Saturday, July 27, 2013

in memory

Yesterday, a dear friend lost a dear friend. Anni is one of my very best friends from college. Chad was a very good friend of her's.

Read the article about Chad Rogers

Anni, Patrick and I stopped at Chad's house ten years ago on a road trip. He was funny and kind and charismatic and hospitable. I only met him once, but he was very memorable.

Chad is my age and has a son Brandon's age. A lump forms in my throat thinking that. We are mortal. So why do we take the days of our lives for granted?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Smooth stones

Rebecca said, "Look at the pebbles in the bottom of the pool, Miss Emily, so round and smooth and shining."

"Yes, but where did they get that beautiful polish, that satin skin, that lovely shape, Rebecca? Not in the still pool lying on the sands. It was never there that their angles were rubbed off and their rough surfaces polished, but in the strife and wa
rfare of running waters. They have jostled against other pebbles, dashed against sharp rocks, and now we look at them and call them beautiful."
 ~ Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Use your strife as an opportunity to become a better person. Never be content with who you are; always strive to be someone better. You won't get there by lying around waiting for something; you will get there by pushing through difficulties. Through perseverance and dedication and courage. Fuck the person you are today - that person sucks. Become someone better. Start now. 

This is for me. This is to get my ass moving. To stop letting my surroundings dictate who I am. To stop being lazy. To stop making excuses. To do something. To try, and probably fail, but then try again - better the next time.  And hopefully, in reading what I've written for me, you find something for you. That's what my blog is for. We all go through the same difficulties, just in different contexts. Let's ride those out to better versions of ourselves ahead! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Music man

Brandon loves music. When it comes on the tv, he puts his hands up or starts twerking. When the tv is not on, he walks over to our iPod doc and turns it on. He and I are loving Robin Thicke's new song.
He isn't saying much more than usual, but he's movin' and groovin' all over the place.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Long-term goals

I just want to briefly share with you a response I received from an interview question recently:

What are your long-term career goals? I want to be successful - to me, that means being able to provide and go home every day and be happy with my day's work. I don't want an extravagant life, I just want happiness for me and those I know. I want to come to work and be happy and enjoy the people I work with. I want to learn as much as I can. I love to learn. I want to be completely independent. I want to strive to be as happy as I could be. I would also like to be challenged.

I thought that was beautiful and well said. When he said, "I don't want an extravagant life, I just want happiness for me and those I know," I smiled. That is what I want, too. 

But sometimes, I get distracted from what I want by the noise around me. People pound to get more, bigger, better. People work too much to buy nice things they don't even use or need. People turn into worse versions of themselves after procuring money or fame or prestige. There is no end to it - once you get a raise, you want another one. Once you have more money, you buy more expensive things and still live just within your means. People rarely save any more, they spend the moment they get money because the things it can buy is what makes them happy.

I don't need an extravagant life. I am rich enough already. But I do want happiness. That is something I will pound to get. I just have to remind myself sometimes what's important. And most recently that reminder came in the form of a job applicant.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Baby's first road trip

We went on a family vacation for the long weekend. "It will be great to be away from work and the dog and the house for awhile and just hang out the three of us together," we had said before the trip. We envisioned splashing together in the pool, fancy dinners out and relaxation. How naïve.
Let me preface this all by saying this: parenting is a joy (sometimes). There is nothing like the love between a parent and a child. Watching a child grow up is amazing. Don't let what I'm about to say counteract all the lovely things I've said about Brandon and parenting in the past - that was all true, too. OK, now that all the pleasant mommisms are out of the way, let me get on with my story.
A vacation with a 15-month-old is not a vacation. If you have an infant and want a vacation, get a sitter. Brandon is mostly a good kid. But he's rambunctious and exploratory and destructive all the time. Getting a hotel in the past has been a nice get-away. But with a baby, you have to pack up everything and the kitchen sink. Then, the room is not big enough. And it's not baby proofed. He gets into the mini fridge constantly. So you take him out of the hotel - then he gets sick of being in the car. He won't eat at places he doesn't like and he wriggles out of his high chair first, then my arms. 
There is no rest, no relaxation. He whines, and then I whine. We are bad for each other. Toxic, at times. I try to pacify him and take him to the pool. The water is freezing. He's afraid of his blow-up inner tube. So I turn on TV for him. They don't have Sprout. So we take him down to the lobby. He cries in the elevator. He doesn't like new things. He is a creature of habit. At least he liked the water fountain. 
We went to an outlet mall which is my favorite part about Kansas City. Brandon drinks a whole sippy cup of apple juice and then pees through his diaper, through his outfit, and then through my shirt. We buy new clothes to change into. We wait in line in a two-stall bathroom, smelling up the joint the way only urine can. Nobody says anything (to our faces), and don't even seem to notice when we come out in new clothes. Ignorance is bliss.
There are good times, of course, too. I'm just so cranky that I don't realize they were good until they're over. So now that I'm back home I can look through my pictures and smile. Brandon loved that duck he saw at the 4th of July parade. He watched Baby Einstein on the portable DVD player with dad at the hotel. He got to see four of his cousins. He learned from dad how to make a long mustache with a straw. Like I said before, parenting is a joy (sometimes).

You don't see pictures of bad times in a photo album. But it's getting through those hard times that get you from one happy photo to the next. ~ "Just Married" movie