Sunday, February 26, 2012
Is it a specific event? A photograph? A feeling?
For me, it is one particular day. Nothing special happened on that day, it was just a regular August day; hot sunny, and endless. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though I have no idea what year it even was. It is a memory that flashes into my mind often, especially when I need to go to a "happy place".
I clearly remember my run through the sprinkler with my sister and best friend. I can see my small self on a towel on the driveway, the hazy sky above me, the hard cement under me. I can feel the warm sun on my face. I remember how the day lasted forever.
Once I naively thought life would last as long as that summer day felt.
Unfortunately I have learned that life goes by faster every day, week, month and year. So fast, that as I looked through old photo albums today on my first baby's 20th birthday, I experienced a sense of panic.
I am no longer the kid in the pictures. I am grown. I am old. And yet, I have so much that I would still like to accomplish. So much life that I want to enjoy.
One of the things my grown up self now hopes for, is to be able to enjoy another day like the one from my memory. A day that goes on and on, and is not marked by what I did or didn't accomplish, but instead by how happy and content I feel. Will life ever be that uncomplicated again?
I have only to think of the responsibilities I have now, and realize why I want to go back. I long for the nothingness of that day. No plans. No worries. No stress. No expectations. No urgency. Just contentment. Peace. Calm. Happiness. A time when there was nothing on my to do list, when I didn't second guess myself, and I had not a care in the world.
So fleeting was that precious feeling of just being.
My life lesson to those of you who have a lot of life ahead... is simple: slow it down; savor the day. Remember to be happy with what you have in your life, in every moment, and not wish forward to the days to come. Otherwise, you may find yourself there all too fast, and wish instead that you could go back.
Remember my friends, to just be.
Friday, February 24, 2012
My husband, whom I married when I was a mere 22 years old, still makes me happy. In fact, at times, he is the only thing that makes me happy.
We met in college and when we got married I had never lived on my own, well unless you count living in the dorm on my own, and had absolutely no idea how to cook, anything. I actually messed up jello and many other things that came in a box. Soon after we were married, I recall successfully mastering the making of macaroni in a box, and celebrating. Don't tell anyone, but early on Velveeta Shells n Cheese may have been our only dinner for months on end.
So when life, with all its twists and turns, leaves you feeling stressed and scared, and your husband hugs you and tells you that if the world would just go away and leave you with him, he'd be truly happy; it makes your day. And melts your heart.
Well, it did mine anyway.
It's nice that after all these years, we at least agree on one thing ... how smart we were to have chosen each other.
How about you, if you had a do-over option, would you marry your husband again?
There's Something About Mike
50 Things I Love About You
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
This is so "not me". But it kinda was me today.
Today was another super busy day in a string of really busy days. I had a plant tour, and several important meetings scheduled after the tour, all over GR. I had dressed accordingly, or so I thought. A short and sassy skirt, black tights and high"er" heeled shoes than I normally sport. I was ready for my big day.
Until I started walking the halls of my work to prepare for that tour I had scheduled. And something became very clear, I was in the middle of a wardrobe malfunction. Of a serious kind. The tights I had chosen for today, clearly had given up the ghost. With each step, they lost a tiny bit more elasticity, making walking the halls a much more difficult task than it should be. Did I have a back up pair in my desk, or car, you ask?
Heck no. That thought had never crossed my mind. I barely ever wear skirts and tights, and have NEVER experienced them falling off me. So why would I?
So, I did what any good sales girl would do, I sucked it up and hiked them up....ALL day long. Every chance I got. When no one was looking, and sometimes even when someone was looking (sorry to the girls in my office).
It was so annoying that at times I lost my concentration on the conversation at hand, I just wanted to rip off those tights and go ghost legs, instead I moved from one meeting to the next, until I had gotten through the day. Eventually I stopped at the grocery store to run in and grab a couple of things...
Instead I found myself grabbing for my tights, and the underwear that was slowly being sucked downward with those tights, as I walked through the front doors of the store. What the ****??? All I wanted was to get in and get out, instead I found myself trapped in an aisle at the farthest possible end of the store from the bathroom. And my tights were at mid thigh. And every step forward moved them closer to the ground. What to do?
Some nice lady in the pop aisle expressed an interest in assisting me as I apologized for my inappropriate hiking in front of her and the diet coke. She empathized with my situation, as she had once had a pair of underwear lose all elasticity on her. But there was nothing either of us could do.
So I waddled, and semi-hiked, and attempted to hold those tights in place until I finally made it to the bathroom. I lifted up my skirt to see just how far those tights had traveled in the wrong direction, and wish I could have taken a picture of it for you. I was "this close" to showing my white cotton crotch to the world. Closer than I have ever been.
