18
Apr

Bricks

I read a story written by a black mother that talked about the bricks she has to pack in her children's bags.

Don't wear this sweatshirt.

Don't go out in a group with other black people, but don't go out alone either.

Don't drive in this neighborhood, I know your friends live there but don't.

Don't be in a car with too many other black kids.

Don't run away, don't walk away, don't walk towards.

Don't make eye contact, but don't look away from.

Don't be too seen, don't call for attention.

Just come home to me. Just come back home, please.

Can you imagine how heavy that bag is, how many bricks are in there? Just come home to me baby.

I don't know how to read this and not ache, but I also have no idea what any of this feels like.

I have read and listened to so many in the black community talk about how exhausted they are. It's a never-ending war. I have read that each and every time, it is a reminder that they are less than. They are not as valued, they are not humanized. I don't know what that is like either. I don't know what it is like to not feel like you are part of society, you are not part of the human race. That I need to humanize myself to let you see me, I don't know what that is like.

All mothers worry. All mothers carry their babies long after pregnancy. All mothers want their babies to come home. But, this, it's different. It's a different feeling, it's a different worry. It's a life I cannot relate to and I am so sorry.

But, I am not tired. I haven't had to endure this always and forever, so I'm not tired. My kids are not tired, we are just getting started. I have not carried bricks, I have not placed bricks in their backpacks, so we are not tired. We can still move, I'm so sorry you have felt so differently for so long. I'm sorry for all I have done to contribute to it. I am sorry I thought not being racist was enough, and how much I did not do. I'm sorry it took the world seeing it on video to prove you right, and I'm sorry there are still some that do not believe. I'm so so sorry but I promise I won't stop at I'm sorry. The job is done when you no longer have bricks to carry, bricks to pack, when we disassemble the building, together.

28
Mar

It's going to happen

For the first three years of your life, it was all you. All of your firsts, all of your milestones. Every single time you did something new, you had a first, so did we. We captured all of it. I wrote about it, I measured your everything, I wrote you letters, I journaled for you, I captured it all in photos, I created so many albums with you front and center.

Then, the other day I was thinking about how you leave for college, Cole will only be 15 and will still have a lot of firsts and milestones. Maybe a prom, driving lessons, driving on his own, maybe a team. There will be moments that exist and will be captured and you will not be here to see them. You won't be in the memories, because you won't be here.

And just like he literally wasn't here for the first three years of your life, you will not be in our home the last three years of his life with us full time. I don't know why I am thinking about this now and I don't know why it feels stranger to me to think of it and it wasn't strange at all with it in reverse.

The obvious reasons are he wasn't even a thought back then. He was a fit to a puzzle we didn't know was even missing. But once you got here, you were always here, with us. The thought of you living out there, calling to catch me up (hopefully), the thought of life moving on because you've moved on, it's all so far-away and right around the corner.

When I get like this, dad gets annoyed thinking that I'm so focused and living in a world that is so far off that I'm not present and enjoying all the things between now and then. But, I see it differently. For me, thinking of those days makes me more present, more patient, more on top of being with you. Because I know the window will close so so soon.

Listen, your mama has done a pretty decent job not making you her everything. I love my work, I have friends, I have activities and hobbies, I even have an empty nest bucket list. But, as much as I have tried to make my life full outside of motherhood, I have really loved motherhood. I truly adore and feel so special and chosen to be your mom. I feel so honored that you picked me. I tuck you in and see that little face, those little cheeks, I cannot help but get overwhelmed with the fact that I get to do this. I get to mother you. I get to be your goodnight kiss. I get to help you, I get to take walks with you. I get to be the one you can't wait to tell stories to. I get to be your mama.

And soon, all too soon, I get to watch you be the person you were always meant to be, out there. All too soon, I get to watch from the side lines and my front row seat will be replaced, taken away. I promise I know it is the way it has to be, is meant to be, the stupid circle of life and all, but yeah,

It's going to happen. I know that and I know that anything I try and do to slow it down or hold on too tight will make it backfire and have you resent me. So, I have to let it happen.

