Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I want a 100%

Have you aligned with a percent? Are you a 99% leaner? A 53% leaner? Neither? BOTH? (You can be both you know, it's POSSIBLE.) Are you excited that people are remembering their roots and fighting for the very truths this country once held to be self evident?

Or are you one of those people with your head so far up your own ass that you think you *made it* all by your own self, with no help, support, nor love from others? Do you think you're special? Do you think you are the only person working hard, trying hard, and living life? Are you a better human because you've kept your head above water? Clearly you have grown a huge pair of balls. How about your grow a warm, beating heart now?

*I* am in the 53%. I work hard. I pay my taxes. I do not carry bad debt.

*I* am in the 99%. I work hard. I pay my taxes. I do not carry bad debt.

I am doing ok right now. Now. Probably tomorrow too. I think I am lucky, fortunate, blessed.

BUT, I believe that others are struggling. I believe some people make the best choices they can but still hurt sometimes. I DON'T believe that those people are lazy, terrible, sacks of shit that don't deserve to live or breathe the same air as me. I believe in being as fair as possible - but when things aren't going to be fair, I believe in supporting the underdog, the weak, the down trodden and the poor. Yes, some people will abuse the system. It will happen. But do you want to talk about the people working the system of welfare when there are people working the tax system too?

What if *I* was in the 47%? What if *I* needed help? Would you, my friends, cast me off because another person maybe could have, kind have tried a little harder? I believe there is a better life for everyone if we stand together, united with a common purpose of decency, respect and kindness.

Do you ever ask yourself these questions? Do you consider that some day *you* might need help, patience, support or respect for no other reason than because you are alive, human, and maybe a little lost?

*I* am human. I have hopes. I have dreams. I work. I care. I love. I try to remember every day that I am no better than anyone else. I make mistakes. I am a work in progress, and I didn't get here by myself.

I want there to be a 100%. 100% decency. 100% happy. 100% successful. 100% compassionate. 100% human; the good kind of human though.

We can all be united or untied. It only matters where you put your *I.*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I didn't think we needed these lessons

Dear Other Parents Raising Boys,

A couple months ago I sent the boys out to the garage to get in the car, like every morning, and about 2 seconds later I walked out and hit the garage door button to open it. What I didn't expect to happen next was to see my Bear holding on to the garage door, riding it up to the top. Had I turned back to grab anything on the counter I truly believe he would have fallen from the top because I had to reach over my head to lift him down.

Lesson #1 - Tell your boys not to ride garage doors when they are opening.

Today when I picked Bear up from school his teacher had this smile on her face and said she had something to tell me. She prefaced the story by saying Bear was not in trouble and she was only telling me in case it came up in conversation tonight. (It didn't.) And then she smiled again and stopped making eye contact with me.

Right after lunch today he told her he needed to go poop. So he rushed down the hallway with her a few strides behind him. By the time she rounded the corner Bear already had pooped. SITTING ON THE URINAL. The URINAL. So this teacher had to explain to him that poop goes on the other potty and the urinal was only a pee-pee potty. My poor sweet almost 4 year old Bear just looked at her and said "Why?" In his mind it was the right height, had a little lip to perch on, and was the closet thing available to sit on and shit in. Of course, this wonderful teacher was blown away by the awesomeness of his single word question and could only laugh and say "well, because that's how it's supposed to be." The poor woman had to scoop out my son's poop from the urinal today friends. Thankfully she told me that my Bear was NOT the first 3 year old boy to have done this, but he was the first who did it to her.

I might have died a little from a combination of laughter and mortification.

Lesson #2 - Teach your boys that pee-pee, poop and vomit goes on the sitting potty but only pee-pee goes in the stand-up potty.

You're welcome.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Landscape

This morning as I drove home from dropping my boys off for their summer day camp I stopped for a red light and did what I normally do at red lights, I scanned the sky. Most days it looks the same, some beautiful shade of blue, a few clouds, mostly sunny; you know the sky. I mean everyone sees is (except blind people and I'm sorry about that) so no big deal right? Not today.

Today the sky was massive. More massive than I honestly can remember. The sheer magnitude was emphasized by the building clouds around my entire 360 degree skyline. It was layer upon layer, depth upon even deeper depths as the clouds billowed and curled towards the top of the bright, brilliant blue dome.

