Things I Love Thursdays

1. This quote.  As much as this political climate and administration has drained me, I still live within this hope.  Love love love.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.

– Barbara Kingsolver

 

2. The cutest office supply ever. Of course, it reminds me of the movie, Up.  And of course, it would get lost under stacks of paper on my desk, but still… ADORABLE.

Balloon Pin House byClive Roddy

Balloon Pin House by Clive Roddy

 

3. People who are nice, even when they don’t need to be. I had a funny, silly exchange with the voice at the Starbucks drive thru last week.  As I drove away, I noticed he had written me a message on my iced latte.  I never met him, I never saw him, I only heard his voice, but his small gesture made my day.

 

4. My mom!!! Happy birthday, Mom! I love you, and your grandies do, too!

 

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To My Child

To My Child

I hope you learn that life isn’t fair.  But that that doesn’t mean it is all bad.

I hope you smile at people, even strangers, and look people in the eye.

I hope you chew with your mouth closed.

I hope you learn how to listen – really listen – to others when they need to be heard, and to the quiet beat of your own heart.

 

I hope you learn to win and lose with grace.

I hope you love and appreciate the beautiful, intricate, amazing body you’re in.

I hope you can be silly for the joy of it, and can laugh at yourself and with others kindly.

I hope you have good manners and know when to use them (almost always) and when to relax them.

I hope you trust. In others, and in yourself.

I hope you know how to make something with your own brain and hands – a song, food, a painting, a stone wall.

I hope you learn, without too many tough consequences, that attempts to escape problems, hurt, and heartbreak never really work for long.

 

I hope you pick up after yourself.

I hope you decide that it is wise and healthy to get enough sleep.

I hope you learn how to advocate for yourself without demanding, complaining or whining.

I hope you understand that stuff is just stuff.

I hope you learn you can expect goodness, but not perfection, from other people. Or from yourself.

I hope you learn how to own up to your own misdeeds, mistakes and slights without excuses, blame or deflection.

I hope you keep learning, about the world, about other people, and about yourself.

I hope you work in any small or large way to make your community, corner, city, world, a tiny bit more just and beautiful.

And I hope you know that when in doubt, you should just put stuff in the trash, and not the garbage disposal.

2014 – A Recap

2014 – A Recap

Babies birthed – 1
Uninterrupted nights of sleep – 3 (dear God, can that be right?!)
Trips to the ER – 3
Boxes of mac & cheese prepared – 50 +/-
Diapers changed – ??? (math too complicated)
Children potty-trained – 1

Of course, there is a lot of good stuff that happened in 2014 that can’t be quantified: giggles, moments watching sleeping babies, personal and professional successes, hard work, quiet times, growth.

And there’s some not-as-good stuff to remember, too: tears, weariness, worry, frustration, sadness.

“No resolutions beyond the ones I make every morning: to be kinder and calmer and less demanding of happiness. To listen better. To be curious. To show my love for the person lying next to me. To be grateful for every messy second of this glorious life.” – Armistead Maupin

That about sums it up for me. I’m not much of a resolver (see my 2012 resolutions where I resolved not to eat monkfish liver or get a face tattoo, or my 2011 resolutions where I resolve to use up bath products). It’s pretty clear that I like to set the bar low. But I am a reflector, and the New Year, in its cold, dark stillness, seems to be a good time for that, winter ice like a mirror.

I can do better.
I can be less grumpy.
I can strive to feel less harried.
I can work towards letting go of things that create a sort of self-inflicted overwhelmedness.
I can accept help.
I can strive for more patience.
I can work on tenderness.
I can try to save my kindest words for those I love most and for myself.
I can embrace stillness when I find it.
I can try to emulate my small children’s wonder.
I can learn to give without compromising myself.
I can strive to have a generous heart and spirit.
I can read more books.

I can also avoid monkfish liver and face tattoos for at least another year.

Wishing you all peace, grace and love, now and always.

-ST

Happy New Year

Fa la la la blah.

I have carved out a little cozy place in my house where I can sit and not see the mess.  The mess is overtaking everything, as Christmas and all of the stuff that comes along with it explodes.  And it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Tonight, I can’t look at it, and I can’t think about it.  Would it make me feel so much better to just take some time and clear the clutter?  Probably.  But I just don’t have it in me tonight, so I’ll sit and write and clear the clutter in my brain instead.

