On Some People I Know

I've been going to parties, shindigs, get-togethers, and celebrations lately. A lot of them. I love this because I get to get gussied up, one of my favorite things! But also I love it because I am reminded of how much love there is in my life. I get so hectic and crazy running around and doing my thing, that sometimes I get really lonely because it seems like no one is there. But with this holiday break I have slowed down enough to see the smiling faces in my life. There are so many of them, in fact, that even on vacation I am still hectic, crazy, and running around, but this is much less frenzied and much more fun.

Thank you to: My whole crazy fam., Sus & her fam., Lina-loo & the O'H clan, Denis & RJG., DSS, GSSW, Kelly & co., Kevin & Amy, Jess & Rob, Mel & Jim, Abigail, Seth, Andi, Kevin, et cetera, et cetera, and if I forgot you be assured that it was a momentary lapse and if you point it out I will add you to the list but regardless of whether your name is mentioned I'm having so much fun these days enjoying your company and your insight and you stories and your wit and your music and your liquor and your food and your laughter and, oh!, your mere existance is making me happy!

I'm headed up north for a few days to enjoy the icy river and the snowy mountains. It's going to be the relaxed part of this break, I hope. No rushing around to events, no cleaning or organizing, no high heels and manicures. My aunts are both there and we're going to make art and drink good wine with our slippers on. It's bound to be blissful.

Will I be back for New Years? Maybe, maybe not. I have no plans. You are welcome to make propositions, but I'm making no promises yet.

this is neat:


Dear Graduate School,

It's been a crazy few months! It was fun in the begining, but after awhile our relationship just felt like work. I can't do it anymore, I need a break. I know that's hard to hear, but you can't be my everything! You ask for so much and you don't give me a lot of time for everything else.

Don't freak out, okay? I'm not saying forever, I just need a some time and space.

I think I'll be ready to welcome you into my life again after the holidays. Let's plan on getting in touch in January... until then, please don't call.

Still yours, I promise,

On the pits.

The real problem with being an adult is that you have to spend a lot of energy pretending to feel something other than what you really feel.

It's called modulating your emotions, and I suppose it's useful. But also it's the pits.

On the Profiles

We've reached Early Adulthood in my Human Behavior in the Social Environment class. It was so interesting, because that's where I'm at, folks! (A lot of you are too, I bet)

Facinating stuff, kids. For instance, did you know that there are three dimensions of love? Intimacy (warmth and closeness), passion (sexual desire), and commitment (the decision to maintain a relationship in spite of differences).
And those turn into eight profiles of loving relationships: Non-love, Liking (only intimacy), infatuation (only passion), empty love (only commitment), fatuous love (passion and commitment), romatic love (passion and intimacy), companionate love (intimacy and commitment), and consumate love (intimacy, passion, AND commitment!).
It's so funny to see something so big this broken down like this. I haven't decided if it's a helpful tool or an oversimplication. Probably both.

In other news: I asked a teacher I work with how he was doing today and he replied: "perfect!"
"Really!?" I exclaimed, slightly incredulous.
"Oh yes," he answered, "I'm getting perfecter every day."

I love this answer more than any other.

On Groceries

I grocery shopped today. There was a man in front of me in the check-out line with a cart filled with apple sauce and cheerios and peanut butter and apples and pears and rigatoni and plain tomato sauce, not to mention diapers and wipes and paper towels. I asked, he told me that he has three kids under the age of five. It made my heart happy to think of those kids eatting all those good kid-foods... Pears held with both hands, cheerios picked up one at a time, apple sauce spilling on the table.
In my basket I had two boxes of chicken broth, a wedge of parmesan, a rotisserie chicken, a butternut squash, four bagels, cream cheese, a yellow onion, two artichokes, a pomegranate, and vanilla ice cream.

I made risotto with pulled roasted chicken breast, cubes of roasted butternut squash, and dried cranberries. The leftovers are in three neat containers to be meals later this week. I'm steaming the artichokes, also to eat as meals (I bring putter to melt and I eat them cold). I took all the seeds out of the pomegranate and I'm eating some of them over a bowl of ice cream.

