Monday, January 30, 2012

Momming with Mimi: My Catharsis

"Even my small efforts in a certain direction seem to 
put me right back at my lame starting point. "



  1. The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

A lot has happened since I began my unplanned hiatus from LadyMama just under two months ago. There was Chanukah, the New Year, assisting the gorgeous birth of my latest nephew and a plethora of news and events that any normal blogger would have addressed — like Matisyahu shaving his beard.

And yet, I was MIA. 

Essentially, I had to take a break from blogging because I couldn't face my readers when it was myself that needed a pep-talk. Sure, blogging has usually been a tremendously effective outlet to regain my composure and move on, but well, I guess it was just that bad! 

So let me do a little talking out loud—some discoveries, if you will—so I can let it out and move on! 

So here's the truth, people. I wake up grumpy, loving my kids... but not the time they rise. I get dressed lethargically, often hating the clothing I get dressed in...and the body I dress. I eat a standard breakfast that, well, let's just say is nothing like the sugar-free or fruit-inspired meals I deeply wish I could commit to. Having succumbed to bad habits such as mental complaining and cereal cravings before it's even nine o'clock, I have no option to fall prey to my negative notion that all else today will be doomed. 

So even though I get myself together enough to proceed with my work duties for FridayLight, I constantly feel like I start the day on a bad foot. And by the end of the day, thats two exhausted feet and a disappointed failure of a person. 

The deeper black hole adding to this embarrassing way to live is that I feel like I have an enormous potential to be a very powerful, inspiring, alive and happy person. I know this is true, because I have been there. I am a unique person with incredible talents. There I said it. Ugh, I just had to go and say it. You see, it's so much easier to ignore it. That way I don't have to answer my soul's call, don't have to actually step in the direction of my dreams. I mean, there's so much I want to do. Like author a book. Or two! And meanwhile, I can't even get my weekly column together. Even my small efforts in a certain direction seem to put me right back at my lame starting point. 

I AM A SPIRITUAL DESERT                                           
  I think the last time I made a real active effort to nourish my soul and grow as a Jewish woman was over 5 years ago, learning in Israel. Which was actually the same place that spent a lot of time trying to get us to believe that marriage and motherhood were going to offer enormous wellsprings of connection, inspiration and growth. Ya. Right. Listen here. I love my husband and my children are a gift. I even love my work. But my soul? My soul is dry. It still speaks to me a lot and knows its direction. It still gets moments of inspiration and even tears when reading or watching something true. It's still serves as a good compass. But it is too hushed by it's owner's complaints, laziness, responsibilities and a good dose of procrastination to ever truly sing it's song. I've felt this way for too long now, and yet I was finding the time to blog? I seem to always choose instant gratification over climbing a ladder. Go figure.
Adding salt to the wound is living so publicly, thanks to my blog, my Facebook page and so on. Because of various projects and articles I don't even care to mention, a lot of people know my name. For some crazy reason, I have 63 subscribers on Facebook — and they are all strangers to me. I constantly get messages and e-mails praising my Facebook groups or something I have published. But I find these efforts only a small percentage of what I really could and should be doing! Yet everyone falls for this image, settles for the second-best Mimi. 

When I run into someone who compliments me for being so busy and involved and how do I find the time and yadda yadda...I smile and say "Thank you." 

But I really want to scream, "Girl, trust me, I am sooooo paaaatheeetic!"


So once I went a few days without posting, it turned into weeks and, well, it started to feel kind of good. You know, some time to examine who I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are, what I really have to communicate to myself, my family and my readers. Some time off from seeing life through the lens of LadyMama.

Even though I am back, I am admitting that not much has changed. I had Life cereal for breakfast this morning (how ironic). I have not taken up yoga. I woke up crusty-eyed with mental complaining. The mumbling of morning blessings was a lousy excuse for prayer. I stil feel like I am a powerless, pathetic person unable to conquer almost anything I deeply want to commit to. But, alas, abandoning my blog and the beauty of sharing and connecting with other women, is one thing I can no longer tolerate on the list. Thankfully, I live in a world where most women are brave enough to embrace an honest outlook on being a mother, with all the wins and losses of being human. And even if all my complaining does nothing to inspire another, it certainly acts as a friend to the women out there experiencing the kind of minset I clearly struggle with. So I plan on continuing to share this challenge, my successes and failures, and step-by-step make the kind of decisions that will enable me to be the powerful, or even just good, person I know I am. 

