Kindness In

Today I’ve been thinking about kindness. Sure, the world catches holy heck for all the negativity, but I still have faith in all the glorious goodness out there.

For instance, today one of my friends asked for food to help some families out and let me tell you, people stepped up!!!

Even with groceries being incredibly high priced, many asked what was needed. I looked in our cupboards and will be making my donation tomorrow.

On a bit of a different note, I was also thinking about all the kindnesses extended to me during this weird year since I lost my momma. Initially, it was the cards, flowers, showing up, meals, etc.

But since then, my blogging friends have stepped up. Writing about loss is not easy and writing about parent loss is jaw-dropping hard. You all have been super supportive in offering your insights and support.

Another sort of kindness was given to me today that on the surface may not seem as profound as feeding someone who’s hungry or helping someone through loss, but I believe it’s monumental just the same.

You know I’ve been struggling with my bowling and I almost quit. It’s supposed to be fun, but it was stacking up to be annoying and frustrating…

In bowling and just in general, it seems like we can get a lot of advice about what we are doing wrong and sometimes it’s hard to feel good enough right where we are.

I am in touch with this. I get the last place score A LOT.

I’d seen online that there are bowling coaches. Like, that’s a thing. At a bowling alley about an hour and a half from here, I asked about coaching, then I went there today.

The beauty and the best part of the whole bowling coach experience was, I was being met where I am. The tips weren’t ‘change this, this, and this.’ In fact, it wasn’t any ‘change this.’

It was about adding to, not taking away. I love that on about a billion levels.

No one asks anyone to change in order to feed them and fill their fridges. No one asked me to change in order to support me in my momma loss. And, I didn’t have to take apart and put back together my bowling steps, throw, or swing.

These situations are not the same, of course, but the feeling of being able to stay authentic in any of them is pretty huge.

It’s like, judgment out, kindness in.

Love when that happens!

Hope you have a great night!

Jessica

at the river last week

©️COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS- ALL PHOTOS MINE- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Gutters and Art

Gratitude:

  • rethinking things
  • trusting myself
  • taking a leap when what I really want to do is run
  • encourage-rs who have my back
  • sticking things out, even when it’s hard
  • trusting myself some more

I’ve almost quit two things recently. Art and bowling.

Seriously. Twice at the bowling alley, I have said out loud, “I am going to quit!” The first time was a Saturday night when my son, husband, and I were practicing. I could not get anything right!

Gutter. Gutter. Gutter.

So frustrating.

Gutter. Gutter. Gutter.

The second time at bowling was sooooo embarrassing. I’d been practicing with my son’s ball and the finger and thumb holes are smaller. So, I get up there on my first throw of the night, brought my ball back and…

Dropped it.

As in backwards.

I heard someone say, “Oh Jessi” in a sort of ‘what in the world are you doing’ tone, then I turned around to see all these really great bowlers staring at me.

I could’ve crawled into a hole.

I almost walked out.

I mean, come on! I dropped the ball. I’ve gotten LAST place 25 out of 27 games. Everyone there knows I’m new. Hello. I’m sick of being last.

Enter art. I LOVE art. I make some pretty cool and unique things with vintage jewelry, but lately trying to figure out what to do with it after I make it has been wearing me out.

There are so many options and weighing the choices is simply exhausting. On top of of that, I’ve been trying to find my value in a world already jam packed with art.

Eeks.

All of that has got me to thinking about my momma and her art. She was an amazing artist. She never sold any of it, but she blissfully kept on creating it. I’ve been trying to figure out if that is my fate and purpose too, or if my pieces are meant to be with someone else.

Yesterday, I made a choice. I chose. I decided. That ever happen to you? Where simply deciding brings such peace and a joy that springs forth like a bloom?

With my art, I’m going to try something new. A new place, just to see how it goes.

I decided I’m not going to give up on bowling either! In fact, I got a new ball. I’ve been practicing my steps at home and in the yard and I’m going to work with a coach this week.

All those gutters and that dropped ball aside, I am getting better. My scores were in the 50’s, now they’re around 100. In only 9 weeks. Pretty darn good, even with the embarrassing ball drop.

