The reason I don’t “borrow” books from the library or from friends.. words grab my attention and I begin writing in the margins and underlining paragraphs.. Years ago, Janet Mary Rozdil Moltzan , shared these wise words that actually gave me peace instead of anxiety, and taught me to let go “you’re not in control.. you never have been and you never will be”
That feels RIGHT… I’m only on this ride.. doing the best I can and letting go of the illusion that I’m in control or perfect
I’ve learned during my Covid journey just how imperfect I am and how messy life can be .., and you know what, I’m really glad I’m on this journey.. it’s not the road I would have chosen but this route sure has bought out the best and the worst in many ways.. It’s changed my views and made me stronger in many ways but not strong enough to resist the urge to write in brand new books!
“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.”
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.
👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
8 14 a.m. April 3 2021
I have to add to this… On August 3,2021. I got Covid after going into quarantine on July 26 ..
Covid hit me hard with migraines, fatigue, and coughing .. But the worst part was when it hit my left leg and I couldn’t walk.. from a woman that danced, worked out, and massaged with legs and feet.. Suddenly I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom or stand up without shooting pains from my knee …
I went to the doctor on August 13 and recieved my first steroid shot, and 3 prescriptions for antibiotics, inflammation, and pain.
I couldn’t do much of anything but be still.. which was exactly what I needed to be.. I recieved instead of gave
My daughter had me stay with her., I slept in her bed feeling her hand soothing me when I coughed, feeling her love when she bought me food and water over and over.
I felt the strength of my sons.. the boys I used to carry now carried me. The boys I used to feed, now cooked me meals, bought me coffee, made me brownies and grilled cheese sandwiches.
My husband came home from driving to spend a week with me. He made me laugh through the tears, he picked me up and carried me up the stairs to our daughter’s house, to the pool party, and from our living room to the bed.
Instead of being ashamed of me, he made me feel beautiful and desirable and special.. As if the walker was just a new toy instead of a cumbersome means of getting around. Greg placed me on the seat and ran with me, and we both laughed so hard, even when it tipped over and I tumbled out!
Greg had to take off driving again and he wrapped me in his arms, prayed for me, kissed me and made me promise to heal so I can dance with him when he came home.
My friends stopped by with food and vitamins, my brother and sister-in-law bought dinner and food for a week. One friend came to my daughter’s when I was I was so weak and sick and started giving me magnetic massages which she keeps giving am over and over.
I felt love coming from so many directions. Texts and messages boosted my spirits and reminded me of what really mattered-all the people I love and that love me back in different ways.
In the silence, I started reading again.. finding my faith and my relationship with God… I had put Him on the back burner.. using bad experiences with churches and religion as my crutch.
He who knows me best, let me come to Him on my terms, slowly and tenderly, much like the steps I was taking.
He used the words of friends to reach inside the walls I had built, and He used the songs of my childhood to bring me to my knees and up where I wanted to be.
He made sure I had the books I needed, the scriptures that fit perfectly with the situation I was in and He let me stumble and fall and get frustrated and riled up.. while He waited.
God was still… because He knew that I needed this time to reflect and ponder and then to pull close when my soul was ready.
Here I am .. on this Covid journey … It’s October 1 now… I stopped seeing clients on July 26… But God has provided my place with great therapists and great clients that have been gracious and understanding.
I’ve started to walk again-holding onto Phu”s hands during training, holding the walls sometimes, and holding on to my son.
I told my doctor that I wouldn’t wish anyone this Covid but I’m glad I’m on this journey… She looked surprised and I said, “If I hadn’t been on this journey, I wouldn’t have been still, I wouldn’t have listened and I wouldn’t have recieved. I needed to do all of that.”
There’s a reason for everything, a season for everything, a time to plant and a time to bloom, a time to weep and a time to dance.
It was my time to be still and soon I’ll be dancing again.
Yesterday another doctor told me that the steroids that helped me battle Covid caused cataracts in my eyes. I cried for about a minute when my son, Hunter, picked me up and then, I pulled on my boots and said, “get me some chocolate and l will be just fine!.”.
You see, God is already there… working on the details.. His eyes are on me and I don’t have to worry… I can see that He’s got plans up His sleeve for me and it’s gonna be amazing!
He’s given me the courage and the strength along this journey and I’m not afraid… I’m living the life He’s given me right now!
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.
