Double stick tape + craft store rhinestones + ikea picture frame = totally muchness picture frame! I’ll probably sprinkle glitter between the stones to cover the rest of the tape. You’re welcome.
I wrote this post 6 months ago. I postdated it for today, Molly’s Birthday, and the date the twins were conceived.
And then, I promptly forgot about it. Because, although I meant every word of it, I couldn’t see HOW I could truly help.
And I’d see this post in my “pending” box on my blog, and think- “well, that’s not going to happen, that post’s not going to go live.” But life has a funny way of making things happen.
I was recently asked this question.
“What Pisses you off the most in this world.”
It was suggested that the answer to this question is the also the answer to “Where does your passion live?” “What is your life’s purpose?” “How can you make a change in this world?”
Hmmmm… Got me thinking.
For a bit.
And then I forgot about it.
But then, I got pissed off. And I remembered.
So, what pissed me off so passionately that it made me think of this connection?
A little while back I went to dinner with two very dear friends. They are both women I’ve met online. Both women that have lost one of their twin babies to TTTS. Both women that have impacted my life in tremendous ways. Because they have helped me through my pain and grief, and they have allowed me to help them through theirs. And both sides of that coin is a tremendous gift.
At dinner, we were having a blast. We were drinking a bit, sharing our lives and our appetizers with one another as though we were sisters… which in a way, with everything we’ve shared, we are.
A friend of a friend of one of theirs was in the restaurant and decided to join us for a drink. We were chatting with him about The Muchness, talking about how I have a site online where I encourage women to wear sparkly things and be happy. I kept it pretty lighthearted, as I didn’t think throwing in the whole history of the site was necessary. But then, he asked us each how many kids we have. Now, as any baby loss mom can tell you, in a moment that becomes the most loaded question a stranger can ask you. Not mentioning your loss can feel like a betrayal, but mentioning it, well, it’s kinda a lot to randomly drop into a conversation. We each come to terms with the answer that feels right for us, for now. For me, the answer is “I have two little girls at home.” It’s the “at home” that honors my two girls that aren’t at home, but doesn’t create an awkward moment of, um, “oh, sorry.”
So that is what I answered.
But my friends were not having it. Oh no. With friends like that, you mention ALL your kids or they will do it for you, and that is just what they did. They told this dude about Sunshine and Daisy and also about their angels. And then, this young man said something that pissed me off.
He said “My cousin lost twin girls almost three years ago. She’s never met anyone else who lost twins. She basically locked herself in her room hasn’t left her house since.”
It pissed me off because it broke my heart. It pissed me off because this woman feels so alone and isolated. It pissed me off because there is so much love in the heart of a babyloss mother- wild, fierce and passionate love that has no earthbound recipient to accept it. That love, flying freely in the world, I believe it can move mountains. But, those powerful emotions, unmanaged, turned inward, they can break you down. It pisses me off that there are women out there feeling like that, living like that, buried under the grief. It pisses me off that there is no-one to help them understand that they have the power to take that love and use it, build on it, allow it to blossom into beautiful things that they can create in this world.
I want to do that.
I want to reach out to every baby loss mom that is feeling buried beneath her grief and show her that their is beauty in her sadness, there is strength in her tears, and there is life in her baby’s memory. And it is all through her.
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve found the clarity. I’ve found the answers. And, though it may be the biggest undertaking of this Muchness Journey thus far, I am going to do it anyway. Because that’s what this journey is about. Being afraid and doing it anyway.
I believe this is why I’m here…. why my daughters are here.
I never really liked that tree on my front lawn anyhow. In the summer all the leaves blocked the sunlight to my disco ball table… Good riddance! (damn, I wish it didn’t have to take down two power line poles and all the wires attached to my home with it on its descent. Gonna be a looong couple of weeks till we’re back up n running….)
All day folks from the neighborhood collected on our lawn like it was some sorta tourist attraction. At one point I considered ripping branches off the tree to sell as souvenirs, but then decided that was a stupid idea. Ya think?
Today is my six year wedding anniversary!
I’ll be honest, last year passed without much fanfare. I don’t know why, especially since that was supposed to be our first “option to renew” anniversary.
…Quick background, historically, I’d never been a big believer in the idea of happily ever after with one person. It just seemed, I don’t know, conventional. Plus, almost no-one I knew in my family had proven it to be possible, at least not in the way I wanted to envision it. So, I decided Marriage should be a 5 year contract with an option for renewal at the end of 5 years. That way, you could try it out and if it wasn’t working, after 5 years, you could walk away, no harm, no foul.(Genius, right? I know.) So last year, Elie joked that he was thinking he might not renew for another 5 years. I told him to STFU, we both laughed and I think I got a card. That’s cool, it’s how we roll. I was probably exhausted from burning the candle at both ends and the day just sorta came and went.
But today, I woke up in the mood to celebrate it. Maybe because I posted this pic on FB and it got like, a bajillion “likes” and that got me pumped.
That “after” was actually us just last night at a Bat Mizvah. Note to self- We both need haircuts.
