playdate with little miss Petulance

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man, that first cup of coffee went quickly. i think it’s burning my stomach lining i drank it so fast. i feel rushed this morning, knowing that i have a toddler sleeping upstairs, fresh from grandma and grandpa’s spoiler factory in western new york. a toddler who will wake like the tiny sleeping giant that she is, to throw joy, tantrums and whirling winds into my morning.

i feel reluctantly rushed this whole week, trying to sort out a bunch of my own evolution and squeeze it into a regular, worldly human’s schedule. i’m not complaining, or lamenting less inspired days gone by…but i do find myself whiny and petulant and feeling what i would call selfish. my inner toddler wishes i had my own “patron of the arts” to fund my free spirit…and a live-in “servant” (aka Personal Assistant?). unfortunately, i think people like that expect you to create some sort of art before they consider volunteering funding for further adventures. and i’m just not quite established or brilliant enough to attract unpaid interns for the PA job.

i look at my daughter’s new Curious George Mood Puzzle and realize that i’m in all of those moods at once…though the ache in the pit of my stomach is not real sickness, it’s Love sickness. it’s the kind of Love sickness that makes it hard to think about serious things for very long, the kind i don’t really want to go away, the kind i will never have enough sick leave at work to cover, the kind i’m suppose to manage, not “cure.” i wish giving and receiving Love to myself, to people and to these pages was a paying gig. i wish everything came as easily to me as words do from my mouth and fingertips.

so today i will name my most recent amalgamation of moods…i shall call her Petulance. i look to my daughter for examples, for a crisp definition and easily recognizable signs that Petulance is eating up my day and spirit. she’s 2, she does petulant well. she expresses it outwardly, boldly, unapologetically and sometimes with a whine that, while irritating, is expected and correctable over time.  it is SO much less attractive on me. and even though i keep much of it concealed from the grownup world, i can see it in myself in the mirror, and in many of my recent spiritual reflections. lately, as fun and interesting things have populated my heartscape and schedule, i’ve not had much luck trying to overcome Petulance and her abhorrence for my 9-5 responsibilities.

it’s time to try something different, an experiment. today i will embrace Petulance and attempt to forgive myself for all of the whining, the sulking, the procrastination, the selfishness, the laziness and all of the inconsistencies and recriminations floating around my skull and clouding my vision of an enlightened life. i’m pretty sure that an enlightened life includes all of the moods and attributes included in these paragraphs. efforts to eliminate them feel futile (like my job sometimes)…so i will welcome Petulance and her constituents graciously as visitors, even if they are the kind most can only take in small doses. perhaps if i welcome them, feed them, comfort them and then show them kindly to the door, my magnanimity will have enough energy and focus leftover to spend on the tasks and dreams at hand.

my magnanimity may need a glass of whine…er…wine later and a grownup friend to talk to after entertaining Petulance all week. and my toddler may need a glass of (something age appropriate) and a stuffed elephant to talk to after dealing with one day of me. if anyone has suggestions for entertaining and wearing her out, i’m listening. i’m talking about suggestions for Petulance, not my 2-year old.

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