Sometimes it takes a new perspective to slap you across the face and wake you up. I don’t mean…a strong cup of coffee-type wake up, I mean…running into a brick wall at full speed ahead-wake up.
The same things happen day in and day out, there are seasons in everyone’s lives whether they are farmers, teachers, real estate agents, the list could go on and on. Everyone has a busy time and every one has a slower time. I can appreciate everyone’s busy and slow times-its about what you choose to do in those extra minutes that makes up the surprises in your life. The sparks, the twinkle you see in someone’s eye, the way someone smiles, or doing something for someone else expecting nothing in return.
Pay attention, people! We are surrounded every week by hundreds of people if you take the time to pay attention to others. Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I notice an older woman in a wheelchair putting back groceries as she added her items up with her coupons. I could see she was trying to figure out what she “wanted” and what she “needed”. My heart ached for her, I wanted to say something but I didn’t. I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed or offended by my reaching out to her. Or was it that I was projecting those feelings of mine onto her. My observation was she was was struggling.
As I continued to fill my cart with things that I needed and things that were not a necessity, I continued up and down the aisles, I passed the woman two more times. As I walked up and down the fourth aisle, I realized there was absolutely nothing in my cart that I or my family had to have in that exact moment. Maybe, the milk, the eggs but I knew none of those things were something that my family needed to survive for the next few days.
Selfishly, I walked to the checkout and started unloading my cart as I stood there waiting for my total, I saw the woman waiting three people behind me in line. Something in my gut told me to do something, it was instinctive. The guilt I was feeling walking around the store slapped me in the face. I decided, there is nothing I can do to change her life but I can at least help her pay for her groceries. I bought a gift card and asked the employee helping me to please give it to the women waiting in the line. The employee smiled and thanked me.
I left the store feeling pretty good, feeling blessed that I am able to provide for my family, and that we all can probably live on a lot less than we do. I am challenging myself to do something like this every week for someone…it doesn’t have to involve money…sometimes it’s as simple as picking up the phone and reaching out to someone you know is struggling, or stopping and smiling at someone.
It’s been awhile. Harvest is always a terribly busy time. Every year I tell myself, “I got this” and every year near the end of harvest, I am trying to keep my head just above water for me to breath and the statement “I thought, I had this” always comes rushing back. After nine years, I still feel this. I write things down every year in my own secret “diary” so to speak, of ways I think I can prepare for the next year, what I could have done different this season, and I honestly have not perfected it yet. I don’t know if I ever will but I wasn’t raised to be a quitter. There is always hope for next year and I have eight months give or take, to make a new plan.
Inevitably everyone can apply this feeling, this sense of drowning– in their lives, careers, next chapters, finances, and relationships, etc. At some point, I believe most adults have felt this way in their lives. But it is up to each of us to decide whether we will sink or float. Sometimes it can be an agonizingly long process because the decisions need to be weighed equally, both sides need to be looked at and mentally calculated with precision and the time comes when we have to un-tie the cement blocks around our ankles and kick like hell to get our heads above water.
And as the tip of our nose, lips, chin, eyes open and we gasp for that first breath…that is the moment our decision has been made (take the leap, shit or get off the pot, or whatever reference works for you) is where instinctively, we know which decision we are going with…of course, there will be an adjustment period but moving forward with our gut feelings is what we all should pay a little more attention too.
Once we take that first step, we may be knee deep in the dark unchartered waters pulling those cement blocks forward again but our heads are above water. We have chosen and in that choice we all begin to create a different and new sense of comfort.
There is an infinite amount of decisions and choices we can make in our lives, they will affect the people around us and that is always something to consider but in my last days I would hope that my decisions were unselfishly chosen, my family always felt love from me, that I never intentionally tried to hurt someone, and most of all, that I was proud of the way I lived. Lots of adventure, risk-taking, and a whole lot of lovin’.
Can I push you back inside for a few more hours? Busy places to be and give our time away? We own our troubles and different perspectives….so all of our giving and taking can uplift your mind just for doing something else for one in need. I crave more time.
