Monday, August 20, 2012

Travels

A while back these sorts of posts were saved for different pages, but nowadays the lines of definition are blurred, so here I am, blending a bit more.

I've done a lot of traveling over the last few days.  Some of it emotional, but most of it mental.
The via's were varied.... my mother gossiping to me (a harsh word, but that's how it felt to me) about how a child we know and love is only on fifth grade math - ! - "I am not impressed by that information," I told her, "And neither and I depressed by it."  I was disappointed that she didn't 'get it' and get Me better than that.
And I was bummed about politics, for a bit.  I don't have loads of people in my Friends list on fb, so I don't get too riled up, :), but once in a while....
I watched Waiting for Superman, and was bummed that something I've so easily walked away from in disdain seems like a matter of others' Last Hope.  The one last chance to change their lives, their experience.  A bit angry that The System (as bureaucratic, detached, and unfeeling as it is) can make people see it as more powerful than themselves.
And, you know, since I was there already, I watched Children Underground.  Which is about the effects of the Romanian dictator Nicolei Ceaucescu's outlaw of birth control because he wanted to increase his country's workforce... leaving kids uncherished, unwelcome at home, and sniffing 'paint' (some sort of toxic fuminess from what I could figure out) while living in the subway.  Yeah.  Didn't cry over that one though, oddly enough.  But I sure felt sick and dizzy for several hours afterward.  (I suspect I was getting sort of detached to these things by this point.  Self preservation, maybe.  :) )
And then yesterday I watched Discovery Atlas : China -- which was sometimes cool, again surprising, and somewhat disturbing. (Facial reconstruction in order to be promoted in a dog-eat-dog world?  Children having no choices?)
That one I was also able to smile at, when the young gymnast was so certain "Everyone wants to be a gold medal Olympic champion... Everyone wants to be the very best in the whole world at what they do..."  :).  No.  Not everyone does.
Now this part isn't new or revealing to me--I've known for a long, long time -and been thankful for it- that different people want different things. 
People have different priorities, different passions, different ways of living their best lives... or not.
That is something that I've long celebrated, actually. 
I believe that it's a sort of welcomed godly expression, if you will.  Beautiful and right.
While I may sometimes get very annoyed by it, it is still something that I largely respect.

Now you might think that this was all about "wallowing", or a sort of soul sinking.  But it really wasn't.  (And just so you know, these were not the documentaries I was referring to that I watched with the children! :) )
It was, I think, a sort of unintentional but not accidental travel.
Sometimes you gotta hold up different pieces of reflective glass in order to make sure you're still shining in the right spot.
Make sure you're not just hangin' out in the same place because it's easy.  Make sure it's really Who You Are, and not that you're remaining there by default.

I've also asked a few rounds of questions this weekend... assessing.
I do it pretty often, as you may know, as it's important to me to check in with my two babies... make sure there's nothing I've missed or ignored.
I think I asked several questions over the last few days (phrasing and digging in different ways), but the one I s'pose I really wanted to know was "What would be your top five things--things that every day should have?  Things that make you happy?"

Trevelyn :
   learn a cool new thing every day
   good food (first he said 'a good dinner', but later added 'a good breakfast, so we changed this to be 'good food')  :) 
   entertainment
   outside time
   playing with my family

Maddie:
   fun
   playing
   health (healthy foods, healthy people)
   joyful family
...after these four, she started repeating.  :)

And their Mama?
   Joy
   curiosity (interest, engagement, seeking)
   some sort of personal physical Doing--scrubbing, swimming, biking, walkiing, exercising
   kindness
   being expansive--responding well to the needs of the day

Right after this discussion, I was really just thinking 'Happy' and 'Joyful'.
It always comes down to that with me, doesn't it?
I just really want a happy, joyful, playful, loving, laughing, seeking, creative, thriving home.  And family.

Sometimes a girl can ask herself (such as the last few days) if this is a frivolous pursuit.
And then she stops for a second, and in the in between gets on facebook for a sec, and sees  a beautiful picture, and the words "Pay attention to poetry.  Pay attention to music.  Pay attention to paintings and sculpture and photo exhibits and ballets and plays.  Why?  Because art is God's way of saying hello.  Your world is shouting out to you, revealing something intrinsically glorious about itself. Listen carefully.  Love art, the way art loves life.  Don't let this all go unnoticed."  Neale Donald Walsch.

