stillness

everything today feels like it takes herculean effort.

herculean.

there is no pleasing me. don’t bother. don’t peak at me with that face you make to see if i’ll respond. I won’t. instead you’ll see my face contort to reveal the fury beneath my scarlet skin. just let me be. become helpfully invisible while I contemplate and decide. move feelings around to see what the image looks like. what I want. who I am. who i am becoming.

is it that our true selves emerge having always been there or that we become other versions of the self we started off as? as long as I’ve had thoughts I’ve yearned for an answer to that.

the pulse of rage pounds my migraine. harder. harder. harder. still. but it’s not the pain killer I want. it’s the joy I’m after. the elusive feeling of warmth in my chest that has abandoned me and I don’t know why.

it’s the stillness I’m after. the calm of quiet solitude that brings me revelations.

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Versions.

“mine was a childhood spent in trees. ripped jeans and sappy skin that smelled of pine. i wonder where it went to, when it left me with this grown up body not so able yet quicker to bruise.

today i went searching for childhood; setting out with intention for this most perfect climbing tree. i parked my car, pocketed my keys and invited all versions of me along for the fun. we scattered at the base of this great tree.

all together in one place, being exactly who i am supposed to be.
mother, writer, photographer, woman, sister.

and for this day, we blended beautifully… feeling lighter and more complete. almost like a kid again.”

from meredith winn

Ho-hum.

It’s been some time since I’ve written anything because apart from not having the time, I haven’t actually been inspired.
I started to post here because I wanted to have a journal that others could perhaps related to. Then I started to write about those things that I found funny, or interesting and thought someone might too. But lately I’ve been feeling rather humourless.

When six o’clock rolls around all I want is to isolate myself in my room and dive under the covers with a movie on my laptop. Invariably this happens when I am stressed about numerous things for prolonged periods of time. Work is rewarding but stressful, which is neither here nor there with respect to my mood.

I think that what I am working through is more a question of identity.

All this to say that last night I enjoyed dinner with one of my sisters in law and among the many things we spoke about, writing here came up as one of the only things I do that makes me feel truly myself. I don’t fret over the mistakes I make with grammar, the occasional misspelled word or disjointed sentences; though I appreciate the friendly readers who point them out so that I can correct them.

For me, writing this blog is about my life, my moments, my thoughts and my humanness. Yes, it’s all about me. The one place where that can be without me feeling even the slightest twinge of guilt.

This is my place to put out the universe that my life is occurring. I don’t have to consider being appropriate or professional. Diplomatic or helpful. Energetic or charming. I can forget about those clients who make the impulse to screen calls stronger than I’d like it to be. About unprofessional business people who have no business being in business. About the arrogant, aggressive, un-inspired and un-ashamed people I interact with here and there.

It’s a place where if you want a laugh, you can see your life mirrored in mine. You can perhaps find solace or insight, or just proof that its an interesting journey for all of us, regardless of where we live, how many children we have or what we do on a daily basis. Its a journey with temporarily trying moments, with saddness and loss, laughter and love. Disillusionment and perhaps even a complete redefinition or renegotiation of our relationships and even ourselves.

Sometimes, we loose sight of those things that make us who we are. I was Ariana. Then I was a wife, Ariana. Then I was a mother, wife, Ariana. Now I am a mother, business owner, wife, friend, group organizer, fundraiser, Ariana. People wonder how I do it. I don’t people. That’s how this post materialized.  This place is my place to be and connect to people whom I may not otherwise connect to. Women who see a different side or better yet, a part of themselves that they stopped seeing too.

A.

Forgo the paper tissue. Suck the snot out.

Years ago,  I saw a documentary on African communities and watched with one eye closed as a mother planted her mouth over her son’s nose and sucked the snot right out of it and spit it to the side.

I was so grossed out that for months when the image floated through my brain like some dust particle I couldn’t help but make a face and squirm.

Jump to two kids and hundreds of congested noses later and one of my all time favourite mom tools is this gadget that you insert into your kid’s nose and suck the snot out.  You can almost imagine that as you suck you’re pulling their brain a little bit further towards the front of their heads. Neat little gadget, cheap and sooooo efficient.

A.

Pennies for your thoughts

This morning was a stunningly sunny and mild morning in Montreal.

