Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Purging Purging Purging

I'm purging my life.

Purging my closets, purging my bookshelves, purging my basement, my kitchen, my bathrooms, my bedroom, my kids' toys, my storage areas, my old rugs and furniture.

Stuff I've held on to because I believed I still needed it - gone.

Stuff I've held on to because it was once precious to me - gone.

Stuff I've held on to because I hoped I might enjoy it again someday in the future - gone.

It's something I've needed to do for a long time, but I've been putting it off because I was afraid of making a mistake.

Now I realize that the real mistake was cluttering up my space, my attention, my life - with stuff that I don't need or want anymore.

It feels a little bit scary, all this purging, but it also feels



It's like weeding the garden but much more brutal. And, as with the garden, I know that after this initial investment of effort, future purges will be much, much easier. Once you clear out the weeds, it's easier to see the plants. And once the plants are allowed to grow and thrive, the weeds are easy to recognize for what they are and clear as they pop up.

Good things are coming, starting this week.  I am preparing to receive them with an uncluttered home and an open heart.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quiet Morning, Quiet Fingers

It's a quiet morning.

Little is on the family room floor, enveloped in the blanket from his bed, playing with his Duplos and listening to the computer lessons on ancient Greece and Rome. That Dog is outside enjoying the sunshine and My Cat is sleeping on her back in a sunbeam, looking kind of silly with her paw covering her eyes. Middle is beginning to stir upstairs, and the Teen is halfway through his morning classes at school.

Plans are in the works for a Girls' Lunch Out with two of my favorite people at one of my favorite restaurants, so I'm happy to be getting the majority of Little's schoolwork out of the way this morning. Middle will work independently and review his work with me at the end of the day. Tonight he and I will do Kickboxing class together and then I will take Jung Sim Do class while he has Demo Team practice. He wants to compete at a NASKA tournament in NY this weekend, so he's been working especially hard.

Life is good. Things are calm and peaceful, both inside and out.

So I'm taking a few minutes to record it here because it's such a nice feeling.

My fingers have been quiet lately, not because I haven't had anything going on, but because much of my attention has been on the kids and their academic and social lives - not much that I would consider Blogworthy without violating their privacy.

As for me, the new routine of getting up at 6:40 a.m. to see the Teen off to school has knocked me off the coffee wagon. C'est la vie. Lovin' my morning coffee again. And my afternoon coffee, for that matter.

I didn't test for my green belt last weekend, choosing instead to take my time and make sure my yellow / stripe and green belt forms and techniques are more solid before moving ahead. At this point, there is a lot to memorize and keep track of, and my 41 year old brain needs frequent review and practice or the material quickly disappears, especially under pressure. Nothing challenges me physically and intellectually like this does, and for that I am grateful, despite the frustration I feel when I forget something or can't do it as well as I would like.

On the topic of physical challenges, I've been running more since the topic of the Philly Half Marathon came up. Monday I ran with a marathon-survivor friend and we did almost 4 miles - a new record for me. I find it a lot easier to run while conversing. Not sure if I will get anywhere close to 13 miles by the end of November, but it feels good to be building my endurance.

And it feels good to be moving my fingers again. I'll try to get back in the habit as time allows.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

To Kate on her Birthday

We met 8 or 9 years ago.

A move-in La Leche League Leader (Leader Applicant?) with a toddler the same age as Middle and a small baby in your arms, a passion for attachment parenting and supporting nursing moms, paired with an unconventional approach to the world and a lack of tolerance for petty bullshit - it didn't take long for us to become close friends and confidantes.

Since then, we've led our LLL Group together, cyberschooled together, endured / enjoyed Lego Robotics teams together, and challenged ourselves at the dojang together. We've seen each other at our best and our worst, we've laughed and cried, talked each other "off the ledge" and logged countless (and I really mean countless) hours of in-depth conversations about life, parenting, marriage, interpersonal crap, strengths, weaknesses, perfectionism, frustrations, martial arts, literature, science, philosophy, education, gardening, homesteading, animal behavior, child behavior, adult behavior - and often the connections between the three.

