Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Things I can't say



There are things I can’t say
Or maybe
Won’t
But I can make you feel it
Can’t I?

If I could bend time
Extract the pain from my heart
I’d meet you
With no reservations

And then
(Probably)
I could answer all your questions
Tell you all
You want to know

But my superpowers
Are too limited
Time
Too relative
And my heart
My poor heart
Is still tender
To the touch

I can feel it
Getting stronger
And my mind
Getting weaker
And my body
Well
My body’s a lost cause
At this point

I don’t know
Where the right place is
But I do know
We’re going the right way

Friday, April 17, 2015

Selflessness is my Survival Technique

In a world where every parenting seminar, book and article espouses self-care, self-care and more self-care as the modern day Mama's mantra, I have to address the selflessness factor.  

I am a single mom.  The number one most common question I am asked in relation to being a single mom?  How do I do it.  It seems impossible.  To accomplish all that I do and still have children that are pleasant to be around AND still want to be around me?

I have a secret.  It is NOT self care.  Could I use more to improve my quality of life? Sure.  To improve my happiness and therefore happiness of my family?  Sure.  But I have no support from a partner, I have no close family (geographically speaking), no network of single moms who call upon each other for support (I did actually try to accomplish this, but shockingly, single parents have little time and energy left over to actually form a group like this).  

Last week I had a girls' night out scheduled TWO MONTHS in advance (which, mind you, was only going to be from 3:30 to 5:00 in the first place, to accommodate, you guessed it, child care issues) and we got to the bar, sat down to order drinks, and my phone rang.  My ex wasn't coming to get the kids.  It was a ballet night so I had to leave immediately, walk 30 minutes to the baby's day care, pick him up, walk to children's after care, pick them up, and try to catch a bus which only comes every 20 minutes, even during rush hour, to take us from South Philly to West Philly for ballet class at 5:00.  (We missed the bus and had to walk to the subway, still made class though).

My ex has cancelled his visitation three times in the last two weeks.  Which always results in me having to leave early from work.  Which results in me having to work on my days off to make-up the hours.  Which results in the days I set aside for house cleaning (for sanity, not some standard of cleanliness I try to maintain because I gave-up on maintaining that around May 4, 2013 - when the baby turned one) and "Mama Time" (the oh so elusive and coveted name of something I think I may have in another 10 years or so, the name has such a nice ring to it though doesn't it?).

Point being, life is hard for me.  The activities of daily living as a single mom with three kids are unending and largely unappreciated.  They are difficult on days when the kids are healthy and happy, so one can only imagine when a two year old is tantruming, a preteen is moody and a tween is missing her Daddy because he keeps cancelling visitation.

Trying to incorporate self-care into my routine is a cosmic joke.  

So, how do I do it?

Simply, it's selflessness.

I'm not saying I didn't cry a little (or want to at least) when I had to walk away from girl's night out.  But my children needed me, and being there for them gives meaning and purpose to my life.  I was a lot lost, pre-children.  I couldn't reconcile the world at large, and my place in it.  My soul sought things I didn't know how to find.  Becoming pregnant with, carrying, birthing and raising Abacus, then Samurai, then Nexen infused this sense of connection with the Earth, humanity and the world at large I don't know how I would have found otherwise.  When they were growing inside of me I felt the moral imperative to grow, to become different, to be ready to accept them, love them and be there for them whenever and however they were to need me.  I believe, from the bottom of my heart, I would not exist today were it not for them.

My therapist says I can't live for only them.  That I have to take care of myself.  But my "self" gets angry and bitter when I plan something for it and have to cancel at the last minute due to a child care issue or another, perfectly timed, child's illness.  My "self" gets impatient and resentful when I can't have "Mama Time".  In those moments, what grounds me and creates a loving space in my heart and being, is selflessness.

Existing for myself left me lost, lonely and reckless.  Existing for others helped me feel meaning, purpose, happiness.  Existing for my children allowed me to feel love, connection and know true and permanent physical, spiritual and emotional growth (well, the physical growth comes and goes).

