February 26, 2002

NEWSFLASH!!  "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" comes out on VIDEO today!!  Definitely the funniest movie of 2001!!  Love it!  But in other worlds...

It has definitely not been a lack of motivation that has kept me from writing lately, but lack of opportunity.  One change that has come up is that Husband was laid off from his job AGAIN and we are in financial, um, readjustment.  I refuse to be so negative as to say “despair.”  He’s here all the time now and has readjusted to a daytime schedule, so I have to share computer time, which sucks.  He never had an interest before, but he has gone on this quest to learn the answer to every question that has ever burned his brilliant brain via the internet.  We have explored how to make curry, which led to how to make ghee.  We have learned more about leprosy than we ever wanted to know.  We have learned that Bangladesh is the size of Wisconsin with the population close to that of the United States.  He found a misrepresentation in the biography of some guy named Ananda, who is a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, where the guy said he was doing one thing at one time in his life and Eric found him as a track star in college at that time.  He discovered Morpheus and has polluted my music folder with rancid noise.  Worst of all, Josh (my son) introduced him to “Fallout” which is a computer game that has taken up hours and hours of my writing time.  If ANYONE breathes SIMS or EVERQUEST to him you shall all be condemned to some room in hell with torture specified to your most horrid fears.  We’ve had a computer for 5 years and he’s just now competitive about it, lurking around when I’m trying to write.  Grrr.  I so hate that. 

On top of that, I got sick most vile with a horrible head cold that landed me dying in bed for two and a half days and got me in gear on diet and exercise once more to keep THAT from happening again.  The boys have been very busy little critters who have required ongoing attention…blah, blah, blah, circumstances were such that I could not write much. 

Time for catch up.  I’ve always been all about nostalgia music and finding the music my mom and dad listened to while I was growing up, which is mostly gospel and country from the 60s-70s is a very exciting proposition to me.  I have a pretty impressive collection of MP3’s that I have carefully preserved through a series of hard drive mishaps and Windows reinstallations.  I will have a CD burner…Oh Yes…I will have a CD burner!  My latest passion is this guy: 


Porter Wagoner…the consummate Country and Western star.  He was responsible for launching the careers of Norma Jean (her song “The Gambler and the Lady” continues to elude me >:< ) and Dolly Parton on his show, not surprisingly called, “The Porter Wagoner Show.”  This was during a time when it was quite posh for country stars to have their own show, as was evidenced by “The Stan Hitchcock Show” (I know… “who?”) and “The Marty Robbins Show.”  “Hee-Haw” also came in on the tail end of this.  What I found amusing, even as a Christian at that time in my life, was that all of these shows (with the exception of Marty Robbins, who, admirably, was far ahead of his time in the broadscale of Western acceptance of the reincarnation theory, then considered in conflict with Christianity) had a segment where these hard drinking, womanizing, cussed men would gather around the pianie, take off their hats, don an oh-so-sincere look on their rugged features and whip out  “Where the Soul Never Dies” or “I’ll Fly Away” and suddenly be granted sainthood by every one of God’s folks in the South.  Pffft.  ANYway, back to Porter.  Porter was, by all accounts, a raging, hemorrhoidal asshole to work for, but was, as I said, the absolute epitome of The Country Gentleman (although that title officially went to the much beloved Jim Reeves – moment of silence) in his sequined suits, perfectly coiffed pompadour and studded red cowboy boots.  WHAT a guy!!  What I totally missed at that time in my life and have recently come to truly appreciate is that the guy can really, really sing.  Songs like “Sorrow on the Rocks,” “A Satisfied Mind” and “Green Green Grass of Home” give me goosebumps now.  

Another big recent rediscovery for me is Sister Vestal from The Happy Goodman Family.  I’ve downloaded a million of her songs and I am totally moved by, “The Eastern Gate,” “Til the Storm Passes By,” “God Walks the Dark Hills” and “Looking For a City.”  Good lord, this woman can belt’em out!  I have always enjoyed the power and emotion behind good gospel music. 

Karen (my buddy) had a good sniff at my Barry Manilow folder (“Her name was Lola...she was a showgirl”).  J  It’s a must have.  I also got a little nutty with 80s music, but that’s for another day, as is my obsession with the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou," definitely a major contender to Jay and Silent Bob as funnies movie of 2001.  What am I saying??  They are in totally different leagues! They're BOTH #1!!

