Tag Archives: deep thoughts

Omigod I’m Just Going to Give you a Standing Ovation Right Now

I binged on youtube videos when I should have been showering and cleaning.

On a healthy day I think celebrity culture is insane, and we would all be better off just living our own lives instead of checking in to see what our favourite actor was wearing or what they said about anything at any time. My personal experience with it has led me to believe that too much of it can cause a huge gap between real life and the tactfully projected life through pictures and statuses, and can make one feel lacking in just about every aspect of life.

Today I saw celebrities get standing ovations for raising their kids without the use of a nanny. I saw women clap and cheer at a man who was working, while his wife stayed home to raise their new baby at home. I saw Ellen Degeneres learn that an epidural didn’t mean ‘natural’ in the birth world. I heard people with more money than some countries talk about the hardship of planning for their kids’ future. I watch these videos like I’m watching a train wreck – I want to look away out of respect because what I’m watching is so terrible, and nobody should be seen like this, and yet I’m forced to look because it’s so unbelievable that it’s hypnotic.

I imagine that if I were a celebrity, after having lived my non-celebrity life up until now, I would likely be too embarrassed to talk about some of these things as though they were so novel. If somebody cried because I discussed my decision to have a home birth, I might feel more compelled to send them some information on continuing education rather than the remarkableness of my decision. If Ellen Degeneres learned that my husband and I had decided to raise our kids on our own without money, but with a blind understanding of the importance of quality of life, I fear she might fall off her chair and give away more iPods than she’s allowed. I wonder if being at a gala of great importance would be overshadowed by a cluster of people hanging on to my every word as I explained things like grocery shopping without a car in a Canadian winter, or nursing in public or my daughter asking if she can wear a head scarf one day because she has so many muslim friends at school. I’m not sure I would be able to take all these people seriously if parts of my life that seem so simple, so necessary would be celebrated as though I was the only person in the world doing it.

I’m sure there are celebrities who grin and grit through their teeth at these stories they have to tell, knowing that a great many people have also opted to not have nannies, in less comfortable circumstances, and I have a lot of admiration for them. It can’t be easy to talk like you are the first person to discover that breastfeeding can speed up weight loss after pregnancy, but there she is, enlightening the audience, and you have to hand it to her for having the balls to maintain the interview rather than get serious and tell Katie Curic that her questions are stupid.

All of this to say, today if you are working and budgeting, or raising some kids or getting into a fight with your partner, just imagine the applause an LA audience would have for you if you had more money, a couple of red carpet pictures in People Magazine and had dated Chris Pine. As I scrub the slow cooker and try not to slip in the oily bathtub because my daughter decided it would be fun to put baby oil in her bath last night, I will be imagining the reaction of a room who can’t believe I live this way, and how hard they would be clapping at my strength and endurance. If I have a room of applause following me around in my head all day, I might actually be able to get through it a little easier. God Bless LA audiences.

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Delete vs Publish

I wrote a decent post on watching my son make messes. It was eye opening and honest and told the story of how important it is to let your kids make messes for the simple fact that it’s important to seeeeeeeeee what they are doing. To see how they are learning and for me, to take the edge off the inconvenience of the mess. But right before I pressed “Publish” I found myself cringing at the writing and recognizing a certain ‘do this!’ that I hate about most blogs and believe to be the root of most conflict in the world.

Deleted.

I wrote a pretty good, albeit completely emotional post about a new path I am walking called Being a Doula and I semi-objectively wrote about the benefits of doulas, and of course my ability to be the best doula you will ever have, and almost pressed “Publish” but then decided not to. It was a post that was slightly too preachy, slightly geared towards selling myself and it made me cringe.

Deleted.

I thought about writing about my visceral rejection to self promotion, and how I see other’s doing it and they look so beautiful and so happy and I feel like I could maybe be more successful if I just did it, but then I cringe and know that it’s not coming from an authentic place and that is something I cannot get comfortable with, and in some ways that makes me successful, but in other ways that ensures that I will never be. When did being authentic get anybody anywhere? I mean, really?

Somewhere in the depths of this computer I have a saved post about mental illness. I didn’t publish that because the truth is I believe more educated people than me should be writing posts about mental illness.

Deleted.

I have a saved post about the differences between my self as a young 20 year old and a young 30 year old, and how much it sometimes hurts to see those difference in pictures, played out in memories and in lost friendships. It’s a post that takes the reader through some life changing moments 10 years ago that now seem to have been experienced by a different woman than I am today, and poses the question of whether or not that’s true for all of us. By the end of my writing I was almost too lost in the past to feel like I really had a handle on what I was trying to say, and thought about starting a new post that spoke to the power of glorifying our past, but then was too tired and

Deleted.

