The sun rises

As the sun goes down on this day,

my heart goes out to many.

My daughter’s friend who is scheduled for brain surgery tomorrow,

Those affected with covid 19,

Those working long hours caring for patients and searching for a cure,

Friends who have lost family members during this crisis,

Black America and the unfair fight that continues daily. May everyone jog safely soon,

People looking for their next meal,

People who are lonely or scared in this global pandemic

Know this,

you are loved,

we will get through this,

Why?

Because the sun rises again in the morning,

Love is much bigger than hate,

and healing happens when we give it time.

Single mom rant

So here I am, in a pandemic, with three kids.

In general, it’s ok. We have an income, a home, and each other. It’s spring, the flowers are blooming, and we have internet access. We have a lot of reasons to give thanks.

Today was many zoom meetings followed by a much needed walk with a friend. My son learned to play Elton John’s Piano Man, we all played a board game and watched a movie. The evening was sweet. There are dishes in the sink, the recycling is overflowing, and we ordered Chipotle delivery for the second day in a row. One kid mowed the grass and the other hasn’t done his weed whacking job, so our lawn looks like a reverse Mohawk. My daughter turned vegan and my boys could exist on cow alone- I have no idea what to feed them all, hence Chipolte.

This is week eight of the global pandemic. I think we are going to look back on this time and wonder how in the world we did this. Our state apparently has murder hornets now. What is happening? I haven’t seen my friends or coworkers in FOREVER! #extrovertlife

As a solo parent, sometimes I just feel bonecrushingly lonely. The day us coming to a close. I have worked, cleaned, bossed kids, feed kids, gardened, relaxed, and I feel so alone. I have so much to be grateful for. A home, job, beautiful kids, and sometimes I just want someone to share it with. Tonight we are going to a friends bday party. I bought gluten free desserts. I will drive, wrangle kids, drive home, get them in bed and start over the next day. Who do I ask about how to fix the cabinet that broke off? Who do I talk too about colleges for my daughter? Who holds my hand or hands me Tylenol for my headache. It’s all me. Yes, self love, gratitude and independence. And someone to hold my hand and tell me I am doing a good job would be such a gift. I don’t know why this is my walk in life. There are a million things for which I am tremendously grateful and moments like these where leaning on a pair of strong shoulders for just a moment would feel amazing. Thanks for listening.

Be gentle with yourself

Today’s meditation brought the wisdom “be gentle with yourself”. My goodness I have an overachieving side that can be tough! We are in quarantine at the moment and some how I am expecting myself to keep the house spotless with three teenagers home all the time, make nutritious meals when the sink is broken, exercise daily (and motivate kids too), lead an organization, stay on top of emails, finish grad school, re-seed the back yard, organize and declutter the house, and more.

My goodness. When I see all that it’s no wonder I feel exhausted and overwhelmed.

If I was a friend of mine I would say, “girl, that’s too much. Be gentle with yourself, you don’t have to do everything at once. Let’s right size those self-imposed expectations.

Where do these come from? My dad I think. The expectation to be perfect, presentable, a good daughter, someone who will make him look good. Well. Excuse my language but, fuck that.

How about finding a sustainable path that feels right to me. How about some rest? Some peace? Some non-guilty feeling Netflix?

So today, I’m going to underwhelm the world. I’m going to work less, make it though important emails, clean enough in the kitchen to have it livable and maybe watch a movie.

I am learning to be gentle with myself. I might suck at it and that’s ok, progress not perfection is the motto today.

Grieving busyness in a time of covid

Today I am feeling grief. I have experienced my fair share in life so far. Never have any of us experienced a time like this, isolated from friends, hugs, times of easy laughter. I’m sitting with the sadness, unknowingness, and fear.

Many of our neighbors and friends are healthcare and essential workers. (Please say a silent prayer for these warriors and everyone affected by this virus). Our gratitude is heartfelt and limitless.

In my meditation this morning, I realized one of the reasons I keep so busy. Unintentional as it might be, it helps me avoid tough feelings. I choose other coping mechanisms like eating sugar or junk food, watching too much tv. We all have our versions, ways we navigate both positive and negative.

One of the joys and challenges of navigating life as a highly sensitive, empathic person is that you feel all the feelings. Yours and others. I’ve had it all my life, the ability to feel people’s feelings, sometimes before they do. But until recently I haven’t “had the time” to learn about it. I’ve been too busy or hiding. I’ve been hiding this light under a bushel, so to speak.

So now I’m grieving being busy for so many years and ignore the truth of myself. I’m being graceful with myself also, if I had known how to do it differently, I would have. It turns out this part has been waiting for me to slow down and show up. She is beautiful. Grounded. Connected to nature. She goes with the flow. She radiates love from a balanced place. She honors her need for process and because of this honoring has love to share.

I will continue this learning for my whole life. Learning to honor my truth and release what no longer serves me. I will ride these feeling waves during this time like so many others.

Take care and be kind to yourselves friends. There is nothing to “do” in this moment, so rest, move your body, and focus on being in this moment, fully.

Prayers for the world

This is a time we never imagined.

Fear,

loss,

isolation,

and grief.

We watch the news,

in horror,

we see the numbers climb,

of those affected by the virus.

Who would have thought we would be here?

In the midst of a national epidemic,

so much pain,

also,

there is love.

Neighbors making masks,

People singing from balconies,

Cheers for healthcare workers,

Sidewalk chalk messages made by little hands.

So much love,

surrounds us.

Let us take heart,

hold space for each other,

and send prayers to the world.

Together,

we will move forward.

