7
Dec

Five Minute Friday - balance

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 balance.

Go.

I should not be in charge of this word.
I should not go near it, even touch it.
I get asked advice on it and I always say, I am the last person you should be talking to about this.
But maybe not.
Maybe the woman who learned the hard way how important balance is should be the one standing up for the word.
Maybe the woman who got so sick she needed to have a year of different should be the one talking about the importance of the word.
Maybe the woman who spent three months in despair should be the one carrying the torch for the word.
Maybe for all women, people, that lean into work, maybe we need to have a different conversation about this word.
Maybe it starts with me.

I love work.
Not just my job, my career, my business, but I love all of the work I do.
I love working.
I love being tired and productive.
I love that I am ambitious, I love that I have grit, I love that I am determined and I love that I keep going.
I love that I set goals, I love that I get after it, I love work.
I feel confident there, I feel like it makes sense to me.
There's a hum, there's a rythum and a dance and all of it feels so so good.
But I am a mom
and a bride
and a friend
and I run
and do yoga
and I work out a lot
and I run my house
and I love to cook dinner
and I love my kids
and I love my person
and I love to see my family.
So a mom that loves her family and loves her job has some explaining to do.
A mom that leans into work more than she does downtime needs to be a little more careful.
Because our balance starts out leaning, we are balanced when we are leaning into work.
We just are, and that is okay. Our balance starts out a little crooked.
It is when that balance starts getting interrupted that we get into a lot of trouble.
That is when it gets really hard and we can't fight our way out.
As much as we want to go back to our neutral, as much as we fight back into the natural lean we enjoy so much.
It is when the work becomes too much even for us and we just continue to do and do and do. Even if we feel we have taken on too much and we no longer can see a way out or what to give up.
We don't know how to drop any of the balls.
All of them become a priority so we just do more, we push harder, we double down, and we get hurt.
We end up sick and resentful or just plain crazy.
We end up feeling like we can't breathe, we hurt and we can't see a way out.

So yes, I do know about balance and its importance and its power and its meaning and its need.
I do know how much I need it in my life, how attracted I am to my opposites, to my balance.
I married my balance, I dedicated my life to the one person that is my compass, who makes sure I lean the right way.
And at every turn, I find myself continuously attracted to those that are not me, to those that seem to have it more figured out.
To those that I feel have a better grasp of priorities and can take life as it comes and are so naturally good at life.
Me, I make life harder than it has to be, I cannot be my own balance and again, I don't need to be.
I am the example of the importance of this word, I hold it very close now and know when I am in trouble.
I am the expert, just not the way most would think.

26
Oct

Five Minute Friday - moment

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 moment.

Go.

They hit like lightning bolts, real ones do.
They can strike you, knock you over and remind you of the truth.
Mine struck me where it counted when it mattered most.

The moment I finally saw clearly.
After months of fog and exhaustion and drowning, I saw clearly.
The moment I heard laughter and it made my heart warm.
Made me fill back up a place that has been too empty.
The moment I got clarity.
Reminded myself who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, my worth, my truth, me, right there, right here.
The moment I figured it out.
My plan, my promise to myself, my way, me taking back my life, my thoughts, my joy.
The moment I started building.
No longer putting out fires, no longer reacting but building.
The moment I started to believe in myself again.
Walking through fear as I always do, not conquering it, not getting rid of the doubts, but walking straight through.
The moment I laughed and cried and released.
What I needed, release and mourning and moving on.
The moment real friends showed up
took a hold, reminded me why I love, who I love, how I love.
The moment real at all showed up
not what I was creating, imaging, projecting.

One moment in time, one.
One significant thing that changed it all.
I'm not all the way there, I am not naive enough to think, say, or feel otherwise.
But I am on the right path finally, the one I belong on.

2
Sep

Five Minute Friday - loyal

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 loyal.

Go

I was away when this one was posted.
And I am too loyal to just let it go.

Loyal is a word I often use to describe myself.
I am loyal to my family
to my framily
to my work
to my life choices
to my little faces
to my person
to my life.
I am committed to myself and my life.

I am your go to if you need someone in your corner.
I am the one always on your side.
I am the constant, I am the protector of relationships and bonds, I am loyal.

I am the one that can be counted on.
I am the one that rushes to defend, myself, my choices, my people.
I am always working for you, I am the one that will have your back.

And recently, a coworker mentioned how they too were described as loyal and how that is such a generic term
and a different coworker was quick to point out that it's really not.
Because it is not generic and it's not a given and it's not in everyone.
It is only the loyal that understand that we will stand by your side.
We will stand proud and strong and we will be your everything.
It is the loyal that understand that we love fiercely and with all we have.
We give you our all so we do not take love lightly, we know who is deserving, who we allow in.
Because once you have us, really have us, we don't let go.
We are yours and you are now a part of us in a very special and unique way.
We are the loyal.

