Not sure where to go today

Inside my brain, the hamster is working its wheel.  There’s nothing dramatic in the cage currently – it is simply full and spinning.  Every effort I make to stop and take note of some part of it reveals another stash of pellets for me to consider.

Maybe a hamster isn’t the best analogy.  For one, I don’t feel very rodent-like.  And two, it’s much too cliche for my attempt at writing a new angle blog.

Let’s start over.

Inside my skull, the beta swims quick loops around its small tank.  The same pebbles and plastic greenery are still there with each passing turn.  The water fills my lungs and yet I need to surface for air and food which often gets lost in the constant circling.

Ugh.  Nope – fish out of water also too over done.

Lion at the zoo in a too small habitat?  Caged bird that is afraid it cannot sing?  Sisyphus on a treadmill of stones?  Random sock lost in the dryer that keeps spinning on high heat?  Durang’s George dressed as Mother Courage thrust onstage in what appears to be Charlie’s Angels but with Jerry Matthers as the elusive Harvey the rabbit?  Frog in a blender on pulse?  Tiny worker ant confined to its own mound of dirt pining for the greater universe?

Clearly, I could go on and on trying to describe what it feels like to be me in my life without ever actually writing about the actualities of my existence.  And, currently, all of the comparisons seem to point to me feeling a bit too routine, too ordinary – too normal.  While at the same time, almost too timid to express these longings for fear of losing the infinite blessings that fill my cage/tank/habitat/universe.

So, I write it down.  Or, I think about writing it down but trip on my way to the computer trying to make the words come out perfectly the first time.  Or, I deem the laundry more important.  Or, the checkbook balancing act.  Or, internet surfing under the guise of trying to find an interesting subject to kick start my next blog.

Screw it.

Today the life of Kathleen involves the remaining chores to get the house in order before going back to work and school on Monday, getting our son over to/back from a friend’s house to play for a while, making sure the other child is entertained as she gets jealous when he gets to out, grocery shopping, outdoor Christmas lights down and put away, cleaning my home desk area, clipping the dog’s nails, watching some football without the Cowboys, craig’s listing two ellipticals we no longer want, and checking to make sure my kids don’t have lice after spending a week with their cousin who did.

See?  I sound like I’m whining when I should be grateful to have these two beautiful children, or a marriage and relationship that has lasted nearly eighteen years, or a home to clean that’ s not in foreclosure, or money to buy groceries.  I AM GRATEFUL – every day of my life, I am grateful.

I am also human.  A human woman who is now 41 who life far exceeds any dreams I could have ever had as a child as to what family meant or even what it meant to grow up.

So, I know the universe loves and accepts me when the contented routines of each day get paused as I walk through a day-dream of adventure in my own Kath-Bourne Identity traveling the globe fighting terrorism in search of my true past self under the guise of being a worldwide respected actor onstage in her own works sharing an ethereal connection with Sting carrying my Nobel Poetry and Peace prize in the back pocket of my size six jeans.

Open Thank You Letter to the Dixie Chicks

Natalie Maines.

Emily Robison.

Martie Maguire.

Three women I have never met yet who were instrumental in my survival during some dark days in my marriage and life.  Their voices and words from three albums in particular – Wide Open Spaces, Fly, Home – were on constant repeat mode in my iPod with my headphones plastered to my ears for nearly a year or longer back in late 2002 and all of 2003.

IMHO, Marriage is a journey with two people who at the base of their relationship love each other in such a profound way as to commit to share the rest of their lives together.  Sometimes the journey takes the couple to exotic locations where their minds and bodies become like intensely familiar entities who have been connected long before they met in this life.  Other times, the road darkens and couples get separated and lost in a dense jungle of terrifying emotion and doubt.  Mostly, I have discovered, the path is more like a hike up a favorite mountain trail – a bit rocky and steep at points but with long stretches of open terrain where we simply walk together holding hands, and now, leading our family.

It was during one of our trips to what seemed like the deepest part of the Congo where even breathing was difficult that I discovered the Dixie Chicks.  I had not previously listened to them, but heard a song on the radio and knew they understood what I was feeling.  So I bought the CDs in quick succession and played them over and over again alternately weeping, singing at the top of my lungs alone in the car, and dancing with my children in the living room.

It was as if their music was sent to me specifically at that time as an outlet for all of the unexplainable emotions my heart was breaking from.  They let me sing with them even though I had no idea how to join in a harmony or even match their melody.  When I sang with the Dixie Chicks, I was singing pure emotion and it was perfect.

I was reminded of this time in my life when I recently rediscovered my long forgotten, battery impaired iPod.

I was also sent others in this sisterhood who were not abstract voices purchased at the music store, but real women who had been to similar jungles, loved and survived their own harrowing trips and clung to my side, holding me up until I once again believed I could stand on my own.

I am still married and am grateful for it. I love my husband and am so glad we both decided to come out of the jungles together to proceed on our trek through some wondrous countryside that we might have missed had we given up.

I am, also, grateful for all of these women, their voices, and my ability to join them in this life.  I continue to meet more amazing women who share my joys, struggles and general love of the whole spectacular rave.

‘Cuz some days you gotta dance…

Am I just not a good parent?

I don’t know if it’s the holidays and my uber-high expectations of what they should be for a family, or if it is the impending financial doom my overworked and under nourished brain keep telling me I am headed for each time I swipe my debit card for yet ONE MORE gift.  Or maybe I am just not a nice person to start with and so when this viral negativity scene begins invading my body on a cellular level – how am I supposed to be able to handle two kids under the age of ten who have absolutely no interest in actually choosing gifts for others that I cannot possibly know what the perfect present may be in a cluster-f^@ked crowded store the Sunday before Christmas?

Clearly, I am not thinking clearly.

Does anyone with two kids, a tight family budget, 40-hour a week job that swing shifts on occasion with her spouse’s and little or no outlet for cranial pressure?

I do not want to be a whiner – one of those people who is not grateful for all the freaking blessings they have but there is little doubt that is exactly what I sound like!

I am re-meeting a great number of friends from my wild and theatrical times as well as those dating back to pre-high school and I have begun the ancient human tradition of comparing my life to what I perceive to be theirs.  Some are living fantastically bohemian lives in the greatest city on earth.  Others are taking fabulous trips to far away lands communing with the most awesome of nature’s creatures.  Mostly I am not really seeing anyone else in the death grips of parenting peril that I seem to have cornered myself into.  Even my own spouse and best friend are embarking on new musical journeys that are extremely promising given their individual and combined talents.

And here I sit – a’wallowing in a made-up mire of mayhem and monstrous envy writing a blog after getting so angry at my children’s apparent lack of adulthood that I threatened to return every gift I had purchased for them and email Santa to do the same.  Not exactly Donna Reed or Claire Huxtable, huh?  Probably closer to Joan Crawford or Norman’s mom…

And there are still three shopping days left…(play sound clip now … )