๐Ÿฆต Don’t Amputate the Wrong Limb ๐Ÿ’ช

Cutting off someone’s functional limb is a mistake.

It really happens that the wrong limb is cut off… about 0.5% of the time or so.

Over a period of 6.5 years, doctors in Colorado alone operated on the wrong patient at least 25 times and on the wrong part of the body in another 107 patients, according to the study, which appears in the Archives of Surgery.

– Amanda Gardner Original Article

But this article isn’t about when it actually happens, it’s about when it metaphorically happened to me.

Right now, I’m doing an email class from another blogger, Rachel Norman, “A mom far from home” and it’s remarkable.

I didn’t immediately want to write about someone else’s writing. but

If no one speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?

– John McGregor

(Actually they are still remarkable no matter if no one speaks of them, but I still find it the right thing to do.)

I guess that I don’t want to navigate how much I can share of someone else’s work without being a thief, it’s always been murky water for me, if I don’t share anything it’s like having the readers listen to half a phone conversation, if I share too much it’s plagiarizationish.


Calm and Steady Moms

Because you are an easy going and gentle mother, you can easily help your children in the following ways. These are things that’ll bless your kids and come naturally to you.

Calm Reigns.ย You are a calm easy going mother, so as long as the kids mind you, the home atmosphere is one of peace. Background music and quiet play are often found in your home. (True)

Long fuse.ย Because you are not quick to blow it, you’re the best person to handle situations that quickly get out of control like potty training. You can do challenging things with your kids like building towers, doing puzzles, and various activities that other moms would lose patience over. (I feel like that was true, but I don’t know if I’m still that person, sometimes it seems like I’ve been broken my my daughter or by my response to raising her “I can’t blame a 4 year old can I?”)

Predictable. Though you might feel predictable = boring, actually to children predictability = stability. While you may not be super strict with routines you bring a predictability kids enjoy. (True, we have a flexible, but same each day, flow routine with a more predictable morning half and some choices for the kids in the afternoon half)

Excellent listener.ย You are an amazing listener. Children will find you a confidante, advice giver, and a strong shoulder to cry on. Your children – throughout all their years growing up – will come to you and your bond will be stronger because of it. (I really want that but feel like it’s almost totally lacking, dun dun daa…!)

Gift of contentment.ย Because you are present focused, you have an ability to be content with your circumstances. Children feel you are happy with them, valuable, and worthy of time and attention. You can sit down on their level and play, build, and imagine. You are the personality that most easily connects with their kids. (I treasure them, though I don’t love every moment, they know they are my treasures and I value each day with them, at least I hope they know that, perhaps it doesn’t always get through)

Slow to act.ย While this isn’t always helpful, at home with kids it’s an excellent quality. You don’t jump to conclusions or punishments and are able to come to the best decision. You aren’t impulsive with outings or purchases, and your spouse can trust you. (Yes, this is true, sometimes I wait way too long – like 4 years to start punishing things that really deserve kind discipline)

– Rachel Norman (My thoughts) Original Article


Confident + Take Charge Mothers

Because you are an organized forward thinker, you can easily help your children in the following ways. These are things that’ll bless your kids and come naturally to you.

Goal Settingย (learn to swim, hit a baseball, save $15, read a book alone, etc.) (I do do this with them and myself)

Routine. Routine brings extreme stability and predictability to life with kids, and you are able to make one and keep it like no one else. (We have routines, but we also didn’t have routines and life was horrible)

Family Togetherness. You are able to plan for something and make it happen. This can be days away, vacations, bonfires or even yard work days. (Yeah I do do those things – we poison slugs the two weeks before 4th of July and call it Slugpendence Day – they have parasites in our region as much as I like harmony in nature… the parasites are deadly for kids)

Character building. You can teach your children perseverance, determination, and follow through. These don’t come naturally to kids, but they do to you. Whether it’s a hard book, lesson, or chore required, stand by and help them grow. (I do do this)

Protective habits.ย Your personality is protective over things that are yours. You likely defend your children, stand up for what matters to them, and teach practical ways to be loyal like speaking well of those you love and helping them when they need it. (I do do this)

Thick skinned.ย Because you are thick skinned, you’re more easily able to respond calmly and in control to situations. Your children will find stability in your actions because you don’t base them on your feelings. They’ll feel confidence in you. (I’m not thick skinned inside, but I don’t show my feelings or react quickly so I’m kind of fake thick skinned)

Intelligence.ย You are likely above average in intelligence. It matters to you that your children learn, understand, and gain knowledge and wisdom. This may mean reading a lot, studying fun things, going to the library, playing games, or doing activities you know will help your children grow and learn. (We do all those things, I feel like I’m of average intelligence but lucky to have had great teachers and access to advanced education)

– Rachel Norman (My thoughts) Original Article

My husband wasn’t sure either, we both agree that I’m not the “fun-energetic mom” he is (though he is a dad), he is the fun-energetic mom spot on… but he thought I was a little of each of the other three.

So going back and reading the Calm and Steady Mom (here – is introverted) and the Confident Take Charge Mom (here – is extroverted). So that’s the key, I’m definitely the Calm Steady Mom, my sister is the Strong Deliberate Mom, my husband is the Fun Energetic “Mom,” and I know a Confident Take Charge Mom named Leslie. Yay! I collected all four.

But I do have a kind of split personality hidden confident take charge mom that comes out when I’m really pushed. I’m kind of a typical Japanese mild mannered mom wanting to make fancy lunches with love with an angry Irish mom that comes out when pushed to far… kind of like both my grandmothers at the same time, which is interesting because my sister reminds me of both of our grandfathers at the same time, on shy and intellectual the other very fiery and hands on.

You struggle with passivity.ย (Yes I really do, people mostly don’t know because I win the struggle, but the struggle is real.)

Because you are go with the flow and rarely amped up, passivity can be a struggle for you. This will become obvious as you have more responsibilities and duties to perform, but find motivation hard. (It’s so impossible to pretend for my kids that I’m excited about their drawing ext because even though I respect, admire, even treasure them, I couldn’t be any less excited. I basically don’t do excited to save my life.)

Find an accountability partner. If you have things you struggle to start/continue/finish, find a friendย who does not struggle with that, and ask her to help keep you accountable. (You are my accountability partner reader! Thank you. I’ve always made you my accountability partner, without asking, I just assume you will share your goals as much as you want to and I share mine with you, and it really helps, thank you!!)

Do the big things first. When you start your day, practice doing something undesirable before relaxing. Instead of play first, work later,ย find a better play/work balance. (This is a struggle, I’m good at play, play, play, and I’m good at work, work, work, but any other combination has been very difficult thus far.)

Choose restrictive entertainment times. Instead of allowing yourself unlimited leisure time, choose blocks during the day or week and relax fully during those times. At other times, get things done. (I’ve done this and it lets me work, but when relaxation time comes, I don’t unwind, so it’s a problem, yet surprisingly not a huge one, because I have a break, even when I work through it, I feel somewhat rested, because it was my fault I worked through it…)

Make some commitments. The Calm + Steady mom struggles with activity, but by committing to one (or a few, but not a lot) of causes you truly believe in, you will be motivated to follow through. (Totally making a manageable amount of weekly goals has been life changing, the tendency to take on too many things and too much pressure really crushes me inside no matter how other people think it’s cool I can do a lot from the outside.)

You struggle with disciplining your kids.ย (OH MY GOD YES… thank you for understanding my soul Rachel. Was God being lazy to only make four types of moms? My type fits me so well…)

It isnโ€™t that you donโ€™t want to. I know. Phlegmatic Calm + Steady moms struggle with discipline because they donโ€™t like confrontation or uncomfortable situations.

Theyโ€™d rather admit they are wrong โ€“ even if they arenโ€™t โ€“ to avoid fights or negative feelings.

Establish some house rules and explicit consequences for breaking them. Explain these thoroughly to your children and, when they donโ€™t follow through, enact your consequence. If this goes on autopilot for you, itโ€™ll be less of a struggle.

Stay connected to your children.ย Talk about their emotionsย and attitudes. If you are in tune with them itโ€™ll be easier for you to discipline them instead of avoiding the issue.

Donโ€™t rely on your spouse to do it all. Read theย 7 words you should never tell your child.

You struggle with people pleasing.ย (Yes, assertiveness has been a long hard road.)

Whereas other people struggle with people pleasing because they want everyone to like them, you struggle with it because you hate conflict.

Youโ€™ll fairly well do anything to avoid a fight. Sometimes this means giving people what they want even if it isnโ€™t right or goes against your wishes.

Readย The Best Yes. This will help you break out of people pleasing and get in tune with whatโ€™s wise for your own life.

Instead of avoiding all thoughts of conflict, play out likely scenarios in your head. The more you rehearse and prepare, the calmer you will be. The more you engage in proper and mature conflict resolution (even with kids!) the easier itโ€™ll be.

Create boundaries for yourself. Whether itโ€™sย โ€œtaking a minuteโ€ย fromย your kids or just learning to say โ€œno.โ€ Write down where you struggle to please others and create a clear plan of action for the next time you know itโ€™ll happen.

Stop saying what you think others want to hear. It is hard, but you can start this by being silent. Instead of agreeing with what you donโ€™t agree with, say nothing. When youโ€™ve mastered that, go one step further and share your own opinion, even if you know they wonโ€™t love it.

You struggle with finding hobbies and interests.ย (I have always had hobbies I love, but it’s hard to shift them if they can’t work out with my location, budget, pandemic ext).

Because you tend to go where life takes you, there are probably few interests that you are passionate about and call your own. This doesnโ€™t matter much in youth, but as you have become a mom and already have limited time to yourself, itโ€™s important to find things you love.

You will naturally default to entertainment or relaxing, but that isnโ€™t always fulfilling.

Findย a hobby that fits wellย with your motherhood lifestyle. Here are more forย non-crafty moms.

Join a class where you learn something new or meet new people. Whether itโ€™s a MOPS group, an art class, or even a running club, get out of your comfort zone.

Make a list of things youโ€™ve always wanted to know more about or do, and one by one, begin to explore something new. Find value in learning something else, not necessarily mastering it.

You struggle with confrontation.ย (True, sometimes I don’t want to have a thought or feeling that is controversial, even though I have many, then I hate myself for it or take years to voice it.)

Confrontation is your worst enemy and youโ€™ll do almost anything to avoid it. Unfortunately (but really fortunately) you canโ€™t avoid conflict in marriage or parenting.

Even though it makes you uncomfortable and want to run for the hills, you have to meet it head on.

Instead of thinking about conflict as a โ€œfightโ€ think about it as a meeting of hearts. With children youโ€™ll need to do things they donโ€™t like. Same in marriage. Knowing you have the best in mind for your family will help you not to escape. (I wish I would have read this a long time ago.)

Reward yourself for initiating a confrontational conversation. After youโ€™ve sat down your husband or child and had a hard talk, do something nice for yourself. Incentive works well.

Understand that being assertive in certain areas doesnโ€™t mean youโ€™re domineering and controlling. You are not used to standing up for yourself, so accept youโ€™ll feel uncomfortable at first.

Donโ€™t brush things under the rug. It doesnโ€™t work.

You struggle with decision making.ย (Yes, so much…)

Youโ€™d rather others make decisions for you than have to do the muddy work of deciding for yourself because, hey, what if it doesnโ€™t turn out well?

The burden of responsibility is a large one for the Calm + Steady mom, and it doesnโ€™t come naturally. (As edgy as I may look from the outside, I’m such a non-dominant beta kind of partner, I wanted my husband to take control of our family, but he is a fun-energetic type who could care less about plans or responsibility… so he won’t, I don’t feel comfortable being a wife who is the sole leader of the family, but he just won’t so… that is the only real option for now. It’s been a huge challenge to learn how to be a leader, when I don’t want to be a leader at all.)

Youโ€™ll feel more free and in control of your own life by adopting a few simple principles.

Decide to decide. If there are issues that must be decided, write them down and give them a date. If the date comes and you donโ€™t know, just choose. Though you donโ€™t โ€œfeelโ€ very stressed, unmade decisions weigh heavy and create stress that will find an outlet.

Ask for advice from others. The Bible says that without wise counsel, plans fail. Ask your pro-active go-getter friends for their opinion and, once facts are gathered, just make the best choice.

Fight perfectionism. Often the calm person will feel that itโ€™s better not to start than to get in there and not be sure how to finish. Fear of failure is huge. Know that most things can be fixed, and just start. (This I need to save.)

Ask your spouse for help. If there are some decisions you feel are not yours to make, put them on your spouseโ€™s plate and ask that he take them. If he disagrees, work together to find a solution.

Institute a family planning night where you discuss whatโ€™s happening within the family. This will help show you where decisions must be made, and you can navigate it together. (We do have Sunday family night, Woo!)

– Rachel Norman (My thoughts) Original Article

I feel I need to share this, if I remove it later that’s fine, but it’s so crazy how much of everything in my last 127 posts matched these three articles, I find it too remarkable not to share. It’s an overview of my life over the past 5 years especially and perhaps over my life time. It’s kind of emotionally daunting to learn so much about myself so fast. I not only see what she said, but it uncovers my soul to me much deeper and in more detail reading it… like uncovering fossils in the dust.

Especially these things are important to me (some problems I have worked through already, at least to some extent):

1. Excellent listener.ย You are an amazing listener. Children will find you a confidante, advice giver, and a strong shoulder to cry on. Your children – throughout all their years growing up – will come to you and your bond will be stronger because of it. (This I feel like I fail at.)

2. Instead of thinking about conflict as a โ€œfightโ€ think about it as a meeting of hearts. With children youโ€™ll need to do things they donโ€™t like. Same in marriage. Knowing you have the best in mind for your family will help you not to escape. (This is super important to me, I do it, but I feel I need to realize the importance and value in a deeper way.)

3. Fight perfectionism. Often the calm person will feel that itโ€™s better not to start than to get in there and not be sure how to finish. Fear of failure is huge. Know that most things can be fixed, and just start. (I’ve been doing this, and sometimes I doubt myself so much, that my crazy blogging process is okay, that everything else I try to do is okay, but I know inside the way I do things imperfectly, yet sincerely is the only way forward for me right now).

– Rachel Norman

A lot of advice I’ve gotten about parenting, while well intentional, didn’t help, made me feel bad about what I am able to do or who I am. Like getting the wrong prescription glasses, no matter how nice the writer was, it never worked for me.

Believing a doctor’s book could parent my child better than me was a mistake.

Most notably Dr. Shefali Tsabary from Conscious Parenting and the Awakened Family. Her work it sounds so great, but it’s so “it’s all about me,”sometimes my husband snaps at the kids because he had a bad day in the stock market. Maybe 1%-10% of the time we do take our baggage out on the kids, but it’s by no means all the time. I just started a video with Dr. Shefali to see which type of mom I think she is and noticed that she said every time you have an issue with the kids, it’s because you are projecting your subconscious baggage on them.


This morning my son hit my daughter, I counseled her, nothing I did, no baggage I had caused him to hit her.

My son had peed his pants I gave him a shower, none of my baggage caused him to pee himself.

Her advice seems so wise and cool, but it’s totally off for us and that’s scary. Scary that I would rather believe a celebrity who is a Doctor, then myself (the only one of us here to actually see the situations).

