There's something to the idea that one should keep moving. What is that old proverb, "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop."? Like most proverbs, it isn't intended to be taken literally.
On August 31st, 2016 we lost our home to a fire. It was devastating destruction but the toughest part wasn't even the moment where we were just standing there watching it burn, it was the "aftermath" which felt much more like a storm. For weeks on end I couldn't stand still, if I ate at all it was standing, barely slept so I'd pace or tousle in bed, all I knew was that if I stood still for too long I might go mad.
My son only missed one day of school, we reopened our family business within 48hrs of the fire, and I was on full GO mode sleeping perhaps 3-4hrs/day. We pushed through (hard) as I was determined to celebrate Christmas in a home of our own (even if it was rented). Within 3 months, we had filmed the conclusion of a reality TV show (which was scheduled to film two days after the fire and, of course, had to be postponed), excavated the house, processed all the insurance claims without an adjustor or attorney, moved in to my in-law's, found a nice townhome that didn't feel like a rental, moved out of my in-law's, furnished 4 bedrooms/2 bathrooms, living room and a kitchen on a super tight budget, sorted and re-appropriated all the donations, applied to 12 universities and 24 scholarships, performed in a school production while prepping for States, joined Boy Scouts, started soccer season, helped Santa with his shopping, celebrated an 18th birthday with all the bells and whistles, didn't miss a bday party, baby shower, wedding or any chance to catch up with friends, took a little trip to Naples and another to Disney, planned a road trip to NOLA, had fun with Halloween happenings, senior year activities and homecoming. 90 days of what some might consider absolute madness and I all could do was keep moving.
I remember whispering to my husband one night, just a few days after the incident, "I'm scared of what might happen when I don't have anything left to do" because I knew then what I have always known of myself, I gotta keep moving or else my mind has enough time to realize what trouble we're in.
See, even when I'm not idling, my mind runs at an exorbitant pace. When I am still, there is no telling where my mind will go. But this lesson I have learned, life goes on. There are good days, there are very bad days and some mediocre ones that linger in the middles. Days were not even Jesus himself could save you from your own mind and days when you feel like you could be the next Dalai Lama. Life consists of ups and downs. Rainbows and thunderstorms. We just gotta keep moving. Feel the pains of love and loss but don't dwell too long for life keeps going with or without you. Just keep moving. Sunsets and sunrises, the clock ticking on, just keep moving. Move on and on but do so mindfully or else you'll reach your destination without recognizing the course of the journey.
Family photos courtesy of Jenise Subervi of www.photosbyJenise.com who also happens to have a fantastic family blog at http://www.atoddlerandatopknot.com. She is a lovely person providing some great tips accompanied by the most adorable photos of her little.
"Filter: something that has the effect of a filter, as by holding back elements or modifying the appearance of something".-http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filter
As my family and I drove back home from one of our last road trips, the usual silence took over the car. Typically, we drive for quite a while in silence. No radio, no phones, just the view of the cars passing by in either direction and the road ahead. But sometimes that silence leads to sleepiness and to ensure my driver keeps driving I ask a few probing questions. With his new show lining up this fall on BidChat, I decided to keep my dear husband awake by daring to get out of his head and tell me about his ideas and plans for segments requested of him. He was stuck. See, in the spur of the moment, during his online audition I named his show for him. He had thrown some ideas around but wasn't set on anything so when the casting director asked him for a show name I nudged him and told him to just say it, "it" being the last thing I told him before he went online, Filter Free Fantasy. We both racked our brains when I came up with this name for this blog and he had loved everything about it so I told him he should use it too. The director LOVED IT! The issue now was that Ernie didn't know how to approach it.
My husband, in one quick and frustrated sentence, stated the knee jerk explanation towards anything non-pc. "Gina, Filter Free means I have to be blatantly honest, straight forward, MEAN, otherwise people won't understand the point of the name." I took offense to this because this was exactly the way I feel most people view my approach/communication style, honest but somehow negative.
Unfortunately, nowadays, anything that goes against the grain is mean, in fact, I feel that any sort of honesty at all is considered distasteful. Why is that we can no longer voice our opinions without being chastised? As an American, I pride myself in the first amendment, always taking heed to state things not directed at a single person but more so in regards to culture, ethics, politics, medicine, speaking freely as to exchange ideas and engage in conversation not gossip. But, it seems that this is a tougher bridge to cross than simply passing judgement on another.
Just last week I had a meeting with a good friend who is creating a progressive learning environment for children and honored me by requesting I come on board, during this meeting she stated something that resonated with me so strongly I was stricken. She said, "We are creating a revolution and like with all revolutions it's going to get ugly and messy and there will be resistance but sometimes that is the only way to make a real change." I couldn't agree with her more. We each practice in different medians and have platforms that range vastly but our energies and intentions are the same, to bring more light into this world. We each have the power to be revolutionary. Let your light shine!
