Military · Travel

Moving like a PRO

The move was a success! And by success, I do not mean it was smooth, enjoyable, nor would I recommend it. Fortunately we received our orders to move to Florida a week in advance which was enough time to wrap up a few loose ends, finish packing, and book a moving truck; however, it was NOT with enough notice to avoid the price of my plane ticket returning to Texas to double in price. I guess you can’t have it all. Some lessons learned from this move:

  1. You cannot trust Google Maps to accurately predict your ETA to your destination. Driving a 26ft moving truck does not allow you to go highway speeds and your time WILL increase significantly. And by significantly I mean it will rise from 12 hours to 22 hours once you include gas stops, gas stations being out of power and/or gas, traffic, accidents, and a 2 hour power nap.
  2. If you are traveling with pets you will NOT get to enjoy that 2 hour power nap. Especially if your pets are like mine and will be crawling all over you as you try to get some shut eye at a sketchy truck stop. Below: Landon giving me the stank eye for trying to move my foot. Further below: Hailey and Chit Chat looking super cute. 
  3. You WILL second guess whether you need any of your material items or if you should burn everything except your underwear to make the next move simpler.
  4. Despite your best intentions to eat healthy, it’s not going to happen. Let it go and embrace the multiple pizza orders, Chinese food, and complimentary 5-10 lbs.
  5. The exhaustion will subside and with time you will forget how much of a pain in the ass it is. Just in time to do it all over again in approximately 9 months time.

I am currently regretting my decision to stay in Texas to finish the school year while most of my worldly possessions, my three kittens and husband continue life in Florida. Fingers crossed the time flies. I have a few things on my Texas Bucket List to make things a tad more enjoyable! These things include a rodeo, camping, visiting a sea turtle rescue and of course the Selena Festival. Stay tuned for recaps on all of that as they occur between now and June!

Military

Inconsistency is Key

  1. Be flexible.
  2. Keep your expectations in check.
  3. Don’t drink all the wine.
  4. Breathe more.
  5. Woosah.

I am trying to keep each of these tips in mind, but the struggle is proving to be very real. I have thrived on controlling as much of my life as possible since I was probably 16. This has a lot to do with the lack of stability I had growing up. I grew up very poor. Not as poor as some, but probably poorer than most. The kind of poor where you didn’t know if you would have electricity when you got home from school. The kind of poor where part of the food at your house came from a food pantry, and part was bought with food stamps. The kind of poor where your family didn’t have a vehicle for transportation, despite living in a rural area lacking in an abundance of public transportation.

This upbringing was the perfect condition to build resilience though. Which would definitely come in handy at the age of 16 when my last standing parent decided to move to the other side of the country in a rented minivan. What didn’t fit in the mini van didn’t go, which included me. Ever since then, I’ve planned and scheduled my life down to the minute as much as I possibly can. Anything I can control, I do. When I was working my way through college, I had my entire course schedule planned out as soon as possible. I took as many credits as possible (even getting special permission from the dean to take additional credits exceeding the normal limit). I excerted the same control over my career once I completed college. I currently spend a great deal of time planning out my day to day life, as even my short term life is very much in limbo.

I’m currently anticipating a move to Florida from Texas in 8 days. However, nothing is official in the military until you have hard orders, which we have not received yet. Soooooo there is a chance that our move date could be post poned. I’m told it isn’t likely, but there is a chance. This lack of reliability is driving me insane.

  1. I have a plane ticket I’m waiting to book.
  2. I have a moving truck I’m waiting to reserve.
  3. I have a vacation I postponed because of this.
  4. I have a career I’m trying to build.
  5. I have a life I’m trying to live. Inconsistency is key

I think that rant will hold me over for a few days. I am not currently the smiling smiley face. Fingers crossed we get those hard orders soon, preferably before airfare prices increase-really that’s my biggest concern.

Military

Moving on up

27 years in Delaware.

4.5 months in Florida.

11 months in Texas.

The time has come to bid Texas adieu and move on. As it turns out, moving on, actually means moving back… to Florida.moving pt 3

Moving is, quite frankly, the pits. As much as I love new experiences, there are just some significant downsides that stress me out.

