Super Saturday

I’m not even sure where to begin, but as I sat misty-eyed listening to our VP Elect speak last night I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming amount of love and light for this country again. Suddenly a waving flag didn’t mean hatred and ignorance anymore, suddenly the sight of a person waving a flag went back to what it used to mean: freedom, united people and beliefs, love for country. Sure, flag waving is banal and sentimental at best, but when the right people are speaking. When the good and the strong and the kind people have been passed the mic, suddenly I can stomach it all much better.

It was amazing to hear our newly-elected officials speak. Amazing to see emotion, love, and strength in their words. Amazing to feel like someone you can trust, two people you can trust to make the big decisions for our country, are right where they need to be.

When Madam Vice-President Elect Harris spoke to the children in our country, my son’s ears perked up. He smiled and nodded along, while I looked at my husband and our eyes met and I asked if he could ever imagine Trump addressing the children so wonderfully, let alone acknowledging them at all.

It’s a new day. A new hope. A restored faith for many of us. Let’s enjoy it, then get ready to get back at it. We have an election in January to prepare for, but I’ll enjoy this win for a few more days, then jump in.

Get some rest, y’all. You deserve it.

M.

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh

Does anyone know what day it is? Cause all day yesterday I thought it was still Tuesday, save for those times I was curing ballots* with Georgia voters and reminding them it was Friday and they had until 5 pm to fix the problem. But it’s the next day now and I think it went back to Tuesday. So this week it was Monday (the day before Election), Tuesday (Election Day), then Tuesday, Tuesday, Friday, now I think it’s Tuesday again, but I could be wrong.

I’m not gonna lie, it felt nice to wake up to some good news on Tuesday. I even slept better on both Tuesday and Tuesday nights of this week knowing that the “Red Mirage” was a thing and soon enough, soon enough, all would be well in this world again (minus the global pandemic that is thrashing our country for the third time this year.)

I manically hit refresh on my browser all day everyday, in between reading Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing (maybe not the best time to dig into that book, but it was a homework assignment), and taking long walks in my neighborhood flipping between sad Adele songs and sad 70’s country songs.

And now here we are, Tuesday morning and I need to hit refresh on myself. I think. Yes. A refresh of sorts. But, I can’t leave my house, I can’t eat at my favorite restaurant, I can’t go cruise the mall with all its holidays lights already up. So I will sit here and drink my coffee and be proud of all that we accomplished during this week of Tuesdays.

Keep faith, be safe, stay sane. Refresh yourself.

M.

*We tried to cure ballots but by the time we got on to help at 11:30 am, they only wanted people with campaign experience because they had blown through the others with THOUSANDS of volunteers! That was, as Martha would say, “A good thing.”

Saturday at the Farm

We visited a friend’s farm last weekend. It is called Butts Mill Farm, and it is out in Western Georgia, near the Alabama state line. Our friend’s parents own it, and it’s less of a farm in the way you are imagining, and more of a family-fun farm, complete with peddle cars, number boats, and miniature horses that you can pet and feed and fall in love with and try to convince your husband to let you bring one home and get denied. Which is bullshit, but I just want you to be aware before you go.

Well, maybe you’ll have a nicer husband.

I digress. We had an excellent time at the farm, and not just because we visited for free and were fed pizza for lunch (although, bonus!) Yes, our friends are that nice. But really it was because we adore these friends and their family was so super nice, that we even got a super-special tour of their big collection of vintage cars and truck, which Jackson LOVED! Whew.

We got to play in a creek that has swings you can set in and watch the whole day go by. We got to feed goats, and go inside an antique Grist Mill. We got to ride a horse (well Jackson did, for the first time mind you) and play all day. Jackson was happy to be with his buddy Bella, whose grandparents own the farm, and Jerimiah and I were happy to hang with other adults and carry on conversations and not be inside our house. It was sort of the perfect day. Not too hot, overcast most of the day, and did I mention the 12-year-old rescued Macaw named River, who was just a delight, until he started screaming at me? Wow. It was a good day. Here are the pictures and trust, if you ever find yourself around these parts and wanna go check out the farm, let me know. We are always in for a trip out west.

