a tune for Tuesday vol 24

YBW and I were in the car Sunday afternoon. I remarked I didn’t have a song for my tune for Tuesday this week, and how that’s strange because I tend to plan them. I asked if he had an idea for a song and he presented me with this.
He told me he wasn’t sure I would like it, that it’s not really my sort of music.
I told him it sounded like 1970s funk (which is what I like about it) mixed with a little bit of Beastie Boys.
We laughed at the analogy, but I’m not wrong.
The more I listen, the more inclined I am to enjoy it.

Here’s YBW’s pick for this Tuesday’s tune, Parquet Courts with Wide Awake.

Please listen responsibly.

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Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

‘laugh it off’ or expect respect

Thing 1 posted this yesterday on social media.
She was feeling sad.

Rude old man in Lowe’s said I looked like I swallowed a watermelon seed then proceeded to laugh his butt off like it was the funniest thing ever said and block my way so I couldn’t get past him. 😭

Of course this got a lot of angry or frustrated responses: middle finger emojis (this may or may not have been mine), angry faces, one hilarious gif of Madea giving the side eye.

My Momma-hackles were up. I was flooded with the overwhelming desire to stab that “rude old man” with my icepick! Leave my kid alone, fuckface. (I know, it sounds like a word I learned in 6th grade, because I did …but just work with me on this.)

This morning I woke to a comment to which I reacted with all the feels.

Well, try to laugh it off. It’s such a limited time in your life and that watermelon is a blessing!

The person who wrote this comment loves my first daughter nearly as much as I do. They share a sacred place in each other’s hearts and lives. I know she was trying to put a positive spin on an incident that upset Thing 1. She was doing what she thought was right. And I love her dearly for it. Helping my baby see that she might be able to just shrug it off and live in a place that is filled to the brim with the blessing of Baby K. And she’s right! That man knows nothing about how or why or what Thing 1 does to live her life. And who cares what he thinks? Thing 1 just needs to keep livin’ man. L-I-V-I-N.

Only, the more I considered her kindness, I considered how women around the world have been conditioned to behave, to accept the behavior of others…
And then my hackles went absolutely haywire.
I responded to the comment in what I hope is a kind and respectful way.

I understand your heart is in the right place in this comment, I know you speak from a place of love. You’re right, this baby is a blessing.
However, my concern is, taking this stance simply perpetuates disrespect towards women everywhere. That man doesn’t know just how much of a blessing this baby is. He amused himself at the expense of a young pregnant woman. At. Her. Expense.
We should never laugh this off.

I’m actually having both sides of this conversation in my head as write this post.
Was that man attempting to be friendly and not super successful, or was he a misogynistic asshole?
I have actually used that swallowed a watermelon line in my life. But never to a stranger.
Part of me agrees that Thing 1 should just “ignore the mean boy” and go on about her life.
But as I argue both sides of this issue I realize how wrong the whole fucking thing actually is!
There is nothing OK about one entire side of this conversation!
I would NEVER let my daughters behave that way, speak that way to or about someone! Would it be different if I had sons? Would I be a bit more, “boys will be boys”?
Um. FUCK to the NO!!

I’ve moved so far beyond the compulsion to protect my child.
I’m talking basic human respect.
This is our world, y’all!
How can this be OK?

Look, I’m not some mad feminist over here beating my bare breasts while burning my bra. I’m just a regular sort of (fully clothed) woman writing about what I see and feel.
My pregnant daughter should never have to be expected to “laugh it off”! She should never be exposed to that kind of random disrespect and borderline abuse!
Nobody’s daughter should!
Nobody’s son, for that matter!

Y’all! I am fired up about this! Am I overreacting? Am I justified?
I want to know what you think.
Ladies and Gents, do we simply ‘laugh it off’, or do we do everything in our power to treat other people with basic human decency?
I want to hear what you have to say on either side of this conversation.
Please and thank you!

Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 23

The first time I heard this song I was mildly interested but switched back to the Broadway channel before it was finished.
The second time I heard this song I listened longer.
The third time I heard this song I realized I kind of liked it.
The fourth time I heard this song I turned it up.

Clearly it needed to grow on me. Perhaps that won’t happen to you.
Here’s Matt Maeson with Cringe.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

a long week

This week has been long.
And I mean the kind of long that bites at your soul with a putrid maw full of razor sharp teeth.

One of my colleagues and her family are experiencing horrors no one should have to live through. Their four moth old daughter became inexplicably sick. At the hospital, she went brain dead without warning or reason. She continued breathing on her own, but that only lasted for a precious few hours. She has left us now.
Pain and sorrow are palpable in the school building. You can see it written plainly on the faces of all the adults. There is nothing to say or do to bring their family comfort. All we can do is love them.
We will rally around each other with love and peace, and hope for better days.

But, we are also experiencing joy!
Another colleague just gave birth this week to a precious little girl. Another has a baby is due then end of the month. Another was named Teacher of the Year.

We are a school family.
We look after one another through joys and sorrows. We give each other the high sign when we know it’s about to go sideways with the kids. We celebrate each other’s joys! We have each other’s back when we struggle. We love, and weep, and pray together.
That’s what you do when you’re a family.

This was a long week.
We need a break.
Thank you, Friday for showing up in the nick of time.

Categories: death, loss, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 22

A song of hope about feeling alive.
I dig it!
Please marvel at the choreography.

This is half·alive with still feel.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

twenty five years of Thing 1

When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.

I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!

I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
D’oh!
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.

I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.

I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.

Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
It’s true!
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.

Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
BIG MISTAKE!
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.
Still awestruck!

This is one of my all time favorite Thing 1 photos.

Age ten, November 2004 on the dock in Charleston.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

in love with being alive

I saw this on my friend Becca’s (I think) insta.
I was over here like, First of all I don’t drink coffee…
But then I read the last sentence and I got the gooseflesh.

I hope you fall in love with being alive again.
Y’all, let’s ponder that for a moment.

I’m going to ignore the size of the assumption someone has fallen out of love with being alive. I mean, cause that’s one hell of a big assumption.
But…

I wrote just the other day about paying attention. By deliberately acknowledging my gratitude I felt peaceful and joyful. And I might not have had this language in that moment, but I realize now that I can say I truly felt in love with being alive.
That’s been an overarching theme for me this year. And yes, the year is still young. But the feeling has been building in me for quite some time now, it just began to make enough sense to put it into play after the holidays.

I get bogged down in the living of life. The day to day minutiae becomes the focus. I’m so involved in doing the tedious daily requirements I sometimes forget to look up. To pay attention.

That’s life though, right?
Only what if it wasn’t?
What if I could be focused on tedious tasks, manage the minutiae, and still be aware?
What if? What if? What if?
That question ought to be stricken from my vernacular.
As a lifetime question-asker, I’m still learning how to phrase questions so they can be answered.
So instead of asking what if? the question could be something much more specific.
What can I do to complete tedious tasks and manage the minutiae without it being my sole focus?
What can I do each day to help me look up and pay attention?
Simple rephrasing.
Look how much easier those questions seem than the what if? question.
I think I’m on to something here…just gotta figure out what it is exactly.

Anyway, life can get in the way of living. I think we all experience that. It doesn’t have to though. We really can manage to do the ‘all the things’ and still experience peace, joy, and gratitude.
We can be in love with being alive!
I believe with every fiber of my being that it is the simplest thing.
(Most of us) were in love with being alive when we were kids. And at other important/special times in our lives. We just have to remember how to do it.
We have to remember that the tedium and minutiae are just box checking. A handful of specific things we must accomplish in this life.
But we have two hands!
What’s in the other one?
Is that where the magic of love, hope, joy, and gratitude are?

