My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Dear Natalie,

It’s been while since I’ve written you a letter (the others are in a yellow spiral notebook on the bookshelf in the computer room, not that they’ll be there forever, but that’s where they are right now…)

As a  mother, I know I don’t always do everything right, but I am doing the best I can at any given moment. Sometimes, that may seem like it’s not good enough, believe me, I know – but be assured that I’m a work in progress, just like everyone else on this whole entire earth (so don’t let anyone fool you), I’m learning as I go, and doing my very very best.

Right now, more than I have in years and years, I’m paying attention to the debates and criticisms regarding feminism, racism, Christianity. I think about the world I was raised in, versus the world you will be raised in. I think about the world I was raised in versus the world others in my generation were raised in. We can’t separate ourselves from the places we are raised, we can only be willing to love and learn from those places that we begin.

And know this, I’m far less interested in the technicalities than the big picture, so I may let some things slide that other parent’s wouldn’t, but I can guarantee you that if I ever witness or hear of you degrading another human being for any reason whatsoever, I will tear into you in ways you can never imagine until we can re-arrange whatever spring that ugliness sprang from. You are not allowed to treat people poorly, no matter who they are, no matter what you or anyone else thinks of them. We are all equally worthy beings on this earth. I will not insist on many things from you, but I do insist that you treat others with respect, and that you treat yourself with respect. If it is my job to do anything as a parent, I believe it is my job to do this, to help you cultivate respect for yourself and others. I won’t tolerate you degrading yourself any more than I will tolerate you degrading someone else. And believe me, I know how hard it is to do this sometimes. For me right now, the struggle is with respecting myself as much as I respect others. I don’t know what your struggles will be, but I’m doing my best to work through things myself, so I can help you do the same, as much as possible.

I’ve been thinking about all kinds of things lately, things I want to pass along to you, things I want you to know. I have no idea how old you’ll be when you read this, assuming you read this, but I’m not going to talk down to you. I don’t believe in talking down or up to people. Whether you are six or sixteen or twenty six, I’m sure you will take from this what you can, what you need at the time. I’m also sure this will only be one of many many things I write you. Maybe one day they’ll be all bound together in notebooks or folders or envelopes. I can’t promise you that though. I realize that I can’t promise you much about the future at all.

But I do promise you this, I love you fully and deeply. Your father loves you fully and deeply. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins love you fully and deeply. God loves you fully and deeply. You are loved completely, always, as you are, no exceptions, no conditions. You are unconditionally loved, for eternity. If you are still and quiet enough, you’ll feel it in the sun, in the wind, in all the energy around you- you’ll see it in the trees and clouds and in the faces of strangers, you’ll see it everywhere you go. If you look, if you believe it, you will see it everywhere you go.

Which leads me to the next thing- belief. Belief is the very most important thing I’ve learned about so far in my life. Your belief will determine everything. Whether you believe the good or the bad, it will determine everything for you. I struggle every day with belief, so by no means at all do I expect you to master this, I just want to share this with you – I hope you see it in me, that I believe; that my life is better because of belief in good, in love, in forgiveness, in kindness, in magic, in God, in beauty, in joy, in mercy, in fun, in grace, in creativity, in respect, in humor, in the power of caring, in the supernatural, in peace, in freedom.

I want you to know that you always have the option to be free from the chains the world offers you. The chains look so pretty sometimes, it’s easy to wear them, to wrap yourself up in them and get comfortable. But one day, you will want to fly, and you will want to be free.

