I Am Back

I am back! Am I? Well . . . I would like to be back. It’s been so long since I have drained my brain on paper (or keyboard), and it definitely feels necessary to me as a person to write. However, I feel rusty like the Tin Man, my knuckles squeaking and whining with each letter I press. Where is Dorothy with that oil can?

I poured some coffee and pulled up a chair to spend some time with my old self this morning. Reading through old posts of a mother isolated with her babies, in a financial hardship and desperately seeking for more. Each post had helped me become more accepting, patient and grateful as I wrote them. I miss her. I miss the woman who had an awareness and hopefulness. Her problems seem so simple now. Funny how that is. I suppose it shows growth and maturity for me as I stand today, and still at times, I miss that part of the journey.

Since I left, many of my problems were solved or improved. However, as I got everything I was wanting, I lost so much that I had. Life has been happening to me. I am just in for the ride with its unpredictable twists and turns and the frightening darkness and drops. I lost my armor of gratitude and mindfulness I once had. I now often get caught up in the conversation of my thoughts. Hearing the worrying and complaining all day. The insults and the reminders of what went wrong. So here I am, back to writing, back to vomiting it all up, the ugly that has been poisoning me. I am back to reminding myself who I am with all that I have. Back to getting into the driver’s seat of my life. Back to seeking the answers. Back to the uncertainty I have felt before, with new confidence that I have lived through difficult times. Reminding myself the woman from my past lives within. Reminding myself that I am strong. I am resilient. Reminding myself that I am a writer. So here I am. Back to writing.

I am Back!

The Art of Gratitude

Do you know that feeling you get when you desperately need a new toothbrush? The bristles are worn and rough. Every morning you pick it up and think, I must buy a new toothbrush today! And every night you want to kick yourself for forgetting to buy one, even though you were in the store. Then, that special day comes when you are both in the store and remember that you need a toothbrush. Hallelujah! You walk over to the dental aisle and view your options, careful to select the right strength, bristle style and color. That night, you crack open the plastic, place the perfect amount of toothpaste on it, and brush your teeth. The new bristles massage your gums that have been so badly mistreated by your old, crotchety toothbrush. When you are done, you run your tongue over your teeth with the wonderful sensation of cleanliness. You can finally take the perpetrator out of your spot on the holder and sentence it to death by trash. There is a sense of joy that fills you when your new brush is hanging there proudly.

Gratitude can be more than just taking a few minutes to ramble out thoughts of the obvious things that contribute to your life in some way.

For me, I began to practice gratitude when I was at a low point in my life. I treated myself to a beautiful leather bound journal and began writing down things I was grateful for each night. Just as most people, my first couple of months entries were repetitive for the obvious things, health, family, food, a placed to live, employment and a vehicle. Looking back and reading through, I began to notice an evolution of my entries. Gratitude slowly began oozing into the crevices of my life, showing up in minor details. I can tell you the dates I bought a new toothbrush, opened a brand new bar of soap or watched the mail man deliver my mail in the pouring rain. I can tell you when I noticed a bird bathing in a puddle and how it made me feel. Reading through my journal I can tell you when I felt good in an outfit and when my egg omelet was cooked to perfection. I know all the times I was grateful for a good laugh with a friend and each time I hugged my children extra tight, looked into their eyes and told them how much I loved them.

Practicing gratitude has allowed me to observe my life in the moment I am living it. I find myself stopping throughout the day to feel grateful and happy for little details that I might have overlooked in the past, and for that I will always be forever grateful.

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What Matters

When my son was in Kindergarten, the teacher would tell me during recess all he does is sit in the field and dig in the dirt using a branch. She wanted him to stop because of the potential danger of having little holes littering the field where other children run.

When I confronted him on his digging, he brought me to his room and pulled an old lunchbox out from under his bed. He explained that he was searching for special rocks to add to his collection, despite the millions of rocks that blanketing the playground area he could have easily chosen. The rocks in his collection didn’t look special at all. As a matter of fact, some weren’t even rocks, but chunks of pavement or concrete. I left it alone and encouraged his digging to take place at home.

From time to time, on a special occasion, I would receive a small gift, wrapped in a paper towel. When I opened it up, I would find a rock that was carefully selected and washed.  I then understood how special those rocks in his collection really were.

