Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Page

December and January are quite a whirlwind for me. There are so many beginnings and endings that happen in such a brief amount of time. My birthday, Christmas, NewYear's, my husband's birthday, our anniversary, and both daughters birthdays all within a 6 week time frame. Each calendar year, from my perspective, represents a year in my life. A clear segment in the evolution of the person I am becoming. The closing of a calendar marks another year since I was born, married, been a mom, been a mother of of 2. I almost envision it in my mind like a chapter in a book and tonight, I turn a page. Tonight, the bold print will be centered on the page and it will say "2011" in large font. I do not know exactly where in this book the chapter appears. Hopefully, it is in the beginning of the book, but it could be near the end. The previous chapter promises of happiness and love who knows where it will take us.

I talk a lot about seeing myself as flawed, but that is not quite accurate. People aren't flawed, they just are... the very nature of being  alive is that every quality can be positive or negative depending on its relationship with the particular set of circumstances. I think of human beings as masses of genectic substance that are inherently us. This essence drives use to be a certain way and want certain things, but doesn't dictate our being. This substance is shaped and molded by the world around us. Our experiences, whether we perceive them as being good or bad, result in each of us being completely unique. Through our shared experiences, we gain similar understandings of our world. We cannot survive without those connections to others. Each year, I can feel the evolution of who I am. I am just a little more knowledgeble that the year before. I realize which connections help me to thrive and which are okay to let go. I learn about myself through others. Each interaction gives us the opportunity to choose a reaction. These choices can teach you volumes about yourself and others. I learned a lot this year.

Somewhere in this novel, the protagonist forgot who she was, however as the chapter, "2010" closes, she begins to realize her passive journey does not fulfill her active mind. The protagonist feels the light emerging in her heart, she realizes she has a calling. She does not quite know yet what it is, but the energy, the spirit, is calling her... calling to her essence. She is confident in one fact: she will take each experience as it comes and she can't wait to meet the woman who emerges.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Suspension of Disbelief

There is an agreement between actors and their audience. You may not even realize it, but while you are watching others act, you have agreed to suspend reality and accept the world as they depict it. It is their job to provide you with all the tools you need to do so such as a storyline that smudges the lines between the common perception of reality and the perspective of the actor/playwright. It allows you to be swept away by the breeze and immersed into the murky depths of another world. It allows you to experience, for a moment in time, the existence of fairies, goblins, magic and that good always prevails. There is no consequence for buying into these alternate realities for a spell just the possibility of a unique experience where we can transcend the limits the physical worlds presents us.

As children, we do not need a particular situation to agree to believe... children just believe. Through their eyes, the world is full of possibility. They are unaware of its bounds for they have never experienced them. Why can't a snowman survive in the summer? or Santa look different every time he is seen? Children want to believe in the things that give them pleasure and joy. When given a glass with water to the middle line, they are happy to have water and see the promise of fun which may emerge. She sees the possibilities of faith. She wants to live in a world full of mystery because she does not fear the unknown. Her spirit is pure. She does not know pain. She does not worry that life may not live up to her vision of the world.

My journey was like most, long and winding. At the perfect point in time, when I stopped believing in all that made this world extraordinary, my daughters came into my life. They have taught me that even though I have experienced the boundaries of this world and know that darkness can be in light, I can choose to suspend those feelings and remember the magic of the possibility... the possibility born of hope.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mythical Creature: The Other Wife

Parenthood. The joys are limitless, but the strains can be as well. The first time we held our daughter we fell in love again... little did we know that the first sound of her crying was the starter gun on our competition for who does the most for our family...

"This isn't quite the way you said it would be." Huh? We're happy. Have 2 beautiful girls. What was it supposed to be like? "I thought I would have less to do around the house." Oh. You are referring to our decision for me to stay home. What chores do you exactly do that overwhelms you? The garbage. Yard work. Car maintenance, I mean, you are an automotive technician. "Well, I know you do a lot." Damn straight I do. 24 hrs a day. "I told a guy at work the other day that I needed to get home to do chores and he poked fun at me cause he doesn't have to do that stuff. His wife takes out the garbage, does the yard work... she thinks he does enough just working, that he should just come home and rest." Silence.

