24
Feb

Five Minute Friday - respite

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 respite.

A rest, a moment of relaxation. A chance to breathe, a chance to rest your body, your bones, your mind, your limbs, your joints. A rest that is needed, a respite.

Relief, comfort, and a place to find peace. Peace and comfort. Who is not looking for peace and comfort?

In the beginning of 2020, my entire being was looking for this rest, the relief, this comfort. I needed my mind to stop spinning, my body to stop pushing, I needed my toes and fingers and feet to rest. I needed to find a quiet spot in this world.

I'm sad to say that the world needed to stop spinning for me to get there, but I got there.
I'm sad to say that I needed to be told to not move to stop moving, but I stopped moving.
I'm sad to say that I needed to be told I wasn't allowed to leave my home to find rest, but I did rest.

I found my respite, rest, comfort, calm, and my body felt as if it was melting into beds and chairs. My mind felt better. My brain. My emotions. I felt my rest.

11
Feb

A mother to babies

Many people told me, and still tell me, that I struggle with change.
I believed them - big parts of me still do - after all, when you're told something from those who love you and know you the most, what is there to question?
I understand why. I love a tradition. I love a routine.
However, I have come to realize that I am quite resilient and more comfortable with change than I understood. What was confusing is that although I had to change as a mom, I had to, I did struggle with the growth and milestones.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear –OCTAVIA E. BUTLER

I believe that what I struggled with was watching you stop being babies.
I loved being the mother to babies.
I loved protecting your little.
I loved having a little one snuggled on my chest.
I loved how you smelled. I loved the way you laughed at my peek-a-boo.
I loved how your face lit up when I walked in.
I loved feeding you a bottle. I loved your little clothes.
I loved watching you sleep. I loved feeling your breath in and out.
I loved a snuggled you in a crib. I loved you after a bath.
I loved being a mom to babies.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear

And you, you were the kindest most gentle introduction to parenthood.
You were full of love and joy and sleep and food.
You slept like angels and ate like champs.
You were a lover of touch and hugs.
And you loved to be a part of this crazy little family.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear

When you become a parent, you have to be okay with change.
You are breaking up with yourself every single day.
You are breaking up with your marriage, the parts you thought you would never give up on must change.
You are breaking up with your body.
You have to accept the changes to your home, to your sleep, to your career.
You have to learn to be okay with all of it - or else the insanity of it will consume you.
You have to be flexible and change with the moment.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear

You have to constantly reevaluate your parenting style and change and mold and refigure your family out.
You have to change your tone, change your mind, and see things from their point of view.
You have to change your priorities, change your schedule, change big parts of your life.
I had no choice but to accept change and I did.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear

When I look at all of our old pictures and see your beaming faces, and your grumpy ones, god I miss you.
I miss the rolls and the insane bursts of love.
I miss the squeals and the silly.
I miss the little hands wrapped around my hand all of the time.
I miss my babies.
Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear

It is no secret that motherhood was not something I longed for.
The fear of all of this, all of the time, was unbearable to think about.
So I went in with eyes wide open.
I knew our marriage would take a hit, I just didn't realize how much.
I knew our money would take a hit, and I planned for it.
I knew our home would change, and I braced myself for it.
I knew my body would have to change and change again and again and again, and I made a commitment to you.
I knew my health would take a hit and I got myself ready.
I knew our lives would change and I opened up my arms to you.
You, you met us with kindness and love.
The kind that eases change and certainly quiets fear.

11
Feb

Five Minute Friday - consume

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 consume.

I make sure you are not my whole life.
I make sure to remember that our window together is forever closing.
You will move on, you will grow and move out, you will find your place/space/family.
I make sure not to be consumed by you.

I realize that motherhood can feel all-consuming, but I don't allow it to be.
I make sure to remember I cannot be all-consumed.
I make sure to remember that I came here with a person I want to remember on the other side.
I make sure to remember that each phase has its different consuming parts but I need to create space.
I make sure not to be consumed by you.

