A shift to kindness

I get disillusioned sometimes…disillusioned with the world I see now. I’m not a perfect person, far from it, but I see rudeness in others that I just can’t handle. I was raised to respect others – not just adults, but everyone. I don’t understand the sense of accomplishment I see in others after a rude or disrespectful act. Who is encouraging this rudeness? Why is it suddenly something to achieve? What happened to being kind, and trustworthy, and respectful to others? I don’t see goals of being better people, I see goals of overpowering others, telling people off, and fighting. What is happening? What can be done to stop it? Social media allow us to constantly compare our lives with others, and share disrespectful and rude photos, that just aren’t funny anymore. Reality television shows us people who are obsessed with money and drama. Music tells our youth that it’s okay to yell at your parents, do bad things to have fun, and drive down dirt roads at night to be with your boyfriend or girlfriend…what? Am I missing something? Maybe I’m just out of step with the modern world, or what is considered “cool.” That’s okay, I don’t have to be cool. I will just keep sharing positive, productive thoughts with others in the hope that something will work. Let’s turn this shift to rudeness around to being a shift of goodness. Help me out, everyone. Don’t encourage your children, or your family to be rude and disrespectful. Encourage them to lift others up, be humble, and respect the world and the people in it.

Going home…

I went home a few weekends ago. It had been way too long. I traveled those well-worn roads of my youth, and the memories flooded back to the forefront of my mind. They say you can’t go home again…I disagree. While it may not look exactly the same, enough of it does to make you remember and feel comforted. That’s what I felt this past weekend. I saw the street my grandpa lived on, and drove the streets I trick or treated on as a child. I stayed with my mother at our ranch outside of town where I was raised. It was peaceful and relaxing. I’ve missed that old place. I was in such a rush to get out of there as a teenager that I have forgotten how important it was to me. I realized it again this weekend. Wanderlust gives you a sense of belonging and comfort in all places, but nothing like the home of your youth. But as much as I had missed my childhood home, I also missed the new home that I’ve created with my husband. It made coming back that much sweeter. Be content at home, wherever it is.

Family

Family makes your heart whole. Some of us, myself included, get so caught up in the grind of life, that we neglect those family relationships that used to define us. Let me explain…my family lives across the state from me, not far by a lot of people’s standards, but far enough that weekends get eaten up by driving. I had already made plans to spend the Labor Day weekend with my family, and was excited to load the car up on Friday to go. Thursday morning, however, those plans abruptly changed. My brother was rushed to the ER, and quickly admitted to ICU. I hadn’t seen my brother since late June. Too long. I was in a panic, and immediately left for home. I can’t believe I had let that much time lapse in between us seeing each other. I’m thrilled to report that prayers were answered, and he is better, and back home. I spent the remainder of the holiday with my family, and it was blissful and wonderful. I love them so much. My heart is certainly full tonight.

Wandering

I’ve always been a wanderer. Just when I think I have things figured out, something stirs inside me, and I’m on my way again. It’s happened with jobs, friends, haircuts, clothing styles…all my life. I didn’t figure out my major in college until I was classified a senior, and even now, my profession is not what I majored in. I’ve always taken Tolkien’s words to heart, in that, “not all those who wander are lost.” I’m not lost, not at all. It just takes me a little longer than some to find my way. The adventures I have had in finding my way, are what I treasure most. Except for the past few years, I’ve struggled with who I am, and what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve finally figured it out. You have to wander, to figure out who you really are, and where you fit in the world. I don’t have to be rich, drive a fancy car, or be a CEO. I just have to enjoy the world around me, and be comfortable in my skin. It’s taken me a lot of years to figure that out, but it feels good to finally be there. I will always have a wanderlust to see the world, but I know where I fit, now.

