Receiver

Today started out as a day of giving and turned into a day of receiving.
I dropped my son at work, got a snack and headed to Evanston hospital to donate blood. There was an urgent need for the victims of the Highland Park tragedy so I signed up. Giving blood is how I help when I feel helpless.
I chose to take the advice of my friend Julie and wear my Free Mom Hugs shirt. Entering the hospital, I got a few looks from people.
Soon I was seated in the donation chair and one of the phlebotomists said, “I like your shirt!”
“Thanks!  Need a hug?”
“Really?” I nod.
“Sure…” She says.
So before I get hooked up to all the machines, I give her a big hug. She smiles and says thanks. 
As she is removing needle, one of the other women says, “11:11!  Make a wish!  That was your official finish time!” I laugh and she then pulls out the pink bandage…it was like they knew me! 
We 3 chatted while I recovered and then I left.
I walked toward the exit and an elderly man said, “Really? Hugs?”
“Yup!  Want one?”
“Well I guess so….” And we did sort of side hug as that was what he could manage with his cane.
“That was really nice. Thank you.” And he shuffled away.
Once I left the hospital I was feeling all sorts of things. So, I decided to take a drive. I found myself driving around the Northwestern Campus. As an homage to my old man, I clicked on my old school Spotify playlist and the soothing sounds of Billie Holiday filled the air.
I gazed you the window at the old and new buildings. So much has changed over the years. I wound up in the older part of Evanston and grabbed a coffee. I treated myself to a fancy lavender latte (at the suggestion of the barista).
“Do you really give hugs?”
“Yes!  I love it!”
She took my payment and directed me to coffee pick up. While I was waiting, she walked around the counter and, “Can I have a hug?”
“SURE!” and we hugged in a café full of people.
She said thanks and went back to work, handing me my coffee. I got back in my car and headed home….the long way….along Sheridan Road, past the Baha’i Temple, Lake Michigan and beautiful homes all the while listening to old jazz and my girl Billie filling up my heart.
Today was a reminder of my many gifts. A reminder of my blessings. A reminder of times gone by. I keep hoping that my daily excursions…. giving some hugs, spreading a little kindness and putting some love back into the universe…. create a little more peace for others. It certainly soothes my soul and replenishes my spirit.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

2s-day

Today is 2-22-22.
It is such a magical number and an even more magical day!
It falls on a Tuesday!
It is a palindrome date (same backwards and forwards).
And I am the #tutulady!
The number 2 is an angel number (Angel numbers are recurring sequences of numbers that have spiritual significance, according to numerology). The number 2 represents balance in nature as all life is about balance. The number 2 also represents opposites such as left and right and up and down. When we are balanced, we are in harmony with life. Seeing the number 2 repeating is a gentle reminder that I need to work on balancing some aspects of my life. I mean wearing a tutu and running/dancing is all about balance!
The number 2 is the most feminine of all the numbers, and its vibration resonates with the vibration of joy, balance and peace. It relates to the desire for love, health, harmony and happiness within all relationships. People who see this number regularly are authentic, artistic, creative, tolerant, emotional, highly sensitive, loyal, devoted and intuitive.
2-2 is my angel number. I see the number 2 a great deal. I need things in pairs or even numbers in my home and in my life because I crave balance. Anyone who knows me knows I surrounds myself with the word peace and symbols of peace! And joy? Have you met me? I live my life from a place of constant joy!!!
This special 2-22-22 Tuesday is one that will not appear again for a long time, thus we need to make the most of it! As it is a day of balance, peace, and joy, let’s make the most of it!
Make a list of 22 things that bring you joy! The items on the list can be grand or minuscule….just put them on the list! They will be powerful reminders to look for joy today and every day.
Then make a second list of 22 people that bring you joy. Take a moment today to reach out to each one of those people with an email/call/text and thank them for bringing you joy!
Let’s celebrate the number 2-22-22 today by sharing peace and JOY!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

