Successes and Failures

Successes and Failures

So how has it been going, this lessening of media usage?

Well…

Okay, maybe let’s start with the successes: The cell phone is no longer in my room (or, mostly not). I use my alarm clock to wake me on the mornings I want to be up to go to my Dailey Method Studio class. I don’t charge my cell in the room, and I do not scroll through facebook feeds to fall asleep. No, I read a book. Far more effective. I’ve been getting more sleep as a result- yay for me!!

What am I reading, oh…just something light:20170719_111526

Animal Farm was short and sweet and to the point: no matter our best intentions to set up a democratic, fair society that let’s everyone live their best lives, we always fall victim to those who seek power (in this case, the pigs). The characters were all analogous representations of political groups/figures at the time of its writing (yes, some of that went over my head, I’ve never been very good with remembering history lessons).

Now, 1984 is simply terrifying. I’m at this bit where the ruling party is essentially re-writing history over and over so as to control the masses and keep history in-line with their current agenda:

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” p162

The parallels to current affairs here in the States what with “fake news” and the rabid denials of truths and the shutting down of basic human rights by the White House…is terrifying.

But this is not a post about politics…let’s not get me started. Please don’t.

What else…successes…well, I was so good at not checking in with media that I missed writing in this blog last week. Yay?

Joking aside, just stepping out of the stream of constant fb news has lightened my spirits.

The failures are numerous. There have been times that I have said “F it!” and started scrolling my feed. ( Especially since recently my skin, just past the anniversary of having spontaneously resolved itself  last year, has rashes all over it again , mainly my neck and fingers…the itching makes me lose self control in multiples ways.)20170726_085534I regret giving in to checking my media almost instantly as the payoff is nothing but many wasted minutes and a much more agitated mind. I’m learning.

Another kink has been that last week saw demand for my photographic skills go gang-busters, so I was on the computer for long stretches of time, editing, sending out contracts, communicating about locations and times etc. This is not a bad thing, but it does show the challenge I face: I want to be successful with my photography business, and as a result I need to be responsive through media, posting on media and also using my computer for a bulk of my photographic work.

I’ve discovered that having a work day, sans kids, is immensely helpful. I can do most of my work and online networking on this day, including blogging and personal facebook updates for family, so that when my kids are with me I can set the phone aside. This is not perfect, however, as stuff comes up that I need to deal with most days. My only hope is that I am lessening the time spent looking at my screen in their presence. I do, however, at the end of my work day, wish I had about 2 more of them. There’s always more to do. And with the school year starting up again soon, I will lose my precious work day and be back at square one. I need to start thinking strategically and figure out what my next step is in that regard. When one can’t afford childcare…what does one do?

What I know: I’m addicted to media. I’m also addicted to coffee. Both of those things I can hopefully ween myself of…which one first? Lol. Perhaps with all the sleep I’m gaining from reading in bed instead of facebooking, I will be able to lose the coffee. The media might be a longer road.

Cheers.

Week 46: Scaredy Pussy

Week 46: Scaredy Pussy

I am not a revolutionary. I’m have not even been an activist or even political for the most part. But now I am…or I’m getting to be.

I honestly don’t know how you can afford not to be in this climate, this crazy, critical, chaotic time.

I recently came to the realization that the most radical thing I could do right now, is get my citizenship…even though, at this point in time, it seems like the thing I want the least. But, think, with that simple shift in status, my view is more valid, I have a voting voice, I can sign all the petitions I want and call all my representatives and be able to state that I am a citizen and I demand…such and such.

And then I got scared. Do I want to open myself up to the scrutiny I once again will face by Homeland Security…only this time under a new dict…I mean…whiner….I mean leader?

Even writing this kinda scares me (‘then why do you do it?’ you ask. Because I am compelled to. I do not wish to be complicit in my silence).

So, I got as far as printing out the paperwork…but there it sits. I haven’t even written down my name…not even gone to look for a black ink pen as required.

