Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Sometimes, I like to pretend that I am a guest in my own home. I like to look around, and make believe that this is the first time that I have ever been at this house. I don't know the people who live in it. I am looking around at everything, taking it all in. I notice the wall colors, and that there are nice hardwood floors. I see lots of plants. Perhaps the person who owns this home is a gardener. A nurturer. I see toys. The home seems to have a lot. Children. More than a few, this I can see. I see books, and artwork. Comforable chairs and couches. Fluffy pillows, and small lamps. I see spices in the kitchen. There is a pot rack, and collections of bowls. Different sets of china, and glasses. Cloth napkins, and lovely serving platters.  The people who live here listen to music, and enjoy photography. This I can see. Record collections, and black and white images arranged neatly in frames.  They own books, and enjoy movies. From my small observations, I see they have varied interests. This is a home, not just a house. Nothing matches, yet it all works together. It seems all, cohesive. It seems real. 
This is what I would like people to see. Maybe they walk into my home, and think, this place is a mess. The furniture looks like it is from a garage sale. (they would be partially right) Maybe they would think that it looks like a preschool, cluttered with toys. (again...right) Maybe they would see the rips on the pillows, or the slipcover disguising the couch from my childhood. Maybe they would feel this is a place that they could never call home.
I left NYC, in 2000. All of my belongings fit into a van. Mostly clothes and shoes. A futon, and of course, my 12 wine glasses. All stuffed into David's friend, Craig's van. My butter dish tightly packed safely away, awaiting a better day. Waiting for my "real life", my grown up life, to begin.
If I could have looked into the future, I would have seen a mantel with bird votives and a ceramic castle made by my daughter. I would have noticed the wedding album, and seen the small hospital bracelets worn by my babies, in the bottom of a kitchen canister. Sea monkeys in a platic tank, on my childs armoire. Sparkly shoes worn bare. Hats, and gloves, all without a match. Class pictures, and my husbands baseball books. His record collection, so varied, and so loved. Clutter. Lots of it. Dolls, and blocks. A salt and pepper shaker set, that looks like an Italian pizza man. Birthday party invitations, and small love notes, from beings created by our love.
If I were the person looking around my home for the first time, I would be envious.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Time management this past week has been a bit of an obstacle for me. There seemed to be more monotonus things that needed tending to, then there was hours on the clock. I have had a crying baby, I am sure sick with, yet another ear infection, and a crying, whiney, 4 year old, suffering from allergies. This, compounded with my daily tasks, and a giant amount of anxiety this week, has caused me to not even write. Sometimes writing is so theraputic. It makes me see things and feel things about my life, in a more positive way. Sometimes, it becomes painful, and I don't want to look at it. Like the sun. It is there, and ever present, but sometimes, it is easier to ignore it, and just carry on. Too painful to look at directly. I feel like that has been a running theme in my life the last few years. Ignore the big white elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there, just be quiet about it. Maybe, it will slowly lumber away. Money, or lack of it, mounting bills, with no ability to pay for them, the feeling of dread as I see my baby's teeth growing in and know with certainty, the enormous orthodontist bill we will have in years to come, and will we be able to pay for it...each day, knawing at me. Knawing at my mind, causing me sleepless nights, and moody, stressed days.
My husband and I talk of what we would do if we were to win the lottery. It is a fantasy, this we know, but sometimes, it is fun to step out of your life for a moment, and shop, and buy, without boundaries. We agree that we would move to East Hampton, and buy a house on the bay. Not a mansion, A great, old beach house. The kind with weathered cedar shingles, and a porch. With steps down to the beach. I can almost smell the bay breeze, and hear the metal clanging of our flagpole, as I write this. We would furnish it with garage sale finds, and old, much loved, antiques. We would have a great big kitchen, where we would have wonderful meals, with friends and family. I can almost see the glow of candelight as we sit, and laugh, and hear the kids play, and live happily, together, in our seaside home. It is a fantasy. Why must it be though? Is the mound of bills sitting in the drawer, and the 1-800 numbers calling, at the same time every day, really preventing this life. Are we victims of circumstance, or are we creating these circumstances?
