You can get a little lost in this life journey when all around you people are featured on sites and being published in real books – even publishing books of their own. Perfect families seem to smile at you every day from your screen as touched up shots appear of beaming children, and moms are coiffed and styled while you clutch your third cup of coffee in the pajamas you have been wearing since yesterday.
I find myself falling down rabbit holes of reading as I meander, clicking from one page to another, finding beautiful words and photographs from writers in nearby states or far flung places. Here and there I subscribe to voices that are new to me, writers I have never met whose words and hearts touch mine or educate, amuse and inspire.
Oftentimes I make the terrible mistake of judging the low points in my life by the highlights showcased by others around me. The perfection featured on Facebook pages can unravel you … when in all honesty, you should rather consider them like Pinterest pages … works of art that may not really work out to such perfection in real life.
I wonder where it all fits together.
I think it through some more and realize that too often returning from blog conferences I feel overwhelmed and unaccomplished. Yet when I return from a social good conference, I feel as though I added a little goodness into the world. I feel motivated to be a voice for change – inspired to feel that I can be heard and make a difference.
Every little action begins a ripple … just one small voice.
And that voice can be heard from in my home, where I can share in my two day old pajamas without anyone knowing I should really be emptying my dishwasher or folding laundry – or taking a shower.
Social good has helped me find my way in recent years, because there is much truth in finding perspective while helping those who need it more. Maybe it is not so much finding your voice, but maybe your voice lies in your heart … and all you should do is listen closely. When I listen – my heart smiles.
Hugs and kisses – Nicole.
This is an original Post for World Moms Blog by Post by Nicole of Sisters From Another Mister in Florida, USA. She can also be found on twitter @thesistershood.
Photo credit to the author.
Left: The author, Olga Mecking, when she was growing up in Germany. Right: Olga’s daughter today in the Netherlands.
Sometimes, I find myself rediscovering simple truths about life in general and parenting in particular. My latest epiphany is this: “My child is not me.”
On the contrary to all the books and articles out there that tell us that we will grow into our parents, I don’t think this is the case. I think that while our parents influence our lives, we’re still separate individuals with our own thoughts, ideas and opinions.
And never has this simple truth rung more true to me than it has when my eldest daughter started school. I’ve been very worried about sending her to school at the tender age of four. I thought back to my old school days and worried and worried. And worried some more because my experiences weren’t all that great.
But this is when I realized: my child is not me! Pretty much everything about her will be different.
I was born and raised in communist Poland and went to school shortly before Communism fell. As much as I love my country, going to school in these times wasn’t so great.
We had to learn everything by heart. Language teachers weren’t too good. Classes were huge and the teachers were strict, even to the point of giving bad grades for pretty much anything. Nobody knew anything about bilingualism, and I was even lucky to have German classes offered at my school, as bad as they were.
But my child is not me.
She goes to school in a modern, Western country and has been speaking 3 languages from birth. Her teacher is amazing and lets the children play a lot. They go outside for recess and learn letters and numbers, and they even went on a school trip. In my daughter’s school, it is normal to speak two or more languages.
As a child, I was shy and timid. My idea of a good day was, and still is, to stay at home and read a book. School proved to be too much for me at times: too loud, too big. On the other hand, I was often told to sit still, be organized, and listen when all I really wanted to do was run around.
But my child is not me.
She seems to be more of an extrovert than I ever was. She could be outside all the time, playing, jumping, swinging, playing with other children; and, she seems to enjoy school.
I even often receive photos from her teachers. Guess who of all the children in the pictures has the biggest smile? My blond beautiful daughter.
When I went to school, we were taught about computers, but seldom used them for school. We were told that learning is hard work and were given grades for our work, even for our paintings. After school, I totally stopped painting.
But my child is not me.
She thinks learning is fun and can use all the great apps for learning, and she has a great selection of books in all the languages that she’s learning. She loves getting her hands dirty with paint and uses them to paint on a large piece of paper. She paints the funniest creatures and people, and she gives them funny names.
My daughter and I both have straight blond hair. Many people tell me she looks like me. I think I have an idea who she got her willpower and stubbornness from, but my child, she’s not completely me.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Olga Mecking in the Netherlands.
Photo credit to the author.
It’s dark-thirty in the morning. The alarm goes off. It’s time to start the daily grind. I go into the bathroom, turn the faucet on, wet my toothbrush, spread some toothpaste on it and start brushing. I look up into the mirror. I look tired. I stare at the three white hairs that have started to grow along the part in my hair. All is quiet. Everyone is still sound asleep.
I start to wonder…what would be different if I were not here? It makes me sad to start thinking of not being around my girls and my husband. No more morning hellos with sleepy eyes peeking out from under disheveled bed head hair. No more bedtime stories and good-night snuggles. No more gentle kisses on warm sleeping heads as I watch my girls sleep before going to bed.
I get teary and have to stop thinking. I am thankful for this day. I will enjoy the day, be present in moments when I am interacting with those I care about, and at the end, reflect on the good things that have happened.
Why? Because life is fragile. We take it for granted. And the truth is we just never know when a lifetime will be cut short. (more…)
Spring time is taunting us here in Switzerland. When the temperatures crept above freezing last week we slowly came out of hibernation and have gradually been shedding layers of coats, gloves and scarves.
It is still awfully chilly, but our need for fresh air allows us to adjust to the chill of the breeze. We are soaking in the sunshine and looking forward to warmer weather. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a beautiful snow, and who doesn’t like hot chocolate season?!
But we are all ready for something new. We are ready to get out of this house!!! (more…)
It’s that time of year again. New Year’s is the biggest holiday on the Japanese calendar, and as it approaches Japanese TV is full of “talent” (celebrities with no actual, recognizable talent) reflecting on the year that has passed.
And it’s been an awful one for everyone in eastern Honshu.
So I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the things I am thankful for thus far in 2011:
-I’m thankful we didn’t die in the earthquake on March 11. For two or three minutes there, I wasn’t so sure.
-I’m thankful my son was home with the flu that day. So many children ended up spending the night at school and daycare because their parents were unable to come home from work. Not to mention the parents who never came, or the children who never made it home from school. (more…)