Posted: February 14th, 2012 | Author: Molly Monet | Filed under: happiness | Tags: appreciation, happiness, self love | 7 Comments »
Today is Valentine’s Day and I considered re-posting what I wrote last year, a piece called Single Awareness Day. February 14th can be a tough day for singles, especially us women who are fans of romance and sometimes feel incomplete without a partner. However, I realized that this year I have so many blessings to count that to even think twice about being single would be to squander them.
In addition, my seven-year-old daughter Layla showed me the Valentine that she wrote to herself. It read: Dear Layla, I love being Layla and that will never change. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Layla. I was overwhelmed by her love for herself and realized that she certainly had the right idea. Today, and all days really, we should celebrate our love for ourselves. Without it, we can’t truly love anyone else anyways, at least not successfully.
In the past, I have written alove letter to myself and also appreciation lists (the best of which, perhaps, is “50 Ways to Love Your Ex“), so today I am going to continue that tradition and give you all an update of how life has changed for us in Boston and how we are thriving.
1) I love my new job. It has turned out to be a great position for me. I have taken on new responsibilities like mentoring graduate student teachers and sharing pedagogical tips with them, and that has been a wonderful new challenge and source of stimulation for me. In addition, my university is sending me to Madrid for the summer to teach a six-week course. Since it will be such a great cultural opportunity for them, my ex has agreed to let me take the kids with me for the whole time. We are all very excited about this new adventure.
2) Boston is a great city. It has been very fun to live in a bigger metropolitan area. In the last few months, I have gone to more museums than I have attended in years. I love the excitement and newness of living in a new place, and have enjoyed making new friends and exploring new places. In addition, my kids are attending one of the best public schools in the state.
3) Our new custody schedule is working well. When we lived in Northampton, my ex and I had the benefit of being only 5 minutes away, and we were able to see each other and the kids almost every day. That has undoubtedly changed as we are now in Boston, and he is still in Western Mass, and we do miss him. The kids now stay with me during the school week and spend the weekends with him. We meet about halfway across the state in Auburn every Friday afternoon after school, and then I pick them up there again on Sunday evenings. This has allowed the kids to have the consistency of one household during the school days, and I have enjoyed having my weekends free to socialize, do school work, and go to yoga. Furthermore, the kids have half days on Tuesdays, and I have arranged my teaching schedule so that I could get some down time with them on those days. All things considered, this change has happened with relative ease, and I am so appreciative of that.
All in all, this move has been a great one. It has enabled us to have new and exciting experiences while maintaining our bonds with our family and friends in Northampton as well. As I contemplate my present situation, I feel so very pleased to have had this opportunity.
In the spirit of Layla’s Valentine’s Day card to herself, one of my dear new friends posted on Facebook a beautiful poem by Derek Wolcott called “Love After Love.” I share it with you now as an inspiration for each one of us to look for love from within, instead of focusing on who is giving us love from without. Happy Valentine’s Day.
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another; who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Posted: April 21st, 2011 | Author: Molly Monet | Filed under: happiness | Tags: appreciation, family, six word fridays | 35 Comments »
Here it is, even though the scanning isn't great.
When we first got the portrait
I saw an empty space in
The center of our family. He
Wore the glasses I never liked
They made him look unfriendly, and
His eyes seemed sad and tired.
His expression was stony, and he
Was not touching any of us.
I saw an unhappy man apart,
A bit separated from his family.
That was in 2006, just a
Year before he left our home.
Now when I look at it,
I see it all so differently.
I see a united family dressed
In the same color (red, the
color of passion) spaced apart only
Because the young children were moving.
His eyes did certainly seem tired,
But is that so remarkable with
Two kids under four years old?
He gazes straight ahead at the
Camera, looking so present and engaged,
With maybe even a hint of
a smile (perhaps that came later?).
I am grinning broadly, looking at
My family, whom I clearly adore
While holding my wriggling toddler tight.
Why didn’t I see this before?
Was it my own unhappiness that
Made it impossible for me to
See the good or was it
That my attention to the stress
Became the only thing I saw?
I now believe that focusing on
My unhappiness simply made it grow
And only now, as I count
My blessings and look for the
Positive am I able to see
It. Yes, my life has changed.
But even more so, my perspective
Has altered. I take more time
To look for what I love,
What brings me joy, and amazingly
I see it everywhere I go.
It was there before, I know
Yet I was blind to it.
Now I am happy because now
I know how to appreciate life.
* * * * * * * *
Do you have any memories that have been altered with the passage of time and a perspective change? Do share.