Achieving vs. Allowing

I’ve always been a pretty goal oriented person. I like to imagine the future and plan for the trips, professional development and family/home goals I would like to achieve. I’m good at it too. I’ve purchased my first house, become an executive director, and (as of Saturday) completed my masters degree. I’m proud of these accomplishments!

As I look for the next goals I have many in mind, take a road trip to California, walk a half marathon, attend a writers retreat, buy a new car, become a certified dance instructor and more.

We are in unprecedented times. With the covid19 virus sweeping the nation, it is a time to think differently. I’m not sure if I will be able to do a road trip, or a half marathon. There is some grief in the unknowingness that brings up, but also there are gifts.

Many of us have been on life’s hamster wheel for a long time, not knowing how to get off. This is our exit. The world is quieter, people are giving each other space. For me, I just finished a huge project and it’s time to rest.

For achievers like me, rest is hard, unsettling. Perhaps it’s in our dna, or an internal motivation. For me, it’s those and it’s tied into validation. If I achieve this new goal, revenue projection, kid winning team, I will be seen as valued. People will congratulate me and I will feel proud and worthy.

We all have reasons why we need validation, some more than others. In this new season, of staying home and staying healthy, a new way of being is calling forth to be born.

Whatever the messages are that push me to achieve for validation, they are old messages. We are bright, beautiful, worthy and a gift to this world. Instead of reaching for that achievement, my job is to allow that knowing. Breathe it in, appreciate the magic, and know, that is who I am.

As I look at my vision board this morning, which is peppered with goals and think to myself “nope”, I don’t want to live that way anymore, it’s exhausting. I want to rest, read, walk, cook beautiful food, and play in the dirt in my garden. I want to allow life to flow instead of pushing for results. I want to walk instead of run, breathing in the beauty of my life. Instead of driving to fast to a meeting because I am late, I am savoring the moments, the cherry blossoms and the beautiful song on a cd made with love.

I am walking into the mystery. What’s next? I don’t know. But I do know I’m enjoying the journey. I’m sure I will forget and go back to my old habits from time to time but I can promise you this, I will walk more gently with myself now. I will honor this season of rest and allow the mystery to unfold.

Gratitude walk

I woke up this morning feeling grumpy and tired. A full day of meetings ahead, but outside, blue skies as far as I could see. I pushed myself to go for a walk, even though I didn’t want to. I was 28° outside. I took the compost out in my way because the truck was coming and my son forgot. It was too heavy for me to roll, but somehow I move it.

As I walked, I focused on the heavy compost, how cold the air was, and the busy schedule in the day. I decided to go the opposite way I normally go on my walks, just for some perspective.

The neighborhood was bursting with flowering Magnolias and peeling Birch trees. I heard a knock, knock, knock, as I looked up, there in a cherry tree was a mama woodpecker just doing her job, hard at work. I stopped in my tracks. I looked around as if I’d seen the day for the first time. The frosty lawn was scattered with diamond sparkles. The sun was beaming, as if it was my personal beacon on this walk. Just me, the sun, and nature. I started to give gratitude for the cold, because it had made for a spacious walk. Gratitude for the frost that kept others at home. Gratitude for the cherry tree and her fragrant blossoms.

I walked in the sunlight path, but only for a short way, then it was hidden by the trees. It reminded me that we only see a little bit in front of us, and the rest is a mystery.

Here’s to chilly walks, solitude, spring, and welcoming the mystery.

Missing you

Pink was her favorite color.

Which makes sense because she was love.

Today, I miss her so much.

I’m doing all the things I know to do.

I’m walking,

Praying,

Eating well,

and still my insides hurt

and my eyes leak.

It’s been 2.5 years since she left this planet to join her angel friends.

I wonder if she sees what’s happening down here.

Isolation,

Fear,

Illness,

Unreal uncertainty.

I know she does.

I know she is praying fiercely and sending love to all of us.

I know that because of the pink flowers that guide my walk,

The remembrances of her all over the house,

and this love blanket she made for me before she passed.

I know all of that,

and I miss her deeply.

I love you Mom.

Hold my hand,

Just for a minute

and tell me it’s going to be alright.

We miss your wisdom and care down here.

We miss you and we love you,

Forever and ever.

Pink Moon Whispers

Tonight we sat,

under the full moon.

We remembered,

and dreamed.

We questioned

and prayed.

The moon,

how she sparkled.

All knowing,

she smiled at her cleverness,

bringing us together tonight.

We appreciated

and honored.

Laughed

and shed tears.

We let go of expectations

and suffering.

No matter what happens in this

unpredictable world,

as the moon shines through your

window tonight,

and always,

never forget,

the magic that is us.

Rise Up

Tonight I listed to Andra Day’s song, Rise Up.

It reminded me so much of you,

and the type of love I had for you.

This would have been us.

I would have moved mountains,

driven minivans, and

walked with you until the end of time.

You left.

Heartbroken,

I tried to move on.

Now you want to return.

This isn’t a river or stream.

It is a faucet that flows gratefully,

but went turned off,

is hard to turn back on again.

You share flowery words,

beautiful songs,

and visons of our life together.

What I don’t hear?

“I’m sorry.”

“I realize you might not trust me,

or ever want to be with me again.”

“I will rise up.”

“What can I do to earn your heart back?”

If I heard that,

I might believe that you know a fraction

of how much you hurt me,

us.

But you don’t say it.

You say, “roses are red,

I love you.”

I don’t know what the future holds,

but I do know that you held

the love of a thousand years

in the palm of your hand.

You squeezed it too tightly

and then

let it slip through your fingers

because you were afraid

of loosing it.

If I ever come back,

it will be because

you have honored me

and shown me

in big and small ways

that you will be the partner

for whom

I will

rise up.