Do you ever have that shining realization that work is easier than the rest of your life? It’s been happening to me lately. No, I don’t blab it all over Facebook because I’d rather blab it in person to the select few in my path, lol, but seriously, I wouldn’t want people to think my life is perfect. I don’t do perfect. Never have. Hoping someday I will. Lol.
Work is routine and I can do it. Don’t get me wrong. Working with teenagers is never “easy.” In fact, if I told you what’s been happening at my school, you’d be like, “Seriously?” but at least there is predictability to my job – it’s always going to be unpredictable. I’ve done it for 20 years, and I kinda know how to handle it. Whereas the rest of my life, well, it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster. Not that I would expect anything less, but I was kinda hoping. Crazy me!
So you know how they have those charts of how to measure when you have a lot of stress? And they have a list of things that might cause you stress like deaths, moving, new children, natural disasters, new jobs, etc. Yeah, I might have a few of those checked off. Let’s see:
*I’m retiring from my job after 20 years.
*I moved to a new house and town.
*I am trying to sell my other house in another town.
*I have ants in my new house.
*I have a two-year-old.
*I have a two-year-old who burned her hand on a garden tiller.
*I am commuting for the first time in 20 years.
*I am commuting with a 2-year-old.
*We have family functions every weekend till June.
*And, don’t forget, I am still employed, too.
Um, yeah, I think I might have some stress. In fact, let me assure you that if you see me, you can probably plan on me looking a little white-trashy with a cold sore or 5. That’s what stress does to me. But I know I’m not alone. EVERYBODY has stress! It seems to be a constant in our day and age, and I kinda hate that for all of us.
However, there are 2 saving graces to my week. One – I am going to see the Loop girls on Saturday and see horse racing for the first time ever! Secondly, even though I don’t need more to do, I am going to prep for one of my favorite holidays: May Day!
Why? You ask. Because the best way to get over yourself is to do something nice for someone else. Will it be full-scale? Probably not, but it will be something for at least a few. If you don’t know what May Day is or how much I love it, click here. Welcome to the magical world of a Happy May 1st in a world where we do too much working and complaining and not enough “loving thy neighbor.”
So if you are stressed and on the brink of insanity, pick up a basket or a bucket or a gift bag and shove that thing full of a little piece of happiness for the next guy.
Happy weekend, everybody!
Got a great May Day story for me? You have something good planned? Stressed out and have more on the list than me? Let’s here it, boys and girls!
So we are officially two weeks into living in our hometown again after 25 years in the ‘burbs. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve already realized a few of the reasons we are back on home turf, more than just raising our little girl in a small town and being close to the fam.
First off, I went to the locker in Hancock on Saturday, got me some dried beef and Colby cheese, drove back, went to Dollar General or “DG” as the locals call it lol, got my hooks to hold my hairdryer and was back home in a shorter amount of time than it would have taken me to even drive to Target, let alone shop and drive home! Oh, the efficiency! Yay!
Secondly, I’m outside Sunday trying to lasso my child back into the house when my former, I know better than to call her old, English teacher shows up at our door to welcome us home. Can I just mention how sweet that is? Now, I’m sure she has a few ulterior motives, but I’m game.
Third, a couple of nights ago, I had an actual conversation with my neighbors IN THEIR HOUSE! I have not hung out with neighbors just to shoot the sh** since I was in college. I feel like I should show up at their house with Domino’s pizza and Bahama Mama (if I could even find it) to celebrate!
Fourth, I went to pull out of my very soggy driveway yesterday morning and see a guy using a flashlight to look around on the ground in the cul de sac. No need to panic! As I suspected, he was simply gathering nightcrawlers! I love living in a place where people put a priority on fishing! Yes, ma’am.
Finally, I won some silent auction items at a Relay for Life event a couple of months ago in which I got babysitters for 3-hour blocks. I texted the first one this week to see if she might be available this weekend and she was! And she even sounded excited to babysit for us! Dude, if you have ever had a 2-year-old you know how damn happy that can make a person!
