July 24, 2014

Surrendering to Summer

I surrender.

I'm waving my white flag of defeat.
I don't care one whit that my garden is growing weeds and it is!
(Lettuce in the grass.)

Weed ground cover is my contribution to organic gardening.

I believe the grass is growing better inside our garden than outside.
 I think it's funny.
(Peppers in the grass.)

We still have tomatoes and peppers and kale and corn and onions (I have no idea what to do with the onions) and an artichoke... but, this is not the year of the garden.

Who cares?!
Yellow squash grow in weeds!

I'm almost ready to surrender my whole life.  My house, my kids, my job... I just don't know.

This-- right here-- this is the summer that I can NOT do it all.  I can't keep my house from looking like I have 8 (messy) children.  (I can't even surrender without offending someone.  My house is OK it's just not my ok.)

Honestly, my van was stinky and I found a bag of sausage next to Ben's car seat.  Sausage?!  It was beyond gross.
(Me, taking pictures in my garden with a lap full of junk I grabbed to throw away on my way out of my van.  This morning I went to a funeral for my dear friend's wife, and then I had two physicals, and now I'm home.)

Yesterday, I noticed a loaf of bread under the benches in the van.  I was laying outside talking on the phone to a friend when Eve came out of the house with a butter knife and a jar of jelly.  Seriously?  I grabbed the loaf of bread (from my van) and let her make sandwiches for herself and Ben.  I surrender.

I'm always ten minutes late and I'm battling with the mountains of laundry.  I'm doing it, but I'm not DOING it.  I'm enduring and it takes endurance.  This summer is almost as hard as last summer was.  Last summer I was clinging to life, this summer I'm clinging to normal.  Will I always feel like I've talked my way into an honors class that is a bit over my head?  

I'm the little girl who is doggy paddling in the deep end.  I'm certain life guards are watching close to see if I'm swimming or drowning.  I'm smiling, so I think I'm swimming, but if the waves turn on again, I'm sure I'll drown.

My To Do lists feel stagnant.  Both Todd and I are tired.  I'm so sick of pushing forward, climbing, trying, that I'm about to surrender.
(My kitchen today, I was gone and nobody cleaned up breakfast.)
(The boys folded laundry while I was gone.)

Have I arrived at my midlife crisis?  Am I halfway through my marathon and just hitting my wall?  Am I screaming for an epidural when I'm just 2cm away from a beautiful new birth?  I think I already delivered the baby and I'm still trying to push out that dang placenta.  Yes- I cuss about placentas sometimes.  :)

Is this surrender something that I should lean into?  (I imagine on the other end of  surrender might be the land of grace.)  Or, are these the days that I need to tell myself to just keep swimming?  Am I almost there?  (Perhaps my surrender needs to be a grit-filled,"I'm going to climb this mountain even if it kills me", head down, feet moving surrender.) Are these the days I keep planting, pruning, and pushing forward because the harvest years are coming?  Or am I stupid for even planting a garden?

If I didn't plant a garden I wouldn't see my weeds, but I wouldn't have any cute peppers either.

Last week I went with my favorite husband to a dinner for his work.  It was fancy, almost black tie (the chancellor of SU spoke). I, um, didn't quite get the fancy message.  I changed quickly after returning from a birthday party and fixing a quick dinner for my kids.  I wore white linen and sandles.  Todd told me I was beautiful and shining, but I knew I was unmanicured and under dressed.  

I felt honored to be there.  My heart swells just rembering the good people I met who are doing great things in this world.  I had a chance to talk for sometime with the chancellor and his sweet wife, Ruth.  They are such good, inspiring people.  I'm not sure they even noticed my sandles.

Right now, I'm typing away on my phone while my kids play around me.
My gardens have weeds and my pool has leaves.  My house needs me and my kids need me.  And, I surrender.

