with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: focus

Things a mom thinks about at 2:25 a.m., five hours before she’s supposed to work out

by SweetMidlife
bed

Scene of the 2:30-something mind crime.

 

This is Leslie. It is 2:25 a.m. As the great Wanda Sykes once said, women’s brains are so full of tasks and thoughts and things we have to do that we can’t get to sleep because even the minute stuff like not being able to remember the name of a teacher we haven’t seen in 30 years just won’t leave us alone. This is happening to me right now. Here is the dumb, deep and sleep-depriving stuff in my head right now. I wish it was not in my brain, because I would like to go to bed now.

You certainly don’t want them in your head, too. But here you are – I have too much on the brain to be charitable at this point,. You understand, of course. You’re awake, too. Shouldn’t you be sleeping?

THINGS I AM THINKING ABOUT AT 2:25 a.m. INSTEAD OF SLEEPING

– “Why am I awake?

– “It has taken me four hours to get through this two-hour finale of ‘Secrets and Lies.’ I wonder if anyone watches this but me, Michael Ealy is fine. I’ve almost grown attached to Juliette Lewis’ character, and she’s kind of awful. i hope they don’t cancel this. They always cancel the shows I get attached to. Dang. Now I’m worried about ‘Blackish.’ Please don’t cancel ‘Blackish,’ Jesus.”

“Jesus doesn’t cancel TV shows, right? He’s busy, right?”

“I finally finished that assignment for work I should have done before I feel asleep. Win for me? Does procrastination count as a win? Whatever. Taking it. TAKING THIS WIN.”

“I am super hungry. I didn’t eat enough last night,. Didn’t I leave some veggie chili in the bowl? I wonder if it;’s in the fridge. Did I put it in the fridge? I wonder if it’s still good if I didn’t put it in the fridge? Or did I leave it on the counter? It’s got light sour cream on it. Is that real dairy? I wouldn’t get that sick, right?”

“Maybe I shouldn’t eat counter chili.”

“I love ‘The Affair’ even if I don’t like any of these horrible people. They’re awful. But they have great apartments. Great kitchens. I like my kitchen. It has chili on the counter.”

“I really ought to get off the stick and get a hotel for Disney this weekend. I canceled the one I had because I am convinced there is a cheaper one out there. Hotwire is an addiction and I need to get help. But…the…deals! There are deals out there and I shall find them. They are the Precious and I am Black Smeagol.”

“I am still so hungry. If I eat right now I can’t weigh myself this morning because it won’t be the real weight. Then again I had hash browns and bourbon for lunch so I probably tanked that thing already. I should eat.”

“I have to sleep, man. I have to work out at 7:15, and if I don’t leave on time the kid will wake up and I’ll have to take him, too, and that running stroller and him together weigh like 70 pounds and he’s a weight wearing an Afro, At least he holds the phone up so I can hear the Andy Grammar song he’s playing. He’s a little DJ.”

“I need to figure out how to make more money. Like, now. I should read that book my friend Kim had me buy about platforms, that I never read, thus I am sitting here at…what…2:47 a.m. now wondering how to get a platform to make money. She’s always right. And she’s got a platform. I bet she’s not asleep either.”

“Maybe I’ll write on that blog I never write on. That’s a platform.”

‘I wonder if that chili’s still down there.”


Being Early To Things Is Awesome

by SweetMidlife

Hi! It’s Lynne!!

My door that I am entering early because I got to where i needed early and now I can scroll Facebook without feeling I need to be somewhere else. Because I have time.

My door that I am entering early because I got to where i needed early and now I can scroll Facebook without feeling I need to be somewhere else. Because I have time.

I am still in the middle of reading this book about organization in all levels of your life called “It’s Hard To Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys” by Marilyn Oaul, and it is a very long “in the middle”, because I read it, then get all excited about it, then I forget to read it, and my life gets crazy, and my husband says, “Are you still reading that book?”, and I say “Oh. Yeah.” Then I read the book again.

Before I continue I say this to you and me: don’t beat yourself up for things like this. Realize that you have to get on track, and get back on track. Don’t waste valuable time flagellating yourself with your regrets because you still haven’t done the thing and now your arms are tired from all the self-beating.