  1. Security deposits– there’s a window in between leaving one place and entering another where we’re paying double the bills and then waiting to get money back.
  2. Purging unnecessary items– I love downsizing, but trying to coordinate with potential buyers is not my idea of a good time.
  3. Packing– trying to strategically box items so they’re organized and also not going to be destroyed in the move.
  4. Unpacking– is there even a point to unpacking anymore?
  5. Job hunting– this should be number 1, and then magnified x a billion. Job hunting is horrendous. And doing it over and over and over again makes me want to assume the fetal position and stress eat and explode all at the same time.

Fortunately I have become quite the experienced packer, mover, and shaker. Shall I share some of my awesome tips with you?

  1. Small moving boxes fit perfectly in the ikea or better homes and gardens cube bookshelves. This helps save space in the moving truck, a safe place for items that are more fragile, and gives extra stability to these bookshelves so they aren’t completely wobbly and worthless when you unload!IT245bTvSjCMoDhaptM5TQ
  2. Trash bags suction in your hanging closet clothes so they don’t fall off the hangers in the closet boxes and you can fit more in each box! Shoes can be packed in the bottom of the closet boxes to save even more space!- I haven’t packed these items yet, but I will get a photo for reference and add it once I do.
  3. Color coordinate your labels with a room. Example: All blue stickers are for kitchen.  All green stickers are for office. All yellow stickers are for living room. Then when you get to your destination you can sticker the appropriate room, and everyone will know all these blue stickered boxes go in the kitchen, all these green stickered boxes go in this room, all these yellow stickered boxes go in the living room, and etc….. Makes for easier unpacking.
  4. Books are super heavy and can be moved in suitcases with wheels so you don’t break your back and again, save on space!
  5. These sterilite 30 gallon totes are the perfect size for moving. They aren’t too big to not fit through doorways, yet they’re big enough to fit more than one or two items at a time. They stack very nicely and the bottoms don’t slope so far in that it’s obnoxiously smaller than the top. Win. Win. Win.RP7oO0EfQIC+9q+I8oaGtw

As I continue to prep for our move in a couple weeks, take my last bit of advice as well: there’s always time to take a break for a very big and very strong margarita to get you through. Cheers!

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Health

Simple Life, Happy Life

Less is more.

This popular saying is my mantra for 2018.

Five tips for a simpler, more satisfying life pinterest.png

I’ve spent so much time thinking and planning and trying to outdo myself in every aspect:

  • Having the perfect pinterest-worthy house
  • Making as much money as possible
  • Perfect body: thin, flawless skin

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life where nothing is ever good enough. There’s the belief that there’s always room for improvement, and nothing and no one is perfect. The danger of this mindset is that you will never be satisfied with anything you ever accomplish. Lost 2 lbs this week? You could’ve lost 3 or 4. Ran a mile? You could’ve done it faster. Made x-amount of money? You can make more if you do xyz. It’s a never ending cycle.

Yes, it is important to have goals and not be stagnant. It is also important to learn to appreciate what you do have. Gratitude, health, and happiness will contribute to a more fulfilling life than any of the material items, or non-essential milestones I or society sets before me. What does simplifying my life look like?Five purge tips to simplify life.png

  1. The Household Purge
    • I’ve moved twice in the last year, so I already downsized a lot of items just so I won’t have to move a bunch of stuff over and over again. Now that I have lived in one place for 9 months, I can identify even more items that I can get rid of. If it hasn’t served a purpose in the last 9 months, then there is no reason to continue hoarding it or bringing it to the next destination.
  2. The Clothing Purge
    • I’ve had a lot of the same clothes since high school. They’ve had a good run and I think it’s time to retire them. May they rest in peace.
  3. The Social Media Purge
    • I deleted the Facebook app off my phone. I have spent too much time mindlessy scrolling through my newsfeed. I unfollowed anyone on Instagram I don’t personally know. I’ve gone a month now with these drastic reductions in social media and it has been so refreshing. I honestly don’t miss any of it.
  4. The Career Purge
    • Work/life balance is crucial. Identify if what you are sacrificing is worth the reward. I’m having a hard time making any changes in this. I still want to make more money. I’m still actively pursuing ways to do this. I’m a work in progress.
  5. Body Expectations Purge
    • Yeah, I need to work on this too. I still want to be thinner, and my skin sucks. I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps. But learning to let go of certain expectations and not maintaining the thought that once I achieve certain things, only then will I be happy. I will purge myself of this behavior.

I am looking forward to continuing to implement these small adjustments to how I live my life. I’m turning 30 this year and one of the great things about getting older is really getting to know yourself and for me a simpler life is a happier life.

