Posts Tagged With: grateful

Immune to the view?

I woke this morning to the loveliest view.

As I sat this morning and wrote in my journal, I pondered the question of whether or not my family is immune to this view. Whether or not I’d become immune to this view if it was what I woke to every day.
I love to observe the marsh, the tide coming in and going out. The wildlife. The smell of the pluff mud is uniquely Charleston. If I was here every single day, would it hold the same fascination? Would I take it for granted? Or worse, would I begin to ignore it completely? Would I become

These are interesting questions.
How much in our lives do we take for granted?
And why?
Sure, ‘life gets in the way’. But then I’m over here like, life gets in the way…of life? (WTF kind of sense does that make?)

Life is lovely, even the crap bits.
Gotta pay attention.
Gotta be grateful every single day. And not in that basic girl ‘hashtag grateful thankful blessed’ kind of way. I mean truly accepting what is in your world then choosing to embrace it.
I don’t know, it may seem a rather ridiculously simple point of view, but .
Pay attention.
Accept the good and the crap as it comes and be grateful.
Be grateful because it’s your life.

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

road trip baggage and snacks

Hi, my name is Robyn and I’m an over-packer.
Hi Robyn.

It is what it is, y’all.

I’m in Charleston for the next five days. Spending time with Sally and her fam and my beloved Jessica.
I don’t need this much stuff.
As I was pulling things out and laying them on my bed in preparation to pack I was aware that there was more than I needed.
It’s just my thing. (one of my many ‘things’)
I over pack.
I can’t rely on the exact number of (whatevers) being the right amount! You never know if you’re going to spill something on yourself. Or sneeze and pee your pants. Or just be sick of wearing something and want to change.
I want options.
And here’s the truth, I’m carrying the bag(s) so I can choose to fill or not as I see fit.

The one and only time I didn’t over pack, when I took exactly what I needed with nothing to spare, the weather was different than forcasted, we did different things than expected, and I had to borrow a pair of shoes from Thing 1.
NEVER AGAIN!

You might say, “One girl doesn’t need that many pairs of shoes for five days.”
To that I say, “First of all, up yours.”
I have one pair that I intend to wear with one particular dress. The dress and shoes ‘should’ have been left in the closet. But I love the dress and wanted to wear it in Charleston. And sure, other shoes would do, but these are the ones that I love best with the dress. So I packed them.
Again, I’m carrying the bag(s) therefore I make the decisions.
(After the photo was taken, I added two pairs of shoes.)

On another note…
YBW hugged me for the fifth time the morning I left and said, “The bag beside your purse is for you to take on the trip.” I got all smiley, and he said, “It’s not a present, it’s just me taking care of you.”

Y’all!
Look at this!


He packed my insulated lunch bag!
He was worried I wouldn’t eat while I was on the road.


Inside there was cheese, apples, mixed nuts, two pieces of Halloween candy I took from our bucket, and diet DP.
He packed me the perfect road trip snacks! Good protein, something sweet, and caffeine to keep me going when it gets late and I’ve still got miles to go.
And(!!!) Two packs of spearmint gum in the outside pocket. One to replace the nearly empty one in my purse, the other as ‘in case of gum emergency’ gum to have in the car!
I’m grateful to YBW for making my car lunch (and dinner)! It was kind, and I appreciate his thoughtfulness!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

gratitude, get you some

Gratitude.
I’m not super feeling it of late.
Friday last the roofers came to rebuild and repair the rafters. The next day rain poured into the house. Turns out the tarps were not properly reattached.
Yay.
The roofers were here for nearly five hours Saturday evening working to stop the water.
The rain. Sweet baby Jesus, the rain we’ve had.
And the weather related head pain just makes me weary.

It occurred to me I’m paying attention to the wrong stuff.
So I stopped. And took a big ass breath to focus on the right stuff.
Once I began to consider what I am actively grateful for it was simple to create a list and I noticed a significant shift in my well being.

10:00 am movies at the theater because, summer!
Amber (she does my hair)
Target app
peach citrus white tea from Starbucks
Hercules quotes
crusty bread and butter
air cooled seats and xm radio
simple summer dresses
Bloom gin
long phone conversations with my girl

I’m making the choice to actively focus on what is good, what is meaningful, what I’m grateful for. I’m not sure I’ll do a daily gratitude post, but I’m considering a weekly one. But, each day I will write in my journal that for which I am grateful. That is a promise I am making to myself. And one I have every intention of keeping.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by life. Easy to get caught up in the chaos. It’s harder to pay attention. Harder to be mindful.
I must pay attention. Otherwise I’ll get lost.
And we all know

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

mother’s day

I struggle with Mother’s Day.
My birthday is always the week of Mother’s Day. Sometimes even falls on that particular Sunday. I don’t remember it bothering me until I became a mom. First one precious little girl and later, two precious little girls called me their mommy. They were SO focused and excited about Mother’s Day that my birthday often fell by the wayside.
When they got old enough to understand, I explained how much I loved their beautiful appreciation of me. I explained that I was their mommy every day. That it was the most special thing EVERY DAY. But that my birthday was only one day and it was special. It took a bit for them to get it, but they knew how important I made their birthdays and they began to come around. So while Mother’s Day remained special, “birthday birthday” became the focus that second week of May.

