Tag Archives: parenting

I Absolutely Love my Overly Complicated Life!

My life is complicated. There’s no denying it. There are so many moving parts even my good friends have a hard time keeping up with what I have going on.

My kids keep me running with gymnastics, school projects and other activities. Every week when Friday comes around their first question is, “What are we doing this weekend? Who can we have over?” We always have something going on and usually one or two of their friends tags along. Weekends are a whirlwind of crafts, games, errands and general chaos.

It can be disorganized, but I love it.

I have a wide network of friends that expands ever more as I grow and make connections. After my divorce I was unable to hold a conversation with anyone, and now I can walk into a Meetup event with 20 or more people and hold my own. I’ve found that the better I feel about myself, the more people are drawn to me, and I end up with seemingly endless opportunities to build friendships.

It can be overwhelming, but I love it.

I believe everyone should volunteer, make their community better and so we’ve been fostering kittens. I have four little ones running helter-skelter around my house, climbing my curtains and terrorizing my cat. They have a tentative grasp on the concept of the litter box and I feel like I’m constantly mixing up food for them. The beasts will be here for a total of 4 weeks, with still a week and a half remaining.

It can be turbulent, but I love it.

Physical activity is important to me and I take every opportunity to get moving. I have been doing yoga and can feel myself getting stronger. I love bike riding and have gotten the girls new bicycles in the hope this will entice them to ride with me. I’ve finally reconnected with my paddleboard and will be taking that out when I’m finished here, so long as the weather holds.

It can be tiring, but I love it.

I have goals that will make my life even more fulfilling. Writing is part of this and I devote an hour or more to this daily. But there’s more I want to do, more ideas floating in my mind that will soon beg to be brought to life. I may have to give up sleeping for a while, but I will find time for these projects somehow.

It can be staggering, but I love it.

Add to this work, two houses to maintain, chores, travel, family and more, you can see why “complicated” is a fitting description. But it’s complicated in the best possible way, and I love it.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Complication

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How Powerful is it to Fearlessly Live in the Present?

I have made choices in life, done things I am not proud of. I should have known better; I should have done differently. I should have been someone else. I try not to regret what has happened; I can’t change the past.

Yet “if only” runs through my mind from time to time. If only I had gotten an education degree, maybe I would be a teacher now. If only I had stayed in better shape, I wouldn’t have to work so hard to get back into shape now. If only I had known how to invest better when I was younger, there’s a chance I could retire earlier. If only I had known my worth, perhaps I would have married differently.

What would my life be like now, if only?

Sometimes self-doubt has held me back, halted my progress. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I strong enough? What if my ex says something? I try not to jump the gun; it’s not good to act prematurely.

Yet “what if” invades my thoughts sometimes. What if I fail? What if they laugh? What if they realize I don’t know what I’m talking about? What if they decide they don’t like me? What if he retaliates? What if I lose everything?

Regret lives in the past; fear exists only in the future. In any given moment I have limitless possibilities to experience right now, without dividing my attention to what has already occurred and may happen. So from this point forward I will focus on today. I will leave the past behind me. I will worry about tomorrow when it comes.

Today I will celebrate this moment. Will you join me?

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Premature

What If My Writing is Just a Futile Routine?

Why do I write? What is the point?

A month ago I was finishing the final draft of my book. I was euphoric. I had a clear vision and a single-minded focus. I had never felt better, never been more certain of my path. I was inspired in a way I had never before experienced. I had a clear goal and I was going to achieve it.

For months I had pushed everything but writing aside. Each blog post aligned with my message because I thought of little else. Each word prompt inspired heartfelt writing that flowed without effort. I was insanely grateful for every single thing in my life; appreciating things that should have caused frustration. I was fearless; nothing scared me.

My life was at an all-time high. I had a purpose. I wanted to infect others with the same feeling I had as I was writing.

