It Wasn’t About the Hoodie–Not Really

I grew up not a UGA fan.  One of my earliest memories involves a vinyl covered stool that my Aunt and Uncle had in their home when we were visiting.  It had a Yellow Jacket on it.  My Uncle graduated from Georgia Tech.  From then on, I understood us to be a Tech family.

Because in Georgia–those are pretty much your choices.  Georgia or Georgia Tech.  There are other colleges, but that’s the big state rivalry.

It didn’t make me popular.  Still doesn’t.  When I wear my GT hoodie out, there are times when another Tech fan speaks up, not too loud of course, excited to find “another” outsider.

Bulldawg fans are serious, y’all.  But so are we.  I was right.  We are a Tech family.  When I was at Wesleyan, we as a student body voted Georgia Tech to be our brother school.  (I think this was so we could cheer for a football team or invite them to our socials…..right now the exact reason eludes me.)  A few years later Sister graduated from Tech, marrying a boy she met there.  After that my Cousin and my brother both graduated from there.  (I’m not mentioning the two cousins who went to UGA–we still shake our heads over that.) Mess Cat married Leroy, who also came from a diehard Tech family.  Only they were a bit more serious–they had actually been to games.  Live.  In person.

Yes.  Go Tech!

So you can understand why I was a bit perplexed, befuddled, if you will, that our Princess announced at a very young age that she is a Bulldog fan.

Where on earth did she pick up such language?

When she was smaller, it was cute.  Oh look at the little one, she thinks she knows what she’s talking about.  Okay.  Whatever.  We patronizingly indulged her little game, knowing  full well it would. not. last.

Only it did.

A couple of years ago she found a UGA top that she liked at the GW Boutique.  I got it for her, struck with bewilderment and wondering who had switched my child at the hospital in Japan, and where on earth was my little Buzz-loving child?   She wore it often, and I would feign shock and displeasure when she did.  We both wound up laughing before the day was over.  She loved reminding us where her allegiance stood by calling out, “Go Dawgs!” quite a bit during football season.

She eventually outgrew that top.  She does not, thankfully, have a replacement.  So be it.  (She does have an Auburn top, and I believe I tried to sneak a GT one in on her to no avail.)

Today we dashed in at the GW Boutique on our Outs and Abouts. I was looking at blazers for my future law school student, when I came across a red hoodie.  I’m a lover of all things hoodie-fied, if you will recall, so I flipped it around, fingers crossed, hoping it would not be…..

but it was…..

Georgia.

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Now in this state, “Georgia” on a hoodie does not mean what you think it means.  Georgia on a hoodie–a red hoodie with black writing–means only one thing.  U. G. A.

Ughhhh.  Uhhh.

This was not the hoodie I was looking for.

Still, in the interest of full disclosure, and because it was a hoodie and most of hers are getting too short on her, I lifted it up and showed it to our Princess as she walked over to where I was.

She smiled.  Really big.

That touched my heart and almost made me feel bad about not being all gung ho about this hoodie.

“So do you want it?” I asked her.

She looked at it, smiled again, and shook her head.

Wait.  What?

“No.  I mean, it’s nice, but I don’t want it.”

“What?  Why?”

“Well, I can just think about how it will bother you if I wear it.”  She giggled and then looked a little serious.  “I know how you feel about it, and I don’t want to make you feel all that every time I wear it.”

I took her by the shoulders and looked her straight in her eyes with fierce love.  “Baby girl, NO MA’AM.  You are a Georgia fan.  I can’t explain why, but you are.  Must have been something in the water or something.  Either way, you are a Georgia fan.  That’s how you feel, you chose it.  Do not–DO NOT EVER–change what you love or how you believe or what you want in life because you are limiting yourself to others’ expectations and preferences.  YOU DO YOU.  YOU BE YOU.  As long as you’re not physically hurting anyone else or being intentionally unkind, you don’t change who you are one bit.  Be loving, be kind, but BE YOU.  Every bit of your beautiful self.”

