Wednesday, January 25, 2012

get outta my own way...

sometimes i think about my life; namely about the things that upset me, the things that stress me out or make me anxious...and i'm honestly ashamed.  how do i get so wrapped up in stupid things that i can't see past myself to be of any good for anyone?  in her book "eat, pray, love", elizabeth gilbert wrote:

"happiness is the consequence of personal effort.  you fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.  you have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings."
"clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way.  you cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else.  only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people."

i've gotta get the hell out of my own way!  i mean, seriously.  i waste a ton of time on stupid crap.  i worry mercilessly on things that either i can't change or won't actually do anything about - so, why bother?  i stress out over nothing, let others have way too much control over my emotions, and take myself (and everyone else) too seriously.  i need to chill out!  but, for someone like me...someone who actually uses the word "intense" to describe myself (probably not a compliment to most people) do i do that?  how do i just relax and let 

my goal right now is to figure this take a step back from myself and focus on others while also finding my drive, my motivation.  is it possible?  well, one can hope.  i have this looming sense that life is passing me by, that i'm wasting so much - time mostly, but with that comes the fear that i'm missing something, missing out on something.  is there supposed to be more?  sure i wonder "what if?" about different things...mostly what if i'd stayed at MU and followed my heart and actually persued journalism...that's really the only regret i have and at this point i can't change it so i just wonder if there isn't another avenue for me that i haven't found yet, you know? 

i love my life!  i am blessed beyond what i could ever deserve.  i try very hard to see the little things in life and take time to not only enjoy them, but to be thankful for them.  i don't think i take too much for granted, yet i don't try very hard to do better so i think that kind of cancels out the not taking too much for granted part.  ugh.  if you could see me right now, you would see me rolling my eyes and shaking my head because to actually type these thoughts and read them makes them sound even worse than they seem in the safe confines of my head.

at church i heard that we should change our "what if's?" into "oh well's" stop wondering what could have been or how it could be different or what more could i have done and simply think "oh well...i tried.  i did what i could and i had this experience, no matter how it ended."  again with the shaking head.  it's really good in good i actually wrote it down so i wouldn't forget it, but the "fixer" in me has a really hard time letting go so i'm not sure if i can actually put this into practice...but i would like to try.  stop seeing each experience that ended differently than i would have liked as a failure, but rather as just what it was - an experience, something that brought me to where i am today...made me stronger, taught me more about myself, and gave me better understanding of life.  it's worth a shot.


Monday, January 23, 2012


does life just happen?  or are we on some predetermined path?  or maybe a combination of the two?  or do we find ourselves on some sort of "road" and with each choice, each decision, we come to a fork in the road with each direction leading to a different "destination" us the feeling that we have the ultimate choice, but in all reality both directions are already laid out before us it is just up to us to choose where we will end up?  honestly, i don't have the answer.  i am a spiritual person.  i believe strongly in God and in His divine presence within my life.  but, i often wonder how or why things, how do we just end up with the life we have?  we were born in a specific place, into a very specific family, with certain traits and talents...we each come with strengths and weaknesses, abilities and disabilities, gifts, opportunities, and all too often; really harsh realities that push us behind others from the very beginning.  why does this happen?  why is one person born into a wealthy family, destined for greatness from birth, given great health, an amazing appearance, and even a flawless personality...while others are born seemingly into a constant struggle...into a life of grief and despair where their only prayer is to make it through one more day?

i believe in a lot of gray area...that few things are black and white....that it just isn't that simple.  i think everything happens for some (and, yes, sometimes absolutely crappy at the time) reason...that we meet the people we're meant to meet when we're supposed to meet them...that we each serve some purpose in each other's lives...that few things are coincidence...that serendipity (a fortunate accident) is very real and often a gift in and of itself...i believe in truly seeing someone for who they are rather than who we'd like them to be...and then accepting them as such...i believe in miracles...and moments of absolute honesty...i believe in giving your best, even when you just don't have it in you to do so...and i believe in the healing power of love...raw, honest, open, full, complete comes in many forms and so often we are afraid of it, but it's there anyway if we just open ourselves up to it.

