10 Minute Monday: When is Enough…

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I keep meeting so many bloggers with great aspirations. I love it! But…it makes me feel like my simple life and my small dreams can’t begin to measure up. No one said they have to and that’s where so many feelings get in the way. Guilt, discontent, fear…

I’m supposed to be writing a blog about having a mid-life crisis, but I am beginning to see that, while I am no longer content to be a wall flower and I’ve certainly pushed myself to try new things (and had fun doing it), it has been the inner struggle of trying to sort out just who I am that has created the most conflict.

Part of the conflict comes from wanting more but not knowing what exactly. How do you flesh out a vision when there is no dream to pursue? Part of the conflict comes from being content with who and where I am right now, but struggling with this nagging sense that I should want more, and feeling guilty that I am not pushing myself harder.

Looking back over the last 5 years, I can see that I have changed. I’ve learned to cry less and laugh more. My outlook on the value of life and the importance of relationships has deepened, without becoming burdensome. And while I still want to “make my mark on the world”, I’m seeing that that mark doesn’t have to be in the form of a charismatic leader on the world stage.  I may never win a literary award and my only claim to fame may be in son’s eyes, but part of me is ok with that.  Not “OK” in the sense that I’m resigned to a fate of obscurity in the annals of history, but “OK” in the sense that it is enough. Right now.

Perhaps, at times, it is even more than enough. This week, to the broken-hearted woman whose friend had passed away only hours before, I was someone she could trust to share her grief in that moment. To the little girl in the public restroom, who couldn’t quite reach the soap dispenser, I was a friendly “mom-type” to set the water temperature and high-five so we both had gooey hands. Perhaps it’s in those moments that I am more “me” than I realize, and if so, I am content with my life.

Krista O’Reilly Davi Digui’s well-written and honest piece entitled “What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” showed up on my Facebook Page. I would encourage you to read it. Even if you don’t necessarily want a mediocre life, the reality is that most of us will never walk a red carpet, but is that such a bad thing? When is enough, right now, in the moment, simply and beautifully, more than enough?

There’s still so much to sort out, isn’t there?

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find me

– John Mark Hall/Casting Crowns, Somewhere In The Middle lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Capitol Christian Music Group
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This has been a “10 Minute Monday” post (where I write about whatever I want for a minimum 10 minutes, no editing – mayhem, memories, maudlin mumblings, or  “mwa ha ha” moments.

Quiet, please!

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The comments on my blog are as scarce as the people who eat plain doughnut holes because they like them, not because that’s the only kind left in the box and they’re really hungry. I know there would be more if all 5 my readers knew how to leave comments (love you Mom)!

But occasionally I get comments that are just…”dirty”! Let me state this clearly: If you want to use your body as an amusement park, that’s your prerogative, but leave me out of it! I’m glad you find me attractive, but seriously dude, that’s gross!

I realize we live in a society that is way too preoccupied with sex – getting it, the abundance of it, or the lack of it. If we’re not “doing it” then we are obsessing about “doing it” or obsessing about why we’re not “doing it”. It’s exhausting!

Four years ago, I browsed the Women’s Health section in a major book store chain. I expected to find ridiculousness like “How to Embrace and Bake With Your Inner Child” or “Harnass the Power of Pretend Eating and Drop 4.5 Dress Sizes”.  Instead of books on self-esteem, nutrition, exercise, or surviving menopause, over 75% of the shelf space was filled with books on sexual positions, how to seduce, pleasure or keep a man, and a book with Sex Tips from Porn Stars! When did advice from Porn Stars override the need for quality books that help women struggling with depression, eating disorders or grief?

How could over 75% of the books on Women’s Health have so little to do with women’s health?  Is the market saturated with books of this caliber or is there high market demand? What kind of women are buying these books?

Here’s a crazy idea…

Maybe if we put as much brain power and energy into solving issues like homelessness and poverty, as we do in pursuing “satisfaction”, we could change the world.

Maybe, if we focused on the importance of emotional connection, intelligent conversation, meaningful touch, and mutual respect in a relationship that exceeds the need to jump into bed at every possible opportunity, we could be happier and healthier, and secure with who are.

I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.
– J.K. Rowling

And maybe the Women’s Health section in the book store should be about… oh, I don’t know…Women’s Health!

Happy Weekend!

