Tag Archives: hope

This is your one life.

17 Oct

 

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As I approach the “middle” of my one life, this is what I now know:

1)  Friendship is worth fighting for.  Preserving a good relationship is always more important than being right.  Even if you feel like it should be the other person’s responsibility to apologize, reach out to you, or be the bigger person, if the friendship is worth saving, you should do your best to save it.

2) That being said, invest in friendships, but don’t chase them.  I’ve learned that taking the time to notice my friends’ needs and priorities is worth its weight in gold.  Pay attention.  Be thoughtful.  Reach out just to check in, even if you have nothing to report.  But, by God, do not chase after someone.  If you are doing all of the planning and initiating all of the contact, it might be worth considering being quiet for a while.  If they care about you enough to miss you, they will realize and reach out.  If they don’t then you’ll know that things were way too one-sided to flourish into a fruitful, long-term friendship.

3) Friends are put in our lives for a reason, and sometimes only for a season.  Instead of viewing the fizzling or ending of a friendship as a “break-up”, treasure the good memories you made together and be thankful that the person was placed in your life for such a time as he or she was. 

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4) Rest assured that if something devastating hasn’t yet happened in your life that it will.  You will be stretched until you think you will break.  Instead of being constantly anxious about the inevitable, live in the moment and be grateful that you are experiencing a time of peace when you are.

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5) Children are blessings.  If you have kids, most days will likely be overwhelming and you will feel more challenged than blessed.  Instead of making life harder on yourself for feeling guilty about that, just accept that parenting is not meant to be blissful.  It is the raising of a human being, which like any work is going to require a lot of ups and downs and time investment, and will sometimes be less about joy and more about survival.

6) Having a spouse or a partner may very well be the hardest job you’ll ever have.  Instead of fighting that fact, embrace the idea that being in a full-time relationship is a full-time job from the moment you decide to spend your lives together.  That way, when the honeymoon is over and sh*t gets real you won’t be so shocked.

7) People get sick and die.  If you live past 30 (or maybe even before), you will likely find yourself staring at your phone or computer in disbelief when you get word that the unspeakable happened. That your best friend’s infant was stillborn.  That your colleague’s child committed suicide.  That your pastor’s wife has breast cancer and has a very low chance of survival.  That your neighbor’s toddler drowned in their pool.  There will be no words.  Don’t avoid those people because you don’t know what to say or do.  Bake a casserole, go to them, look them in the eyes to show you care, and hug them.  Just be there.

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8) Family are the people that you choose to show your true self and who seek to love you unconditionally.  Sometimes they might be related to you, but usually they aren’t.  Be open to this possibility.  Don’t buy into the “blood is thicker than water” B.S.

9) If you are connected to your family of origin, do not take them for granted.  Don’t wait to say “I love you.” or “Thank you.” or “Can we work this out?  You hurt me.” Your grandmother is still alive?  Stop reading this and call her on the phone right now.  Seriously.  NOW.

10) A good housekeeper, nanny/babysitter, or therapist are probably the hardest people in the world to find.  If you are lucky enough to have one, tip them often, thank them profusely, and treat them like family (or better).  When they eventually move out of your life for one reason or another, you will be heartbroken.  Don’t wait until then to let them know how much they make your life better.

11) Your body will fail you.  Stretch marks, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, gray hairs, hernias, wrinkles, and worse happen sooner than later…and not just to other people.  Take care of yourself, but don’t expect to be 20 forever.  Embrace the body you have; confidence is 80% of being attractive.

12) Love yourself.  Not just your body.  Your soul, your mind, your entire humanly being.  We have but just one life to live, so have a personal mission and vision and abandon anything that derails or erodes them.  Write your own eulogy now and then take all the steps necessary to live towards a life that represents it.  

13) Superstitions are nonsense.

14) Love someone else fully.  The person you shower with your fondness doesn’t have to be a spouse or child.  A dog, an elderly nursing home resident, or God count here.  Whomever you love, just give them your all.

15) Serve.  Do things for others without any expectation.  Being grateful and doing good are the shortest routes to contentment.

