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Navigation & Contemplation


Forsynthia from my front yard.

Navigating middle school. Simon will be heading to middle school in the fall. The school district will place him in a middle school that they think will be a good fit for him and the services he needs but we (Chris and I) are also touring schools and talking with administrators and teachers and considering options for him. He is excited. Open. Willing. I want to bottle that up.

Navigating meetings with my CPA and attorneys. Work stuff. Life stuff. Tax time. Listening. Receiving advice. Making decisions. The business stuff of business. There are days I feel very alone in these decisions. Sitting with the fear of the unknown, sitting with the fear of making the wrong decisions, educating myself, practicing bravery. Out of my element but wanting to be a "grown-up" and make the best possible decisions for myself and my kids.

Navigating office floors. If you are taking One Little Word you probably heard me talking about my action item for this month which is to make a decision about new floors for my office and re-arrange the space again. Katie and I will be cleaning out my office this week - removing everything in preparation for the floor guys to come in next Monday.

Navigating soul-searching. Finding a home for myself between independence and need. Between "I can do it all myself" and "I really want to be sharing this journey." Between control and letting go. It will likely be one of my greatest struggles throughout the course of my life.

Navigating the everyday. Last week I had the best dinner table experience with Anna and Simon. It wasn't one thing in particular but the entire experience in general. There was back and forth conversation. Everyone stayed seated at the table. There was minimal complaining about the food that was served. It was all these things in conjunction with one another that seemed so awesome. It might have had something to do with the new chart set up - I'm not sure. Whatever it was, I noticed it and my heart was happy.

Navigating towards open. All of this navigation results in a lot of contemplation. Sometimes I feel frozen and literally have to will myself to take the next step (or be pushed over the edge). Other times it all feels fluid and smooth and easy.

Navigating time. Those of you that get my newsletter might have read about how I'm changing up how I approach my work schedule. This past week I spent time assessing how long some of my tasks actually take. Now it's time to take action. I'm noticing that I'm thinking way too much and not implementing (and adjusting as I make progress vs. living it out in my head without any forward movement).

Life is a constant series of navigations. Figuring out what makes sense, directing, recovering from mistakes, celebrating success, opening vs. closing, riding the waves, surviving the lows, listening, learning, choosing, taking action.

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68 thoughts

  1. dawn says…
    03/19/2013

    Ali, this was so awesome to read!! Love that you used the word NAVIGATING here, it's something we do everyday in life. Will add this word to my blog post list, thanks so much for the inspiration. Doing a lot of that in my world too, just reading this makes me feel less alone, hope by you sharing this you will feel less alone too. We are all here with you Ali and supporting and cheering for you!!

    Sam gets to be one of the first 6th graders to start in our new middle school. We are so excited to have a bigger, brand new, CLEAN awesome school to start in the fall. Hard to believe our boys will be that old already, good luck to all 3 of you!

    Peaceful/happy dinners are the best, doesn't always happen here either but when it does my heart is happy!!

    Thanks so much for this inspiring post Ali and sharing bits of YOU with us. HUGS!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Ilona says…
    03/19/2013

    Great post Ali!!!
    And I think a lot of us reading your blog can relate to one or the other point you listed. Thanks for sharing!
    Go Ali, GO :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Jessica @The Mom Creative says…
    03/19/2013

    I love this post because it is brave. Though you don't go into details, you see your heart and the steps you are taking. Thank you for sharing your journey. xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Robyn says…
    03/19/2013

    I really appreciated this post this morning. I am going through a lot of the same things you are, and I'm also preparing for a cross-country move (not sure how I'm going to do that yet!) and a new job. It's good to see that, even though it feels that way sometimes, I'm not the only one.

    Best wishes to you as you keep on keeping on.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. A. Sanborn says…
      03/19/2013

      Wish you well in your new endeavors. Think of it as life adding to -your- bucket list!

      There's a season and a reason for everything in life. Sometimes it's not for us to understand the why or purpose but have faith it's a postive.

  5. Dori says…
    03/19/2013

    Wow, it's kind of hard to put into words what I'm feeling right now so I'll just say 'thank you' from my heart.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Rosie says…
    03/19/2013

    A wonderful post, Ali, to which I can so relate to. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Lori says…
    03/19/2013

    Thank you for being so candid--I enjoy your words b/c they echo so many of my own thoughts, struggles, goals and overall "journey" experiences. Glad to know I am in good company.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Marsaille says…
    03/19/2013

    “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

    ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. A. Sanborn says…
      03/19/2013

      Love Louisa Mae Alcott!

      Beautiful post Miss Ali. I enjoy the honesty, integrity, grace and geniuness of your up and down shares of life with your readers. As I've always told our daughter... Always be kind for everyone is battling something.

      God Bless...

