Monthly Archives: January 2010
The rain continues to fall here in San Diego. Uncharacteristic amounts of water everywhere. I like to think of it as tears from heaven, God still mourning the Chargers’ loss to the Jets. We’re all in ruins over it. The whole city. Ruins.
This weekend, I will be licking my year-after-year-Charger-inflicted wounds (why do I even let myself hope anymore) at one of the most enchanting places on earth . . . Asilomar, a woodsy little conference ground that sits right on the Monterey Peninsula, next door to Carmel by the Sea. I’m telling you, you can barely stand the beauty. Chapter 27, “Dancing,” from Found Art includes a story set on this very beach.
I take this pilgrimage annually with a group of friends (9 of us this year) to attend the Menlo Park Pres Women’s retreat. As a part of the retreat, I’ll be facilitating a workshop on Saturday afternoon, which I am very much looking forward to.
Another salve for my Charger-wound came in the form of an all-day women’s event (hosted by Flood Church) last Saturday that I was invited to facilitate. We spent the entire day talking about the theme of inspiration, and we enjoyed a rare break in the rain at the Carlsbad beach. It was heaven for me. My favorite moments of the day were as follows: (1) During an hour of personal reflection time, I went for a walk on the bluff above the beach and walked by almost every woman attending the conference. Some were praying, some were journaling, some were staring out into the ocean, some were listening to music, reading, napping. I loved seeing these women sitting outside, breathing, taking in life. (2) Walking around the room while the women were creating their own personal clothesline (a little project I had them do that incorporated some of their favorite muses from the day). Few things are more inspirational to me than creating, and I especially love watching other women get past their “craft-anxieties” and create their own little found art pieces. (3) When I said, “Courage is the new black.” I thought that was particularly clever. (4) How I felt comfortable enough in my own skin and with those women to cry a minimum of probably 6 times throughout the day. I’m so soft when it comes to this topic! (5) I was able to use my new, “professional,” raspberry patent leather tote that Steve got me for my birthday. In the words of Rachel Zoe, “I die.” (6) Seeing women awaken.
I’ll leave you with a recent dream I had about Michael Phelps who, in the dream, was named Shane Kim and was coming over to our house because he wanted to date me. Shane Kim was a renowned world-class athlete in the Olympic sport of Frisbee Windsurfing (this is all true) and was all over the news because of his recent accomplishments. For some reason, he had his eye on me. Though I was married to Steve and we had the babies, everyone was aflutter with the fact that Shane Kim was coming over and no one seemed the slightest bit concerned with the minor detail that I was already married.
I was relating the dream to my mom in great detail, mentioning how he was sitting on our couch and how his hands touched the ground because he has those really strangely long arms and how he was so good with the twins and on and on and she stopped me and said, “Leeana, do you need some attention?”
Always, mom. Always.
Did I mention I’m doing a cleanse? Yes, it’s true. The least likely person to ever deprive herself of any kind of food or beverage (“But I deserve this five pound carne asada burrito,” “But Diet Coke has no calories,” “But they say red wine is good for you,” “But you have to eat queso if you’re watching a football game,” . . .) has chosen to abstain from just about all things edible. Not totally true. But close enough. Liquid breakfast, grass and twigs for lunch, liquid dinner. That’s about it. I indulge myself by drinking my body weight in tea every day. The other day I had a certifiable craving for warm sour cream by the spoon full. I know, nasty.
At the same time, we are cleansing the house to further allow all five people living here (my mom, my husband, me, and our twins) to survive together under one roof. Last night, we were emptying a closet and found a puzzle of a huge hamburger (so big, it looked like the meat was sweating . . . what a tease), 200 travel sized bottles of shampoo, 15 pounds of old coins, and an air rifle. All in the same closet. I told my mom, “The chapter is practically writing itself.”
Cleansing is a holistic act of self-care. I’m learning that. Getting the trash out. Letting the good in. Never easy. But well worth the work.
Today, I’m also thinking of the intolerable images of Haiti. What would it be like to see your world turned to rubble? And I think of Martin Luther King, Jr., who tried his very best to point out the rubble around him and to clean it up. Because cleaning things up is not only about self-care but about restoring dignity.
I hope we can all be a part of cleansing this year. Whether it’s a colon, a closet, a country, or a culture. After all, the world could use some people who are serious about getting clean.
If I were sitting at my growth group right now and I had to give an update on my life over the last couple of weeks, I would probably choose to express my update through a theme word. And that word would be family.
We have now been living at my mom’s house for 3 months, and we’ve officially moved past the honeymoon stage of things and into the heavy negotiating of stuff. Organizing, throwing out, Good Will-ing, painting, decorating, hanging, repurposing (a gun cabinet my brother made in high school shop that now stores those oversized toys that one-year-olds push around — amazing what a little fabric and new pulls will do — and, of course, removing the five shotguns that had been displayed previously), and a little yelling. Oh, and also, some laughing and some crying. Family.
I just survived my first Christmas with kids. Though officially we had them last Christmas, I don’t count that as an actual Christmas with kids because we were all still in the hospital recuperating as they had just been born two days prior.
This year, we packed our pilot and Steve, me, the babies, and my mom all headed to Lake Tahoe where Steve’s parents have a lovely cabin in Squaw Valley. We joined Steve’s parents and brother and his wife and son and we celebrated non-stop with just about all the birthday and Christmas cheer a group of people could possibly endure, including fancy dinners, sledding, skiing, Charger games at the Blue Coyote, shopping, Christmas card stuffing, gifting, receiving, some laughing, some crying, and vomiting. Family.
Luke and Lane celebrated their first birthday while we were in Tahoe. I’m trying to figure out how I can take it all in. Each day is awash with the urgency of keeping two babies alive and I’m so relieved when we get to bedtime and we’ve all survived. Yet there is also this sense that the days add up to something incredibly sacred and sometimes it’s hard to take in that sacred part. Family.
Steve and I continue to be married. That’s a major accomplishment, I think. When the polarizing pulls of work and home are erased momentarily during the holidays, and we are in it all together, I am — and I believe we are — at my best. Being a team. That’s what we’re good at. And I miss him this morning as he’s back at work and I’m here at home and the responsibilities of life keep us in separate worlds most of the day. Family.
Yep, that’s my word. The great art of navigating family. All the needs, the wants, the expectations, the disappointments, the instructions, the input, the hopes, the celebrations, and the bodily fluids.
About a week ago, my mom says to me as we’re both standing in the kitchen, “Leeana, I’m going to put together some New Year’s resolutions for you . . .”