A lot can happen in a year.

I love Timehop. It would be so cool to have my whole life on it. Year by year, the journey unfolds. On Jan 3, I got the notification of what I wrote about 2015, and I thought wow, where has the time gone? So much has changed in the last few months that writing has been on the bottom of my list. But, here I am now!

New Year’s Eve, 2015: I was in a cottage in the country, drinking champagne and making intentions with my partner, Robert. I said I was going to leave behind “I can’t” and make having more compassion be my main intention. I believe I have been successful with the former and hope that I am making progress on the latter.

New Year’s Eve 2016: I was home, babysitting my three-year-old granddaughter while her now single mother worked. And Robert was also at work. Making intentions was the farthest thing from my mind. After the little one finally went to sleep, I was glad to just sit and watch a movie!

Caring for a young child twice weekly so her mother can make ends meet was not something I anticipated a year ago, or ever, for that matter. But, when circumstances change, what are you gonna do? Although at times it exhausts me, I am glad that I can be there for my daughter and have a special relationship with my granddaughter.

Speaking of grandchildren, 2016 brought me two more! The announcement came in early spring – my second oldest son and his wife were expecting twins! And they arrived, two healthy boys, in mid-July, right after I quit my job. And, with that freedom, I make a weekly 120 mile round trip across Houston to spend the day with them and give their parents a bit of a break. wp-1483928846636.jpg

In other very major news, Robert and I are now engaged! After three amazing years together, “in spite of it all and because of it all” (as he and I often say), we have taken this step of commitment. He asked me on November 29, on bent knees, and I said yes. I never thought I would want to marry again, but when I thought that, I hadn’t met Robert!wp-1484019838009.png

Then in early December, I got my birthday wish! I turned 60 and my deepest desire was to have all my children together. Robert threw me a wonderful party, and all seven of them were there,along with some of their spouses and all the grandchildren. It was quite a feat! My dear sister Ellen and her husband drove down to celebrate with us, and my closest friends were there as well. It was wonderful, marvelous, unforgettable!wp-1484019648440.pngwp-1484019669518.png

Biggest plan for 2017: we are going to move house. Going to go north of Houston, away from the city and the refineries I’ve lived by all my life. Going to where the air is cleaner, but close enough to the grandkids to continue the current relationships. It’s a leap of faith in many ways, but I’m ready for this next adventure!

I am continuing to study with New World Ayurveda, and applying what I know to my life and sharing with family and friends as much as they are interested and want to know. I  will finish this course in April and take another trip up to Maine for the final intensive. Robert is in this class too, so will travel with me. With the completion of the course, I will be qualified not only as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, but I will also be a Spiritual Counselor and meditation teacher. Since I am also certified and registered as a yoga teacher, I feel a sense of pride in accumulating these credentials over the last two years.

But since the priorities of my life have shifted unexpectedly, I haven’t started a practice as I had expected. And I feel ok about it, and whatever else may change. I am blessed to be able to work part-time from home doing medical reviews right now, because there’s just too much going on right now for me to start a business!

As I was readying the little one for bed tonight, and taking some time to hold and cuddle her, I was reminded that this is what is important. Just being, and loving, not always doing.

The message I have received in my spirit – my intention, my vision for this year and beyond:

 Whatever choices I make on the path of life, as long as love reigns over all, nothing else really matters.

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Dreams

Time Marches on

March is upon us, February now another memory.

Winter is my least favorite month. Having been raised in the south, where snow is a rarity and cold weather a bother, I don’t own very many winter clothes. I think I have 5 sweaters and I only have one coat that I use on a regular basis. Two weeks ago it was up in the 70’s, then the storm that dumped snow on the north brought temps here to the 30’s again. I look forward to seeing the flowers blooming again, very soon.

My baby girl, my youngest, turned 19 in February. Young mothers, take note. Enjoy your babies and your young children, for they grow up very very fast.

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”               -author unknown

I wrote 4 blog posts in February, and posted 2 pictures.  Not as much as I had been doing, but I feel like I had a turning point in that I quit focusing on stats and writing just for the sake of writing. I journal a lot and decided to return to writing longhand for awhile, to see if it changes the flow. I read some of my journal from the past year, and what kept coming up was – “I want to” – write, paint, study, exercise, eat healthier, travel.  I’m determined to get rid of the I want to attitude, and just do it instead of putting it off.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.              – Steve Jobs

I added 3 pages to my blog – paintings, fav fotos, and my reading list. I read  A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler, the first fiction book I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I started the year with 5 titles, and now have 10 on the list. I’ve cut back on Netflix to make time for reading!

I’m on the verge of enrolling in a course of study to be an Ayurvedic practiioner. I’m 99% sure I’m going to do it. The only drawback is that I might not get to read as many books as I’ve been planning.

I painted this picture, my favorite so far.

between worlds

I have signed up for Photography 101 in March, so you will see photos here, primarily. I have ideas for blog topics, but they have been getting lost between my brain and my pen!

And I started a facebook fan page. 🙂

Goals for March:    Keep showing up!  Take pictures, read, write, paint.   Practice being nonjudgmental. Follow my heart.

Empty nest

My youngest daughter moved out today. I thought I was ready – I’ve been mothering for 35 years, and  I am tired of telling people to clean up their room and do the dishes. We’ve been anticipating this day for a long time. But as I stood in the living room early this morning, surrounded by the boxes of her belongings, reality hit and the tears flowed. She’s really leaving. But she’s just a little girl. She’s too young. Even as these thoughts bring more tears, the knowledge that she is ready, and she is strong, helped me to return to sanity.

Carol Anne is the youngest of seven. I didn’t think it would be harder when she left than it was with the others – I’ve shed tears for all of them. There were many days when my nest was so full that I felt completely overwhelmed.  Today, I do feel like a mother bird who has carefully made sure that the eggs would hatch, then faithfully provided for the babies, with their heads thrown back and mouths opened, dependent on me for food.sevenbabybirds

 I watched each baby grow and learn, occasionally venturing to the edge, flapping their wings more and more, until one by one, they flew off, wobbly at first, falling sometimes, gradually gaining confidence and strength.babybirds3

Some are a little resistant.

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Some are fierce no matter what.

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They all eventually conquer the challenge and fly free.

flying-bird

 

I am left alone, but not bereft.  Each one of my babies is forever tucked right under my heart, nurtured in that secret place inside that only a mother knows. No matter where they go, they are always with me, even the most independent of the bunch. I am satisfied that I have done something good by bringing these humans into the world, as messed up as the world can be. I strongly believe that each of them has a God-given purpose – and mine was to nurture these and let them go. I made mistakes, but I have learned not to judge myself – I did the best I could with the awareness I had at the time. They are all amazing and forgiving. My purpose as a Mother never ends.

grandma cartoon

PS. Carol called me to let me know that all is well. She is only 3 hours away, in Nacogdoches, TX to continue her music studies and follow her dreams. And I? I see a beautiful future for me, too, as I follow my own heart.