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Posts tagged ‘perspective’

Ringing the Bell

For Christmas this year some dear friends gave us a bell. It wasn’t just a pretty bell or a decorative bell, it was a bell with a story and the story went something like this:

A bell symbolizes magical enchantments.

As our family welcomes 2015 it will be in mindful awareness that we’ll ring the bell recognizing “the little moments”… A big fat belly laugh, a good talk, a yummy meal, a fragrant summer breeze, a beautiful moon, an unexpected hug, a giggle that echoes through the house or a snuggle on a rainy day…

Knowing how lucky we are to be in the little moments. 

Right now. The present. Where life happens. We are in it. 

 We are grateful for YOU.  As we bring in the New Year we will be ringing our bell in celebration of  YOU in our lives.

 Happy Holiday and may the New Year bring you a waterfall of beautiful “little moments” that make you feel loved and lucky. 

glassdoor.com

glassdoor.com

What’s so lovely about a gift like this is that it isn’t so much a thing as an idea. An idea that, if allowed, has the power to change your life by simply adjusting your perspective. This fabulous family’s present wasn’t so much the gift of a small, reverberating piece of metal but, rather, the gift of awareness. In telling us they loved and appreciated us, our friends were reminding us to love and appreciate ourselves, to be mindful of the world around us and the small, often passed over moments that make it special and uniquely ours and, since receiving their gift, I’ve found myself infinitely more conscious of those moments both big and small. It’s my hope I’ll be able to hold onto those realizations well into the new year before I need reminding again.

It’s not that I’m physically carrying around the bell or rushing into a room to ring it in order to make a point. It’s more that I’ve accepted the idea of what ringing it represents and, since then I’ve been inspired numerous times to just say “ding” out loud.

IMG_8087My Dad dancing in the kitchen with Loch while my mother laughs and scoots out of the way. Ding. Skating outside with my family in the crisp Canadian air and finding, for once, I’m not out of breath while doing something physical. Ding. My childhood home filled with my childhood friends and the chatter and laughter of our children and families on Christmas Eve. Ding. Lochlan lying on the floor in his undies writing a thank you note to put alongside Santa’s milk and cookies. “I don’t want to just thank him for remembering ME Mommy. That’s too vain. I want to thank him for remembering all the children in the world!” Ding.

IMG_8138There was even a bell hung low on our tree this year so I knocked into it a couple of times while handing out the presents. In the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life George Bailey’s daughter has the famous line, “Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings” but that wasn’t my first thought when I heard it ring. In those moments when the sweet tinkling filled the air, I was pleased to discover the power of the bell also worked in reverse. In this case it was the sound itself  that reminded me to stop and take stock of where I was and how I was feeling. Of course, given what I was doing, it was difficult not to feel grateful but, I think it could work in any variety of moments.

Summer friends in Winter fun! Ding.

Summer friends in Winter fun! Ding.

My life, despite it’s obvious (and hidden) struggles, is full to the brim of reasons to ring the bell. Multiple moments to stop, take notice and say thanks. This world moves so fast. So many of us are pushed to accomplish more, succeed more, earn more that we often don’t realize – bombing towards our next goal, next desire, next instagram post –  that so much around us is already wonderful, already successful, already complete and joyous.

The bell, whether its’ sound comes before or after those realizations, is a reminder of that.

The bell resonates, not only in the air but, in our hearts and I, for one, am extremely humbled by its’ lesson.

Happy New Year. Go ring your bell.

xo leigh

My love. Ding.

My love. Ding.

Robbed!

Dear Loch,

Not so long ago you asked us the difference was between a thief and a robber. Your Dad and I both started answering before we simultaneously realized we didn’t know the answer. It’s fun when your children start teaching you things. Even if it’s by simply pointing out there’s more to learn. As it turns out, the difference is this:

Thief: one that steals especially stealthily or secretly
Robber: one who takes money or property from (a person or a place) illegally by using force, violence, or threats

So, one uses force and the other stealth. It goes without saying we’d all rather be theif-ed than robbed but honestly either kinda sucks. We discovered that recently when all our luggage was stolen out of the car we’d secretly packed to surprise you with a trip to Disneyland.*

salon.com

salon.com

When bad things happen, especially after getting sick, I often feel like…Did I break a mirror at some point and not notice? Recently it feels more like…Did I break a mirror while walking under a ladder kicking a black cat? This is ridiculous. Was I a hideous person in a past life? Am I being punished for something? As far as I know I’m good, I have no memory of being otherwise, and yet when life rises up and slaps me in the face I think, what is this all about?

