Kids are out of school (or will be soon).
"Mom, I'm bored."
"Mom, I wanna do something fun."
"Mom, let's do something for Christmas."
If you've ever had a weekend or a school's-out-day full of hungry kids following you around the house
telling you they're bored over and over again, I feel you!!! I have one out of the house and
2 still following me around on those days.
This is a family tradition we created, in part, to fill some time and make some memories.
Now it has become something we all love and look forward to every year.
I keep acrylic paints on hand and I stock up on wooden ornaments at the after-Christmas sales for the
next years' contest. Paint pens also come in handy and skinny Sharpies for those finer details.
We usually post our ornaments on social media and allow friends and family to vote.
I think we've had different prizes over the years, but mostly it's for bragging rights.
Can you believe my then-9-year-old did the Frog all by himself?
Rise and SHINE.
Come rain or come SHINE.
He took a SHINE to her.
It's her GLOW UP.
Bright, light, shimmery, polished.
I don't know about you, but I am over all the SHINE.
I want real. I want real conversations with real friends in real houses with real food.
I want a real marriage with real connection and real love.
I'm done with transactional.
I want relational.
I want physical touch and heart to heart dialogue.
I don't want to talk about the weather or local gossip.
I want to know what lights you up inside. What keeps you awake at night.
I have been backwards and forwards, inside and outside the past few years.
I think we all have with what the pandemic did to us.
I don't want lip service. I want the truth. I will take that hard conversation over that placation any day.
Is this shift in my mindset from midlife or from trauma or from growth?
Am I bitter or intentional? Jaded or focused?
I want to laugh too! I want to have fun!
I want books and game nights and couch cuddles by the fire.
I want to stay connected on social media and enrich my world with the vast resources available without feeling like dirt. Is it possible? Can I get on the Gram and laugh at the TikToks while still honoring my self-worth? I'm working on it.
And what makes me so special to want all this?
Or is this the way it was at one time before the SHINE?
Does anyone even know? Even my elderly patients fall victim to hours on Facebook and subsequent feelings of loneliness and inadequacy.
SHINE can be reserved for sports medals and awards shows, fancy nights out, and holiday decor.
It has its place. It should be special and not everyday.
Present over perfect. Real over fabulous. True over attractive. That's where you'll find me.
Please support my fellow hope*writers by reading their work based on the prompt word SHINE.
It’s your time to shine! By Sharla Hallett
How To Overcome Adversity & Shine by Ashley Olivine
Shining Brightly in a Dark World by Dianne Vielhuber
Make this Advent Shine by Jessica Weaver
Note the leaves clinging to the window.
Thank God for slower days that allow me to notice and pay attention.
Those leaves inspired this post.
When I think about all the concepts and ideas I have clung to for my 46 years, I feel muddled inside.
Everything happens for a reason. I don’t know about that. Some days I see God and
the universe working and others I don’t. I’m just being honest here.
Hurt people hurt people.
I do believe this one. ☝️
But how do I maintain my self-worth and boundaries while being
in the presence of those who don’t know how to get out of their own misery?
This one is tough and affects most of us on a regular basis.
True love. Soulmates. The jury is still out for me.
People treat you how you teach them to treat you. I’m 50/50 on this one. I can hold my boundaries
and even lower my expectations when needed and some folks will still be jerks. See #2 above.
It will all work out. I’m 80/20 on this one. Yes the sun WILL rise tomorrow. Yes the world WILL
keep spinning. I have (mostly) grown from all my life experiences, but I’m not sure if it always
works out. I see injustice. I see inequality. I am not sure that always works out.
Take the high road. I don’t know. Sometimes change needs a low road as a catalyst.
Maybe relationships need real moments with raw conversations to truly grow.
If we all took the high road at all times, would it even be a high road anymore?
The truth will set you free. Usually. Almost always.
But as a holder of many secrets (job hazard), I have seen situations where the truth
might hold one hostage and cause immeasurable suffering for years to come.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. I love this one. In theory.
But with my silver tongue and deep emotions have come words I did not really mean in times of hurt or anger.
