Dear Younger Me

age 21, May 1993

Dear Younger Me,

You are stronger than you know.
Everything is going to be OK even though it is different than we could have ever known or planned.

You have good intuition, listen to it.
Strive for head-heart-gut alignment when making decisions. If one or more is jangling, there is a reason. Pay attention, take time to pause, and figure it out. 

Everything that comes before brings you to where you are now. 
The journey is not easy and the lessons are many. 
Peace is the goal: a peace-full home, a peaceful vibe, and peace in your body more often than fight or flight. 

Speak up. Say exactly what you think. Be bold. It is OK to not be liked by everyone. Not everyone is for you and part of your tribe. Love one another, the greatest commandment, yes. Also, learn about boundaries and practice self care.

It is OK to feel all of your feelings and express them. 
Don’t bite your tongue.
Don’t tamp down.
Trust yourself. 
Stay close to your family of birth, they love you biggest, most, best, forever, and always. 

Spend time with your grandparents.
Take notes.
Ask questions.
Learn about your ancestors.

Grit, steel, grace, and love, that’s what Janean Thompson is made of. 

You can keep your maiden name for always. Ms. keeps people guessing as to whether or not you are single, married, or some variable. 

Love yourself. Love is an inside job. Start there and grow. 
You have a knack for growing peace lilies. 
They talk to you.

You are brave and courageous and strong and fierce and a warrior.

Stay close to God.
God loves you and will never leave you.
Faith grows and yours is tangible, believing in what cannot be seen.
Hope is part of your DNA.
Joy is abundant in you, even on the hardest, darkest days.
Sit in the sunshine.
Walk in the rain. 
Delight in snowball fights at every/any age.

Wear boots for courage.
Keep going fishing.
Keep making art for you, even without a classroom assignment. Do it for you. 
Learn the rules of poetry or just write it.

Say hello to strangers because they may become friends.
Life is a beautiful, complex journey.
Have fun as often as possible, and fun is always possible. 

There is more, I’m trying to avoid spoiler alerts. 

Your friendships with other women will sustain you and give you strength on the days you feel depleted. There is strength in women gathering and sharing their real without masks or facades. 

“Real like The Velveteen Rabbit” is the benchmark for beauty and love.

Here is the checklist that sees you through lots of hard stuff:
1. Take it day by day
2. Show up
3. Do what’s next
4. Find the joy
5. Thank God

You’ve got this.
God’s got you.
Everything is going to be OK. 
It is OK to ask for help.
Rest when you need to. 
Love and trust God and yourself (instincts).

All My Love,
Janean, age 49

December 12, 2020

age 48, August 2020

all dogs go to Heaven

Blue Baird (September 26, 2011-May 1, 2018) Monday night Blue was much weaker, wobbly standing. I called the vet, to schedule a time if he made it through the night. He did. On Tuesday Blue spent the whole morning belly in the grass, listening to the birds, soaking up sunshine, watching the world go by. The vet came to the house around 11:30am. Blue and I sat in the grass in the front yard. The boys were inside, having already said goodbye. By 11:45am Blue’s spirit was gone. Oh. My heart. Big, sweet dog I loved. This picture of Blue and I is from yesterday morning at 8:55am, enjoying backyard sun, a few hours before his death.

May 2, 2018

Blue and I

Blue and I sat in the backyard sunshine this morning after both boys left for school. I took some still photos of Blue looking left and then right, assessing, protecting, for this is his turf. The birds serenaded as the cool breeze blew making the wind-chimes chime. I made this video to save and share this moment in time. Blue is slowing down, eating less and sleeping more. We are staying in our own yard instead of walking sidewalk paths we both know by heart. Thankful for each day, especially quiet moments such as this.

April 25, 2018

Thou art with me

  
THIS DESCRIBES MY KITTEN, PANZER! He has snuck past Blue dog’s self appointed guard post at the top of the basement stairs TWICE in recent days! The first time I found the cat on the stove while Blue kept staring down the basement staircase not knowing he and Panzer were on the same floor in adjacent rooms. The second time we realized Panzer wasn’t in the basement I took Blue out for a walk while my oldest son shook the cat food bag until he found the kitten upstairs in my room.   

 The stare down. 

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

March 20, 2016

permission granted

  
I said yes to myself today. Yes to the most beautiful, fragrant, lavender roses with red edged tips. Unique and lovely, they eased the unexpected ache inside. I put them in my cart knowing they were not on sale, and more expensive at $10 than the clearance grocery store bouquets I usually give myself permission to buy. I needed them. More than I realized until after I placed them in a clear glass vase upon the solid oak kitchen table. Ever since, these unique, two-tone roses have been filling the room with a pleasant perfume in lieu of the wet dog, teenage boy and other non-rose scents that often linger. I needed them today, this bouquet, more than I knew. Ahhh. Much better. 

March 13, 2016

100

Happy 100th birthday in Heaven, Grr. I can hear your fiddle music playing at your birthday square dance and see Grandma smiling. Have fun calling, “chase the rabbit, chase the squirrel, chase the girl around the world.” You did. Thinking of you. Wearing my cowgirl boots for the first time this fall. Tell Copper and Santas I said hi too. Scratch their ears in the spots they liked. I am hoping that an unadvertised good thing about Heaven is: No Horseflies. Love you. Thinking of you extra today. Smiling, not crying. Just a little misty around the corners, like you when you’d hear music playing in your mind as you told a story from long ago. Love, Janean