We enrolled our young kids in Hogwarts Correspondence Academy one summer together and had much more fun with that than I think they ever did - putting together the curriculum, making wands, and imagining that owls were delivering lessons to our houses.

We've planned adventures and field trips, we've hiked and camped, relaxed at the pool and tubed on the creek.

We've also kicked, punched, grappled, swept, thrown, twisted and pinned each other. We've practiced kata, stressed over tests, talked through frustrations and celebrated each other's successes both in and out of the dojang.

You've shared your children with me and have loved and supported my own kids unwaveringly, even at their worst moments. You've helped me step back and see things through their eyes when I was ready to disown them; you've been the calm in my parenting storm more times than I can count.

You've seen me through some of the darkest times I've had, and have loved and listened and nurtured and served as the Voice of Reason more times than anyone should ever have to.

So today, on your birthday, I'm celebrating you and how much your friendship has meant to me these many years. Your impact on my life, my sanity, and my own journey as a mother, a wife, a martial artist, and a person has been immesurable. I love you dearly and wish for you a year of happiness and success, especially as you prepare for the challenges of 1) puberty and 2) your black belt test. (Both of which you will handle masterfully, I might add.) You are one of the strongest, smartest, and most loyal people I know and I am so grateful to have you in my life.

Happy Birthday!


Monday, September 05, 2011

Blogging on the Phone

So I finally got a Smartphone.

And this is gonna be short because I still don't have the hang of the touchscreen typing yet.

Fortunately my phone has an option that allows me to merely speak the words and they will appear on the screen. And I just used it.

Okay, that was totally cool. And a lot faster than typing with my thumbs.

I've downloaded facebook, my Nook books, and a bunch of other fun things. But no games. games would eat up what little extra time I have.

It's bittersweet giving up my old Tracfone, which does absolutely nothing cool, but has served me well over the many years I have had it. I once dropped it in a snow-covered field on a Girl Scout trip and went back to look for it two days later. When I called it, I heard its happy little ring right away. "I'm over here! Good to see you again!"

That kind of loyalty isn't easy to find in this world, let me tell you.

So now I have this new fancy-schmancy phone, and I'm already enjoying it very much. But I won't throw out my old Tracfone. My plan is to keep it around to hand to Little on occasion. He named it Kitty Fish Bar many years ago, for reasons I have yet to understand, and I know they will continue to have many good times together.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Okay, I'm Back

It was a beautiful wedding.

My sweet, wonderful cousin - who was just a little kid at my own wedding - married her best friend and soulmate today in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. A truly joyful occasion, and a wonderful chance to catch up with family members I don't often get to see.

Almost right away, two of them told me how glad they are that I'm blogging again and how much they enjoy and identify with what I write.

This came exactly a week after I had given it up, thinking no one would miss it, and feeling like the daily writing was becoming a bit of a chore.

A nudge from the Universe to start back up? Perhaps.

Another nudge came from my Philadelphia cousin who strongly encouraged me to train for the Philly Half-Marathon (he's running the entire marathon, but there's a half option too). 13.1 miles at the end of November could actually be do-able if I start training now.

I'm absolutely enthralled with the book Born To Run, which is teaching me all about running the way Nature intended, why Minimal Footwear is preferable to cushiony Nikes, and how people who do it right can run 100-mile Ultramarathons (which sort of puts 13.1 miles into perspective).

I have a place to stay and someone to line up with at the start of the race.

Savageman might consider it also.

So I printed out some training and injury-prevention programs to read tomorrow. My first priority this week is to decide if I am ready to test for my Green Belt Saturday, but getting my butt outside for a 4 mile run in the mornings certianly wouldn't hurt. And experience has taught me that the rest of my day tends to go much better when I start off that way.

Giving it some serious thought, and feeling grateful for my cousins and other family members I so enjoyed seeing today.