Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Today I Swung High on a Swing

The weather is once again quite beautiful. It's not too cold, not too warm, but it is, unfortunately, a bit too windy. For Haevyn. Not me. She's such a wimp. Ok, she's only two, she gets a wimp-pass. Aside from this being winter and the temperatures reaching 60 and 70 degrees lately, the wind has just been ridiculous. It seems to be the only thing that realizes it's supposed to be cold. It's the only indicator that this is not, in fact, Spring or early Summer just yet.

On this beautiful day, like we often do, we went to the park. The same park. In the same neighborhood. We even walked the same path we usually do. Out the door, to the left, around the bend, to the right, to the left, across the field. Park. Shoot me. This is so boring. I love parks. I love taking my kids to the park. But there is just nothing fun about this park. Teenagers come here to have sex, drink, smoke pot and write crudities on everything their markers can reach. I do not care that Dank was here, nor do I care that Vibe is going to kill Dank because Dank loves Dink. I mean, ok, first off, Dank, Vibe, and Dink? At least come up with better nicknames. Give me some quality reading material. You know, like when I was in school.. "Sarah K. likes it in the butt! Call her! 555-4525" or "Jeremy M. is a FUCKING PLAYER! Don't go out with him! Unless you want HERPES!" You know.. this is useful information. Sarah K. and Jeremy M. may not have appreciated being the subject of the stall wallversation, but alas.. 
Anyhow, back on point. I just do not care for this park at all. Haevyn is too little to walk to the next nearest park which is exactly one half mile away from our house. She tires out and then I have to carry her and whatever stuffed or plastic toys she decided to bring with us on our venture. She refuses to ride in the stroller now that she's a "big girl" and I refuse to waste the gas to drive us one half mile away.

So, this park. It has a decent size field for all of the billions of burdock stickers that attack you as you walk through it. It's great for kids that coaches hate that need to practice soccer, baseball, football, etc. We don't actually need to keep these kids from bleeding anyway, right? This field is massive. Full of stickers and gopher holes. Haevyn thinks it's hysterical to jump on these piles of dirt that have been dug up. It's cute, but one can only stand around watching this bizarre game of hopscotch for so long. There's a building in the center of this huge field that resembles what can only be described as a pedophile shack. To the best of my knowledge, having never let my children explore said building, it's supposed to be some sort of restroom. I think I'd prefer outhouses to this creeper looking building. Once you make it to the actual playground, it's full of mulch. Not uncommon around here, but still pretty gross considering all of the sticker plants sprouting everywhere. So now you've got mulch that sticks to clothing as well as the stickers and littles that can't maintain balance falling down and getting things caught in their precious chubby hands. It's a disaster. The play equipment isn't too shabby. It's one of those all-plastic-jobs that was made to be a type of playground/obstacle course/exercise combo. The smaller kids can play on the lower levels and slide down the shorter slides while the bigger kids (or, the toddlers that think they're bigger, like mine) can climb to the tops of things and slide or propel down bars/chains, go down swirly slides or tunnel slides, etc. There are also swings.

This brings me to the point of the post today. The swings. I'm bored out of my skull watching Haevyn take the same path she always takes when we come here. Every now and then she'll change something up and I get excited until I realize this in no way effects anything I get to do. It was so much more fun when she was teeny tiny and I could lead her up and around and slide down and catch her as she jumped off of things and pick the stickers out of her pants and hands.. But since she's gone off and turned 2 she doesn't need mommy doing these things for her any longer. So mommy is instructed to stand back and watch. So, I do. I stand back and watch. Often taking pictures, you can never have too many pictures of your kids. Even if it is the 495823rd picture of her going down the slide. Sometimes I will wander around hoping to find some sign of intelligence from the teens that write on everything. Sometimes I will count the number of tiny alcohol bottles or cigarette butts or whatever else I come across, kicking them into a pile on the far side of the playground hoping that whoever is in charge of maintaining the place will think to put a trash can nearby eventually. Every now and then I'll come across something just so fascinating I have to break out the phone to snap a picture of it as well. This doesn't happen often, but every now and then..

So, the swings. Sorry, I am easily distracted today, it would seem.

Today I decided I did not want to stand around bored. So I plopped down into a swing. Ow. My ass is not swing-material. It squeezed my hips and thighs and I felt like my butt cheeks were making some comical overflow image behind/under me. But I didn't care. I kicked my feet. I remembered the "kick out and lean back, lean forward and kick in" and began to remember back to grade school when we would see who could go the highest. Now, this was a challenge today because I weigh significantly more these days than I did when I was in grade school. I decided to risk it. The worst thing that was going to happen was I'd end up falling on my ass and having to pick out stickers. I put my faith in the construction of the swing set and kicked my legs. Higher, and higher, and higher. Leaning back. Feeling a bit nauseous. Then a little sea sick. Then it went away and I started watching my feet. I watched as my feet went higher than the slides, then higher than the entire playground equipment. This is where things got interesting.. I decided to take a picture. To remember today as one of the happy times. Trying to take a picture of your own feet while you're swinging fairly high in a swing is difficult. I implore you to try. But I did it. 

