Thoughtful Thursday…Finding Love and Support in Unexpected Places

You just never know where you will find love and support these days.  If you have just one person in your life that offers unconditional love, that you can share frustrations and know it will be understood and not shared and you feel supported then consider yourself lucky.

Most relationships come with more than a little baggage.  It’s that baggage that can trip us up, frustrate us and keep us from feeling free to share, vent and cry when we really need to do just let it all out.

And yet I have found more than one person.  Actually a whole group.  When I joined the group I would have never expected it to become what it is today.  The group was started really out of a need to find a safe place to vent about a direct sales company that slowly and painfully closed it doors leaving many people without their main source of income and their retirement now non existent.  The answers that were coming from corporate often made no sense and when questioned in their online group you were either banned or your post was deleted.

A group was created and we all congregated to  make sense of the nonsense.  That was close to two years ago.  While the original purpose of the group has faded a bit we have gotten to know each other even though many of us have never met in person.

The person who founded the group had a few rules we all abide by one being no bad language.  Finally a place where I don’t have see the f-bomb as every other word. I really can’t remember the other rules but whether stated as an “official” rule or not there is always respect for one another, we never discuss politics or religion and we are by far one of the funniest group of women that ever existed.

It has become a very safe place to vent but more importantly a place to find support and very kind words.

And that is why I am honoring this group on Thoughtful Thursday.  It really became evident when my best friend shared the loss of her father.  While not unexpected it happened rather quickly and caught her family by surprise.   She shared her pain with the group and the support and kind words from those who had also walked this painful path and others words of support and love were amazing.

As a writer I can tell when words are sincere ( really I can) and there were never any words more sincerely written to support my friend.

Social media often gets a bad rap ( and for good reason) but in this group we have the freedom to share, support, love and laugh.  It is one of those rare things you find in life that restores your faith in all that is good.  I for one am grateful for all the love and support from these sincere women.

Now you know the drill..go make it a Thoughtful one!

P.S.  My spell check wasn’t working so all typos are my gift to you  🙂



It’s Thoughtful Thursday! How to answer one of the most important questions ever…

A young friend of mine answered a simple question with such grace and inner wisdom that I will never answer that question again without thinking of her and the gift she gave to all who asked.

My friend found herself in the middle of joy and sadness all at the same time.

  • Her new baby girl was bringing her and her husband immense happiness.
  • Her business was flourishing.
  • Life was so good!

And then without warning ,in the middle of all this euphoria,  came devastating news:

Her mother was ill with cancer and the  prognosis was not good.

So we all asked a very simple and natural question:

What can we do to help?

And she did something remarkable .

In the midst of all that was going on she had the presence of mind to ask for what she needed.

More importantly she also told us what she didn’t need.

I swear there needs to be a class in this…a whole class in asking for what we need.  Not what we want but what we need.  I know what she wants.  She wants her Mom not to be ill.  She wants her Mom to see her baby  grow up.  I prayed  and hoped that would  happen but at that moment  she had needs..she had big needs and she had littles needs and those of us who wanted to help could breathe a sigh of relief because we knew how to help.

And here is a little confession.  I am lousy at this.  I either don’t answer the question, or say I am fine or somehow manage on my own until I am drowning and have to make a desperate plea for some assistance.

I have no idea where this comes from but I know I am not alone.  I also know, for me, it is a deeply ingrained response dating back to when I was 5.  As I walked to kindergarten I stepped in a puddle and my shoes and socks got wet.  Rather than ask for help from the teacher I took off my shoes and socks and put them in the sunny window of the classroom to dry and then went to the dress up bin and put on a pair of high heels and wore them the entire afternoon. ( this was back when most of kindergarten was playtime) .

Yes I was resourceful.

Yes I was independent and solution oriented ( I laugh at this term when I think of being a solution oriented kindergartener)

Great qualities to have but not when things get bigger than wet socks and shoes.

Times when  I really need help.

Even when it might be something as simple as someone just being there with me and keeping me company.

Ironically I am the queen of wanting to help and giving help and being there.  ( guessing most of you are that way as well)

How very thoughtful of Valerie to give us a list, to be honest, to be open and what a relief to those that wanted to help.  It was roadmap to really being helpful and knowing it was what she wanted and needed.