As I have recently moved, and have spent a lot of time deciding what to pack and what to get rid of. It made me think about what really matters. I realize that what matters is different for each person but there is a common denominator, how it makes you feel. What mattered to me was the paintings from our travels, some of my favorite photographs of family, my favorite mug that has magical powers to make coffee taste better somehow, and my books. Each of those things make me feel something, sentimental, love or simply joy. They have the ability to affect my mood and remind me of who I am, at my best. I believe that what we have may be very different, but why they matter is because of the same reason. They make us feel something and remind us of who we strive to be at our best. Some of my most valuable things are not valuable at all. For my son those rocks were special and to me, that is what matters.

 

I would just like to note that a follower had emailed me to see if I am still writing.  She said, that I wrote about things that mattered.  Thank you for your concern, as it has inspired me to continue to do what I love.

 

A GROWTH SPURT

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Experiencing change is a tornado of feelings all swooshed and swirled together to form something that is unrecognizable. I feel flickers of fear, specks of uncertainty, swirls of excitement, dotted with anxiety, all circulating in happiness. The force of change has left me unable to secure my footing. Its fast pace has left me dizzy.

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Although, this is a much welcomed change, in which I am in no means complaining, it has distracted me from writing, blogging and reading.

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My all time favorite quote.

To my WordPress family, I am slowly returning, I am just in a growth spurt right now. 🙂

Is this thing on?

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Testing . . .Testing. . .1…2…3…

Can you hear me? That is the real questions here, isn’t it? Do YOU hear me? Are YOU listening? We are all here typing relentlessly at our keyboards, giving our words a once over and then holding our breath as we click the “Publish” button. WordPress uses its magical powers, casting a spell or hums a tune while happily busy at work. “Beep, Bop, Boop.” Presto! Our words are displayed for the reading pleasure of our followers.

I started blogging after winning a writing contest. Yay!! Yes, I was so excited because it was the first time I was recognized for my writing. They announced me as the winner by using my name and a photograph, but I was very disappointed when they didn’t publish or post what I actually wrote. I felt very unsettled about it all. I kept saying, “I want to be heard, not seen.” It was a big let down, to say the least.

I am now very grateful for this disappointment because it led me here! I can clearly connect the dots of my journey this far in my pursuit and it feels right. I am skipping down the yellow brick road with no evil witch in sight. I set out to be heard and in three in a half months have gained over 350 followers!! I am grateful for each and every person that has committed to following me and most of all for listening!

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This is us! Our arms are interlocked as we skip down the yellow brick road to ask the Almighty Oz for something, only to discover we had the power all along.

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How did you get here?

Happy Blogging!!

Today I will write . . .

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Today I will write because I want to be a writer.

Today I will write because the ache of not writing has become intolerable.

Today I will write to calm the noise in my head, as each thought is fighting for attention. Letting the thoughts drain from my fingers will give me clarity and peace.

Today I will write because my imagination and creativity is clawing at the door and gripping tight to the bars, desperate to break free from the space it is held captive. Only I have the power to set them free.

Today I will write because it is the only thing I can do in my pj’s, sitting on my couch, that makes me feel absolute exhilaration.

Today I will write because the story that I have begun to tell is crying for help. It needs to be tended to and worked on and I am the only one who can fix it.

Today I will write so when I lay my head down at night, I can fall right to sleep, knowing that I consciously took a step towards my passion.

Today I will write because I AM a writer.

Today I will write . . .

will you?

Now What?

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I find I am clutching my mug of steaming hot coffee a bit tighter lately, grabbing for the throw blanket to burrito myself in more often than usual, and procrastinating a little longer before rolling out of bed or stepping out of the scorching shower. Winter has officially set in for Long Island. BRRR!

The garbage is filled with empty cardboard hearts, yes plural, and a new blemish has erupted on my chin (which for me, is unusual). We have gone through several sketch pads, glue sticks and packages of construction paper in this house. The DVR is empty, every book has been read, the toys have been played with and Logos have been built. We have beaded necklaces and bracelets, molded Play-Doh into mini animal shapes and even practiced some school work.

