Sunday, April 10, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

I haven't been very motivated to work or play on the computer recently.  Everyone goes through times when life is scary and overwhelming, and this year has been tough on our family.  We lost
a very good friend to a sudden heart attack at 51, I had a cancer scare (most-likely benign, come back in six months for a retest), and my husband just had a scary seizure due to a lesion in his brain from a  unexplained stroke that happened in his early 20's. 

Everything seems to hit at once and I am reminded once again that we are all fragile beings with unknown but certain "die-by" dates.

So once the initial shock wears off of each new illness or emergency, I have to come to terms with my new "normal" life and go on.  "Man plans, God laughs" is one of my favorite sayings and it reminds this control freak that I can't control everything.  I know it is sappy, but I do think we should live each day as if it is our last.  Within reason of course.  ;-)

So what do I do?  In my case these stressful times remind me of what is important; my loved ones.  I stop worrying about my unedited pictures and movies, cluttered house, messy garage, and unfinished projects; and instead sit back and let my boys tell their long story about what they were digging up in the backyard, without interruption.  I hug my husband and tell him how much he means to me, every day.  I visit with my two amazing sisters and sit and chat with them, without giving any unsolicited advice.  I sit and drink wine or coffee with my parents and grandmother and appreciate the time I have now and the time I have had with them.  I take time to call and/or meet with my friends and family and let them know how much they mean to me. 

I always feel that as an adult you need to have known grief to be able to fully experience joy. There will be other hard times, but I know there will be more joy than grief in this amazing if sometimes crazy life of mine.  I am just so grateful that I am right here, right now, and able to enjoy my life with the people I love most.

I promise I will be back blogging fun, normal stuff this week.  And thank you so much for the support and kind comments you always send my way. I know we only know each other in this virtual world, but you help keep me grounded.  This blog is my labor of love, stress-reducer, and creative outlet; and I am so grateful for you, my reader.  ♥

58 comments:

  1. The 'close calls' we all experience at one time or another really do help us see what matters most ...

    Beautifully and wisely expressed Rita.

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  2. I so love your blog. I hope it all works out well, and that you are able to continue having faith and peace no matter what happens.

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  3. How very odd that that was the title of my blog today. I hope you are all well and I am sorry for your loss of your friend.
    http://randomthoughtsdoordi.blogspot.com/2011/04/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make.html

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  4. Rita, your post couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me. We all go thru it and you really need to take time to smell the roses and rejuvinate yourself.

    We are losing our house due to job loss and it's taken an emotional toll on me. But I've come to realize that it's only a building. As long as our family is together, that's all that matters.

    Today was a perfect example. My husband took the 2 boys to go float the river. 30 minutes after getting home from dropping them off, I get a frantic call to come get them at a different location as there was an 'incident'...now I know they are all ok or he would have been hysterical. (It's still nerve racking!) Turns out their flat bottom boat got caught on a tree in rapids and started taking on water. As he's holding the boat, he tells both boys they're going to have to jump becasue the boat's going to go. My youngest (10) jumps and starts going down river. My eldest (13) says "don't worry dad, I'll get him" and promptly jumps after him. (It still brings tears knowing we've always said 'you're your brothers keeper'...and today he was! Long story short, they are all fine. There was another boat about a minute behind them that took them aboard until they caught up with their boat.

    My eldest and I had a discussion before they left...he wanted to just wear the life vest without snapping it closed. I said no. He was a little irked, but went with it...and learned an INVALUABLE life lesson today. Actually, I think we all did.

    Don't sweat the small stuff. Take time for yourself becasue without a healthy mom, you're no good to the family. I've been thinking about you because you haven't been posting as much, so it's good to hear you're doing better.

    I took this yesterday...it means more to me today.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/butterflykissesphotos/5608735364/

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  5. Hoping you all recover soon {physically and emotionally} and that the rest of the year treats your family a little nicer. So sorry you've been going through tough times.

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  6. wow! you and your family have been through a lot. lots of thoughts and prayers for ya digi sista.

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  7. scary stuff Rita! but the most important things first....time with the kids and family. I hope your stress lessens soon:)

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  8. you are a wise woman to know when its time to step back from the computer and embrace the truly important. Im so sorry you have had all these stressful events in the recent past. I can only hope and send good thoughts your way for a much less stressful "now".

