Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hello, my name is Procrastination

I am not usually a procrastinator. I do not like to waste time. I do things efficiently and deliberately and in a timely manner. But for whatever reason, these past few days, I just cannot seem to get myself to accomplish much of anything.

I'd like to blame it on the air conditioning, or lack thereof. On Friday afternoon at 4:58pm, our air conditioning unit died. Blaker immediately started calling repair shops only to find that they all closed at 5 for the weekend. Nobody would help us--even the 24-hour services said they only did weekend and after-hours calls for emergencies (like gas leaks). Early in the week this would not have been a problem with the crazy winds and temps in the upper 60's, but by Friday we were back to the 80's, with humidity. After talking to my Dad (who can fix anything), Blaker determined that it was the motor on the unit that had died and that he should be able to replace it himself. Only there was nowhere open to buy a motor over the weekend. Then, he picked one up yesterday, brought it home, and it did not fit. Needless to say, things have been kind of warm and sticky at my house.

Anyway, although I would LIKE to blame my lack of motivation on our unnaturally warm home, I don't really think that's the problem. I don't know exactly WHAT is causing me to be this way. Part of my brain is saying, "Oooh! It's almost Halloween! Let's decorate and make desserts shaped like brains and ghosts and such!" But I can't seem to get up and do it. That same part of my brain wants me to get around to ironing Bellamy's dresses that have been waiting in the laundry room for days, clean out the closet (it's a wreck), make a pile of things to donate to Goodwill, figure out what clothes the kids have outgrown and, consequently, what they need for Fall.

I kind of just want to take a nap.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wanted: Purpose

For quite a while now, I've been floundering along, just sort of meandering through life. Things have changed--we left Richmond and moved to Suffolk, Bellamy started kindergarten, Dad was diagnosed with cancer, so on and so forth. Regardless, emotions may have shifted here and there, scenery may be different, but overall, I don't feel like life took any big turns. I wish it had. I get bored with my life.

My wonderful friend, Michael, told me recently that it does not matter what happens to you, it only matters how you react to it. Simple enough, but something I had never really considered. The way that I choose to think about that is not that I overreact to bad things, but that I under react to good things. There is so much good, so much to see and learn and do. So much that could make me happy if I could just stop and let it.

I think I've been lacking purpose.

I probably would have never figured that out on my own. It's not a complicated concept, just one that really does not cross my mind very often. I started thinking about it when I was reading THE ALCHEMIST. (On a side note, THE ALCHEMIST is a lovely, fascinating, amazing book. If you are reading this, Bill, I owe you for suggesting it to me. ) In THE ALCHEMIST, the prevalent idea is that God gives one omens to lead one on his or her Chosen Path. A shepherd boy, Santiago, follows these omens to find his Purpose. The universe will conspire to help him on his journey, if only he follows these omens and stays true to his Purpose.

I think THE ALCHEMIST may be an omen. I think the universe may be sending me a message that I need a Purpose. And you know what? It's right. I do. I've been wandering around with this half-empty soul for a while now, trying to figure out what was wrong. I have a great husband whom I adore, healthy kids, a blessed life--where is my ever-elusive happiness? I need my Purpose. I have no idea what it is and I don't know how to find it, but I need it.

While I'm on the topic of omens, I should probably mention that I just joined a Bible study group for women around my age with small children. I don't go to the church they all attend, and I did not know any of them beforehand. I am not a joiner or someone who attends group activities, but I decided I would give this a try. At the first meeting, I learned that we will not be studying the Bible. We'll be reading A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE.

Dude. That is SO an omen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hey, Baby.... Any Chance You're A Libra?

I'm not a huge follower of astrology. I know my sign (Gemini) and the birth dates that correspond with all of the other signs, as well as a few of the supposed traits that go along with them. I know a little bit about what signs are romantically compatible and such. I've never checked to see if a moon was in retrograde or what position Pluto was in before I made a decision regarding something, though. It's all pretty low key--just something fun to think about.

