A Deep Sigh

What a day. I didn’t expect to be so emotional today. I did expect to feel a sense of relief.

Four years ago I could not bring myself to watch the Inauguration events. We had been shown what type of person was taking over the duties of the office. A person lacking character, morals, and the ability to tell the truth.

As an avid news watcher, I’ve had to step away from the news over time as it was a constant borage of quoted lies and constant disrespect to those just attempting to do their jobs.

I’ve watched as cheers went up as the class bully made fun of those different from him or made him feel uncomfortable or disagreed with him. I’ve watched as many rallied behind the bully that celebrated assaulting girls and women. I’ve watched as many intelligent people I know started believing the lies, conspiracies that were normalized by the bully at the microphone.

Today, all the sadness, all the fear, all of anger came flowing out. One tear at a time. Today, the man that represents all those who may have struggled with a stutter or has been deemed as “not normal” took the lead. Today, I watched as a woman, a woman of color, a step-mother, a wife represented millions of women that not only look like her, but have lived lives similar to her upbringing. Today, as a collective we stood and said to the bully, you don’t get the last word.

Today, for the first time in more than four years, I wasn’t worried if children were watching the ceremonies on television. Instead, I was hopeful in what they were seeing, the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language, a show stopping young Poet, music, and prayers all shared by Americans that look like America-a diverse and deep feeling people.

I’m blessed to work for a company that values diversity, embraces inclusion and pushes us to be involved with our communities. For this I am beyond grateful and feel the responsibility to be more vocal and more focused on how I can better serve as an ally for all.

Today, is just the first step in the long road ahead. Today does not erase the centuries of neglect, pain, repression, and all of the ‘ism’s. While I know the journey forward will be difficult, I am excited to be a small piece of the puzzle.

This evening, I feel my entire being exhale a very deep sigh. A sigh of relief, a sigh of the mountain of work ahead, a sigh of exhaustion that comes from the constant worry of what was coming next.

Wild Ride

This has been the craziest six months any of us has experienced, at least in my lifetime.

2020 started out adjusting to young one returning to her out of state apartment but not returning to classes. This was a good decision and just one more change for all of us.

A few weeks into the new year I boarded my first plane of the season to head to Pittsburgh for our yearly team retreat.

Chicago was the next stop for us to celebrate a big birthday for a dear friend. It’s highly likely that Chicago trip was the trigger for us.

February arrived and I could not have been more excited to pack my bags for a tropical vacation with my favorite. Six days of sun, surf, salty air, adult beverages. We could not wait! It was heavenly. About 3 days before leaving I was feeling off & blamed it on stress & getting ready to leave. We arrived at our International location on Saturday & I had picked up a “lovely” cough and headache, but I was not giving into it.

Fast forward, I was sick the entire time we were there, pushed through, lost my voice, slept under the palm tree water front. Exactly 1 week after returning home he had it too. The coughing, the aching the fatigue were all real. Kenz had it too. A good three weeks later we were all back on track.

March ushered in a 21st Birthday, stay at home orders & non-stop togetherness.

April was by far the most difficult to navigate for me personally. I love my kids and I love my space. I love my job and our company has been blessed with unprecedented growth during this time. The balance was seriously out of whack.

Just as I felt I might hit a stride, our generations civil rights movement began. It is so frustrating, sad, disappointing, disheartening, disgusting, powerful, encouraging, enlightening…it is every single feeling.

Here’s my soapbox for now:

  • If you believe it is against your rights to be told to wear a mask, please don’t tell me what I can do to my body when it comes to choice. Trust me when I say a mask is must less “invasive” than a medical procedure that has zero impact on anyone but me.
  • Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance, love everyone, stop worrying about what adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Summer 2020 has basically been cancelled when you compare it to others, but we do get more unscheduled family time, a slower pace to enjoy.

I’m not sure of the big picture lesson yet. But I deeply believe it is to be a vocal ally, stop being silent, stand up for those that need a voice and don’t back down.

Keep fighting the good fight

In 1999 I added a title, a label to my list of daughter, sister, mom, aunt, and friend. I added soccer mom. It was spring of 1999 when I was along for the purchase of the first set of cleats, shin guards, and soccer socks. I did not yet realize I needed an entire extra bag in the car for all of the other items not listed on any “gear needed list”.

