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Friday, January 16, 2015

Our Project 52, Week Two: Morning.

I am not a morning person.

This was more evident last year, when Kiedis had to be on the bus at some insane hour like 6:15 and both of us, as in this arena he is so my son -- would grouch and grump at each other as we sped through potty and clothes and lunches and gogogo the bus is here! while Tova played quietly because she didn't have to be on the bus for another two hours, yet.

That was brutal.

This year, they go to the same school, on the same bus, and pick-up time is a blissful (by comparison) roughly 8:30AM. However, working nights, the struggle is still very real for me.

So I stumble upstairs and while still groggy myself, I wake children and we potty and brush teeth and put on school clothes and get socks and do hair and head downstairs, for breakfast and lunch-making and homework-checking and shoes and coats and we head out the door.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

If I am lucky, I have managed to grab a cup of coffee on our way out the door.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

It often resides on the roof of my car, so I can take one little hand in each of mine as we walk into the street to get on the bus, once it arrives.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

Most of the time, she waves back. Sometimes, he does too.

Then they are off and into their world and I retreat into mine, the roughly three hours of the day that are mine and mine alone to get all of the things done, four days a week.

But first, I make my breakfast and I sit and enjoy the stillness for just a moment while I truly finish waking up.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

I have always loved the way the light is in this house. Even on the cloudy days, even if the views out the window aren't that great. It is one of the things I will miss the most, so I try to suck it in whenever I get the chance.

Lately, as I've been making a real effort to get back to my words, that means I head upstairs to the office/playroom that was once Tova's nursery and I get to business.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

Creativity thrives in chaos, yo.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

I'm a big believer in the power of words -- so I try to fill my physical spaces with phrases/sayings/mantras because I think the more you just casually see the words, the more they imprint themselves in your mind, and the more you believe them.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

Sometimes it's awesome things I find out in the world.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

Sometimes it's things I make myself, more personal, more sacred.

#ourproject52 via sotabulous.com

By this point in the morning, the day has certainly begun and the clock is ticking before I slip back into stay-at-home-mom mode, and then working mom mode, so I bust out what I can -- I am often simultaneously on my laptop and my phone, doing all the things. I strive to achieve a better balance as this year wages on, but for now, the mornings are my me time.


*This post is linked up with Everyday Eyecandy & Lipgloss & Binky for their #ourproject52 challenge. Go check our their posts for helpful tips and to see all the other wonderful bloggers participating!*

Monday, January 12, 2015

Music Monday: I Bet My Life.

I'm in this terrible place, as I travel in my car, where the local radio station I loved changed format (I know) and the other alternative station is just trash -- like the little call sign ads are not things I want the kids to hear in the car because they're unnecessarily vulgar -- so I end up listening to mainstream radio stations.

Now before you get your panties in a twist, I do have Spotify, which is lovely, but me and my 2004 Matrix don't have an A/V jack for an easy way to get my music off of my phone and onto my car speakers and to be honest, I haven't really figured out another way to do it because I just have bigger things on my plate right now. So. Suggestions welcome.

Anyway, so I end up listening to mainstream stuff whenever I'm in the car. I skip stations a lot to find something palatable. I mourn my old station a lot, too.

All of that is to say, when I first heard this song (which I know everyone has heard eight billion times, sorry) I actually had to pull over and have a bit of a cry.


It was the bridge verse.

Please forgive me 
For all
I've done.

Something about the sincerity of that line, where the music silences out, just grabbed my heart for a moment.

I'm aware this song is more about parents and children and strained relationships, which I also know my fair share of.

But there is something about the verses of this song -- not so much the chorus (though perhaps an argument could be made that the bet made with my/our life was lost, I suppose, hence the explanatory tone of the verses, but I'm probably overthinking it and certainly jumping ahead) -- that feels like the apology I'm never going to get from my estranged, soon-to-be-ex, husband.

Over the years, there were plenty of songs that stood in for the words he never had for me. Sometimes, rarely, he'd tell me as much. A lot of other times, I'd talk to him about a song and I'd barely choke out I wish this was how you saw me or felt about me and he'd concede sure, why not.

