Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lessons from 2013




Much like the 37 years that preceded it, this year was full of lessons learned, felt, and shared.  While I write this post, my son is supposed to be napping but instead has chosen to croon a few classics from his favorite show, “Bubble Guppies”.  He's a big part of my reality and I wouldn't change a thing even on my most challenging days. 

As 2013 winds down, I find myself reflecting on everything that's brought me to today. 

A lot of ….

family,
friends,
willpower,
laughter,
tears,
love,
patience,
faith,
hutzpah,
A healthy dose of joie de vivre,
And a few glasses of wine (everything in moderation, right?)

Thanks to a seemingly endless supply of love and compassion, I've developed high tolerance for temper tantrums, schedule dictatorship, finicky palettes and Treehouse children’s programming.   

It’s not that I wasn't a loving person before, but I now believe that life throws you tests just to see how deep your “love" well is.  Apparently, I'm at a surplus and the reason why is because when I look at the big picture I see that I have a good life

Now don't mistake me for the eternal optimist; this year hasn't been free of challenges.  I never imagined myself single, in the latter part of the "thirties"and tasked with raising a beautiful boy into respectable man. 

Yet here I am.   

But, I've discovered that I am a lot of other things, too.  I’m strong, fiercely independent, a bit outspoken, wittier than I used to be, a writer, a beautiful masterpiece of imperfection and a better person all around since motherhood was added to my resume just three short years ago.

This year I've learned that it’s okay to concede to the low points in life as long as you don’t surrender to them.  There were some “What the…???” moments but then there were the good ones.  Ooooh, those good ones made everything worth it.  

Those moments weren't derived from expensive purchases, the company of the “ideal” men or relaxing vacations (although I certainly wouldn't turn any of those things down!).
Instead, I've come to find joy in a nice email from a friend, a successful potty training session with my boy, laughs with people I enjoy or a quiet moment just to take it all in.

Like now.

My sincerest wish for anyone reading this post is to realize that the life you want is fully within your reach and will often come to you in ways that you never expected.  Your body, friends, partner, mind, job, home, kids, opinion and many other things may change (and sometimes without your permission!) but don’t miss the lessons offered in quiet evolution.  They can be painful yet precious; sweet yet fleeting and for one moment in time, they are yours for the taking.

All the best in the fast approaching New Year!

Until next time…


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Never Settle.

So you’re down and out.  You’ve lost sight of “The Holy Grail”.  There’s a chance you’re pissed off with leaps of faith that have apparently provided zero return on investment.

Don’t give up.

Think back to a time when you believed in infinite possibilities.   Life was simpler living on your own terms, right?  Life’s much easier to navigate when you’re the commander of your ship.

Oh Captain, my Captain… nothing’s stopping you now.  Take the helm once more.

I beg of you. 

Don’t settle.

The one that broke you’re heart wasn’t meant for you.
The dress that didn’t fit wasn’t made for you.
 Average is no longer acceptable.  
Make room for extraordinary.

A growing number of people are conditioning themselves to set sights lower when a goal is missed, a spill is taken or a battle is lost.  The mantra, “Nothing should be this hard” perpetuates a convincing story that “the good life” is meant for someone else and yet…..

No one’s more deserving of the dream than the person who dreamt it.

Belief trumps self-doubt every freakin’ time.

Never give up.  I implore you.          

You’ll get there.  In a time yet to be determined (and most likely sooner than you think) you’ll be sitting back, reflecting on your success and telling stories of yesteryear with a satisfied grin on your face because you decided to push forward.

You’ll be the wise sage saying, “I’ve been there. Don’t settle.”

Until next time, friends.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Legacy....


I stepped away from my blog in a conscious effort to step up my game in life and I can honestly report that the trade-off (to date) has been worth it. It’s been almost two months since my last post and a lot has transpired behind the scenes.  Looking back, I’ve been working at a seemingly frantic pace to move from the shaky ground to solid land and though at times I questioned my footing, I feel confident about the path ahead.

I’m constantly learning ways to stop taking this life for granted because tomorrow is never a guarantee.  My instincts have pushed me to say “yes” when it would have been safer to say “no”.  My friends continue to be a network of comfort, support and knowledge.  My career is filling me with the kind of purpose, ownership and pride that’s rare to find in today’s market. My son remains determined to “school” me in the world of fun, patience and spontaneity. 

And yet…

Hardship and heartache sometimes make a guest appearance.  We’re here on this earth for a good time, not a long time and life occasionally sends us a difficult reminder.  Someone that I love very much is leaving me much sooner than I anticipated due to an illness that has been fought for a very long time.  Since hearing the news there have been tears, there’s been anger, there’s been reflection and now I’m coming into the homestretch of hope.

I hope there’s a lesson in all of this.
I hope loving someone this much replaces the hurt long after they’re gone.
I hope they believe my words when I tell them, “I’m a better person because you were here.”
 
In thinking about the news shared with me, I’ve become aware that I would hate to leave this earth without making a mark on it.  I want to leave tangible proof that I was here and that I made a difference in the smallest way.  Do you feel the same?  In the words of Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

This isn’t a call for grandiose strategies or elaborate ideas.  It’s a simple request for proactive actions that will circumvent regret.

If you’re reading this, it’s my sincerest hope that today you do something to contribute to the life of someone else.  Say you’re sorry, reveal a crush, right a wrong, be true to your word, hug your child, write your story, or make your art…. Do whatever your heart truly desires.

Create your legacy and one day someone will thank you for it.

Until next time, friends….

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Build A Life Less Ordinary



So you want to live a life less ordinary? Build a life less ordinary.  It seems so common sense but so few of us make it a point of intention in our day to day activities and interaction.  We move around in personal silos often oblivious to the benefits of connection.  Countless strategies for success are designed a “safe” time in our future which cleverly absolves us of accountability today.



“When I lose more weight I’m going to…”

“When the kids are older I’m going to…”

 “When I have more money in the bank I’m going to…”

“When I get settled I’m going to…”

“When I know how s/he feels I’m going to…”



What?



What are you going to do then that you can’t start doing today? 



The endgame is usually an aspiration to be happy and sadly we’ve become desensitized to the things that bring us joy today because we’re so caught up in getting “there”.



We quickly forget that the small gifts that are found in a lending a hand, sharing a laugh, being ourselves, exploring new things and everything that lies in between.  Solace from boredom, fear and loneliness is often sought in things that we drink, shows that we watch, acceptance that we seek and company that we keep. The funny thing is we’re looking in the wrong places.  Yup, the joke’s on us.  We’re the game changers.



The good news is that self-awareness often breeds change or at the very least, it lays a solid foundation to build on.   Decide where you want to go and take one action today towards it.  Go for a walk, sign up for an online course, meet new people… the world is open.  Take a tour.

Become your own biggest cheerleader and advocate.  When other people voice opinions about what's not possible in your life, show them what is possible.  You might stumble on your first few attempts but with consistent effort you'll be on your way towards flawless execution.



Nike brilliantly immortalized the slogan, “Just Do It” and I echo the notion.  Life is yours for the living, it waits for no one. 



Now that we’re clear on that, what are you going to do about it?