So, anyhoo, I have so many things that I am learning that it gets overwhelming, so I am taking it bit by bit so it actually resonates and settles in to usable pieces,  and I wanted to share a bunch of stuff from it with you all in one post, but I will actually just share the one major thing that it blowing my mind lately. To those of you who knew this already, your minds won’t be blown or even slightly shaken. Because you know this. But for those of us who are constantly flying out of the door and herding kids into the car quickly and yelling and trying not to speed and either end up being right on time on the dot or 4 minutes late, this is for you.

Being early is awesome.

This is a mind shift for me, big time, because even though I have gotten better at doing things on time, if on time is with 2 seconds to spare, then it takes you 4 seconds to unhook your seat belt, you are now late. And I am lying. It never takes 4 seconds to unhook a seat belt and actually get out of the car without jumping out and spilling your crap and walk into the building and sit down and be ready to do the thing you are there to do. No. It takes at least 5 minutes. You know it does. Well, maybe you don’t. So pick an instance and actually time how long it takes you to do the thing, without car-jumping and crap-spilling (this is wisdom from the book, although she doesn’t say “crap”. I summarized.) and when you know it takes that long, give yourself that much time to do it. And give yourself buffer time for traffic and forgetting things. And if you did all of this right, you might be pulling up to where you need to be early.

This frightens me. I don’t know what to do with early on a regular basis. Do you talk to people in the waiting room?What is this feeling of calm? It’s freaking me out.

Give yourself over to it.

It makes you feel better. It gives you a better reputation as someone who can get to things and be ready to go and not waste other people’s time.

And guess who else’s time you aren’t wasting? Huh? Huh?

Yours, Dude.

Because calm should not be scary. It’s a good, peaceful thing. The adrenaline of lateness might seem exciting. But it ain’t cute. It ain’t.

So this brings me to the last few days, when I had errands and appointments, and I scheduled wiggle room. We got to my son’s dentist appointment about 20 minutes early, so he had time to actually play with the toys in the waiting room, which to him, is more of a destination than the actual appointment.

And today, we left the house 20 minutes before he had to be at school when it only takes 9 minutes, but this took traffic into account, and we weren’t the last people in drop-off line, and today I didn’t have to walk him in because the ladies who walk the kids in had gone inside. Nope. Not today. I was early, which gives him time to have circle play before class starts. And it gave me time to check Facebook and have a phone call conversation with one of my dearest friends AND still write this post. Because I wasn’t rushing. Rushing takes awhile to recover from because you are so addled, yo might be where you are supposed to be, but you are not ready to focused because you are thinking, “Dang, that was close. And I skinned my knee falling in the parking lot getting in here.”

So yeah. Early is awesome. I know I might not be able to do this every day. Bit goal by goal, this will be my goal.

How about you?Do any of you struggle with the weird unfamiliar-ness of being early?


Book Review: “I Have A Voice” by Tyler Williams Will Help You Find Yours

by SweetMidlife

HI! Lynne here!

We were given a copy of Tyler Williams’ memoir/motivational book “I Have A Voice” to review, and, dude, I can relate.  See, the book is all about  this young man’s journey to find, then value his own expression, and that journey takes him from his days as a child performer, to fronting a band of his young friends, to being a NASCAR driver, to taking acting lessons, back to singing, and now to sharing his story. Now, I have never driven NASCAR, because backing into a parking space is enough of a challenge for me, but I have done a lot of those other things on the list in my life as a performer, and right now, am at the beginnings of my life as the founder and artistic director of a theater. I am having a fantastic time, but my opinions of how things are going can fluctuate a million times within a day, based on how many people bought tickets to our shows, or if someone gives our theater a great review, or if a class isn’t selling like we want it too. Tyler went through a bunch of ups and downs as he found his way, at times completely abandoning what he had loved up to that point, until other things that I won’t spoil for you happened. Read the book. Because I think that no matter if our path is creative, or technical, or whatever -ive or -al it might be, you might have wondered if you should keep going, or if this was even the thing that your heart and soul really wanted. Yes?

Real inspiration!

Real inspiration!

All of this might sound flaky to those of you who are perfectly happy with your jobs or careers,or your hobbies, or your life and have never thought about making a change. It’s not, though, because it isn’t just about a job: it’s about doing something that allows you to use or even find your voice, your expression of who you are.  In his really honest telling of his life story, Tyler talks about being so sure of what he was doing that he knew that he wanted to do it forever…..until it he didn’t because the evidence in front of him told him that maybe he needed to find another dream Or did he?. And this is what I loved the most about this book: It is very relate-able. In the book’s 27 short chapters, Tyler uses his steps and missteps and back again to talk about the inner foundational beliefs about himself, and yourself, dear readers, that you might have to confront and then change if you are really going to find what you should be doing, Sweet Midlife Reader. He gives advice on simple but deep points like not giving up hope, and being okay with questioning what the heck you are doing with your life, to learning that conflict can be good. I found myself taking notes, and underlining things to come back to, and saying “I know that’s right!” out loud. It’s a really clearly written book that will really motivate you.

