Mandaris Moore

Today, I really feel like I'm loosing touch with my daughters. Part of me thinks that I maybe overthinking the fact that I've been a little sick and out of it the last couple of days, but another part is worried about the health of the communication between me and my 4 year old daughter.

As soon as I wrote that I thought to myself, 'How can any one unstand the mind of a 4 year old?'. Well, there are books on it so maybe something is there?

Using your big girl words

Recently, it feels that our daughters are both not communicating in the best possible way. Both of them seem to yell and whine more than they used to and I find myself thinking that this might be my fault since they are home more. The last couple of weeks have seen the family move into a pattern where things aren't really moving as in a healthy way.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep or the fact that mommy and daddy have had more and more conflict where we aren't talking to each other in a respectful way and the children sometimes hear us.

Maybe it's the fact that our dog died and this is part of the grieving process.

Whatever it is, we have to figure it out and find a way for us as a family to move forward.

The alternative diffinitely won't make anyone happy.

Today, the wife and I finished up a two day painting project involving some furniture that my mom had found at a yard sale. At first I had my own reservations about taking the furniture in because of all the invisible strings attached to something like that1.

I was told that it was going to be a simple set of headboards, drawers and a desk with a little book shelf on top. In truth, the furniture was a lot different then what we were expecting as far as shape, size and quality. It's the older kind of furniture, the kind that can last and be moved from one home to another without falling apart along the way. It looked like it could take a beating and from some of the scratches and scraps it looked like it already had.

So the wife decided that we should paint it...

And this turned into a weekend long project where we spent most of our time outside in the sun putting multiple coats of white and pink.

And just when we finish up and show our children. How do they react?

They hate it.

  1. I don't like taking things from people because they sometimes expect you to reciprocate in a way that I don't feel warrants a particular action. I'm grateful for everything, but it feels like sometimes there is an unspoken contract and a payment that is beyond what I'm willing to do. Sorry for being vague and extra appologizies if this sounds like I'm talking about you. I'm not it's someone completely different. 

Last night the wife and I were up late last night.

Currently, I'm sitting in an office waiting for my friend to get finished talking to his doctor. I've been doing this for the last couple of weeks, and it is has been nice to see my friend a little bit more. I feel that we've both have been walking our own paths and neither one of us is happy about it. When we see each other, we get a chance to talk about our own grievances and help cheer each other on as we make our way towards are respective goals.

For me, I've been playing with the idea of doing affirmations and spending time everyday writing out 5 things that I'm excited/happy about as well as grateful for1.

As for my friend, I don't know all the things that he is doing to relieve stress and just move forward with his life. I kind of just want to give him a big hug and tell him that it's going to be alright, but I know that isn't going to be enough. It isn't enough for me either and when it comes to stuff like this, you have make your own choices on how you are going to make yourself a better person.

  1. As soon as I typed it, I realized that Day One would be perfect for something like that because it would allow me to keep track of those without having all the roadblocks that I would put in front of a normal writing routine. 

Today, the whole family went running.

It sucks soooo bad that I sometimes wonder why I even bother in the first place. Was the subject of what we were fighting over so big that we have to go through this? Do the highs of our relationship really outweigh the lows?

Part of me tells me to just relax because this is part of what relationships are about. Highs and lows. We've been having some rough spots because I've lost my job and the money has gotten a lot tighter1. We both have our expectations of what should and shouldn't be.

Another part of me is angry at the world. Angry at where I am. Angry at myself.

I was having a fairly good day and I didn't want to walk into that familiar routine of being her punching bag. I'm tired of taking other people's redacted and I dumped it back on her with other stuff as well.

And then she just laughed.

That's where I went wrong. I got angry. I got very angry and said that I sometimes don't like coming home to her because of her attitude. I might have said some other stuff too. I don't remember all of it, but I'm sure she'll remind2 me.

I went for a walk before it got bigger. I came home. We didn't look at each other. She took the girls. We slept in separate rooms.

Now I'm sitting at a coffee shop.

I might as well be sitting in the middle of Antarctica for all the distance and coldness between us.

