Some words break your heart
Double worse for all the
Subdued wishes
That swirl about and get
Scattered by the wind

Pieces of you
Flecks of sunshine
Like the glint of broken glass
On the asphalt
After a crash

But that melody—that sweet song
Left playing in my heart
Never to skip
Never to stop
I'll always have it playing on repeat

Until you remember
Who I am
Where I belong
Who you are
And that you belong here—forever with me

false imprisonment

We trap ourselves, don't we?
With all the boxes and fences,
The walls and

Our minds get stuck somehow
Believing that the only way
To be happy is
Status quo.

Even if it hurts us.
Even when it hurts others.
We just don't learn to take
Care enough.

As we lock ourselves away,
Our hearts and minds
And even our bodies at times, we believe
Our lies.

I'm not hurting anyone. 
I'm happier this way.
I don't need anyone. 
No one cares anyway.

And other such nonsense.

The truth is that love does conquer all—
If we let it.
When we let it.

How much longer will you sentence
How much longer will deprivation be
Your cellmate?

You could have something like
A soulmate
Someone who actually cares.

No hiding.
No lying.
No fake.
Just real.

When will you love yourself enough
To stop building brick and mortar
For your heart?

The judge and jury is you.
The warden is you.
The parole board is you.
The heart waiting to love and be loved—is yours.

picking myself up

I am afraid to dream again
Nothing I ever get my heart set on
Comes to stay

I let myself get stuck in the clouds
For too long and now I can't
Find my way

You make me so happy
I let myself be happy
I let myself dream

Only to wake up to nightmarish days
Where no one cares I'm ripping
Apart at the seams

And then I look around
Abandoned and alone
I pick myself up

Choosing joy
Choosing to carry on
Without you without anyone
But me to love

Tears stripping me of pride
Breaking my dreams like glass
Slivers festering forever

I go on
With my companion
The fear of never being loved


Words can remind us of
The forever we have in our hands
A song can take us to
The story we once shared
Light filtering through a window
Tells us what we want to hear
That life is short yet glorious
And we must draw close
If we are to make a life
That is written with love
And care and happiness
Rekindling and reshaping 
The us that we hold so dear
Each day, bright and clear

I remember

When there is nothing more I can do
For myself
By myself
To help myself

When life overwhelms and underwhelms

When nothing is working
No matter what I do to change

When no one seems to understand
Or care
Or believe in me
Or want to stay around

When my heart is

When the sun doesn't seem to shine for me . . .

I remember the One who made life possible
I remember my God and Savior
I remember Jesus Christ

And I let in the love and peace
He offers to me
Until again I feel seen

Because of Him
There will be enough
To get me where I can rest
Where I will be loved and free
Because of who I am
A daughter of God divine


A strong word for strong situations: illegitimate
Stabs like a knife in your back if you stop to think about it
What gives any word the power to strike?

Our actions.

What makes anything illegitimate?
The things people do or don't do thus
Creating incongruity.

Big words preceded and followed by
Big actions
Sometimes bad actions
Usually with big and bad consequences too

A ripple effect
Ruining and resetting
The chain of events needed
For all the good to come to you

Because it will
But you have to keep your face to the sun
And set aside the things causing
Incongruity and
Illegitimacy of heart.

my real self

My light rejuvenates in the sun's brilliance 
Despite the clouds that hang on 
In winter's dark months
Soaking in all I can—learning all I can

Hope burns away the darkness
Faith, devotion
Allowing myself to remember

Proving that the light will win 
Lead me to a smile
A tender mercy 
A perfect brightness

My eternal self—my real self—who I am

without an us

Heartfelt words softly spoken
Fell upon the ground
Wanting for a home to know

The warmest wishes left to cool
And no one there to notice
The bread baking coming to a close

Ever gently, the meter is dialed back
On effort and attention
This flame is slowly dimming

With no one watching over
To keep the coals from suffocating
Life goes on without an us

And the keeper of the keys
Doesn't even seem
To realize what is being lost


falling           apart
as the hours tick
past like money


the drain.

picking up the
p i e c e s
faster than
I lose my energy
for doing so.

 knowing that
my story is not over.
And it will never be over
   even once I find a place
to call home for this heart—
my beautiful, precious,
 giving, eternal

master the arts

Write me a story I never want to forget
With words between each line
Whispering of love returned, intertwined

Paint me a picture I can't ever unsee
With colors and textures that touch
Grasping my heart with their purity

Sing me a song that becomes part of us
With notes sung daily, clear and true
Keeping our cherished hearts ever in tune

so much

Running out of words,
For grief and sadness
Take so much;
They steal so much;
They ask too much.

