Clinging to Flotsam.

There are some weeks that are just exhausting. Completely, utterly, inexorably exhausting.

Did I use enough adjectives to get my point across?

I am exhausted.

For various reasons, both large scale and small, this week has been hellish.

Ever spent a week cleaning up after two kids with a stomach bug?

Add that to current events.

Add that to rehearsals, and work, worrying about getting fired from work for having to take so many days off to care for my sick children, and the list goes ever onward.

Just like that run-on sentence did. 😅

I have felt small, and crushed, and helpless so many times this week that the feelings nearly overwhelm.

I’m trying to keep my head above the waves though.

Trying not to drown.

When I feel this way I try to cling to the things that matter to me.

If I can’t work up the energy to reach out to friends or family, I cling to even tinier things.

Pieces of flotsam, rather than lifeboats.

Things like the fact that my coffee this morning tastes delicious, the sun is shining outside, and the tree beyond my window is a beautiful yellow green.

Small things.

I shared my post about small steps yesterday to try to remind myself of where my mind was this time last week. I needed the reminder.

Now I just need to remind myself that weeks like this one don’t last forever.

That if I keep taking those small steps, clinging to the flotsam, and finding my lifeboats when I have the energy to, I will still be moving forward.

Sometimes that’s all we can do,

and that’s okay.

I’m off to try to take a few more steps. Take my hand if you need help taking some too.

💕

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Small steps.

I recently posted something that I wrote May 4th about my deep urge to travel. I should have shared it the day I wrote it, but I was doing my best not to put pressure on myself, and to instead just do something.

Which I actually did.

It wasn’t anything crazy.

No epic, glorious, self-inspired vacation.

It was something though. 

I stopped writing, and typed one sentence into the search bar.

“Things to do with kids nearby this weekend.”

I found a blog post with an entire list of interesting things to do in the area.

I picked one, got myself and the kids ready, and off we went. 

We rode a tiny train around a gorgeous park. Then we played on one of the coolest playgrounds I’ve ever seen. We even got to eat some delicious italian ice.

The park was almost as far away as the beach is from where we live, but it ended up being a really great day. A day that was unique, and interesting, and so much fun.

We just got in the car, and went. 

Apparently that method works pretty well for me.

I still haven’t renewed passports, or figured out a big vacation, or even a small one, but I’m making the effort.

Small steps are still steps.

Small steps still move you forward.

Sometimes small steps can lead to bigger ones.

So, for now, I will keep taking small steps, and see where they lead me.

Hopefully somewhere beautiful.

💖

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in the Tampa Bay area here’s a link to the list I found! (The trains were #5.)

Tampa Bay: 50 Things to Do with Your Kids Before They Grow Up

Traveling: The beginning of a dream.

Originally written May 4, 2019. Sharing today.

Recently I’ve been feeling this deep, deep longing to travel. I keep picturing myself typing away at my keyboard, sipping a mojito, and sitting on a beach somewhere tropical. Walking through beautiful gardens in Paris, or looking out over some amazing vista as the sun sets, or any number of things. 

I have trouble actually going, and doing it though. I could list a thousand valid reasons, and a million excuses why. The truth is that the amount of effort, and planning something like that takes has a tendency to crush me, and my enthusiasm. 

I say to myself, “just do it!” and I sit down and realize I have no idea where to start. 

Okay, well pick a place. 

So I do, then I look at flights, and see how expensive they are, or realize I have two kids and no childcare. That our passports are all expired, that I’d have to request that time off work. 

The list piles on and on and I just feel totally crushed and exhausted before I’ve done anything at all.

I need to figure out how to pare down a bit.

Start small.

There are plenty of adventures I can go on in the meantime without a passport, for example! 

While I’m doing that I could also be figuring out how to renew our passports for next time.

Okay, so where can I go with two kids by myself that will still be fun for all of us? 

I have no idea.

Stuck again.

Disney World? 

I’ll be hot, exhausted, and irritable if I attempt that on my own. Let’s be real, my favorite way to spend those vacations is to spend the morning in a park and the afternoon in the hotel pool, by the bar. 

Beach trip?

It seems silly since we only live an hour away from the beach, but it might be fun to stay overnight at one of those little hotels with an ocean view. We all love the beach.

Day trips are fun, but there’s something about overnight that gives a vacation feel that just isn’t present otherwise.

Clearly I need to look into more.

Maybe we should just pick a destination, get in the car, and go.

Do you like to travel? How do you plan without getting bogged down in the details? 

Or are you like me, dreaming about traveling while you sit on your couch scrolling the internet?

I plan to become the former, and stop being the latter. 

Now I just need to do it.

Wandering Thoughts.

Sometimes writing feels like cracking open my mind, and holding it out for everyone to see.

See here? This is where all of my random metaphors live. Here’s where I keep things my friends tell me about themselves. Here is the library of songs I have memorized…

It’s a way for me to share the multitude of thoughts that fly around my mind at any given moment.

