Five Ways to Settle into Sleep

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Sleep. We all need it. Most get cranky without it, and our physical and mental health may very well depend upon it. In the February 27/March 6, 2017 issue of Time Magazine, Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley states that, “Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body for health.” (72)

When sleep is a topic of discussion, it always seems like someone can either plop their head on their pillow and be out for the night or will toss and turn most of the night and never feel like they are rested. There are the in betweens too: those who fall asleep right away, but wake up often or those who sleep, but don’t really get rest.

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I love going to sleep and I’m one of those who can fall asleep pretty quickly. I know, you can hate me all you want, but sleep hasn’t always come easily. I look forward to my rest, my dreams, and my body needs at least 7-8 hours of it nightly. When I don’t get that sleep, I am one cranky lady. So I make sure I do what I need to get that rest.

Here are some ideas:

Put away the technology: Robert Stickgold, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School states in the same article that, “The biggest thing I do to improve my sleep is to pull the plug. It’s not easy. I made the decision that my sleep comes before catching up on my life. So when it’s 11 p.m., I turn off my email, phone and computer. Warm baths and warm milk also help.” (73)

A major decision that I mainly made, but my husband respected, was not putting a television in our bedroom. I never wanted to use TV to help me fall asleep. There is an iPad that someone often uses to watch YouTube, which I mostly  ignore, but the use of visual technology can keep the mind active. I do keep my phone on my end table as my alarm and for emergencies if my son needs me. It is on vibrate, so often I don’t hear a text, but emergencies require a phone call, and I hear that buzzing. But all other notifications are disabled. Technology can be addicting, so try weaning yourself off and see what happens.

Essential Oils Diffuser: I have started using a diffuser to help with my sinuses and overall health. Click here to read other reasons to use a diffuser.  I do have a diffuser in my bedroom and have used it a couple times. Lavender is especially helpful for sleep. It can be used in a diffuser, a tad placed under your nose or a lavender scented satchel under your pillow. I have to say the diffuser kept interrupting my sleep. It wasn’t loud, but I heard dripping and the light stays on, which even with my eyes closed bothers me. But it works for many people and is an option.

Updating to do lists: At the end of the day, I make it a point to review what was on my task list and shift anything not done to the next day or reevaluate if I even need to do it. It might be something that isn’t necessary to be done that week, so can be changed to a future date. Writing any thoughts on a project or recording creative ideas remove them from my head, so I can relax quicker.

Journal: I write about my day in the evening for a couple reasons. It’s my daily report of my personal history and my way to filter through what went well during the day and what didn’t. It’s also my method to vent about anything or anyone that bothered me during the day. What is helpful with this process is that I don’t take it to bed with me. It’s like going to bed angry at your spouse. Before Luke and I got married, Father Tom told us to never go to bed angry. We have been able to do that for the most part, and it’s great advice. Sleep is meant to be peaceful and safe. Negative emotions affect rest. So another bit of advice. Never go to bed with your mind filled with emotions and discord. Write it out.

Meditation: Calming your mind after a day filled with activity, stress, and difficult decisions can be quite a feat. The continued practice of meditation can train your mind to turn off and focus on the task at hand, falling asleep. A simple way to do this is lying on your back with your hands on your belly or chest. Close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out of your nose. As you slow your breath, do a body scan. Starting from your feet, you can flex and relax them or notice how they feel. If you have any aches or pain in that part of our body, focus your breath on it. The purpose is to get your entire body to relax. Once your scan is done, focus on your breathing and nothing else. Release any thoughts or ideas from your mind and let them go. Tomorrow is another day to deal with them. Give your body and mind permission to relax and go to sleep.

I’m not a sleep expert. I’m not a psychologist. But as my husband notes, my cure-alls are tea, Allegra, and journaling!

What kind of sleeper are you? Do you feel rested in the morning or exhausted? Do you replay the day’s events in your mind when you lay down to sleep? What are a couple changes you can make to get more rest? Take a few minutes and write about your sleep patterns and decide if journaling can help you sleep better at night.

