Posts Tagged With: inspiration

Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

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mizpah

There is a Hebrew word I absolutely adore.
Mizpah.
It means watchtower.
The biblical example comes from the story of Jacob and Laban, after a bit of drama, the men come to an agreement with God as their only witness. They create a tower of stones to symbolize it.
It was also called Mizpah, because he said, May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.
Genesis 31:49 NIV

Of course, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning.

The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Think about that for a moment.
Let it fill you completely.

Mizpah.
A magnificent and sacred blessing. An ancient word of inspiration and protection. A word that goes beyond the boundaries of social and cultural norms, and of faith. A spiritual symbol of hope and love and peace.

Many of the people I love most live far away from me.
Two of them are my babies. Grown ass women, but always my babies.
Time and distance are irrelevant because of mizpah. We are blessed with the knowledge that we are safe and connected when we are apart because of the strength of our love.
Mizpah gives us the opportunity to actively love without constraints of time and distance, and keeps us all anchored in that love until we are fortunate enough to be in the same physical space.

Those of you whom I love so dearly and deeply, this word is my gift to you. The promise that our love will be safe when we’re apart, and the light to guide us back to one another.
Mizpah.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

mental self five

I keep thinking about the war between desire and effort and the more I consider the whole situation, the more I need to clarify for myself, y’all just reap the benefits of the process.

YBW and I do most things together. As a matter of fact, outside of the people we work with, we spend the most time with each other. We do our normal daily routine things together because we live in the same physical space. But we also go out in the world together and do things. Some times things he likes, some times things I like, often times things we both like, or like to do together.
That said, there are some days when YBW doesn’t want to leave the house and I’m itching to get out. Even if it’s simple errand running to Target or whatever. Some days I’ll go alone, other’s I’ll choose to stay put because I don’t feel like going by myself.
There are some times when YBW wants to be in front of his computer in his jammies to play video games all day long. And though I’m cool with that, me spending time alone in this house is something I do most days so I don’t always love it.
My husband loves to game. I don’t. He should be able to do what he loves even if I want to do something else. And y’all, that man will often times do what I want instead of gaming. It’s not always fair to him.

The obvious solution when it comes to one of us wanting to do something the other does not is to be social with friends.
Here’s what’s tricky about that. Most of the people I’m closest to live far far away from me.
When I was in SC, I had many friends to go and do things with. I also had my girls to go and do things with.

The local people I’m friends with mostly have young children.
Because I’m passionate about education and young children, that’s how I spend my time. I don’t really see people that aren’t either moms of young children, or educators of young children.
I have a couple of friends that have grown kids, but they have established friend groups. This means we can sometimes get together, but those friendship bonds are different than those of established relationships.
Even some of the teachers at school that I’m friendly with have children that aren’t old enough to be left alone.
So, unless we’re doing a kid friendly activity, most of my local friends don’t have the freedom of movement I have. That leaves me to fend for myself, or YBW and I do things as a couple.

As I read what I’m writing, it may sound as though I’m making excuses. I’m actually not. These are simply the facts of my life.
Since making new friends is not as easy as it sounds, I’m going to consider how to best spend time with the friends I have.
I’m also going to continue to spend time with YBW.
But, I’m also going to continue to do things on my own.

I want to learn to rock climb, and there’s a great indoor place three miles from home called Vertical Rock. I’ve been considering this for some time and finally decided I’m going to investigate what it takes to learn. YBW is anxious about heights. This is something he would not remotely enjoy doing with me. I’m not sure I know anyone (local) that would like to learn to climb with me and that’s OK, because I just discovered that Vertical Rock has it’s own meet up group! Can’t wait to share that with my therapist!

However I consider any of these things, this is my life.
The question is: Does if fulfill me?
The answer is: Yes…for the most part.

Follow up question: How can I be more fulfilled in my life?
Answer here is keep going and growing.
I’m enthusiastic about learning. I’m enthusiastic about life.
I’m hearing ‘ephphatha‘ in my head: be opened.
I am open to new and different things. To new and different ways of doing old things.
I am ready to be opened up to the world around me.
I have a keen sense of adventure!
It is time for my desire to outweigh my effort.

