Friday, June 15, 2012

On Inspiration

You know something? Sometimes I feel incredibly shallow writing this blog. Like I'm just another girl out there striving to have something of mine be repinned 1,000 times on Pinterest. Or set a world record for comments on a blog post. (Have no qualms, I'm not anywhere close to any of these things.) And then I come the parenthetical realization and worry that I'm not important at all and so, why bother? (Getting a little cynical... hang tight! I'm going somewhere here!)

So I sit back and think for a bit about why I'm writing this blog at all. It started as a fun way to categorize projects. It has morphed into mostly a recipe compiler and a (partial) journal of our lives. It keeps me busy, and looking for newness. New recipes to try, new photo techniques to experiment with, new things to teach and learn. And this is perhaps why I stick with it. I like to be challenged. I want to feel like I've done something at the end of the day. I'd like to look back in five years and have a small memento of my time as a stay-at-home-mommy and feel somewhat accomplished. Watching kids grow is a slow process, and I like to have a little daily thing I can set goals toward and accomplish.

But more than that, I'd like to have something to give my children. Maybe for graduation I could have this printed and bound and say, "Here are all the recipes we made when you were growing up. I know you'll want some of them. And here are my memories and thoughts of your childhood and how much you meant to me." I'd like to say that I worked on something a little bit everyday in hopes that I would have something to pass on.

And then I think that these aren't the only things I want to pass on. I don't just want my girls to think I was a great cook or maker of desserts. (Because, let's face it, I'm probably only fair at either of those things. Well, I do make some pretty awesome desserts. But that's just because I've stumbled upon great recipes. And they usually involve chocolate. You just can't go wrong with chocolate.) I do want them to look back and think that I loved them almost to the point of bursting. That I enjoyed every little quirk and silly thing they did. That we had good days and bad days and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. That I thought long and hard about how to mother them. About how to love them. About how to demonstrate my love. About how to teach them. And how to let them be whoever they were going to be. About how to instill for them a love for life, in it's newness, it's mundaneness, it's everything. (No, mundaneness is not a word. I'm channeling a little GWB here.)

These thoughts lead me to think of the amazing women I have had the great fortune of knowing throughout my life. Women who have inspired me. Who have taught me. Who have laughed and cried with me. Who have vented with me and advised me and listened to me. I want to be like them. I want to be a good friend. A good listener. Someone who opens others up to all the possibillities of this life.

Until now, I have shied away from writing anything beyond recipes and personal memories because I don't want to sound preachy. I don't want to sound like I have it all figured out and you should take everything I say to be pure genius. So, I'm not going to write about things like that. I know I'm opinionated and I can get over-zealous about certain things. But I also believe that everyone has a story. And the best way we can live is with a respect for that story. It's similarities. It's differences. It's flaws and perfections, hopes and dreams.

This is just my way of saying that I'm introducing a new category here. I think I'll call it Musings. Because that's all it is. Musings on life. Thoughts for myself and how I want to live. Thoughts for my children and my hopes for them. Quotes from great books. Thoughts from other people who inspire me to be a better woman, a better wife, a better friend, a better mother. A better human being.

To end this first musing, I'd like to share a quote from Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It's a beautiful book. You should read it.

"I probably fell asleep, but I don't remember. I cried so much that everything blurred into everything else. At some point she was carrying me to my room. Then I was in bed. She was looking over me. I don't believe in God, but I believe that things are extremely complicated, and her looking over me was as complicated as anything could ever be. But it was also incredibly simple. In my only life, she was my mom, and I was her son.

I told her, 'It's OK if you fall in love again.'"

I do believe in God, and I believe that's part of the beauty of the complication. But what struck me about this quote is the almost last part, "... it was also incredibly simple. In my only life, she was my mom, and I was her son."

In the end, that's what it boils down to. I've got only this one life. There are things I can change and things I can't. But if this is my only life, I want to live well. I want to be well.  (I'm talking ser not estar, for any of you Spanish speakers out there. English doesn't always have enough words.)

Steve and I are always having the conversation, "How do we want to live? Are we living that way? If not, why not? What's stopping us?"

This is just a little musing on those questions. And a few thoughts on how to be the person I want to be.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love every little bit of this post. As I always say, I really think your girls will be flabbergasted by your thoughts and records of them. I can't even imagine all those thoughts and things my mom did and what I was like before I can remember. Plus, you'll be able to read over what you felt and what you did because I know my mom felt so many lovely things about me in my baby years, but cannot for the life of her recall in as intimate of detail as you record. When I show my mom your mommy posts, she just loves them and says so many things make her remember how she felt. I am so glad you write this blog because I love living with you from afar through it. And as you and I can get into multi-hour long conversations on bigger, more meaningful things in life, your new Musings will allow anyone who reads them a little glimpse into your wonderful heart. I miss you lots and can't wait to spend more time together.


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