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Monday’s Random Thought: Heart Skip July 30, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 7:59 pm
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In the film The Notebook, Ryan Gosling’s character, Noah, makes my heart skip a beat and it has nothing to do with his sexy grin, that he reads Walt Whitman or his six pack abs. (Well, I am a sucker for Walt Whitman.)

He has met the girl he wants to spend his life with and he doesn’t give up. (Spoiler Alert) The movie goes on and there was plenty of reason to give up on the girl. They end up together despite al l the extenuating circumstance and when she suffers from severe dementia in their later years after raising a family together, he still doesn’t give up on her.

There has been circumstance where I have wanted to give up on my husband. Just throw in the towel and catch the next train. During times of high stress in particular, I have thought geez, I want things to be different.

But that’s when it all has to do with me. My expectations, my reality, my dreams, my perspective.

It’s pretty damn cool that I married my own Noah, someone that doesn’t give up on me. From this I am learning to not give up on myself either.

This is an amazing gift my hubby has taught me. For in the hanging in and working through, the not giving up is so worth it. It makes my heart sing and dance and yes skip a beat or two. (And of course there is something incredibly sexy about not giving up.)

by J.G. McGlothern



Monday’s Random Thought: Holding On July 23, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 9:14 pm
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We cling to the good parts. We long for slowness but swim in the fast tide. As we hold on tight, often swimming upstream we are aware of what really matters to us.

My family’s annual camping trip with the G family this year had a change of location, a new campsite. Our  backyard.

Not securing a campsite earlier in the year, busy schedules, we decided to make it easier without abandoning our desire for the joy camping brings. As my friend pulled into our “campsite” and started unloading their car I noticed his wife and kiddos weren’t inside.

They’re hiking in.

I love it. The G’s live five blocks away.

K and the kids “hiked” into camp shortly after and we all put on our camping bandanas, set up our camp chairs, staked claim on tent locations, put up the game table, covered the food table with our plastic red and white checkered table cloth. Our backyard is bigger than most campsites so three tents, two dogs, four kids, four adults and a “fire pit” (made it out of a large tin bucket) fit nicely.

One napped, others cracked open cans of Miller or Squirt, the kids hula hooped, made fishing rods out of sticks and string, gathered kindling.  The next sixteen hours zoomed by at lightning speed and as we ate Sunday breakfast on the deck together it was clear this joyful moment would end soon. Camp would have to be broken down and we would move on to our next things. We had hoped the day wouldn’t have an agenda but this is how the summer has been, one thing after another.

As the G’s took down their tent and packed up their gear I asked my hubby to leave up our family tent.

One thing remained the same form our annual camping trips, that feeling of disappointment that the trip was already over.

Camping provides a respite from busy life for me. A chance to sit around the fire and count the stars. When it’s time to go,  I drag my feet and packing up camp. Grateful to be going home to scrub the dirt off my feet and to sink into the comfort of my own bed, but a little sad we are packing all the gear away until next year.

So last night I kissed hubby and daughter good night, grabbed my son’s hand and whistled for the dog. The three of us went out to the backyard, campsite #23, crawled into the tent and fell asleep.  Mom, dog and son.

This morning as I write this, dog and son are still sleeping. My back hurts from too much air escaping the mattress, two nights in a row. Hot coffee and hot shower will feel luxurious.

I am now ready to pack away the camping gear for the summer. I have savored the parts I enjoy of camping season and I am hanging on to the new memory created.  Cherishing the thought of  building  a fire in a bucket, fishing off the deck for candy with sticks, being awakened by cars and crows but closest to my heart I am holding on to falling asleep cuddled close to my son. Before we know it he’ll be too old to want to grab mama’s hand and pitch a tent in the backyard with me.

I will hang on to traditions that mean the most to me, be open to new ones and find joy even if it is just in the backyard under a sky of cackling crows. When the stream is calm, even in a few moments, I can find, appreciate and savor what matters most, when I stop swimming against the current and give in to the beauty of spontaneity. For no one can take away what you choose to hold on to in your heart.

by J.G. McGlothern


Monday’s Random Thought: Lost July 16, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 11:02 pm
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I have spent a lot of time recently getting lost. That happens to me in July.

Swim and dive meets in unfamiliar locations that even stump GPS and Map Quest find me circling, scratching my head, cussing here and there, more circling.

Getting lost throws you off track not only for the obvious reason of being late, but it tips you off balance as you are no longer grounded to what you know.

Last week it was my ten year old daughter who got me back on track when we were having difficulty finding a swim club. I had used up all of my Girl Scout skills and all the rules I knew were no longer working. I surrendered and let her call out directions from the back seat.

Take a breath, mama, offered my eight year old son. Let’s just pull over and breathe first.

Mom, I got this. Go back where the one guy who gave directions told you to go, but go right instead of left, instructed road savvy daughter.

Another breath, mama, spoke wise son.

(Little shits, they were stealing my lines and solving the problem.)

