I’m here to tell you that I have nothing to tell you.
I’ve been wanting to chat with you for weeks now, but I don’t have anything to say. I got nothin’.
I know, it’s hard to believe. Me without anything to say. That might just be the strangest thing that has happened in 2020.
And how do I add pictures to go along with my story when I don’t have a story? I do not even know what to take pictures of for your entertainment. I feel like the kid who has to do show ‘n tell but they don’t have anything so they look around the room to see what they can grab and then they make up something about it.
So, let me tell you about the running suit I am wearing.
Somewhere back around the 90’s, running suits were all the fashion rage. They fall under the same trick that yoga pants fall under. Rarely do you actually do yoga while wearing yoga pants and running suits are no different. I don’t like to run but I had running suits. Paired with a belly bag, if Pinterest were around back then, you’d be on the fashion pages. I no longer have my belly bag. I don’t like belts, not even ones that can hold stuff. But I loved my hot pink/raspberry-ish running suit so much that I still have it, and even more importantly, I still wear it, twenty-five plus years later. Nowadays it fulfills my cold weather walking and playing gear needs. When snow pants are just too bulky, and most times they are, enter the running suit pants.
I could show you my new puffy bootie slippers too but I’ll let you digest the scoop on my ancient running suit. (And by the way, that is not the oldest piece of still-worn clothing that I have. That title goes to a bright blue pullover windbreaker jacket that I bought when I was seventeen. When I wear it, I still see me stylin’ away in it with my big permed hair and brown John Lennon style sun glasses.)
I needed to spend some time with you, I miss you. The best part about being BFF’s is that you and I can be ourselves with each other even if we do not have much of quality to say. (And I’m referring to me.) I’ll think of something as we go along here. And if I miss the mark this time, you’ll give me grace and wait to see what I come up with for our next chat. Thank you, I appreciate your love. Of course, it could be a good time for me to stop talking and listen to you for a change, but that’s not how this whole blogging thing goes so I still get the microphone, ready or not.
I accept the challenge.
I feel so alive.
Here’s a little update on the big intentions I had in my last post. There’s nothing Pinterest-worthy about my world. We’re still messy. It’s been hit or miss on keeping the toys off the eating counter in the kitchen. The same goes for a family sit down dinner every night. My kids rarely eat the same things. (I’ve never been able to consistently be the mom who makes one meal and that’s it. Eat it or go hungry. That mom is dreamy. And she scares me.) So, sometimes their oddball meal pieces come together sporadically so I serve them at the kitchen eating counter instead of the table. At least we’re still together, even if they are on one side and I am on the serving side. I’m pretty much the wait staff any way so I look at it as practicing for the country shoppe/cafe I want to have someday (that I was supposed to stop dreaming about as I tended to the life I have not the one I want). I figure if I can handle my kids, real customers will be a piece of cake.
I pretended to be Taco Bell the other day at lunchtime. I do have fun.
I’m not cleaning like I said I would when I heard a calling to tend to the life I have. I am tending to it, except for the things I don’t want to, and that includes cleaning my toilets. Or cleaning much of anything for that matter. My daughter recently asked me when I was going to clean the toilet because the inside of the bowl was dirty.
“Well, why don’t you clean it?”, was the response I had in my brain. But, one of us had to “do better, be better” – my favorite line for teaching my kids that even if no one else is acting better, they still can. So, I kept that remark in my brain and just whined that I didn’t want to. And didn’t I just clean it any way?
That’s a picture of the now clean toilet as the feature pic for my blog post. Showing you the now clean inside of my toilet just seemed too gross so I decided to just hint at it.
Showing you my underwear is another story. You’ll have to read on for that.
I’ve been on a personal journey this year, but I’m not feeling called to teach anything about it to anybody. I have no problem sharing my personal scoop because that’s how we get to see that we’re all going through this crazy thing called life and Pinterest-worthy lives are not really all that worthy or fun any hoo and they definitely do not have good stories attached to them. We all have dirty toilets, right? But there is no lesson in my personal journey that I feel called to pass on to you. So, there’s no story there.
Yesterday, I finally cleaned my toilet. Not because I was called to clean it and I was obeying a higher order but because my daughter guilted me into it. So, you see, I’m in no shape to be an ambassador for God’s team right now. My journey is just for me. A work in progress.
Aside from that, it’s been a wonderfully quiet time in my life, a far cry from last year when I was so busy that by the end of it I was lying flat on my back unable to take on one more thing. Turns out that a lot of it was just busy work and not really necessary for me, I just thought it was necessary because I was in a cycle that I never had a chance to reflect on. Truly reflect. I thought I had been reflecting. But I guess I wasn’t doing it right.
I needed an intervention.
This year, I had some wonderful and some uncomfortable opportunities to truly reflect. I could’ve chose to ignore them, each and every time, but instead, I leaned in and accepted the challenge. The year started out with me feeling angst, even before COVID came and changed things up immensely. The life I had grown used to was in my face and change was knocking unexpectedly. It was a strange time, to say the least.
