Plug Into Life

I’m really trying to plug into this little community.

That means leaving the house, and making myself visible.

After moving here, my daughter announced, “Hey Mom. You can always go hang out with the bikers on the weekends!”

Now, it’s one of my favorite things to do. A restaurant called Rolling Thunder Roadhouse is less than a mile from my home, and I go there often to sit and read, or engage in conversation. The owner’s Roger and Donna have pretty much adopted me. Roger is a French Chef, and his wife Donna has done a little bit of everything. We had an instant connection, plus, they make the best cold brew coffee!

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Cold brew and Chocolate Biscotti. On my way!

When my daughter and I moved here in January, I was pondering what should come with me. Do I really want to continue doing everything this year, in this new chapter, that I had been doing last year? Was it a fruitful path?

I had a job offer last week. It would still be working from home, but the company would have their calls forwarded for me to answer the calls. The owner knows I have phone skills, and will pay good money for them. A friend of mine busted out laughing when I told her my initial response.

I don’t know. I think I want to harvest seeds from the Hydrangea flower, and grow them to sell to my neighbors.

The company didn’t really have a response to that. Haha

Don’t sweat it lovelies. I’m going to go speak with them in person today. For me it really is about face to face. When I typed the first sentence of this post, is sounded like I was referring to the WordPress community, but I continued on.

I love this community, but over time I find myself letting go of virtual community. My phone still has no social media apps on it, and I’ve closed all my accounts except Facebook. I came across a Blog this morning that explains the technology addiction perfectly. You can read it here.

Do I want to continue Blogging? That has been the big question this year. I’ve posted more this week, than I posted the entire month of April. January through April, I posted one a week, and that used to be daily, so there’s progress.

Maybe I will go see Roger and Donna this morning, and take a book I’ve been reading with me. It’s a gorgeous day outside, and I just want to be out there, instead of in here.

It’s time to unplug from the computer, and plug into life.

“Technology is an option, not a lifeline.” The Robot Rebel

My Kinda Midlife

I was spending way too much time sitting at my desk.

Now, I’m pondering selling my desk. What changed? I did.

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Today, I attended a class about Ayurveda. Yesterday, I attended an ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics‘ meeting, and Saturday I’m learning how to make a smudge stick.

How did I get to where I am today? I began months ago.

Since moving out of the country, and into civilization, there are endless opportunities to plug-in. I saw signs that God had me right where He wanted me, but oh, this little prayer!

“”What do I want to do?’ can be, “Dear God, what would you have me do?”

One thing leads to another. One conversation with the right person leads to another conversation with another person.

Stepping away from social media has me stepping out of my house each day.

This is my kinda midlife. Marianne Williamson writes,

“At midlife, you suddenly see an endgame where you used to see an endless stretch. You know now on a visceral level that this lifetime will not go on forever. There’s no more time for five-year detours. No more time for getting it wrong. No more time for relationships that don’t serve, or for staying in situations that aren’t authentically you.”

How do you want to spend the rest of your life?

(Feel free to respond in the comment section below)

Rooted in Real

After I Bled Out, a shift happened, and I wanted real.

I’ve been a part of and seen the effects social media has on well-being. It wasn’t healthy for me, so I stepped away, and have no desire to go back. This Blog hasn’t been connected to any social media for weeks, but people are finding it, and reading it. My stats didn’t bottom out from no connection.

My soul bottomed out while it was connected.

I stopped downloading books on Kindle, and ordered real ones. The kind you can hold in your hands, and mark up a page if needed. I ordered some magazines for the first time in 20 years for the same reason. Not to mention they are pretty laying on the coffee table for everyone to enjoy.

My screen time is minimal, but present moments abound.

I don’t have to check my phone before bed, and when I awake.

I check in with God instead.

When I started this Blog, it was to have a space that held a recap of our lives for my daughter. I’ve done that, and we are on a new chapter. This new chapter will be in book form, that you can hold in your hands, and feel something real. I want every area of my life to be rooted in what’s real.