On FB, I pointed out that Elie was wearing the same suit in both pictures and he said only 1% of people can fit into their wedding clothes after the wedding… So I got to thinking. The day after our wedding, We had a nice, leisurely breakfast at the hotel of pancakes and eggs and my dress hasn’t fit me since. But, thanks to Elie and his obsession with all healthy foods, (Give that man a pile of beans and some bok choy and he’s happier than me in a bathtub of sequins…) it occurred to me I may actually be the size I was at our wedding.
So, I pulled out the dress.
And, I put it on.
And I zipped it up!
And then, after lamenting how my pre-baby nursing bust filled out the top so much nicer, I got psyched that it fit and remembered what a fun dress it was to wear and so I turned on our wedding song- yes, that’s right, our wedding song- and went bananas in the living room!
Posting this video here is a little self-indulgent. That being said, creating a blog about yourself is a little self-indulgent so why on earth and I getting sensitive about it now? Well, I really, honestly made this just to send Elie at work an make him laugh, but when I watched it back I realized how super muchtastic it is. I NEVER, EVER would have had the balls to make, let alone share, in any form, this nonsense before The Muchness. Fact is, I probably would have even rolled my eyes and wondered what the hell was wrong with a grown woman posting this online. Clearly she is just a lonely housewife craving attention, right? But here’s the thing! Having thoughts like that SUCK! Blech. Total Muchness Killers.
Anyway, I had so much fun making this and I don’t care about judgey people like me, pre-muchness, being all judgey. Those people need to get in touch with Their Much!
And for what it’s worth, I edited it down to like, 20 seconds. More than that, I just didn’t want to subject you to that. See? I care. You can thank me later…
So, many of you probably remember my radio conversations with Dr. Phil Dembo, Auther of The Real Purpose of Parenting. Well, I was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest blog for us… and I love his topic choice! 🙂
FINDING OUR MUCHNESS…HOW DID WE LOSE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
If you are reading this blog entry, you already know the beautiful and amazing energy Tova is generating with her “Finding my Muchness” challenge.
We all, at some point in our lives, must face the fact that the circumstances that unfold before each of us can be painful, daunting and completely exhausting.
That, I’m afraid, is just life!
It is also equally important to note that the circumstances may unfold with positivity, opportunity and joy. Yet, without our muchness, that too can feel overwhelming.
You see, it is not the circumstances that present themselves that force us to lose our way from the “muchness” inside.
And it is not the way we handle those circumstances that dictate how much “muchness” is available to us.
Each baby is born “universal,” where their experience equals their identity.
A newborn feels their total “muchness,” their total greatness, without ever really thinking about its existence.
Why, because their muchness IS their experience.
A baby feels hungry and cries. A baby is fed and coos.
There is no low self-worth, no feelings of inadequacy, and no preoccupation with the circumstance as a way to create their identity.
The human condition IS our muchness!
It is through the years of “comparative analysis” of what “ought to be” with “what is” that we begin to lose the feeling of our greatness and replace it with the learned script of who we are supposed to be.
It is the learned judgment of self as it relates to others that force us to lose our way.
Judgment of self, judgment of others, and judgment of our circumstance based on a contrived standard society (others) have created for us teaches each baby to relinquish their muchness and replace it with performance.
We are born universal. We are born with our “muchness.”
We must learn to stop the comparison, the judgment, and feel the moment we are in to find our way back…back to where we began…completely in the moment of our greatness.
Thank God for people like Tova Gold, who show us ways to find our way out of judgment and into the moment of who we are.
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I want to share this poem I wrote a few weeks ago after the three year anniversary of our loss.
Sometimes I think back to my pre-loss opinions, that “stuff like this happens and you move on” and the foolish idea I had early on that we would basically “keep it to ourselves” …and then I look at where I am now, and wondered if maybe, at three years, I’d be more “over it” if I’d followed conventional (old, faulty) thinking and just kept quiet and ‘put it behind me’…
That was my thought when I sat down to write this poem, which practically fell out of me. But oddly, the idea that that would have been a better way to deal with it, I honestly couldn’t even connect enough words to express that thought, because it is so unrealistic.
The poem isn’t perfect. I’m nobody’s poet. And it might have echoes of Dr. Seuss in it’s rhythms, but whatever.
If you like it and it means something to you, please let me know.
I wonder how it’d be different
I wonder how it’d be different if I hadn’t shared their names
If I’d kept them to myself and I hadn’t shared my pain
I wonder how it’d be different if I’d kept them to myself
If I’d hid all of my sorrow and I’d never asked for help.
Now at three years later would I still think of them daily
Would I see them in the little things
and hear their names in passing winds.
How would things be different If I’d never Shared their names?
Would the word “twins” make me cringe inside the way I do today.
Or would it be more obvious and would my tears betray
Or maybe it’d be different, I’d hardly think of them myself.
They’d be locked up safe inside of me if I’d never asked for help.
People would have forgotten, or they’d speak in whispered tone,
about the girl I once was, before my broken home.
At least this way I love them in the best way that I know.
To put my heart out on the line so maybe I can show
These losses they don’t disappear and there’s pain inside our hearts
And there’s no harm in acknowledging these slightly broken parts.
