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I would love to hear your thoughts. Who knows; maybe your comments will one day appear in a book (with your permission of course).

Please share your thoughts: how you use your life's lessons, your creativity and spirituality to navigate life.

Your definitions, experiences, general thoughts are respectfully requested.

Friday, May 20, 2011


My son describes the day as surreal. The realization that classes will be no longer and that real life, whatever that means, awaits. Gone is the safety of the campus, the reliability of meals ready for you in the cafeteria. Gone are the student discounts and the camaraderie of other students. The whole wide world is now open to my son. How exciting, and how scary this must be.

For my husband and I, it is another milestone in our son's life - but in ours also. To say we have a college graduate in our midst reminds us of our mortality and of the quickly passing years. I find myself dwelling in memories of when he was young. Photos have been pulled out and looked over, by request of fraternities and friends as they make cards and farewell projects. The box with all the cute notes and cards made for me is out for viewing. I have enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

This is surreal to me too. Not so much the graduation, but knowing he will move far away after his visit with us. My younger son is home now too, and once again, for a short while, we will be a family of four. It's so different this time. Less stress of the "raising" and more enjoyment of the wonderful young men they have become. We are sharing meals, giving and receiving advice, sorting through things to get rid of, pack away for safekeeping, donating and shipping to the west coast. It's a very special time and I am relishing each moment because when I pause for even a moment, I can't stop the tears . . . . .

Friday, April 15, 2011

How Quickly Things Change

It's been awhile since I wrote my last entry. School takes up many hours and life happens. Some of it good; some not so good.

The studio project was on hold but will be structurally finished this weekend. Just touch ups, curtains, a little organizing and it will be done. What has propelled me to complete it is that my son announced he is moving to LA after graduation. He will now be a visitor in this room as he gives it up to begin his life.

I am so proud of him and so happy he is moving beyond his comfort zone to explore new experiences, yet as I write this, my eyes fill with tears. I do and will miss him profoundly.

When I stop to think about how fast he has grown up, I can't believe it. I look at his baby pictures and can readily summon how I felt when I took them. It doesn't seem possible it could be so long ago.

So, onward we go, to next phases of life. Lots to look forward to; lots to miss . . . .

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Conflicting Feelings

Since the start of school, the only "creative" thing I have done is finish a project commissioned for a show and delivered it. All other calls for entry have gone ignored for now. I have not given up on my art however, as I renovate (actually hubby is doing most of the work) what will be my studio; fashioned out of my older son's room, which he inhabits barely 2 weeks out of the year.

I decided to take that room for my own when I realized this wonderful space, in a home where space is at a premium, went unused the majority of the year. My son is so enmeshed in Boston where he goes to school, that he rarely comes home, even during breaks. He has 3 jobs, lots of friends and has built a nice life for himself there. And since I love Boston, it is a good excuse for me to see him there.

In spite of his absence at home, I didn't claim his room for a long time, feeling it was disloyal, or that he would think I didn't want him to come home. This was not of course the case, so the room stayed empty, silently collecting dust. I hinted at him cleaning out all the garbage that had been collecting - that he never got to do before he went to college, but he resisted and I didn't push.

Little by little, I began using the room, moving some things in, moving some out, packing obviously unneeded things into accessible boxes, but making room for my art things. When he did come home, I moved the work table out of his way, but I imagine he felt he was intruding. I never want him to feel this way - so herein lies the conflict.

One side of me thinks it is a shameful waste of good space that could be used all year long - yet it is my son's room - a place he can come "home" to, that has a sacred quality to it.

He is graduating college in May. Like so many of his peers, he is uncertain what the future holds. It would have been a given, in different times, that he would graduate college, get a job and start his life independent of his family. These days, it is not a given and young people fear for their futures, as do their parents. Not wanting to add to that stress, I want a place for him to come home to, if he does not land in a job that can support him right away.

Ah, but the empty room beckons and so badly needed a paint job anyway.

I thought long and hard how to marry the two conflicting needs; both my son's and my own. The room is nearly finished being painted. Measurements have been taken and parts have been ordered. There will be a great, large work table above his queen-sized bed, that breaks down to expose the bed for his visits. His junk, I mean "important souvenirs" have been packed and placed in the closet and the attic. His dress clothes live with my husband's in his closet; the rest he has with him now. Should they need to come home (along with him), we will make room. The space in the house is finite, but manipulatable. The room in my heart is boundless, especially when it comes to my son.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spending Time

It’s been awhile since having a “normal” routine, dictated by an employer. How is it I can be so busy and not be working 45 hours a week too? Have you ever heard the expression, “Ask a busy person and it will get it done.”?  It must be true and I am one of those people.