 

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Random Ramblings

Finding Identity and Purpose

My world was just rocked by Selena Gomez.

The humansofny instagram page shared a photo of her at the Met Gala and she was quoted,

“I feel like I’m just starting, but I think I’d be fine if it all went away. I get that from my mother. From the moment I started singing, she always reminded me that all of this was a privilege, and could be taken at any moment. So singing is not how I define myself. I try to keep my identity rooted in my friendships and my faith.”

This spoke volumes to me as I’ve struggled with my identity and sense of purpose so much over the last couple months. It’s gotten even more difficult the last couple weeks. I have built so much of my identity into my career and defining my success and myself off of how much I work, how much money I make, and how I am titled.

identity and purpose graphic.png

I need to change this dialogue. I am not my job title. I am not defined by how much money I make. I have a purpose and identity outside of that.

I took some time to read and reflect old blog posts, (well not that old since I have only been blogging for a few months)… I had so much passion and hope and truly connected with what writing was giving me. I need to explore that more. Because I am more.

So what defines me and my identity?

  1. Advocacy and helping others
    • At a recent interview, one of the questions they asked me was what motivates me. And honestly I thrive when I feel like the work I am doing has a purpose. I want to help others, I want to empower others. I want to leave my community, my world better than I found it.
    • It was easy to align this with my job with the Delaware Readiness Teams, and I was feeling like I needed a job that fulfilled this in the same way. I believe I will someday. But I believe I also do this through my writing. Not only here on my personal website, but also through the volunteer blogging I do for the Military Spouse Advocacy Network.
  2. Family
    • Family is not only defined by blood. I am incredibly lucky to be close with my brother, sister, my in-laws, my best friends, and my best friend’s immediate family as well. Oh and my husband. Him too.img_4122img_7189
  3. Values
    • I’ve spent the last few months really getting to know myself and confirming where I stand on issues, and my beliefs. I believe in being a good person. I believe in all people. And I hope I can be an advocate for those beliefs.
  4. Independence
    • I am a strong woman who don’t need no man.
    • Seriously though, even though I know I have people I can depend on, I take a lot of pride in knowing I can and do take care of problems myself. Everything from hanging pictures in my home, to cutting the grass, to fixing the vacuum, to absolutely anything. I firmly believe I can do just about anything.
  5. I don’t have a number 5.

How do you define yourself? If you lost one of those identifiers, would you feel lost? Without a clear and defined career, that’s exactly how I was feeling. But I’m glad I have had the opportunity to delve deeper and redefine myself. Thanks Selena Gomez. 

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Health · Random Ramblings · Travel

Melting Off the Weight in the Texas Heat.

Texas is hot. Balls fricking hot. I attempted to write this while sitting outside. Not only did I start to melt, but my laptop was slowing down and stroking out. We both had to come inside to recover.

Melting Off the Weightin the Texas Heat

Besides adjusting to the Texas weather (global warming is real), this week has been flipping amazing! And since I haven’t done a list in awhile (how out of character of me), let’s review in list form:

