Mindfulness of the Soul 2019

[[ NOTE:  How I wish I’d composed this entry the same day I returned from the retreat, which was the original plan.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  Consumed by depression, my current feelings stand in stark contrast to the way I felt then.  Maintaining a sense of chronological order necessitates this post before any others.  Trying to revisit the metaphorical Cloud 9 of that weekend feels bizarre.  I hate that my emotions no longer coincide with my words, trying to revisit that mindset proves difficult.  ]]

Mindfulness of the Soul [referred to as MOTS or the remainder of this post] transported me to a faraway realm.  Though the return drive from my house took less than ten minutes, I felt worlds away from the oasis that was MOTS,  I could have added another week to my stay, easy.  Yanking me out of this Zen-like reverie only to be thrust back into the ‘real world’– teeming with stress and problems I’d managed to forget over the weekend– seemed inhumane.  Leaving my reverie to abruptly be thrown back into the chaos outside of the cocoon wasn’t something I was equipped to do.  In fact, it was only a few hours post-MOTS where the harsh slap of reality reminded me I was no longer in paradise.  Sigh.  BeFunky-collage

I cannot speak highly enough of the St. Columba facility and its staff, who were kind enough to host our group for the third year in row.  St. Columba makes every effort to recycle on their premises– an endeavor very much appreciated by our eco-conscious bunch– and the homecooked meals were vegetarian friendly.  Every employee we encountered was so friendly and welcoming.  Imagine my delight when I found out they offered an affordable summer camp option!

Their grounds are breathtakingly beautiful and offer multiple trails and ample space to just…be…outdoors.  Chrysti Hogan [one of the first friends whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Neshoba] generously permitted the use of the photos she took on our nature walk.  Initially I felt upset and somewhat panicked without my phone.  By the end of the weekend I saw it as an asset.  Any missed photo opportunities I can relive through viewing our MOTS page on Facebook and I spent my retreat unplugged– the perfect antidote to life’s stressors.

P.S.  Be Funky is my new best friend.  It’s a free site that allows you to edit photos and create collages [much like those nifty apps on your smart phone] on the computer.  

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Glimpsing at our Saturday itinerary it’s easy to see that we’re not you’re typical group of women.  Most of us come from Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church— which isn’t your typical church– but that’s certainly not a requirement.  There is a definite Pagan influence felt throughout MOTS and several of our ladies walk that path.  Buddhist tenets occur as well.  Ours is a welcoming and inclusive group.  We embrace the bond between women and celebrate sisterhood.  While I do not proselytize, I can barely contain my enthusiasm regarding MOTS and Neshoba and will gladly discuss them if inquiring minds want to know.

One of the most appealing aspects of the retreat was the freedom of choice [see what I did there?].  Although there were regularly scheduled events participation was not mandatory.  The Mamma Mia singalong wasn’t my cup of tea so I used that time for meditation instead.  And I inadvertently journaled my way right through the Flower Crown craft but apparently I needed to write.  Being able to follow your intuition when it comes to exploration ensures everyone can get what they need from MOTS.  Participate in a structured activity or take a nap– whatever feels right at the time.  But be sure to set an alarm clock if something really suits your fancy.  Or you just might be wandering around the nature trails during the Coming of Age ceremony for the youth.  True story.

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Rocks & Crafts

I assembled this photo to display the rocks I collected on my various excursions juxtaposed with some of the crafting materials I took home with me.  No sooner than the smell of hot glue guns wafted through the air and glitter covered my hands did I get hit with a wave of nostalgia.  Childhood memories of the arts and crafts cabin at Camp Ozark flooded my brain.  Collages and creative visual expression have always appealed to me.  I have no talent whatsoever in terms of drawing or painting but making things has always been an outlet for me.  An instance in California reminds me of the power of crafting:  Kelly Castle and I [without a dollar to our names, mind you] wandered through Michael’s for over an hour, transfixed.  We excitedly discussed how we would spend our non-existent money, with particular attention to molding soap, making candles, and decoupage.  The fact that I could wander into a craft room at MOTS was cathartic.  I owe it to ME to treat myself to some crafting activities when the funds accumulate.

