5 Things

Whenever I start feeling pressured by ALL THE THINGS going on in my life I think of The Bangles and the “Time, time, time, see what’s become of me” quote from Hazy Shade of Winter (an awesome song). (Now, my husband will surely correct me and tell me that particular quote comes from Paul Simon. That’s fine. Except in my head I also hear the music so it’s The Bangles reference I’m making here).

So, due to the time, time, time issue I just have snippets for you today. Snippets of ALL THE THINGS swirling around in my over-crowded head just begging to be released. Each of these are unique and vary wildly from mostly unrelated to drastically unrelated. Each of these have been taking up residence in my head and banging at me from the inside and I MUST LET THEM OUT:

1. All soccer, all the time. The boys have both started soccer. 4 days a week. Their soccer practices overlap by 30 minutes and are at two different schools a few miles apart. The hubby and I are tag-teaming big-time. Please tell me this push towards socialization, athleticism, and confidence-building will all be worthwhile. Please.

2. In relation to Soccer, my Autie boy is troubled. This is his first time playing an organized sport and if he’s not exceptional and perfect at all of it then his emotions are triggered and he wants none of it. His feet and hands aren’t as coordinated as he would like and he just can’t master that drop-kick and then he says, “No, I can’t do it! Can we go home now?” And he loudly and angrily throws a fit, in front of his teammates because he isn’t hampered by the need to conform like so many other kids. The coach doesn’t know how to deal with him. The teammates don’t know how to respond. I get embarrassed.  Then ashamed. I get down to his eye-level, I talk to him, I try to reason through it with him. I tell him he’s learning, like the other kids and continued practice is what will help him. He’s largely unresponsive. He says things like “I’m stupid! I hate you!” to himself and hits himself on the head. My poor boy. How do I build him up? How do I help him? What can I do?

3. How do you feel about your spirituality? Do you think about it much? Are you quiet and introverted about it? Or do you blast it out for all to share? I have always kept my spirituality to myself and, for the most part, my husband has as well. Now things are changing. My husband has embarked on a spiritual journey that is quite life-altering and he’s bringing the whole family along with him. After 26 years of not attending church he has had a change of heart; he has reconciled some of the bitterness from his past, and decided that being a follower of Christ does not necessarily mean that he has to be aligned with a bunch of judgmental hypocrites like the Crazy Christians. To that end, he has found a church he enjoys and the whole family attended with him for Easter. There are Lesbians! There is a female pastor that looks astonishingly like Kathy Bates! There is openness and acceptance of anybody, anywhere on their spiritual journey. I’m not used to being forced to contemplate my spirituality and beliefs as much as I have been lately. I’m not sure yet, but I think it could be a good thing. (I retain the right to change my opinion at any time.)

4. I think there comes a point in every person’s life when they have to come to terms with a hard truth or two. Their age, their health, their likeliness of ever becoming an astronaut, an Oscar winner, or a late-night TV show host. Whatever it is, the more personal, the more inextricably linked to self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-perception, the harder that truth is going to be to accept. I’m dealing with a few of those right now. It’s been a long time coming,  and it’s not like I didn’t know these things before – but facing them, head-on, is the hard part. For years it’s been a dance, a flirtation, jumping forward and facing the issue and then deftly twisting sideways, plugging my ears and sing-songing, “I can’t hear you!” Burying it deeply for as long as possible until, eventually, it’s triggered and raises up with a vengeance. It’s not going to flatten me this time. I’m not flinching. I’m going to walk straight up, smack the issue in the face and say, “NO.  YOU be MY bitch now!”

5. I’m straying outside of my normal comfort zone here, but stay with me. I’ve been on the periphery of these on-going discussions on abortion and Planned Parenthood and employer paid insurance coverage for birth control and, honestly, I’m sick to death of this subject. I am pro-life. I am also pro-choice. The two are not mutually exclusive. I am a mother. I love babies. I think they are a blessing and one of those things in life that is truly pure and angelic. I don’t want babies to die. I also don’t want mothers to die. Without mothers, we have no babies. Women bear the blessing and the burden of being the life-makers, but they can’t do it alone and it’s unconscionable for women to be attacked and demoralized for something that was, quite obviously, a joint endeavor. When a baby is conceived accidentally – whether by rape, stupidity or simply by accident – then a woman, and her partner for that matter, have the right to protect themselves and their futures. The woman, specifically, has a right to protect her health. In order to prevent unwanted pregnancies it is important that all women, rich and poor and in-between, have access to birth control. It’s important that organizations like Planned Parenthood are available to help women, ALL WOMEN, with their reproductive health via regular exams, cancer screenings, birth control and, yes, abortions when needed. It’s cheaper for insurances to cover birth control than it is for a woman to get an abortion or for a family to be on welfare. That’s how I see it. Now, if the rest of the U.S. would just get in line that would be great . . .

Five snippets. All different. All so very separate yet a part of me. A part of the river of thoughts flowing  through my brain and linked by all my experiences and knowledge. Always  pushing and pulling, turning and tumbling. It’s always a journey, sometimes unattainable, to find peace in my thoughts and in my heart. Sometimes easier than others. Love, support and encouragement helps and I’ve been trying hard to GIVE that to other people because I want it in return too. I need it.

This is where my favorite quote comes in:

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

I hope your battle isn’t flattening you. I love you. I appreciate you. I think you are doing your best at ALL THE THINGS and that’s all that you can do.

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends. May your heart be at peace.

-Stef

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