Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do You Believe In Magic?

There is magic to be found in our own front yard...
Are we still young enough to find it?
   I was tagged by another blogger--always fun to learn things about people! But, for the sake of brevity, I will link to a previous post in which I listed seven things people might not know about me. In reality, there are hundreds of things that people don't know about me. See...I am an enigma!  A puzzle to be pieced together. A mystery to be unravelled.  A riddle to be solved. And a virtual paradox of feelings and ideas! Ha, bet you are glad you are not married to me huh?
Quote of the Day: "Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand."
--Henry David Thoreau writer/philosopher

Thursday, January 22, 2009

If You Give A Mom A Moment...

This post was inspired by a blog that I came across by the same name.  It, I am sure, was inspired by the series of books by Laura Numeroff.  So, just for fun...
If you give a mom a moment, she'll want to take a bubble bath. 
She'll get her favorite book, candles and smelly stuff and head to the bathroom.  
She'll probably notice the soap scum and icky hairs in the bottom of the tub, so she'll want to clean it.  
When she gets the cleaner out of the linen closet, she'll notice the blankets and sheets that the kids used to make a tent in the living room all crammed in the closet getting wrinkled.  
The wrinkles will remind her that her husband's dress shirts need ironed (and that she forgot her SPF 30 face cream this morning).
When she tests the iron to see if it is hot she will burn her finger and go to the freezer for some ice.  
On her way to the freezer she will see the dirty dishes in the sink and ask one of the kids to help.  
The kid will tell her that he/she does not have time to do the dishes because he/she has to be to scouts/ballet/soccer practice/driver's ed. in ten minutes. 
Trying to relax while the teenager drives so he/she can get enough hours behind the wheel to pass driver's ed. will make her wish she hadn't skipped yoga this morning.
When she gets back home and starts the dishes the roasting pan will remind her that it is time to get dinner ready. 
Defrosting the chicken will make her think of the peacock costume that the little one needs for the kindergarten program. 
Kindergarten will make her think of learning how to read and she will want to get the book that she borrowed from the library three weeks ago but hasn't even started yet.  
And chances are if she ever finds the book she'll want to read it in the tub--soap scum, icky hairs and all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At Least I Am Not Being Chased by a Lion

I had the privilege of attending a series of religious lectures last weekend.  I am feeling inspired and uplifted and would like to share.  One of the talks was on gratitude.  Now, I realize that this topic is a far cry from new, and in recent years, has all but been talked to death!  Its surge in popularity, however, should not diminish its significance. The speaker relayed a story, that both amused and aroused thought. As a missionary in an African country, he asked a young man that he was teaching to offer prayer.  In the prayer the young man expressed that he was grateful that they were not being chased by lions. At first the missionary thought, "What!? That is crazy!" But as he related the story to us, he said he realized then, and now, that someone on this planet is likely being chased by a lion, and he is indeed grateful, every day, that it is NOT him!
Like any of us, I have trials. Some that are easier to overcome than others. Some may be lifelong battles or burdens, but I do believe it is partly in gratitude that we find peace in times of adversity. The speaker encouraged us to write down (I know cliche, but it works!) 100 things that we are grateful for. That sounds daunting, but it breaks down like this:
10 things each in these 10 fun-filled, thought-provoking, gratitudinous categories...
-Living people
-People who have died
-Physical abilities
-Things in nature
-Things you are grateful for today
-Places on earth
-Modern inventions
-Gospel principles
The topic and motto for this lecture was, "I can do hard things!"  I know full well that it is in stretching ourselves that we grow.  It is in overcoming adversities that we are strengthened, but sometimes I tell ya, I think there is no way in heck I can do THIS hard thing, and please just let me sit here and be average, undistinguished, unexceptional and blissfully mediocre!  But deep down I know that God wants more than that for me.  He wants each of us to reach our full potential and often that takes time in the proverbial refiners fire. Dang it anyway! Maybe if I just hang out with exceptional people--do you think that will work?  Ya, me neither. So, for today, I will continue to strive to be better, and be grateful that at least I am not being chased by a lion.
Quote of the Day: "It is never too late to be who you might have been."
--Russell Best TV producer

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Infinity...and Beyond

There are no mistakes in this universe. I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. We cross paths with people sometimes only briefly, but if we are really paying attention, there are lessons to be learned from every encounter with another person, even if only a smile. We are all sharing the human experience on this planet at this time, and that is no accident. Sometimes a smile is the only exchange. Sometimes we become lifelong friends. Why we more deeply connect with some people and not others is a mystery. We have likely all had instances when we have felt a deep connection with someone instantly--that feeling that we have somehow always known each other. There are the friends we never lose touch with. Those with whom we part ways periodically, but keep coming back to. Others that we encounter and never see again, but who have indelibly left a mark on our hearts. Some we laugh with, cry with, and never have a misstep in the relationship. Spouse, child, parent, sibling, neighbor, teacher, student, partner, stranger. Being grateful for that someone whom you know is always in your corner, always has your back and will always accept your apology. The friend who pushes you to be your best even when you are content wallowing in mediocrity. The person who tells you that you are remarkable even when you cannot see it, or when you know you have not acted like it. The ones we admire, love, cherish. Thanks to all of you who are that to me.
Quote of the Day: "When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills."--Chinese Proverb