This is what I know about freedom: Freedom is choosing to love instead of hate. It is choosing to accept the unconditional love you are offered, and using it to propel you. It is choosing to forgive others instead of harboring ill will or seeking revenge. It is choosing to forgive yourself instead of engaging in regret. It is choosing to love yourself instead of giving in to self-hate. It is choosing to be generous instead of selfish. It is choosing gratitude instead of envy or bitterness. It is choosing determination instead of defeat. It is choosing to hope instead of despair. It is choosing to have faith instead of anxiety. It is choosing to be kind instead of hateful. It is choosing to believe that mountains can move instead of being fearful that they will crush you. It is choosing to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel, instead of numbing yourself.  It is choosing to think for yourself instead of being told what to think. It is choosing to be a positive member of your community instead of complaining about the problems. It is choosing to be open to people, to possibilities  instead of being closed to them. It is choosing to allow yourself to be ordinary, or extraordinary as you see fit for yourself. It is choosing to stand with the crowd at times and at others,  it is choosing to be alone  instead of being with the crowd.  And though at times you may feel that freedom means you are standing all by yourself, rest assured that you are not alone. Keep moving, you’ll find so many others like you along the way, don’t let fear keep you in a box, there are millions of amazing souls out here to mingle with. But don’t burn your bridges, freedom is about opening yourself and allowing yourself to connect, it’s not about separating yourself.

I will do everything I can to protect you from those who try to harm you, but I know I can not protect you from life, from the aches and hurts and disappointments and struggles. To do so would rob you of the joys and excitements and challenges that will allow you to utilize what you have within in you. Besides, there are some battles we all have to fight for ourselves at some time or another, and to do so, we need to practice. I would be doing you a disservice to jump in and save you every time you struggled. That being said, I may step back, but I’ll never leave you. I’ll always be with you, even when there are battles you must fight on your own, I will be right here, cheering you on. I will be right here, to help you gather your resources, to help you heal. You carry me with you, as I carry you with me. That is an unchangeable truth.

I hope you find ways to take the things in your life that you can’t control, the things that hurt you and anger you and disappoint you and break your heart and dampen your spirit and use them to move you; I hope you find ways to turn them within you, into something bigger, to provide fuel, to create something defiant and beautiful. As long as you are loving and respectful, you are encouraged to be defiant and beautiful (you couldn’t be beautiful without being loving and respectful anyways).

And here’s something else I want you to know, many have fought for you to do what you want with your life. You don’t have to be a mother or a wife. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a rock star. You don’t have to be a teacher or a construction worker. You don’t have to be a politician or a preacher. You don’t have to be a fast food worker or a tattoo artist. You don’t have to be a farmer or a mill worker or a secretary. You don’t have to be a chemist or a missionary. You don’t have to be a nurse or a bus driver or a entrepreneur. You don’t have to be a postal worker or a nanny or a firefighter. You don’t have to be a hairstylist or an interior designer. You don’t have to be a writer or a mechanical engineer or a psychiatrist or a chef. You don’t have to be an insurance agent or a mechanic or a doctor. You don’t have to be a dental assistant or a veterinarian or a salesperson or an executive. But you can be. You can be whatever you find that fits, whatever you choose. You can be many many things. That opportunity did not come without a price. It does not come without a price. Value your options, daughter and choose wisely, choose selfishly, choose bravely, choose lovingly.

Value your life. Value the people in your life. Value yourself. Value your days: your good days, your bad days, your boring days, your monumental days. Value all the intricacies of your life.

Because here’s the thing about life- You have to be willing to commit to loving it, the whole of it, and everyone in it, or you’re just going to hate it. You have to love it enough to take it as it is. You have to love it enough to always engage in making it better. You’ll probably find that how you feel about life is how you feel about God. And that how you think life feels about you is how you think God feels about you. So believe life loves you, take what life gives you and embrace all the tiniest pieces of it. Don’t let the busyness, the negative, the pessimists around you keep you from absorbing the love, keep you from loving. Don’t let yourself box life and people up. Life is fluid, people are multidimensional, don’t let your spirit get wrapped up in structures. You have the option to be free, you always have this option.

Take what you are given and give it back into life, love life back. Be brave, be loving, have belief. Have belief so you can believe. Believe in love. Believe so much that you don’t have room for fear or hate or self pity. Believe enough to see past the mountains that pop up in your way, believe the mountains are beautiful, movable, or that the route over or around them is amazing.

Commit. Commit to loving life. Otherwise, you’ll wind up wasting all your time hating it.