It's going to happen. You are going to grow up and out of your little. My little book nerd (god I hope you keep that always and forever) will find new passions and loves. My little one that tells me how much she adores me, and wants hugs all of the time, will fight me when I want any time with her (I do hope you hold on to some of our times together). My little one that tells me ALL of the things, with ALL of the details, will keep things closer to her chest.

It's going to happen. We're going to have years of pictures with just Cole, and you won't be there. You won't be a part of it, you'll be living a life somewhere else. You'll be checking in, more like I'll be begging for a check in. But, I'm going to have to really get my head around it being a different set of three. Until we are back down to the two who started it all.

21
Mar

Hello again

New York is starting to wake up again. The days are much longer, there is still light at 7pm, the sun is a little brighter. Even on the really cold cold days, we know that spring is trying to make her way back.

Today, I watched you both play outside like little little kids. I heard the laughter and shouts. God, monkey, you could spend forever outside no matter the weather but when you get to be outside with your big sister, you are in heaven.

Today, you asked and begged for play time with both of us outside. You and dad played hockey and basketball and you could not get enough.

Today, I took the puppy for our first really long run. We ran by the track, and I saw our little town wake up. I saw people walking, hand in hand. I saw dogs smiling and pulling owners. I saw cars with their windows down and people grinning from ear to ear, we all woke up again.

Today, I cleaned out my car and threw away all of gunk that comes with winter. All the salt, rocks, the garbage that is too cold to throw away when it's winter, isn't that weird, that winter makes it all feel a little too hard. But, not today. Today, it felt invigorating to throw things away and gather up all the old and start again.

Today, I drank really cold water, and it felt refreshing. I didn't turn my fireplace on and that felt like a good start. It hit 61 degrees in our little part of NY and that's warm enough for kids in short sleeves playing by a pile of old ice and snow.

Today, my daughter wore flip flops, my son a tank top. My dog was panting during our run, got tired even. During my run, I started to sweat a little.

Hello and good morning to us all as we wake up from the long winter slumber. This winter was a little colder, a little harder. The snow hit us hard, we lost some trees, but nature is really trying to heal now...sound familiar?

Next week, I get my second shot of the vaccine. I never in my life thought that I would be living through a movie like scenario in which a country has to figure out how to roll out a vaccine after we have lost half a million people. But, we are healing. Last week, hate struck again as 8 people were gunned down by a white hateful 21 year-old. Their families are living a nightmare, our country is trying to figure this out, and no one has any answer that will make the pain ever end. But somehow, faith carries us through to the other side and we heal.

Faith in each other. Faith in good over evil. Faith in love over hate. Faith in tomorrow being another day as we open our eyes and stretch. Faith in starting over. Faith in science. Faith in healing.

Hello again spring.

14
Mar

Partners

There was a long stretch of time in which our house was a lot more yelling than it was love. There was a long stretch of time I felt I was reliving my childhood in the worst way and I could see in your eyes the worry and concern and worst of all, I felt like you were both responding so poorly. You could feel the pressure and we were teaching you the opposite of a supportive team. Bella, we almost lost you during this time. You were full of rage and anger yourself and we could not just talk to you. Monkey, your emotions could not handle it. You were too young to say anything but you made sure we knew how uncomfortable this was for you.

And then I remembered why and how we work. How and why we need each other and the one thing we never let go of, and that is being partners.

Lovies, this...life, doing, being, adulting, it is all really really hard. And, neither I nor dad could do any of the things that we do unless we had each other to lean on and lean on hard. We don't only need each other, we rely on one another in a really special way. I hope you see and recognize that.

I do hope that you remember for the first ten years of parenting, Dad was your morning jam because mom was already at work. And for so many years, mom started her day at 4am so she can be with you starting at 4 or 5 pm. Whenever I dropped a ball, dad picked it up.

