Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
In her words:
“My name is Hewaideh Gharib. I was born in Rochester, N.Y., but raised overseas in Jerusalem, Israel. I now live in Florida with my husband and four beautiful children. Even though I have a full agenda every day, I was able to find a way to manage my time with everything I do.”
ESSAY TOPIC: Is it important for you to make time for yourself?
When I realized it, I asked myself a question, “If I don’t take care of myself, how will I be able to take care of my family?” I started taking care of myself by making a weekly planner. Now, although I have busy days, everything I do is at its own time. Most importantly, I was able to fit in one hour a day for “me time.” Organizing my time helped me get through my day with ease.
Life can be very stressful sometimes. This can affect your body, thoughts, and feelings. Start by taking steps: take time to breathe, go for a walk, relax your body, and tell your mind that everything will be okay. Think of your health because stress can cause physical and mental problems.
It is very important in each and everyone’s lives to make time for themselves. Begin with organizing your time, making a schedule ahead of time every week. Think of your health and happiness because we all need quality time for ourselves. Maintaining our strength is important in order for us to care for our loved ones. So remember, most importantly, to schedule ‘alone time’ for yourself.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Oh dang! I forgot to count the words. Authors are supposed to check their word count, aren’t they? I asked no one in particular. This is just nuts! Who would want to read a memoir about taking care of a mother for the last 3 years? It’s too depressing. What do I do next? Everything seems empty. My time here is done. I’ve finished the final purpose I was meant to do. These thoughts and more tumbled about in the stream of my mind. Sighing heavily, a few fat tears escaped my eyes, precluding the flood of tears that had been dammed up in my tired, weary old soul. Where is the Kleenex when you need one? I thought, wiping my eyes on my old familiar t-shirt. The cats settled down after my crying jag, began their peaceful purr and then, blessedly, a rare thing happened: I fell into a deep sleep.
As we glided deeper into the woodsy swamp, the moon rose and cast a shimmering glow on the many cypress knees that poked up from the shallow water. They seemed almost like little people, with their varying shapes and sizes. Andy guided us smoothly through this little yet crowded village. I became mesmerized by the ghostly beauty of this watery bit of space so was jolted back to reality as something rather large though not long in length landed on my head. ‘Spider! Huge Spider!’ I yelled knowing it couldn’t be a snake, about to slap it off. Andy quickly swung his gator body around, slapped his tail on the water and said, “Don’t!” I had to grab both sides of the rocking kayak to keep from flipping over. A familiar trill of laughter-like sound echoed around as the heaviness lifted from my head. Mouth agape, I sat in stunned silence as an iridescently colored green heron fluttered down onto the tip of Andy’s snout.
“I promised you an adventure,” Andy said, “and here she is! This lovely creature is one of your favorites yet, in this dream, acts as a reflection of the muse in your mind. As you’ve already ascertained, I am the guide in your dreams and as such, shall leave you now since the destination has been reached. Until next time.” With a final slap of his tail, Andy disappeared into the inky blackness of the swamp and the green heron flew over, settling herself onto the hull of my kayak.
Still a bit flummoxed, I sat and stared at this beautiful bird that I had so long admired, though mostly from a distance. Finally, she spoke. “Every time you see one of my kind, you always say, ‘what a beauty!,’ so call me Beauty. When you released the dam that had held back those sad, angry tears, it was a way to honor the sad despair that comes when it feels as if one has been abandoned. I act as a reflection of the life that still dwells within you, one that has been difficult for you to acknowledge. Now is the time for the revelation of your future. It is not bleak or dim and more so, you are not done with your time here on Earth.” I sucked in my breath at her words and learned that, even in dreams, tears can fall.
Shifting a bit in the kayak and hanging on to a nearby cypress knee, I said, “Why does it feel as if I have lived my life, finished all that I was here to do?” In a splash of color, Beauty flew from the kayak onto the branch of a tree, closer to me. “This is important; here me well,” she said. “That is despair talking. Your deeper feelings of despair were held off a bit by the focus that you had towards completing your memoir. As it came closer to being completed, your despair began to emerge and became the only voice that you were able to hear, until now. The death of a loved one usually portends a time of despair, of feeling abandoned, especially for the person who was main caregiver like you were for your mom. For those 3 years, your life was entirely wrapped around the needs of your mother. At her death, your focus became the completion of a final gift for her, writing a book. Now that this is done, a huge void seems to stare at you with no answers to the question, ‘What do I do next?’ Now here is the grace inherent in a journey through grief. The voice of despair gathers together all the depressive emotions contained within an experience of death and loss; it is the bottom step to be reached in a journey through grief that, once experienced, becomes the springboard for your spirit to find its way back into the world. Life is not yet done with you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked with a bit more conviction in my voice. Beauty ruffled up a bit, settling her feathers before saying, “It is not for me to give you specifics as to what your future holds. I can tell you this. Your way forward will present itself in ways that you have not yet experienced. Listen to your head but temper it by pausing and then, follow your heart. Adventures in Mother-Sitting will be read by those who can benefit from your experience. Doors of interesting connections with people from around the world are in your future, as is a very different yet nourishing kind of teaching situation. Live your life as you always have, open-mindedly and with a willingness to go out on a limb, to try new things.
I sat quietly for awhile, taking in the meaning of Beauty’s words. Nodding my head in understanding, I reached out and gently stroked her beautiful feathers saying, “Thank you.”
Thinking that I was still in my dream and that Andy had returned to rock my kayak about, I woke up to realize that the rocking motion came from Max giving a vigorous cleaning to Evie’s head. Laughing out loud, I scooted the cats off my chest and walked over to the computer. Time for a new story and a new chapter in my life, I thought, bringing up Word on my PC. What does come next?