Five Minute Friday - persist

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on persist.


Keep going.
Gut it out.
Hang on, hang in.
Hold on.
Follow through.
Dig in.
Don't quit.
Don't back down.

I know how to do all of these things.
I am really good at keeping it (whatever it is) up.
I know how to be persistent.

And yes, to a fault.
Part of my problem is I do not know when or how to stop.
And until recently, didn't realize stopping was an option.

There is a lot of good that comes with my persistence.
There is a lot that it has afforded me.

A strong work ethic.
A strong desire to do well.
A connection to my career and my work.
A determination to getting to my best self.

But, the faults need to be pointed out too.
How I will give anything, including my health, for my goals.
How I will give up anything, including who I am, for my goals.

There are other options and slowly, carefully, I am finding my way.
I am finding how to rest to keep going.
I am finding how to give up on what is actually not part of my current plan, so let go of it immediately.
I am finding options, because life is never a this or that.
I am slowly and carefully finding my way.



Sometimes, to keep going, we have to allow ourselves to stop. - Gretchen Rubin
For most of my life, I wore busy like a badge of honor.
It's not that I loved busy, I just had no idea how to stop.
And my life got more and more complicated as things got harder and harder.
The whole time I knew I was the one to blame, but I did not know how to stop.
Actually, I did not know that stopping was even an option.

Go go go was my jam.
Work hard, be hard, be hard on yourself, push yourself hard, be tougher than that.
Go faster, work even harder, get that goal, push push push.

By the time I reached my breaking point I also reached a place of no return because not only did I not stop, I doubled-down on too much.
And for three years, I was unwell.
And although I see that as the toughest I have ever had to be, I to this day, do not see a different way to have done what I felt needed to get done.
I needed to leave a career that defined me and build a company from scratch.
I needed to leave all that I knew about myself and create something I didn't think I deserved.
But I also knew that I could not continue and keep on the same course.
I was finally ready to learn how to stop.

Just as the world stopped spinning so did I.

Sometimes, to keep going, we have to allow ourselves to stop.
I knew I wanted to build a business that allowed me to be more than my career.
And who would have thought building a business would be less than what I was putting myself through, but it was.
I still cannot believe and will never understand that it took a pandemic for me to learn how to live differently.
I honestly have no idea what I would have done if it did not exist...would I have found my same groove?
Would I have realized how much I need rest and peace and stillness?
Or would I have turned this new start into the same old?

Regardless, I stopped and what I found out is how important that is to keep going.
I stopped begging for work.
I stopped begging for it to work.
I stopped waking before 4 to get to work.
I stopped working until my body fell apart.
I stopped hurting my brain and my body.
I stopped putting so much pressure on me that pressure was the only feeling left.
I stopped feeling like I could feel all the nerves in my body.
I stopped sleeping in fists, I stopped dreaming in nightmares.
I stopped crying all of the time.
I stopped worrying most of the time.

And I started something very new.
I started breathing normally again.
I started having thoughts that included joy and excitement again.
I started sleeping through the night and dreaming.
I started seeing my children and hearing their stories.
I started to smile again.
I started to recognize joy.

I found myself.
A little of the old me, a lot of new.
A little bit more calm, a lot more aware.
A little more intentional, a lot more loving.
I found myself when I just stopped.


Five Minute Friday - have

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on have.

To have and to hold.
To hold your hand.
To have your back.

To hold you and your courage up.
To have your love wrapped up in all of me.

To hold on to who we were.
To have a plan for where we are going.

To hold on to our past and our simple.
To have excitement for all of our tomorrows.

To hold on to your smile, your warmth.
To have that smile live on in our beautiful children.

To hold up my end of us.
To have you carry me.

To hold on to why we started, what makes us...us.
To have our memories keep us warm during the darkest times.

To hold you, snuggle into my place in your nook.
To have you hold me too, and remember where I am most safe.

To hold in a deep breath, remember to exhale, and let go of the pain we have created, caused, lived through.
To have us each take a step back, take a look at the beautiful life we actually created, and remember how lucky we are.

To have and to hold sweet love.


One job.

All one could do was to get on with the one job that nobody else could do, the job of being oneself. - Monica Dickens

So tell me what that looks like for you because here is what I see...

I see a 14-year-old Queen ready to take this world on.
I see her hell-bent on living her very best life with her very best girls by her side.
I see a young woman about to explode into who she is...and become.
I see you sweet girl, now go be the very best version of you.
You have one job, to be you.

I see an almost 11-year-old boy that is so confident in his heart and incredible personality that he attracts good.
He is the definition of good and his whole being is about caring.
I see moments of him being out of sorts and in those moments stuck in time, I see all of our hearts break.
I see a boy that is trying to figure out how to still be squishy and lovable but also set up some boundaries.
I see a boy that is exploring and always moving and always bobbing and always being him.
I see him becoming.
I see you sweet boy, now go be the very best version of you.
You have one job, to be you.

