Wednesday, September 26, 2012 has been a while since my last post.  You know how it gets in the way.  Appointments, family obligations, work, etc.  Life has just been hectic, and I have not had the frame or peace of mind to post, let alone think about writing something that has any semblance of meaning.  Until, yesterday has been hard.  Why is it that when we lose a loved one, the end seems like our only focus.  Talk of death, talk of final arrangements, talk of burial versus cremation, talk of final resting has been heavy on my mind.  I know that we all have to go at some point.  I get it.  Life can't go on forever.....but why is it that it has to be such a sad occasion?  I know...I know...I miss all those who I have lost in my life, and I have lost many family members and close friends.  It is so hard to say goodbye. 

Today, my family said goodbye to my grandmother.  She had a very sparse service - only very close family.  She did not want the fanfare of the traditional Catholic burial.  I think she got it right....why do we need the big farewell?  Is it for the family left behind....most likely, yes.  But...what is wrong with simple?  What is wrong with celebrating the joy of life rather than mourning the loss?  I have lost loved ones before, but I don't think I was ever at the point to consider my own mortality....Belinda's parent's mortality.....this is not easy.  There are many things to consider.  Belinda wants me to take her back to Gulf Shores...scatter her ashes and drink beer with her brothers at a local Pub.  I think she has the right idea......yes, missing our loved ones is normal,  expected.  But...should we not honor their existence on this earth by doing what they would have done in life?  Live it.  Life is so short.  Life is so important.  Life is too short and important to squander on worry and angst.  My grandmother asked for fanfare.  That is how she lived her life.  She was a quiet woman....but she did touch the lives of many in quiet ways. I think my grandmother underestimated the many lives she did touch.  How many preemie babies wore the hats she knitted?  I know that the hat she made for Cameron was one of the only things that helped him maintain his body heat.  A hat....a simple hat.  She passed the time knitting and donating hats to the NICU for premature babies.  She saved lives, quietly.  I wish I had told her what she had taught me.....that it is not about the is about how you live your is about how you give back.   All the fanfare does not is what you have left behind in your wake......

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It isn’t always easy being a mom.....let me rephrase that, it is really never easy to be a Mom.  However, despite its endless challenges and worries, I am forever grateful for every single moment with my son.  He is the one shining light I can always count on every day.  No matter what is going on with me - Cam is the constant positive.  He is my miracle, and I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to raise this child.   Today, as I thought about my luck in being given such a wonderful, quirky boy, something suddenly made sense.  So much time and energy is spent on needless worry about trivial matters.  It seems we are always looking for that one thing, that one moment that will make us happier.  We spend so much time looking, we miss what is right in front of us that is perfect.  

Why is it that we are always looking for something else?  Why can’t we just be happy with what we have?  Why is it that what we have is never enough?  Why is it that we continue to criticize ourselves and others so mercilessly?  I am tired of this mentality.  It is exhausting, really, to constantly be wishing for something better.  I don’t mean that I don’t want to continue to work towards self-improvement.  Motivation to better one’s self is not what I am focusing on.  I mean that, now, in this moment, I am deciding to simply be happy with what I have in my family and friends.  I need nothing more than to surround myself with those who love and want to be loved.  

Cam is the perfect example for that singular focus.  His love is unconditional.  Today he told me that he was so glad he had been given me.  Little does he know, it is I who am forever tearing up when I think about all the gifts he has given to me.  In this moment, as I recall his small hand rubbing my arm and telling me how happy he was, I can say that, that love is all I need to persevere.  It is that love that gives me the strength to remain positive, to be peaceful in both heart and mind with what I have that is exceptional.  I must remind myself, when I find I am slipping down into dismal thoughts about myself or my position in life, of the exceptionality in my life - the exceptionality in my child - the exceptionality in the number of people I do have in my life that truly understand the joys of just “being”.  I promise, with this new outlook, I will not start skipping and singing at every turn; however, perhaps, if you look closely, you may see the corners of my mouth turning up, tugging my lips in to a semi-permanent smile.  There is much to be happy about in life.  And when I forget that - I will have this post as proof!

Monday, September 3, 2012

On the go......

It always amazes me how quickly time flies when taking the day to just putter at “stuff”.  This morning my mental list was very long - work out, put away the pool, laundry, cleaning, yard work, lesson planning, playing with Cam, cooking supper, reading, etc.  Now, as I sit here in the afternoon, I realize that although I have puttered, my list of what got accomplished is satisfying.  But, why, as I sit, does it feel as though I should be doing more?  Perhaps it is a personality trait.  I am constantly looking at what is next.  Relaxation doesn’t ever come easily to me.  I am always busy.  Even sitting to type this seems lax - I could be doing something else.  Did I mention that I am cooking something on my grill and playing Draw Something while I type?  When will I ever be able to give myself permission to simply "be"?  

This constant push to get things done has both negative and positive results.  I seem to accomplish much in a short amount of time; however, I often wonder, in my infrequent moments of quiet, what am I trying to avoid by staying so busy?  As quickly as I begin to contemplate this idea, my mind jumps to what is next on my to-do list.  I never seem to spend enough time just thinking about the what, why and how of myself.  Why am I always on the move?  And, then I seem frantic to those who observe me as I "focus forward".  I am driven - I like to see results of my work.  I constantly feel restless - both in mind and body.  This is why I have started this blog - to begin to force myself to stop, think, and relax.  (And, yes, maybe not multi-task while attempting to write.)  Perhaps, in my quiet moments of musing, I may learn a little something about myself.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Welcome Back To Reality........

Welcome back to reality - that is what my father always tells me as summer ends and the new school year begins.  Yes, it is true that I often wish for a longer summer vacation; however, there is that part of me that is anxiously awaiting the new adventures in September.

My summer has been filled with joy - Cameron's medical treatments have been a success with a 3-inch growth spurt as visible proof.  Summer was also a time of great sadness as my 90-year-old grandmother was placed in hospice - now she spends her days waiting for the end.  Both of these events have provided me the same lesson - Cam's courageous smiles through multiple shots and blood draws proved to me that he is certainly the strongest, most resilient person I know.  My grandmother, despite her future, continues to wake up every day smiling and telling us how much she loves us.  I have learned that despite the trials and tribulations that we all face in our daily lives, a positive outlook is necessary, vital to maintaining some sense of balance.  Keeping a sense of faith and holding on to those we hold dear is certainly the key to a fulfilling life experience.  I certainly don't want to waste my life focusing on the sorrows - my eyes continue to focus forward on what adventures are next.

So, September brings new adventures - a new adventure in my career.  What lessons will my students teach me this year?  How will I become a better teacher?

September starts Cameron's 3rd grade school year.  What amazing changes will I see in him as he learns new ideas and concepts?  How will his growth impact his next steps?  What will he teach me about all that life has to offer?

September marks the 4th anniversary for me and my partner.  What changes are ahead for us?  What adventures will we embark on together?

Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get."  Isn't that the great thing about life?  Life is like a box of chocolates - and whenever I get one of those dreaded cream filled chocolates, I quietly toss it aside and reach for another.  Eventually, I will get the golden caramel filled one.