Seeking Peace

This year’s word is supposed to be intentional. 

in·ten·tion·al
/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective
done on purpose; deliberate.

Today I started pondering why?

I think it is because I have been operating on Auto-Pilot since Birmingham. Seriously.

As I do a little more work on myself, I realize that my 30s did a number on me. I really believe I was traumatized from losing the job. It felt like the ultimate in failure. Through no fault of my own, I found myself scratching and clawing to pull myself out of that dark hole I found myself in for 9 months. And then the downward spiral with my marriage, moving home to live with my parents…

It was all too much. I was so lost. So sad. I just kept going. Because that is what I do. I endure, I press forward, and I reinvent.

Here we are, 9 years later, and I think my muscles are trying to unwind from all of the tension from having to hold myself together. I had to push to get my life back on track.

Now, when anyone threatens to take that control away from me, I feel angry. Really, really angry.

I realize that now.

Auto-pilot is my coping mechanism. I think my subconscious is afraid to pull back the curtain and feel again.

It feels too dangerous.

I haven’t formed any meaningful relationships in years. I haven’t really tried anything new. I take that back, I do… but they are always far enough away to keep it safe.

While deep-diving into my soul, I’m learned there is a big hole left there, a hole where things that were so important, so valuable, were ripped away.

I covered the hole with a blanket, warm & safe. I started to fill the hole in and as I realized I would have to feel again, I stopped and just covered it up. I ran on auto-pilot.

I don’t want to do that anymore.

2020 is intentional.

What do I hope to gain from all of this intentionality? Deeper relationships, new experiences, and peace. Above all – Peace.

Embracing the Suck

I started off strong. Like really, really, REALLY strong.

I didn’t allow negative thoughts to control me.

I practiced patience.

I was intentional.

I was authentic.

I got worn down…

Oh Happy New Year.

**PS – I wrote this really fast, please excuse typos**

84955292_192078095529150_8177912924686254080_n

Well, just one week did it. One week out of six or seven can’t be all that bad. The pic above sort of shows the hole being poked into my balloon… a water balloon, that is.

Let’s go back, because it appears we are about 3 months behind. So much for my keeping a daily blog again.

Now how did things turn out with all of the “stuff” I was dealing with. Well…

I stayed so busy that NO ONE had time to even side eye me. (If they did, I didn’t get to see it.)

78888686_153842922686001_3649789858689318912_nFirst things first, the Holiday Season happened. Which means, I had to make an appearance at 23 different events (business and personal!) It wore me out and yes, I ended up with my first really bad cold of the year, but it was December!) The pic above is of Tim and I (the last weekend in November, I THINK,) at the Plains Christmas Party. Our job was to officially switch the light on when they said, “Let there be light!” Our yearly “Parks & Rec” moment was complete without a hitch!

When it came to work, we had a few events to get through – including the fact that I was asked to emcee the Americus Christmas Parade. I did get a pic with the jolly old guy. 🙂 All of the work related stuff came and went and honestly, it was beautiful. I was in such a funk though, that I don’t even remember enjoying it. If you remember, 2019 was shaping up to just be awful! My Dad had a heart attack, was undergoing cancer treatment, and he and mom were at each others’ throats. It was all just too much.

78554683_153760576027569_3894762020020420608_nTim and I did take one Saturday to pic out a Christmas tree. We went to a tree farm that a coworker owns in Ellaville and we found a very tall tree, perfect for my Living Room. It wasn’t quite fluffy enough on the bottom, but it did what it needed to do!

We did have our first face-to-face with the ex at Cotton’s dance recital. Luckily, I have a torn MCL (that is not the lucky part,) but it did give me the opportunity to sit on the end of a very long row for the recital and I was at the opposite end of HER. We got there, we sat through the recital and we left. Easy breezy. Cotton even came to spend the night a couple of times over the holidays.

74209736_158435305560096_6585348040696004608_oSpeaking of the holidays, early in December I got the chance to head home and visit with my friend, Steven. He is the Tourism Director for the Visit Macon CVB and he wanted to show off all of the new things happening in my hometown. It gave me a great excuse to go home. And go I did…

78699757_158389918897968_939017659226259456_n

The best news ever, he invited my Tourism BFF from Statesboro and we got the VIP treatment.

