Missing my old life, what was it like? It was scratching my daughter’s back and hearing her tell me her dreams. It was having a glass of wine with the other, more a friend than my child. It was back in the day, enjoying the witticisms of my only son and his friends. It’s listening to a teacher marveling at my daughter’s intellect. It was seeing my kids strum an instrument. It was watching my three kids skating playing street hockey. It’s standing by as my kids brushed their teeth watching them in the mirror— growing. It’s standing on the side of a mountain, afraid they would step too close to the edge. Blessed beyond blessed is my life being a mother. Those are the days I miss the most.
I’ve been known to throw a few things in the past, at walls, at floors, at people I love. There is a sick satisfaction to this action, albeit momentarily. The guilt follows much too quickly for any true satisfaction. Those were the days when anger got the better of me. Those were the days of passionate fits. Gone are those days, I’m all fought out. I’ve lost the fire. My ex-marriage brought an end to that. That is what the majority of 24 years in a fight can do.
My fire burns a bit dimmer these days, but steadily. After all, that is what my name means. So, I have to keep some fire. But, I’ve been single now for over 3 years, separated for almost 4 years. During this time, I have found my voice, my opinions, my strength and self-respect.
Most people have these qualities and use them spontaneously, but once my marriage became an abusive environment, I shut it all down. I had to, for survival. The interesting thing is that my ex would probably report the same abuse from me. I did yell, fight and shout, but I thought I was fighting for my marriage, to keep it.
The bottom line is that marriage is a delicate dance with two partners learning and practicing the steps willingly.
Divorce comes when all you can do is step on each other’s toes and finally have to walk away because it hurts so much.
The hurt comes and goes in waves, until finally the waves even out and the crashes are less frequent. The steady waves of what was blends into the waves of now. The future begins calling louder than the past.
It amazes me how the heart can move on, but not until it’s allowed the freedom to mourn and grieve. The heart can become open to new love, but must have the time to make space.
In the words of a great song, “Let it be, let it be…let it be, let it be, there will be an answer, let it be.”
It’s subtle, but the signs appear.
Cooler evenings. Dew on grass.
Leaves waving, a branch bending, colors changing.
The sky changes, the air thins, the sun weakens.
A season ending, a season beginning.
Missing the old, embracing the beauty of the new.
Like a raging toddler to a calmer kindergartener,
From clumsy puppy to a stately dog.
Miss the old, embrace the new.
From running swiftly, to aching muscles,
From fresh ideas to reminiscing.
From youth to old.
Miss the old, embrace the new.
Next Year’s Bloom
Dear beautiful, grey, mild, temperate, and moody Seattle,
Remember when we first met? I was the girl with a ready smile and wave. That is how I arrived. Unaware, talkative and naive, but eager nonetheless.
You wooed me with your water, delicious and sweet.
You freshened me with your breeze, crisp and floral.
Summer came and more gifts you bestowed.
Mountains unveiled and waters blued. Forests came alive, vegetation unearthed.
Elms, Spruce, Cherry trees and Douglas fir cover the land.
Rosemary, daffodils and tulips fed my nose on my daily walks.
Later, dasies, multi-colored roses, and rododendrons colored the land.
Diablo, dahlias, hydrangea and lilies clothed in vibrancy.
As my eyes scanned the flora, my thoughts rose upward to the Creator
Skies of pink, and shimmering gold braiding the most blue skies.
Then came the fall with its rusty hue and chill. It came to stay and chased the sun away. The dark and grey days began and quickly wore out their welcome.
Winter ensued, leaves falling staging the piney greens. Morning dew crystalized leaves and giving runners a smokey breath.
Inside, blankets and books littered the table while cocoa warmed the hands.
The longing for flowers became a constant dream. I can’t wait until they come…are they here yet? Will today’s sun hold any warmth?
Day after bone chilling day and skin’s tan all the way faded, body fattened and hiding in thickened fibers.
But even then, the beauty remained.
On a rare sunny morning, I glimpsed the mountains in all their “Swiss” beauty They waved a hello and longed for a visitor.
When I bared the cold, and shared the crispy paths with others, I filled my lungs with sharp, biting winds which helped clear the past.
In the wind, I heard, “You’re released.”
I smiled with parched lips, but teared up as the season wrapped up, a promise of another spring affirmed.
I stood…gazing again, stopping. Not wanting to turn away, I looked on, imagining the return of a season in Seattle and realizing then that I would miss next years bloom.
The mess has a purpose
Here on the right is a mess, but without knowing the story, you can’t know how it got to be there, why it’s the way it is and why certain pieces are part of this particular mess. That is because you do not know the planner or the purpose of the planner.
On the left is the outcome of such a mess. Inside the box are lessons that were planned from the mess. Inside the box, are lessons tailor made for the player of the box. It took a mess to get to the plan of the box. The things in the mess are not invaluable. The things left out of the box weren’t insignificant, they just weren’t needed. They didn’t belong in the plan, but they were part of the planning. They were sifted through, and put aside to be used at the right time.
As I look at both sides, the box with a plan and the mess, I ask myself, “Which do I prefer to work with?” I think and the answer is that I prefer the box with activities that I know will work for the player. I choose the box because the things in it have purpose for the growth of the player.
Think of these things. Chew on this analogy. What does it fit in your life?
How to Fashion the Best Learning Space for Your Child at Home by Susan Good
This was new to me, I was pleased to receive an article regarding creating a good study area for children and how that impacts learning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Susan!