*sigh*

Okay, so that’s what I should have said.  Only I didn’t.  It didn’t occur to me until we were almost home WITHOUT the hoodie that I had missed a teachable moment.

*sigh* It could have been so beautiful too.  And then we would have gone arm in arm to the check out to buy the hoodie.  And instead of being (mock) frustrated every time she wore it, I would have seen it as my child expressing herself and comfortable doing so–even when she is the only one who feels the way she does.  I would have seen my child comfortable and okay with who she is and what she embraces.

Instead I was so wrapped up with how much she cared about my feelings that I totally blanked on what could have been a powerful lesson.

Man.  I really messed up.

I have put my request in with my people who are in that area that if they happen back by that GW Boutique and “iffen” that hoodie is still there, please get it for my baby.  I want to be able to tell her those things.  And hand her the hoodie and apologize.  It might not be a big deal for her now, but one day, I want her to remember it and be encouraged when life has her feeling on the outside because she believes differently than others do.

Because it’s bound to happen.  Eventually.

I’m reminded of the story of my cousin’s oldest child (who married a month ago–oh my, the time has flown) when he was very young.  He adored his grandmother, my aunt, and he was talking to her about a movie he loved.  I can’t remember which one it was, but he was so happy about it, and he asked her if didn’t she love it too.  She was honest about it and told him she really didn’t care for it much.  He was sad, and then she told him that it was okay.  That people who love each other can like different things and it still be okay.

I love that so much.  It has stuck with me for probably twenty years.  I want my children to take that story to heart.

It’s okay to like different things and still be okay with other people.

Better than okay.

May you have the courage to be you–today and everyday.

Love to all.

 

Truth

I took one of those quizzes like you do that spins a little circle around and then somehow reads the very depths of your soul and comes up with an answer to an intriguing question in thirty seconds or less.

Ahem.

The question was “What is your word for 2016?”  I took it, shrugging and laughing.  I had already chosen MY WORD for the year, but sure, why not?  So I hit the button and off it spun and then–there was my word.

Truth.

Sure.  Okay.  Whatever.

My word/phrase is so much better.  I moved on and didn’t think about it again.  Until yesterday.  And today.

Truth.

And it has become apparent how much this word is already playing into my journey, just seven days into the New Year.

It has also become apparent how much people work not to be transparent. It’s not NOT telling the truth, it’s just keeping the truth under wraps.  So yes, not being truthful.

Oh, for the love.

Perhaps it’s the stage of life I’m in, but I’m really tired of all the cloak and dagger, undercover, in the back room, under the table, under the cover of darkness stuff that goes on.

It’s everywhere.  And I’m just as guilty as the next person.

We work to keep from being transparent.  It starts with our insecurities and worries and fears.  We mustn’t, we can’t, let anyone see them.  We aren’t even comfortable telling folks we care because what if they don’t reciprocate or what if we get hurt or what if we go out on a limb and then…..nothing…..

Yes.  There will be pain.

But what if there isn’t?   What if those feelings are returned?  A thousandfold?

We aren’t comfortable telling someone about the mistakes we made.  Mistakes of commission or omission–we are terrified of saying “Hey, look, I was trying my best, but it just didn’t work out, and here’s what happened, and I’m sorry, and I will work to do better and to make amends,” because what if the people we share this with are only seeking to condemn and point fingers and get revenge for all that has happened…..

Yes.  It could end up badly.

But what if it doesn’t?  What if there’s forgiveness?  Grace?

We aren’t comfortable being truthful because we worry that others might shudder when they see our flaws, our wrinkles, the ugly bits of us that we think are best left untouched and hidden away forever.  We are so scared of someone seeing the real us, because they might recoil in horror.

It would be devastating.

But what if they don’t?  What if there’s acceptance?  What if we find a kindred spirit?

The truth is one of the scariest things out there.  It can take our stories from merely entertaining to provoking and hard and inspiring and broken and powerful and life-changing and something really beautiful.  It can take a relationship that is good and make it the best.  It can turn a mistake into a learning opportunity and a space to heal and make something even stronger.

