25
May

Five Minute Friday - pause

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on pause.
Go.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.

It has been a whirlwind of a week.
Two huge events for my agency
big meetings for my business
triathlon training is really taking up so much of my time
the kids are getting close to the end of the school year
my husband has reached his school year limit
I have been running around trying to keep it all together
which means at night my brain falls apart and forgets how to fall asleep
which means this morning as I sit in the success of the last few days
I will hit pause.

Today, I will breathe
I will nap
I will have a cup of coffee by a window while I read
I will take my dog to the park and have her burn off energy
I will pause.

I will shut down
forget my list
I will linger
I will sit with myself
I will be happy with the accomplishments but also happy that it is over
and I can hit pause.

Today I will hug my kids
I will snuggle them
we will have dinner together
we will kiss noses
they will tell me about their week
they will ask how my week went
and I will remind them that work is important
that mom loves to work
she leans into it
but I am happy to be home
hitting pause.

I will reconnect
become a better bride
a better mom
a better friend
I will find the other parts that were pushed away.

Today I will linger
I will smile
I will feel whole and full.
Job well done sort of full and whole.

And today, I will hit pause and sit in calm and comfort.

Stop.

18
May

Five Minute Friday - secret

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on secret.
Go.

It's my number one family rule, in our house, we don't keep secrets, we keep only surprises.
Secrets are too heavy loves.
Secrets feel sneaky and carry a hint of lies and possibly shame.
Secrets can get us into trouble and sometimes can get us hurt.
I don't like secrets, only surprises.

But lately, you have been having trouble with this one.
You have been keeping things from us in the worry of "getting in trouble" and that is making me worry.
Are our voices to sharp?
Are our consequences too severe?
Are you living in fear of reactions?
How else and what else can I add to the list of ways that I fail you?

But as we all know, parenting is all about learning and all I can do
is keep listening to you,
keep molding to you,
keep changing with you.

I want to remind you that I am not here to make you feel worse.
I am here to help you learn.
I am not here to rub anything in.
I am here to brainstorm on ways to handle it differently next time.
I am not here to be the example of perfection
because no one is.
I am here to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, even grownups, even parents.
And all we have to do is take responsibility for them, learn the lesson and move on.

I do not want a home of secrets, I want a home full of trust.
I want you to know that we are your base, we are the foundation and we do not judge
we shape and grow and nurture.
We love you and that will never change.
There is nothing you can and can't do to make me love you more or less, that is just fact.

So let's get back to our house rule.
Let's understand why it is in place.
Let's remember how much we will always love.
Let's stop keeping secrets and open back up to each other.
Let's remember that this is the one weight you do not have to carry because we are here to take the load away.

Stop.

11
May

Five Minute Friday - include

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on include.
Go.

I made the decision to include you in my life pretty early on in us.
I just knew, our love would become family.
And so I decided to walk with you, side by side, hand in hand.
And there are times you allow me to take the lead, bring us down a certain path
but when it comes to the really big things, you lead me.
Out of fear, anger, mistrust, concern.
And you lead me straight to them.

It took me longer to include you in my life kiddos.
It took me longer to think about all of the pros and cons.
It took me longer to look at this parenting thing and for some reason, I felt I needed to go in
eyes wide open.
So I did, I did all of the research
I made us have all of the conversations
I came up with all of the different scenarios, situations.
And as always, you guys taught me.
That parenting and family doesn't work that way.
That all of life is day by day, moment by moment so let's live in it.
And when I finally decided to let you in, you made me something else.
You made me into this woman filled with beauty and love and warmth and you handed me my second chance at childhood.

We all make decisions on what to include all day every day.
What to include in our lives, in our days, in our moments.
We decide what to include in our homes, who we include in our circle, what to include in our heart.
We decide what to include in suitcases, baggage, closets, hearts.
We decide on what we let in, what we let take over, what stays and what has to go.
We decide and so I have chosen wisely.
I have included joy to balance my lack of.
I have included love to balance my cynicism.
I have included young to balance my old soul.
I have included you to balance me.

Stop.

20
Apr

Five Minute Friday - turn

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on turn.
Go.

It's our turn.
We have been focussing on you
your needs
your wants
your cries
your little grunts
your inability
your everything.

