Friday, December 31, 2010

Housekeeping (or not)...

I read a funny quote by Phyllis Diller, she said, “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing!” Oh, how true is this?
I wish I were a more organized person. I often feel like I am a disheveled mess! I’m not talking OCD here, just a general sense of having a place for everything and trying to put things back where they belong. I often daydream about a place where things are put away, wiped off, dusted, scrubbed, folded, vacuumed, mopped, swept, and tidy… And, (now here’s the cincher) it actually stays that way long enough to sit down and enjoy it for more than ten minutes.
Unfortunately here in the real world, that is only feasible if I am constantly “picking up”. There is never a “sit down and enjoy it” time because in order to maintain that lovely atmosphere of divine organization, the only time I’d stop “keeping” the house I’d be asleep! To tell the truth, I don’t actually mind cleaning. I take great satisfaction in a sparkling bathroom, a pristine kitchen, an uncluttered living room, or a well kept bedroom. It’s the maintenance that does me in.
I often feel like I have a choice to make, between having a clean house and spending time with my family. If we do fun stuff either here or elsewhere, the house goes to pot! If however, I stay and focus my day on cleaning and organizing, I’m spending the majority of my day shooing them away! Maybe I should wake up an hour earlier? Or spend that hour in the evening after the little ones are down for the count, dusting and scrubbing and tidying? But then pray tell, when do I find (make) time to write? Or read? Or exercise? Or spend time with my husband? Or watch Parenthood for goodness sake??!! (Love that show BTW!)
Alas, I guess I am just destined to live in clutter and chaos for the next some-teen years! (Yes, in case you are wondering, I do hear all of those tiny violins playing just for me!) It’s either that, or get rich and hire a maid! Hmmm… now there’s a thought…

Thursday, December 30, 2010


It rained here yesterday. Yes, here in the desert. I mean it really rained. All. Day. Long. It was cold and damp and dare I say, dreary.
I must say the one thing I absolutely love about living here in Arizona is the sunshine. About ninety percent of the time the sun is shining without a cloud in the sky. Once in a great while I think hmmm… I kinda miss the rain. The sound of the raindrops pelting the rooftops and treetops and trickling down drainpipes and sewer grates… The fresh smell that permeates the air after the earth has been bathed in a cleansing rain shower… And the way that the sun reemerges from behind a curtain of cloud like a (forgive the pun) star taking center stage. The way everything glistens and shimmers as the sun’s rays filter through the crystal brilliance. Yes, there is something to be said for rain, and how much more brilliant the sun appears in relation to it.
This is something I’ve thought about for a while. It makes me think of all the things in life that I dislike or wish away, and how those are the things that make my most cherished moments that much more amazing. Without the rain, the sun is only ordinary. It takes a cloudy day to remind us how bright and beautiful a clear blue sky really is.
Just a little tweak in perspective!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The In Between Moments...

I am contemplating time this morning… My youngest child, Abbie, will be three years old tomorrow. Where does the time go? On Friday night my husband and I will spend our fourteenth New Year’s Eve together!
It seems as we grow older that time truly does speed up. When we were children a year seemed like an eternity and now you blink and it’s gone! This seemingly inconceivable perception leads naturally into the notion of living in the moment. Being in this moment. Really stopping to experience where we are right now. I have been practicing this confounding concept for years, and still I feel I am light years away from the place where I am actually living this understanding.
In a reality where we plan play dates weeks in advance and schedule endless appointments, get togethers, vacations, anniversary and birthday celebrations, etc… etc… In a time where we are almost always “looking forward” to something; it becomes all too easy to miss the forest for the trees. (Or perhaps it is the trees for the forest?) To literally look forward and miss the in between moments that make up our lives. The laughter and smiles and tears. The conversations and interactions. The sunrises and sunsets. The hugs and kisses and tender, touching moments that may not warrant the fanfare of a holiday but are so much more precious.
Once again I am compelled to quote the late, great John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” This is so very true. We can make plans from now until the day we die, but the real moments that a life consists of are the in between. Don’t let your “in between” moments go unnoticed. Be here now. Cherish the little things, notice the details, the intricacies that make-up your days. Don’t wonder where the time went, spend it wisely; immerse yourself in the minutiae. Then, when all is said and done you will know that you have truly lived every moment of your life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Take a moment if you would, to IMAGINE your greatest greatness; the grandest version of yourself that your mind can conjure.  Imagine what that would look like and feel like to you. The sense of pride and accomplishment you’d have. The joy and peace you’d exude… What would be different? What would be the same? Close your eyes and BE for just a moment that ultimate version of you. Where would you be? What would you do? Imagine in the most intricate detail every aspect of this amazing ideal. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel? Immerse yourself in this little mind game until you are so overcome with the realness of the feeling that you realize this imagined person actually is you.
Imagination is the most infinitely powerful untapped resource on the planet. Look at what it has created! EVERYTHING. Every life altering invention was once only an idea in someone’s imagination; and someone had to have the power to dream it into existence. This is the power behind the age old clichés “never give up on your dreams”, and “dare to dream”, etc...  Dreams, and beliefs are incredibly powerful, they influence our reality in a way we haven’t even begun to comprehend.
Holding to a belief will literally create one’s experience. Sometimes a realm of endless possibilities is created and other times holding to a belief can limit the believer’s scope of possibility. Belief about something solidifies it and makes it what it is. If we believe that things just are the way they are and cannot be changed, that is the experience we will have. If however, we see life as a series of endless opportunities and believe in the prospect of change, the possibilities are infinite.
Imagine the world how you’d like it to be. Fill your thoughts with feelings that make you glad to be alive. Feed that energy with more and more feelings of gratitude and ideas of grandeur. Practice the art of make believe until you have brought these wondrous ideas about yourself and our world into existence. If nothing else this will give you something beautiful and amazing to ponder, and maybe even bring a smile to your face. J The mind can’t tell the difference between a real emotion and an imagined one. So imagine yourself happy, imagine yourself joyful, exuberant, lighthearted, and free!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bah Humbug???