I see a man, the man I fell in love with.
I see him laughing more.
I see him finding his strength in parenting.
I see him finding his strength.
I see him still in a cloud of rainbows, unwilling to face most pain.
I see him loving his life and always finding the best in everyone.
I see you sweet love, I see your heart.
You have one job, to continue to be the unicorn you are.

I see a couple that started their love affair with simple, easy love.
I see a couple that started with smiles and bursting with affection.
I see a couple that added to that love and faced some stuff.
I see a couple that walked through fog and mud for years and years and years.
I see a couple that continues to hold hands, touch toes, laugh, snuggle, smooch.
I see us sweet love, we need to be the best version of ourselves.
We have one job, to be us.

I see a mom, an introverted mom, in her mid-40s.
I see her having lost so much in her heart these past years.
I see her having to find her way, once again.
I see her starting over, starting new.
I see her starting something just for her and loving it.
I see her letting go of pain and loving that too.
But I see her still trying to find a really big piece of her heart.
I see her becoming the next version of her.
She has one job, to be herself.


Five Minute Friday - realize

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on realize.

The second you realize and understand you have to forgive with no apology given.
The second you realize and understand, it is more for you than for them.

The time you realize she used you as an excuse, as a tether.
The time you realize you were a pawn and no one, not even she realized it.

The moment you realize that one relationship saved you from yourself but is now over.
That you hung on and forgave for too long and now, it's time to move on.
The very words that ring true over and over, it would have always been like this, just much harder, and it's already hard.
It would always have been like this, just much messier, and it's already messy.

That one time you realize you stayed at the dance WAY too long and you have to get out.
You have to get out and you feel like you are suffocating and every day your life is feeling more and more and more tight.
Your chest is starting to hurt. You stayed too long, that's on you.
You need out and you need to move on, and the second that becomes reality, you need it to happen yesterday.

The very second you realize that you are living the life you never knew you always wanted.
Babies you never saw in your life.
A husband you never knew existed out there.
A puppy always snuggled at your feet.
A home, a curated and loved and lived-in home.
A career from a job that raised you and made you who you were.
Work that fills you full but you always have to remember you cannot love to death, because you will.

The very moment you realize, you are living your very best life.
You are full, you are enough.
You are okay, you are not going to be okay, you are okay.
The moment you realize it's all led to this.
This person, these babies, this life, this moment.


And then-

And then my father was diagnosed and everything in my life was chaos.
And it was complicated.
And I held his hand and walked him to his end.
And I held her hand too and took care of all I could.
And I worked in hospital rooms and hallways.
And I worked in cars driving to and from.
And I set meetings up wondering, am I going to make it to this one?
And I answered calls at 3am.
And I ran to emergency rooms.
And they called all of the time because they were so scared.
And I learned so much about things I never wanted to know about.
And I tried.
And then, I cried and cried and cried.

And then, doctors started asking me if I had a medical degree.
And then I had to explain that I have no idea what is going on, but I have learned too much and am trying to keep up, for them.
And then, I had to turn around and explain it.
And then, we had to keep him whole and hopeful.
And we had to keep him fighting but also realizing that, this blessed sip of life, it is not forever.
And we had to talk to her much more honestly, but she still didn't want to believe.
And we had to make decisions and calls that we couldn't get through without catching our breath.
And then the doctor called me and asked me if we were ready.
And then, I cried and cried and cried.

And then, it was over.
And I realized that 13 months is a lifetime and too short of a time all at the same time.
And I realized how much they cared for each other - at the very end, their love and obligation, and care and heartache - that was all that was left on the table.
And I remembered family, and how much we all show up for one another.
How family came in groups and really really surrounded us with love.
And then, I cried and cried and cried.

And then, she started calling her hard days, dark days.
Because at every turn, we saw him -
in his house, every brick, every tile, every cabinet, every single inch of that house we saw him.
in his cars, in how clean and organized and pristine they were, we saw him.
in pictures, in ones he kept of his littles tucked into corners of visers and frames all over his office, and in ones of him, in ones that pop up on all of our googles, we saw him.
in stories, memories, laughter, tears, anger, and complicated feelings, we saw him.
in his grandkids, in their grit, in their curls, in their love of soccer, in their effortless charisma, in their stubbornness, we saw him.
We saw him everywhere and every day and in every way.
She called those days, the days he was at every turn, her dark days.
And then, I cried and cried and cried.

And then, we kept waking up and going forward.
And we kept on.
And we all kept trying.
And slowly, she started to smile.
And even more slowly, she stopped crying all day every day.
But when she's with him, when she visits him at his grave, it's like she's a new bride in mourning.
But she made it through so many first holidays without him.
And we joked about all he would have complained about at my Thanksgiving dinner.
And that night, for the first time, he visited her in her dreams.
And she hosted Christmas Eve, while tears fell down our faces.
And she lost her breath while opening presents that meant a lot to her.
And she hugged her grandkids and kept saying how much she missed Nonno.
And then, I cried and cried and cried.


