Just Trying to Keep Up


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Not with the Kardashians, just….life. And here is my spectacularly boring life update.

It’s mid-May and I found myself near the mall where I did my first ever Black Friday shopping last year and it dawned on me….in just 28 weeks, I will return to those hallowed halls, where I adopted the practice of fanatics, and attempt to do 85% of my holiday shopping in 7 hours. The year is practically half over. By the time I think about it again, it’ll be September and the holidays will be coming at me like a tidal wave.

But that was just a passing thought, because, right now, I’ve got a lot on my plate and I need to reduce it – both literally and figuratively. Finding out I have hypothyroidism has not been kind to my body. I’ve gained a ton of weight and it’s time to fight the good fight and get healthier. But it’s gonna suck. I know it’s gonna suck. And I just don’t want to have to work at it. But it was 90 degrees today and this extra weight along with the shortness of breath and joint pain that seems to accompany this bullshit diagnosis left me reminded that big girls may not cry, but they do sweat, and that treadmill and I need to be BFFs again. I have Netflix now – I have no excuse for why I can’t get on the thing for long periods of time and be entertained the whole time!

I was going to write a really moving piece on Mother’s Day and then decided to scrap it in favor of a nap and a lot of laziness. My kid told me she took a Buzzfeed quiz to find out which Disney mom I was. Turns out, I am Mrs. Incredible. I was pretty pleased and my daughter said she found it to be accurate. ❤

I took my own mama out for lunch and a movie last week, because we never get to do that kind of stuff much. It was so much fun and the movie was so incredibly good. Tully is all about motherhood and stars Charlize Theron as a worn out mom of three with postpartum depression.

I won’t give away spoilers, I will just say that it got ALL UP IN MY FEELINGS and, while I haven’t experienced postpartum, I have experienced every emotion depicted in that film. Most moms have. And there were so many poignant, beautiful, and raw moments that it just felt like, for once, somebody captured all of the internal struggles inside every mother and put them very honestly on display for the world to see.

I highly recommend it.

And I also highly recommend sleep, which is what I’m about to do right now. I hope all of my lovely friends through WordPress and beyond have a spectacular week.


New Normals


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I’ve become convinced that life is just a series of ever-changing patterns. The most helpful quality we can have is adaptation, and an understanding that permanence is an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever.

My husband, daughter and I gave undergone a lot of changes over the last several years.

Almost immediately out of the gate when my husband and I married, I changed jobs. Then he did. Then Reagan started school. Then I went back to school. Then hubs changed jobs. Then I graduated. Then I ran for office. Then I changed jobs after I lost my race. And in between the big changes, there was sickness, and surgeries, and holidays, and family crises, and disagreements, and fights, and tears, and school projects, and broken vehicles, broken dishes, and broken hearts.

There has also been a lot of laughter, snuggles, hugs and kisses, good food, vacations and day trips, interesting books and movies, music, birthday parties, Christmas parties, BBQs, bonfires, gifts given and received, moments of pride, teamwork as a family, and thanksgiving for all of the things, good and bad, that have made this mess we call our lives something beautiful.

Nothing is permanent.

This morning, I’ll drop off my child for her last day of class at the school that she’s attended for the last 9 years. This fall, we are taking a different route. In 2 more years, possibly another route. And after that…..well, she will have a wide open world of possibilities in front of her.

Change can be scary, even when it’s positive. Leaving the familiar for the unknown is not always easy. But changes are what make life…..life.

For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel like I’m doing something to positively help my child, give her tools and put her in situations that are going to help propel her in the direction she wants to go. We’re going from treading water to making some active laps toward our destination.

I told her yesterday to hold on to all the positive things that her school gave to her. Time has a way of diminishing some of the more painful memories to where they don’t overshadow the good ones. If we choose that. But we have to choose. We have to “hold fast” to the good.

I told her to write about it, or pray about it, but to find a way to release the bad, and hold on to the good. And be thankful for both. Because both helped to make her the person she was today. They have shaped her, and shaped us, as a family.

In much the way prayer changes us, not God, parenting changes us, not so much the child.

She challenges, inspires, and makes me, more than any other influence I’ve ever had. She has been, and continues to amaze me with her bravery, her tenacity, her ability to adapt and roll with all of the changes made within and without her control.

