Monday, October 24, 2016

I Jump On The Campaign Trail

I read an article last week that really resonated with me.

I'm not sure it can be called an article. I read it via a FB link and it was essentially the Cliff Notes version of a sermon a pastor gave regarding the upcoming Presidential Election.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing was that he didn't mention either candidate.

He didn't talk about anything remotely political or personal.

It was dreamy.

I have no interest in engaging in any type of debate on the issues or the candidates.

I think we can all agree things are a bit of a shit show though.

Or you don't agree.

Whatever.

I personally think things are a bit crazy.

I'm not enthusiastic about either candidate, but I do strongly oppose one of them.

What I have abhorred most about this election though is the panic.

I'm guilty of this panic myself.

I know I have felt genuine fear about one of the candidates.  I have created a scary scenario in my head, told myself a frightening story that isn't true about the future of our country if either one of them are elected.

I know I am not alone.

Do you sort of wish I would just hurry up and give you the Cliff Notes version of this post about the Cliff Notes version of that sermon?

Fine.  Here it is.

It doesn't matter.

I mean it does.

But, it doesn't.

Allow me to clarify.

This pastor pointed out the hatred and despicable behavior by both candidates, but even more so by some of the people supporting the candidates.  Instead of a dialogue about issues and opinions and real discussions about how different laws and perspectives change real people's lives, it's, well....it's a shit show.

The pastor didn't say shit show.

He probably isn't supposed to say shit show.

I can say it all I want to say it.

It's dangerous for us to spread the message of doom and gloom if one candidate is or is not elected.  

It's irresponsible for us to feed our children fear, or worse, hatred.

(The desire to not feed my children a message of hatred has been a challenge this year when confronted by such a strongly disturbing person.)

I know people on both sides who have brain washed their children to violently hate the other candidate.  This feels wrong to me in so many ways.  I get it, but I feel like it starts a habit to shut out the voice of someone you disagree with rather than hearing their views, doing your own research, and making your own educated opinions.

We should be brainwashing our kids about good things.  How about training them to listen to good music or love all things about the 1990s?

At dinner every night I have my children say one nice compliment and one constructive criticism about each candidate.

Such as Donald Trump wears nice suits, but I feel his foreign policy is too polarizing.

Or, Hilary Clinton seems to really want to help people, but I feel her lipstick is yucky.

Fine, we don't really do that.

We have had some great, though tricky car conversations though about building walls and abortions and welfare and the constitution and self tanner.

It's tricky because for these issues there are lots of opinions, lots of facts, lots of perspectives.  Some are perspectives that are affected by our family's faith, which also affects our family's sense of doing the right, kind thing.

I have an overall point.

Let's just all try to remember that regardless of who wins on November 8th, perpetuating a fear that America will basically be nearing destruction because of one person or the other is false and irresponsible.

No one is that powerful, except God.

And if you don't believe in God, then at least believe that Trump or Clinton alone are not the sole authors of our country's story, we are and will continue to be so much more than that.

Most importantly, kind.

Maybe I should have just posted a link to the pastor's summary?

It was significantly shorter and possibly far more meaningful.  Oh well, you've read this far.

Regardless of which side you are on....VOTE and show your kids that voting matters, even if you think it doesn't.  It's a parent's job to fake the importance of things we don't really want to do.

Like eating kale.

Voting is more important than eating kale.

I should clearly be on someone's campaign.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Next Step

I knew my people wouldn't fail me.

My last blog post has elicited all sorts of ideas and discussions.

Let's have a moment of joy for how easy it is to share and connect with people about ideas right now.

I have received texts, phone calls, and emails with thoughts on the issue of being lost and suggestions of what I could do. I have also had lunch, breakfast, and another outing scheduled for tomorrow to help process through this.

My tribe is the best.

Get a good tribe.

I can be your tribe if you need one.

We can do this.

