Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Big Resolution

On this New Year’s Eve, I have lots of small resolutions I could list: projects I mean to finish, people I mean to keep in better touch with, ways I mean to take better care of my family.

But if I could just make one resolution come true it would be this: to develop a core of wise calmness with which to respond to people and situations instead of my current strategy, which is to give into the temptation to lose my cool and stomp around hollering like a crazy person.

I fully sympathize with the pressure I’m under on a daily basis.  I frequently have many people clamoring, often not so quietly or politely, for my attention and my assistance.  I can (after the fact) look back at myself in a certain situation, say, with two pots working on the stove, my husband calling to have me edit a story, my three year old refusing to listen to his 8 year old sister’s demand that he stop whacking her with a dinosaur, all the while having a screaming baby beside me, and I can say, wow, no wonder you started hollering when one of the kids wrinkled their nose and said, “Ew! I don’t WANT that for dinner!”

But the reality is, I don’t want to excuse myself, however much I may understand that my angry response is natural.  Stressful situations are a part of everyone’s life.  When my kids are grown there will still be something that tries to push me over the edge.  I want a new response.  One that might not fix everything, but which will truly be the best response possible, and one that I won’t have to feel like crap about afterwards.

A few years ago, I went through a dark emotional time where I was intensely jealous of my husband.  I used to have to get out of bed and take my stewing to the living room, because I was absolutely consumed with pain throughout my heart and my body.  I sat with the horrible feelings, I wrote about it, I talked to people, I prayed, I desperately tried everything.  I have no idea what did the trick, but that nasty agonizing jealousy went away.

I believe the same thing can happen with my anger.  If I can only have one big change this year, I want it to be a connection to Oneness so deep that love and joy cannot help but infuse themselves into the world through my heart.

From Essential Sufism edited by James Fadiman & Robert Frager

“Some Israelites insulted Jesus one day as he walked through the marketplace.

He answered them only by repeating prayers in their name.

Someone said to him, “You prayed for these men.  Do you not feel anger at their treatment of you?”

He answered, “I could spend only what I carry in my purse.” — Attar

On My Plate

Here’s just a short list of the things that I can even remember are on my plate right now:

1. Trying to finish our sweat equity hours before March to get into our Habitat for Humanity house

2. Developing curriculum for a Spanish class I’m teaching starting in January

3. Becoming a La Leche League leader

4. Staying in touch with my friends and family on a number of sites, such as Facebook, Central Foothills Mommies, Natural Parenting Network forum, and others.

5. Finding and applying for high school teaching jobs, which involves not only jumping back into the working world but also figuring out how I will get my teaching certificate within three years of being hired

6. Joining a new church, which is made more difficult by my shy children

7. Maintaining the friendships and family relationships with people in the “real world”

This is not to even mention the projects that have been shelved indefinitely on the back burner but nag me nevertheless:

1. Polishing a translation of a French novel that I have worked on off and on for two (three?) years

2. Finishing the quilt I started for my parents, the top of which is almost completely pieced together

3. Helping my Dad promote his books

I am overwhelmed, but I don’t know what to do besides to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

Starting a Tribe

The point of this blog is connection.

I have often marveled at the ability of humans to speak to each other across time and place through the written word.  As you read this text before you, a little piece of me comes through, and we hang out for a second.  You can open a book from hundreds of years ago and make the same connection with someone long dead.

I am going to start things off by making connections between the elements in my own life, the various groups that I’m starting to be part of and the projects I intend to embark on in the next year.  But hopefully through sharing my experiences and observations I will inspire, inform, awaken, and others will begin to share here too.

For me, the primary significance of today, December 27th, will always be the obituary birthday (as one of my dear friends used to say) of my Grandma, who was one of my favorite people in the whole world.  She died a year ago today, and I still miss her.  The world still seems like a duller, sadder place without her.  But our connection was so deep that there is no way her death could have touched it.  Our love for each other goes beyond space and time.  The story of Luke’s empowerment by the deceased Obi Wan makes visceral sense to me now (as goofy as that sounds).

I want to continue to be an important part of people’s lives, and to let them into my heart.  I want to have a cyber-home where we can meet, beyond any constraints of time or place, to share and feel each other’s company.  Who knows how long our words will endure, or how unimaginable the changes in technology will be in the future.  But once the connection is made, it lives forever, no matter what.

Welcome to Wise Way Tribe.