Road Trips and Family!

I nearly hit a light pole today doing a double take because I could have sworn I saw some guy walking a goat. A rather surprising thing to think you might have seen.

Funky town I’ve moved too!

Yesterday, to celebrate Labor Day Weekend, I made my first “road trip” back to Okoboji to spend the day with the family.  I love that all I have to do is travel an hour and a half and POOF! I am there!

So I came over to Cyndee’s house.  Brinn and her husband Josh and their kids came over from Lincoln, NE.  And my nephew Torrey and his wife Lacey and their kids came over. And Cyndee’s sister Debbie and her husband Terry came over. And Cyndee’s boyfriend Jim came over.

A lot of “over” coming but it was all so much fun!

We had a great family dinner! Pasta and salad and homemade bread and desserts. Lots of desserts! At one point, the lights were turned out and I am standing like an idiot watching whatever was going to happen when Brinn walked out with a tray of cupcakes all lit up! They all started singing Happy Birthday!

TO ME!

So stunned! Was so totally unexpected! But we all had some great rainbow frosted cupcakes and total sugar highs!

We were talking and laughing and sharing stories and being what I always wanted. We were a family!

My real family….no….lets rephrase that. My blood family had difficulties being a family. Many dinners were fraught with fights and hurt feelings and anger and food being thrown. And booze. So much booze. It was at those family dinners I learned what I did not want in a family.

Because of those dinners, I learned to look elsewhere for people to bond with.

Oh. I tried to be part of their conclave of dysfunction, but, I found that for my sanity it was best to just move along once I left home.

Instead I made “family” from the people I surrounded myself with. Some of those people I also had to leave in the dust. My mental health was so much more important than those petty little people.

But over the years, I have been blessed to have friends that I can call family. Each one of them has been with me through difficult, as well as happy moments in my life. And despite whichever it was, they stayed. And I am honored to call them friends and yes, family.

These people are the family of my heart-not my blood.

Technically, you would not think I would be so close with Cyndee since she divorced my brother. But seriously! I cheered her on for that move!

And if you want to be totally technical…I am related by blood to Brinn! So there-I have blood relations I adore. (Insert me sticking my tongue out!)

Family, I have found, is not sharing a last name, or sharing blood, or even sharing the same race. Family, in my opinion, is being there for one another and loving and encouraging and holding one another. Be it good times, or bad.

I know. I know. Total cliché!

But so be it!

You see, I believe that each of us must give one another space to grow and be our own true selves. We must give each other the love and security to make mistakes and learn from them in a circle of trust and respect. We should bond together thru our mutual ideas as well as our beautiful differences. To bring about joy and healing and value and inclusion.

Family. It is not just whom you are born into. It is who you include into your soul.

I am truly blessed to be called “family” by not just these amazing people that graced this dinner table in Okoboji, but by so many others who have graced my life with their presence.

I love each of you!

Oh! That guy I thought was walking a goat? I drove around the block just to double check.

He actually was walking a goat!

Like I said…funky little town!

 

 

 

August Must Just Be My Month!

Did you know I started this thing in August of 2018?

Did you know my last post was August of 2019?

So here I am. In August. Making a post. Again.

Last August not long after my last post, I found myself in the unenviable position of lying in a hospital bed.

I had had the misfortune of being bitten by a spider. Brown recluse to be exact. Very poisonous.  Was told if I had waited for even 24 hours I would have died.

Hell of a thing to hear, I must say.

So here it is, one year later and I have a scar, a weird fear of anything touching my foot and a very strong dislike for bugs in general and spiders as a whole!

But absolutely no super powers.

On the good side of all of this?

I learned to be thankful.

Thankful for the people in my life. For moments of joy. For finding a decent parking space.

For glitter!

I am thankful for being alive. Because a year ago, living was not a-given.

And considering the past several months we have ALL stumbled thru and the months yet to go…

I think we all should find something to be grateful for.