If I had any critique of “I Have A Voice:, it would be that while the book starts off telling Tyler’s story and accompanying wisdom in a linear fashion, it starts to skip around the timeline a bit as it goes on, which was a bit confusing. There were also points where the advice fet a bit repetitive. and I know that I felt rather Grinch-y saying that it had to many words of motivation, but after awhile some of it were the same words, so maybe they could have been condensed a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed “I Have A Voice”. Again, I am literally in a place right now where I am following a dream that I have had for a long time, and I am using Tyler’s writings as an encouragement to work my dream and my voice. I think they could do the same for you, Seriously.

Disclosure: We were given a copy of “I Have A Voice” for free in return for an honest review, and all opinions are our own. 


The Girl Was Alright With Him: Thinking of Daddy on Father’s Day

by SweetMidlife

Daddy and me

Hi! It’s Lynne. Haven’t written in awhile. We say that a lot, since there have been long stretches between when we actually do write. But I really wanted to today, because it’s Father’s Day, and our Daddy has been on my mind a lot this week. Actually, he is on my mind every day,  as he has been over the last 4 years since he passed away. We’ve written a lot about him over the years, and how awesome he was, and about grief and loss, but I had another thought that I haven’t been able to verbalize until now, and I wanted to share it. Cool?

Every year, either on my dad’s birthday, or Father’s Day, or on the anniversary of the day he died, I post a video of me and him dancing at my 2010 wedding. It’s a really, really sweet video that was shot by my friend Patrise on her phone, and when she recorded it and shared it, she had no idea how I was going to cling to that video over the years to see my dad swaying, and smiling, and singing. And as I was preparing to look for the video and re-post it on Facebook, I started thinking about how we picked the song we picked. No, actually it was the song HE picked.

See, I had been kinda planning my wedding my whole entire life, cataloging things that I thought I might want to use whenever that day happened, like the style of cake, or the dress, or what I would walk down the aisle to. I sometimes put thought into WHO I would marry, and that, like those other details, didn’t wind up working out like I planned either, which is good, because when you meet the right person, which I did when I met Arthur Childress, those other things hopefully become what you both want, and the celebration is now based not on old dreams, but on your happy reality. Such was the case, too, with the song for the daughter/daddy dance. I immediately thought of “The Sweetest Days” by Vanessa Williams, which is a gorgeous, beautiful, makes-me-cry song about looking at your life and realizing that what you have right now is, well, sweet. This is a song that Daddy and I used to sing together when it came on in the car when it came out 20 years ago, so while we were wedding-planning, I figured that this was perfect.

It should also be noted here that my dad, at this point, was 2 years into his fight with cancer, and that he, at this point, was having a lot of good days, and a lot of bad days, and during the months leading up to my wedding, was not having good days. So if my dad was straight to the point about things his whole life, he was absolutely not mucking around now about the things that he wanted or didn’t want, because he knew how precious time was. So this is how the conversation went about the dance music.

Me: Hey, Daddy! You know what we should dance to? “The Sweetest Days”by Vanessa Williams! Isn’t that awesome?
Daddy: No. I want “The Girl’s Alright With Me” by The Temptations.
Me: (pause because I did not see it going down like that) Really? But you love that Vanessa song.
Daddy: Yes. But I want “The Girl’s Alright With Me”.
Me: Well, umm, how about “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”by Marvin Gaye? More people know that song.
Daddy: I don’t care. I want “The Girl’s Alright With Me”.
Me: (realizing that this was done) Okay, cool. We will tell the DJ.

And on that beautiful October day, that’s what Daddy and I danced to. I used to love to tell the story of how insistent he was, because he loved that song, but I never really put into words what I thought he was trying to say with picking that song. And since he isn’t here for me to confirm my thoughts, this is my supposition of all that. I think I am right.

