Day 57 – Freeze-Frame Memories

Recently, I had one of those days where you get to watch your teenagers step back in time a little, shake off the adult-to-be exteriors and be littles again.

The first moment which stands out poignantly clear was on a family holiday to Maui a couple of years ago.  My DH and I were able to watch our three teens allow themselves to be washed up on the beach by the waves and then run down the beach back to the water’s edge to do it all over again.  We sat there until it was dark, watching them run up and down, up and down, laughing and egging each other on.

The moment that happened the other day was watching them run sprint races in a local park on a beautiful sunny day.  I only had two teens with me at the time; however, what started as a school assignment quickly turned into silly, fun racing with me timing them to see if they could beat their own previous time.

Every time one of these moments happen, I tell myself to stop, enjoy and remember.  These are those moments that freeze time and bring joy and pain all in the same second.  On one hand you don’t know if that moment will ever come again or be quite as perfect and on the other you feel privileged to have another one of these memories to file away in your mental filing cabinet.

Yet in the joy and the pain, the same words run through my head…”I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky…”

Live for the moments you can’t put into words.

— Kid Roc
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Day 56 – Frustration and Fire

Today, I felt frustrated because I just can’t seem to catch up with life.  There is a constant struggle between the things that I want to accomplish for me personally and other responsibilities that always seem to win out in the priority battle.

There are times where I just want to life to neaten up and get organized so that I can do some of my want to’s, instead of focusing on all the have to’s.

And then I remember, life is never neat and organized.  It’s always messy, unexpected and uncontrollable…it’s what makes life amazing.

Well, the medicine I required to bring me back into alignment was to complete something that I wanted to do and has been bugging me for a while.  For me today, it was a pile of confidential paperwork that needed to be burned, and let’s face it, there’s no denying the therapy of an outdoor fire.

Finding myself with a pocket of time while DS cooked dinner, I took advantage and built myself a fire.  At first, it was more smoke than flame.  A really great fire requires patience which I didn’t have and reaped the consequences of my impatience…a face full of smoke.  I then revamped the fire properly, burnt my paperwork and reveled in being outside in the sun getting something I wanted to get done completed.

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Photo by Marko Horvat on Unsplash

Sometimes, I have to remember when it feels like I don’t have time to get anything done just narrowing the list to one item and giving it priority creates better attitude for all the other responsibilities in my day and the days following.

Take time to do what makes your soul happy. – Unknown.

Day 55 – A Tribute to a Quiet Man

Last Saturday, the world lost a quiet man.  His loss didn’t cause the world to take notice or multitudes to mourn, but for those who knew and loved him, the loss was and continues to be felt deeply.

What defined this quiet man:

He was not demonstrably affectionate, but lived his love through his actions, working every day and providing his family with stability and security, particularly in times that were neither stable nor secure.

He did not use his time on earth to chase his own selfish form of personal happiness, but instead abided by his own value system of duty and responsibility.

He did not attract attention and never really even wanted it, but his influence was felt strong and lasting in those who had the honor to know him.

He did not enjoy talking much, but when he did, demonstrated a surprising quick wit and well-developed sense of humor; however when angry or serious, his words were all the more powerful for the silence between.

He lived simply with contentment in the little things.

He suffered bravely.

He was loyal in good times and bad.  He may not have known how to make things better, but he knew how to stay.

To know this quiet man is to understand the huge hole he has left in his passing and to be grateful for his legacy of values which lives on in those he left behind.

Thank you, quiet man, for the opportunity to know you.  Rest in peace.  You are missed.

 

 

Day 54 – Facing Insecurity in a Haircut

Today, I got a haircut.  For most people, this would be filed under one of the many errands they completed in a day.  For me, it’s another hurdle on the lifelong self-esteem triathlon.  In other words, it’s a big deal.

There are a variety of reasons I procrastinate on haircuts, and the one I’d like most to put forward is that I’m just not about the external.  The day allots us 24 hours to fill with all the things that are important to us, and I prefer to prioritize the internal development of my character.

Now if you believe that…don’t bother continuing to read.  Just go have a cup of tea and appreciate my evolved being.

Darn, you kept reading.  The real reason I dislike haircuts is the idea of sitting in a chair facing myself in a mirror for 30+ minutes bring out my insecurities.  The reflection of a face lined with a few more lines, plumper around the cheeks and multiplying chins (there is another one each time!) creates a feeling of low self-esteem that I prefer to avoid by not making eye contact with myself in a mirror unless absolutely necessary.

The other deterrent to haircuts is my introvertedness…making conversation with a hairstylist is exhausting.  If I get a chatty one, bonus!  I can listen and add one liners, but they carry the bulk of the conversational burden.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear their stories and love learning about another person’s life, I just don’t like the unpredictable nature…nothing to prepare for.

I did manage to luck out today though.  My stylist was chatty and an authentic soul, and we had a real soul-bearing conversation.  I actually started to get concerned that she wasn’t going to cut my hair at all as she stood chatting for a good 30 minutes before scissors even made contact.

