Today a wise mama posted words hit me like a bat to the head. A well needed blow may I add. One of my favorite bloggers, Nici from Dig this Chick, wrote an amazing, mind-blowing entry about making choices in her life. Finding balance. Being present.
"My daughters have helped me remember that we have choices about most things. Feeling panicked or overwhelmed is a choice."
Since this summer, I have felt overwhelmed from the present. My father-in-law suffered a second major stroke at the same time our house was torn to shreds for massive renovations. Two factors of my life that I relate to stability and to endless joy became anything but solid. The physical changes planted a seed of upheaval within me. I let it establish strong roots.
I masked the anxiety this summer by enjoying the time living on the boat and then spent away on vacations. But as fall replaced summer I felt the weight of supporting my family through my husband’s reeducation stack on the mounding pressures. And then I let everything get to me - deciding Alex’s future schooling, my Dad’s health concerns, my father-in-law’s progress, my pending job changes, and money. I was numb and exhausted. I could not enjoy my frequent visits to Pennsylvania, seeing that my attention was focused on attending to family needs. I walked away from simple pleasures including posting on this blog, and then felt guilty for dropping it.
And then it took 7 simple words - feeling panicked and overwhelmed is a choice - to sucker-punch me out of my fog. Holy shit. It was my choice. It is my choice. I need to look at those words every day. I need to remember that I alone decide to be present or not.
Yesterday I took advantage of an extremely mild day in mid-November to walk to lunch versus a quick drive. And I was enjoying the warmth, I thought about the book One Thousand Gifts, and how I never started recording my gifts of the every day in a journal. Then I thought that my first blessing to record should be: Walking on a sunny, mild day. I can see that the healing started yesterday. I know that I'm capable.
:: July Recap ::
Ben and I were asked once again to drive the Faces of Valor mobile in the Galesville, MD 4th of July parade. Our little Statue of Liberty was as popular as the car.
I made her costume last summer from a small sheet, 1/2 yard of 1" foam, a bit of dye, a sharpie pen, and sharp sheers. Who knew it would get so much mileage.
:: Martha's Vineyard ::
There's still something rustic and unpolished about the island of Martha's Vineyard, MA.
It's where I grew up as a teen. It's where we got married 20 years ago. It's where I share space with my dearest of friends who opens her vacation to us every summer. I know that roaming here with her by my side is a blessing. A gift.
We gladly trade television for nature's creatures at low tide. Every single day.
Grey proves year-after-year that he has the special touch with the local creatures.
:: Long Point Beach - how I have a crush on you. Shallow freshwater lagoon on one side and the blue Atlantic ocean on the other; with the two waters separated by a strip of dunes and a lot of poison ivy. The space beacons that you bring it all - shovels, toys, and colorful beach umbrellas.
:: Chappaquiddick - a new adventure for us. A local island, accessed by a fast boat ride. Without cars, the island can only be discovered by foot. We gladly obliged.
:: There's a natural connection between our three children. They will grow up knowing each other and remembering all the crazy moments.
I love this place so much. It makes my soul swim in deep happiness.
1. Taking a walk on a mild fall day.
2. Gathering leaves.
3. Sleeping next to my daughter.
4. Fresh roasted coffee with cream.