M.

Vote

Have you voted yet? I have. Jerimiah and I mailed our ballots in at the end of September. Then we used Georgia’s “My Voter Page” to ensure they were received and approved. We used the USPS and guess what?! Nothing catastrophic happened! All is well over here. Very well, in fact. I just read 538’s new report that turns Georgia into a “True Toss Up,” which I don’t have to tell you, is amazing.

Meanwhile, I’ve reminded all my close friends and family to have a voting plan. I’ve shared the shit out of voting “Cheat Sheets” like this one:

And if you’ll remember I sent my junior senator a nasty little email detailing how I’ll be doing my best to vote her ass out of office. Crossing my fingers for a run-off.

So yeah, things are busy, busy here in Georgia. People are amped up to vote from Marietta, down to Peachtree City over the Perimeter to Stone Mountain, the ATL is turning out, y’all! We are striving for a government, local, state, and federal that looks, thinks, and loves more like us. So I guess watch yourselves, Georgia and the rest of you. Would hate to see y’all left behind.

Vote.

M.

Something About Sunday

There’s something about Sunday that makes me want to get my shit together. Commune with nature. Get right with God. Overhaul my eating habits. Buy a big screen TV. I dunno, Sunday is a thinking day. It always has been. I didn’t grow up going to church. In fact, my mom used to say that she was forced to go every Sunday as a child so she wasn’t going to force us. Really, she was just ashamed and felt guilt, as most Christians are taught to feel, and found church was a place of judgment. Which I’ve found from my own experience to be correct.

But Sunday was still a day of rest for us, and I guess I’ve continued that in my life as well. But for me there isn’t ever a day of “rest” when it comes to thinking, planning, strategizing. So Sunday has become that day. The day to get mentally organized, I suppose.

How do y’all spend Sunday? It’s a rhetorical question, like all of mine are. Just ponder over it, and let’s connect on Monday, when there’s a bunch to do.

Stay safe and sane!

M.

Discovering Andalusia: Part one

I finally did it, I finally made a visit to Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. It’s been on my list of places to visit since I found out about it a few years back, and it turns out to be about an hour and a half from my house now that we live in Atlanta. I’d planned to take a day trip over the spring, but Covid set me back, and it wasn’t until I had this looming Flannery O’Connor project for school that I decided to buck up and go. It turned out to be a lovely visit, with a knowledgeable docent and an all around pleasant , albeit warm, morning and early afternoon.

It’s just now apparent to me that I have so many pictures and so much to share, that it would probably be best if I told this in parts. So let’s get started.

I left Atlanta alone about 9:00 am, as I couldn’t talk Jackson into a trip to a dead writer’s house in the middle of Trump-Country Georgia on an unseasonably humid Southern day. Weird, I know. But it was best. I can’t say he would have enjoyed sitting on the front steps re-reading Good Country People, as much as I did.

I got to Andalusia just about ten minutes before the hourly tour started. It was very easy to find, just a straight shot down I-20, then onto Milledgeville Highway. There are ample signs the closer you get.

Traffic was light, and the drive was relaxing, even with the alarmingly high number of Trump signs I saw. These were my favorites…

The American flag really sets them off, huh? Basically, I could tell I wasn’t in Atlanta anymore. I had my windows down and was enjoying the nice back country roads vibe of Milledgeville Highway, until a man at a stoplight rolled up in a big lifted Chevy, looked over at me and said, “DeKalb County, huh?” With a cackle. I was waiting for the banjos to start as the light changed.

A little while later I was safely on the Andalusia grounds, where one would assume big Chevy truck guy was not headed.

Andalusia was gifted to Georgia College by the O’Connor estate in 2017, and since then they’ve been working hard to restore the farm. The house sits right off the Highway, just about a quarter-mile down a quaint, tree-lined dirt road, and although I had looked at pictures before going, I was still a little surprised at how nice the farmhouse had been kept. It’s quite pretty from the outside. And sets you at ease, putting you to mind of the old farm houses you picture your great-grandmother growing up in. Well, if she was a wealthy, white, Southern woman that is.