The heart heavy laden
With love and hurt
Can only let in
So much.

Fainting with grief 
Tells the story
She can't tell.

Careworn and fainting.

Writing my heart out.


Hit by dry lightning
and all I could do
was keep walking,
Barely able to get out
the word no 
as my legs
carried me through.
Floating down
the road in disbelief
and misunderstanding.
Next thing I know,
I'm walking down
the street and then walking
down a sidewalk
and onto a patch of grass.
Without realizing it entirely,
I stood in the warmth
of summer talking
about a rift
in my universe
That would not be left gaping—
if I could help it—
if he would help it too.


Standing aside watching the world go by
Without her
Taking in all the excitement and joy 
As a bystander

Once a participant 
Cast off
Set aside
Walked off the field on her own accord

To join in on the sidelines 
At times
When it doesn't hurt too much
To watch everyone 
Playing without her
Trying to make cheerleader worth as much

To no avail.

be real

Glitter on roses just showered by rain and sun
Comfort from a cup of homemade soup
Wishes made on stars and dandelion tufts
Hopes and dreams come true for me and you

Silence that speaks the volumes of a life well lived
Hearts that care for longer than a one-act play
Words written on scented paper making sense of all of it
A love that entices and reminds you to stay

A soul strong enough to hold fast to faith
Vision that sees to the center of eternity
Happiness that is reflected in my eyes and face
Strength to accept gifts from synchronicity

my heart's song

There is a song in every person's heart
That can only be heard by a select few
The melody is always playing
Always calling out for home and meaning
I hear your song and want to be in harmony
With you forever in tune

You hear my song too
Or at least you did
I can't quite tell yet
If you just turned the volume low
Or if you snapped the receiver off
Completely letting go

My song is on full volume
As I dance and weep my way through
This life ever changing its tune
Someone, if not you, will hear my song
And sing it back to me
When I forget the words

There is a song in every person's heart
And mine will always have a few notes
Written in because of you


To write for the sake of writing
Seems like no writing at all
Yet I find myself finding words
As I write my way onto the page
I find a tear in the armor
That was forged to keep me
Safe from all the pain
Of writing about nothing
As if it were something
Yet when I stop to let myself think
Nothing was always truly something
And still is—
Something so real you can taste it
Like cool lemonade
On a warm summer day
Something so real you can feel it
Like the velvety smoothness
Of your voice echoing in my heart
Something so real you can see it
Even if you don't want to
Something so real it cuts like a knife
Because reality wasn't enough.

homespun love

porch sitting as the sun rises—or sets
with hands held and hearts warmed on high
(visions of a homespun love beset
my waiting, bated heart in need of a home)

simple in its tendency to bring a smile
unsophisticated, plain and simple truth
a love inestimable in worth spanning time
comforting tenderness seasoned with ruth

blanketed with understanding
peppered with sweet wanting
created by two willing hearts
stitched together by each other—for each other

each day spinning, spinning
with purpose and care
always working to be winning
a homespun love, both honest and fair

accoutrements of war

Silent apathy
Holding back
Omitting the truth
Doubt unjustified
Hearing only what you want
Putting walls up to keep real love out
Leaving without saying goodbye

Being there. Simply being there.
Caring about their dreams
Loving them through their flaws
Holding yourself tightly
Instead of lashing out
Giving more than you receive
Yet somehow you receive more than you give
Even when it hurts everyone
Telling the truth
Because you want to be believed
Telling the truth
Because you want truth too
Telling the truth
Because somehow you know they deserve it
Offering trust unearned
Listening, truly listening
Speaking straight from the heart

upon meeting

I love a man 
who is a boy 
who keeps giving 
pieces of love 
to too many 
while stealing 
my girlish heart 
in a way 
that I know 
I gave it freely 
upon meeting him, 
my darling

finish line

The end of yet another Slice of Life Story Challenge, and I am still alive. It is amazing.

