My Teacher

I continue today with LOVE for February’s Happiness Project. I have written letters to my two youngest children this past week, and a love note to my husband.

Today, I am writing a letter to my oldest (19 yr. old) son. This one is tougher, mostly because he might read it! It’s sometimes a little awkward to write something that I know someone will read. It’s hard to explain, but most of the time, I just write, not thinking that anyone is going to actually read it.

The Grad

To my gorgeous son,

We have a special bond you and I; you taught me how to be a mom. I have written on this blog about the circumstances of your birth and I have never kept any secrets from you. You are well aware that I was just your age when I became a mom. It was not something that I was prepared for, and yet, you were the best thing that ever happened to me. Everything great that has happened to me since then, has been because of you.

I have doubted myself many times when it has come to you. I wonder if I am a good enough mom for you? I worry so much about the fact that you have not found your path; your passion yet. Is that because of me? Did I give you enough freedom? Did I give you too much? Was I guiding you or standing in your way? What mistakes did I make?

But then I look at you and listen to you and I wonder, how did I raise such a wonderful person? I have such conflicting emotions! One minute, I think, “hey, I did ok” and the next I’m worried that I’ve ruined your life! Where the heck does that come from??

When you were little, I was in awe of how quickly you would grow and learn new things. You used to sit at the table with me while I was studying and pretend to be studying too! Being a single mom, I tried very hard to be both parents for you – rough-housing and playing lego and at the same time being tender and snuggly with you whenever I could get away with it. You taught me how to truly love someone.

You are now a special young man that is not afraid to be loving and affectionate, yet can go out and play football and be a man, tough alongside the others. Yet, it always amazes me that even to this day, you still say, “I love you” or “I miss you” and you really don’t care who hears. I’ll never forget the night that I was lonely and sad when your dad was working away from home a lot and you came and sat beside me on the couch, put your arm around me and kept me company while I watched a “chick flick”! You were so sweet. You just knew how I was feeling and wanted to be there for me. The teenager hanging out with his mom!

You are so brilliant, yet your academics say the opposite. You can devour book after book and know every word from every movie. You pick up a new skill the instant you attempt it when you are interested in it! I am sorry that I didn’t find you a school that would challenge you and understand that you were not the cookie cutter kid that they expect. They (and me) let you eke by, unnoticed, unchallenged, just going through the motions to get the hell out of there. I am sorry. You have taught me that school isn’t everything – there are other “measures” of brilliance. I didn’t understand that until you.

You have always been a great friend for those lucky few who have taken the time over the years to get to know you. You have never been a follower, nor have you been a leader. You have found your own special niche of great people. You surround yourself with true friends; not the hollow, self-centered “popular” kids who are now finding out as adults that the world doesn’t revolve around them as it did in high school. I am so glad that you were not one of them. I am so thankful that you figured out a long time ago what true friendship means. I admire that you never seemed to worry about that; it was something I worried a lot about when I was a teenager and certainly never wanted for you. You taught me what true friendship is.

How can I help you find your passion? Everything you do, you do well. Everyone tells me all the time how you are “such a nice young man” – you are polite and attentive and hard working. Everyone says so and I know so.

I’m sorry that I’m in such a hurry for you to find your path. I thought I knew what my path was when I was your age. And it turned out that what I thought it was, wasn’t it at all! I need to let you be, let you find out on your own at your own speed. You are teaching me that you don’t have to be like me, you don’t have to make those same mistakes.

I am curious, even envious of you and your obvious contentment with your life. How do you do that? Aren’t you afraid? Don’t you wonder what life holds for you? Aren’t you anxious for it to begin?

Maybe I didn’t do such a bad job after all? Maybe you are teaching me that life is way too short to be worried about racing to the end! You are teaching me that it is ok to take your time, slowly, methodically, and find your way. You are teaching me to be happy with what each day brings.

