April 30, 2012

The Station


When I was in middle school I discovered this poem.  It was the first time I had read something so profound that knocked me over and really spoke to me.  Years later it still resonates with me.


THE STATION

By Robert J. Hastings

TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the  windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and band playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
 

"Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"

From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion--it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

Picture of Penn Station, Baltimore, found here.

Oh, the places you'll go!


Well, once again, I am surrounded by boxes. The house has an all too familiar echo. The movers are scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. I hardly anticipated moving this soon. I guess that is what makes life so interesting. When I found this place, I thought I would have lived here for 3-5 years, easily. I never would have guessed that a mere nine months later I would be packing to leave. Life is funny that way, but if you listen closely, she guides you where you belong. So here I go, listening, being guided, and going with the flow, onto wherever this journey in life takes me next.  I'm fondly reminded of the infamous book by Dr. Seuss "Oh The Places You Will Go".

Oh, the Places You'll Go!  by Dr. Seuss

Congratulations! 
Today is your day. 
You're off to Great Places! 
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO! That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

April 29, 2012

Destress

More ways I like to destress....

My Earth Therapeutics Microwavable Neck Wrap.  Soothes muscle tension in your neck and shoulders, and is filled with rice and a blend of lavender, chamomile and citrus scents that act as aromatherapy to ease your stress away while the heat unravels those knots in your muscles.

A cup of Stash Decaf Vanilla Chai Tea.  A splash of milk, a little bit of sugar in the raw... in a big white mug ...just right.


 And whatever is on my nightstand to read.  Lately, the Fifty Shades trilogy has been keeping me up reading till the wee hours.  Yes it is racy, and spicy, and not for everyone - but once you get past the steamy first novel, the true love story unfolds and it really is beautiful and captivating. Who doesn't want to get lost in a good love story?


Neck Wrap for purchase here.
Stash Chai tea here.
Fifty Shades trilogy pictures here.

Blessings

Life can turn on a dime. You never know when all of a sudden, a new beginning has fallen into your lap. At times the timing may seem so ironic, so complicated - but maybe the divine timing is just what is necessary and it is a blessing.   Blessings don't always come to us the way we think they should. Wrapped in a miracle, in a pretty satin bow or a precious gift. They do not always arrive by way of our timing, or on our schedule, when everything is 'just right' or the perfect moment for life to now bless us with exactly what we need.  Blessings sometimes come to us when we least expect it, in a way that we did not see it coming, but if you wait for it to unfold, you'll find it to be just what the doctor ordered.

Irish Blessing Picture seen here.

April 18, 2012

Classically Composed

One of my most coveted collections of classic music compositions. Used when reading, napping, working. Used to calm the nerves, to take the stress out of the day.  I am always on the hunt for the perfect collection of classic music so I can press play and not have to skip any songs or listen to commercials.  This is becoming a gold medal in my book.  Mozart, Bach, Verdi, Grieg, Berlioz, Schubert, and many others.

Carmen Suite No. 1 Intermezzo by Bizet is one of my favorites:



Available from Amazon or listen for free on Spotify.

Life's Pie

Sometimes I feel like life is like a triva pursuit game piece.

There are 7 slices of the areas of life in life's pie.  Specific areas you work on as you travel through the game board and on the path of life, being tested on your life's skills.  If you succeed, you get a slice of pie for your game piece.  Some of us travel around and around and around, without our pie pieces, wandering, finding out way. Watching the other board pieces collect their pie slices and scurry to the end.  Slices represent different areas like: Relationships. Spiritual. Professional. Health. Fun. Psychological. and Knowledge. What we fail to realize is that unlike the board game, in reality your pie is always lacking in one area, maybe several. I would be hard pressed to find someone who had all 7 areas filled to the brim 24 hours a day, for their entire lives. There will be moments when relationships need working on. There will be moments when you need to spend more time on your health.  There will be periods of time where you want to invest in knowledge and your career. There will be stretches in time where one pie piece might feel like it will never be filled and is doomed to be empty.  Just wait. Sometimes the right things are getting in line as we speak so that other things may fall into place.  As you read this something truly amazing could be in the works - though you may not see it, doesn't mean it's not being whipped up in the kitchen ready to fill up that pie slice.

