Outrage, Hope & Fear

It was announced that Ted Nugent is headlining my local county fair this summer. He’s an aging 70s rock star who spouts hatred, misogyny, prejudice and alternative facts. I wrote a letter to the fair committee and said that after a decade of enjoying the event I won’t be bringing my kids this year. I’m disgusted that my community is hosting this a-hole. I’m pissed off. I’m…playing right into Ted Nugent’s hands.

Ted Nugent issued a statement in response to the controversy that said, “Only liars and America hating scumbags have a problem with me.” WTF? This pissed me off more. Then I get pissed about letting Ted Nugent piss me off. Then I think about how our culture is addicted to outrage, and how the media feeds our outrage, and I get even more pissed off at the whole circle of outrage…F-you, Ted Nugent, for setting me off.

school-girl-using-computerThe whole thing makes me feel like I should do more yoga and meditation. Then I feel guilty for not doing enough yoga and meditation. It’s exhausting. And I’m tired of feeling exhausted all the time. And this pisses me off all over again. Is this ironic? Or merely Alanis Morissette-ironic?

But then there’s the flip side. Let me switch gears for a moment. I’m also hopeful about certain things. Like my kids. They calm me and ground me. They are my hope and joy. I’m excited to watch them navigate toward their goals despite the inevitable obstacles and frustrations they will face. I’m excited when my son talks about politics – he’s twelve and he’s into politics! He wants to make the world a better place. (He also wants to play Fortnite all the time, but oh well.)

The smile on my daughter’s face is brilliant. It fills my heart. I love watching her think. It’s like magic. The greatest thing about being a mom is the love. There’s nothing like it. The worst part is the worry. It never ends.

Which brings me to my fears. Loss is my biggest anguish. Although loss is a normal part of life — we lose our keys, hair, money, friends, jobs, our way — some of us lose our children and that’s irreparable. The loss of my oldest son keeps me up at night and it’s why I live in two worlds at once. But I would still do everything the same even if I knew having him would end with loss — I would still suffer the enormous heartbreak if I could be his mom again. And I would move time and space to make it happen.

Why Does Mommy Swear?

boy-scared-faceYou can hear it in the air. You can hear it everywhere. Does she even care? Why does Mommy swear?

She swears at other drivers. She swears at rude connivers. She swears at messy spills. Is this how she gets her thrills?

She swears when she is late and she cannot find her keys. She swears when she is busy and must stop to take a pee.

She does it when she cooks. She does it when she cleans. She doesn’t try to hide it and she isn’t being mean. She sometimes swears a little, but usually swears more. She even says words that I never heard before.

Is it because she’s tired and always feels a bit perturbed? Or maybe that her hands are too full to flip the bird?

Why Mommy swears a lot is a mystery, you see. She seems to swear at everything, but she never swears at me.

To The Nice Lady on Michigan Avenue Who Told Me I Was A Good Mom

I’m tired. It’s a tiredness born from from stress.

A week ago I had reconstruction surgery on my breasts after having a mastectomy last March to rid me of breast cancer. Everything went well, there were no surprises, and I consider myself lucky. I had my follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon, who seemed pleased with his work. I’m still sore, swollen and bruised, so it’s hard for me to agree at this point, but we’ll see.

I brought my little girl along for the two hour trek into the city. She was perfect at the plastic surgeon’s office, wonderful at The Museum of Contemporary Art, adorable at the playground. But…The Disney Store was one outing too much and her meltdown ensued right there on Michigan Avenue. I pleaded, “I can’t carry you because of my boo – boo.”

And that’s when you appeared.

You were older, maybe 70, and very nicely dressed. You told my daughter you loved her sparkly Hello Kitty boots and pink baret. You said they were nicer than any shoes you had. My daughter hid behind me and didn’t talk. You smiled at us. Then your expression turned serious and you said. “You’re doing a good job.”

And then you were gone.

You have no idea what that meant to me at that moment. Your affirmation made my day, and this was no normal day — It was a day I cleared a major medical hurdle. But at that moment you spoke directly to the heart of who I am. You somehow knew what I needed to hear.