She says (2:03) “all these parents haven’t been raised well” (I know I wasn’t, but really ALL THESE PARENTS?). Maybe I shouldn’t be so literal, but I am, so whether it’s her or whether it’s me, we aren’t a good fit. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t super helpful for some other mom, but for me it’s a bad fit.

She also says kids (2:34) “the first 10 years of a child’s life, that’s it, then you’ve irrevocably damaged them.” I could not agree less. I had a horrible first 10 years and I couldn’t feel less irrevocably damaged. We have trials in life (I think) and I believe so strongly it is never too late to face and overcome them, not as a child, at 10 years or at 100 years.

My grandfather died this year at 101, I know he was a different person after 100, he made peace with his life around 100, there was something special about it. It affected our whole family. The growth he made emotionally after 100, it caused me to soften seeing him soften, to be grateful seeing him enjoy ice cream for lunch everyday, seeing him laugh gave me hope that old age will have some joy of it’s own. To say you can mess up a kid irrevocably… the only way I believe you can do that is to kill them.

As long as there is life, there is hope.

But anyways… my goal wasn’t to complain about Dr. Shefali, it was to try to figure out what mom style she has.

A lot of what she says is great, that’s why it’s so dangerous for me (someone who takes things very literally – maybe too much) because some of what she says is absolutely hogwash, but it sounds so cool and she has the authority of both a Doctor and a celebrity.

I don’t know if it’s worth it for me to sort out the baby, the bathwater and the hogwash.

I wonder if perhaps she is right for Indian parents, but wrong for my situation?

(7:28) She says inside each parent we want our children to be the idealized version of what we never achieved.

I never felt that way, if so in small way that is definitely the center of my problems, if anything I gave my children too much freedom to hurt me in their expression of themselves.

But perhaps that tells me which mom she is, and perhaps it’s really helpful for other moms like that.

(8:28) She says the child is the teacher.

Believing that my baby girl was my teacher was a small mistake.

I think that is where I went wrong, the way I interpreted that led me down a road of letting my dominant daughter lead our family of betas. But it’s wrong on so many levels. It’s not fair for a child to raise their parents, it’s fair for the parents to man up and raise the child, imperfectly to the best they can.

The child can bring up a situation, that teaches you about yourself, but they should not have dominance.

Someone with a fully developed brain (age 26) following someone without a fully developed brain goes wrong very fast, as fast as running into the street or drowning in a pool, and if we are smart enough to step in for the street and the pool, then why take a back seat for other things?

If the child is the smartest member of the family, maybe it does make sense for them to lead, but hopefully that isn’t the case.

What is better then either the traditional “I’m the parent, listen to me” or the child is the leader, for me, was the idea of an unequal team. Handing the child what can carry, but not expecting them to carry me, nor the family. Decisions are stressful for children, it isn’t right for them to have more weight than they can carry and they can’t carry what is meant for an adult.

Perhaps that is never what Dr. Shefali meant, but it sure comes off as if she wants to hand the responsibility of the child misbehaving as a neurosis of the parent, when it isn’t always about you at all.

How much stewardship can a child handle? It really depends on many things, them, the situation, the family… it’s not a perfect world where a child will handle well what you would like them to handle.

(10:25) “We are all doing it wrong.” Wow, I have for sure meant families doing it right. Shout out to Tailor Cox’s mom. Right isn’t perfect, but it’s loving, nourishing. I can’t believe how much I believed in this author before as a new mom, and I regret it, because if it is a right fit for some people, it was defiantly always the wrong fit for me.

I would want to finish the 1 hour video (I stopped at 11 minutes), but it’s not even worth it for me. For me it would be more worth it to follow more advice from Rachel Norman, who though less of a celebrity is 1000x more helpful for me.

I did figure out though that I think Dr. Shefali Tsabary is a Confident + Take Charge mom, and she probably would benefit from her own advice to be more conscious, and many other people were probably helped by her writing, but I wasn’t, because I was conscious enough and lacking the taking action that seeking more consciousness (by ruminating) prevents instead of helping.

So, with all respect, different strokes for different folks and when I say hogwash, I mean hogwash for me specifically. For me it was like being a person needing a prosthetic arm at the prosthetic leg factory listening to someone talk about why we all need prosthetic legs (that’s not my main issue).

I know many people would just immediately stop listening to someone who’s advice wasn’t helpful, yet I also know many people like me who bend over backwards trying to follow advice that doesn’t help so they don’t have to face the pain of finding themselves to be “flaky” or “inconsistent”, people like me feel compelled to do the wrong thing for a long long time before trying a different course to get to a different result.

โ€œInsanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.โ€

– Rita Mae Brown Probably Not Einstein

Some people would call me “insane” for being like that, but,

In a mad world, only the mad are sane.

Akira Kurosawa

So other people would call me “sane”.

Because I’m enough to me, what anyone else thinks isn’t foundational, it’s a garnish (a love, hate or indifferent flavored garnish).
“When you know better do better.” – Maya Angelou

But that’s for you to judge reader, I just want to speak my truth while I can in case it helps others like or unlike me, in some small way make their way in this world a little more easily, or with a little more significance, a little bit better in some way. That’s my reason for writing which took me exactly 129 posts to determine (self awareness level 20/129 ha ha ha) .


๐Ÿงช Finding my Wings ๐Ÿ›ฉ๏ธ

true story
“I cried because I didn’t have shoes, until I met a man who didn’t have feet.” – Helen Keller

Today I feel less guilty for what I have.

Today I realize today my mother, and her dad had made me guilty and I hadn’t unmade that mistake.

I guess I should say I made me guilty, when they said certain things.

Even though I was a child, it feels good and right to make that correction.

My grandfather lived during a hard time, the great depression. He grew up middle class and when he graduated as an engineer, all he could afford his new wife was living in a rented garage, watching every penny, every slice of butter to even make that work. It was a hard time that never left him, even though at some point he really did crawl out of poverty mentally.

As a parent I think I understand, in our fantasy we expect some people to be poor, perhaps gamblers, perhaps alcoholics, perhaps people in other countries, perhaps moms that are just abandoned, perhaps people that choose to go against society dictates and live surfing in a van or as an artist in the woods ext.

Yet in reality, poverty can come for anyone. I remember reading Duke Kahanamoku’s book, he was an Olympic swimmer and famous Hawaiian surfer, but his life was very affected by persistent poverty. Not having a coat for the cold, simple things, probably made worse by being mixed in with royalty because of the swimming accolades. There was a girl he had loved but hadn’t had enough money for a simple date for coffee or lunch. I’ve been there, it’s not that you never have anything or it never changes, but it seems to last forever when the teacher says you need a protractor, but you just don’t have one, they punish you, but you still don’t have one, by the time you can get one, you no longer need it.

I always told myself it didn’t matter, but it’s definitely not ideal, it wastes a lot of tiny opportunities, it wastes a lot of time.

If you have to get through it, you get through it, hopefully with a good attitude, but if there was a way I could end it for all people or all children, I would.

There are some good things about poverty, it lets you know you are 100% you without a cent, that money doesn’t own you, it doesn’t define you, it can’t complete you. It can rather, I guess it doesn’t always.

Like a child at a national park, you can take in the beauty or you can incessantly say “are we going home yet?”

Poverty gave me some embarrassing moments, but much more a pervasive unawareness of how to handle and make money.

But my own poverty didn’t take much away from my life as much as my grandfather’s poverties.

I never would have been able to recognize it until my dad spoke about growing up. His mother let him know not to ask for things, so he didn’t (which is fine) but he carried a constant gnawing fear about being punished for wanting something.

It can become such that you go further than not having and not asking and you either stop wanting anything at all or want things and feel guilty about doing that.

My dad wanted to go to flight school when I was a little girl, he got almost all set up to go, then he didn’t. I haven’t asked him why.

I had forgetten about that, but yesterday I checked out the flight industry and decided I’d like to go to school to be a pilot in about 9 years.

I would like to do it before 45, I’m 35, it would take a year.

There’s going to be a huge shortage of pilots, some companies will guarantee you a job on exit (which is good for me, because I don’t do well forming my own companies or competing for jobs, I have a low tolerance for that kind of stress and that kind of competition).

It’s $70,000-110,000 (Jet Blue) for school, but it’s only 12 months of school (which I hate, I love to learn and read, but hate exam stress).

I don’t know where life will take me, but if I worked from 45-65 that’s still 20 years, it would more than pay back the school.

My kids are 1 and 4, in 9 years they will be 10 and 13. I have always wanted to school them when they were young and not force them out of the home, but by 10 and 13 it might be the perfect time for them to grow socially.

That gives me 9 years to save or rethink careers and Sallie Mae and other banks do offer loans either way.

I can’t think of a better way to get away from my kids and have some me time than taking off in a plane.

I know someone who died crashing a plane, my uncle by marriage’s brother. But I don’t care, I know plenty of people who died from other things I do.

Once I went up in a glider, it was spectacular to fly like a bird.

Every time I fly in a commercial flight, I’m all excited by the miracle of flight, even as 200 people around me don’t care and find it mundane.

I’m not sure if I would find it stressful, I didn’t find the ambulance stressful. Life has to be extremely stressful to be more stressful than the baseline I grew with…

There are a lot of little things about being a pilot that seem amazing.

I had a buddy from the ambulance job (the only Catholic I knew) why converted to Christianity, got his pilot’s licence and because a bush pilot in South America for a Christian organization, nice guy. I can’t remember his name any more, but I remember his goofy grin and rosary beads he used to carry.

There isn’t any reason I can see that I couldn’t become a pilot when I decide to reenter the workforce. I’m a bit short, yet I don’t think I’m past the cut off. For the military the cut off is 5’2″ but there is actually a waiver anyways. I’m at 5’0″ but I’ve heard it’s not a problem (until 4’9″) that would be something to check before spending $110,000 right?

But why not let myself dream about it for 8 years and check 9 years from now?

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a jet pilot, but I didn’t have the eye sight required. Later I got eye surgery, but it didn’t work out. If I would have gone into the air-force, maybe I could have done it, but I never myself in a commercial plane, I still don’t, but perhaps a cargo plane or small plane or even flight school instructing? I don’t know, but I’m okay with that.

I worked pregnant with my first child until my water broke, because I felt like I needed the money, I worked with her two weeks after having her for years after… but my pregnancies are horrible, I have that extra-vomiting gene so I actually vomit everyday rather than just feeling nauseated or vomiting here and there (thanks mom, I see what you meant about that). So I made sure to transition into stay at home before I was willing to have a second baby. It’s hard to describe, it’s hellish, because of the physical component, but still emotionally exciting, it’s very mixed up, overall horrible, yet not without wonder and joy. The births are easier than the pregnancies for me. Nothing is worse than the pregnancies, but it wouldn’t stop me from more. Very irrational, but that’s how we human are. The reason we stopped at 2 is that’s about the max of love and patience my husband and I have to give. The kids want more attention, so it would be hard to justify putting them in a situation they would be getting less.

I’ve worked most of my life, I’ve always learned a lot, I’ve always done well, I’ve enjoyed the independence, the feeling I can rely on myself though everyone else couldn’t be relied on.

Being a stay at home mom was really hard, it was nicer in terms of being more of the parent I wanted to be for the kids, putting them first in action not just in words, it allowed me to let my husband support me, which felt awkward, but healing too, since I didn’t have consistent support from either parent, having a spouse who hasn’t abandoned me was helpful in building a small amount of trust for humanity.

I would rather die than leave my kids somewhere unsafe for money we don’t need. I don’t mean to offend any moms that are at peace leaving, that have safe places for their kids, or that prioritize differently, but that is my reality. I can’t leave them right now, it’s not within me. However, as Lovie Price, was saying in a comment a few months ago, one day, they will be ready to leave and that is quite different.

It’s interesting to me both how extremely I guard my children and how extremely I long to leave them someday (when they are reasonable capable and safe).

It’s not that I demand extraordinary things from someone to feel safe with leaving my children with them, but also no one is here that meets what I consider to be reasonable standards.

My mother in law, when I trusted her with my daughter, sent her to the garage with her boy friend many rooms away while she cooked tamales, I got back from teaching her daughter to drive, and found my daughter crying in the lap of a stranger in the garage. That’s never been okay with me, it’s still not.

I know many people have help and probably take it for granted that I could easily have help if I was willing to take it, but it’s not really true.

Someday I’ll probably find someone I can trust at least slightly. But right now the reality is my mother in law is not even available, if I wanted her, which I don’t, and neither is anyone else who seems worth trusting.

If you have someone worth trusting, that’s a blessing, we don’t all have that.

Even my own family tends to enjoy breaking my rules for the kids showing them TV they aren’t allowed to watch or play mindless phone games with no limits, because it’s easier.

Maybe that’s okay for many people, but it doesn’t work for me. My kids are my heart, if you can’t put the effort in to do a good job, I don’t want the break from you. I won’t compromise the things that matter most for simple laziness or thoughtlessness or tamales. I’d much rather have no friends and watch my kids all the time than to toss them into an ocean of digital mindlessness and neglect for convenience, no matter the cost financially, emotionally, socially. There is a difference between mistakes and needing breaks and just checking out while at the same time giving yourself a pat on the back that because other people do it it’s right.

I feel it’s a parents duty to protect their children, the world has proven many times it won’t, the school won’t, the family may or may not, the baby sitter may or may not. It puts a lot of pressure on you to try to be their for your children, but when at the end they haven’t been abused by an uncle or grandparent, it will have been worth it. It would be nice to be from a family where that never happened, but it is the sad reality for too many people that family is the biggest threat rather than the smallest one.

I’m so apologetic for who I am, not only in this public article, but also in my private soul.

I feel bad for those who live differently, that living the way I have to is somehow taking something from them.

I think it’s because I could tell being who I am let my parents down quite a bit.

My mother was a model, was hoping for a model daughter, took me to photo shoots ext, I didn’t like smiling when I wasn’t happy, I didn’t like pretending to feel an emotion for a picture, that I didn’t feel, it was super inauthentic for me at the age I was when she took me. I’m okay looking, that wasn’t a problem, but I really lack the other traits of a model (love of beauty, style, grace, elegance, sense of business), not only that but I actually actively hated it. The lifestyle and way of being my mother wanted for me grated on me extremely. The way I hated it grated on her. We grated on one another. No matter how much love may or may not have been between us over time, there was a huge and ever present sense of hate between us.

My mom hated that by being born (against my will) my existence made her into a mom. She was just 19 when I was born. It wasn’t the life she wanted, and I wasn’t the girl she wanted.

For everything that has happened between my mother and I, if I allow myself to be honest the thing I hate the most is that she refused to ever consider loving me as the person I am.

Now looking back on my daughters 3 days of vegetarianism I think that’s why I was so excited to support her choice, it was my chance to “walk the walk” I’ve been talking for 4 or 5 years already.

I’m really inspired by Jane Goodall’s mother, who let her keep frogs in the tub and things like that. It takes a lot of perception to see the difference between the crazy things kids do because their brain is only semi-functional and the things they do because their soul desperately needs that outlet to be themselves.

There is an excellent book called The Enoch Factor: the Sacred Art of Knowing God, by Steve McSwain, it’s very open minded for a Christian book, maybe I would go as far as to say it’s not a Christian book, but rather a book written by a Christian pastor that transcends dogma.

