Peace in Differences

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A few weeks ago we had an interesting moment when I noticed a beautiful difference between our sons. The magic of their strong comparison made me pause and feel gratitude.

My husband’s aunt was not doing well and had been sent to the hospital. We thought we might lose her and felt the weight of grief bubbling up as fear took over.

The next morning, Hubs was not feeling super and took his time getting ready for the day, while I prepared breakfast and started the kids on their routine for school. When our middle son asked where Dad was, I explained he might need a little extra love and space, since our aunt wasn’t doing so well.

My gentle insinuations were immediately picked up on by LM1. “Mom,” he said, “if it’s her time to go, there isn’t anything we can do about it.”

His words were honest but grittier than I wanted to hear. He saw the situation for what it was and tried to remind me not to feel sad for things we can’t control. He is our thinker, a boy who works hard at acting from a place of knowledge and understanding.

LM2 reacted differently. He went to his happy place: the pantry cabinet where all of our art supplies are housed. He decided to make Daddy a card and a portrait of himself crying. Maybe he wanted to show Daddy that it was ok to cry. Maybe he wanted Daddy to know he saw and understood him. The card said “Feel better,” spelled in typical 1st-grader fashion.

The most incredible thing in the world to me is how two humans, both of whom were raised by the same parents, in the same house, could react to the situation so differently. Neither of my sons was right or wrong in his reaction. That’s the thing about life. We’re allowed to feel however we feel, whenever we feel it. When we are being ourselves, it’s beautiful.

The real peace came upon my heart when I realized how extraordinarily lucky I am. I get to bear witness to our differences and love both of them. I don’t have to choose between right and a wrong, good or a bad. My job is simply to see, love, and acknowledge.

My heart sighed a gentle breath at this fact. Because differences can exist in the same space and bring a sense of comfort. How extraordinary.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace Among Besties

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It has been so hectic this fall. There are so many school events, sporting events for the kids, professional sporting events to watch, parties, social gatherings, you name it. After coming through “The Covid Years,” all of this hustle and bustle feels…..well……it feels strange!

It is overwhelming and at times completely exhausting.

A cutie mom friend of mine said to me the other day, “Remember when it was COVID times and we never realized how great we had it?”

Now, I’m not trying minimize or downplay the craziness of COVID and the incredible strain it placed on many families. At the same time, there are two sides to every story. And some of those COVID days were sort of magical. They were quiet and aimless and gave us time and space to breathe a little.

I’m a mom who has a hard time saying “NO” to opportunities for fun. Hubs is pretty much the same way. We love saying YES, YES, YES! We would love to do that!

But sometimes, especially when stress and tension seem to be running higher than usual, saying NO has so much more value for us. I need time and space to quiet my mind and my heart, recharge, and find the peace again.

Try explaining that one to three kiddos under 9 years old.

“Let’s be quiet and take time to find our mindful spirit!”

Yea, the kids don’t quite follow the logic on that one.

When the kids are small (this rings true for my 4-year-old the most) I need to find ways to engage my littles while also finding time for Mommy. And when silence isn’t an option, I have found peace in community with my besties.

When my little sister welcomed her second baby into this bright, brilliant world, our shared bestie, Aunt Nono, came for a visit. The three of us have known each other for over thirty years and we can basically say anything to each other. The hardships and challenges of being mommies was front and center in our chats. And we found peace coming together, not to kvetch and gripe, but to hear each other. We needed to sit in a room, covered with our kids, with other women who were willing to listen and hear what we were going through.

I hope you can find peace with your own special community this week. When you can’t find enough alone time, maybe you can find a way to find peace among people you love and trust to share your experiences.

What brought you peace this week?

Peace in the Wake

I was listening to one of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s audio books on my Libby app the other day. His voice is very calming and peaceful, and there’s something super cool to me (lately) about enjoying things that are FREE and FABULOUS. Like the Libby app with old books and old wisdom for me to devour.

Dr. Dyer was discussing how our personal histories are like the wake behind a boat.

My ears shot up at this analogy. With a fisherman for a husband, all boat, water, and fishing analogies somehow hit home. This fact makes me laugh because the angler himself generally reacts well to sports analogies……but, hey, whatever works for ya!

So this audio book, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, said something along the lines of this: our personal histories are like waves behind the boat we drive. They have no impact whatsoever on how we drove the boat; they are merely ripples in the water. The wake does not drive the boat, but merely falls behind it.

This is so powerful to me. And it offers so much peace. I wonder how long I’ve thought that wake had so much more to do with the person I am. Certainly, our experiences shape us, but they don’t have to weigh us down or define us.

I tried to think of all the horrible, terrible stories I’ve told myself.

“You’ll never be x because you’ve always been y.”

“Even as a child, I’ve always been so….”

“I can’t do that because I’m just….”

The list can, sadly, go on and on.

But it won’t. Because it doesn’t have to. And now that I’m more conscious of it, it simply will not.

It brings my heart so much peace. And I hope this little find brings you peace as well.

What brought you peace this week??? Share the peace!

Peace and Love In My Thirties

I’ve recently become obsessed with a reality show on Netflix called “Indian Matchmaker.” It’s about an Indian Matchmaker named Sima Taparia. She’s from Mumbai and is, according to the show, the top matchmaker there.

This lady is clever, kind, and seemingly very good at her job. She understands something about people that they don’t understand about themselves. Or at least she knows something about the nature of relationships. To me, that might be one of the most interesting and useful skills a person can have. To really see people and see how they will successfully or unsuccessfully interact with others.

It’s like watching magic.

My husband laughs at me.

“You like the show because you never dated in your 30’s,” he says. “Simple as that.”

He’s right. We met in our twenties and we’ve been together ever since. I’ve known and loved Hubs for over 16 years.

“You like imagining what you would do on all those crazy dates,” he says.

Sometimes I yell at the screen.

“Oh, come on!” I say. “That’s not what love is about!”

I say this when the people on the show share what they’d like to find in an ideal mate. They want a person with a certain height. A certain physique. A particular set of hobbies.

“I want her to be introverted but also extraverted, also,” one guys says.

That doesn’t make sense to me and I wonder if he knows what he really wants at all.

I’m also fascinated to watch some of these people fall in love. Because they do! Some of them find their perfect someone and it is awesome. It makes me think, “what is love?” and “where does it come from?” and “how do people click?”

I also think about how love changes. When we were young, love was the giddy excitement of seeing each other and getting to know each other. It was the fascination and awe of feeling surprised to learn some things and relieved to learn others.

Now that we’re in our thirties, love is about other things, too. Like remembering not only each others’ favorite ice cream flavors, but which brand and grocery store we prefer.

Talenti Pistachio from Target? Was it on sale? NICE!”

High fives all around.

Love is also about cleaning the nasty rotten meat juice from the fridge, after it spoiled and spilled into every crevice of the fridge.

“You have a sensitive gag reflex. I’ll take care of it.”

When you’re on a reality tv show, you can’t ask if the other person is willing to clean rotten meat for you. I mean, I guess you can, but will they be honest? Wouldn’t everyone just say “yes?”

I’ll keep watching my show and wondering about the folks who are learning about love. But peace always finds me at the end of an episode. When the show is done and I have that knowing calmness on my heart. Because I picked a good one. And I somehow managed to have him pick me back.