Day 25 – What is next?

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October has come and gone, I am not done with my 31 days of writing.  I wrote 24 posts in 31 days. What’s a blogger to do?

Keep writing!

Does it matter that I didn’t finish my 31 days in one month? I am glad that I was able to crank out 24 posts.  That is 24 more than I have ever done in my life. That’s good enough for me.  I was doing pretty well, and then fall break “showed-up” and real life needed my attention.  That’s good enough for me too.  What are you going to do, with-hold my paycheck?!? 😉

Speaking of paychecks…

I had an interview last week, and I have another one tomorrow.  Things are looking good friends.  As you know, I LOVE the process of waiting.  But I’m doing it. I’m still hopeful, still excited, still impatient, still scared.  Let’s see what the week brings!

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Yesterday was such an exciting day for me and the kids.  They were so excited about Halloween.  The thought of “pillow-cases full” of candy was almost more than they could handle.  They spent the day mulling over their costumes and counted down the hours until they could put them on and run wild through the streets.

I get it.  I remember.

I remember throwing together a costume near the last-minute and hitting the streets with my brothers and my parents.  We would run from one house to the next; across the lawns, hopping gardens, and giggling and shouting about what goodies we got at each door.  It was complete awesomeness.

Then we got home, and even more awesomeness began.  The trading. My brothers and I would spread out our massive piles of goodies and sort it into categories.  Then we would negotiate trades for our favorites.  It didn’t even matter what we really liked.  There was so much joy in running our fingers over our spoils and negotiating a hard bargain with each other.  We would trade night after night.  Maybe on Monday I wanted all Reece’s peanut butter cups, but Tuesday was totally a Twizzlers day?!?! With the right deal, it was possible. The candy bag was a gift that kept on giving.

I want my kids to have the same experience.  The joy of reveling in their spoils. Of enjoying the moment, re-living the fun, and then enjoying the memory of the moment again. The joy of Halloween. It can be shared, recounted, and enjoyed.  Each moment.

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This morning I awoke with a snickers hangover and my fingers were still slightly blue from the straps of my butterfly wings. Assorted costume accessories were strewn throughout the kitchen and our pumpkins still sat fresh on the front porch. The proverbial Halloween body wasn’t even cold yet. It was such a fun night, I was going to revel in it.

Unsure of what time it actually was, I checked my phone. The emails had piled up. The first one I saw was from Amazon, “Holiday Deals Start Now!”

Seriously?

Then Michael’s, “50% off on Christmas Trees 6 ft and Taller!” World Market chimed in, “A special deal on Holiday Cards!” Facebook assaulted me next with a news feed full of holiday crafts and meal ideas.  (Don’t even get me started on some of the local stores that have had Christmas decor out since July, I completely ignore that.)

Christmas!?!?  The very day after Halloween?

Can’t we just have a day to revel in it?  Do we always have to move right on to what is next? Must I sign up for two solid months of Christmas madness, starting the second I wake up on November 1st?!?!

The answer is NO.  I’m not going to do it. I un-subscribe. I’m going to revel in Halloween.  Revel in each day, and each moment, as best I can. I don’t have to sign up for that. I want to enjoy yesterday, and today. That is enough. That is what’s next.

Pass the candy bag.

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Day 24 – The Power of One Sentence

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We drove up to the mountains late Sunday night. It was too dark to see the beautiful scenery, but I knew it was there.  I have done this drive enough times that I can picture each view and landmark in my minds’ eye.

It was after 10pm by the time we pulled in and piled out of the car. The kids got crazy excited when we arrived. It was a challenge to get them to bed.  Once they were down I began unloading our gear and setting up for our week.

I had packed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. We brought our favorite games and crafts. Then I added snow gear, hot tub gear, and everything in between. Late that night I carried in the last of our supplies and paused to take it in. We had never been here by ourselves before. I had never gone on vacation before, just the four of us. Then another thought occurred.

This mountain, this house, this spot.

It was the last place where we were a family of 5. The unraveling was here. I hadn’t thought about it before I arrived. I have a picture in my phone of the five of us sitting around the table, 2 years ago.  Hours after that picture was taken, a turn of events occurred that meant our lives would never be the same. In a sense, it is amazing that everything can change on a dime like that, and yet it didn’t change on a dime like that. It just appeared that way.

I poured a cup of coffee and fired up my laptop. Maybe I could write about this?

No internet service.

Nothing left to do but sit with it.

I reflected on all that has transpired over the past two years.  A move, a job change, new schools, new schedules, new friends (and old ones too).  In some was things are very different, and in some ways the same. I mentally hold up the mirror and compare the reflection of the old Dana to the new one.  The old family to the new one.

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The next morning starts early, whether I want it to or not. I hear chattering and giggling, and the tell-tale thumps of kids at play.  Before long little feet hit the stairs and I’m smothered in warm squirming bodies.  They are ready to go.  Ready for the day, ready for adventure, and ready for breakfast.

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We have a favorite café in town so we know where we are headed. We chat over French toast and pancakes.  We discuss our plans, watch a couple of hilarious you-tube videos and fight over the syrup.  Near the end of our meal, an older couple, who was sitting behind us during breakfast, approaches our table.  The woman looks me in the eye and leans in,

“You have such a beautiful family.”

Tears immediately spring to my eyes as I thank her.  She could not know the gift of her words.

Beautiful.

Strong. Smaller. Different. Changed. Joyful. Complete.

All she saw was beautiful. 🙂

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