Now, I’ve written this as much (if not more)  for myself  as I have for you, my precious precious heart. Like I said, I’m learning along the way. I love you fiercely little one. Little silly, sweet, crazy, smart, joyful girl. The prayer in my heart for you right now is that you know love, that you feel within you the breadth and depth of the love that is yours. Love will get you so much farther than anything else, but remember, you have to believe it.

I love you Natalie Grace.

Love,

Me (Mom)

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I woke up earlier today to try to start my day off with peace and not anxiety. In theory, I like the idea of starting the day with quiet time, a devotional. But I feel like the only way to do that is to write, on here. I feel like my mind wanders too much otherwise, like I will just fall asleep, or give in to the anxiety.

I hate waking up anxious. For most of my life, I have not had that problem. I remember a particular time in my life where I always woke up peaceful and joyful. This is what I keep in my minds eye, what I want to achieve again. I don’t believe that my circumstances should determine my daily attitude. I can be peaceful, even if there are a lot of stressors.

My problem lately is that there is too much. Too much to do, too much left undone, too much stacked up in corners or closets. Too much of people wanting me to do things in their timeframe. I decided two things last night: at home, I’m going to take care of one accumulated thing at a time. Yesterday it was a bag of crap I had taken from my car and thrown in a closet. And I’m not going to let myself get overwhelmed feeling like I need to handle everything right now, or criticizing myself for letting it be that way.

I also decided that work stuff is going to happen on my timeframe. Even if that means I have to set up a timeframe to coincide with someone else’s, I will create and claim my own timeframe as well. I can’t wake up worrying about work or go to bed and dream about it. It is by no means my fault that the system is set up so that everyone has to hurry up and wait for services they need. I’m not going to feel like I have to handle everything right this second for everyone (this applies at home too). I just can’t. I can’t feel that way. I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m going to do the best I can do. Before I took this position, they stated they had problems keeping people on this team, in this position, so I know it’s not easy, but I also know if I stick with it, that will be more than those others did. I just have to do what I can- if that gets people upset, oh well, I can’t do this everyday, this can’t be my priority.

That’s what was good about Natalie being sick, I didn’t feel like I had to do anything but be “mom” for a few days. With my job changing, and more of my friends having children and being at home moms, I am feeling the strain of being a professional and a mom more than I was before…I wouldn’t not be either, so…I don’t know.

I’m so tired- physically tired. It was a rough weekend,  sleep wise. And I’m so bad at time management. It frustrates me sometimes. Of course if we didn’t have so many Yankees around here, everyone would know that in the South, nothing ever really starts until at least 15 minutes after the time it was allotted to start. Unfortunately, most of the people I work with are from NY/Philly and don’t understand this concept at all. *sigh*

Jason’s truck is still in the shop.  I have taken several hours 3 days in a row to help him get it, it’s a huge inconvenience and undesired but necessary use of precious funds.

I think my timesheet was due yesterday and I forgot about it completely due to Natalie’s 2am-6am ER run to find out she has strep…*sigh* again

Hopefully I can turn this in today and still get paid friday. If not, that would suck. But I feel apathetic. Sometimes I’m just tired of holding all the little pieces together…granted, timesheets and paychecks are not “little” peices…grrr…I have non of it done. Not a bit. I hate timelines and due dates.

I think there should be some kind of test you can take and how you are expected to meet due dates and timelines should be determined from a variety of factors including not only external responsibilities and stresses, but also internal factors- if people knew how hard I try and all the little things inside that stop me, they’d be so proud of what I can do. Instead, I just look like I can never get it together.

I just want a week of days by myself, doing nothing for anyone.

I think I hate my job.

I really do. I really think I hate it. But it was the best move I could make, as my previous position is no longer going to exist come July due to budget cuts and funding…still a bad fit for me. My supervisor stated it was a good fit…maybe she doesn’t know me as well as a thought…or maybe I’m becoming discouraged to easily. All I know is it feels like math. I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense, it’s too much at one time. I feel lost.

