Turning The Tide Of Childhood–The Apron Strings are Loosed

I think of my younger daughter as exceptionally healthy, but maybe she just doesn’t fuss about being sick. She has certainly had her share of colds where she went along her way, just used a lot of tissues. She gave me the biggest scare of any of my children when she had a febrile seizure when she was 13 months old and on vacation.

We were in Florida in July and we went to a wildlife park. Near the end of our visit, we got tickets to go on a boat and see monkeys, lemurs, and gibbons up close on little islands. The animals won’t go in the water, so they are not actually caged, just moated, as the case may be. As we waited for the boat, my daughter ran around energetically, keeping herself busy in the 92 degree heat. Once on the boat, about twenty feet from the dock, she had a seizure.

The captain returned immediately to the dock, but was so shaken that he refused to take the boat back out and it was the last tour of the day. I took no notice as I was running towards the front of the park. We got there before the ambulance and I spoke on the phone with the dispatcher who instructed me in ensuring my baby was still breathing, etc.

It was a long ambulance ride and a rough couple of days ensuring that she was ok. There were no pediatric ER doctors there, which ultimately resulted in more tests than she actually needed. In the end, she was fine once she was re-hydrated and had some medicine for her fever. Back home our pediatrician was nonchalant, telling us the virus was very common and easily diagnosed. The only long-term advice was to give her rotating/overlapping doses of Motrin and Tylenol whenever she had a fever until she was 8 years old to prevent another seizure.

Later illnesses all seemed to follow the same pattern (and fortunately she never had another febrile seizure). When she would get a virus that made her vomit, she couldn’t take even a sip of water or a tiny ice chip without retching. The first time this happened, I took her to the pediatrician and she got an anti-emetic shot. That did it. She was out like a light bulb for 36 hours and then awoke “cured”.  This happened a few times, but not since she was about 8 years old.

So, when I heard her coughing in the middle of the night, I thought it was her newly-diagnosed asthma (one which we hope is an isolated response to a virus during a polar vortex during basketball season). In the morning, I went to get her up and asked if she was feeling ok. She didn’t respond to me, so I spoke louder and told her it was time to get up. Her response was an indignant, “I can’t go to school today, I’ve been throwing up and the rule is I can’t go back to school for 24 hours!”

Almost 13 years after having that febrile seizure, when I woke every hour to check on her and gave her medication every three hours, she is now letting me sleep when she is sick. I feel it is a new milestone…she still needs her mom, but she’s getting quite independent too.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the silver-lining on the way to the empty nest!

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If Only I Could Bottle Her Enthusiasm

Oh if only I could bottle her enthusiasm and give it back to her down the road when she most needs it. My younger daughter actually said, “I’ll never be this excited about school again!” Then she paused and added, ” At least not until I go to college.” I do believe her, which is why I wish I could save that moment and bring it back at will. Partly, she’s just fed up with Eighth Grade and all the work involved. I hate to tell her that high school will be harder, but I think she knows that. At this moment, it matters not. She got into her sister’s alma mater and signed up for her classes today. Then I bought her a quarter-zip and sweatpants from the spirit shop. It was a heavenly experience. She hasn’t been this excited since I told her that I had tickets to the One Direction Concert last year.

We started off at the sports table where she put down her name and contact information on the volleyball, basketball, and softball lists. We then proceeded to check  in and pick up about a dozen more pieces of paper, including the tryout schedule for sports, the course guide, tuition contract, etc. At that point we split up and she was interviewed while I signed up in the computer lab for access to my daughter’s schedule and grades. The interview was mostly a get-to-know-you exercise, and then we joined back up to wait for a counselor.

Her first year’s schedule is mostly required coursework, but her electives and extra-curriculars show her real interests. She’ll take Freshman Biology, not a required course, but perfect for love of science. Where my older daughter took art every semester, I see my younger daughter taking lots of science. Next up was choosing a language. She has had both French and Spanish in school, but mostly Spanish. I shared with her my dilemma in choosing between the two and recommended she take Spanish. I told her that once she mastered it, she could learn French too. When asked by the counselor, she chose Spanish. She’ll have to test to see whether she’s ready for level 2 or has to start at level 1.

