Anxiety

Juliana leaves tomorrow morning for Japan without me. She’s going with 14 other kids and 2 chaperones for 10 days.  It’s part of a school sponsored trip and I am so happy for her. 

  

Yet I am filled with anxiety and my body is doing weird things like dancing, cooking, shopping and nesting and more cooking. I even learned how to smoke a tritip on the Traeger!  I am proud and it was delicious and gobbled up with the homemade chimichurri sauce.  

   

   

I wanted to make the perfect dinner before her send off and wanted to be in her room right next to her and started dancing and had to go shopping at the mall to find the ONE pair of shoes she really “needed” to go to Japan and be comfortable. This is WEIRD! I know I’m acting a bit crazy and know I’m filled with anxiety and everything is okay, I just am. 

 I am happy for her and know she will have an excellent experience and be safe and all that good stuff, but the FEAR keeps settling in. I’m trying to make it go away with rational thought, yet I keep dancing and moving and shaking.  Argh!!!  This too shall pass.  

32 years ago I was the little girl getting ready to go to Australia with my soccer team and this was before Internet, wireless phones and texting! My mama was so brave letting me go. I’ll have to kiss her again the next time I see her and thank her for letting me go. She’s pretty amazing!

  

I am smart and conflicted and stuck in this middle place, waiting and anticipating her departure and return back to the mama nest. Hurry up already and go and learn and grow and come back to me. Please? 

This is the coolest kid ever. She has packed herself and doesn’t really need me, yet I keep finding things to share or advice to give just so I can feel a part of the process. 

  

She’s pretty rad in letting me in and knowing that I’m struggling and is just the cutest thing ever. Maybe it helps her to not be afraid because she’s too worried about me. Ha! This is a good strategy!!

I don’t get why I’m so worried. She’s already an international traveler and has been away from me multiple times, even with her own passport. 

She’s good at this independence and travel thing and I’m confident in her abilities to navigate the globe.  I think it’s partially because of my unfamiliarity with Japan and not being able to recognize the characters and language, that I feel lost and helpless should I have to go there to help her. Probably 99% irrational fear, and 1% real and I’m letting that little itty bitty percent take over my body.  It’s time to namaste that s*#T!!

Okay, fine. I’ll let it go and take all my own advice and be in the moment and let it go. Just breathe.  AAAAAHhhhhhhhhhh 

Okay. Almost better.

How do you handle anxiety?

I wish you peace and wish Juliana a safe and wildly fun experience in Japan. Can’t wait to hear your story. I love you baby girl!!

xoxo  nAMaste

Yoga Fun

I had the best weekend and was still on a high today thinking about all that was good.

On Thursday, I went to Rachel Brathen’s book signing and was filled with her joyful spirit and love.

I got to spend time with my BFFS in San Francisco and do yoga with them and Yoga Girl!

Can you find me in this group photo?

I was giddy with joy.

And then I was selected  to do yoga with my baby girl and Ringo the Gringo at a top secret location for 40 people that was beautiful!

This was a first for me and I loved every minute of it.

Now I’m energized and want to do yoga every damn day!

I love getting out of bed and doing a few stretches but I don’t do many sun salutations. I think I have a new goal for myself.

What do you absolutely love to do and are you making time to do it?  I hope so. Do what makes you happy!

nAMaste BeLoveRs.  Be sure you’re taking care of yourself and carving out time to do what you love. We only live once!!  xo

Happiness Awaits

I was in a bad mood today. I was frustrated and irrational.

Yes, it’s true. Just ask my family. I have my neurotic moments. I hate these feelings as much as they do.

I thought about my post from yesterday about happiness, asking myself if I was happy and I was definitely not, at that moment. I like to practice what I share. I asked myself, “do you want to be happy?” And at that moment I wanted to be mad and did not want to release and let go. I stayed mad and quiet and wanted to feel what I was feeling, but not for long.

I received a text from my friend saying just the right words at the right time. We were supposed to meet up and I was running late.

Wanna know what her text said?

It was so simple and perfect timing.

It said, “Happiness Awaits.” How did she even know? She didn’t and that was a beautiful thing.

That’s all I needed to read to change my angry mind.

I was ready to be happy again and gave myself the rest of the car ride to get over myself.

I decided to make a change. I chose to be happy and believe it or not, was. I let go. I surrendered and enjoyed myself despite what I was feeling 10 minutes before. It was that simple and that sincere. No joke.

