26 June 2013

Experiential Learners Beware

Today as we were coasting out of the sports centre parking lot after dropping A. at swim class, two kids on touring bikes -- maybe 11 or 12 years old -- cut the corner at the lights and drifted down into oncoming traffic (meaning: our lane).

I can't even say they stared us down in that go-ahead-try-to-hit-me sort of way that jaywalking pre-teens often have. They didn't. They only barely glanced in our direction; really, they were almost totally oblivious that they were gliding directly into the path of a 4,370 lb. accelerating minivan.

We didn't kill them (Daryn, ever the polite driver, hit the brakes) but it did spark a debate between us on the merits of experiential learning. It went like this:

ME: Do you ever think sometimes that there are kids who should be... not killed or anything... but who maybe should be run over by a car every now and then?


ME: Not ever? Like, not dead. I'm not talking about vehicular homicide. I'm just thinking maybe ---

DARYN: No, never.

ME: Never? You wouldn't even just tag one with your bumper? Like, just a little nudge to be all, Hey. Hey kid. Get out of the road.

DARYN: N-E-V-E-R. I don't know why you'd even say something that. You want to run over a kid with your car?

ME: No I don't want to. I just think some of them probably need it, you know?

DARYN: You're seriously suggesting that there are kids in the world who need to be run down like dogs in the street. That's, uh... that's pretty far-fetched, dude. I'm not sure you've given this one enough thought.

ME: I'm just saying, I see a lot of kids who don't think twice about walking or biking or boarding out in front of moving vehicles. They just assume drivers are going to stop for them. Clearly, they're experiential learners. They don't think a car's going to hit them until a car hits them, and then they'll be all, like, Whoa, I should probably be more careful since it's not guaranteed that every car's going to stop for me. Right? We'd be doing them a favour, probably.

DARYN: Um.... OK. But there's a significant difference between learning through experience and sustaining a catastrophic injury.

ME: Is there?


ME: Is there??

DARYN: YES. You don't need to get hurt to learn a life lesson. I definitely don't think you need to get run over by a Honda Odyssey to learn one.

ME: Well, all I know is that people get hurt all the time when we're in relationships, but we keep going back for more. Right? Most of us don't go, Well, that didn't work out and now my feelings are really hurt, so clearly I'm never doing that again. No. We get back on the horse. We learn from being hurt. And then hopefully we do it better the next time, and the next, until we figure our shit out and find a partner we're happy with, and then we force him down the aisle into a lifetime of marital bliss. So I'm just saying: As in love, so too in road safety.

DARYN: I'm not... I don't.....

ME: I think we can safely say I won that one.

DARYN: I think we have different definitions of winning, Charlie Sheen.

* * * * *

On another, much more important note, I'm so thrilled for the giant progressive step our neighbours to the south have struck today with the overturning of DOMA and Prop 8.

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I've always wondered if people who lived through historically significant events knew at the time they were witnessing history in the making; if they understood what they were experiencing in the moment would have lasting impact on their community, their country or the world at large. Sometimes it's difficult to see the forest for the trees, and many events assume significance with the passing of time.

When the Supreme Court of the United States released it's decision today, I had my answer. I am very aware that the outcome of this decision will forever alter the trajectory of human society. I feel privileged to witness this change -- among others moving in the same direction, many in my own country -- and more so to understand it's significance.

Congratulations to everyone (and I do mean everyone): happy people are invested people, are engaged people, are giving to others. Marriage equality benefits everyone.

22 June 2013

2013 Western Nationals | Gold Medal Game (Set #3)

See? I told you. Shifting gears.

21 June 2013

This Pit's Shifting Gears

As a blogger, I’m like the worst boyfriend you ever had. I’m inconsistent. I’m distant and frequently moody. I miss important dates all the time, like birthdays and anniversaries and holidays. I’m the WORST at that stuff, even when I want to stay connected (to all my blogger friends who’ve had babies in the last few months, CONGRATULATIONS! I’m super happy for you. I mean that sincerely, if really belatedly.)

Seriously, if we were teenagers kicking it old skool and talking on the phone, I would be THAT GUY on the other end who would spend the entire conversation in near silence, going, “Sure. Like, whatever. I don’t care.” as you talked and talked and shared and shared.

