Friday, March 4, 2011

You And Yourself

Ran across this great poem this morning that I wanted to share:

You and Yourself
(Author Unknown)

It is rewarding to find someone whom you like,
But it is essential to like yourself.

It is quickening to recognize someone as a good and decent human being,
But it is indispensable to view yourself as acceptable.

It is a delight to discover people who are worthy of respect, admiration, and love,
But it is vital to believe yourself deserving of these things.

For you cannot live in someone else.
You cannot find yourself in someone else.
You cannot be given a life by someone else.
Of all the people you will know in a lifetime,
You are the only one you will never leave nor lose.

To the question of your life, you are the only answer.

To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8

That little quote was replaying in my mind over and over yesterday. I was doing something I had never done before. We won a family pass to a local ski hill. Ackbar & Freckles went skiing; Frogurt and I, being the adventure-seekers that we are, tried out snowboarding.

In a word: it was hard! I spent more time falling, sitting on the hill and looking for my pride, which I am sure was buried in that snow pile over there, than I did snowboarding.
This story, however, is not about me. It is about Frogurt.
We started off with an hour-and-a-half lesson (which originally seemed like a long time but was only a drop in the bucket!). About 50 minutes into the lesson, after falling and hurting himself one too many times, he gave up. He sat on the hill, board unstrapped, and said he was done.
I told him he was going to have to just sit there because Ackbar was off taking his lesson and I wanted to finish mine. I sat down and talked to him about I could relate to how hard it was (I, too, was finding it difficult and frustrating) but that it would just take practice.
No give. He just sat there. I kept going with my lesson. Different instructors went up to him, encouraging him to try again, No give. I had one more talk with him and finally, he decided to try again. Well, guess what? He got better! He mastered the tow rope (a feat which took me the better part of the afternoon!) and began to make it down the hill without crashing. His confidence was growing with each trip down the hill.

I told him at one point that he was surrounded by people that wanted to see him succeed but ultimately the decision had to be his.
Sound familiar? Ever found yourself digging your heels in, determined not to fail one more time? Ready to give up because it seems like the easier thing to do? 
You, too, are surrounded by people that want to see you succeed and who are standing at the ready to help you. Just like the instructors did with Frogurt, there are people who will support you and help you each step of the way. As you practice, your confidence will grow and soon you will be racing down the hill all by yourself!
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go find a donut to sit on!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Build a Ladder to the Stars

I'm staring at a blank screen. Blink - blink - blink goes the cursor. How do you begin to find the words? When something just doesn't make sense, how do you then attempt to explain it?

Well, that's just it. It can't be explained. Another leaf has fallen from our family tree. Another life cut short.

Tuck, you really showed me the meaning of joy in adversity. Despite everything that was happening on the inside, you kept your head up high. You kept us laughing and you showed such strength of character. You were a fighter to the end. Those who were closest to you were upheld by your determination and your resilience.

For me, I think about the paradox that my children face right now. We have talked to them about death and it feels so contrary. When they ask if they are going to die or if we, their parents, are going to die, the answer always assures them that we will all be here for a long time.

However, of the 3 funerals they have attended, Tuck, at 28, will be the oldest. I have trouble wrapping my head around that and trying to realize that I won't be able to make sense of it. My mind wants to have an answer for everything, to be able to assure them of how things will unfold.

But all I know is this: this is today. The importance of living in this moment is clear. Much as I want to control everything, there comes a point where I have to realize that control is an illusion. I can only do so much and at some point, I have to release the reins.

Tuck, we love you and miss you already. Your memory will always bring a smile and a laugh. Rest now. The pain is over.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Year of Potential

The beginning of a new year! This naturally leans itself towards reflection. It is a time to look back at how far we've come and areas we want to improve in.
I have a new workout DVD that I've been using by Jillian Michaels. One of the things she talks about at the end of the workout is how important it is to reflect on our accomplishments. So often we are just racing through life and don't take the time to stop and say, "Hey, I'm pretty awesome!"
Well I hope each of you know that you are awesome. We all have things we have done to be proud of. Our tendency is, of course, to look at all the things we didn't accomplish and focus on those. 
This quote from Ellen Goodman sums it up: "We spend most of January walking through our lives room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but potential."
That is my wish for each of you as you reflect on the past year and the year ahead. Focus on the positive - on all those things you accomplished. Use your strengths to help you set goals and resolutions that you will be able to achieve and be proud of.