Monthly Archives: February 2018

FENCES & BAD DAYS

When I was young my favorite tv show was “Little House on the Prairie”. The idea of a small house that was used only for sleeping and eating fascinated me. They spent most of their days outside. I wanted to be outside. And they didn’t have a fence. No fence. When you grow up in the middle class suburbs in the 1980s in Texas you have a fence. I don’t think Id ever seen a house without a fence. The very idea that you can just have your house OUT there…in the middle of a field with nothing separating it from the wild….what a concept.

Some fences serve a very good purpose. For animals. They keep livestock in place for their owners. They keep dogs from running away. They sometimes protect buildings from break ins. They surround prisons to keep bad people inside. I guess they are relevant in certain circumstances. I am claustrophobic. I don’t love feeling contained or trapped or kept. Its a physical thing…and an emotional thing. When I see birds in cages or tigers at the zoo all I can think of is how to open the door for them. I don’t like fences. They are there to keep people in. Or people out. And I don’t like that.
There’s some metaphorical bullshit here Im sure. The idea of a traditional marriage. A suburban house, 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and dog comes to mind. I tried. And the very best two things Ive ever done in my entire life, or ever WILL do, is those 2 kids I have. No comparison. Nothing I ever do will top having children. And I suppose along with having children I assumed the house, fence, dog, Sunday church, PTA and scrap booking came with it. Not that there’s a damn thing wrong with any of that. In fact- normal people are happy with these things. So when the thought of a fence and a mortgage and a craft day gives you hives——you start to wonder why you aren’t so normal.
My kids can deposit money in a bank. They can take a car to get its oil changed. They can order pizza and write a check and they are funny and smart and quick witted and could survive on their own with no problem. I wasn’t the best Mom. I didn’t do crafts. I didn’t bake a lot of cookies. I didn’t play Baby Einstein in a mini van. I listened to hard core gangster rap, cussed a lot, let them watch Fear Factor, pranked them with saran wrap on the toilet, stole their Halloween candy and took them to concerts. I taught them to jump fences, question authority, speak up, say NO to things, protect their bodies with a fierceness, love animals, do the right thing even when no one agrees with you and turn music up very loud. I didn’t do perfect. And somehow- these two people that came out of me turned out ok. Better than ok. Much better than ok. Much better than me. And THAT is everything. So take THAT traditional parenting.
This week has been a tad rough. Shit- the past 2 years have been a tad rough. And the guilt and shame and grief came to a head on Monday. I don’t need to share details. I need to say that shame and guilt SUCK. And we all feel it. And we all feel we’ve failed at certain things. Marriage, parenting, work, eyebrow sculpting, whatever the fuck. We’ve all done some days shitty. And some days great. And some day just meh. And Monday was the shittiest of the shittiest of the shitty. And I think I cried more tears than I have in a very long time. And maybe I needed to. Cleanse.
I am NOT a perfect Mom. Far from it. I am NOT a perfect friend. Far from it. I am NOT a perfect person. VERY far from it. And sometimes the guilt and shame and pain is overwhelming. Ive been through a lot. And I cringe as I write that because Im healthy and I have my kids and I don’t really have jack shit to complain about.
I am slowly, slowly, but surely accepting that I am who I am. I didn’t fit a mold I tried so hard to fit. And its really really really ok. I sucked at some things. I excelled at some things. I got some things very wrong. And I got some things VERY VERY right. I don’t want a house in the suburbs, or a mini van, or a mortgage, or a fancy couch, or a membership at a country club, or a need to ever wear a pantsuit. I want a quaint little place on a prairie in the mountains that has functional heat and furniture to sleep on and food to eat. I want to travel, and go, and see, and do. I want to climb things and sleep outside and have no cell service. I want to wake up and drink coffee on my porch and see no one for miles…except the bison. I want no schedule, no watch, no place to be. I want a hammock and a book and a ball cap on. And I want to be ok with allllllll of that………and I don’t ever, ever, ever, want a fence.

