When I think of keeping calm, I always remember the Friends episode where Monica gets all twirly because of her parents’ upcoming visit. With frantic pillow fluffing and excessive dusting, Monica scrambles to make the apartment “perfect.” Of course it will never be “perfect” according to her mother. Monica should not have wasted worry on the impending storm of her mother’s scrutiny, but rather saved her energy for riding out the blasts of criticism and then felt the blissful relief of seeing her mother go back to Long Island.
Just as Monica worked herself into a tizzy over the visit of her parents, my daughter got all twirly on us last week. We were preparing for our annual Memorial Day bar-b-que. My daughter inherited my worrying gene and did not sleep much the night before because she could not stop fretting over the details of the event. By “details” I mean she was worried about the kids fighting over shovels in the new pea-gravel we added around the swing set. Fighting over shovels was just too much for my sweet girl to bear at the first party of summer. In spite of our frequent reminders to just enjoy the day, she was consumed with worry over the rumblings of potential fights. Fortunately, most of the kids did not even pay attention to the shovels, and, once her friends arrived, my twirly girl left her thundering thoughts behind. Continue reading “The Storm Will Pass – Wise Words Wednesday”
Last week I had the pleasure of taking my niece and nephew fishing with us. They had not been fishing much and were VERY excited to go to Grandpa’s pond and reel in their first big catch.
My sister had lovingly chosen fishing poles for each of them. An Avengers pole for my nephew and a Moana pole for my niece. As I carried them to the kitchen table with my tackle box, my nephew looked suspicious.
“What are you going to do to my fishing pole?” he asked in his little voice.
“I’m putting a hook, weight, and floater on it so you can go fishing,” I replied.
His eyes got the size of saucers and he said, “A real hook? Yippee!”
My niece was equally excited about her “real hook,” but at nine years old she was too cool to say, “Yippee!”
The “Yippees” kept coming until it was time to put bait on those “real hooks.” Both of my guest anglers were appalled to tears that I would expect them to touch a worm. They wanted to used the fake bait my daughter had in her tackle box. I said, “Okay, but the fish don’t bite as well on them and those fake baits stink way worse than worms.”
“Worms are gross,” my niece informed me.
“They may be gross, but the fish sure love them,” I said. Continue reading “A Hook Out of Water – Wise Words Wednesday”
Time is tough to abandon but it sure is nice to let it go sometimes.
Playing in the creek is one of our favorite summer pastimes. Throwing rocks, building bridges, hunting crawdads and tadpoles, fishing, and picking wild flowers are the best ways to forget that there is a life too full of demands waiting beyond those creek banks.
I think my favorite thing about the creek is that it provides us with “rush free” fun. We are able to abandon our watches and phones. We are able to abandon the worries of dishes, laundry, and bill paying. We are able to abandon the stresses of schedules and calendars. We are trying to abandon time.
Rarely does a day pass when my kiddos fail to ask if we can go to the creek. They understand and appreciate the fact that when we are at the creek, they are free to play, work, and dream right along with those currents. The fact that the water, animals, and plants are all there naturally makes it the perfect place for us to play and grow. The fact that the creek never reminds us that we have to be somewhere else is magic.
On our last trip to the creek, my son caught some amazing crawdads. (They were huge!) He put them in a bucket and dutifully added rocks and fresh water to the bucket to make the crawdads happy. When it was time to leave, he cried. Oh, how he cried! He did not want to release the crawdads. Continue reading “Abandoning Time”
The last thing my daughter expected to catch out of Grandma’s pond was this mussel.
Sunday was a beautiful evening and the kids requested to fish in Grandma’s pond. What the heck, we weren’t doing anything else. Popo dug up a few worms, my three little anglers grabbed some poles, and we were off the pond bank.
Our youngest chose a Lightening McQueen fishing pole. My older son chose a tried-and-true Zebco. My daughter chose Grandma’s very nice and expensive Shakespeare pole because it was guaranteed to catch the biggest fish (at least according to my daughter).
After just a few minutes, both boys had reeled in some nice, little blue gill and bass. In spite of her desperate desire to catch a fish, my little girl went without a bite for quite some time.
Suddenly, she yelled, “There’s something on my hook. It’s really heavy.” Clearly there was something on her line because she was struggling to bring it in, but there didn’t seem to be any fight in the water.
Continue reading “Catching Luck”
Truly Golden Fish via Daily Prompt: Fish
Jesus carried out one of his greatest miracles when he divided the 2 fish and 5 loaves feeding over 5000 hungry followers. Can you imagine the wonderment of the those he fed that day?
In modern times, these Gold Fish crackers provide their own kind of miracle. Contentment.
Nothing keeps my kids quieter in church or the car than Gold Fish. We use Gold Fish crackers for math homework and art projects. They make terrific Valentine, Easter, and Halloween treats because kids love them and Moms know the magical powers those cheesy crackers possess.
