Value

Not even sure how to start this. I suppose, the best way is from the beginning. I remember when I was this young, carefree soul. I could take on the world with no apprehension. You give me a task or a challenge…bet your ass I’ll meet it and beat it. Then I found myself (or put myself) in a place where I lost that for a long time. I felt defeated constantly. Questioning my values, my opinions, my decisions, etc. That wasn’t “me”. Now, I don’t think it’s wrong or negative to question things throughout life. I think it is an important part of it. How do you learn if you don’t allow yourself to question things? But, this was different.

We all have our “things”. Our things that we struggle with, the things we try to overcome. And the people in our lives either help or hinder that progress. You pick the right ones…or you don’t. Although the work is ultimately up to the individual, help is…well…helpful. I didn’t always make the best choices there. I chose some people that drove me down, sucked the positivity out of me, manipulated and took advantage of me. It took a long while for me to see what other people saw for a long time. Many people who tried so hard to tell me. I was blind to it. Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a finger pointing game. I’ve got my own “things”, like I mentioned earlier. I am not an innocent. But, I’m thinking maybe I’m coming around that corner now. I sure hope so because I feel pretty positive about it.

I’ve found some personal discipline again. I’ve found my smile again. I’ve found my laugh. I’ve found some peace and comfort. I’m still traveling that road to the “me” I used to know (but new and improved) and I am closer and closer each day. I am learning to remember that I do have value. There is a lot more positive in me than negative. I think it would be good if we could all remind ourselves to look for the value. Most often, you will find more good than not.

Much love. ❤

Dawn Stafford 06/15/21

The Mockingbird Sings

It’s a quiet night, after some festivities, with one exception. That mockingbird. It sings the song of every other thing. And it is beautiful! I hear frogs and crickets and other birds and even a resounding of my call to it. Now….you tell me how nature isn’t spectacular and beautiful and perfect! ❤️

BREAKING

Those crystal blue eyes
I’ve lost myself inside ’em
But there are things locked away in there
I just need the key to find them

We’ve talked about the learning
Learning you and learning me
To take apart each of our things
And find just what we’ll see.

You’ve mentioned that you’ll break the ones
That keep me in the dark.
And put me back together
Leaving your lasting mark.

If you find success in that right
I’ll wear that mark with pride.
I’m not an easy girl to break
But sometimes things collide.

It will take some time to get there
And my patience not yet gone.
I hope you stick around for long enough
To learn that you’re not wrong.

If you can break the walls & fight that fight
There is a treasure lying there.
I have a world to give, a mind for thought
And my heart was born to care.

Dawn Stafford 06/07/2021

Crowded Table

I had a good day. I had a good night. A very nice dinner and bubble gum lips. It’s funny (or not) when you get back into the dating scene…..the really awkward times, the downright awful ones…..and then the really good ones.

I had an opportunity today to do one of the things I do best. I got to cook. And it’s not just that. I got to cook WITH someone!! And awwwww hell!!!! We didn’t run over each other! If you know me at all you know that is HUGE for me. Don’t get in my way in a kitchen! MASSIVE plus! Although he did admit that he watched my reflection from the microwave door to see where I was. No judgement there….pretty smooth move.

I got to sit around my dining room table with people that mean the most to me. Conversation was flowing and it was just great! It makes me think of the song by The Highwomen -Crowded Table. – Lyrics below.

I’d like another dinner and bubble gum lips.

LYRICS

Crowded Table Song by The Highwomen

You can hold my hand
When you need to let go
I can be your mountain
When you’re feeling valley-low
I can be your streetlight
Showing you the way home
You can hold my hand
When you need to let go

I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done

If we want a garden
We’re gonna have to sow the seed
Plant a little happiness
Let the roots run deep
If it’s love that we give
Then it’s love that we reap
If we want a garden
We’re gonna have to sow the seed

Yeah I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done

The door is always open
Your picture’s on my wall
Everyone’s a little broken
And everyone belongs
Yeah, everyone belongs

I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done
And bring us back together when the day is done

Never Alone

I was going through some things today and I came across an old poem that I wrote. I remember when I wrote it. I was so sure of things then. It’s interesting how things change with time – be it due to one person, another person, a mutual decision or just life. People change, they grow and I think that is natural. We don’t all change at the same pace or at the same time. And sometimes that leads to needing to part ways. Initially, when I found this, I thought I would just throw it away. Then I stopped myself. This was a part of my life. Why would I toss that in the trash? It is just as important as every other part of my life. It is part of me. Nothing about me belongs in the trash. I’ve discarded things like this before and came to regret it. Why repeat that mistake? So….here I am….sharing.

