The Problem is Not the Problem . . .

The problem is not the problem.  The problem is your attitude about the problem.

-Captain Jack Sparrow

If ever there was a phrase to describe how I’ve been acting outwardly and how I’ve been feeling inwardly these past few weeks, it would be “a tempest in a teapot”.  Like the saying suggests, I feel very much like I’ve been a force of nature whirling around the house, touching everything and leaving a mess in my wake . . . while inside my thoughts and emotions have been swirling around making it difficult to settle and get myself (inwardly and outwardly) in order.

So, what exactly is my problem?

What has turned me into this whirling dervish?

Well, I’m not entirely sure.

It could be that we’re about to embark on a renovation that is going to render me kitchen-less for about six weeks.  It could be that in about eight weeks, my little one will graduate from her little school, a place that has been part of my routine for the last six years, and move on to grade 1, a sure sign that my little ones are really and truly growing up.  It could be that if I’m not a mom to little ones, I’m not entirely sure of my role in life. It could be that health issues affecting several people close to me have had me revisiting the time in my life when I had health issues, and all the emotions that surround that time in my life.  It could be that I’m standing on the precipice of my life changing in so many ways, and while all of these changes are good, change has a way of making me (just a little bit) scared.

Last night, the kids were begging for a “good breakfast”.  I heard tales of how other boys in my son’s class get bacon and eggs EVERY DAY MOM.  And how other kids in my daughter’s class get to eat fun cereals like “Frozen Flakes”.  So, I compromised as best as I could in the moment, and promised the kids pancakes for breakfast.  (I don’t like smelling like bacon when I’m trying to do a workout, so bacon is out as a weekday breakfast food.  And “sugar cereals”, well, they’re just not happening in our house.  Period).  Pancakes, on the other hand . . . well, I can make a reasonably healthy pancake reasonably quickly, that makes everyone happy (even if I did smell faintly of pancakes at the gym this morning . . . sorry Coach).  Added bonus: I doubled the recipe, made extra to freeze, so we can reheat them in the toaster when the kitchen renovation is happening.

But I digress.  As the kids were eating and I was cleaning up, my son bounded into the kitchen to tell me that there was a beautiful sky outside.  Because I was up early to make the aforementioned special breakfast for the kids, I was dressed and presentable enough to grab my camera and run outside.  And what I found was a truly beautiful sunrise.

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But as I turned to walk back to the house, I was faced with a very different looking sky.

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In other words, the skies this morning were kind of like a metaphor for my life.  Focusing on all change that’s going to happen, and resisting that change, is like standing glued to one spot looking at the gloomy, grey sky.  But opening up to, and accepting the changes that are inevitably coming, I can start to see the good in what is to come, like turning physically around this morning to watch the beauty of the sun rise.

“The problem is not the problem.  The problem is your attitude about the problem”.

 

 

Learning to Let Go (aka Accepting that My Kids are Actually Growing Up)

Can I make a confession?  It kills me that my little ones are growing up.  I miss hearing the little high pitched voices, the little footsteps running through the house, the happy sounds of the little kid cartoon shows and the giggles that went with them.  My house is filled with bigger, louder voices now, heavier footsteps (still running through the house), and annoying “bigger kid” tv shows that have me alternating between gritting my teeth and demanding the tv be turned off – at least the giggles have remained!

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I’ve been in denial about this for quite some time now.

But my great Lego project has helped me to start to put things in perspective.  Let me explain.

While the majority of our crumbling Lego sets reside in the basement, my son had a decent-sized collection of lego decorating his room.  Sadly, it was facing the same fate as the Lego in the basement – namely, it was slowly disintegrating, with bits and pieces falling off as the sets got moved.  And so, last week, I took it all out of his room and added it to my pile of Lego to disassemble, sort and bag.  While I was at it, (and while he was at school), I took the opportunity to clean out the rest of his room.  I went through the bookcases, and removed books that were clearly too young for him.  I boxed up all the Mickey Mouse ear hats we have collected during our trips to Disney.  And while I was at it, I did a good sweep of the Little One’s room too.

As I continued through the house, cleaning up the detritus of the kids’ toddler years (I was amazed how much was left), I got to thinking about clutter, and tidying up, and letting go.  While I love a neat and tidy house, I love being a mom and having my kids around more.  And thus, my house has, for the last eight years, been a jumble of toys and clutter.  Sure, it gets straightened up, on a not infrequent basis I might add, but its still there, lurking in bins and behind closet doors.

But, as the Lego, is slowly getting sorted and boxed, so are my emotions about the kids growing up.  We’re entering a new phase with them, one where we can adventure more, explore more (unencumbered by a stroller, no less!).  A phase that stands to be equally as fun and rewarding as the phase of toddlerhood has been.

And so, I’m going to start looking less towards the past, and more towards the future.  But in the meantime, I’m going to treasure every time my son holds my hand, every time my daughter climbs into my lap for a snuggle, every Disney movie they want to watch (even if it means seeing Frozen for the 1,000,000,000th time), every chance I can get them to still wear matching pj’s, and of course, every early morning wake-up (well, maybe not every time we get called by one of the kids waking up for the day at 4:30am), and every bedtime cuddle, because, as I look to the future, I know that all these lovely little moments will get fewer and further between.

 

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The Return of #The100DayProject

So today marks the start of this year’s #The100DayProject – 100 days of doing something creative – and posting about it on Instagram.  I LOVED this project last year.  And I am pretty excited to start it again this year.

Just like last year, my plan is to take a photo of the sky every day for the next 100 days.  Last year, I found this practice profoundly enlightening; even on the greyest days, I was forced to find beauty in the clouds.  And on the days with the clearest of blue skies, I was forced to find something interesting to capture.  All of which, of course, is oh so applicable to real life . . . that even in the worst of situations, there is a little bit of good (you just have to search for it).  And that things are never truly interesting if they are completely “perfect”.

So . . . without further ado, I’m kicking this year’s project off . . . with a photo of the stormy skies we’ve had all day today.

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“Without rain, nothing grows.”

Even though I was hoping (kind of like last year) for a spectacular sunrise, I am not disappointed to have had grey skies all day today.  100 days from now, these same trees will all be covered in brilliant green leaves.  The flowers will be in bloom.  And the birds will be happily chirping.  Or, to put it differently, within the span of the next 100 days, we will be out of the grey rainy days of April and into the sunny, verdant days of summer.  A metaphor for life if ever there was one . . . out of grey, difficult times, we emerge, a brighter, more interesting version of ourselves.

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