Letting Go Of A Dream

Letting go of a dream….that sounds pretty dramatic doesn’t it? Sounds like something that could make us feel defeated… resigned…heartbroken.  This weekend Steve and the boyz let go of a dream. We sold the ’66 Mustang that Steve’s parents had bought for him  when he was  a teenager.  At some point it stopped running and the car had been sitting in his parents garage for years and then in our shed for more years…in hopes that one day Steve and the boyz would restore it and he could share his teenage love with them.  Sadly, that experience did not seem to be in the cards.  Time and money – the 2 things that seem to fall short – prevented them from being able to seize the opportunity.

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Our mechanic, Keith, came to tow the Mustang to it’s new home…

The restoration was always something Steve, Seamus, Brendan and Casey talked about, dreamed about and hoped would someday come true…but today they said goodbye to that vision.  Steve and I have been focused on cleaning out our house and on getting in a stronger financial position.  He realized that it was not likely we would have the large sum of money it would take to restore the Mustang especially now that the boyz are not even home to work on it with him. He saw that getting the car out of the shed, would free up space for other things and would give him access to more ‘stuff’ that was buried behind the Mustang that he might want to sell or give away. Steve felt better about bidding the Mustang farewell as it went to a family in Burnt Hills, where Steve grew up, and the father is going to restore it with his 23, 18 and 14 year old sons.  He is glad it will bring joy to a family in the way it did for him.

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As you can see, it took up most of the big center part of the shed…now there is more space to organize the rest of the ‘contents of the shed so they are not jammed in there!

 

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Dave seems like a great guy who will fulfill his own dream of restoring an old car with his sons. 

So while there was a tinge of sadness in saying goodbye…there was also some relief in freeing up the space, gratitude to Steve’s parents for OK’ing us to sell it so we can create a better financial picture, and appreciation for all the car has meant to Steve through the years.

We are in a new phase of our lives. There is much sadness that our ‘raising the boyz’ years are over…(though don’t let anyone fool you into thinking it is really over when they graduate – the parenting thing is still in full force – it just looks different than it did for the past 18 years!)…but there is also some excitement about the things that are here for us now.  It is time to shift some of our dreams… We now know we will never travel out west during a summer vacation as a family…we will not have a pool that the boyz can swim in with all of their friends. But that is ok because so many of our dreams did come true and we were blessed to do many other things we never even imagined.  And now as we let go of some dreams, we also allow the doors to open to new opportunities and experiences.  It is in the letting go that we truly free ourselves and open our hearts to life. Holding on is like a contraction in our body and letting go allows for expansion in our body, our hearts and our lives.

It is in the letting go that we feed the love ❤

 

Many Blessings, 

Suzanne

A New Perspective on Regret

A tendency to be pretty hard on myself and a bit of a perfectionist streak  lead me to  find things I regret.  I can look back at my day…week….year and wish I did X,Y or Z differently.  I remember when the boyz started Kindergarten and I was so upset, wishing I had been less stressed and more present during those 0-5 years home.  I also wish I had been more confident in high school and joined the running team instead of soccer as I think an individual sport would have suited me much better. I wish I had continued blogging from the time we came from India….I wish ..I wish…I wish…

 

shallow focus of white dandelion

 

A few years ago I came to terms with a certain level of regret – like when I go on a trip and inevitably there is something else I wish I had packed or something I intended to pack but forgot about.  After a few consecutive trips like this, I came to the conclusion that there will always be something for my brain to find that it wishes I brought with me and that awareness alone, helped me to release the regret.

Thought patterns become ingrained in our minds like habits. We have grooves in our brain and we can lazily keep going down that same track..ie ‘I wish…” Thankfully we can change those grooves at any point – no matter what our age.  As we practice a new pattern, we start to create a new groove and the old one atrophies as we use it less and less until eventually the new one becomes automatic.

So while we can change our brain’s incessant search for something to feel badly about, a new perspective on regret came to me the other night.    Maybe if we never felt regret that would mean that we had not grown. Maybe part of where regret comes from is being a slightly different person now and having more clarity which time provides and being able to view a situation a whole new way.  When we are in the midst of something, we cannot see clearly.  This is why when people tell parents of young children to ‘enjoy it – it goes so fast’ it falls on deaf ears for the most part. Those parents are in the midst of the hectic-ness of child rearing and family life. They cannot have the same perspective as someone who is beyond that phase of life and can see now how very fast it does go.

 

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Savor that moment Mama 😉

That person can see clearly how she may wish she parented – but it is easy to see that when you are not ‘in’ it – feeling the stress, exhaustion and to do list that parents feel. This is why grand-parenting is so blissful (from what I hear anyway :)).  So possibly, if we look back thinking ‘I wish’, maybe it is because we are slightly different, slightly more aware, slightly more wise.  In that case, regret tells us something positive about ourselves- that we are progressing on this journey of life and  learning as we go.  Learning hopefully implies change as well.  We can apologize if the regret is something that hurt another person (there is no statute of limitations for apologies!) And if the opportunity presents itself again, we may choose differently that time given our new awareness.

