On Motherhood & Sanity


Monday, January 30, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

dance of the Hippo. on ageing disgracefully



I know I should probably feel proud, but in all honesty, I can’t even bring myself to look at my reflection in the mirror.

After  more than 20 years, (you do the math,) I’ve gone back to taking modern dance lessons.

The last time I saw myself reflected on the mirror attempting to follow a choreography I was over 20 years younger, prettier, thinner, stronger... After class #1 all I wanted to do was bury myself in denial and  alcohol, but the doctor won't let me have any alcohol (more on that later), and without it denial seems highly ineffective.

The teacher is young and pretty. Skinny and regal as the bare trees in winter. Hell, the woman has  a  British accent for gawd's sake.

It's an adult's class so most are  youngish girls, you know, early thirties. A  couple are on my boat, you know, the one that already sailed. And there we are, strutting our stuff (more like jiggling it really).


 ...and all I could think about was Disney’s dancing hippos on the movie Fantasia....







There was a little part of me during  class #2  that started getting into the groove. My body no longer felt like a strangers or like it had been kept in  ice. My arms responded and my legs were somewhat willing to lift me from the floor without me having to get on all fours. I was able to let it go a little and blend with the music…  I even dared to go as far as peeking into the mirror, and there I was, a proud dancing hippo. 


I know I should probably feel proud. I know it is good for the mind to keep trying  new things, healthy to challenge your body in new ways, but what can I say, it's sh*t for my self esteem, and it's making me aware of how OLD I am in a very undeniable way. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

dry snow- photo post


from my Ethiopia series... some times you have to focus on the little things

Friday, January 20, 2012

on winter - photo post


I think we should just hibernate in winter. My heart agrees...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 30: one word for 2012

(still catching up with my December Challenge prompts)

Day 30: one word: You told us what your one word for 2011 was, now, when we meet 
again one year from now, what would you like your 2012 word to be?









there is this picture in my new yoga place. I don't know who this person is, but I find her expression inspiring.  She looks happy and at peace with herself. Kind. Present. Like someone who has followed her heart into a a good place. She looks honest and transparent. Gentle yet  strong. You can tell she is not where the tides took her, but where she chose to be. She was -is- not scared to follow her path, she is not frightened of her choices. She is content. She  doesn't question so much, just  is.

I want my 2012 to be like this

Monday, January 16, 2012

on writing without a muse


This morning I went to visit an angel. I took a train all the way to Babylon, then I boarded a taxi which took me to her door step.

With her fragile smile of one hundred years, translucent skin and thin white hair she spoke:

“enjoy your writing, enjoy your kids, enjoy what you have and who you are because this is it. This is what you will accomplish”

She said this while slowly pouring hot tea into my cup.

***

Life’s a funny old thing. It never occurred to me that I too would be but one more. That I would never be but mediocre, nothing but average.
It never does. We all expect to be special when really, average means just that, it is where most of us should expect to find ourselves.

***

so I should expect no shimmer or shine, just skin drying and lines growing deeper until I part ways with myself and disappear.

Tears will be shed, but no poems will be written to commemorate me. The day will pass to the world unannounced. The news will continue without the mention of my name, and I can’t help but wonder if when I look into the mirror I too will be able to feel proud of what I did with my time.

I will write once again. I will continue to write pages that will go unread, spending paper that will turn to dust instead of pixie magic.  We continue to write because that is the only truth we know, and so that in our death beads we may at least say that we tried. That we searched for our muse and it was she, not us, who failed you.

***

Hope tiptoes to hide under the bed as I write this, fearful of the look in my eyes, while depression lies on the bed smiling, waiting for me to join her. Perseverance is silent. She’s seen me here before, but not quite here, not this far along. 


And then hope whispers:

“we are running out of time”

And I look at her, tired, and somewhat defeated respond:

“I know”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Here come the girl scouts… finally (a book review)




What can I say, it’s just refreshing. I’m up to my ears with pink and princesses, and they are all white and blonde,  they all want to find their prince and get married, and as much as I enjoy watching my little monkey dress up and kiss imaginary frogs, couldn’t we mix it up a bit?

My princess monkey, as we like to call her, is strong and agile. So strong she has on occasion left older boys who wanted to play rough crying. She is strong, and lean, and coordinated. She can climb what most kids her age can’t, and she’ll do it in shiny shiny leggings with a few bangles too, thank you very much. And that is fine. That is fun, but, where are the books that talk about that?  Where are the books that  talk about her and her potential, her strengths? Where are her role models? Where are the books that incite her to climb and be outdoors? To learn how to get the skin off a sardine for her prince.

