Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Problem

Do you want to know what the problem is?  I want to please everyone.  I want to only do things that bring light and joy to ALL around me.

But almost everything I do is good and bad depending on who you talk to.

I could be running on the treadmill for sanity (could we start a cause named THAT?)  And my children could feel neglected for the moment.  Or they could watch too much TV and we ALL know the current trend is that your kids should be either playing outside or reading a book if you want to post a picture on Instagram.  Or eating something organic and homemade.  And you should be either out there with them or reading the book.  (That was snarky.  I can be snarky, it's true)

I could be cleaning up the house for sanity (Another cause ya'll) and enlisting my children for help when all my oldest wants to do is have a friend over because school is so much harder on the brain than it was when I was in sixth grade.  While my youngest is just happy to be spending time with me and you know what?  My middle child goes back and forth between loving the attention and hating me for making him clean.  MAKING HIM CLEAN.  But TIME TOGETHER YAY!

 I could be on a weekend away for sanity (I sense a trend in my causes) and my child could break his arm while I am away.  But I am so much more sane when I get home to take care of him because of the weekend away, the treadmill, and the cleanliness.

I could be resting for sanity....

You get it.

The point is Sanity.  Mom's sanity.  That is the end goal.  But actually it isn't the end goal.  The end goal actually is me being a good mom and wife and friend. But actually that isn't the end goal either.  The end goal is doing whatever weird thing my God has for me to do.  I feel like I can't do that when I don't do all my causes for Sanity.  (It's true though, God wants me to do life even insane sometimes.  That God.  He sure has a sense of humor.)

It bugs me that everything I do brings good and bad consequences depending on who we are speaking to because I just want everyone to love me and applaud me and give me squishy hugs when they see me.

And that my friends, is impossible.  Everyone is not going to think I am great.  But I super want them to.

So I read my philosophy books and I study religion to figure out the real purpose to life because my default purpose of pleasing everyone sort of makes me feel bad all the time.  So those are the thoughts that I go through every day.

Default thought,


Next thought,

"Remember the philosophy books."

Next thought.. I can't help it...

"But will that make everyone happy?"

Next thought,

"Gah, no no no...  "

Meditate, yoga, treadmill, clean, weekend away,

Zen with the way everything I do has consequences and some people will like it and some won't...

and then I am doing what I do and the thought comes,


Rinse and repeat people.  Rinse and Repeat.

Anyone else feel that way ever?

Who are you going to believe?

My Son, my youngest, is seven.  When he was five and a half, not even in Kindergarten yet, he decided he wanted to play the piano like his older brothers.  My older sons' piano instructor likes to wait until kids have at least begun Kindergarten so I took my little boy aside and let him know he was still a bit too young to play piano.

My baby boy asked his older brother to help him learn and within weeks he was playing tunes.

I got him in lessons by the next month.

The summer before that, he wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  His dad and I had some commitments and we were unable to take him out and teach him the day he decided he wanted to learn.  He gave us two days.  I was making dinner when I went to check on the boys playing outside and I saw my tiny 4 year old doggedly trying to learn to ride a bike on his own.  He was doing really well, too.  I looked at his dad and said, "If we want to be a part of this memory we should drop what we are doing and get out there too, I guess."  (But it was more like-- Holy crap we had better GET OUT THERE!-- because me and zen aren't often very good friends.)

Then there was reading.  Oh my goodness.  I bought a book of lessons for teaching a pre-schooler to read and we worked through some of the lessons over the summer before Kindergarten.  Then we went to the Library.  He wanted to check out a "chapter book."  I said to my little one,

"Oh let's get a book that doesn't have chapters yet so that you can practice your reading."

He gave me this blankish stare.  Then informed me he was checking out the chapter book.  I said to him,

"This book could get frustrating.  I don't know that you are ready for a chapter book.  Let's go find those Batman easy reader books you like so you can practice your reading."

Again the look that didn't understand a word I was saying.  He checked out the chapter book.

That night as I went to give kisses before turning off the light for bed, lo and behold there is my little boy, sitting shirtless in his bed ("Why would I wear a shirt to bed, mom?") and he is reading every single word in that chapter book like a boss.  He continued to do this every night until he was as fluent as his older brothers.  All this before Kindergarten.  Okay.

Do you have a voice in your head telling you that you can do it?  Do you have one that says you can't?  (My voice generally says I can't lately).  Do people you love and trust have advice for you?  Good, sound advice?

Do you know how in a river there are generally rocks in the water.  When I was a girl I would love to reach into the water and pull up smooth pebbles to keep.  I love a cool, clear stream that has pretty rocks in it.

My son reminds me of the calm water in a stream.   Rocks are all over the place "in his way." The bed where his stream is running is rocky.  Life is so rocky.  He just calmly finds another way.  He flows past the rocks.

Who are you going to believe?

My youngest son really loves me and I have told him a few times that life is a certain way.  Something inside of him told him that he could probably find a way like water around a rock in a stream to still forge ahead.  And he was peacefully right.  No one could tell him he couldn't do it.  He doesn't just believe me telling him.  He finds out for himself first.

