Jan 19, 2015
I’m nine days into my self-proclaimed year of making and I’ve discovered that I don’t give myself enough credit. I am a constant maker. And not in the ways that you’d traditionally think of.
My devotion to everyday making seems to need me to provide pictorial proof of daily making. I’m already an habitual poster of one picture a day to Instagram so I’ve no problem with the daily showing and telling.
The first couple days of the month were taken up with cooking our meals and catering for a special dinner we were having. I rediscovered that I cook a lot more and better than I think I do. Cooking just got taken off the taken for granted list.
Then I realized, part of my regular making is writing and publishing something new at least three times a week. I am compelled to take original photos for everything so I guess my picture-taking making has to represent the writing. That’s a two for one.
And then yesterday, my daily life hit the fan, as it tends to do with a toddler taking your full attention and then refusing to nap. In fact as she’s offering a repeat performance of that now. A poopie diaper trumps a nap and we’re done.
There was honestly and literally not a moment when I was able to think of myself or of creating or making anything. I was woken up at 5:45, robbed of her nap which then forced me to go for a ride to guarantee one, and performed all the other mundanities throughout the day that make me an uber-wife and Mom all while not allowing my brains to erupt all over the walls. But I panicked that I never “made” anything. But then I changed my mind.
I realized I make a lot of stuff.
I make the bed.
I make the breakfast.
I make decisions constantly.
I make up for lost time.
I make sure the toenails of my children are not disgustingly long.
I make phone calls to straighten up miscommunications and make appointments.
I make sure there’s enough milk.
I make lunch.
I make the laundry clean again.
I make mistakes and then try not to berate myself for doing so.
I make my children laugh.
I make dirt disappear from the bathrooms.
I make dinner.
I make my husband feel guilty.
I make sense of toddler speak.
I make sense of the senseless.
I make my health a priority.
I make no money.
I make sure my children’s hair is washed.
I make my children feel safe.
I make a bed time snack.
I make use of what little time and brain clarity I have left to do something for me.
I make it look easy.
Making sense of my purpose on this planet is easy. It’s these children foremost now. And yet there’s so much more in my soul to make and give and get out of my life. The daily making challenge is my way of upping my consciousness of and my accountability for my creative self. A different perspective is never a bad thing. Practicing the act of creating has given me new permission to be happy.
And lastly, I realize that it’s quite alright if there’s a gap or two in the pictures to this process. That daily picture on Instagram is, in and of itself, an act of making.and this is for me. But I may have to take some bad pictures for myself here and there to prove I did do this. Process and perfection don’t always need to share a bunk bed.
Jan 16, 2015
Seems I’ve become a grumpy old lady and my onset of geriatric bad attitude was ignited and continues to be fueled by our carousel of appliance heartache. It would be farcical if it didn’t affect my housewife happiness so hard.
The last tragedy was the washer lost in October. The drum just broke off the arm it was attached to for 7 years. And the Youtube video guy who had taken this same washer apart with the same affliction had this tone in his voice that seemed to suggest that Sears knows exactly how long that pot metal “spider arm” will hold.
Around the same time, our March 2014 “new” 80 gallon water heater, had one of its two coils die. It broke after only 8 months of use. Really? They replaced the part for free but we had to do the physical replacing ourselves. Well Mark did but because of carpal tunnel surgery, he had a friend assist.
Don’t even get me started talking about the Dual Fuel Sears Stove! Read about that here and here.
And this week, it was the dishwasher. We hadn’t had it but maybe four years. Sadly, I think it may have been Fiona sitting on the door that killed it. It was a Maytag and Mark has now officially sworn this brand off now. He’s in the kitchen now hot wiring the new dishwasher into the quad box behind it. Thank goodness the plumbing is hoses. The DIY thing can be great unless you’re way out of your league.
I was glad I bought that nice smelling green apple dish soap because I’ve done dishes by hand for a week at least. Mark’s hand operation put him out of service for a few days of dish washing. It’s my job you know. And these appliances are all tools to make my job easier. But if they fail, I’m going to still do them. Remember my trip to the laundromat? The refrigerator has leprosy. Our Hari Kari microwave? I don’t mind doing these housework chores but I’ll not say I enjoy them.