PS – we will be attending the Betterment Committee’s Murder Mystery Theater Saturday night if you’re interested, go here to buy tickets!
Seriously though, I will be honest and tell you that after it has rained every day for the entire time we have lived there and commuting, I was starting to have reservations… Starting to doubt my decision to load up and haul my hubby and baby out of the city. I may, or may not have, had a few meltdowns along the way, but I know in my heart, I was meant to be back home. Bon Jovi and I, we know these things. So here’s to my discovering even more great reasons to be home and here’s to all of you who continue to put up with me no matter where I live. Love you guys.
What great things have you realized once you moved? Or is there something you really love about small towns or the ‘burbs that you want to share? Are you mid-life-changes and got advice for me? Bring it on!
So, I have mentioned a few of the reasons why I will miss Bellevue, but I feel like that means I also need to say what I’m looking forward to in my hometown, AKA things other people take for granted when they live in a rural community!
I am looking forward to people waving at me, and not the only-the-middle-finger kind. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m in a small town than a jaunty wave from someone I may, or may not, know.
And with that sentiment, I also love knowing whose car is whose. Yes, you can call me a Nosy Nelly, but I like knowing who I’m meeting on the road and if I need to take the gravel so Old Man Klaus doesn’t hit me or if I should throw my head out the window like a sloppy-tongued dog to wave at my bro-in-law.
Speaking of, I’m kinda excited to be living next to my family again. I know I haven’t been that far away, but there’s a big difference between 5 minutes and 45 when you’re carrying a prime rib or a 2-year-old. I am looking forward to being able to run to my parents’ house to let Ellen play with the calves or read a book with grandma when I know that my husband is going to be late getting home. I also will be able to get my hair cut on a weeknight, and I’m hoping my other sister drops off dirt cake occasionally. Ha ha.
You can also laugh at me when I tell you I’m looking forward to moving home in hopes of having a few more friends. I have found that the ‘burbs are full of acquaintances, but, at least in my case (which maybe it’s just me, I’ve often suspected that, but my sweet husband promises me it is not the case), it has not been full of long-time-laugh-and-drink-daiquiris-while-our-kids-play kind of friendships. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been blessed with some incredible people in my life while I’ve been in Bellevue, and I plan to hold onto the ones I’ve got, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more and I’m kinda hoping for some couple friends. We clearly need to get out more! Lol.
Another small thing is that I’m ready to see sunsets and sunrises again, or for that matter, stars in the sky. We live in a very treed-in neighborhood and although I love the trees, I miss seeing the sky. You will probably notice a sudden and annoying increase in my scenic view pictures on Facebook. Lol.
I’m also ready for that sense of community that only comes from a rural town. I want to be a part of something. I always have. I like knowing everyone and since I don’t have a lot of skeletons in my closet for the gossips to parrot about, I feel pretty safe about my rumor mill status. I think they call it nonexistent.
And, finally, I may sound like a snob and I don’t really mean to be that because Nebraska has been good to me, but well, I’m excited to say I’m an Iowa girl again!
I could go well beyond that list, but seeing how I should be packing instead of blah, blah, blahing as my husband would say, I’ll just say this: bring on the pott co! Peace out, NE!
Have you ever ended up somewhere for a really long time unexpectedly? That’s me and Bellevue. We’ve had a good run considering it was supposed to be a 9-month lease, and I’d be out the door. I totally blame the pool at my apartment complex. It lured me in. Now, here I am 20 years later realizing I’m finally gonna leave. And have you ever noticed you appreciate something or someone a lot more when you realize you’re not gonna have them around anymore? Yep. It’s like that aunt that pinched your cheeks or your fat jeans you no longer need but love for what they did for you or that ex-boyfriend who was cute and bought you flowers even if he was too dumb to keep. That’s my relationship with Bellevue.
We go way back – 20 years. Lol. Never thought I’d say that, but lately, I’ve been looking around and, surprisingly enough, I’m gonna miss this place.
