What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes!

This weekend I was the last person up to the cottage for the July 4th weekend. Pulling up to the driveway I discovered, there were already six cars parked there, along the road, and at the neighbor’s house.

Walking into the cottage, I could see the boat and sea doo were gone. The family was already at the sand bar enjoying a beautiful Saturday.

The cottage floors were strewn with shoes and towels. The kitchen was filled with dishes. I had no idea where the three cats were. There were suitcases and duffles all over the place.

Generally, things which would make me mad, but made me smile! What a difference a year makes!

I took a walk down the street and noticed mine was not the only house overflowing with cars and campers. It was the rare driveway that was empty. People were ready to enjoy the long weekend.

And the homeowners were entertaining again!

Yesterday, back to the sandbar! The best way to enjoy a sunny 90-degree day. I have to say, in our 20 years of living here, I have never seen so many people there.

What’s more, the people were smiling. And I could see their smiling faces! There were volleyball games, tons of people floating on rafts, and I may have spotted a beer pong game or too.

This morning I went back out for a walk. The driveways are slowly emptying out. My driveway is down to four cars.

Friends have headed back home, and two of my kids have headed back to their lives.

There is a bit of me that is sad. Which is a normal feeling when the house empties out.

But honestly, I am so blessed I have a place they want to spend their time off. I am grateful they chose to spend their time with me. I have great kids, and they have great friends. This weekend has reminded me of just how blessed I am.

Of course, this does not mean I won’t shed a tear or two while I track my kids back to their new homes. It just means I know just how lucky I am to have spent some part of their long weekend with them.

And that is the difference between this year and last year. Last year I was heartbroken to see my son head off to boot camp. Like ugly cry sad. This year I know how blessed I am when I get to see him. (I may still shed a tear though.)

May you also see the blessings in your lives, even when they make you sad.

Creating Space

Old Swim Coat Filled with patches

There is something invigorating about creating space. The calendar’s flip to a new year creates all sorts of space or the illusion of it. Pulling down the Christmas decorations creates new space in our homes.

This new space fills our soul with a sense of optimism. Or maybe a need to refill the space with something new.

I find I am more creative when the slate is clean. My desk is cleared off—the areas within my eye-sight with nothing out of order.

Maybe this is why I hadn’t been creating recently. My outer and inner spaces were filled with stuff. Continue reading “Creating Space”

I Failed 2020

Dead End sign

I have started my annual review, and I just have to say, I failed 2020. Yup, no bullshitting here, I just didn’t do very well this year, and if I am honest and needed to give myself a grade, I would be hard-pressed to say I earned anything other than an F.

I do not say this lightly or to be funny.

I simply did not rise to the challenges this year gave me. In fact, I crumbled under a few of them. I think this grade was fairly earned. Continue reading “I Failed 2020”

A Drive-by Christmas

Christmas House

This year was a first for us, a drive-by Christmas celebration. Since I met my husband in 1985, we have spent all but two Christmas Eves at his parents’ home. And those two times, we had chosen to spend the holidays in Florida with just the six of us together.

Last night was the first time in 35 years; we have not spent the evening eating, laughing, sharing, and spending the evening with his family. Continue reading “A Drive-by Christmas”

What if I am Wrong?

The Thinker

What if I am wrong? I have been thinking about this a lot recently. What if what I believe to be true is wrong?  

How does my thinking and actions affect my life? Is this a significant problem if I am wrong, or will it merely be a setback with my plans?

What if I was wrong to start my company. What was the worse thing which could happen? I left a job, which I had outgrown, but paid me fairly. I would lose this stability, but I was also going to leave anyway. If the company did not/does not work, I will have gained a lot of experience and will go back to working for someone else. Continue reading “What if I am Wrong?”

Mom Feelings

Today, as I sit in my kitchen trying to work, I am overwhelmed with mom feelings. This overwhelm happens each time a significant change is about to happen. Today, my son and his girlfriend are leaving the cottage and heading back to Wisconsin.

I have written before how this pandemic has given me strange blessings. And having my son under the same roof for the past four months has been one of them. He is 25 years old, and I knew several years ago I would never live with him again. All a part of raising kids is knowing someday, they move on with their lives. And they permanently move out of their childhood home.

I know he will be back on holidays. I know he will return to our cottage for long weekends next summer. But to live with me, that won’t happen. Continue reading “Mom Feelings”

Missing Out

Boy on Dock

FOMO or the fear of missing out has taken over the country. I have no other explanation for why it appears; otherwise, rational people would lose their shit. And to be honest, I fully include myself in this!

I always thought I wouldn’t fall into this trap. I love Instagram, but I don’t have this oh my gosh, their lives are so much better than mine thing when I am on it. I genuinely love looking at well-shot pictures, pictures of amazing places on earth, photos of great food, and fun!

It isn’t that my life is fantastic, it is just that I was, I guess, content where things were. I have a decent life: a mom, entrepreneur, daughter, sister, friend, no complaints.

And then the pandemic hit our country, and everything stopped. Everything stopped, but the fear of myself or someone I love getting Covid-19. I learned everything I could about this disease. We eased into our new lives of hanging out at home, getting groceries delivered, and staring at each other’s faces. Continue reading “Missing Out”

Early Morning Quiet

Mug on Dock

It is early on Friday morning, and all is quiet in my home. There are no other sounds, but the sounds of the ceiling fans whirling. The occasional sound of the refrigerator humming and the birds chirping outside.

These moments are all mine.

Mine with a big mug of coffee or two. But they are still all mine. There is no one talking to me. No outside thoughts, at least none that I don’t bring into my mornings. Just quiet.

Some mornings I get right to work. Marking things right off my to-do list. Some mornings I allow myself to get distracted by reading emails. Looking at social media, or plunging into cleaning up the kitchen. (Which somehow looks like a party happened while I was sleeping.)

This morning, the kitchen is clean. The house is quiet. Continue reading “Early Morning Quiet”

Stolen Moments

Girl with a frog

The blessing of stolen moments. The past few months have been strange and different. Life was put on pause. Work, school, and events were canceled. Lives have been lost. Injustices have been brought to light. And in the midst of all of this, I discovered I was blessed with time with my children.

Last night, I went on a brief after-dinner walk. As we were making our way back to our home, my son’s girlfriend asked, when was the last time you had the chance to spend time with your oldest two children.

I thought about it because there have been times over the past 25 years where I have had one-on-one time with just the two of them. As a parent, most of the time we spend with our children end after they graduate from high school. So time spent with adult children is increasingly rare.

Just time with my oldest two, I might have to reach back to 1998, the year my third child was born. Continue reading “Stolen Moments”