This time of year makes me so nostalgic. Summer turns into fall, school starts, and it’s the time of year when you find yourself letting go of your baby. Depending on your age and your situation in life, the circumstances will vary, but you will find yourself having to let go of the most important thing in your life and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first, your third, or your tenth child; it feels the same way each and every time.Continue reading “Letting Go”
What is it, exactly, about moms that generates all the love, flowers, cards and hugs that happen on Mother’s Day? It’s not just about a day on the calendar; it’s about the one holiday, aside from Christmas, that’s respected and honored for what it’s all about and nobody dares to debate it.
While everybody’s experiences are different, there’s little doubt that a mother or a mother figure is a primary influence in a person’s life, regardless of what that experience is. There are expectations of what a mother should be and then there’s reality.
The expectation is that a mother is perfect; she is exactly what we all need. She is fierce and protects us and she is soft and sweet and nurtures us. She knows what’s good for us and somehow makes everything better. She also makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.
The reality is that most of us moms spend our lives not knowing what we’re doing and praying for the best. We’re not trained in being a mother, there aren’t classes telling us what to do or how to do it. It’s something that each one of us must figure out for ourselves. I can say for certain that it’s the hardest job that I’ve ever had in my life and, yes, it IS a job. On top of any other job and the million responsibilities that we all have, we are responsible for a living, breathing, human life and ensuring that they are safe and happy for the next 18 years (forever). It’s hard and there’s no break. It’s a 24-hour, 7-day a week job.
We fail sometimes. We’re not perfect but we try, and we keep trying. We might not get everything right; in fact, we might get a lot wrong, but the one thing we want you to know is that we tried to the best of our ability to be everything that you needed. A mother loves her child with every fiber of her being for the entirety of her life. This is what Mother’s Day is about!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you celebrating today! Enjoy your day; you deserve it!
Be forgiving of yourself and others. We’re all just doing the best that we can and that’s good enough for now.
I think all of us feel like we should review our lives at New Year’s. What have we done, accomplished, or learned from this past year? It’s always a good time to reevaluate where we are and where we want to be.
What have I learned this past year? I had a lot to choose from. This year, out of all my many years on this earth, I’ve seen more turmoil than I’ve ever seen or experienced before! I don’t recall ever having been exposed to so much news and disruption, so much anger and bigotry and pain, yet also so much hope and support and shared empathy. It’s no wonder we’re all left feeling a bit shaken, if not completely overwhelmed. This year has been a lot!
From the pandemic to protests and politics, we’ve had our hands full dealing with circumstances that we’ve never experienced before. All of these things have put us into a situation that made us reevaluate what we believe and how we choose to react. It has sometimes made us question our choices and beliefs and it’s definitely made us uncomfortable. It’s a perfect time to take a look at ourselves.
Times like this require a different set of skills to adapt to life. On a normal basis, we tend to rely on habits that we create to make our lives easier. We don’t normally have to think as much or make as many decisions as we’ve had to do over this past year. It’s hard work having to be “on” constantly and thinking about new things several times a day every day. It’s not how our brains are set up to work and it’s exhausting.
Whether you’re a student, parent, or teacher adapting to remote learning or an employee that had to learn to work from home or you have to go in to work every day while staying as safe as possible, each of us has had something to adapt to. It doesn’t even matter if you’re used to staying home, HAVING to stay home is something entirely different. I can’t even imagine the stress, the pain, and the emotional toll that it takes to have had a loved one become ill or worse. The amazing people that have had to treat the hundreds of thousands of people that have become sick are truly amazing but I can’t imagine the toll that this has taken on them. There has been more anxiety, stress and pain than anybody should have had to experience over this past year.
While we’ve all had different levels of change, different levels of stress, and different effects on our health and well-being, we’ve ALL been impacted. I feel like if there is any time to be kind to ourselves, it’s now. In looking at my own expectations of this past year, I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t have the opportunity to accomplish several (most) of the things I had intended to do. However, I’m still here, alive and well, ready to greet the new year. A lot of us are not that fortunate. I’ve learned to be especially grateful for things that I’ve taken for granted previously. If nothing else, I’ve learned to be more patient, more forgiving, and more tolerant, even of myself. I think that’s definitely a plus for me personally. At this particular time, I’m pretty content with that.
I think the overriding message this New Year should be acceptance. There’s no guidebook on how to survive what we’re living through. All of us have our own set of circumstances and ways of coping, so the answers will be different for each of us. What we can control is how we react to each other and how we treat each other. Acceptance and tolerance is a lot better than anger and hatred. We should also accept our own limitations this year. We may not have accomplished everything we planned to, but maybe we gained a lot more than we would have in a different time. We can value our relationships with each other a lot more; we can feel more compassion for others and show it with our actions. We can support each other through these turbulent times and be there to listen to and understand each other. We’re all just trying to get through it right now. There’s no precedent for what we’re experiencing, so do what you can to support yourself and those close to you. Reach out to friends and family members if you need help. Reach out to see if you can help them with anything. Be forgiving of yourself and others. We’re all just doing the best that we can and that’s good enough for now.
As for 2021, I think we all deserve a break. I’m wishing you and the people you love a very Happy New Year!
I feel like this is the summer that never happened. Once the ‘Rona hit, our choices became severely limited. I know that I, at least, thought it would last for a couple months, maybe three tops. It’s been more months than I care to count. It seems like it was just the 4th of July and all of a sudden, more than a month has passed. Here it is mid-August and we’re not much better off than we were. Now’s the time when I would typically review what I’ve done so far this summer versus what I wanted to do and make a plan to finish off my list.Continue reading “This Summer”
These days, there are so many things in our world that are being disputed. This isn’t a bad thing. Everything SHOULD be up for debate; it’s how we change our world. It’s long-standing practice to question our culture, our laws, and the state of our world. It’s how positive change is made. It’s not always easy and it’s not always pleasant or even peaceful. This practice of evaluation, discussion, disagreement, and action is as old as our country and it’s how we got where we are.
As citizens, it’s not only our right to question what’s happening around us, but it’s our duty as citizens to ensure that our voice is counted and that our democracy continues to grow and flourish. This means that voices should not be quieted, peaceful protests should always be allowed to happen, and every single citizen has a right to an opinion and to express it.
Our current climate of government is unlike any other in our lifetime. It seems as if every norm over the past decades has been turned upside down. The things that we’ve taken for granted such as democracy, fairness, and open communication have disappeared. We’re in a situation unlike anything in the history of our own government. Many flags have been raised; many experts in past and current administrations have grave concerns regarding the direction that our country is headed. Many individuals have strong opposing opinions and believe that the direction that we’re heading is long overdue and the right way to achieve success in our country.
Disregarding opinions on the many matters under discussion, the fundamental right to disagree is still valued in our country. In fact, it’s what we should do to ensure vigorous debate and a healthy outcome. Our voices should be heard and peaceful protests are a way to accomplish that. Other ways to express our opinions can include getting involved in campaigns, joining committees for causes that you believe in, and even just having conversations with others. Most of all, though, we can vote.
Your vote represents your beliefs, your ideals, and your position on all kinds of issues. November is coming up fast. Look at not just the presidential race, but all offices, including those in your own community. Do your homework and look at the issues and the candidates’ views on those issues. What are the things most important to you? What are their stated positions and what is their past voting history? Make your voice heard! Do your part to make this great country of ours become what you want it to be!
Thank you for the sacrifices that you made, and continue to make, to keep us safe. We appreciate each and every one of you.