Clean underwear NEED not apply!

As I stand here in my kitchen I find myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion; gratitude, appreciation, and love.  Yesterday everything broke, our garbage disposal, dryer, and food processor (mid-preparations for Father’s Day!), it was frustrating, inconvenient, and financially stressful. Today is our son’s b-day, 8 years old!! We really didn’t plan anything big( not even a cake, which I feel really bad about, especially considering we have ALWAYS done something in the past, DARN MOMMY GUILT!!) and with having to replace a few big ticket items getting his b-day gift and Father’s Day gifts put us over our budget. Thus, our plans today consisted of attending our son’s field day for baseball and participating in Relay for Life. Rather uneventful. Then I started blending!

As I mentioned, our food processor broke mid-Father’s Day preparations. So I asked my neighbor if his late wife, who died from lung cancer a few years after we moved in (roughly 8 years ago), had a food processor. I even slipped when I asked. I said, “Does Emmy have a food processor?” Then I quickly corrected myself and declared, “Did, Emmy have a food processor?” I have to be honest a part of me knew he did have one, I don’t know how or why, but I knew to ask him. And sure enough, he did have one! And with our busy day I am just now getting around to blending ingredients at 8pm. So as I stand here blending nuts and dates for Father’s Day treats I find my mind wondering. The same thing happens when I iron so I gave it up. Haha! I found myself overjoyed with gratitude and appreciation.

My son’s coaches were amazing this year (and last year). I am so grateful that they volunteered their time, shared their skill, talent, and were so patient with the boys.  And, get this, they even remember that today, their last game, was Max’s b-day and they had a balloon and candy for him. Tell me that wasn’t the sweetest!! So after his game he received a trophy, ribbon, balloon with treats, AND, the cherry on his birthday sundae, Muddy & Mudonna (Our Toledo Mud Hens Mascots) showed up just in time & right next to the field he was playing on to sign his baseball cap and get a pic! PRICELESS!! I couldn’t have planned that any more perfect if I tried!!

 

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Fast forward a few hours and my daughter and I attended Rely for Life for the American Cancer Society.  Mind you there was a lot of planning that went into the event.

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Our team organizer and team mates did a fabulous job organizing everything, making our t-shirts, putting together raffle items, schedules, signs, etc. 

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My daughter and I enjoyed going around the track and seeing what everyone had in their tents, seeing all the fun things people were dressed up in, getting a pic with the University of Toledo’s Mascot….

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and most importantly, simply enjoying each other’s company (which is a true gift).   I couldn’t help become a little sad when I saw pic of ALL those loved ones who have died from cancer….the littlest really tugged at my heart strings. So, what have I learned from today? Why all the emotion? Why all the gratitude and appreciation?

Simple- I. AM. ALIVE!! My Children are ALIVE!! My son celebrated his 8th birthday today!! And I am so thankful for that! There are so many who have lost the battle to cancer. We never know what tomorrow holds. So maybe I DID wear DIRTY underwear today because my dryer is broken and maybe I didn’t bake my son that cake, but guess what, he was here & I was here! I am so thankful for today. I am so grateful for ALL the amazing people (coaches, teachers, friends, family) in my life, my community, my neighborhood!! I am so thankful for all the souls that I have had the pleasure of meeting before they left this earth. I am thankful for Emmy and her food processor. Back when her son turned 8 years old and she purchased her food processor I know she had no idea that in her 50s she would lose a battle with lung cancer. So, what is my message? LIVE!! Live BIG! Don’t masks your emotions with drugs and alcohol, live it all, good and bad!! Feel the pain. Feel the joy. FEEL it ALL!! Tomorrow is not promised. We never know when our lifetime is up. Don’t not show up because you have to wear dirty underwear! Thank those who should be thanked. Forgive those who need forgiveness, including yourself (including not baking your child a birthday cake…perhaps being together is celebration enough?). Don’t live with regret. Don’t live with grudges. Say yes to adventure!! Simply LIVE!! We owe it to all those who have been lost FAR before we would have liked to live our lives to our fullest. May we all be so blessed to live life in a state of gratitude, appreciation, and love!  (Note, this doesn’t mean perfection….and clean underwear need not always apply. Lol!)

