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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Category Archives: family

“Emotions will either serve or master, depending on who is in charge.” — Jim Rohn

“If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, then the world is yours and all that’s in it.” — Rudyard Kipling

“95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself.” — Brian Tracy

I love these ideas. This weekend has served as a real turning point in my SLife. The stress of the school year is over. The pressure cooker that is 4 kids and a teacher husband all dealing with school deadlines is over for a few weeks (8 or 10 I think) and it is time to just BE! The heat has arrived as far as the temperature goes… but so has the opportunity for new adventures. The mute button is a wonderful tool and I have found it can be a good guard for one’s heart. I returned to working on my profile, squaring away details for the next artist incoming for June at the Bistro Olive… AND… getting ready to launch the ASSET-Eight land and the new venue called Schoolhouse Rocks! My life is full RL and SL and I am thankful to all those who I am still fortunate enough to call friend.

As far as advice? I’m not giving any… I’m just soaking up what is above. Not a bad find, eh? We had a 2 for 1 birthday celebration last weekend… well 3 for one really… so let me share a slice of leftover ice cream sandwich cake and another slice of leftover confetti cake with strawberry pink icing to enjoy. Cake and ice cream are a PERFECT way to be happy and enjoy the start of summer, don’t you think?

Besides... how can you be stressed AND sing Happy Birthday at the same time!

Besides... how can you be stressed AND sing Happy Birthday at the same time!


Love on Mother's Day

Love on Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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.

My day started off as the average Tuesday morning with the usual rush around and herding of cats, a.k.a. my children. Nothing unusual. Everyone kept their brains engaged the entire time. We sang our little hearts out in the car on the way to the bus stop – ok… really just me… and Noah quickly turned off the car stereo as we approached seeing/hearing distance of possible pre-teen ears.

I have a group of other parents that join me in sending their kids off to school in the morning. I have grown to really enjoy my conversations with them in the morning – just 5-10 minutes or so – but enough over the course of the school year to this point that I have gotten to know them and enjoy laughing with them about parenting and elementary kids and bus stop/school year antics.

One of the bus stop parents happens to be the vice mayor of our town/suburb. He has lots of great contacts and I have enjoyed having the ability to discuss issues from time to time as they come up – in as much as you can discuss in 5-10 minutes. This morning though was different. This morning I shared the name of a boy my son had given me in confidence that is advertising himself as a gang member. My son saw what I did – very quietly – and of course panicked. The good news is the bus stop parent took action almost immediately as he saw one of his police friends drive by. He told me they would refer the name to the school resource officer and just have a conversation with the “new kid” at school. Honestly, I don’t want gang recruiting in my neighborhood – or anywhere for that matter – and I have always been scared to death of my own kids facing gang issues now living in such a large metropolitan area. I suppose if I hadn’t taken action, who would?

Then I drove to work… belted out the songs again and got myself into a better place. As I came down the stairs in the parking garage and exited into a rush of cold air (yes 45 degrees IS cold when it is damp and you live in a desert used to 110 so NO LAUGHING). I looked up and a homeless man was locking up his bicycle and belonging on the bike rack just inside the garage entry. I walked a few more yards and stopped. I opened my purse on a bench and dug out the Starbuck’s gift card I had some money remaining on. I don’t know how much but I think at least $5-7. I went back and made eye contact with the man. I handed him the card and said – its really cold, I bet you could use a hot drink. He returned my eye contact and with gloved hands said – oh cool, thank you so much. He seemed almost giddy. He finished locking up his bike as I briskly walked away feeling so good about helping someone.

I came in and my co-worker said… uh oh I’m sure Starbuck’s will thank you for that. Ha Ha. Honestly, he looked clean. He was just dressed very warmly and needed a hair/beard trim. BUT, I see people like that all the time in the university setting and they are students!

If I hadn’t done that for him today, would someone else have done that? I was always told charity begins at home and today I couldn’t feel that more. I found this then in my email as I sifted through what was junk and what was work. I’m going to take a copy home today. For some reason, I can never hear these phrases enough… and it seems to fit doesn’t it? Take care of each other. No matter what kind of family member you are… a family that can be tax deductible or a family that just has randomly grouped together in a crazy SL world… take care of each other. If you don’t, who will?

Thank you Crisis Center... Good stuff!

Thank you Crisis Center... Good stuff!


Playing with Photography

Playing with Photography

A much overdue Sunday field trip to Elements in Design! I have been thinking about this sim recently. One of the last things Bigd and I did when we still owned Tortuga Island was visit Elements in Design. I rezzed giant boxes and plastered my SL photography all over it. I was kinda shy about it but people gave me lots of compliments.

I just love the work of Gwen Carillon’s work and find her sim an incredible inspiration. I made sure to check with her today on taking photos. I am all about the protection of content rights and would never want anyone to think I’m trying to take credit. In fact, I’d encourage you to visit… but not so much that her sim loses its serenity.

