Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear No one (aka Readers of this Blog) -
I just want to say sorry. I'm sorry that I haven't made my time here in "The Space Between" more of a priority. I seem to be able to log in with great consistancy to read other blogs, but nevermore to contribute.
I don't know if that will change. But I know I'm sorry to have started something that I have left to die.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A season for everything?

(I started this post in June 2009 and finished it in April 2010 - talk about spanning the seasons)

You know that song... To everything ... There is a season ...

I've been thinking so much about seasons lately. How "seasonal" things can outlast their predestined or preappointed life span. How the term "seasons" is used to describe periods (usually of trial) in the human existance. Now is the winter of our discontent?

I began thinking about seasons because of a white poinsettia in the window of my grandmother's living room. As is the custom, she received it (and a few others) before Christmas. (In 2009, it was a white pointsettia that inspired me to start this 2010, a red pointsettia that remains in the kitchen window inspires me to finish it.) A well known and very common symbol of the Christmas season, pointsettias don't usually last until spring (or summer, in the case of the white one). Except at Grandma's. This lady can nurse a pointsettia! But still, when walking into Grandma's kitchen in April, May or June the sight of a healthy, thriving poinsettia is a little off- putting. "Those aren't in season!" "How did that thing last this long?" "Wait, is that real?" Somehow this vigorous little plant and this caring, nurturing lady have managed to defy "seasons". And don't I envy them...

In this age of social networking, you can hear (I'm all about people's "seasons". Battles with illness, hard economic situations, relationships in crisis, the expectation of a child, an upcoming marriage, the loss of something or someone.
I never viewed life in this way until the last few years. Each stage of life is season. Some to be savored and enjoyed. Some to be weathered and survived. Here's to the thought of withstanding and spanning them Grandma's pointsettias.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Intentions

Remember this song?
"It's hard to rely on my good intentions..."

It IS hard to rely on good intentions. At least it is for me.
I have perfectly good intentions on doing, saying, acting certain things or ways.
But lately I've been classifying my intentions. Some take extreme presidance over others.
Example: I intend to clean the upstairs of the house tonight. However I also intend to eat a decently healthy dinner and get enough sleep. If the latter don't allow me to do the former, ehh, I can deal with that.

I intened to be a good employee, although my job bores me to distraction. I also intend to find a job that doesn't make me regret working outside the home and shipping my kids from one "fill in parent" to another. Again, the latter being higher up on my scale of "intended importance".

What about those vague ones that we throw in sometimes: I intend to be a good person. Good to who? Because I'm figuring out that being good to yourself might not mean always being good to others. But in turn, being good to yourself will help you be good to others. I don't intend to confuse you, but honestly, don't intentions just confuse things?

Oh but haven't we also heard the ever daunting:"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Well, isn't that enough to scare you into action?

What are your intentions? Have you ever been asked that? I mean what a terrible question!
An intention is when you mentally determine an action or result. How can you determine the result of something, when all you can truly control is yourself?

Where is this going? I don't know. Because when I started this posting it was not my intention to fixate on intentions. But there you have my whole can't determine the result of things.

I intend to releave some of the pressure and stress that I feel by having no more intentions.
Que sera, sera! Let it go!

(now let's see if I can rely on that)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Hi Mom!"

