Posts Tagged: gratitude


3
Jan 17

The Pep Talk

pep-talkI winced when I heard the door slam on 2016, and I’m the one who slammed it so hard.

Three days into this new year and I’m still wincing.  I’m apprehensive, unsteady, exhausted and excited – all at the same time.   The holidays took over kicking my butt, where 2016 left off.  I spent so much time talking about being glad 2016 was over, that I’m nervous about that energy following me into 2017.  You know what they say, “Whatever you talk about, you attract.”

I read a “motivational” post the other day that pointed out that all that complaining about 2016 is misdirected.  The writer went on to say that we ought to be reevaluating the choices made in 2016 that led to the messes, and make damn sure to point ourselves in a new direction.

That hurt a bit when I read that.  So all that was my fault?  Really?  Don’t tell me to pull up my big girl pants.  I hate that expression.  As a single mom, I’ve been the one wearing the pants since day one.

But it’s true.  It is my fault.  I made the choices.  I created that gigantic mess. Continue reading →


24
Sep 16

Signs of Thriving

signs-of-thrivingSix years ago, when on a road trip, we had stopped for treats and Will took a good 15 minutes to decide between types of beef jerky.   (How different can they be?)  Jen and I would have used the restroom, gotten our drinks and goodies, and stood by the car watching the sun setting while he was still trying to make a choice.

I remember thinking I’ve got to help that kid learn how to choose without worrying about making a mistake.  He’d grown accustomed to having his choices doubted and questioned.  He’d pick a blue t-shirt and his dad would say, “Why did you pick that color.  You should pick green.”  He would order a coke, and his dad would say, “No! You are having lemonade.”

Will had a history of making “bad” choices, as far as his dad was concerned, so any time he was faced with making a decision, he was paralyzed.  Even if his dad wasn’t there.

Now, when Will drives up to a convenience store, he’s in and out faster than I am.  And when it comes to making the big choices, like his first rifle or a pair of skis, he does his homework.  He looks at reviews online. He asks for the opinions of others.  He’ll search out a clerk at the store and pummel him with questions.  When he feels confident with his choice – and he does – he proceeds.

It’s a beautiful thing to see. Continue reading →


29
Jun 16

Here We Go Again … Or Not

here we go againI had planned to check out the third in the Harry Potter Series, but some lucky kid, who finds him or herself with long, empty summer days, got to it first.  Even with an ongoing list of books I’m dying to read, if I go to the library with one particular book in mind, it’s impossible for me to switch gears.  But since I can’t go home empty handed, I stopped to see what’s in the New Books.

 

__________

 

To preface things a bit, I must explain that I’ve believed in reincarnation since I was in high school.  I don’t remember why.  (I recently learned that INFJs struggle with remembering much of their childhood, and that certainly applies, in my case.)  Also, as an INFJ, I wasn’t influenced by a friend or a relative.  But in that way that INFJs have, I simply knew (more like felt) this belief in reincarnation and karma was right for me. Continue reading →


21
May 16

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

cat and air plantToday is the day we’ve planned to drive around in hopes a new kitten will fall in love with our family.  Last night, as we said our good nights and brushed teeth, we had a hard time containing our excitement.

This morning, Will has barely made it to the top of the stairs before asking, “What time are we heading out to find a new kitten?”

I assure him that we’ll go as soon as we’ve had a chance to ease in and have coffee.

A half hour later, I’m doing a coconut pull.  Invariably, someone needs to ask me a question, or I need to tell the kids something the minute I’ve pulled the spoon from my lips.  This morning is no different.  Before I hit the shower, I want to tell them what time to plan on heading out to hunt for a new feline sister.

Sometimes the communicating during a coconut pull works.  Whether it works or not, it’s always funny – a lot like playing charades. Continue reading →


30
Apr 16

The Good and the Simple

Hagrid in the lilacsCabin fever kicked our butts this year.  The gloominess arrived in November, when Thanksgiving turkey and football were replaced by fever, chills, and, well….  I’ll spare you the details.

