Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The world that you look out on
and so often see turned upside down –
that world is within you.
That person who you don’t like running into,
that strained relationship in any unwanted moment,
is not outside of you.
The reason that you can’t get along with other people has nothing to do with the other people. Sure, they’re rude.
Sure, they’re cruel, spiritually asleep, aggressive, all those things
– but so are you.
Your feelings about the world you see,
with all of its confusing colors and schemes,
are all reflections of your own internal life.
You meet and see only yourself wherever you go.
Nothing else.
And that’s such an important lesson.

- Guy Finley
Quotation is from page 7 of "
The Lost Secrets of Prayer: Practices for Self-Awakening"
Copyright (c) 1998 by Guy Finley

The above quote is what I try to remember when customers or family or friends are driving me insane and I feel like I just can not take it anymore. To me that reflects the truth that we create own our reality. I also know that when we react to others in truth we are only reacting to ourselves. How much of me is harsh with Ameena not because she is wrong, but because I see myself in her-the things about myself I do not like and react to the reflection of them in her? How much of me is judgemental with my mom or sister because in their actions and behaviors I see my own choices and mistakes reflected. Scary and deep, almost too deep for comfort.
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Originally written 3/15/05:
My First Zen Buddhism Retreat bombed.....
I am still interested in Zen Buddhism-perhaps more now that ever-, but not in the traditional sense and certainly NEVER with my mom again. Zen meditation retreats (according to my teacher) are traditionally silent and follow meditation (15-35 minutes at a time), followed by stretching, 5 minute break and more meditation. I know often there is walking, sitting, standing and eatting meditation as well as mindful work, etc. We did sitting and walking meditation. I struggled with the walking meditation. I have very long legs and was trying not to trip over the people infront of me-which I found put my focus too much on what they were doing, by the second day I kind of got the rythym and simplcity of it. Also, the sitting meditation was more of a challenge for me than I relaized. I like meditation but I have years and years of meditation as a witch, where you close your eyes, relax and sit or lay however is comfortable for you and usually focus on something. Not so with Zen. You are encouraged to find a comfortable position-but have to choose from specified ones, have to sit with your back totally straight, your eyes open and think of nothing-clear your mind made easier by counting. Also, once the meditation starts you are encouraged to not move at all until it is over. I have been practicing this meditation in half-lotus for about 20 minutes-at my best twice a day-more often 5 minutes once a day. However, I felt ready to take this on. Boy was I wrong. I was good friday night, we sat for about 5 to 15 minutes for a couple of hours, between sittings we stretched, walked, talked and took breaks. I felt ready and eager for saturday. After the first hour on saturday my legs and back were sore and stiff and I no longer wanted to think about nothing or count! My mom began to really annoy me. I know it was my reaction to her, she was as she always is and I am not sure why it bothered me so much. Probably becuase I had to work 11 days in a row to get the time off to go to the conference. My mom could not shut up or stopping asking why. Even though I gave her a crash course in Zen Buddhism on the 2 hour drive there. There is no "why" in Buddhism. Buddhism is not about faith, it is about seeing for yourself, if you need to ask why you are not seeing for yourself and so should not be doing it, you are not ready for it and it is obviously not benefiting you if you are plagued with questions. Buddhism "is" there is not a whole heck of a lot of explaining because it is not a faith based religion. Buddhism is about simplicity and you just pretty much work with what is reality and do not waste too much on "why". It is taught that suffering leads to people being unhappy and that the way to end suffering to end desire. "why" leads to suffering. It can also lead to enlightenment surely. Questions like, "Why can't I ever pay my bills?" can lead to enlightenment if you see that the reason you never have enough money for the basics is because you are spending it all on non-basics or becuase you never go to work, etc. Meditation is a tool to help you "see" these aspects of life without ever asking and without anyone having to point it out to you and break it down into small words for you. However, most often "why" is used for things like "why doesn't anyone love me?", "why am I fat or skinny or short or tall or unpopular or poor, so on and so forth" These kinds of "why" are irrelevant and can often lead to being unhappy or feeling bad about yourself. So, fledgling buddhists are urged to do what feels correct but not focus on why or self or what I am getting out of this or where is this going, thoughts like that are anathema to Buddhists philosphy and practice. Yet, there is my mom at every darn turn questioning, complaining and talking, AHH!!!!!! I do not think she would have bothered me if she had not been there with me, in other words if she was just a participant but not my guest.
I do feel spirtually enriched and more positive towards my chosen lifestyle change. I also learned how fabulous vegetarian food is and am adopting a diet of very little meat.
Anyway, the up shot is I left the conference early because I could barely take my mom anymore. I lack patience for sure.

