Sunday, June 3, 2012


I'm awfully glad the blog is still here and available.  I'd misunderstood a warning email I'd gotten about "retiring" something and not having access to it after May 31, and I was afraid it was about my blog.  (I'd managed to ignore it anyway).  I miss my blog, and I especially miss writing.  I really need to get back into it. It's better than therapy, really, and I'm afraid I've forgotten how to do it.  Once I started posting single sentence zingers on facebook, and getting all that feedback from old high school buddies, neighbors and distant family members, my desire to put together whole essays waned.  Also my ability. I think this has happened throughout the internet world.  iPhones and twitter have made us think we need only post 4 words out there, and we can get all kinds of responses and feedback and love. It's a myth, however.

So here I am trying to write again.  It's going to be difficult to retrain my brain to write in this way, I believe. But it will be a worthwhile exercise. And if I stick with it, maybe the ability to focus will spill over into the rest of my life, and I'll stop losing things and missing appointments and leaving everything half finished.  Maybe...

St. Augustine Beach, April 2012

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I'm going to do a little experiment. I'm going to try and let go. I mean, stop trying to micromanage everything and see what happens. Also, be kinder. Let compassion guide me. It's embarrassing to admit, but I think I can be very unkind. Unyielding too. Hold people to too high expectations. A little like Katherine Hepburn's character in The Philadelphia Story. (Only without the willowy stature and elegant clothing). My standards are too high, maybe. And I'm hard to please.

The message of benevolence has been relayed to me from many voices over the past several months. Church. Yoga class. Doctor's offices. Books by Elizabeth Gilbert. I just haven't been putting them together. Essentially the message is this: Love and compassion are the way to eternal peace and divinity. God is compassion. A life of love is a life of peace. And it's weird, because I know I love my kids and my husband more than anything. But there is rarely peace.

Also, the more I try to control, the less effective I am. And the more worried and tense that I feel. What do I think, that if I don't act, the world will stop turning on its axis? The birds will fall out of the sky? The kids' performance in school will decline miserably? I'm not sure what I think, but those options all sound pretty pompous.

I try to be loving. I could say that all my actions (and reactions) are out of love. But to be kinder. To be more understanding. To act with compassion. These are the goals of this experiment.

I'll start with one week. Just try to let go. And be kind.
I'll be yar, now. I promise.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You call these "Adventures?"

OK. So here's the thing. The real, true "adventures" of this mama, are really no good for sharing. They are just too... well, let's say, controversial. And I've felt this before about blogging. I'm either being to candid and sharing too many intimate details of my life. Or, I'm retelling them in too casual a way, with not enough respect to the actual event. What the hell am I talking about, anyway?

The thing is that things can get really adventurous over here in this household, and I try very hard to keep things together and under control. And these are not times I can feel comfortable sharing. That is the thing.

I spend a fair amount of time internalizing this stuff, when it gets really hard, and to spew it all over a stupid blog seems ridiculous and counterproductive. So I guess I'll keep the darkest secrets to myself.

JD Salinger died yesterday. Such a weird coincidence because Jack just started reading The Catcher in the Rye not 2 days ago. I gave it to him for Christmas - it's perfect for his current state of mind and intellect. But he only started reading it (with loads of encouragement from me) Monday. And he loves it. And now Salinger is dead. And the radio is just lousy with retrospectives and remembrances. Funny.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


To: Christmas 2010

From: Christmas 2009

A few notes for the incoming candidate.

1. Make sure you plan the date to buy the tree and set it up. Make it a special day, with plenty of time both to buy the tree and decorate it. Serve hot chocolate and snacks and take your time about decorating. Also, and this is important - It's Sophia's turn to pick out the right tree. Let her pick exactly the one she wants. And make sure it's BIG. We have a LOT of ornaments and we want them all to fit!

2. Pick out new ornaments sometime during the year. One for each of the kids. Something to celebrate the accomplishments of the year. Or remember an event. These I can purchase way before Christmas.

