Tag: Relationships

Wander

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“A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.” ― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

I am a wanderer.

Too often we think of wandering solely in a physical capacity.

My mind goes a million places. My heart follows or ferociously finds a place to wander as well.

I have spent the past month wandering. I’ve let wild thoughts appear and multiply, delightful dreams dance throughout my imagination, and dangerous but determined emotional escapades unfold. Seriously, it’s so good to wander.

This adulthood thing can be serious. The world is for sure insane. So living and wandering in a world created by and through my heart is fun and encouraging. Every now and then, it’s good to escape.

But alas I’ve returned. So here’s to all of the things I found on the unpaved paths in my head and heart. And here’s to everything to come. Operation occupy the opportunity starts now.

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Mom Fika: More “Mother’s Day”

danijela-froki-575670-unsplashI spent the day being showered with affection. From morning snuggles to handmade cards, it was simple and sweet. Highlights included a solo walk, which felt strange sans stroller, hot coffee, and an uninterrupted bath. It was the perfect combination of quiet indulgence and lovable noise. I am grateful.

I’m not sure people fully grasp the concept of fika. Furthermore, I’m convinced a lot of others don’t understand my passionate pursuit of it. I’m commonly asked, “what are you trying to do?” I could give you multiple versions or explanations, but only one truly matters, which is centered in connection. I believe that we become better people when we immerse ourselves in opportunities for engagement.

As a writer, I generate more ideas and invite inspiration into my life when I connect and conspire with others. As a mom, I unearth strength and cultivate confidence when I surround myself with positive and powerful women.  Fika is changing the way I live and it’s redefining how I work. It’s becoming something more than I anticipated and it’s exceeding the expectations of others.

I’m all in on the Mother’s Day celebrations.  Yesterday was a welcomed change where I surrendered and shared my joy in mommyhood with family. And while I loved everything about Mother’s Day, it got me thinking about what I need more of in my life. I need mom fika.

On Saturday, June 30th, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. I’m hosting a mom fika at the Madison Community House. It’s a free event for mamas who are interested in getting out to talk to other mamas about anything and everything. We’re serving coffee and champagne, otherwise known as mom fuel, and giving ourselves permission to relax right in the middle of Saturday schedules.

The premise is simple: take a break with me. Let’s connect and cheers to mom life in a space filled with other beautiful, bold, busy, and brilliant mamas. Why? Because we shouldn’t allocate our celebrations of mommyhood to a sole Sunday in May. Let’s fika! If you plan to attend, please email fishingforfika@gmail.com so your coffee is hot and your champagne flute full.

Behind the Hair

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In case your new to the site, I’m in Buffalo, New York this week, which is my favorite city and where I was raised. I’m basking in the beauty of quality time with my parents and watching them become amused and exhausted by my two little ones. It’s a true gift to be home and I’m grateful for our time together.

In desperate need of hair care, I asked my mother if she’d watch my girls while I went for a cut and color. I’m loyal and don’t deviate from the caretakers and custodians in my life, which includes my hair stylists. The woman who cut and colored my hair today had me in her chair at the ripe age of four. After a quick embrace, she got to work on my hot mess of hair horror.

I’ve always the loved the salon setting. Maybe it stems from my fascination with Miss Truvy’s in Steel Magnolias. Or, it might be my penchant for observational gossip. Regardless, I like to sit and absorb the antics. But today my stylist wanted to talk. With a coffee in hand, I explained the concept of fika and we dove right in.

She mentioned her work in elder care. Specifically, she had a position where she ran a salon at an assisted living facility. This allowed older people to look their best and gather in a communal salon setting. She spoke about their stories. Essentially, people pour their hearts out in her chair. Their lives become an open book, which in turn becomes a sharing session for others as well.

We agreed that as people age their need to foster connection grows. For various reasons, people long to leave their legacy with someone. We discussed the joy we find through these connections and the opportunities and insight it provides us in our own lives.

As she snipped here and colored there, she spoke about her desire to gather and share the stories she’s heard behind the hair. It struck me that she’s heard several interesting things, which shaped her career and conscience. Like me, she wants to write and exchange.

In an age of chronic cell phone communication, for the most part, people still commit to conversation at the salon.

There are certain places and professions where fika happens more organically and freely. Today was a good reminder to be open and receptive to the unexpected. Because behind the hair, a story lurks waiting to be told.

A Sunday Special

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Sunday nights are special. It’s my “me” time and I’m grateful for it. In a house that’s rarely quiet, I celebrate stillness. The silence is brief as I’m met with a loudness from within. Words pour out of me. Voices awaken. There’s a story screaming to be written.

I have these incredible dreams of scripts. Titles dance in my head. I fantasize about drafting a modern love story that’s so cliche yet high in demand. But I tend to push these projects aside, not for lack of interest or passion, but because the loudest voices are the ones with real needs, presence, and purpose. I’m drawn to discovery. Where are the authentic and appealing characters?  In short, all around me.

I’m surrounded by rich history and quiet soldiers. People battle through obstacles, carve out peace, or challenge authority in every day encounters. Their lives, like our world, are ever-evolving. Their stories, while interesting and worthwhile, are often reserved for the intimate fikas within their lives. How do I get a seat at their table?

