3
Apr

Five Minute Friday - now

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 now.

Go.

I was talking to a friend about how we all have been giving it all that we're got for years. We all push ourselves for tomorrow, next week, next month, next vacation, next weekend, next year. We all push and push. We all take on too much. We all do. We all keep going.

But now, it all stopped. Now, the world got really quiet. Now, this is all we have. We have right now. So, what can we do with it? What can we make of it? How can we survive it?

There are those that will still only think of tomorrow because how can you not? How can we not worry about what is all going to keep coming at us?

There are those that go through the roller-coaster of emotions, being fine, being good, being heartbroken, being worried, being insane, being hard on ourselves, being grateful.

But, if you can, as an entire community, we will never ever have an opportunity to sit in today, be here and now.

So now, I'm trying to keep some amount of normalcy.

Now, I am sleeping in a lot more.

Now, I have loosened my grip on my lists.

Now, I have loosened my grip all together.

Now, I'm taking a ton of walks.

Now, I miss my framily.

Now, I am finding ways to stay connected to those I love.

Now, I get to watch you learn, like I did your very first year of life.

Now, real family comes together. Real family offers support and love. Real family reaches out. Real family shows up.

Now, I go to bed later, now, the exhaustion is different.

Now, my brain is starting to get clearer, things are less fuzzy.

Now, anxiety comes in waves so I have to practice not thinking too far ahead.

Now, I find humor.

Now, I listen to a lot of chewing, a lot of gulping, a lot of talking, a lot and lot and lot of talking!

Now, I light a lot more candles.

Now, our house is messy and weird.

Now, we watch so much TV I freaking love it!

Now, the puppy is in heaven.

Now, the kids really turn to our traditions, to find their own normalcy.

Now, I get to watch in real life the sentence "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" come to life.

Stop.

29
Mar

I see

We play I spy in the car a lot. It always starts out kind of cute and time makes it drag on too much. Now, I'm playing my own kind of I spy and you guys aren't really all that aware.

I see a lot of families going for walks together.

A lot of siblings playing together.

A whole bunch of family games being played in backyards.

I see families gathered outside by a fire.

I see them cooking together.

I see friends finding each other and supporting each other and sending smiles any way they can.

I see communities coming together.

I see the world getting smaller.

I see real leaders stepping up.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see worry lines and tired faces.

I see loved ones leaning on each other.

I see priorities getting clearer.

I see A LOT of family time.

I see introverts living their best lives.

I see introverts hiding under covers.

I see people trying to do anything they can to help.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see books being devoured.

I see binge-watching at its finest.

I see liquor stores doing quite well.

I see house projects being completed.

I see workouts getting a new routine.

I see happy pets.

I see love, a lot of it.

I see kiddos reading to each other.

I see siblings going from a loving moment to screaming matches in seconds.

I see forts being built.

I see a ton of Legos...everywhere I turn.

I see family puzzles.

I see family dinners.

I see BBQs in March.

I see couples working together.

I see love, a lot of it.

27
Mar

Five Minute Friday - adjust

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 adjust.
Go.

So, we're all doing it, adjusting, but how are we all doing?

It's a new normal, but does any of it feel normal?

We're trying to find the good and decent in this. We're trying to stay strong, positive, supportive, loving, kind, but we keep having to pivot and realign.

We're adding homeschool teacher to our resumes.

We're finding ways to all live and work and play and settle into our homes.

We're finding ways to help support small businesses and nonprofits and still keep each other safe and protected.

We're finding things to do and new ways to be.

We're walking more, our pets are in heaven.

We're eating together.

We're less addicted to schedules and have tos, there is nothing that is more important than the world we created.

We're connecting through technology.

We're laughing at how we're all dealing, we're laughing and that says a lot.

We're showing up for each other.

We miss each other.

We are slowing down.

We're sleeping in.

Jammies are the new black.

Rum and wine have become my love language.

We're still working out because our gyms are incredible!

We're talking, a lot. The kids are nonstop chatter, they cannot get enough of us and really show off during video calls.