My hunch is that losing my momma this year is at the root of all this indecision. Grief can really seem to pour on the doubt. But, I think my momma would be pulling for me in both bowling and art.

With that in mind, I believe I’ll keep right on going. Perhaps my art will find some homes and maybe I’ll even turn that lowest score of 25 out of 27 games into the highest score in 25 out of 27 games.

Anything is possible.

If you’d like to read my art post it’s called “I’m Going For It” and it’s on https://jeweledagainbyjessica.com.

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Woo hoo!! 100!!

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Miracles and Gratitude Day 9

Gratitude:

  • pretty days to drive
  • 2 lane country highways
  • a day with my boy

Yesterday, we finished the second half of our trip home from my dad’s. We took country roads a lot of the way and saw some old buildings and tiny towns. Love that.

a stately building with a wagon in some town
care for a sit?

At an intersection, I saw this sign on a building and laughed. I asked my son if there’s a store where we can get A’s too. Ha ha.

‘N’ store in the country that we saw

Miracle photos:

I had my highest game ever bowling last night!!! I got a 123! A few weeks ago, I had a 49.

my highest score ever!

I also broke a 100.

scored 100+

What miracles are you seeing? Noticing any big or small ones? Feel free to share, if you’d like. I love reading them. Thank you.

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

** all photos and writing are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Day 3

Gratitude:

  1. being on a bowling team
  2. a really great bowling alley to bowl at
  3. a scenic drive to the bowling alley- 110 miles round trip

My dad, who lives 8 hours from me, has bowled on Thursday league nights for over 40 years. Love that! My husband has bowled leagues for 9 years. This is my first league. I am really enjoying it.

Miracle photos:

Miracle number 1:

Having a bowling team to give gifts to! Aren’t these cool? I ordered these from Etsy for our team and my husband’s men’s team.

team bowling towels I ordered

Miracle number 2:

I bought new bowling shoes for me, but they’re too tight. So, I was renting shoes. One of the bowlers brought me these shoes from home! How kind! They fit and worked really well!

a bowling shoe gift I got

How about you? Seeing any miracles you’d like to share? What 3 things are you grateful for today?

We’re leaving for the bowling alley in about half an hour. Time to have go some fun!

Thank you for reading!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are mine

Rookie Bowler

I rarely write two posts in one day, but this is itching to come out.

Last night at bowling, it went great. My stance was solid. My gutter balls improved. My scored increased. And not once, did I feel like crying.

It just felt better all the way around. Am I pro? Heck no. Does that matter? Absolutely not.

I wrote a post this morning about finding my way. What I realized all the sudden, is that we all are, finding our way.

For a week, I’ve been practicing my bowling stance and steps in hopes that I would somehow skip ‘beginning bowler’ and just be a ‘great bowler.’

That’s fine. But, I see now that there’s a place for the beginner and in the middle-r, too. Same with grief. Some may be in the beginning, some, like me, may be in the middle.

The cool thing about that? There’s room for everyone, wherever we are.

I realized something else. If I was somehow an instantly awesome bowler in one week’s time, I would really miss out on some really amazing stuff.

We are bowling at a new to us bowling alley and don’t know anyone. Everyone there is really good at bowling. I am essentially the rookie. I get last place every week.

But, you know what? Almost everyone in that place has offered me kind words and bowling advice. Heck, last night, someone even brought some bowling shoes from home and gave them to me.

I’m learning. They’re teaching. And that rookie thing? It’s just an ice breaker. If I walked into a new place and was an excellent bowler, there’d probably still be stuff to talk about, but people like to help people, you know?

Same here, on this blog. I write about loss, you extend your hands.

Pretty cool.

Thank you.

Jessica

a flower in my field

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photo is mine

Balancing Grief

Last week, I was gliding along pretty well, then, bam. Crying. Not crying, actually, but bawling was more like it. It was Tuesday and I was getting ready to fold laundry. I thought a song playing would be nice. So, I tried to think of one.

