Margaret Domnick - The Inside Story...

I'm a woman, mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife and partner in crime. I'm spontaneous, anal, loud, loving, funny (or at least I think I am), and generally honest. Sometimes I get these thoughts... so I've created this blog to share them. Feel free to respond, but be kind...did I mention that I'm sensitive?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Change Your Focus

As the New Year approaches, I find myself thinking about where I am and where I’m headed and where I want to eventually land in my life. I do this every year – I make inspirations to improve; to prioritize my actions and control my thoughts to become a better person. In the past I’ve inspired to do everything from cussing less to exercising more to having better sex. I’ve vowed to only say positive things and to find the good in all. But this year my focus has changed. This year, I find myself thinking more about me and less about everyone else. And I think, as a 40-something woman who wears VERY many ‘hats’, that thinking about what I want and what I need is both difficult and necessary on my journey to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.

When I was younger, I was confident and goofy and loud and daring and spontaneous and fun. I was definitely my own person. I knew what I wanted and I was fine going for it! I continued that way through most of college then hit a snag in early adulthood. I’m not exactly sure when I realized that everyone didn’t think what I thought; didn’t see what I saw; didn’t care about what I cared about. At some point, I began to understand that I wasn’t as important as I thought I was, and no matter how much I tried to make the world work the way I knew it should, it simply didn’t matter. That realization broke me a little bit. I became less comfortable and less confident and more frustrated and angry and stressed. And I didn’t know how to be happy again. I lost my focus. And I think that happens to all of us at some point.

I think we get caught up doing all the things we have to do to take care of our families, our neighbors, our churches, our pets and our friends, that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. It’s not that we regret doing things for others; it’s just that we neglect to do what we love; and that affects us greatly! I started to resent my awesome life because I wasn't doing anything I loved. I wasn’t doing any of the things that made me ME before I got married. So, I changed my focus.

Last October, I bought a season ticket to the theater despite the hefty price tag (I’ve always wanted to go). I spend most Sunday’s in Kansas City because that’s where I need to be. I’m saving for a trip to New York City - the one place I really want to visit.

In 2013 I'm going to: stick to my budget, pray more genuinely, join a book club, have more movie nights, and wear matching pajamas.

I challenge you to rediscover yourself this New Year. Choose a few things you love and make them happen!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forever Friendships

I’ve been cleaning out and organizing the past few weeks and I came across all my old Christmas letters and pictures. After the holidays, I can’t bring myself to throw away those treasures, so I stash them in gallon size zip-lock bags to eventually put in scrapbooks. Needless-to-say, I can no longer deny that times have changed and I have aged! It was such a wonderful afternoon.

I have so many great moments that connect me with so many great people; even though we don't see each other much (if ever) now, we are forever friends. I remember shopping, gossiping, cooking out, long phone conversations, road trips, and progressive dinner parties. I remember crying over break-ups together, sneaking out of our houses together, and getting into trouble together. I remember card games, mud fights, Pictionary, pizza, and long study sessions. I remember dancing and laughing and doing stupid things in the middle of the night. I remember walks, work outs, and sipping wine on the front porch. We were in each other’s weddings, we decorated each other’s homes; picked out curtains and clocks and comforters. We cleaned and organized each other’s cabinets. We celebrated milestones, comforted each other’s crying babies, diagnosed rashes, shared recipes and delivered perfectly timed batches of homemade cookies. We discussed politics, religion, finances and vacation spots. We shared babysitters, photographers, and favorite books. We attended graduations, ballgames, fund-raisers, and surprise birthday parties. We mourned lost loved ones. We were there for each other, always, while it lasted. We moved, got new jobs, bought new homes, and got too busy. We may or may not have had hurt feelings, misunderstandings, or disagreements over trivial details, but the memories are still there and still fresh and clear and fun and important and special. I’ve told some of you things that I may never tell anyone else again.