Over the weekend, I was channel surfing and came across "Forbes' 15 Hollywood Moms". Usually interested in anything having to do with motherhood, I paused. The mom being featured was Kelly Ripa. It must have been the end of her segment, for all I really had time to digest was that Kelly was a "hard working mother of 3 who has stayed fabulous, and always will be" (or something to that effect). Ok, I think, she seems hands on (at least from the beautifully edited photo montage), let's see who is next. Kimmora Lee. ("Warning! Warning!") After a recap of all things Kimmora, the show turns to focus on her as a mom. After running down the list of staff she employs, from personal chefs to a nanny for each of her two children, we cut to an interview with the lady herself. "Being a mother is a lot work.", says Lee. Ehhht. Buzzer. Click. I'm sorry what?! Now, I have no reason to dislike Kimmora, Kelly Ripa, or any of the other 13 women called out for recognition by Forbes. But in a program specifically made for airing around Mother's Day, do "THEY" really think this is what Mothers want to hear? Am I alone in thinking that the last thing most mothers want to think about on Mother's Day are women who make millions of dollars a year, employ a team of Mommy's Helpers, and look amazing every time you see them? I submit that I am not. I know a whole lot of Moms. I am one. I know moms with one child to moms with half a dozen. I know single moms and moms with partners by their side. I know moms who are "done" and those who can't wait to have more! Some moms I know work jobs outside the home, some work jobs while at home, and some have one job - the hardest job. Let's be clear, Dads - I'm not dissing you! For every time you see "mom" here, you could substitute "dad" and there are cases where it would still apply. I love Dads! Without them, there would be no Moms! But it's Mother's Day coming up, and well...I'm a mother. So women, fellow moms...allow me to recognize you and your lives and your accomplishments, your pains, your frustrations. Chances are you juggle just as much as "Hollywood Moms", but unfortunately Forbes and E! aren't banging down your door. Here's to the doctor, lawyer, chef, teacher, housekeeper, "handyman", storyteller, entertainer, councilor, gardener, accountant, taxi driver, cheerleader, coach, family historian (and whatever career you do besides all that) in all of you! YOU are FABULOUS! If you are like me, being a mom comes with a lot of questions. "Is this the best thing for them?" "Should I step in or let them figure it out?" "Should they be eating that?" "What time is bedtime again?" Every mom has her own struggles, her challenges in getting through the day. Getting out that door in the morning, getting dinner on the table, getting through that cranky time just before nap or bed. Mostly, I just want to make sure I'm doing the best I can for my kids, whatever that happens to be on any given day. Because that's all they get. Is it fair to my kids that I'm exhausted and that we rush out the door before 8 am and get home after 6 pm? Or that some days I don't even see them? Most days I'd say without doubt, no. But the truth is, I don't know...and neither do they. All they know is what they see, what we live.
As we head towards Mother's Day, I simply want to say...Thank you. Thank you, Price Chopper and Walmart for being open 24/7. Thank you, Nick Jr, PBS and Disney Channel for having programs that although annoying are educational. Thank you, Food Network for giving me something to aim for in the kitchen. Thank you, whoever invented methods of recording programs on TV that coincide with bath time and bedtime. Thank you, Mr. Bubble for bubbles and giggles. Thank you, weekly tag team members (Team Pre-K, Tammy, Terry, Mom, Susan and Dick, Kate, and of course Joel).
Thank you Moms! Thank you to those who have taught me. Thank you to those who inspire me. Thank you to those who have supported me, saying "Oh I know!" or "I'm right there with you!" Thank you especially to MY Mom, who has been all these things and more. She has been my go-to babysitter, my helper, my "date" and most importantly, my champion. Here's to you, Moms! Every day is Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No time to blog!

Is it really so hard to find a few minutes each day to log in and reflect on.....something.....
apparently - yes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A thought for today: Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble...there's no place like home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It was Mom's birthday

Yesterday was Mom's birthday.  The kids were very excited.  I think mostly to eat the cupcakes they helped me make on Sunday, but well before that they were throwing out phrases like,"this is the best party ever" or "this is a great birthday".  And then I wondered - was it?

My mother's birthday consisted of the following:
1 - spend day at school (during vacation) with om team
2 - pick up my kids at babysitter
3 - dinner of pizza and salad
4 - cupcakes made by kids and I
5 - presents and cards  (funny note here: Kate and I shopped for separate gifts and didn't speak to each other regarding the details of what we had gotten.  I got two candles for her - one green and one pink. Kate got her new placemats, green with pink flowers - just so funny that we coordinated with out even discussing it)

I certainly hope that the hurried "celebration" was enough to let her know that she is loved and so important to us.  My Mom turned  57 yesterday, which gives me about three years to plan something truly special for a truly special person on her next milestone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

CHANGING "The Space Between"

So I'm getting rid of starting all my posts with "The Space Between...something and something"
Why? Because it's too much darn work! So many times this month I've wanted to sit down and share a story or put some thoughts on something together and I haven't been able to get past the title!
So that's over. I'm over being clever with titles. Maybe.

That said, "the space between" things and thoughts and feelings remains one thing that I will and do muse about quite often.

PS Does anyone even read this?

