Today honors the birth, life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, a man who gave his life trying to convince the world that equality, tolerance and social justice should be a part of our every day lives. Dr. King lived every day trying to make the world a better place.
What’s one thing you’ll do this year to help the cause?
I will continue to teach my children love, tolerance and equality as core values. I will expose them – and myself – to many different types of people, cultures, rituals, religions and mindsets and hope that they will always be accepting of others’ choices, even if they are not their own. I will remind them that if we were all the same, life would be so boring – rather, embrace differences and celebrate what we can teach one another. I will teach them to treat others as they would like to be treated. And finally, I will tell them, as I did this morning, about an honorable man who gave his life trying to create a better one for his children and his dream “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I risk sounding incredibly um, crazy, here – but I’m hoping I’m not the only mother out there that feels like this. Perhaps it’s top of mind because it gets exacerbated when my husband’s out of town… but the Mommy Pain is something that is always in the back of my mind.
Not the pain of pregnancy or labor; screaming kids or boo boos. The Mommy Pain is a never-ending, vague yet prominent cycle of “what if” scenarios that play themselves over and over in my mind just about every day. These are nagging thoughts about what could happen someday to my children that will hurt them – and are not always (or even usually) likely scenarios. It could be as simple as the everyone-experiences-it first heart break, to a probably-in-sports-someday broken limb, to more extreme thoughts such as how will I get both children out if there’s a fire or what if someone drives by and grabs them from the yard or the panic that they have some serious disease every time they catch a little cold.
Not that I’m an over-reactive mother; I’m not. I don’t call the doctor every time they get a little fever (unless it doesn’t go down or they get worse) or panic whenever they cry (although I do get that crazy-hear-beating-lump-in-the-throat feeling). There are two things are probably at play: I’m a Type A “brain never stops” personality anyway, and I happen to obsesses about tragedies. (For example, I remember the names and details about crime victims I never knew but read or heard about.)
I’ve heard motherhood can make you smarter, and I’m pretty sure there’s all-kinds-of-ways it makes you crazy. But is my Mommy Pain natural? Am I extra crazy or do other mothers experience these daily “what if” scenarios as they go about an otherwise-normal-life!?
I was on Twitter tonight ranting about various topics like my complete failure to get out and run, presidential candidates’ bad sweaters and any other frivolous topic that kept me from getting to some looming work deadlines, when I learned some sad news. A Twitter-community member who I did not know, @ashPEAmama, passed away yesterday at the young age of 20. According to the Twitter community, she had a new baby and was a sweet and active social media participant.
My condolences and graces go to her family and friends.
This is yet another reminder that life can change in an instant. Try not to let the stresses of every day responsibilities take over too much. My husband laughs at me, but I have a “rule” in the house that we must always kiss goodbye. Even if I’m sleeping and he leaves at 4:30 a.m. – like today. You never know when it will be your last.
Relationships have been on my mind a lot lately. I’m reaching the time in life where a good deal of friends are getting divorced, middle age crisis’ are approaching and many people are seeking some new kind of inspiration. Some find this by taking up new hobbies, or running away from responsibilities, others by traveling and still others by buying things they don’t need or can’t afford.
The divorce thing is really tough to watch – in my most selfish moments it makes me wonder if sharing your most intimate thoughts and moments in life with another person is something that will come to haunt you. It is always in the back of my mind – is my “family” now always going to be so? Are these relationships worth emotional toil or are they dispensable? As relationships crumble – and mind you, divorce is not just about the man and wife – ever – I get so scared.
Then – I visit my folks’. But they are not the ones that give me faith (well…I shouldn’t say that – they give me some faith, having been married since they were 17- and 19-years-old – they are now in their 60s). I get to see my 84-year-old, sprite Grandfather, seen below (photo courtesy of one brilliant brother, Brian Dilg.) He has seen so much in life. His mother passed away when he was six, his step mother died when she was 13. He had another stepmother – the Nana that I knew – who embraced and loved him and he, her…. But…
… the biggest, most wondrous thing about Papa is his love for his wife. He met her when he was 13. She passed away last November from Alzheimer’s. For the last 20 or so years of her life he stood by her side – in a nursing home for the most part – every single day. He stayed by her when she started to lose her memory. He stayed when she began getting lost, running away and throwing things at him. He stayed when she completely forgot him and couldn’t function anymore (although, she always kissed him back – the one human reaction she never lost) and he stayed when many, many people would not have. My Grandparents’ story around the theft that is Alzheimer’s is a post for another time. For today, I thank Papa for showing me that real love can last, that not all relationships are dispensable and that in the end – faith is a daily leap that is a reward in and of itself.
…and I’m so thankful for his insanity! As you will read if you choose to click over, he bought me quite a Christmas present this year. It’s such a thoughtful, significant and personal gift that he even created a blog for it (we are both truly techno geeks … over the holiday break we realized that back in ’99 – when we were getting married – we created a blog before we even knew what a blog was – it was such a great site I wish it was still up – we even won an “award” for it… but I digress).
I suggest starting here for the beginning of the “story” that will shape our 2008. I’m so excited, nervous – still in shock – and quite frankly, happy to have something besides work to focus on all the time (okay, yes, I have two children, three dogs, great friends and more than enough to do… but again, I digress).
Sometimes you need inspiration from an outside source and wow, if this isn’t inspiration I don’t know what is. If you have any interests in running, marathons, Ireland, adventure or heck, even marriage – and how to keep it interesting – perhaps you will find interest in our blog or following our next 10-11 months of training on Twitter – you can find us at @training4dublin.
Happy New Year – it’s certainly going to be an interesting one!
I cherish Saturdays. Workweeks are long and stressful and not full of enough sleep. Sundays bring anxiety about Monday morning. But Saturdays are glorious.
Case in point, last Saturday I left the Holiday cards unsigned, the presents unwrapped and the house uncleaned to go outside and play with my boys. We have a hilly yard – which most of the time stinks but for sledding it is excellent (especially when you are 2 and 5).
We spent a good half of the day outside playing in the snow (before Sunday’s rainstorm turned it all to ice) and for a moment I stopped at the top of the hill, my two-year-old on my lap, looked out at the ocean and thought “wow, life is awesome.”
Moments like this can be few and far between but are just the fuel I need to keep going. I hope you have one soon, too. Remember what matters during this very busy and stressful month!
I’m counting my blessings this month even as I run around stressing about getting everything done: the shopping, the wrapping, the end-of-year sales and finances, the travel plans, etc. But I’m not forgetting how, even though I’m crazed, I’m extremely lucky. I have a warm home – in both temperature and spirit, a great marriage, two glorious children, great and patient friends, a thriving business on my own terms, fabulous employees, a supportive extended family, three dogs who make me crazy but are great for cuddling, and much, much more.
As I look around this month and count my blessings more than usual, I also want to give back as a way of saying “thanks” to the universe/Kismet, etc. It’s easier than ever these days – so no excuses. Click on any of the URLs below to share the spirit this holiday season – and always, for that matter.
Support research for many medical causes. My personal passions: Alzheimer’s and Cancer.