Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world. ~ August Pullman’s Precept, Wonder, RJ Palacio

The very best thing about today’s 7th & 8th grade awards assembly?

Hearing students and teachers loudly whooping and hollering and applauding for your son when his name is called.

The second-best thing?

At the end of the assembly when several students come up to you to say, “Hi Daniel’s mom!” One even took the time to introduce himself and shake my hand.

The third best thing?

My kid was the only one who made a point to step away after receiving his awards to come hug his mom. Parents around me were hella jealous because what 7th or 8th grader does that?…in public?

I might have gotten a little teary at today’s awards assembly. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been listening to Adele’s new album, 25, on my way to the school.


and yes, Karen, this was a good week!

in a world like this just doing my job

Yesterday this:

Literally shared all over social media and even by local Phoenix television news. But what of the ASU and the ASU Police and the ASU LiveSafe app?

No news…at first. Soon though they took to Twitter assuring students, faculty, employees and visitors that while it was unsubstantiated they were investigating…and beefing up their presence. Stay safe they admonish too.

Home from working all night seeing all this on my social media feed as well in texts from my daughter there at ASU I’m thinking that there shall be no sleep…even if the Monday rains in Northern California promise a good day’s sleep for all Vampira Night Shift Nurses.

The hours pass with updates from Jodie with tales of a virtually empty campus

Empty except for the presence of campus police and other agencies everywhere. While denied publicly, Jodie confirmed reports that one building was basically locked down with occupants carefully evacuated and one person appearing to be taken into custody. Classes were never officially canceled, yet most were. At the end of the day, nothing much happened except for nerves rattled even more than they were during the overnight minor earthquakes that happened near Phoenix. Oh, and parents more stressed out than they really need to be literally everywhere. The threat did indeed prove to be nothing more than a hoax as announced today by the ASU Police and for that we are all thankful.

Still the fact that this is the reality for all of our children at literally every level of their education everywhere is absolutely, positively fucked up…absolutely, positively fucked up. Really.

But as for today, today is a new day. Today, hopefully, is a better day. Today is the day that my most favored Sun Devil Freshman is trying to select and schedule classes for the Spring semester which can prove to be a frustrating task when one is using ASU’s wi-fi it seems…if I am to believe my ASU twitter feed.

Lucky for Jodie, I am here.

Made. My. Day.

Just doing my job, baby girl…just doing my job.

Added bonus, I get to see your face. Thank you FaceTime.


belongs right here

“Just cheer up” is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It’s pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to “just walk it off.” …well-meaning people will tell me that I’m keeping myself from recovering because I really “just need to cheer up and smile.” That’s when I consider  chopping off their arms and then blaming them for not picking them up their severed arms so they can take them to the hospital to get reattached.

~ Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson

Now how in the world does the above passage have anything to do with sailing on the San Francisco Bay on the most perfect Fall day?

Probably no connection at all; except for the fact what I was thinking and feeling in the moment as I saw this sailboat while cruising on the bay that glorious, perfect Fall day this past Saturday, What a different place I am at from where I was a year ago. It’s not that I am no longer struggling with depression and anxiety, but rather that I am continuing to struggle with it…but the struggle is a good thing in the sense that I am, struggling that is. Struggling means that I am getting up and leaning into the headwinds that try to knock me down and keep me down.

Perhaps this photo belongs in this blog post after all!

Meanwhile, I was smiling a lot this weekend because there was so much good to feel good about…as opposed to feeling shitty because there is so much shitty to feel. Basically, right now, I’m going with the flow, letting the winds help to move me along…again a lot like that sailboat was on the bay.

Yeah, this photo totally belongs in this blog post!


not the new black, but classic

Anywhere, everywhere…in the media…in politics…in business…on social media…in every day interactions it seems that telling it like it is is it. Better to be rude, crude and sometimes downright mean-spirited because why not say exactly what is on one’s mind? Enough with being correct, or polite, or even kind.

Compassion, patience, kindness for the sake of compassion, patience and kindness is so outdated.

Belligerent, mean-spirited, bombastic rhetoric is so much more honest…at least that is what they say…the belligerent, mean-spirited, bombastic, assholes being the they…yeah, I said that. But hey, it’s like the new black!

Continuing to work our way through Wonder, Daniel and I are pausing to reflect on this new black that so many seem to celebrate and embrace. As the main character (and those close to him) struggle with bullies being bullies…and not just kids…we are both struck with just how common place this really is even in our circles. Yes. It’s more than okay for one to tear down another for their obvious weaknesses, flaws, physical characteristics especially when building yourself up because it’s all about honesty and keeping it a hundred. Laugh when they fall down. Mock the ones you do business with. Respect, kindness, patience, compassion, acceptance…that’s so weak.

As Daniel and I talk about the chapters we read today in Wonder, he points out that it seems like it’s okay even for adults to bully those who look different, who think different…like that Donald Trump. Why do people like someone who is mean like that, Mom?

Why indeed, son.

Ultimately, I tell him (and myself) those who are more remembered, respected and modeled after are those who live a life of kindness, patience, fairness, compassion and respect for all…especially when they have absolutely nothing to gain from living such a life.

Because they’re classic people, right Mom?

Yes, Son. Classic. Classic just like you!

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.