showing up

January 2016 is winding down…FINALLY! Am I the only one who felt like this was an endless month? No, it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. It was actually an okay kind of month at least here under the Big Top. It just seemed like January was a long as a cold, dark Winter night.

Speaking of Winter…

I can neither confirm nor deny that Jodie was anywhere near the East Coast last weekend. I asked. Believe me.

But yes, January is coming to an end which, it would seem, be the PERFECT time for me to shake up my workout.  I never was a New Year, New You, New Workout or Joining a Gym kind of girl because anxiety girl hates the crowds. Still, struggling with the I’m getting older too season of my life, I am realizing that in order to maintain I need to do so much more than just run and throw some weights around occasionally; because it’s not just cardio vascular and muscular skeletal function that wanes in our middle ages…I realize that literally every single time I am crawling between ventilators, isolettes and parents kangarooing their tiny babies so I can hang IV fluids, administer meds or shut off an alarm, and then trying to get back up again. I won’t talk about the hobbled state of my back, my hips, my knees and my ankles at the end of a 12 hour shift.

So honoring my #oneword2016, I am pausing the running…kind of sort of because if I run, I run, and if I don’t, I don’t...instead I am walking more and as of last week, accepting Jodie’s challenge to get my Yoga on. Last week I discovered Adriene, whose playful humorous yoga practice is exactly what I need as I get back on the mat and accept the reality that is my ebbing flexibility and old lady joints. Five days into her New Year 30 Day Yoga Camp (while everyone else is almost done with it), I am learning to accept, create, embrace, awaken and celebrate that I am alive as I enjoy this one wild and precious life that is mine. There is more to come the next 25 days but the biggest thing I am coming to realize is not how flexible I am or, obviously, am not.

No.

The biggest thing is that I have shown up on that mat.

And that is kind of the biggest thing one can do literally in any relationship in their life whether love, friendship, work, your own self. If it’s important, if it’s valuable, you got to work with it, care for it, but first you got to show up.

Start here.

Show up.

 

wearing my words

Does a grown-assed woman really need daily affirmations?

Well, yeah.

Recent conversation with a family member reminded me of that especially when he insisted on calling me by the nickname that was, of course, a family term of endearment. Every time he called me c___ w____, I was reminded how the playground taunt brought home and shared at the dinner table became the family pet name for me because it’s love, Laura, nothing but love…except it wasn’t. At least for me it wasn’t. It hurt. It hurt a lot then…and (surprisingly because I am so far removed from that toxic swill most days) now. What can I say? I was emo when emo wasn’t cool which was probably why that endearment stuck and still tries to stick 45 years later.

Perhaps it isn’t so cool anymore for me to be emo…a middle aged woman like me.

Does a grown-assed woman, like me, really need to be reminded almost every day of her own personal truths?

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Sure!

My words, my personal truths look pretty amazing here on my wrist.

They’re shiny too.

 

 

press pause

Practically a week into 2016 and when am I going to take the time to post something, some picture, some thought, some moment of navel gazing…because people are waiting.

Heh.

Sorry.

Life distracts.

Taking time to consider my #oneword for 2016 as I have last year, the year before, and the year before that, I found myself anxious to sit down and share with you the right word for my 2016…again, because you all are waiting (in my imagination) it struck me that I had the right word for this year because whether you have been waiting and wondering, Big Top life has distracted…or perhaps readjusted the focus. So let me share with you…as soon as I pause this video.

What can I say, I love me a good riff-off.

PAUSE.

Pause is my #oneword2016.

2015 ended up being what I would call a fortuitous year. Actually I did refer to it that way when a friend asked to describe 2015 in one word. There were so many other potential words describing good, bad, anxiety, tears, fears, grief, happiness, joy…and on and on. 2015 wasn’t a stellar year but it certainly did not suck…mostly.Perhaps because (most of the time) I tried to deal as I said I would around this time last year.

Dealing, as I tried to do, I learned sometimes to just pause…take a deep breath…perhaps close my eyes…open my eyes…take another breath if needed…and in that way I would try to deal. There wasn’t always a fix or a solution or an ability to change but there was a moment, a break to realize the positive and where my strength lies.

So 2016, this year I will press pause…as needed…when needed.

Like today while running errands in the rain.

 

celebrating resilience

So I treated myself, because I deserve a treat sometimes…as we all deserve a treat every now and then…in moderation, always in moderation. But yes, I treated myself.

The packaging alone is enough to make me smile…and feel pretty…even if I didn’t bother to put on makeup or fix my hair or wear jewelry.

And then I opened the box and put on this lovely called Resilience.

I bought it because it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I bought it because 20% of the profits of this cuff will benefit The Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.

