Finding the words between adventures to share with the world while living the life that only I can live.
Dear Montana, I didn't come to Nevada under the circumstances I had originally expected. The initial plan was to move down here with a man I had met and dated in Great Falls for over a year. I knew I would eventually wander outside of your boundaries, but it was he who initiated this move to Reno.
Dear Montana, I thought I would die leaving you. I mean this literally. When I merged on to I80 West from Elko, NV towards my new home of Reno, Nevada, my chest tightened up so fiercely that it shoved waves of pain past the lump in my throat and spread through my jaw. I couldn't swallow, and for a moment I couldn't breathe. Slowly I took in a deep breath and felt it fill my lungs before I gently let the air escape through my lips. I could still breathe, so I knew I wasn't really going to die.
You Don't Know Her
Her favorite song is "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison. She loves the Beatles, U2, Ed Sheeran, Mozart and Bach. Her favorite movie is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Her favorite book is "A Memorable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway. Her heroes include Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, Bill Gates and Hemingway. You already know all this, but you still don't know her.
2021 - Yes We Can
It is time to shake of 2020! Whatever wounds you have endured over this past year will soon become scars. However, now is the time to start stepping into your future. But wait! Covid is still out there, lockdowns are still very real, and I still have to wear a mask everywhere I go. How can I move forward with all these restrictions still in place? Well, let me offer a few suggestions on how to start 2021 with a bang and leave 2020 in the shadows of your memory.
Before You Say Goodbye
I'm tired of 2020. I'm tired of Covid, and social injustice, and severe political division, and I'm sure I'm not alone. We all know that 2020 brought on unimaginable circumstances that robbed us of an entire year of comfort and joy by stripping away what we considered to be a normal life. However, I fear the losses we suffered are even greater than we realize. I fear we lost a year of valuable moments in our lives because we were too focused on the chaos and suffering that surrounded us.
Just a Spark
In a small town on the border of Idaho and Wyoming is where I saw him. He was a heavyset weathered man with a gun attached to his hip shoving clothes into a commercial washing machine in the same laundry mat we had come to wash our ski clothes in the middle of a week-long ski trip. It was apparent this man had little, yet he felt the need to have a gun strapped to his belt in a one-stoplight town that catered to skiers from a popular resort nearby. Being from Montana, I am not usually triggered by a man carrying a gun but, on this cold November evening, I was instantly filled with genuine curiosity that made me want to know this man's story. However, as a general rule, I don't usually strike up conversations with strange men, especially men with the need of carrying weapons in a place where the biggest threat seemed to be possible flooding from a malfunctioning washing machine. Even if I had the courage to break my rule and approach this stranger, Covid was ravishing the northwest, making conversations with strangers even more challenging. Therefore, I will never know this man's story, yet my imagination seems to want to attach a history to him. This curiosity has provided me with the motive of trying to understanding my own curiosity.
The Paradox of Running
A knot starts to tighten in my stomach as I tie the final knot in the laces of my running shoes. Here comes the internal battle I face every time I set out for a training run. On the outside I look like a runner with my hair in a ponytail, my Brooks running shoes, and my Lululemon running pants (just kidding, I'm a teacher, my running pants are from Target.) On the inside, however, the internal dialogue begins.
“In rebuilding a broken world, we will have the chance to choose a less hurried life.” – Dr. Alan Lightman I baked cookies! That’s right, for the first time in over seven years, I baked homemade chocolate chip cookies. I was a little nervous because baking has never been my strength in the kitchen (probably because I am not good at following directions). But, guess what?! They turned out great – so great, in fact, that I am afraid to try again in case this time was a fluke or beginner’s luck. Although, my opinion of their quality might be influenced by my recent abandonment of a sugar-free, gluten-free lifestyle.
5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening to During Quarantine
Unlocking Us with Brene Brown Brene Brown is the friend we all need during this time. She is imperfectly perfect at handling things when life gets tough. She will be the first to admit that she doesn’t always get it right and it is a struggle for her to stay calm and steady during these times, but she strongly relies on her research of vulnerability and shame as she navigates everything life has to offer. She is my hero, not because she is perfect, but because she is willing to share her very human experiences that provide lessons to support living a more meaningful and wholehearted life. If you don’t know, Brene Brown is the best-selling author of the books Daring Greatly, Rising Strong and Dare to Lead. Her research in vulnerability and shame is life changing. She has an amazing gift for storytelling and the moral of her stories will provide you with a compass for living a wholehearted life. However, her work does not give you a step-by-step checklist for living your best life. Instead she provides you with skills to navigate this very imperfect and emotional life. She will not pretend to have all the answers, but every week she will sit in this uncertain time with you and share some of her ideas on how to make it through this difficult time.
Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets During COVID-19 Crisis
Let’s face it, the world is suffering a crisis that most of us have never experienced before and we are all wondering what this is going to look like when the dust finally settles. We are feeling out of control as we helplessly watch a virus ravage our population. We watch as the economy comes to a screeching halt while the stock market tumbles inevitably into a bear market. Many of us are worried about what this will do to us financially. 401k’s, pensions and all other retirement and investment accounts are at risk and we have no guarantee that the market will recover like it has in the past. But I am not here to talk to you about your retirement or financial statement as I am not a financial expert by any means. Instead, I am here to talk to you about your most valuable asset.
It's Not You; It's Me
I really didn’t want to write about this today, but it was the prompt I pulled randomly out of my box of journal prompts so I challenged myself to tackle this topic. Writing about relationships that are draining seemed like a difficult topic because I am picky about who I allow in my life so I didn't think I had any truly draining relationships, but as I started writing, the relationship I discovered I did and the most draining relationship I found surprised me.