Posts Tagged With: positive change

what I learned from crayons

I discovered that there is was a water leak. It seems to have started in the boy’s bathroom and run under the wall into my work area of the bedroom.
As I work at tables, I lack storage space. The solution for that is stylish (yet affordable) storage boxes. Constructed of sturdy cardboard, the boxes in direct contact with the floor absorbed the water. I didn’t discover this for some time. And last night when I did, I was sad and disappointed.
The box that took the most damage was filled with boxes of crayons. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most people. But it is a terrifically big deal to me. All the crayons were “collector” boxes. Most of them were standard Crayola cardboard. Some of the crayons have never even been used.
I carefully removed everything from the box, salvaged what I could. Some of the boxes were damaged beyond repair, so those brand new crayons went into quart storage bags. I labeled the bags based on the boxes, “Crayola’s 100th Anniversary 100 colors collection.”, “First edition box of 96 crayons.”, “Crayon color names retired in 1990 special edition box.” And so on.
Now here’s where it gets real.
I know crayons aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
But in the Roby scheme of things crayons are of a most big deal.

I was feeling frustrated. In all honesty I was feeling a bit defeated.
Does that sound dramatic?
I suppose it does.
Yet that’s how I felt.

I asked myself why it is that so many of my things have been destroyed since moving into this house.
My family photos.
My dishes.
My crayons.

Is this house out to get me? Is it retaliating because I call it a “hand me down house”?
This stimulates that awful feeling of sacrificing everything to come here and attempt to make a life. That I continue to sacrifice parts of *my* life to be in this one.
Those feelings had subsided. I finally felt as though it was all for the right reasons.
Yet here they are. All shiny and new because some cardboard got wet.

It’s hurtful. To give up everything you’ve spent your entire life creating. To turn simply walk away from it. Even bringing some of your “things” along doesn’t make it simpler, or feel any less painful. And then those things are broken or damaged…
I feel angry! Must everything be stripped from me? (This is super dramatic, but I’m serious about the way it feels.)

So I went to bed feeling…alienated.
But I woke up with a different feeling.
A sort of peaceful understanding.

Perhaps it’s OK that photos and crayon boxes get ruined with water. Perhaps it’s OK that dishes break.
Perhaps it’s part of the process.
Perhaps I’m still evolving.
Perhaps I still need to shed bits of that old life as I work at building this new one.
Perhaps crayons are simply colored wax wrapped in paper. (My ass! Crayons are magical and that’s the truth!)

I realize that we all “have a past”. I realize that we carry through our lives the things we hold dear. But they are simply things. Things that are emotionally tied to, or are physical representations of experiences from our pasts.
Perhaps the trick to building a new life is to somehow keep the emotions while being able to say goodbye to the things.
All in good time, my little pretties. All in good time.

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all it takes is a willingness

I got an email from my friend Jack yesterday. And while it said many things, this was the sentence that struck a chord in me.

Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to make a beginning.

I love the idea of this!
One must be willing before there can be a beginning.
It seems so obvious. But how many of us really have a willingness before we think to tackle a new…anything?

Some of us are resistant to change, that means a new beginning is something that causes concern. Some of us are quick to decide in favor of a new beginning, that means occasionally going off half-cocked. But, it seems to me the trick to truly beginning a new beginning is to have a real willingness to actually begin.
That willingness is what aids the concerned.
That willingness saves the eager from a misstep.
That willingness is what might even change your world.

All it takes is a willingness to make a new beginning.
This moved me so, and I’m going to ponder this for a while.
I encourage you to do the same.

My friend Jack is using his willingness to make new beginnings for his life.
How exciting!
To him I say, “Bon chance mon ami!”
To everyone else, I say, “Let’s consider this willingness, and what it can do.”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

do what you love

I’m in existential crisis. It sounds ridiculous to say, but it’s true. I’m struggling with the difference between a job and a calling.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always felt I as meant to spend my time with little children. As a mom, as a teacher. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s my actual calling. I’m experiencing feelings that the time has come to “hang up my spurs”. The part that gives me pause is the fact that I can’t clearly identify from where those feelings come. I keep thinking if I could understand the why I could apply logic to it and be able to make a more informed decision.
I don’t know where these feelings started, it’s not that I’m tired or whatever, it goes beyond that. It’s deep in my gut. And if I’ve learned anything in forty three years of life, it’s that my gut is NEVER wrong. My brain can argue both sides until I’m completely lost. My heart knows what it wants and will stop at nothing to have it’s way. But my gut just ‘knows’. I’ve learned to trust that instinct, because when I haven’t I’ve paid the price.

