Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

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Enduring

Last night I traveled with my sister and mom up to Gaylord to visit my grandmother for what is probably the last time. There are a lot of things inside me I could talk about here, but I find goodbyes of all sorts to be the most painfully intimate moments of life. I hope any family or friends who read this know that I’m not skipping over these moments, but holding them close.

On the drive up, I experienced one of those indelible life moments, the kind that you know with clarity, at that second, will never leave. Even if they are the smallest, even if there’s nothing you could point to later and say, “There, that was it. That is the reason this stayed with me.” Certainly, here, the circumstance surrounding it plays a part in why this will always persist.

But what’s funny is that years from now I know that what I’ll remember most from these days, and weeks, and the transition we’re all going through, won’t be the goodbye. It will be a clear, cold night — the moment between sundown and spilled ink dark, when the sky retains something of a purple light — on I-75, Hozier in the background and a beautiful, blinding moon through the passenger window in a car carrying three women who have loved and argued, misunderstood, maybe mistrusted, experienced very real heartbreak, but loved, and loved, and loved each other.

Perhaps when everything else from this week fades away, years from now, I’ll remember my mother’s words — that she’s the one person left who has known her mother longest — and think of the ways in which our lives tie together. It’s not all pretty woven tapestries. But maybe in the knots, in the tangles you work and work to untangle — even when you have to put them down and walk away because you know you’ll break something otherwise — the last thing we’ll have is knowing that we made these lives. These connections. And if we’re really lucky, despite it all, kept them.

It’s raining lemons!

As that hectic shiny newness of the New Year glamour begins to ease into the day-to -ay of 2015, it’s time for me to evaluate where I am, and maybe figure out how to decompress from an incredibly stressful December and an inauspicious start to the year.

Hint: Don’t injure your back the day before New Year holiday insanity starts. It’s just awful.

I’m home after a crazy weird night in the hospital, after a painful and frustrating week without answers mostly spend on the floor trying not to cry. I came home with a plan for wellness, a diagnosis (which is helpful, ya know, for treatment!), and a delayed resolution, since I was too distracted on New Years to resolve more than “don’t cry right now”.

I actually don’t do resolutions — at least not in the traditional sense. I’ve always felt like New Years is really just a day like any other. That change and promises start in our hearts, and that any moment in our lives is the best moment for them. But the New Year does signify a marker, a setting off point for so many, so I get it.

Mostly, it’s a day for me to consciously check in. Have I been the person I want to be the last year? This for me is a time to look inside, say, “hey self, you did your best, you’re doing your best.” A time to remember that I’m a constantly working, loving, flawed person trying their very hardest.

Sometimes you just need a little self love with a reminder that you are a work in progress, and that you have present and diligent in order to work for that progress. It’s so easy to slip, and to forget, and to get caught up in the day to day. It can be months before something in my life trips me long enough for me to sit down, evaluate my life and my actions and bring back into focus the ideals of who I want to be and how I want to live and love.

I feel like the last month and a bit was an exercise in dodging lemons being hurtled at me from somewhere (fruity clouds? the universe?). Well, now that I can walk around a bit more, and that I hope the weeks ahead hold some more calm, I’m ready. I’m so ready to pull myself out of this anxious, negative whirlwind and attitude and refocus.

I’ve got a large pitcher, I’ve got a fruit masher, I’ve got some sugar…time to make some lemonade!

That shouldn’t hurt

How did sitting on my butt all day make me so sore?

Mom had another surgery yesterday; despite the 2.5-3 hour estimate, the surgery took over 4. Then they said recovery would be about 2 hours, but they wouldn’t let us back to be with her for it (which they’ve never done before), and it took longer than 2.5 hours. Plus sitting in pre-op, all of this equals sitting in a hospital chair for so many hours. I got up to walk around, but I never wanted to stray far just in case they were gonna come talk to us. Apparently I didn’t walk around enough.

Today I’m going back in to hang out with Mom, and I am just sitting here dreading having to sit there. I wonder if that awesome stretchy yoga Maura and I did would be frowned upon in there. There’s not much room for it. And I don’t remember the name of it so I can’t find it online until Maura rescues me with a link. Maura always rescues me, she’s the best biffer out there.

I have got to get more active. I know I am one of millions who say this all the time. My body feels like this weird stagnant thing. I have a lot more time coming up since the semester is over. I need to find a form of exercise I like, and generally you have to pay for them — I need the whole “lost in the music in my own world doing something repetitive thing”. Like swimming. I need an indoor pool. That kind of exercise is like meditating, it’s so good for clearing my thoughts and silencing my very very very busy brain. It’s good for my self esteem too, because I always feel like when I push myself and focus on my body and health like that, it demonstrates my determination in a way I don’t acknowledge in my day-to-day life.

Right now it’s seven in the morning and I am famished. I am never hungry in the morning, so this is memorable. Maybe I’ll wander in search of sustenance. Or coffee.

Status update

Yes, another thrilling blog entry title. You’re at the edge of your seat, of course.

Or not. Whatevs, it’s cool, we can work with that.

Currently I am attempting to sit on a bed covered in laundry that must be folded and put away. I’ve been here for an hour contemplating said laundry. Instead of doing it, I shirk my duty to update tiny things on this blog: the blog roll, my profile, etc. I’m not sure if my priorities are straight here, but we can all wear wrinkled clothes for a bit.