I think this is a great ideal, a lofty goal. But when we mess up, apologize- and sooner rather than later.
A quick imperfect apology generally means more than a well-stated overdue one.
What about you? What have you clung to? What feels true and what feels forced when you
consider the building blocks for your social or moral compass? Better yet, what feels fake?
What makes you squirm when you say it out loud to another human?
If you squirm, stop saying it. Stop believing it.
Our truths can evolve.
Our truths don’t have to match those of our parents or our spouse.
Our truths are our own.
Here’s to both of us building our own houses of morality and ideology.
And leaving room for repairs.
A nurse's heart is broken and whole at the same time
She mends, she soothes, she uplifts, and she primes
She is a buffer, a translator, a fetcher, and a bridge
Has anyone ever asked about her deepest wish?
A nurse's mind is sharp and fast
She intakes and outputs while completing her tasks
She stores all the info and processes all the scene
Has anyone ever asked about her hopes or dreams?
A nurse's shoulders are steadfast and strong
She carries your weight, she hums to your song
She catches the emotions of all in her path
From the doctors, to the families, to the new undergrad
A nurse's feet are swift and on demand
She will get it, she will do it, she will continue to stand
They may ache, they may swell, they may beg for relief
But she knows how many benefit from the work of her feat
A nurse's back is used all day long
By the weak, by the broken, by the scared and alone
She can do it, she will help you, she will lift all she can
Have you ever thought to ask her if she needed a friend?
A nurse's hands are skilled and attuned
They can hold you and heal you and clean up your wounds
They don't waiver, they don't hesitate, they are always there
She swells when she realizes all who have gained from their care
A nurse's heart is broken and whole at the same time
If you love a nurse, or you are a nurse, know that we are our own kind.
We take love and transport it from our insides to yours.
We take healing. We take knowledge. And we deliver unforced.
Please share this with the nurses in your life.
I see her. I am her.
Our work matters.
follow my nursing content on TikTok
photo credit: Naassom Azevedo
I remember being 20 years old.
Planning a wedding.
Looking at houses like a 16 year old looks at cars.
Aren’t we always looking for, searching for, planning for that next thing?
After the wedding and the house came the baby fever a few years later. All the nursery furniture and books of baby names.
Once the kids are born we start planning for school. Backpacks and school supplies.
We spend the next decade or so driving everyone to everything and wondering when it will be our turn again. Even though these are the very dreams we prayed for and clung to for so long.
Next we plan their launch. College visits or military recruiters. Sheets for twin beds and $10 dorm skillets. The excitement builds and then evaporates with one set of taillights or one giant aircraft in the distance.
We wait. We wonder. We hear from them now on their terms and we count the weeks between visits.
And we realize one Wednesday morning while we sip our coffee and type in the glow of the Christmas tree that now they’re us. Now THEY are 20 years old. We are no longer even a daily thought to them because they are planning that wedding and looking at that house with the very same vigor we did so many years ago. And they know everything just like we did. To that we just smile and think “so that’s why my parents never really said much and just watched it all unfold.”
So what do we do now? See we have been to therapy and had all these intense life lessons since we were 20. We know so much.
Alas we really know so little. We control so very little (only our own thoughts and actions). We could say now we are planning for grandchildren but we have also stopped all the cookie cutter “this comes next” because we have been on the very train that derailed those best laid plans.
So I just revel in the warmth of my coffee mug in my hands. Stare at the lights on my tree. Remember the excitement of buying my very first house. Give thanks for the bumps and bruises I have endured. And look forward to making my Mammaw’s dressing from scratch tonight like she and my mother have done since the 1940’s.
Mammaw was 20 years old.
Mama was 20 years old.
I was 20 years old.
Thank you Lord for all the 20-year-olds, the hopes and dreams, the excitement of building a life. May we never forget that feeling.
If you know me at all, you know I love a planner.
I love pens. I love paper. I love washi tape and stickers!
I love making a list and crossing things off.
I love mentally planning as well as physically planning.