Turns out, this is extremely common.  Most of the women I heard from either did struggle or are struggling with finding their place.  Wanting more, but not sure what that more is or how to get it without sacrificing their current role of Mom/Worker/Both.

Or their small slices of freedom.

I'm not burdened with much freedom currently so I don't have an struggle with giving up all my free time.  I guess that is a perk right now.

Thank you Max!

I didn't feel insecure about feeling lost, I am usually quite comfortable in my challenges, but it is always nice to know that you are not the only person trying to find your way.

Unfortunately now I am in a race against all these other lost moms to find the most amazing thing to do before they find it and steal it from me and I am a total loser.

Nothing fuels a better world than the scarcity mentality.

Obviously I am kidding.

I'm not in a race with anyone because I have no idea what I would be racing them toward.  I'm not a huge fan of racing in general so I'm perfectly content to settle in for this journey of self discovery, potentially ending with me just readjusting to where I am.

I really am quite the go-getter.  Endless ambition right here.

I know you are dying to know the suggestions.

Run for School Board
Volunteer for School in some formal capacity
Bookkeeping
Write More
Revamp my Arbonne business
Help Friends with their current business
Go back to Law School - thank you Tractor

I also went shopping with a few friends yesterday (yes, current life has it's fantastic days,) and I did see this outside Anthropolgie.



I think we can all agree that me getting a job at Anthro would have catastrophic consequences on my marriage though, and I really like my husband.

Since I would be paying for childcare, plus spending every dollar I made, plus $1000, to purchase intricately knitted shawls and bohemian looking dresses that would make me want to run in a field...which I would never have time to do because I would be working retail around the holidays and my kids would be sad because we couldn't do any of the things we usually don't do anyway but they feel sad about suddenly because I am helping people buy clothes while they hang with a babysitter and fuel my guilt about never making homemade mac and cheese that I didn't make before I started at Anthro but now truly can't happen because I would never fit in my discounted AG jeans after eating that crap and Alex would be sad because he loved those jeans and now has to counsel our previously well-adjusted kids on why their Mom is always at the store instead of making their lives perfect.

I wonder if I would get a headset though?

I really, really want a headset in whatever I end up doing.

Ok, Anthropologie just isn't a good fit.

A friend of mine leads life balance retreats for women and she sent me some info on that, which did sound like a good idea.  Check out the link below.

www.familylifebalance.com

We could all do one together.

These are based on a book by Renee Trudeau called The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal so check that out if you feel called to do so.  Word on the street is that it's amazing.

She also told me about a fiction book that deals with this topic called The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer.  Unfortunately she doesn't recommend the book as a good read, but the title is just so perfect.

I keep thinking about that title.

This phase in life is like a really long nap for your brain and your sense of self, that totally exhausts you.  I have reached that ten year mark of doing this gig and am yearning to wake up, but Max.

Always, but Max.



I want to steal her title and write a better book.  Perhaps The Eleven Year Nap has a certain ring to it?

No?

Keep the ideas coming folks, please.

I'm honored and excited to hear when anyone is thinking about this sort of journey of re-self discovery....for me or one you are on for yourself.

I'm going to keep listening and being open.  I'll keep writing.

I'm also starting something random with my friend Judy because we amuse ourselves with our discussions.  Perhaps you'll find them amusing and relatable too?

Coming soon on Instagram and Facebook....2momsinabar

That's genuinely all I can say.

You should follow us just in case we're amazing.

Or not...you never know.




Monday, October 3, 2016

Lost, But Different From The TV Show

My last post had some people concerned that I may be feeling depressed.

(Hey Mom and Jenn Kloubec!  I love you!)

That is not true though.

I am no stranger to having dark days.

(I'm looking at you post-Aiden 2005 and post-Max 2015.)

I am not feeling depressed at all though. I am full functional Leslie, just a little lost.

As many of you know, Max's arrival was a complete surprise.

