The Little Engine That Napped

I need to find a new way to blow off steam. I think a kickboxing class would be awesome, but I'm not really all that motivated. I just like to entertain the thought, truth be what it is. The truth is also that I have not been releasing enough steam to maintain that flowerchild harmony I prefer.

Recently, someone I know commented that this crap weather is making some people grumpy, and then.... Well, fucking duh, SieOma.

Walking is my great release. Chasing the Cub through the park and teaching him how to be and play outdoors (escaping electronics, yo. Hand some kids a stick these days and they're all, "Whaaa?"). This gloomy, frigid, wet, whatever-yuck weather has just gone on and on and on and on... I am a sunshine kind of girl, and I'm not getting any. Though I bundle Cub and take him out if only for 5 minutes to get fresh air, he isn't getting any either.

Recently, I have been teaching him some partner yoga and stretching, and because (maybe) he is so much smaller than me, it takes every muscle in my body to balance right for him. Most days, I'm just too tired, though. I'm exhausted. This kind of weather triggers my broken brain to think "Hurt. Sleep." From what I understand, people with Fybromyalgia often have trouble reaching that deep sleep which allows one to wake up feeling rested. I can sleep 10 hours and wake up tired. Ugh.

I'm not whining about all the reasons I can't do anything about how I am feeling; I am listing the things I need to work around to get somewhere better. 

So, that is where I am right now. Thinking.

By the way, this is why my teens and I thought my 2 year old could be rightly called, "The Cub." 


Growing Up Young

"Predicament" (Credit Unknown)
The night was dragging on, and everybody was too tired, too early. We decided to go for an evening stroll. Wrapped in thermal, coats, gloves, hats, and a warm throw blanket, we took The Cub (as my oldest children voted to nickname my 2.5 year old for this blog) for a walk. He didn't want to wear his mittens, and that was fine because he was on my hip and had his hands covered by most of my layers. I slipped his mittens in my pocket and we left. Eventually, he wanted down and I suggested then that he put his mittens on his hands, but he wanted his hands in his soft, fuzzy pockets. Okay.

"If you fall with your hands in your pockets, you won't be able to catch yourself. It will hurt."

"No. Pockets!"

Okay. Fork in the road: I could fight him and lose. Losing would be picking him up and taking him inside because he would steadfast refuse and throw a fit. (I know my son; I saw this potential future all over his sweet little stern face.) Losing would be having this argument the next time we took an evening stroll in the cold. Or, I could let him learn it was a bad idea not because I said so, but because it is a bad idea.

"Alright then," and I watched him take off-- he is a runner. The first time he fell, he landed just right on all his padding.

"Awww, pocket!" I wasn't sure if he was complaining because he got caught up in his pocket or if he was complaining because as he was getting up, his hand fell out of his pocket. Whatever the lesson he learned in that moment, it was not what I was hoping to see. He got got up, put his hands right back in his pockets, and took off again. Okay.

The second time he came down, it must have got his attention because this time he hesitated. Still, he shoved his hands back in his pockets and raced off again. Hmm.

"I wonder how bad this one will hurt," I said aloud. It was several minutes before he crash landed a third time, and that one was it. That one hurt. That one made him realize running with his hands in his pockets is a bad idea.

He was ready to go in after that, but the next morning, when we took a stroll in the cold, he wanted his mittens, and not once did he put his hands in his pockets. So, third time a charm and all, The Cub is stubborn but not foolish. That is good. The mom was wise and not stressed. That is fabulous.


My Three Faces

More than 10 years ago, I created what is still one of my favorite drawings. It was of a beautiful woman sitting comfortably, holding a bowl of fire. In the flames were three faces, an elderly woman, a young woman, and a girl. The three faces were looking at the woman holding the bowl, and the woman holding the bowl seemed to be seeing the three faces as one.

By SieOma

It is only a decade plus later I see the fire with significance. Womanhood. It is something of a trial by fire, isn't it? I sure feel a forging process.

Not that I believe I am quite polished, just that I feel beat and burned into pretty good shape, all things considered. Maybe one of the tools above was the first time I lost a friend as a child. I still think of her. Maybe a tool above was my first love, my first heartbreak as an older girl. And so on to becoming widowed at 36, and so on to meeting my widowed mother at 39. "Meeting" her-- do you know why I say so? Because the mother I have after my stepfather's death is not the mother I had when he was alive. She laughed more then, a lot more, for one obvious thing. For one not so obvious thing, the part of my mother created by his chemistry and hers mixed was gone in the same moment he vanished. Such a part of her that was...

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I let that settle before I approached my daughter. I told her that when I lost my stepfather, I lost the mom I had when he was alive. I told her I was sorry that she did, too. What else was said is ours, but there were tears and there were hugs... because yes, she did too. As careful as I was and as hard as I tried and as slightly enlightened as I felt, it took becoming a child of a widow to see some side of my own daughter of a widow-- the young woman who also lost the mother she had when her stepfather died.

Life is surreal, I think as I see our faces as one.


(Insert Witty Title)

It has been a while, again. These days, I find myself without much to say. I wanted my blog to carry a happier tone, but those experiences are shared live and it is normally the storms which drive me to write. I used to write every day. I had a blog, years ago, that enjoyed decent traffic...

