Rocking your own cradle

Nikolai Astrup, Interior with Cradle, probably 1925Everyone has had those moments in life where you wanted to go back and erase or change things.  Though you may not be able to physically do this (yet…but I’m sure science is working hard) you can go back and adjust things in your mind.

I recently had one of those aha moments where you say, this is not the life I was meant to have because the energies or emotions goes against everything that you feel in your core being.  When following the thread of my own life backwards, I can say that mine was from infancy.  The energy of being a baby that was loved, adored and given the vision of hope for a good life was just not there.  Often my siblings and I would recall very happy stories of our childhood, very happy indeed. And then there were those that were not so happy; that were quite life altering really.  It was in those moments that changes took place.  Those moments that planted an aura, a film of skin if you will atop my own that had me go through life in a very different way then what was intended.

I decided right there – in that new realized moment that I would change it.  And so I took a journey. Not through a time machine, but a mind machine.  I used the memories of my mind and recreated a very keen scene I selected with great care – and I changed it.  The adult me stepped into this memory, picked up the infant me in this memory and offered love, encouragement, whispered words of strength and blessings. I envisioned these words to be like the spells from fairy god-mothers of yore, whispered down onto the heads of their innocent charges. I held the infant child of myself and spun a new tale for her to believe.

These words would have no power over my past and what has been done but, it does have the magick to take away the power my past has over me.  From this new memory I can build up my new days with a memory of encouragement, hope, strength and profound love.

I was blessed to feel and offer this to my own sons as they were being raised.  Holding both or one or the other in my arms and whispering all of the joys I hope they get to experience one day. Love, a new job, a home of their own, travel, adventure and all of this in whatever manner that makes them the happiest.  I feel blessed to have my sons, and they continue to be a source of pride and joy even now when they are men.

My mother was truly overwhelmed by the time I came along.  I am the fourth child of seven, raised in a lower class family.  My parents had only just moved us all into the house I was to have as my childhood home, so there was tons of unpacking and such that needed to be done as well, and my father worked and worked and worked to pay for the simple things we had in our lives.   I’m sure she [mom] had very high aspirations at one time for all of us but those words were never shared with me if so.  In that vision I also took the time to see my mom for the woman she was at that time.  Tired, overwrought with emotion, overworked at home, inundated with the constant noise and movement of 3 ambulatory children and my preemie newborn self.  Her own mother offered nothing of assistance, but if she did it must have barely made a dent in the time my mom needed to regroup her own spirit.  And in that scene I offered my mom peace. In my last moments before I left, I put the sleeping baby in the crib, step over to my mom and her tired eyes and hug this woman who so desperately wants only to sleep.  It’s ok mom, sleep.  I got this now.

~In memory of my mom

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Tears of a Clown

Ah Smokey Robinson can really bring a delicate point to home can’t he?

Sometimes even in our attempts to make others happy – we make them sad.

Sometimes in others attempts to show they are sad – they become angry.

Sometimes I get angry and sad too.

What this all boils down to is I have a perpencity to do:

  • give too much
  • talk too much
  • show my love too much

And by doing these – I make others feel (shaking head in uncertainty here) …less about themselves, confused, upset, angry, sad…something that does not show up as positive.

And this reaction to me – doesn’t go over as well as I would like.

Sometimes I show my emotions and my confusion. How can someone being nice make another upset?  And sometimes I just shut up.

In those moments – the world is far far away from me.  I feel it to be uncompromising, unfeeling and controlling of me.

Now I’ve done some reading on this. I was in a failed marriage with one woman with whom I ironically attended our marriage counseling sessions – by myself.  The counselor thought it best I no longer attend after several months of seeing me. Her statement was, “you know Jen…this usually works best when there are two of you here.”

Well – from those sessions I have a small library of books that were recommended to me.

Please do not misunderstand me – I am in no way saying that I know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to relationships. Nope.  In moments of miscommunication, distance, emotional upheaval, etc. that occur in my relationships – when I start talking about Imago or David Schnarch – its only as a parrot or a student reciting a lesson.   I KNOW these methods are good to use …they even work! But at times….ya know….you just stop pulling the punches in your words or you stop listening or you stop …everything — sex, talking,  being in the same room together, recognizing there is another person there, etc..

