Life Changes


Yesterday, two children asked me to send them their Social Security cards. Ha! They still need me. In my search, I found a host of treasures – actual submissions to magazines complete with typed (yes, on a typewriter) rejection letters from twenty-five years ago. I read one of the submissions to Woman’s Day about pledging to live out my father’s legacy on Father’s Day instead of wallowing in grief over the tremendous loss of such a wonderful man.  So by 7:00am, I had already balled my eyes out. This made me think of my scattered writing and how not only do I have journals, journals everywhere, but I have reflections on computers, computers don’t know where. Evernote, Word, Google Docs, Drive, etc.  This morning’s meandering through Evernote revealed the following note from a trip to visit Brendan dated May 14, 2014.

Note from 724 Copeland Ct in Santa Monica

Life changes.  All the time. “How can we be better?” translates into “how can we do better?” Is it okay just to be? To be more prayerful? More forgiving? More loving? Instead, we pledge what not to do: no more sugar, no more fried food, no more margaritas, no more f-bombs, no more complaining about energetic Watson, our dog. (Resolved by sending Watson to college when we sold the Chandana house.) Our resolutions become things I must do: stretch after each run, practice yoga daily, write for at least twenty minutes a day, call loved ones, drink more water, go to daily mass, eat more vegetables. Check things off the list, stick to the goals, feel  better and possibly eliminate hot flashes. Life will be good once I eliminate chips and salsa from my diet – spices trigger heat, according to Mr. Google. Life will be good when I establish the perfect closet organizing system or set concrete learning objectives and assessment plans for each of my classes. Life will be good when I am done training for the next long race. (Resolved by no more racing.) Life will be great  when I see my kids.

Life will be good when I choose just to be me and to love living with it.

I honestly started this blog as a to-do and not-do list upon our return from seeing Brendan. The kids have grown up, moved out, and they are happy. What gives them peace is knowing that Tim and I have embraced the changes and we are proud of them.

Here are my tangible, concrete goals as of May 2014:

See family more and stay in touch (July 2017 Trying!)

Learn to use Microsoft Publisher (still on the list)

Try two new healthy recipes a week (Did I really think I’d do this?)

Figure out Pinterest (Nope, not yet.)

Make plans for a beach day with Chicago friends (You bet!)

Make plans for a beach day with Valpo friends (Yep!)

Clean out my office (Oh boy)

Update my 2013-14 self-evaluation at VU (Part of my job)

Prep for my fall English 200 course (Of course)

Organize the garage – I know, it’s dull, but the garage bugs me (Sold the house – no more Valpo garage!)

The Hamlet list digs much more deeply:

How will I be better? How will this trip make me more loving? How will I glorify God more with my life? How does God wish to be glorified? I have a clear cut “Thou shalt not” list, and I have two simple first commandments.

I wonder if God is up there shaking his or her head thinking, “Why do you complicate things? Why try to organize and control? You aren’t in charge.” Duh.

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