Time to Move On…

June 27, 2009

 

Heart's Desire

“It’s time to move on.”

It’s one of those phrases that everyone uses, but it’s also one that frustrates me lately, because it doesn’t come with any clue how to really do that. Physically move away? Check. Get on with your life? Check. Don’t talk to the person? Check. Not think about them? That’s easier said than done.

Thoughts crop up all the time. Even a trip to the grocery store can become a trip down memory lane. A song on the radio can bring on an emotional reaction and transport me to another time. Hurt and pain jump out at me unexpectedly from the most random places.

Move on.  It’s Time To Move On.  TIME TO MOVE ON.

How?

 

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fathers_day_comments_06

I have a great Dad.  I admire and respect my father.  Not only was he a present and respected influence in my life, but he loves my children and is the same type of influence in their lives.  I am so thankful for him.  He is and has always been a softie with my daughter, especially, because she was his first grandchild.  They have a connection even I never had with him, which makes me feel so blessed. 

Today was Father’s Day.  In dramatic contrast to my own Father, my children’s Father never called them to set up his court-ordered right to have visitation today.  I had asked my kids if they wanted me to remind him of it this week, but neither child wanted me to.  They didn’t want to see him unless he requested it…He didn’t.  While this broke my heart, I still had a talk with my kids about respect.  Even though their father doesn’t always behave in a way that earns respect, he is still their father and because of that deserves positional respect. 

My daughter texted him after church to wish him a Happy Father’s Day.  He texted back a photo of his niece sticking out her tongue at her.  When my daughter questioned him, the conversation deteriorated into an admission by him that he had been “testing” my kids by not calling them, and had been waiting to see if they would contact him to ask to spend the day with him, which they didn’t do.  He got very snotty with her and basically called her disrespectful.  Since his visitation rights always include Father’s Day, they waited to be told what the plans were from him.  When they didn’t hear from him, they assumed he had other plans (he does have a new girlfriend and has given up visitation time recently).  So, instead, they got dressed down by their father and made to feel lousy. 

Even though I know we did the right thing in telling him Happy Father’s Day, the whole thing put a pall over our day.  My daughter told me she wishes she had my dad.  My son wants a father figure he can respect so badly.  While I know things could be so much worse, the disappointment we all feel hurts.  I hurt for the kids, who miss out on having a dad who really wants to be in their lives and wants to set a good example. 

There are so many great dads out there.  There are lots of good dads, and dads who know they should be better.  There are deadbeat, abusive and absentee fathers.  Regardless of what my X is, he still contributed to the creation of my children, and I am thankful for that.  He pays child support (most of the time) and doesn’t hit my kids.  So I am thankful.  He gave me full physical custody in the divorce, realizing it was the best thing for all of us.  So I am blessed by that and thank God for the fact daily. 

I will never understand bad parents.  I am grateful to God for making me a parent.  I am not saying I am perfect, by any means, but I try each and every day to be a good parent.  I am trying so hard to let go of the bitterness in the situation with my X, and most of the time I can, until days like today happen. 

I do know, however, that my children will be better parents for seeing some examples of parenting that is lacking.  We’ve talked about it, and I pray they can apply these hurts as learning lessons in their own lives. 

Paternity happens.  Fatherhood is a position that can include the good or the bad.  Being a Dad is a special position that the good ones achieve, and I’m thankful I have a great Dad.  Thanks, Dad…I love you and I’m glad my kids have you in their lives.

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We got a new Youth Pastor nearly 5 years ago at our church – Faith Baptist Church in Peshtigo, WI.  I was trying to find a way to be a part of the youth ministry, but I wasn’t sure how I could fit in.  I’d tried being a Sunday School teacher, but I didn’t think that was one of my “gifts.” I met with Pastor Tim Harwell to talk about it.  He had some suggestions, but I wasn’t sure where God was leading me.  I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

As I left the church parking lot, a full-blown idea hit me – a Youth Art Ministry!  THIS I could do.  THIS was in my comfort zone and something I would be passionate about.  I immediately called my good friend (and art buddy) Karen and ran it by her.  She was as excited as I was, and we were so happy that Tim was excited by the idea, too.

Karen and I try to stress the fun side of art – the non-tradional, non-judgmental side of creating.  We stress that there are no mistakes, and we really encourage kids taking the projects off on entirely different tangents.  Pastor Tim usually shows up and does his best to attempt one of the projects.  He has glued gummy worms to acrylic paintings and other somewhat questionable projects, but recently we melted record albums and decorated them, and Tim’s was awesome!  He used Duct Tape and made a great bowl – see the above photo and judge for yourself!

I am grateful for his willingness to let us indulge our crazy art urges by creating this ministry.  When we have a YAM Jam, we play music and have snacks, and urge kids to use their creative side as a way to express themselves.  I feel priveledged that I might be part of facilitating a new generation of crazy creators!

Baby Bird - First Day of Flying by Shelly S. Cannady

Baby Bird - First Day of Flying by Shelly S. Cannady

My daughter turned 16 years old today.  I don’t know how that happened when I just had her what seemed like last week! 

