Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Go ahead, let it snow. January 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 10:51 am
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It’s late January here in New England and apparently the universe has woken to the fact that in the wintertime around here there usually is this white stuff that falls out of the sky, it’s called snow. Not that it is a momentous storm or anything mind you but it is coming down, and by the time it stops we should have 4-6 inches of fluffiness on the ground. In fact, this is the fourth snow fall of the week and even though the other three were only an inch or two, each one required me to clear our heavily shaded driveway and sidewalk or else risk the ice rink that is sure to form. But that’s okay, like any good New Englander – I have the tools necessary for the job: the big, heavy “pushing” shovel, the curved, lifting shovel, the push and regular brooms for the porch and of course my new personal favorite – the snowblower. (Purchased last year before the deluge, and paid for over six months before the store credit card started accruing interest, this bad boy has become my new best friend.  And though I am tempted here to go on and on about how my snowblower paid for itself multiple times with last year’s record-setting snow totals, or how sometimes it is reluctant start yet so far always manages to come around to seeing things my way – I will restrain myself.)

Because what I really just wanted to mention briefly today is that there is a part of me that still loves the snow! Sure as the years go on, and my back gets weaker there have been many a time when I have cursed the winter and all the snow that comes along with it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it altogether. There is no denying that a fresh blanket of the white stuff can be extraordinarily beautiful on the leaf bare trees, house roofs and brown grass. The sparkle of fresh snow in the moonlight is magical. And when the storm first passes and the sky re-emerges – it seems bluer and more clear than on any other day when the ground is not covered by a fresh coating of snow. But one of the things I like the most is the silence. That absolute stillness in the air when the snow is coming down is perfection!

So though I may be singing a different tune as the next few weeks go by and the slush and ice and piles of dirt encrusted snow likely will accumulate, I just wanted to acknowledge this little moment in time when I am still enamoured of waking to a snowy, snowing morning. It makes me think of my sister, and how we used to like to take a walk down to the park when we were young as the snow fell and the quiet surrounded us. There was a time when winter was my favorite season – and though more recently I have come to truly hate being cold – apparently I have not lost my love and appreciation for the magical healing serenity of a new blanket of snow. Happy shoveling!

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“Showing Up” for Yourself January 19, 2012

What do you do when other people “don’t show up”? Whether it’s that you find yourself sitting alone at a coffee shop waiting for a friend who was supposed to meet you, awaiting an email response on a time-sensitive issue, or dealing with the repercussions of a task that someone else said they would take care of but didn’t – the fact is that people are going to disappoint you and let you down. Lately it seems that I have found myself in several conversations with people regarding the impact of “other people’s inability to be dependable”.  We’ve all experienced it – some more than others and quite frankly – it stinks. If you are a person who regards yourself as someone who is dependable and responsible it can be almost unconscionable to comprehend. Afterall, how hard is it to pick up the phone, send a quick email or simply say, “I’m sorry – I won’t be able to do it, to make it, etc.”? Well, apparently, it’s very hard for some people. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they are not intentionally causing stress – but honestly for the purposes of this blog – trying to decipher the myriad of possible reasons why some folks are unable to be reliable is a detour down a path that won’t get me to where I want to go.

The issue I would like to address is the impact this experience has on the person who was left waiting. It really is a “sensitive subject”, though at first glance it might not seem that way. But what I find is that being the one who does “show up” can be pretty complicated. The emotional responses can be pretty widely varied. You may feel angry, because you have re-arranged your schedule and shuffled around other important agenda items only to find yourself frustrated with a block of “free-time” that you would just as soon preferred not to have at that particular moment. You may be relieved because you were tired and not really  “up for it” yourself. You may question yourself – “why did I count on that person when history tells me they are unreliable in this regard?” Or you may feel simply hurt and frustrated. The possibilities are many and I am sure there are others I haven’t mentioned here – but suffice it to say that most of the time – you aren’t left feeling “happy”.

No matter what the exact circumstances or emotional response is to any given event of this nature – I think you need to make a conscious and concerted effort to do a little healing before you can move on. Whether you take a little breather for yourself to calm and refocus – call someone and vent a bit – or simply acknowledge your disappointment and re-strategize about your day, there has to be some sort of “re-set” in the moment. But beyond the re-set which is re-active in nature, there is a pro-active piece as well. The reality is – there are always going to be people who, for whatever reason, are simply not going to “show-up” for you. And it generally doesn’t feel good when they don’t. But if you know this, you can choose to prepare yourself for its eventuality. Maybe not every time, and maybe being miffed for a little while isn’t too much to bear, but you can choose to not let it de-rail you.

