This past week I have added a few milestones to my life. The major milestone was the high school graduation of my daughter Alexis. I can still vividly remember her first day of pre-school. Her tiny face anxious to leave me, but eager to join the other children in the brightly decorated classroom. Now in a couple of months she will be off to college. The anxious little face will be replaced by a beautiful excited smile. Another milestone was being able to sit with my husband, best friend and most of all, my two sisters who each flew in to celebrate with us. It had been a number of years since we have all been together. The milestone was seeing our differences and also our similarities. It was a very busy week with sightseeing, dining out, a small unplanned wedding which was the best wedding my sister said she had ever attended, and talking about our past. My daughter also went with her aunt to get tattoos. They are tasteful and a memory they will always share. It was a wonderful week, but now I feel a sence of sadness. Hopefully it will not be so many years until we see each other again. Family is too important to miss out on.
I grew up in a small town in Ohio. It was not so small that you knew everyone, but it was small enough to have only one high school, and I pretty much went to school with the same people for all 12 years.
When I was 30, we moved to the metro Atlanta area. Now this was a change, but a good one for the most. We lived in a nice subdivision where you could get to know your neighbors, often new transplants themselves. My daughter attended a school system which had over 47 schools and got to know kids from all over even various different countries. Over the years the area had developed even more and we had a wide variety of choices for shopping and dining out. Traffic could be bad a times, but we learned to deal with it.
Of course life brings along changes, and a little over four years ago, I met and married a great guy. Well he happens to live in a small town. And boy do I mean small. My daughter is now a senior in the only high school in the entire county. It is actually a great school system. It is rated one of the best in the area. Many of her friends have known each other since kindergarten, but were quick to make her feel welcome. We live in the country on an actual gravel road across from a pasture full of cows, horses, goats, and even an emu. There are no traffic issues to deal with, and it is very quiet. It is very peaceful to often see six deer wandering in your yard even if they do eat the flowers!
But let me be honest. Do I miss metro Atlanta? Yes, at times. I miss being able to run to Target in five minutes. I miss Starbucks. The nearest one is twenty miles from here. I miss the pool in the subdivision. And I miss having a wide choice of restaurants. I had a job for only a few months working for the local government. I left. Most all of the employees were from here, and one in particular did not like Yankees and was very vocal about it! That should not happen in this day and age people!
I don’t know if we will always live here. No one know what the future holds. I am just happy to have a family with a wonderful daughter who will be attending a great college in the city, (I will be visiting often because there is a Starbucks on campus) and an awesome husband who loves us both. We like to travel, and when we return home, it is nice to have the peace and solitude a small town can bring.
Basically the saying is true.”Home is Where The Heart Is”
It’s funny as we grow older, any difference in age matters less. There is 11 years between my sister and I. Some of my earliest memories are of her red shag carpet, zebra print bedspread and the life size poster of Alice Cooper on her closet door. (It was either Alice or David Bowie!) She had long straight hair and wore bell bottom jeans that dragged the ground. One of her friends was called ‘Soup’ because his last name was Campbell! I was just a little kid who really didn’t realize what a great thing a sister was.
Over the years as we both have entered middle age, ( I am on the early portion of middle age by the way!) we have become closer. Even though we live 3,000 mile apart I feel we have connected and have gotten to know each other better. When I was 7 and she was 18 we did not have that much in common except our parents. Now the age difference is not even a factor. We are two sisters, grown women with many of the same concerns, issues, joys, sorrows and loves and I can’t wait to see her in May for my daughter’s (the next generation) graduation!
We all have skeletons in our family closets. We all have some degree of disfunction in our families also! And like my sister, I have just now started to feel comfortable with myself. Are those pesky
skeletons making their way in to my life going to change that? Absolutely not.
As it turns out, my eighteen year old daughter has more information on these skeletons than any of us. Her informant decided to unload all of the secrets onto her. The two children kept a secret, the grandfathers ‘other’ child who was born at the same time as his other son, a family member drowning under questionable circumstances, the first husband leaving a very young mother alone in an unfamiliar state, and the aftermath of those actiions on the children.
I can’t speak for my sisters, but I still have a lot of bitterness for many childhood memories, and can still picture the fights, (often physical) that I observed. But now that the skeletons have presented themselves, I have a better understanding of the reason things happened. Because of these past events, family ties have been broken. Perhaps now they can begin to mend.
If you have skeletons, don’t keep them hidden, don’t run from them. Embrace them, learn from them, and then let them free!
What comes to mind when you hear the word Yoga? Some may picture peace signs, long hair, and bell bottom jeans.Others may picture women sitting on mats pretending to exercise. I had never really given much thought to Yoga until I went for a yearly check up at the doctor. My blood pressure was higher than normal, and this was a puzzle to both my doctor and myself. I have exercised since I was 15 starting with the practice of Tae Kwon Do, and I continue to do daily cardio and also weight train. I am a vegetarian also so I was at a loss as to the cause. To make a long story short, it was stress and I looked into a natural way to help. Yoga was the answer. After a month of practice, my blood pressure was back to normal and I had found another element to add to my exercise routine.
I have made some other changes in my life. I quit a job that I disliked, obtained my Personal Training and Yoga certificates, and now teach Yoga. And yes, some may wear a t-shirt with a peace sign to class, and yes we do sit on mats and stretch. But Yoga is so much more. My class consists of a series of postures which stretch and loosen you muscles, strengthen your core, and provide balance and toning. We also concentrate on our beathing. If you forget to breath while in Down Dog or Plank, you will end up on the mat before you know it! And we also have a relaxation segment at the end.
Many gyms offer Yoga classes and most cities have a local studio. Give Yoga a try. Yoga requires no special equipment. Yoga does not take up space, and you can practice Yoga at any age. You will experience greater strength, flexibility, reduced blood pressure, less anxiety and an overall calmness.
Try Yoga! Get Your Zen On!