Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
–William Ernest Henley
Invictus means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for Pott’s disease.
If you are fighting some sort of battle be it depression, loss, divorce, just go inward and feed your soul. Be kind to yourself, take it slow, meditate, pray, surround yourself with people who love you and want to listen to you. This may be a painful time but know that you are strong and you are never alone. And remember to count your blessings, that in itself is a way back from the dark.
They were the heart and soul of my family and quite frankly, my siblings and I are having a difficult time navigating life without them. In fact, it’s the most difficult thing we’ve ever had to endure. I honestly don’t know how we are functioning but we are taking it one day at a time. I’m thankful for my siblings and although we try to be supportive of one another we are each handling grief in our own unique ways. After all, we each had different relationships with our parents. In the end, we all mourn alone, that’s just the way it is. Grief is an emotion that needs to be felt alone.
I’m not quite ready to share any more about the passing of my parents, it’s too raw and painful, but I do want to share my journey with you. I’m not sure how but I know that I will survive this loss and thrive. Partly because I have no choice, I have a beautiful little girl to raise and partly because I come from resilient stock.
In my blogs, I’ll share things that I’ve learned, things that inspire me. pacify me and keep me sane. I know that there are so many of you who have gone through difficult times and that perhaps there are some who are going through it now, just like I am. I just want you to know that I’m here to be your sounding board, your virtual friend, maybe even your lifeline, or perhaps you will be mine. I’ll leave you with this little inspiration, from one of my favorite poets……(I know it’s so cliche..all the Persians/Afghans claim Rumi as their favorite poet because he is the greatest but also because he is one of us. I guess that’s natural, to have pride in someone so knowledgeable, beautifully poetic and so connected to God who comes from your part of the world. }
“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”
In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity. Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned
We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!
The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!
Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
Do what makes you happy
Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
Use your best china
Go on that vacation
Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
Be kind, serve others
Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish
Sometimes having a breakdown is what we need to keep our emotional life in balance.
Most of us have experienced holding back our emotions for so long that when they finally come out, we have something that looks like a breakdown. The overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, it takes us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or are busy with some mundane task. We may feel like we don’t know what triggered us. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much-needed release.
When we find ourselves feeling this way, it’s important to find a way to let our feelings out. Set aside some time for ourselves to give our emotional system much-needed attention. Allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they don’t create imbalances in our bodies and minds.
When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions regularly. You can do this by seeing a therapist, talking to a friend, journaling and or meditating. Making room in your life to take care of your emotional needs on a regular basis will keep you healthy and balanced.
You look at me and you think you see me, you see my smile but did you notice my eyes? You see me calm, serene as the sea but can you not see my ripples? You hear me speak I sound of cheer, but can you not hear my pain?
There’s a part of me that no one sees, its hiding just behind my eyes, pain so deep but no one sees, each day I wonder how bad it will be, I wonder if anyone will ever see. But I see, I feel, it keeps haunting me. Will I ever be free?
Recently I was talking to my cousin about the amount of time he allows his two-year old to be in front of the screen. This started a conversation about how I don’t let my 10-year old watch any television during the week. Our conversation turned into whether or not the amount of time in front of the screen makes a negative impact. This prompted me to put some research into the subject and find out what the professionals suggest. I really always went to my sister, a speech therapist and my go to guru for what I should and should not allow my daughter. I trust and respect her input and her knowledge.
So first, here is what screen time means, watching television, being on computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
I found out that too much screen time has been linked to health problems in kids including obesity and emotional problems. Experts say using media while in the classroom can be helpful, but too much use outside school decreases academic performance. Using it at bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep. Technology can also get in the way of family time. As with anything in life balance is key.
Here is a family media use plan that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Mealtimes should be screen-free.
Homework should be done without any electronics.
If homework requires a computer, have kids work on it in the kitchen or other common area.
Don’t use electronics during the school week; this will help avoid creating a dynamic where kids rush their schoolwork to get to their screen time.
Have kids earn screen time by equal time spent on physical activity or chores.
Make bedtime screen-free.
Here are the limits of screen time for kids in different age groups according to experts:
Ages 0-2, no screen time
Ages 2-3, 30 minutes per day
Ages 3-5, 1 hour per day
Ages 5-6, 1 and a half hours per day
Ages 6-12 2 hours per day
So now we know that too much screen time is harmful, but it’s important to also think about what our kids are doing online. Content matters! We can use screen time to learn, create and challenge ourselves or simply to veg out. It’s important that our children’s screen time emphasizes the first three.
Obviously technology is here to stay and we want our kids to thrive in this digital world. They can do this with our support and involvement. Start a conversation on the risks of technology use and how much screen time Is too much.
Good luck, they aren’t going to like it now but they will thank you later in life.
Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore. I want you to be my little girl forever but at the same time I’m excited about all the great things you will do in the life. In the meantime I cherish every minute I have with you because I know it will all end way too soon.
You will have a newborn for a month…
An infant for a year…
A toddler for two years…
A preschooler for two years..
A child for five years…
A preteen for three years..
A teenager for five years..
And then they are off to college and life.
Be mindful and present in what you do with the years that you have with your children.
They are few. And then you’ll have to let them go. So until then, listen to them when they want to talk, hold them tight when they want a hug. Play with them even when your tired. Read to them, take in their innocence and show them that everything they do interests you. Breathe in their sweet smell, love them. Take note of how very lucky you are to have them and pay attention to how much they teach you. Appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.