I have to say in those moments…it sucks firstly…that’s a given.  But for me – I panic! I mean I absolutely panic.

Here is this person I love/adore/worship/care about/etc. and in that moment I do not like them at all.  All sorts of negative tongue lashings come springing into my nasty little mind.  Not to draw blood but to sting….really hard.

…And then…I breathe.

I remember my lessons. I recite my homework (edited and personalized a bit):

  • Speak through love.
  • Listen.
  • Wait.
  • Repeat.
  • Empathize.
  • Be honest.
  • Be you.
  • Let them be them.
  • Is it the past that is the problem or the present?
  • Learn.
  • Live through love.

I don’t always do these things gracefully.

Hell – sometimes I don’t even do these things well …or even at all!

But know this…if you feel at the end of a resolution that you’ve not said your fill, or you still have something nasty to say about the others behavior or comments, or you don’t feel like the other person or you are happy completely with the resolution …then you’ve resolved nothing and this bad boy is gonna come back and bite you in the ass in a day or two. Mark my words.  I have the teeth marks on my ass to prove it.

So when in a huff – don’t fly out of the room, don’t yell and scream, don’t use tears to get your way, and don’t insinuate what you don’t know…just breathe instead. Center yourself. And the next time you open your mouth – say it through love.

If they get it …good.

If they don’t get it….you have some decision making to do.

Oh and just for the record, so I don’t have ya’ll biting your fingernails or anything…my girl totally gets it. 🙂

Sunshine in the Rain

Sunshine in the Rain Not to be confused with Sunshine and Rain by the way…but this is the song I’m holding in my head.

So much of my time with Soul is spent apart and frankly …it sucks. Big time. Now I can be mature about this and say that the distance of our day is a good thing for our hearts but let’s be real here – I want to sit in my big office chair, squench my eyes closed really tight and stamp my feet like a 3 year old having a good and proper fit.

*ahem, smoothing skirt down* but I don’t. (at least not when people are walking by my office and if I do its in 2 minute intervals, usually held around noon when most of the interns and staff are at lunch.)

Yesterday, Soul sent me a txt message while I was at work in reply to how her day was progressing. She said, “Good mornin Love. How r u 2dy? Thank you for my sweet suprzs – sunshine in the rain.”

And after listening to the song like a gagillion times – I had to stop myself from “coming down ill” while at work and going home.

Much of my time is spent at work. Much of our time is spent wishing I work closer to home.  *someday babygirl ….I promise*

And so you can see where the mania derives from – I give you a day in the life of Jen.

Here is how my day rolls out:

3:30am-4:48am – something inevitably wakes me up out of a dead sleep for no good reason.

Not like a burglar is a good thing, but its better than your dog sending off a pre it’s-time-to-get-up-bark for the hell of it.

5:00am – my blackberry goes off with a tiny chime and a loud vibrate. (I have a hearing problem so the vibrate is not for amusement)

5:08am – I actually get my ass out of bed (trying to scroll from Snooze to Dismiss on a blackberry w/o having the light shine in Soul’s face is nigh on impossible – and that is why I only do it once.)

5:08-5:10am – (series of steps here)

  1. Do a military roll out of bed BUT do NOT shift the blankets in anyway that may cause them to fall off of Soul’s shoulder/back
  2. …Before I roll out of bed though I always roll to Soul and whisper a prayer/blessing/word or two of love to her, into her skin…
  3. Unplug aforementioned blackberry from charger and drape cord behind the clock so it does not fall on the floor (this pisses Soul off for some unknown reason but …you’ll learn to love these things)
  4. Cover aforementioned blackberry or shine the face downward so as to not change the quantity of darkness in the room at this time. Any shift in light will evoke a louder than usual grumble (so my hard of hearing ass can hear it) as Soul rolls over
  5. Put on deodorant while standing in the dark.
  6. Walk around the bed, past my writing desk, past my jewelry cabinet and out the door all w/o banging anything.

