Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I have a confession to make...

I have a confession to make...

I secretly love when I witness other children misbehaving.  I find it mostly entertaining (sometimes annoying if it's incessant screaming of some kind, until I realize it means that I am not a bad mother with a bratty kid).

I don't have much to compare myself or my daughter to; I am not around kids often... though, as is my nature, I am always observing them and their parents (and parenting tactics) while I am out in public.  But, since I don't have a lot of comparisons -- I am easily jaded by negativity (fears, ego, etc.) and the endless opinions of others and what works, what doesn't, what I should (God, I dislike that word) be doing, etc.   I am left wondering: Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Are they right? Maybe I am just no good at this.  Is my daugther OK? Is she normal? (I feel bad even writing that; how dare I question if she is OK or "normal" - the standards of the word are subjective and who wants to be a uni-zombie anyway?)

So, yes.  I just cherish when I witness a scene less than pleasant made by someone other than myself or my daugther.  I giggle.  A lot.  And I sigh a huge breath of relief that I am doing OK afterall.

Judgment is truly the root of so much discontentment in society, and the cause of much upset within us.  Normal vs. abnormal vs. bad vs. good... it's exhausting.  And like I said, completely subjective.  Everyone has a different opinion of what these words mean.

I am sure those parents are embarrassed or feeling less than adequate - the ones with the kids "misbehaving" I referred to earlier.  Let's cut them some slack... share some love, laugther and light to fill their (possibly aching) hearts and lift their spirits.  I know if it were me, I have plenty of negative junk to go around for a lifetime, and a smile or a nod that someone relates would alleviate some of the already building pressures.

Being a parent is tough.  And it is an around-the-clock job.  Today, I celebrate all parents out there.  My message to you would be this:  everything is perfect as it is.  You are doing the best job you can, and that is all you can do.  Your child is unique and special, and he/she is perfect just as he/she is.  Love him/her up for the amazing spirit he/she is.  

PS -- (in reference to the photo) How can I be mad at that face?! Haha... she is such a clown.

PPS - I remember the days I would bring a blanket onto the (cold) kitchen tile floor, lay it down and curl up to read a book.  The couch was only ten feet away in the next room.  But I wanted to lay on the floor on a blanket.  Wrapped up like a coccoon.  Ah, the joys of being a child... the wonderment, the awe, the excitement in the little things.  Now that's something to be ressurected and celebrated!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A nubby cardigan, a flower scarf and a new perfume = Experiencing

Everything is about experiencing.

But, how often do we actually use our 5 senses to explore our days? How much do we actually experience and what percentage is filtered out, unnoticed?

Wait.  That was unfair.  And not totally accurate.  Everything is about experiencing and perception.

Today, for some reason unbeknownst to me (especially considering I had a mini meltdown at one point earlier on), I was moving along my day just slow enough to experience it for all of its little blessings and delicious, oh-so-yummy subtleties.

A spring morning, sunny with a slight frost in the air. As I was finishing up getting ready, I opened a sample box of perfume I had received, and rolled it on the inside of my left wrist.  Rubbed the right on top of the left, and grabbed a cotton cardigan and scarf on my way out.

Mmmm....  I could smell the perfume as I was walking and moving along, just enough to appreciate its fragrance and uniqueness, its newness.  [Side Note: I am not sure about this phenomenon; but it seems I can only smell perfumes on me that are new.  Once I wear them a couple times, everyone can smell it but me.  I assume most of you understand what I am saying; perhaps you even wonder the same thing.  I wish it was not so, as I truly love catching whiffs of perfume throughout the day... a little reminder it's there.  A brief interlude in the day, a nudge to be mindful and present.]

There was something magical about the combination of the knitted cotton cardigan (with its delicate yet nubby texture), the flower patterned scarf and the new perfume that instantly grabbed stake on both the cardigan and scarf.  It kept me grounded and slow(er)-moving all morning - when I am normally rushing around and slightly irritable as a result.  I closed my eyes and breathed in the chill in the air and the radiant sunshine.  As I walked my daughter up to her school, I noticed the grounds had just been landscaped.  It smelled like wet, fresh-cut grass. Again, I closed my eyes for just a second and breathed it in. It was so green and vibrant.  When I got back home, I created a homemade version of a drip coffee machine using a natural paper filter and a mini wire colander, and grinds.  Like "back in the day."  K-cups are so overrated.

The entire hour or so, which felt like a full day of experiences, was felt and lived.

For those sixty or so minutes, I almost forgot about my daily migraine and the fact I had packed on 30 plus pounds, lugging a watermelon around with me wherever I went.

It's the little things, the subtleties -- the "normal" moments -- that matter, that make up our life.  It's what makes our experience.  And our perception of what we encounter, using our senses, is what determines and shapes that experience.

The awe and wonderment of a child.  If we can mentally time-travel and be sure to bring back even a little drop of this into our adult lives, our worlds (our lives, our days... everything) would look much more colorful. They would smell much more pleasant.  They would feel much more warm and fuzzy.  They would sound much more ethereal.  They would taste so much more delicious.

It may not happen everyday... but I am grateful for my experiences today.

It was a perfect morning.