About Kristine Bruneau

Hi. I'm passionate about writing and inspiring others with storysharing. For more than 20 years, I've made a career from writing and marketing communications. My commentaries, stories, and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications, including "Rochester Magazine," HerRochester.com, "Rochester Democrat and Chronicle," "Rochester Woman Magazine" and "DaKa Magazine." I post fun and insightful lessons to MommyMusingsBlog.com and at Blogs.DemocratAndChronicle.com/Moms. And I'm working on a book inspired by these lessons and their resulting conundrums.

Snow Day

Who doesn’t want a Snow Day? Sure it messes up your grown up schedule, but I think it’s worth it to see the joy on my child’s face when I announce “It’s a Snow Day!”

The spoon rests beneath James’s pillow; the ice cube long since flushed down the toilet – a Snow Day ritual and oft-discussed legend among school-aged kids. More ice was left on the floor and melted into a puddle, which of course I stepped in before following James upstairs to bed.

“I hope tomorrow is a Snow Day,” he says before snuggling beneath the covers.

“Me too,” I say and hold his hand.

On a Snow Day, as the wind howls and blows outside our door, we’ll wrap ourselves in fuzzy blankets and sip hot cocoa by the fire. We’ll light a cinnamon candle and play a game of Clue. On a Snow Day, we’ll stuff ourselves into our snow gear and bravely venture into a frozen world. We’ll make snowballs and throw them for Beck to pounce and chew. We’ll grab our sled and zoom down the hill, toppling over  and rolling into messy snow angels and then repeat again and again. On a Snow Day, we’ll laugh until our cheeks hurt and tiny ice balls stick to our eyelashes. Soon, the warmth of our home will beckon us. We’ll peel off our layers and leave them in a heap on the floor, racing to the comfort of flame and appeal of chocolate.

As I write this on the eve of our Snow Day, snow falls heavily on the land. Across the street, a plow pushes the sticky whiteness into hills of meringe. And I savor the moment of a Snow Day.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. Don’t forget, you can also post a comment on my blog, like it on Facebook, or tweet to your followers.

Celebrate your neurosis everyday

Halloween candyWhat’s your neurosis?

Now that Halloween is over, you don’t have an excuse to obsess over candy, costumes, and creepiness, but you still have your neurosis.

Neurosis, as defined by the dictionary, is a “relatively mild mental illness not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress… ” You might know it as a behavior like: worrying about the amount of candy you need to buy. And then realizing, if you give two pieces to each child, you don’t have enough candy for the entire neighborhood. Of course, you need to buy more, but rationalize that you’ll only buy the brands you like just in case the horde of kids don’t show up, you might as well eat what you enjoy. But don’t eat too much candy, you remind yourself because the sugar will expand your middle and eventually cause diabetes. And then you’ll die.

Or you might picture yourself as the obsessive compulsive “Fright Night” decorator like Claire Dunphy in the latest Modern Family episode. When she tries to out-decorate her obnoxious, medical marijuana-selling neighbor to win a scary house competition, leave it to precocious teen Alex, dressed as Tess McGill from the movie Working Girl, to “help her mom realize that putting on a scary Halloween is what helps Claire feel like an edgy, not boring mom.”

Even if Halloween didn’t raise up any neurosis from the dead, the holidays should do it for you. Thanks to retailers and grocery stores like Wegmans, staff was stocking shelves with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah-themed decorations on Halloween. I know because I was at Wegmans searching the aisles for one more bag of candy (I bought two).

With Thanksgiving in 25 days at this writing, many moms get hostess neurosis in an attempt to recreate a Norman Rockwell-style dining experience. We stress ourselves to the point of tears just to achieve Martha Stewart perfectionism – though it doesn’t exist – and in hope of avoiding a repeat of last year’s dysfunctional family drama.

The good news is that you haven’t lost complete touch with reality; you’re just a little “bent.”  Or as my son would say, “Mom, you’re cray-cray.”

Like many people, I strive to become more mindful by practicing meditation and yoga. What really happens as I cleanse my inner windows of perception, is that my neurosis tends to bubble up anyway.  Despite my wish to remain open, I hold tight to my old ways. It’s unavoidable, according to Pema Chödrön. The point is not to use meditation and yoga (or even medical marijuana) to avoid feelings of inadequacy or uncomfortableness, but embrace your neurosis.

“We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them.”  writes Deepak Chopra in his 7 Myths of Meditation post. In this spirit, I’m going to embrace and celebrate my neurosis today, and everyday – right after I get rid of all my leftover Halloween candy.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. Don’t forget, you can also post a comment on my blog, like it on Facebook, or tweet to your followers.

Awake in this very moment

Awake“Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom. It’s available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives,”  writes Pema Chodron in Comfortable with Uncertainty. 

I believe the perfect teacher is this very moment. Are you awake? What do you see?

This is an experimental series of brief reflections in pictures and words. Do you have a favorite quote, tidbit of wisdom, or picture of your own? Then share it with the world! If you like this post, please share on your favorite social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.