Tag Archives: Happiness

Live Every Day Like It’s Your First

Come on! How effin cool is rain?!

I sat down at my computer today with the full intention of writing something funny.  Something witty and clever and far, far, far away from the emotional and slightly sad tone my blog has taken as of late.  I starting typing a blog about losses and gains – about funny things that you gain and lose after having a baby.  Inconsequential things… like your mind.  However, the more I started thinking about losses, the more I started thinking about loss.  And, as so often happens when I am writing these blogs, my fingers began to take me somewhere that I didn’t know I wanted to go.  My husband says that he learns so much about me by reading my blog, and I have to say that in writing it, I learn so much about myself.  So screw funny.  It’s over-rated anyway.  (But stay tuned next week for the revival of my usual biting wit and thinly veiled sarcasm. Probably.)

I have had loss on my mind lately.  Last weekend my husband found out that one of his good friends’ wives passed away.  It was cancer.  It was quick.  It was devastating.  I personally had only met her once as they live in London, but she was a beautiful and kind woman.  She was also a wonderful mother to her two young children.  Her youngest is the same age as my daughter. When we heard the news over the weekend, my heart ached for my husband’s friend who was left without a wife and especially for those two young girls who were left without a mother.  But I also ached for this young, vibrant mother who will not get the chance to see her children grow up.

As I said before, I didn’t know her very well.  But in the short time we spent together, I was struck by how much she reminded me of me.  She was about my age.  She loved her family.  She loved to have fun.  She loved to laugh.  She loved life.  We were both pregnant when we met, although she already had one daughter.  She was wise and experienced and she graciously answered all of my (many, many) questions about babies and about motherhood.  Since then, I expect that the past year-and-a-half since her daughter was born was a lot like mine:  sleepless nights, blissful moments, more laughter than she ever thought possible.  I am sure that she spent many hours marveling at the perfection of her daughter’s face and imagining the possibilities of her daughter’s future, much the way that I have.

Then she woke up one day, just like any other day, but on this day she had a headache.  She woke up with plans and hopes and dreams, just like any other day, but she didn’t know that this particular day would be her last.  She didn’t know that she would never get to see her children grow up, get married, or have children of their own.  She didn’t know that she would never again get to marvel at the beauty of her daughter’s face or get the chance to discover who her daughters will become.

She reminded me a lot of me, and I think that’s why I felt the loss so greatly, even though I barely knew her.  If it could happen to someone like her, then it could certainly happen to someone like me.  None of us know which day will be our last.  And as sad as this thought makes me, it is also a reminder of how wonderfully precious life is.  A wise somebody once said that we should, “Live every day like it is our last.”  And while I do think this is sound advice, I also think it is a bit too sad for my taste.  It is hard to think of our last days without feeling a bit melancholy, and I don’t want to live every day like that.

Instead, I am going to try to live every day as if it is my first.  Like a child.  Full of the magic and wonder and true appreciation that comes from experiencing everything for the first time.  Without the fear and regret we learn as we get older and “wiser”, and without the ambivalence that often comes with age.   The world is full of amazing things and people and moments that, as adults, we often fail to recognize or even see.

My daughter’s new word is “Wow!”  A bird in the sky gets a heartfelt “Wow!”; fitting the right puzzle pieces together gets a “Wow!”; seeing a dog on the street gets a “Wow!”; even my stepping out of the shower naked got a “Wow!” (It’s been a while since that happened, but I will try not to let it go to my head.) A bite of cheesecake, a big splash in the bath, my funky neon green nails, a great song, a perfect hi-five… all of these are deemed “Wow!” worthy by my daughter.  And they are. Each and every day is full of these simple Wow! moments if we are young and wise enough to recognize them.

And while I hope that I have many, many (many, many, many, many) more Wow! moments left before my last day, I am going to try to live them all like they are my first.
photo credit: Frederic Mancosu via photopin cc

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Quote of the Day: On How to Treat People

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou 

 

 

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Quote of the Day: On Flaws

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

– Marilyn Monroe

I don’t have much in common with this tragic, lovely lady, but I do have some of her flaws. And I have some flaws all my own.  Thank goodness I found someone who not only can handle me, but loves being my handler.

In relationships, learn to let go of the little things and look at the big picture.  You will be a lot happier!

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Round and Round

I swear that being a parent is the craziest roller coaster in the world.