Cost of citizenship, about $725.

Crazy but we even have to consider if that is feasible budget-wise. At least, enough to give pause and consider in what month we might be able to swing that. Makes me think of all the lower in come families than ourselves, who might not be able to afford citizenship at any time.

Anyway, I don’t really know what I want to say in this blog. Just, I guess, that more has been on my mind than trying not to buy things. I’m actually quite pleased that my go-to-stress relief is not to shop at all, it’s not even on my radar. So, I suppose that is progress.

I leave you with a pic of me, my one woman parade. A friend of mine had invited me to a small Women’s March, and I gamely showed up with my girls and mum-in-law, all in purple with as-close-to-a-pussy hat I could find,(the purple was in solidarity with Indivisible Sonoma that helped organize a mass attendance at a town hall meeting that I had gone to that morning)…to discover I had been given the wrong date. So, in a way I was super radical…I walked the entire down town with my signs held up, drawing looks from all the locals and tourists alike, even getting a “Good for you mama!” as a one woman protester. Far more exhibitionist than I’d normally go for. A big thank you to my mum-in-law for gamely coming along as she is most definitely NOT an exhibitionist. I apologize for drawing so much attention.

So here it is

Love over Fear…and I Don’t Have a Big Enough Sign.wp-1488242927317.jpg

Week 45: Quitting Time?

Week 45: Quitting Time?

It’s week 45 out of…I can’t do the math right now…okay, I Googled it :52 weeks…

and I just want to quit.

By now, I know this is probably as good as it is going to get. I am not going to be tightening my belt much more. I will still spend on things, mostly just the necessities, sometimes small splurges for my joy and/or mental health. I realize that I like to spend on treats such as date nights, or taking a friend to lunch, getting the occasional fancy coffee, entrance fees to museums and activities for the girls. I realize that these are not necessities but I am not content living the austere, spending free life. I don’t believe in saving for future joy. Joy now please ( not to say that only things that cost money provide joy, but it certainly can facilitate it at times). I do believe in saving for some security now and in the future (because a safety net/security contributes to my happiness) and to also enjoy some of it right now. Scrimping and saving is not my MO.

I am very proud of the progress I’ve made in the area of compulsive or emotional spending. I now am able to project myself into the future (when the let-down and remorse happens ) before I spend so that I can re-enter the current moment faced with the temptation and pass on it. That is HUGE.

I feel like I’ve reached a certain equilibrium. I don’t know that many new insights will be forth coming. And most of all, it is SO HARD to get the time to write. I sound whiney, but it’s true. By the time I have the kids in bed…I am no longer inspired to write. And trying to compose a thoughtful blog entry whilst my toddler talks incessantly beside me is…well…insanely frustrating. But I’ve made it this far, so…

I am also feeling a disenchantment with social media at the moment. There is so much out there. I feel like I am just adding to the chatter. And if what I put out there isn’t excellent…or even original, maybe it is best left to the medium of a journal. What is the necessity of making this public except perhaps as an ego boost? I think I talked about this in depth a few blogs back.

Mostly, what’s gotten me into this state is this crazy political climate…I feel like I am exposing myself. Part of me wants to scream, YES! This is my right and I shouldn’t be afraid to express my opinions. “What are you worried about?”, you ask, “this blog is about not shopping”. Yes, true, this is mostly innocuous stuff. But at times I have veered off this blogs main point to rant on politics. It felt good. It still does. I have a hard time staying quiet. But it also puts my views out into the net, accessible to all, even those who might…say at the border… judge me and as jury of my fate, decide that I am not welcome. This is a real fear. As a non-citizen but resident, I’ve recently begun to fear leaving to visit my Canadian family, in case I am refused re-entry. I know, some of you think there should be no reason why any of this chaos should affect me, a Canadian, not a minority etc., etc. But folks, all my worst, most out-there, outlandish fears have become reality in the last few months, thoughts I had that others comforted me by saying could not happen…have happened. So, no, I’m not ruling out being barred from my own husband and girls should I choose to leave for a visit to Canada.

