Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pedestals.

Osho:  Sickness is unnatural, sadness is unnatural, misery is unnatural -- there must be a cause to it, but just rejoicing in life, in the small things of life is a natural thing. There is no question of finding any cause.


When I am in the deepest depressive moments, I consistently push people away with all my feeble might.  "Go!  Be happy! Stay away from me."  And, during these times, I am consistently negative about myself; about my relationships, and mostly about myself.  I know that...

But I don't want to inflict anything like what my mother's illness has done to our family, on anyone else.  When I am in these severe depressed dips I am terrified I will pull the people who love me, (the people I love!), down with this sinking ship, and I want to cut everyone loose.  Everyone.  Even Michael and Stella. They deserve better.



These are the only two situations possible, and you are in the sad situation. Everybody may know about you -- who you are -- but you yourself are completely oblivious of your transcendence, of your real nature, of your authentic being. This is the only sadness in life. You can find many excuses, but the real sadness is this: you don't know who you are. How can a person be happy not knowing who he is, not knowing from where he comes, not knowing where he is going? A thousand and one problems arise because of this basic self-ignorance.


I'm tired.  I'm really sad and tired.  One day after Easter, I became so exhausted I felt like someone tranquilized me.  I might as well be in a coma. I would prefer to be in a coma and do no harm--Not to the people I love... Not to myself.  See,  yesterday I thought of calling John and telling him that Teresa and Sam would make a great couple. He said he felt like he wanted to die, often. I wanted to say, "Let's go."  

I feel like I'm trying to swim with cinder blocks chained to my body. Why do I keep swimming? Why do my limbs keep struggling to keep me afloat?


God, because part of me knows I'm not crazy... I know I'm not crazy all the time!  I always keep swimming, and I always feel better.


But I feel like I'm a real bitch in the meantime.
And I am sure people are seeing what I saw happen to my mother, in me... She was my beautiful- angel-hero.  Little kids often see perfection in their mothers.  Moms can do anything.  They wrap their angel wings around us.  My mother was infallible, and strong, and my lifeline when I couldn't handle things life was throwing at me...  And she left.  And that image of her disappeared.  The person I love died.  Maybe she's in there somewhere...  But I haven't seen her in a really long time.  I miss her.  I miss her. I wonder if people are starting to miss me, too.


Sadness has come. It has happened to you; it is not you. The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness. It does not affect you anymore. When you lose awareness, it affects you; when you gain awareness, there is a distance. The more awareness rises to a higher peak, the more the distance becomes greater and greater. A moment comes when you are so far away from your sadness that it is as if it is no longer there. The same has to be done with happiness also. It will be difficult, because one wants to cling to happiness. But if you want to cling to happiness, you are sowing the seeds of unhappiness.


I was so deeply attached to my mom, from my earliest memories, that I don't always know how to keep on living without her. In my darkest hours, I feel like I need her.  I need my mommy.


And, if you have ever admired someone, and put them on a pedestal,  I am sure your remember that exact moment when you saw all their imperfections, and saw the smooth, lovely, marble of their beautiful pedestal, flake, and crack, and fall apart.  My awakening was a long time coming.

Maybe the only people we should ever idolize can never be too close to us.  We need heroes that aren't broken.  If we get too close, we see we were wrong...  They aren't magical, or beautiful at all... And it's tough to swallow.



I would love to sit on a pedestal, set in stone, in my most perfect state; that I would be untouchable by depression, or emotional pain, rejection, or criticism of others.  I'd love to sit above my own self-degradation.  Why can't we sit on pedestals of our own making and feel happy and perfect and amazing?  Why do we let others change who we are, and how we feel about ourselves?  

Everyone tells us to take the bad things in life and make them lessons, but aren't some things just... bad?  Can't some things break us?  We must all have a breaking point.  And we crumble... Or the pedestal crumbles from under us...  And then we're just sitting there in the cloud of marble dust, wondering what the Hell just happened and why.