2-2

Today is my favorite day of the year! 
2/2/22
Yup Two Two …. and this year another 22!!
It is always my favorite day of the year (second to my birthday) but this year it is even more special. So many 2’s on one day!
Let’s all celebrate peace, love and kindness in honor of World Tutu Day!!
Today  ….
Dance like no one is watching!
Toss some glitter in the air!
Leave a little sparkle where ever you go!
Choose peace over conflict.
Choose love over hate.
Choose kindness over cruelty.
Make a conscious choice to do a random act of kindness (or more) today! 
No matter how small, kindness matters. 
Think kind thoughts
Speak kind words
Do kind deeds
Namaste
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

56

This is 56.
This is what ….
-negative self talk
-not loving myself
-fighting
-never feeling good enough
-never fitting in
– surviving and thriving
-lessons learned
-embracing my uniqueness
-inspiring others
-loss and gain
-tears and laughter
-building businesses
-stepping into my own power
-loving my body.
-Saying F**k Yes more often.
-love, light and a little go screw yourself
-feeling joy-having faith
-finding peace
……looks like.
This is what life looks like at 56 and let me tell you….. it is AMAZING!
Time to kick up my heels and celebrate!

Timehop

I have a love/hate relationship with Timehop and the daily memories it shows me.
I hate it because it reminds me of memories I would rather forget but I love it because it reminds me of all the good times and, more importantly, how far I have come.
Today, today was one of those not so great memory days. It is funny because yesterday something triggered this memory. I scrolled Timehop today to see the photos of that day and it all came flooding back….like watching a rerun of an old TV show I had seen a million times.
It was a Tuesday. My girls were already in school and we had to take a drive to take the jet ski out of the water near my parents home as it was the end of the season. My wasband, young son and I loaded up and drove out there. We spent the day on the beach and I took one last ride on the jet ski to end the season.
As was the routine, I walked up, got in our truck and headed to the boat slip while my wasband drove the jetski to meet me there. It was already an odd day and we had not spoken much but I no clue what was coming.
I pulled up and waited for him. When he arrived, I started to back the trailer up as I was instructed. I don’t know if y’all are aware of how difficult it is to back up a boat trailer while driving a full size suburban when you can not see said trailer. It was as if someone flipped a switch on the wasband. He started screaming, yelling, cussing and berating me. To be honest, this was not new but this was the first time in public. Other boaters and the harbor master just stood there. After a few minutes the harbor master walked over and calmly asked my wasband if he needed any help. He told him no and brushed him off. The HM then walked past the front of the truck, looked at me and mouthed,
“You ok?” I nodded. All the while, my son is laying on the floor of the back seat trying to hide.
Could the wasband jumped in the truck and backed it up himself? Yup…..but he didn’t.
Once the jet ski was out of the water, he complained that there was not a dry/unsandy towel for him to dry off…..
I suggested that we go eat something thinking he was hungry. We went to a local Brewery and when we were not allowed to sit at the bar because our son was with us? Well, the hostess was well aware of his displeasure. I took my son to the rest room and was again, asked by a stranger (the hostess) if I was ok. I said yes and made excuses.
We drove home in silence for over an hour until I apologized for suggesting the trip and not backing up correctly.
I knew something was wrong that day. I knew my marriage was in trouble. What I didn’t know was that it was not my fault. My wasband was already having an affair at that point. It would be a few months before I would have face that reality.
That was 7 years ago. The jet ski was parked in the garage that day and never used again. It was sold 5 years later after we were divorced. The battle and sale of the jet ski is another story for another day.
Back to my love/hate with Timehop. I was determined to create a new memory for today. So I took one long look at that old picture and it clicked. I needed to go to the water. I packed up my bike and headed to the lakefront. I rode for 20 miles along the Lakefront, taking in the beauty of the city and all the while releasing that woman that I was on that day(and other days like it). I repeated over and over, “You have come so far. There is peace in your solitude. There is happiness in your heart.”
I stopped on the ride back and looked out over the choppy lake water. I realized that I had weathered the storms that were meant to sink me. I had learned to keep my head above water, swim and eventually surf all the waves of emotion. I took a beep breath and forgave myself for that day. I made a promise to myself that I would never again lose my sense of direction again. I promised myself that I help other women like me find themselves again. I promised to love myself again.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace