Taking My Life Back

I recently had a situation where I had to make a choice.

I had been renting a car from my old landlord. The car has been having trouble ever since I first got it.

The low tire light has been coming on every 2 months. The first time it happened, the landlord said to take it to a mechanic and have them put air in the tires.

When I did that, about a week later, the mechanic said that I need all new tires. He showed me some cracks that were in the tires and some bald areas on the tires. He also showed me what a tire is supposed to look like. From that time on, I was nervous to drive the car.

When I told my old landlord, he said the mechanic was just saying that because I was a woman and he wanted to make a sale. My instinct was telling me to trust the mechanic but I needed a vehicle at the time. He was giving me a good deal on the rental car. I wouldn’t be able to find a rental car for the price that I was paying. So against my better judgment, I kept driving the car.

Every two months, I would just text the landlord and he would come out and put air in the tires and check the car. I was too nervous to the drive the car when I went whale watching so I would rent a car from Turo. That was even more money that I was spending.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back happened in November.

I went on vacation the second week of November. The week before, the tire light came on and the landlord fixed it while I was at work.

When I came back from vacation, one of the tires was completely flat. I had to take an Uber to the grocery store. The landlord was in Mexico, so he sent his associate to take the car to his mechanic in LA and fix the tire. When his associate came he found that the tag was expired. The tag had been expired for 5 months. I didn’t even know because I didn’t look at the tag. The associate was too nervous to drive it to the mechanic, so he took the tire to the mechanic. He was supposed to leave the car that he drove with me and take the car to the mechanic.

When he came back with the tire, he told me there was nothing wrong with the tire. My gut was telling me that there was something wrong. A tire just doesn’t go flat. I told my concerns to his associate but he told me that if I was pulled over by the cops they should just give me a warning. The hospital that I work at is right next to a police station.

The next day, the landlord calls me and says that the mechanic stated that someone was probably letting the air out of my tires at work. He said someone didn’t like me and that the tires were good. Again my gut was telling me that something was wrong with the tires. I only drive the car to work and the grocery store. My job is 10 minutes away and the grocery store is 5 minutes away from the house. He also said that someone stole my tag. He said that he put the new tag on in November when he last took the car to put some air in the tires. That still means that I was driving on an expired tag since the end of June.

My brother is a mechanic so I decided to get his opinion. I sent him pictures and videos of the tires. He confirmed what the first mechanic had said. There were cracks in the tires and they were about 7 years old. He said that I shouldn’t be driving on the tires.

I made a decision after that. I needed to get another rental car.

My landlord is a nice guy and I had asked him about two times if he had another rental car that I could rent. He had said no. I had asked if he would get the tires changed and he kept saying that he would but he never did.

I talked with my life coach about the situation and after that conversation it was clear that my landlord didn’t care about my feelings. He only cared that I was paying him on time. His actions were telling me that he didn’t care if I got pulled over for an expired tag or if the tires kept going flat. He allowed me to drive with an expired tag for 5 months.

I do take responsibility for the tag situation. I should have looked at the tag and let him know that it had expired. I was the one driving the car. He also had a responsibility to make sure the tag was up to date too. When the tag on my car is about to expire, I get something in the mail reminding me that the tag is about to expire.

This car situation was mirroring the situation at the hospital. In the hospital, we are reusing PPE that I was taught in nursing school was meant for one time use. Up until March, we could not use the same gown between multiple patients. We could not use the same mask more than once. Sometimes I feel like my life isn’t in my own hands anymore.

At least with the car situation, I could take my life back into my own hands. I could just rent another rental car.

I felt guilty about telling my old landlord that I wouldn’t be needing his car anymore. He was going through a lot of rough situations. I had asked for another rental car. He had also said many times before that he would replace the tires but he always came up with an excuse for not doing it. I needed to do what was best for me.

Now that I have another rental car, I can say that I feel safer in the car. I’m not afraid of the tires going flat. With a rental car company, if something goes wrong with this car, I can get a replacement car. I’m saving money because I don’t have to get another rental car when I go whale watching anymore. Yes, I am paying more money but I have peace of mind with this car. I’ve had the new rental car for 2 months and the low tire light hasn’t come on and the tires haven’t gone flat.

