Dispatch from Parental Leave in Lockdown
This flower is from our garden. From our broccoli plant. I guess you can call it a flower.
Below it are pictures of our growing family. We grew another boy this year and he was born on the 14th of this month.
These are the thing I want to talk about in this post:
- Growing slower
- Getting less interested in what the world is doing
- Taking more time away from screens
- Building intentional routines
- Following routines intentionally
- Parenting and self care
I read the other day someone asking what you would do if you woke up without the thing that inhibits you. I thought about my ankle, which I broke and have been recovering from for a year and half, and thought: I don’t know what I would do? Go skate?
Skating of course is the method in which I’ve sprung a lifetime of pain across my body. It’s the way I let go of anger and pain. It’s been with me since I knew what those things were.
Now I can’t really skate, my ankle doesn’t move well and I cannot run, so my chances of rebounding from a wheel jam are much less than they were before.
Then I thought: I actually don’t want to be without my ankle. My entropy is who I am.
A while ago I was told by a professional sociologist that when interviewing people you should always go into their environments and get down on their level. I’ve been trying to practice this with my little ones and so far it’s made little difference other than I get bonked more.
But the concept works, because when you’re on their level in their space it’s simply being present. Which is so freaking hard to do. Being present is the economy of everything now. What’s worth your attention is not only what defines who we are but it’s what everyone else is seeking.
In being present I’ve found that things develop a lot slower than I had previously understood. World is big and small, but the small world is full of whimsicality and wonder. Things move slow and erratically — almost as if it’s a world without bias.
Moving slow isn’t all that it’s worked out to be. There’s still a need for a strong heart-rate and passion. But when observing, things tend to move slow, and in that slowness is a sweet grace.
The world is a fucking disaster. RBG died and 45 is going to get reelected because the US is an idiot farm. Too bad abundance and wealth don’t make societies more effective. Never once has a society had it’s cake and ate it too.
I’m really at the point of “Who Cares?”. I’m still going to vote of course and look the ticket up and down but I have done nothing to support anything or anyone. I’m nearly completely disinterested in the lies and rhetoric that seam to be the only headlines my fellow “patriots” care about.
In general though it’s my prescription to my own headache. I’ve been a creature of the news for most of my adult life and I am just now starting to see how deer in the headlights it’s made me become.
A few boxes in our backyard has helped set a routine for me, which I’ll talk about in a few. Gardening, has been a delight. It’s slow and precious but yet plants fail or don’t do things they are supposed to whereas others go crazy and crawl up your neighbor tree and onto their house. That didn’t happen but, it could.
There’s really nothing that couldn’t happen in a garden and that’s cool. Today there was an army of ants marching up the watermelon vine. I’d sprayed them all with the hose last night but it was for null as they’d come back and kept on doing whatever ant civil engineering project gathered their attention.
What I find in gardening is just that. I’m an engineer and a mayor and the god of weather (within parameters that I can control of course). It’s not that I dominate the garden, I do, but dominating would apply that the inhabitants actually abide by my rule and they don’t. And that’s cool because that’s why we’re in it together. They can’t have me without them and I can’t have them without… well nevermind.
Time Away from Screens
Fucking starring at a screen right now to be honest. And it’s the evening when I usually wind down and don’t look at screens as much. At least not unless it’s baseball. Screentime and baseball hapeening in a passive way tho. I don’t actually stare at baseball much at all. It’s more like a clock or a boiling pot of water, I don’t want to watch for too long less somehting might happen and in baseball things happening isn’t exacly good.
In all I’ve been able to cut out a lot of screens for no reason. Gaming systems are really only played intentionally and using my computer is reseraced for fun projects that don’t involve work.
I’ve probably used the term intentional like 80 times in this fucking post and you’re probably drinking each time you see it by now. God knows why you’re still reading this.
I shoudl stop writing this post and start making a calendar for myself and boys and so we can be INTENTIONAL AF about EVERYTHING WE DO. :CAPS LOCK:
For reals tho, I think I’ve found that life is easier when nearly hour by hour there is an expectation. It’s hypercriitcal for me for sure to say thhis, liek most of this post, as I have had many adventures where I don’t really know where I was going.