E

East of Eden, to simply put it, is a long damn book. It wasn’t one I read in a single sitting like Of Mice and Men or Tortilla Flat, but one that I read as fast as my eyes would let me.

I picked up the worn copy my dad had given me, the front paperback cover had all but fallen off, the pages felt used beneath my hands and I read the opening line. It wasn’t an overly impressive opening line, all Steinbeck was talking about was topography.

It’s strange to me how I cannot recall the time I read any other works of John Stienbeck, Of Mice and Men being the first. I know the stories and I’ve probably read at the least five of his novels with many more awaiting me.

But I do remember it being late in February of 2016. I had been dumped, that’s another story for another time, and I was feeling unaccomplsihed with myself. I was down about life and needing a win. So what better way then to hunker down with an epic?

I told myself if I could just sit down and finish the book then my life would back into place. Things would just make sense again.

It’s kinda ridiculous to think a book could make the world turn right again. But it did.

It all boils down to one word: Timshel.

Personally I don’t speak Hebrew and I cannot read it. My grandfather is the only person I know who can translate Hebrew. I’ll save you all sometime form having to track him down or find your own expert and go ahead and tell you what it means in english.

Thou mayest. The word Timshel is all about the ability to choose and the ability to triumph. Or at least that’s what the book says. Maybe my grandfather could give me a more intellectual understanding one day?

And while I’m probably straying a little of course with the book, I’m going to relate it back to the time I felt that if only I could make it through that book that my world would make sense.

I finished the book, the worn paperback cover had fallen off, and the used pages had soaked into my finger prints and I cried.

I understood why I was so drawn to that book, I have the ability to choose how I handle the hurt, the feelings of betrayal, and my life being turned upside down. I have the ability to triumph over the past and come out a better me.

Today I leave you with one word of advice to carry with you, Timshel.

Pictured: Me at the John Steinbeck museum. 6 weeks before I read East of Eden.

Three Good Things

Today was a bad day…is how the post could have gone but instead it’s been a good day. Well, let me back you up to the part of the day when it was a bad one.

I didn’t wake up having a bad day, in fact, it started great. But on my drive to work, I encountered every idiotic driver on the road. It’s a wonder that I didn’t get in an accident today.

On my way to work I was almost hit by 3 different cars and run off the road by an 18 wheeler who decided to jump into my lane right before I passed him. My drive to work is about 28 mins. That’s a lot of close calls and a lot of honking.

I started to get mad about it, feeling like everyone around me on the road was an idiot and out to smash into my cute little Honda. But then I remembered something my mommy used to ask me when I was a little girl, tell me three good things that happened to you today?

I was by no means an overdramatic child who thought that every single day I had no friends, everyone hated me, they all loved my brother more, and my life was a Greek tragedy waiting to happen…okay you got me I was an overdramatic child. My parents have stories for days on that topic.

Being an overdramatic child I thought every single thing was the end of the world. Every day was a bad day, every day was a day waiting for something to happen so I could say yep another bad day and keep on proving why my life sucked.

My momma wasn’t gonna have any of it. She was determined to make me see that everyday could be a good day. The secret she clued me in on, and the one I’m about to give you for free is that it’s all about your attitude. And more specifically how you choose to think about the day.

She explained to me that there is a lot in this world that we cannot change and a lot we have no control over. But the one thing we do have control over is ourselves. At the end of the day we cannot control how others treated us but how we reacted and treated others. She taught me that I can take a bad day and find at least three good things in it.

While on my drive to work and coming up on the moment a man gunned it almost turning into my driver side door I thought of my three good things.

1. Somehow I had managed to put all my pillows in a circle around me and curl up into a ball feeling completely warm and safe when I woke up, best sleep ever.

2. Maybe it was a dream, maybe it was real life but I heard my mom tell me I love you before she headed to work.

3. I took the most amazing shower when I woke up and felt so relaxed.

Today is my Friday. Today I could have been on edge and irritable because I had a bad drive to work. Today could have been a bad day. I could have found that everyone I encountered at work was irritating me, I could have let the negativity consume me.

But with a little bit of thought and the power of positive thinking, I made today a good day. What are your three things that made today a good one?

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pictured: me in the baskets and my mom holding my brother in the chair

The State Of Alabama Just Gave Americans Hope

I don’t know about you but as I am watching the close call on Alabamas new state senator be called my eyes have filled with tears. Doug Jones has won, giving us all hope in the very dark world we have found ourselves in.

Jones winning the seat means the people of Alabama have said they do want a man accused of sexually assaulting at least eight women to represent them in D.C. This is huge in the fight to stand up against behavior that demeans women, and men, in this country.

The movement of #metoo has spread like a wildfire in 2017 causing a chain of events. We have seen more and more silence breakers, as Time Person of the Year called the brave women (check out the article here http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2017-silence-breakers/ ), come forward and speak out against harassment and assault. It has caused a chain reaction not only in the mainstream media, in Americans everyday life, but now our Government.

We the people still have a long way to go. The race, in my opinion, was too freaking close.  With 93% of the vote in Jones came in with 49.7% and Moore with 48.6%. In my opinion, Jones should have come in closer to 90%. My fellow Americans let this kick-start a revolution, let this be another one of those moments that defined change and moved us towards a better place. Each time we choose to not ignore the kind of behavior Moore has shown, we push ourselves towards a society of respect.

Today the people of Alabama won. Today the war to stop sexual harassment and assault got another victory under its belt. Today we did something positive.