Thursday, March 24, 2011

Be Still My Heart

We ran across $1 journals recently and gave the kids each one.  Anya, for the first time in her life, decided to use a blank book for writing actual words ("sentences" as she says), rather than scribbling or drawing pictures.

Today's (first) entry reads:
"I have a cat named Toonces.  I give her food for a while.  I love her because Toonces looks beautiful.  She wants to be pet.  Here is food because it is delicious."

With the exception of the word "while" (which she asked me how to spell), she did this completely on her own.

My heart nearly burst when I read it.  I love this girl.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Passing Moment

I have had my nose to the proverbial grindstone lately: working diligently, tending to family needs, making plans.  In the hustle, it’s been hard to come up with blog ideas.  But, last weekend, there was a lovely moment of sibling love.

On Friday, Anya came home with an early (very early) birthday card for Samuel.  She wrote the message insider all by herself:

On Saturday morning, they chose to wear similar t-shirts:

By Saturday afternoon, balance returned to the universe as they commenced fighting.

But, it was a lovely moment.

What passing moments have made you smile lately?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where I Want to Be

In recent months, and especially in the past few weeks, I have given a lot of thought to where I want to be in 5-10 years.  The process has been revealing, and it reminds me of some important things about life that are easy to see, but even easier to forget as we amble through our days.

The context: I am always rushing, always striving to do/accomplish more.  I am constantly wondering about what I should do professionally, frozen in indecision.  I am always trying to change or improve myself, even as I claim to seek self-acceptance.  I have a hard time saying “no” to interesting projects.  I get up early, and I plan ahead a lot.

But when it came to where I want to be in 5-10 years, during my 50s, I came up with things like:

I want to be:
·        Living comfortably in and accepting my body, my work,
my life as they are
·         Creating and learning new things
·         Finding time for play
·         Being part of a community (being connected)
·         Giving back

Funny that, when we stop to think about it, our so-called “goals” are often not centrally related to where we really want to be going.  Yes, I am enjoying the book projects.  Yes, I am glad that I am on a fairly secure path to full professor.  Yes, I miss the thin 30-something body.  In the end, though, none of that matters nearly as much as living a creative, stimulating, loving life, connected to others and to myself.  I have to take care to avoid falling into the trap of “unfulfilling, superficial goals.”  The effort is worth it: I think that my daily and seasonal goals are starting to come into line with my more important long-term desires and values. 

Where do you want to be in 5-10 years?  Are your current goals helping you to get there, or are they in your way?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cultivating Calm

This week has been full of opportunity, intensity, and challenges.  It's all turning out pretty well.  However, I need to step out of the cacophany of work and family demands and cultivate calm

As part of this endeavor, I share favorite photos that bring a sense (however brief) of calm and stillness to me.  I hope they do the same for you. 

I grew up in Rockport, so for me the ocean and beach settle my troubled soul.  Wish I could be there in person.  However, on this cold and blustery day, it's a bit warmer just to use photos to recollect that feeling of peace.

What helps you to cultivate calm?  Can you give yourself a little taste of it today?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011




Anya turned six over the weekend.  It's official: my youngest is no longer a "baby" or even a "little kid."  Now she's officially a full-blown "kid." 

I loved Anya as a baby and as a little kid, but I love her even more now.  So, six things I love about this girl:

1) Anya runs.  Anya hops.  Anya dances.  Anya skips.  Anya marches.  Anya prances.  Anya does not walk. 
2) Anya sings stories to herself as she plays.
3) Anya has taken to electro swing music; we frequently listen (and sometimes dance) to it together.
4) Anya has instincts the likes of which I've never encountered in another human being.  She's my primal child.
5) Anya wants to be a princess, but she has the soul of a roller derby queen.
6) Anya takes snuggling to a new level, and whoever has the good fortune to snuggle with her gets to have the world melt away for a few minutes.