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Sunday, 03 February 2019 00:46
IMG 0828 copy.
  1. on a pillow
  2. under a pillow
  3. under a sheet69 cards number 02
  4. on a nightstand
  5. in the medicine cabinet
  6. tucked in the bathroom mirror
  7. on a toilet seat top
  8. in a pocket of pjs/robe
  9. tucked into exercise clothes
  10. in a shoe
  11. in a bagged lunch
  12. in a diaper bag
  13. in a briefcase
  14. in a purse
  15. in a backpack
  16. tucked in an ipad case
  17. placed against the laptop screen
  18. peeking out from under a keyboard
  19. in a coffee mug or taped to the bottom
  20. on a window sill
  21. in the fridge (under a recently purchased fav desert is optional)
  22. in the coffee canister
  23. clipped to the wall calendar (or tucked into the day-to-day calendar pages)
  24. tacked on the fridge
  25. taped to a cereal box, egg carton, breakfast food container
  26. tacked to the kitchen cabinet
  27. in the silverware drawer
  28. in the underwear drawer
  29. tucked with a bookmark in current book
  30. tucked into the morning newspaper
  31. on the dashboard
  32. on the front seat
  33. on the windshield
  34. on a high chair / baby bouncer
  35. taped to the tv
  36. threaded through a phone charger
  37. tucked under a dinner plate
  38. rubberbanded / taped to wine glass
  39. taped to lawn mower engine or handle
  40. tacked to lawn furniture / hammock / patio chair
  41. taped to the top of the grill
  42. taped to front door of the house
  43. on top of or not-so-obviously hidden in the bathroom reading material
  44. tacked to outer side of the shower curtain
  45. taped to a shower faucet
  46. peaking out of a filing cabinet.
  47. taped to the floor between bed and bath
  48. left by the jewelry or makeup
  49. left WITH jewelry or makeup
  50. attached to Fido's collar69 cards number 50
  51. on the mantle
  52. visible but behind the fish tank / goldfish bowl or next to the cat’s food bowl
  53. left inside microwave
  54. tucked into bra or beltline
  55. taped to light switch
  56. taped to top of takeout delivery (arranged in advance or immediately at the door)
  57. in a shirt breast pocket69 cards number 57
  58. in a sock drawer
  59. in the drapes/blinds
  60. on a windowpane
  61. in a coat pocket
  62. in the middle of large stack of mail
  63. next to the razor/shaver or behind the toothbrushes
  64. in ziploc bag in freezer
  65. on a desk chair
  66. taped to the inside of the washing machine lid
  67. with a often-used sex toy or lube
  68. taped to the ceiling
  69. covering a just-the-two-of-you photo

That was 69 Places to ... Leave a Love Note.

Try it.

Don’t text it.

69 cards 02

Trust me. Texting has it’s ooh moments. But can also appear at THE most inappropriate times! Plus, the lack of that immediate reply can immediately be misinterpreted. Not to mention, what about some immediate action to go with that immediate reaction? AND, remember that feeling of getting a real card – this one with beautiful, romantic penned illustrations – that has your name handwritten on it and is signed – a signature! – with, I hope, a note or at least, a few x’s and o’s (or oh’s . . . ).

mobile company 04

****

Kat Rowan, CoFounder and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, highly recommends TiffinTalk’s Heart2Heart boxed set of 69 romantic, silly, sexy, intimate, loving cards for 69 places and 69 ways to say (and remember) to love and be loved right back. "Buy one, get some"; it's "the gift that keeps on coming." <Individual results may vary. Do no operate heavy machinery while using TiffinTalk cards. See your doctor regularly anyway. etc. TiffinTalk is not responsible for anything beyond communication and giggles; all activity resulting from any card is, we hope, fun and passionate.> Oh, and for more fun, try Uberlube . . . the unexpected  is a lovely gift . . .

Try TiffinTalk’s Heart2Heart boxed set of 69 romantic, silly, sexy, intimate, loving cards for 69 places and 69 ways to say (and remember) to love and be loved right back. For Valentine's Day. For Every Day.


Monday, 10 December 2018 14:28

woman harried coffee cup crumpled paper 35395752 s 800x532

I’m just not a big fan of the holiday blog posts. I generally cannot relate to the happiness quotient.

They irk me as much as those holiday letters that reflect an entire year of only perfect moments in someone's else's less-than-perfect-but-shhhhhhh-don't-tell-anyone life.

I get the magic of the holidays – but only if I pause long enough to stare into the eyes of my now-young-adult-but-not-so-long-ago-much-younger daughters.

But, I have to say that even they are very tired of the muss and fuss; of the retail season that is thrust upon everyone one of us months in advance; of the "take down this decor to put up that" – only to repeat it again in a few weeks but in reverse.

My girls are wanting less to-do time so that we can have more together-time. It took decades, but they figured out the magic of the season.

Thus, our family traditions are being reinvented to minimize what had turned into “routine chaos”.


Routine chaos usually begins with any holiday that means that your kids have a longer break than you do. Everyone’s schedule changes. And it’s not always for the better or the saner.