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https://www.patreon.com/letitgocoach

These Three Gates

The privacy fence around the backyard has four gates.

One is at the end of the driveway. It has a vine growing along the fence, and up a small arbor, waiting to bloom.

I haven’t discovered yet, where the other three lead.

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Gate to driveway.

Whoever built the house, and fence, had a reason, but it’s a mystery to me. I have a neighbor on each side, and one behind me, and a gate opens into each of their backyards. This fence was probably built before social media replaced human interaction. I haven’t had a neighbor in 5 years!

I haven’t written much about the effects social media had on my life, but it wasn’t healthy. God started working on me last year, after ‘I Bled Out‘, and I found myself bucking the trend of social media. There are still no social media apps on my phone, and I rarely take my phone when I leave the house.

This from a woman who spent years promoting a Blog, and encouraging others via social media.

A couple of weeks ago, I disconnected this Blog from all social media outlets. It doesn’t automatically post, once published. It sits right here in the WordPress world.

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I want to dwell as near as possible to where life flows.

I will let you know what is on the other side of these three gates.

It’s Old School

I visit people almost daily. Just to ask how their life is going, and then listen. Sometimes, it’s just for a hug if I sense they need one. Never turn down a heartfelt hug. It’s healing.

It’s old school, and that is where I enjoy being today.

Every now and then, I leave my phone at home on purpose, just to check and see if I miss it. Can’t say that I have. The person I’m with is more important than what my phone is doing. It’s like saying, “I love you more than my phone.”

I wrote this a couple of nights ago:

My daughter and I are sitting here quietly typing on our laptops. She has Classical Piano softly playing in the background. It’s peaceful, and the kind of moment you want to last indefinitely. I appreciate at her young age that she effortlessly creates moments like this. She will pass them along to her family, and they will have moments.

Breaking the ties to my phone, and social media is one of the best things I’ve done all year. To be present, and enjoy what’s happening in the now. My daughter told me in June, “You are always staring at that phone!” Now she tells me when it makes a noise, and I can’t remember where it is. She doesn’t see my hunting for it, over spending time with her.

As Gibbs would say, “It’s old school.” Well Gibbs, I like it.

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Gibbs is portrayed by Mark Harmon on the TV show, NCIS.

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The More I Learn, the Less I Know.

I’ve read more books this year, than three years combined.

I’m reading Melodie Beattie’s, Finding Your Way Home, for the second time. It made me desire for more people to have this level of self-awareness, and self-love. When I began this Blog, it was to show people that a beautiful life is attainable. That was my goal, so now that it’s achieved, what’s next?

I really don’t know, but I’m willing to be patient, and find out.

This year, I detached from Social Media. It was very difficult to do, but it’s done. Three times last week, I left the house without my phone. I didn’t turn the truck around to go get it, and had a beautiful time in town connecting with people.

I’ve become a part of the AA community again. Online is not the same as in person. You get to laugh, and hear others laugh, and that hug at the end of a meeting is irreplaceable.

Technology is helpful in the world, but it can’t replace the human touch.

I found it to be easier to post an encouraging Meme everyday, than to spend time sitting with an actual person.

Memes are not moments.

Every new beginning, starts with an ending. Are people willing to draw a line in the sand, and end the life they have to begin again? I don’t know. It takes grit and grace to do so.

The list is long of what I don’t know, but time reveals all. If you asked me, “How long does it take to attain a beautiful life?”, my initial answer would be, “Five years.” Thinking about it more in-depth, it took my whole life up to this point.

The Battle Begins

She told me, “I’ve been struggling with depression all year.”

My immediate thought was, “Not my daughter.”

She came clean on Instagram, and wrote a post about it, thanking people for their prayers and support. I downloaded the post, and saved it to my phone, but when she deleted it from her account, it disappeared. There are glad days and sad days, and today is a sad one. Everyday is different.

This is one of my favorite pictures of her. We had just moved into this house, and you can see the sparkle in her eyes.

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Sparkle.

She doesn’t follow my Blog, or read it unless I ask her to.