  1. My home is fully unpacked and decorated! It feels so, sooooo good to have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I never fully unpacked or decorated in Florida since we were only going to be there for a short period of time, so I’m so stinking excited to make my home in Texas feel like my home.
  2. I’m back to writing! It was a long 24 days of not writing on the blog, and it’s one of those things where you’re like…. I don’t feel like it, but then once you do it, you feel so much better. Like working out, or getting a shower. That’s my relationship with writing.
  3. I made the best schedule and I stuck to it all week! For months now I’ve been saying to myself that I’ll be so much more productive if I make myself a schedule. I’ll do so much better with my weightloss if I make a schedule like I did over the summer. And yet, I wouldn’t buckle down and make a schedule. Well Monday I finally forced myself to not only plan out my meals for the week, but also create a daily schedule for my week and it has made all the difference! Not only have I been super productive, but I’ve been eating so healthy, and I’m right on track to hitting my 3% weightloss goal for this month! I’ve talked about my schedules and meal plans on my blog post Eat food. Lose weight. A Recipe for Weight loss. 6D9039B6-C183-4AAA-98B7-F83F33147614This was the meals from one day. minus the Halo Top I had for dessert. Red Velvet Halo Top is now in my top 2 Halo Tops. #1 is Mocha Chip. Halo Top is going to take over the world. I’m also obsessed with those nut bars. There’s some sort of glaze on them, and they’re crunchy and so yummy. They’re made by Nature Valley. Get you some. 
  4. Future travel plans have been confirmed! In my last post I mentioned hoping to be able to go to Seattle to visit my brother-in-law. Well I found dirt cheap airline tickets to Seattle and we jumped on the opportunity. We’re flying on the airline Spirit, which is a budget airline where you only pay for what you use. This means you only get one personal item that flies for free with you. Any other carry on items, checked bags, snacks, choosing your seat is all an additional charge. At first I was hesitant, but I compared what the cost would be flying the next cheapest (Delta) and even after paying for a checked bag, and choosing our seats, it was still $400(!!!) cheaper to fly Spirit. So we will be taking over Seattle at the beginning of June! I can’t wait to plan some great excursions!
  5. Speaking of traveling, being in a new place means I get to explore a whole new city! I haven’t gotten out too much yet. But I did check out my local farmer’s market where I got some new soap, and locally grown green beans. Shop local!! I look forward to going back this Saturday, when there’s supposed to be more vendors. I’ve also been to the beach and had lunch at a unique little place right on the water on the island. It was called Mikal May’s and had really delicious seafood nachos.

     

    I’m pretty excited about how great this week has been! It’s hard to top feeling at home in your home, eating healthy, losing weight, exploring a new city, and buying new soap. Am I right?

In other news, the job hunt continues. I had an interview last week, but haven’t heard anything since. I’ve applied to about a bazillion other places. Fingers crossed something comes along soon!

Any recommendations on Seattle or Washington State excursions?

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Moving. Job hunting. & Weightloss. Oh MY!

It’s been a couple weeks since I have written on the dear ole blog. 24 days to be exact. So what has happened the last 3 weeks and three days?

Moving

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Well first of all, we moved to Texas. We knew there was a chance of moving to Texas. We requested it, as a matter of fact. So we were hoping the Navy would give Yanis orders for Corpus Christi to continue his training, but there was a chance he would be sent to Milton, FL instead. Well, on March 30, we got official, hard-copy orders for Corpus Christi, TX, and we had 15 days to pack up and get there.

Pensacola, FL was a ball of a time. The Naval Air Station there is top notch. The museum and lighthouse are divine, and the downtown area has great shops, bars, and restaurants. We loved going to the ice hockey games, the off roading trails at the Eglin AFB and Blackwater State Park. Let’s not forget the gorgeous, white, sandy beaches, and our quick getaway to New Orleans! Most of all I’m going to miss the friends we made, but I am optimistic we will see them all again in the future! We were only in PCola a short 4.5 months, but we were able to make so much of our time there!

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The upside of moving so much, it forces you to truly prioritize what you need materialistically. Before moving from Delaware, I held 6 yard sales purging stuff. We also had two charity pick ups of tons of stuff we donated. After moving to Pensacola, I identified at least 10 more boxes worth of stuff to get rid of and a couple pieces of furniture. I would easily say we have less stuff than your typical American family and yet that 26 ft moving truck is still full for our drive to Texas. Since arriving and unloading, we’ve picked out even more stuff to get rid of. I’m optimistic we’ll be down to two suitcases and a knapsack by the end of flight school.

Job Hunting

My time in Pensacola was well spent with lots of writing and getting to know myself better- the good and the bad. Now that we are in Texas, I have decided to pursue working for a non profit and in the community again. I miss the sense of purpose I felt when working with The Delaware Readiness Teams. I need that again. So I dusted off the résumé, updated it with my new address and other pertinent details and have been applying pretty aggressively for a new job. You know what’s really annoying about job hunting? It’s so redundant. What is the point of having a résumé, if every job posting is going to require you to fill out their job application, asking for the exact information that can be found on your résumé, and then ask you to attach.. you guessed it.. your résumé. I think job hunting is just as exhausting as working, if not more. Just hire me already. I promise, I’m fabulous.

Weightloss

Moving can not only wreak havoc on my ability to write consistently, but also eat well consistently. The last week of the move we ate pizza three times. I had to pack up all the kitchen stuff at that point, and I also couldn’t find the energy to cook anything, even if I had the supplies to do it. Despite these dietary setbacks, I think a combination of the big losses I had the first couple weeks of my diet bet and the stress burned extra calories and fat. I was able to hit my 4% weightless goal by the hair on my chinny chin chin. So Trump will not be getting a donation from me this month.