You have found kindred spirits that care about you, even at such a young age. You absorb the world around you and don’t try to analyze every bit of it. You listen to everyone’s advice, smile, nod, yet still form your own opinion of that information; you don’t worry whether you should follow the advice or not.

Teach me how to be more like you. Teach me how to be as wise and happy as you are. Teach me that life is not a race to the end and that the possibilities are endless!

You are my inspiration, my teacher, my son. I love you.

The Ride

Once again, I realize how very blessed I am.

My post yesterday talked about the merry-go-round we (mainly ME) put ourselves on and are too afraid to jump off. I read and thought a lot about overcoming FEAR yesterday. I had a weekend where I was very conflicted and afraid of what life may have in store for me.

I am blessed to have so many that care about me.

My mom, of course, knowing me as she does, is always full of advice and willing to do whatever it takes for her daughter. I am very lucky to have a mother that cares so much and will always be looking out for me, no matter what.

My husband, always strong and supportive. Always trying to soothe the pain. Making me laugh and reminding me that our future holds so many wonders and great things for us, because we love each other and we are together. Together, we can do anything!

My best friend, always listening, supporting, hanging in there, letting me cry, reminding me that everything happens for a reason. Reminding me that whatever choices I make, they will be the right ones because I make those choices with my heart. Reminding me that we all get scared sometimes. We are all human.

My old friends who are just so supportive and really care about me. I am so lucky to have so many of you! I am never alone, and that makes all the difference.

My new online friends who write about their own struggles and talk about their own paths that they are taking. They are an inspiration and let me know that I am not alone in my struggles.

I am so very blessed and thankful for you all.

A speaking/writing about a scary ride yesterday, a different song popped into my head in the shower today. Another Martina McBride song – I thought it appropriate for our “ride” discussion:

The Ride: Life really is a roller coaster ride! I can hide beneath the covers, or I can run outside, head up high and carry on! That’s what I’m going to do! Thanks everyone. I am so blessed to have you all in my life!

What IS this Happiness Project Thing?

I have been going on and on about this Happiness Project thing this month. I have written several posts about this month’s theme: Fitness.

Some of you may be asking, what the heck is this thing she is doing??

I wrote about the day that I found Gretchen Rubin’s blog. I decided on December 16th that I was going to start my own Happiness Project. I raved like a lunatic today because my order for Gretchen’s book came in the mail and I’m totally psyched to read it! Yay!

What the heck is a Happiness Project anyway?

Well, I’m not 100% sure what all is going to be involved in this (thus the book and her blog) but I can tell you this:

  1. Each month, I am going to focus on one aspect of my life that I believe will make me happier.
  2. I will be happier, maybe not every day, but most. And more and more all the time
  3. This is not only going to affect me, it is going to affect everyone around me
  4. It is going to change my life F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Repeat. FOREVER.

I am well aware of how truly blessed I am; I’ve written often about this and I try to count my blessings every day.

However, I was finding that I was having so many days where I was just plain angry. I was frustrated. I was questioning my true purpose in life. I thought, “There has to be more than the day to day”. I yelled at my kids too much, I worried too much, I hated myself too much, I didn’t believe that I deserved the wonderful life I had.

There had to be a trick. It was too good to last. Something bad was going to happen. How could I be the great person I am? Wouldn’t that make others less great? How dare I try to be the best I can be? I thought I should settle for mediocrity. I complained that my son was letting life pass him by, but so was I. My kids, husband and dogs were always on alert, because I could snap at any minute.

I realized that I had to change. I did not want that person around anymore! I wanted to become who I was meant to be. I found myself stumbling across blogs by amazing people, finding my absolute LOVE of writing this blog and opening up to people, total strangers sometimes like my mom likes to do in a store!

