Dec 19, 2014
Although I am encouraging of empowerment and change, I am not secretly harboring a dream to be a motivational speaker or a life coach. I believe leading by example carries more weight. In a very insightful blog post from Kathleen of Braid Creative entitled Don’t Aim To Inspire, she says inspiring others can’t be your end all be all. People can be inspired by you but you have to be pursuing your own goals while your being inspirational and learning your lessons. I am suspicious of the slightly overzealous people preaching motivation and change of being most in need of the stuff they’re preaching. I have seen a few exceptions online.
I will again admit, I feel like I have often talked about change and how everything’s great while inside I’m thinking I’m faking my way through it. Faking it and not necessarily feeling like I was making it. Sometimes I clearly see those parts of me that are pretty cool. I read a writing piece and think, “Wow, that’s good”. Then I forget. I forget myself.
It’s like when you have all the necessary ingredients in stock to make a pizza from scratch on Friday night pizza night. The self rising pizza dough kit and the jar of sauce and the pre-shredded mozzarella and you still feel incapable of making the pizza. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.
I do not see all the methods and opportunities for advancement and clever work I can create for myself because I don’t always think of myself as capable. Remember how you see the outside of someone’s car with “Wash Me” drawn in the dirt but whomever is driving can’t see it. Or how about, if I could see my puzzle piece clearly and the spots to try it out in clearly, I’d still have to pick it up and place it in the hole.
So I am going as fast and as hard as I can to sort my pieces and look for the puzzle holes to fill. And yes, sometimes I’m saying, “I can make this pizza!” even though I have every doubt in what that process will look like. I can read instructions, ask a friend, Google it, or muddle my way through it. But this pizza won’t make itself and you know I’m getting kinda hungry.
Dec 17, 2014
If it’s perfect, you can’t improve it. And so I didn’t change one thing from my decorations last year to this year for the 15 foot tree at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton. My post from last year is here.
The theme again for this Christmas tree was definitely global awareness and I also created all the ornaments from found supplies at my house. I’m a huge fan of decorating with paper. You can get big scale for little money.
So again, I brought out the brown stars made from coffee filters and cat litter bags that were my inspiration project last year.
And the paper doll chains were a copy of ones my sister made for me for my wedding shower made from a roll of plastic-like paper that doesn’t rip.
The mini globes were created from big silver plastic balls I got bulk and on sale one year and hot glued ripped road atlas pages onto them. And the nests are globs of shredded road atlas pages wired to branches. I’m in love with the texture they provide. And of course I stole the old globe from my son’s room for the topper. The red netting them pops the elements and completes the tree because I’m a firm believer in red on a tree. All the members of the congregation are so happy and if feels like a perfect reflection of the consciousness and interconnection of the foundation of this community.
Dec 15, 2014
I had occasion to take a walk through a mall recently. Meeting a dear friend halfway between our houses meant meeting for lunch in the Annapolis Mall. And having parked at one end, I discovered that the restaurant was at the complete opposite end. So I figured I’d get a good power walk in. And off I went.
What I noticed, besides the foreign men lurking at the shop entrances and lunging out like spiders to hand me a coupon I refused, was all the ‘buy now’ newness. And how this no longer held any glamor for me.
When I was young with disposable income, either mine or my parents, I loved the mall. As teenagers, we would spend hours doing laps around and around the chosen mall taking in the trends, eating a slice of pizza, goofing off, flirting with foreign teenagers, and fondling clothing we weren’t going to buy. As a twenty something, my interest in my beauty brought me back to the mall for the glamor of fashion, makeup, accessories, and shoes.
Does it surprise me to note that the glamor, the narcissism that marked my youth has left, gone with my innocence and my disposable income. No, nothing really surprises me anymore except a beautiful sunset. As I got my heart pumping with my power walk, I felt righteous knowing that I was an American who wasn’t obsessed by the getting and the spending. And that I wasn’t feeding the machine which is the retail industry. One that seems to cater to skinny no hipped boy/girls who don’t mind things clinging to their shins. Ecchh.
