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.
I put clean sheets on my bed this morning, but not my daughter’s. It’s the little things that reveal our lives are separating. We raise them to be independent, but frown when they’re independent with Momma. Today, I smiled.
I’m happy my daughter is 20 years old.
My ‘raising her’ days are over, but she’s still watching. She watches how I live my life and listens to the words I say. I haven’t stopped striving to be the hero she saw at age five, but now I get to be both our heroes. Where some Mother’s feel their life is over once the kiddo’s are grown, I feel my life is just beginning.
Granted, it’s the second half of life. I’m 55 years old and single, but I’m happy. This new year/decade I’ll discover so many thing about myself, including who I want to be.
The possibilities are endless.
I encourage you to live your life.
Just because they’re grown and gone doesn’t mean life stands still. No my darling, for Momma’s of adult children, it’s just beginning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
She was pulling into a parking lot with a car in front of us. There was plenty of parking, but the car in front decided to park at the same time as my daughter. They pulled into a space side by side. The stranger’s passenger door flung open before either car was fully parked.
It was a child in a hurry to exit.
Her car door hit my daughter’s Jeep.
My daughter was angry, but not because the Jeep was hit. It was because the little girl was in a hurry. This could have been more than a scratch.
The little girls face showed remorse and terror as soon as it happened, but the mother was a different story all together. She was prepared with anger, but I diffused with kindness.
“I didn’t even see you”, she said.
Were we hidden from view?
She had a car full of girls. Life is distracting.
It was an accident, but “I’m sorry”, was left unsaid.
When my daughter was 5 years old, our home looked picture perfect. A designer helped furnish and decorate the main rooms of the house and wanted to invite her photographer in. She thought they would win a contest.
It was the saddest season of my life.
The room was used when we entertained guests and every item was a financial investment. You couldn’t sit and relax because there was no love in that room even when it was full of people.
Looks can be deceiving. In 2013, I left my 25 year marriage, and took my daughter with me. It was in that house my marriage hit it’s breaking point. My husband lost his job, we eventually lost that house and a few years later, each other.
We still have a few of the furnishings from that room and my daughter and I enjoy them. We’ve moved every couple of years and each home was a little bit nicer and life became more beautiful. We gave up stuff with every move, but we never gave up on each other.
Today we would be called minimalists, but I see it as only keep what you love.
When I walked into the house, she rapidly announced, “I made a mess.” I just looked at her, smiled, and followed her gaze to the hallway floor. It was covered in chalk.
We have a large adhesive chalkboard on the pantry door. We use it to write down our schedules for one another. My daughter reached up to retrieve the box of chalk from above the pantry door, and it fell out of her hand crashing onto the tile floor. Tile is obviously more solid than chalk.
It was an accident. Pause Mama’s. Place a hold on your immediate reaction and wait for a response.
Some of our most magical moments began as a minor disaster.
Stepping over the mess, I walked into the bathroom. After washing my hands, I noticed one piece of chalk laying right inside the doorway. Squatting down, I grabbed the chalk, and wrote a note on the tile.
My daughter loved it and followed suit.
She wrote a note on the tile in the hallway.
My daughter could have cleaned up the mess before I returned home. She didn’t because she knew we would make something fun out of it, and was waiting to see my thoughts. When she moves on with her life, and has children of her own, I imagine her home with tile floors.
She will probably skip the chalk altogether, and allow her children to finger-paint the tile floor. She will teach them that an accident is really a beautiful mess in disguise.