Stopping for Fun and Gratitude

I’m writing this post as I sit on my comfy leather couch for the first time since moving into my new place. Sitting hasn’t been on the agenda as of late. I’ve been slowly moving since last Wednesday. We’re not closing on our old house until this Friday, so I have the luxury (or curse?) of time on my side.

We’ve got all the big stuff in our new house though. It’s really just small odds and ends and cleaning up the old house before saying goodbye to it. Bittersweet, I suppose, but I love my new place. It’s a much more manageable size for me and my boys, and we’ve got a playground that’s typically full of kids just steps from our backyard.

In the past few weeks, I’ve packed up my big old house, finalized a divorce, acknowledged what would have been my “firstborn’s” fourteenth birthday and an almost 14 year wedding anniversary, and moved into my new normal.

Who am I kidding? I am still moving into my new normal. And I’m enjoying every moment. Because even when the stress piles on and the to do list seems like it has no end, life is still pretty darn good.

bloggybuddiesandkids

A big New England blogger meetup with Bev from Linkouture, Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, and all our kiddos!

Sometimes you have to just stop and breathe. Or maybe just take off for a few days and meet up with some good bloggy friends and their kids. While I should have been packing, it was worth it to meet up with people whom I had only (with the exception of a quick meeting at BlogHer in Chicago) corresponded with online. And when we met in person, it was if we had known each other for years.

Of course, I couldn’t let summer go by without letting Biz ride on his very first big roller coaster. While I stood mildly terrified on the ground, he just made the height requirement. Had he worn different shoes, it might have been a different story.

It pays to stop for some fun every now and then.

canobielakecoasterDuring the chaos, I was also tagged on Facebook to do a five day gratitude challenge. While I’m not big on those type of challenges, I figured it was a good week to acknowledge my gratitude publicly. Gratitude is good for the soul after all.

Since last week was a blur, I decided to take a look at what I shared:

  1. My two amazing boys, who will always be my #1
  2. My inner strength, which has taken me further than I ever thought possible
  3. Those people in my life who “get it” (and still stick around even when they don’t)
  4. My furry boy, Kailua, who still gets mistaken for a puppy even though he’s 11
  5. Meaningful words and actions
  6. Knowing what happiness means for me
  7. Adventures new and old
  8. A big, comfy king-sized bed
  9. Good wine after a long day of shlepping boxes
  10. The ability to work for myself and follow my dreams
  11. Big opportunities
  12. Secret, non-judgmental Facebook groups with sinister hashtags
  13. Freedom
  14. Good, supportive friends near and far
  15. The amazing view from the high road

I’d say the list is pretty accurate.

While my brain continues to go in all directions, I am starting to settle down. And still stopping for fun every now and then. I’ll be back reading blogs and responding to your wonderful comments. I’ve missed you all this past week.

Taking the jump

“You can do it, B!”

It was the fourth time my son’s friend got on the platform for the zip line at a local ropes course. We were celebrating G’s 9th birthday. The plan was to have the boys go through the course, eat some ice cream, and then go home for some pizza and a sleepover.

I watched the boys go through the course with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. It’s one of those activities that I can’t do with my boys. The height and the fear of falling is too much for me. While I have no problem riding in tiny planes to Boston or in developing countries, I get dizzy when I’m up high and nothing is around me.

I could feel B’s pain. He said he didn’t have a problem with heights. He seemed to be fine on the platforms, but he was timid about going over some of the shaky features of the ropes course. He sat out some and tried others. Three times he went to the higher platform for the zip line, got hooked up, and said no.

I stood below watching his grit and determination. I was ready to take a photo and text it to his mom. His fear would kick in, and he’d politely decline to go.

But he kept going back up. He wanted to go on that zip line.

When he got up to the platform on that fourth time, the staff member was determined to get him to complete his trip. She talked with him about how to approach the zip line and asked him about his fears. She had him sit in his safety gear and feel how the line would hold him. The other boys would go up and show him how it’s done on the zip line next to his. Each tried to get B to leave the platform, but he would stand there frozen.

There were many people cheering B on as he stood on that platform. He stood there for what seemed to be an eternity as kids and adults continued to zip by him on the other line. He didn’t leave, but he didn’t jump off the platform either. He stood quietly thinking.

It made me think about how our fears can control our thoughts and actions (or inaction) in life.

Sometimes you hold on for dear life and muster up a smile.

huggingpoleSometimes you stop and let your mind play tricks on you.

waitingontheledgeBut you try. Because that’s all you can do.

If you don’t try, you won’t know what you can do.

gtiresYou listen to those that cheer you on and you quiet them when you need to concentrate.
tightropeBiz

When you are ready –  if you ever are ready – you take that jump.

And usually it’s not as bad as you thought it would be.

ziplineboys

In fact, it might be far better than you ever imagined.

You might just turn around and do it again. Or try something even bolder.

bizwalking

When my son’s friend finally made it off the platform and zip lined off into the sunset (it was getting late at that point!), everyone at the ropes course cheered. It was huge.

B may have been a little embarrassed, but he was mostly proud. And he should have been. At that point, he had gone too far not to jump off that platform. Declining that fourth attempt wasn’t an option.

On the ground, I told him how proud I was of him and how I shared his accomplishment with his mom by text. He just quietly smiled at me. Though I’m sure he wished he was able to do it sooner, it was better late than never.

Courage won out and the fears were quieted.

Have you taken a jump like this in life?

 

Wordless Wednesday: Let it Go (Preschool Edition)

letitgoscreenshot

I may be biased, but this is the best version of “Let it Go” I’ve heard yet! And, yes, it’s from Biz’s preschool graduation. He’s the giant in the middle.

p.s. How is my baby in kindergarten already?

If you’re having trouble viewing, watch the video on YouTube.

Linking up with

5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday @ The Jenny Evolution

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