Keeping a journal by your bed for those last minute to do items and for dream recall is also helpful. Here’s to a good night’s sleep tonight!

 

 

 

Simply Snow

Depending on your perspective, where you had to be, and how much you like snow, today was either a good or bad day. I watched the news for a bit, and the reporters covered how nice it is for some to stay at home, but emergency technicians have to be out to help others in need. They don’t get a choice and are to be commended for their dedication.

Then on Facebook I saw a video of the City Mission of Schenectady explaining how their shelters are overflowing and volunteers still show up to feed everyone and lend support. They were grateful that they are able to help others and can only do it because of the support they receive from the community.

I’m sure others were very excited about the snow and braved it to go skiing or snow shoeing, and yet others can’t wait until spring and the warm weather comes.

Being forced to stay home was very productive and calming for me. I was able to get a lot done on a project for my foundation and enjoy watching the snow fall and flit around. My dogs enjoyed the snow, well at least Dakota did.

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Zoey barely made it off the steps and then ran back in!
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Dakota finally came in after he became a snowdon!

As I sit and think about this day and the simplicity of being home, I am thankful for it. I am thankful that I have a warm home to sleep in, that I have food on my table, and that everyone I know is safe.

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I am grateful for the brave men and women who risk their lives in this weather to save those who are hurt or ill. For years, my mom was an EMT, and we accepted that at all hours of the night she would get called out for emergencies. It takes a special person to be able to handle the tragedies and be able to focus in such difficult situations. I don’t know how she did it, but I was always very proud of her.

I am thankful for those who dedicate their lives in the service of others, and venture out in this weather so that those who are at a hard point in their lives have hope.

I am always thankful for my wonderful dogs who take life in stride and enjoy every moment whether it’s a blizzard or blazing sunshine!

To everyone who has to travel in the next couple days, be safe!

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

Make Journaling a Gift

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Photo by Alysia Thomas

As I went up to bed last night to read, I also carried my two journals with me. Even though my mind was set on reading, I opened my personal journal and recorded my day. Journaling is a gift that I give myself every day. It grants me the opportunity to decompress and let out the emotions, both good and bad, of my day. I believe it has a direct impact on how I sleep and possibly what I dream about.

I can sort out any issues I’m facing, and it allows me to take a step back to see if I handled a situation well or maybe not so much. I can review what I could have done better or what worked. Sometimes it’s just a spewing out of all the crap that weighed me down or how completely I wasted my day. Then once it’s written down, I let it go.

Then I lay my personal journal aside metaphorically and physically and open Stephen’s journal. There are times when a couple days or a week goes by, and I haven’t written to Stephen. I feel terrible, because it’s very hard to remember the details of what we have spoken about, what’s going on in our lives, and news of the world. I will look back at my calendar and fill in some spaces, but writing to him every day holds so much more active energy. I hate having to recap. It can be a quick note and sometimes it’s a diatribe of different phrases he said or a new artist he likes or about whatever is going on in his life. I enjoy the minute details, because this is what he’s going to read years from now. This is my gift to him, and it’s more precious than any other gift I can give him.

After I’ve written for 30 minutes, my eyes are too tired to read words, so I lay my head on my pillow. No I didn’t get to read, but I got to create. I chose to share my thoughts and record the world as I see it. Journaling heals me, so it’s something as important to me as brushing my teeth or eating right.

 

Check in on your journaling. Do you perceive journaling as a gift to yourself? Is it a chance to take time just for you? How can you change your mindset and do the journaling that you want to be doing? If you are, then that’s great! Keep it going. It’s never too late to start!

 

Settle in Sundays

Family Pets

When I came home this morning from running some errands, my dogs, Zoey and Dakota, happily wagged their tails. I love coming home to my dogs and their unconditional love.

I prefer big dogs, and I often wonder if I will always have a pet or if some point it will be too much.