“I think that one of these days,” he said, “you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there. But immediately. You can’t afford to lose a minute. Not you.”

        J. D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”
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CHANGE STARTS WITH ME

I could go on some rant about my beliefs on gun control but honest to God-will that change your mind on anything? Nope. They are MY values. And Im sure you all know how I feel. If you’re over a certain age and grew up in the South its generally true that God and guns were a part of your upbringing. Kinda weird if you ask me but ok. I definitely do NOT have answers to the awful things happening now. Definitely don’t. So this wont be “that” kind of blog because how unbelievably disrespectful is it to scream about MY rights and MY beliefs when there are parents burying babies today. When your first thought is YOU after someone’s tragic death….theres a problem.

There’s some things I know….compromise no longer exists and that makes me very sad. Very sad. Although my daughter assures me her generation will do better. And I believe her. I truly do. Hypocrisy is at an all time high- and people don’t even realize how hypocritical they are being sometimes. Science is amazing. Try it. Its a field of study that has nothing to do with opinions or “your way”. It just IS. Its science. And its amazing. Name calling is sad. And immature. And we all need to stop it. Im sad. And tired of it all. And so glad I live where I live. I think because Colorado is so conducive to outdoor activities that we don’t spend our entire days in front of a computer yelling at people afar who don’t agree with us. Id much rather be outside climbing a rock or a mountain than yelling at Tim from 2nd grade that’s a racist. Time will take care of Tim. And the outside will take care of me.
I spent 8 hours outside yesterday climbing rocks. It was one of my better days. My physical body is healing and I felt good. My heart needed the mountain air. My climbing is becoming more technical and thought out and a little less “cuss and scream to the top in a panic”. Progress people. Garden of the Gods is a very public place and FULL of tourists constantly. So you REALLY have to stay in your bubble so as not to let the crowds’ words and noises interfere with your concentration. At one point I stopped mid climb to rest a second  and I couldn’t help but hear a kid in the large crowd ask his Dad as he watched me “Is she going to die, Daddy?” His Dad replied that I had the right safety equipment and helmet and ropes and people with knowledge around so I would be fine. And I thought “but I am going to die.” We all are, you know. And we don’t get to know when…most of us. Or how.
And you could spend your day in front of a computer name calling and screaming about YOUR rights and YOUR beliefs and how everyone should think YOUR way. Or you could walk away from the computer and go outside. And climb a rock. Or go for a walk. Or dance in your living room. Or say something KIND on Facebook. Or do a good deed today. I am completely guilty of getting wrapped up in Facebook debates. I admit it. But there is NOTHING you will ever say that will change the basic core values I hold. I cannot even tell you how many times I see people post “facts” and “stats” that are anything but.
My parents taught me to stand up for what I KNOW to be wrong. So I will never stop doing that. I will never stop fighting for what I know in my heart is the right thing to do. And I look at my daughter who is fiercely smart and KNOW that her generation will do better. Be better. I have to know that.
I will continue to support organizations that fight for things I believe in. That take action against injustice. But what I CANNOT do is partake in FB arguments or mindless name calling. I whole heartedly support your right to do so, though. I do believe my energy is better spent LIVING, LOVING, and helping people get physically and mentally healthy.
I hung on that rock yesterday and teared up. Some fear, some happiness, some sadness. I told Dude I wanted to come down and the crux was too hard to pass. He knew enough not speak (LOL). I hung there, regrouped, and decided “fuck it Im going all the way”. There’s some kids that will NEVER get to climb a rock. I made it over the hard part and to the top. But I definitely thought about quitting.  There’s ONE THING we all have in common. We are ALL going to die. No matter what security measures you take, what kind of healthy life you live, what helmet you wear, or what knowledgable people you surround yourself with. You cannot stop death. But what you CAN do…is LIVE every second of every day as beautifully and lovingly as you can. Are the words coming out of your mouth supportive and loving and helping someone? I need to check myself. Re center. And know that my purpose is to help others. Not berate them. Or their beliefs. If every word that came out of my mouth was the last that person would hear…..is it WHAT I wanted to say?
So I will climb rocks until I can’t. I will write. I will build a home and take care of my land and love my kids and love my life and my friends. I will explore every inch of the planet I can. I will do scary, hard things. I will pet alpacas and snow shoe and travel and laugh and cry and play very loud music and not have to justify any of it to anyone. Life is very short in the grand scheme of things. The Earth is 4.54 BILLION years old. You get about 80 of those years. Whatcha going to do with them?
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AND ALWAYS ONE MORE TIME