I am fluctuating so much between wanting to continue to be public and wanting to shut off all connection and hide in a hut in the woods.

The other day, feeling overwhelmingly angry, I wrote a rant…and didn’t publish it. No, I wrote it in a Google Doc, since I didn’t have any writing program. Then…as I finished I started thinking and feeling fearful because, of course, Google Docs is cloud based. All of it is out there folks, accessible with a log in. I am so close to picking up a pen once again, and working through the necessary joint pains and calluses, to return to the analogue form of writing.

All that to say, I want to quit…not this challenge…but blogging and social media. I’m not quite there yet, but I feel it building. This is, of course, a very inconvenient impulse as I am right now trying to start a photography business that will rely heavily on getting my name out there via precisely these outlets.

So, if it does come to a point where I want to quit it all, I will have had to have found a lot of courage and will power to do so…because it is an addiction and a creative outlet, my connection to family and friends, to news, to it all.

I’ll let you know if and when it comes to quitting time.

Until then, thank you for reading this blog.

S

Week 41: Here We Go

Week 41: Here We Go

Wow. What a week. I spent my Friday studiously avoiding all media. I am thankful to a dear friend for providing the space and time to get together to watch our kids wreak havoc and to chat amidst the chaos, temporarily forgetting what was going on in the outside world.

I also took my kids on a small spree of sorts at the Goodwill…we bought a stack of books. I could think of no better way to sate my desire to ’emotion spend’, then to spend it on books ( I was not in the mood to resist spending). I also had my eldest select a book she thought was great (and might want for herself), to give to her friend. I want to start to instill in my kids a sense of generosity…though how effective such lessons truly are at this stage of their life when everything is only about them remains to be seen.

And then, the next day, I marched.

I woke up Saturday feeling out of sorts. I had this feeling that once again I would be all talk and no action, that I would let this march pass me by. I have never been to a march. But I have also never felt so galvanized to participate. I also felt frozen with trepidation about whether or not such an event would be safe for my family, would there be irrationally angry people threatening the safety of all? This is America land of the free and the gun toting, would we be gunned down (these are the extreme fears I now have as a mom)? I will forever be grateful to my sister-in-law for calling me up and saying “hey, wanna go to the march?” Her calm and confidence that this was obviously something we could consider doing was freeing. Suddenly it felt possible. Suddenly I didn’t feel frozen. And so I ran the idea past my toddler to see if she was interested and she was…so we went about the business of digging out as much pink clothing as we could find…which wasn’t too hard for her given her recent interest in that color…but a little tougher for me.

I didn’t forget about the vigilance I would have to have, the spidey senses I would need to engage. I tagged my toddler lest she got lost. We started on the periphery and never got to deeply into the crowd. However, pretty soon, I began to feel at ease. It was amazing. It was what all such gatherings should be: positive, full of love and acceptance, and safe. The police were smiling and fully supportive. It was the best possible experience.

I don’t know what my three year old thought of the whole thing. On the walk there she slept in my pack. For the gathering and march she alternated between my carrier and shoulders. She had a scowl on her face…the expression she wears when she is taking things in and processing it. I don’t know how much she will have understood from it, but it felt good that we were there together, participating in something historical and significant and meaningful. My first step out of petrified stasis. I have yet to figure out how I will stay engaged, but I will. I must.

As for spending, well, the small book splurge was valid I think.

And as for future spending, I want to actually put my dollars into some organizations that will be essential to us in the next four years. I just need to do a bit more research.

And that’s all folks.

Love and hope.

img_3691.jpg
A woman with her own kid walked by and offered to take a picture with this awesome frame she had made. Of course we said “yes!”

Week 32: Media Ban?

Week 32: Media Ban?

