Monday, September 27, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

Saturday morning I was unable to sleep.  Tossing and turning before the morning light crept softly through the windows, I finally gave up and decided to make the most of it. The weekend chores are plentiful, but instead I chose to get caught up on my blogs. I came across an interesting comment from my last post from BigLittleWolf over at Something about cuppa, cuppa and no high heels required. I didn't understand what it meant and was further perplexed because she had already left a comment on that post. As I was going through the blogs in my reader, her's of which I'm a regular, a most pleasant surprise awaited me. A blogging award! Many thanks to you Ms. BigLittleWolf, you know I am thrilled!

The rules for accepting the award:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 (okay I don't think I can do that many) other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

So, in my attempt to pay it forward, let me share with you some of my favorites. Some are tried and true, others are quite new. Go check out:

Jana over at An Attitude Adjustment. Trust me when I say you don't want to get in her way.

Amy and her Never-True Tales. Mom of three boys, we are kindred spirits.

Belinda at the halfway point, almost my neighbor.

Sarah and Jen - two sisters, each with three kids (I can relate!) of Momalom fame.

Secretly I stalk Judy at Just One Foot to catch a glimpse of what is coming for me.

Amber at Making the Moments Count is simply as sweet as can be.

Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts, who always makes me think.

Last, but surely not least, TKW at The Kitchen Witch. The person I have to thank for introducing me to this blogging community.

Cheers ladies! And thanks again, BLW.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Sunday I Run

Sunday I am doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in San Francisco. I signed up for the 5K timed run. I'm a little worried now because I haven't been running due to a nagging knee issue. But still, I'll run.

I run for my best college friend, diagnosed at 31. Wife and mother of one. A survivor. Now a mother of two.

I run for my husband's best friend's mother. The mother of three boys. A second mother to my husband and me. A second grandmother to my children.

I run for my former nanny's mother, taken from her when she was only 21. Never to be known by any future husband or grandchildren. Never to have her grandchildren know her.

I run for my neighbor taken in the prime of her life, a few mere years older than myself. The mother of three boys. A fellow parent at my sons' schools. A fellow parent on the soccer and baseball fields.

I run for my friend and co-worker. Again, another so close in age. Only a year or two separate us. A survivor. Go Team Shimamura!

This Sunday I run for a cure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I cannot wear a veil

One thing I've been trying to wrangle with is my blogger identity and how much of myself to reveal. Actually, it's kind of funny to be thinking about this now considering how much I've posted already.

On the one hand I find it amusing because most people that read this blog know me and so there is no mystery. But on the flip side, there is the risk of exposing too much. I haven't done much research on "hide your identity" aspect of blogging, but I read plenty of blogs and have seen every end of the spectrum.

The simple truth is that I've been unable to make a decision but I didn't want that indecisiveness to hold me up. It took a lot of courage to start this blog and it takes even more to spread it around. I don't pretend to be a writer, but I like the aspects of writing out all my thoughts. It's good for my soul. Some day I'll actually get to the part where I'll preach or teach about something, sure to offend someone because that's what I do best.

As my title leads, I cannot wear a veil. I cannot mask who I am. I am direct and I wear my emotions for all to see. Unabashedly. Maybe sometimes regretfully. But that's who I am.

It's plagued me all my life. "Cathy, it's not what you say, it's how you say it." While that may be true, there is nothing straighter than a line between two points. Who has time for anything else? Life is too short to get caught up in words. (Oooh, isn't that an odd comment coming from an avid lover of blogs?) I don't want to be perceived as harsh, although I am at times. And, unfortunately I have a streak where I cannot shut my mouth when really I should. It's cost me potential friendships, and maybe even some friends. But, shouldn't a friend accept me for who I am, even if I lack certain social skills?

Ever since this word quietly popped into my head. I have been noticing interesting corollaries in my life. For example, I almost never wear makeup. My philosophy on makeup is that if I wear it daily, how are people going to know when I'm feeling "special" or dressed up for a "special occasion"? Sure, I might look better with some on, but doesn't that just cover over what I really look like? Would you agree that makeup is a type of veil?

I also find it interesting that following my wedding ceremony, in the car on the way to the reception, the first thing I did was rip the veil off my head. I was no princess. I was a normal girl. It was itchy and scratchy and got in the way. My mom freaked as soon as she saw me and made me put it back on. In her words, "I paid $150 for that bleepity-bleepity-bleep thing. Put that back on your head NOW!" I acquiesced for the formal reception introductions, but as I look through the later pictures, it was soon gone again.

I know this condition causes me some pain. I've been formally documented at previous places of employment and cited for "being direct". I, for sure, cannot play poker and win. But if you ask me, It's tough for me to have it any other way. I am me. Take me as I am. I know myself and I know my heart - and I am a good person. I just have this condition.

And so, back to where I started, this is likely a fundamental reason why I have unconsciously chosen to go without a virtual veil either. It just wouldn't be me.

Now, if there is anyone who thinks it's a huge mistake, please do let me know. I know there are some creepy creepers out in blogland. Maybe it's a bad idea and I should reconsider. Please, do let me know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marriage and why mine works...

