Wednesday, January 16, 2008

See. Hear. Welcome to 2008.

It's mid-January but I am still making the transition to 2008. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to turn the page to a new year. Both 2006 and 2007 had their share of wonderful highs, but lower lows. Family developments (in that larger quadruple-decker sandwich-generation way) have taught me that, #1, family is precious, #2, family obligations of all kinds are the great underestimated work of life, and #3 if you are a Mom, wife and daughter, you had better get work done while you can when you are fortunate enough to be experiencing a period of stability.

So I am hoping for a calm spot in 2008, please, though I know that none of this is in our control. The good news on the Mojo Mom front it that we are bringing back The Mojo Mom Podcast, this Friday if all goes as planned. (If we get hit by an ice storm tomorrow, as is in the possible forecast, that may throw us off.)

Thank you to all our amazing podcast fans who have encouraged us to keep producing the show. Your emails mean a lot!

So that covers "Hear." I have been thinking a lot about "Seeing" lately as well. As a writer, and as a Myers-Briggs ENFJ, I can get caught up living in my head or in the world of possibility, rather than the real world. As a burned-out Mom over the past few months, I've sort of been ignoring some issues that are right before my eyes, like a household mess that had gotten out of control. This denial has a function up to a point (I did all I was "supposed" to do yesterday, and I was exhausted) but for my family's sake, I need to make family life a bigger priority. I am a big fan of Montessori education, which relies on a prepared environment as a foundation, and I know home will never match that experience in its order, but I need to inch forward in that direction--enlisting family help along the way.

First I am just opening my eyes to what I see at home, the physical environment, the work flow, the relationships with my daughter and husband. Before making drastic changes I am spending time to take it all in.

Somewhat ironically, the family caregiving pressures have helped me put housework in perspective. Instead of being dramatic about out, letting it hang around my neck undone, I am starting to think that it's just easier to try to stay on top of it and then don't worry about it so much. We'll see how that goes!

Seeing reaches into every area of our lives. It blends into awareness, consciousness. Do an internal survey: How am I really feeling? What emotions am I stuffing down, placating with potato chips, or ignoring? How can I safely explore and express strong emotions without flying apart all at once? What bad habits have crept in during a stressful time? How can I make sure that January 2008 is not the first step in a long decline of "letting myself go?"

In other words, it's one of those times when this Mojo Mom has to take her own advice.

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Blogger Carol D. O'Dell said...

Hi There, Fellow ENFJ-er and writer, and mom, and daughter, and...
I too, was a family caregiver, and am a "messy."

I've learned to stop judging myself so much in that category. I just don't let people in unless I invite them--I "use" people to make me clean since I'm a party in search of a place to happen.

I cared for my mom full-time in my home--along with staying married and raising three kids. I learned to prioritize--people first, things, a distant...whatever.

It sounds like you have a great big rambling, joyous, chaotic life--and to me, that sounds pretty wonderful.

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering-Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir,
available on Amazon and in most bookstores.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Nourishing Relationships said...

Your blog post just showed up on my google alerts and, although I am more likely in your Mother's cohort - my children are in their late 30's and have school age sons - I think we're on a similar path. The book my colleague and I have written, "Sandwiched Boomers: How to Nourish Relationships without Starving Yourself," speaks to some of the family issues you address in your blog. Best wishes for the new year! Phyllis

4:51 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

We're all in this together, aren't we, and I am glad to learn about your books as well!

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you. (Haven't yet found a time when it wasn't time to take my own damn advice.) Welcome back. And when you're called forth, welcome forth too.

3:38 PM  

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