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I am fairly certain…

18 Comments 27 May 2010

That is the beginning of the quote on a card my best friend gave me.  It reads like this, “I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.”  (Curly Girl Design/Leigh Standley)   That is what my friend thinks of me.  On really good days I have moments that I think it of myself.  Today, yesterday and for that matter, the last week have not been those days.

The only thing that I feel very certain of right now is that I must keep going.  I must put one foot in front of the other or these people, especially the three that started out in my womb and the one who help me conceive them, will be without.  I don’t mean to make myself sound all important, but really, it is quite possible that they would fall to pieces and be unable to continue in their beautiful lives if I were to stop doing all that I do on a daily basis and just up and leave.

Don’t think that I have not considered just stopping and leaving.  I have and I do consider it.  I daydream about it.  What would it be like to just stop picking up that wet towel off of the bedroom floor every single damn day?  What would it be like to stop wiping off the kitchen counter every single morning after a certain individual, oh, say around forty-ish, leaves crumbs from his cereal, yogurt from my daughter’s medicine and the little blue capsule from her medicine (yes, EVERY DAY)?  What would it be like if my daughter actually picked her dirty clothes up off the bathroom floor and put them in the hamper that is a mere two feet away, without a lid on it?  What would it be like if my diabetic son actually threw his used syringes and test strips in the trash can and not on the floor?  What would it be like to have SOMEONE, anyone, do something, anything, without being told to do it?

What if I just stopped?  Would they live like pigs?  Would they miss me, know I’m gone?  How would they get clean clothes, clean dishes, groceries?

And it isn’t just the normal things, I will even do things like I did yesterday…I fixed the damn dishwasher!  Yes, half my body was stuck back in there, disgusting dirty water up to my elbow, broken glass plugging up the drain as I try and figure out what made water pour out all over my kitchen floor at 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning.  Turns out that if you pull that little cage thing off (very hard to do, but even harder to get back on!) and use your friend’s shop vac, that she kept after her divorce, (good call!) you can fix it, yes you can!  You can also injure your back putting said shop vac into your vehicle, just a little fyi.

Hell, maybe I can save the world, or at least my family!  The truth of it is, I will never know what will happen if I stop doing all of those things, because I will never stop doing them and I will never leave.  I will bitch and I will moan and groan, but I will always come back and keep doing what I do for my family.  Because I am the WOMAN, I am the MOTHER and I get it done.  Yes, there are days that I feel like I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, but my shoulders are strong and I am surrounded by women who hold them up when they see them falling and I am always certain of those women, they are my friends.  They are the other women and mothers in my life who have their own tiaras and capes and worlds of their own to save.

They remind me that I am not alone; and they adjust my tiara and wipe the muck from the dishwasher off of my cape. 😉

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18 Comments so far

  1. Kristy says:

    If I’m absolutely completely honest, I often hover over four different mental states on a day-to-day basis, kind of like that Four Corners monument where four different states come together, only my states are Contentment, Complete Insecurity, Martyr and Superhero. And I often amaze myself with how quickly I can swing from being full of hubris to being heartbroken and fearful that I will fail my own expectations, much less the expectations of others. And of course, I do see that when I’m depending on God (the One who is bigger than me) I can stay in contentment more easily and often. Anyway, chica, I can relate.

    On another note, I thought of a few books that, if you haven’t read them, I really think you would love. Look for them at the library or do inter-library loan, though I’m betting there are a couple here that you will want to own at some point. These books (among others but these aren’t the usual suspects) have been instrumental in my own life as a writer, a person trying to live out my imperfect faith and a wife and mom.

    1. BIrd by Bird — by Anne Lamott (great for writing motivation
    2. Walking on Water — by Madeline L’Engle (such a great book on faith and the arts)
    3. Penguins and Golden Calves: Icons and Idols in Antarctica and Unexpected Places — also by Madeline L’Engle (this one and Walking on Water helped me formulate my framework of beliefs for living out my faith more broadly than I ever had before.)
    4. Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life — by Kathleen Norris (this one is more than a writing book; Much more. I’m still reading it. It’s deep but rich and I think you would love ruminating over this idea of acedia. To be clear, I’m not saying you need this book, or that you suffer from acedia, but more that I see it, or at least threads of it in my own life, and at the very least with your desire to really be involved in helping others, it would be a good, though deep, read.
    5. The Creative Habit– by Twila Tharp. She’s a dancer but all she has to say about the rhythms of life, and daily life, is impacting me and helping me not only in my daily life as a wife, a mom and a discipler, but in my writing life as well.
    6. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazerro. Of all the books I’ve mentioned this is the one most from a Christian perspective. I LOVE it for how unconventional it is and how it makes me think and what changes it’s leading me to consider. It ties in well with Tharp’s book above because it touches on the daily rhythms of life.

