Eliminating the Dinner Dilemma with World Port Seafood

I received product and compensation in exchange for this post. Chef Wayne comes with the deal no matter how I feel about it. Otherwise, all thoughts are my own! 

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo Credit: World Port Seafood

How many times have you said “I don’t know what to have for dinner”?

If you’re like Wayne and me, you’ve lost count. Our dinner quandary got worse over the last few years as we were caring for his dad, who was living with us as he declined. Even though he didn’t often want to eat with us, dinner was still fragmented — either by him needing something or by our exhaustion or both. It wasn’t as satisfying as it used to be.

The dinner decision changed once Dad passed away in July. My son moved out to go to college shortly thereafter, leaving two of us facing yet another change in routine.

World Port Seafood sent me a fabulous collection of seafood to try. It’s the kind of addition to our lives that can make eating fun (and delicious) again.

My package included:

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Stuffed Sole with Scallops and Crabmeat

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia Fillets

Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp

These products have so much going for them.

Convenience Matters

World Port Seafood comes right to your door, well-packaged to ensure temperature control. I only have to take a few steps to the freezer to know dinner is (forgive the pun) “in the bag.”

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Especially with the entrees (as opposed to the basic cuts of fish/shellfish), the World Port Seafood chefs do the hard work of preparing enticing options.

Seafood cooking can be tricky; that’s why World Port Seafood has a hotline that operates daily from 9 am – 11 pm Central Time at 1-800-315-FISH (3474).

Quality Matters Too

World Port Seafood’s attention to quality eliminates any niggling questions about precisely how “fresh” that seafood is at the grocery store.

The selections from World Port Seafood are always in season, because they are sourced for freshness then frozen to remain fresh and perfect (like this salmon).

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo Credit: World Port Seafood

With World Port Seafood, I Can Be Confident

Besides the convenience, the commitment to quality, and such a wide choice of options, another asset of World Port Seafood is the reassurance that every order is 100% guaranteed. 

Our First Adventure with World Port Seafood

For our initial foray into the World Port Seafood arena, we chose to make Shrimp and Grits from this Epicurious recipe (we chose not to use the egg on top though). It was such a joy to work with these large, beautiful shrimp. Our mouths were watering the whole time.

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

I also want to mention, though, that even though I chose to use Weight Watchers points on a delicious gourmet meal, I could also have spent zero points if I had chosen to steam the shrimp and eat them by themselves. I love the flexibility.

Want to Try For Yourself?

I wish I could dish up a little serving of this shrimp and grits to share with you (they’re quite convincing).

Since I can’t, I’ll just encourage you to consider giving World Port Seafood a try for yourself. (It’s also a fantastic gift. Your recipient will think about you every time they are saved from tyranny of the dinner dilemma!).

To order or learn more, click here.

PS: Shipping is free for orders of $49 of more.

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo credit: World Port Seafood

Five Minute Friday: BEAUTY

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: BEAUTY

Many things about my mom’s life between December 11, when she was admitted to UF Health, through February 13, when she died at North Florida Regional Hospital, were not beautiful.

  • The indignities of being handled so much by so many people
  • Not being able to take care of bodily functions privately
  • Not being able to breathe
  • Not being able to drink water while on CPap and BiPap (and intubated)
  • The broken wrist she incurred a few days before she died
  • Breathing treatments, IVs, heparin shots, insulin shots, stool softeners, swallow tests, bronchoscopies

The two months unfolded strangely and unpredictably. During about a week and a half of her time in rehab at Lake Butler Hospital, she was doing so well. Walking. Breathing without the aid of oxygen.

Every time I would call, she was say the same thing: “How are ya?” The typewritten words on a screen don’t do justice to the joy she exuded knowing that she was talking to me. Being a mom, even though she was the sick one, I could tell she was happy I was okay (moms never stop worrying about that).

I don’t understand why the two months played out the way they did, but they gave me more time, beautiful time. Over this time she reminded me that she derived joy from being with her family.

I had been oblivious to how much she needed that for quite some time.

