Normal and happy! (empty nest part 2)

“Normal is an ideal. But it’s not reality. Reality is brutal, it’s beautiful, it’s every shade between black and white, and it’s magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns nothing into something.”
Tara Kelly, Harmonic Feedback


It used to be a baby in arms, toddlers clinging to my skirt, school age children’s myriad of activities, and teenagers testing their limits. It used to be that I was not only the nurturer and teacher for my many children, but the referee when squabbles and differences arose, always wanting them to be at peace with each other.

Now – all the children are adults, each with their unique personality and experience shaping who they are, what they believe, and how they live. No longer can I be the referee, forcing them to “kiss and make up” – they are grown, having been loved and nurtured, but also having had painful experiences. Normal now is just trying to keep in contact with each of them, be there for them, and understand that they are responsible for themselves and their relationships with each other.

“Normal” changes with the tides. The person I was yesterday is gone. The circumstances of yesterday are no more. Even the little daily routines I have vary from day to day.

Whatever circumstances I find myself in, I choose happiness.


“Happiness consists not of having, but of being. It is a warm glow of the heart at peace with itself.”
 ― David O. McKay

Whatever your circumstances are, whatever challenges and changes come your way, know that the place to find peace and happiness is within, not without. Moment by moment, it is easier said than done – so here are a few tips that help me keep my sanity when my thoughts start taking over my brain, and I want to forget to practice what I preach.

1. Meditate, even if it is just for a few minutes a day.

2. Observe your thoughts without judgment, and remind yourself that the past is gone and the future can’t be predicted — so that leaves the now!

3.Realize that life isn’t perfect – whatever that means. There will always be frustrations and failures.

4. If you start to feel down, or disappointed, or if you live with mental illness and life becomes overwhelming, write. Just write whatever comes, for 30 minutes or so. Then don’t read it again, that’s not what its for. Or paint, or draw or dance or wash the dishes. The feelings will pass if you don’t focus on them.

5. Validate yourself. You are beautiful, you are doing a great job, and you are worthy of love!

What do you do to maintain your own peace, happiness, and sanity?


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