Laughter is an Instant Vacation

laughterI have not laughed as much in years as I have this past week. Having my daughter here in town with her best friend has been wonderful. There has not been a dull moment, to say the least. Why is it that when you finally settle down after a huge laughing session, that you feel so spent? What an amazing feeling!

Milton Berle said it best: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” I have spent many years taking myself too seriously, drudging through each day as if I was on some sort of mission, thinking only of the destination instead of the journey. But it is when we live in each moment that we find the most happiness. I remember working myself to exhaustion, just trying to get through until my next day off. But I can have an instant vacation if I simply live in the moment and enjoy every second, finding humor in mundane things.

The other night I went down to the pool with the girls after a long day at work. They were reenacting the scene from Dirty Dancing where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were practicing lifts in the lake. Now, may I remind you that these girls are 18 years old. I laughed so hard that I was crying. I realize this is one of those stories where you “had to be there” to find it funny, but I had to pass it along anyway.


As I sat there with my feet in the pool and tears streaming down my face, I realized that this week, I have been living in the moment. Even at my new job, I have been enjoying getting to know the residents in the community which I manage. I have been taking the time to laugh with them, and listen to their stories, even though I may have files piling up which I know I will get to eventually. It is those little things that make life worthwhile. Laughing at silly stories, taking time to look at the mountains on my drive in to work, sipping a cup of fresh coffee that has just been brewed.

Life is beautiful, not to mention FUNNY, if we simply take the time to look around.

~ Patti Crowley



Wrapped Up in Me

In less than a week, I will be in Arizona looking for a new place to call home. Majestic  mountains, a quiet valley, a lone Cactus in bloom, ample sunshine, and 100+ degree heat… Crazy? I think  not. Am I the  conductor of my own orchestra, or is there something drawing me in, cajoling me forward? Regardless, the time has come.

The details seem endless.  The planning, overwhelming.  So my thoughts are constantly racing with things I have to do, ways to make this move a reality, and questions for which I want answers.  Yet there is the friend, reaching out, in need of my help.  Have I been so wrapped up in me that I am unable to provide a shoulder, offer guidance, or simply be present?  A daughter, preparing for graduation, anxious to enter her college experience, filled with anticipation, rattled nerves, but also big dreams.  Have I been too wrapped up in me that I have briefly relinquished my duty as mom, unable to offer assurance, listen to her reservations, her thoughts, her dreams?

So, I will pause for awhile today. Pause, not stop, and simply be in today.  All of the things I have yet to do, all of the dreams I have for myself, will still be there and do not have to be put on the shelf to collect dust.  I simply need to be present in today.  Allow myself to be open to others, to listen, to guide if necessary.

At this time, next week, I will be in the mountains, breathing in the clean air and taking in the beauty.  But for today, I will be here, not wrapped up in me, but looking outward.

– Patti Crowley

My Awesome Empty Nest!

me and megIn less than two weeks, my youngest will be graduating from high school. As a divorced mother, I can do one of two things. I can either be distraught, cling to her tightly, and cry myself to sleep at night, or I can do something else entirely.  I can dream of all the things I will be able to do in my new awesome empty nest.

The possibilities are endless! I can dance naked (okay, okay so I’d never be naked at my age) around the house listening to the music my daughter hates. I can cook all the things I avoided because my kids didn’t like them. Oh, I can’t wait to smell up the house with pan-seared tilapia, asparagus, & brown rice! I will actually have complete control over the DVR for a change. It will not be filled up with One Tree Hill and the Voice – although I admit that I kinda like the Voice so that one can stay. The second bathroom will remain clean – what a concept!! There will be no dirty laundry strewn across the floor of the loft outside my daughter’s room to step over. There will be adequate space for my shoes by the back door instead of four different pairs of Converse in every imaginable color.

With no one waiting at home for me, I can run to the gym after work without hurrying home. Without anyone to need a  check for the myraid of senior year activities, which are causing my wallet to feel a little thin these days, I can indulge in spending on ME. I can turn the second bedroom into an office, or a guest room, decorated to my liking. With no one else parking in the garage, I don’t have to worry about anyone opening their door into mine when parking too close.

Who would have thought the day would actually come when I would be an empty nester?  The idea of it should be cause for celebration.  I should be doing the happy dance right now. So why do I sit here typing with tears in my eyes? Why do I long for the days of little chubby arms wrapped around my neck whispering “Mommy”? Why do I wish that I could have one more day of sitting on the floor watching Barney with my little ones, while dinner is cooking in the kitchen? Why does my house already feel quiet and bare? I have a few more months before she leaves for college. Will I celebrate when she leaves? No. I will kiss her goodbye, watch her leave, and thank the dear Lord for placing her in my care for 18 wonderful years.  I will pray that I have taught her well, and that she will continue to grow into the beautiful, kind, and generous young woman that she already is. I will pray that no harm comes to her, that she makes many wonderful friends, and that she thinks fondly of her time with me. I pray that one day I will actually feel like celebrating, and you will find me dancing (almost) naked through my empty nest.