lessons learned, MIndful

A letter to me…When I was 17 (cue Frank Sinatra song)

circa 1988 (Go Cal High Grizzlies!)

This year marks the year I turn 50. Sounds weird to say that. This first half of the year was what I realize a slight depression for me. Looking back I was feeling very down about the state I was in, both mentally and physically. I believe this to be my true mid-life crisis. I have been finding many ways to get my self out of this funk, but it has been hard. As my teens grow, full of independence, my role as mom is changing. I will forever be their mom, but they aren’t as needy as I would like them to be…I think that is what it comes down to. Then my partner relationship with Trevis is full of ups and downs. As he transitions into retirement, I am full speed ahead at work. I think these are good things, but we are searching for each other again and I am hopeful he finds me and I find him. We are working on it-always. Then my relationship with me. I have lost me. At times I wonder what am I here for, and again I ask what is my purpose. I am thankful for the posts on social media by the writer of Finding Joy. She has created moving words of wisdom that have struck a cord with me, encouraging me to keep up with my writing. Today is a turning point for me because,I again, realize that when in doubt, go outside and then write. And write some more.

As I started to look at my blog and do some redesigning, I noticed some unpublished writing I still had in draft form. This one caught my eye and made me smile! I wrote it when I was 17, and I must have copied it onto this computer from my journal to later publish. I’m impressed with how wise I was back then! Thankful to have found this and looking forward to a better second half of this year as 50 comes up in December!.

Dear Rani,

Some Random thoughts that keep coming to me that I must share with you! Have a cup of tea…chai tea, your favorite, as you read~

So here you are on the cusp of becoming a senior, you last year of high-school! If I have anything to say to you, it is this…..be free of commitments that tie or weigh you down. The world is too big of place to be tied down to anything or anyone right now. Explore and see all that you can, for life will surprise you. After graduation, you will soon be on your way to a London Study program for a semester! Make the most of this experience, for who knows when you will have this opportunity again to see the other side of the world!? I hope you do! But embrace all there is about this journey!

Even though you don’t care for your weight right now, know that you are healthy, playing tennis, on the dance and drill teams and making the most of your last year!

Explore different languages, meet people and attempt to talk to them in their tongue and culture. Always be aware of yourself and surroundings, and don’t explore in fear, but rather in curiosity and care. Take time to keep your healthy habits flowing with activity everyday and hearty, wholesome eating habit-you’ll be happier in the future for this little step of self care.

Don’t give up on your ideals and the goals you set out to do. And know that it’s ok to change your goals, but follow through as much as you can. Keep journals so you have memories in your written word to look back to.

Realize that anger can be controlled and that having a clear, calm and steady voice will help you overcome your fears.

Don’t settle for less than what you believe. Hold true to your ideals and faith and be strong to your convictions.

The life ahead of you will be full and happy, but also trying and poignant. Cherish every minute of it! Above all, practice the art of gratitude and giving. Find ways to help others in need; whether it be a small way or a grand statement…help others. Be thankful for your unique nature for there is only one of you in the world! Be thankful for where you came from, where you are, and where you may be going.

In Love and In Like forever…..

Me

ps.-don’t underestimate the power of the written word, computers and technology will be your friend, but don’t be slave to them, go outside often and drink lots of water!

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lessons learned, MIndful, possibilities, Things to do lists

New year…Let’s Begin!

2018 is here! So as another year begins, a new list…specifically…a new 48 things to do before I am 49 list. And since my birthday was in December, I am already behind a few days.

But not to worry, as I am keeping my list simple, doable, and pleasant! Those things in RED means they are done, or in the process. I will elaborate on each through this year to help me document.