--All that you touch You change.
All that you change Changes you.
The only lasting truth Is Change.
God is Change.
From Earthseed: The Books of the Living by Lauren Oya Olamina

Monday, August 29, 2005

Zen and the Power of NOW

Ekhart tolle message is simple: live now! Many in the Zen community may resonate with this message for it seems Zen. But is it?Zen Buddhism has a radical philosophy (radical with in the broad spectrum of Buddhism that is) that enlightenment can indeed be reached in this lifetime. For most schools and sects stated that this world is far to corrupted for anyone to really achieve enlightenment but if they lived a good and moral life they will have better rebirth to a realm that is more suited for dharma practice and study.Zen is known for its rhetoric of immediacy. Rinzai style of Zen especially uses the idea that the Zen student can immediately awaken to `true nature' AKA enlightenment. Rinzai instructors would say it is like a baby pushing its way though the womb to be born. Rinzai counterpart is Soto style zen that takes the position that awakening to ones true nature is a gradual process. Soto would argue that the womb itself needs to push out the baby!For most westerners Zen implies living a simple live with a pragmatic view of things. Indeed this is a departure from the Asian Zen view witch is very entangled in superstition, culture and its own history that is far from simple and pragmatic. When Shunryu Suziki came to the USA he was, as he said in his own words, "I was reborn to zen" with his new pragmatic thinking that he learned from the San Francisco Beatniks and hippies of the times. This new pragmatism set him apart from traditional Soto Zen as well as what he taught. His teachings and later the book (Zen mind, Beginner's mind) encompassed his `reborn zen' philosophy as well as the pragmatism of the times.No doubt Shunryu and his philosophy has had its impact on American Zen and inspired the likes of Charlotte Joko Beck, Natalie Goldberg and magazines such as Tricycle. Most Americans could resonate with this new Zen, this pragmatic Zen, this "no bullshit" Zen. As with most things, once a philosophy become popular in current culture, anyone who want to be someone jumps aboard the ship of popularity and rides it as far as it will go. Ekhart Tolle in 1998 in his "The power of now" teachings and philosophy became immensely popular with the Zen minded westerners with extreme pragmatic view that says you can have a pain-free life by simply being reborn each moment, AKA "living in the now". Though as intriguing as this may be it is really a far cry from Zen and the philosophy of Buddhism.The neo-Zen that some are calling `Nowism' is indeed what most Americans and Europeans come to know as Zen. You see it reflected in popular books such as "Zen Driving", "Zen for cats" and the list goes on. The door to Zen has been opened wide for anyone to teach in (and get rich). No longer is it required for the author to have any formal Zen training for we find many of the popular neo-zen books written by psychologist, house wifes, auto-mechanics, and professional science fiction authors.Lets now look as some of the major differences between what we now know as Pragmatic Zen and Zen Buddhism.Zen Buddhism teaches that conflicts is needed to bring up our own human attachments that we form with a lifetime of clinging to past events or ideas of how the world should be. Through conflict, be it with oneself or with others, we sit in the place where our desires collide with the world. It is at that hot point where we can `choose' to let of them or not. Asians view that conflict builds character and it is a good character that has the best chance for enlightenment. In contrast, pragmatic Zen tends to promote to ignore conflict and use detachment from your own self in conflict. In promoting a "pain-free life" the use of super-detachment is demanded though questions of what sort of person you will become arises. Zen Buddhism striving for the end of rebirth with in this lifetime. This singular philosophy is the sole trademark of Zen that no other Buddhist philosophy shares. Pragmatic Zen teachings are towards the ends of living a peaceful life free from discontent and discomfort. No doubt anyone who reads Buddhist material will tell you that no comfort or contentment will be found in this world until you free yourself from the cycle of rebirth. This may encompass many ways and methods that this article will not go into.Zen Buddhism uses Renunciation as a means to salvation. Of course this does not mean to give away all of your things and live in a cave! The point that Buddhist renunciation is getting at is to let go the notions of self. Often this is seen in conflict and especially with how you in your mind think the world should be. A good example, and simple one, is when someone cuts in front of you in traffic. You think "How rude!" and you look around hoping that a police officer is there to see this and punish the person. Then you think for a second to get the license number of the car and report the offender and hope that they get a stiff fine. All of this is your desires colliding with the world and if you take the opportunity at that moment you can recognize it as desire and renounce it, let it go and give it no more energy. Zen Buddhism is indeed a religion despite what others may say about it. It shares the universal characters of a religion in the fact that it searches for Truth, emphasizes compassion to all things and teaches endurance to withstand the pain of your own self! If you cannot bear your own suffering then there is really no hope for your own enlightenment. Pragmatic Zen is built on agnosticism. Most neo-zennist will recognize that there may be a higher power but since the focus is the "here and now" where they are trying to achieve comfort and a pain-free existence the idea of ending rebirth is foreign to them.To myself and many others there is a clear and visible difference between neo-Zen and Zen Buddhism. Today neo-Zen is very popular and tends to dominate the Zen landscape in western countries. Indeed neo-Zen does have its appeal that it teaches a stress-free philosophy with its "nowism" viewpoint and uses super-detachment as a solution to achieve a pain-free life. Yet the question that is brought up is what sort of human being emerges from this philosophy. The most striking difference between neo-Zen and Zen Buddhism is the end goals. Zen Buddhism has its singular goal to end suffering in this lifetime by achieving enlightenment and ending the cycle of rebirth. This is a daunting challenge for most Zen practitioners that requires a life long commitment to this principle. It is no surprise that many new practitioners to Zen Buddhism convert to neo-Zen and its much more secular goals Zen Buddhism profane ends. Comments to this article are welcome that lead to a discusssion. I reconize that some neo-Zen books indeed encompase and embrase some aspects of Zen Buddhism. I also reconize that some authors and Zen teachers move between the two teachings of Zen as well.