So of course- I have a Christmas Planner!
Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year, with fall being a very close second.
Holidays can be awesome, but they can also be overwhelming.
They can drain the bank account and drain the energy bank as well.
I hope this inspires you to start your holiday planning!
I would love to see pictures of your Christmas Planner.
You can follow me on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook!
Let's connect. I love interacting with my readers. ☀️
The whir of the wall heater lulls me to sleep.
I’m in seventh grade again, at my friend’s house, dreaming of my life as an adult. We just watched Dirty Dancing and inhaled a bag of Doritos with a 2L of Dr Pepper and no one considered the carbohydrates involved.
In reality, I am an adult. With children. And two husbands by now.
And a whole lot of disappointments and triumphs along the way.
I still feel like that awkward seventh grader when, I’m actually the mother of a seventh grader.
How did this happen?
I’m typing this in a cottage in the woods.
A writer’s weekend, that’s what I claimed it to be.
And in late 2022, I am stuck trying to decide how much of my life to share on social media and how many posts are “enough” to promote my writing.
The internet connection is poor here and it’s a blessing and a curse.
When did we become so tied to people we’ve never met and numbers oft generated by bots?
Do I measure the importance of my work by likes, shares, and follows or by actual lives impacted?
And let’s be honest, we rarely know when we impact a life because the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs tells us that a certain % of folks are introverts and would never tell us if we helped them, to no fault of our own.
And the trauma we have all endured. I am not joking. The real actual trauma and pain I have seen my fellow GenXers and patients and friends endure. We all go to therapy and spend countless hours trying to right some of the wrongs between scrolling and TikToking, working our regular jobs, raising tiny to full-sized humans, and trying to eat whole foods.
In this world of 2-4 second attention spans, I feel lost.
I feel lonely.
I feel drained.
Am I the only one?
And so I sit. In Midlife. In the Southeast. In middle school bleachers and while planning a wedding for the oldest. I sit at baseball tournaments and in my car traveling to see my patients. I sit at kitchen tables discussing hospice the same morning I sit with my fifth grader studying vocabulary.
I know I’m not alone. The Middle is weird. It’s not the beginning, like I am reminded of with my oldest and his fiancé. The furniture shopping and the bedspread and dishes selections. It’s not the end either. The disbursement of family heirlooms and quiet days sparsely populated by visiting friends or family. It’s not the days of toddler-parent-survival where bath time and nap time ruled the schedule. But it’s not the days where everyone can drive yet either.
And oh yeah a pandemic happened. School shootings. A nation so divided I can’t even recognize it. But just keep on going folks. Keep on posting and hashtagging and hustling.
I will take this Middle. I will take the Menopause and the investment planning and the figuring out how to parent adult children. I will take it and try to learn from it and admit that it’s uncomfortable. See, we are too old to fake stuff in this Middle. We have seen too much.
I think my writing will continue to be what it is. Real. Raw. With a flimsy filter and a side of sarcasm. It will grow as I do. I hope you join me. If anything in this little diary entry stirred your insides, then know that we are in this together. Let’s go. Awkward but not alone.
I love interacting with my readers. Follow me on TikTok or IG as I share there the most.
Leave a comment below if you wish.
I am trudging along with you. Just waiting for a good conversation.
Here are my FAVORITE things for November 2022:
I hope these gave you some good gift or snack or entertainment ideas!
Life is short, so have fun!
Godspeed my friends.
Time? Energy? Apathy?
We all juggle these 3 elements every day, especially if we have children.
Even my friends and family that don't have children tell me that they struggle with
the same roadblocks that slow them down and cause them to feel unproductive.
Personally, I just went through a season of rest, so I will be the FIRST to tell you
that being productive and hustling 24/7 will break you in the end.
If, however, you feel ready and able to tackle more in less time, I hope these tips
can get you started or at least give you a few ideas.
Happy hustling! (in moderation!!!)
Here are my top 10 productivity hacks in no particular order:
It is worthwhile to discuss each of these 10 productivity hacks in more detail. Let's dive in!