I hope you remember that Dad's coaching schedule kept him away at night for 6 months out of the year. Where ever you needed to be, whatever classes you were in, dinner, homework, activities, that was all me. Whenever he dropped a ball, I picked it up.

But, it took me a very long time to get here. See, for the first few years of our marriage, I was so determined to not be "the housewife". The only one that knew where things existed in our home, the only one that cleaned or cleaned up. Because of my fear of recreating where I came from, it took me WAY longer than dad to realize what our partnership looks like. It took me way longer to realize that it's okay that we each have our place and our groove and if I do something better or if it means more to me, I should just do it. It took me years to realize that I needed to put my resentment of my past away and not put that on him. And then, there's the concept of 50/50.

There is no such thing loves and never has that defined a partnership. The reason this works is because I drop and he picks up and vise versa. And most times, that means we are looking more like 90/10. Even though we each have our "areas" that does not mean we let them fall down when the other just can't pick them up.

Partnership means having really hard conversations. I don't like how we are parenting here, I need this part of our life to change, this part isn't working. Really listening to each other and knowing we each are carrying baggage to our trip as a family. Some bags are way heavier than others but even the light ones need to be unpacked.

Partnership means arguments, anger, sticking it out, coming back, realizing what's important, moving forward, taking steps back, being uncomfortable and comfortable and safe. Being a good person to each other.

Partnership means sticking by the other when they are diagnosed forever sick. Partnership means not judging each other when you are trying to figure something out and it's taking too long. Partnership means doing what needs to be done for your team...your family.

Okay, it took mom longer. I was terrified of the fog years. I was so worried about all of us. But I got there. Because a true partner doesn't run when things are tough, they show up.

28
Feb

They stay with you

People talk about how kids stay with you forever, how the commitment is not for 18 or 20 or 22 years. It's always. They stay with you, they follow you. You put a piece of yourself out there and that person is now walking around with part of you. You can't let them go, you don't just let be, you are always worried, they are always yours...your babies, your loves, a big part of your soul.

But, the same goes for parents. Their words, their actions, their mannerisms, their presence, their being, it all stays with you. It does not matter if they are still walking this earth or not, they stay with you. And, as hard as you try to be like them, or not be like them, you worry. Me, I worry about this a lot. Their words, actions, the way the communicate, it keeps putting a heavy weight on me.

I get a lot from mine. My crazy about clean, that's all my mom. My want to make hosts feel a part of my home, as welcome as possible, that's all her.

I get my anger from him. Damn, I tried so so hard, but it's in there. It creeps up and takes over and once the shouting and rage are brought up, I cannot back down. I also get being triggered by too loud and too much anger. It sends me into this ball of rage/silence/worry/concern/fear/fight. All of it. I get my ability to hold a grudge like it is my job. I am getting "better" but nowhere near how I should be acting.

But, you know what else I get? I get my homemade touches. I get my loud and all in self. I get the way that I love. The family I desperately wanted and needed around me. I get my love of pasta and sauce. I get my desire for a second kitchen. I get why weddings are so important. I get how family is something you throw yourself in front of a bus for. I get my stubborn and holy hell is my stubborn something no one wants to come across. I dig in, and I will do it. That has served me well and miserably in life. It is a superpower that I need to learn how to control in order to use it for good.

I get how crazy my family was and is and will always and forever be. I get to love the ease of my life because I came from hard.

I get my work ethic from them. The one that almost killed me. And yes, that's a good and bad thing, but it's so refreshing to also know that when the going gets tough, I woman up and I get tougher.

See, he wanted two girls that were delicate and fragile. He wanted two girls that needed to be taken care of. He wanted them to become mammas and that's all they did, was be a "woman" in every traditional sense of the word. What he got was something quite different and as crazy as that makes him, it makes me smile a little broader knowing this was my final word on the subject.

What he got was a DAUGHTER that works her ass to the bone. A DAUGHTER that fights. A DAUGHTER that takes care of her family in every sense of the word and has a partner, two that lean on each other a lot.

