Twilight 

This time of day, 

after the shoulds, the musts and the have to dos are done.

The kids are tucked.

The dishes are running and the laundry is drying. 

This time of day is for me. 

I open the bedroom window, 

to a chorus of frog song. 

I feel like a queen on her balcony saying goodnight to her adoring subjects. 

I turn on the bedside lamp, choose a book from the 23 in the pile, 

and flop down on my queen bed. 

I fluff and snuggle until all the pillows and blankets are just so, 

and then, 

I exhale. 

And read. And revel in today’s beauty. 

And give thanks for the blessing of today. 

reboot

You know how those wise computer people say to turn off your computer on the weekends so it can reboot and install updates? Well, I kinda learned that this week.

While I’ve started this post with computer references, let me just go on record and say I know nothing about computers and this, as with all of my posts, is about life, and figuring it out (or at least attempting too).

I have had a lot going on for awhile. Let me illustrate:

I’ve been a single mama of three hella bright precocious children for 10 years.

My beautiful, inspiring mom was diagnosed with cancer last year and is fighting with the strength of 1000 warriors.

I am the Executive Director of a nonprofit Educational Organization. I raised $400,000 in 4 meetings last week (woot!).

My daughter is graduating from 8th grade and plays club volleyball which has us all over the region every weekend.

All of my kids are musical, they take piano lessons, play guitar, sing in choirs, etc.

My two boys…one is building a rocket on the dining room table as I write, the other one is at grampa’s house, helping him make gluten free bread.

(When I write all of this, it looks ridiculous. Like hello, one person is not capable of doing all of this!)

So anyways, I started not feeling well a few days ago. I’m anemic and I thought it was that. Turns out after a long day in ER that my stress was so high, my heart created an irregular rhythm to try to deal with it. Oh.

The ER doctor gave me a letter that said, no work until next Tuesday. Huh.

So, I came home (by that I mean my dad drove me home) and sat on the couch, for a long time. My dad made dinner, and I worked on chilling the heck out.

I started with working on my belly breathing (thanks yoga) and figuring out what I can take off my list. I decided to send my daughter to the volleyball tournament this weekend with another family. I asked my dad to take the boys for the weekend. I wrote and I wrote and I cried and I breathed. I started to feel much better. Today, I feel pretty much back to normal.

This was a wake up call. I have been running for so long without stopping that my operating system was thinking about getting out of whack. Hence, the reboot.

Today, after I said goodbye to my daughter, I had a huge meltdown. She is getting older and I have 4 years with her before she graduates and takes on the world herself. Time is so precious. As I sat there with the tears pouring onto my hoodie, I felt like such a failure. Failing at doing all of the things I want to do. Failing at self care and being a good mom and spending enough time with my kids, my mom, my dad, my friends. Failing at holding it all together.

And then I remembered something a dear friend said to me once, she said, “Tanya, why are you being so hard on yourself? If this was happening to a friend of yours or one of your kids, you would wrap them up in your arms, tell them how much you love them and how capable they are. Do that for yourself.” Oh.

Another friend said, “it’s not you that is broken, it’s the system. The go all the time, crazy rush of American life.” Oh. 

So, it is with self compassion I say to myself, “you’ve come a long way baby. You deserve a break to slow down and reboot. Welcome it with open arms, it’s a message and you need to hear it.”

So, the rebooting starts. I will be offline, in nature, with loved ones and learning how to sustain and balance this precious life. 

Take care of yourself. Reboot if needed. Breathe and repeat. You’ve got this. And do do I. 

Desert Bloom 

 In the desert,

prickly and dry terrain

as far as the eye can see.

Walks are beautiful here,

but watch your step, 

desert creatures aren’t always friendly.

Sometimes it must seem like there is no end to the desert, no growth happening.

And yet, on our walk

I see something new, 

there, just around the corner, 

see it? 

It’s bright yellow, 

in contrast to the dust of the earth,

it looks as if the sun planted itself right here. 

