When I get anxious and I am home, I usually go to our barn. It’s maybe 250-275 yards from the house so it is a short trek and I have no excuse for not using it to calm my soul.

Sometimes anxious is getting frustrated with a kid, my Husband, a friend, or a peer. Anxious could be anticipation such as an impending activity for which I don’t feel fully prepared. It could be the shifting weather and where I am in phase with the moon. Anxious can be lots of things. And sometimes anxious is just anxious. Why does it really have to be a “thing” at all. Why isn’t it just a moment in life. A moment in which I must cope and respond with either grace or fear or anger. Why does the culture in which I am living insist on labeling everything? E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Maybe folks perceive that labeling means releasing responsibility. Uh, no. Not at all. I would still have to respond to the feeling – whatever its root, its purpose – regardless of what label travels with the feeling. So why complicate things?

While I very fortunately do not suffer from depression, depression is no less a luxury in name. So is anxiety. So are all the other labels. And to quote Cristian Mihai from the linked article, “That’s why happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. It’s not about goals, but about habits. It’s about the routine.” But read the entire post and watch the entire video. There’s truth and maybe even recognition sans labels in that for all.

After watching that video and reading that post, maybe take a trip down to our barn. And breathe.

“Breathe in love, breathe out love.” ~Adriene, Yoga with Adriene

 

Traveling to Detroit for the weekend.

Six Word Saturday

Planning is a forte of mine. I am naturally good at planning. Johnson O’Connor Institute calls this aptitude “foresight.” Well, I’ve got a lot of it.

Some folks think this means I cannot go with the flow. And it’s a little true – I cannot easily just let life roll. Unless I have a plan.

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I meal plan. This week had a Taco Tuesday. While at a swim meet with a child, my Husband and other children ate out instead of the beautifully planned, prepped, and presented Taco Tuesday. That’s OK! Guess what Wednesday’s dinner was? Taco Wednesday. And even better, that was one less meal to prepare on hump day.

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The kids’ lessons are planned. And trips out to enjoy lessons are planned. What happens when the 14yo doodles and listens to music for two hours at the super awesome Salvation Coffee rather than work on lessons? He does them later. And that’s a day’s less work for me look over.

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I plan my downtime – yoga, knitting, reading, etc. So I didn’t get to yoga after I cleaned up breakfast as planned because the 12yo wanted to talk. T(w)eens talk a lot. So I listened. And she talked some more. And before I knew it was time to skrt skrt out the door. OK. So when we made it back home, I hit the mat before leaving for the swim meet.

If I have a plan, I can alter the plan. If I don’t have a plan, I plan to panic. Why? Because there’s no map, no waze, not even google maps to help find alternate paths.

Best part of planning is that I often can knock out the expected so when the unexpected chain mail coif request for the airsoft battle less than 12 hours away comes across the wire, I can stop and make a kid happy.

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Longtime readers of this blog and those who know me as a human in the real world know that I am big on personal responsibility. I believe, with great sincerity, that the majority of my life is the result of my choices – the good, the bad, the meh. All of those choices. The way I respond to each moment in my life is always my responsibility. Life is a series of choices.

My friend, Tricia, introduced me to a thirty day yoga journey with a YouTube Yogi named Adriene. While no stranger to yoga, I’m not a big watcher of programs and such so I had never know about this young woman who is quite the awesome yoga teacher.

While I have enjoyed practicing with her each day this month, Day 12: Curate struck me the most thus far. Adriene states throughout the practice that individuals make the choices on their mats, in their lives, in their world. After that particular practice on a Sunday, I took the time to soak (a practice I hold dear and will discuss more when I feel like it) and while soaking I was reading and article about a Sudanese immigrant farmer in issue 25: Hearth of Taproot magazine. As I read the overarching theme for me was also about making choices. Life is a series of choices.

Surely there are reminders of my personal responsibility all throughout my days, but this day was like a megaphone – choose the way you respond, Woman! And so it goes.

I make good, bad, and meh choices. I always will. So will most others. When something happens – an accident of some sort – while my choices may not have actively contributed to the accident, I can choose how I respond to the accident. Or the argument. Or the mistake. Or the cosmic fail. Life happens. Life is a series of choices. I am ultimately responsible for me.

Hoping for snow, not more rain.

More Six Word Saturdays for me!

Some days are just too much. Well planned and even better executed, they can even be too much. Second Wednesdays are that for me and yesterday was such a Second Wednesday with more than its usual extra. So extra that I will now always capitalize Second Wednesday. Extra.

But today is not Second Wednesday. Today is Thursday, aka Friday, Jr. Today is slower, less planned and only moderately well executed. And with great mail from a dear friend.

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So, Cheers to you, Friday, Jr.! After dinner I intend to stitch more than bitch.

There are a lot of Kellys in my life. Each of them is so very unique in her own way but also contributes uniquely to my life. One of the Kellys taught me the term “re-entry.” It describes the hours, days, weeks of returning to a regular rhythm after days without the usual. Maybe it was traveling or a break from lessons or weather or illness that broke apart the daily rhythm. No less, there is always re-entry. The times where no one really wants to be doing the usual but doing the usual actually feels better than anyone is willing to admit.