But, I don't have babies anymore.
I now have kids
and part of the appeal of aging and independence is we get to focus on us.
Our turn
our lives
our rhythm.

We get to find a new version of us.
One that has been through hell and back.
One that has turned towards and away from love and coming running back again.
One that leans hard on one another.
It's our turn now.

Things with kids get busier
schedules get crazier
schedules become really important
schedules were always important to me though.

Things with kids get blurry
because we think they put us out of focus when in actuality they have us focus on what is most important.
And that is always and forever togetherness.
It's all they want, it's all they need, it's all they ask for.

Things with kids get overwhelming
because we feel overwhelmed.
Because we think it should feel heavy
because raising humans is heavy.
But, what they really remind us of is how light things should be.
How dumb we are for making it overwhelming
because how is love anything but light?

It's our turn now
it's on us to refocus
reinterpret
rephrase our worry
regroup and reclaim us.

Our turn to look into what is meant for us to carry vs what we add that has no meaning.
Our turn to define our family.

Stop.

13
Apr

Five Minute Friday - other

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on other.
Go.

I have options.
I stood at this place in my life
a place of blue and hardship and I took a step back.
I looked at things from afar, tried to give myself some space and distance and I quickly saw two lanes, two roads.
I had to pick...one or the other.

One path looked foggy and had lots of obstacles and trees down, things in my way.
But it also looked so familiar, almost comforting because I knew every twist and turn.
This path has been all of me, I have built a life on this road.
I can see the younger me fighting for a way out.
I see all the things I put in my own way.
I see my home, my family, it's calling me to come back.

The other looked clear, it had more sunshine but was also brand new to me.
Newly paved, new trees planted, new life.
But all the same, new, and not at all familiar.
There was no same old same old on this path,
nothing for me to fall back on because I always fall back on old faithful.

I had a choice to make and it was time I treated that choice like a gift and not a burrden.
I am lucky enough to have options and choices in my life.
I am lucky enough to be afforded that space but I had to pick, one or the other.

Was I going to go down the path that was full of fog, steeped in it, so difficult to see but also so familiar that I could navigate it in my sleep?
Fog or no fog, this path knew me and I knew it.
Or would I choose to move through the new, the shiny, the sun, the light, the fresh air, the full of life but still...the other?
After almost forty years on this earth, where would I go, how would I live?

I stood at the crossroads
longing for things to be different and realizing that means I have to be different.
I was ready, no longer wanting to dip just my toe
I was ready and in my year of different,
I was ready for the new, the unfamiliar, I was ready for the other path.
And so, I took my first step in.

Stop.

23
Mar

Five Minute Friday - routine

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on routine.
Go.

It is kind of absurd how much I love a routine.
How much I crave knowing what my day looks like
what I do when.
And I can say it is because my days are so long
so hectic
so out of my control, in the hands of others.
I am tied to meetings and agendas and to-dos.
But if I am being honest, I love a routine because that is who I am.
I am tied to meetings and agenda and to-dos because that is the profession I chose and would do it all over again.
It is who I am and it is time for me to be okay with me.

So let me begin...
there is order in a routine
there is a knowing
there is a feeling of freedom from not having to think
it's a dance
it's pretty to me
it's me.

There is balance in a routine
it brings the crazy back down
it lines things up
it creates space
it allows me to exhale
it's calm
and it is calming
it is me.

And inside something so cold and so sterile
I created warmth and tradition after tradition after tradition.
I created space and time and focus on us.
I created beauty and affection
I created your love of knowing
and I made time, fleeting time, special.

Yes, I love my routine.
I love my schedule of schedules
I love the lists
the actions
I love how I took something so crazy about myself, so list oriented
and I made something gorgeous in us.

Stop.

16
Mar

Five Minute Friday - provide

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on provide.
Go.

There isn't much I leave up to anyone else to provide.
There isn't much that I am not the one that is giving, taking care of.
But in a class yesterday, one I take for me, one I take to remind myself to breathe,
I was reminded of how loudly the universe speaks to me, when I take the time to listen.

Because when I am ready to hear it, when I am ready to listen,
the universe provides me answers
and calm
and space
and opportunities to grow.

The universe reminds me that it is not all up to me,
I have partners
I have trust in my life and I can lean on them too.

