Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Good 'ol J.K.!"

 “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

Do I really have to tell you who wrote that? If I do then you should be ashamed. Truly.

I have just started reading Harry Potter again for the second time. I have always been a big re-reader of books, but for some reason I have never again read those books, though I did thoroughly enjoy them the first go-round. What I somehow missed when I read them the first time, that has jumped out in words of gold and purple on the page at me this time, are the many good, true, life-lesson statements that the book is simply riddled with. for instance:

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends."
 - J. K. Rowling
I am reading these and feeling metaphorically flattened over and over. Who would have ever guessed I would feel life-challenged by a children's fantasy author? Of course, knowing my history I suppose it is a very logical place to look, and perhaps the first place I should have looked!  Ok, now that I think about it I am feeling a bit foolish for that first statement there...can I change it? Perhaps something like: 

"As always, I am feeling challenged by a children's fantasy author."  

Now I am wondering why I just put that last statement in quotes since technically it is the first time it was ever said and therefore could not have been a quote...ah yes! I was quoting myself as it should have been...and now I am confused. I think I need some tea.

Ah Lady Grey, the brew of high thoughts and cold nights.

Anyhow - back to the subject at hand.  One quote, as I was browsing, especially caught my eye: 

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." 
 - J. K. Rowling

I do not fail well. Not gracefully anyhow - I don't fall gracefully either, or do anything gracefully for that matter...perhaps I should get this looked into professionally....but that is besides the point! 

I have failed a lot in my life. Sometimes at little things, sometimes at very big things, like my failure to get a college degree because of one bloody class.

Very little comes easy to me. I am not graceful (as previously mentioned). 

I have no artistic talent, yet I seem to be cursed with the reliability of an artist, which means I have failed many friends. I am bad at responding to people's texts/emails/calling back/rsvp-ing and the like. Not to mention following through on the whole "We need to get together!" promise. I have good intentions, I truly do - but it just doesn't happen. I fail to follow through far to often, and have let-down those that I hold dear.  For that I apologize, and I will also apologize in advance, for there is a very good chance it will happen again despite my best effort.

I have dismally failed as a house-keeper. I can't even get "stay at home mom" right because I cannot seem to stay at home. I hate being at home, probably because it is such a mess all the time it just screams "failed" at me and my head hurts. I currently have 8 baskets of clean laundry in my room, waiting to be folded and put away. When it comes to laundry I always fail, dishes too. Because I cannot keep up, I just cannot. 

I fail to be on time to most events, I don't even have the excuse of a baby anymore. 

My kids have been on the brink of driving me so absolutely insane recently - They have NOT been well behaved, so I feel like I am failing as a mom. And usually it is just one that is challenging at a time, but lately it has been all three, sometimes all at the same time -  and I am feeling clueless as to how to manage it. My ears have been buzzing a lot, I know it is related to thyroid and stress but it means all sounds are amplified, especially whining and bickering. So I am yelling way to much, just trying to get a moment of peace in-between the noise. But that of course just perpetuates the cycle.

I have been so spent at the end of the day lately that I feel like I have very little to give my husband. And he is working very long hours right now, so at the end of the day he is so very spent he has nothing left to give to me. We are not always as kind to one another as perhaps we could be, and that feels like a failure too.

I have been living outside of my budget which makes things feel out of control and un-organized and scary. It all ties in to my failure to be organized in general. But everything feels so huge that I get overwhelmed and will try to start small (like the laundry) but when I have been working for two hours and have hardly made a dent, where is the hope? I have failed again...

I am not at the gym as much as I should be right now, so I am failing myself. And my fashion sense is abysmal - not to mention the fact that it has been at least several weeks since I last flossed...(unforgivable I know. My dentist would be appalled.)

I have not been giving my kids enough vegetables...and PB&J has been on the menu for kids and grown-ups alike far too often of kids are thrilled, my husband?  Not so much.

"And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss."  -JKR

And I read that statement and the tears roll down my cheeks unexpectedly...

...But I can't, because I have to watch my kids. And there is not enough time, and they need me, they are growing so fast!  And I know I need to write, that I will feel so much better if I could only write! But I can't even form coherent sentences. And I sit to write and someone has an accident of some sort or another and by the time that is cleaned up it is time to start dinner or my motivation is entirely gone or I know that if I start something I wont get to finish it anyhow and that is just depressing and awful and goodness I am failing so much these days! 

But it is ok...because all these failures? They mean that I am NOT living cautiously. Not by a long shot. And for some reason, that makes me feel better. Because I will never, not in this lifetime, fail by default. I will fail, oh I will fail many many times, sometimes in a matter of seconds! But never by default.  My knuckles may bleed with my effort, but I do not surrender!  

I have not failed my kids, not completely anyhow. They made me cards for mothers day and gave me lots of hugs. That feels like a success. 

Despite my failures at keeping in contact with people, I have some truly golden friends that fill in those gaps for us, and keep me accountable. Knowing it is not personal, I do care - I just hate the phone and I forget. And they forgive me. That is success, and blessing!

The laundry is not done, nor the dishes....but the toilet is clean! That is a success right? was clean a day or two ago. I suppose that does not necessarily mean it is still clean when you live in a house with small children. But it was cleaned very recently! So I will claim that as a success. 

My husband and I still like each other - We marked 9 years of marriage just last week. That is truly a success and an amazing gift.  

I may have no fashion sense, but I am really good at getting my clothes 50-80% off the normal price (the two things could be related...) My kids too. (their clothes, not the actual kids - for them I paid full price! Well, except the last one...) And while I may never be entirely in fashion, my kids are ridiculously cute. And while I may not be at the gym as much as I want to be, my husband still thinks I have a cute butt. So it's ok.

I can't dance, paint, draw, sculpt, play an instrument, sew or do anything remotely "crafty" without it become a complete and utter disaster.  But I can write. I can write things people want to read. I can paint with words, not REALLY well, just sort of well - even if my spelling and grammar is atrocious. But I think I could do it REALLY well, someday - perhaps. That is one part of me that is just starting, it still feels like it is in it's baby stage. Perhaps someday that could be a real success - perhaps that is the reason I didn't finish college, because there is more out there that I only have just barely begun to discover. I like dreaming about that...

My story is not complete. There are more adventures. I fail a lot. But I am collecting stories, so I guess I have to. Me and my family, we fail each other a lot. But we come back stronger, and wiser and sometimes we even come back laughing through the piles of laundry that have become mountains perfect for hiding and burrowing. I am only just beginning, we are all only just beginning. We have eternity to become who we are meant to be. 

And that is exciting. 

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
 - J. K. Rowling,
 Today I choose to try. There is a good chance I will fail, but that is ok. I like life that way. 

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