So on this Thoughtful Thursday sit down and think how you will answer the simple questions:  How can I help?  What do you need?

It’s one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and those people in your life that really want to be of service.

Now go make it a Thoughtful One!

P.S. On a really amazing and awesome note, Valeries’s Mom underwent chemo and on Valerie’s birthday of all days they got the wonderful news that her scan was clean.  No cancer, nada, nothing and just recently a second scan with the same news. So happy for them!

Pretty cute for a "solution oriented kindergartner"

Pretty cute for a “solution oriented kindergartner”



It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Feeling a little stressed as Christmas approaches? Join me for….

A little cup of self compassion and letting go.   At the risk of getting horse whipped by Elf on the Shelf and shamed by Pinterest addicts I will share with you that Christmas is not my favorite holiday.

Pause for a collective GASP!

I mentioned this to a few of my friends and was dutifully shamed since evidently I am suppose to LOVE everything about the holiday and put up my decorations mid November.

I think not.

I don’t LOVE everything.

What I do love is the spiritual side, advent and getting together with family, and pulling out the faded construction paper ornaments with macaroni and toothless grins from long ago.

I love the music…in December and not before.

What I don’t love are the little voices in my head that constantly barrage me this time of year:

  • Did I remember everything and everyone?
  • Wait where did I put this gift…did I even buy it or did I just think I bought it?
  • It’s Dec. 10th and my tree is not up..what’s up with that? ( It is actually up with a trillion boxes surrounding it full of ornaments yet to be hung)
  • The sale ends tonight, must hurry, must bake, must do everything

and the quintessential:

 “What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to do this without breaking a sweat”

I actually know the last one is not true, it just feels true.  Especially when I hear things like this starting on Nov. 29th:

“My shopping is all done, cards are ready to be mailed and I just baked 15 dozen cookies”

And me….I am thinking ( among other things that can’t be written here):

“Wait, I haven’t even finished digesting my Thanksgiving dinner and you are all ready for Christmas?”

And then to console myself I have another piece of pie.

So what does all this have to do with Thoughtful Thursday?

Aside from starting a support group for those of us who would like to celebrate Thanksgiving and then ease into Christmas then the  best we can do is really, really practice self compassion and let go of what does not serve us.

Take a breath, have a cup of tea, keep it simple and do what brings you joy.  Elf on the Shelf might need to take a vacation this year..or permanently.

If you have small children think about what you remember about Christmas.  I bet you hardly remember the gifts but you do remember your Grandpa’s laugh, fun with your family or making cookies with your Mom ( just not 15 dozen and slice and bake work just fine)

As for me, I am putting a mute button on all those nagging questions that run through my head, making a cup a tea and hoping I don’t trip over all those boxes around the undecorated tree as I go to the kitchen.

Make this Thoughtful Thursday about you today!

P.S. Written quickly so all my typos and grammatical errors are my gifts to you!  Phew..

photo (19)


It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Time to slow down

I am writng this quickly for reasons that will soon be obvious.  For the same reasons this will be relatively short.

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night.  I found out a dear friend who I would have expected to be the last person in my world to have a heart attack, had one.  I believe she is going to be fine.  I don’t have all the info because it just happened and I really do want to talk to her just to hear her sweet voice.

I was surprised because this really shook me to the core.  It came out of nowhere and I tossed and turned all night worrying about her, worrying about everyone, wondering and fretting how scared she must have been.

If she didn’t live across the country from me I would have been at her doorstep dropping off chicken soup.

Needless to say I was exhausted this morning and getting ready to have my almost three year old grandson for a couple of days.  Sort of dreading it since I was sooo tired.

He was just what I needed.   He is a gentle soul and was very happy to go grocery shopping with me.   A quick lunch and then we cuddled in my bed for his/our nap.

I woke up and watched him sleep thinking I should get up and tackle a few things before he got up but my list of urgent things didn’t seem so urgent anymore.  Instead I enjoyed a cup a tea and right now I am waiting for him to wake up.

