Posts Tagged With: life

What *is* Mr Rogers responsible for?

Mr. Rogers: Responsible for the Entitlement Culture?
I saw this article when I was researching for a lesson plan I’m writing.
Initially the title gave me pause.
Then my hackles went up. And y’all I mean WAY up.
To even suggest this goes against everything Mr Rogers!

Of course I had to read it because I was getting bent over a title.

One of the things I learned from Mr Rogers is I’m special because I’m me. I have a responsibility to bring what’s unique about me into the world and hopefully make it a better place.
Mr Rogers was pretty clear that I owe myself to the world, not the other way around.


What are we doing with what we have?
Would Mr Rogers be proud of us?

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Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

not for comparison but for inclusion

I’ve been reading loads of end of- and beginning of- year posts. Some written after giving real thought to what 2018 looked like to the writer, some filled with new hopes, thoughts, or ideas for 2019. Some written to stimulate real thought from the readers.
I got a text from my friend Nora yesterday, it was her adorable bitmoji carrying to the curb, a leaking, stinking garbage bag labeled 2018.
I’m not sharing the pic because I’m making a point about using words. My initial response was to laugh. I even replied “Amen, sister!” But that’s because I reacted to the picture I saw.
When I started describing it just now, I realized I have mixed feelings regarding 2018. And not all of it belongs in that stank trash bag.

There was so much death in my world in 2018.
From Thing 1’s miscarriage to YBW’s precious mom, our beloved sister in law’s mother, friends at work lost parents, YBW even lost one of his colleagues, a man in his 50s. One of my oldest friends lost her mother, a woman who was dear, close friends with my own mother. And another part of childhood dies.
So much loss.
But in 2018 we celebrated anniversaries of birth for our collective children, we celebrated the graduation of our youngest. We celebrated at the news of a baby joining our family.
We experienced teeny little victories, and joys throughout the year. Some personal, some collective. Some meaningless to anyone other than me.

As I consider the close of one year and the start of another, my main take away is I must pay better attention.
Life is fragile and precious.

I spend so much time eyeballing everything from my own point of view.
Well, I guess we all do that.
Remember that show, Ally McBeal? Courtney Thorne Smith’s character asks Ally something to the effect of why her problems are more important than everyone else’s. To which Ally replies, They’re mine.

Looking at the world through your personal lens, your stuff is so much bigger, more important than everyone else’s. And that really does make sense.
I see the world through my point of view because it’s my life.
I’m not suggesting I’m as selfish as Ally McBeal.
Though I’m suggesting I can choose to look past the end of my own nose.

If I broaden my scope, I will see at least some things from a more inclusive point of view.
And in my heart of hearts, I believe that will benefit me.

Pay attention.
I do more than I give myself credit for. However, in general daily life living I spend a great deal of time on autopilot, and that surely narrows my point of view. I think so many of us live that way, just doing what needs to be done without really stopping to see. To engage.
By actively paying attention, we’re naturally more engaged. And being engaged in the world around us is the best way to foster connections with other humans. And even the most misanthropic among us longs for human connection.

YBW and I had a conversation the other day that went sideways af.
I got my nose out of joint and left the room.
I tried to step outside my own irritation and went back to him asking why I’m always the bad guy.
Turns out that the way I asked my question triggered something in him. He felt “backed into the corner” and that I was “wagging my finger at him”.
I asked if he’d expressed something specifically to Thing G. My intention was to talk with Thing G about it if he hadn’t so YBW wouldn’t feel disappointed later on.
So after a heated and somewhat defeated (on both sides) conversation we came around to questioning how to close the gap between intent and perception.
From my point of view, his perception is that my intent is to be purposefully hurtful.
So how can we communicate in such a way that perception and intent are reflective on one another?
We sorted to the best of our abilities the practical aspect and agreed to try different language on both sides.

It made me think though.
Am I paying enough attention to how what I do impacts others?
Am I paying enough attention to how what others do impacts me?
Am I paying enough attention to how what I do impacts me?

Focus on self while paying attention to the bigger picture.
How does what I do impact me and the world around me?
How does the way I look at the world around me impact me?

At first glance, these questions seem big, and perhaps tricky to answer. But if I break them down, they’re simple and I already a good portion of the answers.
Answering them feels simpler than executing the answers.

How can I pay a different kind of attention in the coming year?
How will paying that attention change my world?
Y’all, I’m setting out to answer these challenging questions because I know however lovely my life is, it can be even more so if I choose to see my life in this world from a broader point of view.

I think Ally’s response makes sense. Her problems were more important to her because they were hers.
I feel the same way. I suspect most of us do.
However, by simply shifting the way I look at things, I will remember to see how much bigger the world is than just me.
Doesn’t mean my stuff will stop being important to me, just means I’ll see it from a broader point of view.
By paying attention, and looking at things differently, I’ll begin to see the importance of other people’s stuff.
Not for comparison, but for inclusion.