78486999_158231268913833_4655575876908351488_n
Here we are stuck in the Hay House elevator!

79961387_158233252246968_3002954757275910144_n

We got to tour the Christmas lights down Poplar & Third in Downtown Macon. It was absolutely gorgeous! I definitely plan to head down next year to see the concert on the opening night. I believe it would totally get me into the Christmas spirit!

79858031_158232635580363_2475413334581575680_n
When you head to my little hometown, Mint Juleps are necessary on the front porch. #SoBougie
79131670_158233002246993_3665678016459046912_n
I got to eat one heck of an amazing steak at the Downtown Grill in the Alley.

79779918_158231352247158_3819663103805620224_n

There were so many beautiful trees to see all over town. Becky and I got to ooh and ahh over the Christmas decor at the Hay House.

I got to visit with some many good friends that are making things happen back home and it filled my love tank just a little bit more.

80198211_162301181840175_7696560404926824448_o

My friend Mary Therese came down to share her book series with the Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Executive Director (and friend,) Kim Fuller. I love when I can connect amazing people/projects and the right contacts together to make something amazing happen! Plus, it is always good to have time to sit and chat with a friend.

78845572_158230872247206_7633793636898963456_n

Like I mentioned before, I was struggling to keep a bad cold at bay and took about an hour to stop by Telisa’s Float Robins for some Halotherapy time. Cleared my sinuses right up!

78672189_156387549098205_3212514178812084224_n

I attempted to have a Meowy Catmas, but the damn weather down here was like Spring for most of the holiday season.

79101127_160264392043854_5445762426723106816_n
Salvatore is always the star at our parties

Then there was our 2nd Annual Kirksey Christmas Party! The next few pics will be some of the highlights!

80389976_160263338710626_5482220518608207872_n
Tonya came down from Macon and as always, was the life of the party!

80061954_160263012043992_514239062870065152_n

79869821_160264195377207_8043618991081521152_n

79543307_160263138710646_5566945775088304128_n

79524747_160264315377195_526667031777378304_n

79513625_160262402044053_1360910157818626048_n

79390093_160262482044045_1557755432481587200_n

79350556_160262788710681_8537394695154696192_n

79318734_160262355377391_3604982054028050432_n

79303335_160262645377362_248696628121174016_n

79159324_160262852044008_8790243439959605248_n
Arielle came down from Macon also with John!

79228728_160262698710690_1746866832549085184_n

79009088_160263625377264_6415394591360417792_n

The event included a very competitive Dirty Santa game! The right people came this time. I think last year, it was more of a “Hey, let’s snoop through her house. We don’t know this chick.” This time it was people who actually are trying to get to know me better.

73211016_160263492043944_4290838286240317440_n

Our guests even got creative with their gifts. Someone bought a ton of scratch off lottery tickets and framed it!

84401814_187984795938480_8426071840081838080_n

I did actually take 2 weeks off from work – it ended up being 17 days. Heck, I probably could have used 17 more. But it was exactly what I needed to kick start my 2020 off right. While home, I snuggled a whole bunch with the babies.

81929050_168688434534783_6056622602892345344_o

80874589_162893278447632_5774830863753674752_n

80680624_165328824870744_2739257496311955456_n

80337423_165076164896010_2582327225336463360_n

80270444_165515304852096_2477153994632331264_n

80079723_165334631536830_4375267262991433728_o

I promise Jolene got snuggles, she just didn’t end up staying still long enough to get a pic of her.

My parents came down on Christmas eve and spend the night with us. We had everyone (yes, everyone) over for Christmas Eve dinner. My mom & I prepared the typical traditional Christmas dinner: Ham, Mashed potatoes, green beans, etc. Tim’s mom and sister and niece came over. My niece was in Florida with her dad and my sister stayed home to take care of my parent’s animals.

80586294_165076084896018_2872658570640359424_n

80390219_165076228229337_9058690638400192512_n

It was interesting how my in-laws just weren’t used to our banter. I could tell. We are all kind of snarky and quick witted with a wicked sense of humor. They are a lot more literal. I would say some type of little teasing remark to my dad or mom and strange looks would come across their faces. Eh.. whatever.