Whether your child is in preschool or high school, homework is a vital part of scholarly success, and the environment in which they work at home can make a big difference in how well they study and learn. Just like with adults, kids are more prone to sit down and hammer out work when their designated area is inspiring and free of distractions. If you want to create an adequate learning space for your child at home, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Declutter and Make Room
The first step in creating a learning space is to declutter the area, as it can be hard to see the potential in a space when it’s full of junk. Freeing up the space will give you a better idea of whether it’s the one you want to use as a study area, and a blank canvas can help you envision the rest of the process and the final product. Once you’ve created your child’s learning space, keeping the area organized and free of clutter should be maintained daily.
Another thing to consider is that you may want to create a reading nook for your child to study in. A reading nook needs much of the same elements as a workstation (i.e. adequate lighting, room for storing supplies, comfort, privacy); so if there’s room, you can have the workstation and reading nook in the same general area. If that makes the space feel too crammed, however, it’s better to make them two separate areas.
Shed Some Light on It
Whether you choose a bedroom, den, or basement, it’s essential that the learning space has adequate lighting. Windows are great because they let in natural light during the day, which lends many benefits to cognitive function. While a view of the outdoors can be distracting from time to time, it’s worth the extra vitamin D your kid will be getting. For when the sun’s down, it’s important to have a light fixture or two around the desk. Desk lamps and overhead lamps are the best options to help your child see their work and concentrate.
Another key factor in making a good learning space is making sure there aren’t too many electronic devices around. This could mean banning your kid’s video games from the area or restricting their tablet use. Also, set them up in an area where they won’t be distracted by others watching TV, listening to the radio, etc. Some children work more efficiently to certain kinds of music (e.g., classical or jazz). However, if you keep a stereo in their space, you’ll want to check in every now and then to make sure they’re still working hard.
Get What They Need
Having your child’s learning space stocked with the necessary supplies is key to ensuring their productivity. This means having a calculator, protractor, ruler, pencil sharpener, pencils, pens, and anything else they may need readily available. You don’t want your kid to be in the middle of homework and not have the tools they need to finish! Consider getting some clear bins to organize their belongings and help keep the area clean.
Include Your Child in the Process
Nothing will inspire your child to learn and create things in their designated space like letting them personalize it. Ask them for any ideas they have for the design of the place, look online together at cool workstations, and go shopping to pick out some fun decorations. Paint the area your child’s favorite color, paint a section with chalkboard paint, and hang some of their own art on the wall. You could even have a sign made with their name on it to hang above the desk or have personalized pencils made.
Any parent knows that much of a child’s learning happens at home. Why not do what you can to give them the best chance of success? Declutter an area of the home and make room for their workstation and reading nook. Make sure there is proper lighting, minimal distractions, and adequate supplies. And let your child personalize their space so they feel invested.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
I had a dream. In the dream, I was carrying a glass filled with ice-water. I’m usually thirsty in real life if I’m dreaming this, but before waking up, I was bumped into by you know who. He was oblivious to the fact that I was standing right behind him with a glass in my hand. As he bumps into me, the glass falls, not quite shattered, but all the water spilled out of it.
I don’t remember being upset at him. It’s like I expected it. What is memorable is the image of me cleaning up the broken glass and holding up the glass and thinking. “You can’t drink out of a broken glass.” The glass is ruined.
I woke up sad, thirsty and unsatisfied. It was a fitting dream.
Click on the link to read a great article by Susan Good. Learning spaces are great for kids and in the article are some great tips for setting one up.
How to Fashion the Best Learning Space for Your Child at Home
It’s not a celebration to reach the year mark of becoming divorced, but it is a milestone of sorts. It means you survived your first year of being single, especially if becoming single for the first time in 25 years!
I’ve had some time to process the loss of my marriage. I can’t say this process is complete. Perhaps it will never be, but some things remain: the love of God, a community of support and peace in my soul.
And I dare say, the beginnings of hope for something new. What does something new look like? It’s found in these verses: Anything other than this is toxic or on it’s way to becoming toxic. Nobody needs that.
I had a bout of insomnia a week ago and in the course of that fitful night, an image much like a repeating meme came to my mind.
My (meme) was of a head of romaine lettuce being cut with a pair of kitchen scissors and no matter which way I tried to fall asleep, I kept seeing lettuce being snipped.
(I know, crazy right?)
I finally fell asleep, but in the morning, the image came to mind.
I often feel like God talks to me through my dreams, but an image, or vision of lettuce??
What could the God of the universe have to say through greens?
I felt compelled to put salad on the menu for the coming week. I bought romaine lettuce and other salad ingredients and was ready.
The day came for salad and I eagerly “stepped up to the plate” a little to eager with scissors in my right hand and dripping freshly washed head of romaine in my left hand –salad spinner on the counter.
I shook the head of lettuce over the sink to remove the excess water and before plunging in with the scissors, I gazed at the innocent head of lettuce, took a breath and began the snipping. Just as I thought, the snipping sound itself gave a satisfaction. I smiled as I snipped, snipped and snipped again.
As more and more leaves fell into the salad spinner, the core of the romaine became smaller and lighter. I cut again until just the heart was left, devoid and bald in my hand.
I then put the scissors down and inspected the heart. I turned it around and looked at the stump. After a minute, I very satisfactorily chunked it into the trash can.
I went back to the salad spinner, filled it with water, drained it and began pumping the water out. I used this time to think about what just happened and then fitting words came to my mind. I felt content, satisfied.
I continued spinning the leaves until they were only damp and left the kitchen counter smiling.
It is complete.