Friday, December 5, 2008

The Space Between...Thanksgiving and Christmas

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas so much stuff happens that it's easy to see why the holidays are stressful and bittersweet for so many people.  This year - I'm one of those people.  
Thanksgiving was odd this year, and bittersweet really is the best way to describe it.  Missing spending part of the Thanksgiving holiday with Bramers and with my Dad, didn't really sink in until about 1:30 am on Friday after.  It was then that my body and mind were finally quiet from the day's many chores and stops.  Sharing the Thanksgiving meal with my sisters, my kids, my grandma and the Barbers was really nice.  Especially since we were last minute additions due to weather that stopped us from traveling north to see my Dad.  But those few hours spent in Schoharie were sadly missing for me this year.  And a Thanksgiving smile and squeeze between my husband and I was the biggest void of all. Friday after Thanksgiving found me once again surrounded by family - in a truly wonderful gathering of ALL my Barber relatives.  Hence the sweetness of that day came to remove the sour of the day before.
And now Thanksgiving is over.  My favorite of the holidays for many reasons, but mostly because it comes and goes with little fanfare and, save some cooking and cleaning, little stressful preparation.  Now it's full steam ahead to Christmas and all the little things that have become my Christmas-time routine.  The movies, the music, the decorations, the choosing of gifts, the planning to spend time with everyone.  Fitting it all in has always seemed like a chore, but happily done in the spirit of the season.  
This year though there will be a space...a space between me and those traditions.  I'll probably still do them.
I may watch the movies, I may listen to the songs.  I'll put up a tree even though I expect it will feel like there's a pine needle in my heart the entire time.  So I'll go through the motions.  "Fake it 'til I make it" as a friend would say. And pray that the space left by the absence of a great force, the space between me and this holiday, the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas - is filled with grace and peace and understanding.
And always with love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simply - The Space Between

You cannot quit me so quickly
Is no hope in you for me
No corner you could squeeze me
But I've got all the time for you love

The space between
The tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more
The space between
The wicked lies we tell to keep us safe from the pain

Will I hold you again
These fickle fuddled words confuse me
Like will it rain today
We waste the hours with talking talking
These twisted games we're playing
We're strange allies with warring hearts
What a wild eyed beast you be

Look at us spinning out in the madness of a rollercoaster
You know you went off like the devil in the church
In the middle of a crowded room
All we can do my love
Is hope we don't take this ship down

The space between
Where you smile and hide
That's where you'll find me if I get to go
The space between
The bullets in our fire fight
Is where I'll be hiding waiting for you
The rain that falls splashed in your heart
Ran like a sadness down the window into your room
The space between our wicked lies is
The hope to keep safe from pain
Take my hand cause we're walking out of here
Right out of here is all we need dear
The space between
What's wrong and right
Is where you'll find me hiding
Waiting for you
The space between
Your heart and mind
Is the space we'll fill with time
 - Dave Matthews

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Space Between..."pre k" and Pre-K

Yesterday was the first day of school. Luke's first day of PreK.
I'm totally fine. I didn't get weepy, I wasn't preoccupied with worry until I knew he was "home".
People kept asking me all day - how was I, did I cry. I've seen other mothers still teary eyed over an hour after drop off time. I was excited and marking in my heart the first of many "first days of school". But not super emotional...odd in hindsight because I do consider myself an emotional person. So I got thinking.
Think, think, Winnie the Pooh would say. And here's what I keep coming back to -
I have pretty much always been a mother who works outside the home. (I hate the term working mother.)
I was working retail part time from the time Luke was about 6 months old until just before I found out I was pregnant with Megan. I was home for my whole pregnancy with Megan, but got a part time job when she was 2 and a half months old - and I've been there ever since - but now full time. And not even that - my job is 45 minutes away. I leave before 8am and am never home before 6pm. Back to emotional separations though.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm used to leaving my kids places. Not only that - my kids are used to be shuffled around and every morning they ask, "where are we going?" or "who will we see today?"
Pre - pre K, I felt minimally guilty. This week - with about 16 years of first days of school ahead of me (not to mention - sports, concerts, conferences, open houses, sick days, school vacations, etc.) the space between home and work seems to large, to full of things that shouldn't be as important as my kids. This week (and probably from now on)- I want that space diminished.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Space Between...a dollar and a dream

For a four year old is...vast.

My four year old has a wallet, it was given to him as a gift. It contained a crisp new dollar bill.
A few days ago he happened across said wallet, very excited to have re-discovered it. He opened it, promptly removed the dollar bill and handed it to me. "Here mommy, I don't want this." I tried to explain that he should save it for later, that the purpose of a wallet is to hold money. I tried very briefly to make him see the value of this dollar he was so intent on getting rid of.
How foolish of me. A four year old doesn't need to be burdened with the fact that some paper is more valuable than other paper, and that someday he'll wish he had more dollars than he has. In that moment, that unwanted dollar became much more valuable to me than 100 gave me sense. And I hope the big picture that was revealed to me then, remains with me forever. Money is important...that is an unavoidable truth. But I'd like to maintain perspective, please. There are wonderful things in life that don't require money to experience.
I smiled at him. "Okay, buddy...let's go play..." And I pocketed the dollar and later took it upstairs to the "Dream Fund" jar...may it serve him well some day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Space Between...myspace and MY space

Is dangerous.
It's actually not just myspace. It's "social networking" - a blur of pictures, comments, statuses, pokes, and NO context. Photos posted that have captured a second of candid activity, that can in one second more cast an impression that hurts someone. A status or mood update that can be obsolete or even an all out lie a second later. A "super poke" that others view as super loaded with hidden meaning. Hidden friends, top friends, hottest friends - not really friends. And it's all there - for the world - or at least your "friends" to see.
Could be you catch wind of a gathering of friends you were not invited to, see photos that portray a friend or family member in a way you disapprove of...whatever.
I guess it comes down to how much stock you put in it. I have had several of these unpleasant online experiences lately and so I place great stock in them, right now. But really isn't the internet all about "right now" anyway? The trick is to not let myspace (or the like) pollute my space. I signed up for those sites in an effort to reconnect with old friends and share photos of my kids...I can do that without "social networking".
And so I'm done for now. It's time to let the space between myspace and my space grow bigger for a while.
And here's to filling that space, with quality, real things - not an abundance of virtual things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Space and the world

Is getting smaller.
I've been considering starting a blog for a few weeks. Ever since I had to write one for work actually. I could feel the benefit and the lift it gave me to share my thoughts, even if there was no guarantee anyone would read them. Plus the added bonus of being able to really think out what I'm going to say, be able to say everything I need to without being interrupted, and being able to take a thought to completion with out it turning into something about some one else. These thoughts all greatly appeal to me, so I thought I would give this a try.

I haven't even decided if I'm going to tell anyone it's out there yet.

I decided to call it "The Space Between" because in so many ways I find myself walking a fine line in a space between two sides, or two things, or two thoughts. And so many times, when I get in the space between...I wish I could just stop for a minute and talk things out. Or on the other hand, I might observe the space between two things, or two ideas...and just need to get out how I feel about that stuff.

I'm not saying this blog is going to be mind blowing, or ground breaking, or earth shattering, or even interesting. It's something I'm trying as a form of expression and outlet and to help me navigate the spaces in my life.