Temporary Guests

 

Hello,table-blogpic

Melancholy,

and Sadness.

Oh, wait, maybe Depression?

No, the first two

don’t get to hang out long

enough to become the third guest.

I see you moping behind my gray matter,

peeking a curious glance at my soul.

Hoping to stay for longer than a cup of tea,

coffee,

or glass of wine.

 

You want to be acknowledged. I don’t mind.

Embraced and even accepted, that’s fine, too.

 

But, oh, you dark sexy Melancholy and sweet Sadness,

you don’t get to feast with me for weeks, or

eat out of my fridge.

You don’t get to dance to drumbeats in my head every other day,

or fuck me over again.

This time around,

you are temporary guests.

I’ve already given you my best.

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Parenting Adventures: No Sleep Till Burping and Other Challenges.

Recently, I had the joy of caring for a newborn loved one, my niece. This was also a short adventure in parenting in which I gained a new appreciation for parents, babies and how families survive the parenting process. It’s all a miracle how any of the family unit stays together without committing crimes of insanity or stupidity from lack of sleep.GP_cryinginheadphones

A newborn baby will not easily fall asleep if it hasn’t burped, because you know, gas happens. We adults know to take a Tums and or, get some peppermint tea and we’re good. My newborn niece doesn’t have these options. Parents, and or yours truly,  must burp her for R-E-L-I-E-F. Not just her relief, but for everyone in earshot and desiring sleep. A gassy infant is a cute, but pained and noisy tiny human.

 

Parents are sleep deprived and they are lying if they say otherwise.  Despite earplugs, I would wake to my beautiful niece crying loudly to tell us she was hungry, or wet, or both.  Sometimes, she may be just whining. I’d wait a few minutes to make sure it wasn’t the former. She would typically go back to sleep after such noises.  But really, I couldn’t stand much longer than five minutes of either because I’d think  – “What if it’s really serious and what if her parents were too exhausted to hear her?!”

So, I’d go check on her and for at least half the nights visiting my family. I’d either begin/finish a changing or a feeding. I had some nights where I didn’t wake up. I felt so bad. What if no one heard her at her feeding time that night? Such guilt – and I’m  not her mother! Madness, I tell you. Parental instincts seem to wake moms and dads.

There are other ways nature/God intervenes so sleep deprived parents don’t accidentally kill or misplace their child. Here’s some examples for why I believe this:

  • I am a conversationalist. After a few nights of sleep deprivation I had no desire to talk. This was in part, because my ability to put a sentence together was declining rapidly. How do parents communicate over the longterm successfully?
  • My memory was going to crap because of no sleep. How do parents remember if they picked their other child up at school,  and if they really did commit to $1000s in organic baby formula?
  • There MUST be something naturally induced in the human body that prevents feelings of going to a 24-hour party where you don’t recall having fun,  you woke hungover and then you survive getting run over. My body and mind felt like this after three days of little sleep.
  • I now know parents may be soothed by their baby’s scent. It ironically disappears before the child is potty-trained, so my sister  says. My niece smells like a mix of baked goods and candy. I get why my sister or her husband don’t get angry or frustrated from 3 hours of sleep after a whiff from the top of her head. I also get why you hear parents say, “I could just eat you up!” It’s not a desire to pursue cannibalism. Their kid just smells like a bakery and and candy store.This fragrance creates some happy or relaxing feelings. Nice. A baby high.  Side note – this smell DOES NOT cancel out/reduce a full-poopy-diaper smell. God/Mother Nature  – you need to work on this.

To parents everywhere whose kids have made it to age five and are happy and healthy – you amaze me. Keep up the good work.

 

Leave it at the Door

Are we getting comfy with our ego’s   –

Outrage?

Blaming?

Sadness?

Angst?

Shaming?

 

If so, I invite you to come in and get uncomfortable with me in –

Quietude.

shoes-piled

Forgiveness.

Listening.

Sharing.

Learning.

Acceptance.

It’s not too late to relate, act and collaborate.

But,

let’s leave our egos and shoes at the door.

 

Erasing the Finish Lines

Those aren’t finish lines on our body and face.crosswalk-377613_1280

Our soul’s race,

never-ending, so many infinite

miles into the heavens.

Some of us can’t even begin to see, perceive.

Our earthly race,

is only with ourselves.

Let’s set our own pace.

Never crossing the finish line,

but erasing, redrawing, and

erasing them over and over again.

Continuously resetting and

expanding.

Winners in love,

compassion,

courage,

creativity,

and grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intuition & Good Choices Vs. Manners & Old-Fashioned Habits.

Growing up in a southern traditional household,  I was taught mannersangel-1294116_640 and to be polite.  I was also taught to NOT rock the boat.

I suppose it’s fine to a point is social situations where you have no intention of being nothing more than acquaintances with a person. You have nothing invested in that kind of relationship. You’re not going to have a long-term relationship with them or do business with them.

As I approached the age of 16, all legal work was game to earn a living and I shouldn’t be too picky because one could never be too prepared. Yes, when starting out most can’t be picky, but the mindset was typically – “money’s money.” If someone wanted to hire you that was a good thing, never mind if you thought it was a good fit, or if you are interested in the work.

I didn’t have a name for intuition till early high school and even then, it was light discussion among friends – something mentioned in women and teen magazines as something all females should have. I wasn’t sure how to talk about that body/gut feeling and or know if it was the same as intuition. Parents and teachers didn’t give it much credit. At the time, the local public library wasn’t stocked with much info on it.

Old habits/beliefs die hard.  Until about 7 years ago, I’ve taken on some freelance clients or partnerships for the sake of money/survival/not rocking the boat/being polite that I “knew” at a gut level weren’t a good idea – and proved themselves to be a bad decision.

