Being Vulnerable

“Through my research, I found that vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce. ” – Brene Brown

I’m vulnerable. Today and most days. Aren’t we all? Today,  I’m especially aware of my vulnerability because I am still in pain and actually needed help. I needed help with having Tiger Balm rubbed into my back, shoulder and neck muscles.  I needed help at the grocery store and got help with kid pickup and kitchen cleanup and filling the rice containers.  I don’t like to be needy. I like to be the one giving help. I was still able to do some things, but at 50% the level and speed as usual. This made me incredibly vulnerable, a bit uncomfortable and a lot thankful.

As I slowed down, my family picked up the pace. I loved that they were helping me and looking at me with love and concern in their eyes. They are not used to me like this and I’m not comfortable just sitting. I’m not dying and I’m not trying to exaggerate, I’m just dealing with and waiting for the pain to pass. It definitely has a hold on me and I am not sure how long the wait will be. I’m getting lots of kisses and hugs and offers for help and I’m just trying to breathe and be patient. Thank you family and thank you friends for your ideas and advice.

While I wait, I will be thankful that I have people that love me and take care of me too and for this vulnerability space. Maybe this is part of my togetherness vision for the year,  just in a different form than I expected.

Life is good, even with a pulled muscle.

Word Art

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I love word art and gravitate towards it everywhere I go. I have a few pieces hanging around my house and love seeing the little reminders.

I saw this piece in a furniture shop this afternoon and loved it.  It says, “While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

I think of my family sort of like roommates. We all coexist in this small space and we all share and learn and grow and work together to coexist mostly peacefully. Sometimes we are leaders and sometimes we are followers. Sometimes I am the teacher and other times they are. I am always open to their opinions and ways of doing things and try to not get stuck in just my way.

I love learning from my kids and my husband. Today I watched, well actually listened, to the two little ones baking together. I loved how they collaborated and and came up with what to bake and how to bake colorful cupcakes with fancy rainbow designs. I stay out of their way and listen and direct ever so gently when redirection is necessary maybe 2% of the time. Otherwise, they are all on their own and they work well together, from the planning and shopping, to the baking, decorating and even the clean up. My goal is to raise independent thinkers and little kind and compassionate humans and I think they are doing a great job.  I love that I get to be a mentor and witness to their development and that they are mine.  I listen to how they treat each other and am aware of their interactions. I love being a part of their lives, even just listening and observing and learning and loving them being who they are.  They are great people and I am thankful that I get to learn from them every day – how to be kind and patient and loving and cooperative and to finish things. They’ve got this!

How do you enjoy your family? What do your kids teach you?

 

 

Struggles are Hard

Everybody struggles. All struggles are hard because we are trying to get through or over something and there is resistance. Resistance is hard. They are never easy, just by definition. They are struggles. And my struggle isn’t harder than your struggle. They all are just hard and that’s ok.

I sometimes appreciate struggles because once they are conquered I feel a sense of accomplishment and growth, but definitely not during the journey; only after I’ve arrived! I’d like to learn how to appreciate the process of being in the struggle, but I’m not quite there yet.

Once we expect struggles to be challenging and know that they take time to conquer, we sometimes feel a little better or at least know how to handle them a bit more easily. We have to be patient and wait, and that’s hard too in our instant gratification culture.

Sometimes the struggle is bigger in our heads than in reality because we get emotionally charged or have fear that makes us just want to freeze and not do anything but wait for the struggle to go away. But we have to do work. We have to communicate and be patient and think and negotiate and come up with a plan to adapt. And when we do, the struggle becomes a little less painful. We can flow and let go.

Struggles can be big or small, with ourselves and/ or with others. Sometimes they are positive as we struggle to learn something new, and sometimes they are negative, as we work through conflict.

When we are struggling, we are trying to move from a state of suffering to a state of compassion. We have to be mindful and we have to wait and work!! We have to hold on to hope and love as we transform and grow. Isn’t it fun? Just kidding. The struggle and transformation usually is a somewhat painful process that is necessary for change and growth. Oh how we wish there was a simple prescription.

There is. It’s called time and patience and work and will and grace. We don’t always have the answers right away, but they usually come with the right mixology and doses.

I wish you peace wherever you are and with whatever struggle you may be working through.

Namaste.

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All In A Day’s Work

Today was amazing. I am celebrating my role as a stay at home mom and enjoying all of it’s “free” benefits.

I got to enjoy my girlfriends and being outside getting exercise together while we chatted and hiked through the hills.
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I got to volunteer and work with strong, confident women who I love and admire, over a nice, relaxing lunch.

