Friday, February 27, 2009


Today I want to shed a little "lyte" on limitations.  Being a domestic deity, I wear many hats.  Even as I write this, my cat is demanding my attention.  Or at least my left hand to play with.  Some of you may be curious about my "domestic deity" title.  Before you think me presumptuous, I used to put the title domestic goddess on my tax returns.  But one tax season it struck me, "I am many in one, the term, goddess, is too limiting."  Thus I upgraded myself to deity.  The US government, by excepting my returns, recognizes me as a deity.  Hey, if it worked for Kris Kringle in "Miracle on 34th Street," it works for me.

Now just because I am a deity does not mean I am omnipotent.  There are days when my well runs dry.  I get tired of being a big tit for everyone to suck on.  I swear, when my kids were young, I would here a tearing or sucking sound every time I tried to leave the room.  One particularly bad day, my husband came home to find all our houseplants out on the front yard in the snow.  He gingerly approached me in the kitchen and asked, ever so casually, "Ah, babe?  What's with the plants in the yard?"  I whirled around and said, "It's been a baaaad day.  And I have had it!  I can't get rid of the kids, the pets weren't an option, so the plants had to go.  If I have to take care of one more fucking living thing, I am going to lose my fucking mind!"  I have had bad plant karma ever since.

Even now when my kids are older, I still struggle.  My kids call me human Google because I have an inordinate amount of information stored in my brain, plus I can recall it pretty quickly.  I am also a good writer, and considered human Spell Check by kids as well.  At homework time, I am in demand.  Normally, I take pride in being so necessary, but some days I am tapped.  I want to make clear, I do not do my kids homework for them, I am just editor extraordinare.  My husband?  He fixes things.

Most women I know thrive on being needed.  But I have noticed that this leads us to drain ourselves by pouring ourselves into others.  I remind the stressed out women who come into the health food store that I work at, that they need to subscribe to what I call the "Oxygen Bag Theory".  You know when you fly?  They tell you in the case of a sudden drop in cabin pressure, you should put your oxygen bag on first, and then put it on your child.  You need to do this in life too.  Always putting the needs of others ahead of your own leads to burn out and resentment.  Mother Theresa was a saint, but she had no husband or children at home to tend to when her day was done.  She could just sit, pray, read, whatever she needed to do to renew herself.  Most of us stumble from pillar to post, handing out little pieces of our time and attention, and end up eyeing everyone like, well, like I eyed my houseplants on that winter day.

So, put your oxygen bag on yourself.  Tend to your needs first, it's okay, the deity has given you permission.  And if necessary, throw your "houseplants" out in the snow.    

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