Don’t Look Back

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is credited with the phrase:

Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine.

I don’t know about you, but I have done this. I miss the times when my kids were little. It was one of the happiest times of my life. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done. Seriously. To help form a little human, teach them right from wrong, how to love each other, and how to be street-wise to protect themselves from those who prey on others.

I pictured life as; the Babe and me with a bunch of grandkids. The reality is; three live out of town. Two live here. We have our share of fun with them. I sometimes wish the Sunday dinners would have materialized. Life doesn’t work that way anymore. If I let it, it could make me sad.

Instead, I’m grateful. We have different good times that usually include ice cream. Addison and Gavin both request it when we’re out. Ice Cream is one of my favorite things on earth. You cannot be in a foul mood when you’re having ice cream. Right? What I’m grateful for is; my reality tells me those dinners would be hard for me to prepare. So it’s easy to dial it back. If it’s not realistic; let it go.

You can’t know what you know now if you live in the past. About how to live. About how to survive. You can’t have it both ways. We often hear, “If I knew then what I know now.” We can’t go back. We can’t take information backwards. Only forward. Our parents likely raised us as they were. We have difficulties with that behavior. Times change. “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” is a philosophy that can see you arrested for child abuse. The only thing achieved by beating a child is submission, low self-esteem, and timidity. Not physically beaten, my spirit was pretty beaten up. I needed to be who I needed to be, not a clone of others. It caused me a lot of confusion. Now I revel in it. I’m different. And there’s a reason I am.

I believe it’s how God wants me to be. It’s how I can best do what I’m good at. Telling stories and spreading hope, love, and encouragement. I’m a naturally curious person. I’m a detail-oriented person. I’m unafraid now. These are all gifts from my life. Now I can use them to tell stories which help kids and women. People raised by an old standard. No one owns anyone else. We are all meant to be free. Be who you are. The sky is the limit. Join me on this journey. Kiss yesterday goodbye. It is of no use to you now. Look ahead with joy and excitement. It is all out there for the taking.

Thank you for reading today. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be who you want to be. Live your life for yourself. Be who God intended you to be. Be YOU. Observe the world. Observe other’s stories. And go out and live a great one for yourself. See you tomorrow.

No Place I’d Rather Be

Yesterday was such a great day. I met our daughter Tracy, Gavin, and son-in-law TJ at the ballfield to watch Gavin play. TJ coaches. Despite wearing a hooded sweatshirt, and a down vest under a winter coat, and gloves, we were able to brave the elements and watch his two games. He is a pitcher or shortshop, depending on the rotation. He loves to pitch.

It warmed my heart to see Gavin warming up, and his dad behind home plate, catching. I know Gavin gets his athletic ability from his dad. The first toy he grasped and threw was a ball. It’s in his blood. I thought of his Grandpa Randy watching him, too, from a good seat from heaven. Bittersweet, but reality. He’s watching, Gavin. He’s watching. And proud. So proud.

I’m so fortunate to have the step-kids I have. Tracy’s always thoughtful with me. I use my cane to navigate the field around the ball diamond. She brought an extra chair so I wouldn’t have to carry one across the field, juggling cane, water bottle, and chair. I’m grateful for them and their families. Blake is always at the ready to offer his arm to me if I need it walking, and to open my door getting in and out of the car. They’re sincere and I know they would always be available to us for anything we may need. We are grateful.

From my seat at the sidelines, I could tell how tall Gavin has gotten since the last time we were able to watch him play. Last season, I think it was only once because of COVID. What we’ve all had to miss since last year! I hope we are on our way to fewer restrictions (with caution). I hope we will all remain healthy, too. We appreciate the fact no one in our families has become ill with the virus. It’s still a frightening thing. I think we still need to take precautions until we see how the long term effects of the vaccines is. I’m expecting to have to get a booster shot, and I’ll be there for it! I have a lot of important baseball games in my future to watch. I don’t want to miss any; there is truly no place I’d rather be.

I love his determination, his skill, he’s got an arm on him! And to think, he’s grown into this baseball player from this little guy:

Gavin, about two years old, giving Roxie and Lexie with water from his watering can.

I love being a Grandma! I love being a Mom, too. And wife. And author. There is so much to learn with all of these things. You never stop learning, even if it’s just to learn little known facts about something obscure. The more I’m hearing about the unheralded contributions to science, the military, engineering, and the space program by women the more I want to find out. I tell Addison not to ever “dumb yourself down” to have friends. It used to be preached to girls to “let him be smarter than you. Don’t embarrass him.” Yes, I read it in a magazine for Catholic girls while I was growing up. Seriously.

I am very happy we no longer encouraged to do that anymore. Girls used to be raised as “less than” boys. Boys were valuable. Girls? Not so much. So happy those days are gone. A brother-in-law of my ex-husband had three girls with his wife. He always commented first on their intelligence, not their looks. I loved that, too. The focus was not on anything superficial like looks. They are all stunning women, as well as intelligent. they have done well, and they have the best dad! He and his wife are one of my favorite couples, and I’m grateful to have them in my life after all these years.

The Babe is home today, and we are just going to spend time on the deck or patio. We seem to rarely have a day home together. I plan to make he most of it, so I’m going to hit “Publish” and do just that. Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful, safe day. Be Kind. We’ll get through this. Be Thoughtful. Wear your mask. See you tomorrow!

Baseball Saturday!

