Tag Archives: Life

Feeling ignored by my kid

Feeling ignored
Have you ever felt ignored by your kid?
Yeah. Me, too.

Players began to cluster like grapes around blue resin tables in the cafeteria of the indoor multi-sport arena.

The air was thick with the smell of rubber and rotten corn chips beneath the blaring institutional lights on a cold winter afternoon.

My son leaned into his soccer teammates, talking texting, scrolling, and tapping like they do when they get into their little sewing circle. I hesitated, then stood up from my seat and took a step towards him. James sensed my movement and looked at me with horror. He shook his head no and waved his hand.

Clearly, I would not be welcomed with open arms to his tribe.

I averted my eyes and sank into the stiff chair, feeling ignored, lonely, and sad. I saw other parents sitting with their teenagers. Why can’t I sit with my kid? Was he embarrassed by me? I didn’t have to come and watch, you know.

I wanted to scream at the injustice, and then thought better of it. I came with a sore throat, body aches and throbbing head. And now my ego was bruised.

I know I shouldn’t take it personally and make crazy assumptions, but all I wanted was to go home, curl up on the couch and cry.

I could leave James behind because he drove himself to the tournament, having passed his driver’s test only days earlier. With each passing moment, his independence and confidence grows, while I mourn the loss of his childhood.

This progression towards adulthood is supposed to happen, I tell myself. It will be okay. He is self-reliant, but still needs my love, guidance and support. He just doesn’t need it all at once, right this minute.

And so I take a deep breath, exhale, brush away a tear and wait until the next game begins.

What do you think? This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: Facebook, Instagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.

Emily Dickinson and I

One of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson is “I’m nobody! Who are you?” because I can relate to being on the outside looking in. It is a poem about us vs. them and challenges authority (the somebodies) while seducing the reader into complicity with the writer:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

Poet. Recluse. Brilliant. Dead at 56. Emily Dickinson is a paradox.
I found Dickinson at a time when life wasn’t kind to an awkward adolescent with frizzy hair, thick glasses, and crooked teeth. Her poems spoke to me then, and I often turn to them now when I’m feeling lonely, sad, or in need of inspiration. Dickinson became a celebrated poet posthumously because of her unique, compact phrases and quirky use of form and syntax. She praised nature’s beauty, questioned death and immortality, and paradoxically expressed opinions: what may make perfect sense is actually madness and what may sound crazy is perfectly sensible.

During Dickinson’s lifetime only a handful of her poems were published. After her death, her family found 40 hardbound booklets containing nearly 1,800 poems crafted by her hand. It was a labor of love for Dickinson who found comfort in words, yet she kept her words to herself. Instructed to burn her letters after her death, Dickinson’s sister Lavinia, ignored the request and had them typed, edited and published. In the end Dickinson became famous – a somebody she railed against in her poem – or did she?

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Like Dickinson, I am a prolific writer.
I have filled hundreds of journals and notebooks with prose, poetry and unfinished bits and pieces. These now reside in bins and drawers in my home. Like Dickinson, I dread the thought of someone finding my raw thoughts and would not want them published after my death. Sometimes I write about the same things over and over until I get it right. However, doubt seeps in just after I hit publish. Could I have made this sentence stronger? Is there a more descriptive word? Am I grammatically correct? So, I get Dickinson’s reluctance to have her work made public for others to comment and question.

Why does art lead to suffering?
I am fortunate to have many wonderful people in my life who lift me up when I’m feeling dislocated, isolated, and on the brink of throwing in the towel: You are good enough. You have a strong voice. You are a great writer. It’s important to surround yourself with those who listen, offer encouragement, and nudge you to get outside your comfort zone.

A while back, I met with author and columnist Pam Sherman and told her about the book I was writing, explaining that it was part meditation, part parenting lessons. And then I said: Who am I to write about parenting? I’m no expert. I’m just a mom sharing lessons I’ve learned from my raising my son.

You know what she said? “Your humility is cute, Kris, but it’s not helping you. The best thing you said was that you are a mom. You can help others by telling your story. You have something to share. You are a writer.”

Who am I? I am a writer, a mother, and an author.
Last year I published a book – Mommy Musings: Lessons on motherhood, love and life. It celebrates the big and small events, and conundrums, that I discovered in my own motherhood journey.

Instead of writing it long hand in a hardbound book like Dickinson, I typed it on my Mac and uploaded it to amazon. Now available in print and digital versions, Mommy Musings offers nineteen unexpected and uplifting true stories, each followed by a lesson and invitation to notice life’s joy and wonder.

Writing and publishing this book is a gift to myself more than anything else because it has allowed me to let go. I know now that I can’t hold on to my stories and keep them for myself. I have to release the darlings and share them with the world. Maybe, just maybe they will bring clarity, awareness and a little joy to someone.

I am public like a frog. I am somebody. Who are you?

What do you think?  This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on:FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.

Why I meditate

I meditate to feel better.

For many years, I dabbled in meditation, but didn’t fully understand it. I knew there was a science to meditation; that it reduced anxiety and stress and improved concentration. I tried to meditate to clear the clutter in my head before I sat down to write, but I did so inconsistently. Over time, I took a couple of workshops on meditation. I read books on mindfulness and meditation like “Quiet Mind,” “The Miracle of Mindfulness” and “Uncomfortable with Uncertainty.” I meditated in my yoga practice. I joined my friend for Deepak and Oprah’s free 21-day meditation courses. I used meditation apps like Meditation Timer and Headspace.  I found that there are many scientific and psychological benefits to meditating, but I was curious about how it would make me feel if I would meditate consistently. So, last July I decided to meditate every day using the Headspace app. 

I meditate to calm my mind, build focus, and inspire creativity.

Meditation is a technique to train the mind in awareness; to reach deep quiet, inner peace and joy. I sit on my zafu (meditation cushion) with the intention of sitting. When I sit, I try to let go of everything I have been thinking and doing and just be still and quiet. Sometimes my mind is very busy (also referred to as monkey mind) and I have a hard time trying to quiet it down. Thoughts come in a steady stream and I struggle to let them go. 

There are many times that I meditate lying down, or walking, or at my desk, or sitting in my car at a parking lot. While it’s nice to have a set time and place for meditation, I don’t think it matters where, when, or how long I meditate. As a beginner, the point is that I have made meditation a habit. Meditation gives me the ability to reel in my monkey mind and restore it so I can be awake and present in the moment. Immediately after I meditate, I am inspired to write and reflect about something I’ve heard, read or observed. 

I meditate to explore the inner workings of my mind.

By meditating and practicing mindfulness (awareness), I can go deeper into the work of self examination, uncover hidden truths and see things about myself with greater clarity. I write my thoughts in little notebooks and explore the inner workings of my mind. Sometimes this scares me, but how my mind works is also a wonder to me. Its energy and connectedness to the body is something I want to continue to explore. Both meditation and mindfulness help me along my journey. 

A calm mind takes time to develop. It takes practice, patience, and determination. This is something I have to remind myself of frequently. When life gets challenging, I’ve learned (the hard way) that my mind tries to drag me away from the things I know are helpful and restorative. My determination is the only thing that will bring it back to a state of calm. If I don’t pay attention and practice mindfulness my mind will wander a path of chaos. 

During the past year of consistent meditation practice, I have found greater peace of mind. There is less tension in my body and I can achieve more clarity and focus on my work. I also discovered that I don’t need an app to meditate. I can set a timer for a few minutes, or give myself permission to meditate until the dog barks.

In the end, I meditate because it simply makes me feel good.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Follow me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest.