• Mindfulness
  • Stroke
  • Mid-life
  • Thailand
  • Motherhood
  • Code
  • Teenagers
  • No idea what I'm doing
  • Best Of
  • Working Mom
  • Bucket-list
  • Italy
  • Suicide
  • Conscious Parenting
  • Depression
  • Resources

Stroke Survivor Part 3: The Day He Quit (& I didn't) 3/4/2019

Stories

On Thursday, time suspended. The four hours Dad begged to die, to go to heaven, will be known as the worst day of my life. I can't think of anything that tops this. It will also be known as the day I learn about my strength, my purpose, and how much I appreciate the past three years of mindfulness and awareness practice.

Turns out? All those monks, self-help books, and scientific studies are right. Being present, and aware, can literally prevent suffering.

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Stroke Survivor Part 2: I'm stupid and maybe a potato 2/25/2019

Stories

Right now any call of urgency from my mother can wake me from a dead sleep to ready to run a marathon. This is explains how at 4am she called to me from the other room, "Leslie, I need help," and I went from whatever dream I was having to standing in front of my dad without knowing how I got there.

Dad, who has now several strokes that we know of to date*, was sitting on the bed confused. He didn't want to go to the bathroom like he said originally. Something else was wrong. Mom and I guessed and looked at each other with concern. These days we're on high alert for any changes or loss of awareness. We both thought this could be bad.

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Stroke Survivor Part 1: Time 2/12/2019

Stories

I grew up listening to the bedtime story of The Three Southern Bears. Have you heard the story? Something about Goldilocks being naughty and runnin' out on her mamma and daddy and endin' up in some bears' house. She ate the grits and it was too hot. She ate the grits and they were too cold. She ate those grits and they were just right.

Mamma bear always said "Whah Ah Spah Someone In Mah Beyed. Yayus." (Yes has two syllables, y'all. Yayus.)

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Thailand Part 4: Elephants 2/11/2019

Travel

"Introduce yourself, say your name, say her name," the guide instructed. I touch her, the rescued, wrinkled giant. "Hi Mae Thai, I'm Leslie." Our guide voices my excitement, "See? She knows her name!" Mae flaps her ears and I find myself grinning as big as she is.

Elephant Smiles and Me Introducing Myself

My favorite photo

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Thailand Part 3: Please leave shoes on same shelt 1/27/2019

Travel

The first time I came home from an extended trip in Germany, my brain went sluggish reading posted signs. Everything felt easy all of a sudden. It's funny how you adjust to the constant struggle to understand where you are or what you're ordering. (Pig Knuckle? Again?)

I've been fortunate enough to find myself in countries that allow me to struggle through communication. I'm the sort of person who is ashamed of not knowing the local language, or even more than a spattering of words in any other language than my own. I've spent whole weeks nearly incapable of communication and exhausted by the idea of trying to ask for directions, so I just didn't. [Enter typical "like a male" joke here.] I went mute for my time there and avoided talking to anyone apart from people at work or others traveling with me.

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Thailand Part 2: When Things Fall Apart 1/21/2019

Travel Balance

Listening to "When things fall apart," while walking to Yoga in the sunny morning streets of Chiang Mai, feels completely right. Everything is falling apart, yes, but I'm told it's also exactly how it should be. I can't disagree given my surroundings.

Even here where sun beams pour out of the sky and people's faces, reality has a way of finding me. Even here, where my soul is happier than it has ever been, reality comes knocking with reminders of humanity and death and illness and impermanence.

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Thailand Part 1: The Magic 1/13/2019

Travel

I've finally arrived. Friends ask how I like it in Thailand on text messages. They don't see the wild grin as I pause to reflect before I answer, "My outsides finally match my insides."

There is another pause before they text back. I can not see the perplexity on their faces, but I hear it when they reply, "I'm glad you like it."

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You're not winning a medal for your code 7/25/2018

Front-end-developer

When I’m feeling good about my job, I tell people I solve problems for a living. On the bad days, I tell people I type for a living. The reality is somewhere in between; I google for a living.

There’s a lot of conversation about diversity in the tech industry and I’m glad we’re having those conversations. There’s an uprising in awareness of the gender and minority pay gap, which is great. The first step to change is acknowledging there is a problem. 

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