Creativity in the time of Covidia

Dear Readers,

It has been a year since I sang with a band playing background for me. It was a LOT of fun, and I really want to do it again. Not this year, though.

Singing with the band

I have performed though. Several times this year.

Online.

HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy
Dance Class in My Living Room
November Neighborhood Zoom Showcase

It’s not the same, there is no applause, or hugs and high fives after a show, but it’s 1000% safe because I know that even if I am asymptomatic I am only sharing my art, not my germs.

I can’t wait to get back to theatre and will delightedly bound back up on those boards as soon as I know it’s safe to do so.

But until it is, I am happy to have screen art rather than no art at all.

Think About It.

Amplifying Black Voices- Faith Broussard Cade-

Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago, in my pursuit of amplifying black voices I found a new voice to share.

Faith Broussard Cade

In her own words-

The Birth of Fleur de Lis Speaks

“On January 9, 2018, life came crashing into me out of nowhere and rocked me to my core. Literally. I was hit from behind in a motor vehicle accident on my way to work that morning, sustained a concussion, and a traumatic brain injury. And I haven’t been the same since… It’s crazy hard. To type. To read. To accept. To share with the world. But, it’s true. Honest. Transparent. MY Reality.

And I had to figure something out. FAST. My life was falling apart at warp speed and I had no clue how to even begin to pull myself back together. And without realizing that I’d be learning a lesson about anything, I set out to adjust just a little : how I saw myself, how I loved myself, and how I took care of myself, because I knew I’d been doing a pretty poor job of it for so long. And because now, I had the time. And because if I didn’t set aside some of that time for myself every single day, that time would be devoured by tasks and appointments and obligations and cooking and carpooling and cleaning and mom-ing and wife-ing and friend-ing and ‘who knows what else-ing.’ 

I set out to do one thing for myself every day: to honor and nourish myself by writing a self- care note. That’s it. Five minutes. Just one little note- and I’d post it on Instagram for accountability because otherwise I’d find any reason not to write that note and because I knew the “InstaThugs” would totally call me out on it if I didn’t. #eyeroll The more notes I shared, the more comments, DMs, and emails I received from people I’d never met. Sharing their whole life stories, their hurts, their struggles with mental health, their failed friendships, their marriages that were coming to an end, their childhood traumas and the paralyzing guilt that came with attempting to prioritize themselves and to practice self- care. ”

One of the self-care notes

This is her website so you can read more about her and her journey.

https://www.fleurdelisspeaks.com

Check it out, and while you do, think about one self-care act you can do for yourself today.

Think About It.

Bye Bye Pepsi

Dear Readers,

A month ago, I decided to give up soda. I had come to the conclusion that it’s way too much sugar and drinking two of them a day does not serve me in my lifestyle I am trying to establish. I thought a lot about what caused me to enjoy soda so much and what my attachment was, and it turns out it was linked to a rare happy childhood memory.

Note the Pepsi and the smile..

Recently I have been examining habits that no longer serve me and while planning on eliminating them, I have also decided to add things in their place. For example, giving up soda, I am drinking a ton of water, which has it’s own benefits.

I kept a diary for the last 30 days and noted that there were only 3 days I REALLY wanted a Pepsi. Each was tied to a not great day, and it was easy to see my habit has been to comfort with Pepsi.

I comforted with sugar those days, but no soda. It would be easy to beat myself up about the lack of willpower on that front, but I am not going to do that. The focus was on giving up soda, not sugar.

Today is day 31, and I am shocked to find, I don’t miss it AT ALL, and am really enjoying an increase in my energy level and clearer skin as well as a little weight loss.

30 Days ago
Day 30

I can’t give you a number because unless a medical professional asks me to step on a scale, I don’t do it, it makes me feel bad no matter the number and I am done with that nonsense. As Sonya Renee Taylor says. “The body is not an apology”

For me, it’s about how I feel (energetic) and fit in my clothes (better) and accomplishing a goal of a healthier lifestyle. This is probably where I will lose some people.

If soda is your jam, go have some, but for me I realized it was NOT working for me any longer so I gave it up.

Next up? Giving up the snooze button! It’s day 9 of that one and proving to be considerably more challenging, but again, I find it doesn’t serve me to continue it so I am going to give it up.

What are you doing that doesn’t serve you any longer?

Think About It.

Building Healthy Family Habits or Reparenting Myself?

Dear Readers,

When I was growing up, physical fitness wasn’t really an activity that was encouraged in my household and despite a few athletic attempts here (benchwarmer for basketball) and there, it wasn’t really a featured attraction or really talked about in our family.

Jennifer McKenna Age 10

When I decided to become a parent, I set a goal to be sure that I could keep up with my kid to run or ride bikes. I was not reaching for a number on the scale or pant size, but able to walk a flight of stairs without gasping for air was my goal.

I am proud to say I have spent a good deal of time building a habit of walking and running (a few 5K races)

and have even walked/ran/stumbled 10 miles.

I was cruising toward marathon training when I threw out my back…. ugh! I hated that I had to stop and rest and heal, but it was necessary so I was mature about it and kept working out but in smaller doses. All the silly poses were to keep me motivated!!

Cheering?
Swimming was great for my back!
My first real set of running gear!

Right about the time I felt better enough to start getting my miles back up, world events conspired to put my exercise in my living room, where I danced to videos after my daughter was asleep.

As it turns out, my daughter LOVES the outdoors (she takes after her Daddy) and around the same time I started thinking about getting back to more regular exercise, but still not feeling comfortable going to a gym, I had a brilliant idea! Why not take something she loves (outdoors) and combine it with something I have a daily goal (exercise) to do?

I am going to be honest and tell you my Mom suggested it, about three years ago, but I am stubborn so just now it has occurred to me as my own new and shiny notion. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

So it’s been a week, and much like working out, I really don’t WANT to, till we start and then I am very happy to walk/jog with Vivienne. It serves as a nice bridge from her school day to home.

Foot pictures!!

What I wasn’t expecting was the conversations that have started happening. She has told me epic narratives about leaves and rocks. She also played a game of “Simon Says” with me. I didn’t even know she knew that game! It’s a great opportunity for me to listen to her and to nature.

It’s also very healing knowing I am simultaneously building healthy habits that she will just see as “normal” and that makes my motivation even stronger.

What is something you can do to heal a part of you that is hurt?

Think About It.