So I’m hearing the gut feeling, but don’t know what it means exactly, neither do I know how to articulate what I’m feeling. Hence the crisis of existence.
I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m frustrated that I can’t figure it out. (Have I mentioned patience isn’t at the top of my skills list?)
I feel so strongly about early childhood education. About what’s best for children.
I’m not so sure I’m what’s best for children.

I am so sad about this situation. It’s absolutely consuming me.
I was in the car with YBW last night and he said: Are you OK.
I shrugged and said: Yeah.
He asked: Are you sure.
I asked: What do you want me to say?
He said: You just look so sad.
I replied: I am sad.

I’m sad because I don’t know what to do with the feelings I know I have to trust.
What do I want to do?
Ideally I’d like to be able to write or take photos to earn my living.
What inspires me?
Children.
Do what you love.
I love to write.
I love to take photos.
I love children.

YBW expressed his concern about me leaving this job I’m spectacularly good at for some random job. He has a valid point. I oughtn’t “jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.
There really is no solution at the moment. I need to understand the ‘why’ so I can figure out how to proceed.

Le sigh. Le really big sigh.
See how I get nowhere?
I’m walking away from the vehemence of my gut’s opinion. I’m just going to be in the moment.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

standing at the crossroads

I’m conflicted about how to move forward with this Thing 2 situation. YBW and I have been talking and we’ve come up with two scenarios. The first is we can make her come back here, force the legality of the custody agreement that says she lives here full time. The second is we tell her to come get her belongings.
I’m getting feedback from people who love me who are just trying to be supportive. These are some of the points of view I’m receiving:
“If it were me and this was (child’s name) I would hold her accountable for the decision she made.”
“I quite quickly come to the point that she is the child and you are the adult. Make her do what you and (her father) agreed to.”

Interestingly enough, I agree with these points of view. I believe she should be held accountable. It’s the actuality of executing them where I get lost. I can easily force her to be here, but I she is the variable. Or rather how she chooses to behave is the variable. I have no idea what she will be like upon a forced return. Will she make everyone’s life miserable? Will she choose to take out her dissatisfaction on the people who live in this house?
See, if she makes me miserable, I can handle that. If she makes the boys miserable it’s something completely different.

If we just have her come get her things, she goes back to the stagnant life she left. The life that made her feel she lost a year. The life in which everyone around her, her beloved friends, are moving forward and she is standing still. The fact that she’s gotten her GED only means she’s no longer truant. Her friends are in school all day, she’ll be at home waiting. This is exactly the same situation she lived the last year. How long before she’s back against the wall, desperate and miserable and in need of change?

I can’t answer any of these questions. I still don’t even know how to feel about the situation.
I am, however, in a place where I no longer have the desire to worry neither do I have a willingness to “fix” the situation for her.
I’m certainly all about “the principle” which means holding her accountable for her decision to make a home and life here.
But I’m unwilling to squander any more energy or tears for someone who isn’t ready to look or move forward.

Being a teenager is hard. There is no denying that. I was a teenager…actually I was a teenager who was moved against her will during her high school life. It was hard, my God was it hard. I was sad and angry but I persevered, I got to start again. I have realized it may have actually been what was best for me. So I think Thing 2 should find her gumption. She should rediscover her survival instinct, the one that saved her life twice before she was two months old. She should straighten her spine and march headlong into her fear.
She didn’t really try.

I was finally able to talk to my friends and mentor, she liked what I said about respect, that Thing 2 asked to be respected, but was not respectful. She told me the angst was all in the wrong place. That it needed to be placed on Thing 2 where it belonged. She should be sitting with it. Whether it changed her point of view or not…well it didn’t really matter. She asked if I told Thing 2 I thought she was a coward and a quitter. I don’t think I did.

I called to talk with Thing 2 yesterday, she was “busy” could she please call me back later? Has she? No. I will call her again today. I will say what I have to say about respect, I will tell her I think she’s a coward and a quitter. I will wish her well in her endeavors. With a heavy heart.
My heart is heavy because she’s cutting herself off at the knees. She’s pushing opportunity away with both hands.
My heart is heavy because she betrayed YBW, who has been kind to her from the moment she showed up.
My heart is heavy not because she hurt me, but because she hurts people I love, most specifically herself. I can’t protect her from herself.

