Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Slow Down

I am not a Grinch.  I love my holidays.  I enjoy my seasons.  But I find myself becoming bitter over the fast forward Christmas has taken in our world.  I know what you will say to me, consumerism yada yada yada...but it isn't just businesses.  I see people I know and like as humans posting pictures of their Christmas d├ęcor already on display.  Might I note it is November!  A house on the block over from us was all aglow with Christmas lights last night as well.    Also local radio stations have begun their all Christmas music programming, one of the two I speak of started November 1st.  Recently a friend sassed well change the station. Oh how I wish I could.  I wish I could hit a worldwide pause button right now.  I want to slow down the world. 

The world moves so fast anymore.  Much of this is beyond our control.  But I look at this one piece of life and say but this is.  Just because corporations think we have to start Christmas in October along side Halloween doesn't mean we should buy in.  Breathe, pause, and take some time to enjoy these days and hours of fall.  Give each season it's due.  Reminder that winter doesn't even begin till December 21st.  And the twelve days of Christmas actually begin on December 25th and end on January 6th. 

I have a personal stake in this too.  Some very big things happened in November!  My Ella was born on Nov. 11th!  My Dad celebrates the birth of the Marine Corps on Nov. 10th.  And hello I got to come to be in this world on November 27th, thanks to some crazy hardwork on the part of my Mama!  And Thanksgiving is there too, which as I age has become more of a day I enjoy, especially the idea of pausing and giving gratitude for this life we are blessed to live. 

So the idea that people are in such a hurry to get on with it and skip over all that is November hurts me.  I want to relax into some peace before we jump with both feet over November and into what has become a bustling December.  I want to enjoy, pumpkins, and the crunch of leaves, and the weather as it starts to change.  I want to enjoy seeing my baby celebrate her Birth.   I want to eat turkey and stuffing and pumpkin everything.  I want to pause and focus on my gratitude for these hours and moments.  I want to take time to say thanks for getting to be born myself.  I simply want a pause button.

I love the idea of December and the idea of Christmas holidays, in fact it is one of the times of year I enjoy being at home the most.  I enjoy decorations and gifting and gathering with friends.  I enjoy the music the movies and hot cocoa by the tree.  But I enjoy those because they have a time and place in my world.  They have their season.  Their season is not right this moment I am pressing pause on it and stepping back to enjoy my November.  I encourage you to do the same.  Enjoy the seasons as they come slow yourselves down.  Use your own pause button.  Do not fast forward your lives!! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Tonight was a big night of conversations with my girls.  I have found the hardest part of this parenting thing is the conversations.  Not because talking to my kids has ever been a chore, but because I spend a lot of my time trying to not let them see my jaw drop. 

I have always tried to be there for my girls no matter what.  I feel those open ears are soooo important so they feel heard and know that any topic is open.  I try to not jump to panic or give them the impression these topics are things to be uncomfortable about even though sometimes they are very far out of my comfort zone and I grasp for words. 

Tonight was full of these things.  There were relationship talks, maturation talks, there were talks about Ferguson, talks about government, talks about religion, talks about being a woman.  Some of this was very hard.  What do you say?  How do you lead and answer things that sometimes truly do not make sense even to your much older self? 

I feel like I repeat myself, and hope they do not think I am just paying them lip service to their very deep and serious thoughts. But the overall message I hope my girls take into their futures are that we have to be kind.  No matter if your opinions are different you must respect the different paths and journeys others may be on.  Respect for them does not mean agreement and that you cannot have your beliefs it just means you respect their humanness.  I think the word humanness comes out of my mouth a lot in our talks.  I think as a society we have lost that basic thing, we are all just that,  human.  We should be united in our humanness not so isolated and divided by it.  By dropping titles and our own groupings and recognizing we share a grouping in being human I feel the world could grow to give all a voice and encourage that respect we all desire!  I also think that if my girls see themselves as plainly as human that they can grow in acceptance and kindness. 