After including all of the required courses, she had one semester class yet to fill. Most Freshwomen take swimming, the only required gym class. An alternative is advanced swimming and weight training. She really liked the idea of taking weights, but then thought of putting off gym until the following year so that she could fit in an acting class. She was struggling with the choice when it dawned on me what the real issue was. I asked the counselor if my daughter could try out for plays even without taking the acting class. When she said “Of course!”, my daughter’s eyes lit up. So, swimming it is. She may need to get in some practice before fall in order to stay in the advanced class and not drop back to the regular one, but there’s time for that.

My daughter is drawn to activity and her high school offers plenty. The real key to her success will be time management and commitment to getting her school work done and not just focusing on sports and acting. One of my joys in parenting is offering my children the opportunity to find their own strengths and the encouragement to reach their potential.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in watching the journey unfold for those you love!

Out-Growing The Bunk Beds

It is time to upgrade my younger daughter’s room from one best suited to a pre-teen to one appropriate for a teen. The first thing that has to go is the bunk beds. I had high hopes for the usefulness of the bunk beds, and the matching trundle, when I bought them many years ago for my son. They did become critically important for a 14-month stretch when we had to move out of our house during renovations and we only had a tiny bedroom available for both girls to share. Other than that, the top bunk has gotten limited use.

The bunk beds got handed down, ultimately landing with my younger daughter. Now it’s time to get rid of them. My son helped me to un-bunk them the other day. We took out the ladder, mattresses, particle board platforms and the bed slats and tried to twist and turn the upper bunk out of the room. Soon I came to the conclusion that there was no way to get the beds out of the room without disassembling them. This became a project for another day.20130905-175148.jpg

This week, my daughter and I found the right tool to remove the long screws holding the pieces together. They had been overly tightened and partially stripped the last time they were moved, so this was quite a time-consuming and frustrating process, but with good teamwork and a will to get it done, the two of us finally managed to take everything apart and move the pieces to another room.20130905-175158.jpg

The bed I was planning to use in her room is a very old, twin bed that we bought from the people from whom we bought our house. One twin is in our guest room and the other was in the attic. My son, helpfully, had brought all the pieces down and I had cleaned them off earlier in the week, so I tried to piece the four parts together: headboard, footboard, and two side pieces. The head and footboards had dowel holes and the side pieces had two dowels and a pointed metal rod sticking out of each end. I pushed the pieces together, but just couldn’t get them to fit snugly. Next I got a rubber mallet and started swinging away. I found this very stress-reducing in general, but frustrating because it made no difference in getting the bed together.

20130905-175115.jpg I gave up for the evening and when I awoke in the morning, it dawned on me that the pointed metal parts were actually threaded and the mechanism to wind them into the head and footboards was simple enough to use. With this knowledge, and a slim screwdriver to use as a lever, it took me only five minutes to put together the bed. A lot easier to assemble than the much more modern bunk beds, as long as you know what you are doing!

With the bed together, I only need to pop the box spring and mattress into place, then it will be ready for the fun part. My daughter has picked out a sophisticated cover for the bed with a passport theme…reflecting her love of travel.

My daughter and I have many other ideas for her room…and with teamwork and knowing which tools to use, we should manage just fine.

Find the Joy in the Journey!

 

Being 17 Years Old

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was convinced that I’d have the baby on my 32nd birthday. After all, my son came 4 days before his due date and my daughter’s due date was four days after my birthday…it seemed to be destiny. Except it wasn’t. I ate spicy food. I did hand-stands, I tried all the harmless ways to induce my child to be born on my birthday…but indeed, labor started a moment after midnight when my birthday had passed. She was born two days past my birthday and in December rather than November. One thing that she couldn’t change, however, was being born a Sagittarian…woo hoo, a minor victory for mom.

Which is not to say that we are similar in temperament or talent. At least we went through childhood on the same schedule, being the same age at each milestone, right?…but no, we didn’t do that either. I hated being one of the oldest kids in my class growing up…well, I  probably didn’t mind at first and I certainly didn’t mind getting my driver’s license early or hitting 18 early…but I was really frustrated by my senior year in high school to not be in college already. So, with my daughter, I monitored her progress carefully and she was ready for Kindergarten before her fifth birthday, so off she went. That means that now she is going off to college at an age where I was just starting my senior year of high school.