It’s this very question that drives my desire to foster fika. So as I sit hear at my table, dreaming of a seat at yours, think about what you’d want to say. What would you want me to write? If you’re interested, let’s connect.

Tonight I made a list of strangers or very far-removed people who I’m determined to fika with and write about. I’m truly “fishing for fika.” Cast your line with me. I’ll be here dreaming. I call it a Sunday special.

 

My Awakener

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”  ― Robert Frost

 

Let’s get deep today. Seriously, put on your life jacket.

I live my life in constant celebration of relationships. From family to friends, colleagues to college roommates, and neighbors to strangers, I love people! I believe every person possesses the ability to impact my life.  IF we take the time to think about it, our daily interactions and words shape someone else’s attitude, character, or direction. It’s pretty powerful and definitely deep.

A lover of learning,  I gain the most insight and grow stronger when I surround myself with influential, positive, and determined people. I like to feel equipped and empowered by my personal and professional relationships.

In 2013 I signed up for a local fitness studio. From the get-go, the owner, Lindsay, felt different from previous trainers and gym personas. As time went on, I realized Lindsay was different. Lindsay’s intuitive ability to tap into the heart and soul of a client and extract their potential was something special. Her intentions were always simple and strong.  She wants people to claim and consistently pursue the best for themselves.

For the first time in a long time, Lindsay gave me the desire to want something more for myself. In fact, she made me think about taking risks and defying odds. Slowly, she became a voice in my head. I knew she had something unique to offer me. Moreover, I knew I could benefit from having more of her in my life.

I’ll spare you the unending details of our relationship, but she has been and remains a game-changing person for me. Her example, honesty, creativity, and care are exactly what I craved. Her accountability, constructive criticism, and drive is undeniably what I need. In fact, she introduced me to fika. I refer to her as the spark that ignited the fire. She awakens me.

We need more relationships that launch us toward improvement and inspiration. We must ask for help. IF we subscribe to the idea that everybody has something to offer, we become more willing to listen and learn.

Who awakens you?

Go deep today.

 

Roots

Scan 2Second to having his children, falling in love with my husband has been the greatest thrill of my life. And while I always expected finding my forever would exceed any and all expectations, I never imagined it could crush the classics that comprised my literary circle of comfort and companionship. See, I didn’t just read the classics, I consumed them. I prided myself on the intimate relationships within the pages, and I desperately dreamed of coming close to the emotions and experiences the characters encountered.

We look for love in books, movies, music, and plays. We seek it out as hungry fools and quench our thirst with its distractions and dividends. As it should, it fills our hearts with deeper dreams, better standards, and finer realities than the surrounding world itself.

But as much as I loved Anna Karenina, swooned over Mr. Darcy, or wept at the tragedy of  Romeo and Juliet’s fate, no love story could ever come close to Norma and Jim’s. Their devotion and sacrifice are second to none, and I owe my story to them.

Long before Nicholas Sparks penned The Notebook and Hollywood came a calling for its rights, I knew a love that transcended time, defied doctors, exuded grit, manifested generosity, and saturated itself in respect. For 69 years, my grandparents loved one another as honestly and loyally as the human heart allowed.  Their relationship was and remains the gold star standard for what I expect and demand out of love.

When I was in middle school I’d occasionally be picked up from school by my grandpa and spend an afternoon with my grandparents.

One afternoon, while in their living room, my grandma collapsed. My grandpa instructed me to call 911, which I did, and he instinctively knelt down by her side. As I made the call and spoke to the operator, my focus split.

My grandpa was mesmerizing. His tone was soft. His pitch and poise were perfect. But, what was he saying?

A prior stroke had rendered my grandma with aphasia. She was unable to accurately express herself. She was on the floor, curled up in visible pain, as my grandpa stroked her hair. “I’m here, Norma,” he said. “It’s okay, hun. I’m here. Look at me, Norma Lee. I’m right here. You’re with me. We’re okay. Listen, Norma. I’m here.”

She was fixated on him. Her eyes were locked on his and she relaxed at his touch. He smiled reassuringly. He didn’t take his eyes off her, even when the paramedics entered the room.

In that moment of panic, he was her peace.

Grandma lived for years after that, as did grandpa, but that day is etched in my memory. It was the day that I learned love has its own language. He could hear her, even if she couldn’t speak. She saw him and found focus.

This past October we lost grandpa. My grandma was beside him. She held his hand until the very end. We buried him on a Saturday morning. One week later, we buried grandma.

Their life and story are so much richer than I’m able to adequately express. Inseparable and unbreakable, they anchored one another.

After my grandparents died I spent a lot of time thinking about their story. Prior to their loss, I had been seeking something new and different. It was during a fika that I shared the idea for Fishing for Fika with my husband. In a quick moment, I locked eyes with him. I saw his assurance and felt his endorsement. With a slow nod and a smile, I knew our conversation had begun. And with no words spoken, a thrill, power, and possibility were all gifted to me. So here I am, rooted in love.