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Madra’s tools of the trade

“Raising Your Vibration – Shifting Your Consciousnesses through Sound” was the official title for Saturday night’s experience.  Facilitated by the enchanting Madra Little, she came bearing bowls.  Not just any bowls but giant crystal ones, emitting various tones and causing vibrations.  WOW.  W-O-W.  I rank this experience in the same realm as that of the satsang I experienced in New York.  Five years ago at Grace House a wonderful lady came with a few of her crystal bowls for a demonstration.  Just from that Crystal Bowl 101 crash course I realized this was a powerful tool.  Sound meditation rockets me to another dimension.  Giving me the ability to transcend and go elsewhere, my soul felt invigorated yet relaxed, purged yet filled….my words are futile.  It is no coincidence that as our session was coming to a close an intense thunderstorm was just getting started.  As our group was winding down, fierce flashes of lightning and resounding thunder filled the air.  Yet another example of how in tune we are with nature.

Within the first few minutes of returning home I located her website, Cranial Visions.  I realize to the skeptic these sort of concepts my sound a little ‘hocus pocus.’  Trust me, I get it.  Once upon a time I was that person.  I did not view my peers with derision or laugh at them behind their backs– I just thought they were drinking some intergalactic Kool-Aid that didn’t much affect me.  Oh, how times have changed!  Now I consider myself to be one of the enlightened ones.  I am a spiritual being who is capable of engaging with Spirit, plugging into the Universe, and finding the Goddess within.  Yes I just went there.  All I ask is for you to approach an experience like this with an open heart and open mind.  You just might be surprised with the results.

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Chelsea Orland

Let’s take a moment to discuss the phenomenon that is Chelsea Orland.  I first met her at Neshoba when she was a couple of years into the teenage experience.  Seeing as how her dad is our church’s Musical Director, the pleasant sounds of her family singing constantly fill our church.  Though hers seem to be filling a little less these days seeing as how she just PASSED THE BAR!!  I look forward to seeing how this new platform will enable her to continue making our world a more progressive, unified, and just place.  She’s a trailblazer.  Had my life not…taken a certain deviation…she is very much the type of young woman whose path I would emulate [minus the music] and whose personality, creativity, intelligence, empathy, and hard work will take her places.

But I digress.  Watching her perform for us Friday night– singing both covers and original material and even playing her ukele!– reminded me just how talented she is musically.  Much of her focus lately has been finishing law school and taking the bar [understandable] so that’s the side of Chelsea I’ve been witnessing, not the powerhouse performer.  I must add that she makes an incredible roommate!  She’s a fantastic, non-judgmental listener [which probably means I was talking too much] and I felt comfortable opening up to her.  Furthermore, she earned the distinction of being one of a select handful of individuals who know the entire, unabridged edition of “How Sloane and Allen Met, Their First Date, and Eventual Courtship.”  😂

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Individually I am but a piece but when connected with many others we become a cohesive puzzle representing our unique community.

Sunday morning I spent some quality solo time in the Red Tent followed by one of the best massages I’ve ever had in my life.  Does anyone know the name of that massuese?!  I most definitely will include her and Madra in my future budget.  Endless thanks to all who took part in planning MOTS.  My way of paying it forward is to involve myself with 2020.  I cannot wait!

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Posted in Blessings, California, Da Real Homiez, Feminism, Highest Self, Inspiration, Love, Merilynn, Neshoba, Sloane, Spirituality, Tennessee, Unitarian Universalists, Women, Words of Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dave

Still reeling from tremendous shock and devastation after stumbling upon the top Google hit for Dave: his obituary. I felt sick as my gaze landed on the date of his death. September. These past seven months he hasn’t been MIA because he was indisposed– he was dead. Nobody from his family told me. That ugly truth haunts me.

