One More Minute…

“Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”

I was messaging with my friend and colleague, Helen Patterson, about getting together soon and then we shared a little about what was happening in our lives and our businesses.

I told her that I thought one of her friends, Rachelle, was being very brave in her recent posts and podcasts.

Helen told me that Rachelle had struggled but had made amazing progress and had chosen to share her story so other women could get it.

In just over a month, I’ll be celebrating another birthday, and, every now and then, it hits me hard.

“Can I really be that old?!”

“Where did the time go?”

“Do I have another 30,40,50 good years in me?”

“Am I strong enough, pretty enough, good enough?”

“Am I aging gracefully?”

“How can I FEEL like I’m only 34 but be twenty years older?”

“I am just getting started, do I have time to do everything I want to do?”

Those are the things that go through my mind when I’m training or doing a massage or writing out my hopes and plans.

These are the thoughts that tumble around when I’m standing in front of the mirror looking at my body, and catching glimpses of my soul in my eyes.

Helen’s words hit me straight in my heart-simple, direct, profound.

Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”

Damn straight.

This past year, every since Covid came roaring like a dragon, scaring us into taking Shelter In Place and having mandates for masks and social distancing, people have chosen to live with such precautions, limitations and fear.

They have stopped seeing family members, stopped celebrating holidays, stopped getting together for birthdays and Sunday dinners.

I get it. I really do. They are afraid they will get Covid.

But, here’s the thing…..I did, too, in the beginning. I stayed home, did Shelter In Place. Took off my clothes in the garage if I went anywhere, santized my house and my hands and my car over and over.

We didn’t celebrate last Easter… no baskets, no gifts, no Easter dresses, no family dinner. It was heartbreaking.

We did it because that’s what we were told to do and expected to do.

Then it hit me- really hit hard.

What I was doing-what we were all doing- was taking away precious time, giving away chances, missing opportunities, losing out.

In an attempt to prolong our lives, we gave up what made life worth living.

I know people that stopped seeing their children and grandchildren because they were afraid of Covid.

Others haven’t left their home because the ones that love them are so afraid that they will lose them.

It’s became a game of chance, of control, of hedging the bets, of making deals with God.

“I’ll stay away from everyone…. But you better add another year to my life now that I’ve given up this year.”

“I am doing all this…. so I better not get sick from Covid or anything else.”

“Here’s the deal, I’m going to follow all these rules, do everything by the book… and then I’ll be safe, right?”

Maybe so…but, I can’t help but think of it this way.

Only God knows the number of our days.

People still die from heart attacks, in car accidents, in senseless tragedies. People lose their battles with cancer, with mental illness, with other congestive, chronic sickness.

All we have is this minute…. and maybe another fifty years.

Like my friend, Helen, said, “Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years”

I think that’s what’s happening, though. People have been focusing so hard on to stay here and not to be left or to leave that they have not lived!

I stopped doing that way back in May when I reopened the doors to my massage studio, Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.

I practice universal safety and sanitize procedures, but I touch people. There’s no social distancing in massage and that’s one of the beautiful things about it.

I don’t wear a mask. I have to read lips so people that come to see me express such a sense of relief when I tell them they can remove their masks.

I’ve spent so much precious time with my children, and my girls and my bundles.

I’ve been busy creating memories, making damn sure they feel loved and wanted and needed.

I’ve kissed and cuddled, shook hands and embraced. I’ve wiped tears and stroked faces.

I’ve gone to breakfast, to lunch and to dinner.. I’ve met friends for drinks at the bar, sat outside on patios sipping margaritas and listening to music.

I’ve gone dancing and I danced with anyone that asked.

I go to the gym almost every single day. I meet with my trainer, Phu, and we hold hands constantly. He places his hands on my body, I hold his legs when he stretches me. We have a comfortable intimacy. I know he’ll catch me when I stumble and he knows when to let me do my own thing.

My focus is on living every single minute of my life to the fullest.

