Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life is good

Walking out at Niles
Crazy busy lately with life. It looks like Paul will have not just one, but two job offers this week. Nothing written in stone yet but it all looks hopeful and very promising. Fingers crossed!

Casey is in the midst of the competitive gymnastics season and has meets most weekends. He's already qualified with his all around scores to go to the State Championships and it would be very surprising if he didn't make it to the Western Regionals as well. Those are being held in Reno this year, so we've gone ahead and booked a room and are planning to go.
Casey with a team trophy
Riley finishes up basketball season this week with his school team (they're currently tied for first place) and his spring track season is ramping up. Riley gets to try high jump this year and he's all excited about that. The boys are not only getting good grades and doing well in school but they're good at their sports. It's a happy-making thing, even though it feels a bit odd at times to have two kids who are good at most everything they decide to try. I'm sure there will be difficulties in the future for them (and me) to deal with, but for now they're doing well and it constantly amazes me. I know I didn't have such confidence when I was their age, so it's great to feel like they are more assured and capable than I was. They do have to work at things, of course, not everything is easy for them, but they seem to have enough inner strength to move on through the disappointing failures and keep going to get better at things. I'm not even sure where they picked that skill up but I'm really glad they seem to have at least the kernels of it inside.
Casey on rings at Stanford
How do we learn those skills of picking ourselves up and trying again, getting good at something and being unafraid? It can be so hard sometimes to pick up and keep going, maybe especially so as we get older and more cynical. These little guys, they still believe they can do anything, and their future is wide open. Myself, I find my thinking about my own future much more narrow in focus, more restricted by outside demands- like making sure these guys get what they need to turn out well in the world. 

Figuring out what they need to turn out well is harder to know, of course, aside from the basic essentials. But what is essential? Food, shelter? Love, support? Teaching them to break a big scary project down into smaller bite-sized pieces? It's really not just a matter of telling them they're great all the time, certainly, which seems to be popular in child raising circles right now. If you tell them that everything they do is great, how will they know when it's time to try again and do a better job of it? Not to mention the possibility that they could turn into smug little gits who think their farts are golden. Blech. I admit I am one of the parents who believes in a solid grounding in reality, as in, sometimes it's good for you to fall flat on your face in the mud. Then maybe just play in the mud for awhile. And then pick yourself up and try again.
Anyway. I need some encouragement myself to get up and try again. I have ideas but I haven't been following through on them lately, and if I'm really honest with myself, I'm often afraid of failing and don't even start, and I tell myself that I'm too tired, I don't have enough time, I'm too busy with everybody else's needs, there's no point because then what will I do with it all? 

I think I may need to break down my ideas into smaller bite-sized chunks so I can face them. Or maybe I just need a good smack upside the head, and somebody telling me to go ahead, it's okay, just get up and try it again.


  1. Oh, my fingers are SO crossed for Paul. I can hardly type.

    And your pictures are very impressive! When I try to do something like that I sometimes end up missing the whole event trying for the one perfect shot. Then I don't get any good pictures out of it either.

    I certainly know the "I'm not starting on things I need to be doing because I'm afraid of putting so much effort in and then failing at something I care about" issue. There are various ways around this, like "put in X time--or do Y-sized step--per day and track it on a calendar" or "Start the job and you'll find that often you get involved and do more than you thought you would" but I can't get anything (so far) to work for me consistently.

    It certainly seems legitimate to me that you find life daunting right now. I think it's great that you can also see the sweetness of life and take joy in the good things, like the accomplishments of your family. Don't forget your own accomplishments either. Some of your photos here would not strike me as out of place in a "best of National Geographic" type display.

  2. Fingers crossed veryvery hard for Paul.

    And you and Paul are AMAZING parents. I've seen you both in action, plus one only has to look at your boys. Not just their accomplishments but more importantly, what good people they both are. Like their parents.

    *many hugs*

  3. I'm so glad to hear Paul has some job offers coming! You have such a wonderful way of articulating the struggles of being a parent and a creative adult juggling responsibilities. You do an amazing job of both!

  4. The only way I get through any large project (like my dissertation, for instance) is to break it down into more manageable pieces. Otherwise I get too daunted and nothing happens. It's definitely not just you!

  5. *thwak on back of head*

    You can do it. I have faith in you, and I know you can do anything you really set out for, even if the shape of it changes in mid-process.

    We love you n stuff, sib.