Simple…

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.

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I think, I got this…

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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’.

April 1st – 2:30am

Streetlight by J. Radin

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Opportunities circle around my mind like a tornado. Tornados destroy homes, buildings, people and everything they cross paths with, my thoughts are filled with perspective changes, the things I desire in life and the changes I want to make and am currently making.   These tornadoes give me the sense of rebuilding and lifting up my own doubts and dumping them like in the book “Atlas Shrugged”.

I wish I could slow life down. Taking a deeper harder look at what to dump in my life that causes me to doubt myself, worry, stress about, anxiety that causes painful migraines. But instead I have been listening to my gut!

I really desire relationships that fulfill me, give me a new outlook on my life, remind me of how much I have and that it takes nothing to give back and I have made this a major focus in my life. I do want someone who respects me enough to give and to take, the world goes round and one just can’t be alone all the times. Whoever I am building a relationship with; new friend, rebuilding an old one, meeting a stranger and simply be moved by their energy and outlook on life. Whether new friends or old friends I have had a chance to figure out I love being spontaneous, surprising others, I like plans but most days I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I think there is a clear distinction of someone always doing the reaching out and then someone showing up when it is convenient.  I love this excitement and I continue to discover it.  This is something I am trying to figure out, it is not something I want to dump from my life I want to keep it but I try to keep my mind from its own torturous wanderings.  The thrill of excitement…and the unknown really spark a fire deep inside me. I want to go skydiving, bungee jumping and read my writing out loud along side the person who helped me find my voice. I just started my Masters in Creative Writing.

I am changing the way I see everything in my life as an opportunity.  I am making this change and continue too.  Certain days I am very aware and sometimes when I get off track, I need about five minutes to re-center and figure out what I am actually wanting to fight for that day. I find a way to change my perspective. I believe we all need to change our perspectives to see something new or to give something back. Even when I feel I have nothing to give it is my intention give more.

On occasion my mind can take over and I constantly have to remind my heart and head to stay moving ahead – looking toward the things ahead of me. Simply to enjoy the day I am in, the moments in that day. I want to feel challenged-the things that I have been struggling through– many people have decided the quit be content with an average life but for what?? There is only this one chance we have to live this life, 5 more years with my children at home, the days are numbered until I hit the big 40.  I am not afraid.  But I do know what people I want to be around, what people I want to share my life with, the getaways I want to go on, and what to do with my moments of freedom filled with spontaneity, excitement, playtime, a calm retreat in the thick of the mossy old growth trees.

What do you love?

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye

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I love the smell of old books and seeing notes on the edges of the page and highlighted areas, words and phrases that meant something to someone else.  The crunch of fall leaves.  I love raw and honest conversations that can catch two people off guard and the intimacy that occurs in those moments.  I love hand written letters. I love being surprised, spontaneous, risky and feeling safe in someone’s arms.  I love “heat,” the crackling sounds and smells that come from a wood stove.  I love to feel challenged mentally and physically. I love to surprise others! I love blankets.  Soft thick heavy blankets and being buried underneath them.  I love getting dressed up every once in a while.  But I can’t beat my love for yoga pants, Hudson jeans, and perfectly worn out sweatshirts. I love writing. I love exploring different environments – places I have never been, farms, fields, cities, and towns. Even more I love the high old growth trees that get lost in the sky, I love how they creak when the wind blows – the rain that drips from the needles… under these trees I would love a secret hideaway. The bottom of those timbers some what primitive.  A ranch-style getaway like the one I grew up in. I love teaching. I love learning. Being inspired and inspiring others.  I love sister trips and the Martin clan trips.  I love watching my boys grow. A new love – watching them play basketball. I love that tipsy feeling where one let’s their walls down and becomes completely raw, they bare themselves naked. I love the way laughing with someone makes me feel.  I love hot showers. I love rearranging furniture. All kinds of music…different cultures.  I would love to take a year and travel with no certainty of where I might end up next.  I love laughing, laughing in an intimate situation, sometimes quietly in inappropriate situations because that is the only way I will get through. I love my family.  I love reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new ones. I love the depth of someone’s eyes. I love a good bottle of wine, lemon drops but my go to is beer. Hot tubs, walking in the rain, I love feeling loved without needing the words, I love looking through someone’s view of the world, their faith, life plan, and listening. Candlelight. Little spoons. Meeting a new person and feeling a connection in the first moments. Confidence but not arrogance. Swimming. Words. Volleyball. Cross-Fit. I love laying between the sheets. I love someone else making me coffee. I love a clean house. I love the smell of hops in August. I love taking life not to seriously – there is a time and place for all things in life but letting go and getting out of my head is indescribable. Being real.  Being who I am and having courage without worrying about what others may think. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar. I love dive bars. I love being with someone when I can watch them drift to sleep. I love truly knowing someone. I love living!!

For Austin

“I love you, I love you more, not possible, yes possible.”

For Austin:

You will officially become a teenager (13) tomorrow.  I love the young man you are becoming.