  1. Walk/Jog/Run-make it a habit.
  2. Write and write some more.
  3. Purge and Purge and donate alot, thus clean out sheds.
  4. See movies in theaters with my girls. Jumanji 1/2/18
  5. See movies in theaters with my parents and Raj.
  6. Stop forcing Trevis to do things I want to do-ask him just once, but do them..even if alone. Jumanji 1/2/18.
  7. Make home-made pizza.
  8. Drink lots more water….no fancy gadgets…just a glass filled with water a few more times a day more than you do now.
  9. Regular walks with Slider-she likes to walk too!
  10. Do one 5k on my own every month. No medals that you send money away for. Instead, after you finish one, donate the money you would have spent on a virtual 5k, to a charity.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Give more hugs…cause when you give them, you are really getting them too!
  13. Work harder at work. Cause it feels good to work hard.
  14. Find paint color for inside house and get samples.
  15. Paint inside of house.
  16. Detail & Clean car.
  17. Purge old photos from phone.
  18. Cook with the girls.
  19. Bike with Tam to school.
  20. Be calm and learn to breath before arguing.
  21. Paint rocks and leave them in places for others to find.
  22. Geo Cache with the girls.
  23. Make lists in bullet journal.
  24. Print this out and post. 1/2/18
  25. Attend Women’s rally in slo and other place if possible.
  26. Learn to Knit.
  27. Yoga when you can.
  28. Make valentines day treats. Cause Heart day is a sweet day.
  29. See dermatologist for skin tags and body scan.
  30. Write letters to girls for them to open later in their lives.
  31. Build something out of wood.
  32. Repaint the mailbox stand.
  33. Make calendar for parents.
  34. Visit Trevis’s parents.
  35. Call friends to say hi.
  36. Send letters to say hi.
  37. See butterflies.
  38. Take girls to Getty Museum.
  39. Visit Muir Woods.
  40. Make sandcastle.
  41. Compile book of poetry, your own.
  42. Plan a big party for your 50th!-Even though it’s two years away!
  43. Hang out with Brother more than you did last year.
  44. Be thrifty when spending money and make it money well spent.
  45. Call mom and dad once a week.
  46. Add more to this list if you want.
  47. Learn to let go. It’s ok cause those things meant to stay, will.
  48. Smile more.

+get more sleep

+attempt to make Timpano (yes! From one of my favorites movies, Big Night!

lessons learned, MIndful, Move, possibilities

Dancing that brought me to tears and grateful for it!

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You may or may not know that I have recently taken up dancing. It actually was first brought to my attention by Angela, who told me about this…mmm, over a year ago. Then more recently by Jessica. As fate would have it, I had the time and took it on myself as a personal challenge..one created as part of my work goal (Yes, I work for a pretty kick-awesome place…but that’s another story!) I am going to take a dance class.

Every Thursday now, for the past few months, I join other women and men and take an Adult Contemporary Dance class at Studio at Ryans American Dance in San Luis Obispo. When I first joined it was more for the workout…and boy did we get worked! I love the fact that I was a sweaty mess and had to take a shower again by the time I got home, but it is so well worth it!

What’s even more amazing is the community of people I get to be part of every Thursday night. Serendipity, karma, laws of the universe…call it what you want…but this group was brought together for a reason…and whatever reason we each hold in our hearts, we treasure as sacred. No judgement…just a love to move! AndI brought my friend Anne into it to!

Tonight’s class was an exceptionally amazing one. Our teacher, Josh, recently had a loved one pass away. Jessica and Angela went in to action and via social media, we were able to come together to provide him a care package for his trip this weekend. You have to understand , Josh is simply a loving, kind, genuine, soul who loves to teach. I feel very fortunate to be his “student,” but really he treats us more as his friends…which I am happy to say…we are! He often says how he looks forward to our class each week because of how we are really so eager to learn!

This week he created dance numbers for most of his classes as a tribute to his Nanna. We did our usual warm up, but it seemed tonight we were all in sync and I felt myself breathing harder and pushing my warm up limits. Then we learned this beautiful routine…full of flow and ability to take to it and run with it kind of feel……By the end of our class we were feeling elated and connected. Julia asked to take video of the routine…I love her for this! She does this for all the routines and then drop boxes them to us to study and use. Normally we would all also join, but we all just wanted to see Josh….see him perform and let go. He had the whole hanger floor to himself…and he flew! In those few moments of watching him….we were moved with such emotion to tears. Now most of you know me and I cry at just about everything! But I realized I have never been moved to tears through the sole act of movement and dance. Watching him dance…with such passion, care, and freedom….was amazing to see. I was transported…as if to a tribute…which it was, that was breathtaking and full of grace, humility and love. We all felt it, as did he and we thanked each other for the experience.

It’s one of those experiences in life that you can’t quite explain to it’s full vivid glory (I tried, but still…my words don’t do it justice)! We all realized and take to heart that what we have is something simple but something so special….every Thursday night, we come together to stretch, to learn….and to fly.  I am so very grateful for all the people here and no doubt more to come……..for those who will soon be joining…you are so lucky! To those of us already there…..so are we! Thanks for this.

As I was driving home tonight…I was thinking of the dance… I had to stop to take pictures of the sky as I always look to the sky to talk to those who forever remain in my thoughts. Look up and know they are alway there for you. Then do something specials for yourself…cook something new, dive into a good book, take a dance class…..and you to will learn and yearn to fly…and you never know…just may find a community of kindred spirits too! Kara, Cathie, Angela, Jessica, Julia, Anne, Josh…..and more….Thank you!

