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Author: Jenn

On friendship and being all in

On friendship and being all in

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”

-Jon Katz

minions

I love this quote. I’m so blessed to have these type of friends. I have some from childhood, from high school, from college, early motherhood days, new friends, those I’ve met online and never in person as well as those I’ve met online and they’ve become like family. You can ask most of them, when I go into a friendship, I go all in. Because I don’t know how to love a friend with a half heart. It’s not always fun. But it is always worth it. I’ve been reconnecting with some older friends lately. It’s been good for me to remember who I was because honestly it’s who I still am. I just sometimes need to be reminded. I have been talking more frequently with one of my very dearest friends from high school and it’s been filled with laughter and reminiscing. He gave me a much needed gift. I saw myself through his eyes. He held up a mirror that was more accurate than the broken, warped, and twisted one I’ve been seeing myself in. It’s made a difference. 

Anyway, all that to say, if you have a friend you love & value, don’t let them slip away. Don’t be too ____ for them. (busy, tired, withdrawn) I know I’ve been guilty of that. Especially lately. I’m no different from anyone else. I have doctors appointments etc. Of course, not being a working woman and being at home all day I always worry about calling at the wrong time (which I usually do) but I know I get to the point of being paranoid that I’m annoying and that is harmful, too.

Anyway, like I’ve said and anyone who’s been in the line of fire when it comes to me being all in with friendship, I’ll fight for you. Probably long after I should have let go. I don’t give up. I stick. My friends are my people. My tribe. They are my life glue. I need my people. So make no mistake, even if I’m hurt, I’ll never give up. Ever.

On blogging and Facebook

On blogging and Facebook

 

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Today was one of those days that kicked my ass. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. It brought me to a place where I thought “I want to blog about this.” But then I thought, “No, I shouldn’t. I may upset so and so.” Or “My blog has been down and I doubt anyone reads it amymore.” Or “Why do I even blog anymore. Do I still love it? Does anyone?” So I took the question to Facebook.

Oh, there was a time I never would have done that. It would be blog first always then maybe a link on Facebook but that would be a second thought. Today it was my first that and the blog didn’t come to me until after I read over 90+ responses to my question: “Does ANYONE blog *just* for the love of blogging anymore? Not worrying about stats, SEO, reviews, readership numbers, ads? Would you blog simply for the love of blogging? Or is that a relic of the past? Is that kind of blogging dead? It’s a genuine question. I want to hear your thoughts.”

I loved the variety of answers. Some blog for the love of it only. Some for money and passion. Some for work. Some only when they think about it. Some have quit. Every one that answered had a different reason for blogging. And I loved that. I really wanted to know if anyone still loved it because after more than 11 years (and many bumps, bruises, blood, sweat and tears), I wasn’t sure if I still did.

During the day (after I posted that) I noticed that I had 2 comments I had previously left on 2 pages were deleted. Maybe coincidence. And? Only one comment got me wrapped around the axle. It made me wonder…with the instantaneous ability to comment, question or debate someone on Facebook, are people more  likely to question something you write there than to come to your house (BLOG) and do it there. Say for instance if I asked that question here, first of all, I know I wouldn’t get over 90 people responding. Secondly, would people be likely to expound on their thoughts? Dig deeper than on Facebook? Maybe start a dialogue? I don’t know. It just made me wonder if people act/react differently in a community like Facebook than they would in you home like a blog.

Do you respond differently on Facebook than on a blog? I’ll be honest. There are times I do. It’s an easy knee jerk reaction when you see something scroll by to immediately respond. Good or bad. I’m open to both. I just want the dialogue. I have LOVED the conversation my question started. Absolutely loved it. Whether your answer was “Nah, don’t have time with all my work SEO etc to have the love” or “I love it so when I feel it, I write” or even “I hate this question. It makes me uncomfortable.” I love that it make you think. Or at least react. Thanks.

On looking back on the past

On looking back on the past

A few days ago an old friend posted a picture of some young band geeks. It was me and my high school friends. It was an amazing time to take a trip down memory lane. We laughed over hairstyles. Mocked the notes on the chalkboard. Checked in on where everyone was these days. Teased about how we’ve aged but not really but totally. It was exactly what I needed. It was from my favorite year in high school. Oh, the laughs we had that year. My “soul mate” friend, Harvey (*he knows who he is) was as always by my side. We were all so young, so happy, so innocent as to what life would bring our way.

I’ve always said I’d never, ever go back to high school again. But after seeing that picture and looking at each and every face, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would go back… for a while. I could share a story with you about every person in that picture. Some would be bittersweet. Some would have you rolling in laughter. And, yes, some would have you rolling your eyes calling us geeks. And I’d love each and every story.

