The Simple Things

Finding my daughter’s hibiscus plant with not only an open flower, but with two more buds ready to soon blossom, and one bud on one of my larger plants doing the same, it truly made me stop to acknowledge the beauty of the simple things in life.

The hibiscus one of my favorite flowers, always thriving in Missouri summers, I wasn’t even sure this plant would survive, bringing it in a bit too late, removed from a spring project we created together.

The frost having already arrived this fall before I got it transplanted. Most of the leaves damaged by the cold. Placing it in our big open south facing living room windows. It has thrived with a bit of TLC and water.

Lingering in the after glow of our trip to Mexico. Pondering on the wonderful Mexican people we met throughout, and the happiness that was infused within all whom I met. Living much simpler lives than most Americans, yet so much more at peace and filled with true joy.

It got me reflecting on an all time favorite quote from Henry David Thoreau, one I acknowledge in the first chapter of my book, The Advocate, as it was a quote that inspired me to take the “Road less traveled” and live from a similar life’s perspective, while following the guidance of Frost’s words in his infamous poem.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. … I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” Thoreau

Time, most especially this year, has made me realize I truly have lived a life far off of the beaten path. One that at times was difficult, not so much in my sacrifices, but with my mind’s comparisons to others.

Watching my children as they grew. Knowing they knew their lives were much different than most. Yet, knowing deep in my heart and soul that one day they would appreciate the way they were raised and acknowledge, that yes, perhaps their dear old mom did know best.

Those days have arrived, as they mature into fine young adults because of my choices. I sit back and look more at my life for a change. Acknowledging my kindred connection to Thoreau and the fact in many ways, I have become the new age version of the words he once professed.

Living simply doesn’t mean living with less. It means living more deeply with the important facets of life not being those of material means. But rather, the beauty and splendor of what Mother Earth has to offer.

Sunrise over the Caribbean. Best part of the day.

The energy created, the life generated, when we nurture her splendor and beauty, as opposed to stripping and depleting her of natural resources for our own selfish wasteful material desires.

I have never been embarrassed by the way I live, but I have been very conscious of the way others would look down on me, and my family, thinking they somehow lived a more fulfilling life. This year, especially though, I embrace that part of me with even more vigor.

I embrace life with a more abundant bouquet of energy. And, I celebrate my experiences as I take my enjoyment of the simple things Mother Earth continues to bless me with during all the seasons of the year, and all the seasons of my life.

My yoga kitty Ozzy! Constant reminder to find your bliss in every minute.

I give thanks to my kindred brother Thoreau, for educating me on the important tenets of life at such a young age, and for the rewards it has allowed me to reap along the way, with the truly big harvest soon to come.

I open a door to sharing with others. Encouragement. Guidance. Support. In educating, that there is a much better way to live than chasing the almighty dollar and the materialism and endless consumerism that comes with it, leaving one feeling empty and unfulfilled at the end of the day, at the end of one’s life.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mother Earth’s magic everywhere.

The pendulum is swinging back to the more simpler ways of living. I smile and thank God for giving me the foresight to be aware of what I had so many decades ago. Here to be a Light for others as the old paradigm begins to collapse in upon itself and a new one begins to open. A much more loving and peace-filled world awaits up ahead.

My life’s purpose to be a bridge to help other’s cross because … Revolution Begins With Me.

Namaste.

Life’s Lessons Due to CoVid

Once we realized the corona virus was here to stay, and that masks were going to be mandatory, our 14 year old daughter, starting her 9th grade year, decided to be 100% homeschooled.

I agreed with her decision, already not overly excited about many dynamics within the public school system, watching first hand as a temporary employee since her start in kindergarten.. Most significantly, the direction of the curriculum and the decline in actual education. My oldest having started in public school over 25 years ago, it was an obvious alternative.

My life’s choices years ago, and the fact school wasn’t “in person”, meant I would be available for one on one instruction with her. Fascinating, in my mind, how the universe works, putting me in the position of teaching in the middle schools over the last several years. I feel I was prepped just for this moment.

I obtained a list of the curriculum she would have had in public school. With the help of her piano instructor who has homeschooled for the last several years, we were given a litany of the best home school options. We chose one we felt would give her the best well rounded and most organized learning.

