the best gifts

I wrote this (on my previous blog) exactly one year ago:

I have been thinking for the last couple of days about the people that I most admire. They are people who, first of all, seem to accomplish tangible things in their lives; things which produce finished results -- whether it's crafting (sewing, knitting, quilting, paper crafts, etc.), or cooking, or gardening ... Whether it's a hobby, or a profession. They are people whose labors result in a "fruit". I sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels. I have things that I enjoy doing, but I find that I rarely commit to doing them; I feel like I spend more time "wandering aimlessly" through my days without really accomplishing even small tasks or goals.


Which brings me to the second thing I wanted to say about the people whom I most admire. They all seem to be people who take the time to truly relish the "dailiness" of life. I pay a lot of lip-service to this concept, but in general, I find that I am usually just day-dreaming about the next "big" thing in life (the next holiday to plan, the next event to anticipate, or even the next gifts to buy or make for Christmas or birthdays for my children). I regret that I do not take more time to just enjoy the day that I have right now, and appreciate the wonderful, creative beings that have been entrusted to my care as they are today, not as I imagine they might be at some vague date in the future, or how things would be if we just had a particular toy or a digital camera or a real backyard. More money, more time, more self-discipline, more organizational skills ... whatever.


When I first tried swing dancing ten years ago, the friend who was teaching me said that I was too hyper; that I was adding too much extraneous movement rather than relaxing into the dance. I don't think that he meant this as a real criticism of me, but a tip that could help me with my swing dancing. I had not really thought about this comment again until a couple of weeks ago, when it occurred to me that this is how I am about most things in life. I seem to be in hyperdrive all the time; everything is a potential opportunity for me to overreact or stress-out. I seem to add a lot of "movement" to everything I do. I have not mastered the art of just being. I guess, in many ways, I have never been one of those people who is just "comfortable in my skin."

I know that all you ever know about any person is what they show you of themselves. Everyone has anxiety, and everyone has bad days. And most people do not invite you into their heads to share in these things, unless you are really close, and even then, you get the information through the lens of what they wish to share. So, I know that when I think about these people whom I admire so much, that I am admiring the side of them that I know. But I would still like to capture more of those traits into my own life.

Finally, with regard to this blog, I would like it to be a vehicle to my achieving more balance in my life -- a chance to be "real," to take action, to challenge myself to look for positive & inspiring things in my real daily life.


Wow! (If you got through all of that, I commend you!) This was when James was four months old, and I was about two months away from discovering the depth of my depression (aka "the diagnosis").

Anyway, as I look back over the last year, and especially the last 8 months or so (since I moved to this blog), I can see that a lot has changed around here. Certainly beginning this blog and meeting all of you has been a huge, huge part of it. And I think that the power of my own desire to change and determiniation to make my life a certain way has been the other really significant piece of this puzzle. I still feel that I have a long way to go -- certainly, we all do. I could still see a lot of improvement on reducing the extra "motion" in my "way of being". But I am certainly learning to honor my need for quiet -- and time for creating -- and I know that I am finally on the path that I want to be on for this journey.

me (camping)