Mark Vetanen

~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I have been practicing witchcraft about 10 years now. My daughter, who will be 12 in October has no memory of us ever not practicing witchcraft. I often forget how ingrained in my psyche christianity is, but she keeps me grounded because she has no idea who Noah is or why he would be in an ark for 40 days and 40 nights and thought it was hilarious when her friends tried to explain it. If you ask her about Moses she will tell you that the Prince of Egypt was her favorite cartoon a few years ago-she likes mythology alot though I have not taught her much christian mythology. I have never been formally initiated by a coven, I have been a member of a few and even run a couple, but never been formally initiated. I was going to do the whole a year and a day thing when I was studying wicca, but found the structure of covens does not suit my personal practice. I am an eclectic-(meaning I borrow from all paths whatever I like and find useful except the dogma), kitchen-(usually meaning simple tools used-whats at hand, like herbs etc. If the spell calls for a blue candle and I only have lavender, that will do), solitary-(though occassionally I do participate in circle work my most recent coven has taken differing paths), witch-(meaning I most definetely do practice magick) with Wiccan and Buddhist tendencies. I would also consider myself to be a practicing Buddhist, though the Buddhism is much newer to me than the witchcraft. I would still consider myself to be a seeker, though I have also been a teacher. I hope to be a "seeker" forever. I have been interested in the role religion and spirituality plays in individuals for as long as I can remember. At a young age I outgrew christianity, it had too many inconsistencies for me. Briefly (early teens) I studied Islam and found a beauty of spirit and practice, but again far too rigid for me. Briefly I again studied christianity as a young adult, read the bible and again it was not for me. I also very briefly studied Judaism-I had a friend who was converting and I went to temple to support her and fell in love with the practices and services-but again the "book" ruined it for me. I finally found that the major three religions being based on scripture just were never going to work for me. As it turns out the friend who was converting to Judaism had dated a Wiccan and was familiar with it. One day I was discussing with her what I really believed about religion and spirituality and she told me I was close to Wiccan in my beliefs. With a name, I knew where to begin. I found other wiccans and the "pagan" community in michigan-the rest, as they say, is history :) I quickly decided that wicca was not for me, but still use many of the sabbats and esbats-the wheel of the year-both in teaching my daughter and also in my covens. I eventually fell away from extensive group or coven work because the more I practiced the less I adhered to the rules. I do not do much magic or spell work-only when I need to. I have never had a spell that did not work, though a few have worked in ways I did not want them to:) To keep up my skills, I try to meditate daily and usually cleanse my chakras often. I have come to the realization that "tools" are not necesary for me to do spellwork and I only use them if I am distracted during or by spellwork. I can do a spell at work surrounded by my "muggle" co-workers and it is as effective as if I am at home in front of my altar. My practice grows with me and it can be frustrating for those I practice with. That is what happened with my last coven. 2 of the members were very new, 2 pretty experienced but more formally and Dianic than me, there was 1 other more experienced than myself but just as eclectic. It got to be too much strain to accomodate everyones differing needs and styles of practice, not to mention schedule. I do not like scripted rituals. I would usually explain what we were doing and why and ask each person to say what they felt comfortable with or what they felt was appropriate or nothing was fine too. I am of the mind if someone else wrote it for you to say you do not mean it and what would be the point of meaningless words during a ritual or spell? I also rarely call quarters or lay a circle. In my mind a circle is for protection, we do not need protection for a simple ritual to honor say spring or summer. I call the quarters for protection or guidance, again not really necesary for simple rituals. That type of practice is difficult for newbies and those following more structured paths and so we stayed friends and gather a few times a year but most have found covens that more closely meet their needs. I myself have used my coven-less time to deepen my Buddhist studies. I am also preparing to begin more basic instruction with my daughter, to help her find her own path as she nears her teen years. I am also researching Dark Witchcraft because I hear so many versions of the term I am never sure exactly what is meant until I ask the practitioner. I would not consider myself a "dark" witch necesarily (though by many definitions I would certainly fall into that category), but always say I practice "black" magic because as a black woman I sure as shit am not going to practice "white" magick:) However, for me magick is an extension of nature. Nature is both birth and death, both sunshine and rain, hurricanes and gentle cleansing breezes. It is all about balance in my opinion. I think many witches forget that with the "harm none" ideal. I certainly do not try to go around harming others, but have done so before and would do so again if I considered it necesary. The conflict in that ideal definetely lead to my break from wicca. I very much have my own mind and while others beliefs and practices interest me, I can not "practice" in a way that does not make sense to me or fit my current path. My path is constantly changing and growing as I change and grow. So, I go to local pagan events, participate in a few "open" rituals and never miss Convocation, otherwise, I pretty much do my own thang. I am also interested in the "nature" of evil. It can be in the eye of the beholder, much like beauty. What seems evil to one person may seem natural to another. I think we all have the ability for evil inside of us and even the most horrid, twisted, sick individual in the world has something good about them. So I have mixed feelings on "evil" and the role it plays in nature. I am still studying evil and waiting to form an opinion. I have also found that many pagans who consider themselves "satanists" are not bad, do not believe in the "christian" devil nor worship him. I am still not sure why they call themselves satanists as it seems to give the wrong impression of their beliefs but after explaining my beliefs I have had christians say I should not call myself a witch as it leads people to believe I am evil. Sigh, so who knows?
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Friday, August 26, 2005

