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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 23

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s:
#23. Learn to draw. (I’ve wanted to do this for like…. forever.)

I’m a more or less creative person, but I’ve never had any instruction on how to draw.

Fortunately, part of my job involves sitting in on a Kindergarten class.

Art isn’t nearly as intimidating when the artists around you are 6 year olds.

Here is a sample of something I drew several weeks ago….

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The gist of that one is that if I could plant something and have more of it grow, I’d pick love — right after I sowed some love and grew some love.

I’m decent when it comes to lettering….

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A couple of summers ago, I went to a class that taught how to do several styles of lettering. It was a really neat experience and I’ve really enjoyed doodling phrases or words since then. I really should take some more classes, huh? It would be super fun!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 21

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 21

#21 Stay up until 9:00. Every night.

I was being facetious when I came up with this one.

Because, we all know that old people go to bed early.

I’ve struggled with this one, but somehow, I’ve managed to see 9:00 every single night.

Except for that night last week when I was so exhausted that I was in bed before 8 — but I didn’t turn the lights off until after 9.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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Some Days You Shouldn’t Wear Makeup

Today was one of those days.

My friends have been lovely today.

I’ve had many messages and greetings.

But I sat at my counselor’s office and bawled for an hour.

I got all dolled up. I actually made an effort to look pretty today. I don’t do that often anymore. No one really cares — and I care less than anybody about it, so what difference does it make?

I’m old.

I’m just old.

I cried because all my friends are getting engaged or having babies.

And I’m 34 years old.

And men like to play with me.

You’re nice.
Let’s have coffee.
You’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

But it doesn’t get any further than that — even after having coffee regularly for a year.
I don’t even like coffee!

It doesn’t get any further than that, even after I’ve introduced them to family.

It doesn’t get any further than that, even though I spend more time and effort at it than I probably should.

They always say
It’s not you, it’s me.
But I have a girlfriend already….
I’m not interested.

What do I have to do?
What do I have to do?

After bawling in the counselor’s office, I talked to my dear friend who soothed me with hugs and no one should cry on their birthday! She soothed me with meatloaf and home made real French silk pie.

She soothed me with these words:
If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’d probably be an alcoholic.

Thank you.

It’s so rare for people to actually validate how I feel about this.

I laughed a little bit.
I ate meatloaf.
I ate pie.

I put her sweet 3-year olds in jammies and watched Lilo and Stitch with them for a while. And then I went home and cried some more.

Because my ovaries are slowly dying, just like every other woman’s ovaries die as they get older. Singleness should be considered a form of infertility.

It’s hopeless.

It feels like not even God cares about what I need.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Rants

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 20

After a long break because I was really busy….

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 20

#20 Find something to be thankful for every day.

According to this article,

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood by reducing the stress hormone cortisol (in some cases by 23 percent). Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who work daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experience improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol play a major role in this.

It’s really simple to find the beauty in the small things.

A gentle rain on a warm day.

Flowers blooming.

Babies’ giggles.

Witnessing one person being kind to another.

I love seeing those things and they bring moments of joy and gratitude.

I love the little things.

The problem is the big things.

Loss is a big thing that obliterates all traces of the little things. Loss of a relationship. Loss of a job. Loss of a family member. Loss of health, home, and anything that’s dear — loss of any kind brings waves of sadness. Waves of cortisol, mentioned in the quoted article, which lead to waves of anxiety, waves of depression, waves of weariness and waves of illness. The little things easily get buried in the uncontrollable waves that come with loss.

I find the most rest and small ripples of gratitude at work. Sometimes, my little guy will reach over and touch my hand and in that moment, I feel like I’ve been touched by the hand of God. He is so gentle. So unassuming. It’s like he just wants me to know that I’m not alone. Sometimes he’ll look up at me and tell me something in his own little language — something I can’t linguistically understand, but my heart knows he’s telling me his most treasured secrets. It’s those moments when gratitude and joy bubble up and calm the waves of pain and heartache.

And so, today, I’m grateful that I get to work.

What are you grateful for today? Leave a comment and let me know!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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On Being a Woman

I’ve been reading this book the past few days:

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On the very first page, it said thi

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s:

Truer words have never been spoken.

One of the questions asked in the first few pages was something along the lines of “when did you become a woman?” A very thought-provoking question.

When and how do you become a woman??

It could be any number of things, from physiological changes, to trauma to getting a driver’s license to having a baby.

It’s different for everybody.

For me, I didn’t start to feel like a woman until I was about 32. It was when, for the first time, a man wanted to spend time perusing ideas with me and going on picnics with me and doing basic life with me. It was when I entertained for the first time in my very own home. It was when I finally got a job where I was treated like an adult.

I had done many “adult” things prior to that.

Around my 29th birthday, I realized that even though I’d been an adult for years, I still felt like a child.

I was fresh out of a very controlling environment and wondering why no one took me seriously.

And then it hit me. The problem was that I saw myself as a child. It’s hard for everybody else to think of you as an adult if you view yourself as a child.

I had to remind myself on a daily basis that I was a woman and not just a little girl playing dress-up with Mommy’s heels.

Reminders like “yes, you can go out for dinner with that guy. You’re an adult now.

Reminders from men that I wasn’t just a little girl; that I was a nice, person who was capable of having beautiful, intelligent and interesting conversations.

Reminders that I’d been doing grown-up things like paying the bills and fixing the car and cleaning the house for years and that means you’re a woman now, not just a little girl.

I had to convince myself that I was actually an adult.

But, I’ve been an adult in survival mode.

When you’re living in survival mode, it’s hard to explore the nuances of what it means to be an adult. A woman.

Now that I think about it, I really don’t feel like a woman and I don’t have a clue what it means to be a woman.

Adult, yes. I can do adult.

Woman? Not so much.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Profundities

 

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130 Pounds Squished in a Box

I just finished reading this book:

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It’s about a girl who was put into a mental hospital because she was built like a boy, she liked “boy stuff” and she wasn’t into girlie things.

This is an excellent book, but it did make me question whether I really want to be a counselor for kids.

Because kids who need counselors…. they know stuff.

It’s just a little intimidating!!

I got to the last chapter and she was talking about who she is now and the things that she’s done.

This gave me goosebumps:

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I get that.

130 pounds squished into a box. No individuality. No one sees who and what you are. 130 pounds squished into a box is so easy and so convenient to shove into a corner and forget about.

I think we forget that the moving, breathing, talking things in front of us are people. People with value. People with gifts. Talents. Emotions. Pain. Experience. We get so caught up in our own little world that we miss the subtle ways they cry out for help.

We miss so much. Partly because we’re too busy to look. Partly because we want to see what we want to see. Partly because we have an agenda — a diagnosis to apply, a treatment plan to write up, assessments of whether the treatment plan is working.

It’s heartbreaking how the psychiatrists had this broken child in front of them and they completely missed it. She was falling apart on the inside because of abuse she’d suffered and all they saw was that she didn’t want to wear a dress.

When I’m a counselor…. I hope I can address the real issues more often than not. I hope no child ever leaves my care without feeling like who they are is amazing and they are capable of doing great things.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Profundities

 

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