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How I’m honoring 9/11: By Living

September 11th, 2013 1 comment

I would be remiss to not post some thoughts on September 11th. I’ve posted the last several years regarding this day…

I missed 2009 due to my 10-year class reunion landing around the same time.

Here it is 2013, and here is how I plan to spend the day:

I’m going to fly. I’m going to board a plane and fly. When I booked my flight back to Nashville for this trip, I hesitated a moment when I realized my return flight would land on 9/11. Did I really want to fly on this day?

Yes. Yes I did. I would fly on 9/11, and I will take time on that flight to sit and remember. I’ll remember those souls lost that morning in 2001. I will honor their memory, and take a moment to grieve the loss of our innocence that day. I will remember where I was that day. I will muse over how much has changed in the years since… both in our country as well as in my personal life. I will look down on the Earth from my window seat, and I will marvel at being alive. I will marvel at being such a small piece of the larger picture.

I will pray. I will pray for those left behind by those lost that September day. I will pray for safety of all those traveling. I will pray for strength to face my fears but to also accept what life brings to me… the good and the bad. I will pray for wisdom and understanding. I will pray for faith to trust in God. I will pray for our country, our soldiers, our government leaders, and all the world’s leaders. I will pray and have a nice conversation with God while I fly on 9/11.

I will hug my parents extra tight as we say good-bye at the terminal. I will do the same with my husband when we greet each other at another terminal. I will say, “I love you” with an extra conviction to those I love — family and friends. I will strive to love more today, praying for the patience I sometimes lack with others. Today is not the day to get frustrated. Today is the day to strive to understand.

I will never forget 9/11/2001. But I think the best way I can honor that day is by simply living… living the best way I can.

 

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Proactive vs Reactive

May 10th, 2013 1 comment

Lighting experimentThere’s something I’ve been very guilty of over the last few years. I’ve become very reactive to things in life. Something happens. I deal with it. We move on. Keep on keepin’ on. Not necessarily backsliding in any way, but not taking big strides forward either.

I’ve mentioned in various posts lately that I’ve been in a cleaning mood, and cleaning moods usually equates life changes. Positive life changes.

So here I am also realizing that those changes can’t happen without effort from me. Just cleaning out my closet and hauling clothes to Goodwill isn’t going to be enough! It’s like the joke about people in a flood declining help from helicopters and boats while sitting on their roof, because “God will save me!” Then when they die and get to heaven, they ask God why he didn’t help and he said, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter!” You can’t just expect God to make things happen without doing a little work yourself.

Here’s what’s interesting. As soon as I decided I wanted to again be proactive chasing my dreams, and doing what I want to do career-wise, things started rolling without my trying too hard. It’s almost like it was all sitting there just waiting for me to make my mind up to go for it 100%.

First, I had an absolutely awesome photoshoot with Joseph Reed. He and his wife are amazing people that I already consider friends. I haven’t laughed that much during a shoot… ever. It just made me go, “This! This is what I want to do MORE of… gotta make that happen.”

Second, a new invigoration has come to RoadWidows. And you know what’s the coolest thing about this new push? Discovering how much of a drive both Chris and Lindsy have for it and their work ethics in general. Their focus is contagious, and they make me want to work harder. Work with more focus. They’re driven, focused and successful women. Just the type  I want to be associated with more and more.

Third, an old friend that I’d lost touch with over the last couple of years reached out to me, and we got together for dinner and drinks earlier this week. The refreshing things about her are that she has no association with the music business, she’s a successful business woman, and she’s a big fan of what I dream of doing and AM doing. Her encouragement has been yet another a kick in the butt.

Finally, I only need one word: FAMILY. My parents are patient with me. And Thank God for that!!! They know I’ll come into my own in my own time, and they’re supportive and encouraging. My husband and I had a long conversation this week about being proactive in BOTH our careers, and its invigorated us. We’re each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders. So with my family behind me, how can I not throw myself into it all with a renewed vigor?

I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’m ready. SO ready.

C’mon future. Let’s do this.

Domestically, Me

December 10th, 2012 1 comment

Something amazing happened in the last few days.

We went to the grocery store, and I got all the laundry done.

This should NOT be shocking, but it is. I’ve been running so much lately that I’ve both just not had time to get the stuff done, and I’ve just not had the interest.