Daddy didn’t care about what songs were popular, or who else could sing along with us during that moment, and that is because that moment was about me and him. It was about our love radiating so much that people would see what we meant to each other. And in that moment, Daddy was telling me that me, the girl in question, was alright with him. I always knew that my Daddy loved me, and he always told me that I was beautiful, even when I didn’t believe it, but him picking this song, on that special day, was a signal to everyone, but mostly to me, that he thought I had done good with my life. That even with all of the questionable choices I had made with money, and with bad housing decisions, and with car accidents, and not always doing things right, that in the sum total of everything, I was alright with him. And with him picking the language of his idols, The Temptations, to tell me that, was awesome. I also think that because Daddy wasn’t feeling great, even though he was still fighting, that he wanted to put all of that stuff out on the table. And on the dance floor. And he did. And we did. And it was awesome.  I was alright with him. More than alright. And I will cherish that forever.


Looking People In The Eye Like You Know What The Heck You Are Talking About

by SweetMidlife

Happy Monday! Lynne here.

I was part of a classroom demo in a Social Psychology class in college (St. Mary’s College of Maryland class of 1993! Go Seahawks!) once where the professor had me and a male classmate get up in front of the class and just talk to each other for like a minute. After making forced small talk for a little bit, she let us sit down, and she explained to the class that she wanted to test a theory about power in conversation, and the theory is this: when 2 people are talking, the person who feels the most powerful out of the 2 will look directly at the other person when they themselves are talking because they are so sure of what they are saying and want the other person to hear every word. But when the other person is talking, though, the more powerful person will look away, as if they don’t really need to hear what’s being said. Rude, hey? And what I remember is that my professor told us that it when there are a man and a woman in the conversation, the man is the sure-of-himself and not-so-interested-in-what-the-other-is-saying, and the woman is the person who feels less powerful and will look at their associate as the other person talks, as if that person’s words are gold, but look away when they themselves are talking, as if they doubt the validity of their words. And I also remember that in the staged conversation for class, that I was the one deemed the most powerful. Hee.

So, things have changed a bit over the years.

Now, I think that it would be wonderful if both people in a conversation would listen to each other, each feeling equally powerful to the other and feeling like there is give and take and such. But I have realized, though, that as much as I talk, which is a whole heck of a bunch, I was sometimes not so sure of what I am saying, and it’s usually when people are asking me about my plans, or my new business. You know, things that I know about. I find myself looking up in the air and avoiding the other person’s eyes, like I was searching for the words off of the ceiling or something. And it made me remember that experiment in college, but the difference is that nobody else is doubting my power, or my words, or thinking that what I am saying isn’t important. Nope. I was the one doing that to myself, and that’s sad, especially when it’s something about me, a subject that I should know a lot about, and I am realizing why. It’s that when I couldn’t look people right in the face and tell them about what I have going on, it’s that I was doubting the validity of my own dreams, of my own plans, and of me having the right to do the thing that I am doing. And I am deciding that I am not going to do that anymore, because if I don’t believe  what I am saying, how the heck am I supposed to make other people believe me? Because I am quite good at what I do in business, darn it. I am prepared for this, and my dreams and plans have meaning.  I am gonna work the heck out of them, and I am going to stop diluting my own power by believing what I say, looking people straight in the face, and going from there. I have been doing that, and darn it, it feels great.

Believe your own dream, my friends. And tell people about it. And see what happens.

I know what I am talking about.

I know what I am talking about.


Spring Cleaning Can Include Taking Down Your Christmas Tree.

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here!

This past weekend, my family and I went to church on Saturday night as a family, so on Sunday morning, we ate breakfast together at home, welcomed the coming of Spring while also bemoaning the lost hour of sleep that comes with Daylight Savings Time, since toddlers don’t care and that dude got up anyway because his body clock said so. And we took down our artificial Christmas tree and put away the rest of the Yuletide decorations.

Tis the season! But not that season anymore.

Sunshine and tinsel and Spring and Baby Jesus. But he isn't in this picture. So here is my baby.

Sunshine and tinsel and Spring and Baby Jesus. But he isn’t in this picture. So here is my baby.

Yeah, so what had happened was that, as I have told you, I had major surgery in January, a week after New Years. Since we like to leave our tree up at least until then, because taking it down so early is too abrupt for me and I need to ease out of the holidays and back to normal non-sparkly times, we thought that we would pace ourselves and take it down when things got normal. But even after the initial period of my mom and sister and Bestie Maria coming to stay at different times, and friends and family giving us rides when I couldn’t drive, and friends sending and bringing food, and my husband literally doing all of the heavy lifting, it took us awhile to get back to normal. Which we mostly are, but I know that this whole thing takes awhile, and in all of that we had never set a deadline for the tree coming down.

