Is This All There Is?

Written By: Kim - Oct• 18•11

Three days a week, I take the commuter train of the living dead. Let’s just say we are pulling away from home before 6 am. And, yes, there is one more train before ours that leaves my hometown a little after 5 am, but I rarely make that train. The last stop puts us at Washington, DC’s Union Station at 6:57 am. Most of us spend the last few minutes pulling in to the station gearing up for our day ahead. Or at least hoping the caffeine will kick in soon.

Today, one of my train buddies, who has a great personality and sense of humor was shaking his head and yawning. I asked him what was up. He pondered: “Some days, I wonder. Is this all there is?” I chuckled and told him that he was having a mini mid-life crisis. And, that most of us do not work because we want to, we work because we have to in order to enjoy things such as a home, vacations, college tuition, etc. As we went our separate ways, I thought about what he said.

Praiano, Almalfi Coast, Italy rainbow ©God. Photo ©Mike Howard.

We toil. We live. We survive. We love. We work. We learn. So what? Why are we doing this again? What drives us to enjoy life? I am not talking about simply going through the motions, but really living. Enjoying our family and friends; liking our career choices; finding our talent and passion outside of work. Making a difference somewhere to someone.

I don’t have the answer. I can just tell you to do something that makes you happy. If you hate your job and can’t leave, find an interest outside work. Discover one of your 10 talents. I have it on good authority from my Mom, who knew everything, that God gives us all 10 talents. It’s up to us to find them all. Volunteer — an organization somewhere needs someone just like you. Try a hobby. Hit the gym. Spend time with your friends. Start a book club, a poker night, bunco group or knitting club.

Do something to make yourself happy and discover there is more to life than we realize. Seize your day.

A Birthday Legacy

Written By: Kim - Sep• 01•11

Today is my birthday and if I can make the arrangements, I take the day off from work.

After I had breakfast with my husband, I hit the gym for yoga. My daughter wondered, the night before, why I would go to the gym on my birthday. She said I should do something fun. I reminded her that in order to have many more healthy birthdays, regular exercise was part of the plan. And, I planned to do something fun later.

Part of my "something fun" birthday: pedi/mani for me and Abby.

While yoga moves are the same in every language, what moves each instructor exposes you to are different. As usual, I was not disappointed to learn something new.

As with any yoga class, we closed with relaxation. She asked us to envision a jewel or crystal and the light and warmth it emitted. I admit that visualization has never really worked for me. This was part of the Lamaze child birth strategy class we took before my oldest child was born. Despite the beautiful beach sunset picture we had in the delivery room, I could only get through contractions by breathing, groaning and squeezing the hell out of my husband’s hands. And, I made it through both births of my children without drugs, but that is another blog post for another time.

While in yoga, I pictured something like the Hope Diamond (if you’re going to visualize, visualize big). Then I realized that it really didn’t matter. Inanimate objects do not add value to our lives. What matters are my family, friends and colleagues. So, instead of visualizing a priceless object, I visualized the most priceless people in my life: my children. All of the adjectives that the yoga instructor used were some of what we see, I hope, when we really see our children: light, energy, warmth.

People become parents for a lot of reasons. Sometimes parenting is a thankless job. Sometimes your heart bursts with joy and love at this person you are sharing a life with. Other times children break your heart. You laugh because you are so happy and at other times wonder what in the hell you were thinking when you decided to bring another life in to the world. You begin to question why you thought you were qualified to be a parent. You watch “19 Kids and Counting” and wonder why you aren’t more like Michelle Duggar. That woman should be sainted and she’s not even Catholic.

But then you realize that you acted on faith. You had faith that you could do this; that God would provide and that your heart had room for more. You created another life because you could not imagine your life without children. All the negatives about parenting fall away and you realize that this is your legacy. The only one that matters.

So, here’s to many more fun, healthy birthdays, faith and a long legacy. No one said it would be easy.