Thursday, July 30, 2009

School, husbands, birthdays, and rolling in the grass

Hey, it's me.

I can honestly say that this has been a better week. I've been working hard to feel more productive; getting my chores done, and trying to cut back on the kids social calendars, and getting them (and myself) off to bed at a more reasonable hour, in preparation of them going back to school. These things have to tapered back slowly, so that they don't go into shock and withdraw, otherwise, I could end up with a full fledged revolt on my hands.

The past week has been filled with cooler days and I'm finding my husband home more often in the evenings. Now, all I have to do, is try to remember what I'm supposed to do with him. I know that husbands are supposed to be good for something, I'm sure it will come to me eventually. . .

Of course, as the summer winds down there are always things that try to stress me out. The kids are already wanting to know when we will be doing the annual shopping expedition for school clothes and supplies. As much as I look forward to having my days back, I really dread the whole shopping thing. There is always at least one item, that they simply must have, that turns the whole event into a scavenger hunt ! The school is sending out notices for their yearly "Meet and Greet" nights, which is their not-so-subtle way of wasting my time by trying to recruit me for fund raisers, committees, and general worthless programs. Nope, not gonna do it. I did my time at school, and I'm not going to play the same popularity/clique games with grown ups.

PLUS, Yesterday was the official start of the "Birthday Season" for our family. Yup, yesterday, my first born baby girl turned 31 years old. Don't ask me how that happened, I can't believe it myself. Jasmin has her birthday at the end of July; Nick will turn 24 (?!) seven days later, in August. Jacob will turn 15 in September, in addition to my grand daughter celebrating her 9th birthday, we are also expecting our 4th grand child to be born that month. Christian turns 16 in October. (Oh my God, how is that possible?!) Then, in November, Heather will turn thirteen years old - just in time for me to start stressing about Christmas in December !!!

These are the things that I try to keep my mind from dwelling on, so that I don't panic. My sane, rational, mind says, "We go through this every year, Susan. Somehow, someway, it all works out, so quit worrying." Easier said than done, I respond.

When my kids were younger, I used to be the kind of person who made a big deal out of birthdays with parties and plans. Now that my kids are older, my teens (my babies) would just as soon Roy and I just give them their stuff , so they can go hang out with their friends. I'm lucky if they show up for cake and ice cream. Now a days, my oldest daughter has taken over the role of party planner. (and she's good at it too.) Still, it's hard not to get my little brain all wound up with stress when this time of year rolls around.

Lately, I've been working on discovering, and experimenting with, ways to let go of all that tension and anxiety by finding time to do things that relax and please . . . me. Hard to believe that someone can live 47 years without ever knowing what makes them happy, but that's the boat I'm finding myself in recently. Like today, I found myself feeling all flustered and irritated over my car situation. (that situation is getting better, but it's just been one of those days.) I kept thinking to myself, "Okay, one thing at a time. First I'll do this, and get this done, then, I can hook the leashes up to my dogs, and disappear for two or three hours; when I get back, I'll feel much better about everything." And that's what I did. When I got home, I didn't yell at anyone and all was well in my spirit. Even if the weather isn't as beautiful as it was today, my dogs are truly happy just to be out and spending time with me. They aren't complex and complicated creatures, they don't argue and worry, they just enjoy life; and when I take them out, I am THE COOLEST person in the world to them. Their attitude just rubs off on me. I'm finding that it feels good to walk, breathe clean air, look at the clouds, and sometimes, roll in the grass.
*Remember the 1996 movie "Michael"? When the Arc angel Michael (John Travolta) watches Sparky, the dog, rolling around happily in a big field of grass, and he says, with a big smile,
"Ah . . . now that's my nature - I'm a grass roller!"
I know exactly how he feels.

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