Christmas came and went at the Kirksey’s house. I did end up with some super cool paintings from my family as gifts. When you are the daughter of artists, it is always fantastic to get something no one else in the world would have!

80433630_164650988271861_2162162330094272512_n

I almost forgot to share: my SIL and stepdaughter performed at their church’s function:

80500967_160910981979195_2203929439643893760_n

At the end of the day, it was good to see my mom relax and have a little fun:

80522128_165076311562662_2854735818143039488_n

And my dad to do the same:

80509065_164949614908665_2381901004510593024_o

My parents had a really hard year and there was more to come with a aeortic valve replacement. But we all got through it.

80216717_165328734870753_7399231239342784512_n

New Year’s Eve came and went like the bitch it was. I could not WAIT for 2019 to just go back to the hole it crawled out of. We had some pretty awesome options for New Year’s: My friends in Savannah said, “Come on down.” Our friends up in Nashville said, “Come on up.” My friends in Macon said, “We miss you, spend it with us.” But with the way we were all feeling, we chose to stick closer to home. We stopped by the Plains New Year’s Eve party. I think it was a really good idea, but we did not really know anyone there. So we stayed about 30 minutes and left.

We came back home, popped the bubbly, wrote down our wishes and what we wanted to leave in 2019 and threw those in the fire. Then I pulled up the NYC NYE count down and we celebrated. THE END 2019. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

I spent the next week just exploring French cuisine and reading and heading to Physical Therapy 3 x a week.

I decompressed a little more by stopping by Float Robins and getting a 90 minute massage, 45 minute halo therapy, and 90 minute float. It did the trick!

81642741_166359011434392_2286583843282485248_n

I did a little shopping with an Amazon gift card I got from my MIL. I also found out I lost 5 pounds from Weight Watchers. To lose 5 pounds over the holidays is a miracle in itself!

Needless to say, it was a good break. I got back to work and hit the ground running. I planned out my tourism retreat, I decided to put in a relaxation station at the visitor center, and I registered for a few conferences. I even got to post a new job for my department.

85067305_191772185559741_8713071841247232000_o
One of my first big lands of 2020. A feature in Macon Magazine. Score!
85018666_192758258794467_4407283787461820416_n
Doing something good: Raising awareness that Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Everyone by wearing red on National Wear Red Day. Something that has been near and dear to my heart for about 15 years.
84430107_188861739184119_4125460952759926784_o
I purged my closet and gave my clothes to a local church helping those in need.
84329530_193764745360485_2833176916268154880_n
Again, I volunteered for the Heart Walk – because I felt passionate enough about heart disease and what all my family has endured and what I am hoping to keep at bay.
84189336_193203038749989_6517834431862931456_n
I’ve been intentional and authentic with my friendships. Developing new ones and treasuring the old ones.
83873858_2802655036445560_3461997855395282944_o
I’ve been trying to invoke the spirit of Wonder Woman on the daily. Embracing the gifts God have me.

83867737_187973512606275_9146676522382262272_o

83684971_10157840180314929_7691248784512122880_n
I like to collect interesting people. MT is one of those people. Plus, she is one of my bestest friends.
83659722_176652500405043_7582587632341745664_n
Made more time for my family.
83491161_185090292894597_3882212799891374080_n
Proving you can do it all. As I took this pic, my father was under going surgery and I had to lead a retreat. It was hard, but it happened!
82213932_172696890800604_3522344589740474368_n
Continuing to eat healthier.

83411068_184839732919653_4479569031946305536_o

And finally…. adulting is hard. I have such amazing intentions, but I get so busy and side tracked. My writing was a way to take stock in all that I have accomplished. Things are okay. I am striving to reach my new goals for 2020:

  1. Create true connection with people
  2. Be authentically me
  3. Avoid toxic relationships
  4. Read more
  5. Give of my time and talents, even when I would rather be lazy
  6. Embrace the suck. (Bloom where you are planted.)
  7. Make healthier choices
  8. Meditate/Devotionals
  9. Create
  10. LIVE your life

How are you doing? Make sure to let me know how your New Year is!