So, I don’t think it’s just me. Since the election, I think a lot of people were triggered to activate their compulsive behavior. I read a lot of facebook updates where people were choosing food (and drink ) as their comfort. I cannot exclude myself from that group. The nutritional content of my meals have been questionable at best, and there was a definite spike in my sugar intake. I also have a handy bottle of wine at the ready. A definite F it approach to life has taken hold.

I would be interested to see the statistics on shopping in America post election as well.

But okay, enough. I need to stop talking about the election aka E day, because seriously, my head is going to pop off.

This week I seriously considered a media ban. Not because I want to be uninformed, but because there is TOO MUCH information and opinions flying about. I also can’t stop compulsively re-posting  articles here and there that encapsulate my thoughts in more coherent ways than I can …which tend to be very satisfying rants. Again, we probably don’t need more of that in our feeds. I can get sucked into it for hours, but much like a cold overcast day, or a burger bun that turns to mush mid consumption, it affects my mood. I found myself feeling impatient and being short with my kids. Yes, what is going on in our world right now is important, and I can’t turn a total blind eye, but my kids truly do come first (I am also acutely aware that we may not have a world left for our kids due to this Armageddon…but like I said, enough! Enough.) ( Oh gad I SO want to rant right now…but self restraint…)

I did not, in fact, ban myself from all media. But I did do away with the smart phone at night. That in itself had a great impact as I actually managed to fall asleep without stressful thoughts whirling around in my head ( since E day I’ve been waking up in cold sweats and/or not sleeping much at all). I also am starting to think that putting my opinion up on a feed is just the most passive way to get involved. I think that yes we need to have strong opinions and yes we need to fight, but it’s going to have to be something more tangible, something in the physical realm. My mind is still trying to sort it all out, what can I, as a mom of two wee ones, do to be actively fighting/protesting what is to come?  I’ll let you know what I arrive at (okay, no more politics, my mom will kill me. I don’t blame her for worrying that dissenters will be flagged. Seriously, this shit is getting scary.)

Deep breath. New topic.

I love people. I love being around people and eating good food. Arguably, perhaps I started to overload my schedule with play dates and dinners with guests, which all ads to the impact on the wallet, but by god it is a NECESSITY. So yes, I have been to the grocery store a few too many times (read: every other day) this past and current week…and yes I will be right back at it tomorrow since it’s Thanksgiving in two days, but it’s all been food. For the love of food and company. It’s good for the soul.

My one comfort splurge arrived in the mail this past week. 20161122_081839.jpgIt has already been put to good use. It is so awesome to have so many songs at my finger tips. It definitely helped me get into my happy place more than once this week. And it does the spirit good seeing my littles sing along and dance and clap while I play.

I also received a most delightful care package from my Auntie in Canada. Some great clothes for the kids as well as a Derek Alexander bag for me; one that I had coveted while visiting in Canada. It’s pretty much the perfect bag, black and nondescript, easy to wipe clean, with SO many useful pockets. I can have dipes and wipes in one pocket and then my own personal items in another, with tons more left for whatever. Two water bottles fit on either side. Anyway, it’s perfect. I am so spoiled. And last week or the week before I mentioned how others doing similar challenges don’t even accept gifts from family or friends…I can say that I am definitely not playing by those rules! Thanks Auntie!!20161122_083352.jpg

And now, because it’s Thanksgiving week and Nana has the kids ( and I am already two days late in posting) I bid you adieu and try to get some things done that I might not otherwise be able to!!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I’ma gonna go ahead and hijack my own blog for a moment and use it for a topic totally unrelated to my shopping detox challenge:

It seems there is a heck of a lot of anxiety these days (I know it’s not just me). Things are just not going well. It feels like there is stuff in the air, people have a general sense of unease and even panic, for some, depression. The list is endless if you really start to look at it, local tragedies, natural disasters, unnecessary violence here and abroad. Optimism seems at an all time low. I would have to say that the political landscape right now is a leading contributor. What is going on in US politics is particularly disturbing.