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  9. My Mother was diagnosed with ALS in September and passed away on Feb 1st. I cant describe how that experience taught me exactly this same thing. My perspective has been brought back to what really matters and I have found peace and joy in my simplified and uncluttered life.

    I hope your circumstances all turn out okay and while I am not happy for your struggles, I am happy you can find meaning in them.

    Thank you for all you do!

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  10. Bless you all. Yes, even while we experience these medical issues, we really do appreciate the days that are filled with good things and loved ones. The light of spirit fills those little things that matter most. I have had to ignore a lot of dust bunnies this past year. Thank you for all you have shared.

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  11. Beautiful thoughts. I think many of us go through things like this, but are hesitant to talk to others about it. I am grateful for the paradoxical nature of the internet: it's an anonymous, yet tightly-knit community. Thank you for sharing... it made my day.

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  12. I recently learned what is it to feel true grief also..it is a horrible, emptiness. Last month I lost my mom, who was only 58..to a tragic accident. I am still reeling from it..but reading your post did make me stop and think that I still need to take care of myself..that it is ok to be with friends..Will be thinking of yo and hoping you are healing also..xoxo

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  13. Just wanted you to know that I think that you have a beautiful attitude about things. Our loved ones really are most important.

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  14. Praying for your family. Hope you can get back to "normal" soon. I love your blog but I also understand that your family comes first.

    Hope you have a good week.

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  15. Yes, we all need to pause for the important things. You are so generous with your talents & I'm grateful for that. But we all have to take care of ourselves first. Glad you are doing that.

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  16. I'm sorry to hear about your recent struggles. Glad you take time to appreciate the important things. Taking this chance too, to thank you for sharing your talents with us!

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  17. Wonderful advice you have given and are following. we all need to stop and smell the roses and take the time to enjoy our family and friends to the fullest.

    My prayers are with you for complete recovery of your DH and benign tests for yourself in the future.

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  18. I'm sorry to hear you're in a stressful time. Your words were an inspiration for me today, to step away from my "busy-ness" and play with my kids. Hope your husband is feeling better.

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  19. I'm glad you shared this today...I needed the reminder

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  20. I hope things start looking up for you soon. It does seem that life sometimes comes at you all at once without a chance to catch your breath. But these are the times that mold us and make us stronger. They give us the tools to help others when they go through the same things. "Man plans, God laughs" is one of my favorite sayings, too. Hang in there!

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  21. I hear ya when it rains it pours!! :(

    I'm sending warm positive thoughts & vibes your way.
    ~ingrid

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  22. Thank you so much for your amazing supportive comments. ♥ The boys and I are playing in the spring rain this morning and just enjoying life. R

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  23. You are so wise to recognize that you do have to find that new normal after serious things happen. You have your priorities right.
    I hope all is well, and quiet, at your house for a while.
    Hugs,
    Joanie

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  24. Oh my goodness Rita! Hugs and warm thoughts and strength to you. Sounds like quite the rollercoaster. Take all the time you need. You are absolutely correct - our loved ones are THE most important things in our lives, and they should always come first.

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  25. I hope your lemonade will be twice as sweet and that everything works out well. Man plans, God laughs - what a true statement.

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  26. take time for yourself and your family. the rest all falls in place when we do step back and embrace what is nearest and dearest around us.

    i too love that quote, man plans, God laughs. so so true. He knows the desires of your heart...and He has plans for you...so relax...and sit back!

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  27. I totally agree with not taking life for granted.

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  28. Rita, I am so sorry to read of your recent scary times and I am glad to see your positive attitude shining through.

    Hang in there!

    Hugs,
    Christianna

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  29. Rita, i completely understand what you mean. You are my Hero. Your actions and helpful information have guided me in my photography in so many ways. I have always struggled with the "rat race," sometimes it's necessary to run faster, for my family's well-being; but then i realize it turns me into a RAT!!! stop slow down, roll in the grass, make mud pies with your boys...and all of us who deeply love and appreciate you will still love and appreciate you when you are ready and able! much love and understanding :)
    ~jenny

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  30. rita, i'm sending my biggest warm hugs your direction! such hurdles in life are always there to remind us what's most important. i agree. it's refreshing to know that you're coping with these hurdles the way you should, by holding those dearest to you a little closer and loving them a little more today! we're the same way at our house. when life's static shows up, we may seem a bit absent from the frosting of life, but that's cause we're busy giving the sweet cake in our lives some extra attention. does that make sense? frosting's nice, but without the cake, there's nothing for the frosting to garnish or enhance. so hang in there. we'll all be here when its frosting time again! ::hugs::

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  31. I found your blog just a few days ago. First, thank you for your generosity in all you share here. I am so sorry to hear of your trials. It is truly encouraging to hear how you are drawing strength and a deeper appreciation of life. Without darkness, there can be no light.

