Thursday, December 6, 2012

Humble and Compassionate: Part 3: Keep the Light On

This is the third part in the Humble and Compassionate Series
The first part can be found HERE
The second part can be found HERE

I live my life with passion.
I hope this doesn't come as a shock to you.
I hope even more, that it is obvious.
But in case it's not, I assure you, I do.
I do, I do, dammit.

Okay maybe not all the time.
Not in the times when life throws me over an unexpected bump in the road.
And most certainly, not when life throws me on to a new course.
I mean, I am the type of person who re evaluates their life 47 times a day, so when I am suddenly on uncharted territory, I just sit there in shock, absorbing it all.
Have I mentioned lately that my 17 month old son has yet to sleep through the night, for 2 nights in a row?
He wakes up around 3...4...and again at 6 a.m. screaming bloody murder for no apparent reason.
They say Preemie babies have a hard time shifting in between sleep cycles because they were born when their nervous systems were immature.
So basically that means he screams like his limbs are being hacked off when his brain switches between relaxed sleep, and deep sleep.
The cure is that he sleeps with me. I like to think my presence comforts him back to sleep when he is suddenly on Elm Street.
This also means that I get throat punched and titty kicked an awful lot.
He also snores. The kind of snore that can be heard from two rooms over.
But directly in my face.
What I am getting at here, is I am really exhausted.

My days are filled with hiccups, bumps, surprise hurdles, and recently I was thrown off the track.
After speaking with friends, family, and even damn near strangers about it, I Googled the situation. I love how I always think I am going to stump Google, and it turns out 8,048 people have also had the same exact situation.
I guess my life isn't that unique.
After talking, Googling, and staring into space in the shampoo aisle for 25 minutes, I then decided it was a good time to avoid it entirely. What is the rush with this whole parenting thing anyways? Oh, it's a parenting situation, FYI. I am perfectly content to just sit on my ass and wait for a good solution to pop up.

Sadly Oprah cancelled her show years ago.
So I have still been sitting on my ass waiting for a solution to appear.
It's been over 2 weeks since this situation started and although I have plenty absorbed the shock of being on a different track, I still feel like I don't know what the fuck I am supposed to do.

So back to that passion I was talking about.
In between the time it took for me to have a holy shit this is happening moment, and like, now, I have lost my passion.

I have been on robot mode, complete with the saddest attempts I have ever made, to play with a 5 year old.
"Mama I said, let's walk around town" she has her pony and I am the mama pony, except I don't have a pony, I have a dinosaur.
I fake trot my dinosaur around the coffee table.
"Mama, no like this.." she gallops her pony ahead of my Dino, and I stare off into space.
"Mama can I watch cartoons now?"
She's bored of me, so I turn on the TV.

"I was talking to the mama dinosaur, not you mom."
End Scene.

Giving my children the best part of me, is a part of my passion. And I missed the mark. I won't beat myself up over it, because I have been in the parent game long enough, I know that it really isn't that big of a deal that I couldn't withstand playing with my daughter for more than 10 minutes. In fact the next time she asks to play, I will make sure I play with her an extra 10 minutes longer than I feel like. Then, and only then, will I feel like that memory can be erased.

So what do I do now?
I go back to the track I was on.
I continue to pump myself up in the morning, tell myself it's going to be a beautiful day, brainstorm reasonable ways to make it so, and then make it so.
People often ask me what it is that keeps me going, the thing that motivates me.
It's more than a one word answer.
The secret, or not so secret, I hope, is that I only do things that I actually want to do.
Don't feel like doing dishes...but I want clean dishes, which feeling is stronger?
Okay I really really want clean dishes so that particular outcome is what I really want, therefore I do the dishes.
That's a simple example, yet a complex thought.
I don't really feel like running around doing a million and two errands.
But if I do everything I set out to do, it will make me happy. I will feel relaxed knowing there is not as much on my plate tomorrow.
So I do as much as I can, and I do so happily.
Even if I don't complete whatever it is I think will make me happy, I know I am one step closer to where I want to be, and farther away from where I started from.
It's a choice I make, every day. Go where I want to go, or choose to stay right here.
Sometimes taking a break is much needed. Unanswered e mails. A voicemail icon. Leaving the dishes in the damn sink. If that's what I want to do, that's what I do.
I've been doing it for weeks now. And now I want to go back to where I was.
So what does living with passion have to do with compassion?
Well when you live in such a way that your head isn't constantly stuck up your ass (hey I do that sometimes too) you are more aware. You are interested in being a listening ear, because you have specifically chosen the people in your life that you want to listen to. Surrounding yourself with only people whom you admire, enjoy, and add to your life, instead of bringing you down, makes it rather enjoyable to be a listening ear. You feel needed, but not drained.
My Internets mother Klonnie from The Klonopin Chronicles
often says "Namaste" at the end of most posts. "Namaste" means "the light in me, recognizes the light in you"
That, to me, is compassion and passion all wrapped up in one word.
If you are not keeping ablaze the light that is inside of you, then you are not going to be caring so much about anyone else. Which is a big deal because we were made to stick together. That's why cities have so many damn people in them. That's why people who live in the country tend to have big ass families.
This is elementary, you guys.