There was a particular word I was looking for, a fancy one, that means spiritual awakening, but a fancy way…

So I was trying to find it and instead I found the example Steve gave of a Rabbi who was talking to a boy who made fun of Chistians, perhaps overly much.

The Rabbi said, “do you know the reason Christians tap the side of the salt shaker and Jewish people tap the bottom?”

The student, expecting a joke, said “no why?”

The Rabbi said, “to get the salt out.”

If that so cool, in a world where most scientist have been Islamic or Christian, the news seems to pit science and religion as enemies for no good reason I know of, and what had led to in my experience is a fracture of knowledge and wonder, where both spiritual pursuits and physical ones have always had false beliefs and abusive such as the crusades and smoking being touted as very healthy.

I think people like me who had horrible experiences with religion are very prepared to abandon spirituality and or religion and scapegoat them for everything wrong with the world, but largely everything wrong with the world is wrong from the inside out. Meaning it’s not Islamic people visiting Mecca, making me yell at my kids here. It’s not Christian people having different options than me, keeping me from finding my own peace with God.

Irregardless of God, which to me seems like a mountain so big, I could I never see it if I wanted to, and I’m not sure I want to or if it is real, I think I need to revisit “spirituality town” to pick up some spare parts to do some maintenance on my soul.

I have mostly unknowns about spirituality, but one thing I notice is I carry a lot of the same feelings about spirituality as I do about my parents.

My father didn’t noticeably love me, so people telling me there was a father in heaven that loved me, was a bigger pill than I could thus far swallow.

But I have seen miracles in life. Love to me is still a miracle. Love between a man and a women, or a child and me, or a dog and me, or who ever it is, true love is to me a miracle still.

It’s something I could never have believed in before experiencing it.

There were so many things in life I couldn’t have believed in before experiencing them.

I wouldn’t have known I loved riding a motorcycle in the darkness, down a huge hill, that it would feel so free.

I wouldn’t have known that I love falling through the sky, because it feels so peaceful and still and tranquil.

The best parts of my life I never expected and couldn’t have believed in.

Thus I’m a solid agnostic (someone who knows that they don’t know about God, not an atheist who feels secure there isn’t a God).

I wouldn’t say I had a spiritual anything today, but I do feel like a huge weight was lifted that I had been carrying for the longest time. A weight I wasn’t aware of ever, that made me feel sorry for everything good I had ever gotten, a weight that told me not to reach too high for things other people could do. I’d like to think the weight of poverty (mental limits) was lifted off my mind and soul after being with my family for three generations on both sides.

Four generations ago on both sides I am under the quite possibly mistaken assumption we were wealthy-ish, my grandparents seemed not very comfortable going through the great depression, my parents seemed not very happy with the life style they had, but I’ve reached the stereotypical millennial peace with lack of wealth and although people joke about it often, I think it’s damn empowering to know money isn’t everything and love is worth it’s weight in diamonds everyday of the week that ends in y.

Maybe it’s imaginary that mental issues can go forth through a family like a curse, but either way, there is a fire in the forest of my mind, burning down my doubts.

I didn’t read anything in particular, I do anything in particular, I don’t know if it’s a stage of growth in middle age or if it’s a blessing, but effortlessly everything is changing in my mind (not everything, but so much).

I’ve often felt like life is changing so fast around me, today I feel like I’m changing so fast around life.

I’ve never been myself before this hair cut.

I never even tried.

Because thought a half or two thirds of me wanted to, the other portion wanted to please mommy and or daddy, which meant I never could ever start to be myself. (It’s very much like the fake story from Point Break where Keanu Reeves convinces the surfer lady to teach him to surf because he always wanted to please his parents but they died in a car crash and now he could be free to live how he wanted).

It also uplifted me a lot to know the Ethiopian Orphans are doing well, two family that have a lot of love and money donated $85,000 each to the orphans, who I worry about, because they really captured my heart for whatever reason.

It’s very ironic that the orphanage directors settled me down with uplifting writing. It is perhaps cliche to say that opening your heart to give seemingly always yields you greater returns that you lose by giving, but here it is, the truth.

It’s hard to care about something without worry about something, but worrying doesn’t help. Worrying isn’t talking action, trouble shooting, it’s not effective to change things. Still caring and worrying, I think is better than never caring at all and wallowing the gray sea of mental apathy for a life time.

Yesterday I realized I would like to be a pilot.

Sadly after a few minutes I started to doubt myself:

Am I too old to justify the cost? Actually being old is a bigger reason to make more money at work because there is less time left before retirement and it takes much less time to pay back the cost of school in a high paying job. Even if I start in 10 years, that’s still 20 years to work and I’ll be done paying off school in 1-4 years most likely. So, financially it doesn’t make any sense not to do it.

Is it a job for women? Yes, I read about a grandma who went on a flight and didn’t know her granddaughter was the pilot (or was a pilot), that was so cute.

Is it a job for a mom? Yes there are a lot of moms, including a single mother of 5 who went through school with all those kids, not after.

Shana Bartell
Read About Her Journey

Am I too short? That’s more realistic, I’m, 5’0″ (152.4 cm) which is too short to be a stewardess, which very strangely (and probably wrongly – doesn’t apply to pilots in the same way it applies to stewardesses). I did work very successfully on the ambulance, once with a partner who was even shorter, one or two inches shorter. She had trouble doing one part of our job, she had me do, based on height, but I had no trouble using the equipment as intended. I’m short, but it didn’t limit me as far as using equipment made for the average range of people.

So I came upon this answer on Quora to the question “Can a 5 Feet Tall Girl Become a Pilot?,” by Jay Maan (a helicopter pilot and instructor):

See this girl?

Jessica Cox

She is Jessica Cox. She was born without arms as a result of a rare birth defect.

That has not stopped her from becoming a pilot. Now she’s planning on becoming an instructor to teach others like her to fly.

So If she can fly a plane without any arms, I think being 5 ft tall should not stop you from doing the same.

In fact 5 ft is more than adequate height for becoming a pilot.

Go for it!

– Jay Maan

That killed that excuse, and it killed my capability to even generate any more.

I really wish I had kept my work friends contact information, somehow knowing he did it makes it more real. He was an average guy, maybe more fun, but an ordinary guy, not wealthy, not crazy, he didn’t have anything “mentally” that I don’t, there isn’t some reason I can’t be a pilot if he could. We had the same job, he changed jobs, I could change jobs, there’s no reason I couldn’t.

But anyways, I’m not locked in, I’m not turning away other things if they fall into my lap better, I do like botany, being an arborist or forestry worker could also be a dream job, perhaps I could start a ninja school – I never get tired of marital arts. Or of course writing could possibly become lucrative, I’m open to that. But weather trees, writer or martial arts do or don’t become my career, I’ll always have a place for them in my life.

This is really the first time I’ve ever been grounded enough in myself to even somewhat confidently say what kinds of things I would want to do with my life, and I’m 35.

So it seems pretty unfair to expect 16 or 17 or 18 year olds to decide if they should or shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on an education towards a career it would be difficult to authentically choose at that time in life (although for sure there are exceptions).

It would be unfair for me to think my mom at 18 had her head on straight when she got pregnant with me and married to my dad. I know she didn’t. And I know she did her best. I don’t hate her because she failed to be perfect. I hated her, because she did 100% whatever she could to stop me from being me. I hated her, because I didn’t know the feeling of peace when she was around. I hated her because she burned me. I hated her because she starved me for days (which probably seemed like a favor since she was anorexic herself). I hated her, because I loved her and she didn’t love me. I hated her, because she lost my SS card and birth certificate over and over, so I missed out on things like traveling with my family which needed a passport, which needed a birth certificate. I hated her and I loved her, but the amount I want her in my life, with the theft, verbal abuse, anxiety caused by a childhood of physical abuse, the shame of her being a pedophile who abused many children, those things outweigh any small desire to have a “Disney movie ending” to our relationship where we talk it out over brunch and hug on a bench next to a lake. Of course I want that normal mom relationship, but it was never on the table from the beginning and I’ll not have a woman around encouraging my daughter to be anorexic to look better. I don’t blame her anymore, I try not to hate her anymore, I have some gratitude, it’s just painful to talk about, but there isn’t a future for us that I am aware of.

The nicest thing she ever did, was tell me on our last phone call, which seems like forever ago, when I confronted her about the psychological trauma and pain she caused her sexual abuse victims, that if I felt that way she would “never speak to me again.” Which is a wonderful, beautiful gift from someone who perhaps meant well, but was unable to be not abusive in seemingly every conversation. Farewell, good riddance, good luck. Don’t like the phone hit you on the way out.

Everything seems to be tied together, who am I? To know I have to let go of the fear of being myself. Which leads me to finding out why I have that fear. Because my parents really tried hard for me to not be myself and I didn’t want to let them down.

A quote that helped me:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

– Oscar Wilde

It made me smile, it reminded me of playing house as a little girl. Who will you be the mom? The baby? The dad?

I don’t think I ever picked to be me, the daughter.

Another thing that helped me was:

Nappily Ever After a movie about a woman with nappy hair, like I have, who eventually lets go of the effort to change her hair and herself into what other people want from her.

The last was my daughter asking me what I’m going to be for Halloween. I’ve never picked what I really wanted before, I would pick something I felt I could “pull off” that was similar to what I wanted, but not 100% what I wanted. This year I want to be Marie Curie. As a little girl I wanted a Nobel prize in physics as much as other girls (like my daughter) want a pony or a baby or to be a ballerina or have a magical fairy wand.

I recently watched Radioactive and although my values are different than Marie Curie, especially life balance, I’m more into health and career by far. She was so damn, herself, that was kind of an honor just watch a movie about a woman like that. It’s going to feel good to pretend to have two Nobel prized this Halloween, maybe that’s silly, but it’s my truth.

It only took 35 years to figure out.

๐Ÿฅง Truth Matters ๐ŸŒ


Today I’m going to write two stories and you, the reader, guess which one is true and which is a lie.

freshly baked lies
I usually don’t lie at all, but I’m interested to see if people can tell the truth from the lie.

Every once in awhile there are small turning points in life that feel bigger, just having watched Radioactive about Marie Curie (who found 2 elements, the concept of radiation, chemotherapy and led the way for X-rays and atomic weapons and received the Nobel prize), her mother told her a story as a little girl, that she was shifting the entire world in a new direction, but the story ended up being true.

Theme for today horrible things my dad told me:


Story 1, In the kitchen having squabbled with my sister my dad told me, “you will die alone, because you are so sharped tongued.”

Story 2, In the parking lot me dad told me, “you can’t carry that case of soda alone, leave it there and I will get it in a minute.”


Story 1, I looked in his eyes, I saw he was dead serious, I heard his quiet tone and noticed he wasn’t upset. The person who knew me the longest, my whole life, thought I wasn’t fit company for any other human being in the entire world, I was 16, it was scary. I had just started college, after testing out with the state high school equivalency, meaning had I stayed I would have been in the top third of graduates, not the same as a GED (no disrespect to the GED). I was having problems with college, high school level material had a large gap between college level material and it was a bit disquieting to go from the top of my class in the public school I was from to getting Bs for the first time, even with my best effort. The college had thousands of students, almost 100 could attend the big lecture hall where anatomy was taught. No really cared. The councilors tried to help you sketch out an arbitrary class schedule that would lead you to transferring out after an AA degree, but they didn’t ask what hoped to do in the world, what you liked, what jobs you were passionate about, why you had chosen the major you had chosen. No one asked, no one cared. Perhaps because of the volume? I was caught in a horrible time when there were four times too many students for the classes available. Rooms were booked solid, for night, for Saturday, even for Sunday, therefore classes just couldn’t be added. Construction money was on the way, but it’s not immediate, it takes so long that by the time it was done I was already gone.

The only family I had was my father and my younger sister, I don’t know what my father was going through, but whatever it was he seldom talked to me at all, so when he told me I would “die alone” I felt a chill come over me. It felt like a curse or a prophesy not a stupid thing, a human mistaken anyone could make.

I just turned away, I always had trouble talking to my dad and this was especially not easy. My dad having kicked me out when I was 14, I moved back because he lived a mile away from the community college, which could be a new start for me.

On the surface I brushed it off. My dad was divorced, he never dated, so what did he know? Not much about making a relationship work. But maybe everything about being alone? I didn’t want to believe it, but it haunted me under the surface. Even married people are more likely to die alone than with their spouse happening to be there at that moment. An atheist as most teens are (I think) the thought of death, was frightening, the thought of being alone seemed somehow disgraceful. But it definitely seemed plausible that someday I would die and I would probably be alone at the time. I still have nothing to refute that very well may happen. But where once I set out to never be single, at the cost of not paying better attention in school and not finding my own passions while I was pampering the boyfriends I had who were more than happy to have me watch them have fun practicing guitar without hearing me practice (because I went to slow for them ext).

I can’t blame my choices on what my dad said, even though maybe as a child at the time I could attempt to play the blame game, but rather the fact that I allowed his thought to become my thought.

The though of dying alone, the horror of that version of it, which I painted, not as brave, or natural, or human, or transcendent, or mysterious, but as embarrassing, shameful, wrong, a failure, that thought didn’t have to become mine just because someone said it. Many things my father said, I never cared one bit about, but that one, lodged in my skull for quite some time, becoming like a best friend who isn’t the cheeriest companion.


Story 2, I didn’t know what to think at first, I was a pretty strong girl at age 16. I knew I could carry the soda case, after all I worked in a bakery since age 14, and carried 25 and 50 lb (11 and 22 kg) bags of sugar and flour. Growing up I always helped carry the grocery bags in from the car much more than anyone else. I didn’t understand why my dad thought I could carry the soda case to the house if he expected me to carry it to put it away when it was in the house, since my mom left the family many little house hold chores were left to me in an unspoken and thankless desperation to have a facade of a normal life when both my father and sister were clinically depressed. 66% of the family being clinically depressed, doesn’t make for the most “funtastic” family, but I never gave up trying to do what seemed like my part to make things “semi-approaching” functional.

I didn’t even say anything, I wondered why he said it, but I didn’t have the words to say nicely “are you blind to who has always carried everything in our family dad?” Still don’t. And the rule was, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So I didn’t. I didn’t say anything a lot.

I hated how my dad always made it clear he wanted a son and not a daughter. I never told him I wanted a brave dad and not a coward, a generous dad and not a cheap one, a happy dad, not one with clinical anxiety and depression. I never as a child, judged my dad, he was just cool, if he was too shy to buy something at a store or make a phone call, that was just because it was hard. I didn’t judge him the harsh way he judged me. It wasn’t fair. I remember starting kindergarten and boys said video games were not for girls, I remember thinking I was glad my dad didn’t think that way. I remember elevating him to a pedestal of not-sexist. But one day I realized it was miss attributed. We were at the hardware store, buying some rope for a school project, and we both saw a really cool toy train set on sale. It was green, not super fancy, but really cool, somewhere in between the classic metal ones and the modern ones. He said “I wish I could get it, but it’s only for boys.” This time I actually did say something, which was hard. I said “I like trains a lot.” It was as if I hadn’t said anything. I think he just repeated that it was a nice train set for a boy. This was the 1990s, a time when gender equality was mythologically a thing of the past, but actually ever present.