Who knows?
Stepping out of my comfort zone may be the beginning of something wonderful.
It may blow up in my face.
Doesn’t matter, because I’m up for it.

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the war between desire and effort

Had an interesting conversation with my therapist on Monday about life satisfaction.
I’ve been thinking for a few days, perhaps even a week now about how my life is a quiet, sort of prosaic suburban existence, and I’m not sure how satisfied I am with that. We specifically focused on things I like to do but am disinclined to do alone.
She and I tossed around the whys and wherefores of this.
We examined whether it was fear or laziness. (my vote was lazy and we both laughed)
Using my hands as a scale I talked about weighing my desire against my effort.
Specifically, did I want to go by myself to a Sylvia Plath exhibit at the NPG.
Would I enjoy the exhibit?
Absolutely.
Do I want to physically get myself into the district?
Not so much.
(It’s not as much that I dislike driving in DC, it’s more that I hate parking in DC. And just so we’re clear, I hate the Metro even more.)

How much effort am I willing to put forth to do the things I want to do?
Depends on how badly I want to do them.
Ah ha!
There’s the rub.
Too much weight on ‘not putting forth the effort’ side of the scale and ‘doing things’ side of the scale will never find balance.
In theory, well, my theory. Well, more like I sorta-kinda-had-part-of-a-thought-a-couple-days-ago…this all comes down to stepping outside of my comfort zone.

I’m completely capable of stepping outside my comfort zone, I just don’t like to.
I mean seriously, do you see how comfy it is in here? What’s out there that’s so freaking great?

Lucille feels me.

I love the idea of being adaptable. And y’all, however much of a tightly wound control freak I am, for the love of all things holy, I am adaptable.
But I’m only adaptable when I must be. I’m less inclined to adapt when it’s not absolutely necessary.
I’ve got a great big sense of adventure. I love to consider all kinds of adventures! I also am willing to go on all kinds of adventures. And I’m even willing to go on all kinds of adventures by myself.
But I have a really hard time with going on adventures by myself because I feel as though I’m not actively sharing that experience. I love to be able to talk about experiences as they’re happening. I love making special moments and memories with other people, it seems that somehow makes them stronger or reinforces them because I can experience them from more points of view.
When sharing this with my therapist, she suggested an app called meet up.
That gave me pause.

I’m over here like:

Of course, I’m teasing…mostly.
We discussed the pros and cons of meeting up with strangers to do thing we like to do. For the most part, the pros outweighed the cons. She was quick to point out how this was not the building of relationships, but just like minded folks looking to do things together. For me the biggest con is that even when I’m acting somewhat normal, I’m kind of a big spazz.
Out of context, I’m just plain weird.
(Hmmm…little bit of social anxiety there. wonder if my girls know they get it from me.)

In reality, I’m relatively confident.
I act like a fully functioning adult most days and I can interact with a wide variety of people.
It’s the idea of ‘being on display’ without any one I know and trust to deflect attention from me. It’s funny, I think we all feel like folks are watching us even though we realize nobody is watching anybody else because we’re all too busy being on our best behavior.
It occurs to me as I write this that I may be using this whole ‘I’m weird, but also normal, but kind of spazzy, but capable’ thought process as an excuse.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve really developed this attitude:

And if I look at it from that point of view I should just bust out and do whatever the hell I want and everyone else be damned.
Which brings us back to the whys and wherefores.
I’m making excuses.
Is it fear? Is it laziness?
It doesn’t matter!
With every excuse, I’m actually reducing the size of my comfort zone.
And that is just ridiculous!

There is magic in the world, but I know there is magic down deep in me.

No more boring!
I’ll stay in my comfort zone when I want to, because let’s face it, I love being comfy. But I’ll be working on making it grow, letting a little of the magic in me mix it up more with the magic out in the world.
This will be a process. One which I will journal about to really understand, but I’ll also be actively leaving my comfort zone to experience a different sort of existence. Learning to better balance my effort and desire. I remember being able to do it rather well. I just let my comfort zone shrink.

