Saturday, October 29, 2011

It is Raining Geraniums

We all turn into our elders.  It is only a matter of time.  One of my favorite dad stories is the time he sat me down to talk to me about being more aware of my surroundings and encouraged me to slow down and think before I sped from one thing to the next.  I nodded in agreement, willing the lecture to be over;  "I get it, I get it."  As he nodded that I could go, I shot up and hit the hanging plant over my head, shattering the pot and raining down dirt and geraniums on both our heads.  The next nod I got was one of resignation.

Now, I am giving the speeches, and they are so very good and equally effective.  Today's classic response to one of those eloquent speeches that I have given 30 times before was "I never heard you say that before."  Just like I never heard my parents, until right about now.

Kids are karma, your very own spiritual teachers reminding you of you...the younger you, the you that sped through life without a care in the world, trusting your parents would pick up the pieces, which they did, time and time again.  My mom pushing us to be compassionate, my dad pushing us to "do right" and my grandmother pushing a spiritual path.  What a pushy group.  So as I sit here, watching a foot of snow fall in October, I am thankful for who I am turning was my grandfather's voice telling me to fill my car up with gas before the storm.  I am especially grateful for those voices when it is raining geraniums.  Bring it on my little campers, I was taught by the best.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3 Cups of Tea

I enjoyed Greg Mortenson's tale of building schools for girls in Afghanistan and combating terrorism, racism, and poverty.  I even continued to feel sympathy and compassion for all involved after Jon Krakauer wrote his digital expose "3 Cups of Deceit" detailing how much of the story was a myth created by a self-aggrandizing odd duck.  Don't get in the middle of dueling mountaineers, they are notoriously cranky.

My own tale is a more humble version having nothing to do with a global vision and everything to do with my internal descent into chaos.  This morning I woke at 5:30 from a dream that featured me frantically trying to dial my husband at work on a rotary phone and a cranky operator coming on the line telling me that "those phones" don't work anymore and that I would have to drive over and give him the message.  Am I the phone?  Most likely.  I do a little negotiating with myself in the morning....5 more minutes and just forget about picking out jewelry.  5 more minutes after that, you can just buy lunch at work.  There is a lot of wheeling and dealing with part of me that really just wants to sleep, a bunch more. 

Still so tired, I made some tea and put it into Cup #1.  Just as I was about to drink it, a great debate ensued about the application for ski club that had a hard and fast deadline of "right this minute".  No tea for me, time to drive to work.  I poured tea into Cup #2 and headed out the door.  As I sat in the driver's seat, I realized that I had chosen a cup with no lid.  Cup #3 was chosen from several possibilities because the content was still liquid.  

Lately, I have felt combative, restless, and astray from my path.  When those feelings wash over me, I return to the writings of those who have travelled for many lifetimes:

Drinking Tea

This cup of tea in my
two hands,
mindfulness is held uprightly.
My body and mind dwell
in the very here and now.                     Thich Nhat Hanh

Even if you have to do it three times:)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You can't use your crossbow in the house

As a mom, you sometimes find yourselves saying things that perhaps have never been said before, by anyone at anytime in history.  Or that is how it feels when it is coming out of your mouth (see title).

Still, the trickier times are the ninja conversations.  These are the conversations that sneak up on you, pulverize you and melt back into the alley.  Today, on the way to church, we all read this billboard in front of the local Church of Christ:

God invented Sex, so follow his advice about it in the bible.

Son:  What does that sign mean Mom?
Me:  Well, that sign is saying that you should follow what the bible says about sex (trying to remember what the bible says about it that sex is bad?, that is not it exactly...oh, right, right, you shouldn't have any for quite some time....until you are married...I think that is it!!!!!!!)
Daughter:  What does the bible say about sex?
Me:  To the best of my recollection, the bible says that you should not have sex before you are married.
Son/Daughter:  That sounds good....what do you think mom?
Me: (Thank you Church of Christ, thank you so much)  The thing about sex is that your body is ready for it before your mind and soul are ready (where are these words coming after school special lodged in my psyche?)
Son:  I'm not ready, I haven't even seen the puberty film (coming up in his 5th grade health curriculum)
Daughter:  What is puberty?
Son:  It is a growth thing
Me:  It is not gross...I know your wigged about the puberty film but puberty is a natural thing, it is not gross
Son:  I said growth, not gross.
Daughter:  It is gross.

Ninja conversation, come on back...I'm going to do a little training.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Things are being interfered with.....

This working thing is relentless as in it happens every single day.  Things are being interfered with like writing and musing and running and creating and singing and raking and planting and dancing.  Just to name a couple.  All my buddies are telling me this thing takes time, that I will acclimate to being back in the work force full time.  But here is the thing; I acclimated pretty damn well to not working.  I got used to being sorta relaxed and most of all, being my own boss.

Here is my metaphysical quandary:  all that gold may glitter but at what cost?  We buy into this idea that we need to work hard, doing something we are passionate about and contribute to the greater good.  But sometimes, we let go of our creative selves, our balanced selves, our best selves unless we are very blessed to find a job that allows us to be those things, some of the time.  I hope my job will turn out to be is my spiritual work to make it so.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Restraint Training

I spent today in restraint training, which poses a few philosophical questions not unlike the questions politicians are faced when going to war.  To maintain peace/safety, I am going to invade your country/physical space and move you to where I think you need to be.  Same deal.  A country or student is aggressing and hurting others.  What to do?  My answer is usually to walk with the kid, away from the trigger and talk/listen.  It goes a long way.  It is helpful to know what to do if things escalate but I'm not going to put a kid down and I'm not going to fire a weapon in the name of peace.  So, I think it is safe to say that I did not pass my training with flying colors.  No heart, no skill.

On the drive home, drivers were beeping at each other, and cutting each other off.  I yelled out "everyone needs to calm the hell down."  I thought I showed great restraint.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In True

I have added a yoga class to my regime, in the quest to come back in true ( a great word left over from my cycling days which means "to make true, shape, adjust accurately; to make level).  When you are 20, you still blame your parents for being out of true.  In your 30's, it is your crazy spouse, job, commute, etc.  Now, I'm finding that it is on me.  My happiness, my balance, my peace are in my hands.  If I choose to go back to work full-time and continue to try and do it all, the wheels will come off and I will be, spectacularly out of true.

Here is the week in review:

Monday:  Working off of 3 calenders and 4 lists.  Spend 1/2 hour at work figuring out a system for which list/calender to put which items on.  Can't remember teacher/student/parent/nurse or crossing guard names.  Eat lunch alone.
Tuesday:  Work, kid's soccer, SuperStore of one kind or another, laundry, happen to notice it is fall.  Put rusty Halloween pail on porch.  Trip on pail and may need tetanus shot.  Yoga:)
Wednesday:  Colleague at conference, no lunch, lock-down, no peace.  Husband takes kids to Lion King, I cry with joy.
Thursday:  What, work again?
Friday:  Work, kid's dance, and somehow everyone needs to eat.  Living on Luna bars, green tea, flatbread sandwiches from Dunkin Donuts and grapes...just to keep it healthy.
Saturday:  Yoga, seeing my friends,kid's soccer and now...writing a few notes to myself.

I'm not sure what to let go far it seems to be healthy eating and cleaning my house:).  It is possible I will have to cut down to one book club and less crisis response volunteering.  I know I can trim the metaphysical adding yoga?  Maybe, maybe.