Today was a reminder that I feel deeply. It’s one of the things I love about being me (even when it’s super hard and draining). Whether it was information I shared with a colleague that had been weigh on me, information shared by a friend in confidence, news of a friend’s family member passing, or the possibility of a missed opportunity later this year. I feel these things deeply. It’s a part of who I am. It’s my super power and my kryptonite. I love that part of me and continue to seek to use it for good.
- If you want more joy, lower your standards
- Life is fleeting, make the most of it
- Joy is all around us
- Study up on Ecclesiastes
- Rob Bell is a comedian, knowledge-bringer, and one of the most engaging people to listen to
Yesterday was a very productive day. In looking back, it was more productive than most Saturdays I have. And at the root of that, it seems to be the case because I was doing things I enjoy. Funny how that can make all the difference.
I got to watch one of my kiddos play a soccer game (probably my favorite sport). I love watching high school and college soccer–men’s or women’s. I told the folks I was with “this is why you never take me to a game for a sport I know/love–because I don’t shut up”. It’s the truth. I have comments and insight (and yeah, strong opinions). Most other sports I just follow along and concentrate more on the fellowship than the actual game.
I got some needed homework time in for grad school. It’s not too intense, but there are weeks I feel like I’m waiting until the last minute to get everything done, and I definitely don’t like that. Always room for improvement!
We have family coming to visit soon (lots and lots of family). I’m super excited, but it also means we had/have to do a deep clean of our house. We’ve had little ones around, but not staying with us for an extended period of time. It’s a reframe for sure to figure out what we need to prep and make safe and reorganize.
The night included games and tv and reading outside (for maybe 30 minutes because I started to bake). So many good things–some of them things I don’t usually enjoy, but in this case their result mean very, very wonderful outcomes. And that I can get behind.
Self-care is something I could always do better at, I give a lot, but like they say “you can’t give out of an empty cup”. Recently because of my “running” endeavor I’ve been outside more. There have been some beautiful fall days already. And I’ve seen the sun rise, been up before the sun rise, and have felt the cool fall breezes. It’s reminded me how much nature is a part of my essence, what is life giving to me, and where I find joy.
Earlier this week I took time to go outside and read for class after work. It was perfect–the noises, the smell of fall, and soaking up all the Vitamin D. When I finished the chapter I shifted and laid down on our outdoor loveseat (albeit super awkwardly as my legs dangled over the edge). And I actually fell asleep for a while. Something about soaking up the sun and just relaxing felt so right.
So a commitment to pay attention is ahead of me. To look for ways to be outside instead of holed up in front of a screen (ironic as I write this from my phone). Something about nature and the outdoors is just magical.
When I was growing up, my friends and I loved making up games, dressing up, and creating videos (music, television, etc). After they banned Red Rover on the playground (things got rough I guess) and sticker trading (because people were stealing from each other) we resorted to our own devices. And thus was born the land of Weird Wire. I can’t remember everything that was entailed. I remember sneaking snacks to recess (and eating lots of dried kool-aid with sugar), secret “handshakes”, and made up songs. It was strange–but it was ours.
Yesterday felt like a day on Weird Wire. It wasn’t a positive weird (though some really cool things happened) and it wasn’t a negative weird (though there were some thing that happened I wish hadn’t). It was a “I can’t wrap my head around this” type of weird. I’m still processing through it. The day was somewhat clouded by a very jarring dream that my mom was in. It threw me off for the rest of the day, in some ways, as I wrestled with what it meant. All in all a day to keep processing to say the least.
I know I just talked about nicknames the other day. But I realized in the last couple of days how apt I am to use pet names. Most people reserve that for a select few (if they use them at all). But I throw them around like glitter.
- I’ll call almost anyone “kid”, regardless of their age.
- In college I took to calling my bestie “chickadee” and often use it now with family friends.
- I’ve been know to use “champ” or “ace”–the the latter is very rarely. #loganhuntsburgerforever
- I call my cat “boo bear”. I can’t tell if he appreciates it or not. 🧐
- When my youth are going through a rough time, I have a tendency of calling them “baby girl”. I promise I only do that with the girls. It’s like my maternal instinct.
