#270 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We rarely think of them and you probably can’t see the whole of them as you look around as furniture and miscellaneous items are surely obstructing part of your view; but the’re there and if your house is like many of ours…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#270

Wipe down your baseboards

I know, this isn’t the most glamorous or fun loving suggestion. It’s likely to conjure images of sweat and wrinkly hands and for some of us… fatigue and back pain. It’s not exactly a recipe for happiness. It is a recipe for satisfaction though and satisfaction is a major component of well-being.

Our baseboards are mostly invisible – perhaps not literally as I’m sure you can take a look right now… down toward the floor, that area that bridges the joining of wall and floor. We rarely think of them and you probably can’t see the whole of them as you look around as furniture and miscellaneous items are surely obstructing part of your view; but the’re there and if your house is like many of ours… they’re dirty – or at the very least… dusty.

Baseboards are a forgotten element for a vast number of people and they can get grungy… perhaps even enough so that the accumulated dust gets stirred up and negatively impacts the air quality in the home. Have you noticed frequent sneezing? A runny nose? Or a tickle in your throat? Grab the vacuum and a bucket of hot soapy water. You may find it more efficient to bribe (I mean hire) short young people for this task. There were years where my children thought it was a fun task because they wore big yellow gloves and rocked out to MTV – which I never let them watch otherwise!

I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you’re sitting on the john and glance down at the sparkling clean woodwork. It may be an unpleasant task but you’ll be completely satisfied after making the decision to …

Wipe down your baseboards.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

My March on Washington

There were more signs about Love and Peace and Hope than there was anything else.

A few days ago my daughter, who lives in Baltimore, called and asked me to make history with her by attending the Women’s March in Washington, DC. It meant that I would get up at 5 am, drive a couple of hours – walk all day in massive crowds – and then, tired… drive all the way home. Of course, I said “yes” – not because I was that invested in the march but because when your daughter ‘wants’ to spend the day with you… a day she will remember for the rest of her life… is there any other answer??

I say that I wasn’t all that invested in ‘the march’ mostly because I am not an overt activist. I have always chosen to change the world in ways that improved my little corner… working in my child’s school, raising money for the PTA, volunteering in my community, etc… I’ve not used my voice for anything on a national scale outside of casting my vote and so this was a first for me. I did not wear a pink hat – mostly because I didn’t have one – but even more so because I’m not a fan of the ‘p’ word and the hats were called p**** hats and even those the intention/message was important I didn’t want to promote the use of ‘that’ word. We didn’t carry signs because Sara was going to capture images and I was the photographer assistant; we needed our hands.

Getting to Washington proved to be a challenge and yet for Sara and I, the perfection of the mistakes and uncertainty made the adventure that much more memorable. This was the plan… I would pick her up in Baltimore, we would drive to the Halethorpe MARC station and catch the train to DC. We picked that location because the large downtown train station in Baltimore didn’t have the greatest parking. Well…. When we got to there we couldn’t find the entrance to the massive parking lot. It was a shame because it was practically empty. We weren’t the only challenged ones, the street parking was filling up fast and we saw people flowing into the station. One local resident, standing out on his lawn with a cup of steaming coffee (which I desperately wanted but was afraid to drink because I knew porta potties were my only option) let us know – in no uncertain terms – that we could (should) be parking there.

We were at the station in plenty of time to catch the 7:40 train but as we arrived, a woman in an official looking yellow safety vest was making the announcement that the train from Baltimore would NOT be stopping as it was completely full. It had filled in Baltimore. Crap. We should have gone to Penn station. The next train wasn’t for another hour… Saturday schedule. (MARC apparently has a good reason for not adding lots of extra trains for this historical event.)  She informed us that our best bet would be to drive south to the Greenbelt Metro station and take the DC Metro to one of the Washington Mall stops.

