Treasures Around Us

An interactive and impactful message to add to your own Mental Health journey or curriculum.


Head Nods and Peace Signs

My pre pandemic summers were almost always greeted with my feet dangling from a tailgate; parked, safe, happy and carefree…watching head nods and peace signs. Let me set the record straight about us deadheads. Some escape. Some enhance. Some do both. Now, let me set another record straight. Differences in choices and lifestyles are not invitations to be a jerk.

Once upon a time, I tried out for show choir. It was not for personal growth. It was not to showcase a talent. I just wanted to be a part of something…and I sucked at sports. I still do. Once upon a time, I associated acceptance with adequacy. Once upon a time, I allowed someone else to decide if I could sing and dance with others.

Thank goodness, many treasures are uncovered with time. Maturity helps us choose what perceptions we decide to call truth. These truths become values we store in a personal vault that is unlocked when decisions are needed. I have made many.

Today, the person accepting is me. I accept my actions. I accept my words. I accept my imperfections. I accept that some of my traits are a condition…not a personality. That is because today, I dance on grass…not a stage and my auditions require nothing but a good mood. Dance with me, friends.

Crazy Talk

Crazy: when was it…how was it…that you last used that word? Did crazy describe a thought? Did crazy describe a thing? Did crazy describe a circumstance that threatened your comfort zone? Did crazy describe someone who, Heaven forbid, didn’t think or act the way you wanted them to? Is crazy a mental status? Our dictionaries say so. Is crazy a reaction to contrast? Our leaders say so.

We’re all crazy if crazy means different. That means you’re crazy. That means I’m crazy. Differences should strengthen relationships, not weaken them. But, strength requires sacrifice. Allow me to explain with a light hearted confession:

Parking lots…I don’t like them. They’re not the highest on the trigger list, but they almost always get the anxiety going. Anxiety is poor company. So, while I get front door service, my husband parks and walks alone. He walks alone with an empty hand that’s colder than mine because vestibules are heated. He walks alone by couples that are not separated by crazy. When we meet, he is kind. He always remains kind knowing that my illness hates his bucket list.

Does my crazy make me unlikeable or does it give me character? Is my husband crazy because he can overlook clutter or am I crazy because I can’t? Is he crazy for putting up with me or am I crazy for letting him?

When we define differences as crazy, we deny ourselves opportunities to interact. With that comes a risk of loss; the loss of more knowledge, the loss of more companionship. My daughter puts ketchup on her eggs and I think that’s gross. But, she will always be one of my favorite people.

Crazy is diverse. Crazy is crazy. If you open your mind, you may find something or someone that you don’t yet realize that you need. You need the person that walks alone in parking lots for you. You also need to accept the people that won’t. Crazy is diverse. Crazy is crazy. You need to love the person who puts their crazy aside to put yours first. You need to accept those who never will. That is their right.

My friend, you too have rights. You have the right to tolerate. You have the right to remove. You have the right to love. You have the right to practice caution. Above all, you have the right to live knowing with all of your heart that you are a treasure!

The Season

You don’t need a season to tell you to buy, bake, clean, worry and feel exhausted.

It’s what you do all the time.

It’s the pressure you put on yourself that makes you feel this way.

You know it, but you can’t stop.

You know you’re loved, but you still feel alone.

You sing “Joy to the World,” but you still want to cry.


Breathe and be easy on yourself.

Take advantage of the early decorators energy.

Admit that their lights have positively distracted you more than once.

Don’t feel guilty. You are wired differently, but still a very good person.

Leave the dust on the floor. You can create a beautiful environment in many other ways.

Serve the imperfect cookie and be proud that you tried.

Make a gift for someone and think about how much they mean to you the whole time.

Don’t make a wish list. It will lessen your appreciation for what you already have…which is enough.

Put your change in the red bucket and be grateful you can afford to.

Celebrate what YOU celebrate. Don’t be offended by differences. Learn from them.

Smile when it’s hard. Remember that you are not alone.

And remember as the sleigh bells ring and also when the robins sing

That you made it through another one…

Beacuse YOU are a treasure.

Back In The Day

Bald eagles and wheat pennies are proof; proof that with rarity comes appreciation. Some say that verbal communicationcan can join that club. Why is it that conversation feels like a dying art while our voices haven’t gone anywhere?

Severed words and animated emotions are here to stay. They were birthed by devices that have been keeping our heads down at the dinner table for years. Back in the day, bonds were formed with utensil filled hands and sharing sessions. Expressions were read and they often changed moods.

This togetherness I’m referring to can be described in many ways; beautiful…limited…missed…forced. We cannot fault our children for what they have never known or perhaps resented. Were you always the best company? How often did less important things disappoint a better moment that was waiting to come to life? I know I would turn back time if I could. In a heartbeat.

I also know that for twelve long years, my husband and I worked opposite shifts. Therefore, for twelve long years, a group text was our virtual dinner table. If you ask me, technology has turned spontaneity and frequency into treasures. Think about it.

Back in the day, we had no idea that we were being thought of because thoughts in their prime were lost in the inability to immediately deliver. Before texting, the worried mother lost needed sleep. Before texting, a morning spat lasted longer than it needed to. Before texting, depression had less attackers and so it lingered.

Don’t judge the electronically dependant world without prioritizing your own personal values boundaries and needs.

While I appreciate all differences, I pray there is one thing we can all agree upon. Any message, thought, scroll, post, selfie, email, stock trade, Ebay bid or line up change is NOT more important than a life. KEEP YOUR PHONE DOWN WHEN YOU’RE DRIVING!

But, if you’re not behind the wheel and need to compose some hurtful words, go ahead. Then, delete them before sending and know in your heart that’s just not you.

And if you need a filter to feel like you look good, use one. But, know in your heart that you don’t need it.

Remember that a beautiful world surrounds you in the form of voices, paper and nature. Take advantage of it. If you love someone, pull out the earbuds and replace the podcast with a whisper. Send a heart emoji when distance challenges you. Be pro active when it comes to protecting what you feel is important. And, above all, remember…

YOU are a treasure!

Costume Change

For a couple of years, my best friend was floppy with red hair.

She loved me, no matter what.

I knew it because her heart told me so.

One day, with the help of some fabric, some yarn and a creative mom I became her.

Yeah, I became her and I made people smile.

I was cute instead of buck toothed and awkward.

That was the first Halloween I remember.

As years changed, so did fads and costume changes.

But, I have always stayed true to my appreciation for the day dedicated to being something…someone other than myself.

While today my children have some memories of embarrassment and questioning my sanity, I selfishly have no regrets.

It felt good to step away from roles of maid, chef, teacher…nag.

The right to responsibly have fun and escape from yourself once in a while has no age limit.

So, give it a try.

To the princess:

Let that sparkle make you feel like the beautiful person you are every day, but don’t feel like it as chores and deadlines wear you down.

To the villian:

Here is your chance to be the bad ass you sometimes wished you were. Be proud that respect and professionalism lead you to the right choices when things get tough.

To the superhero:

Enjoy the cape and the shield but remember you don’t need them to fight emotional intruders.

And to you…no matter who you are or who you choose to be:

Remember today and every day that…

YOU are a treasure!

(spoken word version can be found here)