I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that stick out at this moment. Pet names to me are a way of showing care and affection. It’s second nature to shower my friends and family with them.
I don’t like running, I never really have. My idea of participating in a 5k or other race is generally to walk and complete it. When I was in middle school I played soccer. One of my coaches would ALWAYS put me in as midfield. I’m not sure what there reasoning was, but I was slow and had no stamina. It never made any sense to me, but I digress.
As part of my fitness journey over the years I run for different lengths of time and different levels of success. I decided last night that I was going to start back on that path. I’ve done Couch to 5k before and it’s worked well for me. So, after work, I got ready and went for a run. It was beautiful outside. But the biggest thing ai noticed was how different it is to run after you’ve lost weight. I didn’t get as winded. My knees didn’t really hurt. Though my feet did (I wore the wrong shoes). But it’s a start for sure.
I love The Avett Brothers. This love started when BP first introduced me to them on runs one day. I am pretty sure that “Die, Die, Die” was the first song of theirs I ever heard. And. I. Was. Hooked.
They have evolved over the years. They have varied musical influences. They give back (i.e. Cheerwine Giveback, and St. Jude fundraisers). I’ve seen them many times in concert (I think four times in Indiana and twice in Ohio?). I can’t get enough. I was sad to miss them in OH on the Outlaw Tour this year (with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and Old Crow).
Their lyrics sing to my soul. Their rhythms make me dance. They bring me to life. They bring energy to what they “touch”. And that is life giving.
- thankful for fall days, hayride traditions, and flame throwers that start bonfires.
- giddy at hearing baby giggles and little squirmy dances.
- excited by kiddos who share their Pokémon cards with me and make songs for my favorite characters.
- blessed by friends who ask questions but have the tentative grace to know I might not want to or be ready to share.
- intrigued by the semester ahead and the nuances of what all this profession holds.
- proud of the legacies I see and the deep roots I’ve watered.
- unapologetically me.
- grounded enough to share my truth, to hold fast to it, and refuse to be silenced.
My family has always been big on nicknames. It may not exactly seem like it, but it’s true. Before I was born, my sister Shelly took to calling me “Shannon Bananon”. I can hear the retelling of my mom saying “she may not like that, don’t get used to calling her that!”
There was a cartoon on television when ai was in..middle school maybe? I don’t remember what it was but I distinctly remember one episode where they talk about nicknames and one friend starts calling the other “Pumpkin Pie”. My dad thought it was the dumbest thing. And of course hat made my sisters and I find it even more hilarious. Needless to say, we call him that or “PP” any chance we get.
One of the familial names in our family is Nihls. For whatever reason, the nickname has always been “Bud”. Sometimes nicknames don’t make sense but still stick.
When Stacey and Josh found out they were having a boy, they started thinking more specifically about names. They wanted something that would also come with a nickname. Many of the names they considered were regal or presidential. So as we were all on a cruise to celebrate my 30th birthday, we kept bantering about names one even at dinner. Because of my love of presidents, I was all about this. It got to the point where names were getting more and more ridiculous, I threw my hands in the air and said “find, we will just call him ‘HOOVER’ “. Everyone looked at my in shock (and probably horror). No one was on the same page yet, because with my mind they rarely are. “Shannon, how are we going to get a nickname out of that?!” And in true Shannon fashion, I said “We can call him Sweeps. You know, like Hoover is a vacuum?” And it stuck–the nickname, don’t worry, they didn’t name their kid after Hoover.
Today is Sweeps’ birthday. And so, here is a photo for each month of his life.
The cutest all snuggled up, still with his hospital bracelet on his wrist. September 2018
The little pumpkin! October 2018
All the giggles. November 2018
Like Auntie, Like Sweeps. December 2018
What did the fox say? January 2019
Getting bigger. February 2019
The silliest. March 2019
Dapper Sir. April 2019
He’s inherited Josh’s eyebrow action. May 2019
Papa visits. June 2019
First tooth! July 2019
“Snuggle this muggle” all day. August 2019
Story time Sweeps! September 2019