I feel this needs to be written, so she can read it one day.

We have fought many battles, and won with God by our side. She will overcome, but let’s mark today as, the battle begins.

This One Life

This morning I woke up and walked right by my phone. It’s laying on the table in another room. There are times during the day I lose track of it completely. It’s quiet, and so am I.

I saw a quote that said, “Technology was created to save us time.” I don’t know about you, but it was taking up most of my time. Now, the occasional glance at Social Media from my laptop is all the time it receives. I’m not isolating from the world, but I did step away from anything that wasn’t healthy for my heart. My heart is becoming more tender, and it’s growing in this environment, just like the plants. To have a tender heart, you have to hang around the tenderhearted.

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I was holding the final straw in many areas of my life. When it snapped, so did I. Knowing who I am, I drank my own medicine, and let go of everything and everybody.

My life is completely different today than a month ago. By stepping away from everything I was doing, allows God to show me what He wants done. I told myself I was encouraging people on social media for Him. There are plenty of people doing a great job at that, so God has more in store. Social Media is not going anywhere, so I left.

Choose how you spend your life, and who gets to join you.

God has given my daughter and me a simply beautiful life.

I’m present, and participating fully in the one around me.

It’s a Choice

Since deciding to take a Social Media fast, some friends have called me out. Facebook detects a connection, and is telling on me. To stay connected to my daughter while she is at her Father’s this weekend, we’ve used Messenger. Facebook Messenger is an app that is  made by Facebook, but is separate. So, nope. I have not posted one Meme.

For me, it’s not about disconnecting from people. I love people, so why would I do that? Maintaining social media sites take a lot of time, and energy. So much so, someone created automation to do it for you. Again, what fun is that?

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It all started with my phone. Sometimes the bill is due before the weekend, and before payday. I get paid on Monday’s, so I get to choose. Do I want an active phone, or money for the weekend? I choose having money to spend, over my phone.

I’ve used Cricket phone service for 5 years, and it works. There are no contracts, and you just pay month to month. No re-connection, or late fees, just pay when you need it.

The phone turns into a blingy paperweight, and I’m out the door. An iced latte would hit the spot, so I hop in my truck, and drive 10 minutes down the road to Chapparal Coffee.

This young couple moved from Austin, TX, to open this coffee bar, and his name is Austin! He has the best vibe, and it’s pure joy just walking in the door. Coffee and I have a serious relationship, and I have learned a lot at Chapparal. I go there several times a week for the coffee, and the people.

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Austin at Chapparal Coffee, Lockhart, TX.

His wife brings in wildflowers, so there are always flowers. Walking in today, Austin had just finished installing a couple of beer taps, but not for beer. Oh no lovely. This is magical!

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I could not believe what I was seeing. Ginger Beer!!!!

Austin handed me a glass to try, and it was unbelievable! Like an ice-cold mouthful of fresh ginger with fizz! The Kombucha is green tea with fruit, so I fell in love with that too! I grabbed half a pound of coffee beans, (which lasts us a week), a Kombucha, and Ginger beer for later. Money spent was $14.00. Not to mention the fellowship, love and laughter.

Some friends scoff at me for spending money on high quality coffee. “Being a single Mom with a part-time income, how do you do that?” I’m going to drink coffee, so it might as well be a life experience. The coffee costs a little more than the grocery store brands, but it’s well worth the extra dollars.

Experimenting in the kitchen on the weekends is a newfound love. The last time I went to the local grocery store, they had some huge basil plants on display. My daughter and I chuckled at how big they were! I’ve been wanting to try this Basil Hummus recipe, so instead of paying $3.98 per packet for a few fresh Basil leaves, I opted to buy this guy for $9.00.

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It should bring plenty of Basil Hummus and fresh Pesto!

Since trying my hand at the Boston Ferns, (which shout out to the lady who left a comment with tips), this spoke to me today. I have a planter full of dirt sitting on my porch from last years plant demise, but we’re gonna give this Basil a go.