My concern  mostly in all of this is that no one seems to be hearing anyone else. This is not new, but it seems to be heightened right now. Is there no civil discourse any more? Yes, there are great articles, balanced or otherwise, that explain each and every angle. All, seem logical and convincing.(This is not unlike the vaccine debate, where the more I looked into each side, the more I couldn’t decide because all sides had valid, convincing points. And those who bullied with their comments pro or against did nothing to help me with my decision, just added to the anxiety) That is what debate is, to convince each other of our view. But, when all of it devolves into name calling and bullying, it’s no longer a debate but a school yard gang-up. I am disturbed by the comments sections on most threads where people are yelling profanities through their keyboards at each other. Since when did you ever manage to convince someone to see your side by first prefacing it with “you’re an ass faced idiot?” and that is a somewhat comedic example, but there is SO much more vile and frightening name-calling out there. Don’t we know that the louder we yell, the less anyone is likely to listen? Perhaps it is because we live in an age where we have anonymity through the internet that we think we can devolve into rude, aggressive assholes? ( See, look, now I’m name-calling!)

And granted, not many of us have learned to listen well. I think that listening, true, active listening, is something that needs to be taught and practiced. Most of the time we are simply waiting for the other person to stop talking so we can put in our two cents; not listening  as we prepare our comeback. I know, I know, this might not be true for you. I have met quite a few good listeners (but they are not the majority – all mamas with kids are, of course exempted, for obvious reasons!). Those people stand out to me because it comes as almost a shock, to realize that they’ve heard what I’ve said and remember, even consider my view point.

I understand, this election cycle has raised everyone’s passions regarding their beliefs and ideals, I get it. I get quite worked up myself. BUT, I am willing to listen.

I’ve been reading a lot and listening a lot. I can understand why Hillary is vilified. I’ve read the naysayer articles, the ones about her corruption, I hope they are not true. There are also intriguing articles about how honest she is (how can she be both? Who is telling the truth?) I also know that she has done more than I will ever do for this country starting way back in the day up until the current moment. She was a revolutionary force in the 60’s and 70’s ( don’t let her clean cut granny look fool you!) When we judge some of her actions, that yes might not be to our liking, we also need to ask, given the pressures and the unknowns (to us since we are not privy to our country’s intel) at play, could I really do better? Would I even know what the frack to do? The answer is no. So, consider that when condemning her – how would you do better? Could you? Do you really know all that was at play or are you basing it on some opinion piece you read? Did you fact check? She is one of the most qualified presidential candidates and yet she has had to endure criticisms as base and sexist as the tone of her voice and her appearance. Unlike other candidates she has to walk a fine line between assertive and meek so as not to be a “bitch” or too “weak”. Poise. And a uniquely female requirement….yes, I will pull the female card, because it’s true. We are, unfortunately, not yet as a society free of gender bias.

Third parties. Also an option or a dire mistake. I’ve heard both. I’ve heard heated arguments for both. All seem convincing. I am more confused than ever. I have always believed that as a true democracy we should vote for the person we want, that my vote wasn’t “thrown away” if I didn’t “vote strategically”. Perhaps I have been a babe in the woods. Or, perhaps, if I and millions of others stick to that belief, actual change could happen. And if, despite that, the system is rigged…well…we have big problems. Or simply a mathematical reality due to our two party system, in which case, if we don’t agree with it, we need to ask for change, but voting third party won’t do a damn thing at the moment. Would a protest vote do anything good? Who is listening? We also need to assess, are the other options truly fit for office? I heard Gary Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo was (or was that spun and taken out of context?)?!? ( So many sides to hear, so much research to do and so little time!)

