Yo ho, yo ho

Today's was Dido's fifth birthday, and most--ok, all--of the day was spent organizing and orchestrating his party. The actual party only lasted three hours, but between the time I spent designing and making the invitations, tracking down pirate-y party favors and decorations, baking the cake which looked like two ships (yellow cake with chocolate frosting) sailing on smooth seas (carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, tinted sea blue), prepping snacks, planning party-time projects (decorate your own pirate hat!) and games (hunt for treasure, aka the goody bags by following clues around the house and yard,) ordering pizza (so sue me--we had almost 70 people)...you get the idea. Lot o' time. Totally worth it. He had so much fun. The best part, says he, was "playing pirate with my friends." As it should be.

I love doing all this stuff, and I am good at it. But it does provoke an inordinate amount of anxiety about, oh, you know, who the hell I am after all. I'm in one of those times where I feel like my whole life could just break free from its moorings and head off in a completely new and unnavigable direction. I find myself having random (and not so random) crushes on men who are not my husband, becoming really nostalgic for my youth in a way I haven't been in years (maybe ever), missing being out in the world of the fully-employed. I know, I know how good I have it. I love my husband; he loves me; mostly, our marriage is good and strong. I adore my children to a point that is nearly painful. I have the luxury of not working full time, and in fact, just got a real pep talk from my husband about how now is the time for me to really, really pursue my writing. He thinks I'm good at it, and that any thoughts I have of going back to the grind of a 9 to 5 (ha! more like 8 to 8, plus 2-3 hours of reading nightly) day job are just covering for my fears of really trying to make a living, or at least an avocation, as a creative --creating--person.

Some of what I am reacting against is the crushing routine of childrearing. I haven't read the controversial article from a few weeks ago about the woman who confessed (to her thousands of readers) that she finds her kids boring. Maybe I'd jump on the bandwagon of those who've tsked tsked her for her callous ways. But I find mothering boring, too. Not the moments--they are delicious, or maddening, or mysterious--but the passage of time, which is relentless in its repetition. Lately, I've been trying to approach that repetition as a kind of Zen, a meditation on the necessary, in the hopes that by not fighting it, I'll feel more myself, more creative, less bogged down.

As a natural extension, maybe, of that impulse, tomorrow I start a three day course in Vedic meditation, which, as I understand it, is meditation in the Indian tradition (hence the name Vedic), using a mantra, focusing your mind instead of clearing it. I'll report in on what I learn.

In the meantime, the post I want to be writing, and the thing I'd love everyone's thoughts on, is extramarital crushes. Do you have them? Do you google them? Do you look between the linds of their emails for hidden meanings? Do you feel like an idiot while you do? I'm not talking about affairs. Affairs (not that I would know, happily) are probably best not talked about. But oh, the romance of the crush. It's one of the few things that makes me sad about my longish marriage, that I am unlikely to ever again have that sweet feeling when you're just discovering whether (or not) chemistry is two sided, and able to sustain from words into something beyond words...

Taking my romanticizing sorry self off to bed...

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