My cat. ISIS. Being Crafty. Sesame Street vs The Muppets. Facebook creeping. Avoiding opening mail. Complimenting a woman in a beautiful dress in the parking lot and rejuvenating my hope for mankind. Crushes on movie stars and realizing I am older than most of them. Like, foaming at the mouth because I was to spend money on things things things for me me me. Vancouver vs Ottawa. Halifax vs Ottawa. Style change as we age. Collecting art. Sending mail. Birthday parties. Oh that’s a good one. I’ll probably write about that one soon.

I have an endless list of things going through my mind that seem important and then I go to publish and I change my mind. Unless it feels authentic, I can’t do it. So today, the only thing that feels right is to admit to all the topics I would pollute the internet with but decide not to. That every idea or post idea is meticulously thought about and only shared if it passes my test for being honest, maybe informative, open to connectedness with others and non preachy.

Publish to Wrinkles and Dust.

REboot.

My biggest failure in life seems to be that I am not very obsessed with myself. In a world where everyone is selling everything and trying to make a buck, I can’t seem to get there because I just don’t think I’m that special. Not in a wah wah way, but in a real way that simply means I’m pretty sure somebody else is doing what I am doing way better. They have funnier and better blogs. They have better kids, a better husband, they cook better, they laugh better, they look better, they do stuff better. So who am I do elbow my way into your life and try to get your attention? There’s so much noise out there, I don’t always have the energy to be part of it. When I long for quiet, and I turn off the world for a bit, I’m sometimes shocked to find that others are still listening to the racket, and not demanding for everyone to be just sit the fuck down and be quiet. Then I mope that my need for quiet has pushed me to the back of the line and everyone else is still doing things better, and so my cyclical inner turmoil thrives.

There’s too much pressure when I try to get attention. So in the spirit of releasing some pressure, here’s a rundown of the last few weeks, instead of an insightful blog post, which you can find at renegademama, who is basically my blogging idol.

Currently, as I type, my cat is fucking digging and kneading his claws into me in some cat attempt to get some affection. I am still confused as to why we have a cat. Aside from the fact that the domestic cat is NOT my totem animal, I am allergic to the whole feline species. We got him on a whim, and we’re stuck with him. We have to lock him in the bathroom at the night because he was grooming my husband’s head so viciously that a)it was gross and b)he wouldn’t stop. He would walk the length of our bed’s head board like a convicted sailor walking the plank and pounce into a fully reclined position as if to trick us into thinking he’d been there the whole time. You know, that was even kind of funny. But then he would get his grooming on, and would lick my husbands forehead and hair for the duration of the night. WTF? So now Jimmy sleeps in the bathroom. Which means he seeks affection during daytime hours, which I am fine with, and try to appease him, but right when it’s time to quit, he gets his claws out and starts threatening me with them. I don’t get cats.

My son has aced his 1 year old manipulation practicum and has me tending to him every 2 hours or so nightly. In typical mother fashion, let me take full responsibility and say ‘it’s all my fault’ since I’m the one tending to him, but he’s got me between a rock and hard place. Right when we had positioned ourselves into a reasonable sleep routine (8pm-5am) he went and started to teethe, to get a cold and there I was tending tending tending and undoing all the good habits we had created over for the summer. Then it gets to the point that I am just so bloody tired that it’s easier to just go in and put him back to sleep with a mouthful of boob rather than lie in bed and wait for him to stop crying. I’m tending to him for selfish reasons, but also because I want to be able to function during the day. Bad mum. Bad. But this Friday I am passing the torch and relieving myself from nighttime parenting duty. After more than 400 nights of keeping the watch, I am bestowing the honour onto Dad, who will likely have to tend for about 5 nights before Baby decides the new guy just aint’ worth getting up and crying for.

I cleaned out my fridge. In fact, the reason I have the energy to sit and write all this is because I was so awesomely pleased when the container that had suction cupped itself closed until I banged it on the counter and ran it under hot water, then cold water, then pried it open with a knife – turned out to be old coleslaw instead of what I thought it was, which was old tuna, I couldn’t believe my luck. Hot Dang! I chirped and my daughter gave me a look that could have been from the smell, but was most likely because she thinks I’m an idiot. If she had bothered to ask me, I would have explained that after having thrown out things like liquified cucumber, rock hard and brown lemon (lime?), 4 jars of salsa growing mould babies, pasta that had blended into itself to become one large chunk of gooey spaghetti rather than individual strands, she would have learned that the smell of old cabbage is much less assaulting than what I had prepared myself for. When it comes to Taking One For The Team, cleaning out the fridge is about as jihadist as I get.

