My sign is not the only thing that changed...

Man, how things change.  Just when you think, you’ve figured out your place in this world...life hops on a plane, headed in a totally different direction leaving a perfectly sane Gemini, dazed and confused. Not to mention struggling to figure out why she’s now a Taurus! WTF?
Sometimes change can be predicted...like at the end of those 9 months...you know you’re going to have a sore you-know-what, and a precious little baby.  Even though you know change is coming, you still aren’t totally prepared. That’s when the Witch Hazel comes in handy.
Change also has a way of sneaking up and hitting you right smack in the face with a canoe paddle. You don’t know it’s coming until...WHAM!...broken canoe paddle and sore brain! Those changes hurt deeply, but at least there was no anticipating the pain.
I hate the changes that are in the middle. You decide something, thinking the outcome will be one thing, but along the way you get glimpses of the canoe paddle speeding toward your face. You realize, what you thought was going to happen may end painfully different for you or someone you love, so you’re faced with a decision. These decisions suck!  They are hard and scary. They make you dig deep. You have to search your soul, hoping to find that damn plane your life jumped on and try to make a safe landing. Sometimes the decision to avoid hurt is as painful as the face smack you are trying to dodge.
A year ago, I went back to school. I’d decided this would be the best time for our family.  My kids were in school full time and I only worked part time.  I thought I could still be the parent I wanted to be and have time to dedicate to school. I thought that in 4 years (or so) I’d be done. This fall, I saw a canoe paddle or two in the distance, but shrugged them off.  As finals and the holidays approached, I couldn’t avoid the canoe paddles whizzing past my head any longer.   
I wasn’t able to predict a year ago that my decision to go back to school would be painful for my children. I wasn’t able to predict a year ago that my photography hobby would turn into a photography business. I wasn’t able to predict a year ago, I’d be so busy, I wouldn’t take pictures of my own children as much. I wasn’t able to predict a year ago, I wouldn’t have time to write.  
I had to make a decision. I knew that my kids couldn’t handle another crazy semester and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to either. Do I continue to go to school, and put photography on hold? Do I take time off of school, and give this photography thing a whirl? Do I take fewer classes, and take fewer photos? Do I put one dream on hold to pursue another one? Should I trudge through until I finish what I’ve started? This decision I needed to make was going to be painful, scary and hard. I needed to dig deep and search my soul.  I needed to locate that damn plane and land it now.
I bought a book at Goodwill a few days ago. It’s called Daily Affirmations for Parents by Tian Dayton. It’s full of pearls of wisdom on how to nurture your children and renew yourself as you deal with the roller coaster that is parenthood. I believe that people and things come into our lives for a reason, and this book is one of those things.  It came to me just when I needed it most. It helped me put things into perspective. It addressed many things, but these were the passages & quotes that helped me the most.
“Today I will embrace change. I know that change is the only true constant in life and today I will not resist it. I will let change happen. If I cling to the past, I will distort my present and if I fight change in the now, I will postpone my future. Every thing in nature changes - the seasons, the water levels, grass, leaves, wind, fruits and vegetables.  Nature is in a constant of flux and change and without this, there would be no growth.  My child and I are part of nature too.  We do not need to force change; it happens by itself. Ours is to allow it and in that way we grow.”
“All is flux, nothing stays still...nothing endures but change.” - Heraclitus
Hurrying Childhood: 
“I will not jump ahead of you today. I will meet you where you are.  Why rush? There is time enough to be a grown up. Pushing and moving too quickly will not make you a better one. In fact being fully where you are today will allow the next stage to happen more easily. It is beautiful to be young, to look forward to each day growing taller, learning new things, doing tasks that were yesterday impossible.  Growing is so full of excitement and rushing it only denies the pleasure and the celebration that accompany inner and outer movement. Today I find that where you are in your journey is a good place to be.”  
“Events will take their course, it is no good our being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.” - Euripides
Being Available:
“Today I will not disappear into my feelings and be unavailable to my child.  My parents were often preoccupied with what was going on inside of them and I could not reach them. I find that I do that too and that my children cannot reach me. When I’m afraid or hurt, I get lost in the feelings triggered from my past and find it difficult to make my way back to the present. It is a double pain - one is the pain of being lost to myself and the other is the pain of being lost to my children because I know how it feels to them. Today I have tools that I can use.  When I need help, I can reach out and get it.  I don’t have to stay stuck anymore; I can find my way back.”
“Life consists of what a man is thinking all day.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The decision was made, and the pages of the book were soaked!  Owen and Sophia are going to consume my thoughts instead of homework.  School can wait, they can’t!