Category Archives: Relationships

The Climb

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da boys

I am home with the kids and revising all the time what that means to me.  I am not gonna lie; at first, I  had every intention of going back to teaching in September, when my youngest was six months old. After all, teaching and being a working person has  forever been part of my identity.  But… the economy had different plans and after several job applications and interviews took me nowhere, my partner and I revisited our family budget and realized that it more than works for me to stay home.

Budgeting aside, it’s been far from easy.  This baby was not a regular sleeper and there is still the older child to think about… its much different from just having the one kid…in many ways it would be easier to be work outside the home because at least I would get some mental space, some time with adults, even just an opportunity to complete a thought.  ( If this blog is any example, I’ve been drafting this and several other posts on and off for several months!)  But, as with everything, we’ve learned to adapt and adjust. With the support of my partner I take self-care and me-time very seriously. This support is not something I take for granted since I know and (and feel myself) how very strong the current of “status quo” is on mothers and women in general in terms of caretaking and valuing what we do.  As much as I understand and want to change gendered roles and the effects of patriarchy, that shit is so deeply woven even in the most “woke” of us that I often stumble.  So, no, I could not do this at all if my co-parent wasn’t the determined badass that he is.

With that said, once I get over the ever-present mom-guilt, I try to get writing time in at least one evening a week, go to excercise classes at the local YMCA a couple of times a week, and get together with other moms and in general, grown-ups as often as I can.  Winter time feels isolating enough as it is, but not getting out and about while taking care of young children felt extra isolating. Now that the baby turned one and with Spring around the corner, the care taking load feels much lighter and life, less overwhelming.  I encourage all moms new and seasoned to find their tribe.  We were never meant to go at this alone. That is why I decided to include this lovely comic by Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes.  This hit me right in the feels:  “To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy … but it’s still allowed.”  

So while my “life’s meaning” might have been defined in one way when I was a 22-year-old new teacher, I am allowed to revise what that means to me know that I am 32-year old mother and always in the future.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing…and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you are doing…

Yes, yes, and yes!  Oh my goodness does this ring true in a million ways!  I needed this reminder that self-care, self-love and just being in the moment is a revolutionary act. After all, these kids will grow up in a blink and the work world will still be there waiting for me…

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Thanks for the reminder;)

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Welcome to my last week of being a 20 something…

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I have just about one week left untill I turn 30…whoaaahhhhhhh! Party Time! But of course I need to slow it down and take this time as an opportunity to review and give gratitude to the past before plunging forward to my new decade.

So to Recap! During my 20’s I am so grateful I…

-Worked all sorts of jobs from administrative work study college gigs to high school teacher, college advisor, retail at the mall…

-Learned how to live off very little money… and on my own… and as a single mom…

-Traveled to Cairo, London, Paris and Montreal…

-Rode trains for the first time

-Graduated undergrad

-Went to grad school in Cambridge ( thus acquiring a large body of student loan debt…)

-Became a teacher and met lots of amazing young people and their families

– Became a mom

-Made so many new amazing friends

-Got published

-Got my nose pierced

-Dyed my hair purple… and red

-Learned to forgive but not forget

-Started learning about medicinal herbs

-Married Love-o-my-lyfe!

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In my 30’s I hope to:

-Spend more time with my lovely friends

-trust and let go…

-Unlearn all that ‘on my own’ stuff without forgetting the lessons in it

-Get a bike

-More yoga, singing  and dancing…

-Hike more

-Take more trips

-Learn to knit

-Travel to west coast of Canada and US and visit other countries ( Greece, Turkey, Italy, ect…)

-Own house/land

-Start a garden

-Get Tattooed!

-Write soooo much more!

-Know more about natural medicine and herbs

-Maintain financial stability

-Keep learning…

….What else can I try to get in this week before the big 3-0 ??!

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Manbatical: too much of a good thing?

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My manbatical ( a sabbatical from relationships ) is turning out to be too much of a good thing because even though I have been enjoying this time to myself, I hope I am staying away from relationships for the right reasons…not fear.

This sabbatical isn’t supposed to be simply an unplugging from the world of romantic relationships, it is supposed to be a time to heighten self-awareness and actively examine my attitudes and presumptions about my role in them…except so far, it has just been a lazy excuse I give to dissuade guys from getting too close:

“Yo, can I get your number?”

“Sorry, manbatical”

:\  <confused face>

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The Ex pulled out of the Navy, came back around and wanted to give “us” another chance… I agreed.

But about 48 hours later realized I was terrified and called it all off.  I realized it isn’t just being with him that was terrifying… but  its the whole concept of a relationship that freaks me out.  (The only exception would be my secret crush who doesn’t return the adoration… of course)

This is interesting because in the past I have been lucky enough to date great people– for the most part- who were respectful, interesting, and overall good partners…

All these princes and I marry the toad…go figure

Clearly, my outlook on relationships has to evolve  before I  think seriously about getting into anything new…I have always held the belief that what happens in a relationship is a slow but steady molding  into someone’s life… like the kneading of two balls of play dough.

Say you are combining yellow and blue play dough,  it is rare that you will always get a perfectly balanced green.  Depending on the couple, or even just the time in their lives, that play dough will either have more yellow or more blue…with this comes the realization that in just about every serious relationship I had, my ball of dough was the one that gets swallowed up.  If I was yellow and my partner was blue, our relationship would be mostly blue.

For several reasons… I have always been the one that was ready and willing to bend towards that other person’s life goals while setting mine aside.

The worse part about it was that I was doing it unconsciously…. just now as I was reading what I wrote I noticed a problem a paragraph above:  “molding into someone’s life”… that’s not how I want it to be… it should read “molding two lives together”      AArgh!

This is why I am terrified of being in a relationship and making the same mistakes.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about making mistakes… just different ones for once would be refreshing.

If I ever have another “I need more help around the house” conversation, I swear my head might blow off.

I dont want my hard won freedom and sense of self to be compromised…I don’t want my yellow to get swallowed up by blue.

I recognize that in order for me to feel ready for a relationship, I need to drastically change what I expect out of myself and others- so that when I do meet that special someone, I will feel confident that the energy, heart, and spirit I am investing are gonna mold into an nice, evenly mixed Green… like the couple below 🙂