Food is more than just fuel, isn't it?

On the To-Do List

I'm getting a lot done!

Unfortunately, everything I'm getting done has to do with next year (my schedule, my syllabi, my field placement) and none of it has to do with my finals and stuff that's due in the next three weeks.


On Easing Myself In

The nice thing about my schedule is that I get to ease myself into the week. Monday and Tuesday I have to wake up at 7:30 to get to work by 9. I get out of work at 5.
Then Wednesday and Thursday I have to wake up at 5:30 to be at work by 7:15, and my days don't end until 9. Thursday is the apex of the week, by Friday morning it's all downhill to the weekend

It works pretty well for me.

On Grades

Grad school is funny. Before now, being disappointed by an 85% would be the silliest thing I ever thought of.

(I got an A in another midterm, though, so it's okay.)

On Sex

Let's talk about sex.
I'm pretty sure I can have it if I ask for it. I haven't asked for it, though, and I'm starting to think it might be good for me to have a personal sexual revolution and just start asking. I could benefit from some physical closeness. I could benefit from some release. I could benefit from someone trying to make me feel good.
I have lots of reasons for not doing this, such as: what if the answer is "no", what if I'm actually really bad at it, what if it doesn't feel good, I don't have any time, I don't want to spend what little money I have on condoms... Okay, that last reason is a bad reason.
The big reason--the reason I don't talk about--is that, while the idea of sex sounds welcome and fulfilling, the idea of what happens before and after scares me to death when it doesn't include secret smiles, someone's smell becoming familiar, little kisses just because.

"I want to fuck you" just doesn't sound as good as "I like you a lot". "That was fun" doesn't mean as much if "You make me happy" isn't implicit in the statement.

On Theme Park Rides

They say that grad school is a rollercoaster, but I've been sort of ignoring the people who say that despite my 51-hour-weeks (and that's not including time for commuting or homework).

Well, in the past week, I decided that they might know what they're talking about.

Midterms start tomorrow. Eep! I think I'm ready. Kinda.
My five-year reunion from HS was this weekend. If anyone thinks that's silly, you can be sure that they didn't go to my school. It was reaffirming, even if it wasn't relaxing. I was reminded of my wonderful friends and of what my position is in my worlds.
We had a mini-family reunion, but I was only there for a day. It was good to see my people.
Rachel left for New Zealand for practically ages. That's sad.
I looked at some of my photos from Rome, finally!

And not the least of things, I have to give up my dog.

All of these things have called a lot in to question for me and taken away a lot of my sleep, for various reasons.

I've decided my priority is growth.
I will do what I can to continue to grow.
Someday, perhaps I will edit and post more photos of Rome. Maybe I will even take some new photos.
I just may do it this weekend-while-I-will-not-be-in-Chicago! But probably not, because I'll be so consumed with not-being-in-Chicago, there will just be no time.

But rest assured that it is on my mind.

On Car Chases

Sometimes, when I'm on the highway, I like to imagine that men in other cars are flirting with me. I convince myself that it was love at first sight, and that's why he looked over with such meaning when I passed him, or why he passes me and then lets me pass him and then passes me. This is especially great when the guy is good looking. It's also fun when I've got the music up and the windows down and the sun is perfect and I'm wearing sunglasses and lipstick, because then I just know it can't get any better than me, right then, speeding down the road in my little red car.
When I lose them or they lose me, I'm always a little disappointed. He could have been my soulmate!

PS: This photo is of me in my mum's car on the way to someplace. I miss my hair like that.

On Faithfulness

Today I made apple-butternut squash soup. It is delicious. But I was listening to the radio and a country song came on about being faithful. It got me thinking:

Faith is a noun that means complete trust or confidence, or a strong belief based on spiritual understanding rather than proof. Therefore, if being faithful means that you are full of faith, it means that you trust your partner explicitely, just because you believe in them.

