Reminders

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There are times when signs pop up in your life and you can’t see how they might be related until it is pointed out to you. Perhaps they are never intended to make sense at all, but the meaning is nevertheless created by a common thread.

Last week a college friend posted a photo of a mutual friend of ours on Facebook; a face I hadn’t looked at in years, but that I picture so often in my mind. In the photo the two of them were tuxedo-clad and grinning ear to ear at a wedding. This friend passed away after being involved in a hit-and-run accident 11 years ago. He was 25 and had been married for 3 months. We were all recent graduates at the start of our lives and his was ripped away.

A few days ago, my sister called me and something was obviously bothering her. She had just found out that a friend’s sister had been diagnosed with a rare, debilitating, and always fatal disease. She will be dead within a year. She will leave behind a husband and two children. There is nothing that will change this.

Sunday afternoon I arrived early for my yoga class, eager to see my favorite instructor who had been away for a few weeks. I greeted her with a smile and asked about her trip. Her usually bright face was distracted as she told me that it was wonderful. As she began class she told us that if she became emotional it was because just before walking into the studio she had gotten an email telling her that a student of hers had passed away suddenly the night before. She was a young mother who had adopted a baby with her husband last year.

“And so,” she told us as we settled into a comfortable seat, “let’s remember today that life is fleeting.” At that moment it came together for me. These little reminders arranged themselves in my mind as a message. “Enjoy today. Remember that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.” Living with anxiety, I am often too focused on the future, constantly running through what might happen tomorrow, or next month, or in a year. Despite my constant recommitment to being present and mindful, I still fall into the “what if” trap and find myself missing beautiful moments.

I made good on this one yesterday by fighting through major anxiety to take my kids to the beach on the ferry. Although I was nearly paralyzed with worry and fear in the morning, I kept telling myself not to let it tear these happy experiences from me. Once we were out the door, I found myself able to breathe a little easier, and by the time we hit the sand all I could see were smiles and sun and splashing in the waves. It wasn’t perfect–there was a little whining, some impatience, and general toddlerness–but it was worth it. We came home sweaty, exhausted, and full of wonderful memories, which was exactly what I needed.

 

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Outfit

Kukolina runs a weeks outfit photo challenge over on her blog and this week I’m jumping in. I don’t post many photos of myself so I thought it would be fun. 

We’re off to the husband’s aunt’s house in Massachusetts for some country air, pumpkins, and corn mazes so I’m trying to be comfy right now. This is my new favorite top, sale from Anthropologie, my favorite! 

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Kids are included too so here are B and D showing off their car outfits. 

 

 

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Check out all of the outfits over at Kukolina! Now we’re off to the country despite a rough morning to (as the husband said through clenched teeth just now) have fun!

Resolution Challenge

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First of all Happy New Year! 2013 has started out nicely in our house. While a lot of people have abandoned New Year’s Resolutions, I have decided to stick with them this year. I know that people say they are cliched, setting oneself up for failure, false promises, etc. I know that the new year is just a new day on the calendar like any other, a symbol that humans have created for a new start. But I say, why not challenge yourself to do something you’ve wanted to do? Why not allow yourself the freedom to say “I will try” without feeling as if you have failed if it doesn’t work out perfectly? Why not let January 1st, be a symbol of rebirth? It’s as good a day as any.

So this year I am making resolutions to remind myself that I can accomplish goals, that I can maintain the good things I’m doing, and that I can be more like the person I want to be. 

Much like the November ’30 Days of Thankfulness’, I’m doing a Resolution Challenge here on my blog. I think 31 days of resolutions is a bit too much, let’s not get crazy. So for the first 10 days of January, I will post one resolution a day and the reason that I’m making it. Most will probably not be your usual resolutions, but it’s a way to get me on track in the new year. January and February are usually dreary months for me, so maybe some goals will help me get through.

Anyway, here we go…

Resolution #1: I resolve to sweat more. I’ve already started with a trip to the gym this afternoon. As I’ve said before, I love working out. It makes me feel healthier physically and mentally. I like being stronger. I like the flow of endorphins. I like the time to myself. This past year I kept up with my Sunday yoga, but other than that my workouts were spotty. This year I want to run more regularly, fit in more days of lifting, and find more creative ways of getting in workouts.

Why don’t you join me? Post your resolutions as well. Since it’s late to get started today, stretch to the 11th or 12th. Comment here if you plan to resolve along with me.