I think I mentioned yesterday how I have a new favorite blog. The address is actually www.ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com. I don’t know a ton about it, except that it looks like a ton of information for women and that the woman who posts most often is a mother of 7 (I think), Catholic and hilarious. She’s called Auntie Leila.
I know I just posted yesterday, but I got a lot of comments from women and I had some more thoughts this morning. Currently, Henry is into his 3rd hour of napping and since this is his “birthday” celebration with me and it’s already been a bit of a downer due to my incessant crying, I think I will just let him rest. All you ladies who commented yesterday are in a flurry of wishing you could hug me and wanting to reassure me that everything is okay. I really appreciate it…you have no idea how much a little comment on what I write means to me. But fear not! I am okay. It’s just one of THOSE kinds of days. Also, for the most part I too think I will be a kick-ass mom.
Whenever I get like this, I get the Jennifer Knapp song “When Nothing Satisfies You” running through my head. That’s right, Jennifer Knapp – who is now openly gay – was a staple of mine in high school. Good memories of me at about 17 with Bethany in her Grandma’s beater (which sometimes steamed) taking a road trip and listening that whole album. Anyway, basically the chorus is: “When nothing satisfies you (repeat 3x), hold My hand.” What really *irks* me is how that song, bordering on Christian schmaltzy, has stayed in my head. Whenever I have a day like this when everything seems to be going wrong, when I can’t think of a single thing that is going to make me feel better and, gasp, I might just have to get through it rather than anesthetize myself it’s like Jesus just flips this toggle switch in my brain to that song. Honestly, I can kind of imagine Him sort of snickering at little ol’ me when He does this – kind of like you do at a two year old who is having a tantrum. It’s not that you don’t think she thinks her woes are real and that you don’t feel for her a little, but she’s just so darn cute and totally IGNORANT while she’s doing it. She has no idea how quickly her woes will pass or how insignificant they truly are. I think He LOVES it when nothing sounds good to me – not even eating or watching t.v. or reading a stupid Dean Koontz novel. It’s not in a sadistic way, it’s in a “finally you are LISTENING to Me” way. “Finally, you realize you have nowhere else to turn and you just might have to be miserable for a few hours and learn to make the best of it.” Katherine Ruch would call this a crucible moment.
“A crucible is a refractory container used for metal, glass, and pigment production as well as a number of modern laboratory processes, which can withstand temperatures high enough to melt or otherwise alter its contents. Historically, they have usually been made of clay, but they can be made of any material with a higher temperature resistance than the substances they are designed to hold.”
Which brings me to my next thought and a blog entry I think all of us young women would do well to read.
I stumbled on this through the links my friend Emily sent me on nursing. Auntie Leila again: she has a lot of wisdom but not a lot of judgment. I love her and I’ve hardly even read her blog. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Not just because I’m having a baby and have fully witnessed (but hopefully not fully participated in) the “culture of freaking out” but because I am a young woman who somewhere along the way found “stuff” to be soothing and have at times embraced it with all my heart. Random associations: I remember the first time I heard the phrase “retail therapy.” It was a phrase of a friend’s big sister which she repeated while in Target and I was getting over a break-up and boy did it ever feel like the great panacea just to let myself buy some stuff for that reason. I was sad. I needed retail therapy. Also, I’m thinking about how in “Infinite Jest” (set in the future) each calendar year is corporately sponsored and so named so instead of dates you get things like “that was in the year of the *Depends Adult Undergarment.* Also, I just recently watched “Sex And The City 2” while I was doing some project or other – this is after having gone through all 6 seasons and movie #1 again – and not for the first time had this suffocated feeling about that show. It’s entertaining and witty and funny but, oh my gosh, once you pull out (and this really holds true of so many shows) and look at it in its entirety it is about nothing but spending money, getting stuff and going around and around about all the same small-town gossip and personal turmoil or triumph over and over. It’s conspicuous consumption, conspicuous sexuality and gossip. AND WE EAT IT UP. At least I did. Ladies, THESE are our idols. I mean, not literally. I know not all ya’ll have watched that show, but there is some version out there battling for our attention. Mine is the design blog/blogger, I’ll just say it.
In general, Americans regardless of sex have a pretty good handle on stuff and freaking out but I think so much of it is targeted to young women that we hardly know where we are if we can’t shop or peruse or look or daydream or flat out lust. It’s so sneaky too…my love of design so quickly spills over into wanting to have things just so: my clothes, my hair, my face, my house. I could just keep adding frivolous things to care about until it takes up all of my time and energy.
Okay, so what am I saying besides just ranting? Um, I think I’m saying that even I – who thinks she has a handle on what life *really* means because of being a Christian – sometimes stop and look around me and see nothing but desolation. In reality, there is never a happy moment of realization between four best friends that all we need is each other and our great accomplishments. In reality, I am sometimes so jealous of my best friends’ accomplishments (and likewise, I’m sure) even though I know they love and support me. And $300 shoes don’t fix it. Not that I’ve tried.
I wish I didn’t get to this place because I never got so caught up in stuff to begin with. I wish I could say that I have the willpower not to look at pretty things and to never watch t.v. (we don’t even HAVE one, but I still find a way) or pick up a shiny magazine (I do try not to do that anymore for the most part. I’ve found they just make me feel like shit). Maybe this is one of the things God is rooting out in my life as we speak or maybe it will be a lifelong struggle which only ever brings me back to Him. Thank God He’s got endless patience to watch this temper tantrum of mine over and over and over and just keep smirking about it and loving me through it because I sure am glad my son will have a limited toddlerhood. Just saying.