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‘Anna Maria, you can only live one life at a time.’

What I might consider doing is getting rid of the clutter that has collected around me – nah, I am going to spend a little time with you because you matter more than figuring out what goes where. As I mentioned last week finding time outside school, work and hockey has been next to impossible since Leila made Sudbury Minor A Atom. The fact that she is still sleeping provides the opportunity along with my morning coffee to reflect a little with you.


Yesterday we finished decorating the tree with the menagerie of ornaments we have collected over the years and the treasures Leila has created through school projects as well as of her own volition. The stockings are hung on my great-grandmother’s cabinet. Leila’s collection of musical ‘stuffies’ are all lined up as a chorus. They make you laugh when they sing their songs and dance to the beat. Our nativity scene is up with a few additions Leila’s baptismal bear, her praying child, and a collection of angels that have been gifted over the years. The scene is a symbol of love and guardianship.


Today the Guerin family will stop by on a mission. The kids will play and Leila is excited. Sandra will manage us all. Marc will assist me in putting together the piano I purchased in late October so Leila could begin piano lessons. Again, Leila is excited and so am I. Not sure how we are going to fit piano lessons into the mix of our present lives, however this is something we both want to learn. In fact, Leila has a little friend at school who has already begun teaching her songs. How do I know, the last visit to Costco was also a stop at the keyboard where she played her rendition for the Blackwell family and I. Mme. Urso are you ready for the Barsanti family?


As some tasks are being completed, many are not. When I look at the chaos that surrounds me in our home (I know, you hear this song over and over every year. You think figuring out would be accomplished by now.) I digress. How is it that I am more than aware there is too much for the space we occupy, yet tackling the underlying issues continues to be pushed to the side? Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow I will find the time. Yet, tomorrow comes and goes. Keeping up with an active 9-year-old at home and a bunch of ‘rockin’ characters’ at work takes a toll, which in turn means I am tired. LOL I take my vitamins and supplements. I go to bed when Leila goes to bed. My father’s voice is in my head, “Anna Maria, you can only live one life at a time.” There is more than enough to be grateful for – Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs on most days for me is hovering between Esteem and Self-Actualization. Leila is hovering between Belongingness and Esteem. Possibly the concept of 24-hours per day is an actual reality.


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melody Beattie


Life presently unfolding requires the recognition spending quality time some important people has to be adjusted and embracing the new families that have entered our realm. Leila and I are so fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing people that stay in our corner no matter what transpires. What Leila has gifted me with is the re-introduction to so many young people that crossed my path during my years in education. Who would have thought the teacher would become the student in the world of education, hockey, and work so fluidly and on multiple fronts?


Retirement from education unfolded differently than I had envisioned. Leila and I just celebrated 8 years of living together, so you can imagine – not better, not worse – simply different and rich oh so very rich. Her presence has me ignoring my biological age and viewing the world with a lens on what is still possible to create or be a part of or listen to or learn from or influence or…. Sometimes a person will ask me when I plan to retire – again? There is no thought of retirement in my sphere in visioning my future at this time. The diversity of the initiatives, the projects, and the people in my life through being present in the world of work continues to stimulate me to want to continue to grow and learn, to be a part of something greater than myself. Again, this is not better or worse than others who retire differently than I; however, it is what works for me. In fact, there is proof in the pudding, click on the link


So, the chaos that surrounds me in my home will remain because the priority is keeping up with Leila and engaging in work. Because the body requires rest, rest will trump tidying up. If you, perchance you stop our home use your looking eyes to see what our lives are beyond the chaos. You will smile and feel the love.


Take time this week to appreciate those who make a difference in your life.


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