Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan to a celebration held by the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and in honor of that, the Blue Water Bridge (pictured above) turned purple, which is the color of epilepsy awareness.
The epilepsy community in Grand Rapids turned out mightily, which was quite impressive because it was outrageously windy. It wasn’t unsafe, but that wind was fierce!
The most touching part of our celebration was when Heather Ward and her daughter Josie addressed the crowd. Last year, they saw this event on the news, and they wanted to be connected to our community after Josie’s new diagnosis. Heather actually called the news station to find out which community turned the bridge purple. This year, they were both present, and they were the ones interviewed for the news story.
I also have a quote in the story. You can read that here:
Blue Water Bridge turns purple for Epilepsy awareness
Thanks for celebrating with us!
-Photos by Renee Roederer
I stood at a crosswalk, waiting for traffic to stop so I could walk across the street. I waited there in my sleeveless dress, having completed a walk in the unseasonable warmth of 73 degrees.
A person pulled up to the intersection, and she was waiting for traffic to stop too. And she was blaring music in her car,
“Sleigh bells ring! Are you listening? In the lane, the snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight! Walking in a Winter Wonderland!”
I had to chuckle. It just didn’t… fit. Maybe she was willing the weather to change.
The traffic stopped, and I crossed the lane with no glistening snow, walking in a Warmer Wonderland.
We’ve entered the month of NOvember.
This month, I’m reflecting upon, choosing, and acting upon what it means to say, “No.”
This might mean…
— saying no to tasks that aren’t best for us to do,
— saying no to what brings down our energy,
— saying no to beliefs that no longer serve us,
— saying no to narratives (external, internal, or cultural) that are painful distortions,
— saying no to injustices,
— saying no to systemic ways of doing harm,
— saying no to old patterns we no longer want,
— saying no to doing too much,
— saying no to unreasonable expectations,
— saying no to… (fill in the blank)
And I’m also going to reflect upon, choose, and act upon this realization:
When we say “no,” to some things, we are making way to say “yes” to other things.
We are making space for our best affirmations, intentions, and priorities.
Want to ponder this with me?
I’m excited to share this with you this morning. Go look at this thread. So silly!
— I didn’t get to have any time outside yesterday. And it was 71 degrees. That made me sad.
I planned to do that when I got home from work, but driving home, I remembered that I had a Zoom during the last hour of daylight. I could have come home earlier, but I had forgotten about that meeting. I’m usually better at this, but I didn’t plan well.
I need time outside.
— So far this week, I’ve had no social connection outside of work and providing care. I typically put social time into my schedule deliberately where I’m not doing either of these. I’m usually better at this, but I didn’t plan well.
I need social, ‘just be’ time.
Time to course correct. What about you? What do you need to make time for?
In my spiritual tradition, today is All Saints Day. It is a day to remember and honor those who have shaped us, particularly those who have died. It can also be a day to honor those who are living. We ponder people over time and how we are connected.
Fred Rogers used to say,
“From the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, and loved you into loving.”
Who has done this with you and for you?
-Photos by Renee Roederer