We're also worried. We're worried about the other side of it, who will be ok, who we will lose (in more ways than one).

We might be losing sleep at times.

We're learning a lot from the experts that are on the ground researching this and pouring their lives into solving this for us.

We're ordering in, weekly.

At times like these, what I see are that people, good people adjusting and showing up. People are remembering what is important. People, good people adjusting and making the right things a priority. People, good people adjusting their lives to find normalcy and calm in the middle of the biggest storm the world has ever faced.

Stay strong, keep doing what we're doing, stay in, stay home, wash up, love always.

Stop.

23
Mar

Shhh.

Lovies, this is a time we will all remember. Always and forever. The time the entire world went black and dark and quiet. The time we were all hunkered down and living each day minute by minute. The time we were inundated with information and closed off, all at the same time. The time when everything was closed and we all just watched. The time it all hit, all at once and everywhere.

So, in a time of worry and concern and just not knowing what the hell is going to happen next, and not knowing who is going to make it out ok, and not knowing what will happen to our entire town and just plain not knowing anything, here are some things we do know....

Right before this all happened, you two could not be in the same room. You were both at each other, all of the time. You could not have one single conversation without anger and disdain dripping from you. And we had had enough. We would be 3 minutes into our day and both of you would be sent to rooms and asked to separate. I would cringe with how you acted around each other. And then, overnight, you had to become each other's only friend, only person, only source of entertainment and it all changed.

You both worked together, you both compromised, you both play silly games, you both take turns, no one is in charge anymore. You both work side by side, all day long, in one office doing work and helping each other. You both read and play and snuggle on Pearl. You eat together, take turns watching things you both enjoy, you are all you have. As much time as we have to be spending together, it's made it so much better. You are getting closer and Anna, Cole is living his best life because he has you back.

Our house is getting messy but organized and projects we were going to get to, they are getting done. And extrovert dad is on fire with all of his projects and finding ways to run to Lowes for everything and anything. And introvert mom is loving being cooped up and staying put.

Laundry is getting done.

Dinner isn't rushed.

Saturday mornings are really lazy, so are Sundays.

Dad is still working out...at home!

My business is still turning, for now.

We are watching cute movies.

We are snuggling a lot.

I am sleeping a lot and less and then a lot again.

My lists are getting shorter.

We are walking Pearl all of the time, and she could not be happier, having us all here.

She too is loving her crate and alone time.

I am watching so many shows, and I know that sounds like a weird positive but it really really is.

Dad and I are holding hands all of the time.

Hugs are plenty around here, out of nowhere hugs, I really love you hugs, thanks for doing this with me hugs.

Cole is a Lego builder master and got us hooked to a new Lego Master show that is adorable and hysterical and fun. Anna is watching and really into it.

We're all sleeping in!

I'm not addicted to my phone anymore, I actually have it on silent so I can really take advantage of the quiet.

There is a lot to worry about, a lot to stress over, a lot to wonder how it's all going to look on the other side, who will be impacted the most, who isn't able to count a single blessing because their world is falling apart. So, for those of us who can, who are able to find the good, it's important we remember that and let go of little things that just don't matter.

When this is all over, I'm going to hug my friends hard. I'm going to go to the gym and do a dance of glee. I'm going to yoga and cry. I'm going to remember sleeping until I naturally wake up. I'm going to try and do more of that. I'm going to be ok.

20
Mar

Five Minute Friday - tomorrow

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 tomorrow.
Go.

It all changed in what feels like a heartbeat, one minute listening to how others are being affected and the next, it's at our doorstep. Yesterday normal, today is more chaos, what will tomorrow now bring?

As all of this changes, minute by minute, it gets a little more worrisome, a little more dangerous, a little crazier. So, all we have to keep doing is breathing, stay home, rest up, and support everyone from afar.

So today, my elderly parents came and visited with us standing inside our house, and them outside - talking through a window. Tomorrow, they might not be able to.

Today, we are trying to support local restaurants by participating in "take out week" tomorrow that might not be able to happen.