As the year is coming closer to a new year, I can’t help but look back on how I started the year and where I am now. Worlds apart in so many ways. I have embraced the slowness this year forced me into and I fought the need to fill the quiet. Instead, again, I leaned into it, sure that there was something in all of those quiet moments that I was supposed to hear. I still fight the need to fill some of the quiet with music or a magazine or a word search puzzle. Or delicious food. It’s instinctual. Seems I should be ticking something off of my list. But I’m learning. So, instead, I choose the quiet and the stillness and listen. My journey this year isn’t particularly interesting except to me. There are no funny stories or life lessons I need to share. It was not without difficulty or tough moments, and there were hard choices to be made, but it’s not light fodder that is entertainment for sharing. It’s probably a bit dry if you didn’t have to live it.
But this is share-worthy fodder though…This morning, I found someone’s underwear in a houseplant. Not mine. Well, the houseplant is mine but the underwear wasn’t. At first, all I could do was shake my head as I picked the underwear out of my houseplant. But then, my new appreciation for how I want to continue living life going forward kicked in and had me thinking that perhaps I need more moments of finding my underwear in a houseplant. That feels way more alive than always finding my underwear where they’re expected to be.
I get that not everyone needs to find their underwear in a houseplant to feel alive. We all have different journeys. But if you’re looking for something to shake up your days, maybe just try it is all I’m sayin’.
Every year around this time, there is a tradition I have. I like to come up with a word or phrase that will be my focus for the coming year. I use it as a compass to keep me on track based on what I think is important to me at that point in my life. I’ve been pondering my guide word for 2021 and many words and phrases have swirled around my brain, but nothing is quite right. This has been a year to remember and I expect the next one to tag along right with it in the same fashion. The other day as my brain was pondering a new guide word, it occurred to me that maybe I don’t want a guide word or phrase this year at all. This year, I think I want to wander and get lost. I only want to be guided by my instinct and then go where it leads me, not follow any particular compass or direction, not having any idea where I should go. Sometimes, it is better to be led than to lead. And sometimes, it’s better not to take any baggage with me. (Except maybe for some underwear that I can leave somewhere unexpected.)
There are plenty of words that are important to me right now: alive, love, grace, kindness, smiling, laughter, craziness, unexpected, instinct, more, less, silly, impromptu, making moments, faith, adventure, yes, no, quiet, unplanned, full, doing, listening, talking, underwear, don’t talk to your mother like that, I’d like to place an order for pick up, pizza, oh and an order of wings too, please, thank you, and you’re welcome.
But I don’t think that I want to define this coming year by any one word, or any words at all. This past year was wonderfully crazy. It had stressful and difficult moments. It was uncertain and scary at times. It seemed unreal and impossible. But it has been an amazing year for me, one that I truly needed. The peace it brought me far outweighs any of the difficulties I soldiered through. The change and challenge it brought to my world is exactly what I needed and I didn’t even know I needed the scope of what came to me.
I’m expecting the uncertainty, the challenge and the slowness of 2020 to continue into 2021. I’m excited about that. No, I’m no excited about COVID and all of the uncertainty and awful things it has brought and will continue to bring in this next year. I’m just not focusing on that aspect. There’s much more to this year than those things. But I am excited about the unexpected possibilities that come with forced change. I love change and choose to invite it into my life often. But there is an ability to control the amount and type of change when you have invited it. Forced change takes away your control. Sure, that can be annoying and even scary. And for someone like me who does not like to be told what to do, cow tailing to the type of forced change that COVID brings feels sketchy at times. It’s new and no one has any answers. That’s because it is new. We’ve not had to do this before. We’re all just trying to do the best we can in a time when there is no way of truly knowing the best way to handle it. We all have opinions. But when I toss around all of the components that COVID has changed in my world, where I want to put my energy is in keeping my family healthy, helping where I can and showing my children that we can easily adapt and even enjoy adapting. This will not be the only thing they have to deal with in their lifetime that will challenge them. It may be the only grand scale thing that challenges them for sure, but their lives will be full of challenges. I want them to choose to accept the challenge and prosper because of it.
This year, Halloween was going to be different. I was not comfortable going to a variety of houses so we put on our thinking caps. I like tradition but I have found I appreciate it more when I go astray sometimes. My adult mind thought it would be super cool to buy the big versions of our favorite candy bars (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, for starters) and treats instead of the dinky mini’s that get handed out for Halloween and have our own little party at home with our favorite foods, like chicken wings and pizza. We could even skip wasting money on costumes so we had more money to spend on food. Awesome.
Turns out, that did not sound like fun to my kids.
I had to admit, it was probably skewed more in my favor. I enjoy Halloween, but it is not my favorite. I don’t like scary movies. I’m a salty, so I’m not a big fan of sugary treats. And if the spicy, sexy, wild side of me were to speak, it prefers the costumes I wore that are not really meant for the public eye but you can get away with when you are in your twenties and going to costume parties at bars over coming up with something to traipse around the community in, no longer the bars, now that I can’t get away with wearing what I wore in my twenties. It’s so unfair. Youth is wasted on the young.
So, as I listened to my kids, I heard that what they were really missing was the actual trick-or-treating collecting candy activity of Halloween.
