Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It always happens. Vacations end. I'm aware of it from the very start. It looms over me, getting heavier as the days, hours... moments, of vacation slip away. I dread it. Inevitably it takes three quarters of the vacation to adjust to the new agenda of having fun. Then, just as I've found my groove, it's done. Time to go home. Back to the stuff; the busy, stressful, messy stuff that made the vacation necessary in the first place. I start making deals with father time, "if you just give me one more week, I'll be ready to go.... I promise."
After years of being me, and working with myself, I've learned that I have a process. And, when working on a design project, or writing a paper, I've learned to trust that process. I'm confident that if I just see it through, the end result will be inspiring.
As a designer, it can be very frustrating to have a delay half way through a project installation because it leaves the client hanging with only a piece of the final result. This can make them anxious and cause them to second guess the decisions made. And, when I'm up there on the ledge with them, I frequently find myself saying, "trust the process; allow the details to fill in before you panic; if you don't love it, we'll fix it." They always love it.
I have the same pep talks with myself when I'm writing. Staring at the mess of words on the screen (or worse, no words at all), doubt and creative paralysis set in. I close my eyes, breath deep and slow, calm the anxiety, and remind myself to trust the process.
Slowly... very... s.l.o.w.l.y... I am learning to trust this same process as I wait impatiently for the details of my life to fill in. For instance, when I move to a new home, I can expect it to take me about a year to start feeling settled. No matter how fabulous the move is, I will get depressed and feel homesick during the packing/unpacking phase. I will feel the OCD bugs crawling all over me in the initial weeks in my new house. But, as pictures get hung, I begin to connect with my surroundings. I've moved many times. It happens every time. It is my process. And knowing this about myself allows me to be patient with the pain of transition. I'm able to trust that I will find peace on the other side.
We stumbled through the door with a disoriented toddler dangling from my arms and mountains of luggage hanging haphazardly from Klee. It was late. The house felt... cold. On autopilot, we drug the bags up the stairs, changed the baby and got him to bed, rummaged for our toothbrushes, and collapsed into bed. Our bed, with the worn-in body-shaped trenches and the bleach-spotted pillow cases... and the soft billowy down comforter that keeps us warm in the cold Northern California nights. It felt good. We were home.
Home. In Hawaii, people would ask us where we were from. We'd answer, "the Bay area, San Francisco," and I would feel a twinge of pride. I woke up this morning, loaded up the coffee machine (the coffee machine that doesn't know when to stop dripping, so it spills all over the counter when you go to pour a cup of coffee, even though it pretended to be done brewing), and walked out back to check on the garden. The tomatoes are starting to produce. The loquats are turning yellow. I pulled a few new weeds and picked three red strawberries. My heart felt full. Happy. Home.
It's just my process.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
But I don't want this to be a bad thing. I want to embrace this milestone. I want to be 40 and Fabulous!
It isn't really that I'm sad to say goodbye to my thirties. I remember how excited I was to turn 30. It was going to be my best decade ever! Life was good. I was on the right track. I was a mother to three gorgeous children and the wife to a very talented pastor. But my thirties began to bitch-slap me no more than a month after my 30th birthday, and (with a few years of happy reprieve) continued the beat-down for the better portion of that decade. So, in many ways, I am happy to turn this page.
The fact that my father died at the age of 43 looms over me a lot. It makes the forties a scary decade for my superstitious mind. I am not superstitious by choice; it just nags at me on a subconscious level, causing regular conversations between my rational self and my other self. Don't look at me like that... I know you do it too.
After some persistent contemplation, I've concluded that, outside of the obvious link between aging and death, my angst about getting older is due to my inability to reconcile where I thought I would be in my life by this age, and where I actually am. At 20, I dreamed of marrying the love of my life and raising babies together in the home we would buy to grow old in. Clearly, I have made valiant attempts at realizing this dream. What is it they say? "Try, try again?" "Never, Ever give up?" Yet, three husbands, four babies, and too many homes later, it seems my progress has taken the two steps forward, four steps back approach. I somehow feel like I'm still just trying to get started; only, not with a virginesque blank slate, clean credit, or youth. Where I am isn't bad, it is just vastly different from the picture of success that I spent years training my brain to believe in. And, my current reality is quite different from what society has taught me it should be by now.
