Rise Up

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.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture….  Life is hard.  If we want to be a success in any way, then we must endure the tough parts, and 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!

Rise Up.







Don’t you love it when things gently fall in to place?  It is the absolute BEST!  I have been experiencing a peaceful flow to my life in recent days.  It feels like a clear path is opening up to me day by day…and I am astonished at the simplicity and abundance of it all.

Things seemed so rocky, bumpy, scary…and then, it all shifted.  I do not even know how to explain it.  Did I change?  Did others change?  Is it a cosmic force beyond my control?  I do not have the answers.  I admit I have been drawn to the skies lately…  the blues, the pinks, the perfect colors that only nature can provide. It feels more like a sense of wonder.

Every morning I drive the same familiar roads, toting my kids to school.  There is one distinct point in the journey where we come over the top of a hill and look down from the top. At that moment, the Olympic Mountains rise in the distance, snow-capped in misty layers of purple shading.  It always looks unreal to me.  It feels like a dream… too majestic to be true.   I am realizing it is an amazing vision…and I am living it!

This is a wonderful awakening. Something delightful is happening.  Change.  The seasons change, and we must join them.  We must take note of the sun as it sneaks through the clouds.  As the influential rays break through, they bring such warmth and put a beautiful spin on the earth.  Light can also come in to our lives the same way.  We have great power within us…however we must grant that greatness permission to prevail.

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I am encountering an evolution,  a rising up.  I knew the status quo in my own life wasn’t going to cut it, but I did not know how things would change.  I just knew they had to.  I leapt blindly in to the future with an unknown outcome.  I trusted myself, my instincts, the life I was being drawn to.  I let go.

Transformation happened.

I don’t think I was that far off, but  I was truly stuck, sad and afraid.  Looking back I realize I had been hanging on to some nasty stuff….a little comfort, a bit of control, a lot of blame.  Clinging to those negative thoughts was preventing me from being able to soar to new heights.

Suddenly life is simple.

An old acquaintance pops into my mind.  I have not seen her in years.  Within five minutes she is walking towards me in the post office parking lot.  We have a warm exchange…touching and easy.  It is meant to be.

I routinely enter my 13-year old son’s room at bedtime to deliver my ritual tuck-in and kiss on the cheek.  He softly mentions to me a text that was forward to him…  “Mom, it is mean.”  A middle school girl is hurting.  My son is comforting a friend.  I feel oddly calm as he comes up with his own solution.  I am proud of him.  I realize he is so trustworthy, and will absolutely be an excellent adult.  I then go up to my bedroom to study my coaching lesson for track the next day (I help out with a girls’ team).  The topic for the next day is “cyberbullying.”  The girl who sent the ugly text is in my care that afternoon.  The words come, the support is there…everything flows.  Instead of being worried, I just travel through the day.  It  unfolds in a caring manner for all the students involved.

I wake up another morning delightfully thinking about all the upcoming holiday events my children will participate in.  It is a precious time of year for the Little Messengers.  I have been meaning to send those important dates to my mother-in-law.  She is such a great support and gracious Grandma.  I am so grateful she adores my little people as much as I do.  I look at my calendar…Boy Scout Court of Honor, Gymnastics holiday show, but when is my daughter’s piano recital?  I text the music teacher a quick question. Hours later she responds with “The place said no.  I’m stymied and looking for a new venue.”  I happen to have stopped by my church at that moment, helping a friend with some writing.  I check with the secretary…the only date left open for sanctuary use is the date she needs…December 19th.  done. scheduled. We are all blessed!

Life is precious and falling into place.

These are just a few of many Serendipitous moments I am taking in….more than I can ever remember before!! And they are compounding daily.  I think they have always been there…available to me

THE LESSON:  Life is so much about ALLOWING.  I am finally granting these powerful moments to outstretch.  I am only the tiniest part of a greater solution.  And geesh…this is so much easier than trying to solve the worlds’ problems on my own!!  The Universe steps in.  All I have quietly done is become aware.  It is a bit like tuning in to your favorite radio station.  Quite enjoyable.

