Saturday, September 30, 2006

Shiny Happy Universe

On other topics, I am trying to make my life more of how I want. I want clear space to breathe? Okay, then, make the commitment to clear space! I am trying to launch off the things I already do well. F'r instance, I have to have a clean tub, so I scrub it to shiny squeakiness at the first sign of soap scum. I know it's weird, but a shiny clean tub makes me happy. I like sweeping my floors. I like pinching the flower heads off the basil to keep it growing happily. I like the tasks that show immediate results. I feel happier for having done them. The challenge is to do the same for tasks that have gotten overgrown and messy beyond the easy prune.

I read something once years ago that prompted one of my desktop affirmation mottos: Inner Peace Through Daily Maintenance. I can't claim to have written that, but I hang onto that when things seem too overwhelming. It's the whole Bird by Bird philosophy (see Anne Lamott) married to the idea of a regular system. Some quotes:

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Author unknown/unremembered:

"IN HER INTRODUCTION, she explains why housekeeping is important, and why it should be revived. She articulates what I had never realized when I was fluffing the sofa pillows and cleaning windows. Thos chores have very little to do with being meticulous and clean, she says. Instead, they are the means to psychological well-being. It doesn't really matter how someone folds a towel. but it provides a foundation if a person has a system for folding towels..."

Oh, yeah. I like my systems.

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For balance:

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. " -- Lin Yutang

The crucial concept here for me is the concept of "essential." What is essential and what is not so important? Ah, it's all in the deciding, is it?

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And something from me:

The universe gravitates towards order and then towards chaos. Like a huge animal breathing, or the sea fluctuating between tides, the universe continually pulses on both cosmic and minute scales and every scale in between.

Ther are random peaks and valleys in states or order and chaos. Even within the larger swings, there are ongoing fluctuations. So a state of chaos might grow, then peak, then start coming back to an ordered state.

Some say the natural state of the universe is order. Some say it is chaos. I tend to say: both!

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... but as much as I appreciate the possibility of creative chaos, I prefer creating order and balance. Something aligned with beauty and purpose. Life aligned in balance. That's the larger pattern that makes me sing in happy synchronicity. Oh, to avoid the distractions. ha. But I like my distractions, my chaos! Then the small pool of order stands out so clearly, and reminds me of what that's like, pulls me with yearning (like the moon) again towards alignment. Order and chaos, like the tides.

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Nearly Fall And All That Paperwork

Long time no blog. I've been busy, and obsessed with other things. Also, I've been somewhat discouraged by reports that the wait times in China are slowing down so much. Ack. I have been readjusting my expectations, but not happily. 2 years, plus. okay... I might have been less enthused about China if I had been aware of this before we'd sunk so munch money into the process, but we feel pained at giving up our dream of a little girl from China, so... we move onward.

Well, we have completed the homestudy visits. It wasn't bad. They kept encouraging us to eat dinner while we talked, to the degree that we started to feel that they wanted to *watch* us eat dinner to see what we would do! Ok, so we ate dinner! I was picking basil out of the garden for pesto when the social worker came up. I made pesto and tossed it with pasta and vegetables. Yes! Let me show off my womanly homemaking skills! lolol Too funny.

We did clean house, but we didn't get to clearing the baby's room (which we keep calling something else from its earlier days). I decided to just not worry about being super neat. Let's be realistic, here; we are not all that neat. The social worker just laughed when she saw the room. "Where are you going to put all this?" Sell, reorganize, redistribute. Worse case, we'll put it in the basement. She didn't even seem to notice the various annoying flaws of our old house. OK, we have no known hazards in the house. :) Plumbing functional, not too many dust mice it the house, etc.

But we haven't gotten word that the draft is back as expected. I am just assuming that if there was anything they objected to that she would have told us... Maybe that is an erroneous assumption. Maybe they would route a rejection through the agency. God! Something else to worry about! After I blabbed at boring length about my childhood and relations with my family, sisters, etc, I started to feel rather overexposed. Again, oh well! It's over and done, so I try to not waste energy worrying about it.

But in better news, we finally got our appointment to get fingerprinted in the big city next month. It's on an inopportune day for a variety of reasons, but I am glad my husband has proclaimed it a priority. Yes! We will go and do the thing!

Since my trip to New England last month, I have been immersed in other things. It's been hard to get my head back into the process. Just today, my husband asked what else we needed to do to progress with the paperwork. I had been wondering just how fast we would be progressing if I wasn't taking charge of so much of the organization, so I was gratified that he had started to be more present to the process. So we reviewed our list of items and tasks to complete, and he is motivated to work on the things within his range. It's more motivation for me, too, to restart tracking down all the little details. Oy! How this drags on!

On the other hand, we have time to do things like learn Chinese Mandarin. I was teaching some of what I know to M tonight on our walk. I am actually really happy that he is interested. After grades are in, he wants to look at books on China and adopting, etc. I am currently compiling to a list of books I want to read on adoption, parenting, transracial adopting, all of that. I don't want to have to buy them all (not wanting to spend money like we have gobs of it), but some of them might be worth it. Hopefully I can track down some of them in the library. Not that I want my name attached to records on this topic. (Hellooo record-trackers!) But again, oh well.

I have also been finding and reading yet more blogs on a variety of related topics. So much good writing out there! Maybe someday I will get my act together (and conquor shyness) to provide linkies to some of the blogs I most enjoy and admire.

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One weird story recently -- somebody at my sister's church had terrible news about a local family who had just internationally adopted two children, then ran into some tragic health news. That is just stunning enough, but my sister was thinking, well, what if they needed to give up their children? (She thought of us as possible parents to "step in" and be new parents. !! Ack!!) She was obliquely feeling them out on this idea. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around the tragedy of the situation, much less even considering taking on their children! The last thing I want to do is snatch some poor people's babies away from them! Plus, if there were a real need, they would have already designated guardians. That's why they have the guardianship requirement, afterall.

Oh my God. I'm feeling rather embarassed that she would pursue this line of thought. I'm so glad we don't know this person however distantly. I can't honestly imagine that a parent would ever give up their new babies, and how awful for the babies, too! I would not want to "benefit" from somebody else's tragedy. ... Although, how far removed is it from the whole adoption scenario? Baby is abandoned, adoptive parents step in. I have mixed, mosly sad feelings about that too. I guess if there has to be sadness and grief, it's at least one positive step to have a stable loving home at the end of it. But it doesn't take away the grief of it.

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Ni hau ma? Wau hen hau, xia, xia.

My Mom says: maybe she is being conceived soon. But I say: No, she will be conceived next year. And then I have to wait for my baby to be abandoned by her first mother. How sad is that? Waiting for sadness, waiting for happiness. I want to wrap her up and cuddle her and keep her safe, to make her know how beautiful and special she is and that we will always love and cherish her. That we will never leave her. Who do I send this message to now? Some anonymous mother-to-be who will not want to keep her baby. I want to say: I'm so sorry. And: we will keep her safe.

Wau-duh bao bao. My treasure.

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