My admiration for Glennon, Brene, Elizabeth Gilbert etc. has never been a secret. Therefore it's no surprise that Glennon's charitable organization, Together Rising, is doing such wonderful work. I set up a (small) monthly recurring donation, basically the price of a lunch, to help her cause. She does simple things - $100 gift cards for single moms at Valentine's Day, yes!!! and huge things - see their work with refugees here
They also have a great "Together Letters" program that lists people who need a little extra TLC in the form of a mailed letter. Who can't do that? I can.... and J can draw a pretty good picture and accompany me to the mailbox! Little by little, step by step, bird by bird, dollar by dollar.....
If I could hold these moments forever, I would. I try so hard to hang on to them tight as I know they are fleeting yet magical. You are growing up. Transforming. Becoming you right before my very eyes. It is magnificent and magical. I literally stopped myself many, many times this weekend with nothing but a grateful heart.
> You are making lots of friends in our new neighborhood. There's a 6 yr old girl who is sweet as can be. You've really taken to her. On Friday night you went to her door all by yourself and asked if she could come out and play. My heart nearly burst. Not just at your maturity but at your growing comfort level.... a long way from my shy boy. ....happy ending: at first she said she had to stay in (it was after 7pm) but then said "Joe! my mom said I can play a little longer!!" It was a Friday summer night - rules are meant to be bent. :)
> A full day at the beach. 5.5 hours! You "surfed" on a boogie board, rolled in the waves, rafted with me in a tube, dug 50 holes and played great with friends, new and old. It was Brooke's Grammy's beach house and I love that you know all these warm, loving, Grammies.
> Sunday, our day. Relaxed. Stayed in pj's and watched cartoons without much rushing. Rode your tractor to Dunkin' Donuts like we do every weekend and then played outside, content as can be, for a few hours while mama read her book near by. Like me, I think after a busy weekend of friends and socializing, you enjoy some time for yourself... you talk, make up stories, sing a lot, and just enjoy some time to be an introvert. There is nothing wrong with that and I'm grateful we have the type of schedule that you have time to cool down and re-energize.
“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.” - Tim Ferriss Fear is a disease plaguing modern day America. Kids aren't taught to fail. Life has become so comfortable that our addiction to achievement, people-pleasing, safety, correct-ness is making risk less and less palatable. FEAR: // Proposed shift in thinking: What if it doesn't go right? <friends and family will think I'm dumb> // what lessons will it teach me -- mistakes are great teachers. What if I get there and don't like it. <I have wasted time> // Isn't dreaming of things you'll never do equally (more) of a waste of time. What if I get hurt <I hate a bruised ego or broken heart> // Everyone does. But it doesn't kill you nor does it stay broken/bruised forever. What if I am not strong enough to finish <I will realize I am weak> // You are weaker if you don't try. The person with the least strength is the one who doesn't try. What if I hate it once I start <Are dreams healthier in your head> // You can move on to a new dream that will be more fulfilling. We are not gifted a finite number of dreams to dream per lifetime. What if I do it and it's everything I want it to be // Bliss.
Action and consequence. Every.single.time. There is not another way regardless of how good looking you are, how much you make, how good your life is going. Our choices make other choices unavailable. Our actions produce consequences that we must endure. and that's it. there simply is no way around it. Learn it at 10 years old, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 - the sooner, the better.
“You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.” - Charles Portis
“We must each of us bear our own misfortunes.” - Charles Portis
Was surprised I haven't posted this one before. I think of it often. Always resonates.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain Are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Prince taught me how to be who i am still becoming.
he was every. single. thing.
Prince taught me to stretch between genders, and then beyond the binary of gend...er, in how i love and understand myself, in how i understand my desire, my holiness.
to embody raunch and devotion in equal measure.
to be unapologetically sexy, a small man or big woman, to induce desire and discomfort, taking the center of everyone’s attention with transparent seductions in a society that demonizes nature and the sensual world.
to be political and humane with my curiosity and my resources. to seek guidance and teachers and collaborators all around me.
to have diva-high standards, and to offer my opinion with a pursed lip and raised brow. to be shady as an art form.
to wear more eyeliner.
to love god and pleasure in the same breath, with the same song, with the same dance. to believe different things over time, but always claim myself as a child of the divine.
to be generous with time and support for those in my field who please me, to mentor and partner with and uplift talent.
to take the lower harmony sometimes, even if you can hit the upper range.
that it’s ok, in fact it’s my right, to be vulnerable and controversial and personal in the public realm and still have a private life.
to grace the world with the exquisite gift of a perfect falsetto whenever the moment calls for it.
and mostly to be different, to offer the world a joyful rejection of the normal, the appropriate, the mediocre.
Prince, from 'Way Back Home':
Most people in this world are born dead But I was born alive (I was born with this dream) With a dream outside my head That I could find my way back home ... Lemme tell you about me I'm happiest when I can see My way back home Can you see My way back, my way back home
"The ancient Greeks had a view of love which was essentially based around education, that's what love means - love is a benevolent process whereby two people try to teach each other how to become the best versions of themselves." - Alain de botton
"Real intimacy is a meeting between two souls, an invitation to meet each other exactly where they are, without expectation or agenda. It doesn't demand gifts and benefits, sexual prowess, conditional offerings. It merely asks you to show up as you are, fully revealed and present. It invites you to shed your masks, disguises and adaptations, and to drop into whatever is real for you in that moment. Real intimacy meets you where you live, not where you or anyone else wants you to live. It's the big sigh of relief that arises when you finally know that you don't have to put on a show to feel accepted. Here we are, just as we are. Hello." - Jeff Brown
"Your mind is not for storing ideas, but for having them" - David Allen.
I recently started keeping a (no frills) task list via my Outlook. I write down things I need to do or use it to bookmark interesting places to see, activities to do. I've found it helpful in freeing some mental energy and also satisfying when I cross something off.
I want to capture this fresh from vacation bliss I am experiencing right now. Coming back from almost 10 days off, more time than I can recently remember. It was perfect - we went to Maine with friends --- and ate junk food, went to the beach, played cards, lounged around. J got his first lego set, we did some baking, we took lots of tractor rides on the bike path. There were bookstores and marinas and first times.
Yesterday we listened to the Beach Boys on Pandora --- a station filled with old fashioned good time summer music. We danced in the living room and I felt light. Free. Happy. It hasn't been the easiest year but I made it to the other side and have more confidence in myself than I have at any other time in my life. I am proud of where I am today and that feels good and complete.
And a few favorite lines from J to honor the sweetness that is four and a half:
"My Grammy is picking me up on Monday from school." - to his friend in our building. She didn't care too much. I love overhearing what he says to his friends. No filter, just stream of consciousness. What he's looking forward to, what's on his mind....
"It's ok if you don't want to be my friend. I have lots of friends. Like, Max, Emma, Brooke, Noah, Nate....(and the name of nearly every kid in his pre-school class)" Joe sticking up for himself when one (presumably tired) little girl at the playground said she wasn't his friend. <no bullying here!>
"I didn't know Papa used to be a king and Grammy was a queen" (when I showed him my parents wedding photo)
"At the yellow house I didn't have colored sprinkles, or the zoo game, or a friend like Ophelia" -- priorities.
...believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well worn path. and that will make all the difference" - Steve Jobs