Making time

Beauty and “magic” are all around us just waiting to spark joy within our souls.

I think sometimes we are so busy rushing from task to task and day to day that we forget how amazing it was to explore as a child.

Looking for the little details in something (or someone) helps me to see the beauty in it (them). My grandparents always encouraged me to see the positives, to look for the helpers. I find their lessons have become my nature as, in the midst of tragedies, my focus is not on the chaos but on the helpers.

That mindset, of finding beauty, has followed me in many avenues of life. My walks, for example, I am continually looking – whether my eyes are to the sky or ground…seeking beauty.

I want to encourage us all to look for the beauty, even in those situations that seem endless and daunting…there is beauty there – somewhere… I truly find this act of mindfulness the best self care available to me.

Memories

As my granny had a huge part to play in raising me, living on the same farm and all, I think of her often.

Spring especially.

When I see and hear the birds coming back, the butterflies, the crocuses…she is one of the biggest reasons I have adored nature my entire life.

I enjoy these gorgeous symbols of a woman who was the epitome of bravery and strength – a woman, who at 9 years old, was tasked with raising her younger and older siblings, and care for the household after the death of her mother. Who had to quit school, at 9 years old, to do so. Who taught herself through reading, life and hard work. That, ladies and gentlemen, is strength.

This is for you, Grandma.

On self-care and hiding in the pantry

Mamas (and Dads), raising children is hard. Maybe “hard” is the wrong word. It is beautiful and rewarding and, by far, the best thing I have ever done. Maybe “complex” would be a better choice.

Perhaps it isn’t even raising children….perhaps it is simply the act of parenting. For a group of people who are just winging this and sitting at the parenting version of the prom, hiding in the corner because everyone looks better than we do, we sure cast a shit load of judgment on other parents who are just as lost and just as uncertain as we are.

Natural birth. C-section birth. Home birth. Hospital birth. Breast fed. Formula fed. Jarred baby food. Homemade baby food. Cloth diapers. Disposable diapers. Home school. Public school. Private school. Parent. Step parent. Foster parent. Adopted parent…….the list and options are endless.

In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? All kids, regardless of the choices made in parenting, are going to pick their nose on the playground and become Olympic athletes in eye rolling at your lame jokes.

So, now that I started my thoughts off on a goat trail, let me re-group.

I am a firm believer and proponent of self-care. Honestly, we don’t have time to not make time. Nothing needs to be complicated, costly or timely. Taking even 5 or 10 minutes, on a chaotic day (more when you can) just for you is a necessity. Meditate, walk, yoga, lock yourself in the bathroom or hide in your bedroom closet 🤣. Whatever you do, simply be in that moment and let your thoughts still and your breath energize and heal you.

Can we do that? For real?

Yes, we have to. For our sake. For our family’s sake. Do something for yourself where you are not thinking of next week’s meal plan, tomorrow’s grocery list, when you have to switch over the laundry, whether the dog was walked or the cat fed, if notes are signed or….well, you get the drift.

For me, any time out in nature allows me to re-focus, to still my thoughts and quiet my soul. In a pinch, any “outside” will do but, let’s be real, for myself – a farm girl stuck in the city, being outside of the city is definitely ideal.

I am a toes in the sand, barefoot in the grass, ride the horse bareback through the pasture, smell the soil and the rain on the air, wolf howling in the distance kind of gal.

Growing up, the howls of wolves and coyotes were my lullaby and that howl still has a way of sweetly lulling me into relaxation.

So, get out there! Play in the dirt. Jump in the puddles. Kick off your shoes. Hide in the pantry with the bag of cheetos….whatever! Just go do something for you. You not only deserve it, you need it.

P.S. even if you are not a parent, take care of yourself. If you don’t, who will?

We all make mistakes

I’ve made mistakes. We all have. I would love to see anyone who truly believes they have never made a bad decision, said the wrong thing or lead with reaction over wisdom.

Making mistakes doesn’t make me bad nor does it make me an evil entity; just as you, the reader, making mistakes doesn’t make you bad, evil or dangerous.

As a mom, step-mom, daughter, sister, friend….I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be. I think facades of perfection simply put too much pressure on a person – internally and externally.

The only option, for me, is to pick myself up from the dirt, dust myself off, get back on the horse and try to not get bucked off again.

Be gentle with the people in your life who make mistakes.

1. you don’t know what all they are dealing with.

2. I bet, with most certainty, they have offered you much grace for your mistakes.

3. we are all just doing the best we can on this trail called life…and this hike didn’t come with any navigational equipment. Be gentle when footings slip.

Just as Alexander Pope stated “To err is human, to forgive divine.”