Bonnie McCulloch

My Best Boy

bubba2013

My best boy turned 11 a week ago today. On one hand I cannot believe he has been in our lives for 11 years but on the other I cannot remember my life without him.  I forget what it felt like to get up and go to work everyday and to only have to think of myself or at most what I was going to make for dinner.

Life was simple before my Best Boy entered the world, although I didn’t think it was.  I thought my job was tough and stressful.  It was-teaching middle school special needs students was never easy but I loved it.  Then….my Best Boy arrived.  His birth was so difficult.  He was early and weighed 9 pounds 13 ounces. I will spare you the details-lets just say it was a very traumatic delivery.

But then he was HERE.  Where was my manual? Although “What To Expect The First Year” was helpful, there was no chapter on how to take care of a child with medical issues-that I managed with great doctors, a loving family and wonderful friends.

Fast forward 11 years.  My Best Boy is going to middle school next year. I CANNOT believe it.  I am sad, excited, nervous and worried about this whole middle school thing (remember I taught middle school for 6 years).  I unfortunately know by living it myself and also teaching that grade level how crazy it can be.

Here is what I have come up with after a week of pondering how my Best Boy could possibly be 11 years old.

~He is a good sweet boy.

~He has brought so much joy to my family.

~He will make wrong decisions and we (George and I) will be help him understand and work through his choices.

~We live in a wonderful town with a great school system and he is academically ready for middle school.

~There is nothing I can do to stop time or slow it down-he is growing up whether I choose to accept it or not.

~I am blessed and grateful that he is my Best Boy-he is the child I was meant to have.

~I will try to look at him growing up as a positive and enjoy it-not everyone has that same gift.

~He is my baby and always will be whether he is 1, 11 or 77.

They say it takes a village and I am deeply grateful that I am part of one.

My wish for all is to have peace in our  hearts, peace in our minds, and may there be peace in the world-especially for my Best Boy.

Bonnie

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Finding Peace in Parenting?

My best boy will be 11 in 2 weeks and I am struggling.  Not with him but with the world around him.  I am searching for the balance between keeping him the sweet and gentle boy that he is but also making him aware of the crazy world around him.  I am baffled at how many parents allow their 10/11 years olds to play mature video games.  I do not want to judge parents who do let their kids play these games-parents have to make their own decision for their children. As for my son it is a big fat “NO”.

Anyone who knows me, knows me as a bit overprotective.  Know what? I am 100% ok with that.  I make decisions based on who my son is and how he handles things in his life.  My son has always been physically tough but emotionally sweet and sensitive.  We have had to help him understand things that happen in life that we have no explanation for.  As a parent we are supposed to have the answers.  So when he asks me why did one of his best friends brother have to die of cancer-I had to be honest and say “I don’t know”.  As a parent this is a tough but an honest answer-my boy was unsettled by my response but it was all I had to give.

So when it comes to exposing my child to violence and death in a game form, it is easy for me to say “No”.  At this point I don’t even allow him to play TEEN games.  Last time I checked 11 is not a teenager.  Aren’t there enough horrible things in the world already-does he need to play out violence in a game?  I understand that I may not be realistic in my views but I am a very peaceful person and I don’t like the games to begin with.

As for now I am just going to do the best I can-isn’t that all we can do?  I would love to put my best boy in a bubble and protect him from the world but I know I can’t-right? Seriously, again I don’t want to judge other parents.  I just wanted to share my struggle in case someone else out there is struggling too.

Parenting is so hard and I am sure I have and will make many more mistakes.  But the mistakes that I make come from a place of love and not from a place of control.  Having my son is the best thing I have ever done in my life-who wouldn’t want the best for such a precious gift.

Be Well, Be Happy,

Bonnie

Simplify

My goal for 2013 is to Simplify aspects of my life. Not just my “stuff” but also how I live my life. Maybe it’s being over 40 or maybe it’s incorporating yoga into my everyday life. I am tired of all the stuff in my home and the stuff that’s floating around in my head. I need to simplify and to do this I need to figure out what is important to me. I wish I could say that I will never do things that are stressful or things that I don’t want to do but that is just not realistic.

