I think a big part of my middle age transformation has to do with finding my passion. Let’s face it, between working, being a mom to teens, a husband, 2 dogs, a cat, a mountain of laundry–it gets very easy to lose sight of who we are. What our essence is. What makes us happy. Of course my family makes me happy, but what makes ME happy? To be honest, as I have thought long and hard about this over the past several days, I realized it wasn’t as easy to answer as I had originally assumed.

I started off by thinking of things I do now. And in doing so, I came to realize that I really don’t DO anything for me. I seem to be the last one in line. I can’t even remember how this happened! And to be fair, I think this is a common problem among women today. We give so much of ourselves, that we forget to leave a little something inside. So then I had to reach further back. I thought about my college years and what made me happy. And then backwards to High School …and finally to childhood. When we are children is when we are most honest with ourselves and open to all possibilities in life. Children tend not to “see” the limitations in thoughts and ideas that adults have. So maybe it has been a combination of adulthood and more mature responsibilities that have allowed me to forget myself.

I will also freely admit that thinking back to what really inspires you, motivates you, completes you is hard. I have spent quite a bit of time digging deep in to my subconscious-peeling away layers- in an effort to reclaim my essence. I think I am getting closer as I am having little flickers of light and hope and “oh yea!”‘s in my heart. So for now I continue to think and peel and discover what makes me whole…………

the beach

Today has me craving the beach…body and soul. There has always been a lure to the beach for me. To walk along the shore at sunset is the closest thing to peace I know. The sound of seagulls softly cackling,the waves with their muted crashing,the breeze off the ocean that makes you pull your sweater tighter. To me there is nothing more perfect than this moment. When I am at the beach, I am happy. Happy to feel my feet in the warm sand and hear the ice-cream truck tinkling in the distance. I am at rest when I feel the warmth of the sun upon my face. The feel of the waves gently lapping at my feet and tugging me in is delicious. At the end of the day,if I lie still enough in bed, I can still feel the waves undulating my body. There is something so elemental about the beach. It’s as if my soul is tugged back there, time and again throughout my life. I go to the beach in times of joy and to seek solace. I am never disappointed to find just what I am looking for within the grains of sand and foamy brine. There is something about the beach that resonates deep within me…and always brings me home.


So as I started my day today, I started thinking (again!) of all the things that could go wrong,all the usual worries,etc….And then I stopped myself. What’s wrong with me? There must be people out there who would be HAPPY to be in my position! There must be people out there who know that my situation is by far better than theirs! I recalled a saying–“there is always something to be thankful for.” How true. I sat quietly and thought to myself. I could list on one hand people who are in a far worse situation than myself, people who I can’t even begin to imagine how they are going to put the pieces back together. I promised myself that I would be grateful for what I have. I would not dwell on the “what-ifs”, because truly, they seldom come to pass and if they do they aren’t half as bad as our imaginations think they will be. I am thankful for what I have, I trust that I will have what I need,when I need it. I am counting my blessings on two hands and I will always remember that there is “always something to be thankful for”.

My life is like a forest. A deep,wide, thick forest that I can’t see the end of! There are days where I wonder if I am simply wandering in circles trying to find my way out. Along the way I do collect people who wander with me-a spouse,children,friends. But ultimately it is I who is desperately trying to chart ny navigational journey to the edge of the forest. Somedays the trees are so big and dense that they seem to obliterate any trace of sunshine. And there are days when the path through to the end is wide open and filled with daylight! There are days,many days, when I feel lost and it seems as if I am passing the same markers in the forest over and over again. And there are days when the terrain is new,exciting and unfamiliar. Some nights the forest is scary and I am glad for morning and new light to help me find my way. Perhaps the most complicated part of my forest is that I do not have a map to guide me, I must figure my way all by myself. Some days I am extremely confident in my directions and other days I am lost. But throughout my lifetime journey through my personal forest, I suppose I should appreciate what is around me at that moment. I should take in the sounds of the forest and the sites that accompany them for they are what help to pass the time as I wander to the edge of the forest.

Today my van had to go in for some routine maintenance. I also thought the brakes needed to be checked. Often times I tend to be paranoid about that kind of thing–“what was that squeak?”, “did you hear a funny noise?”, “I think that felt funny…”. This inevitably leads to me then worrying about how much it will cost to fix and whether or not there was SOMETHING I could have done to prevent it! And then I anxiously wait the results from the mechanic…..Today I did need new brakes.

At first I blamed myself. After all, I’m the one who is driving so therefore I must be responsible! I then had to step back and remind myself that ALL cars and vehicles eventually need new brakes. Are all these people bad drivers? Hardly. But I did have to tell myself that my family considers me an impatient driver. Truthfully, I probably am a tad impatient. Some of that is inherent personality and some is the product of city driving. So I humbled myself and took a hard look at my habits. Yes, the van would need new brakes eventually anyway. And yes, I am impatient.

The senseless worrying and anxiety over a mechanic’s bill taught me a lesson today. I need to be more patient with other drivers. I need to take a deep breath and perhaps slow down. I realize that we are all crazy and stressed and harried these days. But I can control myself. I can realize that I don’t know how another person’s day is going or what might be going on in their lives. For those reasons, I need to be the one to cultivate a sense of patience…slow down…..and be mindful. Perhaps if more of us adopted this way of driving, we would all arrive at our destinations a little more peaceful.

I love my heart. Not just because it keeps the blood pumping day in and day out…I truly believe that our hearts are our most precious possessions. To be fair, our hearts do keep us alive. They help us walk around and function biologically every day. But our hearts have an even more special job. They are the Keepers of Special Thoughts and Memories. Where else can you store the memory of a child’s first smile,or a moment watching your family at the beach? There is no place else you can store a tender moment with a special someone from years earlier. Where else put your heart can you store the final look your child gives you before they turn around and head skip/walk/run/trudge into their first day of school? What about the still frame in your mind of sitting very peacefully with a baby cradled to your chest in the dead of night? It’s stored in your heart. Our hearts treasure these moments and tuck them away for us to pull out and revisit over the years. Our hearts guard these memories look a vintage,well-loved wedding dress carefully tucked in tissue paper to preserve it for a lifetime. These memories can never be taken away from us, lost or destroyed. What a gift to be able to pull them out one by one as the need arises! An internal gift that lasts a lifetime….

A New Day

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. What a great quote! To stop and think that no matter what has transpired in your life up until THIS point you have the chance, the ability, to change the direction you’re going in! In the spirit of positive thinking, this ranks right up there.Today I promise myself to try to be a better person than I was yesterday, to make better choices, to be a better parent,spouse and daughter myself. A new day is a gift and I intend to embrace it with both arms thrown wide open. How about you?