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  32. Such wise words. I, too, try to live as if this day were my last, and connecting with family and close friends is a priority.

    Thank you for sharing your sorrows. It provides a connection.

    And, thank you most of all for your wonderful blog.

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  33. So true...my thoughts are with you and your family, hope all turns out well.

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  34. Many good thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

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  35. Rita, I Love how you really appreciate the important things in life. You are truly an inspirational, generous friend to us all. Hope everything goes well with you & your loved ones. It seems as if we are all going through something ...

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  36. Thank you for keeping it real! It seems when it rains, it pours and it's hard to smell the roses then! You have a wonderful attitude and a big heart. Enjoy all the little blessings and thanks for what you do to encourage others.

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  37. A reminder indeed of how precious life is. Virtual hugs!

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  38. May God Bless You and your Family.
    Thank you for bringing ME back to what is really important.

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  39. Take the time you need. We'll all be right here praying for you and cheering you on. You mean a lot to a lot of people and everyone of us wants the very best for you. Find your peace amidst these times, then your joy will find you.

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  40. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Also, what you are doing with this blog makes a big difference!

    Hugs!

    Karie

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  41. Rita,

    So sorry to hear of your troubles and worries! It is a good reminder that we all need to appreciate the little things in our lives. Sometimes we get too busy to stop and listen to the sandbox stories, or their version of Star Wars! I will now!
    Thank you again, in a different way.
    Cindy

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  42. Praying for you and your family.

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  43. Rita, I just wanted to stop by and give you a hug from Atlanta. You are so sweet and helpful in sharing your knowledge. Know you have a lot of support from your blogging buddies. Wishing you a happy week. :)

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  44. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. Take care of you and yours...that is the important stuff! Everything else is secondary. Computers, blogs and probably a gang of folks will be here when you can return. :)

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  45. BIG (((HUGS)) for you
    you just take care of you and yours
    hope everything gets back to a nice boring normal soon =)

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  46. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. :( Sending hugs and prayers to your family for the tough times you've had - and the tough times that may be in the future. :) Take care of yourself and that family of yours! :)

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  47. rita, you are in my thoughts and prayers... the past year has been a life changing one for our family as well. learning that my days are best lived one minute at a time :)

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  48. Hi Rita, I love your photog tips and freebies but more importantly I admire your strength and positive attitude and the way you express them. Take care and I wish you and yours much happiness and good health.

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  49. Dear Rita,
    I very rarely post on sites, but feel compeled to offer my support after reading this. I am very sorry to hear of your loss, but I sure that any one strong enough to be a stay at home mum with 2 boys will be able to cope with anything life throws at her.
    I'll take this chance to say that I often visit your blog and have learned so much about photoshop, so thank you for that.
    Cheers
    Nige

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  50. I now exactly what you mean. we have had some of the same issues going on here. Best of luck and thoughts and prayers your way.

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  51. Prayers to your family for peace and good health. Thank you for all you share on your blog and take care!

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  52. very well written!!!! I wish all good in your life!!! everything positive!!!!

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  53. Rita.. wowoie.. touched by last weeks post.. indeed life's pruning lessons are never easy.. but.. unless the vine is pruned we cannot enjoy the fruit thereof.. and I love a glass of good red! I'm there with ya all across the miles.. keep focused.. thanks for assisting me with me blog.. you're amazing! x Jean Wethmar

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  54. I hope things are on the upswing now! I adore your blog and wish you nothing but health and happiness.

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  55. Hi Rita, I had some catching up to do, reading your blog. I'm so very sorry to hear about the hardship life's handing out to you & your family recently. I do hope eventually all will turn out ok for you & your loved once. Take care! Hugs from Holland.

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