awareness, challenges

Divorce

The D word. The word many find impolite. The word many hide from talking about. I suppose that is why I decided to blog about the topic.

In life the word divorce comes up a lot. I think the latest stat shows 44% per google for 2022 referring to marriages that end in divorce. Keeping with this it’s healthy to talk about it. It might also take time for those getting divorced to process and work through the life changes.

In any situation many have to weigh pros and cons. Dividing wealth. Separating living spaces. Was infidelity involved? Are kids part of the equation? Was there a trigger that caused the road leading to divorce?

No matter where you start the process. No matter where you end up after the divorce. You will move on. You will prosper in time. You will find your way. You will be able to spread your wings again. I have hope for you. I have hope for your soon to be ex-partner.

Difficult roads are ahead but in time the path will clear for both of you. Strength, resilience, and positive attitudes will help ease the heartaches and headaches as you move through these uncharted grounds.

To all those out there starting this process, amidst the chaos of divorce, living the aftermath, or even co-parenting. I see you pushing forward. I see you making strides. Never give up. There is a place for you in this world even on your darkest day.

Should you know somebody struggling in this area be a good listener. Never cast judgment until you have officially walked a day in their shoes. Which of course is impossible. Be that person they remember that loved them when they didn’t love themselves the way they should.

Make the D word more about your growth than your past. Your past is something you learn from your destiny still lies ahead. The future for you is brighter than you know.

challenges

Just a Square

Just a square.

A microscopicly thin square. 

A square that is made of such a sheer consistency that it is somewhat see through.

One square at a time.

The damn toilet paper comes off one square at a time. One shred of microscopically thin toilet paper is pretty much useless. When you need to accumulate 10 squares to make what one would consider it single ply you have a problem. 

In the lonely stall frustration mounts. Why is this so hard? What do they call it a roll of toilet paper if it comes off in useless squares. Why is it so hard to get the much needed toilet paper? Do guys even know what women deal with in the restroom?

This is what budget constraints look like at the airport. My toilet paper was almost non existent. One square at a time. Just one square comes off the roll. I think I will pack my own toilet paper on my next trip to the airport. 

The thin consistency makes it almost purposeless. Who decides this is the best option? Does anyone consider the labor of sweeping up the sheds of paper on the floor that people disregard when frustrated? The stress of wet paper that linger in the stalls, by the sinks, on the way to door? Does anyone making these purchasing decisions think about the end user?

This is just a rant about toilet paper. I am normally a Charmin girl so I like the denser consistency but I can deal with the off brand when needed. I however can’t deal with sheer toilet paper as it seems to defeat the purpose entirely of the product’s use. In this case the packing around the toilet paper probably cost more than the product. 

Shaking my head on this trip. A leaf would have been more purposeful In this situation. 

challenges, dare to be different

Don’t Say Gay

“I am not gay!”

…the cry came from behind the swings. Then the young man came streaking across the playground toward the tall trees. “I am NOT gay! I AM NOT GAY!” Screamed with the terror of trying to outrun the boogie man, a cloud of cooties, a wild black bear and the abominable snowman all at once.

This summer, I am teaching third grade students. They are 9 or 10 years old. This is one interaction I witnessed this week on the playground.

I started the calm walk over to talk with him and the other boys who had been taunting him.

“What is going on?” I asked them. The conversation quietly began. One sheepishly admitted to calling another one gay. The one who used the word hung his head as he fessed up.

I hear over and over again that if we talk about gay families or students in elementary school, we are exposing them to this content way too early. Here’s the thing this playground taunt reminded me: THIS SO-CALLED “MATURE CONTENT” IS ALREADY THERE. It is already in our schools.

Some of our students have same-sex parents. They have siblings who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, not to mention aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Then there are relationships they see in the media. Some of our elementary students even know they are in one of these groups, even if they don’t have the words for it yet. The vast majority of kids in our schools already know about this through observation and experience, just as they know about heterosexual relationships from a huge variety of sources.

Here’s what I know: if adult professionals in schools avoid talking about this topic at all, it is allowed to run rampant with misconceptions and ignorance. When I told these young men (really, they are boys) that being gay is not an awful thing, it’s just how some people are, their eyes popped and their jaws dropped. I could tell they had not heard that before.

I can’t allow students to run around on playgrounds and call people gay as if that is the worst thing they could be. How would a gay classmate feel, or a classmate with same sex parents?

Is it any wonder the rate of suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts is higher among LGBTQ young people if their identity is used as an insult? And adults just stand by and watch it happen?

I get it…It’s not always easy to talk about for people of many ages. One of my daughter’s friends who came out in the past couple of years saw me at a party recently. She said “Miss Beth, you forgot to wish me a Happy Pride Month!” I hugged her and wished her Happy Pride Month with a smile. I love seeing her come into her own and embrace her truth.

