"Bag lady, you gon' hurt your back. Dragging all them bags like that.
I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold onto. . .
. . .is you, is you, is you."
~ Erykah Badu
I was talking on the phone to my mom this morning while driving to work. Asking her--no begging her--to tell me that I am really a good mom and that my kids will turn out just fine. I wanted her to tell me that she effed some things up sometimes or couldn't find something important or forgot a date at some point. And no, not like a birthday or that kind of date, but like a dental appointment or that every kid in the class was supposed to wear a red shirt to the field trip and you sent yours in a green ninja one. Because, NO, you didn't forget--shit, you'd have to KNOW to forget. But you were so busy doing this, that, and also the other that you didn't even get the memo that the red shirt--specifically the red CLASS shirt--was the one that was supposed to be worn. AND okay, that the REAL truth is that you were sort of secretly glad that you DIDN'T know until you saw a snapshot from the class parent of your boy standing out like a sore thumb in a green ninja shirt since, quite frankly, you weren't exactly sure where the hell that red CLASS shirt even was.
So yeah. I had a series of things like that and then I read this thing in a magazine that had my head all jacked up when combined with my epic, albeit first world, fails. Here's what it said:
"How you do anything is how you do everything."
Ugh. It was like, Dr. Phil or somebody like that who usually annoys me. But for whatever reason, that grabbed me by the "goosel-pipe" (as my daddy says) and cut off my air. It made me examine myself for a bit and ask myself:
"How do I do things?"
See? Now you can see why this absolutely effed me up when I read it. It made me think, yes. But mostly, it effed me up. And I know that my mom is cringing-cringing-cringing at me saying "effed" up over and over again like this but, really, it's all just to keep her from cringing from the full on F-bombage that is really dancing on the tip of my tongue or rather my fingertips as I type this.
And so. I called my mom and somewhere in talking through that question and what it all meant when coupled with my recent series of Lucille Ball foul ups, bleeps, and blunders, I started crying. Wondering whether I was getting it right and if all of this was symptomatic of something greater.
Now. I freaking LOVE my mom because she doesn't poo-poo me, like, ever nor does she just say some reflexive thing just to make you feel better. But, somehow, she always makes me feel better.
"Maybe," she said.
Like, maybe, it is a symptom of more. Maybe. But then she just sort of listened to me and asked me questions and told me about how she felt when she was at this stage. She made some good suggestions to help me get my bearings. And I was grateful, man. I was. And she didn't rush me. Like, she didn't slather all these cliche things on me to hurry this whole thing along. My mother put her girlfriend hat on while wearing her mom hat at the same time. And do you know that that is? I'll tell you. It's effing awesome, that's what it is.
As I unpacked, I realized that feeling so valued by my mother is one of the things that helps me put my mouthpiece back in when it falls out. Like, I see me like she sees me and that reminds me that I'm enough.
So, as we talked about me doing things last minute and crazed and like a whirling dervish, we also discussed that I'm creative and forward thinking. And while it's not so great to do things under the gun--and by things, I mean anything and everything--it IS pretty cool to do them through innovative thinking. And to be okay with working at improving some things so that you don't drop balls while holding on to the parts that work.
You know what else? My kid gave not even 2% of a damn that he was in that green ninja shirt. He was cool as the other side of the pillow with a big smile on his face and both of his hands holding up PEACE signs. I shit you not. Which, to me, means that somewhere in there I've done maybe something halfway okay.
Sorry for the bad words, mom. But this is a ramble post.
That's what the BHE said in response to all of this as I lamented to him on the same topic. Less deep than mom for sure but equally as comforting.
"Look, man. Life is 80/20 if you're lucky. 80% of the time you knock it out of the park. 20% of the time? Not so much. But knocking it out of the park 8 times out of 10? Man, that's good shit. That's some really good shit, babe."
"Yep. And actually, to me, you do better than 80%. At least at the shit that really and truly matters."
And this? This is why I am married to this man. He manages to say things like this even when 80% of all of the laundry in our entire home is on the couch and dining room table. Yes, indeed.
Oh--and, sorry, Mom, you know how your son-in-law talks when making such points which I cannot and shall not censor even for literary purposes. (Okay, maybe I might do it 20% of the time depending on the situation.)
So back to that question. How do I do anything? Well. Mostly? I think how I do anything is with zeal, man. And love. That's for damn sure. And, I swear to you, I try hard to make sure that's how I do just about everything. With love. Real, true, genuine, love. (Unless you count my weekday cooking which that same wonderful man once accused of having not even 20% love in it. But I digress.)
Yes, he said that. See? He's 80/20, too, y'all.
Good LORD, I'm rambling. But what can I say? I just need to, man. I just do. So eff it.
So the deal is this. I'm a work in progress. Emphasis on WORK. And hopefully, at some point, an even BIGGER emphasis on PROGRESS. The last few days have NOT felt so 80/20 but the truth is that, in the grand scheme of things, they probably are. In fact, they're probably even better than 80% like Harry said.
Yeah. So I guess I'm just digging through my feelings and my head right now. Thinking of ways to be a better version of me. And to forgive myself for the 20% that sends my kid to school in the green ninja shirt on the red class shirt day. Because really, that's a first world failure.
At least, I hope so.
Happy Monday. And praise God for my friends who usually text me to remind me to launder the class shirt but don't judge me when I screw it up anyway.
Now playing on my mental iPod--Erykah Badu singing "Bag Lady" in this beautiful, vibrant video. This is the song Deanna used to always sing to me when I got like this. She'd just keep singing the hook on it over and over again until I'd fold into a ball of laughs. She'd say, "Let it go, let it go, let it go, . . .betcha love can make it better." The message is so true. I love that Deanna, my mom and my husband won't let me be a "bag lady."