5:10am-5:20am

  1. Shut bedroom door and instantly am accosted by Ducks, our senile, aged cat whom we think may have dementia. He “sounds off” with abundant yowling…not meowing, no that would incline you to think some delicate sound…but no – this is the sound intended to make your eyelids peel back and instantly make you pick up a hammer with intent to use it to make the sound go away.
  2. Ignore Ducks and step into the office with Soul’s desk, chair and massage equipment/my boudoir where all of my dresses/office suits, blouses, skirts, pants, and odd gym wear reside …oh and a small portion of my shoes.  This is all squenched together in one closet and one l’ armoire
  3. My clothing has been preselected the night before to include underwear, bra, jewelry, stockings/socks and shoes + whatever outfit I will require. I can don these in less than 7 minutes, 5 if its a dress outfit. I think I am the record holder for the quickest dressing femme lesbian you’ve ever met! And if the dressing time has impressed you…wait to you hear the rest!

5:20am-5:30am

  1. Dressed. Leave boudoir (shutting the door firmly – Soul has a thing about Ducks getting in there and getting fur on her chair) and greet properly now Ducks whom I threaten to kick down the stairs.  (Now mind you – I would NEVER in million years harm this cat. He is 20 y.o. and is treated better than I treated my own sons at times.)
  2. Go downstairs, greet Max the oddest Border Collie you’ll ever meet, take him out of kennel and feed him. Go to kitchen, turn on kettle, set up coffee in French Press, feed Ducks, get lunch out of fridge and put on counter.  Now mind you this was all done in in a semi-clockwise formation…but wait…I think this diagram will help you.
  3. This is all done within 5 minutes.
  4. Go to bathroom in lower living room. Wet down the “chickens” on my head (my daddy calls hair that stands up – chickens – don’t ask.) by sticking my head under the faucet. Dry hair on towel. And now ..after 20+minutes of running around, I go pee. (not in the sink! in the appropriate potty thanks!)
  5. flush/wash hands, brush teeth, gargle, take thyroid med
  6. Blow dry hair while ensuring not to electrocute myself as the drain is slow and so the sink is always full of water still at this point. FUN!
  7. And whallah! Tiz me! Done at 5:30am.

But there’s more!

5:30am – 5:45am

  1. Go running to kitchen to turn off kettle (you thought I forgot about it didn’t you) tripping over Max who will be for all future bullets be entirely in the way/underfoot.
  2. Pour water into French press
  3. Ignore cat who has forgotten that he has been fed and is demanding food..while there is food in his bowl.
  4. grab lunch/breakfast items and run back to lower living room.
  5. Place items in satchel (Yes, I use the word Satchel – get used to it!). Put on coat and scarf (its cold out there) and grab keys.
  6. Now its Max time – go outside with satchel and purse/bag of choice for the day. Walk down drive way. Open trucklet and throw all contents of hands into trucklet. Turn on Gerty the Lesbian Mobile (my sons named her the latter part, I just called her Gerty). Go back to Max who is patiently waiting at the house.
  7. Take Max out back of house to our yard where he finds the stick/tree/blade of grass of choice to pee on and pretends to have really important business to do out there but really…he’s just looking for bunny poop to eat.
  8. Ok…take Max back inside (now mind you – I am the only one who can do all of this w/o a leash. My sons have chased the dog through the neighbors’s yards and Soul just went to the house to wait for his return…which he eventually did that morning. I however can do this w/o fear…for now)
  9. Put Max back in kennel so to avoid him laying on the sofa/raiding the kitchen to eat Duck’s food, raiding the utility room to eat Duck’s poop, etc.
  10. Go to kitchen, press coffee and pour into travel mug.
  11. Turn off lights in kitchen
  12. Turn off light in dining room
  13. Turn off nightlight in living room
  14. turn off light in lower living room
  15. Lock door while carrying life’s blood – aka – coffee
  16. and get into Gerty.

TIME:  5:49am (and that may be 5 min. more as Gerty’s clock runs 5 min. fast)

From here I drive to the train station 30 min. away where I board the morning commuter line at 6:38 (roughly).