Another Christmas has come and gone. All of the preparation, time and dollars have been spent. The children woke to find a toy filled wonderland of epic proportions. This holiday was, as usual a veritable smorgasbord of consumerism. Everybody got more than their fare share of heartfelt gifts. We all gorged ourselves on sweets and tore things open with reckless abandon!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care (okay so there is no chimney in this house, but you get the idea) and the tree was surrounded by a heaping mound of carefully selected, painstakingly wrapped, and precariously arranged presents.
I can’t help but wonder every year as the present pile grows larger and larger and the toy room overflows with battery operated abundance, if the children really need all of this hullabaloo? I must concede that I take as much delight as anyone in the way their eyes light up when they see the Santa-fied living room on Christmas morning. And that picking just the right things for my individual loved ones is undeniably satisfying.
Yet I have to tell you that the message I feel we are sending as a society is gluttonous to say the least. And I often wonder will children who are given basically all they’ve ever wanted (and then some) ever learn to truly appreciate what they have and how they came to get it? And where is our social responsibility as we fill our homes with stuff while people, children literally starve to death in other parts of the world?
The idea of a holiday being about giving is genuinely wonderful. Without getting into the religious fervor which causes so much controversy this time of year; the true spirit of the holiday seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the shopping malls and mega corporation box stores. While I do realize that there is a great deal of charity during this season, and that those who have the financial resources to give, can and often do… The fact remains that Christmas is a consumer holiday, wrought with greedy gift mongering.
Underneath all the twinkly lights and pretty ribbon clad paper there is a much greater meaning. And this time of year allots us the perfect opportunity to take a look at the messages we are sending to our children. It gives us cause to stop and contemplate the state of our planet and what we can do to improve the quality of human existence. But most important of all, it gives a reason to fill socks with candy and eat cookies!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Washing windows...

Life is full surprises. Things rarely go exactly as we expect.  When our best laid plans get derailed it’s imperative to embrace the new opportunities which arise through the dissolution of former ideas. The old adage when life closes a door it opens a window is always true though not always easily recognized. Unfortunately we often grow so awfully attached to certain outcomes that we honestly can’t let go of the door knob! Sometimes the window is only open a crack and the glass is so murky that we may not even see it as an option.
When life takes an unexpected turn, we can become stubborn and cling to our own agenda with great vehemence; often causing ourselves undue struggle and disappointment. Or, we can let go and trust that we are on a journey of discovery; that we are the pioneers of our own destinies. We can grab a rag and start cleaning off windows. We might be amazed by the infinite options which lie beneath the dingy clouds of obstinacy.
Often, life will take an unforeseen turn just to soften our steadfast beliefs and attitudes; forcing us to see things from a different perspective. Or, to help us break out of a self imposed limitation. Life is a series of possibilities. When we welcome the changing currents and allow ourselves to trust the flow of energy in our lives we will be happier and healthier, filled with a newfound excitement and lust for life.
Well, it’s something to aspire to anyway! ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Have you ever witnessed a moment so utterly, beautifully, vulnerable and honest that it simply moved you to tears? I’d like to contemplate vulnerability with you and the exquisite strength required in allowing oneself to be truly vulnerable.
I am known as an outspokenly honest person. Occasionally my honesty is unwarranted. I speak my mind and am often besought to keep my opinions to myself. I do need to remember that people don’t need to know every thought that is in my head. There is a fair amount of discretion required in relationship with others after all. Please allow me to take this moment to apologize if I have ever caused you upset by my careless (reckless) need to spew forth every thing that crosses my mind.  I suppose you could say honesty is my strong suit, discretion however? Not so much. But I do digress.
When it comes to my own vulnerability, I am not always forthcoming. I, like so many strong, independent people have an enormous pretense. We exude this colossal effort to prevent any sign of vulnerability from escaping our hardened shells. Oh how I admire those who have not become so jaded in life that they are able to express that sweet, innocent, wholly human quality we are all born with. How much countless energy is wasted putting on airs of false bravado and self- sufficiency. And for what? What causes this need to appear infallible? And how has something as flawless and awesome as vulnerability come to be seen as a negative connotation?
We have all built walls around our hearts to protect us from potential disappointments. Unfortunately it has worked too well, as it tends to prevent a great deal of wonderful things from touching us as well. We are hardened by our fear of disappointment to such an extent that we actually ridicule those who haven’t become callous; those who maintain hope and love with an open heart. We laugh at them and think them naïve. I now find that naivety endearing, and see power in that mentality that had previously been lost on me.
People need people. We need each other for emotional, physical, and spiritual support. We need each other for reasons too infinite to list. Yet so many of us will not ask for help (*finger pointing at myself here*); will not (can not) allow another, a loved one even, to see that we have needs, that we can and do feel sadness and heartbreak. That even the strongest people still need love and support. Particularly those closest to us bear the brunt of our vulnerability handicaps. We want our loved ones to give us what we need from them, but in true self defeating style we refuse to allow them to see us as emotionally destitute. It is a grave travesty we bestow upon ourselves. Let’s open our hearts to the potential we have within us.
Vulnerability is a divine quality of Love, and in the words of one of my FAVORITE people of all time…
“Love is all you need.” –John Lennon

