Day 18 of my birthday month!

Less than a week until i am 51 years old. I feel pretty good about that. Happy Birthday to me.

I miss working out. I miss having the time during my lunch (what lunch??) to work out and sweat. I miss going for walks. I miss yoga. I miss loving myself through physical activity, focused physical activity.

I have spent my time and energy on MFR. And changed jobs and my new job doesn’t provide me with the same benefits that allowed me lunch time workouts. I still think I am better off at my new position. The new job is also a longer drive. I have found more peace in the new position but I haven’t found the space yet for physically working out. The time is coming though.

the rest of my energy has been my love child, Michigan Framily Reunion. It is truly the love of my heart and body. I spend so much time physically, emotionally, and spiritually working on MFR. Not all of it is easy or comfortable, so it seems a weird choice for a hobby. I’m gonna be real, most of it is uncomfortable.

This year, our budget has taken a couple hits. I am worried about paying the bills. Each expense that comes in makes me cringe a little bit. I struggle with believing the universe is abundant and what the fuck, how’m I gonna pay dis bill? I continue to pay the bills, even when it scares me quite a bit. I reassure myself of my belief in abundance. I struggle but I continue to act as if…as if the money is rolling in because the tickets are going to sell out. As if we are hitting all of those milestones we set for our festival this year. As if, if we build it, they will come. I do believe it too. Sometimes I forget. I try to get myself realigned with abundance as soon as I can though. Believing anything else is just plain stupidity. I don’t want to live my life in fear. I want to create beauty and magic. That takes belief, trust, and some daringness. check. Check. CHECK.

It’s messy work out at the farm. It’s messy and hard. My hands ache. I have poison ivy up the backs of my thighs. It’s in my butt crack. I itch a lot. I love it. Not the poison ivy. I don’t ever love that. But I love working and clearing and making that space lovely for womyn to come and enjoy. I absolutely love it. I love finishing a day and being hot, nasty dirty, sweaty, freaking gross. I love taking a shower with my sisters in the woods and talking about what bad asses we are. And we are bad asses, that’s for sure. The things us womyn do in the woods is fucking bad assery to the nth degree. #badasswomyn

It’s messy producing a festival. Someone told me once that producing a women’s festival is like herding cats. Herding fucking cats is just about right. Just imagine herding cats. Fucking cats have their own mind. Fucking cats hiss if they feel like it. Cats change their minds. Cats have a mind. Cats do what they want. Yes, producing a women’s music festival is very much like herding cats. And I love it. I love finding a better way to communicate. I love ranting about the ridiculous requests and I love finding a way to say yes. I love herding cats. Herding cats is my life #yeehawkitties #herdingcatsismylife #fuckingcats #ilovewomyn

It’s messy being a festival for womyn born womyn. It is taking a stand that trans women are different than women that are born with female sex parts. MFR is built by women that were born with female parts. It is built for women that were born with female parts. Right now, trans allies are systematically attacking MFR’s page links with the question, “what do you mean women born women” and finish it with the argument that trans women are born women. I will gladly fight for trans women and all people’s rights to health care, education, jobs, etc. but I also believe and support that they have a unique experience being born in a man’s body while believing they are women. Likewise, women that are born with female parts and are socialized as women have a separate and unique experience. Neither is more right but both deserve to set their own boundaries of their experience which deserves validation, respect, and be honored. That is what we are doing at MFR. We are honoring the experience of being born and socialized as women in a patriarchal world. This is not an easy path to take but it is done in love and not hate. It is done for love of women. It is done for love of pussy. It is done for love of keeping women safe and honoring their experience.

MFR is currently being attacked and threatened to be burned and to die right now for our stance on WBW festival by trans allies. We are being threatened and called nazis for wanting a space of our own. We do it for the love of women. #lovewomyn #lovewomen #wbw #myboundaries #mfrmagic19

Those are my loves right now. None of which are pie in the sky, lovey dovey, mushiness. Love is tough. #lovelove I love what I do and I love my life. I will continue working hard for my loves and I will operate and work towards my vision and love of women.

Day 11 of my birthday month

I’m going to be 51 years old. I’m not quite sure how this happened. Like most of us, I think life has gone ridiculously fast and it seems it is almost half over and things are weird and creaky and leaky and cracked.

If it wasn’t for the physical uncomfortableness of getting old, I would have no complaints with the place I am in life. I have a good job. I have the best friends. I have an amazing community. I work in the woods every weekend and love figuring out my next best thing to live my amazing life.

Yet….things have been a little challenging for the last couple days. A lot of things have blown the f*** up!

Sunday, my TV went out. Sometimes I just really want to sit and do nothing or do something. Work on the computer and have some stupid, mindless, sitcom or something running in the background. It’s how I relax when I can’t completely relax but it’s a good start. Anyhoo. The tv went kaput. I was like you know what? Happy birthday to me. I bought myself a TV. I did some research, found one I like, and I ordered it to be delivered on Wednesday. YAY!