They make us strong, they make us proud they make us who we are.
They’re a symbol of the love we have and like a badge or scar
It is my choice to show the world this love I have inside
for the gift I have that changed my life, despite the tears I cried.
How would things be different If I’d never Shared their names?
Their Hand Painted Grave Markers.
A few months back I read an article in the local paper entitled “Can Yoga counteract the effects of a disability?” and something about the article compelled me to rip it out and tape it to my wall, for further evaluation at a later date.
That date is here.
The writer is 40 year old Gene Myers and he discusses how he went to see Matthew Sanford, a successful yoga instructor who also happens to be a paraplegic. Our writer, Gene, has a disability which causes him to walk with a cane. Sanford, our teacher, subscribes to the idea that “One of the things that happens when we age is that we tend to pull away from the outer edges of our bodies.”
I’d never heard that before, but I liked it, and being obsessed with Muchness, I immediately started to see it in that context.
When I feel in touch with my Muchness, it’s like my spirit and energy is shooting out of the ends of my fingertips. But when I’m running on autopilot and making excuses for living less than than I know I’m capable of, it does feel like I’ve “pulled away from the outer edges of my body.” My spirit, my light, my confidence and belief in the possibilities of what I am capable of sorta shrivel into a little ball inside my gut.
He talks about how physically, this pulling away from our outer edges is a side effect of aging, and as far as The Muchness is concerned, on many levels I agree. As kids we’re less stressed and less concerned about what other people think, and we also often believe we are capable of ANYTHING. I know I thought I was. But as we age, so many of us somehow lose that blind confidence, that take-on-the-world attitude and we curl up in a ball inside ourselves.
To counteract the physical effects, Sanford teaches the yoga regiment of mindful or purposeful stretching.
To counteract the effects where Muchness is concerned, I recommend the mindful and purposeful action of taking stock of your MuchnessMoments. Capturing them with pictures and reminding yourself of all that you are capable of. Stretching your imagination and visualizing the things that fill you with Muchness- that which makes you feel whole and complete and happy – and them DOING MORE OF THOSE THINGS, will help fill your Muchness Bucket when it feels depleted, and help push you to the edge of your body.
What do you think of this analogy? Can you relate to that feeling… in a way I guess it’s like being empty inside, but not really, because deeper inside you KNOW there is a wealth of strength and beauty… just like you know your body is capable of more, even if you are, as in the case of Sanford, a paraplegic. Sometimes you just don’t know how to reach that deep, I guess.
I wanna jump off a cliff. I want to be not afraid. I want to put myself out there, make phone calls, tell my story, share the Muchness… I finally had the confidence to quit and now I feel tethered by a rope called “two weeks notice.”
I’m a go big or go home kinda gal, ya know, and I am SO ready to just GO HOME… (to where my computer and home office live…)
Ahhhhh. In the meantime, I’ll just collect my MuchnessMoments.
This is my lunch, eaten in the sunshine in the middle of manhattan.
I’m wearing tights and boots. Who knew today would be so sunny?!?
Shoes aren’t supposed to scare me. I didn’t go into this store to fulfill todays challenge. I went in because I AWAYS go in. This store is across the street from my office and it’s where I buy almost all my shoes. Today, I went in because they received a whole bunch of fall merchandise and, despite my budget which means I’ll likely get NO new shoes this season (so sad ;-( ) I HAD to see what they were selling.
Quilted and studded
The shelf: Studs, studs, steel toes and studs
These scared me for 2 reasons.
1- The aforementioned budget.
2- There was no color! And, as much as I like these shoes in theory – they are bold and loud and over-the-top – they are also, well, kinda angry looking. I don’t want to walk around in angry shoes. I want to walk around in shoes that make people smile and say “Oh! Those are so happy!” …which happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I WEAR THESE:
I’m gonna head on over to NastyGal now and drool a bit.
Then I’m gonna go to my basement (AKA: Muchness Command Center) and Muchify a certain pair of boots from last season….
…see… it DOES exist!
Before I get to todays challenge post, just a few technicals notes in case you’re playing along!
1-You may have noticed the Main community page has gone blank! Seems So Much Muchness on Day One overloaded the sites ability to stream the posts to that page! No worries, we’ve got our programming gurus working on it, but in the meantime, YOU CAN (AND SHOULD) STILL POST TO YOUR BLOG and read through and comment on other’s posts on the MEMBERS BLOGS page HERE.
It’s easy to stay updated! Top listed members = most recently updated blogs!
In addition, after you complete your post, you can share it in our Private Muchness FB Group or on your own page / groups using the SHARE button at the bottom of your post!
It never fails to amaze me how much Muchness comes from sharing your journey.
2-Beryl and I had a great idea! For those members reposting your Muchness Challenge anywhere else in addition to the Muchness Site (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.) Please include the hashtag #muchnesspicoftheday so people can trace it back to us and helps us spread the word! (PS- the word is MUCHNESS 🙂)
If you are still having any issues with your posts / posting / signing in / pictures, please feel free to let me know!