Making a Life


Ever feel like you’re a new house, another job, or a class in Buddhism away from a pretty good life? If you’re like me, you prefer Big Change over middling shifts and titrations. Like generations of men before me, I’ve gotten sucked into the macho belief that if it doesn’t hurt and if you can’t feel the pain, it’s most likely not worth one’s time. Twins, single-parenting, second marriage, graduate school were made more difficult by my belief that the authentic experience had to be intense, raw, struggling.

I’ve always hated the “Bloom Where You’re Planted” saying, subscribing instead to “The Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss.” Why meander around a block when you can run a marathon instead? Much to my chagrin, this active Type A internal world is much like the American ideal of mindless striving and mountain climbing ‘because it’s there’ –moving ahead always preferable to staying put.

But what to do with all of this drive when one has to make a million sandwiches, wipe bottoms, stare at the clouds and see shapes?

Part of enjoying children depends on one’s ability to relax and enjoy the views of the moment. Agendas and plans and children don’t really go together, especially when the kids are young and especially if one values the sweet loveliness and chaos of the minds one is shepherding through the big world.

As I make ready for the twins to attend Kindergarten next Fall, I’m faced with one of my last opportunities to sit here and be with them, on their terms, in their world. It takes real courage to be with them and get as close as breath and air. More courage than all that other put together.


9 Responses to “Making a Life”

  1. January 25, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    You are damn right about all of it, every last word.

  2. January 25, 2007 at 3:34 pm


    Soon they’ll be driving and asking you for money. Now I’m making myself a little sad and my kid isn’t even 2 yet.

  3. January 25, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Very true. It’s something I’ve got to keep telling myself as I’m always pushing to do more and more things. It’s so important to just sit down and play and listen whenever you get the chance, because those chances get fewer and fewer the older both of us gets.

    Now, if I could just use my drive to invent that time machine…

  4. January 25, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t get what the Macho Man magazine has to do with this topic. I wish it would click to enlarge because it looks kind of intriguing…

  5. January 25, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    So true…and so wise…

    Sing it, baby…

  6. January 25, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    I completely agree. The best thing I could ever have done to calm my Type A butt down was have children. They teach to live in the moment the way no Zen master ever can.

  7. January 25, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I wasn’t really able to stop and smell the kids until after I became a SAHM and had been one for AWHILE.

    One day I woke up and saw that my baby boy was a freakin’ DUDE. I realized that I have to really stop and spend time with both of my kids because they are going to change in a heartbeat.

  8. January 26, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Enjoy it, CM. My eight-year-old is almost out of her little girl pahase and it’s f***ing killing me.

  9. 9 deb
    January 26, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    You’re right it does take a lot of courage to be still.

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