My first dog was a mix breed, I think. His name was Monday. We had him when we lived in Long Island. My memories of him are dim, but I think he was brown and white. I also think we may have had to give him away. Then we had a white shepherd named Thor. My dad loved dogs and took care of training them. Thor lived outside a lot when we moved to Greenville. He ran along a dog run, but would often get loose and chase the cows and deer. I believe we had to get rid of him too, because of that.

Then there was Sambo. He was a huge black labrador topping 100 pounds. He was an awesome dog, and I basically grew up with him. My sister, Michele, loved cats so we had a bunch in there along the way. We didn’t have too much luck with the cats unfortunately, but I remember a photo of Sambo and Willie when they were the same size.

We lost Sambo when he got hit by a car on our road. We lived on a back road in Greenville, and people drove down that road so fast. It really was quite dangerous. We were all heart broken, but I think my mom took it the hardest. That Christmas my dad got her another black lab, but her heart couldn’t mend to take another dog in. So Brutus the Barber Beefcake became my first dog. I had met my current husband only a few days before so Brutus was always Luke’s too. Brutus lived me with in my first and only apartment, and then he moved into our first house when Luke and I got married. Brutus was always by my side when I was pregnant. Even though he started slowing down when the boys were little, he had the perfect personality for them. Brutus passed away in 2003 after 15 wonderful years.

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Brutus with Nick and his cousin, Marisa

 

For the first time in my life I didn’t have a dog. It had turned out that I was allergic to them, so it was an easy decision not to get another one. The only problem was that our boys, especially Nick, wanted another dog terribly. Nick had a hamster named Chipper and Stephen had one named Zippy who met with an untimely death when he squished his head behind his hamster wheel!

When Nick became ill, I regretted not getting him a dog, and when he passed it was a decision that deeply saddened me. I adopted Zoey three months after Nick passed. I just happened to be driving to the store and saw this gray bundle in a cart going into Pet Smart. I fell in love with Zoey and my allergies have never reacted to her. I think it has something to do with the fact that she isn’t a purebred. Who knows or maybe it was that I needed her too much.

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Zoey Shadow–Black Lab and Akita mix

Then two years later Dakota came along, because Zoey was a momma’s girl! Stephen picked out Dakota and Zoey approved her while Luke was away on business. Luckily it worked out and having two dogs is an adventure.

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Dakota Kenny–Black Lab, Shepherd and Tennessee wild dog!

Dogs fulfill my life in a way that is hard to describe. Even my siblings have had or continue to get dogs, and Stephen plans on having at least three when he’s on his own. They love you no matter what and our dogs tell our life stories. Where we were emotionally, physically, and socially; they know more about us than we will ever know. They understand us, protect us, and love us no matter what we do. I think I’ll have a dog as long as I can.

What types of pets did you have as a child? Who’s pet were they? Or were you not allowed to have pets and how has that affected you as an adult; tons of pets or none? What do you love about have pets and what does your dog say about you?

Step Back Saturday

This week I focused a lot on the past and finding who I am in order to live a better life now. I also wrote about knowing where I come from and how I came into this world. Of course we KNOW how we came into the world, but what was our birth like, what kind of childhood did we have? What experiences shaped up to be the person we are today?

So the other day, my mom gave me some photos, because I told her I wanted to start writing about my childhood. This is some of what I have learned so far.

Perseverance

I was born on October 19, 1966. I was three weeks early. As the story goes, the doctors were told to get a priest as it didn’t look like I would survive. I was 3 lbs 14 oz., which isn’t bad in today’s standards, but not having all the equipment back then was why they were doubtful. I literally fit in my dad’s hand. I’ll have to find that photo if there is one. My father refused to let the priest come in and bless me. He knew, even if I didn’t know it then, that I was a fighter and would make it.

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Here I am as a one year old!

I have always been a klutzy child. I’ve sprained my ankles more times than I could count, broke my leg at 5 years old, then fractured same one in my teens, then severed my ACL (again, same leg) at age 31. I’ve had multiple concussions, which would explain quite a bit. You see? Going back to my childhood explains why my body is hurting so badly today!

