A Better Life

We want a better life for our children, so we work overtime trying to make more money, until hours past sunset, finally at home when they are asleep.

We want a better life for our children, so we enroll them into all the sports and activities we were never good at, and transport them to all the lessons and games, hoping they will be the champions we never were.

We want a better life for our children, so we shove toys and electronics and all things material into their tiny chubby hands, hoping that they will be smarter and more informed than we were.

We want a better life for our children, so we make sure we have ample space, more than enough room than the cramped, small house we grew up in.

We want a better life for our children, so all of hard-earned money goes to new clothes and conveniences, and we forget about the landfills that we’re filling up along the way.

We want a better life for our children, so we teach them the importance of being green, while all we can commit to in regards to being green is just recycling.

We want a better life for our children and want them to be respectful, so we teach them about patience and respect, while they are ignored during dinner while we take a phone call.

We want a better life for our children, so we buy the swing set for the backyard, but sit and stay under the porch while they play because it’s too hot for us to push them on the swing.

We want a better life for our children, so we buy every last trend and little new toy and clothing, so they aren’t made fun of like we were, but we forget to teach them about respect and mercy and hard work.

We want so much more for them, and they, the small they, just want so much more of us.

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Root Canal

So yesterday, had some dental work done.  I don’t know about you, but when it comes to all things dentistry, I am a bit jumpy.  Nervy.  Trying to get a cat in a carrier is easier than getting me in a dentist’s office, I think.

Lest you think badly of him, I actually have a wonderful dentist.  So wonderful in fact that he is on the list of one of the better doctors I’ve ever had, and come to think of it, I think it’s because he gets this, my nervy cat reaction around dentistry.

So, yesterday had to have some work done.  Some BIG work, some almost-root-canal work done.  Blech.  So, anyways, I had enough work done (don’t know if I’m comfortable admitting this or not, but here goes) and I am enough uptight in the dentist’s chair that I qualified for the laughing gas.

And I’m not proud, with all the drills they pulled out, I said a non-hesitant yesYES, PLEASE. Side effects? Meh, I’ll worry about that later.

So off we went into the Land of Laughing Gas for the first time, and all I have to say is whoa.  I was all Salvador Dali and melting clocks stretching off mantles, and like “who cares? “ well, actually I was more like “whooooooo carrrreeeeeeeesssssss” if you must know.

In fact, I may or may not have said that to the dentist at some point.

Tingling fingers, tingling toes, my breathing was slow and deep, and they kept moving my chair up and down so much that I felt like I was falling into the center of the earth and it was weird but nice, but I don’t think I had too much gas, why do you ask?

But back to the point, the point was I didn’t care.  And if you know anything about me, I do care.  A lot.  To a fault, almost.  My typical mode of operandi is uptight, major uptightness with a capital U.  And tied in a perfect bow, please.

And not caring, letting go, being this sort of relaxed is not something I am either comfortable with or at ease with.  I, to some degree, have a fear of too much relaxation, mostly because I do enough of it at home.  I mean, if I get any more “relaxed” about my home life, chores might not get done, the laundry will fall behind.  What happens if I relax too much? Do I lose too much productivity?  There is already a shortage of socks in this household, what happens if I don’t do laundry? Nobody wants to see a lawyer sockless, just so you know.

So after yesterday’s experience, I think the answer is yes, I do lose productivity.

And lost productivity is not a bad thing, every now and then.  And after yesterday, I also now think I have a grasp on not caring sometimes. And LaLa land was a wonderful place to visit momentarily; not having a care is a lovely, lovely thing every once in a while.

I usually don’t not have a care in the world, so it was nice for a change.  I was able to not care about the potential need for a root canal, I was able to float on by the thought of drills and noises and all these things, and I turned Mumford and Sons WAY UP LOUD because I was all for tuning things out, and in my opinion, the one thing I am allowed to tune out is dental work.  Love my dentist, yes I do, but don’t like the dental work.  Maybe I should think about that when I’m on eating 20th gummi bear next week.

