Such is life

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I made a new friend in one of my classes.  She’s around my age, and we have some things in common, so I did the “hey, let’s connect on social media” thing.  We walked out of class, talked for a few minutes, and then got to talking about having coffee after class one day.  But I had to get going because Latefordinner had to take Tuna to one of his things.  I had to hurry home to be home with the littles. She asked me if I had ever been to this place in town, or this other place…she had to go shopping there, and go eat over there.  Shopping?  At a little place?  You mean somewhere other than Costco or Target?  Wouldn’t that other place be Amazon?

You see, this new friend who is around my age and also in college, doesn’t have children.

She said, “You’ve never been there?!”

“No, I have no life”, I said with a smile.

We laughed, and I found myself floating away from this new friend in front of me. We do actually have things in common–we feed off of each other in class discussions, and we both lean toward holistic practices, plus there’s the age thing.  Age…it really is nothing.  Her laughter was coming from a very different place of understanding, in which someone my age actually did have a “life”, and was not a mother.  I wonder why she laughed, actually.  Probably just because I did. Politeness.  She’s nice, so I’m sure she didn’t actually think anything of it.  But of course I did.

We separated, and I had that unsettled feeling, hearing the echo of myself saying “I have no life” in my head.

It was such a quick realization this time.  No pondering the depths, just hearing the echo come back saying:

“You have SUCH A LIFE!”Echo-Canyon-2.jpg

And it’s true!  My life is FULL, and RICH.  Not with the freedom to shop in little shops, or eat out all the time; but with my full, rich family.  My family gives me SUCH a life.  My life is enriching and busy and chaotic and messy and scary and exciting and boring and breathtaking.  My life is a roller coaster of exhilaration and fear and love and boys and marriage and school.  My life is PACKED with NEWNESS every day, jammed with sameness, overflowing with opportunities to grow and thrive and teach and learn.  Every. Single. Day. of my life is SUCH A DAY. 

Psh, no life.  Why did I even say that? What a thing to say. I don’t have time to have no life. That is the stuff of midlife crises. There is no crisis when every age is SUCH an age. Every life we live within this one is exactly what it should be.  There is no need to call motherhood  and marriage and college less than life, because it is exactly what completes me now. Accepting SUCH a life is crisis-prevention.

Try it: Tell yourself you have no life.  If you don’t hear that echo back, YELL IT BACK. Every one of you has SUCH a life.

No life my ass.

Nothing but Flowers

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Tuna and I were chatting today, and he told me that the 10-year-old neighbor boy has his ears pierced.  My reaction was surprise, a little shock, and sadly judgmental.  He said, “well, so-and-so has her ears pierced and she’s way younger”.  I said, “yeah but she’s a girl.  Well, I guess I was eight when I had my ears pierced, but I’m a girl.”

And I stopped myself.  I realized what I was saying, and how I had reacted with sexism at the forefront of my mind.  Tuna just looked at me and watched me analyze myself, all the while grinning because he knew this all along.

Such humility, and how far I still have to go.  I wonder what other prejudiced, sexist, racist, classist, _______-ist behaviors and thoughts have cemented themselves in my subconscious… Those isms are sneaky, sliding into our inauthentic selves, stifling and hardening over the truths of what really IS.

Rather than holding onto the shame I feel from this, I am choosing to realize that It’s gonna take some more jack-hammering lessons from the kiddos in my life to clear out those isms, and the simple truths underneath these isms may have room to grow and flourish again.  The Talking Heads song “Nothing But Flowers” sums it up:  “This was a shopping mall, now it’s all covered with flowers.”

We don’t need to believe that only girls can pierce their ears any more than we need that shopping mall.  Once we keep only what matters, and allow those isms to fall away, nature will prevail and we’ll all be covered with flowers, boys and girls alike.