Frame of Mind

” A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run”. – George Matthew Adams

The month of August has been a strong testament to the power of the mind and positive thinking. The stormy, temperamental clouds swept in bringing more thunder, unease and chaos feeling like a mirror to my own personal state of mind. Life has been hectic, a bit stormy with excitement, adventure and noise followed by few tiny periods of calm and tranquility. All in all it has left me feeling a bit unbalanced, overwhelmed and fatigued.

Storm clouds over Lake Superior

I’ve realized that there are many things I cannot control yet there are also plenty that I can. It is understanding the difference between the two which makes all the difference in my daily life. When I get too busy and don’t take enough time to relax, my head fills up with non stop chatter and feels like it is going to explode. That is when I need to take a step back and realize that it is time to prioritize the things I can and cannot control.

I’ve given myself the freedom to step back from the blog, to let the unedited photos rest, and take a moment to just breathe. I cannot produce quality content when my head is so rushed with thoughts and there is not enough time in the day to sit still for five minutes. My time will come.

Life is once about to significantly change this Monday when my children go back to school. My life will free up once again and the stormy clouds will dissipate as the fresh, pure air of Fall blows in. Yet it is bittersweet. The end of yet another summer and my oldest child, Max starting middle school and my daughter Sophia already heading to fourth grade. It feels like the summer came and went in a blink of the eye. That is perhaps why I’m feeling so utterly overwhelmed. I just wish time could slow down for a minute.

Sunset on Lake Harriet

It is when I get to this point where I am not sleeping well, my head aches and I’m so flustered a simple thing makes me want to burst into tears that I realize it is time to slow down. To step back, and embrace and enjoy life. To get a different frame of mind because nothing is more important than this very moment. This day and this life. Before I know it, the kids will be all grown up and starting families of their own.

It is times like these when I turn to the words of this beautiful poem to help guide me and reassure me that it is simply ok to let go. To not pressure myself to be a supermom and just enjoy being fun-loving, adventurous sometimes type A me. It will all be ok. My blog won’t flop, my readers hopefully won’t leave or forget me, my stats won’t go down. Maybe I won’t have the career I imagined but that doesn’t mean the future isn’t bright. Instead, it is important to enjoy this precious time with my family and children. My time will come and I’ll be ready.


The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean– the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver


This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame. 


    • That is what my parents say. I am 43 too. It is crazy how fast life goes especially when raising a family. We are spending the weekend with my uncle and it is nice to just all be together. 😊 thanks for the words of wisdom Debra.

    • Thanks Debbie! Yes after reading your recent post it sounds like we both need some positive frames of mind. I tend to get awfully stressed out when I am too busy and don’t have enough time. I admit I have caused a lot of this myself as
      I have barely been home this summer but then again I wasn’t meant to sit behind on the porch. Time to get some yoga back in my life and taking the time to just be still and grateful each day. 😌

  1. My experience has been that time flies faster as longevity increases. It’s a scientific fact as far as I’m concerned. And therein lies the conundrum, how do we deal with the fleeting moments, days and seasons, and the myriad repercussions, real or imagined, as we grow older? Ha, that’s when life gets interesting! Cheers! 😉

    • Love these words of wisdom Mike! Yes how do we deal with fleeting moments and time as it seems to keep ticking faster and faster is the million dollar question. I remember when I was a kid summers seemed to last forever but once I graduated college and entered the real world the clock sped up. Having kids out life on fast speed and getting the new puppy this spring made summer go faster then ever. Maybe I even got a gray hair? 😌

  2. Pingback: Frame (1) | What's (in) the picture?

    • Thanks Sue. I am my worst critic and very hard on myself. I can’t be a good mom and wife if I am so stressed out. So I will take your advice and take it easy. 🌟

      • The one thing I learned Nicole was that I was better in those roles when I took care of myself. A few crisis points over the ears hammered that home. From what I see you are an amazing Mom and have such a generous and giving heart. I’m sending positive energy your way and big hugs.

      • Oh thanks Sue! Yes I was not doing to good of a job last week but today the kids went off to school again. I’m still completely amazed by how fast time is going. My son just started middle school and he is so big, and Sophia is in fourth grade. I will have more time now but it is quiet not having them around all day. 🙂

    • Isn’t that the truth Sylvia? I sometimes long for when they were babies and days at home in the Minnesota winter felt like years. But now weeks become years as time doesn’t slow down. Crazy:

  3. Such a wonderfully personal take on the challenge, Nicole. Family is most important. Period. Enjoy them, take time to enjoy life, as it goes by much too quickly. August seems to have been full of challenges for many of us. May it pass quickly into a peaceful September where we have time to slow down and savor what life has to offer. When you come back, I, like Jeffe in “The Three Amigos” will say, “I’m still here, El Guapo/Nicole.” 🙂