I am a little mad at myself for allowing this situation to go on for so long just to save money. I wasn’t even saving money because I was paying for 2 rental cars every week. The Turo car would be about $200 per month because I went whale watching every week.

Now that I look back at the situation, I have learned a lesson. Listen to myself. My gut was telling me that something was wrong with the car and I didn’t want to listen because another rental car would have been more expensive. I am committed to listening to my gut feeling. It hasn’t stirred me wrong yet. It is when I don’t listen that I get into trouble.

Have you ever had a situation where you didn’t listen to yourself?

I Don’t Agree

I was recently turned down from a job that I really wanted.

They sent an email saying that I didn’t have the skills or experience needed for the position.

I disagreed with that email because my last job was the same position. I have been a covid swabber on a cruise ship and I was applying to be a covid swabber on a cruise ship with a new company. I was confused as to why they would say that I didn’t have the skills or experience needed.

I talked to my friends and told them what the email said. I had given them the companies information and two of them got hired. While I was happy for them, I was confused as to why I didn’t get the position.

I emailed the recruiter and then I called her.

We talked and it ended up being a simple misunderstanding and she set me up for an interview the very next day.

I did the interview and ended up getting hired. They said I had the experience and skills that they needed. I was glad to hear that.

If I had not of called the recruiter, I wouldn’t have this job.

Some of my friends said it was because they liked me.

I think it’s because I didn’t accept what was said in the email and I took action. If I hadn’t of called the recruiter and talked to her about the email, then I wouldn’t have gotten the interview set up and been hired.

I could have just accepted the email and then moved on. There is another company that is hiring for covid swabbers.

I really wanted to work for this company because they have a lot of ships, and I can work international with this company.

With my last company, I was told that it was frowned upon to request a ship or request where you wanted to go. The company would decide where you were needed.

It wasn’t in the contract that I couldn’t ask, so I asked. I wanted to stay on a certain ship, and I asked, and I got to stay. I wanted to go to Alaska and asked. I got to go to Alaska.

I don’t know if the manager liked it, but she gave me what I asked for. She never told me to stop asking or that she couldn’t do it.

If you don’t ask the answer will always be no. The worst that the manager could have said is no. But she never did. I got what I asked for.

I remember my life coach saying, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That means that if you don’t ask for something then you won’t get what you need or want.

When I’m afraid to ask for something, I think of that saying and then I ask.

Have you ever asked for something and gotten it or been told, no?

I’m not saying that you will get everything that you ask for but if you are told no, at least you asked. I’ve been told no before. I’m still proud of myself for asking.

I was nervous when I was calling the recruiter about the rejection email. She could have said that she agreed with the hiring managers and told me sorry. Thankfully she didn’t agree with the email and talked to the hiring manager for me.

For Old People?

I recently had someone tell me that whale watching is for old people.

I was telling this person that I was going to go whale watching before I got on my new ship. My plan was to fly to Newport Beach and then Seattle to whale watch.

I wasn’t expecting this person to say that whale watching is for older people. Whale watching doesn’t have an age limit.

I had a love for whales since I was little. I wanted to be an oceanographer, but I gave up on that idea because I couldn’t swim.

When I went whale watching yesterday, the captain said that I should be a naturalist because he could hear and see the passion that I had for whales. He said that he learned a lot from me about whales. I could talk about whales all day and not get bored, especially killer whales.

Two of my favorite movies are about killer whales, The Whale that Ate Jaws and The Killers in Eden. I could watch those movies all day long. I’ll post the links to them.


I’m going to watch these movies after I finish this post.

I thought about what that person said, and I decided that it didn’t matter. I know that whale watching isn’t just for old people. Whale watching is relaxing to me. I love to see the whales and dolphins. I try to go whale watching every chance that I get.

I can’t base my life on what other people think and say. I’m not hurting anyone going whale watching and I’m going to continue.

