The Last Day of Summer

August 15, 2016

Contributed by August Blogger of the Month, Mari Farthing

Well, it’s not really the last day of summer, just the last day of summer break. Used to be that we would fill this day with whatever we didn’t get enough of during the summer—pajamas and movies or field trips to fun places or swimming or whatever we desired.

But now my kids aren’t so much kids anymore. They’re more small adults who have more opinions about how their days are structured. This morning has been spent negotiating in how we were going to spend the rest of the day, balanced between must-do’s and want-to-do’s. There were pleas of fast food lunch and staying home to ride bikes and cries of but I don’t want to and meh.

I get “meh” a lot these days.

But we landed on an old favorite, agreed to spend some hours in one of our old favorite places—the zoo. When they were little, I don’t think a week would go by when we didn’t use our zoo pass for a visit.

I can’t count the number of hours or miles I’ve logged on those paths over the past 14 or so years. But this summer, with teenagers, I honestly can’t remember the last time we went. Maybe it was a school field trip?

The last time I brought them to the zoo, it hit me how time has passed. I walked with them through the brigade of moms with zipper bags of goldfish crackers and sweaty-headed toddlers and strollers and sippy cups and diaper bags and I got a little nostalgic for what was. But I did my time with the little ones. And now we go and it’s a new experience, with almost-grown-ups who crack jokes but still have starry-eyed wonder at the animals.

So you’ll see me, the older mom with the short hair and sensible shoes, walking with my children who are almost but not quite taller than me. But in my mind’s eye, it’ll be me with the goldfish crackers and the sweaty-headed toddlers, eyes filled with wonder.

okc zoo

Mari FarthingAlong with being awkward, Mari Farthing blogs at MariFarthing.com and is a prolific social media presence (meaning she drinks copious amounts of coffee each morning and proceeds to avoid housework by surfing the internet). She’s a freelance writer and editor and mother of two.

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mari farthing

If you’re anything like me (I think the scientific term is easily distracted by shiny objects), you’ve clicked the link on Facebook and taken the 16 Personalities test to figure out just who you are.

I ended up as an INFP-T, which is a confusing way to say I’m a “mediator” personality type. I could have told you that—my preferred state is holding hands and singing kumbayah, and I loathe conflict. More than once I’ve said, unironically, Can’t we all just get along!?

The types are based on the Myers-Briggs test, which I’ve taken over the years in various iterations. The premise is that there are 16 basic personality types, using combinations of basic types: Introverted (I) or Extroverted (E), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

The N and F in the center of my type have been constants—though I don’t know that I agree but the way this is defined means that I make my decisions are not based on hard facts but on feelings. The first and last letters of my type have been more fluid—there are times when I’m more extroverted than introverted, for sure—I relate to that idea of the extroverted introvert.

The one that surprises me most is the last letter. I was always a J—focused, goal-oriented and orderly. But now I’m a P—casual and preferring a mix of work and play. As a woman of a certain age (cough—46—cough) I totally agree with this. I don’t worry about things the same way I used to. Whether this is a result of getting older, changing priorities as my children get older—as I get older—as my life changes, I’m not really sure. But I’m okay with it.

I don’t like to be defined by anything and I won’t let myself be boxed in by a website that tells me that I’m a four letter word (if you can call INFP a word, that is), but it does offer insight into why I am the way I am—like that it’s no surprise that I tend to speak in metaphors or that I hate being late or that if I don’t have a creative form of expression I get stabby. It reminds me that I need time alone to recharge—but not too much time, because I an easily become a hermit.

There are lots of personality tests like this, but if you want to try the one I did, visit www.16personalities.com.

Mari FarthingAlong with being awkward, Mari Farthing blogs at MariFarthing.com and is a prolific social media presence (meaning she drinks copious amounts of coffee each morning and proceeds to avoid housework by surfing the internet). She’s a freelance writer and editor and mother of two.

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September Blogger of the Month

When I saw the theme for this month, I jumped. Awkward is my jam, I’m so the right person to be the BOM this month. Who am I? I’m the silent partner who does the things behind the curtain. Think Wizard of Oz, not creepy neighbor (that one could go either way). I like to do things but I’m not good at being in charge. At least that’s what I tell myself.

I’ve been a part of the Oklahoma Women Bloggers since before it was a thing, working with Heather Davis under the guiding hand of the Park Wife to get this community started. Oklahoma needs this community, a place where bloggers can gather, grow and connect with one another. Blogging can be so isolating; connection is powerful.

So who am I, besides your awkward poster girl?

I’m a reformed pessimist with teenage kids and a change of life dog to fill the void. I’m a city girl who recently relocated from the suburbs to a bit more rural environment, just shy of an acre of land, half of which is feral woods where I fear that everything is poisonous and waiting to kill me. I’m a fair-weather runner who plans to run a half marathon, someday. I’m a mom who tries to find that recipe that will make her family (who all watch too much Food Network and who all feel compelled to give detailed criticism on dinner) just shut up and eat already. I’m a blogger who used to write about my kids but is refocusing because those kids are becoming adults. I get excited when I get to buy new pens and post it notes. I’m menopausal but still trying to figure out exactly who I am, and I’m figuring it out one step at a time.

I refuse to curate my life any longer but I do tuck in my crazy. And while I’m good at what I do, I don’t like to toot my own horn—but I will let my awkward flag fly.

Mari FarthingAlong with being awkward, Mari Farthing blogs at MariFarthing.com and is a prolific social media presence (meaning she drinks copious amounts of coffee each morning and proceeds to avoid housework by surfing the internet). She’s a freelance writer and editor and mother of two.

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