She got a daughter whose husband makes her dinner. One that makes the bed, crafts, changed diapers, woke up in the middle of the night, bathed them, does bedtime. She is amazed every day by her son-in-laws and cannot imagine why anyone would fight them on anything.

They were so insistent on a very specific future, and it did stay with me, but I went in the opposite direction.

So, no matter where they are, they are right here inside of me. The good, the bad, the ugly. And recently, it has been hard with them. I can't explain it all, but it just has. There is a lot that I am managing with the past, the today, and the tomorrow of this relationship. A lot I am questioning and trying to come to grips with. It is one day at a time, and every week something changes. I need to remember that it's okay to take a relationship one day at a time. It's not my way, I'm either all in or all out, but this one is different. This one needs to be managed differently. And, just like my babies are walking around with bits and pieces and parts of me...just like I am not whole because they took a little bit of this mama with them...they too have that, with me. And I realize more and more, they will always stay right here, with me.

21
Feb

Chapters

Maybe she looks at chapter one too harshly, maybe she looks at chapter three with rose-colored glasses. Maybe her memory plays tricks on her as she builds her chapters and remembers them the way she wants to. Maybe there is a different version of the story out there. Regardless, this is her story, the one she remembers, the one that shaped her, made her. This story is her why...why are you like this? It's because of this story.

Chapter 1: she is too young to be this old.

She spent this time really worried, scared, and surrounded by a lot of anger, yelling, and slamming. There was a lot of crying and although she was and still can be so immature with her feelings and reactions, she always knew she was too young to be so old.

She likes to really focus on all of the hard during this time. She lingers in it sometimes and is brought back to it too quickly. To this day, they still act similarly, and therefore, it's easy for her to remember the hard. So, she pushes herself to remember that there were also moments of gentle and sweet moments of family too.

Moments like walking with her mother and sister, because the family had only one car, so they walked everywhere. Her mother in the middle, each child by her side. She would hold their hands and to keep her little girls warm, she would place them in her pockets.

Moments like Christmas Eve when it was so loud and they were surrounded by so much of her father's family. They had cousins and family, and midnight mass, and opening presents at 1am and too much food.

Moments like really late nights with her mother's side of the family. The men all playing cards. The cousins scheming for ways to have a sleepover. The woman drinking espresso and talking the whole night away. Falling asleep in the car bc it was always too late when we left.

But, there was a lot of hard too. And she knew, she had to find a way to move on. She was too young to be this old.

Chapter two: where she wanted to be.

Having spent high school really creating strong and loving friendships, the kind she knew saved her and would carry her, she left. Some call it running away, they are not wrong. Some call it moving away, they are not wrong. Some call it leaving, they are not wrong. Some call it selfish, they are not wrong. Some call it strong, they are not wrong. Some call it scary, they are not wrong. Some call it liberating, they are not wrong. Some call it necessary, they are not wrong. Most call it going to college, they, are not wrong.

College was as warm as a heavy blanket. Surrounded by trees and fall leaves and snow and wind and cold. College was an incredible four years. The start of framily. Forever relationships that would never leave her heart. College was everything she worked so so hard for. College was the end of the road. College was all her goals and her final destination. College was fun and loving. It was hard and a ton of work. It was late nights, early mornings, little sleep, lots of sleep. College was figuring a lot out for her. It was also knowing a lot about herself. College was everything she wanted, exactly where she wanted to be. But still, there was this little dark, heavy, and angry cloud that did not allow her to fully let go.

Chapter three: it's so easy.

From the moment she met him and saw that smile, it was just so easy. Being in his tight hug, seeing him across a room, hearing his laugh, it was all so easy. It was just the two of them and their little reason of a puppy, the one that made sure they were together. Even when things were harder or stressful, chapter three was just so incredibly easy.

She got sick in chapter three, really sick, forever sick. But since life was easier, she also knew what she needed to do to get better. And, there was nothing that was complicating that. She was terrified, she thought she needed to walk away from him, but he just pulled her in tighter.

He was family, she didn't realize how much she needed him until she found him. She needed his easy. She needed one thing to feel this easy. She didn't realize he was missing.