I want to give you a still, even paced time to be relaxed for couple days, I always assume you are busy because I assume this could be a joke but my gut says it is set on the amazing character you have. You will call, text, etc. It is awful waiting. You have blood running deep within your personality, attraction, and curiosity. I assume with your character it the tough exterior which you only give a key to a very few in your life? I try to give you all your vices in one place whiskey, cigarettes, a breather between rounds, the heat turned up high just so you can turn it down. The scent of coffee reminds me of you no matter what the place, space, or time. Still I wonder where you are, when will long it be and if I will ever see you again.
On the eve of the new year, I woke slowly and made coffee – sat outside. Knees pulled tightly to my chest, snow under my feet. The sky was so blue, the air so crisp, I could see my breath. The spruce surrounds me, the scent tickles my nose.
Last year at this time, this is where I sat. I wrote 2016 in the snow the same number will be written again but the last digit will change to a seven.
The past year has been full of dreaming, rediscovery, writing, tears, smiles, stress, Cross Fit, energy, passion, love, children who continue to grown every second…and so much more. I could go on and on but I don’t have enough pages. I pride myself on being raw, relishing in the moments, and there are parts of the last year I am keeping just for myself, for my soul.
In May, things changed. I committed to myself that things would be different, change my life, and live in the moment. Something deep down woke my soul and I realized that I am in control of my life (and no one else is) I have to speak up for my needs and I am not going to be someone else’s idea of who I should be. I am not wrapped up in this package. Neat and tidy, every hair in place nor do I want that. (Some may call me selfish, but I am not meaning to be.)
I am not put together all the time, although I love to dress up! Love the fireplace. I love my yoga pants, Nike’s and sports bra because I know I am headed for a kick-ass workout, I love cutting trail and getting off the beaten’ path, running through the mud puddles, I love the rain, I love taking risks, I want to leave a mark when I go, leave something for my children, I am inspired by just getting away for a few nights, get unplugged from the world, blue jeans and boots are my friend and so are patent leather red heels, I crave spontaneity.
New friends have entered my life and I am so grateful for them, they have helped me along this journey. I have so much to be grateful for and to those people; I hope you know who you are – you are a part of my tribe.
Thank you to everyone who has touched my life in the last year and I hope I have given you some joy in the past year. Here’s to next year…
I woke from a terrible nights sleep with plans to hang with a friend for the day. It was the only thing that got me going this morning. Some days it’s just the coffee, other days it’s a text, and some day’s life surprises you. It’s those days that I want every day. The ones that knock you back on your heels and something spontaneous catches you off guard. I want more of those days!
As for today, plans change as they do and my plans got cancelled so I spent an hour writing, randomly cleaning, and generally, feeling pathetic. I put that on myself, I choose to behave like a toddler. Instead of wallowing in my messy hair, pjs, and old teal slippers, I called my sister who told me to put my big girl panties on and go do something. So, I made a new plan to have a me day!
Then I got another text and plans changed again. So, rather than trying to dwell on why, when, what the hell? Should I go with my new plan or the original one? I switched gears and was in the car.
I went with it! Isn’t that what life should really be about? Just going for it. Or the cliché’ “just do it”. With in an hour, I was throwing my head back in laughter and I realized I was in the beginning of one of those days that would knock me back on me heels. There is something to be said for a day of solitude and quiet contentment but sometimes you just need another person. And yesterday I spent the day with a dear friend.
I was with one of my tribe yesterday. She gets me and laughs as much as I do and has a slightly inappropriate sense of humor and nothing is off limits. Our slightly edgy attitude I am sure makes people notice us but I think it is just because we are sincerely laughing the entire time we are together. And damn, laughter is the best medicine. (I can think of one other thing better but I will keep this PG-13.)
Funny how fast your mood can change? You can feel one way and it changes in the blink of an eye by the people you surround yourself with. Life is too short for feeling miserable in the few moments we may or may not have left in our lives on this earth. Don’t hold back, try everything, and don’t let someone else’s shit drag you down. And lately, I am trying to teach myself to stop thinking so much and stop asking why, who, what, where, and when. (Insert: I have always been an over-thinker and recently, I have been encouraged to get out of my own head!! This is powerful once you start but I have fallen off the wagon a few times.)
