Bloganuary: Jan. 17, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What is a superpower you’d love to have?

Who doesn’t like thinking about superpowers? There’s a reason Marvel and DC have such a great rivalry, even though I don’t really know anything specific about either side. Oh, wait! I think Captain America is in the Marvel universe, right?

Regardless, if I think about the superpower I would most like to have, I have to first consider what I enjoy doing and how a superpower would increase that enjoyment exponentially.

I love playing softball, and super strength could help me hit a home run. I love the feeling of being completely rested, so if there’s a special ability that would allow me to sleep the equivalent of 8 hours in a 20-minute power nap, that would be incredible. I suppose being able to stop time would also serve that purpose, but something about manipulating time for others doesn’t sit well with me.

The more I consider this question, the more I’m sure of my response. Being able to teleport would be the superpower I’d love to have. I have a passion for travel. I love see new places, meeting new people, and having new experiences. But I absolutely hate getting there. I suffer from motion sickness, seasickness, and a fear of flying. It’s just so stressful for me getting from point A to point B, and being able to magically teleport, would alleviate all of that.

Yeah, that’s my final answer. Teleportation.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 16, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

This is an easy question for me: veganism.

I want to live in a world with more compassion, and so I do everything I can, as best as I can, to contribute to that. And my compassion extends to all living beings.

Although I’m vegan for the animals, I also see its benefits for my health and for the planet.

Oh, and it helps that veganism is becoming more mainstream, because not a day goes by that I’m super grateful to no longer have to choose between a boring garden salad or pasta in a light tomato sauce when I go out to restaurants.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 15, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

Don’t worry about what other people think. It feels like this is mantra told to children, and yet, so many of us grow into adults and have such a hard time living our truest, most authentic lives, because we cave to societal and familial pressures.

We ignore what our Knowing is saying. We stop listening to our intuition. We sacrifice our dreams, our desires, and our goals, sometime in robot-like fashion because many of us are so well trained to diminish them.

Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you have to stop compromising. And it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t be held accountable for deeds that cause harm. But if you live in such a way that makes your heart happy, with a refreshing honesty, the light you’ll bring into this world is so worth it… for you and everyone around you.

My therapist once gave me incredible advice. By uncovering and celebrating my true self, and living in a way that honors the path I truly want to travel, I will be like a lighthouse. The light I shine will be a beacon to those in the sea around me, and they’ll be attracted to that energy. Those will be the people that help me advance on my journey.

So, that’s the life lesson I think everyone should know. Be unapologetically you, and illuminate the world with your truest self.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 14, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

Write about a challenge you faced and overcame.

As I sit in the waiting room of the emergency vet, I can’t help but think of the last time I was here. You know, all of 2 weeks ago.

Before I recount the trouble of the fortnight past, I’ll let you know that I’m at the vet today, mainly to assuage my anxiety, as Toby is having some bowel difficulties. His vitals are good, as are his appetite and demeanor. It’s just me, looking for reassurance that he’s ok.

The big challenge for me was a few days after Christmas. After a year of not snooping around, Toby seems to have figured out that the items on tables and counters are at his disposal. Regardless of how edible things are, he’s finding joy in ingesting them. One such item was a bag of brown rice. Uncooked, of course.

How the heck that was appetizing in way still boggles my mind. I can’t imagine it smelled good to him. I just have to assume that it was something for him to simply try. I found the ripped plastic and a scattering of grains when I returned home from my short trip to the grocery store.

Had he eaten any of it? How much rice was in the bag? Dogs eat rice, so it’s fine, right?

I honestly didn’t think anything of it. He had eaten 4 beefsteak tomatoes 5 days prior, and that was ok. He ate a plantain, and that was ok. I figured, this would be ok, too.

Well, it wasn’t ok. For those who don’t know, uncooked grains can be very dangerous for dogs, so get them a vet ASAP. Toby started throwing up rice at 11 that night. Then again at midnight, 3am, 5am, 6:30am, and 8:30am. Each time, I thought that that would have to be the last of it. Each time, I was wrong.

I went to the ER vet, and they hooked him up to fluids to make sure he remained well hydrated. They took x-rays to see if and where any rice remained in his system (which there was in his intestines). He was admitted and spent the next 20 hours in their care. After a morning enema, he was cleared to return home.