The truth can destroy doubts and questions and anxieties and loneliness and pain and worry with a single blow.

Taylor Swift  (y’all know I think she’s a philosopher) wrote: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

She’s right.  We don’t.  But when we have the courage to speak the truth, we know that we are putting our whole selves out there–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and we are opening the door for the possibility of healing, acceptance, grace, and love.

I’m all about opening some doors, y’all.  Let’s open some together.  Y’all in?

Truth.  Huh.  Who knew that little thirty second quiz could pack such a powerful punch?

Love to all.

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There Are Better Things To Talk About

Genetics being what they are, I have three children all different shapes and sizes.  Just as my Mama had four children who, while similarities could be seen, have grown to be four very different looking people.

It happens.

The one thing that all of mine have in common, according to my sweet Cousin, is their eyes.  She says they all have my eyes.

I love that she thinks so.

However, my oldest is average in height and has an attractive build.  My middle one, our Princess, is tall for her age.  She wears a shoe size bigger than mine and she’s ten.  She is of a thin athletic build.  My little guy, bless him, inherited my height–so he’s shorter than his cousin who is younger than he is.  I try to soothe his frustrations by imagining with him all the wonderful things he can do–like spying–if he stays on the shorter side.

It’s a hard road to walk, and it requires a sensitive heart and carefully thought out words to parent each one of them.  To help them to feel good about themselves.  Because I want that so much for each one of them–for him or her to be able to look in a mirror and say, “Hey, all right!  Looking good!”  No matter what.

Because I can tell you–each one of them is beautiful, inside and out, in his or her own way.

And it’s not just because I’m their Mama.  Or maybe it is.  But that shouldn’t matter.

I grew up worrying over weight.  I remember counting calories as a young teen.  WHY DID I DO THAT?  I am sad for myself thinking back on that.  I wish I had loved ME more.  It’s not something I let go of easily either.  I’ve tried to put the scales away, but sometimes they call my name.  Usually frustration follows, so because those scales do not bring out the best in me, I need to choose my company wisely and kick those scales to the curb.

Because our Princess is built differently–tall and slender, I guess we’ve always assumed she wouldn’t have body issues.  People look at her and see a tall, thin girl, something that is lauded in our society.  No problem, right?

Wrong.

We got to swim practice early, so she had been playing on the playground with her brother for a few minutes.  When she came up to get ready, she climbed up on the bleachers where I was sitting, and slipped off her playclothes that she was wearing over her swimsuit.  An acquaintance sitting close by called her name and said, “You are getting so tall.  And too thin.”  And she laughed amiably.

I teach my children to speak when spoken to.  To reply when asked a question.  To say thank you in response to praise or a compliment.

Y’all, I got no idea how I should have prompted my girl to respond to that.

Apparently she didn’t either because she gave the woman a long look with question in her eyes, and then went on about her business of putting on her swim cap and goggles.  She hopped down and flitted (she’s a butterfly in a people body I’m convinced) to the pool.

She loves to swim.  I doubt that the comment stayed in her mind or heart for any time after it was released into being.

But for me, I was in the shower when it hit me.  That’s where I do my best thinking sometimes, and as the water poured so did the tears.  I don’t want her to suffer body issues.  Bless her, she will wind up with body issues because of folks telling her they’re jealous because she has no reason to have body issues.

I can’t even.

I don’t want her to be self-conscious about her body just like I don’t want that for her brother or her older sister.  If I could prevent it, I would, but I’m afraid I have our culture, our values, and folks sitting on the bleachers working against me.

Can we all just sit down right now and agree that we need to stop talking about bodies–our bodies, other people’s bodies, all the bodies?  Can we agree that there are much better things to talk about–good food, old stories, the best bargain we’ve ever come across, or how to join yarn when creating an afghan?  Seriously, there are so many better things to spent our time with others talking about, don’t you think?

