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Have a Sit Down Breakfast with Your Kids

Breakfast is always busy, so make some extra time to have a sit down breakfast with your kids. Both you and they will appreciate the time to chat about your days.

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You Will Be Found

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today’s going to be a good day, and here’s why: I laughed, I cried, and I watched in amazement as a truly remarkable cast brought this show to life.

For those who haven’t seen Dear Evan Hansen, let me first say, go see it, it’s phenomenal and amazing, and second, if you don’t want a summary of the show, stop reading now.

Alright, for those who have continued, be warned, I am about to unleash my inner theatre nerd.

Let’s start with the cast. I happened to see the touring cast when they rolled into a city near me, and it was remarkable. Our Evan was played by Noah Kieserman, and let me just say, this man’s voice, his acting chops, everything is phenomenal. The range he has and his ability to channel this character and all the little ticks, how his hands shook just right, and how much he gave to this show, well done, and thank you. To the rest of the cast, Jared Goldsmith, Phoebe Koyabe, Maggie McKenna, Jessica Phillips, Christiane Noll, and Aaron Lazar, you guys exemplified that less is more. With a very small cast, I was transported into this world and enthralled the entire time. Bravo to each and every one of you, to say it was a phenomenal show is an understatement.

The set, like the cast, was small, but had everything needed. We were all so focused on what was happening in Evan’s life and his little web of lies that you didn’t need a lot of extra props or different things taking away from the drama that was unfolding. At one point, a simple stage with a couch in the center was enough.

The story was poignant, addressing so many issues, and in such a wonderful way. We have troubled teens, teen suicide, anxiety, single parenting, financial struggles, relationship struggles, friendship dynamics, and so much more, and none of it felt overdone. It felt real, it felt raw, but more than that, it felt relatable. It felt like this could be happening all around us, if we only knew to look. Beyond that, the way it tied social media into it was even more resounding in this day and age where social media takes up so much of our lives, but especially the highlight reels, the things that we want to share, to the point where if you don’t feel like you have much to share, you may just be tap tap tapping on the glass, waving through a window hoping someone could see you.

The struggles that Evan goes through with his anxiety are handled beautifully, especially the point where he is no longer on his meds because he’s too busy out there living his life, he’s too busy to be worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong. The struggle that his single mom goes through trying to do it all, and failing because we can’t all do everything, it’s relatable, and so is his side of wishing he had his mom there to just be a mom. Single parenting is never a simple thing, and I know from experience that moms will do their absolute best, but will struggle knowing they can’t provide their kids the world all the time. And the pain of seeing someone else be able to do that is never easy on any parent. Basically, this show takes on a lot of tough, but real situations that we are faced with daily, and could not have shown them any better, while always leaving you with this resounding knowledge that no one deserves to disappear, and that you will be found.

In this day and age, this message is more important than ever, and I spotted several mental health wins within this show. It was a beautiful performance, and I truly hope that if you are given the chance to see this show anywhere, that you take the opportunity. With wonderful music and just enough humor to counteract the darkness, you’ll never be left feeling sad, but always hopeful, always knowing that things change and go on.

So, go see the show if you can, it’s beyond worth it, and was absolutely wonderful.

Sincerely,

Me

Take Time to Decide a Game Plan if You’re Feeling Stuck

We all get in ruts in life, and it’s important to take time to decide a game plan if you’re feeling stuck. Determine what changes you need to find happiness again.

Don’t Regret What You Didn’t Do

They say that when you’re on your death bed, you won’t think about all the things you did do, you’ll be thinking of all the things you didn’t do. Well, I’m not on my death bed, but I already have a couple of things that I didn’t do, that I am now kicking myself for not doing. I had my reasons at the time for not doing them, but now looking back, I realize those reasons were simply one: fear.

For many of us, we don’t mean to, but we let fear dictate our lives. It may be fear of rejection, fear of repeating past mistakes, or just fear of the unknown. No matter what it is, it’s pretty easy to boil it down to some sort of fear. Unfortunately, actually getting rid of the fear and doing something is a lot more difficult. But, if you want to live a full life, it’s pretty necessary.

I didn’t tell a guy how I felt about him years ago back when we were in college together. It wasn’t that there was a lack of opportunity. He and I hung out several times, we went to parties, had classes together, spent some time at the beach together, we even lived in the same dorm at one point. I really liked him, and it seemed like he felt the same, but there was something holding me back. Fear. I was scared of repeating past mistakes, of essentially repeating the past, because sharing how I felt about someone had blown up in my face in the past. Unfortunately, I don’t have that same chance to tell him how I feel because we aren’t in the same city anymore. And I really regret that, because sure, it might have not worked out in my favor again, but what if it had? Because I was afraid of sharing how I felt, I will now never know if he maybe felt the same way. I played it safe, and might have missed out on something great, simply because I was scared.

The same thing can be said for not going on an amazing trip. I know several people who want to travel, but are a bit afraid to. That’s ok, travel is scary. You’re going to an unknown place, possibly one where English isn’t the first language, and you’re going in with no idea of what to expect. Will people be friendly and help you out if you get lost or will someone try to steal from you while you are over there? Travel creates a lot of unknowns and with those unknowns comes a lot of fear. But, I can tell you from experience, traveling is also exhilarating, and some of the sights that you see are breathtakingly beautiful. You get to surround yourself with a history that you may otherwise have never seen before. So don’t let your fear of the unknown get in the way. All life has risk, to live means risking your life in some way. So risk it.

Things may not always go your way when it comes to taking risks and trying things, but you can always try it, and then if it doesn’t work the way you planned, chalk it all up to experience. You never learn or grow if you stay in the same place. You never really know how people feel if you don’t let them know how you feel too. This can be applied to so many aspects of your life, if you only swallow the fear, and have faith that even if it doesn’t work out the way you want, you’ll gain something from it. There’s always a lesson we can learn, and not everything you do will be good. But that’s just life. There are too many variables for us to control everything, which means sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith. And remember, you miss all of the shots you never take.

Stand Up for Something

Whether you see someone being bullied or you see someone wearing real fur, no matter what it is that bothers you, stand up for it. Sign a petition, start one, step in when you see someone being judged or harassed. All it takes is one step.

End the Day with a Positive Thought

Some days just don’t go our way. Despite all that, end each day with a positive thought. Positive thinking can bring a bunch of changes into your life, so give it a try.

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