I would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life and Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hey!
(Photo credit rachelgadiel.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
So I “met” this lovely woman on Facebook, much how I’ve met many of y’all. We chat and I feel like I’ve found a new friend. Again, much like y’all in this blogosphere.
A few weeks ago I posted this picture:
My new friend commented that it was a picture of how faith works. That you can’t always see what’s coming around the curve but you trust. And pray. And appreciate the blue skies while you have them, even as storms are approaching.
Of course we hit it off.
Then she told me she paints as therapy for her PTSD. And she was painting the picture I had taken a few weeks before when I was at the ladies retreat in Colorado. She had decided she was going to send me her painting as a gift to remind me that PTSD will not win and we aren’t alone.
Isn’t that beautiful?!?
My new friend also drew my attention to a part of my original photograph that I hadn’t even noticed. Up in the upper left hand corner are two trees. She painted those trees in fall colors (because fall is my favorite season) and said that those two trees are like me and Mr. Wonderful–still growing strong even after all we’ve weathered.
My new piece of art came in the mail today:
I’m moved to tears that someone that I’ve never even met would take time out of their busy day and paint a gorgeous picture and then take more time and money to mail it to me. As a beautiful reminder about how far we’ve come in our PTSD journey, but also in the kindness and deep humanity of others.
I am so blessed.
You can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life or Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hey!
(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
Anyone here a Seinfeld fan? One of my favorite episodes is where George Costanza’s dad is trying a new technique to deal with stress. Any time he gets stressed, he starts shouting, “Serenity now!”
I’ve come to a conclusion recently. It is that some things in my life are here to stay. Some for the near future; some for forever.
And I can’t change a single one of them.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t make Mr. Wonderful’s PTSD go away.
The sensory issues that we’re just now helping the seven year old figure out and deal with: I can’t magically fix them.
My transition into speaking and writing won’t be hurried. I can’t control how crazy things seem to get around here all at once.
What’s a girl to do?
Accept that there are things out of my control, and understand in my core that the only area I have any hope of exerting any influence over are my own reactions, thoughts and feelings.
Awhile back, Mr. Wonderful sought treatment for PTSD. Since that time, as part of his continued treatment, we have spent a fair amount of time in The Rooms of AA: Alcoholics Anonymous.
Sidebar: you will never meet a more welcoming group, be in the presence of more encouraging folks, or feel less alone than when you are at an AA or Al-Anon meeting. I wish everyone was required to go; the world would be a much better place if everyone had to do their own twelve steps.
The meetings always end exactly the same, no matter what meeting, what city, what Room we are in. Everyone joins hands in a circle and says…
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
That’s my prayer today. For you.
And for me.
You can also connect with me on Facebook or Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life or on Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. I look forward to chatting more with you!
©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
Y’all thought I forgot, didn’t you?! The regularly scheduled Monday Coffee Quote is being brought to you by Tuesday since yesterday was a holiday. I figure that works well since today is the start of many people’s work week. So Happy Tuesday!!!(Photo credit buzzfeed.com)
My 11 year old is my IT guy…it’s more like eye rolling and sighing but you get the gist.
And one more just to really kickstart your day:
(Photo credit embedded in photo) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
I hope that as people are enjoying a day off work or going to barbecues or swimming in pools for the first time this season they are also remembering.
To all our fallen soldiers and their families, you are not forgotten. Your sacrifice is remembered and held dear and we salute you today.
(Photo credit lovethispic.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
(Photo credit http://www.weloveprintableart.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015
I am a hot mess year-round. This means that even when summer makes its appearance on my doorstep, I don’t suddenly morph into a Pinterest Mom when I’m not paying attention.
There seem to be a lot of Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer Lists blaring at me from every which way. I’m going to be shockingly honest-I won’t do a single one of them. I’m not the mom who will teach her kids how to make the Eiffel Tower out of pipe cleaners. I refuse to create things from kits.
I most likely won’t even plan educational trips to the nearest museum.
Gasp! What kind of mom am I? How dare I deprive my children. They must suffer so!!!
I’m the kind of mom who doesn’t structure every minute of our day.
I’m the Mama-type that actually makes her kids get up at a decent time, even in the summer. I still make my children do their chores. In fact, if they dare utter the words “I’m bored” they know Mama will find something for them to do. And they probably won’t like it.
My kids get pushed outside a lot. Even if it’s hot. I do slather sunscreen on them and provide water but they’re expected to spend a fair amount of time running and jumping and bike riding and using their imaginations.
Our neighborhood is wonderful and safe and we know our neighbors. But even so, we have ground rules, like stick together and never go in someone’s house unless Mama says it’s ok. My oldest three are 11, 7 and 4. They have to roam together or not roam at all. I refuse to run off to the craft store for all of their creative ventures. I’m a firm believer in recycling-use what we have to make something awesome.
Summer food? What can you make on your own? Reading? We will get books from the library by the truckload. And video game time? Saved up for rainy days or occasionally weekends/some nights. Every day? Not a chance.
Am I the meanest mom on the block? Are my kids totally deprived?
I don’t think so.
I think I’m teaching my kids about responsibility, that if you want something you’ll need to work for it, and that using your imagination will take you places you never dreamed-until you did. I’m showing my kids that sibling love, aka your best friends, are your playmates for life and the ones you can depend on.
Maybe you think I’m a little off my rocker. I’ll admit, with four kids underfoot it’s entirely possible.
However. I look back on my summers filled with things like making cities from cardboard boxes, catching lightning bugs in jars, creating perfume from flowers (weeds) and then trying to sell them to neighbors, taking naps under trees and using our front porch as everything from a fort to a dentist office to a school to Spy Headquarters, and I want that for my children. I want them to play until they pass out from sheer exhaustion and joy. I didn’t stop learning in the summer; I learned real and important things that I couldn’t get in school. Playing with my siblings taught me that they were my best friends. Being in charge of them while we were outside taught me responsibility. Creating things from nature or recycling taught me to use my creativity in new ways
So I hope my children will look back on summers someday and wish for their kids to have those same “deprived” summers.
Just like I did.
You can also connect with me at My Pink Champagne Life (Facebook and Instagram) or @MyPinkChampLife on Twitter!
(All photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Meredith Shafer 2015