author moments, awareness, family

Taken

Sometimes things get taken away from kids, teenagers, and sometimes adults. Maybe for punishment. Maybe for a break of sorts. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons to hit pause on items or things or maybe people.

In the past seven days I lost communication with somebody very close to me. The first thing taken was the Snapchat streak. It might not seem important to some but the duration signifies a time period of connectedness. Random to some but important to us.

The next thing that seemed to slip away was the sight of a smile. The connection of where our eyes met each day. The partnership. The little nuances only we know. The physical connection whether in person or virtual.

The backup plan was taken. We watched each other’s pets when each other had conflicts. We covered car pools. We shared burdens. We backed each other up. When one of our dogs would run off the other’s phone number was on the pet tag. Only I lost my ability to call. I lost my backup.

Breakfast visits. Laundry pit stops. What’s in the fridge visits. I just stopped by to say hi.  I just decided to drop by with coffee. Want to meet at the game? All taken. Gone. Vanished. Obsolete. A new lonely sets in your heart. 

Sometimes we take advantage or complain about what’s in front of us and don’t really appreciate it until it is no longer there.

Take note today. Breathe deeply. See what’s around you. Be aware of your good friends. Support those who support you. Be present.

You never want to feel the empty I felt this week as I adjusted to my new normal.

The military can be a great option for some and it can be lonely road for others. Today my family falls into the lonely road category. Timeframe is unknown but the missing time has already begun. Of all things taken I miss time the most.

Time together

Time to chat 

Time to laugh 

Time for us 

Time to be free

Time creates memories. Time is captured in pictures. Time is so very valuable. Time really can’t be replaced. Time away triggers feelings for many around us. Time belongs to the military when you enlist until your time commitment has ended. And for some time can be extended if certain instances such as a time of war or other conflict. As a civilian I never really understood military time as it didn’t apply to me directly.

As I wrap up my day, I still feel lonely. A week of time has passed, but I’m not better. I may even be bitter. I want what was taken but I can’t have what I want. Not now. Not in the near future. Patience is what I am practicing today, tomorrow and beyond. Shifting from civilian to soldier is taxing for not only the soldier but also their loved ones.

Gas prices might be soaring. There may even be conflict overseas. The price of groceries are high. Supply and demand issues  lurk as well. For me my conflict is here with me. Front and center. A daily battle. Just a mom missing what was taken; her son.

awareness, challenges

My World Erupted

Shaken to the core.

Abruptly awaken.

All seemed taken.

I blinked. I sighed. I swallowed my pride.

One lonely night a medical emergency hit home. The challenges that go with this situation are taxing to say the least. This wasn’t about me, but it spiraled around me. Time spiraled to the east. Memories spiraled to the west. What if scenarios spiraled to the south. Family spiraled up north. The spirals met and formed a chaos cyclone. A circus show in my brain. Who? What? Where? When? Why? Oh my!

Amidst the chaos another lingering shit show keeps rearing its ugly head. Unfortunately, this one is a one and done meaning the gas tank is empty when it comes to help or support. No mental energy. No funds to spare. No support to give as it all falls to the wayside. The taker in life. The taker in my life. The mental strength it takes to keep the takers at bay is not for the weak. A wall of sorts is built. Carefully crafted to shield all my loved ones from the mayhem. Managing this on top of life and unplanned medical challenges is just wow. No words to really describe today. The now.

When I breathe deeply and let it settle in another blow strikes. This one is hard. Straight to the gut. Straight to the heart. Straight to the mind. All the feels. All at once. The pressure is intense. Every calming mechanism is put into play. Repeatedly.

Bend. Flex. Shift. Rebound. Reset. React. Refresh. Think. Act. Recoup. 

One would think I just played a hard core tennis match, but I didn’t. It was just life. The uncertainty of life. The unplanned chaos that can ensue without notice. Sure there are worse scenarios, but in that moment my life was in disarray. It’s seems unforgiving. Relentless forces striking at once. Repeatedly.

