Tag Archives: outside

Monkee-ing Around with Momastery…..

Yesterday, I got a super duper treat! I attended a presentation
by Glennon of Momastery. And Sister was there. So fun!Ā 

Just in case you’ve been living under your keyboard and haven’t heard of Glennon yet, she is a blogger, a tremendous writer, a parent and wife, a sister and daughter, and a recovering addict/bulimic.

She just signed a book deal with Scribner. The name of her blog is Momastery and she calls her readers Monkees (get it, monks, momastery – yes, it’s very, very clever!) The name of her book is Carry On, Warrior. It is due out in April 2013. Her essays frequently appear on Huffington Post.

And yesterday, she became a public speaker. I will never be able to capture her thoughts as well as she does. She writes like she is catching butterflies in a big brutiful net – poetically, gently, with the intent of doing no harm, and with plans to eventually let them go. Glitter falls off her words. I highly recommend you read her words for yourself. But I do want to share some of what she said yesterday.

The very first thing Glennon did after being introduced was kick off her adorable red shoes and sit cross-legged in a chair.

At that moment, the entire audience leaned back in their chairs and relaxed.

And this is (some of) what she told us….

Being Shameless and Truthier

As a recovering addict and bulimic, she has some stories that most people might not be so proud of. But Glennon proudly declares that she is shameless. She says she should be ashamed at how shameless she is. But she’s not. And it allows her a freedom probably few of us enjoy.

During the question and answer session, one of the monkees in the crowd asked about her parents and why they didn’t help her when she started throwing up in fourth grade. (Did that just stop your heart? Bulimic in 4th grade – yes, you read that right.)

The monkee wanted to know: How did they not know? Why didn’t they help?

We all wanted to know. You want to know, right?

She raised her left hand, stretched out her fingers, and tilted her head just a little to slow things down. She shared that she felt as if we were getting into dangerous territory. She said that the facts were they didn’t do a lot. But then she said that it was their story, not hers. Only they could answer those questions. Wow.

And, on the way home, I wondered if Glennon’s own shamelessness sets her free from judging other people. If she is not holding herself up to what other people think she should be, why would she hold others up to what she thinks they should be?

I know, right now you are probably thinking you are so mad you missed the presentation. Keep reading, you’ll be really mad by the time you get to the end. Tee hee.

Sister

If you have read at least a little bit of Glennon’s blog, you know she has a lifeline sister. She seemed equally amazing and they do balance each other out wonderfully. It was a super duper bonus that Sister was there too. Sister is the one who gave Glennon her laptop and told her to get busy writing. I thanked her for that because ultimately it was a gift to all of us.

Finding Your Thing

A lot of the moms in the audience worry about their daughters and their body images. So, who better to solve the mystery of how to starve off eating disorders than a woman who has done it and is raising two daughers? No pressure Glennon. šŸ˜‰

In what seems to be true Glennon fashion, she answered honestly, “I really don’t know.” But she did recommend helping kids and ourselves find their/our “thing”. She said that finding joy in our lives scares away a lot of demons (my words not hers – just paraphrasing here). And talking about the things that scare us is extremely important. The more real we are the more safe we become.

There were some moms in the audience who don’t have a “thing” and wanted to know how to find it. Glennon suggested asking our friends what we are good at because they see our strengths.

One woman said, “but we all want to be as good at our thing as you are at your thing.” Then Glennon shared that she spends about 8 hours a day writing and will choose words over sleep. That sounds very Outliersish, doesn’t it? It takes a lot of time to be really, really good.

Ā Heartbreak

Another monkee question focused on how Glennon manages to deal with the heart-breaking mail she receives. Glennon gets over 100 emails/letters a day from people asking for help. And a lot of them get it. But it is impossible to help everyone. So the monkee wanted to know – how does she do it?

We all want to know, right?

Glennon shared that there is often beauty in heart break. That wonderful things can happen when someone’s heart is shattered. People come together, prayers are formed, and miracles happen.

Mantras

Glennon and her monkees have three mantras…

1. Love wins.
She finds this one particularly helpful when she receives a negative comment on her blog. She chooses to respond with love and she said the effect of that is amazing. She hangs these two powerful words over her computer so that they serve as a constant reminder that love wins.

2. We can do hard things.
A teaching friend of Glennon’s had this posted in her classroom and Glennon loved it so much she had a sign made and hung it in her own home.Ā  She reminds us that “Life is hard. Not because we aren’t doing it right but because it’s hard.” But she also knows we can do hard things together.

3. We belong to each other.
Glennon admits to borrowing these words from Mother Teresa. She said this reminds her that we are all in it together. It ties in nicely to my favorite thing ever that Glennon has written:Ā  “I am confident because I believe that I am a child of God. I am humble because I believe that everyone else is, too.”

Facebook Lives

Glennon cautioned us from comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.