3. Take out the advent tree (and fill with little gifts) at Thanksgiving!!

4. Oh, and buy new lights as soon as you see them! The stores run out if you wait. And we want to buy LED blue lights for Pop's Blue Spruce. Don't forget that.

One last thing: Don't forget the sage comment Sophia made about the Christmas tree on January 12, 2010. It went something like this: "The tree represents life. That never ends. That's why it's an evergreen." And I said, what about the ornaments? "They represent the past years and tradition and memories and things you do together."

You do know the true meaning of Christmas, then, don't you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Time to try something new

It's been a while. Since I've tried something new. Being middle aged. Having a regular job. Being married with children. And all the responsibilities that go with it. Non of these things are conducive to trying new things. But all the more reason for me to do it. I gotta get outta the grind, man. Even in a teeny tiny way.

So I'm gonna try blogging again. I know that's not exactly new, but I'm gonna try to do it differently. I'm going to write more ... off the cuff. No starting on Word and using the thesaurus and rereading and editing and all. This is gonna be more free-form. Free flowing and stuff like that. I don't think anyone really reads this shit any more anyway, so that's a big weight off my back. If no one's actually checking it out, this blog can go any which way.

So tonight it's going in this direction: How the hell do we teach values to our kids without teaching about some higher beings (i.e. God) or some higher order (the scouts)? I've recently lost quite a bit of faith in the former, and I've never been much of a fan of the latter. I know I can tell my kids what I value. I can show them, even. And I can encourage them to value the same things. But even with the basic things: honesty, responsibility, compassion and caring- If they only learn these from me, what happens when they need to rebel against me? (And they will. They're supposed to.) Who or what can they hold these values up to? Who holds them accountable?

Do kids' moral values develop progressively? Like their intellect or their ability to reason? Or do they have to be taught? Do values need to be reinforced outside the home in order for them to stick? Or does a good and solid family offer enough support?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Gifts

Lately I've been blessed with a few small gifts.

The simplest was time. Time to do nothing. Time with my oldest friend on a beautiful fall weekend getaway. Time to slow down and relax with my family. Time alone. This is the commodity I miss most as a working mom. Without enough time, I find myself late for appointments, late to pick up the children, rushing from one thing to the next, often forgetting things along the way. Yesterday and today, I had very little scheduled. I was at leisure to get things done at my own pace, and had no deadlines. I caught up on paperwork, talked on the phone with a friend for an hour, had a leisurely dinner out with my husband, hung around the house with my kids and had a wonderful solitary walk - long enough to listen to a whole episode of This American Life.

Another gift I received this weekend, is the gift of my children. No - they haven't been away at a work camp since the last time I wrote. But last night I was able to see them a little differently. They are so smart and sweet and helpful. Funny, creative, insightful, and responsible. They are unique - as a group, and individually. I feel unbelievably proud of them today.

I seem to be blessed also, at this moment, with the privilege of hindsight. I attended a PTA meeting this week and I had a little realization - the kind of group that I was hoping to lead 3 years ago finally exists. The work I started with my leadership, seems really to have come around. What a gift to see progress made on something you care about and something you invested in. (I also have the gift of knowing and meeting so many dedicated women!)

There's more, like perspective and patience, the love of my family (which, though it never wanes, sometimes feels different), but I can't write any more now. My time alone is gone. But maybe the sweetest gift I got today was the beautifully scented roses that are still blooming in my yard. I cut a few and carefully placed them in a vase. Their scent is unbelievably cheering - despite the foggy drizzly weather. And today I had plenty of time to stop and smell them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

**Out of Focus**

I've been away for so long, I hardly know how to come back. I have an idea for a post, and I'm developing it in my head and in the margins of my Sudoku book, which is the only thing I seem to be able to focus on for more than 30 seconds at a time. My mind is so distracted and my thoughts so jumbled and my time so short, I can't seem to put the words together on paper - or on screen, I should say.

Funny thing - at work, I've been told, "You seem really focused." or "You have a way of really focusing on a task and getting it done." And I'm like, "What, me? Focused? Huh??"

Maybe I use up all my focus at the office. Very little left for home and even less for the blog.

More soon...