I don’t really remember much about my senior year except that I didn’t get into AP English and I wrote a lot of essays for college. Not getting into the English class was devastating and inexplicable…until I found out from my English teacher that my essay was fabulous, but they thought I was too shy and wouldn’t participate much in class. Within two weeks of the year, my English teacher acknowledged that it had been a mistake as I was the most engaged person in her class. I wonder if I might have taken a completely different path in college if I’d been allowed to take AP English. Instead, even knowing that English was my passion, I applied only to engineering schools. My rationale was that I needed a challenge and I hadn’t gotten one in high school.

When it comes to my children, I always try to assure them that the choices they make won’t doom them to a single path in life…not to get too stressed about their choice of college major. I’ve learned that I am happy where I am today and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without the life experiences I’ve had.  But I do think it’s important to stick to something until you can come to a logical conclusion. I finished my engineering degree even though I found it even more challenging than I’d hoped. Then I moved on.

My daughter has always been an artist and it’s no surprise that she took a lot of art in high school and looked at college as a place to continue her work. I have encouraged her over the years to try many types of art. So, although she’s had plenty of drawing, painting, and sculpture classes, she also has taken summer programs in architecture, animation, graphic design, and photography. Even so, it was a delightful surprise when she came up with a combination I hadn’t thought of…art therapy! She can’t major in it as an undergraduate, so her focus is on a dual degree in psychology and art.

So, while I was still immersed in small-town school politics, college applications, and senioritis, at the exact same age, my daughter is about to do what I longed to do back then…take off for college and the beginning of a new phase of her life. I am so excited for her and doing my darnedest to let go of her gracefully.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the peace in knowing that it really is time to let her fly!

Being 13 Years Old

I am trying to think back to when I was 13. My “baby” turned 13 recently and soon, very soon, she and I will be roommates…more than just mom and daughter, we will be the only souls in our house. I turned 13 early in 7th grade, and my daughter turned 13 at the end of 7th grade. So, although we both entered 8th grade at 13 years old, I was a full half-year older. In trying to recall my own 13 year old self, I have to go back a long way! When I was 13, I was in the middle of middle school. I was not popular. I was categorized as a “nerd” and I was not welcome to sit with the more popular kids at lunch. Middle School was no fun for me. It was a time to wear braces on my teeth and to finally get rid of my coke-bottom-bottle glasses when I got my first contact lenses.

In some ways, I have a lot in common with my younger daughter at 13…I was really interested in music. Ok, that may be it. I was interested in school and I felt awkward socially. By contrast, my daughter is as outgoing as one can be, she engages her classmates in issues that matter to her, and she leads them to believe that they should love what she loves. She plays lots of sports and signs up for drama whenever it is offered. In other words, she’s an extrovert and a leader. She truly loves her friends and they love her. She lives in a world that is dynamic and fun. Looking back on my awkward middle school years, I can’t say the same.

I don’t recall any “boy bands” when I was in my early teens, but it is fun to watch my daughter immerse herself in One Direction and her obsession with Niall, the only Irish member of the otherwise British “band”. She also loves Ed Sheeran…and she recently shared a youtube video of Everything Has Changed with me of Ed and Taylor Swift…I thought it was sweet, but realized that, as many Ed Sheeran songs as I’d listened to over the last couple of years, I hadn’t realized he was such a young person! My daughter described him in decidedly British terms as “ginger”…I’d say he’s a raving carrot-top!

Although it is clearer and clearer to me that she is getting to be an adult, a few things recently have driven it home. When she had her recent annual physical, she hit my height…and her feet are bigger than mine by at least two sizes, so I think she will grow an inch or two more. I always said she’d be taller than me and her sister, but the time has come! A couple of weeks ago, she finally cleaned her room (i.e. she shoved everything into her closet). She did fill one garbage bag and then there was a paper bag full of stuff. I asked her what the bag was and she told me it was recycling. So, after she left town to visit my sister, I went through the recycling. Most of it went right into the recycling bin, but I couldn’t quite get rid of the poster of an adorable puppy. It had some pushpin holes in the corners, but was otherwise fine. In its place, covering two walls of her room, are poster after poster of One Direction, Batman, and the like. The posters are just the surface, she is anxious for a new paint color (today it’s purple), a new bed (out with the bunkbeds), and new bedding (out with Hello Kitty and in with a Parisian graphic print).

