Monthly Archives: August 2014

A Love Most Precious

My grandmother has always been one of the most important people in my world.  She is such a strong presence in my life and I find myself thinking about her often and what she would do when I make decisions.

As of today, she has been gone for half of my life.

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This has always been my favorite picture of her, 
with her sister at my parents' wedding.

I had a turbulent childhood. My grandmother was always the person that loved me unconditionally. I went to her when I needed a hug, I went to her when I needed love, and I went to her when I needed reassurance. She was in my corner and I never doubted her love and devotion. She was a straight-shooter and didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, but did so with honesty and and as much sensitivity as she could muster.

When she died, I was only 21 and didn’t begin to realize the impact her loss would have on me. My heart broke into pieces and I went through my days, but it took me five years to be able to talk about her without bursting into tears and probably ten before I could think of her and smile without any shedding any tears. Though I do tear up occasionally and still feel such a hole in my life. I think of her almost every single day.

It took a long time for me to realize just how special our relationship was, and when I realized, I was so upset that I didn’t recognize it or appreciate it when she was here.

Did I ever thank her? Did I ever tell her I realized and noticed and how much it mean to me?

No. I was a child. I had no understanding that someday she may not be here. Until she wasn’t.

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That kind of love is special, and I cherish it now, always holding it close. And while not every relationship that I have will be that special, I do know what a good relationship is as I’ve had one before, and I do know what doesn’t work for me.

Brene Brown, in her Ted talks and her books shares her mental breakdown spiritual awakening. I adore her for her openness and public vulnerability. Who the hell says that? I respect her for it and think she’s amazing.

When I was a child, I had to be tough to survive the environment. I couldn’t show weakness or it would get me hurt. Vulnerability was a foreign concept and to me, synonamous with weakness. I didn’t cry in front of people and I didn’t express much emotion as anything could be taken away.

But when it came to grandmom, I always had faith in her and her love for me as I knew she’d be there. Nothing could shake that feeling.

Now, I’m learning that it’s ok to wear my heart on my sleeve. And I’ll attract like-minded people for it. I’m learning to love my gentle heart instead of trying to hide it. I don’t hesitate to say “I love you” to the people that I love, as I want to be sure they know in case there’s a time when they are no longer with me.

I love you, Grandmom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful gift of your love that I still feel, all these years later. You meant the world to me and always will.

I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. Always.

The Quest for Perfect

I returned from my last vacation quite jet-lagged, but excited to share my adventure with my circle of friends and travel buddies. I blogged every day of my vacation and shared all of the fun things that I did. But there’s something amazing about seeing things through pictures. Sure you can describe what you see, but when you can actually view the colors and details–that’s entirely something else. It’s magical. It transports you there.

I usually try to download pictures immediately to share. It took me a week last time.

I spent two weeks thinking about reviewing the pictures and cleaning them up a bit before sharing. They had to look good enough for my viewing audience.

I spent another week trying to find the time to review the pictures.

Then I realized—what was I waiting for?

I uploaded them to a site and shared. The feedback was wonderful and everyone appreciated them. And not one person has come back to say, “Your picture of xx is crooked and really should be straightened, “ or “How come you didn’t clean up the pictures a bit before sharing?”

Had I waited until I had the time to do the job I wanted to, making them, perhaps not perfect but nearly perfect, it may have been weeks before people could enjoy them. Instead, I decided that good enough was, well, good enough.

How many times have I not done something, or delayed significantly because I was waiting for things to be perfect? How many decisions did I make because I felt that the situation, person, thing, or whatever wasn’t good enough?

How often did my quest for perfection impact important decisions in my life?

I may never know, and ultimately, it doesn’t matter unless they are decisions that impact me directly now. Instead, I look to the future with an eye open to good enough.

And the pictures from my recent vacation? Well, they are getting posted right away so everyone can share in the adventure and enjoy.

Though, here’s a sneak preview of some of my favorite imperfect shots from my current trip. My heart is happy. Enjoy!

Copenhagen