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This is May.

I encountered this apache blessing online when searching for the meaning of the month of May. It struck me, as we were about to close the chapter on May 2021 that this month always seems to have impact on me in so many ways. So many things "happen" in May and I exit the month feeling energized and ready for what feels like a new chapter, a change, or just some fresh perspective. There is just something about the month of May.

Note: May was named after some Greek goddess and it left me uninspired, hence the apache blessing..

I would be remiss to ignore the obvious.... first things first. #THISISMAY relates to the one weekend a year the hubs and I love. The running of the Indianapolis 500. We have been going as long as we have been together and it is a tradition that has come to mean so much to us. I literally wrote a whole BLOG on this. For the last two years we have not been able to be there in person. Last year was depressing and it was hard to garner the same level of excitement. This year felt different. It still sucked to not be there but we REALLY enjoyed watching it at home and still pulled in some of the annual traditions for race day. Different? Yes. But still meaningful.

Memorial Day remembers and honors those that serve and their families. ANOTHER May tradition and The INDY 500 falls on this day every year and never fails to pay tribute to the military in pre race ceremonies including the playing of Taps and a military aircraft fly over the track in a missing man formation. Brings me to tears every time.

If you follow me regularly, you know I am a mental health advocate. May is also #mentalhealthawarenessmonth which is designed to raise awareness and educate the public on mental illness. I have written extensively on this topic. This last year has tested us all, some more than others. The pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health in this country. It is widespread and spans young to old. Anxiety and depression effects my home and family and I know how hard it is WITH support and WITH therapy. Imagine what is it is like for those without the support? People need to be able to find resources and not be ashamed. You don't know what any one person is dealing with on any given day.... but showing kindness and compassion and offering help when appropriate can mean everything. We must continue to reduce the stigma. Check out MHA for more information and screening tools. Educating and building awareness should happen everyday, not just the month of May.

Soooo many birthdays. There are so many birthdays in our family this month. It keeps me on my toes and reminds me of the passing of time. My niece (and god-daughter) turned 21 this month. Say what? How the hell did that happen?

Mother's Day is in May. I love me some Mother's Day! This year I was fortunate to head down to Parrish, FL to spend a few days with my recently retired Aunt and my Mom. It was last minute and such a blessing. I reconnected with two of my faves and got a change of scenery. Having been bound to our home and each other for the last 12+ months I had no idea how good it would feel to get some distance. Ironically - it was good for the hubs and kiddos to reconnect as well. As Mom's, we tend to be leading the charge most days and I can comfortably say I think they also liked getting a break from Mommy Dearest!

The end of the school year is approaching and the excitement of a summer break (5 weeks for us) and new school year approaching has us both exhausted and excited. My daughter is going to be entering high school and my son starts middle school. How in the hell did that happen? Again - the passage of time..... a gentle reminder to soak in every minute. Like every single minute, because in a blink it will be over and we will be setting them free and praying to god we did something right. LOL

This year May also brought joy and relief. My husband lost his job in March and just when we started to really worry - karma paid him a visit. He landed a job working with an old colleague that did not forget the amazing professional and human my husband was and still IS. That connection got his foot in the door. If you are approaching 50 like us and in the market for a job right now... you know how important that connection is. It's everything. I preach to my kids (ad nauseum) how they treat people matters. People remember kindness. People remember how you treated them. This validates and reminds us all of that.

Exiting May always means we are knee deep in summer which is a fun time of year. We hit the ground running, or the pool swimming, lol, in June. On June 3rd the hubs and I celebrate 15 years of marriage. This is always a time of reflection for me. and BOY will I be reflecting. It has been a strange year - some ups and down - I exit May both shaking my head and feeling incredibly grateful. I take this moment to collect where I have been and where I am going and how blessed I am to be on this journey. Perspective, and lots of it as look at May in the rear view mirror.

So, THANK YOU MAY, for another memorable, inspiring, and not so gentle reminder of what is important in this life.

Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot. – Unknown

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