Resolve

resolve

[ri-zolv]

verb (used with object), resolved, resolving.
1.

to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something)
Such a firm word. Hard. Mean, even, almost. It’s heavy, for sure. And with it, comes expectations. That if you don’t complete that which you’ve resolved to do, somehow you’ve failed. Or fallen short. I’m all for goals, and I’m ALL for hitting them, but this just sometimes sees like an awful lot of pressure.

I don’t often make them. Or if I do, I don’t tell most people about them. And my resolutions are rarely physical. I don’t resolve to eat better, lose weight, workout more, keep my room clean, etc. That’s not something to start on 1JAN. That’s something to start today. Wanna eat better? Choose an apple. Right now. Wanna lose weight? Find a class and go. Right now. Wanna keep your room clean? Get the laundry off the floor and move on. Get the idea?

But this year…after last year…I’m resolving to trust myself more, to listen to my heart, to slow down, to say no, to say yes, and to believe that I do, in fact, have it.

I’ve. Got. This.
time
“Time is what we have and how we use it is what makes or breaks us.”
I want to use my time to live. To be in nature, to get my kids into it. To turn off, tune in, tune out, unplug, plug in, get on the mountain, in the water, and everywhere in between. I want to have conversations, share ideas, inspire others, lift people up, give love and in doing that, feed MY soul.

All endings, beginnings

 

In this end, this beginning, I’m happy. I’m so happy. I don’t know where this will all land. I know I still have a lot of figure out. But I’m getting to know me. I’m recognizing my peace, my confidence, my happiness. And I am, for the most part, most days, whole.

Will this happy and whole ebb and flow? Fuck, of course it will. I’m human. I expect that. But this general air of it will continue. Because it’s what I choose. It was hard at first; a conscious effort every single day. But it’s easier and easier. I don’t have to think about it each and every moment. I am not seeking joy, but finding it. It’s smacking me upside the head, punching me in the gut, and waking me up. I feel like I’m finally climbing down from the tower I’ve built, and as I come down, I’m pulling it down with me.

Allowing myself to open up – to let others in, to be vulnerable, to be brave, to have courage to make connections has been amazing. I never, ever could have fathomed the ways this has already come back to me ten-fold. Opening my heart and my mind has allowed the universe in, the joys and sorrows and overall, love. Love for others, from others. Love that can mend relationships long bent, love that allows friendships to deepen, love that allows inspiration to come in ways that it hasn’t in years.

I feel. I feel SO MUCH right now. It’s as if every.single.nerve ending is on fire. But it’s mental. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at once. And I’m loving it. It’s overwhelming, to feel so much when I’ve been so numb for so long, but it’s amazing. All day today I’ve felt this amazing, clenching, grabbing feeling in my gut. I’ve felt that endorphin rush, those chills, that hit – so hard it takes your breath away. All day. And yet, I can sit with it…it’s growing comfortable. Not in a way that I can – or will – ignore it. No, more in a way that I can live with it. I can live with this slightly unsettled feeling…because in it, there is clarity.

I have ultimate clarity. I know where I’m going, where I’m headed. I know the path I’m on. I have all these jumbled, crazy, mixed up thoughts I’m carrying with me, but it’s OK. I see them, I recognize them, I name them when I can. When one starts to drift down, I grab it, play with it, sort it out, deal with it and get it where it needs to go. It’s not a straight path. It’s not a clear path…there are rocks and rivers and overgrown bushes. And it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. But it’s mine: easy, hard, crazy, calm. And I continue, with a lucid mind, down the path.

Life Vest

Why? I did so many things over the last year in a vain attempt to make it look like I was trying to keep our marriage together. So, in the end, when this all blew up (like I knew, in the back of my mind, it would), I could say, “See! Look! I tried!!”