Being a Gemini, I'm supposed to be creative, energetic, social, intelligent, occasionally shallow, fashion obsessed and TOTALLY have split personalities. I am many of those things, although social and fashion obsessed do not even remotely describe me. I'm a jeans kind of girl, and I am not particularly social. (I trick people into thinking I am, but I'm not. Ever. I do NOT enjoy large crowds, family gatherings, or meeting new neighbors. Ever. That's Blaker's territory. But, I'm digressing.) Anyway, the point of this isn't what qualities the various signs are supposed to possess. The point is that I have made an astounding discovery over the years, and that discovery is that I LOVE LIBRAS. I love Libras. I just do. Libras are the coolest people ever, and I don't even know why. It's not as though there is a certain quality I am picking up on (at least, not that I'm conscious of) or a particular trait I enjoy. There's just something about those crazy Libras that meshes well with me.

Due to my unsocial nature, I am not a person who goes around befriending people right and left. My friendships are careful, calculated. I have many acquaintances, but only a small handful of people with whom I feel I can open up and be myself with. Of those few people, most of them are Libras. Michael, my dearest and most beloved friend since I was a teenager--birthday, October 8th. Jennifer, my amazing friend for years whom I met through a diabetic magazine pen-pal article (and who actually just left my house after a 3-day visit)--birthday, October 19th. Madame Angie, who is the Kentucky version of me (which makes her AWESOME)--birthday, October 10th. Then there's my Gina, a relationship that dates back to high school and who is one of my favorite people ever--birthday September 22 (please note that some people consider her birthdate to be that of a Virgo, but not the dates I follow). There are more, but I assume you are getting the picture.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have a few friends whom I would give my life for, and who are not Libras. Rebecca is a Taurus, and I'm usually not thrilled with Tauruses, but Rebecca is the best. Then there is Blaker, whom I love with my whole being, and who is an Aries. (I have little experience with Aries, except to notice that they all seem to be bull-headed, bossy, and want to be in charge all the time. Blaker's lucky I love him so much because that crap gets old.) Which means that being a Libra is not required for me to love you, but it surely helps.

On the flipside, I have learned from much experience that I do not like people of the Pisces sign. They all seem to be strange and flaky, give off an odd vibe, and I just do not care for them, not a single one. Never have. I suppose it's possible that I have at some time in my life met a Pisces that I liked and just never knew he or she was a Pisces, but it's doubtful. I always ask people their birth date. It's a habit. Additionally, I'm not overly fond of Scorpios either, as I think they are volatile and unstable, but often enjoy watching them from a distance, sort of like a soap opera. And I have learned from repeated tragic attempts that I should never, ever be in a romantic relationship with a Scorpio. There is no greater recipe for disaster.

It has occurred to me that if I had only noticed my astrological preferences earlier in my life, I could possibly have avoided a number of unsavory relationships over the years. I could also have potentially gathered a band of Libras with whom to travel the world, merry and amok, and be living a free-wheeling lifestyle of continuous adventure. (It is with great sadness that I realize the window for these opportunities passed some time ago.) Perhaps in the future, I will make "What's your sign," the second question I ask people I meet. (You might think the first question would be "What's your name," but actually, with me, it's usually "How old are your children?")

In the meantime, are there any Libras out there?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank Goodness It's.....MONDAY

I'm starting to lose all faith in the weekends.

In my former life--the one where I got to do whatever I wanted on the weekends, which usually revolved around sleeping until eleven or so, having coffee in bed, then reading all day before a fun night out with Blaker--I lived for the weekends. Most people do, no? Weekends were the time to relax, to recharge, to savor the life that you worked so hard during the week to create for yourself.

As a parent, and specifically as a stay-at-home Mom, I have no weekend. Every day is the same. Saturday is no different from Wednesday, except that more often than not Blaker is able to spend the day with us. I used to at least look forward to that, because having Blaker home took a little of the pressure off of me and afforded us a little time together that we weren't able to have on the weekdays. However, as the kids have gotten older and things have gotten only more hectic, the bliss of Saturday and Sunday has completely disintegrated into something painful and exhausting for the entire family.