David Ratcliff was my ex-boyfriend. Not just any ex but “my favorite ex” we joked. Our relationship remains one of the most significant ones of my adult life. He was the first person I got involved with after returning home from California. We debuted as a couple during the summer of 2013 and stayed together for approximately a year and a half. Our mutual demon eventually tore us apart. Yet the deep respect we had for one another combined with our solid foundation of friendship allowed us to continue as platonic friends. And he was definitely one of my closest. Dave consistently proved his loyalty and would give me the shirt off his back even if he had no clothes. To think that he was able to be such a top-notch friend while simultaneously suffering from severe, debilitating autoimmune disorders and addiction blows my mind.

I’m broken. 💔 Damaged, but not destroyed. 🖤Yet I wonder how much more of these breaks I must endure….haven’t we had enough already?

Over the last few days I could barely contain the overflow of ideas and insatiable desire to write as quickly as possible. All that came to a screeching halt with the news of Dave. I just can’t find words right now. I’m hurting and for the sake of my mental health [and giving important pieces the reference they deserve] refuse to rush myself.

On a final note, I appreciate everyone who has reached out to check on me. But I don’t want to talk about it. Grief for me is a deeply intimate, personal process. Be respectful of my coping mechanisms.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

Posted in * R. i. P. *, Da Real Homiez, Death, Z | Leave a comment

Retreat part deux

Six long years have passed since my deflowering.  Not that but the other V card– the Neshoba women’s retreat.  I’m stunned that I only wrote a couple of vague paragraphs about one of the most powerful experiences of my life.  Ever since 2013 I’ve longed for the chance to embark on another sacred journey with my spiritual sisters.  Two days ago my wait finally ended.

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Consider this my official retreat portrait for 2019

Barely pausing after whirlwind 48 hours at St. Columba, Allen and I are about to head out the door to the Redbirds game.  I can’t wait to share my weekend with you!  Expect lots more this evening.  Until then….

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

Posted in Unitarian Universalists, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spanakopita, Operation Varsity Blues, Beach

Day two without my phone and I’m acutely feeling its loss.  People glued to their devices get a bad rap, the assumption being they are constantly refreshing social media feeds and not doing something ‘important.’  I’m guilty of the mindless scrolling at times, but my phone is so much more than that.  Those precious pictures of my family!  Editing photos and making collages!  Screenshots of crucial documents/conversations!  Capturing a moment on camera!  FaceTime with my son!  Texting with my man!  Googling things that interest me!  Answering questions instantaneously!  Editing blogs on the go!  Reading the news!  You just don’t know how heavily you rely on the iPhone until it’s gone.

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Treasure promptly sent me an email upon seeing the news of my stolen phone.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing she regularly follows– and enjoys– this blog.  I also contacted The Half Sibling via Gmail so they’re aware of the situation as well.  Thanks also to the man of my dreams for sharing his phone with me.  Who even needs a cell phone when you have a snazzy Apple Watch?!

In a previous post I mentioned my lack of communication with Treasure.  As per usual I assumed the worst case scenario, thus snowballing my anxiety.  Turns out she left her phone at the office.  Oops.  That’s what I get for overreacting.  Why do I always think it’s something I’ve done?  Here’s a perfect example– the Assistant Manager at Kroger asked me to his office for a conference a few weeks ago.  Panicked, I racked my brain wondering what possible infraction I’d committed.  Was he going to fire me?!  A feeling of dread washed over me and my stomach was queasy.  Despite being a friendly, enthusiastic, reliable, and hardworking employee who was good at what I did, it never once occurred to me that he might be complimenting me.  Or maybe he wanted to check in and see how things were going, or ask if I wanted additional hours.  Sure enough he told me I was doing a fantastic job and that my willingness to step up combined with my flexibility and competence made him think of me as the perfect candidate to be trained in an additional department.  And here I am terrified I’m about to get the ax.

