We are always teaching kindness to the Jr’s and as parents we never really know quite how we’re doing. This topic is always in the forefront of my mind, like it was here at the parade and here where they are so tender We can teach and teach until we are out of ways to teach then we must wait. Wait for the day when we start to see if we did something right or if we failed miserably.
Today we got a little glimpse….
A conversation between the Jrs and another little boy (whom i’ve changed his name to retell this story):
“You like President Business?” the little boy asked the Jrs who were were Lego movie t-shirts.
“oh ya, we like President Business.” the Jrs said in unison.
“Cool so do I. What’s your name?”
The boys quickly stated their names and then asked him what his was.
“Jackson. I don’t really like my name though.”
Jr fired back saying, “Oh, well I think that’s a cool name.”
No the boys aren’t winning any prizes or medals for this tiny gesture, but as a mom it was a proud moment. There was no one around, in fact they didn’t even know I was listening. I can only hope that they continue to make small gestures like this to everyone they meet. Spreading kindness and lifting others up. In this world, that’s a big deal.
Two years into this journey and I’m starting to forget all the goodbyes. Not the people themselves, but the goodbyes. There are some goodbyes that weigh on the soul more than others but they all leave their imprint.
In two short weeks we get to say Goodbye to our fellow Ranger family we’ve grown to know and love. I felt like I knew them before we even met them. We had lived in the same house they lived in at Lake Chelan, we had brought things with us to the new house that they had left behind at their old house. The enormous garden in Lake Chelan that I tried to tame, they had started. It’s like i’ve known this woman forever, yet its been less than a year. Parts of us are torn from the same cloth. We have the same struggles. But most importantly neither of us are good with the small talk. We dove straight into the hard stuff right off the bat. Which was both a relief and comforting.
Not only are we saying goodbye to friends but a dear Grandmother passed away this week back in the midwest. Such an amazing woman who made me feel so welcome and a part of the family right off the bat. The strange thing was that I knew her before. I worked with a woman at my first waistressing job down in Florida while attending college. I’ve never met anyones Doppelganger until her. They were exactly the same and to this day it makes me smile. Unable to make it back for the funeral we’re really having to find out how to deal with these things when they come up. My mind is still blank and fuzzy but hopefully someday I might have something to say on the matter of saying goodbye when you’re so far away. Right now, it’s just empty.
I’ve always hung on very closely to the quote “People come into your life for a Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime”. My lifetime list of people is incredibly short, my Seasons list is a handful, but my Reasons list goes on for days.
Goodbyes are never easy but that doesn’t mean they have to be incredibly hard or sad. Maybe I’m understanding the Buddhist more than I thought I was and their “The Root of suffering is attachment” theory. Nothing is ours in this lifetime. These people we become attached to are not ours. So rejoicing with them on their new adventure is what I choose to do rather than be consumed with sadness that they are leaving.
The first Ranger Wife who took me under her wing displayed so many characteristics I hope to grow into someday. She was filled with compassion and love and she let her guard down and people into her heart and home. Countless times. Then inevitably they’d move on and she would celebrate with them and cheer them forward. I’m sure she was sad, but she showed love and joy instead.
It’d be easier to close off. To stop letting herself get close to people because chances are they will only be around for a season. Literally. She was obviously in my life for a reason. A very big reason. To be open, and inviting. To see the world on a smaller scale and know that we’re all in this together and just because we don’t speak and may never see each other again means very little. Because we touched each others lives and made an imprint on our hearts.
When you imprint on a heart is doesn’t wash away with the next tide. It doesn’t fade over time in the sun. It doesn’t wilt in the heat. It’s forever.
My heart will never be too full, it will always have room for one more. And one more after that.
So I know most of you won’t read this until wednesday, but because of the time change, daylight savings, the stars and the moon, and the fact that I just became aware of this Transparent Tuesday deal; I’m writing and posting tonight anyways. So just pretend it’s yesterday if you’re reading today. Confused? Me too. Let’s get to the point…
Social Media…the beloved, horrible, can’t live with or without it. It’s almost not an option any more. But how well you use it is. Us bloggers may be the worst at posting the awesome amazing wonderful parts of our lives. We crop out the less than ideal parts of the photos. We kick the dirty underwear out of the frame before we snap the photo. We lean a little bit to the right to get the sunlight to hit the right spot. We post pictures of our accomplishments and brags.
Know that it is real life…all of it. It is just not ALL of the real.
Of course I have the Real Reel here that I post on, with more of the raw details and struggles we go through. Social media is different though. It is such an amplifier of our highlights in our life. What I have an issue with is that then in turn we compare our behind the scene life to all these other Highlight Reels and it makes us feel so bad about ourselves and discouraged.
