Tag Archives: goals

Thank You

Here’s to a great 2022!

Restarting my conversation with all of you here has been on my mind for quite some time.  As with so much in my life, things became bogged down during the pandemic.  It is telling that my last posts described my feelings at the beginning of the shutdown – my experience as a new teacher suddenly thrown into the great unknown and then a two-part series on the pandemic and the canoe livery.  The survival of that constant in my life weighed so heavily on my mind during the darkest days of the shutdown.  It was almost unspeakable.

And now … Well, I feel as though I just witnessed the end of an era on Friday with the death of Betty White.  I watched The Golden Girls during its original run.  Yes, I am that old.  Even though I was a child and tween during that time, there always seemed to be something timeless about that show and the principal actresses as well.  I spent many Saturday evenings watching with my grandparents.  Grandpa Owen adored Sophia, and of course, we all loved the humor.  Out of the remaining three actresses, Betty White’s Rose reminded me the most of Grandma Reid.  However, there is one huge catch:  Grandma was never, ever even close to being that naïve (or dumb)!  Yet, Rose’s willingness to help anyone and everyone fit the bill and her constant positivity reflected my experiences with both of my grandmothers.  I think it is that kindness, reflected in both Betty White’s character Rose Nylund and anecdotes of Betty White’s generosity towards her colleagues and fans, that I am sensing is gone.  It is also a longing for a simpler time.

If I am honest, the feeling that it is the end of an era started before Friday.  This past fall, one of my Grandma Reid’s last remaining friends passed away (although there may be a few left).  It hit particularly hard because Ginny was such a positive person.  I have fond childhood memories of visiting her home during Halloween, at which time she would show me her vast porcelain doll collection and shared stories about working for my grandfather.  As an adult, I saw her often as she volunteered at the Skilled Nursing Facility where Grandma Reid lived out the last few years of her life.  I can only hope that I will be around to volunteer in my 80s and 90s! I remember her as so full of life. Again, the world could use more positivity at this point.

In fact, I am done.  There are so many times I’ve wanted to write that simple sentence, and I now know how to explain it a bit better.  I am done listening to the negative, which, let’s be honest, is everywhere now.  I’m also done spending any time or energy on people who only focus on what could go wrong.  It is time to finally move forward after the last nearly two years of hiding in the shadows and not living to the fullest.  Yes, I truly believe that there have always been ways to do so safely.

We can get back to ourselves, but we might find that we have discover ourselves once again.  As I work on decluttering my life, I will hopefully make even more room for what is truly important.  I still have important to decisions to make, but I am finally once again headed in the right direction.  There is hope for me yet (see article below).

So, thank you. Thank you for staying with me through all the craziness that is my life. Thank you for still reading even if I am nothing but inconsistent. Thank you for letting me share a tiny piece of my life.

It’s Never Too Late:  On Becoming a Writer at 50

Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

be you

This meme has stayed with me.  The message “Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger” can mean so many things.  For example, does it mean to be the parent I needed when I was younger, or does it mean to be the teacher that I needed when I was younger?  Does it mean to be the friend I needed when I was younger?  It can mean all of those things.  What I also love about the message is that it means different things for everyone who reads it.  I had wonderful parents, grandparents, teachers, and much more growing up.  I never lacked the adult support I needed as a child and later teen.  That said, no one is perfect.  There are gaps and holes due to the fact that we are all individuals.  If I took a few minutes, I could easily come up with ideas as to what that meme means to me specifically.  I love the idea that by cultivating those areas one will be in a better position to help children and teens like ourselves.  That is largely why I am going back to school to earn my teaching certificate:  I care about teenagers and want to help them succeed.  By taking the time to figure out what we were missing growing up, it is easier to discover what children and teens today might need.

I also can’t help but relate this to a conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  She and I discussed how we tend to box ourselves into the many roles we play in our lives.  For example, when I am at work, I act a certain way.  When I am at home, I act another.  Neither is truly my authentic self.  She asks the question why can’t we be consistent?  What is stopping us?  For her, this means juggling the roles of mom, pastor, wife, and writer.  Oddly enough, this made me realize just how soon my roles will change.  Soon I will be business owner, teacher, and hopefully, mom.  While I will remain a writer, I will no longer primarily identify as a student.

As I thought more about this topic, this appears to be more of an issue for women than men.  Let’s face it:  Our society still expects women to do it all, or at least try to do it all.  There isn’t nearly as much pressure for men to be perfect parents, look a certain way, or create a home.  It is sad, but I still see so many women act surprised when men are wonderful, involved dads to their children.  It should be expected, not treated as something rare.  By the way, I know so many wonderful dads.  It isn’t rare.  What doesn’t exist is a man or a woman who can do everything well all at the same time.  There are, and have to be, trade-offs.  Choose wisely.

I am lucky – damn lucky.  Most people don’t get the opportunity to do it all over again.   Over the last few years, I’ve taken the opportunity to figure out exactly what I want, made decisions on how it will all fit together, and pursued those new goals with everything I have.  I am not there yet, but I am well on my way.  I am grateful that I’ve had such wonderful role models, namely my parents.