... dare I say... more adventurous.  If something sounds interesting and scary, interesting wins.  As soon as I realize that fear is the only thing stopping me from doing something I choose to feel the fear and do it anyway, and most of the time I have a good time doing it (and then blather on about how easy it ended up being annoying even myself).

So going into adventure month I'm not feeling like I need to challenge myself to try new things as much as I might have at the beginning of this year.  I'm still going to have some of that in here to keep up the momentum, but really I think this "month" is about embracing the adventure of being myself; of being completely authentic.

Here's my intention for the month:

  • Get used to feeling uncomfortable.  Embrace the ickiness that comes with change, challenge, and the unknown.  Leap right into it--eyes.  wide.  open.

Here's how I intend to get there:

  • I am going to choose how I spend my time based on what I want to do first (not who I want to spend time with, or what they want to do that I would feel content doing as well, but prioritizing the way I want to spend my time--100%--and fitting everyone and everything else in after that <--eek, scary business!)
  • I am going to do some things on the "I've always wanted to" list (I don't have a list... I've always wanted to make one... sounds like Wednesday's post is already written, eh?)
  • I am going to go GPS free.  I'm turning the one off in my car.  I'm keeping the maps app on my iPhone closed.  If I need to go somewhere I will figure out how to get there ahead of time... or figure it out as I go.  Hell, I may even ask strangers for directions (I am only doing this to piss myself off... to practice some of my new Emotional Intelligence/Self Management homework)


emotional intelligence

here's a baby elephant hugging picture to tide you over.
Last week I took an Emotional Intelligence assessment.  Tomorrow morning I leave on a Leadership Retreat for work where I'll get to see my results.

If I didn't do well I'm going to be pissed.  And I'm going to blame it on someone else...

*ba-dum, cymbal crash!*

Thank you folks, I'll be here all week.

(That was EI humor.  Did ya like it?)

Actually, I won't.  I'll be away for work and blog-less until next Monday, September 17th and by then we'll be in a new month.

Instead of a recap of this month let's acknowledge that this month was a bust on theme and a tremendous victory on the things that really matter: gratitude, surrender, and love.

See you next week to begin a month of adventuring!


*waving the white flag*

how many posts have I written about letting go or surrender so far?  Someone should do a search for either term and report back about how often it comes up.  Go on, I'll wait here...

look!  someone else has mixed
feelings about surrender too!
nah.  Let's just pretend this is the first time.  Because every time I do it does feel like it's the first time again.  Surrendering is NOT like riding a bike, you don't just hop back on and know how to ride.  I suppose what gets easier is recognizing that surrender is the answer and choosing to do so (if you can even choose to... it's kind of the absence of a choice or action or "doing" if you will...)

I think I've told enough backstory for you to know that Spiderman's transition to kindergarten has been rough.  Rough on him for certain... but he doesn't have a blog.  Rough on me too... and I do (lucky duck).

The REASONS it's been rough for both of us:

  1. Sometimes we forget we're not in control... 
    • @5:  I can't do whatever I want whenever I want and no matter how enormously I react it doesn't seem to change anything 
    • @32: for much of the last four weeks when I got a report from the school about what was going on with him I thought that meant an expectation to "do something" about it came with it (turns out not so much) and again, no matter how enormously I react it doesn't seem to change anything.
  2. If I can't be perfect then I don't want to do it at all...
    • @5: I don't know how to speak Spanish (he's in a dual language immersion Kindergarten class) so I'm just going to refuse to speak/participate
    • @32: Nothing I am doing is making anything any better so I just want to give up (but what does giving up mean?  He's too old to be dropped off at the first station and too young to be left at home alone--he knows how to unlock the door and escape... although I could put a lock on the outside... hmmmm...  just thought of that!  Kidding, authorities, just kidding.)
  3. This isn't what I planned...
    • @5: I thought kindergarten was going to be a week long... you're telling me I have to do this for a year and then again and again and again for the following 12?
    • @12: I thought I was going to sweep into this school as super mom, peddling my positive discipline resources like candy and ultimately launching an initiative to revamp the LAUSD elementary education discipline system!  
The REASON it's been rough for both of us: We forgot to let go.  It's different at 5 than it is at 32, but it's really the same.

Today I figured out how to surrender and let go of the belief that I could do something to make it better by focusing only on what I can do (love him, set boundaries, be consistent, validate/reassure/support/encourage)... and today went a lot better.

The trick of course, is not attaching the better outcome to anything I did... a ha ha!  Life, you are so damn funny.  So... damn... funny...


holy blog post, batman!

Shit, it's Wednesday isn't it?  This was a holiday week-Monday at home and I'm all off kilter.  That, and kindergarten transition continued to be a nightmare until... TODAY!  Hallelujah!

I was ready to give up yesterday... although I'm not sure how one "gives up."  He's too old to be dropped off at the Fire Station-no questions asked.  I can't just leave him on the street to run around in traffic and beg for scraps.  I can't just leave him at home all day to burn himself boiling hot dogs a la The Glass Castle.

But today was better, as it usually is after the point when I'm certain I cannot take any more.  I wonder if I can convince the universe sooner that I'm at my wits' end?  It probably wouldn't work, I don't think I'm being rewarded for being at my wits' end.  Rather, I'm finally choosing to let go and see things another way because I'm at my wits' end.  Last night Devon really helped me do that... and that was super awkward.  Not a typical play in my dating handbook (I don't have a dating handbook or plays, for the record): blubber and sniffle about the trials of kindergarten parenting to the amazing woman you're dating and then let her offer her perspective and feedback.  Still, it felt really damn good, and she liked it... and I do have a thing for vulnerability... might as well appreciate my own vulnerability as much as I do others, eh?

random share: last night I locked both spiderman's and my bedrooms to keep him in the living room with me... and then I couldn't open them.  that was super fun.

