Depression is NOT a funny ‘ha-ha’ kind of thing. I’ve had my share of times in life when I’ve felt super low to the point when up was so far away, down was just an easier way to go. But, life is better now, and now I can laugh at it a little. So for ME, not you or someone else, depression is a “funny” thing because it plays tricks. It makes you think things that aren’t actually happening. It heightens some senses of awareness and dampens others senses to the point of dullness. It makes you believe that there is nothing left to live for, fight for, or get up for. It convinces you that only you understand you, that there’s no way someone else on this Earth “gets it.” The sneaky fox doesn’t let you see the reality, and it can be worse than drug abuse because you can’t get it out. But I’ll tell you, once you figure out its trickery and nonsense, you have the power to laugh at right, right into its face, which sadly, often looks just like you. So here’s the kicking depression and laughing, OUT LOUD, because that funny little thing is just that. Little. These posts won’t always be uplifting or joyous, but they are part of the plan to help me laugh a little more and cry a lot less, for things I cannot control will not control me.
This weekend, my older daughter was part of a dance camp. For two days, there were pre-audition camps for the different age groups and the kids learned the steps for the actual audition in September. Let me start off by saying I cannot dance at all. I tried when I was younger, but it was just wrong. The last time I really danced was at my wedding in 2004, and I told everyone that I was going to go all out with my moves and that would be the last of it. I’ve kept that promise! So who would’ve thought I’d have two dancing queens for girls? Surprise!!
Sometimes, when a child tells you they want to do something, you say okay and support them, thinking that maybe their enthusiasm in temporary. Well, for my girls, dance is NOT a temp thing. They love it! My older daughter, at her ripe 5-1/2 years, takes any opportunity to turn on Pandora and ‘perform.’ She does splits in the middle of a store, she sings loudly whenever a familiar song comes on, and if someone asks her what she wants to be when she grows up, her first answer is, “A dancer.” (This is followed by “artist, teacher, doctor.” Hey, as long as we throw doctor in there, I’m good!)
Back to dance camp. Each of the two days consisted of four hours of classes. FOUR HOURS! No, I’m not the next reality parent on “Dance Moms.” But I figured if she’s serious about dance, let’s do it right. Universities offer dance scholarships so why not? I wasn’t sure how she’d take to dancing for four hours, but she did it…two days in a row! And she wanted more the following day. So here I am, the mother of a Dancing Queen. And darling #2 isn’t far behind. She’s starting classes in a week. And here’s to all the moms and dads at the studio who want nothing but happiness for their kids…happiness and scholarship money. Just kidding…sort of.
Have you ever stopped to really listen to the sounds around you? I mean literally STOP and LISTEN. Usually, I am a whirlwind of movement. I find at the end of a day, I have not had a seat for hours. Even when I (try to) go to the bathroom, I’m usually racing the girls to get in there. Somehow the idea of mom having to go suddenly ignites the waters within and EVERYONE has to go. So, I wait patiently. When I do finally get in there, the cat decides it would be the perfect time to get cozy on my lap. This happens on a daily basis.
Anyway, back to the listening thing. Sometimes, on that rare occasion when I force myself to stop, I am amazed. Two little girls playing, sometimes arguing, but mostly playing. The cat purring, with the jingle of his bell reminding me to feed him. The 7:02 am plane that leaves the airport, usually on time. Even away from home, my daily sounds consist of children’s laughter and funny ‘kid talk.’ My classroom is a place where little girls discuss their favorite books or what they did over the weekend, and little boys talking about “checking their email” or how they want to buy a skiff for fishing. (I had to look up what a skiff was to understand that conversation!) And in those moments, when I really stop, a smile spreads across my face and I just can’t stop it from coming. I LOVE the sounds kids make. My own kids, my students, even random ones I might overhear at the store. Their innocence and truthfulness makes my heart warm up in an instant.
All the things I thought were important become a little less overbearing, just because of a little voice. I highly suggest the next time you’re stressed, you simply STOP and LISTEN. Count to five and just listen. The world really is a wondrous place. In the giggle of a couple of little girls, my world and all that is in it, swells with love, and suddenly, I can breathe again. Now, back to the laundry. Sigh…
My mom will be horrified at the category of my parenting posts. While I’d love, more than you can imagine, to say that I don’t actually sleep in jeeshee (which is tinkle for you non-Farsi speakers), sadly, it’s true. In the 5-1/2 years since being given the best job ever, I’ve had my share of sleeping in actual jeesh. Sheesh! Let me elaborate…I know, you’re super excited.