This was mild compared to what I have heard other husbands say of their stay at home wives. I understand that from his perspective he imagines the freedom of Sunday afternoons with his feet up and cartoons on TV. He leaves me in the morning on the computer trying to pry my eyes open to read my work e-mails with a cup of coffee and as soon as he returns, so do I, to the position in front of the computer in an effort to gain back my sanity. Does he imagine the middle filled with much of the same? His thoughts exaggerated by his love and longing for his little girls. Maybe he thinks that I do not understand the sacrifices he makes... funny, don't you think? Let me remind him of the many mythical creatures that help him along the way...

Where does all the hair go that falls off all of our pets? (2 Golden Retrievers and 2 cats) or the wrappers and stuff that you and the kids scatter around through the house? How do the toys always seem to end up back in the spot they began? Perhaps an elf. I imagine him high strung with red hair and a beard cursing at his once clean path to a never appearing pot o' gold. Is that a fairy I saw with the toilet wand who made it so sparkling clean? The spots that you leave every morning on the mirror disappear into thin air by the time you return in the evening perhaps she lent a hand there too. I can only imagine an ogre would be picking up all your dirty clothes & boxer shorts lugging them down to the basement below. However, once fresh and clean, an ogre wouldn't do, maybe its another fairy who returns them to our room. Who does the dishes? Changes the diapers? Dusts the walls? Oh my, maybe we'll never know. Better yet, "the other wife" might live here, a creature who is most rare. She can do it all in a single day while singing a song and dancing the jig telling her husband how she wouldn't exist if he wasn't so big and brave. Oh wait, cannot be for the lawn would also be trim.

My husband makes me happy. He is a good Dad and works very hard for us girls. I would never let him think less, but I slowly leaned over and whispered in his ear, "The grass is always greener in fantasy land. Does your friend live next to the jolly green giant?"

Monday, December 13, 2010


Thank you so much to *Muddy Feet* for awarding me with my first blog award. It was exactly what I needed at the perfect time... thank you.
Rules for accepting this award are:
1. Thank & link back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their Blog Award!

7 Things about Me
1. I have 2 daughters who will be ages 4 and 2 just after the new year begins.
2. My best friend is my husband and life has been a dream with him in my life.
3. As a mostly stay at home Mom, my main job is to manage my home and raise happy kids.
4. Two days a week, I become my alter ego... a Professor who teaches at a local University.
5. Born in CA, raised in NJ... I love where I live.
6. Life is good... bad times are the moments when life gives us the skills to fully enjoy the good times.
7. Hoping that one day, my writing will transcend my being.

Here are the sites I am Paying it forward to (a few more to be added):

Friday, December 10, 2010

The greatest gift

I spend a lot of my time off in thought... thinking of how people behave and interact and how I have come to understand the world around me. In one respect, that sounds all philosophical and nerdy, but its my job and I love what I do. I teach young college students complex theories of interpersonal communication, what the hell does that even mean??? LOL. Researchers use complex words to describe ordinary events in extraordinary ways. How better to bring the thoughts to life then the creation of narratives (slightly modified for privacy/ anonymity)? Its amazing how much you can get to know yourself when you think about these things.

Who am I? Like most women, my emotions have depth beyond my capacity and I can literally feel them flowing over at times like the fizz on a soda poured too quickly. I view myself as flawed, but embrace who I am and see myself as a work in progress. I believe each day is an opportunity to learn something new about myself and each moment, an opportunity to become the person I strive to be. I like who I am. I am happy. I would be proud for my daughters to be like me. I often try to think of what my parents provided me that allowed me the self-confidence to love who I am and the insight that I am worth getting to know. There was a moment, in time, when someone robbed me of my worth... how did I gain it back? How did my parents provide me with the tools to make that moment a moment of strength not weakness?

Unconditional love. My parents loved each other and each child with the same unconditional love. The love in my family is consistent. We love each other in the bad times as much as we love each other in the good. We are far from perfect. We have endured great pains, but we never faltered. When I screamed and yelled and tested my mother in my teen age years, just begging her to tell me that she was done with me. She never did. She just told me she loved me and that would never change. My father is very stoic, a man of little words, but, his daughter knows that no matter what he is always proud. Even though there might have been times when my judgment didn't deserve it, he knew that my spirit would rise above it. My parents never got caught up in the details. They knew that I would be amazing in the end. They were like a trampoline... they made me laugh, feel light as a feather, let me sink as low as I needed before they would lift me up and throw me high... letting me be everything I wanted to be. Thank you for that...