There is inside you
All of the potential to be whatever you want to be
All of the energy to do whatever you want to do.
Imagine yourself as you would like to be,
doing what you want to do,
And each day, take one step towards your dream.
And though at times it may seem too difficult to continue,
Hold on to your dream.
One morning you will awake to find that you are the person you dreamed of
Doing what you wanted to do
Simply because you had the courage
To believe in your potential
And to hold on to your dream.
****The above was posted at Michigan Pagans for a Better World MSN group by:
©.Ǧ*´`*–©—*´`*¶».©.« Beauti.©.Ǧ*´`*–©—*´`*Â.Â
«My beloved is only water which is always flowing, and doesn't deceive which is always flowing, and doesn't change which is always flowing, and doesn't end

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This was written Thursday August 25, 2005 at work and then emailed to myself at home to be later posted here.
It has been chaos here at work. We are short 2 CSR's and so extremely busy in the store, especially at night. It is hectic and crazy, complete chaos-we have had nothing but escalated customers-since the company changed the early upgrade policy-everyone is escalated. If we tell the customers, "no" -they want to talk to the M-store manager or DM-district manager. I give out their names and personal mobile numbers if the customers ask. My feeling is I do not make policy, I enforce it, if the M or DM allow customers to have stuff outside of policy that's fine with me. Well, DM was at our Wednesday Morning Meeting and he was talking about the rise in escalated customers and how we just need to smile more and approach customers with a more positive attitude. I like the DM, a lot, he is a genuinely nice guy, but I do not think he realizes how much we take from customers on a daily basis. Nor does he appreciate how day after day of this can wear you out and wear you down. It is easy to say, "be pleasant" and "have a positive attitude" when you rarely have escalated customers talking to you, much less screaming and cursing in your face. I had no idea people could be so horrible until I started working here. On the one hand I am VERY grateful to have a job. There are many who can not say that in this economy. I make decent even good money and have good benefits. My job is easy on the surface, who would have ever realized just how degrading it can be dealing with public. It is not as though this is my first time doing such. I delivered pizzas and worked in fast food all through college-I thought it could not really get any worse than that. HA!!!! Who would have ever thought that customer service for a reputable cell phone company could ever be this difficult. I can appreciate what it feels like to have a company you are paying your hard earned dollars ignore you. I feel that with SBC, DTE, Consumers Energy and Comcast Cable-but I have NEVER acted like my customers do. I have got to find another job.
JE and JA still owe me the $100.00 they borrowed from me 6/10/05 and were supposed to return to me on 6/15/05 or by my vacation at the latest. I finally told JA what was going on. He shared with me how JE is spiraling in his depression and still refusing to deal with it. It seems like JE has been getting worse since he got caught this spring, then the gas got turned off because he had not paid the bill in months-though he told me that the furnace broke, JA shared with me that it was really that he had not been paying it. I know he was been missing work when he was depressed and I think it continued even after that. He told me himself that he had received a verbal warning for attendance and I believe that was within his first 6 months with the company. I also know he has missed more time since then-often weekends. He quit taking the medicine, quit going to therapy and now is just continuing to engage in self-destructive behavior. The last time I talked to JA he told me that JE had not been paying the mortgage-and the house went into foreclosure and they had to refinance to keep it-he did not say how bad it was, but he did say that they had to get a lawyer. I know JE is supposed to handle the bills, but after the gas got cutt off I would have taken over managing them myself. JA promised to give me back the money 2 weeks ago, JE called when we got paid on the 15th-I was supposed to go to Ferndale to see CL's new baby and was going to meet JE for lunch and get the money then but I ended up not going. Either way, here it is the 25th and I STILL have not been paid and I am so broke it is unbelievable. If they truly did not