Monthly Archives: March 2015

Focus on What You Want

We all need downtime, and we should all make room for that in our lives. What that downtime looks like, is not the same for everyone, or every time. I love writing, but sometimes the juices aren’t flowing in the direction that they should, and writing becomes a burden rather than a pleasure. Downtime is not the time for burdens.

In similar news, I started the week meeting with a bunch of my favorite women at a Reiki gathering. I received and shared so much during this gathering that I could write a novel. One of the topics we discussed was how we were all in transition periods of our lives. Some of us knew where we were headed. Others of us did not. What my dear friend Carolyn suggested was that we all ‘Focus on What We Want’, even if we didn’t know what that really looks like. We know what it ‘feels’ like, and that’s where we could zoom in, and experience the emotion. I can do that so easily that I can almost ‘taste’ my dreams!!

When you really think about it, it’s easy for us all to get so wrapped up in the self-pity trap that we forget how to focus on those things for which we are grateful. We forget the blessings, or at least choose to focus on the pitfalls instead, and we do this even though we KNOW better, because we are silly humans. I get it. It’s not always easy to focus on the rainbow above you when you’re stuck drowning int he quicksand below you. We must clear it away. We must clear away the muck before we can shine the gold that is our intended purpose – the life that brings us joy.

My friend and fellow blogger Karen wrote today a very vulnerable post about a crossroads she experienced many years ago after her father passed. She wrote about losing her joy, about how she went through the motions of life, and rather than experiencing joy or zest, she had wanted to end her life at that pivotal time because without joy, life is not worth living. I’ve been there too. Sometimes because of death, other times divorce, and still other times because of financial setbacks over which I had little control.

But joy is fleeting. We cannot feel it all of the time. If we NEVER feel it, then we are depressed. If we sometimes feel it, then I think that means we’re okay, that we have balance in our lives. Still, I can’t think of any reason not to focus on JOY. I think we all should focus on joy from time to time. The more we focus on something, the more likely we are to attain that.

So get out there and Focus On What You Want, but don’t forget to savor and feel gratitude for what you already have.

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Three Peas

Yesterday was one of those days for which I live.  The sun was warm & productive, kissing the whole city of Knoxville with its make-up love; apologizing for the brutal winter.  Everyone was outside. Dogs were sunbathing. Dog lovers were giving snuggles while catching up with their human companions. Kids were actively playing games with their newfound friends after over a month of frigid cabin inconvience. And most of my little family and I were at the Beer Market, a quaint but crowded patio where all of these sights gathered to create the perfect Saturday afternoon hangout. While we didn’t ‘partake’, I was priveledged to have met more of Doug’s friends while Ethan made fast friends with their kiddos. Ethan did NOT want to leave, but the surpirse party was over before we knew it.

Doug’s tummy was all kinds of hungry after, so we ventured out to Big Ed’s Pizza (the legendary pizzeria where neither Ethan nor I had ever been). We are all pizza freaks, and we have our spots, but I was never fully satisifed with my ‘favorites’ because, from all I had heard about Big Ed’s, I had NOT yet experienced the best East Tennessee had to offer in terms of savory sauce, top crust deliciousness, and melty creamy cheese. Until yesterday. When my first bite felt more like a first kiss, and Ethan sighed, saying ‘This is just too good to be true. This tastes like Heaven!’.

Doug and I were in savory SHOCK. For Ethan to say that about any food, is quite simply UNREAL.

The feel of the restaurant in its rich, old, rawness, only made the coming together of flavors more authentic and melodic. Doug and I had the grown-up version topped with mushrooms, green peppers, olives, pepperoni, and onions, and we agreed that it was the perfect pizza.

From there, we landed at a playground where the ‘kids’ played, and the ‘grown-ups’ played hide-n-go-kiss beneath the monkey bars.  Doug and Ethan ran off their dinner & passed football until the sky was almost completely black and the day tucked itself in for the sweetest of dreams.

This morning, as I reflect on yesterday, I am humbled by the thought that ‘ordinary days’ to other people feel more like Christmas to those of us who have wished for simple family time. That sounds, even as I read it, like a pity party. But that’s not how it feels. I am grateful. No matter how few and far between these days are, they are mine. They are ours. These are the days that make all the hard stuff more bearable, and make the happy stuff more possible.

My favorite days are when we are ‘four’ – Doug, me, Jason and Ethan. But on the days where it’s just we ‘three’, we are three peas in a pod. Playful. Positive. And don’t forget the Pizza.

Back to Strife

Seven hours of staring at the long and not-so-winding road. Seven hours of listening to the same four CDs, the same sibling arguments, the same milling around for more snacks of blueberries & beef jerky. This was the same seven hours that reminded me of the old game ‘seven minutes in heaven’ that we all remember from our little middle school co-ed parties. The nerves, the anticipation, the  imagination getting the best of me, all of that rolled into seven LONG hours of road trip left before we were all back to these dark clouds that have become our life.

