Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Stay in Your Own Lane.

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Girl Warrior. Stay in your own lane. Focus on the task at hand. Concentrate fully on what you want to achieve and accomplish right here and now. Make this your priority. Pay attention. Be alert. Remain vigilant.

Don’t be sidetracked or derailed by the people, places or things that have nothing to do with this particular project or undertaking. This won’t be easy in a world of non-stop distraction. But you’re up for the challenge and you don’t need easy when you’ve got drive and determination in your hip pocket.

There will always be someone cutting into your lane, requesting a piece of you. But if you want to fulfill your dreams and reach your goals then you’ll need to push aside the extraneous noise, enticing diversions, idle amusements, and yes, even all those guilty pleasures. At least for the time being. Or for however long it takes to arrive at your destination.

Girl Warrior, don’t worry about what’s going in someone else’s lane either. That’s none of your business. Quit peeking. Craning your neck. Taking a gander. Glancing over your shoulder. Or worse yet, surreptitiously spying on the performance, power or presentation of others. And most importantly, stop comparing. That’s a fool’s game. So shut that shit down immediately.

Instead, remind yourself of just how incomparable you are Girl Warrior. And keep your eyes on the road ahead, as you cruise down the highway of infinite possibilities.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: 20 Things to Love About Yourself.

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At the end of November my beautiful daughter-in-law (DIL) sent an interesting Facebook message to my two daughters and me. This message was actually a challenge. It was something she herself had been challenged to do in her fitness class that week, and one that she found extremely difficult. When I read that, my first thought was that “if this incredible young women finds a “fitness” challenge difficult,” then I’m dead meat. No way Jose. Not going to happen for this Old Broad (OB). Then when I read “the challenge” I was even more convinced that this was something I could not do.

What was so challenging about “the challenge”?

Everything. Why? Because it requires that you take a long hard, uncompromising, honest, candid, truthful and LOVING look at yourself. Both physically and non-physically. And come up with ten things for each that you like about yourself. I’m not even talking love here. Just, like. A little nod to one of your more redeeming attributes, a mere mention of some cute little trait or charming characteristic. You know the thing I’m talking about. That endearing eccentricity that your family mutters under their collective-breath at family gatherings, “There it is.” We all have those, right. But as my DIL said in her note, “It’s amazing how in 2 seconds you can name a million things about family, friends and even people you’ve just met, but to name 20 things about yourself is HARD!”

She’s right. It’s easy-peasy to find 20 things about someone else that are admirable and praiseworthy, both physically and non-physically. But try pointing the lens back at yourself and it is damn near impossible. At least for me.

But this is a new year. And I’ve decided that this is the year that I will challenge myself more. Go out on that fragile limb and do things. Face uncertainty head-on. Take some risks. Do things a little, or a lot, differently than I have in the past. Some of these things I know are going to scare the shit right out of me. And at my age this could seriously happen.

Other things, I’m going to do because they’ll be good for me. Like eating more vegetables and less meat, especially the stuff that causes the unnecessary death of cute animals. This is a dilemma for me because I think all animals, and many plants, are cute. And if you think I’m being facetious, check out Marimos. They are freakin’ adorable. So are Baby Lichens. Then there’s Venus Flytraps. Not all that cute but extremely interesting. Like the dark-haired girl wearing uncool glasses in a roomful of Barbie’s with big boobs. I can relate to the V-Flies.

And then there are those things I’ve been putting off for years, decades even. You know the things, the “I’ll do that someday” stuff. All the stuff you make excuses for, that possibly involve some kind of weird time and space continuum. I have no idea what that is but it sounds like it may apply here, and very likely every aspect of my life to date. But I do plan to make a heroic attempt, and at the very least, confront some of these things that I’ve been putting off and maybe quite conceivably, should all the stars line up just right, get around to it. Perhaps.

As for the 10 physical things and the 10 non-physical things I like about myself? I haven’t a clue. I only know that it will require me to be as kind and loving with myself as I am with others. I will need to be as gentle and gracious, understanding and big-hearted, caring and compassionate, forgiving and magnanimous to me as I am to you and you and you, and the person I’ve just met. For this is all the great big important stuff that is at the very heart of “the challenge.” Maybe, just maybe, that’s why it’s so difficult.

