Posts Tagged With: gratitude

worried but grateful

Our governor announced that Virginia schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.
I am sad. And to be perfectly honest, sad isn’t a big enough word.

I’m sad for my school family.
I’m sad for my neighborhood kids.
I’m sad for the high school seniors who won’t experience the wonderful ritual of their senior year. No skip day. No prom. No graduation.

I’m worried for these kids.
For these educators. Y’all, if you don’t know, they are broken-hearted about not being in the classroom with their kids. I’m broken-hearted not to be in the classroom.
I miss being at school.
I miss being around kids and adults, teaching and learning together.
I’m worried because YBW had to go back to work today. Is he safe? Will he be exposed? Will he bring it home?

I am grateful that I am not sick. That none of my family is sick.
I am grateful I’m not worried about how to keep the lights on, or where our next meal is coming from.
I’m grateful for internet and streaming services and books and wine.
I am grateful that I have the ability to write about how this feels.

I’m reminded of something Hagrid tells Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone. “It was dark times, Harry, dark times.”
My heart hurts today.
But I’m quietly hopeful.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

write it down

On his first day working from home, YBW said to me, “I wonder if I should be documenting this time?” His voice got all ‘movie trailer guy’ and he said, “YBW working from home: day one.”
I giggled, then encouraged him to document.

I told him about reading this interview with University of Virginia professor Herbert ‘Tico’ Braun.
In an email encouraging his current and former students to document their lives “during this unprecedented time” he wrote:

The mantra of our course is, ‘Write it down.’ When you do, much of your life and who you are will be different than if you don’t.

He tells his students, “You do not write alone.”
He’s so right!
We don’t write alone. Especially here, in this blogging community.
LA is sharing her life in this time. So is Maggie. Ellieejay and Betul shared theirs at Pointless Overthinking, Claudette is sharing her’s too.

What I love about reading these posts is that in an anxious and fearful time, these ladies are being real. Speaking their truths. Being honest and unmerciful with their thoughts and feelings. And using humor to their advantage.

I thank you for documenting your lives in these ‘unprecedented’ times. It helps us realize we are not alone, however shut away from the world we are. We are a community of human beings. And no matter how far and wide we are spread, we are all in this together.
By sharing our lives via the written word we begin to feel more connected in the immediate, and as time goes on these words will be powerful documentation to look back upon.

I’m choosing to journal about what I think and how I feel about this time in our world. It looks different than my blogging, but I approach it with the same level of honest and unmerciful truth, and a metric-fuck-ton more sass and complete disregard for proper grammar.
Regardless of where I write, I’m choosing to acknowledge fear and anxiety, flex my humor muscles, and embrace a whole lotta love, grace, and gratitude.

We’re all in this together.
Thank you.
I am truly grateful that we do not write alone.

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joy and gratitude

I know this time of year is tricky.
For some it’s a straight up ‘hard no’.
For others, it’s emotionally painful.
Yet, there are some folks for which this truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I am one of those folks.
I love Christmastime with a fiery vengeance!
Even the moments when I was in full on panic mode when we first got home from our trip, I still loved the holidays. I mean, I freaked out and declared I wasn’t going to decorate this year, but that was travel (and laundry) fatigue talking.
I was out the very next day, saw a bright red Jeep with a tree tied to the top and I was instantly in full on Christmastime mode!

As I consider my holiday joy, I find a great deal of gratitude.
Please indulge me as I share my gratitude and joy with you.

bucket list trip checked
three glorious weeks away with my husband
gorgeous weather in Costa Rica

outstanding customer service
not living in Panama City
strong black coffee
first hand knowledge of how lock systems work before entering the Panama Canal
cocktails
an absolutely delightful lounge act (And he played our song!)
my precious husband drinking wine on the balcony all Thanksgiving day
City Lights Bookstore

YBW’s sense of humor
reading books
having my pillow on vacay
meeting new people
finding the most perfect hand carved nativity in Cartagena
stunning sunsets

photo cred: YBW

my laundry machines
sleeping in my own bed
coca cola
YBW’s patience
talking on the phone with Baby K
extremely detailed sub plans
with YBW on a blanket on the floor by the Christmas tree and fireplace
decorating
shopping
wrapping
trees on cars
hugging Holly
movies with YBW (Knives Out)
a play and dinner with Mike and Josie
being with Thing 2 Friday
being with Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K Sunday
holiday music
two of my three alternative healthcare providers
monogrammed rain boots
heated steering wheel

I feel absolutely merry and bright!