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Space Bewteen...6 more weeks of winter or just winter

(Bill Murray): This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather. (Groundhog Day, 1993)

yes that's right friends...
today is Groundhog Day. every year on feb 2 a rotund rodent is plucked from his slumber, observed to see if shadow is cast, and then held aloft for thousands of shivering on lookers to applaud. if he "sees" his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter. if not, early spring. oh. my. god.
why? why can't American's (and Canadians for that matter, you don't get off the hook here either) let go of this ridiculous observance? or more accurately, why won't media let this gigantic waste of time and effort go away? Google, Fox, MSN - come on.
A side note: Thank you, former employer CNN for holding out some brief glimmer of hope. As of this writing I didn't see an annoying article on your site.

besides wondering at the relatively free schedule of the 13,000 people one story said were there to observe "Phil's forecast", i have to wonder why a picture caption including "sees shadow, in shock returns to hole" is AP worthy? of course he was in shock. groundhogs hibernate until march or april! that in itself should make this silly day go away.

for those of you prone to enjoy this seemingly ancient and antiquated frivolity, you would enjoy these crazy people. seems there is actually a group of distinguished looking (looking being the operative word here) people who have charmed the media into covering this monstrosity of a holiday.

my final thought on groundhog day is this:
Dear Fox and MSN: Please find something else to talk about on Feb 2, 2010. We need to move beyond Groundhog Day.
Dear Groundhog Club of Punxsutawney: I'm sorry. Being from a small town too, I can sympathize that this is important to you. But really...we as a society, should be over this. And I'm kinda thinkin Phil would agree...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Space and life part 2

(second blog for work. there was supposed to be a third, but i haven't written it yet)

So my favorite commercials have either great music, star power, or a tad of reality. (Sound familiar?) Here’s my plug for great music.

Doin’ things is what I like to do. Not a great descriptive sentence, not really a great sentence at all. But in the capable hands of They Might Be Giants and Hill Holiday, it’s an amazing jingle that will not leave my head! The first time I saw this spot I said, “That is the stupidest song…doin things is what I like to do (in an over the top “stupid” voice)…no kidding.” Then the next time, by the end of the :60 I was humming. Next day: “I’m slightly more efficient than I previously was…” What?!? Yes, it was stuck.

I like the beat, the melody, the harmony…plus it’s a commercial jingle that has the words “efficient”, “productive”, and “previous” (TWICE!)…how can you not appreciate that?!

I dare you, triple dog dare you, to watch this spot and then not have this song in your head the next time you walk down the street with a DD cup in your hands.

Slightly related: They Might Be Giants have been around since 1984 and have released many albums as well as done commercials, TV theme songs and kids albums.
Apparently during a 2004 tour, TMBG recorded songs about each of the venues they played, including The Egg.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Space and life.

(the following is a blog a wrote for work, 1 of 2 so far, I liked it so I figured I'd post it here in The Space Between)

Because I’m the mommy, that’s why…

When my boss first told us about the blog on the website, he indicated that he really wanted everyone to contribute. I thought, “Hmmm, ok. Blog. I can do that.” Then I thought again. What would I possibly blog about? Being the Mossey staffer with the longest commute, I could share my thoughts on gas prices...ummm, no. Having two children younger than 5, I could share endless rants about children’s programming…hmmm, maybe. Or being an avid fan of musical theater, I could share my thoughts on the “Hollywoodization” (it’s a word – it’s all over other people’s blogs) of Broadway…ahhh, next month. (Just kidding). One thing I do feel fairly safe in talking about, is what I like and why. I figure if you like it too, then we’ve got something to talk about. If you don’t, then we still have something to talk about. So here’s my first Mossey Group blog:

I pay attention to commercials. (Big surprise!) When I see one that sparks my interest, I can’t wait to see it again. When I hear one with catchy music, look out. To me the most memorable commercials either have great music, star power, or reflect a little bit of real life. (But not too much…we need something fanciful) The spot I’ve attached here has the latter. I love this spot. This video has Spanish text, but the message is unchanged.

So why do I like this? Because I’m a mommy! The little bit of reality here is that my kids would do this every night if they could. And if they could magically flop down and fall instantly asleep…I can’t even finish that thought…there are no words. You see, it’s only been a few months that my kids have shared a room and both been in “big kid beds”.
The novelty is still fresh for them and bouncing back and forth is a nightly ritual. It’s actually rather precious, as they usually try very hard to stay as quiet as possible but inevitably end up giggling or full out laughing prompting a trip up the stairs by yours truly. “Guys, you need to lay down and go to sleep. No more jumping.” “Why?” “Because I’m the mommy, and those are my directions, that’s why.” And every time I say it, something deep inside cringes a little. Do I really expect a 4 year old and a 2 year old to believe this as a reasonable explanation…well, yes! Anyway, when I hear the thumping on the floor and the stifled giggles through the monitor, this spot comes to mind.