Oh yes. I did. I actually took a few. Some facing this way, some turned around facing the other direction. This way just looks so much cooler. So I swung in the swing until I felt as though the swing and my ass were going to fuse as one. I leapt up and out of the swing praying that my ass wouldn't catch the rubber and cause me to flail about until I landed face first into the painful mulch. But, I didn't. I stuck it. I smiled and looked around, watching Haevyn still going up and down the same way she always does. She didn't even notice that I'd just had a moment. That I'd enjoyed being here. That the boredom had flown the coop and childish enjoyment had taken over. She didn't notice. Nor would she have cared. She gets immense amounts of enjoyment doing what she does already.

The wind was still blowing cold, her nose was starting to run and my booty was too sore to plop back into a swing so we decided to walk back home.

Maybe tomorrow I'll squeeze my ass down a slide. We'll see.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happiness - That's the Goal

Life, man. Life is crazy.

One minute you feel as though you're on top of the world, the next minute you feel as though you're the only thing keeping it up.

We lose people we love and have to deal with people we can't stand.
We have to go to school and to work and deal with stresses and pressures associated with them.
We come home and, once again, have to deal with stresses and pressures associated with being there.

We meet the most spectacular people. Usually they don't realize how amazing they are.
We learn new things and explore new places. We grow. We learn to appreciate things. We learn respect.
We love. Sometimes so deeply and so passionately that everything and everyone else ceases to exist for a little while. We care. We help. We strive to do better.

There are always two sides. Sometimes, unfortunately, both sides are complete shit. But other times..ah, other times one of the sides, if you're lucky, will make you realize why the other side is worth it. Worth dealing with the shit. Worth dealing with the pain, the stress, the pressure, the awfulness that can come from humanity. Sometimes, that other side will be so bright and shiny that it will encompass you in comfort and safety and you will understand. You will understand that there are always two sides, and if you wait, if you trudge through, if you don't quit, you will find the shiny side. The side that makes it all worth it.

So much good comes out of life. But with that, so much bad. So much ugliness, bitterness, hatred and disgust. It's easy to hang on to the bad stuff. It's easy to see it, feel it, remember it and hold it as a grudge against other people. It gives us a shield that we can put up to protect us from any more bad getting in. The only problem with that shield is that it keeps the good out, too.

So let it go. (Do NOT break into song right now.) Let go of the bad stuff and remember something good. Hold on to that. Tomorrow, remember something else that was good. Hold on to that, too. Make it a habit to remember and hold on to the good things in life. That way, when more good things happen, you will know how remarkable it will be to have that in your life.

Be the reason that someone smiles today. Be the reason that someone has something good to hold on to.

Be someone's bright and shiny side. Be someone's happy.

I dare you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015, already?

Well... it happened again. The earth revolved another full turn and here we are again. January. Another New Year. Another year for people to set impossible expectations of themselves and others. Another year to feel guilty in February for those expectations not being met. Or, ok, maybe March for some of you real go-getters. Some people, I've heard (this could be a pile of bullshit as I've never actually known it to happen, but hey, I won't call anyone a liar without proof) make it all the way to the summer months. Those are people with real determination. Real dedication. People that are exactly not like me.

My resolution this year is to screw the resolutions. If I decide there's some goal or accomplishment I'd like to aim for, I will. But not because it's January. Not because it's a "New Year" and therefore time for a "New Me". What a bunch of shit. Maybe I won't feel motivated to lose 20 pounds until July. What then? I can't be a "new me" then? What if I don't decide to start organizing until November? Ok, admittedly, that would just be a stupid move on my part. Organizing right before the holidays? Eh....

2015. Two-Thousand-Fifteen. Two. Thousand. Fifteen.

I'm going to turn 30 this year.
Mehkaelie is going to be 13.
Cole is going to be 10.
Haevyn is going to be 3.
My dad is going to be 60.

This is a pretty big year. Alright, I know, 3 isn't actually a milestone number like the rest are, but I couldn't leave her out. 3's still a big deal!

A week into the year and I already want to go ahead and rewind back to 2014. Hell, while I have the wishing remote, let's go ahead and go back further. Let's go back to 1994. My biggest responsibility then was to walk to school every morning, and then home every evening. I lived right next to the school so this wasn't all that difficult a task to manage.

I had a best friend. Boys were not on my radar yet. I didn't even know there was such a thing as fashion. My dad made sure the bills were paid, the car had gas, the clothes were clean, the beds were made, the dishes were done, etc. All I had to do was exist. To be there. Thanks, dad.

Now, however, life is not like that. Life is not simple. Ever. Bills need paid with money that doesn't exist yet (or anymore), cars need gas, that take that non-existent money, laundry has to be done and guess who has to do it? (Shit. I just realized I used a hand towel to dry off with yesterday because all of the towels were dirty. If I want to dry off after a shower today I'm going to need to go start a load..) Beds around here are rarely made, because, psh. I'm not doing it. Dishes still need to get done and again, guess who? But my kids.. My kids just need to exist. They just need to show up. If I can be half the parent my dad was for me, they're going to look back the year that they turn 30 and think, wow. Thanks, mom.

So, 2015. I'm starting this year out with a broken heart, a fractured soul, no sense of direction, bills that need paid and a car that needs gas (and a transmission that needs fixed, a tire that needs replaced and a window that needs a new motor) among all of the other adulty type things that life has to offer and this year is not looking all too appealing to me yet. Oh well. I'll wait until February to have a meltdown. Maybe March. Or, perhaps, I'll try out the determined thing and give it until the summer months...