Since my book was published I have had to get back to “normal” life. I had to refocus on work, household chores, errands, exercising, and all the mundane tasks I shoved to the side while working on my project. As time goes on I feel my sense of purpose slipping away. I have other projects I want to work on but have started none of them.

I am consumed by the things that have to get done, instead of the things I want to do. Daily life is filled to the brim and there is no time to work toward my goals. My attention is diverted by each shiny object I pass; my time taken up by kittens, kids, coworkers, and friends.

I am feeling overwhelmed without adding a new project to my list, yet I know it is the next project that will bring back that sense of purpose.

So why do I write? Why do I continue to post each day when sometimes it feels futile?

I write because I’m a writer. I write because my writing has connected me with people in a way I never expected. I write because I know my writing has made a significant difference in the lives of at least 2 people, possibly more. I write because it allows me to express thoughts and feelings I might otherwise keep to myself. I write because it means something to me. I write because it matters.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Infect

I Don’t Want to be Blinded by Inane Questions

My patience is wearing thin.

All day long I answer questions; I’m told the system is broken, but it’s the users at fault more often than not. “There’s a malfunction!” they say. I look and search for the root cause, then I think to ask, “Did you follow the procedure?”

I close the ticket; no problem found.

My phone rings, an urgent request. “I need to know why this is broken, and I need to know now. I’ve asked everyone else and you’re my last hope.” I drop everything to uncover the problem, only to find they are trying to do something that has already been done.

I close the ticket; no problem found.

Another email arrives, the user is getting an error and needs this resolved immediately. “What is the error?” I ask; for some reason they don’t think I need to know. “It says the project is closed,” they reply and so I have to ask, “Did you look at the project?”

I close the ticket; no problem found.

A ticket is opened, “Why is this invoice on hold?” With research I discover it’s to be expected. Three years ago when they were designing this solution I told them this would happen. There’s nothing I can do; it was their decision.

I close the ticket; no problem found.

I’m supposed to be held to a standard; 99% of tickets should be closed within 3 days, per decree of the mayor. “It doesn’t work!” they tell me. “I need it fixed and I need it now!” they say. I give them the answer and there’s no response. I hear nothing from them; they’re too busy to reply. Days tick by and all I can do is be grateful that no one but me cares about these statistics.

Numbers don’t lie!

I hold on to hope that I will be able to contribute something of value on the next big project; that someday I will be able to do more than answer these inane questions. But who has time for projects when every moment is taken up with tireless demands from people who should already know the answers?

Is this really my life? Is this all there is?

I try to remind myself why I stay, for it’s this job that makes other things in my life easier. It would be difficult, though not impossible, to find another job that pays as well yet allows me the flexibility I have. Need to come in late to take the kittens to a vet appointment? No problem. Missed an important meeting because my daughter was sick? No questions asked. Out again with back pain? Work from home until it’s better.

I shouldn’t complain.

But I’m nearing the end of my patience here. I need to do something more meaningful. I had never intended to work in IT; it’s not a fit for me. There is more I want to do, much more. The vision is coming into focus. It has been obscured the past few weeks by competing priorities, but for my sanity I need to get back to creating my future.

For I am the creator of my destiny!

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Thin

Who Needs a Stuck Up Pedigree?

I am a mutt. I don’t have a fancy pedigree. I don’t come from a wealthy family. My parents would never win Best in Show.

I grew up poor, on the wrong side of the tracks; or rather the wrong side of the highway. I was raised in New Hampshire, in a house that had nothing but a woodstove for heat. In the winter, I slept with my head under the covers, using the heat from my breath to keep warm. In the morning, I scraped my finger through the ice on the inside of my bedroom windows.

I was the product of divorce; my parents separated when I was just 4 years old. My mother, sister and I moved in with my grandmother until my father found a place to live. I was too young to understand what was happening but I clearly remember how devastated I was to find out that dad would no longer be there at bedtime. Each night he created the tunnel I crawled through up the stairs to get to my room. Life would never be the same.