31
Aug

Five Minute Friday - rush

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 rush.

Go.

We are having a summer.
An actual summer with late nights and camping and vacation and the dad adventure days and camps and sleep aways and smores and ice cream for dinner and a Saratoga Racetrack kind of summer.
We are having an amazing summer.
With sunsets and sunrises and paddling and water and swimming and tired puppies and fall asleep the second your head hits a pillow and friends and framily.
God, we are having a summer.
But with everything so jammed pack and every week and weekend planned and crammed, I feel so rushed.
It all went by so fast.
And I know it always does and I know it only gets worse the older and older they get, but this was a different kidn of rushed.
This is a: our window is closing kind of rushed.
This is a: our time with them, this part of them is quickly fading kind of rushed.
This is a: they are getting bigger and more independent but still just want us and that won't always be the case kind of rushed.
This is a: are we appreciating this time enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we pausing enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we telling them how much they mean to us enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we letting them know how much we love to be around them too kind of rushed.

I spent a summer watching you.
Both of you.
The nine-year-old that still loves stuffed animals and playgrounds and mom and dad time and reading.
the six-year-old that still loves all Star Wars stuff and running around, and all sports and mom and dad playing with him and reading dates.
I watched you and I saw our gorgeous wide open window.
The one in which you don't need, you just want us around.
The one that lets you do more for you, but still love all little girl and boy things.
And I watched me too.
I watched me inhale all of you in.
The deepest breath I could hold, and I forgot to exhale.
And so I watched me live in a world we aren't in right now and I held and held my breath.
I lived in the world where this incredible window was already closed.
I lived in a world where there was no going back in time.
I lived in a world where there was no reliving it and I felt rushed.
Because I want zero regrets when it comes to living your best childhood.
I want to wake up old and have these memories make me smile.
I want to wake up much more wrinkled and have my eyes glisten at the thought of all we did together.
I want to wake up more gray and run my hands through my hair and remember all the times you did.

I lived in tomorrow and forgot to exhale and remember I am here with you today.
I lived in a time where I want time to constantly hit pause, even for a little while longer
so I can hold you more.
so I can tell you more things about you.
so we can discover more about you.
so I can give little guys and kiss noses and breathe in all the little and olive juice love.

But, I can't pause and I think I am being to realize I don't have to.
I have a little while longer to go and so this is the pause.
This is the time, this is when they don't need us but want us.
It is happening right now and as long as I don't rush through it
as long as I don't look at this gorgeous open window of time and spend it worrying about the door on the other side,
I won't rush us through it.
I have exhaled.
I have hit pause.
Every day until you guys tell me, mom, it's time to take one more deep breath and hit play again because we are ready
and taking you with us.

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.

27
Apr

Five Minute Friday - stuck

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 stuck.
Go.

All throughout my life, there are years and years of feeling like I couldn't move.
Years of feeling captured in mud of my own doing.
Years of feeling cemented
until the universe tells me that something has to give and I make a change.

Where once I was angry, stuck in the feeling of why me, it's all on me, bitter resentment of a childhood lost.
The universe gave me you, the person I needed to remind me of joy and ease.
Where once I could not trust or believe in soft, I met someone who melted all worries and got rid of many sharp edges.

And it continued to give and give with family and little faces and second chances.

And I found myself stuck again, missing family and framily.
Missing connection and adults.
And the universe once again reminded me it was time to make a change and open my heart and the universe gave me close wonderful friends.
And traditions
and love
and taking care of each other.

And I found myself stuck again, things being too hard because I made them so.
Things being out of sync
out of balance.
Our lives totally out of balance.
And all the emotions and night upon nights of crying and feeling like I had nowhere to go
stuck inside my own head
stuck inside my old ways
stuck.
And the universe reminded me of a different way.

In my year of different, I made the change.
I no longer wanted to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
I no longer want to run to stand still.
I needed to make changes.
I looked at the direction my life was heading
the pain I was causing
the destruction I was doing
and I pulled my feet out of the cement
I pulled my head out of the fog
and I made the change.
To no longer be stuck in me.

8
Dec

Five Minute Friday - only

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 only.
Go.

I only have two children.
I only ran a sprint for my tri.
I ran a marathon, but only in my neighborhood so does it really count?
I only run a nonprofit.
I only have a really small number of clients for my business.
I only started my business a year ago.
I can only run a 9-10 minute mile.
I only
I only
I only myself a lot.