I personally have had to make 2 major moves in the last 6 months. I left my little house in Des Moines and moved in with my sister-in-law in Okoboji, Iowa. From the big city to a very very small town. I went from a 2 bedroom house to a room.

Thankful Cyndee let me crash land there. It helped me to focus and recalibrate my mental well being. I saved some cash. And I moved again.

A month ago I moved from Okoboji to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I have been a Sioux Fallsian officially for one month and so far…

So far I have gotten lost and ended up in Worthington, MN. (do not ask!), I have found great places get both my nails and my hair done, I am still on the hunt for good Indian food, and I am just 3.1 miles from a Target.

Life is good!

My townhouse sits at the end of a housing area and my back patio looks out onto a little pond where I have seen geese swimming and rabbits running along the bushes and just yesterday morning as I sat drinking my tea on my back patio, I saw a fox. It sat and stared at me while I stared right back. A freakin’ fox!

I felt like I should start singing and become the Disney Princess I was always destined to become!

And for all of this, I am thankful.

So very grateful for the opportunity to move here. To find a new home. A new sense of peace.

What?

Did you expect a tirade on the whole pandemic? Wash your hands, stay clear of people and crowds, and wear your damn mask. For fuck sake-it is not difficult! In fact I have several masks in various colors and designs to match my outfits. Yes! I have made it a fashion accessory. Like you didn’t know I would! HA!

The Black Lives Matter riots and protests? Good god people!! Respect and dignity and equality are never wrong. It still disgusts me WHY these protests had to start. And I will never understand what a person of color has had to live with their entire lives. They are only asking for the rights we as non-people-of-color never have to even ask for. Or question. Or lack. I have never been questioned for my presence some place because I was white. I will stand with them. As I will stand with all of those who are asking to be treated with dignity and respect.

And thru all of this….

I will always be grateful. To the people who love me, encourage me, support me, and to that fabulous gay man at Target yesterday who said I looked divine with my leopard print mask matching my leopard print suede loafers.

Divine indeed!

I just wanted to say HELLO to everyone and let people know I am still here and still kicking it! Whatever “it” actually is.

Nothing profound or awe inspiring.

Just saying that while I am not where I thought I would be, I can proudly say I am not where I used to be.

And that is a good thing!

 

 

 

What I did today

I made my bed today.

And for those being snarky about if I “want a cookie” for such an accomplishment-yes I do and you can bite me.

Some days, well, some days are difficult to traverse the hills and caves and valleys and rivers that are my oft-times chaotic thoughts. It is the lovely result of my anxiety and depression. It is the struggle to get out of bed, let alone do something as mundane as properly make that bed up.

If I am doing well, like today, then I straighten the sheets and re-tuck the blanket and with precision I lay out the burgundy velvet comforter. Then I will fluff all the pillows and place each of my additional swarm of cute decorative pillows in their correct alignment and place my delicate soft pink throw at the foot of the bed.

The cherry atop this pillow sundae?

My pink woolen unicorn with a pink yarn mane.

Once done, it looks lovely and always makes me smile.

It also makes me want to accomplish another task…ANY other task. Because I feel amazingly happy that I got out of bed and then made that bed, so that the depression and anxiety did not win. Not at that moment. And god knows, when that happens, I will take any task like this as a WIN.

Honestly. That was it.

I started my day with one simple task. I made my bed. And that can often lead me to another task and then another. It does not always combat the depression or whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. But I find that, for me, it sets a precedent.

“I don’t have time to have a break down! I just made my bed, dammit. I got shit to do!”

And if the bed is made then, well, I should just go ahead and shower and get pretty.

Does this work every time?

Hell no!

But I try. I try to let that small gesture of a made bed keep me focused on the momentum of moving. Of being. Of facing the day. Of being a better version of who I was yesterday.

Yesterday?

Fuck! Yesterday I was a hot mess.