I want peace in my day. I don’t want to be on anyone else’s timeframe. I want to figure out how to do that. I feel like it’s going to require earlier mornings…

Also, my dog is driving me crazy. He’s scratching at the vacuum cleaner. Why?

I feel a little better starting like this. I think the key is making the anxious thoughts wait. Deciding- I will not worry about the bank account or bills right now. I am not in the mood or able to deal with it right now, so I’m not going to sit and obsess about it. I will pick a time and address a few things at a time. Tonight. I will address some part of this tonight.

After I drop Natalie at school, I will address work related issues- not before. This morning, I will just prepare for my day. I will not jump into it “like a drunken idiot”, as a friend of mine said about their own habits. I will eat breakfast, write, make Natalie’s breakfast, pray, clean up breakfast, shower/dress, make lunches, kiss and cuddle Natalie, talk to her, sing with her, feed the dog, take him out, play with him. I will take her to school where she will have a egg hunt and I will purchase some of her school pictures. Then I will address my day. I will do the same with work. While working, I will not address finances. While addressing finances, I will not address my social life. When I’m writing, I’m writing. When I’m praying, I’m praying. When I’m eating, I’m eating. When I’m with Natalie, I’m with Natalie. When I’m addressing something like cleaning or bills, then that’s what I’m doing. I will only multi task if I decide it benefits me, not because I’m freaking out.

I will not try to manage every aspect of every (or any) situation all at one time. One thing at a time. On my time.

So, everything that makes me anxious- Fuck you.

I have a different kind of blog tonight. Tonight, I am glad I have a place to blog because I have a string of thoughts going through my head that I’d much rather just editorialize than get into a conversation about at this point. Besides the fact that there is not one to have this conversation with, at least right now.

A friend of mine joined a group on facebook. It is this group:

Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)

I was curious, so I went to the group. I scrolled through hundreds of pictures, read comments, browsed discussions. And I can’t shake this feeling. It’s an uneasy feeling.

I did not nurse, at all. I did not want to nurse, at all. I do not regret this at all. Because I knew that I so strongly opposed leaching my child to my breast that it would not be beneficial. Even so, I researched before making this decision, just to be sure, and felt that ultimately, I would not be doing my daughter a major disservice by not breastfeeding. When I gave her a bottle, I would hold her to my chest, let her cheek rest on my skin. I never propped her bottle and walked away. She also stopped taking a bottle around 10 months. I felt like this skin contact in the early months was the most important part of the feeding process (besides actually eating, you know?).

I almost always consider emotional health first in any situation, but particularly with parenting. So I felt comfortable with this. I didn’t feel that I was depriving her physical or mental health benefits in the long run either, truthfully. I feel like I nurtured these things by not baby talking her, challenging her, and not keeping her in a sterile environment, and feeding her a variety of solids. Natalie went with me everywhere, I didn’t make people slather up with antibacterial gel before they touched her, I paid attention, I let her cry it out, I did things I felt were best to acclimate her to the world, to life, to self soothing, to me.

For what I can remember, all of my friends that have had kids so far are breastfeeding. I’m super fine with this. I was breastfed. I don’t care if they nurse in front of me. I’m all for it. It’s free. It’s natural. It’s you feeding your kid. Have at it. Your life, your kid, you choices.

It is so extremely unappealing to me though. And I KNOW that breastfeeding is the natural course of things. But no matter how many pictures I look at, I can’t shake this really disturbed feeling. First of all, it does seem related to sexuality. That is honestly one reason I did not want to breastfeed. I can’t really be okay with my breasts have multiple purposes. I KNOW. Also, it’s just too much for me, too needy, too intimate, to demanding. I hate the idea of this little person literally sucking something from my body whenever they need to eat. That makes me cringe. I do not want to be needed like that. I do not want things sucked from my body by little people. Even if they are my little people. Even if it’s food. I KNOW. I mean, if I had to do it, I would do it. But I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. Gladly.

So then, I began wondering if women who nurse are actually more sexually open or more intimate with their lovers than those who don’t. Is there any kind of connection between the two?