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a break up story, or the power of being in a relationship with herself

When the girls were here, Thing 2 talked about how it was time to end her relationship with Boyfriend J. She is in a place of deep self exploration, healing, and growth. She needs her partner to be in a place of personal growth, so they can parlay their individual growth into positive evolution in their relationship.
Boyfriend J is not in a place of deep self exploration, healing, or growth. I don’t believe it’s a choice he’s made, I just think that’s not where he is in his personal development. From conversations I’ve had with Thing 2, it’s not that he’s unwilling to enter a growth mindset as much as he honestly doesn’t know where to begin.
Perhaps that’s lack of maturity?
Perhaps that’s lack of a properly built foundation?
Perhaps he’s simply not there?
To be perfectly honest, he may just need time. He’s newly twenty-two and still in the conceptual ‘figuring out’ stage of development.
Thing 2 is in the active ‘figuring out’ stage, and needs her partner to be in this active stage.

Lack of love is not their problem.
They love each other truly and deeply.
Thing 2 realized however much they love each other, she needs to love herself enough to make the hard choices.

This is from a conversation in our girls group chat.
Monday morning Thing 2 wrote:

I am…uncomfortable but that’s okay. Boyfriend J still isn’t awake yet, but to calm myself down I started the list in my phone of things that are his…I feel like a shit human for getting so far into the clinical-planning-stage, but it is making me feel better to be more prepared…
I went to the gas station to buy nos to soften the blow. I really missed my car. I wanted to just drive around to try and clear my head, but I know that I would’ve actually just been running away from the situation…I’m proud of myself for realizing that. But I also know that after have the conversation and the dust settles, I’ll want to get right back in it. I’m going to be very mindful and respectful of his feelings and where he’s at before I leave. I think after we properly discuss it, I’ll ask if he would like my company while he processes (because we don’t have to start packing things right away) or if he would like to be alone for a little while. I think that’s the kind thing to do
And if he needs me to be with him, I will stay. And if he needs to be alone, I will drive.

Later that afternoon she wrote:

I am sorry I’ve been mia all day. I did the deed and we talked and then just sat for a long while, then I decided I needed to take a drive so I’ve been in my car since 3:30ish. I got tired of driving so now I’m sitting outside of the laundromat place where ACA is waaaay too early. I was going to go back to the house, but I knew if I did that I wouldn’t come to the meeting tonight

This morning she texted me:

Feeling very adult-y getting my oil changed and my tires rotated before taking Boyfriend J to Jacksonville tomorrow. We finished packing his things last night and tonight we’re gonna be with the boys

I replied:

How’s it going? I want to know where each of you is emotionally, but also be respectful.
I don’t want the gossip, I want to hear the story of your life.
How is Boyfriend J? How are you? I’m awed by your strength! I am so hopeful each of you moves successfully forward

She wrote:

He is very sad, but I know that I can’t do anything about that. I love him very much, and I hope that his mom makes good space for him. And I hope that his stepdad pushes him to participate in his life, but is gentle with him. I worry for him, but I know that this is what I have to do and that it might suck to be him for a while–but he needs this too. I just hope that he realizes that and can find his own path and happiness.

I wrote:

Yes!! My God, Thing 2! Yes x infinity! You SO get it!
Brava, baby!! You’re living for you while still having compassion for the people you love!! You are actively doing it!!!

She replied:

It fucking hurts, but I know that I will be alright. Talking with Alex yesterday was really helpful, there’s a lot of similarities between his ex and my situation. I know that it will hurt less with time and space. I’m hoping that I will notice a change in myself. Going through the dusty disorganized bookshelf made me reflect on where I’m at. I think I’ll take Sunday to be alone and get rid of things and organize more. I think I might rearrange my room again, I’m not sure how yet, and I love the fort, but it’s like after Boyfriend D finally left–I have to move my bed.

Alex is one of the bartenders at the Asian fusion restaurant where Thing 2 works. I absolutely adore him! I love him as a human, but I also love how he’s a friend to my daughter. I’m looking forward to the next time I see him so I can squeeze him tightly!
The fort to which she refers is sheets, sheers, and fairy lights hung from the ceiling around her bed.

I wrote:

Deep cleaning, organizing, rearranging your room. These are all SMART choices! Do you smudge? That would be a great thing to do before, during, and after you purge, organize, rearrange!

