Posted in Life As I Know It

Feeling More FraGEElay

This Christmas will be different for us. Partly because of life’s twists and turns, and partly by design. Life has brought us the first Christmas without my mom. It has also brought us a much smaller gathering around our table. This will most definitely result in a quieter day, and I’ve chosen to embrace these changes as a new way to experience Christmas rather than focusing on the differences as purely loss.

I’ve never had a Christmas where I wasn’t entertaining a group, and so I will cherish the opportunity to stay in my PJs longer and not rush to get things ready. Instead of trying to be the “hostess with the mostess,” I will strive to be less stressed and more relaxed. It’s all in the perspective, right?

And that perspective is also mindful of the fragility of life.

It’s true my mom is gone. But at 92, she had “the opportunity of a lifetime” and many years to experience—and now she is at peace. It is still a loss, but there is a sense of “normalcy” to her passing.

And then there are times when the fragility of life sneaks up on you in an instant and nothing will ever be the same again. Recently a beloved member of our church died at the age of 45…leaving behind her husband, two young boys, and many others who loved her dearly. In the span of less than two weeks, she went from not knowing she was ill to…dying. Just like that, she’s gone.

It may be cliché to say that our days are numbered on this earth, but the reality is that some of us, like my mom, have a number around 36,000…and others have less than one single day…or maybe more near 17,000, as our church friend had. And that may seem like a big number…until you run out of them.

We don’t know our number. At least I don’t know mine. But our days on the earthly side of this life are finite.

Life is fragile. We are fragile.

And so with our days numbered, we ought to be gentler to one another…and ourselves.

We need to choose kindness, grace, and service over hatred, ineptitude, and selfishness.

We need to forge a way, especially in these painfully divisive times, for love to win.

How we choose to use our days is all we have to work with in this fragile life.

My “fraGEElay” run began six years ago with this post. And while I have let this blog slip through the cracks of life, I am moved to once again wish you Christmas blessings…And if life, as it so frequently does, is not treating you gently, I pray you have people in your life who love you and stand alongside you…helping you pick up the pieces and create your own Kintsugi.

Merry Christmas, friends.

ALL PHOTOS ARE USED WITH PERMISSION.

Posted in Life As I Know It

Graduation Day Nears…Not Just for My Son, but for Me, too

The bittersweet reality of graduation

My son has attended school with roughly the same kids for 11 years, and now he’s nearing his eighth grade graduation. An epoch ago, the same held true for me. I graduated from the same school he is, and then I headed off into the great wide world.

It’s an emotional time. Not for him—at least not that he’s letting on yet—but for me. Continue reading “Graduation Day Nears…Not Just for My Son, but for Me, too”

Posted in Life As I Know It, Soapbox

Is Your End Game Eclipsing Your “Now Game”?

First day back from vacation is always a killer. After having reality suspended to enjoy life in out-of-the-ordinary ways, it’s tough to re-acclimate to the mundane. But it’s the perfect time to reflect on just what, exactly, do you want out of life?

Continue reading “Is Your End Game Eclipsing Your “Now Game”?”

Posted in Life As I Know It, Random

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner…Except Me

The times they are a-changing…aren’t they? The activities of this past weekend remind me of the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities… “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Which day—Friday or Saturday—that you consider each reflects our challenging, divergent times. I’m definitely a “former is the latter” kind of girl.

Continue reading “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner…Except Me”

Posted in Life As I Know It

Yes, It’s Fall, but Are You Stuck in Winter?

Every season has its own beauty. I love autumn…the pop of colors, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the crisp air, the scent of fireplaces in use again…I’m a big fan. It’s like the world is goofing off one last time before it puts itself to bed.

Continue reading “Yes, It’s Fall, but Are You Stuck in Winter?”

Posted in Life As I Know It, Soapbox

A Different Kind of Hard

I find myself saying the above phrase a lot. Sometimes it is in response to a friend asking me how a life change of mine is going. Sometimes it is the answer I hear myself giving to someone wondering what might be in store for them as they make choices in their own lives. Continue reading “A Different Kind of Hard”