    • Love this Janet. Thank you so much. I’ve just been overwhelmed these past few months with a new puppy, kids home from school and too much moving around. I sometimes long for those days that felt forever when my kids were babies and I was stuck in the house all day waiting for five. Isn’t that ironic? Those were such long hard days yet I miss them. Life just races at breakneck speed. It gets faster every year and if I dwell in that too long I feel sad. So best move is to try to take it easy and embrace each day by slowing down. ☺️

  4. I want to come and give you a big hug! But clearly you have enough wisdom to see what’s going on and to make some different choices. A wonderful heartfelt post Nicole. So much of our lives it seems is about learning to accept what is don’t you think? I love Mary Oliver!
    Hugs, Alison

    • Thanks Alison. I always feel I struggle so much with this fast paced life. When life gets so busy which it often does I get so overwhelmed that I can’t think straight. Not sure how much of it is my personality but I also think life is very different than it was before. Anyway all will be fine. Sometimes I just need to take a moment and reflect before the whirlwind of life speeds up and another few years pass by before I take a breather!

  5. Seasonal changes always bring angst and frustrations, as least for me! Things are often stormy in a figurative way, with changes in kids’ lives and our own happening all at once. It doesn’t change when they are past 4th and 6th grades either! I am weathering my own internal storm of starting back to work in a totally new job next week … on the same day my daughter moves to Africa! Many excited and worried feelings all at once!

    • So true Lexi. Life is always busy, overwhelming at times and complicated. Being a mother adds an entire different dimension on things as now you have even more to worry about. For me when I get way too busy I get super stressed out and can’t function. It is something about my personality as I already never stop
      Moving or sit still. I long to be like my laid back friends who take life in stride but that is Just not me. So when I get so tied up in a knot I realize it
      Is time to calm down and relax. I am sure your daughter will have an amazing time and I’m sure I will feel the exact same way when my daughter follows my footsteps.

    • Yes so incredibly true. I thought back to when my kids were toddlers and always home and how the days felt like forever they were so long. Now my kids are 9 and 11 and we are so busy yet in a different way and the time just seems to fly by. Trying to slow down a bit as it is so important to embrace this special time with the kids. 🙂 Thanks for the comment and it is great to know I’m not alone.

  6. Oh, I can so relate Nicole, as I am my own harshest critic. But, as you know, it is vitally important that we try to live in the present, which is so difficult for us Type A’s. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and soon this feeling will pass. I absolutely adore Mary Oliver’s work…love this poem.

    • Thanks LuAnn! I know things will calm down. The new school year started and now my son is in middle school and the kids are at two different schools with two different start times. The puppy is a ton of work. But yet, I need to inhale and try to relax a bit. It isn’t worth being so stressed out! 🙂

  7. I lovelovelove this post! I always find it refreshing, rejuvenating, and inspiring when people are honest about how they’re feeling—honest about the drains of life and what helps them move past it all. Thank you for sharing your experiences and the wonderful poem by Mary Oliver. She is fantastic!

    • Oh thank you!!! I was feeling much better for a few days until school started and there it all went again! I think being too busy and dealing with change are the two major stressors in life. I have realized that I just need to take a break and relax. I am way too hard on myself. So I’m glad that you found the post refreshing! We all know that life isn’t perfect and sometimes as bloggers we don’t always share all the ups and downs. But that is the journey of life. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I heard her on a podcast and loved her poetry. I felt that I could relate so well to her love of nature. Yes inner peacefulness is definitely an elusive state! Life can be a roller coaster of an adventure!

  8. So many changes to navigate. I can relate all too well Nicole. Although my two are older (15 and 18) they’re both at different stages of independence and my daughter is on the verge of finishing school and leaving to go off on her own. Like you, I’m struggling with so many aspects of life and change. I feel as though my life is changing course and I’m not quite sure of its direction. Anyway, great post and take on the theme Nicole. Warmest wishes to you.

    • Yes I think perhaps the lack of time (being way too busy) and the big changes have left me completely overwhelmed. But I know I will adjust. It is crazy having Max at middle school. He is so big now, as tall as me and I’m fairly tall for a woman. I wish I could slow time down a bit. This is where winter actually is a blessing in disguise as the cooler weather forces me to be inside more and slow down. 🙂 Summer is there for you, right? Will your olders daughter move far from home you think? That is what normally happens when our kids go to college here.

      • Spring has started here Nicole so the days are slowly getting longer, not quite summer but still I’m spending more time outside which has been therapeutic for me.
        I know what you mean about your son growing. Mine has now overshot me in height and he’s only 15. As for my oldest daughter, I wouldn’t be surprised if this time next year she’s out of home and possibly far away. I guess it’s only normal and what we all went through but sometimes I can’t believe that my “baby” will be soon out on her own and independant. 🙂

  9. excellent photos and I like the poem. When I feel anxious and stressed, I either take a nap or I start doing some yoga asanas. But overall I agree with you; things do seem to get hectic out of nowhere and time does fly by.

    I welcome the fall, and its supposed calm. The summer was kind of hazy for me; and a little stressful.

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