 

Time to DITCH the SECURITY BLANKET Linus!?

Time to DITCH the SECURITY BLANKET Linus!? Sometimes we get caught up in the mundane, the routine, it becomes our comfort zone, our security blanket.  Want to truly feel alive? Ditch the SECURITY BLANKET! Do something that scares you a little today…maybe talk to a stranger in the checkout line, wear bold colors, speak up & give your honest opinion, go to that workout class, start that project, start a group, or in my case do a segment on the news…it is totally outside my comfort zone ! But once I get up there I feel amazing and afterwards I feel like I really accomplished something…I feel alive!!

This life is such a miraculous gift! Live it! Turn off that negative talk in your head & push yourself to live a little on the other side of your comfort zone. This magnet is on my refrigerator and is a great reminder to me every morning to live my life…tomorrow is not promised so don’t put anything off.

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What has always scared you a little? What is holding you back? What are you going to do today that is outside your comfort zone? Maybe it is adding a comment to this post? Go for it!!

(Just to clarify, this means outside your comfort zone not outside your moral compass.)

Tuesday’s Tip: Choose Joy

 

From a very young age my mother taught me that I have options and choices in life.  Of course there are the very obvious choices like what to wear in the morning, what book to read next, etc. But what she was referring to was how I chose to live my everyday life.  I could choose to be very cynical, I could keep “score” of other’s lives, complain and compare myself to others, etc. or I could find the joy.

I Choose Joy!

Granted my journey to Joy has not always been smooth and there have been a few bumps along the way but I think that is just part of the human process.  Every now and then I do have a moody moment and find myself caught up in cynicism.  It is in those moments that I take a step back and reflect on the situation and evaluate the issues.  I often find that the problem is fleeting and not worth surrendering my joy.  Taking down the Christmas decorations is the perfect example of a task in life where you have the option of complaining, making it a neutral task, or finding the joy.

Truth be told, I had initially planned on taking down the Christmas decorations and tree when the kiddos went to bed.  I figured it would just be easier that way and I could make certain everything was stored away properly.  I started going through a box in our dining room that contained Christmas gifts we had received and in it was a bunch of Gingerbread themed items.  My parents had given us the cutest basket full of nothing but Gingerbread men themed items like, a hot pad, tins, kitchen towels, large cookie pan in the shape of a gingerbread man, gingerbread  books, cups, plates, hot chocolate, and so much more. 

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I figured I would just pack it all away for next year.  Then it dawned on me that I, we, none of us, are guaranteed tomorrow, let alone next year.  And then I repeated the phrase I say to myself every morning after first thanking God for another day…Live today as if it is your first, last, and best day of your life!.

So, instead of making the process of taking down the Christmas tree and decoration a boring and/or tedious task I busted out the gingerbread men basket and I chose Joy!

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First we sat near the Christmas tree and had hot chocolate, chocolate cover gingerbread men, and talked about our favorite memories from Christmas 2012. I asked the kiddos to point out their favorite ornaments and I in turn pointed out mine (the ornaments the kiddos made of course, they are priceless…their little handprints, fingerprints, artistic expression, and I adore those that illustrate all three).

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Then I read two books, The Gingerbread man and Ten Gingerbread Men. We discussed the books then put on some music and started taking down the Christmas decorations.

We had successfully taken something that could have otherwise been meaningless and put some joy into it and possibly came up with a great new family tradition.  

So, no matter what it is you have to get done today. Maybe it is changing the sheets, washing the floors, etc. put on some music and try to remove the idea that it need be a chore, add a little joy. Perhaps you have papers to grade, work that you need to bring home, light an aromatic candle, make your favorite beverage and sip on it while your finish your work, and add a touch of joy.  You have options in your life. Why waste this wonderful life you have been given on cynicism….what is keep you from your Joy?  We are not promised tomorrow, why waste today?

How do you find your Joy?

 

http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/the-homeacre-hop-3.html

http://gnowfglins.com/2013/01/09/simple-lives-thursday-129/#

http://www.cornerstoneconfessions.com/search/label/linky%20parties