have the money I would be ok with it, not happy about it but we are friends-or were-and I would let something like that go. I mean they have saved my ass time and again with A, picking her up from school or after school activities and dropping her off or taking her to places. It made it much easier on me as a working mom. If I had it I would just give it to them and much more. What irritates me is that F had asked me to borrow money and I had told them both how guilty I felt telling her no, but that my vacation was coming up and I did not want to be broke for it. JE promised to give it back in time. Then he and JA went on vacation, both got tattoos, went up north for part of the week to visit friends, etc. Then, all of a sudden, JE would not return my calls. He ignored me my whole vacation-my calls, my text messages, my voicemails. Unbelievable. You would think as a friend he would at least call and say "hey, I do not have your money like I promised, I know you are angry, but I am sorry." Finally, in desperation, after months like this, I told JA thinking at least I would get my money back before school started for A. HA! Now, neither of them are answering or returning my calls. In a way I miss them-we used to be very close. In another way I am really angry because here I am a single mom, not getting child support, struggling financially, and they owe me $100.00 and are planning another vacation the first week in September and I STILL have not been paid. I think this will/has kill our friendship-pretty much which makes me sad. At the same time I am so pissed. They owe me money and while I have never been mean or rude to either of them about, they feel free to ignore me. How ironic.
My friend CL had her baby boy, L. I forgot how small and fragile new babies are. He is unbelievably sweet, but she is exhausted. Plus, a lot of her life is hanging on a hope and a dream. She is in one of life's ultra stressful holding patterns. I hate them myself. Transitions in your life where you are a nervous wreck, but everything turns out ok in the end, at the time it seems it will never work for everyone involved. I have lived and experienced enough to know that in most situations things turn out ok, pretty much no matter what it is-or how you wanted the situation to go. I am sure that will happen with her, but yikes the meantime can suck. She has excellent job prospects, but no actual job-which is ok since the baby is so tiny-but still I am sure her mind would rest easier if she already had something lined up. The neighborhood she lives in does not have enough kids for the oldest to play with and her landlord is an asshole-so she needs to move. The baby's sperm donor (J is his real dad) does not even have a job or a drivers license-so his ability to help is nil. So, the stress is fairly heavy right now. BUT!!!!!! she is living with a really nice guy-J-who is 23, and without a doubt the best guy she has never dated hands down. Further more, he is employed, intelligent, kind, likes the kids, likes her and does not have another girlfriend somewhere she is sharing him with. She is happier than I have ever seen her-she shines-from the inside out and looks radiant. The happiness is evident in everything she says and does-I have never seen her happy and pregnant-but she was and for the first time I can think of someone other than her mom was there when L was born. I think his birth will forge a bond between the two of them. She is always stressed about money and she should not be-between her child support and J she should be ok. She said to me that loving him has made her a better person and I truly believe that even if it does not work she will make better choices in partners forever. Now that she has seen how it can and should be I do not think she will ever choose to put up with the bullshit again. I think it will work, stranger shit has happened. Look at N and D-I did not know them when they got together-but if I had, I would have thought it would never in a million years work. They have been together 8 or 9 years now and seem to be a truly happy married couple-if not giddy with happiness and romance-certainly more than content and very stable. They give me hope for both CL and myself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A on her very first day of the 7th grade!
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This is my first time using this format and I hope I keep up with it and like it. Blogs have always seemed so complicated to register for, but I figured what the heck, I would give it a shot.
