Tag Archives: peace

Be Strong – But Not Always

by Jen, Be Strong

In July I went on hiatus from writing because my 44 year old sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I was broken hearted and determined to be there for her as much as possible.  On September 10, 2012 my sister died.  I am still broken hearted….and yet…I am not broken.

With my sister’s diagnosis came a lot of anxiety for me.  This is not the place nor is it the time  (not ready to go there yet) for me to share all of that with you.  However, since the magical date I blogged about -March 11, 2012- I had gone down 30 lbs. and now, I am exactly half way between that and my starting weight.  Half way feels magical, too.  It is the moment I say to myself,  “Did I really change or am I the same person who won’t believe how fat I am until my belly sits on my knees?”  If you remember previous posts you know I am not afraid to call out my weight of 223 lbs because I carry that weight into the world everyday.  I carry this friggin amazing body into the world everyday!!!  It is a body that has not failed me yet.  How honored and blessed that I am.  Perhaps now is a good time to mention that exactly one day after weighing in at 219, I ran a half marathon in 3 hours and 9 minutes!  They didn’t ask my weight. They didn’t care my weight. If I could run I was in!!!  And I ran!!!

So here I am today 15 pounds heavier than I was in the last post in July.  And yet, I am wiser, stronger, more gentle and more loving.  Win-Win.  I am ready to get back to the healthier version of me.  So,  what made me gain the 15 pounds?  Easy.  I started drinking alcohol again and I stopped exercising faithfully.  I exercised here and there.   2 things.  That is it.  Nothing more.  There are solid reasons for both those things happening. I am not here to make excuses.  I am not here to ease any guilt because I don’t have any related to those two choices.  I am not even here to say that I slipped.  I didn’t.  Life happened as it does.  It came at me hard and I made different choices than I had been making.  Today, I look at those choices and say….”yeah, they worked for right then but those aren’t choice I want to hang onto long-term.”

And so I have stopped the alcohol for now.  I have started the spinning and the running again.  My goal is 3 miles 2 x a week and 5 miles once a week.  I will probably have to do a lot of that on the treadmill and although I don’t love that idea, the idea of making the gym work for me is great.  Spinning will be 2 x a week.  I know I will have to fight the not wanting to even harder with the days getting darker much earlier.  Winter is a time where I have to watch myself like a hawk or I will fall into a place where I want to wear sweats, read a book, and drink hot stuff as soon as I get home!

The good news is that I like the healthier me.  I like that I don’t shy away from things that are hard.  I had never pushed my body beyond comfort zone and it is such a feeling of accomplishment to do that!  I keep thinking about and loving the  idea that the more weight I take off of this body the faster I will run without having to do ANYTHING else.

Life will keep happening to us. Sometimes it will be gentle, but often it will hit hard!!!  It is okay if you get the wind knocked out of you.  Take time to catch your breath. When you are ready jump up and fight back!  Be Strong!  Be Gentle with you and those you meet along the way!


I am Jen and I am a 40 year old mom, wife, and teacher among other things. I write blog posts because it is my passion, my therapy and, I hope along the way it helps others. My blog posts tend toward being about staying strong in the face of grief, anger, general hard times ss well as keeping yourself healthy so that you can continue to be there for the people who matter in your life. I hope you find some golden nuggets for yourself in my writing.

This post was originally published HERE and used with permission.



Filed under Remembering to Breathe, Taking the next step

In Search Of…

by Becky, Mozart, Picasso and A Princess

Last year was a year that rocked our world – almost literally.  I’m sure you’ve heard someone say something like, “She rocks my world,” or “You rock my world,” – meaning that they make your life so much more amazing.That’s not the world-rocking to which I refer.What I’m talking about is more like an earthquake – the world rattles and things get shaken up.  Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about – last year our little world got shaken up. I’ve never been to more appointments in my life. And if I remember correctly, not a one of them was for me.  3 kids went to 12 appointments with the pediatrician, 11 or 12 dental & orthodontist appointments, several appointments to the eye doctor, therapy – and then *more* therapy, developmental pediatrician, audiologist, to get blood drawn.  And those are just the ones I can remember on the spur of the moment. We met new therapists, experienced different doctors, had more things to worry about than any other year before.

I’m tired. That’s actually a step up from exhausted, which was a step up from “can’t-put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other-one-more-time.” Tired is not too bad!

And then came the new year.  I knew I wanted to tackle this year differently – be more focused rather than feeling so reactionary.  I have plans for this year. I plan to do more than “exist to drive to the next appointment”.  I’ve planned things I want to do.  No real big plans, but last year, I gave up on plans.

I’ve lived through the ups & downs and ins and outs of the last year.

As I consider the year ahead, as I’ve made a few plans (because I’m still too scared to make “many” plans), I’m starting to realize a common thread among the plans.


Every plan, every goal I have in mind (the few I’m starting with) deal with peace. I didn’t plan it that way.  I planned to handle this year differently.  But I didn’t realize that, I guess subconsciously, I was looking for peace. Not peace as in “the absence of strife” but more along the lines of tranquility.

I am so eager for the year ahead.  I feel like I can invest more in all of my family, not just in the one who needs everything.  I think because we tackled most everything last year, there won’t be *as* much to do this year. There’s still therapy, there’s an IEP meeting soon, a doctor appointment in the spring, plus stuff for my other two amazing children.  But this year, I know that it won’t be as hectic as last year.

I’m not planning any big projects.  I’m planning to light a candle, drink a cup of tea, knit a little more, listen to some music, laugh a little more, and hopefully spend more time with friends.  I’m planning to sleep more than 4-6 hours each night.

I’m searching for peace because last year it was hard to come by.  I seem to be seeking it out without even realizing it.  I’m looking forward to a dramatic change of pace.  I realize this year won’t be easy and things will come up that I’m not yet prepared for, but I’m planning for peace.

Grab your favorite mug, pour some coffee or tea, sit down, put your feet up and join me. I could use some support in this journey.  You’re with me, right?

Let’s start here: Islesford Dock, on Little Cranberry Island, in Bar Harbor, Maine. This is one of my favorite places – Tim & I have been here twice.  You get there by boat, have a delightful dinner and head back as the sun is setting.  It’s perfect.



Photo: Mine.


Becky lives near Philadelphia, PA. She is married to Tim and they are parents to 3 children – two boys and one girl.  Her second son, “Picasso”, has Sensory Processing Disorder along with an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. Picasso loves making art using various mediums and sometimes chooses to sneak Sharpies for use on surfaces in the home (read: bathroom cabinet, doors, walls, lightswitches, etc.).  She blogs about special needs, homeschooling, and family life at www.paintingwithpicasso.blogspot.com .  Becky also enjoys coffee, reading, music, knitting, and is working hard at taking better care of herself, in order to care better for her family!


Filed under Remembering to Breathe, Taking the next step