Watch and Learn

She said, “Wow! Why do you look so nice?”

Me: “It’s camouflage for the way I really feel.”

She is used to seeing me in pajama pants until noon because I work from home. She has learned, “Put on an outfit that feels good, and the mood will catch up!” One of the best decisions I ever made was working from home.

I gave birth to this girl at 35, and was in ‘Success’ mode.

I placed an ad in the local newspaper for a Nanny, and began interviewing. The woman who stole our hearts, and became our Nanny was only there for a little while, but she is still a part of our lives to this day. She reads this Blog.

Last week, my daughter needed to drop her Jeep off for service. She called and asked if I could pick her up, and I happily agreed. We ran some errands while it was being serviced. At some point, we missed a call from the service center. She stopped to call them back, and here is what I heard.

Her: Hello. This is (first name), (last name). I just missed a call from James? Is he available?

They handed the phone to James, and she sat and listened. Once the conversation was complete, she thanked him for his time, and wished him a good day. Her Jeep was ready.

I used to say those words. When she was little, my office had a secret door adjoining her bedroom. It never failed, she would come bursting through every time I was on the phone. She learned if she waited until I hung up the phone, she would have my full attention, so she waited close by.

That is what I did. Talked to people on the phone, helping them build a business. If I helped enough people be successful, my success would come.

I created scripts for people to learn phone skills.

Nowadays, people don’t answer the phone, and most of those calls are automated. Just now, my phone began ringing, and I glanced over not recognizing the number, so I didn’t answer it. They left a voicemail, so I listened to the beginning of it, and it was a recorded message, so I hung up within seconds. Relationships aren’t automated.

Listening to my daughter make that phone call, and handling herself so beautifully reminded me of all of those scripts. Not only was she watching, but she was listening.

Doing life with her is my greatest success of all.

Get Disturbed

It’s refreshing to look back over your life and see how far you’ve come. My daughter will be 21 in August, but when we started this adventure, she was 13. I didn’t know what our new life looked like, but I did know, there had to better.

It was one of those agonizing moments of, Which will be worse? Staying where we are, or leaving?

The first part of making a new life for yourself is making a decision to do so. Once you decide, you can act.

Are you disturbed with your life?

I was, but then I became complacent. There was the proverbial list of excuses for staying. Sometimes it’s easier to stay put, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy my darling. I had to let it disturb again. I had to let it bother me to the point of leaving.

Disturbed is not angry. Disturbed feels like a steady burden of unrest.

Is it time for a change? Get disturbed.

The Christmas Tree

Being a single Mom at Christmas has a little more pressure to it. There’s not a lot of gifts under the tree. The way I see it is, everyday of our life together is a gift.

There’s one thing that I’ve always done for Christmas. If you’re a single Mom, choose one thing and do it well.

Ours is a fresh-cut Christmas tree.

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This is important to my daughter and it’s become one of my favorite parts of the season. We pick it out together every year.

I cover it in lights and she’s in charge of hanging the ornaments. Our first Christmas tree together after leaving my marriage consisted of a large container of balls from a hardware store. The tree had lights and balls, but fast forward five years to today and it’s a reflection of our life together.

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She flocked it herself.

Over the years I began buying ornaments after Christmas at half price. Any little thing that resembled our life that year. You can look at our tree this year and it tells our story.

For us, it’s not about what’s under the tree. Our most treasured memory this time of year is the Christmas tree.

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Slowly and Suddenly

This mum was given to me weeks ago.

I was told if it didn’t bloom right, to let them know. The store selling them has had returns and complaints. How do you bloom right?

When my daughter brought it home, it was wrapped in plastic, bone dry and the buds were shut tight. I began drenching it with water.

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I placed a dish under the pot so it could sit and soak up the overflow. It was so thirsty some of the buds were DOA, but slowly it began soaking up the care that was given. It began to bloom and it has buds waiting to bloom.

For some it didn’t bloom fast enough.

This mum shows me how God works.

Ever so slowly and then suddenly.

Live Like Chemex

My daughter and I are serious about coffee. Over the years, she has seen me use a coffee maker with a timer, so it’s ready before my feet hit the floor. The beeping of the coffeemaker was my alarm clock. Then came the Kuerig. That was fast and convenient, but it didn’t make itself. Have you ever run out of those pods? Stressful.

My daughter loves the Chemex. I’ve been watching her all year to see how it’s done. Now, I wake up and give myself time to be fully awake to make a Chemex. This is new for me. I’m waking up to make the brew, instead of it waiting to wake me up.

It’s more than coffee. It’s a moment.

Over the weekend, I bought a new trivet.

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Kazigoods

I thought I was buying it for the Chemex, but found myself using it for the goose-neck kettle instead. It’s handmade and affordable, but you can only spot clean it. The Chemex process can get messy. Sometimes it decides to sputter coffee everywhere. My daughter is not a fan when it spews, but I see it as a part of life. 🙂

Today, I pulled out this hot plate designed to keep coffee hot. This actually came with a KitchenAid coffee maker I had 20 years ago. KitchenAid was built to last, but it wasn’t designed for the wooden collar around the Chemex. The wood absorbs heat and will burn your hand, so drink the coffee before it gets cold, or keep it on low.

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My daughter will love this trivet.

Pretty catches our eye, but we don’t buy a lot of things. Life itself is simply beautiful. Things can be affordable and useful, but still be pretty. It doesn’t matter if she uses it for the kettle or the Chemex, as long as she enjoys it.

Moments happen slowly, but go by quick. A gradual decrease in the pace of life creates a steady flow. Live like Chemex.