Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Deleting the naughty...with steadfast will

This hot mess is real life, people.

Peanut refuses to clean her room. At six ( and a half, mind you) I believe she is fully capable of cleaning her own room. Every special thing has a place, a home. And for the things that have no home, there is a home made of a cardboard box.

It's been months. Her will is as strong as mine. She has spent almost every day of the last 3 weeks up in her room to clean with no progress. I have refused to go in. I do not help her find clothes to wear in the morning. I do not pick up her dirty laundry off the floor, so her laundry has not been done. We've removed things with trash bags. We don't cross the threshold to tuck her in anymore.

Now, I know I open myself up to a lot of criticism by stating the obvious - her room is a freaking pig sty. Some have said they wouldn't be able to handle walking past that mess day after day and would clean it.  Sure, I've done that, but it doesn't solve the problem of it returning to this state within a week. Others have said she's too young to handle cleaning her own room. Don't buy it. She picks up at school and everywhere else. I am sure some are thinking I'm a terrible mother for leaving it that way. I don't think I am. I think it is ok for a child to learn how to take care of their own things. That being said, with attempts at discipline such as losing toys to garbage, no laundry, no tucks, grounding...nothing works. Nothing worked. Until late last week.

I made time to go explore the local H&M to find some summer dresses for myself and walked out with three for the girl instead. When she got home from school on Friday she put one on, and wore one for the rest of the weekend. My husband was enamored with her cuteness and during church mentioned I should get her some more dresses.  What? Buy her more stuff?  "What can I say, my little girl looks pretty cute in dresses," he says.

Little ding dings went off in my brain.  She does look pretty cute, and she knows it. She really likes her dresses. I will buy more, since they were buy two get one free...leverage.

Who knew her weakness would be cute dresses...we've made progress. Like, real progress. So's ok.  You don't have to clean their rooms for them. Eventually you figure out what makes them tick, what's important, and they do it. It just takes more willpower than them, than what you think you have. Delete the naughty with a steadfast will, friends.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Deleting the finding closure.

I am finding it hard to believe it will soon be two years since we moved away from family, friends, jobs. It has gone what feels painfully slow, fast.

I think back to my teens when my parents decided to sell the family farm, pack up an entire history of life in the back of a dump truck, buy a small mom and pop fishing resort. They were in their mid 30's with four kids under the age of 16. How did they do that?  They just made a decision to leap.

Pathetic me...I was older at 40, with only two children, husband had found a job with a stable income and my world was falling apart, terrified - and what the hell happened to my sense of adventure and wanderlust? I needed to get off the slow descent into depression and regret - find my way to living fully and with grace and be the wife and mother I should have been during this whole transition. I put on a brave face and got things done. I did what every mother should do, but I was just getting through my days.

It has taken a while, but I've put myself back on the path I was led to. Slowly, I've said goodbye to the things I held on to so tightly Pieces of the garden left behind have been replanted and are starting to peek from beneath the dirt. New furniture has helped me brighten the rooms with the windows I picked out from so many building plans. A new front porch to help me get over missing my old one.

A bigger piece of letting go that took more time was my career. Two weeks ago I made the decision to resign from my much loved job as a graphic designer for a not-for-profit Hospice organization. It broke my heart to leave and I am going through a mourning period. But try as I might, I just couldn't look away from the pull I felt toward being home with my kids without distraction. The worry about getting hours in, shushing my kids and pushing them from my office for video meetings, meeting expectations creatively that after 22 years in my career were starting to be was too much for me.  Maybe not for you, but for me it was a weight that kept loading onto my shoulders - days passed and I kept lifting them high and higher, rising ever closer to my ears. It needed to stop.

It's spring now and I know you can feel it, too.  The air is charged with electricity, energy is being given to all the new growth, new birth and fresh life. Daylight savings time has brought more light to this final transition for me. I am so close. I am finding it. Closure.

"Every ending is a new beginning. Through the grace of God, we can always start again."
                                                 - Marianne Williamson


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Deleting the naughty....painfully.

If I've learned anything about moving in the last year, it is this: moving should be done like the removal of a Band-Aid...quickly. Painful, but quickly. Just rip it off. Don't do it millimeter by millimeter while pausing and waiting for the sting to subside.

I could have possibly made the situation harder to deal with by delaying some of the inevitable, but in truth, it all works out the way it is supposed to. With the husband being relocated so quickly, there was no way I would have been able to get the house ready for sale in the beginnings of winter. Then those days called Holidays came. After that, it seemed silly to move with the school year being nearly half way through. And let's not forget snow storm after snow storm either stranding us here or there.

Oh, but then, spring came and I realized now is the time to start doing all the outdoor/painting etc things that didn't get done.  May arrived and guess what - the husband was shipped off to California for two and a half months. I would have been living in a new town, in a very small apartment, by myself with the kids anyway. What was the point of moving when we were still going to be least I would still have our families to support us. 

The end of May brought us a stroke of luck when a friend mentioned her friend had been looking for a house for months and just couldn't find anything she liked. Hmm, I thought. I've been listed for months, so something tells me this house was not on her interest list.  However, it took two looks and a couple negotiations and this family felt our little home was just perfect for them.  After all, it was a blank canvas and she had painted visions in her head. Potential.

The husband and I were not back in the same household again until nearly the end of July, where we had one week to pack the rest of the house, schedule moving, and clean up. In that third week of July, he put in more than 2,000 miles and two round trips in two different sized moving trucks, unloading them into two storage units.  We were a pair again, a set of two, which seemed to be the resounding number for everything we were trying to accomplish.

We spent nearly three months in that tiny hovel, trying to live new lives, driving back and forth between communities for school until our house finished.

Then came October 31, which in retrospect, has become the day of many major events in our lives. In years past, I recall my dad having what may have been a heart attack when I was in high school - the details are foggy; as a child I was denied a toilet by a nun when trick-or-treating. I went into labor with my daughter on Halloween. Last year my husband flew out of town for this job interview. This year, we closed and moved. See what I'm saying?

We are now settling in, finding a routine and adjusting. Life has been as scattered as the writing above. I believe now, that we humans are resilient and adaptable. The kids are enjoying school and their activities with new friends. I am finding friendships and motivation. My prayers are less of desperation and more of thanks. We are whole again.

The pain of the Band-Aid has healed. This is probably the lesson I have learned about the quick and painful ripping - The husband and I operate better as one team, not two separate teams and I am grateful for him. These decisions are hard and without him being around I learned to rely on him more, and not be so independent. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deleting the naughty...I can't take this anymore.

A photo I took of a street under water during the 2009 flood. 
We had a blizzard during the flood, so yes, 
that is ice on top of the flood waters raging below.

For the love of all that is holy...please stop the snow.

Stranded for a week in the new town, now stranded at home. This has got to stop.

I will get around to writing again...if you don't find me curled up in the corner of my bedroom in the fetal position, rocking back and forth weeping softly in the dark. Or if I am not floating down the river in what could possibly be another record-breaking flood. Glad I have a brand new sump pump :).