March 6, 2012
As I sat at the bus stop, wondering if I had missed it, I realized that not only do I no longer have a cell phone to check the time, or a watch, or a car, or a computer, and I was on my way to see a the real estate person, because the house we rent was sold. It dawned on me, I am living the life of a monk.
The best thing about this sudden realization, is that I am content with my circumstances. Calm, cool and collected. Pretty impressive for a peri-menopausal woman, If I don’t say so myself.
My month has been full. As it should be. We are in planning mode- planning for a new home, planning for a kickstarter campaign, And living mode with bills and children and dance and swimming and friends and the beach etc. And I am in questioning mode. The biggest question for me now is true or false- It is better to give than it is to receive.
You can probably guess which way I am leaning, as I said, I am a monk…..
February 5, 2012
No one to play rough with, no extra testosterone to talk to.
A house full of kittens and dolls and screeching.
I tried to make it up to him, I really did. I worked for years to throw a baseball straight and far, but it flew high and slow. He would spend his life running twice as far as humanly reasonable to catch a Frisbee. Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2012
Debbie was not a warm and fuzzy teacher.
She didn’t smile, but she didn’t frown.
She focused on the children, was firm, kind and direct.
I never saw anything like it.
One three-year old was having a fit. This child didn’t want to put on her shoes to go outside and it was a rule.
She wiggled on the ground squirming this way and that, she screamed loudly and pounded her fists.
Debbie ignored her. When she did stop, the teacher asked calmly, “Are you done?”
The child stared at her blankly.
“I’m here if you want help with your shoes… or are you going to do that kicking thing a bit more? Now that was interesting.”
The child stared at her, then said, “But I don’t want to put my shoes on!”
Debbie replies, “Oh, so you have a problem. I wonder how you are going to solve it.”
Sometimes I hear Debbie whispering into my ear, “It looks like you have a problem, Kim, I wonder how you are going to solve it…”. Then I stop kicking, regroup and figure out what I’m going to do.
I think she taught me more than my daughter.
January 13, 2012
“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.”
― Erica Jong, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
I used to judge people. It’s a long story of personal evolution. I like to think I don’t do it anymore, but honestly, sometimes I do.
The most recent wrath of my judgment was with a “sustainable home” in own neighborhood a few years ago. I watched as this huge “Sustainable Home” imported materials from over the globe and used heaps of energy to build. I tried to attend the open home with an open mind, but I was particularly upset by the plastic, the imported furniture and the cotton sheets from China. I hoped that a little more effort and consciousness would have been weaved into the final product. I wished that it had bamboo bathmats, recycled art, or at least, locally made furniture. I became quite self riotous and bitchy about the whole thing.
It wasn’t pretty.
These people were at least trying. Their focus was power generation, and on that front they did a relatively good job.
My tendency to judge is something that I think about with Arithmetic Village. Read the rest of this entry »
January 5, 2012
As an anti-globalisation feminist, I know a lot about Disney. I’ve read the articles, seen the movies. I understand the innate racism, the sexism, the symbol of corporate sponsorship and the epitome consumerism gone mad.
I know, I know, I know.
But I also know that I am a child of Southern California and my grandparents had an interesting job, they managed the Travel lodge next door to Disneyland. So, whenever I visited my grandparents, I also visited Disneyland. Luckily for me, that was often. Going to Disneyland , for me, is like me going home.
You could imagine my memories: The first time through the haunted house with my grandfather is one of my most treasured moments. The time I let go of my red balloon and blessed it on its way instead of crying, was my first lesson in detachment. Read the rest of this entry »
January 4, 2012
1. Make time to visit my friends. I have been blessed with lovely people who I’ve known for a long time and who I love at a soul level. Every time I see them is a gift. Next time I will give myself more than two days to drive from Eugene to Southern California so I can swing by and visit them.
2. Make time to visit Cyber friends. I drove right through neighborhoods of people I follow online. I would have loved to catch up and meet some of them in person over coffee. I would love to thank people like wonder in the woods in person for all of their support this last year.
3. I’ll spend more time there. I know three weeks seems like a lot of time for an american, but the time flew by quickly for a Kiwi, I am used to a slower pace. I would have spent three days at Disney, more time with my parents, more time with my friends and family and more time to relax and to be spontaneous. I would have loved to catch a movie or go for a hike.
4. I’ll go to a grocery store more than once. There were so many new things like cranberry raisins and Advil that I can’t get in New Zealand. I will slowly go down the isles and indulge in some goodies.
5. I will make more time for some quality op shopping. The US has some awesome op shops. Imagine more people, more clothes, better deals..
