Sunday, April 13, 2014

Buy A Book To Help A Student

My friend and fellow blogger Rick Watson has written another book. Titled Remembering Big, Rick is doing more than just promoting his book, he's doing something really cool instead. Rick is donating 100% of the proceeds from Remembering Big to the Dora High School scholarship fund. Dora High is a small school with few resources in Alabama where Rick and his wife Jilda live. Jilda is also a blogger and fellow yoga teacher.

I tried to find my review of Rick's first book Life Happens, but apparently I'm not a very good friend and I never got around to writing a review of it. So I'll tell you now that Life Happens is a collection stories of life in rural Alabama that you don't have to be from the South to enjoy. Rick's writing on both his blog and his book are very relatable and down to earth. Life Happens kept me interested and entertained on a red eye flight all the way home from Los Angeles.

One of the things I love most about Rick and Jilda is how humble they are. Not only are they writers and a yoga teacher but they also are song writers. Like legit song writers with songs on the radio. Yet when I was still in shock over my husband walking out on his family, Jilda offered her home to me and my 6 kids as a place to escape and begin to recover. That is compassion in action.

Rick and Jilda don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk as well. I don't know too many others who would put the effort required into writing and publishing a book just to give all the proceeds away. But, Rick sees this as a chance to give a kid in a disadvantaged area the chance to succeed.

You can purchase Remembering Big here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Weird Afternoon Between Mom, Daughter and (Dead) Grandmother

I don't often feel my mom's presence around me. But this afternoon she came through loud and clear.

Me and the kids had spent the afternoon out with friends, and during dinner kid #4's behavior was really disappointing to me. All I could think about was my mom would never have allowed this.

I admit I may have over-reacted a little to the situation. Partly because I was shocked at the way my daughter was acting, but also too because if my mom would not approve of this behavior then she wouldn't approve of me as the mother in this situation.

Even when things calmed down I said a couple times to my daughter "Mimi would be so disappointed."

As I sit here now I wonder who she would be more disappointed in? Me or my daughter?

Kid 4 is a 12, almost 13, year old girl and with it has the typical pre-teen attitude thing going on. Although not enjoyable, it is typical age appropriate behavior. But as I sat there and observed the situation this afternoon, I realized kid 4 hasn't had the same opportunities and experiences that her older siblings have had because of where we now live.

She doesn't know how to appropriately handle herself in certain situations and that is my fault.

I know this post is really rambling tonight.

I'm still a little confused how I feel about it all.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Self Care For Creativity

My muse likes to play hide-n-seek.

Tonight she showed herself and I couldn't not write. My fingers weren't fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.

I love nights like this. I'd like there to be more of them.

I talk about making time for more of these nights. I complain about not having more of these nights. I tell people I'm going to find a way to have more of these nights.

But, too often life gets in the way. And I go through long stretches of feeling stagnant before the urge strikes again.

As I was driving home tonight after a marathon writing session, it finally occurred to me when these bursts of creative energy happen.

I'm more creative when I'm more physically active. I'm more creative when I'm eating cleaner. And I'm more creative when I take quiet time for myself.

Ohhhh, so it's that whole self care thing that I seem to struggle with.

When I take care of myself, my self can be free to create.

I need to write that down so I don't forget it again.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quiet Moments To Begin The Day

Kid 5 told me tonight he was going to wake up 20 minutes earlier than usual for school tomorrow morning. 

Why do you want to do that I asked?

So we can get back to bed sooner!

My 11-year-old didn't mean he was already looking forward to going to bed tomorrow night. No, he meant he was looking forward to our new morning ritual, crawling back into bed and snuggling together the last few minutes before it's time to leave for the bus. 

I don't remember exactly when we began this new routine. Surely it was a morning that I was exhausted before the sun even rose and I attempted to crawl into bed while the kids finished getting ready for school.

With kids in each of the elementary, middle and high schools we have staggered times for waking up and for leaving the house in the morning. Kid 4 leaves the house first to catch the bus. As a preteen girl she's usually busy flat ironing her already straight hair up until it's time to leave for school. As she grabs her assorted Vera Bradley gear ( I swear between the purse, backpack and lunch box she looks like Vera Bradley threw up on her ) she walks back to my room for one last goodbye. 

Kids 2 & 3 are next. They just sit on the couch in silence until Kid 2 says come on and they go get in his car to drive to the high school. Even though they are teen boys they still look over their shoulder and say goodbye and love you while walking out the door. 

Kids 5 & 6 are the last to leave yet lately are the first to be finished getting ready for school. Once I finish kid 6's hair (bun or french braid today?) she runs off to brush her teeth and debate with her brother who gets to lay next to mommy.

After one early morning of arguing over who got to lay next to me I nipped that in the bud pretty quick and I now lay in the middle of the bed. The two remaining kids climb in next to me and pull up the covers. 

Sometimes we talk and sometimes we lay there and doze. I've learned to set my iPhone alarm just in case we do fall back asleep. Missing the bus would certainly ruin the calm of the morning.

I've written before about my difficulties with Kid 5 since the divorce, so this morning ritual is even more special to me knowing he's willing to get up even earlier to have quiet time with me. An argument the night before is always forgiven and forgotten the next morning. 

My hope is the peaceful start to the day will carry with each of my kids as they venture away from the sanctuary of home and out into the world. 

Caught napping together a few years ago when Kid 5 was
much smaller and I was much blonder.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Taking the High Road - It's Exhausting

One of my new friends recently said how tired she was always staying on the high road.

Tired? I'm downright exhausted.

Always trying to say the right thing. To do the right thing. To not cause trouble. To meet everyone elses needs totally forgetting my own. To do what is best for the kids.

When you stay on the high road it takes all your strength to hold on when it would just be so much easier to let go and fall. Staying on the high road means I don't get to throw the well-deserved tantrum I want to throw!

I don't know how else to stay on the high road except to swallow my ego, bite my tongue and paint a smile on my face.

When discussing my bite my tongue philosophy, another friend reminded me "sainthood generally gets you burned, at the stake if nothing else". But I in no way think I'm vying for sainthood.

Some days I am far from saintly. Tonight was one of those nights. It had already been a rough couple of days and tonight I was having an issue with one of the kids that I have had repeatedly since the divorce. We've been to counseling, I've been firm and I've been loving. And yet we keep repeating the same pattern.

It's exhausting!

And tonight I lost my shit. I mean I LOST IT. I threw my long over due temper tantrum reminding certain children who the adult in this house is and everyone follows the same rules and yeah sometimes life isn't fair and I don't want to deal with this anymore so just go to bed. NOW.

Apparently it was a good temper tantrum because even kid 4, my preteen girl who is just like me, got quiet and took herself to bed too.

So tonight I let out a roar and my grip on the high road slipped just a little. But it's OK. In fact I think it was necessary.

Sometimes standing up for yourself is more important than what road you're on.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Peaceful Start To The New Year

Sleep late.
Wake up to a sunny day.

Roll out my yoga mat.
Pranyama and asana. 
Puja Ceremony.
Orange ribbons blowing in the breeze. 
One ribbon for what I'm ready to release, one for what I shall manifest.
Tossing rice into the fire. 
Washing my hands in the waters of the Gange River.
My hands being draped with a Tibetan prayer scarf.

Home to sit in the sun at the park
Kids laughing
A good book

Time with friends

A new moon

Hope and plans for a healthy, happy, fruitful, loving New Year.