Thursday, January 19, 2012

Susie Homemaker

Ok, if you know me well then you may stop laughing now. And, no, this is not a write up on my fantastic domestic skills. I can sum that up in 1 word: challenged. 

I am a wanna-be....a domestic goddess wanna-be. 

I admire these women from afar. These happy little homemakers.  I am genuinely impressed with their ability to juggle their roles as mother, wife, chef, decorator, handy woman and cleaning lady. And for those who are also able to act as frequent hostess AND career girl AND sex kitten, well, girlfriend, I salute you.  But, God forbid they also manage to squeak in a workout here and there. We're bordering on animosity at this point, truth be told. 

Seriously, though, at some point, something's got to give!!!  Right?  It seems relatively inhuman to maintain such a routine.  But, dammit, I would certainly love to be in their 4 inch high (what else?) stilettos for just one day!

June Cleaver has been resurrected. The difference is now she's a bitch in the boardroom, a tiger in the bedroom and Ward does half of the chores and the chid care. 

Or am I just making this creature up?  No, I really don't think so. No!  In fact, I know her!  I know several of her!

But, it does take some finely honed delegation skills. Just ask Martha Stewart. Turkey Hill was not built in a day, and not just by Martha's hands alone. 

My problem is mostly that 5 and 9 year old boys don't take well to delegation. Well, that and it's hard to squeeze in things domestic between blogging, pinning, texting and face booking. 

Pinterest. Ah, Pinterest. It  is alarmingly addictive. It has reminded me of how much I miss decorating, organizing and, yes, cooking.  So I spend endless hours pinning what I want my life at home to look like. It's all very pretty right there on my pin boards.  And, then, I log off, close my iPad, look around my home and sigh. It was just a dream. It's gonna take a little more action and a lot less pinning. 

Once upon a time I was a domestic goddess.  I could paint the living room walls, mulch my flower beds, create a duvet out of a shower curtain, clean the entire house, set a dinner table for 8, prepare a well thought out meal, rock a fabulous new outfit, host an elegant evening in for 6 of our closest friends, get my freak on,  clean up the kitchen and paint my nails, all in a days time. No big deal. 

It makes me tired just thinking about it now. I wish I still had it in me. Something happened along the way. I lost focus, or something. But, I feel the urge.....the urge to buy storage baskets and to dye my slip covers and to fire up my new Crock Pot. Those seem like reasonably simple ways to ease my way back into goddess mode. 

Because, really, there's nothing quite as nice as coming home after a hard day at work to a neat, clean, well-organized and fantastically decorated home where the aroma of some culinary delight wafts through the air. 

Just ask Ward Cleaver.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Coming of Age

My 9 year old asked me the other day, "Mom, when did you become an adult?  I mean, when did you become a grown up?"

"Well, son, those are two entirely different things...."

"Huh?" his attention was already wavering. 

"Let's see...well, legally I became an adult at 18. But, frankly, I don't think I actually became an 'adult' until I was somewhere around 24. As to when I became a grown up....I'm still working on that one."

"I have no idea what you mean." 

"Me either, babe."

Okay, not completely sure on how to proceed with this one. How do I explain to him the importance of acting responsibly while maintaining the notion of being young at heart....without totally confusing the poor guy?  I'm not so sure that I've actually accomplished said task. 

Well,  first of all, the notion that someone is capable of acting as an adult at the age of 18 is slightly ridiculous. Even crazier is that our government considers 18 year olds mature enough to go to war but not quite so to drink a beer.  Don't get me started....

Honestly, I can remember when I finally recognized that I was, in fact, an adult.  I was a ripe old 24 and had just gone through a series of unfortunate events, all of which were of my own doing. I had a choice to make. I could have surrendered and run back home to live with my parents until I was ready to act like an adult, OR, I could face it head on, chalk it all up to life lessons and trudge ahead. I begrudgingly chose option #2. I knew I'd never forgive myself otherwise. 

I suppose it does take some level of crisis to snap us out of adolescenthood and heave us into adulthood. That's one of those things that other adults neglect to tell us, as well as "child birth hurts badly", "there is no such thing as financial freedom" and, the grand daddy of them all, "life is NOT always fun". 

