Friday, June 24, 2011
Make big plans, but change your plans as time changes.—Marchant
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
gang aft a-gley.--Robert Burns ("To a Mouse")
[Popularly misquoted as: The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, or The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray.]
Last night I had a Plan. My husband and girls were going to have a Daddy play date with a neighbor Dad and his two girls. I was going to get out of the house and run. I wanted to get one more outside run in before my running group tomorrow morning. I planned to get 4 miles in, because I know the running coach will push us to get 5 miles in tomorrow outside. I wanted to get out there in the night air and just go with it and get ‘er done.
Had I known that plans would fall through and the Daddy play date wasn’t going to happen I would have gotten my run in at lunch. As much as the dreadmill doesn’t inspire me, I would have done it. BUT I didn’t know.
So I get home, and instead of having the night to myself, I have two eager girls and a hungry husband. I am not the happy camper. I am, in a word, annoyed.
The bonus was that I would get to make the BBQ Chicken recipe I wanted to try out. The bad part was trying to actually cook with a soon to be 2 yr. old toddler grabbing my legs from behind and trying to wrestle me to the floor, and my 4 yr. old (soon to be 5 yr. old) asking me question after question about life. Not just simple questions, but questions about why lightning bugs don’t have brains, and why glass can break.
I hustle to get my pizza in the oven and make mini pizzas for the girls on tortillas, knowing they probably won’t eat them anyway (favorite foods of late are mac& cheese and hot dogs and any attempt on my part to inject them with veggies are thwarted).
By this time it’s already 6:30. A late dinner. Did I mention in the process of cooking dinner I stepped on a nail that was in a board that Marlo kicked off the kitchen cabinet earlier and I hadn’t had a chance to pick up yet?
Once the foot is disinfected, bandaged and everyone is fed, I look at my running shoes in the corner with a nostalgic feeling. I wanted to be on the road. I wanted to run before it got too dark out and I got scared again by a neighbor welding in his driveway looking like something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I didn’t want to be in the house, with my family….I felt…terrible. Like an awful mother. But darn it, this wasn’t my plan! I have a great plan tonight to spend quality girl time with both of them, but that was not Tonight. Tonight was my night….(do I sound selfish yet?)
So now I go from annoyed to irritated and I half-heartedly color with Lucy, thinking about running the whole time and wishing she would just fall asleep. I sing and read stories to Marlo, thinking of how I will feel after my run instead of how she is holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulder, wrapping her hair around her finger like she does….
I start to become aware that I’m not being present and as a working mom, these moments are precious. I give myself a silent guilt trip in my head about how I should pay more attention. Then I stop thinking about running and put my Momma hat on.
45 minutes later and I look at my watch. 8:30. It’s getting quite dark out. I know if I don’t go now, I never will. I kiss Lucy and tell her I need to get running before it’s too dark (she has taken a nap this day so gets a later bedtime of 9). She seems OK with it, and is focused on her coloring. I cuddle Marlo and sing her one last song, and then I hit the pavement.
And I’m off!
But….I see that the recent storms caused much damage and there are downed trees everywhere. I try to go my normal route but can’t, it’s a busy road and I don’t run in the street on that road, and after hurdling two large trees on the sidewalk, I decide to take a different route. I turn the corner and there are more trees. And more. I turn left and now I smell something like fire mixed with something else, something plastic, and I see a downed electrical wire. I’m only a mile in. I realize that I need to turn around. I can’t run in this, it was too dangerous and also frustrating to keep trying to find a clear route. Oh, and the YMCA is closed due to their power still being out, so the dreadmill or indoor track wasn't an option either.
As I turn around, I see something else besides the devastation caused by the storm – fireflies. Lucy has been talking about fireflies since Spring and they are only out for about two weeks. They are lighting up the now pitch dark sky. I know she’s still awake. I have time.
I get home and look at my Garmin. 2 miles. Not what I wanted to do, but it is what it is.
I get Lucy and her net, flashlight and mosquito repellent. We take a walk to an empty field and the fireflies are exploding like fireworks. It is amazing. I try to take a video w/ my camera phone but it is too dark to capture that beauty. But I know I will always remember it. After much trying, Lucy catches the very first firefly of her life. She holds the net close to her chest as we walk home, she desperately wants to keep it as a pet.
Once home we get the firefly into it’s home (a dome Lucy catches spiders in that has holes for breathing). I tuck her in. I feel…good. As I go to bed that night I check in on her one last time. She has moved the firefly house from her bookshelf to the corner of her bed so that the firefly can sleep with her. How precious is that?
I went to bed and thanked God for the day He had given me, and for changed plans. I had the best night and realized I had fought through most of it, when maybe next time I should just accept that plans change and embrace it. I got that by the end of the night though, and I fell asleep satisfied and happy. And I have a memory I will keep in my heart forever.
(From the movie "Grave of the Fireflies")
Thursday, June 23, 2011
"Even if the steering wheel fits, you don't have to keep gripping it."
— Beth Moore
I don't know about you, but sometimes life gets, well easy, or boring, or hard and remains hard. Maybe you're stuck in a rut, stuck in a relationship, stuck in the mud. Maybe you are comfortable there in that place. Are you comfortable? Sometimes we just get used to life not being the way we expect it, and while it "fits", it isn't what is meant for us.
We are all capable of things that sometimes our brains can't wrap around. This quote reminds me to keep pushing it, to keep demanding more of myself, to keep evolving and to know that just because my life at times "fits", that isn't my calling.
When I was 300 lbs. and sitting on the couch watching a movie, drinking wine and chilling out, that steering wheel fit. But is that who I was meant to be? Is that the woman those here on Spark know me think of? NO. I am no longer that person. I traded in that steering wheel for a new set of wheels.
Expand your vision of who you are and who you can be. Challenge yourself. Break out of the mold. Reach up and say enough! You are all worth it, and none of us were meant to live lives on auto pilot.
Who knows? Maybe one day I'll trade in my new set of wheels for a cute little Moped.
After all, anything is possible.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"A rock pile ceases being a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
~ Unknown Author
This quote means so much to me, and has so many different facets to it. I can read this quote and apply it to any one area of my life. My view of myself - we all have the power to be whatever we choose to be. My writing, the ability to create something out of nothing, to look at the blank page and create brush strokes of words. My family, creating the family I want and the people in my life.
This quote is power. We all have strength and desire deep within to be who we were meant to be. All we have to do is change our thinking. The men who built cathedrals hundreds of years ago saw possibility in those rocks and stone...they had the foresight to see something amazing, and probably they didn't even know just how amazing their final creation would be. But God has bigger plans for us all than even we realize. Some men wouldn't see the final cathedral - generations worked on cathedrals...but they had faith that what the were building was solid...a firm foundation...and beautiful.
This quote challenges me to see the beauty in everything, even the mundane, and to choose to see the world with new eyes, and see the possibility that lies within us all. To honor who I am and to be the best "me" that I can be.
Winchester Cathedral - North Wall (I was here!)
Gloucester Cathedral (I was here too :))
We CAN reverse years of damage to our bodies by deciding to raise our standards for ourselves, then living differently. Old wounds heal, injuries repair, and the whole system improves with just a few changes in what we put into our bodies and how we move them.
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