But that means that if you're UNfaithful, it's because YOU have lost your trust for THEM, not the other way around. That makes sense. I have always felt that if you cheat on a relationship it casts doubt on everything that both of you do. If you have something to hide, who's to say your partner doesn't also have something to hide? And so if you are unfaithful, it truly means that you can no longer have complete trust in your relationship, that you have lost your faith.

I just thought it was an interesting way of looking at it.

photo by paulaferrary, on Flickr. Click the title above to link.

On Roaches!

So I had my first week at my feild placement. I'm there two days a week, and my first day just happened to fall on the day of the annual fund-raising golf tournament... so I spent my first day as a social work intern standing in pink metalic kitten-heels on the third fairway, handing out, and maybe partaking in, maybe not, I really can't say) jello shots and rummy-bears, selling raffle tickets, and informing the players of the closest to the pin competition. It was great. I now have a reputation as a pushy sales-woman.
My second day I nearly fell asleep in a two-hour staff meeting, but then I went on some home visits. At the first there were roaches. I was very good, I did not react. At the second there was a twenty-year-old drug addicted mother who looked at us with her big brown eyes and lied. I know, because I read her file. I kept thinking "you're my brother's age, you're so pretty. you're supposed to be in college, fighting with her boyfriend who's on the hockey team, having great make-up sex, getting good grades". I kept thinking "It's not even possible that you're fighting an addition, that you gave birth to a daughter nine months ago." That's exactly what I'm NOT supposed to be thinking.

I updated my faculty supervisor about my experiences. She said not to wear sweaters or coats into roach-infested homes because they might hitch a ride out with me and into my home. This really freaks me out. I immediately emptied my briefcase and shook it all out. No roaches. But still.

On Growth

Things are so exciting and so full of possibility right now. This sort of growth doesn't feel like a snake shedding skin, or a hermit crab finding a new shell.
Rather, I feel like a tree. I'm growing sturdier and stronger. I'm reaching my roots down deeper, my branches up higher. I'm sprouting some new twigs.

Or better yet: In this growth, I feel like the young woman I am, continually embarking on the rest of my life.

On Summer Ending

Tomorrow is my first day of school. Wednesday is my first day back at work, and my second day of school.
To prepare I painted my nails. I got a facial, a haircut, a new bed, new bedding, a new mirror, a new roommate, a new apartment, and new school suplies. I finished my reports from Camp, and I just got the okay from my supervisor saying that they look good (this is a triumph for me!) and I'm done.

I'm excited! Bring on the fall!

On Who We Are

"Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world."
-Marianne Williamson

On Coming Home

I'm back from Rome. It was amazing. See?

I will post a lot more about it here soonish, I think.

However, right now my concern is reaclimating myself with my real life. I think I might be failing at it. I feel like I've started a dozen tasks and haven't finished any of them. I feel like I'm letting everyone down at work, including coworkers, clients, and supervisors. I feel like there's no way I can ever get to the things I want/need to do in the long term, because there is so much that is pressing on me now. It sucks a whole lot.

On Italy

Italy, home of the Vatican, is 90 percent Catholic, but the dominate religion is life--motor scooters, soccer, fashion, girl-watching, boy-watching, good coffee, good wine, and il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
-from Rick Steves' Italy 2007

Photo Credit: Tom "andertho", from Flickr

On to Rome!

A week from now, I will be in Rome with my darling Ashley.
How I'm supposed to do anything but pack and plan between now and then is beyond my comprehension.

In other exciting [wedding] news: Rachel bought a wedding dress. I'm finally onto editing Jess's wedding photos, so keep an eye out on my flickr stream for those.

On today

This morning, I got an email confirming that we can extend our stay at the awesome hotel I found for Ashley and I in Rome. At camp, all my campers did a great job and got along (even the instigators!). We did a high element on the ropes course, and everyone was really supportive. I even did it, twice, and not once did I fall! I bonded with some of my coworkers, and after the kids left we went out for drinks. A friend called. When I got home, I had a letter from my BC peer advisor and a new pair of shoes I'd ordered online waiting for me. Also, an email from Rachel (there is a date for her wedding!). Right now I'm wearing the new shoes (only on mine, that yellow stripe is PINK!). And no pants. I'm going to go take a shower, and do some laundry, and read (non-fiction!).