But tuning out isn’t always an option.  In fact, most times it isn’t an option at all (ever been to a Doctor’s office where you had to turn off your cell phone? Longest wait of your life, FYI.)

But somehow, we think tuning out; zoning out, blasting music up, doing this “x” thing that distracts us is always an option.

Because, most days, that’s how we live our lives: tuned out. Zoned out.  Knocked out on drugs, Facebook, alcohol, people, you name it, we’re addicted to it.

We’re addicted to it, not because we want to be of course, but because the tuning out makes us think we escape the pain.

Why go through and dig up old wounds? Why wonder why people have hurt us or left us, why go through all of that, ever, we wonder while we eat a whole gallon of ice cream without noticing until we’re scrapping the bottom of the carton.

I don’t have any hurts! I am fine! We declare as we make our lives and schedules so busy there is barely time to think beyond planning the next activity.

It’s done, we think, no need to think about it anymore, as we say yes again and again to the drinks with friends without realizing we have been good and drunk for an entire month.

If you get my point, it’s not that any of these things are bad.  A little glass of wine? Not a big deal.  Some ice cream? No one dies from eating ice cream.  Or at least, if they have, I haven’t heard about it.  Activities and plans are generally good, actually.

However, in the bi-polar world we are living in, it’s not all good.  Rare is the person who can do all these things without overindulging in all of it or cutting themselves completely off and away from it.  I can name about 3-5 people who have this whole matronly sounding “moderation” thing under control.  And let’s be honest here: I’m not one of the 3-5 people I can name.

Now, the rest of us that take up the remaining fingers and toes-those of us who eat but who really are hungry for something that’s not food, those of us who drink in order to get drunk, those of us who entertain and over-schedule, well, we’re not doing it really for the sake of our kids as much as it is for the sake of our own avoidance.

We are over-planned, over-busy, over-lazy, over-fed, starving, and yet over-stimulated and under-cared for.  But even through all that, we still have time to think and wonder:

When am I going to be loved?

When am I going to stop hurting?

When am I ever going to be good enough?

When we stop distracting and distancing ourselves from ourselves, then.

When we stop long enough to look around and size up the shabby rafters of our souls, then.

When we stop long enough to feel pain, deep inside where the wounds live, and not be afraid of the rain, then.

When we put trust in Him, and in us, again, then.

And not a moment sooner.

Even the turtles race past me

So, lately I’ve made a realization.

I need to take this whole blogging thing slower.

Yes, you heard me.  Slower.

I understand I am already slower than snail-like when it comes to posts; I post 3-4 times a month and I am asking you, dearest 86 readers, to be patient with me while I learn to balance life and work and writing and take it slower than watching grass grow.

I’d love for you all to stick around, check in on the 15th and 30th, when I’ve committed to writing new posts; but I understand that this is real life.  A lot of you don’t have the time to be patient with someone who moves in millimeters worth of time instead of the usual yards everyone else covers in a day.

That’s ok.  I get that.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to lose any of you all, dear readers, or any of the “progression” I’ve made with this writing thing. I understand that although I may want to gain more and more readers for this honest, truthful post, I also that this may be a daydream, and there will be some potential fallout of some people who would rather have new content from me weekly.  I totally get that and don’t blame you for that feeling.

However, my life is out of balance at the moment, and the one thing I really want to do superbly at in life is to love well is exactly the thing I’m not doing well.

So I have to take another step back.  And focus on life and work and my family and laundry.  Yep, that ugly, big, growing laundry monster.

Is the laundry really more important than writing you ask?

Of course not.

However, if I am truly going to love well- the one big, beautiful thing I want people to remember about me-sometimes doing the laundry and keeping everyone in non-wrinkly clothes is a part of that.

And same goes for the dishes. Sigh.

But, enough about me.

Just wanted to let you all know to check back in on the 15th and the 30th.

Hope to have some really good stuff for you then.

Liz