Sunday, January 27, 2013

Grin and Bear It

In the Pacific Northwest, one could say, we get our fair share of rain. Recently, though, it has been a bit much. During December and the first two weeks of January, we received over twelve inches of miserable, cold rain. To put this into perspective, a normal wet month would bring us around four inches of the soggy mess. Those six weeks were followed by a week of dismal, freezing fog, which is not normal here. Now the rain has returned bringing with it unending shades of grey. Ah, winter.

This morning, as I was waking, I listened to the relaxing sounds of rain tap, tap, tapping ever harder on the roof of my home. Once I was up and about, I grabbed a bite to eat, donned my rainy running gear and hit the road⎯time to grin and bear it! Listening to the sounds around me, while staying warm and dry in my gear, I stirred to the rainy mood of the day. Being outside, rain or shine, fully energizes me and helps me set pace with the day ahead. But, rainy days create a rhythm that ebbs and flows to the mood of the rain. As I run, my steps take up this rhythm. It seems of particular importance to move through these rainy days with the rhythm rather than fighting it. By doing this, I find the rain slows me, calms me and creates a sense of peace. Within this peace I find motivation, control and new found energy. It helps me move beyond these wet, unending shades of grey.

As if I haven’t had enough rain lately, while I am writing this post, I am listening to It plays a soft, gentle rain in the background with rolling thunder. It too has an ebb and flow. I know, weird, right? No, not really. I am moving with the rhythm of my day; after all, I am a northwest girl through and through⎯all grinning aside. Now, come on, put on your raincoat, hood up, and let’s go…

Through my window photo courtesy of Sue

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Family Matters

A family is a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage
⎯ or is it?

My Uncle Lee died recently. He was not related to me by blood or marriage; yet, he was, and always will be, my Uncle Lee. I first met him when I was six years old. A friend of my Uncle John's, he lived with my family while looking for a job when he first moved to my hometown. He was a consummate bachelor with a ready smile, a uniquely odd but interesting laugh, and when I was a youngster, smoked a pipe. Coming from a family who didn’t smoke cigarettes and the like, it seemed rather exotic. Uncle Lee was always interested in whatever it was you were doing in your life. While he had his own family, he adopted mine⎯mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We all loved him, but more importantly, we mattered to him and he loved us.

Just what is family? How do I define it?

Family is a collection of those people you love, and hold dear to your heart.

Remember the old adage: you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Well, I’d say that just depends on your definition of family. We should all be so lucky⎯to be loved and thought of as family even when technically we are not. If you’ve never thought of your friends as family, perhaps it’s time; because there is one thing I know⎯family matters.

Uncle Lee will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.  In closing, a few memories of my dear friend, Uncle Lee:

501 Levi jeans and denim shirts
Cinnamon twists and hot chocolate
Learning the finesse of shooting marbles
Hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
Learning to play poker
Irish Spring soap and sweet tobacco smoke
Kindness and caring
Long conversations
Someone I could always count on
Loves me like family
Family portrait photo courtesy of rachel_pics

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pay It Forward

The prayers noted on Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags are blown by the wind and are said to spread good will; thus, benefiting all. When I press the publish button each week, my posts are blown to the electronic universe with the intention of helping others pay attention to their own needs, find the best within themselves and be the best they can be. Each post is a guide to forward thinking.

This post marks my one-hundredth, and seems like something worth celebrating in a year of moving forward. With that in mind, let’s move this website forward each week. When you receive a post, spread the word and pay it forward. In other words, spread the word by telling someone about It Is What It Is and ask them to pay it forward as well. A simple way to do this is to click on the envelope with the arrow or one of the share chicklets (buttons) at the bottom of each post.

Be the wind to my prayer flags, share the love and guide someone to forward thinking.

With gratitude,
Prayer flags photo courtesy of Jules Henze

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Are you looking forward?
Are you moving forward?
Are you where you want to be?
Are you doing the things you want to do in your life?
Are you living your best life?

2013 has begun, and with a new year comes a new theme or word to follow me, be with me and guide me throughout each day. I will embrace my word, love my word and learn from my word. I will remind myself of my word as I move through my day. I will ask myself if what I am doing, saying and feeling honors my word. My word, as you may have already guessed⎯FORWARD.

While others may focus on resolutions this time of the year, I find having one word motivates me in more ways than I will ever know. Resolutions have a tendency to magnify my shortcomings when I fail to do that which I had resolved to do. Resolutions are soon forgot and do not necessarily move me in the direction I would like to go.
Forward is positive
Forward moves you ahead
Forward is the right direction
Forward is further than you have been before

Choose a word or theme that will motivate you, provide momentum to live your best life and move you forward. Will you be walking in someone else's footsteps or beginning a path of your own? Will you be repeating the same path you have been on time and time again? What direction will you be heading? Join me as I move FORWARD one step at a time into the rest of the year.
Footprints photo courtesy of Kimba Howard