The horrors and devastation in Haiti last week are fresh in all of our minds. The images, stories, and painful details continue to wash over us, prompting a variety of reactions and stirring up ideas and plans and projects. I’m reminded once again of a quote by my friend Nate Burgos of DesignFeast, which he wrote a few years ago as part of a manifesto. I’m reprinting it here again, along with a slightly modified reprint of the original article it went with.
“Disasters make change. They particularly defined 2005, from the Asian Tsunami to Hurricane Katrina. They galvanized attention and simultaneously provoked a drive for innovation, whose essential value is betterment …. Bottomline: They incite change. What lessons are afforded by disasters to innovators? This manifesto aims to provide these essential, and reoccurring, truths that contribute to the quality of not only things, but also people and places. Disasters displace, but what is never displaced is the need to make life better. This need, whatever the scale and wherever the setting, is shared by all of us, who possess the power to innovate.”
The quote excites me for a very simple reason. I adore change. Really. But at times I have a very hard time getting over my own hang-ups to pursue it.
Faith is a touchy subject. It’s a deeply personal thing, and something that varies widely from one person to the next. When push comes to shove, and you’re grasping for the reasons behind something that you can’t quite see, you find out where you’ve been hiding your faith. What or who are you trusting? The deluge of swine flu information got me thinking about it all a bit more than usual. Who or what am I trusting with my family’s health? How do I know I’m making the best choices? What should I do?
Faith has two main ingredients, with a twist.
When is it time to leave that job? To make that leap? To get rid of that possession? To take that chance?
It’s not optional!
Your kids can always take your breath away. It doesn’t matter whether they’re inside you squishing your lungs, stunning you with their beauty, scaring you with a fall, yelling hurtful things at you, saying they love you, announcing that they’re moving out, or calling to say they’re having a baby. They’ll always have that power to take your breath away, and it only goes to prove the strength and poignancy of the relationship.
Lately mine have taken my breath away most often by the required clenching of my jaw as I try to refrain from saying something I’ll regret.
Love is hard. It’s a verb. It’s something we do, not just feel. Or say. I got to see a friend last weekend for the first time in several years, and she reminded me that listening with love was a whole different ballgame than just listening. Activate it with love, and you can hear what’s really being said. Or hear, period. Active listening, the kind where you give 100% attention to the speaker, and hear what’s not being said too, is a gift to anyone.Read More
Alas the issue was finances, and rather than quote the statistics on how many couples fight about money, I’ll just assume that you probably know what I’m talking about! We had become too focused on that aspect of our lives, and lost sight of who we really were, what we enjoyed about each other, and what we hoped to accomplish as a couple. One fruitful conversation, a new viewing point, and my whole outlook on life shifted in a moment. It was about time!
So how do you get a new viewing point?
The last month hasn't been an easy one for me. There have been no life-jarring events or great losses or even very squeaky pennies, I've just been in a muddle of wayward thoughts, wistful wishes, grey days, cold hands, and challenging kids. It's gotten to me, and is now very visible in my highly-reflective boys. They're great little mirrors, and it's awfully difficult to have your own bad attitude mirrored back at you (times two!). It finally dawned on me that I need to do a little winterizing, even if it's a bit late.
Not so long ago, winter was seen as a time to hunker down, live off the previous harvest, catch up on handwork and repairs, and even hibernate a little bit.
Gracefully, Grumpily, or Gleefully ... what's your style?
My boys both started school last week, one of them for the first time. While there was a wee bit of clinging and a few tears, their transition from summer in the country to school in the city has been an amazingly calm one. My two-year-old couldn't wait to start "my tool" and ran off into his classroom on day one without a backward glance! For the most part, my kids handle change with aplomb and excitement. We do a little prep if there's a big change coming, but don't make a huge deal out of it, and I'm very thankful that works for us. Most kids are remarkably adaptable, and learn to accept things, especially those completely outside their control.Read More
Minimizing the effects of those BIG projects.
Yesterday I completed the longest run of my life, covering 15 miles before I collapsed, sweaty and pleased, into a pile that I hardly moved from for the rest of the day. I noticed near the end of the run that my fingertips were getting a bit numb. Given the fact that I've had a history or poor circulation, and I'd been pumping my heart hard for over 2 hours, it didn't surprise me at all. It did get me thinking though, about what prolonged effort and focus does to a person.Read More