Unfortunately the losses haven’t continued on their own organically, and I have gained back 4 of the 8 lbs lost. So my brother and I are revitalizing our diet bet this month. We started as of Friday, April 21 with a couple adjustments. My goal is to lose 3% (6.4lbs) and his goal is to lose 4 lbs. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on the progress along the way. Now I want pizza…

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Oh My!

What a helluva 3 weeks. I have a new city to explore now! We’ve been in Corpus Christi for just over a week now and my first impressions are pretty good! There is literally every single store and restaurant I’ve ever heard of in my whole life here. It’s a bigger population than I’ve ever lived in. There are definitely some sketchy parts, but that is to be expected with any large city. I look forward to exploring and experiencing everything I can before we’re told to pack up and move again!

In the meantime, there’s a lot coming up. The mother-in-law is coming for a visit at the beginning of May, the best friend is coming for a visit at the end of May, culminating in a long weekend in San Antonio. Then we’re going to visit the brother-in-law in Seattle at the beginning of June. It’s going to be a busy, busy couple of months! I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated.

Any recommendations on things to do or see in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, or Seattle?

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Random Ramblings

Five Must Read Books by Strong Female Writers

5must read books.pngBelieve it or not, I’m much more culturally exposed than just watching Netflix.

Part of being a writer stems from also being a reader. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. I started reading adult novels at a much younger age than was probably appropriate. I read a sex scene long before I saw one in a movie or on tv. But, that is neither here nor there. I’ve read some great material lately and wanted to share a few recommendations. I’m pretty sure, none involve sex scenes.

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri51M2lwSGI1L._AC_US436_QL65_

This book spoke directly to my soul. A quick backstory: I took 4 years of Spanish between high school and college and always loved the language. For the last couple years I’ve wanted to start learning again with the goal of becoming bilingual. This is an autobiographical book by Jhumpa Lahiri and her experiences/love of the Italian language. It will make you want to pursue your linguistic dreams.

Bossy Pants by Tina FeyUnknown

Tina Fey is one of my favorite comedians. In this book she shares her life experience from being a comic leading her to SNL, the sexism she faced and had to overcome, getting her own TV Show, 30 Rock, and trying to have a life while dominating her career. She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you face palm, she’ll make you wish you were as funny as she is.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling41w9cuGRkWL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Mindy Kaling is part my spirit animal, part my hero, part my girl crush. If you’re a fan of The Office, then you’ve been witness to her amazing work. She was a writer on the show and now she has her own show, The Mindy Project. She is hilarious and tells very personal stories from her time as a writer on The Office and now her experience on The Mindy Project. I read this on my recent travels to Pennsylvania and Delaware and could not stop myself from literally laughing out loud on the airplane. I’m sure I looked insane.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham51JqQOlLTjL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

I was a late fan to Gilmore Girls. I never watched it when it was on TV, but I streamed it non stop on Netflix. I also binged on Parenthood. So I’m familiar with Lauren Graham. I feel like she is the same character in both sitcoms, and after reading her book, I think she put a lot of herself in both characters. It was extremely interesting to read about her path from plays to TV. I also think she writes a lot like I do, so if you like my writing, you’ll like hers.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty51hiyZAxDAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

It’s actually been a couple years since I read this book. I really liked it when I read it though. It’s funny and it keeps you wanting to read more because you don’t really know how everything connects until the end. I was very excited to see HBO was making it into a miniseries. I’ve been watching the new episodes every Sunday and have been hooked by the story line yet again. I intend on re-reading the book once I get a chance. I highly recommend the book and the show.

Wow, I didn’t realize how much reading I’ve done lately. I’m trying to have a routine where I read a bit before bed, rather than getting sucked into the vast emptiness of social media. I’ve noticed my eyes and head will hurt if I stare at the screen on my phone too much in a day. I’m susceptible to migraines-so no bueno. Hey look! I’ll be bilingual in Spanish in no time!

Any book recommendations you have for me?

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Random Ramblings

Getting to know Myself

getting-to-know-myself

I have experienced so many changes in a short amount of time.

I moved over 1000 miles away from family and friends.screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-2-54-55-pm

I left a career that was incredibly fulfilling and felt like I was contributing greatly to my community. readiness_logodesign_delaware_final

I grew in my convictions and values. 

