a new year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

as our Christmas tree lights continue to twinkle and my mind still lingers over Christmas 
and all the joy and peace it brought this year,
(oh yes, the tree is still up, people,)
my head has been swirling with thoughts, ideas, advice to offer
for the new year.
i like to give advice.  sorry, i know that's super annoying.
but i'm a know-it-all (that doesn't really know it all.)
but likes to pretend i do.:)
so hear me out.
this self-proclaimed know-it-all,
who thinks she's full of good insights,
finds herself daydreaming a lot.
you know her well, i'm sure.
a stay-at-home mom, who stands over the kitchen sink,
scrubbing her ridiculously expensive pots and pans since her 
crazy anti-cancer tirade began,
and read somewhere cooking with ANYTHING but porcelain or stainless steel,
was bad.
so here she is.  in all of her ridiculousness, but with beautiful pots, no less,
finding myself lost in thought, as every last bit of moisture is sucked out of these winter-worn hands,
as i diligently fold little cinderella undies and tee shirt after wrinkled tee shirt,
that just get tousled about anyway, so why do i bother.
but i do it because it's part of the routine, part of my being and i've NEVER been known to just throw clothes in the drawer?!
daydreaming yet again, of life.  this past year.  who am i?  where am i?  where am i supposed to be?  where am i supposed to go?
not wanting to deny all the things i feeled 'called' to in this life.
but feeling slightly panicked because, my GOD will i really be able to do it all?
fulfill all my dreams in this short life?
all while being a wife AND mom?
two of the biggest most strenuous and demanding roles you could ever fulfill?
sure, if you're like me, you're kind of. . .stuck.
you're a mom too.  a wife.  or you have a career.  bills to pay.  money is tight.
you can't drop it all to follow your dreams.
or can you?
you have a million excuses for why you're not taking the road less traveled.
why you're not making that change you've been meaning to make,
for well, 
the past ten years.
why you're not being more mindful of you?
why you're not eating better, exercising more,
taking more time for YOU?
i used to think that was selfish.
to put yourself before your family.
then i was shown otherwise.
you have to.
not all the time, but sometimes.
if you're not good to yourself,
you can't truly be the best to everyone else.
you can't.
i'm here to say, i think you can.
make those changes.
i think you can start small.
oh my gosh, YES my current dreams may seem impossible to achieve.
to be a singer, play guitar (i gave up being one of justin timberlake's back-up dancers.  that was a lost cause.)
but i love to sing.  can learn to play guitar.
i love music.  music is going all day in my house, in the car, and when i'm out of reach of any radio, 
i swear a soundtrack plays to my life, in my head.
but i can't deny that just listening, just singing in the comfort of my own mini-van,
is not enough.
i feel called to more than that.
to sing solos at a bar, in a choir.
but is that just my vivid imagination at work?
could i really play with the best of them?
or just play FOR the best of them?  my babies.  singing them lullabies and playing by a campfire for my family.  will that suffice?
i would love to teach yoga.  to bring to people the teachings and peace, the attitudes and confidence that my yoga instructors give.  i want to go to bhutan and study with monks and mediate and do yoga all day.
but is that realistic?  can i really?  not today.  or tomorrow.  or maybe this year.
but maybe someday.
in the meantime, can a weekend yoga retreat suffice?
can i just focus on improving my own practice?
i think so.
the daydreamer in me, gets caught up in things pretty quickly and easily.
which is good sometimes. 
i become inspired, influenced, and that's all i need.
to fuel the fire and propel me towards what i want.
and i usually get it.
what i'm NOT good at, is stopping.
thinking.  is this really right for me right now?  is this right, in general?
do i have to act on every whim?
that's definitely something for me to work on this new year.