Rachel went and got a manicure, for half price, a free frozen yogurt. AND her boyfriend proposed. Talk about winning!
Bobby just beat the world record for most kills in Call of Duty while changing the oil in his car.
Gloria is at the gym again. Working on her 6 pack and perfectly sculpted toosh. While I sit here eating another block of peanut butter fudge. Might as well eat that last brownie while i’m at it.
Sara organized the closets, waxed the kitchen floors, vacuumed the cars, and even cleaned under the couch cushions. All while her 5 children sang songs and spoke quietly and lovingly to each other ALL DAY LONG. Under the couch cushions is considered no-mans-land in our house. What goes in, never comes out. Ever.
Don’t forget the Fosters. They have their toes in the sand and drinks in their hand on their epic beach vacation, hanging out in their private, over-water bungalow, with a glass floor, unlimited sunshine, and golden tans. I’ll just sit here under this lamp, on my couch, while it rains.
Truth is, that’s all life! And it’s all wonderful! I love seeing peoples cheers and accomplishments. It’s just a little stake in the heart when you know Sara has this freshly cleaned out car and you have to quickly stuff the jackets, boots, and dirty dishes back into the car that fell out when you opened the door.
Don’t compare your Behind-The-Scene to everyone else’s Highlight Reel.
So, as long as I remember (being honest here, i’m a forgetful one). I’m going to help balance out this lopsided angle that social media plays on our life. It might be on facebook, or Instagram, or I’ll throw a quick blog post up. But we have many imperfections, and it’s ok to highlight them. I know i’m not alone in the messy kitchen, over piled laundry, holes in my socks. Yes, my big toe is starting to peek out of my sock currently. I have a pile of used tissue right next me because I’ve finally caught the winter cold thats been going around. AND my kitchen is a mess because I don’t feel like cleaning in for the 3rd time today.
My hope is for others out there who feel discouraged, who feel like they are failing and not meeting the standard of life. I want you to feel that you ARE doing enough. That no ones life is picture perfect like social medias try to portray. To know that just outside the frame of that 100% organic, homemade, made from scratch everything is a sink full of dirty dishes, a counter that needs scrubbed, and probably a child or two screeching in the background. You aren’t alone in your everyday to day struggles.
If you feel like jumping in feel free to! Post them to our facebook page or tag #TransparentTuesdays on instagram…if you’re brave enough 🙂
And no, I am not the creator of this hashtag. Another wonderful mommy blogger over at www.realfoodwithkids.com came up with this. She’s doing amazing things over there, I’d go peruse her site if you have time. Or you could head back to facebook and stare at more Highlights. The choice is yours of course 😉
A fresh start. A blank page. A new chapter. The new year brings in so much hope and motivation to make changes within myself. Then just a few weeks later I’m beating myself up because I didn’t stick with all these good intentions and goals that I set for myself.
I think it a bit extreme that right after the time of year we are so thankful and giving is met with such critisizm and judgment…of ourselves. Setting resolutions about every negative thing about us. We look at ourselves with hatred and disdain and then create these resolutions to help fix what is wrong within ourselves.
So I’m not doing it this year. I’m boycotting New Year resolutions for 2015 and beyond. Why? They don’t work and honestly I’d rather look at myself with love then look at all the things I feel need fixing. Thinking back there has never been a single resolution that I set for myself that I actually stuck with all year long. So why would I keep setting myself up to fail!
I’m not saying setting goals is a bad thing. In fact, i LOVE goals! I just think January 1st is a silly motivation factor for setting goals.
Get in shape…lose weight…save money…read more…meditate…eat healthy…give up junk food…travel…Why do I have to wait until January 1st to try and do these things?
I no longer believe in New Years Resolutions. I believe in daily resolutions.
10 Alternatives to New Years Resolutions:
1. Do Nothing.
Instead of frantically trying to figure out what to change about yourself this coming year…Do nothing. For just 10 minutes. Be still and certainly don’t set any New Year’s resolutions. In those 10 minutes you will have given yourself more then you will if you set some goal that chances are will fail at.
2. Create Guiding Words
Choose a couple of words to focus on for the entire year. Write them on the mirror, in a journal, on the kitchen sink. Just write them somewhere you look everyday. Choose words that encourages how you want to feel and be. Words like: Love, passion, faith, courage, confident, sexy, grace, humility, creative, romantic, determined, calm…
3. Bucket List
Create a list of less then 5 things you want to do. This is not things like lose weight, or eat more vegetables. This is things like Help a neighbor with a project, skydive, go on a road trip etc… Make them DO-ABLE!
