Sunday, October 22, 2006

To everything - turn, turn, turn

I've been away awhile - over a week. I have rewritten and rewritten, only to delete and start over waiting for some fabulous inspiration. I'm not finding it. I'm finding myself in love with Fall, especially the colors of the changing leaves which I will very much miss when they are gone. When we think of Fall, we get caught up in harvests, pumpkins, colorful leaves and pulling sweaters out of their Summer hiding places. What I too often forget is that it is a season of dying. It's been true this year for certain. Co-workers, too many young children, Iraqis and U.S. soldiers, personal myths, beloved pets.

I am reminded of lyrics by The Birds:

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

And so I'm now trying to focus on the death which comes with Autumn and leads the way to the birth of something new in Spring. It is all about choices...

What to choose, where to go from here - that is the question (for me anyway).

So while my last few weeks have been full of sad news, parental frustration (can anyone say "where's my daughter now?"), stomach bugs and vomiting, there have been a few highlights:

I found a system that makes laundry work well (an amazing feat in this household for certain), I finally got to spend some great quality time with girlfriends I haven't seen in forever - of course I also left realizing how different my life has become from theirs and feeling like the woman who has nothing to contribute to the conversation other than "Oh I'd love to take a vacation like that" or "Hey have I shown you the pictures of my kids?".

And so, even though most of my laundry is put away (for a change) and I'm closer to a real budget, I'm still not as happy as I'd like to be and I'm still struggling with being an imperfect mother in an imperfect world, someone who struggled with depression and a hard time handling stress even before adding kids and a spouse to that equation. I'm sure Erma Bombeck could find something funny in all this (such as where was my little Wonder Woman when we all got sick -- off keeping the world safe from tickle bugs, that's where), but not me right now. And while Martha Stewart could probably make this look beautiful and festive, I'm going to try to focus inside and think about how to truly bring forth positive, lasting and beautiful change.

If anyone has some great thoughts or inspirations to share about living the life we want, resurfacing goals and achieving them, finding healthy ways to cope with depression and stress, positive alternatives to time outs, and most importantly how to create an effective family schedule and stick with it (the hubbie and I are not good at this), please do share.


  1. Where to start? Maybe by asking questions. What part of the schedule? Mornings? Evenings? During the days you're off?

    We have a schedule, sort of, but it's mostly dictated by things that have to be done: homework, dinner, clean up, baths, bed (and World Series watching). We do stick to bedtimes (no later than 9)for all 3. #2 child falls apart if he doesn't get his beauty sleep.

    As for the depression,what are you doing to take care of yourself? Are you getting enough sleep? Excercise? Some outside interest not work or kid related? You eat healthier than us, so it's not the sugar! Do you and hubby have time together alone? If you need it, do you have the proper meds for the depression? I know I feel better when I'm getting enough sleep, working out, staying off sugar and get a few minutes to read that book on my nightstand! Still, there are days when everything presses in and overwhelms. That's when I call my mom! You can always call/e-mail me! I've known you forever!

  2. Hey mama!

    As a mom to a first and fifth grader, schedule is pretty key! We don't have it on a 'time' schedule per se, but we do have an event schedule(well, i guess morning is timed, we gotta get to school on time!) After struggling with promptness, i incorporated the extra 25 cents every day they are on time. It is working for the second year in a row!

    As for the depression, we hit the nail on the head by getting hubby a light box. He gets up before the kiddos, sits in front of the light and reads for 20 minutes every morning....he's been at that for 14 months now. It has changed his life, and the life of the whole family! (It's a nice drug free alternative, although I hear that doses of Vitamin D can help as well)

    See ya round the lunch room!

  3. Depression. Ugh. If only we really knew the answer. Exercise was huge for me in self treating my depression. For a year I was absolutely religious about getting up early (dark, sun, rain, wind, whatever) and walking my dog for an hour. It helped me in so many ways: I lost weight, I controlled my temper at work remarkably well in scenarios that previously I would have exploded in, I encouraged others to walk as well because I was always so excited about it. But then I switched jobs and got out of the habit and haven't been able to get back to it. I miss it so much yet can't motivate myself. So while I don't have an answer I do have a suggestion...if you find a system that works, go with it and whatever you do, don't stop.