We started our day with an impromptu photo-shoot for me at a vineyard and I drug my friend along. Followed by some wine bottling, yes, I said wine bottling. (A first for both of us.) My wrists are killing me but I am willingly going back tomorrow for more. We bottle and capped a few hundred bottles and I was spurted about five times in the face with wine, I did have white on early today but quickly changed. Damn, was I lucky. So, I didn’t actually get to taste the wine but did as it ran down my face to my lips as I sprayed myself. (Insert: very inappropriate thought.) After a quick taste of the aged dessert wine we were off to return a few bras, get school supplies, see a movie…and in no particular order.
We talked over each other, listened to music so loud we were slightly yelling at each other, trying to figure out what to do next, and started about seven different conversations.
As we landed ourselves in Victoria’s Secret it was a great laugh to watch all the men/boys walking around a few steps behind each of their ladies…embarrassed as if they didn’t want to show that they really wanted their ladies to buy the inappropriate lacey undergarments while their ladies were only picking up the granny panties. It was awesome, we were there for an hour and I did not see a single man/boy touch a single pair of panties. (Insert: these guys are going to tear the lingerie off their woman’s body later, so why not touch it now? Baffling!) I was interested in looking at bras, panties, and sexy silk and lace things which were in one corner of the store.
Giggling to myself as I got a thong stuck on a few hangers which I could not figure out how I did and my awful attempt to untangle them with one hand, coffee and purse in my other, I shoved the shitty mess back in the rack and escaped from a lady coming toward me in her black outfit and pink measuring tape over her shoulder. (What is it about the sales women wanting to confirm your bra size? If you know what size shirt, jeans, and shoes you wear…no one ever asks you to confirm that shit…if I am shopping for a bra and panties, I don’t need that confirmed either…. especially by a woman who continuously calls everyone in the dressing room “kitten” …. yes, “kitten”! WTF! Someone needs to teach her a new word! (Side note: I have hated the word “panties” my entire life and am so proud that I now have typed it repeatedly but it will never fall from these lips! Small victories, right!) After the kitten lady gave us a loud talk about women’s bodies being soft and men loving it, after all we gave them babies…I was sincerely puzzled by her anorexia skinny body and her passion behind what she was trying to convince us of and that my friend kept trying to quiet me from laughing after the kitten lady could not figure out our issues with side boob.
Needless to say, I knocked some planners, yes, school planners from the store into the trash can and curiously tried to picture the mother who would buy a lingerie brand planner for their young daughter?? With the swipe of my credit card from the grouchiest sales girl in the store, I wanted to go get “kitten” lady to give some of her spice to “Heather”. She reeked of bad attitude and should not be allowed at any check-out counter dealing with people.
Next stop, theatre. We bought tickets to see Bad Moms which some may think, how cliché’. But all moms should watch this movie! We always go to the same theatre where you can eat, drink, and watch all in one place…that is NOT our own home!! We got there early and laughter proceeded as always and she was trying to shut me up as she laughed just as loud. The theatre was not empty and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. So, our laughter broke the silence up a bit. We ordered our cocktails and food and the lights dimmed. It was in that moment my kids decided to start calling me and texting me. (I promised I would always answer.) It is strange to me that they always want me when I am gone when they could walk 100 yards to the shop and ask their dad. I wasn’t going to start being a “bad mom” in that moment so I answered the phone and my one son had made an entire plan about having dinner with grandma and spending the night…and the only thing I could do where I was as the movie had started was say, “call your dad!”
The movie was perfect, I have felt all the things as a mom that were portrayed in that movie and if all of you moms out there can’t admit to feeling to at least one of those things, I just don’t believe you! It must have been senior day…because the people in the theater were either so old they don’t remember what it was like to have kids, never had kids, were on a date, or too young to simple understand the concept of being a parent! However, we were our own pair of mom’s laughing through the entire movie because it was all relative and things that we have felt and totally exaggerated!! Again, more laughter for the day!!
