Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Feeling "at home"

Aside from physical location, people will often say that they "feel at home" in certain situations. For example, maybe you feel right at home when you are out shopping on the streets of a big city, or hiking through the backcountry. Conversely, either one of those things might make you feel completely out of your element.

I bring this up because last week Hubby came home from work with an invitation to an upcoming awards dinner. He's up for Engineer of the Year, and is one of 3 finalists, narrowed down from a pool of nominees. This is a well-deserved honor, as this past year has been especially grueling for him. It feels good to see hard work and quality being noticed. Of course with Hubby and I both being fairly introverted by nature, him especially so, we're having trouble seeing past the dinner that's taking place at a yacht club on Lake Washington. My stomach gets tied up in knots just thinking about it, but then I tend to get myself worked up in advance of things like this, creating more suffering than will actually take place once the big day arrives. It's my nature. I'm so much fun to live with, LOL!

So for me, feeling at home does not resemble getting dressed up and attending a multi-course dinner with a bunch of strangers. It would probably help if you knew that for me getting dressed up involves putting on my best pair of jeans, clean tennis shoes, and one of my nice t-shirts. For hubby, feeling at home definitely doesn't involve being singled out in front of others to receive an award. He'd probably appreciate it more if they handed the award to him at his desk some afternoon, along with a gift certificate to Black Angus. It would certainly involve less anxiety.

My question to you is: Where do you feel like a fish out of water?

...and, maybe more importantly: Where do you feel at home?

Co-sleeping survey

Take the survey here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Home is where you make it...

Home is where you make it. I'm learning that as I get older, and move from place to place. Shortly after hubby and I got married, we packed up and moved 1000 miles away from all our family and friends. It was scary. And lonely. I attribute some of that to the shock of moving from the Pacific Northwest down to southern California. It was like moving to a foreign land - we didn't even speak the language (Hello? Who drinks "soda"?). For years, anytime we made a visit to our family in Oregon I'd pine away for our "home" up north for months after. I would devise plans for us to pick up and move out of that barren cesspool that is L.A. Ironically, when it finally came time for us to leave sunny CA, I couldn't bare to leave the close family of friends we had created during our nine years there. I got my wish to move back up north, yet I'd learned over the years that there's more to home than location. When we arrived in Washington 2 1/2 years ago, I found that same isolation, just a different place. Happily, though it took a while, we're creating a home for ourselves again. We're making connections to our community, and nurturing new friendships. Home is that place where you make the effort to make yourself at home.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Like riding a bike

I went on a bike ride tonight with some of my homeschooling mom friends. It felt great to get out and ride with other adults - I think hubby and I have only done that once since having kids (together that is - he goes all the time by himself). Riding at an adult pace is significantly different than riding with kids on a family ride. While my oldest is quite capable of a 9-12 mile ride, it would take us the better part of a day, not a short evening. The ride out was kinda tough, but the ride back was more leisurely. I'm looking forward to making this a weekly event for the summer.

Thinking about bike riding takes me back to being a kid in eastern Washington. Moses Lake is a place I considered my home for a long while, in part because we lived there longer than any place I ever lived during my childhood - we lived in that neighborhood in that small town for almost 3 years. I spent the "golden years" of my childhood there (ages 6-8), and I still can recall all my close friends by name. One activity that we all took part in was bike riding. We rode our bikes everywhere, and our world seemed huge, though by adult standards it probably didn't amount to much. We felt independent and "big" being out on our bikes with friends, where adults knew only our general whereabouts. I feel badly that most kids nowadays don't have that same experience. I remember on the morning that Mt. St. Helens erupted I rode further than I'd ever gone before - across the main road that led to our street, and into the next neighborhood up. Everything about that day seemed so surreal, but besides the popcorn clouds, and the sky going dark at noon, I remember the freedom of riding my bike far enough to expand my world just a little bit more.

Oh, and for the record: I rode a pink Schwinn with a banana seat, and the seat had flowers on it. Like this, but without the fancy handbrakes:
I know you're jealous.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Giving NaBloPoMo a try...

I've never done this before. NaBloPoMo challenges bloggers to make a blog post each day for an entire month. They even provide a writing prompt to help provide inspiration (though I read that you aren't *required* to write on the topic if you don't want to). The topic this month is "home". I've got lots of ideas in my head already, but I'm running low on time on this first day of June. In my home, there are currently two little rugrats running around in their jammies, sounding not unlike wild banshees (though banshees are actually female spirits that warn of impending death - I looked that up so I could spell "banshees" right) , and expecting Mommy Dearest to read them a bedtime story. Home Sweet Home.