Sara and I took a minute to berate ourselves for just not going downtown in the first place and for a hot minute we thought about waiting for the northbound train – taking it back up to Baltimore and then coming south again… remember, I hadn’t had much coffee – which is the fuel for clear, rational thought. We opted for the southern option and headed down toward Greenbelt. It was an uneventful forty mile drive but the traffic was definitely building as we got closer to the city and there were an extraordinary number of busses on the freeway. When we got to the exit for the Metro station, it was blocked by a police car and there was a massive LED sign letting us know that the parking lot was full. Now, Sara had been telling me all along about how big this parking lot was “like a football stadium” she had said and so I was bowled over when we saw that it was full… As we drove by we could see what looked like THOUSANDS of people standing in line, presumably waiting to board the Metro. Holy cow, now what??

We went to the Marriott to get some coffee and use the facilities. There were lots of women there, many in pink hats and we asked a couple how they were getting downtown. “the hotel has a shuttle over to the Metro station” they said. We quickly described what we saw as we drove by just minutes ago, and then commented that it may be better to Uber down and get as close as possible. The two women we spoke to were quick to join forces with us and while we took care of nature’s calling – they arranged for a Lyft driver. It was going to cost much less per person than had we taken the train!

Our driver was awesome! SHE was happy to be making some extra money that day and even more so to be helping out in the way that she was able in the formation of such a historical event. We guided her into town, around traffic and she got us all the way into Union Station with very little delay. It was such fun talking to her and meeting our new friends (who were from Salt Lake City, Utah). We were counting our blessings at how the whole thing turned out… here we were without riding a train and/or standing in a line. As we got out of her car we were immediately swept up by the sea of people coming out of the train station, making their way over toward the Capitol building and it was both overwhelming and incredibly exciting to feel the energy of what it is to UNITE.

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Photo by Sara Kantner

There were all kinds of signs. Some were anti-Trump, many were pro-women’s choice, some were specifically for equality. I’ve read that the crowd in Washington, DC is estimated to have been over six hundred thousand. I never had a vantage point that allowed me to view the entire mall area. In fact, most of the time we were simply in a sea of moving people – and for part of that time it was – quite literally – full on, packed, body to body, people. We accidentally got ourselves over by the main stage – behind the American Indian Museum – in a hive of human beings that were so tightly packed together I finally understood the mechanism that activates panic in claustrophobic’s. Not for me. We spent an hour moving ourselves across the mall to the northwest side. After four hours of standing, walking, and watching… we started the march toward the Washington Memorial. When we got a chance to look across town – down the side streets, it was apparent that people had overflowed from the mall onto Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues. They filled Madison, Jefferson, and Independence… all moving west toward the Monument and President’s park. By then… I was over the crowding. I was cold… the weather report had not fulfilled its promise to reach 55 degrees… and I was sore from not sitting for more than five hours. It was time to find coffee… food… and warmth!

We kept moving until we found a street with moving traffic… hailed a cab and went to meet my youngest brother for an early supper.

It was amazing.

It was heartwarming.

It was breathtaking.

It was enlightening.

It was empowering.

It was more, too.

Sara began her day by intending to visually document the March from the perspective of mothers and daughters – motivated in part by her presence there with me. Certainly, one of the most inspiring parts of the March for me was how many children were there. THEY are the future of this country and they were experiencing firsthand how to respectfully demonstrate – how to use their voices. There were NOT just mothers and daughters… there were fathers and sons… entire families. These children were learning how to disagree in a loving spirit… I saw it with my own eyes. There were more signs about Love and Peace and Hope than there was anything else.

Yesterday inspired me, it was impossible to leave Washington without an imprint of that experience on my soul but it was more than that. We were not alone in that city… if you are connected you already know that many millions of people marched in over 30 countries and in every single state. How inspirational is it that people across the world came together unilaterally in support of simple humanity?? Literally…. Across the entire world. My deepest hope is that we all continue to use that spark as only the ignition of continued support for global human dignities.

This March was NOT about the American president. It was about HOPE that the Universal progress we’ve made regarding basic human integrity’s will be sustained and promoted throughout the world; at least THAT is why I marched. THAT is the lesson I hope those children took home and THAT is what I will continue to promote if only in my own little corner of the world.

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Breaking for Gratitude

My entire adult life was negatively affected because I didn’t think that I could talk about hard things without being judged.