I’ve always been a mom. I carried large quantities of “supplies” in my backpack as a child, just in case someone needed something. Band-aids? Check! Scotch Tape? Check! Tylenol, Advil, or migraine meds? Check, check, check! I even had a pack of unopened underwear in my car…just in case. Hey, you never know. Since I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be an actual mother. I tell my husband all the time that I knew our girls from when I was eight. And he is starting to believe me! We three girls have a strange connection, and add to that my adamant statement that I KNEW them both my entire life, and what can my husband do but accept, agree, and move on?
When my I had my first daughter, I was obsessed. I would lay next to her, millimeters away from her face, and breathe her in. I would stand over her crib and try to join my soul with hers. No, I’m not crazy. Yes, I believe you can pass positivity to others. Anyway, one night, when she was around two years old, having fallen asleep next to her in a fit of exhaustion, I opened my eyes groggily to stare right onto her bare bottom. At some point, she had taken off her Pull-Ups training undies and was sleeping free as a bird. At this point, I was already a few months pregnant with darling #2 and had limited energy reserves.
So, here I was. Middle of the night, pregnant, tired, staring at a bare bottom. I decided to close my eyes and hoped that it would all just be okay in the morning. Wrong! Sometime later, it could have been minutes or hours, my eyes opened again. This time, the same bare bottom was there, but there was an added bonus. Through the amazing process of tinknling, I was able to actually WATCH jeeshee come out. It happened in slow motion, and all I could do was stare. I watched as it spread across the sheets and onto the (now long discarded) pillow. I wondered if she would wake up, but figured she now had no need to.
So, instead of performing some Mother-of-the-Year task like getting up to change the sheets, I decided to grab a nearby blanket, fold it over a few times, gently place it under my little dolly. And go back to sleep! If you haven’t done that at least once as a mom, you’re either a) lying, or b) blocking it out. As a mommy, sometimes we do things that our former selves would be appalled at. I rarely use public restrooms because I don’t like the germs. I wash my hands hundreds of times a day. I have bottles of Isopropyl Alcohol in all my cabinets in case something needs to be disinfected. But in that moment of being so exhausted that my teeth were tired, and considering that the jeeshee came from my most perfect creation, I didn’t care. So there, now you know, I sleep in jeeshee. And I’m okay with it. I’d love to say it was the first time, but it wasn’t. Either way, I wouldn’t change it for aything because I think it’s just part of growing up a mom.
One of my goals at the beginning of 2012 was to write a post at least once a week. Well that didn’t work out so well. Then, when the seasons changed and it was spring, I decided to renew that promise to myself and try writing again once a week. Fail! Then it summer rolled around and I thought, “NOW, I’ll have time to write.” Not so much! Throw in there the usual end of the school year rush, moving houses to be closer to work and my daughter’s soon-to-be-Kindergarten, and trying to keep consistent so neither daughter realized the move from their beloved home was actually happening, and here we are at the end of July. Talk about not sticking to the plan.
As someone who is a little OCD (understatement!) and a planner by nature, this inability to keep the promise of writing to myself has been eating away at me. In those few minutes, sometimes seconds, between giving baths, reading stories, coloring, cooking, cleaning, playing dress up, you name it, I found most often thinking about what I would be writing if I had a few minutes to sit. I even downloaded the WordPress App on my iPhone truly believing I’d write a quick entry while waiting at dance class. Well here we are, seven months into 2012 and I have a whopping three entries. Damn. But, what can you do?
So what have I done in the last seven months? I’ve watched my husband continue working full-time while taking classes to fulfill his dream of becoming a nurse. Slow and steady gets you ready. Boy, will he be ready! I’ve watched 26 third graders finish up in the primary grades and move into being upper graders. Some will fare better than others. I’ve seen my older daughter dance her heart away in ballet and jazz, and “graduate” from pre-school. She is so ready for Kindergarten and I hope that sparkle continues to grow year after year. I’ve listened to the (constant) burgeoning vocabulary of my younger daughter grow daily and laughed and swelled with love at her funny little sayings. My favorite is when she blurts out at random times, “Mom, I’m happy.” Thank you, God! I’ve watched my parents get older, happier, sadder, and then happier again and I count each and every moment I’ve shared with them as a blessing and pray that I have the chance to experience a million more memories with them.
