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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: blessings

Whoever invented Labor Day?  I believe it was the big union leaders rising up against the big bosses (or arriving at a compromise) in the Industrial Age.  Now in the Technological Age — is there such a thing as a “real” holiday?  I’ll wait for my husband to correct my history on this one 😉

The holiday aspect for me comes with sleeping in (until 6:30 instead of 5:30), being able to find a cozy spot on the couch to snuggle and read with my youngest, cheer on the kids as they battle the world of Lego Star Wars on Wii, and just sit.  The overcast skies and intermittent rain has provided some relief of the persistent sun and relentless heat.  Silly that even though temperatures rise here, the cloudy skies trick us into a sense of relief.

I look around the house and think of all the thousands of projects and chores that need my attention.  I dream of a personal assistant and maybe even an “Alice” from the Brady Bunch to rescue us.  There is so much to do.  When do we decide we deserve a personal Labor Day as well as the professional holiday one?

My oldest stayed up late last night watching movies but tucked me in and told me how much they loved me and rubbed my back while hugging me tight.  Those are the moments you want to just freeze in time.  Those are the times when all the “labor” pays off.  The thoughts of clutter and bills and deadlines melt away and I am reminded why I care so much about these little people in my life (who are not all that little any more).

So 1 day down, 2 to go for the breathing deeply, the not-so -rushed days to just be together.  Maybe we will paint fingernails.  Maybe we will play Barbies or more Lego Star Wars.  Maybe we will just all snuggle and watch another movie.  Even from the comfort of my own couch, with the chaos of children and family all around me, I am more than willing to work a few hours on projects I’m excited about at work.  To that end I suppose I thumb my nose at the traditional labor leaders of days long past.

Most importantly I am reminded I need to structure my calendar to include these breaks, this breathing room, far more frequently than I allow myself.  Deep breaths remind me that laughter and silliness are more important than clutter control and last much longer in memories.  Life passes so quickly.  Are you remembering to breathe?


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Love on Mother's Day

Love on Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

Thank you to my hubby for a great set of blues to start the day – a yummy omelet lunch – and beautiful flowers planted outside in the horrid heat. A few laughs and sighs at “Maid of Honor” and just the time to relax and enjoy 4 beautiful kids and a good life all in all 🙂

I was thinking today about the first mother’s day I ever received presents on – way back 14 years ago – when I was pregnant with Zachary. I was so thrilled to be becoming a mother and yet terrified at all it would and could mean. There is plenty of heartache and laughter, tears and hugs. Lots of head scratching wondering if I made the right decision or gave the right advice. I’m been thankful for my own mom many times over for her love and support and advice and quiet. I hope in my own life as a mother I can somehow measure up to be at least half of what she is to me.

So… a few wii bowling games later, and barbie/toy pick ups… I quietly slip my drawings and cards into my work bag. The snuggles and the homemade things are closest to my heart. And… I am forever grateful to my husband, my partner in crime, who took a chance on me all those years ago to become a mother of this crazy crew I love so much.

I know I have bombarded you with quotes from junk mail recently… but sometimes that junk mail is what I find the best nuggets in – and they make for the best diversion. Prove me wrong 🙂 Take a moment to read with me…


Is there ever any wonder why we look to the sky ?

Is there ever any wonder why we look to the sky ? by Jøãø Mär¢øs



Every morning, afternoon and night, take a 30-second break to look at the sky, breathe deeply and offer thanks.

Even though the world has its problems, the sun still rises in the sky each morning, and we’re awake and alive when we get out of bed. Let the sky be a touchstone to hope. Think of other people around the world as you look at the sky, and know that we all share this planet together. Among all of us, we have the ability to create solutions to the problems that now exist.

