Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Procrastina-a-a-tion

"It is the curse of the writer, Maisie: I am both annoyed and relieved upon being interrupted. I can spend much time cleaning the keys on my typewriter or rinsing the bin and barrel of my fountain pen - in fact anything that constitutes a writer's work without actually stringing two words together." --Georgina in "Messenger of Truth"

Coming off of a holiday weekend is always hard, plus I had a sick kid at home so things were a bit shaky from the get-go, but "20 minutes of meditation" was my number one priority today and I just...kept...putting...it...off...

First I had to get kid #1 breakfasted and off to school. Then I had to try and salvage the rotting bananas by making some emergency banana bread. Then walk the dog. Then clean up the kitchen.

Next I rushed off to do the grocery shopping before all the elementary and preschool moms dropped their kids off and flooded the store.

When I got home I had to put away the groceries and get kid #2 (and myself) breakfast. And then clean up the kitchen AGAIN.

After that I needed a rest so I sat with a cup of tea and a book for a few minutes.

Ah, the laundry, I forgot! I put in a load and folded the load that was in the dryer. And put it away.

Shoot! I forgot to buy potatoes for dinner tonight and I didn't get any cash. Back out to the store and the bank.

Got home just in time to greet kid #1 and his three friends. Threw them some snacks then made lunch for kid #2 (and myself). Cleaned up the kitchen AGAIN.

Time for another cup of tea and some mindless Facebook surfing.

Doorbell. Someone picking up a kid. Chat for awhile. Walk the dog again.

When I looked at the clock it was already 4:24pm. I needed to put the potatoes in at 5:00, which meant I had twenty-one minutes until I needed to start prepping.

Twenty-one minutes. Just enough time to sit and meditate. And so I (finally) did.

[I love this quote and I love that I went in search of a quote about procrastination in general and what came up was a quotation about procrastination relative to writing. I have been procrastinating A LOT of things today.] 


Friday, February 12, 2016

RISKy Business


"The ego is trying to teach you how to gain the whole world and lose your soul...you do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you look upon with love." --From A Course in Miracles

Our family has discovered the board game RISK lately and we have enjoyed playing it together, for the most part....

With two boys close in age board games can be a RISKy proposition. There is always the dynamic of one vs. one. Even when you add my husband or I to the mix, the boys are almost always playing against each other.

For this reason when we first started playing I felt the need to give a lecture on good sportsmanship. It lasted a few minutes longer than it needed to, well past the point of fidgeting and eye-rolling, but I felt it was important to make the point and our first game went well, with only a few minor infractions.

The next day my older son had some homework to do so my younger son and I decided to play a game mano-a-mano and that's when things got tricky.

From the beginning it looked like I had the advantage, the cards had given me control of one continent right from the start and I quickly gained control of two more. Ha, ha! I was taking over the world!

Soon, however, it became clear to me that the areas my younger son controlled (the northern territories on the RISK board) were much larger and more powerful and I began to fear for my position.

And then the dice turned on me.

I couldn't role a six - or even a four or a five - to save my life. I would go into battle with twice as many armies as my son had and come out the loser. My men were dying, my stronghold in the southern territories was slipping, and I was NOT HAPPY about it.

I started snarling at the dice, frowning at the board, and looking away from my son. In other words, being a really bad sport.

We ended the game at bedtime with the outcome still undetermined, but one thing was clear to me - I needed to get it together.

When I went to tuck my son into bed I looked him straight in the face and said, "I was being kind of a bad sport wasn't I?" 

"Yeah, MOM, you were," he admitted, without hesitation.

"Kind of ironic, isn't it?" I said.

"VERY ironic," he replied. And then he smiled. And I smiled. And then we started laughing.

"You were being such a bad sport!" he said, cracking up.

"I know!" I replied, laughing back. "REALLY bad!"

I was happy to end the night on a light and happy note and with the consciousness that I still needed to peel back another layer of my own bad sportsmanship, to heal myself and whatever part of me desperately needed to WIN. But I also started to think about it in a deeper way.

RISK is basically foreign relations on a small scale and it scares the shit out of me.

I was feeling insecure and uncomfortable because I was losing control of some fake countries on a game board. Is it any wonder there have been two world wars and thousands of other wars and conflicts around the globe? When this shit gets real how does anyone keep it together? How does anyone keep their finger off the trigger? How does anyone advocate for peace? Thank God for world leaders with cooler heads than mine.

And thank God for whatever part of me woke up sooner rather than later the other night because it is never worth it to gain the whole world and lose your soul - or your son.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spring is Sprung!





"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." --Song of Solomon 2:11-12


Monday, February 8, 2016

Wisdom from Mr. Bates

Anna: "If you'd the chance to see the private rooms of the King and Queen would you give six bits for that?"

Bates: "But what would it tell me? They sleep in a bed? They eat at a table? So do I."

I love this quote from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey for its quiet profundity. 

If you don't watch the show it may not make much sense so here's the gist: The aristocratic Crawley Family decided to open up their home (Downton Abbey) to the locals for six bits each in order to raise money for the local hospital. The household staff were in disagreement about whether or not this was a good idea and were discussing it during a break between household duties. Mr. Bates was neither in favor or opposed, merely puzzled as to why anyone would want to take a tour and thus ensued the above conversation with his wife, Anna. 

Bates has always been a realist, comfortable with his position, never aspiring to a heightened position or lamenting his fate as a Valet, simply seeking whatever happiness can be found in his life as it is. But this line hints at a deeper wisdom. 

An understanding that underneath the trappings of this life (or of life in early 1900's England) we are much more the same then we are different. We all sleep in a bed, we all eat at a table. (At least those of us fortunate enough to have either.) 

At the end of our last day it won't much matter if that bed was made by Sealy or Duxiana, that table set with Corelle or Noritake. What will matter at that moment will be how much we learned, and how well we loved. 

Mr Bates it seems, has known this all along. 

A large part of the spiritual journey it seems to me is to learn to die gracefully, peacefully, and with dignity, hanging on loosely as you finally let go. And life is a chance to practice this every day, in every situation and circumstance in which we find ourselves. 

I'm with Mr Bates on this, rather than look outside of ourselves - to the lives of others - for our answers and our aspirations, why not look inside and find our happiness there? 


Monday, February 1, 2016

InstaLOVE

Join me on Instagram (fridgeoracle) this month, where I will be posting daily reminders of LOVE. Like this one:



"LOVE is contagious." --My take on a Sandra Cisneros quote, "Anger is contagious."