A friend participates in a weekly Five Minute Friday writing exercise- where you’re given one word and you have five minutes to write about it. No editing, no second glances- just write. And this friend- her words are powerful and raw. She’s so much more poetic then I am and I love reading her thoughts.
So today I’m taking a page from her book and writing on the word “quiet.”
The quiet scares me, it always has. I rush to fill the void, to make the silence loud. When I was younger, quiet people made me nervous. Those people who can sit in a room with people they don’t know very well and not make small talk intimidate me. So I over compensate and talk about the most inane things just so there is something out there.
When the kids were itty bitty the silence made me nervous- were they breathing? In trouble? I’d rush in and put my hand under their nose to feel their sweet breath whoosh quietly in and out. And when they were toddlers? Well, silence meant trouble. Markers on the walls, kids climbing on the counters or eating something they shouldn’t have. Quiet made me start running faster than crashes and screams.
And now? Well, quiet is taking on a new feeling. Quiet means kids reading books for hours in their room. It means a peaceful daughter playing school in her room. It means exhaustion after a hard played game. It means enjoying different things- books, games, electronics- separately but together in a pile on the couch.
Before too awfully long quiet will mean the kids aren’t home any more- they are with friends or at college or on a trip. That quiet worries me too if I think too hard about it. So I don’t. Right now I just relish the quiet of 4 people content in their own space knowing that it won’t belong before someone is yelling, laughing or telling a story breaking that silence with the amazing noise that is family.
Every week we’re giving a topic to write on for 5 minutes. No more. No less. This week we’re writing about mess.
Ah mess. Do you want to hear about the mess in my house? My kid’s bedrooms? My laundry room?
Do you want to hear about the mess in my head as I try to stay on top of things at my new job, manage my house, keep my kids on schedule, make sure we don’t miss anything and still carve out time for the Hubs so we don’t forget who we are in the middle of this mess?
But isn’t that everyone’s life? Does anyone really have it all together; live a spotless, well organized life? If they do, don’t tell me about it.
I try to keep the mess in perspective. I’d rather a messy house then unhappy kids. I’d rather a crazy life full of sports with friends then not. I’d rather the challenges of balancing work and life then being unemployed. One day I won’t have this mess. There won’t be Little League games the same time as t-ball games on nights the Hubs has to work late. There won’t be a disaster of toys and book and crumbs on the floor because the kids won’t play like that. There won’t be nights where last minute meetings throw everything in disarray because the kids will be too busy doing their own things anyhow.
And then, I’ll miss this mess.
Friday’s are fast becoming one of my favorite blog days because I’m given a topic. This week, it’s friends. I have 5 minutes to write about the topic given. No more. No less.
I’m not one of those women who calls their husband their best friend. I love the Hubs to the moon and back, but he’s not my best friend. Nor should he be. Being my husband is job enough. In fact, the Hubs frequently laughs at me because he says I have too many best friends.
To that I say bullshit- that’s impossible.
I have the best friends who I’ve known since I was in elementary schools. The girls who’s homes I slept over at, who’s pool we swam in, who’s parents loved me like I was their own and vice versa. These are the girls who I called when I was mortified over my horrible, horrible first french kiss. Who I cried with when we dealt with some of life’s unfairest blows. Who I celebrated milestones like first periods, learning to drive, heartbreaks and graduation with. Girls who taught me how to be a good friend over long distances when we all went away to college. Girls who now, 25 years later, I can still call anytime and it’s like no time at all has past. Girls I celebrate with all the infrequent times we see each other. Girls- now women- who will always hold my heart.
The girls back in 2007. Such an exciting event, we needed t-shirts to commemorate it!
I also have best friends who I’ve made in the past 8 years. Women who’ve watched me turn into a mother. Woman who’ve reassured me that I’m not crazy, nor are my kids. Woman who’ve shown me that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage and that no one really marries Prince Charming. Women who’ve shown me that not marrying the Prince can be just as much fun and worth every minute of the crazy. Women who are helping me raise my kids with their advice, babysitting and love. Women who help keep me sane and refresh my soul every time we’re lucky enough to get together.
My lovelies on Halloween before we set out with our husbands and 13 kids!
Does that sound like too many friends to you?
Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that’s all we get, that’s all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on paint.
Last time I took part in Five Minute Friday, I got deep. I talked about empowerment and self love and inner strength. My hopes and dreams for my kids.
Today is not going to be like that.
Our house is relatively new- it was only 3 years old when we bought it in 2002. The builder clearly put a lot of money in some great touches- wide window sills, huge ceilings- but he slacked in others. The bathroom is one of them. Cheap tub, crappy fixtures, shoddy vanity. We finally hit our limit last fall and started buying everything we needed to remodel the room.
Then I lost my job. So the vanity and tub sat in our garage for months while we put everything on hold that wasn’t necessary. They took up a ton of much needed space and were this constant reminder of things left unfinished.
3 weeks ago, the Hubs and I finally decided we were done waiting. My new job is going beautifully and these fixes need to get made. So we made the calls, bought the stuff and scheduled the remodel to start on Monday. This week has been a mess of dust and loud banging and men coming in and out of the house all day long making the dog lose her ever loving mind.
But now? Now it’s done. I have a bathroom with all new everything– including paint. We went from 3 white walls with a light blue accent wall to this gorgeous bright yellow bathroom- it makes me happy every time I look at it. Not just because it’s all new but because it signifies to me an all new beginning. A fresh start. The reminders of all that could have been from last fall are finally where they belong.
Every Friday I have a friend who takes part in a 5 Minute Friday exercise. A single word is given and you must write on that word for 5 minutes. No more. No less. No editing and no second thoughts- you’re just to write.
This week the word is Mighty. Here I go…
Mighty is what I hope my children feel as they get older. Mighty is how I feel now. I’m loving my new job- I feel useful and smart and appreciated and that makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel mighty. And I want my children to know how it feels be empowered.
I hope the Hubs and I give the kids countless gifts as they get older- the gifts of joy and love and kindness and strength. But empowerment- that’s on the top of the list. I want my kids to be self- assured to do (or not to do) anything. I want them to let peer pressure be something that roles off their back. I want them to be secure enough in their selves to say No or Yes when ever they feel it’s right. I want them to know that the world is theirs, waiting for them to discover. I want them to know that no matter what life throws at them, they’ll be fine. More than fine- they’ll thrive.
I want them to feel mighty. Because I do and it’s amazing.