It was a cold, drizzly day in early April 1999 when I bundled up the littlest at just about 6 weeks old to head to the first of many, many, many soccer practices for her big sister. At just 6 years old we were heading down a path that would include household names of Hamm, Chastain, Foudy, Scurry, Rampone. Back then we could only “watch” them play if we went somewhere that had cable sports. That 6 year old mid-fielder in the making was consuming everything she could about soccer.

I vividly remember the first time a pair of “boots” cost more than $100! I can still hear myself saving, you have got to be kidding me, $100 to smell that bad in just a few hours? No, just no. For the record those “boots” came home & were some of the longest lasting cleats she owned. I also recall many afternoons when the following conversation would take place:

MOM!! We have to run to Dick’s before practice!! We do not have time to go to Dick’s, what in the world do you need right now anyway? Gah! We have to, I need pre-wrap, I’m out of (insert a wide array of color options here). The cost of soccer cleats is only rivaled by the cost of pre-wrap, never used as actual injury pre-wrap under a tapped ankle or knee. Oh no, pre-wrap always for the hair, the headband of choice. If only it would have helped in the concussion department….

Weeknights & weekends were now scheduled around practices, matches, and team outings. We all gained friendships through the sport. We observed some really horrible sportsmanship by parents, coaches, and players. We observed relationships being formed, time management being learned, following instructions, and respecting others all playing out on each field. As the fields and teams got bigger, so did the feelings.

I remember watching the 1999 Women’s World Cup match for the very first time, with my very, very excited 6 year old. She was riveted by the pace, the fierceness and the teamwork. Thus began our soccer following. I remember the “controversy” that followed because, “gasp! Brandi Chastain ripped her jersey off in celebration.” Today, with my now 26 year old retired soccer player, we watched the 2019 team bring home the win, the 4th win for USA Women’s Soccer. We will now watch for days, likely weeks to come as this team will be picked apart for “their over the top celebrations.” Celebrate away ladies, you have earned every single one of them.

To the haters, I hope you are as outspoken when you see men in other sports grabbing their crotches & flexing their muscles in celebration of each touchdown, basket, goal, putt, catch, the list is endless. While you are all whining about sportsmanship & how “disgraceful” these “women” are, let’s talk about the domestic abuse and violence that is prevalent in most male professional sports. Oh, wait, is that crickets I hear? Yeah, thought so…

It’s okay, most of us are use to being “shh’ed” for speaking our minds, sharing our thoughts, and opinions. The difference in 2019, it is our responsibility to speak those truths, to continue the work those before began to blaze. I am of the generation whose father was boo’d for being a veteran. I am of the generation who realized that we are more than our past, bad decisions, and circumstance. I am of the generation that are raising our daughters and sons to speak up, speak out, live your truth and don’t be pushed around. I am of the generation that hopes to be the adult to look up, to be who we needed to see.

Several of the women playing in today’s final game are between the ages of both of my girls. I could be their mom. So for all of the retired soccer moms out there that adopt the next generation of girls I salute you! To all the retired sports moms out there, I urge you to stay active, find the next young lady that needs an extra boost. We all need the village, we need to continue to fight the good fight and teach our girls to play like a girl. It means you are a champion in your own life.

Thank you to the 1999 Women’s Team for lighting the fire in our house and to all the teams in between for keeping the fire alive. Each of you is a role model and this retired soccer mom is very proud of all of you.

 

Closing a chapter, Starting a new Volume

I’m in denial. I’m about to cross a new bridge, again. It’s a bit scary.

In just four days I close not just a chapter, but a volume in life. No more kids or teens living under my roof. Sister turns 20 in just four more days.

How in the sam-hill did that happen? I am very certain it was just a year ago we were sitting her in the sunshine to combat the jaundice. It was just 6 months ago we were sending her off to preschool-not for her second year of college. I just know it.

Then just a short 32 days later, Bug turns 26! 26 people, that is completely unacceptable on every level possible. It was just a few years ago she was on her way to half-day Kindergarten, then off to the big world of Jr. High. Next up, high school-how did we get to 26?

I’ve starting “writing” the next volume, Empty Nest. It is a real thing and AGAIN there is no manual. We are seriously letting each other down on a regular basis by not talking about these subjects and stages with anyone who will listen.