The self-esteem thing on the other hand will continue to be a challenge.  I’m determined though to make peace with myself and most of the time I can achieve it by sheer avoidance, but a lady in her 40s needs to face her demons, get over herself and even elevate to the place of loving the reflection in the mirror no matter how many chins greet her.

In the spirit of continued self-growth, I did an online search for courses on self-love and found Loving Yourself by Louise Hay; however, I do not have $89 US to spend on a course in loving myself as I do not love an empty wallet.  So, my next alternative was to hit the library and order The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor.  I love the book cover.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you feel like sharing your self-love successes, I could use the help.

Note:  When I got home, my DS and DH both wondered where I had been and didn’t realize that I gotten my hair cut, so obviously not a big external change…good internal reflection though.

Day 53 – On Being Kindly Assertive

As per Wikipedia, the definition of assertive is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive.

Assertiveness is not one of my strongest characteristics.  Being an introvert, I would much rather avoid conflict altogether than become embroiled in any…unpleasantness.  Under stress, I am not the most eloquent speaker, so between stumbling on my words and hesitating speech, I do not present as someone who is self-assured or confident.  Underlying that is a vein of people pleasing which seems to get less important as I get older and learn that pleasing anyone other than myself is pretty much an impossible task and not my responsibility.

Once in a while though I have a day, an awesome day where I am able to challenge my fear of conflict, take a deep breath and meet issues head on.  Today was such a day.  I dealt with insurance issues, roofers, school-funding frustrations and contractors keeping my poise and in some cases resolving problems and in others not getting my way, but letting my opinion be known in a kind, yet direct way.

Funny enough, I’m okay with not getting my way for the most part which is weird.  Most of the time I measure success by achieving my objective.  Today, my measuring stick was different.  I achieved my objective just by stepping up, staying cool and being authentic.  I like the feeling of this measuring stick a lot better, more in my control.

So today, I’m feeling assured and confident.  Tomorrow might be different, but I’m all about basking in a good feeling while you have it.

What challenges, big or small, did you meet head on today?

Update:  I just learned that on the issue where I was direct and didn’t go my way, they are bending things to work as per my request.  Yah to kind, direct communication!

 

 

Day 52 – Blogging Lessons for Week #8

After pulling back from speeding into formalizing my blogging last week, I spent some time on other things and found myself unexpectedly inspired.

I had joined a blogging group calling Blogging for New Bloggers on Facebook and have found a wealth of information and support, but even more helpful was a free intro course on blogging provided by the admin of this Facebook group.  I have been doing a lot of reading on blogging online and in book form, and this little free 5-day course has been the one I have loved the most (though I’m still working my way through…yes, 5-day course has taken 2 weeks so far…I work very slow).

Every course and every Facebook chat I have read alludes to finding your niche.  The consensus seems to be that the finding of said niche should be something specific and in essence a little money-making gem.  This left me feeling stressed and even a little empty.

While I would love to have a money-earning blog one day, this is in the future as I learn more and hone my skills; however, I did see the point of selecting a niche, but I didn’t want the foundation to be to primarily about making money.  It felt like a get-rich-quick scheme or a hustle.

Well, this free online course (available at TinyLoveBug) was the very first one that gave me permission to base my blog on something I love to write about and not primarily about money.  She sensibly indicated that you should be writing about something you enjoy writing about or your blog will become a chore.  She also gave the advice to choose a niche based on something that you think about on your down time.  This made my niche selection so much easier.

I will unveil it at a later time when I’m more prepared and have organized it somewhat, but I’m learning my lesson and going slow and steady.

Is there any particular blog or course that helped you in your blogging journey?

Day 51 – Huh?

Imagine living in a world where every sound is muffled, and your entire family who are not very quiet people sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  This is the world my son who has very bad sinus congestion has been living in for the last few weeks.

Communication at the best of times in our household is a challenge; however, this newest obstacle is particularly frustrating.  I can express something affectionate and full of motherly wisdom and am greeted with the particularly intelligent response of “HUH?”

So, I make eye contact, use charades and talk louder and am still not 100% sure I’m getting through.  I have an urge to grab the nasal aspirator (think turkey baster for the nose, but instead of basting, it suctions…stuff) and stick it in his ear and suction out all that is standing in the way of our clear communication.  I don’t, but admittedly the urge is strong.  I would like to say it’s because my better nature intervenes, but really it’s because he’s bigger than me.

This must be what the Universe feels when trying to get our attention.  There we are, wallowing in our own ruminations, pursuing things that don’t bring us joy or continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again and wondering why the results aren’t different…essentially not paying attention.

Meanwhile, the Universe is trying to get our attention, asking us to pay attention to a new direction, a different possibility, a new way of thinking or doing, or even just to notice the miracles around us and change our perspective, and we respond…

HUH? 

The Universe starts speaking louder, signs start flashing, universal arms wave more frantically, and things start falling on our head, we again respond…

HUH?

My suggestion, listen before the Universe gets its nasal aspirator out.  The process is uncomfortable, revealing and can even be downright painful.

Because…

The Universe never stops trying to get our attention, and neither does my son’s mother…we all just matter too much.