It’s another different celebration in this strange year. Many of us are social distancing and can’t hug on or even see face to face our loved ones. It’s a tough time to rejoice and enjoy celebrating.
I’m finding today bittersweet. Feeling loved and spoiled but a little sad too. Some things technology can’t give us. And I know I’m not alone in this.
For all you mamas out there, no matter if alone or with those that make you a mom know you are recognized for the value you have as the gardener of this life.
May you find joy today no matter what for even just a moment.
I am having a hard day. I miss my kids. I miss going to meet friends. I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things). And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.
As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others. For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.
So this has me thinking about the ease of love. How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time. When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues. When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share. When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things. And some of these are tough, not so great.
We are not getting breaks. We are not seeing other faces. We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week. We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with. How do you keep loving in the midst of this time? How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?
As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith. I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength. I am reminded that Love casts out Fear. We have this time to build rather than tear down. We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.
Love as an emotion is easy. It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good. It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them. But I have always viewed love as a verb. It is more than an emotion. It has to be tough. It has to weather storms, battles and disease. It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt. It has to share more than a kiss and hug. It has to accept sad and happy moments. It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear. It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.
Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy. But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions. It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time. When each one is processing loss and sadness. When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.
Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love. Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with. And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable. But that is what love does; it accepts all. All the ugly moments. All the good. And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love. Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain. It can handle being quarantined if we let it.
I hope that wherever you are you are loved. I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears. I hope this time strengthens your relationships. And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone. We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.
Keep holding onto love.
I’ve been thinking about houses the past few days. Why we choose the ones we do. How we decide the”right”one for our family or possible future family. How we determine what spaces are the most important and what we must have; like the best kitchen or bathroom, etc.
Having owned a few homes, lived in apartments and now rent a house, I have a lot of experience in this area. Since I’ve been divorced I’ve lived in at least 9 different places. All in the same area. Almost all different sizes.
I have often voiced the thought of how having a smaller home helps love grow. In a home that’s large with lots of options to escape each other perhaps you don’t work things out as readily as a small home requires. So I find I like living in a space that is smaller but open, that requires us to work through issues quickly. It’s challenging to hide your feelings when you have no where to escape to. Even when the space becomes crowded I would still choose our smaller home to the big homes I’ve had in the past.
It’s cozy and warm. It’s open and bright. And our family and friends feel welcome. The size of the home isn’t what matters but what you fill it up with. Who more importantly. I’m hopeful the houses I’ve resided in raise up children who feel loved and ready to explore the world. That my partner feels encouraged and supported in his endeavors and that we thrive as a team.
The house you prefer will look different than mine. And my needs for what my home provides will change. For now these rooms are filled with what we need in this season. I believe love and harmony grow best when relationships are watered and fed. When we communicate and listen with each other. And I find that no matter what your house looks like, it is the folks that you live with that create the home.
May you feel blessed today. May you love the home you are building.
I would love to hear from you; what is your favorite space in your house? Do you prefer tiny or large?
It is the first Monday of a new year! Seems this first week has just brought so much joy already. We enjoyed a kid free week; a rare event in our home with four kids between us. Spending a week relaxing, rejuvenating and envisioning our plans for the future has been a rewarding experience. It is always nice when you are given things and moments you didn’t even know you needed.
Having a mellow start to the new year has set us up well I think. Sometimes one needs to take some down time to regroup and reset. The planning and thinking about the year ahead has always been my favorite part of the new years holiday. In years past I have created a big list of lots of goals to accomplish through out the year. And it has been hit and miss as to what I accomplish each year. So with this new year and new decade I thought I would try a new approach. I want to focus more on intention versus resolution.
In making the switch from one way of thinking, let me first define these words.
Resolution: (n): a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Intention: (n): a thing intended; an aim or plan.
In the past few years I have been learning about mindset and how the words we speak out loud and in our minds affect our outcomes. Anyone of us can find statistics on how many people fail at their new years resolutions. I think I read this morning something like 46% of folks succeed. Not too promising or inspiring to think about the other 54% failing or falling short.
Having just completed a rather difficult (for me) ending to this past decade and looking back over this past year, I decided I did not want to repeat the same mistakes and fall short of my goals. So I have decided to be part of some different workshops, groups and forums that will help me succeed in changing how I set goals. Moving from a resolution mindset to an intentional way of thinking and behaving.
Resolutions are not bad and can be very motivating. I have had success with setting them before and may again someday. But this year, I want to focus more on how I think and how that impacts the decisions I make and the actions I follow through with. Setting my intention each day to take an action toward some goal is more my style this year.
For example; one of my goals this year is to be more active. Instead of saying or writing on the never ending list on my fridge that I want to run everyday, (which I know I ahead of time I most likely will not do as I have not ran much in the last year) I have set the goal that every week I will add in a new physical activity that will help me become more fit.
My plan for this looks like this so far:
Work week 1–do 50 squats everyday (completed!) I started last week since this lined up with my current work schedule.
Work week 2 (this started today) – 60 squats everyday and walk 10,000 steps each day.
Each week I plan to add another activity to the mix till I am seeing the results I desire to see. I am already finding this fun and creative and a way to keep me from feeling overwhelmed with changing too many things all at once. So far this is easy to do and I am excited to add a new activity each week. And to see how this shift in my thinking will affect my results. I can tell you so far, I am having no stress about being more active because I know I can add one thing each week.
How do you approach the new year? Do you set goals each January? And do you successfully meet them? Or are you like me this year and try to set more intentions; believing this kindness to oneself may serve you better? I am hopeful that trying a new style of goal setting and planning will be successful, it’s worth a shot right?!
Let me know what you intend to do this year; I would love to hear from you.