Sunday, January 6, 2013

With a Brave Heart

What a beautiful morning! I woke up early and tried to sneak downstairs for some quiet reading time. However, I am married to a person who wakes up if the pace of my breathing changes. So moments after I sat down with my book, a sleepy faced Duane appeared holding his copy of The Everything Travel Guide to Ireland.

We spent a delightful hour planning our trip and talking about all the fun things we plan to see during our ten days in Ireland this coming March. I can read my book anytime, but quiet time spent with the mister is, as they say, priceless.

While we chatted I enjoyed a tasty breakfast of Earl Grey tea, and small sweet wheat bagel topped with almond butter and a slice banana. Once the trip planning was complete and my tummy had settled, I opted to try out my new exercise DVD: Jazzercise Burlesque.

I made it through the first 29 minutes of the DVD, before doing my own cooldown and collapsing for a tall drink of water. Have to keep working on my endurance!

We have an invitation to dinner this afternoon at my parent's house before heading to church to teach catechism before attending Mass. If we are feeling perky we will stay awake and watch the season 3 premier of Downton Abbey!

What a beautiful day, I hope your day is equally as joyful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Whoo's looking at you?

I bounced into work this morning, fueled by a Contigo mug of coffee and an Ezekiel bread almond butter and banana sandwich, and found these sweet little faces sitting on my chair.

My friend Gail is one of those amazing people who hear you say something once and remember it. I love owls, and these owls are extra special because they were photographed here on the Army depot where I work. They are even more special because my friend printed and framed them and left them as a lovely welcome on a zero degree 0630 morning.

The owls have me thinking, if my friend hears me make an offhand remark about my love for owls and that sticks in her head, I wonder what else I say in passing becomes representative of me. You know that saying, “You are either a blessing or a lesson”. This is the time to be a blessing, there is so much hurt in the world and every direction we turn there is a media outlet providing round the clock coverage. It is up to us to decide what we allow in and what choose to let out.

We can choose to throw more good into the universe: with our thoughts, with our words, with the senseless acts of kindness that are wholly within our power to provide. I bet we all think of things that would be nice to do, but it is so easy to forget to do them, to let other matters fill our time. We put our money where our mouths are, but do we put our time where our hearts are?

Thank you for friendship, thank you for owls on an early winter morning. Thank you for shared laughter and thank you again for endless chances to get it right.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

The truth is that I can do anything I really commit to, so can you. The hard part is not making the resolution, taking the walk, passing up dessert, or even saving for a rainy day. The hard part is coming up with something worthy of resolution.

Wouldn't it be great if we could resolve to do something that may actually make a difference? It would be neat to fit back into the Levis hanging in the back of my closet. I would be proud to say that I gave up candy and soda for three whole months. But I want something more, something that changes the life of another person.

So this year I'm going to make a resolution to look for the opportunity to make a difference. A good start will be going to yoga with my friends on Tuesday nights. It is not about the exercise, it is about the friendship building, for all of us. I am going to express my gratitude sincerely, so easy to do but easier to forget. It is a bit funny to be finally learning how to be a good woman friend at age 42, but this is definitely a case of better late than never.

I am also going to look at my own attitude and keep it in check. The universe can use some gracious behavior. A friend once told me that you don't have to attend every fight you're invited to. It is so easy to take offense and incredibly nice when you screw up and someone overlooks it. So I'm going to work on taking it easy on everyone around me, refuse to take offense and overlook small slights whenever possible. Remember how they told us in Sunday School to turn the other cheek? Those gorgeous little old lady Sunday School teachers with their blue frosted hair and craft projects made from oatmeal boxes. I hope Jesus took them to a special room in Heaven when they got there and gave them unlimited craft supplies and Avon hand lotion.

I woke up this morning and realized that I'm grateful to have my brother here in Utah for the holidays. We are worlds apart in every conceivable way except for the most important one. We grew up together, we have the same history and the same devoted and incredibly generous parents. Our parents put their hearts into creating a fun family experience and I don't think I've ever acknowledged to them or to my brother that I recognize how great it was being one of us.

My brother was my nemesis for so many years. Lately he keeps wanting to make amends for past screw-ups and it just occurred to me today that I have my own amends to make. I held onto so much old anger and resentment that it prevented us from having an adult relationship as siblings, as the only two witnesses of our crazy childhood as Army brats roaming the earth, getting lost on winding cobblestone streets in Europe, building snow forts in Minnesota, and being entranced by the magic shop in London. We are so different, but share genes, memories, and an awesome kid that he and his girlfriend gave birth to but that I have the joy of raising. I owe my brother an apology, a thank you, and the hope that I hold in my heart for the relationship we can have in the future.

What, God? You mean I am not perfect? Why did you wait until today to tell me? Lord, I know that through you all things are possible, so this year please open my heart and my mind to all of the people you put in my path who can use some help in their lives. Let me take it easy on the people I love; let me not be so prickly when someone has a way of doing something that is vastly different from my own. Thank you for my family, my job, awesome friends, a wonderful church and Father Sam, a beautiful home and more than enough food; thank you for true love and thank you for never closing the door on opportunity.

If you are reading this, and I know that if I tell my mother how to find my blog again she will read it and maybe Sandy too, please know that you are a part of this amazing life I am so grateful for. There are changes to make, and resolutions to resolve and perhaps forget, but the people in our lives deserve our compassion and our gratitude and hope for better relationships in the future. May the peace that surpasses all understanding be with you in this new year. Happy 2013.