Our minds are so flippin’ powerful. We just have to decide what we really want and surrender. We have to be focused and determined and have to fight for what we really want, and not allow our irrational feelings win.

Love wins.

Happiness awaits.

When we choose.

Be happy, BeLoveRs. It’s so much better than the alternative.

Namaste.

Ecstasy

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” – Emily Dickinson

I wouldn’t describe our vacation as ecstasy or pure bliss.

Tomorrow is the last day and actually, it’s been slightly mundane and just right.

We have practiced traveling around the world a bit and we traveled to San Diego and back this winter break. This past week we chose to stay home and I’ve learned a lot.

We actually really enjoyed being home and just living, doing whatever we felt like doing without a big plan and with time to just be without an agenda. We visited with friends. We shared meals. We played. We exercised. We stayed up late and slept in. We enjoyed sleepovers and sleeping in our own comfy beds. We watched movies and played on our electronic devices and we were content.

It didn’t matter what we choose to do, as long as there was time for us to be together and time for us to be ourselves and do our own things.

Today I chose to go on a hike with my friend early in the morning, while the kids were still in bed. At the end of our 5 mile hike, we loved standing and watching a red-tailed hawk enjoy her breakfast, protected and shielded by fallen tree branches, keeping a careful watch over her safety. There was something magical about this.

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I did some shopping and came home to a quiet house. I was so thankful that everyone was gone and I could sit at my computer for a short while and just be with my own thoughts. I have several tasks to do and I keep putting them off while we are on “vacation.” I embraced the stillness and enjoyed the moments, with a tinge of guilt. I need to learn to leave that component out of the happiness equation.

This afternoon we went to a friend’s house to watch football and share a meal. I loved watching the kids play board games together and drawing with their new Christmas supplies. It was simple and perfect, despite my terrible headache. Actually, having a headache made me more observant and quiet and I actually enjoyed watching and listening to the conversation in a more relaxed state. Sometimes good things come from bad things. Perfectly, imperfect.

Today, the sense of living was enough. I am, dare I say, ecstatic? That might be a stretch. But I am happy that I’ve finally learned to be ok “staying” home and not having to be looking for the next big adrenaline rush of discovering something new. The mundane and common are really ok and quite enjoyable.

How was your day?

Choose Happiness

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This is it.

This guy summarized my existence.

I choose happiness as a way of living and being from minute to minute and share this daily journey with you so that we may practice the pursuit of happiness together.

My life is perfectly imperfect filled with the ups and downs, the yin and the yang, and the daily struggles and fears, just like yours, but not exactly of course, but you know what I mean.

We all get to choose how we react and adapt to what life delivers to us, sometimes fair and sometimes not, sometimes expected and sometimes not. We get to play our way. We don’t get to always choose what comes our way yet we can choose how we react and this is our personal power. I love this. Every minute is another opportunity to start again. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. How do we want to experience this wonderful one life we get to live?

The first part of this quote talks about releasing tension, which sounds like play or exercise to me. I’m sure there are several other ways, but these are the first two healthy options that come to mind. Did you do something to take care of yourself today?

I played volleyball with my girls in the sunshine and smiled and laughed and served hard serves and missed some hard hits. I high-fived my friends and shared some mixed nuts that Debbie brought to share that we all love. Thanks, Deb.

How about being present? When and how were you really present today? I’m highly distracted and not always present. This one was more challenging today as I was in a hurry. I was present when I was volunteering at the rummage sale and joking with Laura and April as we sorted through stuff together. I loved that Laura was really trying to sell us on her husband’s unused shirts and how she wanted us to take them home. I took her up on her offer – no shame! I loved that we had so many volunteers sorting and stacking and organizing and working together and that when I have a shout out to all of is for our hard work that everyone started clapping. I had fun joking around with everyone and seeing April picking out a pink dress Halloween costume and parading around in a little blue dress. I loved that we picked a rummage sale mascot from the piles, a little undressed dirty doll with freaked out crazy hair and “makeup” all over her face and head and body. She was the craziest thing we found and then it got even funnier when Laura asked is why her donation was sitting on the side with our personal belongings. Hahaha! That was funny.

Next on the list is amplifying love. What do you think that means? I think that means turning up the love and sharing it. Hmm… Did you practice that today? I have to think about that one… I make my husband laugh. Does that count? I like to de stress our household and am always being silly and laughing at myself and my own jokes which makes him laugh. I like to make him dance with me which usually lasts 30 seconds but puts us in both in a good mood. Maybe that counts…not sure though. Laughing is contagious and usually he’s soon laughing with me. I love when he makes me laugh too. Laughter definitely helps us to de stress and release tension — ooh, a two for one special!