I know that there are times

When my pen lies idly by

As the world is spinning fast

And the time just seems to fly.

But my mind is filled with thoughts

Constantly thinking of our love

And how it seems to grow each day

Bigger than the skies above.

I think of the magnificence

That I feel when I’m with you

The constant sense of honesty

That comes with everything you do.

I keep thinking of comparisons

To describe your love and mine

But nothing can come close to that

There just aren’t the words to find.

I still believe that I’m the luckiest

But not that luck brought you to me.

I believe the cards were laid in place

And I am where I’m meant to be.

I am more in love with you today

Than I was the day before

And I know with every passing day

I’ll love you more and more.

So, here’s to us and our family

We’re grounded, solid as a stone.

I’ll vow to you again today

That you will never be alone.

Dawn Stafford

Diamond in the Rough

It seems like I repeat this phrase a lot but I suppose that is OK. It’s “another late night ramble”.

I was thinking today about the way I present myself to others. I wear this facade. I don’t think that is altogether abnormal. It is probably quite common.

I have a good job. One I’ve busted my ass for. I’ve climbed “The Man’s” ladder for the last 20.5 years of my life. And, DAMN, I am proud of it. I haven’t made it as far as others, but I’m good. I don’t have to have a prestigous title to feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I have fought my way up that ladder though- through hard work, determination, solid work ethic, passion, and many times a hard exterior.

When I was young I went through some things that convinced me to make a decison. I wouldn’t let anything get me down. I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t FEEL my feelings. You just charge through. That is how you’ll make it.

I believed that with all of my heart.

I don’t think I was entirely wrong. But, there is a time and a place. What I didn’t realize then was the necessity of balance. And, at the age of 40, I’m starting to get the gist of it.

I still get angry when I cry, because I feel weak and I should be able to conquer ANYTHING that I am up against. What I sometimes forget is that I can still do it – even with the feelings – sometimes because you NEED the feelings. But, it takes that balance to get there. To win that fight in a more healthy way. I am in no way perfect with that, but I’ve certainly given it my best.

What people often don’t see is what I consider the weak side. The moments when I feel like I can’t keep going. When the weight of the world comes down on my shoulders and I just DON’T know what to do. The nights when I either lay in bed sleepless because my mind won’t shut down – thinking of all of the things that need to be done or resolved – or I put myself to sleep with tears that I won’t let anyone else see because realistically things can be overwhelming.

You will see a little softer side of me when it comes to my kids. It’s a Momma thing, I’m sure. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been times I’ve been hard on them. There are lessons in life that are best learned young before you find yourself in a situation you aren’t prepared for.

I feel like I have raised some damned good kids! I can’t take all the credit – it does take a village sometimes. I’m thankful for all of the help I received over the years. Their father, step parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousin’s, best friends parents even! It was certainly a joint effort.

Respect, humbleness, work ethic, responsibility, forgiveness, love, diversity. All of these things I have tried very hard to teach my kids – and lead by example.

I do have times that I cry when my babies are hurting. Those are cries that I couldn’t even stop if I tried. I know deep down inside that is the love that I feel – never wanting them to hurt. It’s just the crying part that I struggle with. That is improving. It’s becoming easier to accept that those tears are Momma tears and they are well earned and cleansing. But, damn it – sure is still a struggle to accept that I don’t have the answers for everything.

There is the side that is self-critical. I am certainly my own worst critic. I will throw myself under the bus before anyone else will. Ask my closest friends or my boss…or my Momma. You could see that one, I guess, as soft or strong. I see it as both I think. It takes a feeling of defeat for me to get there – and I still struggle with the feeling that defeat represents weakness. But, at the same time, it certainly takes some strength to admit a failure. So, let’s say 50/50 – or convince me otherwise.

I also have the side that ACTUALLY laughs! Imagine that. I lost that for a long time. I’m finding it again and I LOVE IT! I mean, I know I suffer from Resting Bitch Face (dealt with that my entire life – was born with it!). But, I can proudly say that I am finding my smile again. And it fucking feels good!

I could go on and on for hours and go way deeper. But, basically, I’m a complex creature. Just like each and every other person out there. All of this to say….please don’t look at just the surface when you try to get to know someone. There is so much more in there. You never know when you’ll find that diamond in the rough.