As time went on I saw the man I thought was on my side push me away more and more as I grew older. My dad always has loved babies and children, but doesn’t extend that love to women. So, maybe some people would have seen it coming for us to grow apart, but I didn’t.

It was awkward going through puberty with a just a dad, my dad always bought me enough pads and shied away from having real conversations about anything sexual. Which is what it is. I don’t know that I would want to have those conversations with dad. I don’t know if I would want to have had them with my mom either… who was very typical of drug abuser in the way she got pregnant about a dozen times I can remember, and had abortions, miscarriages and children with many fathers seemingly more frequently than I got new shoes. Which people seemed to look down on, which would have been fine with me, if it didn’t somehow seem to reflect poorly on me, without me being culpable in any way I’m aware of. That has always taught me not to blame the child for the parent.

I didn’t think my dad’s views about women being somehow not suited for certain parts of life affected me, but lately I’m starting to see how they did. I’ve just started investing, after a life time of shunning money. My dad was always very negative about my mother over spending, so somehow without knowing it I never learned about money, finances, business or investment, like the train that wasn’t “for girls” stocks were a part of our family, but only “for boys.” I didn’t realize I felt that way until I started investing in stocks and now I’m surprised I was so narrow minded about it in the past. You never know what you don’t know… I still haven’t bought myself “the train” for me, but my daughter has had three sets of trains in my over compensation. Someday I will get a train track that goes around the top of the walls at home Mr. Roger style, someday…

Hoping someone comments, interested if you can tell, how?

Anyways, love to see which one you think is the “true lie” and which is “true life” and which you liked better (if any…)!

P.S. My cursor is now a banana instead of an arrow (at least on my Google Chrome browser pages) if you are interested it’s free Custom-Cursor.com and they have a lot more options than bananas! ๐ŸŒ

๐Ÿ”ฎ World of Wordcraft ๐Ÿ“œ IV

Today’s goal: Adding meaning to the week…

Hypothetically smoking the word: “myth” today.

Most of my life I didn’t know why the English days of the week were so weird to spell or what they were based on.

This year I looked it up, they are German Gods. It’s interesting that while Christianity defined the years of the world for most of the world, the ancient Norse religion still holds the days of the week.

Recently I started crash course Mythology (with Mike Rugnetta) which chooses to consider both Christianity and the big bang theory for their stories without commenting on the veracity of either. I think that’s interesting and useful, I had to do that during art history in college. Much of older art is religious, but you don’t have to be religious to enjoy it, though you do end up learning a bit of the symbolism or terminology for art, and especially for history.

Mythology is generally defined as:

  1. A collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.
  2. The study of myths.
  • Mythos (from Greek) means story [maybe true, maybe not]

Crash course defines myth as a story (mythos, from Greek, means story). It may be true, may be not true, but “the story will have significance and staying power which is a testament to the deep meaning or functional importance these stories have to the people who hear and tell them.”

Myth can be difficult to discuss, because it can be offensive, and I don’t really like to be offensive, honestly (I just want you to agree with everything I think without being offended “joke”), but I also find mythology interesting, ever since I was a girl, and also it’s kind of a “writer hack” to see what makes the unforgettable stories unforgettable.

One of the things I didn’t care for about this pandemic, was the week I used to have, got shattered into bits.

I really feel I need a “week” that has little unique aspects to get me past drudgery of chores psychologically.

One of the things that always picks me up in dark times of depression, illness, or pain is the beauty of the seasons.

Likewise having special days of the weeks in something I love.

My husband is home Saturday and Sunday, I teach school Monday – Friday at home, but I didn’t want a week that was:

husband day, school, school, school, school, school, husband day.

Some of the little things we have that are weekly are: family movie night Friday, family team meeting Sunday (or at least watching Nanny 911 together), eating as much ice cream and candy as we want Saturday (not much surprisingly), a writers meeting 12-2 PM Saturday – for me (via Zoom or Google Meet), “Dino Dana” or some kids show (normally not allowed) Saturday – for my daughter.

Those things all help me enjoy life surprisingly a lot.

Because it lets me get excited for everyday Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the year instead of just my birthday (actually I don’t get excited for my birthday at all anymore).

52 weeks a year x 3 days a week I get excited about = 156

If I have enough saved I give to the orphans on Sunday, 2 pretty cool things Sunday (possibly helping orphans, and family team meeting, 2 pretty cool things Saturday (writers meeting, and ice cream), 2 cool things Friday (a board game ie the sneaky snaky squirrel game, and a movie the winner picks).

So about 42% of the days of my life are exciting, at least to me…

It doesn’t always take big things, sometimes small things are quite valuable as long as they are the right things.

I would like to make school more exciting so the kids will really enjoy learning, I would like to make my daily life more exciting so I will enjoy these days that will someday be gone…

For me one way to do that is by having “daily themes” maybe you noticed?

I like love Mindfulness Monday, I like love Transformation Tuesday, I love World of Wordcraft Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday are less… polished, as is See the Good Sunday.

Perhaps I’ll do a satire Saturday for comics?

I’m not sure yet.

But even having Mindfulness Monday, Transformation Tuesday, and World of Wordcraft Wednesday does get me “jazzed up,” so honestly I do get 42% excited by just those “silly” writing themes. So rather than having something to look forward to 42% of the time thanks to my family and friends, I have 84% excitement due to the excitement of wordcraft.

Thursday is the hold out. I don’t hate “Tech Talk Thursday,” not at all, but it doesn’t resonate the same way the other days do.

I guess I’m finding that I’m authentically passionate about mindfulness and transformation, but although I sometimes find tech useful, and amazing, and fun, it is more of a valid struggle, than an excitement.

Mindfulness and transformation resonate with my soul, yet tech helps me manifest my soul and heart in the real world.

So, it’s different, quite different.

I don’t know how it reads as a reader, but as a writer, it’s much different. I actually am all excited to not skip my Monday article, yet Thursday it’s not a big deal if I were to miss a week and come back to it. I don’t dread coming back to it, yet it’s so different internally.

If I knew what I wanted to write, it wouldn’t “have to” start with the same letter as the day of the week, but sense I don’t, it helps me brainstorm:

I’m thinking of Traumatic Thursday, or TedTalk Thursday, or Travel Thursday, or Think About It Thursday… I don’t know yet. Transition Thursday… Taking Action Thursday? Teenage Mutant Turtle Thursday? Throw Back Thursday? Trading Stocks Thursday? Thank you Thursday? Too Much Information Thursday? Totally Tardigrades Thursday?


Ever since I bought my fancy-ish planner for 2020 at CVS, I wanted to have my value of the day and subject of the day figured out, it’s been about 8 months, and now I’m at the first draft stage.

I frequently want to have life and myself figured out much before I do have them figured out… but at least I keep trying and get there.

For now I’ve got:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Integrity Mindfulness Transformation Meaning Purpose Love Inspiration


Putting a word to the day, that means something to me, was really healing against the trauma of having the old lifestyle shattered so abruptly (for an indefinite amount of time). This is something I like, that is pretty pandemic-proof.


Also I was so overwhelmed trying to teach science to the kids, because we do a STEAM based curriculum (science, tech, engineering – though that is science, so that’s weird, art, math and motor). STAM? and if Math is science or technology then STA? Anyways our new science rotation is:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Astronomy Chemistry Anatomy Physics Biology Economics Paleontology


Having a value to each day is really nice, today being “meaning” for me.

I though because I wasn’t passionate about my past jobs that they were keeping me from finding my meaning in life, then I came upon many people saying that you never “find” meaning in life, you have to ascribe it “write in the answer” you have to “make it”.

As I tried, and I found that was true for me. In my life I had no meaning, because I didn’t personally find meaning in bad experiences, I didn’t find meaning in service that builds skills.

I still don’t enjoy poring over every bad thing looking for a life lesson, I still don’t enjoy service “the most” and I still don’t love when I don’t have the skills I would need to do something I want to do yet, but I’m more open to all of them and that allows me to the as is life I have right now, much more than I ever have.


I can’t prove my life has meaning, but choosing to let it have meaning, at least to myself, in my own mind finding meaning in life makes me feel successful in a way that winning things, having extra money or doing things other people found impressive, never did.


One thing I dislike about words is that they can lie, and the lies can have real unfair repercussions such as the Mingi Lie: if babies with teeth that are one top rather than the bottom first are allowed to live the whole village will die from famine. Without words, that wouldn’t happen. Without words rape victims wouldn’t be shamed. There are some dangerous of words, which saddens me, but I’d rather take action against these “word monsters” than pretend they don’t exist.

The myth from CrashCourse Mythology #1: Persephone

That Persephone having been kidnapped to the underworld was responsible for winter and spring because her mom (the goddess of nature was sad when Persephone was with her husband in the underworld and happy when she was back with her on the surface of Earth).


The myth is wrong as a real explanation of seasons, because the Northern Half of the world really has spring at the same time the Southern Half has winter. Is Persephone at home with Demeter or not? Can’t be both. Not a good model for seasons.

What “probably” really happened?

The moon hit the Earth a long time ago knocking it over, so it’s all tilted, some planets are not tilted at all or not much Mercury, Venus, Jupiter don’t have seasons as Earth does. Neptune is tilted 28.5ยฐ and has 41 year seasons. Seasons are not a given for planets and they are not based on being close or far from the sun, but rather tilted directly towards the line of fire of sunshine or indirectly towards it. Seasons are not a given for a planet to have, I find them beautiful and enjoyable, I think I would miss them if I lived on a space station or a planet with no seasons.


The myth of Persephone does have some parallels to my life, I do enjoy living in Hawaii with my dad for 6 months, and with my husband in California for 6 months, which is a bit uncommon. Many animals (especially birds) migrate seasonally, in that way I am like a bird… When I’m gone from my dad, I think he is sad, which is ultimately his issue. Interesting enough, my husband does very well when I am away, he sees his friends, works out, has “him time” and video chats the kids everyday, he misses us a bit and treasures us more when we return (at least for awhile). Perhaps it’s the trauma of loosing us to a divorce that makes my dad less independent emotionally than my husband is or maybe just a lack of comfort with sitting with his feelings without the noise of my kids as a distraction?

Another metaphorical similarity, is that I consider California to be hell in contrast to Hawaii. Though many people like California, maybe even better than Hawaii, I sure don’t. I don’t like the crowds, do like the economic opportunities, don’t like the heat – at all, do like the world class cuisine, don’t like the materialism, do like the museums and national parks. Sometimes leaving my robust support system in Hawaii, where the average person shares many of my values and nature is deeply in harmony with your soul, going back to urban California really feels like descending into hell. Hawaii may be upper 80s and 100% humid often, but where I live in California 100-114 F (38-45 C) happens yearly, some people like to be inside and some people have air conditioning, not me on either account. So… not trying to complain, but I’m a person who hates the heat, who lives in the heat half the year and that is the number 1 reason I find Southern California to be hellish as much as it’s glamorized and idealized by other people who like the heat or don’t live here.

So, though it isn’t true the myth of Persephone somehow helps me make sense of something large and difficult to conceptualize (my seasonal migration) perhaps that is a useful aspect of mythology?


By having a value of the day in my planner (since today) I take psychological ownership of my day in my quest for good, and likewise I take ownership of my week with a stoic quote of the week, week 35 is:

Our life is what our thoughts make it.

– Marcus Aurelius

I take ownership of my year during Kwanzaa, from December 26th – January 1st, which is a huge mindfulness fest that I enjoy.

Those things are small and seemingly insignificant from a financial or outward lens, but there are so major at shifting my mental and emotional outlook from victim-hood to proactivity that I mention them, hoping you can find your own substitute activity that works for you or acknowledge the value of the ones you already have so you don’t toss them aside someday without thinking about how much “the little things” help create balance and well being for all of us.

Words matter.

Words rule.

Words help.

May I have a word with you reader?

What’s your word of the day, week, or year?

Mine is synergy, to me 2020 was about synergy for bad, and synergy for good.


Pandemic ๐Ÿฆ  VS โœŠ๐Ÿฟ Solidarity of Humankind

It’s a real thing, not just “here” either… I believe symbols are words and words are symbols. Chinese people tend to agree on that…

As of July 16th, 2020

Solidarity Won!

(the Zeitgeist of 2020).


๐Ÿ› Transformation Week VI ๐Ÿ‘ฃ


Black Lion Transform!

As I change my body I have also changed the relationship I have with my body and myself. I feel it be a little more “Votron-y” than I expected.

Transformation Robot 5 IN 1 Voltron Super Alloy Soul Beast King ...
You are only $43.95 away from owning your own Voltron. Aliexpress. I give you permission to get one if you are an adult…

“Think little of thy flesh: blood, bones, and a skin; a pretty piece of knit and twisted work, consisting of nerves, veins and arteries; think no more of it, than so.” M.A.

Your body is the harp of your soul and it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds. K.G.

Trust and believe. S.B.

I’ve learned to respect the body as a friend instead of just a vehicle… I’ve started making peace with what it needs and respecting what it gives. ๐Ÿ’

My body is a good friend, it does a lot for me and asks not much in return. It feels right to respect it and if feels like it does in a small way heal my soul treating it well and for sure it improves my mind’s health, it does matter, it’s not “everything” but it’s more than nothing, we are friends now.

I would go as far as to say the body is one of the Voltron legs, without it, you can for sure live, but with it functional it’s a much easier life. I can’t remember the yellow team member well, but I remember the blue one was kind of a grumpy as* hole… he was always fighting with red while the world was about to end, get over yourself blue ranger… so I guess the body would be yellow ranger, because my body at least isn’t as grumpy as blue ranger.

Actually checking out the series information from 30 years ago, there is a central pilot who is the one who was fighting with the blue pilot (who was injured and replaced with the princess pilot) and there was shifting around of pilots within lion robots, so it wasn’t as cut and dry as I remember it to be at age 5 (or even at age 8).

So actually, in a way the body is the core of our life, at least here on Earth it’s unscrap-able, we need at least the brain part to stay alive. So I guess that would be the black lion or the core (torso and head) of the robot.

I noticed something cool (to me) from the data.

WEEK 1 T25: 64 Minutes wanting to quit. No days off. No pain.

WEEK 2 T25 31 Minutes wanting to quit. 1 Day off. A little pain 1 day.

WEEK 3 T25 20 Minutes wanting to quit. 2 Days off. No pain

WEEK 4 T25 00 Minutes wanting to quit. 0 Days off (1 earned). No pain.

How much I wanted to quit over the first 4 weeks exercising.

Looking back was interesting, I’ve broken the part of my mind that wants to quit, or give up… which is super intriguing, because I don’t quit writing, or trying to be a good mom, or drawing, it’s like I only had 1 quitter daemon in me and it just handles everything, so when I proved to myself I wouldn’t quit exercise for some reason it just doesn’t show up for anything.

Lotor (DotU) | Voltron Wiki | Fandom
“Lotor” my wanting to quit daemon has been not showing up to work anymore.

If I were to go back in time I would become more kind and more respectful of my body sooner, since it is in a way the main robot, not just a side robot.

