Earlier this evening I read a blog that was sad, sad, (double, triple) sad.
The writer (a working mother with an enviable full-time position) wrote post after post about her broken heart; the boyfriend she loved, the relationship that would never work, her pain, her sadness, the loneliness, the loss.
It got me thinking.
I’m not that sad about the break-up part of my divorce.
Yes, it will be sad to lose my house; for the kids not to have their parents together; for the loss of the potential that was there.
Sad about the break-up I am not.
Maybe it’s because we killed the marriage so thoroughly that the break-up part is a relief.
Maybe having my heart broken (mere minutes after exiting my teenage years) was so painful that I never since put myself in the position to be heart-broken again.
There was so much sad emanating from that grown-up woman’s blog over her grown-up sad, sad break-up.
Am I wrong to find that a little immature? How many times does a person’s heart need to be broken before they stop allowing it to happen? She mentioned she had an ex-husband. Was her heart broken then too?
It’s possible that my own heart was so hardened by the deep pain of young heart-break that I just can’t understand a grown person wallowing in love lost.
Thanksgiving is coming, but instead of being enthusiastic about the holiday itself, I’m excited about celebrating my daughters’ birthday; born five years ago on Thanksgiving day, 2007.
It was a wild ride – pregnancy with twins; months of bed rest, nervous ultrasounds, undetermined blood tests. Especially after several losses.
The fact that my turkeys arrived on Thanksgiving day was like a gift from the stars.
It came with a message that said …
“Here you go. Here is what you wished for. Here is the meaning of your life. These two 4-pounders are your daughters and they’ve been born on Thanksgiving day so that you never forget how grateful you must be for the gift of their lives on this Earth.”
And I was grateful. More grateful than for anything I’d ever received.
And while I was swimming in gratefulness, recovering from a nasty c-section, pulling my IV drip back and forth to the nursery despite pleas from nurses to rest, I was also arguing with my husband and begging nurses to make him leave. We had fought throughout the pregnancy. I never felt loved and I always felt alone when he came around.
We couldn’t get along, even at this most blessed time. Our paths were divergent despite the impending arrival of two growing babies with our DNA.
My divorce has been a long time coming. It is painful and ugly, and strips me of my will to smile whenever I’m in his presence.
But tomorrow I’m determined to (just) be thankful for my girls. They gave me what I always wanted. I wanted to be a mom.
My errands today will revolve around preparations for the celebration. A cake with mermaids will be picked up and their LeapFrog Tablet will be wrapped.
It’s a pretty neat present for a couple of five year olds; easy to get, picked out from Target.
I only wish I was able to give them the best gift of all; the gift of a happy family. Children with happy, intact families are the luckiest of all.
For this, I am ungrateful. Ungrateful, without thanks, and hoping that they never suffer from the knowledge of their unluckiness; the failure of their parents stripping them of what should have been their right.
When your child/children were born, did you feel like it brought you and your spouse closer or did it put more stress on an already strained relationship? What will you be giving thanks for tomorrow around your dinner table?
Searching for inspiration is tough when ho-humnity is the name of your game, and your job is to write things that people want to read.
It’s better, then, to turn off the part of the brain that refuses to cooperate and focus on the activities that generate tidings of comfort and joy.
Here is the plan:
1. The kids and I browsed Pinterest this morning and found a graphic designer named Sarah Walsh whose aesthetic interests (pins) spoke to my brain on the side that doesn’t use words. The kids became so inspired by Sarah’s Illustration Station board that they are currently, quietly content at their own art table creating what I know will be framable works of art.
Somewhere in this messy house of mine is a beautiful set of art pens (hidden so the kids wouldn’t use them, but where could they be?) that I must (MUST) find today. Expression through art is necessary in this time of angst (divorce, divorce, divorce).
2. Outside my windows is a dark grey sky; the kind that makes me wonder if the sun is ever going to rise. No matter, I will be bundling my bod (from top of head to tip of toes) as I exit for an early morning run.
It will probably be brutally cold, hurt on a cellular level, but the results will be warmed blood, a regenerated system, and hopefully some adrenaline to push me through my day.