The materialistic side of me is going to miss fast food row. Laugh if you want, but it’s nice to have so many choices. When you grow up with a Dairy Queen and a JACS Steakhouse, variety is the spice of life, or at least your diet. I love me some Swine Dining ribs, some Catfish Lake tenderloins, some Stella fries, some B&B Classic Dogs (peanut butter and bacon, baby), some Sonic tots, some Reese’s Brownie Royale from Summer Kitchen Cafe, and a strawberry smoothie from Scooters. Can we still come over and eat here? Well, Jason tells me it will still be fine to cross the river, but you know how it goes, you just don’t get there as often.
The non-materialistic side is going to miss deer grazing in my backyard. Now, maybe I will finally be able to have hostas and be able to wake up in my lounger without a deer staring at my pasty white body, but I like the deer. I like their lack of concern for me and that sometimes you have to stop and take a picture of the baby triplets in the middle of the street causing you to be an extra minute late to work. I’m gonna miss the overly-friendly squirrels that eat our pumpkins, the rabbits that hippy-hop through my yard, and the occasional wild turkey that crosses the road much more leisurely than any chicken people speak of.
And for that matter, I’m gonna miss my backyard, too. I love that it’s green, lush, and peaceful. I can lay out in all my lack of glory and nobody sees me but the deer and the jet pilots flying overhead (sorry, boys!).
Speaking of men in uniform, I’m gonna miss the patriotism, too. One of my favorite things about Bellevue is that people honor the flag and the military here. Obviously that might have something to do with Offutt Air Force Base, but that’s okay by me. I like the Veteran’s Day parade (and the Aeros to Areospace one). I like that most of my neighbors have an American flag flying. I like seeing a jet come in for a landing over my head. Oh, and don’t get me started about how I stalk the Air Show from my deck! I also really like the old guy down the street who trained people to survive in hostile territories. I like that nobody really cares about your nationality because there’s a little bit of everything here because people have been all over the world and skin color is the least of their concern.
I’m also gonna miss Haworth Park. I love that I can get that close to the Missouri. I love the view on a snowy day, on a foggy day, on a warm sunrise morning, or the view of the bridge at nightfall. Some of my favorite pictures have come from there.
And believe it or not, I’m going to miss my sense of anonymity. Yeah, I’m a Cheers “Where everybody knows your name” kind of girl in most situations (that’s one of the many reasons we are moving home), but then there’s that other feeling of being safely tucked away in your house with a blanket and a nap in your future on a Saturday afternoon that really can’t be beat. And believe me, nobody’s knocking on our door in Bellevue. Not even a Girl Scout cookie salesman.
But I will miss this house. It was our first house. Our first “we-really-are-adults” purchase. Sure, there are plenty of things that could be upgraded, but it’s the home that we have shared for 10 years, the home we brought our baby home to, and the home I decorated the way I wanted it with the pennies we had at the time. And don’t think for one second I won’t miss my bathroom wall complete with The Brady Bunch and Julia Child smashing nuts. lol.
And, of course, there’s one other building I will miss. It might surprise some people, but I will miss Logan Middle School. I have spent pretty much my entire adulthood going to that building and meeting some pretty special people in my life and some pretty impressive kids that became amazing adults. Because that’s what it comes down to – the people. I’m gonna miss the best daycare provider ever! I’m gonna miss being a few minutes away from my walking partner. I’m gonna miss my taxi service crew. I’m gonna miss the lunch ladies that sing to me, and I’m gonna miss the me that has all those crazy memories.
But that’s okay. I’m glad there will be something to miss. And those people – well, I will make time for the ones that understood exactly why I’m leaving even when there’s all those things I will miss. They’re the ones I will take with me, even if I have to cross the river to see them.