I also have had severe allergies since I was a teen. Food, environment, fragrances, you name it. The worst was poison ivy. I would walk our dog along the road, and I would get it. I even got it in the middle of winter, when I was chopping wood and a piece of wood hit my cheek. I think the reason why I can take my mind off pain so well is because when I literally had poison ivy all over my body and internally, I couldn’t do anything but lay on the floor and try not to scratch the hell out of my skin. Perseverance: I learned it from birth and so far it has served me well.

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8 years old

Fortitude and Speed

We moved up to Greenville by the Catskill Mountains when I was 7. As you can see I was a cute, but goofy looking kid. Not sure what my mom was thinking with the ruffles, but I had to go with it. A main reason for why we moved to Greenville was because my brother and I were constantly bullied. I’m sure for me it had a lot to do with my glasses. I say I gained fortitude, because I had to be brave to go to school every day. My glasses would get broken, and those who I thought were friends went out of their way to tease me.

I say speed, because I remember racing home from school to my house as I was chased by kids who for some reason wanted to hurt me. This made me very intolerant to seeing other kids bullied, and it wasn’t until I was in 7th grade that I finally stood up to someone. I won’t mention his name, but from that day forward I stood a little taller. It’s a good thing, because I wasn’t all that fast in my teen years!

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9 years old. I think I get points for color coordination between my Mickey necklace and my sweater!

I still have that necklace. It’s one of my most treasured momentos from my childhood.

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12 years old

Ok you would never know that I had curly hair! I think I was in my don’t show your teeth stage. I had very long hair before I turned 7. It was wild, curly, and always in knots. That may be why my mother cut it!

Confidence

I was extremely shy as a kid. I cried on the first day of school (wait I did that in college too!) and wouldn’t let go of my sister’s leg. I had a very hard time speaking to others and often had my head in a book. I had dreams of going to college to become a lawyer, so I forced myself to take public speaking classes. I also worked hard on getting rid of my Long Island accent and a family trait of mumbling. How was I going to defend the world if no one could understand me!?

As I grew older, I learned to speak up and not only express myself fairly well, but voice my opinion and stand up for what I believed in. I joined student council, wrote for our college paper, and went to some rallies.

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In Maine, 22 years old

I changed my major to my true love, English literature, and found my calling as a writer and editor. I spent most of my adult life raising my children, which I would never have changed for the world. The memories I have of my two boys are beyond priceless. What I learned as a child has only grown as the unpredictability of adult life has not only given me joy in the most precious gifts of my husband and children, nieces and nephews, but the strength to pick myself up after losing both my dad and son to cancer.

If I look close enough, I can see how so many different experiences and events in my life have prepared me for what was to come. Taking the time to absorb them and learn from them is part of what stepping back is all about.

Write about your birth. What are some major events in your life that have made you who you are today? What can you learn from them? How did they impact who you are now and what you do? What would you whisper to your infant self?

I would say, “Hang on to what and who truly matters and let all the other stuff go.”

Remember Who You Are

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Photo by Alysia Thomas

I woke up this morning with a scene from the Disney movie, Lion King, running through my head. It’s where Rafiki gets Simba to follow him to see his father who had died a long time ago. Samba only sees his reflection and doubts himself, since he isn’t his father. Rafiki asks him to look harder. When his father appears, he tells Simba that he has forgotten who he is. As he disappears he says, “Remember who you are.”

It’s hard to remember who we are when the world barrages us with what we are not. Maybe we aren’t driving around in flashy sports cars or living in a mansion or traveling all around the world. Maybe we don’t have biceps that resemble the nearest mountain or 6 pack abs or a Sports Illustrated body. Or perhaps you have all this or a happy family and life and still feel that something is missing. Maybe you know exactly who you are and don’t need to keep reading. Good for you!

