Picking up where I left off . . .

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Our family lock on the Great Wall.

Our time in Thailand has brought us much to be proud of and a little to be ashamed of. I am hopeful when I look back on our time here I remember only the proud moments. Two and a half years have flown by. Our children have grown a lot and my youngest has just started preschool which allows me a little time to blog.

My proud moments include our travels around Thailand and our recent trip to China. We probably haven’t made the most of our time here, not as much as others have. I usually use my children as an excuse for our lack of travel, but I need to own up to my own flaws. I guess my biggest flaws are lack of interest and energy. Blame my thyroid, lack of sleep, my husband not helping out, raising three children, the list goes on. I really don’t know what has been wrong with me.

I feel guilty when I think of how I have wasted my time. I have taught English here, participated in bible studies, involved my children in worthwhile and enriching activities and have kept a decent home. I began sinking into an abyss when my husband convinced me a year and a half ago to start going out on the town. Those of you who are familiar with Bangkok know this is not a city for the faint of heart. Before embarking, you need to make sure you and your marriage are stable. I did neither of these. Call it naïveté, stupidity or just the desire to please my husband. Either way, I was led down a path I was not comfortable with.

I have re-calibrated myself. I have a renewed sense of who I am and what I want from my life. My husband has promised me many changes and I resolve to stand firm in my beliefs. It’s a fine line we women walk — wanting to be good wives and mothers. We can go insane trying to keep everyone happy and lose ourselves in the process. On the bright side, I am back and I have a positive outlook. My next blog post will be an attempt to recap our time here.

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Life is Good . . . Don’t Miss It! (Ladies Home Journal, March 2010)

Christmas Jejoes

Making Moments that Matter

I recently read an article in Ladies Home Journal that inspired me.  It discusses being  present for the important moments of your life.  The article calls it mindfulness — the practice of keeping your focus on the present moment. 

I am notorious for lying in bed at night usually around 3 a.m. thinking about all the ways I haven’t been there for each child and how overwhelmed I am.   With all the multitasking modern-day life requires, I find  myself hurrying so fast to accomplish so much I forget to stop and enjoy the moments that truly matter.  I have not been practicing mindfulness and I am missing out on so much. 

So how do I accomplish mindfulness?  It takes practice.  While I am hurrying along accomplishing all the tasks necessary for a family of five I am focusing on getting to the next task.  I should instead focus on the actual task and ask myself how I can enjoy the moment.  I know this may sound crazy, but I have tried it a few times and it really works.  I have noticed more joy in my every day life just by slowing down and engaging in what I am doing while I am doing it.  Whether it be folding laundry or taking out the trash.  I take a deep breath, notice the details of my surroundings and be present. 

The article also discusses during times when I feel frantic or overwhelmed I need to see it as an invitation to be present.  Take a deep breath, focus and bring myself back into the moment.  

When I focus on doing too many things at once I am not giving full attention to either one and then when a child (or three) enter the situation I can only offer a fraction of attention to what really matters.  It’s almost as if I have left my body and I am just going through the motions like a machine.  My mind isn’t even focusing.  

My task list, laundry, blog, e-mail and Facebook will be there tomorrow, but my children are growing up quickly.  A great quote from the article says, “Technology is great for staying in touch with far-away loved ones.  But for the near and dear who are actually near?  Be with them when you can.”  I need to make rules for myself to limit technology for those times when my children don’t need me.  This also holds true for the daily tasks like laundry and cleaning.  When a child does require my attention — be there “mindfully.”  Look in her eyes, notice her expression and really listen.  Incorporating mindfulness in my marriage would go a long way too. 

Hopefully by practicing mindfulness my late night guilt will fade.  I am hoping my children will benefit from a mom who is truly there for them and present.  No more half-heartedly listening to one of my children while I complete a task or plunk away on the computer.  I vow from this moment on to be there as much as I can and be mindful.

Welcome to my blog!

I hope you will enjoy my blog.  I plan to write about the day to day happenings of our blessed life.  I will include commentary and photos.  I hope to also include a recipe from time to time and a fun knitting pattern or two. 

My babies in the Bluebonnets.

My babies in the Bluebonnets.

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