Every morning when I come to wake you, I slowly open your door and you are curled up in a ball under one blanket.  You don’t care for a top sheet or quilt and if I make your bed by morning, its balled up on the floor next to the bed.  You politely tell me, “I just need this blanket”.  Of course, you would have expensive taste – a handmade $70 blanket. You wake slowly most mornings. Weekdays I use my long hair to tickle your ears and face and you roll over ignoring me.  When you fall asleep you still rock back and forth – just as you did as an infant.  This is so funny to me – your friends will come over and are baffled as to what and why you do this.

You always have a smile and your laughter…. that genuine laughter that fills a room after practical jokes makes my heart full.  Sometimes you make yourself laugh so hard.

As you grow, I want you to learn to speak up for yourself and for what you want, it is okay to get off the road and explore what is around you, before you choose a road. At school, rather than flying through the homework and everyday tasks because they were put in front of you – I want you to begin to think deeply, if you don’t understand, ask, if you want to know why you are being taught something, ask (respectfully), and if you can fly through your schooling years as fast as you are now and each homework assignment you get (I dare you to slow down, later in life you will learn why education was/is so important to me and to your grandparents, we have all been in the trenches with classrooms of kids.  I had a few exceptional teachers and in those few they changed my life in their own way. My dad was one of these teachers (retired now), he taught music for 40 years and still every time we visit what does he do…just like kicking off his shoes at the end of the day…within moments the piano, guitar, and his voice fills the room. Do what you dream of!

Now at my age, just as I was inspired by a precious few educators, you can be too!!  As they inspire (you might not realize it but they can be inspired by you,) pay attention to why you might be learning what you are, it is not always about being the best or the first in everything. Observing and even being knocked down can teach you so much. And both will happen to you!

Small random acts of kindness might not seem important but they are and they show others who you truly are…you sharing a part of your kindness with someone can make a difference! There is always someone you know who needs help getting up, give them a boost. Pay attention and be authentic.  You only have a certain amount of moments in your life.

Open doors, pull out chairs, try as hard as possible to NOT have a sharp tongue, do not judge others because you don’t know what they might be struggling with, continue to say please and thank you, pray, if someone is upset, hand them a tissue and take the time to notice them, to listen if requested. Be gentle with others hearts, always love your family hard and deeply. The day will come where you stand in front of “your” mountain, don’t quit, it is going to be tough and maybe the toughest at whatever age it will happen…do not concede! Go up, over, through or around, ask for help but never stop.

I want you to challenge your mind as you have with the same determination you have now. These things will make a difference in others, just smiling can make a difference for someone else and FOR YOU! As you move into your teen years know that I love you.  Even if you hate me at times.  You have a strong heart, pay attention to what is going on around you and to what you feel, and don’t ever be afraid to speak up!

Austin, you work hard at everything you do, so hard. You often would rather be in the shop working or trying to fix something you found in a field, garage sale, or someone’s garbage – a weed wacker, old cell phones, an engine, swamp coolers, computers…as I clean the house I often find a trail of parts and pieces from one room to the next.  Anything from tools, screws, bolts, parts to cell phones, circuit boards, wires, electrical tape. It’s crazy! I am often frustrated with the mess and then I remind myself what better way for you to discovery, learn, and inspire. (You are not organized but your mind is unreal, you draw from others ideas and create your own in a matter of hours). You create and recycle old parts to make something new that is actually useful.  We joked for your birthday; a box full of broken stuff from Goodwill and it would be the perfect gift for you! You don’t need the gifts. The box of junk would make you thrilled and so happy because- it isn’t junk to you – it’s a treasure and sparks new ideas in you!

You are competitive in sports; you push yourself to be better.  Last night in the snow you decide you better go outside and shovel 8 inches of snow below the basketball hoop because practice starts in a few days and you need to…well, practice. It was icy, snowing, dark, and I watched you shoveling as you slipped all over the place and just when I thought you were getting no where, I heard the bouncing of your basketball!

You are officially 5”5, my height. You don’t seem to ever be sad or down but you do get quiet and when you do you always come to me without words and lean on my shoulder and in those moments I don’t need words, I ask you and you shrug, we sit together for awhile; then off you go and your chatter begins again.

You are a work in progress and believe me when I say, you can always change your perspective. Try and see the world through other’s eyes. Always be open to others no matter how you unique they are.  You will figure out why it was so important to me that people never used the word different when it came to you and your brother.  I realized “unique” was the perfect word…everyone is unique to only themselves!! You and Cole are unique!

Stay close to that brother of yours, both of you are something, amazing together, you will need each other more than you know as you get older and always, always protect each other.

Happy Birthday!! World, look out my son, Austin is 13!!

 

Always remember… “I love you, I love you more, not possible, yes possible.”

In Another Time, Another Place

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You would open up to me,

Share with me

what’s on the inside of you

 

you would take me

to those places that

you hold on too

the places where you dream

 

You would share more

give more than hour or two

even lose track of time

tell me who you are

show me without words

 

you would be silent with me

and just be there

in each other’s silences

quiet and safe

 

you would reach for me

to play and to just be

you would need me

in a way that didn’t require words

Patent Leather Red Heels

I see Fire By E.S.

fireworks-for-any-occasionOn 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…