Late Night Laptop Talk

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I’m just now shutting my laptop for the night and going to bed. A bed that has “half on” sheets because I have just been too tired to care if they are on right or at all.

I have no Christmas decorations up AT ALL (for the first time in my entire life). And at this point, I doubt any of it will get done.

I haven’t planned my funny single Christmas card (you know you have all been dying for an update on that one)

I’m quite possibly at an all time high for being a terrible friend.  I know I’ve missed texts and let too many go unanswered. I can’t remember to return calls.  I certainly don’t call my mother as often as I should. I fail to check in with people and make time to visit with those I haven’t seen in a while.

If it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t know when even my closest friends were celebrating birthdays.  I haven’t kept a hang out commitment in ages (sorry Rob and Jessica).

I have stepped away from people simply out of the lessening of tolerance levels and the realization that you don’t have to accept other’s mistreatment of you, out of obligation.  And I’m not even a little bit sorry for doing it.

I’m not kind to my body.  I’m actually being the most unkind it’s probably ever experienced from me. And it’s not even rebelling anymore as much as it’s just sad and tired and defeated.

When someone says “you are always so put together”, I cringe and look over my shoulder, worried that they will find out how “un put together” I really am…..or that there will be a number of my enemies in line to point it out for them (or that they saw me barely be able to find clothes to wear this morning).

This has been the weirdest and one of the most challenging seasons of my life.  I have been stubborn in not taking real rest.  I have laid in bed in the mornings wondering how in the heck I got anything done the day before, and how on earth I’m going to get anything done today. I have wished for some magical fairy to see where I struggle and just show up and help without me having to admit that I need it! (i.e. putting up my Christmas decorations lol)

BUT……….Also….

I’m the toughest I’ve been in a while.  These last six months have brought battles I never thought I would be in (cancer blows).  Yet my mind has not even remotely let me dwell in a place of negativity or fear.  I’m a worrier by nature and haven’t been able to even do that.

My career has stretched me more than I thought it could or would. And every time I try to have a minute of “I don’t want to do this.” Or “I can’t do this” or whatever, I’m immediately shown that I am equipped for this season and am growing in ways that can only mean that I’m about to launch into something really great.  And my years of hard work and trying to overcome are finally paying off.

Even though my friends may be fewer, the ones that are in this season with me are patient and showing me staying power that I didn’t even know I needed.  And, I’m being exposed to new friends that I can’t wait to grow (already love you, Chelsea).

I’m sticking up for myself and I’m taking less crap.  And man, does that feel good!

I’m making the most out of the free time I have and being wise in how I choose to spend it. I don’t get a lot of free time these days (see exhibit A – late night laptop pic :p ), and I know that load isn’t going to lighten any time soon. So, I try to be very intentional about how I spend my free time.  And it’s making me realize that some things are just ok undone (Like not putting up a Christmas tree – ok, that one is still breaking my heart, but you get what I’m saying).

I’m more focused.  Which is weird to say since so much of life for me right now is so out of sorts (I.e. that pile of unfolded laundry).  For the first time, I’m seeing that there is a longer term play and end game and not sacrificing that for the temporary (haven’t quite applied this to my self care and body yet lol).  So, the late nights, although tiring, are still serving a longer term purpose that I know will pay off.

I appreciate the “off” things.  Like those picture frames that are off center.  Every time my door closes, they get knocked that way.  It used to drive me crazy. And I still straighten them from time to time, but not as much as I used to.  Because them being crooked means I have been living life outside of this apt 🙂

Literally every time my mind has even acted like it was going to take a right down “bad thought lane”, something happens to immediately shut it off.  Sometimes it’s a pause (which is new territory for me).  Sometimes it’s someone who crosses my path in that moment with a word of encouragement or just enthusiasm in general. Sometimes it’s my dog crawling up next to me, when normally he’s at my feet. It’s a host of things like that, that seem to show up and say “nope, back to focus, you’re growing and the other side is magical”.

I’ve done a lot of late night, cheesy rattling to simply try to say that it’s ok to give yourself permission to be in a weird place. It’s ok to ramble and post it on a blog and risk people not understanding (especially if writing makes you this happy and serves it’s therapeutic purpose).

It’s ok to be in that weird place and feel uncomfortable (I still can’t wrap my mind around how we got to December so fast and how little I accomplished).  Sometimes it takes these kinds of places to prompt us into serious action (as in I will NEVER go through another holiday season this “naked” and non-celebratory).

It’s ok to say all the same cheesy things that a million Instagram quote/memes say and have people roll their eyes about it (because there is probably one person who wishes they could say the same things out loud – and connecting with that one person through you being out loud and transparent is more than worth the other 6,000 eye rolls and skip overs)

Just don’t go so far that you can’t come back.  🙂

I’m cooler than you on Father’s Day…..