I’ve always considered myself open sexually and a person desiring and capable of intimacy…but am I?

It almost seems to me that I am sexually willing, open to sexuality and I am willing and open to intimacy, but I have a gap between connecting the two. I know my experiences, my train of thought, my defense mechanisms have me in that place. And perhaps, I’ve known I’ve been in that place for a while…I just wonder, how does it relate to my mothering? (Obviously subtracting the sexuality from it). Am I as intimately connected to my daughter as I “should” be? Is there really a level to which this can be measured and compared? Do I have a distance within me that I will not even allow my daughter to cross? Will this hurt her in the long run?

I’m not domestic. I can’t really find it within me to give a shit about “homey” things on a regular basis. Yea, yea, I want my house to be clean, comfortable, safe. I want it to be full of things that reflect my life and make me feel “at home”. I want to eat decently ( most of the time) and don’t mind cooking when I feel like it and can take my time and enjoy it. But life is so big, so much other stuff comes first, stays forefront in my mind. I find it much more important to hang out with friends or family or talk or write or think or experience something than to play house.

And I’m finding, now that many of my friends are having kids and our lives are carving themselves out a little more, I’m afraid I’m being reminded again at how different I am. I don’t diminish how hard it is to be at home with your kids, to run your home while being with those kids, and never getting to have an excuse of being too busy with work, or getting a break from being mom while at work  (like I do). And on some days I think, damn, “If I could just stay home, maybe I could finally get my shit together around here!” But I know I would feel like I was wasting myself on motherhood alone. Is that horrible? Isn’t raising a child like the most important job, ever? But if that were *all* I was doing, I would be so disappointed and dissatisfied with myself. This is in no way to say that’s how other moms should feel, seriously. My mom stayed home. I would never say she should be disappointed with this, she was a major player in what was a kick ass childhood for me. But I would say she needed more. She needed to be more than “mom” for 20 years.I believe she would be happier now, if she had pursued something for herself beyond motherhood then. And honestly, I think that would have only done great things for us as well. The better you feel personally, the more you can offer. And maybe that’s where I am when I make whatever decisions I make that don’t seem very “mom”. I know I have to do what’s best for me if I’m going to be worth a fuck as a mom.

Maybe part of it is that feminist in me. I don’t want to depend on someone else to bring in money. I can do that. I will do that. I also don’t need anyone else to run my home. I can do that. I will do that. As I see fit. Maybe it’s just my pretty fierce sense of independence. Maybe it’s the overachiever in me. Maybe it’s ADHD. I know it’s not just that I want to be making a change in the community because if I were an at home mom I could be volunteering like crazy and involved in so many things around me…so… maybe I’m just me.

I love my daughter. I loved her before I met her, before she was formed in my womb. I want to teach her to be loving, kind, compassionate, full of belief, and joy and peace. I want her to be strong, to be able to pick herself up when she falls down, to be able to reach out to someone else who has fallen down. I want her to be able to ask for help, to be connected to a large community. I want her to seek out her dreams, to be active in creating the life she wants. I want her to make her own decisions, with intelligence and passion. I want her to seek guidance and wisdom. I want her to know I love her, deeply and fiercely and to the very best of my ability , all the time, every second of her life, screw ups and successes all the same. I want her to have fun, to breathe and live and enjoy life, no matter what comes her way. I want her to be able to make the best out of situations, to know obstacles are opportunities. I want her to have intimate relationships. I want her to never settle for other’s standards, but to seek her own.  I want her to accept love, to claim hope, to possess peace, to ride joy. I want her to look at my life and admire it more than she criticizes it.

This is why I needed to write tonight. To get here.  Who cares if I formula fed and am made uneasy by breastfeeding. Who really gives a damn? This previous paragraph is where my heart is, where my intention as a mother is. And I am almost positive the 10 months of bottle delivered Enfamil won’t make a goddamn difference.

Feminism is…?

Rebecca West: I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.

[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.  ~Pat Robertson (Oh, Dear God!)