Life is full of wonder. Life is full of surprises. Life is full of happy, sad, ugly, fear and so much more. Life is about living and living means shit happens. When life throws the shit show your way, it’s up to you to see the perspective. Don’t crumble. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Live through the turmoil. Learn from mistakes. Find opportunities in the chaos. Fight for you. Fight for those around you.

Bend. Flex. Shift. Rebound. Reset. React. Refresh. Think. Act. Recoup.

Do it as many times as you need to. Be relentless. Be daring. 

anonymous letters

If then statements

Caution: irrational rant ahead.

People make me wonder sometimes.

Actually people make me wonder a lot of the time. Lately, I’ve noticed my mental script is doing more and more of these: a question version of the if / then statements I had to write for proofs in college logic class.

If you cannot pay your rent, then why are you eating out all the time?

If you cannot pay your medical bills, then how do you buy a car (and, with gas prices as they are, drive it anywhere?)

If you cannot afford to pay for your basic memberships, then why do you have a nicer camera than me? Better shoes? The latest fashion?

If you cannot make it to class, then why were you out partying last night (according to your instagram posts)?

I know, I know. Maybe the camera and shoes were gifts. Maybe they’ve made arrangements. Maybe they are down on their luck. Maybe I don’t know the whole story.

Well, surely I don’t know the whole story. I make judgments. Assumptions. Plenty of which are incomplete or even wrong.

Still, it’s frustrating when I see case after case of people falling short in their basic commitments but seeming to spend money on things that, in my world, are “extras.” Is it fun to pay the water bill? The mortgage? Health insurance? Dues payments for commitments I have voluntarily made? No! Is it fun to have to get up and go to class or work the day after a party, a holiday, a late night big game? No! Of course I’d rather sleep in, ignore my bills, take the day off, go on vacation, not spend hours meal prepping on the weekend and just go out to eat instead. Who wouldn’t?

It’s hard to quiet those murmuring voices in my head. It’s hard to keep my mouth shut when I know too much. It’s hard to be sympathetic when I feel like I am being mostly responsible with my time, my resources, my finances. I try to make sure the “have tos” are covered before the “want tos” make it in the mix. I feel like more and more people have those things reversed. They feel they deserve some “want tos” when the “have tos” haven’t even been dealt with. What makes some people feel that is ok while others buckle down and make sure things are taken care of? And in my world, that leads to the shit spewing that I mentioned in recent posts….

I know it’s more complicated than all that but still, it’s frustrating. Maybe one of our readers can share their wisdom.

Until then, just another rant from my side of the keyboard.

perspective

Let the Tears Come

You could hear it coming…a pause that lasted a little too long. The turn away from the microphone. Then, when she turned back, the tell tale crack in her voice. Tears.

The people around me became visibly and audibly uncomfortable. Squirming in chairs. A woman a few feet away recoiled, mumbling “oh no, oh don’t” under her breath. Crying isn’t allowed.

What is it about crying that gets people upset? Why is it wrong to do it in public? In a speech, ok, blubbering tears may make you harder to understand, but still. Why is that strong emotion supposed to be kept inside, kept out of sight?

For me, crying isn’t unusual. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m touched by something. I cry when I’m overwhelmed or upset. And of course, I cry when I’m sad. I cry at commercials, photos, memories, songs, all kinds of stuff.

Sometimes people say crying is a sign of femininity and, therefore, weakness. I disagree and this is sexist, People’s discomfort with emotion is the real pathology. Humans are feeling beings. I am sure we all know examples of people who keep all their emotions bottled up. Sometimes those people are cold. Sometimes they wait and explode.

So I say, let the tears come. Keep talking as you weep. There are beautiful and tragic things in this world and it is ok to react to them, respond to them, and let people see us resonating deeply with this mixed-up universe.

Feeling isn’t weakness.

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.