Valentine’s Day is kinda dumb. It sucks for some people. For those in relationships they feel some unneeded pressure to buy some extravagent gift for their significant other or make reservations at some fancy restaurant and get dressed up and go eat food with fancy creams. I’ve never really been big on fancy restaurants or big diamonds. In fact- my perfect date for ANY day on the calendar includes hiking shoes, hot dogs, staring at the stars and some damn good music playing. Just not one of “those girls” in that way I guess. Dont get me wrong- I like flowers and crap….but I’d rather be at a football game than a restaurant. I’d rather be on a mountain making out than a hotel or restaurant. I’d rather be in a t-shirt and jeans and a ball cap than a ball gown.

But any Holiday- as cheesy as it may be- that celebrates LOVE….cant be all that bad.

There’s all kinds of love. The love you have for your parents is probably the first you feel. And then there’s the first love. So much I could say about that….but we all know what it is. And there’s really nothing ever again just like it. There’s the love that breaks your heart in half and leaves it never ever the same. There’s the love for your children. There’s the love for your grandchildren. There’s the love you have for your best friends…thats a doozy! There’s the love you find (eventually) for yourself. I think perhaps that might be the most important love you ever have.
 I’d say I learned recently that loving myself was ok. More than ok. Im not SUPER traditional but I truly admire those couples that have been together for 50 years and are each others’ only loves. How wonderful and sweet and amazing. I can be sad that I wont have that 50th Anniversary. Or- I can look back and be so unbelievable grateful that I knew some GREAT loves that were incredibly special in my life. For the time that they occupied in my heart- I am thankful. I learned a lot from each one.
I have a pretty amazing Dude in my life now. He wrote me the most amazing card with beautiful WORDS….my favorite thing. He is almost 52. I am 45. That ship where you’re 23 and fall in love with your college sweetheart and get married and never separate and live happily ever after until your 95 in a rocking chair together……has long passed for both of us. We’ve both had some loves. And some relationships. And some lessons. But the coolest fucking thing happens when you start dating at our age. All the bullshit, the games, the jealousy, the silliness, the expectations of perfection….they are just gone. We’ve lived enough to know perfect doesn’t exist. And laughter is absolutely the most important thing there is. We don’t have time for the B.S. anymore. We know how fleeting time it. Besides- we are too busy climbing rocks, backpacking across Wyoming, camping in fields to watch an eclipse, snow shoeing,  ice climbing, and planning our next adventure to have time for nonsense. Life is short- get after it, man. How lucky I am to have someone next to me who “gets me”. Fate knew….
And for those without a “significant other” today. Screw it. Take a hot bath, put on a ton of makeup. Drink some wine. Go out with your girlfriends. Stay in and watch Netflix. Cuddle with your dog. Be grateful you don’t have to share a sink with someone (sorry Dave). Eat ice cream out of a bucket. Watch “Magic Mike”. And know that there aint no one ever that will love you the way you should love yourself. There’s people surrounded by people who feel completely alone. And there’s people alone who aren’t the least bit lonely. You do you.
You can’t fall in love too fast or too slow or too soon or too late or too old or with the wrong person. You just fall when you fall. Let it happen. Never ever be afraid to give love one more chance….and ALWAYS one more chance.
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