Day 7 – Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present


What a year this has been. Covid, politics, riots, death, destruction and more politics. My entire life.. nearly.. I have found positive ways to move through and past stress.  It takes a lot of effort sometimes but specifically in the past 15 years, I have legitimately found ways to bring myself into a better state of mind.. invisibility for example (Day 6).  I honestly felt that I had grown up and healed from those crazy childhood emotional wounds.  I felt I had made peace with it all.

Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.  ~Brian Tracy

I’m trying to get more creative in my approach to finding more humor in everything. Sometimes this feels impossible. It used to be so much easier to do this. I felt carefree and fun for years.  I had about 10 years of absolute humorous mayhem.  Everything cracked me up and most everything made me happy.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.  ~Steve Martin

Not sure what happened about 3 years ago.  Don’t think it was just one thing.  I think it was a multitude of events, cuts, burns, stabs, and living in the unhappiness of others.  Trying to make them happier and feel more secure by trying to live in their reality and adjust my style, hair, clothes, and attitude to their expectations of what I was supposed to be.  I did this at the cost of my best self.  Constantly trying to be something I wasn’t.  Yet, even when i attempted to change everything about myself, it still did not make anyone any happier or any more secure. I have felt that I have regressed to that sad, angry, morbid child Sami full of hurt and resentment about the cruelty and unfairness of the world.

Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and talk about you. What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.
~ C. JoyBell C

Of course, I knew this.  However, I fought against it despite my knowledge of who I was and how I was.  I always seemed to be surrounded by others who seemed to be doing great with things they way they were.  They were able to fit in nicely in their environment.  They learned to close their mouths when needed. Never did they fight the fight.  No truth to power. 

Or

Even worse, they would do all of the things I had been trying to do.  They would fight, scream, say exactly what I had just said and win…and yes, somehow always win.  I kept trying to to fit in.  Obviously, I didn’t.  I would find out that I really just wasn’t where I thought I was or doing things how others wanted me to do it. The little me had somehow managed to creep back into my head.  She began screaming at herself things like, “I am unworthy.  Nobody loves me. I am a horrible person.  I am stupid and not qualified to do anything.”

I wasn’t respected, loved, heard, and sometimes not even seen.  These facts were presented to me and only compounded the way I felt about myself.  The way I had felt about myself as a child.  The way, I apparently had never stopped feeling about myself.  The more I tried to stop digging in that well, the more these thought pressed forward.

I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.
~D.D. Barant

Why are you lying awake, thinking that you’re a terrible person?
~~To keep my mind occupied when I can’t sleep. Some people count sheep. I self-loathe.
~Rainbow Rowell

When I was seen, it was always when I was at my absolute least best.  I was starting to get mad.  Starting to hold my tongue and mimic all of what I thought was right and still not succeeding.  I was mad at others and even more mad at myself for doing it wrong.  Being right but somehow always doing it wrong.  I was jealous of others success or apparent success and mad that they were always so happy or apparently happy.  So respected or apparently respected. So well thought of .. so .. so .. everything.  It was a super dark time in my life.  Worst time ever in most recent years. 

Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.
~ Shannon Alder

The way you think about yourself determines your reality. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself.
~Shannon L. Alder

A few times I swore that i was going to ignore the perfectness of others and just be myself.  I knew that’s what made me happy.  I would laugh again.  Make others laugh again.  I knew I could do it. I occasionally succeeded and thought I had made progress.  I would ashamedly find out that I was only delusional about my fitting in. I would not hear about it directly, but be blindsided by this information in the most embarrassing of ways.

Punch after punch, blow after blow, hit after hit.  Yeah pretty violent.  Every time I thought everything was ok ……

At the same time, I also knew that I have been in the wrong group and living the wrong life. Doing the wrong thing.  Going against my own grain.  I have been going against myself and my innate nature. It has just not been working out.  But damn.. I keep on intently trying to make it work because the truth is, I love my life, my job, my friends, and my family. 

If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…
~Cheri Huber

I have been in a mental rut.  It has been a dangerous rut.  I am now working hard to get out of that rut and what I have found is that the rut is a rut of my own making.  My own desire to make things right, fit in, be good, a rut of negative self-talk.  It’s the same rut I had been in when I was a teen.  The rut of self-non-acceptance.  Self-talk that always put the blame on me for everything wrong in the world.  My sneaky way of making others laugh to get out of challenging situations and emotions has not been working.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~William James.

So, here I am.  Working on rebuilding my funny bones, reclaiming the paths of resilience that I had spent years building up, and reinventing wacky world of Sam that made me so happy. Getting my funny train back on track has been very difficult and nearly impossible.

However,  I am ready.  I get it.  I am still here. I am still as good as anyone else, not better than, but equal to. I am o.k. I am working on choosing the words that go in my head. It’s not what they say, it’s what you hear. It’s not what I say, it’s what they hear.  

Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I am working my way back through music, art, meditation, good friends, real friends, letting go of what does not bring happiness, and mostly bringing focus and intentional actions back into my life.  Going back to minimalism, preparing for retirement, and learning to laugh again.  Like really laugh. 