I hope you have found these tips and tricks to be useful and helpful!
Again, do not beat yourself up if you are not being productive 24/7.
Rest is SO important and having seasons to lay low
and recharge are necessary.
Listen to your body.
Follow your energy.
P.S. Comment below if you try any of these or are already doing some of them!
I love interacting with my readers!
Have you ever found yourself at an event, dinner, movie, party, etc and thought
"why am I here? I had / have no desire to be here."?
Have you ever been sweating in the 1 million degree summer heat doing some random and laborious task
asking yourself WHY or HOW you signed up for this?
Ever felt like you've wasted hours (or even an entire weekend) doing something that did not align with
your goals or soul?
THAT feeling is most often the result of people-pleasing and failure to set clear boundaries.
Boundaries are tricky. They're difficult to set in the beginning but become rote after lots of practice.
They require forethought and communication.
Licensed counselors are often EXPERTS at explaining and helping you set boundaries,
so please find a good local counselor if you identify this as an area of potential growth for yourself.
One word of caution, however: once you get GOOD at setting boundaries, you will never look back.
Tell your best friends and loved ones to say goodbye to the Doormat You and hello to the Assertive You. 🥰
In addition to the lists below (which are both excellent references), I want to give you my tips and insights around setting boundaries.
Every year my family decorates pumpkins together. We started with the regular pumpkin carving kits but soon realized we wanted to get more creative. This has become a family tradition that we all look forward to and enjoy.
When movies and trampoline parks are $10-$20 a person, a few $6 pumpkins and some basic acrylic paints and brushes (that have lasted for years and years) is cheap in comparison. We play our bluetooth speaker in the background and just enjoy the family time together. It's these times that create a sense of security and family for my boys. They have told me as much. 🥰
I hope this gets you excited for FALL and FAMILY time. If you don't do this regularly (or if you do),
let me know how you like it after you try it! Comment below- I love hearing from my readers. 🥰
I love a good puzzle!
I don't want 1000 pieces, 500 is plenty for me.
I don't want it all to be the same color either. I want lots of colors and a scene or image that brings me joy or peace.
Give me a cheesy movie, some warm pajamas, a cup of coffee or hot tea, and a day off work, and I can sit at a
puzzle table for hours. I love it even more when I'm sitting next to friends or family or if we each peck at
the puzzle over a few days. Collaboration at its best! I love the fact that we can all be looking at the
exact same pieces and patterns, but one person can "figure it out" when it has been right there
in front of us the entire time. I also love that there are no electronics involved!
Much like life, a puzzle teaches us that there are many ways to look at things. Patience is key.
And teamwork makes the dream work. All the cliches really "fit" into working a jigsaw puzzle. ☀️
This particular puzzle was SO hard to finish! All those Star Wars uniforms tended to blend together.
The kids started it with us
but towards the end, my dad and I were the only ones pushing through to the finish line.
Working puzzles with my dad hasbecome a favorite pastime for both of us.
We can chat, or work in silence. That time with him has been a gift.
Do you enjoy working puzzles? What does it do for you?
I can't wait to hear all about your puzzle motivations in the comments below. I love interacting with my readers.
For more of an inside look into my days, you can follow me on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook.
photo credit: Anh Nguyen
I have included a list of questions your healthcare provider may ask you during your headache evaluation:
There are several types or categories of headaches:
If you are not quite ready to seek a medical workup, you can try the following safe therapies at home:
Headaches can interrupt our daily lives and become quite cumbersome. Please do not ignore your headaches. Listen to your body.
Author's note: this article should not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions. Please seek an appointment with your primary care provider for proper headache evaluation. A neurology consult may also be warranted.
Turns out, my next right thing includes more writing. More creating. More TikToks. More singing. More reading. More sleeping. More dancing. More laughter. More fun.