The big problem lies in letting it “ruin your morning, day or evening”. ‘Cause the fact is that you “showed-up” or were ready and willing to take care of the task at hand at that’s a good thing (not that I want to quote Martha Stewart or anything). The reality is you can’t control what other people are going to do or not do – so focus on what you can control. You are in charge of how you both “react” and how you “approach” the situation  in the first place. “Show-up” for yourself and allow yourself to take the actions necessary to keep moving forward.  Don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try this out – so next time you find you “threw a party and nobody came” – remember to celebrate with the guest of honor – you!

 

One Lump or Two? January 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:13 am
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Do you remember your first cup of coffee? For me, it is a distinct memory. It was back in the day when people served coffee in cups and saucers, not mugs – and it was prepared in an aluminum “perk-pot” on the stove. I remembered easing my way into embellishing this new hot beverage with milk and sugar – having first tried a sip as my mother prepared hers – with a drop of milk so small that it barely changed the color of the liquid. I settled on the “light, one sugar” preference and for years that’s how I drank it – until I finally gave up on the sugar addition during one round of dieting years ago. (Though sometimes, I still like a sweetened cup – it’s almost more like a hot coffee – ice cream dessert .) During my college years – I consumed ridiculous quantities of coffee on a regular basis and actually needed to give it up for a while. And now, though I still drink coffee most days, I have found that my addiction is to a hot beverage rather than the caffeine therein – which no longer seems to impact me one way or another.

Why the heck am I talking about coffee this morning, you ask? Well, last night my 17 year-old walked down to the corner store to buy some half-and-half – so that he would be all-set for a cup of coffee today. In fact, I made sure that I got up early – not just to start my day, but to make a pot of coffee, per his request. Lately, he has taken to making himself a travel mug to take to school most mornings and my 14 year-old has expressed an interest in an occassional cup, though typically that isn’t a school-day request. It’s like a rite of passage in my mind, a sign that they are growing up and taking on some of the habits of adults. I won’t get into the issues of how “healthy” coffee is for you or not – or the reverence and peculiar fascination our society now has with coffee; bistros, lattes and brewing methods. Because though part of me was hoping they would never “take to the stuff”,  for the most part I am okay with it.

So as I adjust to having to share my pot of coffee each morning – the big awareness is that I am no longer living with two children, but two young men. In fact, in a nostalgic boyish moment earlier this week – “my baby” asked me to check his height for him because he was sure he had gotten taller since the day before. And though I know it didn’t happen overnight – he measured an inch and a quarter taller than he was a couple of months ago – topping out (for now) at six feet, three-quarter inches! And that’s the younger one!!! They are getting bigger and life here has changed significantly since they were two little, juice-slurping boys. It’s quite a change – and sometimes the growth spots – pull and strain, lurch and crash – into dreams of a peaceful, harmonious household – but this one, this goes down rather smoothly – like a well-prepared cup o’ joe on a quiet morning.

 

Sweet and Simple – Slumber and Sparkle January 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:07 am
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So far, it is a quiet Sunday morning here in my world. It was one of those days when I apparently, could have slept forever. There were several times when; I woke up, decided I was going to go downstairs, make some coffee and start my day – but found myself falling back to sleep, again and again. Finally, about an hour ago – realizing I had fallen into a wake-sleep cycle that could easily go on for hours, I forced myself to toss off the covers throw my legs over the side of the bed and actually get up. Now, let me just be clear here, I am not adverse to “sleeping-in” now and then especially on a Sunday morning when the agenda is loose and the pressure is low – but this was one of those situations where I felt like the longer I slept, the more tired I became. Sleeping was only serving to make me sleepier and I do love the idea of paddling around in my slippers in a quiet house, coffee in hand while I do a little reading and ease into my day. It is a luxurious and simply lovely way to start the day – and I didn’t want to sleep through my opportunity. So here I am…

Later in the day – “the big plan” is to dismantle the Christmas decorations and get the house back to its pre-holiday state of being. The boys both slept at friends’ houses last night and should be home around noon and my boyfriend is quietly snoring – enjoying an unusually late start to his day. So, it’s just me and the cats, who themselves seem to be having a quiet, Sunday morning. One staring out the living room window, watching for birds and leaves and other exciting bits of life in the great outdoors, while the other two are curled up and sleeping on my son’s bed.

