Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stream of Listness

  1. I started this post at 11:11. Make a wish.
  2. Did you realize that Christmas is two weeks from today? I mean, is it just me or is time stuck in fast forward. How did we get here? It's what year? What are you wearing? 
  3. So, I've been wearing a lot of scarves lately. Does everyone who wears scarves take them off when they eat? I've been doing it because I don't want to wash my scarf and potentially ruin it, but then I feel stupid. It's like a reverse bib. Just wondering if normal people do this or if I just eat like a three year old.
  4. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Not because I have anything to do, but because I don't have anything to do. The house is (relatively) clean, my Christmas shopping is (mostly) finished and I have no engagements until Sunday afternoon. I'm debating if I'm going to go do something or if I'm going to stay home and bake and wrap presents and act like Suzy Homemaker.
  5. I really, really, really want a nap. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. I didn't get enough sleep last weekend, but I should have made up for it by now. The struggle is real, folks. I can't seem to stay all the way awake no matter what I'm doing. I guess that's what I'm doing this weekend.
  6. I know I am like 10 years late to the party, but jeans and ballet flats are my new favorite thing. Also, those weird socks that aren't supposed to show in your ballet flats. Love those. Although I'm still looking for the version that just stays on all day.
  7. Sometimes I shred for stress relief. I just think about all the time and energy that went into whatever it is that I'm feeding into the shredder and how now, just a few years later, it's getting eaten up by tiny blades and it takes some of the pressure off. I kinda think that's weird, like how when I was little I would comfort myself and put myself to sleep by imagining that I was dead and everyone was crying at my funeral.
  8. I've been thinking about how sometimes you just need to feel appreciated and so I decided to invent a random compliment generator, but I had no idea how to do it and so I googled hoping to find instructions on building some other random generator and it turns out there's already one. So, I quit trying to do that. If you're feeling insecure:
  9. I don't believe in ten item lists. Love you guys. You're all rockstars. Learn something cool today. Peace out.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Think I'm Too Old To Rebel

So... You may have noticed I've been missing for... a while. And you may think that this is going to be one of those periodic, "Oh I'm so sorry and I'll do better posts," but it's not.

Here's the thing. November. Well, November sucked. Right and properly. I've been up, I've been down and I've been all around. Sometimes I don't know that I'm really having a rough time until I start to come out of it a little. And then I realize that I've been barely holding on for so long my fingers are bleeding.

Figuratively and literally (I'm a horrific nail biter.)

It's come to my attention that I am over stressed. I say this knowing that 90% of the population is over stressed. Stress is the elevator music of our lives: annoying, familiar and ever present. But lately I've been more. It hasn't been elevator music, it's been teenage boys living next door blasting their music at all hours until your foundations shake.

And I wonder why. I mean, I know why. I have a stressful job, I'm a single mom, I volunteer too much and then feel guilty that I'm not volunteering enough. I'm a natural caretaker and I worry about everyone around me.

But I really think that it's not what I stress about that's the problem, but how I deal with it. Which is to say that I don't. I tamp it down and tell myself I shouldn't worry so much and keep right on stressing. What I need to do is to step away from the stress, from all the things that worry me.

And now we're back to where we started. This blog. This blog has become stressful. I started out just writing because I wanted to write and then I decided that I wanted the blog to be good. I began to worry about what was entertaining, what was interesting and what was the right thing to say.

I began to worry about "how to write a blog." I tried to write even when I didn't have anything to say because the experts say that consistency is king. I didn't write when I did have something to say because the experts say to avoid certain topics. I didn't write when I had something to say because I didn't want to worry anyone or make anyone mad or hurt anyone.

And a little at a time, I shriveled up and died. Because that's not what this is for. My original name, Notes from a Scattered Mind, was exactly what I wanted to do - just random, all over the place, notes about everything. And my new title, Saving My Sanity for Posterity, is accurate too. I'm just trying desperately to get it all down, to get it all out.

To remember how Brynna begs me to read books she loves because she wants to share that with me and how Maren swears she hates books while begging me to read another chapter of Bunnicula. But it's more than that, too. I also want to get out there how I feel, who I am. I want to put it all out there, because one day I'll be gone, or I'll be someone else and I want to be able to remember me the way I am. Not only the way I want people to think I am.