Generating enthusiasm is next on the happiness list. Are you good at this? I am good at this most of the time, or at least I fool myself. I love being a cheerleader and encouraging everyone to play nicely together. And I love to get people excited to be doing what we’re doing, whatever it is we choose to do. Today I generated excitement amongst the rummage sale volunteers, cheering and clapping and thanking everyone for being there. I made fun of myself and the crazy donations, while being thankful for our generous community.

And finally gratitude. What were you thankful for today? Did you tell someone? I love being thanked and I love thanking others. I thanked April for going to Costco for me today and saving me some time and probably a ton of money. It’s so nice to have a wife! Everyone should have one. Thank you wifey!!

So that’s easy, isn’t it? We can develop these skills and practice this happiness thing every day, by being mindful, drinking 8 glasses of water and getting plenty of sleep for starters.

Be happy my friends. xoxoxo

First Day of School at 3 Different Schools

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I love the first day of school. I love the excitement and thrill that comes from change. I love back to school shopping and picking out new papers and pens and notebooks and clothes. I think I love the sense of newness and wonder and magic associated with starting over, anticipating what is to come. For the kids, they’re excited to find out who their teachers will be and what friends will be in their classes and who they will meet. It’s a bit scary not knowing and so there is a bit of anxiety as they begin again… just enough discomfort to help them keep their eyes open widely and observe and soak up all the newness. I absolutely love it and think they do too. We’ll see.

I loved getting up early and taking the kids to their new schools and helping them find their way, although they didn’t really need me. I just needed to be there a little bit.

Juliana was the first one to drop off at 7:20 am. She stood in line at the middle school quad outside and got her new schedule, and locker assignment. She shared it with me and found her friends, and off Jeff and I went. At lunch time, she texted me to tell me everything was great. And after school, she said how happy she was and excited to return tomorrow. That’s always good news.

Christian was next to drop off at high school!! WTH! That scares me. He’s not ready, I mean I’m not ready for high school. He’s more than ready. I dropped him off, even though he wasn’t sure where the quad was and he found a friend and together they went off to discover where to get their schedules and to settle into high school life. Just like that. His last four years in school are beginning and I’m fully aware of how fast four years goes by. He came home and was missing the ISA, wishing he was still there instead of here. I hope the newness turns into more comfort over the next few day and he finds his new rhythm. I’m sure he will. He did have several good stories to share.

After dropping off Christian, we dropped off the car at home to walk Charlie to elementary school. We anxiously waited at the corner for Jessie and Sydney to walk together. I had a minute to FaceTime with Jen in Amsterdam, and she shared well wishes for Charlie’s first day. That was really cool, especially for me, since I’m still “house” sick for Holland and missing my friends there. 😉 Thanks, Jen!!

Once we began the familiar walk down the street and to the elementary school, I started to feel at home again.

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It felt right. It felt exciting to be walking and watching and observing our routine, back in step again. I was so happy bringing him back where he wanted to be, like we were giving him a gift. I was excited walking into his classroom, the same classroom and teacher that both Christian and Juliana had before him with one of the best teachers around. I felt comforted and at peace and he was beyond thrilled and happy to be there too, especially with Sydney and Dylan and Thomas in his class. And at our family dinner tonight, he said he couldn’t wait to go back to school again tomorrow. Music to my ears. Don’t we all want our kids to find peace and happiness?

I Am Home.

I Am where we belong.

I Am (almost) content.

Actually, I was happy to drop them off and get them settled and actually had coffee with a friend.

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We then volunteered at the Junior High School for an hour, and then I did some grocery shopping. But then I felt so sad that they were gone. I wanted them back, noisy and chaotic and all. It’s kind of like when they were babies and I just wanted a break from them, and once I had an hour or two to myself and my thoughts, I was good to go and wanted them back again. The same feeling came over me today.

Yin and Yang.

The good thing that came from that feeling, was that I got the house back in somewhat order before they came home, and went to Trader Joe’s to pick up their favorite orange chicken for dinner tonight and I was well prepared and rested for their return. When I went back to pick them up, I was excited to see them and hear their stories and to love on them again. The joy was back.

And with that, we’re back. Back in school. Back to starting new routines. And ready for the world!

Hope y’all had a great day! I wish you well.

Namaste.

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