I’ve done so many things that other people told me not to do. If I had of listened to them, then I wouldn’t be living the life that I love right now. I wouldn’t have done sky diving, paragliding, travel nursing, or working on a cruise ship.

At one point in my life, someone told me not to do any of those things. I did them anyway and had a great time.

There is a time and place to listen to some people’s advice but at the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is best for your life.

I did take into account all of the advice that I had received but I wanted to live a life that I loved.

I found a job on Facebook that sounded too good to be true, but it was the best decision that I could have made. I’ll be working in Alaska over the summer and go whale watching too.

Your life is for you to live.

Have you ever made a decision that other people said you shouldn’t have made but it turned out to be a great decision for you?

For example, when I wanted to be a travel nurse, so many people said that it wasn’t a good decision. It turned out to be a great decision for me and it led me to the life that I’m living right now.

I’ll continue to go whale watching whether people think that it’s for older people. There is no age limit on living your dreams or doing a hobby that you love.

What Are You Known For?

I recently saw this post in a Facebook group that made me think.

This woman didn’t like the fact that she was known for her hair. She wore a wig and got complimented on it almost every day. She said she didn’t like it because it wasn’t her hair.

That got me thinking because on the cruise ship that I’m on, I’m known for my hair. When people describe me, they say the girl with the big curly hair. There is only one other woman on the ship that wears her hair like me. Every time we see each other, we compliment each other on our hair because our hair looks similar.

I usually wear my hair straight but I don’t have the time or my straight hair products to do that.

In the beginning, that did irritate me that people would compliment my hair first. I think I have a beautiful smile.

I realize now, that my hair is more noticeable when I wear it naturally curly. It stands out more than my smile.

I also realize that I was letting my alopecia get in the way. I don’t know if I’m going to get another bald spot or not. I don’t know if my hair will thin. I would rather have people notice my smile just in case my hair won’t be this beautiful again. Right now my hair is doing good! No bald spots, thinning, or excessive shedding. I’m going to enjoy that while it lasts. I hope it lasts!

I also realize that I can’t control what people know me for. Some people know me for my big smile. Some people know me for my hair. Some people know me as the girl who loves to take pictures of rainbows.

I can’t control what people know me for any more than I can control the rainbow when I’m trying to take a picture of them. Sometimes they go away before I can take a picture. Sometimes they transform before my eyes into something even more incredible. This next picture, I was trying to take a picture of a rainbow in a cloud and then the moon appeared!

This rainbow was right outside my balcony!

So while I do understand this womans frustration over what people compliment her on, I also understand that I can’t control what people say or what they notice about me.

Think about what you are known for. What compliment do people give you? Do you agree with them or do you not?

This is my curly hair, my smile, and Bonnie the sea lion!

It’s ok to take the compliments. You don’t have to agree with them but you also can’t control what people notice about you.


I’m learning that grief is not ending.

There are said to be five stages of grief. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Ever since my Aunt Charlotte died, I haven’t been the same. Some days I feel ok and other days I don’t. I still wish that I could talk to her.

I’m probably in the depression stage of grief over my Aunt Charlotte right now.

I know that I will be grieving over my Aunt Charlotte for the rest of my life and bouncing in between the stages of grief.

My aunt died only a few months ago. Her birthday was the day after mine. This will be my first birthday without her. I don’t know how I’m going to feel on my birthday or the next day.

I still grieve over my best friend. She and I had been friends for over 10 years when she and I decided not to be friends anymore. That was about 5 years ago.

Some days I’m fine and other days I’m not. I do think about her and hope that she is happy. I heard a song recently and it reminded me of her and I wanted to cry.

Even though I have accepted that we can’t be friends anymore that doesn’t stop me from having memories of our friendship and grieving that loss. She was a huge part of my life just like my aunt.

I’m still learning how to grieve a relationship that I thought could be but it didn’t last. I do wish that I had never met this guy so that I wouldn’t be heartbroken right now but it did happen. It was also a mistake going back to the same ship after he left. I thought I could handle it but I’m learning that I can’t. There are memories everywhere of him.