Trust that this is so.
~ 8 Ways to Increase Hope,

So I thought I might take a quick moment in my glimpse at the sky to think and record 8 things I am thankful for that bring me joy (in no particular order):

  1. the smile on my little girl’s face and the sweet way she slips her hand into mine when we walk somewhere together – even within our own house
  2. the tilt of my youngest son’s head when I tell him I want to give him a kiss – he likes me to kiss the top of his head
  3. the silly coo-ing howl of our dog who spends way too much time in the backyard with birds who share her dogfood
  4. my oldest son’s height and sense of humor – I love watching him become a man – and enjoy the parts of him that are still very much a little boy
  5. my middle son’s confidence around others – and his habit of always saying blessings on each one of us when we start off for our day – no matter what chaos ensued prior to getting out to the driveway
  6. my husband’s crazy sense of humor, love of great music he shares with our kids, and exceptional shopping taste for women’s lingerie (I hate shopping for that kinda stuff)
  7. jobs – first life, second life – that give us a sense of purpose, help us to be of value to others and see ways for us to connect our talents with larger efforts, and most importantly help pay the bills
  8. friends – real and imagined 🙂 – who carry me when I’m down, lift me up when I need it, keep me grounded in reality and most of all help me lighten up and laugh.  smiles and laughter can cure all – I am just sure of it!
  9. imagination – mine and those I choose to surround myself with – I love imagining what is possible, dreaming big and then figuring out ways to make it all happen.

OOPS!  #9 was a bonus I guess…

Back to work 🙂  I do hope though… you’ll take some time to gaze up at the sky where you are today and think about the others you know and love doing the same… I bet you have at least 8 things you are thankful for as well.

Whatever that means to you… I hope you take time to breathe in the Springtime air deeply, be thankful for those around you, and just enjoy. This blessing came in my email today. You know I’m always good to share the “junk” emails that find me 🙂 Cheers to all this week brings.

May You Be Blessed

May You Be Blessed

Sometimes I get very caught up in the here and now… the never ending list of things to do and the piles of life that need my most urgent attention… and I forget to view the here and now as a stepping stone to what is next.

Lately… when I have had a morning to sleep in… I have forced myself to do so. I am so fortunate to have a husband who lets me and I roll over, cover my head and let the birds sing good morning to someone else. I have felt like the morning came too early and I felt like getting out of bed was just too much to expect. My house, my kids, my job, my RL and SL… it just all felt overwhelming. I felt empty and sad. Depressed from the news day in and day out about life going from bad to worse, depressed from news of my mom finding a new kind of cancer on her body, depressed from updates of my youngest’s teacher about school progress… I could go on…but then I would depress you!

My half full… had a leak I think. I’ve neglected my blog because I wasn’t feeling very resilient. My positivity had done nothing to save a friend’s marriage… to help some stay employed… to keep people cancer free… to help people understand that being a friend means more than just a token place in a profile… I have been reminded over and over that mean people come disguised and on soft tip toes into your life and if you aren’t careful… they will suck things from you – but ONLY as long as you let them have that power. The last few months I have made the mistake of giving some power they didn’t warrant or deserve.

I heard a message this a.m. Very loud. Very clear. I can wander in the desert for days, weeks, months, years. I can choose to ignore the flowers that bloom and the rains that turn the desert a brilliant green. OR I can open my eyes. I can see things for how they are. I can slip on my rose colored glasses that are dusty from storage and return to my view of the world that helps me add one or two more things to my plate and soak up all the good stuff life has to offer.

I choose that. I choose the glasses. I choose the cup that is half full. I choose to pick the flowers and carry them in my hand and smell their sweet smell for the moment. I have faith to know there will be more flowers and more to fill my cup.

Springtime at Cabeza Prieta by Catherine Sickafoose

Springtime at Cabeza Prieta by Catherine Sickafoose

My husband pretends to drink Hate-er-ade but I know that isn’t true and I thank him for sticking with me through this period of gray half-emptiness. Pulling the weeds so we can enjoy the flowers… cleaning the carpet so we can remember how much we appreciate having some to walk on. Enjoying a few days of vacation AFTER a furlough day because I have earned it, not because I was mandated to take it. Soaking up the springtime AZ sun in the most beautiful time of year in Phoenix. Deciding that sometimes when you aren’t sure where to start you just have to start somewhere. I’m starting today. I’m making a promise to return to my half-full self. It feels good to take the first few steps in that direction. Pour yourself a cup. Pick a few flowers. Choose something nice to say and feel free to join me. My life is too short for anything else.

