Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Special Thoughts

               The weekly Slices of Life can be found at the blog, Two Writing Teachers, created by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres. Be sure to visit and read, read, read!



         I have mixed emotions about my slice today.  I have just returned from a wonderful family trip with my daughter and two granddaughters (almost one and three years old).  We spent half a week with my side of the family and the other half with my husband’s side.  All too brief was this visit, but filled with so many good memories.  We swam, we saw and petted goats, we played on playgrounds, and we rode on a merry-go-round, in a mall, Ingrid’s first ride!  Imogene began crawling all over, so her exploration was phenomenal.  Ingrid got to play and sing her songs on a real grand piano, and beat out rhythms on an African slit drum.  Because of the drought, we were sorrowful because no lightning bugs appeared, so that will have to be on the next adventure.  We ate ice cream every evening and talked into the night.  My daughter and I got to talk and talk, then talk some more. 
            Ingrid became so excited seeing wind turbines, and wanted photo after photo of them, so we slowed and took all that she wished – click, click.  “Grandma, can I see?”  We looked for red cars and buses and cows, and saw quite a few.  We noted all the colors of the cattle-black, black and white, brown.  We sang songs and looked for anything we could find of interest on the plains of Kansas.  There are many things of beauty, yes, even in a drought, even when it’s over a hundred degrees, even on the plains. 
            If you notice that I’m speaking of small things and being present in the moment, that is what one does with a three year old.  And when one does that, we grown-ups also notice things with a new brightness, a new appreciation. 


            And I am speaking of the little things because I want to be sure everyone knows to take note, because the big things this year in Colorado have not been good.  We have set records: the largest and most destructive forest fire claimed hundreds of structures, twelve days have been over 100 degrees already with very little rain, and, as you must know, the biggest mass shooting since Virginia Tech just occurred in a movie theater.   This is tough to write, and I struggled to make up my mind whether even to mention the shooting.  On the other hand, I don’t think it’s right to ignore it, and those who suffer from it.  And thus my slice of life is kind of an advice column.   Life is too short, look for those little things to glory in, hug your family every chance you can, and if you have a friend you are concerned about, try to give him or her a chance to get help.  And please send up a little prayer for those who need one.
         

48 comments:

  1. Linda we both wrote about this madness. I am up late tonight and that's where my thinking lies. But you are so right to see those small pleasurures as what should fill our liveswith. To grab hold of our loved ones and let them know we love them.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday!

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    1. It's so strange that all the days are much on my mind. What a summer we have had. We did have a lovely trip, but it (with the adults) was also colored by this recent tragedy. Thanks, Beverley.

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  2. Hi Linda, I thought about you when we watched the news, and prayed that you and your loved ones are well. There are things in life that do not make sense, true, but you gave an important advice - to treasure those who are dear to us, and live in the present.

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    1. Thank you, Myra. I think we'll be watching news about this for a very long time. Columbine has continued to be in our news often as well. It is so sad to think that one can do such harm. I am passionate about those 'little' things.

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  3. Thank you for writing about the lovely little things, and including, too, the big things we cannot help but think about. The little things add up to big things like joy and hope. Without a store of the little things, we couldn't face the big things.

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    1. You are so right, maybe like putting money in the piggybank! Thanks.

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  4. I can feel the mix of emotions in your post this morning. I drafted a post about something very simple (cleaning my car) but I could not end it without connecting it to something deeper and bigger in light of the tremedous sadness that seems to keep creeping back into our lives. Your message about treasuring those who are dear to us is the real message of this post. It's an important one.

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    1. Thank you Anita. Finding treasure in the everyday is so important. I'll be sure to find your post.

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  5. It is good to write about the hard stuff - this is one way to honor and remember, and hopefully in the writing we begin also to learn
    Thank you

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    1. You're welcome, Juliann. And I agree. I wanted somehow to give some thoughts to these important things, both big and little.

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  6. This is beautifully written Linda. Thanks for the reminder: remember to celebrate the little things, the precious things. It is tough to remember that sometimes. There are always big things in our lives that try to overshadow the little things but it's the little things that make the best memories. Prayers...

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    1. Thanks Robin. Those little things fill my life and I am grateful for them.

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  7. Linda,
    Love the idea of taking delight in the small moments, especially in the wake of this horrific tragedy. Did you see Libba Bray's blog on this topic? I thought it was so well written. http://libba-bray.livejournal.com/64903.html

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    1. Thank you for the link, Katherine. No, I didn't, but will get over there!

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  8. Linda, you have written it so well. We need to hold on to those that are in our lives and make a difference where we can. It sounds like a great trip with your family. Love the perpective of the granddaughter!

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    1. Thanks Elsie. As those who follow the Wonder phenomenon, I choose kindness! It was a wonderful trip!

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  9. This is what is important the small moments that make a big impact in our hearts and lives. The way you noticed and reported alll the charming details captures them. I wrote and did not publish my thoughts on the terrible event because I could not clearly express them. You did it for me..."look for those little things to glory in" and send up prayers. Thank you, Linda.

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    1. Those little things make my life better, I think, & so I try to focus on them often. I'm glad you liked this too, Kim. Thank you!

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  10. Beautiful. Like many, I thought of you when I heard about the shooting (and the fires previously) on the news. Your post is a wonderful reminder of paying attention to the little things. THe little things that make us smile and bring us joy. Have a happy day.