Sure mental health is great, the soul is great (maybe it rules our afterlife), but in this life the body is kind of the leader in at least a slight way and needed to care for it for the most time of the (resting, eating, cleaning) is fairly reasonable considering… 40% of my time goes to my body, but gives me survival 100% of the time, so it’s like a 60% bonus? To me it’s worth it, the more I put in, I’ve been getting extra out.

How much I trusted myself not to quit and stopped even wanting to quit.

So it seems like exercise is a good deal in life, not just for the body, but to build confidence that you really are the captain of your soul.

Our family’s number one rule is now “1. Be the captain,” (so I obviously have to life by it or my husband and daughter will heckle me right away… that’s how they are) but I feel like the physical transformation is really the basis for the quiet strength and respect that powers my upward momentum in other things right now.


My Stock Portfolio ($3.30 more than I earn from this blog… ha ha ha, ha…)

So I’m using the Robinhood app to do free stock trading investment. If you sign up with my link we both get a random free stock. If you (US readers) enjoy this blog consider doing that, you don’t even have to fund the account to get the free stock. You be asked for your SS due to taxes and to set up banking? but no transfer needs to be made.

This may not impress you, my stock (non-plural), but it impresses me, because I never knew that I would invest or take a healthy attitude towards finance, it’s a baby step, but it’s a step.

Green Lion Transform!

I struggled a lot with not understanding interest rates in a visceral way that lead to student load debts ext. When I was born in the 1980s the banks paid a lot of interest and saving made sense, when it stopped making sense my parents didn’t adjust, nor did any one clue me that putting money in the bank is good for “them” to invest it, not for “me”…

When my son turned 1 we got him a stock because it seemed cute somehow and we had a little money for his birthday and nothing he needed at all.

Mr. Baby (8 Months Old) looks like he needed some stocks right?

My daughter then bought some out of envy, my husband finally used the money he was sitting on in his investment app uninvested for months and now me, now it’s all of us.

I feel pretty good about the $3, because I didn’t transfer it, it was literally free money. Whatever I make of it, it has almost become like a fairy tale to me. I would love to pay my student loan with dividends or donate to help the orphans from Elevate Orphan… but the money feels so free. And the experience feels so freeing and so empowering and so uplifting.

My first goal is to wait until the stock reaches $5 or $6 and then sell it so I can invest in $0.40-$1.00 range allowing me to diversify into 3 or 4 different areas of investment. I will have a much different investment strategy then my husband, but it will be so much less stress, since it’s “found money.”

I could probably keep the VBIV stock I have, it seem it will do okay over time since they sell Hep-B vaccines, but I’d just rather not. So I’m waiting to sell a bit higher and bet on some other stock ponies.

It’s irrational how having stocks give me more optimism about fiances, but why not? Student debt, with no savings, and no stocks isn’t ANY better than student debt, no savings, and a stock. Just makes me feel good that my money (small as it is) could go make money itself to either substitute me doing it or at least assist me. Finally passive income.

But just imagine 3 bills instead of that many… Still happy.


Still watching Nanny 911 on the weekend as a family, it’s helpful in planing your play for the whole team to be aware of what you are doing. I like it, the kids don’t copy the other “bad” kids surprisingly. We watched season 1, episode 8, 9, 10 and 11 this week. I’ve noticed that my daughter wants more emotional support, but there is no magic fix that between my husband and I we don’t want to give her as much as she requisitions on a daily basis. It’s still good to know what’s going on. Right now, she wants me to look at an orange butterfly that I don’t want to look at. I like butterflies, but she has me on 100% notifications of butterflies level and that’s too much for me.

My daughter gave up already being a vegetarian, but it felt good to support her to make her own choice, I was 100% behind her offering her a bunch of options, so now she is back on meat, but that fine’s too.

Red Lion Transform!


Listening to T is for Transformation, again this week:

Shaun gave my 7 exercises, that will probably take at least 6 weeks or so,

Exercise 1 = Get a check-up: Done, thanks weird kidney pain, blood, urine all normal. See something about me is normal! I’m supposed to make 3 health steps: perhaps veggie dinner, flax oil in the morning, no coffee after 1PM?

Exercise 2 = Fitness Test
1. Run 15 minutes how far? 2. Plank how long? 3. Push ups 1 minute 2. 4. Crunches 1 minute. 5. Stand without hands. Y/N?

Not looking forward to it, but I’ll shoot for finishing by next week… I have no idea how to track the running and I defiantly don’t care to do it.

Pretending to talk with Shaun (That’s not weird):

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <What’s important to you?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<I guess having life balance between enjoying the simple things in life, going slow when I can and sucking up things I hate when it does make sense for the team (ie my kids) I also want to find out more about myself, feel whole, explore my mind creatively, intellectually.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <Who’s important to you?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<The immediate family, the writer group, human kind within reason.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <What’s driving you forward?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<There is a belief that it matters, that if I keep trying crazy projects one or more will eventually take off and I’ll find my place in this big world.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ< Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<I am already uncomfortable, but still willing to be more uncomfortable.

Blue Lion Tranform!


The drawing tablet came and it’s been therapeutic.

Transformation Robot 5 IN 1 Voltron Super Alloy Soul Beast King ...

Just looking at Voltron again, I think for me, black lion is the body, green lion finance (arms are less important too me), red lion relationships and family teamwork (it’s great when we work well, but when we don’t it doesn’t kill me – unlike the body which is really essential), blue is like the soul and yellow is the mind.

It’s interesting that there isn’t a huge focus on physical health for moms, but that would be really essential to expecting them to be well and function at their best. I think there is a larger focus on physical health for dads, and obviously a larger financial expectation, but I think there is a lack of expecting either parents to make times to get their minds and souls straightened out, which is pretty neccisary to be at your best.

I think at all times since becoming pregnant and having kids most people I know have told me repeatedly not to take care of myself and put the kids needs first constantly and my husband as well when possible. I was already a “team player” when that happened and I’ve crawled pretty far down a hole of prioritizing what I want or need last that it’s going to take sometime to crawl back out. I may be overly hostile, but it’s only that hostility that powers me to climb out of this hole I’m only now recognizing I’ve been in.

The funny thing to me about my mind and soul is that I have a very serious mind and a very silly soul, kind of like Bert and Ernie from sesame street, I’m kind of functionally handicapped in my team work and finance arms, but my body is very athletic and I’ll defiantly rely on the one not broken part about me to pull me forward into a sense of wholeness.

I think parenting, as rewarding as it is, was also soul crushingly different and grueling and mentally difficult, so that my mind and soul were quite damaged and need some repair or at least maintenance. I need a lot more “me time” than what I have gotten, so it’s not really shameful to be in a state of disrepair, it’s is what it is.

At times I wonder if my silly things are important I think I’m starting to understand why they are… I think they heal my soul from past wounds.


As a late elementary school girl I fell in love with this monkey who was even more irreverent than a quite funky and irreverent Japanese game (Earthbound) already was.

The monkey joins your adventure briefly to help you fly where you could not otherwise get to, and then leaves to pursue a love interest.

That’s what my website and blog are named after, the mistaken name of that monkey (which was actually “bubble monkey” and I always thought of as bubble gum monkey…).

I have never introspected exactly why it had such a big impact on me, as silly as it is I kind of think of that monkey as a hero, it reminds me of the kindness of strangers, the good part of humanity (or monkey kind?) and inspires me that it does matter what good I can do, not only for myself but for the larger world (albeit in a tiny way).

It gives me the pond ripple feeling of making a difference in life that Bruce Lee talked about.

I had never known the artist’s name before, just the writers name, the writer is a very famous comedian and game maker Shigesato Itoi known as “mother,” but the artist is Kouichi Ooyama (I’m sure among other team members as well).

Helpful monkey" Greeting Card by tylafoutz | Redbubble

The Original Artist = Kouichi Ooyama

This may not be your favorite art style, but it is deeply up there for me, and I think that’s an important thing to develop as an artist letting go of what high society or sales or any one else says is good and finding what resonates authentically with your own soul.

I just got a graphics tablet – thank you husband – (very affordable to use with my Chrome OS, affordable Chromebook which technically belongs to my daughter who got it from her grandfather on her second birthday) I tired about 5 drawing apps and the one that works the best is Krita. Most drawing programs are not even an option using a Chrome OS… Autodesk Sketchbook kind of works (but doesn’t show the cursor so I don’t know where I am drawing) Krita is a good alternative, but seems to be a little less intrinsic and possibly “crashy” or maybe just because I don’t know how to use it well yet?



By Dino (thegalaticdinosaur) Original Gallery

I’m heavily a fan of Sumi-E which is a Japanese minimalist art form of attempting to capture the essence or spirit of a living thing with few extra brush strokes.

I’m open to picking up many more techniques, some shading, some color theory, some perspective, the water effect, yet I’m also decently happy with my very simple drawing, because to me, mine captures the emotions that I have always imagined Tessie and Bubble Monkey have in that moment.

So, I wouldn’t hate if my drawing looked good like the Galatic Dinosaur’s, but actually I don’t hate mine, I like it and I only see it getting better over time.

It’s beautiful to me, I nailed this picture! Yellow Lion Transform!

In summary:

Body – Working out for a month coming up soon.

Finances – Started investing, portfolio at $3.30, debt at $34K…

Family – We have a decent working order, love, good education and the beginning of better communication.

Soul – I’m still finding myself, but I feel like the stronger I get the less afraid I am of what I may find and therefore the more I can even look.

Mind – Drawing really lifts my spirits, hopefully I’ll be able to share that with the world someday, but even if I don’t that’s a good foundation to strengthen myself to help my loved ones…

Thank you for making it through another twisted post, I find the threads that seemed tangled are actually meant to weave a tapestry together (or so I think).

I’ve noticed all the images I copied over to posts tend to get messed up, the ones I save and upload are fine, so that someday soon it will be time to return to the semi-recent past and fix and I suppose revise/proof read the older posts for glaring grammatical errors ext. If anyone wants to trade articles for proof reading let me know please!

It’s been a year of baby steps for me, my son’s actually baby steps, but also my own.


๐Ÿ’ Mindfulness Monday VI ๐Ÿ”‡


let's go
Saturday I got an excellent “crazy hair cut and I love it.”
The new hair cut (not me – musician Cassie Ventura).


Thank you to Chris at American Barber Shop downtown Santa Ana!

I was trying to let go of 5 items today (my normal Monday habit) and I didn’t really.

So I was wondering if my hair could count for 2 items? Since the left and right sides are gone leaving the middle to grow into this hair cut I got on Saturday. Since it’s not the first time I go through Shaun T’s T for Transformation book, I know he is going to recommend a hair cut soon…

I have had crazy hair cuts, but I’ve never actually asked for “the one I really wanted,” if I wanted Mr. T, I would get something short, but not Mr. T’s hair cut… At 35 years old I have never asked for the hair cut I wanted, ever.

Until Saturday.

My daughter chose 5 items really easily and well today, but for the first time, I struggled. I got rid of old boxes I was saving, cleaned the corner kitchen cabinet of clutter and wiped it down. Took out a lot of trash (2 bags). But mostly everything I got rid of was pretty clearly trash so… it didn’t feel like it counted.

I organized the tool bag, not as bad as I expected, a whole large bag of various glues, fishing wire, a few tools.

There were all sorts of things we don’t really need. A drill bit for a drill we don’t have (that wasn’t top quality anyways). But I didn’t pull the trigger and pick 5 things to get rid of, I just removed obvious trash consolidated plugs with plugs, tools with tools, electronics with electronics.

It was kind of a “trail of tears” of my clutter today…

I unpacked the red luggage I had waiting to go to Hawaii, which got postponed from May to June, June to July, July to August and now I don’t think we will go at all (since we come back before October, so it’s such a short time now…)

It was like failure in terms of getting rid of anything except obvious trash, plastic packaging, cardboard boxes, ext. But I kind of respected the house, made peace with the house and started liking my home more.

We shift our rooms around a lot as our daughter was born, she grew, our son was born, he is growing. Right now he is climbing tables to try to eat small contraband choking hazards… so at first I just isolated everything dangerous where ever I could, today I kind of undid the clutter that was caused by my doing that a few months ago.

We have a really small kids room and two rooms, one is our bedroom with only a bed, laundry hamper, wall mounted TV, and electric heater with electric fan and alarm clock (I really like it sparse). The TV is there because it used to be our living room, yet I actually do enjoy having a TV in the bedroom, which is really against the traditional Feng Shui rules I used to enjoy.

When you only have two rooms apart from your kid’s room and bathroom, Feng Shui really has to get blurred and “creatively” interpreted

I was cleaning the bathroom, which has annoying mold I battle, but never seem to eliminate. Sometimes I think I could eliminate the mold if I had no husband since he showers and refuses to turn the fan on so the moisture will dissipate… but it wouldn’t help really, because I wouldn’t stay here anyways I would move back to Hawaii and fight against even stronger mold.

Anyways, cleaned out the diaper bucket with affection, took out the recycling (to the outside waiting area), moved all dishes out of the school room, organized 1 kitchen cabinet completely, organized the tool bag.

I noticed clothes try to stray, not many, but my daughter’s socks are going crazy in the shoe closet… they need a little box or something. The swimming and exercise clothes are getting out of hand since I put them to dry and then don’t have a habit of when to take them in and where to put them.

I noticed books still get messy, I think I want to rubber band groups of books together so my son will stop throwing them all over the floor four times a day, but I think my daughter will still be smart enough to get them.

I noticed papers are in too many places, some in the kitchen, some in the hall closet, some in the school room.

I have a lot of journals that are in a nice school box, but it seems like there may be excess as it’s overflowing after unpacking my travel luggage for the trip that probably isn’t happening this year.

I’m really starting to feel optimistic about life, my daughter took in gifts of recycling money that replaced the money she donated, so I didn’t need to have worried she gives too much away. It’s a pretty ebb and flow of receiving and giving, which I’ve never been able to feel, because I was raised in a super stingy way and I’ve become stuck like that.

I actually got the new drawing tablet to work really well, unexpectedly quickly, however almost too well, since my son and daughter hog it during the day when they see that it’s hooked up. I kind of hate it, I tell myself I love it that they will build that skill, that they can use art as therapy, that it’s cool to be able to teach them, but I also hate it because I haven’t been able to use it while they are awake and I haven’t been awake when they aren’t since my son has been fussy at night and I haven’t gotten enough hours of sleep for the me time to be worth the sleep deprivation.

Bitmoji Image
Can’t use my new digital drawing tablet because I feel it’s valid for the kids to explore artistically and then the day passes by…

I didn’t need to worry about not exercising at all, I’ve been doing double work outs finally, so I have an extra rest day earned instead of being in debt by two.

Marie Kondo said there are two reasons you don’t get rid of things you don’t need or want, 1. Fear for the future (will I ever afford a drill bit to replace this one if I get rid of it?) or 2. Attachment to the past (my son’s umbilical cord, I’m never really going to need it, I’m keeping it in case he wants it, I don’t think he really will though).

I don’t feel overly fearful or stuck in the past, yet today I was stuck transferring this I didn’t want back and forth, sure organizing them, putting them in a better location and everything together, yet kind of unable to choose even 1 thing to let go off (except trash).

Bitmoji Image
I don’t know.


I’m starting to have a really divided opinion about the tools in particular (I half way want to scrap everything and half way want to keep everything).