I’m always thinking in metaphors, and stories. Having conversations in my head as if I’m actually speaking to someone. Trying to sort out life’s mysteries.

Or I might just be thinking of that delicious steak I ate that one time, or wondering what those ceiling tiles are made of? Why are they made with so many holes in them? Is that really what an owl sounds like in real life!?

My mind is always going, and I never know where it’s going to take me.

It’s fun to actually get to share some of it.

Conversing with friends is like that too sometimes. Hearing their thoughts, and stories. Getting to know how someone else’s mind works, why they think the way they do. It’s one of my favorite things.

Where do your thoughts go when they wander?

Mine seem to have wandered off again…

Happy Friday! 💖

Sharing the Dark.

It’s interesting how sometimes writing, or talking about something can be very freeing.

Writing about sadness, or pain, or a loss of interest in something can actually help rekindle that interest, release that pain, relieve the weight of that sadness.

I’ve noticed that it happens quite often with me.

Writing, sharing, discussing. It’s cathartic. Healing in a way nothing else really is.

Sometimes I find myself worrying that it makes me a hypocrite.

“I just talked about how sad I am, and now I feel fine? What the hell!?”

It’s amazing though, when that happens.

That release. That expulsion of whatever poison was festering inside.

If you don’t know what I mean, you should try it.

Write down those things that are bothering you. Share them with someone you trust. Expel them into the universe.

Hear what someone outside of your head thinks of it.

It can level you in a way that nothing else can. Bring you back to a point where you can view things a bit more objectively.

Is it foolproof?

Of course not. Nothing is.

We’re human after all.

I do find that, more often than not, it does help. Even if only a little.

When it does, it’s wonderful.

💖

Pinwheels.

Yesterday I made pinwheels with my kids.

I swear this isn’t about to turn into a crafting tutorial or anything. Just bear with me here.

As this was our first time making them there was some trial and error involved.

A lot of “Don’t touch those yet, please.” “Hold on, let me check the instructions.” “Omg! Why are you cutting that!? Wait, wait, wait!!!” moments.

Crafting with kids is honestly just a mess. 😂

The first pinwheel we made was entirely too large. We practically had to empty our lungs just to get it to sort of spin, and no matter where we held the stick we could barely avoid blocking the blades.

It worked, but it was too large. Too hard to manage, and generally inefficient.

So we went back to the drawing board, and made the next one smaller.

This one worked much better. It was easier to avoid blocking the blades, and we didn’t have to use as much air to spin it.

It still wasn’t the most efficient thing, but it was much better.

It was certainly good enough to make the kids happy, and by then my patience was completely fried, so that’s where we stopped.

I was thinking about it today though.

I think we do things like that to ourselves a lot.

Make our pinwheels too big, I mean.

Take on too much. Overload ourselves to the point that we get in our own way.

We stop our momentum, because we’ve made things too heavy. We’ve put too much pressure on ourselves.

I do it to myself all the time. When I do it’s very hard not to get discouraged.

I’ve already done it to myself a few times with this new blog.

I want to keep improving though. Keep going.

I want to pause long enough to take note of the parts of my pinwheel that work, and the parts that could be improved on.

I need to remember that it’s okay to take a break when my patience is at its limit.

Recharging is just as important.

As long as I come back. Keep coming back.

Are there aspects of your life that you can relate this to as well? There are so many directions we could take this metaphor. I’d love to hear others.

As for me, I’m challenging myself.

Challenging myself to keep coming back. To keep improving.

Until that pinwheel works so well I barely have to breathe on it for it to spin.

🌬💖

Oh! If you do happen to want a simple pinwheel tutorial, I quite liked this one in spite of my own poor execution. 😂

Pinwheel Tutorial

✌🏽💕

The Suburban Peacock.

A few weeks ago I asked the universe for a sign.

Anything really.

I was feeling stuck. Confused.

What should I be doing? Just give me a sign? Anything.

That afternoon, lost in thought as I drove to pick up the kids after work, I passed by a peacock walking down the road.

A peacock.

Just a peacock, casually walking down the sidewalk in the middle the suburbs.

What???

I literally slowed the car down, stared at it, and said “What???”.

The sheer absurdity of seeing a peacock in the middle of the suburbs.

The peacock, completely unconcerned with my incredulousness, simply continued on its way.

Whatever you believe, you at least have to admit it’s a totally odd coincidence.

(Especially considering I’ve seen a peacock maybe twice in my life, and both times were at a zoo.)

I sent the universe a confused “thank you?”, and continued on my way.

There are a myriad of ways I could interpret this apparent answer to my request.

I could simply chalk it up to the strangeness of Florida.

For real, this is the weirdest state. I absolutely adore it. 😂

At this exact moment in time however, I’m choosing to read it as encouragement to simply be myself.

Even if that means occasionally being a wild suburban peacock.

Go strut your stuff people!

🦚💖