Sometimes you don’t realize the best stories of your life are happening while they’re happening. It’s only after they are long gone and  you look back and smile that you realize, “Wow, we sure did have one hell of a good time, didn’t we?”

Band Geeks 87
Band Geeks 87
On going to bed and other misunderstandings

On going to bed and other misunderstandings

After being married to the same person for almost 25 years, you learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  Areas where you are strong and also where you are incompatible.  I have to confess something to you.  There is an area of incompatibility that Clint and I have suffered through for years.  Come here so I can whisper it to you.  Shhhh…it’s in the bedroom.  Oh, whatever!  Had you going there, didn’t I you gutter-minded people!  Not like “in the bedroom”, but in the room in which the bed happens to be.

You see, it all begins with 4 little words:  “I’m going to bed.” Oh, sure, on the surface they seem innocent enough, but in truth, they are words that can strain even the best of marriages.  You see, to him “I’m going to bed” means, I am going to go get in bed, turn out the light and go to sleep.  I KNOW.  Totally weird!  I don’t get it either.

For me “I’m going to bed” means:  I am going to:  go check email one last time; check on the kids; get a drink; make sure everything is turned off, locked or put away; grab a book–maybe a DVD depending on how tired I am; grab my notebook; brush my teeth etc; make sure I set my alarm; crawl in bed and then…well, I read, watch a DVD, type on the laptop or want to talk.  Honest it is most often the talking.  Love the talking.  Such a weakness, I get that.

Can you see the incompatibility here?  (Yes, I know.  HE does make things difficult!)

Here are just a few things that I have found that my beloved does NOT find amusing when we accidentally hit the bedroom at the same time.

1) Poking him after he has turned off his light because I am cracking up and then insisting he read the warning label on the bottle of sleeping pills that says May Cause Drowsiness because that is just too funny.  He really doesn’t want to read it and probably doesn’t think it is funny.  Also, the giggling about it for a minute or so will not change his mind on this.

2) Watching anything on my tablet that will make me laugh is forbidden because–if you know me, you know this– I do not have the little demure “how cute” laugh.  If something is funny, I laugh all out, balls to the wall and have even been known to snort a time or two.  Even if I retell the scene that I am laughing about, he still does not find it funny.  (Oh, and shoving the tablet into his face does not help the situation.  In fact, it usually gets the tablet taken away.  I’m just sayin’.)

3) Just because he is quiet, that certainly does not mean he is opening the door for me to explain my ENTIRE day in excruciating detail right up to the moment he joined me in the bedroom.  To him, quiet means going to sleep. Like I knew that?!  Quiet means:  “Okay, now YOU talk.” Duh!

4) Nights when I am in a silly, babble-assing mood, I really, really, reeeeaaally need to learn to dial down the crazy.  He is not impressed by  “Omigod! You are totally not going to believe this, but…” followed closely by “Today, in People magazine I read…” That will get me the glare of death or the “punch the pillow in exasperation” thing.  Both…not so good.

5) I really should only listen to calm, soothing music on my playlist when I am trying to fall asleep because he REALLY does not not not like to be awakened to the screeches of me singing KISS’s Rock and Roll All Nite.  I mean, he REALLY does not like that.  At all.  Not one bit.  I’m just sayin’.  Oh, and even if there is no singing involved, head banging, hip tapping, and bed dancing are also unacceptable.  And singing Cheap Trick’s I Want You To Want Me is NOT foreplay.  Who knew?

6) Finally, when he suggests that perhaps I go to bed a good hour earlier than he does, that does not necessarily mean that he is worried that I am not getting a good night’s sleep.  Oh, no sir, it does not.  It actually means that he is hoping against all odds that all of the insanity that occurs after I utter the words “I’m going to bed” will have died down and I just might actually be asleep or nearly there by the time he gets into bed.  Silly, silly man.  Does he not know that as soon as I hear him come in, I am more than ready to talk or sing or poke at him.

I mean, that is what marriage is all about, right?

Oh this is just perfect….he just now this very second gave me:

7) I really should NOT read my blog entry to him when he comes in, gets into bed and turns out his light.  He won’t think it is funny.  Won’t laugh.  And REALLY will not appreciate the genius that is late night writing.  In fact, as I type I am getting the glare AND the pillow hit.  Awwww, I just love this man.  But really, I am totally about to lose my laptop if I don’t go.  Now.

Besides, I have all the seasons of Gillmore Girls to rewatch on Netflix.  Which will violate #2, but I like to live on the edge.  Might even fire up the old Spotify just for fun!  (Yes, it actually IS okay to feel sorry for him.  Just don’t tell me about it.)

