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

Normal.

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

“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?

 

Wasting time in the morning on a day off

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

My son is getting married tomorrow.

So I took 3 days off from work to lessen my stress. I am very excited that the other six kids are going to be at the wedding.

I woke up three hours ago and have been goofing around since then with the notion that surely I can find something profound to write about. But without the pressure of time, I found myself doing the following:

1. Playing Words with Friends (currently have 4 games in progress)
2. Catching up on Facebook (can definitely waste alot of time here)
3. Trying to figure out what I can post on my Facebook page to get someone, anyone, to be interested in being a customer or rep, or just want to get the freebie about cosmetic toxins (http://www.sassysorganics.com) (yes, I’d love for you to go there and request the freebie)
4. Read this article http://www.becomingminimalist.com/better-things-than-riches/
5. Took notes on above article, thinking I could use some of the material in a meaningful blog post
6. More Facebook
7. Checked email (mostly promotions and social media notifications) Whatever happened to writing letters to people?
8. Painted my toenails pail blue to coordinate with my mother of the groom attire. Gotta do my fingernails.
9. A little more Facebook. I’m gonna try to ignore it until after the wedding. Right?
10. Wrote this.

So… I don’t really think it’s wasted time. Sometimes, down time is needed. Yesterday I had a mini meltdown, allowed myself some crying and yelling in the car, talked it out with my sweetie, who has a great shoulder to cry on. Today, I feel great, ready for the love -fest of a wedding and family reunion!

Nothing is really wasted, no mistakes are made.

Not really bad, but anytime is a good time for chocolate! I'll take the dark kind.
Not really bad, but anytime is a good time for chocolate! I’ll take the dark kind.

What do you like to “waste time” doing?

 

A poem by Hafiz

Where Dolphins Dance

Again the work starts

as soon as you open your eyes in the morning.

Hopefully you got some good rest last night.

why go into the city or the fields

without first kissing the Friend 

who always stands at your door?

It takes only a second.

Habits are human nature –

why not create some that will mint gold?

Your arms are violin bows always moving.

I have become very conscious upon

whom we all play.

thus my eyes have filled with warm

soft oceans of divine music

where jeweled dolphins dance

then leap into this world.

              –Hafiz

The view from here

I am a watcher, perched above the lake, as high as the tops of the palm trees that have survived years of battering winds, sometimes hurricane force. The expanse of sky with the lake below brings me joy every day. My window faces south, so I get to observe sunrises and sunsets. During the hot summer afternoons, I will occasionally wander down for a dip in the pool, but more often I find myself observing the changing scene below.

I see two women deep in conversation at a table by the boardwalk. Nearby, on the small bench, crowds a family of four, parents and their young boys, fishing gear scattered all around. Richard, the neighbor everyone knows, is working on his sailboard. I see him often, even during the winter sometimes, catching the wind and skimming across the surface of the lake. Here goes a young teen boy, skateboarding carelessly through the parking lot.

The pool is crowded today, the temperature being in the high 90’s. There are many babies and children, slathered with sunscreen and watched with eagle eyes, or so I hope. There is the party bunch, more middle aged, gathered in a corner with their beer and cigarettes and classic rock. And over there are the sun worshipers, girls in bikinis, and the young muscled men with tattoos nearby. I should add, since I mentioned tattoos, that it isn’t really gender specific. I have one myself.

My gaze travels over the lake. A couple of boats sail in the distance, looking very picturesque. The water is cut by the power boat zooming past, seemingly recklessly. Where are they going in such a hurry, I wonder. Occasionally I have seen kayakers and people on standing paddle boards, but that is rare. Above all, the birds fly. Always there are seagulls, and often pelicans. They find roosting places on the old pier that juts away from the pool area. On rare occasions, when the weather is just right and the fish are jumping, the pelicans  swoop and swarm frenetically all over the lake.  The pelicans are rather ugly until they spread their wings and float ever so gracefully on the currants of air.

My gaze goes skyward. The blue of the sky is reflected in the lake and the pool. Cottonball clouds drift without care. Oh to be a bird, to always be able to look at life from a higher perspective.  I lean back, close my eyes, and think about that for a while.

pelican poem