I don’t know and neither does anyone else if I only have this minute or if I’ll have fifty more years.

I do know this much for sure.

I will not bide my time, waiting for something to be done with, or to run it’s course.

That’s not what my focus is going to be about.

I’ll do everything in my power to stay healthy and to keep my family, my friends and my clients healthy, too.

Those are the things that I can control, but life… whether it’s one more minute or fifty more years, like I hope for, is going to be spent living every single second of it!

I don’t want to have any regrets… no second guessing.. no missed kisses… no holding back.

I am planning on meeting my friend, Helen, soon. I am planning on drinking that bottle of wine that James gave me with him. I’m celebrating Easter this year with my family and for my birthday, in just over a month, I’m going to savor every single bite of that chocolate sheet cake and love on everybody that comes near me.

Just like my wise and wonderful friend, Helen, told me to do.

Helen and Jeanna’… In 2019. We will get another picture very soon.

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

8 14 a.m. April 3 2021

In Search….. Pondering the words of C. Joybell C.

‘I am not in search of sanctity, sacredness, or purity. These things are found after this life, not in this life.”

There was a time in my life when I struggled to be more like the other women I knew- pure, sacred, quiet and modest… In appearance, in action, in spirit.,

I wasn’t .. I just wasn’t.. and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be.

I felt like a fraud when I got dressed and went to take my place with them, wondering what to say, what not to say, how to appear as if I knew what they were talking about.

I didn’t belong, and I really didn’t want to belong but I felt like I should because it was ‘expected” of me.

But that was years and years ago when I was in my early twenties, still figuring out who I was and what I was created for.

“but in this life. I search to be completely human To feel. To give To take.”

These lines… It’s what I’ve chosen to do… to be so completely human… To give myself permission to give and to take. Give an embrace. Take time to be alone. Give a knowing look and take the hand offered to me. Give a gift to someone. Recieve a gift without feeling any thing but gratitude, and certainly not obligation. Give forgiveness and take it when offered back. Give myself a second chance and take the opportunities that come my way. Give an amazing massage and take the massage that’s been offered to me, without second guessing and attempting to control the session. Give and recieve, just like I’ve always believed was important.

“To laugh.”

Oh, to laugh just to laugh and to hear the sound of others laughing.

This last year I’ve found myself craving laughter so much, from the squeal of a toddler, the rambunctious laugh of carefree kids, the chuckle shared between friends. All of it. The pure pleasure of laughter …

There’s a guy that comes to get massages from me and, over the years, we’ve developed a friendship. He’s got one of those great laughs that I’m so grateful I can hear. When he comes, we always laugh and it makes me feel connected and good. His laugh is almost like an embrace, it wraps around and fills the space. It’s a simple thing, but it’s an important thing to me and I look forward to every time I see him and hear that laugh.

“To get lost and to be found.”

I’m notorious for getting lost, even in the small town I have lived in for the last twenty years. I can turn down a road that I think I know and wind up driving around in circles, until finally I find my way to familiar ground again.

Sometimes that really does drive me crazy and others as well, but the truth is… Most of the time,I really enjoy just wandering around, looking at things that I haven’t seen before..

I’ve learned to let go of things that I’ve “lost” and accept that if they’re meant for me, it will be found again.

It’s the same with relationships and friendships . Sometimes we lose touch, only to find the connection again when the timing is right.

That’s what being a human and a treasure hunter is about to me.

I can find a treasure in someone’s “trash” and I can turn a “lost cause” into a beautiful thing.

There’s been times when I’ve stood on the ragged edge perched between losing control and finding strength, and I’ve always found my balance right when it mattered

I’ve lost some “friends” over things that shouldn’t have caused the demise but I’ve also found some friends that others would have never been able to understand.

I’ve lost the need to explain who I am and what I believe to anyone that isn’t a part of my circle and I’ve found that sometimes shooting straight is incredibly freeing.

