Practice Makes Perfect 

Yesterday morning I took a trip to Target (a place I rarely frequent anymore because like many women I know, self control seems to fly out the window the moment my body triggers the automatic doors). But I was there for a purpose; to purchase a last minute baby shower gift for a co-worker. My eyes lingered for some time on the racks of cute sweaters and jackets as I walked by them at a glacial speed on my way to the baby section (I get my clothes addiction honestly. If you knew my mother you’d understand). After I picked out the gift, I proceeded to head to the greeting card section which happens to be right next to the notebooks. My eyes locked on a beautiful, delicate set of canvas, woven notebooks with the most vivacious yet rustic colors and floral prints. You may laugh, wondering how someone could get so excited over a thin booklet of blank paper, but I truly do. For years, I’ve collected notebooks, even before I began to write regularly or have any real need for them besides scratching down grocery lists and budgets. So I bought them, even though they were overpriced and not necessary by any means. Now I’ll let you “oooh” and “ahhh” over them below before I explain the deeper reason behind my excitement.


They say if you want to be good at something, work at it, practice it every day; develop a good routine and stick to it. Writing is of course, no exception. Well anyone that truly knows me, knows I struggle a great deal with routine. I probably take the “fly by the seat of my pants” approach to life far more than I should. Since I took the leap and started this blog seven months ago, it’s become increasingly evident to me that not only is writing good for my soul, it’s something that I just might actually be really good at if I give it adequate time and devotion. So with only two short months left of this year and me wanting to make the best of them right down to the end, I’ve pledged to myself that I will begin writing every day, even if just for five minutes. Granted, I am a working, commuting Mother of two and like most Mothers I know, at any given time I have housework to be done and/or bills to be paid. Some days finishing a single thought uninterrupted is quite a feat. However, this is part of my continued endeavor to create and maintain healthy habits for myself (mental health included). After all, a Mom needs to be healthy and well rounded first if she wants to raise her children as such.

Finding these perfect little books was just the reminder that I needed to keep up my determination to practice, practice, practice. To sit each day, allow the pressures to subside, put pen to paper, and fill theses pages with treasures. Keeping in mind that there doesn’t always have to be a moral to the story. Sometimes we write just to write and to reflect on our day even if by most standards it was uneventful.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Anais Nin

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Motherhood

The house is dark and still, and the boys are fast asleep. In true Mom fashion, I sneak into each of their rooms and plant the softest kiss on their heads and adjust their blankets. Motherhood is the most natural process that exists, and yet it stirs up the most complicated emotions imaginable. Never does a woman know worry, self-doubt, sacrifice, and pure love like she does when she becomes a Mother. I don’t believe there exists a perfect age or set of circumstances that can fully prepare one for the challenges and changes that come along with Motherhood. 

I think about my own Mother. At a fairly young age (having enough knowledge about the struggles related to her upbringing), I realized the tremendous emotional obstacles she had to have overcome to become a nurturing, loving Mother. The mold she had to break from her own childhood experiences. I’m not sure how she did it, but for her strength, I am grateful. My sister and I were her world; her priority in life, from the time we took our first breath through most of our formative years. We were always well fed and well dressed. She took in our friends as if they were her own; taught us how to cook; to love music and to dance our little hearts out. She helped us succeed in school, and tried hard to keep us entertained and out of trouble (sorry Mom). Her and I are a lot alike in some ways. We love people……too much. We give to others even beyond our means at times and are willing to sacrifice a great deal (even our own inner happiness) for those we love. I admire her ability to love past great faults. She is all of the soft aspects of my soul. 


I look at my boys sleeping peacefully; with their soft faces and their perfect button noses. It’s amazing really…to give life to these little people that reflect you, and yet they show you the world in their own unique way. My hope as their Mother is that they grow up knowing they are loved, valued, and irreplaceable. That they thirst for knowledge and adventure. I want them to truly embrace the world. Not to be complacent or ever allow the world to make them angry or cold. To love even those who act unlovable and to open their hearts, even at the risk of having them broken. I hope they view the world as their oyster and never be confined by how or where they were brought up. Even though I was still practically raising myself when I first became a Mother, I tried to create a carefree life for them. Sometimes I succeeded, other times I failed miserably. At the end of the day however, I want them to know that my heart beats for them. They will always be my greatest accomplishment; my reason to smile. I can fall asleep with a full heart. 


