Now is Good.

Just because life hands you lemons doesn't mean you have to suck.

Need vs. Want. November 17, 2013

Filed under: Change,Writing — nowisgoodblog @ 5:35 pm

I need to start writing again.

Need to.  Don’t want to.

This is new.  

For a very long time now, I’ve wanted to write, but I’ve not needed to.  When I started this blog, my need was great.  This space–this Now Is Good blog–was born of rank necessity.  Four years ago, I was recently divorced.  I was shocked/confused/scared/angry/hurt/determined/hopeful/sad/wounded/broken/searching.  I was raw.  EVERYTHING in my life had changed.  The questions outnumbered the answers, at a time when I had just begun to feel I had everything figured out.  My children were struggling.  I was struggling.  I wrote as a way of shining a light ahead on my path; of trying to look forward to see where I wanted to go … and then backtracking to see what steps I needed to take to get there.  My need was great.  My need was everything.

I wrote for a long time.  About being single.  About healing.  About hurting.  About him and about her and about me and about them.  About how.  About why.  About why me?  About just getting through it in one damn piece.

Then somewhere along the way, I realized I was through it.  I was on the other side of the nightmare.  The divorce, and all that came with it, was done.  Over.  Past.  My past.  It still hurt, but only occasionally.  It was still confusing, but only sometimes.  It still pissed me off, but only every once in awhile.  (For what it’s worth, it still does all of those things … but less and less, and fewer and farther between.)

This is all the new normal now.  My throat doesn’t tighten when I say, “I’m divorced.”  I know how to navigate the party and play date invites from other parents on non-kid weekends.  The Ex and I rarely argue about anything except money, and that’s only occasionally … and we would probably do that even if we were still married.  This is just life.  My life.

And I stopped needing to write about it.

I missed being here.  I missed the interaction.  I missed the creative outlet.  I missed the support.  I missed writing. I missed it, but I didn’t need it.  I just wanted it.  And certain wants, this being a prime example, fall way, way down on the prioritized list of Things A Single Working Mom of 3 Has Time For.

Stasis has reigned supreme for awhile now, and it’s been lovely.  But as it does, that whole “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans” thing?  It’s reared its ugly head.  As a result, I think I need to start writing again.  I’m not sure how often or about what or whether it’s going to make any sense or whether it’s going to be any good.  Once again, I find myself unsure about everything.  More on that to come.  For now, I’ll just say I feel the need so I’m going to commit to making the effort.

And yes, just as with every Monday’s “I am getting back on the healthy eating kick and going to lose these 5 (ok, 10) pounds I dislike” mantra, I’ve said this before.  Repeatedly.  Feel free to ignore me this time.  In fact, please ignore me this time.  I haven’t intentionally cried wolf in the past, but it’s happened anyway.  Knowing that anyone is watching or waiting (or reading) isn’t likely to help my performance anxiety.  

I said at the beginning I didn’t want to start writing again.  That isn’t exactly true.  I do want.  Very much.  I want to be able to.  I’m not sure I remember how.  And I’m scared.  But I’m going to try anyway.  I’m rusty like you wouldn’t believe (and I’m not proofreading).  Please bear with me.  xo

 

Is this thing on?? July 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — nowisgoodblog @ 7:03 pm
Tags:

Image

Hi.  It’s been almost a year of total radio silence.  Sorry about that.  As many of you know and most of the rest of you probably suspect, my absence has resulted from life becoming stable again.  That’s a good thing for me, for my kids, for trucking on down the road.  Not such a good thing for my writing.

But I *might* post again soon.  Might.  Maybe.  Possibly.

Something struck me today and I may need to write about it.  So, so, so, so much has happened since I last posted.  I’ve missed birthdays and anniversaries and milestones and achievements and kid funnies and love and grief and all the good and bad stuff in between.  There were times I wanted to write.  I didn’t.  There were times I meant to write.  I didn’t.  Times people asked me to write.  Didn’t.  Missing all those things—NOT writing about those things–made it harder for me to write about … anything.  Kinda like when you get out of the habit of going to the movies for awhile?  And then it becomes, “If this isn’t going to be THE VERY BEST cinematic two hours of my life, then I am absolutely not going to bother.”  That’s what my writing has become this past year.  I’ve been too stable and too content and too “normal” to be a very good writer these days.  There’s been no need and no desperation and therefore, no posts.

For those of you prone to concern, I’m still stable and content and feeling pretty normal (whatever that means).  DOn’t worry.  I just saw something today that I may want to write about anyway.

I’m not linking this anywhere, which probably means that only the 3 or so folks who still have subscriptions to this blog will even be aware of a new post going up.  And that’s fine.  I just wanted to tell you 3 that I might write something soon.  Maybe.