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IMG_2392(Little dark spec in the sky above and to the right of the crescent moon was a balloon…a sweet sign if you ask me!)

lessons learned

Growing a cat!

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I love this cat. Never in a million years would I consider myself a cat person. But when we first saw this little beauty at Woods Human Society, I knew I wanted to have it! His fur was so soft. But alas, she was betrothed to a couple of college girls who had her on reserve. So I resolved to come back the next day…you know…just in case! Meanwhile my daughters and husband were looking at other cats….but I made a rather big deal about wanting to pick one for us…so in the end it came to my go ahead.

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There he was! He was still here…and this time without any hold. We took him into a private room. He had a bit of a cold, but other than that, was so affectionate…towards me! Cats normally don’t really care for me..unless they are biting me or creeping up on me…but that’s a different story. But this one, at the time named, Tuxedo…..well…I fell in love!

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As I sat on my computer contemplating what to write about, this lovely creature, aptly now named Sailor-Blackberry (Names chosen each by both daughters) came up to me, jumped on the table and proceeded to rub up against my back. So endearing and comfortable…the most love and connection I have received in the past few days (going through a dip in the husband connection..to be expected after 17 years!) Right then and there, had to write about this little guy who seem to really love me the most! I’ll take it!

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Because of him…I’m a cat person! (And still a dog person too! Love you Slider!)

 

lessons learned, MIndful

Find

While looking in my shed…yes just looking..because working on it would be cleaning and organizing it…and I was just looking!  So looking in my shed I came across many old papers and things…

This was one of them printed on parchment paper:

Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be your for the duration.

2. You will learn lessons: you are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lesson or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of tria-and-erro and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented  to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lesson does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. “There” is no better than “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

7. Others are simply mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you make of them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen, and trust.

10. You will forget all this.

________________________________

Not sure where this came from. And some of it resonates for me at different times. But I like it…hope you do to! Funny what you can find when you’re really not looking for it!

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lessons learned

Tears Bringing Us Closer!

Old post brought back to life. Posted back in August, 2010….memories…with new stuff at the bottom!

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Today is the first day of school….for both my babies. Isara is starting 2nd grade. Our youngest, Tamra, is starting kindergarten. We all walked to school this morning. After taking Isa to her new class and getting her settled in (which was no problem…she is so excited!), we headed over to the kinder area. There, we noticed the window blinds that normally look out to the play area were closed…that’s because that’s where all the parents were standing. They quickly lined all the kids up and basically whisked them away. For some reason I thought we would get to stay in the classroom, but this way is better…allows the kids to get to know their teachers and such. I didn’t cry…yet.

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Trevis and I walked home, and suddenly realized how quiet it is. We then got a bit sad. He then played a song on YouTube…Remember When by Alan Jackson. He was outside, getting his truck ready for work, and I was inside filling out the endless forms for school. I still didn’t cry through the song.

After listening to it, I realized that song was more about a couple….us.  I said that to Trevis. He had his glasses on, and I started crying and then realized that he was crying. He never cries. It was one of the most happiest days of my life…today….because my husband was releasing himself to me in a way that he had done only a few times before. I know, silly that I am so happy that my husband is crying…..but it brought us closer. We cried some more in each others arms in a strong bear hug hold, especially after we realized Tamra and Isara aren’t there to tell daddy…”Please stay daddy, please don’t go to work.” I think that really got to him. I love him. I like him.

He eventually had to go to work, and as he drove off,  I walked in the home and I cried and cried.

But added to my crying was that I was missing my mom on her birthday. Happy Birthday Mama!!!!

I cried for my close friend, Jodi, who is fighting the fight for her life against cancer, a second time.

I cried for her family.

I cried for my girls and hoping they live a happy, safe and full life.

I cried for the chance I was given that allowed me to stay home with my girl this past year.

I cried at the fact that I almost gave all this up last year.

I am crying knowing, that my babies are growing everyday, and one day they will leave our nest.

I cried.

Now what to do. After I am done typing this, what do I do. All those lists I have, all the things I want to get done…now is my chance right. Bittersweet.

Move on. Cause in a few hours, I will get to pick those lovely creatures up from school and hear all about their first day. And then we start again. And it gets easier….right?

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Today I cry cause I miss Jodi.

I cry know that time is precious, and my girls are growing up so fast…I just want to cuddle with them.