She replied:

I’ve never done it before, but I didn’t hate the smell when we did that at Thing 1’s house. I was worried it would bother my chest, but it didn’t

I wrote:

I love the ritual of bringing the smoke to your heart, mind, and body before you begin

She replied:

That’s really beautiful. And you think before I rearrange would be better? Or should I wait until I’m finished? Or before and after? I don’t think I can do it during just because of how much shit is gonna be laying around and my hands will probably be full the whole time. I’m thinking it’s gonna be SERIOUS changes. Like moving everything and deep cleaning as well as getting rid of and organizing. I’m talking baseboard scrubbing kind of cleansing

I replied:

In that case, before and after.
Before to help rid the icky
After to make sure nothing got stirred up and to ensure you start fresh and clean
A catharsis for your physical and emotional self and space.
What could be more beautiful self love?

She wrote:

I think you’re right, that seems like the best way to do it. If I’m gonna do it, I want to be as thorough and effective as possible
I’ve been seeing so many empowering messages of self-love lately. I’m tired of everyone telling me that I’m brave and that they’re proud of me, but I am surprised how steady I feel within myself. Also Alex with those damn fortune cookies, he kept shoving them at me all day yesterday and every one of them was like “positive change” “take an opportunity” and shit like that, it made me mad and feels-y but it was very kind and funny of him, in an odd but encouraging way

Again I say, I love Alex!

I wrote:

When I left (your dad) everyone told me I was brave and strong. I felt neither. I just inherently knew I was doing what was best for me. So I understand what you’re saying down deep in my soul.
I’m proud *for* you. You made a terribly hard decision in a loving and mindful way. You considered Boyfriend J’s feelings without sacrificing your own well being. That’s HUGE! So many people won’t or can’t do what you’ve done.
So yes, in some ways it’s brave and strong. But mostly it’s you taking the best possible care of yourself

I asked her permission to write about this. I told her it’s a powerful story. I asked, is it too personal? I want to respect her privacy.

She replied:

I don’t mind if you write about it. It seems a little silly, I’m not sure how many of your followers care about Thing 2 and Boyfriend J hahaha. But I think it’s relevant to your past/story and I hope that people will be able to read it and see some part of their own life in it, not just some 20-something drama. You have my consent to tell this story in your powerful words

I wrote:

Tears of love and joy in my eyes.
Your story is powerful and meaningful, not 20 something drama.
I think more people will relate to, and/or be inspired by it than you imagine.

She wrote:

Thank you for your endless support

To which I replied:

Until the last breath leaves my body.

Then I made a stupid joke à la Joss Whedon to undercut the love and gratitude.
She responded with:

My girl comes by her ability to add well timed, though possibly inappropriate humor naturally, however she’s honed her skills to an art that far outstrips my own.

Breaking up is hard to do. (I know…but he wrote that song because it’s true)
Ending a relationship is difficult.
Being mindful about how you end a relationship is even more so.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend J have so much love between them, but simply aren’t in the same place in their individual lives. That there is still love must make it harder to end their relationship. Thing 2 agonized over how it would affect Boyfriend J. She was so worried about his feelings, about his pain. She did not want to hurt him. But she knew that she was hurting herself by staying in a relationship that wasn’t feeding her personal growth.
That’s a ridiculously difficult decision to make. Many ‘full fledged’ adults won’t or can’t do it.
But this twenty-two year old, this tiny young woman made the hardest decision because she knew she would be better off for it. She is hopeful that Boyfriend J will be better off for it too.
She broke both their hearts to create a better life for herself.
Y’all, that’s brave!
She doesn’t feel brave. She doesn’t have to say it because I know this on a deep and personal level.
But brave she is.

To be as young (yet old) as she is, and doing this hard and powerful work of self with as much love and awareness as she is, it’s so inspiring!
Thing 2 did what was best for her, even though it hurt her to do it. Even though it hurt Boyfriend J. And she did it with love, kindness, and integrity. And she did it with hope.
She is hopeful that her difficult decision to end a loving yet stalled relationship will facilitate further personal growth. Not only for her, but also for the young man she loves.
She is hopeful about being in a relationship with herself for a while, she told me the idea of being alone isn’t such a scary and negative thing if your mind is in the right place.

