Happy Easter!

He is risen, but I’m being lazy. 

I am taking today as a literal rest day – I slept in, watched church online and plan to just putz around the house, lay outside in the sun and read today. 

I’ve always enjoyed the Easter holiday. The fashion that comes with it, egg hunts and chocolate, the rabbits, the flowers. I’ve always known the story too, but this year that’s weighed on me a little more. I’ve been thinking about the concept of death a lot as the holiday approaches so today I will also take some time to explore the story again, as an adult and on my own. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Me, me, me

I feel like this needs to be said:

When I go to a salon and get my hair dyed, it’s for me. When I spend time washing my hair and curling it, it’s because I like the results. When I wing my eyeliner, when I put on a deep red lip, when I bother to do eyeshadow, I do it for me.

When I carefully select a dress from my closet and test accessories to match, I do it because I enjoy it. When I endlessly shop for new pieces – and bargains at that – I do it because I want to.

When I go for a run, when I squeeze in simple workouts, when I wolf down a spinach salad, I do it because it makes me feel good.

All of these things I do because they make me feel great about myself. I don’t do it for looks or comments – though sometimes those are nice – and I don’t do it for the approval of whoever. I do these things I do because I like to do them and I like the results.

There are other things I do for me, but when it comes to my beauty routine, this needed to be said. I enjoy beautiful things, I enjoy creating beautiful things and I’m not afraid to say that I enjoy smiling when I see my own reflection.

Part of self-respect is taking care of yourself, and part of self-care is physically taking care of yourself – getting up, getting ready, and taking on the day. When I do these things, I have confidence. I don’t want to or need to do them every day, but for me, deciding to put on my makeup or taking the time to do my hair can turn a low day into a medium day.

Take care of yourself – inside and out – and do it because YOU want to. It’s important.

Little Miss Landline

How many people do you know with home phones still?

Parents? Grandparents? Far-away relatives?

You can count me in the home phone owner territory. I got it because I thought it would be nice to have, kept it because it was essentially free with my internet and the bonus:  it gets me discounts on my internet bill.

Some people say I should give my home phone number to guys I’m lukewarm about, or to retail loyalty programs. But I like having a “secret” home phone.

It makes me feel very adult and also very youthful all at once. I have my own landline and I pay for it myself. I use it to talk to my Dad about genealogy and I field telemarketers often. But it also reminds me of when I could talk on the phone for hours to friends, three way calls, and not knowing what the heck to do while I was also talking on the phone.

I get my kicks with nostalgia and this one is thankfully useful. So is my collection of cassette tapes that I play in my older model station wagon with the rumble seat in the back. Ahhh… childhood.

All this because I finally caved and bought a phone that worked – my last one was from my middle school days and was barely hanging on – and I had to ask myself, Do I really want to renew my contract with this thing? I decided to buy a new phone and see.

And what do you know… when I got the supplies I needed and gave things another shot, everything went much better. Perhaps something I should try more often.

The Joy of Heritage

Have you ever read that Marie Kondo book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up?

I have not. It’s on my “to read” list. But I know the gist: get rid of everything that doesn’t bring you joy. 

When I first heard that several years ago, I thought it was nonsense. You can’t get rid of everything that doesn’t bring you joy, I would say to myself. 

This was when I was knee-deep in activities and had very little joy. 

A few years later, I have just returned home from my third Georgia State Society DAR Conference. I spent four days working as a page and being with friends old and new, and learning a little more about how the Daughters of the American Revolution works.  It is also the only activity I have kept up with recently. 

To make a long story short, there’s a reason: I found some of My People through the DAR and the list grows every time I go to an event. I know I can always count on them and most importantly, I can always ask them for help without fear, something I often struggle to do. No matter what I am doing, whether it’s a conference, a chapter meeting, or an application, I am always working with friends. 

