Way Back When

Whether it’s a helpful habit (or more likely not) I tend to put a show on in the background when I do planning stuff. Not writing, but when I’m doing meal plans, washing dishes, and homeschool stuff, I put something on. Often it’s every season of the Great British Baking Show on repeat, but I also enjoy The Grand Tour, and then I like to sprinkle in various British contests I watch on HBO Max. Like “All that Glitters” or “The Great Pottery Throwdown”.

Today, as I was planning out home school stuff and wondering how on earth I was ever going to schedule some field trips when the weather here is constantly asking Mother Nature to hold its beer, I put on a new show. “Clarkson’s Farm” because in all honestly, not only do I enjoy “The Grand Tour” but I enjoy Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May and keep up with whatever they put out. While “The Great Escapists” was delightful nonsense I have no plan to re-watch, “Clarkson’s Farm” has hit a note in me that has rang so deep and loud that I am now here, writing about it.

Not only do I delightfully get to watch baby lambs being born, but I was reminded of when the pandemic began, and what that looked like. I know it was a horrid global pandemic that has now killed 4 million humans and I don’t long for that to be back in any way, shape, or form. No. What I miss, though, was that for a few months, for almost a year, really, the societal expectations of me shifted. I wasn’t expected to be running around with my head cut off getting groceries and planning trips and running errands and visiting friends and going to play dates etc. I was expected to be at home and to be happy about it.

And I was.

I could *breathe*. And as of late, I have found myself once again going way too fucking fast. I am out of breath, constantly. Not because I am literally running, no, in fact I wish I was in better shape. Rather, I find myself so stressed out I am actually holding my breath to try and slow down.

The kids and I are going out almost every day. Just for this quick or that quick. Run errands here and there. Grab this. Do that. And suddenly the day is gone, and I’m completely wiped. There went the week. The month. The time slips through my fingers and I cannot seem to get enough sleep to make up for it.

And I feel an ache for when we did not. When I did not run to the store if I forgot something, but made do and waited. When days at home were filled with everything we had already being enough. When going out was planned and we did it consciously and effectively. And being home was the *norm*.

I have too easily been led away from that peace. Too easily pulled back into the stream of never ending needs that aren’t actually needs at all. No. No. I’ve had enough now.

I’ve had enough of the running. Of the constant pull. That’s not what I want my life to look like, or what I want my kids’ lives to look like. I’m not going on lockdown again, by any means. One kid is signed up for soccer this autumn and the other is to start gynamstics. We have home school meet ups once a week, plus field trips. But I am going to be more intentional. On days we are out, we can run errands. So that every day is not an out day. Instead, they can be limited. And we can truly rest and not let our time be stolen by pointless comings and goings. We can spend time with ourselves and each other because shockingly, I like us. I like our home.

Magic starts here, at home, with me. So I’m bringing back the magic that was the “permission” to be contented at home. But this time, without a global pandemic and without anyone’s permission. I mean, I’m a witch. If I wanted permission, I’d go to church.

Always Two Minutes Away From Dying

The thing about life is that it’s insane, really. Especially our lives, moving at the speed of light, hurtling everywhere at dizzying speeds with over 150,000 deaths per day and a population that continues to increase. We are anxious sacks of meat supported by wet bones that are controlled by flashes of light sent from a wrinkly grey mass on the top of it. Lives are made and destroyed by strangers taking pictures and a few of the wrong chemicals can kill you, get you high, put you to sleep, or give you a hot flash. There is literally not one single thing about any of this that makes any sense.

Except love. Trite, I am aware. Over said. Over produced, certainly. But when I look at the passed out form of my children (it has to be asleep – lately they’ve been tiny bodied assholes during the day) and feel every last ounce of love that I have for them I accept that I am an anxious cucumber that takes sanity pills every morning and drinks magic bean juice to wake up and am surrounded by energy and wavelengths and data I cannot see and am always two minutes from death if for some reason I stop breathing and know that I would do it all again just to love them more.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

The Chosen

Full moon rises outside the window
Two deadweight bodies radiating body heat
Legs across mine
Claiming me as their own even in sleep
I don’t mind
I have been theirs since the moment I could finally hold them in my arms instead of vaguely curse at them to get the fuck out of me

Tension rises outside the door
Voices raised as emotions are expressed
Two people learning how to love each other again
How to belong to each other
And themselves
I don’t mind
I have been there, walked those exact steps, been overcome and overwhelmed and desperate
And came out the other side with more love than I ever believed possible

Words rise inside of me
Always wanting to get out
Past my tied tongue and my half open eyes and stiff fingers they demand release
I don’t mind
Racing across the page they are the wind in my sails
Pulling the weight from my heart and pouring it on the page they are my anchor
They are my breath in good times and bad

We rise out of expectations
Insisting on making our own way
Laying down the burdens of antiquated ideals
Ignoring the calls for self sacrifice from the same lips that call us entitled
I love him I love her they love me we love
And I don’t mind
The side eye when I introduce my partnerS
Call myself a witch
Or hear my child drop the f bomb at story time
Because at the end, when I walk into the light again, I will never wonder what my life would have been like if I had chosen it instead of accepted what I was given

Saturday Thoughts

Potato Salad is a gift to mankind that I have recently realized I can happily eat every day. Fight me.

