A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about getting rid of the dress I wore to my 10th grade winter formal. I was afraid that by letting the dress go I would forget a magical evening. I’m once again faced with saying a farewell.
How do you say goodbye to your wedding dress?
I haven’t written on this blog about my divorce. The reasons are private. I wish nothing but happiness for my former spouse. There is still the subject of the dress though. It really is not good for one’s mental health to see your wedding dress hanging in the closet every day.
I must admit that there was a time when I thought the best thing to do was to go to the desert and have a large bonfire. I even imagined myself inviting my favorite friends to a wedding dress burning party. We would all roast marshmallows and dance around the embers of my marriage. Although it was a fun daydream, I knew I couldn’t do that.
At the end of the day, I still believe in the goodness of people and the power of God to make everything right in the end. It’s like that scripture from Isaiah about turning ashes into something beautiful. I couldn’t burn my wedding dress for the same reason that I always stop and blow dandelions whenever I see one. They are symbols. Dandelions. Wedding dresses. Cute kids dressed up in their Sunday best at Church. Beautiful sunsets. Elderly couples holding hands. People having fun together. Making cookies for your friends. These are some of the little things in life that symbolize friendship, love and hope to me. Symbols are powerful. You just can’t burn a symbol.
I did find a new home for my wedding dress. I donated it to a charity’s thrift store. I also made a financial donation to an organization that helps children in memory of my marriage. Beauty from ashes and many more years of dandelion blowing. That’s the goal. For all of us.
(It’s August, 2019. It’s been 16 years and a few months since I wore my wedding dress. I’m still myself. That’s a major accomplishment. I’ve always wanted to be Amee when I grew up.)
It started out as a joke, but it has become one of my favorite traditions. Here’s my 2019-2020 Back to School Photo.
Eight years ago, I was scrolling through Facebook. Many of my friends had posted their kid’s back to school pictures. The photos were adorable. The kids had smiling faces full of hope for the future. I don’t have children so I didn’t have any “back to school photos” for my family and friends to admire. As I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself, I had a crazy thought. What if I took a back to school photo? What if I took the picture from the perspective of being really tired after your first day back to school?
The photo was funny and made me laugh. Next year, I took another photo. I now have 8 pictures of me sprawling across beds, floors, desks etc.
The photo still makes me laugh every year. It’s going to be a great school year.
It’s really hot today. It was so hot that my makeup just melted off my face. It’s not too hot to set goals though. Here are my 4 goals for this summer.
- Go to Taco Tuesday with my friends
I have some friends who go out for tacos twice a month. My goal this summer is to join them more often. I always have fun when I go. During the school year, it is easy to put other things ahead of Taco Tuesday. No More! It’s important to be social.
I recently moved to a new home. I’m going to use the few weeks I get for summer break to prepare for my winter garden. I’ve also decided that I’m not planting kale. You can click here to see why I don’t want to plant kale.
3. Take a nap if I feel tired
Yes, those are Christmas sheets. I have Wonder Woman sheets too in case you wanted to know that. Life is just better when you have fun sheets. I usually only take a nap on Sunday after Church. There’s just something delicious about a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Sabbath. This summer, I have given myself full permission to take a nap whenever I get tired. So far, I’ve taken 1 nap that wasn’t on a Sunday. It’s a start. The theory behind the nap goal is to honor myself by taking care of me. If I am tired, I will rest.
4. World Peace
I believe that if enough people set love for themselves , love for God and love for their neighbor as a personal goal, we will achieve world peace. I’m loving my neighbor by doing some volunteer work each week.
Those are my summer goals. What are your goals this summer?
I was in a doctor’s waiting room the other day reading a magazine. There was an article that caught my eye. It was all about preventing wrinkles. Apparently, you can do face exercises to counteract wrinkles. This really interested in me, because as a 40-something year-old I’ve started to develop some laugh lines. The face exercises involved frowning like this.
I looked so funny that it made me laugh. Oops. Mission Defeated. I guess I will just have to live with the wrinkles.
Have you ever noticed how many styles and brands of toliet paper there are at the store?
15. There are 15 different options. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that. I just recently learned that myself.
Yesterday, I was at the store staring at toilet paper. I had made decisions all day at work and all day in my life. I was tired. I couldn’t make any more decisions. So, I didn’t. I just stood there and started looking at all the options. I even read the backs of the different toliet papers.
