A Healing X-perience

Last weekend I took my daughter on a tour of my alma mater; she’s in grade 12 and deciding where she’d like to go for university.

I was excited to revisit the place I’d spent four years studying for my first degree. I hadn’t been there in over twenty years and I anticipated the memories.

Stepping onto campus after so long was surreal. The residences I’d lived in, so changed and yet so filled with memories of friendships and experiences. The old-book smell of the library with its quiet nooks took me back to hours spent researching and writing. The student union building where I’d picked up care packages from home, the student pub where I’d danced many nights away. So many things I’d expected to remember, but so many more I hadn’t.

The most unexpected part, though, was the healing. In my years of marriage, my ex had belittled my education. In my head I always knew he was wrong – it was never worthless – but a part of me had forgotten its value, had taken to heart the diminishing messages.

Returning to StFX reignited the significance of having had that experience. Of the learning and the value of an education and the importance of my degree. Of who I’ve become and all that I’ve done.

I hope you have experiences that renew your sense of self, that remind you of the value of the choices you’ve made. And that every now and then, you can take a step down memory lane.

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Mindfulness Challenge Week 14: Connection

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Connecting the Years

In my daughter’s collection of doll clothes are a few items kept from my childhood.

This tiny embroidered dress is one of them; I can clearly remember dressing my own dolls in it when I was her age.

I’m happy I kept it.  It somehow connects her childhood with mine, the years in between disappearing for a moment.  It is also a connection of how many of the things I loved have become the things she loves.

 

#createmindfulness2017

 

Baby Blanket

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This blanket appeared in the laundry after my daughter had cleaned her room.

There are memories tucked inside this blanket.

As I folded it, I was brought back eight and ten years ago, when my children were tiny babies wrapped in its folds. How is it possible that these years have passed so quickly? Surely it was only days ago that I was carrying infants home from the hospital, ready to begin our new lives as a family.

I can still feel these babies in my arms each time I hug my children, with each kiss goodnight.

Nostalgia

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Since we’ve been in the process of planning our Disney trip, it has been inevitable that we talk about our first one.

So my sisters, our children, and our parents sat around and watched a slide show of our trip almost thirty years ago. (A slide show, to the kids’ fascination, that did not involve a computer.)

We reminisced about the rides, we giggled at the hairstyles and the clothes, and we discovered details we had long forgotten.

We will carry these memories with us as new ones are made.

Making Lemonade

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Is there anything so nostalgic as a lemonade stand?

My daughter had been absolutely determined to have one. She made the sign, found the perfect lemon at the grocery store, even packed ice in a lunch box.

With the round kiddie table from my childhood and a couple of wooden chairs, she and her brother parked themselves at the end of the driveway. And waited.

I held my breath, hoping they would at least get one or two sales. It was a Wednesday afternoon (I could not talk her into waiting until the weekend). A few minutes went by, my children eyeing the cars passing them.

Then, it started. People stopped. They smiled and chatted and drank their lemonade.

A success.

Nostalgic Organization

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Tackling the dusty boxes in the basement was not my idea of a good time.

Two days later, though, and it’s a task I appreciate having completed. Four garbage bags, 6 empty boxes, 3 bags of recycling, and 3 bags to give away. At times tedious and seemingly never-ending, it is now done.

An unexpected pleasure came from all this sorting, though: Reminiscing when I came across old photos, the kids’ early drawings, letters, even my old cameras.

Organizing allowed me to spend a few minutes with memories.