Break’s Almost Over . . .

And soon the keyboard will be humming with the clickety clack of words piling up for homework, projects and essays. And study. I study by writing notes, then typing them and reading them out loud. Then there’s visualizing what I’m learning. Imagining it. If I can somehow connect it to something of meaning in my daily life, then I know it even more. And I don’t have to do as much writing.

Clickety Clack Homework's Back
Clickety Clack Homework's Back

It’s amazing what you learn about flying by the seat of your pants when you’re mothering three children and focusing on studies. Whatever else I had been clinging to for some semblance of order is . . . gone. I grab and orchestrate on the fly as much as possible and sometimes it works out.  Usually, in fact, it works out. But “works out” includes dishes left in the sink (no dishwasher!), laundry brought to the chair in the living room and…left there to be sorted and folded on the fly and mail piling up high. Oddly enough, it’s teaching me that I, too, can just let things roll without planning out every nth degree. It’s not all up to me. And I manage to get it done, regardless.

It works. I’ve marvelled at how easily I’m releasing things, rolling with the punches and somehow managing to land on my feet (withOUT falling down the stairs!). More of my stinky rotten pride is melting too. People come into my dirty home and I smile. I hug. I don’t cringe and apologize and burn up inside. Big big sigh. This is something I wanted to master. It turns out that life has mastered me a bit and instead of my having to try to overcome this particularly vain streak, it has been smashed. Some things just take a bit of brutal bashing by life’s more relentless tides. And something about unconditionally loving yourself amidst the dust bunnies and dirty laundry helps too.

But wow. To relax with family and friends, to laugh a ton and get extra hugs . . . a welcome reprieve from the whirlwind.

And it begins . . .

Another Week Spent . . .

I’ve discovered what I can do when my back gives out and both my feet decide to rebel against the last lawn mowing frenzy. I can do a half-crawl upstairs and into bed at 2:30am after discovering not 1, not 2 but 3 errors on a Statistics project and get up and hobble to school the next day. And the next. And the next. I can get a party going for my youngest son’s birthday supreme. I can smile and agree when I’m reminded that I didn’t actually demonstrate dotting (pointillism) for my first speech and take my lumps with the compliment: “your speaking skills are off the hook!” And I can do it while passing through epic changes in my soul, leaping broad chasms with a single bound.

8 Years w/The Ev Wonder
8 Years w/The Ev Wonder

Yes, I may sound prideful to some. If I were, I wouldn’t bother to express this. I’m detailing events that ideally (except for my son’s 8th b’day!) should have happened at least a decade ago. I suppose it depends on whom you consult. We’d have to decide there is one path, one timeframe most perfect and then compare us all to it. I take comfort in knowing you cannot do what you cannot do any sooner than you can do, be, grow.

I appreciate Kristy’s words on her own life’s trails. Her courage. I look at all my sisters and can only say that an A+ in World Literature or having good public speaking skills is minor compared to traversing daunting paths out of layers of oppression (I use the term broadly because I believe we are oppressed by wounds of the soul, by spiritual tyranny whispering what we “should” focus on vs. what we intuit is best and and and…).

The shine has worn off the thrill of being in school but I’m more committed than ever. I’m irritated to discover that I’ve discovered what I thought I would discover in the way of an “attitude” about “education.” But I have balancing components in my mind that help me recognize how awesomely advantageous is this pursuit. And I love the opportunity to get to know some great professors and students.

So, off to catch up on Statistics homework and answer the question (for another class, of course): “What crime is truly worthy of the punishment of death?”

Wow, I think of only one and I’d probably do the dirty work of justice myself, minus any regard for the law. But it’s not a terribly unusual stance for most wolfish moms.

On with life . . .

Now That We’ve Found Love . . .

I like this song. In fact, I like every remix and version of it.

Meanwhile, I rest. My blog languishes. My workload is beyond belief. And I believe it.

Know what happens when you haven’t had to work any mathematical equations beyond percentages and family budgets for over 20 years? You forget how to approach some data. You overlook things and then you realize at 11pm that your project for statistics is missing major components. And you made a C on your first test. And this is important to you even if you wind up having to drop the class from sheer exhaustion and start it over again another semester. You pull back, growl at your mind for not seeing a pivotal detail and you begin. Again.

And at 1:30 in the morning you realize you never converted from kilograms to pounds. So, you begin again. See, this profoundly alters the histogram and the infuriating box plot. The best news is that there is something alive in you, something you’ve not felt before when you’re working these charts and equations. Standard deviation? Coefficiency of variation? What’s next? I’m exhausted and pissed but there is this vibe that adores the opportunity to use these mental muscles. Hey, maybe I’ll like calculus. But it’s not on the docket for a psyche major!

By 2:20 in the a.m. when you go to stand up, your back gives out on you and you quickly become the narrator of your life, the “you” to whom you refer as you figure out how to get up steep steps to a charger for a cell whose battery is low and you realize it’s quite a simile. Um, I mean metaphor. Yeah, that’s it. Right? Oh hell. I’m lysdexic too! But I’m no cell phone…(why did I shift voice here?!)

Hey, even with screaming agonizing feet and a twisted lower back, life is good!

Nap time . . .

What Are The Odds?

I take a test today but I’m up before the sun and the birds this morning studying, cramming more into my brain and actually laughing my um off.