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Casbah’s vegetarian platter

Readers in the Memphis area– run, do not walk to Casbah.  This hidden gem on Germantown Parkway [Cordova] serves some of the best Mediterranean food I’ve ever eaten.  Allen and I could not believe how delicious this cuisine was.  We will be ordering as often as we can afford it and look forward to actually visiting the restaurant to sit down and dine.  Just thinking about how mouth watering it was makes my tummy grumble.  Baberz savored every bite of his lamb gyro.  We loved the thickness and spice of the lentil soup we shared.  And my vegetarian platter probably ranks in my top ten meals EVER.  Hands down the best spanokopita I’ve ever tasted, dolmas, falafel, veggies, and hummus came alive with seasonings that enhanced the already rich flavor.  Perfection.  Cannot recommend enough.  Will definitely be writing more about this glorious establishment at a later date.

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I laughed so hard tears started falling out when I first saw this meme.  😂

No doubt “Operation Varsity Blues” has been all over various media sources, implicating dozens of well-to-do folks.  Among these were actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin a.k.a. Aunt Becky.  In case you’ve been living under a rock click here to get up to speed.  Quite frankly the whole scandal has me baffled.  Not entirely surprised, but baffled nonetheless.  Are these parents so insulated by celebrity, affluence, and privilege [or any or all of them] that they could be so out of touch?  Completely blind to reality and the possible consequences of their actions they acted with no regard for the effect it could have on their children– or their careers.  Not only have they becoming laughingstocks, they’re facing felonies and jail time.  They’ve put their children at risk [total and utter humiliation at best and expulsion at worst – assuming they were unaware] and jeopardized their own careers.  So full of arrogance and ego they felt this route was an option, throwing money at Rick Singer to make apathetic students wanting only to party into top-tier athletes.  It’s bizarre.  And it will be tabloid fodder for a long time.

One would think a sizable donation [the type that builds a new library, for example] would be enough to sway the jury in favor of a prospective student.  Money talks.  Giving funds to an educational establishment shouldn’t make or break admission…but let’s be real here.  If the aforementioned individuals and their peers can afford to part with up to $500,000, why didn’t they just donate?!  Doing so would be considered ‘charitable’ [in a sense] and eliminate the need to blatantly cheat by rigging the system.  My heart goes out to any of those deserving students who were passed by as a result of this deplorable scheme.

[[ NOTE:  The CBS News story linked above references an intriguing title.  How exactly does one become a ‘Hot Pocket Heiress?’ 🤷‍♀️ ]]

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Some of the Grace House ladies enjoy the sunshine at Overton Park [summer 2014]

Few internet behaviors irk me more than being put in a Facebook group or group message without my consent.  I can’t stand to see my alerts cluttered with constant feedback and activity [even most of the organizations I support and joined voluntarily I’ve long since turned their notifications off] or hear the non-stop ping of a conversation between multiple people.  Rather than keep up I make my exit as quickly as possible.  Two notable exceptions include the secret GH Mafia group and the associated chat with my Sisters from Grace House.  Trying to explain our bond to those who aren’t a part of it is futile– they couldn’t possibly understand.  I would go to the ends of this earth for each and every one of these ladies and I know unequivocally they’d do the same for me.  Watching the GH Mafia spring into action when we were concerned about a fellow Sister reminded me just how lucky I am to have them on my team.  I love you all  more than words can express.  💖 #platitudes

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The first photo we took at the first restaurant we visited

Two years ago my beloved Shay treated me to the trip of a lifetime.  We drove to Orange Beach, Alabama to get some much needed R&R.  Shortly after we settled into our hotel we decided it was chow time.  Tourist-y areas on the beach have no shortage of food options, but if you’re wanting something affordable that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg– that’s a different story.   After inspecting a few menus we settled at Hurricane Grill & Wings.  This is the only picture we took of us both [though there were several selfies] on that first day.  When it popped up in my ‘Memories’ I knew what the next few days would have in store….it’s bittersweet.  Last year Shay and I reminisced over the anniversary of our trip and said we needed to plan another one.  She was murdered a month later and we never got that chance.  😭😭😭

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My idea of a perfect weekend.

