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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