Saturday, November 10, 2012

Embrace the Crazy!

Recently, my future son-in-law was busily trying to organize the proposal event with which he hoped to surprise our daughter.  It’s tough to organize an event with just one other person, but when you add in two families, it becomes crazy.  However, he was doing a pretty good job getting all of the details in place.  Then, the day before the surprise proposal, our daughter decided to change her plans for the next day throwing the proposal plans into a temporary tailspin.  As I texted with the future son-in-law about possible ways to salvage the plans, I added a P.S. onto one of my texts:  Embrace the crazy!

This was a cute, put-things-into-perspective plea, but the reality is, learning to embrace the crazy makes life so much easier because there’s so much that’s going to happen that can’t be planned, can’t be changed and, yet, still makes us feel crazy.  I know this feeling well with a family that includes one husband, seven kids, one daughter-in-law, one pending son-in-law, several dogs (including “grand” dogs), sports schedules, work schedules, class schedules – you get the idea.  Even going out to dinner with our kids is always a big deal, “Do you have a table for twelve?”

So, today, as we head off to the northern most city in our state (we live in the southern most city) for our middle daughter’s State soccer tournament, (my third trip north in four days) and after a date night with my husband last night which included a last minute dinner with our oldest son and our daughter-in-law, and knowing that we’ll be rushing back home to watch the Ducks’ game on TV tonight (DVR delayed because we won’t be home in time for kickoff), and even though I’ve been fighting a cold for the last three days, I’ll just sit back, smile and embrace this crazy wonderful life we lead.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Sunday Paper

This morning, as my husband and I sat drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper, he made a comment on how he finds it interesting that, in today’s high-tech atmosphere, reading the Sunday paper is still an event.  For us, it’s a regular part of our weekend routine.  We used to read the Sunday paper while kids played on the floor around us; now, we read it in the silence of a houseful of sleeping teenagers and young adults.  While I was growing up, I read the Sunday paper in the early morning hours with my dad, both of us early risers, while my mom enjoyed her one day to sleep in.  After my dad died, the hardest times for me were early mornings when we’d visit my mom.  I’d get up, make the coffee, collect the paper and then sit  by myself sobbing.

My husband’s observation that reading the Sunday paper is still an event is, I think, probably a generational statement.  While this ritual has been a big part of our routine and the routine of our parents and generations before us, I’m not sure that today’s young adult generation reads a paper or has experienced the delight of sipping coffee in a quiet house while perusing a newspaper.  Today’s generation more often finds their information on their laptops or handheld devices, but I can’t imagine they get the same level of enjoyment I get from the ceremony that includes the feel of the coffee cup, the aroma of the coffee; the sound of the newspaper being folded, unfolded and pages turned; the quiet of the house broken only when one of us reads aloud something of interest; and the memories of other quiet mornings experienced throughout a lifetime.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yesterday morning I woke up 45 minutes before my alarm went off.  I thought about getting up, but decided this would be a good time to try some calming meditation.  I keep reading that meditation is good for stress relief, satisfactory sleep, weight reduction – just general health, but I have a hard time sitting still.  I decided that I would spend these 45 minutes calming my mind, just being quiet.  I tried repeating a mantra (several actually), I tried focusing on my breathing, I tried relaxing my muscles from my feet up – none of it worked.  My brain felt like the ball in an old-fashioned pinball machine:   zing, ping, zing.  I’d manage to quiet my brain for no more than a couple of seconds before the ball took off again.

I’d like to be able to sit and relax, to meditate for calmness and clarity.  I’m sure the health and wellness claims are true.  My brain just doesn’t seem able to comply with this desire.  I’ve been trying to do this for years and I’m not giving up, but this morning when I woke up before my alarm went off, I got up and started the laundry.