This raising some very strong and opinionated girls is not for the light of heart.  It stretches your very basic youness to try and step outside your long held prejudices or peeves to grow someone who can do big things in this lifetime.  I tell them that all this change and injustice they perceive can only truly be changed by them and their generation.  It is up to them to dump titles, respect differences, and treat people as humans and with kindness.  Imagine if all the younger generations were able to do this?  How very different our world would be. 

Also in  raising powerful women, I plant the seeds of what they should expect from relationships and dangers and how as women we have a lot to expect and change.  The world still does not see women as equals and worthy of governing themselves.  There are still bad boys amidst so many good who would want to lead them to harm.  But I always tell them they are strong and powerful and they decide what happens.  With hopes that is in fact true and they will never ever meet those bad boys.  But I can't miss opportunities, not to kill innocence but to empower my growing women to recognize their importance and strength in this world that might not always treat them as such. 

Am I doing this right??  I have no clue.  Is there a right way?  I have no clue.  Am I amazed by their strength already? Yes I am.  Do I hope that I had something to do with that?  Yes I do. 

So I leave you with the encouragement that talking is important.  That leaving all topics open for exploration is huge, even if you truly have no answers.  That celebrating being a human and celebrating kindness is the best thing I think we can give one another.  My mind is very tired but I am so very glad for conversations!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Word of 2014 and reflection...

I am dusting off the blog today this last day of 2014.  I crave words and have so much to say, so much to share, but I push it aside and trudge through this thing called life while it pools inside my head and heart.  So today in all it's imperfections I come to share those words.

My word for 2014 was Devote.  I am arriving at the end of this year feeling like I have failed every part of the goal of that word and it's deepest intention for me.  I had set out with plans of devoting time to myself, my home, my financial health.  But the year had other plans for me and I was soon derailed and the focus on anything more than putting one foot in front of the other was too much to ask. 

I was actually writing about this in my real pen and paper journal the other day and found myself awash in tears.  It came to me that in every facet of my being 2014 was truly about the word DEVOTE.  Was it as I had idealistically planned with my New Year hopes and goals? Not in any way shape or form.  But It was a year of complete devotion to someone who was so hugely important to me, my Aunt Ollie. 

In the Spring last year we found out she in fact had cancer and that time was ticking.  I had such hopes so many conflicting emotions of what this meant and how to proceed and what to pray and wish for.  I was selfish, I wanted her and I wanted more.  I was angry. I was hopeless.  I felt helpless.  I was given huge gifts that many can only hope for in this lifetime.  And through this muck of emotions and fears and numbness there was devotion in it's purest of forms.  So hidden from me that I didn't even know it was really there.  That until I started peeling away all the layers of this year and the overall grief that is still very much there, that I could even see it. 

I was devoted in my every action and part of my being to being there for my family.  My mother, my Aunt Lorene (Aunt Ollie's other primary caregiver) and for my Aunt Ollie.  I did whatever no matter how very small it felt or seemed to give myself to them all.  For really that is all you have sometimes.  Money can't fix it.  Things are just that things.  But your very being is all you have to offer.  Your existence and the show of that existence is sometimes all that is required.  Not sure I got that myself till this year.  That we spend so much time saying well I can't afford to give anything never stopping to see that yes in fact you can, you have time, you have words, you have an existence that is enough.  That your devotion to whatever strikes you to your very soul is enough.  Showing someone that they are loved in there entirety.  Showing those that work so hard when you can't that they matter is enough!!  Because having been there this year, I can say that at the end of your days that is what truly matters.  That you mattered enough that someone wants to give their time and hold onto you for whatever comes next.  That someone wants to DEVOTE their time to you is the ultimate gift and one I hope I am worthy of when my days countdown in this life. 

So sometimes life leads you to lessons you hoped truly to never have.  That in my small focus of my me-ness I would never possibly have learned.  When you put out there an intent you do not always get that the way you think but be careful the universe hears and gives you what you need.  I doesn't always come in a pretty package though. 

So with that being said next years word is HEAL.  Walking through the last few hours of 2014 with hope of a better 2015.  Less loss, less pain, less worry.  Happy New Year to all!! 

