Posts Tagged With: Justin Householder

Soul Food

Soul Food

Hungry For Change

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. To be honest, I don’t believe they work. I am the first to admit I don’t really hold myself accountable for a promise I make to myself and possibly a few other people who might be sharing a glass of champagne with me. Instead, I like to do a little soul-searching and reflect on what I have learned about myself or the world around me over the past year. Sometimes it’s a lot of things and other times, very little. But my one goal has always been to change the things I can and accept the things I can’t.

The world is constantly moving. “Duh,” you say? Well, I have to make myself aware of this truth. Sometimes, I dig my feet in and refuse to be a part of that change. Life is easier on my front porch, in my little office, curled up on my couch, etc., but the world is a big and beautiful place, and I can change because I don’t want to hear about an awesome sunrise, I want to see it!

 I used to rearrange my furniture every six months or less and in doing so, it somehow made everything seem fresh and new. This is the longest I’ve lived in one house and therefore my furniture has been in every possible configuration. I gave up and nothing moved for a long, long, time; at least long for me. Now, things are on the move again which makes me think it’s because I either have a problem, or I’m hungry for a change.

Writing is something I enjoy doing. It satisfies that creative side of me that I can’t seem to define. I have this strange desire to create something and if I don’t feed the beast with words, I would be painting, building, tearing down, and rebuilding like a carpenter on steroids. I might crochet an entire wardrobe for my daughter, fill the yard with flower beds, or turn my basement into a spa. Hmmm…  Where was I? Oh yeah, for me, writing is a very personal experience that I share with the world. Those are my thoughts, my words, my imagination, and not everyone is going to like what I have to say, but that’s okay. It’s hard to put yourself out there to be judged and it’s hard not to take criticism personally, but I’m learning.  You don’t have to be my friend to like my writing, and you don’t have to like my writing to be my friend!

Early in the spring season when it’s 65 degrees, I’m jumping into a pair of shorts and my husband is rushing to the lake for an eagerly anticipated boat day. Late in the fall season when it’s 65 degrees, I’m jumping into a snuggly sweater and my husband is rushing to the lake for an unexpected boat day. What I have come to realize is that my husband is always looking for a boat day and I wouldn’t change that if I could.

Off the top of my head and in no particular order, my favorite shows—past or present—are True Blood, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad, Survivor, Lost, Walking Dead. I’m addicted to coffee, I eat popcorn at movies, I sing really loud and off-key when I’m alone in the car because it feels good, and the taste of chocolate still makes me crave a piece of bologna. What does this say about me?

The past several years I have lived an unhealthy, sedentary life. Time and age is creeping up on me and I have discovered I’m not as flexible as I used to be. Maybe I took my youth for granted which is the way of the world, but now I feel like I’m too young to be this old. I’m moving slower and groaning more. “A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest” is true! I’m not lazy, far from it. I’m not an athlete either, but this year I kind of want to be. So, I have made a change and boy am I feeling it. Three days a week I am working out with a trainer and challenging myself mentally and physically! When I want to give up in the middle of a set, I think about hiking with my family, sailing in the BVI, skiing, sledding, snorkeling etc., and I push myself to get back to living in the world I love! 

In the spirit of change, I am weeding out bad habits, one of which is nail-biting. I didn’t make a conscious effort to stop, it just happened, sort of. Maybe I learned to chill a little bit more or maybe it was those few days of yoga I did with my daughter right before Christmas, I’m not sure. One day, I went to bite a nail and realized it was too long and the thought of biting a real fingernail freaked me out. Unfortunately, one nail on each hand was still pretty short so I’ve yet to give those up, but I’m working on it. 

I’m afraid of failure but I’m afraid of success and I’m still trying to figure out how to change that.

When my son of seventeen years died in a car accident, it left a hole in my heart. I waited a long time for it to heal, but it never did. I have come to realize that it never will because a part of me died with him. The pain will always be there, I’m just learning to live with it. 

Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge for me and I have to remind myself every day of all the good things. Surrounding myself with energetic, upbeat personalities is helpful and I’m damn thankful I am married to one. I have a lot of great people in my life, and I appreciate every single one of them.     

In my late thirties, I began to notice my age in pictures. I avoided being photographed whenever possible, as if that was the only way anyone could see the fine lines/wrinkles, or that random gray hair that spiraled straight up on the crown of my head. When Justin died, I found very few pictures of the two of us together; it was disturbing, vain, and selfish. I will never have the opportunity to take more. This realization has begun to change the way I see myself in photos. The person I see in pictures is the same person I see in the mirror, and therefore the same person the world sees. If I don’t love me, how can I expect anyone else to? With Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, I have learned to let go of my insecurities and embrace my “selfies”.  It’s one thing to take a funny or somewhat creepy photo of myself; it’s liberating to share it with the world! I recommend at least one “selfie” a month!

With the support of great friends and family, 2014 is the year of moving forward—one step at a time. I am learning to accept help as well as to give it, to love myself and the life I am living, and to find humor in the world around me; because smiles become giggles and giggles become laughter, and nothing feeds the soul better! 

Soul Food 2

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Adcock Road

Adcock Road in December 2010

There is a lot of preparation and build-up that goes into planning a vacation. Reservations have to be confirmed and commitments have to be made.  With my family, this is not an easy task.  So, when the day finally arrives, there is excitement in the mere fact that we pulled it all together.  There is little time to think about anything else and I think that’s the way it should be.  But there are fleeting moments that bring us back to why we have come to be together on this special day.

Our hearts are wrapped around a tree on a narrow dirt road in Tifton, GA.  For us, there is no way to bypass exit 55 and no way to get to Florida without taking a drive down Adcock Road.  It begins as an overpass of I-75.  There are no trees or fields of grass, just concrete, steel, and the noisy sound of traffic.  But within a few hundred yards, the scenery quickly changes.  The pavement crumbles into dirt and a canopy of trees shade this quiet country road.  At first glance, it appears to be long and wide with a few rolling hills to break up the straight lines of the road.  But years of grading has pushed the dirt into a soft powdery shoulder that gives way under foot and leaves you standing in a ditch on either side.

The Tree

Along this ditch stands a tall pine tree with two spots of bark missing from the trunk.  A stainless steel plaque is chained to the front with the boys’ names, dates, and the phrase coined by their friends, “Be Wise and Remember the Storm.”  Bright yellow ribbons and flowers make the tree stand out amongst the lush green landscape and small trinkets are tucked neatly in the cavities of the plaque: A penny, wristbands, a bright orange cap, and a stainless steel lightning bolt.

As I stood in front of the tree, I was once again amazed at how quiet and peaceful it was.  The silence was deafening.  Even when the rain began, I could hear it in the leaves as they gave way to the tiny drops of water that fell to the ground.  I don’t know when my journey to the tree will end or if it ever will.  You might think this is the last place on earth I would want to visit, but it is the lasts that keep me coming.  The last song, the last laugh, the last thought, the last breath—the last road.

Categories: Remembrance | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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