Today, I am going to make a normal weekly grocery list and go for a normal grocery run tomorrow morning, who knows if that will be taken away too.

Today, we are visiting with friends via computers and video calls, maybe soon we can all join together again and hug each other like it has been years, because that is what it will feel like.

Today we will stay snuggled with our little family and continue to take our puppy for walks and runs and keep the kids learning and slowing down, and watch all the movies and catch up on house projects and love each other.

Tomorrow, loving each other will not change, it cannot. It's all we have left.

Stop.

16
Mar

Five Minute Friday - less

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 less.
Go.

We are about to really understand what this word means. We are about to find out how wonderful it can feel to have to slow down. We are about to see just how little we actually need, how much less we can live with. How much less we can be doing, how much less it takes to be happy. We're about to find out the real meaning of the word.

So, as we try and stay safe, healthy, and do less running around, less driving, fewer group activities, less of all that we normally do each and every single day, remember all we can do.

Like take some walks and go for runs and be with our little families and create real mealtimes together, and talk, and read, and play games, and ride bikes, and play with our dogs, and take some pictures, and create some family movie nights on a Tuesday, and leisurely sip our coffee. As a friend of mine posted today, nature is still open.

This might be one of those times that we look back and remember how scary this was. We might also remember how cozy it felt to be together and being forced to not go anywhere. We might also remember how less always means more.

I fully understand that there are so many that do not have this opportunity and this retreat will be devastating. Remember that we have to take care of each other, be safe and be loving. Do more by doing less.

Stop.

21
Feb

Five Minute Friday - risk

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 risk.

Walking down that aisle, I took a risk that never felt like one.

Deciding we were trying for that little blue line was the biggest risk we ever took, but we did it anyway.

Leading BBBSCR was risky, I was so green, they had more faith in me than I ever had, but I threw myself into it and did it.

Leaving it all behind, starting new and on my own, yeah, it was and is really risky, but here we are.

Even the things I plan and calculate, even things I try to eliminate the potential for risk from, they all come with risk attached. It's just embedded in all that we do. Getting out of bed each day means you are willing to risk it all and try for this day. Even if the day ebbs and flows with what you think is the "normal and boring every day". It's not, there are risks in all that we do. And I for one, am petrified of risks, but here we are...married, mortgage, kids we are responsible for, and running a company while managing a life.

So, listen to the woman who is always scared when she says, you can plan for it. You can have life-insurance and wills and insurance, and succession plans and backup plans and emergency funds and attrition funds. You can try to drive walk in the dark in groups and keep your doors locked and drive safe. You can walk looking both ways, you can hold hands when you cross the street, you can try to make calculated plans. You can create your lists and tell the world what you want to be done "in case". You can plan for the "in case". And don't get me wrong, it will help, but it won't eliminate the risk.

Because it's kind of how you know you're actually living. You fall in love and it may or may not work. You have kids and all plans go out the window because it all changes. You can invest in a home and anything can happen, go wrong and by the way, there is always something to do or something that's going wrong. You can take really good care of your body and be healthy but still be injured. And even from this terrified fool, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love you dad, I believe in him, I believe in us. I am his biggest fan and no matter what happens tomorrow, I can't change that. I adore that he pushed me to have you, I cannot get enough of my second chance at childhood. I love protecting it and as hard as it is to let you go, I do love seeing what you do with who you are each day. I heart our home and the calm it brings me when I walk in. This is my haven and I love how each corner of it is us.

I'm proud of the chances we took and all the risks that came with them.

Stop.


27
Jan

Ever since

Ever since the in-between, things have been different with you. It's so clear and apparent that you are really struggling with the next milestone, the next bit of independence, and you are leaning on me a lot, you are leaning pretty hard.

Nights are becoming "scary" and you want to snuggle and sleep with me. You get home and cling to me. You ask for dates and one on one time all of the time. You have stopped asking for playdates. You have stopped being excited when you know you're about to see good friends. You are falling back a little, before you run forward.

