The Human Experience.
We are all a part of it. We all want to be involved, make a difference, do something that matters, be recognized, and sometimes do nothing. You can choose to sit idly by or get up and get something done, but none of that really matters when you look at humanity across the globe and across time.
To me, the human experience isn’t what we do. It is in who we are and how we connect with others. It’s in the vulnerable moments that keep us honest and open to each other. Being vulnerable is open to interpretation. In one form, it means putting yourself out there in a way that could draw criticism or a divide between you and a good friend, your lover, close social circles and even across social media.
If you walk into my house, you’ll be greeted by a cheerful entryway and a clean and tidy front room and dining room. However, if one were to gaze past the comfy couch, you would find my mess. It’s not always like this, but about every three months or so life just seems to “pile-up” in the form of papers, unfinished projects, art supplies, books, teaching materials, bills and receipts to file, notes, my kids’ school papers, old to-do lists, and remnants of unfinished plans, and more.
Here it is, in all it’s ugly and messy glory…
As this year comes to a close, I have come to the realization that although parts of 2016 totally sucked. Not all of it did. Before the promise of a new year rolls around, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I learned from 2016. You better believe that my New Years Resolutions will include fun and fewer hospital stays than 2016 permitted!
My oldest daughter is struggling. She is struggling with all the normal things of being a tall, ten year old girl in the fifth grade, mostly involving living in her own skin and being comfortable in it. Those conversations are hard and body image has been a struggle of my own since I was about the same age. I was just like my own daughter- a tall, ten year old girl in the fifth grade, and I’ll never forget the names people called me or the references they made around me.
I never expected anyone to pay attention to my little blog (again, it’s therapy- but thank you for reading and following it) and I really didn’t expect the amount of community support that came with it. People checked in on me, made our little family dinner, dropped off milk, offered my kids fun days, and sent me messages via Facebook, texts, and phone calls. I even got a handful of beautiful cards from friends and family; near and far. Friends and neighbors dropped off surprise flowers, homemade cookies and breads, mochas, and even prosecco. I loved the sweet intentions that went with each one, but more importantly I appreciated the time that people took to even think of us during their busy days, let alone to drop something off.
From the bottom of my heart (and the four others in my home), thank you. Even though it doesn’t seem like enough.
My kids have not even been out of school a full week yet and they are already bored, fighting, and expecting big plans daily. There was a time when I wanted to schedule “fun” things for them everyday or at least a few times a week. Then last year we made an End of Summer Bucket […]
During an extremely challenging week our household was a hot mess. Everyone was busy, emotional, and needed extra attention. Plus we had our regular “life” duties and all of the above activities. Everybody needed a break, but we kept trucking on. During a hectic afternoon, I was getting an after school snack ready for my three kiddos and answering an email on my phone. Since busy for me looks a lot like me being on my computer or phone, my kids associate my phone with me being too busy for them. Which of course is not the case, but having access immediately to emails and job related activities in a very virtual world, means that I can be efficient and multi-task. But my oldest set me straight on this crazy day.
My 9 year old daughter took on some new extra-curricular activities this school year, and that meant putting some other activities on “hold.” She determined that she was just too busy to do it all and needed some time to adjust to life as a 4th grader. She had been playing travel soccer, but right as the season was revving up, she panicked. When she came to us and said she needed downtime, we were surprised, but ultimately we understood and allowed her to step back from the team and gave her the space she needed to grow and figure things out.
Last week, at the spur of the moment, I bought a mini-mailbox for $1 from Target When I got home, I scoured Pinterest for pre-made and free printable’s that I could use with my mailbox. After finding the printable notes, I felt like my ideas were coming together…. mailbox and notes. I got it! I would leave a little love note each night in the mailbox for my kids, husband, and other house guests or special visitors. Easy. That I could do!
We are constantly in awe of our children, but sometimes we need reminders to see them.. I mean really see them. It is in the long days that I stop noticing all of their quirks, special qualities, and gifts. And it is in moments like today when I am reminded to slow down and pay attention.
Today was a good wake-up call.