Acknowledging the importance of others does nothing to negate my own, and does everything to create stronger relationships.
I’ll have moments of narrow view.
But that won’t stop me from trying.
I’ll have moments of paying attention.
I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to more of the latter.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

giving of thanks for November

November. The month that contains the giving of thanks. And y’all, I am not a Thanksgiving kind of girl.
That said, I am chock full of gratitude this month.


Charleston visit.
Time with Sally and her fam.
Time with Jessica.
Solitary road trip.

My therapist.
Two of the three alternative healthcare providers.
Our therapist.
Amber. (she does my hair)


First snow day of the year! (Nov 15)
YBW’s sense of humor.
An unexpected day spent with Catherine.
Independent bookshops.
Michaels coupons.
Mail from Sundance.
My mother in law’s ring back on my finger.
40% off sale at J Crew. (Roby’s getting a new coat for Christmas.)
Flannel jammie pants.
My monogrammed rain boots.
Target’s customer service.
Old Town Warrenton.
Shop small Saturday.
Accidental wine tastings.
Eric Clapton’s Christmas album.
redbubble.com
Holding hands with YBW.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Apple cider mimosas.
Spending Thanksgiving with friends and family and actually enjoying myself.
YBW’s mad kitchen cleaning skills.
A powerful phone conversation with Thing 2.

A new menorah for Hanukkah. (first night is Dec 2)
Christmas decorating.
Making bows.
Fairy lights on the banister.
So! Many! Baby! Jesuses!

And quite possibly what I’m most grateful for!

Thing 1 is pregnant!
The best part is that she is in excellent health, and the baby is strong and healthy!

My cup runneth over.

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

Immune to the view?

I woke this morning to the loveliest view.

As I sat this morning and wrote in my journal, I pondered the question of whether or not my family is immune to this view. Whether or not I’d become immune to this view if it was what I woke to every day.
I love to observe the marsh, the tide coming in and going out. The wildlife. The smell of the pluff mud is uniquely Charleston. If I was here every single day, would it hold the same fascination? Would I take it for granted? Or worse, would I begin to ignore it completely? Would I become immune?

These are interesting questions.
How much in our lives do we take for granted?
And why?
Sure, ‘life gets in the way’. But then I’m over here like, life gets in the way…of life? (WTF kind of sense does that make?)

Life is lovely, even the crap bits.
Gotta pay attention.
Gotta be grateful every single day. And not in that basic girl ‘hashtag grateful thankful blessed’ kind of way. I mean truly accepting what is in your world then choosing to embrace it.
I don’t know, it may seem a rather ridiculously simple point of view, but that’s how I see it.
Pay attention.
Accept the good and the crap as it comes and be grateful.
Be grateful because it’s your life.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

accept the good

Sundance sent this to me.
Not only does she accept the good in her life, she appreciates it!
I am quite delightful. (smirks while typing)

Embrace the good in your world in whatever form it arrives.
Sometimes those things you least expect, or question the presence of, turn out to be what you most need.
You say “exasperating” I say “fucking delight” either way there is good. It’s win-win!

Occasionally, life is rough.
We’re so focused on the trouble, or pain, all manner of ick that hits us upside the head. Even when we’re swimming around in the ick till our fingers are pruney, there is good in our lives, in the world.
All you have to do is open your eyes.

There is a quote:
When you look for the good in others you discover the best in yourself.

I’m down.
But, when you’re up to up to your ass in the ick, you can’t see anything but the ick. That means you’re not actively looking for the good.
But, if you can accept that there is good all around, even in the most unlikely places, you never have to look for it. You’ll be able to see it.

This seems convoluted af.
(and not exactly what Sundance intended when she sent it)
But I feel like I’m on to something.

There will be good in your life that doesn’t look the way you expect.
I’m not suggesting you change your expectations.
I’m saying accept the good you have.
Might surprise you.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

10.24.18

Nine years ago today I started dating my husband.
Three years ago today I married him.

We dated for months via email, text, and phone conversations. The first time we occupied the same physical space, he told me, “I think I’m falling in love with you.”
I made a split second decision to trust him. I believe it’s one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

We have, and continue to do the work it takes to create our best possible life together.
We have moments when we strike out.
We have moments when we knock it out of the park.
Our average is good. Our OBP is even better.
We may not be World Series contenders, but we own our division. And really, I’m not sure I want us to be so successful we’re winning the World Series. I want us to keep practicing and working, and enjoying the game. I don’t want us to don those big ass rings and rest on our laurels.