I long for a life less complicated. Those of you who know me might say that getting a puppy was not going in the “less complicated” direction. Actually it was. Since we got Lucky Girl, we have spent more quality family time. We all hang out with Lucky and we have also had more family dinners at the table. Most importantly we have come together to care for this little black rescue dog from Georgia. We feel that we have done something wonderful by rescuing her.

What I mean when I say that I want to “Simplify” I simply mean this:

I really  want to clear out all my material “stuff”.  Those jeans that I am holding onto in hopes to lose 10 pounds to fit into-Gone!  All the clothes that I think I might wear are going to be donated to women that I know need them.  Also all the household “chachki’s” I have lying around-if they don’t honor or represent who I am they are getting donated. I once read that when someone enters your home they should be able to tell a lot about you by how it’s decorated. I don’t want or need  anymore stuff-I like what I have right know.

As far as the stuff floating around in my mind-that will take a little longer.  I want to have peace in my mind and to learn better how to let go of what I cannot change or what has happened in the past.  Yoga has helped me to let go of what does not serve or benefit me-even if it’s a slow process.  Life is a journey and not a race.  I want less of the “woulda-shoulda-coulda’s” in my life.  I want my decisions to be thought out-not so worried about.

I am going to do my best to Simplify my life and I will keep you posted on my success (positive thinking).

Be Well, Be Happy,

Bonnie

I’m Back!

After being “off the grid” from my blog I am back. I could bore you with the details of why I haven’t posted in so long but does it matter? No. What matters is right now-this moment. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and a good start to 2013. I have updated my yoga class schedule and also added my new yoga certifications. Stay tuned for my next “real” post “Simplifying 2013”.

Be Well, Be Happy,
Bonnie

Seven Year Itch

No it’s not what you think-I still love my funny sweet husband but I would love to be able to end my seven-year relationship with Type 1 Diabetes.

Seven years ago today-yes on Halloween-I got a phone call that changed my life. “Bonnie, I am sorry to tell you this but you have Diabetes”. At that very moment I was drinking a latte and eating chocolate covered graham crackers. My doctor at the time asked me if I could come to the office to talk about a plan.  When she walked into the room I burst into tears and she hugged me as I sobbed.

After telling my husband, family and friends I thought now what?  How am I going to live my life? How am I going to be a good mother? The first week of my diagnosis is still really a blur.  John was 3 and had no idea thankfully what was going on.  I was fortunate enough to get into Newton Wellesley Hospital with a wonderful endocrinologist who I love. I had no real information on how to live with this chronic illness.

There were many trials and tribulations along the way but they all seem to work out in the end.  Once I was on the correct medicine I started to feel a little more normal-slowly. It’s a lot to maintain on a daily basis but after seven years I don’t remember what it was like to just be able to eat cake.  Sounds funny but I love cake and now, before I eat anything, I have to give myself an insulin shot (or 2 or 3).

As I look back on the last seven years aside from the Diabetes-my life is really good.  Everything else is what I had always hoped for-a loving husband, to be a mom to John, have the love of family and friends and to do what I love-teach yoga.

I want to thank my family and friends for never treating me any different.  I thought that people wouldn’t want to leave their kids with me for fear of low blood sugar or a really high one or that people may view me as “sick”. I had all these crazy thoughts about what my life would look like.  Also I want to thank a few of my friends who have been with me during some of my worst blood sugar lows.  They kept me calm and made me feel safe in a very scary situation.

I have heard that it’s important how you describe yourself-are you a person with Diabetes or are you a Diabetic? I am a Diabetic not just a person with Diabetes.  If I don’t take care of my health first, then I can’t be any good at all the other things that define me: A Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Friend and a Yoga Instructor. 

Although I would love to end my seven-year relationship with Diabetes (not in my lifetime) I am grateful for the perspective it has given me on my life.  It has made more fearless-this can be good and bad-but it has made me realize the importance of truly living the life that I have.  Not waiting around for it to happen but to make it happen. Today, after having dealt with the multiple insulin shots a day and checking my sugar more than I should, I feel blessed. It has opened my eyes to things I would have never seen before.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.

Joseph Campbell

 

Letting Go

On February 3, 2002 my life changed forever-my son John was born.

