Thursday, October 13, 2011

Waking Up to the Dreams That Are Today.

Not too long ago, I had a blog reader ask me why I'm so hard on myself.  This was a question that still hasn't left me.  It just kind of sits on my shoulder and from time to time I reflect on the answer that I would give if I knew exactly what it was.  The truth is, I AM hard on myself. Probably too hard.  But I suppose this is one of the things that makes me me.  One of the things that keeps me climbing.  Keeps me making new goals and dreaming big.  It is also one of those things that keeps me from realizing the dreams and goals that have already come true.  The dreams of yesterday that are here today.  The ones I'm living NOW!  The dreams and goals that I set for myself years ago.  The present.  Today. 

Last night I went to bed feeling guilty for so many things.  
Not being calm and patient enough with my kids.
Focusing too much on the negative behaviors instead of the positives.  
A cookie party that wasn't "good enough".
A messy house.
Being on the computer too much.
Not reading enough.
Freaking out on my son for his many episodes of throwing, hitting, and causing havoc.  
Very Little Grace.  

I woke up after a dream (I'll explain below) with so much heartache and such a deep sense of loss and pain.  Although I was so relieved that my dream wasn't reality, the intense feelings lingered in my heart and it was heavy with the hurt that would have been.  I also felt such a renewed sense of hope and opportunities for fresh starts! My heart, sore from my dream, was also full of gratitude and love.  For myself and my family. I woke up prepared to be present and enveloped in the dreams of TODAY and not getting so wrapped up in the dreams for tomorrow.  

Fresh Starts.

After sharing my dream with my husband and asking him to just hug me for a bit, I crawled into bed with my oldest daughter and I held her.  I smelled her hair and listened to her breath....felt her warmth. I looked into her sleeping face and remembered her as a baby.  And I realized that it had been so long since I'd really stopped to do that with her. Life has become so crazy that I often find myself just doing a lot of "directing" with her.  "Do your homework!  Read.  Be a good friend.  What do you say when someone gives you something?  Calm down.  Don't forget to get your socks on for soccer."  When was the last time that I just stopped to hold her, my sweet baby girl that is growing into a young lady?  I. Can't. Remember.  

The rest of the morning was rushed and crazy but I was present.  And the computer stayed off, the e-mails waited, and I was fully connected to my children and the start of the day.  And all was great. 

Then my son threw a bowl of Grape Nuts all over the walls, floor and his sister and hell broke loose again.  I cried.  And cried.  And cried.  Must have been the dream...usually, I don't just start crying like a baby.   

After I dropped my daughter off, I had about 10 minutes to journal about my dream.  I've had many of you tell me that your favorite posts of mine are the ones when I share my journal writing, my goals, and my gratitude.  The personal stuff.  I don't mind sharing either.  What I don't want to happen is for me to start changing how I write in my journal because I'm thinking about "sharing" it.  I want to make sure I continue to use my journal for ME and write without inhibition.  Free.  For ME.  And if it so happens that it is share worthy, then so be it.  This is important to me.  To not lose myself for the sake of sharing myself with others.  

This morning's journal:
Woke up from an awful and painful dream.  Death.  Loss.  Love.  What really  The last part was of me holding on to Elliana, my first born, my baby.  She was falling asleep but (dying).  I knew this was my last moment with her.  The PAIN.  So incredibly painful...I remember screaming out that it was breaking me.  Breaking my heart.  So literally "breaking me",
a feeling of Pain
Heartbreak  Heart BREAK. 
The most painful grief or feeling of my life.  
I just held onto her so tightly and took in every. Single. thing about her.  
As if I was STARVING and grabbing for a last crumb or drinking up the last drop of water after being without for so long. 
Letting go was so seemingly 
IMPOSSIBLE to do without feeling 
I would die too.  I suppose a piece of me would die forever.  

When I opened my eyes and realized it was a dream, my life seemed different than it did yesterday.  I knew how blessed I have been.  I was/am hyper aware of the love that surrounds me and how easy it is to get caught up in the rush of life, the every day grind, 
setting new goals,
moving on to the next big thing,
looking back.  
sometimes forgetting to just 
STOP and LOOK at the Now.  
Hold tight.  Soak up the dreams we are living TODAY.  