I did not make my bed. I did not shower or get dressed or get pretty or any of the myriad lists of things I should have done. Because I was a hot mess even before I got out of bed. I was having a breakdown as I lay there in the swirl and waves of sheets and blankets and pillows. I was trying not to choke on the very air I breathed because I was being sucked under the whirlpool of self doubt, self hate, self flagellation, and stuttering tears. Pleas for rescue to a god I once served did nothing to stop the weight of agony and sorrow. Deep breaths as I was standing on my back deck at 4AM, trying to get my mind to reboot, did nothing more than get me a mouth full of hot air and, yucky, a bug of some sort.

But-later in the day-I texted with my friend Jon and then with my niece Brinn. I had a phone call with my sister-in-law and we worked on her recent recipes.

Most importantly I found out that Scotland’s national animal is the Unicorn.

Yesterday I tried very hard to find myself again after all of that cluster-o-stupid that is my depression and anxiety. The swirl of intensive emotion and mental onslaught that keeps me out of focus of my dreams and off kilter from my path.

So today…

…today I woke up, GOT UP, and made my bed.

I had some tea.

I showered.

And dressed.

And feel pretty.

Today.

I did one task that helped me move and breathe and, oddly enough, for a while…feel normal.

Because, so often, I feel anything BUT normal.

What one task did you complete that made your day better? If you are like me, it is often the mundane that helps me to refocus and resurface after an episode like I have been having of late.

If you are like me and deal on a daily basis with depression and anxiety and panic and fear and emptiness and sorrow and so many other things that strip us of who we once were and who we want to be again, you are not alone.

Do not listen to those voices that tell you that you do not deserve a lovely made up bed. That you do not deserve to be happy. Or pretty. Or even to be alive.

They are lies!

You, my lovelies, deserve the very stars in the sky!

Treat yourself to one thing that reminds you that you deserve better than crumpled bedclothes and a crumpled life.

just a thought…

…I think we all need to remember one simple truth.

we are all ordinary.

we are all boring.

we are all spectacular.

we are all shy.

we are all bold.

we are all frightened.

we are all helpless.

we are all heros.

we simply are all of these things on different days.

be who ever you are today, my lovelies.

……late night thoughts

Are you ever scared? Scared to take a chance? A chance on yourself?

I am.

Often.

But I have to remind myself of one simple truth…

We can do anything if only we dared to let go and do it. Deep down we each know it, too. That is what is so frightening, isn’t it? Knowing we can accomplish so much yet afraid of taking the step.

We could shake the cosmos themselves if only…

If only…

If only we would walk though the fire in our souls that is ignited by our fear.

Who would you become if you let go of who your fear has made you?

Let go and find out.

Take a chance on yourself.

I dare you!

just a reminder…

the sky is not the limit

your mind is

do not let your dreams and ambitions and plans fall to the wayside because you overthought something
do not let the doubt and fear and worry hinder you

do not let the thoughts and words of others stop you

just because some nincompoop thinks they know better than you do about yourself and what you should be doing does not mean they are right

(unless they are telling you not do meth because yeah…they know what they are talking about)

we are stardust my lovelies!

let us each act like we are made from the  essence of the universe

and

SHINE

sleepless meanderings

my lovelies

please do not let your struggle become your identity
you are so much more than your

pain     sorrow     trauma     fear

there is such vibrant vitality
within each of your souls
do not be defined nor boxed within the confines
of your past

you are more than just a sad story

you are a psalm
you are poetry

late night thought…

I think all of us have a feeling of “I WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD!” in us.

I think that is an amazing attribute.

How wonderful it is to see someone or something worth saving and finding a way to do so.

But I hope you know that it is perfectly okay if you are only able to save one person.

And it is even more okay if that one person…is you.

Sometimes, we are our only salvation.

Baby Steps

Have you ever seen babies take their first steps? It is rather hilarious to watch these tiny beings stagger around like mini drunk people! But while we have all chuckled at a baby plopping on its diapered behind, we probably also noticed something else.

People never get angry that they fell on their bottoms…they praise them.

Babies are encouraged and hugged and smiled at through the whole process.

You do not criticize their fall. You do not shake a finger as their chubby legs go out from under them.