Tomorrow, I’ll watch her accept her awards, we’ll celebrate a job well done, and then we’ll look ahead, not back, and embrace the changes ahead.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

and she laughs without fear of the future…..

Size Doesn’t Matter


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I picked up a movie rental this weekend. An actual DVD. Out of a Redbox.

I had a coupon.

The movie was Downsizing, starring Matt Damon.

The previews had intrigued me when the movie was released, but I was actually quite surprised at the content, because it wasn’t at all what I expected.

I think my overall expectation was something akin to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. But this was not that. It was something entirely different, unexpected, and…..deep.

Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) just wants a different life – a better life – and he has an underlying air of regret….”what if”, that seems to surround his character.

He doesn’t seem particularly happy, or unhappy, just one of the masses, doing the same things, day in and day out, for years.

When the prospect of “Downsizing” comes along, he seems ready to be convinced that this is his answer to an internal longing.

I won’t spoil any of the movie for you, I will only say that nothing turns out as Paul expects, proving that “small” life, is still just “life”.

The movie is long, and if you are easily distracted and very judgmental about film and its purpose as entertainment, you will not enjoy any more than maybe the first 30 minutes of this 2+ hour experience. After that, one is required to use their brain, and the film takes some introspective turns while also maintaining a level of quirkiness and humor that break up the solemnity of some of the subject matter.

Basically, what happened is this: I expected a movie about a guy who has himself shrunk so he can enjoy the rich life but he’ll end up having some type of epiphany about how life is more than “stuff”, yadda yadda yadda, bravo, Matt Damon.

And in that way, that’s exactly what I got. But it took a lot of unexpected turns along the way and was not at all what it appeared to be on the surface. Much like life.

I love movies that make me think about possibility. Obviously, “Downsizing” is science fiction, but the concept of there being more to this life than being on a treadmill of work, sleep, rinse, repeat, is a real and relatable idea that people struggle with all the time.

In the last few weeks, I have been thinking deeply about the value of life, and how often I feel trapped on the aforementioned treadmill.

I’ve been thinking about the innate desire that I’ve always had for more. Not more things so much as more meaning. More fullfillment. More depth.

And the truth is, the only thing that keeps me from obtaining those things is……myself. My choices. My decisions.

Herd mentality is hard to beat sometimes. It’s very easy to get caught in a cycle of materialism, concerned with whatever social media, political media, and advertisers think should concern us. But there are other ways, dare I say smarter ways to live.

I’m not jumping up and down about the excitement factor of this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised at where it took me intellectually.

I love that Paul went from a very “this is how it has to be” way of thinking to a “this is how is could be” mentality. He learned to roll with what life threw at him, and discovered how to treat every day as an adventure. Because it is. When you really stop to think about all of the possibilities that lie within even the seemingly (tongue in cheek) smallest experiences, life becomes richer, more unique and beautiful and exquisite than we often remember it to be.

And young or old, rich or poor, big or small, it can be that way for all of us. We just have to be willing to see the possibilities.

Reading Habits: A quiz, answered


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I wasn’t tagged in this,
but I loved the questions asked at In a Messy World, and since so much of my blog is devoted to reading, I just had to share my own answers! I would love to hear yours in the comments or, for my fellow bloggers, on your page!


Totally random pieces of paper. Usually. But my favorite bookstore in the world, Bienville Books, in Mobile, AL, dropped a free bookmark in my bag with my last purchase so I have been using it lately. I generally read most things on my Kindle these days, so having a bookmark or not isn’t usually an issue.


My perfectionist nature fights against it, but occasionally I will put down a book in the middle of a chapter. Usually this means that I got too sleepy to go on and the remaining chapter is just too long, or it’s the type of book where I can pick right back up without having to keep clear lines drawn between conversations/events.

There are times when a quote or something will so grab me in the middle of reading a chapter that I will have to just put the book down and ruminate on that quote or thought for a while. Experiences like that are what make reading such so rich for me, and therefore I try not to be too rigid about my actual reading process.


I usually read in bed, but I will occasionally kick up in the recliner or on the couch. My goal is to ultimately change out some furniture and buy me a big, comfy reading chair with matching ottoman and use that to curl up in and read. That’s the short term goal. The long term goal is to have my own library/study where I can read and write to my heart’s content.