For awhile it was fine, because we knew what we were capable of, and it wasn’t a priority, and friends who came over knew where we were with that, and that was like late-January/early February. It was actually kinda nice to have the tree there, all shiny, and we knew we would get to it. We took down most of the other decorations and, because we knew it would help us with finishing it up, put them on the floor in front of the tree. And then it got later, and then it snowed, so the tree fit in, but then it melted, and that tree started to look strange, and friends would come over then in late February/early March, and we would say “The tree is still up. Don’t judge.”, and they would say “Shoot, we don’t care.”

And then I realized I was judging me. Because it was time.

So on Sunday morning, we went downstairs and got the box that holds the Christmas stuff, and we turned on a warm weather playlist (“Here Comes the Sun”, “Walking On Sunshine”, “Everyday Sunshine” and the like) while wrapping up the Baby Jesus in our Nativity and disassembling the tree. It was a nice family time to spend with each other, looking at the gifts people gave us and remembering how nice it is to have people who give you things, and remembering the meaning of the ornaments and when we got them and why, like the Blue Crab one we got in memory of my Dad, who loved him some crabs, and also remembering who gave us certain ones, like my late former neighbor who did the alterations on my wedding dress and gave us a beautiful “First Christmas” ornament, and Bestie Johnette’s mom, who adopted her friends and gives us beautiful angel ornaments every year. And it was cathartic to complete something, and bring some order and get rid of clutter, and to literally move into a  new season.

It was good. It’s okay to do things on your own time. And then it’s good to know when it’s REALLY time.

This is the favorite warm weather song of both Streeter Twins. What is yours?


Saturday Morning, With Apologies to Maroon 5

by SweetMidlife

It’s Lynne. And this has been a wonderful Saturday morning so far, and mostly because we did not have any set outside plans, and my family has been grooving on each other’s presence. It inspired this, inspired by “Sunday Morning”, my almost-favorite cut off of Maroon 5’s wonderful album, “Songs About Jane”. 

I like this place.

I like this place.

Saturday morning, light is falling
Bunch the covers ’round my skin
Toddler knocking and then barging in the door
And jumping in the bed that we are in

But things just feel so lazy
Getting up is hard to do
I know I should sit on up
Get up and go, yes it’s true
But Saturday mornings bring me close to you
I’m gonna snuggle up some more with you

This maybe all I need
Besides To-Do lists I don’t want to see
So come on curl back up with me
Moving slow on Saturday morning
And I never want to leave

Here’s the actual song. It’s chill. I hope you get to chill today. 


Protecting What’s Important

by SweetMidlife

Hi!

Lynne here. Hope you have been good, friends. We are hanging in there. Leslie sends her love and her thanks and she wishes she could hug you all for all of the prayers and well-wishes that you sent her way. Her arms would be tired. But she would love it.

So last Friday, I lost my laptop. Like, it’s gone. It was most likely swiped when I either left it in my driveway as I loaded my kid and our individual stuff into the car, or when it maybe fell off the trunk where I may have placed it when I drove away. By the time I realized that it was not in the car, and I drove home to look for it, it was gone. I filed a police report, and looked at the one other place outside of my house that I could have left it, and I even walked up the street 3 times in case it had really sailed off of my car. But it was nowhere to be found. And while we changed our passwords and such, and some stuff was saved elsewhere, there is a bunch of stuff that I didn’t back up, like several original plays I was working on. And that is not a source of joy, my friends. I was telling this story to Best Friend Maria yesterday. While she was on a family trip out west this past summer, the hard drive to her laptop died, and she lost all of the pictures and documents and whatnot that were on it.  When she called the guy from Apple support, he asked why she didn’t have her stuff backed-up to the iCloud, and she told him that she hadn’t wanted to pay the fee. “But it’s $1.99 a month! That’s $24 a year!”, he said. And she laughed as she told me the story and said, “Why don’t we take the time to protect the things that are really important to us?”

And that, my friends, was the perfect quote for this post, one that I have been trying to write in some form or fashion for a few weeks. Losing somebody blows your world up, and it makes it shockingly clear that life is short and in need of enjoying while you got it. I am not suggesting that you leave your family and responsibilities and live in your neighbor’s backyard. I AM saying, though, that it makes you take stock of what is valuable to you, and then makes you want to work those things. And your family would find you if you moved to the yard next door anyway.