###

Coincidentally, since this week’s word is beauty, this is the verse I chose for my mom’s funeral program:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

I am grateful for her gentle and quiet spirit; she was an unfading beauty inside and out.  Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

Resist Trendy: Invest for the Long Term

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

Long Term College Financing

How Important is it to be Trendy?

I was in a conversation online recently with a friend who mentioned the term “trend adjacent.” I am always interested in new terminology; this was no exception. A fashion world reference, explained in this blog with, “Designers looking to find their place in the market must know whether they intend to be on-trend, trend-adjacent, of off-trend altogether.”

It is tempting to want to be on-trend, for sure. It’s also tempting (I would think) for grandparents and others to want to help the children in their lives keep up with trends so they fit in with their peers.

Trends, however, come and go.

The value of a college education lasts forever.

It’s Trendy to Give Children the Security of an Education

The value of an education will, I promise, last longer than bell bottoms, jelly shoes or Farrah Fawcett hair.

Florida Prepaid plans lock in tomorrow’s tuition for less with guaranteed plans starting at $47 per month.  I am so grateful that my parents purchased prepaid plans for my children when they were infants; it has taken away much of the stress of helping pay for their college educations (especially with two in college at the same time).

What if My Kid Decides Another State is Trendier than Florida?

One misconception I have heard throughout my time as a Believer Blogger is that a child has to remain a Florida resident to retain the Florida Prepaid benefits.Long Term College Financing

If a Florida Prepaid beneficiary moves out of Florida after purchasing a Prepaid Plan, the child will still be billed at in-state tuition rates when using their plan at a Florida college or state university.

The “Resist Trendy” Clock is Winding Down!

Open enrollment for Florida Prepaid ends February 28, 2018.

Don’t be “last year’s style,” banished to the clearance rack of life planning. Invest in a child’s education today and you won’t ever have to worry about a poor fit or busted seam.

Learn more from this webinar held Tuesday, February 20, from 12-12:45 p.m. ET. The Florida Prepaid team and Florida Prepaid advocate Cristy Clavijo-Kish discussed how families have been using Florida Prepaid for over 25 years to send their children to college. Get a firsthand perspective on how to get started and how saving early can make a difference in your child’s future success.


If you have questions, visit the program’s FAQ page.

If you’re ready to enroll, click here, then save 50% off your enrollment fee ($25 off of $50) by using my special code, GREEN1718.

Long Term College FinancingYour kid is bound to look at least trend-adjacent (I’m betting even trendy!) in a t-shirt representing their university once they enroll under a Florida Prepaid  plan. It’ll be a much more comfortable fit than crushing debt.

Five Minute Friday: WHY

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: WHY

“Why aren’t you crying harder?”

This is the worry the author of the current book I’m reading, The Girl with Seven Names, had when she was gathered with her schoolmates after learning of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

She said (I’m paraphrasing here…) “My survival skills kicked in. Everyone else was crying hard and I wasn’t. I knew I would be singled out for not being distraught enough.” (Fast forward to later when peers of hers who weren’t considered “upset enough” were punished, some by hanging (I think — it was an audiobook and I was in traffic!). She put on her best thespian skills and worked up the look of grief. She was not ultimately punished. (This article talks about that time in North Korea.)

I was talking with dear lifelong friends tonight about our expectations of what happens when a loved one is dying and afterwards. I was commenting about how none of the three deaths I’ve experienced between my mother-in-law, my father-in-law and now my mom has fit that stereotypical “passed peacefully surrounded by family” vision that is so frequently referred to in obituaries.

The background thought in my head was “why am I not crying more?” I can’t explain that very well. I adored my mother and appreciated her more than she ever fully understood. But the last few years have given me a different perspective on death than I had prior to these three deaths.

[End of five minutes]

There is an entire different set of “why” questions related to how the events of the past two months ended with her death, but those are not likely to ever have clear answers.

For now, my personal approach isn’t so much to ask why I am grieving the way I am grieving, but to ask how I can best serve my father through a searing transition and what I can do to carry on her legacy of intelligence, kindness, patience, and generosity.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

Mom’s Challenge

The first time I saw Michelle Kwan skate in person, it was her first year skating as a senior at the national level. This was at the US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, in 1994 (yes, there was a quite noteworthy event that occurred at that championship).