Reading has always been as much a part of my life as eating or drinking, so yes – sometimes I combine the two. I’ve taken to reading on my lunch break several times a week here lately and I think it helps de-stress my mind a lot to enter into another reality for 45 minutes or so during the middle of a hard work day. And eating while reading? I call that “multitasking”.

Speaking of…..


I don’t purposefully have either of these things on when I’m reading, but I can tune them out if they happen to be on for someone else. I prefer the quiet, but I’m good at focusing on what I’m reading. My parents and sister used to tease me because I’d get so “into” my books when I was a kid. They’d be talking about me to tease me and I wouldn’t catch on that they were doing it for quite some time. I can still do that.


I admire people who can read several books simultaneously over a period of time. I have graduated from being a one-book-at-a-time gal to having a “lunch break book” and a “evening/weekend book”, and I still feel sort of unbalanced by it. But I don’t really think I could do more than 2. Maybe when I retire.


I’ve pretty much already answered this, but I can read anywhere. However, I usually only read at home or at work, on my lunch break. Still, I have Kindle apps on my phone and iPad, so I’m never far away from reading material if the mood strikes.


I love reading aloud and have relished it since my daughter was old enough to pay attention. We first bonded over me reading to her and it really solidified her early attachment, I think. I still read things to her sometimes, but I don’t have that daily reading time happening with her anymore. She’s outgrown me.

I think I’d be a kickass narrarater though, so if anybody has connections at Audible, give ’em my url, ‘kthanks!


I think this is pretty stupid, and I know I’m probably horrifying some of my more hardcore reading friends, but dammit, some things are just NOT that big a deal. Breaking the spine or not is the very definition of “sweating the small stuff” – something I try never to do when I can help it.


No, and this is another reason I love reading on a Kindle. I can highlight parts that I love, quotes that speak to me, make notes, and then save them on that device and it hasn’t damaged a thing.

I love the written word. And noise or silence, snacks or no snacks, bed or couch or car, and digital, hardcover or paperback – reading, writing, books, words – these have been shaping and continue to shape me.

Summer Bucket List


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I am a list person. It’s not just that I LIKE making lists, it’s that I NEED to make them. Because they help me make decisions. Prioritize. And it feels ah-mazing to cross things off of them!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my writing is slacking. I’ve been busy, but the truth is, I’m really, really struggling with inspiration at times.

Part of it is my meds. But a big part of it is being in somewhat of a rut.

Believe it or not, I gained a good bit of inspiration for my posts from my interactions on Facebook. Things I would read. Conversations I had. Things other people talked about. But now that I’m no longer on that medium, my ideas seem to require more effort to summon.

I don’t want to stop writing, even though my readership took a huge hit when I quit Facebook. But I need some fresh…..thoughts. And one of the best ways I can achieve that is through different scenery.

I don’t have the money to travel a lot, but I squeeze out moments wherever I can. Even if it’s ridiculously far in a preposterously short amount of time.

You only live once, right? I can sleep when I’m dead. I put 34,000 miles on my car in my first year of owning it. Does that even tell you how much I was busting at the seams to see some different things? I haven’t had a car that was travel-trustworthy in quite a while. At least not extensively. When I bought this car, I knew that I would be spending some very hard-earned money on it. And I’m not planning to carefully only put limited miles on the thing. I bought it to take me places. And when the summertime rolls in, I’m ready to start day-trippin’!

Or overnight trippin’.

Or week-long trippin’!

The first of June, the hubs and I are spending a night in Biloxi for a comedy show. It’ll be the first time in 3 years that we’ve spent a night away from home together. And that’s sad. This is a sort of early anniversary gift to ourselves and I’m looking forward to the show, the coastal scenery, and the fresh oysters I plan to find while I’m there!

In mid-June, we will be taking a week-long jaunt over to San Diego! I have a work conference there and was able to talk my husband into actually USING some of his vacation for once and be my travel companion. I’ve never been to the west coast and I’m over-the-moon excited about it.

During the rest of the summer, I plan to visit a few other places that are a little closer to home and let Reagan break in the new camera she got for Christmas.