If you did, well, that would make you a complete twatapotomus!

What you do is help them back up.

You clap and encourage and hold their hands and work with them till they can walk on their own.

I think as adults we need remember this. We need to relearn this lesson.

We need to stop criticizing the falls people take. The falls WE ourselves take.

We need to hold hands with one another and help each other as we each take our staggering steps in life. We need to look at a person as a whole being and not simply focus on one bad moment. That one bad moment should not completely negate them as a person. (Unless they kicked a puppy then they should be beaten!)

Let each of us spend more time applauding our small steps than criticizing our falls.

Encourage one another to keep taking the small steps because each small step will take you to something bigger. Do not put someone down for making progress regardless of how fast or slow it may be. Instead encourage and applaud and rejoice with them. Some of us do not have many cheerleaders in our lives. Some of us do not even know how to be our own cheerleaders. Help one another be the best person they can be.

Because how we react to another person’s endeavors says more about us than it says about them.

Help one another! Cheer one another on! Hold each other’s hands!

Life can be hard at times and we are all very human and we each make mistakes. Stop reminding people of those mistakes. Stop pushing people back down if they stumble. Help one another up!

Remember that a true queen helps fix another person’s crown without telling the world that it was ever crooked in the first place.

Be true queens, my lovelies!

Long Time No Write!

Hello everyone! (Waves at screen, then realizes I just waved at the laptop and slowly puts my hand down. I really need to stop doing that.)

It has been an extremely long time since I wrote on my blog. I was in a rather unhappy spot, you see. My beloved Lulu had just passed and with the loss of my precious Boji earlier in the year, I was feeling quite lonely.

And sad.

And scared.

And lost.

And a lot of other words that I really am not up to writing at this moment. Suffice it to say-I was a hot mess. Still fabulous! But a fabulous hot mess, none the less.

I have spent the last few months in my own head and heart and house. All tucked away and quiet trying to come to terms with life. I had been hiding because in life, “hiding from” is so much easier than “dealing with”.

I suppose since this was Easter Weekend-the time of resurrection and new life-I felt I needed to resurrect my own life. Resurrect my purpose. Resurrect my love of writing.

I lost a spark within me when Lulu left and went on “vacation.” And I have not found that specific spark again. That fire within me that had been there since my childhood. That driving force that often had me awake in the middle of the night needing to put pen to paper, thought to fruition, story to life. That fire was blown out.

So…I decided to find a different spark. Got my own damn matches out and set shit on fire!

I am back at it again! Words are flowing-slowly yes-but flow is flow.

For all of you who have stayed with me and encouraged me and whispered words of wisdom and strength to me, I must thank you! You believed in me when I was unable to believe in myself. I have been reminded that I had a plan and a dream and a talent.

It has not been easy though. I have to admit to a slow start and sketchy showing. Rather like an old robot that needs oil. A stuttered bit of typing. An ink smudged piece of paper. Words and thoughts and random bits of an echoing idea. Each coming together to remind me of why I started this. Of what I wanted to share. Of who I was.

I realized during many dark tear filled nights and cold wind swept days that I was trying to out run something that was un-runnable. (Yes! I know that is not a word! I’m using it anyway!)

It has been like I was racing from a storm. But the storm kept changing directions. It took me a while to realize that the storm was changing towards which ever direction I was heading. I turn left and so did the storm. I go backwards and the storm followed. All the bluster and rain and debris followed each turn I took. Over and over I would start this dance with this storm. Sometimes leading, often being lead. Like some ominous dance with death just before dawn.

But why?

That is when I realized that this storm did not randomly blow in from nowhere. This storm was me. Something inside of me. And I needed stop. Stop the “tooing” and “froing” and backing and forthing. I needed to stop and step inside the storm. Close my eyes and take a step into the eye of the storm that was chasing me from within. Embrace the flow of the wind and rain and keep stepping through to the other side.

Just a side note: I am not all the way through this storm.

But I will keep going. I may need to pick up an umbrella though.

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