“Successful Mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.” ~ Sharon Jaynes

“When my children remember their childhood, I want only for them to remember that their Mother gave it her all. She worried too much, she failed at times and she did not always get it right…but she tried her hardest to teach them about kindness, love, compassion, and honesty. Even if she had to learn it from her own mistakes, she loved them enough to keep going, even when things seemed hopeless, even when life knocked her down. I want them to remember me as the Woman who always got back up.” ~ Annonymous 

Friday

It’s Friday morning. The only weekday morning I don’t have my children. This usually means I can wake up to the sunlight peeking through the shades, rather than the sound of fighting over whose bowl of cereal is more full or the nails on chalkboard sound of cartoon characters blaring through the TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love those little monsters with every fiber in my body. But the silence and ease of Friday mornings remains idyllic.

As I listen to music and get ready for my day, I look to the coming weekend with anticipation. I have a few things planned, but for the most part, I’m free (which doesn’t happen often enough). I decide to head to my favorite coffee shop in town. It’s downtown and completely out of my way to work, but I love the place. The inside is too small for the amount of patrons they see on a daily basis; especially on Saturday mornings when people are out enjoying the farmer’s market. What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in charm. The establishment is a reminder of the small town that this rapidly growing commuter location once was. The young employees are always eager and cheery and dare I say, actually seem to enjoy their job. Their Chai lattes (my drink of choice) taste earthy and robust, unlike the over processed/syrupy concoction Starbucks has to offer. Their bagels are always so fresh and toasted to perfection. It’s just one of those things in life that make me happy, albeit small and seemingly insignificant.

Upon walking in, I see familiar faces. A group of old retired men that sit there every morning chatting about sports and politics. I wonder how many of them consider that the highlight of their day. I’m reminded that no matter our age, we never lose that need to belong, to be in the company of peers. I also see a Grandma sitting with her little Granddaughter, enjoying a drink and something sweet. The smile on both of their faces is so bright that I can’t help but smile myself. They are unsuccessfully taking a “selfie”, so I offer to take their picture for them. The Grandma gladly relinquishes the phone to me and tells me they are having a special “Grandma/Granddaughter Day”. Growing up, I never had Grandparents I was close to and in that quick moment, I was happy to have captured the memory they were making together. How beautiful that life offers us so many different types of relationships to nourish and enjoy.

As I wait for my order, I sit at an empty table next to a middle aged woman. She was probably in her mid to late forties, sitting in yoga pants, reading the newspaper and sipping her perfectly foamed cappuccino. I envied her for a second, sitting there enjoying her morning, with no apparent rush. Suddenly she looks over at me with an endearing smile and says: “I love your outfit; your skirt with those cute sandals….very pretty. I saw you walk in and wanted to tell you.” Those are the best compliments, the random ones….with no ulterior motive, no hesitations. I thanked her and headed off to work.

On my drive I thought about those few minutes in the coffee shop. How many people we come across on a daily basis and how we have the power to impact one another with a smile, a kind word, or gesture. How we are all in different stages of our lives and yet we are all in pursuit of the same basic things. I wondered, too, where I’d be when I was that woman’s age, the one that offered the compliment. Approaching my 30th birthday now, feeling the pressure of having life more “together” than I do at this moment, although not really knowing what that entails. Wondering how I will let the events in my life shape me in the next 15-20 years. Will I let them make me bitter or better?  Will I continue to look for the good in people and in the situations that I am faced with?

On this particular Friday morning, however, I am a young, single, working Mother of two. Like the loving Grandma, the relaxed middle aged woman, and the retired comrade’s, I have something to offer to those around me. With drink in hand and head held high, I’m ready to take on the day; and the world for that matter.

coffee

“Wake up early. Drink coffee. Be ambitious, keep your priorities straight, your mind right, and your head up. Do well, live well, and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living.” ~ Anonymous