If I look back, I realize that the goals and dreams I had for myself years ago are NOW.
Wife to my best friend

NOW.  Happy.  Now.  Content.  Today.  
Living the Dreams of TODAY.   
So Thankful.  


Now I have this moment of quiet time to sit and reflect and BE with myself and I'm so grateful for the day.  I'm sure I'll always be seeking Balance, setting goals, and dreaming big...that's okay. Great even.  But I'm thankful for wake-up calls like today that remind me that my goals and dreams of yesterday have already come true and I should be enjoying them.  



  1. Amazing you are! Thank you so much for sharing so much of you and helping us all remember!!! Thank you for helping me remember. Much love to you today!!

  2. Wow. this brought tears to my eyes--and typically, only animals can do that with me! You are my hero in the reflection department. "Stay in the present" always makes think of you and is a wonderful reminder!

  3. You are so raw Amanda. I truly look to you to bring me back to the now. So many times I am locked in the past and constantly thinking about the future. I feel like I wish the day away which is not good for me, my husband or my kids. Thank you for reminding me to be in the present. xoxoxo!

  4. You are Am Amazing introspective person. I am the EXACT same way. Your Nightmare was intense and I knew that's what it was about when you wrote that hugged her tightly before she woke up. We all get caught up in life. It passes so quickly. You took that moment, you embraced those incredibly hard dark moments of the nightmare and shook your reality. Sometimes always meant to be. A light into your heart and soul letting you know that you need to recognize right now. It all happens at the right times. This was meant to happen right now. Embrace the Power of it all.
    Connie @

  5. Beautiful girl! I've read this a few times already! I'll be back later:)

  6. Now is HARD. Really hard!

    I have a magnet on my fridge that reads:
    Yesterday is History
    Tomorrow is Mystery
    Today is a Gift.

    Now if I can just live by that daily, I'm all set!

    I'm sorry about both the nightmare and the Grape Nuts. Maybe next time try warm Grape Nuts? HUGE hit in this house. ;-)

  7. I am SO glad I stumbled upon your blog a couple days ago! you are amazing!

  8. This post, like so many of your posts, is absolutely beautiful. It brought me to tears and helped to remind me what truly matters and what I must remember everyday. Thank you so much for this, Amanda.

  9. I totally understand why you ended up in bed hugging your sleeping daughter. Dreams like that are so disturbing - they can feel so real and leave a lasting impact after you've woken. But they can be a blessing in disguise - a reality check to appreciate what we've got now. And that's exactly what you did. It's good that Sam gave you an excuse to vent all those emotions. Sometimes a good cry can be so cathartic.

  10. I need to call u and tell u of a similar experience I had last month. This post made me cry. I go to sleep feeling guilty for those exact same things SO often! I am glad someone can relate. Steve says I'm crazy but a mothers heart can hold so much guilt. I have had similar experiences lately that help me to see I NEED to slow down and enjoy the every day moments with my girls or else I will wake up one day and they will be grown up and gone. The thought makes my heart ache. I will be pondering on this for a while. I do think experiences like this that we have are an intervention from a loving father in heaven to help us stay on track with what is most important. Thank u for sharing. So many people will benefit from this post. Love you. Xxx

  11. nice post!

    I wish God would take all Mommie guilt away. Life if short, let the guilt go, and enjoy the moment.

  12. Love this post. I dream so much, all the time. Deep and inspiring, dreadful and ugly. They always echo my awake life in some ways. Good for you putting it out there and allowing it to remind you to get some hugs in.

  13. Lovely expression of such a raw string of events...big hugs for such hard moments and such a difficult dream (been in both places myself). You're such a incredible person, Amanda. Savor the day, taste each and every moment. Love.

  14. Dreams can be so real. The ones that involve death, or something I would NEVER do, those cause me to really stop and think.

    I am thankful for your reminder today to live in the NOW.

  15. Oh this post spoke to me on so many levels. The being hard on myself, the mom guilt, the thought of losing a child. Being a mom is so hard sometimes. Thanks for opening up because I think a lot of us feel this way too and it helps to know we are not alone.