After agnozing for what felt like forever, I finally picked the brand on sale. I went to pay for my purchases and a little candy bar found its way into my shopping cart. I don’t remember analyzing that decision.
I’ve been thinking about my decision overload experience. At first I thought I was crazy. Does it really take 5 minutes to pick out toliet paper? I did some research though. It’s actually a real thing. It’s called decision fatigue. Decision fatigue can cause you to either not make a decision or to make a rash decision. Universities have studied it and they have found people make worse decisions when they are tired, hungry, overwhelmed, stressed and worn out from working all day. Yep, that makes sense.
What has been your experience with making decisions?
It’s a new year. My sister Jenny and I celebrated by participating in a 5K race. We had fun chatting during the race. At the finish line, we got participation medals.
I wrote my New Year’s Resolution on my arm so I could think about it during the 5K. My goal for this year is to have joy. It’s not enough to just survive life. I want to thrive. I want to live in joy. I believe the Creator made us for joy. In fact, that is why it’s my goal for the year.
Jenny agreed with me about the joy goal. So, I told her my plan. We would sing the best live your life song ever written as we got near to the finish line. We sang Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” at the top of our lungs. Here are some of the words.
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song. (Fight Song by Rachel Platten)
We started the song really strong with powerful arms in the air, and then we got the giggles and laughed for several minutes. It was a fun start to the new year.
What will you do this year to have joy?
Life happens. Blogs get forgotten.
That’s what happened to this little blog. I did my thankful challenge during November for the entire month. I wrote down my thankful item each day. I just forgot to post it on this blog. Here are the rest of my thankful challenge days.
Day 12: I’m thankful for veterans and their families.
Day 13: My parents
Day 14: Ibuprofen
Day 15: Music. I adore listening to music. It’s a great blessing.
Day 16: Cousins are the best.
Thankful Day #17: I’ve been eating really well the last two days. Food tastes better with your parents and sister.
Day #18: I’m thankful for my siblings. I’m thankful for the Accountant and my in-laws. (Don’t know who the Accountant is—go look at the About section.)
Day #19: Cottage cheese. It’s so delicious.
Day #20: I’m thankful for prayer.
Day #21: I’m grateful for a working car.
Day #22: I’m thankful I’m not a turkey today. On a serious note, l feel grateful for so many things. I’m thankful for family ,friends, God, scriptures and music.
Day 23: Clean water.
Day 24: I’m thankful for Nathan’s help today. He came down to the school and helped me move furniture. It meant a lot to me.
Day 25: I’m thankful for long weekends. Thanksgiving break was fun this year.
Day 26: I’m thankful for my senses. It’s good to be able to see, hear, taste and smell things.
Days 26-30 I was tired and really busy at work. I forgot that I am trying to be grateful all November. I’m thankful we get new starts each day.
Every November, I have a tradition. I write down one thing I’m thankful for every day. It helps me remember my many privileges and blessings. It’s a chance to pause and show gratitude to God and the people around me. It helps me reflect on how I can help those who are not as fortunate. It’s a good tradition that has brought a lot of joy into my life. Here’s my list so far.
Day 1: Recess (It is a huge blessing the day after Halloween.)
Day 2: Indoor plumbing
Day 3: I’m grateful I was able to spend time with my friend Sara. We went shopping this morning. Shopping with friends is the best type of shopping. I’m also thankful for my breakfast omelet. Omelets are delicious.
Day 4: Sunsets
Day 5: I’m grateful for music.
Day 6: I am thankful I can vote. I honor the many brave woman who marched, went to jail and stood up to oppression.
I’m also thankful for my voting sticker. I absolutely loved stickers as a kid. I still think stickers are fun. It makes me smile to get my sticker. In fact, I have saved every voting sticker I’ve ever gotten and put it in my journal.
Day 7: My Mom is incredible. I love her so much. I’m grateful for all she has done for me. We talked on the phone yesterday. It’s a blessing to have a Mom.
Day 8: My car runs.
Day 9: I love my toothbrush. It makes the most delightful sound. Sometimes, I dance a little jig when it starts to buzz. There are so many simple things that brighten my day. I’m thankful for my toothbrush.
Day 10: Hugs. I’m thankful for hugs. I had a rough day. It was the kind of day that I just sat on my bed and cried. It was the kind of day that I told God that life is incredibly unfair. It was painful. It hurt. I’m thankful for the friend who gave me a hug. Hugs are a blessing. Friends are a blessing.
