Dr. Seuss has always been big in our house...
Helloooo my fellow traveler... How I have missed all of my fellow Pilgrims. Let's get the big stuff out of the way. I'm here, my health is good, my Beauties are good; Ian graduated from 6th grade, Jeff is still the love of my life. I have been too busy and that has kept me away from all of you. I thought this post would be a tad different... Hope it resonates. xo
I wasn't a Dr. Seuss fan as a child... It just wasn't the books of my childhood. My fist real exposure to the Seuss was sitting on the floor of a Barnes and Noble with Jeff in California, four months after we started dating. We had flown out the day after Christmas and I was meeting (for the first time) the entire Ferguson family. We had gone into the Barnes and Noble to pick up books as Christmas gifts for his baby niece (now a lawyer) and nephew (who is working on becoming fluent in Japanese--for funzies!). Want to learn about your new boyfriend ladies?, go to the children's section of a bookstore. Jeff was insistent that the children were each getting a selection of Dr. Seuss books. So there we sat and Jeff read the stories that I had missed from my childhood. I on the other hand pulled out my favorite childhood book; "The Giving Tree".
Jeff of course had never read it--all the other Shel Silverstein books; but not that one. So there we sat; as I began to read my book; you guessed it, I began to ugly cry. Bad blue-eye liner ran down my face. Oh Lord, save us from the early 90's.
Both authors have remained integral parts of our married life. Dr. Seuss is quoted as much as world figures, saints and the lessons of the Giving Tree are evident in my marriage; so much so that Jeff proposed to me by reading me the Giving Tree before he presented me with my "sparkle" or engagement ring.
We have had so many Seuss books to call favorites, maybe because we read them so many times to the children. Or maybe just because the message is so clear. One of the most common graduation gifts is Dr. Seuss'; "Oh the Places you will Go" and it certainly holds up in my top 10 list. I realized that I have needed to pull many of the theme and quotes lately. We use the words from the book as mini-mantras in our home. The quotes seem to encapsulate where I find myself today.
This quote has helped me as I touched my toe back into the working world:
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
I do have brains in my head and I do have very cute shoes, which has made it ever so easy to tip-toe back into the working world. In returning to the working world; I didn't realizes that having children has made me more confident then I ever realized. I think motherhood has made me at my core, critically aware of my strengths and weakness. You develop a real understanding of what you are--perhaps we all become titanium. I know who I am; I know what I need, I know where I want to go...
I also have learned when to identify my non-negotiables. I know for example, I can't sew a costume, but I'm amazing at ordering through Amazon. I can cook an amazing, dinner but sometimes take-out is a better choice. Prioritize. Strengths and weaknesses. That has been such a gift that I didn't have about myself in my 20's... I now know my strengths, I now understand how to play to them. Returning to the workforce has also provided me with a better pair of glasses to see when things are not about me (at all), or when they are and how to know the difference.
Those skills have helped me work on my balance. But even with the best skills and paying good attention to my abilities and health and family; we can still stumble. Which is why it has occurred to me that recently I have stumbled into a slump.
"When you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
“You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
While I have been working on my balancing and foot work, it has taken me away from all of you.
Balance, it often seems is the hardest skill to master...
The beauty and the difficult aspect of balance is it always changes. What works this week; may not the next. I have found that it is something that I constantly need to work on and rework.
I have also challenged myself to stop looking at the quantity of my work and take a better look at the quality of what I give of myself and look for in others. I for some reason have not recognized that everything I touch, every part of me is important. I use that trusty red pen to provide a failing grade on myself, because I don't value my contributions. I'm not a brain surgeon, a pilot, lawyer, or chemist... yet I look at these individuals and question my worth. That, what I contribute in the world isn't enough. And it is with that negativity about myself that I look to an amazing young woman and Saint/Doctor of the church St. Theresa the Little Flower
"When one loves, one does not calculate.” ― Thérèse de Lisieux
And there it is... I'm calculating, I'm questioning. I'm fighting with myself.
I'm slumping because I haven't let my faith drive me. I'm once again, trying to wrestle for a false sense of control. For an understanding of this world that is fruitless. I have lost my vision to see that I need to be focusing on a deepening of my prayer life, a greater union with the Divine.
In an effort for that connection, I found the medicine that I need. I have been attending daily mass. For me the connection to the Divine is strengthened in the mass. In the 30 minutes daily where I meet Christ in his most human and Divine form. It is through that gift that I have shaken off the slump and met myself.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
May you find the Divine in your journey and stay away from the hidden slumps of this world.
Your mountain is waiting...
The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.
Photo credit: PilgrimageGal
This is the 4th anniversary of my first blog post. On this day especially, I want to thank you for walking with me.