Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The People In Our Lives Who Bring Us True Joy


We're experiencing a mild cold spell in the northwest that is making things in the pasture and turnouts a bit icy.  Yesterday, I walked Tumbleweed up and down the barn aisle to give him his little bit of exercise.  He'd love to be let go to run, but that would be ill-advised.  I think all the horses are getting a bit stiff and stir-crazy right now.

But the days are getting longer, and that is a welcome change.  Yesterday, it was super-charged sunny here until about 5:00 pm. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised.

I've continued organizing closets and drawers, doing one or two each day to keep from being overwhelmed.  I've found so many precious items--memories--that had been buried and somewhat lost.  

One of the treasures I uncovered was a set of DVD's of my children's lives.  They were in an odd format, so I've had to reformat them using a special program, then put them through Windows Live Movie Maker and save them as .mov files.  It has been so fun to watch my kids when they were little.  They crack me up.  I was good at just letting the camera run and capturing the day-to-day stuff, rather than just the big stuff like sports games and music recitals.  It's the day-to-day stuff that I find the most fun to watch now.  I plan to make them each a DVD with these clips when I'm finished.

I guess what I'm most happy about, watching the old movies, is that I was a loving mom.  You can hear it in my voice, and the way I interact with each of them--and it brings back so many memories of my deep love and appreciation of them.  Going through a divorce, you can start to doubt those things, but I shouldn't have.  There are not too many people in this world that follow behind you and take your hand during the dark moments, reminding you that you're a good person.  My grown children do that for me, my husband--and I am so thankful for that.

Last night, my husband and I played a little game.  I've been writing a lot of poetry off of random "word prompts," and I thought it would be fun to see what he'd write with the same prompts--words like "London" and "pink".  But it quickly morphed into us taking turns giving each other our own, random prompts, then listening to what memories those words evoked.  We had so much fun, and I learned so many wonderful, minute details of his life--and him mine.  We did it for two hours, and would have gone longer, but my daughter stopped by after work for some of my homemade lasagna, and we visited with her.  

It did strike me, however, that we watch so much television--other people's lives--when we have these wonderful human beings, we chose to spend our lives with, sitting right next to us--the people who have our back in life--that care if we live or die--that care if we're struggling or doubting ourselves--and they have all these stories to tell us.  It's worth taking the time to listen. 

In fact, this all kind of fits into the concept of decluttering and deciding what brings you "joy" in life and what you want to take forward with you.  Time is a precious and limited commodity. I have managed it well these last few years with my horses, but this year I plan to manage it better with my loved ones. 

I also plan to not squander it on people who don't have my best interest at heart.

8 comments:

  1. How precious those DVD's will be as your children grow older!

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    1. Very much so. They were wonderful children and they’re wonderful adults. I’ve been pretty blessed.

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  2. I've got to reformat my videos of the children onto DVD's. You're right we are blessed with wonderful children and lucky to share their lives with them now that they're grown with children of their own. A lot of people have told me over the years how "lucky" I am to have such good kids. I tell them luck had nothing to do with it, it was a lot of hard work. But it has paid off.

    We should all un-glue from the TV and spend more time with each other. Time marches on.

    We've been having ridiculous weather here. It was -8 last night and going up to 13 today. WooHoo! The horses are miserable but they keep themselves warm by eating constantly.

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    1. I’ve been watching the weather back there, it’s awful. Today’s temps sound balmy comparatively. We have a lot of winter left, so who knows what we’ll see happen. I feel bad for the horses when it gets cold like that.

      I imagine you have pretty wonderful kids! Mine are very positive, hard working, and encouraging of others. They never talk badly. Just extremely loving. I always considered that the highest praise you could give someone. ❤️ Their significant others are the same way—so apparently, like attracts like. ❤️ Yay for that!

      Getting these home movies ready for them has been an absolute blast. I’ve laughed until I cried over and over. Very time consuming, but they’re already enjoying the little snippets I’ve sent their way. Good luck doing the same with yours!! Good memories are worth gold!

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  3. Awww, you & your hubby are so sweet together! I would love to have our family memories that are stored on VHS and other various tape formats, reformatted,. It is soooo daunting that I just keep procrastinating. I only wish I was working from DVD, mine go back to the stone age! I like the idea of making each kid their own, they will no doubt be treasured. Congrats to you, for putting in the time!! With 3 kids, our wedding etc...I have stacks & stacks of saved tapes. My kids think I should just send them off to Costco or similar to reformat, but I just can't trust they won't be lost. Plus, I recall many "floor shots" and moments we really don't need saved. Not sure exactly what is on which tape. They are labeled, but I recall running out of room and using whatever tapes I had on hand. I would prefer viewing them first, editing, organizing and deleting parts that don't matter. IMO it's too personal to hand off to a stranger. I suppose I should get started, maybe next week ;) I hope your winter weather continues to be mild!!

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    1. Believe it or not, I did hand mine off to strangers. 😂 probably shouldn’t have because there were some personal moments when my kids were born, but I had several odd formats and no way to transfer them myself. I gave them to a local company about fifteen years ago, and they transferred them to DVD in another odd format that wasn’t meant for computer. They also just smashed them all together in hour and half blocks. Some of it was pure waste—not even important and didn’t even have anything to do with my family. So, it was never suitable for sit down viewing with the family. Now, it’s better formatted for computer than tv. But yes, it is a lot of work. The benefit is that your kids will love watching them. ❤️ Good luck!

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  4. I love seeing videos and photos of the kids when they were little doing kid things. Those are precious. Every now and then I am overwhelmed with memories form that time. I found it especially true when I was sitting by Amanda’s hospital bed.

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    1. I can only imagine. The older we get, and life slows down, and the kids are seen less often, the memories do come pouring back. And really, just the good ones. I’m not one who would like to turn the clock back, but I do wish I could relive certain key moments of happiness with my children.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.