A big milestone hit since I last wrote.  Nathan stopped nursing.  We’re onto 3 weeks as of tomorrow.  It was, of course, bittersweet.  I was glad to be finished because he’s quite a big boy now and it was getting uncomfortable.  Still, he is my last baby and it was a bit sad to say good-bye to that part of my life.  I figured up that all combined, I’ve spent about 10 years of my life as a nursing mom.  It’s something I’ve cherished and it’s something I release with love.  I’m very glad that when he nursed the last time, I didn’t know at the time that it was the last time.  That would have been even more sad.  It just *happened*.  He went gently into that big boy night and we were both at peace with it.  

This brought about another milestone that was pending since last fall, which was the advent of the pre-menopause years.  I’ve been having lots of hot flashes and fatigue and hair loss and other menopausey things going on that have intensified since 2-3 days after he stopped nursing.  I have “The Wisdom of Menopause” by Christiane Northrup as my new Bible and I’m welcoming the change.  I’ve had to incorporate some dietary and exercise changes, as well as some more *sigh* internal work to get through some owie issues, but I’m forging ahead.  

I also had, through an interesting course of events, a reconnect with a friend that I didn’t expect to reconnect with, which was very nice.  Through a series of miscommunications and ego issues, we had, I thought, barred the way to a normal, healthy relationship, but we have tentatively reconnected and I am pleased with the new footing we have established and look forward to seeing where it goes. 

In other worlds, my much loved Sister-In-Law (yep, she gets capital letters) is coming for a one day visit from New Jersey tomorrow and I look forward to seeing her.  We get along very well and she’s always a joy to see.  She comes in tomorrow and leaves the next day. 

That about sums up my world right now.  I hope all of you are doing well and that spring gets here soon!


February 9, 2002


and, as Iyanla would say, "For this I am SO grateful!"  I was out to lunch with my friend, Georgia, on Thursday and we were talking about my last entry below.  As I was mentioning what I had written, I head my own words in my ears and I thought, "GOD, you are SO whiney!!"  I went home and read back over my previous posts and was astounded at what a whiney ass I have either become or have always been.  Regardless of "have become" or "have always been," ENOUGH of THAT!!  Anger has its purpose and place in our life, as does grief and disappointment, but whiney serves absolutely no purpose and is hereby banished from my life and my writing!  Pfft.  No more!  Just thought I'd let you know.  

PS:  I'm still very grateful for the things I mentioned below, but they all have a new angle on them now that I've let go of the whiney edge.  Ahhhh!  Freedom!


February 5, 2002

Lots of things have been flying through my mind lately, to the point that I can’t keep track of it all.  I’ve been trying to mentally arrange it into one cohesive column, but it doesn’t seem to be happening, so I’ll just write them all out and trust that you guys can keep up without the benefit of serious cohesiveness or segues.  J  Unfortunately, my brain isn't working like that these days.  I'm guessing it's too little sleep and not enough alcohol.  ;-)

1). As I was driving yesterday, I was thinking about how I haven’t seen paper hole reinforcements in a long time.  Some of you younger ones may not remember these, but they were adhesive white donuts made of strong linen/paper that you would lick and stick to the holes in notebook paper to keep them from tearing out.  Where I worked, we called them, most aptly, paper assholes.  The taste of the adhesive on the back was glorious.  Ahhh.  Lost in nostalgia. 

2).  My sons had their first throw down fight today.  It was great.  Dylan (4) was playing with a small box of tows.  Nathan (2) picked it up and walked off to put it away.  Dylan yelled and ran after him, taking it from him.  Nathan cut him the look of Satan and pushed him HARD in the back, making him fall over and it was ON.  They were rolling and grabbing and I was laughing and trying to get them apart.  Afterwards, they went off and played together like nothing had happened.  I don’t remember the older boys (who are now grown, 3 of ‘em), ever doing that, but they probably did it when I wasn’t looking. 