It's been a good day, guys.

On Having Babies, People!

Guess what I heard on NPR: People in the western world aren't having enough babies!
In order to maintain a population the birthrate needs to be 2.1 kids per a family, that's two to replace each parent, and 0.1 to replace children who, sadly, don't make it. But actually, we're only having 1.5 babies per a family! That makes me sad to hear, because it means there are a whole lot of only children. Also, these days the death rate is higher than the birthrate.

There are some really interesting reasons for it, too. For instance: children in school are taught that humans are ruining the world, so when they grow up they don't want to be making more.

I didn't get to hear the whole thing, but seriously people! Interesting!

Photo credit: Superhero Andrea Scher (see "inspiration" link at the right)

I love beginnings:
The opening credits of television shows and the menu sequences of DVDs. The first page of a book. A new haircut. A new venture. A new pen. A new friendship. Gifts, just before the lid of the box opens, regardless of whether I'm giving or recieving. I love first impressions, they're my favorite kind. I really love mornings, especially if I'm the first one up. I even sort of love Mondays. Sort of.

On "Hot Sauce"

I'm sorry to Ashley about my last post. I see how it could be sad, if you think it's really a dog writing it. But remember, Darling, it is not a dog writing. It is a poet, who wondered the same thing I wonder, and probably feels pretty bad about having to put his dog down.

In order to lighten the air, I will tell the story of M: a thirteen-year-old autistic boy who used to be in my group at camp. He was the most difficult, and the most gratifying of the campers.
He uses rocks as puppets. They have names, and if you ask him a question he'll protest: "Don't ask me! Ask Shelly!" Then you ask the rock.
He loves meatball subs. He also loves to swim - It's next to impossible to get him out of the water.
He thinks it's hysterical when we sing and dance to the radio on the bus. He dances too, all flailing elbows and rythmic rocking, punctuated by claps.
When he wants your attention, he sticks his chin out and half closes his seafoam green eyes, and he'll call you the most ridiculous names. I have been: Molly-head. Molly-girl-face. Moose. Princess. Panacake man. And (my personal favorite!) Hot Sauce.

On a Possible Change

So, I'm considering a blog revamp. Here's what it would look like:

Exactly the same!
Except with more posts. And they would be shorter. They would be just a little something that is on my mind, or a quote or poem that has been rolling around in my head. A chance to share what I love, what I hope for, an anecdote from my day. Also! Then I could share more photos!

Here's an example:
Sometimes when Picco's being calm with me I scratch him and he sort of half-closes his eyes. It's a look of either pleasure or annoyance. And I wish he could talk to me so he could say "Yes! Right there!" or "Geez, lady, lay off it, would you?"
And then the other day I came upon this poem, by Billy Collins. It is my fear, realized.

The Revenant

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I liked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin in your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and all the other in prose.


So now I'm the sort of person who puts poems on the internet. Crap.
But really. Tell me what you think.

On Possible Topics

Things I've been considering writing about:
Old Friends (and how they're great)
Sex (and the lack thereof)
My Upcoming Birthday (and my asymptotic approach to adulthood)
How My Job Is Kicking My Ass (and how my new nickname is "Hot Sauce")

On Tonight

Tonight I sat on the steps in the
backyard and doubled over onto my lap, arms around my legs, the knees
of my jeans absorbing my tears. The dogs looked at me with something
like concern, and the mosquitoes bit my ankles.