    I’m sure I have more (liked Donald Miller’s latest book on story and Story too). Wish we could get together and talk sometime. We’d probably come up with the outlines for a few books of our own. 🙂

    • Jorja says:

      kristy, hey, thanks for the list! i read Bird by Bird in december of this past year & loved it. you will see quotes, i’m sure. i will get 2. & 3. i have read kathleen norris’ amazing grace & actually have Acedia, but had started it and put it down. we are certainly on the same song sheet my friend. not familiar with tharp. have you read the artist’s way by julia cameron? very hard to do on a daily basis and i haven’t finished it, but it is a great book to pick-up now and again. if i had an ounce of discipline i would finish it. it would be great to do with a group. it is one of the things i would love to do with women on this blog. andy read the scazerro book & i read parts of it, right after we departed or sometime since. great book, but i am not sure i remember it specifically. he has read, it seems, a cajillion books on subjects like that since we departed our “former” life. 😉 one of the books that has brought me to my current spot is sue monk kidd’s when the heart waits. love it and love her for that matter. mystical yes, but very discerning as to the inner heart of women, in my opinion. and not afraid to be vulnerable and speak her mind on it. haven’t read miller since jazz book. bought the second one, but it never made it to the top of my pile. have you read stephen king’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft? great book. not a king fan as far as his books or movies, but loved this book. ok. enough for now.

  2. Jean Joiner says:

    great post, jorja. i feel this way A LOT. i try not to wish the days away, but it’s hard for me not to. older moms tell me all the time to appreciate these days because they go by so fast. it makes me think about appreciating my own mother more…all that she did for me growing up. mothering isn’t easy.

    • Jorja says:

      Jeanie, thanks for stopping by love! it is hard not to feel this way. yes, days do go quickly, but perspective is lost in exhaustion, huh? mothers rock, that’s all, especially when you are one! 😉

  3. All I want to know is if you have any extra capes- I into the batgirl look-

    Girl, you are amazing with all you are doing right now- hell, I almost took down my blog last week, but LT made me wait 24 hrs…

    so you betcha you are not alone- but in all honesty, I have a housekeeper-

    but hey, this is what you have to look forward to when you get your AARP card 😉
    keep writing! I’m always around the TT

    • Jorja says:

      ridgely, i prefer red myself! if i ever have two thin dimes-I WILL HAVE A HOUSEKEEPER! thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Judy Helfand says:

    I remember once sitting in the First -Class lounge for United Airlines. I was with my husband, our then 4 year old and 10 month old. We were flying from Anchorage to Hawaii. The leg from Anchorage to Seattle was a nightmare, too horrific to describe here. At one point, I said to my husband, “I’m going to the restroom, watch the kids.” As I walked to the restroom, for one fleeting moment, I thought about the idea of just continuing out of the airport, hailing a cab and dissappearing forever! But I didn’t…life went on. I am still looking at the inside of the dishwasher, glancing at the patio lite that suddenly doesn’t work, and with a smile I remember that Shakespeare’s Henry IV said: “Heavy is the head that wears the crown”.
    Just the other day we were having company for dinner. You know how that is, do the shopping, clean the house (somewhat) prepare the meal, set the table, and about an hour before they were about to arrive my husband said to me: “I’ll take out the wine opener!” All I could do was smile and reposition the crown!

    • Jorja says:

      judy, oh, those fleeting moments. few women are able to acknowledge them to themselves, much less others. thanks for reminding me of the Shakespeare quote – so true, so true!

  5. Julie Waguespack says:

    Thanks Jorja! This awesome and so very true!
    Thanks for sharing. I hope life finds you well.

    • Jorja says:

      Julie, thanks for finding me, good to have you around, please come back and tell your friends! I appreciate the kind words! Thanks!

  6. Kristy says:

    Yep, I have read Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY and did the whole shebang in 2006. It’s been a few years though so I could stand to go back and revisit it. Loved King’s ON WRITING. My copy of it is back in Brazil but I’ve wanted it here to thumb through several times since we’ve been in the US.

    Miller’s latest book on Story is A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS. I liked it better and better the more I got into it. Good one to borrow from the library first though.

    Also, last week while I was at that conference I read some of ART AND FEAR by Bayles and Orland. I have to find a copy of that one to take back to Brazil with me and while I’m doing that, I’ll pick up a copy of the Kidd book you mentioned.

    Get the L’Engle books, esp. WALKING ON WATER. I read it probably twice a year and thumb through it often.

  7. April says:

    I am fairly certain I learned how to be a wife and a mom from you (and my own mom of course). I am fairly certain that my family is all the better for it. I find myself saying to my man at least once a week, “I remember when I used to go to Jorja’s…..”You are a great wife and mother. Thanks for teaching me how.

  8. Lola says:

    Have you heard Grissy’s song, “Anywhere But Here”? I think that’s the name of it. This post reminds me of what she sings about. . .I have had these same feelings all too often. . .can esp. relate to the 40-ish year old man living w/me who leaves messes for me to clean up. . .grrrrr. And then all the little men who originated in my womb (love how you put that) and create much craziness, mess and chaos in this home. I have often wondered what would become of them all if I were suddenly gone? Would this house become a pig-sty? Would they ever have clean clothes again or eat fresh vegetables? I hope I am teaching them (the young ones that is) and giving them the tools they will need to thrive on their own someday when I’m not around to nag them to do for themselves. Anyway, great post, as usual. 🙂

  9. Sallie Chalkley says:

    Love, love, love this one! I think we all feel better just knowing we are not alone in our daily treks. Even though our daily treks may be completely different than everyone else’s, that crown is still awfully heavy!

  10. Margaret says:

    I could not have written a more accurate account of my own “crown wearing” life! I loved it. A wise friend once told me “Start out like you can hold out.” I am the one who started trying to take care of everyting for everybody in my family and I am still holding out at 53. Abraham Lincoln said In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years. I, too will keep doing the things I do for my family because I am the wife and mother and like Aunt Bea, I would probably be very upset if someone started doing them for me. Crazy right? Have a great day.

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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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