In tough situations we often find ourselves unable to come up with the right words to say. That inability makes handling the circumstances even tougher. Here’s the good news: sometimes nothing needs to be said.
Just showing up and offering to listen or hug those hurting in the situation can be the most perfect proclamation. A simple squeeze of the hand or a covered dish for supper can sound like the kindest statements. Handing someone a tissue or taking over childcare duties is a true testament to your support and understanding for the suffering they are enduring. Sometimes we just don’t have the words, but we do always have the ability to make things happen and ease pain of the circumstances.
When my grandfather died, I was unable to attend the funeral because I had just endured a major surgery. My aunt came and sat with me the day of his funeral and said nothing. She simply hugged me, made lunch, did the dishes, and took care of the laundry. She knew I didn’t could speak of my grief yet and understood that sometimes it isn’t the words that make us feel better.
Sometimes we just don’t have the words.
Last night I attended the visitation of a man I had never met. I attended because two of his daughters (Mary Kay and Tina) are friends of mine. As I approached the front of the line, I wondered (as most do): what can I say that will help? Continue reading “Sometimes We Just Don’t Have the Words”
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”
As one of the greatest wonders of the world, humming birds defy the odds of nature and mystify with the speed of their wings and delicate ability to hover. For Christmas my children surprised me with a hummingbird feeder to put in my flower bed. No contemplation was necessary over its destined location. That hummingbird feeder was going outside my office window. The notion of having nonstop opportunities to see those winged wonders was pretty exciting for me.
As the winter dragged on, I sadly gazed at the feeder in its box on a garage shelf for months. Hummingbirds certainly weren’t going to come if the weather never got warm.
Finally, spring arrived!
I carefully mixed the nectar according to the directions and poured it into the feeder’s reservoir. With excitement I lined up the lid to screw it on just the right way and SNAP the neck of the reservoir cracked off rendering the feeder useless.
I was humming with disappointment. Continue reading “Sweetly Humming”
As a surprise, hubby and I headed out for a short two-day camp out with the kids as soon as they were dismissed from the last day of school. Their excitement was contagious and the chance to get away was too tempting to resist.
One of our favorite parts of camping is always the campfire. The kids and I seek out the best sticks and logs and enjoy hours of flame watching and food roasting. Campfires always seem to pull us into the warmth and light of their flames and inspire memorable moments and sharing.
The dancing flames provide one of nature’s greatest entertainments. The fantastic show they perform can never be duplicated and never ceases to amaze us. The first campfire of the year holds a special power. Continue reading “First Fire of the Year”
Last year my uncle let me borrow his robot vacuum cleaner for my birthday. The intention behind this gift was to see if I would like one for myself. The experiment went well.
For Christmas, I received my very own robot vacuum. Now we are onto a new experiment in convenience and cleaning.
The subject of our experiment is Roomee.
Roomee is the vaccum’s name and she is very popular at our house. Everyone fights over who gets to push her buttons. All too often I find myself saying, “Stay away from the vacuum!” (Words I never thought I would utter.)
In the time we have had Roomee, I can honestly say she has been helpful. As with any experiment, there have been a few hang ups (mainly with Roomee getting hung up on my kids’ clothes that hide under their beds), but for the most part adding her to our family has been beneficial.
I really like how she picks up around the table and under the counter in the kitchen. The freshly vacuumed carpets in the living room and bedrooms make me feel like Martha Stewart. Having a debris-free rug by the front door makes me a homemaker rock star.
I know what you are thinking, “Where is the experiment?”
The experiment comes in the same form as any other scientific method.
Hypothesis: If I have a robot vacuum cleaner, my floors will be clean. Continue reading “Experimental Cleaning”
Some mornings it takes a little bit of extra coffee and sunshine to get my confidence going. Other mornings it takes an army of awesomeness to prove I can handle whatever the day has in store. Most mornings my mojo is inspired by the fact that I have to get my minions moving and on the bus.
Last week I ambitiously tried to open a new bottle of vitamins. The vitamins were recommended by my friend Emily and I was excited to see if they would help boost energy and assist in keeping focus as my exhausted brain faced another week of grading, parenting, and farming.
The problem was the cotton was stuck. I did not have the mental or physical dexterity to remove the stupid cotton ball from the bottle. As the sun had not risen yet and my coffee had not brewed, I was not sure I had the capacity to get to those vitamins. I was stuck in in my self-doubt (and cotton). In fact, I was so stuck; I video recorded myself trying to get the dumb old cotton out of the bottle.
With just a bit of persistence (and a fork), I was able to free the cottong and try out my new vitamins. Continue reading “Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt”
As I was climbing my way over a mountain of spring semester grading and working through the week’s to-do’s, I started to ache.
My back, my neck, my legs, my arms, my hands, and my head; they all were aching. My temper was short and my attention span even shorter.
I knew I had to find a way to stop the hurting and manage my moodiness.
So I ran away… Continue reading “A Running Break”
When I sat down to write, I knew I only had 15 minutes and about a thousand ideas for today’s post. What I didn’t know what would come of those limited minutes and limitless thoughts.
Here it is.
Spring stresses me out.
Each quiet moment I find tears hiding behind my eye lids. My mind is anything but silent. The days constantly hum with demands, to-do lists, and the tings and pings of technology. My muscles are exhausted. My feet do not want to move. My brain seems to be on whatever fertilizer the farmers are spreading on their fields.
While each season has its ebb and flow, I always feel like spring is the craziest. The sunshine and breezes entice me outside, but the labor of pulling weeds and putting away delinquent Christmas decorations remind me that caring for our home is a never-ending task.
As the baseball schedules are made, vacation plans penned, and wardrobes are rotated from sweatshirts to shorts, I can’t help but feel completely wiped out.
What is it about spring that is so exhausting?
Spring is a time for planting, growing, new beginnings, and some seriously serious stress. The school year’s end is looming and, while summer is so nice, the tests, papers, and traditions that simply MUST be upheld make the last months more demanding than most. Spring stresses me out. Continue reading “Spring Stresses Me Out”
“I can live two months on one good compliment.” – Mark Twain
In the cafeteria line yesterday, Donnie (a neighbor and coworker) told me he really liked my story on “those Charolais cattle.” Donnie raises Charolais himself, but I never took him to be a reader. I was so honored that he read my post. My joy was enhanced as he said, “I like what you said. I’m gonna read some more.”
My head was so big; they had to add a second line to the lunch cue.
Donnie reminded me how important it is to share our appreciation for the efforts of others.
As in Mr. Twain’s quote above, I find greater inspiration when I know my work has been enjoyed.
What motivates you to create, write, or work harder?
Continue reading “Single Compliment = Double Joy – Wise Words Wednesday”