I am lonely. I want someone to notice.
Call me! Text me! Email me! IM me! Appear on my doorstep! Say "hi", extend an invitation!
I want someone to connect with, and I'm sort of mad at everyone I know
for not taking action. I know that's unfair: If I want this to happen,
I should make it happen by doing it myself. But I don't want to impose
when I feel like this--who can I burden with my doubts and my fears?
Everyone I trust has their own worries, I don't want to add to them.
And I don't even know how to put what I'm feeling into words--who
exists who can understand without explanation?
Besides, I know that
if I reached out, this feeling isn't what we'd talk about. The deepest
stuff isn't often addressed, even my most intimate friendships usually
operate closer to the surface. It's not a bad thing. A distraction
would be welcome. However, it seems like it would be selling myself
short to actually seek it out. That's why I turned down the one
invitation I had tonight to see a movie with a friend. I kind of regret
that now.
So, I'll sit in the dark empty house, play Minesweeper over and over, consider making dinner (although I'll probably put it off until it's practically too late), and cry on the steps.

Because feeling bad is easier than feeling good. And maybe
because feeling bad is what makes feeling good worth it.
i don't know what to hope for when there are so many people hurting and alone and there is so much beauty in the world .

On Changes and Constants

It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when someone pointed it out to me, that I realized how proud I am of what's happening in my life.
Although I know my job is temporary, I love it, and I'm good at it. The other day I asked my supervisor if there were any areas in which I need improvement, and he leaned back in his chair considering before he declared that he couldn't think of a thing except my lack of experience.
I applied to four grad schools and was surprised to be accepted to all of them, and so in the fall I will be pursuing a Masters at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. This has me positively beaming. It feels good to be wanted, and BC is a great school But mostly, I think it's the first thing I've ever done truly on my own, and it's going swimmingly.
Between when work gets out for the summer in June, and when I start school in September, I will be working at Camp Triumph, which will be a stupendous learning experience, as well as a great item on my resume.
I will also be spending a week in Rome with Ashley; going Jess and Rob's wedding, the first of my friends to get married; and starting to pester Rachel about the planning of her wedding next summer. I hope to go to Edgartown every weekend.
I’m practicing yoga, trying to be organized (ha!), and working at being honest and up front with others and myself.

For about a week, I was flying high on the recognition of all these wonderful things. But just because I’m proud of my life doesn’t mean it’s all butterflies and sunshine.
I still live with my parents in the suburbs, for instance, which is cost effective but also socially limiting. I don’t have many friends, and in fact, the person I’m closest too is moving away soon.
There is no one here that I can call in the middle of the night, or cry in front of, or snuggle up next to. There isn’t even anyone I could go out dancing with. I miss those things.
I’m also struggling with being a very-nearly-grown-up-person. Paying for BC is daunting, my car needs a bundle of work, I want to move out. All those things are about money, but they’re also about learning new skills and making decisions. I’m trying not to let that kind of problem get in the way of what needs to be, or should be done.

Yet, all those things are negligible. I can cope with them, because everything else is so good and because I know they will work out with time.
But there is always the lurking desire for more. The Ache. The need to be a part of something. The longed for inspiration and creativity. The wish for a healthier spirit.
These are the things I lay awake and cry about at night.
I think my heart might implode if I don’t find something to fill it up. I ask “Why can’t I connect with anything?!” I despair that I don’t wake up every morning soaring.

I find myself thinking: maybe I won’t go to BC. Maybe I’ll stay in Italy and learn to cook. Maybe I’ll shave my head and start fresh. Maybe I’ve made some huge mistakes and should try to undo them. Maybe I should donate all my processions to charity. Maybe I should become a vegan. Maybe I should meditate. Maybe I should become a certified yoga instructor. Maybe I should move someplace far away. Maybe I should be a professional artist.
Maybe I should change my life, because this one clearly isn’t working.

But I don’t do those things. I don’t think any of them will really help. Instead I go to the book store, I read poetry, I eat pasta, I drink tea, I call a friend, I pick up my camera, I take the dogs for a long walk. I remind myself that it’s normal to feel this way, even when things are good, because we ever stopped yearning we would never move forward. I remind myself that I’m lucky. I remind myself that it’s okay.