The best part about all of this is I’m aware.
I realize I’m not satisfied with the status quo.
I’m being mindful about how I feel and how I might best go about changing it.
However I end up moving forward, I can only do it by acknowledging where I am and working on where I’d like to be.

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

feeling inspired

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Inspiration sometimes comes from the most surprising places. Thing 2 shared this old photo on facebook this morning. She has been uberpositive of late and it moves me greatly!

I took a screenshot to share.
It got me thinking:
Love the you that you are!
And love the you that you were. Sure, those you(s) need work…so do the work! But always love yourself unconditionally while you do the work.
Treat yourself with kindness!
You deserve to be treated with kindness. That starts in you, be kind to yourself. How else will others know to treat you with kindness?
Share your inspiration!
Stories of ‘failures’ are just as powerful as stories of ‘success’. We all “wore Crocs” at some point in our lives. That is both a good and perhaps a not so good thing. Embrace it. Let it be a source of hope and inspiration!

And in the words of my daughter: “Just freaking worship yourselves, okay?”
You deserve it!

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

live well and longer

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I adore everything about this!
It’s all true.
It’s simple enough to do every day.
If you’re not already doing it, doing it will change your life.
If you’re already doing it, you know how wonderful it really is.

I already love without measure. That’s just who I am.
I sort of eat half…
I walk between two and three miles a day at the elementary school.
I never ever laugh enough! Must laugh more!!
So, while there’s obviously room for improvement, it looks like I’m already on my way to living well and longer!
I say, Go me!

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

the trick is knowing how to look for it

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I came across this Jac Vanek quote on Pinterest (I think? Maybe?) and I kind of dug it.
It sounds like me. It pretty much encapsulates the way I think and feel about life. We are the sum of our experiences, but I believe it’s how we choose to incorporate them into who we are that really counts.

ferris-life-moves-pretty-fast

Inspiration is all around us.
The trick is knowing how to look for it.

And remember, even Hannah Montana sang,

“Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock!”

(You may be having a pretty big WTF? moment right now. Asking yourself why I’m quoting Hannah Montana. Well, the girls were the right age to watch Disney channel shows when they were still fairly decent. The moment I began this post, this song came into my head. Just be glad I didn’t post the video.)

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accepting the new way of being

I’ve been home since September. With the exception of the wedding and Christmas, I haven’t really ‘done’ that much. I have these moments of inspiration. To paint the kitchen cabinets. To paint the bedroom. To rearrange the way we store things.
These moments of inspiration make me feel enthusiastic and purposeful!
I quite like it.
The moment I prep myself to consider tackling one of these projects I’m hit with the full realization that my brain is fighting against the rest of my body. I have the energy and the desire to step up. But every time I swing the bat, BAM! I’m hit full force with the pain I so successfully ignore while executing simple daily tasks.

I felt like I’d be at home and rest and heal and still get things done.
I’m considering forcing myself to begin a project. I’m excellent at finishing what I start. So by forcing myself to begin a project I know I’ll have to finish it. But, how will that impact the way I feel? What will that do to the healing process?
Let’s get real. I don’t really think I’m healing. I think this is just how it is. I’ve lived with pain before. I can do it again.
I’m sick and tired of waiting. Putting everything aside until I feel well.
I might not ever feel well again. Acceptance is key.
I accept that I might not “get better”. But I’m tired of putting my life on hold because of it. I’m just going to suck it up and do the things I choose to accomplish.
I will simply learn to function in this new way of being.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

loving yourself

My much loved friend in Arizona has four children, the eldest (a boy) is exactly two months younger than Thing 1 I’ve known him since he was four. The second born (a girl) chose me to be her Godmother when she was about eight years old, I’ve know her since she was two. She’s about eighteen months older than Thing 2. The third, (another girl) was born when Thing 2 was in my friend’s two year old preschool class. I taught the baby of the family, (a second boy, who is now thirteen) for two years in a row between the ages of one and three.
I love this family as though they were my own. My own children consider these children an integral part of their family life.