My daughter is sick yet again, for the third week out of four weeks. This time with a nasty cold and again with a fever hitting above 104. She was up at midnight night crying inconsolably. Probably because she was tired but couldn’t sleep, scared because she couldn’t breathe, and angry because Mama couldn’t fix it. She was screaming and crying, and I was crying because I couldn’t help her. And I was tired because I haven’t once slept through the night in the past month.  And it was midnight. And I was thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”

Then, morning came. And the sun was shining. And my daughter woke up feeling a bit better. And she hugged me tight and said “Lub you” in her little, hoarse, stuffy-nosed voice. And I thought, “I don’t know what I ever did before this.”


photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

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Random Thought: The Truth About Parenting

Since becoming a parent 16 months ago, I have done many things that I thought I would NEVER do.  I have nonchalantly wiped my daughter’s poop from my forehead, licked a kleenex and then used it to wipe her face, picked up a cracker that she threw on the floor and then gave it back to her to eat (hey, it was the last one!), let her run around with a watermelon-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again, and let myself run around in a vomit-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again… just to name a few NEVERs.

Although I have learned to never say never, the truth is that before becoming a parent, I have never been so tired.  I have never been so ungroomed, disorganized, forgetful, weepy, or tired… did I mention tired?  I have never gone so long without seeing or at least talking to many of my friends.  I have never gone so long without seeing an adult-sized human.  I have never gone so long without getting my hair highlighted, shaving my legs, putting on make-up or even showering.  I have never gone so long while sleeping so little.  That is the truth.

But I have never, ever laughed so much, loved so hard, or felt so happy.  And somehow (in a way that I think you have to be a parent to understand) this love and laughter far outweighs a little vomit and sleep deprivation.

The truth about parenting is that it is a math equation that doesn’t add up, but somehow works anyway.

Laughter… a serious side-effect of parenting.

photo credit: Loyal O.A.K. via photo pin cc

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Never Forget The Small Things

As of late I know that I have made many references to time, or lack thereof.  And as much as I post about it, I actually whine about it about even more (sorry friends, family and random strangers who mistakenly ask me how my day is going!)  In my life there is barely enough time to do all the things I HAVE to do, such as eating, sleeping, changing diapers and teaching my daughter all the dance moves to “Call Me Maybe”.  So, if there is barely enough time for the things I must do, there is rarely enough time for the things I SHOULD do, like shower, exercise, grocery shop, clean, and connect with friends and family every now and then to let them know that I am just really busy, not dead.  If there is rarely enough time for the things I should do, forget the things that I WANT to do like… hmmmm… what did I used to like to do anyway?

It’s no secret that when you are a parent, there is just never enough time.  But it is not simply the lack of time that bothers me, it is also how quickly the time that I do have goes.  My daughter is now 16 months old.  She is walking, running, talking, playing and feeding herself (more food usually ends up on the face/hands/hair/clothes/floor/ceiling/mom’s shirt than in her mouth, but it still counts!) However, it seems like only yesterday she was a snuggly little bundle curled up on my chest, reliant on me for absolutely everything.  And even though it has been less than a year and a half since all this madness started, for the life of me I can’t remember half of it.  It has all become such a blur.  What was her first word?  Was it “Lyla” or “Hi” ? (Yes my daughter’s first word was her own name, if that says anything about her.) When did she start sitting up?  Was it 4 months or 6 months?  When did she begin to crawl?  What was her first food?
When did she start sleeping through the night?  When was her first smile, giggle, and full-out laugh?  It all blends together in some kind of wonderful, exhausting, beautiful life-smoothie.

Some of these things I wrote down in a baby book, but there are many things that I didn’t write down because either I thought that they were not important enough to count as “milestones”  or because I thought they were things that I would never forget.  What I failed to realize is that a child’s life is full of so many major milestones that sometimes the smaller things get lost along the way.  And while the day that Lyla took her first step is very important (that one I do remember… 10 months and one day) there are so many more small but wonderful things she does that I never want to forget.   The Small Things are not the milestones that you find in books or that you brag about to Grandma or that you use to compare notes with your friends.  No, the Small Things can sometimes seem insignificant in a lifetime of achievements, but often it is the Small Things that make a big life.  They are Things that only you know, Things that only you recognize.  They are the Things that can’t be captured in a story or on video or in a photo.  They are the Things that make you tear up with love, smile with pride, and  laugh till you wet yourself (c’mon, you know that if you had a baby come out of your JJ this happens.)

