Doing It All

Do you ever find yourself muttering or declaring with savagery that there is never enough time?

We rise in the a.m. with high hopes and ambitions, only to lay our heads back down in the p.m. feeling unaccomplished, bedraggled, and a little despondent. Like we will never catch up. Like life is a kite string we stumble toward and chase after, on good days managing to graze with our fingertips and the rest of the time spend trying not to lose our tenuous grip.

Slow down!

Come back!

Wait for me!

Life is an earless animal. It does not hear us when we shout at it. Nor is it a kind stranger sitting in a crowded bus; it will not scoot over and make room for us. It gives us what it gives us. The same amount, everyday, rain or shine. I have realized that I cannot do it all. Maybe you will be surprised to know this came as quite a shock to me. Or maybe not. Maybe it surprised you too at first. I laughed. I said, Oh, no. I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. You see, I am a multitasker. I do several things at once. It’s like my second job. So really I can do it all. What’s that? I look a bit strung out to you? Dark circles under my eyes? No, no, no, no. I can see how you might think–but no. No. Those are productive circles. Very different. They mean I am fulfilled. Yes, exactly. Fulfilled. Now you understand. Would you like to join me? I’m just going to take a seat here where I can make lunches, check my e-mail, water the lawn, and shave my legs.

cutest-calendars-around

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Love Never Fails

I’m not big on Valentine’s Day. I am big on Love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

 

love-inspirational-daily

 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Happy Another Day To Love Someone.

 

~ Cara

Beach Cities Challenge!!! . . and the Superbowl

Oh my, I haven’t quite woken up yet. Have you? I’m steadfastly raising the rim of the coffee mug toward my lips and swallowing its sumptuous liquid, but I’m afraid nothing’s happening. It tastes good, though. And that’s enough when you’re as close as my mug and me are. We’re best friends. No, really, we are. Look.

coffee

 

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Kid President

It’s a slow day. I’m not so much writing as I am looking at the clock above my document and wondering if it might be in everyone’s best interest if I close down for the day. Perhaps it’s the weather. Perhaps it’s the hairy black spider I found on my husband’s side of the bed this morning; the little beast scared me half to death before I’d even a chance to sit down for a proper pee. Probably, though, it’s just the weather. I am sensitive like this. I look out my window and see a nimbus laden sky talking some big talk but has yet to deliver. I hope for rain. We had a bit last night, and when I woke up everything was wet and rinsed and even the lawn sparkled in its own way, an aristocratic ambivalence.

The weekend should be lovely. My husband runs his third marathon this year on Sunday. I am astoundingly proud of him. Me, I will avoid running at all cost; even running behind, if I can. It takes a certain sort of masochistic lunacy, albeit a determined lunacy, to tell yourself “Okay, body, we’re going to do this now. Yep, 26.2 miles. Okay, here goes” and then choose not to veer off the path when no one’s looking. I would cheat. I would hail a cab or find the short cut or . . . you know, I probably just wouldn’t sign up in the first place. I love exercising. I go to the gym almost every day, and I find my serenity is waiting for me the moment I slip those earbuds in and wrap my fingers around the cold metal barbell. I go away. I go in. And I go out. But wherever I go, I am always better for having went. I am a happier woman, a better wife, and a funnier friend when I’ve had my daily allotment of endorphins. But there’s this thing. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe other people feel this way. Sometimes I will remember that I am a modest woman and no, you probably won’t ever see me wearing a shirt that bears my midriff or a skirt any higher than the middle of my thighs. So why, I ask myself, why do I push myself to such extremes. And I do – push myself to extremes. I work out like Mozart plays piano. Dun dun dun dun. Dun-dun-dun-DUNNNNN. What I’m saying is, I put much effort into keeping my shape firm and lean, and really the only person seeing it is me. There’s my husband of course, and yes he appreciates it all, but he is not a vain main, you see, and I am not lying when I say that truly he would still think me beautiful even if I had mashed-potato butt. No, really, he would. Scout’s honor. (Not an actual scout, however I abide by the code. Live long and prosper.) So, no, my career isn’t contingent on the number on my tailbone. It’s a 9, just in case you were curious. (I carry my weight below my bum, like little airplane pillows for it to rest on.) ANYWAY, exercise is good, but I could probably scale back some and it would be all right.