Since my last visit, my mother has become widowed. Our relationship changed overnight. Suddenly, we met on a level reached only by a common trauma. When face-to-face, no words are necessary to either acknowledge or describe it.

At times, it hits me how very different my life is from what it used to be. Generally, I am happy, but I carry a sensitive wound always and that is okay. I am okay with that. My family looks different. My work life, my social life-- it is all different. Heh, I look different.

Courtey of freedigitalphotos.net
These changes took time to cultivate. I suppose I am much more patient than I used to be. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life a few years ago. Now, I am just beginning to establish a name in a career I enjoy. I meet a lot of people, and though it takes me a long time to make friends, I have made great ones (and perhaps because I take my time). Of course I have known all along that I have better relationships these days, that I have literally turned on my heel and walked away from people who display my personal "red flags," and would then associate only with people I do enjoy. But I sat back in my seat when I realized just how far I have come. Two of my closest friends had had a falling out, and I found out about it only because I unwittingly put one in the position to have to tell me something was up. While I like my friends to know they can talk to me about anything, I was so impressed that neither of them asked me to step in, that both had enough respect for me and my relationship with the other that they kept me out of it. Gone were the days when everyone had to know, everyone had to have an opinion, and eventually, everybody had to choose a side. What a relief.

This has been such a rough journey, but I am coming out on the other side with such beautiful gems. I suppose that is all I have to say right now.


Noted Odd

I was sitting on the edge of a raised concrete flower bed in front of a row of closed shops. I had reason to be there. The only people around were in cars driving by behind me until a man walked toward me. I am sure I noticed a few things about him before I saw the obvious signs he was high on something. He was talking to me, and what he was saying doesn't matter. He was pacing, gradually coming closer, glancing at me and then looking around-- "just" high, or looking for an opportunity to make a move? 

It has been my experience that of those who mean harm under these circumstances, there are two kinds: the Mental Jackass and the Physical Monster. The Mental Jackass gets off on scaring a woman, or shocking her, or otherwise making her uncomfortable. The Mental Jackass disturbs me only by his general existence. I am confident I am scarier, especially these days. I knew this guy was not a Mental Jackass because the Mental Jackass is obvious immediately. He doesn't need an opportunity because the setting is already perfect. The Physical Monster attempts to sneak up on you, take you by surprise, so he rushes out of nowhere or tries to appear friendly until he can get close.

I was watching this guy. My responses were short, precise. Then, quite suddenly, he became angry. "You act like you're scared!" And I am fairly certain he was cussing me out as he ran off. Yeah, he ran.

Oddly enough, and it had only then occurred to me, I didn't feel scared. I didn't feel aggressive. I didn't feel any adrenaline. This is no false bravado. I felt nothing.

Huh... I have been inside this mind for nearly 40 years. That non reaction was odd for me. So noted.




I saw my therapist the day before I started my new job. I am glad I did and for two reasons. First, it calmed me down. She helped me shift my focus from dreadful fears to hopeful possibilities. Second, after I saw that my position was infertile ground for some of my fears and in fact, I had found a job I just can't believe I am getting paid to do (love it), the entire process of stopping that old trauma record playing in my head at a deafening volume stuck. I get it now. It will require dedicated practice, but I get it.

Anyway, I am happy. I am relaxed. And I am happy and I am relaxed and with that hint of sadness-- that slight pressure in my chest and tiny lump in my throat. I wonder if that will ever go away. I wonder if I will ever swallow sheer joy and confidence and hope without the somber chaser. It is not survivor's guilt. It is... Well, it is a pocket of empty.


Things Are Going So Well (0.0)

I had confronted my fear of heights as a child. Even then, I refused to let it chain me to the ground. In high school, I climbed to the highest diving platform to jump. Once I got to the top and stood over the pool way, way down there, I changed my mind. But as I turned to climb back down the ladder, my teacher yelled to me to stop there and go through with it. Called out and embarrassed, and before I learned how to assert an unflinching, "Screw you, pal," I walked to the edge and stepped off.

If you think I am now going to praise the teacher for the lesson learned, no. He was an asshole. I had already learned not to fear the fear, to suck it up and get the hard part over with; the first lesson I learned from that experience was that I hate the feeling of falling. Thrill seekers, I love you. You are fucking nutter butter.

Here I am again, having put myself on the high platform. I am again facing one helluva leap of faith, and I am again feeling the urge to turn around and climb back down.

Things are going well, so well it is scaring me. I have spent three years and perhaps a lifetime building formidable walls around my comfort zone, and because I pounced on the opportunity for an entirely new career path among other things, I am now miles and miles outside it and feeling wholly unnerved. Ultimately, I fear the other shoe dropping with that familiar impossible force and clipping me in the jaw, but there are little-big things, too. I still avoid the news. I have only begun to listen to the radio again when the controls are out of my immediate reach. I still avoid small talk. All of those things are about controlling triggers, a skill I have mastered, and I am going to let it go.

Just let it go as if it hasn't been all about self-preservation, as if it hasn't been what has kept me alive and relatively sane while walking through an R-rated Wonderland created by demons on LSD.

I didn't learn a helpful lesson on that platform. I learned it giving birth and surviving my late husband's death (first time I have used that "late" term, by the way). Just breathe and relax into it.

Just breathe and relax into it. Let it happen.

Just breathe and relax into it. Let it happen.

I'm going to throw up.