“If a story is in you, it has to come out.”  ~ William Faulkner

A letter to my family & friends:

I started writing 46 days ago in an effort to finally expose my voice. I never imagined that I could have taken it this far yet I’ve always felt that I had a story to tell; a lot to say. The whole reason I became a therapist in mid-life is because I wanted the pain I’ve experienced to have value (more to come on that). I use many of my own life lessons with clients in private practice and I know that they have been received with respect and openness. Mine is only one viewpoint on the spectrum of possibilities but if offering it to someone can somehow mitigate trouble on their own journey then mine will have been purposeful.

I have been greatly humbled by the support I’ve received over the last seven weeks. Almost daily, I’ve received messages, emails, and text messages demonstrating love, respect, and admiration. I accept it with gratitude. I am honestly excited to realize that I have accomplished the task of writing over 50,000 words in a relatively short time frame. Frankly, the words have come easily. I can attest that they have come without pain or intense emotion – concerns that have been addressed by people who love me. E suggested that it was God’s work that I could write such honest script without feeling the deep emotions I describe – perhaps it is. I have felt them – I have processed them – I have honored them. It is my life – the memories are vivid in most circumstances and I cherish the lessons they have provided.

One of the wonderful parts of sharing this on Facebook – as my sister-in-law recently stated, is that it has given people who may not have shared various parts of my life, insight into how I became the woman I am. It fills in a lot of blanks. Yet, I have made the decision to continue my quest to publish daily but NOT to advertise it on Facebook. The main reason is this: I feel I am becoming attached to the comments, likes, and engagement on Facebook rather than the story itself. That’s not my intention and so it is better for me to ‘simplify’ and just publish. Those who read it will read … those who will benefit, will. This story gets worse before it gets better and now is a good time to rein it in, so to speak.

I have remained vigilant with my children who have been amazingly supportive even though it may be difficult to know that their mom has experienced hard times. I know it has been hard to hear my perspective about their dad, also a person they love and yet, they were there and so this information is not new to them. They are such immense blessings in my life. Being a mother is the single most amazing thing I do. I am only a human being – a real person – who continues a journey of imperfection and discovery. They know this and honor me despite my flaws. Harlan, whom you will get to know …  is likewise, amazing. Loving me, yet reading every day about my love for someone else in another era … he inspires me and I hope to be able to honor him with my words when I write about the current period of my life.

I know that I talk about some really hard topics. I want to open the door to hard conversations! My entire adult life was negatively affected because I didn’t think that I could talk about hard things without being judged. Let’s change that! I respect everyone’s right to believe / think individual thoughts – different than mine. I want the same respect. I am not intentionally pointing a finger at something as WRONG or BAD nor RIGHT or GOOD – as I am directly opposed to using those labels – we are DIFFERENT. That’s all… we are different. We won’t truly have the facts about what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – at least in religious or spiritual terms until we meet our maker and then – this discussion becomes a moot point. My goal is peace, not fear, or judgment. I hope you will be open to that concept as well, going forward.

I may turn this story into a book – a memoir. There is clearly enough information but I am not sure if there is a global need/desire for another ‘pain promotes personal growth’ story. It will take a fair amount of work to edit, submit, and promote the eventual 300+ pages of a book and I continue to ask myself – who cares?  Yes, I am full of self-doubt and insecurity – every time I push the ‘publish’ button I feel that typical / normal fear of ‘so what?’ I imagine it will be like a full-time job to make a full-on book happen and I’m not sure I have the time or energy unless I am convinced that people would buy it. I have a couple of other projects sitting in the wings of my life and so… time will tell.

I promise this – ThisIsLeslyn.com will continue to tell ‘the’ story until I catch up to current day and then, I will share musings and nuggets from my practice, my continuous personal growth, my ideas, thoughts, my life, etc.  I will be thrilled if you feel compelled to follow along – and share with people who may benefit from hearing the messages. I am open to any and all comments that offer support, encouragement, or constructive criticism – in fact, they motivate me to keep on daring greatly.

Again, thank you for reading – you honor me.

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