She was so young. I don’t mean chronologically only. I mean still a girl in many ways. Bowled over as the stuffed animals rained down onto the ice after her performance. Giddy with the thrill of it all.

(Figure skating side note: her sister, Karen Kwan, also competed at that championship. She skated elegantly.)

By the next year, at the championships in Providence, Rhode Island, Michelle Kwan was a different skater and person. She hadn’t yet turned into the force she would be eventually, a combination of athleticism and artistry that defied being beaten, but she had more notoriety, more fame, more expectations on her shoulders.

Mothers and Challenges

I can only imagine the challenges her mom (and dad) faced, starting with years of expensive skating lessons and all the accompaniments necessary to a competitive figure skating career.

Michelle Kwan discusses her mom’s sacrifices here, talking about how her mom sewed her costumes to save money and how both her immigrant parents worked multiple jobs. “I’d be yelling across the rink like ‘Mom, do you have gloves?’ or even a tissue and she was right there next to the ice,” Kwan said.

Moms often intuit our challenges before we realize the gravity of them (or, conversely, the fact that the challenges we think are going to break us end up not being as drastically life-altering as they feel at the time).

When Mom Faces a Challenge

My mom has faced her own challenge since she was hospitalized on December 11 when her heart rate/rhythm, breathing, and overall health were compromised by a viral infection.

Although her recovery seemed to be on a mostly upward-bound trajectory, everything changed when she had an allergic reaction to one of the anti-arrhythmics she had been administered.

“If it were my mom, I would come,” said an ICU nurse around 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. My daughter drove herself and me to the hospital.

After several extremely tenuous hours, my mom was intubated and the immediate breathing/survival crisis was over.

When I didn’t know what to do over the days that followed, with tense nights in the ICU, another intubation, and the juggling act of medical needs/family member relationship management (not saying I managed any of that — just that it’s a fraught time when you’re trying to exchange accurate information through sleep deprivation and layers of dynamics)/keeping up with obligations to my two freelance positions, I thought about my mom holding my newborn son through the night so I could sleep.

Just holding him. Nothing fancy. No machines, no technology, no words.

Has a Challenge Been Met?

Michelle Kwan knew she had met her challenges when she tied Maribel Vinson for the most US Championships (9), when she won five world championships and when she won Olympic medals in 1998 and 2002.

I pray my mom overcomes her physical issues, which provide related emotional hurdles (she had to be readmitted to a hospital after less than 48 hours had elapsed following her discharge because she fell and broke her wrist).

I pray I can figure out how to give her the sense of reassurance I had when she held my son throughout the night, using solely the power of presence rather than words to calm him.

Editor’s note: My mom passed away on February 13, 2018. Her obituary can be read here

Mothers and ChallengesI am linking this post to Mama’s Losin’ It, for the “write about the word ‘challenge'” prompt.

 

Five Minute Friday: PRIVILEGE

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: PRIVILEGE

My attempt to mitigate the fact that I have been accorded all kinds of white privilege throughout my lifetime is imperfect at best.

I am pretty sure, though, that it isn’t supposed to be played out in my choice of when to see a particular movie.

I went down the Twitter rabbit hole today (I’m on Twitter throughout the day, for work and for “fun”) and saw one person tell me I should wait a week to see Black Panther:

WHITE PEOPLE BLACK PANTHER RULES

Do not see the movie in first week so that PoC have a chance to see it first.

If you’ve already bought tickets, give them to a PoC.

Post a positive review at Rotten Tomatoes. Do not wait to see the movie first.

(My reaction to this one ^^^ “Who would post a positive review without seeing a movie? There are other ways to support the movie and encourage attendance than publishing a positive review that is false because it is based on a pretense.)

Sit in the back of the theater.

I don’t see (at all) how following these “rules” does anything to help black people and white people (and …. just people ….) understand each other any better. I don’t.

But then when I was looking for the above tweet prior to writing this post, I found this tweet:

White people, let’s all go to the opening night of Black Panther and talk loudly through the entire movie.

Oh Twitter, if there had been a moment tonight when I was feeling good about humanity and race relations, that tweet (and the comments) reversed it. Easily.

