It needs to be said…

Monday, my husband told me something that I didn’t know I needed to hear. We were talking about the upcoming 2 days off of school. We try to go somewhere during this time each October. But 2020 has been different. We like to travel and explore but this year, we’ve gone very few places since March. One year, we went to Colorado and rode ATVs in the mountains. Another trip was to St. Louis (cheap flights!). Yet another was to Nashville. We are finding out that the trips we took when they were really small are ones they don’t remember. Feeling like I don’t have control of how we can spend our time, I was at a loss for what to do. Having a senior, I know our family trips are going to be dwindling.

Then he said it. The 4 words I didn’t know I needed to hear…”You’re a good mom.”

It took a while to sink in, but it made me kind of emotional. We assume people know how we feel, but sometimes it needs to be said. More important to me than any professional title, job grade or so-called success … I just want to be a good mom. Many of us do. Now let me be clear, I’m not writing this to have a bunch of other people tell me I’m a good mom. I’m writing to tell you that maybe the moms in your life need to hear it. Tell your wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister and especially your mom that she’s a good mom. She needs to hear it. And if she dismisses your statement, say it again (Good Will Hunting style). “You’re a good mom.”

I have a great mom. What makes her great? 1,000 things. My sisters are great moms too. They’ve been great examples. But we have a fault. We put others first way too often. We still haven’t learned that we can’t pour from an empty cup. We try to do it all. Everyone else comes first. Somehow that makes it better? Nope. Taking time for ourselves makes us feel guilty. Self-care seems like a luxury instead of a necessity. I’m in an online class about self care. She asked us to start our day with something just for us. I was at a loss for what to do. That’s probably not a good sign. Baby steps… I’m trying.

If she has kids at home, she’s probably trying to juggle it all. She’s a good mom. If her kids are grown, she’s probably adjusting to her empty nest. She’s a good mom. If her kids are adults and she’s a grandma now or even great grandma, she wishes she could hear from you more. She’s a good mom. Just tell her while you can. You will probably make her day, but have some Kleenex near by.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Go tell a mom what she means to you (unless she’s having coffee, then give her 5 minutes.) Feel free time share the post. You might inspire someone to make a mom’s day.

Curd, curd, curd ugh…

Photo from Culver’s web site

I’m almost 47, and up until a few years ago, I had never tried a cheese curd. Being from the Midwest, cheese curds are pretty popular. Warm and crispy fried cheese… yummy, right? I could not get over the name. Curd. I could NOT bring myself to try it. Here’s the back story… when my sisters’ kids (& my boys) were babies, and they would spit up milk, my mom would call it curds. So I equated the word with puke. Makes sense why I wouldn’t want to eat that, right? For some reason if they would have been called cheese nuggets, I would have tried these tasty fried cheese balls long ago.

A couple weeks ago, I asked my Facebook friends to tell me what words made them cringe. Some words got more than one vote.

  • Ain’t
  • Hate
  • Panties
  • Ufda
  • Meltdown
  • Moist
  • Phlegm
  • Visceral
  • Smear/smeared
  • Seen
  • Littles
  • ScheelDs
  • Utilize
  • Supposably instead of supposedly
  • “You got this”

Words are powerful. They can be powerfully negative or powerfully positive. The ones listed above are annoying. They probably make you cringe just reading them. Phlegm is a very visual word to me. Many of these trigger an emotion or an event that makes them not pleasing.

But what if I asked the opposite question? What words make you feel happy or spark JOY? Would we have more of those in common, or are they tied to experiences also? Mine would be (in no particular order):

  • Sunshine
  • Babies
  • Joy
  • Gingerbread
  • Family
  • Peace
  • Fall
  • Laughter, giggles
  • Kittens
  • Chickens
  • Lazy River
  • Purrr

You get the idea. Something shaped those feelings tied to the words. Gingerbread makes me think of my mom and warm gingerbread cake with hot lemon pudding. Lazy River makes me think of floating down the river with friends. Fall makes me think of the crisp air and the beautiful leaves. Giggles makes me think of baby giggles or the way my grandpa would giggle. Just pure joy. Chickens make me think of my fluffy hens and what goofy personalities they have.

Words are powerful, my friends. Use them wisely. Don’t let them drive a wedge between those you love. Words can bring comfort to a friend who is struggling or to someone who feels alone. They can lift up someone’s day or completely ruin it. They can inspire and motivate or be crushing. As a writer, I search for the right words… the ones to peak someone’s interest or make a post worth sharing.

I’m encouraging you to add more positive words to your day. You might make someone else’s day too. I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May your words be kind. Oh, and try a cheese curd. Seriously. They are delicious. Just call them cheese nuggets or cheese balls, and you’ll be fine.

Less than?

From Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

My BMI is 31. I’m obese. I’d like to say that you can’t tell by looking at me, but maybe that’s denial. So technically, if I got Covid, I’d be considered a person with an underlying health condition. The people who dismiss illness or deaths because the person had an underlying health condition frustrate me. Do you fall in any of these categories? Smoker? Overweight? High blood pressure? If you do, that does not mean you deserve to get COVID19. And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s ok if you die from it. You are not less than. My cancer is gone, my blood pressure is borderline ok & I’ve gotten rid of almost 20lbs, but I’d still have that label.

My head swims with worry, not fear. Worry for my dad who has cancer, my mom who will be his caregiver, my sister and niece who are exposed in the healthcare field, my sister, niece & friends who are teachers, my friend who is high risk, my friend who is going through chemo, my sons and husband, my extended family… the list goes on. As an intuitive introvert, I crave harmony. I want everyone to stay safe and healthy. I don’t feel like anyone is less deserving of life if they have an underlying issue.

We don’t know everyone’s story. We don’t know their history or what issues they have now or have had in the past. You are enough and you are worthy of good health. I wish you peace on your journey of enough… May you have compassion for others and share the peace of you have some extra. Take care!

Letting go…

There is a saying, “Autumn leaves show us how beautiful it is to let things go.” This past weekend, we took a spontaneous trip to Itasca State Park. Last minute fishing trip for my husband and oldest son meant a chance for me and the youngest son to explore the state park. We’ve been there before, but usually in the summer. Fall in MN is just magical. The trees are brilliant yellows, oranges, reds and browns. We met up with some friends and hiked the trails through the woods where bikes aren’t allowed. It was a perfect, crisp fall day. The sun was shining, the leaves were beautiful and the fallen leaves were crunching beneath our feet. It smelled like fall. If fall has a smell, that was it – crisp air, fallen leaves, slight breeze.

The kids (my son and my friend’s two girls) complained a little about the length of the hike. Some photo stops, finding walking sticks and the many leaf colors distracted them a bit from the amount of miles we were walking. My friend and I just breathed in deeply… soaking it in. “They need this,” we both agreed. Spending hours online for school, they needed the connection with nature. We did too. To be grounded with the earth, breathing in fresh air, soaking up the silence…. all just good for our souls.

If there was a place that was fall year round, I’d move there. But it’s part of the cycle… letting go (fall), being still (winter), regrowth (spring) and abundance (summer). One of the benefits of living here is our distinct season changes. It’s one of the reasons I put up with winter.

What are you letting go of this fall? Fear? Anger? Frustration? Busyness? Self doubt? We get so wrapped up in being busy, we forget the value of being still and connecting with nature. I hope you are able to be outside, breathe fresh air and soak up some sunshine before our days turn colder and shorter. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.