I can think of no better topic to follow a remembrance of Shay than reading.  Oh, how we loved a good read.  We proudly proclaimed our dork status and relished the bookworm label– though we were magazine mavens as well.  Speaking of magazines, based on the flood of subscription renewal notices I received it’s about that time.  In addition to the three titles shown above I need to add Bitch and National Geographic to the roster.  I’m also strongly considering a subscription to my favorite weekly, People, because it would save me over $100.  That seems like a no-brainer but the cost of a year looks pretty pricey, especially compared to these other totals coming it at a fraction of that amount.  I just need to bite the bullet and do it.

It is no secret my deep love for Elephant Journal [a post detailing my contest winnings is in the works] and unlimited access for $24 is money well spent.  For those who are not certain they want to take the payment plunge or cannot afford to do so, Elephant Journal offers a daily newsletter delivered to your email.  Typically containing links to relevant articles and a letter from the editor, Waylon Lewis, readers can view up to four pieces a day for FREE.  Initially this was the route I went but it became a source of great apprehension trying to narrow it down to just four.  

Recently, however, I noticed something was very wrong.  My beloved EJ wasn’t waiting for me each morning in my inbox.   Quelle horreur!  I checked the ‘Social’ and ‘Promotions’ tabs, no luck.  No sign of it in my spam folder either.  So I tried to subscribe again– twice.  Still no cigar.  Finally, I checked my block filters and lo and behold….there she was.  How did this sacrilege transpire?!  I asked [only somewhat jokingly] Allen if he was responsible for this blasphemous act.  He teases me about my EJ obsession and made the stunning revelation that he does not read the 324403253453 links I send him per week.  Did he imbibe a little too heavily and play a prank?  Yes it would be comical– and I’ve been stumped for over a week now– so it would be a bit over the top at this point.  But he swears up and down he did not and would not do that.  I’m still at a complete loss as to how this happened.  Sigh.  I may never know.  Praise the Universe that we have reunited!

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

 

 

Posted in * R. i. P. *, Anxiety, Da Real Homiez, Memories, Restaurants, Travels, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stolen phone

The title pretty much sums it up.  I’m livid.  When you are at the home of a ‘friend’ you assume their other company is legit; therefore, it is not necessary to bring your phone with you when you’re gone for two minutes to take a tinkle.  That mistake will never be repeated.  Neither will my failure to do a monthly backup to my computer.  Just a few days ago Allen downloaded iTunes so I could get everything saved on the desktop and clear up space on my device– this weekend’s project.  If only I acted sooner.  My last iCloud backup occurred 5 January.  Fortunately the majority of my photos are on social media.  Not all of them, however.  And I lost the number for a very important contact.

Treasure, please email me when you see thissloanewilke@gmail.com  

As much as I want to put the address on blast and plot my revenge….I chose to conduct myself with integrity.  Let my behavior stand in stark contrast to their thievery.  Even though one person actually took the phone I say “they” because I’m sure at least one [if not more] of the 6-7 people there knows.  These people can work hard and earn money just like I do.  Instead they resort to stealing.  Shameful.

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To the lowlife who stole my iPhone:

Congratulations on your new piece of visual art.  I hope you enjoy staring at it– because that’s all you’ll be able to do.  Without my passcode [unfortunately for you I’m not one of those 123456 types] the device is useless.  Apple places a premium on privacy [I would know considering I worked there] and cannot remotely access the phone or reset the passcode.  Nobody will ever get past the initial lock screen.

It didn’t have to go down this way.  I gave you multiple chances to produce the phone– stepping outside, using the bathroom in the rear of the home, and even going for a walk [with my purse of course].  I made sure that I  mentioned how ‘scatterbrained’ I was and said ‘it will turn up as soon as I’m not looking.’  I gave you an out! 