That’s why I wanted her permission to write about it. I know she understands the power of her decisions. But I’m not sure she really understands how powerful her story is.
It might inspire others in the process of making a difficult decision.
It might be relatable to others who’ve made those kinds of difficult decisions.
The story of Thing 2 and Boyfriend J’s break up is personal. It’s small in the grand scheme of things.
But the story of being mindful and loving when making the hard choices. Of doing what’s best for herself while still working to keep him safe and loved.
This is where the power lies.
The power of love.
The power of hope.
The power of learning to love yourself and have that be more than enough for the time being.

Categories: love, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

October gratitude

As I look back on October, it was chock full, and I have much to be grateful for.

While this may not be what I’m most grateful for, I can assure I am most excited about it.
My Washington Nationals winning the World Series!
Those seven games were something to behold! Winning four away games, losing three home games. We laughed. We cried. We were ready to admit defeat. We literally jumped for joy when we won game seven! This post season was some of my most emotional baseball, but every moment was worth it!
My baseball bae (third baseman Anthony Rendon) and side bae (first baseman Ryan Zimmerman) celebrating the end of game seven.

Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

I’m also super grateful for these things:

my acupuncturist
popcorn and coke with YBW at the double feature of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Bobby Flay’s new cookbook
teaching and learning with kindergartners, second, fourth, and fifth graders
celebrating our anniversary (4 years married, 10 years together)
whiskey cocktails at the distillery with Holly
my favorite bookshop, Bards Alley
breakfast with Nora
a visit to Naked Mountain

HGTV’s Rock the Block
going to the movies by myself on a Friday morning
Thing 1, Thing 2, and Baby K here!
cocktails
weird weather
Baby K’s giggle
Halloween as the Mystery Gang

(Thing 1 as Velma, YBW as Freddie, Baby K (in the wagon) as Scooby Doo, Thing 2 as Shaggy, and me as Daphne)
good talks with my girls
celebrating Meredith’s ninth birthday
truly wonderful friends and neighbors
Baby K still smiles when I say, “Birdie loves you, girl!”

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September gratitude

As September closes and we’re still having days in the upper 90s, it’s hard to pay attention to anything, much less what I’m grateful for. But Indian summer or not, I’m aware. And I’m grateful.

finishing my degree
celebrating finishing my degree

one of my alternative healthcare providers twice
my therapist
a truly amazing WHNP-BC who not only has helpful ideas but also really listens
YBW’s and my therapist

Rendon bobblehead even though Nats lost this game

my girls
Friday the 13th
finally going to school and teaching 2nd graders
my big sketch book
the shift in me
colored gel pens
productive conversations with my husband
making real plans for the future
watching Good Omens the second time
Rimmel Scandaleyes Curve Alert Mascara

porchlife drinking vodka lemonade with homegrown basil

Amber (she does my hair)
playing Superfight with Thing C and Girlfriend L
bookshop and lunch with Mike and Josie
celebrating a dear friend and neighbor’s birthday
hitting the game tavern with Nora and Dale
a whole afternoon baking with Holly
one rainy morning

reading books
particularly Daisy Jones and The Six
this line from Daisy Jones and The Six

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I DID IT!!

I did it!

My paper passed with flying colors on Tuesday afternoon! Shortly thereafter, I submitted my final project.
I finally stopped checking to see if it passed yesterday when I received that text from my adviser!

My first term started April 2009.
My last term started April 2019.
It took me ten years to finish this degree plan.
Ten of the roughest, yet most wonderful years of my life.

I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my family!
Thing 1 and Thing 2 were my cheerleaders. Supportive when I was down and didn’t think I’d ever finish, celebrating when I was successful. This last term, they were almost as invested in these courses as I was.
As much as I did it for myself, I did it for them.

When I shared the news with Thing 1, her pride and joy were reflected in her voice. That did my momma heart good! My girl is proud of me! I’m so grateful for that!

I didn’t get to talk with Thing 2, but she texted me:

YBW was on his way home from work when I called him.
“Hi baby!” he said.
“I DID IT!”
His pride and joy were enormous!
How did I want to celebrate?
I said, “I just want to hug you!”

To be perfectly honest, I expected to feel relieved to no longer have the albatross ’round my neck.
I was in no way prepared to experience the range and intensity of my feels!
I had no idea how aware I would feel of the years of hard work.
I didn’t realize how proud I would feel.
I was (and remain) unbelievably aware of my gratitude.