I was a latchkey kid, coming home to an empty house after school, stoking the fire, staying home alone with my sister at an age that would now be considered far too young. My mother worked full time and had other things that kept her away from home. It was inconvenient for her if we went to my grandmother’s house and so we learned to make ourselves dinner the nights she came home late.

But none of that matters. That’s all history. I am not defined by my lineage. I am not limited by genetics.

I am accountable for my choices; my lot in life is determined by my decisions. My success or failure is solely within my control. I create my own reality.

I could moan and complain; blame my parents, my ex or my boss, but where does that leave me? I can’t change my past. I can’t control how other people behave. I can’t even control my kids. The only person I can absolutely control is me.

And so I choose to take control of my life. I choose to blame no one for where I am, no one except myself.

My pedigree, my genealogy starts from this very moment.

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Pedigree

What is the Enormous Effect of Each Tiny Decision?

Are you familiar with the butterfly effect? One slight slight change in any variable can lead to a completely different outcome. Is it possible for the flap of a butterfly’s wing in China to cause a hurricane in the Caribbean? It’s hard to say for sure because that is just one tiny variable in a very complex system. But what would have happened if that butterfly had never existed?

The choices we make every day can have unimaginable results.

Driving down the road, your phone vibrates. You want to look down for just a second to make sure it isn’t an emergency but you don’t. Suddenly a child runs after a ball in front of you. Because you were paying attention, you were able to stop in time, forcing the car behind you to stop as well. What would have happened if you had looked down?

A childhood friend posts on Facebook about how depressed and overwhelmed she’s been since her divorce. You haven’t talked to her since high school and it’s tempting to just leave a teary emoji and scroll down to the next post, but instead you send her a private message to let her know that you understand what she’s going through. Because of your message, she feels hope. What would have happened if you had never reached out?

Your elderly neighbor has a dog who is usually very quiet but wakes you up barking in the middle of the night. This isn’t normal and even though you’re exhausted from a long week you decide to get up to make sure everything is okay. When you ring his doorbell there’s no answer but peering through the window you can see he’s lying on the floor, with the dog barking over him. You call 911. The EMTs are able to perform CPR and resuscitate him. Because you got out of bed, he will survive. What would have happened if you had ignored the dog barking?

Leaving the grocery store you see a woman with a toddler sitting on the side of the road with a sign: “Homeless, anything will help.” The toddler is playing in the dirt with a toy truck, dirty and painfully thin. The mother watches over him, protective but desperate. You stop and pull out the rotisserie chicken you had bought for dinner and also give her the bag of apples you had just bought plus a box of cereal. Because you cared, she and her child will have food not just for tonight but for tomorrow as well. What would have happened if you didn’t stop?

You find out your daughter’s teenage friend is being bullied at school. Your daughter doesn’t want you to embarrass her friend and asks you not to say anything to her parents. One day your daughter shows you a post on Snap Chat that has you concerned she’s going to hurt herself. Again your daughter begs you to stay out of it but this time you call the school to report the bullying. Because you called, the school confronts the bully then contacts her parents; the bullying stops. What would have happened if you hadn’t called?

When you flap your wings, how do you change the world? What small choices do you make every day? What would have happened if you had never existed?

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Slight

How Much Do I Love My Girls?

I love how responsible my kids are.

I love how they think.

I love how they can solve problems.

I love how they pitch in when there’s a lot to do.

I love how aware they are of the world around them.

I love my kids more than I ever thought I could love another person. I am beyond proud of the people they are becoming. They are a part of me; the core of who I am.

I want the world for them.

I want happiness and friendship.

I want love and success.

I want adventure and freedom.

I want it all for them.

I want them to know that anything is possible, anything at all. I want them to know that they can be whoever they choose to be; they can do whatever they decide to do.

I try to be the person I hope they will be.

I try to be thoughtful.

I try to be caring.

I try to be patient.

I try to be strong.

I try to be loving.

I try to be a role model, someone they can look up to. I try to be someone they can be proud of, so they can be as proud of me as I am of them.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Core