Tonight I’m thankful for all the variety there is in Creation–color, shapes, sizes…..and I’m thankful for each one of my beautiful, healthy children.  I’ll be dog if I want any one of them counting calories as a teenager.  It’s not okay.  I want them to look at the world and shine like the stars that they are, not stare in a mirror woefully wishing things were different–that they were different.

Just for this day let’s let go of the old standards of beauty, and let’s focus on the things we can control about ourselves–kindness, wisdom, compassion, honesty, fidelity, persistence.  Let’s be our best selves, and my hope is that the next time we look in the mirror, that’s who we see–our best selves.  It’s time to put a stop to holding ourselves up to a glossy page in a magazine and hold ourselves up to a higher standard.  One of the heart.  To be beautiful from the inside out.

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Now go be your beautiful best self, and sparkle on.

Love to all.

Ode To My Pajama Pants

My pajama pants.  And their pocket.

My pajama pants. And their pocket.

This.  This made me smile.  And giggle.

I mean, there’s a pocket.

On my pajama pants.

I’ve never seen such before.

Isn’t that precious?

And–shhh, don’t let them hear us talking–a bit unnecessary?

I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I put on my pajama pants, I’m all about the sleep.  As we say around here when we get tired and giddy or cranky, “I need to use the sleep.”  I can’t fathom anything that I would do once I don the pants that would require a pocket.

A back pocket at that.

But these pants are bold.  They are brave.  They are ready–they are outside the box of what is normally expected of pajama pants.  They say, “Hey, if something comes up, and we need to dash quickly, I got this.  No need to change back into those other pants–those uncomfortable ones…..Not only am I comfortable, but I’m functional too.  Look, I have a pocket.”

Yeah, you do.

Over the years, I’ve been known to call my pajama bottoms “silly pants.”  And y’all, if we are honest here, isn’t a back pocket on pajamas really silly?

Ahem.

Or is it?

Maybe, just maybe, this pocket, these pants with what looks unnecessary, maybe they should inspire me instead.  To step outside the norm, beyond what is expected, and be unique.  Original.  Be me.  Even if it looks like I’m a bit off or odd or eccentric.  There’s nothing wrong with being different, even if folks might laugh.

Ah, I’m sorry, Pajama Pants.

So what’s your back pocket?  What about you makes you stand out?  What’s different?  What makes you, YOU?

Embrace it.  Love it.  Accept and celebrate who you are.  Let the whole world see your “back pocket.”  Who cares if folks think it’s crazy.  Off the wall.  It’s what makes you you, and that’s as perfectly wonderful as it can get.

And–do the same for others.  Let them be who they are.  Maybe their back pockets work for them and give them hope.  You never know.

 

 

*****Tonight’s post was, as my Mama used to say, just for the fun of it.  (And then she’d say, if it’s not fun, don’t do it.  I hear you, Mama.  Thanks.  Love you.)

Love to all.

 

Nary a Waste

The past few mornings, Miss Sophie has arisen a little earlier than usual.  I don’t know how to figure it, but I keep blaming it on the time change.  Why not?  It’s an easy target and everyone else is doing it, right?

So she and I walk in the quiet morning air, breathing deeply as she takes her morning constitutional, tending to her business as she does.  Some mornings she draws it out more than others.  This morning was quite different from the past few mornings.  We’ve had both sunny and warm and sunny and cool in just the past few days.  (Welcome to Georgia.)  This morning the sky was overcast as I peeked out the window, putting on my shoes.  I expected it to be brisk, but instead it was very much becoming of a proper spring morning.  (No Winter, you’re still not fooling me. I know you’re still around.)

As Miss Sophie sniffed the ground, I took a deep breath and thought about how different and yet beautiful this quiet morning was.  And it occurred to me, all of these days, with all of their differences–in temperature and breezes and birdsong and sunlight or clouds–all of these were made by the same Creator.  The same Artist painted the sun and brightness of yesterday and the day before as painted the gray and overcast of today.  The same Hand waved the breeze gently yesterday as waved the whipping winds of today.