Change is hard for me, but I’m ready. So thanks, Bellevue, for the memories, but there’s a little house in a little town waiting for me and my little family…
So have you seen those My InTent bracelets you can get? I was watching them talk about them on the Today Show and about how the guy started it as a fun project he did for his friends and for birthdays and then, because Jay-Z and Kanye happened to wear one, it has turned into a crazy big business. If you haven’t seen them, he uses this string and ties it to what looks like a washer and there’s a word etched into the washer and you tie it around your wrist. The word is supposed to be something that means something to you and that keeps you focused on what you want in life.
Personally, I think I probably need more than just a bracelet! But I do understand that a visual reminder you see constantly should actually help. It’s like the Fit Bit telling you that you haven’t done crap today or looking at the pile on your desk as the cue that you are behind and swamped, except this is positive.
So what would your word be? Do you even have any ideas?
I was thinking about it for me. At first, I thought FOCUS, but that kinda defeats the purpose of finding a word to focus on. Lol. So then I thought of TELOS. Telos is your ultimate object or aim or purpose in the world. If I knew what my telos was, I’d already be focused on it! Lol. I still think it would be a good option, but my husband and I were having a conversation about how we are moving back to Oakland, and he said the perfect word. He said I was the WILDCARD. And I loved it!
That, my friends, is what I always hope to be: the wildcard! In any given situation, I could be the difference maker. I could be the one that sways the decision. I could be the one they don’t see coming. I could be the unexpected. I could be the unpredictable one. I could be the one that pushes it to greatness. Now what that greatness is? Please don’t ask! Because I don’t know right now, unless of course you are referring to how I add just the right amount of frosting to a brownie! Lol.
But I do know I like the sound of being a wildcard. I like the idea of showing you left and going right. I like the idea of being the ace in the hole you have tucked away up your sleeve when you’re out of cards. I like being the surprise at the bottom of the crackerjack box.
So think about it. What is your word? Or what is the fun word you really want to be about? Share this post and ask your friends on Facebook what it should be! God knows we could all use some fun posts on fb right about now (instead of those awful political ones)! Or you can just tell me in the comment section. Maybe you already have a brilliant idea on your own!
So tell me what you’ve got to say! I’m excited to hear it!
People, I have one word for you: Give. Give the drama a rest. Give a crap about someone else. Give your time or your money or your love to a cause or a person who needs it. Give of yourself.
I continue to listen to people protest about what is happening in our country. I am personally sick of it. Quit complaining and make America great again, not by protesting or complaining or hating, but by doing good. That, my friends, is what makes America ‘Merica.
When I was a kid, history class was all about how America was a melting pot of people coming here to live the American dream. People who voted because they had the right to vote. People who started businesses because they believed they would succeed here and because they were allowed to start their own business. People who talked to their neighbors and lent a hand to them when they needed one. People who didn’t just bitch, but worked hard to make something better or just chose not to get in the fray and went about their day.
I firmly believe there are still a lot of those people. Those are the people that live quietly and humbly or if they are like me, they do their fair share of whining to their friends, but suck it up and go about their day as a decent human being anyway.
I do not care if you are a Democrat, a Republican, a cartoon addict, a lunchbox collector, or a Cosmonaut with pink, curly hair. What I care about is whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution.
So as part of the solution, I ask you to give.
Give a flower to your wife so she remembers why she loves you.
Give canned food to the Food Pantry to help the needy.
Give yourself a hot bath after a long day so you don’t hate people.
Give a blanket to the homeless shelter because you’re not homeless.
Give a laugh to your co-worker when they are about to explode.
Give a Coke and a smile to your boss because they need thank yous, too.
Give your phone a break and your family some homemade brownies.
Give the person who called to hit you up a “yes” because they are volunteering, too.
Give your mom or dad a call because they gave you life.
Give your kid a crayon, stickers, and a heart pattern for cards to send.
Give love a chance to be heard here in our country because it isn’t being heard now.
Give thanks you live in a country where you are allowed to be you.
Give yourself time to shine among those who aren’t.
