Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"No! No! No! No! No!" x infinity (he said)

Epic motherhood disaster. Brought on by a tiny, three-foot minion who has the uncanny, almost otherworldly ability to get up under my skin and kick around in there. All was going well enough until moments - moments!! - before leaving the house for our day. And then all hell broke loose. So many disasters ensued. Multiple altercations, multiple calm downs, multiple pull over the car on the side of the highway incidents, multiple get myself and my other minion out of the car so we could escape the wrath of the acting-insane one. Lord Jesus. Finally dropped off the kids at daycare. Tried my best, "Honey, what were you so mad about," only to be rejected in my parenting-book-inspired tactics, AGAIN, and then of course, they could not be happier for the daycare lady. Which is fine. Because I would not wish on her what I had just gone through - could not afford the cost of care for that.

Then a good 45 minutes of hearty self-flagellation in the car while driving back to work, a spiraling down the black hole of despair while crying hysterically and wondering what the fuck have I done with my life and why do I have no mothering skills whatsoever, after studying and babysitting, nannying, and caring for the children of others - rather successfully - for 38 years before having my own. Now I am 5 years into the experience of caring for my own tiny dictators and I still have no fucking clue what I am doing. And yes, I read every book, watched every episode of "SuperNanny," and followed every technique from the doctors and social worker and even the smug teacher.

Ugh.

Does everyone feel this way?

"The precious angels!" says everyone else. And I think....who are they talking about??

So now it's 8:34, and it's time to start MY day. And out of my 100 energy unit allotment for the day, 93 have already been spent just getting here. Sooooooooo.....good luck with that.

~out.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Something in the air?

Oh I have a big feeling today is going to be one of those days. Did "ok" with the kids getting out the door. A little yelling and aggravation, but no crying, no temper tantrums, no weeping mother, etc. Something somebody told me recently is that you are responsible to help your kids grow up to be a functioning adult in society. Meaning, not a functioning kid! So no need to worry about how insane they may act NOW....it's just all baby steps toward adulthood and as long as we have our shit relatively sorted out by age 18 or 20, we should be in the clear. We shall see.

But whether it's barometric pressure, the grey clouds forming overhead, the pressure of the clock with today's IEP appointment in the middle of my workday and three trips to Henniker required...., the fact that I have not paid rent yet because there is no money to pay it....., or the frustration (everlasting) of not getting timely answers at work - though I literally BEGGED in pathetic pleas this time - or from the garden guy. Well, I just have a feeling. There is no one on my wing of the office today. Quiet and productive sure, but also lonely. Two good friends work near me - one quit last week (!) and the other is working from home, attending to happy home events.

I have felt rather unmoored lately. The last couple weeks have provided several emotional challenges. Maybe something's in the air. Lot of brick walls. Lot of closed doors. And conversations hanging out there with only silence to answer them. Ugh.

So "what have you gained in that time"? Grateful for...

- Having my kids back at my house until Sunday. I really missed them the last four days.
- Knowing several people who went through the divorce road with their kids and all survived. Some even thrived and were quite happy once they could start over.
- A visit to Bob's garden yesterday with the kids. Wow, he is really a farmer and has the most beautiful, lush garden of vegetables and flowers. Also visited Rachel's phenomenal wild-n-wooly flower garden Sunday night. A balm to my soul, both of these encounters. And Rachel was right - letting a gardener talk to you about their garden is very fun.
- The chance to blog again. Nice to be talking to the great wide world.
- A brief talk with my sister last night, on speaker, while the kids were taking a pink color-bath. "Hi Aunty Lauren!" (Lucy) "Have a great night Lauren!" (Jack) So sweet. I can't believe she and her family are really coming in July. I probably won't believe it until I see them in the airport coming down the hallway. I haven't seen her or the kids in three years. I haven't seen Benjamin in five. It's not right. But seeing them in one month is SO right.
- The opportunity to try to mend a relationship that had suffered a slight. I think we are okay. Time will tell.
- Two *free* visits with a financial planner who is getting my finances all sorted out, thankfully!
- Sunny days and starry nights.
- Decent health.

Wary, a little depressed, and also thankful.
~Ally

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reality check

Today my heart is momentarily gripped by fear for the safety of my children. There is a such thing as knowing too much. Read the thoughts and feelings of a sexual predator this morning in a novel. And shuddered at all the many things that can happen to my dear babies (God forbid) when I am not there to protect them. I was thinking about this concept anyway - about how they are in school, on the bus, with the daycare people (the mom I pay and absolutely trust, of course, but also everyone who comes in and out of her home and her life, many of whom I do not know), with friends, with a babysitter, anywhere really. Even with their dad, they are perfectly safe and lovingly cared for, but I am realizing there are so many moments of their days that I don't see. Things they do that I only hear about in preschooler story-snippets. Oh, Lord Jesus. Send angels to guard and guide them - three for Lucinda, probably six or more for Jack! :) Send a hedge of protection around them to keep them safe and let them live and learn in a gentle, untarnished, easy way. No trauma, no drama. The world and living this life are harsh enough - may their childhood at least be calm and sweet and full of good memories.
~Mama

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

just a Saturday afternoon

"Universe in Motion," by Scott Snyder


Lucinda: Can we go through the sky?

