The Void

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Dear Mama,
There's this void in me. I'm not sure how to explain it. I have no idea whether it is your lack of presence. I suspect that is only part of it. I feel like I keep trying to fill it - or perhaps cover it? - with something or someone, but nothing changes. It feels like there is part of me missing and I don't even know what part that is. Someone your age just made an entrepreneurial start and mentioned that it felt like everything she'd done in her life was leading up to this ... is this what I'm in search for? And I have to wait 20 years for it? Struggling to figure things out ... and, dare I say it without sounding completely morbid ... just to die?

What's particularly frustrating is that usually, I would pick up the phone and call you, or just come for a visit, have Papa play with Liam and sit down to a cup of tea with you in the living room. You'd ask the probing questions, discuss your own journey, offer your opinions of what my strengths and weaknesses are and then say something along the lines of, "you'll figure it out eventually" with a proud, slightly wry smile on your face, take another sip of your tea and suggest we go outside to join the boys.

On the other hand, I know you LOVED raising us. I know this. I know because you told me. And sometimes, I feel conflicted about the daily grind of childrearing. I know you didn't particularly relate. Which leaves me feeling inadequate. Again. So, do I just think I suck and need to get some self-esteem and patience with myself? What a rut.

Or is it all the pregnancy, and I should just have a cup of tea and not think too much about anything for, oh, another year?

Is this how you felt after your mother died? How ironic is it that my best resource on how to deal with a mother's death is the very reason I need this advice?

Well, I'm feeling the cosmic joke lineage, that's for sure. Have a chuckle on me.


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I think we all will figure it out eventually. I hope I do. In the meantime, you should check my baby's blog for a surprise. xoxo


For some reason your thoughts about feeling inadequate because the daily grind of mothering doesn't echo the same feelings your mother said she felt (although I'm guessing she said this years later as a reflection rather than during the thick of things) reminded me of something Ruhiyyih Khanum said about pioneering. I remember her talking about how different people went about it and how there were some that would sweep in and teach and establish a community and move on, while others would settle and bury their bones in foreign lands. It seemed an odd, random thought, but I think it pops into my head often when I think about how we each have completely different experiences on this rock. Being a mother who has a life devoted almost entirely to children is no more or less noble than being a mother who works outside the home, balancing different worlds while still caring for and being an example for her children.

Although you have so many things in common with your mother you are your own woman and should feel okay with your own feelings and never measure them by anyone else's. Grace is not just acceptance of your situation, but acceptance of your emotions and your confident, measured reaction to them. “In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet” ~ Alice Abrams

Boy do I ever hear you, Mara. If feels like such a betrayal of the sweet innocent child to not be eternally delighted to simply be with her all day whatever the grind. Lucky are the eternally delighted.
As for the rest of us, well perhaps we have other strengths as parents? Perhaps the best of what we are is what God wanted for our children, and whatever tests we present to them are opportunities for their growth. They certainly are opportunities for our growth, aren't they?
Maybe some of us get our eternal delight on the intermittent delivery plan.

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If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you.

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Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It's very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

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Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on September 1, 2009 11:48 AM.

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