The life-changing magic of adult recess

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

No matter what you do for a living, unless you are extraordinarily lucky, you likely spend many of your days engaged in at least some of the following activities:

Spend hours in meetings where there is so much information you don’t have time to process it before moving to the next meeting.

Listen politely to co-workers who can’t stop talking about their “fur babies”.

Stare at a screen until your eyes bleed.

Answer stupid questions all day long. And yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Eat while you work.

Work…


First of all, in a good relationship you are there by choice

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Photo by Riccardo Fissore on Unsplash

It is Valentine’s Day and I am watching my boyfriend scrape the ice off the sidewalk in front of my house. Whether he knows it or not, acts of service is my love language and this means more to me than all the roses in the world (although he covered that base too.) Earlier this morning he joined me and my daughters for a family-style Valentine breakfast that included hand-made cards, origami roses, and lots of candy. Watching him interact with my seven-year-old and my teenager did more to endear him to me than a thousand candle-lit dinners.

I have…


When you set boundaries, others will learn to respect you

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Photo by Tiago Felipe Ferreira on Unsplash

When my oldest daughter was very young, only four or five years old, she said something to me that changed our relationship forever. She told me in no uncertain terms that she didn’t like the tone of my voice. It wasn’t the words I was saying, but how I was saying them that was upsetting her. I don’t remember her exact words but I got the message loud and clear.

My daughter was setting boundaries about how other people treated her.

While this is something I would have never done at that age (who am I kidding? I didn’t learn…


How to survive the first few weeks at a new job

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Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

I hate new jobs. Really, I hate every single thing about being new. Learning new names, getting accustomed to new routines, navigating the personality quirks of new bosses, understanding the politics of organizations, becoming comfortable with new software. Remembering dozens of new passwords. All of it.

But I’ve realized over time that the worst part of being new is the unrelenting fear that I will fail. The fear that somehow, even though I know I am an accomplished and reasonably intelligent person, I won’t be able to learn something…


The difference between succeeding and simply surviving

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Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

For years, I kept my marriage afloat by sheer willpower and a great determination to overlook the obvious flaws. I glossed over arguments and dissatisfaction. I thought it was normal to look forward to my husband leaving the house. I did all the “good wife” things so that my husband would have no excuse not to want to stay married.

And none of it worked.

My marriage ended in divorce before the kids were out of the house. What’s more, I suffered through many years of a unsatisfactory and unfulfilling relationship. It didn’t work because I wasn’t playing to win…


Try to act normal

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Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

When I break up with someone, I prefer that they evaporate into the ether and we never cross paths again. I know that sounds harsh, but I am just not made for remaining friends or having good-natured phone chats or basically acknowledging that they still exist. This is a defense mechanism — my way of ensuring I don’t accidentally find myself attracted to them once more, or you know, stab them in the eye.

Prior to my recent divorce, it was relatively easy to eject someone from my life when a relationship ended. And only twice in all those single…


Seriously, who makes this stuff up?

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Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

I just spent the day e-mailing school administrators at my daughter’s high school about their rules regarding dropping classes and graduation requirements. No one can give me a straight answer. The guidance counselor no longer returns my messages so I leveled-up to one of the Vice-Principals. She will get back with me as soon as possible.

Meanwhile my daughter is failing in slow motion while she barely manages the classes she needs to graduate, let alone the statistics class she was randomly assigned for no apparent reason. She is struggling like many of her…


We could learn a thing or two from some of the longest-living organisms on the planet.

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Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

A little over six months ago, I gave my dad a gift that perhaps, in retrospect, is something I actually wanted for myself. The gift was a book, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

I spent many hours as a child exploring the farm I grew up on immersed in nature. I sat for long hours in fields and wooded areas observing and listening to insects, small mammals, birds and the wind blowing through the tree branches.

In college, I became a biology major with the idea that I would one day be a wildlife biologist. In the…


Reflections on almost 18 years of motherhood

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Photo Courtesy of Author

I remember the first time I realized how significantly becoming a mother had changed my life. My oldest daughter was about three months old and we were both ill with severe diarrhea. I was changing her diaper several times each hour and I had given up wearing clothes or straying more than a couple of feet from the bathroom for fear that I would make a mess before I could get there. I took more than one shower that night, letting everything pour from my body because I had no control to do otherwise. …


I can’t help it — I’ve always been this way.

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Photo by Sarah Mak on Unsplash

It is 1:00 p.m. and I can’t say for sure where the morning went. I did some reading and ran an errand and made a doctor’s appointment. I played with a spreadsheet and created some graphs strictly for my own use and pleasure. I marveled at the beauty and sadness of a winter day.

I am just as likely to spend an afternoon taking a walk through the park with my camera in hand or sitting in silence for an eternity watching and waiting for a chipmunk to emerge from his hiding place in the roots of a gnarled old…

Alecia Kennedy

Trader·writer·photographer·truth-seeker·all around curious person. https://medium.com/breaking-all-the-rules snaphappyphotos.smugmug.com/

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