Here’s the deal. Yes, there’s a lot of crappy people in the world. Some of them may even be in the government, but we are here, we’re free, and we’re able. Thanksgiving is next week. Be thankful. Be kind. Be something you wish the rest of the world were. Lead by example. Be the one John Lennon would have sung about or the one MNBC won’t talk about. Most of you do your part each and every day by raising families, by going to work to pay your bills, by going to band concerts for kids, by not killing anyone, by not painting hate signs on people’s stuff, by treating others how you wish to be treated. Yay you! I’ll be the one to say it because we all need to hear it. We need affirmation we are doing good that’s how you keep getting good. Why do you think Sheldon gives Penny those chocolates? Reinforce good habits.
I give you this motto to use during the following weeks:
Maybe we should make t-shirts? 🙂
Tell me some of the ways you give. I want to hear them.
Elections: ick. No shave November: ew. Thanksgiving: yum! Black Friday: woo-hoo! The Blessed Turkey Project: yes, please! November brings lots of things, but, for me, one of the most important is that of giving thanks. This year especially, I have been spending lots of time worrying about what I need to accomplish and what lies ahead and a lot less time remembering how lucky I truly am. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to spend some time focusing on others and less time obsessing about my crap. Hence, my love of one of my favorite things about November: The Blessed Turkey Project.
Are you a blessed turkey? Were you one last year? Do you wanna be one this year? Do you even know what one is?
A blessed turkey knows they’ve got it good. They know that there will always be bad people in the world, but they don’t want to be one of them. Maybe they conveniently forget how lucky they are when they get mixed up in the drama of the daily grind, but when they really think about it, they realize how much they have to be grateful for. I’m a blessed turkey, and I want to welcome you to join my Blessed Turkey Project.
For the month of November, I want to see my Facebook newsfeed filled with glad tidings. Every day till Thanksgiving, post a note, a picture, a cartoon, or whatever comes to your mind of something or someone you are thankful to have in your life. It’s easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to be all mushy-gushy or philosophical. Say you’re thankful for your mocha latte or your furnace or your best friend’s sister’s husband who killed the opossum that was hanging around your barn. (I know. Those are the real-life dramas right there!) Say whatever you have to say, but be thankful for what you’ve been given. You can do so on your own personal Facebook page and then tag The Blessed Turkey Project or you can just post on the The Blessed Turkey Project wall. Whatever you want.
If you want to be an overachiever, I will post ways you can do so throughout the month (but don’t feel obligated). Do as much, or as little, as you want. If you join the party at all, you’ll still be a blessed turkey in my eyes..
Even if you haven’t participated in my project, maybe you’ve said what you were thankful for each day on Facebook as part of some other group. Yay you! I am all for being thankful no matter what you call it, but I hope you consider taking time to join my party. Why?
*Because I’m sure you have a shortage of things to do on your to-do list! LOL
*Because I’m going to bribe you with prizes and feel-good moments others will envy! (true story actually)
*Because you are a good former Girl Scout/Boy Scout/4-Her/Catholic school goer or whatever that made you loyal to a cause or doing good!
*Because who doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate good times???
*Because “you’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…” Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Go have a Coke and enjoy that song in your head the rest of the day. J
*But seriously, come join the party and invite your friends because there’s no greater feeling than realizing you are surrounding yourself with the right people and that there’s far more good in this world than bad if we just look a little closer.
I can’t make it any clearer than that. If you’re sick of your newsfeed being recipes, complaints, or election talk, come over to the good side with us. Participate every day. Participate once a week. Participate when you can. It costs nothing and will make you feel good. I promise.
Post the things and people you are thankful for. Do a few good deeds along the way and tell us about them. Just be a voyeur and snoop on what the rest of us are doing, that’s fine, too. Just show up. We’ll leave a smile on for you.
Finally, it’s my 5 year anniversary of the annual Blessed Turkey Project. Thanks to all of you who’ve been there along the way. And thanks to all of you who are coming on board. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for the anniversary, hope you’re ready! J
Go here to participate: https://www.facebook.com/events/357549507928043/
Any advice for new-timers? Excited and wanting to shout it from the rooftops? Let’s hear what you have to say!