3).  I found a new pig at the thrift shop.  It’s a Babe pig with a maroon colored cape on.  Perfect Pagan Pig.  I also found a picture of my original classic pic who was left on the visor of the car that we sold and I managed to reclaim, thanks to a diligent husband.  Here’s my main pig: 


4).  As I’ve mentioned before, the “dark” time of the year is a time that I tend to spend in quiet contemplation, thinking about what I want to plant in the coming year, where I want to be a year from now and what changes I’d like to see in my life.  That involves studying the shadow selves of me and doing a lot of mental house cleaning.  It always takes me down a notch or two in activity for a while, then I peek out of the bunker when the sun comes out again and move back into the real world again. 

This year was a very good, very cathartic, very empowering.  I’m happy to have spent some time in the hut, so to speak, away from the village, just studying the smoldering coals from the fire and thinking about things. 

One of the interesting things I found is that some of the close relationships that I had forged with people, some over many, many years, are easing away and new ones have eased in from unexpected places.  What is surprising to me is that I feel at total peace with the ones that have fallen away (except Joe, who I miss very much, but understand completely).  I was a bit concerned at first and even though the first situation seemed timely and appropriate, I wanted to scramble and grasp and pull back and hold on.  I remembered then about loving with open arms and trusting the process, so I took a deep breath and let go.  Afterwards, I was given many signs that it was the right thing to do, so I made peace with that situation and let it slip into the past, remembering the person with love and thanking her often in my mind for the time we had together.   The spiritual group with which I work has grown tighter and one of my dearest friends, Georgia, came through the group and has been a source of ongoing fun and encouragement.  As with most computer people, I have fabulous net friends that I have never met in person.  Karen, who started EOS with me in 2000, is a fantastic friend who was AWOL by circumstance due to computer woes during the final stages of assimilating this info.  Mary, who also came to me through EOS, provided a lot of keys that unlocked some important doors in the process, just by sharing some of her own experiences with me at just the right moments.  Isn't it great how that works out?  Sage is a godsend and keeps my spirits high.  I don't mean to imply that I am and was utterly bereft and alone, simply that the number of my associations was pared down incredibly.

My son, Joe, and I used to talk on the phone and on AIM every day, often many times a day.  He lives in Canada and we are very close in heart if not in geography.  After we spent a weekend together in LA, he went back to Canada and became immersed in his writing (a very good thing) and in a job search (his authorization to work in Canada came through) and now I only am able to get with him 2-3 times a week.   

My husband, who is my dearest friend and bestest buddy, took a wonderful job with great pay that is a night job away from home.  He works 4 ten hour shifts a week in towns away from home, so he’s gone from Monday afternoon until Friday morning.  You know that guy on the Verizon commercial who says, “Can you hear me now?  Can you hear me now?”  That’s him, except on a more technological level. 

It is extremely odd to be alone for so long, especially when, after being on a night schedule of 10+ hours a hit, he is now unable to stay awake during the day when he is home.  He sleeps until about 3pm or so, gets up, runs whatever errands he has to do, then stays awake all night, going to bed around 4-5am, right when I’m getting up with the boys.  I end up seeing him for a few hours a day at the very most, every day, 7 days a week.  I also spend every day, 7 days a week, being housewife and mom with no breaks.  That has been the hardest.  Between the three kiddies, who are 9, 4 and 2, there is always someone wanting something from 4-5am until around 10pm.  I’ve had to go on full tilt nurture, which is a pain when you are perimenopausal.  I’ve found my niche, though, and I’m OK with it.  That is part of what has made it hard to get any writing done, journal or otherwise.  I’ve been able to keep the site up for the most part, but my writing for pleasure has been compromised.   

The hardest part of it has having full responsibility for everything in the house, all of the time.  I didn’t realize how spoiled I was having him around sometimes to help out with the boys or the house.  At least on weekends, we had whole days of him being here so that I wasn’t total housewife, all the time.  Now, I do all of the housework during the day, he gets up and by the time he’s ready to be available, the boys are going to sleep, the housework is done, I then go to bed and he stays up all night surfing the net, meditating, reading, playing computer games and such.  I’m trying hard not to feel like I’m Jeanie from Ferris Bueller.  At first, I was very jealous of him, having a whole night of goof-off time to play and then sleep all day when I'm working all day and going on usually 4-6 hours sleep tops.  There is still a twinge from time to time, but what has to be done, has to be done.  Resentment only complicates things and I realized that the best thing to do was to just make peace with it.  Sure, I get lonely for him and I definitely get tired of being nonstop mom and houseslave, but there’s not much that can be done about it.  I couldn’t change it, but also couldn’t handle all of that frustration and anger either, so I had to let it go. 