This year at State Conference, I worked as the Communications Page, which is essentially a helper for the Communications committee. In that role I covered the event in a photojournalism format by taking pictures, managing social media, working on and editing our daily newsletter and generally keeping people informed. I loved doing this job because I got to talk to people all day and chronicle what Conference was like for those who may have missed pieces of it or couldn’t come at all for whatever reason. In a way, I was using my talents and skills to connect with more of My People. 

I am always sad when Conference ends, because that means I have to physically leave some of My People as we drive back to our respective homes – Augusta, Dunwoody, Gainesville. 

These women take care of me when I don’t feel well, sneak me snacks, defend me (sometimes against myself) and love and support me for who I am. The promise of seeing them gets me out of bed early on Saturdays to drive several hours and wear pantyhose in the middle of Georgia summers. It is hard to leave when I have them close. It is why I usually am the last party guest to depart. 

But I am always grateful to know that my ancestors, when fighting for something they so deeply believed in, had also found Their People. They too fought, worked and lived with the friends they made during the Revolutionary War. Those were Their People. 

And hundreds of years later, Their People are My People too. 

Swan Song

I used to have a really neat trick: I always had the right thing to say. 

Uncomfortable text message exchange? Argument with a friend over something dumb? Trying to tell Chad or Brett or Tyler you liked him but he was boring? Trying to tell literally anyone that you are sorry?

That is when my friends would turn to me, often with cell phones in hand, and say, “What should I say? You always know what to say!”

As the question came out of their mouths, I would draw up like a swan from slumber, fully extending her neck and stretching her wings as she gives a glorious HONK! and there it was, what you wanted to say but weren’t able to piece together. 

Lately, that swan has wanted to stay nestled, peacefully asleep in the reeds. Unfortunately, I don’t know what you should telll your child who is asking for biological information a little early. And I can’t really figure out how to start a conversation other than “um, hi” anymore. AND I’ve had some writers block on top of it. SHEESH

Maybe it’s because my medication slows my racing thoughts and now tapirs more of a friendly game of golf than a race. Maybe it’s because my sleep schedule isn’t quite right yet and I tend to feel tired at odd times. Maybe it’s not me at all, maybe the climate of our society at the moment, combined with our problems maturing as we do, has left me needing time to catch up. 

I remember how long it took me to understand my racing thoughts. To me, they were normal thoughts. Other people thought that way and I did too. It wasn’t until I experienced a moment of quiet time I sort of realized what I was really dealing with. 

Maybe I just need some more quiet time. 

Inspo: Pen to paper

I’ve had a nasty case of writer’s block lately. I was cruising Pinterest today to see if I could find any creative prompts that might help get things going. I found a still image from an old favorite TV show and earlier today I learned it would have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday (Cobain was a major source of inspiration for me as a teen.) Lastly, I was digging through an old box of photographs and started feeling a little nostalgic when I came across a high school photo or two. So here’s a creative post for you, fresh of the grill. There’s no point or moral, it’s just some thoughts on electronic paper.

 

As a teenager I was really embarrassed, like, all of the time. My lack of self-confidence was painfully obvious and I don’t think I could nearly list all of the things about myself that I had wished were different.

This became a big problem when I was asked: What do you want to be when you grow up? Or later, what do you want to major in? And even later, what do you want to use your degree for?

In high school, I had absolutely no clue. I didn’t feel like I was good at anything. I joined the drama club midway through and I felt like I fit in enough but I wasn’t especially talented at acting or technicals or anything like that. Sure, I was put to work and successful in some ways and I tried to follow that but it wasn’t perfect.

Long before that though I had no guidance what so ever. I was just an angry teenager with a smart mouth and a journal. I never, ever, let anyone crack open my composition book and read my inner thoughts or poems or see my dumb cartoon drawings. Occasionally I would let people read the song lyrics I had written but that was rare and the reader had to be a stranger – someone I could brush off and avoid if I didn’t like their reaction.

I felt very lost, most of the time. In class, I barely tried. My writing was all over the place and I took peer-editing personally, eventually refusing to edit ever. Now I think that’s crazy talk, but again, I felt like a misfit. It was me against the world.