Monday, June 23, 2014


I know "stuff" does not make a person.  I realize that what you own or have owned is not what inherently makes you YOU.   But as a "stuff" person I know how I treasure my things.  How I surround myself with things I like to look at, with things that have meaning to me in a personal way.  I know not everyone shares that love.  The "simplify" trend across blog land and the Internet has been huge.  But my "stuff" brings me joy and peace so I do not intend to simplify that out of my world.

Today, I was having lunch with the Irishman on the front porch and was audience to a house across the street being prepped to sell.  When we moved to our home all those years ago we knew the lady who lived there.  Her name was Betty and she was saucy and always on the go.  Many years ago she moved to Florida with her son and we sadly had no further contact with her.  Her house has stayed unoccupied all those years.  Well sadly we have heard neighborhood word that she has passed on.  And now there is an ongoing buzz across the road of cleaning out her "stuff".  Today, this made me so very sad.  So sad to think that she has been reduced to her memories and the things she held onto and surrounded herself with.  That mean nothing to those doing the "cleaning".  It has been dumpstered and now sits on the curb in boxes and piles.  During our lunch many cars stopped by picking through her memories and carting them off.  Which I guess is good that they go on with other people but just really made my heart hurt to watch them dig through all her things without ever knowing who she was and what they meant to her.  And seeing them dig through to cart them off for profit not joy and love.  The Irishman called them vultures which I think is apt. 

So I came inside to my couch and my thoughts and my words.  Trying to feel better about it.  Trying to remind myself it is in fact only  stuff.  But it was HER stuff.(This is also why Estate sales are hard for me)  There was a person attached to it all who is no longer.  And for that I am sad.  So I send out a little peace into the world to all the Bettys who brought me smiles and have moved on.  Take time to touch base with your own Bettys!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


A long while ago, my naturopath said I needed to do things that bring me joy.  This weekend was full of just those things.

I took an asparagus class. 
I found a local restaurant doing food with passion and honoring food.
I went to the Farmer's Market and got fresh roasted coffee, bacon and brats, asparagus, radishes and lettuce.
I bought plants.
I slept.
I was gifted wonderful handmade things by these awesome people I live with.
I got to ride my bike.
I planted things.
I baked and cooked.
I got to jump rope.
I got to sit on my front porch. 
I got to be in my space.

When I was riding my bike I felt like all I could do was smile like a big goof.  It felt sooooo very good!  It has been a while since my body has been able to cope with all this activity and I am grateful for today.  Refreshing my mind, body, and spirit! 

Hoping you all did things that brought you joy this weekend if not please make time to do so this week!  You are important too!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Not Ready

I have been intending to be in this space for so very long.  I need words.  I thrive when there is time for words.  But life has kept me just hanging on doing one day at a time.  Just getting through trying to be the best Mama, wife, friend, co-worker and person I can be.  Sometimes I fail miserably at all the above.  Sometimes like anyone else I have moments in which I feel I shine. 

However what gets me in this space is a need for release of all that is in my head and heart.  Do you ever have something you know is coming and is inevitable but you just are in no way ready nor will you ever be?  But that thing will come.  It will happen no matter how hard you pray, no matter how hard you try to laugh and smile, how hard you try to focus on something other.  It is there.  It is with you for the ride. 

Growing up and getting older is hard.  Not for what you might assume, appearances, wrinkles, aches and pains.  But this being a big girl thing is hard in that those who have been so important to you through all those growing pains start to come to the end of their journeys.  Their time is ending and you (hopefully) will continue on (or try to). 

That is happening for me right now.  I try not to think or feel because there are a wall of tears just waiting there.  And I fear once they start they may never end.  But my life goes on around me and I try to be ok.  I try for my kids, my husband, my friends, my co-workers to keep moving forward with a decent (no way is it going to be good right now) attitude.  But behind it all is the stark, painful fact that someone who is such a part of me is dying.  She is checking off her list and getting ready and while I do not wish her pain and suffering I will never ever be ready for her to go. 

I was gifted with a weekend with her last week.  In which I got to tell her all the things I wanted her to know.  I got to thank her and tell her how very important she has been in making me who I am today.  I got to hold her, and take care of her, and laugh with her, and listen to her as she got things off her chest and cried. 

