Because life
never stops teaching.

Journaling for awareness. Growing for life.

Personal Growth

This holiday season I have asked three writers to share a story with us about how the evolution of their family has enriched their experience of the holidays. I look forward to sharing these pieces with you over the coming weeks. And please share any thoughts or experiences with us in the comments section of the blog—we have much to gain from listening to each other’s stories. I kicked things off last week with a reflection on the coming of Christmas. Today, I want to share with you a reflection on Hanukkah by Stephanie Dreyer. Dreyer is a writer and the founder of VeegMama—a blog celebrating her vegan lifestyle and being a mother of three.

Celebrating Hanukkah as a Convert, by …

Continue reading Happy Hanukkah

This week I began to pull boxes of Christmas decorations out of the attic in preparation for the ceremonial decorating the Friday after Thanksgiving. As I peeked inside a box or two, I began to get excited about the coming season.  But it was also like looking back in time to years of Christmas magic. Our traditions can be powerful reminders of what this season is all about. It’s not the tree; it’s the reminder of the light that illuminates our lives. It’s not the mistletoe; it’s the ones who gather in our doorways bringing good cheer.

There are many messages of Christmas.  Light, joy, hope, to name just a few. Of all the messages lifted out of the spirit of …

Continue reading Christmas is Coming

The other day my friend said of her ten year old, “She’s so much like me that sometimes I feel like I’m looking in a mirror.” Genetics are truly crazy. As much as I know that each person is unique and entirely their own, I can’t get over how much Adeline and I have in common. That was clear from the time she was a baby – her awareness, her passion, her drive. Still, so much of who we are is a collection of what we’ve picked up along the way. And that’s the part that scares me. I told my friend, “I see my kids soaking up so much of what I say and do. It’s like having a …

Continue reading Mirrors

 

Last week I met a few gals for a cup of coffee.  One of my friends was in a mood of sorts, and everything she said seemed to leave a sting or a silence at our little rickety, round café table. It felt ridiculous to continue to sit there and ingest her poisonous ranting. Finally one of the ladies got up, having had enough, smooched a couple of us on the cheek and left with a brisk “whatever.”  Then another friend followed. I sat there, uncomfortable, upset, trying to calculate what was happening. There were just two of us then, me and my wrecking ball of a friend who seemed to be upsetting everyone. Hurt, but concerned, I asked her, …

Continue reading Staying in the Game

They say that the things that bug us the most in others are the very things we don’t like in ourselves.

Yesterday, I was short on patience, because every time Brennan (age 3) set out to play with something, he seemed to end up in tears. The checker pieces wouldn’t fit in the back of the toy garbage truck. The Lego tower didn’t have a strong base and fell over. The cowboy boots would not fit over his ski socks. As a result, there was a lot of whining and crying. I was almost at the end of my rope by the time he dumped all the wooden blocks into my good Stainless soup pot and dragged it across the kitchen …

Continue reading Living with Gusto

I have watched the kids walk into one new experience after the other.  (A piano lesson, an art class, little league.)  They are thrown into a group of children they don’t know, with no idea if they’ll be able to do what they’re asked to do.  They may feel out of their comfort zone, yet they still find a way to go for it.  Most of the time.  This summer I pushed Keegan (four and a half years old) slightly out of that comfort zone.  I asked him to practice writing with me daily to prepare him for transitional kindergarten.

“I don’t want to,” he told me.

“School work can be fun,” I promised, “and it is an important part of growing …

Continue reading Pushing the Comfort Zone

There is a saying that goes, “Home is where your story begins.”  That certainly seems true for me.  I have great memories of my childhood, and I know they have shaped much of who I am today.  I had my Chicago home, my family around me.  And I had a world all my own that was comprised of fragments of places I’d read about or dreamed of going.  At age eight my bedroom was equal parts pink flowered wallpaper and what I imagined it could be: the farmhouse room of Anne of Green Gables, the castle in The Princess Bride or my own Secret Garden.  As I grew my dreams of home grew and changed many times over.  Where I …

Continue reading Home Is Where Your Story Begins

We were on vacation during Brennan’s birthday last week – in a little cottage on the ocean in Carmel, CA. We spent the day before decorating, making signs and hanging streamers. The air had been cool that day – not fit for swimming, and I was feeling a little grey myself. I’d hoped for blue skies for the duration of the trip, for sun-soaked mornings and shoeless afternoons. But as is life, these details were out of my control. After a great hike along the bluffs that evening, we lit a fire in the large stone fireplace and I pulled the kids in close on the couch to read books.

That’s when I noticed that Adeline was a little teary. “What’s …

Continue reading Always my Baby

I spent the day in my favorite old jeans cleaning out closets and debating on things like:  ‘Will I ever wear that bright orange halter dress again, the one that’s been in plastic since 2005?’  I parted with several things that might be the right size, but just don’t seem to fit “me” anymore.  By the time I was about halfway into my closet I realized that my style-searching had led to a little soul-searching.  Was I more A-Line or Shift? Classic or Colorful? During the project, five-year-old Adeline came into my room in a frilly dress and several gaudy accessories telling me, “Look at all the things I found in MY closet!”  I looked her over with a grin …

Continue reading Finding What Fits

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