I cry wishing I could be closer in proximity to my brother. He is only five hours away, but still far.

I cry at my anger that sometimes get’s the best of me and my time.

I can only hope, move on and do what I am doing, knowing my girls, my family is safe and happy.

Tears, I have to remember, are also shed for the happy times…the times to cherish, the times to have now.
And if you want to cry some more, listen to these country songs! They’re on YouTube, so be patient with the upload times! Videos helped me become a country music fan, because of the stories told. Have some Kleenex handy and a cup of tea. And know…..it’s ok to cry.

layouts, lessons learned

Sound advice to Be a Happy Mom

This is an oldie but goodie post from Scrapyoga back in the day! Enjoy!

Faves

-one of my all time favorite layouts

 

From Hybrid Mom at yahoo shine! I saw this and had to repost!

Here are 10 things happy moms do–so remember these tips in your day-to-day life!

1. Find time for yourself
Happy moms know they deserve a little time to themselves. When you know you’re going to have a little room to breathe later on in the day, it’s easier to take on everything that’s in front of you. Our formula? Take 2 hours out for yourself every 3 days.

2. Don’t make a happy baby, happier!
We all do it…you see your baby’s head at what you’re sure is an unnatural angle snoozing in their car seat. You just know they’ll be happier if their head was straight.  So you move them. And they wake up. Then they scream. Or, you see them playing happily in the sand. You just know they’ll be happier if they played on the slide. So you interrupt them and move them to the slide.  And they’re angry. And they let you know they’re REALLY angry.  Here’s the thing, they were happy. It can be hard to do, but if your kid’s not complaining, leave them be!  Happy baby = Happy Mommy.

3. Embrace the mess
So your house doesn’t look like something out of a magazine. That just means it’s cozy! Your children have hands coated in dirt from the playground and faces coated in spaghetti from dinner. It’s not gross—it’s an adorable photo op! Life is about how you look at things. Next time that pile of laundry that’s been sitting on the chair for three days starts to get you down, just remember… it’s probably feng shui.

4. Make time for your friends
Your family can survive without you while you make time to see friends. You are a woman with your own identity and its imperative that you and that identity go out for some margaritas once in awhile!

5.  Stop blowing yourself off
While you may be the one taking care of everyone, it doesn’t mean you can’t also get what you want. Help your family realize your needs are as important as theirs and when mom is happy, everyone is happy, but when mom is not….

6.  Get in the zone
Take 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing but rest. Take a break from your day, close your eyes, breath in slowly and deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.  Repeat several times. Think about a place you love that is relaxing, spend 10 minutes there in your mind.

7.  Remember your dreams and goals
Everyday we are encouraging our children to reach their full potential. But sometimes in the midst of being a parent we forget about our own dreams and goals. The best thing you can do to encourage a child is to lead by example –happy moms hold on to their dreams and goals and don’t let go.

8.  Be lighthearted
Don’t be the uptight mom. Be silly and dance with your kids to their music or tv show tunes. Be romantic and pull your partner into a waltz. Dance in slippery socks in your kitchen while making dinner.

9.  Bend the Rules
One of the best parts of making the rules is occasionally breaking them. Maybe it’s taking your child out of school for half a day on their birthday, or waking them up in the middle of the night to see a sky of shooting stars.  Happy moms know how to turn the mundane into fun.

10.  Mind your own business
Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Stop seeking the validation of others and be confident in yourself.

lessons learned, MIndful

Thanks Alt for the blogging advice!

In the world of blogging there are so many ways to do things. I have had up to three different blogs and find it refreshing to change my design every now and then. I like to take my blogging with a grain of salt, know that as I change, so will my thoughts and writing.  And that’s ok! But as with anything I tend to take on, I like to research new ideas and see what’s going on the in the world, weather it be gardening or a diy project to photography and yes… blogging.

In my research, I came across Altitude Summit. As they state on their website: “Alt is a place to connect.” They offer advice and collaborations in business and bring ideas and relationships to the forefront of blogging. They offer a  number of online articles as well as an in person summit for bloggers to attend.

One such article that caught my attention was  “8 Tips for Great Blogging.” It offered common sense advice in writing your own blog, that I found I was already doing, but is very helpful in keeping me mindful of what and how I write because it’s easy to get swept up in the …how too make my blog better, instead of sticking to the why did I do this in the first place! Alt reminds me to get back to the simple basics…like getting real and personal.

I encourage anyone starting out in blogging, to do their own research and be sure to check out the new Alt Blog for blogging inspiration and business advice.

Happy Blogging!!!