5-7-9

On a side note, remember the clothing store 5-7-9? If you came here looking for info about it, I found this.

On another side note, Des and I went on a big Thursday adventure today to a mall in Connecticut where we did some damage to our wallets at Disney Store and Lush, and we boosted the economy. So what can I say, except “You’re Welcome.”

5-7-9(What can I say except that this photo of Des looks more like me than any other photo I’ve ever seen, so what does that say about me? About my tongue? About my love for Grateful Dead bears? This is me!)


What can I say except, I haven’t done that sort of mall shopping trip in a long time. And we had gift cards. Not that I need to explain myself, but man, that used to be a lifestyle thing and now it’s maybe once a year – if I’m lucky? There was even a latte involved. And I wore a dress and a jean jacket. The sun didn’t come out, but what can you say, except “You’re Welcome.” (clearly that Moana song is in my head) We’ve been geeking out on all things Pixar’s Cars. I’m OBSESSED.

With my youngest starting kindergarten in the fall, and my oldest losing her first tooth, I'm really feeling the ripples of change #life #love #FTSF #family

I’m someone who’s currently obsessed with Cars, you’re welcome. I hope it lasts. I’m someone who’s a lot of things, mulling a lot of things, considering more than one thing in more than one category, dreaming about tons of things, and I’m someone who’s prone to mood changes throughout the day – elevations and de-elevations. Peaks and rises. My temperament is rather mild, but the emotions inside are affected by everything – including the weather. Or rather, MOSTLY the weather. And too many emails, or lack of emails. Too much work, or not enough work. Too many feels, too many fears, not even tears – when I need them. I’m someone who wears red dresses on random Tuesdays, but doesn’t know how to apply makeup to save my life.

*Unless it’s lipgloss and/or mascara. Then, lives can be saved.

5-7-9

I’m someone who can probably do a lot of things, if I put my mind to it, but I’m someone who never believes I can do anything – until I do it. And then it’s not like it’s consistent and I get it and I gain that notch of confidence/experience forever. No, my confidence and beliefs are prone to the same elevations and de-elevations, and peaks and rises that my mood is. It’s just life.

It’s all connected.

This post is about all the things I’m not, though. And I spend a lot of my life proving myself wrong about things I thought I couldn’t do, and things I didn’t think I was. What I’m not, is someone who can roll with the punches. I can adapt, but it’s not an easy transition. It’s like when I walk into someone’s house at any point between November and April, and they say, “Take off your coat and stay awhile!” And I say, “I will, but it takes me awhile to adjust!” Who can argue with that? I can’t.

I take my coat off eventually, on my own time.

With my youngest starting kindergarten in the fall, and my oldest losing her first tooth, I'm really feeling the ripples of change #life #love #FTSF #family

All the things I’m not.. is someone who can roll with punches. I feel things in my stomach, by long route from my heart. It’s the shifting seasons. It’s putting down a deposit at the movie theater for Des’ 5th birthday. It’s Scarlet being so very 7. It’s my marriage being 9. See? 5-7-9. It’s hanging up Scarlet’s dresses – because she can’t yet reach the top of her closet.

It’s lost baby teeth in a tooth box necklace from the school nurse. It’s Scarlet taking showers now – washing and combing her own hair – and putting on a bathrobe “because it feels kinda awesome.” It’s the fact that just last week, I still gave her a bath and carried her “like a baby” into her bedroom because that’s what she likes. Now I do that with Des, but then I help him into 5T pajamas, because the 4T clothes look like a flood is coming. Kindergarten is coming. Freaking kindergarten.

With my youngest starting kindergarten in the fall, and my oldest losing her first tooth, I'm really feeling the ripples of change #life #love #FTSF #family

Des being 5. Scarlet being SO 7. Our marriage being 9, with no nine-year itch. I realize it’s the seven-year itch but I didn’t have it then. I’m just perpetually itchy. I get itchy from odd years and odd milestones. Adult teeth rising behind baby teeth.

Something so adult and permanent on my first baby!

There are many adult things. She has opinions – strong and smart ones – about politics and God. Equality and equity. (although she’s totally fine if she gets 30% more chocolate eggs in her Easter basket than her brother.) She can throw out some quick, theoretical punches. Life is full of these gut punches. Sometimes I roll with them, but some are too big, too one after the other, and too heavy/heady, heady/heavy. These are my struggles, and life will never stop happening – in quick, punching succession – but maybe I’ll be quicker on my feet with time. Maybe the punches won’t go right to my head and to my gut.