3. Later today, I’m taking my kids to vote. The lessons that I hope they’ll learn will outweigh the irritation that might occur from bored kids pulling on my clothes or the uncomfortable squeeze and tight proximity of three inside a voting booth.
“Women have rights, girls. They have the right to choose who they think should be the boss of America.Once upon a time women weren’t allowed to vote. People with different colored skin weren’t allowed to vote. Ridiculous, right? I don’t know who is going to win today, girls, but I pray he is able to do a good job. We are lucky to live in the United States of America. We are lucky and blessed to have freedom.”
Freedom. The ultimate inspired thought.
What do you do when you are struggling for inspiration? Do you change your focus or just plow though?
When you judge a person for the mistakes of their youth,
You are not highlighting their ill-fated decisions.
What you are doing,
Which is far worse,
Is highlighting your own inhumanity.
Ever felt like this – whether you are the one judging or like you are busily fighting off the inhumanity; wielding off judgement with your mightiest sword? How do find your own humanity in either case? How do you find peace amidst the fray?
Wednesday is weakening my wesolve (wink, wink) leaving me less than perky.
A daughter’s “nightmarer” made the sleeping touch and go and the morning hours rough.
Ninety-nine percent humidity on this October the third? My sweaters and boots are waiting more patiently than I.
Getting out of stretchy pants at some point today might have helped. Instead I look like I could roll right back into bed, which most likely will happen when it’s time for little people to hit the hay; snuggle in and dream until Thursday.
If I hadn’t been searching for a Wednesday image, though, I wouldn’t have come across Christian Petersen’s terrific work. Could this print be any cuter or more apropos?
What about your Wednesday? Wonderful or wacky or weird or whatever…?
It was designed by the famous architect William Barry in 1888 for his aunt, Mary Cleaves Lord Coleman. Her husband Walter Coleman had bought the two lots it would sit upon as a wedding gift to his bride, and though she died before it was completed, he spent many of his summers in the beach cottage until the end of his life.
Over time there were small changes made to the structure of the house, but to this day, the place looks much as it always did.
Once, a long time ago, my mother said she saw a vision of a woman in the doorway from my bedroom (back when it was her bedroom) heading upstairs to the third floor.
I’m a believer in such things; not sure what really happens when we die, but all things being possible, why wouldn’t old souls walk the floors of this historic old house.
One night last week I put the girls to sleep while the sun was still shining, tip-toeing downstairs for some time to myself; a great feat that I didn’t pass out in the sweet space between my daughters.
I wanted to watch my shows, my Showtime shows, whose exquisite writing allow me to escape in half hour increments.
To my delight, Weeds had begun again after a great big cliff hanger last season that had left me praying for Nancy all winter.
The episode (two of season eight) did not disappoint; my heroine didn’t die from the presumed gunshot to the head, but had come full circle from housewife to weed connoisseur to criminal mastermind and back to sweet Nancy.
The episode followed Nanc through the hospital during her recovery.
Upon the final scene, my heroine pulled and heaved to climb a set of stairs which was the litmus test for her discharge to freedom. Wearing knee socks and silver clogs (part of the reason I love her so much is her eclectic and always interesting shoe choices) she wobbled and grasped, careful in her footing and determined to make it to the top.
The camera held still at her back.
I held my breath and sat perched on the edge of the striped upholstered sofa.
Out of my mouth came the exalted prayer for Nancy’s survival. I heard my voice exclaim with hope and certainty, “Nancy! Don’t fall!”
And in the instant that the words escaped my mouth, before she turned to face the screen, came the smack of a picture frame (an embroidered sign carefully enclosed) that chose to leap from its settled place against the wall.
The splat of the frame as it hit face down on the built-in book shelves, which hold the television, the frame, and a hundred other dodads collected by my mother over the years, left an eerie absolution that I was heard. But heard by whom?
My mouth hung open as Nancy’s smile declared she’d won the battle. She’d made it to the top with determination, ferociousness and strength.
Mom, who happened to be seated to my left looked at me wide-eyed and stunned; the moment becoming powerful in the assemblance of the parts.
In every day there are signs that alert us to our paths.
Maybe if the frame had fallen minutes after the show had ended we would have chalked it up to the wind.
Maybe if it had fallen moments before we would have been irritated by the intrusion to our heightened excitement over our program.