I was recently asked by a fellow blog writer what I found the biggest surprise to be about being an “empty-nester”. A great question and the answer(s) are painfully obvious and not shared (at least not that I had experienced). So, I am about to share, because someone is going to feel this too.

Surprise #1- Lack of Schedule:  I know what every one of you right now with kids/teens and schedules coming out of your ears is thinking. “Are you kidding me Tracy? I cannot wait to not done with this crazy schedule!!!!” To that I say, Yep, it was AMAZING for the first month or two, at least in my experience. It was like a vacation without having to spend the money for a vacation. I boasted regularly about my color-coded, highly-organized calendar. Everyone with their own color and column where one glance can tell you where/when/what to be wearing. Suddenly, there was only one color on the calendar, mine. The only place I “needed” to be was work, everything else was blank, very, very empty. There were no lunches to make, practices to plan dinner around. No weekends full of so many activities I had no idea how we would make it to all of them. Brace yourself, I didn’t have to get up three hours before my day at the office started because I was the only one getting ready, making breakfast, and getting out the door. I haven’t had that in 24 years. I know, I had “every other week” to get in a groove for nearly 10 years many of you may be thinking. Not really, while it is true that I may not have had to do all the above every week, while they were with their dad. I did still attend nearly every event, even those I wasn’t responsible for “delivering them on time”.

I’ve painfully realized how much I needed that schedule as much as the girls needed the schedule. I have failed miserably at finding a good schedule now nearly 18 months into this new world. I am still trying to find a routine.

Surprise #2- How boring it is to cook for one person: I have always enjoyed cooking, finding new recipes, and building a meal plan. I have never liked leftovers. This is a significant issue when having to cook for one. I have fallen into a horrible habit of eating just a couple of times a day. PLEASE know I KNOW this is BAD! I am working VERY hard at getting back into a better routine when it comes to food.

It isn’t all sad. It is exciting to see both of them grow into who they hope to be in the next stages of their own lives. 2019 brings what I believe to be the end of Sister being back home for any length of time, instead she will land here in between her next adventure.

I would love to hear how you are managing “empty-nesting”. Remember when NBC use to say Knowledge is Power, this is a prime example.

Here’s to forging ahead on a finding a better routine.

Some years are worth repeating, this was not one of them.

Adios 2018, I have zero desire to have a repeat of more than half of the year. No, I’m not exaggerating, not one little bit.

I have made it a practice to look back at each year and relish in the awesomeness of it all. However, 2018 brought a great deal of turmoil and scenarios I do not want to repeat, relive, or even review if I were being honest.

Four years ago I began the practice of sharing my successes in each month of the year. This practice was shared with me via a mentoring group I participated in for several years. While I am not directly linked to that group, I still participate in the practice of reviewing and sharing my monthly successes. Why was this so important in 2018? That is glaringly obvious sitting here on January 1, 2019, I needed to focus every single month on the celebrations, not the negative. In addition to the success reviews (via a photo style collage post) I write out the high lights of each month in my yearly planner. That alone is a little like free therapy.

While I have had less of a presence here on Saint & Sinner I have been pretty open about the water fiasco that dominated 3/4 of the year. I named it Water Palooza mainly as a way to attempt to find some type of positive twist in the never-ending event. I can say never ending as the second “event” has not yet been resolved as all the repair and replacement are on my dime and the time of those that are willing to help. The second event took place in early March 2018, so we are closing in on the 3/4 mark on that one too.

The bests part of 2018? Each of those would be directly connected to those I adore the most. The “senior” of my daughters transitioned into a new job very successfully, moved apartments, and added a rescue pup to her cat household. I was reminded that I allowed WAY TOO many hours of Disney movie watching as both her pets are named for the less well-known, unsung hero’s from The Emperor’s New Groove (Yzma) & Oliver and Company (Dodger) respectfully. The young one, moved home, then back to camp, then off to an all new state, on an all new campus, with a whole new major. She too, has thrived in 2018. She took on all that personal change head on and did well. The person I spend a significant amount of time with continued to spoil me with travel, adventure, and many, many laughs. We made a pact in the very beginning that we would not use the phrase, “I’ve never”, instead we use the phrase, “I have not yet”. This summer we set personal records for the most live music events for both of us. Between May and September alone we saw more than 10 outdoor shows. An eclectic list of artists and a lot of fun for sure.