What started out as a routine delivery went terribly wrong.  I will spare you the gory details but it came down to: his heart rate kept dropping, he was really big and I should have had a cesarean section. Due to the fact the intern decided that it was too late (it wasn’t too late) for a c-section my son ended up with a brain hemorrhage.  For the last 10 years my husband and I have worked  hard to help my son become the best he can be physically and cognitively.

A few weeks ago I spent the entire weekend getting trained in Prenatal Yoga.  I knew that this may be tough for me due my son’s birth but I could never have predicted how I actually felt at the end of the weekend.

I had forgiven the intern who made the decision to not giving me a c-section.  I knew that she never meant to hurt John or myself-she is human and human beings make terrible mistakes. But what I realized during that weekend training is that I had not forgiven myself.

I knew something wasn’t right a week or two before John was born.  I felt he was bigger than the 6 pounds that they predicted he was (he weighed 9 pounds 13 ounces and was 10 days early). When I voiced my concern I was told that it was just getting “tight” in there and that there wasn’t a lot of room for the baby to move.  I DIDN’T LISTEN TO MY INTER VOICE!

My inner voice told me something wasn’t right but I thought the doctors knew more than I did so I let it go.  I LET IT GO.  The guilt and anger that I have been carrying around was about me-my guilt.  I felt I let him down. It was somehow my fault that he has been through so much-seizures, PT, leg braces………

But now I need to LET IT GO. There is nothing I can do to change the past-it is what it is.  I find that people have an easier time forgiving others than they do themselves.  You can’t go back but would I if I could?  Would my life be the same? Would my son be this wonderful human being? Maybe-maybe not. 

My inner voice is much stronger now due to age and experience but mostly due to yoga.  Listening to your body and what it tells you is very important and a valuable tool.  Some may say that it wasn’t my fault and maybe if I had said something it wouldn’t have mattered. Rationally I know this but the guilt I feel is real so I need to listen, sit with it and then work on LETTING IT GO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Instuctor-Who Me?

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be a yoga instructor in the future I would have thought they were crazy.  I fell in love with yoga when I was 19 but I never thought about it as a career. I was very happy with being a stay at home Mom after teacher middle school Special Education for 6 years.  As my son got a little older I happily returned to my regular yoga practice-a much needed yoga practice.

When I started practicing regularly again, I was amazed at how much I loved yoga-I fell in love all over again.  After a very traumatic delivery with my son, my body felt so foreign to me. With yoga, I reconnected with my body and learned how to “let go” of a lot of the anger I was holding on to due to his delivery.

Then in 2005 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween-no joke.  Again through yoga and meditation I learned (and I am still learning) how my body works.  I found a wonderful sense of peace and calm when I was practicing yoga.  When I would sit on my mat at the beginning of class I felt this weird sense of contentment-I was where I needed to be.

Becoming a yoga instructor for me was always a “dream” not something I ever imagined would happen.  One day I asked my yoga instructor where she trained just to get some information.  I knew that Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires had a month-long teacher training program but that was not an option for me. I decided to look into some different certification programs-just for fun.

My husband George was truly the one who made the suggestion to go for the teacher training.  I was apprehensive at first because I was afraid that once the training was over, what if I didn’t want to teach yoga? He told me “then you don’t teach and just continue to practice like you always have”.  With his support and many other family members and friends, I started on my yoga journey.  I am amazed and so grateful for where it has brought me.

In my training we studied many different styles of yoga.  I realized that I wanted to teach yoga to anyone who wanted to take it. My goal has always been to share yoga with eveyone-no matter what is going on with their body or mind.  Yoga is a wonderful gift that I wanted to share with everyone and anyone.

I have always been intrigued by the question-when do you feel that you are your “best self” and what does that really mean? The answer is different for everyone but I think the question is about finding what makes you feel happy, peaceful and content.  For some people is might be running but for someone else it could be gardening. Whatever it is my advice is to search for it-“Find Your Peace”! It may take some time but it is most certainly worth the effort.

I am so grateful that I am able to do what I love and that I found that “thing” that soothes my soul and makes me feel my best.  Yoga has changed my life and my wish is that everyone can start a journey of discovery to find their “best self“.

Have a wonderful week.

Be Happy. Be Well.

Bonnie

*check out my updated class schedule for Fall 2012

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