OHBD 2015

OHBD 2015

Friday, March 25, 2016

Nothing Gold Can Stay -- RIP Bella

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost

Bella literally bounced into our lives as a tiny two pound ball of fur.  She stole every single person’s heart that first day.  She was the complete embodiment of everything good in this world.
  • She loved unconditionally everyone who she identified as hers. Each expression of adoration was as unique as the person it was directed toward.  We all thought she slept with us because she would bed hop during the night looking after her beloveds.
  • She embraced life with abandon.  Nothing was half way with her, whether jumping two feet in the air in welcome or the hopes of a treat, or racing around crazily at top speed with amazing turning ability to burn off steam or to entice someone to play with her.
  • She knew home is wherever her family was.  She traveled the world with us including two assignments in Luxembourg and France and countless hotels in the EU and the US.  If we were with her, she was home.
  • She was liquid joy which was contagious.  It was hard not to smile around her and be uplifted.  She was always happy to see one of hers return whether from a two week trip or a walk around the block.  
  • She fully understood we were better together.  She was most content and settled when we were all in the same place just relaxing as a family.  She had a way of making those times extra special with her presence.
  • She wanted to be our protector which was humorous given her diminutive size and her general fear of anything bigger than herself.  She would keep look out all day for unexpected visitors at the front door or the back yard.  It was both funny and touching.
  • She sensed when someone was sick or down.  She would give that person more of her precious time and attention.  She would stick to them like glue until she was sure that person was back to normal and her vigilance no longer needed.
So it seems so unbelievably unfair that on the day when Bella suddenly and inexplicably breathed her last breath, I cannot sink my tear soaked face into her sweet, soft fur as I have done on countless occasions over the years.  I need her comfort now more than I could have imagined and she is gone.

Bella was solid gold.  I wish it were not so but nothing gold can stay.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Taking Care of Self is the Key to Success in All Areas

Since I was a teen, I had beautiful long nails.  I was genetically blessed with fingernails that were thick and strong.  With a bit of care, they would grow to enviable lengths. I enjoyed painting them every imaginable hue.  I nurtured them and loved hearing the compliments as well as the question, "Are they real?"

During those adolescent years, they were a sign of beauty I could honestly claim when my hair, my face and my body were not as I wished.  My nails were also a creative outlet as I could use them as accessories, color coordinating with my makeup and clothes.  I embraced a rainbow of possibilities. I loved rotating 10 or more shades preferring a bold and attention getting palate.  I even hand modeled for a brief period.
As college and searching for my path in life challenged me, I saw my nails as a symbol of how I wished the world would see me: beautiful, strong and unique.  When I became a mom, maintaining my nails became a luxury of my previous life that was just too difficult to maintain. My nails immediately showed if they were not given consistent, proper care.  They peeled, chipped, and broke.  I gave in to the message they sent me.  With the limited investment I could make as a new mother, I needed to settle for short, natural nails. I also felt deep down perhaps manicures were now a bit of a frivolous use of energy when there were so many important obligations calling to me
However, as my firstborn grew into a more independent toddler, I again found the time as well as the joy of length and polish.  My approach was more practical at this stage; I stuck with muted colors where chips would not easily show.  I also was okay with short and natural if they were healthy.  I no longer wanted to garner attention.  But rather, I was content to just enjoy their beauty -- more appreciated because of the hiatus.   
Over two more kids and lots of health and work challenges, I noticed a pattern. If my life was well managed, my nails were long, healthy and meticulously polished.  When I took on too much, was in transition, or in the eye of storm of three kids and two careers, my nails became ragged and broken; a reflection of where I was. 
I maintain them now but don’t take it too seriously.  I garden, play piano and do many things that involve using my fingers as tools.  However, when I look down at my hands, I see instruments that have played many melodies in my life.  They still gives me much satisfaction.  I have learned I let the decorative piece go sometimes if my schedule gets out of control, keeping them healthy is always a priority. Now it is for different reasons.  I have nothing to prove to the world.  But I do know I need to take care of myself to be a success at home or at work; and my fingers let me know how well I am doing.