Tomorrow I have another of my epic Thursday;s, the 12 hour day which includes the commute to MSU, working in the Writing Center, class, commute back to pick up kids, attempt to settle them into bed about 2 hours after bedtime, then get ready for my Friday commute to work.

But it’s my last Thursday doing so. After that, a semester of waiting to a) hear if I got into the program and b) doing nothing to earn money unless I find some sort of gainful employment. I suppose I could say I’m writing, but that doesn’t pay the bills or justify sending Lucas off to daycare — a year we committed to so I can’t back out. Sigh.

Uhh? Whathewho?

It might be time….to revive this thing. We’ll see. Dun dun duuuuun….

Things to Consider

The other day, a good friend of mine wrote just about the kindest words I’ve ever had written about me. Not only did they move me, but they made me feel proud of myself…for about four seconds, before I started to feel guilty and conceited. And then I stopped to think, why?  Why is it so hard for me to accept that others might see good, even great things in me, or to think that I might even see them? Be proud of them?

Every time a friend compliments me; whether it be my hair or something I’ve done, my first response is to deflect the compliment. In my head, accepting gracefully is tantamount to saying I agree which therefore means I think I am full of myself and entitled to compliments. Which is weird, because when I compliment someone else, I would rather they take the compliment than deflect, because I if I say it, I mean it and I want them to feel good.

So for the sake of posterity, here is what was said about me-

“I have never met anyone with so much ability to adapt and love unconditionally as you… and those are two gifts that always seem to return to the giver with twice the impact.”

And you know what? I am honored that Emily sees me this way, and more, honored because in these words I can see a leagacy that means far more to me personally than others might ever realize.

My father was an amazing man, and what he is often remembered for by others is the generosity of his love, the depth of his ability to forgive and love those he cared about.  It was a quality I never really saw or understood until I was older. When he passed, it became clear to me just how much he touched others, just how loving and selfless he was in life, and how much I admired that about him.

I never set out to be like my father, and I’ve never worked at loving someone unconditionally because of any external praise or reward I might feel I “deserve”. I’ve always just tried to follow my instincts and give to others what I hope they might give to me. Support, friendship, and forgiveness.  But to see that someone has seen in me something that I so much admired about my father- it is a wonderful gift. And when I think about it, dismissing it, or worse, convincing myself that it is wrong to feel good about it would be counterproductive.

I’ve always tried to live my life by learning from others and from my own mistakes. By evaluating the things I have done that I am not proud of, and by trying to be the best version of myself that I can be, at that moment. And at this moment, I think it is ok to say, if I can learn from my mistakes, I’d better learn from my sucesses.

Thanks Em.

On being bamboozled by life

Let’s see, what did Tania do today.

I slept. I ate. I watched bad reality tv, some re runs of Glee. I was absolutely, unequivocably bored. So freaking bored.

Today was Day Two of Dan’s getting Tania healthy campaign. As I finally succumbed to the death cold that has been making the rounds, Dan decided to take yesterday off work (he had today off), so he could watch Parker while I focused on getting better.  First let me say, my husband is a treasure. He makes me delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, and fully encourages me to eat ice cream in the middle of the day. After he goes to buy it.  But two days of laying around watching tv, no matter how crappy I was feeling (very, very crappy)…it got old.

Let me just say, that at first it seems great. But when you are used to having your time be constantly in demand, used to feeling like you always have ten million things to do, time enough to do only one million, and the will to do about 0, having lots of unstructured time can be a terrible thing.

I could have spent the time reading. Working on one of my three yet to be finished novels. Blogging, reading other peoples blogs, etc. I would have liked to be able to do stuff like clean and do laundry, but to be honest, I was a little too out of commission for that. Instead of doing any of the above, I spent hours rearranging my farm on Farmville. Playing Zuma Blitz in a sad attempt to beat my mother in laws high score (I came close but no cigar). Watching Sandra Bullock movies.

And then, it dawns on me. In three months, we have a new baby coming into our home. That means at least a six month hiatus from any real attempts at writing and editing. If I get my act together enough for Nano (which I could not do right after I had Parker), I’ll be shocked. And in these three months, I still have to get my house back together after the floor fiasco, get the baby stuff set up, and take care of all my Vice Chair responsibilities for Relay for Life. Let’s not even talk about the fact that Relay will be 21 days after my scheduled C Section, unless I can somehow convince this little guy to come the right way a little early.

The truth is, I am easily distracted. I lack focus and drive. I am continually bamboozled by my own life. My house is a mess, the inside of my head is a war zone, and I feel like I have no control in my life. And I know that about 80% of that is pregnancy related. I felt this way when I was pregnant with Parker; only this time I have all this extra anxiety. Out of nowhere, I am an anxiety riddled mess.  Hormones are the pits sometimes people.

At the end of the day, I feel like I need a plan. A plan that ensures that I will keep writing, keep editing, and keep persuing the things that make me happy.  I know that the odds that I’ll ever get published are small, and I don’t really care. I love writing, I love the books I am writing and working on, and I love that I am a writer. I don’t want to lose that in the chaos of being a mom, a wife, going back to school eventually…in life. So if you have a plan, suggestions, or ideas for me, please feel free to shoot them on over.