Within a year, we’re now a couple hundred more dollars in the hole for the water heater, washer, and the dishwasher. And that is just how it is. These appliances are just made to be disposable. This isn’t the same country that used to take pride in American Made to Last. And that is really what irks me. The concept of “Buy it cheap and save money” is turning consumers into chumps. And if there is no longer integrity in product production, we’re throwing away our money and filling up our landfills.
Jan 14, 2015
My most controversial post to date was the one I wrote and published while I was newly pregnant with Fiona and flippantly claimed that I was going to have to use government healthcare to have her. I then had an opportunity to write a bigger article for a local publication here. We were 6 years without healthcare since Mark’s Union President days. We weren’t going to be able to afford the miracle that I was hoping to create. Although thankfully, all children are always covered in every state by law.
The subject of the proposed American Healthcare was its own kinda crazy this past year. Long story short, the suggested healthcare program seems to put weight on those with more to take care of those with less. Many feel the “freeloaders” in America are then putting a strain on those who have worked so hard for what they have. That’s the flavor of the outrage. Seems there are those who are trying their best to make this a memory and return us to the way things were. I contend that a healthier nation is just that and basic need fulfillment is a human right. I mused that here.
I knew we couldn’t afford the out-of-pocket bills for the hospital and that waylaid my baby having decision-making. But then my desire to be a last-minute Mom won. That seems a silly thing to say but if I had avoided using the government’s help, there would be no Fiona. But conceiving children, as well as having your hip replaced or cataract surgery or an emergency amputation, happens. And people are human and breakable and I’d like to think that Americans aren’t going to let people die or go blind or hungry if they can help them out.
We say, “All’s well that ends well”. That the universe has a way of evening out stuff even when you don’t see it. We get to over-thinking and inserting ourselves into every equation and it becomes muddled. There’s a parable of Jesus and laborers in a vineyard where some vineyard workers want to gripe about getting the same pay as the guys who didn’t work as hard or long. And the lesson becomes, don’t worry about what is not yours, focus on the fairness of your own pay.
We are taxed to pay for lots of stuff we personally will never enjoy in America such as the education and healthcare of our nation’s children as every state has a guaranteed free programs for children. It is a privilege to not live in squalor or under a dictatorship. We forget that too. And it’s a place where people of all different ethnicity and beliefs are made to believe they will be treated fairly. That is a noble thing to be a part of, even if disparity still raises its ugly head.
Then this morning, I realized there’s more. Because we manditorily got healthcare as of this year, we have made better and quicker choices to take care of ourselves. I am in the process of getting allergy shots, happily discovered I don’t need surgery on my nose or my hip, and am feeling better and more hopeful than I have in a long time. Mark took himself right off to the doctor yesterday when he was sick. Wham, he had antibiotics and steroids for his insta-sinus infection.
My fear has dissipated. Where it used to be, when I got sick, I’d be immediately terrified that I needed to get to the doctor’s before the weekend and did I have enough money for my meds and out-of-pocket doctor’s visit? Now I’m confident that it will all get better eventually. The doctor’s visits have cost me only $45 each but my peace of mind is priceless. I know that I will eventually be better. If I keep calling up and making the appointments to see the professionals to help me, eventually I won’t have to worry about what I don’t know to be ailing me. I’ll know what I have to do or what can’t be done.
Peace of mind in taking care of my well-being translates to being a better parent, a kinder person, and a better member of the society. The well-being of a society is collective. And if it starts by allowing people the access and opportunity to take care of their physical and mental state of well-being, then we all benefit no matter what we perceive our monetary cost. This is the interconnected web of humanity in action. And a little paying it forward goes a tremendously long way in helping my soul heal from its hurts. Thank you America. I got a cold for Christmas and I wasn’t fear-stricken from the possibility of a sinus infection I thankfully didn’t get because of all the healthcare I made use of this year. I am grateful and happier for the perspective that the healthcare we “had “to have has provided. And no one can take that away from me.