Yesterday was A's first day of school. I can hardly believe it. It seems like just last week that summer started and now here she is starting 7th grade. She seems to like it, says math is her favorite subject. It still floors me that any child of mine could have english and literature but love math and science. A looks so almost exactly like me-only darker and prettier-but we could not be further apart personality wise. She is growing up so quickly. I am proud, excited and frightened all at the same time. I am proud that she is growing up healthy, smart, happy and seems to be able to speak up for herself and is not afraid to challenge authority-especially me. I am excited to see what kind of woman she will make, to see her life unfold-it is truly a blessing and a miracle. I am frightened because I fear I have made too many mistakes for her to ever be ok-I am not patient enough, I do not pay her enough attention, I have not supported her enough, I have not enrolled her in enough extra-curricular activities, I have not provided a good male role model for her, I did not expose her enough to musuems and art galleries. I feel like my time as her parent is coming to end and I have not taught her nearly enough to make it in this world. I know I will alwys be her mom, no matter how old she gets, but she ignores me more and listens to me less. I am glad she has her own mind and want her to form her own opinions but afraid I did not tell her all she needed to know when she was young enough to still believe me. Then on another level I realize that this all part of life and if I were to make totally safe for her I would be depriving her of her chance to become an adult. It is the strife and pain in my own life that has made me who I am today-and I LIKE who I am today and would not want to deny her the chance to feel the same way some years down the road. Still, it was easier feeling this way when she younger. I worry for her and know she thinks she can handle anything and worry about what it will be like for her when she realizes not only is the world not what she thought it was, but she is not who she thought she was. Sigh, parenting is so much more complicated now. I find that I truly feel the lack of a co-parent or even a partner to balance me. I continue just hoping I am making the best choices and doing the best I can. To think, I thought parenting would never be more complicated and difficult than when she was small and I had work and school and daycare was an everyday struggle with no end in sight.
I saw my best friends new baby boy yesterday-L W-he is seems so small. Though he really is not since he was 8.5 pounds at birth. Yet he seems so tiny and breakable. He smelled so good and even his cry was sweet, but I was surprised that seeing him and holding him did not make me long for a baby. There was a time when I thought I would never get over not being able to have another baby. Well, I am pretty much over it now. I can not even imagine going through all of that again-sleepless nights, day care, diapers, all of the mountains of stuff babies need, the car seats, the doctors visits, the potty training-YIKES!!!!!! I just have no desire to do that again. Shew! Especially when I am so close to freedom with A, to start that mess all over again. Children are rewarding and nothing in this world compares to parenting-but still, to have only myself and my own needs to consider for even one day-I am not sure I would want to hold that off another 20 or so years. Then the balance of more than one child. I feel sometimes like giving A enough or even most of the attention and emotional needs she has is draining me of life-I just can not imagine the toll carrying the for multiple children would bring. I know it brings multiple joy and blessings as well, but the day to day bullshit is what wears me down. Did you brush your teeth? Did you do your homework? YES, you have to take a bath!!!!-only every day since the day I brought you home from the hospital, why oh why do I still have to remind you about it everyday? I am just not sure I could do that times 2 or even 3. I remember my mom telling me that 2 kids is way more than just double the work of one kid. Yet, A will have no siblings and as her father is a complete loser-who will she have when I die? Who will rememeber her childhood with her? I worry about her in that regard. She is very social, but no friend is the same as a sibling-the bond is just too different. Yet isn't life odd, my best friend who never wanted any kids or at most just 1 now has 3 and I who wanted at least 4 kids has just 1.

~~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!