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. ❤️
This …. Right here …. I knew that if I didn’t go out on my own in 2013, I would regret it…. When the chance came to move to 925, I knew that if I didn’t follow my instincts, I would regret it.
I’ve taken a lot of chances that most people thought were crazy….
This week I’ve decided to take a couple of other chances…. Because I never want to be woman that talks about what she let get away, and the chances she didn’t take..
Someone told me that I don’t give myself enough credit… That’s not true… I know exactly what I’ve done and what I’ve done without … and I know who believed in me and encouraged me and reminded me when it got tough. I’m grateful .. and I make damn sure they know.
I decided to look for signs that I was meant to take the next chance.. and it came perfectly clear and abundantly so.
This next steps are going to be amazing…I can feel it ..
I want you to know that I see the ways in which we (women) have contributed to the wounding of the masculine psyche.
We don’t often recognize that while we talk about how men have hurt women in this culture, women are also hurting men.
With our words, our actions, and our unreasonable exceptions of you.
I want you to know that being vulnerable is masculine.
That to give me the gift of seeing you in your vulnerability is a blessing, not something to curse.
I want you to know that I will never tell you to “man-up” again. It must hurt to hear that when you are stumbling, you are no longer perceived as a man.
You may even be confused as to what’s expected of you now that so much has changed.
Dear men, we still want you. We still need you.
I want you to know that your energy, your presence, your commitment and your devotion show me that I am safe, protected and cared for.
I want you to know that I can hold space for you too, just like you do for me.
I can witness your emotions, sit with your tears, or be with you when you’re confused.
You are human, it’s ok if you stumble.
I will not leave you if you cry.
I want you to know that you’re not expected to perform or be ready to at all times.
Most of all, making love is about presence, it’s about passion, it’s about true connection.
Make eye contact with me when our bodies connect, show me you’re with me, give me your energy, and you will feel our passion rise to create true love.
When things go sideways let’s laugh together. Intimacy is more than just sex, it’s about kisses, snuggles, eye-gazing, and conversation. It’s many forms of expression.
I want you to know, that you are most attractive when you are fully expressed. I want to see you dance, to laugh, to play, to hug and give/receive love.
Dear men, you are safe to be yourself.
As a woman, I promise to do my best to contribute to the rising and healing of the masculine, alongside the feminine.
This is not a one sided journey. We need women to rise, and we need men. We need you too, so please show up with us.
I want you to know that I see you.
You are valuable beyond measure and the gifts you provide are different and unique to what a woman provides, and this is why communities are made up of all genders, not just men or just women.
We are meant to work together, to support one another, to cherish each others differences, not demonize them because we have false expectations that aren’t being met.
I want you to know that I will do my healing work and support women in theirs so that projections of the mother or father are not placed upon you in relationship. And I invite you to do the same.
You are not responsible for my happiness. It is not your job to “fix me”.
You have the opportunity to lead as a conscious man in this world. To demonstrate what it’s like to live with an open heart, as a humble leader with a mission.
And I believe in you.
~ Rising Woman ~
Sometimes I must share what I’ve read and how it touches my soul.
A few days ago, another woman made a post about how when a man leaves his cell phone on silent, and turned face down, and has to unlock it when he picks it up, it means he’s messing around. She didn’t know the man but had been observing him at a coffee shop. She was quick to jump all over his case by the way he had his cell phone.
I couldn’t just let it go.
“Maybe he’s deaf, maybe he’s a massage therapist, maybe he’s a First Responder and knows what happens when a phone lands in the wrong hands.
She got her panties twisted… “That’s the way most men are.”
I love men.
My best friends are men.
I’m married to a man.
I have three grown ass sons that are good men.
I know they are not perfect but neither am I or any other women out there.
When I need a real friend, it’s my guys that come.. when I’m working late, it’s my guy friends that check on me, when I’m at the gym, it’s the guys that stop by and talk to me.
Most of my clients are guys.
I realized the reason why.
I make them comfortable. They can be vulnerable and strong. They can be silent or talk to me. They can fall asleep and know they are safe.
I hold space and I hold hands. I hold secrets and I hold their regrets. I hold on when they are falling apart and I hold back the demons when they feeling attacked and alone.
I’m a man lover. I will not let men be trashed or painted with broad brushes.
I will take them as they are and make them into what they want to be.
I’m gonna stand by my man…. Every single one of them.