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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 - Fears, Tears and Closing the Gap

It's here again, the holiday season.  Like it or not. 

This year I saw it coming and I dodged it, stared it down and then I wrestled with it.  I've personally felt the pain and frustrations as others wrestle with it and then got cranky and lashed out.  I get it.  It doesn't hurt any less but I understand how and why that happens. 

So at 4:15am today as the full brightness of the moon woke me from a dead sleep, I came to this decision on how I will navigate Thanksgiving.

There is so much that is difficult right now.  The news is full of fear and dread and pain and suffering.  Some of it real, some of it hyped to feed our fears masked as news.  My family is adjusting to a new season and new expectations, some changes are good and some are difficult.  My social media feed is full of people embracing their choices and lashing out from their fears; trying to cling to what they believe is right.  The divisions are big on every front; Gaps in beliefs and expectations. As our fears grow, the gaps grow bigger.

I let fear wrestle me to the ground last night. I hope the tears that fell into the pie crusts can be sweetened up with enough whipped cream tomorrow to make it all work out.  Because today I am cleansed and whole.  I refuse to be a part of widening the gap and feeding our fears.

Instead I will just choose to be grateful.  That's it. Simply grateful for all that I am, all that I have, all that will be.

I will pray like never before for the families of our courageous military soldiers fighting our battles. I will not try and solve it with political opinions and ideas and conversations.  I will pray for those that are hurting from the fears and the division that threatens to harden their hearts forever. I won't judge them or be frustrated by their hurt, nor will I take it on as my own.

I will look at my children with love and gratitude.  I will remember how special holidays were as a child, without all the fear and the mess, and I will honor their need to be loved simply.

I will mash the potatoes, watch my mother stress over the turkey, and sip whiskey in my coffee with my grandfather.  I will not widen the gap with fear.  I will shovel it full with love and patience and understanding. I will acknowledge that many do not see the world as I do and that is perfectly okay.  I will shovel the gap full of grace and forgiveness.  I will do it as an act of love and as a decision that I have made.  I am grateful for the brightness of a moon that brought clarity to an otherwise messy mind. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A New Season ... Saying Goodbye and Moving Forward

It has been an amazing summer full of fun and sun and music and laughter.  And on this Labor Day Weekend, the close out of the summer, the fun has been on full tilt.  And then today, as the friends and the kids were packing up to leave I was hit by this strange feeling I didn't want to acknowledge.  With two days left in the weekend and lots of offers for parties and more fun and festivity, I felt this pull to stay.  I fought it hard.  Staying busy, making plans, ready to continue the weekend ...... until I could no longer ignore it.

So I dropped off the last teenager to their next event and slowly made my way back home to do what I knew I needed to do.  The thing I've been ignoring all summer.  It was time to say goodbye.  It was time to let it all go.

This beautiful place that I call home is for sale.  The dream home that was built to fill up lots of broken places in people.  The cracks that couldn't be filled with wildflowers and wood floors. It's time to let it go.  It's time to move on.  I've been at peace with this decision for many months and started marketing this beautiful place on to the next great family who needs to love it well. 

And as I've been busy all summer living and loving and enjoying this life, I've not taken the time to really say goodbye to this property, this home, this season.

So I shut down my phone and all the outside world and I got to work.  I pulled the weeds and I mowed the lawn and I cleaned the floors, and I changed the sheets and I did it with love and gratitude,  just as I did  when it was being built.  No sadness or regret, just the love and gratitude for a season of life that will forever be in our hearts.

I was reminded earlier today while the kids were floating and jumping in the lake for this great holiday that this would be the last summer here.  I knew when I woke this morning that this season is coming to an end.  The summer season and the season of the lake house.  I'm ready, I'm ready for new adventures and new beginnings and new people and places.  I'm at peace and I am ready.

So just as the sun was setting with my favorite last light of the day, I jumped on the four wheeler and toured this place and said my goodbyes.  I stopped at each place and let the memories sink deep.  The flowers that were planted, the paths that were created, the laughs and the parties and the families we've welcomed.  The tears that I've shed on each path through these woods.  I remembered the neighbor girl the first time I met her standing tiny in her pink cowboy boots.  I remembered thinking, this little girl will become my daughter's friend and a part of our story.  And she has.  Now both beautiful young women.

And as I let go and said goodbye, I also said  goodbye to the pain and the guilt and the hurt and the suffering.  Because life is a package deal and you get the good with the bad and the sunshine with the storms.  I acknowledged them all for the beauty of this special season with love and gratitude, ready to let it go.  And as I rode through this place with the warm breeze in my face, I closed my eyes and felt the warm wash of grace and the permission to move forward knowing this place will honor another family and they will also love it well.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

We're all running from something ....

We're all running from something once in awhile.  Aren't we?

We think we're doing a good job of hiding it ...but I've talked to too many of you.We make mistakes, we do stupid shit. I know the pain and the things I hid for years. Then we stew in it and let it harden us and change us.  We pretend like we're the only ones that have screwed up.  We turn our face away like we're the only ones that are hurting and we can't bear to be seen.

We go inside.  We close the door and pull the curtains and we hope someone, maybe everyone will forget. Will forget what?  Will forget the thing we've been stewing on for days, weeks or maybe years? Or should we forget that we're all just human and sometimes we're sad and vulnerable and we make mistakes.  We say things, we do things we just want everyone to forget. 

So if we're all just a little screwed up why can't we just air that stuff out in the sunshine instead of locking it in the dark and damp where it festers and grows?   The sun would bleach it clean.  Light is the best disinfectant. Yet we hide it all in the damp and the dark and feed it to fester and become a bigger part of us than it deserves.

I reunited with an old friend this weekend that I hadn't seen in 31 years.  We talked long and hard about those years we had missed.  Too many of them were spent hiding from people that we loved, hoping they wouldn't see and feel our pain and our disappointment in ourselves.

And how the hell are we supposed to learn and grow and get better if we're so busy hiding and trying not to screw up.  I'm sick of it. Sick of the judgement and the fear and the inability to just lay ourselves out there and know that when the shit goes down we won't need to hide from it.

And when we do change and become more of ourselves, there's always someone waiting in the wings to call out those changes and try to knock us back. I'm sick of it.  I'm sick of people that want to tell me what my right and wrong should be.  I'm sick of the self righteous and the judgement that seeps from the pores of too many.

And I wish I could go back and change those times that I was that person.  I wish I could cleanse myself of the tendencies that I picked up over the years that were based on the fear and judgment of others.  So many times that I felt I couldn't be myself and over time it changed me.  Fear is a relentless bitch. 

I want to spend time with people that have a heart for the humanity of others, not their own version of right and wrong.  I'm sick of the expectations of others that I will do their version of the "right" thing; Wear the right things, say the right things, be their version of the right person.  Who got to make up all of those rules and expectations and how did I get so mixed up in it?  You get mixed up in it when you're hiding from your own pain.  When you hunker down in the damp and the dark choked with fear.

I want to know that someone, anyone  ... will let us air out our fear and hurt and trouble. Air it out in the sun and bleach it clean.  I want to know that someone will watch me do something stupid and then lovingly and knowingly help me air it out in the sun.  And if my stupid shit has hurt them, they will care enough to say, "Hey, that stupid shit hurt me and I'd like to get it aired out in the sun so we can move on."

Because really, who gets to decide what our mistakes really are?  Yea, that's right, none of us.  That's between me and God.  So let's just shine that Light on it and see what happens.  And the rest of you can go about your own business.