When Shana sent me a preview to her book I was doubtful. I’d heard great things about her and her work, but the idea of non-fiction books for kids seemed a bit ambitious. Ok, so I was ignorant and naïve, sue me. She had me at  “Daisy was a girl with gumption” which, just so you know, is page one.



The book is fun to read, which is already a plus for those of us who are forced to read these stories over and over again. It is educational, and I’m not talking about the monkey here, I knew nothing about the girl scouts other than –you guessed it- they sell cookies. First thing I did when I was done reading was look up the nearest girl scout group in the hope that I could get the monkey to join. But the most important for me is that it is inspirational. I want my girl to read over and over again that  “girls can do anything”. And I don't mind my son hearing it too. That you can combine your passions, that you can rebel against  convention and expectations, against what society dictates women should or should not do, should or should not want, to come up with something entirely new. And then  see that  this figment of Daisy's  imagination is still standing 100 years later.

The illustrations are joyous, colourful and modern, filled with affirmative and positive messages  waiting to be discovered together with your child (you know, the eleven hundredth time you read it). And for the more ambitious, a little bio in the back will provide further details.

Over all, can’t wait  to get it, and no, this post is not sponsored, I’m just hoping it does well so publishers get the message. Pass it on sisters.


About the author and illustrator:
Shana Corey grew up in the South and writes picture books about brave women and girls in history, like Amelia Bloomer and Juliette Gordon Low. Oh yeah, she is also al children book editor at Random House, and is apparently available for school readings (mental note: follow that up).

 She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, 

Hadley Hooper is an editorial artist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times. Here Come the Girl Scouts is her first picture book (but will not be her last I tell ya).

She lives in Denver, Colorado. No idea who with.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

savour every first sip....

This post was inspired by   my e-friend "that's Mrs Mediocrity to you"   and was part of the reverb11 total anarchy that took place last  year.  


Her prompt was: Write a letter to yourself about how you would like your life to be different at this time next year"  and she started with "dear me.... " and went  on to finish the post with  "savour every first sip" (with a beautiful photo).


Brilliant, brief and to the point. Most inspiring. So here is my go. I invite you all to play along, even if it is only in your head. 





Dear me...

Remember to breath, slowly. To fill your lungs and hold on to that feeling of being alive, and that of letting go, just as important. 

Remember to laugh, to savor the moment, especially the inconsequential ones. The ones that take place in-between.


Don't let the urgent things get in the way of what's important or your life will slip by running from  one emergency to the next.

Eat well and sleep well.  It might seem like you are wasting perfectly good time, but it will make the time that you do have so much better. 


Clear both your home and your heart  of unnecessary crap. 


Kiss your husband in the morning and when he comes home in the evening.  

Don't forget to be kind with those whose love you take for granted, and over whose love your entire castle rests on.  

With  the kids, choose your battles, let the little things slide. 
Let your love be a trampoline so that they may explore the world in the certainty that you'll be there to soften the fall.   

make time for them. just for them. for what's important to them. however mind numbing that may be...

make time for your friends. all the nutrients in the world will not suffice without them.

Treat your body fairly and do not spoil it with  empty food that will only make it weaker in the end. 

and remember to take the most important person out on a date every now and then.  Do something you love, that  reminds you of who you are, who you want to be  and what inspires you. 

Never stop learning. Never stop growing, reaching for new goals. 


Dare to live new lives. 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 31: upwards and forwards


(still catching up with my December Challenge prompts)

Day 31: Take a picture of whatever you want (I’m thinking end of year celebrations) but write down one thing that you are going to let go off as of midnight


happy new year!

Again, I'm struggling with this one. You would have thought that since I came up with the prompts I might have  prepared them, but nope, you'll be glad to know I was  totally unprepared. I chose the ones I was  attracted to,  what I thought to be good questions to be asking. Turns out, too good.

This is the first new years eve in a long time that I do NOT have resolutions. I hadn't even realised this until my husband pointed it out. I love resolutions. I love focusing on what is important and setting out goals for the year ahead, yet I  feel completely un-inclined to do so this year.  

So I guess I am letting go of resolutions. I'm just going to go with it and see how it turns out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

do you believe in angels?

I wasn't planning on writing at all for a bit. after the December challenge I'm a bit "written out." But came across this and really wanted to share it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

December family self portrait


and last but not least.....


bet you thought that we'd be doing the whole Santa hat thing here, but no, our farewell to the family self portrait project has to be in support of the People, with a capital "P"

why?

cause those are my kids whose future is on the line. it is their freedoms and rights that are being squandered and skimmed before our very eyes. It is their education and their social services that are going to the pits.

for next year, and the years to come. whatever it is you choose to  do, make it count, do it right, and don't sit back waiting for someone else to keep safe what  you value, those you love.

power to the people.

happy new year y'all

famil self portrait project over and out.


Sunday, January 1, 2012