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

fairy tale light
as the sun rose
this morning
over the sidewalk
woman shoveling
dog chewing
on thorny stalks
the Peace rose
now dormant
long ago planted
by the front door
serene woman
wild and crazy dog
they snow play
after the work
she throws the ball
for him to chase
children sleeping in
it is Saturday
thankful for home
for Heaven above
the woman and dog
were there
under the sky
as the crescent moon
tucked into bed
and the sun rose
washing the earth
in fairy tale light

January 25, 2014

The last sunset of 2013 was a cool blend of blue sky and puffy white clouds with bands of pastel stripes. Gorgeous bare trees in the foreground make the background all the more lovely. Happy New Year, have fun and stay safe tonight! Cheers to 2014, may it hold lots of peace, joy and love. ~Janean

December 31, 2013

Cheers

Last day of 2013 today.
It all happened.
You saw me through.
Faith, and the prayers of many.
Thankful for unconditional love of family and friends who know me best, better than I know myself.
Joy, Peace and Love are ahead.
In abundance!
Hope is the Light that doesn’t extinguish even in the darkest Dark.
Here’s to making art and writing for real in 2014.
I’m walking toward it, in cowgirl boots!
Happy New Year!
LOVE,
*sparkly heart kind*
Janean

December 31, 2013

like coke bottles

Teenage boy was up and at ‘em early today. We enjoyed sharing morning quiet time. Visiting. Breakfasting without a rush.
I went in to wake up ATB at 7:09am and said, “Last day of school before Christmas Vacation.” I sort of sing-songed it. I picked up his glasses to clean ‘em, from where they were sitting on the nightstand beside his bed. Sweet boy rolled over, while rubbing his eyes awake, and calmly said, “Mom, there are already coke bottles going off inside me.” Even after drinking my morning coffee I still had to ask, “Coke bottles?” My ten year old boy replied, “Mentos. Diet coke. Get it?!” Oh, yes. I so do. Christmastime is for children and grown ups who don’t really wanna be “adults” at all. Christmas is magic, excitement and lots of happy energy about to combust. It’s a feeling that, if you’re lucky, always stays with you. Joy that bubbles up from deep inside.
My first conversation of the morning was with a teacher on the sidewalk. It was sometime before 6am, maybe before 5am. I’m not sure of the time exactly. “Early” covers it completely. I was walking with my Blue dog. We were sort of lollygagging along. She had Blue’s best buddy, Jake, who was dancing at the end of his leash. We visited like the neighbors and friends we are, as the dogs romped and played. I said, “I’m praying for ALL the teachers today.” We shared a smile under the streetlights glow.
Now I know the fifth grade boy description of what it feels like: Every child has coke bottles inside them, you know, like mentos and diet coke. (I’m being sort of a grown up and resisting adding the “Duh.”)
I treated my younger boy a little bit today, by offering to drive him, instead of waiting in the drizzling rain to ride the bus per usual. He needed a little less rush too. By 8:40am both my sons were delivered safely to school.
Their days will go by fast. Mine will too. For this quiet moment though, while I catch my breath and plan, Blue is curled up next to me, each of us on our favorite halves of the family room love seat. I need to make a mega list and wrap up the remaining Christmas To Do. Best of all, I’ll be smiling about coke bottles while I do. Oh, how I love them, and rejoice in the gift of my two sons. Christmas time is about the birth of God’s Son. Long ago. In a land afar. Angels first foretold, then announced his birth. Shepherds followed a star. Wise men began the journey to meet him. Baby Jesus. Born of a virgin. Joseph the carpenter was there, beside the manger. His mother, Mary, pondered all these things in her heart. I’ve always loved that quiet little verse, nestled in Luke 2. I’m a heart ponderer too. Everything changes in a moment. My phone rang, Blue jumped down and front window wild woofed, only to return again to curl beside me, as I work to wrap this up. My heart squeezes, my eyes leak. Tears of joy and the ring of laughter intertwines with the ache of grief. Life goes on. Christmas is coming, whether I’m “ready” or not. I’ll be ready, well, ready enough. Joy. Peace. Hope. Love. Blessings. Thankfulness. The Gift of God’s Son. Christmastime. Like coke bottles going off inside. That covers all the important stuff.

December 20, 2013
Luke 2:19 “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

The peace rose planted by my front door has one bloom and sixteen buds. SIXTEEN! I can’t quite believe it! I chose this rose bush the first spring we lived here, way back in 2002, because the house I grew up in had a peace rose planted there. At my childhood home there were roses in an array of colors planted to the left of the front walk: red, coral, white, yellow, even a blue rose (really lavender), and peace. It was this peace rose, and its amazing beauty that comes in varying shades of yellow with white edges and a hint of pink blush, that was the only rose my dad commented on every time it bloomed.

“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
—Luke 1:79

Before walking Blue this morning, I read this passage of scripture along with a devotion dated July 7. I loved the whole message, but my favorite part was the reference to a “path of peace.” Upon our return home, the dog and me, I photographed the peace rose bush planted to the left of the front walk at the house where I’m the mom. Then I stepped upon the butterfly adorned welcome mat that my sister insisted upon and walked through the front door into home. I’m always thankful for found moments of quiet, calm and peace, since with two growing up fast boys there are many times that noise, chaos and commotion reign. I love those zany times too. I do!

July 9, 2013