Um, “I hate statistics.” Um, “If I study for that long with that much focus, I’ll surely lose the data. Focus overload brought on by stress.” That’s the conclusion you draw when you’re mapping a course through a territory foreign. You cringe and fret but parts of you are surprised at how the hours melt away and not one ounce of you complained. Okay, the um part of me did.

I ran in the direction of what I previously hated (ignorantly) and found that I waken on the morning of a test with quartiles dancing through my head and images of data sets and bell curves, skewness and histograms, yawning and saying out loud “a quartile is…the class width is determined by….empirical rule states that 68% of the data…” and I realize something. It’s pouring out of my brain and onto a conscious screen in my own words with images depicting their meaning. I’m humming with that energy inevitable. The stuff of jiving enjoyment. I mean, more specifically, the supremely best kind of energy without having sex (the best sex, of course). I like it this much? I don’t think we could’ve predicted this. This is one of those random acts of good energy it seems.

I’m the relationship, psychology, human behavior, spiritual, history and language woman, right?

It turns out there may be more to me than even that.

But we can pretty much guarantee that 68% of the data lies within 1 standard deviation of the mean, when working with symmetric distribution. Of course. And symmetry is great stuff.

Barring any pesky outliers (or ants stalking – Scorpio’s minor prediction for the week already fulfilled), I predict I’ll keep loving statistics since it makes my brain sing. And it probably won’t make a difference if I get a good grade on the first test or not. I’m enjoying it too much to stress.

But a nap is inevitable.

The Week in Rear View, Rather?

By Friday evening, I felt like I’d rather just show my ass to the world than be nice. I don’t mean literally, of course. Overall, this was not the week of transcendence. I rather think it good. Rather.

I found courage. I went ahead. I got’er done. I. I. I.

But pissy was the word for me all week and I could not blame the cycles of nature. (I don’t do that anyway.) I was pissy with a smile and a snarl under the surface. Why?

I don’t know exactly. Some of it is sheer frustration. I am 2 months away from 42. I am being asked to do some things that I have mastered already. And some things I have not. And you put it all in a pot and turn up the heat and blamo. Put the learning curve in there and my nice settled routines are gone to hell in that handbasket I thought was so pretty! By Friday evening I was flattened. And my kids were gone with their father. And the 22 year mark of my first and only marriage came and went on a Saturday silent and without relent. Ah. Ha.

Mayhaps that is the piss of it? No. That’s not all. It’s that things are not finalized yet due to financial lah tee and dah. But still, even that is not all. I was re-visited by a painful scenario I felt I had finally managed to transform enough never to attract again! Ha! and Ah!

But I am still kicking. And I am still grinning. Just don’t get too close, you may hear me snarl and decide I’m not someone to cuddle just yet. I have moments of appreciation and gratefulness and all that good stuff we all want to hear to keep us feeling we’re growing and “perfect” and.

Trance' n' Dents
Smile? Heck no.

And I just felt pissy with occasional waves of blissful wonder (it’s a wonder, truly). Anyone going under the speed limit got to experience the crispness of my moves oh baby oh in my snappy little 14 year old car. Get OUT of my way.

Ah but I am love…

a pissy love this week. And it’s true…all of it…all…at…once. And I’ve gotten AHEAD on my homework while Statistics is mocking my love of it. Mocking me to shame. It’s like learning a language you never get to hear enough. And you love it but it laughs at you when you do so well in class and then sit with the book and die.

This is my evening to whine. Now, I’m done.

Week Two – A Review and Barefoot Worldview

Life tossed me more obvious challenges with my feet this past week, turned up the heat on my efforts to retain the influences of each class and spit me out into a weekend of reflection. My kids and their demands for help with homework, organization of their schedules and the matchless value of connection time reminded me of how easy it is to lose track of vital threads.

My first essay for Critical Thinking is asking me to clarify my worldview. This would not be the first or even the third time I have done so. But it has the feel of solidity hard won, of confidence still cooling after the fires of struggle and an awareness of life’s propensity for tossing more challenge my way. I thought of posting it as a page on my blog, went to do so and realized there were some major threads left out in my rush to get on with the rest of my homework.

A worldview unfolds a rich tapestry of life’s vicissitudes of prosperity and loss on so many levels. When tailored around carefully constructed inquiries, it challenges a life to see clearly and to define a personal foundation of meaning. It’s great stuff.

But in the meantime, my lawn languishes, feet not ready to add the strain of pushing uphill with a Reel mower while still adjusting to carrying a heavy bookbag on my back across long stretches of parking lot. I remind myself that some front lawns suggest so very much but tell precious little. I tell my mind to shut up and let go of the fear of parents’ wrong conclusions when they drop their kids off to walk with my daughter to school.

It is, after all, a minor thing and rains have been rare, turning lawn into desert patches. But I have often worried far too much about what people think of me, how I am perceived. It’s a chance to let go of vanity on deeper levels while promising myself that my worthwhile longing for an attractive yard and home will find fulfillment. It’s a timely venture since vanity gets to go flying out the window when you’re stumbling for good expression in front of a whole class. Not that I’ve had what would even qualify as bad moments but the experience of putting myself out there is a wonderfully liberating work. And it underlines how much richness I have at my disposal, that I do identify with the basic struggles of humanity because of the path my life has traversed.

I’d say this week has done at least one thing for me. It has stripped me of more extras, of those layers that I was unaware of wearing as defense against what turns out to simply be…life. I’m looking around for those tidal pools in my soul, the ones that invite me to kick off my shoes, shed any pretense or defense and just flow …

Barefoot Beckonings
Barefoot Beckonings