Letting Go, Reaching Out

Nothing says "Jesus lives" like processed sugar...
Nothing says “Jesus lives” like processed sugar…

Yesterday I went for a morning run. I jogged past houses with parents in robes watching their children hunt for Easter eggs. I smiled when the kids squealed with delight and knew they’d found one of the colorful prizes. I remembered those days when my kids would be so thrilled to find a bright orange egg “hidden” in the middle of a freshly-mowed lawn.

My boys are 12 and 9 so they are past this, which does make me a little sad. In fact, my 12-year-old’s reaction to his Easter basket was, “This is so lame. I got up early for this?” Well, he didn’t actually say these words (I don’t know if “lame” is even used by his generation) – I just put words to his grunts and eye rolls. Even the cookies-and-cream Easter bunny and enough candy to send him into a diabetic coma failed to impress him.

I feel both of my kids stretching for their independence and I struggle to step back and let them explore. I let them ride their bikes to the park without hovering over them (but make them call me every hour just to make sure they are okay.) The Easter Bunny must sense my desire to keep reaching out to my sons because they each received a game in their basket, which we can play together. I won’t push it, but if they ask for my time to play, it’s theirs.

My younger son hasn’t quite gotten to the separation age, so I have him for a while longer. My 12-year-old, on the other hand, is horrified at the thought of being seen in public with me.  At home, he will visit with me… sometimes. He may not be reaching out to me, but I have to keep trying.  When the day comes that he does need me, I want him to know I’m right here.

Always.

The Peace In Passing Time

Something about clouds

Building on the horizon,

Captures my attention,

Stirs anticipation.

Something about rain

Granting a reprieve from sunshine,

Eases my restless mind,

Slows passing time.

09-08 Clouds2

When things get to be too much, I look up and watch the clouds.  I looked up often last week!

I had Saturday night to myself and had intended to spend the time writing.  I did write some, but spent the bulk of my alone time clearing “stuff”.  I removed stacks of clutter from table tops, shredded a pile of papers that had stacked up beside the shredder, pulled some clothes from the closet to donate, and read a few magazines that had been taunting me for months.  I feel better (freer) when I’m not surrounded by clutter.

This is how watching clouds affects my mind.  I tend to worry (read:  obsess over details, no matter how minute.)  Sometimes everything builds up to the point I can’t even make a simple decision.  (I’ve skipped lunch more than once simply because I couldn’t decide what to eat.)  I know, that’s pathetic!  Watching clouds distracts me from the constant noise in my mind… the swirl of  things I need to accomplish or remember, the over-analyzing of things I wish I’d done better, and the odd thoughts and ideas that could be story ideas.

Monday is here whether I’m ready or not (and I don’t think I’m ready.)  Rain is in the forecast, and I’m happy that  clouds will help me transition into the work week.

I hope your Monday is peaceful!

Over My Shoulder

Over my shoulder,

Snippets of my past

Reside,

Remind,

Rewind.

 Over my shoulder,

A different perspective

Anticipates,

Satiates,

Dissipates.

First glance , already changing
First glance , already changing
Second glance, colors fading...
Second glance, colors fading…

I’m not one to dwell too long on the past, mostly because it takes my attention away from now, and what lies ahead.  I can’t change what is done, but I can influence this breath, and my next.

Sometimes looking behind can provide insight, and a different perspective.  In the case of this sunset, I hadn’t noticed the brilliant colors at all, until I caught a glimpse in my rearview mirror.  When I looked over my shoulder, I gasped, then pulled the car over (twice- hence the two photos!)  In a sense, I relived the road already traveled, creating a new experience from previously-logged miles.

It didn’t take many peeks before the colors melted into dusk’s horizon, but it was a spectacular view while it lasted.

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I’ve got another busy, computerless weekend coming up, so once again, this will my last post until Monday.  We’ll be spending the weekend with my parents, and my kids are sooooo excited!  I hope you all have a beautiful weekend 🙂

Too Much Of A Good Thing

I’m all for making myself conscious of the little moments each day so my eyes are opened to something I might have otherwise overlooked.  Lately, it seems I’ve lost that knack because bigger projects have rooted themselves and required a lot of my time.  I think being busy is good for a mind, but like everything else, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Over the last few weeks, much spare time has been devoted to researching pellet burning stoves for heating our home and french horns, since that’s what my older son wants to play in band.  Overwhelmed, I shelved both projects more than once.  I know that procrastination isn’t a viable solution.  Too.  Many.  Decisions.