So even though I told my company that I would stay on the ship, I think for my peace of mind, I’m going to go to another ship. To get over him, I need to be in a different environment that doesn’t have any memories of him.

Unfortunately I might always have memories of him but hopefully with time, I won’t think of him as often.

Grief is a life long process.

I’m going to be fluctuating between all the stages for my entire life. I will learn how to navigate grief. Sometimes I just need to talk and sometimes I just need to cry.

Some experiences in life will have a person grieving and some experiences won’t. Navigating through grief can be overwhelming at times. It’s ok to ask for help. Sometimes therapy is needed to help a person through grief.

Because whether we like it or not, at some point in our lives, we all will welcome grief into our lives.

Every body moves through grief at there own pace. So if you feel like you should be over a situation, don’t be hard on yourself.

Grieve at your own pace and be patient with yourself.

I do feel like I should be over this man and not be sad. I want to move very fast through the grieving process with this situation. But unfortunately I can’t. I need to give myself time, patience, and grace. One day I might even be grateful for this situation.

If you ever feel like you’re moving slowly through the grieving process, just know that you’re going at your own pace. Every one is different.

Grief is not linear.

One day, you might be in acceptance and the very next day be angry.

Heartbreaking Lessons

I just got home from working on a cruise ship since October.

I had a great time up until the end.

I met a great guy and thought it could turn into something real but it didn’t work out that way. I let myself get caught up in what was happening.

I was trying to not let myself hope for a future and just enjoy the moment. I realized that I had already begun to hope without realizing it. I had got my feelings involved.

I learned some lessons through this heartbreak.

The first lesson I learned is to tell the person early on what I’m looking for. That way I don’t waste my time on a guy that doesn’t want what I want.

I’m looking for a long-term relationship and if I had of spoken up in the beginning then maybe I wouldn’t have started to really like the guy and hope for a future with him. He was a great guy, and we had a lot in common. But his job takes him away a lot and it would be hard to see him even if we had tried to make it work.

The advice that I had received about this idea of saying what you want too early in a relationship can make the guy uncomfortable. I had always wanted to tell the guy around the third date what I was looking for. Some people have told me that that is too early. I feel like that could weed out the people that are just looking for a fling or a short-term relationship. I also wouldn’t get my feelings hurt if the guy chose to leave.

I realized that I had unconsciously been following the advice that I had been given. I remember one friend telling me that you want to get to know the guy first before even deciding if he is worth having in your life. At the time, this advice made sense to me. Now it doesn’t. By the time that I figure that out, I may already have feelings for the guy and then I may want a certain outcome to happen.

If I had taken my own advice, then I might not be in the situation that I’m in now. Liking a guy and him not wanting to do a long-distance relationship. I would have known what he was looking for and not continued to see him and catch some feelings.

I’ve learned that what works for other people may not work for me. Other people may not discuss early in the dating game what they are looking for but that doesn’t work for me. I want to know what the other person wants and if we want the same things. That way I can make an informed decision about what to do or not do.

Speaking up for what I want and speaking my boundaries will work for me.

Some dating advice that I have gotten is to date multiple people at the same time. That way you have options and you get to chose which one is the best for you.

I’ve never been the person to do that. I like to date one guy at a time. I don’t like to date multiple guys at the same time. That may work for some people but not me.

I did have a lot of admirers on the ship. I wouldn’t feel good if I had started to try to date all of them at the same time. It would have caused a lot of drama. Even just dating one person caused some drama.

There are many approaches to dating that work for some and don’t work for others.

I just have to find my own way that works for me and listen to my own voice.

I also learned what kind of man I want in my life from this situation. I want a man that is honest about his feelings and respects me. Looking back at this guy he didn’t respect me. I did allow the disrespect so I can’t even be mad at him. I didn’t tell the guy what I was feeling.

Now looking back at the whole situation, I can say that we wouldn’t have worked out in the long run. So, I just have to get over my feelings and move on.

Hopefully I will apply these lessons to the next relationship that I have because I don’t like to be sad or heartbroken.

Taking Action

I recently had a conversation with someone that made me think.

I was talking to this person about the vaccine and the conversation took a turn. He asked how he could get his wife to take the vaccine.