2018 gave me an up close experience with anxiety and again, I’m not listing it as bonus. It does give me a better appreciation and understanding for those that deal with it on a daily basis.

2018 also included attending lacrosse, basketball, and soccer games. Spending important time with the bonus ones that are part of the important one’s life. I do enjoy being “out of retirement” when it comes to being a cheerleader.

I am still really not sure what I was supposed to learn from the upheaval of the past year and I have spent way more time trying to figure it out than needed.

As I type this evening, I turn my sights on putting together a much better 2019. I have written some goals, shared them with a small group that I trust to hold me accountable and those that care about my physical and mental health.

Here’s to making 2019 successful.

I suspect I will still panic at a sound that even slightly resembles water. I do plan to put my health back on the front burner rather than on the back burner. I also plan to do a much better job of not allowing the outside to overshadow all the good.

I wish the same to all of you.

Just Be….

The whirlwind is underway, families are waiting for the school bell to ring to “travel over the river and the woods.” Others are soaking in time with those not so young, young adults that have returned. Many more are looking at the holidays ahead with sadness as their loved ones won’t be with them. It is a messy, messy time indeed.

In December I will surely reflect on what has been very possibly the most crazy year yet for me, however this Thanksgiving I am reflecting in a completely different way. You see, just when I thought I had worked myself into a really good space, in all the areas of life that needed work-BAM….Life says, Nice Job! You did so well the first time, let’s try again, <insert a whole new level of trials> I am here to tell you, it hasn’t gone so well.

This particular journey is pushing me to places I just plain don’t like. I don’t like dissecting it, I don’t like living it, I don’t like feeling it, I really don’t like it consuming all the good parts of life either. It is exhausting, it is relentless, it is really, really hard.

Round 1 goes to the New Levels of Trails, but I am not giving up or giving in. I’m doing what I tend to do, research, write, ruminate, and plan. My favorite thing to do is plan, I love planning, schedules, checklists, check marks, strike-through’s, they are all my favorite things, but that isn’t going to cut it this time. I have planned myself right into paralysis. Do you know this feeling? When you have so many options you can’t decide? Yep, that is me today; the day before Thanksgiving; too many options.

As my family gathers tomorrow around all of the schedules I will not plan or prep, I will just be; be in their presence, be in their joys, be what they need me to be, just be; that is really the best possible option.

Happy Thanksgiving….

I hear you, I believe you and I want you to keep telling your story.

It is so difficult these days to not be angry on a regular basis. It also becoming more and more difficult to be quiet. To sit by while the so many sit behind their keyboards and spew hateful words into the universe.

I’ve shared my story already and it is freeing to be able to speak about it openly. However, it also enrages me more than I ever expected when I read the non-stop shaming of women coming forward with their own stories. To all of those who have ever been a victim of any type of sexual assault, I hear you, I believe you and I want you to keep telling your story.

To those of you who have never once experienced any type of sexual trauma, I respectfully ask you to just stop.

Just stop with your $0.02.

Stop saying things like, “Where has this woman been for years? Why now? What’s her motive?” I can tell you from experience, a victim has told someone at some point in their life, unfortunately most of the time they are disregarded or dismissed. They are questioned to such a point they decide it isn’t worth continuing to speak about it. They are forever labeled as a woman scorned or an easy mark or seeking attention. In this politically charged world they are often labeled as a decoy or a pawn. I promise you, no one would want to put themselves into a situation of being a victim all over again.

I can unequivocally tell you sitting here today, if I saw my attacker on TV about to get a promotion to a position that can change the course of laws I would be screaming from the highest stage I could find. And you know what, I don’t have “evidence”, I didn’t keep a DNA sample from that horrifying night. I have medical records that show what I had to do after the fact. Does that mean I am just out to get him? Hell no, it means that I am voicing my opposition to the promotion. Here’s the saddest part of this entire story, there are 100’s of 1,000’s of Rape Kits sitting in warehouses and police department basements. They’ve been sitting there in some cases for decades, why? Here’s why; way, way too often those victims weren’t given the benefit of doubt, the officials in charge dismissed their story, decided without cause they didn’t want to investigate further. Even more sad, so many of those cases are sitting there because our local governments choose to not fund additional resources to process those tests. Our society does not place a value on those coming forward, instead society places more value on protecting the perpetrators than it does on getting to the truth. Look each attack shouldn’t have to make it to the national stage or even to your nightly news to be taken seriously.