Honestly, I still don't see how I found things to write about. I don't see any real brilliance. And yet, somehow, I am proud of myself for not giving up, and in that, I find a glimmer of brilliance.

It takes energy and strength and a whole lot of light to shine the way I do. When I don't feel like I can go one more moment all alone and imperfect—making so many mistakes with no one to support me—I am met with tender mercies. This month has been filled with many of them. So many I can't even tell you. Others' slices, comments on here, texts from various friends just when I needed to feel seen, being invited when I was lonely or sad. So many more examples even. And it all kept me going.

Writing is oxygen to me, so it is strange to feel strangled by it while also being freed. I will continue striving to find my new voice though because I know that this finish line leads me to my goals. Every writing challenge I meet and complete gets me where I want to be.

That said, I invite all to come back for poetry every single day in April. It should be interesting to see what I can muster.

And one more thing—thank you. Thank you for reading my words and offering so much support this month. I needed every read, every comment, and every share. It kept me going. I owe this success to all of you.

shifting blame

We all do it but most certainly not on purpose—except for major jerks. When situations arise and we can't get things right, it is natural to look for a reason and solve the problem by leaving it where blame lies. However, the way our minds work doesn't always give us the truth. Our self-preservation kicks in, and we are looking everywhere except at ourselves.

Children do an excellent job of shifting blame. They don't want to see how their lack of self-discipline is why things aren't working out for them. They make the problem all about how the parent(s) hasn't gone along with their last-minute demands. This same generalization can be applied to the student-teacher relationship. It just has assignments and participation on the table. And no, I am not freshly traumatized or anything. I do not know what would make you think that. 

Adults do this blame seeking too. Like children, we immaturely fall into the old game of looking everywhere except at ourselves to find who/what could have done/gone differently. It's almost like a disease of the heart if we don't stop though. It can get so out of control that we end up flat out lying to ourselves, and that is a great disservice to everyone around us. A great deal of pain and bad relationships ensue. We have to take responsibility for how we affect others, or we won't ever have better outcomes.

Even still, there is a flip side to this train of thought. Sometimes we take on too much blame. Sometimes we take on blame that is not ours whatsoever. That is shifting blame as well. And none of it is good for us.

I am guilty of both types. I do count one of my finer qualities as working very hard at rooting this out of me though. As soon as I find myself in error, I do all I can to make things right—even if it means I have to swallow my pride and apologize to people who are unforgiving. I just do it anyway. It's on the other person if they don't want to forgive after I've done what I can to make it right.

Shifting blame is a natural response, but it is possible to rise above it. In truth, it is imperative that we do if we are to reach our potential to love ourselves and others more fully.

Keeles in Concert

As I read comments on someone else's slice of life, I was reminded of this song called "Angel Lullaby" and immediately thought of my extraordinarily talented aunt and uncle singing the duet when I was a child. 

I grew up heading to Santa Maria, California near the central coast's Pismo Beach often and a time or two to Springdale, Utah just outside Zion National Park for these family talent shows my mom and her eleven siblings and all their children would put on in my grandparents' community. Everyone would sing or dance or do a comedy act and such. I still remember my Uncle Curt doing his funny stuff. I'll just say "Edelweiss" has always been more special to me when remembering his primitive beatboxing methods coupled with my Uncle Sam's innocent singing and was over the top hilarity. 

When I was around twelve or thirteen years old, I sang "On the Good Ship Lollipop" with two of my closest cousins with makeshift giant lollipop props made from cardboard we cut out into large circles and wooden sticks my grandpa had made. We had matching dresses and ginormous paper bows—quite the musical number.

Rehearsals seemed to be all day. You'd see aunts and uncles singing and playing the piano and children playing and singing and practicing on the stage—and others running around the church where we'd perform later that night.

I remember my mom. Singing. Playing piano. Being a musician. She was so wonderful. She'd laugh so much, and not a foolhardy load of laughter that is empty, but one that signified her joy.

And all of this has made me miss my aunts, uncles, and cousins, my grandparents and my parents, and all the delightful opportunities that were provided to us in such a unique and talented family. My grandparents really set a good example of how a family should work together.

