On a lighter note. . .

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I've upgraded my line of sweat pants. . .to Victoria's SECRET sweat pants.  
It's no secret that in order for them to actually BE sexy, you have to be Adriana Lima.
Don't even bother googling her.  
Let me save you the time. . .
Me?  A vision of sexiness?  Not so much.
But I'll bet she can't cut the grass in perfect diagonals like a boss.
Clean out a dryer vent or install an air conditioner with her own two, girlie hands.
Whatever, doesn't matter. 
We all have our strengths.
And I have new sweatpants, and they're magic.

(Listen, this above outfit was doing ok.  Before the socks and sneakers.  We were going bowling and I asked Jack to grab me some socks as we were running out the door.  And then I forgot to zip up my shorts.  But let's be honest.  Has it ALSO never been a "secret" that I'm rarely too terribly concerned about my outward appearance?  
I'm comfortable with myself, for the most part.  So I will own my poor choices.)

I heard the other day that sometimes our insides don't match our outsides.
Well, mine are in perfect sync.

What else is new. . .
I bought golf clubs and two cute golf outfits (haven't opened the box yet, nor worn the outfits, but I'll get there.)

I haven't gained much weight but seem to have acquired an extra "thickness" around my midsection, regardless.  New dimples in my thighs.  More hairs on my chin.  Even found a grey eyebrow.  Hardly seems fair.  But such is life.

I chopped over 12" off my hair.  In small increments.  As any colossal "change" for me is, well, too much change.  
But the old, adventurous, "I'm-just-going-to-jump-right-in-to-this-head-first" self has been dying to come out.  So I decided it was best I cleaned up some of the hot-holding-balloons-mess and went for it.

I will now be modeling spectacles for Pearle Vision.
(I'm not. . .but that's what this photo made me think of.)
I don't think nose rings or visible tattoos is kosher for conservative eyewear ads.

Regardless of a few daft physical changes lately, 

my talks with God continue.
My requests are small. . .

"God, please help me to accept.  And if I can't accept, surrender to it all.
And fill me with compassion."
"God, please help me to not be an asshole.  That's all.  I just don't want to be an asshole towards people and life.  I don't want to be judgmental because there's no point.  Really, there's no point.  It wastes WAY too much energy.

Oh.  And I'd like to be a better mom.  Not the best, just, better.  That's all.  Thank you."

"Wait.  One more thing. . .
Please. . .guide me to do something good with what I have learned.
You've brought me this far. . .please help me to do something with this."

I've come to recognize some pretty big things.
When we set out on a journey to "find ourselves," or at least get to know the "real self" when it decides it's time to emerge, 
we need look no further than, well, ourselves.
(Deep, huh?)

We literally get to up and walk away from the ideas of what we THOUGHT we SHOULD be, who we THOUGHT we were, even what we COULD be and JUST listen.
I wonder how many people do this or GET to do this?  Or recognize this opportunity when it presents itself?
One day (if you're so lucky,) you might be forced to drop yourself.
Well, the self you thought you were and knew.
Arrive to a place where you are dropped to your knees in feelings of total helplessness, any ego and identity slowly and painfully scraped away,
to learn you really have only your own being (and God, if you are so inclined,) to rely on.

There will be many around you to help carry the load,
BUT you learn all you need, is that relationship between you and God.
Everything else is just a bonus.
Learning to abandon yourself to life and God, is a daily practice.  And really isolating and lonely at times.

After all, how do you or can you talk to someone, look for someone, pray to someone, TRUST in someone you can't see?

Faith.  Blind, frickin' faith.

I continue to be reminded by one of my favorite radio-preachers, Steve Leavitt, who says,

"He knows what you need.
It may not be what you want, but he knows what you need.
Don't waste a good storm.
Don't waste a good depression.
Don't waste a good panic attack.
He knows what you need.  
And if that's what you need, SWIM IN IT.
Swim deep.
Hang on.
Learn and listen.
Don't punt.
And don't be afraid."

I can swim deep.  And in the meantime, do my best to live life, in a more open, painfully vulnerable way.  Now trusting it is not all for naught.

"We seemed to have focused so much on exuberant beginnings and victorious endings that we've forgotten about the slow, sometimes torturous, unraveling of God's grace that takes place in the middle places.
This "taking the long way" and its arduosness, pain and patience-building.
We live from peak event to peak event, from brightness to brightness, resisting the flat terrain of ordinary time."  -Sue Monk Kidd

Well I've been in a big, fat "middle place" for awhile, as unattractive and unenticing as MY mid-section.  
So it was a conscious choice (despite some tension and fighting for my old self,)
to keep things simple.  Quiet, in recent months.