Pondering

It’s another late night ramble. Surprise, surprise. When I am up late I listen to music. It calms me mostly. Sometimes it gets my brain going. Tonight is a brain night. This song came on. It’s called “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves. Now, if you know ANYTYHING about me, you know I am not typically a fan of current day music (some exceptions). I’m sort of a classic, old school lover. But this one talks to me. If a song doesn’t talk to me I’m just not interested.

“When it rains, it pours
But you didn’t even notice it ain’t rainin’ anymore
It’s hard to breathe when all you know is
The struggle of stayin’ above the risin’ water line”

Let’s think about that. Sometimes you get so lost in what has become a “normal” struggle to breathe, to live, that you don’t always recognize when you’ve gotten a chance to catch the air. It’s the rut. A hard place to be….and a sad one too. Thinking your eyes are open to what’s around…..but they aren’t. It’s like having blinders on.

“Well the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella
Well, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head”

Same statement as above, but let’s add to it. We get stuck in our ruts, in our routines, in our normalcy. We forget to look at the beauty around us. Be it in nature, in the people we know and love, in OURSELVES! At least, I know that I do. I am 100% guilty of it. And, I’m working to correct it. We get (or maybe it’s just that I get) so caught up in the ugly shit (and don’t let it go) that we don’t see that nasty sky become beautiful when it actually does. Maybe I’m behind the curveball just a bit.

“If you could see what I see, you’d be blinded by the colors
Yellow, red, and orange, and green, and at least a million others
So tie up the bow, take off your coat, and take a look around’Cause the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella
Well, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head Oh, tie up the bow, take off your coat, and take a look around
Everything is alright now”

Here is the reminder. Others will see things in you that you don’t see in yourself. They will see you beat yourself up for your mistakes or mis-steps. All the while, knowing that your heart is good. That you are worth more than you realize. And that you keep yourself in that arena that contains judgement, sadness, hate, anger. Let it go. Forgive. Those that hurt you. Yourself. Look up. See the rainbow. It is shining down on you. And, damn! It is beautiful! JUST.LIKE.YOU!

First and Last

This isn’t about a specific individual. I just had thoughts and they wouldn’t stop pouring out. It is like that sometimes with me. This one is short and sweet. Uncomplicated, unlike me. But I like the simplicity of it. There is a rhythm to it. As you read through, once you get to the last section take a pause after “earth” and “worth”. At least that’s how I hear it in my head.

First words
First looks
Somtimes
Mistook

First kiss
First touch
Sometimes
So much

First laugh
First cry
Sometimes
Faith dies

First hand
To hold
Helping
Be bold

First man
On earth
Worth
Last love.

Dawn Stafford 05/21/2021

Afraid

Tonight my brain is fuzzy. I’m experiencing things in an extreme that I never have before. It is quite overwhelming. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong….but I don’t know how to handle it. I worry that I am just soaking it in – in an unhealthy manner. Maybe that happens sometimes when you aren’t used to those nice gestures and stuff. Maybe I just have never learned how to deal with it. I, honestly, don’t know. I am conflicted. I am afraid. I am afraid of making the wrong decision. I am afraid of hurting someone who is an incredible human. I am afraid of so many things. I don’t often admit my fears. But, tonight, I am afraid.

Mars vs. Venus

Have you ever read the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? I have. In so many ways it is logical. In so many ways it is not. Take me, for instance.

The whole idea behind the writing is that men want to “fix” things. Women want to “comfort”.

That isn’t always true. Call me an odd duck, that’s ok. I like to do both things. I am a fixer. It is part of my nature. I want to help. I want to make things better. I want to provide potential solutions. I can also be a comforter, in my own way, I suppose. I don’t cut any slack. However, I do have empathy. I prefer to put myself in another’s shoes (as much as I am able) to try and relate to whatever it is that is going on with them (be it positive or negative). Yet, another form of help…..at least I hope so. I want that connection. If comfort is needed I WANT to provide it. I also will often play Devil’s advocate. I’m not afraid to let someone know if I don’t agree. I have learned, over the years, how to be a little more gentle with that. I will say, though, that I am not always successful with it. I think, ultimately, as long as I am genuine, it is ok. A person can see a lot through the eyes and the face or the actions of a person. Observation is key. For me, that is where i take my queue. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone. My desire is to help whether it is to help fix or to help comfort. I guess call me a mix between Mars and Venus.

I’m good with that.

Dawn Stafford 5/14/2021