It’s neat to think that for those short weeks, months, or years we were in similar places in our lives that allowed us to share time and build great memories and strong friendships. Currently, our friendships may be more in my mind then in our lives, but still, I remember and I enjoy and I cherish those moments we shared. Even though I don’t see you, I’m connected to you forever, and for that, I am grateful.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

College Drop-Off

Last Sunday I dropped my child off at college. I felt pretty prepared for the transition. We’d been making lists, stockpiling necessities, planning colors and decorations and storage and snacks for weeks. We’d washed bedding and towels, bought new tires, purchased books, signed loans, and budgeted savings. It was fun. I was proud and nervous and excited for my daughter to fly; and she was ready.

I saw a lot of other mothers dropping off their children at college that day. They were dressed in work clothes, hair pulled up, sweating it on the stairs with boxes and bags and microwaves. I was right there with them! I witnessed many hugs doled out in doorways and hallways and parking lots. I could feel the anticipation mounting. As the day went on, I felt less prepared to leave my precious child in her tiny new home decorated with crates and shelves and a futon. I watched as she found crevices for her backpack, her make-up, her jewelry and her extra sweatshirts. She brought too many tee-shirts, but shoved them all into the drawer anyway. She was making it work, embracing everything.

I took a moment to soak it all in. I noticed how long her hair had gotten, and how it bounced when she walked. I was pleased with her straight smile that cost a small fortune. I listened to her laugh while she organized her books on a shelf. She was happy. I remembered a younger Jessica, determined to become a dancer, teacher, scientist, songwriter…

“Mom, I have to go.” I wasn’t quite ready. Quick hugs for everyone, “I love you” and she was off. I watched her walk away from me. I felt unfinished, incomplete, awkward almost. I thought our goodbye would be longer, full of meaningful words of wisdom. It happened so fast. She disappeared around the corner and that was it. I made it out of the dorm, but then I just stood there, tears streaming. I felt like I didn’t hold her long enough; like I didn't hold her tight enough. It was a feeling I'll never forget, and I'm not even sure what it was. It wasn't sadness, or anger, or depression. I think it was love. I think it was the feeling that encompasses the phrase "love sucks", because at that moment, it did.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Two Cents...

Most of you know I wrote a book called “Everybody Has Something”…it’s a celebration of individualism and its purpose is to introduce children to diversity, to nurture self-esteem, and to promote acceptance of all people. I’m beginning to think I should write a similar book for adults.

What is it about the word “gay” that brings out the crazy in people? Gay people are people, just like you and I are people. Yes, their sex life is slightly different, but come on; does anyone really care what anyone else is doing behind closed doors? It seems they only care if the people behind those doors are same sex partners. Gay love is love, just like you and I experience love. If it were to be legalized, gay marriage would be marriage, just as binding and sacred as heterosexual marriage. I know that my views on this may not be the same as your views, and that’s OK. We each should be free to feel and think the way we feel and think.

But, the thing is, some people really want other people to feel and think like they feel and think, and they try to push their personal beliefs onto others. That’s why we’re still talking about gay marriage…and breast feeding, and parenting, and co-sleeping, and abortion, and…etc. It’s really difficult for some people to accept that there is more than one “right” way. The world is not black and white, but rather a hundred shades of gray (ummm…no, not quite like the book!)

It used to be wrong for people of different races to marry, it isn’t anymore. It used to be wrong for people of different religions to marry, it isn’t anymore. It used to be wrong for people of different socio-economic status’s to marry, it isn’t anymore. And I believe the same will be true for same-sex marriage in the near future.

Until then, let’s just let people be themselves. Let’s celebrate that we each are different and unique and beautiful and perfect. Let’s build people up, instead of tear anyone down, and let’s accept each other for who we are; without judgment or conditions.

If you want to ignore the controversy and avoid confrontation, then feel free to do so; if you want to stand up for something you believe is right, then stand up! If you want to eat Chik-fil-A, eat it; if you want to boycott, boycott; if you want to order water to make a point, then make the point. And be accepting of what others do, or don’t do, too.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Finding Easter Sunday...