When you are like a rock, sitting dead with your sadness, nursing your sadness, nobody is with you. Nobody     can be with you. There simply comes a gap between you and the life. Then whatsoever you are doing, you have to depend on your energy source. It will be dissipated, you are wasting your energy, you are being drained by your own nonsense. But one thing is there, that when you are sad and negative you will feel more ego. When you are happy, blissful, ecstatic, you will not feel the ego. When you are happy and ecstatic there is no I, and the other disappears. You are bridged with existence, not broken apart -- you are together.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stay at home mom. Just breathe.

"What do you do for fun?"
"Haha... ha."
"What do you do that's fun for you?"
"I don't have fun."
"Let me rephrase that:  What do you do to recharge?"
"Are you kidding me?"


This was a particularly unproductive conversation with the good old psychiatrist the other day.  I have to admit I was in a crappy mood to begin with, so I wasn't being cooperative.  The point he was making:  You need to recharge.  The point I was making:  That's impossible!


Okay, honestly, teaching was exhausting, but in a way it recharged my brain, gave me a reason to dress up, look good, feel good and have conversations with people.  Being a stay at home mom does not give me any reason to look good and therefor I don't feel good about myself.  It's perpetuity.  I don't go anywhere, so I don't get dressed.  I don't get dressed so I feel like crap and I don't want to go anywhere.


My goal is to get dressed everyday. I told my doctor that.  But I also reminded him that I just told him we:
1.  Don't have any money because I'm not working
2.  Have twins and no childcare options... Because we don't have any money.


So, we always have two five year-old children with us, and we don't have money to go anywhere (and that includes just the cost of gas, not like we don't understand there are wonderful, free things to do with kids).  To recharge I need to have time away from the kids, not because I don't love them and miss them, but because I am constantly tense; from hearing them call for me, and because need me all the time, even when they don't need me I am anticipating it, so I can't relax.


To recharge I need to be alone, or alone with my husband.  Even for a few hours.  My doctor didn't have any solutions when I gave him the old no money, no childcare scenario.  I almost asked him if he wanted to babysit for me.


He did remind me of an analogy that I had heard before, (one we have probably all heard), that tells you, in an airplane emergency parents are instructed to put on their oxygen mask before they put on their children's masks.  Parents constantly put their children first, and sometimes that "kills us."  If we stop breathing we can't take care of our children.  Get it?


In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will drop from a compartment above your seat.  To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you.  Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally.  Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask.  If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.


"You’ve heard the flight attendants say it, “Put on your oxygen mask before helping your children.” But when was the last time you took that advice in the rest of your life?
Which of the many excuses do you tell yourself? “I don’t have time, there’s too much to do, I’m supposed to be the strong one, I feel selfish…”


There’s a reason the airlines have to make that specific statement to parents.  For most of us, it goes against our nature to put ourselves first. We make sure our kids eat their veggies, while we snack on their leftover grilled cheese.


On an airplane, it seems to make sense, if you lose consciousness, you would not be able to help your children. In you daily life, it’s easy to push it aside because it’s not a life or death concern.
Raising children is hard work. It is constant, 24/7. It can be draining. And for many parents, instead of re-fueling by taking care of themselves, they feel more and more drained.


Instead than being fully present and active with their children, they struggle, frustrated that they are not the parent that they want to be.


You may see it in your kids’ behavior too.  Kids often have a sense when things are not quite right with their parents. They may act out in response to your  distance, experience their own troubles with anxiety, or work extra-hard to be perfect so they do not add additional stress."

(http://www.imperfectfamilies.com/2012/10/why-putting-yourself-first-is-a-good-parenting-strategy/)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sins and Jelly Beans.

The Jelly Bean Prayer candy, “Reaching The World, One Piece at a Time," were right there next to the Starburst and Brach's Jelly Beans, and the Palmer's Robin Eggs.  I have a hard time controlling my facial expressions, but this time I also let out a, "What the Hell?"  Luckily there was only one other woman in the Easter Candy aisle, when just a few minutes before it had been packed.  She didn't even look up. Of course this was too much for me, not to share with someone so I said, "Did you see these?  It actually says, "Jesus' blood on the red jelly bean!"  She responded with a raised eyebrow and said, "I can't believe they allow that."