Al, Sienna and Naya drove me to a meeting before heading off to school and as I hurried into the building Al rolled down the window and called me back.

“Naya has something for you”

“Naya, really?”

I walked around the back of the car and got to her side as Al lowered the window and I beamed as her beautiful little face was revealed.

“Mommy, I have monies for you so you can buy yourself tea” and with that she gave me a handful of pennies and smiled.  I’ve just now come back together after having spent the day in a happy haze. It was the nicest, purest experience I’ve had of a child’s thoughtfulness since my nephew David offered me all his money when he was three after seeing his mom hand me a $20.00 for cab fare and assumed I was broke.

Today, Alby and I may have gotten a star for parenting and Noosh-noosh definitely made a deposit in the get out of jail free pass fund.

Diva in Training

*Content warning*

If you think this post is about Naya or Sienna, it’s not. It is about becoming a Diva…in a cup. Once a month.

If you are a man who stumbled onto this particular post, welcome! You will find here a subject that you likely do not want to know about. I vow that I will not be offended if you stumble away now. Derek….Dave…I’m waiting.

If you are a woman who has ever had a menstrual accident, been without a much needed menstrual aide, or been fiercely disappointed that you’re not always protected as promised this is for you.

***

Since Christine Fransisco taught me how to use tampons I’ve always been a fan of OB. Neat little things, easy to insert and always protecting. Always. Never mind those applicators that caused me more grief and discomfort than I care to describe. OB is to the point. Peal back wrapper. Position on tip of your finger….and in you go. Period.

But it seems my daughters like them too. Naya has always liked to see how many she could fit in every nook in the house, every pocket, every purse, bag, and on far too many occasions my tampons have rolled out of everywhere including my business portfolio during a strategic partner meeting with a man who didn’t have kids. Sienna for her part, likes to gum them like teethers. It seems they are firm and yet spongy to really sooth gums.

Now before you go judging me and wondering how it came to be that we even discovered this, let me clarify that she picked one up after it rolled out of my Tupperware drawer (where Naya had placed about 8 OB’s) and was at an age where everything went into her teething little mouth. Needless to say, finding tampons everywhere was kinda funny to me but not so much to Al who asked that I lock them up already.

So when the other day, at a health food/organic everything store I came upon the Diva Cup, I put everything down and reached for the box. Hmmm….no more pads? No more tampons? No more possible leaks? No more running out because I ran out? Let’s give it whirl.

This week I started my training. Wash. Separate. Roll into a sphere. Insert. Allow to “pop” open and presto, no more period. No running to the bathroom every couple of hours to change anything. The only mildly intimidating aspect is the insertion of a small clear silicon cone that I have to admit takes some practice to get right.

So here I am, a diva in training. Thrilled about the possible freedom with only the lingering doubt being that my cone doesn’t quite pop but nevertheless “seals”.

And the bonus? I’m not polluting the sewers or the landfills, I don’t have to worry about toxic shock syndrome (which is much higher if you use the super absorbency and let’s get real, if you’ve had a kid (much less two or more) you don’t bother with anything less), and I save  money.

It’s divine.

A.

What did you get into?

Al and I got a chance to enjoy a mini-getaway. It really is something to get away alone.

The truth of it is, you don’t know what you sign up when you have kids.

We all think about how nice it’ll be to be pregnant and glowing, make up a nursery, acquire funny anecdotes about cravings and hormones, and then have a cute baby to coo at.

But when you actually are pregnant you realize that you sweat more than you “glow”, that everything baby is priced at the rate of extortion, and that no one is all that interested in the story about how you farted your way through the Gap.

And then they grow…and they answer back as though they’re teens even though they’re only three. And they break everything they get their hands of – as if you got it for free.

Which is not to say that it’s not tremendous fun, but pass me a drink when the day is done.

Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world – neither the kids nor the excuse to enjoy a Martini Rossi at the end of the day. I’d like to build my brood…enjoy the laughter of childhood, and celebrate the little lives that give everything else so much meaning. But please, let’s not deny that there are those days when you temporarily forget that lovin’ feeling.

Las quiero chicas.

Is 3 yrs old too young for stand up comedy?

“Saiper AWAY Saiper!”

“Saiper, AWAY Saiper!”

