Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't help me out too much or I won't know what to do with all the time you're freeing up for me - My slice of life quotes

She told me, "I ran the dishwasher for you," and I ignored her because turning the knob to "on" doesn't constitute being helpful then she said it again and I realized that she truly thought she was contributing something important so I told her well, I cleaned the toilets, and she got a little huffy and asked me if this was a contest or something and I said yes and guess what? I win.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The road outside my house is paved with good intentions

My commitment to peace lasted less than 24 hours.

Yesterday started off with a nice little yelling match with my son that could not be avoided. Then I went into my daughter's room and it was a pigsty so I left her a passive aggressive note on the door that said she needed to clean up her room or move out (actually, there's nothing passive about that note so let's just call it aggressive).

Then I'm at the grocery store and there is one line that is feeding into 4 self checkouts and I am next in line and this woman decides she's going to create a NEW LINE beside me because she sees that the checkout on the right was moving fast so she thought she'd sneak in there and instead of ignoring her since she only had a couple of things I told her that there was ONE LINE and it was behind me and then I moved my cart to cut her off. She did get behind me, though. I mean, it would be one thing if she asked me nicely if she could go before me but this sense of entitlement that certain people have is pissing me off big time.

Last but not least, my doorbell rings and I always check to see who it is first through these little side blinds and as I'm peeking out, the guy outside is peeking in (hate that!!) so I open the door and he tries to sell me pest control. I told him I wasn't interested and he asked me how I knew I wasn't interested and I'm just telling you that door to door salesmen need to back the fuck off me with their smartass remarks. I asked him if he knew how to read and he said yes so I told him to take a stroll back to the front of the neighborhood and take notice of the NO SOLICTING sign, then I slammed the door and locked it behind me.

So, yeah, this serenity thing is working out well.

Moving on...Coming to my blog and seeing comments is so delightfully surprising to me. I was worried that the whole thing would be a drag but so far it's such a positive and I love positives. I'm very appreciative of those who've stopped by.

The weather is starting to clear so I'm off for a run. It's my way of getting high without doing anything illegal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finding what I need inside of me

"Be happy in the moment - that's enough. Each moment is all we need - not more." ~Mother Teresa

It's like this...I've been reading and am almost finished with A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle (an Oprah book that I probably wouldn't have read but my daughter bought the book so I decided to give it a try), and what I am reading inside this book is amazing and life changing to me. I think mostly what I am getting from it is that I never live in the moment - EVER. I am always thinking about what I have to do or where I have to go. I am always thinking about other people. This book has shown me how I live a lot of my life in my head -- through my thoughts and interpretations about things and how when I am living like that, I am not being present in my life. The author says the key to happiness is living in the moment which is something we all have control over -- so happiness is inside us and not anything that can be found in other people or material things. I don't know how many times I've heard this same thing but it never registered before now because I kept looking for happiness outside of me anyway. He says that letting go of the dialogues in our heads that keep bringing up the past - and the dialogues that keep us looking to the future for things we think will bring us happiness -- will allow a stillness to take place within us and in this stillness we can find peace. I've been trying to apply his techniques to my life and I've felt this shifting inside me and for the first time in my life, I think I am feeling peace. It's quite wonderful.

And I think I've finally realized what is so great about exercising and I needed to find something because lately I do this whole thing where I try to talk myself out of it and I'm really wearing myself out with the bullshit I can come up with as excuses. I realized today that it's the only time that I am really "present" in my life. It's the only time I do not think of anything except what I am doing right then and there. It's like I'm really living during that time because I can feel it. I don't have dozens of dialogues running through my head that take me away from where I am and what I am doing. There's no room for all that crap when I'm focusing on making it through my run. I can stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other and breathing in and out. I think it's the only time I'm ever really me.

There was something unconscious in me that has known that exercise is a way to peace and happiness even while I'm hating it. I think that's amazing.

But here's my problem, now that I'm so enlightened, I keep trying to practice so that I don't allow other people to get on my last nerve but if they haven't read the book and aren't enlightened (my family), then all they do is push buttons of mine to try to drag me down with their unenlightened selves.

