adventure

Meet the Cast

Meet Mandy. She is sweet like candy. The sweetest girl you ever did meet. Kindness is her way of life. Whenever something sweet happens candy is involved. Do you have a friend as sweet as my candy I mean Mandy?

How about Secret Sally? Sally is the confidante of the group. The trusted soul you share all your secrets with. Your secret is always safe with Sally. I surely hope you have a Sally to do life with.

Daring Danielle is a a diamond in her own way. She dares to be different in many ways. She is the pal that invites you to be daring. Dares you to try a new skill.  Dares you to test your comfort zone. Dares you to test a new vacation spot. Daring Danielle will keep you asking for more.

Completely Crystal. When I say complete, I mean the complete package head to toe and everything in between. The brains. The brawn. The genuine heart. The flirtatious giggles. The adventurous soul. The flashy and famous sunshine girl. The one from the T-shirt. Bare it all kind of gal. She keeps the tribe spirit alive on many levels.

Simple Sarah. She is simple some days but complex other days. Sarah is fun to be with. Some days she is a drunk nurse while other days she is an actuary. Such a simple girl yet complex in many ways. Sarah is a such a great cast member.

There are so many cast members to speak about. So many stories to tell. Unfortunately the stories are still unfolding. The book is full of adventures but also tales of scandal, vengeance, treachery, betrayals, intrigue, and utter stupidity.

The betrayals are hideous. The adventures are amazing. The vengeance is unspeakable. The scandal is press worthy. The treachery would embarrass any grown woman’s mother. Interesting stuff coming to light in the future.

A real page turner, if I do say so myself.

perspective

People Post

It’s no secret I enjoy people in general. I enjoy meeting new people. Talking to people. Building relationships. Socializing.

The list could go on an on. However I thought about a handful of new people I met this month. So many different backgrounds. I enjoyed the varying spirits, energies, attitudes, etc. It confirmed again how much I enjoy people generally. And in today’s world how genuinely nice people can be despite different backgrounds or ways of life.

Not all of these folks will stick around long term. Some may have a distance between us limiting time spent. Some may be colleagues you see before they shipped off to a new destination. No matter what the circumstances I met new people and learned a few things. How amazing is that.

These kind of relationships are exciting. Noteworthy. Maybe even blog material quality, hence this post. Then there are those folks in your life that just seem to be stuck there. Lurking in the shadows. Like flies on shit or worse. The ones you want to go away. Maybe even far away but they just linger like a bad smell. A stench!

At times I have maybe two of those floating nearby for one reason or another, but right I now I have four crazies lurking in my vicinity. These four individuals alone may not be so annoying or demotivating, however,  combined they are a toxic cocktail. A mix nobody would ever order up. If these four had a cocktail drink named after them it would be called ‘sewer water’. Hopefully you catch my drift that I’m not fond of any of these characters.

This is really odd to me since I generally get along with everyone or anyone I choose to communicate with. Funny thing is I have no desire to speak, socialize or mingle in any way with the sewer water crew as I’ve named them! For me it’s a tough pill to swallow that I have to say I am not fond of people because I actually adore people in general.

The world today has a unique backdrop. A pandemic. Most folks have never lived through one and I can see some may be sour to an extent because of these extenuating circumstances. However, some people are just negative Nellies and they are unable to see in the mirror just how unapproachable or unbearable it is to be around them.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. I guess I will leave on the note that I can’t make every sour patch person like others. I can just make a conscious choice to walk away from negative people. 
Taking the high road is also better than joining the ranks of the complainers of the world. Life is too precious to let others steal your joy but if you are a negative Nelly or sour puss open your eyes! You may be surprised what comes your way if you are kind.

Kindness matters today. 

friendship, mental health

I Heard the Whisper

I don’t have any friends.

Silence.

I don’t have any friends said the social teen girl. Pause. Reflect. Think.

The beautiful girl is right. She has acquaintances. She has teammates. She has adults that are supportive. She has siblings. Unfortunately she is missing the friends piece of the equation. True friends.

The bestie or group of pals that come over to hang out. The girls that go to the movies. The inner circle of sorts. What could have happened to this social butterfly.

One word sums it up: corona.

Corona has taken away spontaneous trips to the mall. Quarantine has limited gatherings at other homes. Fear has lurked in every home limiting activities. The list goes on and on.

In this community two teens have died by suicide in the last 10 days. I can’t ignore that. I can’t understand a day in the life of these teens. Their desire to end their lives is the solution to their perceived problems at that time. We have to listen to these cries even if they are masked.

So many no you can’t. So much time alone. So many milestones and memories being missed in isolation. So much time is solitude in their room. Many sleep it off. Many struggle for daily motivation.

Who does the cheerleader role fall on when parents work? What if the teen is an only child? Is the school talking about this subject with this vulnerable age?  Are they offering parents solutions? Why no they are talking about tests scores and must complete your assignments or even pick your schedule for next year.

Do administrators even consider what a day in the life of a teen is like in isolation? They lost their friends. They lost their home away from home that is school. They lost competition in the classroom. The lost giggles in the hallway. They even lost their imagery. Always covered in a mask. Gasping for air. The image of themselves in a super cute outfit on the first day of school. Shopping for a prom dress. So many important things for a girl in her formative years.

Instead they get to go to the drive thru with their parents. Maybe a Netflix movie in the same place they eat, sleep, socialize, go to school, etc. (their house). Maybe weekends of extra homework because they lack the motivation to do it on day 1 when it was due. The list of blah goes on and on.