Places like…..

St. Francisville, LA

I’ve never been to S.F., but it’s chock-full of some beautiful antebellum homes and is rich with history for the exploring.

Tishomingo State Park, MS

This park is supposedly at its height of beauty during the autumn season, but I’ve never visited at all, so I’m not planning to wait for the leaves to change before I make the trip. Cabins are pretty cheap, which is good considering it’s almost out of state and several hours away. I’d need a place to kick up for the night after that drive.

There are some really good hiking trails in this park and lots of natural beauty all around. If I don’t get anywhere else, I WILL visit Tishomingo this year.

Dunn’s Falls

My mother was a Dunn before she married and I’m not sure if there’s any family history related to this site, but I think it looks like a fun day trip and ripe with photography opportunities for Reagan.

Now, in all honesty, I may not get to hit each of these locations before the end of the summer. But, I do hope to have them all crossed off my list by the end of the year.

I broke my budget taking my little excursion in March, but I have never once regretted money spent on a change of scenery. I need it like air in my lungs and it keeps me from becoming rigid, bitter, and entirely consumed with…..sameness.

In between the road trips, I plan to take some “me” days. A solo movie date, or long drive – alone. Nothing but me and maybe a podcast to keep me company. These are the things that restore my soul – little by little – from the tension, stress, and everyday responsibilities that just wear a body down over time.

I have said before that when my daughter leaves the nest, I’m buying a R.V. and never having a permanent address again.

That may or may not ever happen, but I can dream. And in the meantime, I make lists. And have one hell of a time crossing things off.

Random thoughts from a medicated mind


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So, I’m taking Benadryl like candy. Because there is some foul weed making my life a living hell. I took the fam to see the new Avengers movie last night and when we got home, I started sneezing and couldn’t stop. Today, my eyes are like sandpaper and I have dizziness from all the fluid still in my head.

This too will pass, of course, but I really hate having the crud. It makes me even less productive than I usually feel anyway. But it was only a couple of weeks ago that I said, right ‘chere on this blog that I would listen to my body and be kinder to it. So I am. I stayed home today and, while I am returning phone calls and texts, I am doing little else. Should probably start on that book club book though……

Speaking of books, I recently finished Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson. This book goes hand in hand with gods in Alabama and I really, really loved how Jackson intertwined the two stories. I didn’t know the books were related to one another when I bought either of them, but it was a brilliant way to show different perspectives of the same characters depending on the point of view. I gobbled the books up like candy and am now reading a book by a local author. The Magnolia Triangle is written by Mississippi author, Joe Lee, and is set in our native state. His writing style reminds me a bit of John Grisham and the characters in the book, while sometimes over-dramatized, are still not unlike people I know and have known. What I don’t like is when an author seems to be trying too hard to make me like or not like a character. I’d rather decide for myself. It makes the story that much more intriguing. That aside, the book is definitely an engaging story and I hope Lee continues to evolve as an author because I think he will get better and better.

Speaking of writing, I’m not doing much of it. One of the lovely side effects from being on an antidepressant (for me) is squashed creativity. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy writing as much as I always have, but I have to work harder at it when my brain is medicated. It’s a double-edged sword, this mental health treatment business. But I have to be as healthy as possible for my family. So, while it might be easier to get creative and introspective with my words when I am off the meds, I don’t miss the deep, looming pit of depression and hopeless attitude toward all things.

Speaking of dark, looming pits and hopeless attitudes, the new Avengers movie leaves audiences on one hell of a cliffhanger. I do so love the Marvel Universe. And DC as well. Reagan has become SUCH a fangirl of the movies and characters in them. I’m so glad she finds entertainment in them instead of the Kardashians and Seventeen magazine. There are a lot of very strong female role models in the comic stories and it really makes me happy that those are the examples that my daughter and future generations of girls have for some kick-ass examples of equality and leadership.

