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Little Wonders of Mindfulness

This started out as a Facebook post. I just banged it out, and it was too good not to put on here, and also too long for most of my #Facebookfriends' attention spans (rib rib, jab jab, ha ha).

You guys, I feel like I had such a crazy past couple months, what with my older daughter entering school and all that entails, but now I think I can finally, truly, breathe, breathe in the air, don't be afraid to care.

Life, though different, seems to be returning to a more familiar place. This is all in my head, of course, but I feel I have a renewed mentality today, and it really helps me access my happy place, ya know? I feel good today.

Got a bulletin from the school recently, containing some tips on how to help your child transition into the new routine after a few weeks, when it starts to sink in that summer is really over. Cuddle more, that was a good one. Don't rush them into feeling better when they're anxious, but be a good listener and empathize with them, make them feel heard. That was tip #1, a classic.

My personal favorite was this one tucked way at the bottom of the list, almost as an afterthought, about mindfulness. The example given was when a dad and daughter were sitting in their house on a windy day, with the windows open, and a leaf blows in. Then they watch it, talk about it, take it in, describe details, feel the flow of life in a way, and reach relaxation—thereby practicing mindfulness.

Teaching a kid to access relaxation in times of anxiousness is apparently really helpful, and does it not make sense? I thought that analogy was really beautiful. We're all leaves floating in the wind. We all need help sometimes.

So that was all good advice. It was a part of the bulletin called Counselor's Corner, written by the school counselor. Quite knowledgable, she is.

In other news, that PR job I mentioned in my last post fizzled out. After two hours she cut me loose, and it was a little depressing. Megan goes, "I mean, I was disappointed about it. I can't imagine how you must have felt." She was right, she can read me like a book. It's so good to have her around.

The sunny side of it is that I have real PR experience. Sort of like an infinitesimally small internship.

Onward and upward, my friends! One would be a fool to think I didn't have many more irons in the fire. The thing that leaving depression behind opens me up toward is a renewed interest in maintaining relationships with other people.


First Day of School

And Ensuing Weeks


Here I am, clicking my teeth back and forth, making myself a second cup of coffee. It's 8:21 and my day is underway.

It's been a long few weeks. Time to recap.

This morning was a good, smooth morning. Lucy got right up out of bed, came into the kitchen and ate a little food while I got her lunch ready.


No time to finish writing yesterday. Today was a little less smooth, but successful nonetheless. Even got her hair and teeth brushed before school today, which is more than I can say for yesterday.

Just uploaded pictures of that first day of school. My camera's battery-holder-inner-latch was crumbling to pieces, cracked parts choosing the worst time to break off. The thing would shut down when I wouldn't squeeze it closed to keep the batteries connected.

Crumbling camera aside, I did manage to take a few pictures of Lucy. Here are a few of them:

Then the bus came. I couldn't get the camera to stay on. The thing was empty except for the driver. 

I forgot to give her a hug. It all happened so fast. She ran right up and got on the bus, and I walked up and talked to the driver a bit. Then they were off, and I watched the bus drive up the block and turn off to the right.

Then she was on her own, and I was very, very alone. I couldn't help her anymore. I had been waiting for that day for so long, and when it came I felt emptied, like something intrinsic to me had been removed.

I walked the distance of three houses back to our house, in a worried sort of daze. I took off my shoes and coat and went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, my mind on nothing I was doing. My eyes began to well up with tears, and I came to the living room to be with Megan. I continued to cry for a few minutes. Calmed down, went to the bathroom. Continued crying in the bathroom.

This is crazy, I told myself. I didn't know if I'd be able to hold it together for my interview later that day in Bellevue (which still hasn't happened to this day, by the way, as it was postponed for the second time just yesterday), which somehow made me cry even harder.

I went back into the kitchen and retrieved my now-drinkable coffee, determined to hold it together. Then, the rest of my day was fine, but tense. The tension was worst in the hour before Lucy arrived home.

So that was a Wednesday, one week ago today. Today is her sixth day of school, and hump day of her first full week. Now I'll begin that recap.

The first two days of school mama had off of work, and she took the initiative to get Lucy ready. It was rough for Lu, the whole deal—getting up, having to eat fairly quickly, get dressed, teeth brushed, bathroom, backpack, coat and shoes on, out the door to the bus stop, and get on the bus.

Then the school part! Pure insanity!

She had had no prior experience with daycare or anything like a weekly routine besides getting up and watching TV with her sister. So it was rough at first.

That first week, she didn't get up out of bed when we'd first wake her. The first few days mama got her up by saying she wouldn't have chocolate milk in her lunchbox if she didn't get out of bed, a tactic which worked for me that third day of school, a Friday, my first day of getting her ready on my own, what with mama at work by her usual early morning hour.


Finishing this post has been square on my mind these past few days. Yesterday I wanted to sit down and write, but the child care and needing to breathe once in a while kept me from writing. That's the way it is with parenting. All the stuff you'd do to further yourself is instead spent furthering someone else, namely by giving them the good life they deserve. It includes exercise (a tough word to spell and to get enough of), meals, a clean home, and a modicum of entertainment.

So yeah, not blogging means I'm doing things with my family, or my band, or just life outside of me recounting life, as you read it here first, folks.

Just got off the phone with a person who offered me ... I can't type it. I've been waiting so long for this type of thing, too, and it's too good. I can't believe I achieved it today. I wanna milk it for just one more sentence ....

I got my first PR job offer. I got an offer to do work, in public relations, for which I will be paid money. Money! For PR! I'm over the moon here.

I've still got to go over some pretty introductory stuff, but this coming within the same week I was turned down for another internship at Edelman / Assembly with their Xbox team, is really well-timed. It's a 5- to 10-hr/wk "project assistance," and it really lights my fire.

So of course I said yes, if I didn't mention that yet. I must email and thank Kathleen, who referred me to the opportunity. She's a U. of Washington PR teacher who comes into Sundance, where I cook, to see movies. We talk and she's fighting in my corner. She's been my single biggest asset in Seattle as far as the job search has been concerned, which is a pretty big part of one's life, isn't it?

And, it now hits me, it's also good news because I had a really hard few weeks what with Lucy starting school and I needed a push upwards. And now that I think about it more, the few months prior to Lucy starting school were also quite stressful. Is that just the type of person I am or is every parent this way?

Guys. I just entered into my life as a PR practitioner. First day elation, guys. The feels. So strong. It hurts.

Oh, and now about Lucy more.

She's totally fine with school now. So totally into it. Like, Megan and I only had to wake her up twice this week, and she gets out of bed really quickly. She's totally okay with this and strong enough to have it be normal and okay.

It's been really mind-blowing, not only to see her change, but for me to have to get a kid up and ready for school. It really feels like adulthood, like I've crossed a bridge. Cause I gotta tell ya guys, I was still a dumbass as a new dad. There were so many lessons I had to learn. I mean, I still have a lifetime to go, but I have definitely come a long way from that 20-year-old I was.

Not trying to say I have it all together now either, but today I feel good.

Lucy just came home from her first full week of school, and she's good, and BB's good, and mama's good, and I'm good. We're great, in fact. We're great.

School has turned out to be a thing that spawned a turning point in all our lives.