Thursday, January 27, 2011

To my son: you break my heart

When you think that I love your brother more than you because you require more discipline, I tell you, "You were my first."

You were my first pregnancy, my first born, my first crack at motherhood. The first time I had to care for something completely dependent on me. The first time I had to think of someone other than myself, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The first time-out I administered, the first belly I raspberried, the first diaper changed in the back of a Volvo.

The first kid tearily waved off to kindergarten, the first audience for your Christmas sing, the first refrigerator that displayed your artwork, the first goal I ever stood up and cheered for.

The first "birds and bees" talk I ever had, the first "when I was your age" advice I ever dispensed, the first curfew I ever enforced. The first time I ever felt completely overwhelmed, the first time I didn't have all the answers, the first time my heart was truly broken.

Son: Every day you break my heart.

You had a hard time coming into this world, and it's been an adventure ever since. You walked early, talked early, and reaped the benefits and the disadvantages of being the first child of devoted superparents. The night I finally made you "cry it out" you were nine months old. When you finally stopped, I went in your room and you were on your knees, face smushed against the bars, sound asleep.

Every day you break my heart.

You started kindergarten early, because you were ready. No question you were smart enough. You got straight A's all through elementary school. Socially, you seemed a bit behind; a little more sensitive and less tolerant than the other kids. Yet meet an adult? From a very young age, you would impress everyone by looking them straight in the eye, shaking their hand firmly, and introducing yourself. You hold the door for 10 minutes after church until everyone has gone through. Yet I'm not sure you believe in God.

Every day you break my heart.

I look at your face now, and it is that same baby face I remember from years ago. The freckles you get as summer approaches that make me say, "THERE'S my summer boy!" The blond curls that used to adorn just the top of your head in little ringlets now flow down to your shoulders in an unkempt mop. Adolescent acne spots your porcelain complexion here and there, your voice cracks as your body struggles with puberty, and your mood swings as your mind fights with your hormones.

Every day you break my heart.

Sometimes, if you're not paying attention, I can still stroke your hair and you won't mind. Sometimes, you let me lay down next to you and talk before you drift off to sleep. Sometimes, we laugh at the same jokes or jam out to the same song on the radio. But not often anymore.

Every day you break my heart.

I'm hard on you. I'm hard on you because I need to be. I'm hard on you because I need to be and I love you so much it hurts. And I don't know if you have anyone else that's as hard on you as I am. You need me. You don't think so now, but you do need me. I wish you'd stop fighting me.

Every day you break my heart.

You're making bad choices. If you continue to do so, I won't be able to help you. Please believe me when I say that I know more than you do, and I know where you're headed if you continue. Please trust me when I say that I am your biggest advocate, your biggest fan. Don't push me away.

Every day you break my heart.

I would do anything for you, but I won't do everything for you. All I can do is keep trying, pray, and pray some more. I pray that God will take you under his wing and guide you to make good choices so you can live the life that he put you on this earth to live. Know that it takes very little to make me proud, and a lot to disappoint. Know that I cry for you often, and worry about you constantly.

Every day you break my heart.

But if you grow up to be a kind person, a productive citizen, and a good Christian, every broken piece of my heart... will be worth it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What do I care what you think? (aka Do I have something in my nose?)

Forrest Gump rocks.

I remember thinking at the end of that movie, "I want to be Forrest Gump." Not because he was a little slow; not because he did amazing things in his life. It was the fact that HE NEVER CARED WHAT ANYONE ELSE THOUGHT.

And I don't mean that in an ostentatious "I'm so great so I don't care about anyone else" way, but a "This is me and I'm genuine and inherently honest and if I do something you think is stupid it really won't affect me" way.

For some reason, I have always been a slave to the "what will they think" theory. On my first day at a new high school, I will never forget entering the classroom and having all those Catholic schoolgirl eyes on me. I looked at them in their little plaid outfits and cute, white bobby socks. Then I looked down at me - I was wearing navy blue knee highs, just like the handbook said. I never felt like a bigger loser in my life. Did anyone notice? I have no idea. No one ever said anything. But that moment made a huge impact on how I perceived myself at that school. I was a loser before I even tried to win.