  9. Karen Hamad says…
    03/19/2013

    Ali- great post...have you read the book "Wonder"? I am a pediatrician and a mother of two, and found it incredibly moving and well written- about a boy and his family with some special challenges facing middle school.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Lindsey says…
    03/19/2013

    I love this. One trope that has been central to my life is the image of maps. A few years ago I realized that the maps I'd been given as a child were broken now, and I needed to figure out a new way to navigate. I love what you say here about adjusting how we move through the world, how we decide what and when and how and who. xox

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Katie Johnson says…
    03/19/2013

    Great post Ali! You do such a good job of putting your thoughts into words...and then into action. I so often have the thoughts and ideas in my head but have difficulty verbalizing them accurately. I admire your bravery, your intelligence, and of course your artistry. Bravo!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. bridget joss says…
    03/19/2013

    thank you for sharing your indecisions and decisions so deeply. Many are stuck and its nice to know we are not alone. Will keep you in my prayers.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Katrina says…
    03/19/2013

    THIS - Between “I can do it all myself” and “I really want to be sharing this journey.”

    So very much.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Beverly says…
    03/19/2013

    I loved this post, Ali. I have been married for 30 years with two grown children. My husband has always been gone in the summer, fishing for salmon in Bristol Bay. The summers with a "plan" were far easier and much, much better...so, I love reading about your intentionality and desire. I would like to recommend a book by Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts. I started her Joy Dare on January 1 and it has been transformational...noting the small and large miracles that we experience daily and experiencing thankfulness...eucharisteo! Thankfulness grows and grows and I cannot help but experience JOY in the knowing and seeing. Peace and Joy to you, Ali. You are blessed beyond measure just because of who you are.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. melissa says…
    03/19/2013

    Ali,

    Once again.. you navigate and express yourself and your current life situations with such grace. You are such an inspiration for all of us woman. (frozen and navigating to free and navigating) You just find the right words to say it perfectly. You are in the arena showing up and I am grateful for that.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. {vicki} says…
    03/19/2013

    totally with you on the school thing.
    my son will be entering high school this fall and i am having a tough time with it.....today when i dropped him off at school---i had tears in my eyes thinking about how his days as a middle schooler are numbered.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Alison D. says…
    03/19/2013

    This post really resonated with me, particularly your thoughts on navigating soul searching. Thank you for putting yourself out there creatively and personally.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Lisa W. says…
    03/19/2013

    It is very nice to know "others" have the same stuff! Beautiful post:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Susan says…
    03/19/2013

    This is an awesome post. So OPEN! and I'm so sure all of us are in the same boat with at least one of the same - if not many. Love the word navigating for a prompt too.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. patty says…
    03/19/2013

    thank you...

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Yvette Christopher says…
    03/19/2013

    I love reading your posts. Thank you for putting your feelings into words. I am reading a book "The Five Love Languages of Children" bu Gary Ghapman and Ross Campbell. The book is fantastic and is so helpful in relating to children and providing them with emotional support. The support leads to better relationships and in turn, reduction of parent stress. I realize I have done so many things wrong as a parent, and allowed my work stress influence my relationship with my husband and children. This book was recommended to me and was very helpful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Carla says…
    03/19/2013

    Thank you for that Ali. I am not sure if I will be able to express in words what your thoughts, your photos, what "you", mean to me. I feel so inspired and gain so much strength from you. Just knowing that you are out there going through the same struggles, really helps me face mine. You really do inspire me in every aspect of my life. I just wanted to say "thank you".

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Peggy says…
    03/19/2013

    Ali,
    A moment of thanks for sharing your heart, again. I love how you include all the bigger stuff (MS, finding yourself alone in ways you don't always like) with the 'little' stuff like flooring. :) You inspire me so much and hope you know how very valued, supported and, frankly, loved by so many of us who have never met you. Hugs today!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Paula says…
    03/19/2013

    Thank you from me too Ali. I have taken a bold step to see a therapist to help with my anxiety from all of the constant "changing and rearranging" - my phrase for navigating through challenges that take lifetime creative ways of thinking about. And it is helping me alot to have this time for me, to literally sort myself out and reorganize my inner thoughts. Most of my own challenges are also my blessings in life, it's just learning how to take all the expectations, goals, hopes, dreams, and stuff of life that comes at us (e.g. taxes) and make it all work, and that's - well - challenging! Visiting your blog and using your products to create with really adds some depth and contemplation to my life, thank you from my heart.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. kelly says…
      03/19/2013

      Good for YOU!! I'm a huge believer in the power of therapy and talking it out!! I had struggled for YEARS with OCD and anxiety; undiagnosed. But, now I am much better and happier : ) You can do it!

  25. Jennifer says…
    03/19/2013

    Hi Ali, while reading this I was thinking of your word, open. Navigating is a great way to describe your thoughts but to me "be open" to all the possibilities that are coming your way. Even the business side of the business, being open to the possibilities of being alone or having a partner to share with, being open to tour new schools for Simon and deciding on the best one, being open with the idea that the chart might be helping. Love your writing, love your classes, love you!

    Reply 0 Replies

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