I want to close this post with a mediocre effort at being positive and grateful :) 

Thank you G-d for making me who I am and giving me the beautiful life and family that I promise to work harder to celebrate! Thank you to my amazing husband who is a constant beam of appreciation and positive thinking! Thank you to my children who, beyond being well-behaved and absolutely edible, are teaching me what it means to be a good person. Thank you to my mother who I can be open with, kvetch and always take away some inspiration and solutions. Thank you to my sister and sister-in-laws who let me complain to an embarrassing point, don't judge and make it possible to laugh at it all off! Thank you Melda, my cleaning lady/nanny who lovingly helps with the baby and the house and is my sanity in life. Thank you to all my friends and readers who asked me to get my tush back here and even encouraged my good dose of complaining. 

I know my self-affirmations above were not 
exactly motivating, but I will turn them around 
in due time. Meanwhile, it's good to be back! 

6 LadyMama voices:

Evelyn Krieger said... [Reply to comment]

Welcome back. I just discovered your blog. I'm a veteran mom and writer, so I've definitely been where you are. Your symptoms suggest that you are suffering from the disease I am recovering from:perfectionism. It's a killer!
You are a terrific writer, Mimi.

Fashion-isha said... [Reply to comment]

Mimi I'm so glad your back and I'm so glad you wrote what you wrote. Do you really think you're the only one who feels this way? I just read an article interviewing Demi Moore (Demi Moore!!) who was saying how everyday she has to struggle with her acceptance of the things she hates about her body (!) and her feelings of never really reaching her potential (!!) Come on! I wish we lived closer because, girl...we would do coffee and you would see that we are all exactly the same! I get the same 'praise' but I too wake up unmotivated, overwhelmed, disgusted with my body, in the mood to binge on sugar, annoyed with the kids I love dearly and get depressed over when they're not here. Every day is a new day of hard work. The key is to accept and love yourself fully with all your flaws and just march on through the drudgery to the best you you can be. And trust me it will be awesome!!

Lotsa love!

Oh and about the davening...yeah I try so hard to connect and it's just so!!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Dear Mimi - I'm new to your blog but very familiar with the sentiments you've expressed in this post....

I've been studying the work of Reb Nachman ( a complicated person if ever there was one) with my Torah study group and, while it's often difficult to penetrate, I did have a breakthrough in understanding on our recent retreat, and it was this: we are perfect the way we are. As full of contradictions and what we see as our own shortcomings, the truth is this: we are perfect. Where we are is where we're supposed to be at this moment. Don't worry about where you aren't, because you're actually in the right place.

Understanding this through his "Tale of the 7 Beggars" impacted me in a deep way.

Anyway, because your post resonated so strongly for me, I am offering some pragmatic (and unsolicited) advice: love yourself the way you love your children. They are perfect even when they make a 'mistake' or don't do something perfectly, right? So are you. So keep that at the front of your thoughts and repeat it often. Maybe you'll start to believe it.

le7 said... [Reply to comment]

You're hardly the only one. (I mean that to be comforting honestly). On the outside I look extremely busy too but I waste so much time. (I'm a full-time student in a pretty academically demanding program).

But I waste so much of my time. I keep trying to tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. This week is a new week. So what that I've never planned dinner in my life, I can do it this week. That all we can really control is the person we are right now... yadda yadda yadda.

It kind of is working....

sgr said... [Reply to comment]

I could have written this post word for word!wish u didnt live across the ocean so that we could connect in person!

you are doing great
take good care!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Mimi,
Fell upon your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it!

Doing the right thing and making more efforts to strengthen your relationship with Hashem,will definitely lift you up to a happier more confident place.
You seem to be a bright and happy person. Someone who has the power to inspire many.
Focus on what you know is truly important and you will reach true heights!