Taking walks together, staying up all night talking, going to grab a coffee, city living, holding hands, watching TV, it was all so easy. He blended right in to her family, the one she had now created for herself. He was the last and incredibly important piece to the puzzle. They were so different, but in a good way, they were each other's balance. They had so much in common, but in important ways. They had a really solid foundation. They liked to be together, they liked to be with other people, they really liked each other and it was all so easy.

Chapter four: the family grows.

With a move and marriage and the puppy, they added and added again. He always knew children needed to be a part of his story, she needed to be talked into it more. But, once they were here, she fell in love with being a mama and protecting their little. She looks at them, all of the time. While they are eating, or sleeping, or playing, she cannot take her eyes off of them. They look so much like him and it makes her fall for him even harder, they are the two of them combined becoming their own little person. They are so different, one a book nerd, the other a Lego master. One a sitter, the other anything but.

Although the first three years of parenting were incredible, really incredible. So incredible it felt like this was what they were made to do. They fell in love with falling in love with their girl. There was an incredible dance during those first few years.

But, right around year three, the fog finally set in and settled all around them. It was no longer easy to find each other. It was so hard to see one another and the foundation didn't seem as strong. She was filled with so much worry during this time but he knew it was all just a blip and kept pulling her close. She made a lot of threats during these years, and he kept trying to remind her that the fog would lift. There were so many emotions but they rounded one important corner after another until it was clear again.

Their first puppy had her final days, and they said one very difficult goodbye. Without her, it felt really lifeless and dark. So, a new puppy brought life and love, and light back into their home. She was the lover of love that every single member of the family needed and clung to.

Chapter four was hard and wonderful. It was the definition of life, couplehood and parenthood.

Chapter five: the job that was always too much.

She spent 20 years being raised by an agency. She fell so hard for the mission and the hope they created. She loved the way they too protected childhood and understood how important that was to communities. It was never ever a job for her, it was always a way of life, something she needed to breathe. Until the day came when she truly loved it to death, not only was it no longer her breath, it was choking her and it all became too much. Only because she made it too much, because that is who she is and what she does, she is an all in girl and loves things too much.

For the longest time, she relished in the hours and hard hard work. For the longest time, she felt like she was home an in a groove. Until she realized that she was no longer riding a wave, she was getting soaked and the water was starting to take her under. She was drowning. And even more heartbreaking, she lost her hum.

There was a constant headache brewing, a tightness around her chest, an anger that was rising. She was the only one that could stop it but she didn't know how. It was then that she realized her time there was up, they all needed something different. And it wasn't just her or her family that needed her to walk away, it was the agency. They too needed something different and she had to go now.

So she spent three years planning and building and figuring out...what next? This had been such a deep and rooted part of her for so so long, where to next? When the answer came she knew it would be a hard three years, but she also didn't see any other way to make it work. So, she got to work and poured hours on top of hours and worked harder and longer. And it broke her. It broke her brain, her heart, her spirit, her...it broke her.

It was always too much but only because she made it so.

Chapter six: all is calm, all is bright.

She struggled in the beginning. It took time for her to sleep well. It took time for her to stop crying, shaking. It took time before the nightmares stopped and it took time before she didn't feel like someone was standing on her chest. It took time to figure out her days. It took time for her mind to come back and her memory, it took time for her memory to improve.

But slowly, it started to happen. She found and caught her breath. She no longer felt like every decision was the wrong one. She started to really enjoy her days again. Slowly, she started finding herself.

Chapter seven: peace and joy.

She had forgotten pure joy. Not just a glimpse of funny here or there, but moments of actual pure joy. She found them in the smallest of places. Walks with her dog, watching TV at night, reading with her girl, all of the naps. She found joy.

And she loves her job and loves to work. She no longer sits down heavy, but really has the ability to find solutions and think through the best way to handle something new. She still panics here and there, has to be pulled back down, and talk through some trouble spots, but she once again loves her work.