But if you are like the majority of people today, you have forgotten who you are or never have really known. Why is this even important? Look at the photo of the trees. They are majestic, beautiful, life giving. If I am a tree growing in that forest, I am at once a part of this amazing network, but also separate. I have role models to look up to, but am also limited by their view. I can’t reach higher, because I am not quite sure why I’m there. Maybe it’s to help the others grow, but what happens when some of them get old and fall? Who am I when it’s my turn to branch out?

If I don’t know this, if I haven’t fostered this part of my soul, I could very well wither and die, too. How can my soul learn what it’s here to learn or fulfill my destiny if I don’t know who I am, where I hail from, or what I’m doing here? Finding these answers is part of the journey, part of the discovery, but I can spend my whole life looking and never quite understand.

It’s possible that we know who we are, but choose to fight against it, because it’s not comfortable or people have turned against us. If you continue on this path, then that is when dis-ease begins. That is when the universe pushes you onto the track that your soul set before you even entered this world.

I looked up the word ‘foster’ in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus (This is a cherished gift that my friend, Jamie, gave to me from her deceased father’s book collection.) Foster can also mean “cultivate, contribute to, stimulate, strengthen.” The opposite is “neglect or suppress.”

So what do I want to cultivate or grow? I want to cultivate a community of hope and support for those struggling around me, as well as grow the positive energy of those who are on their right path. Instead of ostracizing others who are doing exactly what they want or are called to be doing, I want to celebrate and honor that. It gives me the courage to do the same.

What do I want to contribute to? I want to help children who battle cancer every day and are faced with the fear of scars, permanent health issues, side effects, discrimination, misunderstanding, reoccurrence and death. I want to contribute to their positive well-being and give them an outlet for that fear.

I want to stimulate creativity so that others can find who they are within themselves. Through journaling and self-expression, we tune into our purpose and energy. I want to stimulate conversation and writing to appreciate that even as we are all individuals, we are also part of a whole community that can respect our differences and rejoice in our commonalities.

I want to strengthen my resolve to do all of this, but also do what I need in order to create harmony within my body, spirit, and mind. I can’t fulfill my purpose, the reason I am here, if my body is in constant conflict with my mind or spirit.

Who am I? I am someone who has the ability to build community, help others find their purpose and live harmoniously with myself and all that I am meant to be and do.

I think I need to delve deeper into answering Who am I, but this is a start. My goal is to create one or more personal affirmations that reflect who I am and can serve as reminders.  Maybe they will go on a card with a drawing or a photo of this tree and placed where I see it every day. This is ongoing and will continue to change as I evolve. I hope you will do the same.

What do you want to cultivate or grow?

What do you want to contribute to?

What do you want to stimulate?

What do you want to strengthen?

Who are you?

Live Concerts

Last night I supported my friend, Karen, on her mission to meet Adam Levine at the Maroon 5 concert at The Times Union Center. I do what needs to be done for my friends! Even though she didn’t get to go on stage and practice yoga with him, I’m sure he sang specifically to her!

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My friend, Heather, had an closeup view!
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Adam came into the center of the arena just so we could take a picture with him!

The concert was full of energy, and Adam Levine played most of their popular songs, ending with Sugar and a tribute to Prince, which was fabulous!

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Last Sunday Luke and I brought Stephen and his best bud back to college, and their goal was to keep playing songs that Luke and I liked or else they had to turn off their music. They did great playing songs from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cream, Pink Floyd (eh), Metallica, various rap songs, and many others. It reminded me of all the great bands that I loved, and we talked about who we had seen in concert.

I think I was 16 when I went to my first concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). It was Foreigner and Loverboy. Yes I wore a headband like Mike Reno and was out of my mind screaming.

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Then there was Huey Lewis. I basically cried and sang every word to every song. I was a lovesick hormonal teen and that was what we did. I actually got to meet Huey in college when I went backstage for a promotion. I was much calmer then, but it was still exciting!

Then there was Aerosmith, which I have seen probably 5 or 6 times. One show at SPAC was spur of the moment. My friends and I were cruising back to campus from some getaway, and I saw that Aerosmith was playing. I whipped into the parking lot, and we danced on the lawns. Tickets were so inexpensive then, and there was this safe sense of community that you could just show up and enjoy the show.