It was only this time last year that I was counting my blessings. I couldn’t believe how kind life had been since mom’s passing, how easy everything had seemed. I was entering into a new relationship with the man of my dreams, the one I had ‘ordered’ from the universe itself. I had just spent the weekend becoming Reiki 1 certified, and work was going splendidly down the path of growth and prosperity. I had an assistant who was organized, and quite the initiative taker, and she would be my first assistant ever. I was blessed to have her running the show while I was running the business. I was lucky. Blessed. And I loved every minute of it, all the while feeling that tinge of ‘it can’t last’ that always seems to swoop in and sabotage things. I didn’t order THAT! Or did I?

Fast forward to now. I am still blessed, and still lucky to have the man of my dreams at my side through thick and thin. I am still blessed, and still lucky to have two very healthy boys who I love with everything I am. I am still blessed, and still lucky to have an assistant who knows the company inside and out and gives as much as she can of herself to make things run when I am away. But I am struggling with family issues, past mistakes, poor choices, and silly decisions made during less confident, and less courageous periods of my life. It just goes to show that we can only sweep the junk in our lives under the rug for so long until it starts seeping out of the edges, forming unmercifully into blinding tears at the most inopportune moments of our lives. Generally, it all happens at once too, just like a great big crap-storm from which we are never truly prepared to take cover.

So now that we’re home, and swimming in this flood of muck created by the jaws of strife, it’s almost reassuring to know that if we’re going through THIS NOW, we will be going through much MUCH better stuff later, because that’s how life rolls. And maybe next time that ‘it can’t last’ voice switches on, I will switch it right back off into the great big crap-storm of not-my-problemville where it belongs.  Be lucky. Feel blessed. I do. Just because I’m here to write this.

Namaste.

 

Life Happens

Whether we’re ready or not, life happens. We awaken, do all of our mundane morning activities, the brewing of the coffee, the brushing of the teeth, the traveling to school, to work, to lunch, to dinner. At night we settle in after the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the running around, the regular old regular living stuff that gets in the way of those ‘moments’ that we need to feed our souls.

From time to time, we take vacations, attend birthday parties, plan for surprises, weddings, baby showers, baby deliveries, and all the what-nots, and can’t-wait-untils that make up the meat of our lives & add spice to all the going through the motions of our everyday fluff.

But today I found life.

I went for a quiet walk with my dog Hayley, down a long  country road down in South Georgia. Out of habit, I took my phone, though it was roaming and dying in our isolation. Out of habit, I shoved my ipod earbuds in & numbed myself with everyday music. It wasn’t until the sun started it’s daily climb above the clouds, breaking through into its new day, that I realized I needed to stop and smell the sunrise of my own day, of my own life.

Out came the earplugs. Inward started the reflections, the thoughts, the appreciation and gratitude for all that I have, and all those I love.

The white spaces in our lives mean everything. The moments that happen that are not filled with drama, or schedules, or laundry, or demands…these are the  places that give rise to purpose, passion, and gratitude. We were born for more.

Flying Solo

There’s something so liberating about being the head of your household, right? Something empowering about being the boss of both home and work, yes? This may sound good to those who haven’t lived it, just like most other ‘plots’ in life, sure. But for those of us who have perched far too long at this post, there is a restlessness that overtakes our spirits, and stirs our souls into wonderment – as in I ‘wonder’ what it is I am actually supposed to be doing.

For me, I’ve worked the family business for most of my life, even with a degree. I wanted to be able to earn a paycheck and be there for my boys, and that’s what I’ve done. Now, I’m ready to do more, to be more, to live more. Right now, in the midst of chaos created by poor choices in the past. Right now, in the ending stages of grieving for my mother (but is there really an end to that?). Right now, in the middle of what feels like forever, but for the love of my life, feels like the beginning of something spectacular  that hopefully grows into forever.

Right now.

Right now is the only thing we can control. What we do in the now is more important than anything we’ve done or will do, because right now defines us. Flying solo has been real, and even sometimes fun, but I’m ready to embark on a stampede. Because stampedes were once a restless bunch of onlies just like me.

Right now.

There have been far to few instances in which I have ‘known’ something to be true in my life. I ‘knew’ I needed to be a mom. I ‘knew’ I needed both of my divorces. I ‘knew’ I needed to have my Hayley dog. I ‘knew’ I needed Doug in my life. And all of that has worked out for the best, but now I ‘know’ what I need to do in terms of a career. The trouble is, I also ‘know’ it’s not an easy road.

Right now is the first step on that road.

What’s in store for your right now?