Does this mean I believe all men are evil? Of course not. It does mean that I believe every voice matters. It means that as long as there is one voice that says, I have been a victim, that we should listen. We should investigate and we should not be asking her if she was drinking or if she sent the wrong message or how she was dressed. And on and on.

I also very strongly believe that we MUST stop pushing political agendas. Victims have been silent for longer than any of these men have been in a place of power. Even more importantly, for every “powerful politician” with a past that is not as clean as they would like you to believe are even more men and women in places of authority who will “fly under the radar”. They will continue to push their “power” on those below them because we as a society are being very clear that the victim should not be believed. They are only trying to ruin a reputation. If you have suffered trauma, you have no desire to put yourself through even more suffering just for attention. And if you do, it is a serious cry for help.

It is time to remember a few things:

  • Those in glass houses should not be tossing rocks.
  • The Good Ole’ Boys Club is no longer an acceptable place to hide.
  • Boys will be Boys is an unacceptable response.
  • 2018 is a prime example of the rule I was taught early on: “Keep your hands in your pockets. Do not touch anything that doesn’t belong to you. Ever.” 

Keep speaking out victims, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Battle within

Hello Summertime,

I welcomed the first day of Summer 2018 by getting up early & boarding a plane, changing time zones (bonus hour!), heading out for a long work weekend at the annual conference. I guess this is my fourth official big show. I’ve had the opportunity to be at smaller events too, but this big one is always something to experience.

I write often about change, how life is changing around me, how the path I thought I was on, is twisting and turning. This one isn’t much different. While this newest chapter begins I am so grateful to be in a super fun city with great co-workers to keep the fun going.

I recently started a post about civility or the lack there of lately, but I have to be honest. I started to turn to character assassination, and that is not where I wanted to go or who I wanted to be, so I hit delete. I do not want to be a pot stirrer, I do not want to appear to be a problem. I write when I need to get out feelings and there is a constant war within these days between the internal saint and sinner so to speak.

The sinner has found her way to paper writing because she has got to be out of my system. She is loud and in the forefront, but I didn’t send the invite, she just showed up like a protector. Stepped in when I was just not sure how to respond.

The saint is struggling to be heard at all. She is worn down, vulnerable, I would even say weak these days. She feels alone, frustrated, and is finding it easier to just retreat. Keeping her all together has become a full time pursuit.

We have a just 36 more hours here for the conference, then it is a late, late night arrival home and back to the work plan for several days before a quick holiday get-away with my favorite person. The sunshine, palm trees, and company should help to soothe my soul. Hopefully, it soothes the saint souls too, she (we) need it.

Summertime, the opportunity to soak in the rays, heal the hurts, start fresh.

It is going to be okay…

No Vacancy in Lazytown

Here we go again, I am “dark” in the blog writing. So very much has been churning around for so many months, that I don’t even really know where to begin.

Let’s start with a Water Palooza update: we are closing in on 6 months since D-Day…it is still not complete. However, I am moving forward as if it were. That very long list of things that are to be repaired is very slowly getting smaller. It will surely be done soon. (fingers crossed)

Dealing with this issue in the midst of several personal things has really tested my patience, strength, and honestly my attitude. I have not be the very best me for some time now. That is a hard one to admit. Environment does directly affect how we feel, react, behave, and our production. About 8 weeks into the cold concrete slab floor, the kitchen table doubling as cabinets, having to wash pots & pans before I cooked with them started a downward spiral. I know this path well, it is my “old” go to path. The lazy, withdrawn, hide away path. First, the exercise stops because the cold floor doesn’t lend itself to yoga or crunches. Then the healthy food goes out the window, I mean who wants to wash everything twice? Next to go, staying home at all. That means the laundry builds and there is NO POINT in cleaning because everything is covered in a layer of dust, dirt & film. You can see where this is headed-Lazytown.

I went there, I went to Lazytown and I stayed for much longer than what is acceptable. Getting a ticket out of town, that is so much harder than one would think. I’ve struggled getting on the bus out of town, if I were being super honest. Before all of this I had settled into a decent schedule, not great, and certainly there was room for improvement, but whoa did ALL of that get left on the baggage carousel when I arrived in Lazytown.