I ended up telling him a story about myself.

I told him that I had been praying to God/Universe for years to help me lose weight. At that time, I wasn’t ready to give up eating fast food, cakes, or doughnuts.

I didn’t lose any weight until I took some action. God/Universe wasn’t just going to magically suck the fat out of me one night.

I had to start eating healthy and exercising. I could have gone with liposuction but I didn’t have the money for that at the time and I wanted a lifestyle change not a quick fix.

The man then said that faith without works is dead.

That can be applied to anything in life.

If I didn’t become a nurse then I couldn’t have become a travel nurse. I had to take action and go to nursing school.

Any goal that I had in life, I had to take action to make it become a reality in my life.

It’s not enough to just think about something.

I’ve recently been eating a lot of cake since my favorite Aunt Charlotte died in August. Just last month, I decided to stop eating so much cake. I haven’t had a piece of cake since last month. I had to take that action because my clothes were getting too tight. Either I was going to have to buy new clothes or lose the 10 pounds that I had gained in the last 2 months. I was eating a lot of cake to soothe myself but I knew it was time to stop. It helped for a time but it’s time to deal with my emotions in a more healthy way.

Think about all the actions that you have taken in your own life to get you where you are now.

If you had just thought about what you wanted and not taken any action, think about where you would be in your life right now.

Would you love that life or would you wish that you had taken some action?

I know that I wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my life not taking any action but that time makes me really appreciate where I am right now. I appreciate the life that I have built now because I know how much work I put in to get here.

I also recently found a job that I liked. I applied to the job and got a call back. I missed the call and I called back and left a message. I didn’t hear anything back. I could have given up and said it just wasn’t meant to be.

I didn’t give up, I applied for another job on the job board. When the manager called back, I answered the call, and I got the job. As I’m typing this, I’m in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship working.

If I hadn’t of taken the action to apply for the job, then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity.

I’ve been wanting to get away from the bedside for a while now and this job makes that dream come true. I can still use my nursing degree and not have to be in a hospital.

Rev. Dr. Aunt Charlotte

My family just buried my Rev. Dr. Aunt Charlotte.

She was my favorite aunt. She had an infectious smile. Even at the end she was smiling. The funeral director said she smiled on her own. She was in the casket just smiling looking casket sharp.

I remember one time during choir rehearsal when I was little, she called me out because I wasn’t giving my all. She knew I couldn’t sing but she still wanted me to give my all. That was my Aunt Charlotte for you.

She always strived for the best for herself and all those around her. She got most of her degrees after the age of 50.

She encouraged me to use my voice. I could talk to her about anything and she didn’t judge me. She would share her wisdom without hesitation.

I would bet that she had something to do with me having to play my flute in church. I don’t remember telling anyone at church that I played the flute in high school.

She was an example that if you loved the work you were doing it wasn’t work. She was seventy years old with a full time job and still found time to help the youth in the church. She really loved to help people. I don’t know how she found the time. I felt like she had some extra hours, lol. Like the Reverend said at the funeral, “She wore herself out for the Lord.” That she truly did. She felt like she had a calling and she made sure she did her calling.

I will miss her dearly but I know that she isn’t gone. She is still here in spirit. So while our relationship has changed, she will always be my Rev. Dr. Aunt Charlotte.

She influenced so many people’s lives that if it weren’t for covid, the church would have been packed with all the people whose lives that she touched.

She will truly be missed by a lot of people. She left some shoes that just can’t be filled.

I know that she is in heaven directing some plays or some weddings.

She truly left a legacy of love.

This situation has taught me a valuable lesson.

I regret not seeing her for 2 years. I let my weight keep me from living my life for almost 15 years. I have so many regrets. I have so many people that I wish I could say sorry to but they are in heaven now.

For about 6 years, I stayed inside and only went to work and the grocery store. I didn’t want people to get to know the fat Shavawn (that’s what I called myself inside my head).

I say all this to say, please don’t let your hair take you away from your life.

No one has a second chance at reliving this life. Once it’s gone, that’s it.