So we’ve got the little bit of reality covered. What else? Come on! The kid is cute, the footsie pjs are cute, and the bouncy music is catchy. I also really like that there is no voice over. You get it. I could have done without the snoring sound effects…but that’s minor. Sealy carried this basic principle into their advertising during the 2004 Olympics. You may remember the high jumper, the swimmer, the gymnast, or the synchronized swimming pair, who fall instantly asleep on their Sealy mattresses. Again, no voice over, save for the whispered “Sealy, official supplier of the US Olympic team.”

Bravo, Sealy! (Or should I say, Sealy’s agency!) This is one of my favorite spots ever.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Space Between...his Word and my life quietly small and amazingly comforting.

This posting is a follow up to my last posting on grace.

Well over a year ago, on my Facebook account, a friend sent me a "flair" with a simple message: Gal 5: 22-23. I used to "rearrange" my flair all the time, but I haven't lately. This morning when I came across that particular one, I had to think..."what IS this verse?" When I looked it up, I was pleasantly surprised.

Gal 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I instantly was reminded of my post on grace. This is it. This is what I'm talking about.
How simply wonderful that I've had that simple affirming reminder "at my fingertips" for so long and that I found it again now, when grace is becoming such an important attribute to me.
I'm grateful.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Space Between...should be filled with grace.

below are some thoughts on GRACE.  i didn't write these, a friend shared them with me...

life is a classroom. we are both student and teacher. each day is a test. and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. 

grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence, and the list goes on. it's something money can't buy and credentials rarely produce. being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest, or even the poorest, can't help. being a humble person can and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.

it is not "if" we will lose the things we love, it is "when." with some, the loss comes in a major catastrophic event. for most, love is surrendered one piece at a time. a first childhood, a promising romance, the passing of a loved one and finally a child who leaves home. but as we lose, we can keep a deep knowing that in the presence of grace, love for the sake of love is eternal.

how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. and so it is with life, which for many of us has become one big gigantic test followed by one big gigantic lesson. in the end, it all comes down to one word. grace. it's how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light.

The Space and my kids

...seems to great.  In more ways than one.

First, of course, I regret the time that I do not spend with them.  Let's be honest, not every single minute...I do enjoy some peace!  But the time that is spent on my commute, the days that I don't see them at all, that time is the time I regret.  But for now, there really is nothing I can do about that time.  I have to live with it, for now.  Like the closing song in Avenue Q, "It's only for now".

Then there is the space in our relationship that is filled with rushing around, and frantic dinner times, and time outs, and tears.  This is the space between us.  The space where I'm on one side and they are on the other.  And they are only 3 and 4!!!  This space will grow as they do no doubt. The question is, will we just get used it? Will we all get better at it?  or Will it get worse?

Who knows. The space between me and my kids is full of obstacles, tangible and not, but we also have spaces full of love and laughs, of hugs and cuddles, of hope and faith.  And that's not only for now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Space Between...2008 and 2009

The month of January usually causes people to do three things:
1) reflect on the year past
2) conjure up dreams for the year ahead
3) plan vacations - Upstate NY in January is cold, grey, and uninspiring!

On the first two, I'd like to say the following:

1) I don't feel the need to sit and reflect on last year. It's still glaring right in my face.
2) Although I do have "dreams" that are yet unrealized, I'm going to resist the urge to assign them to this year.
I think I'll give this year a break, by letting it have no expectations placed on it. Think I can do it? It's going to be very hard!!! Especially since I'm the romantic type that likes to put all my hopes in the chance that something wonderful will or could happen in any given scenario. But, alas, I shall resist. I want God to lead my hopes and expectations this year. I don't want to develop my own (set up for failure), and then be disappointed in Him when they don't reach actualization.

For me, my only real hope for the new year is that the space between 2008 and 2009 be more filled with grace. And, come what may - that I'll be strong enough to be gracious in it.