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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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Needy

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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Perceptual ambiguity

If you’ve ever taken Psych 101, you’ve seen this image. What do you see? An old woman, or a young girl?

Today–a “one step forward, three steps back” kind of day–I feel like I’m sizing up a picture like this. First I see the old hag; the things in my life that turn my hair grey, all of the sadness and frustration and dissatisfaction with various things. Then I blink, and it’s the maiden; all of the abundant blessings that have come to roost in my life, some hard-won and some simply grace in action. With each blink the picture shifts.

The part that forces me to look away entirely is when the two blur together and the whole falls out of focus and ceases to make any sense. Today too many of my blessings are covered in sharp edges and dilemmas and doubts. It makes me weary, but also gives me the feeling of being on the cusp of something important.

If only I can figure it out.

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Drinking it in

This may come as a huge shock, but I am not exactly a fan of winter. I know I hide it really well, but it’s true. I don’t like to be cold, I don’t like snow, the endless muddy trail of bootprints in the house makes me want to cry. And as much as I hate to go out in it, being trapped in the house is hardly better. One should never have to go too many days without the feel of sunlight on one’s face. (One=me, and anyone else who has a bit of seasonal affective stuff going on.)

February is often my most difficult month. Winter has been dragging on long enough that I am DONE with it, even if it isn’t done with me. Spring is still far off in the distance. I’m tired and restless and searching for something I can’t seem to find.
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