I’m 39 and I feel like I’ve just started to live my life and I’m a little sad that I let myself waste all those years. I now know that those years prepared me for having alopecia.

I let the scale rule my life for so long and I don’t want to let my hair rule my life now.

Getting a life coach was a game changer for me. I know that I would still be wasting my life if I didn’t make a change.

We can take our lives back from our hair and not let it ruin our lives. We are beautiful inside and out, with or without hair.

If you need help, I can help you. Go to my website, http://www.alopeciaempress.com and sign up for a Breakthrough Session.

As I said see you later to my favorite Aunt Charlotte, I will not forget the lessons that she taught me. I will always love her and remember her.

Lessons for the movie, Soul.

Soul has become another of my favorite movies. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend that you watch it. I don’t go over the whole movie but I do tell some parts of the movie.

The biggest lesson that I learned from the movie is that sometimes you can put too much emphasis on certain events in your life.

The main character, Joe Gardener, wants to be a jazz player. Instead he is a high school band teacher. One of his former students lands him a chance to play for a famous saxophone player. She likes his playing and gives him the chance to play with her. He calls someone on the phone and get distracted and ends up falling into an open manhole and dying.

He goes to an escalator that goes to the Great Beyond. He panics and then tries to get back to Earth. He ends up going to the Great Before and becoming a mentor.

He dreams of getting back to his life and becoming famous for playing jazz.

He thinks that if he can get back to his life and play the gig, then his life will have meaning.

I know how he feels.

I used to think that when I got married, my life would get better. I would be happy, I would be loved, and my life would be easier. Well, I still haven’t gotten married. I now know that if I had of gotten married, I would probably be divorced right now.

It took me a while to realize that getting married wouldn’t solve any of my problems. If I wasn’t happy before getting married then I probably wouldn’t be happy after getting married. A husband wasn’t going to make me happy, only I can make myself happy. I didn’t even love myself a few years ago and I doubt that I could have loved anyone else at that time.

When he gets back to his body and plays his gig, afterwards it doesn’t feel like he expected it to feel. He dreams that he would instantly become famous and have fans afterwards. Right before he goes on stage, he tells himself that his life is about to start, not realizing that his life has already begun.

After playing the gig, he then asks the saxophone player, what is next. The saxophone player tells him a story about a fish that is looking for the ocean. The young fish asks another fish where the ocean is. The older fish tells him that he is already swimming in the ocean. The young fish states that he is just in water and continues to look for the ocean.

From that story, I take that life is happening even when you are going after your dreams. Sometimes we get so busy looking for the ocean that we forget that we are already in it. Life happens every day not just when you hit a major goal or dream.

That’s a lesson that I had to learn. When I started to work on my issues, I learned that my life had already begun. I was just thinking that I needed to get married to suddenly start living.

When soul 22 was in Joe’s body, 22 learns to appreciate the small things in life. She learned to love pizza, walking, riding the subway, getting a haircut, and many other things that Joe has taken for granted.

After going home from playing the gig, Joe takes a look back over his life. He then realizes what the saxophone player was talking about with the fish story. His life has already began.

Another thing that stood out to me was when one of the teachers said that, “a person’s spark isn’t a soul’s purpose”.

Just because Joe loved to play piano doesn’t mean that it was his purpose on Earth.

When I was looking at his life, I saw that he was good at teaching the students music. He didn’t like teaching but it may have been what he was supposed to do and then play piano as a hobby on the side. I don’t know. He could be a jazz player and a music teacher at the same time.

That also made me wonder. One of the comments that I get a lot when working in the hospital is that I would be a great teacher to the nursing students. The other nursing school teachers can see that. Even while I was in nursing school, one of the teachers asked if she could pay for me to be a part of a teachers association because she could see me being a teacher. I told her no thank you but now I wish I had of said yes. That has been something that I think about but the job doesn’t pay well and I would have to go back to school, which I don’t want to do right now. Maybe in the future I will.

I don’t know what Joe did when he got his life back but I like to think that he didn’t take any thing for granted. He enjoyed the small things in life just as much as the big things. He did say that he was “going to live every minute of it.”