Wilderness Wednesday: Walk in the Park

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Nature says thou shalt keep the air, skate, swim, walk, ride, run. When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1851

DSC_1364 (800x533)

Happy Wednesday!

WPC: Heritage

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Three generations are buried in the cemetery near the former farmhouse. My great-great grandmother walked to the family woods nearby, dug up and replanted an evergreen tree at the family plot. That tree is gone now but the pallbearers had to step carefully when we buried my grandmother in 2014.  I can still picture it from the road, tall and lean, against the sky.

Out of curiousity last night, I searched the name of my great-great-great-grandparents and I found an interesting thread. Though some of the information differed (the date they left Ireland and one surname), there were some similarities (town in Ireland, 10 children – one dying at sea, and the date of their deaths (3 weeks apart)! I’m excited to dig deeper.

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey

To see more photos, click here.

Everything I do…

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Hubby and I have been married for over 20 years, which means that some rituals have become routine, and there’s no point in changing it now. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

One such ritual is at bedtime.

If I’m the first one in the bathroom, I fix the toothbrushes while Hubby uses the “facilities”. But if I go to use the “facilities” first, Hubby goes in his room and gets changed for bed. In other words, regardless of who gets there first, I fix the toothbrushes. The only exception is the odd time that I head to bed much later than Hubby – in which case he fixes my toothbrush and leaves it on the side of the sink for me.

The other night, I got there first, so I fixed the toothbrushes. After Hubby had pulled himself together and as he reached for his toothbrush, Hubby farted. It was a rump trumpet!

[I know this because I gave Little Guy the card game, Silent Bt Deadly, and I play it with him, including the graphic sound effects…becasue I’m “that kind of Mom”. ]

So I stopped brushing and flashed Hubby my usual disgusted look. I mean, seriously? He grinned back sheepishly. “What’s really funny”, he added, “is the song that’s playing in my head right now?”

I waited…(Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams.

I thanked him for planting that song in my head right before bed, and then I thanked him for emitting his gaseous fumes in a thick, cloying green fog right beside the “facilities”, at my eye level…before I got to use the “facilities”.

“You’re welcome. Hold your breath.”  And then he started humming…

You know it’s true
Everything I do,
I do it for you

To My Sons

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“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” –Elizabeth Stone

Someday you will understand. Someday, you will, I hope, be a parent too, and you will understand how much your children shape and reshape you. You will experience the pain and the joy that comes from giving your heart away. You will examine your character, your relationships, and your decisions through new eyes. You will see life through the eyes of a child, and your soul will thrill to see beauty and innocence again. It is an indescribable adventure and a lifelong journey. I am privileged to share it with you.

I wanted to be a “good” and “fun” and “perfect” Mom…the kind who baked cookies and milk, who never lost her temper, who always took time to listen. I wanted to roll out of bed in the morning with a song on my lips. I wanted to be the one to wipe away your tears, and chase away your fears. To be your greatest cheerleader. To never miss celebrating a special moment. I wanted to be Mrs. Cleaver…able to gracefully solve any problem in half an hour or less. I wanted to be a “good” and “perfect” Mom…

Instead, you got a real Mom…I baked cookies (that were often burned or funny looking) and bandaged boo-boos. I tried to pay attention and never turn you away, even in the middle of the night. But I know I didn’t always do it gracefully. I didn’t always keep my temper, or put my “listening ears” on. I failed in many ways, and you will too. Humble yourself before your children when you need to – they love you any way. Treat each day as a new beginning.

Sing loudly even when you don’t know the words…make up your own. It doesn’t matter if they’re super silly or they don’t rhyme. Words like “poop” will always get a laugh. Pick dandelions. Blow bubbles. Make faces. Play. (actually that’s good advice even when you don’t have kids…)

I hope that I have given you some happy memories – things like snuggling on the couch, rescuing worms on rainy days, arts & crafts, and bedtime stories. Savour these little moments – you are giving the gift of time. Children never remember the “big” moments, the ones that adults think are important. Plan “big” moments any way!

Pray without ceasing. It is the only way that you will begin to have the strength, patience, and wisdom you will need for each day, from diapers to driving lessons, and everything in between and beyond. It is one of the most important things you can do for them, and for you!

There are many memories that I treasure in my heart. To Big Guy: “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”. To Little Guy: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray…” You guys are the biggest part of my “story” – some day I’ll tell you more.    Love ya’

Mom xoxo