mental health

Just a Giggle

I had a moment in bed at the end of the night that caused me to smile and giggle out loud. It was a great reminder about laughter. I might have been alone at the time but I had my own party of one giggle session. 

Even when life sucks, you can laugh about it. Laughter is a form of joy and it in itself can have a rippling effect. For me the evening I had a random giggle, I was mad. The anger somehow shifted away in the moment as the laughter overpowered the frown. A funny reality.

As I think about my life, the life of my close friends and others, I see challenges. My close friend is mourning the loss of her family pet of years. The loss is draining. A little laughter or smiles can help her over the hump of the initial loss. A distraction of sorts. Not a cure but a moment in time to readjust. 

A loved one is battling health concerns. Sudden weight loss. Long term effects from potentially life threatening diagnosis. So much burden weighing on one’s life. A smile. A giggle. A softer side here and there can improve one’s outlook. If even for a day. A half of day. An hour. A moment of pleasure vs the constant of pain or displeasure.

The shitty workplace. The boss who takes and takes. And takes again. Look in the mirror. It’s not you. It’s them. Laugh it off. If you are still tasked to enter data in a computer all day, giggle about their stupidity. If somebody insists you copy, collate or laminate, just sing you a song. I think I can. I think I can. And laugh it off. Over paid data entry clerk. Over paid girl Friday copy clerk. 

Celebrate the moment in time where you did minuscule tasks to get by. Laugh a little. The insult or pain of the tasks are just temporary. You know your worth. Don’t fret about the now. The future is bright. We are all capable of adjusting our environmental distractions or displeasures.

Laugh it off. Shake your head. Giggle. Grab a coffee with a friend or two and reminisce about old times. Laugh some more. I’m sure you will be rejuvenated to the point you can endure more pain. More copy clerk duties. More medical tests. More grief. And when life smacks you in the face again with an obstacle. Laugh some more.

I had a buddy in my life for many years. He laughed a lot. He laughed loud and hearty when he farted for example. The big belly laugh. The shitty grin. The laugh again. A fart created such laughter. Not a care in the world at that moment. We should all have buddy moments to spark the giggles needed to reset the shittyness (no pun intended) of what life has in front of us at that moment.

This post is dedicated to Shadow. The best doggo who crossed the rainbow bridge this week. Although it’s not my sad story, the sadness my friend is feeling has caused me to reflect a little this morning. The outcome was this post about the softer side of life while giving a nod to my buddy who has been gone some time now. May he be reading this post with a hearty laugh of his own.

I feel fortunate to be here today writing. May may giggles today spill over to others in my life that are struggling to find the giggles due to their grief or stress at the moment.

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.

adventure

My Firsts

This week I did some new things or firsts for me. I decided I should log them and put a little entry in here. Then I decided I’d keep doing it here and there to make sure I’m staying fresh or continuing to try new things.

I hung out in a vintage camper. Don’t know the exact year but I got to think about what kind of life this old trailer had. The memories. The miles traveled. The people who shared the journey. A fun little first for me.  Did I mention the camper sat idle while I wondered how it fared on the road in its heyday?

I babysat a Great Dane. More of a horse than a dog. Large in size but more like a mini Dachshund when it comes to measuring its fierceness. Lots of slobber. Some interesting feeding sessions to say the least.

I played tennis with a new partner. Such an experience. We both had to display patience, foster hope, and develop teamwork almost immediately. We struggled in some ways but conquered in others. I’d highly recommend trying something new like this that requires teaming.

I stopped to help an injured animal on the side of the road. It didn’t seem like much but I was comforting the injured animal in his last hours. Not something I’d recommend but I am glad I was able to experience such a moving moment. I certainly hugged my dogs upon my return home. I just knew that puppy’s family was hurting with their recent loss.

I took a group lesson this week. I didn’t have an expectation. I went with the flow and I had so much fun. Getting coached in a weak area is great when you are coachable and I am happy to report that I am coachable. 

I cleaned up poop in record quantity. From smears in the carpet to full blown shit stream down the long hallway. You named a spot and there was most likely a shit gift waiting for you. Oh the smell. Oh the consistency made cleaning a real nightmare. As I scrubbed, wiped, sprayed and cleaned I thought to myself I’m lucky to have a dog so I’ll just clean away. Good thing this doesn’t happen everyday! From now on I will not get the dog flu shot.

