Give Yourself Credit


The New Year is upon us. Everywhere I look there are newsletters, blog posts, memes, you name it, that tell me I need to reflect on 2020 and plan for 2021. In reality, I’ve spent the entirety of 2020 reflecting on my life and where I want to go next. Did it give me answers? No, but I have a general direction.

Two things I spent 2020 working on were making my house a home and my finances both of which were a shambles.

My house was a jumble of furniture and stuff and was a pretty good reflection of the battles I was fighting internally. Anyone can have a house. I wanted a place that welcomed people when they walked through the door. I think I finally got there. Not what I would call done but a far cry from where I was at the beginning of the year.

My finances? I finally wrote it all down in once place. I tracked it all year. I had it broken out in categories and would compare the categories month after month. I changed some habits but not all. Today, I did my last month of tracking for 2020. I brought my total debt down by a pretty big number considering my side income was non-existent this year. Granted, my mortgage and a loan were what brought the numbers down the most.

Did you see what I did at the end of both of those paragraphs? One sentence gave me credit for all the work I did this past year. The very next one, takes it away. Why do we do this to ourselves? What did I have to add those last sentences? Weren’t the ones before it good enough? Or is it because we always feel we should have done more? We could have done better.

How about we just give ourselves credit for the work we have done? Because any amount will help you move forward to where you want to go.



It seems to me that starting anything is not really the hardest part. You can have an idea, a vision, a dream, a thought…anything that requires a bit of action on your part. And it will stay there until you take the first step. There are loads of people, organizations, or websites that will “help” you get started when you don’t know how. Or, let’s be honest here, just not really willing to start. You might even take the first step and then become surprised that the next step doesn’t just follow right along. “Wait…I have to do it again? and again and again and again?”

That is the hard part. Wanting something so bad that you will keep coming back day after day to do it again until it becomes that thing you thought about. Blocking out the thought of that other people might think your thing is bad, too personal, wacky, out there, stupid, the list goes on. Maybe you’re thinking that if you show the world who you feel you are on the inside, they won’t like you anymore.

Maybe, it’s time to like yourself enough to do those things that are bubbling inside you anyway.

A New Year, A New Decade


2020 is upon us. As a young child, I could not imagine a new century, and any year that started with 20 was SO far away. There would be flying cars and personal transporters, and I would be OLD. Yet here we are, and so far, none of those things have happened.

Yes, I am older now, but I’m not OLD! In fact, this year, I feel young, vibrant, and full of enthusiasm. All things that I haven’t felt for…too long. Far too long. I recently told my daughter that the way she does some art every day inspires me. Even if it’s a doodle on a post-it note, that girl is creating art. I used to write daily when I was her age. Then it became off and on until I just stopped. Every once in a while, I would pick up a pen and try again, but it never stuck.

When I wrote my birthday post, I had decided I needed a writing goal. I would write one blog post a month – minimum. Try and find January’s post. Oh yeah, I never did that. However, I’ve been journaling quite a bit. So while I haven’t been posting my musings publically, I have been writing almost regularly.

It’s funny how your thoughts evolve and grow when you are consistently writing. Some days my journaling is more of a to-do list. Other days it is a complete mental dump onto paper. Then there are those days where I genuinely take an idea and run with it. Sometimes in circles. Sometimes there are multiple tangents like the spokes on a wheel leading me back to the beginning or to a new place entirely.

2020 feels big in so many ways. For me, the most significant way is how my creative self is trying to escape the exile that I have sent it. I’ve decided to unlock the prison and set it free. Who knows where this could lead? Some will be good and some not so good, but I’ll never find the great if I don’t practice creativity every single day.

Birthday Musings


It’s my birthday and the last full moon of 2019. I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I went outside to say hello to the moon and fill up with her energies. A bit of birthday recharging. For me, the past few years have been full of change, raw emotion, clearing, collapsing, picking myself up, and moving forward. But in a dragging myself through sludge kind of moving forward. When I came back inside, I sat down to journal all the things running across my brain. To my surprise, I feel different.

When you’re younger, people will ask you if you feel different on your birthday. “So, how does it feel to be 10? Double digits!” “How does it feel to be 20? A new decade!” Typically, the answer is that you don’t feel very different. Today I feel very different.
I’m excited about the next year! I haven’t been genuinely excited about what was in front of me for a long time. I am ready to move forward into whatever is waiting for me. I’m not one hundred percent sure of what that is going to be. And I’m okay with that. Bring on the change!

I’m also excited about the things that will be staying the same. It’s time to stop wondering when and where I can move and make what I have now a home. To change the place that had become a prison into a warm, inviting, loving, peaceful space for me and all those that I love. Now is the time to clear out those things that no longer serve me – physically and emotionally. I reject the labels, attributes, and desires that others have given me. I’ll create my own, thank you very much.

My next year will be intentional. I will spend time getting to know me. Deciding what I want to keep and what I want to leave behind. Where I want to put my energy and where I will find rest and peace. What are things that honestly give me joy, and how can I do more of that? What do I want to learn? How do I want to grow?
I’ve spent the past few years running to nowhere. Frenetically trying to change the things around me. There are great things on the horizon. I can feel it. It’s time to let them come to me instead weaving around them like a punch-drunk boxer. It’s time to stand still. Meditate. Think. Plan. Pray.

God loves me, I should, too. Happy Birthday to me!

Giving Thanks


Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, which means that this week, many people have been ruminating on the things they are thankful for. I have my own list:

My family – every one of them, because we are always there for each other even when we may be fighting. They give me stability.

My friends – Over the past three years, I have learned who I can count on and for what. They make a difference in my life.

My job & coworkers – I really love my job, and I work with some of the best people I know. These are people that care about each other, the planet, and other people, too. They want to make a difference.

My life – It was not so long ago that my world came crashing down around me, and I wasn’t sure where that was going to lead. When things began to settle, I had some grand plans that didn’t work out, and I was forced to slow down and re-examine everything I knew about myself and what I wanted from life.

Like many others, my family gathered together for our Thanksgiving feast. I made the decision before I left my house to be more present. I left my phone in my purse in a back bedroom, and magic happened.

My sister wrote the blessing but couldn’t read it without crying, so my Dad did it for her. The rest of us were crying, too, since her list was similar to what is above. There is something about speaking aloud how important we are to each other and how we stand by each other no matter what. You could see how our children are in different stages of understanding the importance of that fact. The importance of family. The importance of knowing that you can turn to each one of the people around the table, and they will listen and even help if you ask. Ok, they will help if you don’t ask. This was followed by much laughter and stories and love as we ate.

I had conversations with my nephews and niece that filled my heart with so much love that I believe it will carry me to the end of the year. I had people tell me the difference that I made in their lives, some from when they were very young. For one person, it was knowing they had me on their side, and that made them feel they would be ok. Another person sees my decision to no longer color my hair as being secure in who I am and not giving a damn what other people think. A trait they want to emulate.

I make an effort to let the remarkable people who are in my life know the things I appreciate about them. This year it was my turn to hear that from some of them. And hear them I did.