Once I warmed up to high school and started making friends, I was happy but always trying to be someone else. My best friend had what I thought was a great fashion sense so I tried to dress just like her. Looking back, I looked ridiculous. I never tried to be popular; those girls were prettier, smarter, had bigger houses and better clothes than I would EVER have. I wasn't upset about this; it was just a fact.

My obsession with what other people thought grew through adulthood. When I got divorced, I was SURE every mom at my son's school was whispering about me as I passed. "There goes Amy; you know she's getting a divorce. Psssspssspsssss..." Actually, they probably were, but in my head they were huddled up in the teacher's lounge trying to find a way to throw me off the PTC.

When my kids have acted up, and I've gotten a note home or that dreaded phone call from a parent, the first thing I think of isn't "Why did my kid do that?" It's "What must this parent think of me to be raising a kid to do that?" Except I must confess, a mom called me when my son was in kindergarten and said in a huffy voice, "YOUR son told MY daughter that he was going to ANNIHILATE her," to which I replied proudly, "REALLY? He said ANNIHILATE???" I puffed up just enough to exhale and apologize before she started to think badly of me, too.

I know what you're thinking. "That's very self-absorbed, Amy." Yes, it is. But it's not a conscious thing, necessarily. It's more of a self-conscious thing. I've thought about this and I think it's my own self-expectation run amuck, and the fact that I forget one small detail:

Everyone has their shit, and they don't give a damn about yours.

I kind of came to this realization about that miraculous, wonderful time I turned 40. All of a sudden, I didn't care so much. I mean, I wasn't running naked through the streets and telling my gossipy neighbors to mind their own beeswax during my dating years; I wasn't really even thinking about it at all. All of a sudden, I thought to myself, "Do you think the things you think people think about you when you think of them?" And after I figured out what I had just asked myself, the answer was, "No." So what made me think that people were going to waste their time thinking anything about me???? Along with that realization came sort of a calming, self-assurance that I wasn't ALWAYS doing stupid things, and that my actions weren't SO completely out of whack that I was going to get canned from any of my committees.

An old friend of mine who knew me well used to play on my fears. I'd be talking with her and she'd slowly touch her nose. Without even thinking, I would wipe mine and continue talking. She'd touch her nose again and just watch me squirm as I dealt with what might be hanging from my nose until I would finally realize what she was doing. Maybe that was her way of performing behavior modification on me.

Suffice it to say, I still care what people think, but mostly I care that they think of me as a good person. Yes, I'm quirky, and blunt, and crass at times, but I try not to be unkind. I may have a weird body shape, or crazy, curly hair, or even something hanging out of my nose, but I'm OK with that. OK, I'm not OK with the thing hanging out of my nose. But you get the idea.

Does anyone have a mirror?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Man on the Corner (Part II)

In order to understand this post, you have to go back and read how I met the Man on the Corner. Take your time... I'll wait:

The Man on the Corner

OK, you back? Good.

So, I wrote that back in November of 2009. It must have been a warm November; otherwise he would have never been sitting on that corner. At Christmastime of that year, I put a container of cookies and a card on his doorstep. I didn't see him at all for many months, but he would call every few weeks (usually on a Tuesday when his wife was at exercise class) just to see how I was doing.

Last summer, my walking schedule and his sitting on the corner schedule never seemed to mesh. Every time I walked by his house I thought of knocking on his door, but didn't want to wake him, or worse yet, have his wife answer and wonder who the hell this "young" woman was at her door asking for her husband. Finally, after I returned from a trip to South Dakota, I called him and set up a time to go over and visit to show him my pictures.

It took him awhile to answer the door. I almost thought he had forgotten about my visit; then I saw as he shuffled back to his chair that it must have taken all his energy to get to the door. He sat down and told me he had something for me, and handed me a keychain. "It's a dreamcatcher," he said. "It'll catch all your good dreams and make the bad ones go away." Then he showed me a photocopy of a series of newspaper articles listing his name - turns out he was QUITE the golfer in his day. He then shared some photos that were taken a few years ago on a golf course - obviously pre-stroke. He looked feeble holding a golf club, but also happier than I had ever seen him.

