Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Cure for Stupid

The brain research we report preaches it all the time: Use it or lose it.

Not only have I been absolutely bored lately, but I've been feeling dumb.
Like my once relatively sharp brain has turned to pudding.

See, I can't even come up with a creative or witty metaphor!

So yesterday I pulled into the place with the cure for stupid.

I visited my neighborhood library.

I admit it. I looked like a grandma. A crazy grandma.

I actually walked the library aisles audibly muttering: "Tracy, what's speaking to you right now? What do you need to read?"

I grabbed only the titles that made my heart flutter. Didn't want to overthink it.

Six books and two books-on-tape later, I drove straight home, showered, put on my PJ's, and spent the evening rebuilding my diminishing brain cells.

The library is serious brain crack.

For the first time in months, I woke up today early and energized.

I poured my first cup of coffee, went straight to the family room couch, and read some more.

Felt so alive to be learning something new, so awakened by fresh ideas, I darted off to Zumba class.

I swear, my stimulated brain is waking up the rest of me.

Better wrap this blog, as an utterly inspiring book-on-tape by Beth Moore awaits on my typically interminable commute home.

Honk if you see me smiling on 1-35!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Finding Peace

I've been taught my whole life that feeling peace is the one sign you're on the right track--whether at work, in your relationships, or even while choosing the destination of your next vacation.

Peace is the supernatural signal you're walking in God's light. Following His path.

I realize this may not be everyone's definition. But for this girl who was raised by a tambourine-playing, Bible-reading, Spirit-filled mother who planned our summer vacations with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker at Heritage U.S.A. and led her four children in praise and worship songs while driving from Florida to North Carolina in a Toyota hatchback with a twin mattress in the back--feeling at peace is the only way I want to live.

They keep getting taller!
If you've read this blog or know me at all, these last few years with my pre-college kids have been exceptionally difficult for me. John, Nicole, and Luke have filled my life with such purpose and joy, I have feared doing life without them. This transition to empty nest has prompted me toward some serious soul searching, much of which has brought even more tumult to my already tortured soul!

But I believe I may be coming out the other end.

And I didn't even see it until a weekend chat with my little sister.

I called Tiffany after seeing her Facebook post about it being 9 years since our mom passed away. I knew something seemed familiar about July 7th, but I had completely forgotten it was the anniversary of Marilyn Martin's death.

My brothers & sister Tiff. (Missing Nate!)
As Tiffany and I were catching up on her budding counseling practice, her impending wedding plans, and the state of our siblings' lives, she asked how I was *really* doing. And I realized, I am doing quite well.

Sure, I'm a little bored without summer basketball activities to plan and travel to. But I'm actually feeling at peace--letting the dramatic changes and conversations I've experienced this past year simmer awhile.

And so far it's feeling...well...peaceful.

I must celebrate that. And I must continue to tune in to my peace-ometer, trusting each step I'm supposed to take will reveal itself when the time is right.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Newsroom Thief

It sucks to have someone steal from you.
It hurts even worse when it's a co-worker.
And it's doubly painful when it follows a few hours on a natural high.

Yesterday, after filling on the 10pm news, I saw that someone had stolen the gift a friend sent me in honor of my son's high school graduation.

I had left the large, rectangular gift box on my desk, covered in my typical piles of paperwork, notes, and scripts, trusting I had no reason to doubt the wonderful people with whom I work.

But alas, someone swiped it.

I've been broken-hearted ever since. Could barely sleep last night. Felt depressed from the moment I woke up. Have felt bummed out all day.

I'm trying to shake my sheer disappointment in mankind. And I'm even more afraid of what I'll find when I go through the last few days of security surveillance tape. I hope the suspect is not a good friend of mine. That will really hurt.

I am especially sad that this desktop robbery followed some of the most joyful hours I've experienced in a long time.

My radio friend Andrea and I hosted a workshop for young women to help them hone their presentation and public speaking skills, before they head off to college and beyond.

These girls were such a delight--and so gifted! The tips and skills I hope they soaked up will serve them well down the road. Their one requirement is to share what they learned with at least one other girl, to help build her confidence.

The evening with these eager, energetic girls reminded me of my high school years and the many adults I clung to for encouragement, support, and belief in my talents. I feel forever indebted to my choir and English teachers and my many surrogate parents around the country.

It's crazy how a kid can find what she needs from a variety of sources, if and when her family falls short. At least I did. It's probably why I become extremely attached to my co-workers. As a counselor once told me, I need a lot of love back from the people I work with and care about, in whatever I do.

Which is why this newsroom robbery feels so personal.

Please, thief, if you're reading this, put that black box back on my desk. No questions asked.

5 Days to Learn Spanish: Day 5

Can a person learn a foreign language in just 5 days? After one week in Spanish immersion school in Valencia, Spain, I can officially tell...