How I Survive Hard Days as a Messy, Imperfect Human: A Disorganized List of Thoughts

-Floating with my face to the big, wild sky and my back to the ocean floor.

-Breathing in and breathing out.

-Crying in REI.

-Dancing every day, especially when it’s the last thing I feel like doing.

-Courage in loneliness.

-So many “What-ifs” and “supposed to’s”. 

-Infinite angst over social media comparison.

-Crying in Savasana.

-Another flippin growth opportunity.

-Real, true, genuine laughter.

-Real, true, genuine connection. 

-The warrior team in my head and heart that does not quit on me.

-Strangers in the blink of an eye.

-Marveling at the beauty and the sorrow of human complexity.

-Belief in abundance rather than scarcity.

-Unhinged.Glued together by Grace and the smell of the trees.

Body Like a Backroad with the windows down, just like my girls taught me.

-Deep knowing that none of the love, the growth, the pain, was ever wasted.

-The colors of the eyes of the souls I was meant to find for days like these.

-The playlists I’m just now brave enough to open back up.

-Having so many hands to hold.

-Long walks, talking to the trees.

-Compassion, frustration, suffering, loneliness, connection, and right back to compassion.

-Sometimes a glass of wine..or two.

-Beginning to flirt with the new “what-if’s”.

-Finding one tiny, beautiful thing every single day if it’s all I do.

-Authentic vulnerability with my SoulTribe.

-Books on Books on Books.

-Bare feet in the sand, in the damp grass, on the sidewalk.

-Improbable moments of silliness, of laughter, of light.

-Finding new ways to know and care for myself exactly as I am only in this moment

-Still craving nature, my oldest friend.

-Booking the flight to Scotland.

-Pumpkin candles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin carving.

-Family.

-Very serious thoughts of dog adoption.

-Acts of love for others, strangers and friends alike.

-Making mistakes and calling to say “I’m sorry”.

-Messy, disorganized lists if that’s all you can do.

-Trusting that these lessons are perfect preparation for the journey we don’t get to see yet.

-More dancing.

One foot in front of the other. All the way home.

Mental Portraits

I’m honing my mental portrait mode.

There are instances I’d like to hold onto forever in unimaginable detail and clarity. Mental portrait mode is crisper than regular memories and the image at the forefront is bright and in perfect focus, with the background falling out of interest to the viewer like mist.

I would hold onto Cailynn on the beach with her butt way up in the air, digging the deepest hole she could manage. My chest tightens for a moment when I remember that next year, she’ll be too old, too cool for such shenanigans.

I’d capture Meg on the couch across from me, both of us in our most relaxed state, perfectly at home. I know our days of adjacent couch dwelling are numbered, though our experience of connectedness is not.

I don’t want to forget the way the light comes into our kitchen window and touches the avocado pit we’re growing, just for the sake of seeing how it goes.

Small and Obvious

I’ve been looking for the right words, but I’m only hearing music – some happy, some sad. Your big, bright, messy world has taught me that maybe that’s okay too.

As our seasons are changing, I hope you know that there isn’t a day I’m walking through without you.  You are an unconventional, inexplicable part of me.

You have made me the most creative, most playful, most patient, most adventurous, most intuitive, and most grateful version of myself I have ever known.

Three years ago, I would never have thought to dream of alternative career options for princesses, where the neighbors are headed at any given time, or what the mailman’s dog’s name is. I would have never named my feet or answered every phrase with a rhyme. I would have never understood why parents occasionally have wine for dinner.

I wasn’t prepared for what you would teach me and how much you were readying me for a world beyond my comprehension.

I didn’t know what I believed in until I found myself humbled by your occasional torrential rage but mostly, by your love.  Unapologetic. Relentless. Unconditional.

I hope someday you’ll grab the hands of my own kids, all of us with watermelon sticky fingers, and teach them to crazy dance at Concerts in the Park, enveloped by the orange glow of the late summer sun.   

“Thank you” feels inadequately small and “I love you” seems laughably obvious.

So, here’s to the small and obvious.

San Diego Mom Jordan Is Ready For Fall

More than three times throughout the past month, I’ve been asked how my summer was.

I’m a little confused by this because I’m not a) an eight year old child returning from summer travels in my family’s minivan or b) a teacher following a traditional school schedule.

I’ve struggled to find answers because the honest one is long and complicated.

My real answer would scare a lot of people away and they’re really only asking to be polite, a fact that took me far too long to learn. Here’s exactly what I’d like to tell them:

“It’s just like any other season, only hotter. I’m slightly peeved that I cant get the obnoxious curls that form near my forehead and nowhere else, to stay in line with the rest of my hair because I’m literally never not sweaty. To add insult to injury, the air conditioner in my car broke so I almost feel like I could maybe make a few extra bucks by driving fancy people around and telling them it’s a mobile sauna and the combination of the motion, the wind, and the heat balances their chakras.

Last week, the spoiler of my car became halfway detached and I had to drag it along the road behind me while people stared. There were squinted eyes and heads tilted at the spectacle, but a few people rolled down their windows to kindly shout at me, “Hey! Your spoiler fell off! It’s dragging behind your car!” I know the outbursts were with the most genuine, helpful intentions and I did appreciate the sentiment but for God’s sake, the windows were down (see above paragraph about air conditioning). I smiled and waved, thanked them for their concern, like any calm and collected adult would have.

To ice the cake of this beautiful season, yesterday I was accidentally on the nightly news because the World Famous San Diego Zoo was historically closed for the first time anyone can remember. I kid you not, the news headline states: “San Diego Mom, Jordan, and Her Two Little Ones Had To Find Something Else To Do Today!” I had piled Maisley and Coura (not my offspring, by the way) into the car with so many sandwiches made, several changes of clothes packed, and every inch of their perfect baby skin rubbed with sunscreen. We were delighted in ourselves for celebrating the beautiful day with an adventure to the Zoo and signified the occasion with “Zoo! Zoo! Zoo!” chants on the 25-minute car ride there.  Unfortunately, the exact spectacle we had our hearts set on had experienced an unprecedented closure due to a dangerous and extremely unexpected gas leak. Naturally, the person delivering this news to me happened to work for…the news, and thus – my 12 seconds of fame.

I can’t pretend that this season has been strictly bad news and overheated toddlers; there has been magic too. Sandwiched between the ridiculousness and the heat, I’ve had some friends receive amazing, life-giving news. Other friends have walked through the most painful year of their life with more grace than ever before, beautiful to me in the honesty and love that they approach the world with. They’re the type of people who run around lighting others up like fireflies on a warm Southern night and their loss has somehow made their love feel even bigger this summer for reasons none of us can explain.

In the past month, I’ve taken two amazing trips. We made the kind of memories that felt, even in the moments they were happening, like the Good Old Days. My best friend got engaged to the love of her life and my heart feels so happy for them that it probably could burst.”

So each time I’ve been asked, I’ve answered with more certainty, less trepidation. I smile and I say:

“It’s been life, just warmer.”