OK, this went a direction I didn’t intend…

Here’s what’s up.
No matter how we struggle, we’re struggling together.
No matter how we succeed, we’re succeeding together.
That’s why we’re good. We’re in it together.

We stand in the kitchen and shout.
We sit on the sofa and cry.
We ride in the car and laugh.

I love to kiss him.
I love to hold his hand.
I love when he makes weird faces at me for absolutely no reason.
I love when we have ridiculous conversations with each other’s reflection in the bathroom mirror.

We’re not perfect.
We are real.
I’d rather be real with YBW than perfect with anyone.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

September gratitude

September was a difficult month.
That wretched therapy appointment started it off.
YBW and I spent a great deal of time focused on the lack of effort Thing G spends on being responsible for his own life.
I didn’t realize how disappointed I would be when the time came for us to be holding a new baby and there was not one to hold.

That said, there’s much to be grateful for!

Boyfriend J’s birthday.
My therapist.
Our therapist.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s production of Gloria.

All three of my alternative healthcare providers.
Fall decorations!
Amber. (She does my hair, and it looks GOOD!)
Meaningful conversations with Sally.
The sun finally showed up!
Ridiculously fun meme sharing with Sundance.
The easiest blood draw I’ve ever experienced! (my veins roll and that makes for bad times)
Double date at the art festival with M and J.
Phone calls with Jessica.
Being in the park for the last home game of the season. (Nats won 9-3!!)
Sirius XM Broadway.
Cocktails with YBW.
Sitting in the sun at the Naval Academy watching our nephew play Rugby.
Spending time with great friends-as-family in Annapolis!
Talking with my girls.
Cooler temperatures. (Only by a smitch, but I’ll take it!)
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Comedy of Errors.

Finishing a successful school term.
Did I mention the sun finally showed up?

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

even though I’m a whiny crybaby, I know how far I’ve come

Y’all, I needed this reminder!
I’ve been feeling puny of late.
Digestive issues of more ridiculousness than usual. Emotional struggles. Figuring out life plans. Actively concerned for my family in South Carolina. And to top it all off, I blew a blood vessel in my left eye to such proportions that I look like some sort of cosplay ghoul!
I’m having one of those “I’m kind of over life” situations.
Of course, I know it’s temporary. But I’ve hit the wall and haven’t anywhere else to go at the moment.

Life can kick the shit out of you. But the way you handle it is what makes you who you are.
I have had my share of tough times. But, I’m stronger for them. What’s going on with me currently is really nothing on the scale of what I’ve lived through.
It’s just that I’m weary. Physically and emotionally, and that’s when it begins to feel overwhelming.
I think the trick is admitting it. Saying it out loud, however insignificant it may sound. Once you admit where you are, how you’re feeling, you suddenly regain control.
So instead of me fretting, or being pathetic, or having to explain to one more elementary school kid why my eye looks like this, I can express it directly and hit it head on.
I feel like ass. I don’t want to adult today(s). I’m so f**king sick of being sick to my stomach. My eye really hurts and is scary to look at. I’m mad I can’t wear mascara because of it! I’m so stressed about finishing this term. I want the people I love to be safe in this storm. I worry about them on the coast, staying put or evac-ing. I worry about the rain Thing 2 will get further inland, home alone, will she have power? I cannot believe how much time and energy on YBW and I spend figuring out how to help Thing G learn how to be a college student, learn how to take responsibility for himself. Can I get everything finished this school term? Am I just being a whiny crybaby?
Of course, directly expressing it really does feel whiny. But I’ll handle that too. I’m so past the point of judging myself right now. I’m just going to lie my head in my own lap and pet my hair. (What? *shrugs* Makes a kind of sense in my head.)

Here’s what I know.
This will pass.
I’ll soon feel better physically.
My family will weather this hurricane and remain safe and sound.
No more gut wrenching therapy visits for a bit.
Thing G will get his shit straight and YBW will let out his breath and the new normal will be more bearable.
I’ll survive this school term.

I can handle it.
Because I’ve handled so much worse. And on the scale of what I’ve handled, this is nothing. A minor irritation, a fly buzzing round my head.
It’s all very ‘so the drama’, but it’s where I am in my world.
However insignificant it may sound, it is very real to me.
Even if I’m a whiny crybaby, at least I’m honest.

I am a Warrior Goddess.
My strength is deep in me.
I know how far I’ve come.

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

peace out, August

As I say goodbye to a summer I’m more than happy to have in my rear view mirror, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude for what I experienced in August.