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seven Things that I am Lovin' Today

#1 I hate that things rarely get put away, but I love the constant stream of music that seems to permeate the house...2 guitars, 1 flute, 1 french horn, 1 piano, 3 ipods, multiple stereos, 1 new harmonica and a tambourine!
#2The other constant in our house is art.  I am loving the two bulletin boards that Hunky Hubby hung for me to keep track of the continuous flood of new creations I enjoy displaying.
#3 I really like this quote from the new version of the movie Yours, Mine & Ours: "Homes are for free expression, not for good impression."  I think I am going to stencil that above the boards when I get a chance!
#4 I am love, love, loving this cabinet that we got over Christmas to 
hold the always-growing hoard of sheet music we posses.  It is not actually old, but it is made of reclaimed wood, so I like that.  Waste not, want not!
#5 I am liking and contemplating the idea that I exist only in me. Meaning, I am not hungry.  I feel hungry sometimes, but it is not me.  I am not sad, mad, frustrated, scared or tired.  I may feel those things at times, but I do not exist in them.
#6 I love this drawing that E-boy did of our family.  Click to see it a bit bigger.  Dad thought his pic was rather boring, so E is working on a new, more exciting version of "climbing Dad" instead of "work Dad". He certainly captured everyones essence in the drawing.  It is obvious what he thinks of his big sister!
#7 I really love this great quote from one of my yoga teachers,"Live authentically enough that you can say, 'I did my best'."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

UPDog: And Bend, And Reach...

So, after yoga class today, I asked if anyone had any big plans for the new year.  Several responses prompted thought, but one is making its way into blogdom today. Kay said that this year she is going to work on balance and flexibility.  Now, I know full well that she was speaking of her "on the mat" practice, but indulge me, yet again, I would like to extend that to our everyday lives. Sometime last year I put up a post about balance in our lives. Balancing Act drew rave reviews. The critics gave it 3 thumbs up, and audiences went wild. I am a legend in my own mind...
That being hyperbolized, I will focus the remainder of this entry on flexibility.  I am not one to get overly excited about change.  I don't trust it, I rarely accept it, and I certainly do not condone it. That's right, you heard me! I simply want plain old ordinary stability.  I want the dishes where they have always been (even if it is inconvenient I would rather live with it than have it be different), and I will wear my favorite pajamas until they are see-through and Hunky Hubby rips them from my hands and hides them in his rag pile in the garage!  Is this sounding like an anti-flexibility rant to you?  Ya, well there is something to be said for learning from others' mistakes.  Earlier today a friend was having trouble with all the complicated features on her new CD player.  She said, "I would rather have the old one back, it had lots of problems, but at least I knew how to deal with them!"  A chick after my own heart. I want to be the girl who just goes with the flow, rolls with the punches, and like Mary Richards is willing to pack everything I own into a '69 mustang and head to Minneapolis in pursuit of my dreams!  Ya, not gonna happen. I like spontaneity, but only as long as it is well planned. Anybody but me wondering when the flexibility tutorial is coming?  That is just it!  I am not particularly flexible. I thought I could sit and write a moving commentary about the ebb and flow of our existence, punctuated with inspirational anecdotes from my own life, but I just don't have many.  I do remember the first time I ever went Bodyboarding.  My friend told me that if you cannot catch the wave that is coming up behind you, you have to just drop under water and let the wave carry you back to the beach.  If you try to fight the wave, it will win. Eventually I missed one, and I those few moments under the water, rolling end over end along the bottom of the ocean were terrifying.  But, at that moment, I was not in control and I had to let go and let nature take its course, or suffer the consequences of trying to fight it.  Such is life.  We often dwell on the things that could have been.  Perhaps things are not what we had planned.  But for now, it simply is. Does that mean we do not try to better ourselves or our circumstances? Of course not.  But sometimes our our failure to accept what already is, keeps things and us from changing, growing & improving. If we tighten a muscle while we are trying to stretch it, we limit the amount of improvement we can make in our flexibility. It is in releasing the tension that we make the greatest progress.  I practice this with my body, I guess I just need to make that mind/body/spirit/life connection.  Jump in with both feet.  Throw my hat in the air. Dance in the street. And--even though the old ones were just fine, and the shirt covered the hole in the rather unmentionable spot, and they probably only have a tiny bit of grease from the rag pile, and could still be worn for a few more months--I am wearing the new pajamas...
Quote of the day:"Take care of the present, and the future will take care of itself."
--Ramana Maharshi yoga master