Adapted from several sources including MakseLife and Emily P. Freeman's Next Right Thing Journal, I try my best to do a monthly (and best practice- weekly) reflection. In that reflection, we should ask ourselves:
As I reflect on the past 6 months of my life, I wonder where the hours and the days have gone. I made such a huge life change that it almost feels like I experienced some type of time warp. The only way I can describe it is by framing those 6 months as a rebirth, a metamorphosis, but also... a hibernation, a recharge, an INHALE.
When we run so fast and so hard for so long, we don't know how to stop.
We have to schedule time to cry and time to laugh.
Time to talk to a friend uninterrupted and time to touch our spouse.
Now that I am seeing patients closer to their last days than their first, I know deep in my soul that I will never resume that pace.
The little things are the big things.
The best things in life are free.
Sleep is a beautiful thing.
All the cliches are true.
So in reflection, I deem:
I encourage you to have a Fall Reset. Fall Reflection. Fall Recharge.
Holidays will be here soon and being less stressed and more rested is GOLD.
Allow yourself an inhale this October.
Shed your dead skin. You know what needs to go.
And if you can't even think about focus or reflection, just stay on the couch scrolling.
It worked for me.
And now I'm back. 🥰
"It's okay" I cooed
in the dimly lit room
"You are here and that's what matters" I offered
as I swallowed the doom
"Mom is gone" I announced
if announce is the word
It was a whisper. But it was final.
I don't think they even heard...
"It's a boy!" the doctor claimed
and he held the baby up like a prize
The mom cried and so did I
because miracles still dampen my eyes
Between the first day and the last day
of each of our patients' lives
Is a Thursday and a Monday
and days our lives will intertwine
Some days we are helping you
and comforting or mending or teaching
Other days we are sweating and saving
and praying, begging, and reaching
We don't control it, this fine line
between your first day and your last
But we often witness it, we hold space for it
and we get etched in each others' paths
Do I ignore it? Forget it? Pretend I didn't see it...
or feel it or hear it or bow down and plead it?
I don't think so, I just can't so, I let the tears fall when I can
and we get up, lace our shoes up, and act undefeated
It's an honor, a privilege, a duty dear friends
but it's hard and it's long and some days barely end
And no one asks us how we're doing, because we do the healing
But I'm a mama, and a daughter, and a person with feelings.
So at night, in the dark, when the beeps and alarms are gone
Maybe next to our loved ones or maybe quiet and alone
We cry and we replay and we wish and we sorrow
As we heal our own boo-boos and do it all again tomorrow
We don't forget.
We saw it. We felt it.
You were seen.
And you were here.
And we were with you.
She’s walked through the fire and the storms while dancing in the rain …
Her life has been difficult and filled with excruciating pain …
She’s suffered many losses in such a short time yet she continues to believe that in the end… it will all be fine …
With such strength and undeniable belief she tells me her healing will come in God’s time …
It may not be here on earth but perhaps in heaven she will be pain free…
Her words are heavy on my heart and somewhat difficult to grasp, for me…
She’s my daughter, Keyera, and she suffers from sickle cell
It’s a genetic disorder that we know all too well:
Her story is a bit different than usual. She wasn’t properly diagnosed until the age of five. My husband and I worked different shifts so that one of us was always home with the kids. At 5, she started kindergarten and became ill after the weakened live intranasal flu vaccine was given. Initially, her pediatrician thought she had the flu in spite of the vaccination. She ran fever, she was fatigued, she had to be carried or she’d just sit in one spot. After 3 rounds of Rocephin (a strong antibiotic) injections and no improvement, her pediatrician, Dr. Allardice, admitted her to the hospital. She ran various tests. She asked about sickle cell, I told her that her cousin had it and my other daughter had the trait but as far as I knew, Keyera didn’t have the trait OR the disease. I was never notified by the health department or pediatrician’s office that I saw prior to Dr. Allardice.
My daughter’s health was rapidly declining. In my heart, I felt her slowly drifting away. It seemed as though she had developed pneumonia. Treatment was started and I begged and cried for God not to take my baby away.