Groceries… well. I usually enjoy grocery shopping, but fighting people at the store just left me going, “I don’t wanna!” So we ended up eating out a lot. And I started to get creative with breakfast when we were out of bread, milk and eggs. (Did you know you can make a pretty yummy apple crunch thing with Cheerios, butter, cinnamon and chopped apple? Yup. You can. I know. I made it for breakfast one day out of desperation. Take THAT Chopped.)

My husband wanted to go to the store. I didn’t. But finally we had a day we could go, and I had run out of excuses to avoid it. So we went. And I am now glad to say that I can make numerous meals right here at home! And that… that makes the grocery store run worth it.

As for laundry… ugh. I don’t hate doing laundry, but my washer and dryer are in the basement. Its good in that it makes me climb those stairs and get some exercise. Its bad because I just don’t do so good with it. I forget there’s a load running when I DO do the laundry. Otherwise, its like… I just… no.

So as a result of my lack of interest and lack of time, I’d get a load washed here or there. Usually when there was some item my husband or I am looking to wear. However, this weekend… the pile of laundry was ridiculously overflowing the hamper, and I was out of clean jeans and had worn the same bra three days in a row. (Yes, I admit it. I did.) We were at a dire level.

Last night, seven loads — SEVEN LOADS — went through the washer and dryer. Clothes were folded or hung up. And they were all actually put away in their proper places. This too is huge, as we have a bad habit of leaving clothes in a basket and picking through it through the week. But not this time. Nooo… this time we conquered the laundry and we won.

We even did all the dishes and put those away, too.

I used to be on top of these tasks, and maybe this is the first step to getting back on top of them all. And maybe… maybe I need to enjoy this brief moment of order in my home life before chaos of Christmas completely takes over.

Categories: general-post, home Tags: , ,

Stages of life

August 28th, 2012 3 comments

Yesterday was the first day of school for most schools in Texas. (School started here in Tennessee a couple weeks ago.) Being from Texas, over half of my friends on Facebook are old friends and classmates there. Its the thing I love about Facebook: keeping up with old friends.

I was amazed how many of my classmates from high school had kids starting Kindergarten! Post after post after post of “first day of school” photos on my wall. I loved it, but it also made me sit back and really ponder stages of life.

Just last night, we had friends over for dinner and visiting. I had one of those moments that made me take stock of life. Sometimes, I wonder what its going to be like to “grow up.”

Despite being married over five years. Despite having a home of my own, paying my bills, going to work, etc. I still feel young! I AM young! I’m an adult making adult decisions, but I still feel young. But last night, hosting friends, I had a moment of, “This is my house. This is my life. I am an adult. Wow.”

Then I sat down at my laptop and saw so many classmates sending their kids off to school. And once again, I had to look at life. We’re the same age, but we are definitely at different stages of life. It doesn’t make them “older” or “more mature” than I am. They’re just on a different path, and I am SO happy for them.

The grass is not greener on their side. It’s not greener on my side. It’s all about living our own lives our own ways: and that right there is what make us all adults. To me, we are all still so young, but we are also all grown up taking each stage of life at our own paces.

Friday afternoon on my porch

June 22nd, 2012 No comments

Life got really busy and crazy for awhile. Then as soon as it slowed down, my body slowed down even further leaving me sick in bed with a fever for a few days. Life is normal again, save for the nagging cough that’s hung around and the stuffy nose that just won’t leave, with a normal schedule and normal responsibilities. Somewhere along the “too busy to write” I also lost a lot of interest in it. Every day I open my blog site, and most days I close it without even clicking “new post.”

But today, I got up from a nice long night of sleep, went outside with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I just sat on my porch swing.

The lawn was freshly mowed yesterday before my husband left for another weekend on the road. Friday is trash day, so a few now-empty trashcans still sit on the side of the road, waiting for their owners to come home from work. The thermometer reads 91° but in the shade with the light breeze it doesn’t seem so bad. Our American flag on the front of the house flutters, and a bee buzzes me every now and then.

I take it all in and realize how blessed I am to live in a safe, quiet neighborhood. It’s a beautiful summer day, and I’m struck with the urge to write and share it with everyone. I do so love to write still, but I can’t keep forcing myself to try to write every single day. It takes the fun out of it, and it makes it truly feel like a job. I have to want to write every day again, like I once did. Writing is something I enjoy, and there is no reason I can’t keep it as part of my career. But writing is a pleasure, and it can’t be forced or it feels fake.