Even with those kind of thoughts, which I understand are a bit ridiculous and cause your father to roll his eyes, I recognize our theft could have been much worse. We had only packed for two days (three, as I tend to overpack) and all our electronics and toiletries were still in the house along with the important un-replaceables, like your beloved bluies and stuffed animals. We lost a bunch of clothes for sure, shoes and other sundries that all can eventually be replaced, but the thought of trying to re-cobble together my makeup or face creams, your Dad’s contacts, or having to replace all of our i-everythings, would have been a complete nightmare.

I no longer own any of the clothes I'm wearing in this picture.

I no longer own any of the clothes I’m wearing in this picture.

Aside from one momentary spazz attack (5 seconds max) when I realized our stolen day bag included my driver’s license and large number of my medications, I was pretty calm about the whole thing. Now “pretty calm” may sound unimpressive, but for someone like me who’s prone to dramatic, emotional outbursts, it’s actually saying a lot. When I called to tell my parents, Granddad was astounded I wasn’t hysterical. I think he thought I’d been body snatched, but really, freaking out was a useless endeavor. Yes, being robbed is rotten. Sure, it’s inconvenient. It definitely made me wildly angry, but having a breakdown about it wasn’t going to fix anything. I needed to handle the situation and dissolving into a pile of mush wasn’t going to get my credit card cancelled or our police report filled out.

The most frustrating thing, aside from losing my beloved grey skinny jeans and favorite black boots, is how much of your time is stolen when your things are stolen. On top of taking our stuff, this unknown skeeve has taken hours, probably days, of my time sorting out his mess. It took us three hours of initial callings to police, banks, and insurance companies and two more filling out all the necessary paperwork. I still have to go to the DMV to get a new license, the bank to get a new bank card, the Ford Dealership to replace my Navigation card and to figure out how someone could have acquired access to our locked car in the first place. Letters have to be written to my health insurance company and on-line pharmacy to start the process of reissuing my medication and they’ll be a huge deductible to pay before we can even start replacing what was lost. Factor in the time I will spend on craigslist inanely trying to crack the case myself and you get the picture.

DON'T TAKE OUR STUFF!!!

DON’T TAKE OUR STUFF!!!

Having things stolen makes you angry. You feel violated. You ask yourself who would do such a thing? I didn’t freak out in the moment but, after the fact, I felt furious. Who breaks into someone’s car and takes suitcases and backpacks not even knowing what’s in them? You don’t need anything specifically, you’re just hoping there’s something in there you want. Who combs through someone’s possessions cherry picking favorites like they’re shopping in a store? Sunglasses? Check. Car seat? Nah. What kind of person feels justified emptying someone’s car into their own? Our thieves had to have brought a vehicle because there was just too much stuff to have carried away without one. An entire bag of coffee table books and novels? Really? You need that? They didn’t even have the time to use my bank card or ID between when the car was loaded at 1:30am and when we found it emptied 5 hours later. Will they try and sell our clothes? They’re not worth much used and yet they’ll cost us at least a couple thousand to replace. What’s the point of it all, other than to increase our sense of distrust and to make security companies more money? It all seems so senseless.

We still made it!

We made it!

Driving to Disney that afternoon (because we were still going damn it!) your Dad and I talked ad nausum about how livid we felt being taken advantage of that way. We discussed how we couldn’t even fathom how hysterical and vengeful we’d feel if it was a person and not stuff that had been taken or violated. In those hours following the robbery we really understood how people find themselves at a place where they feel a visceral need for retribution. A dark place of fury and vengeance. We lost jeans and boots, sweaters and jackets. How do people lose people and ever get past it? And if they do find out who it was, how do they possibly live with that? I imagined how I might behave if I was confronted with our thief and it was alarming. Your Dad wants to put trackers in all our luggage now. I want to chip the both of you for safety.

New matching suits just in time for their night swim!

New matching suits just in time for their night swim!

As horrible and heartbreaking as the whole situation was, our family will come through it virtually unscathed. Terrible things happen to people every day and, in the grand scheme of things, this theft is merely a blip. An expensive, annoying, waste of time blip, but a nothing all the same. Things can be replaced. People can not. We can choose to be mired down by the bad things that happen to us or we can choose to move on. I’m very glad we didn’t let the bad guys ruin our plans. Life goes on. Their are still lots of good people in the world and we chosen to try and focus on that. The lovely folks at Quicksilver in Downtown Disney started that ball rolling by giving Daddy and you the (completely made up) “you had your luggage stolen discount” on your new bathing suits. It was a small thing but it really made us smile. Customers for life!

S*^@ happens and you have to work to not let it change you. Don’t get me wrong, if I saw the SOB that took our stuff I’d be pretty fired up, but I’m not going to waste any more time than I already have to devoted to his actions. Karma, as they say, is a bitch and if it turns out it’s not me she’s after, I hope she takes a real crack at him.

I love you baby.

xo Mom

photo 4

* For the record this is the third time in two years our car has been broken into in our driveway.