Latest from the blog

Wednesday, July 19, 2023



We strive to be that dynamic, exciting personality who exhibits growth and radiance. We believe we have a purpose and importance. We believe we were put here to DO BIG THINGS. Because all around us this is what the world is telling us. It's a sign on the wall, a scribble from a colleague.

    And then one day, we wake up, nearing the half-century mark, having accomplished little and feeling a bit foolish singing the praises of the palty small accomplishments we have made.  And WHAT exactly distinguishes what IS an accomplishment? Is it business success? A good-looking partner? Money, or a beautiful home? Is it a generous heart that others can rely on? Is it a novel, published? When your words spill reverently out of another's lips?

    Guys, I am going to be 50. It's a word too old to imagine. Too steady and Karenish for this faltering timid soul stumbling around in this body. I feel like I am just beginning to open my eyes and already my life is more than halfway over. Maybe 2/3 over. And I am just learning so much now. And so very disappointed by the lessons.

    It doesn't really seem fair. I used to think the world was wide open. Anyone could do and become anything. I don't anymore. Some people truly have a leg up. Sometimes it is financially. Some people were blessed with beautiful faces. Some have inviting personalities and have been taught or gifted with emotional self-control. 

    I am lucky in many ways. But in many others, I was far behind the starting line. And  I am coming to understand that maybe don't change as much as we thought we could. Maybe our core nature IS static. I will always fight being jealous, petty, insecure. It's so gross. I may never see when someone is using me for their own entertainment-or rather- I do see, but I don't believe it- until after the fact. I may always be naively forgiving of those who maybe don't deserve it. I will NEVER master my surging hormones which leave me reeling periodically. In this case, nature will lose. Just a little more time. 

    I think I  may always be socially insecure. I can use the positive self-talk and see that someone isn't better than me rationally, but the fear of eventual rejection, the fear of my own imperfections, is unshakable. To this day, I reel with shame when I post something and noone responds or likes it. I realize either my thinking is remarkably banal or just so out there and personal, I should be sharing with a therapist rather than with you. 

    Maybe the lesson isn't to learn to overcome the imperfections, but to learn to accept the limitations with grace. 

    Maybe there is beauty in accepting one's own nature, learning to tame the beast, whilst always acknowledging the hungry survivalist waiting beneath the surface. Maybe the lessons become too ingrained, too imprinted on our soul. 

    And so I wonder where to go from here. Where to take this next 25 years. I watch myself fade. I let go of once-dreams one-by-one and wonder what is left when all the built up hopes and dreams and fears  drift away. How deeply can I mesh with the soul of who I truly am and stop looking for the soul of who I hope to be?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sunday Morning Moments

 Saturday and Sunday mornings are precious times to an introvert. In the old days I would awaken early and enjoy a few quiet hours to myself. Now, however, I have an Alec, who is an early bird, too. I jsut remind myself, that he is always growing and changing, and as a mom of many, I know these moments and years pass quickly. One day I will awaken to a quiet house and long for the sound of someone else's breath and footsteps.


I flipped through the Prime channel this morning and everything looked lovely. I finally settled upon The Secret of Roan Inish. I've seen it before, so it can be background, it's more uplifting for the kiddos than scary, bloodsucking vampires, and the music and sea scenes are pretty much where my soul resides.

My wish for vampire diaries is that there had been one more preciously romantic season. But alas, that is probably why so many movies end when they couple ends up together. It is hard to sustain the romantic intensity. Anyway, I think I've had my fill. I will still watch clips on Youtube. I mean...look at this man...And I love this song by Fleurie:

Well, I am a sucker for romance. Hopefully heaven is chockful of yummy romantic experiences. Or at the the opportunity to temporarily experience romantic drunkeness as one wishes. Otherwise-what is the point of all these desires if the aren't to be fulfilled somewhere? I will be quite disappointed, if it is just animal procreation driving it. 

I always start my blog with such a plan-I will have a focus and draw people in, but in the end, I am just a collection of thoughts and feelings.I rebel against the idea that a blog must be a certain way, even if that is the way to pulling people in. People want to know what they are getting into, they want answers, they qant guidance. Who am I to guide, when the world is just a giant smorgasboard of that which can be experienced. Everyone with all their grand plans and schemes, and we will all be gone in 130 years. 

A Tale of Loss

From the top of Blarney Castle

 I was looking through my Facebook photos on a whim to have some turned into canvas prints to hang. I stumbled upon my trip to Ireland. And there, on grey-skied days was smiling, mystical feeling me (is there anything like clouds and a silent walk through a crumbling abbey to leave one feeling mystical?) And there in grey and color was Karl. Karl who laughed and spoke in his loud American voice, whilst I cringed. Karl who talked with the locals, whilst I sat quietly. Karl who walked closer to the pub musicians and nodded and yelled  while I drank my cider sitting quietly in my chair. Karl who always made me cringe, but whom everyone seemed to like more. He swore he was an introvert-but I don't think so. Just insecure.

