Posts from the “Me” Category

Day by Day

Posted on August 13, 2014

There isn’t much that calms me down, which as I get older is becoming a problem. Stress tangles inside of me, festering in knots that I can’t find my way to untie. The furrows in my brow deepen, the acid pings and gurgles from my stomach grow to a roar. My worry launches itself from the laundry piles to the greens that are going bad in the crisper, to the jumble of ill-fitting and tired underwear in my dresser, to all the things I want to do with the girls but can’t get to because I have to be at a meeting and I still have to do a grocery shop, and for-the-love-of-all-that’s-good-why-is-time moving so fast?

“You just have to lower your stress, Amanda,” Sean will say. I completely agree, but knowing how to fix it and not feeling more stress at the thought of having to reduce stress is beyond me.

Exercise charges me and clears my mind, reading can distract me from my worries, swimming offers me quiet, but the hurdle of feeling like these things are selfish trips me up.

Do it for your health, which makes you stronger for the girls and more capable of managing the rest of your day.

Do it for yourself. Just do it.

Sometimes I do, but it doesn’t exactly make me feel calm. The only thing that really lowers my shoulders and soothes me is gardening. I love the ritual of watering, the unwrapping of the hose, feeling the water surge through in that first spray, and then guiding the arc of water from my hand to little plants. I revel in the sensation of my fingers in the soil, the gritty feel of the earth in my hands, even beneath my nails. The smell of the grass nearby or of the marigolds soldiers that keep the bugs at bay, it fills me with a sense of belonging and when the chives tickle at my legs or the cucumber leaves catch on my hands, I feel capable. I made those. I will nourish my family with these.

This week the first of three bulbs that I planted sometime earlier this year finally began to bloom. I couldn’t remember what color they had been, or even the kind of flower. The excitement of seeing that something actually grew and transformed from the odd, craggy lump, to a burgeoning creature made my heart race. I checked on it every day, until this morning when I tiptoed around the curving stone stairs and it finally revealed the full blossom to me. The payoff for my patience was intoxicating and the sight of the water droplets on the petals felt as if they were cleansing me too.

 

 

I hope something new opens for you, whether it’s a fresh start, an opportunity, or a wildflower on a walk. I hope you’ll come back and share what you discovered.

You get what you pay for and other life lessons of rarely putting yourself first.

Posted on August 10, 2014

  “Damnit! Every time.” I said, not as angry as it might read, more resigned than anything. “Are those new?” Sean asked nodding toward my newly spattered with pasta sauce pants. “Yes,” I sighed looking down at the cloud blue colored sweat pants. They have a light line down the side and go to just past my knees. “They were an add on to the Gap order I made for the girls.” He rolled his eyes. “What? Do you not like them? I wanted them to be something for the colder weather that would look kind of easy, but sexy.” I said with a chagrined pout. “Yes, I like them. They are everything you wanted, but you’ll wash them once and they’ll lose their…

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Negative as a Habit

Posted on August 8, 2014

  I am as guilty as the next person for getting caught up in the jagged edges of “Yeah, but…” I’ve been trying to curb the habit, particularly as we get deeper and deeper into the sibling squabbles and battles of who was more wrong. I hear the words coming out of my mouth as I reason with the girls about letting things go, “You just have focus on you, don’t let what your sister or any of the kids at camp say, change your joy.” It makes sense, it’s great advice that will serve them their entire lives; if they hang onto it beyond elementary school. I catch myself having anticipatory verbal spars in the shower. Like I’m on a basketball court and…

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Autumn Beckons Again

Posted on July 29, 2014

Funny how year after year, autumn laps at my toes long before it seems it should arrive. This morning it came with the first sip of my coffee. Memories of bringing Briar home washed over me and I was back at our first house, the light through the window and the smells around me all from 2004. Reposting this from three years ago.    I’m five and heading off to Harris Elementary School to meet Miss. Thompson. I’m eleven and figuring out what separation and divorce really mean. I’m thirteen and poring over Seventeen Magazine, devouring how Jennifer Connelly, fresh off Labyrinth, is mixing plaid and tweed. I’m fifteen with butterflies thinking this is the year I’ll stop being awkward. I’m eighteen and leaving…

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Testing Body Image

Posted on July 21, 2014

We were sprawled out in the backyard. Sean was spraying the big girls down with a hose and Finley was devouring a sandwich in a lawn chair. The cat and dog were at our sides, both seemingly delighted that we were spending the day in a way that they could be with us. As the grass began to get soppy Sean passed the hose to Briar and Avery and gave them a three minute warning. “Three minutes and the hose is done!” “Okaaaaaaaay!” the girls screeched. Briar was in a purple and black suit, Ave a black rashguard with paint splatter accents and matching bottoms. They darted this way and that, their bodies shiny. Briar’s legs are long and slender, the stretch from knee…

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