For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

All You Have To Do Is Open Your Eyes

Amid all the craziness in our lives, it's so easy to go through our days in a blur.  We tick things off our to-do lists, moving from one task to the next - or trying to do too many things at once - when before we know it the day is done and we are plopped in front of the TV before settling into bed for the night.

Whenever people feel like they need to still the craziness within, many turn to things like meditation, music, running, or yoga.  Others find peace in creative arts like sewing, knitting, 
drawing, painting, or writing.  

Photography is what clears my mind and makes me shift my focus.  And it's often my humdrum everyday surroundings that inspire me - things that are easy to miss if you're not looking for them.  Or in the case of my macro lens, things my eyes cannot see by themselves.  

Here are a few pictures I've taken over the past 24 hours - just for fun.  

Even dark black smoke rose into the evening sunset 
could not erase a single star from the sky.

This plume is one of hundreds of weeds I've been yanking from my garden.

A delicate hydrangea blossom in a vase in my foyer.

Sunlight reflected off the gossamer strands of a spider's web

The simple raspberry is not so simple when viewed up close.


I never realized the flowers of a hosta plant were so amazing!

Another weed takes the spotlight, backlit by the sun.

This little guy blended right in with the mulch and I almost stepped on him!

The simplicity of the full moon in a clear night sky.

Look at all of the colors and tones in this periwinkle hydrangea blossom!

I love yarn.  I love knitting.  

My cat is old and wise (and beautiful).

Yet another amazing creation in the form of a weed.

Ice cubes floating inside my water cup!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month - A Personal Story

I'm writing this in support of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

It was almost exactly one year ago that my daughter, Annie, was diagnosed with depression.  (Please know that I don't write about anything on this blog concerning my kids without their approval.)  

Yesterday, Annie wrote her first post on her new blog where she revealed 
that she has been struggling with depression.  Here is a link to Annie's blog 

Annie watches the sunrise on Lake George while writing in her journal.

Let me backtrack a little.  Last summer, my daughter, Annie, got her own apartment in Rochester where she goes to school at the Eastman School of Music.  I helped her move in and set up her apartment.  I was with her when she adopted her first cat to keep her company.  She had a job at a coffee shop a few blocks away where she loved working.  It seemed like she was ready for a great summer!

Then life threw her a curveball.

Despite heroic efforts on Annie's part,  her cat died in early July.  She started complaining of fatigue.  I knew she was grieving her cat and thought she just needed time.   She seemed happy, although maybe a little homesick.  She loved her job, but all of her plans of things she wanted to do in Rochester over the summer never materialized.  There were no idyllic days on the beaches of Lake Ontario, no time spent with friends. She wasn't eating well. She stopped exercising. And she was sleeping way too much.

This was the beginning of Annie's struggle with Major Depressive Disorder.  

This past year has been so full of many emotions for us as parents:  uncertainty, frustration, compassion, sorrow, heartache, hope, thankfulness, admiration, pride, and intense love.  Annie has had to weather many storms and she is still afloat, headed toward calmer seas.

As Annie mentioned in her blog post,  there is still a stigma attached to mental illness.  One serious effect of the stigma around mental disorders is that two-thirds of affected people don't seek help, say the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  The main reasons people give to explain why include fear of disclosure, rejection, and discrimination. Some people may assume someone with depression is unstable, lazy, untrustworthy, unintelligent, or incapable.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 46 percent of Americans will experience a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetime.  There's a good chance that you or someone you love will be affected.  So let's try to get rid of that stigma. 

Just treat people with kindness and respect, compassion and understanding.