I am thinking we should all choose Serendipity.

Little Messengers

Meet my little messengers.  These two remind me daily of what breathing is really about.  We must be like a child…have fun…embrace the moments…laugh during the crazy!!  In fact, during the crazy is when our spirits shine bright!  And sometimes….it is going to get tough…I mean really ugly tough… like a 2-year-old overly tired, just ate a whole bag of Halloween candy, melt down kind of awful.

INSIGHTS:  You are not going to get your way.  Nope.  In fact, you are going to fall flat on your face, sobbing out of desperation. You are going to realize that while parts of you have advanced and evolved…other parts of you are totally dirty, grimy and absolutely broken.  You might think for a second (or even a few days) that your world is over..it has been washed away.  The absolutely unexpected nightmare has happened.  Even worse, you allowed it…you probably even caused it.  It comes in the form of BADNESS, a term coined by my son in pre-school after days on end of not fitting into the rules box.  (ie.  “How did it go today?”  “Oh Mom, there was a lot of badness.”)  All of the sudden you will be forced to surrender.  The white flag goes up and it is waving like a bloody soldier at the gates of hell…you will realize that you are certainly more than slightly fucked up.  Guess what?  The jig is up, the news it out, it is finally over.  Oh yes, and songs from your youth will sound through your head in earth shattering rhythyms, sung by choirs of angels in white robes… every lesson flashing through your mind at mega speed.  And then…

Everything will stop.  The silence will be as if time is standing still.  You will still be breathing.  Everything will suddenly halt, like you just pulled the reigns on a wild horse that was fighting in a no-win battle.  It doesn’t feel right, you have lost control… but it sure is a relief.  YOU HAVE ARRIVED IN THE EVER PRESENT MOMENT.  AND NOW THE MAGIC CAN BEGIN.

As a family of 4 we are passing through a storm, or perhaps letting go of the storms inside of us – My hubby and I  each fighting our own battles.  We are separate.  We must learn how to reconnect.  Start over…and from where?

One thing I know for sure is these little creatures may have come from us physically, but they were sent to us in spirit form.  My son tells me last night, “Mom, you know that I would have still been your son in any marriage.”  I giggle back, “What? Are you sure?”  Calmly and as reassuring as the Universe stepping down and speaking to me, he says, “Oh I am quite sure…I just would have looked different.”  Then my daughter pipes in “Yes, and I think I came for Dad.”  Well, this makes perfect sense, yes perfect sense indeed.  I remember dreaming of this very life.

As a little girlOne of eachall I ever dreamed of was becoming a mother. I have clear recollection of a moment in time..I can still feel it as if it were yesterday. I was probably six or seven, playing in my backyard (which was a 280-acre ranch) and I visualized my future.  I pictured a house I would live with my one true love…it had a white picket fence, white washed paint, a big covered porch.  It was in the country, had acreage and most importantly,  the breeze was soft and safe. I can still see this image perfectly, and I can certainly feel it.  It is not the exact house I live in. The one I now reside in with these two precious kiddos is similar…only better.  It is not white and blank – it is full of color, art, laughter, tears, grace, relaxation, work, friends, and certainly life!   I had always cast aside this image from my youth as a ‘normal young girl’s dream’ of having a family. I even blamed society for putting that image in my head.  For years I thought I missed my calling, chasing jobs, achievement, recognition.

Today I know that this beautiful peaceful scene was a small glimpse of all that was meant to be.  I am first and forever a wife and mother.  I am doing my best to care for the emotional and physical well being of my four peeps.  I have it all….at least I hope I still do.  Perhaps I used to.  I am alive and not that well.  My life is kind of messy and real, beautiful and surreal, in the most vulnerable authentic way any dream could ever be.  And I am wide awake.  I hope we can adjust our sails, drop our anchor and find the safe and breezy place we all deserve.