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I am the working mother of two little minions, just on a new adventure in another province away from my seaside home trying desperately to solve life's many riddles and find inner peace despite all the chaos...and when all else fails there's always wine.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS

I have not even finished reading this book yet I feel compelled to urge you to go get it  and read it immediately.
 
The first thing and really the only other thing I have read by Cheryl Strayed was her epic memoir "Wild."  And while her story was very different from my own what I overwhelmingly appreciated was her emotional journey of healing and the process she went through with time, experience, challenges and solitude to arrive at both an understanding of herself and her circumstances.
 
I have been picking up and putting down "Tiny Beautiful Things," for some time but the other day I was hit by an intense need to finally get a copy and see what Dear Sugar (Cheryl Strayed) had to say about life and love. 
 
It was not at all what I expected and yet everything I should have expected from her.
 
The letters between these pages are heartbreaking and profound and on several occasions have moved me to tears.  Cheryl's replies are even more moving. They are heartfelt, intelligent, compassionate and simultaneously brutally and gently honest.
 
While the actual circumstances of each letter writer will not necessarily match up entirely with our own stories, in each we find something to relate to, something that resonates with our own selves, be it pain, fear, confusion or sadness. And in Cheryl's varied responses you will find either mountains or tiny bites of wisdom depending on how each story echoes within you.
 
At the core of the replies I believe there is a single universal truth....
 
in reaching for the advice of another, we either are truly lost and do not know what to do  or we know exactly what to do but don't want to, don't know how or aren't ready to do it.
 
Cheryl's answers reflect this truth and her words will resonate with you, that I promise you.
 
In reading the stories of others who's troubles and struggles are either like our own or nothing like them at all, I think we can all find some comfort in the simple knowledge that we are all of us, just tiny, little boats, on the same great, big intimidating ocean, trying to do the work to find our way home.
 
 
Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book so far....
 
 
"Nobody can intervene to make things right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal."
 
"Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true"
 
"The only way you'll find out if you 'have it in you' is to get to work and see if you do"
 
"The reality is that, regardless of the circumstances, most moms are alternately blissed out by their love for their children and utterly overwhelmed by the spectacular amount of sacrifice they require"
 
"You don't have to move fast or far. You can go just an inch. You can mark your progress breath by breath"
 
"Acceptance asks only that you embrace what's true"
 
"Accept that this experience taught you something that you didn't want to know. Accept that sorrow and strife are a part of even a joyful life. Accept that someday what pains you will surely pain you less"
 
"When it comes down to it you must trust your truest truth even though there are other truths running along side it"
 
"If' there's one thing I believe more than I believe anything else, its that you can't fake the core. The truth that lives there will eventually win out. It's a god we must obey, a force that brings us all inevitably to our knees"
 
 
I would love to hear which words resonate with you and whether or not you love this book as much as I already do...I truly believe you will.
 



Monday, October 3, 2016

YOU'RE AMAZING

It's words we may be blessed enough to hear from friends, family and loved ones but the person we don't hear it from enough, is ourselves....so today, right now, this is me, being you, because, you're basically me, and I'm basically you, and we're all going through some of the same shit in different ways on different days but.....YOU ARE AMAZING

If everyday you get your butt out of bed and you plod through the day fiercely focused on loving your children and doing everything you can with every resource, whether its financial, mental, emotional or physical, that you have in that given moment (which is the best any of us can ever do) then you are succeeding.  Your success as a parent is not measured by whether or not you get all the laundry folded or hell, if it even makes it into the dryer before it gets what I'm told (cause I have no sense of smell), is that musty stench. It is not measured in the amount of homemade baking you can get done while you separate fights over pokemon cards, nor is it measured by the height of your lawn or streak free mirrors. It is not measured by whether or not the lunches you send to school are Pinterest worthy (I constantly refer to lunches as "stuff the dog will likely get to eat tomorrow).  It is not measured by whether or not you remembered to fill out the 50lbs of paperwork and forms the school sent home with a very short turn around mandate, nor is it measured by the lack of pet hair on your carpet, the socks all perfectly matched, your ability to buy brand name clothing, the yard work done, the microwave splatter free, the library books returned on time, how many toys you buy them, how many movies you take them to, the clothes stain free, the hair perfectly brushed, cavity free mouths, messless houses, tear free days, or having everything and everyone in perfect order....

Tell me this?  Do you love your children? Do you make every effort to provide for them in every way you can? Do you hug them and tell them you love them, and speak to them with kindness in your heart and your words? Do you teach them to be kind and generous and respectful and diligent? Do you do what you can to teach them the lessons that will turn them into adults you'd be proud to know? Do you nurture their spirits and their little souls by letting them be who they want to be? Do you do what you can to put smiles on their faces? Do you do what you can to protect them from getting hurt and when you can't, do you help give them the tools they need to get through it? Do you show them your love in how you treat them and converse with them and support them through all the trials of your life and theirs, despite the chaos, despite the mess, despite the stressors, despite the times when you either have very little patience left or none at all....do you hold love in your heart through it all?

I know you do. And that means you are amazing; you are succeeding.

We all have our mix of days. There are the ones we manage to get everything done; like parenting rock stars. Somehow all the chores are done, everyone is happy, there's been nothing but good news all day, you did crafts, made soup from scratch, you were on time for everything.....but those are not the norm.  Most days feel like you have to walk across hot coals, whilst fending off birds of prey and reciting the alphabet backwards....most days are hard. You feel your patience wearing thin, you feel tears welling up in the back of your throat, you're so exhausted most of your sentences don't come out straight and the kids just stand there staring at you like you're having a stroke.  You feel like you're not going to make it. You feel like you're failing at this whole parenting thing.  Because it's hard. It's so, so, so frickin' hard, and the fact that you are still standing, means........that's right......that you're amazing.

So hear these words....know them in your soul....YOU ARE AMAZING. You really, really are. You're a guardian of the next generation of amazing people...how super cool is that?

Know that we're all struggling, we all have our good days and bad days, we all feel like we're just about to fall down sometimes, but we won't.  Because we love our children with everything we have within ourselves and we won't fail them.  We may run out of milk, and dog food, and not be able to get those hot chocolate stains out of the carpet, or cut the toast into the right shapes, or be able to find a single pair of clean underpants for anyone in the house, when we're already 20 minutes late for work......but we won't fail them.

You're amazing.  Tell yourself that everyday.....and on days you can't.....I will.

Love to you all and keep up the amazing work.

"Relinquishing the delusional hope that we can or must be flawless - allows us to seek happiness in the only place it can be found: our real, messy, imperfect experience" - Martha Beck