There were a few bright spots to break up the grey skies, but mostly we hunkered in and crossed days off the calendar until the snow melted and the first blades of grass braved the winds.

Yesterday was the first rain-less day in a week.  For six days, we stared at the water rushing down the street as our part of the world accumulated 25 percent of its annual rainfall in less than a week.  Some days, the rainwater was peppered with pink blossoms from the surrounding trees.  Mother Nature was trying to tell us that even when she rains on our parade, she still provides the confetti.

The soul-crushing dreariness is finally coming to an end, and it’s time for gentle reminders and a list of what’s good and simple.

  Continue reading →


30
Mar 16

Nina

nina

A sweet, bright light went out today.

Dearest Nina,

You blessed our lives in ways unimaginable.  If we are thriving and happy it’s due in so many ways to your patient, enduring love.

We will never forget you. Continue reading →


22
Jan 16

Recording Memories

memories“Outside.  Outside!  OUTSIDE!  Geez, the door is open.  You can go outside!”

I was talking to the dogs, or maybe the kids.  I can’t remember.

There was the usual chaos that comes with bouncy dogs, kids infested with cabin fever, and a cranky mom who’d forgotten to eat.  I checked their school lists and saw that some progress had been made, but more wouldn’t be made unless they both blew off some stink.

Before I could utter the suggestion, Jen looked at my face and calmly said, “Mom?  If we promise to get back on our lists, can we head to the pond?”

Please.  Yes.  Please go to the pond.  Can you take the dogs with you?” Continue reading →


8
Dec 15

Safety Versus Money

Safety is fragileIn hind sight, the choice was a no-brainer.  Of course any sane person would choose safety over money.  But, dammit, one more hit from the narcissist and I was starting to lose my sanity.

We’d given him official notice that we were moving – six weeks in advance of the move date.  Prior to our little family meeting where we delivered the news, he had expressed his suspicions – to the kids – about a pending move.  He wasn’t surprised.

I was the one who was surprised.

The week before our move, in an uncharacteristic one-line email, he informed me that he was lessening his financial support of the kids.  I could almost hear him saying, “Take that for moving.  Take that for taking my source.  Take that for going on to live a happy life without me.”

I did not reply to his email.  I have not spoken to him or written to him since before we moved. Continue reading →


10
Nov 15

My Little Altar or How to Find Comfort in a New Home

my little altarWe are mostly unpacked.  We’ve unpacked enough so that I’ve created a little altar in the walk-in closet.  I know!  I have a walk-in closet!  I’ve never before had such a decadent thing.  In lieu of running out and shopping for clothes to fill all the empty hangers, I inadvertently decided to turn part of the closet into an altar.

(When I first saw the walk-in closet, I gasped and told him that I didn’t have enough clothes to fill it.  He said, “That’s okay.  This might just become your hiding place when you need to get a break from the rest of us.”  I shook my head and innocently said, “Whatever do you mean?”)

An altar wasn’t my plan.  I didn’t do a Google search for altars.  I’m not sending up offerings to the Gods and Goddesses hoping for good vibes to rain down on our new chapter, although I wouldn’t mind if they sent a little good juju our way.  It just happened, as all good things often do.

I was unpacking and finding homes for things.  This new chapter seems to require different arrangements of pictures and rocks and shells and feathers and momentos that have been gathered in this new chapter.  But I am not ready to part with all the sweet keepsakes from the closed chapters.

I’ve also been looking for what may turn out to be my comfort zone in this new home.  I’m getting close.  The house is starting to smell more like us – Thieves essential oil, dark roast coffee, laundry soap, Italian Seasoning and a bit of garlic.  Some of our artwork is up on the walls.  The kitchen shows a lot of our favorite tools.  There is plenty of room to spread out our craft projects and make messes.  And yet, I’m still looking for that spot where I can take a deep breath, sit for a minute and try to remember what’s important versus what it is I’m currently stewing about. Continue reading →


4
Jun 15

School’s Out!

school's outSchool’s out for summer!  The bell rang at 10:48 this morning.