It’s getting late, and I have some tea to sip on the porch, so I’ll leave you here, with some more pictures of the outside of Andalusia, where after the tour I enjoyed some quiet reading time, while a noisy hawk nested on the large tree beside me (they most know birds of all kinds are always welcome at Andalusia), before heading back to the safety of the city.

Enjoy!

M.

Make-up

Make-up days. Make-up tests. Make-up sex. There’s a lot of make-ups round here, but not any actual make-up. Like, nah, I’ll pass. Here’s the thing, I want to wear make-up, I do. I wish I was one of those ladies who lived and died by whatever her particular eye liner brand is, but I just don’t. I never have been and I can’t imagine I’ll ever be. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, and there are too many books to read as it is. I’m not saying I think wearing make-up is bad, not at all, and to all my friends who can’t get through a day without putting your face on, I salute you. I admire you. I adore you, you beautiful creatures. But please make no mistake, even though I don’t wear make-up doesn’t mean I don’t have things I have to do to feel good about myself everyday. And please don’t think I never feel good about myself. I do.

I, for instance, have to take a shower every, single day. I’m amazed and awed by people who can’t remember the last time they showered or who have “hair-washing” days. Gasp! If I couldn’t wash my hair every day I’d be okay crawling into a ball and dying, right there. Dead.

Dramatic? Maybe. But I’ve heard people say that about doing their make-up too. Also dramatic for that, but seems to be tolerated better. I think washing everyday just doesn’t seem so important to people because if I smell good, and my face is pretty for people to look at, then what different does it make if I showered? Maybe that’s the different? I don’t take a shower to make other people feel better, I do it so I can feel better.

It’s like why I also have to get enough sleep. Somewhere around ten hours is best for me, every, single night. That’s the best way for me to have a good day. Some people think 10 hours is nuts! Well I feel the same about six hours. How do you even function?

I dunno why I was thinking about make-up today. Or showering, or sleep, or things we do to make ourselves feel better. Maybe I’m taking stock today of trying to feel better. Probably I’m taking my mind off the fact that I’m headed to the rheumatologist this morning and I feel scared and sad and not my best.

Maybe some make-up will help? 😉

Have a fantastic day, however you have to get it.

M.

Stress

Stress is a monster, isn’t it. More of a statement, less a question because I assume you generally agree. Stress can tear your life apart. It can keep you up at night. Emotions and stresses and anxieties about things that seem unlikely to happen can actually manifest into real, physical pain in your body. Ask me how I know. Man, stress is actually an asshole, and it’s time we dealt with that.

But how? That’s the question on my mind today. How in fact do we deal with the stress? I’ve tried a number of things. Meditation. Yoga. Walking. Talking out my problems. Writing for cathartic reasons. Jesus, y’all know I’ve tried that. But still, the stress comes. Sometimes in waves, so that you think you’re getting better, then BOOM! Just kidding.

A month ago I woke up with a fever and some body aches. I had to get tested for Covid-19 and I had to self-isolate for four days while I waited for the results. Hopefully that hasn’t happened to any of you, but if it has you get it. I was basically preparing for my positive test. Jerimiah had already moved to the couch, when I got the negative result. But that stress triggered something in my body that week that hasn’t left.

To be sure, it wasn’t just that stress. And to be very sure you’ll have to know that I went to the doctor again a couple of weeks later and was tested for a myriad of things, some of which were for autoimmune diseases and the tests came back positive.

That’s not to say that my stress manifested into an autoimmune disease, but my doctor is pretty sure it did push me into a flare-up of whatever my underlying condition is. But guess what? We don’t know what it is because I have to see a rheumatologist and I can’t get an appointment with one until the middle of November. So, more waiting. But this time I know I’m likely to have, say Lupus, which is what my doc is hanging her hat on, but I can’t do anything about it for another two months.

Ho hum. Ho-fucking-hum, for sure.

So what do I do? Stress. Which makes my body feel even worse, which makes me stress more, which creates this endless cycle. You know what I mean? Of course you do. And if you don’t, share your secrets won’t you?

So here I am. Admitting that I think I’m at my limit, stress wise, and could use some good thoughts sent my way through the ether. I’d appreciate it, and I’ll surely pay back, in due time.