I talked through an entire James Taylor concert with my boyfriend at that time. Luckily we were on the lawn at SPAC, but we still got annoyed looks from the crowd around us. What can I say, James inspires you to think deeply.

Most of my concerts were in college. I went to see Stevie Ray Vaughn with my sister, Michele. She was still in high school, and I actually fell asleep during the concert. One too many nights of no sleep really got to me. I wish I had paid better attention, because he passed away. He was a legend.

 

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Great light shows

That made me think of all the bands and performers I wish I had seen. As an adult I got to see JLo and Enrique Iglesias  when I was in Miami, Barry Manilow just a couple years ago. Poor guy could barely move his face. REO Speedwagon with short hair, who performed with Chicago. These concerts were at SPAC, but now I sit in the seats. I need to be comfortable! REO and Chicago were phenomenal. Then there was Janet Jackson, whom I saw in college and was planning to see last summer, but she cancelled.

I wish I had gone to see Bruce Springsteen, but I didn’t appreciate him as a teen. I also regret not going to see Justin Timberlake a couple years ago and Bruno Mars. But I am making up for that as some of my gal pals and I are going to see Bruno Mars this October! Other regrets: Prince, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Cher. I’m sure there are others.

With the costs of concert tickets now, you really have to want to see someone perform. So when a concert comes up, I ask myself if I’ll regret not seeing this person in their prime. I think Bruno is one of them, although my husband strongly disagrees!

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I was very happy to see Adam Levine and will listen to more of his music. I like to see how the performer connects with his audience and often wonder how incredible it must feel to be up there singing to the crowd and hearing everyone’s reaction.

I’ll keep enjoying concerts and seeing some older bands, because it reminds me of my teen and young adult years.

Concerts you attend tell a lot about your life story. What was your first concert? How old were you? Where did you live? Why did you like that artist? Who else have you gone to see? Who do you regret not seeing? Can you make it happen? Some of the greats we just have to enjoy on our own, but if you really love an artist, get to their concert. Have no regrets.

Where the Heart Leads

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Photo by Alysia Thomas

The heart was there just like he said it would be all those months ago. He said she would know when he was on his way back, for two souls connected through time can feel their heart strings tug when they are close.

He left on a bright spring morning, just as the crocuses were shooting to life. He left the home they shared, the family they had yet to grow, and the hopes and wishes they dreamt each night. He pressed his fingers to her heart then to his. He promised he would come back as he boarded the plane. She felt that promise even as he held his hand against the cold glass, memorizing her face.

He wrote letters like war heroes of old, sending love notes and details of lands and people she could only imagine. She wrote from her heart telling him that her love delved deeper than the oldest sequoia tree roots, flew higher than the largest bird, and swelled taller than the grandest ocean wave.

Slowly the letters stopped, until she wasn’t sure if she had imagined the man she loved or if he was only a fragment of the dreams they had envisioned together. Almost a year had passed. Almost her heart led her away from his promise. Then this cold March morning, her heart strings had tugged her up and out into the woods where so long ago he had pledged his love for her.

The heart couldn’t lie. So she trekked through the snow with tears of anticipation rolling down her rosy cheeks. Just as the trees opened a path for her, she saw him. He sat in a chair on the porch of their cabin. His eyes dark like the endless nights she spent missing him. When she ran toward him, those eyes lit with hope.

She paused and stared where his legs should have been. Her heart broke from the pain she knew he must have endured. He looked away as tears fell from his eyes onto the legs that would no longer support him, but had saved his brothers. She knelt before him until their eyes met. She touched her fingers to her heart and then to his. The heart always knows and led them back to each other.

Where does your heart lead? Write from it.

Leaving Home

I’ve been thinking a lot about high school and who I was when I attended college. It may be because a reunion is being planned for this summer, but I also think it’s because Stephen just went back to college for his last trimester.