I like that.  That is a hard lesson in this life.  Who am I going to believe?  Who am I going to look to?

Life can look all sorts of ways.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I see you


I was walking through the Deseret Bookstore at a Time Out for Women event this weekend.  If I ever want to feel super out of place I should definitely go for a walk in a Deseret Bookstore.  The book titles all seemed to have these rays of light attached to them that projected out like little sun rays up and out.  So positive.  So bright.  They seemed to be attracting my event goers like little butterflies finding the flower that fit them just right.

"See the good," These rays of light seemed to say.

"Here it is!"  They also seemed to say.

I think I needed some shades.

Did you know that I last posted on this blog over a year ago?  Can you believe that?  My heart says, "No. Way."  It just can't imagine me not writing for that long.

For the past year the road I have walked has been pretty shady.  Like, maybe it was actually night time shady.   And my eyes have adjusted to that night time and they were fine with that.  So put me in that book store with the sunlit titles and my eyes were a-hurtin.  Bad.  It hurt pretty bad.

I know what you are thinking.  "Why would you choose to walk such a path?  Seek out the sunlight UtterGirl!  Goodness.  The end.  You're depresssing."

Yeah me too.

Can we set that question aside for a moment?  Thanks.

So anyways, back to me needing shades.

I was walking and wincing (as you do when you need cute, hopefully designer sunglasses...) among the books because I needed air from the the also sun-shiny musical performer and there was literally no where else to walk and get air where I didn't look really suspicious with my little notebook and Time Out for Women tote.  (Why is that Time Out for Women go-er walking alone with a scowl on her face like she needs sunglasses?  Is she sick?  Is she depressed?  We should help her and lift her with sunshiney thoughts!  Oh dear.)

And you will roll your eyes maybe or laugh at me but all I could think about was this,

"We need a book about someone who is super good at seeing the dark.  Someone who says- I have a talent for seeing the dark.  Do you, too?  That's okay.  Some of us aren't good at seeing the darn good all the time.  Some of us are good at seeing what is wrong.  Very, very well.  And we are still functioning too."

Isn't that a weird thought?  I mean, here I was getting a weekend away (Hallelujah) and having actually a wonderful wonderful time and that was the thought I had.

I could not get that thought out of my head all the wonderful and glorious weekend.

"Someone needs to stand up and say this!"  Thought me.  "Someone needs to say-- Seeking out the light is so so hard and actually it hurts my eyes right now thankyouverymuch."

And I even took my awesome little notebook and I wrote this,

"To say I have SEEN.
To say I SEE.
I see BOTH.

I walked on a dark road at midnight this year.  I have seen this dark abyss.  I have journeyed down down where I didn't know a road existed.  But there actually is a road.  It travels deeper into the dark where I haven't gone yet, too.  It also travels back up.  I am confident in saying I have no idea if I am journeying up or down at the moment.  Sometimes I am convinced I am going up and it turns  out-- Oh no honey. And sometimes it really feels like I am going down, but what do you know- light. So you know.  Confident in my lack of confidence. Anyways.

Life is a journey.  I am on a journey.  And if you are better at seeking out the dark-  yeah me too.  But I have spent some time with both now.  And I can see the difference.  If I travel to lighter parts of life the road up is thankfully gradual.  My eyes will have the time they need to adjust.  There is no skipping the road.  I am also confident in that.  You don't get to skip to the light parts of your journey.

I see you there.  Standing in your shady corner in a room full of light.  It hurts your eyes too right now.  That's okay.  That is you right now.  There are good things about you and I shall list them for you to remember when it feels like book titles are a little glaring and well meaning friends bring you light filled statements and all you can think is,

"This. Really. Hurts. My. EYES."

Here is your awesome list.

You have no illusions about the dark not being real.  You don't surround yourself with light hoping the dark isn't real.  Oh, you know it is real and you know it has power.

The next time you find yourself in a light place, you therefore won't kid yourself about the dark being a childs nighmarish fairy tail.  And you will value that light place.  You will see it's parameters clearly and that will be a super power of yours.  Trust me.

The next time you are on a dark path you will be like- Oh I have lived here before.  It seems there was a road out.  I shall find it.  And you will have no fun illusions about it being a quick journey out.

You will clearly and be able to see BOTH.  There is both light and dark and you will see both.

Some people are better at hanging in the sunlight and they can see both because of it.  You may be their opposite.  Same results.  There could be good in both people, yo.  Your journey is still awesome.

So the point to this list seems to really be that knowing misery really well will give you better parameters to know your bliss, your joy.  Just like knowing joy really well gives you parameters to know your misery.  There are both for a reason.

Love you guys.  This was a rambling post but I think I like it.  80% of rambling crap for 20% clarity. That seems to be my style.

And for more proof that I see the negative a bit too clearly click on these links to past posts about me talking about this topic just with other words...