Michele Le Doeuff: A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place.

Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes.  There’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy.  ~Henry Kissinger

The thing is, this isn’t a battle we’re fighting against each other, or at least it shouldn’t be.

Gloria Steinem: This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labour in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.

Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.  ~Betty Friedan

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.  ~Margaret Mead

If the Mead quote is true, and I do believe it is, perhaps through me, my father liberated himself a bit, because my Daddy- southern boy, son of a farmer, corporate company executive and business owner- is a Feminist.

I keep trying to pinpoint the first feminist statement my father made to me, just for a starting point, but it’s hard to do so, because it was constant…Perhaps one of the first was when, at his encouragement, my sister and I were playing on a soccer team as 2 of 3 females on the team. I was in second grade. I complained about playing with the boys, I said they were too rough. Daddy told me to get out there and be rough too! Show them what  girl can do! For the record, I was just really bad at soccer, and the subsequent sport I tried on a co-ed team- basketball, so I’m not sure how much I “showed them”. But I didn’t quit and I didn’t cry when I was smacked into or kicked in the shins. I got dirty and I got up. That’s what the boys did and that’s what my Daddy said I could do to. So I did. And I’m so glad I did.

When, in 6th grade, I said I wanted to be the first female president of the United States, my Dad said “You go girl!” (it was the early 90’s, you can’t really blame him for using that phrase 🙂

When I finally found a sport I could play (believe me, he wasn’t letting up till I tried them all), he co-coached my softball teams and in doing so opened up a world to me of competitive, hard working, don’t care if we get bruised up, loud, powerful girls.

Daddy said God may be a woman.

Daddy said I could kiss all the boys I want.

Daddy said I could do whatever I want.

Of course, he rallied against things like short shorts (he usually lost) and driving late at night (lost again). I mean, feminist or not, he is my Dad, there are some things he has to oppose 😉

My advice to the women’s clubs of America is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias.  ~James McNeill Whistler

Sometimes, (or often) I’d get hyped up and on a role about some injustice and Daddy would shout from his corner “Alright Feminazi!” Usually followed by “You go girl!” Feminazi was a nickname he made up for me, jokingly, when I was out of my head raging against whatever I was raging against and stomping my feet around.  I would say, part of effective feminism (or effective anything), is being able to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously all the time.

He also would strut his 6’3 farm boy frame around the house and tell us to “Flaunt it if we got it” (he claims he was channeling his grandma Pearl) He wanted me to know how to be a woman, a full out woman. And he wanted me to know I could be pretty, smart, and strong all at the same time.

“Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object.  The difference is that is not all she wants to be.”  ~Betty Rollin

The other day my daughter,  Natalie, saw a policeman and claimed that that’s what she wanted to be. She then said, “but I have to be a man”. I laughed and said, nope baby, you can be a policewoman, and then introduced her to a policewoman. She probably won’t remember that, but for me, it’s just the beginning.

We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.  ~Gloria Steinem

To quote my Daddy, the feminist “The only thing stopping you is your mind, don’t let your mind defeat you.” I will feed Natalie feminism, because feminism is simply the idea that woman are equals to men, deserving no special treatment nor discrimination. In this way, all children should be told this, this message is for everyone.

“We’ve got a generation now who were born with semiequality. They don’t know how it was before, so they think, this isn’t too bad. We’re working. We have our attache’ cases and our three piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don’t realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle.” Erma Bombeck

This quote reminds me that we owe our best efforts at equality not only for our present and future, but also to honor those who’ve gone before us. When I was engaged and planning my wedding, the older ladies in my church kept coming up to me, holding my hands, asking if I was still going to college- their eyes imploring me to say yes. I had never considered not going to college, but the mix of fear and hope in their eyes reminded me how big a deal it was, to not have homemaking and factory work as my only option. I think, sometimes, because we were born into this “semiequality” that we take for granted how recent the victories occurred, and how hard they were fought for. And I think, sometimes we forget that we’re not there yet. We’re further along, but we’re not there yet.

