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I am the world’s worst traveller.

World’s. Worst.

I’m prone to motion sickness. I wear dorky wristbands with pressure points. I have to pee a lot. If I’m driving I’m a cranky driver and a lousy passenger. If I’m flying I’m nervous.

Worse than all of these, I like things to be JUST SO. Do you know how often things are JUST SO when you go outside of your tightly controlled home environment? Hint: NOT OFTEN ENOUGH.

Oddly enough, I love to travel. I look forward to it. I get excited about it. I have trouble sleeping the night before, and stare up at the ceiling in the dark, curling and uncurling my toes, willing myself to fall asleep so that I can wake up and get going. (more…)

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Question: How can you tell when I’ve written about having a really great day?

Answer: The NEXT day, the following occurs:
A) A child dons mud-crusted shoes and clomps through the freshly-vacuumed house,
B) My new website is hyped on a larger site and oh, by the way, is suddenly all weird-looking and broken,
C) Two days pre-haircut, I hit the critical “does she need a haircut or did a poodle die on her head?” stage,
D) It starts raining again (because it wasn’t WET ENOUGH),
E) All of the above.


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To have and have not

My eBay auctions are over, and the most memorable part that will remain in my mind was a woman mailing me to ask if my shipping cost on an item was a typo. I mailed back that it was not, and she responded telling me that she hoped I could sleep at night, despite the fact that I was “ruining eBay for everyone” with my “outrageous inflation.” I mailed her back a somewhat civil explanation of the weight of the item and calculated cost, then asked her to please not bother bidding on any of my items, because I felt her attitude was ruining eBay for everyone; but that she should have herself a pleasant evening.

As I weighed the box and printed out the shipping label, tonight, I discovered that–and I assure you, it’s sheer serendipity–the actual shipping cost to the winning bidder? Is exactly what I charged. I’ll be sleeping just fine tonight. I suspect that woman, however, will be kept awake with her righteous indignation and the neverending job of patrolling the world.

All that anger over a few dollars. How much do you want to bet Indignant McEBayQueen has plenty of money?

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Milestones instead of millstones

Sometimes I find myself being impatient with my children when they are slow to change behavior that has already proven counterproductive. To wit: Monkey does NOT like it if he is the last one upstairs on school mornings. You’d think this would compel him to get ready faster, but you’d be wrong. What it DOES cause him to do is pitch a great big hairy hissy fit when he realizes that I am packing lunches and Chickadee is eating breakfast and he is standing at the top of the stairs, alone and naked save for the underwear on his head. It’s becoming a problem.

And honestly, I have no idea where he gets that. Make the same mistake over and over, and then cry about the results? That’s just dumb. And so completely foreign to me. Ahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Sorry. I really thought I was going to manage that one with a straight face, but ummmm, no.

[For you, Dad: Why do I keep banging my head against this wall? Because it feels so good when I finally stop!]

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Right here, right now

There are a few things in this world that can bring me to my knees in reverence. The pure elation–or hard-won growth–of one of my children. Really good, labor-of-love cuisine. A perfect melding of personalities. Selfless attention to those in need. Desire born of spirit rather than excess hormones. Honesty. Correction: Difficult honesty.

It’s easy to be honest when there’s nothing at stake, and too few people willing to be truthful when it matters.

Sometimes, I make excuses for those who are dishonest with me. I’m trying to convince myself that I can’t expect more. That it’s my (unrealistic) expectations that lead to my inability to find peace, oftentimes, rather than the guile of others.

And sometimes, the kick-start of someone else’s honesty reminds me that the truth of any moment is perfect. Such a perfect moment is a moment I can actually BE in without commentary or judgement. For a change.

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“But it wasn’t me!”

There are so many important lessons we parents are responsible for teaching our children. How to share. How to take turns. How to partake of a meal in a way that won’t get you thrown out of a restaurant or never invited back to a friend’s house. How to put things away when you’re done with them so that Mama doesn’t step on them in the dark and hop around cursing while holding her injured foot.

I struggle every day, hoping that I am helping my children become people whom I will be proud to know. Especially because I believe example is the best teacher, and sometimes my example isn’t all that I wish it was. Other times, I am at a loss to explain why things have happened as they have; either because I simply don’t know or because the full scope of the situation is beyond what they can understand.

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Needing to need

Many of my loved ones are people I characterize as being islands. You know the sort–they can HANDLE it, all by themselves, thankyouverymuch. In times of adversity I am always one of the first to smack these people around and say “You don’t NEED to be an island. Let some people in… you may be pleasantly surprised at how much it HELPS.”

Of course, I know this island sort, because I am one of them.

I believe in asking for help when you need it. But I don’t need it, you see.

Shut up.

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Everywhere I turn

The tissue fairy has been hard at work here.

Little white tufts adorn my house. Here, on the kitchen table. There, on the couch. One on the bathroom counter, and another atop the hamper.

One laying in the upstairs hallway, a single corner fluttering slightly every time I walk past it.

I hope that every dollar my son spends in his life gives him as much sprawling joy as the dollar he gave me for that stupid box of tissues.

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There are things I know, and there are things I feel.

I know that my children’s behavior is oftentimes not an accurate barometer of my fitness as a parent. But I need to see them behave properly to feel like I’m doing my job.

I know that a task well done, to the best of my ability, should be its own reward. But I need to have it acknowledged to feel like it matters.

I know I shouldn’t be so affected by others. Yet I fall apart and readily doubt myself the moment it is suggested to me that I have failed to meet expectations. Even when I know that the person making the accusation is wrong.

What’s up with that?

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Woulda Coulda Shoulda Gonna

Someone dear to me recently told me that they’re an “instant gratification” kind of person, and that I am the polar opposite.

I think the Girl Scout cookies might disagree.

But it got me thinking (oh, no! not the thinking, again!) about why that is. I’m a planner. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? Pfft. If you wait long enough, that bush will be swarming with birds, ya know. Just wait. Besides, I might lunge and miss altogether, and then I’ll have no bird in hand plus all the other birds will get spooked and then I won’t even be able to pretend to believe I might have them later.

(Please, someone take this metaphor away from me before I hurt myself. Yes, bird spooking, a regular part of my day! Um. I’m so sorry you had to see that.)

I’m waiting. You’re going, and doing, and enjoying. And most of the time? I’m just waiting. I mean, sure, yes, I’m busy, absolutely. Always busy. But forgetting to experience as I go along. Carefully laying the foundation for what comes later, maybe. And when it doesn’t come, I woulda-coulda-shoulda my choices for a while and then start planning for the next thing.

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