She also realizes she, and only she, can keep finding the balance, or she can keep up her old ways and love it to death, again. She has a chance here to love what she does but not only do work. She has a chance to keep herself open to new possibilities, but only if she is open. She has the chance to problem-solve, but only if she is not overwhelmed. It's up to her what direction this all goes in.

She has found time with her kiddos, games and reading dates, and so many walks and walks. Walks with her new puppy. Walks with her kiddos. So many talks with the kiddos. Making sure she is the mama she needs them to be, a mama that is there for them. She loves being their mama and she needs them to see how much.

She found her laugh again, she can't give that up again. She found her way but it is up to her to make sure this is how she keeps going. She can't go back to her old ways, she needs this peace.

Chapter eight: the one that isn't written yet.

?

31
Jan

Work

Alright lovies, I know you know and can feel this but here is the absolute truth...
I love to work.
I always have.
Even when the jobs were just jobs and not careers.

Even when I felt like I was drowning and it was clear that I hated it. I loved it even then. 

  • I love to work.
  • I'm good at work.
  • I'm capable.
  • I have a groove.
  • I have a flow.
  • I see the big picture and I see the little details to get me there.
  • I see how the pieces can come together.
  • I feel good doing it, something comes alive in me.
  • I feel invigorated by the challenge. I love stepping up, honestly, I love stepping up.

I love it so much it's what I would do in my spare time. It's what I actually do in my spare time. If I have even a minute to spare, I'm right back working.

I love it so much it's unhealthy, I have to remind myself I'm more than work. I'm more than work and working. I need more.

I love it so much that you have to remind me that I'm more than work. You have to remind me that I need more than work. You have to tell me to come to eat, come watch a movie. Let's go take a walk, will you read with me? Do you have time for a reading date? Will you play now? I love it so much I need you to peel me away. And for that, I'm sorry but I'm also so thankful.

I know it's not fair that you need to do this for me, and for that, I'm so sorry. I know this should not be your job, and for that, I am so sorry. But I'm so thankful that you remind me how much more there is to this life of ours. I'm so thankful that you fill my life with other. I'm so thankful that you pull me away. And here is what I have learned.

Nothing is that important.
Most importantly, I am not that important.
Most things can definitely wait.  
My business will be fine, my clients are fine, my team, fine. 
It feels like life and death to me because I created that in my mind. 
It's not my only love.
It's not the only thing I'm good at. 

I do love work. But I started this business because I couldn't do what I was doing anymore. I loved work to actual death and I was the one that felt like she was dying.

I have no idea how you and those that love me stood by me. I have no idea how family and framily and friends and my squad did not walk away. I have no idea how or why you lovies were so patient with me. I have no idea how your little understood what I was working towards. And now that I'm here, thank you for reminding me that I can love it with all of my heart, but to leave so much more room for our life.

24
Jan

Peace

Hi 2021, bring peace.

It's a big ask. I asked 2020 to make things calm and bright. Although you can argue that we did not get either, I can also argue that I got a little bit of both.

So why peace?

Because it was a year of unrest. A year of chaos. A year that was needed, the chaos, unrest, unpeaceful year was needed. We had been living in privilege for too long and the entire world needed to hear the roar. A year that needed anger and uprising. It was a year that was needed.

And although we are not stopping, and the work, the hard work, will continue, we are also going to find a way to allow peace in. It is time for a little bit of peace.

I spent a lifetime proving and doing. I spent a lifetime making this really hard on myself. Some think it has been a way to continue to punish, they may be right. Some think it is how I have always been wired, they may be right. I think it was to prove that I could. When you are told all of your life that you can't, there are many ways to react to that, I picked fighting and fighting hard.

And then 2020 came. As I was wrapping up three of the most difficult years, 2020 came. As I was ready to put down my fighting gloves and stop proving, 2020 came. As I was ready to slow down, 2020 came. As I was ready to catch my breath, find myself again, 2020 came. As I was ready to find my mind, remember and see things more clearly, 2020 came. As I was ready, 2020 came.