A complete surprise which I am eternally grateful for, but a surprise none the less.

There was a reason that Stella was to be our finale.

I was done.

I have served my time as the mom of the little ones.

I've arranged play dates in the park, joined mom's groups and attended Bible Studies for the free child care.

(And for the Jesus, but I really do remember holding a flier for the first Mom's Bible Study I ever participated in and tearing up when I saw that I all I had to do was buy my study book and then childcare was provided...for 2 hours!)

I have built train tracks and made my own play-doh and memorized the morning line up for PBS Kids.  I have figured nap schedules and tricks for healthy toddler snacks and researched the best Little People toys.

I am over it.

My brain truly CAN NOT handle another kid TV show.

I have memorized the theme songs for Handy Manny, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Sid The Science Guy, and Super Why.

I do not want to know what is going on with Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol. Just no.  No.

I don't want to find myself singing their songs.  This information is part of a world that I am straight up not interested in being around.

A few weeks ago I was thrown in to a high profile position for a vigorous community action campaign.

Or perhaps I posted a few things on our neighborhood FB page and hosted a meeting at my house (which I typed up talking points to discuss!) for a neighborhood school awareness situation.

Potato - Potado

(Is that even how you would type that expression?  I hope you all understand.)

It felt good though.  It felt really good.

I had purpose beyond the walls of this house. I was using my brain and my voice to work toward an action.

It was life giving to me.

I also was on the news for approximately 20 seconds so it played well to my need for attention.

Very important.

It was less than a week of all consuming work. When it was over I was relieved to be able to get some of my daily "Mom life" tasks completed, (and get my lashes done,) but it also left me hungry for more.  The end of all that hustle and doing left me feeling all that much more empty when I searched for a way to entertain Max for a few hours at the park the following week.

The intensity had been too much, but I sorely missed the task and the purpose it had provided.

A friend and I are toying with the idea of starting a restyling/decorating business. We worked together on my remodel and found we loved collaborating.  She has a true talent to see a space and be able to come up with a way to make it work beautifully.  Decorating is not my natural gift, but I can hang with the idea collaborating and I am great with client finding.

I also provide witty banter and snacks.

I am a real catch.

We are working with a few friends for free to see if we like it.

(No, we are not taking on any more free clients.)

I love being with my friend.

I like the work.

I'm not on fire though.

I don't feel inspired and purposeful like I want to feel.

I certainly don't think we'll be on the news anytime soon, so what's really the point?

Totally kidding.

I have a decent sized Arbonne business that is rolling along in spite of my taking time off of working that business.  There is nothing that can pay me like Arbonne, truly if you need to make a lot of money and don't want to work full time you should be running to that organization.

Unfortunately, it's just not on my heart right now. It isn't speaking to me.

In some ways I wish it were.

I've prayed about this a lot lately.

I'm waiting to hear what speaks to me.

I'm mostly praying that when I do hear something it won't sound like that theme song from Paw Patrol.

I have been a full-time stay at home Mom since Aiden was born almost 11 years ago and I love that role.  I know there is real value and purpose here.

I also know there are lots of ways to be an amazing Mom and I'm not sure I still need to be the one building the train tracks or grocery shopping with my 20 month old while he refuses to hold the chocolate donut I gave him.



It's gross.  I realize.

This is where I am now though folks.  I am doing this stuff for the fourth time and I have simply lost steam.  I left this world of babies and toddlers and was pretty over the moon about it.

Max is worth being back.

Max is worth learning the theme to Paw Patrol....I just don't want to learn it.

I need a life coach.

Or a job.

Or both.

Or another baby.

KIDDING!!!!!

Call to action....Please call, text, write, or Facebook your detailed plan for my next phase in life.

I would like to be here for after school and evening time so take that in to consideration when you construct the perfect situation.

I would also like to bring in one million dollars a month and bring about world peace.

I feel so much better knowing you guys are working on this now so I can stop stressing.