Worrying

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Did I close the garage door?  Did I turn off the light, the radio, the stove?  Did I pack an extra? What would happen if I forgot?  Would the world spin off its axis?  Probably not.  The future doesn’t rest on us worrying or forgetting or remembering.  We don’t have that much power.  A friend of mine once told me that someone told her, “You aren’t that important!”  It is extremely blunt, but holds some definite truth.

This morning, in the pouring rain, I walked halfway to the door of the gym before realizing I left my water in the car.  Of course, I needed it and I didn’t want to have to buy one, so I walked back.

Do you turn around and go back?
Do you double and triple check?
Or do you just let it go?

What if we forgot, and saw the world didn’t collapse in upon itself.  What if we loosened up?  Would that become a habit?

What do you worry about?

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Growth

dsc_5322Certain environments are more suited for growth than others.  Some are too harsh and inhospitable. Continuing education and the need for it is perpetual.  School shouldn’t be just K-12.  There is always more to learn.  We should nurture curiosity, exploration and self-expression.  The results would be astounding.

I signed up for NINE Continuing Education classes at Longwood Gardens this year.  Some were one time classes and some were series.  I still have a few left to go.  I may have gone a little overboard, but boy have I learned a lot and had some cool experiences. Last Friday and this Friday were two wonderful ones I will remember for a long time.  Today I got to don hip waders (which I think I need a pair in my life!) and hop into the waterlily pools for two separate one hour jaunts.  The group of people were wonderful and the instructor was very cool.  I learned a LOT and got a once in a lifetime opportunity. I feel fortunate to have been able to get into these classes and live near such a place of personal growth.

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Productivity

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Was there always such pressure to produce and perform?  What did you do today? What did you accomplish? You were at work all day, so why aren’t you rich?  You were home all day, so why isn’t the house clean?

Being home all day, I used to feel like my self worth was directly proportional to the cleanliness of my house…which was below my standard of approval.  Cleaning with a preschooler is like shoveling in a blizzard – really inadvisable!

On the other hand, a full-time job would’ve left me even more depleted with even less time and even more excuses.  Now that I made it to the role of  ‘parent-of-an-elementary-school-aged-child,’ I spend at least two hours in the car on the days I have to drop off, pick up, and get to an extracurricular activity.  How could I fit that into my schedule? You manage. Because that’s what you have to do.  I do some of my best thinking in the car, and at least I’ve got tunes!

Coming back to productivity, I didn’t know what I was producing at home the last five years.  I was having slivers of conversations with adults here and there, while pouring my split attention into my daughter.  Now I can finally see the results of my hard work, as she is blossoming before my very eyes, but there were many stages we had to work through that weren’t as well-illuminated. I shoved my ideas scrawled onto post-it notes to the side of my desk. I shoved my lunch down my throat and ran to catch up with my little girl. She may not have entered Kindergarten reading or riding her bicycle without training wheels, but she will be soon enough.

Many days felt exactly like the one before.  I have no idea how I made it through the last few years.  I realize now that brick by brick, I was laying the foundation.  That is the most seemingly insignificant, but also the most necessary part of any great structure.  I have always felt that one thing one thing had to lead to another, and you never know. So you just gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. So when someone asks you today what you did, you can know it may not look like much, but it is a lot! Keep on keepin on!

Different States of Mind

The message board today said:
Believing in yourself is the secret to success.

I will tell you that it isn’t so simple. It sounds good on a billboard – but when you don’t feel good about yourself it is nearly impossible to believe in yourself.

I did not take care of myself. It is a wonder that I made it through that last phase of my life. The state of mind I was inhabiting was not a good one. I knew that I needed to change, but I had no idea what to do.

To all the other mamas out there thinking that they can’t. I will tell you that you can.
I didn’t think it would get better. I didn’t know how.
Don’t worry about the how. It will work itself out. Or it will simply pass. I didn’t believe any of that as I lay in my bed googling the crap out of the internets on my desperate quest for an answer… A shred of something to keep my head above the water of scary emotions that filled my hollow head. Don’t do anything stupid or final in an attempt to fix this fleeting stage you are in. Trust me – it feels permanent – but just like the weather, it too will change. It can’t be above 90 degrees or below zero forever.
If you told me at this time last year as I picked my clinging preschooler up at
school and ran around looking totally disheveled and crammed my lunch down as I raced off to catch up with her that at this same time this year I would be dressed in real clothing, sitting on my deck, eating a lunch I made from scratch and penning articles for publication, I would have laughed you out of the room.
I am wrong to think things won’t get harder again. But I know that next time I will do better.

 

P.S. The picture is from a Naturalist Notebook class I took at Longwood Gardens on Friday. It was WONDERFUL! These are the drawings we all did. Can you find mine?img_9009

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Begin Again….

So I started this blog back in the spring.  I was going through a very tough season in my life.  I was working harder than I had ever worked before to make sense of my life and the changes that had happened and were about to happen. I was stuck.  Weighed down by the what if’s and the could be’s.  I was urged to start blogging as an outlet for myself.  I had done it before. I did it again.  I am a beginner – I start things.  I start projects all over the house!  I just lack the commitment to sustain the completion. I get tired, or overwhelmed, or interrupted.  So it all piles up, and then the piles get so big I am tripping over them, and then people are coming over so I have to shove them away.  When I finally go back to revisit and finish up, I am combing through an archeological dig of sorts that is filled with wishes and promises and expired coupons.

I had so much I wanted to say, but I would open my mouth and nothing would come out.  Or what came out felt so ugly to me that I was afraid that no one would listen. I felt like all I was doing was complaining without taking actions to fix things for myself. I was in a dark place – one I felt like others were in too from time to time, but no one ever speaks of.  I felt like I needed to be real, but at the same time I needed to censor myself out of fear.  I couldn’t be there too much longer, so I had to do something.  I wanted to find a solution to my complicated problem. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops – but I have found that, even if you want something, sometimes it just isn’t possible at a given point.

I have been working hard to take care of myself. To get my exercise, to straighten up my house, to make routines, to organize my chaos.  I am crawling back to a better place, one with a perspective that I was lacking.

This morning I got an email from Marie Forleo (trying to sell Copy Cure) and the crux of her pitch was that if you have something the world needs and you are keeping it to yourself, then  you are stealing.

Yesterday the message board at the college across the street from me said, “When you are honest, you don’t need a good memory.”

So many messages surround me, telling me that it is time to get back to working on my writing and get my messages out there.  img_9029

So to all of you, FOLLOW THROUGH.  BE TRUE TO YOU. BE BRAVE.

BEGIN AGAIN!