Turtle Stretch

I believe that when the same themes touch my life, over and over again, that the Universe is gently trying to tell me something. Trouble is, I’m not always sure what that something is. There are multiple things reoccurring in my life right now, and I’m just not sure what to make of all of it.

Writing: Despite moving forward, little bit by little bit, with the updates and changes I need to make for my Etsy shop, I’m still being drawn back to the written word. I am currently reworking a personal essay I threw on the page last week. I felt compelled to get the words out as fast as I could. Words keep bubbling up, here and there, stray sentences and I should write about this mental bookmarks. It’s hard to ignore and I don’t want to. But I’m never sure how to merge and balance the different directions I’m pulled in. I’ve begun saying I can keep two balls in the air – keep the kids happy, well-fed, and cared for, and pick one other thing each day (business work, house cleaning, something “extra”) – that’s all I can currently handle. I want to write. I need to write (not that I have anything stunning to say, in particular, just that I ache for it), and I’m struggling to keep it all balanced.

I’ve signed up for one of Jena Schwartz’s writing groups (my first ever since high school!) in the middle of October, with a bit of a (welcome) push from her, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m nervous, too (can I do the work?) but I think this is a good, really necessary, move for me.


Art: I’m struggling a bit with art right now. I am reworking my Etsy listing photos, and I’m close but it still takes time and effort to finish! I also want to branch out and try a couple of different art mediums (working on it!) but my need to make also is slightly less than the need to get the photography done so I have the mental space to create happily. My show from August is down, and I’m glad. There were a few weird things that happened with that event and it was not the happy, positive show I’d hoped it would be.

Death: The story of Aylan Kurdi and his family, and the other refugees seeking sanctuary, is heartbreaking. I’d also read Anna Kaufman’s gut-wrenching story of losing her five year old son to AIDS on Brain, Child not 12 hours before. At least three other stories of loss have crossed my path within the last 48 hours and are directly relatable… the children are the same ages as my own sons. I am not sure why it’s all bubbling up at this particular time – not that these things don’t happen often, but it is very much on my radar.


Balance: Munchkin started kindergarten full time this week, and the space is welcome. I’m mentally more resilient. I’ve had time to work on photography and write and it is rejuvenating. I am more patient with both my children. Munchkin’s transition has been tough though, and I am anxious that public school was not the right choice for him. Munchkin is crestfallen at the end of the day when I pick him up – he’s had a couple of playground incidents (one a misunderstanding, the other – a kid hit him), and he says that no one will play with him.

Selfishly, I fear that this time that I’ve looked forward to, that I’ve craved, is going to be taken away (given up, really) if (when?) we make the choice to school Munchkin differently. (And at the same time I hug my children tight, mindful of all those stories I’ve borne witness to recently.) But the space is not worth the loss of his happiness. The Engineer and I have talked it over extensively (ad nauseam, I’m sure, to him) and I will not, must not, reflexively react… it’s only the first week and we’ll see if things change. In the meantime, I need to define more clearly my benchmarks for evaluating the success or failure of putting him in school.

I haven’t done yoga for a couple years now, but I keep thinking turtle stretch. This isn’t actually a move, as far as I know, but my mental image is that I’m reaching, expanding, slowly, oh so slowly, to pick up the things – hobbies, obligations, self-care rituals – discarded during the summer crazy. So, Universe, what is it you’re trying to say, again? Please repeat yourself – a little more clearly this time, if you please. I’m trying to understand.

8 thoughts on “Turtle Stretch

  1. I totally feel you on the onslaught of heart-wrenching stories that are happening. It makes me feel scared and sad but grateful for what I do have. Sorry to hear Munchkin’s having a tough time with the first week :(( It’s always sad to see a child struggle to make friends, but when they find that good buddy (it’s often a super unexpected and random connection!), it changes everything! Hope things turn up!!

    1. Thank you so much JoEllen. 🙂 He’s settling in and is seeming a little happier on the friends front… he’s trading pictures with some of the other kids in class, and I haven’t been hearing about any er… not so great behavior directed toward him. So my fingers are crossed. 🙂

  2. I ask the same questions when reoccurring themes come my way. About Munchkin, that’s a wise mama move to remind yourself not to respond too reactively. I’m telling myself the same thing right now as we adjust to my oldest taking a couple classes at middle school. He’s not digging it, but it’s early days still, too soon to truly evaluate. We make education decisions a year at a time, and have had great experiences in public school and homeschooling, and when I finally grasped that all decisions can be changed, the choices became easier and anxiety abated. Munchkin has loving parents making intentional choices, either way he is going to thrive.

    1. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting Jess. 🙂 The part about all decisions can be changed, it only works until it doesn’t, and then change, that’s the bit that I swear is my karmic lesson in this life! I have the feeling that I’ll need to do the same year by year evaluation. I know I need some time, right now, to get my head together… but I have the feeling it’s not an if but when we’ll do some homeschooling. I’ll have to see if you’ve written any more about your journey with the year to year decision-making.

  3. Hang in there a few more weeks with Kindergarten, is my two cents. Really. I think it is such a transition that no meaningful decision (to stay, to go) can be made so quickly. Have you talked with the teachers to see if they can assist more with the social stuff at recess? I found success doing that. In any event, I understand all of these conundrums and challenges you are facing right now. You will get through this. What to do, and how to do it, will appear. I promise. xo

    1. Kristen, thank you SO much for commenting… You’re right. We won’t start making any serious decisions about kindergarten until October. My husband’s reasoning is that things should be settled in by then and we’ll have a better understanding of Munchkin and the school’s “norm.” At that point… we’ll evaluate. Munchkin is such a social kid that the social troubles really took me aback, at first. Things are smoothing out some now, I think. He seems to be making some friends in the class and I’ve met another mom – and her kiddo and Munchkin seem like they might be good friends, although they’re in different classes, sadly.

      Thank you for all the encouragement. Seasons of change are… challenging!

  4. Our lives are parallel in so many ways. I just know our two sons would be friends! But anyway, I know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling like the bit of alone time could get taken away at any minute– maybe b/c it has been over 5 years since we’ve had anything like it? I couldn’t believe waking up today, realizing my sweet boy would be gone most of the day again– missing him, yes, but also letting myself take a deep breath in and out, remembering that this is what I’ve worked for; I’ve been trying to prepare him for the world, and this is it. I guess? I don’t know. I’m rambling. So much is on my mind. I saw a heartbreaking image from the Syria refugees and it has haunted me as well. I don’t want to use someone else’s despair for my benefit, but reading and seeing those stories does make me feel intense gratitude.

    1. I think you’re spot on with the lack of alone time reasoning. It’s hard to adjust to sudden change, and despite seeing this coming – I *still* feel like it’s sudden.

      I don’t think seeing those pictures and being grateful is “using” them (in a bad way) for your benefit. I think it’s a very healthy reaction and it’s good to be reminded of our situation. I just really wish their situation wasn’t so horrific.

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