He wanted to show me around his house. He struggled to get up, but seemed determined. After a series of tries, I told him, "You know, if I help you up, no one will know but me." He seemed OK with that, and I helped him up and he gave me the tour. He sleeps in a separate bedroom than his wife now; a twin bed full of all the gadgets he needs close by. Adorning his walls were hunting and golf photos - obviously passions whose days were long gone.

Since that visit over the summer I have not seen him. We still talk occasionally, and I delivered bread and candies at Christmastime. I got a call from him on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

After missing two of his calls, I dialed him up last week. His wife answered. I asked for him and she said, "Can I tell him who's calling?" I'm thinking, "Oh, God. I'm so busted." I said, "Amy, the one who leaves treats on the porch." Her tone completely changed. "Oh, AMY!" she said. "I've been meaning to email you! I want to make sure Jim thanked you for those delicious treats!" "Yes," I said, "he did." Eventually the conversation turned to the inevitable - basically, "Sooooo, how do you know my husband?" I regurgitated the story and she seemed a bit skeptical. So I told her, "You know, I'm just calling to tell him that I'm getting married." With that, she seemed to relax. "He's sleeping, but I'll wake him up," she said. "No, no," I insisted. "Don't wake him up." She then preceded to tell me that he wasn't doing well. He thought he had had another stroke and was not getting around and forgetting things. The news made my heart drop. "Have him call me soon, and I'll come over and we can all chat," I said.

A few days later I got a sweet message from Jim. His voice sounded more feeble than I remembered. Here's what he said: "Amy! It's Wheelchair Jim. Betty told me the good news. I'm sorry it's not me, but that's life. I'll be waiting for an invitation to the wedding. I can't walk there, but I'll get there somehow. Call you some other time. Bye, now."

I don't think Jim will be AT my wedding, but I sure hope that I'll be able to share my pictures with him. I think about him almost every day, and wonder how he is - not only health wise, but how he feels day to day, looking back on his life, knowing that the number of days left on this earth are much less than the number of days he's spent here.

I should visit him more; and I know that will be one of my biggest regrets. Talking to him reminds me of how much life is to be appreciated, valued and celebrated, because it won't always be THIS GOOD. Looking at my dreamcatcher - in a special place on my desk - makes me realize that life is going to be full of good things and bad, but in the end it's the good things we reflect on and the bad is swept away. So take lots of pictures, make lots of memories, and take lots of notes. When you're old and gray, you just might happen upon someone who wants to hear all about them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why sometimes I hate being a girl

Sometimes I think guys have it soooo easy. They don't have cramps, PMS or periods. They don't have their bodies stretched to their limit during pregnancy. And certainly no matter how hard we squeeze their hands or curse their existence, they will never truly know the excruciating pain of childbirth.

Other times I'm very thankful to be female. I can cry when I want to and not be laughed at, ask for help with my car, my taxes and home repairs and not be scorned, and not have to worry about spontaneous erections at inappropriate times.

Still, occasionally I just wish I wasn't such a girl. I always feel silly when I talk about getting a pedicure, the great deal I found while shopping on something I didn't need or how big my butt looks in these jeans.

Overall, I don't consider myself a "girly girl". I don't know if I ever was one growing up, but from the photos of me in my mop-head curls, too-short jeans and extremely flat chest, I was certainly mistaken for the other white meat on more than one occasion.

I think girls and guys both get a bad rap when they pull out tendencies of the other sex. I know some guys who would not be caught DEAD crying. I know other guys who cry if they watch the Cottonelle puppy commercial. Of course, the guy who doesn't acknowledge his tears is considered the more "manly man" over the guy who's truly "in touch with his feelings."

On the other hand, if a woman is too feminine in the workplace, she might get a bad reputation. Or worse, not be taken seriously. The flip side? The aggressive, blunt female who kicks ass and takes names, scratching and crawling her way up the ladder is considered, well, a bitch.


I definitely embrace both ends of the spectrum. I can take an hour to get ready to go out, painstakingly applying my makeup and doing my hair, searching endlessly in my closet for just the perfect outfit that fits my body type while still making me feel "sassy". On the other hand, I'm perfectly down with crossing my legs man-style, drinking beer and loudly trash talking the other team while watching the big game (which I plan to do this Sunday).