Kids get time-and-a-half off for their supposed good behavior at their job (read: school). And for that, you get to rush around trying to:

  • spend quality time with those barely-recognizable children who spend more hours in school and extracurricular activities than they do with you. (“Put away the tech!!! Let’s do something together! You pick. And, no, not a video game.”);
  • sqeeeeeeeze and appease all the relatives who will be slighted beyond the usual “hrumph” if you don’t make as much time for them as you do for other relatives – and yes, they have a score sheet;
  • spend time with caring friends who are decidedly not using spreadsheets to compare your time with them vs anyone else because, hell, they are having the exact same issues you are and they are just grateful you are NOT keeping track;
  • see every doctor, dentist, orthodontist, allergist, and every other specialist (including the vet) when everyone "has off" so you DON'T have to figure out how your child can make up the exam that they missed because of your not-so-excellent school-year scheduling karma AND it doesn’t require that you take an increasingly-scarce sick day. (Wait: You’re allowed sick days?)

sofa couple passed out exhausted chaos mess 30033363 s 800x483

Routine Chaos: It’s predictable. It’s the holiday season. Spring break. Summer vacation. Fall break.

Year after year. You know it’s coming. You plan it – often in minute detail. You look forward to it. (Well, some of you do.)

There are always attempts to reconfigure it for the next round to include more relaxation.

But that never works.

Expect chaos, and you will achieve a much more zen time with family, friends, and, even, relatives.

And, by the way, for those people keeping track of your overly-scheduled time (a combination of artistic prowess and project management skills), you may give yourself permission to free up someone else's scoreboard and claim that time for YOU instead.

Highly recommended. Not easy, but highly recommended.

And every therapist in the world will congratulate and hug you for your courage and honesty (even if you have to tell a white lie to get out of seeing that yet-another-required-person to free up you-space).

One more thing regarding together time: when you turn the tech off, have a pre-planned agreement of what you will all do in order to avoid the sheer unplugged panic.

Board games don’t have to be played on the screen, for instance, and you can still buy them – even the original retro ones without the plastic bits and eye-grating revamped design!

Ditto card games on that no-screen-necessary concept.

Ditto anything involving the great outdoors and a ball or bike or tent in the yard; or, depending on your weather, a snowmen family or treehouse or Little Free Library construction project.

Ditto family movie night that ends in a popcorn food fight followed by a treasure hunt of who can find the most pieces and ending with hugs before your teens even know you hugged 'em.

Be creative. Be crazy. Let your kids and family know that any idea is up for a majority agreement and if it’s not unanimous, then oh gee, you’ll have to spend even more time together with Plans B, C, and D. 

Finally, remember to this: Be decidedly un-adult. That is: let your guard down and find your inner child again. That’s a gift for everyone including yourself! A little mess. A lotta laughter. And a lot of utter silliness.

**

Routine Chaos. I can’t say I recommend it. I can’t say I enjoy the anticipation of all the changes in schedules and moods. But I can say that when I let go of my “have-to’s” and encourage more “want-to’s” for myself and for others, it’s a helluva lot more fun.

And I love those moments.

With the people I love.

Memory makers. Our way. Routine chaos becomes a family tradition of laughter and letting go.


Kat is CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, a company that creates cards focused on different themes for different uses (therapy, parenting, coupling, and “senioring”); cards that are meant to be personalized, to engage in real time, face-to-face conversations. When we shift schedules, we often finder it harder to talk; our usual "How was your day?" falls even flatter – especially if you were a significant part of an awkwardly silent day. Whether you are interested in bettering conversations at home, with students at school, with clients in therapy, with your own parents, or with your colleagues, TiffinTalk has got you covered. In an age where we unlearned how to talk face-to-face, TiffinTalk to the rescue. Less chaos. More moments. Email Kat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to talk about talk.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:18

doggo daughter mother 1024x662

There is a ball pit of empty water jugs in my daughter’s bedroom.

You see, she went to college and took her service dog with her. So I’m filling her room at home with her dog’s favorite toys. Lots of them. The floor is covered.

Maybe it’s my coping mechanism.

**

Four years ago, my oldest daughter's college president had welcomed anxious parents with anxious freshmen with these words: “Your children will miss the family dog – their pets – more than they will miss you.” I have honestly forgotten anything else that man said. I think I immediately tuned out exactly at that point. Because I just looked at my daughter on her move-out / move-in day and I wondered how many minutes the cats would take to adjust to her absence. I really didn’t think it would be a mutual missing and I certainly wasn’t going to tell her that right then.

Her president, as it turns out, was mostly right: my daughter missed the cats (marginally) more than she missed me. But that’s because we talked as often as she wanted / needed to. The cats, on the other hand, mostly walked across the keyboard and butt-faced her as she spoke fluent Meow with them and they haughtily pretended not to listen. I’m not sure that they helped as much as I tried to in all of her moments of indecision or crises but, yes, they were around. And, yes, she missed them.

The thing that this college president didn’t mention – and that I had no way to foresee – is the situation in pseudo reverse. Imagine him saying: “Parents, you will miss your child’s service dog more than you will miss your child.”

And holy crap, he would have been right on that count. I still have 3 cats for company and upkeep. But I no longer have a zoomie doggo that flops over for cuddles when she is unvested.

Granted: The cats are not likely to swipe my glasses and play rugby with them on a tennis court.

And these cats are bored by mice, especially dead ones that have likely eaten rat poison left by the landlord (whilst in between tenants) and if they ate one, they would not projectile vomit in quantities un-feline-like all over the back of the front seat of my car, the front of the back seat of my car –– basically the entirety of my car.

And yes, these cats usually don’t consume human food that is not fitting for them and so avocados and chocolate are safe on the edge of countertops once again.

Still, the cats, while comforting and phenomenal bed-warmers, do not look at me with a goofy face and a tail that may wag off their butt. They remain calm, amusing, comforting, and often worthy of their own YouTube channel but they are just not . . . well . . . just not the same as the doggo. Who knew I'd come to love that pupper when she first arrived 2 years ago for her training and lifelong job?