 

They Are Who They Are. August 30, 2012

Filed under: 3 kids,Childhood,Humor,Motherhood — nowisgoodblog @ 8:51 am

If you know me in real life, there’s a good chance you also know my kids.  And if you know my kids, you know that although they may *look* a lot alike, their personalities couldn’t possibly be more different.

My kids raise the birth order theory to a new level.  Avery is my eldest, my linear-thinking problem solver, my mature and responsible child, my planner, my “I’m-determined-to-fit-into-the-grownup-world” kid.  Owen is my middle, my wild card, my emotional and imaginative son, my costume-wearing lover of fantasy and make-believe who marches to the beat of his own drum.  Amelia is my baby, my social butterfly who introduces herself without qualm and who manhandles friendship and devotion from complete strangers, my happy-go-lucky sunshine, my constant performer who tap dances her way through life with jazz hands blazing, determined to claim her fair share (or more) of the spotlight.  They are who they are.

Recently, we sat down for dinner at a local patio restaurant.  An orange Lamborghini was valet-parked across the street … quite a rare sight in our suburban bubble.  Giant SUVs and tricked-out minivans?  A dime a dozen.  Elite Italian sports cars with Back to the Future doors?  Not so much.  The kids couldn’t take their eyes off the car.  We watched as everyone within a two-block radius walked up and inspected the car, circling and ogling and making clear that this was a car deserving of attention.  After our meal, we took our turn with the ogling and snapped the obligatory photo.  Seeing the Lamborghini up close, my kids’ reactions were such perfect representations of their unique personalities that I experienced a jarring moment of clarity: They really and truly are who they are.  They are exactly that and nothing else, and my job as their mother is to nurture and foster and protect their unique selves (and in Amelia’s case, maybe protect her from her overly social self).  I had that lovely “Motherhood Moment” of clarity and then I laughed my ass off, because my children really do entertainment me.

Avery:

How much does that car cost?

How much does an obstetrician make? 

How long will I have to work before I can buy that car?

Owen: 

Mom, I bet you a million dollars that the man who owns that car is wearing a solid gold suit. 

Solid.

Gold.

Amelia:

Can we wait here for that car’s person to come out? 

Because I bet if we’re really, really nice to him, he’ll take us home with him.

They are who they are.

 

Hiya. August 27, 2012

Filed under: 3 kids,Balance,Change,divorce,Realizations,Romance — nowisgoodblog @ 10:43 pm
Tags:

Hiya.

So.

Here are some pictures of my kiddos from this morning:

I know—it’s crazy how they look absolutely *nothing* alike, right?!  Weird.

Back to school again.  But before this, there was …

The end of school.  Summertime.  Vacation with family.  Vacation with friends.  There was The Ex and The Girlfriend having their baby (and my children gaining a half-sibling).  There was major adjustment, for all of us.  There was Avery’s 10th birthday.  There were girls’ nights out and there were concerts that had me grinning for days.  There was a three-day music festival on the beach.  There was love and romance and trying to figure out the relationship stuff … yet again.   There was my annual sailing trip to Canada, after much (much, much, MUCH) effort and gnashing of teeth and making of arrangements and calling in of favors that surely must have rivaled the planning of a land war in Asia (and as a reward, there were beautiful days and blue skies and calm waters and sweet young boys and Tommy Green, Jr. and time spent with now-dear friends and yes, there was more romance).  There was the arrival of puberty in the house, unexpected and much more of an emotional watershed for me than it was for the amazing kiddo who actually went through it.  There was The Ex in trial out-of-state and my forced need to do some real, true single parenting sans co-parent for awhile (and the resulting realization for both of us, I think, that we need each other to make this thing work).  There was football beginning again and there was back-to-school shopping and there was a new school begun today complete with lockers and bells and complicated schedules and hello-you-are-most-definitely-no-longer-in-elementary-school-anymore-it’s-time-to-grow-up.

There was laughter and there were tears and there was joy and pain and happiness and sorrow.  There was Life.  Constantly and amazingly and incessantly.

I could’ve written about any of it.  I wanted to write about much of it.

I didn’t write about any of it.  (Obviously.)

There are a lot of reasons for that, I suppose—lack of time, a sudden desire for privacy (for me and for my children and for others in my life who deserve it), some strange new-found hesitation to expose my psyche to the ether (perhaps spurred by the realization that there were people … people in my real life … who were reading and who were knowing things that I wasn’t sure I was ok with them knowing).

The purest truth, though, is probably that although I’ve wanted to write, I haven’t needed to write.  The catharsis is somewhat done.  Life is more or less normal—at least, my new version of normal.  Time and change and adaptation and a whole truckload of what-can-you-do?  My kids are growing up in front of my eyes and I swear that most days I can watch myself age in the mirror and in general I think I’m just far less inclined to waste time being angry or wistful or hopeful or overly concerned about anything except this moment right here and now.  And by the time I sit down to write about the singular moment?  It’s gone.