Fear

I’ve written about what I’m scared of, and it seems I have many fears. It seems silly, I know. I don’t like being so fearful about things, and I know it bothers my husband at times. After this summer, I think I’m getting better. It seems irrational to some to avoid climbing a ladder to look around, or peer over that bridge to the water below. Some things scare me, others are a little easier to bear. I had the opportunity recently to travel to a mountain peak for a view of the world below. I was excited. I wasn’t nervous about riding up the ski lift at all. I honestly hadn’t thought anything about it, because when I was sixteen, I had gone skiing, and had no issue with the ski lift. Once I sat in that chair, however, I was paralyzed with fear. My irrational thoughts took over, and I was constantly thinking about falling out of the seat and rolling down the mountainside. It was silly, I know. Many, many people had ridden that ski lift before me. I doubt they felt the way I did. It was miserable. I had to pass my beloved camera to my husband because I couldn’t even relax enough to take photos of our journey up. I was able to take two photos on my phone. That was it. The rest of the time was filled with worry about the trip up, and ultimately, the trip back down, which my mind starting thinking would be worse. I mean, at that point, I would be facing the long drop down to ground level, which was even worse to my mind. What was I doing?? This was not how it was supposed to be. I was letting fear overcome the beauty around me. When we were unloaded at the top, I was finally able to relax a bit. I looked out over the view below, and everything seemed better. I still worried about the trip back down, however. I texted a friend who told me that i could handle it, but that also riding the lift was the only way back down. I was scared, again. So much so, that my husband asked an employee about another way back down. We were told the only other way was to walk down. Two miles. I didn’t care, it was music to my ears…I could hike down, no problem! So we did. All the way down. It was strenuous, and took forever, but in my mind, it was better than riding the “death lift” back down! We saw lots of things that we wouldn’t have seen without hiking…wildflowers and trees…but we also were able to lose ourselves in nature for a little while. No other people were around, it was just us and our thoughts and conversation. I’m thankful for the alternate way down that day. It makes a great story to tell, but I proved to myself that being scared doesn’t have to make me miss out on the best parts…sometimes, it can make you see even better ones.

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A summer to remember…

I’ve had quite a summer. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity for lots of travel, and lots of memories made. This summer I felt the rain falling on my face, saw cool water rushing down the mountains, and witnessed road rage…in two countries and in two states. This summer I saw the rolling wheat fields, the striking desert, busy city streets, “the greenest green you’ve ever seen,” and the stunning mountains. This summer I stood on Tower Bridge in London, seen buskers and street performers in Dublin, kissed the Blarney Stone, driven in Ireland, hiked down a mountain, and drove through the clouds. It has been a special summer to remember. One thing I learned about myself this summer, is that the wonders of the world can sure make a person feel small. I’ve always said that travel makes you appreciate your home more, and it truly does. It makes you realize those special people, the little conveniences, and that the overall comfort of home gives you peace. Home isn’t just a place, it is where your soul lives. Even though I’m a hopeless wanderer, who will always want to travel and see more and more…my wanderlust spirit has given me the gift of realizing the comfort and peace at home, and the contentment of living in a wonderful town, state, and country, and for that I am truly thankful.

“But hold me fast, Hold me fast
‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer
And hold me fast, Hold me fast
‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer…”

-Mumford & Sons

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Driving through clouds…

My husband and I took a road trip last weekend. We went through the desert and the mountains…two of my favorite places, and it was heavenly. The crisp mountain air settled into our lungs, and for a few days we were utterly peaceful and relaxed. We left everything…all our worries, at home. This was our first time traveling to the mountains as a couple. There is something about seeing their majesty that makes you appreciate our world even more…and get caught up in all of the awesomeness that lays out before you. While winding through a mountain pass, it happened before we realized it…we drove through a cloud. At first, we just thought it was fog, but with sunlight gleaming around us, we knew that wasn’t the case. It took a moment for it to set in. Then we looked at each other in amazement, and sheer wonder. It may not seem that special to some, but to us, that magical moment sent our hearts soaring at the splendor of our world. The rest of the trip, our eyes were open to every wonderful moment of nature in front of us. I wish we could do that more often in life. Oftentimes we forget, or just get too busy, to think about how wondrous our world is. It takes a moment like that to remind you. Driving through clouds are not everyday options for most of us, but I know I will think back to that moment when I get too caught up with the hectic way our lives can be. We must continue to “see” the world, not just as a blur that flashes by as we drive down the highway, but see the wonderful things right outside our windows. Let wanderlust guide you to wanting to “see” things in a better light. It reminded me of John Muir’s wisdom, “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world.” It does give me hope that my sense of wonder of the world will continue to inspire me, and hopefully, others.

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