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I’d be a JERK. Worse than that, I’m BORING. At least, I feel boring. Though to be fair, that jerk who kept you hanging on the phone all those nights probably thought he was pretty spectacular. We differ in that way.

Anyway, I've been terrible at this blog for quite a long time, and the guilt is eating me up. The guilt, and a little bit of sadness, too. I miss it. I miss YOU GUYS. But every time I make a commitment to come back full bore and really dive in, I get sidelined. Thrown off track. Bumped. You know what I mean?

The thing is, my family and my work right now are all encompassing. All CONSUMING. All up in my grill, all the time.

I still love all things design-related with a ridiculous passion. Paint is still my fifth love (after Daryn, the kids and the dog, respectively), and fabric swatches make me swoon. I can’t think of a better grown-up play date than trolling an antique market (and in fact I was crushed... CRUSHED... when I missed the Christie Antique Show in May). And sure, I still read shelter magazines cover to cover, backwards and forwards. For gawd’s sake, I work at a design firm!

The difference right now is that though my love may be strong, my attention is not. I have not so much as glanced at a paintbrush since we moved in, let alone lifted one. Most of the house still needs to be furnished, and not only am I not even bothering to look for suitable pieces, I don’t even care. We’re living like new graduates on donated futons and thrift store tables (like heathens), and I couldn’t care less.

When once (probably nine months ago or less) living this undone would have made me bat-shit crazy, now it’s not even on my radar.

And all those design magazines? I read them for three minutes at a time, in the bathroom when I pee. 

So this is the reason why I've been MIA for so many months. I know all the rest of you have husbands and houses and kids and pets and jobs, too, and yet still manage to keep up with the day-to-day of blogging (AND manage to find something interesting to talk about). I tip my hat to you. I think maybe I’m just not that good.

And also, I think I’m having a bit of a blogdentity crisis.

If I'm being truthful, I'd say the Pit has always been a a "mommy blog" with design thrown in. I'm not unaware how many photos I post of my kids and my dog. I've been hesitant to commit, though, since ostensibly this blog is about home decor. But that's a label that's starting to feel a little handcuffy, and not in a good way.

Right now (and for the foreseeable forever), my life quite literally revolves around family and work. Work and family. Wamily and fork. So if I’m not writing about our collective (mis)adventures, or parenting, or wifedom, or the professional experience of birthing a website or planning 10 events at once, or the occasional TV show (when I’m not dead-tired, which is rare these days), I literally have nothing to say. I’m speechless.

So I'm making a declaration. The Money Pit is evolving. I've decided to become an “everything” blog. Not just one focus but all of them. I'm making it less about the Pit, and more about the Love.

You might or might not be interested, and either way that's OK (do you care about day-to-day stuff? Our parenting foibles as we try to raise kids just well enough that they don’t turn out to be serial killers; my successes (and disasters) in the kitchen as I try (and often fail at) new recipes for a family-on-the-fly; my deep insecurities around raising an anxious daughter; our fight with a certain home renovation store about a fence that MAY NEVER GET BUILT?)

I'm going to swear more, too, because I do in real life. I've kept the Pit pretty pristine thus far but dudes, sometimes it's hard. So the real me swears like a trucker and I will here, too. Brace yourselves.

And I think I want to share more about the good AND the bad, which I usually keep away from this blog. The Pit's a pretty happy place, but clearly I can't split my focus (Oh, Hard Lemonade. What a good idea you were. If only I were more committed, less flighty and had more time.) So it'll just wind up here. I don't really share all that well, especially parts of me, but I'll work on changing that. On being more open. 'Cuz it's all about the love, y'all.

So like I said, you might not be interested in this new approach. If not, well. That's alright. We might connect another time, when I can focus more on the design and decorating angle that launched the Pit originally.

But if yes, that's fantastic! Because freeing myself from the guilt of NOT posting about home decor, and giving myself permission to post about ALL THE OTHER STUFF that takes up my brain space and my life will mean I get to post a whole lot more (if I post about my kids seven times in a row, who cares? Because I can totally do that now.)

I figure if I'm going through it, we're ALL going through some version of it, so more Love it is.

The proof will be in the pudding, of course (or the posts, as it were) and I know I've made promises before. But dudes? We're gonna rock this mommy-blog thing. Rock it haaaaard. With maybe a little 500-thread-count thrown in for good measure :)