Like today...OMG...we now have 3 cars for 5 people while 2 are being fixed. This isn't a problem for me because I can find lots to keep me busy, but my husband goes off to work, my older daughter leaves to "run errands" (whatever) and then go to work and my youngest takes the other car to hang out with friends at the pool all day. Then my son tumbles out of bed after everyone has left and realizes he doesn't have a car and suddenly this turns into my problem even though it's not my problem. Phone calls get made, there's lots of yelling and basically no one is willing to compromise unless they get something out of it which is interesting since I compromise without benefit all the time and I'm not suffering.

So in the middle of all this I'm all, "I need to breathe in and breathe out and not react to their emotions with emotions of my own that take me away from my peace" and they're looking at me like I've got four heads but honestly, I do not know how I am supposed to keep peace when no one else cares or knows what I am talking about.

I pulled my hair back, braided it and went for a run. I thought that maybe my only option is just leaving them because I doubt I can get them to read the book anytime soon which means I am bound to backslide and become unenlightened again which is a shame because I really do like feeling peaceful.

I guess all I can do is work on me...and unbelievably, even with all the background noise that is my family, in this very moment, I am happy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pieces of me

"You can't always sit in your corner of the forest and wait for people to come to have to go to them sometimes."~Winnie the Pooh

Since starting this blog, I have been content to write here quietly by myself. I have purposely chosen not to share this link with anyone that I know. I think part of me wanted to know if I would continue to write knowing that few, if any people read or gave me feedback of any kind, and what I learned was that I could write without that expectation. I learned I loved writing enough to simply write. It felt freeing to me because I had another blog I deleted a while ago where I was consumed with getting comments as though the number of comments I received measured how good I was, or how well I wrote. It feels weird and mysterious not knowing, but it also feels good because I don't feel like there are any expectations. This might sound strange, but I feel I write my best when I think no one is reading. It feels safe to me. It feels easy here.

I thought I'd try the Nacomleavmo so that I was forced to seek new places to read and to open myself up to new readers of my own. I will tell you that it scares me because I do not buy into the notion that a blog will tell you who I am. I think my blog will tell you what I want you to know about me, and I know that there's much more to me that can never be put into words. I think of my blog as one small piece to the puzzle that is me.

If you are coming here from Nacomleavmo here are some things you should know about me. I have three children (2 in college and one still in high school). I have been married to my husband for more than half of my life. I met him when I was in college at the age of 17. He is the person I will look for if there is life after death because I know that I want him somewhere beside me forever.

I love books, reality tv, fall in New England, and photography. I am passionate, patient, and mostly positive. I see the world in black and white. I either love you or I hate you. I am disorganized. I keep making the same mistakes in this life even though I know that I will never move past them until I learn the lessons I need to learn. I'd rather leave than be left. All the walls in my house are painted bright white because it makes me happy. I don't usually mind being the one who compromises. I had the best childhood ever. I find being alone peaceful. I prefer reading things that do not feel as though too much effort has gone into the writing. I look better without makeup on. I'm able to find humor in things. I like to believe the best about people until they prove otherwise. I'm a major procrastinator but work better under pressure so I guess that's not too much of a negative. I need to live where there is lots of sun. I eat cereal out of the box, never with milk. I am fiercely loyal to those that I love. I love the ocean. I am never late for things. I'm good at putting things together. I write on the fly--I just open "create a post", type up what I want, then hit publish. I do this because I hate thinking of writing as work because then it's not fun anymore. I never think the grass is greener on the other side. I don't like people telling me what to do. I believe in God but do not like church because I get distracted by all the people and never focus on what's important.

My ears have never been pierced, I've never been on a motorcycle and I've never tasted even one sip of coffee. I can get ready to go out faster than my husband. I was a English/Journalism major in college but never did anything with either, instead I got married and raised kids! I love red geraniums, sunroofs and driving fast when I'm alone in my car. I always love the book better than the movie. I have not always lived up to my potential. I'm an observer. I think my commitment to regular exercise has helped saved me when all my life I was waiting to be saved by someone else. I think I can do anything if I set my mind to it. I am not won over easily. I dog ear pages of books when I find passages that I love so I can go back to read them again and again. Children love me. I like clean windows, mirrors and windshields. I love the smell of Windex. I like lots of ice in my drinks. I'm obsessed with having my cell phone with me at all times. I know the lyrics to The Carpenters songs but can also sing you every Matchbook Romance song there is. I wake up grumpy and don't usually like to talk to anyone for at least an hour. I vacuum my house every day because I like how carpets look without footprints. I am careful of my heart.

