I Hate Mother's Day

It is true.  I hate the build-up, hate the commercials and hate the fact that is a multi-million dollar industry.  As if you could put a price tag on a mother's life.  I hold my breath waiting for the day to come and exhale when it is over.  Pick any other word: loathe, despise, abhor, detest.  I feel all of them.

I hate Mother's Day because it reminds me of what I have lost, my own mother.  On good days, I imagine us sitting on a beach in Ireland at sunset, wild horses racing back and forth on the narrow crescent of sand, my head on her shoulder, her arm around me, sitting up against an old log thrown up on the beach.  She lets me talk and talk and gives me advice and I feel stronger.  On bad days, in the dark I lay in my bed alone, silent tears slip down my cheeks and I wonder what I did to deserve this.    

It wasn't supposed to be like this.  She should have had more than 2 years with my nephew Connor, more than 6 years with my nephew Canaan, more than 19 years with my brother Benj, more than 30 years with my brother Jason.  And certainly more than 33 years with me. She will never get to know Audree, my little 3 year-old spitfire great-niece. Sometimes, like now, when I think about it, the tears well and I become overwhelmed with sadness.  

This is not a ploy for pity.  It is how it is.  Those of us who have lost our mothers know what this feels like.  Most days are good days, now, almost 14 years later, but still I cannot ask why for more than 2 seconds or I become quagmired in a question never to be answered.  I choose not to be stuck and move forward, though most times I am never sure of my place in this world.

Our mother equals our first home in this world.  And all of a sudden the ground beneath my home gave way and I started falling an endless fall into an abyss and I am not sure that fall will ever stop.  Perhaps most forms of grief are like this when you lose someone you love.  I wish I could go to lunch with her, buy her flowers, take a walk with her.  Some days I could really use her wisdom.  I would trade 10 years of my life for one more hug from her or one more day with her.  My rational mind knows it to be impossible but the child inside keens for her.

They say I will see her again.  Perhaps that is true, but fuck platitudes.  As if that is supposed to give some relief or some comfort that maybe someday, when I die, I will see her again.  It is what people say when they have no idea what to say.  And I don't blame them because it is hard to know what to say.  Most things come to an end, but this, for me, this will never end. I am glad Mother's Day is over for another year, because I hate it.  



Embrace The Suck.

Well, it seems I did not quite hit my "blog every day for seven days" goal.  I made it four days, and then life took over.  So now you will get a "twofer".  Today is day seven, technically speaking.  So I guess that is 5 out of 7, which is much better than I have been doing.  I kind of like this "blog a day" thing, so I might just keep it up.  

What got me so busy is my new job.  It seems my entire life right now is built upon learning new things.  "Beginners mind" I believe they call it.  Working as a retail sales associate can be hard work!  I pulled my first 8-hour shift entirely on my feet in what might be forever.  I now have a lot of respect for those who have been doing it their whole lives.  This job is stretching me and growing me and it is nothing but good.  

And, it is giving me a lot of opportunities to embrace the suck.  Lots of things to improve upon daily. Not only that, but learning to work with new people, and customers in a face-to-face environment while not knowing much of anything.  Talk about humbling.  But, here's the thing.  I take it a step at a time.  Even drumming it down to one customer at a time, one transaction at a time.  If I mess up, someone is almost always there to help me.  

My second job, that I have not technically started yet, is driving for Lyft.  I am all ready to go, but there is a certain fear I have of the unknown still. Another wonderful opportunity to be in beginner's mind and simply embrace the suck.  I intend to get my first rides in this weekend and from there it will get easier.  And soon enough, it will be no big deal. If Lyft works out well enough, then I can do just one job.  But I wanted to take a retail job to prove to myself I could do it.  I am a rockstar at service, but needed some brushing up on my sales skills.  The great thing with my retail job is they pay me while they are training me, so this will do nothing but help.

My writing did suffer a little bit this week.  No morning pages for two days.  That is not a habit I intend to get into.  It is an adjustment working on someone else's schedule when I have been on my own schedule for so long.  I am reminded to make time for the things I deem most important. I do have to do pesky things like pay rent and feed myself, so working is one of the things I have to do.  But now, instead of a career, these jobs are experiments for me.  The fact that I get paid to do them is a nice bonus too.

I doubt I will ever go back to a scheduled forty-hour work week, at least not now.  The thought of it makes me shudder.  So no matter how many floors I have to sweep or mop, how many drives out to Tigard I might have to make, I can no longer be chained to a desk.  The benefit of being on my feet?  If I miss a workout, not such a big deal, since I'm not sitting on my ass and stuffing my face at a desk.  So though it's difficult at times, and the pay is not stellar, I am really enjoying it. I have already connected with people in the store in super cool ways.  I spent a few minutes yesterday morning helping a man with some lamps for his bedroom.  He lost his wife four years ago to cancer and he is just now getting on with things.  We shared our stories of pain and loss and that felt good.    

Last night I got to watch my youngest nephew play his first baseball game, and hold my great-niece.  Those are the things I cherish now.  I live a simple life, full of the things I love best.  And that is something I will protect fiercely.  If that means always learning new things and embracing the suck, so be it.  Oh, and by the way, I didn't coin that phrase.  I learned from my bad-ass guitar teacher, Brandon Cook.  I don't take lessons any more, but he I also learned a lot about life from him.  And he's one of the best humans I know, following his passion.  I think he knows what he is talking about.  


This year I made a decision.  No presents.  For anyone.  Except for my two nephews.  It's not because I can't afford it, or because I don't enjoy giving gifts because I do.  It's more about all the ridiculous stress associated with the Christmas season.  My feelings about this time of year are always mixed, because this is when I lost my mom.  I love this season, but I have grown to despise the level of commercialism.  Christmas decor out in September?  Can you even let us get through Thanksgiving?  

I'm tired of it.  So this is my way to rebel, ever so slightly.  And you know what, it's been awesome!  I went to the mall the other day, was in and out within an hour with the gifts I needed to get. Over, done.  No stress.  No hours of wrapping presents or agonizing over how much to spend on gifts for whomever.  It's done.  

I told everyone no presents for me either.  But, my sneaky best friend sent me a present anyway.  Written in black sharpie was this message: *This is not a Christmas Gift.  This is a winter gift that you can not open until Dec. 25. Love you!  Sneaky, sneaky. I guess I'll have one to open after all.