Oh my god, are we still writing this blog post? Lets stop here before I get a cramp. My arm is itchy from my cat’s kneading and I need a cup of tea. Go do something with somebody who is doing that something better than me.
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Check In

You know when you have a bunch to say but nothing you say seems like it holds relevance? I feel like that.
I have a lot to say, but everything I go to write it out, it seems petty and unimportant.
I am still here. I think about this blog everyday, much to my dismay and I feel like perhaps I just need to write and post one entry to get the blood flowing. My wit and quip seem to be vacationing together and without them everything is just so much heavier.
I don’t want this to be an online diary.
I don’t want this is to be a mother blog.
I don’t want to win audiences by sharing impassioned opinions.

So what am I writing about? Pesky truths. The truth is, everything seems too heavy right now to post on a blog with the hope that I will ‘get hits’. It’s the same reason I rarely use my Facebook status as a sounding board for real issues. It’s mostly used for lighter topics, as a tool to crack a smile. I feel like we lose the severity of some issues when we use social media. Social media takes away the sacredness and aren’t some things still sacred? I’m sure some people would tell me that the times are changing and communicating about issues that matter over the web is the new way to rally. I’m sure they are right. But it leaves me feeling empty to right about meaningful things on something that I don’t think means much. We can all survive without blogs, Facebook, Twitter, instagram. None of us will suffer too much for it and soon I’m sure there will be a movement to rid ourselves of our media dependance. So I have been living heavier these past few weeks and finding it difficult to sit and write about it in this space.

Maybe I’ll shed the weight and find the lightness again soon. Until then, I am a slave to my pen and paper and some good old fashioned morning pages.

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Meet My Depression

The weather is changing. The days are getting shorter and colder. My first year with my second child is finished, and the question of going back to work hangs in the balance. There are many reasons why a person in my situation would be feeling a little down. A little blue. A little depressed.

That word. So heavy. I imagine myself walking along, light and effortless and then all of a sudden an invisible weight sits on me and I begin to cave in. Like a depression in a landscape, I sink a little lower than the people around me, I become camouflaged from far away and I am excellent at tripping people up when they unknowingly walk over me.

I wanted to glaze over it, muster something interesting out of the depths of my brain to write about on this most important blog. I thought maybe I could get some good material from my slight misery, but of course depression doesn’t work like that. So then I thought about faking it. Because we all fake it, right? But then I argued that that is the opposite of my brilliant idea of a blog that is about not faking anything. So instead I’m going to expose my depression in the hopes that with a light shone directly at it, it will scamper away. I will hold nothing back. I will simply introduce you to my pesky friend.

My depression is tired and sore. Angry to be woken and immune to caffein. The likes of a needy baby have no sway against it and there is a sharp ‘shhhhhhhhh’ at 3am when the baby wins the battle and I enter the room. The harsh ‘shhhhushing’ feels good on my lips and I want to do it again and again because it makes me feel like I’m spreading my anger and at 3am, the only thing that makes me feel better is everyone around me also being angry.

My depression is always dieting. There is no appetite and the only thing that easily passes through my mouth is sugar. Maybe my depression longs to have diabetes, and I do worry about it as I suck on my 6th spoon of Nutella. When my depression is not hungry, it is difficult to prepare food for everyone else. Meals become less interesting, people are less happy at the table and it all feeds my depression’s thinking that ‘see? Nobody is grateful for your cooking anyway‘.

My depression becomes socially disengaged. Sometimes aggressively, peppering my thoughts with how much I hate people in general, and sometimes passively, hiding from texts or emails and peeking through my phone call logs to see who loves me but who doesn’t. One call isn’t enough. Two isn’t enough. Unless there are many calls from a single person in a row, it is proof that I am not loved and I watch my friend list get smaller and smaller.

My depression sees no future. When there is no future, there is little motivation to do anything in the present, and so the present becomes pretty uninspiring. Why plan for the future when it clearly sucks and you’re doing everything wrong anyway? The idea that everything sucks and that the future will too becomes overwhelming and my depression takes swipes at my self-esteem until I am convinced that every choice I have made in my life was the wrong one.

My depression loves media. Too much television, too many browsed websites, too much time spent on Facebook and too many rounds of Candy Crush and Majong are played. My depression convinces me that I’m ‘just relaxing’ and that I deserve a little break. But once my head is foggy from too much screen time, I realize that I need another break, and soon the day is finished and I’ve filled it with breaks. A life of breaks is not much of a life.

My depression looks around the apartment, looks in my closet, looks at my bedding, looks in my fridge and tells me that nothing is good enough.

My depression likes to spend money.

My depression criticizes my handling of money.

My depression is well spoken on the topic of failure, and showers me with praise at how well I do failure. So elegant. So convincing. My depression is very supportive of me when I pursue my thoughts of failure. Being supported feels really good, when you’re depressed.

My depression hates my appearance.

