It’s hard to believe we’re only three weeks deep into summer vacation.
Homework fights and science fair stuffs already feel like a lifetime ago.
In a great way.
(Is it too soon to start dreading 5th grade?)
I credit much of our lackadaisical pace and be present lifestyle to the Mindful Bucket List we created.
Even when we aren’t actively crossing items off our list it’s helped shift *my* perspective on summer.
I no longer approach these months in a panic of How many things can we do before it’s over? or How little work will I be able to finish while she’s off?
Thanks to our list Ive subconsciously adopted five words, ones I don’t normally adore, as they capture my attitude perfectly: It is what it is.
An in between few months which are filled with potential and I don’t yet know what will happen.
But I digress.
The other night, after a longass day tolerating Austin heat, I spied these in a store:
I’m always a fan of a good uniquely shaped glow stick–what’s not to love?–and these seemed perfect for item #10 on our Mindful List:
Stargaze and sleep outside on trampoline.
I was excited (it had been eons since I’d slept outdoors sans-tent).
I was prepared (I bought extras in case our frames died out in the night).
Ever a terrible secret keeper I immediately divulged my plan when I arrived home.
We’ll go outside tomorrow after dark, get settled on the trampoline with blankets and pillows (and Golden Doodle), we’ll stargaze and stay out until morning!
Her response, to my surprise, was an emphatic no.
Yes she’d love to stargaze, yes she’d love to set up camp on the tramp(oline), no way would she sleep out there tent-free as snakes could slither up the metal legs and get us.
It was almost as if she’d read my post.
Her no was clear and emphatic, but she offered an option which did work for her:
She wouldn’t sleep the entire night on the trampoline, but she’d love to hang out there until the middle of the night.
The next evening the Doodle, the Child and I waited impatiently for dark so we could head outside to star gaze and just be.
Even Charming seemed to realize it wasn’t time to frolic (he rocks a good trampoline jump) and settled in quickly next to his person.
Within mere moments (hello 10) the monologue began:
My glasses aren’t working. I can’t see. Why are yours glowing already? I need a new pair. Did you bring more outside?
Calmly and patiently reminded her she needed to break them. A lot.
(I’m kinda broken do I glow?)
Being ten she chose to instead place her current pair on the Doodle, pretended they’d always been intended for him, and ripped open yet another package.
Why don’t these work either? I have glasses but they won’t glow. I won’t be able to see anything. Why are yours working?!
I little less patiently I reminded her she needed to BREAK THEM before she fashioned them into frames. If she didn’t break them enough they wouldn’t shine.
(I feel a little broken. Will I shine soon?)
And finally it worked.
LOOK, Mama! These work! I broke them in every place and now they glow and shine! I broke everywhere and they glow so bright!!
(Is that it for all of us? Do we need to break as only after that can we SHINE!!)
As we laid back and gazed upward I found myself unable to be blank like a sheet of paper.
My conscious mind clung tenaciously to the notion of our glasses not shining until we’d broken broken broken them.
This year has kicked my ass.
This year has been filled with pivots and change.
Perhaps I’d be better served to reframe my thoughts and, as I approach 47, view this as The Year of the Glow Stick.
The year I break before I shine.
We slept outside for a little while, but that’s only because I’m old and tired and she can get comfy anywhere if her Doodle is beside her.
The next morning, like an adult, I googled to see if my Ah Ha! Ima Glow Stick! moment was unique to me. It was not. I discovered a few unattributed quotes about being broken before you shine, but discovering this didn’t diminish my shine.
I’m a glow stick who values connection.
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysJune 29, 2016 at 4:26 am
I love how your brain thinks. It makes mine think. And I’m sure it gets others thinking too. And that’s a good thing.
sarah@creatingbettertomorrow saysJune 29, 2016 at 4:57 am
i LOVE this…all things about it…broken before you shine…i may have to make that my quote that goes on my desk board this week.
i’m a sucker for laying in our backyard staring up at the stars on a clear night…nothing bette
Cate saysJune 29, 2016 at 5:00 am
OMG. I love this.
Lydia saysJune 29, 2016 at 5:38 am
I know this wasn’t really your main point, but now I’m wondering if my twins would sleep outside on our trampoline with ME.
Maybe it’s just that these youngsters are soft.
Id do it!!
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysJune 29, 2016 at 5:48 am
There is a quote that I’ve seen a few times that reads “Sometimes, we are like glowsticks: we have to break before we shine.”
So true. I hope i don’t need to break more to shine.
Valerie saysJune 29, 2016 at 6:15 am
Oh. My. Gosh.
Can I just say how much I adore you? (If you didn’t already know.) Because all the other words have to simmer for a while as I fully digest this. [Maybe it’s not a unique concept, but the way you express it and the way you apply it to life is *always* unique, and you always seem to do it in a way that makes it resonate so immediately and powerfully. ]
For now, I’ll just say I can see you shining already, all the way from here. <3 <3
Carly @ Fine Fit Day saysJune 29, 2016 at 6:44 am
This is so beautiful. Such a simple concept of breaking before you can shine, yet it’s such a hopeful thought. Damn I love your writing!
