Creating a Haven of Peace and Play!

Someday I won’t be able to work in my yard, today is NOT that day!

A day off from work and our ridiculous number of uncompleted remodel tasks (especially considering we haven’t even unpacked our bedrooms yet) seemed ludicrous.  The weather man was finally calling for no rain though, so to not grant myself a day off to tend to my new yard was simply out of the question.  Nothing can deter me when it comes to making an outdoor haven for my kids to find peace, play and make memories in!  Not my fear of heights, not the vast amount of vicious thorn bushes and certainly not my to do list.  The pain in my arthritic wrists had me periodically pausing to appreciate my body for everything that it was able to accomplish today, knowing that someday I won’t be able to do such things.  Sarah Ban Breathnach wisely said, “All we have is all we need.  All we need is the awareness of how blessed we really are.”  I love rainy days for making clear days feel like a joyous occasion and I love my aging body for making everyday moments feel like a victory.

Today was a labor of love!

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Houston we Have a Problem!

Someday I won’t be able to be a hard worker, today is NOT that day!

I had my work area cleaned up and organized and was ready to tackle my first tile job.  Everything was hunky dory until I had to dig into the bucket of mortar and then it was all “Houston we have a problem!”.  (My husband’s name is Tom not Houston and I didn’t even know he was in the house, but thankfully he came when I yelled that and helped me out of my mortar disaster so I could continue).  I’m quite certain God was feeling feisty and had a good gut laugh after he decided to mix anal perfectionism with messy disaster to my ingredients.  These conflicting traits of mine increase the job difficulty factor by at least 50% I bet.  Nonetheless, when I have a job to do I put my nose to the grindstone and lose all sense of pain, time, hunger and usually or rather unfortunately common sense 😛  I get in so deep that whether it’s safe or practical I will find a way around any obstacle in my way.  One of my favorite quotes comes from Babe Ruth, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up”.  It’s usually a circumstance rather than an opponent in my case, but when something is important to me I will not give up until I beat it.  That provides a feeling of exhilaration that overpowers my sore knees and muscles every single day.

Today was a messy victory!

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks!

Someday I won’t be able to apply the lessons that I’ve learned, today is NOT that day!

“The past is where you learned the lesson.  The future is where you apply the lesson.  Don’t give up in the middle.” Jesse Joseph.  It wasn’t until today that I realized how many lessons my fool self gives up in the middle on.  I started painting our new laundry room as I’ve always done in the past, ignoring Tom’s warnings to first cover the floor with plastic.  After wiping up a dozen drips in 5 minutes I decided to pull myself out of the middle and apply the lessons I’ve learned from the many ruined floors of my past.  Taking the time to properly cover the floor was torturous for me and I was quickly reminded why I normally don’t take the time to prep jobs before I do them.  A few minutes later as I was painting the ceiling I got the extended handle of my roller stuck in the full bucket of paint.  I flipped it over to wipe it off and ended up painting not the floor, but the plastic covering the floor!  Okay lesson you win, you were worth applying!  I ended up literally covered in paint from my head to my toes, but the floor is clean as a whistle 🙂

Today was a lesson worth living!

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Adventure Trumps Mud!

Someday I won’t get to spend New Year’s Day adventuring with this awesome crew, today is NOT the day!

I’ve heard it said that adventure starts where plans end and that was certainly the case for us today.  Our plan was to take the girls for a hike on one of our favorite trails; the adventure however began when the girls ditched our plan and took us off the trail and into the shoe eating mud and muck!  We found an enchanting gazebo and a super cool pole spring apparatus.  We got what felt like frost bitten fingers and snailed on(snow and hail combo).  Some of us crossed a log bridge and some fell off the bridge and into the water.  We slid down embankments and got cut by thorn bushes.  Basically we had all the makings of a grand adventure and giggles galore!  After a late night of ringing in the new year I could’ve done without the muddy bevy of boots and dirty dog, but taking adventures while I’m still able trumps worrying about mud every single day.

Today was an awesome adventure!

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Collateral Beauty!

Someday I won’t be able to make my last blog entry of 2016, today is NOT that day!