I got to go shopping during the day with less crowds and no kids in tow.

I got to pick up my kids after school and bring them home for snacks and down time, playing and baking.

I got to practice throwing and catching a baseball, and taught my little one how to Rollerblade after school.
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I got to volunteer at my son’s elementary school and enjoyed watching the kids’ eyes light up as they learned about science and electricity.
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I got to go to the post office to pick up a surprise package of goodies from my Dutch friends in Holland.
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I got to have a Girls’ Night Out and enjoy dinner with my girlfriends.

All in a days’ work.  I love to be busy, to exercise, to volunteer, and to spend quality time with my family and friends. And today I got to do it all. It doesn’t get much better than this. This is my best life right now.

I think the secret to happiness is to embrace whatever you choose to do in life and to find joy in the day to day. Things aren’t always sexy and invigorating. Sometimes this is incredibly challenging and other days it just comes easily. Sometimes we are really good at appreciating the present moment and where we are and what we’re doing, and sometimes change doesn’t come fast enough.

This leads to the other secret I learned today from two wise women. We were chatting about this and that and the topic came up that sometimes we don’t have everything all figured out and that there are dependencies outside our control, and sometimes we have to learn to have patience and just WAIT.  The answers and plans usually have a brilliant way of unfolding and presenting themselves in time, if only we can just wait. Waiting is an OK option, even in this fast paced society and community we live in and sometimes we forget that not everything has to be right now.

Waiting is powerful and we need to get better at it and accepting it. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for results. Waiting for our kids. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for our partners to come home. We wait for dinner to be ready. We wait for a dream to become a reality. We do a lot of waiting and we should probably practice being ok with waiting for whatever is to come next and be present as we patiently wait. It’s just part of the journey. Where’s the PAUSE button?

See? Don’t you feel better already. If not, just WAIT. You will.  😉

Namaste.

Behind the Scenes

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Do you ever really think about all that happens behind the scenes? Like getting ready for Christmas? Preparing for finals or a a big presentation? Lots of work goes on to get things just right and ready.

Tonight I got to help out back stage during Juliana’s play. It was such a different perspective and I enjoyed watching the kids going on and off stage and into the green room. I liked seeing them transforming from one character to the next and I loved listening to them whisper to each other behind the scenes. This perspective helped me to appreciate how much work goes into creating a production.

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Behind the scenes and waiting in the shadows.

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Seeing things from behind.

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Costume changes.

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The End. Closed Curtain. Success!

Waiting

I have three kids and a husband that works at a startup. My routine is to not really have a routine. Our traditions are to not really have traditions. And to always expect things to change. I think that’s how it is with multiple kids and a non-traditional job.

I am a stay at home mom and I spend a lot of time waiting. And because I’m waiting, I don’t always want to start something because I know I’ll be interrupted. I’m trying to be better at this, but a lot of times it frustrates me. But I always look for the good and to enjoy the chaotic moments

For example, today I volunteered at our teacher luncheon. I was helping out while I waited to pick up Juliana. I dropped her off and unloaded groceries while I waited to pick up Charlie. I walked to school to wait for Charlie to be done playing.

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This is me enjoying my walking alone moment and listening to my fun Stella & Dot necklace jingle jangle, which made me smile and take a selfie!

When I came home with Charlie, I sat down and had a snack with the kids. I wasn’t quite sure what to do next, so we hung out together. When I tried to read, they tried to talk. When Charlie started his homework, the doorbell rang with friends looking to play. I told them they had to wait too until Charlie was done with his homework.

They wanted to play outside, but I was mean mommy today and wouldn’t let him go out because the air quality people said we should stay indoors because of the fires nearby and chemicals in the air. Charlie learned about fairness and different rules for different families and I got to hear about it and his protests. Lucky me. And so I sat and waited patiently some more while he practiced controlling his body.

When he resumed some level of calm I taught him about life not being fair and things don’t always go as planned and that we have to deal with the loss and make new fun plans. I mean it’s depressing to miss your scheduled winter water ballon fight at 4:30 pm and it’s really hard to understand why when it’s good outside. Just look outside. Just ask him.

He decided he wanted to play with me instead then and that we should paint. He wanted to paint lawn decorations on cardboard. And so we did. We dug around for some cardboard and he sketched his design. Then Juliana and I joined him in painting in the details. We painted while we waited to take Juliana to her appointment and waited for dad to come home, before dinner.

We filled the time and waiting was good and he taught me something too. Not everything has to go as planned and sometimes not having a plan is good too, if you can be comfortable waiting for whatever shows up. Hmm.

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