Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a Good Life! I'm Dianne, a 30-something mommy of 2 wanting to use my words to inspire my daughters, and others, to live a good life.
My good life in photos.
Recent events today prompted me to think about some of my darkest moments over the past few years and how I survived them. It’s crazy how some things can trigger memories we haven’t thought about in years.
David and I went to Vegas with our college chums in December 2010 to celebrate Christmas a little early and catch up with each other. We stayed at our friend’s parents’ house in Henderson. I had just suffered my second miscarriage and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to celebrate and enjoy and just be. We were the only couple that were married at that time, and the only ones who had suffered such a loss. To everyone else, life was the same as it had always been.
One of the nights we were there I felt terribly sick. I don’t know what it was – if maybe I ate something bad or if my sorrow was causing my body to shut down. Everyone was ready to head out to the strip. I think some of them were practically out the door when I decided I wasn’t going. It was all too much, and I felt too sad to celebrate anything.
So they stayed home. All of them. And it wasn’t a spiteful decision on their part. Pajamas were put on and the snacks were brought out. They played games all night (Charades, I think) while I sat and watched and even laughed. I want to say we even videotaped it because it was so funny.
I’ll always remember that day and how my friends really supported me, not by talking me through it, but just by being there. They’re my people. And I miss them.
Last Wednesday was St. Therese’s feast day. I spent a good amount of that day looking up ideas of how to celebrate with Dylann, since she was named after St. Therese. I thought about decorating cupcakes, doing an art project, or making Dylann watch an educational movie about her. (Don’t judge. I’m a teacher.) But, of course, I got home and felt exhausted and really just wanted to take a nap.
Instead, I decided I’d take Dylann to bring flowers to a St. Therese statue at our parish. We drove to Safeway, and I let her choose. After 5 minutes of thoughtful deliberation (a.k.a., running around trying to pick petals off of every flower she could get her hands on) she went with pink roses.
Unfortunately the church was closed. I was soooo disappointed. Dylann knows the St. Therese statue well as we’ve been going to mass at that parish since she was born. Instead, we went to a different church nearby and offered flowers to Our Lady of Guadalupe. (On a side note…I’d like to think St. Therese had a hand in the reason for our little detour. Always looking to draw little souls toward Jesus and Mary. She is awesome.)
Dylann put the flowers in different vases and at the foot of the statue. When we were about to leave, I motioned to her and reached out for her hand. She ran back to the Our Lady, waved, and said, “Bye Mary!” and ran back to me.
It was perfect. Short. Simple. Easy.
But there sure was lots and lots of love.
Last year I randomly stumbled upon The Nester and joined the #31day writing challenge for the month of October. I think it was pretty successful – I wrote for a good amount of the 31 days and the whole process was quite healing for me as I wrote about letting go. (And that was before the Frozen phenomenon. Ha!)
This year I have been thinking about various topics I could write about for the challenge, but none of them seemed to be what I was looking for.
31 days of cleaningUm, yeah right. 31 days of mommy-daughter momentsToo many to choose from… 31 days of being intentionalI’m still trying to figure out what this means and how it applies to my life. 31 days of classroom shenanigansThis could be interesting… 31 days of inspirationIsn’t that already the purpose of my blog?
Just thinking about a topic began to overwhelm me, so much so that I nearly threw the idea out the door and was going to skip out on the challenge this year. (After all, do I really need another thing on my perpetual to-do list?) For some reason, this got me thinking about my own personal shortcomings and how I tend to have great huge bouts of inspiration that cause me to draw up large dreams that only begin to materialize, but never finish.
I have a problem finishing. I show up, but I don’t stay.
The reason for this, I think, is because as big as my dreams and aspirations are, it it challenging for me to take the necessary steps to accomplishing them. For example, I am always imagining my house as being super organized and clean. I can never bring myself to clean up because I feel like if I can’t get the entire house clean in one sitting, it’s not worth it. My eyes only see the end. The middle part, the how to get there is always missing.
So I thought this year I would challenge myself to work on that middle part – accomplishing those small steps that will lead me closer to the end. If I practice being intentional with my time, and completing smaller, more manageable tasks with the bigger goal in mind, perhaps I will be more successful in drawing closer to making my dreams reality.
Small things with great love. I could apply this to every single area of my life – my work, my kids, my husband, my housework, my friends. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.
“We must do all that lies in our power; we must give without counting the cost; we must constantly renounce ourselves. In one word, we must prove our love by all the good works we can perform; but, since all that we can do is very little, it is of the greatest importance that we put our confidence in Him who alone sanctifies those works and that we recognize that we are indeed useless servants, hoping that the good Lord will give us through grace all that we desire.”
“Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness.” (Counsels and Reminiscences, St. Therese of Liseux)
Day 1: Small things with great love
Day 2: Detour
Day 3: Vegas 2010
13 days later and I am finally writing a follow-up post to the 31 day blogging challenge. I guess one might say I was all blogged out! I’m pretty proud of myself, though. I only missed 3 days and I managed to stick with it and see it to the end, which is a big deal for me.
I started the challenge thinking it was going to help me clean and organize my house and my life. I wanted to let go of clutter in order to make way for more structure and order in my day to day. This did not happen. (I did find some really cool resources, though, that I think will help me in the future. Hopefully.) What did happen, however, is that I became more aware of the emotional baggage that was cluttering my life. Past grudges, fear, worry, insecurity, change. Because I had to blog every day, letting go was constantly on my mind. And what mostly came to my mind was the stuff of the heart, not the stuff.
The experience was definitely a challenge. Writing for a whole month is not easy! But it was worth it. I plan on participating in this challenge again next year. Maybe then I’ll make it to 31 days instead of 28!
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 32.
Yesterday was my birthday, and it was the first time since I hit the late 20’s that I didn’t get depressed over my age. You see, I loved my 20’s. I was so carefree and spontaneous and fun. Then, around 27 or 28, things started to get serious. I needed to get serious about my career and finances, and all that other stuff that comes along with being a grown up. Not really my idea of fun.
This year was a little different. I guess it was the first time in a while where I didn’t feel like anything was missing from my life. I no longer feel the need to hold on to my 20-something-year-old self, or the desire to get her back. I’m happy with right now. Really, really happy.
I didn’t have a party or big dinner like I usually do. My dad graciously watched my daughter as my husband and I had a date night at a prime rib place I’ve been wanting to try. When we came back home from dinner, my sister and mom had come over and brought a cake. We sang “Happy Birthday” twice so that my daughter could blow out the candles two times. And then I was in bed by 9:30. The night was perfect.
So, here’s to turning 32. I’m excited for what (and who!) this year will bring.
Everything will be alright, if we just keep dancing like we’re, 32!
This weekend we travelled to Southern California for our good friends’ baby shower, as well as to visit my husband’s family. It was a quick trip; we spent less than 48 hours there. I packed lightly (by nature I am NOT someone who thinks less is more…hence the letting go theme for October) and in the process I forgot a couple essentials: my razor and contacts. We had such a tight schedule that we literally had no time to go by the store and pick anything up, so I had to do without them. Luckily I brought pants to wear (it would not have been a pretty sight otherwise). I spent a good amount of the weekend feeling self-conscious in my dressed down outfit and glasses until I realized how stupid I was and made the decision to let it go and focus on why we were there that weekend – to spend time with people I love.
I’m really loving how this 31 day challenge is helping me be more conscious of what’s really important.
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Because it’s easy to get sucked into the “what ifs”…
Because I am not in control…
Because it could happen at 10 weeks, or 20, or 30…
Because I don’t want to live in fear…
Because, as far as I know, he/she is alive right now, and that alone is cause for celebration.