Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just a Little Green

"Just a little green, like the color when the Spring is born."

Spring feels early this year, my bulbs are pushing through the dirt, they blossomed beautifully, and then were promptly blanketed with a last minute snow fall. I watched the clock switch from 1am to 3am during the Spring Equinox, we celebrated many birthdays, and our St. Patrick's day dinner was followed by an enormous sugar loaded Easter. The month of March is closing out, flying into April.

My life is moving in fast forward. When I am home, the minutes fly by like seconds, my hours feel like minutes. The pull of this chaotic energy has me less engaged, disconnected, floating around on auto pilot. I'm a zombie, going through the motions of breakfast, morning, afternoon, and bedtime routines, school drop off, school pick up and work. My small tasks turn into large tasks, and distraction is ever present. Long to do lists, high expectations, and the daily activities of life's responsibilities are overwhelming. Despite all this, one foot shuffles in front of the other. I stand strong. I persevere.

"Call her green and the winter's cannot fade her."

With my life in the fast lane, I need to slow down. Actually, I want to stop!  I don't want to go to work, I don't want to run another errand, I don't want to do anymore laundry, dishes, or make one more snack. Everyone has something they gravitate towards when life feels like it is spinning out of control. I remember time lingering when I was young, the changes in one day seemed to last forever. A pale pink, and orange sun rising, a leisurely, golden afternoon rolling into my favorite blue hour of the evening. I found time to have fun, and enjoyed the small gifts that life had to offer.  Lounging in a ray of sunshine, hidden away, I would get lost in reading books, lots of books. The first book I read all the way through was "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My Grandmother gave it to me as a gift, she wrote a full inscription on the title page. I was so proud of myself for reading such a long book, all 298 pages of it. The simple descriptions of beauty created a world I longed to jump into. I wanted more. So, I read more, and soon I began to write.

"Might I have a bit of earth?" F.H.B

Words that flow from heart and mind are glorious, putting pen to paper is a way for me to set aside fears, anxiety, worry, and to stay present in my life. Writing offers an opportunity to stop and reflect on everything, I find clarity by giving my feelings and emotions value. I have kept a journal for 29 years now, lots of aggression, frustration, and inspiration have been written down in many different forms of handwriting, and grammatical configurations. When I was 11 years old, my best friend gave me my first journal. I wrote in it everyday. When I look back and re-read some of my old entries, I am immediately transported. It's like a form of time travel in my mind. Current situations are given perspective, as I remember that I've been through tough times, I've made my way through, and now I'm stronger, resilient, less vulnerable.

These days the best gift of all is a journal or a book. Both of which take time to enjoy. Time waits for no one. We are here today. Take it by the reigns, ride it, and make the most of it. I keep a journal with me at all times, you never know when a free moment may randomly pop into your life. I just need a few moments to gather my thoughts, acknowledge them, validate them and let them go. Prioritizing responsibilities, setting aside the things that are not necessary right now, creates more space. When you take your time back, it opens up like a vast plain that wasn't visible before.

A journal is personal, a sacred space to write for yourself, honestly, and non-judgmentally. A blank page filled with the possibility of hopes, dreams, and the things that are cherished deeply and gratefully. For me, writing is like pushing away the cobwebs, or dusting off an old piece of furniture. I clear away mental clutter and regain my energy. Writing about difficult situations, and challenging decisions helps me to not waste time overthinking or over-analyzing things repetitively. I need to write to remind myself that I am on a path that makes me happy and satisfied.  I often write letters to myself titled, "Do not open until 21st birthday", or "Do not open until 40th birthday".

I kept journals for both my boys while I was pregnant, and through their first few years of life. Small moments of the day during their naps, I heard the church bells ring, I heard the birds sing, I truly enjoyed the gifts of those slow, beautiful early days of motherhood. I really didn't want them to end. We were on our own time schedule. While I wrote, I kept thinking how wonderful it would have been to have a journal from my Mother, with details of my likes and dislikes, or experiences and decisions I had made at an early age. When I write for my boys, I include quotes and song lyrics along with my thoughts and observances about them. My goal is to raise kind, compassionate, smart, sensitive boys who turn into men that are able to communicate clearly, form coherent thoughts and execute them gracefully, and ambitiously. With a strong sense of self awareness, and self identity at an early age, I hope they will have more of a chance to find happiness in their work, love, and life as they grow older. With the pulse of the universe pushing us forward, we must pause, take a deep breath, and remember, all we have and all we are is here.

"And the seasons they go round and round, and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive on the carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game."

Picture caption words by Joni Mitchell

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