There’s a time to take a stand and a time to go along. I decided not to make this a long boring unheard teaching moment about change and just go along with making a moment worthy of their desires, despite my views on too much candy and wasting money. I spent more money on candy that I don’t like them to have in the first place than I ever have. It’s hard to get variety in small bags at Halloween time. I filled various bowls with a variety of candy from a large quantity of bags, because each home always has different candy of course, and then I packed it into the back of my car and we pretended to trick-or-treat. My parents are in our COVID circle because I need help from time to time, so I enlisted them for normal trick-or-treating stops. But the rest of the stops, we faked. We stopped at a family member’s home that I knew would not be there and I took a bowl out of the back of my car and stood at their front door pretending to be someone else. My kids got to pick from the bowl. Then we piled into the car and went to our farmhouse. I took more bowls out of the back of the car and stood by the front door of the farmhouse, and then the barns and they could pick out more candy. We concluded our fake trick-or-treating back at the house we are staying in and I answered that door with a different bowl of candy. Then, we all came in and had a small Halloween party for just us. My kids said it was the best Halloween they ever had. Sweet. That’s what worked for us based on what we needed this year. I just hope that doesn’t mean I have to do it next year. I bought a lot of candy. But I guess the point was to show them that there is always a solution and many ways to have fun and live life. If I look at it like that, then guess I can get on board with being hired to do Halloween again. I did get some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups out of it after all.
I’m coming out of 2020 much more connected to me and who I was created to be and what I truly find to be important in my heart than when I started the year. The challenges of this year, COVID and plenty of others not connected to COVID at all, were not planned and not part of any word I chose to guide my year. I actually cannot remember what I chose to guide me this year, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with slowing down because I wrote that all over my 2020 appointment calendar. But then, if that’s the case, my guide word would be a part of this year’s challenges. And if that’s the case, you might blame me for COVID so let’s assume I picked a different word.
Can you see why I have been holding off on talking to you? It’s too deep. It feels like there’s too much advice and too many opinions from me because I was on a personal journey. There’s not enough writing of active living in here to share as a good blog post. For me, it was a year for less action. So, if any of this sounds like advice or teaching, it’s not. Your journey is yours, mine is mine.
My journey needs to find more of my underwear in my houseplants.
I picked a pair that was worthy of gossip so you can call me “spicy, sexy, wild” like I told you I was striving for in a previous post. (Click the link if you missed it.) Besides, my kids would be upset if I showed you their underwear, rightly so. (Technically it was one of their “underwears” I found in my houseplant but you didn’t hear that from me). So, you get a picture of my underwear. I suppose I could have come up with a different picture to share with you. When I don’t have anything to say, apparently I show you my underwear and dirty toilet. It reminds me of when I do not have a bedtime story to tell and have to come up with something on the fly. My stories border on inappropriate. Read about Ned the Noodle if you haven’t already. It explains a lot about this post. And about me being “The Awkward Bird”.
Momma always said, “If people are talking about you, then you’re doing something right.”
(I had to put that in there so I don’t get into trouble for showing you my underwear. At least I wasn’t in the underwear when I showed it to you.)
I feel so alive.
I’m not sure if you’ll hear from me again before this year is over, but don’t count your blessings just yet. If we do not chat again before December 31st, enjoy the moments that you’ve been given no matter what they look like, they’re yours.
I’ll be getting out our holiday cards in the next few weeks. I hope. I always have a crazy idea to make my own and this year was no different. I have a lot of work to do to get them ready. Plus, I love to include a handwritten sentiment in them as well. Then, as the time flies by, my intentions shrink and I start to just consider my signature the handwritten note if I see you most of the time and save the real handwritten note for those I am not in personal contact with all that much. It’s not to imply that if I see you all the time you’re second fiddle and not worthy of a handwritten note. It’s just to imply that I’m running out of time and you’ll have to deal.
Our holiday card always includes a picture of the kids with the mall Santa, although on occasion, we have been able to find Santa somewhere a bit more interesting than the mall. But in those times, I had to stand in line for over an hour to meet with that more interesting Santa so he became way less interesting in my book.
“It’s back to the mall, kids! In and out! The real Santa will still get your dream list.”
This year, it’s a real quandary with what to do about the germy mall Santa? Will he even make an appearance? I would guess not. And if he does, we’re sitting this one out any hoo.
I put on my thinking cap.
A type, a click, a delivery later and voila! There is a Santa hat, white curly hair and white tickly beard in my sunroom waiting for my dad to take over the mall Santa’s duties this year. There’s always a solution.
My kids did not take me up on my offer to be the Santa stand-in this year when they saw me in the Santa “get up”. I can’t blame them.
We’ll get a kick out of looking back to see “The Year Without a Mall Santa” pic. (Did you get the reference to the Christmas show “The Year Without a Santa Claus”? Clever, I know.) There’s some of my wit gracing this blog post after all.
I feel so alive.
Maybe next time I’ll have something to talk about…
aarynemm2020-11-18T17:22:08-05:00November 18th, 2020|blogworthy|Comments Off on i got nothin’