Tag Archives: appreciation

On permanence and living.

As we get closer and closer to moving into our new home, I start to think more and more about the permanence of buying a new home and what it signifies, in many ways.

The first time I bought a house, I was 26/27, and the thought of living in a house for 10, 20, 30 years didn’t dawn on me. It felt like a ‘starter home’ (a phrase that seems so ancient nowadays where buying a home seems to be a much bigger deal than it used to be, when prices were dirt cheap and you could buy, just to get into the market, and not wait and wait and look and look till you find a just-right home that you can grow into and stay in for a long time).

Now, fast forward 7 years and the reality is, this home will likely be ours for the long haul. Whether that’s 10, 15, 20 years, who knows, but it is a home we *can* grow into, (possibly) start a family, and dig our heels in and really live in. And that is such an incredible feeling. Yet, at the same time, it’s a little scary. In 10 years, I’ll be 43. In 15 years, I’ll be 48, In 20 years, I’ll be 53. Those numbers seem daunting. Those years seem far away, yet also fleeting. Those years also feel permanent and far away, yet thisclose, at the very same time.

I never understood what others meant when they said life goes much faster the older you get. But it is SO TRUE. Think about it. We are already into April of 2013. Wasn’t it *just* New Year’s Eve? Wasn’t it JUST summer 2012? WHERE does time go? It is fleeting.

Life is fleeting.

It is not meant to be lived in spurts. It is not meant to be lived in ‘can’t wait’ mode. It is not meant to be lived in ‘silver linings’ of the week days that sometimes drone on, while the weekends fly by. It is meant to be lived in every minute, of every day, no matter how craptastic, or how wonderful that minute, hour, day is.

Yet, I find myself constantly battling this feeling of looking forward. Can’t waiting for the many things in store for me, and for us. It’s natural to, I suppose, but at the same time, it rips me off of the hear and now. Of my mantra to just BE, this year.

So, as we move closer to our next stage in life together, in building our proverbial – and literal – home together, my vow is to really try and take in each moment, not rush, rush, rush to the next. I know I’ll falter here and there, but I think this is one of the only ways life will feel like it’s slowing down, and I am appreciating the here and now just as much as the future filled with promise, blessings and happiness.

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Easter weekend, musing-style.

I won’t lie…this weekend was a blur. But it was also one that I cherished. For Easter, for family, for friends, for me. Here are some flashes of the weekend, some of the moments that made me laugh, some musings, and even an epiphany or two.

Hosting my first Easter dinner was a huge success. M and I are such a great team when we host. And the food was delish, I really must pat ourselves on the back for that one. Menu? Carrot soup (one of my faves that M makes!), leg of lamb that I marinated in red wine and lemon juice overnight (what compelled us to make our very first leg of lamb for a crowd of 7 is beyond me…thank GOD it came out good!) that was seriously so perfectly cooked, with a red wine reduction, roasted vegetables, potatoes and sweet potatoes in balsamic and olive oil and dill. And a variety of baked goods from my Gram and sister Jen, along with the best orange pudding on the planet – courtesy of Gram. The best part was seeing Grampa eat his right out of the bowl (after everyone else was served. It was hysterical. I think orange pudding is his favorite dessert 😉

I feel so lucky to have my grandparents in the health that they are in. Both in their late-80s, they are two of the most active people, it’s just incredible. I’m always struck by it, whenever I see them. For example, when we had that mini heat wave a few weeks ago? They both took a swim in the lake in Maine! In MARCH! I mean, sure, it was in the upper 80s, but the lake literally still had ice on it the week prior. I love that. I was totally cracking up when they told that story over dinner.

I played peekaboo with my niece Isabel through the cracks in my chair. I was sitting in a folding patio chair (only have 6 dining chairs) and she loved to peer through the mesh at me and poke my hand through it. It was so cute. Then she’d say ‘hiiiii!’ and peer around the side at me. I am always surprised when she says actual words (Jen left me a voicemail where Isabel repeated everything she told her to say, including ‘hi jo!’ ADORABLE).

