Sunday, April 20, 2008

I don't want to know what's next...

My daughter put an airplane propeller up her nose.

Where it got stuck and was, as expected, painful.

So we went back to the doctor. Where in one gigantic sneeze, it came out.

Oy vay.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Crisis of Faith

I think I’m having a crisis of faith. At least that is as close as I can come to describing it. I don’t really have any faith. Faith has always been something that’s eluded me. I’ve grilled friends, professors and ministers into the ground trying to get some sort of empirical understanding of faith and I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

There are moments that I’ve glimpsed it I think. Moments of absolute peace where I just know that everything will work out or that everything is just as it should be. But they are fleeting at best and I’ve never been able to figure out how to translate those moments into everyday life.

My life currently is very quickly spiraling out of control. I’ve spent more time in the doctor’s office with my daughter the past three months than I have the entirety of her life. We are in a real financial crisis that is not going to be solved without some really pain and hardship. I am at a crossroads professionally and I’m trying to figure out which way to go. I’ve come to a place socially where I have the friends who have been with me for over half of my life that know and love me regardless of situation or environment and I have new friends who I am still trying to get to know, but am having a really hard time building history with.

And I don’t know what to do.

That’s the crux of it all. I don’t know what to do. I can’t research this. I can’t talk this through. I can’t make a plan and follow it. There are no clear answers and for the life of me I cannot see a path that makes any sense.

And right now, I wish more than anything, that I could find some faith. Some deep and unrelenting knowledge that I am indeed being taken care of. And that I am a good person doing the best she can to do right by her family and by herself. I need that unquestionable knowledge that faith brings. Because right now, I don’t believe any of that. I won’t go into the self-berating things that I think I know right now because I’m trying to not give that inherent negativity any credence.

But it’s hard.

This is hard.

And I don’t know what to do.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Introspective Thievery

I had barely turned the corner when I could see the flags whipping in the wind. I was still several blocks away when I saw the bright yellow triangle signs of the Patriot Guard setting up a red, white and blue perimeter around the temple.

My breath had started to come faster the moment I saw the flags, but now as I was getting ready to turn into the alley to get to the parking lot, I was starting to panic. The tears came suddenly and violently and I knew that I would not be able to stay for the funeral.

I felt awful and relieved all at once. I felt like I should just suck it up and this wasn’t about me, so I needed to be there to support her as her highly decorated husband was brought into their place of worship in a box. But I also felt like I had figured out how to let myself off the hook. I was not grieving for her husband. I was grieving for my friend who had been killed the same way going on three years ago.

And despite my best efforts, I could not get my grief to fit into this particular situation or box. It was unwieldy and uncertain. Like a horse that has been cooped up for days. The first few steps out of the stall are awkward and tentative. Testing the earth beneath making sure everything still works. But then there is a tensing of the muscles and a relaxation into expectation as his speed explodes from within.

I’m trying to steal a moment of introspection in the midst of all. A moment to help sort out the mish-mash of craziness and emotion and sadness that is my being right now. But introspection and soccer games and 2 year olds and grocery shopping just don’t mix.

So I’m holding on. By the skin of my teeth. Trying to find solace in the daily routine, but mostly feeling suffocated by it. Trying to just be and feel without being consumed. Trying to stay connected to my world and the responsibilities within it. But mostly just wanting to run away to a place where laundry doesn’t matter and insurance companies actually pay the doctor bills, where I actually want my children to crawl all over me and where things make sense and parents don’t die because of a modern day crusade.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring Fever

I should be working right now. I’m on a deadline and I have tons of work to do, but my brain is all wishy washy and crazy. So instead of working, I’m going to thrill you with plans for what we’re going to do with our back yard this summer.

Our house is on a pretty big lot, almost a quarter of an acre. That’s one of the reasons why we bought this house. We loved the space and the huge back yard. But for the past 6 years that we’ve lived here, it’s essentially just been the dog’s domain. Not really family friendly except for the area we carved out for our garden. The rest is just sort of a vast sea of mostly growing grass and the paths the dogs have created as they trace their daily circuits.

But this year, since the kids are getting older, we’ve decided to finally tackle the back yard and make it a place we all want to hang out. The one hurdle we probably won’t find a way around this year (or maybe ever) is that the stairs leading down into the yard from the deck are really steep and a bit treacherous. I don’t even like to walk down them, let alone me send the kids down them by themselves. But we’ll just have to figure out a way around that. Let me know if you have any ideas…

So the first thing we’re going to do is create an area of the yard dedicated just to the kids and the myriad assortment of outdoor play stuff we’ve accumulated. I think we’ve decided to carve out the section of yard right at the bottom of the yard for this purpose. We’ll block it out with railroad ties and then mulch it all in. We may even be able to get free mulch through the city’s xeroscape program. The only other thing we’ll do is add a trampoline to the mix and that should give the kids a really fun place to be.

We have two large and completely unattractive meters in our back yard that I think we’ve decided to finally camouflage with some sort of flowering bush or shrub. I need to do more research on that piece as I’m not entirely sure which ones we’ll pick. But in the 10 or so feet in between the meters and the play area, we’re going to create a little patio seating area so that we can all hang out down in the yard while the kids play. I think we’ll put some pavers down in a fun pattern and then put some comfy deck furniture and an umbrella down there. My husband also wants to add an outdoor fireplace or chiminea to that area, but the jury is still out on that.

The other pieces will be just doing an overall brightening and livening up to the yard in general. We’re going to put four hanging flower boxes on the deck, fix the lattice work on the deck to disguise the beams, put more rock under the deck to create more of a storage area under there instead of the mud pit it is now, plant a tree or two (my vote is for fruit trees or a couple of maples) and some more flowers around the edges.

Pretty simple plan all in all. Nothing too fancy or over the top. Just enough to make it an outdoor living space and fun for the kids so that we have more options for entertaining and play time. Plus it will add some nice resale value to the property when the market finally turns around and we can sell this place.

I’m excited about it. Of course, I’m more excited at the thought of it just being done than I am the thought of the actual work to get it there. But the work will do us all good too. Work out the cabin fever we’ve all got in spades and give the kids projects to focus on.

We’ll have a yard warming party when we’re done. I’ll post pictures.