Tag Archive | blog

5/31/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – It’s not a race.

It’s not a race.

More and more, we treat life like a race, like a sprint to some imagined finish line.  We just want to get to the next thing, to be done, to get there.  When we don’t get that instant gratification, when things take longer than we would like, we get discouraged, and want to give up.

Life is not a race.  It is a journey.  Most of the good things happen between the milestones, between the start and the finish (whatever that may be).

When I walk in the Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure, the start is exciting and invigorating, designed to pump us up for the journey ahead.  The end is emotional, exhilarating, and is often an emotional highlight of my entire year.  It feels so incredible to finish something so hard.  But between the start and finish is the EXPERIENCE.  The pain of all those steps is a reminder of the battles that people fight every day.  The end wouldn’t be nearly as sweet if the middle wasn’t so hard.  If I treat it like a race, not only do I miss the good stuff, but I risk injury (trust me!) Long journeys  teach me that putting one foot in front of the other, ESPECIALLY when you don’t want to, result in the sweetest finishes.

Don’t get me wrong, beginnings and endings can be beautiful, heartbreaking and memorable.  But they aren’t the only thing.  When we focus on the finish, we lose sight of the now.  If we focus on death, we don’t live.  If we focus on being done, we miss the experience of doing.

So don’t forget the journey.  Don’t focus so much on the end, that you get discouraged or miss something.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Look around.  Slow down.  Eventually you will get there, richer for the experience.

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My new friend from Ireland climbed a mountain last weekend, and her post  had a comment that inspired this.  Someone else who had climbed this mountain was inspired by an old woman who noticed that she looked discouraged and said, “sure, you’ll make it. It’s not a race. You just put one foot in front of the other, and before you know it, you’re there.” (Thanks to Lois  for the inspiration!)

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5/25/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters (and me) — Talk less, listen more.

I am having a love/hate relationship with my blog right now.  So far, my blog has been about me sharing little nuggets, pieces of advice that I think are good life lessons for you girls.  But at the same time, I feel like this little blog is an example of me doing all the talking, and your voice isn’t being heard.

I feel a little like a phony, because I don’t’ always follow my own perfectly brilliant advice.  I feel a little sanctimonious for being inspired with such incredible insight (it IS incredible, right??), and worst of all, insecure.  When I post a blog, I watch the site stats obsessively to see how many people are “listening” to what I have to say and how many new followers I have.  The talking has become the thing, and it is making me feel unsettled, because I don’t necessarily like the me that I see through that lens. These feelings  also make me think that this blog is becoming more about me than you, and I don’t like that.

I actually started contemplating putting something completely controversial out there (politics, gay marriage) to stir things up, but I’m afraid I will be criticized, so I hold back saying some of the things that are stirring in me.  Despite my advice to you to conquer your fears, I am letting mine hold me back.  Fear is what makes me write a blog instead of the book that I have always said I wanted to write.

So even though this is me again…doing the talking, I have to tell you (again) that I don’t always get it right.  In fact, I get it wrong most of the time, and this advice comes to you from the knowledge I gained from that mistake, and from knowing there is a better way.  I’m scared to fall down.  I’m worried that I don’t lead by example.  And I’m terrified that you will look back on these years and tell people that you didn’t feel heard.

So today’s advice is for me, so that I will remember that I don’t have all the answers and I need to listen more.  I’m not perfect and that is ok.  Maybe it is even ok that I write a blog for you when I need the advice as much as you do.   I will keep writing because each post and each response plants another little seed of courage and maybe someday it will be enough for me to get serious with my dreams.  I will write because I think it will be interesting for us all to look back on this in 10 years and see how our perspectives have changed.  I will write because people seem to respond, and even though that response may make me a little too full of myself, it has also been a way to connect with people that I would never have connected with (Shout out Ellie!)  And when my ego gets too big, I can always count on you to give me a “You don’t understand.” Or even better, to tell me that you didn’t know I had a blog (sigh). That’ll teach me. 🙂

I’d like to thank the Academy

Ok, ok…maybe it isn’t the Academy, but it is the little (or big) blog world that I have recently joined. 

Just a few weeks after deciding I really wanted to get serious about my blog, I have been nominated by a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award. How cool is that?  This award has some rules, and I have listed them below. 