Thank goodness my younger son (remember “Pickles”?) isn’t shy about reminding me to pay attention.  We were walking outside and he yelled at me to “stop!”  I did.  He pointed to a caterpillar crossing our driveway.  When I looked closer, I noticed the little guy expanded and bunched up like an accordion as he moved.  See:

Why did the caterpillar cross the driveway?  Uh... I don't know, why?
Why did the caterpillar cross the driveway?   Uh… I don’t know, why?

In another recent rare moment of awareness, I caught sight of what would be a wonderful cloud picture.  Of course, I hadn’t brought my good camera with me- all I had was my cell phone.  I kept glancing at the sky and finally, snapped this photo, before my lack of concentration on my driving caused my demise:

The Arizona desert is enlightened...literally
The Arizona desert is enlightened…literally

It may not be professional quality, but I thought it was pretty good for being taken at 65mph with a cell phone camera 😛

As I sit here this early Sunday morning, with “to-dos” and ideas swirling in my head, I’m reminded of the importance of taking time to relax- to just “be.”  I’m hoping that spilling the words out in black and white will give me permission to do this.

I want to relax like that.  Sammy, can you help me find my inner cat?
I want to relax like that.   Sammy, can you help me find my inner cat?

I hope you have a beautiful (and relaxed) Sunday!

When Life Is Extra Stress, With A Little Humor On The Side

Sometimes “good” change is traumatic.  Even well-organized plans lose their way.  Positive thinkers can choose to throw a pity party and succumb to dwelling on what is wrong, rather than appreciating what is right.

I learned all of this and more during our move, which turned into a spectacular mess.  The plan was to move from our ‘old’ house right into our ‘new’ house. Snags occurred on the new house, and it didn’t close until two days later.  During that time, we were given deluxe accommodations (sarcasm) at a local motel with all of our belongings sitting in a U-Haul, and a flat bed trailer, outside.

2 Kids + 3 Cats + 3 Dogs in a ~200 square foot room for 2 days = 4 cranky family members

Positive Note:  we got possession of our house and moved most of our furniture inside before it started to rain.

I like my own space.  I need alone time – quiet time to myself.  Without this, I allowed myself to dwell on the difficulties of the situation.  I worked myself into tearful outbursts, stressed over our miserable situation.  In short: if this was a stress test, I failed.  Failed miserably.

Two days after we moved in, my husband couldn’t find our Yorkie, Josie, when he went to take the dogs out in the morning.  We searched for several hours, inside and out, but didn’t see any sign of her.  Every neighbor he had spoken to had been friendly, but reminded him that coyotes were out the night before.  My husband and I cried, but not in front of the kids.

My older son decided to make signs and post them on the mailbox in case someone found her.  I eyed the hawk flying overhead and didn’t see the use, but let him make the signs anyway because that’s what he needed to do.

04-14 Lost Dog2

Late that night, I got a phone call from a police officer.  He asked if we were the ones that put the lost dog signs on the mailboxes.  My first thought: Great. We’re going to get a ticket for posting signs. (Just call me “Negative Nellie!”)

It turns out that he found Josie early that morning and had come back to see if anyone had put up signs about a lost dog – he found my son’s signs and called us.  My husband picked her up that night and she only missed 2 doses of her seizure medication.

For the umpteenth time in just a few days, I cried.  But this time, it was different.  Rather than wallowing in misery, I recognized my blessings.  I realized that the last few days were full of rocks in our path that I turned into mountains.  I finally got the message that those seemingly huge setbacks would be transformed into stories we can (maybe) laugh about in the future.

I am reminded that state of mind matters, hope promotes life, and negativity yields defeat.

Left:  view from our old house; Right:  view from our new house
Left: view from back patio of our old house; Right: view from deck of our new house

So that was the Cliff’s Notes version of the last few weeks.  Now for some humor.  On Saturday, I spent several hours cleaning the oven in our newly acquired house.  I avoid ranting on this blog, but to say I was furious at the condition of the gas range would be an understatement:

This is the side wall - one of the less disgusting views.
This is a side wall of the oven – one of the less disgusting views.

I showed the oven to my older son and asked him what he thought.  “That’s gross,” he said.  I explained that when he is older and gets his own place, the right thing to do is to leave it how he would like to have it left for him.

Well, hearing the word “gross,” my younger son (seven years old) ran into the kitchen.  He looked inside the oven and exclaimed, “that is gross…that’s even worse than the naked people in Washington DC!”

What???

Further questioning revealed that he had seen something on the news.  I didn’t recall such an event, but a Google search yielded this story from several months ago, which must be what he saw.

I had to laugh because not everyone has an oven that’s even grosser than naked protestors!  I love it when the kids are able to make me laugh even when I’m in a mood that sends my husband heading for cover!

I hope you are able to laugh your way through stress this Sunday 🙂