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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: November 2008

Tonight’s the night! As seen from North America, the planets Venus and Jupiter – the two brightest points of light in all the heavens – will be in conjunction in your early evening sky. This pair of planets will shine rather low in the southwest, to the upper left of the thin waxing crescent moon.

Quiet arrived tonight at Blissie’s new apartment and shared the state of the RL moon and planets. It was too good to not tell everyone and run out and look. Rach and Simon were half dressed. We all were barefoot. We all stood on the sidewalk in front of our house oooooing and ahhhhing. I ran and got the phone to tell my parents to look and then D did the same. It has been a really challenging past few days for us in RL. We have not discussed it with people in SL – but nonetheless, SL has been difficult too.

The one thing that remains constant in life is change and challenge. D reminded me late last week that we face challenges to make us stronger for all the good things that lie ahead. I hold tightly to that. There are good things ahead.

I’ve had a headache almost all day as well. A stress hangover of sorts I think. Mikki sent me the sweetest message about why people come in and out of our lives – and that seemed to ease the headache and fit well with D’s thought about good things to come.

Then I get back to thinking about the moon, the planets and all the other things around us that are so incredibly beautiful and so much bigger than all of us. Sometimes we (we including me and starting with me) need to take a 30,000 foot view around us. Big pictures are a good thing. Wide angle lens and maybe swap lenses with another. Refocus. Get a telescope if you really want to see the details. But, just know if you take a telescope to see the details – someone else might be doing the same to you. Think anyone was standing on Venus or Jupiter tonight staring back at us thinking how beautiful we all looked? I’m kidding. I’m making a very poor metaphor through tired writing. Sorry.

Anyway. Change. Its constant. There are little snapshots of time we should collect when we come across beautiful moments. Tonight’s look at the sky was one of them. I look back over my week off from work and think there were many snapshots to tuck away. I am going to offer up all the other things that weren’t that good and pray for being better and trying harder next time. I’m only human with faults and feelings like everyone else, after all.

Life as we know it is so incredibly short. I hope you took the time to gaze at the incredible sky tonight. I hope you have snapshots you want to treasure from the recent past. Tomorrow is December 1. December is a month of hope and peace no matter what kind of God you believe in. Its our last chance to make 2008 what we want it to be before we sing Auld Lang Syne. 31 days.

There will most definitely be waxing and waning. I just hope that most of it is filled with holiday cheer and good things that we all wish for. The only people I know deserve all that and more.


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There are 2 things I try to do always – every day – even if just a little. Thank people for the things they do. Big and small. Little thank you’s like for holding the elevator or picking something up off the floor for you you dropped. Big thank you’s for things like helping get all little ones out the door on time. Big thank you’s for days off and unexpected naps and some time to just rest.

And giving – whether it is of your time, of some kind words, of big efforts that cost nothing, or of money. The more you give, the more you get back. As long as you are giving without expecting in return.

We celebrated “Spanksgiving” on Saturday evening last weekend. I was late. We have festivities in RL that made me late. We had purposely decided to keep it small because we have felt overburdened with events lately… the “we” being Blissie and I. I felt badly though being so late… I didn’t mean to have it be small and then seem unimportant.

So it has me thinking. It has me thinking about all the bumps and jostles and thrills and laughs of the last year. SL has helped awaken things in me – in my soul that I thought had faded away. Silliness and laughter that I didn’t feel day to day. Great music and just hanging out. Friends who ask me how my day was. My RL is full… full to overflowing with beautiful children and an incredible husband. And I don’t want to make it sound like that isn’t fun and fulfilling and everything that it is a million times over. But… I had lost myself in being a mom, being a working mom, and the achieve achieve ladder of success had almost sucked me dry.

I rarely wrote anymore. I rarely listened to music I enjoyed. I rarely let myself daydream about what I used to be or what I someday would be again. My creative outlet was locked up tightly inside writing online courses and dreaming up ways to entice teachers to use online resources. Not exactly a soul fulfilling practice.