I chose to change direction with my career and pursue a dream I never thought I’d have the chance to make a reality.

I have been demeaned, insulted, and “unfriended” due to my choices and beliefs.

I am more informed than I have ever been in the past from a lot of research. I have more headaches from said research.

I am more politically involved than I ever have been before. jimhightower1

I am exhausted. 

I work for myself, for no pay. The price I am paying in the now, for what I want in the future.

I am now a writer for the Military Spouse Advocacy Network. logomsan-01-2-clear-background

I still need to work on spending too much time on social media.

I’ve lost ten pounds, but I feel my motivation dwindling.

I feel like I am more myself than I ever have been. 

I think everyone should spend more time reflecting on themselves and what they have done for their community in the last year. If the answer is nothing, you should feel guilty. We have become a very selfish society.

I spend too much time worried about saying the right things in the right way, which sometimes leads to saying nothing at all. 191

I can usually see both sides of an argument and have a hard time choosing sides, this leads to headaches as well. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t as understanding so I could be more firm in my convictions.

I don’t think I’ve truly grieved the loss of both my parents.

I am angry and defensive that my success is judged by the amount of my paycheck or lack thereof. I feel like I have achieved a lot, but will be discredited regardless.

I wish I could fix so many things I see wrong, but feel overwhelmed. I still do what I can, but worry it isn’t enough.

I wish people were more openminded. I wish people knew what it was like to live in poverty. To feel hopeless and unsupported. I wish there wasn’t a stigma around mental health and better resources. I wish people weren’t assholes.

I made new friends, grew closer with old friends, and distanced myself from others.

I traveled. I tried new things.

I laughed until I cried. I made others laugh too.

I changed. I grew. the-great-thing-in-this-world-is-not-so-much-where-you-stand-as-in-what-direction-you-are-moving

 

I found an old quote I first read 10 years ago. It’s truer today, than it was 10 years ago.

“I want to be free to act, and I also want my actions to mean something”

 

Do your actions mean something? Spend some time reflecting on your life today. Will you like what you see?

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Random Ramblings

A Beam of Light Through the Despair of the Last Two Weeks- 5 Stories to Put a Smile on Your Face

a-beam-of-light-through-the-despairWhat an intense couple weeks we have experienced as a nation and as a world. I recall it was the day of the inauguration and my brother called me and said he thought the world had gone insane. Not because of President Trump being elected, but because of the reaction of society. Many people who do not support the President are protesting, they are reacting on social media, they are contacting legislators and becoming greatly involved in political debates- not always in the most productive of ways, and there are even cases of violence or destructive behavior. Many President Trump supporters are reacting to this behavior and saying it’s a gross overreaction and then continuing to demean and insult non-supporters, also at times becoming violent. If our nation was not divided before, it is definitely feeling like it is now.

I find myself in the middle. Yes, I supported the Women’s March. In fact, I support all of the protests and marches that have happened since. The March for Life, the Immigration ban protests, and the upcoming March for Science. Whether or not I agree wholeheartedly with the issue, I still support the protests because that is one of our rights as Americans to be able to disagree with our government, gather peacefully, and make it known. I cannot stand behind the violence, destruction, or looting that has occurred, but fortunately none of that happened at any of the marches or protests listed above. I also cannot stand behind burning of our nation’s flag. I can see how some feel they have a right to disrespect the flag because it represents a nation they feel that has oppressed or not supported them. However, the flag also represents our military and those who defend us daily, and while I can find empathy and understanding for the anger and betrayal some of these people feel, I do not think destruction of our flag is a productive way to effect change.

My suggestion is to not just march or protest. Contact your legislators about the issues you connect with. Volunteer in your community to make improvements. Donate to organizations and causes that will effect the change you wish to see. Don’t stop at making a sign and chanting in a crowd. Your reach can extend past this singular action.

Well that went on longer than intended. I did not mean for this to be a political post. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I felt the need to explain why a non-political post was needed, and then it turned political. My apologies.

So below you will find 5 stories that will hopefully lift your spirits, bring a smile to your face and light to your eyes that has been missing. I know they helped me out tremendously, especially the dancing farmer.

So how was that? Feel any better? Even a little bit? Watch the farmer again. Dance with him. You’ll feel better, even if for 3 minutes.

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