I’ve lost track of time during a massage, finding out that I’ve given more than the clients expected but this has been one of the things others have found to set my place apart.

I’ve also lost track of time while folding sheets, planting flowers, and visiting with friends

I’ve found excuses to keep from going where I didn’t feel like I belonged until I realized that I should always trust my instincts on things like that.

During this pandemic created by Covid, I’ve also lost some clients that have felt I was being “dangerous” in my approach to the situation.

I’ve accepted that without any feeling any real need to justify or explain my stance.

I do, however, feel that every person that’s left my practice for this reason will be filled by someone else that wil align with me better.

Lost…. and found.

Lost and found

I want to do more of both and be more of both

To dance”

Please. If you know anything at all about me… You’ll know I dance..

I dance alone while brushing my teeth in the bathroom sink. I dance in the kitchen while getting snacks at midnight. I dance in my car while driving. I dance in the aisle at the grocery store and I dance while walking in the parking lot.

When a great song came on at my gym, I dropped my tire and went over to the wood floor and started salsa dancing my heart out

I never turn down anyone that asks me to dance.. I will dance with old men and young boys, with fancy ladies and teenage girls, with nervous beginners and those that have danced professionally.

I don’t care what songs are playing.. I just want to dance… again and again.

I dance when I’m massaging my clients… especially when it’s Ashiatsu. I dance when I’m stressed out and when I’m happy. I dance when nobody is looking and when it feels like all eyes are on me

“To love and to lust.”

Both are good and beautiful

To love intentionally and expectantly means to be open and honest with your feelings. To be intimate with your soul and your body. To love in words and in action. In such a way that gives so much, recieves so much and creates so much

We can love different people in different ways. Love isn’t limited. It doesn’t have a beginning and an end. It is infinite.

I’ve always wondered why so many people love like a prison. They limit who they love and set limits on the people that love them.

I don’t understand it .. I think it’s rooted in fear. Fear that there won’t be “enough” love to go around, fear that they will lose out, fear that they aren’t enough, fear that there’s too much.

Each child I’ve had, I’ve found my love multiples. It isn’t divided.. it only grows deeper and richer

Each person I love, makes me love the others more. I often think that’s how God wants us to be… Loved and known, as well as loving and knowing

It’s also important to lust.. to desire.. to feel alive.. connect with another on a deep level..

Lust is defined as a “sexual and sensual attraction” and I agree-somewhat-but I also think that lust means to crave and long for other things.

I lust for a better body so I workout hard … I lust for great relationships so I put in the effort, I lust for beauty and grace, so I plant flowers and listen to music and read words that fill my soul.

After all, I am not in search of anything except to be completely human all the days of my life.

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
April 1 2021 11 38 a.m

Finished in the Just Breathe Salt spa..

Describe

Can you describe
The feeling
Of satin and lace
Of your favorite well worn jeans
Of the perfect pillow
Sand beneath your toes

Can you explain
The feeling
That you just don’t belong
The outcast
Third wheel

Can you tell me
What blue feels like
Why does gray make me turn away
And how can red invite me in?

What ever does love feel like?
Does it wrap you tight
Or set you free?
Make you have butterflies
Or bring you to your knees?

Tell me,please,
What does the air
Feel like
On the cold,dark days
What about on
Nights like these?

Who can say
What it feels like
To be
Touched
Caressed
Pursued
Cherished
Beloved?

Do you even know
How to put
Feelings into words?

Jeanna’ Mead
Now.

She Dove First

There were times when she felt
Fearless and so strong
On top of the world
Sure of who she was
But once in awhile.

She stumbled and fell
Into the sea of doubt
Where waves of words threatened to make her drown
So she did what any wise one would
She dove down
Through all the words
Came up for air
On the other side
And shook herself free
Of anything that
Threaten to make her
Go back

Book

she was like the book
that was on the table
meant to be read
but somehow, instead
the pages were only glanced at
the secrets were hidden
the treasures yet to be discovered
isn’t that such a shame?
to have it all
within reach
yet never open
the cover?