We are Catholic, (maybe the "bad kind" because we stopped going regularly during the 2008 election, when the Priest was focusing on abortion and politics in his sermon, obviously pointing towards voting Republican), and we do celebrate the religious holiday, as God intended. (Seriously).
But, about three years ago I choked on the whole Easter Bunny story. I just couldn't affirm that a huge freaking bunny was coming into our house to hide candy.  The whole thing kind of scared me when I was kid, and when I realized there was no Easter Bunny, I instantly realized there was no Santa and that ruins a kid's life, for goodness sake.  
I got the whole, "You're no fun," from M and S's preschool teacher when I told her the kids didn't think there was really an Easter Bunny... but she also pretends leprechauns run around on Saint Patrick's Day, and that might be even more terrifying than a bunny.   They know what Easter is really all about and they know it's a symbol of Spring starting, and new things, and hope.


Anyway, I don't mind stores selling these--it's kind of awesomely crazy.  But, what do you say to your kids when you give them some? "Here's your pack of jelly beans.  Okay eat that sin!  Now eat Jesus' blood!"


Each bag has eight colors, and each represents a religious theme:


Black = Sin
Red = Jesus’ blood
White= Clean
Yellow = Heaven
Green = Growth
Purple = Royalty
Pink = Thank you
Orange = Lord.


Each bag contains about 17 individual packets, each with a key to flavors and meanings. They are made in Mexico, and distributed by Scripture Candy, Inc.
Prayer Jelly Beans are kosher.


I even researched this craziness, and there is a "Jelly Bean Prayer" taught to children, which begins “Red is for the blood He gave. Green is for the grass He made. Yellow is for the sun so bright...”

Awesome.




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Move.

I'm thinking about movement, moving... to move.  

How many times does one here the saying, "Learn from your mistakes and move on"?  How many people actually "move on"?  They probably continue living, and doing what they normally do, but do they truly move forward?  Don't most people just keep moving? And in the same direction?


I think of the amount of steps I take on a daily basis and where I go.  I don't go anywhere, most of the time.  I move from room to room, picking things us, talking to the children, just doing stuff.  Even when I was teaching, which is a very productive thing to do, my movements were just the retracting of the same steps.  Out of the car, through the parking lot, down the steps, to the door, swipe the card, open the door, up the stairs, open the door...  And then I move around the classroom, a bit like a dance, to the chalkboard, to that student, to that spot where I make the very important point about that book, then back to the chalkboard.


At a certain point in our lives, most people make the decision to move in circles, not forward.  I am included in that group.  We stay with that person, we have those children, we own this house, we have this job.  This is the "real" grown up world.  We make the big decisions and we are grown up.  We retrace steps over and over.  We rarely step out of our circle.  That circle is safe and it is what we know.  We don't progress.  And that's okay!


Yesterday Sam received results of his semen sample from the doctor who performed his vasectomy. It said, "Blah, blah, you have rare non-motile sperm..."  It went on to "leave it up to us to take the very small risk of pregnancy..."  

Non-motile, means, they don't move or can't move.  Technically that means they can't get to the egg and make the baby.  I had to research all this before making our decision to have unprotected sex.


What I found interesting was that there are many ways sperm move.  An article on Colorado State University's site, written by a medical student,, stated, "In evaluating motility with most species, sperm are classified as non-motile, progressively motile or non-progressively motile. A progressively motile sperm swims forward in an essentially straight line, whereas a non-progressively motile sperm swims, but with an abnormal path, such as in tight circles."


Sperm that move non-progressively, are considered abnormal, yet humans measure success by circular movement.  Everything inside our circle is in sharp focus, clear, we can touch it.  Outside the circle, it's just blurred lines of color.  We're moving so fast.


What was that?  
Who knows!
Watch where you're going, you can't just stop!

Then sometimes, someone grabs your pretty carousel horse by the tail and drags their feet to slow it down, just enough for you to really see outside.   "Whoa, boy."  Maybe you even had the guts drag your own feet, instead of keeping them in the restrictive stirrups.  Maybe you had the gumption to get off the darn horse, completely.  Either way, if you’re spinning circle is disrupted, your movement is about to change.  Maybe you'll move progressively, like that sperm that speeds its way to the egg, and create the life that changes everything.  Maybe you won't.  Maybe you'll look around and realize you just want to get back on the freaking horse and pretend you didn't see a damn thing.


But I want the toes of my shoes to get dirty.  I'll let you know.