A Choice

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.

And looking back tonight reminds me that life will fall in place as it ebbs and flows. And that I have the choice to control my perspective.  I'm not saying that I will ignore the need to worry about the details, but I cannot allow it to control my reality. The one that I appreciate so.

1. Taking a walk on a mild fall day.
2. Gathering leaves.
3. Sleeping next to my daughter.
4. Fresh roasted coffee with cream.


Hazel said...

Such beautiful summer memories.
Nici's posts are always so insightful. She writes so well.
I hope you find some balance and become present.

The Salty Dogs said...

Love, love, love this post. Also it makes me want coffee at your house, and BenJemima waffles.

Maggie said...

Just found out about your blog. Total crush- words and photos. Happiness, fo' real.

Carolyn Fallon said...

Hello! I had a question for you and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

- Carolyn

Farmgirl Paints said...

well amen to that. it is a choice and one i don't choose wisely sometimes. these pics are beautiful. makes me long for summer ack...and winter is just beginning;)

She Looks Like a Mom said...

I'm glad you found the words that helped you back to your happiness. My Mom always told me that I had the choice to have a miserable day or turn it around and be happy, but it took a couple decades for the message to stick. ;-)

vindiebaby said...

Your kids look super-cute and I love her little polka dot swimsuit :)

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