My depression is in communication with all the people in my life that I compare myself too. They seem to pop up on my Facebook newsfeed, they get jobs on LinkedIn, they post pictures of themselves smiling. My depression loves to show me these people and because of its love for media, I then go searching for them.

My depression likes to get sick.

My depression likes it when I sit and imagine what other people’s lows look like. Does Jimmy Fallon ever feel so blue? Does my smiling friend? Nothing about my lows seem to suit other people, so it stands to reason that of course other people don’t feel so blue, and that I am the only one who embodies all of the above.

My depression likes it when I am the only one.

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When I think about it, it seems obvious to me that my depression really excels in this time period. Social media, over consumption, the ability to quickly compare myself with a stranger on the internet, a huge feeling of isolation even though we are told we are more connected now than ever before… I wonder if 50 years ago, if my depression would have flourished the way it is right now. Who knows? But I will say for all those who know me personally, that I am not one who gets goes so deep into the landscape that I cannot get out. Eventually I am hurled back onto flat land, and my time in the valley seems cruel but at least short. I can’t tell yet if my act of exposing my depression has made it run for the hills, but I can say that I am a bit hungry. On this cold foggy morning, that’s something.

Friends and Family Only

I was posed the question “would you be friends with members of your family if you met them today?”. The answer is a resounding No. Not to offend the members of my blood line (and to ease the tension) let me also throw in the observation that I would likely not even be friends with my friends if I met them today.

How could I be? I look at the vast scope of what each member of my inner circle is doing and I realize that with a couple of exceptions, I have hardly anything in common with anybody. Here’s another thought: do I have anything in common with anybody, other than my husband? Not really. Sure, a few overlaps, a few moments of shared humour, but for the most part the only way I could possibly have a person in my life that I had ‘lots in common with’ would be if I spent many days in a row with them, and I have no time for that. I have more in common with my 1 year old if only by virtue of being on the same schedule and seeing the same things and being in each other’s company. I look to my siblings or my friends and realize that their lives are set to a different pace, in a different city, fed by a different diet and surrounded by different people. Daily, I rarely talk to anyone I love outside my immediate family. On a bad day I cry about that as I watch reruns of Friends, but on a good day, I recognize the magic in that craziness.

Because it’s crazy.

It’s crazy to me that the only thing that keeps the burning fire of loyalty burning amongst my friends is the time we spent together in school. A few short years of shared partying, shared hang overs, supported breakdowns, encouraged successes and heartbreaking good-byes – and we seem to be set for life. It’s crazy to me that I look at my family and see differences in life choices so stark and sharp that I wonder how we came out of the same house, same parents, same lessons. Time as children and adolescent beings seems to have sealed the deal that we will sit and wear foolish crowns together at Christmas and help each other move and ask for advice when nobody else will offer it. Because of time spent together, there are a group of people out there that I can rely on for midnight sob sessions and beautifully awkward family reunions.

So no wonder I can’t make any new friends. I have no goddamn time.

Ever since I left school and started wearing my mommy hat and stylish mommy clothes, I have found it exceedingly difficult if not downright impossible to make new friends. I have pondered this frequently, wondering if there was a social button in me that had been switched off, clearly by motherhood, and wondered why people were just so annoying or different from me. A glimmer of hope now and then in the frequented park by the same people supervising their children but by conversation number 4 I was usually crossing them off my list as a potential pal because their sense of humour was odd, their timing was off, or they shared too much. I’m sure I was crossed off many lists, and rightly so. It got to the point that I simply assumed that every adult I would ever meet again is weird and has bad social skills and my friend making days are behind me. And who cares? I have all the friends I need and I have a family that visits me and feeds me on holidays.

But then again, maybe there is something important to the skill of making a new friend. Maybe there are habits to be maintained and thought patterns to be exercised as we get older in case the tight hold of time loosens its grip. I’m not habitually thinking of ways I can improve somebody else’s life for a moment, and have not allowed for social time in my schedule. So it is with gratefulness that this question a)first annoyed me and b)sat with me for long enough that I feel like I understand that time is the answer, and it must be created now. All the time in the world exists as young adults take on school with massive student loans and boyfriends and life paths to forge. All the time in the world exists when weekends bring your family together and holidays fly people home and cousins want to play together. But as captain of a young family, time is scarce for little else than getting through the day and making sure everyone is fed. But seeing a friend today, a new friend who has not had time to burrow a hole into my heart but who made me smile with the commonality of our lives, made me feel the importance of creating that time.

Because really, when I see friends that I haven’t seen for years, or I see family that I can hardly relate to, aren’t we all kind of strangers? And if we’re all kind of strangers who just happen to have a bond because of the time we spent together, then aren’t we all actually inner circle friends, with all that time waiting to be spent?