The thing is, things are as they must be. Things are better. The kids don't even seem to miss him. But despite things being better this way. I miss having my friend. I miss the good days and weeks, when I felt I could tell him things. I miss my companion and my helper. I miss the person who helped put the kids in bed and was willing to watch chick flicks with me. 

And it isn't loneliness. I am not really lonely most of the time. At least it isn't something I feel too keenly. But it is just the memory of the good times. It was having someone on my side every once in a while. It was saying, "Hey, the refrigerator is broke," and then sitting back, because I knew it would be taken care of.

And there is this underlying guilt. Did I do everything I could? Did I give up on him? Was there a point, years ago, when I could have watched him take his meds and made sure he was safe. Was there ever a spiteful moment, when I gave safeguarding his health just to not have to stress about it. Where does my responsibility fall? And he is gone. In Springfield, Missouri, California, Illinois, I have no idea. He is just gone. And I see these photos-the good times, and I think of how I thought we would be together for ever-maybe not for love-but for companionship. And it was a comforting thought, warm and cozy and belonging. Until it wasn't. Until it was  fence I couldn't see over or around. Until it was a sentence of responsibility and duty. And I can't help but wonder-who broke first? Was not taking his medicine his way of starting down the path to freedom? Or was my giving up on nagging him my step down the path?

I don't know. 

But now I have to procure my own refrigerator.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

It's a New Year!


  Even though part of me tries to shrug off all the hoopla that comes with the changing of the year, it is impossible not to get a little bit excited about the idea of a fresh start. I think a clean slate which is ready to be written on again, is just something that appeals to us hopeful humans. 

    I have been thinking about the areas of my life that I struggle with, and the areas I want improve upon. These are non-related to work. Of course, I have things I want to improve upon at work, but this isn't the place for that discussion.

    After a lot of thought and soul-searching I can sum up my areas of focus as the following:

  • Eating healthy
  • Sticking to a budget
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Keeping up my home

    These are the areas I want to focus my attention on this year. As far as eating healthy goes, I am trying to move towards a more Mediterranean diet. I may or may not lose weight, but there is simply no excuse for the large intake of sugar in my diet.. Well, it's good. I guess that is the excuse. It will be  hard to break away from that easy high of  flavorful food, but I am going to have to find other ways to release some good hormones.

    I am starting off the year by keeping track of my spending in a separate planner. I think I am bleeding a lot of cash to areas which don't really represent my values. This area will be hard, since it is so easy to spend money online and those little trips to Walgreens and Walmart for necessities add up quickly. 
    Interpersonal relations! It's a struggle for me. I want to work on this area. This includes improving my interactions with others through better social skills and taking small chances that put me outside of my comfort zone. I have a lot of anxiety in this area. When I felt like someone didn't like and/or was trying to get me emotionally riled up in the recent past, I used my newly found skills to not be paranoid,  told myself it was silly, and got subsequently got burned. I have to learn to balance both my intuition and my trust in others. It won't be easy!

    And keeping up my home is an oldie for. me. Mostly I am referring to keeping it tidy and clean and keeping up with basic repairs. I tend to stress out tremendously over my homemaking skills and the feeling that I am not good enough. So I plan to give myself some grace, meeting myself where I am, and simply improve upon my routines. I am not in competition with YouTube Moms or the stay-at-home mom down the street, or even the working family next door, whose youngest child is 13. I am only trying to better own situation.

    These are my areas of focus for the year. Expect to see detailed blogs regarding how exactly this is affecting my life itself.

Need a journal? Check this out!

Buy Notebook!Want it?!



Saturday, June 4, 2022

Happy Days... reading Gabby Berstein's new book

 I know it has been awhile since I have written on this platform. I felt as if my desire for growth was being pushed down. I was just hanging on for long while. 

I have started reading Gabby Berstein's new book, Happy Days. My first thought when I read about the book was, "Oh, I don't need that book. That's for people with real trauma." Reading it, though, I am aware that trauma isn't always a big one time event. It can be a series of things that make us feel unsafe or not in control of our bodies. And when put that way, there has been a lot of trauma. 

So I am reading through that and doing the writings. I am not expecting a huge light bulb moment, Like, "Aha! This event is why I am the way I am." But I have been thinking a lot of and a lot of "I wonder why" moments are coming up.

Now Gabby herself discusses a lot of therapy that sounds a bit woowoo to me. If she has the money and inclination for it, good for her, but I want something a little earthier and preferably one I can do myself. However, I was thinking maybe there is healing in saying things out loud, so next time I have some time alone at home, I will do that.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

In the Face of Change

 I stand on the edge of a cliff-the Cliffs of Moher lie before me-but this time, swirling gray fogs clogs the  foreground. It's just grayness and cliffs beyond unseen.