When her test results came back, I was shocked and in disbelief. I had made sure Keyera had all of her immunizations and that she went to all of her well child visits. She had sickle cell anemia SS and it wasn’t pneumonia. She had acute chest syndrome. Sickle cells are shaped like a sickle so they don’t pass the veins and arteries like they should. Acute chest occurs when there is sickling in the pulmonary arteries and it can mimic pneumonia. Many patients with sickle cell have passed away due to acute chest, heart attack, or stroke.
We were fortunate that she was admitted and diagnosed. Her situation was dire. She is now 22 years old. She’s had both hips replaced due to AVN (avascular necrosis - lack of blood supply to the bone) caused by sickle cell. She suffers from medical PTSD due to being in the hospital so often at an early age. She’s lost friends and in 2020, her cousin, Makayla, with sickle cell passed away.
Her journey has been challenging and she’s often called resilient but truthfully, she is vulnerable and fragile at times. She just wasn’t given an easier course to take. She often gets upset when people tell her to be robust during a crisis. The thing about pain is that it demands to be felt, no matter how hard you try to ignore it. It makes its presence known.
Unfortunately, there is not a universal cure for sickle cell anemia at this time. Not everyone can find a match or are a good candidate for bone marrow transplants. Due to my daughter’s health issues, it’s not an option. She has less than a 50% chance of surviving a transplant.
My daughter depends on blood donors to have a decent quality of life. It requires 7-10 units of blood each month. If you want to be a hero and save lives, please donate blood.
Before the monthly exchanges, she was in the hospital at least twice a month. She was miserable and asked God on several occasions to let her fall asleep and not wake up. She still has challenges but she is enjoying life and spreading awareness.
When her cousin passed away and she got to say her farewell, she promised her with weeping eyes that she’d continue to fight and educate others. I encourage you to research sickle cell anemia. If you know or love someone with it, check in on them but remember though they may be resilient. They do get tired, though they seem strong, listen and support them when they say they’re exhausted or weak. When they say they hurt, believe them. Never tell them they don’t look sick, your intentions may be well meaning but not every illness is visible.
My heart cries as my soul weeps for all the sickle cell warriors that continue to suffer or have lost the fight …
Each day they try or tried to live the best life possible with all of their might …
Simple things that we take for granted can be such a heavy burden or test …
Their bodies tire easily and they must often take a break to simply rest …
My daughter has kept her promise to her cousin. She has done several informative interviews regarding sickle cell and continue to spread awareness. Giving blood is such a simple task but it has such a great impact on the quality of life for those that need it. It cannot be manufactured, please donate blood and help save lives.
Blog host's note: I know La Keisha because she is a nurse. She does not mention being a nurse in this piece, but I feel I must. As a nurse, we take care of other mothers' children when our own children are sick at home. We minister to other daughters' aging parents when our own aging parents need us. We comfort other wives' husbands when our own husbands miss us and wish they had more time with us. So just imagine the toll this has taken on my friend, my sister, my fellow nurse. She wouldn't trade it. We nurses wouldn't trade it, our calling. But being a nurse and a mother to a sick child deserves space in this world.
Other ideas for rainy days with kids include:
Please check out the work of my fellow hope*writers:
10 Things I Learned While Waiting On God by Sharla Hallett
The Ten Lepers - A Lesson in Thankfulness by Lisa Granger
Never Travel Without These Ten Things by Jessica Weaver
10 Ways to Turn Things Around by Ashley Olivine
When Emotional or Mental Pain Is a 10 by Dianne Vielhuber
How many events have you attended that you DID NOT want to attend?
How much self-care have you missed out on in your efforts to make OTHERS happy?
How much TIME have you wasted doing things you had no desire to do?
People-pleasing usually originates from old emotional wounds. Someone somewhere told you or showed you that you weren't good enough AS YOU ARE, so you started "performing" in ways to please those same people that hurt you. Those habits of pleasing others can bleed over into your romantic relationships, work friendships, family dynamics, and regular friendships.
When we people-please, we ignore our own boundaries. Until we do THE WORK (counseling usually), we people-pleasers usually don't even know what boundaries in relationships look like or feel like.