Mary Poppins got it right!

Mary Poppins got it right!

I used to joke about work furlough programs. I thought they were something you got in prison -like a work release – when you have been good and they let you out to work or something. OBVIOUSLY I should have consulted a dictionary and really understood it. I have a big fat FURLOUGH staring me in the face. This, not to be confused with a FURBIE, is much uglier and more disturbing.

I am not going to turn this into a grip post. I am RESILIENT after all and the queen of making lemonade out of lemons. So… I am taking my furlough day (aka a day with no pay so that my salary is reduced by my daily pay rate) – the first of 12 I must take between now and early June 2009 – with a spoonful of sugar. I realize I am horribly mixing metaphors but isn’t that how the medicine goes down when you live with Mary Poppins?

The GOOD NEWS? the SILVER LINING? NO ONE immediately will lose their jobs. They are saving some ungodly amount of money across the whole system ($24 million I think) by asking… no wait REQUIRING… everyone to take 10-12-15 furlough days. I fall in the middle so I’m a 12er. I am completely for this if it really helps. I am completely for this if it means NO ONE loses their jobs unnecessarily AFTER June 30. Will that happen? I just can’t muster enough pollyanna in me to believe that is the case. I think this is the first blow with more to come.

So I talked with my bus stop friends this morning. The guys that take their kids to school and wait at the stop. The guys from other types of employment communities who seemed shocked. They figured… oh … a furlough… just take all your days at once and go get another job for the month. Me being the achieve, achieve girl had of course already thought of that. However, a month of does not work because of loss of benefits, etc. Second jobs? Yes, I have thought of that too and applied everywhere and anywhere to teach part time in the evenings (knowing full well it would severely cut into my SL habit). Nothing. No second jobs. Everyone is too busy finding first jobs.

So… skipping along… singing a happy little working tune I go. I tell you. There is no fat lady singing here. It ain’t over. Dave and I are working with some very cool friends, who are equally strategic, and we are going to launch a LLC. If we can’t find extra work, we’ll make our own. I’m SO EXCITED about it. Its all about getting the right people on the bus and getting headed up the mountain in time to reap all the benefits that come at the top – at the Tipping Point. WE are going to be on that bus. No short bus this time. Lemon from lemonade. Sugar with our medicine.

Cheers to restrictions from looking at work emails. Cheers to new beginnings and all things that are born from tough times. RESILIENT baby!

A Beautiful Place To Think About Resolutions

A Beautiful Place To Think About Resolutions

I hardly ever blog at night. Normally I’m too busy multitasking with the kids and hostessing a gig and plurking and cleaning the kitchen up after dinner and and and…

But this evening… I’m up in our bed… snug under the covers with 2 snoring twins next to me. Ok… really only Rachel is snoring and Simon is hanging on to the bitter end… and watching the Upside Down Show.

We cleaned a lot this morning. Having a houseguest always seems like a good reason to clean. Between the holidays and guests and travels, it has been hard to tell recently whether I was coming or going… until yesterday. Yesterday I felt a wave of serenity and a sense of well-being I hadn’t felt in some time. I felt so happy about how Christmas went… how events went we had planned… how the end of 2008 would come to a close.

Its time… and I know it is time… to start thinking about resolutions. 2009 is going to be an incredible year. I think it will be incredible on so many levels – personally, professionally, financially, spiritually – for those I love as well as myself. 2008 was incredibly difficult. Things that only took one try seemed to take 10. I faced incredible depths of depression and frustration and personal challenges I never imagined. I came out better for it on the other side though… survived and tried to learn from each of the challenges I faced. Otherwise – what is the point?!

So the next few days… as I count down to 2009… despite the craziness with our kitchen sink and our 2nd son’s birthday and the Christmas clean up… I am going to make sure and take some time to really thoughtfully plan my resolutions. I have stumbled around for many many years enjoying so much good fortune but last year really made me stop and take notice. Maybe I’m just getting too old to stumble around any more.

Resolutions… some things to think about… some things to dream for… some things to make my heart dance and soul soar… some things to help make the world a better place…

Not sure where it will lead me… I’ll keep you posted 🙂