Accepting Home

Over the last few months, the reality of time and home have been on my mind.  I have been visiting my aging parents more frequently, and reflect on the moment as much.  I think about the past, during my childhood years, growing up the oldest of six siblings.  I believe our childhood mirrored a series or two of the Waltons, that is, without the mountain-we had a hill.  I realize that sounds hokey, but it is what I remembered in our semi-rural dwellings in the Midwest.

Our bare-footed summers were spent running through the woods playing hide and seek, creating secret hideouts in the trees, building dams in the creek, barricading forts in the woods for the “bad guys,” swinging from tree swings, long hours at the local ball field playing soccer, kickball, hotbox and fast-pitch. softball-1619396_1920

When my dad bought a vintage convertible, my brother and sisters and I would volunteer to wash it for him so we would have an excuse to hear stereo.  We would crank up the HiFi (yes, that’s HiFi, Gen Xers and Millenniums, not Wifi) and sing, “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog!”  We were free and loving life.vintage-car-852239_1920

In the winter, we could not wait for the snow to arrive.  The colder the weather and the higher the snowfall made for the best sled train ever.   The oldest kids would rally the neighborhood tots, tweeners and teens.   Everyone would link up their sleds at the top of the longest street in the neighborhood.  There would be at least 15 kids willing to brave the long hill.  This was the one time of year when all kids laid down their arguments and became a movie of interactive, collaborative characters in a winter wonderland.

We had sleds, shovels, toboggans, or whatever would slide through the snow and link into
sled-626832_1920the train.
We laid claim that it was the longest sled train in the universe.  Our parents were certainly amused by our spirit, as they watched us whiz by with kids rolling off and giggling in the snow, and the littlest guy with frosty red cheeks running to catch up shouting, “Hey wait for me.”

Many of those parents still live in that old neighborhood, including my parents.  They have stories to tell about their families and living in the 50’s and through the 80’s.

Aging parents, like mine, sometimes are forced to make decisions about their lives- do we stay or do we move?  Their limitations have become reality.  But, such memories here.  The family home, the memories of celebrated Christmases around the tree with their lit
tle kids ripping open presents, laughing, and singing carols; times around the campfire listening to Mom and Dad’s jokes and stories; music lessons, PTA meetings, dance lessons, 4-H club, scouts, football games, proms, cold brisk soccer games, and graduations. The timeline list of hustle and bustle could write a great American life story for anyone who lived in Maxville Terrace.bonfire-1867275_1920

Recently, when I’ve thought about all of these fleeting moments of joy in my own life, I could not help but wonder what my parents feel, as they approach the last years of their lives.  My mother had recruited a couple of us to help her downsize.  She had been preparing for the “just in case,” moment.  She made it known: “Dad or I could go at any time, but if Dad goes first I just want to be prepared to move.”  Logically thi
quilt-716838_1920nking, she- being the quilter, seamstress, and crafter- would obviously have more things to downsize, so she chose to move forward,ready for whatever emotions she might face, as she gave away fine memories that were attached to each scrap of fabric.  “Oh, this was a piece from
your father’s shirt,” or, “Remember when I made matching dresses from this for you and your sister?”

When I heard her words, I heard a bit of quiver in her voice.  She had been reflecting on the past, too.  As we pulled out old boxes of greeting cards from the closet, she seemed to have a story fwomen-1013116_1920or nearly every one of them.  I recalled some faded stories of the past, as well.  The cards dated back to the 1950’s with angelic faces, romantic watercolor pictures and cartoon characters of the times.

“Look, Mom, this one was when you and dad were married; Oh, Mom, look at this one.  It’s a shower card from when I was born.”  She stopped, looked at them, pondered, and smiled.  This was a moment for both of us.  Time stood still for just a moment.

She knew she couldn’t keep them, as it seemed like leaving a friend behind when we tossed them, one by one, into the wastebasket.  I felt her loss.  I reminisced with her with bittersweet sorrow, as she disguised her own with a smile.

I asked her if we had to dispose of all of them.  She responded quietly, “Well, the memories are all there.  I’m just saving the ones that have special messages written.”  I smiled as she said this, as I knew that she could not give up all of the beautiful cards, particularly the ones with special thoughts.  Giving up the cards were reminders of good memories, some not so good; however, I could see it was difficult.

After, we completed the first phase of downsizing, we paused.  I said, “Mom, I know this can’t be easy for you.”  She smiled and said, “It’s just stuff. I have still have pictures and memories of our family.”  We hugged, and I knew at that moment she was at peace with her decision to downsize.pictures-630378_1920

As I packed up my car with things that were bound for the thrift store, it occurred to me that the two of us were in a place of acceptance with a home that no longer represented a house or even the memories.