Being in band, playing the French horn, we also made arrangements for her to have in home private lessons with a local band instructor, someone recommended as the top hornist from the instructors at the local state college.

Well aware her home school class schedule was more intense compared to what she would have had at public school, we knew it would mean commitment and self-discipline on both of our parts. I also knew she had the qualities within her to make this feasible, an end result to help prep her for college.

Having the flexibility at the very beginning of the year, we were allowed opportunities we would otherwise not have been granted. Come October though, it was time to find routine and get locked into a more daily schedule.

Frustration on both or our parts was confronted as we began the process. Her homeschool program setting out a specific daily schedule. One we both initially felt we needed to stay locked into, having a set school end date in mind.

Initially, I found myself getting overwhelmed. We had to repeat certain topics multiple times because the information wasn’t sinking in, especially when it came to French, a topic I studied years ago, but by far something I’m prolific in. Fortunately, we are blessed with a friend who is a middle school French teacher who has offered her help when it’s needed.

Somewhere through the course of this month though, the idea of “LETTING GO” started easing into my mind, well honestly, into my whole being.

Still releasing the bonds of a time in my life when I had to live in “survival mode”. Something many are just beginning to enter now, I know what that strong hold on self feels like. Extremely oppressive at times.

I’ve been working my way back to a place of equilibrium, having been an undertaking since my youngest son made it out of school six years ago.

The “Letting go” process gradually becoming more of a daily sensation. The “Just Be” mentality starting to take over.

We don’t have to get everything done in one day just because it’s on her agenda. We don’t have to keep pushing forward if she’s not grasping a subject. We CAN stop and take time to make sure she really understands what she is being taught. Or, better yet, stop just to enjoy a rare moment in life.

Funny thing, as I find myself becoming more relaxed about teaching, and the pace we take, although she’s still a teen and grumbles at times about having to do school work, I find her enjoying the time we spend together, learning much more. There’s more laughter, more creative and diverse discussions. I’m sensing this is only the beginning.

We do have a rare opportunity, not saying there’s not huge financial sacrifices, but that’s not new. I/we have been making those since I decided to leave the nursing profession almost 20 years ago.

My priority is my children. And each and every one has taught me valuable lessons. Because I was not locked into the daily grind of a career, I have been able to really focus on the value of what each one of them brings. Truly making my life rich and rewarding, something money can’t buy.

As my years of parenting adolescent children nears its end, I am poised to learn what my sole daughter has to teach me, as I watch her grow into the beautiful woman she is meant to become.

My bottom line take away lesson…Life is short. Each and every moment is so very precious. I have four more years left with my daughter, and an intention to “Let go” of any preconceived ideas. I plan to live in the moment and make those years our very best.

Great change in our country is inevitable. It’s already happening. I’m the one who decides what my life becomes in the process. For me there only is one option and that’s to live in the moment … for the Revolution Begins With Me.

A Place of Gratitude

(What are you grateful for today?)

Another morning waking up and feeling extremely grateful for all that life/God has blessed me with. A moment to reflect:

I am grateful for my bed and the early morning moments of laying in it and hugging my pillows.

I am grateful for the world of white I see on the autumn trees outside my window.

I am grateful for the fire casting warmth in the fireplace downstairs.

I am grateful for a fresh cup of coffee.

I am grateful for our 4 furry friends waiting by their food bowls, (most quietly, 1 not. Lol)

I am grateful for my husband who works so hard and spends long hours away from home to allow me to appreciate the things I am grateful for.

I am grateful for my amazing family and all my wonderful friends.

I am grateful for Jen and the laughter she fills my life with, for she is one of a kind, and deserves her own line.

I am grateful for my health and that of my family.

I am grateful for the crow of our roosters outside my door and the flock of hens keeping warm in their coop.

I am grateful my 14 year old daughter who has transitioned into homeschool as dedicated and motivated as she is.

I am grateful for ALL of my sons (& the women in their lives) and the fabulousness they bring to the world.

I am grateful for my daughter’s musical talents and all the delightful sounds of instruments she brings to our home.

I am grateful I have a gym that is open and doesn’t require you to wear masks to work out.

Most importantly, I am grateful for God and His grace, and all that He has given me, and all that he has planned for me in my years ahead. … For Revolution Begins With Me.

What are you grateful for today?