It’s human nature to seek out comfortable grooves and settle into them. Routines, schedules, relationships, habits (even unhealthy ones) tend to stick to us and can be difficult to alter. Most people resist upsetting the delicate balance of things, especially if there’s nothing wrong with the status quo.
Suffice it to say, change can be frightening.
On a summer weekend earlier in July, my husband and I traveled up to Maine to visit our friends, Maggie and Bob, who had recently built their forever home overlooking Sebago Lake and the White Mountains. This was our first trip to see them since their house was constructed and while we had heard stories about its unique location, the open airy feel of the living areas and how the natural environment around the property had been carefully incorporated into the house’s look and feel, I was unprepared for the magnificence of what awaited us as we drove up the long dirt road that served as their private driveway.
Over the past 14 years, I have been a Legacy Partner, which means I am a “Guardian of the Holocaust.” I have accepted this lifelong pursuit to ensure that the world remembers the survivors and victims of the Holocaust.
As someone who takes a walk almost every day, I'm no stranger to its fitness benefits and other positive attributes. I love this quote about walking by the writer, Kenneth Grahame, 1959-1932, who's perhaps best known for his classic children's book, The Wind in the Willows. Clearly, Grahame relished being outside in the elements and appreciated the importance of his daily constitutional. Thought I'd share his words here to remind us all to get up from our desks, take a breather and put the day into wider perspective.
Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Anne started Womenspaces, a blog about home, family and personal relationships. We continue that tradition here, profiling pieces written by women who have come together through Richardson Media Group.
Up here along the New Hampshire border, winter often forces us to endure bone-chillingly low temperatures. The past week or so has been a particularly cold stretch with thermometers struggling to rise above zero degrees much of the time.
This August my husband and I stepped away from our busy work routines to spend several days on Cape Cod. Our mini-vacation was hastily planned, but delivered a refreshing respite from the usual schedule back home.
I was thinking back to when you and your brother were little, and your father and I would read to you in the evenings before bedtime. It was a cherished time of the day for all of us, when work was done, school complete, and we could be together. The books we read to you ran the gamut from classics like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. Eventually, we included those funny Captain Underpants series and early volumes of Harry Potter and other fantasies. We chose the titles, not to teach you life lessons, per se, but to have you appreciate how humanity could be described through multiple viewpoints. Certainly Willy Wonka looked at the world very differently than Professor Snape did, and we hoped by using more than one literary lens we’d demonstrate to you the importance of considering multiple perspectives.
Many of us can recall exactly where we stood, what we were doing and how we felt the moment we met Grief face to face for the first time. When death takes a young person, one who hadn’t been given the chance to experience a fuller life, our first encounter with Grief may be confusing and especially difficult. Losing a child, a sibling, a peer, a friend, a classmate at the outset of his or her life, on the cusp of a brilliant future is a tragic and inconceivable thing.
So far, my life’s journey has been more curvy than straight. I’ve had my share of detours and dead ends over the years. I’m grateful for the tally of professional and personal milestones I've earned, and excited to be immersed in so many interesting endeavors right now. Yet, despite the optimism I’ve managed to collect, I’m never far from my ubiquitous cache of memories. Every once in a while, I’ll look deep into the bag at one of my previous touch points, hoping to remind myself of how much I’ve accomplished, or to appreciate the people in my life more.
I've been going through a hectic stretch recently with my new business, my son's college search, both kids' sports schedules, not to mention, the necessary day-to-day maintenance that fills my life. Some would say I've been taking a risk by focusing so heavily on external pressures instead of tending to my own internal fires. Sure, long-term it wouldn't be a good idea, but I can't imagine changing my course right now. I'm acutely aware of how fleeting this time is, the year before my oldest leaves for college, and I don't want to miss a minute. It's as if all the years of parenting have led me to this key moment: a launching off point for him, and a letting go point for me.