Mother’s Day is painful for me because I don’t have my mom anymore. However complicated our relationship was, she was my mother and I loved her.
I took Thing C and Thing G to get cards for their mom. I went with YBW to get a card for his mom. I spent the day with YBW and his mom.
It was agony.
I no longer have a mom. It hurts more than I can even communicate.
Thing 1 called to tell me Happy Mother’s Day. She thanked me for being her mom. She talked about the life she’s building. She talked about going back to school. She told me she sent a little gift, but it was going to be late. She told me how much she loved me.
My heart sang with joy!
Thing 2 did nothing. (I don’t know if she was being purposefully hurtful or not…I honestly don’t think it matters. It was hurtful enough.) People that I did not actually give birth to called and texted to wish me Happy Mother’s Day. I’m just sayin’.

When my girls were little and I was teaching preschool, I was blessed to be surrounded by some of the most truly awe inspiring women I’ve ever known.
We were a family. If something happened to one of us, joy or sorrow, it happened to all of us. These women helped me realize who I could be. They let me help them see things from my unique and sometimes brash perspective. (I may or may not have publicly accused the director of being on crack at a faculty meeting…in my defense, it opened a new way of talking about a serious topic.)

When I started this blog I promised my family and friends anonymity. That’s why I never use anyone’s real name…apart from my own. My girls and Sundance have expressed their ambivalence regarding this promise. I keep it because YBW is especially protective of his identity, and the identity of his sons. I respect that. Nobody “signed up” to be part of my public words regarding my private life. I want to keep those who need to feel safe feeling safe.
That said, I’m going to use the names of the women from that perfect moment in time when we lived and loved and worked in the safest and most creative environment.

It kind of started this way:
On Sunday, Nicole posted in our private group chat:
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! I would not have survived young motherhood without you all!!

I was thinking something along those lines when I was washing my hair that morning. I was thinking about some of the women that influenced my life. What I learned from each of them and how I incorporated that into my parenting style, and into my own personal development.

I learned from my mom that always having to be in control will wear you the eff out. That it breaks you and makes you miserable. My mom taught me the value of creativity and expressing opinions because she squashed those out of us as children. She taught me that love is conditional, you must be exactly what someone wants or they can’t love you.
She taught me that you just have to keep fighting for what you believe in. She taught me what true sacrifice looks like. She taught me that a color book and box of crayons eases heartache. She taught me that birthdays are the most important celebration, because the day you came into the world is sacred. She taught me to love books. She taught me Elvis is the King. She taught me that being redhaird is the most precious gift, and that only a few of us ever have the luxury to receive it.
Some of the things she taught me made me a better mom because I did the exact opposite of what she did. Love is unconditional. Creativity and expressing yourself are the most important life stills to possess.
Some of what she taught me formed my most basic ideology. Birthdays are sacred. New crayons are priceless. Books are uniquely portable magic.

Nicole taught me that organized chaos is a great way to raise children. She taught me that love is fierce. She showed me how to see things through the eyes of a child. She taught me the value of true and long lasting friendship.

Jessica taught me that I was more capable than I ever realized. She taught me to listen differently so I could truly hear. She taught me to ask the most important question: What’s best for children? She taught me the value of my own mothering. She taught me when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. She helped me believe in myself at the lowest point in my life. She showed me the fire in my belly still had embers to nurture. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself.

Becca encouraged me to trust my gut, because she never seemed to be able to do that for herself. She taught me to appreciate every contribution. She brought out even more nurturing in me, she needed and still occasionally needs to be taught self-love. She taught me how innocent kindness can change lives. She taught me that my tough as nails hide could benefit from softening up a bit.

Terri taught me to see my firstborn in a new and different light. She provided much comfort and support when I was struggling with learning how to mom a three year old and a new and extremely sick baby. She was an example of love and tenacity through her own terrible illness. She taught me how to approach the enigma that is the three year old with the perfect mix of fear and appreciation.

Nancy taught me that I must embrace and celebrate my gifts. She is the first person who said out loud that I am a writer. That moment caused a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for. She supported me with love and hope when I didn’t know who or what I really was. She taught me that life is so much more than simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Marianne taught me that letting go is so much better than holding on too tightly. She taught me the importance of repetition. She helped me realize that a classroom was one of the most loving environments in the world.

