Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sea Gull

"It's always necessary to know when a stage of one's life has ended. If you stubbornly cling to it after the need has passed, you lose the joy and meaning of the rest. And you risk being shaken to your senses by God." Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


CAROUSEL...A carousel (from French carrousel, from Italian carosello), or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders.

A soft autumn breeze.
The smell of cotton candy and popcorn.
The noises of a small church fair.
A carousel, whirling around and a grandfather with a child.
The circle of life.

My best memories as a new mother, usually involve my father-in-law and my daughter and they are always simple but yet, magical, like a fall fair at our church, St. Timothy, or the beach, or the lake or a park or just everyday life events that made up our history together. Although I never thought of myself as a mother and I wasn't' in a hurry to have children, I had my very first experience with selflessness when Raci and I decided to offer my father-in-law the opportunity to enjoy a new life when his was coming to an end. By offering to him the chance to realize a dream, life gave us something back in return, the chance to grow and to become better human beings. He embraced the arrival of our daughter as a new beginning to his own life and he got to enjoy the adventure unfolding in front of him with the eyes of a child himself.

It would be hard to find someone more "awed" by a child as he was; playing, enjoying, valuing each moment as the first and last, he mystified each day into a miracle, with the certainty we all should have, that one day it will be no more. He was there for her, all the time, every moment of every second, for seven years, until God called him back home. When he left, we mourned him. We missed him. We longed for his loving presence, and although he was gone, he did leave us with the memories of special afternoons like the St. Timothy fairs of years past..moments full of his presence, of his familiar ways and moments when it seemed that we will never part and we will never have to say goodbye. These are the moments that make life worth living; the moments that happen when you are not paying attention; those lazy-days-kind-of-moments when the world seems to stop and you can truly enjoy the magic of a carousel, inviting you to dream, to let go, to enjoy the ride.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walking and discovering!

I don't like to do exercise. I like to eat. Bad combination! Once you hit forty, you have to do one or stop doing the other but this combination will not fly, I started the journey by getting on my treadmill in those cold winter mornings in my garage and feeling totally miserable. Little by little, those lonely times became more of "me time" when I could really think, sing, meditate, laugh, run and produce all the endorphins I needed to cope with my days. It was no longer an obligation but a joy to get 60 minutes to myself. I liked it and I craved it. Interesting, how something I was doing for my body, actually helped me mentally. Soon enough I discovered that I could break with the idea that exercising was not for me and that if it's true that I wasn't a sports buff, I wasn't allergic to exercising either, it was doable and I was doing it! With the early arrival of spring this year, I started itching to get out of the garage and hit the roads around my neighborhood. When I walk around the semi-rural areas of Lake Forest Park, I discover all sorts of reasons to keep on doing it - there are so many reasons to be thankful for creation itself, I welcome the opportunity to admire the beauty around me; it's like going to the spa for the soul! In my crazy life, I never took the time to "stop and smell the flowers" and I never considered myself a nature-lover but now things are different and my paradigms have shifted - it's time to stop and smell the flowers and take pictures too! By stopping and this is the key word, I have learned to feel the soul of the world and we are all connected...on those quiet walks, immersed in nature, you can almost listen to the world of the universe. A journey that began as an obligation, it's now a pleasure and I look forward to the continue growth of my soul. I am not sure if I will ever be a hiker or if I could ever be in good shape to run a marathon but I am sure of one thing, my spirit is stronger now because my body is weak and in the quest to get a stronger body, I also got a stronger soul....that's what winners are made out of!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hot Dogs in the morning

