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.

26
Jan

Five Minute Friday - relief

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 relief.

Go.

A lot of people are asking me if I feel relief now that things are "starting to calm down". But, after three years of so much stress and one full year of, "oh my God, what is happening", my mind and body still think we are living in buildings that are on fire. I do not feel relief. I feel really worried.

Speaking to a friend that went through this career transition herself, and leaving a role that left her feeling like her nerves were sizzling, she said that it and therefore I will feel like this for a really long time. It will not be a switch and even though you are ready and you want it, your body isn't sure what is going on, so it's still in fight/flight and will stay there.

It will feel like you are still living in your own world of hell. You will feel like it's all going to come crashing down around you a lot. You will not be able to problem-solve for a while. You will continue to feel like you can't keep up. Sleep will get better, then worse, then better again. Nightmares will eventually start to come less often. There will be times you will feel like you are doing it right and there will be times you will feel like you're in trouble again and that, that right there, will be overwhelming. You will feel like you will get in trouble, like you've done something wrong and you will go into a panic, like a child getting scolded. You will panic.

There will be times you will forget this is yours now, you answer to you only. There will be times you will look around to figure out who to turn to and you will realize there isn't anyone down the hall. You will have to reach out Sabrina, you will have to ask others what they will do because you will feel stuck and unable to process.

There will be times it will feel really good and those times will become more and more of the norm, but it will take a lot of undoing to get there.

Her advice, feel it all. Feel sad and blue and worried and happy and calm and radiate your light and hunker down and go inward and put yourself out there. Eventually, it will even out. But for now, relief won't come just because the calendar tells you it's time. That's not how the body and mind work. That's not how people who have high standards for themselves and their careers work.

She reminded me I'm worried because I care. I care about what I'm leaving and I care about what I'm building. And who doesn't want a little care in the world, a little care about the work you're putting out there. A little care. So ask others, ask those in it and ask those that are not. You will get there, you can do it, you have been doing it, and eventually, your body will settle down. You will feel it melt a little. You will be less on edge, you will laugh more, you feel a little lighter. The foot will lift off of your chest, but do not be delusional...it took a lot to get you to this spot and it will take even more to get it to go away.

The good news, you like quiet so you will seek it. You like how your body feels when it's not clenched so you will find ways to get there. The good news, I have always surrounded myself by those who are smarter than I am. Relief will come, just give it time.

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.

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