I’ve always believed that tattoos with/for a person other than blood family are the kiss of death. And they are. Ask anyone with someone’s name tattooed on them; chances are they’re not with that person. So I designed this infinity/ampersand. And, while I told a few people it was about me, and Michael, and the girls, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that the minute that went on my wrist, this was done.

Whatever that tattoo meant the day I designed it, today, it’s for my girls. It is forever and ever, my three little stars.

The photos I put on our wall? The wedding contract? Over the summer, when things were really bad? Maybe a reminder – to him, to myself, of what once was? Maybe just trying to make it look good. “Look! We have our wedding stuff over our bed! At 9 years, isn’t that impressive?!” Who the fuck was I trying to impress? Who really gives a shit? I sure as shit didn’t. Not by this point. Not when I was working as much as I could, going out all.the.time, training for Ragnar and a Marathon.

It was a year ago that I stopped playing with photos. I stopped taking pictures. Or, I’d take them, upload them, and leave them. I have a year of photos that haven’t been glanced at. Why? I didn’t want to see. I took them, dutifully. Well, even. But without joy. Without desire. Without wanting to see what they might show. Without wanting to admit to myself what they showed.

When he showed up to cheer me on at Ragnar, I was upset. More than upset. I’d asked him not to; explained that it was a team thing, and that I needed to be with my team. It wasn’t a family event. This wasn’t about that. This was my accomplishment, and I wanted to own it. I would celebrate with them when I got home. So, when I saw the car on the side of the road as we drove by, I was so, so angry. I couldn’t even be happy to see my kids. My sweet babies who were cheering for their mama. All I could see was a man who so desperately wanted to be a part of every.single.thing I did and couldn’t let me just be. Just have this thing for myself. I told him I was upset. But the photos at the finish line? Smiling, happy, facebook family. He asked if I wanted to leave and come home with them then. Are you fucking kidding me? No. I don’t. I want to finish this race with my TEAM. I might be done running, but my team isn’t. So I’m not.

When he voiced how much he wanted to come cheer me on at Portland, I responded with a vehement “No”. I took him aback. No. I didn’t want him there. I didn’t want MY marathon to be about how great a father and husband he was for driving three girls down there to cheer me on. For wrangling the kids while they waited. For making the effort to be there. I needed to accomplish this on my own. That marathon was mine. No, I couldn’t have done the training without the logistical support of him and the family, but even that, I made every possible effort to not disrupt the family. I ran at 4am. I showered fast, so we could move on with our days. I ate sandwiches in the car as we drove to the next birthday party, or BBQ. I tried, so hard, to keep everything else normal, while running 40+ miles almost every week for 5 months.

Gone. Always gone. Except during daylight hours when I was with the girls. The girls I resented. Because they tied me, inextricably to him. And no matter what I do, they will always bind us together. But I refuse to resent them for that. I can choose, and I opt not to.

I loved him once. Is he the love of my life? No. Is he a match? No. Is that man out there? I think so. I believe that.

fierce

vulnerable  (ˈvʌlnərəb ə l)

capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

brave  (breɪv)

having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring; not cowardly or timid

 

I’m done. Done pretending I’m someone I’m not. Done pretending I’m happy. Done earning my Daytime Emmy for Best Actress.

I worked my ass off for that Emmy. It was exhausting. I earned it at the expense of my career (what career?), my kids, my home, my marriage. I pretended for so long, that I forgot who I was.

So I ran. And I ran and ran and ran. And after 1300 miles in one year, I had it. I had the answer.

Done. I’m done.

It took me a while to get to it though. I was safe, financially. Secure, relatively. Happy? Sometimes. I remember describing to a friend how I wasn’t always unhappy, it just seemed like it was fleeting. There were little moments of happiness, but they went as soon as they’d come, no matter how I invited them to stay. I remember saying how it felt like I just didn’t get to be happy. Like that wasn’t for me.

And then, a little bit later, I remember thinking, “wait, what the fuck? I don’t get to be happy? Nooooo.” And then I realized what it would take.

