Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Looking In and Out November 10, 2012

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So apparently, November is “write a lot of blog posts” month, or something like that – and I have had a peripheral awareness of this “event” taking place. The only trouble is, I am not sure my life fits well into some arbitrary trend – decided without my buy in. At least that’s what I am going to go with for now. The reality is I haven’t been writing much for the last several months, not because I haven’t thought about it, because I do, almost every day, but because I haven’t been sure about what I wanted to write about for this forum. Or put another way, other “things”- are pulling for my attention and when I pondered writing – I wasn’t able to focus in the way I wanted to. And that’s fine, we all have to set our priorities and decide where to spend our resources, but I have to tell you, I have been missing this… It adds value, that I don’t want to ignore.

So today, before I dive into the “priority items” on my list – I decided I needed to make a little time for writing a post. The trick was – that I wasn’t sure “what” I wanted to write about, only that I seemingly both “wanted” and “needed” to do it. So before I settled down to write – I spent a little time looking for some inspiration and luckily I found it in both familiar and unfamiliar places. For me the familiar – is always being outside and taking-in a little natural beauty. It’s a clear and beautiful day here today, temperatures in the low 40’s, which actually seems warm after this last week’s Nor’easter. The blue sky, the birds, the green grass, the warming sun – just make me feel calm and grateful. And the “unfamiliar”, well that took the form of reading some of my own blogs. I liked hearing what I had to say – and how I said, it. And lest you think I am some sort of ego-maniac, I have to say that this was a welcome new experience for me.

And while, I am simultaneously not unaware of my strengths and positive attributes – and of course am naturally guided by my own inner knowing and wisdom – something felt different about going back to my own posts to not only “re-learn” how I do this in the first place but to “inspire” myself. It was nice to see what I wrote about almost three years ago when I began blogging. It was also warming to see the thoughts and comments of friends and family in those early days of being a “blogger”. I don’t know if in those early days, I had any readers who I didn’t know personally, and I hadn’t yet learned about adding pictures, tags and links to increase my readership. (Heck I am still surprised when a new reader “likes” a post or leaves a comment and am puzzled by “how” they found me.) Which leads me to the next thought – Why do we blog? Why do we read other people’s blogs? What is this all about anyway?

And the answers ,well they certainly are numerous. But I guess for me the answer at its most basic form is – “It simply feels good.” I like the way it feels to write, if I don’t do it for too long a period, I feel a void. I like reading what other people have to say – not just in response to what I put out there – but the things they are saying in their own blogs too. When I first heard about blogging – I have to say I just didn’t understand it at all. And now, now – it makes perfect sense to me. Expression, Connection, Inspiration, Education, Humor, Wisdom, Warmth, Stimulation – they are all there. Today I make my mark on this blog page. Blogger and Blog-Reader, I am here – still taking it all in – still wanting to swirl around new ideas and insights – still savoring the outlet – still developing and changing and evolving, right here, in my own little world, coffee by my side, music in my ears and words tripping out through my fingertips to you. Write On!

 

Evolving Traditions April 5, 2010

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Holidays and traditions, I grew-up with a strong dose of them. In my family, each holiday brought with it a very definite set of rituals and traditions, largely focused around various ethnic foods and familial gatherings. It was good stuff, and I liked the predictability and specialness that each occasion brought with it (often because we would eat really good foods that we would never have at other times of the year – what can I say, I am Italian-American and that’s just the way we rolled.) As an adult and a parent, I have the opportunity to make, carry-on and/or create traditions with my sons that hopefully will have their own magic for them similar to what I experienced as a child, and though some things hearken back to the traditions of my childhood, many do not. One of the biggest differences is that their father and I are divorced and so holidays are now spent with one or the other parent and each carries with it its own meaning, meals and memories.

