Holiday Rant

It’s July. This should not be happening at the grocery store.

Candy corn

Way too early!  We are skipping over all the other important holidays like Back to School Popsicle Day on July 25th and National Hot Day on August 26th. What! You have never heard of Back to School Popsicle Day? You poor thing. How did you survive your entire life without eating frozen sugar water on a stick every July 25th?

Popcicyle picture

The candy display really made me think. How often have I missed the present moment, because I was too busy waiting for some future event?  It’s really easy to say that you will be happy when a specific thing happens. I remember doing something like that in college. I told my roommate that my life would be complete when I had a cute boyfriend, a great job and $250 in my checking account. Guess What? Those happy events came and went and somehow my happiness bar had been raised. I didn’t appreciate the moment when I got that cute boyfriend, great job and $250 dollars. It’s okay to have goals and work on them just remember to keep those eyes open. You don’t want to miss the beauty in the every-day moments all around you.

Mother Teresa has an awesome quote that really sums it all up. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.”King Solomon in the Old Testament said it this way.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)

Be present. Be here. Live in your season. You can plan for tomorrow but remember to live in today.

(In case you were wondering, National Back-to-School Popsicle Day is my own creation. I made it up as excuse to eat a treat. If any of my dear readers work at the popcycle company, you can send me a royalty check for the free advertising. After all, tomorrow is Send Amee a check day.)

Sometimes it is hard to live in the moment

I’m currently doing a 13 day challenge where I try to live in the moment. Each day I choose one activity and try to be fully present to the task. Today I tried to be present while doing some yard work. 

I did some yard work today. I did a great job being present while pulling weeds in the garden. I watered the lemon and grapefruit trees just fine and took care of some outside tasks.  I felt the sun and just focused on taking care of my yard. I was feeling quite proud of myself on how  attentive, mindful and at peace my little head had been during my hour of yard work.

Then I saw this hideous creature sitting on my back patio like it was taunting me.

Roach picture
It’s dead now. I spent the next hour hunting for its friends. I didn’t find any, but I cleaned my house grumbling the entire time about why we have roaches on Earth and worrying that the roaches are planning  an invasion into my home.
 You can’t mindful when roaches are involved.   It’s all out war and I plan to win.

 

 

Living in the Moment while brushing my teeth

I’m currently doing a 13 day challenge where I try to live in the moment. Each day I choose one activity and try to be fully present.  Today I tried to be present while brushing my teeth. Toothbrush picture

Every day I brush my teeth.  (I bet you are glad to hear that.)  A few years ago, I decided to splurge on myself and buy one of those fancy electronic toothbrushes where you can replace the toothbrush head every month or so.  The toothbrush  makes this awesome buzzing sound as it goes swivelling around in my mouth.  The buzz sounds like the bass of a little jazz song which makes me want to dance. I’ve caught myself swinging my hips a few times and bopping my head to the toothbrush dance. While I brush my teeth, I also have the habit of rehearsing my daily to-do list and criticizing all the facial blemishes and double chin.  Dancing is good, but the second habit isn’t a great way to start and end your day.

As I thought about what to do for my first mindful moment,  my tooth brushing routine seemed like a great place to start. This morning  I just focused on brushing my teeth. No criticizing my face. No to-do list making. Each time a little thought popped in my head about my acne, brown age spot near my eye or the many other things that pop out to me when I look in the mirror,  I would focus on the physical sensations in my mouth. The bristles felt pokey.  I hadn’t noticed that before. The toothpaste is kind of slimy. Who knew toothpaste was slimy? And yes..I still danced because who can’t dance when your toothbrush is buzzing out a song for you.

Martha Graham, a very famous dancer, once said this about movement. “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body”.  If that’s true, than my body has found her groove with toothbrush dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Moment

When I was a young teen, my mother decided her kids needed to have more culture in their  lives. She read us a book about the 50 most influential people in the world of art.  After listening to Mom read about each artist,  my siblings and I would suddenly take an interest in becoming whatever we had just studied. We wrote plays after reading about Shakespeare and made little sculptures after learning about Michelangelo. We didn’t have any clay lying around the house so we improvised by taking the bag of sandwich bread from the top of the refrigerator and squashing it until it turned into what we thought was a giant glob of clay. We then made our sculptures.

My dear mother was such a good sport about it. Money was very tight and we had just used the entire loaf of bread.  She didn’t scold us though. She just laughed and then told us that we would have to eat our sculptures the next day with peanut butter for lunch.  My Mom was living in the moment on that day.

It’s easy to forget to live in the moment. Life is busy. I have a to-do list a mile long and it’s easy to worry about tomorrow instead of living today.  For my next challenge, I will pick one activity each day and really stop and enjoy the moment. I will  force myself to be fully present  with the moment and treasure the experience.

 

Will you join me on this challenge?

 

 

 

The Debate

Whenever we go on a road trip, the Accountant and I end of having the same debate. Do we stop and smell the roses or do we get there as soon as possible?

