So, What’s Your Story?

MMM Showcase, Whoa, Mama! Monday, January 31, 2011

I’ve always been interested in hearing other people’s stories. Learning about how someone developed their sensibilities, their beliefs, their perspective—all of it, fascinating. This blog is about that, sharing stories and by extension, trading lessons lived and learned.

Ms. Mary Mack tries to take an anthropological approach to motherhood/parenting, with the hope of gaining more insight, more information, more wisdom, more compassion … and passing all of this intel along to others.

It may sound syrupy, but it’s true: we need each other, especially as we negotiate this parenthood pathway.

All of this to say, I’m on the hunt for more stories. I want to hear from more mothers (and fathers!) who are doing this thing with style, their own style. I’d love to hear from people like:

  • the single mother/single father
  • the adoptive mother
  • the stay-at-home or work-from-home dad
  • more global mamas
  • the co-parenting mom/dad
  • the gay dad
  • the lesbian mom
  • the parent recovering
  • the mom who never wanted to have children, but changed her mind just as the shot clock ran out of time

Basically, I just want to hear about you, and all the twists your story takes.

So, I’ve got my notebook opened to a fresh page and I’m listening. Tell me your story (or nominate someone else to be featured here). Start by dropping me a line at get[dot]msmack [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks, friends.

A Day to Reflect and Pay Respect

MMM Showcase Monday, January 17, 2011

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. His actual birthday was last Saturday, January 15. Had he lived—not cut down in the prime of his mission—this man, a leader and hero, would have turned 82 this year.

So on this holiday, I’m pausing to remember and pay respect to our freedom rider, Dr. King.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”

You can watch all of King’s historic, moving “I Have A Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington, here.

Have a good day, friends.

Step Aside, Action Jackson, We Got This

Life As Mom, MMM Showcase Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A photog friend recently shared her word for the New Year: Expansion. Isn’t that a fantastic word with which to lead a charge into 2011? After she said it, I could immediately see myself putting it into action. So many ways to expand, grow, broaden, diversify.

It got me thinking about what my one word would be for the year. Looking back to capture 2010′s word was its own exercise, and somewhat easier. You have 365 days to reflect upon and find the theme in all of it. But casting your ideas and vision ahead of you, thinking about how you want to direct things, how you want to shape the year? That takes more work.

So I did what I normally do when I’m curious about some part of this life we’re living—I listened.

I asked around. My short and highly unscientific survey turned up some great words: Explosion, Patience, Enough,  Focus, Peace, Change, Joy, Organization, Strength, Freedom, Kindness, Light. <—-This one is from Ali Edwards, the first person I’ve heard of who’s made this “one little word” a practice. In fact, she starts thinking about her word for the coming year when autumn hits.

Maybe that’s where I went wrong, I thought. Maybe I started this word search too late in the game. After all, we are in the second week of 2011.

Couldn’t find my word. I was getting really close to “borrowing” one from my survey results. I could make “expansion” or “kindness” work for me, right? But that didn’t feel legitimate.

Then I found myself in a familiar spot: early morning lying in bed, an internal battle raging over the best way to spend the 30 minutes of free/me time I had before Mama Blades had to spring into action.

Should I go running? Well, it is cold out there. And this bed is criminally comfortable.

Should I try to catch a few extra Zs since I was up unreasonable late?  But, it’s been a few days since you ran. Better get on it.

Back and forth I went. And the clock ticked on. Soon it was going to be a matter of how to best spend 8 minutes. I wished for someone, anyone, to knock on the door and hand me a slip of paper with the answer on it. Blades, do this: _________.

In the end I went with the cold-weather run, but it took me far too long to decide. To just do.

I mentioned this to my husband. How he didn’t roll his eyes at me, a complete mystery, since this equivocating is something that I’ve struggled with a lot lately. I think it’s prickly underside of ambition. There’s so much I want to accomplish, so many things to take care of as a busy WAHM, that I sometimes get stuck in the glue of trying to take it all on.

My husband, wise as always, simply said: “The more time you spend deciding, the less time you have to actually do.”

That’s when I found my word … Do.

And, man, does it feel like the perfect one.  It’s time to curb the mulling and pump up the action side of things. Time to trust myself; I’m a very reasonable dame with keen instincts. Time to bet on myself; I’ve got the goods. Time to do, and get it done.

So, little word with the big possibilities, let’s see what you’ve got.

A Word About 2010

Life As Mom, MMM Showcase Tuesday, December 21, 2010

At the start of this month, I talked about my sister and the fantastic online project she was working on called Reverb 10. It’s all about looking back—thinking back, to the year that was—so that you may welcome in what is to come. The first exercise, on December 1, asked you to find the one word that best captures your year, 2010.

I said that I had a few words zooming around my head, and that once I fine-tuned it down to that one word, I would blog about it. Well. I’ve got my word. So here’s the post.

Drumroll, please … and I do think one is necessary here. After all, we’re talking about one word.

One word that holds this last, big, full year inside of it. One word to summarize the ups, downs and middle grounds. The side-splitting laughter of it. The music loud, dancing in the kitchen of it. The exquisite quiet of it. The overflowing with love of it. The cranky, gray skies of it. The sad day, think things through of it. The incredible, heartwarming moment of it. The surprise, people are good of it. The taste-this-it’s-delicious of it. The brilliantly timed, warm hug of it. The choose composure, choose joy of it. The 365 good, bad, quirky days of this past year.

So, my word is …

Change. Boldface. And capital C.

It fits my 2010 just perfectly.

There has been plenty of change in the last near-two years—becoming a mother being at the top of things. But these 51 weeks I have tucked under my belt have been particularly loaded with change. Change of lifestyle. Change of address. Change of perspective. Change of routine. Change of heart. Change of priorities. Change for the better.

It’s that good kind of change. The kind that when you take a moment such as this to reflect, you step away grateful, impressed, humbled, content.

As John F. Kennedy once said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Well, my eyes are open and, happily, looking forward, watching for whatever change comes my way.

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