I bought it because as it delicately encircles my wrist, it reminds me of my own resiliency; my own remarkable ability to bounce back from some really crazy, awful, no-good, horrible, very bad things over the last half century…literally…stretched, bent, compressed and stretched in ways I could never imagine that I could come back from…and yet I did; no matter the direction life has taken me. Someday I might have a long heart to heart with some of the crazy side roads Life took me on, especially when I was too young to have any control but for now I will look at this lovely delicate cuff and remind myself just how strong I am.

I will also pause to think about and celebrate people I know who right now are proving their own resiliency as they are coming back from some pretty fucked up things:

  • starting over with a family who depends on them as they leave a dangerous, abusive situation strengthened by a tribe of people who love her
  • taking the chance to try again after living through the most unimaginable loss that you never get over…again surrounded by family and a circle of people supporting with so much love and so much encouragement and so much prayer
  • finally figuring out what education and career path is the one you want to be on after a few starts and stops and fails along the way…again surrounded by family and friends cheering you on because they believe in you and cheer for you…especially when you stumble and when you get back up to try again.

Not every resilient person finds themselves surrounded by unconditional support and love…at least at first glance. Still we survive and we thrive as we embrace our ability to handle whatever direction life takes us…in spite of the pain, the unbelievable grief and every other shitty roadblock along the way…because there is also a lot of love and blessings too.

5,6,7, fixed

So about Stitch Fix…

It’s been awhile and three boxes later, I have to confess that I came very close to thinking that perhaps the scrubs and t-shirts and shorts and jeans kind of girl that I am just might not be Fix-able.

Stitch #5:

Looked very cute packaged in the box and on paper. But nope times three. Sorry. Can’t lie. Bu-ut, there was two wins.

The London Times Sandra Maxi Dress

and the Bash Eaton Knit Top

Don’t judge, it was an incredibly bad hair day, no makeup and sleep deprived because I remain, always, Vampira the Night Shift Nurse.

Stitch Fix #6 came the following month.

And it proved to be a lot of nope because one can have too many maxi dresses…really. Also I was becoming weary of all the polyester. Being the scrubs and t-shirts and jeans kind of lady that I am, I was beginning to realize that I am also a natural fibers kind of girl too. Yes, I told my stylist that. I also included that one of the tops I actually did kind of like (in spite of the polyester) except it was missing a button. It was then that I learned that I could always request another. The fact that my stylist followed up apologizing for the product defect really pleased me. I’m all about good customer service and follow up. But there was one keeper because there was a wedding reception to attend.

The Le Lis Raven Dress

Then came Stitch Fix #7 and I was glad that I offered so much feedback and listened to my stylist.

It’s Fall y’all and it was all packed up in this Stitch Fix delivery. Too bad it was literally over 100º when it arrived because that, my friends is Fall in the Central Valley. Still…

The Urban Expressions Valerie Convertible Satchel doesn’t care what the temperature is.

Literally the most amazing bag that holds everything and looks good, so good. When your 13 year old son, your darling husband and your 21 year old daughter (who is pretty much never home because of school, work and 21 year old life is in the way) notice the bag and tell you what a great looking bag that is you know it is a keeper.

The Loveappella McGraw Two-Tone Stripe Knit Top

Fit like a dream with the perfect drape…and the cut-out in the back…perfect and kept.

Ignore the dirty mirror as I was ignoring the fact that it was 104º when I was wearing this and taking this picture. It’s better that way.

Next the Just Black Faye Skinny Jean and the RD Style Giana Open Drape Cardigan

With the bag too…we’re both ignoring the dirty mirror and the triple digits, right? Right. It might be hotter than balls but that sweater will be perfect come Winter…El Niño or no…please El Niño! Please, please, please! And the charcoal grey skinny jeans fit like a dream and definitely a keeper for Fall and Winter and Spring. Keep and keep!

Finally the Renee C Edmondo Stud Detailed Split-Back Blouse

LOVE! But this one pictured in the dirty mirror was too tight. But I wanted it…and with the 25% discount if I kept all five fixes it literally would be free because 25% off. I wanted it even more. But it didn’t fit. So I emailed my stylist with my dilemma asking if I could get the next size up? Of course, she answered back right away!  Oh happy day! I sent the too small blouse in the postage paid bag included in the shipment and three days later the right sized blouse arrived.

So the lesson learned for me is feedback is so important with fixes. So is taking advantage of social media so your stylist can see what interests you…that bag, those jeans, more natural fibers…pinned them all. I also learned that exchanges are just too easy. So is the follow up after the exchange to make sure that I was more than satisfied. Who knows what the next Fix will bring next month?

We shall see.

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