She outlined her outside/Facebook life. In that life she is…..
An author with a book deal
A wildly successful blogger
Talking to tv producers
Pretty and smart
Very funny
Married to a former professional athlete and model
Mother to 3 beautiful children

In her inside life, she is…..
A recovering alcoholic
A recovering bulimic
A recovering drug addict
Was pregnant before she got married
Was arrested 5 times
Overwhelmed by parenting
In marriage counseling
Snuggled in guilt over being a working mom again

She wants us to remember that on Facebook and in other facets of life, people are showing us their best. They might even brag a little lot. But it doesn’t mean it’s the whole story. In fact, we know it isn’t. Life is hard, for everyone. But we can do it.

If you ever get the chance to hearĀ  Glennon speak, do it! Don’t hesitate!

What’s that? You’re surprised I don’t have a picture of me with her. Silly Monkee!

A Change of Scenery………..

If you are new to this blog, please let me give you a little background. (If you have been following along for awhile, please feel free to skip on down to the 4th paragraph.)

Last August my husband asked me if I was willing to move our family from the Eastern United States to India. He said it with a straight face, so I figured I better at least find out where India is. What I discovered is that it is really far away from home. After throwing up, I said yes. He left in September, which was just too soon for me. So the kids and I followed in late January. We were in Delhi for 4 months and then back home for 2 months this summer. We just returned to Delhi this week.

When we lived here before, we lived in a flat. A small flat. A very small flat. Did I mention that it wasn’t very big? That was the second hardest part of moving here – the first was, of course, leaving behind the people we careĀ most about. We went from a house on a cul-de-sac that had more than one level with a backyard full of neighborhood amenities – like a pool, playground, basketball court, and tennis court (oh yeah and grass) – to the middle floor of a house with absolutely no outside space. None. It was claustrophobic. We didn’t have much living space either. Like I said, it was claustrophobic. People lived above us and people lived below us. We felt squished. Have I mentioned how small it felt? Maybe I should really explain that better.

Now, I am not saying that we could not have lived in that small apartment for another year. We absolutely could have. But thankfully, we don’t have to. Number One Hubby found us a house. We are still close to the school and are actually closer to some of our new friends. Bonus. Bonus. We have a rooftop terrace filled with lovely potted plants. And a patio. With a family of stray cats who comes to visit eat the food I put out. There is a park across the street. And no one lives above us or below us. We have our own little space that is just ours. It is just fabulous.

Now we have room to invite friends over. Room to sit outside. Room to have one child study and one child watch t.v. – at the same time – without interrupting each other. Room to have one child read before she goes to bed and room for the other child to turn the lights out early.

This change of scenery is nice and we are really appreciating and enjoying our new space!

In celebration of our change of scenery – I changed the scenery on my blog too. You Like???

You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling……..

Today, with no one but me to do laundry, I actually folded some clothes. I opened my daughters’ dresser drawer to put away a shirt – I shifted some things around to make room – and I was almost knocked over by the softest, gentlest breeze of fresh air I have ever felt and smelled. I swear it whisked my bangs away from my eyes. My head tilted back. My eyes closed. My imagination took me across oceans. There might have even been angels singing. Oh heaven. The commercials are true! Fabric softener does make your clothes smell like a spring breeze.I might just buy stock in Downy.

There must have been something in that drawer that my daughters have decided is not India worthy. It has been left unworn, untainted at the bottom of their drawer. And it is the only thing we have left that still smells like home. (Well, to be fair, the cat litter still smells the same – but somehow it just doesn’t compare.)

Our bath towels have long ago lost the softness and smell of home – their loving feeling. Now I get my loofa scrub when I get out of the shower and dry off with a towel that has been hung out to dry.

So I stood at the drawer for a minute and I thought. Think. Think. Think. There must be something I can do. So I decided to conduct a little experiment.

My blog friend at Mr. Smith Goes to Delhi had told me that dryer sheets were hard to find here. But what she didn’t say was dryers were harder to find. So, I did bring some dryer sheets with me. But, alas, we don’t have a dryer – well, unless you call God sneezing a dryer, but at least we don’t have a dryer that utilizes dryer sheets. So, they have sat unused on top of our washer. Until today. I put two in the washer with my towels. They did come out smelling nicer than they have been smelling. They are drying now and I will let you know how it goes.

P.S. I know some of you are thinking – they have fabric softener in Delhi – just buy some of that. Here is where you have to have lived somewhere that has a Tide laundry detergent/Downy fabric softener combination available to use with your laundry. And you have to have been somewhere where dryers aren’t uncommon. And you have to have smelled clothes that come out of the dryer toasty warm smelling of that combination. It’s similar to fresh bread coming out of the oven – except it’s fresh bread that you can wrap around your body. Soft, warm, spongy fresh bread with melted butter on it. And your doctor just insisted that you must stop the ridiculous dieting right now and gain 5 pounds already. See what I mean? Heaven!

And, yes, I have seen Tide here. But it comes in very small packages and it is expensive. So, please remember, I have three children who would like to go to college at some point. India has convinced them that being homeless is not the career path they hope to follow. So they might have to suffer through scratchy clothes in order for us to pay tuition. If I decide they aren’t actually college material, bring on the Tide – but that is yet to be determined.