Walk of Shame by mary elizabeth

Here’s a funny story. My co-worker and I were walking to the grocery store the other evening. It was delightful! The weather was a little rainy, but not too cold or windy. We saw a seal frolicking in the river as we crossed the bridge. There was a beautiful sunny spot way out near the horizon on the majestic Pacific. The conversation was fun and intelligent. Just lovely. Anyhow – I was carrying the bluest, most Wal-Marty bag in the world as I’d recently been extorted into buying it and insist upon using it whenever I can. You can probably see it from space. Anyhow – after shopping we decided, rather impulsively, to stop at McDonald’s for fries. Keep in mind that we not only don’t spend a whole lot of time in either Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, we work for a company that promotes a significantly different lifestyle, to say the least. So, as we exited McDonald’s – salty grease on our lips, highly visible bags in hand – my friend commented on how awkward it would be if the owners of the company for which we work were to drive by just then. And then they did.

Typical, huh. And funny. I’d like to say, “Gee I just can’t get away with anything!” but that’s not what’s funny about this situation. What’s funny is that a grown woman A) thinks she has to sneak in and out of McDonald’s B) still views people like her employers as the authority figures from whom to hide such activity and C) feels the need to flaunt a Wal-Mart bag around town because she felt forced into paying twenty seven cents for it. Every once in while, I feel like I’m providing my children with a decent example of what it means to grow up – what maturity and adulthood are supposed to look like. But most of the time, I don’t. Oh well. At least we’re having some fun along the way. Maybe this weekend we’ll fill the Wal-Mart bag with homemade popcorn and generic sodas and try and sneak it into the movies.

What’d You Expect? by mary elizabeth

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and it made me mindful of all that “motherhood” means. There are so many varieties – from the Greek tragedy kind to the Blessed Mother herself. One is always fitting in to some archetype or another. Even when we feel we’re falling into one of the less Rockwellian types, there’s undoubtedly an historical example of worse back there somewhere. We need to be compassionate with ourselves if we aren’t fitting into our own expectations of what motherhood is, or anything else for that matter. Inner standards are the stuff of which pain is made.

Recently, I noticed one of the search terms that led to my blog was “things hurt”. Well good golly, ain’t that the truth, but I worry that my writing just sounds like one long keen of pain. Probably does. But seriously, as much pain as I may be in at any given moment is nothing compared to all the fabulously wonderful stuff in my life. I really am a glass-half-full kind of girl and do you know why? The glass is always at least half full. Always. Things do hurt, but that’s okay. It’s just life. Accepting life on life’s terms, learning to stop trying to live up to idealistic expectations and hanging on tight to those silver linings is the way to move from pain to healing.