M.

Drowning

You know that part in “Office Space” where he’s all, “Every day is the worst day of my life”? Man, I’m feeling that these days. It’s not the worst day, per se, but I just caught myself texting a friend and telling her that I feel like I am drowning every day when I wake up. But then I reminded her, and me, that this is all temporary. It’s really just temporary. That used to be my mantra when things got tough. You need to tell yourself something when you’re say, giving birth to a baby that has already died. You have to figure out how to get you mind out of the spaces and places it could go, so I just reminded myself that this is temporary. That one day soon it won’t be this way, it won’t feel so stifling. But when you’re in the thick of it, man I know it’s tough.

I find myself taking pleasure now in simple tasks like taking a shower, or petting my crazy dogs. Sitting in my office and watching the squirrels that hold important meetings in the pine tree outside my office window. Watch Mrs. Kim work on her front yard (it’s impeccable) or Mr. Charlie across the way, walk back and forth in his driveway waiting for the mail, or to pull his recycling cans back to his garage. I’ve always been a people watcher, but it’s become increasingly important. I’m lucky to have a room with such a good view.

I might feel like I am drowning, but honestly it’s not that bad. I know the anxiety and the worry have so much to do with it, and my husband is working his butt off to make sure I don’t actually drown. So I’m okay, swimming along with help. I hope you all are too.

M.

Moving Forward

My 39th birthday is right around the corner. I’ve got a million things going on between my school, Jackson’s virtual school, the house, this global pandemic, and several doctors appointments lined up this week to try to figure out what’s wrong with me. That might be the most stressful part. Sure I’m inching closer to forty, but man, does it need to feel like it?

I’m still trying everyday not to complain. I know I don’t have much to complain about considering the world we live in. I have a great family, we have a stable income, I get to work from home all day, everyday with my husband and son. I’m way more involved in Jackson’s school life than normal 6th grade would allow, and my dogs, well they are a pain in my ass, but they’re so damn cute. And then there’s Jerimiah. Most days I don’t know how he puts up with me, but lately he’s not just been putting up with me, he’s also been taking care of me. I guess it’s that whole “in sickness and in health” deal. Thanks, Jerimiah.

Grandparents are healthy. Our friends are all safe. Our extended family is good. We don’t get to see everyone as much as we’d like, but we’re all making do.

But still I’m walking around in a daze most of the time. I’m trying to be positive. I’m trying to be upbeat. I’m trying to stay chipper, but some days are better than others.

I’m getting a scan of my veins and arteries this week, hopefully that will give us some answers. I have an an appointment with a Rheumatologist, more answers, fingers crossed anyway. But the beat still goes on, yeah? The world still turns. Yeah. It all keeps going whether we need a breather or not. I think that’s what I love about this life. We don’t have much of an option. Just forward.

So yeah, I’m turning 39 soon. My age is moving forward, my feet are doing the same. And eventually my heavy head and heart will catch up. Here’s to a good week, y’all! May you be healthy and context if you can’t quite be happy.

M.

Reset

Geez, sorry you guys. I’ve been a sad sack lately. I think this is just some of that ebb and flow we always talk about with emotions and the world sits with us. I’ve been particularly stressed lately because of starting school, and Jackson starting school, and a few other things I’m not quite ready to talk about on here, but when I am you know I will talk y’all like crazy about them.

Really what I am wishing for right about now is a reset button. Ever wish for one of those? Like when I was a kid and I would realize I was not going to make it back to the top of the Q-bert stack so I’d just reach over and hit restart on the Nintendo. Ahh, that was a good feeling. A do-over. A mulligan. That’s what I need for this week. Maybe this month. Certainly this year.

Let’s all look for that reset button today, okay? Maybe it’s nature? Maybe it’s a walk by yourself listening to your favorite podcast. Maybe it’s a call to your best friend. Whatever it is, find your reset button and hit it for me. Maybe it will reset us all.

Here’s to wishing.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

M.

Cards! Cards! Cards!

