This is kind of a pressure test post.

Growth in the area of mental clarity and independence of voice is typically marked in what I feel when writing about my personal life in coordination with colleagues, vice presidents and corporate leader types who have access to my online writing.

So, having been retired from corporate life since November 20th, having had the marker of the new year mixed with my personal transition now passed – let’s see how it goes….

I meet with my editor on Friday. Her name is Delene. I have two writing projects that “battle” for my creative attention:

  1. Children of the Lake – a young adult adventure story.
  2. Words that Rhyme & Lullabyes – a grassroots piece of long lasting literature that should make any child or inner child, wonder – whimsy and sing*. (*Potentially :)

My brother is recording an album and David and I have both been supporting him in the recent week. Through both sharing of music and singing together as well as listening to tracks and offering that family type uplifting directional support.

Corporate ideas still do spring up, but I am learning to recognize them early and put them to bed. I do believe I have a strong ability to influence and I do believe I have literally fantastic ideas for Google and Apple and Enterprise and the US Government and and and BUT. I also have an opportunity to influence a younger generation with comedy, love, and creative arts. And my gut tells me that is what the world needs first.

Ok. That wasn’t so bad. :) And now to make something to eat for my developer husband who was just on one of those calls where they “take 5 while something is running before they come back and continue where they left off”. My life at Enterprise for sure prepared me for my wifehood.

Thanks for reading :)

Oh! Let me know if either of those writing projects call out to you more than the other! Would love to know about interest :)

Thumbs Up of you think “Words that Rhyme and Lullabies” before “Children of the Lake”

Two Times an Impeached President

Was listening to NPR this morning and heard that the House is going to put forth one article of impeachment: stating that Trump incited the violence at the US Capitol.

I listened to my favorite liberal elite (you know, college educated / black lives matter / take care of humanity) podcast for some insight. It is also in the news that House Republicans are calling for Pelosi to not move forward with impeachment in the name of unity. Eh.

While making our smoothies this morning, I thought it through. If he is tried, and testimonies and evidence go through and show that without a doubt he incited the violence: there ya go. If he is tried and he says, “I never did that” or “I didn’t want them to do that” or whatever lies, then it’s kind of like when my kids were little and acting insane. In humor, I would say to them, “Hey little girls, where is your mother?”

They would look at me so confused. Continue acting insane in the store or at the pool… I would turn my head and squint my eyes and repeat, “I’m sorry – I feel so bad – what is your name? Where is your mother? Do you want me to call her?”

They would giggle and laugh, obviously I knew who their mother was and didn’t need to call myself. But you get it? Trump being like, “You think I told this guy to put a viking hat on and wave a Trump flag and go threaten Congress? I don’t have any kind of coddling relationship with these people.” I mean. I kind of would love to see the media take a spin (the election was rigged, overthrow the results) that was spun (I never said to overthrow the results) and spin it (Trump loves us and this is all code for…..) I mean – as a media major, their message is ALL over the place.

The GOP really needs to figure out their identity and whether or not they are Trump’s party. It is sad to me that these people involved in last week’s debacle are likely part of a demographic that is limited in their ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness for all the same reasons the “liberal left” want systemic changes. What is sad about it is that they don’t even realize they are being spoon fed rhetoric that keeps them in a mind prison. <tabling rant on media literacy>

If you eat a box of something because the label says it will make you strong, you need to pay attention to whether or not you get stronger. I just want people to realize their options and the power of their choice. Likewise, after reading an article interviewing a 50 some odd year old guy who was at the Capitol last week who lives with his dog and spends most days alone… gosh, it just made me feel sad. I wish he would realize his options and the power of choice.

Where is his community? Who is connecting with this guy? Who is allowing his heart to exercise compassion?

Every time I start thinking politically, I start to wonder about the small towns here in Missouri. About the kids in schools who are learning about “heroes” like Christopher Columbus and how racism ended with slavery. I wonder about how we connect with people to broaden their worldview. How do we get media out there that is middle ground and fair and progressive in its ability to include others?

Inclusion is the baby step, here in 2021.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday and time to clean the floors. I am so curious to see what happens with impeachment and how the media treats it. David and I turned on Fox News during the election, just to see what they are saying. You know Fox News is listed as an “Entertainment Channel”?

Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Stay safe out there. Don’t just eat the news.

tenderness & evolution @ big table while one teen is studying

I mentioned to David last night that we somehow leveled up in the parenting world. Language has settled in, values have taken root… These things have produced consistent messages to the kids that are starting to see anchors like time around the table and nods of agreement.

There was a while where one of us would process a kid and the other would get defensive. I bet that is common in blending families. If I zoom’d in on one of his biologicals, it would naturally feel like it was in comparison to one of my biologicals. At this point, if I am correct, we have both bitched enough about all five kids and praised enough about each of the five kids to have balanced out and earned each other’s trust that it is not like we were determining who are our “project children”.

Truly – they are all projects.

In my retirement, my bandwidth can get quickly sucked up in the parenting world and what all we need to address. It results, as mentioned before, in a lot of conversation with David about ideas and what we should try and what I envision for us in a year. It also results in a lot of hands on deep diving with each kid. And it is really not efficient to live like that.

Not only do I believe in the fact that at some point you have to stop talking about it and just do the things you think are so important. But it really isn’t practical to coach each kid one on one. Teachers, sports coaches, music teachers and therapists are – for example – great ways to outsource this, even if you don’t have a bajillion kids like we do. Said another way….

I remember thinking I broke Ellen at some point when she was 7 or 8. That somehow my parenting or her dad’s was so screwed up that we had turned this wonderful sweet adventurous girl into a headstrong pain in the ass.

In my regular bemoaning that I ruined my child and now had this selfish, pre-occupied, non-empathetic little girl, I conveniently recognized all of those same traits in myself. :-/

OH. How helpful, I realized in my yoga, we are able to recognize things in others because they are in us.

OH. How helpful, I can’t open Ellen’s brain and re-wire and jump into her memories and change however or wherever she learned this behavior.

I can. I can. I can model and reinforce. Model. Model. Model.

I am going through notebooks (which is literally and figuratively the story of my life) and it has been pretty wild to read entries from 2019: gearing up toward engagement, gearing up toward 2020, so blind to the reality the world can change dramatically. Amongst all the plans and lists and travel notes was this entry of 6 bullet points I had written as advice for myself:

  • Stand openly
  • Hide nothing
  • Refuse to defend oneself
  • Feel their pain
  • Understand needs
  • Vulnerability brings healing

In this season of motherhood, I find this list perfect.

One of the prayers I have for the kids is that they all let down their defenses. Not necessarily with each other as there is not any fighting in the house or anything like that. But there is a general guard up that quickly interprets “direction” into “discipline” or interprets guidance as limitation. It’s kind of interesting. They feel in trouble or stuck and excuse themselves, make shit up and or quickly interject what they want before hearing what they want was already on the way. Like. They are “jumpy”.

I think, for me, I have to remember the change they all went through and the ways they are growing and being stretched academically and socially during the pandemic. That’s hard stuff.

I think, for me, remembering to get on eye level and inquire lovingly to their real need is essential to continually grow the trust we all have in each other. I don’t need to explain they didn’t need to explain it. I just listen, reassure and follow through. Take it on the chin. Let them think it was their idea in a way.

Living with nothing to hide – being an honest, friendly expression – makes us safe as parents. Not explaining things or offering reasons, just “Yes, and I love you” and “No, and I love you” will suffice.

And even “standing openly” is applicable now as I see my motherhood as an act of generosity. Giving and being compassionate and patient and helpful. Letting the “work” of it all be a side note and letting the “service” of it all be a lifestyle and a calling.

And with all of this, like I was saying to a friend today regarding marriage, being subtle and letting body language and tone of voice be warm and safe is clutch. Building people up and encouraging them, knowing what it feels like to not be having a great day and so therefore not being a contributing factor to theirs.

Using a calming touch and stepping aside for time for yourself are as powerful as being the non critical recipient of another’s vulnerability.

“Blessed be the know it all” is not in scripture anywhere. Man, how I hope we all stop having reasons for everything.

I am not going to spend a lot of time proofing or editing this post. I just wanted to offer an entry real quick as I read through this notebook and find this 2019 advice super relevant to my current day.

Every day I remember I am the Queen and that I make the rules for my life, I grow more something (nicer? compassionate? gentler?) towards the grind of the day, towards the expectant demands of children.

It’s not that it is easy and it is not that I have been nailing it. (Hence why I welcomed these 6 bullets into my flow….) But I do recognize a difference in mothering over time and it has something to do with these things. For sure.