Smack Dab in the middle

How did we get into the middle of this frosty November?

Ok, well, I *know* that we got here, but wow! Days are just slipping past. When trio were small, people told me that the days are long, but the years are short. As they get older, I feel as though the years and days are short: they rush past, full of school and work and activities and dinners and moments.

I try to catch the moments with trio, treasuring and realizing each time they ask for a hug, or to tuck them in, or we all sit together for dinner, there is one less opportunity for a connection. They grow up. They need me less. They begin to branch out. Their interests evolve outside the house. And, also – I continue to grow. My interests shift outside of their needs. I begin to understand myself more.

My oldest is now a High School-er. I’m striving to let him make mistakes and uncover his own path, but still be present for support and guidance. I’m grateful that he’s able to articulate his needs (needing more space, sometimes, and other times needing defined boundaries) so we can try to remain connected through this new and dramatic phase of growth.

The most glaring shift on the horizon for us is his involvement in an afterschool club. Three times a week, he needs to be at the school for 6 hours (or more) for an astounding total of 18+ hours per week outside of a typical school schedule. He is poised for growth – guidance from other adults, peer relationships, technical skill development, autonomy, personal awareness… I’m so excited for him! Our house routine and systems will shift and change in concert with his needs. On evenings when he’s home, his homework will take precedence over housework/chores and his personal downtime. The other two will need to step up and support him and the house in new ways which will lead to growth and development in them.

It’s going to be amazing!

And it’s going to be hard!

There will be tears, and frustration, and uncertainty.

Change is tough. Growth is necessarily uncomfortable.

As the mama, I have an opportunity to model and practice patience, humour, and mindfulness. No doubt I will also be practicing humility, and forgiveness; and seeking forgiveness from trio as I stumble and strive to figure this all out.

My sense, as I go forward, is to be present. Plan and aim to make tomorrow and next week smooth, but stay in the moments as they come up. I can’t help but be empathetic when I’m present. And I imagine we’ll need LOTS of empathy in the coming weeks!

xo
Mto3

 

 

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First Day of Gratitude – connectedness

The magic of the season isn’t found in whether or not I baked my own cinnamon buns from scratch (I didn’t this year 😮) or if my house has smelled of pine for the last 3 weeks (it hasn’t!). 

The magic is in connecting with others. Being with friends and family, buying coffee for the person behind you, sharing smiles with strangers, and coming together in community. 

We’re all trying to figure things out. It’s messy and confusing and even when we think we’ve got it, we find new corners to grow and discover. That’s amazing! 

Uncovering areas where we can stretch our compassion for ourselves and others, seeing that we can offer a hand to hold without losing ourselves (or losing ourselves and then finding more of ourselves), and feeling our way alone, and with others – even if it doesn’t feel like forward movement. 

I’m grateful for my community. There are people around me who don’t even know that I think of them, but they’re in my heart and thoughts. I’m sure that there are people who think of me that I’m not aware of too. There are connections to be had, fleeting sometimes – sure. But seek them out. Having people around us helps us grow, helps us find our own stability, and maybe provides something to a next group of people that we don’t even know about. 

Warmest wishes during this time, and always. 

xo Mto3 

(We’re connected now too- that’s amazing!)

Second Day of Gratitude – Joy & laughter 

There is so much information about all the great things that happen inside us when we laugh. It’s amazing to realize that days will go by without me having a great laugh. I’ll laugh,  almost every day – but I’m talking about those crazy belly laughs. 

Reliably, the good, contagious, oh-great-now-everything-is-funny laughs are with my sisters. It’s a very neat mix of deep comfort, shared memories, understanding of each others’ funny bone, and the desire to make the others laugh that leads us to giggle and snicker so much when we’re together. It’s that magical combination that keeps happy tears ruining our make up. 

To try and retell the hilarity never works. There really is a bit of magic in the moment.

I hesitated to write laughter as what I’m grateful for today. But that’s what keeps coming up for me as I reflect on today. The night ended with my sister and I laughing for at least an hour, after having frequent bursts of giggles and funnies throughout the evening. 