So I can talk to my youngest daughter. And we do. And she catches me up on all things college and all things disability and all the ways she advocates for herself (and, unintentionally for others).

The thing is when I try to talk to the pupper in the background, the dog occasionally looks toward the camera with great boredom and I feel a sense of depression that screams: “At least BARK at me! What about a slo-mo tail wag? Let me know that you miss me a quarter as much as I miss you!!”

Is it possible she has forgotten me? (More likely it is because dogs have a limited ability to clearly see video and she is probably confused by where my voice is coming from, not to mention why it is distorted. My best guess is that she has politely decided that it is best to ignore me versus looking embarrassingly dog-confused.)

Meanwhile, I am distraught. And I look downright miserable as I talk to her in my high-pitched, just-for-doggo voice. Ridiculous. I know.

Without an ability to keep in better touch, the best I can do to feel close to her is to keep hydrating and saving her favorite toy: an empty water jug.

In a rental home where the water potability is dubious, we buy the jugs. And we recycle every single one of them – AFTER the dog has had her chance to play tug of war, chase  her prize catch after tossing it around and pouncing on it and nudging it across floors. Finally ending with a display of her extraordinary skills at compacting.

Each jug has my love in it: from fully "inflated" to the flat-chewed-plastic-toy-thing.

My daughter’s room – well, their room – as I noted, is full of gifts now and that "love a la jugs" has overflowed into the bathtub. So, they'd better come visit soon.

**

Oh joyous dog. I miss you. And when you get home, I’ve got the world’s best treats for you.

Plus . . . lots of cuddles.

Oh! And . . . a hug for my daughter. I miss her, too.

picture of a service dog pushing a door opening button

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 16:29

woman walking down a dark corridor

Warning:
My writing Don’t Tell. No, Tell was unexpected.
The content of this blog speaks frankly to abuse and may be triggering.

 

Let’s have at it. If it didn’t happen to you, it did happen to someones you know. And yes, that is plural – more than one someone.

Likely it happened in your teens. But also likely that you were a preteen. Or younger. Or older.

And highly likely you never told anyone about the assault. Maybe you didn’t want to call it an assault. You didn’t want to call it anything. Safer that way: if you didn’t name it, it didn’t
happen . . .

Also likely, you were assaulted more than once and possibly by more than one assailant. Victims who don’t seek help often find themselves in the same similar, horrible situations. Déjà vu: familiar storyline, different characters.

Whether you shut it out of your memory for years or decades and found yourself triggered by a recent event – the news, your own child turning “that age”, a colleague or friend deciding to unexpectedly “confide” in you; or whether you have lived with the silence, the fear, the shame, the guilt, the confusion and you hoped never to speak of it. Ever. No matter your “whether”, it haunts you in inexplicable ways.

Maybe you wondered who would believe you. Maybe you questioned whether you were just as much to blame – or more so. Maybe you believed that “nothing” really happened because everyone gets bullied, felt up, yelled at, punched, touched in inappropriate ways. Maybe you were threatened.

I know all that. Personally. I was sure that I was to blame. That I did something to make it happen. That I did something to make it NOT stop happening. That my not telling anyone was a sign of my fear of my assailant who claimed he would inflict harm on those I loved; but also that my silence was a sign of my weakness and my manipulated thinking that I actually liked or deserved the abuse. Such assaults involve a cleverly planned redesign of facts and truths that amount to total control by one and total fear by the other. And assailants are infamous for their mastery of these mind games.

I was at the top of my class in school and I was failing life. And no one knew. I was that good at keeping silent; he was that good at making sure the rules were clear. There was no class in combating the mind games of an assailant.

And then I discovered that he was torturing other girls . . .

Only then did I escape my own torture – this time. I tried to save one other girl but she refused in fear; she was in too deep. And I never told anyone else. I couldn’t speak it – there would be consequences for her.

I have lived with the shame of what happened to me. And I have lived with the shame of not telling anyone then, since, and now. And I have lived with the shame of what that silence has undoubtedly meant to so many others he was abusing then and those he would go on to abuse.

Those of us who live with a history of abuse often choose to stay silent. That kind of fear and shame does not suddenly find a voice of strength and courage against the masses of support and love that the perpetrator has created for their public persona. We know who we’re up against. We know it will be “I said vs they said”. There is rarely evidence. Not months, years, decades later.

Some victims suicide. (I considered it often.)

Others experience a lifetime of depression and/or PTSD. (I know.)

Some choose addictions or self-harm for reasons they may know but will never divulge in order to numb what happened. (I understand.)

Decades-old death threats (even in the face of today’s logic) do not simply dissipate into a shrug of “how could I have ever believed that I – or the people I loved – would ever be harmed?” Sometimes, there was blatant proof of what the assailant would and could do. But rarely does a victim need proof. The threat is enough.

**

I needed to check my reality recently. There has been so much news that I can’t seem to escape and so much internal confusion to keep the past from being my present. I asked a friend if it was any different for him having been severely and repeatedly bullied decades ago from grade school through high school. He told nobody then because he knew of no one to tell who wouldn’t make his situation worse. His silence to this day remains his shame. And his voice today drops to a hissed, angry whisper when he speaks of the time that perhaps now explains his lack of self-esteem as well as the other demons he battles. He is an abused man, wounded decades ago and still bandaging those same wounds today but there is not enough antiseptic to cleanse the shame.

I listened to his low growl and realized that I hadn’t understood how far-reaching “assault” can be defined and how, no matter the method, the repercussions remain the same. In fact, I once dared use that 4-letter R-word (I have difficulty saying and writing it) and someone asked me to explain what I meant in detail – insinuating that I may have misunderstood the meaning, that I didn’t know. I suddenly realized that they didn’t know.