I really wasn't thinking about it much and haven't mentioned anything about it but out of the blue, a friend with older kids was telling me about her kids and how right before they took a major step forward, they first spiraled inward and heavily toward her. Without even knowing I was in the middle of this she talked about how her daughter becomes really snuggly and wants more and more of her time, how she wants to play "little kid" things and how her son did all of the same things years before.

So, we are just in this place together. This place where you want me, where you all of a sudden don't want to sleep alone, at night you have belly aches and headaches, you don't want to go anywhere unless I'm there too. A place where you are coming in late at night more and more, you are sleeping with lights on and doors open and you are worried. A place where you don't want to know about the next stages in your life, you don't want to talk about the future and how some things are going to change. You don't want to talk about the changes that are coming, like it or not. You don't want to talk about the changes some of your friends are going through.

You just want to talk about things you find silly, you want to play, you want to read, you want me to be around. You want a lot of attention and you want all the things to stay just as they are. Don't I know that feeling well...don't I live there each and every day. So I'm going to let you, there's nothing else for me to do really but let you. Once you do take that giant leap, well, at least you know how strong your base and foundation are. We're right here.

Ever since you were a blimp on the screen, I knew you would be my daughter.

Ever since you were born, I started to share you with the world.

Ever since you were little, you loved to quietly play.

Ever since you became a kid, you loved your friends.

Ever since they were introduced to you, you understood and loved our traditions, you ache for them too.

Ever since we crossed over to the in-between, you haven't been the same and neither have I.

20
Jan

Five Minute Friday - sacrifice

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 sacrifice.

Go.

Wouldn't you know I have been thinking a lot about this word. All that we as people give up, sacrifice, all that we choose is important and all that we decide is no longer important. As mothers, women, workers, friends, parents, people, children, framily members, family members, we make sacrifices for those we love and what we love every day all day. We give up a lot for the other.

We sacrifice sleep for work, or a run, or quiet time with no one up, or the beauty of a sunrise, or sex, or a late-night talk, or worry. We sacrifice sex for sleep, or closeness, or comfort. We sacrifice our families for our jobs, our jobs for our families, our ambition for a different life. We sacrifice love for achievement and heartache for an easy route. We sacrifice our health for an easier way and we sacrifice the easy way for our health. We sacrifice our careers for family, and little, and protection and building something different.

We sacrifice our mentality for a year, we tell ourselves we can do anything for a year, and we sacrifice it all to get to some goal we created. Because we decided. We sacrifice walking away because we love and we just can't. And we know all along, we are putting something aside and making this other thing our priority.

Stop.

23
Dec

Calm and bright

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

Hello 2020. I have waited a long time for you. In real-time, just 365 days, but in my head, it has felt like a lifetime. I have prayed for you to come and I swear, I thought I would never get to actually meet you. I found my saying for you 2020. It's a saying this year, not just a word, and I am so thrilled with it. See, I am shedding the difficult but still working on expecting more out of myself and setting goals within my limits and reach. 2020, I am ready for you.

All is calm, all is bright

I started my year of change knowing it was going to be tough, and I mean really tough. Not only was I taking on such a challenging word for me, but this was the year I would start to close out my career, my work, my value. After 20 years, I was going to put aside who I have been and start over. I started a new company three years ago and this was the year I said I can no longer do both. I would set myself up to say good-bye to BBBSCR just as I am saying good-bye to you 2019.

But, that meant I had a lot of work to do. I had to really bring it. I had to replace my income, I had to network, I had to meet and meet and meet and I had to sell a company. I had to hire. I had to create practices and processes and I had to believe I could. I had to believe this is what I do now. I had to bring it, bring all of me. My days were b.r.u.t.a.l. My family suffered. I lost my mind. My agency lost its mind. My memory was affected. My body was tired. My brain was a fog. I lost words. I lost my humor. I lost hope. I lost compassion. I lost all patience. I stopped believing. I got scared. I was worried. Everything everywhere went wrong. I went from putting out fires to throwing my body on grenades. Explosions became my norm. I cried, so much. I panicked. I got sick in really strange ways. Doctors were worried. But, it happened. I f'ing did it. The day before my birthday, I turned a corner.