The TV showed up on Wednesday, an already rough day. I got into it with my 16 year old son. Never a pretty thing. This one was particularly savage. I got dramatic and that never works out to a happy ending. The fight blew up into a group text with my kids that escalated to hostility very quickly. #ouch #familyfightssuck

It didn’t get resolved very much. It was hurtful to me and I think everyone involved but most especially my youngest daughter. And while it was awful to hear her sobbing about how much she hates her siblings and her life and how unhappy she is with her life, I was also very thankful that I was there and could be with her. We got the opportunity to talk a little deeper about her plan to move to Canton, NY to be with her boyfriend and establish residency in the state of New York.

Oh yeah, that. Another thing that is turning on my tear valves. My baby girl is moving 16 hours away to be with her boyfriend. The dude that she has only met face to face twice. Sigh. She is completely convinced she knows what she is doing. She knows this is love and this is the course she must take. She was supposed to go there to go to State University of New York. Out of state tuition is exorbitantly high and she does not want to take on that load right yet. She wants to establish residency for a year and get reduced tuition in a year. Not a bad plan. But she doesn’t have a really great plan. It is wearing on my heart. I am worried about her and also want her to be independent.

After the blow up with the kids, baby girl was so upset and sobbing. I got to be there for her. I suggested some resources. I talked to her about how running away to be happy will not result in happy. That she needs to find some happy with herself first because whereever she goes, she is!

Back to the TV….when the TV was delivered, we took it out to put it together. The screen was cracked and coming off!! Damn. We boxed it up. When I got home from work, we were able to get the big TV into the car and return it to Walmart. I decided to wait to buy another one because another daughter said she might have one for me! Oh yay! So what I thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing. I got to return the tv and save some money.

While returning the TV, I took my daughter to dinner. It was lovely and involved blackberry moonshine, shrimp, and salted caramel cheesecake. We also got a chance to be together and there were no arguments. There was good conversation and some laughs. We face-timed # 4 out in Vegas. I jokingly told her that we were going to dinner for her birthday…without her. After the dinner, we face-timed her again and told her how good her birthday dinner was…I don’t think she appreciated my humor but Natalie and I thought it was pretty damn funny. These two came together after the family busted up last night. Reforming connections is good.

There is some more good as in happy ending in this story than I originally thought when I started writing it. hmmmmmm Am I more grateful? Am I rewriting the stories I am telling? Either way, it feels better to see the good as the story progresses instead of an ongoing shit show.

When i got home, I got a call from number one child. She told me that her husband wants to buy me a TV and what size do I want. What the holy hell is going on here? More good news has come from the family blow up. I am incredibly blown away at the sweetness and generosity. And it was such a surprise. Happy Day 11 from my son in law. Thank you.

All in all, I am incredibly pleased with how my birthday month is going. I am eating a little healthier. I am working out a little bit, doing yoga, and light resistance training. I am listening a little bit more. I am a little more patient. I am more loving to myself.

I wasn’t very loving to myself last night. I broke the first agreement: be impeccable with your word. Damn

And this is another reason why it is important and will solve so many issues for me, by not speaking with love and kindness, I hurt myself. What I put out there is reflected back to me and I hurt myself. #beimpecabblewithyourword

Happy Birthday to me. I will be impeccable with my word, to myself, and to others.

Post script

I wore a sports bra to work today. I don’t wear mascara to work 3/5 days. Why do I say share that with you? Because those are things that I would have never done in my past life. I was too vain and too self conscious and too worried that I wasn’t a certain standard of make up and push up so I didn’t always dress and prepare with comfort in mind. Now I do on a frequent basis. I don’t care if you don’t like my hairy legs and my hairy arm pits. I don’t care if you want my eyes to be bigger with longer lashes. I don’t care if my breasts aren’t perky. I did me. It feels pretty fucking good. #findingmyjuicy

Day 9 of my birthday month

How have I loved me let me count the ways…

  1. I am not feeding into self destructive thoughts, words, and deeds against myself.

too many times, I talk to myself in ways that I would never allow my friends or kids talk to themselves. When I catch myself in the middle of bad self talk..that was dumb. I am dumb. Or if I am beating myself up for staying stuck in a situation that is not good for me. I stop it. I made mistakes. I am evolving and learning and as I learn WHAT my mistake is, I will continuously evaluate so I don’t keep making the same mistakes and embodying the definition of insanity. Part of learning to stop talking bad to myself and moving on from past is learning to forgive myself. It’s much easier to say than to actually do. When we are emotionally berating ourselves, that is not forgiveness. And even when we say we have forgiven ourselves, if we continue to make statements that allude to that time or that person or that act, we might still need to take the time to forgive ourselves and let go. I have made a lot of mistakes. I have to continually practice the act of forgiving myself because I know that I haven’t always really let it go. It shows in ways that I let others manipulate me (freaking kids) because of various mom guilt I have. #letitgo #loveme#talknicetome #metalknicetome #forgivemyself

2. Letting go of situations that hurt me

I am a very dedicated and committed person. If you are my friend, lover, or family, you are pretty much stuck with me for life. I forgive easily (others) and stick it out. I look for the good in a person and I try to find a way to find a solution. Well, sometimes that solution is outside of myself and I just can’t fix it (or them). But because of my people pleasing tendencies (yes, this all goes back to childhood stories that I believed that I wasn’t good enough), I won’t let go. I want to fix everything for everybody all of the time, especially for me. Not anymore. If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, it is probably a mothaf**n duck. #quackquackmf

