Margaret Domnick - The Inside Story...

I'm a woman, mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife and partner in crime. I'm spontaneous, anal, loud, loving, funny (or at least I think I am), and generally honest. Sometimes I get these thoughts... so I've created this blog to share them. Feel free to respond, but be kind...did I mention that I'm sensitive?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blessed to Have Choices

As I sit here warm and safe, full and lazy, healthy and blessed, I think of others who may not be so comfortable. At night, before I go to bed, I check in on my kids. I pull the sheets up around their sweet, sleeping faces, kiss their foreheads and offer a quick prayer of thanksgiving. My children sleep on clean sheets, dream under warm blankets, and are surrounded by love and laughter. I think about the kids who put themselves to bed each night, maybe with a full belly, maybe not; maybe safe and happy, maybe not; maybe sleeping comfortably; maybe not. I always feel a twinge of guilt. My blessings are right in front of me, but I tend to focus my energy on other things, and I allow those things to have control over me.

I complain about unimportant events and make big deals out of little issues. I feel slighted if I pay for a meal, but don’t enjoy it. I get impatient if my TV show gets interrupted. I use sarcasm with my family and friends. I stress over insurance, instead of feeling blessed to have it; I lull over important decisions, instead of feeling blessed to have choices; I wish to take back quick-spoken comments, instead of feeling blessed, knowing that I speak my truth.

So, I’m taking this holiday season to re-focus, to remember what is important to me; what really matters. I will work on patience and acceptance, on being honest with others and with myself, and on being a positive influence on the people I meet. My goal is to begin each day with a more positive, focused perspective. When I’m old and gray (no snickering here, I know I’m already gray), I want to feel peace, knowing that I enjoyed my life the best I could. I want to look back and be pleased with my place in this world. It often comes down to choices, and we control what we choose.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vacation Anyone?

As I was printing up my Christmas cards (that I’ll hopefully get sent out before the New Year), I noticed how happy my kid’s looked. And, I know it’s because they were on vacation when the pictures were taken. Not that they aren’t happy at home and at school and around town, but vacation happy is a different kind of happy. It’s an “I can sleep late and no one cares” kind of happy; it’s an “I don’t have to clean up my room or do laundry for a week” kind of happy; it’s a “take me to the beach” kind of happy, and it’s perfect!

I was happy too, on their vacation; however, I was not on vacation, I was on a trip.

You know how there is a fine line between a fast walk and a slow jog, or between black and navy? Well, that line doesn't exists between a vacation and a trip –they are completely different experiences!

On vacation, you can relax; you can soak up the environment and even forget what time it is. On vacation, you can choose what to do, and it’s perfectly acceptable. You can pamper yourself with visits to the spa, overpriced drinks, amazing show tickets, wine …um… not so much on a trip. On a trip, you are responsible for other people’s vacation. You are planning day trips, keeping time-lines, and driving in crazy traffic. You are packing snacks so you don't get stuck paying for overpriced Pringles; you are hosting hourly sunscreen rub-downs and counting heads at the beach, assuring that no one goes out too far. A trip is a fun adventure complete with compromise.

When I was 10, I remember driving from Kansas to California in an old station wagon named Sunshine. It was yellow, thus the name, and seven of us packed in for the adventure of a lifetime. Now, I don’t remember a lot from my early years, but I remember that vacation. I sat in the tiny space between the “back” (the forward facing middle seat) and the “back-back” (the backward facing, all-the-way-in-the-back seat). My sisters argued the whole way because they kept touching each other as they tried to sleep, and my brother’s feet stunk. We stopped on the side of the road to stretch and run and eat sandwiches from a cooler. We went pee behind trees or in nasty rest-stops. We only reserved one hotel room each night for all seven of us. My dad would check in, and then sneak a couple kids in after he had the keys – we weren’t flush with cash and a buck was a buck. We went to the ocean and saw the Grand Canyon and it was the best vacation ever!

But, the story is a little different told from my parent’s point of view…it was definitely a trip for them. They were the ones making the sandwiches and organizing the sleeping spots. They listened to all of us complain that we were hungry, thirsty, tired, uncomfortable, hot, bored…etc. They kept their patience pretty well as we sung the fiftieth verse of “100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall” and played the twentieth game of “Car Bingo”. It’s no wonder why they got us to the hotel pool about a nanosecond after we dropped our bags in the room; we’d play with each other and leave them alone for a few minutes…until we wanted them to “watch me dive mom!” They were ALWAYS with us.

One person’s trip is another person's vacation, and either way, they make for great stories and perfect memories. I can’t wait until next summer when we drive the kids to Utah and to visit some of the National Parks. It will be a grand vacation for the family, and a grand trip for me.