 

I sat in the driveway feeling grounded in a truth. My mother and I had explored, reflected, and discovered that our peace was in the women we had become. It was a place in our mind, body, and soul that we truly know as home.

 

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May you find joy in each moment as you discover your own sacred place of home in the heart during this season of love, peace and celebration. 

HippyKatKat is a Core Alignment Mentor and Professional NLP Specialist and Emotional Wisdom Trainer.  She is the founder of Taproots for Life, where she guides women, men and teens to awaken their light within to live a life of joy.at believes that each person deserves to feel grounded with conviction in their own authenticity, with a voice to be heard.

Kat holds a sacred space for people to grow as independent thinkers by exploring, discovering and embracing their true authenticity and to inspire others with love, understanding and empowerment.

Her mentoring has changed lives, locally and internationally.  She is also a writer, herbalist, aromatherapist and lightworker.

Contact info:  info@taproots.com

Visit her website:  www.taprootsforlife.com (currently under construction)

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Some Day I’m Going to…

By Kat Kohler Schwartz                                                                                                                 Founder/Core Alignment Mentor at Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness, LLC

Have you ever caught yourself looking at lists of classes online that you always wanted to take? Like pottery, writing, carpentry, or painting? Or it might be a place you always wanted to visit. Like the majestic, snow covered mountains in Switzerland, or the sandy, serene beaches of the Caribbean. Or, perhaps, you just want to relax and catch up on all the books you’ve always wanted to read.

What is important to you that you are not doing right now?

I was helping a friend, Christine, move some seasonal clothes from the basement to the upstairs. We stopped for a moment at her sewing room while she showed me her latest projects. They ranged from clothes for the grandkids to the beautiful quilt she had been working on.

As I gazed around the room I could not help but notice the piles and piles of fabric in various patterns and colors of blue, red, bright greens and shades of yellows. She had them stacked in bags, totes, and proceeded to open a large storage closet packed with more bolts and folded pieces of fabric. It was overwhelming to me.

I had to ask, “Christine, what are you going to do with all of these gorgeous pieces of fabric?” She smiled, looked down at the open work on the table, and responded, “Well, after I get done with these three projects, some day I will get around to those projects,” as she pointed to the stacked containers. She had enough material to keep her going for the rest of her life and mine combined!

Knowing that Christine had always been a resourceful person, it seemed important for her to have these sewing projects. It exercised her mind, her body, and her drive. Sewing kept her alive inside. Her husband had fallen ill and she could not get outside their home like she used to. They were aging, but Christine still had the spark of dreaming. However, she had satisfied herself by doing things she liked without leaving home.

Becoming interested in how she thought about the state of things at home, I asked her, “What else do you want to do?” Sheepishly, she answered, “I’d like to travel, some day, or take up yoga, Tai Chi, or pottery.”

As she uttered those words, “some day,” again. I suddenly became aware that I have heard those words quite often among friends, in family discussions, in the workplace, and, well…I’ve heard it a LOT! Realizing that Christine had just turned 81, I curiously asked, “What does ‘some day’ mean to you?”

Again, she smiled, but this time reflected on my question a bit longer. Christine sat quietly for a moment, then responded, “Well, I guess I’ve run out of ‘some days’ haven’t I?” Chuckling, she looked up at me from her chair, her hazel eyes still twinkling. Slowly, her face became very solemn and she gazed down at her sewing work. She was feeling the reality of her limited time left on this earth. I touched something deep inside her….and me.

Christine’s response stopped me in my tracks. “Some day” was a phrase that I had used often. Some day I will lose weight, some day I will sing with a choir, some day I will take up yoga, some day I will meditate, some day I will visit places I’ve never been. Yes, I wanted the some of the same things as Christine, but I wanted much more than to still be dreaming it when I age to 80 years old. I wanted it to become reality. Christine’s message was a gift.

What do you mean when you say those words, “some day?” I’ve heard them in many a conversation at the water fountain at work, or standing in line at the coffee shop. So, what emotions do you notice when you say these words? What do they mean? Are you willing to explore the reasons for what keeps you from your dreams?

I know that I never want to run out of “some days,” so I now show up for myself when those words haunt my mind. I think of Christine, dreaming all of her 81 years and now the reality of her dreams has become limited. Knowing that my days could end tomorrow or next week keeps me motivated to continue to work towards those things I put off for “some day.”

In fact, I no longer say those words. I owe it to myself. Dreams do come true…

What is important to YOU?

What dreams are you holding onto for “some day?”

 

Kat Kohler Schwartz is a Core Alignment Mentor and founder of Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness.

“I bring light from dark situations to create a sacred place of peace that is rooted in the heart.”

Kat practices Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.

She offers group workshops in the U.S. and worldwide phone sessions. Contact: livingmywisdom@gmail.com 314-359-2467