Will and I discussed the last of his papers, and that marked the end for him.  Jen finished last Wednesday after getting an A on her math final.

And so we are done for another year.

Whew!

  Continue reading →


28
May 15

When to Accommodate

Margaret's dish towel“Margaret?”

“Yes, dear?”

Gladys smoothed the crease of her skirt.  “Why are you always so accommodating?”

“Whatever do you mean, dear?”

“Well, you always put everyone else first.  You always consider other needs before your own.” Continue reading →


22
May 15

On Being Seen

on being seenI’ll bet you aren’t being seen.  I’ll go so far as to say that you probably don’t even know that you aren’t being seen.

You probably haven’t been seen your whole life, so you think that’s normal.

Maybe you haven’t been seen because you are an INFJ.  INFJs don’t want to be the center of attention.  They’re fine coming off a bit mysterious.  They don’t necessarily want to be seen by many, but some of us do crave being seen by a chosen few.

 

You see others, though.  You see their preferences – their likes and dislikes.  You may see an image on Pinterest and know exactly whose house it fits.  When you scan a menu, you know, before your partner knows, what he’s going to order.  When you give a gift, you almost always hear, “It’s perfect!  You know me so well!”  Walking through a bookstore, browsing titles, you know which subjects your roommate gravitates to.  You remember how folks take their coffee.  You know who prefers a movie at home over a crowded theater.  You know who likes cab instead of chardonnay. Continue reading →


26
Feb 15

On Lost Souls

cherry pie“Gladys, dear, I’m serving up some cherry pie. It’s still warm. Will you have a slice?”

“Margaret, it’s too early for pie. It isn’t even noon yet.”

Jon road up on his skateboard, “Since when do we have to worry about the time on this side? I’d love a slice of your pie, Margaret.” He leaned his board against a grave marker, “Actually, I think I’ll have pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is if yer making it, Margaret.”

Margaret handed a slice of pie to Jon and giggled, “That’s the nice thing about this side. We’ll never run out of pie.” She scraped the server against the pie plate. “Gladys, if you don’t mind, dear, I’ve been wanting to ask you a question.”

Gladys sat down next to Margaret. “Go ahead. Ask away. Although I don’t know what I could possibly know that you don’t know.” Continue reading →


12
Jan 15

How To Start Your Homeschool Morning Peacefully

how to start your homeschool morning peacefully“How’d you sleep?” I set my coffee down to get up and start her chocolate milk.

“Good. How ’bout you?”  She curls up in her corner of the couch and Nina saunters over to take her share of the blanket.

I start heating the milk and then walk into the living room.  “Any dreams?”

“No. You?”

“Yeah.  I’ll tell ya when Will’s up.”  At this point, I walk back into the kitchen.  She’s an introvert like I am.  I know she needs quiet and time to ease in in the morning. Continue reading →


7
Jan 15

On Looking Back

antique espressoThe pie server made a scraping sound in the hard-packed dirt as she finished carving the words – Stop Looking Back!

“Margaret!  What on earth are you doing?  You’ll ruin your pie server.”  Gladys stood with her hands on her hips as she read the words.  “Stop looking back?  What’s that about?”

“Don’t interrupt me, dear.  I’ve got work to do.”

“But you’ll scare the bejeesus out of them.  What will they think when they see these cryptic words next to tombstones?”

“Well, they ought to have the bejeesus scared out of them.  They’re all wasting too much time looking back.”  Margaret stood up from a crouch and walked a ways to a new spot.  She bent to scrape again.  “See that one over there?”  She pointed to a woman in a business suit.  “She’s looking back over her career and wondering where she should have taken a different turn.”  Margaret nods her head in a different direction, “That man is looking back at how he lost his family because of his focus on his business.  And the gal in the dark glasses keeps looking back at what she used to look like, making comparisons to her current self.  What a waste of time!” Continue reading →