Coco saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:00 am
Love this. And being me, I think of Nadia Bolz-Weber and her message that God takes our brokenness and transforms it. And being you, I know you won’t be surprised by the connection I’m making here. And being a parent of young adults, I hope all the breaking my kids have endured will help them shine.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:22 am
If this is true, I should be shining like the northern star. This year has been epic and not in an entirely good way. I feel broken–and I want to find my shine again.
Great great food for thought here.
Kelly saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:23 am
I love this, Carla. All of us feel a bit broken at times, but what a lovely metaphor: broken in order to shine. Love!
Estelle saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:40 am
What a beautiful sentiment. I hope we can maybe only break halfway before we shine, though:)
Liz saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:58 am
I’m with Angela. I love how your mind thinks. This is great.
Mandy saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:00 am
I was immediately hit with shivers and tears when I read “I’m broken do I glow.” Honestly, it was whispered to me in my own voice, when usually I hear your posts in your own voice (loved both of your podcasts).
Thank you for this post.
Leanne saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:11 am
I loved that thought Carla – I hadn’t thought about breaking and glowing glowsticks – now when I make a glowstick bangle next I’ll think of you overcoming all your breakings to glow brightly!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:14 am
All the love for this post. This is one of my favorite reminders on rough days. And I’d say you shine quite a lot 🙂
Erin @ Erin's Inside Job saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:17 am
This is everything. I love it.
kymberly saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:56 am
Reminds me of the massive slumber parties we’d have out on our trampoline. Inevitably we’d all sink to the middle and land on top of each other
Becki @ Fighting for Wellness saysJune 29, 2016 at 9:19 am
Wow. This is so truly inspiring, Carla. I love how you find such truth in these beautiful moments.
Paula saysJune 29, 2016 at 9:49 am
Wow. Just this.
You are amazingly insightful.
Alexis saysJune 29, 2016 at 10:16 am
What a great post! A nice reminder that although we are all “broken” we aren’t unfixable…we SHINE! Now off to go buy some glowstick glasses and stargaze with my kiddos and doodle!
Camille saysJune 29, 2016 at 10:34 am
Great piece about finding your inner spirit. Thanks for posting.
Sandra Laflamme saysJune 29, 2016 at 10:37 am
The best post i’ve read in a long time. I feel like I am going through this right now. I am just waiting to shine again! Thank you for writing this!
Glenda saysJune 29, 2016 at 10:42 am
Carla, tears are streaming down my face. I discovered you have to break before you shine. I broke in some many places, I thought it impossible to ever luminary again. I was wrong. Your story is absolutely beautiful. Thank you.
Sasha Johns saysJune 29, 2016 at 11:39 am
I love it! Broken before I shine!
Jessica @eatsleepbe saysJune 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm
Love this. I feel like I have always been a glow stick, but now I want to glow without any more breaking. 🙂
Jill saysJune 29, 2016 at 2:32 pm
Adore. Still. <3
mesymimi saysJune 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm
The cracks are how the light shines through, that’s how i once heard it put. Yours is better.
Allie saysJune 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm
I love how we can get so many a-ha moments from what our kids say. Love.It.
Jody - Fit at 58 saysJune 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm
YOU HONESTLY MUST HAVE READ MY MIND! HOW APPROPRIATE THIS POSTED TODAY! I AM STILL BREAKING THE GLO0W STICK! GREAT POST CARLA!
PS: I forgot the caps were on & too lazy to retype! 🙂
Carla saysJune 30, 2016 at 4:45 am
and I loved the caps. It felt so emphatic 🙂
Farrah saysJune 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm
I love your mindful bucket list! That sidewalk yoga chalk art! <3 I'm all for spending time with people who make me happy + stargazing and helping others too. 😀 These are all such awesome ideas! :]
This post is beautiful + I really love that quote! <3
Lucie Palka saysJune 29, 2016 at 8:13 pm
You are a deep thinker Carla! I like how you googled the I’m a glow stick moment, and someone had already made the analogy!
AdjustedReality saysJune 30, 2016 at 10:30 am
The cracks are where the light gets in. So yep, I guess we do have to break before we shine! 🙂
Lori saysJune 30, 2016 at 1:30 pm
The sticks are broken and then reshaped into something differnt. Maybe that’s also a lesson in there.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysJuly 1, 2016 at 12:06 am
I love this notion. The sticks are flexible and tolerate force without their glow being diminished.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysJuly 1, 2016 at 8:41 am
Can I tell you how much I love this story and this a-ha moment you had? It really made me stop once I came to that line about needing to break before we can shine. And I love Laura’s notion that the sticks are flexible and can tolerate force without diminishing their glow.