As soon as I got home I threw those things in the trash and heaved a huge sigh of relief. I'm thinking I will wait until summer (and tan legs) before I pull out the skirt again (or the tights).
Tights on the ground, is not a good feeling!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Borrowed from the Truths & Love Blog. You should check it out!
So, I have a new philosophy to live by. Just go with the flow. My new mantra is to enjoy each day, and try not to worry about planning my every move. To instead, learn to embrace whatever comes next. If you know me, you know that is not only weird, but way out of character. And a little freaky, too.
But then again, I'm a different person these days.
I have a new job, which doesn't make me "different" exactly, but it does make me look at things differently. I never realized how slow the paper world moves. Being several steps removed from a sale and the finished job never bothered me before, but it did totally isolate me from knowing what it feels like to be busy.
I used to be able to plan, and organize, and even sometimes accomplish everything on my priority "to do" list. (It would be ridiculous to assume everything would ever be crossed off on all my to do lists, I make way to many of them).
But I realized after two weeks in digital print sales, that sometimes what you think you are going to do that day is rarely what actually happens on that day. In my previous life, I always wondered why people were late, or forgot to do things, or got derailed by a crisis or customer. I didn't understand, and now I completely get why/how that happens.
This job has already illustrated that I will have to hone my patience, adaptability and acceptance skills. And the self monitoring I do naturally, may have to take a chill pill.
The best part in my opinion? is that it is totally okay with me. I am not stressed, surprisingly I am energized. It makes every day a true adventure. An unknown. And that makes life fun.
I now appreciate what is given to me each day. Good, bad, awkward, whatever it is, I say, bring it on!
"Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today.
Let us begin." ---Mother Teresa
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My job was no longer giving me satisfaction. And that was a hard thing to come to terms with, since I loved what I did. Things had changed in my industry, and the value of my position was in question. At first I resisted coming to the inevitable conclusion that I needed to move on, because I really wanted to make it work. Yet ultimately I figured out that no amount of readjusting was going to bring it back to the way it was. And once I recognized (and admitted) it was stealing my joy, I instantly felt better. I faced it, and was able to take some positive steps.
If you find yourself unhappy, you need to figure out what is stealing your joy and put a stop to it. Maybe these steps will help you through that process.
1. Determine and recognize the source of the problem. Start by examining all areas of your life to figure out what part is not making you happy.
2. Take steps to make a change. Attempt a fix; depending on the source of your stress, it could mean going to counseling by yourself (or with someone), or it could mean figuring out a way to have your voice be heard at work.
3. Don't be afraid to readjust. Sometimes shaking things up is enough to give you a fresh perspective and create more joy. But if after doing that, you realize you still aren't truly happy, don't be afraid to make a shift in another direction. It is rare that we set off on the perfect path to a solution, so be willing to change your course, several times if necessary, as you work toward a resolution.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
I was lucky to be brought up loved. Not that everything I did was liked, but I knew that I was loved--and knowing this gave me the ability and freedom to be who I wanted to be. ---Bernie Siegel, M.D.
Photo Credit: Mercedes DeJesus
I was one of the lucky ones, I wasn't a perfect kid, but I knew that my parents were there for me when I messed up, to show me the way and help me learn from my mistakes.
I have seen what happens when a child grows up without loving, unselfish parents, and it breaks my heart. When there is no one there to give them the unconditional love and support they deserve, a key part of their development is left unfulfilled. They never get the chance to be led by example, to truly learn to believe in themselves, to know what it is like to have someone expect things from them. Many of the skills I take for granted; self confidence, goal setting, and planning were instilled in me when I was very young, in children without good parents, these things are missing.
And so is something I consider super important, the ability to trust your gut.
It breaks my heart to see kids with great potential, who cannot see any potential in themselves. They don't even know to look for it, let alone to recognize it. I am amazed every day at the strength of my newest children, and in their ability to have survived growing up without anyone to advocate for them, without help in navigating the world. It humbles me. It makes me thankful for what I have been given.
Teaching a child to believe in themselves and show them they have the power to be anyone they want to be, takes patience. And forgiveness. And great strength of will to not punch those awful parents in the face. It makes me appreciate my parents even more than I already did.
Our family has made one small step in reaching out to help break the chain of less than perfect parenting. But our efforts alone are not enough. We need more people to step up to help kids who haven't been given the privileges we were given: love, safety, discipline, forgiveness, and someone to expect you to become someone someday.
To help break the chain of bad parenting and change the future, we all need to lead by example and show children that there is another way. That they have the ability to change their lives and the lives of future generations, by learning to love themselves.
Have you ever considered mentoring? If you need any help with local mentoring opportunities, please let me know. I am happy to share. And I know a lot of kids would be happy to receive.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world --
The Truth Hurts
It's Never Too Late