I remember that my job is my joy.
I remember what it was like, felt like to be all consumed by my work.
I remember the resentment, the loving, and living it to death.
I remember how sick I got.
I remember how much I suffered and how much I lost.
I remember what it felt like to be all consumed by my work.
I make sure not to be consumed by you.

It's easy to fall into the path of consumption.
I love you both so much that it makes my insides hurt, how can that not consume my thoughts, and my body?
I love my work and love to work and love to be working and find a hum and rhythm. Why would I not want to always feel that way?
Why would I not want to hear my fingers on my computer and know what to do today?
Why would I not want to be devoured by this feeling?

Because I have been there.
Because I have seen the destruction it causes.
Because I have seen lost parents, unsure what to do now.
Unsure who they are and what their purpose is.
Because I have been lost.
I have been unsure who I am if not my work, my drive.
Because I know it's all fleeting and what matters is not to be overwhelmed all in.
What matters is the dance and the finding of yourself in other things.

I remember to not be consumed.

4
Feb

Five Minute Friday - waste

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 waste.

I realized that my resentment, anger, and frustration were a waste.
I realized that I was wasting my time and my energy.
I realized it was all a waste and holy hell was it heavy.
And so, I needed to find ways to let it go.
I couldn't let all of it go, but the big pieces that were weighing me down.

I realized that reliving, rethinking, and redoing my past was a waste.
I realized that I was living in a place I was no longer standing in.
I was living there and I needed to move on.
Regardless of where everyone else decided to stand, I needed to go.

I realized that worrying about my future was a waste.
I was planning out pieces in my mind like a game of chess but the game was my life and it was exhausting.
What a waste.
There is something to be said about making sure you are ready for unknowns, but the amount of time I put into the "what ifs" was a huge waste.
And so, I worked on finding a way to stand still.

And yes, it was actual work for me.
To not always be thinking in one direction or the other, just stand still.
Not all of the time but a little each day.
And because I had you to watch grow, that made it a little easier.
You were my constant anchor because I wanted to remember your moments.
I wanted to be the keeper of your memories.
And I found that I started to notice things more.
Like the change in seasons in my little town.
Like how silence is an actual sound in winter.
Like how the trees shed their beauty to be able to hold the weight of winter and that in and of itself because gorgeous.
Like how my home is my safety and how lucky I am to have that.
Like how your cheeks get round when you're happy and warm.
Like how you need to tell me everything the minute you walk in the door.

I worked on not wasting my time.
Because that would be a regret.
We cannot forget we are on borrowed time and who are we to waste it?

29
Jan

Pearl Rose

There isn’t a human being in the world worthy of any dog’s welcome. –RICHARD POWERS

I'm going to say it, we don't deserve dogs.
We don't deserve their attention, adoration, snuggles, or smooches.
We don't deserve their tail wags, their perked ears, their nose bumps.
We don't deserve their cooley's shaking when they see us or their sad eyes as we're saying goodbye.

We don't deserve their warm welcomes.
Or their hugs.
We don't deserve their excitement and their constant love.
We don't deserve their loyalty, protection, or ability to continue learning what we want them to do.

We don't deserve their tiny paws reaching for us.
Or their soft ears that feel like fleece blankets.
We don't deserve to be raised by them or to be their forever.
We don't deserve to be their always.

But, they give us all of this anyway. They give us all of them, every single day.
They give us their excitement and their calm.
They give us their whole selves, no ties, no exceptions, just them.

They love our families. They love their homes.
They welcome our guests, they look forward to the quiet.
They love our walks and our runs. They adore their rest and all the sleep they want.
They love our beds and couches and their beds and blankets.
They love a car ride and are sad when a member of the pack leaves.
They look out for their family and they protect what they love.

We don't deserve dogs, but they don't care.




27
Jan

Five Minute Friday - far

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 far.

I must say, I have come pretty damn far.
For someone who spent most of her life wearing busy like a badge of honor...
for someone who loved her work so much it became her...
for someone who only knew how to push all the limits until she broke...
I have come pretty damn far.