Life can be frustrating.
Difficult people or situations can get in your way.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people in stores who push their buggies all willy-nilly through the aisles. I get foaming-at-the-mouth angry. I lay curses and wish plagues upon them. I want to stab them with my ice pick. My anger doesn’t impact them, only me. I’m the one all jacked up and they’re just shopping.
What would it be like if I didn’t?
What would it be like if I accepted being in this situation without focusing all my white hot anger at it?
Would make my visits to the shops much better for me. I might even find some joy and gratitude with my purchases, right?

Perception is key. (Or is it ‘Don’t be a hater’?)
Either way, I know I’m on to something this time.

I know I have the ability to shift my focus.
I know I can pay attention to what brings me joy and gratitude.
I know by looking up once in a while, I can quite easily be in love with being alive.

However worn out we feel, however tired we are of the tedium and minutiae of life, we are not broken. We may have fissures, or be fractured, but life cannot truly break us.
I know this because I’m full of love. I’m full of hope. It slips in and fills in the cracks from those long ago fractures. Love and hope make me whole.

Hope reminds me to look up and pay attention.
Gratitude brings me peace.
Love is my intention.
And that’s what helps me fall (and remain) in love with being alive!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

focused, but not paying attention

I haven’t blogged in a bit. Neither read nor wrote.
I’ve been so busy doing other things, course work, house projects (pics soon), and other stuff, that I haven’t had the mental/emotional energy to give. That’s not just about writing, it’s also about reading. The bloggers I follow use their mental and emotional energies to write, the very least I can do is use mine when I read them.

This morning I caught up on posts from some of my fave bloggers.
Y’all, I’m so glad I did.
LA wrote two posts that gave me pause.
The first one focused on her gratitude and calm, the second focused on highlights from her week.
I swear to you, this woman inspires me every time I read her!

Not all that long ago, I made a vow to pay more attention.
I’m not really doing that.
Why do I forget to pay attention?
Life gets in the way…?
I’m accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.
I am focused, but I am not paying attention.

So I stopped.
I took some big breaths.
I paid attention.

Low and behold, it created a shift in me.
I felt peaceful. I felt joyful. I felt my gratitude.

So in the spirit of highlighting my week (or longer), paying attention to my joy, gratitude and calm, I compiled a list. (I mean, of course I did.)

I am grateful for:
my massage therapist
Woolly Mammoth giving us shows that are entertaining and thought provoking
our monthly date for dinner and games (cards or board) with my favorite of YBW’s friends
bubbly in the afternoon with Holly
Planning for Baby K (this includes attending a shower in March, purchasing baby items, finally choosing my grandmother name, planning a party to celebrate her arrival, and all manner of conversations with my daughter about her pregnancy)
breakfast with Nora
my therapist
my husband coming home from work and taking my car for gas because I was too sick to leave the house
snow days
Valspar C1214 Ballet Slippers
my acupuncturist
good sleep
Coca Cola when I was sick
knowing how to do important handy things
forecast of a bit of snow this week to keep the streak alive (Thing 1 was born during an ice/sleet/snow event and for the last twenty four years it has snowed, or something, the week of her birthday. Saturday she turns 25, now that’s a streak!)
honest conversations with the people I love
being reminded to pay attention

Reading about another’s gratitude can inspire one to stop and pay attention to one’s own gratitude.
Acknowledging one’s own gratitude can truly cause feelings of joy and calm.

I must remember that while I’m busy living, and accomplishing tasks, I still need to pay attention with more frequency.
Celebrate the life I have while I’m living it.

You know what Ferris Bueller said:

I don’t want to miss any opportunity for gratitude!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 21

I’ve waited six long years for a new album by my beloved Vampire Weekend!
Sometime this spring we’ll get double album FOTB (Father of the Bride).
SQUEE!

This is Harmony Hall.
Notice the lyric “I don’t want to live like this but I don’t want to die.”
This line is also used in Finger Back from 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City.
I’m so ready for this record to be released!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a tune for Tuesday vol 20

An oldie but a goodie.
Here’s Jet with Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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