And I thank you.

When I Wasn’t Looking

  1. My hair started graying
  2. My son stopped watching cartoons.
  3. My son started using words like “actually” and “ludicrous.”
  4. My joints started creaking.
  5. My clothes stopped fitting right. 
  6. My eyes got worse.
  7. My son started making his own breakfast.
  8. My son started putting himself to sleep at night.
  9. My son stopped being afraid of thunder.
  10. My soul got calmer.

Recurring Anxiety Dreams

girl-dreaming-clipartSometimes I can’t remember my dreams. I can go for weeks thinking I don’t dream at all. Then there are times when I have a flurry of dreams and remember multiple ones from the same night.

Lately, it’s been one of those times.

I’m having a bunch of anxiety dreams that are all thematically connected. As you will see, my subconscious is, apparently, cousins with Captain Obvious. Or she knows how dumb I am and decided to smack me in the face with symbolism.

Of course, these being dreams, they plod along in that ridiculous and bizarre way dreams do that make absolutely no sense. Until they do. And then they don’t again.

Basically, the gist is I don’t know where I’m going, I’m unprepared and overwhelmed. (Duh, who isn’t?) If anyone’s a dream analyst or has some insight, here you go…

  1. I’m at a huge resort with rooms and doors and hallways and stairways everywhere. I’m dragging my luggage behind me. The numbers on the doors don’t make sense. There’s a big atrium and I can see where I’m supposed to go but there’s no reasonable way to get there. I keep banging into people and can’t understand the language. Suddenly all the people are gone and a group of old women pick up the beach towels that are left everywhere.
  2. I’m at my high-school reunion but there are also people there from now. I’m playing volleyball in the lobby of the hotel/convention center with people from my childhood whom I don’t actually know, I only know their names. We aren’t supposed to hit the volleyball with our hands. We all have a pair of drumsticks and we are supposed to hit the ball with those. The volleyball turns into a giant inflatable yoga ball and we get better at the game. There’s a huge circus in the banquet room across the hall that other people from my high-school perform in.
  3. I’m at an unfamiliar airport and I’m dragging my luggage around and I can’t find my gate. I get stopped at security and panic that I’m going to miss my flight. They let me go through a secret door but once I’m on the plane it has stadium seating, like an auditorium. The plane flies too close to the ground and I’m afraid we are going to hit the telephone wires or crash. I want to leave but I’m told this is where my seat is. We make an emergency landing behind a drive-in movie theater. I see a bunch of other planes fly the right way.
  4. I’m performing as a Vikette again. The routine is about to start but I don’t know any of the dance moves and I can’t find my pom pons. I didn’t warm up so my kicks are bad. Everyone is mad at me, especially the girl whose pom pons I took. I pretend I know what I’m doing but ruin everything. I don’t understand why I had to go through with it, why couldn’t I just sit this performance out?
  5. I’m at a sprawling underground cafeteria that serves practically everything. I waste a lot of time looking at all the food presented on plates and figuring out what I’m going to eat. Some of the food moves along a conveyer belt. Some of the food is behind velvet ropes. It goes on and on. The food is nicely lit and looks good but I can’t find anything I want to pay for. The cafeteria is under the dorm where I live, where I share a room with three other girls who are much younger than me, whom I hate. They are mean and I never spend time in my room. They threaten to throw away my furniture. I find other places to sleep.
  6. I’m away at college and I’m exploring the quad and town. I walk blocks in the wrong direction, then turn around and walk back but I don’t end up where I started, which confuses and scares me. I retrace my steps but I wind up someplace where I know I don’t belong. I try to blend in. I look around for cues. The stores and restaurant are unfamiliar. I’m late for class and don’t know where it is. I haven’t done the assignments and fear I will flunk and never graduate. I finally find my advisor’s office, but he’s not there. I tell anyone who will listen that the problem is I just don’t understand math.

So these are just a recent few. I’ve always had stress dreams (being chased, running on all fours, etc.) But sometimes I also have fantastic flying dreams that I love.

I’d love to hear what you dream…