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.  ~Marya Mannes

Marlo Thomas: One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.

As always, equality is not just about one gender, one race, one religion. It’s about all of us, we’re all in this together. And if we do it right, the advancing of others can advance us all, not take anything away from any of us, but instead, give something to humanity as a whole. Liberate us all.

I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government.  ~Cissy Farenthold

And it’s not just this, but also that anyone making an effort to play a productive role in society, in any way, is respected in their role, with equal respect given to each role, as each role plays a crucial part in the functioning of our communities as a whole.

So, thanks Dad. Thanks for all the ways you allowed me no special treatment or discrimination. To do anything else would have been a disservice to me and anyone I have, or will, encounter along my life.

I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.  If that makes me a bitch, okay.  ~Madonna Ciccone

I hate to sound bitchy or like I think I’m above others, but sometimes it really amazes me how dumb people are, in general, as a whole. Why? Why can I go through a whole day and feel like the smartest person I’ve encountered? To be perfectly honest, it’s tiring. Annoying. My family is tiring, annoying. I am so sick of miserable people. Goddamnit. Even when I’m upset I’m not as miserable as these people. Good Lord help me. I crave certain people, certain conversations…Oh My God Cheetos are good. And so is this $2.97 Merlot. And the Eminem I’m listening to…I’m so super classy tonight. Now what was I going to say before I got distracted by Cheetos? Oh yea, miserable people. Needy people. Shut the fuck up with your whining. I am not inclined to feel bad for you or really give a shit, considering you are ALWAYS  miserable. Just stop. I mean really, if it’s so bad just go ahead a kill yourself already, you know? What’s the point? If everything is as horrible as you say, just give up! That’s why I have to be an optimist. I would most definitely kill myself if I weren’t. Or at the very least be a drug addicted whore. I mean really, if there’s no hope, nothing good, no promise, then WHY THE HELL DID YOU EVEN GET UP THIS MORNING? Why do you continue feeding yourself? Why did you get dressed? Seriously, what are you doing still living if it’s all gone to hell with no hope for redemption? And I’m not saying I think people should commit suicide. I’m saying people should just shut up when they are whining for the 10th year in a row. I mean, I know everyone’s got to whine. What am I doing right now? Everyone worries, everyone vents. But I mean, there should be a limit on it. Or at least crack a joke while you act miserable. It will make me want to kick you in the face just a little less.

I’m getting sad because the cheetos are almost gone. : (. Swizz Beats is on now, I made a hiphop playlist today. Now what was I saying? Oh yea, kicking. I have a kick list. I started this list when I started finding out about all these shitty people that people that I’m helping at work have had to deal with. If you’re on the kick list, it means should I ever see you, I will most likely kick you immediately. I’m too nice to have a shit list. I don’t say shit unless there are extreme circumstances. And besides, what’s a shit list do? A kick list is very specific. If you’re on the kick list, you’re getting kicked. MAN I just ate the last Cheeto. Damnit. They were good.

I just spilled wine everywhere. It got on the wall. Oops. I think I cleaned it up good enough. I defintely giggled.  Jason will surely see it and bitch about it. Because he is like a woman who bitches about stupid shit that no one really cares about. Or perhaps, just things I do not care about. The thing is, there is only so much room inside me to really care about things. And it’s never gonna stupid stuff, because as I pointed out earlier. I’m not stupid. I mean, really, there are other things you could criticize me with: disorganized, distracted, late,  unhealthy, unpolished, undisciplined, etc, but I’m not stupid. I know that for sure.

I’m eating Doritos now, they are not as good as the Cheetos, they are a little stale, but they are serving their purpose. I like to eat when I drink. It completes the experience for me. And Cee-Lo is on now. I do love his voice. I love rap. Rap is great for a poet to listen to. I love the things that flow, that rhyme. Sure, sometimes it’s dumb, but sometimes is is just so freaking incredible. And I just appreciate the flow, the attitude, the honesty, the rhythm.