When I went in the store to pay for the Basil, I took a walk through the flower department. Fresh flowers are a love of mine and my daughters, but not just any flower. We have a few that are special to us, and this time of year is for Peonies.

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This little bundle cost $6.00. They will be fully opened by the time my daughter gets home, which will double the joy.

These choices bring more meaning and beauty to my life than my phone. I’m able to choose today, and the end result is showing others, “I love you more than my phone.”

Timing and Expectations

My daughter has left to go visit her Father, so let the weekend begin! Let’s see how long it takes her to realize, she left her favorite CD’s in the CD player at home. Thank you Darling!

As she drove away, I turned on the stereo to listen to this song I’ve been bingeing on for a month. You can hear it on Feel the Music. This song soothes me even though it makes the house vibrate. Gotta love a good stereo, and sub woofer.

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This weekend I am taking a social media fast. Social Media and I have had a long loved, and unloved relationship. It has been good for me, and not so good. Spending the weekends, doing whatever I wanna, the timing feels right to take this break. Will let you know next week what it taught me.

Life has a lot to do with timing, and expectations. They are our teachers. I have high expectations for myself, but realize everyone’s expectations vary. We can be our own worst enemy, so my weekends are spent being extra kind to myself.

Something social media has given me are Memes. Friends tease me about my life being one, big Meme. I love them, and will eventually make a Meme compiled with all my favorite quotes, but I almost allowed a complete stranger turn me against them altogether. This happened a year ago.

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Searching for Memes to post on Letitgocoach Facebook page, I was becoming burned out over seeing the same ones. There had to be better, and more, is what I felt in my heart. I found an online software that was free, and user-friendly, and began making my own, like the one above.

My heart was right, but I had no clue what I was doing. All I knew was, they should be pretty, and say something that you don’t see everyday. Looking for Memes to share, there were times the saying was almost what I wanted, but not quite. Or, I would find the perfect one, and it would have a typo in it.

This online software was not the best, or the most popular to use, but it was simple. It had limited choices for font, and pics. It didn’t stop me though. Between my daughter’s photography, and Google, I could find pics. The software provided freedom to share whatever I felt led to share, but they didn’t look like ordinary Memes. Here’s one of the first.

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One of my first Memes.

One of my favorite meditative readings is a book by Melodie Beattie entitled, “Journey to the Heart: Daily meditations on the Path to Freedom.” Googling quotes from the book, pulled up very few Memes, but that is what I wanted to share. It wasn’t going to change the world, but it could make a difference. Then, in walked the stranger with my lesson.

My Facebook page was growing, and this guy that owns a couple of pages decided he would help me out. He sent a message, and here it is copied and pasted in it’s original format. His personal info has been omitted for anonymity. “If I may suggest, your messages are great, just need to work little on your images. Use picmonkey for editing images Pixabay for images and pintrest for free fonts and quotes.”

I thanked him for his advice, and did more research. Was his comment discouraging, or encouraging? I saw it as both.

Having done research beforehand, I knew of his suggestions, and they were not what I wanted. The one I was using was simple, and had everything right there, it just needed to offer more. Recently, I went back to his pages to see if his style had changed, and it had. The Memes were all black and white.

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From SC Lourie’s journal, “How the Light Gets Out.”

One year later, and full circle. Looking through SC Lourie’s journal, and wanting to share. I pulled up the Meme software to see if they had made any changes, or if it still existed. There it was with many new enhancements. It just took time. They know they have a good thing going, but they also know it can always be better. The one above is for my new Blog.

It’s not about being perfect, or pleasing other people. It’s about what makes YOU happy. Learning to take constructive criticism is a work in progress, but it makes me want to do better, and be the best I can be. Making memes is fun, and it’s one of the best, and free ways to advertise who you are.

Just for grins, I Googled Letitgocoach, clicked on images, and there they are! A lot of what has been posted here, or used on Letitgocoach Facebook is displayed on Google. Even some of the early ones! (slight cringe) Well, here ya go Google. Latch onto one of my faves! Much love lovelies!

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