I go to the sea to breathe….

Dear Readers,

Mary Anne Radmacher says, “I come to the sea to breathe.” I was given this saying on a magnet six years ago, when my husband and we traveled to Cannon Beach with Mama Mo (Poppa Joe’s lovely wife) and we spent the day frolicking (and I do mean that in every sense of the world) in the sand and the surf. We had traveled to Oregon for a second honeymoon three years into our marriage and it was relaxing, and restful.

Cannon Beach
Us- Goofing off per usual
Mama Mo and Poppa Joe

Yesterday my family and I returned to the sea to breathe.

Getting my husband to laugh like this is rare and awesome.
She didn’t love the water and that’s okay, I love it enough for both of us..
Viv loves the sand!

Okay. It wasn’t the sea, it was the lake, but my heart surely did not feel the difference. As soon as I felt that cold water touch my feet, I was instantly calmer and more serene. I have to say that I told my husband, I NEED to be in water, I really wanted that, but until yesterday I didn’t realize that it really was a need.

It was such a lovely respite from the crazy and turbulent days we have had lately. Real life intruded all too quickly, and we had to go home, but with a fervent promise to return not too long from now.

Where do you find peace?

Think About It.

Now, plan a trip there, soon

Breathe. Breathe. Cry if you want to, Now Breathe…

Dear Readers,

As we head into day ????? (well, to be honest, I have really lost count, not to mention the fact that everyone’s count is different, I started taking it seriously on March 16, 2020, so looking at that, today is day 65 for me, but I know others started way sooner) of this thing called Covidia, I am finding myself more prone to reaction than response. I am working hard to do as I tell my child, “breathe” when she gets upset and crying. It’s good advice, (thanks Rachel) – I watched her do this with her kiddo and pulled it into my parenting bag of tricks.

Ladies Who “Snooze” and Brunch

it took Vivienne almost 3 years to learn it as a self-soothing technique, and Mom is still working on getting it down.

I am partially joking, but truly, breathing is so good for self-regulation for so many reasons. The first of which is that it lets you STOP and check your (temper) ature. Are you Frustrated? Tired? Angry? Done? If you are feeling anything like I am right now, you are feeling a combination of these things hourly, and sometimes it makes sense and other times you can’t explain it.

This is NORMAL. You are human, not an alien, as my good friend, Dr. Keya Litt likes to say.

The Doctor and The Professor

Then again, we can’t continually stay in that state, so we need to be sure to ask for help, this is where the support piece comes in to play. A good example is a a virtual group I am part of, it’s been emotionally exhausting to keep checking in, and I can’t speak for you, but I am getting pretty burnt out on virtual meetings, so I have opted out of a few recently and the peace I feel over that, is revealing.

Something else I do, no matter what, every day at the end of the day I meditate for 2-3 minutes. I am convinced it helps to keep me sane during this time of insanity.

Another thing that helps is a good old-fashioned phone call. No FaceTime, No Zoom, just the phone. Pick it up and call someone that you miss, chances are they will be surprised and happy to hear from you, and if not, there will be a short awkward conversation and you can go back to texting.

In the meantime, it’s my platform so I will stand on my soapbox if I want to, so please wash your hands, wear a mask and please please please social distance. As much as some people are thinking the “danger has passed” it has not. Maybe you think I am wrong, and let me go on record now to say I would be DELIGHTED to be so, and for now, for me, and our family, I will wear a mask to protect us both and ask that you do the same.

Think About It.

Do you know what you don’t know?

Dear Readers-

Well, clearly the answer is yes.

Or is it?

If you have never done brain surgery, you probably don’t know that Broca’s area controls speech production and it’s easily damaged.

No, I have never done brain surgery, but thanks to my trip to the Arizona science center I got to try my hand at it, without killing anyone.

Thanks Grey’s Anatomy!

I spent a lot of time in the “brain area” that day, and I learned a lot of things I did not know. This made me think about the fact that the more (sometimes awkward) questions we ask are one of the best ways I know to learn something. I should take a moment to tell you how much I love to know things. In fact, for much of my life I have carried the label of “Question Girl” and proudly. Sure, there is the mighty search engine, but a google search won’t tell you something like.

“Person of color is offensive”

“Person of color here, I don’t find the term offensive.”

In the wake of another tragic death where a black person was killed for running while being black,

Ahmaud Arbery

the hashtags have begun and the outcry for prayers and thoughts, and it’s pathetic. No one is knocking them, thoughts and prayers are good, they just don’t happen to come with action.

We have to do better, and that starts with action and education. It starts with stopping the thought process that because I am white, I am better.

Wrong. No. Awful. Horrible. Strikes at the very thing I say I am and am trying to be. I am terrified to write that, because maybe you will read it, and decide I am a racist. I am also learning, it’s through admissions like this one I can take a good hard look at my life and how I was raised and run a million miles the other way.

But as Professor Brené Brown puts it, “We can’t talk about race without talking about shame. Because you can’t talk about race without talking about privilege and when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.”

It’s not enough to say you are an accomplice, you have to actually be one.

How? There is not a blueprint because no one can tell you what to do or who to talk to or what to read to better educate yourself about the systemic racism that is blatant and pervasive in our world. A note- it’s YOUR job to educate YOURSELF. No one else can do that, you have to do it yourself.

I am deeply ashamed to admit I have had those thoughts, and of course stopped them in their tracks refuting it with facts which is that no one is better than anyone else based only on the color of their skin.

Deeply ashamed, and I still had them. Why? I was raised that way. It’s still my job realize over and over that it’s not enough to not be racist, you have to intentionally and deliberately live your life with the idea that no one is better or worse because of the color of their skin.

So, in aid of raising my child to truly,

“ Treat everyone equal”

My husband and child

I am now on the search to learn as much as I can and stop talking in spaces where I have no expertise. I don’t know what this looks like and I know I have a lot more listening and learning to do. I like to talk, but am rapidly realizing this is a topic on which I have not earned a say. I might never earn it, and that’s exactly as it should be.

This is a subject on which I am the student, not the teacher. I do not know what I do not know and I am embracing the discomfort of that. It’s hard.

What can you do other “than thoughts and prayers” to show your support to the hurting and tired black community?

I usually say -Think About It, but today, right now, what can you DO to move from thinking to DOING, to HELP.