Same Designer and yet different designs.  No two days alike.

Is it any wonder the magnificence of differences in each one of us?  We have been designed and created by One who loves uniqueness and whimsy and color and light and all different shades and hues and sounds.  By One who delights in each one of us.  Just as we are.

Today was so different from the past few.  Tomorrow, bringing back a taste of the chill, will be even more different.  But will any of us disregard a day in our life as unworthy or a total waste simply because it is different?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  I can still get things done, I can still eat and work and do laundry and play with my children, you say, no matter the weather.  I can go to work and the grocery store and send my cousin a birthday card, no matter what the day looks like.  Oh sure, I might have to adjust my route or the timing of a thing or two if the day is very different, but a day that is a total waste simply because of the way it is?  That’s crazy talk, Tara.

And I say you are right.

No day, no matter how different from our ideal–balmy, sunny, light breeze, birds singing, just a few beautiful fluffy clouds in the sky–is a waste.  Even if it snowed tomorrow (ha! what year do I think it is? 1993?) it wouldn’t be a waste, would it?  It might not go just as we had planned, but I expect most of us would come up with something that would make us feel downright all right about the day.  A waste?  That’s blasphemy!

And so I think it’s the same with people.  The Artist and Designer and Creator and Maestro who came up with the Idea of how special we were and are and can be made each one of us different in so many ways.  It is really beautiful to think about.  As much as I seem to enjoy talking to myself (ahem), I don’t think I would enjoy it very much if all I had to talk with or relate to or share thoughts with were more of me.

And yet we have a bad habit of disregarding someone if they are different from us, don’t we?  I have been known to do it.  Oh well, she doesn’t see things the same way I do, so…..it would be a waste of my time to get to know her any more.  Oh my, he is definitely making different choices than I would…..did you see what he was wearing?  I’ll just move on, not worth getting to know him.  We’d have nothing in common.

I’m speaking in generalities, but the truth is we all have specific, very specific things that we use as reasons to disregard another person.  Their faith, where they live, their income bracket, their schooling, their skin color, their gender, their sexuality, their health status, their job status, their style of speaking, their marital status, their hair color, the music they listen to, the clothes they wear…..shall I go on?

It reminds me of our neighborhood drama.  On a daily basis one of the children tells one or several of the others, “We’re not best friends anymore.” Because…..you won’t play what I want to play…..you won’t listen to what I’m saying…..you won’t let me go first…..you won’t come to my yard and leave her out…..you won’t share your doll with me…..you went home for lunch…..

and on and on it goes.  Those seem pretty childish, I know, but the things described before theseconcerns and issues of the 5-10 year old bunch also seem pretty childish.  If we never associated with anyone different from us, how sad would that be?  I wouldn’t have very many friends.

Scratch that.

I wouldn’t have any friends.  I don’t think that anyone I know and care about is exactly like me.

And for that I am extremely grateful.

Throwing away the chance to get to know someone, someone designed and created and orchestrated by the Great One just as he or she is simply because he or she is different, that’s as ridiculous as throwing away a day in our life just because the weather isn’t perfect.

That’s just full of the foolishness, as my folks used to say.

Make today a day to go and meet someone new.  Someone different.  Or maybe you already know someone but haven’t made time to say hello.  I’m not saying you have to be BFF’s Forevuh or anything, but I bet you’ll be surprised if you really take time to listen to their stories.  You just might find you have more in common than you do different.  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll appreciate them for the work of Art they are.  And vice versa.

Go be fabulous.  You were made to be exactly that.

Love to all.

Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven…..

Friday morning I took the Zoo Crew on the road for a field trip.

Whoo hoo!

Since we are studying the Revolutionary War, we popped “Liberty’s Kids” in the DVD player and made the trek to Perry to the Go Fish Education Center.  My two split their time between talking and asking questions about the program and trying to figure out where we were headed.