It’s weird though because I’m not getting closer to a decision, I’m feel like it’s becoming like two different paths in the woods, the one where I keep a comfortable amount of clutter (like a normal person) and another one where I become radically minimalist (discarding tape rolls with tape on them that I don’t need, letting go of a glue gun I have no projects for).

I don’t know who I am enough yet to know what the right thing is. Am I an artist who likes things pretty clean or am I a minimalist who likes to discard everything not in use to find a certain spiritual answer to a question I’m not yet aware of?

Is minimalism here making my life easier, or is it an important part of who I am and of my life?

I don’t know yet.

I spent enough time cleaning, the bathroom looks better (thank you vinegar – I don’t know why but just vinegar alone worked better than baking soda with vinegar…), the kitchen is just a little better, the closet is a bit better, the school room is just a bit better, there is 2 bags less trash in the house.

My daughter discarded her 5 items, a plastic bunny she didn’t love, a T Rex donated to her cousin, a book she was okay giving away, and two other toys I can’t remember. The important thing with her is that she can mentally process when she is “done” or could be done with an item, it’s not that she has too much, but when she gets disinterested by something she rarely ever wants it again, so why live with it?

I guess I feel guilty for not doing my usual habit of letting go of 5 items. I guess I didn’t check the box.

The other things I did do today, didn’t give me personal satisfaction.

Teaching the kids art, teaching math, teaching reading, cooking, cleaning, sometimes I’m able to get an honest feeling that it was worth it and enjoyable, but not today. I don’t why. Sometimes we teach more, like today we did the derivative of x^4 and my daughter showed she understands that calculus concept of simple derivatives needed in physics to change acceleration to speed… that kind of thing normally makes me happy. But today it didn’t.


We are working as a team more than ever before as parents, and also my daughter helping me with my son, and also my son lifting my spirits, it’s interesting (to me, maybe it’s obvious to you) that the cleaner the home gets the easier it seems to be to get along well as a family and get little things (like car registrations ext) done.

It feels like I did nothing today, but it was for sure 2 store sized bags of trash going out…

I did a lot of tiny things that affect everyday life a lot today, like making a second drying area for dishes so I can put away my dishes away without putting away my room mates dishes (who cook more than me). It sound stingy that I don’t want to put away their dishes every time, but I really don’t. Nor do I want them to have to put away my dishes. If we used the same amount or if I didn’t have the kids to look after maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal, but actually it wastes a lot of my time that both of my kids would love to have back or I could use to have a tea, which I like to do and haven’t today.

I don’t feel great about today, I feel like I let myself down a little by not at least looking deeper into my emotions about why I didn’t let go of anything for the first time since I started the 5 things challenge years ago. But rather than not post, I’d rather post the honest truth that I had a lack luster decluttering day, then hide in shame. I feel like a ship at sea with no wind, I know the wind will come back, but I don’t know when.


What I have left are school paper clutter, family paper clutter, personal paper clutter, kitchen clutter, and mementos. Short term I’m imagining doing the kitchen, which for me, means nothing to me, medium term I’m imagining really going digital with no papers for the family and me and minimal papers for school, long term I’m sure I’ll actually get rid of a lot of mementos (I think so anyways). I’m not sure yet if I’ll heal from being over cluttered as a child and turn normal or if under my skin I’m an authentic minimalist.

I am not less conservative than I was, I’ve always been a weird blend of traditional and radical, but now it shows more. It actually feels really good for people to know (or guess) that I’m an “extreme” kind of person by seeing me, since I’ve always been that way internally.


The first step in the Kon Mari process is imagining an ideal life, then examining ๐Ÿ‘’ clothes, ๐Ÿ“š books, ๐Ÿ“ƒ papers, ๐Ÿ’ป everything else, still everything else ๐Ÿ“Œ and ๐Ÿ’Ž mementos. It’s an interesting process, I’ve done it a few times an it’s always surprising how much I have that I’m unaware I have and how much lighter I feel when the clutter leaves my life.

Imagining the end is the hardest part, Pinterest helped me in imagine my ideal life, as well as a post by Eunice Faye about daring to dream and another about taking respite from everyday life to enjoy the beauty around us.

dream big
I’m starting to be interested how it will end?


Today I learned again, that I don’t know myself very much yet, it’s not surprising since it had never been a priority in school. and I’ve only been out of school for 5 years.

It becomes relevant to decluttering because to know what items should be in your home, it requires you to know a lot about who you are. Are you a musician, a chef? Who you are defines some of the items that will be in your home, not only what you do, but what you value, what lifts your spirits?

Those things become relevant, specifically the glue gun makes me question if I will be building a bird house or doll house with my kids or if I should let it go and trust I can rebuy one if I need it later?

It becomes a question of prudence vs abundance, and since I don’t know where I stand internally I’m hesitating externally, my body doesn’t know if it “sparks joy” or fails to spark joy right now.

I’ve frozen rather than fighting or flying away.

I chose the muter speaker sign for today because I can’t hear my heart today, even though things are going well in almost every way, I have a disconnected feeling, which could be due to sleep loss, but I don’t think I will ever really know exactly why?

Do not worry about tomorrow finishing Kon Mari, for tomorrow finishing Kon Mari will worry about itself. Each day week has enough trouble clutter of its own.

Matthew 6:34 > Bubble Gum Monkey’s non-offensive reflection about de-cluttering.

I’m beginning to suspect that there is no “end” to clutter, just a reduction such that it’s more easy to live in the home, and perhaps takes a bit less time and energy to manage the items there are… I’m for some reason wondering what Jesus did about clutter right now. I know he kept a small amount of clothing (or at least I heard that though the grape vine) but I wonder if he had all sorts of carpentry clutter? Or a junk drawer in the kitchen?

I read an article about what the bible does say about clutter (spoiler alert the bible is anti-clutter) but I have never lived by the bible over internal sense of morality, so I can’t say, “okay that’s easier for me now then.”

 But more importantly, I kept my vision. I kept my values. I kept my mission.

If you donโ€™t know what yours are, I encourage you to think about them. We worked through our family culture and vision to decide what to keepโ€ฆand we got rid of more than half the things we own in less than a month. Once we knew what mattered, it was easy to part with what didnโ€™t.

Because we knew who we wanted to be and what we are called to do, we had guidelines to attach to what had to leave and what could stay.

I no longer wanted to be a rich young ruler, sad because I had too much clutter in my life to serve Jesus unreservedly.

– Lisa Yvonne

That helped a lot, it’s not that I’m going to serve Jesus unreservedly after I’m done (probably) but I do want to live my own life path unreservedly and I do notice extra things have a way of draining the limited energy I have to do that.

Complete respect to those of you who know your mission and follow it, whatever it is, and thank you to Lisa Yvonne for spelling it out the internal process of decluttering and inspiring me to consider selling things (something I don’t like to do). Any advice from someone who got rid of half of their things in one month seems pretty legit to me, regardless of having a different mission in life, that takes a lot of mindfulness.

Is it too late to count the trash as 5 items and just say “I won?”

Thank you for joining me on this journey, I didn’t consider it very personal at first “cleaning house” but it becomes “putting your house in order” and it becomes deeply personal over time.

you are essential
One thing that is a definite “spark joy” is you my reader, I won’t declutter you. You guys are part of my essential path whatever it is. If you don’t read me again, we will have had this moment forever now, it became part of my experience on this crazy world to share this day with you. ๐Ÿ’ž

๐Ÿฆ– Tech Talk Thursday ๐Ÿ’ป V

The Dark Side of Tech

This is somewhat a sentimental post, soon the music service I use Google Play Music will be gone. It will become YouTube Music.

shakes fist
Just when I got a walk man, they went out of style, portable CD player didn’t play my mix tapes, now this… from radio, vinyl, 8 track, cassettes, CDs, floppies, zip drives, mp3 files, the Google cloud now I have to learn Youtube Music, how many times will I relearn the radio in one life time?

I love YouTube, sometimes it does weird things, it isn’t perfect, but I remember in college having 1 project where I had to post a YouTube homework project and it was kind of awesome.

I felt like spiderman.

For a shy person like me, I would have never otherwise experienced that.

After I got the grade I took the video down, it was a yoga video and I’m horrible at yoga, I didn’t want people getting injured or anything, they were asking how long to hold the hip opening position and I don’t know I just had to do the home work…

I think time and time again I go back to the Jurassic Park quote that technology is changing so fast, and we are all still running to catch up.

The world has just changed so radically, and we’re allย running to catch up.

– Dr Alan Grant (Fictional Character)

Today I saw the first genetically engineered lizard on YouTube (my daughter loves lizards).

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You really need this science? Shouldn’t you be curing cancer still… in people, or at least dogs?
Albino lizards are the world's first genetically modified reptiles ...
I’m nerdy and pro-science, but this is a little… creepy isn’t it? CRISPR genome-editing genetically modified reptiles…

It makes me mildly uncomfortable to see that technology advancing, I’m in favor of it, yet I can’t even imagine a world where humans don’t someday abuse it… I wonder how much it will cost my husband to make a younger wife if the average natural human sells for $75 on the black market? More or less?

I remember being a girl, having my great aunt as a pen pal and thinking, almost everything has been invented in her time, phones, electricity, televisions, I was about 8, so it would be 1985 + 8 = 1993… I had no idea tech shit was about to get real during my life as well. The internet, functional MRIs, the human genome project. The only thing constant in my life time has been “no consistency whatsoever.”

all the best
Actually this experience (blogging) is quite like having a pen pal!

I’m a bit jealous of those born before or after, I was born in a gap, tech wasn’t the world when I was growing up, but nor was I free to go have a romp at the beach, it was the era of hyper phobia of kidnapping so indoors but with Lincoln Logs and light bright rather than a play-station and YouTube.

keyboard smash
I’ll use my light bright background to figure this out – eventually.

So I’m young, but not that good at switching technology. The older I get, the younger I consider myself now, that’s interesting… so I’m a young technophobe, who used technology for everything (because don’t we all?).

Stephen King wrote a book about cell phones killing everyone, I’m closer to that side than the normal side… I don’t have a cell phone, an AT&T sales lady pretty much had a brain melt down when she tried to figure out how I could possibly live life.

Even in Cuba when I said I didn’t need wifi, the young lady didn’t understand what I was saying, her parents did, but she was struggling to comprehend someone passing a short vacation with no wifi.

I was just too used to driving before GPS to need it now, already used to setting meet up locations with family or driving together, and in an emergency I can use a stray pay phone or ask someone, usually I ask someone and they are nice and I have just a bit more faith in humanity because a stranger took the time to GPS me to where I was going that next to no one knows how to get to anymore.

I got my first cell phone at 16, but almost never used it, all around me people were using phones, but apart from holding jobs that require them, I just don’t feel the need.

Most every time I would have wanted a cell phone in an emergency I had a cell phone with absolutely no signal, so than why?

I was an EMT for years, who am I going to call? If 911 someone will be nice enough to let me borrow their phone or call for me.

Anyways, thank you to Stephen King for setting the precedence that phones are still optional.

My husband emails me from work very occasionally or just waits and talks to me face to face, or video chats our house video. No phone doesn’t mean no tech, it’s just something I don’t find I need in life.

If I did have a social life, I guess it would have made a difference, but after 3 years of becoming fully absorbed with my first child, when I accidentally washed my cell phone breaking it, there was no social life left to loose.

And in that moment, I felt free, I didn’t like life better with a phone. I didn’t want another one.

No more beeping at weird times for God knows why.

I don’t expect most people will understand that, but it was a defining moment in my life. I wanted to be there more with my daughter, and there was that chance to be the person I said I wanted to be staring me in the face.

I just took it and ran, and I’ve never looked back.

2 years later no regrets so far.

But I do feel like people won’t understand that life worked perfectly well before phones and can also work without them still. I don’t want to argue about it, but I know my life has been better prior to and after me having a cell phone.

My car insurance company for my husband’s commuter car that he calls my car because it is a Honda Civic, sent me $8.07 since there have been fewer cars on the road, fewer accidents, they refunded me what they saved, the letter said they hoped it could help me and my family during this time.

I was thinking they were lying thinking $8.07 could help me and my family, but I know I don’t really know, I wondered if it was possible.

I opened a Robbinhood.com account and after sending a picture of my social security card and manually adding my bank information, I’m still waiting for the bank verification deposit step to be finished, but I plan to see if that $8.07 really could help me?

Mostly I hate feeling like I don’t do anything towards my student debt, so if I got stocks with dividends those could pay some of the student debt interest. Even if it was next to nothing, I think it would feel good to be attempting to be fiscally responsible in some way. That’s trying to pay a $43,000 bill with a $8.07 check, it would be fun if it worked out. Also if I could just do better at increasing my investments than my husband does it would make me happy on the inside.

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I made a really bad investment, myself as an earner of capital requiring a degree. It can only get better from here emotionally.

My son got a stock for his birthday this year since we couldn’t have a party, my daughter wanted some out of jealousy, my husband thought he could do better than the safe ETF we were choosing so he picked his own (went crazy), our daughter’s God father started, his son, now it feels like I’m the only one in the world with no stocks… so hopefully that verification goes through so I can be making money off an app for the first time rather than wasting time or loosing money.

all the best
I used to use real ink and calligraphy nibs, but I’ve ever so slowly adjusted to the digital world. I moved from feather pen to plastic feather pen, and soon a drawing tablet will arrive that I will struggle to adjust to (hopefully without breaking it in a horrible misplaced rage).

I don’t know if I would have chosen to live in this time if I had a choice. So much deep pleasure comes from taking a long walk, the sun casting shadows through the trees and things that are usually brushed aside in the fast-paced world we live in now.

I have ample opportunity to make money (but I’m also shackled with debt from a very expensive educational system). It’s all opportunity and no free lunch here in the US. There is that chance to win a dream vacation and the odds that you will take less vacation than everyone else short of North Korea… (I don’t have any idea how many vacation days they get to be honest).

Without knowing how it really feels, I think I would trade with Henry David Thoreau and live in the past, but hopeful as him, because women’s rights were seldom better than they are now.

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Before it was less “it” and more “unpaid menial household labor.”

The Romans founded Rome with all men and then just invited people over and abducted the women, women used to be like something you just pick up at Ikea, toss out if you want a new style and leave on the curb if you were moving… My great aunt, left by her mother at a train station to “find a husband” at a crazy age like 8 or 12 (I don’t remember clearly and she is dead). I just remember being the age she was when she was abandoned by her mom, crazy enough she met her husband, he just got her at the train station and as far as I know, they were happy, they had only 1 son, who seemed really nice, though I didn’t know him well. The truth can be so much crazier than fiction. My grandparents on the other side, my grandfather had a Harley and wanted to drive a schoolgirl home, she declined but offered him to take her friend instead, who was my beloved grandmother.

Both my parents, my maternal grandparents and I were all married because 1 of the people specifically was attracted to the butt of the other party.

Were you the one with the shapely butt or the one that likes shapely butts? I believe in true love, but did a lot of squats so… ended up getting married based on heavily on gluts.

That kind of low-grade technology of do you like their butt enough to get married? has been around for time immemorial and I wonder if technology will change or not?

I wonder if the impact of technology is superficial or deep, does it change the way we conduct our lives or go deeper and change us, what we choose to conduct. Does it change the symphony, the score or simply the way we conduct?