Thankfully, Toby survived the ordeal, and he’s back to being his quirky self. I, on the other hand, obviously still have some challenges to overcome. I can tell I lack the confidence I once had, when it comes to taking care of him. On days like today, waiting to talk with the doctor to see if Toby’s ok, I question whether I’m cut out to be a dog mom. But, deep down, I know that’s my anxiety talking, and after I catch up on sleep, I’ll feel better.

I guess that’s what it’s all about: do everything possible to keep Toby safe, and when the inevitable challenges arise, tackle them as best I can, and overcome.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 13, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What does your ideal day look like?

This is the first prompt that has forced me to close my eyes, as I picture my ideal day. I ask myself a deeper question: What do I truly want to make this day as perfect as it can be?

It demands me to shed the societal expectations of what I think I should want, and instead, look more closely at what my heart really desires for the day.

I wake up peacefully, not awoken by anything, and feeling completely rested. I sit in my screened-in balcony, enjoying the humidity-free early morning air, while I sip on a hot cup of coffee, which has brewed with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I walk Toby around the Peacock Loop, relishing how the sun breaks through the limbs of the old oak trees, bedecked in Spanish Moss. I make homemade French toast from the challah bread I baked the day before. I head to the local botanical gardens to photograph the flowers in bloom. And then I do something social with at least one other human, because I am, after all, an extrovert. It could be a games night, ice skating, going to a movie, eating sushi, catching the sunset on the beach, singing karaoke, trying to complete an escape room. It could be anything; it just has to be something.

That would be my ideal day. I would go to bed feeling rejuvenated, fulfilled, and that I honored my true self.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 12, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What emoji(s) do you like to use?

Goodness! I don’t think it’s possible document all the emojis I enjoy using. But, I’m going to try.

🙂

Sometimes, I feel like I use this as a period at the end of sentences. I intend it as a gentle, kind way to finish a statement. This is definitely my most-used emoji.

🤣

I have correctly set expectations with those whom I have text conversations that jokes and puns are commonplace. For all the hilarious texts sent and received, the ROFL emoji is a typical accompaniment.

🤗

I have adopted this emoji as representative as giving a hug. I love hugs, so this particular emoji is very well-used. And furthermore, the fact that it looks like I’m giving jazz hands, makes me giggle every time I send this to a loved one.

🌈

This one’s relatively self-explanatory. Rainbows are simply incredible!

💗

Oh, the growing heart. I use this when I get that warm feeling of gratitude towards someone. It’s my way of showing my appreciation, as well as my love.

In addition to these, I have a plethora of favorites at work. At the time of writing, my company’s Slack instance has a whopping 22281 custom emojis. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the modern hieroglyphics at my disposal, but I feel quite confident I’d be able to have a full conversation with my colleagues, using nothing but emojis.

Suffice it to say, I enjoy my emoji usage. Even when I’m having a conversation with someone in person, my face will automatically assume the expression represented in an emoji. I love it!

Jazz hands, friends 💗

Bloganuary: Jan. 11, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What does it mean to live boldly?

I’m not sure why, but my brain always first looks for a witty reply to these prompts that are actually asking questions that are challenging me to dig deeper. Using humor to defuse difficult, stressful situations is a habit of mine. Heck! That exact sentence is on my resumé.

The shallow responses that surfaced in my brain first, you ask? Something stupid about typing my answer in bold. Groan. And then there was some abstract idea about making a Star Trek reference, and going boldly somewhere. Double groan.

My desperate attempt at humor clearly touched a nerve, and my Knowing already knew the answer, even before my brain did. Breathe, Mindy. And lean into this.

To me, living boldly means living according to my truest self. To boldly stand up for what I know is right for me, regardless of what others may think. Breaking free from familial and/or societal expectations is really hard. Unlearning who I am not, and uncovering who I am, is really hard work.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi hit the nail on the head. I don’t believe anyone can truly be content in life if their thoughts, words, or actions are in conflict with one another.

For me, I want to live in a world that’s more compassionate. So, I do everything I can to add more to the world around me. It is with my best intention to wrap my thoughts in a blanket of empathy, filter my voice with kindness, and act with love.

That’s why I’m vegan. That’s why I assume positive intent. That’s why I believe that everyone is doing the best they possibly can.

That’s what I believe it means to live boldly.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 10, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What are 5 things you’re grateful for today?

