For the Discouraged LEO Family

For the discouraged, disillusioned, and exhausted law enforcement families:
The salary definitely isn’t your reason to keep going. Nor are the long nights when you try to sleep but your phone won’t stop ringing. There are a thousand things that make the LEO life harsh.
But ask the officer who has a divine CALLING to that life why he does it. First he’ll probably joke and say he can’t remember.
But if you really listen, you’ll hear about things like service, integrity, and honor, about the joy of locating a lost child, or the high (if you’ll excuse the use of the word) of getting a dangerous drug dealer off the street. There’s the satisfaction of arresting a drunk driver, knowing he’s likely to get a slap on the wrist from the court system, but you got him off the streets for that night, before he could hurt anyone. There’s the pride and love in the heart of your family waiting at home.
And don’t forget the thrill of driving full-speed with lights and siren or the sheer gratification of kicking a door open to get to a person in distress.
There are a million sadly real reasons to feel discouraged, but know that so many have your back. There are more who respect and appreciate you than those who hate you and wish you ill.
And when it comes down to it, those who are counting on you WILL see your value.

*This post brought to you by a long night as the wife of an exhausted on-call detective*

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Know Your Risks

***Ladies, please do your research. I won’t get too graphic but if you’re squeamish about things such as childbirth or complications from procedures, just scroll on past.***

This may be rare, but it happens. A month after Katie finally came home from the hospital, under medical advice, I chose to go this route. After 2 weeks of pain, the Mirena had to be surgically removed because it had shifted, perforated my uterus, and was in a potentially dangerous position.
Please, please, read up, know your own body, listen to your gut, and be your own advocate.

https://www.google.com/amp/people.com/human-interest/woman-births-baby-despite-iud/amp/

The Lonely Adult

I never knew being an adult would be so lonely.

There. I said it.

I’ve accepted that adulting is hard. I’m resigned to the fact that being a grown up isn’t the cake walk of freedom, independence, and no bedtime that I was led to believe it would be.
But I’m only just realizing that it is lonely. And I’m not sure if that’s my fault, or if it’s simply my perception, or if my mind is just messing with me as I approach the downhill slope toward 40. And while I don’t wish the feeling on anyone else, in a way, I do hope it isn’t just me and my over-active imagination.

When you’re a kid, you have friends. You go to school and you meet people. I suppose I had this idea that being an adult and having a job would be much the same. I have friends. Lots of friends. I have a small circle of friends I’m really close with, though for one reason and another we don’t get to just hang out much.  I sometimes feel a bit sad, maybe even a bit left out, when I see people meeting for lunch, laughing over appetizers, and visiting each other just to chat. But everyone, including myself, is so damn busy.

Busy.

Busy.

Busy.

I’m one of the least busy people I know. Maybe that’s part of the reason it seems like a lonely time of life. I am not a fan of busyness. I don’t want to be one of those families who is running from one practice to another, to a game, to a recital, to a business dinner, to a lecture, to a volunteer meeting….I do not function well in that kind of situation. A week when we have things going on just 3 or 4 nights puts me in a stupor from which it takes another week to recover! Thankfully, at least so far, my kid is very similar. She’s even more of a homebody than I am, so we don’t have the, “But I never get to do anything,” fight. (Yet.)

But still, when I look around, I see people doing things, going places, having lunch dates, and I think, “Am I just a complete and total weirdo???”

Now, I’m the first to admit, that I AM a bit of a weirdo. If I’m honest, I know that the things I like to do, and to see, and the places I enjoy going, are a bit different in many ways. I don’t know a lot of 39 year old moms who will happily spend an entire afternoon playing Skyrim or trying to get every single stud in a Lego video game. In pretty much any social situation I find myself in, I’m the only so-called mature adult geeking out over the latest Marvel movie news or Harry Potter collectible. I don’t remember the last time I met someone who had read Les Miserables or the Lord of the Rings trilogy and actually wanted to sit down and discuss it over coffee. And, although my daughter enjoys Celtic music with me, she doesn’t get quite get my obsessive delving into the history of the songs and researching every single song every single artist I like has recorded.

