Monday, March 12, 2012

Miss Conventionality

Here I am, playing Twister with the boys --
how much more conventional can you get?!
Lately, I'd gotten out of the habit of writing.  You know, how you get out of the mode of something (exercising, reading, Tibetan chanting, etc.) and then it's hard to jump (or om) back in.  What happened was this:  first, I got impossibly busy with all the effervescently joyful parenthood stuff -- sigh -- the activities, the homework, the class parties, the calming down screaming children by screaming at them myself (works like a charm...ahem.  That's me clearing my throat because I honest-to-goodness yelled so much the other day I made myself hoarse.  I always did want to sound like Lauren Bacall, and THIS might very well be the way to do it!  I'm kidding, of course.  I'm actually not much of a yeller -- my mom takes care of that for the both of us -- but, yes, there are days when I just can't hold it in.)  During this hectic and jarring phase, I would come home at the end of each day totally exhausted, irritated, hungry, and cranky (and, let me tell you, that's a goooood combination -- just ask my husband), and all I wanted to do was, well, NOTHING.

The next thing that caused me to break from writing was an addicting little show called Downton Abbey.  While I don't really write much about TV, I had to mention it, because I literally could NOT do anything else until I had finished BOTH seasons one and two.  It was television crack, and I was hooked.  I became a good-for-nothing wasteland of a person, glassy-eyed and weepy from the emotional turmoil of turn-of-the-century drama, and no one or no thing could get in the way of my focus and determination to finish the boxed set (if only I could have similar focus and determination in other areas of my life -- like, say, cooking, or, perhaps, um, working.)  And THEN my entire family came down with the stomach flu.  Oh my God, this is the grossest, WORST virus in the entire world, and this particular episode was violent (think Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and if you don't relate to or understand that analogy, then I think you can pretty much envision what I'm talking about without getting graphic).  I haven't had the stomach flu in years, and now I remember why I've always hated it so much.  As I was laying there, so weak that I couldn't even open my eyes, I started thinking those feverish hallucinatory thoughts that seem to occur only when you're really sick.

Like, "Why are yawns contagious?" or, "What is a rutabaga, and would I recognize one if I saw it?" and, "I wonder whatever happened to the Grimace."  I ALSO started to think about how conventional my life seems to be at times, and how I have struggled and fought against that conventionality with all my might.  I didn't want to fit into the typical stereotype of simply a "mom," or a "wife," and I mistakenly thought that by living the life of one I was doing just that.  But lying there, simultaneously sweaty, chilly, and achey, I suddenly realized that, yes, I do sometimes have to do the conventional nitty-gritty stuff (i.e. bathing the kids, grocery shopping, buying hydroponic supplies, the usual), but inside I don't think of myself as conventional at all.  I am open-minded to all I see and experience around me, I create fantastical images and worlds within my own mind, and I seem to be able to giggle at almost anything (including times when I should be disciplining my children, which is not necessarily a good thing -- in fact, it's downright awful, just like Charlie's giant burps at the dinner table -- no, no, no, not funny at all, cough).  I hate most rules, politics, and vapid conversations, and while, this doesn't make me unconventional or anything, I do feel that it makes me a little more, um, odd???  Is this just me wishfully thinking that I'm oh, so unique and special?  Maybe.  But, in any case, searching for this mystical identity outside of a traditional mother/wife identity, has helped me get in touch with my inner creativity and my passion -- which is to write (I also got in touch with a little inner wildness, which was a helluva lot of fun, and which flame will probably never fully extinguish -- at least, I hope it won't).  And now, finally, I have come full circle to the point where I can appreciate the things that are conventional about my life, and I can again enjoy the simplicity and the peace that domesticity can sometimes offer.

Like smushing and loving on my amazing children.  Like feeling like I've actually accomplished something when I've unloaded the dishwasher.  Like putting on my i-pod and folding the laundry naked (wait, doesn't everybody do that?)  And, in the meantime, I'll probably always go out in dresses that are too short for my own good, I'll always look for adventures off the beaten path, and I'll always keep it realzzz, much to the dismay of certain embarassed members of my private circle.

Okay, so there you have it.  The entire last month and it's accompanying revelations wrapped up in a nutshell.  So hopefully from this point forward, I'll have a little more time and energy for writing again, and no more encounters with the wretched stomach flu or addictive television shows.

Weeeellll...except for Homeland, which Amy said is the best show EVER, and which, I think is starting...NOW!  'Nuff said.

1 comment:

  1. So refreshing to know that you are normal too. (or should I say abnormal also) Isn't life fun once you've made it through that full circle the first time....
    Thanks for sharing. Loved reading it.
    By the way....nice jeans !!!
    Have a delightful holiday!!
    Love you......