My Aunt Becky and Uncle Sam sang this song in such a way that has impressed upon my soul. I wish there were a YouTube video of them to share, alas this recording will have to do. I hope it brings a smile to your face and some peace to your heart as it does mine.

uncomfortably numb

Transition is like my new home. Never able to really settle in and get comfortable, but I'm always too blessed to feel anything but guilty whenever I complain and call my life crappy.

I still do though. Y'all know this fact all too well. Me and my ragging about not being able to write while I am writing. It's kind of pathetic actually. And I must laugh at myself. It is required.

The thing is I like feeling things. I like being able to laugh at myself, my jokes and others' truly stupid humor. I like being grateful and showing my appreciation. There's something so healing about focusing on what's helping you grow—even if it's some of the stuff that makes you cry or want to kick junk. I don't like being upset though. It wracks my soul to have so much to be genuinely sad and grief-stricken over while still striving to get over it and keep going with joy in my heart. I keep at it because I know it's possible. More than possible even, it is readily available as soon as I get over the hard things.

So while I still feel "unable to write" a lot of the time lately, I am not going to allow myself to get comfortable with this sensation.

a few more days

If I hadn't written every day, I would tell you I didn't know where March went. It has flown by even with the daily task of writing these slices feeling like a big challenge. I mean, there are only four more slices, and then it's over. Crazy stuff.

I am proud of most of the slices I wrote. Because of all of the writers I've been reading, I have felt more inspired than I have in a long time, and that made all the difference. I do wish I hadn't had that day when I forgot to write and had to post-date the thing, so I could mark the events that caused me to run out of time. But overall, I am pleased with my work. But there's more to consider.

After Slice of Life is over, April arrives with National Poetry Month. That has been just as much cause for concern as these slices—if not more. Poetry must be inspired for it to do its work and to be simply decent to read! I do not want any of you faithful readers to want to poke your eyes out!

Since I haven't blogged any real poetry in several months now, I decided to begin jotting down draft work. Every time I get even a pinch of inspiration or sentimentality, etc., I stop and write as much as I can. I don't necessarily have the whole idea down, but fragments are better than nothing, and I can always develop the ideas. Another thing about this is I don't have ANY photos set aside as inspiration, and I typically use photos to support my poetic notions. I just can't seem to allow myself that luxury (I did break out of my photographic famine a few times during this slice fest, so that felt like real progress.). But who knows how it will pan out with poetry I haven't even figured out how to accept and set free for public scrutiny.

So many thoughts. When all is said and done, these things I've discussed are small potatoes. So small. However, they are important to me as I try to develop my talents and live artistically.

Here's to the few days left of this slicing party and moving onto bigger things such as writing poetry and end of the school year stress! Oh yeah!

Seeking to Become - March 2017

 Today, I am thinking about how education opens doors of opportunity but also how it can close others in the process—depending upon our choices.

Throughout my college education (and even still), I checked myself for feeling as if I am too grand or above others. I would pray for humility and understanding. I didn't like what I'd seen so far of people who decided that their faith was nothing the more they learned of secular things. I did not want to become faithless as I sought to better my lot in life.

When I was searching the scriptures for a quality to cultivate, this scripture was the one that stood out most:
"But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God." 
2 Nephi 9:29
These words speak to my soul. It reminded me of when I would pray to be humble in my learning. We are taught to learn all we can, for knowledge and our family are all we take into eternity with us. The clothes we wear and house we live in and car that we drive won't be coming with us—just what we know and our family.

That scripture tells me that there is nothing inherently wrong with being a know-it-all even, so long as you know you don't know it all. Christ's example of learning, teaching, and sharing with others in humility shows us how to go about gaining our knowledge. We must not forget by whom we are able to learn, grow, and enjoy life itself.

I hope you will join me in seeking to become more like Jesus Christ in the aspect of how we use our knowledge for good—for ourselves and in serving God.

pulling all-nighters

Or A Word to the Wise

It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, I pay. 

You'd think I would figure out how decidedly messed up I get after staying up all night and hence figure out how to intelligently stop the harmful practice. But, no. I am a glutton for self-punishment. One thing I must admit is I know how to have fun. This can be quite an accomplishment. I can't remember the last time I could honestly say I was bored—there are just too many important, entertaining, and valuable things to do 24/7. Maybe I see things like this because I'm from Las Vegas. Who knows.