In relationship to work.. I am shooting for mediocrity.

Only the mediocre are always at their best.  ~Jean Giraudoux

In relationship to friends… fame… fortune.. etc. I have decided I would rather just be myself.  wish me luck.  Please.  Myself is a pretty good thing to be..I know this is true, but just have to keep reminding myself.

Don’t let people who fuck with your mind enter into the door of your mind.
~Curtis Tyrone Jones

I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.
~Virginia Woolf

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.  ~Rob Siltanen

Other voices that rang in my head:  Thegirl; custard; lucid; language; catladysings; compound; anxiety; bop; method; mon; dry; gladgame; writingbug

Day 2 – Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.


So says Regina Brett, a 90 (but really 54 year) old woman who has recently risen to internet/FB/ fame and has gone viral.  Now admittedly, she is not the first person to spout these life lessons.  Remember, they are universal!

Just wanted to post one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy.

“I am an artist you know … it is my right to be odd.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri

Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. (or blue as the case may be)

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“I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of catfish.”
― Edith Sitwell

“I’d rather be a little weird than all boring.”
― Rebecca McKinsey

“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.”
― John Stuart Mill

Other posts I found inspiring

The Art of Disorder; Android; Writingmylife; philosophy; scream; adventures; tongueincheek

30 Days of most favorites- Day 1


One of the biggest challenges I face every single day is limiting myself.  I use too many words, too many photos, to many colors in literally every single thing I do.  For the next 30 days I am challenging myself to express only one thought, one photo, one color, one something.. just one.  My caveat might be that my one photo will also accompany one quote or word or personal idea.  However, just one.  I hope you enjoy.

Day 1-  those grandkids

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Spring has sprung … and so have I!!!


“Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”
— Algernon Charles Swinburne

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Speaking of spring …. makes me think of change …. speaking of change … makes me think of adventure … speaking of adventure … makes me think of the old dreams I used to have … speaking of old dreams … makes me remember how I envisioned who I would be when I grew up.. speaking of growing up … makes me remember that I possibly never have and possibly never will… and THAT.. IS … OK!!!

Back to the topic of change and spring.  New beginnings and reflections on the changes I have experienced in my life.  Countries, peoples, places, foods, and drinks.  Adventures.. I love change.  Change is the only thing that stays the same in my life.  It’s that time of day, week, month, and year.  I am off again on a new adventure.    I am super excited by this new opportunity …  I present to you Equatorial Guinea..

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“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Some people will never understand what I like about my life.  Sometimes I do not understand.  I am sometimes homesick.. missing family, friends, and consistency.  On the other hand, I live for these adventures.  I always hope that folks will come to visit me and share in my adventure but also understand when they chose not to and even why they do not.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
― H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature

Some feel I am crazy for living this life.. and maybe I am .. but I still love it.  I live for it and look forward to sharing it with whoever in whatever manner they want to appreciate it.  Raise a cup to the crazy ones!!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Rob Siltanen

Preparations – Time with the family


On On…. After leaving Nepal back in July I was able to spend some time with the family before taking off to get to my training for my next destination.  It has been difficult to keep up the blog while traveling, but thought it would be fun to give a huge shout out to the good ‘ol US of A and of course I need to start with time spent with my family.

Starting from the beginning.  I dropped in on my daughters a few days earlier than expected and was able to surprise them.  It took about 3 people, my dad, my photographer and a friend to organize this event, but I was able to pull off the surprise…priceless and such a great memory.

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My dad had been off and on not feeling good for a few months and I knew it was time to go home and spend a few extra days there.  I feel blessed to work for an organization that fully supported me going to be with my family a little longer than expected and dad also appreciated the effort.  Me being home for a few days longer benefited everyone.

There were too many photos taken during my time in Spokane.  Some from Coeur D Alene and Valleyford and some from Spokane.  It was difficult choosing my favorite family photos.  I was there a month and enjoyed every bit of it.  It’s amazing how much you appreciate your family when you live so far from them.

I was able to visit a dear friend from high school and take my kids and grandkids to a horse riding trial.  I initially mistakenly thought I was taking them to an actual rodeo!! So much fun to see the kids enjoying the even and my friends boys were awesome on the horses.

Colbert, Deer Park and Springdale

I was also able to meet up with dozens of friends and reconnect. Not nearly enough time with my friends, but this trip was about spending the most time with dad and the kids.  Well worth it and my best friends definitely understood that.  I love them all and ended up wishing I had had even a little more time.  I just can’t complain though.. it was all good.

Starting out in Spokane, I was able to say good-bye to dad, get matching tattoos with my daughters and my niece, who would be riding with me to Ohio, felt comfortable enough to let me know how she felt about me talking too much during the ride.

There you have it.  The very first part of my travels was about to begin.  Over the next few days I was able to drive from Spokane, to Minnesota, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to Boston, to NY (fly to Toronto) and then make it to DC.  No amount of photos can really demonstrate the entire trip, but I hope you enjoy the small smattering of what I was able to capture.

Road trip itself to be continued…