Health, Personal Success, relationships

Oh Deer!

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Drawing Practice #55

Went for a run again last night with William. It was much colder than it has been, but we didn’t back down. We also ran during sunset and not in the dark. It was beautiful and I was (am!)  grateful for this connection with my husband and nature.

As we approach the new year, I’m reflecting on this past year. It was pretty awesome. One thing I’d like to have more of is outdoor time as a family: more hiking and less technology. (Technology is great, don’t get me wrong, but using it most of one’s waking hours is not necessary).

 

 

 

Personal Success, poetry, relationships

Spats

Their fighting is your inner battle – your own malcontent

when the volume rises and their words get sharp

when your heart seeks shelter and your fingers flutter

let it roll over you

 

they’ll work it out with fists of hurt

and lash each other with words of stone

until they’re bruised and bloodied

 

let it roll over you

 

let it go

it’s theirs

not yours

 

 

 

poetry, relationships

C is for Cookie, or…

 

C is for Cooking

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking.

If it’s a lazy Saturday and I have plenty of time, I love cooking. I make a mean lasagna.

What better way to demonstrate love than to nourish people both physically and spiritually at the same time?

But after work, I’m tired. Everyone is looking at me. What’s for dinner?

I don’t know. I just want someone to rub my feet.

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Health, Personal Success, relationships

A Family That Plays Together…

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Our family (my husband, two teenager daughters and I) had fallen into a habit of eating dinner together and then retreating to our rooms to do homework, watch TV and write. We were together many hours a week, but we weren’t interfacing much. I longed for that connection, but evening walks fell by the wayside and watching movies together (which we all enjoy!) was not exactly interactive.

Our girls have adopted snarky, rebellious attitudes. It’s normal, but I felt like it could alienate us as parents if we didn’t talk more. The girls once mentioned a fun card game. I logged onto Amazon.com.

20 minutes in and we’re laughing and discussing our answers. Yes, it isn’t exactly “politically correct.” But it’s funny and the girls find it very compelling. The game is hilarious and we all enjoy it. It’s not for everyone – just “horrible people”.

 

 

 

Personal Success

Wishes

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When I was very young (maybe five years old),  my mother made rings out of dandelions. She’d pluck the weed and create a knot with the stem and, smiling, put the ring on my finger. I felt special and lucky. Within hours, the dandelion wilted, the yellow flowers tinged with brown. It was my first lesson of impermanence.

We were poor and a part of me knew it, but mostly, I was blissfully ignorant. I reveled in the smell of burning wood in the Iowa autumn. I loved the dandelion rings my mother made and I loved watching “The Muppets” on TV. All of this was (relatively) free. I thought everyone had a father who came home exhausted and discouraged. I thought everyone shared one bathroom in their family. I thought everyone fought over money.

I’m a lot older now and I have learned this: wishing for “stuff” always leads to disappointment. Nothing you can buy will deliver anywhere near the satisfaction of smelling burning wood on a Midwest autumn evening, or watching the “Muppets” on a chilly Halloween night or wearing a dandelion ring your mother makes just for you.

Nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health, Personal Success

Death as a Teacher

o0ta3hn-thc-jakub-kriz.jpgFor something that affects each of us without fail, the subject of death remains taboo in our culture. Why?

2016 was rife with “surprise” celebrity deaths: Rickman, Bowie, Prince, Fisher and so many more. It’s sad to lose people we admire and love.

Yet, death can be the best teacher. It reminds us that life is, in the end, pretty short. It can clarify values pretty quickly. Six and half years ago, I was told by my doctor that I had cancer. I was fortunate – it was early stage I breast cancer – and my prognosis was very good. But I was 41 and not expecting that diagnosis at all. My life got crystal clear: Family and friends were priority. I realized that my job – teaching – was something I truly valued and I was grateful for it.

As I walked out of the hospital to go home to recover from my radical mastectomy, the air was crisp, the sun shone brightly and I noticed practically every blade of grass of the hospital lawn. I felt so alive!

Realizing that we don’t have much time gives us urgency. Don’t waste a day complaining. Don’t be negative. Live in the light of positivity and gratitude. Work towards your dreams. You might not have much time.