I found balance in a year where everything stopped. I found a way to work, a way to stop when I needed to, a way to nap, a way to allow the calm. I fought through imposter syndrome, I fought through "why am I doing this and who do I think I am?" I fought through all the negativity I was throwing my way. I let go of a lot of my past. I stood up for myself in ways that made me uncomfortable and proud. Uncomfortable because when a mouse finally says enough, it feels like a storm destroying the earth. When all I really did was say, I deserve better and you can no longer make me feel this way.

I stopped crying. I used to cry a lot. In the shower, on my way to work, in my dreams. I stopped crying. I stopped worrying all of the time. I stopped dreaming about work. I stopped having nightmares. I stopped having moments of insane panic. I stopped feeling like someone was standing on my chest, taking away my breath. I stopped feeling bad all of the time. I stopped.

I was able to no longer say "I'm not ok" I used to say that a lot. "I'm not ok", because I wasn't. I was not ok. And once I found my way to this place, it all came rushing back. My time with my kids started really feeling differently. I was no longer checking off boxes, I was really with them. Watching TV feels different. Isn't that insane? Watching TV feels more present and less brutal. How did watching TV ever feel brutal?

I found my laugh, I found joy. That's a big big one. Joy. There are so many moments through my day, day in and out, that joy now sneaks in. During a walk, I will get a shot of it. Driving in my car, I feel it. I am no longer rushed to one place or another, I no longer feel like I'm always late and running into trouble. I drive the speed limit. It's these incredibly small and stupid things that bring this rush of joy and this stupid smile to my face.

And so 2021, I need to remember that peace is necessary. Yes, there is a lot of work to do and a lot of wrong to right. There is a lot to do. I am running a business, there is a lot to do. I am a mom to two littles, there is a lot to do. But, I no longer want to move through life and just know I need to be somewhere based on a schedule. I want to see where I am. I want to feel my days. I want to feel when I need to stop and stop. No, I am not all woo-woo. No, I am not all-knowing, really couldn't be farther from either. No, I am not regretful. I know that if I had to do it all over again, I would. Just the way I did. Only because I know no other way and every step, decision, every moment of exhaustion allowed this to happen. I honestly do not think I would love, embrace, and really appreciate this time if it were not for the previous years. So, no, I do not regret any decision.

But I am happy, I am ok again.

Hi 2021, please bring peace.

18
Jan

#46

Dear Joe, may I call you Joe? I understand that Joe is how you went through campaigning, but it feels so casual, considering. I want you to know there are so many reasons I voted for you, and when the time comes, I need my babies to know why too. I also wanted to ask some things of you, and wish you all the best for what is about to come your way.

First, let me start with the reasons.

  1. It's true, you NOT being #45 was a major reason. I promise it was not my only, but yeah, it played a very big role in the decision. I am not even going to try and pretend it did not play a role. I spent years saying, anyone but, but the truth is, you are not anyone.
  2. I can see, clearly, that you are going to take this role very seriously. You come to it humbly and with caution, but with a plan. Strong plans, plans I can get behind, plans that make me feel like we are moving the country in the right direction. You take the title seriously, the role, the honor of what has been bestowed upon you. You are serious about this. You are not doing it for any other reason other than to serve and you take that service seriously.
  3. Your VP choice. She is bright, she too has plans. They will not always align with yours and for that, you specifically picked her. Your foundation was here, you both felt sold in the foundation and I am excited to see what you are going to build together. Thank you for making women's rights matter. Thank you for showing the whole world how important this decision was. Thank you for making POC matter. Thank you for showing the whole world how important this decision was. Thank you for realizing that the only way to break cycles is to not repeat them.
  4. You are a leader. My definition of a leader, you are my definition of a leader. A true leader, in my humble and inexperienced opinion, is someone that puts "it" above them. You will be making extremely difficult decisions. Decisions that half of this country will be 100% against you. Decisions that even those that believe in you, those that voted for you, they too will not agree with each and every decision you make. But, even if I do not agree, I know that every decision will be made with America in your heart. I know that every decision will be made with where we want America to be 4 years from now and how do we want to get there? In that, I trust, so I trust you.