4. Rememberlutions Jar
Make a jar now that you can fill with memories, accomplishments, and gratitude over the course of the next 12 months. When something wonderful happens that makes you smile or if there is something that happens that you want to remember, write it down and stick it in the jar. It can be things so small as a stranger smiled at you to bigger things like ran your first marathon.
5. Set intentions instead
Goals tend to focus on fixing what is wrong. Intentions focus on ways we want to live.
6. Create a more and less list
This is really teetering on resolutions, so just be careful when doing this one. Write a list of things you want more of: alone time, date nights, hikes, reading. Then write a list of things you want less of: sugar, stress, Facebook.
7. A Gratitude a day
Grab a notebook and everyday simply write down just ONE thing that happened that day that you are grateful for. Please don’t wait until January 1st to start this one. Start it right now. This one simple change will have such an effect on the life your living.
8. Create 1 habit
It takes just 30 days to create a habit. By choosing 1 thing and sticking with is every single day for 30 days will create a habit.
9. Choose self love
Instead of trying to fix what is wrong with ourselves, let’s just choose love instead. Instead of creating goals around what needs to change within us. Create a list of things that are awesome and amazing about ourselves and work towards making these traits shine through.
If you absolutely HAVE to set a new years resolution, set this one. Forgive ONE person for ONE thing that they’ve done. Even if that one person is yourself. It may not be the simplest resolution, but it could be the most important one you ever set.
Happy New Day To you!
Nothing is more fatal than living a life of complacency. We all deal with it, we all run into it. The key is to not become devoured by being complacent.
Taking the leap to follow a dream is challenging.
Doing the necessary work to make the dream possible is tough.
But keeping those feelings you first had when reaching towards your dream is the hardest part.
I find myself wrapped up in so many day-to-day things. I start to just coast through the days. Nothing bad, nothing good. Just coasting. I wake up each morning sleepily reaching for the coffee mugs. I get dressed in the same clothes I’ve worn 1,000 times before. Then I start the mundane tasks: dishes, laundry, going to work, doing school, scrolling through social media feeds. It’s a routine, a safe routine. One that I can do without putting much thought into.
Then it happens…I head to the grocery store. Normally nothing noteworthy happens while heading to the grocery store. But for me, there is every single time. Why? Because I’ve made the choice to have it be noteworthy. I’ve made it a trigger in my life. Now to be fair our trip to the grocery store involves a few windy coastal roads, a view of the ocean, and crossing a river on a four mile long bridge. But I refuse to become complacent in that drive. It’s those views that I am enamored by each and every time. I let myself become awed by the waves, by the huge vessels that are rocked to sleep in the water, by the grey hills rolling in the misty background. Some days it’s foggy and grey. Other days its bright and blue. But no matter what it is incredible.
What I really want is to wake with each day excited to start the day. Where I look into my closet and see only colors that suit me. Where the time I spend doing chores doesn’t matter because I’m being present in those moments. Where driving down the road amazes me. There are so many times where I am complacent and I don’t treasure those moments. But in making an effort to not become complacent keeps the awe in life alive.
We are getting close to the two-year mark of when we started this journey. It has flown by, yet this life is so natural I feel I’ve been living it forever. After two years i am not ready to be complacent. I’m not ready to view the trees that tower above us as normal. I’m not ready to view the ocean, rivers, and Puget Sound as just water. It’s all too magnificent to be just trees & water.
6 Tips to Keep from Becoming Complacent and to Keep the Dream Alive.
1. Find awe in the small things.
Take time to look at life as if you’ve never seen it before. Make yourself take a moment and remember what you used to find amazing, to remember those feelings you had in the beginning. Then to go out and view those things again with a fresh point of view.
2. Create triggers.
Find things that spark something inside of you. Then find a moment, a place, an item that becomes a trigger for that spark. Have triggers around that force you to feel those feelings of awe, excitement, and joy every time you do or see them.
3. Take Time to remember.
Life is busy i know. Start realizing when you’re appreciating life and revel in that moment. Even if just for a second. Do you remember how it felt when you first followed your dream and there was that “We actually did it” moment? Feel that feeling again.
4. Do something that brings the awe and make it part of your routine.
For us it is the outdoors. Whether it is a walk or drive on the beach. A hike through some magical forest. Driving up some forest service road. Or just going to look at the waves crashing in the ocean. Those moments always snap us out of complacency. Always. So we make a point to do those things and do them often.