This is the greatest and most simple gift I offer my daughters. From unconditional love, they were born. They will be given unconditional love each day that we share. I hope that I teach them through my actions the meaning of unconditional love just as my parents have offered me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What kind of Santa am I?

This is the year. The year the girls, especially my oldest, are really going to engage in the magic of Christmas. This is the year when I pose a question that i have never asked myself before... what kind of Santa am I? So, this year more than any year before, each moment is the beginning of traditions we will refine through the years.

The thanks has been given, the turkey's been cooked, its time to awake them from their summer slumber. The boxes are open. The decorations glisten. The small gazing eyes glimmer as the stockings emerge. The promise of wonder whispers into the room riding on Jack Frost's breath. I start spinning the tale of a man in a red suit with a belly of jelly and a laugh that bellows, "HO! HO! HO!" He flies through the night with his reindeer of eight as all the good children sleep. So behave and he will stop by our Christmas tree and bring you the gift you desire. To the mall, we go and see if we spy Old Kris Kringle so we can bend his ear. Dear Santa, my friend, can you bring me doll? A baby for my no longer "baby" girl. As we drive home, I begin to sing how all-knowing Santa watches, my daughters smile for more. Singing carols, hoping for snow with mugs of hot chocolate milk. The stars of heaven begin to fall to earth and sparkle around town. From the warmth of our car, we will admire our neighbors who are spreading holiday cheer with snow men that wave and Santas that fly and presents all in a row. I will tuck my kids in, kiss their foreheads and pray that the sugarplums they dream of are dripping with sugar while I run around sprinkling magic snow that does not melt and hope that my HO! HO! HO!s will not be too loud.

What kind of Santa am I? I am hoping I am the jolliest, the most magical one around. I am in a long line of proud Santas and one day, she will think of me when she asks herself, "What kind of Santa am I?"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lurking all around me

Life is good. I truly believe it. As I have written before, I believe people to be good and generally, misunderstood. They usually are motivated for the right reasons, but can fail in their execution to convey it to others. There are some who cannot see the beauty of the human spirit, perhaps from pain or from fear, but they do not see what I see and they lurk all around me.

No matter what the moment, no matter what the time... they appear... in many different shapes and sizes. Whether its the person who preaches the country is falling apart, the person who claims that no one is able to understand or that people are generally gullible and dumb... you try your best to recruit me, but I just smile to myself and think, I'm glad I see through a different set of lenses. Mine may be tinted a shade of rose, but they are clear and my eyes are open... I just see it differently.

Perhaps people are generally unaware, but there is so much to know how can one know it all. What is important to one, is insignificant to another. The cross you bear is heavy, and perhaps heavier than the next, but what is light as a feather for one, to another is as heavy as a brick. Does only one deserve help? Every moment has more than one meaning.... did she just say hello or did she have an agenda? Are others there to annoy you or enrich your life? Is she mean or is she just scared that no one will like her so she cuts to the chase? Does a moment define a person? What is better for one is not necessarily better for another? In the end, what does it matter? Your ability has no bearing on mine, your possessions, no reflection of me. Some one always has less, some one always has more. At times, I seem to encounter those who are competing for worst life ever or even perhaps, best. I wish I had a pocket full of trophies just to make their day. Perhaps they could then see.

Fuzzy little bunnies do not bounce around my feet and rainbows do not shine over every place I go, but I strive to be positive and to share that energy with others. When I encounter some one who doesn't see things quite the way I do, I try my best to smile and maybe show them another way. Its not about being right, its about being happy. I hope my daughters can see the good in people and the beauty in life and not understand a lurkers point of view.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Thought of You

When I awoke this morning, you were apart of me. We shared a future. I could feel the depth of your presence, the hope of your smile and the desire to protect you. When I drifted off in thought, I could imagine our first moments together, how you felt, how you smelled... the beginning of our journey together and the final piece of my heart in place. Everything just felt right... everything fell in place... the unknown brought excitement of each adventure we would share. But, as I fall asleep tonight, I realize you were just a dream, perhaps now apart of my past or future yet to come, but not in the fabric of my present. With darkness, comes the knowledge that it won't be you... for just a moment, I ache for the thought of you.