***

The situation reminded me of the day after the Women’s March last January, when friends/acquaintances asked me if there were pro-life women there.

[end of five minutes …. still writing]

“Of course there were!” I responded. I checked with people who had been in DC (rather than Tallahassee). They confirmed their march was accepting.

I have to say in my heart of hearts, though, I don’t think my pro-life friends would have felt welcomed at the march I attended. It was a women’s march, but given the philosophical leanings that drove many of us there, my pro-life friends would not have felt comfortable.

Feeling comfortable — now THAT is a privilege.

Honestly, I think the most comfortable thing I could do about Black Panther is go with a PoC friend the first week, second week or 50th week. And we would both sit wherever we please. Together.

Five Minute Friday

 

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

Why Gamble On Your Child’s Future?

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

certain education future

The biggest football game of 2018 is today! (If you’re reading this after 2/4/18, look ahead to February 3, 2019.)

Fun Bets About the Big Game

It’s inevitable. Every year, we will join our party wherever we are watching the Super Bowl, and before the game begins, the guesses will start about how long it will take for the singer to complete the National Anthem.

Betting on the length of the Super Bowl National Anthem is a big deal. People are betting this year on whether Pink will take longer than two minutes to sing the National Anthem, who will win the coin toss, and the number of tweets per second during the game. People are likely to wager upwards of $10 million on Super Bowl-related bets every year, with only 50% of those being the game’s score.

Other Big Game Numbers

Do you know about the Super Bowl indicator (SBI)? It is a comparison of the game’s results with the stock market. For 34 out of the last 40 years, it has been accurate, forecasting that an AFC team win portends a stock market downfall whereas a NFC team win (or old NFL before the NFL/AFL merger) means the market will go up.

Does the outcome of one game really affect the stock market? I don’t know. Bloomberg says “…the chance of the SBI occurring by chance is about 1 in 8,000. It’s still an unlikely occurrence, but closer to the realm of everyday events than is sometimes asserted.”

Funding College Education is Not a Game

I don’t know who is going to win tonight’s game OR the one on February 3, 2019.

I do know that no matter how long it takes Pink to sing the National Anthem or whether the stock market plummets or soars the next day, securing a child’s future with the promise of education is no game.

A Florida Prepaid plan is one of the best ways to take the guesswork and chance out of financing a child’s education.

Therefore, I want to tackle (couldn’t help myself!) a common myth and remind you of the amount of time left on the, um, “game clock.”

Recipients of Prepaid Plans Don’t Have Restricted Playing Fields

I’ve been hearing from a few people interested in investing in a Florida Prepaid plan that they are afraid students can only use them at a school in Florida.certain education futureHere’s the truth, straight from the Florida Prepaid “playbook” (a/k/a their website):

While Florida Prepaid plans are designed to be used at a Florida College or State University, the plans can also be applied at other schools nationwide. Plans can be used at in-state, out-of-state, public or private schools around the country — or even the world ….. the value we pay to other schools as the same as we would have paid to a Florida school.

My daughter is using her prepaid benefits at a school in Georgia (Valdosta State), for example.

Enrollment for Florida Prepaid is in the Fourth Quarter

The clock is ticking down to enroll in Florida Prepaid. Enrollment ends February 28, 2018.

Don’t get stuck in the off-season waiting for October to roll back around.

If you have questions, visit the program’s FAQ page.

If you’re ready to enroll, click here, then save 50% off your enrollment fee ($25 off of $50) by using my special code, GREEN1718.

certain education future

Now who’s ready for a fun post-game celebration?

Five Minute Friday: AGREE

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Today’s prompt: AGREE

My social media feed is already full of people who don’t agree that there should be a Black History Month (or people who anticipate others will disagree with them about whether the month should exist or not).

I haven’t seen (yet) anyone say “but why isn’t there a white history month?” Maybe those people have gone farther underground (I doubt it). Maybe I’ve just missed it.

Maybe I don’t have enough knowledge to fill for five minutes explaining why it’s a different thing to have a Black History Month.

Someone on social media today (I wish I could remember who) encouraged white people to learn ONE THING a day this month about the role of a black person in history. I think that’s a great idea.