Five Minute Friday - own

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on own.

This life, this little sip of life.
This body, this body that works hard and has done amazing things.

My work, my work that brings me so much joy.
My work that I am good at, that I feel the hum while I plug away.

The home I created and curated and treasure.
The walls I decorated with our memories.

The laugh lines on my face.
The love in my heart.
The soul I carry around, the hearts of those I love that I also carry.

I want to own this life, this world I have been given.
I want to own who I am, what I bring, the fact that I really do matter.
I want to own my self-respect, I want to own how I show up for me.

To own your life, to own your emotions, to own your desires, to own your happiness, to own your thoughts...there is life worth owning.


Dear stranger

There is an interior designer that I follow, I have for years and years.
Lately, I don't even follow her for her home interior design (which I also love) but I am drawn to her.
Like all women who carry themselves with grace, confidence, and drip with an urgent fire, I am drawn to her.

Because I am drawn, not to my opposite, but to my balance.
And she brings out my own internal fire.
I am learning from her, a complete stranger, a woman that has no idea what she has brought into my world, no idea who or what or why I am...I am learning from her.

Dear stranger, It started with the way you talk about yourself.
You have a sense of self that I respect, but deeply respect.
And each time I see a story of you, each time I watch you pose and showcase your work, your outfit, your home, your art, yourself, I am reminded of two things:
1. I don't think I can ever grow up and be you.
2. I don't have to, but I can learn from you.

Dear stranger, let's start at the beginning.
I first realized my pull to you when you spoke about money, so openly, so candidly.
I then felt drawn to how you talked about leaving your 9-5 and starting on your business and believing in yourself...sound familiar?
I then saw how success didn't just follow you, you worked for it, but you made your own path, built your own table, made your own seat, created a new game with your own rules and then wrote your own damn book.

Dear stranger, you showed up for you.
You didn't take no for an answer and the whole time, you built something with the people in your life.
You didn't step over anyone, you elevated others as you kept going.
Yes, it did sound familiar.

Dear stranger, and then there is the self-love you have for your body.
I heard you casually talk about your body.
I heard you say things I have heard many women say along the way...
I'm proud of what this body can do...and then you called yourself an athletic build and it all clicked with me.
Athletic and proud of it.
Curves and flipping loves herself.
I don't know why you saying it hit me differently but it did. Something clicked inside of me.
Maybe it was how casual you were about it, almost like a throw away of...I have nothing to say about my body other than I love it and I'm proud of it...but something connected.

Dear stranger, I went to work.
Even though I am not someone who will ever be confident, even though I will never own a room or a camera. Even though I may never fully love the body I'm in and walk with a sense of respect that I deserve...it's okay. I can learn from you.
I went to work and I got this.

Dear stranger, I can separate the two.
I can remember that self-confidence can be separate from self-love and respect.
Even though I might not fully believe in myself and my expertise and my being, I can love who I am.

Dear stranger, not that you or anyone asked, but here's a little something about me.
I am someone that is always interested in knowing better and doing better.
I am someone that works on herself - but a lot and in all areas.
I am someone that pushes her body physically, mentally.
I am someone that has proved time and time and time again, I can do hard things.
I am someone that pushes through fear and allows it to fuel, not stop her.
I am someone that left her forever career that was ruining her and started something from nothing.
I am someone that believes in love, in its strength and I value that love and honor it.
I am someone that believes in connection and how much humans need each other.

Dear stranger, I too built something.
I too want my company to be my last chapter.
I too now have an athletic build.
I too now have curves and muscle and muscle mass.
I too work to elevate others.
I too want to go farther with those I know I can count on.
I too desire connection and bring in those I feel close to and love on them hard.
I too no longer wanted to play the game, or sit where I was being asked to sit. So I too built a different table, started my own game and made my own rules.

Dear stranger that I am learning from...
I am learning to put myself in my top five.
I am learning to love on me.
I am learning to lean into my body.
I am learning to love what it has done for me, how much it fights for me, and how much I fight for it.
I am learning to take many more pictures of myself and share them and tell myself that I matter.
I am learning to matter and to take up space and be a little louder by being more quiet.
I am learning to spend more time on rest and quieting my brain.
I am learning about self-love and self-respect and learning more and more about myself.

Dear stranger, thank you for sharing yourself.
Thank you for existing and thank you for meaning something to someone you never even met.
One day, I hope to bloom like you have.
I hope my soul grows up to be like yours.
I hope I attract the love and light that you do.

Dear stranger, I have and am continuing to learn from you.

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