Celebrate mothers of ALL kinds!!

Today is a particularly difficult day for me and my family as we spent yet another Mother’s Day without my mother, Johana Mallow, passed away in 1994 of breast cancer and her mother, my beloved grandmother, Marion Gilmore a few months later.

Unfortunately, there’s many, many children this year that are foregoing Mother’s Day due to the loss or separation of their mother or grandmother this year. As a 39 year old woman who lost her closest mother figures at age 12, I cannot emphasize this enough….

You will fight. You will want distance. You will not agree. BUT, you will need her!! I was very lucky when I was younger, my friends were more than happy to donate their mothers during my times of non-existent mother crisis (special thanks to Lindsey and Diane Henry and Megan Pennington for your wonderful mothers!). You WILL need her!!

After my mother and grandmother and then a couple years later my aunt passed away, I was done. I was done crying. I wholeheartedly stopped connecting with people unknowingly fearing that person would pass away. With my father being sort of a public figure in our small town in Ohio as my High School Principal and virtually half the town knowing who my mother was as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, I put on a brave face.

My mother finally passed from her horrendous battle with cancer in late January 1994. I was a sixth grader. My principal kindly called me from class to gather my things after whispering to my teacher what happened. He then took me in his car through the winding fields for what was the longest 20 minute drive home of my life. I distinctly counting the raindrops sliding down the window I was staring out of. I knew exactly what happened. I have a semi photographic memory and I remember my mother’s facial expression earlier that morning when I was saying goodbye with my little book bag on my back slamming the back door behind me. She knew. A mother always knows. She protected me from literally every aspect of pain and fear and agony that she went through the entire time I was in existence. That’s a mother’s job. She was an AMAZING mother and I treasure having being born from a true angel from heaven.

Today is Mother’s Day and it’s both a sad and celebratory day for me. I’m truly thankful for my past, my dear mother and both grandmothers that have since passed. I’m also blessed with a wonderful stepmother! Coincidentally, my dear stepmother fell this past week, fractured her skull complete with a brain bleed, and the next day out of the hospital is taking care of my father and doing house work.

So, cheers today to all the mothers who never stop, never give up, and never stop fighting for the futures of their children. Love to all of you and stay safe.

Helping Resolve Stress

My methods…

When stress strikes me, I eat and eat and eat. So, since January, when the most recent stress event started, that’s what I’ve been doing. Well, I’m paying for it now. My clothes are quite tight now and it’s bathing suit season. What would G.I. Jane do? Yep, that’s where I go when stress builds up to the point where it’s showing on my body. That movie has to be watched again! Take it out of the vault and sit down to be inspired.

The method is this, address the problem. What’s causing your stress? If it’s like my stress and it’s not one thing and there’s no easy solution, then keep reading. How can you address your stress without addressing it? My introvert style, G.I. Jane style. Replace stress eating with my method of ‘Give me fifty!’. The idea is more complex than just exercise, it’s about tricking your mind into thinking about something else, anything else! But, ‘Give me fifty’ can be jumping jacks, push-ups, laps, sit-ups, fifty minutes of meditation, fifty minutes of yoga, whatever your body can tolerate to help handle your stress. To be clear, I’m not a doctor or dietician. This is my method for tricking my mind into replacing food and stress with exercise or other positive actions.

Another action is to get creative for fifty minutes. I will generally practice piano, or get creative artistically by painting, drawing, writing or journaling. So, when I have enough time to get into the fridge, I have enough time to be productive doing something that can help me deal with my stress. If you have children, get them to take a walk with you. Get your fifty in with your kids.

Tricking your brain into healthy habits will not happen if you don’t commit. It will take some time and remember, this is not about getting thin. This is about addressing the massive amount of stress that people are going through right now. This is also not about solving the world’s problems. This is about getting us through this stressful time through positive actions. So, stop, think, and give me fifty. I’m starting with you.

Please everyone stay safe and stay healthy.