I do not take it for granted that I needed the world actually to stop spinning to make significant changes.
I do not take it for granted that I needed to leave who I was behind and start something so completely different that I couldn't be who I was.
But, I will say that before all of that, I made a decision.
Before all of that, I made some pretty big moves.
And I have come pretty damn far.

Because of that, my family has also come far with me.
My kids see the real me. The one that is warmer, less likely to snap, less likely to be on her last nerve.
My dog gets all of me all of the time.
I am able to be where I want when I want.
I am able to be.
I have new hobbies.
I have changed how I work, how I work out, and how I always needed to go to extremes.
I have come pretty damn far. And so have all of us.

I like this little life I have created for myself.
I like my new environment.
I like my structure.
I like my flexibility.
I like the ability to me more than my work while still loving my work.
I love what I put in and get out of my work.
I have come pretty damn far.

So, to the woman who struggled to see any other way.
Who was so lost and could not find a way out.
Who was so exhausted she only dreamed of nightmares.
Congratulations, you have come pretty damn far.

22
Jan

Love

Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear –OCTAVIA E. BUTLER

Love is an amazing emotion.
It takes up space, it fills the empty space in you, it washes over you like a bath.
And just like that, love makes you feel warm, cared for, present. It brings out smiles, joy, kindness.
Love is an amazing emotion.

When you are in doubt - of yourself, your worth, your self-worth - love whispers to you.
Almost like sweet nothings in your ear - love reminds you that you are important, you are here, and it matters that you are here.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love helps with pain, sorrow, even grief.
It fixes the broken, and allows for healing.
It humbles you, it it astounding.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love tells you to be kinder. Love reminds you that no matter what you do or don't do, it will show up.
Love won't back down, won't be afraid, won't back away.
Love is not shy, it is not written in ink, it is ever-changing, growing, evolving.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love melts the hard spots, especially the ones in your heart.
It allows you to dream bigger, and see brighter. It asks you to forgive, it asks you to kneel and it asks you to rise.
It allows you to think about a future, with a person, in a spot, or to do more than think, to plan.
Love it an amazing emotion.

Love cannot be scripted, it does not wash away, no matter distance or circumstance.
It is ever-present, always involved.
Love asks your heart to grow and it asks it to rest. It asks it to settle into comfort as it flutters at a voice, or a sound or a smile.
Love is an amazing emotion.

I have met many lovers of love in my life.
I too am one.
I also created one.
I also adopted one.
I understand their need, their desire to feel loved, to show love, to give love, to have it received.
I understand their hearts, how pure it is.
I understand how and why they are all in on what they love, who they love. They know no other way.
I understand their emotions, I understand their power.

Love is one amazing emotion.

20
Jan

Five Minute Friday - say

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 say.

When I said hello to you, I opened up my world and I chose bigger.
When I said hello to you, I said hello to motherhood, and I chose bigger.
When I say I love you, I mean I love you down to my toes.
When I say I picked this life, I mean it, I picked you all.

When we said goodbye to you, it was the hardest day of our adult lives.
We held you as you took your last breath, and we knew that we loved you as hard as we could for as long as we could and it was time.
When I say I love you, I mean I love you down to my toes.

When we said goodbye to you, it was harder than we had imagined.
Leading up to your end was beyond complicated and heartbreaking.
But once again grief shows us that love was there. Love was present and for that, we are grateful.
When I say I love you, I mean it. I loved you and I tried for you.

When I say that family just shows up, I mean it.
We feel each other and we are just there.
We don't need to ask, we just show up.
And when I say that I love you for it, I mean it.

When I say that I love my work, I mean it.
In fact, for most of my life, all I was work.
All I thought about, fought for, and became.
I love my work so much that I needed to walk away, start again, and learn from my mistakes.
But when I say I love to work and I love my work, I mean it.
When I say I love you, I mean I love you down to my toes.

When I say that I do work on myself, I mean it.
I stake stock, I look at who I was, am, becoming.
I ask if I am headed in the direction I want.
I ask if my heart feels fulfilled. I ask others around me about me.
I take too much responsibility and I live in constant extremes.
When I say I am a work in process, I mean it.