Cory taught me that I matter. She helped me understand how to be a mom and a real person too. She accepted me for who I am. She guided my learning of that most important skill. I’m not great at it, but I am working at it every single day…even all these years later.

Julia encouraged me to take risks. She helped me realize that fear is a part of life, but if I didn’t try new things I might miss out on something extraordinary. She taught me a new kind of patience.

Sara gave me the courage to breathe when I needed to take a step back. She showed me the importance of kindness when Thing 2 and I experienced serious separation anxiety.

Like Nicole, I would never have gotten through young motherhood without these women. The gifts they gave me have gotten me through the last twenty two years.
It takes a village to raise children.
It takes a village to raise parents too.

I’m so blessed to know and love these women. I would not be the woman I am without experiencing their love and support.
I saw Becca this weekend, we talked about how those years were a sacred moment in time. We will never be able to recreate that, but we’re lucky enough to forever be better mothers and better women because of it.

Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

every moment is a blessing

I spent time with my former co-teacher today. She’s going through a particularly vile divorce. It breaks my heart for her and her little daughter. I can’t really do anything to help, all I can do is love them.
But spending time with her today made me appreciate that I’m me and not anyone else. That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say, but I cannnot mean it any more.

I’ve been through seriously dreadful times in my life. I’ve been through moments of great wonder. Everything I’ve experienced in my life, every single moment, the good, the bad, the indifferent, has shaped me into who I am right now. Honestly I’m grateful I’ve had all this opportunity to throw so much paint at my life’s great big canvas.

I’ve obviously experienced a great deal of joy, especially recently.
Even the undiagnosed brain swelling is teaching me to remain present by listening carefully to what my body is telling me. Something I’ve not really done before. It’s easy to ignore your body when you’re more focused on everyone else.

I don’t know if my feeling hopeful has me feeling so appreciative of being me or if I’m just glad my troubles have been mine and not the troubles of anyone else. I don’t think it really matters.

We all have moments we would like to hand over to another. Any other. But when it comes right down to it there is always something better or worse being experienced by any other person at those very same moments. I remember this with great humility. My worst moments could be another’s best moments or my best moments could be meaningless to another.

I am grateful for every single one of my moments. I could never be the woman I am if I hadn’t experienced the moments of my life. It may have taken forty four years, but I rather like the woman I am!

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kiss your brain

I don’t normally love Thanksgiving. I mean the actual ‘holiday’, not the concept. To me it’s just an inconvenient stop between Halloween and Christmas. I am thankful all my days…I don’t need a specific day to celebrate my gratitude. I have an issue with the conspicuous consumption of food on Thanksgiving Day. Now, I absolutely love food, but it seems to me that Thanksgiving is more about celebrating gluttony than giving thanks.

All of that said, I have to admit I’m actually feeling enthusiastic about Thanksgiving this year. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is even though my child won’t be living in it, the basement is finally finished and we are beginning to put our home and our lives back together.
The second is because I ordered all my food from Wegmans this year.
The entire meal, from turkey to cranberries, completely cooked, packaged up and ready for me to heat and serve. This feels equally wrong and right. I’m perfectly capable of making Thanksgiving dinner for eight, but I don’t really want to. Wegmans has everything I need for a price I couldn’t argue. I’d have spent just as much gathering all the ingredients.
I’m a teeny bit ashamed of myself…but I’m so relieved I’m not going to be stuck in the kitchen all damn day and missing the thing I love about Thanksgiving…the Macy’s Parade. Won’t be stuck in the kitchen all damn day while people lounge on the giant sofa in front of football games.
I’ll heat that food, serve it up pretty, have other people clear and clean up and enjoy my day.
There will be a teeny bit of me that is ashamed for not cooking…I’ll just pour her another glass of wine and she’ll shut up quickly enough.

I’m thankful for the people in my life, my family and friends and the love we share. For my home where I feel safe and loved.
I’m especially thankful for a man who loves me because I’m me and not for what he’d like me to be.
I’m thankful I am so close with my co-teacher, that she and I were meant to be in a classroom together, that we make each other better teachers.
I’m thankful for words. Word that have been written, words not yet written.
I’m thankful for art, all kinds of visual art, but mostly books and music.
I’m thankful for Macy’s and their parade because it really does bring me joy even though I cry every year when Santa arrives.
I’m thankful for Wegmans and their delicious food and reasonable pricing.
And wine! I’m SO thankful for wine!

There is a wonderful teacher in my school who has the most precious habit of encouraging her students to “kiss their brains”. They do this by kissing their hands and placing them on their heads. She encourages them to do this when the are attempting to learn, when they have learned or when they just need a bit of reassurance.
I love this practice!
I’m thankful for my brain, for everything it helps me do.
I kiss my brain.
And I encourage you to do the same.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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