Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Day

So it is election day.  I am sitting here at the Burke County Democratic Party headquarters building, answering phone calls, talking to voters on their way to vote.  It is a gray day, drizzling a little, overcast.  Cars are whizzing by, faster than they should be here on Sterling Street.  I am wondering if these people are even thinking about voting today, did they vote early, will they make time in their busy day to voice their opinion at the ballot box this year.

This has been an amazing year, I have learned so much from all the wonderful, wise Democrats here in Burke County.  Met wonderful people who work hard for change, every day.

I know these are rambling thoughts, but I wanted to get them down while I had a minute before the next person walks through that door with questions about the amendments or who is running for which race.  I wanted to just reflect, as I do yearly on this occasion. 

I voted early.  I voted on the first day of early voting.  We voted as a family this year.  Which is unusual, my boys and I are early voters, we want to vote as soon as we can.  My husband is usually a last minute voter, he likes to stand in line, in the evening, on election day.  So it was nice to have Jackson join us this year and vote early. I love voting, it is such a personal experience for me.  I always take a few seconds while I am standing there at my voting station, every year, to reflect on all the women, on whose shoulders I stand, that have sacrificed that I might have this right.  I do get teary, and I know people are probably wondering what in the heck I am doing, but I just need to take that moment and honor the choices I am making. 

I hope every day, that in my own small way I am adding to that chain of strength.  I hope I am making life better for my own children and working toward a better future for Burke County. 

So now, several people have come and gone with their questions, and I must get back to the job at hand.  I hope you all take just a minute while you are voting, to reflect on the people that have brought you thus far.  I hope you take seriously the choices you are making at the ballot box, and truly believe you are making the best choices for your family, and for the future of your community.  Voting is more than partisan politics.  It is a responsibility that more people need to take seriously.  We can all move forward together if we are all part of the process.  Make your choices wisely, and thoughtfully, because we all live with the consequences. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Letting Go

I have blogged about letting go before. I think in reference to friendships, but also in letting go of actions, feelings, things, activities, thoughts that are not serving me.  I take an "inventory" of sorts, of things going on in my life, from time to time.  Just to make sure my goals are matching up with my actions.  Checking in to see how my goals have changed/evolved and what actions I need to continue, eliminate or begin, to move me toward my goals, or keep my in my ideal space. 

Where friendships are concerned, I have never been good at letting go, even when a friendship no longer serves me.  I think it has to do with losing my parents.  In June 1995 I lost my mother to a car accident and about 1 year and almost 5 months later I lost by father to suicide.  It seems like they happened almost simultaneously in my mind, even though they didn't .  I remember feeling like I was still grieving my mother's death, when my father passed.  And of course I realize now that I will never be free of that.  Feelings change but I will always in some way grieve that loss.

I think that particular loss has led me to hang onto friendships tighter.  You never know when you will lose someone or when someone else will enter your life.   But can I say, that with practice and patience with myself, releasing of friendships gets easier, and is so beneficial.  Just like other habits in my life, friendships can become habit and not enriching.  There are friendships that become toxic, to some extent and are draining and exhausting more than they are fulfilling and energizing. 

For me it is harder to recognize that point in time when I need to let go of a friendship, and harder yet to make that break.  But it so opens up my life to new possibilities, new relationships.  There are three things I tell myself:
1. Being in a "give" relationship (where I am constantly giving and not receiving), is not a friendship. 
2. I am worthy of being around uplifting people.
3. I do not need to chase friendships

Letting go of a friendships can be as beneficial to my life as letting go of a bad habit.  Letting go, leaves more room for opportunities.  While change can be stressful, it can be beautiful.  I think I need to add a friendship evaluation to my life inventory. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Remember What's Important

I need that reminder, on occasion, even when I don't realize it consciously for myself.  That reminder of what is truly important in my life, what grounds me and gives me peace. I had that moment this weekend, you know, the Aha moment. 

A friend invited me and my family over to his home this weekend.  It was to look at a piece of equipment he thought my son could use for blacksmithing.  Of course I will probably use some too.  It was so generous of him, and my son said "it is like Christmas".  Don't you just love that.   While we were there, my friend and his wife, showed us their property, shared some of the history, and walked us around.  Then we sat for a while watching the chickens and talking. 

I love chickens.  Another friend and I call it "chicken TV". I could just sit and watch the chickens and their social antics and squawking, you just know they are communicating national secrets or something.

That trip this weekend really brought me back into the moment. Reminded me of what I really love and what I need more of in my life.  Sometimes I get caught up in what is important to other people, and forget what is important to me.  Forget how much I love being outside and just doing things on our property, mowing, gardening, weeding, watching my chickens.   Sometimes I get so busy with what others think "needs" to be done, and I forget what I need to do for myself and for my sanity.

It isn't some sort of conscious decision.  And when my boys were younger I was more in tune to what I wanted and needed in my life.  I am not a martyr.  I am not the type of person to sacrifice things that are important to me, for someone else.  I really do believe that to be able to share the best of me, I need to make sure that my needs are met, I need to create balance. 

My word for this year is balance. 