Now, when I read things like what I just wrote, I know that the writer of said thing is trying to get their readers to be more free and live. I, however, get overwhelmed by that. “Why is this person trying to get me to be better? I am fine here watching my reruns of “Diagnosis Murder” for 3 hours a day (this may or may not be an example from my personal life. Guess.)” Change and taking stock are not always fun. Well, wait. Figuring out what’s really dear to you isn’t all that hard.

1. Think about your commitments, whatever they are, and if you want to keep those commitments.

2. Doing whatever you need to do to enjoy those commitments, even if you have to get rid of other stuff you like to do.

And this is the hard part. Over the weekend, I was driving home from rehearsal for the play I am directing with the most talented young people in it, and I went through downtown Annapolis where I live, and I realized that the sun was out and that people were actually enjoying said sunshine by doing outdoor things with their families. “This is awesome”, thought I. And I walked into the house and suggested to my husband that we should take the day off from church the next morning and have a family morning, and go downtown ourselves. We could look at boats, and we could go to the weekly farmer’s market they have, and we could basically focus on us.

And while we were down there the next morning, I had to physically restrain myself from pulling out my phone and checking Facebook to see what that person said about that thing, or to take pictures of the good time I was having (which I was), or to tell people about the good time I was having.

I was having a hard time focusing on having the good time. And that takes away from the good time for my family, and for me.

So there are no pictures of us while we were out, because I decided to be present for it. It’s not that you can’t do both, but I can’t always, and we are talking about me, so no judgment on you if this is an easy thing for you to do. I need lessons.

All of this to say, and I have said it before in other posts, but I need to work on protecting and enjoying what is important to me. You can’t get back the time that you didn’t spend with people, or the health that you didn’t take care of, or the day that you didn’t off to watch an afternoon of Hallmark channel movies because that is what your soul needed right then. And I am not saying this to make you feel sad or guilty or that you need to be writing a chart of all of the things you should be doing. Nope. It can be a small step. Like just calling somebody. Or not checking your phone when you are on a date or out with a friend, unless you are checking to see if your sitter called. Not because you posted a cute picture of your cat or your kid 5 minutes ago, and you know that people better be recognizing how cute it was in the way of likes.

Your cat picture isn’t going anywhere. Your time with your peeps is.

Be present.

Focus on what is really important to you.

Enjoy.

After we got home from family day.


Don’t Know Where This is Going

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here!

I apologize if I have written this blog post, or some version of it, before. When I get an idea that sounds vaguely familiar, I sometimes go back through our archives to see if I have indeed already written the piece that I want to write now. But I am not doing that this morning, and that actually what this post is about.

And that’s about doing the thing that you know you are supposed to do, even if you don’t know where it’s going.

I am in a place of awesome possibility right now. We have opportunities to grow this here blog, and I am directing a show this summer with a great group of young actors, and I wrote a play for kids that I have the plans (but not yet the money) to produce. And all of these are wonderful things, but you see, they are several things. And it is hard to get one thing done when you can’t focus on it because you are thinking about the other thing. So, it would seem, that I should clear my plate of all but a few things, and then I should go forward with the things that make the most sense, and that I should do them in the most logical way possible, with the information that is currently in front of me. Because that makes sense.

But sometimes you have taken so much time researching and looking at logistics, the moment to do what you heard God telling you to do in the first place has passed. Because God can see the whole picture sometimes, when all we see is a corner of it.

Sometimes you just need to work the thing or things that God told you to without knowing the long-term outcome or what is going to look like when it’s over, or even how this thing fits with the other thing.

This morning our Pastor spoke about how God makes all things work together for the good of those who love them. This doesn’t mean that you are going to get the job that you applied for this week, or that this guy you are dating is The One, or that this is the exercise program that is going to be the key to you losing all of the baby weight you have lost and then put back on so now it really isn’t baby weight anymore. Yeah. But it means that if you really feel God calling you to it, you should go on and work that, even if you don’t know where it’s going. As I listened to the sermon this morning, I thought of all of the things that I have on my plate, and how I don’t know where to put them all, or where to go next, and I heard God speak in that moment.

And He said, “You don’t need to know how it’s going to end up. Just do the small things that I told you to do and don’t do the other things.”

