Thursday, October 27, 2011

Roots and Wings.............

It has been said "the best gift a mother can ever give her children are roots and wings"!  The first time I read that many years ago, when my boys were younger, it hit me pretty hard. My first thought was "Yes! that's what I will do" which spun into... "Wow I've got a bigger job on my hands than I thought" which quickly lead to "where do I begin"?

Fast forward to now as my boys are 14 and 18, the very proof/truth of that profound statement of "roots & wings" warms my heart with sweet gentle reminders. An example that comes to mind was last month, I was in my September cleaning mode. With kids back to school I was tackling closets to organize and "pass along" unwanted clothes, games, you name it. I'm into simplifying and keeping the house free of clutter. Really a difficult task when I'm the only one in the house that has THAT particular vision....but that's another post for another time.

Anyway, I stacked a pile of games to give away. I'm talking "Don't Break the Ice"  "Connect Four" you get the idea....young games. Well, this pile of castaways was met with a resistance that truly made me smile, when my oldest son came home and protested in a playful banter. He confronted me with the question "don't you remember how much fun we have on family game night"? Well, heck yeah I remember and bless your heart son that you do too. I thought it was sweet, so I put a few of the games back and the remainder in a bag to give away. The next morning, I hear noise and commotion downstairs. My husband comes back into our room and announces our younger son was on stilts in the closet returning another game to the top shelf.

Clearly an indication that game night held a special spot in his heart as well.  I should have figured as much, since one afternoon not that long ago he had brought around a contract that he had written, looking for a signature from each family member. Signing our name bound us to meeting in the living room that evening for some "family time". This was to include games, snacks and making music!   He had been feeling the strain of our schedules taking us in different directions (think our being cranky with each other was a good clue) and he was looking to reconnect us. That right there is "roots" to me!

As I see it now,the initial pressure/questioning I had felt when they were younger, to instill roots, slipped away, as my husband and I parented from our hearts.... it was all happening naturally. Our boys now value family, time spent together and happily, what we each bring to the table.  There are still cranky times but as I think about it now, while I'm writing this, those cranky times frequently come when they are spreading their wings!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Thread in My Quilt of Life.........

So I've come to realize as I get older and let's throw in there wiser because that eases the age part just a bit......... that quite frequently "I think too much". Now I understand what my dear husband means when he says "give your mind a rest" and let's not forget "no wonder you are so tired at the end of the day, your mind has been whirling non-stop".  My automatic response is "that's just how I am"! (my response to be read in a not so friendly voice because his comment didn't feel like a compliment, even though he said it from a very caring place)

It was a personal aha moment for me when I read the line "we cannot control all of our thoughts, but we can control how we process those thoughts". These powerful words come from the very enlightening book "The 21-day consciousness cleanse" by Debbie Ford.

I am now aware of the active role I play in my thought process. Or more specifically processing of my thoughts! Being aware of the impact makes all the difference for me. There is such personal strength in knowing that thoughts create feelings and it's oh so important to be an active participant.

Now when a thought comes to mind that feels a tad troublesome or anxious driven, I put it into a category that works for me....Is this a realistic thought? (quite honestly I don't really think a bird will fly in my car if I have the window open a bit while driving ..right??) Does it need addressing right now? (the old boots and sneakers that have been in the basement hall for 8 years already can probably wait a bit longer)

The reward for me is so very sweet. Since I have adopted this awareness within myself and incorporate it in my journey of self exploration, there is a sense of calm that is with me more than not. Now, I'm not saying this is my 24/7 approach to life, because that in itself would be way too tiring. However, it is an awareness I have adopted, part of the older and wiser me .........a thread in my quilt of Life!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make a Difference ...Make Them Feel !

In my quest to participate in a positive way of living, one thing I do is look to quotes for inspiration and encouragement. A favorite site of mine, which emails daily quotes is 
A particular quote that has made a difference in my life is by Maya Angelou. 

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 Actually the more I think about it, when I first read this quote years ago, I felt as if it captured how I was living........ kind of who I am! Someone who wants to make others feel good. I'm sure through deep analysis the reasons behind it could be unearthed, but for me, for now, I know it feels good to make people feel good!

 It is pretty much a knee jerk reaction for me to want to put others at ease, brighten their day or ideally (a tag line I came up with and have big ideas for) Make a Difference...... Make Them Feel!

 I feel small gestures can have such large impact
1. Smile, say hello and make eye contact when you pass someone in the market.....yes they will look that tad confused as if they are suppose to know you. Remember, it is ok to say hello to a person you don't know.....figuring no kids are reading this and I don't have to go into a stranger danger lesson.

2. Acknowledge coworkers with a smile and a genuine caring hello. Must say it does help set the tone, because let me tell you a "barely hello" without even a look up ...ouch!

3. Say a kind word. Share a positive thought or feeling when someone else brings it out in you. Recently, I expressed to a co worker that I really appreciated their effort in taking the time to explain something to me. Yes, I got the puzzled, then pleased look and then a genuine "your welcome".

4. Thank You goes a long way. I have the sincere pleasure of working with the public, which includes interacting with children. Each time a child Thanks me as they leave, I quickly reply "Thanks for Thanking me". It causes them and their parents to do a double take and we all giggle. I started this silly response when my boys were very young.  I wanted to encourage them to say Thank You and see how their kind words could make others feel good.

 See where I'm going with this .......the more we extend a positive gesture, the more it will spread to others and the more it will surround us.....or so I believe!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Remembering to breath

  As simple as it may sound, breathing is something only of recent, I have made a dedicated effort to do. Perhaps it is the "lack of" breathing that has been so enlightening. More on that later.......

 I remind myself at this moment to take a breath as I embark on the blogging world! It is something I have thought about for months, but never had the time to look into. OK I found the whole idea intimidating, overwhelming and yes the self imposed pressure (common thread for me) I was creating resulted in my not MAKING the time to learn more about blogging.

 This past week I decided to "jump in without my floaties". This will be a work in progress. My mind is whirling with thoughts and ideas of things I would like to write about. I'm thinking Mommy tips, school /parent involvement, acts of kindness, "glass is half full" way of living. I/It will develop as I go. There will be stumbling blocks and mistakes along the way I'm sure (hopefully not too embarrassing)....but I'm ready to learn from my mistakes.

 With our two teenage sons becoming more independent all the time, my role as Mom is being redefined (pang... that's not easy) It is a rebirth of sorts for me, of my interests and how I choose to spend some of my time.....and that's where the confusion & possibilities come in..... and ....breath!