Wednesday, September 29, 2010

falling slowly

“Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity...” ~Vaclav Havel

Lets hope that quote holds true.

Sometimes doubt creeps into my life.

When it makes it presence known, it is hard for me to move on.
Did I do what I should have? 

 Is it too late??

Was it enough? 

Did my selfishness overcome my intent?

Have I failed?

Can i go back? Do it again? Please?

When doubt creeps in it is quickly followed by guilt.
"should haves and could haves"

I am afraid that both have crept in to stay for awhile, to make home in my mind.
Creating thought upon thought to circle around and around.
Thoughts and questions to which there is no answer
That is what I hate the most.....
 I know rationally that wasting time and energy on things that I cannot go back and do over is pointless, yet those doubt and guilt filled thoughts creep in.....
leaving you wondering what if I had........

dead still in your tracks
not moving forward and unable to go back.

“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.”  ~Nancy Lopez quotes

But to do that one must trust the voice within....
one must overcome the doubt
the guilt
and find the voice that will guide us forward.
and that is a daunting task.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

humbled. grateful. disbelief.

Someone to lean on when problems appear,
Someone on whom you’d depend.
Someone who’ll lift you when your down in the dumps,
That someone is truly a friend.
That’s how we feel about you my dear friend,
You’re so special just as you are.
Just to know that you’re there provides comfort to spare,
A friendship like yours sets the bar.
~Kal and Joanna Fuchs

I was reminded again today about the power of laughter and the power of tears and how sometimes the tears and laughter go hand and hand. I was reminded how much each of us need someone to listen. Someone to care. Someone to be there. I was feeling a bit recharged and maybe ready to tackle reality again.

As I headed home the “to do” list that I blocked out for a day is starting to filter its way back into my mind. I walk in and find this……..

That would be supper in the crock pot.....and a very clean kitchen!

No this is not how I left my house (and don’t kid yourself, this is never how I leave my house)

This is how I WISH I left my house!


Yup that's a cleaned out refrigerator.....{we don't see that much around here} Stocked with pizza!

That is the bottom of the laundry room laundry basket. I haven't seen the bottom of that in 4 years..not kidding. that's where the I don't know how to wash that or I don't know where I would put that kind of items go...and never return!
Certain that I am not worthy nor deserving of so much love.
 (short funny here. Mark says "good Friend pickin' honey!)

Life started to crumble a few weeks ago and by the end of last week things were tumbling down.

I am …

I am humbled.

I thought I was humbled after last friday....but now I am. .. I am almost in a state of shock. Disbelief

I was really wanting to get sucked into the “life sucks” mode…but my friends continue to refuse to let me go down without a fight. Last Friday my coworkers completly floored me with a very generous act and then this.

You know how you wake up on Monday morning and tell yourself “You can do this. It may look like a bad week, but really it’s just one week in time and it will be fine. Just get up and do it.” We all have those, right, the ones where all you have to do is open your schedule and your sighing before you start…….I told myself the kids love it at: Grandma’s/Linda’s/home with dad, where they will spend their evenings this week.

Another day rolls around and things start to pile, the self talking is loosing it’s power, and the mood starts to shift a bit more toward the “REALLY?!?” mode. Get home late (again) so again skip putting away any laundry that has been on the couch since Sunday and again skip scraping the dried watermelon off the dining room floor, under the table…again skip the neglected pile of things that have collected and grown so far, telling myself, this weekend. You can tackle it this weekend. Cut yourself a break….this weekend you can catch up around here. It’s okay.

You trade with yourself.
You rationalize.
You justify.
You survive.
Sometimes I just survive.

Then I just keep getting reminded how great life really is.
A couple “random” acts of kindness left me in tears more than once so far.
Is my week/life any different from a week that one of you had last week or the week before or last month?
Nah probably not.
Did I recognize it in you? As well as you have recognized it in me?
Oh I hope so….and if not I will look harder from now on!

We all have so much on our plates that it is amazing we get anything done!
We all have stress.
We all carry “burdens.”
We all do the best we can to find the balance between work and home…..
We all have beautiful secrets.

I realize my stress is no different than yours. I am humbled by the amount of the support I have seen in the last week. I do not know what I have done to justify or deserve everything.
Tonight in sit here in awe.
I know not how to repay……..

That being said……I have an amazing family.

I am so blessed to work with amazing and caring people who are more than “coworkers.”

and am willing to bet all I own on the fact that I may have the worlds greatest friends.

People who “hide” their stress much better than I can. You are all such amazing people who inspire me to be a better person everyday! I cannot imagine being surrounded by a better group of people. 
Is there much greater gifts in life than to be surrouned by amazing family and friends?

Tonight I am humbled

May you be blessed this weekend with good times and happiness.

Sweet dreams……of better weeks ahead! =)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Husker nation....interesting!

Mark and I ventured to a Husker game today!

We had fun and I supported the Huskers "bleacher sunburn" fit right into the sea of red!
You know the kind of sun burn that is on one side of your neck and the tops of your legs...yeah that's the one!

I was worried we would get there late, because we went to Cohen's soccer game first in Columbus, 
but we got there at the perfect time!
Right as we were going to our comes the band!
How Fun!
Couldn't have planned that any better!

Today is 09-11

I thought the flag was so stunning today

I found all kinds of things interesting at the game and just had to share!
You really must see.....

I have added this hat to my Christmas list =)
It was a beautiful sunny day today!
so protection was paramount in the stands!
Too bad I didn't get that memo...sunburn (oh yes I told you that already)
and this was........great!

Yes...A tail...really! OMG!

On a serious note. Check out these boots! They were even more rock star in person. I have never owned a pair of boots, but if I did...they might be a bit like these! Whatever does one wear with boots like these except a husker shirt really! I so wish you could have seen them in person!