My mother-in-law makes cards. Yes, cards. Like paper cards that you send people. Like the kinda of cards that are legit $8 at the grocery store and you’re like why the hell am I spending $8 on a card to tell someone happy birthday when I could just call them and say it? My husband strongly dislikes store-bought cards. He doesn’t get why people send them, spend so much money on them, etc. He does like homemade cards, however, and it is important to note that for him a homemade card can be a piece of white printer paper folded in half and written on. No class, this man. I like all kinds of cards, but I prefer homemade cards. However, as it sits, I have three store-bought cards decorating my desk at this very moment because of how awesome they are and who sent them to me! Because in reality the card doesn’t so much matter, as what is written on the inside. My husband and I both agree on that part. Look here:

Tell me who doesn’t want to be sent a card that says, “You are a fierce lady-dragon who breathes fire upon trolls, haters, and mansplainers”?! Who doesn’t want that card?! Okay, whew, take some breathes, Lady-Dragon.

So my MIL has a crafting room wherein she sets up shop and makes wonderful, beautiful cards. She has like the dream crafting room, y’all. Like if you have ever thought, hmm, I need a crafting room, it is what you envisioned. Shelves lined with paper, and fabric, every kind of scissor you could need, and several work stations, not to mention a full-size fridge and a television. It’s legit. Anyway, she sits in there and crafts cards. She comes up with ideas and just makes them. They are pretty cool and many of them are quite unique. She also teaches card-making classes via Facebook Live to little old ladies who want to learn the art of card-making. For real, not making any of this up.

So when quarantine started, and we began sending out letters and cards to friends and family on the reg, my MIL signed me up for this card-making kit that is shipped to my house once a month. That way I would always have fresh cards to make. It is very simple, it all comes in one box with instructions, and I can sit down for an hour and end up with 12 cards. It’s a pretty cool deal.

Here’s what it looks like:

Below is a card I made last month with my first “summer” pack. I went rogue on this one, made one that wasn’t in the instructions. I didn’t follow instructions? What? Imagine that. It’s the only one I have left because I sent the rest of them out, they were super cute!

Anyway, this isn’t like an advertisement or anything. I’m not getting paid to write this, in fact my MIL has paid for my subscription, so it’s all free to me, I just wanted to share a thing I do that brings me quiet joy. I like it because I don’t have to be creative. Sometimes I do not feel creative, but I want to be creative, you know? So I can pull out the card box and follow the instructions and voila! I have a stack of cards. Then I can write to my friends and family and they are cute and unique and the whole process was quick and easy.

Jackson also likes to make the cards. He likes to take a lot of liberties with the ones he makes, and he HATES to actually write them to anyone, so it’s usually a battle. But we get it done. I also have postcards for him to send out since they take less time and energy and he can get back to playing Minecraft. (Eye roll).

So if you have received A LOT of cards from me recently, you know why now! I have become dependent on them over the last few months and as soon as I make them I want to send them out. Which led me to the nursing homes that are looking for penpals for their people. What? You haven’t heard of this?! Well then, read this article, then check out Victorian Senior Care on Instagram! You won’t regret it.

Now go forth and do something that makes you happy today, y’all! I will be making cards from my new box.

M.

This month’s box came with some tea light bags. I realized that you could stick any color paper inside though, and send them in the envelopes to whomever you want. You can write on the inside paper, then when they open it they have a tea light bag too. Cute! I was so excited when I figured that out. I’m so fucking basic. SMH. Beware, some of y’all getting these in the mail…

Sitting with Anxiety

Patsy asked me to do something yesterday that felt very odd, at first. Patsy is my therapist and I like her a lot, and I was telling her yesterday that I am in a bad place right now. I can’t sleep. I’ve lost motivation. I’m moving quickly toward a bout with depression, and of course I’ve done all I’m supposed to do. I’m working out three to four days a week. I’m taking my pills. I’m eating well. I’m taking walks. I’m trying to write. I have no “real” worries right now. My husband is employed. My son is doing well. But for some reason, I can’t get it together. My anxiety is peaking. Patsy asked me about my anxiety. Why is it bothering you now? She wanted to know. She started talking about my anxiety as it wasn’t a part of me, but rather a separate entity that was preying on me. It felt weird.