I guess my point is that sometimes I'm (embarrassed) to be a girl, like it's a weakness. I don't like to admit I can't open a jar, or that the water softener salt is heavy, or that I don't know where my water shutoff valve is. Then again, another part of me wants someone to open the jar, bring in the water softener salt, and take care of the shutoff valve so I don't have to.

Does that make me needy? High maintenance? Or stubborn? Too independent?

What makes a girl a girl and a guy a guy to you? Give me your two cents so I can see if I'm the exception or the rule.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can music save your mortal soul?

A long, long time ago … I can still remember … how that music made me smile.

If you don’t know that song, you’re not American. And no, I’m not going to sing all nine minutes of it.

Don McLean’s American Pie is an iconic recount of the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper – otherwise known as "the day the music died". It makes you want to drive your Chevy to the levee, drink whiskey and rye and dance… real… slow.

When you hear that song, it likely takes you back to a time in your life. For me, I remember sitting on the bed in my older sister’s room back in the 70’s singing it, along with the Knack’s “My Sharona”, Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” and Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind”.

Think about it. One song can transport your memories and affect you in ways that no other genre can. Does Candle in the Wind make you think of Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana? Does Van Halen’s “Jump” take you back to high school or were you dancin’ to Diamond Dave in diapers at the time? And were you wishing you were younger during the Disco Era or flaunting the white Saturday Night Fever suit?

No matter what, we all have songs that make us FEEL. And that’s what music’s supposed to do. After a bad breakup, there were songs that would literally tear my heart out if I heard them on the radio. In times I was separated from my kids for long periods, Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” made me teary for my babies. And my sister and I are still fighting over the rights to having Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend” played at our memorial service.

I always love to hear stories about old songs from people my parents’ age (not that you’re old, Mom). I often wonder what interesting life ties there are to “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” or “Sentimental Journey” to a person from that era. I bet there are some grand tales to be told about chance meetings, war-time relationships, and lifetime romances that are now in their 50th or 60th year.

I wonder about kids of today and what their memories of music will be. Will Ke$ha’s “We R who we R” make them wax nostalgic of texting marathons into the wee hours of the morning? Is Katie Perry’s "California Girls" going to transport them back in time to the days of YouTube like Def Leppard did for us and MTV? Is Justin Bieber the new David Cassidy? And will these dark and brooding children listening to Slipknot, Disturbed and System of a Down grow up to wonder what the hell they were thinking?

Let’s take a little music poll. What’s a tune that has true meaning to you… and why? Post your comments below. Whether it’s the Beatles, Boston or the Bay City Rollers, I’m always a sucker for the story behind the song.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why, Yes! I can't say No!

It starts with a phone call. Or a sign-up sheet. Or an email. Suddenly you're Googling ways to clone yourself, survive on less sleep, and time management tips.

It's yesitis. And I've been doing it a lot lately.

I lead a pretty busy life - for the most part, it's self-induced, so I try not to complain. I don't like to be idle for too long - I honestly don't know what to do with myself. I've virtually quit watching TV. I don't thumb through magazines or read books. I'm lucky I read my mail. In fact, from the moment I get home from work, I rarely sit down until I log on to the computer after the kids go to bed.

And that's just plodding through daily life as a single parent. Top that off with a job that I go to every day. Then add on the freelance work that I still take on #1) because I enjoy it, and #2) because I'm just not ready to shut that creative door. Then throw in an occasional school function, like the upcoming Student Showcase at my son's school. I've chaired this event for eight years and many phases of my life and I'm so passionate about it that I just can't let go of running the show.

In the midst of all these project "choices", I start to feel guilty that I'm not keeping up my relationships as I should. Facebook has been both a blessing and a curse - it's so easy to post a "Let's get together soon!" on someone's wall. It's another thing to actually take the time to physically meet and share what's going on in each others' lives. I just missed a friend's baby shower - totally my fault. I received the invitation, made a mental note to RSVP, and promptly sent it into the pile of "to-do's" on my desk, completely forgotten.