As my second child goes off to college, I treasure the next five years with a suddenly “only” third child…I mean young woman!

Find the Joy in the Journey…and savor the moments!

A Fair of The Heart–Making Childhood Memories

When I was growing up, kids couldn’t wait for our town fair, Blossom Time. I particularly remember it as a middle-school and high-school student. I grew up in a small, sleepy town, but at fair time, it is loud, colorful, and full of people. It was a big deal when I was allowed to go to the fair without my parents…I felt so grown-up. It was just down the hill from the middle-school and it seemed that the whole school trailed down there after school the Friday it opened every year.

The fair was in the park, alongside the river. The midway was strewn with straw, which by the end of the weekend was usually a messy, muddy mixture. The lemonade had a real lemon half squeezed in it and the elephant ears were enormous. One year, the Ferris wheel was a double wheel and the formerly tame ride became a favorite. Once you were on it, it was a long time before you were back on the ground. They tried to put up a triple wheel once, but the ground was too soft to support its weight. My favorite was always the egg-roll, a wheel with oval cages that you could rock, and if properly done at just the right moment, could be spun upside down just as you crested the top of the ride.

As an adult, the fair has become a time to reunite with family and friends…and to introduce my hometown life to my own children. When I bought my first house, I was vaguely aware that my new hometown had a fair just down the street at the park. This is a much bigger town, a small city, and the park is bigger and the fair draws over a hundred thousand people a year. My children can’t wait for it and invite kids from all over to come over and enjoy it with them.

I rarely go on the rides, but I do enjoy the bands that play each night and the fireworks that are set off on Saturday after the headliner band and Sunday to close the event. The best part about the fireworks is that I can see them from my porch…It’s better than having front row seats. Too bad I didn’t realize it for the first ten years…I was down at the park and didn’t know the fireworks could be seen so clearly from home.

So, this weekend, there will be the excited chatter of teenagers coming and going all weekend. They will make the most of their ride bracelets by spending all day and evening going on rides. They pop home for a break now and then, and snacks and water to keep them going. I am happy that my kids have their own fair to remember and to come home for in years to come.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and bask in the joy of those around you!

The Law Makes a Child an Adult Before Their Brain is Ready

Raising older teens brings some unique challenges. Teens are apt to take risks that make no sense to adults. This may have worked well in cave man days, when such impulses could be life-saving. These days, most teens aren’t fighting wild animals for their lives…they have tempting options and their brains are telling them to go for it. Driving too fast, taking drugs, drinking, sex, and other exciting options are all around. Now, not all kids take these risks, but a parent can be taken aback that their otherwise mature, rational child got themselves in real trouble.

Fortunately for me, my kids have stayed safe so far and I pray that a good upbringing and my current guidance will help them make safe decisions through this critical phase of maturing from teen to adult. Research shows that the part of the brain that controls impulses develops last. According to this article from the website, EDdinformatics, The Adolescent Brain — Why Teenagers Think and Act Differently–,

“In calm situations, teenagers can rationalize almost as well as adults. But stress can hijack what Ron Dahl, a pediatrician and child psychiatric researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center calls “hot cognition” and decision-making. The frontal lobes help put the brakes on a desire for thrills and taking risk — a building block of adolescence; but, they’re also one of the last areas of the brain to develop fully.”

This is what scares me as a parent. As a child goes off to college, they have so many opportunities to make mistakes and the parents have so little control over their choices. The law seems to think that the moment a teen turns 18, they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves with no help from mom and dad. Kids without parents have it the worst…they age-out of foster care at 18 even if they are still in high school…but that’s a topic for another time.

As a child applies for college and financial aid, parental income is heavily considered and yet the parents don’t get the tuition bill, the child does. The child has to give access to the payment system so that the parents can pay. In that same system, the child has the option to give the parents access to grades. In other words, the parents are expected to contribute to the college education but have no right to know how well the child is doing in school.

Due to medical privacy laws, parents have no right to know what is going on with their child medically, but now they are responsible for their health insurance until the child is 26. The mechanics of this were not well thought out (even for covering a spouse on your health insurance, you aren’t supposed to know what is going on even though you pay for it). My son recently had surgery and was surprised when he got the surgeon’s bill in the mail at school. Given my son’s forgetfulness, there’s a chance that bill won’t get paid since he has to give it to me so that I can handle it.