Ok, back to the point, I realized, as he stated what he felt Filter Free to mean, that I had to stick to my original intent whole-heartedly, to present my stories from a place of positivity and love but foremost from a place of truth regardless of the backlash. Sometimes the truth is messy and many times ugly but in this day and age the truth is revolutionary and I will continue to champion it.
Now, out of my typical writing style and against everything that I know to be true about good writing, I feel the need to leave you all with a question in hopes of igniting dialogue. I know each of you care enough about the truth to read this far into this post so we are kindred spirits which means you must be doing something revolutionary or have hopes and dreams of starting something to make an impact on this world of ours. Don't take this to mean some Nobel Prize worthy stuff, I believe true change and ignition starts at home within our sanctuaries and with those we love most for whom we wish the change to be first and foremost. Please share in the comments below. I would love to start an inspirational board to help generate love, thought and progress.
What are you doing to let your light shine?
I, more often that not, am late. I was two weeks passed my due date when I was coming into this world forcing my mother into 42 weeks of pregnancy (by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going beyond 40 weeks so please relax ladies, induced labor is far worse than if you let things take their own course, my second daughter was born at 41.5 weeks and it was all ok). I was late both times that I found out I was having the girls, that was probably the worst kind of late. I am late to birthday parties, dinners, meetings, appointments although, I never miss a flight but have ran through more than one airport. I go to sleep late, I wake up late, I will hopefully be late to my own funeral (even though I've made specific arrangements to bypass the whole funeral thing, toss me in the trunk of an old car and push it into the canal like my grandfather wishes for himself when I'm dead).
Many people, including my own family, get annoyed by my tardiness. They call incessantly to remind me that I'm late. When plans are made they emphasize the time and raise a brow in my direction. My friends joke that they tell me a different time than others because they know I run on a my own clock.
It's a gift as much as it is a curse. No matter how early I set my alarm, re-appropriate my day, plan and organize to facilitate timeliness it just doesn't work out for me. Oddly enough, when I have to schedule or plan something like, say a wedding or social event professionally, I am able to nail it down to the second and run a tight ship while doing so (lighting schedules included) but, that is something entirely different. You see, that sort of situation is systematic work. When you do something extremely well, plan everything precisely and are ever so focused on the task at hand time runs like a machine, it obeys the needs of the user and cedes its urgency to accommodate all that must take place. Think of the chef competitions on TV, do you ever wonder, how are they able to comply with the time constraints? It's something they have perfected, that which can be done in one's sleep, second nature, if you will. Every movement already calculated to work alongside the tick of the clock, it's beautiful. Synchronized time is a thing of the gods.
And that's just it, I'm not nearly perfect.
My imperfection lies in my love of people and my time with them. I take every opportunity to listen, to be in the moment, to learn. If you know me, think if ever I've cut you off because I was in a hurry to go else where. Perhaps, I've run by you in a whirlwind looking frantic and disheveled as I rush to get one of my kids from one of their activities, trying to ensure they aren't faced with being the last one (btw, that doesn't kill them either, I've learned)to be picked up. But if I engage with you, stop and actually look you in the eyes, you have me hooked. I am at your disposal till your story is done (on some days it's a story of my own). Never once looking at the time or persisting that "I have to go". My focus at that moment is the person with whom I am sharing the time.
The drawback, of course, is that I'm so present in the moment that I become tardy for my next "moment" and people don't like that (the people waiting, that is). I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm honored that most of my family and friends wait on pins in needles to see just exactly when I will be arriving, it's as if they just can't get things going till I get there and I mention this fact when they bring up my tardiness for events which could easily go on without my presence (it's not like I'm the chef at the restaurant or the kid whose birthday is being celebrated). I am fully aware of my downfall but it isn't something I lose sleep over or stress about changing. Some people are never late, phones in hand, timers set, ready to be on time. The thing is when I show up I am fully there, present, in every sense of the word.
Over the years I've learned that in packing in so much stuff some things fall to the wayside and that has to be okay. I love squeezing in as much as I can in a day. The more there is to do the better I function. Sure, when you minimize how much you take on it's easier to keep track of time. Some might suggest that I need to learn to say no more but I don't really care to, this life is meant to be full to the brim, taking in all those opportunities, pushing time to its limits, stringing together a vast amount of moments to make up a legacy that will one day be referred to as "my life". I used to stress about perfect parties & everyone in attendance, mapping trips just so to ensure THE most amazing time all the time, being the absolute best school/team mom so teachers would vote me in the next year for the board, but then I wasn't having an amazing time. I was stressed. Worried about what was supposed to happen next. More concerned was I about the near future than the present.Today, I am committed to being fully present in the now, which means, I'm going to be late.
Multi-tasking over-thinker that is, as you can imagine, often running late.