#beachlife

Extra or Enough?

I am a homebody, but I’ve moved 7 times over the course of 20 years.  Each of my four kids was born in a different place.  Every  home contained multitudes of memories, some amazing, some haunting, favorite spots (which for me were usually the outdoor patios), some included decorators, fancy knobs and pulls, even copper sinks and home theaters, things that the first world pays for and then has to keep up and maintain, in my case, at the expense of connection. Stuff can never fill a human void.  I think you can probably see where I’m going with this.  What I have learned over these 20 years and 7 houses is that home for me is about the intangibles…safety, security, and warmth, and if you are lucky a comfortable bed. 

Yesterday, I signed a lease, on my own, for the first time ever, and I’m 43.  It’s a little house, and so amazingly, still close to the beach. I had to move by March 2019, but I decided that the unknown and the anticipation of every “last event” (Christmas, summer, birthday) in my home where I have spent the better part of 12 years raising kids, making memories and at the end, a heavy unraveling that doesn’t need to be dwelled on now, but has nonetheless taught me so much about my outlook and toughness that I never knew, was more taxing on my spirit than just taking the leap. I thought I’d wake up this morning apprehensive, but I happily found that I am confident that I can turn this house into a home and a huge reason for that was one simple statement made by 13 year old Kate, after i took her and her and brother to see the house.  

“It’s not extra, it’s enough.”  

Talk about clarity spoken by a child from the back seat. She just gets me, whether she knows that completely yet or not. When a comment like that comes out of my child’s mouth, I have a moment of all is right with the world, and I have to take it in and write it down.  For me, that profound but simple statement means she sees, hears and knows me, and my influence is being felt. To me, that is the ultimate gift of parenting. 

I started to think…extra or enough.  Extra is what makes my heart pound with anxiety, enough is what makes my heart full. Extra is what costs more, takes away time and diverts from the simple pleasures.  Enough is what gives me time to talk with my kids, write, do yoga, learn more, and breathe easy.  Extra is full of comparison, enough is content.  Extra is exhausting and enough sleeps easy.  Extra is never satisfied no matter how much it has, enough counts every blessing.  This concept has grabbed on for me and this list is going to expand and maybe be printed and posted all over the bulletin boards in my new house. Right now life is calling and I get to go watch some more volleyball.  Hoping your heart is full of enough today…

 

To Raise a Champion

In April of 2016, as my almost 20 year marriage was falling apart, I turned around to grab a ball to serve as I was playing beach volleyball at 2nd St. in Hermosa Beach. Immediately,  I recognized one of the players on the court behind me and said hello, thinking at the time that she looked familiar from one of the kids schools or teams. We hadn’t lived in Hermosa Beach long and I didn’t know that many people.  As I went to serve though, it dawned on me, that’s not a mom from school, that’s Misty May. So, with my new “seize the day, what have I got to lose attitude”,  I went over and introduced myself telling her about how my two oldest kids (one of them being the only boy in attendance) had participated in a clinic she coached when we still lived in Fresno. Being that I’m older than Misty but still feel like the kid who had the Hovland/Dodd and Stoklos/Smith posters covering her walls, I was happy enough with that quick conversation and got back to my game thinking that was a pretty good story to tell the kids later where they would definitely laugh and chastise me for being a dorky "fan girl".

After the next game, I went over to my towel, grabbed some water and checked my phone for messages and as I scrolled through, I saw a text message from Kerri Walsh Jennings. At that point, I almost decided that I hadn’t really woken up that morning and must still be dreaming. What were the odds that I would have and encounter with the both players on the winningest team in beach volleyball history while I was playing “mom volleyball” on a regular Tuesday morning?  As I read Kerri’s text about Abraham Hickes and the Law of Attraction, the goosebumps rose on my arms and the tears came to my eyes as this champion of a human being recognized the bond that I have and the  energy that I put into my kids. If there is anything I have true confidence in, it's that bond. Kerri and I had only met a few times because our kids were taking jiujitsu at the same place but her instantly thoughtful, caring and beyond empathic nature saw me, and took the time to recognize it, at a time in my life that I was working overtime to keep my optimism and zest for life at its usual heights. She, of course, made a massive impression on me with her humble nature and helpful ways.  I was reminded as I read the text of how I watched her one day at jiujitsu run over to help an older man pick up a bunch of mail he had dropped all over the street. I was amazed at the attentive way she managed conversation with complete strangers and wondered how she could manage the energy she was putting out into the world with so many eyes on her all the time. It’s not that one person’s opinion or relationship defines my view of myself, but her intuition and attentiveness blew me away and provided so much inspiration as to what I am attracted to in this amazing, beautiful life. The real thing that has come out of this ongoing dialogue between the two of us that started way back at jiujitsu over 2 years ago and continues today, is the insight it has provided me in how to raise a champion. What I have learned from Kerri has given me so much perspective on how I want to raise my four to be champions in the game of life. The court is just one place to learn; but the world, full of its adversity, trials and tribulations and matched by its amazing beauty and potential is where the real game is won. True champions aren’t defined by their medals and results but rather by their character, work ethic, and ability to positively impact others every day. Champions leave other people's days a little better for having showed up…and that is exactly what this champion has so selflessly done for me.