Sixteen!  Where did it go?  I still remember so clearly the day she was born.  I was 5 days past my due date, so I was more than ready to meet her when labor started.  Sure, it was hard work, but when it was over I had Emily! 

Nothing would ever be the same again.  I would never be the same again.  I was a mother.  Emily’s mother.  Nothing has or ever will mean as much to me or change me the way becoming a mother did.  I was no longer just Diane.  I no longer had solitary dreams and plans.  I was a team – a package deal – and I felt like I had found my life’s purpose.  I was called to be a mother and nothing had ever thrilled me more or scared me more at the same time!

Now that baby is sixteen.  Sixteen!  Sixteen means driving, and driving means independence.  Sixteen brings jobs outside the home. I won’t have a captive audience in the van driving to and from everywhere.  It is the beginning of letting go, and I’m not ready.  I’m not ready!

But I, like all mothers before me, have to start the process anyway.  Because one of the most important jobs we have is the one where we teach our little birds to fly.  While I’m not planning on kicking my little bird out of the nest anytime soon, I must encourage and applaud her efforts at flying short solo flights out of the nest and back again, no matter how terrifying or sad it is for me.  I’m sure this will be the very hardest part of the whole journey for me.  Labor was nothing compared to this letting go!

But because my job as a mother would not be successful without this step, I will do what needs to be done.  I will love her and release her…and rejoice when I watch her soar!

hanging in tree

This is an excerpt from a post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.  It was one of the steps he uses when trying to complete a project, but I found it was really applicable to any work day.  I need to take “weird breaks” on a regular basis.  Don’t you just love the title “weird breaks?”  I’ve been taking them for years and never thought of naming them – thanks to Leo for putting such an appropriate title on them! 

Here”s what Leo says:

I often get mentally locked up because I can’t focus on what is right before me. There are too many options. If I have to write an email, generate a report, and work on a marketing plan then I feel hot and cloudy. My overwhelmed mind just wants to shut down. I usually get up and take a “weird” break to clear my head.

During my break I do something a little weird like take a short walk and hang from a tree branch. I find that it’s tough to worry while hanging from a beautiful tree. Plus, my creativity almost always starts flowing again.

There are so many ways we can pull ourselves out of a stressful state if we just take a moment to be creative.

I can add a few things to this list – I tune into a Latin music channel and dance, or bounce on my exercise ball.  During the last month of college, I would take a break from schoolwork and go to my studio and paint a silk scarf – I can do those quickly and it was a perfect break for me before I went back to the grind.  But everyone can come up with their own “weird list” for these times.  Whatever feels right and gives your brain a change of pace.  I would love to hear some of your suggestions for your weird breaks, also! 

51.  I am deathly afraid of bats. 

52.  I use too much salt on my food.

53.  I learned to drive a semi as part of a training program for a job with a trucking company.

54.  I spent my 25th birthday sleeping in a semi in a truck stop in PA as part of the same training program.

55.  I only have 25% hearing in my right ear due to damage from one of my jaw surgeries.

56.  I used to sew a lot of my own clothes and I really miss it.  It’s another thing I hope to get back to doing one day.

57.  My favorite flower is the iris.  But I love them all!

58.  I liked being a secretary and I think I was a good one.

59.  When I was younger I wanted to be a cartoonist.

60.  I think a pedicure is the ultimate indulgence.  I love it when my toes look nice.  I gave up on keeping my hands manicured, but my toes are a must!

61.  I LOVE the color red.

62.  I used to wear tinfoil on my teeth (in the privacy of my bedroom!) to pretend I had braces.  I always wanted them, but never needed them.  Later on I was happy about that!

63.  I graduated in the top 10 of my class in high school – number 9, to be exact (out of 288).

64.  I love power tools and am starting my own collection.

65.  I have a collection of antique beaded purses.

66.  I don’t drink coffee, but I do LOVE chai lattes.  Just the smell..heavenly!

67.  I graduated from college summa cum laude.

68.  I was president of my cosmetology class.

69.  I was vice-president of my senior class in high school.

70.  I went to my first high school reunion at the 25 year mark.  I wasn’t ready before that!

71.  I’m a total sucker for brown eyes.

72.  The name of my jewelry business actually started out as a business I had when I worked in a flower shop.  I made dried and silk flower wreaths and arrangements and Sweet Annie is a commonly used (and sweet smelling) dried flower I liked.  Since my brothers called me Annie, I chose it.  When I started making jewelry I just kept the name because I already had a business license.  I didn’t know it would take off!

73.   My favorite chocolates are Dove milk chocolates.  Mmmmm!

74.  I am a total David Cook fan.  I don’t care if that makes me a cougar – he’s hot!

75.  I used to be terrified of stinging insects.  I never got stung until I was 25 years old.  Now as a veteran of many stings I’m not as afraid – I’m still not a big fan, but…

Thought For the Day

June 2, 2009

God sends miracles every day.  We just have to train our eyes to be aware of them.

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