Maybe I’ll learn to take them, and maybe I’ll learn how to give a good one right back.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “All the things I’m not…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

Do you roll with punches? Did you shop at 5-7-9?

The Only Things I’m Certain About

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes.

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes, and that I was handmade and homemade and home-grown to be a mama, writer, photographer. And I’m certain I’m even-tempered, but only as even-tempered as someone who is HIGHLY sensitive to the changes and the shifts, the tastes and the smells, the FEELS… oh, the FEELS – like fingernails lightly down your back, or staring into space for five minutes after an evocative episode of This is Us.

Ok, they’re ALL evocative. For me, it’s the doctor character. And William. Sweet, sweet William.


I’m certain about legacies.

Sometimes I feel it coming – these changing tides – even while they’re still being born and unfolding, and I have to type fast before they implode. Or I have to race to a computer or phone before I explode. Today is a mix, like sun and clouds.

I’m certain about loss and grief, but not about the paths they take. I’m certain we have to rise up to move through paths and waves, and probably not as seamlessly as we’d like. Life’s greatest challenge. I once wrote a piece about grief that has since disappeared, but I think of it every now and then. Since I can’t get it back, I can rewrite it and give it to you right here and now. So let’s ride the waves together. FTSF Topic: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes ..”

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I once wrote that grief is like “the princess is in another castle” theme from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. games.

grief

Just when you have confronted demons, fought valiantly, been sucked through warp zones, and fought on in endless pursuit of fireballs, feathers, mushrooms, and frog suits, you arrive at the castle level to fight the next big bad buy. And you do it, and you do it in style. You fight so hard and so well, only to be rewarded with a simple message printed across the screen.

Super Mario Brothers

So then you leave to enter a brand new world – full of brand new demons, and one brand new big bad guy at the end of the castle at the end of this world. You defeat the brand new bad guy, only to be greeted with the same disappointing message.

When does it end? Where is your reward? Where is your princess?

personal blogging

Eventually in the game, you get to the real end, you defeat the final bad guy, and you get your princess. For keeps, this time. It doesn’t work that way in real life, although we certainly do have our rewards – like learning to unlock new layers and worlds within your own heart and mind. And finding yourself to be stronger and smarter than you ever thought possible.

The problem is that grief doesn’t have a set endpoint – there is no final big bad guy you can defeat, and then expect to never be challenged again. You will most likely continue to unlock new levels and worlds – through warp zones and not – collecting gold coins and stars, new weapons and new rewards, only to find yourself once again at the doors of a gated fortress.

It’s disorienting, isn’t it?

grief

My life has been full of such fortresses. After my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack when I was just about four-years-old, there was that first night without him. And then there were subsequent nights of resisting but having to let my sister and my mom out of my sight during day to day life. There were the weekdays that I waited for him to come home from work. There was the year following his death which I have mostly blacked out from memory. Therapy. A fear of loud noises.

A new home, a new dad and new siblings. A new school – the start of kindergarten.

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When I thought I was past a lot of my anxiety and grief, there were new challenges in young adulthood – going to college and falling in love. Moving several times. Becoming a mom to a girl who looked like me. And to a boy who reminded me of me.

A challenging time for me was being pregnant with Des – a baby due right around my father’s birthday. It wasn’t until Scarlet approached her fourth birthday that I began a new grieving process. My father had passed away three weeks before my fourth birthday, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief when that day passed, and we sailed through her fourth birthday party happily and whole. I then had a calmness I hadn’t thought possible, until a new trigger revealed itself – signing her up for kindergarten. I showed up on the first day of registration, as the first parent there, and my heart was pounding in my throat and my chest was constricting. How could I be back here – so far and so grown, but still shaking at the thoughts of change?

We defeated that bad guy, and now it’s Des’ turn for kindergarten.

Where is my next castle/challenge/bad guy? I don’t know what it will be and how it will hit me. I know I will probably live my life with challenges, but hopefully with gaining new skills, weapons and tools too. Moving through, as I also move on.

I’ll live my life fully and effectively, until I get the next message – “Great job, but your princess is still in another castle, and probably always will be.” And then I’ll stop, reassess my tool belt, add new weapons, and learn to move through.

This brand new world, until the next one comes along.

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic is “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

What are you certain about?