  1. The real rub about this is that even though I'm unemployed, I still make more than her via unemployment insurance. This has allowed us to appear that we are doing alright, but I feel the strain of it. We're living hood rich

  2. I'm going to paraphrase, "There are three sides to every story: The way he remembers it, the way she remembers it, what really happened." 

I went for a run today by myself.

I haven't had any exercise in a while and it was great to get out of my head and hit the dusty trail... which actually isn't dusty because it's paved. Although I do enjoy the benefits of running, I don't really enjoy it. I don't get a thrill of having the wind in my hair or seeing the scenery change as I speed along the paths and trails.

Maybe I'm not going that fast.

Tomorrow, I plan on going to my first yoga class at a local studio and I'm pretty excited about it. It's a new way of caring for myself and I have to make that a priority.

Speaking of making myself a priority

I've typed up a new list of affirmations for myself, but I'm honestly afraid to put them in a place that I can see them every day. I've played with the idea of making a script to pop them up when I first log into my computer in the morning, but that time usually changes depending on what I'm doing that day. I've also thought about putting them up in the bathroom, but I'm embarrassed about how I would explain that to my children and afraid that my wife might say something about that.

I looked at that last sentence and thought, 'Hey, I can't live that way. If I'm going to make myself a better person, I need to do this for me.'

So, I guess I'll be printing them up now.

I was in a dark place. It was a cage with other people and a couple lights above us.

I could hear people walking across and i knew who they were.

They were being judged and they were going to heaven.

and then a man came down dressed in black and drinking a cup of coffee. he asked "why should you live?" as he sipped his drink and sat down.

"how can i find my pashion," i yelled.

he almost spat out his coffee...

he readjusted himself in the chair and repeated the question as if i hadnt said anyhting.

i felt like i was doomed and helpless. that nothing i said or did would change anything...

i feeling that im too familiar with...

and then the alarm went off.

So for the last couple of months I've been carrying a large spiral notebook that I got from staples. I had planned on using it to capture ideas and as The One Tool1 that would change all of my disorganization into a simple constantly productive life. As will all my new tools it was great for getting thoughts down and being able to read them over.

The only major problem I had was that I could put it in my pocket and just leave right away, I had to have some kind of bag or give up a free hand in order to carry it.

Another thing is that my daughters see it and think "Hey, it drawing time" and now it's halfway filled with their little snippets of stories and artwork.

Personally, it's made it even easier to keep around.

  1. I'm a recovering productivity porn junky. I think a log of perfectionist/procrastinators are always looking for that one thing that will wip away all her or his problems away. The should all look into Ü. 

My oldest daughter has fallen in love with our iPad. She has gone from being an avid reader to coming home and asking for it as soon as she steps through the door. Sometimes she even asks for it as we drive up to our home.

Part of me is proud about how she has mastered moving around on the device. I've sometimes seen her start a movie in Netflix or watching things on YouTube. My wife loves telling her co-workers how our daughters can do things that some adults have difficulty doing.

But that is part of the problem. My daughter can do things other adult have trouble doing. Things like place an item into an Amazon shopping cart and proceed to the check out, find "special" offers on Disney merchandise and then place her personal information in one of the forms.

Honestly, I've been lucky that she hasn't ordered hunders of books and horse toys.

Another aspect of this problem is that she's grown rather fond of a series of fan fiction trailers about the Lion King. Although at first glance there isn't anything wrong with seeing how people can take something and make it so much more. When she run over to me and says that certain characters share a different relationship and lineage that I feel is kosher that's when I got to step on the breaks.

Maybe, part of this is my fault for pushing technology and all it's wonderful whizz bangs without giver her some kind of limitations. But the geek in my wanted to see what she could do if she were to explore on her own. The part of me that says "you must always be a vigilant parent" lost to the part of that wants to let her be free and a kid.

That is what makes this part bitter sweet. I know the world isn't filled with magical talking animals. My daughter knows this too. But there is no need to disillusion her to the good in people and the good of moral character. She doesn't need to worry about wether Simba and Nala are really first cousins. She doesn't need to worry about a whole bunch of books showing up that she needs to pay for. She shouldn't worry about meeting some stranger on the internet. She needs to just have fun and be a kid.