I nod to my elderly conductor man who STILL won’t give me his name after riding the train for 2 years!

I select my seat.  1st car, left side, 4 windows down, with just enough train wall to sleep on w/o your face freezing to the glass.

I put the seat in “recline” (HA!) position. Take out makeup bag and put on make up. (takes 3 min).

Flash monthly pass to conductor with a “Good morning Sir!”

And then go back to sleep (kinda) for the next 2 hours. I cat nap really. Being 5’10” is impossible to sit anywhere happily for long.

Train arrives in station at 8:15 am. I walk with the hordes as if we were leaving for the work camps, shoulder to shoulder on each others heels. Walk outside of Union Station (sometimes I stop in Au Bon Pain for a yoke-less sandwich first). Walk 2 blocks to catch the $1 commuter bus. Read. People watch. Appreciate the sky. ETC.

Get to office. Buzz in at lobby after greeting April the lobby receptionist. Buzz in at elevator to go to the 9th floor. Buzz in at front door to get into said office. And here…I spend the next 8+ hours working for an international non-profit organization raising money for global development.

I eat in the kitchen for lunch and sometimes engage in humorous dialog with my co-workers; but most of the time..not. I’m an odd man out here. Over 40 but not a manager. Whereas all of the non-managers are 20-28 y.o. So I’m ancient! They were shocked that I have twin sons who are 20 y.o. I have to say…that – makes me smile.  Thankfully I am told I do NOT look my age…but that is an ego blog for another day.

Today is about Soul being a very patient and loving woman.

While I’m doing all of my doings. She is home – cleaning, taking care of the critters, running errands, going food shopping, and last night – she rearranged furniture. (which is odd for me to get used to as I AM the one who normally does that type of thing).

When I get home after reversing the above order of things – but with a lively bunch called the Aberdeen Crew – who will also be introduced at a later blog post – Soul is in the kitchen reheating my dinner at 9pm.

Now – how this June Cleaver shit started, I do not know. I recall the first day I got home after she moved in with me…she greeted me at the door with a drink in hand for me, took my car keys and my blackberry away from me and ushered me to the dining room table.  *shaking head*  Ok..(dusting off the titles here) …I am a card carrying femme, DNA Irish-Catholic, Pagan, feminist, a bit center of left, dye in the wool democrat. I was raised by a “everyone fend for themselves” kinda mom who we revere as our Matron to this very second. I love men (to a point) and can enjoy their intellectual company, their real friendship, etc. So I am not a man-hater. (I will just never again ever sleep with or perform any acts of intimacy with one ever again.)  So to have Soul greet me in this manner and for me to enjoy it…well…it was like a Catholic taking the host out of their mouth and putting it in the pocket for later. It just isn’t done!

Shamelessly I enjoy it every time it happens. *shit eating grin*  So I’m a hypocrite! So sue me!

At dinner, I sit (after ensuring that a full dialog is given to the appreciation of this gastronomical delight before me) and share with Soul my day. She does as well but with not nearly as many words. (alas, I talk even more than I write)

After dinner if time is given, we do silly couple’s things. Dance in the living room with each other, make out on the sofa or in the kitchen, play with the dog, show a website we’ve seen that has some cute wedding idea to consider, bitch about how long my commute is every day, plan what we would do if we had more money, etc.

Then Soul preps up her bath while I do the dishes by hand. (dead dishwasher and I like it that way. Washing dishes is very zen for me).

I go upstairs and pick out the outfit that is mentioned above …somewhere.

After Soul is done her bath, I take my shower with what little hot water is left. brrrrrr!

And then its lights out at 12:35am.

Sometimes we talk to each other about “heart” things. Wedding plans, future life plans, how we feel about something, finishing up the apologies from an argument, talking about if I like the furniture placement or should it be moved back, our families…life.

When intimacy takes place during the week – and you know it does – I happily sacrifice sleep for our time together.

The weekends are jammed with tons of date-style stuff, mixed with domestic chores usually involving Lowes or IKEA or Pier One.

Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we cry.

Always we laugh.

Always we love.

And sometimes…there’s Sunshine in the Rain.

Thank you kitten! I love you.