These kids, these wonderful little shits, took the tools I had taught them and helped me find my way. When I forgot what to do next and was totally bewildered, they took the lead.  And I let them.  As they lead me out of my lost moment they found new strengths deep in their pockets. We found the pool. I remembered how it feels to be calm. Laughter filled the car once again.

We continued forward, not shaken from being lost. Just more aware of how getting lost now and then is exactly what you need to be grounded. To find your way to exactly where you need to be.

 by J.G. McGlothern


Raw Connections July 12, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:54 pm
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Sorry. One simple word that has the power to connect worlds.

Out to dinner with my friend S, on our weekend writing get away, we both noticed the grumpy attitude and lack of enthusiasm if not general connection with our server. When S stepped outside to take a phone call from her son, I overheard the restaurant patron seated on my left tell her male dinner partner, She didn’t even say sorry, calmly spoken with no judgment, pure observation.

I looked over and caught eyes with the couple. Are you having trouble with our server, too?, I inquired.

It was then I heard the story of receiving raw chicken, twice that evening. She acknowledged the occurrence of making mistakes and instead of reacting with an outburst, she showed grace.  We both had been waitresses in past lives, so an instant bond of empathic proportions was formed.

In this short lived interaction we voiced the power and importance of acknowledgement in this type of situation. Raw chicken isn’t the fault of a server, nor the cook – it’s simply raw chicken. Our new dinner companions would have liked a word of recognition for now not even getting to eat dinner with each other. His meal was finished. Her appetite lost.

S was back from her phone call and now the four of us began to engage each other in conversation. No more mention of chicken, just pure, raw curiosity and questioning spewing forth like fireworks.  Our stories drew out more connections. The six degree thing came true when I discovered she graduated from high school with my neighbor and he worked on my favorite TV show.  The show that inspired the kids and I to sing loudly together around the house all through winter.  (http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2012/02/fridays-free-refill-soul-music/)

It is in these connections, speaking up when perhaps you shouldn’t be eaves dropping on restaurant patrons, and asking questions that tap your curiosity, that life unfolds to mystery. Your heart is touched, cracked open a little wider letting in possibility. Learning from surrendering, bringing forgiveness, (it was just a grumpy waitress and uncooked food, ok, ok, raw chicken isn’t exactly healthy) that we learn not only about ourselves, and our friends but the strangers seated next to you, who really aren’t strange at all.

We are all connected and often it takes something at first glance viewed as negative to bring us all together.  Souls barred. Raw. Beautiful.

by J.G. McGlothern


Monday’s Random Thought: Influence July 9, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart,mom writer — heartwriter @ 4:16 pm
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Last week my friend K took my kids to the pool for their swim and dive team practice so I could stay home and write. I take her kids on her work day. A lovely swap.

When she picked them up, her ten year old son, E, slid open the van door and said, Can I read your book when you’re done?

K chimed in, He can’t wait for you to be published.

What’s the name of it?, he wanted to know.

Mama Needs A Refill – Finding Light in the Madness of Motherhood, I told him, quite certain the long working title would make him lose interest. I’m not writing a teenage trilogy filled with action and adventure. My non-fiction book has action and adventure of a different sort indeed, but aimed at adult readership.

Cool. I hope you finish soon.

His words, his enthusiasm, were a shot of caffeine to my soul. His curiosity, interest and support buoyed my spirit. I was ready to pound out a couple of pages for the morning.

The next day, my turn to drive.

I’m writing a book, E told me when he climbed into our car.

What’s the name of it? I asked.

I will tell you when I’m finished. You will be my book reviewer.

More shots of caffeine, love really, to my soul.

We influence each other. We nudge, support, encourage and lift each other over hurdles to the other side. With extending out our hand, our words, our spirit, we are living as we should, deeply from the center touching each other and making a difference.

by J.G. McGlothern

Check out my FB page, Mama Needs A Refill, and my website, www.mamaneedsarefill.com, you need not be a mama. We all need refills!



Monday’s Random Thought: You is. July 2, 2012

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:13 pm
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You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

There are times we all need to be reminded of similar words as these, spoken by the character Aibileen Clark in The Help, when we are lacking courage, needing a bit of strength. Aibileen is Mae Mobley’s only nurturing support as a young girl.

In the first and again in the last scene we hear these three sentences that melt my heart. Try saying them out loud and I dare you to get the last words out before your eyes are filled with tears and the words get all caught up in your throat.

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

I read the book a few years ago and had already seen the movie in the theatre but yesterday it was time for my daughter to see the film. A look at life in the south in the 1960’s during the civil rights movement and the ugliness of racism. A lesson in courage.

The film goes on to display acts of courage as portrayed by three of the main characters. Aibileen by telling her story, Minny by leaving an abusive husband, and Skeeter by going against other’s expectations and writing the stories of African-American maids.

We may not have an abusive relationship in our lives that we need to leave, but we all have our stories to tell and times when we need to go against what others expect of us and act on the whispers of our heart. Courage, as Preacher Green says in the movie, is not about being brave. Courage is about living your truth when the world seems to be pushing you in the opposite direction.

by J.G. McGlothern