Thoughts

A Little More Love

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King Jr

My parents raised me to love, to treat people equally and with respect. It’s difficult to understand a world in which others didn’t learn that lesson, but that is the reality we face. 

Every day I read another example of an injustice, of others being treated like less than human for the so called rights of others. Every time I turn around, I see hate. Hatred of peoples color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. 

For the past few years there has been a persistent ache in my chest. My heart hurts. More often than not, the hate I witness overwhelms me and drowns me in my anger. It’s sometimes so strong I struggle to even breathe and I’m left with nothing but questions. How can fear and hate appear to constantly win against love and human decency? How could I possibly even consider raising a child in this world one day? How can we change the endless cycle of hate? How can I do more?

Thanks to the internet, we have 24/7 access to people who aren’t afraid to share their hate filled opinions. They can bully and blame all they want without having to show their face. This week, I read plenty of venomous comments and I needed to step back and remember that just because the hateful people are loud and conspicuous, it doesnt mean we all feel this way. 

I keep quiet sometimes because I don’t know what to say. I hold onto my words because I want them to matter and am afraid that anything else will do an injustice. But saying what I believe is more important than how I say it. 

I believe in equality. I believe extending rights to other groups of people don’t diminish the rights I already have. I believe  being different makes us stronger. I believe in the right to self expression. I believe a good person is a good person regardless of the God they pray to. I believe in the beauty of all skin colors. I believe that love is love in any form. 

And I believe if we all love a little bit more, we can leave this world a better place than we found it. 

Travel

Wanderlust

Seven years ago when my husband and I took our first vacation, we fell in love with traveling, with getting lost in a new place together. And so our bucket list began. For every trip we take, it seems we add 10 more destinations.

We typically migrate to cities: Washington D.C., San Francisco, LA, Portland, Charleston, etc. We wake up early, charge up with coffee and then go all day until we fall, exhausted and sore, into bed every night. And we love it. We created our own historical bar hop in DC, went brewery to brewery in Portland, and spent hours playing tourist in San Francisco. (If you’ve never been to San Francisco, please go. I would live there if I could). We’ve logged more miles walking through side streets trying to find local hole in the wall places than I can count. We’ve visited Hogwarts, tried and failed to fit in with the college crowd on Bourbon Street, and stuck our feet in the freezing Pacific Ocean. My heart holds some of my very favorite memories with my husband from these trips.

But this year, I just don’t have it in me. We started planning our vacation and we began with a combo trip to Boston and Maine, but my heart wasn’t in it.  That was my first sign. I’ve been dreaming of Boston for the past decade and have been looking forward to my first visit but this year it held no excitement for me. We started talking about other adventures and cities we could travel to, and still, I didn’t feel the thrill I usually do. And that’s when it hit me – I’m exhausted.

This summer my soul craves a slower pace and my body needs rest. I want a salty sea breeze. Cold drinks beside the pool with a book and my favorite travel partner. Snorkeling. Walks on the beach. Seafood.

So we changed our plans. I’m so incredibly thankful for a husband who always seems to be on the same page. Boston can wait until we are ready for it. In just over two weeks, we are headed to Florida for a week of relaxation and I honestly can’t wait. Apart from one day trip to explore every possible inch we can of St. Augustine, it will be just us, the sun, and a few books.

15 days and counting!

Simple Loves

Simple Loves, Volume 1

Have you ever watched a child play? Like really play? It’s such an innocent and pure display of happiness. Their giggles shake their whole body and the laugh is always infectious. (If you’re ever having a rough day, Youtube baby giggles. You won’t be in a bad mood for long.) They can be entertained for hours from the simplest thing. It makes me envious. How many times have I let myself appreciate life like a kid? 

Today, I write this post aggravated. I’m annoyed at nothing in particular and just downright grumpy. I could sit here and complain about all the menial things that don’t really matter or I can act like a kid in the best possible sense. 

I choose to let the simple things I love in life make my day. Instead of complaining about work/men/life/insert-any-mundane-thing-here, I will focus on the simple loves that keep me going. So here we go; some of the summer things that I’m currently enjoying. 

Lake Days: Pontoons. Tubing. Floating. Beer. Friends. It really doesn’t need any more explanation. 

Pool Days: I’ve always been a little insecure at the pool. Mostly because of bathing suits. But this year I decided to embrace my body as it is and enjoy myself. And I realized reading at the edge of the pool will always beat reading in the house on a hot summer afternoon. This past weekend we went swimming with my nephews and I realized that the smallest things can create the biggest memories. Also – this face: 

Summer Salad: Is there really anything better than fresh vegetables in the summer? The one I currently can’t get enough of is from Shauna Niequist in the Magnolia Journal magazine. It has fresh cucumbers, raw corn, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, feta, dill and basil and if this salad doesn’t define summer, I don’t know what will. 


Grilling out with a house full of friends
: I’m an introvert. I’m happiest sitting in my home, braless and in yoga pants. But lately, I’ve been gathering family and friends around the table and couldn’t be happier. Especially since the gathering is usually around the said summer salad.


Puppy Snuggles
: I’m a cat person but we got an adorable puppy back in April and there is much to be said about coming home to a snuggly puppy after a long day of work. Also, my phone storage is gone because puppy pictures. 


Memoirs
: This year I made a resolution to read more nonfiction. Some of it is historical, some medical, but mostly I have been enjoying memoirs. The last one I read was “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah. If you are ever looking for a book to put your problems into perspective, this is it. 

So that’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos of a laughing baby. Hopefully this will inspire you to laugh and enjoy the little things a little more today. 

Baby Laughing over Ripped Paper