So what has SL done? SL has helped me remember that I love to write. I love to create. I love to photograph things at a view someone else might not have had. I love to shop – God, how I love to shop. and I love how easy it all is to clean up when you’re done. Take it all down, wipe the slate clean and start all over again. I love the people I have met here. I love what it has taught me about myself. I love that it has made me thankful for the 14 yr RL partner in crime I have and that he can let loose and dress up as a hot woman if he feels like it. I love that my kids ask about our SL friends and sometimes seem to enjoy them as much as we do. RL is hard enough. Sometimes a diversion is just what the doctor ordered. (assuming bills get paid, the house stays relatively clean, and all homework gets done, of course)

So… thinking back to Thanksgiving 2007 and the kitchen conversation with Borday and Blissie a year ago. Our SLives are so different and yet so much the same. Thanksgiving 2008 will find us in different places and yet there are still ties that bind us all. I am so thankful for each of you. Enjoy that turkey, slip into a coma and join me for Christmas decorating after the holiday. Travel safe. Come back refreshed and ready for hooooing and who knows what else 🙂

I woke up abruptly this morning with my head swimming in dreamy nightmare images. When I took time to really wake up I was left with the same unsettling feeling. The incident that happened to me yesterday at work lingers. I’m going to really make a concerted effort to work through it and move past it. I don’t want to brush it off as if it was nothing. If I do, I could be fine or exactly of the opposite.

There is something very crushing about the loss of innocence. I have to think of it in this way and I think that is the right way to view it. I tend to live in a pollyanna world and think the best and push everyday fears away with faith, prayers, and not allowing my head to be filled with all the what-if’s that could live there. But there are those experiences in life that try to take us to that place. They are just terrifying enough (maybe too strong of a word) to make us reconsider the way we thought things were before.

Yesterday I had a gentleman enter my office very unassuming to ask me about who he should talk to about being on the air at our television station. He was extremely adament he was related to the Royal family dating back his lineage to the 1800’s when his great-great-great grandmother (is that enough greats?) came over from England, separating or being exiled from the current monarchy at the time. He rattled off name after name and as he was doing so, I was trying to explain to him that I worked with educators, with teachers, and that I had nothing to do with filming and production. He tried several times to sit down in a chair in my office, and was even polite enough to ask if he could. I explained that no, he really couldn’t, as I was getting ready for a conference call at 2 pm. He did note though that it was 2:15 already. I shared I thought they would be calling any minute. He babbled on and on – at the point the conversation became extremely one-sided and the names flowed quite easily from his memory. It was at this point my intuition told me things really weren’t right. I had felt surprised and caught off guard when he first came in, but the uh oh gut feelings kicked up as he talked faster and then connected his Royal family connections to some people that settled in Kentucky.

By 2:20, I was looking for how I could contact my colleague in the next office. I knew she was at her desk and thought of emailing her for help. Then, I thought of taking him toward our storage near the main entry door and handing him a station magazine that talks about the monarchy. Finally, I settled on the strategy of directing him upstairs to where the production area eventually will be and now is just marketing and development. They, however, have an extremely secure environment on that floor – everything is locked and you can only speak to a receptionist through glass. It was the strategy I settled on and I directed him up to the next floor. As I graciously made sure he found his way out of our offices, I ran into the next door office and enlisted the help of my colleague to warn upstairs, lock our doors, and call the police.

I can see this story had gotten too long. The bottom line in all of it is that it ended fine. No one was hurt. If the man had a weapon he never showed it. The fact that we learned later he had spent days at our other offices on the other side of the Valley also asking to be put on the air solidified the uneasy feelings I had about him. It really was that the innocence and excitement of our new place, the false security of our new offices, was to be no longer. My mind played tricks on me last night, and I awoke from nightmares with much different endings to this story. I suppose I need to listen to those feelings and thoughts deep in my psychie and realize that knowledge is power, experience can become knowledge… and I will be safer and more conscious of my surroundings now – even inside my own little set of offices that seemed so shiny new and secure.

From Bigd Flanagan…

Ok, I guess its time for another getting to know you type of blogging activity. Five questions, you only tag three other people. Lets go shall we 🙂

What’s your favorite saying?
What part of your personality do you wish not to pass on to your child?
While driving, what’s your biggest pet peeve?
If you could change your name, what would it be?
What’s the best excuse you’ve ever heard?

So here goes…

1. My Favorite Saying? “Look Away – I’m Hideous” or “Serenity Now!” or “Nobody wins with that kind of attitude.” I overuse those gestures – I know it – but I love them. I say those things in RL too so it all fits 😉 completes the RL/SL circle… LOL

2. What part of your personality do you wish not to pass on to your child? Clutter accumulation. I have the worst habit of not just getting rid of things when I should. I dont’ follow the rules of sorting paperwork like I should and just touch it once – act, file, or recycle. I save things way too long. I worry about getting rid of something with sentimental value. Eventually – it just makes for too much clutter. And.. I really think it fits with the feng shui philosophy too – with all that clutter cleaned up – you feel better mentally too. Dare I even admit my SL inventory topples 23,000 and is in desperate need of organization? Intervention needed please please!

