Sunday, October 18, 2009

From the Frying Pan Into the Fire

My head is about to explode. I'm feeling the energy (read:stress) of working a lot of different agendas; parenting, teaching, partnering, friending (that's a verb I just created), and social justicing (another winner verb, eh?). I just might be in over my head. Or, this might be my new reality. Here's what is going on......
Parenting an active, determined, rockin' 20 month old is exciting and exhausting. And, I think I'm being a bit too indulgent of my one and only itty bitty's curiosity. "You want to climb up on the table and touch the hanging light? Sure, let me help you." Yeah, this is going to reach out and bite me down the road. I'm needing a little refocus and general intense focus on Blueberry to navigate what feels like a transitional stage for him. On the lovely side, when I sing him goodnight songs and rub and pat his back, he does the same on my arm and shoulder. I'm so in love with him. His daddy, upon hearing this compliment from me, "I can see the two of you continuing to deepen your connection," responded with, "he makes it so easy." Perfect words to hear. Yeah, good and rich and busy!

Life with biggies is good and rich and easy - but keeping track and staying intimate with grown up kids takes time and effort and its own sort of intellectual stamina. All 3 biggies are doing great. Biggie boy just declared that he will be joining other youth leaders and living and working in Central or South America next summer with the Amigos program. I COULD NOT be prouder of him. Serious tears folks - Waffles is going to be superb at the work of Amigos. More on his work later. Twinkletoes and Songbird are thriving at college. It's all good - and also engaging my good parenting listening skills when we 'make contact.'

Teaching freshmen involves some transitional hand holding and a lot of attention to detail. I am making the return to teaching well, and finding the demands of 40% with no planning or prep time to be a bit challenging. Finding little spaces to get work done on my own time is complicated. You know what I mean.

Partnering is an ongoing process. Mr. Silly Pants and I have been together for 4 years, and 1 married. We find that the longer we are together the more complicated we find our connection and our commitment. I think (and he thinks) that the deeper our trust, the more we just let it out and speak what we feel. Letting it out has been stressful, demanded talk time, and has been a little scary. Since we came together in our 40's, we both came with long relationship resumes - and there is stuff we just aren't willing to repeat, aren't willing to compromise on, and are eager to achieve in this relationship. We're working on finding our rhythm. It's good work. It's hard work. Sometimes it is work I wish I weren't needing to do with such intensity. But I need to do it. And, I want the rewards of the work with my man.

Friending requires time and space and attention. I need my friends. I adore my friends. 'Nuff said. Old friends, new friends - you're on my mind and I'm workin' on keeping you on my calendar. One thing I witnessed as my mom's life came to an end was the richness of her friends. As she lived and as she died (all in the same 6 months) I really paid attention to how friendships had rewarded her life. It's a gift to have witnessed her bonds of friendship and love, and I won't relinquish what I learned with inaction in my life with my friends.

Social Justicing ramping up like never before in my life. I've got a few fires going; MSF, AHOPE, and now Clinic at a Time. I'm working like crazy to figure out how to dedicate/devote time and energy to each of these organizations. There is news to share, work to do, events to plan, and now, grants to write. In brief, the Plumpy'Nut fundraiser for MSF totalled more than $12,000. We recently learned an MSF donor pledged matching funds to the MSF nutritional campaign at MSF. Thus, our fund have been matched and total over $25,000. It's amazing news and I am honored to have participated in work that has brought life saving nutrition to over 656 children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Next, AHOPE cooperative sponsorship support is ongoing, with an annual summer campaign. I would like to expand my AHOPE support to include a broader fundraiser - but the venue remains elusive. Finally, Clinic at A Time is 'newish' on my plate. The founder, Mulu, is a local woman and ours is an emerging friendship. I am presently helping her with some grant writing and finding this work both rewarding and challenging - and engrossing.
Add a weekly class entitled "Racial Healing" and you get the picture.

Really, how does one get it all done? I think this IS my new reality. My reality isn't any more or less than yours - it's just mine. And mine feels like it's heating up. I'm trying to figure out how to keep a good balance and STILL have time to read! Did I say read? Gads, reading seems to be one thing I am really missing right now. I have a great book titled "Healing Land" about the San of the Kalahari (I teach about the San in my HS class)...I'm on page 7 after one week. *sob*

Still, there is time to go the pumpkin patch. I do have priorities!


Mindy and Baldwin said...

No one can accuse you of being lazy, that's for sure. I, for one, am in total awe!

Nancy said...

Yeah, I'd say your life is pretty rich and full. I copy you on the partnering thing. Something about the 40's makes one a bit too resistant to change.

Waiting for Zufan! said...

Great post. I don't know how you do it all, either. I, too, am feeling WAY overwhelmed right now, and seeing too many things slide that I want to get done, too many people I want to see that just keep getting put off "till next week" when I'd love to see them NOW. Like YOU! :) It is so hard to balance it all. Let me know if you figure out the magic solution.