The movie just reminds me to enjoy every minute of my life not just when I hit a major goal.

I hope that you will watch the movie and love it just as much as I do. Let me know in the comments if you watched the movie and what lessons you learned from it.

Lessons from the movie, Onward

Onward has become one of my favorite movies.

I have learned some important lessons from the movie.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned was to be grateful.

If you haven’t watched the movie, then don’t read the rest. I don’t go over the whole movie but I do go over some scenes from the movie.

The main character is named Ian. Ian grew up without his father because his father died of an illness before he was born. He never got to know his dad. He does have an older brother named Barley. Barley is fearless and Ian fears every thing. Ian is in high school. Ian really wishes that his dad was there.

Ian loves to make to do list. He will either check or cross out the things that he has done.

In one scene, he writes that he wants to ask some kids to his birthday party on his to do list. He does end up asking them but then his brother shows up and embarrasses him and he ends up telling the other kids that his party has been cancelled. At the end of the day, he crossed off the item on his list that said he should ask the kids to the party.

Every time I look at this scene, I think to myself that he did ask the kids to the party. It just didn’t turn out the way he wanted it to.

Then I ask myself, haven’t I done that in my own life? I didn’t make a to do list on paper but it was in my head. I tell myself that I failed at something when I tried something new if it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to.

For example, when I was in my early twenties, I wanted to be married, have kids, and be a stay at home mother. I never wanted to work. My life didn’t turn out like I planned it in my twenties. About seven years ago, I considered my life a failure because I wasn’t married and my life plan wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Now I don’t consider my life a failure. I know that if I had of gotten married in my early twenties, I would probably be divorced by now. I didn’t know myself at twenty like I do now. My taste in men has changed over the years. Having a partner that is emotionally mature is more important to me than having a partner that is physically attractive. Don’t get me wrong I would like my partner to be physically attractive to me but in my early twenties that was all that I was really looking for in a partner was the physical attributes.

Ian may consider his to do list a failure because it didn’t turn out how he planned it but in reality it isn’t a failure.

Another thing that Ian wrote on his to do list for his sixteenth birthday was that he wanted to learn how to drive. He takes driver education and volunteers first. The teacher takes him on the highway and he is scared. The teacher tells him to merge into the traffic. He is so nervous but eventually he does merge into traffic but immediately gets back into the on ramp of the highway and states that he isn’t ready.

Again even though he crossed this item off of his list at the end of the day, he actually did merge into traffic. He just didn’t stay in the lane for a long time. Ian actually accomplished a lot of the things on his to do list for his sixteenth birthday but he doesn’t see it because they didn’t turn out how he wanted it to turn out.

Ian and Barley’s dad died before Ian was born. Ian wanted his dad in his life and misses him. He thinks that his life would be so much better if his dad was raising him. Ian was raised by his mom and his big brother, Barley. On Ian’s sixteenth birthday, his mom gives him and his brother a gift from their dad. It turns out that it is a magic wizard staff and a phoenix gem that will bring his dad back for one whole day. Barley tries the spell but it doesn’t work. When Ian tries the spell it works. Some how the spell doesn’t work all the way and only brings back the dad’s bottom half.

This starts the two brothers on a quest. It turns out that Ian has magic powers. The brothers have to go on a quest to find another phoenix gem. Barley is super excited because he is into magic.

With Ian’s magic and Barley’s knowledge of magic they go on a dangerous quest with their dad’s bottom half in tow.

Of course Ian makes a to do list of all the things that he wants to do with his dad. Some of the things include, “play catch, take a walk, have a heart to heart, laugh together, driving lessons, and share my life with him.”

On the quest, the two brothers become closer and Ian becomes more sure of himself. Barley teaches Ian all about magic and spells along the way.

At the end of the day, when they haven’t found a phoenix gem, Ian gets mad at Barley and tells him that he screwed up his one chance to meet his dad. Ian takes off with his dad’s bottom half in tow. He goes to sit on a cliff with his dad and takes out his to do list of all the things that he wanted to do with his dad. He starts to cross off the items. Towards the end of his list, he starts to think. He realized that on the quest, he has done all the things on his list with Barley.