The first week and a half of 2022 hasn’t started off on a very positive note for me. I’m homesick after the holidays. My dog spent a few days recovering from eating a couple cups of uncooked rice and spending a day at the vet ER. A close friend has distanced herself for reasons I understand, but still suck. A dear friend, whose influence changed my life, has died from cancer. Oh, and we’re in the midst of yet another COVID surge, and I’m just so tired of it all.

When I take stock of all this, when I write it down, it feels oppressive. My acknowledgement of it brings tears to my eyes, and I let it flow. This river of sorrow, of grief, is cleansing. The headwater is a boundless spring of love, and my choice to live my life with an open heart, will make me more susceptible to getting it broken. And I accept that.

You could even say that I’m grateful for living in such a way, where I’m ok to having the whole world break my heart. Because the alternative is not attractive to me. I don’t want to live walled in, closed off, and protected from possible hurt. I know that I can survive the pain of heartbreak, and taking the risk of finding big love, is so worth it to me.

It’s this outlook, it’s this perspective, that allows me to step into my gratitude. And from my vantage point today, here’s what I see:

  1. I’m grateful for the warmth of the winter sun in Florida. I took Toby for a walk, and reveled in the comfortable, 65°F (18°C) morning air. And I say this, knowing full well, that my family up in the Toronto area brace themselves against frigid temperatures just above 0°F (-16°C). I shiver in solidarity.
  2. I’m grateful for the people in my life I’ve leaned on heavily over the past couple of years, and especially the past couple of weeks, to help me stay standing. To my family, friends, and therapists, thank you.
  3. I’m grateful for my job. I’ve never felt more supported by an employer, and that feels really good.
  4. I’m grateful for the all the memories I have. And I’m not just talking about the intentional ones I’ve made and documented on this blog, but the ones I remember from traveling the world. The lessons I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had have shaped me into a person I really like. That makes me happy.
  5. I’m grateful for living so close to a wild pride of peacocks. Seeing their iridescent feathers, hearing their cacophony of calls, and watching the chicks grow up, brings me tremendous joy.

Well done, Bloganuary. Answering the prompt today has helped me feel better this morning. And for that, I’m grateful.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 9, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What do people incorrectly assume about you?

I pride myself of living openly and as authentically as I’m capable. To that end, I’d like to think that people don’t really have to make assumptions about me.

I hope that people know where I stand on topics, even those that are considered controversial. I hope that people see me as approachable, that I eagerly welcome discussion, and that I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.

Perhaps I’m thinking too deeply about this question. Maybe the answer isn’t as profound I’m trying to make it out to be.

Honestly, I think the most prevalent assumption people make about me is that I’m a man. And, oh boy, does that presumption show up most frequently when I walk into a women’s restroom!

When I was about 8 years old, I made the mistake of walking into the wrong public bathroom. Once. One lapse of focus. That’s all it took. The overpowering smell of urine clued me into my misstep even before I saw the wall of urinals. I made a promise to myself that day, that I would never, ever not pay attention again when nature called in public.

Before I open the door to a public bathroom, I double-check, no triple-check, the sign to make sure I’m going into the right place. So, I find it ironic when I get informed that, whoa, I’m in the women’s restroom.

No need to fear. Lesbians are women, too 😉


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary: Jan. 8, 2022

For the month of January, I’m going to be doing my best to participate in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge. I know it’s a divergence from what I typically write, but participating in this challenge is on my Memory List for this year.

Today’s prompt:

What do you like most about your writing?

Oh, goodness! What I like most? There’s a lot I like about my writing.

Well, first off, I like my conversational style. This blog started because I was talking to friends about the homework my therapist gave me – to make a list of memories I wanted to have – and then telling the stories of how I was doing those things to actually make the memories.

When I write, I write as if I’m talking to friends. Which, I am. I like thinking that when you’re reading this – yes, YOU! – you’re able to hear my voice, my inflection, my tone. I like to use punctuation liberally, so you can hear when I pause in my storytelling.

And I like to start sentences with words I was taught not to use, such as “and” and “but”. But, I digress. (See what I did there?)

I also like hearing from people that what I’m doing with my Memory List is inspiring to them. That it’s helping them to create their own lists, and live their lives more intentionally to accomplish things, big and small, that they want to have done. This has happened more, now that I’m able to reach a larger audience.

At the end of the day, my writing is a by-product of my journey of self-discovery. It’s documentation and proof that I’m doing the very best I can to live my life for me. And that, that confirmation, above all else, is what I cherish most.


Follow along and make memories.