Alright, it's not really all that bad. You know I can't make it through a blog without quoting a movie.....but, one of my all time favorites comes from the movie 'Parenthood'....

Grandma: You know, when I was 19, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. 
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story. 
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it. 

So, I guess part of being an adult means being able to take the bad with the good.  Makes sense. 

Now, as to being a grown up....does anyone actually accomplish that?  Ever?  Well, not anyone that I spend much time with has. I'm happy to report. 

I think not acting your age every now and again is a very good thing. As long as you do it in moderation. We all know someone who refuses to grow up. You know, the good time guy or gal who's always up for the party but is no where to be found when the proverbial s**t comes down. 

But, life is just too short to be serious all the time!  It's finding the perfect balance between frivolity and practicality that is the real task at hand.  And, I'm pretty sure this must take the entirety of a life. 

My parents are shining examples of striking that happy medium of a joyful AND purposeful life. They have lived well. They acted responsibly and enjoyed every second. And, even in the midst of creating what they both know are their final memories, they are doing it with finesse. Because they must know that somehow they managed to take this business of being an adult seriously all the while not always acting like a grown up. 

I only hope I can do it half as well as my parents have. 

So, before publishing this I allowed my son to read it in hopes that maybe I could impart some of my "wisdom" on him. 

"I don't really get it, mom."


"Me either, babe. Maybe someday we will both figure it out."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Steps

I think it may be true. I think that you quite possibly can teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes a little bit longer. 

Patience. I've never really been a fan. We've just never really seen eye to eye. I resist it at all costs, but, for the most part, patience kicks my ass. Every time.  One would think I might have figured it out by now.  It's a work in progress, people. 

My sister ever so gently reminded me recently that I am of the instant gratification school of thought. I want what I want and I want it now. Frankly I don't really see the err of my ways here, but, I guess I do realize that: a. You can't ALWAYS get what you want, and b. Good things (supposedly) come to those who wait. 

Still not a fan, but, ok. I'm on board with the movement. 

So, if you're feeling a little lost at this point or if you think I'm being a bit vague, then, good. That is my intent. 

Skipping along hand in hand with being patient is also the art of being able to relax. And, yes, I do consider this to be an art form. One which I have yet to master. Who am I kidding?  I'm not even in the beginner's class yet. 

Relax?  What the?  Who the heck has time for that?  Times a waistin' folks!

Okay, maybe if I'm sitting on a beach with a full margarita and the knowledge that I still have an entire week to sit there and do just that, then, yes, I can then relax. Until I look at my watch an realize that I only have a week left to relax. And, then I start to get nervous that I won't be able to relax. 

I know. Believe me, I really do know. 

But that's me. Have we met?  I'm not excusing my erratic and sometimes annoying behavior. It's just that I've been this way for 42 years. But, it's never too late to try your hand at something new. I am down with that. ( I'm not at all hip, by the way. I do recognize this.)

I think I've been pretty good at trying new things as of late. So, in an attempt to better myself and possibly put an extension on my expiration date, I will try to focus some/a little energy on relaxing. And being patient. But, if I'm being totally honest, the thought of it makes me uneasy. 

In a sense I guess you could consider this to be my New year's resolution. Though, I've really never been a fan of those either. What I mean is, if you've got something about yourself that you want to change, then change it. Why lay false hope on the idea that you may actually do it in a year's time. 

If I'm coming across as relatively snarly, I apologize. It's just that I recognize that these behaviors of mine have thrown quite a hitch in my giddy up over the years. And being of the Oprah era I think it's time to move forward. Lighten the load, so to speak. It's just that I know it isn't going to be easy. By any stretch. 

One day at a time. 


Okay. Fine. But I refuse to get rid of my daily planner. That's a deal breaker right there. 

So, if you come across me anytime in the near future and notice me taking deep breaths, sitting down and doing nothing at all or even going to a yoga class for crap's sake, you'll know why. I haven't lost my mind entirely. I'm just trying my best to learn a couple of new skills. For personal enhancement and, honestly, for the personal enjoyment of anyone who knows me well enough. 

Like I said, baby steps.