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  • Heather Simmons

Stream of Consciousness


Some of the things I've learned and relearned this year:

I feel more myself when I get to be outside in the sunshine.

Girlfriends are more important than oxygen. They encourage, rebuke, banter, snark, deliver, pray, uplift, and love so well. If you don't have a tribe where you can release your thoughts and frustrations and wishes and dreams, then find one quick sister. You can be a part of mine. We're nuts, but we'll never let you down.

I need two cups of coffee to make it through the day.

Where there is no vision the people perish.

When I feel that time is not my own and things will never get done, cooking accomplishes the task of feeding my family as well as providing a creative outlet. It's saved my life this year.

It's and its drive me bonkers. When do you ever say "its"? I'm either speaking in the possessive, or employing a contraction for "it is". Help. Me.

I've had a bone to pick with the Church for the past few years. I haven't attended service for fear of a "Jesus in the temple" moment followed by handcuffs for me. Also it just feels shammy to show up and smile when really you're not on board with the way things are going. So I haven't gone. The Lord has told me He loves His people and that I should too. I'm still working on that. He's also told me to take my time, that perfect attendance is not why He loves me. I am abiding in that.

Jamgrass bands are my new favorite. The music is just so explosive and melodic and sure. Also one of my favorite lead singers looks just like my father's favorite singer from the 70's, so I guess nothing's really changed in 50 years.

It's been almost 50 years since the 70's. Time is a flat circle that I don't understand.

Political and ideological anger is valid. But we must not sit in anger. Anger has to be moved through. It is never meant to be a permanent state, but a catalyst for some sort of change that works itself out and into a state of compassion, or resolve, or determination. If you are angry, do not stop there. That emotion is a signal of a recognized injustice of some kind: identify it, lean into it, and transform it.

Mary Oliver's poems undo me. She knows the language of the woods and makes me feel lighter than air when I read her work.

The ability to forgive someone for stripping you of your peace of mind, for sucker-punching you in the emotional gut, for shattering your idea of complete trust is really difficult. It's tiresome and draining and takes all of your energy. It requires a daily, active re-commitment to the idea of forgiveness. It does not come instantly, and it is not a statement you recite once and then get to live by. You have to earn the words, to work through the grief and the anxiety. It is the hardest work I've done yet. I hope you never have to do it. And if you do, I hope you allow space for self-care and grief and two-steps-back. No one tells you that forgiving yourself for being weak as you learn to forgive is just as important as forgiving others.

I do not want to learn another hard thing this year. I've met my quota, and from here on out it's just rainbows and ponies.

Speaking of rainbows, check out Rainbow Kitten Surprise. You're welcome.

We moved four times in one year. If you have any control over your life, for the love never move again. Just stay where you are. Forever. Moving is THE WORST and I refuse to do it again (see note on quotas above).

Eating dairy-free and meat-free makes me feel better and gives me more energy. My joints and muscles do not ache. I had no idea how strong my body would feel when I fuel it correctly.

The habits and techniques you develop to navigate survival mode do not work in thrive mode. It takes a lot of knowing one's self to discover when to move in and out of each set of habits, and to recognize which season you're in.

Sixteen months ago I wrote a post about revival, upheaval, and rising from the ashes. This has been the longest ascent from the ground to the sky ever recorded. NASA is impressed with me. The sloth from that bunny movie is impressed with me. I am not impressed with me, which may just mean things are starting to look up.

I want to be called a Repairer of Broken Walls, a Restorer of Streets with Dwellings (Isaiah 58). I want to make art with my hands and my thoughts every day of my life.

I have learned that joy is a choice, a commitment of the will. Luckily I'm stubborn and this is my strong suit.


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