But it didn’t. It fell at such a moment that no doubt could be explicated. It was a sign, literal and metaphysical, just for me.
My faith has been wavering as of late (as my divorce is imminent), but that moment let it be restored.
I am not alone, despite the nights that I feel utterly so.
And in that reminder came a new peace, albeit a temporary peace; an assurance and awakening to the fact that there is something greater than I that will be with me as I travel this path I have chosen.
I’ve been sitting in front of a blinking cursor for most of the morning writing and trashing and then leaving to surf only to return to try, try again.
The one certainty to this mess of writers block has been the title.
It’s how I feel right about now; surrounded by cracked eggs, tip toeing over them, trying not to slip and fall.
My mother has taken the girls to the town parade and then to the grocery store and (if they are lucky) to the dollar store, too.
I should run. I should do something. Instead I sit here not quite able to do anything.
A decision has been made and my excitement over the future is quelled by the paralyzing nature of such a life turning event.
It’s not like saying that you are going to write a book or run a marathon.
A divorce doesn’t have a finish line (with kids involved) and it’s not something that can be held up with pride like one’s first published novel.
There’s no pride in seeing a divorce sitting upon your shelf.
There’s a strange thing that happens when you know the time has come. When the pain of the past is put away and the anger is gone.
As if fairy magic has poofed it away.
And my inner peace makes the decision less about flailing and proving my rightness.
I did the best I could and I gave it all I had, but it still might take a little time to sweep away the mess, to find my way around the broken shells and stickiness that have up to now caused me so much strife.
There’s beauty is knowing that underneath the goo is a shiny new floor (or in this case, a life).
A shining clean slate upon which new steps will be taken. Big leaps of faith. Less tip toeing. More stomping in the direction of an existence full of possibilities.
And there is this hope.
Hope and love.
Peace and acceptance.
Only now do I understand and for that I am more grateful than I am afraid.
I was told that my chances of getting published are slim to none.
I was urged to have a backup plan.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
I don’t have a journalism degree.
The only professional who has ever told me that my writing was any good was my Seventh grade tutor, and really, she was being paid by my parents.
I have not been paid for my writing; have not made five cents in this endeavor.
It’s not about the money, friend.
It’s about passion. It’s about love. It’s about the need to express, so that I don’t go mad.
Mad as in crazy.
I have enough mad as in mad. Oh, you made me mad as in mad. It’s like that button has your name on it. It’s reserved especially for you.
Which makes me wonder.
I can’t control you or what you think or your lack of vision. I can’t make you see what I see.
I can only control how I react when that button gets pushed.
And I don’t like how I felt inside and how the blood under my skin started to boil and my anger at your belittment seethed. It felt like a simultaneous punch to the heart and gut and my writer’s spirit will not allow that kind of repugnancy and so my mouth flew open and the words spit themselves out.
Yes, it’s my protection. No, it isn’t right.
This is a character flaw. It’s why I have to write.
God can’t help me. Therapy can’t change me. My soul needs to understand how your mean cannot affect me.
It seems to encompass so many of the things that I need and it very well might be the path that leads to my enlightenment.
Since life is a journey and Rome wasn’t built in a day, this day I’ll focus on a moving image on constant rotation in my house as a child. Barbra Streisand’s Funny Girl spoke to me then as she does now.
Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to. If someone takes a spill it’s me and not you. Who told you your allowed to rain on my parade!
My husband and I have been going round and round with the same issues.
It’s caused a major rift that seeps into all things and we often find it hard to be nice to each other.
This morning it started again. Same cycle. Same frustration. Same wish that it could be different.
As I made my coffee I started to hum the Randy Newman song that I’d first heard in the film entitled Beaches way back in 1988.
“…human kindness is overflowing and I think it’s gonna rain today.”
Minutes later when I got on the computer to start my work, one of the first things I saw was a story about a young American man being caught on video demonstrating an act of kindness to a stranger in a foreign land. Read the article here. It’s beautiful and the video has gone viral.
Just now while blog surfing and waiting for the kids to get out of the bath tub (we’re headed to a Princess Party), I read this.
Human kindness is overflowing.
My subconscious (forgive me 50 Shades readers) and the Universe reminded me of what is important.