Tag Archives: themes

The Big Reset: Home Again

G’day mates! We’ve been back from down under for nearly three full weeks and I think I’m finally fully un-jetlagged. As much as every bit of me really, really dug the amazing vacation, my body certainly did not love returning to real life… worth it!

So, of course you’re dying to know how it went… because who doesn’t love hearing about other people vacations in agonizing detail???

I kid, of course! I’ll be quick.

We flew to Sydney, Australia, where we stayed in a fancy hotel on Sydney Harbour and hung with Nemo and Dory.

Sigh — that’s just the view from the massive balcony! I’m sure there were Dory and Nemos down below, but we visited them in the aquarium.

The next day, we put on our AMAZING matching shirts (in red, we saved blue for Vanuatu) and boarded the Voyager of the Seas.

Chris got these shirts made because of my last blog post — the big reset, come to life!

Where we spent 12 amazing days wining and dining, reading and relaxing…

My taste for wine got totally classed up. My taste for cupcakes? Totally pupped up. PS: that delicious looking plate of local Fijian goodness was cooked underground on white hot rocks. AMAZING.

… and seeing some of the most amazing sites in the South Pacific.

From left to right: almost sunset over the South Pacific; Noumea, New Caledonia; spice garden in a valley on Fiji; Sydney Opera House early in the morning

Also, Seth smiled. And smiled. And smiled.

Australia to Fiji cruise? Now that’s something worth smiling about!

Finally, on my way home — I saw my friend Sarah (originally from Hoboken, NJ… now a resident of Melbourne) after more than 15 years AND my friend Jessi (who lived two doors down from me in the dorms at Michigan Tech and was my very first college friend) after more than 10. Insane.

On the left, the lovely Sarah who flew from Melbourne to Sydney to spend the day with us. On the right, Jessi waited for us at gate A-something in LAX so we could hang for a minute after our arrival from Sydney and before her flight to Japan.

It was incredible. Every second of every day. The experience of a lifetime.


But really, that’s not what I want to talk about. Or rather, what I think you want me to talk about. Because the last time we talked, it was all about the reset… the big reset. The new job, big vacation, letting go of the infertility battle.

I’m in love with my new job, the vacation was amazing, I felt legitimate relief to let go of motherhood.

And then last night. It all caught up with me. The truth came out in an explosion. Tear-filled and snot-soaked.

I can’t stop saying yes at work and I’m completely overwhelmed. As amazing as the vacation was, I felt immediately un-relaxed the second I stepped off the plane in Wisconsin. And “letting go” is a process that doesn’t happen quite that quickly — my heart is still broken and I need a lot more time and space to let it heal than I thought I would.

Damnit. I really thought I’d be fixed. And somehow, I am legitimately surprised that I am not. Yes, I am ridiculous as I sound.


New story.

One night on the cruise, while having drinks in a super fancy lounge on the tippy top of the ship, I got a *free* blog consultation with the one and only Chris Lema. I’ve never priced him out, but I’m pretty sure he charges regular people like $7,918 an hour. Approximately.

The gist of the consultation: (1) Blogging is good for you. Do it. (2) Consistently. (3) And use consistent themes.

Except Chris always tells a story, so the message was a lot longer, funnier, more interesting. You know. Lema-ish.

So here’s the deal. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be super consistent (I’m very busy and important), but I’m going to be a heck of a lot more focused. Coming soon — a legit About Me page including “best of” and all that jazz PLUS Mental Health Monday, Women Rock Wednesday, and Fertility Friday. What do you think? Are you excited? I kind of am.

Actually, I am. And not just because I have lots of post ideas, but mostly because blogging… sharing stories… is probably the single healthiest thing I do on a regular basis. When I don’t do it on a regular basis, I have nights like last night. Tears and snot. It’s good for the makers of Kleenex and producers of alprazolam… but no one else.

