Archive | June 2013

The Gifts

 

     I don’t know if you are someone that believes that every person that comes into your life is there for a reason, but I am. Sometimes we change them, sometimes they change us and sometimes we change each other. I am always and forever grateful for all of the teachers that have walked through my life, even when the lessons that they taught me weren’t pleasant. Sometimes those that walk quickly through our lives are the ones that have the biggest impact. One such person is the father of my first child. We had the briefest of romances 23 years ago, and even at the time I knew it was a gift to me.

     We had known each other in high school, but we were anything but friends. I was friends with his brother and his sister, but Michael and I never had much use for one another. After he graduated he moved away and I didn’t see him for a couple of years. When he made his way back into town he came to see me after my brother had died, they were friends. We hit it off at the time because most of my friends really didn’t get me at the time, I was lost in grief and they didn’t want to go there with me. Michael understood where I was at the time as he had lost his mother when he was I think 16. The next thing you know we were together all the time. Then with the blink of an eye I was pregnant and with another he was gone. This set me on the course known as single motherhood. My parents thought the best solution was to make him marry me, but somehow I knew even at the ripe old age of 18 that marrying someone only for a child was the wrong thing to do.

     Life can always be beautiful if we are willing to look at the bad things that seem to be happening and find the gifts inside. Even then without knowing it consciously I did this with the situation, because I know I never saw my beautiful daughter as anything other than a gift in my life. A child lights up your life from the moment you hear that first heartbeat. It’s something that you can’t understand if you’ve never experienced it. I’m not going to tell you that life was always pleasant or that I have always looked back on the challenges in my life in the way I do now, as blessings. These are all things that come to everyone in time. Even if someone doesn’t figure it out until they are transitioning from this life, I believe everyone sooner or later realizes that life is always beautiful. I know I make that statement “life is always beautiful” a lot in my blogs. Sometimes this even leads people to believe that I am terminally happy, it doesn’t mean that at all. I think I just see life with a lot more gray than just black and white. The gifts of parenthood have certainly been challenging to see sometimes. I have been blessed with not just one but two amazing daughters and I wouldn’t trade the gifts that they have brought me for any amount of gold.

      My daughter’s dad came back into our lives in 1996 when Ashton was four years old. He was at best what you would call an on and off dad, but I do believe he did the best he could with what he had to work with. When people pass from this world we have a tendency of playing through our minds all of the things “that could have been, if only”. One of the hardest things to deal with when someone goes before us is this type of thinking. What we really should be focused on is all of the things that really were. The good, the bad and the ugly, so that we remember things as they really were and don’t get lost in what might have been. Most importantly when someone leaves this world be grateful for their contribution to your life. In the spirit of that thought I would like to take a moment and say thank you Michael for the gifts that you brought into my life. Your friendship when I needed it and our beautiful daughter when I was ready to be a Mom.

RIP Michael Scott Beatty…..fly with the angels my friend.  

I Want

     Have you ever spent a lot of time pondering the question what now? I seem to swim in that question lately. I have so many directions I could take right now and I feel like I’m starting to spin in circles trying to figure out which way to go. The worst part is there are a couple of roads that I know I don’t want to take and yet some days even they look tempting. They are of course the roads that lead to the greener pastures we all talk about. While the others are rockier and don’t appear to be that scenic, but I hear at the end of one of those roads is the Garden of Eden. These of course are not the roads for the faint of heart. When one embarks on a journey down one of the rocky roads they have to be prepared for the bumps that go along with it. Before I can possibly make a choice as to which direction to go, I think I need to get really clear on the things that I want in my life. So my question at the moment is simply ….what do I really want?

     *I Want…..to do something every day that not only changes my world for the better, but someone else’s.

     *I Want……to write, which I get to do here and I am so grateful for things like blogging, but I think I want to write a book.

     *I Want…..to let go of guilt. I’m running around in the middle of a self- inflicted guilt trip now and this will be the last one!

     *I Want…..to be able to share my gifts with the world in some way that makes it a better place.

     *I Want…..to surround myself with others who have integrity in every aspect of their lives. Not just the easy ones.

     *I Want…..to always know my own heart. I know my heart never betrays me, but sometimes I betray it.

     *I Want…..to find as much joy as I can from life, even when dealing with the things that cause anger, hurt and sadness.

     *I Want…..to continue to find love in as many things throughout the day as possible….even the anger, hurt and sadness.

     *I Want…..to always have time in the day to just breathe and speak my gratitude for all of the gifts in my life, and those that are yet to be delivered.

     *I Want…..all of this or something better!