I am.

And after this whole this is over? The thing about me? I'd be happy just to know that maybe one or two people were reading. They wouldn't have to comment if they didn't want to because I know that I only comment now when I feel I've got something to add or if I feel moved by something that has been written. I want my blogging experience to be more about being a genuine person than about feeling obligated to write or comment if I don't feel like it. I am drawn to genuine people. I don't want to be the kind of blogger who gets millions of comments telling me how right and wonderful I am if I'm wrong and being an ass pain. I guess I would like my blog to be the kind of place that people want to come back to because I'm a regular person who writes from the heart. I don't want anything back from anyone who comes here that they do not want to give.

I follow my heart.

I always follow my heart.

(I don't write every day--just when the spirit moves me.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

It takes strength to live this way - My slice of life quotes

He said "you are the wife, you are the mother," and I told him that they were just roles I played, and he wanted to know what I meant by that and so I told him that I am more than the things I do for him and everyone else, and he still didn't get it because he didn't want to think about me being something more than what he's boxed me into being, and I told him it didn't matter because I would be more anyway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I put my phone on silent because I don't want to talk to anyone I'm related to for a while. My youngest has been out of school for exactly three hours and the shopping has begun. She just called and told me that since I broke her sunglasses (which I did, I am horrible with sunglasses for some reason...I break them, I lose them etc.), that she had found a new pair she wanted me to buy her and that they were "a little expensive." I asked what she meant by that and she answered, "$150." I'm trying not to let other people determine my moods so I took a deep breath to get my blood pressure back down and told her that no way was I buying her sunglasses for $150. She then said, "but they're marked down from $400!" OMG. I told her the answer was still no. She then whined, "well what am I going to wearrrrrrrr????" OMG. See, this is what I hate about summer vacation. She's all angry that I'm not caving in but I don't care. She can get herself a job and buy them herself and then we'll see how fast she's willing to blow money on things that are not necessary.

I've got a new pet peeve. Water bottles and gatorade bottles that have one maybe two gulps taken out of them left all over the house. I went into my daughter's room this morning and she had two water bottles side by side, each with just a few sips taken out of them. Then on her desk there was a gatorade bottle half full. I don't get it. Why take another water when you haven't finished the first one? So I've taken to writing their names on the tops of the bottles and putting them back in the refrigerator with a note not to open anything new until the other bottles are finished up. The inside of my refrigerator is turning into a memo board.

And while we're on the subject of pet peeves, I'll add this one to my list: certain people who "clean their rooms" by shifting piles of shit (clothes) from their room onto the kitchen table with a little note to "Please donate the clothes to a battered women's shelter, thanks, love T." She leaves a little postcard from the shelter with the number on it on top of the clothes. Um. WTF? Perhaps she's too busy leaving half full bottles of water and gatorade all over the house to make the call herself.

It's the little things like this that threaten to send me over the edge.

My husband cleaned the grill for me so I'm back to grilling again. For some reason the grill won't fire up when you push the ignite button so I'm back to throwing matches into the gas and hoping for the best. Each time I go out there with a plate of meat or chicken, I'm convinced I'll go up in flames. Sadly, it's the most exciting part of the day for me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I am flawed but I am cleaning up so well...I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." ~e.e. cummings, 1955

A couple of days ago I was reading a blog where the writer posted pictures of her apartment. She went from room to room and the photos were lovely. Her place was quaint and cute and looked like a place I could see myself living if I was single and childless. But what made me fall a little in love with her was that she posted a picture of a closet of hers that she said she was finally going to start organizing. The closet was a disaster. I mean, it was piled high with all sorts of stuff. It was a jumbled, ridiculous mess and I couldn't stop staring at it. I kept thinking how brave she was to post something like that because not in a million years would you ever get me to post the insides of my junk drawers (which outnumber the organized drawers) or my closets. And part of me was just really happy and relieved to know that there was someone else in the world who had closets that were a mess.

I remember sitting in the kitchen of one of my good friends a couple of years ago. While we were chatting she was emptying her dishwasher and putting away bibs and dish towels and whatnot. When she opened the drawer with the bibs and the dish towels I almost fell off my stool because OMG, everything was folded so neatly and put in these perfect little piles and OMG not in a million years would I ever be able to maintain that sort of organization for more than a day. She opened cabinets, too, and they were all perfection. It took my breath away. On my way home, I felt tears starting to fall because there's something about organized people that makes me feel like I am a colossal failure. I want so desperately to be like them but I always, always fall short. I want to know their secret.