I knew that this would be a challenging year, stepping out of my comfort zone.  I knew that balance would be something I need to keep in check.  Make sure that this new venture isn't taking over.  I just hadn't realized how much it had taken over..until this weekend.  I am so grateful for this friend in my life.  I am so grateful for this experience and all that it has taught me.  I am sure he doesn't realize the true gift he and his wife gave me this weekend, and how truly thankful I am.   Or maybe he does, maybe he knew that I needed this break to bring me back to my center.   Either way, it was a deeply inspirational gift, one that I will keep with me always.  I will remember to always be true to my center.   Balance.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Remembering Mom

Someone touched my hair the other day.  It was someone I know well, it wasn't weird or anything.  I don't know if it is because I have long hair but people do that. I don't mind.  In fact it reminds me of my mom.

I think I have blogged about this before, how my mother would brush my hair, as all moms do.  But at night, if I couldn't sleep, she would run her fingers through my hair.  If we were standing in line somewhere she would just put her hands around my hair, as if she was putting it in a pony tail.  I know with children, I have done that as well, standing behind a child with long hair.  It is like an instinct to reach out and touch the hair.  OK so children I know well, with parents I know well, I am not touching the hair of strangers. 

It feels comforting to me when people do it.  It just brings back those warm memories of my mom.  Sometimes I really miss my mom's ability to comfort and calm.  Not that my mom was perfect, but I think most can relate to missing the good things about mom.  Missing being able to reach out and talk things over with her.  Miss her touching my hair.

Friday, February 16, 2018

It's Been a While: Hiking With My Sons

It has been a while since I have posted here.  Busy days, make it hard to gather my thoughts and enjoy posting on my blog.   But it is something I want to find space for.   I volunteer for the Burke County Democratic Party, have for over a year now, in different capacities.  And it does take up time and energy.  Knowing that, my word for 2018 is BALANCE.  So I have been working to maintain the balance in my life: Family, Herbal Work, Volunteerism, Exercise and Self Care.   All of those take up time, so my blogging has slipped.  It was a casualty of a

busy life.   But I really aim to get back on track.  Maybe not as much, but to post with some regularity.  Figure out how to squeeze that into my life, in some capacity.  I just really enjoy looking back through my posts, what I was thinking and doing at certain points in my life, so I want to bring that forward once again, into my future.   BALANCE...right.

So here I am, in this moment, enjoying what is before me.  I volunteer at the Democratic Party Headquarters every Thursday from 10 AM- 2 PM.   I am there on other days as well, but not regularly.  On Thursdays I am there from 10-2.   As I walked out of the headquarters building yesterday, the sunshine hit me like an old friend saying hello after a long separation.  It just seems like the rain had set in for so long, I forgot what a sun shiny, nice day felt like.  The temperature was 75 degrees and it was so beautiful.  The thought hit me to grab the boys and get outside.  So I jumped in my car and headed home, ran in the house and just blurted out "let's go hiking".   Now mind you, it was 2:30 in the afternoon so we weren't going to do any major hike, but I wanted to get out in the fresh air and leave it all behind for a little while.  As hard as it is for my oldest to be "spur of the moment", he was whole-heartedly in as was my youngest.  We were out the door before 3:00 and on our way.  We decided on Linville Falls, as it was familiar, so we knew that it was all uphill, we wouldn't have to worry as much about washed out trails from the rain.  It was short, so we wouldn't be hiking after dark.   And with all the rain, the falls should be spectacular.

Linville Falls did not disappoint.  You could hear the rushing water for the whole walk up the hill.  We met only a few people on the trail and no one was out looking over the falls while we were there.  I love it when we have peace and quiet like that.  We can just sit and enjoy watching the rushing water.   We all agreed that this was a great idea, and we all needed the getaway, even for a short time.  It was also a nice reminder of what is to come, as I plan to do a lot of hiking this year.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Speak Your Truth: The #MeToo Campaign on Social Media

This was from Representative Graig Meyer, NC House District 50, yesterday on his facebook status "Dear #MeToo,
I hear you. I see you. I believe you. I will do my best to support you.
Thank you for being willing to share your stories. Yes, I have heard from women that I know and love about their harassment and assaults. Men too. Still, the volume of your voices is striking me anew today.
You should not have to feel alone or stand alone. I commit to using my voice and my power. I have introduced legislation on sexual assault and will continue to address the issue. I know that I can do more, and I will.
#WeCanDoBetter "

I just want to say that we need more of him, everywhere. So as you vote for candidates, make sure to ask the tough questions and find out where they stand on women's issues. Then write a letter to the editor of your local paper and let everyone know how that candidate stands. If you know a woman that would make a great local, state or federal official, tell her, ask her to run for office. Then have her contact her local party leaders. They can make sure she has what she needs to run, and knows how. They will help her campaign and win. This is part of what we do to change things. This is how we get more "Graig Meyers" into office.

As you find that brave survivor inside you, remember that there are others out there that may be still struggling. You can help by volunteering your time at crisis centers, help lines, women's homeless shelters, or recovery programs. When we lift each other up, the world becomes better.

To those of you that have said the #MeToo campaign is not making a difference, it is. This is how many women find their voice. They find it one shaking #MeToo at a time. I know when I first told my story as a post on my blog, it took me days to write it. And even as I finished, I debated posting it at all. I knew some people would know exactly who I was talking about. Even as an adult, I knew that in our society, some would blame me. But that hesitant shaky voice, took that leap. I can say that after speaking my truth over and over, it has become easier, it has been empowering. It has caused a whole shift in my being. It was so worth it. So this is the first important step for so many women.

Speak out even when you think no one is listening. Speak out even when your voice shakes. Speak your truth.