"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Your Plans Are As Unique As You

      Halloween was last night which means that today is the beginning of Christmas for me. I know it sounds overblown to some and like we are perhaps jumping the gun but this is the way that I can maintain sanity as a mama. If I give myself more time, I can enjoy my pumpkin spice lattes and the leaves turning color while I plan my gift lists and read to the kids from the holiday book basket. Its the best time ever to get my ducks in a row and even to get a little private celebrating in before we are traveling. One of the hardest things about traveling for the holidays is the feeling of no personal celebration, no ability to be the mama myself for the holidays.  We are all living our own individual lives and I know that part the secret to my own happiness is an earlier and earlier start on the holiday season. I use a Christmas planner and a couple of books in a haphazard fashion, I scroll Pinterest and I scribble lists on odd papers....and also, I fly by the seat of my pants. This is me after all.

None of those formulas for how many gifts to buy or when exactly you should begin making cookies and storing them in the freezer are exactly right for any exact year in my exact life. I do like the concept though....so I try to come up with my own personal targets and magpie into my plans those that do seem to align. The point is to enjoy and relish the bustle and prep, the weight of responsibility that comes with being a merriment creator and the freedom and mental space that can come from a little more time coupled with some plans and systems.

This week I am revamping our breakfast menus and schedules for some of the same goals: more space, simplicity, bustle, and responsible feeling motherhood. There are things to put in line and ways to trim our old meal ideas so that they fit our new schedule and the changing interests of the palates in our home. I wish we fit some vanilla template but none of these things work that way. We nature journal, but not like anybody tells you to. I just bought, leafed through and then sold a book on How To Teach Your Child Shakespeare because we were doing bits of it already, some things were useful additions and lots of it needed to be passed on because we have a plan, its just the one that we are creating ourselves at our kitchen table. Its an interesting evolution to see myself both becoming a planner and also recognizing that for our individual house, nobody can hand me the plan. Plans are dynamic and shifting, we outgrow them and get bored by them, and all of our households quirky oddments will never be in anybody else's list.

Here's the marching to the beat of our own drums...ah yes, but marching to a beat! Lets all plan our own plans and come up with systems by being the wise observers and sensitive curators of our own people and lives. There's no easy out, nobody can do the work of life for you. But, after all....Halloween was just last night, you have time and so do I.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friends Who Drag You Out Of Your Cage

Yesterday was one of those days that I was reminded that I need socialization as much as the kids. I can be a little prone to isolation as an act of protection. I feel so inadequate and unable to appear "right" socially. My kids are wild, my house is too messy, I never have cool snacks in my day bag. When I am feeling depleted it's so easy to cut out all socialization because it seems draining and I must to just keep on and cut the fat. But, you know....it's no short cut to bliss. I am a creature made to live in the warm circle of a village and I wither badly by myself, no matter how much it seems like a clever way to streamline my life. 

I am just blessing my friend today, with the wild kids and the also lived in house, the friend who hugs me every time she sees me and never lets go first. I texted her and said, "I am so droopy." And she said, "Remember that group field trip you never signed up for? Its today. You should come. I'll call the organizer and get you in and I'll buy your tickets so that when you arrive if you're late you can still get in." And I put everyone in the car and went. And she hugged me so tight when I got there and we went on the hayride and the corn maze and petted the goats and hugged some chickens and we all felt better. 

I love and hate that other human beings who are dicey and intimidating and seem like the hardest thing in my life sometimes are also the place to go for a boost, for being truly seen and where I can know that I am not alone. Its kind of maddening but its so right and true as well. 
We are going away for the weekend to a cabin in the mountains for some apple roasting, fireplace stoking, tea drinking retreating as a family.  Just us and a bunch of plaid blankets. I am so glad I am going into this weekend with that feeling of social warmth on my back that I thought I was too overwhelmed to reach for. I need to retreat and to step out. There may be no short-cuts but only the necessary, true, brave action. I love that God is wise enough to put people in my path to disrupt me and pull me in while teaching me to be still at once. It's like He knows what He's doing. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Words On The Platter

     Sometimes, in order to get going again we have to push the ball down the hill in some small way. I have been long fallow here and now I'm back and grinding away like Sisyphus but in an attempt to help things take on their own momentum and joy, I'm just going light. This is my little kick off the edge.....here I am, with my pen in my hand again.

Lets just marinate in some goods words, shall we? It seems like a good way to begin. Here are some of my own, personal favorites. Which ones did I miss that you love the sound or feel of?

Utterly Enjoyable Autumn Words

And then, just because delicious words make me think of poetry, in a When You Give A Moose A Muffin Style....lets have a classic poem by James Whitcomb Riley. I like to imagine my farming great-grandpa, suddenly possessed of a desire to write poems speaking out these lines while he stumps along from orchard to barnyard to his masonry trimmed farmhouse where I was this summer. I miss him and I wish he could know my little boys and that I could marinade in his comforting presence and imagine they will turn out sturdy and reliable and warm, like him.

When the Frost is on the Punkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees.... (click here for the rest)