I am even curious to hear someone’s reasoning for supporting Trump. I really, really want to know. I am willing to listen (Try this: watch the presidential debate where he lurks in the background and flip your mind to being empathetic to him, in that scenario, he is the bullied maverick, pacing as he tries to figure out how to overcome the evil Hillary..it is an interesting exercise ). I am pretty sure, though, that you would be unable to convince me that Trump is anything but bad for us all, not because I am close minded, but because he has literally shown us time and time again that he is unfit for the leader of a country based on his numerous heinous past and current actions (I’m not attaching links because all you have to do is google “Trump”…and honestly, I don’t know where to start). The fact that his rallies insight violence and acts of hate is an instant deal breaker for me; it points at something deeply troubling on so many levels. And I keep thinking that anyone with even a microscopic iota of an intelligence should be able to see that. The fact that they don’t is not because they don’t have an intelligence, it’s because they are voting with emotion not logic . They are focusing on certain aspects of what they like about him to the exclusion of all else- he can do no wrong.( Here is a handy dandy link referring to the Dunning-Kruger effect that argues that intelligence deficit might be at play, though you didn’t hear it from me.)

Which lead to a recent epiphany on my part. I was pondering why it is that Trump has risen so high as to be running for office? I wondered why those who have been and will be walked all over by him, are the ones convinced that he is going to “save the country” (even though it doesn’t need “saving” per se, perhaps a remodel) and work on their behalf. Well, for one, we hear what we want to hear. And if we haven’t been accustomed to opening our minds to other possibilities, we tend to stay in that rut. Some of those ruts are so deep that we only see the sides and can’t see out of it, or the fact that we are in it. I am sure I have ruts.

But the epiphany was this: Those that believe Trump is going to “Save America” are no more deluded than I am when I, a fully intelligent being, believe that I will never grow old.

“What?” you say. Yes. It’s true. I have a REALLY hard time believing that I will grow old. The evidence is all around me: every year I have a birthday, I get older ( I have a few white hairs), the people around me are visibly aging,  I know that people die, but a part of me still believes that it won’t apply to me.This is a hold over from childhood, when the world was new and peachy and everything was as it should be and I had no cares or worries. My family was invincible. I know this to be absolutely, not true, and yet, most days, I believe that I will not age and die, because that is what gets me through each day. It is a creation of my mind, not based on any facts and purely just a personal, emotion based belief. Because I want it to be true.

So, if I can be that delusional (though not susceptible to the Dunning effect, since I am at least aware of this flaw), it isn’t a stretch that others can be the same way regarding other, to me, outlandish beliefs. To stand back and point my finger and say “THOSE people are idiots” is to ignore the fact that I too am selectively illogical. Knowing that, I can’t feel quite as outraged by their stance. It helps me feel a bit more empathy, and that, my friends, is what we are all in need of. We don’t have to agree, we just have to listen. And perhaps, if we can be grown up enough to listen and empathize, perhaps that will one day be reciprocated. After all, it would appear that, en mass, we tend to learn from each other how to operate. Let’s not learn from the Trumps of the world to run our mouths without thought and bully those who don’t see our way. Let’s instead open our ears, consider other possibilities and set an example for what civilized discourse can look like. And maybe, just maybe we can convince another to see our way…or maybe not…and that’s okay too.

And another thing ( Ha! You thought I was finished!). Could we all just step back, take a breath and recognize one thing? Yes, there are many not so good things going on in this country: there’s violence and poverty, there’s the rich getting richer, there’s a deeply flawed health care system…but, for the majority of us, do we not have a roof over our heads? Jobs or the possibility of jobs? Working libraries and schools, fire stations, emergency services, police protection ( I know, don’t say it, there are definite flaws there), grocery stores with (mostly) affordable food? We are free of war, with no threats of bombs falling on our heads. I was reading a story to my girl called “the Water Princess” about a girl in Africa whose sole job along with every woman and child in the village is to get up early, walk all day to (hopefully) get water, muddy and questionably safe, carrying it in bowls on their heads, to finally go home and boil the water before they drink it and cook with it. They do the same every day, with no time to go to school. I was almost in tears reading it. I don’t know what it’s like to not have water when I am thirsty. I have never experienced such a tenuous existence. Let us not forget that we live with such luxuries as water, and food, beds and a roof over us. There are safety nets in place to support us if we fail. So many are not so lucky. Looking at us, those in other countries, in third world conditions must feel as though we are insane, oblivious to what true struggle and need are.We are entitled to our opinion, but we are also entitled. So while we run our mouths off over our opinions about presidential candidates, let’s remember that we are operating from a pretty privileged position, take a deep breath, calm the hate, let more love in and let’s all try to be civil. After all, we are “fighting” for our “civil”ization, in which we all hope to have our needs met: food, shelter, safety and to be treated with respect ( Do you hear that Donald? R E S P E C T). To receive respect you also have to give it.