Oh dear  . . .

How did we get here? Truly I don’t know. I only meant to say hello, then suddenly my fingers were running amuck. I do actually have something very cool to share with you. Have you met Kid President? Oh, he’s very possibly the most precious boy I’ve never met. And smart. And a great dancer. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Enjoy the video, then pass it on to everyone you know. It will make them smile knowing there are people like this in our world.

Happy Weekend, Friends!

December My Lovely

Oh, it’s everything, I think. To pin point exactly what it is that has me wrapped around December’s finger, is to lose the magic with which it dances onto the stage just prior to the last curtain call. It is not a perfect month. No. There are things; things and ideas and implications seeking to ruin December’s jubilant mood and benevolent spirit. Hurry, greed, good intentions leading to debt, guilt, and overcommitment. We fill December, packing her with too much, and like a suitcase that simply won’t hold another thing, she is left panting, bloated, and exhausted. And so are we. Unless we treat her well. Embrace her, but don’t suffocate her. Share her, but don’t exploit her. Embellish her, but don’t vandalize her. She is meant to shine, but her light is extinguishable. If we place too many burdens upon her back, she will break her knees, crumple and fall.

When I was younger, in my early twenties, just married, and very determined, December was my way of proving to myself that nothing had changed. That, although I was grown and working fifty hours a week, and my husband was coming home exhausted every night after a full day of school and work, we could still make December the way I remembered her. Do everything. So I turned her into a non-stop parade, marching through her floats made of nostalgia and memory, determined to make her sing for me the way she used to. And when it wasn’t the same – when the parties and decorating and hot coco and baking and wrapping and church services and Christmas movies and trips to the mall didn’t bring back the joy and excitement, I cried. I cried to my husband, poor dear. Mostly I meant well. I simply wanted the carefree, magical season I’d had for all those years. I wanted that moment, etched perfectly on my mind, to remain intact, frozen, untouchable, forever. I wanted the dream.

It’s a hard time for a person, that age between child and adult. We don’t know yet who we are and how to be. We know we are us, the person we’ve been for the last such-and-such amount of years and also the person we’re growing up to be, but we’re a little confused. We’re conflicted. How much do we carry over? Traditions are like a garden we’ve spent years cultivating. But when we move, we don’t know how many plants, flowers, and veggies to take with us and which ones we should probably leave behind where they’ll be more comfortable. The blending of old and new is a delicate process which takes years to perfect. I wish someone would have told me that.

For years I continued to beat the heck out of poor December, determined I must be doing it wrong, so I should add something else. . . . Thank God our brains don’t stop developing until 25. It was around that time I figured it out. It wasn’t more. It was less. It was also being present. Not buying them or receiving them, but being. Little by little my blasted determination weakened, loosing its fist around a choked December. I apologized. I told her I was sorry for mistreating her, for trying to take what she meant to me as a whimsical little girl and make her mean the same thing to me as a soulful woman. She forgave me. Today we’re best friends. True, I only see her once a year, but we make the most of it. Or rather, the least of it. Oh, you know what I mean. I pick and choose my favorite things. And when I’m there, I’m there. All of me. I don’t allow a part of myself to go wandering off, thinking it might be nice if we drove out to the harbor to watch the boat parade. No. Right now, right here, this is where we are. On the couch, holding hands, looking at that gorgeous tree. That’s enough. It’s plenty.

Still, I adore Christmas music, White Chocolate Peppermint Mochas, the lights, and especially the smell of smoking firewood lingering in the air. There are other things, too, subtle and easy to miss if you’re not looking for them: less reluctant smiles from strangers, lightness of foot, and something unmistakably positive in the air, something hopeful whispering through the leaves.

I hope you’re enjoying December. I am. Here are few of our favorite moments this month. The ones that aren’t pictures, however, those were great, too.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Totem

Cards & Fudge

Wintry fun

candy cane lane

Candy Cane Lane

Bella, the sweet and protective

Atti, the playful and curious

Decorating

My love