I’m not here to pledge to write more often, but I am here to pledge to write as I feel compelled to do so. Life is back to normal, and there is no reason for me to continue living as if it isn’t. I need to get out of my date book and back into the world. The breeze rustling my hair told me that. And it is high time I listen.

Categories: general-post Tags: , , ,

Balance

December 10th, 2011 1 comment

049: Sunset through the treesSometimes, I think life is a constant balancing act. Work versus play. Want versus need. Friends versus family. Happiness versus despair. Others versus self. Present versus past versus future.

We are always fighting to find a perfect balance that suits us any given day. Lately, I have felt like I’ve placed a lot of focus on work over all other things. The drive to make money to pay the bills or to have a little fun later has trumped all things… and I have never really been “that person” before. Atleast not the the extent that I’ve been the last however-long.

I was just laying in bed, cat curled up beside me, using my elbow as a pillow. He purred loudly and snuggled up into me a few times. If I could purr, I would have purred right with him. There was a peacefulness in that moment. A stillness. There was no demand for a balancing act. There was no placing one thing over another. There was simply being.

It was wonderful.

But of course, my brain decided to get into the act and my mind went back to a friend’s Facebook status update from a few days ago. One that really struck me hard, and its left me thinking about it for days now.

I used to work in a mental hospital thousands of years ago. I was kind of just getting through it as a job, and hoping to get out and be a full time musician. I was around some great minds, and I missed a few pearls of wisdom in my rush to the “bigtime”. Here’s one of them…”List these 5 parts of your life in the order you think they should be prioritized. Work/Career, Family, God, Friends, and Health. When you have your list, then place the percentage of your actual time spent on each to the right of your list. Then have a good look at your results…smile…and say wow.”

They went on to give their lists, and ever since I’ve wondered what my list would look like. I think my list would have to read God, Health, Family, Friends, Work/Career.  Giving the percentage of time actually spent, though… that’s really, really tough.

♦ In one way, I have to admit that God wouldn’t get the high percentage He deserves, if I take into account the fact that I’ve not made it to church is far longer than I ever, EVER, thought I’d go between masses. But in the same breath, I strive to have conversations with God throughout my day. Or like last night, I “worked the door” at work — meaning I sat outside and tried to get people to come in, and I checked IDs to ensure 21+ was followed. During a particularly slow period of time, I sat quietly and said several prayers. Taking time at work to talk to God. It warmed me from the inside on a cold, cold night.

♦ Health… Well, I don’t give it what it deserves, primarily due to the high cost or health care. Never ending sinus troubles that should probably be checked by an ENT are simply dealt with, in my own ways. I need to visit a dentist one of these days, and its been about two years since I had an eye exam. I don’t give my health the attention it deserves. However, in the same breath, I am constantly concious of what I put into my body. Be it the food I eat or the air I breathe. I am perhaps one of the more aware people you’ll find about it all.

♦ Family… I make time in my day every single day to talk to my parents. Even if its just a few text messages, I have to make contact with them. Its important to me. And my husband is my best friend… I can’t even go to sleep at night without a good night from him, even when he’s on the road. And not a day goes by where I don’t take time to gaze at a family photo and feel blessed.

Priceless friendships

♦ Friends… living over 800 miles from the closest family member (outside of my husband, of course) has lead me to building precious friendships all around me. I rely on my friends in deeper ways than any of them would ever know. And thanks to Facebook and text messages, I can have contact with old-long-time friends any time I want to… and I do that several times a day!

♦ Finally, work/career… what brings me to this list in the first place. Work has taken a serious lead place in my life. Serious. My days pretty much revolve around when and if I am working that day or the next or the day after that. It has become my focal point… more than even the career side of building my photography and writing talents. I did NOT intend to have that happen, and its something I look to remedy in the new year. Look to balance that a lot more than I have been. Somehow.

I can’t give these a percentage, because I am constantly striving for balance. And on any given day, the percentage could be wildly different from the next. I do know, though, a few areas I need to make a few tweaks, more in my perceptions than in anything else. Time management. Prioritizing. All of it. It’s not a new year’s resolution… its a life resolution. Keep an eye on life’s balance, and strive to find it. And with doing that, find more moments of being. Peace. Calm. Knowing all is right in my world. If only for a few moments.

 

Categories: life Tags: , ,