I have been slowly fitting back into what I do have in my closet, much of which is thrifted. And putting on make-up. I do feel the self-love being rekindled that I lost a little after the birth of Fiona. I’ve recently inventoried what I have in my closets. And when I am ready to make more changes to my wardrobe, I’ll go looking for what I need and get a little shopping therapy on. Because if it’s seldom to happen, as in “I lost weight and am ready to pull off a personal episode of What Not to Wear”, it’s a little more fun to shop. The glamor is there, just in a different way.
Dec 12, 2014
We are enough.
I read these words and I want to live this truth so badly. Because, I go in and out of believing this is true. And believing I’m enough is where I, and everyone, needs to be.
Let me give you the excerpt from Kelly Rae Roberts that brought me this thought. She wrote in this post about letting herself off the hook and off the burnout train,
”I have a long way to go, but I’ve exhaled, unhooked, and detoxed from the I am not enough gremlins. I don’t want my worthiness attached to what I do and how much I do it. I don’t want it to be attached to anything. We are enough. As is.”
This week was not a happy and contented week for me. One week out of every month needs to be thrown on the fire and sacrificed to the gods of unhappiness. I was accomplishing all the tasks I had deemed necessary. It was all getting done and I wasn’t even stressing about Christmas, but I felt disgruntled. I wanted to feel that liquid chocolate satisfaction of my accomplishments. And to be a super Mommy too. But in the end, I didn’t feel like I got it right. It wasn’t enough happiness the right way. I was detached from all my accomplishments and spinning wheels in my soul.
I resent not having time to myself to do whatever I want for as long as I want it. I don’t resent the toddler who prevents this, just the lack of me-time. I was irritated at the anticipation of the nap being screwed up. In fact, now, I’m vaguely hostile for that very fact. Because the un-napped baby is nasty later and there’s no true unplug for me…for 12 hours straight.
I perceive that I’m responsible for too many other people’s happinesses. Whether they feel that’s true is of no consequence. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get that perceived burden out of my head because it’s rooted pretty deeply. I’m not enough to be the best everyone on top of being my best self. Now I hear myself as whiny and that’s not good either.
The poo sandwich just keeps getting bigger on the days where I make it all about poor me. I’ll never and I can’t and nothing. Those are how I hear conversations starting.
And that is in fact enough of that.
Enter gratitude. I have so many people in my life who care dearly for me. They may not be the people I wish cared or in the exact way that I wish they cared but I know there’s care there.
My kids are safe and healthy and none the worse for my outbursts or disgruntlement. And many people in the world aren’t able to say that today.
I am finding my way and discovering the things that work and the talents that I can value in myself. It’s slow but it’s progress. And I can’t open my eyes any wider than they are. I have to trust the process. I have to show up every day and work hard and know that when I’m ready for whatever needs to happen, it will happen.
And I need to lighten the heck up. Do something silly and fun. Ask for what I need. And tell the soul-suckers there’s not enough of me to go around. Because I owe me something better than spread thin, eye-twitching, unsatisfied Shalagh. I owe me the happy safe little gal who likes to make things pretty and see other people laugh. She is joy and in her moments, she is enough. And she has no care but for herself and her soul satisfaction.
Dec 10, 2014
There’s more “progress” happening in our sleepy little town. Remember the Walmart they built that I never shop in?
There’s more mall sprawling happening next door. Happened to meet the foreman after I came out of the Y and was taking pictures. He was nervous about me taking those pictures. Seems people taking random pictures of his construction sites had gotten him in trouble before. Safety risks were a questionable issue. I assured him I was just taking pictures of the equipment for my kid. I was kinda telling the truth.
Rumor is that there’s absolutely nothing going into the plaza that I care about. A pet store and a mattress store. And the Rite Aid gets to expand. Whoop Dee Doo. So progress happens whether you care or not. I hope they get her done soon as I had to work hard the other day to deliver my recycling behind the building. Diggers and detours are everywhere.
And “progress” continues whether you want it to or not.