Monday, June 29, 2009

Too many details

Our visit with family went well. There were many precious moments of just sitting and talking. I was pleased to see my sons visiting and laughing with extended family members they very rarely see. It was a pretty relaxing visit. And now that I am back home, other "stuff" calls. I always have lots of things on my list. Lots of details that are screaming to be handled. I get easily distracted by additional things that can seem to come out of nowhere and call out, "Me first!" To be honest, I am more likely to follow the call of those opportunities that sound fun or interesting. I recognize that this is a gift. Sometimes I cannot let go. Sometimes I must do all those things before any fun.

No matter what we may think we need to be doing, kids call out to us all the time! They want help. They want to show us something that is precious to them - like a dandelion flower or a spider or a rock that shines with "gold." They're fighting with each other. They are bored. Can we let go of our list of things to enjoy the moment with a child? Sometimes we are just too busy with all of the details. We need to decide what is most important.

I know that self care is critical. If I am not paying attention to my health, I am not at my best. So little things like being sure to eat a good meal, brushing my teeth, taking a walk are necessary every day. We live in a face paced world that wants me to hop on the hamster wheel and keep running. I need to remember to get off and stop. There are always priorities to juggle and reassess. What do we really need to focus on?

Life is full. Life is crazy. And life can be really challenging. So, how can we remember to take time to enjoy the moments? Sometimes it's simple (though not always easy) - Stop. Breathe. Notice.Listen. Appreciate. Just writing this was a gift for me. Thanks for being there.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Remembering 60 years

Dad with my two sisters, Susan and Kathryn

My parents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Next weekend we travel down to San Diego for a family reunion and appreciation for all that my parents have given us.

Raised in the midst of the big Depression, Gordon Martin and Tricia Totten found each other through a church youth group. Mom had come to California with her family only a few years before, and Dad was born in San Diego. They each saw in the other a partner who could help to light the way during dark times, and bring joy and fun at other times. Theirs has not been a totally smooth life path, but whose is? Through it all, they have loved and accepted each other, and supported each other on the journey. They are best friends!

Mom has always loved reading. She is creative and has always encouraged us to follow our dreams. She took her role as a mother seriously, being room mother, scout leader, and chauffeur to many different activities that reflected our individual interests. Dad is a very hard worker, modeling the importance of a strong work ethic and life-long learning. Even at 83, he is writing a book on a science topic that he passionately believes in. They still dance weekly at local round dancing events.

We had many fun family times when we were kids. We went to church every Sunday, and on camping trips most summers. We four siblings are still close today, at a time when many families are split by differences.

What memories are we making for our kids? What kind of family life are we providing? What values do we reflect in our daily choices? How are we offering children the support to be all that they are meant to be?

Thanks Mom and Dad!!