At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
1. Mission Manifest
Since I started writing mission statements in my late teens, they have served me well– grounding and focusing me in how I want to direct my energy and talents and inspiring me to push myself a little bit further. Because of the difference they have made for me, I love introducing other people to them. In May, I did a couple different Mission Manifest workshops and was so inspired by what people claimed for themselves. In addition to doing the workshop I hosted, I was also invited to do the Mission Manifest workshop with the professors at the hospital where I have been working with the med students. The med students did the mission statement workshop with me back in October and so the program decided to give the same opportunity to their supervising physicians. It was such an honor to work with about 15 of them– who do everything from providing acupuncture to PTSD patients in the emergency room to working with child abuse victims- on their mission statements.
2. The end of the semester
Another semester of Body Image class drew to a close and as I said goodbye to those sweet young people, I felt really lucky to have walked alongside them for a few months. They were so wise and ready to relate to themselves in a different way, and every class period was a pleasure. Lucky me.
3. PPP retreats
On a list of things that never get old: Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreats. It is so inspiring to have the opportunity to encourage someone towards a dream she has and then help to craft an action plan to make it happen. I love the variety of this work but how it is all rooted in wanting to be as authentic and intentional and on purpose as possible. With my belief that we are all here on purpose, I feel so grateful that I can be a part of someone getting closer to her own truth in that.
4. Great Circle de Luz partnerships. Circle de Luz has a couple new exciting partnerships that will have an incredible impact on our girls for years to come. The first one is with E2D which stands for Eliminate the Digital Divide, an incredible program inspired by the tough question a pre-teen girl asked her parents one night. Now, E2D is committed to insuring that every student in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has a computer at home (and gets wired!). Incredible, eh? The digital divide and desert have been a big issue that our CdL families face and we are so excited about this partnership!
Our other exciting new partnership is with Social Venture Partners Charlotte. They are providing us with financial and logistical support over the next three days as we strategic plan and create a sustainable organization and an even richer experiencer for our hijas.
*the photo above is of Happy creating a poster to promote a Lemonade Stand we hosted for E2D’s mega lemon stand day, their annual fundraiser. With 25 lemonade stands, E2D raised over $4000 in three hours!
5. Right in the Middle This annual mother-daughter conference, hosted by Michelle Icard of Michelle in the Middle, is always a joy. I am always honored to do a workshop at this event. This year, I focused on media literacy with the moms and their daughters. There is another conference in August if you are local (sadly, I have a conflict and can’t be at that one) and Michelle has a great new book out if you are looking for resources for positively parenting middle schoolers.
6. Saying goodbye to the preschool years. The days are long and the years are short. There isn’t a truer adage when it comes to parenting, is there? Somehow this little guy morphed into this big guy…
and, now, here we are, staring down Kindergarten. The final month of the preschool years was really fun. I got to be the last Mystery Reader in his transitional Kindergarten class, there was a butterfly release (of little caterpillars they had shepherded to the butterfly stage), a lovely graduation, a beginner’s day at Kindergarten. It’s a great sign when it’s over and your kid says, “I WANT TO STAY!” A lovely way to end what has been a special preschool year and a special time to be home with my boy.
7. A trip to the beach.
With school out for both me and Happy, we hit the beach for a few days to play mini-golf, enjoy the Lazy River, hot tub, and pool where we were staying, run the beach and jump waves, and watch as Happy went down this enormous slide on the beach over 25 times. It came after some heart breaking news (see below) and the salt water, chlorine, and book reading were great salves.
8. Saying goodbye to an amazing role model. One of my all-time favorite women is BF’s grandmother. Nana was ahead of her time and a real Renaissance women. She was a piano virtuoso (one of my all time favorite pictures is of her and Happy playing piano together when he was about 2 but I don’t have it on my computer!), a tap dancer, an insatiable book worm, a swimmer, a bike rider, an incredible chef, all while being funny and kind and really, really good. She passed away last week after a too long dance with Alzheimer’s but we and she enjoyed her 92 years tremendously. We were fortunate to know a few days before she passed that the time was coming and Hospice was called in and we had a chance to be with her and each other and say goodbye and all those things were so, so good. And then her funeral service was a thing of beauty– the music alone was breathtaking– and we had an incredible time with just pausing and being with people who loved her and us. So it was heartbreaking and the pits but it was also the most you could ask for this in this kind of situation and so I feel grateful and full-hearted.
9. A day trip to see my parents. I was hopeful that my parents would join us for a bit but traveling is hard for them so I traveled down to spend a day with them and it was, as always, such a delight. I can easily do things for them that make their lives easier, they are always so grateful, and it is just fun to sit and enjoy their company, a luxury not always afforded. Here’s to more day trips.
10. Happy’s recital. So I was a dance mom this year as Happy took a creative movement class at the local dance studio. We thought we would try it to help him get more body awareness (knowing where he is in space is not always very present in his mind), and he just loved it. His dance recital was Alice in Wonderland and boy did my boy take his role as a Dream Dancer super seriously. I think he was the Dance Dad in his classroom. My pre-recital picture of him is all red eyes and blurry (my camera is broken and I am relying on my very outdated smart phone to do the job and, let me tell you, it isn’t) but here’s a shot from him before class one day with his absolutely adorable black ballet slippers.
So, what did you love in May?