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Archive for the ‘A Day in the LIfe’ Category

I’m currently on an archaeological journal dig for things to come on my new website.

Come join me on the next journey over HERE if you haven’t already.

 

I just found a poem I wrote last year about new motherhood. (Or a better title: When this is Over). I can’t believe this is what life looked like a year ago:

e & c

 

When this is over,

I will ache for it to be again.

For simplicity and the routines

of full motherhood days.

I will miss her on my chest

 the rhythm of breath syncing

asleep in harmony.

I will miss him yelling

“Hold ME! Hug ME!”

At preschool drop-off

wishing for independence,

(but not too much)

that he can’t wait to

run away to a pack of friends.

I watch her discover the world

as she calms to my touch

enjoying sunshine on her face

like me.

They are both parts of me.

He is scared.

I tell him it will be okay,

he is okay.

We make mistakes.

My words to him are my own reminders.

He hits – I hug

We both have tears.

When this is over

I’ll wonder why

I was so eager to get on with it.

Impatient!

Motherhood slowed me down

to an unfamiliar pace.

A pace I needed

to learn presence

to be here now.

When this is over

I will ache.

My arms empty

My time free

Wondering why I hurried it up.

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Sleep calls

No post tonight. Just sleep

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My son wants so much. “Hold my hand! Carry me mama!” he whines as he sees the playground a football field away.

I want him to run there on his own. I want his independence. I am all touched- out, with my arms temporarily free of the 10-month old baby I’m normally holding. I worry my back will give out. My energy is depleted. I did not have coffee today and I’m cranky. I think I could have adrenal fatigue and send out an S.O.S. to all of my nutritious friends for organically green recipes. I am running on empty.

“Oh Ev,” I say as he throws himself on the field in a mini-meltdown. The other children are running around him. Some are older, some are his age. They don’t need their parents to carry them, but he insists.

I pick him up. We move slowly as he clutches onto me.

My healthy friends respond to my adrenal fatigue cries: rest and water, eggs, avocados, sweet potatoes, and green smoothies. I drink some more water. I feel like I could sleep all day. When we come home, I nap with him falling asleep for more than 2 hours. I wake up disoriented. The sun is setting and I’m waking up. Thank God for Sundays and the reminder to rest. 

Tonight we continue to move slowly. My husband makes a chicken vegetable soup. I drink more water. I read him the Wizard of Oz. I lie down with him and remind myself I’ll be wishing for him to ask me to carry him, to lie down with him, and to read him The Wizard of Oz (again). Pretty soon he think he’s too old, he’ll want to be independent, and I’ll remember today.

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Daddy does bedtime

“Seinfeld or Rockford Files?”

Jim Rockford I see.

 

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When I go to the coffee shop I feel like a real writer. I dress up. I take off my mom yoga/running uniform and put on the jeans (who am I kidding they are not technically jeans with a button and fly, but really post-baby jeggings), a blouse, my brown boots, and a colorful beaded necklace since I don’t have a 10-month old who will tug on it today.

Here at the coffee shop, I am in the company of writers (and coaches from their conversations – but this is a blog post for tomorrow. The coach next to me just asked the question: “What stories, beliefs, and decisions no longer represent who I am?” This could have been my blog post from yesterday).

As I show up regularly, I’m seeing familiar faces. I’m a natural observer like my baby girl, constantly taking in the world to make sure we are not missing out on anything. I don’t only look, but I listen too (okay, I’m totally eavesdropping today, that’s how I realized a coaching conversation was going on next to me). Dialogue is my background music when I’m writing. I discover synchronicity in others’ conversations which parallel my writing circumlocutions.

My word of the day is CIRCUMLOCUTION: cir·cum·lo·cu·tion  (sûr′kəm-lō-kyo̅o̅′shən)

n.

1. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language.
2. Evasion in speech or writing.
3. A roundabout expression.

Circumlocution is a word thrown around in speech therapy. “Eliminating circumlocution in 4 out of 5 conversations” might be a goal for a patient with a right-hemisphere stroke or a school-aged child with word-finding issues speaking in nondescript “this” and “that” language. (Which makes me wonder: is my right hemisphere intact since I tend to do this so easily?) I circumlocuted in my writing, eavesdropping more than 20% of the time, especially when writing close to my heart.

“They come wanting to hear something important and interesting,” the older man says to the woman next to me who is giving a workshop later that evening. “What we give them is more amorphous.”

I think the word AMORPHOUS might relate to my circumlocutions in some way. I scribble down the words he speaks in between hugging the woman goodbye.

AMORPHOUS a·mor·phous  (ə-môr′fəs)

adj.