Then I showed her my watch face, which made her eyes light up. I have my Apple Watch set on one of the new Pride faces. It may seem little, but even small signals to young people that they are seen, accepted, and embraced for who they are matter. And I will continue to say it and show it in whatever ways I can.

celebrations, challenges, dare to be different

Sidetracked

I got sidetracked today. I was going one place and got stuck in traffic for 2 hours going 7.9 miles. I had enough of not moving. It was kind of shitty but I was riding topless, in my Jeep, making me able to work on my tan while jamming to music and people watching from a slightly perched view.

While waiting patiently, I voiced my frustrations to my co-pilot who clearly didn’t check the map adjustments before we got locked on a highway in gridlock with no exit in sight. I could have continued, but instead of hovering in the annoyed phase my mind drifted to an alternate plan. I got sidetracked. My mind wandered. A new plan was in motion.

A quick picnic in the park. A short hike. A spontaneous visit with grandma. The plan was on a whim but it turned out to be magical. Lots of giggles. A little sweat in the heat. Smiles for hours. Funny photos. Tons of memories.

This is a story of how to turn a lemon of a day into to a sparkling lemonade kind of day. On a whim. On a shoe string budget. All I needed was a little time. A new perspective. A fresh look on the same day. Sometimes U-turns are the best turns to make. 

Sidetracked on a Saturday was one for the record books. It might have been the longest 7.9 miles of my life, in terms of how long it took me to go the distance. It might also be one of my favorite spontaneous excursions mainly because grandma was my co-pilot. The hike was one I have done before but this time I did pushing a wheelchair. I got my exercise for sure but it was a pleasure ride for my sweet passenger.

She smelled the pine trees. She enjoyed the fresh smell of honeysuckle. She saw some deers in the distance. She listened to the stream flow below the embankment. Her change of scenery and enjoyment of nature is one I will remember. Reflecting on how I got sidetracked makes me giggle. I guess I was really meant to go to point b instead point a. It just took a major traffic jam for me to realize this. 2 hours later mind you.

Never underestimate the fun going off course can be. Try the long route some days. If you don’t have a Jeep or a convertible, rent one for a day or a few hours. Riding topless gives you new perspective. The fresh breeze. The smells in the air. The freedom while you move from point a to point b.

I also got ducked in my Jeep today. A little boy ducked me and he was so happy he got to meet me when he ducked me. Another benefit of Jeep life outside of how often I can say I rode topless today.

challenges, health, Teddie Bear Adventures

Ruff Week

This week was ruff in many ways but I chose the spelling of ruff not rough to symbolize the main trauma of the week as it has to do with my dog and the roller coaster ride we have been on.

Let’s start with last Friday. She spent the day at the groomer getting all spiffy. Check out the picture below of the fitness of health dog edition. A fabulous Labradoodle weighing in at 49 pounds and 11 months old. My baby.

Then Monday rolled around for a routine spay surgery. Complications hit quick. Delays in the operating room. Challenges in recovery. More tests. X-rays. More observation. A few hours with my baby and then labored breathing hit. Luckily I’m minutes to the veterinarian. She stopped breathing en route. Had to be on oxygen and have an immediate blood transfusion. So much chaos in the blink of an eye.

Another operation was required. Internal bleeding was the cause of her rapid decline. Long days. Sleepless nights. This poor baby was at the vet for five days. 24/7 observation. Poked and poked again. On IV fluids and pain meds. We all felt her void. We all felt her suffering. Even her sister was depressed. She was missing her best friend as the rest of us were too. Can you see the sadness below?

Once this one was an only child and it took some adjusting when we added #2. But now she is lost without her partner in crime. Days were long but the reuniting part was amazing. The kisses and sniffs by both pups. The snuggles from the patient. Just the presence of everyone at home was peaceful. Or seemed so, but the positive moments could easily be short lived.

Now the hard part continues. The recovery after 2 surgeries and a blood transfusion, all before turning one year old.  We were lucky this time. We dodged a few close calls. Timing was everything. The moral of this story is trust your gut. I felt things were not right and reacted. Had I brushed off my thoughts and not trusted my gut things could have ended differently. 

Not sure how I feel about my over share of photos but the blood above is just one of the post surgery bleeds. Some from the incision point. Some from stool area. More bodily fluid in the form of vomit. Thank goodness my first floor isn’t carpeted as it might look like a murder scene. 

My ruff week will spill into next week but that is okay. My perspective on routine surgery vs the reality has me ready to take on anything that is thrown at me. Mental toughness. I got it down pat. Years 2020-2022 have given me lots of practice for sure. A pandemic. Loss of loved ones. Isolation. Trauma of many kinds. 

The good news I am here. Blogging away. My creative projects may have delayed deadlines but my life is moving on and I’m living through the ups and down and everything in between. I choose happy despite the shit show around me.