  16. amanda, gosh, if us as moms could figure out how to let go of 'if only I was a better mom...if only I did this better...did that better...was more like "X" ", than I think we would have more time to really 'be' where we are in the MOMENT and really enjoy it. I know I was picking up toys today feeling guilty about not being the mom I want to be. I too, can be hard on myself. Too hard. Thank you again, for sharing the 'inner you'. Not many of us do. The grapenuts? I would have lost it too. Thanks for the reminders.

    Hope you can make brunch on Sunday! let me know if you or anyone else is coming with you. Would love to hang out.

    (hugs), amanda. Have a great day tomorrow, living in the present!!

  17. I believe that so many of us who are Mum's have these feelings at the end of a day. I think that's why we are good parents because we constantly reflect on what went well, what didn't and what was just so. You know Amanda that we can never change our make up especially when we are constantly striving to improve, learn, teach and do. I totally understand how you felt at the end of your day. Funny I came home from a Parents Centre meeting very late last night and went into just watch my babies sleep and I still can't believe how lucky I am to have these beautiful little people who are mine. Keep up the wonderful writing. Lots of love and hugs Kristalee xx

  18. Finally, I'm back...

    "Great post" sounds extremely tacky so I'll say GREAT description of your feelings. Capturing. Extremely well written...I'm brought back in time here a few years.

    Wow, what a dream. I've NEVER had a dream like this but I can see where it would leave an indelible mark. Ahhh-I'm sad just thinking about you crying and the grape nuts.

    Love your reflection on your past goals and how you are now living them. Really, Amanda. Everything you've ever wanted right in front of you. LUCKY lady. Love you! Working on a catchup email!

  19. Dreams like that can be so disturbing! Always make me so grateful to wake up and realize it was just a dream, but they tend to stick with you a while.

    When you were talking about your mommy guilt and your oldest child I found myself nodding in agreement and understanding. I so often feel the same way with my son - always "directing" him. Sometimes I just grab him to cuddle like we used to all the time - taking the time to reconnect with him.

    Thank you for sharing Amanda!

  20. Oh this is so touching. I think women, in general, can be so hard on themselves. YOU ARE AMAZING!! You truly are.

    And thank you for that link to the photography blog! I totally entered a photo. :-) Thanks for thinking of me! See? See how amazing you are??

  21. i love your spirit, your thoughts and reflections always make me want to just reach out and hug you with hopes that your ability to be the awesome woman you are rubs off on me a bit. dreams can really shake us to our core sometimes and then allow us to stop and get back to reality. your children are very lucky to have such a wonderful woman leading them through life.

  22. I love your reflections and your tenacity to continue to be the best mom you can! Your kiddos are going to turn out to be amazing, big hearted peeps! :)

  23. Thanks for sharing your journal again.

    I can relate to being hard on yourself, at least running wise. I set a marathon PR last weekend, but I've been a little pissed that my race didn't go nearly as well as planned.

  24. Great post! You are hard on yourself but that is one reason you excel at everything you do.

    Your dream was sad and your reaction sweet. Taking time to slow down and be still is a great idea. Reminded me of the song Rise by Robbie Seay. If you haven't heard it, search for it on YouTube.

  25. Dear sweet Amanda-I just read your running story and it brought tears to my eyes. Isn't it amazing how fragile + resilient we are...all at once? I am so glad that you have come full circle in your (running) life...your connection to your dad through running is a gift.
    Thanks so much for encouraging your (artist) mom to blog and for recommending my blog to her. Thanks also for sharing so much of your deepest SELF with us through your blog. I read this post and felt a connection to your's when we share our true selves/our deepest stories...that we heal ourSELVES and others. xxx

  26. P.S. I used to be a runner too but had a knee injury. thinking ...maybe I can get back to it one day:)

  27. Oh geez, I've had those dreams before, of someone dying and the feeling of not wanting to let go. You wake up feeling raw and realizing that you can't let another second go without telling that person you love them.
    Thanks for the reminder to stay focused on the present and not get caught up in life in general. :)