I wrote an article for my HOA newsletter and shared it here to expand my thanks for those that serve as well as the military family members.
I try to have a daily practice of gratitude. It helps me start my day with a positive frame of mind. To me, this is more important than ever in these challenging times. It’s easy for me to look around and count my blessings. The community I live in looks out for each other, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.
I’m enjoying meeting community members and expanding my friendship circles that being a volunteer board member has afforded me. I highly recommend joining a committee, or even better, serving on the board. We have several openings this October. I’ve mentioned on several occasions that this community reminds me of living on a military base and that is because of the love and support of military families that bond together as a loved one serves.
I see that same caring for each other in this community and it reminds me of another deeper gratitude. Being raised a brat. The fact that I choose to serve in the Air Force doesn’t diminish my gratitude at growing up an Army Brat. Being Army strong served me well as an airman and civilian. I am grateful for all those who serve our country and add to that the immense gratitude for the service of the military family. They didn’t stand in front of a flag, raise their hand and swear to protect this great country, yet they make sacrifices every day.
I thank the parents that raised a child that commits themselves to this country. How, despite your worry, your hearts must burst with pride. I thank the spouse that stands by the soldier and braves all the hardships of deployment, long absences, packing and unpacking with a supportive smile and an “I’ve got this, don’t worry about us” mindset. I thank the kids that try their best to be brave, walking into new schools time and time again. Leaving old friends behind and opening their hearts to new ones, all the while trying to behave as to not reflect badly on the parent serving. It wasn’t all hardships. Living a military life, be it as a spouse, service member or child, builds resilience. The diversity of new cultures and environments enriches our lives in ways that cannot be measured. As we learned to be adaptable, we found ourselves able to adjust to change with a tuck and roll attitude that calms others around us that may not be as comfortable with it. So, if you know a military family, be sure to thank them for their service as well.
I woke up this morning and enjoyed reading people’s posts. The emotions were raw as words spilled out about fears, growth, happiness, and having loved and lost with hopes of letting go and loving again. I want to send a heartfelt thanks to all those who put into words so eloquently all the emotions and experiences I can relate to. I am inspired to get back into writing and reading WordPress.
WordPress is such a juxtaposition against the social media posts that hold smiling faces drinking coffee watching the morning sunrise from their deck or vacation spot and a glass of wine at sunset. Everyone’s kids are excelling in sports, graduating, and getting married. Spouses are the most loving, supportive partners. Congratulations on another year of a happy and content life.
Recently a friend posted a comment on social media about having loved someone without regret but negatively commented about the experience. I reached out to make sure she was okay because she usually posts positive comments. She was fine, just going through the ups and downs of a relationship that had ended. She called me a few days later and told me a family member wanted her to take down the post. It wasn’t the message she should be sending. I told her to leave it, it was authentic and genuine, and it was how she felt. Life’s not always about cute cat videos and plastered smiles. I told her I would have never known to reach out to make sure she is okay had I not seen that comment. Sadly, anyone who dares to post a real emotion or struggle seems to be shot down with comments about the inappropriateness of airing dirty laundry. Somehow WordPress has escaped this, and for that, I am grateful.
I’m finishing the last few chapters of my sequel Streaming James. I’m so excited! I took way too long to finish this novel.
I’m laughing as I finish the chapters. Not because they are funny. It’s a paranormal murder mystery, after all. I’m laughing because of the old joke, If found dead, delete my browsing history.
As a writer, I look up some crazy stuff. You’d think I’m a serial killer or suicidal. My protagonist can stream the dead after a failed suicide, so there was lots of research on depression and suicide. To finish the last chapters, I’m googling behaviors that can mitigate a murder sentence, the average sentence for murder, and what type of drugs can be slipped into a drink that causes hallucinations leading to murder. My husband would be very nervous, looking over my shoulder right about now.
Any thing on your browsing history you would want deleted?
I learned a valuable technique for writing quite by accident. I invite you to try it. It will take your novel writing to a whole new level.
I am a project manager by day and my first PM job was to work with our IT department to transfer our data over to a new platform. This was my first experience as a PM and I worked under a senior project manager that was very difficult to work with. She would make grown men cry. I kid you not.
I’ll call her Sybil and yes, I am referring to the movie about a woman with multiple personalities. I wasn’t sure if this PM was bi-polar or if she suffered from insecurities or mood swings but she would run hot and cold in the same meeting. She could start off attacking and then switch to supportive or start off supportive and switch to attacking. Every session was like walking on eggshells.
The example I am going to give is the event that set me off on my Netflix binge of watching documentaries of people with mental illness. I needed to understand her and was hoping to glean insights as to how not to take it personally and learn how to communicate with her in a way that wouldn’t trigger an attack. I was operating on the “look what you made me do” principal that I had to have done something to trigger the change.
I think the saying time heals all wounds was meant to be soothing, but it can also be a double edge sword. Time can make you hold on to resentments. It can also keep you from giving people the opportunity to change, to see them in a different light. You continue to react to them based on their past behaviors setting up a continuous cycle. Waiting on time to heal your wound wastes the time you could have spent cherishing what precious time we have left. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. While you are letting “time” heal your wounds, you may lose the opportunity to bridge that friendship or relationship.
I never put much thought into the saying never go to bed angry until my brain bleed. What if the person you are mad at dies before you have forgiven them? What if someone dies before they have forgiven you? Things you wish you could have said or heard will never leave your lips or pass your ears. Moments you could have spent together during your cooling off period are lost forever.
I remember my sister telling me some ten years ago that she was afraid to make me mad because she was afraid I would cut her out of my life. Our parents had passed,
Communication is not just about talking or waiting for a silent break so you can jump in and give your two cents. Being a good listener doesn’t always require a response. A knowing nod, or simple comment is often all that is needed. Often times people tend to follow with a similar story of what happened to them. Sometimes people just need to be heard, and coming back with a story of your own may feel like you are relating to them, but it can also feel like you are saying, “you think that is bad, check this out” and in the process dismissing or diminishing what they just shared.
My pups Max and Cooper are always listening. I swear I can be downstairs with the kitchen door closed and they can be upstairs, and they can hear me open the refrigerator or crack open a chip bag. I knew dogs have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but I didn’t think it was on the level of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman.
Unlike Max and Cooper, I don’t have the greatest hearing and more times than not, I find myself asking someone to repeat themselves. A sense of hearing is my problem child. I have always known that there is more to hearing than taking in the sounds that pass through your ears. The second prong is being a good listener. Over the years I’ve heard people say things such as “lean in” so they know you are interested, “nod” so they know you are on the same page with them, or they ask you to make eye contact. There seemed to be a lot of facets to listening. I put most of those nuggets into practice, and I thought I was a good listener.
I swallowed hard one day when I heard someone make a comment that people listen with the intent of replying and not learning. If ever I was guilty of something, it was listening with the intent of answering. It wasn’t that I felt my response would be earth-shattering or enlightening; it was more that I wanted to mentally prepare my position on what was said so I wouldn’t look like a deer in the headlights if asked. I had an added habit of interrupting because I was afraid of losing my thought if we got too far into the conversation.
Is it as simple as Asking? Yes and no. Yes, it is as simple as asking. You would be amazed at how quickly doors open and opportunities present themselves once you move forward with announcing your desires to yourself, and others. Continue reading →