“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain
This was quoted in a blog I’d read and it brought to mind a flood of memories. I’ve been a single mom forever. Even through and around other failed relationships it turned out I was the grown-up of the pair. I had to rally against any odds that came my way and stand tall first with my infant son then with my infant daughter and son. I faced terror unknown and unexpected unbeknownst to my children. I’m no superhero; I just knew they could never see me falter, if they did I’d be crippling their chances at the same good life others get. Just because they each respectively had dead-beat dads didn’t mean my kids had to be statistics. I went head-to-head each time with whatever cropped up and true enough I stood while fear took the dive. Never resting it continually tried to creep up on me even with the simplest of things but I slammed the door on it. They’re grown now.
Sounds tough stuff with Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” blaring in the background, “I am Strong, I am invincible, I am woman…” and I usually throw in “I am tired” but I faced another fear when I got to the point I might be ready to publish running out of excuses why I wasn’t ready yet. At first I saw, legitimately, that after living ex-pat teaching English I’d taken all the languages I was learning to heart. In other words not only was I learning the language, but I was speaking it in English, which means I was writing out long constructions that were how my students translated English in their minds never realizing my language had become imbalanced. Now compound that by three after living in three other countries outside the US that had three specific ways to process English. Working that out made room for general insecurity: I’d never be good enough and everyone is going to hate what I write; I’m an idiot; and if that weren’t enough: there’s no way I’m going to be able to publish anything without thousands upon thousands in the bank, and the list went on. I was more than willing to accept these as truths and not recognize them as fear, that crafty devil now personified as sitting at a desk plotting.
Like the book “Virtue” written by Benjamin Franklin, the point is there’s always going to be something you can work on to master inside yourself. That excuse I was trying to use held no weight. Franklin took each virtue and spoke of how he mastered it, but as a result he discovered two more virtues he needed to master and so on. One way or another it’s an everyday lifetime project. What would be worthwhile to accomplish as well as practical, is to go from investing in Mylanta 2 stock to instant recognition of fear and dissing it in a blink of an eye. (Listening to Helen Reddy piped through the clouds is optional.)
They weren’t red but brand new for the past five years and she’d never worn them. Once in a while she’d pull them off the shelf and try them on. “Wish I had somewhere to wear them, somewhere to go, something.” She thought of years gone by when family lived closer together, when there were occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, events with evening dresses and high heels, dinners and dancing. “They never collected dust.” She remembered how women kicked them off when the tempo changed from slow to jitterbug as if sailing them to the corner of the room were a step.
100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups- Week #167
I tell you I just wanted to write something, anything… Up early while it’s still dark that I haven’t done in such a long while but what am I doing instead? Browsing through websites, shopping for clothes I don’t need, didn’t I manage a VS order of over 300 bucks? Yeah, by their standards that’s what – 2 tops or one bra? Now what? Should I push “place order” or just leave it there? May get up in half a mo to make coffee, sneak around while a child gently snores – what a pleasure he’s here. With my own place I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like; no morning hugs every day, no how was your day tell me all about kindergarten, nothing. We get a babysitting weekday and weekends. Precious time, it always was precious time.
I hear the sounds of air conditioning units in the background. It’s 50 degrees outside, why on earth would you want air conditioning on? Don’t people realize they can just open windows and have a cool place without jacking up the electric bill? How nice not to worry about that but I’d be too cold in any case. I prefer the morning breeze and a warm sweater. Healthier I think.
Can’t afford the newspaper; I mean 6 bucks just because it’s Sunday? Seriously? Must be extra special news or am I being charged for the coupon sheets that are included? Not much of a discount. Better off just shopping and forgetting about the paper.
There goes that AC unit again. Must have the thing set on ‘snow”. Wonder if that could happen. Up for coffee I go. If I still my mind and focus on deafening silence I’ll get some inspiration to write.
A hint of daylight is beginning to outline the sliding doors to the balcony…
Better get a sweater…
“I live by a man’s code, designed to fit a man’s world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman’s first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.” Carole Lombard (1908-1942).
Source: smudged lipstick…
Holidays make memories but I’ll never forget. That turtle I saw on the road so flat, there was nothing squeezed out but just pressed very neatly within its cracked and open shell. Its head split down the middle, no eyes yet perfect in shape, its legs evenly split splayed pointing in a canted north, south, east and west direction and its tail the compass needle on the outer rim as if Picasso’d happened by. Small in size it achieved grandeur by a single act of gods passing by haphazard senseless of surroundings or a treadless tire of incredible weight.
100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#166
“The prompt for you to consider… is:
…holidays make memories but…”
It felt like plastic netting only soft. She felt the ridges on her skin and heard the zzzip like rolling rrrrrs as she passed. She thought of spiders quickly glancing up but the web wasn’t damaged glistening in the sun in a single rough-edged sheet. She ran her fingers through her hair and shook off her clothing just in case. No trespassers. “Onward”.
He came to pick up his son. At the daycare the front doorbell rang but she was busy with two year olds in the back room. He appeared in the doorway she looked up surprised, and glanced him up and down as he did her. “We’re dressing alike. This isn’t good; some kind of freaky. I’m an alpha. We’d argue about who’s in charge. Could be fun. Funny how people think.”
“She’s an alpha” drifted through her mind. “She needs more love than others.” He stood at the far end of the classroom signing his son out. He looked back. Looking ahead but just past him she caught his full image. “We’re dressing alike. Pastels and white.” She smiled as she walked toward Little Hercules who’d taken the plastic broom and bent the handle in half. He was trying to get it to flip up and down…