A Reason to Remember

Military personnel holding a folded US flag.(Photo originally posted here: http://www.veteranjournal.com/the-price-of-free-speech/)

Today is Memorial Day.

It’s a national holiday, celebrated every year on the last Monday in May, when we remember and honor the military men and women who gave their lives for their country.

As a child, the significance of Memorial Day was minimal to me. My day’s a vet and he would often take us to a nearby military cemetery for Memorial Day, where we’d listen to speeches, cover our ears when the gun salute happened, and walked amongst the white headstones of men and women we didn’t know.

As a teenager, the holiday became little more than a reason to gather with friends and family for a barbecue, or to catch up on homework. Gathering with others wasn’t, isn’t, a bad thing, but I don’t recall the reason for the gathering as a time to remember The Fallen.

As an adult, Memorial Day means more than it ever did. I didn’t marry a military man, but I’ve reconnected with high school classmates who serve. It’s their reminders these past few years that have really driven home the need to remember this holiday for what it is.

I come home knowing my husband will be there, knowing that he’s never gone for more than his eight hours at his job. I come home to my daughters, knowing that I won’t have to explain to them where their dad is and why he’s not coming back. I come home knowing I’ll sleep soundly with my husband by my side and our daughters tucked away in their beds.

I could argue that war has no affect on me. But that’d be a lie. If it weren’t for the brave men and women who gave their lives, I wouldn’t have the life I have now. Our country may not be as free as it is now. That freedom that I so thoroughly enjoy would be nothing more than a dream, wistful musings of a wife and mother who wishes for something better but doesn’t know how to get it.

And while I may never don a uniform for any military branch, there are men and women who do. And while I may never be sent overseas to defend our country and those who can’t, these men and women do. And maybe the sun will set I my time on Earth forty or fifty years from now, but it may happen sooner for these men and women.

For those who have gone before their time, for those who gave more than I can possibly fathom, for those who fought and died so bravely, thank you.

Your sacrifice is the reason for my freedom.

And my freedom is enough of a reason to remember you today.

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Set The Tone

I had a terrific laugh this morning coming into work.

While driving on 280 S, I watched a silver car cut off a dark gray car, missing the front bumper by mere millimeters. The driver of the gray car promptly flipped the other driver off, then proceeded to chase the offender through traffic.

All the while, the driver of the gray car left his/her hand sticking out of the window with the finger prominently displayed.

And all the while I wondered how many other drivers thought they were getting the finger!

And I also wondered how that incident left the offended driver feeling. It was obvious they were irate–can’t really blame them–but was it really necessary to chase the offender with your middle finger on display for all of 280 to see?

Hmm… Probably not.

And as I drove over the connecting ramp from 280 S to 92 E, I hoped the offended driver had a better day ahead of them.

What sets the tone for your day? When one little thing upsets it (getting cut off in traffic, waking up late, no money for the toll, forgot your lunch, etc.) how do you let it affect your day?

Bad things happen, sure. But a bad day is avoidable, in my opinion, if one learns to change their perspective and see things from the other end of the telescope.

Yes, you got cut off in traffic…but you made it to your destination safe and sound.
Yes, you woke up late…but you woke up.
Yes, you forgot money for the toll…but you were able to pay for your gas, your car, your phone, etc.
Yes, you forgot your lunch…but at least you have food to bring for lunch.

Too much negativity is bad for you. It poisons your heart and your soul. It causes you to complain about every little thing. It births displeasure in you for everything around you. It robs you of the ability to enjoy, truly enjoy, the little things.

And you miss out by choosing to dwell on the negative, on that one bad thing.

A great day is always waiting to happen every time you rise to greet a new day. Don’t let that great day go to waste. Don’t let one bad thing ruin it for you.

Let your perspective set the tone.

Missed Already

I have separation anxiety.

Funny thing, I didn’t have this with K1 as my maternity leave came to an end.

But as time ticks away and as my first day back at works nears, I realize how much I miss K2 already.

Is this normal? To feel it for one and not the other? What’s the difference? What makes the situations different? Does it get easier?

I was famous, still am in a way, for saying I couldn’t be a stay at home mom. With K1, that statement was incredibly true. I couldn’t wait to go back to work. Perhaps it was because I was a new (in every sense of the word) mom. Or perhaps it’s because I was younger and didn’t have the patience I have now.

*shrugs* I have no idea what the difference is, why I feel this way now, but it’s hard.

I’m not one to cry (much) over things I can’t change. Life is what it is. And because this is what it is, I’ll say I’m happy and grateful for the time I had with K2. And maybe, just maybe, things will change where I can be home more for both my girls.

Then & Now

Kid 1 was born in 2007. And I was ill-prepared for motherhood and what it all entailed.

No one told me it’d be sleepless nights, constant diaper changing, and difficulty with nursing said kid. No one mentioned the spit ups, the crying, or the frustration that came with not knowing what the kid was crying for.

Fast forward to 2013, when Kid 2 entered this world.

I was better prepared this time, more ready to care for this baby. Nothing that surprised me before surprises me now.

Except that I’m not so easily frustrated this time around.

Kid 2 cries. A lot. And over almost everything. Wet diaper, dirty diaper, hungry, tired, cold, blah, blah, blah. I tell B she’s a temperamental little thing. And very much a girl, lol.

Kid 1 was a complacent baby. She hardly cried or fussed over anything. She was happy to just be, and maybe raise a ruckus every now and then over something. Kid 2… Completely different story.

Makes me wonder how Kid 2 will be when she grows up? Kid 1 has a strong personality. It poked its little head out when she was about eighteen months and has developed oh-so-nicely over the past few years. What if Kid 2 turns out like Kid 1? Heaven help us all if that happens, lol! Hmm… Maybe I should start planning a trip to the nearest psych ward, huh? Or maybe a month long vacation somewhere remote? 😉

The differences between then (2007) and now (2013) isn’t just time or experience. It’s age. Perhaps it’s a good thing we waited so long to have another child. I wonder if I would be this patient with the whole crying thing if we’d had another a year or two after having Kid 1?

Yeah…

Probably not.

Back At It Again

Monday brings with it the reality that I’ll be going back to work in two weeks. And to prep for that, I’ll be familiarizing myself with my old routine: up at 430am and out the door by 545am.

We’ll see how well I do with two kids, lol. One I can do. I’ve got about eighteen months doing this with one kid. But two?

Yeah… Either I’ll survive or go crazy, lol.

Anyone wanna take bets on which I’ll be after one week?