Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome to Fall

Both my husband and I have colds.  UGH.  I feel like this may just be it for the school year.  I think we're actually going to get flu shots this year, since we didn't get them last year, and then a bunch of us got the flu (though I was told that A LOT of people go the flu who actually got the shot but whatever).  We had a good winter last year, though apparently I complained a LOT when we all did get sick as I had people saying to me in the spring "Yeah, you guys had such a rough winter!"  We really didn't, we only had a two week period where everyone had strep and the flu. Which is as fun as it sounds.

I have nothing crafty to report.  So I'll ramble about other things.

As we drove to church this morning, my DH said to me, "Am I exceptionally unanxious?" to which I replied, "I think you're regularly UNanxious in an exceptionally anxious family."  I know I've talked about it before, but I've struggled with profound anxiety most of my life, and it's just exhausting.  What's funny is this was today's Collect (we go to an Episcopal church so we do stuff like Collects of the Day):

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Now, I'll be the first to acknowledge that I've got a LOT of ambivalence about the Christian church.  We go, in large part, because it's how I was raised, we're looking for community, and we want to give our kids roots (the same roots we rebelled against, I suppose).  But it's funny, sometimes I get *exactly* what I need.  

I've heard it said that depression is about the past, and anxiety is about the future, which resonates for me,  I've been dealing with anxiety lately, mainly in the form of having a brain that Will Not Turn Off, so I'm spending a lot of time worrying - worrying about working, worrying about my kids, my husband, the economy, the future.  Interestingly enough, the readings and sermon today sang to the part of me that is so drawn to Buddhism, and the idea that letting go of attachment to outcome, letting go of the notion that I can control everything, or anything, and letting life settle into where it needs to be, that THIS is my path.  I love the concept in Buddhism that wisdom and compassion are like the wings of the bird; without both, the bird cannot fly.  Wisdom, or Right View, is seeing things as they are, "touching reality deeply" (Thich Naht Hanh).

September always seems to me to be a time of new beginnings (all those years of schooling, I suppose!).  I have always been a planner, someone who likes to think ahead. I guess the message I got today was, don't worry so much. Don't work so hard to control everything.  It's not just that it's going to BE okay, but it actually is okay.  If you can let go, and trust - God, the universe, whatever your concept is - you can relinquish that need for control and suffer a bit less.  And it will be okay.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Tomorrow begins a new era of parenting for me.  My daughter - my youngest, my baby girl - is going to preschool!  Now, I've been down this road before, of course.  I  know she's ready, I know she's going to love it.  I feel great about where she's going - it's a coop, I'm on the board, so I'm intimately involved with the school - but just today it was hitting me.  Because I've been down this road, I know, a bit at least, where it leads, and where it leads is out into the big world.  This is the beginning of her having a life that is larger than just our home.  It's wonderful, and it's necessary, but it's so hard, so very hard sometimes, to let them go.

This comes as I'm starting to venture a bit back into the world myself.  It's a good thing, of course, but change (for me at least) is so hard.  I like my ruts, I really do.  We're also weathering the transition of getting the boys back to school.  This year is bittersweet in that as well.  I've got both boys in full-day school, for the first time ever.  In some ways, it's great.  In other ways, well, again, I miss them.  We had a good summer, and it went by so quickly!  I think both boys have a good situation this year.  My oldest is in 2nd grade.  He's on the older side, and for him and the kid he is, that's so fantastic.  He really needed that extra maturing.  We didn't hold him, he missed our cut-off by 7 days, but it's a good thing.  We've also decided to give our younger son a bit more time.  We're lucky enough to have a program in the school, a transitional first grade, which gives him an extra year before first grade.  Again, for the kid he is,  it's such a great thing.  I feel so lucky to have the option!

So, we're all beginning to settle in to the new year.  New backpacks and lunch boxes.  New clothes and supplies.  The air is beginning to cool off at night, and the mornings have been chilly.  I think (HOPE) it's going to be a good year!