A New Word!

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Back in April I decided to choose a word, one word, a theme or intention that would be carried out in the span of a year. I thought I would give it a try and see if there really is something to this concept. My word was adventure! Since then, I have been blessed enough to travel to Mexico, visit the Jersey Shore, explore the beautiful countries of Turkey and Greece, and in a few days will be traveling to Gulf Shores Alabama and Destin Florida. Never, in all my years, have I ever traveled to so many places in such a short time. I guess I can conclude that one little word can be very powerful if you really do focus on it. So what will the next word be? Any suggestions? I guess I will need to give it a great deal of thought. I’d love to hear about your word. To be continued……

A New Perspective for an Old Swim Mom

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This past weekend was the big swim meet. It’s hard to believe that we haven’t done a meet in a whole year. I remember when Kayleigh first quit swimming. I was devastated. What would our life become without every other weekend belonging to a pool? I became obsessed with times and results and ways to improve, while my daughter was withdrawing from the rigorous practice schedule and the consuming time commitment.

I am here to report that life without swimming is just fine. I am grateful she has decided to go back, but am also grateful my eyes have been opened up to the real treasure that lies behind the sport…love for swimming. I couldn’t help but imagine these obsessed moms hanging on the edge of their seat hoping their child gets their best time or beats out their biggest rival. We chose to sit this one out and spent the day at our pool. Kayleigh had some friends over and I had to chuckle at the thought that the night on our pool deck would stand out in her head much longer than a silly swim meet. Perspective is wonderful and necessary and I am grateful it hit me right in the side of my tiny head. I have made a promise to myself to not become that mom again. To sit back and just enjoy the fact that my daughter is part of a team and loves to swim. After all, swimming is not her whole world, just a very small part of it. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Top 10 Tuesday List of Things That Really Get To Me

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1) Fingerprints on the microwave, fridge, and cabinets

2) Bird poop landing on my leg when I’m lying at the pool

3) People that hang up just as I’m answering the phone

4) Cell phones that whistle when there’s a notification

5) People who walk straight at you in airports with no intention of moving out of your way

6) Hair balls kindly left behind from my pet cat in every room

7) Cleaning dog pee off my table legs EVERY day!

8) Places that keep their air conditioning at a lower temperature than it needs to be

9) Looking down at my gauge and realizing I’m out of gas

10) Comments about housewives/stay at home moms

Have anything to add? Let me know some things that bother you 😉

Use Your Words Wisely

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I was having a conversation with a friend on Facebook earlier and we were having a discussion about young, gay people feeling like they need to change who they are to the point it sometimes leads to suicide.

I can’t help thinking that all of us feel deep pain. We are living in a time when it’s become routine to be judgmental, critical and cruel to the people around us. I know all too well about suicide. In my 42 years, I have known 4 people who have taken their own life.

When is the last time you have gone out of your way to make someone feel special or good about them-self? Think long and hard and count up the times you have lifted someone’s spirits or just been plain hurtful. We know what words hurt, yet we use them anyway. How are we supposed to feel good about ourselves and excited about life when the negative words outweigh the positive, kind ones?

I think of common comments or generalizations that have hurt me over the years. Those words over time scar. We do not carry shields like super heroes that deflect harm. We consume harm and it eats us alive from the inside out. We feed our pain with fatty foods, we become hermits and choose to stay at home where we feel safe. We cut our own skin or develop compulsive traits that help us deal with the pain we cannot escape.

I don’t have any answers but I do have a suggestion. Just for today, go out of your way to build someone’s self esteem. Say something kind and watch what happens.Try it for a day, a week, a month. Imagine how we could change someone’s life by replacing critical, unkind digs with complimentary, kind words. What kind of world would we become? The amazing thing is, one by one, we can build that kind of world. It starts with you and it starts with me. I’m going to give it a try and hope you will join me on this new journey. Choose your words carefully, because the person on the receiving end may be taking them to heart.