I’ve come a long way from those childhood/teenage beliefs. Particularly when they come in conflict with using my intuition.  I haven’t thrown my manners or sense of practicality about money out the window. I just give my intuition as much, and sometimes more notice than old-fashioned manners or my parent’s ideas about work.

Recently, a business salesman and owner approached me during a delayed flight about working for him.  He seemed like a nice enough person. He talked at length about business, family and some random topics in between. Twenty minutes into our conversation, I felt myself wanting to put distance between our seats, but it was too crowded. There was nothing he did specifically that was alarming. I just felt increasingly uneasy. He gave me his business cards for two companies he owns after he learned that I was a freelance copy writer and worked with other marketing professionals. He mentioned that in light of the advertising/marketing help he
needed, that money was not an issue, “I’m good for it,” he said.  I thanked him, but said nothing else.

I mentioned my feelings of being weirded out to my husband who was with me when we got home. He said, “Yes, you should listen to your gut. I thought there was something off about him, too.” I researched the guy’s companies later that week.  They had a mix of good and bad reviews. A recent one stood out. I’m paraphrasing here – Don’t work with this guy. He seems sketchy. I ended up not hiring him after he told me about having hundreds of dollars in overdrafts (he actually showed me proof of) to run both of his companies.

If I’d decided to work with him or refer him to a colleague for the sake of being helpful/polite/following up, who knows if this guy would’ve ever been able to pay for the work?

Anytime you have an unsettling feeling about someone take heed. Manners and good social grace won’t always save you from getting short-changed, or a lawsuit. So, if you have these old-fashioned habits/rules about manners ringing in your head in these situations, notice how your body feels. Is there tightness in your stomach? Do you feel nauseous? Or, do you feel in general very uneasy? There’s truth there.  Follow it.

Are the Hot Fires of Your Work/Creative Passion Fueling You or Burning You Out?

Growing up and until about a five years ago, I thought being passionate about my work and or, creative interests won out over everything.  I thought being passionate gave me the motivation and drive to continue pursuing my goals, and or dreams. It does, to a point. However, it made me realize it is also why I have a hard time seeing some long-term projects to completion. I’ve burned myself out on my passionate feelings in different phases of an idea, project, etc.  You may give so much energy to one part of a goal, that by the time other details are necessary, especially with long turn-around projects, your brain is toasted and fried and you want a vacation.

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A side effect of too much passion?

In this instance and others, I’m finding that passion, for me anyway, wears me out quicker – emotionally, spiritually and physically. I think it’s because I have multiple interests and pursuits as a small business owner. Maybe it’s different for those who are dedicated to one specific career path, hobby or endeavor.

According to Harvard Business Review, there’s different types of passion. There is obsessive passion and harmonious passion. The former, by name alone, is the healthier version. I know I’m committed to it and  being aware about which type I’m operating from.

A medium to high level of interest can make me happy for a greater length of time as long as passion is present. It can make its appearances, but it doesn’t need to be the headliner.  With it, I find that I’m more emotionally attached. This can serve its purpose(s), but it can also be a hindrance to cutting my losses when an idea or project doesn’t work. I also have found that with a high level of passion for something comes greater expectations -Expectations of people, outcomes, etc. If you’re even a somewhat sensitive person, this can make moving forward a challenge sometimes when expectations aren’t met.

Passion is not practical all the time. I’m doing my best to apply it in moderation. I’m liking my interests with an hour or two of passion sprinkled into my life regularly. What is your experience? Share by clicking the comments link to the left.

Following My Mother’s Example (kind of) – More Caring, Less Minding Our Own Business.

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It’s been over a year since my Mom started discussing the details of being kidney donor to her brother. I told her I’d be there for her – as she’s been for me my entire life (I know I’m fortunate to be able to say this).

I wasn’t truly ready for how I’d feel as she was being prepped  for the surgery itself, or how I’d feel just afterward as she rested in her private room. Maybe it’s the idea that the person who was the authority, the quiet strength in my childhood is in a weakened state.

It was scary. I felt alone as I stared out the window of her room. Crazy feelings! My mom is still alive. Why did seeing her in a hospital bed recovering from a kidney donation freak me out?  She could die from anything – old age, tripping on a sidewalk gap, a spider bite in her sleep. Hospitals and medical trappings not required.

Does everyone feel that way upon seeing their mom/dad/parent-figure in a hospital bed – Even if they only have a broken leg? I wondered. No one has taken a poll. No one is standing outside the patient rooms, in the hallways comparing these heartfelt thoughts. Hallmark doesn’t make cards for us.

As the children of these moms, dads or caregivers of parent-figures, what’s wrong with us sharing our vulnerability with others in the same situation – on the same hospital floor? Is it because we are adults? Are we to pull up our big girl and big boy undies and walk on? Society might say that’s fair. It’s our turn to give back to the person who did their best to raise us as upstanding citizens of this planet. But what, and who does it help – this not sharing, this stiff-upper-lipping? Are we too busy applying the phrase we heard as kids, “Mind your own business?”

My mother told me to mind my own business often when I was a child. However, she also taught me to be a caring, compassionate human being. She is a living example of these traits. I think a happy middle is possible. Let’s show we care. Let’s wear our heart on our sleeve sometime. It may be the only way others know you need some support.

After spending just a few days or more in a hospital, I can imagine for some, like me, minding the business of caregiving for a loved one is intense – at least some of the time. Sharing such business with someone else who is going through a like situation but doesn’t have heartstrings tied to your loved one (or yours theirs) can take some of the pressure off emotionally. Who else wants to not mind their business with me?