Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fifty Years

I woke up this morning and realized that today would have been my parents' golden anniversary. Since my father has been gone for the past five and a half years, it was an ordinary day, full of daily cares and plans and worries, yet slightly bittersweet underneath. Life has a cruel way of going on without the ones we love, even when we desperately wish it would stop. This anniversary makes the landscape of my life seem a bit bare, like a stretch of desert with a bit of tumbleweed blowing along. The empty spaces are never really filled, except perhaps with longing. And tomorrow is still another day.

Staying Focused

It's Day 15, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm getting a little obsessive. It's hard to stay focused on a goal when other priorities keep muscling their way to the top of my list. I am supposed to be finishing a writing project, but instead I end up in the pediatrician's office staring down two monster Q-tips. My daughter and I are both alarmed. She's smart enough to know what Miss Nurse is planning to do with those monster Q-tips, and I'm smart enough to realize immediately that the week is over. It's Wednesday morning, and I can look forward to another two and a half days with a germy, snotty, cranky, hyperactive toddler.
I'm organized so I get my little bit of writing work done. I'm stirring the pot and the concotion I'm creating isn't growing cold. But all my creative energy is focused on sanitizing any surface my adorable little germ factory might touch with her wet, sticky fingers. Sometimes life is like that. I just have to stay focused.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Weaving the Silver Lining

Day 14 of 90 Days to Reach My Goal found me standing in front of the kitchen sink swishing toys around in the dish tub, rinsing them, then submerging them in another tub of warm water with bleach for two minutes before placing them in the dish drain to air dry. My child has too many toys. I've only just santized the first set, so I'll be setting up the soap-water-and-bleach assembly line again before the week is through. The toys will one by one quietly disappear to take their baths until my child will have nothing left to play with except used tissues. By then I hope she'll have no need for tissues, clean or used.
I could allow myself to feel a sense of accomplishment for doing all tasks I had set for myself to achieve my 90-Day Goal. I have been steady inching toward my goal since Day 1. Yet all I can think about is what I haven't been able to accomplish with a sick child at home. I feel so unproductive, especially when she looks so pitiful and sniffly. I want her to get better so she can get on with her own life and enjoy preshcool and playing with her friends. But because it is "just a cold" I get impatient.
Maybe in the end, this lesson is all about learning some patience. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." I can be disciplined about doing what it takes to achieve my goal, but I can learn to be satisfied with modest accomplishments on days that I have other priorities. Children get sick--it just happens. I just have to find a way to fold nursing a sick child into everything else with serenity and calm. Even if it means spending a couple of hours sanitizing an embarrassment of toys. I can look at it as an opportunity to sort through and give away some of them. Practicing the fine art of weaving the silver lining.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Being a parent means learning to be flexible. At least for me. I make a plan. I evaluate the plan. I motivate myself to follow through with the plan. Then the plan evaporates has the unwelcome truth sets in. I greet my little one with a sunny, "Good morning!" In return I get, "Goot borning, Bobby." She's all sparkling eyes, big smile, and glistening upper lip. "By nose hurts," she informs me cheerfully.
I'm wiping her copiously dripping nose with one hand and grasping for the remnants of my plan with the other. The snot fairies have taken over, ripped my plan for the day (and most likely the next day) into tiny pieces which are blowing just out reach. Oh well. It could be worse. It could be the vomit fairies.
With that cheerful though in mind, I take the puzzle pieces of my plan and attempt to put them together another way. My life has become a Rubik's Cube. If I can't work it in one way, I figure out how to work it in another. I'm flexible.

90 Days and Counting...

I created DreamCrafters as a forum for my writing and musing on crafting dreams--pulling dreams out of the realm of wishes and manifesting them in the physical world. It's time to start putting stuff out here in the blogosphere that addresses that. Confession time--I've been scared to do that. I've been scared to make myself vulnerable and share my mistakes with anyone out in cyberspace who happens to stumble upon this collection of random scribblings. But now is my time to step out into fear.
So I'm sitting here at sunrise typing away while baking cupcakes for my daughter's birthday. I was going to bake them last night, but time got the better of me. I decided that the wisest course of action would be to mix up the dry ingredients and take my tired behind to bed. The clock struck eleven and I turned into a pumpkin. I can't say it was a successful plan just yet since the cupcakes aren't baked yet. However, I slept fitfully, dreaming of chocolate and baking and fighting a stalker with weapons. I might have slept better if I'd had some cupcakes cooling overnight, but I wouldn't have slept as long. Oh well, it was the best I could do with the time I had.
I really enjoy making this particular chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday. It's a vegan cake, baked originally to accommodate birthday guests with milk and egg allergies. I still haven't figured out how this recipe works--a really delicious cake made without butter or eggs. It must be a chemistry thing. The secret is baking soda in the dry ingredients and cold water and vinegar in the wet ingredients. The batter is mixed life muffins, which makes it sinfully easy, but the best things is that we can all lick the bowl. I am unfailingly strict about not tasting cake batter--even the tiniest lick can make you sick if the raw eggs are contaminated. But the cake is made without eggs so we can lick the bowl until our foreheads are covered in chocolate. That's big fun! This wonderful recipe can be found in The Joy of Cooking--see And I think the cupcakes are going to be fine, despite the fact that I woke in the middle of the night and realized I didn't have frosting. Powdered sugar will have to do.