Monday, June 29, 2015

What I am.

So while doing a little spring clearing out of my desk this morning, I found a collection of photos of my kids throughout the years. Looking at pictures of all five of my kids from years ago, makes me more than a little nostalgic. All of those Hallmark cards are right. The little things are the big things – I know that now. Babies grow up in the blink of an eye – I didn’t believe it when I was dealing with dirty diapers and crying and spitup, but it is true.  I miss every last bit of it. Nonetheless, I am trying so hard to be forward looking, full of happiness and anticipation of what my daughters’ and sons’ futures hold.  I know that I have done many things right as a mother.  But why am I constantly remembering all of the things I didn’t do?  While my two oldest were growing up, I was attending college and working.  And I thought I was being so noble because I was gaining an education.  What a waste! A better use of my time would have been being satisfied with all the opportunities I had without those degrees and simply spent time with my kids.  Education is great. But there are so many ways to be educated and not all require attending a school, completing assignments, and being graded.  

What I love to do is sew and work with my garden and animals.  I’m better at those things than I am at anything else. How ironic that I can’t get any better at it because I’m too busy working a job that although I love, anyone else could do just as well.  And where did I learn to sew? And where did I learn about gardening and animals?  I learned to sew from my grandmother – for free.  I learned about gardening and animals by trial and error and through books – also free (more or less).  I’ll be paying off my student loans forever.  And will never be able to leave my job because of that.  So in summary (in case I wasn’t feeling crappy enough about this), I sacrificed my time with my kids to pursue an education in a field for which I’m not well-suited which takes time away from who and what I love and to top it all off, I’m paying dearly for it.  The American dream.  Blah.

BUT. Unlike so many people in the world, I had the choice. I made choices that at the time I thought were the right choices but in retrospect, can see that I should have thought things through a little more.  Even now, I have a choice.  We always have choices. But what we don’t have is a crystal ball to see how the consequences of those choices pan out.  Ugh. I need a nap.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


My daughter was telling me about a recent conversation that she has with her 8 year old son.
He was talking about wanting to “make the world shine”. He told his mom that he was going to invite a child to play with him that does not have anyone to play with and take a plastic bag on their evening run to pick up trash. He  told his mom that “even people who do bad things have love in their heart, they just need to find it and everyone is perfect even if they only have one eye in the middle of their forehead, or no eyes, or no mouth, or no face at all, they are all perfect”. 

So that tells me a couple of things. First off, his mom has done a pretty good raising him and I know her mother personally - she's no gem.  Second, kids are way more compassionate than adults.  They just have less power to demonstrate their compassion.  It is sad that when we are older and have the resources, we just don't care enough to do anything about anything.  Well, that is true of many people anyway.  I think the world is going to be a better place because of my grandson. If he can just hold on to his desire to be kind, the world will be blessed.

The other day I went for run during my lunch hour.  I've been trying to change my stride a bit so that I don't shuffle so much (I am a huge shuffler).  I was heading back to campus and I was trying to be conscious to the comparison between picking up my feet, which I had been doing, to my current gait, which was shuffling.  And I tripped over a change in the sidewalk. Fell on my knee, my wrist and my shoulder.  But I popped back up because my biggest hurt was that of my pride.  But.....there were two adults also walking down the sidewalk toward me - about 15 feet away.  They clearly saw me because it was a grand fall and a terrific recovery. And did they acknowledge me? Did they ask if I was alright? Anything? No! Nothing. I would be willing to bet that had it been two college-aged students walking down the street, they would have asked immediately.  I've witnessed over and over, the kindness of students on campus.  True, there are many rude, uncaring students but for the most part, they are truly kind humans.  

And what is my role in this? I need to be sure that I am the kind of person I want other people to be.  Which is difficult.  Because sometimes, I'm just not in the mood to be pleasant and caring and kind.  Being aware is the first step and changing my behavior is the next.  To quote a very important person in my life, I want to help make the world shine.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The small stuff.

It's a little bit cold here in central PA.  Which is a matter of perspective because actually, it feels just right to me.  It is perfect weather to curl up in a blanket with a mug of tea and revisit my childhood for just a little while. And since I started running again, a few shortbread cookies would not hurt either!

Every once in a while I think of myself as being a jerk.  Well I must not have been too bad - my sweet son who I didn't think read my blog, surprised me with these books today.  This has made my day.  Being able to retreat back into some warm memories of a time when I didn't have too much to worry about will be a welcome respite from these two weeks of anxiety aka last two weeks before my daughters graduate.

It has been a weekend.  I typically do not cry and by cry, I mean sob.  Depression does that to you - or at least the medication to treat the medication does that.  But in what was probably not the best timing for this decision, I decided to forego my depression meds.  I've always been able to tell when the depression is creeping back and have always made the good decision to take medicine when needed.  But I'm thinking that it is time to give my brain a rest.  So back to was good, really good, to cry.  It started Saturday evening and finally ended around noon on Sunday.  And I was wiped out. I went to church, and cried. I played the piano at church, and cried.  But I feel so much healthier now.  I don't think it will be the end of the melancholy and the crying but I think I have a handle on it.

When my son graduated, I remember listening to Five for Fightings' ' 100 years'. Over and over.  Because, apparently, I wanted to tear my heart out. That lasted for two weeks pre-graduation and a fog of sadness persisted for a few weeks after.  Because I really missed him.

But he turned out well - as, I'm sure, his sisters will.  I know he turned out kind and good.  He sent me Raggedy Ann and Andy.  He gave me some of my childhood back. I love you Ryan.

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...