I love to hear other people’s stories and I love to share my own. It’s healthy, it’s healing… it’s cathartic, fun, and relaxing. It’s who I am. Maybe I didn’t change my life, really reset it like I expected, but Chris did point me home. To where I belong. Even better than starting over. Thanks, Chris.

Honestly Kind

I’ve been reading a lot lately… actually, let me rephrase that.  I’m reading a lot always and as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes themes just jump out at me.  Over and over and over again.  And when that happens, I have only once choice and that is to talk about it here, because they’ll never leave me alone until I do.

You may be asking yourself right now, is this a symptom of schizophrenia?  And I need to assure you that no, it is not.  I dabble in mental illness, of course, but schizophrenia is simply not my thing.  Therefore, the voices must be real…

The theme as of late has been honesty.  Truth.  Realness, actuality.  And I firmly believe that good people are attracted to truth like a moth to a flame.  And if this blog has taught me anything, it’s that every single time I make the hard choice to share a tough, personal truth, good people come a runnin’.  Every time.

Whether it’s ugly hair or an ongoing battle with depression— good people. Every. Single. Time.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how this desire for truth and honesty isn’t necessarily universal. Because as much as I value honesty, I value kindness even more.  And I don’t think the two things are mutually exclusive. White lies told in the pursuit of kindness are a-o-k in my book (i.e. feel free to lie to spare my feelings, I’ll never hold it against you, and might even like you more for it).

There are definitely some people who pride themselves on their willingness to tell others the cold hard truth– unsolicited honesty to a fault.  But that’s really not the type of truth-telling I’m talking about here.  What I have recently come to find so much more important is not so much telling truths about others, because regardless of what I perceive about someone, I still can’t know everything, but rather, sharing the truth about myself.  As my fortune cookie said last week (I’m telling you– this theme has been everywhere!), “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their battle too,” and the only battle you can really know for sure is the battle you are fighting yourself.

Fortune Cookie

To me, kindness in the context of honesty means sharing truths about yourself rather than your perception of others. (Think your friend’s husband is a total weirdo? Recognize how much she loves him and be happy that they’re happy! Think your own husband is a total weirdo? Use it for blog material! (kidding… love you, Sethy!) Don’t like your friend’s new hair cut? Maybe try complimenting her gorgeous smile instead! Don’t like your hair cut? Make jokes about it on the internet!) Easier said than done though, right? I struggle every day and every blog post (because it’s so much easier to rant about others than to examine hard truths about my self!), but I definitely feel the best when I  an make those two things work together.

Honesty. Kindness. Boom bam, baby!

Words With Friends

If you went to a typical American high school, you’re probably familiar with Homecoming.  (If not, please see the movie Grease for a pretty accurate description– you know, the Rydell High pep rally.)  At my high school we also had something called Coming Home and it wasn’t until I moved on and sounded like a confused weirdo talking about Coming Home that I realized that wasn’t exactly normal.  Coming Home is essentially the basketball equivalent of Homecoming… except instead of a parade with floats for each class, we decorated halls in the school (on account of I grew up in Michigan and it was cold and snowy during basketball season).  Every year there was a different themes for hall decorating and each class chose a theme within the theme to decorate their hall.  Tons of fun, in my opinion, way to go LHS!  (Although, despite the hours I remember spending drawing, cutting, painting, taping, etc, etc, etc, I literally cannot remember a single one of the themes… all I remember is a large, cut out Spiderman.  I wonder if that memory is real…)

Anyway, I don’t really want to talk about high school, homecoming, coming home, or pretty much anything I’ve mentioned so far.  What I do want to talk about is recurring themes.  And the fact that sometimes I feel like my life in general becomes suddenly inundated with one.  I come here to share words with you, friends (see what I did there?).  Therefore, the theme du jour: WORDS.