Reorganizing and deep cleaning projects are a catalyst for lost sleep, as well as work that I truly enjoy and writing and so forth. More of my nocturnal habits include watching movies, reading books that are too good to put down, so they do the opposite of putting me to sleep, and photo editing.

My latest and greatest source of joy and lost sleep is my volleyball hobby. The people there have become such a happy part of my life—and a torture. We stay up way too late! Another funny thing actually is some of my favorites have come up with a nickname for me: Angry Laura. I wonder if they've secretly been following my rants on Twitter.


“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” — C.S. Lewis 
Walking the streets of a small town is like my heart. Little shops here and there that are careworn but well loved. Empty spots where the tenant has vacated or been evicted, but still there is an empty place where they once tended to business. There are cracks along the sidewalks, yet there is a charm in every walk down the lane. Walls have crackled paint but are all the more endearing for their wear.

I love the love I've offered and given in my life. While I have also cried more tears than I wish to admit, I do not regret letting myself care as much as I have and do. But I have one thing that has been pressing upon my mind lately.

A wish.

My wish (and prayer) is that I don't have to have any more bad sad endings. I don't want to have another love adding a notch in my nostalgia belt. I want to love someone who actually loves me back in all reality. Does any of that even make sense? I hope so because I know I am worth all of that. I even know that I actually deserve it.

Someday, it will happen for me because I keep my heart vulnerably open despite the chipped paint and vacancy sign that is collecting dust.

walk like a buddy

All of my trips to the hospital this week have shown me something I need to work on with my daughter who has autism. She needs to learn how to walk like a buddy.

I had been recognizing the issue before now, but since I am spending one-on-one with her and can take some extra time, we are working on this skill this week as we walk through the big hospital to and from her standing appointment for EEG testing.

Some of you might be wondering: What exactly is walking like a buddy? My first thought when I coined the phrase in order to illustrate to her how it's done was: People who overhear me are going to think of the song "Walk Like an Egyptian" and think I'm weird. And then I stopped myself and decided that it was weird just to think that and NO ONE else would associate that song with what I was talking to her about as we journey through the hallways. So there we are. I am so weird. But I digress.

Walking like a buddy is something that we all do. When we are with friends, associates, anyone we are with and heading in the same direction, we walk side-by-side or at least very close to it—not twenty paces behind with the leader of all the duckies turning back and telling you to hurry up. As I considered how to teach her about it, I explained that she needs to walk next to me because I'm her friend, and friends walk next to each other, so they can talk to and see each other.

Yesterday and today, we progressed to showing examples of people buddy-walking as they passed us. There was a large group of people who were not all together but several sections of buddies (2-3 to a team), and after I pointed them all out, she seemed to finally connect what it meant. She went into a mock jog to catch up to me and even be a step ahead, and she stayed that way the rest of the way out of the hospital! It was amazing.

When we walk our course to/from her last appointment, I'm going to see if she needs verbal prompting after making that connection. She most likely will but maybe not pointing out examples now. Let's hope!

And just for laughs, here is "Walk Like an Egyptian" for your listening pleasure:

band life

The bus misser aka our favorite tuba player ever is graduating this year, so we will have different stories to tell for him soon. But like any good relay race, the band baton is getting passed to my mini-me without skipping a beat.

It's exciting to think about the different experiences they will have. I love catching the tuba player encouraging the oboe player turned flute player for marching season. It is fun to see how much they love playing music. I feel happy, our home is happier when they play music, and I can easily imagine my parents listening in and smiling.

So it's been six years of band life thus far, and we've had some overlap with two kids in it. If my youngest gets in next year, we will live the band life for a total of twelve years solid with some overlapping in the middle. This means I'm halfway through my band mom life. I'm not very good at it for being in for so long, but I will say that my separation began when band life began, so I don't have the time I used to. I do what I can though, and I love it!

Halftime shows and football games and concerts four times a year along with festivals and competitions make my world go round. I loved band as a teenager, and it's even more fulfilling to see how music helps my children.

be brave

There are very few people in the world who are brave like this girl. She knows no guile. She gives her all to everyone around her. She faces the unfaceable—and smiles while doing so (sometimes).