(*sidenote* I’m so thankful to live in a world with the internet! I’ve “met” so many people who are like-minded, who enjoy the same things, and have made a few priceless friendships that I hope to keep forever!)

A few years ago, I decided to see Once, the Musical, when it toured a couple of hours from me. My husband and some family members couldn’t understand why I would go alone. I went alone because a.) I could laugh and cry to my heart’s content without worrying about someone with me thinking I was losing it, and b.) I didn’t know anyone who would be interested in going. At least, not the kind of interested that would accept my level of laughing and crying. (See point A.)

I’m the type of fan who doesn’t “like” things. I tend to obsess. I don’t know why. When I get interested in a song/show/book/movie/artist, etc, I want to find out EVERYTHING I can about it. When I read Les Miserables a few years ago, I wanted to study it. My husband laughed (and poked a bit of fun) at my Les Mis binder, in which I collected maps, notes on the history surrounding the story, the French Revolution, and Victor Hugo himself.

As much as I enjoy not having a bunch of obligations, I do like to go places and experience things. I just don’t get to all that often. Or at least I haven’t, for the most part. Going to see a musical on my own a couple of years ago did a lot for me. And I’ve decided now, seeing as I love musicals, that I am going to do my best to see at least one every year. I’ve never been a huge concert-goer, they just aren’t my thing. But I did treat myself and my daughter to seeing Celtic Thunder last year. It was such a great experience, just going and enjoying the music, singing along, and seeing these guys whose voices I adore up close! I’m going to see two of my favorite artist from the group in a small concert later this year. And I’m super excited!

I share all of this because, like I said in my last (mostly incoherent post), I figure there has to be another person or two out there who feels much the same as I do. I can’t be the only one. And if that is you, Reader, I hope I can encourage you not to wait until someone wants to go with you to see that show or that concert or that movie. It’s ok to enjoy things by yourself. (Besides, you don’t have to share the popcorn that way!) It’s wonderful to find someone who likes the same things you do, someone with whom you can be your full-on geeky self, but be ok with your own company too. It’s lonely sometimes, but it’s freeing too. And you never know, you just might meet someone else who likes the same things you do and find a friend for life.

Being OK with Being Me (part 1?)

I’ve debated with myself for a while about sharing some of this. I don’t even know for sure what I actually want to say. I just know there are things itching to get out – ponderings, misunderstandings, and conflict swirling in my brain and begging to be released.

I’ve been wondering a lot lately how we so-called grown ups make friends. You know what? It’s harder than it was as a kid.

For the most part, I’m ok with that. As far as girlfriends go, I have a small (really, quite small) group of friends who are the ones I know I can go to, the ones who hear my worries and my most embarrassing moments. I have one (really, just one) who actually knows my deep, closely held fears, the friend who took me by surprise. But none of those friends live near me. Some days I wonder if there’s something wrong with me that prevents me from ever getting a, “Hey  loser, meet me for lunch today,” but I can usually remember that we’re all busy, we all have our minds going in a zillion directions at any given time, and that it probably has nothing to do with me.

Still, being a grown up, I’m learning, is lonely sometimes. I see those moms who DO have those friendships, and I wonder how it happened.
15032755_10154668904521704_5670873838429391269_nThen I realize that either they’ve known each other since before adulthood, or their kids have activities in common. That’s when some of it begins to make more sense. My kid is like me – the things she enjoys aren’t the things most of her peers enjoy.  She spends her time reading, playing video games, learning how computers work, and the one sport she participates in is tennis, which it seems no one around here has discovered. (Seriously, WHAT is that about? Why aren’t more kids into tennis?!)

As for me, I don’t know a lot of gals in real life who play video games, geek out over Marvel movies and British television, and who are crazy about fantasy stories like those given to us by Rowling, Tolkien, and Lewis. I don’t know many who have the compulsion to obsessively seek out every little bit of information about things they find interesting and/or entertaining. (Trivial Pursuit anyone?)