Next she asked me to close my eyes and envision the anxiety. What did it look like? What did it sound like? What, most importantly, did it want from me? Of course this was all over Zoom. We still aren’t meeting face to face because Coronavirus, so it wasn’t working as she liked. She instead told me to find a quiet place later and do this activity. Write it down if I needed to. Try to figure out what the anxiety needs. Open a line of communication. It sounded a bit bizarre, but I trust Patsy. Moreover, as soon as she said that looking at your anxiety as a separate entity can sometimes help, without even thinking much about it, this image popped into my head. Like she was still talking about this process. About EMDR, trauma patients, etc, and I was already envisioning the way my anxiety looks, acts, feels, reacts to my questioning.

So later I did what Patsy suggested. I drew a picture of an office chair. Fun and funky. Bright colors and a nifty pattern. I then closed my eyes and envisioned that I asked the Anxiety to come and sit with me. And well, he did.

He’s not very pretty, is he? He’s a he. Of course he is. I can’t really describe him. I tried to describe him to Jerimiah, and the best I could come up with is that he is a blob of chaos. Very dark. Bright eyes. So there he is. He doesn’t have a name, he doesn’t deserve one. He’s just Anxiety, and he’s a real asshole.

Turns out he feeds on worry, uncertainty, and chaos. He gropes me. Attacks me. Latches on to me when things seem to be going okay on the outside. He relies on lies. He relies on uncertainty to get me down. He’s very good at what he does. He is swift. He’s always around waiting to be fed.

I’m sure there is more to this exercise, and once I can get back into the office with Patsy I’ll ask her to walk me through it, but this is as far as I got today. I’m not sure I want to venture further in without her. But I did want to share with you all, because the biggest take away I got from this was that Anxiety comes and goes, but does not define me. He is mean. He is hurtful. He causes chaos, but he is not me. I am not him. And I guess I’ll keep fighting him, probably forever, but at least now I know who I am fighting.

I hope you all know who is with you and against you, today. What is with you, what is against you.

Stay safe and sane, y’all.

M.

Just a List of Beaches

Feeling like I deserve to be on a beach today. Feeling like I want to be on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or maybe on the rocky shores of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Perhaps walking along the water with my friend Beth in her small town in Rhode Island or laying on a water trampoline off the coast of the British Virgin Isles as my son bounces around me. Yes, any of those would work today. Instead, I wrote my name in the sand on the side of the road, while I walked incredibly close to my neighbor’s sprinkler to get hit in the face, like when the waves come at you out of nowhere. Yeah, that’s a thing I did. So today, in honor of me wanting to be at a beach somewhere, here are a list of beaches I have been to that I would love to go back to again, right now, at this moment. Any of them will work, because at this point, let’s be real…

  • Maho Beach, Sint Maarten
  • Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Lullwater Beach, Panama City, Florida
  • Emerald Isle, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • E-Beach Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Ocean City Beach, Ocean City, Maryland
  • Pitcher Point Beach, Gulfport, Mississippi
  • Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida
  • Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach, CA
  • Playa Pena, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Juniper Point, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Coronado Beach, Coronado, California
  • Whitecap Beach, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Newport Beach, Newport, California
  • Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, Rhode Island
  • Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Ocracoke, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Biloxi Beach, Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Cypremort Point Beach, Cypremort, Louisiana
  • Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, North Carolina

This is not an exhaustive list. We are beachgoers. Always have been, always will be. So many more to see. So many more to dream about. One day. Where would you go if you could go back to one of your places?

M.

Walking the Boundary Line

Let’s talk about boundaries today, y’all. I am 38 years old and have just realized for the first time that people will do anything they can to overstep your boundaries. Seriously. I know some of you are like, Damn, that is naive Missy, and you are right. How naive of me! I truly used to think that if you set your boundaries and told a normal person, like a family member, someone you love and who loves you, that they will respect those boundaries. They usually didn’t. And when they did not respect them I made excuses for them. Like, Well, they must be going through a lot right now, so I will just pretend like I didn’t set those boundaries and I will just let them mow right through them. Eek. That’s not good.