Its only Monday! SIX MORE DAYS! Six more days the kids are home from school and the snacks are depleting at an astounding rate! Its too cold to go outside and after an unexpected vet bill, my budget is a bit tight.  (Doggie is doing fine now 🙂  )

Its only Monday! Now what?

If it was up to me, I’d remain a burrito all week long reading, writing and editing. Sigh . . but that will not satisfy four energetic children. So does anyone have any great suggestions?


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WHY? – So Much More Than A Crooked Letter

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Through hardship and difficult times, pieces of your identity come forth in unexpected ways. I had been unaware of the tremendous pride, which I was carrying within me, until I needed to set it free. There was my enormous ego, which fled, leaving me deserted, feeling empty, mourning its departure. We will all experience hardship and loss throughout our lifetime; it’s how we allow these experiences to shape our identity, influence our choices, and test our bonds with one another.

“Why?” I kept asking, “Why? Why is this happening to me? Why wasn’t I better prepared? Why isn’t there anyone to help?” The many “why’s” which I continued to ask, felt like a whisper at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Despite the absent response, the quiet sense of being ignored in the solitude of my despair, I relentlessly questioned, asking only, “Why?”

An excerpt from my novel.

Photo Credit: http://www.boomsbeat.com

TRUTH: I AM AFRAID TO TRUST THE DREAM

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I have narrowed it down, I am afraid to trust the dream.

Today, when I swung my feet on the carpet and forced myself into standing position, I immediately noticed it there, pulling up a chair and taking a seat in the forefront of my brain, my self doubt.

Have I tricked myself into believing in a world, so far from my actual reality? I wonder if I will wake up, rocking myself in an insane asylum and face the terrorizing thought, “That life never actually happened.”  I spend countless hours writing, editing, reading and most of all, thinking which words I can string along to tell my story. Which words will clearly explain the circulating thoughts. Why? Why do I do this? Is it just a vice to get me through the mundane chores and actions of a day?

When I further investigate my desire to write, I find it sprouting from a small seed, whispering out only a single phrase, “There is more.”  I instinctively take a step back, as those powerful words have caused my heart to flutter incessantly like the wings of a hummingbird. “There is more.”

My desperate desire for more haunts me, keeping me up at night. I can taste it in every bite, it is there. I feel it pressed under my nails and it cools my mouth with each sip of water that passes my lips. A sense of being underutilized and unfulfilled has formed as my shadow, always lagging behind.

I want more. Is that wrong? I feel so blessed to be surrounded by health and family. That part of me is inflated with love and gratitude, nearly bursting at the seams. I have had four children, just to ensure that piece would be filled to capacity. What about the rest? What about me? Why am I not content with this being it? No, instead I lie in bed at night, just short of drifting off into a peaceful slumber, when an urge to swiftly jump up, grab a pen and paper, just to write down three little words. . .

There          Is          More

Photo Credit: Doubt and Fear Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.via Shutterstock

Following Mother Nature’s Orders

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It’s a whirlwind outside, the specs of freezing white snow, aggressively thrusting against one another, swirling in mid-air. The bare branches crack and whine when the harsh wind barrels down its force upon the trees. The streets are desolate, no pedestrians in sight. The dense snow collecting on the ground is glowing in contrast to the saturated night sky. For a few hours the earth seems still. Perhaps, nature’s way of demanding us to pause a moment, and slow things down. We all seem to have obliged. Although, not without first frantically rushing through the sliding glass doors of the store to stock up on various ingredients for a home style meal or two, and some sweet treats. Similar in our preparations for a holiday, the children will surely rush to their windows in the morning, hoping to be amazed.

The anticipation of what to expect has been buzzing through every radio and television station, every social media news feed page and every person in line at your local gas station and grocery store. Words like, “Record Breaking,” “Historic,” and “Accumulations” have warned us to gather with loved ones and hunker down for shelter.

While sitting in the silence of the vicious snowy downfall, the occasional yellow siren flickers through the windows, a reminder of the people who are there for us, always prepared to dig us out. Through our community and within our families we unite to bear the frost and bitter cold of Mother Nature on this winter’s night, just as she intended.

Photo Credit : http://piktiva.com/snowy-night-cieszyn-poland/