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Lisa, one of my best friends in high school.

I think about who I was at 17 years old or even at a 19, Stephen’s current age, and how it compares to what kids know today. I was a very naive young adult. My brother enlisted in the Navy when I was still in high school, so he experienced being away from home quite a bit.

I was the first girl in my family to go away to school. My oldest sister commuted to college, and my school was only 40 minutes in Albany at The College of Saint Rose. For me it may have been half way across the country. I remember the first night in my dorm with my roommate, Michele. I walked out of my room and called my parents on the pay phone in the hallway. I bawled my eyes out and begged them to come get me. I wasn’t use to being on my own, and the thought of not sleeping in my bed, and the responsibility of doing well was overwhelming. It took me about a week, but I managed to slowly get into the flow of school.

 

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The Roomies, 1984, Greenville High School Graduation

The Roomies were some of my closest friends in high school, and we hung out together during our weeklong senior spring break in Florida. For a long time we stayed connected, but life gets in the way, and it becomes harder and harder to take the time to get together. I think of Stephen and how he and his close friends make sure they get together during their breaks. It’s easier at that point, but I remind him that if you want to stay connected with someone, you have to do the work. It’s easy to think we are connected when we text or post photos on Facebook, but it’s almost a disconnect. We aren’t really seeing that person or getting the true essence of who they are right now.

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Janine and Joy

Yes, that was me all Freshman year: just barely hanging on by a thread. Second semester was better, and I made friends who were more in line with my values and ways of thinking. I learned a lot about myself and that’s what college was about. I have remained in touch with a couple friends from college, but others mainly on Facebook or if I get a Christmas card. I would love to see some of my friends again, but I know I need to make the effort.

The best part about leaving home and going to college was coming home and seeing everyone I missed. Now coming home means being with my immediate family, and I need to make the effort to see those friends who meant so much to me in the very important years of my life.

I hope Stephen stays connected with his gang of guys, whom I consider to be my boys, too. They reflect different parts of Stephen’s personality, and they have been there for each other in great times, and in very tough times. It’s those heart lifting and heart wrenching experiences that produce the bonds of everlasting friendship.

You can always come home or you can create your home wherever you are and invite others into it. I guess I have some friends to reconnect with and invite to my home.

What childhood friends do you stay in touch with? How about college or those early work years? Who have you lost touch with and would like to contact? How and when will you do that? No matter how much time has passed, it’s never too late to reach out and reconnect.

When the Sh** Hits the Fan, Close Your Mouth!

fan

I hope no one thought I was going to put anything brown on the fan! I’d only have to clean it! This phrase popped into my head this morning when my sister asked if I’d be in Latham today. I said, “Well, the power is out, Luke is away, Stephen’s car needs to go into the shop again for a major repair, and he needs my car for an appointment.”

Plus my dogs are shaking, because of the wind, and I can’t do any work without power, unless I borrow my neighbor’s internet! (As you can see that I’m posting, you know that’s happening!)

When I said it like that I thought: Dang! What is going on with the universe? I thought of that phrase and closed my mouth.

I’m laughing about it all, because in the large scheme of what else could be going wrong, this is nothing. Yes, I am far behind in my work, yes car repairs, especially this one, will cost a lot of money, yes it’s chilly in the house right now, and yes I miss my husband!

I can get all frustrated and blame National Grid, the wind, or the Butterfly Effect. But really it just is. I have other things that I can catch up on for work. Fortunately, Stephen wasn’t driving when his car broke down, and he’s not stuck at school with it. I can load up on sweatshirts to warm up or figure out how to use the dang generator! The dogs are great to cuddle with as always! And my husband will be home tonight!

It really isn’t a big deal, but sometimes when life gets overwhelming, the little things can add up. So I will look at the positives. I’m going to see my BFF Iris for her bday today, and our family is going out to dinner tonight with another bestie’s family. Hopefully, the power will be on by then! If not we will build a fire and roast marshmallows!

What has hit your fan today and how will you handle it?