What are boundaries even? Well, some are just absolute truths about yourself that people should know and respect. One of mine is that I am painfully honest. So if you tell me to be honest with you, I will. You don’t have to force me, or ask me more than once. I am very comfortable in complete honesty. I can sit in truth for long periods of time, even the uncomfortable kind. And if you are new to this, it can be hard to be around me. But it is something that people know about me, it’s a boundary that I have. The particular wording for this boundary might be that I will not accept lies, or half-truths, or bullshit. I did that for too long. I know a few people who have their own, opposite boundaries when it comes to truth, and I try to respect those, but we don’t have the best time together. I will never be fully open with someone who can’t accept my complete truth and the way I approach it. Because truth should be universal, but it isn’t, that’s where my boundary gets tripped up. And I have spent more time than I would like taking shots about telling the truth. Having family members try to shush me. Trying to guilt me one way or another into not telling the truth. Usually they are just afraid I will say something bad about them, but what they don’t get is this is my truth. That’s all I share. If they are in my truth they are in my truth, I can’t photoshop them out of memory. Believe me, I wish some people I could.

Another boundary I have is that I expect kindness. Not niceness. I don’t want to be around someone who is fake and who does things and says things for accolades. I want kind people. The real, salt-of-the-Earth, honest (because that goes hand in hand with kindness) people. I want to surround myself with people who do selfless acts and tell no one. Not a soul. Those my people. It’s like donating to a charity. Jerimiah and I do that regularly, and sometimes I share it online in order to guilt other people into doing it. (Hey, some people only work from a place of shame and guilt, just ask Mama Brene.) But I don’t do it to say, “Look at me! Look what I did!” I don’t need a pat on the back to know I did the right thing, I do the right thing because I know it needs done. And some people can’t respect that. Don’t understand that. And will spend many, many days and nights showing me how they are “nice,” but not kind.

Sometimes boundaries are actual, physical boundaries. Have you ever went in for a hug with someone and they sort of stiffened up? Or backed away? Or put their hand out for a handshake? Take note of that. They are telling you they have a boundary. A physical one. Not me. I’m a hugger. I often want to hug people I have just met if I get a good vibe from them, but that’s weird, and goes against a lot of people’s boundaries, and some social norms, so I don’t. But once I get the go ahead from you, I mean just one hug, that’s it, I’m done. Hugging all the way. But I do know and love people who do not like to be hugged, and I am absolutely aware, and I try to keep the hugging to a minimum. I also know and love people who have a hard time saying, ‘I love you.” Got it, we can do that in other ways too. But I DO LOVE YOU, YOU ASSHOLES!

Boundaries for your kids is nuts. Not boundaries with your kids, that’s a parenting deal, I mean boundaries for your kids. Like when you have a baby and have all these ways you want to raise them and people just won’t shut the fuck up and let you do it that way. Too many opinions. Too much judgement and shaming. Jerimiah and I had THE hardest time getting our parents to understand that we did not want Jackson to have food, actual food, until his first birthday. Only breast milk and formula as needed. It did not compute to them. How could a child not eat food? Well, he was eating food, the right food for him. Seriously, I know that is weird for some people to hear, but babies absolutely do not need to eat anything other than milk for the first year and they are totally okay and living and all the things. It’s just a hard thing to set boundaries for your kids. Another example, I have always told Jackson that he does not have to hug a single person. Not one. He doesn’t even need to hug me if he doesn’t feel like it. I mean I kid him all the time and tell him to come give me a hug, and he does willingly, because we are all huggers (even Jerimiah although he doesn’t look like it), but I was very clear that he need not hug a second-cousin, once removed that he has never met before. And he won’t if he doesn’t want to. And we have gotten some looks from family and all I can say is, it’s called boundaries people. Learn them, live them, respect them.

Anyway, those are just some boundaries I have been thinking about today. Do you know what some of yours are? Do you talk about them with your family and friends? Your therapist? Therapists are awesome at helping you set boundaries, or learning the tools/language you need to set them yourself. And as usual, I’m here to help to, though I am not a trained professional, I can help you find the resources you need.

Sending love and hugs, and wishes that your boundaries are respected today and everyday.

M.