3. While driving, what’s your biggest pet peeve? Oh – that is an easy one! I am a super tolerant driver actually. I commute so much that I am numb to most stupidity. However, one pet peeve that never seems to diminish is when someone who shouldn’t be is in the carpool lane – passes a highway patrol officer – and no one is punished. UGH! I pay good money for my car and the registration to have that priviledge. Why should some other bozo get away with it? I realize there are much bigger crimes – but come on! When it is RIGHT under the officer’s nose? It is a total ticket gimme!

4. If you could change your name, what would it be? I always loved the name Bethany or Sarah. I wanted to name Rachel Bethany actually but D wouldn’t go for it because there is a street in Phoenix called Bethany Home Road and he said he wouldn’t name his daughter after a street. *Sigh* That really wasn’t my intent but oh well 🙂 I like my name – my first and middle name… I think my parents did a great job making names that really fit well together and were unique.

5. What’s the best excuse you’ve ever heard? OMG being a teacher I think I have heard them ALL. Being a teacher that works with teachers who make excuses – that makes it exponential. Then, if you count in all the parents I have worked with over the years… OMG… the excuses make my mind boggle. I think the best excuse I ever heard is… hmmm… I guess I can’t think of one. Is that an excuse? Excuses bug the crap out of me. I wish people would just own up, take responsibility and move on. Excuses seem to be a roadblock to all that. They are insulting to the person being given the excuse – like DOH I’m not smart enough to realize you are just making an excuse.


  1.  Blissie Boucher
  2.  Crighton Johin
  3.  Yamis Jewel

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I just love the idea these little people were so excited 🙂 I know 3 of my 4 were yelling O-BAMA up and down the streets on Tuesday afternoon – so loud I had to ask them to come in! I was afraid to think they might cause a street riot. My 5 year old daughter thinks “republican” is a bad word and I had to explain to her that it was just a word for someone with different political philosophies.

Then, on Wednesday morning, before school, I had to give the 3 a pep talk about being good winners. “How would you feel if Obama had lost?” I said. Think about that when you are talking with people who you know supported McCain. And, I reminded them of the honorable speech Senator McCain gave on Tuesday evening. I told them it can be very hard to be gracious when you accept defeat and I think McCain was incredibly honorable.


Thank you!

Thank you!


At first glance you may think this is an election focused post. It could be. Change is the word everyone is talking about. Change has been the campaign slogan we have been hearing for months. It has been the butt of jokes and the rally cry of passionate politicians and supporters.

For me personally, it is today that the highs in Phoenix will finally not top 90 degrees. In fact, the high for today is 77. The pollution isn’t too bad today because there is a breeze. It makes me want to breathe deeply. It makes me want to close my eyes and breathe in everything good – everything that I hope to become. Change can be a good thing.

I’ve had a rollercoaster of the last several months with regards to work – actually going on a little over a year. I’m ready for change. Not ready for a new job – but ready for a change in that job. I’m ready to feel good about what I’m doing again and not waiting constantly for the other shoe to drop.

I’m ready for the fog to lift and the bright sun to burn off the haze – emotionally and physically. I want to really laugh – a hearty belly laugh – that makes your eyes water and maybe even a snort sneaks out. I want to feel the weight of the world I have been carrying on my shoulders slowly ease off. I close my eyes and envision all this happening… and breathe deeply.

No matter what differences we all feel and see and think about. After today, we will all have to find a way to play together nicely. We must. To fix the economy. To pay the bills. To show our children that we truly are adults and can find compromise. To ignore the media hype. To find a way to turn off the tv and just enjoy good conversations and good stories and good snuggles with those we love.

I read something today that said we live now in the Age of Anxiety. Is that the kind of legacy we want to leave for our children and our children’s children? Is that the same fear each generation has – but they just lived in a time without big flashy labels?

I am going to take every ounce of energy in me… and fighting a bad sinus infection and bronchitis makes that super hard (shameless sympathy ploy)… to vow to make change – in my own life, in my own sphere of influence, in my own backyard. I know in my head what I need to do to make a difference and bring about change but I need to let my heart feel it and then have my feet act on it.

I am so thankful for so many things in my life. And life is much much much too short to not enjoy all that is so good and right in the world. There is change in the air. The change is in me too. Life… is in the details. Life… is in what we each decide to do to make things better. I hope you will consider joining me.

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