Be The Voice

I refuse to gloss over this topic with an alliterative title.

It’s been a difficult week.  Two celebrities were found dead this week and both have been reported by the media as suicides. I had no emotional connection to Kate Spade but the outpouring of messages on social media brought many lovely tributes and reminders to seek help – listings of suicide hotlines, etc.  Those messages are helpful, but it seems to me that they are the bit of hope that people hold onto when it’s too late for someone else.

I saw a post (paraphrased) that if someone like Kate Spade, with all outside signs of success and resources to seek help commits suicide then what hope is there for those of us who are struggling and living barely within our means?  Medications are expensive and therapy even moreso.  There are many private insurance plans that don’t even cover mental healthcare.  Indigent and sliding scale programs have waiting lists that range from months to more than a year (I’ve been on both over the years).

The news of Anthony Bourdain hit me very hard.  The topic was already on my mind; and I’m more familiar with Bourdain than I was with Spade. I’ve watched his shows and read his books.  The news that his daughter was the same age as my son hit me the hardest.  I sat in my car over my lunch break and sobbed – all I could think about that little girl.

Mental health and addiction issues are all around me.  I’ve written about my personal story here previously.  The struggles of my loved ones aren’t for me to speak about in depth but I live with the constant anxiety that I will someday get that call that changes your entire world in an instant.

So what can you do for someone who is struggling?

Be the voice outside of someone’s head.  Send the text or make the call.  Leave the message and do it again. Be the voice that is pulling or guiding them back to life.  Be the voice of support; the voice of hope.  Be the voice to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves; for those who lost that battle. Be the voice for those who are left behind.

These words are my voice, sent out into the world. Can you hear me?

 

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Seeds of Love

We’ve been finding these painted rocks both inside and around the building at the office. They’ve become a fun little thing for all of the staff, and I’d imagine that patients like them as well.

I’ll be sending this one to the park with Kiddo in a few weeks.

Scouting For All

Officially, our program year for Scouts has ended.  We will have summer activities and Kiddo is attending Webelos resident camp for the second year.  As this year winds down, there has been some discussion about looking forward to next year.

The Boys Scouts of America (BSA) has taken huge steps in the last few years towards inclusivity.  This was an issue that we considered before signing Kiddo up 2 years ago since it’s a topic that is very important in our household.  These policy changes included admitting scouts into the program based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  In years prior, there was the lengthy journey of policy changes to allow homosexuals to participate openly as scouts and in leadership positions. Continue reading

A quick recap – my Mothers Day consisted of a ‘date’ with Kiddo for a late lunch at Cracker Barrel.  Eating alone with him always makes me so much more aware of how he’s grown up in the last two years.  He now orders off the regular menu and even finishes most of the meal.  I came home to a practically spotless house and it was practically a perfect day.

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Review: The Chateau by Tiffany Reisz

Disclaimer:  I had more than one fangirl moment when I was contacted to review this novel.  I had already pre-purchased the iBook so I received a paperback ARC in exchange for my review. So there’s that. However, I’ve done my very best to write a balanced and honest review.  I hope you enjoy!

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The Chateau is the latest Original Sinners novel by author Tiffany Reisz.  Please see the end of the post for more information (genre, publisher etc).

If you’re new to the world of the 8th Circle and its inhabitants, please do not hesitate to step inside!  This novel is able to be read as a stand alone story.

To become the King, one must become skilled in the rules of the game, and how to break them.  As an intelligence officer, Lieutenant Kingsley Boissonneault has all the necessary experience to complete the mission – safely bring home a young man who has become tangled up in a sex cult. Continue reading

Beyond Beauty Basics

Maybe it’s the fact that when Kiddo turned 10 recently.  Maybe it’s because that I work closely with a group of young women who are in their mid-20s.  Maybe it’s because we now have an Oculorplastics specialist at my work who does cosmetic injections like Juvaderm and Botox.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for advertising and societal pressures.

But for the last few months, I’ve been paying more attention to my skincare routine.

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Pre-Teen Angst

It’s been a trying day around here. The odds were not in my favor from the start: I had to be in to work early which means the morning routine of getting Kiddo ready and to school is a bit more rushed. The commute there and to the office is a bit tighter. We were short staffed with a very full patient schedule. I survived the work day with only minor lingering aggravation.

Shortly after arriving home, Kiddo asked about downloading a game to my iPad. I reminded him that he has access to three game systems – one of which he doesn’t ‘share’ with anyone else in the family. Then I told him that (he knew) there is a two game limit on my iPad and he’d already swapped out games earlier that week.

He was not happy with my response. He huffed and pouted. He lingered by the couch and made a show of his displeasure. He eventually asked Michael if he could play on the Switch (which is Michael’s console).

We had that moment of beautiful parenting synchronicity and told him that he could use his 3DS or go entertain himself in his room.

There was stomping and a pointedly closed (but not slammed door). I let it go until I could hear him punching his pillow through the wall. If it’s loud enough for the deaf parent to hear through a wall then it warrants investigation. I grumbled to myself as I got up off the couch and went to his room. I asked if there was a problem.

His answer was that he was angry because he felt that his choices were so limited on how he could entertain himself.

I barely registered the words that flew from my lips. Full on Southern Mama sass – “Oh really? You feel limited? I can show you limited.”

….and there’s my mother tumbling right out of my mouth.

I sighed heavily, cursed myself silently, and decided it was in everyone’s best interest if I exited the conversation right then.

After dinner we had a second, more productive conversation. I reminded Kiddo of the one hour of electronics during the school week rule. I admitted that we had been slacking on enforcing it. I told him that while we all enjoy our electronics, I feel like it’s important to unplug and use your imagination. I drew parallels between the games he likes and the toys in his room.

By the end, we’d found our common ground and things were okay. I extended a peace offering of carrots instead of broccoli for dinner. It’s nearing bedtime and I can hear him singing (I think?) as he takes a shower.

I appreciate the fact that we’re able to take a break during conflict and come back whenever things are less heated. It’s not the easiest thing to do and I am humbled by the fact that Kiddo is able to attempt to hear both sides and is able to easily forgive me.

I know that someday our arguments may not be as easily settled. He won’t like my decisions and that’s to be expected. He won’t always be willing to give me a hug afterwards. But I can guarantee you that I will always tell him that I love him.

At the end of the day, that’s my mother coming out of my mouth too.