So one of the biggest differences each year is that holidays don’t always mean family anymore, at least not the way it used to. The way it works out for our family is that some holidays are always spent with one particular parent, the boys are with me for Christmas Eve and Christmas and with their dad for New Year’s Eve and New Years. Thanksgiving is a swap off holiday – the boys spending every other year with the other parent and holidays like Easter, are determined by the regular weekly rotation. It’s a bit of a smorgasbord for all four of us (there’s an Italian saying which would be perfectly interjected here, roughly translating to: “A little of this, a little of that, a little of the other thing”.) It works for us for the most part and the boys seem to feel comfortable with the mixture of familiarity and fluctuation that are our new “traditions” if you will.

For me, this year Easter was spent with my friends since my boys were with their dad. I had given them their “Easter baskets” in the middle of last week, since I wasn’t sure that would be a part of his plans for them and what kid doesn’t look forward to the chocolate and jelly beans? I had a lovely day, great weather, good food, stimulating conversation, a lovely walk, laughter, warmth and appreciation for the people in my life. Yes, I did miss my boys, but it did not distract me from enjoying my day. Growing-up I would have never guessed that my holiday would be spent with all friends and no family, with ham and macaroni and cheese instead of frittata and Easter bread, with a lovely walk instead of an Easter egg hunt, but my enjoyment of the day was there just the same.

I think sometimes we make assumptions, that life is a certain way, some things are a given and a constant and will always be the same, but the reality is that this is of course an impossibility. Even those members of my family who gathered for the traditional brunch found themselves sitting around a table with a family constellation that looked different from how it did the year before. And this to me is not a bad thing. There may be times when I “wax nostalgic” for the memories of years passed, but I still appreciate the new. The fact is things change, continuously, allowing yourself to move and change with it expands the possibilities. Hopefully my sons will bring forward into their adulthood a mixture of tradition with flexibility; an appreciation for the old and an embrace of the new, and a sense that the outer trappings are less important than the internal spirit that they bring to the special moments in their lives, the confidence to know that traditions carry a sense of history and familiarity but are not so rigid that they cannot be changed to incorporate new circumstances.

 

Five Minutes Ago I was a Cromagnon January 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 10:29 am
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Evolution – the personal kind – not the apes to humans thing (though – maybe it’s true for that kind as well) is a constant. Each day we wake, we do, we feel, we interact, we start again. And even if it seems that the day is fundamentally the same as yesterday, it is not, it is new, each moment is new. We are alive and here – working our way toward the end and its indeterminate date of arrival with a constant movement forward at least as far as time and aging goes. But what we make of each of our days here is unwritten. Despite our best laid plans and expectations for what we will do today or tomorrow or next year there is absolutely no guarantee that anything is going to turn out that way.

How we interact with that march of time, the constant gamble, the choice of how we want to live each day is totally up to us despite all that is not in our control. We all know of one of those amazing stories of courage and resilience about a person who experiences some horrific life changing catastrophe and goes on to live a life full of fulfillment in a new direction than they ever imagined before. Or of a life crushing trauma that sent another person into a tail-spin of despair from which they never recover completely. There are a lot of factors that weigh in on the conclusion; mental health, financial resources, support systems, etc. but there is also the personal factor – the person involved.

What’s the expression? One person’s loss is another’s gain? What I am suggesting here is that that little quote is as much a personal orientation as an outward product. And to some degree – it is a choice that we get to make every moment of our lives. Right now, without having to think about it too hard I can think of five people I know (or maybe that would be 10) who are going through a divorce. And it is not an overstatement of fact to say that this is a devastating experience, no matter how amicably and equitably it transpires, particularly if there are children involved. And yet it is also such a huge fundamental shift in the day-to-day existence of the people involved that it is also probably one of the biggest “do-overs” we will ever be presented with in our lives. But even if we are not going through a change as dramatic as a divorce in many ways each day, each moment provides another opportunity to be different then we were before.

My day started out kind of weird today. I was having a hard time getting going and wrapping my brain around all that I had to do, and then I had a conversation with a friend. Something in that conversation reminded me of “the why” of what was on my list – the things I value, the things I am responsible for and how they interact with my dreams – and my energy shifted. I cannot predict what my day will be like exactly, but I don’t have to, in this moment I have a focus – I am moving forward, making the best of a little free time. No guarantees, and for right now, I am okay with that.