Our family’s re-entry from 2018 into 2019 was today. Sure, we had a few things going on last week, but not much really. Today, though, we needed to get to it. We actually needed to get to it for our minds, bodies, spirits. So we did. We woke at sane times, ate sane things at sane times, got a little movement into our day, and met the one obligation we had. Not bad. No less, it was indeed re-entry. A moment of anxiety, a moment of whining, a moment of trying to stay awake…

Sweet spot of the day was at the barn where I may have lingered longer than usual and certainly longer than necessary to just watch the animals from inside one of the chicken houses. I’ll probably find myself lingering a little more as re-entry continues.

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It’s a “holiday” weekend here. We have extra kids in and out, overnight, and just popping in. It is really fun and awesome.

I have made bacon, pancakes, and egg for breakfast. It’s cleaned up minus the few extra pancakes I will vacuum seal for when I am feeling lazy and the kids can pop them in the toaster. The dogs have been in and out a dozen times and I have asked the first round to return home to pack things up. My two morning texts have been sent.

As I filled my coffee cup for the third time already I listened to a sweet conversation.

My Daughter: Sawyer [her brother], want to play a game with witches and gremlins and trolls and wizards?

Friend: There is even a wizard hat.

Sawyer: There’s a wizard hat?

I chuckled to myself. There is even a wizard hat. Did he not realize we have had a wizard hat for years?  Was he surprised his sister and his friend would let him wear the wizard hat? Assuming they were actually going to let him… Whatever it was, I laughed.

Then it hit me.

My youngest child, the one who offered the invitation, is 8 years old and a few months.

When I was 8 years old and only a month more than her, I was welcoming my youngest sister who I affectionately called “whatchamacallit.” She was the first child from my mother’s second marriage. I did not like my new dad and I did not like this creature who came along, too. I also did not like that I was warming formula and fixing bottles and changing cloth diapers and as my mom returned to work I was also waking at night to feed the baby and change her. I was 8 years old. I did not even turn 9 until the end of the year. I was mad as hell. I should not have to be a mom to 3 other kids, much less a baby at age 8. And I knew it. I was mad mad mad mad.

Honestly, I don’t even care about all that now. I know now that the care I learned for whatchamacallit and later LD (I promise it is not as horrible as it sounds), was only preparation for the full house I have today. I know that and I am fine with that.

And I am very, very, sincerely with all of my being grateful that my 8 year olds did not have that responsibility to own. They only need to be concerned about who will wear the wizard hat. And Sawyer did.

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PS: I love my sister Michelle. I love who she is and who she has become. And I love my brother, Little David. He is kind and loving, too. I also love my Dad. He was 30 and married a woman with 3 kids and one on the way. And lots of issues. There was no way he could have known what was coming. I love Momma, too. And so no one feels slighted…my other siblings are loved as well.

My brain is officially over capacity. There is no more RAM, no more GBs or whatever it is a computer runs out of. I only know there is not more room for another app nor another email not even another song. I am maxed out.

I am not maxed out by life. Fortunately, we have made wise choices and even our fullest days are not full, they are well-paced. We just pack “busy bags,” water bottles, snacks and carry on. It is my heart filling up my brain.

There was a post by blogger “Beautiful Life of a Traveling Wife” that struck me once. I think it was titled “I am a cutter.” not a cutter like we think of with people who harm themselves. But a cutter of people from her life. When she gets fed up, she just cuts them off. I am all for that. But that is not what my heart is full about nor my brain trying to manage. Fortunately, I like all the people in our world right now.

I am a fixer. I want to fix things. When people whine or I whine or people complain or I complain, I don’t want to listen to the whining or complaining, I want to fix it. And when people are sad, or I am sad, I want to fix it. I am a fixer.

There has been too much death this past holiday season. Well, honestly, it was probably the same amount of death as in any holiday season. But too much death close to me. See how selfish I am? And I cannot fix death. I cannot bring back to life in full and good health my friend’s husband who is a father to two beautiful children who need a father. I cannot bring back to life our sweet friend who took her own life. I cannot make her family full again with two daughters and a mother and father. I cannot fix the memories of caring for to the absolute greatest degree my friend and her 15yo son have. I cannot fix the memories my friend has of being with his daughter as she died. I cannot fix those things.

My brain has gone into the “beachball of death” as I call the spinning circle on the Mac when it is not responding. I can’t fix those things and my heart aches. No amount of texts, soup, prayer will fix those things. My heart has sent my brain into unresponsive mode. I have to reset it to safemode so I can care for my family. Thankfully, my family is mostly peaceful right now and so in it I find solace. There is nothing to fix here right now. Tweak, yes, but not fix.

I feel better already having downloaded this from my hard drive. Or since my brain is mush, is it a soft drive? I really should not attempt all these computer terms given my technotard status. Life is what it is. And even in this moment, I am grateful.