I don't always say what I mean. I'm too meek for that.
I don't always mean what I say. I'm too quick to anger for that.
But when I say I love you, I mean down to my toes.
It does not matter who you are, if I say I love you, I mean it.
Down to my toes. I picked you. I want you in my life. I want to be a part of yours.
When I say I love you, I mean down to my toes. I mean it.

13
Jan

Five Minute Friday - pattern

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 pattern.

Patterns exist all around us.
They can appear in shapes, colors, and music.
They appear in habits and our routines, our own "tells".

I have several patterns and I definitely have tells.

They help us make sense of the world and they help calm our minds.
They provide order.
There is a predictability to a pattern that feels soothing.
They help us to realize what comes next.
We teach our children patterns as they are growing and learning and as adults, creating a pattern, and seeing it, it is what our brains do best.

But, they can also be harmful and they can become stifling and old.
They sometimes need to be broken so we can break the harm we are inflicting.
Or, we need to see something from a different angle and a different perspective.
You have to break your pattern to do that at times.

For a woman who doesn't break, change, or feel that patterns are harmful, it took me a minute. It took me a minute to recognize my own unhealthy patterns. It took me a minute to recognize the healthy ones too.
But I see now that we all create them to get by, get through, and keep going. We create them because our mind needs to see a pattern. We create them to make sense of the unpredictable world we live in.

And now, it is time for me to find the beautiful patterns in my life. The patterns in the lake. The ones in my home, the home I curated from scratch. The patterns in my work, the ones I honor with love. The patterns in art, the ones in the sky. The patterns of a garden, the patterns of treesThe ones that are appealing, loving, and confident in their strength. It's time for me to honor their glorious beauty.

7
Jan

Right here

Make space and arrive...Spend some time with yourself...Right here and breathe

You and I, we have a special bond. More special than most. But when the world stopped spinning, you were one of the first I turned my back on. I have no idea why. I asked others why I couldn't find my way to you, why I stopped feeling you and our bond because I couldn't believe it. They said that maybe I needed a break from you, but I knew that wasn't right. I could feel what I needed breaks from and you were not it. They said maybe you and I find our way in community spaces, and right now, community is lost. And maybe that fits? So I tried in my own way to get back to you, and then I gave up and waited.

Once the world opened back up, you were the last thing I went back to. Again, I have no idea why. Once I found my way back in, I felt - shy, saddened, embarrassed, and sorry. I laid down at your feet, but you didn't flinch, you told me to rise.

I came with my tail between my legs asking for forgiveness, and you reminded me that it was not necessary. The bond is stronger than any break. And we immediately found our rhythm. You told me to rise. Spend time with yourself, find your way back, find your breath, and your balance. Feel the rise and fall of your belly, listen to the sound your breath makes, find a little quiet spot, make room, take up room, and rise.

Make space and arrive...Spend some time with yourself...Right here and breathe

You asked me to roll out my mat, sit down, close my eyes, place a hand over my beating heart, take notice of my inhale, and exhale, don't change anything yet, just notice. Start to inhale what you need more of, exhale what you came to let go.

And the exhale is releasing all the tension I've been feeling
On the surface and beneath me, I'm connecting to my spirit
And I'm here now right before you, present in this moment
And our life's work is to honor the beauty all around you

Then, you asked that I slowly come to my feet, and rise.
Make space and arrive...Spend some time with yourself...Right here and breathe

I immediately remembered us. I immediately felt us again. I was surrounded by what I needed more of, you. I let go of what I needed less of, insecurities, fears, and most importantly, tension. I followed my breath, I remembered to breathe. We moved together again. We found poses together, we found space. You asked me to take up more space at a time I shrunk to fit into boxes. You asked me to take up room, more room, and then, you asked me to let it go. You asked me to inhale more love, more self-awareness, more emotion, more of me. You asked me to just be. And then, you asked me to spend some time with myself and rise.

Make space and arrive...Spend some time with yourself...Right here and breathe

So, I found my way back to us, our bond, our love. I made space, spent time with myself, and rose.

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