I’m so grateful that there’s such joy in people. And that we can reveal it to each other when we connect. 

xo Mto3 

Third Day of Gratitude – mentors

There are people whose path dovetails and runs parallel to yours. We meet them all the time, and sometimes the paths split and reconnect several times, other times never to meet again. We carry these people in our spirit and they help ‘create the fabric of our character’ as we walk alongside each other in our respective paths. 

I can think of several people who have helped shaped me but our paths no longer seem to run together, and a few who still have their path close to mine. 

Today I am grateful to my mentor (my label choice) for her ability to articulate and offer a deeper way of looking at a situation. She speaks with authenticity, openness, curiosity, and is respectful and direct. We can discuss and explore big ideas and deep feelings, and shed light into the corners of ourselves that we may be reluctant to plumb. Haha – this is balanced by our ability to also chat about what belongs in recycling vs compost. 

I’m so grateful that our paths crossed and have continued to run close to each other. No matter how our paths might diverge, I forever carry her in my heart knowing that I have been shaped and am a more wholehearted person for having known her. 

xo Mto3 

Fourth Day of Gratitude – Solstice

It’s the first day of Winter, and yet all I can think of is that it’s the beginning of lengthening days and a return to summer and sunshine. Even though nature is still hibernating, quietly in the background nature is beginning to cycle back into growth and renewal. 

Some of that energy seeps into my spirit and refreshes me. There’s something bigger than me that has its own pulse, and it’s amazing to be aware of that and to feel it.

Tonight I’m grateful that I was part of a community that came together to acknowledge and celebrate that bigger thing we’re all in. 

Fifth Day of Gratitude – 

Writing these days of gratitude, I’m aware of things I’m grateful for *all day.*

My daughter’s spunky personality. The warm hug my oldest gave me. The forgiveness from my neighbour when I forgot to pick up her son from school. My book club for reminding me that it’s ok to make mistakes (uhm… who forgets a child at school??). The chatty connection  with at young staff member at the toy store. The waiter at the restaurant. Strangers who share an emotional moment. Making my sisters laugh.

I forgot how much we notice when we shift our awareness – when we seek positives, we see positives. There’s always time to raise our eyes and look at the good which surrounds us, especially when we aren’t feeling so ‘good’ inside. 

It’s only been two days, and yet my heart is lifting. I also realized that *this* is christmas spirit. It’s not baking cookies, or finding a great gift, or even spending time with people. It’s carrying lovingkindness and finding lovingkindness in everyday moments. 

There’s no one “thing” for which I’m grateful today. I’m grateful that there are SO many amazing things out there to be seen: to generate a shift into a more open and macro view, and to spread the amazing things around to others. 

xo Mto3

Sixth Day of Gratitude – sisters 👭 

Siblings are important. They are the only people who have known you almost as long as you’ve known yourself. You were raised together with shared values, experiences, and understandings. In my family, I hope to foster in trio the love and support I feel with my sisters. 

Today marked the first full day of no-contact with Mike and I struggled. After having a tea with an amazing friend, I felt lost and unsure about what to do with my time. I didn’t want to be alone. I needed to get out of my head but not have any expectations put on me from others. 

My older sister called completely unexpectedly and we met up with our younger sister and all came together. It was exactly where I wanted to be. We didn’t do anything per se, but ticked off a lot from our respective lists to get ready for Christmas. We have a ton of inside jokes, make obscure references, offer support and hugs, be present, and gently challenge each other. We spent the afternoon together, and they came over to mine after dinner until the wee hours.

I realized this afternoon that we have unconditional love for each other. We may disagree with a choice made, or not talk for a while, or get irritated with each other… but there is an underlying bedrock of love that nothing has shaken. It’s easy to be malleable or roll with what’s going on, or let go of irritation when there is that solid base under us. There is a free flowing and reciprocal love/support/giving that exists between us – even if one sister seems to be doing a lot of the giving, it all eventually flows back. There is a faith in each other and in our relationship that leaves tallying favours redundant.

For my sixth day of Gratitude I’m grateful for my sisters. For our laughs. For unconditional love. For a model of how I hope my trio will be as adults. 

xo Mto3