(I’ll get back to funny soon – there are some GREAT dating stories in store)
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I am cooler!  And I’ll tell you why in just a sec (and it’s not just because of how cute I was as a baby – look at that face!).  First, I have to say Happy Father’s day to all the dads, moms who play dad, men who stand in the gap, and to the men who chose to be dads when they didn’t have to be!!  Your role is more important than ever…..and I’m lucky to have had the best and know some of the best!  I am also lucky to have some pretty great faux dads that have taken me in as their own (especially the latest guy – my mom’s fiance, who has done nothing short of making sure my mom and me and my sisters are taken care of!! Love you, Joel!)
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I’ve never been able to sit still and find a way to write all the encompasses my dad.  Or, I should say that I’ve never felt like I could do it justice.  He really deserves a book.  I’m not just saying that as a proud daughter, who thinks her dad was the greatest.  I mean, he really deserves a book.  He is the survivor of a terrible incident (as in survivor out of 9 people that these monsters killed – while being handcuffed to a dead guy and stuffed in the trunk of a car – where he was trapped fro 6 hours in June, in Arkansas…..sooooo yeah, that’s a story worth telling).  A book is on my bucket list to complete, but for now, I blame life in general and a ridiculous amount of fear for not having done it yet.
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Although the above tid bit is enough to put him leaps and bounds ahead on the list of great guys, that’s not why makes me cooler than you on Father’s Day.  I could argue that these throw back pics included should definitely put me at the top of cool, but that’s not it either.
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You see, what makes me just a TINY bit cooler than you today (unless you’re my friend Aaron, I’m not as cool as him) is that I get this day as a reminder that I was chosen.  I’m gonna take it up a notch and even say that I was hand picked.  My dad came along after I was already born.  I was part of the package of loving my mom and I was VERY young when he showed up.  Thankfully, too young to know that the “real” one had basically abandoned his opportunity to raise this legend!  And thankfully, too young to have that pre-established hesitation for someone coming into the picture (even though the above shows me less than happy, in general. haha).
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I’m more than proof that DNA isn’t the sole factor of making a child.  My dad chose me.  I think that’s what has always made me a little cool 🙂  He didn’t have to be my dad, but he made the conscious decision to.  And he did so, fiercely.  There was never a difference.  Not one time.  If anything, he was harder on me.  I am more like him than I would’ve ever thought possible – and I’m ok with that 🙂  (even the stubborn).  He and my pop were two of the most important men in my life and I will never be the same without them – but I’m proud to be who I am because of their influence!
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Some guys don’t get to choose.  Some are told they are going to be a dad and enter into the role out of obligation.  Some know they want to be a dad and follow the process of “first comes love, then comes marriage……”.  Any way that you become a dad and step up to the role is great.  I in no way want to disregard that. I just simply want to recognize that  (and am a little partial to this method) my dad chose me.  To make a deliberate choice to fill a role, an often thankless role and to fill the role with your whole heart – THAT makes you one heck of a guy!
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One of my favorite stories is told by my aunt, after my dad passed.  She tells about the first day my dad had duty alone with me.  She says that he came to my grandma’s with me in tow, in matching denim overalls.  She goes on to always make sure I know that on that day, she had never seen my dad look more proud.  She talks about how he entered the house, carrying me, and was beaming.  My dad had been through a lot by then.  He had a lot of reasons to not be a happy person.  And, if you knew him, you knew that he definitely had his grumpy and closed off side.  A side I fought him on through much of my teenage years (because of course I was dramatic and wanted to always talk about my feelings lol – oh his eye rolls will forever be stuck in my head).  But to hear her tell about how on that day, he had a glow………GOODNESS it makes my heart tingle EVERY TIME I recount it!
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My dad expected a lot from me.  My dad was strict.  My dad was one of the best math teachers to ever live. MY DAD WAS A FIGHTER (polio, shot and left for dead, heart attack on the day of my grandpa’s funeral, and a cancer journey).  You will be hard pressed to find someone that was as tough as him.  And he NEVER complained.  He might have gotten grumpier at times, but he just never complained.  He wouldn’t ever let me cry for very long without expecting me to pick myself up and keep moving.  He wasn’t a “hugger” or emotionally available guy. I can still remember the first time he truly said “I love you”.  It was a big deal.  He HATED that I was a procrastinator.  We spent most of my teen years fighting.  He didn’t “save” me from a lot of mistakes, because he knew that I was the type that just had to learn on my own – but also believed in me enough to know I was smart enough to eventually figure it out (even if I took longer than he cared for, to do so).  I’m sure we could all say we gave our parents a run for their money.  BUT HE CHOSE TO STAY.  He chose me.  And I know that he was proud.  He told me so, before he died, in a very emotional voicemail, that I would sell my soul to the devil to still have.
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I can’t stop smiling and I have erased how many extra times I have typed it already.  HE CHOSE ME.  And I didn’t appreciate it enough, of course, until it was too late, and he was gone forever.  But, like I typed above, he always knew I would “get it” eventually.  So, I’m sure he is wondering around in heaven, not a bit surprised that I took way too long to “get it” about him.
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I could sit on the front porch all day, with a glass of cold sweet tea and tell story, after story about him.  His story gives me breath and life….and it’s REALLY COOL that when I seem to be missing him the most, the big guy sends someone my way to listen to me ramble about what an incredible story (or 3) my dad had.  He is one of three major examples that contribute to me being set apart (I don’t say that to brag – because if anything, I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t made the most of what is so clear about those examples).
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I don’t know why it took me until the eve of this Father’s Day to realize the whole chosen thing.  I wish it would’ve “clicked” while he was still alive, so that I could write him a cheesy card that he would just roll his eyes at and throw away (he was a man of few words – I was a child of too many words lol).  Maybe he would’ve kept it – he did keep this amazing wood burning art I did for him :P.  He wouldn’t have sat and let me brag too much about him though, he wasn’t that kind of guy.
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I’m pretty lucky that I was chosen.  I’m pretty proud at how many people also saw how awesome he was, and I will never tire of hearing people talk about him (they still do, to this day – which is testament enough to his impact).  It’s pretty hard to justify letting anyone tear you down or make you believe in yourself less, when you had someone choose to fill one of the biggest roles in your life.  I had someone pick me!  And I will do my best to remember that before I cry to a friend (like I may/may not have done last week) when some stupid guy doesn’t pick me.
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Thanks for letting me type out loud and process what is normally a rough reminder day.  If you read all the words, thanks for letting me proudly share about my awesome dad.  If your dad is still here, hug him or call him, but do not let him go unappreciated on this day.  Dad’s are such important people!