Earlier this week, a simple facebook conversation with the eldest boy that started as comments and replies on a photo of his parents moved me to tears.

Him: I can’t wait to see you pretty lady!!! You’re getting hitched, and I get to be a part of it. I am so honored and unbelievably excited for you 🙂 Can’t wait to meet the family!

Me: My heart is near bursting that you’ll be here! I love you!

Him: I love you too! You’ll always be a big influence in my life as to who I am and how I must be myself, love myself and be happy to go my own way. I see this in you and it is a true inspiration to where I hope to be one day.

This young man went through terrible emotional struggles his second year of college. He was deeply confused, depressed, and on the edge of hurting himself. His Dad went across the country to support and love his son. This time was sacred for them and because of this time, he was able to build up the courage to safely come out as gay.
We all could see that him saying it out loud changed everything for him. He was at peace with himself. He was as content and carefree as he’d been as a little boy. Our joy was huge. His own joy was too.
And then he met a really wonderful young man. They are such a precious couple! They compliment each other beautifully, bringing out the best in each other. I’ve not seen this boy I helped raise this healthy and peaceful since he was about ten years old.

I say all of this because I want to explain the magnitude of his words. I am truly humbled. This is a child I loved because he was one of my brood. I loved him as my own. For him to share this with me was overwhelming.
To know that my actions have made that kind of impact was so powerful!

It took me thirty-odd years to learn to “must be myself, love myself and be happy to go my own way”. To make the choice to get out of what was categorically, the least healthy situation I’d ever been in. I trusted myself for the first time in my life and loved myself enough to go my own way. It was the most difficult and scary situation I’d ever experienced. It changed nearly every relationship in my life. And I was stronger than I’d ever been.

Never did I feel like a role model. Never did I feel like a positive example. I was afraid every single day. I never stopped looking over my shoulder. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other because I knew if I didn’t the last little spark inside of me would go out.
But the spark grew into the long lost fire in my belly and fueled my independence. Fueled my confidence. Fueled my ability to love and be loved.

I love this young man ever so dearly. I wish him all the success of love and life without too much of the struggle.
To know that I’ve been inspiration to him is almost more than I can even bear.
My heart is overflowing.
We all deserve to feel this much love and gratitude.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

the magical gift of words

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February 11. 2011 6:11 pm EST
~The fire went on leaping and taunting and sucking up great turbulent currents of air that set the flames snapping like brilliant red sails in a violent wind~
John Berendt – the city of falling angels pg 11 & 12
WOW! To write like this!!

I was at the airport waiting for a flight to board. I always travel with a journal and a book. This particular trip, I was traveling with a Tiffany blue journal (natch) and a book I’d read once before. I have a very vivid memory of writing this…where I was sitting at the gate, what I was wearing, the diet Dr Pepper sweating as it sat on the arm of my seat, and the small dark-skinned woman speaking hushed profanities into her phone.
Inspiration comes from all manner of places. This night as I waited for a plane to bring me here to YBW I was inspired by this compilation of words.

Whether or not you like his writing is of no consequence to me. I adored Midnight in the Garden but I absolutely loved The City of Falling Angels. I like the way he novelizes the factual events. I liked the story of Venice from the master glass blower, Archimede Seguso, to “The Rat Man of Treviso”, Massimo Donadon. The political corruption is fascinating, of course we have our own American brand of that here at home.
Anyway, I dig the book.

I was getting a book for Thing C to borrow and passed this book on my shelf. Just seeing the spine reminded me of this moment.
It’s so random how and when something moves you. I do still love this sentence. But would it have made me write it down if I read it tonight? I don’t honestly know.
What I do know is inspiration is all around us every single moment. The more we read, the more music lyrics we hear and sing, the more we talk with people, the more chances we have to be inspired.
Words are a constant inspiration to me…to be a better writer, or at least to write more.
That’s a promise I’ve made to myself while I’m not working: healing my brain, finishing up wedding plans and writing more.

After all, as Albus Dumbledore said: Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

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