Maybe because I try and not take credit.
Maybe because I don't want to make it seem like I am anything special.
Maybe because I see the strength of others and sit watching them in awe so I have to think, I'm only doing this...not all of that.
Maybe because I am afraid to admit I too am strong
I too move mountains
I too labored and had 2 children
I too am surviving parenting
I too work an insane amount
I too need my new business to succeed
I too work really hard for my family
I too sacrifice a lot
I too can do so much
I too am a good mother
I too work on myself
I too cry and yell and fight
I too accomplish what I set my mind on
I too can.

Look at how different it all sounds when it is I too instead of I only.

I too can.

Stop.

1
Dec

Five Minute Friday - near

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 near.
Go.

In this life, I keep those I love close.
I take them in and keep them and our memories together protected, tucked inside.
Because it has always been my nature to keep my group with me and carry them as I go.
Near or far, they are with me.

And although my love is scattered all over and most of my circle is no longer near me,
it is the thought of you no longer being physically near,
the thought of your little faces gone from my everyday,
that I will need a lifetime to move past.
Because parenting is building you to go out there, not stay here.
Parenting is creating people that go and do and build their own life and world.
Parenting is letting go, every single day, letting go a little more and a little more and a little more...
until eventually, you are somewhere out there, no longer near.

And just like with everyone else I hold, I will hold you close to me too.
I will keep you, I will have our memories to go back to
I will have this journey to lean on
I will have the warm feeling of you near as you go farther and farther away.

I live too much in the yesterdays and tomorrows, this I realize.
I have little faces that still believe in the magic of childhood and I am prepping for the goodbyes that will come.
Only because I need time to prepare and time to get myself ready for the inevitable.
I need to get my whole being ready for you no longer being near.

But that does not mean I am not intentional about our time.
In fact, it makes me more intentional, more present.
As soon as I feel too overwhelmed to sit quietly with you, I always leap to it will be tomorrow when she is no longer near.
As soon as I feel too distracted to play, I quickly realize how I will blink he will be off, far away doing wonderful him.

So, I sit close
I draw you near
I hold on to each moment, each second
because that warmth will keep you with me
even when you are far away from the life we built.

Stop.

17
Nov

Five Minute Friday - excuse

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 excuse.
Go.

The ones we make about why we are mad.
The ones we make about why we are yelling.
The ones we make about why we are clinging to our phones and not to our people.
The ones we make about how busy we are.
The ones we make about why we can't do self-care.
The one we make about why we are stressed.
The ones we make about why everything else is more important than living a happy peaceful life.
The ones we make about why it was ok to let them down.
The ones we make about how tomorrow will be different.

Each day I feel this ticking time clock about how quickly it will continue to go.
Each day I make more and more excuses, each day I am losing and days are too important now.
Time is too important now, time is the most valuable now.
Nothing will change if we keep on keeping on.
Nothing will change if we just keep doing the same thing, it won't lead to a different result.

So, what I am trying to do is stop the excuses.
Stop explaining my way out of my mistakes.
They don't matter.
The reason behind doesn't make the pain hurt less.
The reason doesn't bring the moment, the hours, the day I took.
It doesn't bring it back.
The excuses don't matter, they never did.
I am the grownup, I am the one that leads.

I love you, I love being a part of us, I love our family.
Love is my only goal and the only thing I need to keep in mind.
Love is my only guide and the only way things will change.
If I speak, think, act with love the excuses will melt away.

Stop.

10
Nov

Five Minute Friday - silence

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 silence.
Go.

It's my favorite sound, the quiet.
It's what most parents, most mothers seek.
It's the sound we long for.
The quiet, the still, the silence.

Because we all know that most of parenting is loud.
Noise is common, noise from them, noise from us, noise from toys, the noise we allow in, the noise we bring in.
But even while all together, we can find moments of special silence.

Like when we snuggle on the coach for our weekly family movie night.
Like when we tuck you in at night and finally allow the day to stand still, to sit in our silent love.
Like when we have reading dates and everything comes to a slow stop and we regroup.
Like when we hug, when we steal moments of affection throughout the day, hold on to each other and allow whispers and silence to wash over us.

And I fully realize that one day, my house full of loud
full of shouts
full of laughter
full of temper tantrum tears
full of crazy
full of stomping feet
full of slamming doors
it will all fall silent.
I will read this journey back and I will think, why did I complain about a little bit of noise?
What's wrong with noise anyway?

But in the thick of it, it's hard to see past the fog.
Which is why the moments of quiet that we steal, they fill me to keep pushing through the noise of it all.

See guys, you fill our home, with love and noise and stuff and lessons and chaos and humor
but you cannot complete me and you cannot be all of us.
Because you don't belong here forever.
You belong out there, doing loud amazing you and your father and I, we belong right here
serving as your rock, your home base
sitting in the quiet of our love and remembering all of the noise we once had.

Stop.

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