Now I am making a confession here...there is a hidden part of me that wishes I was more like her!

Don't you just see her sitting there. She just eludes confidence and fun!
Love that!

oh and in case you are wondering I watched a lil' football too! 

There's just so much to see!
*Including the guy in front of us who completly sat on a Runza and then proceeded to eat it!
Despite the fact that it was completely flat!
I think the lady next to him was crying she was laughing so hard!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

who sets the parameters?

Quality of life

Quality of life is a frequently used phrase but have you ever tried to define it?
To put parameters on it?
I googled it and a variety of things popped up but very little could lay it out for me "What is quality of life?"
I did find this:

"The definition of quality of life is different for everyone. The main thing that determines quality of life is our ability to enjoy all that life has to offer."

Great Grandma Ella and baby Cohen

So that makes me wonder...Does "quality of life" change as our lives change or does it remain the same?
Held to the same standards?
The same parameters?
That is what I have been pondering all day really.

I sit here tonight defining what is quality of life to me, but isn't that really only my definition, based on my life, my experiences, my losses, my values, so as you sit there reading this with your own experiences-values I bet our definitions vary to some degree.

So whose to say my definition is any better or more valid than yours?

Which leads me to my next thought, that as we grow as individuals, as we experience life are we not always then changing and modifying, changing the parameters on our own definition of quality of life based on where we've been and where we're headed?

Great Grandma Ella meeting Kadence Ella for the 1st time!

I do believe that no matter our circumstances there will be similarities, factors, that weigh into quality of life but again how are they measured? By my standards or yours?  Things like purpose, optimism and life satisfaction. spiritual, physical comfort, safety, and social connections. These are all factors that would play into our quality of life right?

This is a question that is asked by many parents I meet through my work....this is a question that they too must struggle to understand? If a child will never { walk ~ talk ~ see ~ hear} we all jump to the conclusion that it will diminish their "quality of life" because we can {walk ~talk ~ see ~ hear} but if a child knows not what it is like to see then I ask how does this diminish their quality of life? Because quality of life is determined by the person based on their experiences right? Do they not set their own parameters on quality of their life? Can they not be happy? (Because I have met some VERY happy kids, who would probably not fit your definition of "quality of life." Can they not be safe? Can they not be satisfied?  Maybe not to "your" definition of happy, but what makes mine/your definition better, more valid?
This question about quality of life has been a resounding theme through out my "Career" life....I was the social worker in a nursing home, where quality of life is always in the forefront always being questioned, to hospice, where again quality of life is the essence, to my work now.......but now it is in my life as we as a family consider the thought.....

What is quality of life for Grandma Ella, who wages the war against Alzheimer's?
I think some would say already that she has none.
That her quality of life has already slipped away.

But I cannot
will not
bring myself to believe that
or find that to be true.
If you and I are ever changing our own definitions, our own parameters, then one would have to assume that the definition changes through out our lives.
Not just when it's convenient and pleasant to do so.

I will agree that her quality of life has changed.
But I beg the question,
what makes the new parameters of her quality of life any less important? 
I don't think "we" get to judge that.
I don't think we get to say her new definition of quality of life is any less important, because it is still hers.
This is still her life.
Her story.

Kadence and I stopped this morning on a round about trip to work. 
Did she call me by name?  Nah, she didn't
Did she recognize me? No. She didn't. 
Was she able to dialogue back and forth? No. Words are hard. 
Will she remember we were there 5 minutes after we were gone? No. She won't. 

Did she smile when I talked about playing baseball? You bet ya.
Did she laugh when a silly little girl was jumping up and down? Oh she did! 
Did she beam with pride as a beautiful little girl climbed in her lap? Absolutely. 

"The definition of quality of life is different for everyone. The main thing that determines quality of life is our ability to enjoy all that life has to offer."

Do I think that she enjoyed everything that her life could offer her in that moment?
Her current "quality of life?" 
Without any doubt in my heart.
So all those other things,
things outside my control,
the battle against Alzheimer's,
that doesn't define what I can do to help her create new parameters.
A new definition.
A different "quality of life."
It's still her life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The answer you've been waiting for

So in case you've ever wondered if you could make Blue maui Snowcones some high school flashback moment....

The answer is:
Not a good idea.

Just trying to save you the time and effort!
I know you were wondering!
(and how funny that a friend actually had blue maui at her house!)

I would however strongly recommend getting a snow cone machine!
I found one on clearance just today,
which of course turned into a "hey let's have snow cone night at the Calahan's,"
text a few friends
and ta da
snow cone night!

...and the snow cone flavoring is much better!
Stick with that...again just sayin'
in case you've wondered!

Tonight (like other nights) I again was reminded
that "you" can have your big city, fancy cars, bright lights,
I will take my small town~ snow cone night ~
which grew into 4 adults and 6 kids in one mini van watching tractors pack silage at the Dairy.
And to our surprise and delight one of the big 'ole tractors pulls up and says "kids want a ride?"

UMM yes, yes they would! (So would mom actually!)
However, I am not so sure he realized that there were 10 people inside one van,
but hey he asked and out piled the many kids!

as the night came to an end, Aubree was planning her "snow cone birthday party" where Cohen volunteered to come work and say "Frrreee Snow CONES!" and Cohen was figuring out how he could ride in one of the choppers tomorrow....
 both agreed it was "the best night ever!"

A clearance snow cone machine
and free tractor rides......
yup this is my life
isn't it great...
these moments are the moments I live for
these moments are the ones that make all the "other" moments worth the effort/heart ache/stress
These moments are
They're our life.

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." ~Margaret Young

(Wow now that is difficult but so true....what a process!)