I'm done with this blog.  I'm putting on my swim suit and I'm going to play!
Drew is my pool cleaner and he asks-- "Mom, why on earth would anyone ever plant a garden around a pool?"
Can you see the fuzzy purple tree that is just about to dump it's fuzz into the pool?
I surrender.
Gardens around pools are beautiful.
We choose to embrace the leaves in our pool.  :)
It's summer.
I'm just hanging on.
Fall will come, my children will grow, my van will be clean, and my gardens will be weeded.
Just say yes.

Today, I am SO glad I planted a dumb garden.  I have squash!
I'm not always pretty- but I'm there.
I'm here.  I'm living.  I'm smiling.
And sometimes, the only difference between drowning and swimming IS the smile on your face.

I surrendor many battles but I'm still in the war.
I'm winning.
I'm swimming.
And my squash doesn't mind weeds.
Life is good!!!!

(My baby is jumping into the pool and I don't have one more moment to read over this silly blog-- I have leaves in my pool, weeds in my garden and typos in my blog.  And, I'm ok with that!)
Happy summer!!!


Catherine Andrews said...

Good for you! Enjoy! And you are not the only one feeling this way! Ditto to all you said!

Catherine from Wyoming

Amanda @ BedTime Quilting said...

This post reminded me of this quote I read recently. I couldn't copy and paste it, so I'll include a link to a blog where it is. It's the second quote about the two quilts. http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2013/08/two-deeply-profound-quotes-by-sister.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

Jen - maybe, just maybe, jumping in the pool and having fun with the kis is what you are meant to be doing this summer. You all have been through so much change, so much trauma, so much oriented just on surviving. Maybe 50 years from now none of them will remember that mom had piles of laundry this summer, maybe they will remember that mom was swimming with them and laughing at the lake. Go easy on yourself. Let your body continue its healing. Enjoy just being. Love you!! Aunt Sandra

Latter-day Jane said...

We had the best of intentions this year, but our seeds and starter plants have yielded a whole lot of mess, and about 5 living plants otherwise, all enveloped by a robust crop of weeds. We did our best -- but at the end of the day, we're just doing the best we can to make it through life. You're right -- the relationships we form and the little things we do matter far more than some of the wordly expectations we set for ourselves. How we love, how we treat others, how we respond to opportunity -- these are some of the things that truly matter. Enjoying your blog!

Marie said...

Aunt Sandra is right, Jen. Be kind to yourself... Jump in the pool and make memories with your beautiful children. The laundry can wait for a rainy day. At least you have cute vegies peeking out of your weeds --- some of us just have weeds! Ha! ❤️

Jenifer Moss said...

Just so you know... I did surrender for one beautiful afternoon in the pool, a casual dinner, an ice cream date with my hubbie and oldest son. I slept well-- and I woke up ready to tackle that laundry! We even took the big white van to the car wash and vacuumed it all out. This is just me-- I try again. I'm happiest when my life is ordered. I surrender when I know I'm beat-- but I just jump back in the ring the next day. Onward and upward!! I'm happiest marching forward!!

Jenifer Moss said...

PS-- have you really jumped in a pool lately? When is the last time you let yourself swim, dive, race backstroke, tried to swim 3 laps without taking a breath, played Marco Polo? It feels so good to swim!! We need to do this more.

Katie Olthoff said...

I surrender, too. I only have two boys, and a lamb at the fair. We've spent most of our waking hours there the past couple of days, and I'm tired. The dishes are piling up, the stinky clothes are piling up (and so are the clean ones) and I'm sitting here reading your blog instead.

I surrender!

Gramma Donna said...

Jen, leave the onions alone, then in the fall dig them up, wipe off the dirt with a dry cloth,cut off the green parts and store in a cool dry place.

The Tremendous Thomas Family said...

Man alive if we were neighbors we would have a blast! I signed up for that same honors class and this summer I have been skipping it and swimming with my children it has been life chafing in my mothering! Striving for an A but also thriving. You write the words in my mind almost on a daily basis!! Love you friend!

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