5. Stop making excuses. Better yet, stop complaining
Attitude is everything. We’ve all heard it, we all know it. You’ve followed a dream for a reason. If you have to complain about life, maybe you’ve followed the wrong dream. Nothing feeds a miserable life more than negativity.
6. Realize it’s not the dream that makes you happy.
It’s you. Sometimes we think “If I only had this….then i’d be happy”. “If i had more…..then i’d be happy”. Truth is if that’s the attitude we have, we will never be happy. If you can make your dreams come true you can absolutely do what it takes to be happy.
I have spoken to many people who have made drastic changes in their lives, and hitting the moment where life is just life again is common. Your new life because just life. For me it hit at the one year mark. I remember mourning the fact that our dream life was now just life. Sounds a bit silly, but it happens. Then you realize you can now start concentrating on being present in life. You aren’t spending your time wishing and longing for things, you’re living them. Now you can no put your energy into loving the life you have.
Of all the possible avenues of life there are to live for, complacency should be viewed as the switch that killed the will to build.
The charm oozes out of the pacific northwest more then any other place I’ve ever been to. The seasons change by the hour, islands pop up out of the waters and are yours for the discovering. The rains sing sweet songs whenever you’re listening. Sasquatch peers behind the trees. The colors are plucked directly from the rainbow.
One room cabins built from the wood harvested off of the properties they sit upon. Hand cut, carved and placed with effort and love. Decades later they are the escape of the city dwellers and peace seekers. Places to have solidarity, to burn logs in the wood burning stoves that were placed years before. A place to sip hot coffee that’s been ground from beans while sitting on the front porch while being sheltered from the constant drizzle.
That is currently where I sit. Under a small, hand built roof, sheltered from the drizzle with a cup of coffee whose steam rises into the air. A few rain drops of course finding their way under and landing themselves upon my boots. This is what its all about. This is the Pacific Northwest to me. Trees and ferns so thick you can see but a few yards into the forest. Having to cross over onto an island to get to where your cabin sits. Grey skys, melodies of rain drops hitting the roofs, leafs, and trees. Spiderwebs knitted across the leafs catching the rain drops as they fall.
The Juniors of course are up in the tree house in some magical world. Coming to tell me of their great adventures every few minutes. Truthfully I think the only reason they come over is to pluck a handful of blue huckleberries off the bush beside me. I don’t blame them, they are perfectly ripe.
Somewhere beyond the thick trees, the green ferns, the grey skys and the clouds I know mount Rainer is standing boldly on the horizon. We caught of glimpse of him yesterday. There is something about the magnitude of him that will take your breath away each and every time. Pictures do no justice to this magnificent beast.
The Puget sound lends its waters to everyone. Whether its fishing, crabbing, digging for clams or oysters, finding starfish, and sand dollars. Walking its shores, boating its waters. The Puget is a place that can calm the roughest of moods and lift the darkest of spirits.
Many people curse the grey days, they wish them away. Here in the northwest we revel in them. We pull on our rubber boots, we sip coffee outdoors in our hoodies. And to be quite honest…we never carry an umbrella. We feel the rain on our face, we let it sprinkle our glasses, and drip off our hair. Without these days this place wouldn’t be so alive. Without the rain or the grey the ferns wouldn’t be so vibrantly green and the blue days so incredibly sacred.
The coast is incredible and alive, but the Puget sound is home.
Let the Children Play.
Kids are not bread to be be in a box.
Let them play.
Children are made to run and hide. Sing and dance. Yell and fight.
Keeping them in the lock box of your sight doesn’t keep them safe.
Children are meant to get dirty.
Rolling in the dirt, stomping in the mud, dashing through the brush.
Leaves in their hair, snow in their eyelashes, dirt between their toes.
Children are meant to run.
Backsides planted in chairs for hours a day dims the spirit.
Feeling the wind rush past them as they dart here and there.
Children are meant to imagine.
To live in make-believe worlds.
Ones adorned with magic portals and abilities to fly.
Where trees turn to towers and puddles turn to oceans inside their wonderful minds.
Places where they forgo their given names and take on pseudo names such as Superman, Huckelberry, Wild, and Brian.
Children are meant to learn.
Playing does not stunt learning, it supports it.
For it is in play that they learn the most.
They learn negotiating, problem solving, empathy, and creativity.
They learn that life is fun and that they have the ability to be who they want to be.
Children are meant to be bored.
Out of boredom comes ideas and plans.
Mischief is sure to follow.
Finding their way to and from from predicaments they wind up in is just another way to learn.
Children are meant to Play.
Their souls long for it. Their bodies where made for it. Their hearts seek it.
Let the children play.