If I reported my assailants today – because yes, I was one who fell into the pattern that confused a lack of self worth with deserving more abuse –, it would be simple for each of them to find hundreds of people to stand up for them, to confirm their outstanding characters.

I am certain that every recently accused priest would also have a crowd of at least 65 parishioners who would attest to their good name – 65 being today’s magical number, at least for Brett Kavanaugh.

Serial assailants live in a world where they are often revered. And they prey on those whose silence they can easily coerce. Whether it was a single event or years of continued abuse, they can bank on their victim’s inability to speak even as the assailant’s “other” community surrounds them with adoration. Their status means they can abuse with impunity, because nobody wants to think that they are capable of horrible things.

** 

A recent article on NPR focused on how to talk to our teens about the Brett Kavanaugh news.

I blanched. As if far too many kids couldn’t already explain it to us.

Are parents ready – will they know what to say – when their teen tells them about the abuser in their lives? Are parents ready to believe and not challenge? Are they prepared to get help so that their child will not continue the silence and shame that may haunt them for decades until the truth becomes that much more impossible to “prove”? Are they prepared to hear that someone they like and have always trusted is a person whom no one should like and no one should trust?

One of my assailants was the popular guy at school; he was a leader. Teachers liked him. Other students voted for him. My mother asked about him often.

If only I had been on that side of the playing field where the adoring fans sat and not trapped beneath the bleachers, locked in the prop closet, or held captive in a rarely used bathroom with a hand over my mouth and a whisper of what would happen if . . .

I can barely find my voice and I shake while I type this, but I’d like to say:

To Professor Blasey Ford: I believe you.

To those reading this and remembering a past they continue to hide: I believe you.

To those who are supporting someones: Believe them.

To the parents whose children may be brave enough to speak: Believe now; don’t encourage – don’t allow – decades of debilitating silence.

To the me who wrote this: I have always believed you.

I am sorry that I couldn’t speak up sooner.

**

#FindingMyVoice #Believe #MeToo

The next blog will be cheerful. Promise.
Sign up to our mailing list below for members-only deals on TiffinTalk cards and links to great relationship-building resources.



Kat is CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, a company that creates cards focused on different themes for different uses (therapy, parenting, coupling, and “senioring”); cards that are meant to be personalized, to engage in real time, face-to-face conversations. TiffinTalk’s FindingYourVoice line was perhaps Kat’s first attempt to find her own voice by creating cards for mental health professionals to use with with their client centering around specific themes. She understands the impact of a card that is addressed and personalized and how that simple act often has a profound impact in helping clients to find their own voices versus continuing to build walls of silence with mortar of shame. Professionals in private practices, in schools and universities, in larger organizations with inpatient and outpatient populations who want to ease into conversations around abuse might consider the following sets: Death of an Abuser, PTSD, or Trauma. But, they will also realize the importance of Self-Harm, Eating Disorders, Self-Confidence, and others. For parents, Kat recommends that you build face-to-face conversations via her Child & Teen line. When you are talking with your children about fun topics, oftentimes our kids let down their guard. Then call a professional! But keep on talking and use the cards to help guide you into conversations that elicit responses longer than a monosyllable. Talk is so incredibly important. Please see look through TiffinTalk's site or contact Kat directly - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Sunday, 16 September 2018 12:02

“You Can’t Save Them All” and Other Words of Advice I Can’t Stand to Hear

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Recently, I lost a teen to the world of her unwell mother. The presiding courts were in a different country and a different culture and will not rely on the expertise of mental health professionals – yet. It is changing, but those changes will be too late for this young woman as well as her brother. For them, the damage will be done.

I cry and I rage. Present tense. Still.

Friends and family have cried and raged with me. But occasionally, I would hear “You can’t save them all."

ARGH.

Sometimes I’d find myself in a controlled state of frustration trying to explain that I wasn’t trying to save the world; I was trying desperately to help this one young girl and her brother. Only 2 kids. Tops. It’s all I had room for. In my heart. In my family. In my simple home. Just these 2 kids.

And looking at the shock on the faces of those who thought they were being kind, I’d remind myself that I can’t simply explain this scenario to anyone and everyone and expect the perfect response when they can’t possibly know all that brought us to this point. I need to pick and choose the recipients of the stories of my freshly broken heart.

**

Don't get me wrong: I know that I have been guilty of the “meant-well reply” myself. But more and more lately, I try to shut up and ask internally “What would I need to hear?”.

Or better yet, ask the person before me, “What can I say to help?”

Or, better still, ask, “What shouldn’t I say to you right now?” Now, there's a question with a twist! And it has created room for breathe-able conversations!

With that question, I now watch and listen as people seem so relieved to rant about the painful and occasionally ridiculous remarks that others have made – and I have just saved myself from being one of those “others”. By asking what not to say, I’ve almost unintentionally given this person a safe place to have a mini tirade and then to laugh and live the moments that they need to live as they describe how life has been – or hasn’t been.

We are all guilty of making those offbeat remarks and they usually are in response to a loss – a moment of grief and grieving, whether it has just happened, is happening, or even if it happened days / weeks / months / years ago. The list of possible well-meaning slips is endless and you will recognize them and cringe (having said one yourself or having had it said to you):

  • One day they will come back to you. They will be grateful for all that you have done for them.
  • Thankfully you knew them as long as you did.
  • There must be a reason you lost this one now.
  • Luckily you can try again.
  • You can always remarry.
  • You should start dating.
  • You can always get another dog / cat / bird / gerbil / <pet> .
  • It was only a dog / cat / bird / hamster / goldfish / <pet> (Somehow the reptile and small mammal family are more easily dismissed.)