Truthfully, I am a bit apprehensive about next year. I am leaving my current workplace for another. I feel as if I have been an utter failure at my own job. While students tell me they will miss me, students are fickle, and next year will warm up to their new teacher by telling them how much better they are than me. And that is right. They need to move forward.

All I know is that every adult I know that I am not related to will soon be absent from my life. And that is a scary feeling. It is one thing to change jobs when you have a partner, it is quite another to change when your evenings are already spent alone. Now I will lose the only people I ever talk to. Of course, there will be other people, and hopefully among them a warm spirit or two. 

My coffee turned out exceptionally weak today, and that is after I pushed the "strong brew" button. I wonder if this has a deeper meaning. Perhaps it is a sign of my weak, faltering spirit. I kid. Sort of. The truth is, I feel very fragile right now, and I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and there is nothing to do but move forward.

BUT! In the face of change there is the one realization that is always helpful. WE get to choose what we dwell on. We get to choose what we think about. And I simply have to choose not to dwell on my feelings. There is a certain comfort in picking apart my feelings and understanding them, but there is also a destructive element of painful despair when helplessness against fears overwhelm. I can choose to keep pushing forward and turn my back to the clouds. I can choose to search for the sun.

And so I will.

Being without a partner makes me long for a partner. I don't understand it. For the most part I love having my own bed and my own room. I love making my own plans and having no adult to question me if we have a cake for dinner. And yet, this yearning to connect, to feel loved, to make someone smile is always present. Is it just social conditioning? Or is there more to it? It is just a hard world and having someone to share the burden, to tell me the sweet things one needs to hear at the end of a long day, to cook with me, and strive towards healthier living together, to make plans with... those are good things. But then...they are there. They notice when you skip doing dishes, when ice cream give you clear-the-room gas, when you just want to sit down and enjoy a bowl of brownie batter. With people comes judgement and having to be a little bit better than you are. 

The future is uncertain, and I don't know if I will ever be loved, but there is not shame in the hope, right? So why does it feel shameful to admit? Curious. 

I had intended this blog, A Mighty Queen, to be about striving to become better and achieve more, and I feel as if I am letting my readers down. I ordered a book on life planning and life goals and it is SO hard for me to fill out. Because what I want is a good life, with lots of travel, a beautiful romance, and a lot of quiet time to relax at home on rainy days. How do you break that down into serious goals?

I guess step-by-step. I can plan a trip. Maybe not this year, but in two years, (if I don't do anything dumb) my credit cards will be paid off and I will have more money to play with. 

I could make myself more attractive, which in our society means thinner,  which sadly means less brownie batter. In truth, I always wanted a physically active life. I just don't know how to do it with kids. Even hiking about kills Gabriel who is afraid of heights and thus has built hiking into this huge fear of standing on a mountaintop (he literally is afraid of Colorado). But the kids are getting older, and soon, I will be able to leave them for longer and longer and do my own thing. 

So, maybe the answer is to accept the fog. To let it swirl around me, mysterious and opaque, because in truth, the unexpected was exactly what I wanted. I didn't want my future to be one place with the same title and same building and same people. I wanted something different. I neeed to remain cognizant of that and step-by-step, I need to light my own candle. I need to make a short-term plan and a long-term plan to focus my attention on. I need to let go of the sadness of my failures (noone is really going to miss me) and examine what I can do differently (focus less on my feelings and more on theirs, maybe? I don't know, you tell me, what am I doing wrong?), and take that forward with me. I need to accept the disappointments (and there have been many) and use them as the driving force for change. 

Foggy mornings have always been my favorite. I will remember that, as I step forward. And if I fall, the crashing sea of life is an amazing place to land. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Goal Setting: Why it Doesn't Work for Me


Becoming a Person of Goals

For the past several years, I have been pushing myself towards becoming a person of goals. A person with a to-do list done, checked boxes and self-horn tooting included. I have been reading books on being more successful and more corporate (as a woman somehow you have to magically balance warmth with seriousness-good luck), how to check progress and get ever closer to being a successful person. However, I always find myself slipping up, falling back, gaining and losing the same 15 pounds. I get bored behaving at work, and just want to let my silly side show. I have personal issues which continue to interfere with my relationships with others (Queen of throwing people off track by not letting them know what I really think? Check!). And I just find myself wondering-am I trying to fit myself into the Western mode of being a workaholic drone without really considering what it is I want out of life?