I’m still standing at the crossroads. Arguing each side against the other and still not sure which way to turn. But I’m going to start moving one way or another, simply to be rid of the angst. Without a doubt it is in the wrong place. It’s not mine to carry. So I’ll drop it at the crossroads and walk away slowly.
Wish me Godspeed.

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

normal = positive…who knew?

Taurus horoscope for Jul 4 2014
You have found a new path to controlling and uplifting your emotions. It is evident to those around you who know you well, and it is a joyful sign. Now that you are beginning to feel transcendent above the difficulties, you are feeling more powerful too – because you have empowered yourself through optimism. You can expect many things in your life that were formerly challenging to become much easier. And since your spirit is lighter and you are more yourself, you will find that wonderful people and circumstances will gravitate to you.

Interestingly enough, I have experienced these feelings in the last week or so…by shedding the veil of grief I began to feel ‘normal’ but it’s more than that.
I do feel uplifted and powerful…and strangely optimistic.
I already have wonderful people around me so perhaps the circumstances will follow.

Normal = positive.
Who knew?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

becoming my very best self

Taurus horoscope for December 29, 2013
You are evolving, Taurus. You are beginning to blossom into your very best self. You have experienced a lot of lessons recently, and you have learned them well. Now it is time to transcend who you were, and become who you really are. You will be able to forget the past, and to let go of any mistakes or wrongs you still feel guilty about. Don’t fight it. Don’t let guilt drag you down. Let go and move forward. Allow yourself to evolve and to become the best you that you can be.
(Yeah, I’ve been trying to write this for more than a few days.)

After the chaos of 2013 I’m ready to become the best me that I can be.
There are a few circumstantial things in my favor…I’ve found a doctor who is helping make strides to improve my physical and emotional health. I have a safe and loving home and I’m surrounded by good, strong loving people for whom I’m eternally grateful. I have a job that no matter how frustrated and exhausted I feel is ultimately rewarding.
Possibly the most important circumstance is that Thing 2 has come back to me. The ease this brings me is immeasurable. There were several tearful phone conversations which included her saying, ‘not to sound hypocritical, but who wouldn’t want you to be their mommy?’ and ‘I was selfish and stupid.’ and ‘I just need you to help me.’ These conversations also included me saying, ‘I will always help you, baby.’ and ‘that’s why you have a mommy.’ and ‘I love you and will always do my best to keep you safe.’

She’s coming home to us later this week. Sundance and I are over the moon, Girlie Thing is too…YBW seems hesitant. He watched what I went through, but he was also very hurt by her too…I sense he is worried about her but concerned about what it will be like for her to be here. I hate that. I am ready to move on. My forgiveness is vast and all encompassing. This is not to say I have forgotten the way it felt, but I know what’s important, and to me that means healing and moving forward with love and understanding. I believe that’s where he is too, but I can’t seem to shake the fretty feeling.

In addition to these circumstantial things, I’m beginning to feel less as though I’m in survival mode and more as though I’m beginning to be able to govern the events of my life. I’m tired of feeling guilty and angry. I’m ready to let all that go and embrace peace. It’s funny, I’m sensing a “new year’s” sort of theme…I’m not the resolution kind of girl, but I’m feeling inclined to welcome change. Something’s got to give. I can’t keep going the way I was.

I got a brand new do yesterday and the metaphorical weight I lost with that cutting of hair was more freeing than I could have imagined…not to mention it’s pretty adorable.
I am revisiting that Robynbird as phoenix-like feeling…and making big plans as I move into 2014…(But not really resolutions.)
This morning I read an article posted on facebook by a guy I grew up with, about goals vs systems…it made good sense to me…designing and maintaining a system for doing what you want instead of setting goals and holding yourself to an unrealistic standard…it fits nicely into my big plans and I plan to embrace it whole-heartedly.

Though the following are conceptually resolutions, I don’t consider them as such…to me they’re promises I’m making to myself to assist my move from survival mode to my very best self…it feels like less pressure that way…this isn’t something to crow about or to wear like a badge, it runs deeper than that, I am honoring me and don’t really care what it looks like from the outside.

I promise to be more aware of what I put in my body, to be mindful of my physical health and strength.
I promise to get behind my brand new camera once a week.
I promise to write with purpose twice a week.
I promise to give my preschool students the best age appropriate curriculum I can create.
I promise to be truly present with my family.
I promise to devote the time and attention my own school work deserves.
I promise to trust my gut and ignore my logic.
I promise to put myself first without guilt.

No more half-assing my life. I will be the best possible me because it is time. My time. I promise.

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

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