Speaking of leadership, I attended a baccalaureate service for my niece on Sunday. I have 3 “nieces” (some are actually cousins, but titles schmitles) graduating from high school this year. I love my niece but was reminded in an instant of why I left the Baptist church as soon as the preacher opened his mouth. The advice he gave was not at all like what I’d give. He encouraged the graduates to find “like-minded people” with whom to associate at college. I understand the dangers that exist out there in terms of drug and alcohol temptations for college students and younger. But I think, just as damaging, is only surrounding oneself with people who look, act, and believe just like ourselves. Where is the growth in that? It is this type of close-mindedness that makes me often feel like I escaped a cult when I left the Southern Baptist church. I still know some really wonderful people within it, but the doctrine, I see more and more, did more to screw me up than lead me into closer fellowship with God. Jesus was friends with the biggest outcasts in society. Teaching young people to first and foremost hang out with like-minded people in no way challenges their capacity to really and truly love people as God intended. It is in being around people NOT like ourselves that we can slowly begin to grasp just how much bigger God is than the box most churches try to keep Him in for the sake of their own need to be “right”.

Speaking of being “right”, we have some elections coming up in the near future and, can I just say, the decision to leave Facebook could not have been made at a more perfect time. My meds are good, but I still struggle with the concept of patience. And I have none when it comes to politics anymore. So I stay away from it. You can’t fix stupid, so I put up my toolbelt.

I guess that’s all the randomness I have in my Benadryl-drenched thoughts for right now. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to blow my nose. 🤧



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This past weekend, I had pictures made of my daughter.

Last year, during a ceremony where she was inducted into the school Honor Society, I was noticing how much a difference there was between her (then) 7th grade class and the 8thand 9th grade classes. How much transformation goes on in those students during those few years of Junior High.

This weekend, when my normally jeans-and-a-t-shirt/ponytail-no-makeup child got all fancied up for her portraits, I felt like I was suddenly in a time warp.

I’m not one of those parents that is always wishing for time to slow down, but I realize that I get in my little ruts and routines and really fail to notice just how much my child has grown and grown UP in the last year. She had to remind me recently that she needed to take Driver’s Ed because she’ll be eligible to get a driving permit in December.


It all snuck up on me, this growing up business. I knew it was happening, that it’s still happening, but it seems to be stealing my breath.

One of the pictures she posed for included her sitting on a suitcase in the middle of an empty highway, looking at a globe. I have no doubt that she was actually looking at places she might want to visit. She’s already stated how much she wants to live somewhere else. I don’t blame her at all. I wanted the same thing when I was her age. I still want it sometimes. I won’t fight her on it.

I want her to see all that she can see of this beautiful planet. Experience as much goodness as she can. Learn things that intrigue her. Visit places that fascinate her. Meet people that help transform her view of life and love and culture.

I was on the verge of some major emotion this weekend, and it’s carried over into today. I think that’s why. Because I saw not just my daughter’s most recent transformation from girl into young woman, but when I see her in that new light, I begin to think of the adventures that really are just ahead of her.

I feel anxiety, as mothers do, for her safety and security. But mostly, I am filled with an aching for her to have as full of a life as she can possible have. She’s exceptionally bright, intelligent – if I had made different choices, she might have had more opportunities to explore her gifts and abilities. She’s not even fully grown and I already wish I could have done some things differently with her and for her.

But, like most of the parents I know and have known, I do the best I can. I fail. But not more than I believe I succeed. And I always love. She will know about my mistakes if she doesn’t already, but she can never question my love for her. And at the end of the day, when she is grown and gone and making her own way in this world, that is the one thing that can steady her when she’s uncertain. The one thing she can always count on. All roads can lead home, and I’ll be there – ready to hear all about where she’s been.

Flavor of the Month


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Last month the purple and white Irises and Azaleas of every imaginable hue heralded the arrival of spring.

Even in the deep south, where it is perpetual summer most of the year, the temperatures continue to bounce around. Wintertime appears to be procrastinating her exit, but the vibrant colors of nature have not been deterred.

I was noticing, as I drove around this week, the many shades of green along the roadside; each tree giving off its individual shade of the spectrum. The color wheel seems to be endless.

From my own yard: my yellow Irises, red Amaryllis, Dipladenia, Verbena, and one fuzzy grey kitty who decided to photobomb my flower photography.

A New Approach


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It feels like I’ve come to a crossroad in my life.

Following my most recent battle with depression and now realizing that I have a chronic autoimmune illness that I have to contend with, I’m giving fewer and fewer rats asses about things. Like the fact that I just used the expression “rats asses”. Here. On my blog. In my daily life, I tend to use profanity like sprinkles on a cupcake:it doesn’t really enhance the flavor, but, often times, it just seems like a necessary addition.