On My Day

I'm at my aunt's house in Vermont for the weekend. I decided to come at the last minute, because I expected to have some quality time with my family. However, it turned out that my mum went to visit her father-in-law, and my aunt had to bring my cousin back to school, so I have been left alone with the puppies.
I was disappointed, of course, and at first I was a little worried. I'm not good at being alone, I tend to get sad and lonely. However, I've had a great day: I took a walk around to see all the changes around here (a lot has been cleared out and there's a new apple orchard), I took some pictures which I haven't done in ages, I sat out on the patio and read my book, I took a nap with all the windows open. Spring hasn't sprung up here yet, but it's certainly tightly coiled and just about to!
Now life has returned to the house and I'm sipping a cocktail while Besty is on the phone. I just planted some flowers in Dave's garden, so I'm going to go sit with them and pick mud from my fingernails.

I'm sorry I haven't updated lately. I've got a real entry brewing in my head, so hopefully that will be posted soon.

Until then! Ciao.

Recap (or: When It Rains, It Pours)

Thursday - Rowena's birthday, much crying and no one noticed.
Friday - work w/o boss where one student is suspended, another comes unmedicated
Saturday - day spent on taxes and FAFSA
Sunday - Saturdays generally suck
Monday - end of rope at work
Tuesday - dear friend has brain tumor
Wednesday - Valentine's day, work being cancelled is no fun as am snowed in and alone, forget to let out neightbor's dogs
Thursday - car covered with ice, car won't start, step-grandmother has massive stroke and dies, left alone in house

Today I have to go to work for the last day before break, and that should be okay because we've got a fun schedule. I need to get my car fixed and take the dogs to the kennel and arrange for a trip to the airport on both ends and pack and clean the house so it's ready to be empty for a few days. Then I'm getting my hair dyed. I'm hoping that this trip will be filled with warm hugs and good friends and joy and wellness (but I'm a bit trepidatious).

and that's just the past week.

On Possibilities

Today is cold and silver and white. Work was cancelled, and I stayed indoors watching the weather swirl outside. Usually, I would savor a day like this. A day for hot chocolate and slippers and quiet.

But today I am aching for spring. I want the fresh green of new growth and open windows and the sounds of kids playing. I want music carried through bright air. I want to walk barefoot and to grin at the possibility of it all.

There don't seem to be many possibilities today.

If life were a movie...

...the lighting would always be perfect.
...everyone would be beautiful.
...if things went wrong, it would be only in the most perfect ways.
...seduction would be an option.
...we would do things with abandon.
...sex would be graceful.
...I would look pretty when I cry.
...love would be enough.
...everyone would be happy at the end.
-verb (used without object)
1. to have or suffer a continuous, dull pain.
2. to feel great sympathy, pity, or the like.
3. to feel eager; yearn; long.
4. a continuous, dull pain (in contrast to a sharp, sudden, or sporadic pain).

On New Years Eve, Mum went around the table to ask everyone to make a resolution. I had been planning on not making one but—after Mum had resolved not to say anything about anyone that she wouldn’t say to their face, and Ashley resolved to have a better semester than the last, and Dana resolved something sort of goofy—I chose to share aloud an idea from Jen Lemen that I had already decided to borrow: I resolved to listen to what my heart was aching for, and then to follow that Ache.
It’s a two-step process, really. First, I have to actually hear what my heart is saying, which is a definite challenge. Never mind actually listening to It.

I’m finding what I already knew: that It’s easier to hear when the world is quiet and my body is still, like at night. (This is part of why I hate being alone with nothing with which to occupy myself, but that’s another topic.) At those times the Ache feels so strong that it is amazing to me that It is the same Ache that quietly permeates my days. Like breathing, my heart’s Ache is always there but goes unnoticed until I turn my attention towards It. Only unlike breathing, which we all need to live, it’s hard to believe that a person can survive with such subtle and silent pains and dreams being whispered all the time inside of them.

