Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New baseline...?

A long time ago, way before I met my husband--back when the world was young, and possibilities stretched endless, I used to think I'd visit Nepal. No clue why. I just like the jewelry. I have this thing for tribal silver. Glenna McReynolds AKA Tara Janzen, did a book called The Outlaw Carson, about this guy who grew up in a monastery after his parents died, and returned to the States a hot buff guy with marital arts training. Before then, Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy (of the Destroyer fame)did a two parter, Grandmaster and High Priest. Same subject, hot buff guy raised by monks becomes pseudo-mystical martial arts guy with buns of steel. I think of it as another sub-genre, sort of like regencies? White guy with long hair (insert color here) goes to/gets stranded in Nepal/Tibet or some other dimension and becomes kendo whiz.

I don't want to go to Nepal anymore, but I bought a calendar the day after Christmas, called 1000 Places to See Before You Die, drooled, thought--and asked, "So why don't we..."

When I was at the wildlife refuge I got to talking to a woman who'd come down from Richmond about how I was leaving in a little while and wanted to get in all the places I'd meant to see over the years. And she said, "...you were too busy living to live."

Ive thought about that for days.

I spent years, decades--living. I wouldn't trade any of it away, but--there's so much we didn't do and see, and now it's too late, because there's never going to be another "we". I go to Seattle once a year. But I've always come back.

They say to raise a secure child, you need a stable family life. I've noticed, to raise a child who can go out on their own and do things, there has to be love and acceptance, because see--it's okay to rebel and stretch yourself when you know there's someone home who'll give a damn if you fail, and will always be there when you get back. I've grown because I knew my husband would be there when I got back, to say, "it's okay" when I crashed, and kind of just sit beside me until I got over myself.

I always thought there'd be "us" time later, when the kids were gone, and we had time to be alone--we'd go to Germany and tour Alaska, visit Tennessee and my relatives down in New Orleans. Nothing stopped us--just life.

From now on--once a month, I'm going out to live.


Unhinged said...

Good on you! I hope you stick with it, too.

You know, I think MOST of us are too busy living to live. Especially moms who are also full-time employed and married. And say they have a hobby-that's-more-than-a-hobby of writing. Or painting. Or whatever. What I'm trying to say, is that all of this gives maybe one or two breaths to stop and think, "Oh, gee, let me soak up this moment."

On the other hand, it's better to be IN the world (involved, doing things for others and yourself, which you DO), than to be just ON the world. So don't kick yourself. Or else we'd all have to kick ourselves and that could get painful.

You wrote:

They say to raise a secure child, you need a stable family life.

I agree with this to a point. I understand what you're saying. It helps in so many ways to know my mom would be there for me, no matter what. (I used to feel this way about my ex, too.)

But even ONE, well-meaning, honest-to-God good parent can do all the right/best things for the child, and some kids just don't grow up right. It's nothing you can blame on the parent/s. In the end, it's up to the child.

I know, because my poor sister made every damn wrong decision in the world. Yeah, she always had mom to catch her, but it continues to damage her already too-fragile psyche. I ache for both my mom and sister.

Of course, I turned out perfectly.

...had to end this on a note of levity

jodi said...

Unhingey--you are perfect in every way, and I need to re-read your promo-blogging post and take notes. You're lucky--your mom visits your blog. That's pretty damned cool, my mom wishes I was Amy Tan.

I worked my day or two of living into my calendar. :) OCD, I know. But every third Saturday is go out and "do" something day. I just need to think about what is it I want to do...

Unhinged said...

...my mom wishes I was Amy Tan

I guess she'll just have to settle for a Cup of alphabet noodles.

And it's not always cool knowing my mom, ex, co-workers and friends are reading my blog. I can't be as UNHINGED as I really want to be, you see.

Which is probably ...

... probably a good thing ...

because you know that song LEFT OF CENTER by Suzanne Vega? That's me. I'm a female Ducky (from PRETTY IN PINK).

The thing about your planned days to go and do and see? You have to plan them BEFOREHAND, not the on the day OF. I have it from the best authority.

Okay, I'm done.

Kaige said...

I think it's a fantastic idea to make dates with yourself like that, Jodi. I need to do something similar. It's way too easy for me to curl up here in my cave and ignore the world out there otherwise. I think it's one reason DH pushed me to sign up for the Julia Quinn seminar in LA in May even when he thought it was on a Friday.

Oh, and he got a free ticket with his miles and asked where we should go... he asked about Seattle. The trick will be getting him to actually take the time off. =P

Jennifer McKenzie said...

You know, I know this feeling. The Redneck and I always talk about the things "we'll" do, but there's no guarantee we'll make it either.
But we've done some amazing things together. It wasn't Alaska, or a NASCAR race, or Yellowstone Park, but they've been special times because we were together.
And I know what you mean about stepping out because it's safe to come home, like a home on shore as you head out to sea.

Alice Audrey said...

My mother always made us go out and do something so we wouldn't end up missing all the local tourist things at the end of a lifetime. You should have seen the time we went all over looking for the huge swimming pool and discovered the sewage treatment center. :D

jodi said...

lol, Alice--I made my kid go with me to the macArthur memorial. I knew it was near MacArthur mall, :) She saw a telephone for the first time (a real one, with a rotary dial!) and we goggled at the trench warfare display. Your mom is a smart lady.

Jenn, you're right. We did do things, just not the things we thought we'd do. It might not have been Germany, but the NC state fair was pretty cool because we shared it. :)

see, Kaige--if you come up you can visit me and Gwen and a bunch of the Seattle divas at the same time.

Jeanna said...

Unless you want to raise a comic or an actor.
You're doing okay, chum. (Not the bait.)