I see this cycle repeated. I try to engage my teen to give her fulfillment in the tiny box that is currently around her. It’s by no means perfect but it’s what I can offer today.

I often wonder if she drove and had a car if it would be different. Would being mobile allow her to wave at friends from the curb but allow her time to smile away from the homestead. I don’t have these answers. I may never have them.

For today I will enjoy the time I have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Memories last forever. Today I will make memories with her.

Parents don’t forget to look around you. Right in front of you. Listen. Spot the abnormalities and take action. Any action that lets them notice you see them. You hear them. You want to be with them. They need you. They don’t always feel like they have anyone left. Corona has taken much from many.

Don’t let environmental conditions take away another bright future.

This post was sparked by the song Pink just released with her daughter Willow, Cover Me in Sunshine. Pink noted they sang the song because it makes them happy and they wanted to share it to make others happy. They did it together. Today I will cover those around me in sunshine for no other reason than to make them happy.

Enjoy today. No matter how shitty things may be tomorrow. Every day is a new day to get covered in sunshine.

challenges

The S Word

What word(s) am I referring to?

Sex

Shame

Suicide

The three S words noted above are tricky words in a way. They can somewhat be connected. They are also difficult for many to talk openly about.

I took a poll online of some acquaintances. Different genders. Different generations. Different lifestyles. Different life exposures. It was interesting to review the responses.

Sex is hard to talk about for some due to their upbringing. Some find it tricky due to their personal choices. Others find the word only challenging if the audience was an elder. 

Suicide was next up on the list. The ones I thought could speak openly about it found it difficult. The ones that had exposure in the past were okay to talk about it but not secure or confident by any means. Others just saw it as taboo.

Shame brought up a mixed bag of reactions. Especially if shame was linked to either of the other S words. So much to think about.

At the end of the day I challenge you to think about these words in isolation. How comfortable are you opening up a discussion on the word itself or how would you react if one asked you to talk about it?

Sex – a parent has to be prepared for this conversation. A friend may need to counsel a friend on sexual orientation. A grandparent may need to offer support in an abusive situation. Don’t be afraid of this S word. Instead think about how you can prepare yourself to converse about it no matter what the circumstances.

Suicide – everyone should say the word out loud. Everyone should be comfortable asking a friend, family member, coworker or close connection if they are feeling so bad they thought about harming themselves. If the answer is yes, one should probe and actually use the S word to see if that person needs help. Today’s world is challenging for many. Being available to a person struggling may be lifesaving. Practice the word. It’s an important word to have in your vocabulary.

Shame – one can feel shame over the the littlest things. What’s a mole hill to you is a mountain to others. Understanding how a person can feel shame may help you be a better person. This S word can be tough depending on the circumstances. Keep the word in the back of your mind. Be kind to others. 

My S word project was a little random but it was very thought provoking. I hope just the sharing of the words and the brief content of this blog may make you think before you speak. Think before you act. Think before you type. Words are powerful but can also be dangerous. Use your words wisely. Cherish those around you and look to share kind words with others when you can.

Our world has enough hate today. Let’s focus on kindness and shift the S words to promote positive thoughts:

Sunshine

Smile

Supportive

Sweet

Social

Soothe

Success

The above words are a few that come to mind for me. Write your list of a words today. Practice using them in 2021. Focus on the positives but be ready to talk when somebody needs you to cover the other S words! Today’s thought post is aimed at helping others. Do what you can to be prepared to help somebody when the need arises. 

Happy January!

awareness

Listen Again

Sometimes KT writes a line that really sticks with me. To be clear, many of her posts make me think differently and many prompt me to make a change in how I approach life or how I act. This is a little different…here’s my take on her recent post about listening and what a gift it is.

Here’s the line (and I encourage you to read the whole post): Listening is the greatest gift you can give to another human.

Being a more intentional listener found its way into my goals this year. A series of conversations made me realize that I don’t sincerely listen to people as often as I should. I reflected on the fact that although people ask me all the time “how are you?” and I answer, I don’t often ask them how they are. I’m often so caught up in what I’m doing I don’t even look up. I may make a brief comment but not much else.

What am I telling people as I just let them walk by? I don’t look them in the eye. Sometimes I don’t look up from what I am doing. Sometimes I probably seem annoyed at the interruption.

I’ve been trying to reverse since since it caught my attention. When I think about it, I take the time to put down what I am doing and ask the person how they are. And then follow up with another question.

What I have noticed is that more people than I realized are hungry to share. Excited to connect. They want to tell me a bit about how they are.

I thought I was a decent listener. Now I see that I need work. The invitations to listen are everywhere. How many have I blown off because I didn’t make time or was just too into what I was doing to notice them? From my friends, my co-workers, members of my family?

Among the other unfolding lessons, the pandemic has taught me that people matter more than pretty much anything else. We can’t replace people or the opportunities we have to share with them. I have missed many, but I am committed to doing better moving forward.

I’m also on the lookout for the people who are dropping out of sight. Who haven’t I heard from in a while? Different schedules and limited opportunities to be out and about make those happenstance meetings less frequent. Who is telling me through their silence that they may need a friend? Who can I text to check in with? Who can I lift up with a funny post, a quote, a kind word? Who can I (re)start a conversation with? As KT often says, hope is free.

The motto of the StoryCorps podcast is: listening is an act of love. Who can I love today by listening to them? Who can you?