It occurred to me last night that I didn’t eat any Easter candy yesterday, this weekend, and barely at all. I had a few Cadbury mini eggs but that’s really it. No sugar high for me, and I didn’t even miss it. Who knew?!

I have been trying to ‘go log-less’ a few days a week to see how I do, and yesterday, by nature of the day, was one of them. I was completely satisfied with a small breakfast, Easter dinner,  and a snack later on. My body is so used to my ‘number’ that it almost self-regulates itself now. It’s the coolest thing to realize and see in action. Almost a year later, this approach just works for me.

Speaking of a year later, the pictures of me from Easter last year and this year are amazingly different. I am looking forward to my sister and my one year-barre-o-versary and I am thinking of doing a before and after picture. Maybe. Still debating on it, but I just want to capture the essence of the change, inside and out. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize a mini epiphany here or there about my eating patterns now, feeling satisfied with wholesome foods and still being able to have some wine a couple days a week 😉

One of my cats, Kayla, was ill all day yesterday. I felt so bad. She looked exactly like a human would with a stomach bug. Lethargic, no appetite, just bleh. I was a worried kitty mama all day and night, but this morning, she greeted me with a little ‘trill’ and shake of her floppy tail and she seems much better. Sometimes I think a little kitty ‘bug’ reminds me not to take my furchildren for granted. I love them so!

Overall, the weekend was fantastic. Celebrating Easter with family (sans Jess and Scott, but I was able to spend Saturday evening with them with the ‘girls night’ crew, so that felt like our mini-Easter celebration, with our friends!), enjoying some good, quality time with family, and taking each day in stride.

So there ya have it…some musings and memories of the weekend, and what was that was on my mind, sort of mini-blogs all wrapped into one. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and is celebrating the #littlethings of each day, and not just the weekend. I’m gonna try and do the same today and everyday 🙂

On starting from the ground up.

Sometimes, when I re-read some of my posts, I sit back and think about where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. And I don’t even mean that in a ‘patting myself on the back’ sort of way. I think back to my roots, in every sense of it, and how going from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs makes you appreciate that much more what you have and what you have built up for yourself.

It’s so easy to take for granted the life you have, once it’s filled to a point where you are content. Where you are still building, but you are stable, have what you need to live, but also to share and give back. To pay it forward. Paying it forward in the form of giving back to those that are still ‘building’ is the ultimate proof point that you can give back…some of that life that’s been built around you.

I think this feeling has been with me lately as I look around at the from-scratch moves I’ve made.

Financially. This was by far one of the biggest feats for me to rebuild. Almost literally from scratch. Going from being a homeowner with two steady middle class incomes to one income, a forced short sale and onslaught of debt and recovery to come was…trying, to say the least. Juggling which credit card to pay down first, to finding a job that would give me the boost in pay that I needed (and deserved!), to patiently building my credit back up. To finally putting a real budget together instead of just doing the head-in-the-sand game and avoiding banking of any kind until each paycheck arrived (resulting in many an overdraft…oy.). To now…finally feeling able to save again, to build that fabled ‘security blanket’ fund that I’ve never had before, to helping those that need it, picking up the tab, buying a gift ‘just because.’ Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…financially.

Myself. Looking back, and in reading some other recent blogs from those going through the 180 degree  transformation that is divorce, I can firmly say that I started from scratch. From ground zero. A blank slate. The past came rushing to mind this morning as I woke up from one of those haunting dreams where I’m still with my ex-husband (doesn’t even matter what the details of the actual dream were) and it’s as though I stepped back in to my ‘old’ self, the me I’ve done so much to completely rebuild…from the ground up. The relief that spread across me as I rolled over and kissed M on the cheek, trying not to wake him, but just to make sure he was real, this was real, I am here, now, the me I’ve developed…was so powerful. Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…myself.