There won’t be much data ever, I don’t think anyone will live without technology by choice, no sample size large enough to accurately compare what will happen.

Do cell phones cause brain cancer, I think sometimes but not much, they sure do cause breast cancer if worn in the bra… do cell phones annoy me more than they improve my life, yes, that I know.

I wonder if at any point I’ll be mandated to be cell phoned, if I will go a few more years without one or if it will become like the Afro hair cut of Bob Ross that he became known for and couldn’t get rid of?

The Bob Ross 'Joy of Painting' Vault Is Wide Open, and We're Ready ...
Wanted to cut his hair, but told not to for work.

I’m mostly not missing much with no phone because I can just use a computer and they have a larger screen… but somehow it feels quite different. With the computer I have complete control of what I do, with the phone I had a tendency to check, see there was nothing, then check again, wasting time… or constantly take pictures of my kids, but at the cost of seeing them with my own eyes in real time as a part of their lives rather than a lens.

It’s outside of my hands and there have been beautiful advantages, being able to see all my favorite artist in a recorded live concert via Youtube is just amazing, free sheet music for the piano that moves for me as I practice, any language to learn for free, most of human knowledge at my fingertips, you readers, who I love, it’s so much I almost want to say it’s worth what we have lost. But I can’t, because I don’t know where this will end, I don’t know that the psychological well being of kids and teens turning down hill doesn’t have to do with technology, I don’t know what the cost will be of all these advantages, but I believe there will be some.

For very young children tech use stunts their brain growth, not because it is evil, but because it takes the hours of the day that once belonged to worthy pursuits away from those pursuits, moving, dancing, socializing, playing, some of those get replaced by something good, yet less dynamic, less suited to how our brain was meant to be.

I think my main complaint about technology is not what it is, but simply that it is capable of replacing things in life that were more important, more fulfilling, but harder and easier to be replaced.

These took so many batteries, but they were awesome!

To tech or not to tech that isn’t the question, the question is what does it cost us? What does it replace? Is it worth it in a gestalt way?

My grandmother used to play Atari with me, before she died of brain cancer, while scientists worked towards someday creating albino lizards.


๐Ÿ”ฎ World of Technical Failure I ๐Ÿšง

I saw a fun “get to know me form” and thought I would fill it out, after I filled it out (which was fun) I tried to insert it into a WordPress post, that sounds easy right?

Struggling with pixel size and resolution, again.

Here is the pretty cool (especially on my screen) image that refuses to behave for me on WordPress:

Blank Get to Know Me from Life at Wyetha – My Babies Documentary

Am I too much of a perfectionist or is it weirdly out of focus at every possible size and headache inducing?

But I liked it so I tried to fix it, should be easy right?

Trying the different possible methods…

Method 1. Direct upload = failure (of clear resolution).

I’m having “a time” getting the resolution problem with the above image fixed. I used to use sketch.io for these things, but lately it has major lag with all text at least from my Chromebook, “Chromebooky,” so I used Google Slides to add my write in answers to the blank form.

Tried a few different ways.

Ha… a bit frustrated, because I can make it look just fine on my end, but it looks all messed up as an inserted image. I’m assuming it would work as an SVG (scalable vector graphic) but WordPress doesn’t permit that due to “security issues”?

I tried being a “real web developer” by using the inspect tool.

I investigated the size using the inspect tool (that I barely don’t know how to use) and tried matching the same pixel sized, but nothing I do gets rid of the out of focus look of the text… which is so annoying.

Hey that didn’t work, what about this?
Method 2. WordPress Insert Image by URL method = failure.
Method 3. WordPress Insert Image by embed method = failure.
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I would never do this to you Chromebooky.

So… at this point I don’t know if I should just remake the post using my own data, but that won’t enhance my knowledge as a blogger.

I’m going to table this, but I haven’t quit.

They say every problem is an opportunity, so… I guess I’ll ask my sister who is better with computers and you guys if anyone knows why I can get an image to be reasonably clear on my Chromebook screen when I make it (in Google Slides) but when I try to post it via an image PNG or JPEG via WordPress it looks out of focus?

It’s what’s for dinner!

How would I find the magic resolution that doesn’t look out of focus?

Or? Did I make a permanently out of focus image that somehow is in focus on my screen?

This is why I don’t have a Bluehost site any more, I run into walls with the entire technical side of blogging FOR NOW.

I’ll end this for now… and update it if I find out any solutions. Good day readers. But what I will say (quote really) is:

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

– Winston Churchill
Blank Get to Know Me from Life at Wyetha – My Babies Documentary

I just looked in my folder to see if the original file I was uploading to WordPress was blurry and it was, so then it would always be… I don’t know if this one is slightly better? But it kind of looks better when I zoom in, is that just me being crazy. Either way… I thought of deleting the whole post, but I think it really captures the lack of joy that technical issues bring to the writing and creating process which has been a large hurdle for me in particular, so I’m going to post it.

Image resolution has been a torn in my side for some time and though I can fix it on a microscope, I don’t yet fully understand how to fix it when I am creating or posting images and that’s something I should eventually learn.

Any links to solutions or explanations from those who know are welcome!

I’m sure I CAN do this simple project…

๐Ÿ› Transformation Week V ๐Ÿ”ฅ

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Extreme Heat Today, But Expected.


“Think little of thy flesh: blood, bones, and a skin; a pretty piece of knit and twisted work, consisting of nerves, veins and arteries; think no more of it, than so.”

– Marcus Aurelius

Your body is the harp of your soul and it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

– Khalil Gibran

I didn’t have a real reason to restart T25 a few weeks ago, I just did it, but I think I know why now, I think I’m trying to strengthen my mind for my own Everest (which isn’t the real Everest).

WEEK 1 T25

Day 1 Speed 1.0 I wanted to quit after 20 minutes.
Day 2 Cardio I wanted to quit after 5 minutes.
Day 3 Total Body Circuit I wanted to quit the whole time.
Day 4 Ab Intervals (first time I didn’t feel like quitting).
Day 5 Lower Focus
Day 6 Cardio I wanted to quit after 11 minutes.
Day 7 Stretch

WEEK 2 T25

Day 8 Cardio I wanted to quit the whole time, minor pain.
Day 9 Total Body Circuit I wanted to quit after 19 minutes. Better! Day 10 Speed 1.0 Day 11 Cardio Day 12 Lower Focus Day 13 Ab Intervals Day 14 Stretch

WEEK 3 T25

Day 15 Total Body Circuit I wanted to quit after 5 minutes (hard day). Day 16 Speed 1.0 Day 17 Lower Focus 2nd DAY OFF 3rd DAY OFF Day 18 Cardio Day 19 Total Body Circuit and Ab Intervals

Looking at the past three weeks I’ve noticed I’ve wanted to quit less and less, my mental strength is different. I don’t know if it takes more strength to want to quit and face it or to not want to quit? I feel like actually facing the feeling of wanting to quit builds more strength, but if I don’t want to quit I can’t “want to” just to get stronger…

Yes I do have more energy, drink less coffee, am a bit more patient, and am stronger, I’m looking more like Bruce Lee than I ever expected to (was husky in youth and am lean for the first time ever, feels weird) but I’m becoming more and more aware that it’s much more significantly a meditation in focusing than anything else.

The 24 hour day has 1,440 minutes.

T25 feels like forever in the middle of it, but I have 57.6 T25s of time in a day.

1440 minutes a day dived into 25 minute periods becomes 57.6 forever’s in each day.

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand, and a Heaven in aย Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.”

– William Blake

To hold infinity in the palm of your mind, do the T25 workout with Shaun T and realize that you have more than 57 times that much time every day.

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If I could “hyper” focus I could get every aspect of life under control in the time I already have.

Sleeping takes 480 minutes, or 19.2 “T25 Periods” of time, breakfast, lunch and dinner take at least one each, so putting showers with sleeping that’s 20 + 3 for eating = 23 for the body. 40%

I’ve learned to respect the body as a friend instead of just a vehicle… I’ve started making peace with what it needs and respecting what it givees.

I watch a lot of Bear Grylls and I noticed the survival rules 1. Air (3 Minutes) 2. Protection/Shelter (3 Hours), 3. Water (3 Days), 4. Food (3 Weeks) are missing something important. Sleep! Lack of sleep can kill you in 2 weeks, therefore it should be number 4 and food should be number 5. Also I can survive outside indefinitely in all the climates I’ve lived in…

But looking at the survival rules the right way for me and my area:

  1. Air (Deep Breathing) 2. Protection from Heat Exhaustion (Cool Towel, Extra Water and Ice) 3. Water 4. Sleep 5. Food

Has let me play out today’s extreme heat in a decent way, and also given me a lot of insight as to why my marriage is as strained as it is, we haven’t slept well in over 5 years… why would we be communicating and problems solving at our best then?

Another note about the physical journey is that I did the double workout I was supposed to do for the first time this week, before I couldn’t have, I’ve been doing my absolute best, but that didn’t include being able to do the double workouts and it didn’t include earning the 3 off days I’ve taken.

Traditionally each double workout day earns you 1 day off, so I’m still in debt 2 days, but I’m okay with that since I know I’ve given my all.

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I put me here, but I’m scared to come out.


I’ve ironed out so many things at home that I’m starting to see the lack of personal satisfaction I have as an individual behind the scenes of creating the mental unhappiness that does happen in my life. I create the prison I keep me in, but noticing is easier than escaping.

I reached this place of having the cage door open, but not knowing if I can survive on the outside.

The door is open, but I wasn’t prepared to make a break for it.

I noticed that once our survival needs are met we tend to ignore those really important parts of life, air, protection, water, sleep, food in the name of 1. Love, 2. Knowledge, 3. Purpose, 4. Inspiration and 5. Meaning.

I noticed that before attending a class (Zoom seminar) with Lei Wang today about “3 Steps to Achieving Your Personal & Professional Best.”

I think what I call inspiration she calls excitement, but not 100% sure about that.

It was humbling to meet Lei Wang, she has completed the explorers grand slam (climbing the 7 peaks of each continent and hiking both poles). Her blog. She was so humble and down to Earth, but you could tell she was really strong at the core in a way that made it a pleasure to meet her and see that she was “real.”

Each time I meet a book writer or blogger I mentally “rub them” as if success and the ability to finish a book will rub off on me… (weird right? But you told me to be myself… so… I mentally rub people. Hopefully the right way though.)

I identified three things I would like to do in the class today 1. Teach my kids the Finnish way. 2. Go camping in Yosemite again when I can. 3. Learn to be a tree house builder. Also some possible things, learn to build eco homes, move to Seattle, move to the forest, live seasonally in the woods at least, perhaps get a botany degree to enter a forestry job or find some kind of biology field work I can do with or without reeducation.

I also identified three steps to take 1. Create space between the kids and me. 2. Save up and get information. 3. Look into a botany or building program (I like Tree Houses and Earth Ships…).

Lei was really great at pushing me past my prison bars to look out five years into the future and imagine something better… maybe because she had really lived it rather than just saying it or reading about it. That’s why I’m not a life coach, I tried it, because I wanted to work from home and like coaching, but I was definitely missing something Lei has and I don’t want to be the only one with a knife in a gun fight…

It was nice seeing someone not too different from me who has made it past the prison walls. She grew up in China, studied most of her life, was planning on being a doctor, then because a mountaineer. I’m Asian from the US, studied most of my life, was planning on being a doctor, all I’m missing is the last step…

She talked about excitement being the prime motivator for things to get done. I’m different and the same, for me tranquility is a stronger motivator, but I get excited expecting the tranquility so it’s in a way the same excitement.

She made so many interesting points, but one was that the very best thing about the South Pole was the regular events and people at the station when it was over, that surprise and expectations can be the only difference between something being enjoyable or unenjoyable.

She made the point if we want people to engage with us, students, spouses, readers ext we have to be exciting that nothing will kill a lesson, relationship or project more than boredom. It was a really important point for me to grapple with. For me as for everyone excitement matters, but it’s a smaller piece of the pie for me (I think) and I forget that if I want to have a family meeting, if I want to teach my students well, if I want to write a great book someday it’s not only about me, it’s about getting the other party excited. There is no I in team, but there is an I in excitement!

The main points of the class were, excitement is the prime motivator of successful endeavors, fun needs to be incorporated into learning and life for students, it’s not extra work it’s foundational work, for me to ascribe meaning to motivate me through everyday challenges, to incorporate the ideas of the students more, to reach for a “wow” from them.

You wouldn’t know my excitement from the outside in, but it’s there.

I remember the last time I was really “wowed” my son taught himself to swim, it got me motivated to go in the pool I didn’t want to go in and had been avoiding for about 2 months straight everyday… that feeling of “wow” it really motivates all of us when we can get it.

So we all have different kinds of excitement, but it’s a strong driver of human activity hidden “in plain sight.”

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For isn’t every mom an island?


Sunday I had the family break through of watching Nanny 911 I was waiting to have, we watched a mom with 22 boys just nailing that, she was just amazing in pretty much every way, but you didn’t hate her, you just had to like her. And the next episode a mom with 3 kids, just sucking (a lot like our family). Finally my husband, my daughter and I were all paying attention and we got to an episode with an undermining spouse, because that is what my husband did and what I needed him to recognize and stop doing. It was sad, but the emotional needs of the children were not being met, the nanny said “the emotional needs of the children are not being met” so that made it clear, but yet a bit embarrassing because this family was finally the family that matched our problems, and it was my fault in the end, for not pushing hard enough to let my older child know I love her now that we have a younger (and easier, unofficially favorite) child. It was also my husband’s fault for disrespecting me semi-constantly because he finds it fun and funny to step on the line and past it, but expecting me to be able to discipline our kids who would then obviously not respect my authority to do so. So he bit himself in the as* on that one, by disrespecting me the discipline failed and he hated the misbehavior. Surprisingly once we knew what exactly was going on it was pretty fast to fix it. Sure it’s a work in progress, but I think it’s 90% better than before, so it leaves me more room to breathe as an individual that there isn’t as many fires to put out within the family dynamic.The kind of fitness I care most about is inside you, it’s in your mind it’s in your heart, and both of those are great places to find strength, because you’re in charge there. No body else can tell you what to do, or who you are, or how strong you can be, it’s all up to you. Can you screen out the noise in your life and hear what you need to? Can you push away the people that tell you it can’t be done and decide for yourself what you can achieve? Can you trust yourself to handle the stress of change? Can yo believe in your ability to succeed now, even if you’ve fallen short before?

Listening to T is for Transformation, again this week:

It stuck out to me:

Paraphrasing heavily > “You have to hand the baton from the past you, to your present you, and trust your future you will take it” also “you need to love all those people, the past you got you where you are now.”

– Shaun T (Poorly Paraphrased from Memory)


๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <What’s important to you?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<I guess being outside, teaching the kids and reaching for my own dreams of building a tree house and being in the woods.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <Who’s important to you?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<My students, my kids. Hopefully my husband in the future… feel guilty he isn’t on this list 100% sincerely.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ <What’s driving you forward?

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<I’m excited to keep doing my part, even though what I do seems so small, overtime it seems to drive other people around me forward in their own way, also small things open greater journeys and potentials, also small things are just beautiful in and of themselves. I’m excited to put order to the world in my own small way the way the ants do…

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ< Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ<I am already uncomfortable, but I’m starting to think about getting more uncomfortable.