The mess that you are both walking into is truly overwhelming. For me anyway. There are times I feel so small and so insignificant and most of what you are about to face is not my day in and day out. We are divided, we are broken. We are battling a pandemic. We are battling a civil rights movement. We have too many citizens that have lost...lives, jobs, loved ones, money, connection, trust, faith. There are enemies afar and those within and through it all, you want to be America's President. So, January 20th you will be sworn in. You will stand proud. You will take a deep breath in, I can see it now. You will most likely get emotional. You will have us pulling for you.

Continue to be you, the person we put our trust into. Be the man you stated you were, the leader you promised you would be. Your country needs you now more than ever.

20
Dec

Time matters

If there is one thing we all learned this year, it is that time matters. Well, I don't know if we all learned it, but I certainly did. Coming off of three extremely tough years...years that hurt me physically, mentally, hurt relationships, hurt my mind, tore me apart some...years I spent more time crying than doing anything else at all...I did that all because I knew that time matters. Time with you, time with those I love, time to read, time to nap, time matters.

And then, coming to a full and complete stop...time matters.

When this first hit, and we all thought it would be over in a few weeks...maybe even a month or two...I really stopped. I snuggled into the quiet and the calm that I was privileged enough to have. I snuggled into naps, long runs, watching time go by. To some, time no longer mattered, to me, it mattered.

My lists became what did not matter. My have tos no longer important and everyone was just trying to figure this new life out, thinking it would all be temporary. Once things lingered, no one was doing anything well, we all knew it, we were all just hanging on. I still held up most of my routines, I still did "me", but I really relished the fact that time was what I was afforded and I took advantage of it all.

I took long walks with my daughter. I ran far but not for distance and time anymore, but for time alone and time with them. I walked my dog all of the time, I still do. It's our amazing time together, and if she doesn't get it now, she gets furious with me. After all, I took something from her, I took away her time and time matters.

I read, some. But I didn't make it a task or a goal, I just read when the time was right, when my daughter asked me for a reading date, when I decided the screens were too much and demanded a reading date. I found time to read again, and time matters.

I drank so much coffee I should probably start cutting back but just do not want to. I drank wine and I "gathered" with friends, squads that leaned on each other, even on videos and walks. I drank with my husband, we would have a "we made it through another day" toast. I relished all of the time I had found because time matters.

I worked hard on my business, it flourished. I finally had time to dedicate to it and it really showed. I was so fortunate to hold on to our business, our income. I sit back and think hard about where I was five years ago when I started to feel like it was time to move on. I sit back and think hard about where I was one year ago, how hard it all seemed but things slowly falling into place. And as I sit here today, I do not for one second take for granted the fact that it worked out. I found something that I am good at, enjoy, can make a living off of, and gives me back my time. I no longer work from 4am till 10 or 11pm. I no longer work in my sleep. I no longer work while I'm driving. I no longer dream and have nightmares about work. I no longer sit in the shower and think about it all and rush out because I have 5 minutes before it all starts. I have a life back. I have time in my life now. I have my own calendar. I have time and time matters.

So, just as I asked for calm in my life. The world stopped spinning. Just as I desperately needed time, the universe showed up and made time meaningless and the most meaningful things in life.

Time matters kiddos. How you spend it, what you do with it, who you spend it with. It matters on the days you sit around doing nothing. It matters on the days you are crushing goals. It matters when you are exhausted and finally rest your bones. It matters when you are cold and decide to put your body into warm water. It matters, time matters. And in a year when it was exhausting to be alive, time showed up and reminded us that we are at a fork in the road now. We can go back to speeding through life, we can go back to everything being too important all of the time. I know we will not continue to stand still, most cannot and will not even if they could. But, we can also decide that time matters and make choices that are simple and on purpose. We can stop having life happen to us and around us and we can once and for all decide that time is important.

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