I need to figure out how to enjoy Christmas.  All of it, or at least more of it.  Not just that one magical moment when my children realize that Santa visited, in the twinkly tree light as the sun comes up on Christmas morning.  I need more cuddles, more cozy, more gratitude, more calm.  Come to think of it, I probably need more of those things all year round, but I digress. I also need more hot cocoa – preferably with Baileys in it. Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year, dangitall!

Mad Rudolph

When someone tells you “You will eat your broccoli and you will like it!” it doesn’t actually make you like it.  So telling myself, “You will be cheerful and enjoy the chaos!” doesn’t seem to be working.

Then again, people tell me that the more you exercise, the more you love it.  And while some part of me thinks they’re crazy people trying to sneakily share their exercise-induced misery, I bet on some level that they’re right. So perhaps if I just wrap more, clean more, carol more, decorate more, and bake more, I will love all of those things more.

Probably not.

So instead I’ve developed a plan for bringing back the cheer…

  1. For me, gratitude is is harder when sleep is short.  So that will be step one. Eight hours of sleep. A lofty goal, but Christmas is all about miracles, right?  Mama will settle in for a long winter’s nap, once I find that silly kerchief.* And once I can get the kidlets to bed – a task that is getting more and more difficult by the week.
  2. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce (Springsteen – I figure my regular readers will know who I’m talking about when I refer to him only by his first name).  It isn’t Christmas until I hear it. And I haven’t heard it yet.  Ooh, now that I think about it, perhaps I’ll dig up some “Merry Christmas, Baby”, too.  That one always improves my mood!  Horns make me jolly.
  3. Ask Pickle about all of the people he will get to see in the upcoming week.  Because when I do, he excitedly lists off the names of family members like reindeer. And his pure joy at getting to see aunts, uncles, and cousins is a great reminder of the love and family that we are surrounded by.
  4. Clean up the living room only, and sit with my husband – on the same couch! –  in the quiet of the twinkly tree (with all of the non-toxic, chewable ornaments on the bottom). Maybe we’ll reflect on our year a bit. Maybe we’ll have a glass of wine.  Maybe we won’t do either, and we’ll just be.
  5. Take a few quiet moments during my commute home to send good, loving thoughts to people I know and people I don’t know who are lonely or hurting or sad.  And I’ll try to take an opportunity at some point to do something unexpected and loving for someone I don’t know.  Because I still believe that good will, kindness and love are contagious and more necessary than ever.

I’ll let you know how it all goes.

– Sarky Claus

* I do believe that this is only the second time in my life that I’ve ever typed the word “kerchief.”

The Land of Misfit Bloggers?

I am a toy gun that shoots jelly.

A train with square wheels.

A doll that cries real tears. (Okay, this one always freaked me out a little bit.  It just seemed too deep and serious, and not full of playful Christmas-ness.)

I guess I am a mommy blogger.  Because I am a mommy.  And a blogger.  But I’m having trouble defining myself… finding my voice… understanding why I feel compelled to do this.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs.  And most mommy blogs fall into these categories (some even fit into several!)…

1. Miscarriage/fertility issues

2. Green mommies

3. Great mommy cooks

4. Working mommies with high-powered careers

5. Christian mommies

6. Mommies who have suffered PPD

7. Frugal mommies

8. SAHMs

I guess I almost fit into a few of these.    But not really.

Are there other bloggers out there like me?  If so, where?

My name is Sarky T.  I’m a mommy of 1 (with another on the way) who is…

…trying to live a balanced life

…while working full-time

…while saving for retirement

…while making time to have fun

…while attempting to live with kindness

…while nurturing my relationships

…while seeking health and balance

…while making positive social change (or at least not screwing things up too badly)

…while raising reasonably well-adjusted kids (okay, I’m really hoping I just don’t mess them up too badly)

…while learning more about myself and the people and world around me.

And perhaps I should add – while trying not to drive myself and those around me crazy with my seemingly unattainable goals.

So… am I Herbie, who wants to be a dentist?  Or are there other mommy bloggers out there like me?

Let me know.  And watch out for the Bumble.