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Courage

Those who know me well know that I write every chance I get. Whether in the form of a well constructed e-mail, a heartfelt letter, or an intimate poem… Give me a moment alone and my mind will begin to spin and my fingers itch to impart something to someone.
Unfortunately, in this wonderful, chaotic, busy life that I lead, a moment alone is all but extinct.  My writing has been sporadic at best, and is usually (regularly) interrupted. Finding a quiet time and place to collect and arrange my thoughts is nearly impossible.
A couple of people have asked me lately, why don’t I take time for myself? Just go somewhere quiet to write, or think or twiddle my thumbs? The answer is Guilt (with a capital G). Guilt over not being with my children to do everything that needs to be done. Guilt over desiring solitude. (And oh how I do desire solitude. It is my most dearly missed companion, and my most self pervading wish.) Guilt over wanting to write privately and share that intimate time with my inner most thoughts and imaginings.
Guilt is an ugly thief whose job it is to rob us of joy. Guilt and his cohort Fear are the antithesis of creation. They hold dreams stagnant and strangle the life out of them. When we allow Guilt and Fear to define our sense of self worth we will believe that we are less than deserving. When we suffer guilty pleasures we are tainting the true splendor of our spirits with senseless angst.
If therefore, I long for solitude and it causes no great harm to others that I should seek out a moment of my own; it stands to reason that for the sake of my spirit (and yours) I ought to find the strength to overcome my guilt.
This blog is a baby step. I was truly terrified by the notion. Afraid to share my ideas and thoughts… Apprehensive to even begin to write for fear that I would not have the time/space to concoct anything of real worth. However, fighting one’s true desires is a bit like trying to mop up the ocean with a dish towel; an exhausting effort that will ultimately prove futile. So it is that I concede to my inner aspiration and I take the chance to share my truth with you.
Those who know me well know this was not an easily undertaken endeavor. I’ve struggled long and hard about this and only hope that my courage will give another the strength to do something they love, and to share the beauty of their true self with others.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


When I first became a mother eleven years ago, I was completely overcome with emotion. I was terrified, and elated. Wrought with worry and inundated with joy. I savored every moment. Every smile, coo, and milestone was a treasure to be cherished. Motherhood was a bittersweet rollercoaster ride that I clung to for dear life. I, like most new parents questioned everything. Everything I thought I knew was suddenly uncertain. With this precious life dependant upon me for survival, I began to see and think very differently.
I was no longer the cynical, angry, self deprecating person I once was. I could no longer indulge in that sort of selfish thought pattern. I had no right to masochism. I was her mother. Her provider, nurturer, playmate, teacher, comforter. I was important. Essential. I could no longer chastise and despise myself. I could no more (as had long been my coping mechanism) be of the mind that, “It just doesn’t matter.” Stuff mattered now. I mattered now.
I saw in her all the beauty and tragedy of the universe. This little being embodied the greatest greatness and the deepest sorrow. The abstract idea of ever losing her brought an insufferable grief; strong, and tangible enough to provoke tears of sorrow for every person on the planet who’d ever had the privilege to love a child. To look at her at times, literally broke my heart. She epitomized innocence.
I look at my two younger daughters, growing up so quickly. No matter how much I try to capture every moment, they inevitably slip like sand through the proverbial hourglass. Sometimes I think if I could just rewind… I’d love to see, feel, live that moment again. My youngest child is soon to turn three. Her entire infanthood is now behind us. She is potty-trained and will be moving out of her crib and into her big girl bed by month’s end. This is the child who insisted that I hold her for the first two years of her life. And I did. And at times it was tediously difficult. But now… (*sigh*) Now, I must admit that there is a part of me who longs to go back and hold her (hold them all) for another two (or ten) years. To cherish even more, the closeness and necessity that only a mother can know.
My children are changing and growing up so very fast; right before my eyes. This is a reminder to myself as well as to you, that they are ours for such a short time really. In the grand scheme of life childhood is brief. Let us remember to cherish and participate in our children’s youth. For we are the ones who’ll weep for these missed moments. They teach us of the infinite beauty of life.