I’m humbling admitting my “long-term” lease, and submitting my termination of my residency. :]

I have all the tools I need, I know exactly what I need to do, it is really just a matter of doing it, just flipping doing it.

While I have plenty of support, encouragement and those kick me in the ass friends, I have to be honest with myself too. I need to stop having the internal conversation that “gives me an out.”

Here I go again….

Blessing or Burden?

Welcome to the zone, the construction zone, the no end in sight zone, the never ending dust zone. The could I just please have the dishwasher back zone.

It’s been 30 days since my last post. It feels as though those 30 days have gone in slow motion and warp speed all at the exact same time. In those 30 days, I have have 11 different working teams in and out of the house. Team Water as I quickly named them, they turned the standing water into a dry landscape, sealed up floors, took down damaged ceiling and shared very large, loud equipment to dry it all out. Team Plumbing, took the old water heater and 17 days later brought me a shining new one. In the middle of Team Water & Team Plumbing, I was introduced to Team 1 of repairs. They quickly put my utility closet back to together with new floor & walls so Team Plumbing could install that shining new heater. They quickly moved onto ceiling work. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly that repair started. Each morning they arrived, worked very hard and headed out. They even fixed errors made by those that put in the original ceiling so I would have a fresh new, level ceiling.

The not so fun world to navigate has been the disbursement of the insurance money and not because the insurance company is slow, but because of all the remaining red tape with the mortgage company. I think today we have turned the corner, at least that is what I am calling it.

I will never proclaim to be Neat Nelly or Spotless Suzie, but I will tell you, I am so ready for the dust, dirt and grime to be gone! There is a constant layer of dirt/dust/film on everything right now. There is only the concrete slab to walk on and it is cold, I mean couldn’t this of happened in like July when it was warm outside?

Here’s what I’ve learned along the way, I could be a complete wreck worrying about all of it or I can follow the steps (no matter how irritating they may seem to be) and just keep up with the emails, phone calls, and requests. There isn’t one person that I have had to talk to that could have stopped all of this from happening. I could have been more observant in the utility closet. Lesson Learned. I am now overly sensitive to anything that remotely sounds like a drip of water. Unplanned renovation causes one to really want to redo everything else. The bank account will keep that in tight check. You know what else I have learned along the way? That I was watching way too much TV, putting off basic tasks because I could and not staying as in the moment as I had been do for so long. I’ve been praying a lot, out loud, quietly, in written form-lots of praying.

Another lesson worth sharing, Educate yourself, ladies and gentlemen. A moment of crisis (like all that water pouring through the ceiling for an extended length of time) is NOT the time to be figuring out if you have a shut off valve. It is not the time to be praying you have enough money to cover all that you are about to be responsible for and it is most certainly NOT the time to stop taking care of yourself. There will be many that want to help you in many different ways. Don’t steal their blessing of wanting to help. In the exact same fashion don’t just go with the flow. I needed to understand the nuances of the new hot water heater before I was handing over money to anyone and the old tank couldn’t leave the house until I paid for a new one. So, I asked a lot of questions of Team Plumbing and they weren’t rude or condescending, they were helpful. I set that tone, I made it clear that I wasn’t just going to buy the most expensive of the least expensive, I needed to know why & how before I did anything. It’s okay to ask questions. So do it!

Do you know what your insurance covers, like do you really know? I can honestly say I wasn’t completely sure, I prayed it would be helpful. I could not be more pleased with how it has turned out on that front. But again, I asked a zillion questions and they took their time to answer them.

In the midst of Water Palooza (my title of this event), young one has changed her major, therefore changing the course of school and her location. She is currently packing up and heading home after the winter term ends in just two more days. She is awaiting acceptance into new schools for the new program and then the next set of decisions will need to be made. She has done all the research, all the phone calling, all the preparations to make this change happen. Although we are all sad that she is leaving Charlotte, because let’s be honest, we all loved it, we are very excited for her next steps. Deep down I have a feeling she will return to NC at some point to live, it really does suit her.

While there is no timeline for completion in the restoration/renovation this is hope of a fresh new start. Isn’t that how we should look at things, as a blessing rather than a burden? Maybe that is the entire point of Water Palooza, maybe I am supposed to be focusing on the blessings, the roof over my head, my family, friends, MVP’s, the food, and the clothing. Here’s to riding the “water palooza wave”.