Thanks, Melissa, for reminding me to count my blessings for Six Word Fridays. I am blessed to have such a great blogging community.
Posted: March 18th, 2011 | Author: Molly Monet | Filed under: challenges | Tags: appreciation, resilience, six word fridays | 27 Comments »
When tragedy strikes, don’t ask why.
Ask instead what you can do
To make the best of it,
Is there a wrong to right?
Is there a battle to fight?
Is there an attitude to adopt?
Is there someone to reach for?
To ask why is so heart-breaking. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 26th, 2010 | Author: Molly Monet | Filed under: joys | Tags: appreciation, children, cooking, families, happiness, holidays, love, six word fridays | 18 Comments »
The opening act sets the tone.
We started with the pumpkin pie.
Layla was my right hand gal.
While the house filled with warmth
And delicious aromas, she played Bananagrams
With her dad, who couldn’t resist
Getting in on the domestic bliss.
I promised Jonah that we could
See the latest Harry Potter movie.
We joined his best friend and dad.
Jonah’s eyes lit up with excitement.
Layla held my hand tightly throughout.
I began the day with a
Vigorous yoga class. It was packed
With others seeking to burn calories
And to find some inner peace
before feasting and seeing their families.
I gave and received foot massages
Stared into another’s eyes in wheel
And felt the love swirling in
My community of friends and yogis.
Shiva Shakti is like my church,
The best place to celebrate holidays.
After cleansing my spirit, I showered,
The hot water contributing to my
Sense of ease and well being.
Then I felt inspired to clean,
A rare feeling indeed. I scrubbed,
Vacuumed and organized until my house
Sang in orderly pleasure, thereby ready
To open its doors to guests.
Turkey on the grill, potatoes boiling,
Pomegranates seeding, fennel chopping, gravy simmering
The tastes all came together in
Perfect harmony, just like my friends
And family, stomachs empty, hearts full.
Jonah gnawed on a turkey bone.
Layla ate politely but really just
Wanted to get to the pie.
My achiote turkey and sweet potato
Puree are still the favorite dishes.
My ex and a friend washed
The dishes, while we played games
With the kids. Layla made us
Guess words that she was writing
In one of her many notebooks,
Jonah and RaRa watched skateboarding videos.
We chatted, laughed and marveled at
How you can never leave Ikea
And how fast the kids grow.
Then everyone departed, leaving me in
Quiet, blissful peace to reflect upon
This lovely holiday that truly had
The most delectable of all ingredients.
I am also thankful for Melissa at Six Word Fridays who provides me with great topics every week, for my readers who inspire me to keep writing, and my commenters who encourage me and give me great food for thought.
How did you give thanks yesterday?
Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: Molly Monet | Filed under: happiness | Tags: appreciation, family, six word fridays | 15 Comments »
This summer my dad and mom took Jonah on a one day road trip to LA.
My dad is on my mind.
The sweet man that he is.
When I was younger, we clashed
Over clothes, weight, ideas…control issues.
But as I’ve matured, I’ve realized
What a gem he has been
How generous he always was, perhaps
To his detriment, but it made
Him happy to give me a
Convertible car on my seventeenth Christmas
A fancy Ivy League degree, he
Couldn’t resist giving me what he
Never had, flash, style, and prestige,
Overt demonstrations of how he felt.
I married a man who was
The type I always wanted my
Dad to be…sensitive, emotional, intellectual.
But now I’m doing take two.
I am reconsidering my ideal man.
I observe my dad more closely
I realize that acts of service
Are his preferred language of love.
He makes me tea, just so
And brings it to me cheerfully
I’m missing one ingredient to cook?
He will head to the market
List in hand to find it.
I want to go to yoga?
He’d love to watch the kids.
He never lacks energy or enthusiasm
He has a huge laugh, yes
That is where I got it
You should see me and him
Together, and with my sister too?
Well, you will either run or
Join our party. He’ll invite you
Because he’s never met a person
He didn’t like (maybe I exaggerate)
Even so, he never holds grudges.
He’s taught me the power of
Forgetfulness, literally wiping away bad moments,
Which has certainly come in handy
Especially when dealing with my divorce.
As my dad ages, he’s still
Always so youthful, energetic and vital.
My mom and he take courses
Meditate regularly, exercise, try new things.
He’s game for the next adventure.
His approach to life is inspiring.
A friend recently told me that
He’s the male version of me,
But we know that’s not true
Because he came first, and when
They made him, they broke the
Mold. He is like no other.
* * * * * * * *
Today’s Six Word Friday topic is inspire. Thanks, Melissa, for inspiring me to go in new directions with my blog and for giving me things to reflect upon.