👣❤️ Jeanna’ Mead

2.8.21. 5 36 a.m

Forgiveness…. Thoughts On My Journey

Today I read the words, “I will never forgive” and my heart aches for that writer.
You see, I’ve learned something…forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves…it’s releasing the person’s grip on our spirits. By forgiving, we let go and allow love to come inside.
Sometimes people just hang on so tight to the past that they can’t receive the beauty of the present….or the future.

I know it’s not always easy …but, please, forgive ….if only for yourself.

Time to Tell The Rest Of The Story

Two years ago I wrote a poem, Torn, Tattered Hearts, and now it’s time to tell about it.

I was the kid that didn’t have any friends, the one that ate alone, that was bullied and shunned, and made fun of at every chance.

My hearing impairment made me easy pickings and my glasses earned me the name, “Four Eyes”.

Kids would gang up on me and grab my glasses and toss them back and forth while I would try to catch them. I never could.

Both lunch and recess were like a living nightmare that I dreaded with every fiber of my being.

I finally learned a way to escape… When the bell rang for lunch and all the other kids got in line for lunch, I would slip out the back door, walk as fast as I could outside and climb up the tree which allowed me to watch everyone when they finished eating and came outside to play.

I would perch my sack lunch on the branches and eat as quickly as possible, drinking the colas that Mema always wrapped in foil. I was safe in the trees and when the bell rang for classes to resume, I would scurry down and go in the back door and beat my classmates back to our room.

I was always on guard, yet a part of me was still hopeful that I would some day have friends.

Then one day, I was asked by my teacher to take the attendance cards to the office.

While I was gone, the 6th grade teacher told the class to stop being mean to me because I ‘couldn’t “help” being hard of “hearing , and that they should “feel sorry” for me and be nicer. She also told them to be sure to include me in the upcoming Valentine card exchange, because it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t get any cards.

When I returned, I noticed the vibe in the class seemed different and it made me nervous.

When the bell rang for lunch, one of the popular girls came up to me and asked me to sit at her table with her and her friends. I said, “No,” and started to walk towards the back door when my teacher stopped me and told me that I couldn’t go out that way and to give the girls a chance because they all wanted to get to know me.

Something just didn’t feel right, but I went ahead and followed them to the table.

It was a few days before Valentine’s and the girls were talking about which boys they thought were cute, and which boys liked who… Some girls were “going steady” and they nudged me and said, “maybe a boy would like you if you didn’t wear glasses…. or if you could hear”

After a couple of days of having lunch with everyone, I began to think I finally had broke through and made some friends, so I was excited to tell my Mema that I wanted to buy Valentine cards and candy for all my new friends in my 6th grade class.

We went to the drug store and bought candy bars and cards and I carefully wrote the names of each classmate and taped the candy to the cards, signing my name with a flourish.

Valentine’s day came and the class party was to take the place of the last period.

There was cupcakes and colas for everyone on the table in front of the classroom. Each desk had a shoe box that we had decorated with construction paper and stickers during art class.

The teacher had everyone stand in a line and walk by each desk, placing cards into the slot in the boxes. I was so tickled when I saw that almost every one of my classmates stopped by my desk and placed cards in there. They were smiling and laughing and glancing at me and I felt a rush of emotions overwhelming me.

I had FRIENDS! I was getting Valentine’s cards! I was part of the group!

Finally, all the cards were passed out and we each sat at our desk and the teacher told us that we could open our shoe boxes and read the cards and eat our candy and cupcakes.

I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I took the lid off my box.

I smiled at them and opened it, happily grabbing a card out of the pile.

My heart sank as I read the words, tears filled my eyes and I bit down hard on the inside of my mouth to keep from sobbing.

On each and every card, in black Mark-So-Lot markers, my classmates had scrawled hurtful, ugly words.