I used to do much more for others - checking in on a mom who's having a tough go, or making dinner for someone I love who doesn't have time to do it for himself. And the annual letters I write to each of my sons every year on their birthdays? Uh, yeah. That was back in July, and though it gnaws at me every day, it has yet to get accomplished.

It's no wonder that I'm sitting here writing at 7:15 am - my usual exercise time - because I haven't blogged in a few days. As much as exercise helps me both physically and mentally, especially after sitting at a computer all day, it's the first thing to go when I have to say "no" to something.

A part of me is driven by what I see others do - the guy at work that has been pulling all-nighters to meet an unmeetable deadline - and has a wife and three kids at home, plus freelance jobs on the side. At least I get to sleep a little at night. My good friend, also with three kids and one of the best moms I know, is the president of her son's school, plans incredible parties for friends, and is constantly helping out those in need - including myself.

I don't know how to stop the madness, and even if I could, I don't know what I'd do with myself. The next six months are going to be absolutely crazy for me - there will be many changes that will require loads of time and a plethora of energy. I'm completely daunted as to how I'll make it through and what will be sacrificed as a result.

Maybe it's time to practice saying "No."

"I'd love to, but I just have too much on my plate right now."

"I'm honored you asked me, but I just can't."

"Let me see what I can do."

"Of course I can!"

Crap. It's not as easy as it sounds. Sigh.

Call me if you need anything.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why Chinese mothers are superior, and how I (kind of) agree

I am fascinated by this article. Utterly fascinated.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

I didn't say I completely agreed with it. I also didn't say I completely disagreed with it.

Hence the fascination.

In case you don't feel compelled to click away and read it in its entirety, let me give you the Cliff Notes version.

Basically, the author, Amy Chua, a Yale Law professor and a "Chinese mother living in a Western world", explains and somewhat advocates a "tough love" policy that is standard in her country, but would be considered mental child abuse in the United States.

While Western parents lament about damaging their children's fragile self-esteem, she says Chinese parents assume - and demand - strength in their children. Failure just isn't an option.

I can see her point.

I get squirmy, however, when she uses the example of children and grades. An American child comes home with a "B" and most parents will praise him or her. A Chinese child comes home with a "B", and it's assumed the child didn't work hard enough, and he or she is "excoriated, punished and shamed" in order to improve from the experience.

I DO think we coddle our kids, there's no question. We talk about their feelings, we offer anger management classes for those kids who just can't control their emotions, we invite them to get in touch with who they are. We make excuses for them due to issues at school, at home, with parents, with friends, or just in their own thought patterns. We label and categorize them with disorders such as "anxiety with depressed mood", "attention deficit - impulsive type" and "borderline personality disorder".

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying these don't exist. I've advocated myself for some special acknowledgments and treatments for my own kids over the years based on internal and external factors.

But the other part of my brain - the non-motherly part - really wonders if all this "freedom of expression" is doing our kids any favors. When was the last time you went into your boss and asked if you could have more time on a project because you were having concentration issues? Or that you totally bombed an important client presentation but was just asked by your supervisor to "try a little harder next time?"

Hell, no! You'd be out on your keester. Why? Because there's about 10,000 other "yous" out there chomping at the bit to be in your position. And probably 75% of those are of Chinese descent.

It kind of reminds me of this commercial:

Geico - Sarge

Now, hopefully I've piqued your interest enough that you go and read this article.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Otherwise you're not going to understand when I talk about how I initially thought that the incident at the piano was going a bit too far, but in the end, her daughter played the piece like her mother knew she could. To me, it was not about the fact that her daughter was unable to play the piece. It was because she didn't WANT to. A classic battle of wills, which unfortunately goes on a lot at my house, and sometimes he wins simply because I'm just too tired to fight the fight.

That's my bad.

Kids need to understand that they are the kids and we are the adults, and what we say goes. It doesn't matter if it sucks. It doesn't matter if it "wounds their spirit" or "damages their self-esteem". We as parents have lost the confidence to parent like our parents did. We're meek and unsure and trepidacious, due in part to this wave of pussyfooting parenting that started with the baby books advocating co-sleeping and nursing until the kid is three years old. Now I'm NOT suggesting calling your child a loser, a nerd, a geek, an idiot, a bonehead, a jerk, an imbecile, a pinhead, a twit or a moron. But enough of the preening and stroking and adoration and flattery and laudation at every breath they take.