Mom: Yes, that is outer space. It's a black sky with all the stars and planets and where the sun and moon live.

L: No, THROUGH the sky and through outer space.

M: Well, it goes on forever....no one's ever done it.

L: Well I could do it.

M: Yes, you could.



photo by Scott Snyder Photographyhttp://scottsnyderphotography.com

Friday, May 20, 2016

Itchy scratchy

You know how some days you just wake up uncomfortable in your own life, in your own skin? Today is one of those days. Luckily, it's a "Mom by Herself" night (S has the kids) and I am hoping to have some quiet time to write and reflect after work this evening.

When I take stock, some of things that were plaguing me a month ago have simmered down - the kids and dealing with Jack's rage fits and everyone's crying outbursts (some of that seems to have dissipated with the arrival of the sunshine and bare-feet weather, thank Jesus), my crap love life, my job insecurity (it is still insecure, but not quite as much so...and for the record, my love life is still utter crap but I don't care as much at the moment), my ongoing financial disaster (met with a financial planner who is sorting out my entire life, haha, or making a stab at it anyway). But the sheer presence of massive uncertainty/unsettledness continues to rifle through my psyche in waves - whenever the hell it feels like it - causing anxiety and unease. So, a few steps forward, a few steps back. Same same.

Had a few really precious encounters with old and dear friends - that truly healed a thousand ills - with a weekend trip to see Rebecca and family (each one of them blesses me in their own way), Valerie (whom I haven't seen in 20 years!), Davy who came to visit me for a weekend and spent time getting to know my kids. Had some visits with Rachel, and those always fill the tank, a few interactions with new friends. I have worked hard this year on reviving and focusing on my friendships. I need them so much to round out my life, to give perspective, and to fill the love tank. I appreciate my friendships on a deep and molecular level. They give life to me, and that's no joke.

But today......today the air feels a bit suffocating and the twinging angst inside me is bee-bopping around just enough to make me want to run and hide. Need a beach day. Need sex. Need a vacation. Need my family. Wish I could spend the weekend in Indiana with all the extended relatives, and my sister and cousins. With mom and dad and the past and the future.

I cannot see one inch into the future today! Cannot imagine at all how my life will unfold from here. What the fuck am I supposed to do from here? Starting your life over at age 42 is no picnic. It can leave you with a bunch of cold chill moments in which you think, I am halfway through and totally unequipped for life's challenges! And alone! What the fuck???!

And then you breathe. And get your ass to work. Stop thinking so much. Get busy. Say a quick prayer of thanks for your children and the roof over your head, food in your fridge, limbs and eyes and ears that work, the paycheck coming direct into the bank today. You do some yoga on your 15-minute break. And you just fucking keep going....

...hoping tomorrow will be a wake-up-to-calm-heart sort of day.

~Selah.~
Ally  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook; I'm Back

 



For Today...
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 
Well, it's been almost a year since I did any writing here. I am back. There are things inside me needing to be said. Hopefully they will prove worth reading, and maybe give you something to think about (if there is anyone left out there reading this blog!). I have written prolifically for the last two years straight - journaling, letters, the best poetry I've ever written. But have shared these writings with only a tiny handful of people, mostly only with my friend Irv. Suppose it's time I talk to the wider world. Here goes.

Outside my window...
somewhere, is a garden plot...MY garden plot...at the Community Garden in town. Which happens to be located right next to where I now live. I have requested a plot and am anxiously [read: increasingly impatiently] waiting to hear if I got it and which one is mine so I can start rototilling, staking out, and planting my salad garden and flower/serenity/playtime paradise. I have more plans, and more seed packets, than the state allows. ;) But no plot. Yet. Maybe today.......?
 
I am thinking...
a lot about how to be virtuous vs. how to be true to oneself. You might think these go hand in hand. Well, not always. Because virtuous seems to refer to how others see you, what your reputation is, and how you conduct yourself in the world according to the world's ideas, schemes, and models. True to oneself is much more subjective, more introspective, harder to find and understand, and then harder (for me) to embody. Of course it would be easier if we all agreed to the same "rules" of how to live this life. But we don't. And no, even guides like The Bible and other holy scriptures are not clear, in my opinion. Too much room for interpretation, too much space for disagreement. Only I can know myself though, really, and at the end of the day, it is I that has to go to sleep and wake up to me. I need to find a "me" I can live with. Even if you don't approve. Even if you don't agree. Even if it wasn't even remotely what I expected or envisioned. Is there virtue in that? 
 