 

Week 16

Week 16

I think this is going to have to be a short check in. I’m exhausted (Heh. When am I not?)

Today was my youngest’s 1st birthday. Where did the year go?

I just barely got to the end of this week. I took on a lot more than I needed to, culminating in a birthday party…more for me than my little one since 1st birthdays, I think, mean more to the mom who just survived the year and has the labour and delivery relatively fresh in their mind. I think the birthday gathering was a success, but I pulled if off with less finesse and verve than I had hoped I would.

The beginning of the week actually seems like eons ago. I was rearin’ to go, set up all sorts of meetings with mama’s and their kids, planned outings, etc. I love that kind of stuff. I love staying busy. But I forgot to schedule one day with nothing to do but stay home. …sort of a must. I just really wanted to get back into things having only just returned from our trip. I missed my mama pals. Also, if I must admit it, I often need things to do in order to get through the day. I can’t be productive creatively or personally, but I can be “productive” in getting us out and about.

By Saturday (yesterday) I was feeling the burn-out heading my way. Luckily, the hubs took the kids to go swimming and I had about 5 hours to myself to prep for Little M’s birthday. I had to do what I consider domestic triage, which is: decide what most needs doing and to heck with the other stuff. I chose cleaning the bathroom, getting decorations and food purchased and making the birthday cake.

So, yes, I spent money. I spent money on balloons and napkins, wrapping paper, party hats. Maybe I bought more decorations than I normally go for, but I was longing for cheer. I even darted into a store and picked up a new dress for myself and my oldest ( I so rarely get to buy her clothes). I briefly felt guilt, but then I just let it go. I wanted a damn dress.

And I realized this evening, as I started to examine the arc of this weeks and its theme of optimism down to pessimism and exhaustion…that it’s not about what I’ve been doing and that it’s too much, it’s actually about the external stuff, the stuff going on in the world right now. I feel down in the dumps. I feel like the world is crazy. The political climate here in the US ( and elsewhere) is…insane. I feel like we are on the cusp of something huge and catastrophic. I know that there is a lot at stake…and I am scared. I am really, really scared.

All of these thoughts in the back of my mind have been preoccupying me so fully that I have not felt centered, have not felt love and appreciation…all the things that help keep me going. I have surrendered to fear. I am not sure how to pull myself out of it.

I could launch into a rant here…but quite honestly, I don’t want to get into a shouting match with someone with opposing views ( normally I would be able to debate calmly, but these days I just want to shout). Suffice it to say, that I don’t feel the optimism that Obama showed in his convention speech. I feel the opposite. I am afraid that there are far more ignorant, hate filled or mislead people than we think…and that if we are not really serious about concentrating our efforts on making sure one megalomaniac doesn’t get into power, we are all going to go up shits creek. And by the time we all realize it, it will be too late.

To top it off, I am but a resident here in the US. My voice cannot be heard. I am a sitting duck. I, myself, am a foreigner here.

So, yeah. I am feeling in the dumps right about now. I really wanted to just feel joy in celebrating my babe’s first year of life. I feel far more fear now, as a mom and mama bear, than I think I ever would have if I were sans kids. The stakes are just so frickin’ high.

So, perhaps all this inner turmoil is why I spent on a dress for myself, necessity or not, because I felt like, what the heck, if this is the end times…why the frick not buy a dress I really like…and at full price to boot.

Why the frick not.