Day 11: I’m thankful to be alive. Life is not perfect. It’s good to be alive though. I’m thankful to learn, love and survive another day. I believe in happy endings. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but there’s always tomorrow. God be thanked for a new day.
It’s a good day to be thankful. That is why I do the Thankful Challenge every year. It helps me remember. What are you thankful for today?
“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” — Maya Angelou
I just finished reading a book called Le Ménagier de Paris. I don’t speak French so I had to read the English translation The Goodman of Paris. It has been absolutely fascinating to read this primary source document and ponder on the social realities of medieval Europe.
Here’s the plot. It’s 1393 and a rich, older man of 60 decided to get married again. His bride is around 20. The modern woman in me is a bit shocked with the age difference. The historian in me understands it was common practice for men to be older than their wives. As a present, he writes a book for his new bride on how to be a good wife, take care of the house and live without him after he dies.
The first few chapters are all about religion and how to live a moral life. It paints a picture of the role of faith in medieval Europe. Christianity and religious festivals were their life. The next chapter discussed how his new wife can make him a happy man in the bedroom. I’ve read the Bible enough to understand exactly what the Goodman of Paris was talking about when he said his bride needed to “know him”.
This man had a lot of opinions on everything. The rest of the book explained how he thinks his manor should be organized. He explained how to to boil water, cook soup, skin a chicken, hire household staff, argue with temporary workers, do needlework, prepare medicinal herbs, keep the pots clean, get stains out of clothing, keep the gossips in town from ruining her reputation and a bunch of other things that were critical for life as a 1393 young woman. Some of the advice was actually pretty sound and still applies to modern-day life. For example, there was one section that said tradesman like to take advantage of female buyers. He recommended that his wife get two opinions before agreeing to any household repairs. I’ve had car mechanics try to cheat me before so this advice is still valid. Some of the advice was ridiculous. I rolled my eyes when I read the section on how to wear pious, black and white wife clothing in public. Really? Why can’t a 20-year-old wear purple? I love the color purple so I would have made a terrible medieval wife.
I got a little teary-eyed when I read the chapter on why the The Goodman of Paris wrote his book. He expected to die before his bride did. He wanted to make sure she could make it in a world ruled by men. He may have been a man of his time in many ways, but I got the impression that he did love his wife and desired her happiness.
Overall, I would recommend Le Ménagier de Paris. It was very informative. I got the added benefit of feeling like a scholar while reading it. I also learned a few useful skills that will come in handy in case of the Zombie Apocalypse. For example, I now know how to skin a chicken and hire a maid to do my laundry.
What’s in your book bag?
I’ve written before about my incredible parents. I had another experience today that confirmed again how much these two human beings are good people who love me.
Today was a hard day and I was feeling a bit emotional. In the middle of this day, I was accidently forgotten and not given Skittles like everyone else in a Church class. I felt left out. I knew it was an accident. It wasn’t anybody’s fault and I wasn’t angry at the person who forgot me. It just happened in the craziness of the moment. My logical side knew it wasn’t on purpose. My emotional side started remembering every other time in my life that I have been left-out or not gotten what I wanted.
I try to visit my parents a few times a month. Today was one of those planned visits. I ended up telling them how I felt. Yes, I’m a 40 year-old who sat on my parent’s couch this afternoon and cried that I didn’t get candy. It’s not about the candy though. Even though it was completly an accident, my feelings of being left-out were real. We talked for a bit. I felt lighter when I drove home. It helped to talk about my feelings.
Then my Dad did something so incredibly loving and kind. He came and gave me a bag of Skittles.
Let me tell you something about my folks. They are true believers in keeping all of the 10 Commandments. They don’t lie, cheat, covet or do any of those other don’ts. Mom and Dad go to Church every Sunday and growing up my siblings and I would never even think about asking to go to the movies or the mall on a Sunday. It wasn’t keeping the Sabbath day holy. My parents also hate Skittles. They don’t keep them at the house which means that my father made a special trip to the store just to buy them.
He went to the store for me. I felt so incredibly loved. As I held the bag of candy, I remembered a scripture written by the Apostle John.
“We love Him because He first loved us”. (1 John 4: 18-19)
The scripture is speaking about my Savior Jesus Christ and his great love for all mankind. Today it was also talking about my parents and their example of true love for me–their daughter.
I love you, Mom and Dad. You will always be my favorite people. I am who I am today because of your goodness and light. I will remember your example of Christian discipleship for the rest of my life. I hope to be like you when I grow up.
With love forever,