Vulnerability. Bravery. I thought I’d been those things. Well, brave, anyway. Vulnerable? Ick. Nope. Not for me. I got these walls, you see. No one can get in. No one can hurt me. I FEEL NOTHING. Emotions suck. All of them.

Which was all very un-brave of me. Very.

So one day, I got a tattoo. And then I got two more.

fierce fi(ə)rs/

(of a feeling, emotion, or action) showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity.

It’s on the back of my neck. Top of my spine. Centered.

And arrows. One on each arm. Arrows MUST be pulled back, refocused, and sent to fly. You can aim, but they’ll land where they will.

And like that, I opened myself up. I allowed myself to admit my unhappiness, and move towards changing it.

And every day, it’s a fight. And every day, it’s becoming easier. I don’t have to seek joy every day. I have joy every day. I seek greater joys.

blank space

Staring at the blank space. The blinking cursor. They’re taunting me:

“whatcha gonna write about, Katy??”

Not sure. Not entirely sure.

Over the course of the last three years I’ve realized something has gone missing. At first, I wasn’t sure what that was; wasn’t sure anything had really even been lost. Maybe I’d just misplaced ‘it’. What was ‘it’ again?

Me. It was me. I’d lost me.

And I don’t think I lost me all at once. I started building walls. I’ve been building them my whole life: to keep myself in, to keep others out. To keep those parts of myself that I wasn’t sure people would accept, could accept, hidden. I built more walls,and turrets and moats. I built an entire castle, and locked myself up in the tower. And before I knew it, I was lost. To myself, to others. We all forgot what Katy was really like, what kind of a person she was.

And then one day, very recently, I realized what I’d done. I realized I wasn’t loving living up high in that tower, safe from all the things I thought I wanted to be safe from. My life certainly looked perfect on paper, but I was trapped. Unable to escape, unable to be who I needed to be, unable to become. I needed to make myself vulnerable. I needed to be brave.

And I began tearing that tower down. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. The moat is drained, and the drawbridge into me is down. I’m choosing to let people in, choosing to allow others access to me. So long as they don’t take more than they’re given, don’t take more than I offer, we’re good.

Holiday recap

The holidays, were, as always for us, a blur. I keep trying to find a way to capture some semblance of slow in a season that seems to thrive on fast, but so far, I’ve had little success. Between being pregnant (and getting ever moreso with each day), planning for travel, and trying to make most of our holiday gifts, there seemed little time or energy left to enjoy the quiet.

But we made it, we’ve survived, and as I type, I sit in my parent’s living room, thinking about how strange it is to be back “home” when it’s not really home anymore. I miss being home. I miss being home for Christmas. It’s been lovely to spend the holiday with my family, but it’s been hectic.

It all started with the plane ride, always a highlight for Peanut. Though I think she likes the idea of flying much more than being trapped on a plane! The next day, we had pictures taken with the ever fabulous Lori of Images by Lori. If you live in Pleasanton, or anywhere in the Bay Area, really, go see her next time you need family shots, kid shots, belly shots, baby shots, etc. She’s truly, truly amazing. Ryan was a grump, but Lori still managed to get some great shots of her, and not only did we get fantastic belly pictures, but Ryan’s 4 year pictures as well (it’s only a month shy).

Wednesday we went to the Nutcracker in San Francisco. Amazing, as I suspected it would be…the dancers are phenomenal, choreography to die for and costumes were amazing. Ryan, unfortunately, was a little bored. I misjudged her abilities to sit through things like that, plus we met up with Uncle Mike and Aunt Allison as we were going into the show, so I think she was just super excited to see them and had a really hard time sitting still. She ended up dancing in her seat area for most of the show, humming along to the music. Each time a song came out that she recognized, she’s whisper-shout “Nutcracker music!”. She was also disappointed that she wasn’t going to be onstage. I’m not sure how, but she was under the impression that she was going to be on stage in her fancy dress. Maybe in a few years…If I take her again next year, it will probably have to be a children’s performance, or at least something a lot less pricey!! Traffic was awful coming home, and Ryan cried for about 40 minutes on the way home. WAY out of character for her…she’s usually so easy going. We survived though, and she stayed up far too late playing with her Aunt and Uncle.

