The 2020 Parental Whine, a song by Kat Micari

This song sums up what I’ve been feeling the past month and a half, but I feel much better now getting the whine out of my system and being silly while doing it! No joke, I was interrupted by my kids three times while trying to record this, even though I was letting them watch a show they wanted to watch.

These four chord pop songs are fun to play on the uke! It is much easier to focus on the singing when you aren’t fumbling around for the chords as much.

Playing with Paint

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I broke out the old guache paints with my daughter yesterday and painted as she directed me while she worked on her own painting. It was fun, and I don’t know if I will add more layers or just have it be a throwaway piece. I need to do more of these though. It felt good.

 

Kindness is Not a Weakness

It seems one of those odd synchronicities to be running the preorder for The Kindness Book during all the ugliness of the Kavanaugh hearings, but I think it’s really important. There is a lack of civil discourse and a quickness to “other” people, and overall there seems to br increasing polarization lately – those who view other people as individuals with rights and those who view other people as pawns to use in their efforts to gain personal power. Kindness that stems from compassion and true caring can go a long way toward helping to improve society.

Kindness is viewed by some people as a weakness, but there is a distinction between being kind and being nice. Niceness is more related to manners and is frequently motivated by wanting people to like you and not wanting to make waves, thus a very passive state. Kindness comes from empathy and often requires action, even if it is just active listening to others. And so kindness requires a steel core of convictions underneath the softness. Kindness sometimes mean saying “no”.

And here is where kindness can really help in society. People who care can look at those who view people as pawns and love them for the individuals they are and the load they carry but out of that love say “no”. It is a lot like parenting. Say “you are mucking up this sandbox we are all trying to play in, and I love you but you may not knock down the other sandcastles and you can’t force other people to build you the biggest sandcastle. That is not okay, it never was okay, and it never will be okay. And until you can respect that, you have to go sit on the side.”  Imagine doing that to those currently in power, just making them sit on the sides until they at least play nicely, if not kindly. The trick then is that you then have to live by example and play by the rules yourself.

Anyway, The Kindness Book preorder is up just through Monday so make sure you snag your copy while you can!

The Fires Burning Within

I have been feeling this increasing need to create for several months now. I’ve laid a lot of groundwork, have my pieces all laid out on the game board, but things keep getting in the way, not least of which is my refusal to ever work myself sick again. Not excuses, just frustration at the delay.

My goal is for all my creative endeavors to be fueling each other, for the art and writing to flow back and forth, to use them as inspiration for both my music and my costuming. My husband and I are talking about starting to sell homemade bath and beauty products which we did as an offshoot of our Fairy Magik label years ago but at the tail end, so we didn’t give it a very good go. To do all of that while taking in freelance sewing work and spending more time with the children. But to do more than chip away at that requires me first and foremost getting out of this stressful and physically exhausting job I’m currently in, which we’re working on.

I’ve been posting older work on Instagram to inspire me to continue chipping away, but honestly, by the time I sit down and have a few minutes to work, it’s so late at night that I’m spent and can’t tap the space I need to be in. Everything comes in it’s own time, and I feel the “soon, the time isn’t right just yet, but soon”, but patience has never been one of my strongest points. So the fires within continue to burn, to grow, threatening to overwhelm me.

When I finally unleash the fire, it will be a sight to behold.

A Dip Into My Past

This past week, while waiting for people and on mini breaks at work, I read through my blog from the very beginning, way back in 2012. It was an interesting trip back for me. Eye opening, and very helpful in finally honing in on the next direction of my life.

The first few years of doing this blog focused a lot on writing as that was what I was prepping for release into the world. I also kept talking about music and art projects that I wanted to tackle. And I really miss having projects that I am passionate about. I miss all parts of that process.

I also posted my dream schedule of balancing parenting with being a freelance creator, and I am so far from that dream at the moment, it is laughable. Working full time (plus) in theater left me with barely any other creative time, let alone quality parenting time, and while the job was fulfilling in different ways before the leadership shift and it gave me the stability to get a mortgage and health insurance to have my 2nd child, I was so much happier when I was only working part time for them. Then going back into a different full time position doing bridal alterations has been draining in a very different way, and because of the hours the shop is open, even though I am physically working less hours, I still feel like I never get to see my kids or create anything extra. Especially since I’m still self-healing from last year. I feel all this pent up creative force longing to burst forth though.

So, the goal for the past couple of months now has been to be freelancing by the end of the year and becoming the at-home parent. Once that happens, I will still do some alterations. I will do some costuming work too as it comes up and as I can find time to do it. But I want to focus the bulk of my energies on my kids and on creating my own work again. I need to feel that passion for creating that I get sucked out of me by scraping myself dry through overwork.

I’m So Very Very Tired…

Cue Madeline Kahn. If I ever decided to pursue a career in acting, my goal would be to follow in Madeline Kahn’s footsteps.

But seriously, I’m so tired. My 9 month old has been going through a sleep regression for weeks now. And the lack of sleep is taking a huge toll on me emotionally and physically. I’ve been suffering a severe lack of “me” time, either to relax and self-care or to create. We know what we signed up for as parents, especially being the second time around, but it’s still not easy. I pity those who are chronic insomniacs.

I’m also tired in the sense I blogged about last spring. You can read it here. More people seem to be growing aware of the bigger picture, that change is needed, but will it be enough?

And really, I’m so tired of being strong. Strength of will, strength of character, a pillar of strength, a warrior woman, juggling it all…  Is it strength to do what you feel you have to do? I don’t know.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t start this blog until after my son was a year and a half years old. He was a terrible sleeper and I was a “mombie” for a long time. A couple of weeks at a time with his sister doesn’t seem half bad by comparison.

I’ll be back to normal soon, I hope. I feel like I’ll be emerging from my cocoon soon.

Life Lessons from Hungry, Hungry Hippos

My son has been really into games of all kinds lately, so when his 4 year old birthday came last week, we got him Hungry, Hungry Hippos as part of his gift. And I had an epiphany while playing with him last night. He, being four, would start slamming down on the lever as fast and hard as he could, while I was doing the same with one hand. But with my other hand, I was operating a second hippo at a slower and more cautious rate, and it was that hippo that ate more marbles most of the rounds. So, a metaphor for life, where humans are the hippos:

Frequently in life, we fight to consume as much as we can as fast as we can when it is actually the one who watches and waits and figures out what they actually want who takes the biggest bite.

So I would ask – what is it that you are fighting so hard to consume? Things that will nourish your body and soul or things that attempt to fill a void you want to pretend doesn’t exist? Or do you bide your time and wait to take the bite that you really want?

Also, who or what is taking the biggest bite out of you? And are they worthy of that bite?

As a complete aside, the games today are so cheaply made. I could have stood on the old version of Hungry, Hungry Hippos without breaking it, but now, not so much. It’s almost like goods are designed to break, causing you to throw them away and buy another after a certain amount of time.