Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


 Apologies for the void in production of blog entries, I am drowning in all things high school swimming! (Pun absolutely intended). My voice went missing a week ago, my sleep schedule is off and my dreams haunted by the question of which girls need more taper (rest). Our team has four meets in one week and the meet lineups are driving us to distraction. Perhaps on Sunday I can rest for a half-day, before composing the final weekly email to parents and the last meet lineup. That's right, our season is close to the finish line, and perhaps soon I can wrestle with words again, find creativity in my brain instead of swim sets and sendoffs. My husband and son will be glad to find dinner on the table and their wife/mother more emotionally stable. It's coming, all, I promise!

Monday, January 2, 2023

New Year, New Outlook?

 A friend of mine posted on social media that his resolution for 2023 was "set the bar low."  My eyebrows raised of their own accord, and I stopped mindlessly scrolling to read in more detail. Did he mean to give up? Schlump away my January in PJs and pizza boxes? While that sounded appealing, I couldn't in good conscience click "like" until I read more.

"Set the bar low" was a missive cloaked in click-bait, of course. My friend meant to accept what is and appreciate all the good that exists in the present state. Offering encouragement to love yourself as you are, to appreciate everything you can about current circumstances; he even asked readers to lower the bar for family members. "Don't expect much," he said, but enjoy all of the quirks and idiosyncrasies that evolve. 

That last sentence holds challenge and appeal for any mother. If I could lower the bar for my 16-year-old, would that look like more chips and salsa in the bedroom? More spilled chocolate milk on the stairs? Or would it give me space to enjoy the unique sense of humor, the endless sports trivia, and blur the edges of a harmless snack-food addiction?

The  New York Times recently offered the best advice from its readers over the year of 2022. One of my long-time favorites emerged: "be where your feet are." The reminder to be in the present, free of expectations, worries, regrets, echoes out a part of the "low bar" post. They both urge us to let go and live. But the more I read the words and the more I write about them, the harder this advice seems.  Why is it so much easier to spin up the anxious, forward-looking movies in my mind than to appreciate the present moment? 

So I'm going to attempt to set the bar low and stay where my feet are in 2023. Despite the humble words, I suspect it will be difficult. But difficult's my happy place - a hard-to-achieve standard for the year to come. Now that I've warped my friend's words into a terrible challenge, I'm finally resolution-ready.