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    1. Thank you Deb. As I said above, those little things are so, so dear.

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  11. It's so hard to understand, isn't it? It is hard to reconcile events such as the shooting. I would imagine that it is even harder when it is closer to home.

    Today I was just posting about how I already have a word that I am considering for 2013. I didn't say it on my post, but it is presence or present. I noticed that you brought up the word in your slice and it keeps on coming to me as being a good word to choose in order to intentionally focus on.

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    1. I must confess that I fight to stay in the present. Perhaps teachers do this, but I always seem to be looking ahead to what's next, what I need to do, to plan. It's a challenge to just BE. And so I make efforts to notice those little wonderful things & it helps. Thanks for sharing about your word. I have not been very faithful in doing my OLW this year. Perhaps next year will find me in a better frame of mind to work on it.

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  12. Wow, Linda. Both you and Carol (@Carol's Corner) really have me thinking today. When my mom, Judy, and I drove 12 hours with my two two-year-old girls, we were able to see the world so differently through their eyes: noticing all the little things. Truly amazing and a reminder to us all to slow down because life is precious. We never know what BIG thing may change all those little things. Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts. A little thing that I enjoy. :)

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    1. Quite wonderfully amazing, wasn't it? I know that you had quite a trip, too, but still it takes us back to the good old basics, like looking for cows, firetrucks, etc. Much fun. Thanks, Michelle.

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  13. Sometimes the only way to get through situations is to find that small grain of good. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Lola. I agree with you that those old cliches are true-like 'look for the silver lining'.

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  14. My younger daughter had a mysterious fever this past week and, due to some bloodwork results, the doctors were worried about the possibility that she had leukemia. I think I stopped being able to think at all after they said that. As of today, more recent bloodwork indicates that's not it...to say that I'm relieved would be an understatement! I'm recounting this just to say -- I totally agree with you about relishing the little moments.

    About the Colorado tragedy...it brings to my mind again how important making mental health care accessible is. How can we do that? How can we create environments (in schools, in communities, in workplaces) where mental health is supported?

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    1. Dear Tabatha, I'm so sorry for your scare. My heart would stop. I had a similar thing happen years ago with my daughter, & it was a terrible time. And thus, I am so happy to hear your good news! I don't know how we can change the culture except to keep being open in our talk about it. Look at the problems in the military, some not accepted as needing help & we lose them too. Reaching out to those we perceive as needing help is important, not to dance around the elephant. Thank you for sharing.

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    2. Found out today she has lyme disease. Better than leukemia! I heard that the President was talking about mental health recently -- I am so glad about that.

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    3. I'm happy to hear you have something to treat, to tackle. The unknown is scary. Yes, good news about our president!

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  15. If only I'd read your post before I committed to mine. My original writing was about how much I enjoyed living this week. I felt too guilty to post, so I drafted something else. I understood why I was feeling guilty, but your post helped me to understand why I probably enjoyed life just a little more. I think I'll revisit that original idea soon. Thanks for sharing, Linda.

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    1. How wonderful that you did have a good week. I don't think those who have tragedy in their lives would want tragedy for all. It's so personal. I like that you will re-look at what you wrote. Thank you for sharing that.

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  16. I to thought of you and your family when I heard the news. I loved your writing. It is these moments that become the sparkling diamonds in our memories. It is these moments that have helped me get through the bad times. You are wise to take the time to enjoy as many of these moments that you can.

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    1. Hi Ruth-It's so nice to hear from you, & I'm so glad you agree. Those moments keep us climbing the mountains don't they? Thanks much. I hope your summer has been a good one for you.

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  17. Hug your loved ones... treasure each moment. How incredibly true. I watched my Twitter feed fill with people expressing delight over the movie - and then the despair over this tragic event.

    We also need to remember that as horrific as this is - we still must live our lives.

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    1. And I don't think anyone would think it should be any different. I was connected a bit to the Columbine tragedy & still think of those who died every day, as I will for those hurt in this awful time. But I also will have happy times, and live my life as best I can. Thanks, Maria.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your small joys and little things that mean so much. Sometimes in the wake of such big events that rock our foundations, that is all we can do and what we should do - focus on the joys at hand and try to keep the events in our own worlds from adding to the sadness in the larger world we also live in.

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    1. Thanks, I agree. It's good to keep the priorities straight.

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  19. We need to write and commemorate both loss and joy. When they become so tragically juxtaposed, it is like biting into fruit. The tang and tart make it all the more sweet. Your granddaughter's hands thrashing with gusto at the keys while the news outside and beyond her ken is numbing.

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    1. You are so right, Amelia. We tried to enjoy all those moments, & at the same time, find news of the events, & talk in seeming riddles so she wouldn't sense our anxiety. Your metaphor rings true.

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  20. Your decision to write, was right. This piece was genuine and raw, but beautiful and honest. I have thought much about what life would be like in Colorado these days, knowing that in the worst of times, you often see the best in people as they come together to survive, to support, and to heal. Thank you, for sharing, for reminding, and for caring so deeply about what is really important. Many thoughts being sent your way!

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  21. I miss you four ladies so very much! My thoughts are with you as always! I wish you all didn't live so far!

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  22. Today I will hug my children more, and clean less. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

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  23. And there are so many more little things to focus on when we do. You point this out so well, so frequently. Thank you for this continued reminder.

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    1. Thank you Betsy. It's those wonderful things like Chalk-a-bration that make us all smile!

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