1. Lacking definite form; shapeless. See Synonyms at shapeless.
2. Of no particular type; anomalous.
3. Lacking organization; formless.
4. Lacking distinct crystalline structure.
My writing now feels amorphous and full of circumlocutions. I’ve been writing for the past 3 hours, which seems to be my limit when my brain becomes mushy. I begin with the notes in my journals, re-working my first chapter, outlining future chapters as I see how a sentence or thought might better carry a theme.  I’m constantly adding and revising the story. The more I show up here, at my table in the coffee shop, the more I see the connections (or my circumlocutions) becoming less amorphous.I think it’s okay that I don’t know right now. There is still more to uncover. Writing this book is more like an archaeological dig finding meaning in the amorphisms. I told former writing groups my book was written already, it just needs to be formatted. I give structure to my circumlocutions – making them less amorphous.

I am interrupted by a woman staring at me and I meet her gaze. Another circumlocution.

“I’m amazed at how you can type and not even look at what you’re doing,” she says to me.

I have heard this before. I take my typing skills for granted. I probably push 70 wpm, out-typing some court reporters. It’s a talent I rarely acknowledge and doesn’t garner attention because I mostly do it alone (except in coffee shops when I’m transcribing conversations next to me). I like being a fast-typer. It comes with the practice of writing.

“The most valuable class I took in high school was my elective typing class.” This is meant to be a joke, but might not be for a writer.

I type without looking. I’m going for more than my 1000 words today. I’m recognizing the gift of structuring these amorphous circumlocutions and taking selfies while I do it.

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Since we moved, I’m finding my rhythm and forming new routines. I’ve been walking my son to preschool in the mornings and noticing a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. I feel like I can’t leave the house without it for these walks, so intuition has been moving me in the direction of a much-needed break. Do you really need it? my insides whisper. I leave it at home one morning. The silence initially disturbs me with my wild thoughts going rampant, before I settle into a breathing mantra returning home by myself.

This morning, I carried my daughter in the Ergo as I pushed his stroller. I ignored the whisper of iPhone abstinence, opting for my Pandora station instead. Immediately, the music was interrupted.

“Eh? What’d did you say Ev?” I ask, turning down the music with the earpieces still muffling his speech.

I missed it again.

We had a few more moments like that which evolved into true frustration assumed from his thrashing stroller.

I still didn’t stop to listen, just lowered the volume to get bits of his 3-year old conversation.

We passed by a man walking his dogs. They approached us and my son leaned forward to pet them. He said something to the man, and he smiled. “What did you say Ev?” I asked turning down the music again.

“I said my muppah id Evan.” Completely unintelligible.

I didn’t acknowledge him, just kept walking so he screamed it: “MY PUPPY IS IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!”

I stopped giving him my full attention.

“Why is Heaven so far away?” he asked.

“It might feel far away, but it’s not,” I said not sure where I was going.

“Where it is then?” he asked.

“In our hearts. We’ll always hold a bit of Journey in our hearts which is right here inside us.” I put my hand over his heart so he understood.

“Journey going to leave Heaven and come out of my belly like a baby?”

Not quite. We will be needing some more talks.

I took the earpieces out. Then tucked the iPhone away in my pocket. This time is sacred. I’m learning it’s where the real questions are being asked and I might be too busy to catch them if I multitask along the way.

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The next time I debate whether or not I feel like writing, I’ll remember the gift it brings me. Not only do I get clarity about my present situation, but I see beauty in ordinary moments returning with fresh perspective.”

I often find snippets in my computer, and I’m not sure where they came from.  On my archaeological dig looking for something else today, I found this short essay written one morning in a bed and breakfast 18 months ago. I share it because it reminds me our stories have purpose, even if we don’t see it in the moment. Which one do you want to write today and find months later?

xoxo

11/9/11

Cambria, CA

I have had it easy as a parent up until now.  My son was a happy baby, always quick to smile and make others laugh. Up until he was 8 months old, we could bring him out to nice dinners in his infant car seat. When he grew tired, he did not fuss.  He just took his blanket and covered his head like a game of peek-a-boo.

Times are a-changing. We returned to an adult bed and breakfast in Cambria with him. The last time I was here was my fourth wedding anniversary. I was 21 weeks pregnant, and just learned I’d be having a son. I was over the moon in love with him already fantasizing about who he would be one day. I seemed to have forgotten what he might be like at 13 months.

In the last hour he tried to go head first into the bathtub, ran out the door and into the hallway almost falling down the stairs, and shook his head “no” every time I offered him food.  I am exhausted and ready to go back to bed by 8 am, and we have only been up since 6:30.

Walking just started this month. With each day of our California trip, I grow fearful of returning to our non-toddler friendly home in New Jersey.  He is going to be heading for the basement stairs pretty soon.  Baby gates don’t work for him.  He has attempted diving over one Indiana Jones-toddler style.

He tests his limits as he approaches the fireplace for the hundredth time this morning. I ask him, “What does Mama say?” and he shakes his head “no, no, no” and smiles. I know I am a goner. He’s got me wrapped around his finger with that smile melting my heart a little more.

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