I love this woman.  I will always love this woman.  I am now afraid for my phone to ring.  I am now afraid for the next step.  This isn't my journey but hers.  I want her to have peace and light in her passing.  I want her to breathe and be pain free.  But oh how very much I wish for more time. 

So please make the time.  Find time to be with those that are important to you.  Life is always busy, always full but don't regret that you didn't make it happen.  Bridge gaps of distance and time and say the words and make sure those you love know you love them now not when it is too late!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


    My Mom and Dad always told my brother and I that you do not talk about religion or politics in polite company.  Of course being a kid, I was like "uh-ok" wondering why on earth you would ever want to talk about those things with anyone any way.  I mean there was music and boys and clothes to discuss why would I want to talk about dry and boring religion and politics??

    What happened to smart people like my parents?  What happened to that value of relationships that you would leave hot topics alone?  And more to the point why is this the basis of ending a relationship when you are twelve??

     The past few weeks my lovely twelve year old has had the topic of religion, particularly hers, hit her hard in her core.  She was approached by two "friends" of her little boyfriend and told that he was breaking up with her because she was an "atheist and the Bible prohibited them from being together."  This passed and the little boyfriend defended her then, yet today he broke up with my girl.  This I expected.  They are 12.  It is a reality not a shock.  However, he told her he couldn't be with her because of her religion that it wasn't right what she believed. 

     I am really and truly upset by this.  More so than my old soul of a child, who wisely said she didn't want to be with anyone ever that would hurt her like that and that they just weren't worth it.  ( I still do not have this clarity she has.)  First, I do not tolerate ignorance well.  And these boys are spewing things they have heard elsewhere and have no idea of what they speak.  My child is not an atheist.  She is a seeker.  She is finding her way on her OWN spiritual path.  Not one that her Dad or I have chosen for her.  She is talked to and her questions answered honestly.  She is given opportunities to read and experience the world.  She is taught morals, she is taught honesty, she is taught to treat others as she would like to be treated.  She is a truly upstanding human.  I to my core believe the world could use many more people like this young lady who is kind and giving and nurturing.  This girl who stands up for others and takes on the world.  Secondly, she does believe.  The who, to me does not matter.  The fact she has a connection to something bigger than herself and finds comfort in that is enough for me.  That she feels drawn to her insides and what is in there and that she expresses those thoughts and emotions with respect for others is hugely important to me as her mother.  Thirdly, it is absolutely no other students business what her religion is.  It has absolutely nothing to do with them.  Religion is so very personal how on earth can any of us say that the way you believe is wrong as long as that way is moral and honorable and harms no one else in the process???  Religion helps us find our way in this big, crazy world.  It gives comfort for the all those things that do not make sense.  It cannot be one size fits all as none of us are the same. 

    In my life, I am guilty of judging others, I believe it is a human condition, but I am working on it.  I accept that other people might do and experience their world differently than I do, and overall I think that is a good thing, but as a type A I would love everyone to be me and agree with me!!  However I am open to differences.  I am open to those in this world who believe differently than I do.  And I TEACH my children to never isolate someone based on those differences.  So it really hurts me that in allowing her to grow into who she needs to be spiritually I have set her up to be out casted and attacked, by (this is me judging right now) those very people whose religion professes they should do none of these things.  I have issue with selective practice.  If you are going to talk the talk to someone I believe you should be walking the walk to use a cliche.  If you are truly confident in your religion shouldn't you want to lift us up with it not shame us with it?? 

    When I talked to my sage child this evening, I said maybe in the future you don't tell them everything maybe you just agree so that you aren't a target...and she says "But that is a lie.  I want people who accept me for who I really am."  Out of the mouths of babes there is a truth.  And I encourage you all to take the time to step back and begin to accept people.  To stop taking what works for you and broad brushing the rest of us.  For it is you who will lose out in the end by shutting out beautiful souls like my daughter, in her I see incredible things for the world.  In her honesty and her maturity.  I am holding out hope that one day someone really just amazing will see that in her and honor her for it as their partner.