Now, as I sit here typing away feverishly before the girls, my husband, the cat, someone interrupts the ten minutes I carved out for myself to write this, I hear laughter from one daughter, the snipping of scissors from the other (I’m afraid to see what she’s cutting), the cat purring right next to me on a pile of “papers to look through,” and my husband yelling at the Olympics’ coverage of soccer, I am grateful that I have this day. The recent senseless violence in Colorado reminded me to treasure each moment, breathe through the craziness, laugh through the exhaustion, and be thankful for this life. This time, I’m not going to make a promise to write. I’m just going to do it!
To my girls: Here’s wishing you a great day, today, tomorrow, and forever. Set goals, but give yourself freedom and flexibility to make mistakes. Make lists in pencil and live each day to the fullest.
Recently, I saw on FB that many of my family members were posting that they were going to far off lands for long periods of time. Being relatively good at listening during conversations and genuinely staying involved in what my closest kin are up to, I had to ask one of them what was going on. It turns out that it was meant as a way to confuse the men in our lives and have them guessing why plans were made to travel without their knowing. I don’t usually participate in those kinds of posts, but thought this one to be harmless and decided to follow the rules set out and try it. If nothing else, it would serve as a sort of experiment in social media…checking to see which of my friends, family, and FB acquaintances really read what I posted.
Based on the “rules,” I posted one evening that I was going to the Dominican Republic for 19 months. Not a few minutes had passed before I received some comments on my page. Some people were supportive, wishing me good luck and expressing excitement for the upcoming trip. Most of my closest friends, however, were less than amused, upset and mad even! While it may have seemed like a good idea when thinking it might confuse my husband, it did not feel good at all to deceive my friends. Now, I’m not saying or condoning husband deception. But a little joking here and there never hurt him. This, though, was different. The deception towards my friends made me quite uncomfortable! It was even worse when classmates from high school wrote congratulatory comments and said they couldn’t wait to hear about all the adventures. My stomach felt queasy, uneasy, unpleasant. As soon as I could, I hopped on the computer to email everyone who had responded up to that point and let them know the truth.
Clearly I’m not a good liar. I never have been. It takes so much effort. And it just doesn’t feel good. My inability to lie has gotten me in trouble before, especially in close relationships…(read – with my husband). I can sugar coat, but not lie. It’s certainly a quality I pride myself in, but it also means I’m not the best at keeping a surprise party a surprise, or telling my daughters that, “The Blanket Fairy was the one who took your ratty blankie with holes in it and a smell that couldn’t be washed out.” White lie, fib, or full-blown untruth, it’s difficult for me!
So the failed deception in posting an untruth finally got to me when two friends texted me directly, one angry, the other supportive and excited. I had to delete the post from my profile because I just couldn’t stand it. Now I have to contact those dear friends and explain the situation. Another pit just formed in my stomach. I hope that liars, new or old, still have that feeling inside and that someday they’ll stop. Having had just a taste, I can understand why perpetual liars are such cranky people. It’s because they don’t feel well, all the time! Like Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” If you’re not true to you, nothing else matters. Once you lose belief in yourself, and you start to lie, I think a part of you gets lost in the shadows of the untruths.
To my girls – Please always be true to yourself, be honest with the beautiful person looking back at you in the mirror, and be respectful and genuine with those around you.
Well Hello World,
I’m sure for a while, or maybe for the life of this blog, I will mostly be talking to myself. It’s an interesting concept, blogging. Not a voyeuristic person by nature, I put off having a personal blog all these years. I do FB, I tweet now and again, but really, I keep my friends close and my family closer and try not to share too much.
Well, then, why start a blog now? Well, there is so much I want to share with my daughters and since I can’t always guarantee that I’ll have a notebook on hand, I hope this serves as my “living journal” to them. I’m going to keep it pretty anonymous, so if you figure out who I am, or think you know me, perhaps it’s just that you see a reflection of yourself in some of the stories and experiences I share. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway? Sharing with others so that we can discover more about ourselves…well that’s how I view it, anyway.
So, here’s to sharing memories, time, and experiences. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and I look forward to hearing your feedback, if you want to share. Thanks for stopping by!