It seemed that the more I opened my eyes to new possibilities and let my mind create and set my ideas free, the more happiness has started to flow into my life! It was an incredible rush! I started to wake up each day wondering what will happen instead of dreading the day ahead. Every day was a new adventure! I started to see those blessings right in front of me! I realized that I was happy…

I came to the conclusion that I wanted MORE! I want to be so happy that family, friends, co-workers, even strangers CRAVE being around me just because it helps THEM to be just a little more happy! I decided that I wanted to spread this happiness EVERYWHERE! I want to shout it from the rooftops and across the sea just to be sure that everyone finds even just a little light of happiness. Everyone deserves happiness.

And so, I decided to start this project. To be sure that I truly dedicate myself to my new-found happiness. And I want to share it with whoever I can. Especially Y.O.U.!

So far, the January focus has been Fitness. Let me explain how focusing on this is making me happier:

  1. Just the act of focusing on something brings me peace of mind – those that know me, know I can get a little distracted sometimes to say the least!
  2. I have been working hard on my fitness for about a year, slacked off in November\December, but thought I’d start the project with fitness because it was something “easy” to start off with as I already knew how it made me happier!
  3. Let’s face it, fitness makes me feel better about myself. I have more energy, more “spunk” and more confidence. Thus, it makes me happier!
  4. I set a fitness goal for every day, and it makes me happy to have goals.
  5. It allows me some control of my life – I know that this is for me, and no one else. Doing something for me used to make me feel guilty, but I know this makes me more able to take on the day, so I am guilt-free which in turn, makes me VERY happy 🙂
  6. It makes me feel proud that I did a workout or went for a walk, even when I didn’t feel like it. It makes me happy to know that I got up and dusted myself off and tried again. That I pushed myself just a little harder when I didn’t think I could do one more push up or one more hill on the bike.

That is what my Happiness Project is all about! I look forward to many more adventures and happiness that life will bring in 2010.

Want to join me? Check out:
Happiness Project

Thanks for listening and supporting me everyone!

I’m Finally Ready to be Somebody

“I’m finally ready to be somebody with a story to tell!…”

It has been so exciting blogging and getting my story out there! I am totally pumped to share more with you all as I make 2010 the best year EVER!! Thanks in advance to all of you for your support!

I have found my theme song for 2010 – Alive – by Melissa O’Neil (a Canadian girl like me! 😉

Here is the video and I have pasted the lyrics below. Each one of us is SOMEBODY!! Make 2010 the year you find out who you are!

“Alive”

Stuck in a world
No longer turning
Always the girl
Waiting for something
Too many days
Walking around sleeping
Open my eyes
I’m tired of dreaming

[Chorus:]
I wanna run with the reckless emotion
Find out if love is the size of an ocean
Even if I crash down and burn out
At least I’m gunna know what it’s like
To feel alive

Sun on my face
Lights of the city
Maybe in love
Or just learning to be
On my two feet
I can only imagine
I’ll say the words
And believe it will happen

[Chorus:]
I wanna run with the reckless emotion
Find out if love is the size of an ocean
Even if I crash down and burn out
At least I’m gunna know what it’s like
To feel alive

They think they know
But how can they know me
I’m getting to know myself
I’m finally ready
To be somebody
With a story to tell

[Chorus:]
I wanna run with the reckless emotion
Find out if love is the size of an ocean
Even if I crash down and burn out
At least I’m gunna know what it’s like
I wanna feel ’til my heart breaks wide open
I wanna blaze like a fire that’s growin’
Even if I crash down and burn out
At least I’m gunna know what it’s like
To feel alive
Oh, I feel Alive

What Do You Wish For?

What do You Wish For?

My favorite vocal artist is Martina McBride. I came across another video of hers today that I think is appropriate for this time of year and I wanted to share it with you!

It is the season of wishes. My children have many, especially my daughter.

My wish:

  1. That I can become the person I want to be: a wonderful wife and mother, healthy & happy with whatever life brings, able to forgive my enemies,  a true friend and the best example of what is great in mankind

Most days, I wake up and by the end of the day, I believe that I have moved closer to that goal. Some days, not so much.

But, the important thing is, I wake up each day. And each day, I try, try again.

What do you wish for?