I felt a bit of vertigo as the light changed to green and I traveled further down the road that leads to my home. The moment was gone and the sky was back to just being the sky. But as I exhaled and drew breath again I was reminded of how small we all are, how we are all individually just specs of dried paint on a canvas. Sometimes our colors clash but that doesn't matter. What matters is when you step back and see with perspective, we are all part of a significantly beautiful landscape.

So today, at least while I remember this fleeting moment at a traffic light, I'm going to worry less about how I might (and do) clash with others, and focus more on how I can paint a better picture.

Today is going to be a great day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life as a Musical

As long as I can remember I have loved to sing. I was in my first play when I was 5. I sung in every school choir I could. I sing in the car. I sing in the shower. I sing while cooking dinner and cleaning, and I sing to my children when they are tired or sad or scared. Sometimes I sing when I am alone and I stand still, feet balanced and grounded, eyes closed, and I let the song take over.

I'm especially fond of belting out Broadway show tunes.

Nerves keep me from singing well in front of others though.

When Bug was about 8 months old I bought a Laurie Berkner CD for us to listen to in the car. Eventually we bought them all, followed by the They Might Be Giants CDs, then Barenaked Ladies, and Disney movie music, etc. He, and now Bear, loved them all. I can't tell you how proud I was the day when Bug, and then Bear, started singing along with me to one of these albums.

Recently I have become more than a little tired of "their music" (even though the music is awesome and fun). So I started playing my music in the car each day. I change up the albums and at first the boys complained "This isn't OUR music." But a funny thing happened last week; while singing one of my songs on our drive home from school I heard them singing along with me. And they were singing the BACK UP PARTS. Bug was all "Ba Ba Ba Ba Baaaaaa" while Bear was "Oooooooh yeah, ahhhhhhh," both joining in on the refrain of the song. They were singing it correctly, harmonizing, and, well, it is practically amazing I didn't start bawling right there while driving on the highway.

Do you have any idea how I have dreamed of singing Christmas carols with them in a 3-part harmony? I might have to unearth some sheet music and start actually talking to them about music as a language. Hubs? Honey? I'm going to teach them to sing show tunes with me too. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Perspective

Let's see if I can remember how this here blogging thing works...

I'm running the Gate River Run again next weekend, March 12th. It'll be my 4th time running the race. I thought this was going to be a good year for me. I was hoping to drop my time from last year but still realistically knew I wouldn't get close to my PR from back in 1999 when I ran it the first time. But in December I started running faster, like 4-6 miles in a 9:50ish per mile pace. And considering that I was running 11+/mile two years ago and 10:30's last year I was hopeful to drop my pace again. It was a goal that I got swept up in and focused on.

And then I got injured. Again. My shin splints flared up, probably from pushing too hard and running with bad form. Then my right IT Band tightened up so much it hurt to walk for over a week. So I had to give up running a half marathon early in February to make sure I could run the River Run. I like the River Run and I had priorities.

I was disappointed though. Badly disappointed in myself. And I looked around to others I knew who are running faster, who are stronger, who are setting goals and slaying them. And it hurt. Jealously does nothing for self-esteem. Let me tell you that.

But then I got real. The rational side of my brain kicked in (thankfully) and I fixed my perspective. It's not like I am running this race to WIN it. So there are always going to be people who are faster than me. And I'm still running in the middle of the pack so there's always going to be people who are slower than me. So whatever. It's not about winning. It's not about perfection. It's about improvement. I tell my students this all the time. Seek improvement, not perfection.

This here perfectionist sometimes has a hard time turning the tables on herself. :)

Really all I had improved though was my attitude since my running times are still not where I want them. So I had to get real about that to in order to pull myself up out of my running funk (ahem, bitter disappointment).

So I thought about my kids. Bug and Bear have noticed how often I go out to run lately. Bug asks me how long I'll be gone and if I had a good run when I get back. (Bear tells me I'm stinky!) He tells me when he's older that he'll run with me or ride his bike like I used to do with my Dad when I was a little girl. He sees me trying.

So I am not giving up because I'm disappointed in myself. I'm going to go out there and do the very best I can with the cards I've been dealt, and I'm going to look my little men in the eyes when I get home and tell them I ran 9.3 miles; that I battled a Green Monster and I destroyed it with my feet and my heart. I'm going to teach them not to give up and to get out there and do the best they can at something they love even if they aren't at peak performance, even if there are other people who are better. I am going to be proud of myself so they can be proud of themselves.

And then we'll go out and eat cheeseburgers. And maybe some ice cream.