Grief is an amazing process. Going through the sadness and fury and the despair and moments of laughter is insanity. At times, I live in a roller coaster inside a washing machine. Often, and without warning, I drop from a high altitude and am speeding into a corkscrew and then am awash in every feeling from tormented sadness to extraordinary anger and even an inexplicable fear before being wrung out. By the end of this ride-cycle, I am  nauseous.

Mostly, I think I’ve got this all worked out and then I see something (food? pet? billboard?) or hear something (pop song? music from broadway musical? YouTuber laughing and ranting at the same time?) and I’m exhausted by sadness.

Sometimes, it's simply a smell or even the feel of something. Whatever it is, I start to cry. Sometimes sob.

If an event reminder pops up on the calendar or mail just keeps arriving anyway, I stare, I get flustered. I go blank and lose my place in time.

And this grieving process now triggers other losses from my past – different scenarios altogether, but losses nonetheless.

I also find that I compare my grief to someone else’s and try to quash my feelings, believing I have no right to feel x or y or z when compared to So-and-So and his loss, or My Good Friend and her loss, or a stranger in a war-torn country and their losses. Then I know I need to regroup: Would I ever accept someone else trying to ignore their grief by agonizing how it compares on a “Global Grief Scale”? No. Certainly not.

Still I feel like I can’t trust myself. How can I ever know who will stay? Anyone may go at any time. Others are taken. Still others are lost to a system that won’t help them out.

I haunt myself with what more I could have done and should have said. That, I know, is part of the process. Perhaps the spin cycle.

Circumstances be damned.

I can’t see the future well enough to trust it. I know the present. And I know I that I feel that I have failed.

Right now, though, if you take my hand and look me in the eye and tell me, “You did everything you could”, I would be grateful. 

Such a kind reply. And just what I need to hear.

Thank you.


Kat Rowan, CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, recommends talk. TiffinTalk’s different cards lines inspire face-to-face communications that may help us help others grieve. Loss is challenging. Talk at such times can be even harder. TiffinTalk’s FindingYourVoice line for mental health professionals and their clients can help break through fortresses of silence, to help with those topics that get “talked around” instead of “through”. Talking Across Generations specifically helps adult children share stories of past and present and crosses into discussions of loss and planning for loss. And the Child & Teen line reminds us all that talking with our children about the silly theme for the week can help them to talk about the harder topics such as bullying and grief that just don’t surface at the moment we are ready to hear them. TiffinTalk: Tech Off. Talk On.

Friday, 02 November 2018 11:56

blog school safety ptsd

We know that our children are being raised with extraordinary levels of anxiety these days. You might argue that your anxiety as a child or teen was just as horrific. But hell, you made it: you grew up and now you are raising your own family. So what’s the big deal?

I beg of you – just as we hated when our parents compared their growing up to our childhood – can we just stop comparing our childhood anxieties to those of our children today? When has a comparison of fear, anxiety, trauma, or bullying, ever led to a legitimate scale of whose feelings/reactions are more real? More worthy of attention? More painful?

I, for one, never feared a person entering my school with a weapon of any kind, with an intention to kill as many as possible – for revenge, for notoriety, or just for the sheer hell of it. I didn’t think twice of who walked down my hallway.

A stranger my own age or a strange adult in my school was merely reason to gossip: who was the newbie? There was no fear; there was intrigue.

But that was then.

And this is now.

Still, even as my own children began to face school with increased security, hall passes, guest check-ins, and security cameras, I remained oblivious. Teaching was happening. Homework. Tests. All the extracurricular stuff that my gas tank needed constant refills for. My kids seemed unaffected by what was slowly infiltrating their school days.

I'm not even sure when we reached that moment when doors were locked and every guest was buzzed in from the only entrance enter-able. It was strange when I needed to present my official ID to receive an official school ID just to cross from the security desk (when did they put that in?) to the guidance counselor’s office not five steps away to discuss colleges and the “after” life.

Early on, reports of rare, horrible events were far, far away from my daughters' still-young ears; my ability to control what they saw and what they heard was remarkable by today's standards. By the time they reached their tweens, social media had the eyes and ears of their friends and peers. And there was an uptick in life-and-death moments in schools. Kids were talking. I needed to listen.

I am still listening.

It’s so much easier to see that their school day has a level of anxiety that mine never had. Not with a fire drill, tornado drill, or even a nuclear threat.

Today, practice lockdowns have become so common place that some schools don’t inform parents before, during, or after the fact. Some schools are having them at least once a week but on different days and at different times. Lockdowns are the new numb routine. And they are not fun.

But it's all in the name of safety: Kids need to “know what to do” no matter where they are trapped – library, gymnasium, classroom, cafeteria. They will learn that they can use anything as a weapon. Really?? Someone please ask our student, staff, and faculty survivors: Why didn’t they toss their milk carton harder? Why didn’t they try to fight back with their calculator? Why didn't they spear the person with the ruler or compass from Geometry class? Why didn’t someone pick up the fire extinguisher and run full speed at the assailant with the rifle that was spraying bullets in every direction?

So many opportunities missed? Well, let’s keep practicing. Surely, we can train our kids and our staff how to react. Don't huddle. Scatter. Don't be still. Run like hell. Don't be silent. Scream loudly to confuse the attacker. Don't sit in the dark. Keep the lights on. Or is it the opposite of all those?

