September 1. 2015
Yesterday morning I dropped Claire at the bus stop and pushed on to walk the track at our local university. This was my goal. This is my goal for September. Get up + get moving. Don't get weird because school is starting and Claire's going into tenth grade when most of the time I still imagine her like this:
No! That's me in an alternate dream life in California - riding horses and smiling a lot.
This is the one:
She's smiling a lot too. Maybe being five, instead of almost 16 has something to do with it.
Unlike many Moms who posted their kids first day of school pics on Facebook, I couldn't do it. (and I took a really cool one.) Claire would've been disturbed by my behavior and anyway, I wanted to post my self portrait instead.
I was walking by myself at the track, talking myself off the ledge about seasonal affective disorder kicking in too soon, coaching myself about the uncomfortable life as a writer with all its twists and turns and dead end streets when the ROTC crowd thundered past me. One guy shouted,
Good morning, Ma'am, which was polite and nice to bring me into the group but really I need to wear a sticky note saying, Please don't call me Ma'am. He meant well.
It was on my seventh lap around, I was walking in circles, that I became aware of my face. Obviously there weren't any mirrors around - this is a good thing - and I didn't whip out my phone either. It was an in-my-body moment when I realized that I had the above look on my face.
(Note: I've decided to devote some of my free time to self-portraiture - stay tuned)
How would you describe it?
Fuck, this is not good at all!
Stop this train I've got to get off?
The thing is, I was having a great time walking. Feeling really good that I was at the track at 7:00 am, walking and moving and breathing, rather than still in bed staring at the ceiling with that face. I know I was worried about my Dad who is in the hospital which is right next to the track - maybe I was vibing that whole thing because hospitals and I don't socialize well. It may have been that. And just the million other things on my mind like how fast kids grow up and change is a constant so you'd better flow with it rather than trying to swim upstream and how we define work in our society in such an outward way which is weird for some of us because we live inward, in the mystery? and so in order to make room for all this I need very wide eyes and a mouth like a big O.
I did a check-in with my face while writing this to you. No mirrors, just feeling, and came up with:
go ahead, try the face thing right now.
Today's is way more relaxed than yesterday's face. The hair is par for the course, that just climbed out of my camping tent look. My kids adore that look, I swear. Maybe because I'm writing and have a cup of tea and the dog is staring at me to go out. The house is quiet, the fan, spinning. Maybe because I'm not working in a school this year, choosing sanity + forging ahead with my writing instead.
I have a plan for today and the hospital to go to (feeling the resistance rise up) but in this moment, the only one any of us have, maybe I'm allowing myself to lean into calm.
As opposed to, run the fucking house is on fire!
Part of today's meditation says, Be patient. Relax and trust. Let go. Then, let go some more.
Forgive me, Claire. xo