Now my days are spent going to school, studying and working on one volunteer community project, and soon to start another. School takes up 2 full days per week, and homework another 2 to 2 ½ days. I guess that doesn’t leave a lot to time to lounge around.  I am cooking healthier food, which takes more time to plan and prepare. I am coordinating a community project involving 6 leaders and what will be 15 youth. And I am planning to conduct a community workshop at our senior center starting in late April. So, my days are full, and fruitful. I sleep well knowing I am doing good, and keeping my brain active.

I am happier and more content. Does it mean I have given up income for health? I suppose so, but I feel richer indeed. Priorities change, life throws curveballs, yet we endure. We grow, we evolve into better people, if only we pay attention to what is sent our way.

Take today’s lemon and make lemonade. If you are thrown a tomato, you can make sauce or a bloody Mary, but the choice is yours.  What will you do with today’s proverbial lemon?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back to School - Again

Traditionally, September is "back to school"time. In the northeast, the air would be getting crisper, we would shop for new clothes in shades of nature. I remember brown, rust, red and yellow print dresses, corduroy jumpers and shirts. It was a time filled with anticipation after the long, hot, and by then, boring summer.

Later, I became a non-traditional student, attending college in the fourth and fifth decades of my life. With 2 young children, a job and a husband on the road all week, it was a challenge and I worked hard. My husband took care of our sons all weekend when papers were due, through not only the completion of my bachelor's degree, but through my graduate work as well. There was no campus activity, no partying, no dormitories; just work. I understood the value of this education as it came with great sacrifice of time and money.

Ten years later, I am once again returning to school, to start a new career. Knowing that healthcare is the only field certain to grow jobs, I am going to study dietetic technology. My interest in healthful eating is long-standing and I am ever moving toward a healthier lifestyle to ensure the best outcome for my later years.

This time, unlike the last time, I am nervous. With a brain ten years older than the last time I was in a classroom, I worry about whether I will be able to retain all the information I need to. Staring at 7 textbooks, 4 of which are over an inch thick and heavy enough to require a wheeled backpack, I wonder if I have to memorize its contents. I try to reassure myself that I was once good at science - but acknowledge that it was long ago.

Well, the commitment is made. I know it won't be easy, but this has never stopped me before. I will test the limits of my brain, since I know deep down somewhere, I can do it. Maybe I won't require myself to pull all A's this time. I have 2 degrees on the wall with summa cum laude's on them, but it hasn't helped my earning potential or my career. It just made me feel good to know I could do it. So now that I know this, I ask myself whether it is necessary, and conclude that it is not. I will do my best, but I will accept grades high enough to show that I know the material.

And that will be good enough . . . . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Tears cleanse our souls. They spring from happiness as well as sorrow. We cry when we are relieved that someone we love is safe; we cry when we watch two people commit to spending their lives together; we cry when we have lost someone or something dear to us; we cry when we feel hopeless.

Tears release the stresses of our emotions, but our society makes it difficult to cry without shame - particularly for men. Yet, we are all moved when someone cries. Humans share deep empathetic connections when they see someone suffer or overwhelmed with joy.

Crying is good. A good cry releases our stresses, brings us closer to others and causes them to reach out to comfort us. Have yourself a good cry. You will feel better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow and Gratitude

Over 80% of the country was dealing with snow over these past 24 hours. A very rare occurrence. We, in southwestern CT had anywhere from 1 to over 2 feet in 14 hours. Mother Nature always delivers equally, so I am expecting a whopper of a winter since many of the last winters were tame.

I have always loved the idea of being "snowed in." It forces us to take time off and it looks beautiful outside too! When the kids were small, I didn't have to get to a job. School would be cancelled and we would have crazy food day: a little ice cream for breakfast, fruit and yogurt for lunch and pancakes and eggs for dinner. Actually, since the boys were so young, it was more like a marathon of eating all day long!

Later, the stress of getting to work made me practically ill. I became fearful of driving in hazardous conditions, ever since witnessing a horrific, fatal accident during a whiteout. I had the choice of getting into work or taking a vacation day. So, off I would go, fearful for my safety, wary that I still had 2 children counting on me (this is mostly what I was afraid of).

Now, while I am unemployed, I am at least grateful that I didn't have to take life in hand to go anywhere today. What I have learned since then is that nothing trumps safety. I pause however, to acknowledge with much gratitude, those who have chosen careers that protect our safety. Thank you to our firefighters, police, EMT's, doctors, nurses and other health professionals, who DO risk their own safety to take care of others.

May God bless you and keep you in his care.