Regrets

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption-Sinatra

Throughout my life I have tried to live a life of few regrets. In some regards I have succeeded spectacularily and in other aspects I have failed miserably. But since I have the immense need to make amends and dispense advice before I board that plane for China on Monday; I have decided to inform my children what my biggest regret in the world is with the hope that they will try to do better for themselves than I was able to do for myself.

Regrets are tricky things. If you are fearful, regrets are often too few because you never have taken yourself out of your comfort zone enough to do much of anything that might cause you distress or regret. In fact, often your regret is that you had no regrets because you played it safe. On the other hand, going off pell-mell-willy-nilly without thinking things through, well, in the worse case it can lead to tragic results. Yet, in the best of instances in can involve seeing your name in the police blotter of your local paper for something people will talk about long after you are dead and gone. Personally, I think it is prudent to shoot for the notorious remembrances that don’t involve jail cells or lawyers.

It often takes chutzpah to admit your failures and gain insight on how you might do better in the future which is exactly what a regret should serve to do. It takes more than brutal honesty to dig deep to examine your shortfalls. It often takes courage and really listening to the people you love the most as they dish about what they love about you the least.  And so in that spirit I have decided to share my biggest regret which is this… that I have not been as GENTLE as I wish I had been during the days I have walked this earth.

Frankly…I wish I had been more gentle with my words, more gentle with the tone of my voice, and gentler when giving advice. I wish I would have been more gentle by holding my tongue, gentler in my touch, and that I would have been softer with my facial expressions. I wish I would have provided more plentiful and gentle/nurturing hugs, held my children more tenderly than I did, and that I would have gently laid down the law without malice or anger. I wish my first reaction to that first spark of anger would have been one of gentle compassion to myself and the other involved by refusing to allow the spark to turn into a bonfire and by allowing myself to listen in the hopes of greater understanding. I wish I would have understood that there are so many things that you will be remembered for throughout your life and I wish I would have appreciated the fact that if you are living well that the best thing people can remember you for your gentle/loving nature.

One of the gentlest individuals I can think of is Mr. Rogers. He once said, “I’m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings–ways that don’t hurt them or anyone else–we’re helping to make our world a safer, better place.”  I wish I had taken these words to heart when I first starting raising children. Had I understood that my reactions set the stage for my children’s reactions now and in the future, I’d like to think I would have taken the time to develop gentleness and all it entails. I also think it would have been awesome to have really understood that to help our children deal with their feelings we have to be gentle with our own. I wish I had known that way back then too.

Gentleness is important. It is a calming influence. Gentleness is merciful, compassionate and kind. It is also wise, dignified and considerate.

Perhaps Max Lucado describes gentleness best when he says “I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”

Gentleness…its something we could all use a little more of as we go about our busy lives. Perhaps in practicing it we can become it. That is my wish.

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The Passionate Journey

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Feeling your body under mine

As we ride to far away places

In that custom saddle we created so long ago

I am reminded that the first part of our odyssey

Made me feel warm, safe, and secure

Believing that passion and love would serve us well

For many years to come

Yet, as the journey continued through our ages

To different and strange unexplored lands

I found that as we rode together we

Struggled to stay insync to the pounding rhythm of life and each other

In this saddle we created and shined to perfection together

Oh so many years ago

Then slowly our bodies began to move to different beats

The spark no longer igniting when flesh richcheted against flesh

Our timing aberrant from what had come before

Akwardly and in silence we rode through valleys so deep and low

They threatened to pull us under

As we wrapped ourselves each in our own protective gear

Bracing ourselves and sitting deep in the saddle spooning

No longer astride one another

During this long exhausting ride

The passion for this particular pilgrimage waning

The heat that once kept us warm

Cooling to small embers and threatening

To extinguish themselves all together

As the light faded and disappeared behind the mountains before us

No longer straddling one atop the another on this migration

But one of us down… crawling on the ground

Pulling the stead and partner alongimages-5

By some silent force of nature

That was unwilling to give up or give in

But yet we pressed on

Scraping raw our knees

Scooping out our souls

Our sexual natures vanished somewhere within Mother Nature herself

We traveled wearily like this for so long

Lost, together… yet alone

Until in desperation we finally reached out for the reins to steady and guide us

The accidental brushing together of two souls

Once again serving to remind us of all we have endured

And all we have yet to discover

So now we join hands to do battle

Against all that has kept us apart from one another

And we fight Mother Nature to reclaim our sexuality

The passion igniting our bodies and sweeping us together

And once again we quiver deep within one another

Grinding deep within that saddle

As we climb to the pinnacle of our lives

Looking over the ridge to the future that awaits us

Hanging on for dear life together once again

Our devotion rekindled each for the other

In that saddle that was custom made the two of us

In which we fit together so well

No longer afraid

But curious about where we will end up

On this sojourn through married life

Mom Revenge

After I had children I began to understand why some animals eat their young. Those animals are smart creatures because they know that one day their offspring will grow up to become a mouthy, sulky, nasty, mean, cranky, selfish, thoughtless and reckless teenager; so they nip that problem in the bud.

Teenagers breed contempt. They make you question your sanity. And there is nothing worse on God’s green earth than a snotty-know-it-all sixteen-year-old.

Last Saturday evening, after a particularily difficult week with our collective teens, my girlfriends and I got together for a drink…or two. I am not sure where the idea came from nor the precise number of drinks that been downed but suddenly we were compiling a list which we have decided to use against our offspring to teach them a lesson should the need arise. We called it MOM REVENGE and does it ever feel sweet. And since we are all in this together I thought I would share.

    MOM REVENGE

  1. When you drop your kid off at school yell out the window “And if you don’t pee your bed again tonight I will give you another dollar.”
  2. Fill your son’s bed with stuffed animals just before his friends arrive
  3. Pack a sippy cup in your sweetie’s lunch box
  4. Post naked baby pictures on their Facebook page
  5. Yell out the car window “Remember the babysitter will be at the house waiting for you when you get home from school.”
  6. Text your teen “Honey, you forgot your blankie. Do you want me to bring it to school for you?”
  7. When your teen’s friends are over come downstairs with a box of head lice killer and tell your daughter that the salon called and wanted to let her know she has lice.
  8. Download ice cream truck music on your cell phone and blast it on your stereo as you pass their high school.
  9. Put a Barbie doll in your teens backpack.
  10. Buy a recordable card and record your own personalized message that awaits in their lunch box.

Love Is…

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This is my favorite quote about what love is or what is is suppose to be.

I used to think it described B and I to a tee. Now is just seems as if we are dragging and pulling each other away from one another. This does not feel gentle at all. Our relationship feels like a boat being tossed to and fro while it is being battered by a gigantic storm.

How did this happen?

How can we stop it?

I love this man with all my heart but frankly I am not sure I like him all that much right now and he feels the same. In fact, last night we both said that never in our entire relationship have we felt this strong of a like/dislike set of feelings so intensely and so often. After 29 years we have lead each other gently to the other numerous times…what’s next?

I need to replace this old favorite with a new and improved LOVE IS quote. Ideas anyone?