Okay.

So I wrote this blog post. Because I know I was supposed to do that. And I am going to stop trying to make things fit the way I thought they were going to, or what I even told people I was going to do. And I know that you should be prepared and have a plan and all of that. But sometimes you are just supposed to trust.

Just do that thing. And do it well. And God will work the rest out.

Random picture of toy school bus because this post is about motion and that's all I could think of.

Random picture of toy school bus because this post is about motion and that’s all I could think of.


Lessons From Fancy Dinners That You Can Apply When You Are Back To Your Kraft Mac and Cheese

by SweetMidlife

Hi ya! Lynne here.

The following is the account of one of the best meals of my daggone life. I am not exaggerating. But it is not a foodie review, because I didn’t know half of what I was eating at first. It is just an appreciation of seriously good eats.

Best Friend Maria, her awesome husband Taylor, and my Really Cute Husband AC went to Volt, a restaurant in Frederick, MD run by Bryan Voltaggio of “Top Chef” fame. We have been trying to go here for quite awhile now, and we even had reservations for my birthday in 2014, but my sitter canceled, and this is not a 2 year-old kind of place. No. He would have turned it out. So no.

So fast forward about a year later to last week and the yumminess that ensued.

Here are some pictures. I took a few but Taylor took most of them. Which was so nice of him to offer because that left more seconds for me to eat.

When we got to the bar, I got a drink with a banana dolphin in it! Best Friend Nikki said it looks like a slug coming out of my coconut cup. Dang tasty either way.

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Then we were seated, and the banana dolphin joined us, and we all got the 6-course tasting menu. Now, I have done prix-fixe dinners before, and gone to weddings and banquets, so I have had meals that were done in courses. They bring you something, and you eat it. And then they bring you something else and you eat that. And so on. Shoot, if you get potato skins, then fish and chips, followed by a sundae at Applebee’s, then that would be a 3-course menu. But there is something about getting 6 yummy courses of crazy rich, decadent food and being able to savor each one, and really taste everything. I won’t share all of the courses, but here are some of them.

 

 

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This was the raw scallops course. My husband was adventurous because he doesn’t do raw stuff and he tried it anyway. The rest of us loved it.

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This is parsnip soup. And I actually had it for 2 courses because they brought one that I didn’t care for, and the server saw me kind of eating around it and asked what else I wanted and I asked for another bowl of this. It was smooth and crunchy and I want some now. NOW.

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These are delicious meaty mushrooms that they let me order from another part of the menu because I don’t eat lamb.

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This is the chocolate trio at the end. One was ice cream, the other one was ice cream-like, and the third was like the fanciest candy bar ever.

When we were done, we were stuffed, but not uncomfortably.

And it was like 4 hours later, but we didn’t feel like we had anywhere else to be.

We had amazing conversations with friends who I talk to every day on Facebook but don’t see face to face often.

And phones only came out to take pictures of the food, or to glance to see if children or the people watching them had called.

And I want to live like this all of the time.

Not that I have $95 to spend on dinner daily. That probably won’t happen for a good long while. Or maybe never. And I can’t afford to eat things this rich or decadent all of the time, or spend 4 hours eating dinner every night.

But I can pay more attention to the people who I see every day. Like my husband and my toddler. I can stop thinking about what will be happening when I get up from the table and listen to how my husband’s day was and tell him about mine and listen to the song that my song is singing to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus” whose lyrics will include something about garbage trucks. It’s better than my internal monologue, which is usually “I am SO tired. Wait, what did your co-worker say? I wish I had cooked these potatoes longer. Is the dishwasher empty, or do I have to unload it before I reload? I hate that? Boy, you cannot have a lollipop. You didn’t eat your fish. Sit down. There’s no good shows on tonight with people singing. What, you have to get up and pack lunch now? Sit back down!”

Yeah.

And we can be more mindful of what we eat. I felt less full eating 6 courses of smaller servings than I do just eating my regular starch/protein/veggie meal every night. Yes, we had 4 hours at Volt, but we ate. And tasted. And put the fork down. And savored. And talked. And ate more. And put the fork down. And we savored. And enjoyed. And were thankful. And I think that we can apply that to your macaroni/baked chicken/broccoli you are having tonight.

Bite.

Taste.

Listen.

Talk.

Enjoy.

Happy People. You can be that every night.

Happy People. You can be that every night.


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