Category Archives: growth

How to Go Ziplining (for anxious, whiny babies)

Are you like me?

Have you become a parent, settled down into home life and couch-dom and gained weight accumulated more and more anxieties? While at the same time drinking wine and enviously watching others soar through life on tv, confronting gravity and their fears?

That plus the ease of regretful emails is why my friends and I went ziplining when we recently met up in Utah.

Yes, I sent the email…but I didn’t think any of them would say yes. We’re all 40-mumblemumble-year-old moms with young lives relying on us. But once the ball got rolling, it apparently couldn’t stop. I couldn’t bail when it was my idea, right?

To help us acclimate, we started with a short, lower zipline. Continue reading

Where Dog Ownership Conflicts with Shoe Ownership

I am insane Duh, Wendy.

If we go by that definition of doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result or perhaps even if we don’t use that definition.

Here’s what happens:
When I come in from a run with the dog and by “run” I may mean mostly walking, I take off my shoes (not that anyone else does around here…or not that I’m bitter) and put them here–
shoe basket

Later, every day at some point, the dog gets excited about something near the front door, evil brown truck, a dog getting walked, a raccoon ambling by, whatever. With her emotions overflowing, she then needs to put something in her mouth I have no idea where she could have learned this….
dog with shoeShe doesn’t chew it or eat unlike me; she just walks and wiggles around with it in her mouth.

Oh, that’s so cute, Wendy. That shouldn’t make you crazy!

Except that 9 times out of 10, the dog ends up like this–
griffon shoe distributor–which has earned her the title of “Shoe Distributor.”

This time I was lucky. It got dropped early on, not out in the weeds grass or piles of old leaves where I find it weeks later wet and 3 shades darker from the Pacific Northwest treatment.

The crazy enters when it’s time for me to go walk that very dog and either have 2 right shoes or 1 shoe from each pair (yes, I have left the house with two different shoes on) or 0 shoes. At which point I holler “What the hell?! Have you seen my other shoe??! Where is my other shoe??

And the Hubs says, without any show of even pretending to consider the matter, that stock comeback gem of husbands all around the planet: “I don’t know.”

So, all that *waves hand in large circular motion* makes me CRAZY.

And I keep putting my shoes in that basket.

And my dog is almost 12 years old.

I am insane.

Nothing Gradual in Graduating

Today, the Kid graduated from her elementary school (it goes to 4th grade here, then to middle school). She’d gone to this same school five years, since kindergarten, probably the longest she’ll ever go to the same school God willing, she won’t become a 5th year college grad.

She had the annual tug-o-war…
4th grade tug-o-warand the “moving up” assembly…4th grade moving up assembly
ending with her…officially graduated.

Some may complain that this generation of kids gets way too much acknowledgement, awards for showing up at school, ribbons for participating in your third soccer game. No one applauded the end of my 4th grade or 5th grade or 6th grade.

Even if these moments are the equivalent of a torturous Barbara Walters interview (“that must have been hard, losing your dad at 3…”) and I’ve run through my allotment of Kleenex, I’m glad we’re stopping to notice. I’m glad someone is making us stop and pay attention to this milestone.

How many have we buzzed by in this kid’s 9 years? And how many more will we, accidentally or because we’re tired or busy or preoccupied or stressed out?

No, I say let’s all take a break from our personal, inner world of drama and our busybusybusy and focus our eyeballs on what’s happening right in front of us, in our very homes and neighborhoods: a kid graduated, a dog napped more, a baby napped less, a friend moved, a teen took drivers ed, a grandparent slowed down, a cat didn’t come home, even a tree didn’t sprout leaves like it used to.

Time marches on. You can squeeze your eyes shut, walk your feet faster, fill that calendar as much as you want or you can take long baths, plan big, slow vacations or breath in as deeply as you want. Time? Still marching on.

But if we’re all left feeling like spectators, let’s at least take a moment to do just that – spectate. With eyes and hearts wide open, we can watch and see and soak it up until we’re fully saturated and leaking out our eyes and cannot soak up anymore.

No, it doesn’t feel gradual at all. It may have slowly crept up on us, predictably coming along, but then BLAMMO, we’re hit right in our sweet spot. Ready or drunk not.

Leaving us happy and sad and proud and fully and completely saturated.
final bus ride
Congratulations, all you graduates out there! You are loved!

Remember the Strikes!

Have you noticed that some days or months all you notice are the worst things? The bad things, the depressing things, the worrisome things?

Even when not a whole lot shifted, you can still wake up at 4am in a life-sucks funk.

And proceed to wear your funk glasses all day.

Which is not to be confused with funky, which is often a good thing unless we’re talking about sock smells.

So what do I do on those days of funk glasses other than slump in a chair near my non-cuddly dog and figure all the ways everyone’s life is better than mine whine softly into my daughter’s Snuggie?

I try to remember something good. Anything, big or miniscule, that happened recently and say to myself, Wendy, seeeeeee?

It may not be much, but here’s what I got for today:
Bowling3 strikes!! This was some freaky-weird personal best where the pins aligned and made my day.

In case you couldn’t tell, I am not a good bowler. I took bowling in high school one semester, and my scores decreased the more I bowled. I nose-dived from a mediocre bowling score to a most excellent golfer score. Too bad I was still at the bowling alley.

But that’s not important now. What’s important now is for me, the funk-glasses-wearer, to remember the strikes!

That is my advice to you if you’re wearing your funk glasses today. Remember the strikes!

Han or Luke? Pick a Stars Wars Man.

star warsI watched the original Star Wars movie this weekend with the Kid, who had forgotten she’d seen a special showing of it at the theater (so, is this how it is? are kids just going to continually forget all the cool things their parents do for them??).

I personally saw it 3 times when it first came out and I cut in a super long line like a total tweener weasel, too, and probably half a dozen times since then.

[I know, there are guys folks who’ve seen it 1000s of times and know the backstory of every stormtrooper killed and live alone over someone’s garage. They can go write their own geeky analysis and have.]

Just like rereading a favorite book, when you revisit a movie after a few decades years you can be embarrassed learn about yourself.

The best example of this is which Stars Wars man do I prefer – the streetwise, rugged pilot Han Solo or the younger, naive farmer Luke Skywalker?
luke skywalker
When I saw these movies as a kid, it was Luke all the way. He was sweet and had that sort of Shaun Cassidy thing going on while Han was mysterious but possibly dangerous.

Then a few years later, Luke seemed ridiculously innocent, and it was the slick and cool Han, baby. He was dangerous (yay, bad boys!) and surprised them all by having a heart and swooping in for the big finish. Duh, no brainer.
han solo
And now?

I’d say Han would win for a fun roll in the hay, but as I write that, I’m not 100% sure on that one. He may not be the most *ahem* selfless… Plus, I doubt he’d be open to any heartfelt conversation about his feelings, assuming he knew them in the first place.

So, it must be Luke, right? Well, actually, he still has a very Gomer Pyle Goll-leeeeeee thing going on that he loses points on. Would you want a relationship with someone constantly whining Hey, but that’s not fair!

Where does this leave us? Well, I must be getting ancient older because the more intriguing man in Star Wars for me now is…..
obi wan
Obi Wan

No, I don’t have a grandpa thing. Maybe it’s his intuitive powers, his understanding of others, his knowing of himself and the Universe, his calm (or maybe we can jump ahead to the prequels and this really means Ewan McGregor who I’ve had a crush on since I watched his motorcyling around the world doc’s…).

Okay, maybe it’s just his accent. I’m a sucker for an accent.

Who would you take home?