What Needs to Stop: Sex trafficking, murder anywhere, war anywhere (including, especially, drone attacks), settlement activity in Palestinian lands, and the dispossession of any indigenous peoples, climate change denial, people being assholes, tea party and neo-conservative influence, doing blackface. To name a few.
What Needs to Transform: gridlock into governing, fear into curiosity, dogma into openness, grief into strength, preoccupation into presence, exhaustion into rest. God, please, exhaustion into rest. As a start.
What Needs to Soften: The neat-freak in my head that reminds me how inadequate I am for not being able to keep my house clean. The cranky voice in my head who harps on me for my lack of organization — noting all the papers and laundry in various states of folded or not that vomit from nearly every surface. The task-master who belittles my lingering in bed after Tima has fallen asleep, listing all the things I should be doing instead, taking my attention away from the rhythm of her breathing, the warmth of her body against mine, the waning sweet scent of her infancy. The long-running, mean-spirirted, self-defeating commentary in my mind needs to soften. I need it to soften, because it’s making me feel like shit. And feeling like shit is not going to help me take better care of myself or my home, and it certainly will not help me be a good mama to Tima. I need to tell myself better things, like, “Oh, honey, you are so doing the best you can with what you’ve got,” or “Loving Tima, spending time with her now, is an investment in her growth and well-being.” or “It is ok to want to just lie here with your baby girl as she sleeps. Period, Full stop. No but’s,” or “Dirty dishes in the sink (on the counters, on the stove, etc.) are not worth hating yourself over. You will get to them eventually,” or “Don’t give so much power to that snarky old bitch in your brain — she’s not all that interested in seeing you succeed.”
Tonight, as I was walking into my parenting class late, after having left Tima in the care room with cheese as “dinner,” I could hear that inner critic going at me: A good mom would have a balanced dinner for her daughter, and see that — late again! why can’t you figure out how to be on time for things? What do you think, that your time is more important than others? How could you be so selfish? And I was just so weary, yet so cognizant that I am making myself so much worse by listening and internalizing this crap. So, snarky old bitch, what d’ya say? Truce?