“NOBODY LIKES YOU!”

“YOU’RE SO UGLY!”

“NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE!”

“I HATE YOU! ”

“DEAF AND DUMB! ”

” YOU’RE SO STUPID! ”

Every candy bar was broken, the candy hearts were crushed into crumbs in the box, the lollipops were smashed.

In just seconds that felt like forever, I realized what had happened. I had been played the fool the whole time.

I quickly put the lid back on the box, slide it underneath my desk, and got out a notebook and begin writing. I kept my eyes on my paper, trying with all my might to control the tears that threatened to roll down my cheeks.

I held myself together, determined that they would not win this battle, too. I vowed that I would never again trust anyone, never again let down my guard and never again allow myself to be a victim.

When the bell rang, everyone rushed out and I saw one of the boys mouth to me,”I’m sorry, Jeanna,I had to do it.”

I shook my head and carried my Valentine’s box close to my chest, walked over to the trashcan and smashed it down, underneath the coke cans and cupcake wrappers and papers.

My teacher was busy picking up the decorations and didn’t notice what I had just done, but she smiled at me and said,”See, Jeanna’, you got Valentine’s just like everyone else… Happy Valentine’s day!”

I ducked out of the room and started to run to my Mema’s car.

Mema! My heart just sank … How could I tell her?! Mema had been so excited for me, buying full size candy bars for my new friends. She was smiling at me as I walked to the car and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her what happened.

“Did you get Valentine’s?”

“Where is your box? ”

“What kind of candy did your friends give you?”

The mask came on, I am answered her, with a smile pasted on my face.

“I ate it in the classroom, it was so good… Lots of chocolate Hershey bars!”

“I was having so much fun that I spilled my coke on the box, but that’s okay because I had already read all the cards!”

” It was the best Valentine’s ever, Mema!”

As soon as we got home, I pretended to have an upset stomach from eating too much candy.

I went into my room, turned on my record player, put the earphones on and laid down on my bed and cried my heart out.

That Valentine’s was the one that left deep scars across my heart. It was one more deep, dark secret to keep, one more reason to wear a mask, another thing to be ashamed of, and one more reason to pretend I was not who I really was.

That’s the rest of the story of the torn and tattered hearts.

It’s taken me decades to finally become friends with anyone. It takes a very long time for me to let my guard down and to trust anyone, especially women.

But, once I do, once I feel known and loved, I will guard that friendship with all my heart. I know full well-too damn well-how much it means to have a real friend and to be one.

It means that you can finally take off the mask, and stop pretending. It means you don’t have to bite your lips to keep from letting your emotions show, it means sitting at a table together and feeling safe.

Torn and tattered hearts can be patched up and made beautiful again, it just takes time.

A lot of time.

I still wrestle with Valentine’s. It’s a day to work, to do for other people as a massage therapist,a friend,a mom, and a Jamma. I run around buying gifts, writing cards, getting candy and everything I need.

But, every now and then, I catch myself and the tears swell up in my eyes and I fight to erase the words that were scrawled across my heart in 6th grade.

♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

1.29.21…7 53 a.m

Torn,Tattered Hearts 

Yesterday… February 11.2021 I recieved a Valentine’s card from a long-time family friend, Cindy Kay. I used the card for the updated picture on the story. She has no idea how much her handmade cards mean to me. ❤️

Show More Love

Can we just
Somehow or another
Show more love
It can’t be all that hard
Isn’t it quite possible
For us to find
Some kind of way
To show more love
Wouldn’t it be so nice
Stop and visit for awhile
Step outside of our comfort zone
Drop the judgment
Become curious
Discover the many ways
To show more love
I think I’ll begin
Right here and now
Giving what I feel
Talking it all in stride
And finding even more ways
That I can show
Mute love

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
10 19 p.m 1 23.21

jeannasoul #writingmyheartout #myownwords.