     I’m sure there will be more things that come to mind now that I’m thinking about things on a deeper level. Although I think the core, the most important parts of what I want are all on the list above. I’m learning lots of lessons lately about what’s important and what’s not so I know that list is hundreds of miles off course from where it would have been just 6 months ago. I love how quickly things can change when you’re paying attention to the details. All in all I wouldn’t change a moment of my recent experiences. The road has been pretty rocky some days, but the treasures hidden along the way…well I wouldn’t trade those for all of the greener pastures I know are out there. 

If Today Were the Last Day of My Life

 I’m watching TV tonight, anyone who knows me knows that this is a rare occasion. I’m finding myself amazed at all of the competition shows they have on now. Listening to everyone talk about chasing their dreams reminded me of a quote I saw today. In this quote Steve Jobs posed the question “if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am going to do today?” Not sure exactly what brought that particular quote into my mind. Maybe it was watching all of the people going into the auditions with the excitement on their faces because they were out chasing their dreams (no matter how strange) and finding their bliss. Wouldn’t the world just be a better place if we all just chased our bliss. I’m not even sure if the Snow White, lets love everyone side of me can truly imagine that world. People doing what they love, what lights them up, that one thing that gets them up and excited for their day.  

     Most people are so guided through their lives that by the time they realize there were other possibilities they’ve lived half their lives already. To afraid to step forward and go find a life they love, most people stay frozen in place. Most people by that time can’t even remember what dreams they had or in some cases if they ever had any at all. It’s a rare few that ever find their way out into the world and actually live their bliss. That’s what I want to be when I grow up, living my bliss, and when someone asks me what I do for a living that’s what I want my answer to be. Just living my bliss. Like the guy at the airport handing out free hugs. I’m sure that wasn’t his parents highest vision of what their son should become, that’s something that has to come from somewhere inside. I applaud him for living his bliss, no matter how strange.  

     So when you hear the question “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”  What’s your answer? Do you have one? Do you remember your dreams and the things that light you up, or are they so far away you can’t even see them anymore? If you could dream a new dream what would it be, and could you find the strength to work towards it every day…no matter how small the effort may seem? What would it take to get you to throw the handful of glitter in the air and live everyday like it was your last and you wanted to do what you are going to do today? Me….well I think I’ll even change my Facebook status to show I’m employed as Wonder Woman, then when you ask me what I do for a living, I can say…..just living my bliss. 

In The Flow

 

     I’m not sure why I often find myself outside at night contemplating life. There’s something about looking up at the sky and wondering….well wondering a little bit of everything. Kind of like the cat on the railing above me as he’s looking up at the roof and wondering what’s up there. I wonder if when he jumps up on the roof his curiosity kicks back in as there is nothing obstructing his view of the sky now. Does he now ask the same question to the sky as he did the roof….what’s out there? If he could would he find a way to get to the sky only to discover the universe and wonder…what’s out there. That reminds me of what people do. Find the greatest thing in the world and all they can see is the next thing past it that’s going to be the greatest thing in the world. When will we just be grateful of the amazing right in front of us, and stop trying to find something better?  As long as we are always looking around the corner for something better we’ll never be happy.

     I’m not sure when that kicked in exactly, that loss of enthusiasm on the quest to more and better. All I know is that one day it just left. Not that I don’t of course want my life to continue to get better, I do. I just want it to be through a natural flow, not one made up of expectations and attachments to things that will always work out just the way they were meant to anyway. Being attached to something doesn’t give you any more control over anything, in fact in my case it generally gives me less. This is my favorite lesson in all of this, learning to just flow with life instead of always trying to swim upstream. Oh, and did I mention I can’t swim? That makes it tougher.

     I’m finding that as I just let go the story gets better. Everyday I’m brought everything I need, no struggle, no strife, just here you go, everything’s taken care of today. It’s almost like watching things in nature work. The wind blows and if the tree just sways with the wind then everything is ok, but the minute that tree puts up a resistance then its branches break. If you’ve ever seen John Travolta’s movie Phenomenon that’s the secret to life that he discovers, that everything is like the ebb and flow of the wind through the trees. If we don’t fight it, and we can be grateful for it then we never have to search for more and better because we always have just what we need and it’s always the greatest thing in the world.

     Lately that’s been my life, just blowing in the breeze. Seeing where today takes me, and wondering if I’ll find my way back. After all I have been forgetting to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to make it easy. My favorite thing about everyday lately is finding so many small moments that I like to take a mental picture of. I like to call them freeze frame moments. The kind where you’d almost like to climb into a bubble and float around in it forever. I haven’t always focused my attention on those kind of moments. I remember a time that I kept my focus on the moments that felt like quicksand. I wouldn’t trade the peace I feel inside for the adrenaline rush of the other. My motto for the moment is one day at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time it will all come together. Like the river flowing all the way to the ocean just like it was meant to be.