Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday January 9, 2009

eclectic \i-KLEK-tik\, adjective:1. selecting and using what seems best from various sources or systems; made up of selections from various sources 2. broad in acceptance of ideas or approval from other sources
Eclectic is often a word I use to describe my children, at least in relation to one another. They are a very eclectic mix. I guess I had this misguided impression that if you take four children from the same set of genes, three of whom are the same gender, that you would get something at least a little similar. I could not have been more wrong when it comes to my children. First of all, they really look nothing alike. Shayna and Camden resemble eachother somewhat - dark brown eyes like me and the same color brown hair. But Nate? Where on earth did that blond hair and blue eyes come from? And Zach has brown hair but pairs that with the most gorgeous hazel eyes I have ever seen. But it is really their personalities that set them way apart from one another. Nate is about as athletic as they come. From a very young age he has played travel hockey, baseball and now football. And he's very smart - and very practical. He's a planner and an executor. He goes from point A to Point B in a direct line. Zachary, my sweet Zachary, is not a proactive participant in anything athletic. Their school requires that two sports be played per year so he grudgingly participates, but he doesn't do it all that happily. And boy is he smart!!!! But when it comes to practical matters, well, I think practical matters tend to be a bit elusive for Zach. For Zach, getting from point A to point B is a delightfully circuitous route that makes very good sense to him but leaves many other heads spinning. But he gets there, and gets there well. Shayna - I can't even comment on anything athletic for her. I do know whenever I propose something athletic it takes about a nano-second before I hear "No." And she's smart too - but her true calling is master manipulation of all of these boys in her life (including her father, I might add.) You can see the wheels turning in that little head when she is looking to get something to go her way. And she is generally successful, much to the dismay of all those boys but they just cannot manage to say no. She is definitely a go-getter and will do what it takes to achieve her goals, often relentlessly. That leaves my sweet Camden. I swear Camden is an old soul locked in that little body. And again, smart. So smart that all of the parenting tricks I thought I had honed - NONE of them work on him. He circumvents my logic at every turn. He rationalizes and debates in a respectful yet lethal manner. Oh yes, this one will give me gray hairs, I'm sure of that. Oh and in terms of him being an avid athlete - the jury's out on that one. I signed him up for T-ball in the spring. A few days ago I said "Cam, how about you learn to ice skate so you can play hockey like Nate?" He looked at me like I had two heads and said "Mommy! I'm already playing that one with the ball and the thing you hit it with!!!" So an avid athlete.......perhaps not. (SO where the heck did Nate come from???)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday January 8, 2009

daunt \dawnt, dahnt\, verb:1. to frighten; overcome with fear 2. to discourage; lessen the courage of
It's not hard for me to write about "daunt" today. I should have known it was going to be one of those days when I woke up this morning. I was SO tired even though I got more sleep than usual. It's just one of those gray winter days that makes it hard to muster an excitement to start the day. I took the kids to school, came home with my coffee and surfed the Internet - my typical morning routine. Usually, the first thing I do is go to Today I was met with this headline looming forebodingly on the screen in giant font: "Obama warns economy may get much worse before it gets better." Honestly, I was kind of hoping we were at rock bottom and it could only be up from here. Frankly, it's hard for me to imagine it getting worse. Maybe it's better other places in the country than it is here. But here, in suburban Detroit, the economy sucks. Honestly it's depressing to be out and about because everywhere you look things are out of business or having huge "going out of business" fire sales. Every other house is for sale with little hope of selling because noone is buying. People generally look like dogs that have been kicked. And this isn't rock bottom? That to me is daunting. I'm cheery today, huh?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday January 7, 2009