So, this isn't an apology. It's a warning. I'm coming back. It won't be regular or methodical. It won't be perfect. I'll talk about everything. I'll cuss. My posts will be too long and too short and too angry. I'll have all caps and no caps. I'll have embarrassing admissions. It will be a mess. Because I'm a mess. But this is one mess I don't ever want to forget.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Once upon a time, a long time ago (well, six years), a baby was born. She was a sweet baby, a good baby, she was one of those mythical trouble free babies you hear women talk about and you wonder why they want to be murdered by stressed out, sleepless, borderline crazy mothers.

Her name was Maren. 
Then, in an astonishing twist of fate, I looked at her one day and she was a toddler. She was whip smart and capable of just about anything. She was always happy and always ready for an adventure. She also had a head full of the most amazing, perfect curls you ever did see. She was breathtaking.

She started school, and if she hadn't, we'd have all gone crazy because she was so incredibly busy and she learned faster than I could teach. Someone who spent a lot of time with her told me that they thought I was crazy for starting my kids in school so young, but Maren totally needed it.
She was good at school. She made friends easily and she sponged up all the knowledge that she could manage. She got so big and so amazing that sometimes I would just stare at her and wonder where in the world she came from. She is so much kinder than her dad or I have ever dreamed of being, so much more generous and affectionate. I am constantly proud of her, not just what she's accomplished, but who she is, naturally, without even trying.

You know how some kids develop personality and one day they are just a kid, like any other kid and the next they are an individual person? Maren wasn't like that. She was always all personality. She is as girly as they come - princesses and baby dolls, pink and glitter. She is as tomboy as they come - covered in grease and mud and never too scared give something new a try. She loves cars and trains and things that go. She loves cooking and crafting and making things just right. She loves glitter and bling and butterflies.

She is a whirling dervish. Never stopping, never even really slowing down. She hits the bed and 90 miles an hour and by three a.m., she's been up, to the bathroom, given the dog a pep talk and climbed in my bed. Then up at six (at the latest) and it all starts again, a roaring, frantic, excited mess of happiness and love and kisses and hugs and art and running and jumping and swimming and playing and soaking it all in.
I'll admit it, sometimes I forget. I forget that she's only six, because she talks like a ten year old, understands like a teenager and can carry on a conversation like an adult. She reads and writes and does math problems for fun. She knows a disturbing amount of things about an amazing amount of subjects.

But sometimes I forget she's already six, too. She's my baby. The last baby. And there she is, pudgy cheeks, crawling in my lap, holding my hand, calling me Mama. There she is all smiles and never a worry. There she is, my girl.

I went to her "birthday celebration" at Montessori today and I managed not to cry through the whole ceremony of walking the Earth around the sun. And then, her teacher reminded the children that this would be Maren's last birthday celebration at Montessori and the tears ran.

That baby, the one that I can't seem to admit is growing up and can't seem to realize isn't already grown, she's six.  I've had six beautiful years with her and I have no doubt that all the ones yet to come will be just as lovely. Because it's hard to not be happy when she's around. It's hard to not smile when she laughs. And it's hard to forget you're loved by someone who never stops telling you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Conversations with a Five Year Old - Frustration Edition

Maren: I'm hungry.
Me: I know, but in just a little while, we're going to get ice cream for Papaw's birthday, so no snacks.
Maren: But I'm hungry now!
Me: But we're celebrating in a few minutes.
Maren: Hmph.
Me: You know, it's a big deal. Papaw survived another trip around the sun, we need to celebrate that.
Maren: No he didn't. It's just his birthday.
Me: Yeah, that's a figure of speech. That's what a birthday is. You lived another year and traveled around the sun again.
Maren: No, you didn't. You just stayed in the same place.
Me: Yes. You stayed in the same place on the Earth, but the Earth traveled around the sun. On its orbit.
Maren: No, it didn't.
Me: Yeah, it's like in school, when you have a birthday, you hold the globe and walk around the sun candle to signify that you've been around the sun again.
Maren: That's school. We don't do that with our family.
Me: I know. What I'm trying to say is that you do that at school to signify something that really happens.
Maren: No it doesn't. The Earth does not move.
Me: Yes, it does. Remember the solar system model at school and the planets all have an orbit and they go around the sun. It's science.
Maren: NO, IT'S NOT. That's just a Montessori thing, it's not real life.
Me: Baby, the stuff you learn in Montessori is real. You learn it differently from kids in other kindergartens, but it's still real stuff.
Maren: NO. It's not. It's not real, it's not, it's not, it's not, it's not.
Me: I think you're getting too upset. Maybe we should talk about this later.
Maren: Maybe I should have a SNACK!