Our recent summer days were long and slow, lazy and good.
Mornings off to a mere saunter by 10am. 
Sometimes robes and pajamas and daddy's tee shirts worn well in to lunch time.
Spontaneity ruled and inspired the schedule.
The magical 3 months of the year where we GET to take our time, have no agenda or set schedule (well, other than baseball or softball practice.)
No multitude of camps and activities to keep them entertained.
Just "being" for now.
Allowing my SELF the freedom to let THEM discover, create and explore on their own.
It is a beautiful and frightening thing to watch, these once little people growing and changing and getting to know the world a bit more.
Yet still wanting to be kids, be cared for, nurtured and looked after in every way possible.

Slip in slides and blow up pools never seemed to make it to the weekend without a rip or a tear in the lining.
So garbage bins and water guns and yes, Storm Trooper masks had to suffice.
I am grateful for the pairing down of my life.  For simplicity having to take over so my mind and body could have a rest.  I'm grateful for it.  For the temporary suffering needed to wake my ass up to all I've been missing and the major ego-driven and self-centered ways I was living before.

For my ability to get lost in pulling weeds and trimming shrubs, for the quiet watering of growing grass while the sun comes up, the quiet wave from the neighbor couple that walks by early every morning before the rest of the house wakes up.

Not having anything to do but be there for my kids.  Breakfast.  Lunch.  Dinner.  Sit in the grass and watch Baseball.  Baths.  Books.  Walks.  Movies. 

In the quiet recesses of home, on hot, humid summer days, separate from school and structure and expectations, I got to know myself even more.
More importantly, who and what brings me joy and fills me up.

I am grateful for the sanctuary of my home built with love and warmth.  The kind I always wanted.  Where not just my family but kids (all the neighbor kids,) would feel welcome and safe (even if "Mrs. Westerhaus" is crabby a lot and is always kicking us back outside.) 

My kind friends that give me space, check in periodically and try not to take my distance personally.  Or who pick up without doubt or question, from where we left off.
I can't tell you how priceless that is.

I am grateful for the random kindness from strangers.  Not just the free coffee from the guy in front of me, but the smile and eye contact from the passerby on the street, the conversation with the Target cashier, the small talk with the woman at the cleaners.  Those precious moments we normally think nothing of nor let impact us because we've already moved on to the next thing.  Even more beautiful, the new and lifelong friendships I have found in the most unlikely of places.

The half-hearted greeting from the old guy that bags my groceries at the grocery store, "How ya' doin' today, kiddo?"  

How the most amazing, inspiring people seemed to be placed in my path, as a reminder.
A little old man shuffled by me as I was pulling weeds at my kids' school (I like weeding.)
"How are you sir?"  I said.
He looked tired, sore. . .moving slowly and painfully.  But he smiled.
"Well?  God woke me for another day.  So I'm okay."  He replied with a big, toothy grin.

The little old man in the post office, the cashier telling him to have a good day.
He responds, "Oh I will.  Every day is a gift.  Every day is such a gift."  
Not that everything is about me and all, but can I can't help but ask. . ."God?  Really?  Did you really just put THAT person on THIS path in front of me, to show me something I've been missing?  Well. I hear ya'.  Whether that was coincidence, intended for me or not, I'm listening.  I'm awake."

I have stumbled across some things that have deeply affected me and will forever be a part of my being.  (I'll talk more on those later.)
Only now giving more compassion and understanding in return.
I'm learning "that it is the sacred intent of life, of God, to move us continuously towards growth. . .and rarely do significant shifts come without a sense of our being lost in the dark woods."  -Sue Monk Kidd

The woods aren't so bad.
It's the entering and the waiting that's the hardest part.  
"This rawest kind of agony," Sue Monk Kidd says.
"With no clear vision or path of where we're headed or why we're feeling the way we do, questioning everything and not caring anymore about all the things we used to care about.  But trusting this waiting, dying to the old self is big work.  One which can't be done without trusting in God or something outside yourself, and letting go."

So my conversations with God will continue.
As I am practicing how to just be where I am, without question.
Without taking action, without over-analyzing, without trying to fix or fight through.
Instead, with surrender.  And my growing faith.
And eternal gratitude for the support along the way.
P.S.  Found this amazing blog from a friend that sheds a little more light on anxiety/depression from a different perspective, from another mom.
It is not a "disease," people.  But a "state," an illness, if you will, of the way we THINK, not the way we feel.  (Although anxiety and depression can make you feel as if you are truly, organically ill.)

So, so good.



Unknown said...

Nicely done! Thanks!

Unknown said...

and I need a pic of the fancy sweats too!

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