shifting dreams

I want to be self-sufficient.  I want to be debt-free. I want to build a home off the grid, live of the land, have a ceramic studio, raise animals and teach my children to do the same.  Or so I think.

Alan wants to be a school principal.  In the meantime he wants to pursue his Ph.D in Educational Administration.  He has no interest in my dream of living off the land and he doesn’t want the responsibility of any animal, let alone a cow that needs to be milked twice a day.

Because I love this man and want to be with him forever, I choose to shift my dream.  My dream requires his participation; I will not force it onto him.  I choose to fit into a new framework that respects his space.

I have had my way plenty of times over the course of our almost 12-year marriage: the babies, the cat, the house, the parenting style, the organic food and natural medicine, the no-vaccinating, homeschooling, homebirthing–those were all my ideas.  And he has embraced them, every single one.  I am fortunate; I know that.

This time it is his turn.  I will shift my dream to make room for him, room for us both.  A compromise.  Perhaps we can have some land, but a regular house that is on the grid.  Perhaps we can have a few animals and grow some food, but not so much that it requires machinery and a lot of manpower.  Perhaps I can have a clay studio and he can have his motorcycle workshop.

I am shifting my disappointment into possibility and compromise. A new dream.

We can’t always have exactly what we want, but if we are flexible, we might get something even better.

finding my voice

Revisiting my older posts gives me a sometimes awkward glimpse of my journey.  At any given moment I seem to think that I have mostly everything figured out, that I write in my authentic voice.  But in going back and re-reading my words, it becomes clear that I didn’t have everything figured out.  My voice and words from the past seem inauthentic now; my ideas seem off.  Perhaps authentic at the time, but not now.

Exploring and evolving all the time is how I find my voice.  My voice changes as I grow.  I am steadily abandoning total idealism and moving onward to realism.  I am finding the desire to say it with fewer words.  Less is more.

Having a blog is a reminder of where I have been and where I am, though at times, awkward.  Still, I like the continuity this blog has given to my life, the connectedness between my years, its nakedness.  It is safe to be me.

Mama and Mia book club

My biggest girl is eight.  She is growing before my eyes, morphing into a new form of personhood that feels suddenly foreign.  Her mannerisms, her sense of humor, her enjoyment of making faces in the mirror–they are typical, but new.  Typical of someone who is eight.  New to me, although I suppose that once upon a time, I was a very similar eight-year-old, morphing into someone new.

She will never be little again.  To say that it doesn’t hurt would be untruthful. The other day I decided that I am going to try my darndest to make the best of this, without holding her back, without getting too nostalgic.  Be in the moment.

Mia and I started a new tradition of choosing a book to read together at bedtime.  Only she and I will read the book together; not daddy, not by herself.  It is ours. Our club.

When we’ve finished a book, we write an inscription in the cover so we always know when we read it.  We will save the pile of books and she will soon have a collection of memories and good books that she may one day read to her children.

I have always read to Mia, but not so deliberately.

Doing things deliberately makes them special.  Doing things ritually and with pleasure makes them sacred.

We are on our 3rd book tonight, Miracles on Maple Hill.  We tried out a few pages of Huckleberry Finn, Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and the American Girls series before landing on Miracles on Maple Hill.  That one was just right.

Our first book was Charlotte’s Web, our second, The Hundred Dresses.  Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite books of all time.  It is beautiful.

Our Mama and Mia book club is a blissful end to the day.  Truly.  It is a chance for us to snuggle, be still, and connect.  It keeps me in touch with the new person she is becoming.  It lets her know that with all the changes that are still to come, I will still be here: beside her all the way.

things I love today

Ten things I love today:

10. Shopping at the Wedge without the children and browsing the Health and Beauty aisles so long that I think dust began to gather on my groceries,

9. my cupboard of homeopathic remedies and essential oils and other little tricks that I have learned to use over the years,

8. Biotics Intenzyme Forte–18 pills per day for clear skin, my magic bullet for conquering my once-stubborn acne,

7. that I am finally learning to stop taking things personally and start laughing about them,

6. The Nourished Kitchen monthly meal plan subscription,

5. my plan to make a double batch of winter stew to eat all weekend so I can relax instead of cook,

4. my plan to make fresh vegetable juice in the morning to make up for my lack of vegetables this week,

3. my children, who are wearing semi-matching superhero outfits today, consisting of underwear, ballerina slippers, belts, and a leotard,

2. my husband, who is my rock,

1. and lastly, the hot epsom salt bath with essential oils, candles lit, and Enya that is waiting for me.  Yes, I am that cheesy.

this is really my life

Today I woke up from a nap and had a revelation:

“This is my life.  This is who I really am.”

Since I can remember, I have been waiting for my life to begin.  I have been waiting to figure out who I am, waiting for my life to happen, feeling an odd sense of disconnect from the reality of my life. Suddenly I realize this: I have already made my mark. Who I am has been long established.  I am embedded in the memory of each person I have connected with in my 33 years in this world.  I am unveiled. I find it funny that I am perhaps among the last to realize this simple truth. This is the real me. This is my life.

I have a unfamiliar sense of comfort in this new revelation. Suddenly I realize that I don’t have to try so hard anymore.  I don’t have to pretend. It is safe to be me.

There are people who know the real me and love me, anyway. They have seen me without makeup on, in a messy house, when I am frazzled, when I am caught up in one of my many dreams, when I yell at my husband for using the wrong milk in the oatmeal.  Having those people is indescribably special.  It proves to me that I am lovable.

I am working towards being one of those people (who knows the real me and loves me, anyway).

a lovely day

This has been a lovely week and today was an especially lovely day.

I have been sleeping well and eating well this week–and hence I have been cooking a lot.  But because I have been organized this week, cooking has been unusually pleasant.  I could get used to this.

Today I ate no sugar or flour and I can already feel the effect.  I feel calm and good.

This morning we had a lovely little playdate with friends and then went to a homeschool program at Westwood Nature Center, which was absolutely lovely.  It was fun and simple and well organized, and the staff is superb.  Some of my favorite people are naturalists at the Three Rivers Parks.

Anna loved the puppet show at the end of the homeschool program and was laughing and making comments out loud throughout: “That is SO FUNNY!” “Is that a FOX?”

Today was one of those days where I love my life so very much, love my girls, love and appreciate my husband who goes to work each day, love that I am homeschooling, love the community that I live in.