Category Archives: thoughts

Summer Carnage

The garden is weedy and leggy and the lettuce has bolted. Battered sneakers lay on the front steps, weathered from river walks.  Bathing suits are faded and thread bare from chlorine and salt water. My hair is dry – the texture of summer hay – designed by being out-of-doors more hours than in.

Phone messages are beckoning with blinking lights on the phone console and laundry is statically many loads short of done. Meal planning has digressed to the point that the term ‘meal planning’ cannot be used for what I am doing – which is rummaging through the freezer for appetizers and chicken wings overlooked by the last party. The to-do lists and projects remain undone. Unfortunately. Very unfortunately.

I pursue July & August like a gorgeous, popular best friend of whom I cannot get enough. Pretty and tan – I want all of her attention. I grab at the days desperately in an attempt to feed my addiction to the light, and heat, water, waves and blue skies. I both consume it and am consumed by it in a glorious paradox. Summer.

Even now, there are school forms to be filled out, appointments to be made, routines to be adhered too and activities require that I promptly get on the September merri-go-round.

Excuse me if I don’t comply. If there are sunny warm days that need my attention, I’ll have to reschedule.

September’s Summer only has 18 more days. Astronomical Autumn will occur on September 23.

If it’s good enough for the sun, moon & stars, it’s good enough for me.

“Summer ends, and Autumn comes,
and he who would have it
otherwise would have high tide always
and a full moon every night.”
~ Hal Borland

Kondo-ing

Have you read it? Do you know about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I’ve read it and now I am putting into practice the wisdom of the magnificent Marie Kondo.

But, I did not always feel this way about Ms. Kondo. She wasn’t jiving with me. I didn’t feel her. The videos I watched on Youtube did not do her and her theories justice – or I just couldn’t ‘hear’ it yet. Then, some interesting things happened. First, although I was on the waiting list for her book at the library (36 of 52!) I found the book on the ‘It’s Your Lucky Day’ table. And it was indeed. Her written words found their way to my heart. Not coincidentally, I have also decided to engage in a particular type of therapy (the kind with a therapist) that has a lot to do with ‘unburdening’ parts of yourself.

People, if you don’t think things and clutter are all mixed up with the ‘things’ and ‘clutter’ inside of you…well, they are. This sister is more than ready to part with all the issues and stuff that rears it’s ugly head in both therapy and in the ‘Kondo’ing of my home.

So top to bottom, I am clearing out the crap. And it’s not all crap – but that doesn’t mean you have to own it. Some things are useful, some things seem sentimental, some things can still be used – none of that means you need to keep it.

“From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.”
Marie Kondo

Do not take anyone else’s word for how to sort your things with the KonMari Method – you really need to let her words sink into your psyche on their own. I thought I was good at this – not so much.

Her method is better. I have done my clothes, my dresser, closet, pantry, china closet, and most of the kitchen cabinets. I am doing the bathrooms, attic and linen closets.

Here are my beloved baking supplies. I don’t even think the first picture ‘looks’ that bad. I have assumed for a really long time that all was well in that cabinet. But, Ms. Kondo has you empty the entirety of the cabinet to assess what’s going on. I swear – I thought I had this.

Above, is my spice/cooking cabinet. I thought the same thing about that. Turns out I took a whole tash bag full of things out these cabinets. I found multiple items that were grotesquely expired. I found things I had three of and donated or gifted them to friends and family. I found things that I thought I would use someday – it just doesn’t happen and it is time to accept that. Because being ‘unburdened’ feels…well…like being unburdened.

This is a small example of Kondoing – and yes, I am using it as a verb – because it feels like a verb.

She explains that this ‘cleaning’ up time is an event. You should not have to do it forever. Those methods of slow, progessive decluttering only prolong an event that could be over & done with. She says ‘organizers’ are hoarders ~ gasp!

As an chronic organizer, I have to agree. So I quit.

I am over here, Kondoing. Even the books. Yes, even those. So far, no regrets. I feel lighter, I feel freer. I just know that this is step in the right direction for whatever is coming next.

Do you think that is from the cleaning or the therapy? Maybe they are one in the same 🙂

“All you need to do is take the time to sit down and examine each item you own, decide whether you want to keep or discard it, and then choose where to put what you keep.”

Handsful

I said it right there at the kitchen counter. I just said it.

“Really Dennis! Who thought having four children was a good idea?”

Oh! Ma! God! Did I really say that?!

Just like the very young ultrasound technician who gave me the most horrified look and judgmental stares when I cried because I found out Sean was not, in fact, a girl. Get over it.

Sometimes I think unhappy thoughts. Sometimes I think downright dark thoughts. Sometimes I just wonder out loud why I had four kids. Is it really so wrong?

Today was one of those days when I had washed and dried 7 loads of laundry and there was barely a noticeable difference in the laundry room. Still so many piles.