That’s how I roll.  I rarely tell them where we are going ahead of time.  Just makes life easier when things don’t work out.  It also keeps them guessing and living the adventure.  But mostly it’s for expectation management–if something doesn’t happen, it lessens the disappointment to just mine.

Friday our instructor/ranger friend talked about the native animals in our area.  Before going out to play a game about bears and food and hibernating, the children were invited to either pet or hold (their choice) a toad, a box turtle, and an indigo snake.  It was fun watching all of the children’s expressions and seeing their fear be conquered by curiosity.  The instructor/ranger is a great teacher.  She has more patience than a little bit.  I learned a lot in our time there–most importantly, that all snakes are protected in the state of Georgia.  That’s right, it is illegal to kill any snake, including the poisonous ones.  Seriously?  Someone asked her to clarify that, and yes, that is the case.  Wow.  Not even sure what to do with that one.

After she passed around the turtle, she took a huge shell from their display and showed the children the interior of the shell and how it is formed.  Amazing actually.  She handed it to a grandfather who was there with his granddaughters, and they began to pass it around.  I watched the delight dance across Cooter’s face.  And then I noticed the wheels were turning.  He is much like his older sister–you can read his emotions in his face.  He was thinking.  And sure enough, when it was his turn, he started trying to put the shell behind his back.  Our Princess thought he was passing it to her around his back and moved to take it from him, whispering, “Don’t pass it that way.”  But no, he wasn’t trying to pass it to her.  He was literally trying to put it on his back.

Are y’all familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

I am.  Very well.  All the way back to my first little guy who loved them twenty years ago.  I used to remember their names by their colors but I’d need a refresher course now.
I have a feeling I’ll be getting one soon.

Cooter had his mind on these special turtles because his friend was having a birthday party, and the friend loves the Ninja Turtles.   My little guy has become fascinated with them of late.  Especially as we were shopping for a gift for his friend–he saw all of the “wonderful” toys and games and books and clothes made especially for Ninja Turtle fans.  *sigh*  Not something else, please.  Let’s just stick with Legos, shall we? (Oh they make those in Ninja Turtles too, never fear!)

My little guy, wanting so hard to be a Ninja Turtle.

My little guy, wanting so much to be a Ninja Turtle.

As we were leaving for the game outside, we picked up the shell and I helped him pose.  He was so thrilled to look like a Ninja Turtle, I think he thought he’d turned into one.  (They love pizza almost as much as he does, you know.)

Alas, no, baby boy.  A shell on your back does not a Ninja Turtle make.

It reminded me of the day I moved into Persons 323 at Wesleyan College at the beginning of my freshman year. My Mama was there helping me move in.  My Rosey roommate had her Mama and Daddy there with her.  Our parents were getting along so well, you’d have thought they were thrilled to be moving us out of their homes rather than suffering from the devastated emotions I am sure they were actually feeling.  Ahem.

Rosey’s Dad was talking about being born in Kentucky I think, but he assured Mama that they were not Northerners.  Mama nodded and said, “Well, just because a cat has her kittens in an oven, that doesn’t make them muffins.”

Oh my.

I shuddered, wondering what my roommate was thinking.  But they all laughed about it, and she and I did as well over the next few years.  Mama.  Seriously?  But yes, that’s just who she was.

And she was right.  Being born in an oven doesn’t make you a muffin.  Wearing a shell on your back doesn’t make you a Ninja Turtle.  Having to wear hand-me-downs and eat leftovers doesn’t make you poor.  Earning a diploma doesn’t make you a smart person. Or a nice one.

It’s what’s inside that counts.  Deep down.  Masks and facades and turtle shells aside, it’s the heart and soul and mind that make us who we are.

Not outward appearances or where we come from or how much money we have in the bank or what papers we have on a wall.  It’s our hearts.

Not a bad lesson to be reminded of by a six-year-old Ninja Turtle Wannabe.  Tonight I’m thankful for that.

Cowabunga, dudes!  And love to all.

