03 July 2010

The harried life / the calm life - one in the same?

So... our days lately have become a haze of swimming, playing hard, sleeping, hanging outside with juice pops and other portable food, co-existing together and just living the daily life.

It is warm and breezy lately so the back screen door is often open - hubby heads to work in shorts and walks to lunch, drinks iced coffees and chais - I spend my days clad in sweaty workout clothes that I transition to a sweaty bathing suit, I eat avocado and tomato sandwiches and drink a lot of water - the kids do cold cereal, toast, frozen waffles and blueberries for breakfast, we pack our lunch for the pool, they swim hard, run out our front door for lightening bugs in the evening, out the back door for bikes, barbies and the water table. Our to and from anywhere has become truly beaten paths - to camp, to "boot camp", to the pool, to Whole Foods.

We rarely venture outside the neighborhood - not because we don't want to - because I do feel some isolation on certain days - but because we can't right now. We really don't have the time or the initiative. We are not in a rut; we are in a cool and easy groove, and it is fine. It is better than fine; it is preferable - it is awesome.

I've read a lot lately about ideal summer days - seems to be good fodder for magazine articles and blog posts (and it is - enjoy reading these lovely posts and articles). I am not a "eat strawberries and cream - lay on a hammock" kind of girl; I am definitely a get up and drink coffee (and this is zen for me - this is cool breezes and laughing children for me - takes me back to coffees on the patio with my parents and aunt and uncle on florida trips long ago - early mornings taking ballet class - hanging with friends in college discussing the debauchery of the night before - but it is also now my time alone, standing on my deck amidst drying pool towels and bathing suits, grubby herb pots and Barbie houses...) - I am a hit the gym with kids in tow - go grab some ice cream afterwards - I am watch a swim meet and take lots of pictures - I am allow the kids a late bedtime for movie and popcorn night - I am eat at a diner with hubby, flip flop clad and childless while our oldest entertains the wee ones... All that is my summer zen.

I remember when my feisty Milo was born, and I had toddler Enzo and Milo's kidney issues and a mother in law in a snit and a very sick father and a grade schooler very worried about her beloved grandfather.... One of my friends, a family therapist, said to me... "this is all either awful for you... or it is very zen -because it is all out of your hands - it just "is". The latter was true. It was zen. And it was weird. BUT!!!... it helped me listen calmly to Milo's kidney diagnoses - it helped me get through saying good-bye to my Dad in the Cleveland Clinic (God bless them - really) when I knew that one day that my hug, my lingering look into his eyes were my last - Around the time of the funeral and the calling hours, it helped me coordinate food and love (and, despite my mom wanting us to remain sequestered in our house - I did allow neighbors to come by with food, tears and conversation - I defied her to do that, and it worked... that zen had my back), talk to my Dad's friends and tell them over and over again what happened, how he got sick, why he went downhill so fast..... I saw the pity in everyone's eyes, and I just kept going. My zen. Full days that leave you with no other choice but to move forward.

I have that now - in a good way. Often feel like I'm struggling to get things done - often feel the stress of aimless kids trying to find their daily groove. Finding it sometimes takes some crankiness followed by calm happiness. I feel my best when my hair is long and straight, my shoulders are browned by sun and my house is a wee bit "in progress" ;-).

So... in closing.... we DID get Justin Bieber tickets for Princess Olivia, but... our "contact" did not get us enough for all her friends (some already have some). I am a little off my game last night and today, trying to counsel her on how to get her remaining friends to find their own nearby - trying to convince her that these seats are probably the best left, etc. Teens. Deep breath - return to zen :-).

New friends are zen. Speaking of.... here is a new friend's t-shirt site. Check it out.

Photo: Our rumpled bed (until we get new bedding, we are using the quilt I slept under in high school. My grandma made it :-). My beloved watering can - gives me simple purpose in the morning, wandering from basil to cilantro to tomatoes to oregano ....

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