Since I'm a list-maker, let's look at some strategies to STOP pleasing once and for all!
Let's go into each strategy in a little more detail:
Being a people pleaser is exhausting.
It's like running a marathon every day but never receiving a medal, no cheering crowd, just you.
It's the unnoticed HARD work for others' gain. So yeah, it's not even like a marathon,
because at least in a marathon your body might reap some of the benefits.
Use the strategies listed above to start changing your people-pleasing behavior.
Comment below if you can relate to this or especially if you have "overcome"
some of your people-pleasing tendencies.
Here's to Healthy Boundaries and More NO's in Your Life!
Being a human is hard. We have all of these emotions and old hurts.
We have stories to share but fear prevents us from being vulnerable.
Sometimes we hurt people we truly LOVE.
We say things we didn't mean.
We behave like children.
I don't think that will ever change, even for those of us who try to be self-aware.
What can change, though, is the aftermath.
We can own our stuff.
And I mean OWN IT.
You were a witch to Sally at work for no reason- OWN IT.
You muttered a sly remark as you passed by your spouse this morning - OWN IT.
You snapped at your kid instead of answering his question- OWN IT.
You invalidated your friend's feelings (in any variety of ways) - OWN IT.
You left someone out of a group invite- OWN IT.
We CAN own our stuff and we SHOULD.
Owning it usually accompanies and precedes a well-meaning apology.
It is the best part of the apology - so please do not overlook the ownership.
Now, go own a few things that are calling your name, my dears.
July was busy, busy for us, so I only chose
5 favorites this month. Enjoy!
2. Taco Night- always a hit in our house and a quick prep and cleanup
3. Family beach trip- see my beach packing tips here!
4. Best foot forward- an awesome family TV show for tweens or even elementary school age
5. My work bag from Threaded Pear- I get compliments on it daily!
Easy to grab my phone, laptop, stethoscope, notepad out of this open & upright tote.
Isn't it crazy how people who were once part of your daily existence can just fade away?
We can literally spend 40+ hours per week with another human (lots of humans in most cases) for
YEARS or DECADES and with one twist of fate, all of that shared time and history can seem to float away.
Forgotten? Surely not.
Out of sight, out of mind? In this fast paced world, probably.
No bandwidth to maintain a "long-distance" relationship when that
relationship partner no longer parks in your shared parking lot?
I am not sure though.
Family members can live out of town or out of state and we keep up with them, don't we?
Or do we?
Do we actually put the effort in to maintain relationships these days?
Is all of our time spent "liking" and "commenting" on strangers from across the globe?
I'm the first to admit I spend more time singing duets with random strangers on Smule
than I do communicating with my out-of-state family members.
Does that mean I don't care about my extended family?
One could argue that our online friends are more organic than say, those we happen to share DNA
or an office with... I can see that point. But, what about shared history? The office mate and the DNA-sharer
have way more memories with me than the Randoms I have something-in-common-with online.
But is it quantity of memories or quality?
Just because we both attended a work cookout or a family wedding-
does that mean more than shared interests and values with someone
who doesn't "have to" spend time with us?
Ever had someone in your life for just a season?
The season ended for whatever reason: timing, location, circumstance.
You and the other person knew it was a season, so you felt some closure.
If you ever see that person again, awesome, what a pleasant surprise.
If you don't, no worries, all is well.
Perhaps we should all view each relationship we have as seasonal.
An at-will partnership. It can end at any time.
That way when our phone doesn't ding or our mailbox remains empty, we are not disappointed.
We will know and understand that these are just the ways of 2022.
No one attaches.
After all, there are millions of other shiny dots on the palm-sized demon calling each of our names.
Faces we may never see in person. Voices we may never hear in real-time.
Skin we may never touch. Meals we may never share.
But let us not forget, those "relationships" end too!
Accounts are hacked or closed. Real Life occasionally happens to our online friends
as well and they may not be available to us.
I guess I just get sad when I think about today's world for my kids.
How do they know what's real and what's not when it comes to friendship (or even family)?
There used to be something to be said for shared zip codes and shared uniforms.