I am [so] thankful...
for Sarge, my very dear old friend who recently passed away. Buddy, if you could go, I would take you out for lunch today - how about at The Brown Bag Deli - and then a visit to the Bead store and League of NH Craftsmen Gallery and the jewelry store your friend owns. Everyone loves to visit with you, Sarge, and I love to hear your stories and share mine with you. Just about everything is fair game. And you are always interested in what I have to say. We laugh a lot. Then we can stop at our favorite cemetery, where your sister and my dad are buried, on the way home. Put a rock on her gravestone, prune the flowers on top of his gravesite. And then I will drop you off and you can quick pick some dandelion greens from your yard for me to take home for salad (they aren't too old and bitter yet). I love you Sarge. Always will. xxoo
 
I am wearing...
the green shirt that always makes my boobs look enormous, the one with the Eiffel Tower on it. I can never decide if I really like this shirt.
 
I am creating...
[well, I should say I am trying to create...] a home, a safe and comfortable place for my two babies to come to, rest their heads, decompress from their busy days, and feel at ease. I am trying to create a place of love, happiness, honesty (we feel and express our emotions), and forgiveness. A place where "I love you" and "I'm sorry I hurt you" roll easily off the tongue. A home in which art and music are made, the body bursts into dancing and laughter, sometimes tears, sometimes wrestling, and always learning. A home where friends feel welcome, family wishes they could come more often, and the ones who live there are happy to return. A place where you can be nourished just by stepping through the door.

I am going...
to travel this summer, for a few days, with the friend I made on the Washington trip last summer at this time. Rachel has become a very integral and important part of my life and mental health :), and I look forward to exploring the Berkshires with her, on garden tours, and presumably, tours of wine and cheese. Mmmm, wine and cheese....

I am wondering...
how long it will be until the time where not everything in my life is in flux. I have been in an unbelievably uncomfortable state of transition for the last two (or more) years. It has gone on so long that I have almost gotten used to the feeling of continuous angst, and answering people's questions with, "I have no idea; [insert any topic] is a shit mess." That said, I sure would like one or two things to get sorted out, resolved, and hey, even get a chance to settle in for a while. You know, relax.......wha??
 
I am reading...
well, listening to, We are Water on 19 discs in the car. I am on disc 13. Wally Lamb does it again, folks. Fascinating, intriguing, complex, thought provoking, anger provoking, DEPRESSION provoking, and generally, hard to turn away from. It's not as devastating (to me) as She's Come Undone or as life-changing as I Know This Much is True, but it's massive and it's good. So many different viewpoints explored in one dysfunctional family - that's always thrilling. Again I found out that Rebecca does not share my taste in authors - shocking and disconcerting as always, and also interesting. I know this because I was listening to the discs all the way down and back from Pennsylvania to her house a few weekends ago and told her about the book. Which led to a great book discussion and a long list of "must reads."

I am hoping...
to get laid.
 
I am learning...
so much about the field of education that I will probably work in this industry for several years. I have some other aspirations, and they include going back for a Master's, but will save those for another day.

In my garden...
will be flowers - large, tall yellow and also medium red sunflowers, irises, potted flowers including bunny tails, bunches of nasturtiums, lavender, clover, chives w pink flowers, marigolds, red flowers from red runner beans, and whatever Rachel's little heart desires (I sanctioned off some spots for her growing pleasure). Also, salad - funny-colored carrots (pink, purple, orange, white!), peas (maybe), pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, two kinds of lettuce, and herbs: dill, rosemary, basil. And succulents in a beautiful blue ceramic pot next to the wine center, I mean sitting area, I mean wine center. :)
 
In my kitchen...
is a mess. Where the hell are the butler and the maid anyway? Did someone give them the week off??
 
A favorite quote for today...
"Be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may." Also, "Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." [it usually is....]

A peek into one of my days...
get up super f-ing early, hang w kids, try to get kids dressed/fed/pottied/brushed/out the door without Armageddon ensuing (today = success! thanks to Jack and Lucy's hard work), drive to Henniker for daycare/school dropoff, drive back to Concord for work, work 8-4 with some time jammed in there to run home and collect stuff needed for tonight, pick up kids in Henniker immediately after work (=continuous rushing), take them to Scott's to hang out with me and maybe eat early dinner, drop at Maddie and Lukey's for playdate while I go to school meeting re: Kindergarten registration, pick up sleepy kids, drive home to Concord, put kids to bed (try to force toothbrushes into their locked mouths while they sleep to remove "sugar bugs"), flop onto couch to watch Weds night sitcoms and crash, be pissed I forgot to buy ice cream on way home (really hate that), think about going to bed early, don't go to bed early because Nashville is on at 10 and c'mon now...., pass out to be quickly awakened by "Mommy, Mommy" from Jack a few times and then Poof - morning again! Rinse, repeat.
 
One of my favorite things...
is writing letters on beautiful cards in Gibsons' new coffee shop "True Brew." It's nice in there, sunny and quiet but bustling, a nice combination.

Post Script
This is us.
 Me, loving my job as an event planner for education professional development
 Jack (3 1/4) and Lucy (4 3/4)
Me and the babes, last fall

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.
~Ally

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

hot enough?


 

Into,
deep liquid summer,
 
languishing
and lengthening,
 
as salty sweat,
in primordial descent,
 
runs down our oozing bodies,
making 
 
its way,
to the sea.