Picture above here.

April 8, 2012

A New Start

{Troy and Sheila, overlooking a beautiful mountaintop...from the movie "Why Did I Get Married?}

Troy: "It's snowing a little bit, but um, this is where I come to clear my head.  I just come right here.  I pray. I scream. I yell. Do whatever I need to do.  And it's just me and God." 
Sheila:  "You ever come here to cry?"
Troy:  "Yeah that too."
Sheila: {crying} "I can't even...describe to you the pain I feel it's like I've been hit by a car.  I keep trying to understand...why... I ...what did I do - so wrong - why he betrayed me.  It hurts.  I have no life without him. I can't even pray about it."
Troy: you know Sheila, it's a great time for a new start, if you want to stay.

That's what I love about spring.  It's a time for a new start, a new beginning. No matter what. No matter where you are. No matter what has happened to you.

No matter if you can't even pray about it.

Let it be a time for a new start, today.

If you are looking for a sign, this is it.


Beautifully Broken

"I'm beautifully broken.   And I don't mind if you know it"  Ashlee Simpson

"You know the story.  There is a little boy there with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Then the miracle begins to occurr.  And then He took it. And He blessed it.  I like to talk about that because He is blessing something that is not enough.  Until you can be thankful for something that is not enough, then what you have cannot be multiplied into what is more than enough.  We are certain he had 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread when He blessed it.  As He broke it, that's where we lose count.  You understand then, that the blessing is in the breaking.  That that refuses to be broken, refuses to be blessed.  It is the breaking of life that produces the blessing of life.   Now I know a lot of you don't understand that because you yourselves have not been broken. But I have noticed in my life that the most blessed people I have ever met in my life have gone through something that broke them."  ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes

How often in your life have you been broken. How often had to had to look at the pieces with which are lying around you and be grateful and thankful that this will be enough. How often have you had to give blessings that this will be enough to supply the needs for you to get through and come out rising.  How often have the times in your life where you have been broken, been the biggest blessings?

As I reflect back on what Bishop T.D. Jakes is saying - it rings true. "That that refuses to be broken refuses to be blessed".  And "The most blessed people I have ever met in my life have gone through something that broke them".   There have been times where I have been broken. Where I have looked around and seen pieces of my heart and spirit scattered about. Unsure of how I was going to put them back together. And so beautifully and perfectly with the greatest breaks, have come the greatest of blessings.

Stained glass seen here.

La Donna E Mobile

One of my favorite parts of the movie.  Every morning should start out with this much zest. Let's all learn the words to La Donna E Mobile and dance around getting dressed in the morning belting out this tune, shall we? I think I'll start out the week this way. Cue the music maestro....

A Different Kind of Easter

Happy Easter!

I'm starting a new tradition for myself this year and spending the holiday differently.  I am taking time to myself, for reflection, for peace.  As for my plans, I'll keep that to myself. But I promise to keep with the meaning of Easter ringing true...personal reflection, beauty in the ordinary & of course, my faith.


Decorated Eggs here.

April 7, 2012

Cooking for Baby

While shopping at Williams Sonoma today, I announced a little too loudly 'If I were pregnant I would totally buy this!"  Oh...dear little one that has yet to grow in my womb... you have no idea the organic, all natural...health-infused science experiments I am going to bestow upon you someday...

Cooking for Baby Cookbook $19.95 available at WS.

April 5, 2012

11 Things to Know at 25(ish) by Shauna Niequist

One of the most inspiring articles about life in your 20's, maturing, entering adulthood, and for me -  finding authenticity - I have read in a long time. My only wish is that I had read these things a few years ago. However it is never too late. Read this. Share it. My favorite is #11, below:

 
11. Don’t Get Stuck
This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.

Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?” 

Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe God is good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned.

Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path. 

Read the entire article here.  Originally discovered at TarynCoxTheWife.
Above picture is the cover photo of Shauna's article courtesy of Relevant Magazine.