Long ago--perhaps in my late teens or early 20s, I decided it was just enough to BE. I just wanted to exist, enjoy my kids, revel in the early dawn hours, and live the simple life. Circumstances however, later dictated that I must GO OUT AND EARN A LIVING, and that has really thrown off all that I ever tried to be. Somehow I had to balance being a mature grown up with my desire to go lie on my bed and fantasize about a favorite fictional character. I had to try and convince people I was worthy and intelligent, when my way of relating to people outside the home is through silliness and trying to make them laugh. Perhaps we all want that. I have no desire to tell others what do or control them. However, I sure as heck don't want them telling me what to do. Isn't shared space enough? Anyway, I have come to the realization that maybe I am dumb. Not school dumb. I am an underachiever in school, but I have taken enough college courses to at least know how  stack up with other people at the distinguished "elite" Missouri State University.;oP. I have learned to accept that my ideas are as good as others, it just takes a whole long time for me to dig through the muck of feelings and impressions and half-formed thoughts, and by then, everyone has moved on. Whatever. I am slow. There is a surety in slow-thinking (not to be confused with decision-making-which requires a certain unwillingness to reconsider discarded options-something I am still working on). Actually I think the healthier I become, the less I think overall, and the more I just exist. And the truth is, it doesn't really matter. 

Ticket to nowhere?

My career is going nowhere. In fact, it can't really be called a career. It is a job. There is nowhere to move up and on. I have no desire to make decisions for other able-bodied adults, nor do I wish to labor intensely enough to perfect my paperwork to the point of moving "up." Is sitting at a desk correcting IEP paperwork really moving "up?" Nope. And that's fine. I enjoy connecting with kids most days. I want to help them do better and try harder. But let's not call it a career. 

In an ideal world, my words would be amazing enough that people would desire to read them-would wade through ads to read them and I could make a living that way. Or if I must, I would have braved the counseling degree so I could become a career counselor. I used to memorize the college course books and all the paths and the classwork and internships which would take people "somewhere." That would have been a good path. But it required a 2 year degree in counseling, I just felt the counseling admissions would look in my eyes, see my brokenness, and stamp a big red NOPE with a red box (for emphasis, of course) around it on top. 

Of course, there is always becoming an astronaut. Why do we allow kids to think they actually have such options. Why aren't we honest and say, "Hey, that's for the 140+ IQ elites, who probably have connections, and can handle military training (I just can't do push ups)." Why do we pretend kids can have amazing lives, when most of us are just going to have jobs. No, I said that wrong. We can have amazing LIVES. We just can't all have amazing careers. And the truth is, I don't have a burning desire for answers. I just want to experience space. I am much less deep than I like to pretend.

Let's Focus, Please

So I am getting off track. Goals. I have been thinking about how setting goals doesn't work for me. I mean, I used to set goals with the praxis tests. I will get X teaching certification. I'd pay the fee, take the test, add on the certification until one day I realized--I was just reliving the test prep anxiety the years and years of schooling had engrained into my skin. I had just become accustomed to that anxious feeling of proving myself, proving myself, feeling good, and then ... nothing. Nothing comes of it. I was just stuck in the pattern of schoolthink. I guess I am doing the same things with those Wordle games. Just proving to myself I have a brain cell or two banging around in there. What do you get when two brain cells bang? A synapse. Ahahahaha.

And now I am thinking, what if I just want to come home wrap in a blanket, sip a cup of hot tea (LOLOL, y'all know it's coffee), and stare at the everchanging cloud formations in the western sky. Does that make me less than? 

What's Happening Now? Why?

Am I finally getting over the middle-aged hump and returning to my Zen roots? Is this just some excerpt from a near-death-experience book rearing its head inside my head (I love that stuff). I read an interesting article on the Forbes website, by Jennifer Cohen, The Most Successful People Don't Set Goals. In this article, it was suggested that rather than setting goals, it might be more prudent and effective to set intentions. And I love that thought. I can't lose a pound today, but I can set the intention of eating healthily. I can't change the world or turn a student's life around, or suddenly start liking someone I am secretly hoping will be swallowed by a hole in the ground (sorry, it's the devil inside that makes me think such things), but I can set the intention of being more present, or making someone feel valued, or looking for the good in the person who really needs to be swallowed (come on, Mother Earth, do your thing!).

And the amazing thing about intentions is they can easily change. Today I intend to eat healthy, tomorrow I intend to live life fully. They can be short-term or long term. They are easy ways to become your better self without a checklist and time limit. And I love that. 

So Anyway

I had much more to say, but I feel a cold trying to get under my skin and my body at the breaking point. I am tired. The kids are staying with their big sister in an hour and as much as I desire to get out (Barnes and Noble and Renaissance books), I also strongly desire to take my two little single serving Cabernets and curl up with a comfort movie ( I have been craving rewatching Sherlock-I JohnLock SO HARD, but I would have to pay now that it is off Netflix-gross), and just going to sleep early.

We shall see. My intention was to say something with depth and clarity-well, there is always tomorrow.