Those of us who are not black have often had blindfolds on (intentionally or not). We didn’t learn about the contributions of black people throughout history. We couldn’t feel, tangibly, the pain of discrimination, slavery, confinement, prejudice.

Yet here we all are. It’s 2018 and we disagree. We disagree about what deserves a “special month,” about what identifies us. We struggle to find common ground.

Let’s see over the course of the month what about the history of being black can show us about each other. We may agree when it’s all said and done that we need longer than February to give the topic its due.

Editor’s Note: First of all, I confess I went over the five minute limit (again) tonight (sorry not sorry). Second, the hyperlinked word at the end of the post is intentional. As I chose the word “due,” I was thinking about Patricia Stephens Due, a woman who participated in a sit-in in Tallahassee in 1960 at the age of 19 and went on to make a tremendous difference for civil rights.  

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

Why I’m Not Laughing at the Tide Pod Challenge

These cookies look tasty enough to eat:

Tide Pod Challenge

Source: Pinner Punny Garrden

And I have it on good authority that these shots are delectable:

Tide Pod Challenge

Photo credit: Tipsybartender.com

But……….

About The Tide Pod Challenge

I suspect my opinion on this may put me in a minority, as I am taking a fuddy-duddy, somewhat humorless approach. I’ll have to take being in the minority.

If You’ve Been Under a Rock

The Tide Pod challenge is one of the most recent in a string of “kid dare” challenges that have gained additional momentum thanks to social media and the internet. Participants in the challenge put laundry pods into their mouths (usually Tide brand) and film and/or stream themselves doing so. (Facebook and YouTube have begun removing any depiction of someone doing the challenge.) This history is also informative.

Why the Tide Pod Challenge Has Taken Off

Who’s to say what makes one stupid prank go viral while others falter? If I knew what makes things go viral, my blog numbers would be much better. I suppose it boils down, to an extent, to the fact that preteens and teens do unpredictable things for reasons adults often can’t discern. Attention, of course. “Because I can” probably ranks up there.

The Tide Pod challenge is not the first “kid dare” phenomenon of the Social Media age. Innocuous-sounding (but potentially deadly) “kid dares” have probably existed as long as there have been kids.

Cases in point of other kid (and adult) dares:

Chubby Bunny, which involves stuffing your mouth with marshmallows while uttering the phrase “chubby bunny.” Admittedly, I have had the Oprah story about a child’s death that was linked to playing Chubby Bunny in my head for years — this Snopes post provides details that I had not previously realized (like the fact that the progression of the events leading to the child’s death were different from what I had always thought). An adult is also documented as having a Chubby Bunny-related death, which is a reminder that it’s not just teens and preteens making regrettable choices.

The Cinnamon Challenge, which entails consuming a spoonful of cinnamon within 60 seconds without drinking anything (while filming/streaming). The Cinnamon Challenge is not without its dangers.

The Kylie Lip Challenge, one I just learned about today. Participants place their lips into a shot glass and create a vacuum, to achieve their intention of making their lips look plumper. Besides the dangers from shattered shot glasses that succumb to the pressure, apparently some challenge participants have become permanently disfigured (more in this Washington Post article or if you can’t get past the Post’s paywall, this PopSugar piece.).

Why the Collective Humor About the Tide Pod Challenge Irritates Me

The Tide Pod challenge has become the joke du jour on social media.

My beloved alma mater joked that they have made it an admissions criteria (or maybe they really did — I can’t tell if this is serious or not):

Tide Pod Challenge

And, predictably, the Darwin references have abounded. Here’s a favorite (and one of the kinder Tweets):

Tide Pod Challenge

Although I hate to give her clicks or more exposure for it, Tomi Lahren says participation in the Tide Pod challenge is an outgrowth of liberal parenting:

The left, which dictates popular culture, brainwashes young people into believing they live in a world where 64 gender options are up for selection, everything is free, Beyonce is a god-queen and eating detergent is funny. ~ Tomi Lahren

Maybe so, Tomi, but this parent who identifies as liberal has focused more on teaching acceptance, critical thinking and compassion, all of which were sorely lacking in your recent tweets about what our President reportedly termed “S-hole countries.” I’ll take the compassion, thank you very much.