๐Ÿ“– The 7 Superpowers Notes:

  1. Be Uncomfortable (Getting Better)
  2. Full Out – Enthusiasm – Excitement (Getting Better)
  3. Creative (Ok)
  4. Flexible (Getting Better)
  5. Selfish (Getting Better)
  6. Feeling It – Identify and Feel Passion (Getting Better)
  7. Bananas (Not Fully Sure What It Means)

Shaun T’s book really inspired me the first time, it’s still helpful the second time, but it also feels like I’ll need more tools for this journey of transformation.

Bitmoji Image
I guess I’m mostly missing the bananas?

I think tomorrow will be the day I can get the drawing tablet I wanted to try to draw comics… it’s unpleasant that my enthusiasm has dipped now that it’s almost here.



I spent my sister’s 3 credits on 3 new books that I hope will be the perfect ones to help me get through the end of this child > adult transition I’m going through at the age of 35… if I finish in time I’ll be an adult before 36.

I feel like I should be ashamed of that, but yet I’m not.

Shame is weird. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be ashamed of something but I am, but other times I feel like I should be ashamed and I’m not.

What defines how I should feel to me? To whom or what did I grant that power.

I’m super excited about reading Bear Grylls book the most, I love Sarah Knight’s books but don’t know which will help (the anti-anxiety book didn’t for me, but the boundary book did), I really liked Boundaries with Kids by John Townsend.

I’m also excited my daughter decided to be mostly vegetarian, which is weird because I’m a total omnivore. But I’ve always been waiting to support her in some way where she was clearly following her own path I guess?

I like when people who aren’t comfortable eating meat don’t eat meat and people who are comfortable eating meat can eat meat. I think it’s worth cutting down as a nation because of the environmental impact, but I see respectful meat consumption as a deep part of native american heritage that shouldn’t need to disappear in a blanket manner.

I was thinking if the US reduced meat consumption by half, that would make a huge difference, but no one would really be worse off, overall plant consumption is healthier (but I disagree that it needs to be total).

For us, we used to eat breakfast and lunch vegetarian, but now my daughter wants a vegetarian dinner, so to make one dinner I could eat a vegetarian dinner with her.

One thing that once made my life hell for me was cooking 9 meals each day (daughter’s 3, sons’s 3 and my 3 all different), now all three of us eat blue berry oatmeal for breakfast, my daughter wants beans, rice and broccoli for dinner, perhaps with some cottage cheese, and then we can have fruits, avocado, hamburger (for me and my son) and fries for lunch? My daughter would just not eat the meat if she didn’t want to… I could learn to fry tofu, she likes it fried and we have an air fryer that works with no oil.

Anyways the last thing I will say is that the steps to survival make a good self care list as well:


  1. Air > Deep Breathing (TED TALK with water coffee and whiskey breaths)

2. Shelter > Protection from Heat (or Cold): $15 Cool Towel and Ice Water

3. Water > Metal Straws Help Me

4. Sleep > Step 1: Don’t Have Kids (Joking – Kind Of)

5. Food > Soul Food is Kind of Self Care Above and Beyond Survival

I love you unconditionally.
Since I have no way to impose conditions on you! Ha ha… ha.

Thank you so much readers, many of you write and I am often inspired to up my game in bravery or being a good person or sharing a unique skill set by what you write, some of you comment and everyone no matter how short is a huge compliment to me, because I know there is something else you could be doing with your time, there really is, for you to choose to say a kind word or share an idea is an indicator to me that either there is good in humanity or my writing is going well or both, so win, win or win win situation for me.

I believe in you
My beliefs don’t have to make sense. They come from the heart and the heart wants what the heart wants.

I’m really a reader focused writer at heart, I’ve been so lost and so helped by other writers that I try to pay it forward. But I couldn’t be that without you. I know because I wrote another blog that didn’t get any traffic, this one is on WordPress.com so I get more than I personally feel I need or deserve simply due to the way WordPress.com works, but since I had the experience of writing publicly, yet in isolation for years I know how much you readers matter whether you write or comment or not, you play a big part in my momentum of trying to be a better person, trying to be accountable and also accepting my inevitable failures during the learning process.

cheers with champagne
I’ve seen the bad of humanity in person and the good via the internet, interesting but true.

I feel like you are all supporting me, until someone proves to me otherwise, I’ll continue to believe that, and I want you to know I believe in you too, that your dream is worth doing, that you have always done the best you could for the situation you were in at the time, I have faith in you that you are who you should be and where you should be and that you do your part in the world with the best intentions as much as anyone. To me every ordinary person is a bit heroic for getting out of bed (and if you can’t get out, even more so). Cheers to us normal people who never stop trying!

When you arise in the morning (or afternoon), think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love…

*Sometimes giving up “stuff” is exactly the right thing to do. But don’t “give up,” don’t give up your passion for good. Juri Sharma wrote a great post about when to give up stuff.

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

What’s your passion? The fire of your eyes? Is it cats? Cars? Cats in cars?


๐Ÿ’ Mindfulness Monday V ๐Ÿ“Œ

Pushing Through Discomfort Towards a Better Tomorrow


Not looking forward to decluttering today, once I reach a certain point, the clutter becomes harder to discard, the little box, for example, I haven’t needed anything from it, yet the urge to go through it rather than just toss it remains, so I will go through it, but… there is a heaviness about it.

(I did go through it, glad I did, it had my son’s umbilical stump, my wedding ruby, and other odds and ends like stick n stays, nails, sewing needles.)

At this point I notice most of what I have left has some fear or trauma tied to it (some innocent lazy to put away items like nails, actually even that has fear I’m going to need that nail SO much and not be able to just go to Home Depot, which I actually enjoy…).

Knowing is half the battle!

Some fears I noticed:

I’m worried to let my daughter donate her spending money for no reason. At first it was cute, but now I notice she donates all her cash and as much as it barely matters because we don’t go to the store I bugs me that she didn’t listen about saving some for her and some for donating. Still it doesn’t really warrant worrying this much over $2 more.

I’m worried to get a drawing tablet that I won’t be able to make the program work. I’ve had trouble in the past with electronics to the extent any changes, new apps or new hardware are traumatic.

I’m worried to stop exercising for two days, will I go back to that today? I realized the extent that I don’t trust myself is much larger than I think it needs to be when I’ve completed about 80% of what I’ve set out to do… I treat myself as if it’s 20%, I’m overly scared of being a “flake” and don’t fully accept that much of it was out of my hands as much as I want to do so.

(I did exercise more or less on time after having 2 days off, there was no reason to be that anxious about never exercising again when I have always exercised pretty consistently.)

deep breaths
Decluttering Can Be Like Meditating Under a Waterfall

Some things I noticed today during the decluttering process:
I don’t trust myself, to be consistent with exercise, with getting tech help without giving up or with my daughter having enough in the future. Because I’ve quit in the past because I’ve bought tech things and not used them…

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You haven’t missed anything, why not throw out the whole box?

At this stage I don’t need anything I’m thinking about keeping, it’s all about trusting the future to provide what I need or distrusting it.

I’m a little bit at a crossroads of keeping sentimental things (like a normal person) and things that I “may use” like a 99 Cent Store sewing kit I do not want to ever use (like a horder), or nails that I could rebuy if I really need them or tossing out most or all of it (like a minimalist or hard core minimalist).

In the amount of things I have I’m would be thought of as a minimalist by American standards, but perhaps a hoarder by nomadic standards and I’m starting to question myself to how I define myself and how I want to live, by my own expectations and standards.

I’m glad I kept my ruby from my wedding, I want to set it in a locket again, the locket I had broke and I wanted another one, but haven’t gotten around to it, a good metaphor for the whole marriage, not broken, but not well maintained.

I’m glad I kept my son’t umbilical stump, it take me back to the moment I had him better than pictures.

But so much of the things I kept I kept not for convenience because I would probably need them, but out of loss bias that we already spent money on them.


Here I hit a weird gap, where I want to get rid of all the nails and screws and just buy nails or screws, but I don’t think I can. I see myself putting them all together in the IKEA nail and screw kit box, like a coward, afraid to throw out screws as if I’ll be “one screw loose” without them.

My husband may or may not care, my dad would be upset, but I would be happy. So why can’t I throw out less than $10 of screws?

Is it the hoarder in me? Or just a desire to have the right screw when I need one? Though I very seldom need any, and when I do need one it has always in the past 10 years, been a size I don’t have…

It may be wrong, but I think I’ll transfer the problem, I think I’ll consolidate everything to that IKEA screw kit box and then write my husband’s name on the box with a black sharpie…

I spent an hour and a half sorting, throwing away, reorganizing today, I noticed there was some transferring of junk (by me) from behind the school area to the table, then back to behind the school area, but since I have a baby less than 2 there is some compromise of normal sorting to keep the small things out of his mouth.


It’s more emotionally exhausting because I won’t have finished any categories today, no little victory… I worked around visible clutter not by Ju Ju Sprinkle’s subcategories, so I won’t even have the unofficial victory.


What I did finish was the tiny tabletop where the water cups are and the electronic charging dock is, it looks much better to have even 4 square feet bare lends a sense of room to breathe in our very small home.


I went through the under the sofa drawers (we have 4) and made one for each family member, instead of having all our martial arts clothes together, two for the baby and one for clutter.

it feels really good having it this way for some reason, like we are four musketeers, all for one, one drawer for each!

I used a stray yellow kid’s cup for trash, a “stolen” glass jar (my mother in law gave us salsa in) for stuff I was keeping, a banana shape silicone purse for my mementos, and a little bag my son’s combs were sold in, for my daughters misc keeps. It went well overall (despite my lack of exuberance today), it felt good separating my daughters stuff from mine, and mementos from misc items, our trash and treasure really was all mixed up in the same Frozen II shoe box…

I’m not sure if I need the stickers I kept or not, but after working over an hour I feel like I should be done for today even though I knew I wasn’t done or sure about what to keep.

I’ve been decluttering the whole pandemic, but it’s not over yet, it seems like I get half way closer every week, which means I’m never going to be done. 1/2 > 1/4 > 1/8 > 1/16 > 1/32…

I really think I’ve been doing a good job, it’s just amazing how there always seems to be more junk, but it always seems like life works better with less junk.

Sometimes I follow that rule… sometimes.

This morning both kid’s tablets were uncharged lying around (and I didn’t even feel guilty about breaking the one touch rule at the level of fatigue I was feeling yesterday night), after moving the charging station a few inches over and rotating it 90ยฐ clockwise, I felt more able to collect the tablets (like it was just no big deal, like I was one of “those people” that just puts stuff away like an adult).

I hung up new hooks for my daughter’s dresses in a place that works (on a door).

Not the perfectly planned and exactly positioned wall space we had envisioned?
We can’t wait for a perfection beyond our reach to start living our best today.

I’ve put that off for months, finding a place for my daughter’s dresses…


Even though I compulsively bought the Stick N Stays right away (when I used to impulse buy on Amazon). My daughter tore the dry wall off when she ripped the hooks down during fits, over and over and over, so I am traumatized to put new ones up, hoping she won’t tear them down this time is almost like going back for a master’s degree while I still have -$44,000 profit from my bachlors degree.


Today I noticed all our screen protectors are cracked (two phones, two tablets), I would like to get more and attempt to replace them, before I wasn’t even considering the extra work of it because I was waiting to take them to my sister in Hawaii who is good at that, but our travel plans shifted from May to June, to July, to August to “who the hell knows” so maybe it’s time?

I just noticed my daughter keeps the same amount of clothes as me, five dresses, one exercise outfit, one swimsuit and one martial arts gi… I never gave her a limit, she just only wants to wear the clothes with dinos and only a few have dinos… so over time she shifted to much fewer dresses.


Each small amount of clutter that leaves makes me feel just a bit less overwhelmed and able to do a little bit more of the small household tasks I was procrastinating.


I realized my son’s clothes work better hung than folded so I hung them in the closet, I used to avoid using the closet because I would knock the door off, my husband would fix it but he would be angry and we would argue, now I’m used to opening the folding door, I would NEVER build a house or upgrade a closet with a folding door, but I have made peace with how to use it now for as long as it’s what we have where we rent.


My daughter played nicely while my son watched some story bot planet songs, a Sesame Street video about the letter of the day (Q), and the Shaun the Train four seasons adventure, I’m slowly letting go of the guilt of having Monday be different at school day to make time for de-cluttering.


Right now I would love to finish writing this article, but if I don’t exercise now it will be hard to finish before lunch as I like to. I prefer lunch at 11 AM so that 12 can be free play, so that tomorrow the kids will not expect lunch at 12. Because I have a cool class (zoom… presentation) at 12 from author Lei Wang, who has climbed the 7 peaks of each continent and been to both the North and South Pole (I for some reason just want to get to the South Pole only).

It’s a free class if you are interested, happening tomorrow at noon.


Anyways at this point Li Wang having conquered all those peaks, I feel like I should be able to conquer this miscellaneous junk category never-ending as it seems and my own junk closet.

It seems like stray clothes, books and papers are piling up now that I’m trying to focus on misc as if they were rival tribes waiting to attack when my defenses were down… I also notice the kitchen isn’t organized well, I notice the kitchen is hiding kids toys in the corner cabinet, and that there are paper both in the kitchen and in the hall. I literally got attacked by cans falling on me as I cleaned clutter under the shelf holding them (moved them to a lower shelf so they won’t do it again)… Oh well, not hurt or deterred, but a bit demotivated facing this “komono” category since I have no momentum of feeling like I finished something today even though I worked just as hard if not harder on this category than I had for clothing, papers and books.


What I have left are the red bag, tool bag, school clutter, kitchen clutter, mementos. Short term I’m imagining being done, medium term I’m imagining an easy move to a new house in a year or two, long term I imagine giving a Ted Talk about being a successful writer (it could happen) and my “secret” being not having a lot of junk to have to clean up.

get it together
Surprised but finally parenting is starting to come together more, starting to be more of a team with my husband, which I could force, but I couldn’t succeed without so, that’s good. Interesting to watch it come together at the same time as the home gets cleaned, we are getting it together all together.


The first step in the Kon Mari process is imagining an ideal life, then examining ๐Ÿ‘’ clothes, ๐Ÿ“š books, ๐Ÿ“ƒ papers, ๐Ÿ’ป everything else, still everything else ๐Ÿ“Œ and ๐Ÿ’Ž mementos. It’s an interesting process, I’ve done it a few times an it’s always surprising how much I have that I’m unaware I have and how much lighter I feel when the clutter leaves my life.

Imagining the end is the hardest part, Pinterest helped me in imagine my ideal life, as well as a post by Eunice Faye about daring to dream and another about taking respite from everyday life to enjoy the beauty around us.

dream big
One day, no clutter in the closet.

I find it helpful to keep going to review the imaginary ideal life at the end of each decluttering session and let it evolve and flow, since it is imaginary it doesn’t cost anything to dream. ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ

[I noticed many of my past articles have messed up images… the same incorrect one substituted many times instead of the intended one… thank you for bearing with me readers, I hope to fix that and my grammar, and my bad attitude “someday” soon.]