Monday, February 18, 2013

Baking Cookies and Knitting Scarves: The Joys, Difficulties and Misery of Motherhood. (Why is it so hard?)

It is midwinter break and this time of year is always a drag for me.  I find myself, like a plant left in the window, yearning and leaning toward the sunlight. I feel devoid and almost a shadow of myself. 

I miss the spring. I miss the summer.  I even miss the fall. 

There is none of that though.  The crisp and clear cold was enough to take my breath away today as my daughters and I ventured into the cold only for moments until we managed to embrace the warmth of the car. 

We spent the afternoon with friends at the Aquatic Center in Cornwall, followed by a dinner at East Side Marios.  Both experiences were frantic and disheveled.  It was Family Day in Canada and so, unknown to us state side, swimming at the Center was free.  We had to wait a half an hour in line to get tickets, which wasn't so terrible, then wait about ten minutes for entrance to the lockers, which, upon entry, was elbows and arms, bumping and "excuse-me" ing while in a state of undress.  I learned today how to change my panties for a bikini bottom while holding a towel around myself.... The pools were slap happy, splash happy, spit happy children everywhere screaming and echoing.   The few moments in the hot tub surrounded by complete strangers who could practically smell my armpits really did not salvage the day.

What was supposed to be a fun family event was fun for the kids, but felt seriously lacking for me.  I wonder if that is the way it's supposed to be.... It all seemed like work. Costly work. Emotionally draining work as I faked being happy for the kids.... Seeing the girls smiling did brighten my day... and of course their hugs and "Love yous" were appreciated, but it just felt difficult.  Forced.  Chaotic and not cathartic at all.

I suppose my lack of a "good time" has something to do with my expectations of what being a mother was going to be like, which is not what it IS like.  And perhaps the worst part is that I feel guilty that I really did not enjoy the day's events.  Wouldn't a good mother pack the swim suits and the towels while baking chocolate chip cookies and knitting a scarf? Ok, I'm exaggerating for effect, but my point is I was disgruntled and I'm disillusioned and I miss the sunshine and the sound of the waves on the beach.

Summer will come soon enough.  I need to remember they are little.  They will only be that way for a while.... How they perceived the day was much different than they way I did....

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to paste another pretty smile on my face while I bake chocolate chip cookies and knit scarves.

Daily Courier-Observer | Junior high students in Massena told no struggles, no progress

Daily Courier-Observer | Junior high students in Massena told no struggles, no progress

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Whys...

2013. A new year. Almost: February 17th. 

I am committing to writing down my goals and hopes with the intent they will solidify... despite the fact that I feel awkward and slightly out of place writing a blog. It's not really my 'thing'. 

Having said that, let's get back to the day's work: 

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions.  They rarely work.  I believe in change, though, the most difficult kind.  And that is why I am writing this.  Because I need you and you need me.

And because maybe you want to change.  I know I want that. Have wanted that.  Continue to want that.  Maybe you're like the old me, not knowing how to change.  Not accepting any way other than the one that hasn't been working, but damn it's so comfortable because you know that routine.  Well, change is hard.  It really is uncomfortable sometimes and awkward.  It pushes you into dark ,cramped spaces and down narrow, damp alleys.  It forces you into the ugly places inside of you and makes you look at them, smell them and put your tongue to them and know their bitterness.

It is no easy thing, change.

But I refuse to resist it. 

I have been struggling in my change for so many reasons.... but the most pressing is because I find it difficult to balance the peace of mind that comes from freeing oneself of desires and the culture in which we live which promotes immediate material gratification as  a remedy for our "unhappiness".

I put that word in quotations because I think the "western world" has bastardized what happiness really is.  We've made it a getaway to an all inclusive resort, a spa day, the thread count in our sheets.  I've been seeking the meaning of my happiness.  It has been no easy feat considering I have no mentor.  So, as an autodidact, I've begun to read and study the ways of religions and philosophers to see what has come before me so that I may make my path.

I am currently reading The Way, which presents the Kabbalah view of spirituality.  I am fascinated by how many connections I see with Buddhism, but also how it is so different.    What I find the most personally satisfying about Kabbalah is that the "light" is within us.  That we are made of the stuff of angels, despite our human form.  Although Kabbalah speaks of "the Creator", and I am not monotheistic, I believe that there is something, a spirit, which binds us, like in the movie Avatar (and here comes my western upbringing).  But think about the Navi's tree.  How it connects them all.  James Cameron was onto something there.  And so I end my very first blog with a quote from the text and for the very reason I am writing, to help you and to help me discover the "light" within me and follow my path:

"Each one of us literally has the power to chanhge the world, because each one of us carries a spark of the Creator of the universe at the core of our being.  In fact, the amount of light that we reveal depends upon our understanding of the power we have to reveal it.  With the light, it's not a matter of I'll believe it when I see it.  Instead, it's When you believe it, you'll receive it.  This is a significant difference from our experience of the everyday world.  If you walk into a dark room and flip on a light switch, the room will fill with exactly the same amount of light every time whether you understand the workings of electricity or not.  In the spiritual realm, however, our understanding of an actions' potential regulates the amount of light that manifests itself.  When we question our power to reveal the Light of the Creator, when we belittle our spiritual importance in the world, we activate a self-confirming prophecy" (94).

I look forward to this journey with you.