An apology to my adult daughter

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Dearest daughter, I’m sorry for every time I’ve failed you. For neglecting to portray the consummate woman—aka wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend—or implying that level of excellence is even attainable. I’m sorry if you’ve questioned my love for you, or your worth as a human being. I’m sorry you’ve carried many of your heaviest burdens without me, and that I haven’t hugged you enough—or told you enough—how remarkable you are and the lavish ways you’ve enriched my life since you squawked your arrival. How you’ve taught me what a life free from pretense looks like filtered through the lens of unconditional forgiveness, compassion, acceptance and grit. Because of you, I desire to be a better person— “real people.” And I hope you grasp the goodness of your heart, the beauty of your wings and that the world needs what you have to offer. Thank you for the opportunity to try again each time I fall short. You bless me more than I deserve.

Easier said than done

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That old saying in the title rings spot-on for me now more than ever since I committed to living my life Today (see “It’s just the beginning”). I’ve begun the process by initiating dialog, albeit painful, forcing me to examine my heart and my motives and to cull the truths from the lies about who I am and what I believe about myself. It feels like I’ve been squeezed through an emotional wringer over the past few days as I shine a light on the darkness and examine my character. I hope it hasn’t always been about my desires, my needs—but rather a wanderlust not to travel so much as to explore and learn, to grow into the most authentic version of the reflection I see in the mirror each day. Ultimately, I know what I must do. Yet that’s when it’s easier said than done. It’s scary… exhilarating. And I feel like I’m running out of time.

When is it easier said than done for you?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taking stock

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Taking stock

[Image credit: Pong]

From the media, to Washington, to Hollywood and society as a whole, many of us need to take stock and ask ourselves if we are living authentic lives, or distorting the truth of who we really are. Do we conform to ideals that don’t match our own in order to “fit in?” Or do our lives reflect our core beliefs? The other day I reacted to a situation in a way that is contrary to the person I strive to be. Obviously, we are human and not always going to put our best foot forward. But it made me take stock of how I represent myself to those around me—whether my family, friends or people who pass in and out of my life. Do I treat them in the same fashion I want to be treated? Am I honest with not only myself, but with my neighbor? And can I truly say: what you see is what you get.

What will others learn from observing your life?

Is it real or is it Memorex?

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Many who read the title of this post may not be familiar with the 1980 commercial featuring Chuck Mangione and Ella Fitzgerald.  It revolves around breaking glass sounding just as authentic on cassette tape (Google the definition if necessary).  Not so far of a stretch is the topic of substitutions.  In a society of abundant choices, it’s easier than ever to replace one thing with another.  When dining out, we can ask for a fruit cup instead of toast; when shopping we can choose generic rather than name brand.  For a long time, I refused to exchange Heinz catsup for any other tomatoey condiment, but over the years I’ve relaxed a bit.  However, according to one of my friends, if it isn’t pig, it isn’t bacon (while the turkey variety is fine by me).  Although when it comes to Someday, only the real deal will do.  No substitutions allowed.  This may delay the fulfillment of my dreams, but I’ll appreciate what I’m waiting for that much more when it gets here.

What do you refuse to replace for the real deal?

Image credit: Kilcrease, Worth. “The Journey Ahead: Meditations on Death, Bereavement, and End of Life Care.” Photo.  Psychology Today.com copyright 1991-2012. [6 June, 2012]