And as my wise, witty and wonderful DIL said, it’s easier to come up with these things about someone else then it is about yourself. So I thought I’d do it for her.

10 Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Big beautiful smile
  2. Gorgeous hair
  3. Killer abs
  4. Cute freckles
  5. Dazzling blue eyes
  6. Tiny waist
  7. Artistic hands
  8. Infectious laugh
  9. Melodic voice
  10. Magnificent fit figure

10 Non-Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Loving-kindness
  2. Generosity
  3. Compassion
  4. Thoughtfulness
  5. Gentleness
  6. Intelligence
  7. Creativity
  8. Humor
  9. Courage
  10. Warmth and wonder

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Open Your Heart Wide and Let in the Love.

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Girl Warrior. Go where your heart leads you. And don’t run from its softness. Let it be tender. Kind. Compassionate. Gentle. Extend your hand to another and grab on tight. Then let go. Therein lies your strength.

Love again. Then again. And again. You don’t have to get it right. Or perfect. Just let love come naturally. Accept that sometimes it will hurt. Don’t let this frighten you. Don’t push it away. Or turn your back. Don’t give up on it. Most importantly, learn to recognize love when it comes your way. It doesn’t always come gift-wrapped.

Your power to love is your secret weapon.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Get a Kick Out of Life.

Abby and Melissa Snow Day

Girl Warrior. Get a kick out of life. Have fun. Find things that amuse and delight you. Not just once and awhile. But every day. Don’t put it off for the weekend. For vacation. Or another time. Hoot and holler right now. Find your zippity doo dah.

Make a joyful sound. Cause a ruckus. Bang on your drum all day. Laugh your guts out. Until you cry. Embrace happiness. Enjoy the people you’re with right this very second.

Let them see your playful radiant blithe heart.

Cheryl Girl Warrior Feature b&w

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Stare Down Your Fears.

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Girl Warrior.  Stare down your fears. Look them straight in the eyes. Laugh at them. Call their bluff. Walk right through them. Don’t go around. Don’t avoid. Face them head-on. Take a deep breath. Or a hundred breaths.

Make your move. And keep moving. Shaky legs, a racing heart, lump in the throat or dry mouth are just the silly antics of fear. Not real. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Find your brave heart and take it into battle. Give yourself a hug.

Then go out and kick some ass.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Be in the Moment.

Intimate mother-daughter moment. Photo by Stephanie Hull, Centric Photography.

Intimate mother-daughter moment. Photo by Stephanie Hull, Centric Photography.

Girl Warrior.  Be present. Fully engaged. Right here. Right now. Don’t waste one single solitary second being anywhere else than where you are at this very instant. For this is all you truly have.

The past is done. You can love what once was but don’t live there. Don’t fret over the things you regret. Or worry about all those woulda coulda shoulda things either. They have nothing to do with the way things are today.

The future is out there. Somewhere. But it is not yet yours. It’s merely part of the exquisite possibilities. Not the beautiful bird already in your hand. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have dreams. Or plans. And schemes. Goals and aspirations are worthwhile. And may one day lead to your success. But if you spend all your days living in tomorrow and squander this precious hour, then in the end you have lost the greatest gift of all.

Awaken all your senses to “the now” Girl Warrior. And just be.

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Diaries of the Breadman’s Daughter: Wide-eyed Wonder.

 

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The exquisite thing about aging is the reawakening of wide-eyed wonder.

All the oohs and aahs of life seen through my own magical gaze. And not those of my children or grandchildren.

For decades I saw everything through the eyes of the young in my charge. Enchanting as the dust of fairies. Dazzling as the diamonds in the sky. All things spellbinding and sparkly, cast from the wands of wizards.

I saw it all through their crystal-clear unfettered perspective. It was a beautiful awe-inspiring view. A sacred privilege, the memory of which I hold dear in my mind’s eye, and as close to my heart as humanly possibly.

But now, all things fascinating, enthralling and magnificent, dreamy and delightful are again fresh and new, heaven-sent and divine.

Like never before.

I see the world around me as if for the very first time, with my own precious child-eyes. It fills my heart with such gladness.