Even harder to believe is that we are all surviving like this. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one whose heart is aching, which makes me ache even more. Worse still, it seems that even if we follow our Aches, more will develop. I’m starting to suspect that most people will live their entire lives aching in some way, including me.

I suppose we need to ache so we continue to hope and dream and strive and desire; it’s also important to have compassion; and if we don’t know pain, how can we ever know pleasure? I suppose as long as we ache we’ll have the capacity to grow.
But that doesn’t make this resolution easier, and it certainly doesn’t make It hurt any less.

On Blowing

I imagine this is what it feels like to be a balloon.

I feel so empty and limp. I want to be filled up and whole and beautifully curved in completeness. I want to soar, to be weightless, to break free of the earth and get closer to the limitless sky. I want it so badly.
I keep asking myself what is it that will fill this void in my chest, who's breath is going to give me shape? I keep looking around, how this is going to be done?

But here's the thing: A balloon is filled with air. I don't want to be relying on something or someone else to make me feel taught with completeness or uplifted. I want to feel whole and to soar all by myself.

So I keep reminding myself to keep blowing.
You know that hard part, just before the balloon starts to swell? The part when you're red in the face, and you think you might pass out or just give up? That's where I am. I'm out of breath, but it will be easier once I get past this part.

Deep breath, puffed cheeks, pursed lips... b l o w

On Sundays and Why I Hate Them

Christianity says that Sunday should be a day of rest. But just because a third of the world's population identify themselves as Christian doesn't seem to have any effect on what the world does on Sundays. In fact, I think this whole "day of rest" thing makes me hate Sundays more because a lot of things are closed on Sundays, so there are fewer things to be distracted by (like the mail, the mail can distract me for a long time... we get lots of catalogs).

On Sunday it feels as if one should spend the day getting ready for the week: I need to do laundry so I have clothes to wear to work, tidy my room so I can find what I'll need tomorrow morning, make a to-do list of what I need to accomplish this week, write some emails....
Or it feels as if one should spend the day doing things that you don't have time to do during the week: I need to vacuum up the mess the dogs made, paint my nails and shave me legs, grocery shop, make my bed up clean, while I'm at it I should make Mum's bed up clean because she's been sick, and I really need to work on my grad school application essays and write thank you notes.
It feels like it should be a very productive day. Even if you do rest, it feels as if it should be productive rest: I should read a book or do a crossword puzzle, and I better shower and get dressed first; or maybe I should go for a walk or do yoga.

I just want to stay in my pajamas and lounge all day. I just want to watch crappy television or maybe not even get out of bed. I just want to sit in a comfy chair with my little old iBook and chat with my friends or play on Flickr or read the internet. I just want to take a long hot bath with candles.
But if I do those things I feel like I'm wasting the day, like I'm not utilizing all this potentially productive time.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way: The other reason I hate Sunday is that any chances of having any fun with people have gone by. Apparently, fun can happen Friday night or any time Saturday, but Sunday is out of the question. Everyone is busy at home, trying to force their id into submission so that they can be productive, and then feeling guilty when they spend an hour watching the Food Network.

Here's my point: Isn't spending an hour watching the Food Network productive? Don't we need time to lounge, time to nap, time to take a bath? Let's not not see doing nothing as time wasted, but instead as time spent fortifying ourselves - time productive to our well-being. Time to wind down and cool off and find a little peace before throwing ourselves into Monday morning and our week. We also need to spend time with each other. Let's get a cup of tea together or go to a movie. We're so busy during the week, and the weekend is so short. This is important and productive stuff.

It's noon right now, and I've spent my morning stretched out in bed and wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching TV. I've had two cups of tea and I've only gotten up to let the puppies in or out and to get some left over Thai food out of the fridge.
I am going to go get dressed now. I will do some laundry and go grocery shopping and vacuum. I might work on my essays and write some notes. But I'm promising myself right now that I'm not going to tell myself that I could have cleaned my room if I'd gotten up a little earlier. Or that if I didn't watch Everyday Italian I could have done an extra load of laundry and painted my nails. I needed this time to relax.

No guilt here.