In the car:
Maren: (high pitched dog-whistle-esque scream)
Me: What's wrong?
Maren: I think my seatbelt cut my earring in half.
Me: What?
Maren: The seatbelt got caught on my earring and I got it loose, but I think it cut the flower off.
Me: Okay. I'll see if I can fix it when we get to school.
Maren: What am I supposed to do now?
Me: Don't worry about it.
Maren: Should I hold the back into my ear. I'm doing that, but it hurts a little.
Me: What?
Maren: The back.
Me: Do you have the back.
Maren: Yeah, I'm holding it into my ear.
Me: You don't have to do that, just don't lose it.
Maren: But what if my hole closes.
Me: It won't. Not between here and school.
Maren: But it might. I'm not getting them pierced again. It was terrible. I don't know why anyone does that. You don't have to have pierced ears, you know.
Me: Yeah, I know that.
Maren: Then why did you make me do it?
Me: Because you wanted to and you were showing enough responsibility that I thought you could handle keeping your ears clean and healthy. I was right about that, but if I were psychic and I had known how much you would complain about it, I would never have done it.
Maren: Here it is. I found my earring. It was on my shirt.
Me: Good. Just hold onto it.
Maren: What if my ear hole has started to close up and the earring won't go in and it hurts when you try.
Me: It won't.
Maren: Can I just have one ear pierced.
Me: It's fine. Quit worrying about it. Your ear is fine and you are fine and it won't hurt and everything is absolutely fine!
Maren: Don't yell at me. I'm very upset and fragile.
Ten minutes later... Literally.
Maren: That didn't hurt.
Me: I told you so.
Maren: Awww. You're not supposed to say that. It's disrespectful.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Making Peace

Have I mentioned lately that I'm stressed? If I haven't, it's because I haven't been around enough to say anything. I am stressed. Out. I am losing hair, losing sleep and losing my grip on reality. Yesterday, I broke down and sobbed in the parking lot of the grocery store because my stuff wasn't bagged correctly.* I do not do that. That is not me.

This is a combination of things. For starters, my job is... um... interesting right now. Secondly, my personal life seems to have suddenly gotten crazy. And finally, I think I'm just losing it. Yesterday, Maren patted me on the shoulder and said, "Mommy, you feel bad too much. You need to go to the doctor." Sure-sure. I'll get to that. Eventually.

In the meantime, I'm trying to make peace. I am putting a conscience effort into trying to carve out time to just be at peace with everything. Even if it's only a minute of peace, I'm trying to make myself be there and just enjoy it.

Last week, I brought my dog to work on Friday. I used to bring him a day or two a week, but I kinda quit when it got hot because I didn't want to go outside at noon to walk him.

All morning, he slept on the floor right behind my chair, where I could hear his slow, unbothered breathing. Then, at lunch time, we went for a walk around the pond. When we were well away from any other dogs, I let him off his leash and he ran and played and chased butterflies. On a couple of occasions, a mower or a golf cart would approach and I would call him and he'd come stand right at my side until I patted him to go on.

On the way back, we even stopped and sat in the grass to take a selfie.

That afternoon, he was a little less well-behaved, barking at all the other dogs in the building. And that night, he kept me up all night while he tried to guard dog a tent full of preteen birthday celebrants.

But that day, I had more peace than I'm used to.

I'm not sure if the lesson learned is that I need to never leave home without River or if it's that just being near peace makes me more peaceful. Maybe it's both. I don't know. But what I do know is that I can't change what's going on in my life right now. But maybe I can change my reaction to it.

*In my defense, I shop for three to four households every week and my big requirements for bagging is that you keep all our crap separate. I don't really think I'm asking for a lot here.