As I said, I debated about sharing. Don’t misunderstand – it isn’t a, “Please be my friend,” sort of share. But it IS a, “Please don’t feel like you’re the only one,” sort of share. I know that if I’ve discovered this not-quite-pleasant-but-it’s-all-ok aspect of adult life, there are likely to be other moms out there who have too. I just thought maybe you’d like to hear that it isn’t you. There are a lot of us out there who feel a bit like a social pariah, who just don’t seem to fit anywhere.

You be you. Embrace your inner weirdness and appreciate the square peg that you are.

After all, there’s no one else in the world exactly like you, and obviously God thought this world needed you.

 

 

Help for Gatlinburg

img_0976Hey guys, if you are planning to donate money or supplies to help the victims of the wildfires, please go through a local source rather than the Red Cross.

In what can only be described as a beautiful testimony to the hearts of people, agencies are struggling to find space for all the donations until they can be distributed. This outpouring is welcome, but as you know, folks will need help long after the initial shock begins to wear off.

If you need help finding a good source to give through, I can help point you in the right direction. Please understand that many of the local places will guarantee the donations (money and other) will STAY local. The Red Cross, unfortunately, does not guarantee that.

I wish I could say thank you to everyone who is helping and all those who are praying, near and far. Please keep it up! 💕

#gatlinburg #disaster #wildfires #donations

Gatlinburg

Like so many others, I’ve been following the news footage from Gatlinburg all day. I spent so much of my childhood in that area, and have many special memories from my adult life there as well. It’s heartbreaking to see the destruction.

I’ve come across a few negative comments. We’re southerners, so we’re fairly accustomed to hearing ignorant, ill-informed, stereotypical comments coming at us. We generally just ignore those folks, with a sweet little, “bless their heart.”

But those condescending comments made along the lines of, “Why didn’t people get out sooner?”
“Why weren’t orders given to evacuate earlier?”
“Don’t people know to leave when there’s fire?!”
are really starting to irk me.

Allow me to explain something to those too obtuse to get it.
This. Was. A. Disaster.

In general, those don’t come with a lot of warning. And in more specific terms, this particular kind of disaster is not something we deal with very often. We have forest fires, yes. However, I don’t remember anything like this one in my lifetime. What happened yesterday was the result of a deadly combination of months of drought and ridiculously high winds coming up against a fire. There were gusts up to 87 miles per hour in the mountains That is not “normal” here.
Any of those 3 things are bad, but you put them all together and you have a guaranteed disaster.

We were prepared for wind, sure, but not a firestorm of wind. And that’s exactly what it was.

It’s so easy for those on the outside of a situation to see just exactly how things SHOULD have been done. It’s easy to say, “Well I would have……”
And certainly, there are likely people who have learned a hard lesson. They’ll probably be more prepared if they face this kind of situation again. But the fact remains, this was not a hurricane that was forecast with 2 weeks notice. This was a disaster with very little warning.

Gatlinburg will come back. Don’t you worry about that. That’s what we “mountain people,” do.
In the meantime, pray for all the people, families, animals, businesses, livelihoods, and spirits dealing with the aftermath. If you can help, help. And take care of each other.

Mad As Hell and My Tongue Is Bleeding

Oh my gosh, people! STOP with the hatefulness, pettiness, and “warnings,” for ONE DAY, can’t you? I have tried so hard to keep quiet but my tongue is bleeding from biting it. So I’ll take a page from so many of you and get this out of my system. Twitter and Facebook are so full of vitriol and hostility and I am more than tired of seeing it all from people who are supposed to be friends and family.

In case you’ve forgotten , it is Veteran’s Day – I wonder how many protesters, whether in the streets or HIDDEN BEHIND YOUR KEYBOARDS, remember that it’s because of the Veterans and those who never returned from service that you have the right to protest. Yeah, remember them?

Rioting, stopping commerce, threatening people, and slinging insults is NOT the same as protesting. It isn’t!

Tell me, what are you accomplishing with your smoking-keyboard rants?

Some of you will say, “I’m just trying to educate people.”
No you’re not. You’re angry and disappointed, and you’re venting it on social media.
You have that right, as I mentioned, but for the love of all that is holy, it’s past the point of being ridiculous!