I had a nice bank account when I lived in New York. I longed for nothing. Treated myself well. Paid every bill as it came in the mail. No 1-800 numbers called. Yet, I still had a knawing pain within me. Constant heartache over a relationship that went on far too long in my life. Years of a broken heart. Waiting to be with someone, who never quite wanted to be with me all the way. This was my obstacle to perfect happiness. If I could attain this happy relationship with this particular person, my life would be complete. Or would it have been? Like the pile of bills that seem to be preventing my husband and I to acheiving a wondrous life, was this yet another circumstance?
Some nights, my husband and I go to bed, and we just simply say to eachother, "Goodnight". We are tired. We are stressed. He works 60 hours a week, and I feel like I am on duty 24/7 taking care of the girls, and nursing the baby throughout the night. We live more like roomates, then man and wife sometimes. I want to reach my hand out and touch him. I want to tell him that it is going to be OK, but I don't know if it is.
I wish I could just pack our bags, and move us into that seaside house, and light the candles, and prepare the meal, and sit us down, and just bask in the glow.
Am I already in that house?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


At a certain point in your life, you realize things about yourself. You begin to understand your abilities, and your limitations. You know what you like, what you don't, how much you can tolerate, and I believe, you begin to perfect your God given talents. Maybe perfect is the wrong word. Maybe you begin to use your talents. They almost become something you have confidence in. Something you do well.  I have never really felt that there is anything that I do exceptionally well. I can do certain things OK. Not well. I think I am an OK driver. I think I can cook OK, or at least follow a recipe. I can sing OK, (I think, anyway) I  am an OK, to more than OK friend. I am an OK daughter. I am an OK wife. I am an OK Mom. I keep the house clean enough. I am a little bit funny. I am OK at being patient. Well, maybe not OK, but almost. But really, there seems to be nothing that I do really, really, well. I wish that there were. I am often, envious of people who have such overwhelming abilities, that it seems like they were destined to become what they were great at. Painters, and writers. People who write, and compose music, really make me jealous. What a gift they have. There are other's still that excell at cooking, and become chefs. Athletes really blow me away. They just have such physical ability, that it becomes all consuming. They live and breathe fitness, and good health. What a wonderful drive to have.
I have not had that drive. I feel like I make attempts. What is that saying..."The road to hell is paved with good intentions". That is what I have. Intentions. I believe they are all really good ideas when I am attempting them. I get things into my head. Like for a while, I enjoyed painting. So I did it everyday. I loved it. I painted little botanical watercolors. It was incredibly relaxing. And I was able to decorate my home, and have gifts to give, to boot. It became hard to do with each child taking up more of my time. That, and the fact that I have no space, in which to do it, so to constantly have to set up, find the time to paint, break it down, and put it away, was getting harder and harder, so I stopped. It kind of makes me sad. Like I have failed. Like I have given up.
In 1994, I joined a gym. The New York Sports Club. I was going to get in shape. I checked out the gym first. Looked like a gym. I filled out the paper work, and agreed to have $75.00 debited from my bank account every month. I went to the Athlete's Foot, and purchased myself some gym shoes. I got Nike Air's. I spent over $100.00 for them. They were the newest, fanciest shoe out. I thought that I was going to really need some good footwear, as I was going to be spending a lot of time at the gym. I was going to become lean, muscular, IN SHAPE. I was really psyched. Long story short, I went once. One time. I went on a stair climber machine. It was the most torturous thing I had experienced. I was dying. Red faced, and totally out of breath. I told myself that I was starting slow, and that I would return the next day. Never did. And for two years, my bank account continued to be debited $75.00 a month. I used to joke that I was a patron of the physical arts. I was donating money each month to a place that I had no intention of ever returning to. Another failure. I gave up.
Yesterday, and today, I walked a mile at the track at the University by my house. I have been feeling, and looking quite honestly, really out of shape. I need to be healthier. I have three little girls that I need to be a positive role model for, so I have that pressure too. I thought that maybe, walking would be a good start to better physical health. It was actually really nice to do it. Didn't take long, and it wasn't as torturous as that stair climbing machine. I went with Charlotte yesterday. She and I walked together. She also rode her tricycle. Today, I took Olivia, and I wore the baby in her carrier. Olivia and I had a nice long chat. We both got cramps in our sides. We both got tired, and we both were happy that it was over. We walked to the car, and chugged some water together, and rode home in silence. She was tired, and I was tired, but I felt relaxed. Calm. I was driving up the twisty little road up to our home, and realized that on my feet, were my Nike Air sneakers. 
Baby steps.