You really want to read that article now, don't you?

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

If you're still not willing, here's how she closes:
"Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away."

I know I don't have the balls to be a Chinese parent, but I'm kind of sick of cradling my child's every emotion in my hand like a wounded bird. I'm wondering if there's some sort of middle ground - between here and China - that I can discover, stick my flag in the ground and announce, "I am Parent. Hear me roar."

Read the article. Then comment below. You know you have an opinion.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

On being addicted to obsessions

Ahab was obsessed with Moby Dick. Van Gogh was said to have an obsession with sunflowers, among other things. And Hamlet? Well, he was obsessed with death and exacting revenge in the aftermath of his father's murder.

See? Everyone gets a little crazy about something.

I try to remember that as my kids go through their "obsessive" phases. When my oldest son was little, it was Mary Poppins. Yes, hard to believe, but this shaggy-haired, troubled teen metalhead once spun around the family room singing "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!!!" at the top of his lungs. Over and over. Day after day.

From there, it was Lion King. Then Skinamarink. Then Elmo. And just so you don't think I had my kid planted in front of the TV day in and day out, he also became obsessed with outdoor things: shaking trees. Yes. Shaking trees. I think his grandpa taught him that - one of the many things grandparents think are "funny" to teach little kids, then they return home and the parent is faced with their poor kid shaking a tree in the middle of the neighborhood while other more perfect mothers look out the windows holding their perfect kids and shaking their heads.

At first, when my son would exhibit anything resembling any kind of obsessive behavior, I would freak out. A victim of some extremely irritating obsessive compulsive tendencies myself, I would immediately think that at any moment he would begin washing his hands 147 times and checking every doorknob in the house. But as he moved from one to the other, I began to realize that he was just trying things on for size, wearing them around for awhile, then discarding them and moving on to the next best thing.

So when he started lining up his Hot Wheels cars according to color, I didn't panic. And when he began spending hours in his room constructing multi-level, multi-room condominiums out of Legos, I assumed he was an aspiring architect. Now, when he systematically names off every heavy metal riff like it's a game of Name That Tune, I sigh and hope it's "just a phase". And I wonder what the next one will be.

My younger son is no different, although he exhibited his obsessions a little later in life. As a toddler, he went with the flow, probably because we were too busy managing his older brother's obsessions at the time. There was a brief fling with Finding Nemo, but for the most part his fanaticals have been limited to Legos and Hot Wheels (finding the elusive 2010 Treasure Hunts, specifically.) But now, it's a back flip. Yep. It's what he wants to do - and he spends literally hours flipping and twisting and reading books and watching videos and doing whatever else it takes to master it. After he accomplishes that feat, who knows?

My obsessions were never quite as constructive. There was the cleaning obsession - that was before children, of course - but considering I lived alone it didn't really benefit anyone but me. I never had any sort of shoe, clothing or jewelry obsession. For awhile I was addicted to scrapbooking, but once Son #2 was born, I gave up and hoped he'd be OK with just a few random photographs slapped in a School Days notebook. I suppose I'm obsessed with exercise to a point, but it seems to be negated by my obsession with carbohydrates. I need to work on that.

My point is, everyone has their "obsession", their "thing". Usually it's temporary - something I "used to be into". But it serves us well, and lets us experience the different aspects that make our lives rich and full.

What are your obsessions (that you're willing to admit)?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reminders, not resolutions for 2011

It's easy to have a laundry list of New Year's resolutions as you start out the fresh, 365 days that will be 2011. I'm as guilty as the next person of saying, "This year, I'm gonna (insert random resolution that will be virtually forgotten about by January 15)."

Then I watched this little video. And I realized... I don't need to do anything new. Or change anything drastically. Or make promises to myself I know I won't keep. I just need to remember what's important. And when I think about what will really enrich my life, suddenly it's very simple.

Take 2 minutes and 42 seconds to view this video. Then take the next 365 to make sure you accomplish as many of them as you can.

A Reminder of the Important Things in Life

Happy New Year to you all.