Words are obviously a big part of my life.  I’m a science writer by day and I spend the majority of my time at work reading or writing… putting words together to make other people understand science.  And more recently, with the beginning of this blog, words became even more important to me.  Writing, sharing these words with you, has become so incredibly cathartic.  A powerful dream come true.  A release every night as I put my thoughts down on the page.

Of course, two things don’t make a theme.  A theme is something so much more.  And I’m getting to that.

We talked before about how I like to follow a lot of blogs.  Most blogs consist of words, so again, I take in a lot of words.  But just this week, I read two great posts about the power of words.  My friend Dawn at Cups Running Over was discussing the negativity she was encountering on social media and she said,

“…all these negative words are bad for us!” Then she committed to “using the power of words for good.”

Love, love, LOVE!  Dawn is so right, I highly recommend reading her post.  She says some really thought-provoking things about the way we use social media.  And I love the idea of using our words to spread good.

Next up in this theme of words was a blog post by Bridget at Stumbling Towards Perfect where she describes her knee-jerk reaction to some extremely negative words and the beautiful way in which her daughter responded.  Again, it was a negative post on social media and her daughter chose to respond calmly, to explain to the person who tried to use words to hurt the power of those words, and in the process, taught a lot of people an important lesson.

And still, two more things to go to complete my theme…

I just finished (tonight, actually) reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  It was a beautiful book.  And so much of it is about the power of words, for both good and evil.  There were several passages throughout the book that described the power of words that I thought were just so interesting.

“‘Don’t punish yourself,’ she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too.  That was writing.”

Wow.  Yes.

In my experience, writing is cathartic.  Sometimes it is hard, it can be painful.  But it is so rewarding, and sometimes I even make myself laugh out loud.  (Because, as you already know, I am so funny.  And humble, too.  Hmmm… humility.  I have a LOT to say about that.  But one thing at a time.)

And then the last line of the Book Thief’s book.  She writes:

“I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

Dang.  Yes again.

Words can be so personal.  They can be so personified.  Seriously, I find myself falling in love with the words I put on the page.  And when I find that magical turn of phrase, I simply can’t imagine it any other way.  But then sometimes the words don’t come out right and they don’t sound like I want them to sound and I hate them for not being just so.  Writing.  It’s complex.

And in the midst of all this, because of all these words, I reconnected with an old friend who is now an English teacher.  (Oh, I am going to say some things about what I consider the vocation of teaching someday.  So important.)  She told me she like reading along (so nice!  she made me feel so good!) and we talked for a while about the power of words and she told me that people don’t think of English as a powerful subject and write it off as “touchy-feely.”

Ugh.  No.

Words are crazy important.  And the people that teach us to use those words are the people who give us power… yes, they give us the power to express our feelings to one another, but they also give us the power to inspire, to persuade, to share, to reason, to communicate.  There is immense power in all of that.  Think of just a few extreme examples: of Hitler persuading his countrymen to kill millions with words, of Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy persuading thousands and thousands of parents not to vaccinate their children against deadly and debilitating diseases with words… but on the other hand, Martin Luther King, Jr. used words to inspire thousands to take to the streets and march for equality and John Stewart uses funny words to make serious points about systems that are very broken.  Do you see how powerful words can be?  (Do you also see how italics and heavy use of parenthetical statements and elipses (that’s the dot-dot-dot) make you read my words in the same way I would speak them to you?  Cool, huh?)

So that, friends, is my thing with words.  (See, I did it again… yes! title for the win!)  It’s a recurrent theme, these words, and I hope you like the way I’m using them.  I also hope that someday my teacher friend will take me up on my offer to share her words, too.  Because I know she’s got some good ones inside of her dying for an audience!

Update 9/9/13:  SoMeOne, who shall reMain nameless (seriously, how clever am I?), pointed out that there are several typos in the post above– ironic considering it’s all about words.  Dang!  I was going to read it again, find them, and correct it, but… when I actually got here that all seemed like an awful lot of work.  So, the typos remain.  Please accept my apologies!