i'm sure you're wondering where i'm going with all of this...truthfully, i don't know.  there have been lots of things that have happened the past couple weeks; many i've wanted to write about but just haven't found the words...i think what i've taken from these events, what really matters when it's all said and done, is that it's the people who matter...the relationships we build...the friends we share our lives with...not the amount of money we have, or the type of home we live in, or the label on our's the acceptance of those we surround ourselves with and the love we give them that matters the most.  i am blessed with amazing friends and a family who may make me crazy from time to time, but who will always love me and will always be my place of refuge.  none are perfect, but each contribute to making me whole and i hope that in some way i do the same for them.  so, i guess i just wonder how i got so lucky?  how did i land this life, with these people?  and, then, how do i not waste what i do have...not take any of it for granted, but rather; find ways to give back and use every bit of potential this little life of mine holds?  

Friday, January 6, 2012


in the rush of the week, days have passed by without me even posting about morgan's birthday.  funny.  i can post about my niece and nephew's birthdays, but can't seem to find the time...or, honestly, the words to post about the birth of my own child.  perhaps it's because it's too personal.  or because we were apart for two weeks, then she came home literally the day before her birthday and we crammed christmas, her "big day", and the readjustment to school/normal life into a 24-hour time frame.  a combination of the two is most likely to blame.  anyway, here it is...a few days later and i'm still not sure what to say.  i tried to start this post before and erased it because it wasn't what i wanted it to be.  i toyed with the idea of a "dear eight year old morgan" theme then stepped away from that.  i listed off memories and words that, to me, are everything about her...still i hit the delete button.  truth is...there is just no way to sum up what this child means to me...what her birthday means to with each year i'm reminded of that very cold and icy early morning when my life was changed upon seeing her little face for the first time.

i was asked repeatedly if having her gone on christmas was hard...and my answer was always the same...nowhere near as hard as if she were gone on her birthday.  i can miss holidays, but not her birthday.  that day means more to me than any other.  on that day i was given my greatest gift, my biggest challenge, my toughest task, and my best reward.  i don't deserve her, and i know she is only "mine" for a brief amount of time, an instant really.  i still shake my head when i think of her as eight.  i'm not entirely certain how we got here.  yes, i know, eight is what comes after seven which came after six which came after...but, really, how have eight years passed already?  i often wonder if i'm everything she needs me to be.  if i'm up for the challenge?  if God truly knew what He was doing when He shared her with me?  i still find myself looking for the big binder, the instruction manual, the cliffs notes that will give me all the answers...give me the tools i need to be the best i can be for her and to handle everything that life throws at us.  but, there is no book, no cheat sheet...there's just me...and an incredible little girl who trusts me with everything she has.  often i find myself questioning my decisions and praying beyond measure that i don't screw her up.

morgan are everything i dreamed of and more than i could have imagined.  watching you grow up brings me more joy than you will ever know.  you are funny and smart, ornery and sweet, curious and inquisitive, persistent and spirited.  you are determined and long to please those you love.  you want people to accept you and hate when i don't understand you.  at eight you already are embarrassed by me, yet are rarely far from my grasp.  you still want to cuddle on the couch and love to be close no matter where we are.  you have a huge heart and compassion for others.  you tell me often that you want to be a vet and your love for animals is unquestioned.  ice skating and dancing are your two favorite things.  you seem to find yourself on the ice and when i asked how you just know how to move like you do you simply say, "i feel it, mommy".  it doesn't get any better than that.  second grade has been good to you.  you have another incredible teacher and i am thankful that the transition to your new school seemed to be a smooth one for you.  you keep a few close friends, but are slow to let others in.  you make people come to you...warming up slowly, taking them in, requiring that they build your trust.  your eyes are still as bright as the sky and your smile continues to be contagious...your petite stature is endearing to me, yet frustrating to you.  you are afraid you will be as small as me and it drives you crazy that your narrow feet slip out of all the "cool" shoes.  i'm sorry about that.  you are an amazing little girl and i am proud to be your mommy.  eight years have gone by way too fast, and i have no doubt the next eight will go even faster.  hold on to who you are.  take in each moment, experience everything, be open to new things - something you and i aren't very good at it seems, again, i'm sorry - and don't be afraid to trust.  you are a precious child of God and i know He is laying the most incredible path for you!

happy 8th birthday, my girl...