** Ok. Stop right there. I know you already have half your speech prepared on why I shouldn't care what society says; why I need to be true to myself; how life is a journey of experiences and learning... Of course, I know all of this is true. Again, what I know to be true and what my other self interjects are frequently at odds with each other.**
This is why I write; to spill out the clutter of thoughts that paralyze me from forward motion. And, as I'm writing this, bits of happiness and hope are seeping in. I'm realizing that, with the surreal losses of my thirties, I have gained priceless perspectives about life and humanity, and have found beautiful pieces of myself. And, I know this is not unique to me. Many of you are reading my words and nodding your heads in understanding. This is the gift age brings. Wealth provided by experiences of both joy and pain.
So, I guess I'm not starting again empty-handed. Of course I'm not! I have four spectacular human beings that call me mother, a rugged and poetic man that calls me wife, and the wisdom that these first 40 years have afforded me. (Just, maybe, can we slow down a little bit on the wisdom-imparted-through-pain part??)
I have sort of been looking at this birthday as an opportunity for resolutions. So, phrases such as, "five year plan," and "bucket list," have been uttered. My imagination has been swimming with visions of physical fitness, moving closer to the ocean, sustainable gardening, owning a home again, developing community, growing our shop, medical insurance...
But, first things first... I'm turning 40... LET'S PARTY!
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Anyway, I found FABULOUS! I can not wait to post these treasures in our shop! Hats! Scarves! Bohemian Beads! Polka dots! Ruby depression glass! Linen!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
We're selling some of our fabulous vintage finds:
My funky bohemian designs:
And Klee's delectibles!
And, if you ever see something you want from one of my blog posts, please message me, I'll do my best to accommodate!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
What's that? You didn't lose everything? You still have your job? Home? Family? Health? You worked hard, tightened your belt. Good for you. What was your industry? By any chance, was it real estate, retail, financial services, construction, or design? Maybe. Did you buy your home before, or during, the real estate boom? I wonder if your mortgage payment doubled as your income dwindled and home value plummeted. Probably not. That only happened to the lazy, uneducated, mooching opportunists. Right?
And, hopefully, no one encountered major illness in the past five years. Good thing you had insurance, right? And I'm sure it covered all the lost work and medical bills. Phew! Good thing you didn't have any pre-existing conditions, or obnoxious deductibles, or unforeseen small print excluding your illness from coverage, right? Good thing.
It's election time again. Time to choose a political team and vote for our nation's leaders. Anyone else disenchanted? Am I just unAmerican to be in complete disgust? To feel the futility in it all? I want to believe that my vote counts, and that the leaders are honest. Please. I want to vote on laws designed to edify humanity and preserve our earth, rather than to fund corporate greed. I'd love to believe that people will set aside religious or party biases to honestly, and empethetically, consider their choices.
What would happen if we voted solely for the betterment of our fellow humans? Imagine people opening their minds to compassionately see through the eyes of others. Imagine, a country where people pursue equal opportunities for all; a world where we do unto others as we would have done to us, and we love our neighbors as ourselves. I wonder what politics would look like in a world like that...
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
So, we are trying something new...
Welcome to Elliott's bistro!
The chef is in.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
He calls them bapples because any round fruit even slightly resembling an apple is, of course, a bapple.
My interventions have minimal and temporary success. With each tiny green bapple presented by my toddler's fingers, I restart the four stages of grief. I go through them relatively quickly now, as I've accepted a certain degree of defeat.
And, I'm simultaneously forced to self refect as I listen to my little imitator sternly scold the pups, "No No, doggie!" for nothing in particular.
When we saw the lush landscape of trees perched behind our house-to-be, concealing the modern world, we knew we were home.
So, as I said, this lttle garden is now my favorite perch, but it didn't start out that way.
When we first moved in, our small yard was a huge, oddly shaped, thorny mess.
We referred to it as our East meets West jungle of, "holy Moses, what is that?!?"
We knew that, if we put some love into it, we could find the beauty hiding back there.
It only took a few garden tools (rake, shovel, rototiller, hacksaw, machete...),
a little tenacity (muscle, patience, bravery, rage, night-terrors...),
and some ingenuity (bribing the garbage men, child labor...),
and before much time at all
(except for the years stolen off our lives),
we had the beginnings of our sweet Eden...
While her progress is slow (thanks to that gopher from the underworld and his minions, the snails),
she is starting to give back some of the love.
And we are so grateful!