I am not perfect. Sometimes I slip. Sometimes I zone out because I feel the crutch of exhaustion. But today, I am here. You are here. And that to me, keeps the light on."

So tell me, what are your thoughts?
How do you live with passion?
How are you not?

Oprah ended you guys, we have to stick together.


  1. <3 Thank you :) I've been so "stuck" lately.... Stuck in the muck, I say.... But I guess that's OK too. I try to look to the positive & recognize the other light. Thank you for the extra light today :)

  2. oh Humble. How I love compassion. Shared and shown and just as an example. You definitely lead by example in that way. That's why I'm so drawn to you. that and you're so damn cute and funny and amazing. but mostly, the compassion. I hope you get some good sleep soon, and in the meantime I know you wouldn't change anything about your life, which is another way you lead by example. By being grateful for all you have. the good and a the crazy. love you!

  3. I hear you. I have been overwhelmed by life and my 3 girls a lot lately. I too have a 17 month old who screams her head off every other night (not a premie btw) and I fear I am going to lose my shit soon. I am trying to hold on to the light and your posts and the fact that you have a grip on 5 kids, like a boss, helps me see it. Thanks man ;)

  4. I feel we have almost parallel lives. Thank you. I read your other parts to my kids, I had to move words around a bit, so they would understand & take a few out for my younger two, but I thought maybe hearing my words from someone else would help it stick more.

    I just keep going no matter how hard it is, I keep helping others, no matter my exhaustion. I have had to not help the unappreciative people as much, but I still do more than I should. It's not so much for my own mental calmness, but so my boyfriend doesn't tell me to stop, he hates that it wears on me, the compassion I mean, I have too much & can't stop just because someone is using it to their advantage. It's what makes me happy...helping others, no matter my pure exhaustion & lack of passion during those times. I still HAVE to be a parent, friend, daughter, etc..sometimes it's just doing the minimum, but at those times my minimum is all I have. I have realized it's OK.

    I am super passionate & yes, I believe that the two go hand in hand & you can't have one without the other. I just can't see the possibility.

    I have breakdowns. They are my passion, exhaustion & compassion combining with something that went wrong with helping and pain from a friend with cancer combined with daily life (just a quick ex), so I start yelling & freaking out. Which in turn solidifies the fact my B/F will never marry me, my kids hate it & I am only teaching them to yell,but I needed it, I needed to freak. It often starts from not being appreciated for what I do & from giving all I can & it becoming an expectation. Most don't notice what I do for them & others or listen to me & my feelings at all, but definitely notice the bad. Never see that I don't even have my own life, breaks, vacations, Mom time, girl time, nothing.. & it's because I am taking care of them(family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, strangers). I get yelled at, smart ass comments & disrespect because I am easy because I care & forgive..& forget myself in the process...I've learned though that once you start not expecting a simple thank you, or people to understand, (also your help from your blog on showing yourself compassion..still a work in progress),accept that it is your passion to be compassionate, & most important, it was your choices in how you utilized those wonderful qualities that got you in this emotional mess in the first place, it is only then that you can stay happy. If it is your compassion & what you do with it that makes you happy, then use it...I feel it is the passion for compassion & what keeps the world balanced.

  5. "Even if I don't complete whatever it is I think will make me happy, I know I am one step closer to where I want to be, and farther away from where I started from."---Your blog is so true and honest...all of it... but these lines are the ones that speak volumes to me and where I am.

    I'm leaving my husband of 13 years, today. Signed the lease, moved the utilities and rented the truck. I look around my home and see all the things I have to transfer, but yet I'm stuck. Questioning myself, worried about HIM, the kids and how they REALLY will take this move after the magnitude sets in..but, as you say, I'm closer to where I want to be. I just have to muster all the internal fortitude I have and know I have made the right choice, He's a drunk; a non-provider; a horrible life partner and crappy father. Sounds easy, right? The next week will be hard and then, hopefully won't. Life is waht you make it and when babes are involved, it is even more important to make it awesome; healthy and happy. Keep a good thought, man. Tis some heavy shit I'm going through.

  6. Too many things are an obsession to me. I have make conscious decisions to put them down on an hourly basis.
    Too many things bother me. Too many issues tear at my spirit. I know that I have control over what I take away from each experience good and bad, but lately it all seems to be moving so much faster and I feel like I'm,always running to catch up.

  7. I get it, do I have answers... not so much (at least not today anyway)We do what we can, we admit when we can't and dammit I think thats pretty darn good.
    As a mom of 4 who has a chronic illness I have to get creative sometimes. I have to let it go that my 4 year old wants to cut paper and I have to lay down... so we cut paper in bed. Ideal, no... but we make the best of things.
    Write on!
    Carrie from over at

  8. have you read Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems By Dr. Ferber? (right. when is there time to read a book?) It's pretty good and he addresses night terrors. You can read it in little pieces so it's not so much at once. Peace.