Quantity of memories somehow added up to some quality of memories.
Now it's all a game of chance. Some people stick with us and most don't.
Loyalty? Loyalty seems to happen more for brands than it does for us as individuals.
And these are the rambling thoughts of a Midlife GenX woman raising sons
ranging from pre-puberty to engaged.
I want my kids to call and check on me when I am old.
I want them to have friends that would come help them in the middle of the night.
And today's ways of noncommittal BS (even amongst us grown folk) have me worried.
What are we modeling for these kids?
One day at a time.
I need to shout
and push and pull and rip and tear
but I can't do that, so I just sit here
I need a time out
I'm on the verge of eruption and I can't let it out
because adults aren't allowed to throw tantrums or pout
So what do adults do?
We medicate or we shop
We gossip or we party or we eat or we stop
We stop what we are doing, we freeze, we lounge
And rarely does anyone look up to notice we are down 😔
Because just like us, the ones that love us are just going through the motions
They work, they spouse, they parent, but dare they notion?!?
See adults, we aren't allowed to get loud or show passion
We must color in the lines
We must shape, form, and fashion
Our lives and our minds and our hearts and our souls
into everything They want from us
into everything we were Sold
Someone somewhere sold us a dream
and we bought it, full stop
That life would be perfect
That the elusive shoe would never drop
But it drops and it dropped
and we watch it hit the floor
So I beg of you, dear ones
let's permit an Uproar
Let us process our disappointment, our envy, and our fears
Stop telling me I'm not allowed to be angry or shed tears
I'm a woman, yes a woman, and you might hear me roar
and I hope that doesn't push you away from my door
because the rest of my house is full of love and joy
and I'm getting too old to let you tell me to avoid
all my truths, all my days that I've walked in these shoes
so sit down on my couch, love... and appreciate these hues
I'm the most beautiful colors - if you'll open your eyes
Love is loud, love is mobile, can you handle my ride?
To every other human
that is tired of
sitting on their hands,
I see you.
It's 3 o'clock on a Sunday
with laundry caught up and dishes done
There's a wedding now to plan
and a full household to run
There are 2 in a hormone surge
well 3 counting me
We have been rushing for so long
that we don't know what "still" means
There are reels and shorts
that lazily pass the time
and make the tweens laugh
while the husband and I just sigh
See we are in The Middle
Not the Beginning or the End
We have pill organizers and good socks
but we still eye the newest trends
And we don't have grandbabies to rock
Not yet, hopefully one day we will
There are 2 still in the nest here
So we can't yet seek every thrill
We have jobs that we enjoy
and hobbies we hope to do one day
But on this Sunday away from the ballpark
we aren't sure what keeps the itching at bay
It's an itch we can't scratch
It's a question about life and loss
We are thankful for every moment we have
but those uncertainties still come across
So to all my friends who are also in the middle
Let us lean on one another
We are husbands, wives, friends, and family
We are more than just father and mother
One day at a time.
One milestone, one crisis, one joy at a time.
Let us hold tightly to each other in This Middle.
The End will come no matter how we spend our days.
Please consider supporting my fellow Hope*Writers by reading their work:
The Resurrection and What it Means for Believers by Lisa Granger
Finding Meaning in Life … and Death by Dianne Vielhuber
The New Stage of Grief: Finding Meaning in Hardship by Ashley Olivine
I have been packing for the beach for over 20 years now.
I certainly was not as pack-savvy my first 5-10 trips as I am now.
These are my BEST TIPS for beach packing if you are driving to the beach.
see list of supplies I keep year-round
in my cabin / beach box ⬆️⬆️⬆️
Beach Food / Condo List:
Beach clothes / other necessities list:
What goes in our cooler(s) for the ride to the beach:
What we buy once we are there:
I'm typing this from Orange Beach.
I hope you found these lists inclusive and helpful.
May all your beach trips be smooth sailing. 🏖
These are just a few of my favorites lately- I hope you enjoy!
For more of what I love, follow me on Instagram! I post to my stories daily.