The one piece of advice that experts do agree on: Turn OFF the tech. The pings, ring, dings, and vibrations become targets. Social media meant for parents and first responders becomes a goldmine of location information for the assailant. Kids become focused on tech instead of on what is happening so that instructions for what to do and where to go are unheeded. If chaos and panic could possibly get worse, tech ensures that.

No matter your stance on arming our teachers/staff/admin (and hoping that they don’t ever “go postal” themselves), the real opportunities missed are slipping away.

Our schools are harbors for all who are suffering the effects of PTSD. It's true: they may not have been shot at; they may not have directly witnessed or heard the spray of bullets or have been forced to run from anyone weidling a weapon; but they are nonetheless experiencing trauma reactions to what they have seen in their own social media world. They are now reacting to the very threat that schools are attempting to alleviate. 

Too many of our schools are not providing equal and necessary attempts to engage our students, faculty, and staff in conversations. What if, for instance, schools offered just as much counseling as security?  Do you know how much money your school or district is spending on security? How much on counseling? Who will tell you? AND, do you agree with those priorities?

What if all kids had access to mental health services during the school day, where the school psychologists would be included in ALL health insurance plans with a $0 copay and $0 deductible?

What if no one needed to juggle after-school and after-work schedules to get to a counselor?

What if counseling was normalized?

Imagine.

Instead, students (and staff, too) are fearful and hypervigilant both in crowded hallways and deserted ones. A slammed locker is the cause of a full-blown anxiety attack. Students stampeding down a hallway is cause for alarm until you realize that they are on the track team and late for practice.

Yet many of our kids (and staff, as well) don’t even know what is happening to them: why do they feel so jumpy or irritable; why can they sense their heart racing; why does their chest suddenly hurt and breathing feels strange and difficult; why does their stomach lurch – repeatedly, but without reason . . . How can we expect anyone to describe symptoms of fear and panic that have no easily identifiable trigger? And to whom do we expect our kids (or staff!) to describe these odd sensations?

The director of a well-known private college counseling center told me recently that “kids should know (that) our center is open to anyone with problems”. Of course. Except that, like many other mental health conditions, PTSD comes with a sudden onset of symptoms – and these very symptoms can often occur long after an “obvious” event. And most of the time, those afflicted with symptoms cannot begin to express what they are feeling. Without notices around our university campuses and in our high school and middle school hallways that give kids clues as to what to look for in themselves or a friend, there is no conversation to be had. There is only more fear and confusion. More silence. More shame. More: "What's wrong with me??"

And let's be clear: PTSD does not differentiate by age, economic status, academic success or stress, race, gender, . . .  PTSD grabs anyone and everyone without bias and holds on tight.

Consider what school might be like if discussions regarding our mental health were not surrounded by stigma but treated with the same curiosity and respect as conversations regarding physical conditions? What if we talked at least as much about mental health as we do drugs, smoking, alcohol, or nutrition? In some schools, STD’s and birth control get more airtime if a student is not exempt and doesn't miss the one day of the only year when it is covered in class versus hallway conversations loaded with misinformation by questionable teen experts.

We cannot trust the unreliable chaos of social media to educate and help our kids feel safe in school.

The (unintended?) silence of our schools may be seen as administrators trying to hold controversy at bay while they are seen as being vigilant with security and instruction. They are doing the best they can. Undoubtedly. But not enough. Clearly.

I argue that the voices of our students must also be heard. These voices demand our attention and our respect. Not just after the fact, but long before a crisis happens."  How else can we best protect the very people we are meant to teach? Sadly, there's more to our curriculum today that must be included. 

One thing is very apparent: We need more voices than lockdowns.

It is time for schools to take charge. To create conversations. And to open up the doors to the offices of trained counselors and school psychologists. Academic success is short-lived when mental health conditions go unchecked. Lockdowns alone are not the answer. Arming people physically and not mentally is never the answer.

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It begins by talking with (not “to”) our school communities, with encouraging dialogues that involve parents, staff, faculty, and students (of most ages).

It begins with recognizing what everyone is experiencing within so that we can create a safer environment for all.

In a world that seems to fear voices, we need to strive harder to come together to raise our children to live fearlessly with endless conversations at home, at school, in our communities, and globally.

Talk is not just free; it's freedom.


Kat Rowan, CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, recommends talk. TiffinTalk’s different cards lines inspire face-to-face communications. TiffinTalk’s FindingYourVoice line for mental health professionals and students can help break through silences and shame. Themed sets include Self-Confidence; Anxiety, Fears, & Phobias; PTSD; Trauma; Self-Identity; and many others. Students are not immune to the struggles that silenced most of us at their age. TiffinTalk believes we can do better by today's kids. They also offer a Child & Teen line designed to engage parents as well as educators and specialists in meaningful, creative, and thought-provoking conversations. Talk should not be typed. Voices need to be heard.

TiffinTalk: Tech Off. Talk On.

Sunday, 02 September 2018 11:55

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It won't help us reach world peace at warp speed.

But I am convinced that if we all paid a little more attention to the smaller details in life and the people who accomplish them then maybe we could all have more peace . . .

For instance:

  • if we appreciated those who magically get the “little” things done (you know – those things you long ago stopped noticing how or when they got done because they’ve not been un-done in any memory you care to scare up); or
  • if we thanked people in our lives for the expected stuff that has become someone else’s “chore” (so much so that you don't bother being grateful that it's not your job); or
  • if we were grateful to those who do the “they're-better-at-it-anyway” stuff; or
  • if we noted with gratitude even a few of the someone elses who get things done because we assume that “they-have-more-time-to-do-it-because-after-all-they-work-from-home-or-don't-have-a-"real-job"-or-are-just-available"; or
  • if we expressed thanks to those who did the things that we just decided that we were "too-clueless-when-it-comes-to-whatever-THAT-is-and-besides-that-other-person-always-makes-it-look-easy-so-they-won't-mind-if-we-just-let-them-do-it"; or
  • or or or . . .

