If Love Is In the Details, then I am a B*tch

Growing Up Austin

I remember when Oprah said “Love is in the Details.” She was talking with a florist who had created the most perfect arrangement of beautiful flowers for an event Oprah was hosting. They were the exact right type of flower, the exact right shade of pink and the exact right stage of bloom, arranged artfully, with great care.

I like Oprah, but I call bullshit on that because if love is in the details, then I’m a bitch.

This picture is from my dinner party last week. When my friend and her kids arrived, this was on my counter and I said, “Make your self a taco!”  No recipe. Paper plates. Mostly H-E-B brand. I’m not sure why I still had the cooking oil out. It wasn’t a side dish really, just a messy kitchen.

If I waited until I could host the most perfect dinner party, with three kids and full-time work, my kids might be fully grown before that happens. If I made formal invitations and flower arrangements and a takes-more-than-30-minutes meal, I would have been staying up until midnight and skimping on work and getting so tired that I’m grumpy and don’t even want people over.

I say love is imperfect and it is in the connection, not the flower arrangements. It is asking my friend how she is doing and really listening to what she says. It is seeing her boys and my girls play together, acting out some sort of princess-based sword fighting drama. It is laughing about how exactly the cooking oil is meant to be served.

Love isn’t fancy, it is simple. It doesn’t take money or special training or perfection, it just takes intention and time. Maybe I will host fancier dinner parties some time, maybe not.  I’m not worried about it either way because I know that Love is in the Connection.

Let Us Collectively Rejoice

Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA)

Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass

Because I can. Because all is well. Because I have worked hard enough.

That is what brought me to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) last week.

I felt like Wang Lung in The Good Earth, when he recognized that he had worked hard enough on the land so he didn’t have to worry anymore about feeding his family. He could do something just because he wanted to and no practical reason was required.

For Wang Lung, this meant buying his favorite prostitute and setting her up in his house alongside his wife.

Well, that option didn’t seem like it would work, but I like art.

Art feels like mankind collectively rejoicing in being and doing something more than we need to survive. And it felt like fate that my company’s office in LA, where I was working for a few days, was very close to LACMA.

Day-to-day life has been harder lately. My new day job is full-time in the office instead of part-time at home. It takes more energy to get work done, in a new industry with new people and new challenges.

At home, we have been eating out a lot lately. Blue Eyes and I have spent entire weekend days on laundry and groceries and picking up the one-hundred-and-fifty things on the floor. Don’t even get me started on the flies coming out of the drain or the cat that pees on the carpet.

Blue Eyes will tell you that I’m a little more on edge than usual.

On Thursday, my work day started at 5:30 AM Austin time and ended at 10:30pm LA time (add 2 hours for the time difference). That was followed by another 5:30am morning to get ready for an important meeting.

After the meeting, later in the afternoon, I realized that I had worked hard enough and I didn’t have to worry anymore. I could do something just because I wanted to and no practical reason was required.

I left the office at 4pm and went to LACMA. The picture above is of Michael Heizer’s Elivated Mass, a new installation that is grand and dramatic. Play the video below (I’m sorry I forgot the title and artist’s name!) to see a smaller, lighter and more interactive piece. I love that it is what it is, but it is also the movement and sounds from the kids swinging their arms and giggling with delight.

If you have worked hard enough too, let us collectively rejoice.

Sometimes It is Better to Stop

Growing Up Austin Parenting

Errands are slower with kids. Sometime just getting everyone in the car and buckled in takes twenty minutes. When I run errands by myself now, I feel like a time traveler, everything gets done so fast. One kid is faster than two though, so when I was running errands with Sparkles, we weren’t doing too bad. I had one errand left when Sparkles said she was thirsty, which was frustrating, because I was so tired.

In my younger days, I would have buckled down and gotten my business done no matter what.

These days, I stop for a coffee and a glass of milk.

Sparkles and I talked about our days and what we wanted to do over the weekend. Then we talked about her school and our cat Daisy. It was relaxing and sweet, just some simple time to enjoy each other.

I didn’t get my final errand done that weekend, but I’d rather share a drink and conversation with my little girl than have a perfectly complete to-do list. It took me a while to figure that out, that sometimes you get more by doing less, and sometimes it is better to stop.