Finding Inspiration Every Day

I haven’t posted in a long time. I was trying to post often and then the Newton shootings happened and it seemed inappropriate to post anything except what everyone else was writing about it, but then everyone else was writing about it. Then life happened. Then a building collapse in Bangladesh (which increased the number of companies I’m boycotting) and then tornados. And as I write this there is a big fire in Colorado Springs and the evacuation zone currently stops 2 miles from my brother’s house. And, closer to home, I found out recently that someone I knew well had told a big lie about me (which many people apparently believed and which then caused them to act very differently toward me…but hey, at least now I know why…still depressing, though). Alas, the world can be a scary and sad and frustrating place but it can still be a beautiful place.

First, the sky is blue and the clouds are fluffy white today. That’s amazing to me. Clouds have always amazed me. I LOVE being in the window seat on a plane and looking down on the earth but the best is when we’re flying above the clouds and I can just see the shapes, play of light and the miracles that are clouds.

Second, the grass is green. A beautiful green. With clovers and flowers. That’s because we’re in a place that happens to have plenty (and sometimes way too much) rain. I love rain, too. The sound that it makes when it falls. Thunder. Lightning. The best rain sound is on a tin roof, like the roof I had on my house when I lived in a village in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa (1992-1994). Whoa, that was a long time ago.

Third, my kids. They are beautiful in my eyes, smart, funny, clever and talented. They forgive me when I am not in a good mood and play with me when I am. They remind me why I was put on this earth. I look forward to a couple weeks this summer when I can just focus on relaxing and having fun with them without worrying about much else.

And finally, my work (okay, yes, my husband is also inspiring to me, but I don’t know how much you want to read about how in love I am with him and how blessed I am to have him, yadda, yadda, yadda). In my work I get to know expectant and new parents and their babies. I see their faces light up when I let them in on some information that might help them make birth, breastfeeding or parenting easier. I help their babies nurse more comfortably or see mom smile when she tells me she makes more milk perhaps because of a suggestion I gave her. The little things inspire me to keep going…when a small baby gains weight, when a formerly tongue-tied baby latches on better after the revision procedure is done (which doesn’t always happen right away), when a mom gets the natural birth she wanted, when a dad gets to catch his baby and experiences the feeling of being the first person to touch his child…the list goes on.

Life has its ups and downs, that’s for sure. I think it just helps to keep repeating “this too shall pass.” Whether it’s a good time or bad time, it will pass. So enjoy each moment. Some people call that mindfulness. Whatever you want to call it. It’s what makes life worth living.

Fire Truck

The alarms sounded around 11:30pm.  Every smoke detector in the house went off at the same time.  We didn’t smell smoke.  They kept sounding.  Our 12-year-old wasn’t asleep yet, so she came out of her room.  Our 9-year-old didn’t hear it, despite one of the smoke detectors sounding in her room.  Fortunately, although my husband was in his cap and I in my ‘kerchief, we hadn’t yet settled down for our early Spring night’s nap.  As I was dialing the police, the alarms stopped.  We asked them send over the firemen anyways since we weren’t sure why the alarms went off and might as well be safe than sorry.

We have a volunteer squad here in our tiny town, so the police arrived first with smiles.  The eldest daughter apparently went to sleep by this point so missed the ensuing excitement despite my calling upstairs to her to tell her to come down.  The firetruck arrived with lights ablaze and four men in full uniform came in and marched upstairs and downstairs to investigate.  Their voices were loud and still, the kids stayed asleep.  They ultimately decided there was one smoke detector in particular whose battery needed changing so all was okay.   We all laughed and they left.  We took that battery out and it was hot to the touch, so we suspect that had something to do with it, too, since when we usually chance a battery there’s not that issue.

Fire Truck

Fire Truck (Photo credit: Proggie)

This event got us to thinking:

  • we need to consider getting new smoke detectors since they are all more than 10 years old and make sure they are also CO2 detectors (we have a couple CO2 detectors but I can’t tell you where they are or if they are in working order)
  • if we have any issues in the future we need to remember that the kids are unlikely to wake up (the next morning when we told them of the excitement they were bummed and wished they could have seen the guys and the truck)
  • what’s up with those news shows that do a piece on how kids don’t wake up to fire alarms so we need to go out and buy the ones that record our voices yelling their names?  Ummm…when are kids going to be sleeping in a house alone?  I hope never.

By the way, what we find odd (and realize yet again that technology isn’t perfect) is that over the last ten years, this has never happened.  If one battery needs replacing, that smoke detector beeps (even at 2am) until we replace the battery.

OH, and to make matters worse, of course, this happened the NIGHT BEFORE I was scheduled to clean the house.  Really.  Saturday morning, the plan was to clean the house.  Dust, vacuum, organize.  Get rid of the dust bunnies to make room for the Easter Bunny.  But no, it was of course, when the house was a pit that we invited the whole town emergency squad over.  And remember, we live in a small town.  It reminded us of a time many years ago, when both our kids were small and we never had time for dishes and toys were strewn all over the living room floor, where the house alarm went off.  Unfortunately, we were 1/2 hour away at the time.  I remember being on the phone with the security company, who patched in the dispatcher and we could hear the policeman on the phone to the dispatcher in the background.  The dispatcher asked whether it looked like anything had been stolen and he said, “I can’t tell, it’s a mess in here!”  (Umm…yeah, we had two little kids!!!)  O.M.G.  Blush.  Due to his job, my husband knows all the policemen and all the firemen in this small town.  So embarrassing.  And now this.

Moral of the story:  make sure your smoke detectors are working, be sure to wake your kids if there’s a fire and make sure to clean your house every single day…just in case.

Here’s wishing you and your family and your home lots of safe days ahead. Enjoy living in your clean, well-alarmed abode.  We certainly will.