I am a creature of habit and have a hard time adjusting to change, but I’m also easily excited by new experiences.  When I come upon something that fascinates me I tend to get temporarily obsessed and attack it with great zest and heart!  The intensity of my feelings start to wane however once I accomplish my goal or things get too monotonous for me.  Hence I wondered if my mission of living for today and blogging about it might become a dreaded chore before years end.  Happily that wasn’t the case and this journey has and continues to refuel me and fill my heart with joy.  While I can’t say that living mindfully kept me depression free this past year, I can say that it greatly enhanced my life and is something that I intend to continue for the rest of my days.  Depression is a ruthless disease that has robbed me of an unthinkable number of precious days and I wouldn’t wish it’s unmerciful ways on my worst enemy.  Thankfully this journey has brought with it an understanding that, “you can’t see the stars without the darkness”.  I can waste my time wishing my hardships away or I can choose to accept the things that I cannot change and appreciate the collateral beauty that has come from them… and beauty in abundance is what I see as I look back at 2016 in review.

Today I am exceedingly grateful for my family and friends and this beautiful life that I am blessed to be able to share with them!

Today is a blessing!

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The Epiphany

I am a 48 year old wife and mother of four; Brady 20, Riley 17, Annie 14 and Josie 12.  I am also a professional photographer.  Around the age of 45 I started to notice some changes; for instance I began to gain weight more easily, I got a couple gray hairs and my body didn’t feel as “elastic” as it used to.  About a year ago I came upon a bumper sticker that read, “Someday I won’t be able to do this, today is not that day”.  The timing was perfect and it hit me in a very profound way.  So my mission in 2016 is to realize, appreciate and enjoy all of the things that I can do now.  Some things I will physically just not be able to do someday, others I hope to always be able to do but know that I won’t be able to do them as well or as fast.  And well the fact is that someday everything that I do here on earth will come to an end.  So there will be days that I will be acknowledging even the smallest and most mundane of blessings and trying to see them in a fresh new light.  The majority of my life I have suffered from major clinical depression, so I decided to document my journey in an effort to provide hope for myself on the days that I am lacking.  My son Brady suggested that I blog about it.  So what the heck- here I am blogging!  I have to be honest, it is uncomfortable for me to focus this much on myself.  As a mother of four, my soul focus has been my kids and other people for the last 20 years.  We’ve had an unusually rough last few years though and with 4 kids all in some stage of puberty right now I have been feeling extremely depleted.  So here’s to a new year and putting the effort into getting myself refueled so that I may continue to serve my family and all those around me!❤

 

Story Time!

Someday I won’t be able to enjoy Christmas Eve story time with my family, today is NOT that day!

Each year on Christmas Eve we all choose our favorite (or shortest for some) book and read it out loud to each other.  This tradition starts with a few gentle reminders (i.e. smacks in the head 😜) to get everyone to pay attention and then turns into to non-stop laughs and an all around special time of bonding.  Each of our traditions has always meant the world to me, but now with 2 adult children I’m being especially  mindful of soaking in every precious moment.  What better time than Christmas eve to remember the saying, “the best present you can give your children is your presence”.  The reverse also holds true for me.  There is no present that my kids could ever give me that would ever mean more to me than the gift of their presence.  Today I am grateful for my family and the traditions that we share.

Today was a beautiful story!

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Priceless Traditions!

Someday I won’t be able to go on our annual horse and carriage ride with my kids, today is NOT that day!

When I found out that this favorite Christmas activity was going to cost quadruple what it did 21 years ago when we first started it I told the kids we might have to skip it this year.  They immediately responded by offering to pitch in their own money to keep this tradition alive.  It’s not often (at their ages) that they offer to share what little money they have; which translates to mean that this tradition has become a priceless one for our family and one not to be missed this or any other year.  After years of repeating them traditions can start to become more mechanical than meaningful, but the thought of losing this one made it more special than ever for us.  According to Richard Bach, “The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” and enjoy it we did!  It was one of the most delightful rides we’ve had in years and found ourselves wishing it never had to end.

Today was rich with tradition!

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