I was in the car the other night, driving somewhere, and this song came on the radio. Do you recognize it?

I do. Sheryl Crow. Her words. Love her.

This is why my marriage works. I'm not perfect. Far from it. This song, it pulls me. Read it through.

Really, read it, all the way through.

God, I feel like hell tonight
Tears of rage I cannot lie
I'd be the last to help you understand
Are you strong enough to be my man?

Nothing's true and nothing's right
So let me be alone tonight
Cause you can't change the way I am
Are you strong enough to be my man?

Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave

I have a face I cannot show
I make the rules up as I go
Just try and love me if you can
Are you strong enough to be my man?

When I've shown you that I just don't care
When I'm throwing punches in the air
When I'm broken down and I can't stand
Would you be man enough to be my man?

Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave

I Can't Stop The Tears

Enveloped. Grief.

Have you ever been able to stop the tears?

Aching. Wanting.

Can you make a deal that will save?

Do you want to?

Holes. Holes too big to fill.

Crushing. I can't breathe.

Time to role play, be that person.

Breathe. Center.

Tomorrow is another day.

Time to Think

I'm stopping to take some time,
to think about how much I have going on right now.
It is a time where I am going through the motions,
slightly numb, fighting back tears.

But if I stop to think, I'll be overwhelmed.
And crush under the weight.
And show how weak I am.
It's not enough for the day to be over.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hey Teach, It's the KIDS in School

I cannot count the times that I have had homework. And I'm talking about as an adult. And not when I'm taking a class, but as a parent. I mean, really. Is it me? Am I wrong to think that the children should be the ones with homework, not me, the parent? I'm not even talking about the help you have to give your kid to do his/her homework. I'm talking about your homework, as a parent.

My first experience with parent homework was when my oldest son went into second grade. He had this really "artsy" teacher - totally a mismatch for him because he hated all things art. My second grader came home with a note (instructions) from the teacher and some card stock in his backpack. Apparently my task was to put together and decorate a "writing journal" to house my kid's creative streak. When I say "put together", think two pages of typed instructions with words like "sew" and "fabric". Really? Are you kidding me?

Now I'm all for creative writing. And pretty journals are nice too, I guess. But, to put this task on me? I'm not creative. I think the only person who has no appreciation of art more than my first-born is me, and this is my homework? I don't sew. I don't have "extra fabric" just laying around. I am the mom of boys. We have trucks. And cars. And Legos. And maybe some crayons and markers. I was livid. I sat and stewed and tried to think of any excuse imaginable to get out of it, cursing the whole time to my husband. He didn't really care because this sh!t doesn't land on him. No way, arts and crafts, that's a girl thing (no offense). I despised that teacher thoroughly and was ecstatic to learn that she retired last year. No longer do I have to worry that my youngest will end up in parent-homework hell. And, for the record, that was only the first of many parent homework projects that year.

This year my first grader came home with parent homework to create a collage of pictures of him and his family to help "inspire" his writing. More parent homework. Now, again, a worthy cause. And maybe on the surface it doesn't seem like much, but for me it was a challenge.

First, I didn't get the note til Sunday evening. My bad - I should've checked the kid's backpack prior to Sunday night. The next hurdle was figuring out where to get the pictures, no small task. We live in a digital world now. Gone are the days of drawers full of photos. Okay, I can't tell a lie. I do still have drawers of photos. They're the required school and soccer pictures, many years old, still in their paper sleeves. Those didn't seem very "inspiring" for a first grader.

It was at this point that I started stressing and cursing the teacher for parent homework. Homework hitting during the stress of it all. Single-parenting it, two back-to-school nights, product launches - the last thing I needed was unplanned homework. I have enough on my plate, thank you very much. So teacher, please, remember that it's the kids who need the homework, not the parents.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


This morning I woke up feeling restless. The possibilities are endless, but I cannot decide. I have no desire to decide. I am disengaged. There are plenty of chores to tackle. The lists are long yet I just can't muster up the strength to make anything happen. There are plenty of fun things I could wrangle up but again, I can't muster up the strength.

I find it odd that I get into these moments. Moments where I feel like I'm standing still while the world keeps spinning, revolving around me and I'm not partaking. Minutes tick by on the clock and I am devoid of emotion as I remain motionless and indecisive. Most of the time I'm running half-crazed, my life planned to the Nth degree, always pressured for time trying to beat the clock. I am driven to cross those things off the list so I can finally relax knowing all my chores are done. But not today.

Why do I always feel like I need to be doing something? I feel uncomfortable without a plan, without action or accomplishments.

These moments I spend living in a bubble watching the world go by make me feel guilty. Guilty because it highlights my inability to live in the moment, to be present for my life. Guilty for all the should's and could's that pass me by, falling away with each circle of the second hand.

Perhaps it's the long weekend with no plans when everyone else has something going on. Perhaps it's that I've made it through another long work week with no babysitter, and back-to-school nights, and anti-climactic project launches. Perhaps it's that my husband has been gone more than two of the last four weeks and I miss him. I miss us. I miss my best friend.

The good thing about being in this place is that I know it won't last long. I just need to figure out how to enjoy it.