Trump supporters, there’s nothing wrong with being happy with the outcome, with being relieved that your candidate won, but your gloating is doing nothing but furthering the idea that you’re a hate-filled jerk who thinks you’re better than everyone else.

Clinton supporters, suck it up and get a grip. Your reactions are doing nothing but furthering the belief that you’re a whiny toddler who throws a tantrum unless everything goes YOUR WAY.

I have never been a fan of Obama, but I survived the last 8 years. Even when he said and did things that made my blood boil, not once did it even cross my mind to PROTEST his election. I prayed for the man, not nearly as much as I should have, but I tried. And I did not spend hours, days, and weeks, attacking his supporters from the anonymity of my computer.

I have friends who voted for Trump, for Clinton, for Johnson, and for No One, and I’m not mad at any of them for their vote. However, I am now seeing  a side of many of you that I wish I did not have to witness. I understand some of the reasons that some of you are upset and hurt and frightened. I really do. Many of you have valid reasons. If you are one of them, please consider this: many people would have had valid reasons to be upset, and hurt, and frightened had the election been won by Hillary Clinton. Let that sink in, alright? Not one of us can control the outcome of the election, or much of anything else. What we CAN control is our reactions.

It is time to move forward. None of us KNOW what the next 4 years hold, and all the gloom and doom predictions in the world will not tell us anything helpful. Stop yelling, stop pouting, stop gloating, and DO SOME GOOD.

Those of you who have spoken so loudly through this campaign about being tolerant and helping others, are your protests doing anything to help others?

So many people have spoken out against the division that we are seeing become more and more prevalent in our country. Is your reaction to the election helping to unify people, helping to heal that division that you say you are so sad about? No? Then maybe take a breath, step back, look at the world around you, and figure out what  you can do to make things better.

If you truly want to be part of the solution, if you want to make the world a better place, then use your words and your actions to do that, rather than contributing to the rift that is pulling people apart.

You and I have a choice, every day when we wake up, to be a person to be proud of, to be a person who helps others, to be someone who makes somebody’s world a better place.  Few of us are sitting in the positions of perceived power where we believe change comes from. But every single one of us has the opportunity to be kind. It costs you NOTHING. Change comes from all of us ordinary, everyday, people.

What might happen if everyone used the energy that it’s taking to blame everyone else, to throw insults at the people who think differently than they do, and use it to go out and DO SOME GOOD?  Hold a door for someone. Smile.  Yield the right-of-way in traffic instead of getting angry over it. Buy someone a coffee. Visit your lonely neighbor. Tell the cashier at the drive-thru to have a nice day and MEAN IT. Write to your representatives if you need to, and  tell them the things that worry you, the things that you would like to see accomplished, but at the same time, understand that it’s not all about you.

College students, (and I really did try to bite my tongue here), stop crying into your $6 latte about how expensive your student loans are and GO TO CLASS. Make that student loan work for you.

In every single election there are people who are disappointed and there are people who are happy but in my lifetime I don’t ever remember one that has caused this much division. That’s our fault. And we are the only ones who can fix it. So today, please put on your big girl panties or your big boy pants, go about your business, and thank a veteran for their service. Thank them for the right you have to protest. But keep in mind, a protest does not mean stealing, vandalizing, threatening people, and blocking business. Nothing good, NOTHING GOOD, is coming from any of that.

The outcome of this election did not make me ashamed to be an American but the behavior of many of my fellow countrymen and women these last 3 days has been an embarrassment.

If you’re still with me, I appreciate you reading. You may not agree with me and you probably don’t care what I think.
But here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to be positive. I’m going to do something nice for someone. I’m going to watch some cute puppy videos, and I’m going to share the most ridiculous cat memes I can find on my social media. I’m going to lose myself in books and music for a few hours. I’m going to focus on those I love, and on things I enjoy rather than focusing on what scares, worries, and angers me. I’m going to be thankful for all I have and work hard for the things I want. I’m going to pack some shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I’m going to love my family.

Changing the world starts at home, ya’ll. Let’s work on that.