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The "Wu Word" Blog

March 2018


I am always out and about.  I am just about never home.  My friends and family have said one too many times to me that they are unable to get a hold of me.  I am notorious for never picking up my phone because I am on the phone all day at work that I do not even want to hear the sound of the ringtone at home.  My text messages have become shorter and far and few in between with even fewer people.  If I am home, I always doing something at—cleaning, cooking/baking, organizing, and, essentially, always DOING something. For me, there is ALWAYS something to do. 
But, something changes when you turn and well into your 30’s and marching forward to 40’s.  It isn’t a sudden change.  It is a slow change.  It is change you do not even realize that it is happening and that YOU are happening in the process.   Going out and about until the crack of dawn no longer is appealing or really feasible.  Rather, staying at home envelopes you in a glow of happiness and cozy comfort.  Loud crowds and hustle and bustle with those you are not so familiar with fades into a great and new need to spend time alone, one on one, or with the extremely small circle that has come to be as we get older.  FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT) begins to dissipate and is replaced with FOTO (FEAR OF TIME OUT) with time rushing and running so fast that there is no way you can even try to keep up. It is change in joy and that the ordinary and everyday that we can so easily take for granted is the truly extraordinary.  It is a change in priorities in your life because, after all, we all have the same amount of time in the day but not the same priorities. 
This past Wednesday, I was forced to stay home because Mother Nature unleashed her fury and wrath in an unexpected and most dreaded snowstorm that came after trees were uprooted, wires downed, broken traffic lights, and power outages.  In the midst of the worst, I saw the best where I bonded with complete strangers who were now forced to turn to love and loved ones rather than technology in a time of need.  Staying home and connecting with complete strangers who would now be familiar faces made me realize just how much of a homebody I have become.  I can blame it on the 30’s and getting older, but it isn’t that.  It is this: I am becoming a homebody, and I am loving peace, harmony, quiet, calm, and simple more than ever.   
In 30 years of my life, I have had the great gifts and privilege to travel around to many different places.  I have treasured every wonder in the world as I wandered.  However, I have found that the greatest place that I never really valued or even discovered was home.  I never realized the richness and wealth in just lounging lazily on my couch with a furball on my lap, reading a good book, me stirring cake batter at the kitchen table, the aromatic scents of a home cooked meal, the warmth of the oven radiating on me on a cold winter night, chatting on the phone with a good friend as I am sprawled on my bed, or watching and witnessing the magic of a full moon and fat snowflakes falling to make a white blanket right outside my window.  I never understood how sitting with my father at the kitchen table I grew up around and over a home cooked meal is such happiness.  I never cherished the car rides with my sister right here in the Hudson Valley under the bluest of skies and fluffiest of clouds.  And, I do not mean home in the walls that are covered with my family and friend’s photos or the kitchen cabinets that are filled with cooking essentials and tools.  I mean HOME in the little that means a lot and sense of community and connecting with and understanding myself, neighbors, family, and few friends.  I mean HOME in the right here and now, in the present as the greatest gift.  I do not ever see myself losing my wanderlust, adventurer, and zest for life self.  I am now just expanding and including the ‘HOME’ side to me that deserves a place for me to embrace.  Discovering and understanding yourself is NOT necessarily found around the world, but can be right at home—which can be one of the most daunting and yet comforting places of all. 
Our views and ideas of joy and happiness changes as we get older and as our priorities change.    Were you always a traveler? Or, were you always a homebody?  How have your priorities changed that impact your very own happiness and understanding of you and your surroundings?  Does something change in our 30’s when it comes to joy and happiness?  What is happiness to you now as opposed to when you were younger?   
Keep smilin’,

Mary ;-)


I am accustomed to people verbally bashing my biological mother.  I know they do this to try to try to make me feel better and show their loyalty to and siding with me when my mother’s loyalty wavered and left me.  The number one comment that is a question put unto me about my mother with disgust, shock, and sadness is: “How can a mother leave their child?”   
What they and many do not know is the #1 gift I received from my mother was a lesson on loyalty.  The only way I learned about and could fully open and appreciate this gift was through my mother crushing loyalty by her leaving.  When she left, I made promises to myself: I would be the strong one when everyone was weak.   I would give and people could take from me.  I would stand up when everyone sat. I would stay when everyone walked away.  I would be loyal when everyone left and turned their backs.  I would NEVER become her.  I would NEVER become my mother. 
Over thirty years later and I finally get a glimpse into explanations to why my mother and why some people leave others when life is at its worst rather than its best.  The truth is that it is exhausting, tiring, draining, and completely unrealistic to always be the strong one who stands tall and who has EVERYONE taking.  The truth is that feelings of resentment, anger, and being taken advantage kick in and the thoughts run faster than the speed of light going: “Well, who the heck cares about me?”  The truth is that there is a very thin and fine line that I am learning about loyalty that there may come a point when you have to leave.  Everyone wants to be cared for and considered.  It is never just a one way street, but when it becomes one way, that is when the roads split.  There you are at a crossroads to keep on walking and staying the same course out of loyalty and comfort and the roles that were created or to leave and try new and change with boundaries and limitations.
I recently had a conversation with my sister about loyalty:
 I said, “Well, you cannot just leave someone when that person is at their worst.  It is easy to leave at the worst and stay at the best when it needs to be the opposite.”
“Sometimes, you cannot always stay.  Sometimes, you have to leave.”
“When do you know to leave or to be loyal?” I asked.
“When it is toxic to you.” 
So, I can understand.  I can even say that I get it.  I can even now explain (not defend) my mother by saying: “Well, sometimes, the greatest gift you can give a person and to yourself is to leave.”  It is only when someone leaves and when you yourself leave that you learn the value of loyalty.  A person cannot be completely selfless without any boundaries or limitations.  A person cannot always be loyal and stay true on the outside when there are negative and ill effects on the inside.  Suffice to say, the unwavering loyalty that I held dear to me and against my mother wavers and I am about starting new.  People may not like it.  People may not even like you.  But, what I am learning about at the core of loyalty is to be loyal to others, you have to be loyal and true to yourself. 
Loyalty is very delicate that entails you continuing to stay or maybe eventually having to leave.  When does loyalty end and the choice is to leave and start anew?  Have you ever reflected on the roles you are in and how they were created and kept or when you had to leave these expectations of you?  Have you ever said that you will never become one of your parents only to realize that you are following in their footsteps?  When have you had to purposefully leave and loyalty ended because it was toxic to you? What does loyalty entail?  How loyal are you? 
Keep smilin’,

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