I look froward to getting the house “back to normal”, wrapping up our nutcracker friends and putting them away for another year, but I always hate taking down the tree. From mid-December to early-January every year, enjoying the silent, sparkly, beauty of the tree is something we all take-in in our own way. Soma, one of the cats, seems to wait for me to turn on the lights each evening when the dark descends on us, and curls up on the rug, in front of the tree for most of the night. For me, I like to spend a little time each evening, sitting in the livingroom with just the lights on from the tree, listening to a little music while taking in the smell of the pine and the twinkle of the lights. It is incredibly relaxing. And my oldest son, has taken his pillow and comforter down to the couch many times over the last few weeks to fall asleep by the tree. It’s sweet really. There is something, innocent, and nostalgic about it as he slumbers there in the tree’s shadow. But in a few short hours,  the time of the tree will be gone again for another year.

And it will be just fine. It will be nice not to have to search as hard for the everyday items which I have stored away, and the whole place will get a thorough and much-needed dusting – which should cut down on my sneezing!

And what is “coming through” for me right now about all of what I have said so far in this blog is how important it is to simply be in the moment, whatever it is. Whether it is lying in bed, contemplating your day, shuffling about with hot coffee or gazing at the twinkle of Christmas lights, each moment offers an opportunity of simple beauty and inspiration. If you allow yourself to be open to it – the pleasure and piece of a mundane task or the heart-tug of tradition and “specialness-ness” can offer a sense of calm happiness. Fulfillment and joy need not come in a grand demonstration of attainment – but are always there quietly waiting to be acknowledged. You just have to be open to noticing it. May you have a sweet and lovely day – taking pleasure in all the little things that make life what it is – one moment to the next.

 

Study-hall-house, shhhhhhh January 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:05 pm
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The environment in the house tonight is “all work”. It distinctly has that feeling of being in a college dorm during finals week. Everybody hunkered down doing their work quietly, seriously and individually. And yet, there is, at least for me, this sense of shared experience and camaraderie. It’s a little strange – but I have to say – “I kind of like it.”

“The senior” is working on the final draft of an essay that is due tomorrow. Unfortunately, he is a bit of a procrastinator, so the pressure is on. He has quietly secluded himself in the computer room – doesn’t like any noise, doesn’t want any distractions. Okay with me, as long as he is getting the working done. I am happy to tip-toe around if that will help him do his best work.

“The freshman”, having misunderstood the due date on an important science lab – is finishing his math homework – while I finish up on the laptop, when he is ready to get to the lab – I shall relinquish “my” computer and begin dinner prep. I certainly have more that I would like to get done on this machine tonight – but I believe his deadline is more pressing. So once dinner prep is complete – I shall switch my efforts over to written projects, lists and writings.

“The boyfriend” is stationed at his usual spot on the dining room table – attending to the tasks he has on his “to-do” list. Willingly and supportively working with the family schedule and flowing right along. The only sound to be heard is the gurgling of an empty stomach, as he too adjusts with the pushed-back dinner schedule.

So dinner will be late, cause I am putting off relinquishing my machine until I absolutely have to. Hopefully, we will all join together for a little repast – regain our strength and get back to our individual tasks replenished and renewed. We shall see…

I know there have been times when the house felt this quiet before – but there is something in the air that feels different. For me, my moments with this blog are numbered as I know I have to give-up the machine momentarily. I just wanted to mark this funny little moment in time. And put the wish out to the universe that I hope we all get accomplished what we need to tonight – and are able to rest easy – with the satisfaction of knowing that we did our best. Shhhhhh…..

 

Thoughts on Day One January 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:01 am
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Quick thoughts for the new year… Awoke this morning to an unseasonably warm and bright, sunny day. A nice walk is in order… after I enjoy my coffee and a little quiet, slow reflection. Felt the desire to write a post – but apparently not in my usual long-winded voice.

Spent some time yesterday reviewing the last year – the wins and the challenges. It was not an easy year, not for anybody it seemed. Despite that reality – there was a lot of positive forward movement and THAT is very exciting to see.

Not a fan of resolutions – though I am a big fan of goals and plans. Spending some time today looking forward and collecting my thoughts for what I would like to see happen in the coming year. Not so much a resolution as a map of intentions and promises to myself. Doesn’t need a change in the calendar year to happen – but there is a clean neatness to this mark of time – so why not take advantage of the moment and create some momentum?

Find myself thinking of all the people in my life and those that I do not know yet or will never come to know. And truly warmed by the sense of love, anticipation and hopefulness that people throughout the world are putting out today.

So simply wanting to check-in here and wish you and yours a year filled with growth, joy, fulfillment and warmth.

(Calendar from: http://designbeep.com)