Years ago, the legal age of adulthood was 21, which makes a lot more sense to me. The age was lowered to 18 primarily because it was unfair to 18 to 20 year old men to be expected to fight and die for their country before they were legally adults. Maybe the fighting age should have been raised instead…

Find the Joy in the Journey…even adolescence shall eventually pass, and getting to know your “new” adult children is a joy in and of itself!

It’s Not My Birthday, Let’s Celebrate Anyway!

One of the downfalls of the commuter family life is missing out on special occasions. Often they occur in the middle of the week and the commuter is out of town. Such is the case this week as my younger daughter turns 12…such a magical age. Ok, sometimes a bit harrowing!

I recall as a new mom hearing about the rule of 3 when it came to growth spurts. They’d happen around 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 3 years, 6 years, 9 years…well, let’s just add 12 years to that heuristic. The classic signs are all there…primarily crankiness and whining. Now usually the symptoms of the growth spurt only last a week or two and the end result is that the child grows an inch or two literally overnight and…peace reigns again!

Just a few days ago, I overheard my older daughter telling her sister that she was done growing now…because she and I had hit our peak heights at 12. But, I don’t think this is the case with my youngest…she was my biggest baby measuring in at 8 pounds 2 ounces…more than 2 pounds heavier than her sister (who’s about five foot two) and a pound and a half heavier than her brother (who’s about five foot eleven). I always said she’d be taller than her sister and taller than me, although she’s only about five feet right now…but she has size 9 feet! Nope, I don’t think she’s done growing quite yet!

Part of the whining of late (I’m trying to figure out if this has been going on for 2 weeks now…to indicate that it’s about over!) has been about wanting myriad Hunger Games paraphernalia. Now, you’d think someone who has asked for as much of this stuff as possible for her birthday wouldn’t ALSO ask for everything she sees at the store…but you’d be wrong.

So last night, we held a birthday celebration. After many “I don’t care’s” about what to have for dinner and whether to eat in or out (compromised with carryout), we ended up with grinders and a store-bought cake with candles “1” and “2” to identify her new (almost) age. The sandwiches were soon devoured and then we came up against a match dilemma. We are a non-smoking, rarely light a fire kind of family! But eventually a match was found, “Happy Birthday” was sung, and it was time for presents.

First gift was a boxed-set of The Hunger Games. She read them all on her Kindle, while sharing it with her sister so they could both read at least the first book before the movie came out. It’s actually on my Kindle account, but since she has no account of her own, she can read anything I’ve downloaded. Even though she could read and re-read the books on Kindle, she has an affinity for real books; child of my heart! I wrote about how she loves to re-read series’ of books in my post The Joy of Reading Favorite Childhood Books Again (and Again!) . So now she’s has a third series to add to her Harry Potter/Percy Jackson mix.

As a family, we have come to learn that the specific day is not what is important…it is the time we spend together celebrating the milestone that means so much…whether it is a few days early or a few days late matters not.

Find the Joy in the Journey…no matter where you are along your own path!

The Joy of Reading Favorite Childhood Books Again (and Again!)

 

My younger daughter has been racing through The Hunger Games this week because she firmly believes in reading the book before seeing the movie.  What really caught her by surprise, and which she revealed with wonder and a bit of humility, is that she likes it better than Harry Potter. This is quite the revelation given that she’s read the Harry Potter series about six times end-to-end. In between readings, she runs through the Percy Jackson series. I’ve tried to tempt her with other books to broaden her horizons, but up until now she has seen that as a betrayal of the time she devotes to Harry and Percy.

I was thinking about how I decided at the beginning of my 50 by 50 that I would read on a regular basis…something that I love to do but had given up due to my busy lifestyle. I was shaking my head at my daughter’s reading habits thinking that I wouldn’t re-read a book because that would take time from reading something new. Then I rolled my eyes at myself as I recalled that at her age, I re-read book series’ over and over again…just like she does. She’s gotten a bit stuck over the last four years re-reading only two book series’, but one weighs in at 4100 pages so it is a time-consuming process.