I did it!
But I didn’t do it by myself, y’all.
My precious husband has loved and supported me through this process.
His gentle encouragement. His assistance to help me through the dreaded math courses.
His kindness when I wanted to give up, but couldn’t let myself.
I could never have done this without him.
He loved and encouraged me. Cheered my successes. Asked the difficult questions when I needed to hear them.

He was the first one to use the phrase ‘college graduate’.
All the feels!

I knew I couldn’t decide on a place to celebrate with dinner, so I chose to celebrate with cocktails!

Just YBW and me, quietly toasting the pay off of my hard work.

I am chock full of love and gratitude.
My cup truly runneth over!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

summer gratitude

As we move into fall, I’m thinking about everything that filled my heart with joy this summer, and y’all, that list is long!
I have so much to be grateful for!

June:
sleeping in my own bed for the first time in six weeks
seeing Amber for the first time since March
date day with Mike and Josie
Describe the Night at the Woolly Mammoth (last play of the season)
impromptu trip to Williamsburg with Mike and Josie
two of my three alternative health care providers
dinner with Nora and Dale

July:
porchlife

all three of my alternative health care providers
dinner with Meredith and Beau’s family
celebrating Nora’s birthday (she and Thing 2 are birthday twins)
Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, and Baby K here!
pedis with my girls
Spending the day with Thing C and Girlfriend L
drinking bubbly with my girls
Bubbly & Baby party to celebrate Baby K being in our world
2 Silos with YBW, Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, Baby K, and Jessica
stopping cocktails on the way to the airport with Thing 2

August:
Thing 2 and Baby K here for two more weeks
model home tours
porchlife

going away party to celebrate Mike and Josie’s college bound daughter
all three alternative health care providers
Good Eats: The Return
drinking beer, cracking crab legs and peeling shrimp at Blue Ridge

the never ending road trip with Thing 1 and Baby K
seeing Thing 2 and Boyfriend J during a pit stop in Columbia
spending the second day back to school day drinking with Holly
shoot day with YBW
discovering Natty Boh with YBW
Vampire Weekend
YBW’s bestie from high school here with his fam
Nat’s game (Tony hit two dingers!)
finishing my paper

September looks like it’s starting out slow, but that’s fine by me, I’m learning to take it easy. I’m learning the journey is where it’s at. (Though, to be perfectly honest, I’m all about ‘getting there’.)
I’ve already got some stuff on the calendar for next week, but I’m curious to see what pops up.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with YBW as we move into Autumn.
Ready to make new so many new reasons to be grateful!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Remember last month when YBW got a little surprise for me?
The show was last night!
Y’all!

Vampire Weekend is by no means my end all be all favorite band or anything, but I have loved them for the past eleven years.
We were in the front row right behind the ‘mosh pit’ general admission standing room only, so we had a great view!
The evening started out warm but cooled off beautifully as the sun went down, so it was a lovely night to be out in the amphitheater at Merriweather.

I do love me some Ezra!

Setlist:
Sunflower
White Sky
Bambina
Holiday
Mansard Roof
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
How Long?
Unbelievers
Unbearably White
Horchata
New Dorp. New York (SBTRKT cover)
This Life
Hold You Now
Diane Young
Cousins
A-Punk
Don’t Lie
Peace Frog (Doors cover)
Oxford Comma
Jerusalem, New York, Berlin
ENCORE:
Big Blue
Hannah Hunt
Diplomat’s Son (Pressure Drop Maytals cover in the middle)
Flower Moon
Worship You
Ya Hey

Last song of the night.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

little surprise for me

YBW brought in the mail the other day and stood at the kitchen island opening it.
A moment later, he handed me this:

Yes, I squealed!
Yes, I clapped like a little girl!
Yes, I jumped up and down while I did it!

What a sweet surprise!
And I was surprised!
I asked him if he wanted to go with me to see them and he declined. He texted me from his office the day they went on sale asking if I wanted him to buy tickets, I declined. I didn’t want to drag him to see a band he’s only mildly interested in.
Turns out he had other plans.

I’ve adored Vampire Weekend since their debut album in 2008!
They remain in constant rotation in my music.
I’m so excited!

What a thoughtful gift from my husband.
He knows what I love and he wants me to be able to have as much of it as I can.
His kindness never ceases to amaze me.
I’m so grateful. Not just for this lovely gift, but for him simply being himself.

What a wonderful way to end the Summer!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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