Hot dogs in the morning - it's the breakfast of choice of Frankie. I don't fight it anymore. I don't try to change his mind. I just make it and he eats it. This alone is a battle I don't chose to fight because it's a win-win, the kid eats and I am happy. Hey, I am sure that mustard is no substitute for eating your Wheaties in the morning but if the kid gets something in his stomach other than 3% natural juice found on the apple juice he likes, I am cool with that! In my life, I have chosen that staying sane is not worth a fight over a hot dog...not even at 8:00 in the morning. Now that I think about it, I used to get the worse cravings in the morning for a hot dog when I was pregnant with Frankie - I get he had it coming! Perception is all I am talking about here. When you look at things from a different perspective, a battle becomes an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, an opportunity to teach and overall, an opportunity to appreciate the small blessings in your life. When I see Frankie asking for a hot dog for breakfast, I don't see a spoiled kid trying to get his way, I see a miracle. My kid is stating a preference, regardless of what's appropriate for the time of the day. I have had the argument of "it's not a breakfast item" but that does not fly, his response, "...but I like it" - ant that alone is a lesson in itself. Not only my child with Autism speaks, but he makes sense, he has preferences and he communicates....all the things I was told he would have difficulty doing and might not be able to accomplish. Well, this deserves a celebration and there is nothing that spells out p-a-r-t-y like a hot dog in the morning!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wake up if you want to dream!

Things are a bit more clear now.
When you get out of the darkness of confusion, all things past and present are more clear under the light of reason. I have always been a person of contradictions; too intense, too impressive, completely emotional...and I liked being that way. I never cared if I was conventional or not...until one day, I got lost. It took me a long time before I realized that I missed myself. It took me longer to realize that I didn't have dreams anymore, only duties. Life had stopped being an adventure to become an obligation, a list of things to do and nothing to want. I was empty, I didn't have light, I could only reflect the light from those around me but I felt dark, silent, lifeless. Like thieves in the middle of the night, sadness, hopelessness and routine broke into my life and once they were at home, I did not know how to kick them out! One of the things that got affected by this "state of mind" of mine was my blog. It was easier to farm in Farmville and socialize in Facebook than to pick my brains for my blog and realize there was nothing to say. The everyday wonders that used to fill my life before were not there anymore, at least not before my eyes. It was easier to post albums on line that depicted my perfect little world, with pictures of kids, family outings and happy times that inside were really not so happy. I became so broken I couldn't pick up the pieces anymore and nothing made sense.

Really? do I need to really explain myself on this blog? I do. I do because I started writing here to find a way to listen to myself since the noise around me and inside of me is so loud that sometimes it's impossible to hear my thoughts. And we all have to hear ourselves talking. We do. At the end of the day, the one who knows what's best for you is you...but if you don't know what is important in your life, if your set of values has fallen to the ground, there is not really a path to follow and every day becomes another check on your "to do list." And then, you start start longing for the days when things were not so complicated. You start going back, waaaay back, to a time when the illusion of young dreams was alive. You go to your happy place where you were daring, where you were shinning, where you were in control and then you start regretting. The regretting part is the worst because then you want to make things different. You want to change what sometimes cannot and wouldn't be wise to change. And who wouldn't trade adventure over dirty dishes, whining kids and laundry? The hopes and dreams of what was"unrealized" could become overwhelming sometimes and it can get things really, really messy. But in life, you can't have everything...but you must love what you do have. If something does not become a reality this time around, you might have a second chance again.....or just not. and that's OK; the world will not end, at least not yet. Once I read somewhere that you have to "bloom where you have been planted" and that's what I had tried to do until I stopped - well, I am back in bloom again and I hope to remain this way. Once you look around, you realize that what's turned "ordinary" through the years, might only need a brush of magic, a sprinkle of illusion, a dust of hope and then it will shine again. I'm convinced I have to follow the path I have chosen and even if it's the wrong path, it can still lead to marvelous places!

What was it? Depression? Mid-life crisis? I'm not sure I can put a label to it, but it was real and present and it took a tow on my spirit and on my soul. But it will be no more.
From today and every day, just for that ONE day, I will get back to finding those little miracles I used to see all the time before. I will take the opportunities that every single day brings when you can change your existence for the best. Getting out of the dark is not the hard part, it's continuously walking in the light that makes you a real warrior!