When I was a girl, there were two series, The Little House Books and The Chronicles of Narnia, that I liked to read over and over again, although I think I limited myself to once per year and I read a whole lot in between. I know that with The Little House Books, I identified myself with the author and subject of the books, Laura Ingalls. Having the same first name didn’t hurt. I fell headlong into the story feeling the injustice of Nelly’s taunting, the pain of a sister going blind, the joy of hearing Pa play the fiddle, and on and on. Each reading brought more depth to the story.

With The Chronicles of Narnia I found a magical place and an intriguing allegory of Christianity. I identified with the children who got to act like grown-ups in classic young-adult literary-style.  I went right along with them on their quests, fighting wars, conversing with talking animals, and overcoming evil. Reading these books ultimately led me to reading C. S. Lewis’ other works, of which The Screwtape Letters remains a favorite.

When my son was about four years old, I wanted to share some of my favorite books with him and I chose Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy to begin. I was swept away with the story, reading it for the first time as an adult. This had been my least favorite of the books, having nothing to do with Laura but filling in the childhood of the man she married. As I got to the last paragraph of the book, I choked up and tears filled my eyes. My son was beseeching me to read the last little bit and, wiping my eyes and taking a deep breath, I read how young Almanzo told his parents (having been asked, of course!) that he didn’t want to apprentice to the wagon maker, but wanted to be a farmer, just like his dad. Phew! Of course I re-read the whole series and later read it to my older daughter as well.

I will still encourage my daughter to broaden her literary horizons, but I finally understand her fascination with re-reading her favorites over and over again.

Find the Joy in the Journey and in a good book!

Flashback to 1976: Linda Ronstadt Concert at Blossom Music Center

I used to believe that I had forgotten all but a few childhood memories. That is all so long ago and far away in my mind. When I was first pregnant, I found myself flashing back to old memories based on things I smelled. Sure enough, I learned that women have a keener sense of smell than men and it is enhanced during pregnancy…of course, this has the obvious downside when whiffing nauseating smells, but it also reminded me of my high school perfume, eating cinnamon toast as a little girl, and other happy memories.

Nowadays, it’s not so much my sense of smell that reminds me of days gone by; it’s the process of writing this blog that usually brings on a forgotten memory. In this case, it was discovering a new blogger, FiftyFourAndAHalf, and reading her recent post, Desperado. SLAM! I was 12 years old again, sitting on a blanket on the lawn at The Blossom Music Center listening to this very song. Although the song was written by the Eagles, and they have a fine version of it that I also enjoy, it was hearing it sung by a woman with such a beautiful, haunting voice that made it stick with me.

I remember that I begged my parents to take me to this concert, my very first, and was shocked when they agreed. It was likely their first “rock” concert too. Although my parents were the right age to have participated in all the shenanigans of the Sixties, they had not; they married in late 1958 and had their first baby early in 1960. They rode out the Sixties as young newlyweds and new parents, with my younger sister and I coming along a few years later.

So, it was odd when my mom looked around sniffing curiously and asked me if that smell wafting around was pot. Frankly, I had no idea until the moment she said it, but from that moment on, I also knew the smell. Curious, I looked around and soon spotted the closest culprit, a couple leaning back against a tree carefully sharing a roach and a lighter. Later, after it was dark, this same couple was getting a bit rowdy under some blankets…I’m sure my father was regretting this whole venture right about then! Me? I was soaking up the music and the stars and having the time of my young life.

At the end, there were lighters held aloft all over the hill like a field of stars twinkling close to earth. Cheering and clapping, lighters waving, the crowd urged the singer back to the stage for the encores. We slipped out about then, my dad anxious to get out before the crowds trapped us in gridlock on the meadow that served as a parking lot. I floated along trying to capture the last notes and savor the evening for as long as possible.

A few days later, when school started back up, I got my small moment of admiration when I told my, “what did you do this summer” story of going to the Linda Ronstadt concert. Most of my classmates had never been to a concert. But, my bubble was burst a moment later when someone asked me who I went with, then topped that by stating they’d gone to a concert with their older siblings. I was trumped…parents were not cool as dates to rock concerts, but college-aged siblings were.

Having recaptured the memories of that concert, I will treasure them and remember the lesson I learned all those years ago: don’t let someone else tell you what is joyful or important.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and revel in it!