Friday, May 15, 2009


I'm afraid I am going to rant. I know, surprise. Here is the thing... I love when everyone is happy. I love when everyone wins. I love when everyone is excited about everything that is good and shuns everything that is bad and everyone always chooses the right and never the wrong - when people (even small children) are perfectly behaved in public and private and everywhere in between. I think it would be marvelous if no one ever lost their temper or felt angry or hurt or demeaned AND if, in fact, they ever felt those things, they could respond with charity - even at a young age. I would love it if every child sat perfectly still in their desk absorbing ABSOLUTELY everything that was being shared with them - at such a great cost - financially, emotionally, and mentally. These things sound wonderful.

BUT - it's not that way. My question is - where is the cutoff between "Everyone WINS!" and, "If you want to win next time, you will need to practice harder and put in more effort!" Where is the line between a child who is "Out of CONTROL" and one that has "Spunk. Character. Energy". Do you ever feel like society is trying to make us all into the same person?

In one way I love the seeming "fairness" of letting everyone have a chance and letting everyone feel the glory of winning and saving everyone the agony of losing - but at the same time - isn't the agony of losing a worthwhile feeling? Has it never driven anyone to greatness? And what about winning? If everyone is the same, how does anyone feel that thrill of greatness? Isn't it all just a shroud of mediocrity?

On the same line, but a different vein - why does every child need to be drugged into complacency in order for a label such as "ADD" or ADHD", or even "unfocused" to follow them around for their career as a student? Those "ADD/ADHD..." children of yesteryear are now some of our most celebrated heroes - ever heard of Einstein or Edison? Not your "model sit-down-shut-up" students to say the least! As a matter of fact, Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school regimen. He once wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. And Edison? In school, when he was young, his mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him "addled". What if they had been medicated to sit very still and pay the strictest of attention? Would they have been the creative geniuses that they are? I think not.

Why do we, as a society, place such value on the achievement of "SAMENESS" of "MEDIOCRITY" of "CONFORMITY". Certainly, I believe that these attributes have their place and worth - but to let them become the ONLY thing we are striving for, I fear will ruin our children and our world.

Here is MY real problem - I don't know where the line is - but, the more I have to walk around it - I know where it isn't.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Defining "Done"

I'm convinced that "done" means different things to different people at different times. When my neighbor is "done" cleaning her kitchen it is because there isn't a speck of ANYTHING to be found (even behind a closed cupboard door). When I am "done" cleaning MY kitchen it is either because
A - I am going to go CRAZY if I waste even ONE more second in a place that is getting progressively DIRTIER!
B - I have TOTALLY run out of TIME and need to go tread water (if that) somewhere else...
D - OR "that's IT! I quit! I am DONE!"
and yes, I should probably include an E - ALL of the above on this too.
I don't ever get it in such great working order that there is nothing else that I can even dig up to do!

Laundry - same thing. I decided that in order to preserve the pathetic excuse for "sanity" that I cling to by my very raw finger tips sometimes - I would have to change my idea of "done". I crave the feeling of finishing something - even more is the desire to have something "done", if you will, that won't be "undone" in a matter of minutes - but that is a different rant... so in my desire to finish something that can never really BE finished I changed my idea of "finishing" or being "done". Now, instead of being "done" when all of my laundry has been pre-treated, washed, dried, folded, and carefully placed in perfectly organized closets with a smile, I change my expectations and decided to be "done" when I have TWO loads washed, dried, and crammed into baskets behind closed bedroom doors (preferably NOT mine) - or (some days) to get ONE load in the washer AT ALL - or my favorite - to RE-wash the load that has been sitting in the washer going funky for three days! And in this perverted way, I find satisfaction in what I am able to get "done".

Well, at least sometimes I do...

Laundry and Life - how are they so interchangeable?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quit Trying to Get the Laundry Done!

I was going to write a book with this name - then I changed it to "Stop Basing Your Self-Esteem on Your Laundry". I changed it again but in reality the likelihood of it ever being written is so remote that it really doesn't even NEED a name - after all, an unwritten book by ANY name is still the same - right? Where was I? Oh, yes. The first name was concocted when I had three small children and a fourth very close to coming and we were moving every three months for rotations in our last year of school, and EVERY time I would feel the relief of an empty laundry basket someone would throw up all over blankets and sheets and beds and towels and carpet - the result was a WHOLE heap of frustration - but not maybe fore the reason you would think. Yes, I would prefer my children to always be well and yes, I would prefer not to have to rinse a regurgitated lunch out of a blanket - but my biggest gripe in the process was that now my laundry was not done AGAIN! Ridiculous. That is when I started thinking (I realize that I am slow but you have to give me credit - if I had started thinking before how on earth could you be quite so entertained by this dang blog?) um... thinking... even when the laundry is done - and I mean DONE DONE - I would come home from doing it (at this point I was using a Laundromat because a washer and dryer didn't fit into the back of our mini-van and if it didn't fit - it didn't come), put it in the collapsible stackers (we didn't have dressers either - see the reason above), be all sweaty from doing laundry for 5 people - including carrying it up and down stairs, loading it in and out of a van, not to mention the washing, drying and folding of it all - and then I am exhausted and (guess what?) stinky! So even at the end of laundry day - I had dirty laundry - and so (here is the much belabored point) - Quit trying to get the laundry done. There really is no reason to make that your major stress point - because it isn't going to happen. Stress about something that you CAN make happen or that will stay COMPLETED for longer - or HECK! Don't stress at all!

Maybe tomorrow I will write about how I started changing my idea of "DONE". I know - you can't wait - can you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

On Being Perfect

Perfect. It sounds good.

Who doesn't want to be perfect? We revere people who have achieved perfection in sports, music, business, and so forth - but what about me? I want to be perfect. Notice I didn't say I wanted to achieve perfection - I just want to BE perfect.

And so I am. One of the realizations I have had with old age is this: If you can't logically achieve something, modify what it is that you are trying to achieve. What? It's this simple. I want to be perfect at something - and I already am. I am perfect at being IMperfect, and therefore AM perfect at SOMETHING.

Well, my work here is done!