Things about me – #1

I recently purchased a book called “642 things to write about me” by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.  It isn’t a book that you read…it is a book you answer questions.  This has already proven to be giving me PLENTY of content for this blog.  Here is to hoping it gets me through my writers block.  

I won’t be going in any particular order but here is the first question I am going to answer from the book. 

Picture a photo from your childhood, one you know well.  Narrate the scene around the taking of that photo, to the best of your memory. 

When I read this, the FIRST photo I remembered is one from my childhood.  I am young, maybe 8 years old.  (that is a guess) 

The photo was taken in my childhood home we had off the highway, in the living room to be exact.  My hair short and curly and I think I am in my pajamas.  I am in the picture with my dad.  In the picture his is swinging me around holding my stretched out hands.  I can see our smiles.  I can remember we were dancing to music.  When I think of this picture, my heart soars.  I love that this is the photo I remembered.  

Ironically the next picture that came to mind was one from the night before my first wedding.  The setting is in the front living room of the home my parents now live.  The woodwork is white.  My mom is still in her rehearsal black dress and I am already in blue jeans and a red colored shirt.  We are trying to dance with the biggest smiles on our face.  My parents small Yorkie/Lhasa Apso mix dog is in the picture as well.  This was before digital photography was a big thing and I believe we used the flash because his eyes look like he is crazy.  This little dog is long gone to the other side of heaven and as I think of this photo, I can remember how wonderful he was.  He was so protective of us and when he wasn’t protecting someone, the most amazing lap dog. 

This one question from this book makes a lightbulb go off in my brain.  You see, my dad always had music in our lives.  We were in band and choir as kids.  When asked what kind of music is my favorite, I always have a long answer.  You see, I think I like it all for what it is.  If I need to yell and scream about something, give me heavy metal and rap.  If I need to dance off energy or need a pick me up, give me a song with a good beat that makes my feet tap and my arms sway from side to side, as awkwardly as possible of course. If I am feeling loved or in need of love, give me a ballad or a good country song.  And if I am sad and need to just get the tears out, give me a country song with lyrics that you hear clear as day and make the tears flow to clear my mind.  And if all else fails…crank up the 80s music station.  There is not much to hate about the 80s music…especially since it takes me right back to that first picture I wrote about with my amazing dad. 

Jay loved music, mostly heavy metal which wasn’t always easy to listen too, but he in general loved music.  Thinking of pictures, one of the last of us is from my cousins wedding and what does that photo look like you ask?  I am pregnant with Aaron and we are dancing on the dance floor feeling incredibly blessed. 

When Jay died, I didn’t want to listen to music.  It made me sad.  All of it.  My love for music had died with him.  It was when a few people entered my life that my love for music was reignited.  Going to concerts and watching artists perform made my heart soar.  Going to Zumba and Hip Hop dance classes gave me energy I hadn’t had in YEARS.  Watching professional dancers create amazing routines gave me energy to move.  And then a crazy thing started to happen.  As I would drive to work or pick up/drop Aaron off at daycare I would hear the lyrics of the songs in ways unknown to me before.  As I prayed to God and talked to Jay, I would hear an answer in the song playing.  Sometimes an abrupt stop in the current song, flipping to a different style of music that gave me an answer. I would close my eyes and I could see Jay smirking at me.  I could feel peace in my heart. 

In 2012, my Christmas gift to myself was a ring.  I had recently taken off Jay and my wedding bands.  The ring looks like sheet music you would read to play an instrument or piano.  There are little diamonds on it that look like musical notes.  It is the ring I wear when I need to remember there is always music in our lives.  Sometimes it isn’t the music we want to listen too, but it is always there and no matter what, it is beautiful. 

Yep all, of that from one question about a photo.  

Golfing

So the other day while on vacation in Arizona, I went golfing with my father, brother and husband.  

I have found my love for the game of golf again.  I was never going to be a pro golfer by any means, but I did enjoy golfing in high school and found it a great source of exercise.  When I went to college, moved for a career and married golf wasn’t a thought in my mind.  

Kelby brought golf back into my life and since then we have enjoyed a course here close to home but have also made the effort to golf in the cities we travel too.  While golfing with these three men in my life (who are definitely better golfer than me), I started to see an analogy of golf to this journey we call life.  

When I first started golfing again, I was blessed because my dad had an old set of clubs he let me use, so I did.  I had to adjust my swing (what I remembered of it) but they got me on the course without me renting or buying new just incase I didn’t like it now as I did before.  I later bought a new set that fit my height and my swing. 

As I sat in the cart in the beautiful Arizona weather, I thought about life and golf.  You see, the three guys all had their own set of clubs.  They were unique to them.  Kelby being left handed made his unusable to my dad or brother.  My dad golfs the most out of all of us, so he has had much more practice then any of us.  We all have a different swing.

What does that mean?  In life, we all have a different set of “clubs.”  Some people are strong off the tee box, others have an amazing short game.  (for those non golfers this is chipping onto the green and putting)  Some slice or hook it in the rough.  Sometimes, we forget to watch where our golf ball goes and have to drop a new golf ball close to where we think we lost it.  Some people navigate towards the sand traps.  We want to go into the trap, grab the golf ball and throw it out so we don’t have to hit it out of the sand.  Sometimes it takes more than one swing to get it out and sand goes everywhere.  And then there are others who think it is good hygiene for our golf balls to go into the water features. For those who didn’t catch the sarcasm in that last statement, trust me it is there.   I may or may not have an issue with sand and water when golfing. 

What this proves is although we may all have a putter, but from where our ball is on the green, we may approach our swing differently.  Depending on our strengths we may all be in the same place on the course, but we use a different numbered club, swing differently and have a different outcome.  

This is life as I saw it while sitting in a golf cart in Mesa, Arizona.  

Who not what

I have found myself reflecting on our wedding reception the past few weeks being around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. 

Every time I go through pictures I cannot help but smile.  When I remember walking in and seeing everyone who was there, my heart is happy.

After the first dances I remember walking around visiting with people and thinking, “wow, look at all of these people.”  Family, friends and co-workers…everywhere!

The love and support in the room was overwhelming at times.  There was family who have known me all my life and are the foundation of who I am.  There were friends who have known me for more than half of my life.  And then those who I’ve met more recently.  I remembering going from table to table feeling blessed  to be surrounded by so many amazing people.

Here is what I have learned.  I do not know everything.  I do not WANT to know everything.   I have survived this life because of the people in my life because together, we know a whole lot. 

The Thanksgiving holiday this year was a little heavy hearted having lost Kelby’s mom a couple weeks prior.  It made this concept of WHO we have not WHAT we have shine with importance.  I was reminded in a very real way that who we have in our lives gives us what we have in this life.  A happy heart, positive outlook, healthy lifestyle and open mind.  That is WHAT I have in my life because of WHO I have in my life, and I am eternally grateful.