“that’s that I said to the twee boys that took my ball, and I put my hand like that <gesturing of an open kiddie palm pushes up against my face> and then I told them don’t do that”

Uh, huh. I said nodding, trying to decode Naya’s three year old speak. Al looked on both humoured and perplexed by what our lovely little lady was trying to say about blocking friends at school from taking her ball.

“The boy’s name is Simon? Asked Al.

“No! I said back Saiper for him to go away!” Replied Noosh emphatically, and really, you could see her searching for how to say it so that we could understand her.

And then. Ureka. A marvelously hysterical moment materialized when I decifered that “Saiper” was “Swiper”

As in Dora The Explorer’s annoying little fox (or something) that always tries to swipe whatever Dora is trying to transport.

“Swiper, Back Swiper”. Naturally. If it works for Dora…

We laughed till we cried wonderful, delighted tears that reminded us yet again of the joy of how little minds associate and learn.

Yes, that was a cookie she had for dinner.

Let’s get real. The new mom novelty wears off fast and by the time you’ve had your second kid, if dinner consists of a chocolate covered graham cracker eaten in the stroller while I try to focus on reading the same line 5 times standing at the self help aisle at Chapters, it’s only going to bother me tinge.

And I can deal with a tinge.

In fact it was the not caring all that much that Sienna didn’t want to eat the wild salmon with homemade marinade and sweet potato mash (its the preservation of a self-image I’m after by telling you this),  that registers for me.

That line I was trying to read? It was a sentence on how to get organized in James Allen’s,  As A Man Thinketh. It’s over a century old and as relevant to my life as my kid’s poop-cycles. Therefore, as you can imagine, really very relevant. I happened to get stuck on a page where he talked about systems and how the lack of systems creates a waste of energy and creativity needed to achieve our desired goals.

The cookie was used as a stop-gap so that I could get to the punch line and find the key to system creation. We’ve been swamped with inquiries for kidscentive – which is, of course, marvelous. The challenge has been to satisfy requests for information, test the site, send out member cards, sign up new merchants, finalize strategic partnerships, oversee all the admin, process payments, design ads, consult and collaborate with clients , etc, etc, etc. And create all the systems to support it. Exceptionally, no less.

Instead, I took note of the book’s title and stashed it in my pocket until earlier this evening – er, yesterday, it’s nearly 4 am and I have not made it to bed yet – when I ordered it online. Then I picked up Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff….Go ahead. Take a guess at how far I got. How far did you get today trying to pee without someone calling you, crying, or trying to come in? Point made.

The cookie bought me all of 30 seconds. If Sienna were a care-bear, this sweet endearing child would be Eats-a-lot.

This was the first time in a looooong time that I went somewhere that I wanted to go, nearly alone to simply be. When Sienna was quiet I could almost pretend to be perusing the books and all of the ones I gravitated towards this evening were about relieving stress. I think however that I was too stressed to give the book the necessary evaluation time. If I didn’t start feeling better 5 words in, I put it back.

Don’t we know all there is to know about coping with stress anyway?

Drink water. Breathe deeply.Don’t fret. It’s a temporarily trying moment, not forever. Take vitamins. Sleep more. Do Downward dog. Do SunPose. Do the missionary position. Eat dark chocolate, oh, wait – that’s for something else.

What I was after is a reprise from all the demanding albeit wonderful things that are occurring because the reality is that even though we want to seem as though we’re always in control, on top of it – that the clothes is put away, the dishes are clean and dinner is a full spread of nutritious yumminess, we’re corporate mavens and sexual havens – life’s often just about a cookie eaten in a stroller while mommy seeks to regain a measure of calm and oneness in day old clothes and a dirty pony-tail.

A.

Funny thing about labia.

I was searching for blogs written by women and came across this one: Always Aroused Glirl.

Naturally, I clicked.

Who wouldn’t? It was 12:32 am. I should have been sleeping, instead I was youtubing TopChef and eating left overs because I can never watch that or Hells Kitchen without eating.

As I waited for it to paint up I thought I was would see a vagina staring me in the face, so I half turned my face and squinted as the screen loaded. Now understand, I am not adverse to seeing pussy, I just like to decide the context in which I happen upon one.

Finally the page opened up. The blog could not be found. Ah.

I admit to feeling relief and disappointment all at once. Funny how you can feel contradictory emotions at once. I think it must have been a blog with a HUGH labia as a header which is why it didn’t pop right open, no?

A.