He realizes that he has shared his life with his big brother and learned so much from him. He actually checks off the last item on the list because he realizes that he did do that item with his brother.

Again the lesson that I learn is to be grateful. Your life may not look like you want it to but there are still blessings in it.

If you haven’t watched this movie I would highly recommend it.

Whether the dad will ever know it, he went on a quest with his two sons. That quest also lead to Ian and Barley’s mom, Laurel, going on a quest of her own and she makes a new friend.

What are you grateful for?

What have you accomplished that didn’t go the way that you originally planned?


I recently got my covid vaccine and that made me remember a moment from my childhood.

I have always been scared of needles. I can give them to patients but when it comes to myself, I hesitate.

I had to be around 4 or 5 years old, when this incident happened. My mom had told me we were going to the doctors for a check up. I didn’t know that I was going to be getting a shot that day.

I remember as soon as I saw the needle, I immediately got scared and started to cry. The nurse tried to calm me down but I wasn’t listening to her. I wasn’t interested in getting a lollipop afterwards. All I knew at the time that it was going to hurt me when I got the shot.

This was back in the eighties. After seeing that I wasn’t calming down and I wasn’t going to let her give me the shot, the nurse then told me that she was going to have to get another nurse to hold me down. Back in the eighties, the nurses were allowed to hold down the children to give them their vaccines. I’m not sure if the nurses can do that today. I don’t work in pediatrics so I’m not sure.

The nurse went outside the room and returned with another nurse. That nurse stood in the doorway and was looking at me. The first nurse then said that this was the nurse that was going to hold me down if I didn’t cooperate and let her give me the shot.

To this day, I remember how the other nurse looked and made me feel. This nurse scared me. She looked very mean and was a bigger lady. Even though I was scared, I knew that I didn’t want this other nurse to touch me. I was scared that she would hurt me even more than the shot would hurt. I felt so powerless in that moment because I couldn’t get out of the situation. The only options were to allow the first nurse to give me the shot or get held down by the other nurse and get the shot. Either way I was getting the shot, whether I wanted it or not. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have gotten the shot.

I allowed the first nurse to give me the shot then. Afterwards the nurse gave me a lollipop and called me a good girl. I didn’t feel like a good girl, I felt like I couldn’t trust any nurses. The lollipop didn’t make me feel better.

To this day, I still get nervous when getting a vaccine. I know that vaccines help eradicate viruses. I know that vaccines are mandatory for children. I feel like there could have been a better way to go about giving me the shot.

One time, I was supposed to get the flu vaccine. I was in my early twenties at this time. I got so nervous that I walked out before getting the vaccine. I had already paid my co pay for the doctors visit. I was just too nervous.

I’ve seen some recent videos of how some nurses get creative in giving kids their vaccines. They make it fun for the little kids and the kids aren’t scared. I wish that a nurse would have done that for me when I was little instead of telling me that I was going to get held down.

Now that I’m a nurse, I do understand that doctors offices are really busy. If even one patient takes up a lot of time, then that means less time with other patients or the staff will have to stay later. They might see up to 40 or 50 patients a day.

Have you ever had a childhood situation like this one? How did it shape you into the person that you are now?

That childhood situation actually made me a better nurse. I don’t want any of my patients to feel the way that I felt in the situation that I was in when I was little. I want them to feel like they have a choice in their treatment. I don’t want them to feel powerless. That was one reason that I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse and then go into pediatrics. I didn’t want any kids to feel like I felt in that childhood situation. Maybe I could prevent that by becoming a nurse. Unfortunately I wasn’t hired for any positions in labor and delivery or pediatrics.

Now when I get any vaccines, I just don’t look at the needle. I know its going to hurt a little bit but I still get them. Even when I need my blood drawn, I can’t look at the needle. I can give my patients shots but I just don’t like to get them.

I recently accepted a job at a covid vaccine clinic. Hopefully I won’t have to let anyone practice on me. I have to teach people how to give vaccines at this job. This will be interesting.