SOLC 31 of 31: At the end of the day…

“Ask at the end of each day, ‘Did I live through my heart and demonstrate interest in others? Did I bring joy and compassion to someone today?’ – Brendon Burchard”

This quote popped up on my Facebook Feed today and it caught my eye and made me linger. I know I try to live through my heart and show joy and compassion each day, but do I? Does it come through in moments, and if so, is that enough? If not, how can we sustain that positive energy to allow us to have that be our default, rather than just a peak?

In this crazy race-around world of get-there and do-this, are we taking time to live in the present moment, demonstrate interest in others fully and wholly and bring and enjoy joy and compassion with others? How would we rate ourselves on this at the end of the day?

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SOLC 30 of 31: Starry Sky

Don’t forget

to take the time

to look up

at the

starry sky.

It’s stunning

and awesome

and overwhelming

and mesmerizing

and spectacular.

Look up,

take it in,

make a wish,

have a moment.

SOLC 29 of 31: Baseball Season

New cleats? Check.

New bat? Check.

Uniform ordered? Check.

Team 1 practice schedule and games on calendar? Check.

Team 2 practice schedule and games on calendar? Check.

Batting practice on the front lawn? Check.

Cross-training with trampoline and basketball? Check. (just for fun!)

Smiles on my son’s face? Check.

It’s baseball season.

SOLC 28 of 31:Vacation’s end

Today is a bonus day of vacation due to the lack of snow days used this year. I should be jumping for joy and living it up today – a bonus day of vacation – who gets that? But, even though I’ve had 12 days away from school, I’m still left wanting more. I still grieve the last day of vacation and look down my long list of things to do and wonder if they will get done.

I like my vacation-self better than my working-self. I’m less stressed, more present and more fun. I’m working from home today, finishing up reports and documents that need to get done sooner than later.  I’m revisiting the last 12 days of vacation – some more noteworthy than others, and hoping that I’ve used these days wisely.

Vacation’s end is always a bittersweet moment. I’ll try to make the most of it today and then start planning my next vacation! That will keep me going!

SOLC 27 of 31: Easter Tradition

Although they are 11 and 9, and one of them doesn’t believe in Santa or the Easter bunny anymore, they still look forward to our Easter tradition of going on a treasure hunt through the house, following clues hidden in plastic eggs and finding an Easter Basket filled with goodies at the end.

I love that they love this. It’s adorable  how they wake up so excited (just like on Christmas) and can’t wait to find the first clue. We done this for 4 or 5 years now and it seems to have really taken hold in our house – so much so that this year, when I told the kids that we’d be at the beach house instead of our house, my son, who’s 9, almost had a meltdown over missing the Easter Egg Treasure Hunt.  I told him that the Easter bunny would be able to do the Treasure Hunt at the beach house – so not to worry. Phew, that helped!

One year, they had been staying at my parents the night before Easter and insisted on waking early and returning to our house early just for the Easter Egg Treasure Hunt.

It’s not easy to create fun traditions that take hold. This is one that we created and I just love that the kids just love it. I hope it’s one that they keep for their own kids.

SOLC 26 of 31: Off-season

My puppy loves the beach off-season. It’s when he’s allowed to be on the beach and there are often few folks around.  The beach becomes his playground. His ears perk up when he sees a seagull and he gets ready to give chase.  He digs and digs on the sand, hoping to come up with a shell to gnaw.

Yesterday and this morning on our walk he spotted a large rock jutting out from beneath the waves. Sure that it was an animal that he needed to scare away, his ears perked, his stance change, he became ready to pounce. Upon giving him a bit more leeway with his leash he went a little closer only to discover that the rock was just that – a rock.

As the waves rolled in and out, two more smaller rocks were revealed. He went to one, then the other, then back to the big one. Each time the waves covered the rocks he went to look for them all over again.

This is puppy’s favorite off-season playground (and mine).

SOLC 25 of 31: Ladies Who Lunch

IMG95201603249512571591295HDRYesterday my daughter and I spent the day together. We went out for both breakfast and lunch during our outing. We looked at places for her Bat Mitzvah reception and then headed to New Hope, PA to scout out the plans for her tie dye party there next month. It was a very relaxed and joyous day – just the two of us. I needed that. She needed that. We’ve been thrown into the tornado of teenage hormones recently and it’s been a little rocky.

At the Tie Dye shop, where we just stopped in to make plans for her party, we decided that an early birthday gift to her would be a tapestry that she would make.  We had 1:1 attention from the store owner and together they made the most gorgeous tapestry to hang over her bed in her room at home. Her smiles, her happiness, her relaxed state of enjoyment was all worth it.

While the tapestry dried, we at lunch and made reservations for her party lunch to follow the tie dye and then headed to an ice cream store to check out the milkshakes. YUM.

It was a lovely slice of time together marked not by yelling and arguing and disagreeing, but by smiles, fun, enjoyment and togetherness.  Love those days.

SOLC 24 of 31: Guard Dog

He lays by the front door,

flopped on the welcome mat,

nose on the door frame peering back into the house.

He perks up his ears when a car nears,

but doesn’t move.

If a visitor arrives, his head lifts

and he decides if it’s worth a greet.

He rises slowly,

prowls like he’s about to pounce

and then jumps up to meet,

appeased by any petting, loving, scratching, rubbing.

He’s my attention-seeking

Golden retriever, but

a guard-dog, he is not.

SOLC 23 of 31: The lost art of handwriting

The other day I was making a recipe of my grandmother’s. I still use the recipe card that she wrote it on for a recipe book that my mom put together for my engagement party. Her handwriting is curvy and formal and my middle school daughter commented that she couldn’t read the cursive. It is pushed and pulled in all the right ways showing her deliberate strokes. It truly is a piece of art.

It got me thinking about the lost art of handwriting. My handwriting is anything but artistic, and let’s be honest, most days and most things now, we type. As I look at my recipe book, I realized that I have other recipe cards from relatives that are no longer alive – and that beyond our memories and photos this may be the one piece of handwriting of theirs that I still have to remember them.  Unlike losing the memory of someone’s voice, their handwriting can be preserved.  I’m glad I have this piece of my grandmother to look back on and remember her by.  Her cursive still reflects her personality – formal and fun. Her recipe cards always ended with “Enjoy!” – revealing her love for the food she made. I’m sure that my word-processed entries won’t reflect my personality the same way her curvy handwriting was did her. It truly is a lost art.

SOLC 22 of 31: Lost in Translation

While in Barcelona, we went to a cooking class that took us first to the market to buy fresh ingredients and then to the cooking school where we learned to whip up tomato bread, paella, focaccia with spinach & raisins, and some delicious dessert in a ramekin.  One of the easiest parts of this meal was the tomato bread which we soon learned was a Barcelona staple.  Simple: toasted country bread slices, topped with garlic smeared on the edges, aged tomato halved and mushed across the top of the bread, olive oil and salt. Delicious! We gobbled it up. THIS! (I thought to myself), is something that I can easily replicate at home.

So last night, back in my own kitchen, armed with familiar ingredients of country bread, garlic, tomatoes and olive oil, I tried to make Barcelona Tomato Bread.

It worked, sort of. But it wasn’t the same. Somehow this Barcelona staple seemed lost in translation in my kitchen in NJ. Sigh.

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