candor \KAN-der\, noun:1. honesty in giving one's view or opinion; frankness and sincerity
I have an issue with being candid. I always have. I am generally a conflict avoider. I am really good at it. Honestly, I have perfected the avoidance of conflict. But I digress....back to candor. Mostly I just don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and frankly, who am I, to give an opinion on anyone else's life? Obviously it's different with my children - I guess it's kind of in the job description as mother to be candid and to promote candor in your children as well. That can work out well - or not. Obviously, this is a great thing when you hear all of the little details of their life, good and bad - it's what we all hope to have, good communication. It can sometimes go a bit awry too. For example, when your child very loudly in a grocery store says "Mommy, why does that person look so funny? ", they're just being candid, right? (Even though you'd like nothing better than to fall through a miraculously appearing hole in the floor.) Or, when your teenager asks "Why's it taking so long for dinner to be ready?" after you've spent the last two years running around like a crazy person answering every beck and call of four children , to the exclusion of making dinner - just a candid, honest question, right? (Even though it promotes the urge to slap a bowl of cereal in front of him and say "Voila, dinner!") But, then again, despite those uncomfortable or perhaps, irritating moments, I know in my heart that honesty and candor is better than the alternative. Case in point, my father is an amazingly healthy 80 years young. But he can't hear, really can't hear. And I so badly want to tell him to just go get hearing aides already! But, I just can't bring myself to do it - lack of candor, conflict avoidant, call it what you will. I need to take a lesson from my children and just say it , already!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday January 5, 2009

abstinent \AB-stuh-nuhnt\, adjective:abstaining, especially from self-indulgence
Ok, I laughed when I read the word for today. Clearly I am not "abstinent" in the most commonly understood sense of the word as I have four children!
I wonder if the editors at plan these words according to some greater plot or if it is random. But for me, and maybe others, it's a good word for the beginning of a new year and the resolutions that tend to come with it. I have plenty of self-indulgences that I am not willing to part with - like my morning coffee from Starbucks that I sip as I sit here and type. Seriously, it has been such an ingrained (and needed) part of my routine that my children look a little weary if they've noticed that I have not had my coffee yet. It's nothing fancy - just a regular coffee, not a complicated 15 word espresso drink ( i.e grande, extra hot caramel macciado with half 2% milk and half whole milk, one splenda, no whipped cream, but drizzle the caramel on top ) but the coffee - No abstaining going on there.
But there are other things that I think are worth giving up, or trying to, at least. For example, I must kick my late-night habit. I tend to savor that time in the evening (and generally extending late into the night) when all of the children are asleep and I finally get a moment without hearing "Mommy" every thirty seconds. I know that sounds like an exaggeration. But scroll up to my lack of traditional abstinence, and it will no longer sound as far-fetched. It is the time of day when I really feel like I can truly relax and focus on something for more than a few minutes without interruption. But I must learn to abstain because I've noticed I'm getting too old to survive on three hours of sleep. The cold, hard fact of life, I guess. But you know how it goes with resolutions - I got three hours of sleep last night. This abstaining thing may take some practice.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday January 4, 2009

zealous \ZEL-uhs\, adjective:full of zeal; actively enthusiastic
Zealous - a good word for today as I attempt to zealously, for lack of a better word, embark and re-embark on so many things in my life. Obviously the first of these is keeping up with this blog. It is so good for my soul to write and I love this as an outlet. It's amazing though the pressure it sometimes causes. My family really enjoys reading it, and even Shayna every once in awhile will ask me if I have written in my blog. (Scott hopes by reading it, I think, to get inside my head better - I do tend to be a bit internal about things.) The premise of the blog sometimes causes angst - there frankly are some words that pop up that give me zero inspiration. I guess that is where my creativity needs to kick in.

As with everyone it seems, I also have a renewed committment to healthy living and exercise. This is not a new one for me but we are trying to make it an effort for the whole family. That makes me ring-leader, drill seargent, psychiatrist, chef, and occasionally very unpopular. But I'm willing to give it a go, for the sake of us all.

Speaking of unpopular, I have another path I am looking forward to pursuing zealously: a spiritual path. After much anxiety in this realm over so many years, I am feeling brave enough to forge ahead in a new direction. This will most certainly be unpopular but it is time. I sincerely hope that those affected by it most will understand and be supportive of my need to start living my life in a way that focuses on my own happiness, certainly not to the exclusion of others' happiness, but putting an end to the exclusion of my own. (A huge thank you to those - you know who you are - who helped me to gain this confidence.)

I sincerely wish everyone a fantastic upcoming year!