I came home to an empty house filled with solitude after my two drinks…something kicked in…the writer in me. I had half away made it down the hall turned the shower on half undressed and well, put my clothes back on and turned the water off. In that moment, in the quiet…I grabbed my computer and I couldn’t stop writing.
Sitting alone in my house, I wrote and laughed, wrote and laughed. Yes, out loud. So, although my day didn’t go the way I planned it would, I did figure out how to just be in the moment the entire day (I did something new bottled wine), relished in the sound of laughter, and rounded off the day doing what I am most passionate about – writing.
There are times I second guess myself out of fear, being let down or someone else letting me down. Why is this? Am I truly just trying to make others happy or should I focus more on own happiness and make that be number one. So many people say you have to make yourself be happy first but isn’t that a load gun… ready to fire, type statement for all of us?
I feel I have to be the best mom possible to my children and I do put my own happiness aside because I am their mom. I figure it will all come back around when they graduate. I don’t know if this is right or wrong but part of me says I have to keep working on me…in five years what will be left of me if I don’t start focusing on me now. My children will be very busy in athletics, socially, and trying as hard as they can in school, just to complete high school and leave home.
I already feel my kids pulling away. It’s no longer cool to hold hands with me or put their arm around me when they are near their friends. It seems they want me less and less and Dad more and more. I wish I had a road map to being the best mom, the right mom, and give them exactly what they need when they need it. But the other side of me says, I would be doing them a grave dis-service because they are at the point where I need to let them figure somethings out on their own. (But not too much.)
I may be terribly judged for making this statement…but heaven for bid, I say something that most parents already think. Parents need parent time and it needs to be a priority. Moms and Dads both need time away from their children. Not because, you will both be running away from the kids screaming, “I can’t do this any more,” but because when you are in the full swing of parenting, people get tired, they focus only on the kids, and forget about the relationship and no one should neglect their partner for so long that one of them just starts to feel numb.
Romance, Intimacy, Sex, Conversations about things other than the kids, Foreplay, time without children, cannot be forgotten.
Everyone needs to get away. We need to take a break from the daily chores that start, stop, and repeat that life requires us to do, to be successful productive individuals in this world.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to escape or getaway. Although, I do not like leaving my family and I miss them so much when I am gone, I think everyone needs to get off the beating path of monotony of every day life. My family is always tucked close to my heart, thinking of them in the time that I am away and quite often thoughts of them consume conversations when I am not with them.
As I have gotten older, my kids have gotten older and so much of them are a part of my conversations everyday that I wonder what I used to talk about before I had kids. It’s this all consuming love and fulfillment everyday that it’s impossible to think about what my life would be like without them in it.
So, when I get the opportunity to check out for a few hours, a day, two days…it’s actually hard for me to make the decision to leave but it fills a place in me that is full of wonderment and laughter about the world in the the time that I am away. I think it is the change of scenery that refreshes and in a way, reboots us all that is important.
There are times when situations are put in our path and it is up to you to pay attention to them or not. As individuals we have the opportunity to make choices daily. We decide whether to go left or right, forward or backwards, or pick door one or door two. It’s as simple as saying yes or no but it is never that simple, is it? I think most people tend to over think things and sometimes I am one of these people. However, I am trying something different lately.
I think many people live in the realm of actions cause reactions and choices have consequences so we get so wrapped up in what if this or what if that… that we don’t ever just go with living in the moment. Living in the moment comes more naturally to some people and not so much to others.
I crave more spontaneity in life but often I find myself trying to make a plan or a list of tasks to accomplish things. I am a planner by nature but am realizing lately that I don’t always need a plan. I would like to think I am always prepared but that doesn’t really jive with living in the moment. Why is this? Does life really require a schedule? In my mind, I am trained to create this schedule but when it comes to relishing in the moments, life won’t end without a schedule. It would in fact bring more spontaneity into my life and this is what I crave. I want to try new things and test my own limits. So, I am going to stick to this way of thinking for awhile and see what happens.
Last week my sister called and asked me if I had plans for this weekend. Normally, we are both booked weeks in advance. But not this weekend. Her spontaneous suggestion of getting away to McMenamins for a few nights and getting a few more stamps in our passports was a brilliant idea. So, I decided to jump at the chance and booked our room that day. I always need sister time, heck, I would live next door to her if I could. She is one of my favorite people in this whole world. The laughter, honesty, and trust we have is limitless.
