Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Birthday Post: 36 years and counting [my blessings]

Today marks 36 years since I met the cold air of a hospital room for the first time. Every year (with few exceptions) has been significantly better than the one before. I've added to the long list of books read, pages written, adventures had, and experiences, uh, experienced.

Things I've found that have made my life's journey even better:
1. Be kind to those who deserve it the least. Paying back poison with poison does nothing but produce more poison, but paying back poison with antidote reduces the amount of poison out there.
2. But that doesn't mean staying the victim. If people are assholes, remove them from your life - do not strike back, for that makes you an asshole too. It is ok to JUST LEAVE - literally or metaphorically.
3. Work on things that matter to you. This goes along the lines of 'love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life' but more realistic. My job MATTERS to me, even if some days I do not love it. What I accomplish at work, home, and church MATTER to me, and I am willing to work through the things I do not 'like' to get to the end result.
4. Don't let other peoples opinions of what matters overrule your own. Some people think that home comes first, others work (for various reasons), others put themselves first. None of these are literally wrong, or literally right. You may also find what matters changes over time, so for this season work/school/relationship/family is what YOU need to put first, other people will be in a different place.
5. Don't compare apples to oranges. Or your life to someone else's. Unless you have LITERALLY lived the exact same life, and do that EXACT same things as them, experienced the EXACT same thing... it's an exercise in futility.
6. Compare you today to you yesterday. Are you taking steps today to make you a better you? No? Do that. Little things, not big. Make a phone call, send an email, take a walk, go to the gym, hug your kid - whatever. And if today doesn't go so hot? Meh, tomorrow is another day - but try to not procrastinate - or you will feel overwhelmed at all the things you have left to do.
7. Look at your life in short chunks. Tomorrow, Next Week, Next Month, Next Year. What can you do today to make tomorrow better? What can you plan to do tomorrow to make your life better in one week? What can you do over the next week to make the next month better? What Can you do over the next month to make the next year better? Do those things. Little things. they add up to big things. If you need to use something to track it, something physical, like marbles in a jar.
8. Laugh, Think, Cry. Everyday. If you want to know where I got that idea - Jimmy V's ESPY Awards speech. http://www.jimmyv.org/about-us/remembering-jim/jimmy-v-espy-awards-speech/, that can be all three for you today. Success!!
9. Be grateful, but hungry. Be thankful for all that you have, but never stop trying to do more, be more. Change is good, stagnation is death.
10. Stuff won't make you happy. Experience life, in whatever way that manifests for you. For me, right now, that is my Son, my Husband, my Family, my Yarn - and all the 'stuff' that accumulates around me is just window dressing.

Above all else, count your blessings - you will find they number more than the stars in the sky.

With Love, and many more years to go,
Joyful Darkness

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Milestone (or all the reasons I'm going to cry when my son is baptized)

Memorial Day weekend is here in the US. It is a weekend where we pay tribute to those who went before - specifically those in the military.

This Sunday, my son gets baptized - kind of a weird thing to do on Memorial Day weekend, however it was the only weekend that worked out for all those who would need to travel here.In the end, it is really the perfect weekend to celebrate this new member of our family(both blood-related, and church family).

This Sunday my son will be baptized in the same font I was, the same font my brother was, the same font my Dad was.

This Sunday my son will be baptized in the same church my maternal grandparents funerals were held, the same church many loved ones funerals were held, the same church our friend-from-whom-my-son-gets-his-middle-name's memorial service was held.

This Sunday my son will be baptized in a church where generations of service men and women have been sent off to basic training, in a church where generations of service men and women have been sent off to bases around the world, in a church where generations of service men and women have been sent off to war - some never to return, some who return different people.

This Sunday my son will be baptized in a church where generations have laid their Moms to rest, in a church where generations have laid their Dads to rest, in a church where generations have laid their Kids to rest.

This Sunday my son will be baptized in a church that reaches out to kids in the FARM program, in a church that reaches out to AIDS orphans, in a church that reaches out to kids and gives them hope.

This Sunday my son will be baptized and I will cry. I will cry for the baby I never got to meet, I will cry for all the people who I have lost, for all the people who my son will not meet in his lifetime - but paved his way, I will cry for all those who keep us safe - even though that means they are not home with their families, and I will cry because I am so happy to have this beautiful son.


In Memory of All Who Have Gone Before,

Joyful Darkness.

Yarn and More