That was just one of the attachments I had to let go of with Eric’s new job.  Another was that I truly love to sleep with my husband.  There is something very secure and reassuring to me about having my husband sleeping in the same bed as I am and being able to look over at him at any time during the night and see or feel him there.  I know a lot of that stems from living with an alcoholic for so long (not Eric) and knowing when he was not there that I could get a call to come pick him up or that he could come in at any time needing me to help him get cleaned up or ready to pick a fight.  I had this mental impression that if my husband was there with me, all was well and I could fully sleep without worry.  Although Eric is nothing like that, the impression carried over into this marriage and I always felt restless when he was not there.  This forced me to move beyond that and be at peace with the two of us sleeping in totally opposite shifts, meeting each other for a kiss and trading off the keys to the bed, so to speak.  

I had to lose the attachment to anyone but me being responsible for my own sleep.  I mentioned in a previous journal that it had been an ongoing battle between Eric and me that he has some kind of weird block about getting up in the morning (I guess that was fixed by going to bed in the morning now – smile), so I was NEVER able to sleep in.  This schedule effectively took away that possibility, so I had to release it and be at peace with it.  

For about a month, I was also on a big kick to keep the house perfectly clean, mostly to prove to myself that I could do it.  I did it in trumps, but it took a great deal of my time and energy.  Lately, I have pulled back on that a bit and allowed it to be OK if I stop working on housework at 8pm and have some time to myself, even if it’s just cuddling kids or taking a bath.  The house is not as great as it was because I spend most of my day with the kiddies (we do so much play-doh, coloring, hot wheels, view master, leggos, doll house, drawing, animals and farm and other things that Dylan is going to be bored silly when he starts kindergarten) and did a lot of cleaning at night.  Now, I still clean and keep it much nicer than I did before, but I’m not manic about it.  I figured if I’m on call 24/7and have to be the constant caretaker, I am going to do my best to take care of myself in the process and be gentle about what I get done and don’t get done.  I just don’t worry about it any more.   

Joshua, my chief #1 babysitter, is working now and is seldom available, so it’s difficult to get out on my own for a breather.  The good news is that all of this has pretty much forced me to find a peace within myself without any outside assistance and that has been a real joy and a tremendous gift.   

The obvious lesson behind this is how dependent I was on other people (despite my perceived independence) to accentuate my life in some way.  A real eye opener came when I realized that while I considered myself to be an independent thinker and strong person on my own, I had been leaning too strongly on others for comfort, consolidation and validation.  I often needed to have my thoughts accepted by someone else before I gave them appropriate justification.  I needed people to hear my woes and tell me that that wasn’t out of my mind to be upset rather than deciding for myself whether my problems were real or imagined.   I needed to be able to give counsel to others to feel wise or worthy.  It was a way to earn their attention and friendship rather than believe that I had anything to offer otherwise.   I definitely do not mind doing that, because mutual support is critical in any friendship, but I had given it too much emphasis before and needed to take it down a notch or two. I had to learn how to listen without needing to fix it (that is just so...male...ew).

So all in all, I feel I have come out of the darkness with an interesting new perspective of how I interact in the world and what my relationships are all about.  I have very much appreciated the time alone to show me all these things.  I am grateful for the relationships that eased away, either by running out of gas or by it being clear that we were not serving one another any more.  I am thankful that those wonderful people were in my life and shared so much with me and taught me so much.  I’m very grateful for the wonderful friendships that are still with me.  I am so fortunate to know and have known so many cool people.  Meanwhile, I will do my best to post in the journal, but my writing isn't getting the attention it should, so it will continue to be sporadic at best.  I wish it was different and will be working to make it so.  Part of being able to be this 24 hour mom person is figuring out the best ways to pamper myself and work in the stuff I want to do, like writing!

Hey, look!  Staples has’em!!  


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