So I hear my babes words of what makes them happy and fulfilled, and I see how easily they mix with my own deepest wishes, and I think, "Yes."

Yes, I'm quite alright with living for Joy. 
And for spiritual stretching. 
I feel really, really good about wanting to be ever expansive,
and about being grateful,
and for celebrating beauty,
and I'm quite okay with placing at the very top of my list all of these lovely things that fill my heart, and make me happy.
I am quite satisfied to define for myself what my Shine is, and to live, love, and reflect from that shining place.

13 comments:

  1. Glad you're writing more again. I have missed your voice. I think you were inside my head this time!

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  2. Thanks, Jen!
    :) I've missed being here. ♥

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  3. Oh, dear, Waiting for Superman--I have had so many conversations about that documentary to others, attempting to express my sorrow, my...kerfufflement? about how others can be made to feel so disempowered in their efforts to parent their children that a lottery, of all things, is the only thing they can see to better their lives.

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  4. I think iving for joy is noble pursuit. Love this.

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  5. i just love that not everyone wants the very same thing. i too want joy, happiness and i guess contentment in my every day. i love just being. being here, being present, being with my life. so much of the time it seems that we are pushed to want more then happiness or that happiness is so hard to get.
    although i have yet to see waiting for superman... i have to say that i became more empowered once we decided that traditional school was not the way to go. and i feel that my children are thriving more by not being there. NOT that is has to be everyone else's choice, but what has worked in my home with my people. and when some have decided to venture off into the land of school, well they have thrived because it was never an issue before and it still isn't.
    i'm glad you are back as well!

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  6. Julie - mmhmm. Exactly.
    So, so disturbing that we're made to feel so incompetent. And so beholden and .... servile.... to something that has Fear (and no other real substance) as its only power.

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  7. Chessa - Good thing we get to pick our Nobles, hmm? :)

    Momto5 - definitely more empowered! And thank you. :)

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  8. Isn't it funny how there can be a sort of season of thought? We are currently musing similar things over the other side of this big world. It was so very good to read your journey, thank you for sharing.

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  9. "I just really want a happy, joyful, playful, loving, laughing, seeking, creative, thriving home. And family." I love this. That seems a perfect summary to me.

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  10. I really enjoy your blog & am glad to see you back in action! Your lists reminded me of the "Did We" list that I wrote when my now 8 year old was 1 year...he & his younger brother (almost 4) review this list every night at dinner. I thought I'd share our "Did We?" list with you:
    TODAY DID WE
    - Play & laugh? Were we loving?
    - Do something creative?
    - Help our house & our bodies?
    - Get outside?
    - Learn something new?
    - Feed our spirit?

    We've found that with these covered all is well in our world. None of the rest really matters. :)

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  11. Stephanie,
    I know that I don't comment a lot but this post really touched my heart and it seems that I've been where you have been lately. Sometimes, you can't avoid being affected by the world and sometimes it hurts or disturbs. My pain has been coming from the Marcellus Shale natural gas drillings going on all around me, everyday, all day long. It has been grating at my nature loving soul and I have been struggling, but I want to share a quote I saw recently from Anne Frank: I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
    Thanks for listening, sometimes just talking to others is a balm to a wounded soul!

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  12. Thanks for talking through these thoughts out loud. You wouldn't believe how useful they can be to people!

    Just tonight I needed reassurance from my husband about some things similar to what you've been thinking about. (The occasional "Is there something wrong with me because I don't value [x] for my children that everyone else around me seems to value?" And his patient, predictable response: "No." :)

    It's okay to value observation and appreciation over being always rushed. To care more about meaningful time spent with your kids than you do about whether or not they are scoring goals in front of other kids' parents. And you're right: it's not about being judgmental. But it is about being okay with your own judgment calls, which, when made not just for yourself but for small children, seem so magnified.

    Thanks for the great perspective, the thoughtful heart, and the joyful outlook.

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  13. I love these sorts of posts that you write so elegantly. We all travel/ponder, and your sharing helps us all to know we're not traveling alone.

    Thanks :)

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!