So anyway...  Community Building Update!

Spiderman had a playdate at the park after school today.  His new friend wears a uniform of skinny jeans, oxford shirts, black leather slip on dress shoes, slicked back gelled hair, and calls his mother by her first name.  He is awesome.  His mom is awesome too.  We're getting there.

I noticed an interesting contrast when we were hanging out and getting to know each other.  In other places I've lived my parenting style has been on the progressive edge... and I've been shy about it sometimes.  It's hard to bear the judgmental glances of parents who wonder why you're not "controlling" your child.  So I'd avert eye contact or do the few things I do to fit in (like bribe) or leave...

In this new community my old neighborhood's progressive is this neighborhood's standard.  There are certainly people more granola than me, but a positive discipline approach is the expected norm.  I noticed the other mom doing things that I would have done in the past.  Trying to come across as the best mom-version of herself as she could, while also needing to be a little more stern or assertive from time to time at a volume that I wasn't supposed to be able to hear or when I wasn't supposed to be looking.

And I loved her for it.  And I showed her by being my normal, sometimes-imperfect mom self...  and she warmed up to it.  And it was awesome.

Dear Universe,

If tomorrow could be perfect too that would be really super awesome!



yes, we're open

Despite having written it into the intentions for the "month" I am finding myself frustrated with being "off track" regarding the theme I'm supposed to be exploring.  It's not that I'm not exploring it (I went to IKEA to buy the kit to make my globe into two hanging lamps... that's something), it's just that it doesn't seem that interesting to write about.

Usually these "months" follow the course of the moon.  In the first half of the "month" when the moon is waxing (moving from new moon to full moon, aka-getting bigger) I am adding new habits into my life and at the halfway point when I've exhausted myself and the moon is waning (full moon back down to new moon again, aka-getting smaller) I'm shedding habits, behaviors, thoughts, patterns etc.  This month hasn't had the same momentum.  I haven't finished (or really started) any of my projects; I've been very distracted by parenting a kindergartener who is having a rough time and I've tried to explain what feels like shedding (of self judgment) as taking on (self love), but it feels a bit like a cop-out and as a result I haven't been so eager to share it with y'all.

There hasn't been a shortage of epiphanies or life lessons raining down from the heavens... I'm just not that into them.  Or rather... I'm just not that OPEN to them.

this was on display at a birthday party i attended last night.
spiderman was with me, devon wasn't.  seems like a missed opportunity.
I ended up taking Spiderman to counseling this week.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time (it was the right thing to do at the time).  He was having a lot of distress at school, I wasn't feeling capable of handling it on my own, we sought help (and it was INCREDIBLY painful to do so, by the way...  Yes, I go to therapy and feel no shame, but I felt enormous amounts of shame for being in a place where I/he needed that kind of support and I was terrified of stepping even one foot nearly the slippery slope of child psychiatry).  Turns out it wasn't that helpful.  He's normal, I'm great, yadda yadda...  so in wondering what exactly I got for my $50 copay (besides validation from someone whose opinion I'm not that impressed by) I dug around and found this: build a community.

oh!  I got excited when I found it too.  That's totally "on theme!"  That's definitely a HUGE part of feeling at home!  yes, build a community--I'll do that! 

and that was about the extent of the excitement.  I opened up a sliver to let that in and then slammed the door shut behind it.  I'm home, but the doors and windows are boarded shut... what exactly am I trying to keep out (or in)?

Finally (yes, I know... I exaggerate...) last night after crying thanks to this I found myself sitting here with the door wide open (had I noticed I probably would have slammed it shut again, but it crept up on me). And wouldn't you know it?  Something came in!

I've told you about the intentions I set for this year, right?  Moving here, this apartment, a job to support it all, and finally a sweetheart...?  I must have.  And I also must have mentioned that they've all manifested and that they're all WAY better than I could have come up with on my own (yay universe!).  Have I mentioned how specific it's been getting?  That a lunch date I wrote about in January actually occurred (and I didn't realize until a couple hours later) a couple weeks ago?  Yep.

I've had a nagging thought that I need to get on the task of setting more intentions.  Everything I've asked for is here and that means it's time to ask for more.  The resistance to this has been (unsurprisingly) humongous.

So many reasons not to do it:
1. I just don't know what I want (ha, yeah right)
2. I don't know how much to ask for, maybe I'm being greedy (sure, play it small... that will work)
3. I'm just not feeling it (because you won't let yourself!)
4. etc. etc. etc.

Finally, sitting here, all opened up thanks to some cleansing tears and finding it VERY difficult to shake some negative storytelling that's popping up I figured out why I haven't been willing to set new intentions.  It's BECAUSE (and this is the part where you all nod and smile knowingly because you probably already knew this) if I set the new intentions that means I don't get any say in whether what I have now will be a part of the manifestation of the next chapter in this life.  I don't get to say that I want to keep and what I am willing to let go of.  I get to say what I want and then step back and let the magic work in whatever way is going to be the most effective.

If I set new intentions, and they come from my heart and from pure desire I may lose the job, the apartment, the city, or the sweetheart in order to make room for the job, the apartment, the city, or the sweetheart that/who is the best match for what I've said I want to experience.

WHAT?!  but I'm happy with what I have now!

Yep, and therein lies the magic.  Be happy with what you have now.  Be clear about what you desire.  Life will fill in the blanks.

Really, fucking scary.  But it works.

So, yeah.  I wrote the new intentions.  They're out there now... and there is so much about right now that I hope I get to keep, but I'm also pretty damn excited to see what's in store for me next.  Surrendering to you, universe.  Be gentle with me please, I'm sensitive.  Thanks.