My daughter has severe autism and epilepsy. These two factors make our life very different from many other people's. There are things we have to go through that are just extra special in very non-special ways at times. Her EEG testing that is happening this week is one of them. But before I talk about that, I want to tell you another story:

Over Christmas break, we went for a little trip to the hospital for dental work. This girl can't hold still properly for x-rays neither can she hold her mouth open well enough to get her teeth worked on normally, so we just head to the hospital every couple of years for them to take care of her. It's like a day spa for her mouth where they put her to sleep until they finish. Or something like that!

So we arrive at the hospital, get checked in, and I help her get into her hospital gown. Then we wait but not for long. After just a few minutes, the oral surgeon and his understudy (can't remember what they are actually called), along with two observing students from some university in California, all crowd into the tiny room with the large hospital bed that she's on, and we begin talking about what will happen. In the course of this discussion, they each get to know my daughter a little bit because she decides that they all need knuckles and high fives, and the resident (understudy, not sure) got a mini back rub on his shoulder that she could reach. All the while, she's acting like she's at a party as the one guy is putting in an IV, for crying out loud! But that's not the best part.

The best part is when she starts telling her knock-knock jokes. Her two knock-knock jokes. Over and over and over.

They didn't understand her the first time she said it, so I translated for her, and they all gave a courteous laugh. And then . . . she says her joke again . . . and again. She mixes in one other every so often, but she definitely has her favorite. So what happens next is hilarious. These four grown men begin to take turns telling knock-knock jokes because she assigns them turns saying, "You turn" and pointing. She makes certain she gets to tell her joke after each one, but the turn-taking goes viral. One guy turns out to be an avid knock-knock joke teller from his high school days. Another has his phone out doing searches to be able to one-up my daughter and these other guys. And you know, she won the contest. I know this for sure because when we all were laughing when the punchlines came around as we were walking down the hallway to the surgery room, one of them turns to me and says something to this affect, "You know what makes it so funny? She says it like she's telling the joke for the very first time every time. That makes the joke genuinely funny—every time."

Her delivery is on point every single time. And that's true across the board. That girl is so sweet and happy and wanting to help. When she's having a hard time, she's not, but everyone has their moments. But she is quick to recover.

After they wheel her through the surgery doors, I was consulting with the dentist, and some time later, one of the observing students came out to the waiting room to tell me that she was telling her knock-knock jokes until she could no longer speak from the anesthesia putting her to sleep. That girl!

So back to the EEG.

She does not like getting poked and prodded. And really, who does?  It took over an hour to mark her head and glue the electrodes to her scalp. This proved to be a real struggle for her since she had to stay awake for it. I bribed her with the promise of a treat, and then the tech got smart, and she bribed her with a future treat too. And after that, it wasn't totally smooth sailing, but this brave girl found courage, patience, or strength, whatever it was, to work through her autism struggles and make it possible to get the job done without us feeling like she's being tortured.

While she didn't get to telling her jokes, she did find her smile again before we left the hospital.

There are things we don't like going on around us and being thrown at us, but that shouldn't keep us down. I can't always find my smile, but today, she taught me that I need to work harder at that. I need to be brave and smile sooner than later.


Here's her most favorite (most repeated) joke:
Her: Knock-knock.
Anyone who will reply: Who's there?
Her: Boo.
AWWR: Boo who?
Her: Dont' cry. It's just a joke.

thin ice

Coming up with a good title is tough some days. Some people will leave an entire novel untitled for seemingly ever because they just can't decide. But what about when you come up with a riveting title yet have no content to back it up? What then?

Well, then you get this slice of thin ice life. 

I had a bunch of thoughts flitting about when I typed the title in the box, and then I decided that I didn't want to say any of that stuff. I don't want to ramble on and on about how I don't understand my life right now or how I'm one rotten day away from falling through the ice and not making it out again. 

I want to tell you about how I took care of myself today instead of pushing myself too much. I want to explain how I'm banking on how it all will get me over the worst of things, and I'll feel better. I will be able to smile for days on end again. 

Maybe the ice is getting thin because the sun is warming up my world in preparation for spring. One can only hope. 

three things

I attended a women's conference in my community a few weeks ago, and one of the workshops I went to had the best idea ever for journaling. Well, it's the best idea ever if you're having a hard time writing like I have been lately.