I'm good at having things look presentable on the surface, but don't dare open a drawer, or a closet, or peek under the bed because the truth of it is that beneath the facade of cleanliness, everything's a jumbled mess and I'd rather everyone have the illusion of me being better than that. I'd be a shoe in for Queen of Surface Cleaning if there was such a thing. If only.

Anyway, I was thinking how brave that blogger was to put it out there that she had a closet that was such a disaster. I'm not brave like that. What typically happens is that I get inspired to clean up my act, and I tear my house apart so that I can be organized, too, because I think that being organized is the secret to feeling at peace because you're never worried that someone will come over and discover what a disaster you are. I'm convinced this will make me feel at peace in the world. So I work like a mad woman cleaning everything up, and when I'm done I'm so exhausted and sick of the whole thing that I let everything fall back into chaos in no time. I get about a week and a half of peace before I'm back where I started.

What this all says about me is beyond me. I'd like to think I'm just too busy doing more important things, but that's not true. Books call me away, my friends call me away, the sunshine calls me away. I have excuses for everything. It's more that I don't want to work that hard at all the nitpicky things you have to do to maintain an organized life.

I remain a work in progress.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's just a matter of time until we're all found out

There are roses in bloom everywhere when I am out running. The rose scented air--it makes me want to stop. It makes me want to sit down beside them and inhale the sweet perfumed scent until I've had my fill. I think there are some things you cannot get enough of and I think the scent of roses is one of them.


My son will soon be coming home for the summer. Every time I speak to him, he tells me that he misses home and can't wait to get back to us. I try not to think about all the ways in which life changes for me and all the ways in which life stays the same. I try not to think about the chaos that will inevitably reign supreme here once everyone is home again. I tell myself that I am home to someone. I tell myself that I am someone's home.


I used to live by the ocean and miss it every day. I want to sit in front of the ocean again and listen to the waves crash one after another forever. I want to dig my feet into the cool, white sand that feels like a kiss. I want to search for shells. I feel like I belong there. I never feel like I belong anywhere.


There's a courthouse in the center of town that holds weddings on the weekends. Each time I pass by, I am tempted to shout out to the couple that happily ever after is a lie. No one tells the truth about marriage, or maybe it's that when love is so new, the truth of love being lost, or love becoming less intense, or love simply dying cannot be imagined. You must live it to learn it, and so I keep my mouth shut and drive silently by. Who am I to begrudge them one blissfully ignorant day where love is the answer to everything?


I have secrets about me that I have never told anyone. I think my secrets say more about me than the things I'm willing to share.


I like the icing better than the cake.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A less than perfect love

I have the hardest time picking out cards for Mother's Day because it feels so phoney to me. I get so annoyed and frustrated sifting through cards that say things I would never say to my mother because we just don't have the friendly sort of relationship that seems to be the whole idea behind honoring your mother. She is not my best friend and she is not always there for me. I do not tell her everything. And though I have spent time wishing that things were different, I know that I will never change the manner in which she loves me, which is at a distance, with little emotion. So I stand there, and I pick up card after card, and think "I cannot send her this, I cannot send her that." And I wonder if I am the only one who has such a hard time doing something so simple. And I get a little jealous of all the people who can pick out any card and know that it's perfect just the way it is while I need to search for something that isn't too heartfelt or deep or loving because we don't say those types of things to one another. Just when I start feeling hopeless of ever finding anything suitable, I spot the perfect card with the perfect words, "Have a wonderful day." I sign it Love, K. What I do not say is this: my love for her is as big as this world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

You're the emptiness the whole world sings at night

We attended an end of the season banquet for my daughter's sports team last night. It was a really great evening, with lots of celebrating, pictures, awards, laughter and fun. After the dinner and the awards were handed out, one of the mom's did a tribute to one of the women who would no longer be helping out because her daughter is graduating this year. This woman has been helping out for years and so people were asked to speak about a memory they had of her during her reign of volunteering (aka controlling/organizing everything and acting the "martyr"). Well, after 7 people gave their little stories/tributes, I felt like the focus of the whole night shifted from the kids to this woman (I'll call her Beth Ford for purposes of this post).