Sunday field trips. One of my first loves in SL. Exploring incredible works of average people. Laughing with friends and just general craziness. Nothing organized. Nothing required. Participation optional and AFK always an option. Real life intertwined with the fun of SL. Our family in SL was formed this way. I was reminded of that yesterday as I laughed and laughed during a skybox “futbol” (soccer) game with Bigd and Clynt and Blissie. The game was filled with taunting and gestures and… surprise, surprise… outfit changes. It was competitive. I was worried I’d hurt my keyboard from pushing on the arrow keys so hard. I was most excited about the coordinating soccer player outfits Blissie and I had. We ARE the hottest soccer players around I think!

So today was a continuation of that rediscovered joy. A little coffee and blues with Bigd at Savoy and then off to Elements. The best part of exploration is that we just know when to wander alone and when to come back together. We share photos and soak up the sights.

I’m looking to enter the collage collections into the upcoming Bistro exhibit on Discovery and I hope you’ll consider entering something as well. But in the meantime, I hope you’ll just enjoy soaking up what weekends and Sundays and, most importantly, Second Life is all about: friendships, family, laughter, and beauty.


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!

You just never know when you’ll hear something that will change your perspective. ¬†Mornings are quite the sprint for lack of a better metaphor before coffee kicks in. ¬†Rachel was up lots in the night coughing and Dave and I did the…. “Who should call off” debate. ¬†Rachel proved us both wrong and our tough little gal with a little of cough syrup said “I’m going – I’m not missing school today!” ¬†Yeah, she IS my daughter ūüėČ

So we launched into hyperdrive with 30 minutes to go.  Lunch Рclothes РSOCKs from the overflowing bin of socks waiting to be matched.  Backpack Рsweatshirt Рtaming those curly locks.  We all piled into the car, said blessings and were off.

As my sweet babies boarded the bus (yes even my 11 year old is my baby), I stood with the other bus stop parents.  We watched 2 kids Рolder Рprobably 4th graders at least Рpile out of a suburban with extra bags.  They were having trouble carrying all their stuff Рan extra backpack between the 2 of them and some milk containers they kept dropping.  Please keep in mind we have a good 25+ kids at our bus stop Рso boarding is a relatively slow process, much to the chagrin of the waiting morning commuters.

I turned to the other parents and we all lamented the poor kids juggling too much stuff and feeling the typical Monday blues a little more than usual with the loss of the Arizona Cardinals when one dad said… that is the little girl who’s mom had breast cancer. ¬†Her mom died yesterday. ¬† Yesterday. ¬†Wow. ¬†Our house was sad about the Cardinals losing. ¬†How trite. ¬†That little girl had spent the night with neighbors probably because her dad was with her mom or grieving or whatever happens when a spouse dies. ¬†Her mom died. ¬†She spent the day with neighbors. ¬†No matter how long the battle of cancer – no matter how much she would have been prepared for the loss, the loss would leave a hole… always.

I watched the 2 kids get on the bus. ¬†My own Monday morning chaos brought to a hault. ¬†It shouldn’t be so hard to be a kid. ¬†Once again I’m reminded no matter how hard we think our own journey is, there most likely is always someone else who needs us to be strong and offer support because their journey may be even harder.

No doubt that mom is in a better place today. ¬†Cancer is a monster. ¬†My hope is that her little girl will have lots of love – from people she knows and even from people she doesn’t. ¬†Life is hard. ¬†It just shouldn’t be that hard to be a kid. ¬†Blessings on her. ¬†Blessings on all of us on this Monday morning.

No matter what you believe… I find it VERY hard to not think that somewhere, somehow there is an angel or a whole host of angels watching out for us. Kissing my children goodbye in the morning I say “Blessings on you” along with the kiss on the tops of their heads or the squeeze of their leg as they get out of the car. Life is harder some days than others and we need to speak good words, blessings if you will, over each other to help us make the road a little smoother.

I was reminded late last week how short life is when I heard two separate stories of parents losing their children. Both were tragic losses – one of a 9 year old – and one of a 37 year old. Both unexpected. Both leaving families with holes in their hearts that will never go away. “The new normal” will form their lives from now on without that family member.

I won’t pretend to know what that is like. I have lost loved ones, but never a child. I would think the pain would be almost unbearable for a long long time.

I heard today in a meeting that now more than ever people have an extremely high level of skepticism and mistrust. I thought about the people who have confided in me about these deaths of their sweet babies (yes even at 37 I imagine you are or were still someone’s baby).

I was thinking how ironic that trust statement was because we put trust in things and people we never even think twice in, day in and out: school bus drivers, teachers, doctors, nurses. We just give them a nod or trust blindly without ever seeing them that they will do the right thing by us and those we love.

Do I put that same kind of faith and trust in myself? Is it simply put upon the shoulders of angels to help me make it through? Life is so short. Moments pass so quickly. Some times we are trapped in situations that seem unimaginable. Some times we feel as if we are all alone at the bottom of a big hole with nothing to help us out but a little bit of light at the top. I think today, as I grapple with all these pieces, I think about that deep hole. I think about those little ones I love so much. And, I think about the need to just put the faith and trust in something bigger than me.

It would be nice to have my dad tell me everything will be ok. I know if I asked him, he would tell me that, in a heartbeat. It would be nice to have him give me a hug and sing me a song and me to just soak up his love and support… knowing everything will be ok.

Goodnight, My Angel - Billy Joel

Goodnight, My Angel - Billy Joel