Archive for March, 2012


Tick. Tick. Tick.

When the world winds down, and I cease to exist, will I have counted for anything?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Will I have changed a life for the better?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Will I have improved the world?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Is it selfish of me to wish my contributions mattered?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Can you design a life with purpose?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

How do you find a purpose to plan around?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

How should you live while you’re deciding why you live?

Tick. Tick. Tick.


I have always been one for goal setting.  It sounds arrogant to say that everything I have set out to accomplish I have accomplished.  Some of my unrest stems from not knowing what should come next.  I have set lofty goals and I am working on them.

I like to surround myself with people I adore and enjoy but they cannot fill spots that I need filled.  I don’t want to be with someone that needs to keep searching for someone when I am right in front of him.  I don’t want to be with someone that wants to pin me down.

I suppose this is a contradiction.  I think it is about a perfect balance.

I have been spending time in the dirt and planting things.  I have been spending hours reading, writing and researching.  I have been reaching out to people and going out to dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  I am set on learning new facts and pulling out new experiences.  I am going to be selfish with my motivations.  I am learning more about my children and who they are.

A friend asked me what I wanted.  He wanted me to explain to him exactly what it was that I wanted:  I can’t.  I don’t know.

But a part of me does know.

I want my crappy house to be transformed into a garden.  I am learning photography.  I am signed up to learn how to ride a motorcycle.  I am going to start taking more university classes.  I am going to finish my New York Times Best Seller.  I have a software program to write.  I have a kitchen to paint.  I have new appliances to purchase.  I have a homeless man I am going to help.  I am getting an exchange student that will come and live with me.

I picture myself kissing this handsome man with beautiful eyes.  I like that he is tall.  I like that this man is young, muscular, and lean.  I like that he is brilliant and well educated.  I close my eyes and remember the night our lips touched.  But there was no kiss.  I carry this moment with me.  It is full of mystery.  I don’t know if I want to break the spell.  I can’t be arrogant enough to think or assume he wants me to.   We carry on our conversations.  I like him in my days.  I don’t want any friendship to go away.

I am twenty-two and I am living in Sevilla.  His name is Claudio and he has deep green eyes and jet black hair.  We had been out dancing all night long with all of our friends from Cornell, Michigan and Sevilla University.  I am married.  He tells me how beautiful I am.  I remind him I am married.  I see his face, his lips, his eyes.  This moment is perfectly filled with an impossibility.  In this exact moment I do want to kiss him.  That voice inside that says, “No one would know.”

But I cannot and I don’t.  That is not who I am.  I have a firm sense of that.


I don’t want to ruin the memory.  So I go and work in the dirt.  I think of this Viking ship, Scotland and the Nords.  I want to see green hills and thistles.  I want to hear bag pipes.  I think of this history.  I am going to cook Celtic food and give some to my close friends.  I am going to go on more dinner dates and learn more about people around me.  I am going to plant sunflowers in the full sun and watch them grow.  I am going to speak French like I speak Spanish.

And in all this I think near kisses are sweeter than real ones.

My Girls.

I love children.  When I was four or five years old I knew I wanted to be a mother.  When I was a pre-teen and teenager I loved to babysit.  My weekends were consumed with children.  Word spread throughout our community and I was constantly booked as a babysitter.   My teenaged summers were spent babysitting.  I played with the children and I adored them.

I married at twenty-two and gave birth at twenty-three.  I couldn’t wait to start our family.  I thought I knew love until I held Caitlin.  I had no clue what love meant until I met her.  We decided to give Caitlin a sibling and along came Sarah.  (No child should be an only child unless absolutely necessary).  Six years later we decided to have another and soon came Jackie.  I wanted more children but my husband and I were falling apart.  You don’t have children to preserve a marriage.  I don’t think you should have children unless you are in a safe and loving environment.  A man should love his woman.  That woman should love her man.

In his defense I know in my heart my husband loved me and he did the best he could.  I know he loved the girls the same way.  I tried to hold on and love him back the best I could.

Sometimes our best just isn’t good enough.

I loved these babies.  For the most part I spent all my days playing, holding, and caring for them.  I filled their days with books and games.  We would color with crayons and marker.  I made play dough.  We would paint with water colors and poster paint.  We always were listening to music and dancing to it.  We went on excursions.  We housed all sorts of little critters.  Their father took them on camping trips, played sports and was great with all kinds of day excursions and trips.   We created things with glue and glitter.  We blew bubbles and colored sidewalks with chalk.

They were our focus and our joy.  I tell them everyday how much I love them.  I remind them everyday that they are beautiful.  They are strong and resilient.  They are loving and kind.  They are hard-working.  I tell them they possess everything good that exists in their father.  They are brave, hardworking and adventurous.  They are smart and crafty.  They have his gift in that they are popular and well liked.

Parenting them is easy because they make it easy.  I do not feel any self-sacrifice.  I haven’t allowed it.  I let them know this.  I have not given up anything and have pursued my personal goals with them in tow.  I can have a career and be a good mother.  I don’t care what anyone else has to say about that.  I do not resent them.  I do not see them as a burden or an impediment.  I would never want to guilt them.  Guilt is an acid.  If they want to eat cupcakes for breakfast I let them.  Ice-cream for dinner never hurt anyone.

I tell them to define themselves.  I tell them to find their joy.  I tell them not to worry about what I want.  I ask that they find themselves and be true to their spirit.  In spite of this I know they want to please me.  They decorate their own rooms.  They paint on their walls.  They are writing their own stories.

They make fun of me.  They know my faults.  They forgive me.  We know and accept each other.  I am amazed at their talents.  They are smarter than I am.  These individuals will accomplish more than I.  They are more daring and brave.  They know how to navigate these waters because I am constantly reminding them of this world’s evils and dangers.  I am the kind of mother that shows them how to poke out someone’s eyes.  I put pepper spray on their key rings.  I tell them about women’s rights.  I tell them it’s o.k. to leave.  They know the value of an education.

They love each other.  When they are home they fill the house with giggles and laughter.  There has been very little conflict in this house.  They like music, books, and flowers.  They are artistic, smart and kind. They are the best of friends.  They kiss and hug me goodnight.  They tell me they miss me.  They thank me when I make them a dinner or go grocery shopping.

I know for all of my human weakness and flaws I have given this world three amazing and beautiful women.  I am amazed that I was entrusted with their spirits.  I tell them I am proud of them because I truly am.

When the world seems so very dark and black, I picture myself holding three jars.  Each jar contains a soul of shiny bright light.  These jars of light keep me brave.  I have no fear.  I have no regrets.   They illuminate my path.  They bring me immense joy.

This world is a better place because they exist in it.