Posted in Mental Health

Curate Your Life

Did you ever go into someone’s home and it was so clean, minimal and tidy that it felt like a museum? I have been in several. I have always thought that it just doesn’t even look lived in.

Lately, however, as I have been purging things from my home with extreme prejudice it came to me… I have never felt uneasy in a museum. In fact, I find them beautiful.

There is a quiet peace, and plenty of space to carefully curate what is beloved. There is room to walk all around it and enjoy the offerings on display. There are comfortable places to simply sit and observe.

And so it makes me think that my home being museum-like may not be so terrible after all. And why stop there?

As a Mom with ADHD to kids with ADHD and a spouse with ADHD I know we all tend to over schedule and over commit. In my house I am the absolute worst offender.

I want to curate my life, I want room for camping and coloring and reading. I want room for games with the kids and geeked out table top gaming with my husband and friends. I want room for naps and room for my businesses to grow. I want room to rest and room to work and room to play.

I want less so that I can have so much more. January is coming to an end, and resolution fever tends to end with it. This year, I vow to continue to remember that I am the curator of my own life. We all can be. What can you say no to, so that you can say yes to more of what you truly hope for?

Posted in Uncategorized

Unquieted Fearlessness

I’ve written and re-written this post at least three times. How do I tell you about the life changing impact the past two days have had on my life? How can I tell you about her, without telling you our story?

At seventeen I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I saw her for the one and only moment in her life that she was quiet. She didn’t cry when she was born, she didn’t cry much after, either. But she made up for it over the next gloriously heartbreaking two days in which I kept her in the room with me and by my side.

Even though I knew and the choice had been made, I fed her. I changed her. I held her. I rocked her and sang to her and loved her. I took pictures and told her stories and while holding her in my arms with tears streaking down my face, I wrote her the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. How could properly express to her that “I want you” and “I love you more than anything I’ve ever loved before, ever” were not good enough reasons to keep her? I endeavored to explain it anyway.

Yesterday morning, over twenty years having passed since the day I left my heart behind in a hospital room, I held her in my arms again. I’ve kept her somewhat selfishly close these past two days since she’s come to visit. I must make more concrete plans for everyone in our family to meet her, too.

Friends and family alike are in wonderment at how easy it has been for us to be together. But that way was paved for us and by us.

I refused for one second to be silenced about my first child. “How many children do you have” is a very loaded question for a birth mother to one, a mother with two at home and a third with wings. I have four. But that simple three word sentence requires explanation.

And so, since she has always been someone I’ve spoken of, and I’ve always told my children they have two sisters, one who lives far away and another who lives in heaven, they greeted their sister with squeals of delight. She is their sister, they love her, and they have monopolized near every free moment she has when they are near to her.

We loved her before we met her because we have always known her. We did things unheard of in adoption twenty years ago–we stayed connected. My beautiful daughter was raised with the knowledge of my love for her. How blessed am I?

My beautiful daughter was, and remains, loved and supported in a stable and non-toxic environment by two parents who love each other and their children. She has healthy boundaries and a delightful sense of self. She is confident in her beauty and still kind, because there was never someone telling her that these two things cannot coexist. Her parents were absolutely everything I hoped they would be for her, and even better than my sweetest dreams could have ever conjured up in my own imagination.

Giving her up for adoption was the first momentous decision I had ever made, and I had to be taught how to do so. This decision was so thoughtful, so careful, and so deliberate that I never once questioned the validity of its goodness. It was right. And not denying her was just as right.

Even with many around me encouraging me to pretend she didn’t exist, I refused. I always refused. There is so much I want to say, but there is not enough room in one post to share the overflowing elated emotions of this beating heart.

If you take away nothing else I wish for you to know this: even a broken child who had suffered tremendous trauma made a perfect decision and knew in her heart for over twenty years it was right.

I know so many days can be dark for so many of us. The dark days can linger and be long but there is light waiting for you. Keep searching for it. Look within and find what is right and live in joyful conviction of it. You do have it inside of you. I promise.

Posted in Uncategorized

Be Still

Can you look at this picture without seeing that the person in it still needs to get dressed for the day, and their floor needs vacuuming, and those things on the floor need putting away? I can’t yet, but I’m working on it. I took a break and was still, and my little dog who is always hiding away from the business of life behind a chair, is peacefully resting on my lap. We are enjoying closeness without me having to do a thing aside from be still.

And when I noticed this I thought about how my children do the same thing. When I am still, and unoccupied, they will simply sit with me, put my arm around them, and continue on their own activities.

There is always much to do. Acknowledge it in your mind, “put a pin it” and tell your brain you know it’s important. So is being still. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, I hope you have time to be still today.

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Peaceful

The other day I mentioned approaches to New Year’s resolutions. And well, it certainly wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without my adding my two cents into it, now would it?

That word across the top there? That is my one word New Year’s Resolution. Peaceful.

I want to lead a peaceful life. As a woman who has survived a number of traumas, and a mother and wife to those who have also not fit as neatly into this world as others, all I really want for all of us is a peaceful life.

I loved the radical approach to a New Year’s resolution as a one word overlying idea. How can one word change a life? This is what I have in mind:

1. Create a peaceful life through minimalism. Less stuff means less stress and less pain and more time.

2. More time means more one on one time with my children and my spouse. More direct time leads to less upset, less feelings of neglect, less desire to grab attention by any means necessary. More peace.

3. Having a family that actually feels the value I have for them in my heart creates a more secure household, more confidence, and less anxieties. This means more time for self-care–like meditation, workouts, socializing and actually going to the appointments I’ve scheduled that are meant to help me. Self-care means a greater sense of inner peacefulness.

4. Inner peacefulness means room for courage and growth. Courage and growth means taking chances, delving into new ventures and growing current ones. Growth means independence and financial freedom. Peacefulness then arrives through financial peace of mind.

That’s only one word, four steps, and one simple all-encompassing idea to encourage the growth of hope and joy I have for not only my life, but those lives over which I have stewardship.

And when you’re someone who wears positivity like a cloak and tenacity like a crown, four steps aren’t that many. So you grab your staff of hopes and dreams and walk into 2019 with your head held high like the queen you know you are.

Happy New Year. I hope the coming year brings you little joys that collect like pebbles until they grow into a mountain. See you next year 😉.