Words are important, and they mean things, but they are also just words. And people who get their knickers in a wad about profanity make me risk spraining an eye socket from heaving rolling. The people I refer to use Bible verses talking about unwholesome speech, yet they don’t have a problem wagging their tongues with all manner of unwholesome speech. Like gossip. Or insincerity. Or judgmentalism. I find all of that much more repulsive than a well timed expletive.

But that’s just me.

All I’m saying is, you might find more “sprinkles” dropped on this cupcake in the future and you can consider yourself warned. If that causes you to stop reading, well, me and my other 2 followers will miss you, but we totally get it.

I suppose this crossroads has a lot to do with my recent birthday as well. 36 means I’m now closer to 40 than 30 and I’m gaining ground toward true middle age.

I work with women younger than myself. I have a young daughter. Nieces. Younger cousins. Some of them are watching me. (Dare I say, look up to me?) My daughter, especially, keeps me ever-aware of the example I’m setting. Which is why I recently bought a pair of orthotic shoes.

Please understand that my daughter is almost halfway to her 15th birthday. She recently discovered that she had eyebrows to manage and hair to care for and somehow, out of the clear blue, she is now eyeing me like a true teenager. I hollered out the window at one of her friends at school yesterday and my daughter ducked down in the seat beside me, embarrassed at my display of what? Volume?

I don’t even know anymore. I just know it doesn’t take much to make my earbud-wearing offspring feel completely repulsed by my existence.

Last week, we meandered into a shoe store and I, tired of dealing with sore feet and an aching body, decided to try on and seriously look at purchasing some orthotic shoes. I tried on several pair, and with each selection, my daughter would state an emphatic “Ew. No.” (Not unlike Jimmy Fallon’s Sara-with-no-h-cause-h’s-are-Ew!)

She even went so far as to poll her Instagram followers about it. The next day she reported that I had lost the “Are these shoes ugly?” poll. Only 2 other people had sided with me. One was a grandmother, the other was a girl at school who gets made fun of for her shoe choices.

Still, I am the person who loves the Croc brand like it’s still cool so even though I left the pair I tried on at the store, I did return home and buy a pair, online.

I’m going to say something here that, 10 years ago, I’d have never said before:

I love my ugly-ass shoes.

And the thing is, they aren’t ugly to me. Even my daughter has conceded that the ones I chose aren’t too terribly disgusting. But they aren’t the cute little wedges or heeled sandals I could have and would have worn in my 20’s. And I officially don’t care.

I love my ugly-ass shoes like a little girl loves the tacky, unmatching outfit she picked out her very own, big girl self.

We are expecting bad weather this morning in Mississippi and if Mother Nature spins out a tornado and I have to take refuge, I’m taking those damned shoes with me. That’s how much I love them.

I haven’t hurt all over these last few days like I was when I was wearing shoes with 0 arch support. And best of all, my feet themselves don’t hurt. No blisters.

Did you hear what I said? I bought a new pair of dress shoes this week. I wore them ALL DAY the first day I got them and I have ZERO BLISTERS. What I’m saying is, I didn’t have to break them in.

All of this is entirely new territory to me and if I had several hundred dollars to blow, I’d be on that shoe website ordering all kinds of treats and slapping open a garbage bag into which I would rake every other shoe I own.

The point of this post is simply to tell you, my reader, that I spent 35 years of my life constantly evaluating the choices I made while heavily considering what other people would think about those choices.

I am all for being considerate and kind and all of that, but some things are just our own for the deciding. Like buying the shoes that make us feel like we’re walking on little clouds or dropping a handful of “sprinkles” into a light-hearted yet completely serious blog post about crossroads and aging and orthotic shoes.

And those who don’t understand the necessity for those things will either understand eventually, or they never will. But either way, it ain’t my problem.

I used to fret so much about the crossroads in life. The pressure of making the wrong decision could drive me quite bonkers.

But now, I just surge ahead, confident that, even if I made a bad decision, there’s always another crossroads up ahead to get it right. And I’ve got just the pair of shoes to get me there.