The Biggest Irritant

Before the Tide Pod challenge became a viral social media phenomenon, laundry pods were proving dangerous. By November 2012, the year they were introduced, 500 children’s injuries had been documented related to chewing on or playing with the pods and they were declared harmful by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

I had been aware of the safety issues with pods since pretty much the beginning, since I am on social media so much and in so many parent-blogger communities. I wasn’t surprised – kids get into things they shouldn’t and end up being hurt.

Here’s what turned me around and changed my gut feeling about Tide Pod Challenge humor:

“Of the eight deaths directly related to laundry pods in the last five years, two were children — but six were seniors with dementia.” (Source: Consumerist)

Coming out of a three-year stint during which my father-in-law, who had short-term memory loss, lived with us, this hit me intensely. Although Dad never tried to eat a Tide pod (that I know of), I would find odd things at unusual places around the house — partially consumed candy bars he had tried to eat in the middle of the night (not that I minded him eating candy bars, of course — but his dental health had deteriorated (and he had a TUMOR blocking his esophagus), which made eating something like a Baby Ruth bar impossible, so I would find melted/degraded/partially digested bars in his bedroom that he had been too embarrassed (or something) to dispose of correctly).

The man tried to “smoke” a Slim Jim once, thinking it was a cigar.

Elderly people with dementia do odd things.

There but for the grace of God go I.

It also kind of bugs me that people are implying that participating in the Tide Pod challenge is all due to parental negligence. Most of us parents are doing our best. Heck, I accidentally allowed my treasured, wanted-more-than-anything seven-week old to roll off a twin bed onto a hardwood floor once when we were visiting relatives and I was nursing (sorry, Tenley). Mistakes happen, parents fail, kids survive (thank goodness).

(I also think some kids who made the poor choice of doing the Tide Pod challenge probably should be admitted, Florida State.)

As Rob Gronkowski notes, it’s best to keep the Tide pods out of the mouth and in the washing machine:

A Challenge to the Rest of Us

Yes, ingesting a chemical-filled, poisonous detergent packet is stupid (very).

Yes, doing so makes Darwin look prescient.

But laughing at it to the degree that is taking place currently diminishes us all, in my opinion, and introduces a poisonous element of a different kind.

Five Minute Friday: SURRENDER

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: SURRENDER

From the moment I saw that today’s word was “surrender,” I have had an earworm of I Surrender All. I couldn’t begin to count how often I have sung or played that song over the course of my life, especially during all the Southern Baptist years.

I don’t think God really wants me to surrender right now so much as He wants me to fight. It has taken so much longer than I would have thought to come out of the fog created by being a primary caregiver for three years. Dad died in July and I feel like I am just starting to be able to organize my days and my energy better. Never underestimate the drain on your life and spirit of almost constant stress.

(On the topic of almost constant stress, though, I want to acknowledge that my situation could have been so much worse. We were able to secure respite care so I could do things outside of the home and so he could have supervision the last month or two when it was impossible to do my at-home work uninterrupted because his needs had gotten so much more intense. Some people deal with this much longer than we did, with much less support. It’s not a competition, I know, but it’s important to acknowledge that I recognize their struggles.)

It is tempting to shy away from making hard decisions and taking bigger risks. Fifty-three isn’t that old but there comes a time when some choices are no longer options. However, I suppose the upside of the new gig-oriented economy and all the technological changes in industry means some jobs exist I couldn’t possibly have known about even ten years ago.

Therefore, I am not totally embracing the surrender idea tonight unless it’s to say “no surrender” to the hurdles I am putting in my own way of recovering professionally and (by virtue of that) getting out of debt.

(Full disclosure — this took a bit longer than five minutes. I wasn’t willing to surrender when the timer beeped.)

Also, I ran across this song by Clay Crosse when I was considering adding a video. It’s different from the traditional I Surrender All. I like the line “I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams.” In a way, that is a total contrast to what I wrote, but in a way it isn’t — silent hopes and dreams still have a prayer of succeeding if they are verbalized and written down — if we hold ourselves accountable.


Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.