Green foliage grounds it in the earth.

This beautiful, shining flower shows me that even in the desert, 

life grows. 

This flower is special. It’s one of a kind. 

Others pass it, unnoticed. 

Not us, we see it. 

And know, it is just for us, 

A reminder, that love grows,

wherever it’s planted. 

Life in the Salt Marsh

 The day is awakening, 
forklifts bustle at the Port across the way, 

commuters traverse potholes on the way to work. 

This morning I took a moment to slow down and visit life in the Salt Marsh. 

She welcomed my weary soul with birdsong. 

Frosted folliage surrounding the waters edge. 

Geese gracefully gliding on the water, 

Raven squawks as if to awaken the sun.

All of this beauty and quiet, right here at our footsteps. 

As the sun slowly breaks through the clouds, I am at peace. 

I am reminded that we are one with the earth, 

and she cares for us beautifully. 

We just need to ask for her solace, 

and breath deeply of the love that surrounds us. 

That is how I see life in the Salt Marsh today.

 

Adventurers in the Sun

It’s been a long time since I have written! I took the summer off to play.

IMG_2562So, let’s bring you up to speed.

The kids and I had a great summer. My daughter was a camp counselor at a farm all summer and the boys did kayak camp, were involved in shenanigans of varying sorts.

As the summer came to a close, we realized although we had been having a ton of fun, we hadn’t been on a camping trip yet. So I popped them in the and we headed to the ocean.

We have done quite a bit of camping with friends but last year was our first mama plus three kids solo trip. After I got over my original anxiety of “what if we get eaten by bears”, we had a blast. So,this summer we went to visit our friend who is a Park Ranger on the Olympic Peninsula.

We packed snacks, sleeping bags and drove a couple of hours to the Lake Quinault. Stopping of course and the largest Spruce tree in the United States.

When we reached the beach, I feel in love with Kalaloch Beach. We walked for miles. We collected shells and wrote messages in the sand. 9E37A231-1ECC-4210-B3FB-61D732D84BB3

We roasted marshmallows in multiple hues from light brown to black. We took turns swinging in the hammock, we sang so many songs and laughed until we eventually fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves.

I say this often but I really mean it, I love these kids so much. Not only that, I actually like them. They are so much fun. While our life isn’t perfect or even easy some days, I am grateful every day to be the mama to three of the coolest humans I know.

As summer comes to a close and we get out the soup pots and wool socks, I find myself humming gently and remembering these adventures in the sun.

Happy

 
I woke up this morning with a cloud raining down on me. I don’t know exactly why, it was just one of those moments.  

I ran through my morning routine, a little pouty. 

Until I remembered, I can choose to be happy. Happiness is not dependant on a guy, wealth, sunny days. Happiness is a choice. An attitude. A way of being. 

I got dressed for work in crazy tights, a gray dress and a hot pink scarf. I put the red lipstick on instead of the neutral “sensible” color. I pulled my hair band out so my natural curls can go crazy. 

I have non-stop meetings today and you know what? That’s fine. I’m going in with flare.

As I park and walk to the office, students walk to classes, talking about climate change, statistics and the creative movement of the paintbrush on the canvas.

As I walk, cherry blossoms wave at me in the light breeze. The clouds linger on the tops of the buildings, embracing them in a good morning hug. 

These are the treasures that brighten my day, reminding me happiness is all around us, we just have to look. 

Moments of mystery 

  I walk in a forest covered in tree umbrellas,

a carpet of moss at my feet.

Newly formed buds grow on outstretched tree branches,

ready for spring. 

I ponder life as I walk in beauty.

The joys, 

sorrows,

and moments of mystery. 

It’s like this walk really, 

we are surrounded by beauty,

if we choose to look.

The occasional branch or mosquito on the path,

But in general, 

glory in color

embracing us with love.

Look up,

down,

around,

and within.

Here you will find the answers 

to any mystery you seek.