This new leaf I have turned over is to live in the moment and get out of my head, so to speak. Spend less time worrying and more time living. More time with experiences and less time planning them. I will keep you posted on this works out for me.
We travelled many trips before but this one we took by storm because of the heat we were told we would encounter as summer drew closer in Arizona.
I left Portland and she left Seattle joining forces in the Phoenix airport. Beyond the excitement of just being in this new state together and the enjoyment of embarking on another sister trip we simply couldn’t contain ourselves. We were interrupting each other and laughing as we wandered to the rental car counter and bounced about like young girls with pigtails in a make-believe world. Neither of us could get a word in edge wise. We filled out paperwork and as always argued about who would pay.
Our rolling suitcases trailed behind and we were off to find our car. This car was claimed to be an upgrade but from what I do not know. Not any bigger than a smurf’s turd, our tan car was squeaky clean and we rolled off to take on this state.
One of the best things about our trips is that we are open to anything that comes our way. There is always adventure, some fear (for me, anyway), a little ass kickin’ of both of ours, a challenge, laughter, outdoors, staying up late, and the most amazing conversations that makes me relish in the moment…exist in that one second and breathe deep to not miss a thing. I know everyone has their favorite person, and she is mine!! (Listen up! I am not slighting my husband in anyway, he is “my” person. But it is distinctly different than a sister.)
I am behind the wheel and getting myself situated in a car that has no power what so ever and feels like I am driving a steel tank from the 80’s we circle around the inside loop of the airport. She is looking at a map, the airport signs to get on the freeway, and digging in her purse for chap stick. We are still enthralled in conversation and laughter as we continue in the largest round about in the world.
She is searching for music and honestly, I think she noticed first that we were passing the rental car exit from the airport again. Not only did we exit there with our rental car but we had now finished a complete circle, she laughed that glorious, addicting laugh while looking slightly irritated. I had no option to change directions or stop on the side of the road.
If you have been to the Phoenix airport, you know what it is like to leave that airport or at least, now you know how hard it was for me to ‘try” and leave that airport for the first time. There is no way of knowing if I could leave it again without making the same mistake.
She instructs me to pay attention and get my shit together as she dumps the map because we still haven’t left the terminal gate. I begin to circle over my first tracks and am determined not to circle the entire airport again. I wait for my sister to tell me something.
It’s four lanes wide…what the hell lane was I supposed to be in?? We continue to find the situation hilarious and know we are going to be late getting to where we were supposed to be. She shouts, “exit there” and in our gutless smurf turd, I floor it and shoot across the other three lanes of traffic to an actual exit from the airport. What the hell? It took us over 30 minutes to get the hell out of there!
My sister is back on map duty and the city scape starts to disappear, it’s dry, hot, and the freeway stretches behind us and in front of us for miles. My blood pressure drops now that we have actually left the airport and we start chatting in a calm manner, excitement fills the car, and what are plans are for the week; while miles and miles pass. Maybe eight songs run through the radio in their entirety and we wonder how close we are to our destination.
We start to actually pay attention to the freeway signs and wonder what town is next. Map reading, her head is down and I report, “we are 38 miles to Tucson.” She looks at me puzzled, in an empty stare and says, “wait, what? Isn’t that the wrong direction?” In my stammer, I look at her laughing and make the statement, “I don’t know?” Annoyed, she looks back at me, “what the fuck?” She looks up from the map and declares, “we have to turn around,” which is hysterical to me and frustrating to her. I figured it was as good a time as any to ask her, how far out of the way did we actually travel??
Again, we exit and turn the car around to get headed in the opposite direction. If you ask me whether we were headed north, south, east or west…I deny, deny, deny…because, I simple have no sense of direction. Easier put, I wonder if it is a birth defect I was born with?
As we head the opposite direction from Tucson back the way we came, I question will we actually get to where we are going. I look to my older sister for guidance and she was less than enthused. She said, “Phoenix, we are supposed to be in Phoenix.”