where the writers are
Conscious Chaos

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In spite of my no-resolution resolution, the beginning of the year finds me at the beginning of a couple of new-ish endeavors. I’m once again in front of the blank page with a new creative project and it feels both familiar and frightening, both electric and exhausting. I confess, I love this part. The ideas are zinging around and waking me up in the middle of the night. I’ve done this enough times now to know that the ones I think are the treasures are usually the ones that wind up in the trash and vice versa. So I try not to attach too much to a day’s work, try to let the chaos unspool around me and then wait for the muses to show up and start to organize the post-its into something resembling structure.

I’ve also been trying to show up for my parenting in a more conscious way. I’m leaving my cell in the car and re-focusing on all that good ol’ attachment-promoting behavior with which I was so engaged the first few months T was home with us. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with T’s behavior right now, but I know for certain that if I can be more present and connected, it might help us find our way to some solutions.

Guess which project is easier?

I challenge any Tibetan lama to maintain eye-contact and active listening through an entire dinner with a toddler. I actually had a friend (clearly a better person than me) say to me a couple of months ago, “I can’t believe I ever worried that motherhood was going to be boring!” Really? You can’t? Perhaps you’d like to talk to my kid for an hour about whether the bouncy house down the street is BIG or FLAT. Or, slightly more interesting but trickier in a crowded restaurant, who, out of everyone we know, has a PENIS and who has a VAGINA. All this punctuated by a running dialogue about why it’s not advisable to eat fries off the floor or launch cutlery at the next table over.

But I know that the writing will also hit a spot at which it becomes mind-numbingly boring. And parenting will have its thrills and chills. I spend a lot of time complaining about balancing the two, but they do act as effective counterpoints to one another.

I hear the wee monster stirring in his crib. I now close up my computer in anticipation of an afternoon of eye contact and choo choos and tantrums and penis talk. All without a texting break. Bring it on; I ain’t afraid.