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16) Find a reason to laugh.  Daily.

17) Believe in something.  Sure, the Lutheran Christian in me hopes it will be the God I know who loves us all unconditionally and who provides grace through faith alone.  But, no matter what you believe in, stay grounded by being certain it is something bigger and greater than yourself.

18) Take my advice and shove it if it doesn’t work for you…your life is your own to be lived in a way that brings a little bit of better to the world.  Breathe.  Love.  Live.

Peace,

Amber

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Finding breathing room and seeing the light

9 May

ImageOne, of what will certainly be many, black eyes in the P house.

I’ve been struggling a little bit lot over the past few months.  Not really with my mood, but rather with the “voices” in my head.  No, I’m not actually hearing anything, silly.  I just mean the kind of self-defeating conversations you have with yourself when you feel like you have made a poor choice or you aren’t living up to your own expectations about what being a mom and wife looks like.

My boys (ages- a couple days from 2 & 5 and 7/12- his words, not mine) are having a rough go of the sibling thing.  They are at two completely different stages and have mostly different interests…except of course when one brother is playing with something- then it becomes absolutely the ONLY thing the other wants to do. 😉  Anyway, I feel more like a referee than a mom most days, and I’m fairly certain that I’ve been about as sweet as rotten eggs as a wife since our second became mobile.  L2′s nickname is “the bionic child”, and for good reason.  He challenges me to my core with the physical intensity required to keep that boy safe.  While being extremely independent, he is also an expert climber, jar opener, mess maker, and sharp item finder.  Being awake means he’s at risk for injury and so I can’t leave him alone.  Even for a minute.  Even to pee.

L1 is at an equally delightful and challenging age.  The one where his curiosity has blossomed from self endangerment (which he never really suffered from) to research.  However, it also means that he asks a million questions a day and is incredibly sensitive because he is analyzing everyone’s words and actions.  What used to be wishy-washy playground talk by 4 and 5 year olds has become “the world is going to end because so-and-so told me he’s going to lock me in the squidapod…”.  What in the world is a squidapod anyway???

Yesterday was a random day.  My husband was out of town.  A couple of friends and neighbors stopped by.  The landscaper was moving mulch from some trees we had cut down last week.  It was sunny and warm, but not too hot.  The stuff of ordinary Wednesdays in May in Atlanta.

But, for me May 8, 2013 was extraordinary.  Why?  Because it was the first time in as long as I can remember that I felt like I was doing an okay job.  That my boys weren’t constantly in a competition to see who could irritate the other more.  That I didn’t feel the need to rush to beat the bedtime clock.  That we just were.

This morning we slept in a little.  We had just enough (but not too much) time before school to do the things we had to do.  We got to school on time.  Not late, but not too early for carpool, either.  L2 and I came home after dropping off L1 and he and I played a bit.  I cleared out my inbox a bit.  We ate a bit.  He actually watched part of a TV show!  He brought me a shirt out of his drawer and asked to get dressed.  He threw his own trash away and helped me clean up a few of his toys.  We hugged and laughed and giggled.  He fell down and bumped his head and instead of getting hysterical he walked over to me and asked for a hug.  We snuggled.

I found some breathing room in the past 24 hours.  For the first time in over a year my shoulders are not pulled up to my ears as an outward sign of the inward stress.  I am breathing a bit more deeply and peacefully.  I am seeing the light of what life will soon be like more regularly.

While I adore the infant phase and I am able to tolerate the toddler phase, by far, 5 years old is my favorite so far.  I miss the newborn smell and the ease of a child who can’t harm himself since he doesn’t move much.  But, I also miss being able to pee by myself.  And, reading.  Oh how I love books…and I miss them so.

My kids are growing older everyday.  Whether I like it or not, they are rapidly changing and developing.  So instead of living my life in mourning for their infancy, I am going to choose to be present and find the beauty in having older children.  The contentment and freedom that come with their independence and ability to communicate their needs.  The joy of finding myself again as I get to know them better.

Bless your heart 😉 ,

Amber

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