All is calm, all is bright

And sweet sweet girl of mine, the one who kept saying, mom, I'm so excited. Mom, I can't wait for...or I can't wait to do... Mom, I can't wait for next year. Mom, you promised next year we would have more time. Mom, you promised next year...sweet girl, all is calm, all is bright.

Yes, it is going to be a different year. Yes, I did make promises to you. Yes, I am going to live up to them. Yes, sweet girl, I am excited too. Yes, I too cannot wait. Yes, I too am thrilled at all we will be able to do together. Yes, sweetie, it's finally happening. But mamma is also letting go of a lot right now and she is sad. She is also having to retrain her body and mind to no longer be in a constant panic, and that will take reconditioning, But yes, sweet girl, I am ready.

All is calm, all is bright

I did not do a single thing alone. You were always there lovey. You have always always always been my coach...always. You have always been such a support. You didn't flinch, even if you were worried. You never doubted, even if you didn't think it could happen. You didn't say, are you crazy, even if you knew I was. You didn't ever say, let it go, even when it wasn't working. You didn't ever say, this is too much, for you, for us, you have to stop doing this, even if it all was. You just hugged it out. You told me it was going to work and you told me that no one even knows what I am going through because I make it look easy. So, you also lied, but that's okay, you lied to make me feel like I had a handle on things I no longer did. You took on so much around the house and with the kiddos, and you dug deep, you were their everything, you were our everything. Their morning, their homework, their afternoons, their coach, their dinner, the cleanup...You did it all and asked nothing of me other than, you go ahead and finish up your work for the day. You listened to me cry. You listened to the panic. You worried about my health and would hug me and say, it's going to work out Brine, we all know it is. And you would allow me to melt right into you, head on your chest, crying like a fool, shaking, melt into you.

All is calm, all is bright

And you sweet sweet sweet boy, you asked all the questions. Why are you quitting? What does this mean? What will happen to your old job? Will you still be a boss? Will you still work all these hours? Will you no longer work on the weekends? Will you be able to play with me more? Will you play with me every night? Will you read to me?

All is calm, all is bright

Sweetie, I didn't quit, I resigned. There is a difference and the main thing that is different is, I will never be able to fully walk away. I am still in love with everything about that place lovey, but it was time. Yes, they will be fine, better than fine...they will have fresh eyes and energy and time and balance. See, mamma just isn't that important. All she did was love them and who wouldn't step into that role and love them? Yes, I will still work, yes, I will still lean into work, but yes yes yes, you will see me and yes yes yes, I will play with you and read to you and have reading dates and yes lovey to time.

All is calm, all is bright

It's going to be really different, but I'm still me. I'm still running a company that our family is depending on. Things matter for a different reason now. Things are going to be calmer guys, yes, but I will also be providing light again. I will be lit up again. I will be alive again. I will be living again.

All is calm, all is bright

My hope is that I get some rest. I rest my brain and I rest my really tired body. I rest my nerves and hopefully, my mind, my memory, my words will all come back. I have my days set up the way I want them. I have some routine and schedule. I have meetings set. I have time set aside. I am starting to lift that damn foot off of my chest.

I have my workouts planned, I have my classes set up, I know when I'm hitting the mat and when I'm hitting the water and when I am hitting the road and when I am hitting the gym and lifting. I know when I am taking walks and I have time set aside to do that with you all too because you want connection and I do too. I have time set aside to write, and time set aside reading and I might even learn how to use a camera...like I wanted to when I was 14.

All is calm, all is bright

My hope is that I remember that I was once more joyful. I once carried more light so it's time for me to find that all over again. It will not be perfect, I will have to fight off some demons, I will still be me and like GR says, "accept yourself and expect more from yourself". I really am ready for you 2020, I have been for a while. I wasn't sure if I would get to meet you, there were so many times you seemed so far away I was sick at the thought, but you're here now. And welcome, it is so great to finally meet you.

All is calm, all is bright

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