when we first became parents (God help us) we were like something akin to the taliban.  it's true.  we were fairly fresh from the new christian oven and we had some ideals, you hear me.

i bet you knew people like us.  or maybe you know them now.  or maybe you were them.  or are them.  

there were ways for things to be done and by george we were not gonna veer from that path.  we were gonna do things right.

Santa Claus, bless his heart, was not on the right path.

being the fascists that we were, we wouldn't even entertain the idea because we couldn't enter the world of all the lying parents who lied to their children about Santa (liars!) (and if they lie about that then who knows where the lying ends! First Santa then tax fraud?)

it was a slippery slope, so we decided that no, we would stay on the straight and narrow.

so naturally, we told 'em from Jump Street that there was no Santa... that all of their gifts came from people who love them. 

after all, we didn't want them to learn later on that we had lied (like the serpent!) to them about Santa and then set them on the path of questioning every other thing we'd ever told them was true.

i just knew it would end like this:

because that's what would happen.  right?

of course we hadn't exaggerated the situation at all.


this year though, our 8 year old decided we were wrong.  he has a friend who told him he's seen Santa Claus and well, that was all the proof his little heart needed.

Santa was (is) real.


the reason for the change of heart?


it's because i believe in unicorns.

he can't trust my judgment anymore. he questions my good sense.

he'd sooner believe in a man who can eat and drink more milk and cookies in one night than all the kids in day cares across america could eat in a week, than to believe in a horse (found in nature) with a horn (like a narwhal, also found in nature).

at least his friend has seen Santa, which is more than i can say to back up my claims.

wish me luck with the rest of parenting, y'all.
seems i'm in over my head here.

i should note, since there was some confusion with a friend about this post, that my belief in unicorns is that they existed in nature in the past... not the present.  i just argue that they were real, not mythical.  the end.


the year of do-overs

last year i began the practice of naming my year. 

this year, with january approaching too quickly (and now here) i just felt heavy with what was still left undone.  or done poorly.  i felt dissatisfied.

i felt very strongly what geneen roth (you're gonna see that name alot today) calls "the inclination to bolt".

i didn't (don't) want the pressure of new resolutions.

i've never liked them.

they feel like another way to feel badly about myself.

i am well practiced at regret, judging myself, at self-inflicted violence for things done. or not done.  that is a well-worn groove.

so i came across a few words over the past few weeks that struck my heart and felt like, "this is the way, walk in it".

i'm naming this year the year of do-overs.  i will add nothing new to my plate.  i will take on no new goals. i will not keep things that imply "previous conditioning or beliefs or shoulds or have to's". the game of my life is not about "people pleasing, needing to be liked, loved, accepted, or trying to belong or fit in. That game will not get [me] where [i] want to go..."*

the thing i'm most purposing to do this year is to inhabit my life.  i leave myself hundreds of times every day.  thousands maybe.

 surfing the net
pinning things to my ever-growing pin boards
talking on the phone
checking facebook
reading blogs

all of those things are inherently harmless, but not when my motive it to disappear...

to leave myself when life gets too hard, because i don't have a solution to a problem i'm facing with my kids or my marriage

to find comfort because life feels too hard and i don't want to notice what's going on

to distance myself from the way things are when they are not what i wish they would be

to quiet the voice in my head that says i'll never be better than i am... that i cannot change

my inclination to bolt is so strong, so fierce, so bossy --- and i usually answer that call with a hearty yes.

'thank you for calling! i'll be right there!'

meanwhile, i am missing the life that happens
'in the middle zone - 
between now and what i think my life should be like. 
and when i miss those moments 
because i'd rather be doing something else, 
i am missing my own life.'  
(geneen roth, women food and god)

this year though, i will keep coming back to myself.  i will notice and return.  i've been practicing it for a little while now, but only not so purposeful.  i've seen it, but i've not faced it.

this year, this is the year i really focus on waking up, to stay in the present moment.  to find my breath and to stay with it.

in geneen roth's book, women food and god, she says, 'either you want to wake up or you want to go to sleep. you either want to live or you want to die.'  

for so long, i've just wanted to sleep, to not wake up: to myself, to my life, because it just seemed 
too hard.  
too much.  
too scary.

i was afraid that what i awoke to would destroy me.  at least in my slumber i couldn't really face the fact that sleep was destruction too, and more so.

so my do-over represents that... another chance to wake up, again and again and again.

to come back to myself, over and over and over.

another chance to live in my body, to inhabit my life, the life i've chosen.

another chance to look behind the doors of what's 'not working' with curiosity instead of judgement.

to not miss what mary oliver calls this 'one wild and precious life'.  

"you already have everything you need to be content.  
your real work is to do whatever it takes to realize that."  
geneen roth

all of the ways i run from myself, and go to sleep, and disappear, they are robbing me.

and denying that fact does not make it less so.

so, i'm not taking on a new health goal, or a new spiritual goal, or a new financial goal or any of that.  

i'm not making a to-do list except for this one thing: 

to not limit myself by thinking i'm not ready for my life. 

*excerpted from empowering potential