I could go on a lot longer.  But it would likely get repetitive and way too revealing.  And the baby is up, calling for me.  I feel as though he was always calling for me, I just wasn't ready to hear him.  And once I was, it was selflessness that brought him here, carried him, birthed him and which has sustained him.  Which will nurture him now and prepare him to one day nurture his own.

Here's to selflessness, and my survival.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wandering

My mind
I find
Wandering
Often enough

I know
Where to find it
And how
To bring it back

Especially now
Especially.
Now.

Lately
My mind
Has been
Visiting
The same space

Again and
Again.

I dare not
Reveal
My secrets

Yet,
What have I
Kept
From you?

Nothing.

Well,
I suppose
There are pieces
of Mee
I'm saving
But they're not
Secrets
Per se

It's hard
For me
To think
About
(You)

But,

It's easy
For me
To feel

How unsightly
To allow
My feelings
To ooze out
All over
This page

I really should
Clean-up
This mess

But then
You haven't minded
My mess
So far

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A message from my tea bag

"Our intuition comes from innocence."
~Yogi Tea Bag

I was innocent
Where was my intuition?
I believed
I believed
I believed it all

How could I not know?
How could I not see?

How can I not regret
When it hurts me every day

It's painful, see
To give it all
To really believe
And find your truth
Was as permanent
As the wind in the trees

Here one moment
Gone the next
And when the wind
Blows hard enough
The very landscape
Is altered forever

How can I blame the wind?
The wind knows not
How to behave any different.

I, on the other hand,
I know better.

I know better than to trust
A summer's breeze

To assign permanency
To the fleeting touch of air
Caressing my body, my hair

I know better than to believe
A storm
Is a safe harbor
Even when
The wind
Is allowing me to fly

In Earth I trust
In solid ground
I stand upon her now
As the wind begins to swirl around

My heart
A kite
Tethered to my soul

My soul
A child
A lifetime to unfold

My brain
The string
Whispers...
Reel it in, reel it in





Tuesday, April 7, 2015

4:46 a.m.

Body:  Hey, brain, can you stop now?  I'm really tired and it would be nice to get some sleep.

Brain:  I'm sorry.  I can't seem to stop.  I blame it on Heart.  I have to be vigilant.  I feel as though if I let my guard down for a single moment, Heart will take over and we know what happens then.

Heart:  Would it really be so bad?  It's been so long since I've felt anything but pain.  We have a chance here, he seems so...

Brain:  STOP IT!  Right now.  Just stop it.  HE'S MARRIED.  Just like the other one.  He knows how to reach you, Heart, through his words, JUST LIKE THE OTHER ONE.  You can't put us through this again.  I will not let you.



Heart:  But Brain, maybe he's different.  Doesn't he deserve a chance?  I'm lonely Brain, I want to be open again.  I want someone to know me.



Body:  Well, as long as we're playing this game...



Brain:  Okay, I concede, we definitely need sleep!  I'll leave you two alone now.  

Body:  Thanks so much, it's time to wake-up now and second alarm goes off in 50 minutes.  Jerk.

Brain:  Well you two are conspiring against me, once again.  I will NOT allow us to fall victim to another man of false intention.  Time will tell, you two just have to be patient, okay?  

Guys?

Hello...




Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Path to Happiness

I understand
My path to happiness
Is anything
But straight
And narrow

I've come to understand
My path to happiness
Is not etched in stone
Or even
Permanent marker

But when I use
A pencil
To trace my path
To happiness
There is the danger
Of everything
Being erased

So what
Shall I use
To color
This path?


Pockets of Time

I find
Pockets of time
Used to be
I'd steal them
For me
But now
I think
Of you
And these
Pockets of mine
Suddenly
Feel full
And light
As the days
Are filling
With bright
And now
I only
Have to fight
Myself
To give us
A chance
To be right
Even
If only
For one night