No Difference

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In youth lies wonder
And stamina, too
Early mornings and ceaseless awe,
Afternoons filled with all things new. 

Then shrieking, screaming, 
Senseless rage
Injustice done unto others or themselves,
Feeling the limits and confines of this stage.

They need you, and me, and our parents as well
Life is yet theirs to behold. 
I can't reach, he yells, That's not fair, she screams
And we need only say, "You can when you're old."

But such paradox is shared.
Life is both great and troublesome. 
What they do not know 
Is the autonomy yet to come. 

When I do what I say and dream what I please
And quest for the meaning of life. 
Life becomes choices, and many at that,
Some full of peace while others bring strife. 

Life is a mystery, repeating itself
With wonder, awe, strife and pain 
We're hardly different, them and us
Thank god we're all the same. 

Peace at Good Life Organic Kitchen

I love finding peace at the local businesses in our neighborhood. There are some spaces where it is so easy to breathe, to find comfort, and to build community. Such is easily found at Good Life Organic Kitchen in Exton, PA.

Grey blue walls, wood flooring and warm smiles greet me upon every arrival. A robust menu offers a variety of locally sourced, healthy, delicious options for lunchers, brunchers and snackers alike. I like to bring my kiddos in for smoothies. They like The Hulk and The Berry Nutty. While the littles sip their sweet treats, I enjoy the camaraderie offered by the shop’s proprietors.

Abbey and Tom are visionaries. They love great food, great service, and creating great atmosphere.

“We opened in February, 2020. On the heels of a pandemic, we got a good, fun combo of insanity, energy, and inspiration,” Abbey says.

A little taste of insanity seems to be the magic ingredient for this standout cafe. When they opened their doors, Good Life Cafe became a special part of s changing community.

“We’re like a little beehive,” Abbey says.

In our neck of the woods, the pandemic meant lots of students took on cyber schooling. This made them prime employees for Good Life Organic Kitchen. Abbey saw the opportunity to work with young adults, grow their skillset, responsibilities, and potential.

“For lots of our employees, we were their first job,” Abbey says. “They’re learning how to do everything. Face-to-face communication, cooking the food, time management, everything. We want them to have a safe place where they know they’re loved.”

With a room full of peaceful people, warm, friendly communicators, and compassion, it’s no wonder I feel so peaceful here. Great food is icing on the cake. I like to sit in a small alcove toward the back with my noisy bunch of kids. There are beautiful wood benches and soft boho pillows at our backs. Another kiddo scribbles at a chalkboard placed strategically at their height, encouraging creativity and joy. To say this place is family friendly would be an understatement.

Here is a place where peace is as welcome as its patrons. I encourage you to give this spot a try! Talk to the folks who work there. Learn something new. Get inspired. Join in the Good Life. This shop won’t disappoint.

What brought you peace today? Share the peace!

Peace in a Puzzle

Today was another one of those days with a million things to do. Welcome: Holiday Season. It’s days like these when I most need to remind myself to stop for air. Otherwise, I could run around all day without stopping.

Eww. No fun. Not my jam. Mama needs a break.

Today’s pause came in the form of a puzzle.

A few weeks ago, the family stopped at a yard sale. It’s a weird, quirky little activity we enjoy. Yard sales give us time to chat with someone in the community, learn about different neighborhoods, and seek small treasures our family might have use for.

On this occasion, we uncovered a pile of unopened puzzles, sitting undisturbed in their boxes.

Bingo!

This afternoon, after everyone pretty much refused my sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches (spit out on the plate, thanks LM1 for a visual reminder of your dislike), we sat down for one of our new-to-us puzzles.

LM3’s choice was about 100 pieces. Not too big, not too small. Baby bear style all the way.

The puzzle beckoned the children, young and old. Without any prompt they found their way to the living room floor to work on this sweet, silly little playground-scene.

And there was the peace for the day. My moment of calm. The quiet breath that reminded me how slowing down is always a benefit.

My little cherubs worked together excitedly, without whining or fussiness. There was stillness in our figuring of each puzzle piece. I was so grateful.

What about you? What brought you to your happy place today? Share the peace!

“It’s always the small pieces that make the big picture.”

Peace in Puttering

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Today is Black Friday and I am not one to shop on such a day. I am in my thirties and long lines/eager mobs of people scare me. Even though things feel pretty cordial here in Pennsylvania, I still don’t make it out to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets or King of Prussia Mall.

I shop on Amazon or at Target, like the rest of my generation (arguably, of course, I’m partly making a joke here). But I do take “Expect more, pay less” to a whole new level, I’m sure.

Today I had it on my mind to take care of errands and small jobs around the house. I have a garden project that needs my attention. I have laundry and cleaning and cooking to take care of for more Thanksgiving dinners this weekend.

Instead, I chose to putter.

Now, I should mention that I come from a long generational line of “Doers.” We wake up, we make lists, and we do stuff. Much stuff. Very meaningful stuff (insert sarcastic giggle).

But, not today. I made zero plans and allowed myself to walk around the house and take care of ridiculously infinitesimal nonsense.

Today I decided to do whatever struck my fancy. I committed to nothing, in search of peace, destined for an amazing afternoon.

  • I vacuumed the shoe rack in the pantry
  • I changed out a succulent in my little planter for the kitchen
  • I watered a lot of plants (I’m not as cool as Hilton Carter yet, but I’m trying)
  • I cleaned a baby toilet seat cover I hope to pass on for someone else’s use (your welcome, unknowing family member!) (Add to that: I probably didn’t clean it well enough the first time and will give it another go, but hey, I’m saving you about $40 with my Lysol can!)
  • I made rice noodles and slurped them up ridiculously slowly, enjoying each savory bite because I didn’t want to rush the meal and found myself completely satisfied sitting in the kitchen staring at the kids’ Artwork Wall for well over thirty minutes
  • I read 1/2 of Deep Trouble (about 50 pages?), a Goosebumps book my kids wanted to read (Spoiler Alert: it is about mermaids, which LM1 found VERY DISAPPOINTING)
  • I folded paper boats with LM2 because he wanted us to have a “Creation Contest” and then see whose boat floated best (Spoiler Alert: the five-year-old won)

All of this is to say that puttering is peaceful. So long as I tell myself that some days are meant for simple nothingness, it’s all good. I don’t need to produce something every single day. Some days are just about. being.

What did you do today? Share the peace!

Want to make a paper boat? We learned how from this video! LM2 called it “Easy Schmeezy)