It’s always a debate. I want to get to the destination, but I also want to enjoy the beauty of the moment. I’m glad we stopped the car for this one. It was a gorgeous view near the border of California and Nevada.

I will be announcing a new challenge tomorrow! I’m super excited about this one and think it will make me work really hard.

Let’s Go to Jail

This is the time of year where items like the good stapler and self-adhesive envelopes are a hot commodity. For my non-teacher friends, that means it’s the end of the year and everybody is doing report cards.

I was working on mine when a dear colleague announced to me that she was a thief who needed to borrow my stapler. I just started laughing, because she was the kindest thief I had ever met.  She asked permission, apologized for stealing and then promised to bring back the item as soon as she finished putting together her summer math packets.

I couldn’t let someone “steal” without going to jail though. So, I stopped writing comments on report cards and did this instead.

It told my friend all about jail and the terrible fate that awaits her for the crime of “stealing” a stapler.

You get a swimming pool.

A 60 minute relaxing massage every single day

Unlimited Netflix to watch movies

A $2,000 bonus check

And a chef to cook your food

Welcome to Stapler Jail!

The Viral Blog Post

This post is going to go viral. It has everything that’s really important for written communication these days.

A cute baby

A heart-felt message in 100 words or less

And a million people liking the post without really reading what it says.

Yes, this post will defiantly go viral.

 

My Palm Sunday Psalm

Father,

The world is in motion. Changing. Moving. Shifting. The bombs drop. The hearts break. Anger is stirred and kindness seems to be forgotten. Will peace ever again be here upon Earth? –Amee

Dear Little Child,

Hold on. The crashing wind can destroy the outer branches, but the roots are still strong. The billowing tide can tear down the old but the truth is still here. Ever present. Ever faithful. There is nothing lost that won’t be found and God will somehow make everything right in the end. –Father

Father,

It’s hard to have faith when the world is in on fire. I do what I can, but there are more fires than I have strength to put out. –Amee

Daughter,

A little faith is all you need. Love one another. Do what you can. Be still and know that I am God.  –Father

Father,

It’s me again. I tried to be still. I did a great job for 5 minutes. Then, I watched the news. Did you know there are wars, pain, poverty, disease, so much inequality and broken hearts all over the world?  What are you going to do about it?    –Amee

Amee,

I created you. And your sisters and brothers. It’s time to get off your knees and get to work by making the world a better place for all. Jesus will come some day, but you don’t need to wait for then to make a heaven here on  Earth. All who praise God and serve his children can find rest to their souls. –Father

Father,

I love you. You are my God so I will do my best. This is my Palm Sunday anthem to you. With all love and deep respect.

–Amee

 

 

 

 

Wearing your Heart on the Wall

I got my feelings hurt. It wasn’t a serious offense, but sad enough in the moment for me to tell myself that I needed to toughen up so I would never have hurt feelings again.

I was going to become a Vulcan and master all emotions, and then I looked over my shoulder.

The light fixture in the room when hit with sunlight made a gigantic heart on the wall. I was mesmerized. It was a heart! A giant, adorable heart. My resolve to never feel again melted away in that big heart.

It was just too cute not to smile.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” –Brene Brown

Random Thoughts on the day before

I’m turning 39 on February 27th. It’s kind of weird to be turning 39. I don’t know what to expect for my 39th year of life. When I was 15, I wrote my life history.  It wasn’t your normal life history. Instead of writing about my past, I wrote the life history for my future. It was 25 pages long and included a month by month analysis of my life from age 15 until my 20th year high school reunion at 38. I ended my life history at 38.  I had quite the epic life that included normal dreams like going to college, getting married, having twins and some not-so-ordinary plans like being an ambassador to Russia and fighting aliens in order to save the world. The last line on my life history was this. “She retired at 39 from her job at the space station. Amee’s little family, which included her handsome husband and their four kids, moved to a tropical beach paradise planet where they lived the rest of their lives in absolute happiness. The End”. It sounds delightful and I only have one more day to make it all happen.

When you are young, you know you will grow up but it’s a far-away fantasy thing. You believe anything is possible including intergalactic space battles and two sets of twins.  I am now twenty years removed from writing my life history. I still have a dreaming heart, but I’m old enough to realize that some things will probably never be. Unless there is a quick miracle in the next 24 hours, I won’t be fighting aliens above planet Earth or be the mother to four children.

I’m not really, really old yet but I’m not young anymore either. I’m standing in the middle land staring at my future that I never thought to imagine when I was 15. The future is really unwritten from this point on.

Amee on the path

I love this photo of me. My very talented Aunt Marla took it  when we were on a hike. I’m on the path but I can’t see behind the curve. I have to just keep going on and hoping that the view and journey will be marvelous.

Life is kind of like that sometimes. Here is my future. Unwritten. Unexplored and ready to be beautiful.  I hope to make it a good one.