The writing prompt is to focus on three positive things that happen each day. I've been working on it for the past couple of weeks, and I have to say I am proud of myself. I had nearly abandoned my journal for a few months with my oppressive grief response to a personal thing that went down this fall—six months ago actually. I can't believe I've become so sorely affected. So anyway! I have been writing every day now, and it's been so good to get back into the swing of things. On really hard days, the three things are one sentence each, but I am still writing. I'm making time to remember the good things.

Today's three things haven't been written yet, but I will as soon as I finish this!

wanted: clarity

Clarity is an interesting aspect of our lives. We long for it—that understanding of all things affecting us—right? But sometimes, when we do receive clarity on some situations, we don't like what we see. We inadvertently create a lack of clarity through rejection.

Sometimes clarity brings to the table a sense of knowing how unclear things are because of other people doing the rejection. In these cases, it is a clear-cut mess with no way around. And the trouble of it all is figuring out how long the pain will last and, most directly and importantly, what is the quickest path to joy. It isn't always easy to see. 

holidays and funerals

I do not recommend allowing grief to get in the way of truly evaluating all that is on the calendar when planning a funeral. It's so important to connect the dots as far as other recurring occasions such as national holidays, etc., or you'll forever be reminded of what you did that holiday that one time when your mom died unexpectedly.

I've worked hard the last few years to learn to enjoy St. Patrick's Day again. I used to really enjoy pinching people, you know. I made a concerted effort this past year by sending my children a very fancy treat package to be delivered on the holiday to add to the excitement—not just wearing green and hoping people can't tell I'm thinking about the day we buried my mother. I have even stopped talking about it so much (and then here I am talking about it!). We aren't even Irish at all—I don't think. However, I grew up celebrating the Irish in this small way, and I believe it is a wonderful American tradition.

I also want you all to know that I don't feel any terrible pangs of sadness either. It's just really, really sad to always be reminded of it. To remember and then choose to let it go.

So anyway. Back to my point. The pro tip I have to offer: Do not plan a funeral on a holiday—no matter how minor it may seem—because you'll forever be reminded of one of the saddest days of your life no matter how much you heal.

insane day

An absolutely frustrating and tired and unhelpful and crazy and busy, busy day. Two teenagers with agendas of their own and the last day of third quarter will explain the upheaval. It astounds me at how oblivious the people we love can be to how they hurt us. I wonder at how many times I put my parents out and made their day difficult just so they could help me keep up with my agenda that I didn't communicate or when I made poor choices to put myself in predicaments that affected them adversely. It's all just so very irritating.

That's what got me to MISS A DAY for the slice of life.

I am backdating this and voicing my irritation, frustration, and disappointment, so I will remember why I dropped the ball. 

civil discourse

A slice of my life involves politics, so I'm going to write just a sliver of it.

I'm astonished by how many people resort to fallacies to push a narrative devoid of evidence. I see people saying that "all people who support Trump are . . . " and "all people who have liberal ideas are _____." Hasn't anyone realized that these absolutes are the type that are only meant to divide and destroy? Has no one ever heard of the straw man, slippery slope (and the list goes on forever)?

There are some political ideologies that are bad. Very bad. Yet some are just not what we prefer or think will help us. It doesn't mean we should justify filthy name-calling or, even worse, fabricate untruths to hurt the people we don't agree with. For instance, if you know me, you know I'm a strong supporter of honest work, clean moral conduct, civil discourse, and lean toward the libertarian right.

Like, can people just stop trying to micro manage life with so much legislation? Government is a beastly mess, and I am for trying all sorts of slashing and burning of how things have been done to find solutions.

All of that said, I am a loather of Nazis, I detest crass public displays, while I support equality as far as it is actually equitable and not actively oppressive of others.

This all might sound vague. And I don't mean to be except I don't want this sliver to get infected with propaganda passed off as evidence and hate speech spewed all over toward me for actually having and keeping an open mind. I know it is a rare thing to find, but I believe that if people will step back and take a look around at who they are objectifying in the name of politics, they will realize that they left civil discourse out in the cold to die.

And I'm tired of it.