This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for February, 2019

My Happy Place

In my very first class of my Masters program, my professor talked about the importance of having a happy place. I tried several different ones but nothing really settled solidly.

Two years ago my oldest daughter got a snow pass and we went skiing several times together and it was very enjoyable time together. I had offered to my oldest son to go with us but he declined. This year I offered to all of my four and they all wanted to go. I wasn’t sure what would happen.

Most family outings/vacations/trips don’t really go super fantastic. I expected someone would be done a quarter of the day and I would have to sit in the lodge with them. I had my Italian son with me and he would help but it could still be a bit of a waste.

To my surprise, they all loved it. The three who had not skied, all took one lesson and they nailed it. They haven’t had a lesson since and they are better than me.

Today was an accomplishment. Today I went without my Italian son (which made me incredibly sad because we miss him terribly). I doubted if I could handle it, I doubted if it would go well, but I had to try.

We didn’t get out of the house when I wanted because of work and when we left there was a few loud words – mostly by me to uncooperative children, ok mostly just one child. Again I worried how the day would go.

We got there and slowly the apprehension and tension melted away like the snow from the tree limbs in the sunshine. The day was incredible.

Clouds came and went, and it felt like they were playing hide and go seek with us. The sun kissed out cheeks and felt like God was smiling just for us. We had an incredible time. It wasn’t perfect because of a few falls (minor but still with tears) and one child insisting to play in the out of bounds area, but he only got lost once and I found him before having to alert any security (which has happened too many times to count in his life). But it was a significant accomplishment for me.

Today, as I went down the hill for however many times it was, I thought “Amanda, remember this.” What does it smell like, what does it feel like, what do you see? Capture this in your memory – and that’s when I realized this is my happy place. It is on the mountain but not just on the mountain – it’s with them: my four, incredible beyond words, offspring.

This also made me realize a happy place isn’t just about the place – it’s the people. That’s why my happy place was never solid, it didn’t have the people that make me happy. Yes they also make me sad and angry and tired, so very very tired, but they can make me happier than anyone else when they make me happy. They literally light up my world.

Life is difficult. It’s going to get more difficult this year, but I have my happy place; my happy people.

Full disclaimer – every ski day has ended with children in front of the TV while I have wine and an epson salt bath. I then go to bed immediately after and they fend for themselves. My body is definitely letting me know that I am not in my 30’s anymore Toto.


A night of heaven

Last Friday my son and I got into our formal gear and went to one of the best parties I have ever been to in my life. It was Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, a celebration night for people with special needs. We volunteered to be buddies to one of the 125 guests who came to be recognized and honored. My guest was a wonderful gentleman who came last year (this was year two at this church) and my son was with a young man who came for the first time. We went on limo rides, sang karaoke, had snacks, danced our hearts out and then had a crowning ceremony for our guests to be the kings and queens for the night. The mood was electric right from the start. The volunteers were excited to be there and waited eagerly for the guests to arrive. When they did, they walked down the red carpet to our cheers, a photographer, and videographer. You could immediately see that they felt special. I felt honored to be there and be a part of making them feel that way.

My guest and I hit the dance floor first and after one song he said to me, “you’re beautiful.” So simple, so honest, and coming from him it made me feel like a million dollars. I was super impressed with the dance skills of some of our guests with downsyndrome. They were amazing! We had fun at the photo booth even if we couldn’t get the timing quite right, it lead to lots of laughs. We sang to Aladdin and Elvis Prestley.

After my guest went home for the night I stood with the mom of my sons guest. My son and her son were still on the dance floor because her son didn’t want to leave – I don’t think mine did either. She said she was so happy they came. She said it was a night where her son didn’t stand out.

I looked around and realized that no one stood out. Everyone was there to have fun. No one cared what you were wearing, how you danced, or who you were outside of those walls.  There were politicians, police officers, pastors, moms, teenagers, and people from all walks of life, but it didn’t matter. We all felt accepted and free.

I am convinced that’s what heaven will be like.

I can’t wait for another night of heaven next year to party with the most amazing people.

Is that what you want?

Do you really want something if your not willing to take any steps to make it happen?

If you look in the mirror and say, I want to lose ten pounds, but still eat the same and don’t exercise – then do you really want that or do you want the idea of it? Maybe you say you want it but if your not willing to do the work it takes to get there, then do you really want it??

Maybe you just like to talk about wanting it. Maybe your stuck in the dream stage. One of my core values is vision so I love to dream. I love to imagine -what if this could be? I feel very blessed that another of my core values is passion because it puts feet to my dreams. It moves me forward. I don’t want to just dream about one day, I need to see action to make it happen. It actually betrays who I was made to be to just talk but not move forward.

My overarching value is wisdom so I am a strong believer in strategic planning and moving forward with purpose – but still moving forward. I really don’t like to wait. There are times to wait, but too many use that to stall. I’m sorry but your actions (or inaction) is speaking so loud I can’t hear you. What you are doing, or not doing, says more to me than your words.

You can tell me what you want, but I will know by what I see.