How many "thanks you's" are we missing every day?

The point is what if we just thanked each other more on the smaller scale, then who knows how far up the scale we could get? Maybe it’s not the immediate solution to world peace, but these are simple rungs on the peace ladder that we can climb. And it starts at home. And in our communities . . .

Imagine.

Not hard, right?

But the truth is – reality check! – that over time, much of what we do for our partner, our children, our family, our friends, our colleagues does go unnoticed. When we are “lucky”, we may get a texted “Thanks!” with an emoji or perhaps the equally brief email with exclamation points.

Most of the time, our deeds are not even nodded at / noticed / acknowledged. They are expected. And oftentimes, our well-done, good deed just leads to a request (or worse, an expectation) for more good deeds. Somehow there is some strange implied thank you when you are asked to take on more. And there is a strange (and estranged) implied gratitude when you "accept" the more to do – assuming you even had a choice or voice.

But when was the last time someone actually wrote you a note of thanks that filled even one side of the card or was scribbled on scrap paper or jotted on a napkin?

And – a bit of honesty here – when was the last time you left a handwritten note that simply said, “Dear <and you actually filled in a name>, I am so grateful when you empty the dishwasher! Love you! xxoo, <and you signed your name!!>”?

And if you did it recently, are you doing it enough? As in daily. As in find a different thing to appreciate each day; appreciate the hell out of that person; then randomly repeat the thank yous.

And you know what? Forget the damn paper on occasion. Because when was the last time, you looked someone in the eye – before they had a chance to look away and race to their next to-do – and really, truly thanked them with the appreciation deserving of a diplomatic peace treaty negotiation that avoided a government takeover? That thank you for making your day so much easier  for “just” filling the soap dispenser or for rinsing the entire sink of shaved facial hair or for taking amazing notes during the meeting? When was the last time you thanked the stranger doing the thankless job of cleaning a public restroom?

When have you done that? When have you intentionally seized the moments (plural) and filled it with heartfelt-I-notice-you gratitude? Written. And, spoken.

Now let me flip this one more time . . .

When was the last time you stewed because, yet again, no one noticed your effort, your time, your consistency? Maybe it didn’t even take much effort and who else was going to do it anyway? But still you stew. And stew. AND stew. AND STEW. Unnoticed. Unforgiving. Feeling entirely forgettable.

**

In our house and in my life, I have given people “permission” to point out what I miss. No stewing allowed.

Did the room get cleaned and I inner-noticed (I hope!) but said nothing? Is the bathtub white again? Did the lights get shut off? Did the toothbrush holder get de-scummed? Did the trash AND recycling get collected throughout and then dragged to the curb? (And did the bins make it back in?) Did the memo go out on time? Did the meeting go off without any pings, rings, or dings? Did x get accomplished? Did y happen without my even asking?

Tell me. Please tell me.

I want to appreciate you. I want to thank you. I want you to know that the little things you do are a big deal to me because when you do it, I don’t trip over myself trying to figure out when I will have to do it or who I will have to ask – yet again.

It’s done. And it’s you. And I thank you. I want to thank you. I don’t want you to be unnoticed.

And if when I forget, then I can also thank you for reminding me.

That's my rule with subrules. In my home and in my life, the rule of thanks and reminding to give thanks is in the top 10.

It's simple:

  • What you do is important to me.
  • Who you are is a gift to me.

And perhaps you are my small step to keeping peace.

On any scale.

**

PS: From Kat: Be the parent that "makes" your child write thank you notes. Handwritten ones. With envelopes. And stamps. (Yes, even if you are just mailing them back to your own home.) You'd be surprised how many children don't know how to write "thank you" or even how to properly address an envelope. And I guarantee you that you'll never meet a child-now-grown-up who resents their parents for having forced them to do such a thing . . . Hint: No one is in therapy for having to write "thank you" cards. Bonus: it is such a lost art, I guarantee you that your child will be delighted by the thank you's for their thank you . . .

PPS: This just in from my proofreading daughter #2: I definitely do agree with writing thank you notes as a kid; it was annoying but helpful (and made me practice spelling. Specifically remember figuring out “favorite” and “neighbor”!) Thank you . . .

Yes, we all still write notes to others and to each other.


Kat is CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, a company that creates cards focused on different themes for different uses (therapy, parenting, coupling, and “senioring”); cards that are meant to be personalized, to engage in real time, face-to-face conversations. Gratitude has become a binge word in that it makes many nauseous. The easiest way to show gratitude is via talking, talking in ways that become second nature so that "thank you's" become part of the conversations. Whether you are interested in bettering conversations at home, with students at school, with clients in therapy, with your own parents, or with your colleagues, TiffinTalk has got you covered. In an age where we unlearned how to talk face-to-face, TiffinTalk has got your back. Email Kat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to talk about talk. Thank you.

Tech Off. Talk On.

Monday, 27 August 2018 18:47

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You know how you “win some; you lose some”? Well, two years ago my youngest lost some.

Her plan went south; which meant, incidentally, that my plan also went south.

At first, it veered. Then it tumbled. And then it plummeted.

Her plan? Go to college. Her reality? Her health. And that translated to: staying home another 2 years and training a service dog.

So that then she could go to college.