All I knew was that I wanted to enjoy my life. I researched common jobs that seemed interesting –┬ánursing, flight attending, cosmetology, teaching – but I found faults with every single one, shortcomings in myself that I could not fix.

The question of what I wanted to do embarrassed me to the core. Despite what my relatives said I knew I wasn’t pretty enough – or at least had the right specs – to be a model, and my voice wasn’t good enough to make a hit pop record (though I still cling to that dream a tiny bit, even now.) I couldn’t science or math very well, my writing was jumbled and my reading was just average.I was rejected for the one sports team I tried out for. My grades were average or below and even my electives I almost managed to fail because I just wouldn’t turn anything in.

My self-esteem was so bad I just didn’t care. I’d rather fail and fade away then try to find something new to try another hand at.

That all changed in college, when I very quickly learned that a positive attitude and a little elbow grease will get you much farther than you’d initially expect, and sometimes you learn right away that you are not meant to be in the fashion or the theatre world.

Opportunity fell in my lap in college so I took advantage of it. I sucked it up and let peer editing happen and guess what? Not a single joke cracked at my expense. Suddenly I realized how great it could be – editing gives you second chances!

Since deciding that communications was where I belonged, I started getting a different question: “When are we going to see you on TV?” I don’t think people realize just how much work and pressure goes into television and the people who make it happen. I do, and I don’t think it’s for me.

Looking back it’s easy to see that writing was what I was meant to do. I felt guarded and defensive over my work, journals and poetry because they were extensions of me and if you hurt them, you hurt me.

It takes a lot of time to move past that, and I am still working on it. While I used to feel very comfortable about sharing my poetry as a teen, now I guard it more so than my heart, hiding it from even my closest friends and family.

My essays and long-form works flow like rivers, splashing over rocks and algae. They are unstoppable. They must come out, somehow, and now!  But poetry is like a little grotto, peaceful and filled with lazy waters that gently spill into crevices and over little urchins and barnacles and into the deep green with just a simple smattering of bubbles.

It makes me wonder… what would teenage me think if she could see my writing now?

Progress makes perfect

A little over a month ago, I made some New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s see how I’m doing so far. 

1. Minimize

I have been the most successful with this one, which is good because it’s the most important! I keep trying to tell myself I don’t need things or objects to make me happy. Just last week I finally, finally put all of my clothes away and tidied the mess that was in my bedroom. I cleaned the bathroom too and threw away all kinds of stuff in those two rooms – old receipts, expired makeup, ratty tank tops from junior high, candy wrappers. The end result was just so peaceful. I think I’ll have to try it again soon. 

Now only graced by some clothing to sell, Benchie breathes for the first time since November. 

My next goal is to par down a few more things in my wardrobe – and then actually get my donation box out of the house!

2. Learn more about the technical side of my job

This one I have made no progress on whatsoever. However, I have been in a great groove at work and doing better staying on task.  

3. Develop and follow a creative marketing plan for the blog 

I’ve got some ideas buzzing up in this weird little brain of mine. I’ve purchased a bag of confetti to inspire me and I’ve looked at some marketing ideas and products. Thought about maybe doing some promotional photos. I haven’t made any commitments or decisions yet though. 

4. Get back in to the French language

I bought an ancient French textbook from my younger days in hopes of helping me with this one, but I have been following some French bloggers and Instagrammers for fun!

5. Go full on Glamazon 

I have done a good job of putting a face of some kind on each day but my hair is a whole ‘nother story. It’s almost time for roots so I’ve been embracing the natural texture – sometimes curly, sometimes not – and hoping for the best. Not gonna lie, it feels really good to wash my hair more than three times a week (even if sometimes it’s just with conditioner) and, I’ve made great friends with Argan Oil. 

6. Sing more

Every car ride is a concert. Every. Single. One. 
How are your resolutions doing? Holla at me with your progress!