overall, most of me is perfectly content doing what i'm doing,
being the mom, the wife, the house cleaner, schedule organizer, the 'magicmaker' as one of my hilarious neighbor/friends referred to us as,
the photographer who fulfills this great passion alongside these other duties,
but there's always that little voice, that part of me,
that wants to do more, give more, get outside this cozy and content little bubble more.
and maybe now's not the time.  with 3 little ones at home.  dinner's to be made.
laundry to be done.  tears to be wiped.  patience to be practiced.
i'm not the only one.
i know many of us are ignoring that strong sense of inner knowing.
knowing we're supposed to be doing something else.
being HONEST with ourselves.
"honest about what we're willing to do and change to make our dreams for a better future into a livable reality."
(pilar gerasimo said this in lifetime fitness magazine this month.  brilliant.)
it's easier for us to ignore, distract and walk around, then to face head on.
and you can only do that so long.
so are you going to wait?  
until crisis and chaos ensues and catches you off guard?
yanks you out of ignorance and blissful sleep?
i'm not.
that whole, willing to make a change, make sacrifices, take risks,
in return for a better future, a more exhilarating and joy-filled life?
sounds good to me.
where do i start?
what i see now, heading in to this new year, is that we don't have to be stagnant anymore.
we don't have to wait anymore to take care of this and this and that,
before we start living.
we haven't just welcomed in a new year,
but waved goodbye to a DECADE.
growing up, ten years seemed like. . .forever.
you couldn't see 2 YEARS in to the future, 
let alone, down to the end of your block.
as adults now, 
ten years is a blink.  nothing.
yet SO much happens in that short time.
can you reflect back on all that's happened in the past TEN years?
so much.
so, so much.
for us, marriage, 3 kids, losing brian's brother.  cancer.
of course there was more, but those are what were the most life-altering events.
the events you fear.  you anticipate.  
those moments and memories you soak up like a sponge, 
to hold with you forever,
whether embracing that warm little body you've been carrying for nine months,
or saying goodbye, too soon, to your kid brother.
you hope these things never happen to you.
but you know better now.  none of us are safe.
this is life, after all.  this is the big stuff that happens.
that rocks us to our core and attempts to toss those rose-colored glasses you were wearing,
to the curb.
but you get better at coping and moving forward.
you realize it's not these life-changing moments,
these losses, 
these heartaches that side-swipe you when you least expect it,
that define your ENTIRE life.
they add to it.  
add more meaning, more opportunity for change,
more pain, more heartache, of course.
but you always get the choice to move forward,
the best you can.
and take something more with you.
and daydreaming, to bring you to places of more peace.
a decade full of some chaos and crisis.
and we continue to survive it all.
but it is these big happenings in life, that force you to take stock,
to acknowledge,
to recognize
and change the things you've maybe been ignoring,
how far have you come?
and i don't just mean in life, aging and all, but how far have we really come in ten years,
in becoming SELF-ACTUALIZED adults?
are we still doing the same old stuff?
do we still have the same emotional issues?
are we getting worse?  better?
are we still avoiding, hiding, excusing?  
i know i am, in some areas.
there are SO many areas of my life, where the fire has already been lit and i've been hard at work to make changes.  
not so easy.
but i'm doing it because the old way wasn't working and isn't an option anymore.
but i've also learned the importance of accepting.  accepting where we're at in the moment, good or bad.
understanding that really, we all just want to be happy, free from suffering
and to live a full, peace-filled life.
even as i write now,
i'm feeling a little 'random.'  the old me, wanting to stay comfortable, ignorant.
but on my journey, well, now, i know too much.  i've learned SO much and don't think i can go back to the way i was living, the way i was thinking.
i'm all for resting, relaxing, being peace-filled, self-less and compassionate.
but there's a part of me that wants to get out there and LIVE!  be loud and crazy and obnoxious and shake people by the shoulders and say, 'WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!'
but now that i picture myself doing that, i don't think that'd go over well, 
with the people i'd like to do it too. 
that causes too much drama.  too much disappointment.
so i choose peace.  to continue to work to be compassionate, understanding (even if i don't agree,) and just listen.
when a friend asks for advice i always think i need to say something profound, something mind-blowing and inspiring because i think i know what i would do in their shoes.
because i think i have a better answer. 
it's not my business to do that anymore.  
i don't have the answers.
and as much as i'd like to change others, their life situations, make them better,
it's not my job.  
it's theirs.
are biggest job is being honest and true to ourselves.  
defending ourselves, our families, if need be,
but understanding everyone has their own journey,
as has to learn for themselves.
the rest will fall in to place.
i realize now, it's so important to have love and support and an ear to listen,
but sometimes, that's all we need.
no words.
just compassion and understanding.
my mother-in-law is the queen of doing that.
she just listens and no matter what is going on, 
makes you feel like you're not alone and that you are totally ok in thinking what you think,
but then putting it in perspective for me, without judgement.
and then a hug.
i think she was born that way.
i'll have to work at it some more.:)
clearly, i'm rambling here.
but some amazing things have been launched into my being,
that i feel i need to share somehow.
when brian reminded me that this was a start of a new decade,
i thought, 'ah!  i thought i smelled something in the air!'
felt something happening.  can't really explain it,
but have been feeling things beginning to shift.
maybe it's just me, i thought.
but i don't think it is.
i think a lot of us are tired.  
looking for change.
looking for motivation and feeling compelled to FINALLY act!
enough is enough.  with the way we've been doing things.
being dishonest, not just to others, but with ourselves.
not being true to who we are or ignoring those voices telling us what we're supposed to be doing with our life or how you could do what you're doing, even better.
not that you're supposed to act on every whim,
but enough making excuses to move forward.  do better.  live better.
anyway, that's where i'm at the beginning of this new year.
SO thankful, SO blessed for all that's been placed in our path,
but ready for more change.
more love, more peace, more excitement, better health and 
more daydreaming.
but content for where i am today.  and all that has brought me here.


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