A good half hour to forty five minutes was spent recounting this woman's good deeds while the kids were all fidgeting and wondering what the hell happened to their banquet. Then they presented her with an expensive gift from the boosters club (which parents basically fund and which Beth is a part of) and that was when I felt like enough was enough. It was officially BETH FORD NIGHT and not a high school sports banquet anymore. She stood up front thanking everyone, making speeches like she'd won an Oscar, and crying like a death had occurred. Honestly, the whole thing was quite a spectacle. If that was me, I would have said, "Thanks, let's get the focus back where it belongs...on the kids." But she was soaking up her moment in the sun and loving every minute of it. I wanted to scream, "GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY!!"

What is the deal with people who have to be the center of attention at all times (especially adults)? I think they start that way as children and never grow out of it. They volunteer to head all sorts of committees just so that they have control over everything and then they love to shove it down your throat that they do all the work...when they are the ones who volunteered in the first place! Ugh. It's so annoying. They need other people telling them how wonderful they are, how giving, how hard working. If your sense of self has to come from outside sources all the time, I'd say you're doing something wrong, but that's just me.

School is almost over here. I am both happy and sad. Happy that all the rush is almost over for awhile, but sad that life is moving so fast. I try to stay in the moment, but the moments are flying by me and it's so difficult to hang onto moments that will not stay still no matter how hard I wish they would. I want to yell stop sometimes, but I know that's not possible.

I can hear the minutes ticking away on the clock that sits beside me on a shelf. I feel the beating of my heart in perfect time with it. Right here, right now, I guess this is me living.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A couple of pet peeves

I don't like it when people tell me the same story five times. It makes me feel like they don't remember sitting next to me the previous 4 times telling me the same thing. I don't understand people who can't remember details like this. Or do these people do this to everyone? I'd feel better if they did. I'd feel sorry for the other people, but I'd feel better about myself. Like, it's not ME, it's THEM--they're just bores who automatically repeat the same stories to any warm body sitting next to them. I think some people would benefit from some new material to talk about. I'd even cut them a break if they made something up.

Along the same lines, but not really...I have this friend that I see for months at a time then I won't see her for a month or two. We talk a lot but mostly she does the talking and I do the listening and sometimes I get to say a few things and I always believed she was listening to me when I could squeeze a few words in edgewise. I don't know how many times I have spoken to her about my son who goes to college out of state but it's been plenty. Well, yesterday we were talking and I said something about my son to her and she goes, "Where does he go to school?" And I told her AGAIN and she says, "Oh really?, I didn't know that." WTF? I looked at her, really looked at her, and thought about how much I hate sharing parts of myself with people who just don't care and about how tired I am of wasting my time with people who are not worth it. I mean, she was totally shocked to hear something I know I've mentioned to her numerous times. I don't get it. When people talk to me, I don't pretend to listen, I listen.

Like today, I was shopping at Kroger and some elderly man stopped me and told me I had beautiful hair. My hair is massively long which is another story for another day...but I had just washed it and my hair is big, and as close to black without being black that you can get. It's extremely long and wavy and for some reason, it seems to attract elderly men because they are forever coming up to me to talk about it and tell me how beautiful it is. Anyway, he goes into this spiel about how when he first met his wife she had hair as long as mine only it was auburn colored. Then he segues into how he asked her to marry him after only a week and how they eloped and about how his in laws didn't approve of him because he didn't have a job...etc. I remember what he was wearing, too, because I pay attention to details when someone is speaking to me. I know he had Arizona Green Tea in his cart and Saltines and brown eggs. I looked for his wedding ring while he was telling me his story. I was in a hurry, too, but I listened to him because I thought it wasn't costing me anything just to hear him out. It doesn't cost anything to listen.

So here's the thing--a friend of mine can't be bothered to listen to me when I am talking to her and I've decided I don't have time or room for that in my life anymore. There was a time when I know I would have wanted to fix that, when I know I would have wanted to sit beside her and make her think my life was interesting enough to remember but now I just don't care because the world is filled with people who sit beside you while you are talking and the only thing they are thinking about is what they want to say next. Nothing you say registers. I've decided that's not good enough for me anymore.

The circle of people I truly care about grows smaller by the day.