We did Christmas Eve as our big food/present day, and had a blast. Michael and I took over the kitchen, and cooked up quite a meal. Mike and Allison brought a fantastic butternut squash soup along with an apple crisp dessert, and helped us in the kitchen. The four of us had a great time, and it was another opportunity for Michael and I to spend a little more time with our sis-in-law. We’re so glad she chose to join our crazy family…

Ryan loved opening presents from everyone, including the highlight of the day, her new bike from her Aunt and Uncle! The bike is awesome, and she loves riding it. It’s a big girl bike, 2 wheels with training wheels, and we’re still working on a plan to get it back to Seattle.

Christmas Day we all crept downstairs to see if Santa had in fact come to Nonna and Papa’s house…he did!! Mommy and daddy are mean, and made her wait for us to brew coffee before we’d let her open anything, but she was patient. And as she was slowly opening her gift, she was telling Nonna and Papa all about how she asked Santa for a cash register and she realized what she was opening. She got SO excited, shouting that Santa did get her letter, and did bring her what she’d asked for and it was so cool and Santa is so cool, etc, etc, etc. It was sweet to see her so excited about all of it. She’s at such a cool age for all of this. She got lots of other fun gifts from Nonna and Papa, and mommy and daddy. She also enjoyed handing presents around to everyone else.

This morning, we headed over to Vic’s in Ptown for a fantastic breakfast. Standard issue eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast and yum, was it good stuff! We’ll be heading back tomorrow for brekkie with a crew of old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in ages. We love how we can connect with this group, and it’s like no time has passed, and yet we all mesh seamlessly into one another lives, still. We’re older, chubbier, have kids now (or don’t, and to be fair, some are thinner), and yet, are still entirely relevant to one another. It’s really astonishing to see how connected we’ve stayed over the years.

And in the end, it’s that connectedness that makes the holidays what they should be. Whether busy, slow, mellow or crazy, connecting with friends and family is what it’s all about.

Because I couldn’t have said it better…

I’m sharing what a friend wrote today. I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ll get on that sooner than later, but Heidi of Silly Goose Baby blogged the other day about something I’ve mused rather heavily on for a while. And she said it better than I could have. Enjoy it.

Minor Remodel






Michael and I went all If You Give a Mouse A Cookie on our bathroom this weekend. Whoops.

It started with a sink given to us by friends. We looked at installing that, but alas, it was smaller than the hole in our counters. So, we thought, let’s replace the counter. Easy, peasy, right? Sure, would have been. But then we decided to replace the whole bathroom cabinet. It was relatively cheap at Lowe’s, and black, which matches the mirror we love. So, we get home, rip out the old cabinet, and discover the ickiest flooring EVER underneath the cabinet. So, we figure, let’s replace the floor, too! We’ll just do vinyl, but a nicer vinyl than what’s there, and it’ll look a million times better. Only vinyl is expensive. Almost as much as tile. So, we decide to do tile. But, as it’s already 2pm on a Sunday, the tile will have to wait for another weekend.

We return home to install the other faucet in the other sink in the vanity. M pulls out the old faucet, and starts to clean the holes in the old sink, only to discover that it’s actually got holes rusted in it. Yep, totally rusted out. Like, wonder how we were lucky enough that it didn’t leak. So, back off to Lowe’s for a new sink. One that fits. And he forgets the connector piece that will make it work. So, for now, we have one bathroom sink (which is enough), and tomorrow the other will be functional.

I love that we go to Lowe’s for a piece of counter, and leave with: a new bathroom cabinet, plumbing accessories, a new rug for the living room, and ideas coming out the wahoo! Next big project? Kitchen counters.