Here’s to hoping you find– or in your case, steal– a charger and plug that bad boy up.  I’d love to pinpoint your exact location with Find My iPhone.  But even if I never get that satisfaction, I will get another phone.  My insurance covers a stolen phone.  Of course I’ll have to speak with a representative and send a copy of the police report they require…but that extra monthly fee is well worth it in times like these.

What goes around comes around.

Sincerely,

One very pissed off phone owner 

Filing a report with law enforcement is not how I envisioned my Saturday.  But you’ve gotta do what you gotta do.  I’m seriously considering a cord that connects my iPhone to a bracelet on my wrist so I’ll never be detached from it– much like those that have their glasses chained around their neck.  Does such a thing exist?

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

 

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11 years of Adam

On the 26th day of the month of March during the year 2008 my favorite son was born.  Meaning yesterday he tuned eleven.  I simply cannot wrap my head around the fact that Adam Harrison Reed has now made me a parent for over a decade.  What?!  My original plan was to write this last night but my exhausting defeat caused me to collapse as soon as I got into my bed.

Per the birthday boy’s suggestion we set up shop in his room to play foosball.  I posted a hilarious snippet of our game on social media [something for y’all to look forward to at a later date] because I clearly underestimated Adam.  He slaughtered me.  Being the graceful winner that he is he requested to make a video after I accepted my defeat.  Yeah kid, I taste it alright.  Just you wait until I pick our next game!

Making this collage sent the tears rolling.  The image on the bottom left is the very first photo I ever took with Adam.  Only hours after he entered the world at Baptist Memorial Hospital, his father [my favorite ex-husband] placed him in my arms and snapped one of my all-time favorite photos.  Beside it is the most recent photo we’ve taken together, several days ago at Shelby Farms.  As for the black and white photo….K captured us embracing during a picnic at a park in Atascadero.  Those pictures prove difficult.  So much of that time I wish I could forget.  Yet what happened to our family during those turbulent years only strengthened the bond Adam and I share.  We are thick as thieves, as the colloquialism goes.  Nothing can separate us.  Nobody understands more than Adam about the power of a mother’s love.

I constantly tell Adam I love him.  But I don’t tell him enough how much I like him.  Does he grate my nerves with his whining and less than stellar attitude?  Um, is the sky blue?  Especially as he gets older and really demonstrates who he is as a person, I cherish the time I spend with him.  We don’t have to be doing anything eventful– I’m happy just to chill with him.  Or listen to him talk.  Knowing that he trusts me enough to confide in me assures me that I’ve done something right as a parent.  One of our mottoes is “keep it 100.”  Being honest and open with him [at an age appropriate level] gives us a safe space for sharing.  He knows my struggles.  I don’t gloss over the fact that I’m not perfect….and neither is my parenting.  And he doesn’t hesitate to call me out or tell me how he really feels.  But you know what?  There is not a person on this planet who roots for my success more than Adam.  I love you, son.

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Mind won’t sleep

Interrupting this broadcast to announce my first born son, Adam Reed, turns ELEVEN tomorrow.  You read that correctly.  Only two more years until he becomes a teenager.  I can’t….

This is my ‘I get super duper excited and come on way too strongly and start chattering incessantly and shoot off rapid fire questions because the enthusiasm could literally make me burst’ face.

Ever since I went public about Treasure people want to know what’s being said.  Unfortunately…. not much.  She last stated that she was “relaxing and enjoying some me time.”  Seeing as how that’s one of my favorite pastimes, I totally understand.  Yet our conversation rhythm dwindled to the bare minimum.  Direct questions went unanswered and a picture not acknowledged.  That’s not typical of her.  I fear we may have reached a plateau after our initial discussions.  Did I scare her away?!  Or am I totally overreacting?  More likely than not she’s got a lot on her plate [overflowing plates are another concept with which I am intimately acquainted] and feels– the mutual buzzword for all of this– overwhelmed.  My deliberate attempt to keep expectations low and avoid attachment seems successful because I’m not upset or sad.  Just confused.  Not knowing why this is happening and if it has something to do with me sucks.  Treasure, can you just tell me what’s on your mind?