As with any feeling, if we push regret away, it will keep knocking. It is painful to feel regret, but if it comes up, we can practice non- attachment and we can allow it to move through as a new perspective and an awareness that we have grown.  Attaching to  regret can cause shame, depression and sadness.  Self-compassion is  key to healing this – to look back and not just think about what we would do if we were to do it over again, but to see ourselves as we were at that time…to remember what we were feeling and thinking which led us to make those particular choices…and to have compassion for that younger self and know she was doing the best she could at that time.

 

And with that, we will feed the love ❤

 

Many Blessings,

Suzanne

 

 

Little Things Tuesday

Sometimes it is the littlest things that make us happy.  I thought it would be fun to celebrate these little moments, things or experiences and see if others can relate.

I am a very visual person so my surroundings really impact me. I was looking for something small for a blank space in my bathroom and came across this which just made me smile…and reminds me of the person I want to be more and more.

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Some things I am grateful for are a bit bigger….like having very close friends who just happen to be spending the year in Ireland at the same time that Brendan is there. They are his Irish family and he was able to visit them over the weekend for some hiking, Irish music, rugby watching, biking and eating!

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Having this connection has been such a gift for Bear…here he is with his Irish siblings, Molly and Aidan 🙂

 

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Incredible snow at Garnet Hill and a hubby and son that wax my skis for me!

 

And a pup that is small enough to bathe easily and looks like she had a perm on her back after I towel her dry 🙂

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Our other pups were never allowed on the furniture…but Tarra is so small and does not shed like our labs did. She is SO cuddly ❤

 

It is little things like this that make me smile and feed the love on a day to day.

 

Many Blessings,

Suzanne

What’s Ripe in January?

As January has come to a close, I have been reflecting on the month. Living in the great northeast, about the only thing growing around us is snow :). Of course that is much to my delight as I love snow, skiing, snowshoeing, snuggling under heavy blankets and the pure peace, beauty and coziness that comes with a good old fashioned snowstorm.

 

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Untouched trail about to be demolished by my snowshoes and Pup’s paws..I sank to my knees on snowshoes and I was still not hitting ground!

There is one thing that grows here in January however,  and grows most everywhere this time of year… and that is diet culture.  Talk of various diets, weight loss, exercise plans and Fit Bit trackers is ubiquitous at this time.  In the past I really thought it was ‘my issue’ that I felt stressed around that kind of conversation, and to be fair, it is. My stress is mine and if something triggers me, it is because I hold something in me that touches that particular topic.  It is a journey as I continue to work on listening to my body and respecting my needs – whether that be for kale and cucumbers or for brownies and ice cream.

I have come to a new place with this topic though and I just realized this yesterday.  We were in the lunchroom at work and talk began about a contest some are having involving weight loss and tracking steps.  I felt slightly stressed as I tend to around any diet talk, but I also felt very clear – this talk is toxic – not just to me but for our culture at large. It impacts people in ways we do not even realize because we are so accustomed to hearing it.  To the outsider it just sounded like friendly banter of coworkers in the midst of an effort to improve their health. But what we know about that is that it negatively more than positively impacts health.

What kinds of conversations

could we be having if we were not talking

about food and weight so much of the time?

 

How can that be? Don’t all Drs prescribe weight loss to their patients who are suffering from pretty much any ailment they present for?  What we know now is that prescribed weight loss is not sustainable.  Sure, anyone can go on ‘X’ plan and lose weight, but why do 95% of those people gain that weight (and often more) back? Would we take a birth control pill that was 95 % ineffective? So people lose weight, gain it back, and feel like they failed, creating yet another reason to say ‘what the H-ll’ and binge in response to their self -defeated feelings and their weeks/months of restriction. What they are unable to see is that they did not fail – the diets fail. They  feel more disempowered and disconnected from their bodies with each attempt.

January brings this renewed sense of  ‘this year will be different’ and because of our culture’s messages, a large part of that is focused on weight. Office lunchrooms, school cafeterias, dinner parties will all find multiple conversations leaning in this direction. This year I am choosing to just remove myself from the area when I hear this kind of talk though certainly at times, when appropriate, I will share my viewpoint. I recognize that everyone is not ready to let go of the thin ideal, that these messages are deep and fixed in so many of us and it is a process (one that I am still in the midst of) to shift to a new paradigm. This shift often results in a grieving process as people have dreamed that ‘once I am “x” weight….’ life will be perfect, I will have love, money, respect, health’….I have patients who are young 20 somethings to those who are retired, grandparents, widows…who struggle with these issues on a daily basis.  I feel so inspired when they are able to take in even a tiny bit of this new information….people are remarkable.

 

‘Good’ foods are any foods

that feel nourishing to my body and soul’ 

 

How amazing would it be if we could all be more respectful of our bodies? If we could give ourselves what we want and need and not apply moral judgement to food choices?  I have been slowly, shifting to this mindset with the awareness that our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for. If we take care of them, they find where they want to be regarding weight. We can go to various lengths to try to change that, but it is ultimately temporary because our bodies are designed to survive and fight efforts that work against them. 

My intention is to keep feeding the love by feeding my body ❤

 

Many Blessings,

Suzanne