Thank you to all of those keeping Aub’s friend Miss K in your thoughts and prayers.  She is doing well.  She has been walking some, doing physical therapy, and went outside for the first time yesterday.  What joy it brings me to be able to share that good report with you all.  Please continue to think of her and her continued healing. 

Dear January, You Need an Image Makeover

It’s been a long week.  Full of emotional ups and downs.  The kind of roller coaster that leaves you spinning and queasy after.  (Here I am acting like I know what it’s like to ride roller coasters.  Right.)  Still, yes, that kind of week.  Laughter and joy, sorrow and tears, worry and fun, peaks and valleys.

Last weekend we were able to get our tree home, put up, and decorated.  It took a couple of days all in all, but I was feeling, as my Mama and Great Aunt would say, mighty sanctimonious about it.  We did it.  No, I don’t have it in me to put all of our Christmas things out, but yes, feeling pretty good.  Despite everything, I felt like I could handle all that this season might throw at me.  I had my feet back under me again at least.

And then this blasted (excuse my language) thing came this week.

What?  I mean, just.....What?!?

What? I mean, just…..What?!?

It’s obviously the January issue of this magazine The Fella signed me up for (free for three months) through a special offer.  Which I appreciate.

But seriously?

They don’t know me like that.

They can’t just focus on one thing for us to work on?  To try?  They gotta get all in my chili?  I feel like they’re throwing things at me from all directions. I mean, did they leave ANYTHING untouched?  Finances…..body……eating…..parenting…..my things…..my clothes…..and my skin….really?! Everything except my house and my heart and mind.  But wait, check out the table of contents inside.

Wait for it.....yeah, now they've covered it all.

Wait for it…..yeah, now they’ve covered it all.

Oh honestly.  I’m not even handling December very well.  Just like that, my confidence and satisfaction with how I’m doing this holiday season were kicked to the curb.  January is trying to butt in and kill the joy.  And who writes this stuff anyway?  Notice that we shouldn’t worry about being the “perfect parents” anymore.  Now we should stress because we want to be perfect.  And apparently that’s an inappropriate goal for us to have.

*insert major eye roll here*

Y’all.  What are we doing?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Expect ourselves and others to recreate and change ourselves/themselves just because a calendar year has changed?  No wonder January and I have never gotten along very well.  It’s dark, it’s cold, and people are all about asking you what your “New Year’s Resolutions” are.

Just no.

Maybe it’s not all January’s fault.  Admittedly it is following a couple of months of partying with a capital P.  Joy with a capital J.  The season of rush and busyness and quiet meditation and candlelight and twinkling lights and festivities and remembering.  Who would want to walk through the door after that guy?

Not me.

Still I wish January could come up with another motto, another thing to affiliate with–you know, maybe get an image makeover.  I mean, wouldn’t you rather get a beautiful, colorful magazine (did you notice the neutrals with just a touch of color on the cover of this one? *sigh*) with a message scrawled across it in eye-catching font that says:

CONGRATULATIONS……YOU DID IT.

that is all

And then it could be filled with stories about great experiences people had during the holidays or ways to be kind to yourself, as in celebrating who you are in this very season, at this very moment.  January, don’t be all about the change.  Why not be about giving ourselves a big ol’ hug after all the stress and overwhelming beauty of being with people we love and making every effort we can to bake, to cook, to buy, to make, to read, to share, to love and to orchestrate the best possible magically muchly delightful Christmas for those we love?  Yeah.  Why not that, January?

I bet then you’d be proud to walk through the door after Party season.  Because I think quiet reflection and celebrating who and where we all are beats out managed chaos, magical madness, and teetering sanity every single day.

That’s a magazine I’d buy and hang onto for a long, long time.

Whaddaya say, January?  Will you at least consider it?

Love to all.

Thank you all for your prayers for sweet K.  She continues to fight and is in critical condition.  Please keep her and her family and the Wesleyan community in your thoughts and hearts and prayers.  All are appreciated.  ❤