It’s Easter Sunday evening. My house is strewn with candy wrappers, colored grass, and snack debris. The kids are in bed, I’m cozy in my pajamas, and the weekend is over. It was a good weekend; good enough to not be looking forward to an 8:00 appointment in the morning!

This morning I woke up a little earlier than I do most weekends. I expected to find my youngest, Max, hunting for his eggs; but it was my sleep-as-late-as-possible Madeline who was wondering the house (we’re inside egg hunters). She had wake-up hair and sleepy eyes and couldn’t stand the anticipation of Easter morning. It wasn’t long before all three of her siblings joined her in giving clues and laughing about hidden treasures. We don’t go crazy with eggs and gifts on Easter. The kids get a few dollars in a few plastic eggs, a new toothbrush, hairbrush, mechanical pencils and other little gifts in their basket, but we focus more on “the reason for the season”, our risen Lord. We honor our Catholic traditions, the end of Lent and focus on personal growth of some sort.

This Easter morning we dressed up in “nicer than normal” church attire and attended Mass as a family. Typically we head home, to Harper or KC, but this year we didn't. We cooked a big hearty breakfast and ate at the table. We talked, and laughed, and hung out together. Today we all stayed home. The kids played with each other, as they don’t always have time (or desire) to do. We went for a drive, and the roads were clear, the stores were closed, and there was no line at Sonic during Happy Hour! And it got me thinking…

Even though our nation strides to keep prayer out of schools and God out of politics, we still honor our faithful traditions. Stores were closed today, many schools were off last week for Good Friday; you can’t tell me they were celebrating a bunny rabbit bringing eggs and candy? They were honoring Faith, in some form, consciously or not.

Now I’m not naive enough to believe that my views of Easter are the only views…I understand that Easter and bunnies and eggs all have to do with new life and new birth and new growth. I know about the Pagan goddess Eastre. I grasp that my Christian beliefs have roots in the Jewish springtime holiday of Passover (the Hebrew word for Passover, Pasch, is synonymous with Easter in Europe). Easter is celebrated near the spring equinox, another celebration of growth and birth. Easter is engulfed by both pagan, Christian, Jewish and possibly other traditions and beliefs, but all those things are tied to some form of faith.

I believe stores were closed today and kids were out of school last week to honor Easter. And honoring Easter is honoring faith; even if it’s hidden in a bunny and eggs and candy. Happy Easter!


Friday, February 24, 2012

We Are Mothers of Kids in Sports

We’re a group of friends forced on each other by schedules and circumstance. We migrate from fields to gyms to courts and back again, season after season. We huddle on bleachers, share blankets and snacks, and cheer each other on to victories in games and in life. We are the mothers of kids in sports.

It starts early with missing teeth and tee-ball. We celebrate by taking pictures, baking cookies, and telling stories. We trade advice, books, discipline strategies, and coupons. We plan play dates, compare babysitters and organize parties. We’re careful to include all the kids, so no feelings get hurt. We start out making small talk and end up writing novels; and inviting new friends to dinner.

The season changes...

It continues with growth spurts and basketball. We celebrate great passes, made free-throws, and soaring three-pointers. Occasionally we sign casts. There are new faces on the bleachers, new ideas, new energy, and new conversations. We learn about hobbies and passions and families. We vow to shop, do lunch, exercise, or meditate; some do, some never do, but we all meet back on the bleachers next game. We’re moms, we’re there.

The season changes and someone gets dropped, another joins a traveling team, and another looks for a different coach. We are separated by our kids; by choice and by chance.

It continues with try-outs. Some compare who made what team, who the coach likes best, who’s playing more minutes, who’s playing least. Feelings get hurt, for real and imagined reasons, and there is distance in the bleachers. Kids are judged, games are filmed, and uniforms are washed. Genuine hugs are replaced by polite waves and occasional rude comments. Whispering is everywhere. One kiddos success is over shadowed by another’s playing time. It’s a crazy, confusing place. Why can’t we honestly celebrate each others successes without comparisons? Any friend will support you when your life sucks – but real friends support you when your life is awesome!

The season changes. New friendships are formed by schedules and circumstance. We are mothers of kids in sports.