For a while our local grocery store did not carry Gold Fish. I am pretty sure Moms across the county were crying in anguish over this shortage. Fortunately the crackers have miraculously reappeared on the shelves in a multitude of flavors. Thank goodness!
While they may not provide the best nutrition, Gold Fish crackers provide contentment and stimulate imagination. Rarely do my kids eat them without making at least one swim into their mouths or having two of the fishy faces kiss one another. It is deliciously sweet.
There are many things in our lives that bring simple contentment. You don’t have to fish too hard to find them.
I encourage you to bait your focus for finding satisfaction in the simple pleasures of the day. Reel in the warmth of the sun as you make your way to work or class. Fill your net with compliments and kind words that have been tossed your way by those you meet. Hook onto people who are positive and swim in the positive encounters.
Contentment floods us with calm and allows us to wash away our worries. Set sail with your Intentergy poised to latch onto the good in life and may your energy be cast far and wide. Let your positive attitude flow and influence those who need some simple pleasure in their lives. Cast away!
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I am not a spokesperson for Gold Fish crackers.
Stand Tall (even when you’re drowning)
When man-made lakes are formed, trees, fields, plains, and old homesteads are all covered with the collecting waters. What was once a forest or a small civilization becomes sights unseen. In spite of the hundreds of years put into growing those trees, we now only see a small tip of what made its way past the 30 or 50 or even 75 foot mark. The treetops are the only reminder of that tree’s grandeur for us.
Yes, there are still things we value in this tree. For example, tying your boat to the tree’s tallest boughs provides a successful spot for fishing, because now fish make their nests in its branches, instead of birds.We know that the roots still run deep, holding the foundation for the lake in place, and continuing to provide shelter for the animals that call the lake “home.”
The clusters of once mighty leaf-bearers are now skeletons reaching for the sky, proving they are still standing strong, leafless, broken, and drowning, but strong. Continue reading “Stand Tall (even when you’re drowning)”
Taking a Break from a Break
On our recent fishing trip, my kids could not wait to get out of the boat and climb the big rocks lining the shore. After a ton of whining and pleading, my husband gave in and pulled close enough for the kids to clamor out and explore.
They were wearing flip-flops and life jackets so climbing was not easy but they LOVED it.
With warnings like “Watch where you step,” “Look out for snakes,” and “Don’t throw rocks,” you would think their spirits would be dampened, but no way. My husband was so excited to fish with the kids and I think it was a little hard for him when they were less interested in catching the big one than they were in the monolithic rocks. I was more concerned with snakes hiding in the rocks, but we have to choose our battles (July Positivity Challenge).
After a bit I calmed down and reminded myself we were on vacation and it was supposed to be relaxing and fun. If the kids wanted to get out and roam over the rocks for a while, it might mean I get to relax while they rest up from their fun. 🙂
Soon they climbed as far as was safe and were ready to jump back in the boat. They had taken their break from our fishing break and were ready to get back at it.
In daily life, I often find myself so absorbed in my to-do list that I forget that it is ok to take a break or that a few extra minutes snuggling or drawing with my kids won’t hurt the unfolded laundry or unwashed dishes. We all need to give ourselves permission to climb and explore a little bit. We might find that it makes us more productive in the long run.
Give your intentions a new direction today. Let that direction lead you where your heart takes you, even if it’s only for a few moments. It will restore your positivity and increase your energy and that is what having Intentergy is all about.
By: Melanie A. Peters
Mama Catches Happiness
After I caught this crappie at Truman Lake, my husband told my kids, “Now Mama is happy.”
I made them take my picture. I was proud of my catch and I wanted my kids to see my pride.
Heavy storms with lots of thunder and lightening blew through two of the three nights we were at the lake. The storm fronts seemed to have scared off the fish because we only caught about 15 fish the entire trip. My contributions to the fishing came in the form of this and one other fish caught, keeping the boys from falling in the water, and having minnows ready to bait my daughter’s hook. I just happened to catch this guy during one of the quieter moments of our excursion. I fished with my youngest son on my lap so he could “catch” one too, but he couldn’t stand the wait so we never snagged one for him.
Fishing with my kids is stressful and scary for me. I am afraid of water.
Water has frightened me since I was a teenager. As a camp counselor, I had to rescue two girls after they tipped over their canoe in a deep and restricted part of the camp lake. A year later I had to provide first aid to a man who sustained a head injury at a local water slide when he flipped off the mat (on which he was supposed to remain seated). People who are not afraid of water get hurt. I am afraid of water.
On our fishing trip, safety precautions were my number one concern. Appropriately fitting life jackets, secured seats, swimming lesson reminders, and safety whistles were all in place. The waters were calm and my always zen husband sat confidently as he drove the boat. I clutched my youngest son for dear life. Continue reading “Mama Catches Happiness”