Mother of the Year

Today, I am grateful for my Mother, Sharon Peterson. I have written quite a few posts on my blog about my mother, as referenced (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). You might say that she is in the top ten things featured in my writing. Pretty important person you might say. Both would be pretty true. She’s kind of a big deal. There are a lot of clichés out there, “my mom is better than your mom,” or, “the best mom of ALL THE MOMS!” And while these are true about my mom, they kind of fall short.

For as long as I can remember, my mom has struggled with change. Friends have left her, moved, or passed on. Circumstances in her life have changed as well. I remember the two moments in my life when she lost her mother, and then her father. I remember the pain she felt. I remember her leaning against a wall as my sisters and I got on the floor with her and comforted her while she cried. I remember moving from our old house that we grew up in and how truly hard that was for my mom to not only leave the house, but leave the neighborhood and the people in it. I remember the moment I went to college and how hard that was for my mom to see me leave. I could go on. My mom has been dealt a lot of change. I know for a fact that she has prayed about handling change better and being more open to change. I can say that she still doesn’t like it, ha.

The past couple of years Mom has seen the last of her children move out of the house, two of her kids move out of state, and now is coming up on retirement from a profession that she does better than anyone I know. Honestly, this woman deserves one of those teacher of the year awards, or an honorary Oscar for teaching. I know that she is in a season that is different and maybe a little difficult and I want to acknowledge her. (To be clear, my younger sister Robyn still lives nearby Mom, so it’s not like all the kids are gone)

Mom, I love you. You have been such an incredible inspiration. Today, I hope you are appreciated, loved, and seen. You have taught me more than I can put into words and more than I can show. You deserve more than a day, and you deserve more than the words I string together, but it’s what I know how to do. Have a great Sunday Mom. I love you.

Your Son.

Eric

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30: Or, Why I’m Not Freaking Out

No. This is not a “30 things I noticed once turning 30,” post, or even a, “God, I’m 30, but I still don’t have babies,” post. It’s definitely not a, “I’m 30 and I feel myself rotting,” post.

I’m turning 30 in a few days. No longer having “twenty” as an identity is a bit odd…now that I’m sitting in this comfortable leather chair and thinking about my greater existence. Haha, turning thirty for me is not as much of a deal as some. If you’re a fan of the TV show Friends, you know what I’m talking about. They devote the entire episode to remembering each of group turning thirty years old. Rachel is freaking out about getting “old,” and they recall their previous milestones at thirty. I just don’t feel the same. I guess I’m similar to my dad in this respect. It’s another year, and you won’t feel much different afterwards. Now, this gets a little less true the closer you get to 40, 50, 60, and 70. As for me, I’m still young, not old.

Truly though, thirty is a prime time to be alive. I’ve had multiple conversations with forty year olds, or older, saying that their thirties were incredible. You are much less concerned with external opinions about yourself, you’ve arrived in a place where you’re working on your career, you’re dating and figuring things out, or you’re married and also figuring things out, haha. Thirty isn’t always, but CAN be an incredible moment in your life, filled with adventure, experience, pushing boundaries, and self discovery. I know that sometimes I entertain the thought that I haven’t done enough before thirty or pushed myself to where I want to be, but when I stop feeding that thought, I realize that I have accomplished much. I have seen much. I have felt much. I have lost much. I realize that reflection on a year passed shouldn’t be a time of regret, but refocused into a time of celebration and appreciation. In other words, you’re still alive, ha. And God willing, you have years ahead of you to go! Take opportunities when they arrive.

In some ways, I understand our obsession with time and how our yearly birthday is just another reminder that we have such little time on this earth, but flip that around if you can. Take a breath. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself of your friends, your family, and those who actually love the real you. Remind yourself of your happiest moments, and the moments that truly tested you. Remember your victories and the times you cried out to God for help. Remember that you are becoming fuller with each late night conversation you have about your vulnerabilities, each bad day you’ve overcome, each new relationship you build, and each regular day that you found some joy in.

This is my first birthday in my new home, with new friends that I’ve made over the last few months. In my dad’s words,

I have full faith that you’ll find friends Eric. You never seem to run out of them, and I don’t really know how you keep up with them all.

I always laugh whenever my dad tells me that. I guess being an introvert, I don’t seem to want to give myself enough credit for being able to meet people and draw them closer into friendship. Still, it’s new. It’s all new. And frankly, I can’t wait for that to wear off. I know one day, I’ll wake up, go about my day, as I have for months, and I’ll say to myself, “Huh, it kind of snuck up on me but none of this feels new any longer.” Given that a year before I turned thirty God told me to stop moving around so much, and then I got a job that I’ve been working towards since I was eighteen years old, and I moved to Colorado with the full intention of staying here for a while…I think this is going to be a year to remember. Now if only I could finish any of my short stories. One step at a time. One coffee shop at a time.

The Social Store-front Window, Wall, and Secret Garden.

It’s been two months. Last time I wrote, I had just started a new job, and the state of Colorado was becoming more and more like a home for me. Back to my old ways, sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on what recently to me has become the nectar of the angels, I am feeling more and more at home. You’ll know when I become more comfortable in a place when I make time for my favorite activity: writing. On this site, as most of you know, I make time for the things that cross my path and cause me to pause, that deeply interest me, that puzzle me, and that move me. Also, you’ll tend to find out whats going on in my life every once and a while. Continue reading “The Social Store-front Window, Wall, and Secret Garden.”

The New Life

When I moved to New Zealand in 2012, I moved with no job, no leads, and basically no friends. I took a leap of faith. A month before deportation I finally released the reigns that I was afraid to let go of. I was trying to do everything on my own. I made space for my faith and trust to take a place in my life. Two weeks before I was to be kicked out of the country, I landed a job…after 8 months of searching. Fast forward to now, when I moved to Colorado, I saw some striking similarities. With no job, no decent leads, and only a few friends in the state, I packed up everything I owned. I am happy to say that after spending three and a half months in this state, I have landed a job. And not just any job, but the job that I was hoping to always get! Continue reading “The New Life”

My Mother, Sharon Rose Peterson.

Today is Mother’s day. Though I’ve written quite a bit about my mom in the past, and though this isn’t the first time that I have been away during Mother’s Day, I still want to brag a bit on a Mom that has shown me so many unconditional lessons of love and kindness. Sharon Peterson. Continue reading “My Mother, Sharon Rose Peterson.”