Skip to main content

Downcast Eyes

Pushing that double stroller up the dusty path inhaling exhaust mixed with some restaurant salty BBQ aroma my eyes downcast on my worn down sneakers - each step a little closer to the top of the hill - wondering if this hill is always this hard or if I've skipped this run too many times lately and am burdened once again by the exhausting task of pushing the increasing weight my stroller holds. I am hypnotized by my feet and watching each heavy step and each small dust cloud created. Although the hill feels like ages long I am suddenly confronted by the top and quickly lift my eyes and face to the street corner. Only here I realize I am forced to look up from the safe rhythm of my shoes; one in front of the other making small impacts in well trodden earth. Then immediately after I lift my eyes, darkness starts to creep into my vision and I reach for the crosswalk poll and steady myself. I realize staring with downcast eyes while ascending the hill caused disorientation and almost a blackout. I can't help but recognize the metaphor.

When did I being going through the day to day - in other words my life - right here and right now with downcast eyes? Each day criticizing myself. Expecting more and more of myself. Assuming things others thought. In other words staring at my feet and only focusing on each step of each day because it seemed as if that is all I can handle. Why look up? Why notice life abundant around me? I am hypnotized by my feet. My worn self in the daily routine slowly heading through handling each circumstance as just another step toward the top and only as making a small dent in the well trodden Earth or perhaps a dust cloud. This perspective - this one which has led to me straying from my passion of writing- from running regularly - from all the things which make me Dana - causes disorientation. A dizzying feeling of surviving one day to the next. A blur of needs to be met, constant serving and a dispassionate approach to life.

I lift my eyes up. As I push the double stroller up the hill - as I go through the current season of raising a 3 and a 2 year old -I look up. I no longer look at my feet feeling unqualified. Feeling out of control. I look and am overwhelmed by goodness. I want to experience wonder through the eyes of my children. I want to face challenges head on and laugh daily. I don't ever want to look down at my feet again for so long I lose my vision. However, as I have grown older I realize I will again. And I know that is okay. And I know I have friends; my dear friends who will remind me of the wildly passionate, loving and fierce woman I am.

So my dear friends. Please don't go through your day (which is your life you are living right now) with downcast eyes. Eyes focused on what must be done. But eyes able to gaze upward and marvel at the typical daily loveliness. Eyes that can look with wonder, awaken awe, curate curiosity, and embrace all the surprises and uncertainty to come.


Popular posts from this blog

Why I'm not moving to Canada and I hope you don't either

Dear fellow Americans,

Yesterday I woke up singing "sister suffragette" with misty eyes.

 "Cast off the shackles of yesterday
 shoulder to shoulder -
into the fray!"

Not because I love Hillary Clinton. Because of the historical significance that she was even on the ballot. That the idea a woman could run for president won't be a fairy tale to my children. As I sat on the brown corduroy couch in my predictably blue state I watched state after state shock the news as it came up bright red.

Friends, history is alive right now. We are the American people and the generation experiencing this shift in paradigm today. How are we going to respond?

Susan B. Anthony's grave was covered with women's "I voted" stickers yesterday.
 I don't think Susan B. Anthony would leave the country if she was alive today.
Did she leave the country or threaten to when she was arrested for illegal voting?

Did Rosa Parks try to leave the country after she faced Jim Cr…

Diagnosis Disorders and Uniqueness

Last week I found out some really hard news about my daughter.

In my gut, I always knew certain parenting strategies wouldn't work for her like they did for my son. Everyone with more than one kid knows that. But more often than not, there are some pretty challenging as well as amazing quirks my daughter has which makes her incredibly unique.

It seemed pretty clear to me my daughter has a speech delay. Not uncommon. However, the speech therapist also diagnosed her with something called sensory processing disorder.

All of her behaviors I had thought which make her very adventurous, unique, stubborn, strong willed and creative are categorized under this disorder.  Something about the term "disorder" really bothered me which is why it was so hard to hear. Of course no parent wants their child to struggle, but I shirked away from so quickly putting a label on my 2 year old.

The positive side to knowing she possibly has SPD is I already have gained some really positive strate…

Shame in Motherhood

I started my role as a mother with very different lenses than I have now. A different perspective I guess you would say. I would say, for me, being a mom transformed forced me to change. I mean really change.

I remember looking at my red faced newborn little boy and being so overwhelmed with love and joy and knowing what our little life would be like. How perfect it would be. What a great mother I would be. I envisioned going to all his little sports games, volunteering in all of his classes, and before that strolling down the sidewalk with a cute stroller, baby, and fashionable diaper bag. Ready to meet my mob of mom friends and their sweet babies. 
As a self proclaimed extroverted perfectionist I felt ready to tackle this new role and life as a stay at home mom like never has been done before! 
But, seriously, there is a major problem with being a perfectionist and a mother at the same time. The two cannot co exist in any healthy sort of way. Or any sort of way that won't send …