I could write a book about running a marathon
In the time I would have usually given to post on here I've been forcing (not a good word to use, sounds like a backhoe should be involved) myself to work on revising my novels and short stories instead. I didn't want the blog to become yet another distraction from larger goals, yet another fake To Do item on a fake To Do list. That same "busy on purpose" theme from back when I started writing this blog -- I just can't get away from it. All the things being too busy saves us from. Having to be organized. Having to grow up. (Staying disorganized itself seems to keep us in perpetual kid-role. "I keep getting late fees" and "I can't find my keys" are just new versions of "I can't find my backpack" and "I keep forgetting my lunch".) Always running from one thing to the next keeps you from having to figure out priorities. Something more pressing than what is really pressing. Fear, sadness and silence of course are easier to block out. Giving real goals an honest chance. Always much easier to say I would have if I'd had more time. (My brother-in-law and I were joking while out on a jog Thanksgiving morning about how everyone talks about running a marathon just like everyone says, "I could write a book". He came up with "I could write a book about running a marathon." We pictured someone in an easy chair cracking open a beer.) Just like I get so annoyed at that infuriatingly simple yet helpful happiness book (Gretchen Rubin). It's not like I really could have written it. Obviously I have not done anything close to it. Instead I'd rather have 10 much-better books that I'll one day write. There's a great quote I read recently about how we should give up trying to be perfect and start becoming ourselves. I'll give up trying to be perfect and not bother trying to figure out who said it before posting this, meaning it would become yet another of a dozen or so drafts that haven't been published.
Oh, here it is, Anna Quindlen: "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." Oh man you all have to go read this right now. Her 1999 commencement speech at Mount Holyoke. Just please read it immediately or at least add it to your fake To Do list with a big star next to it.
In writing the blog, I started to get through some of the crazy thoughts I didn't realize I had. (I really hate the word blog. Doesn't it take too long to say given how short it is?Also it just sounds self-indulgent --my blog, my blog, have you seen my blog? Read it all the way back from the beginning hopefully in order? Memorized it so I don't have to tell you what I've been up to lately? Why haven't you had time to catch up on it? BTW, those of you who tell me you have trouble keeping up with it—surely I’ve given you enough time now.) And getting through those has allowed me not to need to prove so much. I think I was always trying to prove something to myself through others; I suppose this isn't uncommon. But I tended to do this in an odd an unproductive way. Like with the fear of asking to be removed from mailing lists. I tried to get off Macy's. I've only bought one thing there once. They did let me squirrel out of receiving coupons and cancel a credit card I never signed up for, but they pressed about why I couldn’t simply receive email offers and I eventually caved. You’re right, I guess that’s really not much of a sacrifice. I can easily delete those. What was I proving? In that small ridiculous way that I wasn’t a jerk who was going to say no, flat out. That’s just one small piece of it. Plus I’m doing something I’ve often been advised not to do – writing about an area where I have no authority. But I really don’t have authority in any area at all except former wanna-be-rock-star future wanna-be-writer current mom to kid who played today for an hour in a sensory gym and 2 hours in the dirt and walked a full mile and still can’t fall asleep. I guess I am a little bit of an authority on that.
Wally will likely continue his party tricks. Like this evening in front of the Christmas windows at Macy's when a woman pointed and told the crowd "Look, he gets out of his stroller himself!". This is the big stroller where he actually has to climb out because I accidentally left the toddler stroller in Mass.
Yet in so many ways he's just been so easy, so much fun. Taking off his shirt today and saying, "This is not my tummy." (Not sure what that meant.) He listens and looks at me when I talk. He doesn't run off too much. We do art projects, quick ones, like stringing noodles together. He held my hand as I pushed the stroller for a mile and he's now figured out what to do when waiting for the lights to change. He jumps in place. I thought about how people were probably thinking -- Why doesn't she put him in the stroller? The streets were packed and it was ridiculous to walk in that fashion. "She has no control over her kid" rearing its head again. And the truth is, in that way I don't have much. At least until I find a stroller where he can't undo the straps and climb out. But a man sitting on the street outside D'Aiudos loved it and said, "Good for you little man. Get your exercise. Make those legs strong." The rest of the way Wally kept saying, "That was funny" and then asking for confirmation that he'd see the funny man again tomorrow. So maybe not everyone was thinking about the bad mom stuff. Maybe, like Grandma Eleanor used to say, you'd be amazed to know how little people are thinking about you at all. Or did someone more famous say that, like actually say that. Eleanor Roosevelt or something? I need to get more sleep (thanks, Gretchen Rubin) and start making more sense. Or stop, Talking Heads style. I'm getting into free-associative state and should clearly stop this post and go write Haikus. (Or work on my "novels". Oh, and there's a contest for 30-word stories, deadline today. Go apply! I sent in 3. Surely we all have time for that.)