After many years of struggling with horrifically negative body self talk, restrictive dieting, borderline eating disorders, and insecurity – I have finally begun to make progress in learning to honor, even love, my body. I have rolls and cellulite. I’m 20lbs heavier than I have ever been in my entire life. And when you’re 5’4″ (and have been the skinny bitch of every friend group since you were 10) it’s noticeable. I have confronted the fears. My partners are not going to leave me because I went up a size. And if they did – those are not the kind of partners I want. My kids praise my squishiness literally all the time. To them, I am a soft place to land. It’s been a year of me just breathing through. I want to be stronger, but I have given up being thinner. It’s not worth it. My body has done too much, given me too much, for me to ever wonder if I have earned my dinner ever, ever again.

Baked chips are not chips. They are the love child of chips and crackers and I am not mad about it.

Today, while trying to keep myself out of a panic attack, I became suddenly aware of a sound that I currently and will always cherish (and someday, miss with an awful ache) the slap of kid feet running in and out of the house and shouting “MOM!” to show me something. These few years will go so fast.

Get the gap insurance. Just do it. You never, ever know when life is just going to… drop a fucking global pandemic on your ass.

We don’t play in the rain enough. Today, my daughter and I played in the rain. Well, we moved bricks in the rain but it felt like playing. It was a light rain, no storm, nice and warm. We got soaked. There was no dry clothing by the time we got in. Every layer was drenched. But it was perfect. And it felt amazing. And I’m done with letting anything other than ‘perfect’ weather dictate my outdoor time.

Dive in. Do the thing you don’t know how to do. Make mistakes. Look ridiculous. It’s so much better than never trying. And it’s so good for my kids to see me doing it. Today my daughter watched me fail in my first 11 attempts to fold dumplings. Yesterday my son watched me lose a fight with a can of spray paint. Next weekend they are going to watch me figure out how to use a tiller. But importantly, they watch me want to do something. They watch me not have any idea how to do it. They watch me research (a little). They watch me try. They watch me fail. They watch me keep trying until I succeed. I can now fold a dumpling confidently. I know how to use upside down spray paint cans. And soon I’ll be able to use a tiller. And every time it gets a little easier to fail and feels a little better to succeed. Understanding that one naturally follows the other, rather than it being an either/or situation.

What is one thing about people that you have a preference about that everyone else thinks is weird? I’ll go first. I love my partner’s feet. My male partner has wide feet and his toes all end at the same length like a rectangle. It is ridiculously attractive to me.

Aaaaaand there is your daily peek inside my mind. You’re welcome.

Shallow Breaths 2

Continuing from yesterday:

There are so many ways I could improve my parenting. Just. A literal mountain of ways. And know there will be apologies offered now, and later, for my kids pointing out some fucked up shit that I did. Like asking them, “whaaaaaaaaat in the ever living fuck is it now?!” on the 13th time I am interrupted while trying to do dishes while they scream at each other about whose pillow is better. Kids will be kids and they are constantly learning and hoooooly shit I need to be better about separating my sensory overwhelm from their typical kid shit.

But I’ll be damned if I’m gonna get called out twenty years from now because I wasn’t actively involving them in absolutely every single thing I did. Be it cooking, cleaning, gardening, writing, planning, grocery shopping, napping, praying, researching, etc to the never ending list that makes up a full ass human experience.

I’m going to take a shot of espresso here and just chalk it up to teaching my kids boundaries. There are times to help mama. There are times to play independently. There are times to listen and times to be loud. There are times mama needs *real* help and times she needs sticky fingered hugs. There are times she needs to be alone. And I hope that maybe, just maybe, in learning about boundaries with them, in trying and failing, I will raise humans who will not be afraid of saying “no” when unreasonable things are expected of them. (Like doing absolutely everything with mildly incompetent little elves who ask questions that are completely irrelevant 35824592745x a minute while you are attempting to show them how to life.) Whether it’s bosses or partners or friends or governments, the little ones will see that love and yes are not the same thing.

I’m going to say it louder for those in the back.

Love and Yes are not the same thing. Trust and yes are not the same thing. Loyalty and yes are not the same thing. In a world where more is constantly for sale, no is the answer.

I honestly think if I said “no” more, I wouldn’t necessarily get caught into sensory overwhelm and yell at my kids. I will continue to say no for my mental health. I will continue to say no as I learn how to truly love instead of enable. I will continue to apologize for when I say no in not healthy ways and perhaps at the wrong times. But I’m not going to apologize for saying no.

So, I’m going to finish my Rasa and tell my kids they can wait for mom to be ready, just this one day, and understand that having boundaries is absolutely necessary in loving myself. Cheers mamas.

Home

Three years ago I wrote something that was such truth it’s depth eluded me at the time.

I kissed the woman who is now my partner for the first time. We neither of us didn’t understand polyamory. Or what we were, or could be to each other. We were so trained by society to see each other in a certain way.

But even then, I knew. I wrote the words. Kissing her felt like home.

It’s been a year now since we have been back in each other’s lives. We’ve decided its the closest thing to an anniversary we might ever have.

So I want the world to know, that what was true then, is even more true now. Kissing her feels like home. Everything about her feels like home. The way she holds me, the sound of her laugh, the sparkle in her eye, the way she shifts from one foot to another while reading a book while standing. The way she smells, the softness of her skin, the feel of her feet tangling with mine in the night, the shape of her. Home. Home. Home.

I don’t have anything more than that. I wish I did. She deserves the world. But today, that’s what I have.

It’s more than love. It’s more than destiny or past lives or infatuation. She is home.

I love you, Satya. With all of me. Happy Anniversary.