I have a list of phone calls to make regarding medical issues and school stuff, camp decisions and working papers, appointments and bills and all manner of issues regarding….the kids. The list, printed on the cute, organizer paper labeled ‘To Call’, is a joke. Maybe a list of who I DON’T have to call would be shorter.

There is a pile of papers on my desk, leaning to one side that contains items like info on Mikey’s school trip, Gavin’s application to the vocational high school, Ethan’s prom and Special Olympics papers, library schedules and information about programs and classes. It is teetering. Like my sanity.

Can I watch a show? Where is the antibacterial cream? Have you seen an Indian Jones hat for my Lego minifigure? Is there something else, besides THIS for lunch? Unending questions. X4

It gets rough. Really rough. Sometimes it helps me to say appalling things out loud. I feel like if I say it, then I’m just not thinking it, and I can make it seem less like an elephant in the room – or in my brain. So there. I said it. I said out loud that sometimes I find it completely overwhelming that we have 4 kids.

I know enough now to know that the tide will turn. I will not get stuck with this thought. I already know, that some days (or weeks or months) get long and tiring. I know that sometimes it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is a train and I know that sometimes, it actually is the sun.

4 sons.

I have my hands full. Really, really full.

Thank God.

Clean

Clean. Cull. Swipe. Wipe. Scrub. Dust. Sweep. Buff. Polish. Shine. Purge. Disinfect. Arrange. Shine. Tidy. Mop. Scour. Stack. Pile. Collect. Organize. Brush. Cleanse. Sanitize. Fold. Fluff.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Yeah, that.

DSC05445 (1)

What I Want

I want breakfast.

I want more coffee.

I want to be my cat.

I want to be a ‘good’ mother.

I want a change of scenery.

I want to not have nightmares that I had to say goodbye – forever – to all my loved ones.

I want my energy back from this current illness.

I want Ethan to stop choking and gagging from his current illness.

I want magical, miniature fairies that desire to only do my bidding.

I want all of my laundry clean and folded.

I want an unlimited supply of dark and intense, suspenseful thrillers to keep me going on that task.

I want a crystal ball.

I want to take a very, long walk.

I want to make complicated, cut-out cookies for Easter with lots of brightly colored royal icing.

I want to crochet a mathematically perfect sphere.

I want beach weather.

I want all my favorite songs to play on Pandora.

I want today to unfold as I gratefully enjoy every moment, believing that it is just where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing at each given time.

Yeah. That.

145

Sanibel Island – 2014

 

The heading of my blog says ‘I Blog 4 Boys’, right? Lately I feel like ‘I Cook 4 Boys’ and ‘I Chauffeur 4 Boys’ – but certainly not blog.

I know a Sunday has come and gone without posting ‘Sunday Scenes’ because I slack like that and several others ways I could admit too.

The house is in flux because Ethan has been displaced from his room. There are few holy rules in our house – one is not to displace Ethan! You have seen Rain Man? Welcome to my world. His room is being renovated, so his hoard has been moved to the kitchen, dining room and living room. You know we live in a tiny space, right? This does not help anyone. Ethan is doing as well as he can with the situation and I am doing as well as I can with the clutter – which I despise! I’ve tried to embrace my inner hoarder, but I don’t have one 🙂

Did I mention we are looking at a giant space? A big house. I’ve been trying to wrap my head and heart around the concept of moving. <Insert distasteful sound here>. Some things about it would be amazing and some would be downright scary – like heating and cleaning it. Pray for us.

Otherwise, I am battling the daily urge to crawl back into a warm bed – so I make it quickly in the morning. Then I stand in front of the warm dryer and I leave the oven open after baking to benefit from the ancillary heat. I have even resorted to filling the tub with hot water, rolling up my jeans and reading while seated on the edge. 

I’m cold, but I’m not as SAD as last year. That is so good.

I wish the weather was warming up. I wish the trees were blooming. I wish I could watch Downton Abbey from my hot tub – I wish I had a hot tub.

I wish I could find my blogging mojo.

 

Something New

We knew that change was on the horizon.

So, there were inquiries and phone calls, conversations, debates and paperwork. Next, there was a tour and a talk, a physical and a shot, and piles of more paperwork. Finally, there were meetings and signatures and a paper grid of boxes with words like ‘Phys. Ed’ and ‘Social Studies’ in them.

In the end, Mikey was all set to go to school. But it’s not the end – it’s actually the beginning of a new adventure.

School clothes and name brand sneakers (so sue me) have been procured. A new hoodie, a backpack a lunchbox were selected and a three-ring notebook full of loose leaf was added.

We even covered a textbook in brown paper.

DSC04758After all the appointments and hardwork, there was very little fanfare. He looked like every other kid walking up to the school – except he was shooing away his mother’s camera. As it was time to go, he was shooing me away too and ducked away from an attempted kiss. We would never have sent him if he was not going to be ‘fine’. He was fine.

I wish I could say the same for me.