The universe provides me balance and stops me from doubling down.
And there are times when it has to take things away from me to provide me with the reminder of what is important.

To provide me answers
it takes away my ability to move without pain
it takes away my ability to hold things without shaking
it makes me dizzy, seeing black spots dizzy, whenever I try and push through it all

To provide me sleep and rest
it takes away my ability to think clearly and makes my brain full of fog
it takes me from doctor to doctor trying test after test to finally come to the conclusion that I have to stop

To provide me with the love of my lives
it has my daughter wiping away tears in front of me daily
it has my son unraveling because he no longer feels a connection
it has my marriage exhausted

When I stop to accept and listen, the universe provides me with the answers I am always asking myself
when is too much too much
when is it time for me to pull back
how long can I do this for
how much more can I give

And yesterday I was reminded that I can still be provided with the lessons even when I am in balance
even when I am ready to be different.
I should not only listen when everything is dark
there are answers it is providing even when it all feels ok.

Like be with your kids on their day off
like set up family time and little dates with them
like they all need the real you, not the tired version of you that they see all too often
like love provides so much for them and you so just let love be your guide.

Stop.

9
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tired

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on tired.
Go.

I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Mom tired.
CEO tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.

I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!

2
Mar

Five minute Friday - regret

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on regret.
Go.

We all have many, don't we?
I regret yelling at you
I regret my response
I regret my reaction
I regret how I let you get to me
I regret that decision
I regret.

But what if for today, because it is my year of different, I talk about all of the things I don't regret.

Like meeting you
like how much we loved Mia
like becoming your mom
like saying yes to this life
like how you pour yourself into our home
like how much I pour into all of us
like how much effort I put into being a good mom
like how much you see for their future
like running that marathon, all by myself
like learning how to swim so I can compete in tris
like becoming a CEO
like starting my own business
like how you took a chance on you for once
like how much I love working
like how hard I work on myself
like how good of a friend I am
like how kind and amazing you are and how everyone is attracted to you as a person
like how loyal I am
like how good I am at traditions
like how good you are with their activities
like how I won't allow us to ever stand still
like how you won't allow us to ever walk away

There are many decisions I regret
there are many things words actions I would take back
there are lots of do-overs I wish I had
but this is my year of different and I am using all I know to change to grow.
And there is so much I wouldn't take back.

Like how in one week is the anniversary of you asking me to take on forever with you
I will never regret saying yes
Like how much we just love them
I will never regret deciding to bring them into our lives and the love we have built.
Like who we spend our time with
I will never regret who we love, what we all mean to one another, what it has done for our soul.
Like how much we care about
I will never regret the fact that we are good to people, good to those we love, good to those we know need a gentle heart.

There is so much of this life I do not regret.

23
Feb

Five Minute Friday - beauty

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on beauty.
Go.

There is a lot in this world that can only be described as ugly.
Hurtful words, messages, language, actions.
There are so many examples of things we can point to and say they are just plain ugly.

There were so many times in my life that I felt ugly.
I felt like I was never good enough, strong enough, reaching a level of beauty.
And then I had you and it stopped.

Not only because it had to stop, but also because you made it stop.
You, sweet, amazing and gorgeous daughter of mine, you changed me.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

And it started as soon as I could tell that my words were being heard.
I stopped comparing my waist,
I stopped looking at my belly
I stopped wishing I could look different
and I started on health.

I started working out because it feels good for my body
I started saying thank you when you told me you liked what I was wearing
I started telling you that my scars were a part of our story and I love them because they brought me my family
I started looking at myself differently
I started looking at you, really looking at you
and how could I look at something that gorgeous that came from me and not think there is so much beauty in the world?
You were and are my connection to beauty.

Because you changed everything.
You brought me motherhood
and the day you looked at me and our connection clicked is the day that I realized what the word beauty and gorgeous means.
It has to do with connection
it has to do with love
it has to do with the kind of deep and connected love that wakes you up, lifts fogs.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

There is still so much of this world that is ugly
there is still so much that is wrong, there will always be.
Because everything in life has balance.
You can't really enjoy how gorgeous things are if you don't have the ugly to compare them to.
That is how this life goes.
But even in the ugliest of times, the human connection can be seen and it is so gorgeous.
I will forever remind you to look there, to be comforted by the fact that beauty will live on and on.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

Stop.

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