The life around me. I am struck by how much I am living my life for me right now. After I re-read my post last weekend, I realized how very fortunate I am to be able to spend an entire weekend centered around things I want to do. For me. Just me. And maybe that’s considered selfish to some, or too self-centric, there was a time where I didn’t do for me, I didn’t see the value, and at the stage of my life that I’m in, I’m taking it and running with it. I am living it, because I can, and I want to. And I won’t apologize for that. Everyone has their priorities in their lives, their goals, their passions. The things that I do on the weekend are mine. Cue this past weekend, for example. To have spent a large majority of it barre n9ne training, certifying and teaching…that’s not something anyone has the time to do or even wants to do. But to be able to follow my passion and to shift it into something I also do for others, for a living? Is incredible. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do this. To have the time to devote to, and maintain, and build up.  Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…the life around me.

Starting from the ground up….makes you appreciate the highs so much more once you’ve seen the low.

How often do you ask…”How are you?”

How are you?

How often do you ask your friends, family or loved ones how they are?

Or how their day is going? Or how their job is going? Or how their life is going? Or how their relationship is going?

Or to call to say hi, or send a quick text, or a Facebook post with a funny story or just simply to say ‘I miss you, let’s hang out?’

I can venture to guess it’s not as often as you’d like to think. I will own up to this too in saying that I don’t do it as often as I’d like to, though I am trying more to reach out, to make my friends feel loved, appreciated, thought of.

(the fabulous) NYSoonerGirl wrote on a similar topic the other day and honestly, she’s right. We live in a self-centric society. We’re all prone to falling into the me,me,me trap, but when you’re at the butt of it and feeling as though you put the effort in, and those around you simply don’t. It sucks. It feels pretty shitty. I want to remember that feeling and try to pay it forward even more. To say hello, to send a note to those that I don’t get to see or talk to regularly (friends that live afar that I wish were near…cough, cough, Amy! Miss you friend! So much these days!!), Skype chat, call, Facetime chat (for those with iPhones!). Have coffee with. Have lunch with. Whatever works.

I can’t say I will be perfect at this little effort, but I am going to commit to doing more of it. With my move fast approaching (one month from tomorrow! ahh!), I realize that I won’t be as close to some friends and family as I have been. I definitely take it for granted and will regret it when I live just a wee bit further.

So, friends, I challenge you.

Pay it forward.

Ask how your friends are. Send them a random note. Or a tweet. Or a text. Or a phone call. Or a handwritten note (if my writing were more legible…). Anything. I’m sure they would appreciate it.

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Speaking of paying it forward, bloggers united – like whoa – for the Great Fundraising Act this week for Susan…raising almost 30K in donations and auction funds on Monday. I participated and was thrilled to be part of it, but am still floored by the power of blogging and uniting for a cause. This got such widespread acknowledgement too! Fitness Magazine even wrote about it (and some others!)…how COOL is that?!

 

The breaking glass.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen several big bloggy breakups (Nicki, QT, Marathon’s Mistress and others I’ve seen peripherally) and it’s really kind of shaken me. I wasn’t going to blog about it (T and Sunshine both did a good job of that already) and my thoughts on it, but then I saw QT’s news and her breakup.

It feels like breaking glass all around me and to be honest, it has really shaken me.

I walked over to M last night and reiterated the gist of the breakups, hugged him and whispered ‘don’t break up with me, okay?”

Half-jokingly since, well, things are pretty amazing right now.

Half-seriously, because, well, things are pretty amazing right now.

And what tends to creep in when things are smooth sailing?

Taking that for granted.

It was a huge reminder for me not to do that. Because I know we have something so special and I never want to let that go, especially on the basis of taking us and him for granted.

Some things that resonated for me in QT’s post?

Unconditional love is patient and kind.

It is not self-seeking. It does not keep a record of wrongs. When love is not patient or enduring; when love is unforgiving and always disappointed or looking for something to go wrong, it generates fear and looks for imperfections in the other person. Fear-based love is conditional – creating an atmosphere of distrust, dishonesty and instability.

Fear-based love is conditional.

Absolutely.

I just wrote about how I am now allowing love to drive me, instead of allowing fear to drive me. It’s worth the risk, to me, to love fiercely than to hold back, take for granted or make too many compromises.

We’re worth it to be with someone that meets you with unconditional love, happy mediums and appreciation for all that we are.