And that was kind of the closest I got to speaking about feelings through music with him. Which, it could be said, was just the closest I ever got to speaking about his feelings at all, with him.

When I made the playlist for our wedding (which I'm still super sad bit the dust with my laptop about two computers ago, when I also lost most of the first three months of Kiedis' life in pictures) I did so alone, over the span of something like eight hours. I showed it to him, and he had veto rights, but he mostly just nodded and mumbled good job and went about whatever it was that was more important to him at the time.

So I learned to hold on to songs that touched me, where the words carried with them the sentiments I longed for and the melodies held within them the complexities of the life I was living.

I learned to let the music speak when he refused to.

During the first almost-divorce, I used to play this kind of game (or it was a nervous manifestation of my extreme anxiety, you know, whatever) where I would be driving and hold my open palm over my radio dial and essentially pray for the next song to tell me what to do about him, about my marriage, about my life. I don't want to say that I believed the music spoke to me in a terribly serious way, but I will say that the patterns of songs and their timing often were what gave me hope, what kept me going, what gave me the faith and the strength to soldier through that terrible time.

I still see and hear and feel meanings in songs; I did before that time. Not just the literal, lyrical meaning, but the timing, the message, the feeling of the songs -- I often take them as signs.

We all have our superstitions. This is one of mine.

And this song, to me, is the apology I'll never get for the dark side of the life I've had these past nine years. This song is the hope for forgiveness, the real and genuine and selfless hope, that I will never see from him. This song is my permission to admit that this has been so much harder than I let on, for so much longer than I let on, before it was obvious we were broken; it is my validation that this hurt and this betrayal were such a heavy load to bear all this time.

Something about this song allows me to accept the things I could not, cannot, change.

It feels like forgiveness. Not just for him -- that's still a long road for me to travel -- but for myself. For reasons I can't really explain yet because the words aren't quite there, but just a feeling in my chest, a grip on my heart loosening just the smallest bit.

I've always believed that the right words will find you when they need them.

And here are unexpected ones I didn't realize I needed quite so badly.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our Project 52, Week One: Who Are You?

I am taking on all the damn projects this year, ha.

One of them is a weekly photography project being put on by my IRL + blogging friends LaShawn and Mimi, for people who just want to get better at taking pictures.

#ourproject52 hosted by everydayeyecandy.com & lipglossandbinky.com

And now, you may wonder, why would I be signing up for a photography challenge? I already have the #365feministselfie project, now in year two (which yes, I am totally going to bore you with my feels on that here in the new future) and I mean, isn't that a lot?

Well.

A photo posted by Tabatha M (@so_tabulous) on

I have a new toy I need to figure out.

This week's theme was "Who Are You?" with the focus kind of being on self portraiture.

Now, as I hope you're aware, I'm kind of fierce at the whole selfie game. I feel like I pretty much have the basics on lock ... and a year's worth of photos to show for it. And since the link-up is on Thursdays, I totally took the opportunity to blend my Instagram photo challenge with this blogging photo challenge yesterday.

A photo posted by Tabatha M (@so_tabulous) on

But, admittedly, that was the easy way out. Because I know how to use my phone camera, and my editing apps. Sure, I can improve, but the point is to use this fancy new camera I have.

So, I present to you, the very first photo taken with my camera, mere hours after I received it.

#ourproject52

Blurry, just slightly out of focus. Much like how I've been living my life these past few years. But still there, still present, still trying, still learning.

So, who am I? I am a mother, a writer, an empath, an artist, an (over)thinker, a rescuer, a bleeding heart, a lover, a feminist, a lifelong learner, a builder, a doer, a cat person, a daughter-sister-friend-confidante, a purple enthusiast, a woman-girl, an ENFP, and most of all ... I'm a survivor.

I'm Tabatha. And I'm a fucking force to be reckoned with.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

*This post is linked up with Everyday Eyecandy & Lipgloss & Binky for their #ourproject52 challenge. Go check our their posts for helpful tips and to see all the other wonderful bloggers participating!*