Making Room for Sweet Newness

serenityfrom past

 

The quiet and stillness

of a peaceful Sunday morn,

Sitting, breathing, basking in the calm

No longer tired and worn.

The pains and hurts of the past,

She shed like an old worn coat

To make room for sweet newness

Joy rising in her throat.

The sweet spring air rests upon her tongue

The warm sun flushes her pale skin

As she says goodbye to a past

Holding on would only hurt again.

She can’t change what happened yesterday

Can’t wish for a different story

Her gaze is only toward the sun

As it peeks above the mountain’s glory.

~ Patti Crowley

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Words on a Screen

texting

Words on a screen
Don’t express the real thing.
Misinterpreted
Misunderstood
Not reflecting the true mood.
He said
She said
Words come out wrong.
He wonders
She wonders
Is it time to move on?
Truths not revealed,
Feelings never expressed
Since the only communication
Was based on a text.

~ Patti Crowley

 

Love Me Anyway

broken heart

Look right through me
It’s quite a sight.
Bury yourself in the darkness of my soul,
Squint into my light.

These lines, they keep appearing
Bright eyes will surely fade,
Yet this fragile heart that exists inside
Is certain to remain.

See beneath the outside
Not what they all might see,
For what they see it will not last
It’s not the real me.

Share my pain, acknowledge my faults,
Forgive all my mistakes.
My former self a memory
Its remnants I forsake.

When you touch me, sense my fears,
Wrap me up in your embrace.
Take me broken, bruised, yet healed
And love me anyway.

~ Patti Crowley

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

could haves

Upon returning from a visit back home to Chicago for the holidays, I was left with a severe case of woulda, shoulda, coulda.  I enjoyed a full week of daily visits with old and new friends, family, and all of my favorite Chicago pizzerias and hot dog joints. To say that leaving again was difficult is quite the understatement. At the end of this particular visit, in addition to feeling sad to say goodbye, I also experienced an incredible case of the what-ifs.

What if I had not moved away? Would things be different in my life? Could I have found a happiness that I have yet to experience in my new surroundings in Arizona? Would my relationships be different? Better?

The first few days back in sunny Arizona proved to be exactly the way I felt the last time I came back after a visit home… It was a bumpy re-entry! Homesickness, loneliness, and self-pity set in. Yes, I’m almost embarrassed to admit those feelings because I honestly do love my new home, the weather, and my chance to get back in the classroom teaching. I have also made so many new friends out here, found new hobbies that I love (West Coast Swing Dancing and hiking!), and have settled in quite nicely.

None of those things seemed to matter, however, when homesickness and loneliness began to take over. I found myself wondering what could have been. I slipped back into that pattern of wishing for things I did not have, instead of appreciating the wonderful things I DO have.

When I take even the smallest step back, and open my eyes wide, I can clearly see that I can’t stress the could haves, because if it should have, it would have. It is as simple as that.

So for today, I choose to have faith that whatever is meant to be, will be – and that brings me peace.

~ Patti Crowley

Simplifying Christmas

 

IMG_0209 (2)

For me, the holidays have, in recent years, been filled with a bit of trepidation and anxiety. All of the pressure involved for me includes trying to feel the spirit of the season while trying to get everything done that is necessary.

During the last few years of my mother’s life, she expressed this same feeling of holiday anxiety. She complained about putting up decorations, and getting all of her shopping done. So, one year I bought her a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, and told her that it really can be simple if only you want it that way. We put so much pressure on ourselves (YES, we do that – no one does it to us)!

However, I have not followed those words of advice until recently. This year, I decided to keep it simple. I put up a few special decorations to make my home feel festive, but did not drag the tree out of storage (mainly because my kitten would probably pull it down:)). I figured that I will be leaving to visit Chicago on Christmas Day, so why bother.

Simplifying the holidays has really lightened my load. I chose to find ways to spend time with friends and family instead of buying gifts while money is tight. I am praying, and am fairly certain, they will understand. This eliminates the financial pressure, but I am also finding that it is way more enjoyable to spend a day with a friend versus the few moments of joy in opening costly gifts. The joy I will experience while spending the holidays in Chicago visiting everyone far surpasses any joy from gift giving/receiving.

My students laughed at first when they saw the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that I displayed on my classroom desk. However, when I told them the story behind it and showed them the Charlie Brown Christmas video, they understood. Simple can be SO much better, so much more meaningful, and bring so much more joy.

Merry Christmas!!

~ Patti Crowley

tree

Struggles Lead to Strength

gratitude

Without the struggles I have endured, I would not be able to appreciate the strength I have gained. For that, today I am grateful. I could look at my life and focus on the negatives: Working two jobs to make ends meet… Living across the country from family and friends… Falling into bed at night from pure exhaustion. But if I did that, I would be living my life miserably.

I have to wake up each day in gratitude. When life gets tough, it is SO easy to have a pity party. Those struggles I’ve endured have led me to where I am today. I kinda like who I have become. I appreciate every little minute detail in my life, because I have been through some very challenging times. On some days, I have to remember the hard times of struggle, and realize that today, I am living in the solution.

Today, my life is FAR from struggle-free. However, I choose each day to get into, and remain in, gratitude! It’s a pretty damn good place to be!

~ Patti Crowley

Where Darkness Loomed

darkness

Where darkness loomed,

now there is light.

Where emptiness existed,

now exists joy.

Where silence deafened,

now music plays.

Just within reach…

only a few more steps…

the light creeps in…

there for the taking.

The ultimate choice –

take another step or turn around.

~ Patti Crowley