Fall is here…

Summer’s been busy, and blogging’s been slow, but I’m hoping that a slowdown in activity of late, and a general love for fall will spark my interest in writing again. Plus, for those who don’t know, I’m knocked up, and being knocked up gives me something new to write about. How knocked up am I? About 15 weeks…so no, not quite in Puerto Rico, this one is a post-vacay baby (wink, wink).

So, the haps on the pregnancy…so far, so good. Baby’s doing well, mama’s surviving, despite the inability to nap whenever I feel like it, or to eat whenever I feel like it. That’s probably the biggest difference between this one and the last. I’m exhausted, as I was when I was pregnant with RE, but I can’t just crash on the couch whenever I feel like it. I’ve got another human to attend to (or two, depending on the day). I also can’t eat strange food whenever I want, simply because it’s not as easy to get at strange food at all times of day or night, and Michael is much less amenable to driving around at 10pm looking for Frosties and grapefruit. Apparently he thinks I’ll survive (doesn’t he know?).

This birth will happen at Puget Sound Birth Center, under the care of midwives, and hopefully using HypnoBabies techniques to stay calm and collected during contractions. I’m hoping for, but not betting on a quick labor (only because Ryan was)…and trying to not get my hopes up. I’m also not getting my hopes up for an early baby again. Really, what are the odds? I’m excited to give birth with fewer (no?) interventions, and to really find a way to trust that my body can do this (it’s done it before). I’m also looking forward to experiencing another birth…I’m sure that sounds strange to many, but for someone like me, who’s life’s work is now teaching about and supporting a physiological childbirth, I’m looking forward to experiencing one. I’m also, of course, looking forward to a new squishy, snuggly newborn in the house, and though I know it’ll be challenging, I can’t wait to sling a newborn again, nurse a newborn again, and just generally snuggle with a tiny. Ryan’s also really excited to be a big sister, and thinks it’s a girl (or just really wants it to be). We won’t be finding out at the ultrasound this time, so we’ll find out in March/April!! Also looking forward to that surprise, and experiencing that differently too.

Fall always brings change, and with that this blog will not only be about our family, and all the crazy that is us, but also about my crafts and sewing. I was trying to run them separately, but it just ain’t happening, because, well, I can’t separate one from the other! Crafting is life, sewing is life, and family is life, and they don’t easily come apart. So look for fun crafty stuff and ideas on this blog going forward.

I owe First Day of School Pictures!



She had a fantastic day…loves preschool. She asks almost every night if the next day is “preschool day” and she can’t wait to keep going back. She thoroughly enjoys playing with whatever messy art project is available for the day, and every morning, heads straight to the little table with the “flubber” (weird gluey/playdough-ish contcoction) to play for a bit before moving onto what’s next. Each day, when she gets in the car, the first thing she tells me about school is what they’ve had for snack. Day one: goldfish. Day two: graham crackers. Apparently, preschool is pretty awesome because they have good snacks. Sometimes she’ll tell me more, sometimes not. Usually it’ll come out as the day progresses. I think it’s a lot for her to process all at once and she needs some quiet time to reflect on her day.

What I find fascinating about the whole thing is that this is the beginning of my little girls’ school career. She’s three and a half, and will be in school for the next 15 years. FIFTEEN! And of course, this has me thinking about the state of public schools, and how we, as parents, will be able to help her succeed despite what’s happening in the schools these days (maybe by the time she gets to high school, a “D” will no longer be considered passing). It’s a lot to process, and though it seems as though we have tons of time, we don’t. Kindergarten is a mere 2 years away, and as is the truth in parenting, the days are long but the years are short.

And for those who were wondering, despite my insane pregnancy hormones, I DID NOT cry on the first day of school (or the second, or the third). Really, Ryan and I were both very ready for this, and I’ve been enjoying my quiet time to get things done as much as she’s enjoying the time to learn and play with other kids her age.