At ten a.m. this morning, I’ll be watching Gavin play ball for the first time this year! I’ve not done it yet, it’s been pretty nippy at the games. But I’m putting on multiple layers, and going out to the ballgames. Until 2 p.m. Looking forward to it!

I finally was able to get access to my Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Conference, 2021. I should be spending the day watching it. Not going to happen yet. There are a bunch of great topics, many about self-publishing. I need to get the Babe to go to the bank with me and open the business account. I want him to be able to pay bills, etc., in case I can’t for some reason. It’s a sensible thing to do, I believe.

For some reason, my brain is thinking about poetry. Is because that’s writing close to music? Sometimes it’s hard to concentrated, and decide how to light up the happy place in the brain. I read once creativity soothes the place of the brain where worry originates. When Mom took up the hobby of adult coloring, she was much calmer than now. Her vision has deteriorated to the point she can no longer decipher the color of the crayons. That’s sad. She can still read a little, with a very bright light. No wonder she’s a lot more worried and stressed.

Maybe I’ll do a blog someday in a poetic fashion. Just for fun. We’ll work on that. The way it works, I’ll be just as surprised as you are! Most of the time, I just write whatever seems to be in my mind at the time. And most of it is ok. But some of it is not very good. I know that. The joy comes from doing something good. Something people comment about. That gives me joy, if someone learned something, got a laugh, or even felt less lonely. Joy happens because of something else. When people can relate to us and what we write/feel/share, it makes us feel good, too. Someone gives, someone receives. Joy happens for both of them. The heavy loads are lighter with many hands to carry. We learn those loads are often not ours to carry. And we’re grateful for the lesson.

Have a beautiful day. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. And let go of anything you’re carrying that isn’t yours. It’s such a relief. See you tomorrow!

More Mondays!

Aren’t you just excited it’s the start of another week? I am. I plan to actually plot my children’s book cover this week, and add the verbiage to some of the pages. Much of the writing will be edited out when Cartney McGuigan works her magic to illustrate the story. I’m getting really excited to work on it again. This learning stuff is hard! It fills my brain with possibilities. And ideas. It’s ok. That’s where the greatest ideas come from.

I have an idea for pre-release notification that will allow a printable PDF for children. We may have printouts available for including with the purchase of books in person or via my website, Cartney’s Etsy Store, and of course, for the McGuigan’s use. Stay tuned, boys and girls. And everyone! We’re going to have a blast doing this.

At long last, the sun has finally made an appearance! The moon was brilliant last night, too. With our blinds open in the bedroom and all the lights off, it lit up the room for a couple hours. As it reached it’s peak in the sky, the brightness dimmed and I just lay there thinking how awesome the creation of the world is. Scientifically and Spiritually as well. Grateful to God for all of it. I marvel at the seasons, the growth in spring, the flowers in the late spring and summer, and the colors of fall.

We enjoyed Gavin so much yesterday. He asked, “Can we please go for ice cream?” We never turn down ice cream! It was a perfect thing to do. We’re looking forward to getting to watch him play baseball this year. He’s got a lot of athletic talent, I’m so proud to watch him. He was watching a game on Nintendo Switch (I think that’s what it’s called). He can narrate a play by play watching basketball, baseball, and football. He’d isolate the players who slammed the ball in the hoop. All you have to do is agree with him. He’s happy. He has an unbelievable mind to keep all that knowledge at such a young age. Children fascinate me; how they learn and grow through the years. He’ll be nine this year. Wow.

The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion. – Tacitus

What do you think of this statement? I find it sad, actually. Power has never appealed to me, really. Not without the responsibility that goes with it. A powerful person, in my opinion, needs to have integrity, a soul, and be honest. I suppose one would say our current politicians are more lusting for power than anything else. They may have forgotten they work for US. I just want us to find a way to stop all the fighting, negativity, and division.

I was astounded to read many codependent people “lust” for control. This sounds kind of crazy, I know. The premise is their role in their home was to control their environment, then they could enable their addicted people to keep their addictions. They would mistake enabling for help. It isn’t. It continues the curse, and you’re helping do that. I did it too. I no longer allow that person to pull me into their issue. It’s their to fix, not me. By “helping,” I was doing anything but helping. I helped continue the lies he told himself and everyone else. Only fooled ourselves. No more. It is what it is. And it’s not mine. Have it back, and keep it forever. I’m done.

When we humans have breakthroughs in improving our lives, we become more energetic I believe. The world is brighter, easier to navigate. Less baggage that we’re holding for others. Try it, you’ll like it! Peace at any price doesn’t promote peace, only more of the same. Peace with boundaries is more liberating, for sure. We all need reminders. Let’s help each other out. I’m in!

Another quote:

Today, I will examine my decisions to be sure I haven’t traded compliance for integrity.

(From: Days of Healing, Days of Joy: Daily Meditations for Adult Children).

Proud dog Mom talk: One short training session with her today, and she’s not dropping her fetch toy and barking at me. YAY! I sat on the deck, she had her training collar on, and just two little buzzing sounds with the command, “No Bark!” and she didn’t bark again. She brought the rope back to me, up the stairs, to the deck, instead of sitting in the yard, barking until I came down to her. Nope. What a good girl! When I finish working later, I’ll be giving her new toys from Bark Box.

Have a beautiful Monday. We’ve got a lot to accomplish this week, let’s get going! Be Safe. Be Kind. Have Integrity. Have Compassion. Know Your Boundaries. Enforce Them. Be Compassionate. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!