Friday, March 03, 2006

Strength and Balance

I am contemplative.

A lovely young woman that I met in December, Cristiana, posted a comment on my blog the other day. She'd stumbled across mine, and in turn, I discovered hers. In her latest entry she admitted to feeling melancholic as she finishes up her schooling here, and she went on to write about...well, me. ME. Strong, she called me. And balanced.

Well, didn't I just LOVE hearing it, as her comments came on the tail-end of a week in which I felt I could barely keep my head above water. In the last 7 days
  • There has been conflict with friends. Drama. Tears.
  • Brian's father, whom I have not seen in over a year, came into my workplace in his big police-man clothes and bossed me around a little. He is angry with this son we share, and doesn't want to speak to him himself.
  • My coworkers question me about why a cop is lecturing me in our workplace.
  • A few embarrassing errors have slipped through the cracks at work, and whips are being cracked to ensure the quality of our product.
  • My mother is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and I take care of her bills, medications, and am facing legal appointments to protect her in the future.
  • Our pharmacist gave me someone else's meds for her, but I caught it before "dispensing" them.
  • I finally said the "A"-word to my Aunt, and promised her we are taking good care of her sister.
  • Conflict with the kid doesn't exist only with his father. I struggle, figuring out how to support this lost child, without coddling and enabling him to continue to wander. It stresses me to the extent that I just got a headache writing that sentence.
So. Yes, there is a bit of chaos in my life. It spiked this week, and wore me out a little bit. I did not feel strong. On the other hand,
  • Misunderstandings amongst friends were hashed out, and we move forward.
  • I decided that my son and his father are both grown men. This battle between them is not mine to fight. I will not allow it in my home or my workplace again.
  • Work will be fine.
  • My mother will be fine.
  • Our pharmacist sent me a handwritten note, along with a gift certificate, apologizing (again) for the mix-up, and thanking me for my understanding.
  • My son shared with me some of this weeks' accomplishments, and told me he is proud of himself. He needs to be proud of himself; this is good news.
  • I had close friends to talk to every day, cook with in the evening, dine out with last night. I squeezed in some fun, getting the tattoo Monday night, while Brian stood by me, saying "it rocks, Mom."
So, I contemplate Cristiana's compliments and I think, "my goodness, I do lead a rather balanced existence. I do have strength!"

And why is it that these facts slip by me? How is that I so often feel like I'm not doing a good enough job? I need to do better, I could be doing more.

In the last week, I've had 2 dynamic friends express similar woes, one saying to me, "I feel like I'm a failure in every aspect of my life," and another lamenting, "I am tired of feeling inadequate."

I am shocked to hear it from either one of them, as I fancy them both living such glamorous lives; one making big bucks in Los Angeles, another writing and making movies in New York City--and still fitting into the same tiny jeans she wore in high school, isn't that in itself good enough to make anyone feel empowered?!!

I could write an essay about every single one of my friends, I think they are ALL strong and amazing and accomplished. Even those of you I haven't met in person yet--you there! Reading my blog, and I'm reading yours, YOU are amazing too.

We are all some amazing kids. And none of us is exempt from some sort of daily chaos, either with our love relationships, friends, family, professions.

What makes us strong, though, is our ability to roll with the punches. To pick up the pieces, and move on, move on with loving people, move on pursuing our goals, and finding our own personal balance. To accept with grace and dignity that we are not entitled to life being handed to us on a silver platter, and recognize that on days when we are amidst chaos, we still got it made. In the words of JennieTonic from NYC,
When I was young, I had no idea how hard life was gonna be. And my life is pretty dang easy.
To Cristiana: Thanks for the lift; I needed it. I would never deny you your melancholy, but don't lose track that you are bright, funny, warm, articulate, and confident. You are years ahead of where I was at 23, baby, and I see you doing some great things.


  1. Anonymous5:55 PM

    I had a boss once who's favorite song and motto was REO Speedwagon's "Roll with the Changes". I think you're doing that pretty good.

  2. You speak the truth! You are strong - and that you can see it as clearly as this is amazing. Good for you! I think it takes a sense of humor, a sense of self, great friends, and the occaisonal stiff drink to make it through the tough times. But the good stuff is, oh, so good.

    I'm with Brian, you rock.

  3. I'm just about to start another weeks work and that was uplifting and wiped out any Monday "Blues"!

  4. That was a great post---you ARE strong and balanced.

    Wise too. And I suspect you're a good philosoher ttoo. :)

  5. REO Speedwagon: From Champaign, Illinois! Thanks, anon.

    Wendy: Cheers, and rightbackatacha!

    Dogbait: I'm uplifted by your uplifting. Have a great week!

    Spidee: Thank you, dahlin. I'm not convinced about the wisdom, but I'm willing to keep learning.

  6. I was this close from bursting in tears reading this post... and i'm not a teary kind of person. It is fascinating how we define ourselves by the sorrow and tangliness of things around us - and our ability to overcome it. But hey, if there wouldn't be black how could you tell what is white!
    I extend a heart-warming hug to you for all the black in your life and I am so happy to see there is the white to contrast it! the white is always there... it just becomes sorta transparent sometimes.
    So, from one strong woman to the other.. where did you get that tatoo? its gorgeous!

    ps. so happy to be able to 'talk' to you!! It is always good to know you are not completely bonkers

  7. Isn't it nice to get some props from the field? Twenty-somethings think we rock and have it all together! Hahahah! Isn't that great? Man! Sorry you had a bit of drama but you seem to be handling it well. Rock on, Koi Fish Wearer!
    Love from the ether,

  8. Well I would say no matter what happens all your postive energy will give you all the success you are looking for .. See your achivements are always more..


  9. You got yourself quite a pair of ovaries, ladeeee. And some caviar, too.

  10. DulceT: Ray at VisionWorld in Urbana. He's supernice, and put up with our multiple courage-inducing visits.

    Andy: Never let 'em see ya sweat! Thanks for kudos, am standing by waiting to see future koi sleeves...

    Ilaiy: Ya always there to put me on the right path when I can't seem to find it. Mwah!

    Momo: I gots me some caviahhhhhh, baby!

  11. this was so inspiring and beautiful. you are one cool chick.

  12. I think you're amazing, Lori.

    What does it mean that I stayed up past midnight last night worrying about what kind of person I am and whether I'm a GOOD person, only to wake up this morning and read this lovely post.



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