A song that my momma loved popped into my head. A minute passed and the tears gushed. They didn’t stop for 45 minutes.

On a Tuesday. In the laundry room.

That night, we had our 2nd bowling league night. My game was off. I couldn’t get my balance. My steps wobbled. My ball hugged the gutters. My score stayed low. My eyes fought tears.

In a bowling alley. With 40 other bowlers.

Grief does that. It interrupts steps. It unbalances the balanced. It shows up in a thought or dream. It cascades down on a quiet afternoon, in the middle of chores. It unleashes emotions that were once settled, into tears that are real and raw.

In August, I wrote a post called ‘A Half a Year Today.’ It was about my momma being gone a half a year already. A couple of days ago, when I re-added up on my fingers, I realized I was a month off! August wasn’t half a year ago, September is…

Time in parent loss is a bit like my wobbly bowling steps: all over the place. No wonder I couldn’t believe it had been 6 months, it had only been 5.

So far, it’s only Tuesday, this week is more light hearted. It’s smoother. Last week there were lotsssss of tears and missing her.

This week there’s still lots of missing her, but way less tears. That alone, feels like a more even distribution on the ‘getting through grief’ invisible scale.

What I’m learning is, bowling is all about balance and grief, for me anyway, has a sense of balance, too.

Missing someone starts to blend right into the every days. Missing someone, plus crocodile tears? That interferes with the rhythm.

Tonight, we bowl. My feet feel more solid already, whew!

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Jessica

my bowling locker is my favorite number 22
my bowling balls my dad gave me

Lake and Bowling Time

Something pretty cool happened to me recently.

Really?

Seems like all I’ve been doing is writing about loss and grief.

Here’s the thing I’m learning though. I can go through a loss AND live my life, too. Just because I had a loss, it doesn’t mean I’m *required* to be sad all the time.

In fact, I’m not sad all the time. Sometimes? Yes. All the time? No. Remember my post, Switchbacks and Waves? Sadness and grief come in spurts.

So, back to the pretty cool thing.

My husband bowls. In fact, he’s a really good bowler. Have you ever seen those bowlers who can throw a ball, it almost hugs the gutter, then it suddenly curves over and knocks down all the pins?

He can do that.

He has been bowling in leagues for about nine years. One or two nights a week, he bowls.

Me?

I only bowl maybe once a month, when we go as a family. My balls are usually in the gutter, ha ha, and when I do bowl, it’s straight down the middle, I hope.

Several weeks ago my husband super gigantically surprised me when he asked me if I would consider being in a league.

Like, a bowling league. I about fell over! I was so honored that he asked.

Then, approximately two seconds later, the questions started kicking in:

  • Wait, I’m not very good! Who would want to be on MY team?
  • Is there pressure? Because I don’t want any pressure if I’m not doing well.
  • How long is it? What if we sign up and it’s too long?
  • Me? Are you sure? (Is what I was thinking)

Turns out he does want me on his team, there is no pressure because it’s just for fun, and it is long, thirty six weeks, but it’s one night a week.

Heck yeah, sign me up.

We live in a tiny town and to get to the bowling alley we like, it’s fifty miles one way. So, about a hundred miles one night a week. Sounds like a lot, but it’s totally worth it.

It’ll be family time, a chance to make new friends, and it’s something we can do together.

Bonus?

It’s by a lake!!!

Last night we went up there and bowled. I did pretty decent and my husband and son did great. We even got to meet some of the league bowlers we’ll be bowling with in a couple weeks. It was really fun.

About sunset, we went over to the lake. My goodness, it was so beautiful. Sooooooo beautiful. And, so quiet. We just sat there and watched the fish jump and the sky change.

Afterwards, we found a really nice Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful meal.

Tuesday, the first week of September, OUR league starts. Our! How cool is that?

Me, is included in that our!

Even with gutter balls and very up and down scores, I get to be on a team!

I am so excited!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

the lake near the bowling alley
Clearwater Lake
unofficial angel wings at sunset
our lake view last night

©️Copyright 2022 Unmeasured Journeys