I haven’t written here in four months (almost).  There have been times I’ve thought I was done.  I’ve considered shuttering the blog.  The idea of catching up, of backfilling the diary function, of re-opening wounds that have finally begun to scar … it’s just seemed too daunting.  And I would have, except that I miss it.  The writing and the feedback and the connection and the chronicling of whatever small, specific journey I’m on?  I miss it.

So.  Hiya.

Things are going well here.  Crazy and chaotic.  Joyful and bittersweet.  Complicated yet simple.  The good and the bad and the everything in between—they compile to form my unforeseen life, yet somehow they are just exactly right.  We started school today.  A new year and the next step.  Everyone had a good day.  I hope you did, too.

 

Anniversary, Schmanniversary. May 1, 2012

Filed under: Change,divorce — nowisgoodblog @ 8:43 am
Tags: ,

Today is May 1st.  May Day.  My former wedding anniversary.

The first May 1st that rolled around after my divorce was tough.  I dreaded it, so I made sure to do something completely different on that day.  I stepped out of my comfort zone, created some new memories, and ran the Warrior Dash:

Warrior me.

The second May 1st that rolled around found me in Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival.  I never quite got around to writing about that weekend, but it was a girls’ trip with my friend Mindy and my sister Caroline.  It was rainy and muddy and it was tremendously fun.

Silly friends are best.

We saw a ton of music, including Jerry Lee Lewis (who hilariously stopped playing in the middle of his set to be a crotchedy old man and yell at the audience for knocking around a beach ball during his performance), John Mellencamp, and I-swear-I’ve-never-been-the-same-again-after-seeing-them-perform-live Mumford & Sons:

Hiya, Marcus!

We ate barbecue and drank beer and got soaked in the rain and kinda froze our butts off and danced and laughed (and laughed and laughed and laughed).

The original plan for this May 1st was to go to New Orleans—see some music, get a little crazy, get out there and do something—but it didn’t work out that way.  This year, May 1st is a Tuesday, and Tuesdays find me fully immersed in the Mom part of my life.  I had the kids last weekend and although I’ll be kidless this coming weekend I’ll be staying in town to see a very dear friend get married to a very dear lady (second marriages for them both—and without a doubt, the right ones this time).  A self-indulgent former anniversary trip just didn’t fit into my schedule this year.

And that’s ok.  Because I no longer need a distraction from what this day used to be and used to mean.  At this point, three years out from the collapse of my marriage, three years out from The Ex filing for divorce, three years out from feling the life I knew disintegrating under my feet, May 1st is just … May 1st.  It’s just a Tuesday.  It’s just a day I’ll do laundry and run errands and fill out permission slips and try to schedule the kids’ summer camps.  It’s just a day I’ll pick Amelia up at 2:00 and Avery up at 3:00 and Owen and a friend up at 4:00.  It’s just a day Avery has karate and Owen will ride bikes with the neighbors and Amelia will color while I cook dinner.  It’s just a first-of-the-month day I’ll pay bills and change the HVAC filters and maybe squeeze in a little billable work time.  It’s just a day like any other.

May 1st as an anniversary feels almost archaic.  Almost, because I still know what today is, or was, but it feels as though I’m viewing it from a very removed and displaced location.  May 1st as a marker belonged to another girl in another life.  It belonged to this girl, who was in love with this boy, and who thought it would be smooth sailing from then on out and who believed that all the big questions in her life had been answered:

I’m not that girl anymore.  I no longer ask the same questions or expect the same answers.  I view myself, and others, through a different lens.  My goals are different.  My happiness is different.  I live a wholly different life than I planned to, and I am constantly amazed by the richness of this unexpected path.

Today is May 1st and yesterday was April 30th and tomorrow is May 2nd.  Normal days in my normal life.  Each and every one a blessing.  Happy Tuesday, everyone.

 

Sick Days. April 17, 2012

Filed under: Help,Motherhood — nowisgoodblog @ 8:12 am

Yesterday.  Monday morning scramble.  Amelia comes downstairs whimpering, “My stomach hurts.”

She is pale and panicked.  I grab The Bucket, make her a pallet on the floor, and continue the mad dash to get everyone dressed and fed and backpacked and out the door to school.  I make breakfasts.  I pack lunches.  I fill water bottles.  I get a wet cloth for Amelia.

The pallet is moved to the bathroom floor as things become more imminent.  The whimpering continues.  I rub her tummy.  I yell to the older kids to come eat.  I ask if everyone has brushed their teeth.  “Yes.”  I ask again.  Owen goes back upstairs.

I realize there are few things in the world I want less than to put a nauseated 4-year-old in the car for the drive to school.  I call The Ex and ask if he can swing by and take Avery and Owen to school.  He says yes.  I say silent thanks for my efforts to play nice with him—in addition to the psychological and emotional benefits to our children, this is my personal pay-off:  help when it is most needed.

