Friday, May 08, 2009

To Calibrate

Defined as:
1. to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements).

4. to plan or devise (something) carefully so as to have a precise use, application, appeal, etc.: a sales strategy calibrated to rich investors.

I like this word and this definition. It describes much of our life these days, the approach we have taken as things are shifting and changing, sometimes more rapidly than we anticipated. I was right a few posts back when I wrote that this new year would bring great changes to our family. The first was the shift in care giving, the change that brought Tim into our daily lives. And from there things have just kept shifting, all in a really positive way. Well, when I look at it it seems positive.

Last night I watched a special on TV, it featured Michael J Fox and his eternally optimistic approach to life. It was moving in its own way but a few things really struck me. There was a part when he explained that there might actually be a gene that codes for optimism, that some just have it. I turned to Tim and told him I know I have that gene. I just know it. It is not a Pollyanna thing, it is an intrinsic part of the way I see the world. And I really hope I passed it on to the littles because they are going to need it in the years to come. The second thing I know after viewing it that we will someday travel to Bhutan, the country that measures their worth in Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product. The country that does not put the 'pursuit of happiness' in a declaration and not mean it. It was a fascinating glimpse into a world where things were situated as they should be....not as we wished they were. And in some odd way, I know we will go there.

Our days are calibrated now to give us the most out of them, on Daddy days that can include long park trips with Bombits balls utilized in various ways.

And then harvesting lady bugs to bring home to the backyard vegetable garden.
Lady Bug harvestAnd then lunch, Daddy style.on dad's day

Mama days sometimes require after nap hugs and kisses, especially as it seems on Mama days the boys wake up just a little bit grumpy from that afternoon rest.
Post nap

And sometimes on Mama days it happens that a little bit of mischief occurs involving a big tub of lotion, some hysterical laughter and Mama and Daddy's big bed. The hysterical laughter was the dead giveaway on that occasion.

The show last night reinforced some beliefs that I have always held. That we need to bond together and support each other to be strong. We need to accept challenges with the grace we can muster. We need to believe in Hope and foster it gently and thoroughly in every action, decision and movement. We need to respect Life as it comes to us but also take the steps to meet it head on.

This is totally paraphrasing Fox last night but at one point he stated the only non-negotiable part of his life was the Parkinson's disease. Everything else was his choice and in his power to change. And so after a week of missed unemployment checks and delicate balancing of accounts, of long days helping people through their own process of disease and the struggle that brings, of re-calibrating to include all the important things in our lives like train rides and tickets to a very special concert.....

We receive news that we have waited on with bated breathe. News of opportunity and security, of Union positions with growth and support. It may be a few months before it works out but now we know it will. You see? There really is something to having the optimistic view. Here is the most optimistic thing I know.

Optimism personified


LauraC said...

Holy wow.
Best post ever. And I say that as a huge admirer of all that you write.

I'm passing this along to a friend in need right now, because holy wow.

Janna said...

That was very very beautiful and so so true!

Dawn Johnson Warren said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so glad that I get to read your heart's words and peek into your world through pictures.

My parents know Micheal J. Fox's parents and say they are wonderful people. There is no doubt that he was influenced if not be genes but by their personalities and upbringing. You are raising some amazing men.

HeatherV said...

Just what I needed today. This was a gift of hope .

Sadia said...

I'd say I'm a positive person, but I come from a family where positivity is viewed with suspicion and alarm. My parents see my positivity as me going native in the US.

Fortunately, or perhaps by design, I married into a family with a basically positive outlook. My family's insistence on focusing on the negative no longer infuriates me, but it does sadden.

I too hope that my kiddos learn positivity.

Perhaps there is an optimism gene. I know that one can (also) learn optimism by willpower alone.

Bon said...

big big smile on my face. and i saw Fox on Jon Stewart not long ago and was reminded of what it takes to rise above.

Preeti said...

Beautiful words from your heart! I so need that optimism gene to shine in my life right now, but it sometimes gets choked by life!!

Happy Mothers Day - every day is a celebration of you:)