It is a New Year…a clean slate. It brings hope, a chance to start over, create the life we want, right? That feels nice, but what do we choose to do with it? Reflection is good, but I suppose it is the action that counts.
Rise up. Every day, with every challenge and with every dreary feeling, I must, you must… Rise Up.
Our family has a tradition on New Year’s Eve…we each write down one thing we want to work on and burn it in the fire. Each person has the choice to share what they write or not. Mine: I hope to cuss less when I am frustrated. The “f” word flies out of my mouth alot …and now I am noticing I have passed that lovely trait on to my teenage son. I don’t even think it is bad trait. I only cuss at home or around trusted friends. Cussing can relieve frustration. Still, I have decided to try to use it mostly to celebrate things. I would rather have my kids remember “that is fucking amazing” more than “this is fucked.” Sometimes it is baby steps…a little less cussing, and hey, let’s make it positive cussing! And let’s all learn to laugh at ourselves while we are at it. Rise Up.
Yesterday I took the time to carefully put away Christmas decorations. I enjoyed a big huge tree this year…every angel, glittery star, swirled glass globe and crafted ornament has a pleasant origin or memory….some are from travels, some are gifts, many are made with pure love by my children. I chose to reflect on each one while I put it away. It brought a sense of joy to a task I was dreading. I felt thankful to have 16 years of treasured memories to store up in the attic every year. And if I get hit by a bus tomorrow (crass I know), just maybe my family will appreciate the way each one is packed up in its own little gold tissue or box with care. Maybe they will say, “Geesh, Mom was really fucking good at organizing Christmas stuff!” This thought brings a smile to my face. I also appreciate my own sense of humor. Rise Up.
Today is Jan 5th. I live in Seattle, it is cold, it is gray, it is plain dreary and depressing. It is dripping out. It feels like the sky is spitting at me. Luckily I have a younger sister that lives in Portland. She is sweet, kind, real and oh-so talented. She is 27. I am 50. I love to be around her youth, her determination, her beauty, her voice! Best of all…she keeps in touch with me. Luckily, she invited me to run a Shamrock half marathon with her in March. That is just the nudge I needed. I received her text asking me to join her. I immediately said “YES! let’s do it.” Now I must drag my tired body out in the cold gloomy weather to train. Yes, I will train. I have something very responsible and sensible inside of me that knows I cannot just go run 13.1 miles one day. I want to enjoy that run! I want to conquer that run! I will kill that fucking run! I am the WIN in WINter. I took my first 4.5 mile training run last Sunday…it was freezing, I was miserable, I saw a lot of garbage out on my run…that made me feel awful (why do people litter?! I was cussing in my head at them) But you know what felt great? I did it! I walked the last quarter-mile as snowflakes started to fall on my face…I felt euphoric…high on good choices. Rise Up.
The Little Messengers exhaust me. My son, while gifted and brilliant when it comes to all things flight or science, cannot pick up a single wrapper or dirty sock to save his life. For some strange reason, there is never a sheet on his bed. …it is always wadded up on the floor or at the foot of his bed, under Gabby, our loving and shedding German Shepherd. Apparently he likes to sleep on the bare futon mattress, now covered in extreme dog hair. And recently, his skater hat and clean Nikes (he takes a toothbrush to them at night) seem to have more importance than any wise words from dear old mom. It is a bit FRUSTRATING…and oh…I would love to insert a cuss word here. But, no, I will keep my resolution and also allow him to live like a bachelor in his teen bedroom within our house. And I will keep assisting him, encouraging him and paying for all of his hopes and dreams. I promised myself when I had kids I would “follow the child” …just like Maria Montessori. Rise Up.
Yes! I am a dreamer idealistic type. I will continue to notice their passions and cheer them on to be all they can be! I want to cry and give up and just go get a full-time career position so I can finally have new windows in my house (without mold) and new granite counter tops (they seem to be in). In fact, I do cry. I sob sometimes. It happens in the early morning hours, before the kids are up. I get the whining out of my system. I complain to my husband by phone on his way to work in the morning (poor guy, that can’t be very nice way to start his day), how kids do not listen, how being a mother is a thankless job, how he has no idea how hard it is, blah, blah, blah. I am thankful he listens. Then he simply says “I love you.” Rise Up.
And then…. I get up, make a cup of very strong coffee, kiss kids good morning, put another log on the fire and make school lunches. Today I was even able to sneak in an inspirational talk with my son. He humbly shocked me with “Thanks for always helping me , mom.” Perhaps the tears, the snivel, saying the hard stuff out-loud helps me? Perhaps then I am able to let it all go, carry on, and to be more gentle with myself and others on a daily basis? I know I will look back and remember raising my kids as a life well-lived. Rise Up.
My simple advice to you all…Rise Up!
There are many ways to do it. There are no wrong or right ways. Do it as you see fit, in the moment you need to do it, the way you need to do it. Fall apart right before you do it if you need to. But just make sure you do it! Every day! Take the action… You are worth it!