But as important as the Small Things are, they are often the first things forgotten in a busy life full of memories.  So, in recognition of these magical Small Things I am going to write a few of them down here and now so they will be recorded for all of time… or at least as long as the internet is around.  And if you ask me, the Internet is here to stay.

TODAY’S SMALL THINGS:

– The way that Lyla “reads” a book to herself, all in her own language.  Pointing at the things, as I do, and usually saying “shhhh”  and “noooo”  they way I do when I read to her.

– Her favorite word “Missibah”.  I have no idea what it means, but it seems that Lyla does.

– How every color is currently “bu!” (blue)

– The way she sometimes looks up at me, smiles and presses her nose against mine.  It’s our own special kiss and it always brings tears to my eyes.

– How, the second I pull her out from the car, she says “hi” and waves, just in case anyone is around who she might need to say hi to.

– The exact way she smells right at this moment:  baby shampoo, laundry detergent, Vick’s Baby Chest rub (she has a cold), fruit, milk breath and Lyla.

– The way she shrugs her shoulders and scrunches her face up when I ask her where anything is.

I hope I never forget this!

– How tightly she hugs me around my neck and then kisses me directly on the mouth with a wet, slobbery kiss.

– The way she contentedly twirls her hair with her fingers while she is drinking her bottle.

Ok, so these are a few of my Small Things.  Now it’s your turn!  What are the little things that your child or children do that you never want to forget but probably will.  Feel free to record them here for all of the world… or at least all of my followers… to read.  And if you don’t want to share them with me, write them down for yourself every once in a while.

Cheers to the Small Things!

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Today is My Birthday

Today is my birthday.  The reason that I am telling you this is not to make you feel guilty for not remembering (unless YOU are reading this.  You know who you are.) nor is it to fish for the requisite “Happy Birthday” comments that such a post could inspire.  No, my reason is just the opposite.  Full Disclosure:  I am going to get a little bit cheesy and perhaps a tad cliché for a moment… so if you don’t feel like dealing with that, then stop reading right now.  But it’s my birthday and I will let a slow tear run down my face for a moment if I want to.

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Slow tear… Today is my birthday, and instead of asking for a lot of things (except from my husband of course) instead I am going to give thanks for this life that I lead every day that is truly a gift.  I have a wonderful husband who accepts my faults and sees more good in me than I do in myself; who is an even better father than he is a husband if that is possible; and who buys me great gifts for my birthday.  I have a fantastic family, who are all my biggest fans and I theirs.  I have amazing friends who inspire me every day to be a better friend and person.  I have a job that I enjoy and that gives me the freedom to spend a lot of time with my daughter.  And a daughter… oh, my daughter.  She is the greatest gift of all. And for all the complaining that I do about how tough motherhood is right here on this very blog (because God knows it’s tough sometimes,) there’s not enough time nor words nor people who would care to read all that I could say about how much my daughter has changed my life in the greatest ways possible.   Every day I look at her and wonder how I could have gotten so lucky as to have her in my life.  Thank you.

So, there you have it.  Maybe it is the prosecco talking, but it is my birthday and I already have everything I could possibly want…. unless you have a pair of Louboutin nude peep toes in size 9 1/2.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for those red soles.

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Random Thought: On Finding Joy in the Little Things

When you are a parent, joy comes at the most unexpected (and often needed moments.)  Like when you’ve had a rough day, and your child runs to greet you when you get home.  Or when you are at your wit’s end with her, and she suddenly just gives you a big hug.  Even an expected smile can fill your heart with more joy than you thought possible.

Or like yesterday:  While waiting forever for someone to help us at Babies R Us (don’t even get me started,) out of nowhere my daughter starts booty dancing and then moshing to some random 80’s song playing in the store.  She was dancing so hard that she fell down numerous times, and then picked herself up and started again.  She didn’t even notice my husband and I laughing our asses off nearby.  Her pure joy in dancing was transferred to us both.  Those 3 minutes made my whole weekend and made up for any other annoyances and exasperation that I felt.

I know that it is cliché (like that’s ever stopped me before) but truly, life with kids is about finding joy in the little things.  It is the little moments that make a big life.

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Happiness Is

Happiness is… Snuggling up to my baby when she wakes up AND Cuddling up to my glass of wine…I mean husband… when she goes to sleep.

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