I went on a hike with my two dogs. First time for not only me but my puppy. At three months old she did amazing and I surprised myself too. The picture below shows my sassy girls Teddie and Bear. This dynamic duo was great on the hike. They were so tired when we were done. Such a great first with them.

These are just a few of my firsts but I’m sure I’ll have future first posts.

nature

Moonlight

It was a cold and dark night after a recent storm. The darkness was pitch black. A dark only a flashlight could brighten outside. What a clear dark and chilly night to gaze at the stars.

It was a creepy night walk with the pup. The blackness after a storm. Halloween lurking. The late night howls from displaced animals after the storm added to the creepy factor. A chilly reminder of the cold nights to come in the season.

As the morning hours creep in so did the moonlight. The dark light I see. The greyish sky that you can now see off into the distance. From pitch black to grey skies around 5 am. Just an eerie reminder of what you can observe when you watch the spookiness of nature. The grey sky was a peaceful sky to me. No rain. No heavy wind. Just the chilly grey air.

As the sun rises a slight fog appears as does the shimmer from the sun poking through the last bit of night. A slight warmth but not much in the air. The fall air is crisp almost to freezing but not quite. Winter is on the horizon.

A brisk walk before bed and another early in the am. Some benefits of pet ownership or annoyance I suppose. I often escape to my day-to-day grind in the mountains. The nights are simply quiet, breathtaking and full of variety. As the nights call you to bed early the morning rises are equally surprising and breathtaking. Each one different. Each one special whether it be fog, dew or sunshine that highlights the morning. Mornings in the mountains call for early rising when most others want to sleep.

A cup of coffee, a warm blanket and my pups is a great way to start the day. Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead.

family, inspire

My Farm Girl

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When I was young, I wandered through all kinds of interests, career possibilities, and whims.  After I gave up my dream of delivering the mail, I considered becoming a meteorologist.  A singer.  A poet.  A jazz musician. A teacher.  Probably lots of other things I don’t even remember.  I took one of those career surveys in high school and it told me to be a ferry boat captain so I probably even considered that. (Briefly.)

Along the way all sorts of things would capture my fancy for a while. So many rabbit holes my teenage and twenty-something brain went down… e. e. cummings poetry.  Philosophy.  Feminism.  But the one I remember most was Southern Self-Taught Art (aka Folk Art).  Who knows how I stumbled across it, but I dove headlong into that world, reading and learning as much as I could about the main personalities, what they created, and where they lived.  I studied it, immersed myself in it, planned trips to meet artists and see exhibits.  I was fascinated.

Through every whim and detour my Dad was right along with me.  I had a pile in the kitchen (that drove my Mom crazy,by the way, a pile in the middle of prime real estate) where I kept important papers and mail.  Every once in a while a newspaper clipping or magazine article would appear on that pile.  It might be an artist profile, or an ad for a nearby art auction.  My Dad would have circled it with blue ball-point pen and written my name next to it, then ripped it out.  Always looking to extend my knowledge and experience.

And so wherever my interests went, my Dad followed close behind.  He learned as much as he could about what mattered to me. We went on road trips to meet artists.  He even had pieces commissioned for me.  When I was young, I thought it was so awesome that our interests always seemed to line up. My Dad and I just always seemed to like the same stuff!  What a lucky coincidence.  Once he was gone, I realized that he was really just interested in me.  My growth.  My enjoyment.  My plans.  My life.  It was essential to how he parented me.

This morning I did the same for my youngest daughter.  She wants to be a farmer when she grows up.  I’ve made connections with some local farms and send her tidbits about farming when I run across them.  This morning a local farm offered an opportunity to come work on a project.  So we jumped in the car with gloves and water and away we went.

Do I care about farming?  Not really.  I love the country, sunrises and sunsets, and back porches, but farm life is a lot of work.  I didn’t mind carrying all the gravel buckets (all my CrossFit farmer’s carries finally came in handy!) but I mainly wanted to spend time with her as she learned.  We talked.  We worked.  We enjoyed the sun, petting the huge farm dogs, watching the sloppy pigs, exploring the farm store, and just being together, imagining what she might be and do if she became a farmer with land of her own.

 

So no, I don’t really care much about farming.  But I do care much about her.  And when I love someone, I often find their interests interesting as a way to deepen my understanding, connection, and support for them.  I love that my Dad made me feel like all my little whims were worth learning about and pursuing. It was one of the ways he made me feel worthy and important.  I hope I make the people I love feel the same way.

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