As a parent, I’m constantly amazed by what I can stomach while caring for my children.  I hate the throw-ups.  Mine, theirs, anyone’s.  I was the kid who freaked out, hands over ears, when any other kid got sick.   That part right before?  When you know it’s going to happen but everyone is playing that miserable waiting game for the inevitable?  The waiting is the worst.  That part makes my heart pound and my palms sweat and my gut knot.  That’s when I feel panic. Once it begins, I am calm.

The Ex and the older kids are barely out the front door when Amelia finally gives in.  I hold her hair.  I rub her back.  I tell her it will be over soon.  I wipe her tears and her mouth.  I say, “I know, I know” and “I’m sorry, baby.”

It’s over and I marvel at how well it went.  Nothing, even, to clean up.  I say another silent thanks that my kids are growing older—that they can tell me when they feel sick and gauge how bad it is.  With the exception of those unexpected middle-of-the-night arrivals of illness, they all now make it to the bathroom in time. Even “the baby.”  A milestone.  A miracle.

Amelia spends the rest of the day in my bed, watching movies while I try work next to her … except for those frequent moments when I am completely overcome by this job of Mothering and must stop, must cuddle and care, must soothe and snuggle.  She is needy in the sweetest possible way.  She wants me close.  She craves my touch.  I think, as I often do when my children are sick, that there is a blessing in these times.  I hate it when they are ill, for me and for them … but truth be told, there is a small place inside of me that appreciates those moments of focus and clarity.

I never feel more indispensable, more appreciated, more certain of my role, more like a mom, than I do when my children are home sick.  I am oddly grateful for those days like yesterday, and just as grateful that they don’t come around very often.

By afternoon, Amelia was 100%, eating twice as much as usual, bouncing around as though the morning had never happened.  But it did.  And I’m glad I was there with her, being her mama.

 

One More Chink in the Armor. April 9, 2012

Today was a tough one.

After feeling completely extraneous at Owen’s last birthday party, and upon hearing a few weeks ago that The Ex and The Girlfriend were making big plans to singularly host Amelia’s 4th birthday party, I made yet another decision that nearly choked me: I offered to co-host the party with my two least favorite people in the world.  In reality, there really wasn’t much of a choice there.  I figured:  (A) I could be completely omitted from my child’s party with her friends; or (B) I could make a stink about their unilateral planning and usurping of the party without any prior consultation; or (C) I could step in and offer to co-host and pay half of the party they were already planning.  I chose (C), figuring that at least I wouldn’t miss out completely and hoping that by co-hosting and sharing the expense I wouldn’t feel like a mere Plus One.

I paid the 50% deposit for the petting zoo party at their house; they paid the 2nd half due after the party.  They did invites and goodie bags; I did cake and juice boxes.  As Amelia opened presents, The Girlfriend and I each made gift lists and then we split the thank you note duties.  Amelia chose which gifts she wanted to keep at her dad’s house and which gifts she wanted to keep at mine.  The guest list was comprised of Amelia’s preschool classmates, the parents of whom The Ex and I know equally, and Amelia’s dance class classmates, the parents of whom I have never met (because The Ex and The Girlfriend chose the dance class, enrolled Amelia, and scheduled lessons on their custodial day).

There were moments I felt like an outsider, but less so than before.  I had to introduce myself to half the parents, but they were more gracious and less shocked by our joint presence than at the last birthday event.  The party was at their house, on their turf, where they were comfortable but I was … much less so.  The Girlfriend is 7 months pregnant, visibly round and obviously basking in the fullness of her 30-year-old life.  All I could think about, all day, was how that’s exactly how far along I was when The Ex started cheating on me … with her.  I kept remembering how, when Amelia arrived 4 years ago, she played thoughtful co-worker and sent homemade cookies to our family to celebrate the birth … and then continued to privately celebrate that birth with my husband in a very non-traditional and devastating manner.  And I kept marveling, as I always do, at the way in which she took my exact life and made it hers.

I thought these things, but privately.  Several friends and family members had offered to come with me for moral support, but I declined.  I wanted to do this by myself, because … I am by myself.  I didn’t want The Ex and The Girlfriend to have the satisfaction of knowing how difficult it was for me.  I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t do it alone.  Because I can.  I can do this thing.  I. Can.  Although I occasionally felt on the verge of tears, I smiled with shiny eyes and just tried to enjoy the day with my daughter.  I acted as though this complete and utter nonsensical bullshit of a situation foisted upon me and my children was fine … I acted as if it was normal.  It’s not—or it shouldn’t be—but it is.  It’s our normal and it’s going to continue to be our normal so … suck it up.

One more thing.  One more milestone.  One more chink in the armor.  One more doing what is best for the kids.  One more letting them get away with it.  For this:

Worth it.

 

 
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