Archive for ‘December, 2012’

Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year. People seem to smile more. They want to give more. I love observing the wonder in a child’s eyes as he sees the twinkling Christmas lights that seem like magic lighting up the dark, winter night. I can honestly say that I walk around all of December with a goofy, child-like smile on my face and feel like I’m 10 years old all over again. What a great excuse to giggle more and embrace life!

This Christmas, I love watching (in fact I’m clinging to) my little girl’s belief in Santa Claus, and I’m hoping that her belief stays strong for one more year. The other day we were in our local Harmon’s grocery store, and she noticed a collection box in the bank for letters to Santa. She turned to me, smiling from ear to ear, big, blue eyes shining, and asked, “Mom, can I write a letter to Santa?” We had places to go, errands to run, and we still needed to go get her sister from indoor soccer practice. But this magical belief in the jolly ol’ man is contagious, so of course I said, “Yes!”

I watched her, in her 9-year-old writing, pour her heart out to St. Nick and ask him for a few things she’d like to find under the tree. She smiled as she wrote, and I could feel her energy and enthusiasm from 5 feet away. Her belief in Santa is real, and her love for him is apparent. I wondered to myself how we as adults can so easily lose that ability to believe. Why must we have guarantees or plan B’s in place before we dare believe in something?

One of my favorite Christmas movies is The Polar Express. In the movie, a child is beginning to doubt that Santa is real. At one point, the conductor of the Polar Express tells the boy, “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” Easier said than done, right? Want to lose weight? Aching to travel the world? Well, if you start believing you will have those things, it will make it more likely you will have those things.

Just before Christmas, I lost my job. Here I am, a single-mom of four with a mortgage and Christmas knocking on my door, and I have no job. Oh believe me, I’ve had better days. I could sit in my home, pout and ponder, and stress over how I’m going make my next mortgage payment or put food on the table. Or, I could put all of that energy and power into believing in myself. It’s a different way to look at things, but I know it works. I gave myself a few days to lick my wounds, then I started sending out resumes. I had a great interview at a company not too far from my home, and I’ve got another possible lead I’ll be following up on soon. I choose to believe I’ll find a great job. I have faith in myself and know I’ll land on my feet. Am I scared? Does doubt creep into my head? Of course it does! But believing in myself, and having the faith in taking the first step, will bring me closer to my goal of finding a great position at a company I’ll love. Start believing in yourself and see where that power can take you!

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Love Lori A Kitchen Sign

You’ll hear me say this a lot around here. I’m a single mom. I’m lucky that my ex-husband pays his child support (my thoughts and heart goes out to you single parents who aren’t as lucky), so I get some financial help with the kids. I’m very thankful for this. When I tell you I’m a single mom, what I mean by that is that I’m the one in the trenches every day. Hollering at kids to get out of bed, triple-checking that the teeth are really brushed, getting them to school on time, home for them after school to ensure homework is done, they are driven to one of their endless activities, making doctor and dentist appointments, driving them to games and friend’s homes (I could go on forever here). Some days, I’m so knee deep in crap, homework, and sports fees, I wonder if it’s all worth it. Some days, I’m ready to run and let someone else take care of the “everyday” parenting crap.

Just outside of my kitchen a sign hangs in my hallway between the kitchen and the stairway. The sign reads “Today is the day. Find your voice and make a difference. You are the real thing. 100% original. Be fearless. This is your life. Use it wisely and MAKE IT COUNT.” I hung that sign there for my kids. I want them to know that they are amazing just for being them. I didn’t grow up thinking that way about myself. I thought the only way I could be amazing was to get straight As, take first place, skip a grade, finish my work first, you know…be perfect. No, this isn’t how you become amazing. How you become amazing is just by being you. And this sign was to remind my kids of that.

The funny thing about this sign is that when I see it, it reminds me not to whine about how hard it is being a single mom. It reminds me to make every second with my four amazing kids count. For all of you single parents out there, you are your kids’ rock, their stable constant in this cold and cruel world. Your smile is the one they want to see when they come home. Yes, we need to remind them to pick up their shoes and hang up their backpacks. Yes, I bark orders and I’m not so happy and chipper all of the time either, so I need little nudges in the day. That’s why these reminders around my house are good for my soul.

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The payoff? Getting notes like this from my 9 year old daughter who is so-very-good at sharing her feelings. This note now hangs front-and-center on my fridge to remind me that the everyday isn’t just crap.

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