This trip was perfect, but I wanted to write myself a reminder for next time… until then I am sorting out posts from my trip and planning an adventurous new year…
December 12, 2011
The last few months have been more and more internal. I have forgotten I have a blog. I have weaned myself off coffee. I have tuned into myself, asked more questions and watched my behavior. I am quiet but learning. My Myers Briggs score still leans toward extrovert, but hey, I’m trying something new.
Some valuable insight I have gained these last few months:
I eat emotionally, or to escape the moment.
I am raising children who are more intelligent and enlightened than I (Please don’t tell them I’m not ready for this knowledge to be mixed with teenage hormones.)
I have to take responsiblity and re-strategies my company, Arithmetic Village. This includes funding version two myself. I have heaps of new ideas.
It seems the quieter I am, the more busy my brain becomes.
I am rejuvenated and reenergized. 2012 is going to be an amazing year!
On the other hand, my little Zuva is fully exploring her extrovert side. She wants me to post this video of how she can now ride without training wheels. We live in the middle of a hill, so we haven’t given her the attention she deserves to foster this skill. Finally she talked us into finding a flat space on this hilly island. This is her second go…
December 2, 2011
“I have a request” she started the phone call friendly, but firm. “My request is : When we are talking at staff meetings, could you please use the word we instead of I when explaining the changes at the center? It is only fair since we share the job and are working together. ” Then, she sat on the line perfectly patiently until I answered her question affirmatively.
This was the beginning of my journey into becoming a trustworthy woman.
Now, this woman could have said to me, ” Look you little egocentric snot, lay off the ego trip and get over yourself. We were hired to run this infant toddler center together, let’s get on with it.” But she didn’t. She role modeled grace and dignity and cooperation. She was exactly who I needed to work with. I was a dreamer, she was a doer. And together we turned around a dingy dysfunctional childcare and got it accredited by NAEYC within a year.
It was that relationship that encouraged me to always have a circle of women around to support my journey through motherhood and age and life. There are some people who are angels put on this planet at the perfect time to teach you a perfect lesson.
Today I send gratitude to all of those angels.. and there are many…
November 25, 2011
I used to love this.
When you live on a small island, in a small country, it helps to like your neighbors. Ever since I read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and started my journey to being a localvore, I’ve gotten to know people on the island I wouldn’t ordinarily. We know the chickens that lay our eggs, we know the baker (our bread comes to our door once a week), we socialize with the doctors and teachers and vintners. After ten years, there are very few public places that I can go to without leaving room for conversations. “When are the girls coming home?” ” Hows the new version coming along?” ” How was your trip up north?”.
Some people would find this type of environment claustrophobic. I think it all keeps us honest. Here there are no secrets, there is no lying.
When my daughter took off school to see a doctor in Auckland, two people texted me to say she was on the ferry and did I need someone to make sure she reached her destination alright.
Just this morning as I was getting a cup of coffee, the local Plumbing man came up t o me and said his daughter still used Arithmetic village three years after she attended my workshop. Three years. She was singing the rhyme. Tis is the type of feedback I would not get in a larger city.
I like it.
Now, with the popularity of Facebook, I know more details about people who were acquaintances. I now know what they are having for thanksgiving. This leaves me with more to talk about when we meet at the park or at the petrol station. Now my village is getting bigger and familiarity with people from my past and people whom I’ve never met is growing.
I wonder how social media will change our neighborhoods. My intuition is that they will change for the better.
November 23, 2011
I have a super power. I discovered it when I was very young.
I can alter my appearance.
I can become invisible.
The first time I discovered this was when I dressed up for punk rock day at school, then went into a store on my way home. I was NOT invisible. The store person did not ignore me like they did the day before. Their disdain and discomfort with me was almost palatable.
The next time was when I gained weight in college. I was instantly invisible. I lost the weight and was, go on guess… instantly visible again.
While walking the other day in the city with my 13-year-old daughter. I was delighting in her company. I noticed that other people were also delighting in her company, mainly men. Not only boys, but grown boys.
She was definitely not invisible.
I was shocked.
As they stared at my little girl, I gave them the evil eye. I looked them up and down. What did they do? Nothing, for I was invisible.
I shared this with my girlfriends and they said that the same thing happens when they walk with their daughters.
It is an interesting perspective.
I did some research, out of people who were assaulted, 37% of women 15-27 were so on the street. By the time women reach 40, only 7% of those who are assaulted are assaulted on the street. So, being invisible has benefits.
I also just finished a book by Jane Goodall. The only chimpanzees free to roam freely between territories are adolescent females. My girls might find their own ways to make themselves invisible, but they are probably better off looking for another superpower.
I will enjoy being invisible for now. If I ever want that to change, I can always die my hair purple.