7/30: Stay the course!

30 days feels completely unattainable but I will not be stopped. This whole process began in vain to celebrate my three decades and essentially feel better about getting older. However, it turned into an actual challenge for me. An exercise to teach, prepare and hopefully further my writing. For those who read these prompts, I thank you. I know random topics aren’t always the easiest to follow so if you do even read a paragraph of what’s written, I’m grateful.

I’ve decided to head back to the prompt website the NYT provided me. I think it’s very apropos to my current situation of trying to find the motivation and time to write on a consistent basis. But, I’ve decided to take a step further and speak on the subject of my life’s motivation. Everyone has a motivation even if it doesn’t feel very obvious, it’s there. It’s something that is very personal and vulnerable and I am happy to share mine.

“What motivates you?”

I am my father’s daughter. I watched my father make the decision to stay sober when I was 16 years old. Without going into detail because it’s not my story to tell, I know this was a hard feat for him. His time was running out when it came to his options and it was either be sober or lose his entire world. When I say world, I don’t mean money, home or anything monetary; my Dad never found himself in a debt where he couldn’t rebuild himself. Maybe that’s my skewed vision of it but I think the greater risk for him was the idea of losing his family. My mother was at her wits end and rightfully so, so it was go time. My father thankfully made the decision to choose his family and has stayed sober for 14+ years. For me, success becomes very empty without someone to share it with. My father could have advanced as far as he wanted in career, life, riches but he chose to center all of the above on his family. It was his example that set the pace for how I would live my life, how I would motive myself from that point on. Do I want to be successful? Of course, I do. I’d love to further my day job, I’d love to be published before I die but I don’t want any part of that without the people I love and using my success to further their world in some way.

As I age, the family dynamic changes. Everything I do is on a grander scale. I find myself looking at the bigger picture most days instead of the present in front of me. The present is beautiful but the future is bright. I do everything with love for myself and my present circle but there’s a bright light that guides my path. If I didn’t have this light, my world would be a much different picture. I actively choose this future, I pray for this future every single day. Above all else, much like my father before me, my children will motivate me. I will be the best version of myself for these future beings, I will make every day a learning experience, I will strive for greatness and do everything I can not only just to grow as a human but as a Mom someday.

Maybe, I’m gambling a lot on a currently futuristic situation. There are going to be a lot of roadblocks ahead. But, I can’t help but find myself wishing and praying and using even the slightest bit of hope that all this work will leave their worlds better for it when I’m gone. That I will be able to leave them with the same unconditional love my family has given me and provide for them even better than I was brought up.

What motivates you, futuristic or now? I would love to know.

Annual Nostalgia.

St. Patrick’s Day was one of the many holidays that took the face of what tradition means to me. Every year, my mother’s family and ours would share the Americanized meal of corn beef and cabbage with soda bread, and our green “beer”. As a child, all of this felt so regular. It was just something that was supposed to happen. It wasn’t until the tradition was gone that I realized just how special the time was. Since the loss of my Grandparents in 2009 and 2015, every holiday feels a little emptier without them. The further I age, the more I appreciate each memory because it has shaped me into the woman I am today but it also given me guidance for the future family I’ll have someday.

While I’m sad to not have my Grandparents around, I am so very thankful for the foundation they helped build in me as a person. I miss them every day but this year I find that gratitude is overriding the sadness. Without them I wouldn’t have the personal standard set to reignite the tradition into the next generation. With my pending marriage so close, I am looking ahead towards a lot of things in my life. I hope that I am able to have the same traditions and many new ones with my future wife and our children. I want to create a family based on the same amount of unconditional love I had growing up and leave my children with the same gratitude for the fond memories that we’ve made together.

Thank you Gram and Pop, I miss you every day but it’s your example that has given me the hope I need for my future. I hope to make both of you proud in the next chapter of my life. Both my wife-to-be and I have felt your impact and are much better people for it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate. May all family traditions carry on for you and yours through every holiday that passes each year and may your family get to relish in all of their special times together.