Living la vida lupus

Living la vida lupus

I don’t know how to say this so I am going to say this as if I am just talking to a group of my friends. Okay?

So many of you have followed me through this journey of trying to discover why I have been suffering for years with chronic daily (as in every single damn day of my life) headaches and migraines. Back in April  of 2014, I was hospitalized for 9 days while they ran tests and tried to get the pain under control. I started to find relief around day six. (Wouldn’t you know it?)

While I was in the hospital they ran many, many tests. Some of those test results came back not so very encouraging.  My focus was on finding relief from my headache pain and that was basically all I cared about. I finally found an amazing new neurologist with a new game plan to kick these headaches back to hell where they came from. Long story short, my new neuro was going over my test results and called me to go over other, non-headache realated symptoms. She then sent me straight to my former rheumatologist who them put 2 +2+ 6 +7  together and came up with Lupus.

A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with Lupus.

I hate that sentence. I really, really hate that sentence.

A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with Lupus.

I can’t even cry about it. I want to. I want to rage. I want to break things and scream. And cry. But the urge is stronger to just lie on the floor and just be. Just lie there until the whole damn world makes sense again. Or I can make sense of it. I don’t do any of that. What does that even mean? I’m pretty sure it means I’m in massive denial. Or I’ve finally snapped.

Right now we don’t know what the connection is between the daily headaches/migraines and the lupus. I’m sure we’ll be digging that up and trying to connect the dots now. All I really know is that I am in pain. I hurt. I mean, I really hurt. Every day. And, yeah, I’ll say it: This sucks. I’ve also heard that lupus doesn’t travel alone but likes to bring along other autoimmune friends. I know they see inflamation in my thyroid, so let’s hope that is the only friend invited to this party.

I don’t know what else to say.

Apparently (according to the doctor and even if I am in denial) I have Lupus.

I am scared.

I am mad.

I am still so very, very much in denial.

I am in pain.

I am lonely.

I am alone.

I am angry.

I am tired.

Did I mention…. I am so scared.

And we’re back to me not knowing what to say.

Oh, I have one more:

#suckitlupus

jls-sle

Singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was forbiddden and the rebel who broke the rule. But don’t tell.

Singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was forbiddden and the rebel who broke the rule. But don’t tell.

Growing up the youngest of three kids, I had my fair share of being picked on but I gave my share of bratty back so it evened out. My sister is almost four years older than I am and though it appears that I could take her down in hand to hand combat, you would be so very wrong to think that. She may be tiny but she is scrappy and tough as hell. So, between looking up to her as an older sister and being afraid knowing she could take me down if she wanted to, I pretty much did whatever she told me to do. Except when I didn’t.

There were several “rules” she made that I had to obey whether she was around to enforce them or not. And believe you me, I followed those rules no matter what because, honey, that girl could be pretty freaking scary when she wanted to be. I knew better than to mess with her. (I still do.) Respect, yo. But…(you knew that was coming, right?) there was one rule I just couldn’t obey. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it. I suppose you (or Gloria Estefan) could say “the rhythm was going to get me” eventually.

One of our all time favorite songs was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” so of course we (and by we I mean she) got it on a 45 to play on our (and by our I mean her) awesomely cool blue record player. There was one rule. I was never ever ever ever never ever EVER never even if there is a fire and you have to call our for help with the song never ever sing ANY part of the song EVER except the background (Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,etc). She was not kidding. That rule was law. In fact, it was the biggest rule of my childhood as laid down by my older sister.

2014-03-25 00.00.14But sometimes my sister would leave the house for sleepovers. Oh, those glorious sleepovers! I would sneak into her room, get out her radically cool record player, and her hip blue 45 record case. (Did you have one of those? We still have it.) I would carefully count each record until I came to The Lion Sleeps Tonight to ensure I could return it to the exact same spot. I was careful not to be caught. I’d close her door and play that record over and over and over and over. And you can darn well believe I sang every single lyric of that song. I sang on the top of my lungs. I sang as if the room was sound proof. (As a parent I can only imagine my own parents giggling at my act of rebellion that brought me such joy.) I sang until my voice was cracking and my throat was dry. (Or my brother came in and threatened me.)

I carefully replaced everything exactly as I found it, left the room with the biggest smile on my face and felt as if I had gotten away with something HUGE. To this day, I still hesitate to sing the lyrics. It’s not as if she is going to pop out from the back of my van and attack me. But still. It is THE rule I cannot ever ever break!

I was brought back to this when my former boss for years and good friend Elisa posted this awesome video on Facebook. And guess what? I sang the entire song. Shhhhh….don’t tell my sister. Seriously. She can still kick my hiney if she wanted to.