Santorini, A Place I Will Never Forget

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I have been blessed the last few years to have gotten the opportunity to see some amazing places. There is nothing quite like traveling and seeing an amazing sight for the first time. It’s like something inside you comes to life, a part of you that had been asleep for a long time and becomes an eager child ready to see and learn. Although I love and appreciate every experience, there has not been one place I have felt the need to return too, that is until now.

I remember getting off the bus in the village of Oia. I had already spent 4 days exploring the Islands of Greece, but Santorini was about to become a longing for me, a place I knew I would have to return. As I walked to the top of the cliff and looked at the water and village for the first time I was moved to tears. I stopped breathing for a short moment and I felt my heart start to pound in my chest. There are no words to describe what I felt or saw that would do this wonderful place enough justice to describe its beauty. Natural, amazing beauty. A perfect canvas for a beautiful scene. In my 42 years, I had never fallen completely in love with a place like I did this one. It physically pained me to have to leave but I thought I would share some pictures so you could see it too. If you ever get the opportunity, go! It really is a magical place.

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How Do You See The World

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It’s a funny thing. I have been thinking about the phrase seeing the world through rose colored glasses. There I was on a 30 minute ferry ride between the Greek Islands of Mykonos and Delos. I realized how silly I must have looked pulling my sunglasses up above my eyes every few seconds so I could see the natural amazing color of the water that softly cushioned the bottom of our boat. I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful blue in all of my life. It just didn’t look as vibrant and beautiful through my shades. It occurred to me at that moment that I often see the world through similar shades that have nothing at all to do with eye care. Some see the world through rose colored glasses and the rest of us see the world through tinted distorted ones. How many times have you been to a beautiful place but missed the beauty because of a reoccurring thought or future concern? Perhaps a bad mood that you just cannot shake can drain the beauty out of any moment. How then do we remember to take off the glasses and focus on everything as it is placed in front of us in its own beautiful, magnificent way, exactly the way it is meant to be seen? I went to an absolutely gorgeous beach earlier today. Due to circumstances out of my control I was in a pretty terrible mood. The timing was just awful! There I was surrounded by the natural beauty and wonder of Greece and I could not shake that bad mood. I can’t help but wonder how beautiful the beach might have been with a slight adjustment of my mood and mindset. Oddly enough, even my photographs dulled the color and beauty of what I actually saw. Let that be a lesson for all of us. Wherever you are, be there completely. Take it in, the color, the sound, the sight and the feeling, exactly the way it is meant to be in that moment. Take off the shades that dull the moment or fade the scene from what it actually is and see it, really see it. Look hard and then turn around and take another look. There is so much beauty all around us. Don’t miss your chance to see it.

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Only You Decide

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I’ve noticed lately that people like to join a fight. If there are two people in a room, they will argue a point, if theres a major case in court they become part of the cause, teens on Facebook jump in to compliment a friend or join others in shooting down someones personal views. What is it about other people’s business that makes us feel we should turn it into something personal? Why do we turn others stories into our own? Are we so full of ourselves and so sure of our own feelings that taking things on like it’s our personal responsibility has become our purpose. Try this one on for size, take this personally. It is our job and our personal responsibility to spread peace and love. We all have a role in making this world a safe and pleasant one. Do we do this by encouraging anger and “fight” in others? At the end of the day, when we lie in bed and retrace our steps of the moments of our day, did we really do people and the world justice? Or did we start another fight or keep an old one going? I say drop out of the fight, wave your white flag and join the peace march. It feels great once you do. Let people battle their own circumstances. It’s one thing to be supportive and another thing to pick a side as if you are part of the situation. If joining sides means creating anger, violence, and hatred does it really feel like the right thing to do? Spread love for all people of every race, every culture, and for people who live their lives very different from your own. People are not alike because they share a skin color, a common trait, or a similar lifestyle. Stop pretending they are and start to look a little closer and see that people are individually unique. We are all different despite how much you believe we’re alike. Think about this next time you join a cause or start a riot because you feel it affects you personally. Choose wisely. Will you become anger and hatred today or will you choose peace? Only you get to decide.