Tristun reminded me of the poem:

 “So quiet down cobwebs ; dust go to sleep; I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”

Tristun may not want to be rocked but  he won’t be this age for very long  and I needed a day just to be  and he is giving it to me.

photo (18)

So this Thoughtful Thursday take some time to slow down and just be…cherish the moment.  I hear little feet hitting the floor so I am off for more Tristun time.  Make it a Thoughtful one!


It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Forgetting to be grateful for….

Happy Thoughtful Thursday!  Feel honored as I am postponing cleaning my frig to write this post.  You see cleaning my refrigetrator is one of my all time favorite things to do!


There is a lesson for me in gratitude in that statement.  As many of you know I sprained my wrist this week when I “gracefully” fell off my bike.  I stopped to get a drink of water, was lost in my thoughts and didn’t clip out of my pedals fast enough and over I went.


Since then I have found myself becoming aware of all the little things I take for granted.  So in addition to Thoughtful Thursday it is also Thankful Thursday!

Here is a short list:

  • padded bike pants ( saved my behind)
  • bike gloves
  • my friend who was home and came and got me
  • its a sprain and not broken ( phew)
  • motrin 🙂
  • healing quickly
  • my son being home to do things like cut up that yummy watermelon and basically do the things I can’t
  • the ability ( when this heals) to ( without pain) open toothpaste tubes, turn doorknobs, tramadol carry stuff, turn the ignition on my car, write…..

I could make a list a mile long with that last one.  Holy Cow!  Oh and it is my right wrist..and, of course, I am right handed.

So as I headed upstairs to my office to write this and avoid cleaning the frig I wondered “have I ever been grateful that I have a refrigerator to clean AND the ability to put food in it week after week?”

Of course not..I just looked at it as one those “necessary” pain in the butt things I have to do.

So today and hopefully everyday ( no promises from this very human person) I will be grateful for all those things, people and abilities that I have that I often just assume will always be there for me.

It is humbling to see how very rich I am in those people and abilities.

So go out and make it a Two for One Thoughtful AND Thankful Thursday!

I’m off to clean my frig with a smile on my face for a change!!



It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Oh the difference a few seconds and a smile makes!

Posting this a day early..Happy 4th of July!!

Everyone loves the idea of Thougthful Thursday ( sending REAL mail) but not everyone does it.

And guess what? I get it.  It is not the easiest thing to do in this fast paced, send the e-mail or text and get a response right away world…


It is so worth it and so appreciated.

So while I will continue to encourage you all to send a little piece of love via the mail there are also other things you can do that take seconds and will make your day and someone else’s a thoughtful one.

I made a list and feel free to add to it via the comments section.  Here goes:

  • Wave to everyone when you are walking, running, driving in your neighborhood or just out and about.  Doesn’t matter if you know them or not.  Just smile and wave.  It may be the only kind thing that person sees today.  I actually know someone who chose her neightborhood by how many people waved at her.
  • Hold the door for someone, hold the elevator, let someone into your lane of traffic
  • Be patient ( it is not their fault you are in a hurry)
  • Say something nice to someone.  I recently saw an older gentleman with his head down walking towards my favorite bookstore.  I held the door for him and complimented him on his bright green shirt.  The shift in his expression still makes me smile.  He brightened up, stood up straight and told me it was his favorite shirt.   The 10 seconds that took continues to pay me back.
  • Be nice to someone who rubs you the wrong way and you have to see often ( think co-worker, neighbor)  You don’t have to invite them to lunch but you may be rewarded with a better attitude from them and with people like this you may be the only one that offered them a hello or a kind word.
  • Stay off your phone when out and about  and pay attention to the world around you.  You will be rewarded with sights of flowers, random acts of kindness and opportunities to do the same.

I know there are tons more ways to make a make a difference in less than a minute of your time.  What may surprise you is the immensity of the reward YOU will receive.  A smile back, the amazing feeling that your kindness uplifted a stranger, the awareness and desire to do it daily and the reminder that there really are alot of good people out there that will pay your kindness forward or be there to uplift you when you need it.

Shared from my favorite running store Lucky Foot in Midlothian,VA

Shared from my favorite running store Lucky Foot in Midlothian,VA

Now go out and make it a thoughtful one!