It’s not okay anymore and never has been okay to be treated like a child, to be demeaned, to be ignored, to be talked down to. It’s not okay to not feel that you can voice your opinion. It’s not okay to be treated like an idiot because you disagree or ask questions. It’s not okay. It never was and never will be. #happybirthdaytome See, the part of me that is the little girl that feels it’s okay to be not so nice to me because I don’t feel I am good enough is already yelling at me…”why are you so dumb? why did you put up with it? it was YOUR choice”. Yeah, it’s hard to break the habit of talking bad to yourself and it’s not always easy to forgive yourself. But I know that as I slowly learn to love myself and forgive myself, the love for myself will expand into all areas of my life. #learning #stillevolving #bestme #livingmybestlife #thankfulforthelessons #imlistening

3. Be impeccable with your word

While driving from Madison, WI this past weekend, I listened to the Four Agreements. The first agreement, be impeccable with your word. there are so many ways this agreement is applied in my life. There are so many ways to apply it to my life but the one that resonated with me the most was be impeccable with my word TO MYSELF. If I make a promise to myself to work out, read, pray, meditate, or eat healthy, those are words to myself. And if I can’t keep my word with myself, will I respect myself and love myself? I am worthy and ENOUGH to be paid attention to…even and especially by myself. So I carefully made my short term goals for the week. When I made a goal or set a challenge, I was careful to make sure I would follow through on my contract with myself. #beimpeccablewithyourword #ipromiseme #keeppromises

I have been wanting to write more but life is pretty busy. I went to the National Women’s Music Festival this past weekend. I heard some amazing music by some crazy talented performers. I had deep conversations with so many people. I was hugged and hugged a couple hundred women. I heard a much needed key note by my new shero, Lisa Vogel. #thankyoulv #thankyoulisa I was admonished by queens to love me and be a Queen. I was lovingly upheld and supported with hugs and words. I was reminded to be true to me. I was reminded to be me. I remembered that I teach people how to treat me. It was a fantastic weekend. #findingthejuicy

Happy Birthday to ME! Happy Birthday to a beautiful, smart, driven, motivated, kind, loving, dedicated, empathetic, supportive, inspired, creative, sexy, organized, skillful, and so much more womyn. #happybirthdaytome

Today is day 2 of my birthday month

I forgot I celebrate the whole month. I forgot that I don’t need anyone else around to celebrate me. I forgot that I can love me better than anyone else can love me. I forgot that I am complete and whole and enough to love me through and through. I forgot that if I put my reliance on being okay, loved, secure outside of myself. I forgot myself. I forgot my power. I forgot my growth. I forgot.

I’ve been in this holding pattern waiting for some affirmation to move forward. I thought I needed permission to be free and independent. Maybe this seems silly to you because I am quite a decisive, assertive, and powerful woman.

Yes, for the most part I am great at being strong. I am supportive to friends and family. I pull stuff together. I hold things together including myself most of the time. I have mini meltdowns that are fewer and further in between. I get into the solution. I help my friends get out of funks. I take care of me, my kids, my community, and most everyone around me.

Yet, I frequently feel alone and lonely. I frequently feel less than and I let myself be bounced around emotionally because somehow, somewhere I got this belief that I need someone to make me complete. My words don’t say that. My words say I got this. My words say I am independent. And truly, I am independent. I sleep alone every night. I wake alone every morning. I pay my own bills. I find my own entertainment. I fix my own things. I hold myself together. I do it alone for the most part. And I actually like being independent.

But somehow I got myself. Yes, I got myself, my brain, my heart, my beliefs, into this space of being in a holding pattern. Waiting for affirmation from an external source. Waiting for permission to move forward. Waiting for something that proves I am okay. Waiting for something that proves (to me) that I am loved and enough.

Okay. Let me break this down (for me). My actions show that I GOT THIS.

But my emotions tell me…just wait and you will be worthy. Just be patient, and you will get the love you want. The intimacy and the connection will come if I do blah, blah, blah, 1, 2, 3. Again, these are silent beliefs that are dictating my actions and have prompted me to basically give up my power.

So in honor of the 2nd day of my birth month, I have reminded myself that I am worthy.

I am loved and worth it. I am doing it. I am lovely. I am loved.

I am reminding myself of all the truths about me that I have known and forgotten.

My friends and community love me. They support me. I GOT THIS.

I do not have to find love and confirmation of being loved from outside of me. I know all of this. I KNOW ALL OF THIS. I just forgot. Today i remember. Today I remember my fall in love with me challenge. I reinstate that challenge to myself

I challenge myself to LOVE ME in a special way every day this month. Because I am worth it. If I don’t love me the way I want to be loved, then why would anyone else? AND, the way I talk to myself and allow others to talk to me and treat me is indicative of the love I have for myself.

Onward to my 51st birthday! I love me. I will keep findingthejuicy. I will keep loving me. So I can love YOU even better. #findingthejuicy #loveme #fallinlovewithme