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

First things first,  a great big thank you to Emerald Pie  for the nomination.  This blogger found me all the way from Ireland.  She has delightful posts about motherhood on the other side of the ocean.  Her finding me and finding her back is truly one of the most wonderfully surprising things that have happened  with this blog. It just isn’t every day that Iget a new virtual friend in a countryI have never even visited.

I have to admit, that I am not yet into the bloggosphere enough to have 15 nominations, but the nominations that I haver are near and dear to my heart.  Some blog often, some just every so often, but they all have wonderful things to say.

Confessions of a Working Housewife : This is a blog from a new friend in my hometown.  She has a career that kind of leaves me awestruck (neonatal nurse) and a heart for all moms. 

Pa5tord : This is the blog of my dear friend and pastor.  His heart for all kinds of justice are featured here and in his new venture. “Just Christian” which you can (and should!) find on Facebook.

Love and Stories: This is another local friend who is (IMO) the ultimate stay at home mom.  She posts such wonderful things about her time, her faith and her adventures in crafting, studying, cooking and mothering.  She is the kind of stay at home mom I would want to be if I could do it for more than a week without losing my mind. 

Simple Life and Home: This is a site and blog created by my beautiful cousin.  Here you will find practical household tips, yummy recipes and ideas that will just make your life simpler and sweeter. 

Elastamom:  This is another new blog friend.  She writes beautiful posts about mothering two boys and a daughter with special needs.  You can feel the love through her words, and best of all, she keeps it real, which makes her even more worth following.

I Miss You When I Blink : This is a blog that I recently discovered from a Facebook share.  I love this blog because it is irreverent and oh so funny.  My favorite blog so far is the one about the rules of cursing, so as you can see, it is a little different than the rest of the list…which makes it even more fun.  If I was going to let it all hang out, I would want to be just like this blogger. 🙂

Marvelous Magnificence of Malcolm: This is a blog by my dear friend.  It is mostly about her amazingly smart and funny son, but also  the things she is passionate about. 

These are my favorite blogs so far.  I’m sure there are others that I have enjoyed, but these are the ones I have decided to follow because I really want to read all the posts that they put out there.  I hereby nominate them all for the Versatile Blogger Award.  For more information on the award, go to: The Versatile Blog Award Blog  (go figure!)

No I need to tell my new Irish friend a little something about me, and I suppose those things ought to be different than she could have already figured out by reading my blog.

1) I am shy.  Most people don’t know this about me, but it is true. I am very comfortable in small groups and with people I trust.  Sometimes that comes fast, sometimes slow.  In all other circumstances, I am much more comfortable watching other people from the sidelines than being front and center.

2) I love to cook.  I started baking with my mom when I was young, and still bake, but mostly I have learned to enjoy creating things in the kitchen.  Recipes are guides rather than plans.  If I won the lottery, I might go to culinary school to learn among other things, mad knife skills.

3) I have the attention span of a gnat.  It is really quite annoying sometimes.  In church, in meetings, and even when I am TRYING to concentrate, I often find myself 100 miles away.  It is a good thing I can get the gist of things quickly!

4) I really don’t like bosses.  It isn’t that I don’t like the people who have been my bosses.  It is just that I really don’t like to be bossed.  Never have, never will.  Fortunately, I know it is a necessary evil since I’m also not ambitious enough to try to be the top boss.  I enjoy the balance of life too much to want to work that hard.

5) This blog is really a way to see how I do with writing.  Ultimately, I would love to write a book.  It has always been on my bucket list.  One of my book ideas is the “Advice to My Beautiful Daughters”.  I would pick the ones with the best stories (there is almost always a story behind my daily advice) and make chapters out of them.  Maybe someday.  Until then, I’m testing the waters with this blog.

6) I am a terrible procrastinator.  Interestingly enough, I’m using this blog post to procrastinate right now.  I really need to be packing and preparing for a business trip tomorrow morning.  Packing always gives me an opportunity to hone my procrastination skills.

7) I love to travel.  If I really took the time to write out my bucket list, I suspect that 90% of the things on it would be the places I want to see.  Iwant to fill my passport with stamps with my wonderful traveling companion husband.

The seven things list was harder than I thought it would be.  I wish it was more interesting, but it is me (or at least shows glimpses at part of me).  If you read my blog, please feel free to share and tell others about it.  Although asking for that seems like shameless self-promotion, I really do have a teensy little dream of developing a huge following.  Of course all of us bloggers probably have secret dreams of turning this into a profession, right?