I’m getting sleepy now. Still have 1/2 a glass left though, so I’m finishing it. You know what I don’t understand? How people can keep being dumb. Do you think that people know they are dumb and just don’t care? Or don’t they know? That would be sad I guess, either way. This song makes me think of middle school (In Due Time, from the Soul Food soundtrack, OutKast feat. Cee-Lo). Middle school wasn’t bad. No school was bad for me. But middle school was actually great. Because you’re able to do stuff, but you have NO responsibilty and are years from it. What good years, 13, 14,  15.  15 was high school, but freshman year…

I’m going in for one more glass of wine. It’s so easy to not care about a hangover when you’re 3 glasses in….I have also moved on to dark chocolate chips (there weren’t very many doritos left…) I do believe I just moved up in classiness for snack food. I know not everyone needs so much time alone, so I really try to just not make a big deal about it, and try to spend time with Natalie and Jason, but OH MY it drives me crazy sometimes. You know, at one point, Jason worked nights and Natalie didn’t talk yet…I of course am glad that Natalie is talking now…not so glad that Jason doesn’t have a job, but you know, no one is happy about that kind of thing…It’s just so weird, I crave certain interactions all day (and don’t always get them), but then other interactions are so damn trying on my nerves and niceness. I just want to say ‘LEAVE ME ALONE. JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, DAMNIT!”. Of course that’s not really very “family” oriented. I’m sure it doesn’t help that my family was very partitioned emotionally, I was almost always able to keep to myself when ever I wanted, for how ever long I wanted. And I was very social, very involved in things outside of the home, but when I wanted to be alone, I could be. I didn’t spend a lot of time being around my family for no particular reason (like meals or holidays).

Alright, I do believe I am drunk enough to stop typing. It’s a good place to be tonight.

God-love

Posted on: May 17, 2009

As parents, the church instructs us to model the love of God through our love for and relationship with our children (and our spouses and really, ultimately, for each other all around). The reasoning is simple: in this way, our children can begin to grasp what it is to be loved by God. What it is to accept and participate in a relationship of unconditional love. Of passionate, intense, honest, sincere, adoring love.

So many things around us speak otherwise. We are taught (even by the church) that we need to be “good enough”. We need to act and dress and speak a certain way. For whatever we want to be worthy of. That’s not true when it comes to God. There’s notihng to do about it. To earn it or lose it. You can’t. That’s the whole point of UNCONDTIONAL. No conditions apply. It is, it always has been, always will be. It’s there for the taking. Always. And there’s enough for everyone.

It’s just so hard to really take in though. Because even knowing about it, it’s hard to live with it. It’s just so truly unbelievable. And we have so many versions of love that we experience and participate in that shape our understanding of it all. If we lived with this God-love pumping through us everyday we would have no fears, no worries, no doubts, no loneliness, no lingering aches. We would truly be free. We would be unstoppable. It would be a 24/7 high.

But because love is so many things to us, through so many people, our experiences are all mixed up, the good and the bad. So we can’t fully relate to the God-love. It doesn’t always translate with our versions. But it starts at home (doesn’t it all?). So though we can’t shelter our children from society, from the various loves that they will encounter and participate in, we can do our very best to display our very best version of love for them, giving them the best chance we can of grasping, even if only for moments, the hugeness of God-love and all the power and peace and freedom that comes with it. And in doing so, maybe we will understand it more for ourselves.

Posted on: April 30, 2009

Real quick, because I’ve been short on time lately:

Yesterday, Natalie was outside, trying to fit a toy into a bag so she could come inside and she kept yelling that “it’s not working!” I know I could have just went out there to get it for her, but I wanted her to struggle and ask, because that’s part of life. Besides, she may not have actually been ready for my help if she was too busy being mad about the whole thing. So finally, she came to the door, and I opened for her and asked what was wrong. Then I told her she could just ask me to help. So  she did. And I did.

A moment’s reflection and I thought about the way that day had been particularly hard for me, for no particular reason. So, I turned that on myself and asked God for some help because sometimes, I think God just wants us to ask, because then we’re done being busy and mad and ready to take the hand.