Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Other Shoe

    The old saying goes..."I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop." 

Always waiting.

I have a pretty beautiful life. I do really! I am utterly humbled and grateful for it everyday- this life. I make sure to feel it- live it- say it. I make sure to be present.

But somewhere ALWAYS- in the deepest recesses of my mind- I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I am not sure why. Is it somewhere down deep in my psyche? Is it a spoiled leftover from childhood? I don't know- can't fathom.

I wake on any given day to a radio alarm clock playing a funny-annoying- or great song. I stretch and usually by that time my husband has showered me with kisses and hugs and questions about my plans for the day. I get up and get dressed. Enjoy three more soggy kisses from barely open eyed babies. Make breakfast and lunch for three precocious children who make me laugh all the way through the morning with one problem or another. There is no underwear in my drawers-or I've forgotten homework-or an "Opps! I did not tell you but I need a new folder TODAY!" And none of it bothers me. It mostly just makes me love them more. It mostly makes me laugh.

Always waiting .

It's not in the front of my mind. I can usually manage to push it all the way to the back-to squash it before it gets going and gains momentum. But-when it creeps in... field trip today-better pack a sack lunch and remind him to wear tennis shoes and shorts so he won't get too hot, and - Oh my God what if the bus crashes? Should I drive separately so I can attempt to pull him from the wreckage? It seems funny to say out loud but it happens everyday. Sometimes it catches me off guard and other times I am prepared for it. The voice in my head begins. "Finn needs to stay with a sitter this afternoon for like an hour so I can go to a short meeting. I will make sure he has his tablet to play with and some other toys to keep him occupied. I need to make sure he's eaten a good breakfast so he doesn't get hungry while he is there because I don't expect her to feed him."  Then in creeps- "What if he chokes on a lego? Will she know what to do? What if she lets him play outside and doesn't watch him carefully and he gets kidnapped?"  I push it back down. I remind myself I am being silly. "What if she spanks him? What if she makes him cry? What if I get into a car accident before I go to pick him up. Will I have given him enough hugs so that his last memory of me will be a happy one?" Sometimes it's so BIG these feelings-this dialogue-that I actually and quite literally have to choke it down. This can't be normal??

Always waiting.

My husband only kissed me once quickly this morning before running off to work. Is he falling out of love with me? He didn't touch me as he passed by in the kitchen.

Even now as I write these words I know how crazy they must sound. If I were diagnosing myself I'd say definitely anxiety, possibly even paranoia?

Knowing myself as I do- I can tell you for sure it's that I never believe I am good enough. I never believe that I deserve this life- these great kids and this love from my husband. WHY? I am always waiting for this rug to be pulled out from underneath me- for that other shoe to drop.

I am aware of the idea of a "self fulfilling prophecy." I am aware of the idea that focusing on this negative will only draw it to me. Yet--Still I can not make it go away.

I wonder if-in part- it is because I love them so much- so deeply- so hard that the only thing in life that scares me is losing them.

Fear is the opposite of love. Fear only breeds the bad and the negative and so I desperately try to push it away. I want to replace it with only love. But it's there and as much as I try to crush it- to bury it- it's there and it comes back up. It sort of feels like that moment you are walking through a haunted house waiting for the next goblin to jump out and scare you. Not the moment you get scared but that awful feeling you have anxiously waiting for it.

Always waiting for it.

Does anyone else feel this way or do I need therapy. Well- I probably need therapy but seriously? Does anyone else ever feel like this?

Friday, May 9, 2014

I am not alone…

So this is it -the dreaded wrap up post. I have been brewing it in my head for days. 

Thinking of lines from the show that moved me.

Thinking of how I feel and the looks on the faces I was able to read from the stage. 

Thinking of the comments I’ve gotten days and days since. 

Brain completely shutting down as I am swilling in and drowning in emotion. I turn on the radio to LISTEN to Liz Tasio’s reading on KCUR.

It was beautiful and moving and perfect- as it was the day of the show. The words are so perfect.
But it was also what came the entire hour before her piece was read on the program Central Standard, that cause me to become un-hinged. A history lesson on the origins of Mother's day or Mothers' day, as the debate was waged. I had gone through 42 of these holidays and never once did it occur to me to question the birth/origin of the day. I assumed a day generated in some capitalistic fashion to garner money for the floral or chocolate industry. I was WAY wrong. 

An uber feminist from way back in 1870 named Julia Ward Howe wanted a call to action for women. She believed that women are the ones who end wars, women are the ones who unite and not divide. She wanted women to ban together to bring peace to the world. She wanted an end to the bloodshed of our children in the name of a war she did not believe in. She authored the following originally titled, "An Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World." Later the name changed to, "The Mother's Day Proclamation."

"Arise, then, women of this day ! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears ! Say firmly : We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. "

A wave washed over me. 

I realized I am not alone. 

Mine is not a new or unique cause. I am not a trendsetting, headline making, way-paver. I am saying nothing new and profoundly life altering. 

I am actually humbled by that realization. 

I am happy with it.

 In fact a bit ecstatic.

I am one, in a line of MANY MANY MANY women who have come before me begging, demanding, and instigating a consciousness of heart and mind. I am one, in a line of many who wanted change, who advocated for it, who spoke up for it. I am one, in a line of many who realized the power we as women harness to bring about that change- TO UNITE. 

In my closing for the show this year I said. "It is the story that unites." It is OUR story that unites. I may be placing her on a pedestal she is not prepared for but Ann Imig is in league with women like Julia Ward Howe. She gave us this show to share our voices, our stories and in short to unite this world in the name of Motherhood. I am proud to have been a part in it. 

I am proud to have shared a stage and to have facilitated 14 women in telling their truth. I am proud of the things they shared and the people they touched. 

Amy Carlson had one line in her piece called "Together."  She said, "It's the anti-pregnant belly. All negative space." That line haunted me for days after the show and feeling a little empty and alone that it was over, that line was all I could think of. Like in a way I had just given birth and my children had all grown and left the nest in one short weekend. Yes- that is what it feels like. But then I realized in LISTENING to that Mother's day proclamation, that I had helped put something of beauty into the world. Helped UNITE. There is nothing empty about that. 

I am not alone. I stand in good company. This year with 14 women telling stories that unite.  We are part of the bigger picture, a grander plan. I am eternally grateful for that.