Biking excursion at Shelby Farms

Little man and I spent some quality time with our bikes this weekend.  We rode around the lake [a little over two miles] and got up to speed with each other’s lives.  His cheerful disposition, lack of whining, and general go with the flow reaction to changed plans thoroughly impressed me.  He’s working diligently to improve himself– attitude, fitness, grades, and just being the best possible Adam.  Proud mama alert!  Days like these counteract the ones where I’m where I’m wanting to guzzle a bottle of wine or take a Xanax [or three] cursing/crying and threatening to have Santa bypass our house entirely.  Dare I say he’s….maturing?

Every time I go to Shelby Farms I vow to visit more often.  It’s downright shameful how little I have taken advantage of all this incredible gem has to offer.  How long has the Greenline been here now?  Don’t Google the answer to that.  Not once have my tires made contact with the ground; disgracefully, I’ve never even set foot on it.  Spring shows itself more every day.  Take away cold weather and no excuses remain.  Utilizing the park to its fullest potential, especially with my children, is a priority for these next two seasons. 

 

Even if I spent the vast majority of my waking hours blogging it would barely scratch the surface in terms of what I want to say.  Then there are the times where words fail me because of the depravity of the situation.  Recent examples include the callous murder of Shannan Watts [along with her unborn child] with her daughters, Bella and Celeste and the massacre of Muslims in the Christchurch terrorist attack.  I start to outline of whatever it is I want to convey and I just weep.  It’s like my brain can’t even process the evil so it short-circuits instead.  I need to go deeper.  Laughter and crazy adventures have their place.  Yet I feel compelled to write articles [not necessarily on here but for publication elsewhere] that jar our consciousness.  Pieces with information you cannot push out of your mind.  Something that warrants a response and propels you into action.  Basically this is a note to self reminding me to allocate my daily writing time between blogging, actual pen & paper diary entry, and working on projects in other mediums…adjust the ratio according to my passion.

Scenes from the skate park

Life can be pretty damn heavy.  Last week the universe threw a curve ball at us.  A situation of this magnitude could have easily gone the panic route.  Worst case scenario thinking combined with debilitating anxiety usually signals a recipe for disaster for me.  Yet somehow I knew that things would ultimately work themselves out in the end and there was no place for a frantic meltdown.  How I achieved this Zen-like state is beyond me– but I’ll take it.  We let our bad news sink in and spent a few minutes reacting.  Then we noticed it was a beautiful day outside with tshirt temperatures.  So we cranked up the music, rolled the windows down, and went to the skate park.  Soon after there was a pit stop at Overton Park to stroll through the woods and take a few laps around the lake.  Allen and I have settled into a comfortable rhythm and I am eternally grateful that he is the Yin to my Yang and knows exactly how to handle the Many Moods Of Sloagan.

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My nephew and his longtime girlfriend dropped a bombshell of epic proportions:  she’s expecting.  He’s seventeen.  She’s younger than that.  Their little girl makes her debut around the 13th of June.  Like it or not, the baby is coming.  As much as I despise this phrase…it is what it is.  Do I agree with their decision?  No.  Less than ideal circumstances means the odds are stacked against the success of their young family.  Odds do not equal impossible.  They’ve got a tough road ahead of them but I commend Gavin for recognizing that impending fatherhood means it’s time to grow up and step up– no more juvenile delinquency and lots more gainful employment.  Kaitlyn, I know the two of you are committed to your relationship and parenting your baby.  You’ll be forced to grow up quickly and take the fast track to adulthood.

I want to conclude with a message for my beloved Toni.  Fear not, I will not use the ‘G word’ to describe your new role.  Stumbling upon a pamphlet about pregnancy facts while simultaneously noticing a bottle of prenatal vitamins on the nightstand blindsided you.  Do what you need to do to maintain your sanity.  Just know that we’re a fam [no matter how dysfunctional at times] and I will walk beside you this entire journey.

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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