Blaker and I are so tired, but the kids still have their boundless energy, and little bodies whose internal clocks are set to wake up at 6am. The children have reached an age where they bicker nearly nonstop. Sutton wants to get a rise out of Belly (not hard to do) so he touches her on the arm. Belly, being the drama queen that she is, begins to wail and fake sob. Hitting, pushing, and screaming usually ensues before we're able to get the episode nipped. These theatrics are not particularly enjoyable at any hour (although can occasionally be entertaining after a second cocktail), but are even less so when the sun has not yet risen and you have only been back to sleep for about an hour from assuring one kid or another that there are no monsters in the closet for the fifth time that night. And on the weekends, when we are all always together, this just goes on and on in a loop that never ends.

When one wakes up grumpy, moods tend to go downhill from there, at least in our household. Listening to the kids argue over breakfast, fight while they play, and constantly ask for things they are perfectly capable of handling themselves will wear anybody out. Trust me. By the time we are all fed and dressed and ready to do something--anything!--Blaker and I are both so irritable we can barely speak to anyone and the kids are already to the point that they need a nap. Everyone is hot (I hate summer in Suffolk), tired, and very, very cranky. We don't usually recover.

Now that Bellamy has started kindergarten, weeks are much easier. I miss my girl, but from 8:15am until 3:30pm, I'm down to one kid who still takes a decent nap and has no one to argue with for an entire seven hours. It's probably as close as this Mommy can get to heaven right now. Whenever I think about how great it is, I start to feel terribly guilty, but frankly, it's true. It's wonderful. Blaker is at work, so I'm not worrying about the kids making him crazy. I have a little peace and quiet for a little window of time, which is more than I've had in years (my kids rarely napped at the same time).

So now I look forward to Mondays, which may or may not make me a bad wife and mother. Regardless, it does make me much more sane.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just Call Me A Fountain Of Wisdom

This morning at breakfast, my daughter informed me that I am a "freakin' genius," due to my lightning fast ability to untangle Barbie's hair. Thus, I decided to share some of my geniosity (not a real word, but perhaps it should be) with the world via

Things I Have Learned That YOU May Not Have Yet Experienced (and never may, but should be aware of anyway):

1. Christmas morning is not actually ruined if the Christmas tree falls over on the tile floor and breaks all the blown-glass ornaments during the gift opening. However, if it hits your brother and gives him a concussion on the way down, it does in fact delay the festivities.

2. Red nail polish looks a lot like blood, and will cause complete hysteria if you and your baby end up covered in it in the middle of Wal-Mart. It also does not come out of clothes, and is difficult to remove from hair and jewelry.

3. If the gynecologist asks you if it's okay for a student to assist during your annual exam, say, "No. Absolutely not." Otherwise, you may end up with an entire medical team taking turns poking their fingers up your naughty bits to see how a diaphragm SHOULD feel when it's placed correctly. (Note that this is great for a cheap thrill.)

4. She who carries a flask in her purse at all times is NOT an alcoholic, but merely prepared for anything.

5. I don't care if you take them at exactly the same damn time every day and never EVER miss a pill, birth control pills are not 100% effective. EVER.

6. If you use a Sharpie to draw a curly moustache on your dog, along with a tattoo on his belly that says "I like drunk chicks," be prepared to explain it all to the vet when something inexplicably happens to cause the dog to need to go to the vet. Because something WILL happen, and you WILL have to take the dog to the vet, and the vet WILL want to know why your dog has a moustache and a tattoo. (Just trust me on this one.)

7. It's fine to get a tattoo on a whim. Just don't get it of a large, colorful pea hen (a female peacock) and on a noticeable place like your wrist, particularly after you've been drinking.

8. It is difficult to jump on a trampoline in total darkness while eating gummy dinosaurs and drinking (more) vodka. Things spill. People fall off.

9. It's true what everyone says about changing little boys' diapers. At some point, he WILL pee in your mouth.

10. Wearing knee-high stiletto boots and using a dustpan is NOT the most effective way to shovel snow out of a driveway.

More later....