Unexpected trip to New Orleans.
Mental health care providers.
Farmers market Thursdays with Meredith, Beau, and their Mommy.
Time with Nora and Dale’s kids.
SiriusXM Broadway.
Libran Provence Rose.
Back to school with people I enjoy.
Massage therapist.
Surprise packages from a friend that knew I needed a bit of love.
Celebrating the full and loving life of Sundance’s Grandpa.
YBW’s love and companionship.
Long phone conversations with the girls.
Independent book shops.
Bloom gin.
The Town of Vienna.
Old Town Manassas.
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern
Diet Dr Pepper.
Essie nail polish.
Analog clocks.
Gel pens.
Sleeping in my own bed.
Old Bust Head Brewery.

Tomorrow is the start of ‘Meteorological Fall’. I can hardly wait! I’ve got loads of Autumnal items in bins in the closet under the stairs waiting to be set free!
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I’m not a PSL kind of girl, though I do love pumpkiny things.
My point is, I’m not “basic” in my love of Fall. Sure I love sweater, jeans, and boots weather, but it’s so much more than that! The change of seasons brings all things new. And even though some consider this the ‘dying time’ I look at it as a time for rest, for recharging, for beginning all new things, and continuing older things with hope.
Hope is truly the greatest ability we possess.
As we move from Summer into Autumn I wish all y’all as much gratitude and hope as your hearts can possibly hold!

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

tenacity in her DNA

Been thinking about Thing 2.
Concerned she’s not really getting her life together. She’s employed, sometimes happily, sometimes miserably. (But, aren’t we all?) I’ve been concerned about her emotional well being. And the well being of Boyfriend J. I worry for them. I know what it’s like to feel trapped. To feel defeated and how easy it is to let that consume you.

And then the other day, she shared that her dear friend Jimmy is going through so much with his mom and her health, and then suddenly she suffered a stroke and is in a vegetative state with no real hope of improvement.
Thing 2 expressed how hard it is to feel helpless when all she wants to do in the world is help her friend and his sweet mom through this moment in their lives.

I began to consider everything my baby daughter has been through in the last year or so.
I’ve seen her hold the hand of her dearest friend after the sudden and surprising suicide of his father.
I’ve seen her rush to the home of her sister and brother in law because the latter specifically requested her presence after the loss of their baby.
I’ve seen her be there for Jimmy even though she’s not sure how to be other than to “throw hugs and beer at him”.

This young woman has demonstrated a level of strength and support that most seasoned adults don’t always successfully handle. She is handling her own complicated emotional feelings, as well as for the people she loves. She’s been tremendously responsible for the people she loves.
So I feel like I need to stop and breathe a little bit. I need to realize she’s doing things with her time and life that are important, even if they’re not actively furthering her “getting it together”.
The thought she’s using these things as avoidance for dealing with getting her life together crossed my mind, and it’s a very Thing 2 sort of way to function, but after talking with her today I feel like she’s working hard to get herself together as well as supporting and loving her people.

She’s learning how to ‘adult’ and I think she’s kind of digging it!

I told her not giving up is hard af but it’s more worth it than she even understood. And this superhero feeling is why!

Of course there will be days when she’s not feeling especially superheroish, but now that she has, she’ll remember it and be more inclined to keep going when the going gets tough. Not quitting when life gets hard is part of growing up. Feeling accomplished and empowered when you persevere is the reward. She’ll remember that now that she’s experienced it.
She doesn’t remember fighting for her life as a new baby. She doesn’t remember how hard she worked to stay healthy. My girl is a fighter! She’s got a strength and tenacity down deep in her. She’s seeing evidence of that now. This time, she’ll remember.
Everyone needs their ‘I did it!’ moments.

I told her I knew she had it in her, that she knew she had it in her and just needed to be reminded.
She wrote: “Really I didn’t want to “brag” to you about how everything is working out (albeit in its own silly Thing 2 way) and make you feel, well, I don’t know what I was afraid of, but it’s nice to hear that you’re rooting for me (and us)” (Us being her and Boyfriend J)
“And I know you always are and will be, but I feel like recognizing it.
You gave me my tenacity.
And I am eternally grateful (heart emoji)

I told her that her tenacity is in her very DNA and I’m just here to remind her.

She replied: “I love you. Thank you for being the best momma, and for being an incredible human aside from your fierce momma-ness”

I shared with her that YBW and I had been talking about how she’s doing, and I shared with him about where and how she is and what she’s doing for her friends. That he’s been loving and supportive in our conversations about her. That even though they’re relationship is a bit tricky, he’s on her side.

She replied:

(This is one of my new favorite Robynbird/YBW analogies. I’m totally the cereal and he’s absolutely the fruit and nut mix.)

That’s the second time this week one of those girls told me they appreciated me.
Thing 1 did it on Thursday in a text message that read: “You’re a great mom. So you know”
And that creates nice warm fuzzy feelings in me.
My own ‘I did it!’ moment!

I built the foundation.
They’re in charge of construction now.
I’m going to worry…I don’t know how to not…but I see what’s being built, and I’m feeling comfortable and confident for them.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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