And, for me, that translated to: so much for empty nest and downsizing and missing my daughters and re-thinking my life, what I could do, where I could go . . . And ended with how does one get a service dog? And holy cow! How does one afford a service dog?!

It actually meant that we both rethought our lives. And our plans.

To be honest, I took many deep breaths. In our family, when things don’t go as planned, the entire home almost runs out of air because each of us is taking so many deep breaths. We stress. We cry. We rant. We hyperventilate.

Then we get on with it. Don’t get me wrong: we still stress. But we begin to shift. To see opportunities. To create a new plan.

My daughter’s new plan? To work with a professional to train her black lab puppy to be her literal lifesaver so that she could live and work independently. It became her 24/7 job and it was hard work and then some. Her plan depended now on a dog that would go beyond house training, to polite dog training, to disability training. Sometimes a phenomenal dog may just balk at any stage along the way and then becomes a phenomenal pet and you must start again with a new plan. My daughter was – literally and figuratively – banking on this puppy.

Plus, my already mature young adult took on more responsibilities for her health; her life depended on it. She learned to advocate. She learned to navigate systems that most of us hang up on. She learned to read the fine print before signing. She learned to ask questions – and repeat answers for clarity. She learned to ask for names of anyone and everyone she spoke with. She learned to make copies and file every note, test result, medical and legal document. When she became tired of doctors doubting her vague but painful symptoms, she journaled in great detail. She became an insanely organized, medical maniac who could answer every question about her health – to the date, time, meal, weather, etc. OCD? Not so much. More like: “My life matters, thank you very much.”

My new plan? To help my daughter by getting out of her way. To continue to be available as her taxi because she’ll never drive and, with her dog still in training, public transport wouldn't be an option. To be her biggest supporter. To listen to her. To shove her into new, socially awkward (read: any and every social) moments. (Remember that her peer group had moved on. Being "stuck at home" with mom and a growing puppy is . . . well . . . isolating, no matter how cool a mom I try to be.) And ultimately to be grateful for unexpectedly getting 2 more years with her.

During this time, she taught me everything I still needed to know about parenting.

**

As with every moment of my daughters’ lives, they have always let me know when they were ready – from sleeping in their own bed to piercing ears to driving (or not). It’s not an age in our home; it’s a stage. And I have trusted them to clue me in.

Well, my youngest just clued me in. Her dog just passed all of her tests. The pupper-now-doggo is officially her service dog. And the two of them leave for college. Together. That’s the plan.

Perhaps it was the plan all along. Sometimes, we don’t see a plan coming because we are so engrossed in what we assume the plan is supposed to be.

She is soooooooo ready now. Scared and terrified, but ready.

I am sooooooooo ready for her. Note: for her; but not so much for me. I’m scared; yet, in many ways, I’m ready. I have to be.

We'll both walk tall.

One of us will have her service dog at her side, always worried how others will perceive her and always worried that her well-trained dog will show her best side at all times – lest anyone doubt either of them. She will always need to understand that, thankfully, neither of them is perfect. She will have the memories of how far she has come, of the additional steps she has taken to change plans and begin anew.

And one of us will have the memories of the 2 additional years she gave me as she taught me strength and a determination to succeed against the odds.

To hell with the plan. And to hell with the odds.

Sometimes you win some. And then sometimes you win some more.

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Kat is CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, a company that creates cards focused on different themes for different uses (therapy, parenting, coupling, and “senioring”); cards that are meant to be personalized, to engage in real time, face-to-face conversations. The original line, Child & Teen (formerly called Parent – Child & Teen) was written over 16 years: daily lunch notes on construction paper for her daughters. She and her daughters never missed an opportunity to talk and together remembering to breathe while creating new plans.

Sunday, 05 August 2018 20:52

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My armpits are lonely.

My cuddle cat passed away. She died. In my arms. 

She was a petite Siamese with that stubby, crooked Asian tail; whenever I pet her, my hand continued along the “cat tail arc” long after her actual tail had actually ended. What she lacked in tail, she gained in character – as if she needed any more.

Her favorite place to be was wherever I was. Under my feet – as I walked (cat-danced) down the stairs. At my side – when I fell down the stairs. Talking at me as I walked in the door – presumably to tell me about her day; I rarely ever got a word in edgewise. Like it mattered because her day was always more interesting: “Well, let’s see. I napped. Then I got up, stretched, turned around, and had a nap to recover. By then, the patch of sunshine had moved, so I had to get up again, and I hissed at the big guy who was blocking the light and then edged forward to avoid getting nipped at before sandwiching myself between the boys . . . ”

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She would walk across my desk with cat-like aim for every item she could step on, ruin, or topple. She’d send coded messages as she retyped whatever I was working on; in fact, she made certain that her paws struck as many letters as possible whilst standing solidly on one key: “delete”. All so that she could make her way to the hand cream pump which I’d try to hide further from her view (or my use). And then: LET the licking begin! She had a fetish for moisturizers – all types – in bottles or on bodies.

And no one (in our house, anyway) played soccer / football like this cat did. Medicine bottles, pens, boxes of tissues – okay, simply everything on my nightstand – was fair game at 4:30 in the morning. She was my alarm clock and she was set to go off way too early. The other cats would scream their distress at the possibility of being starved; they’d race back and forth across me in Olympic speed trials. But not my Siamese. She took a very direct approach: swat everything to the ground. One. Item. At. A. Time. SCORE. (Repeatedly and aggravatingly.) SCORE. SCORE. SCORE. She won every game. No intermissions. No refs making calls in my favor. If there was a cheer team, it would have been for her.

She was her own cat. The only female and the tiniest by far amongst four other males, two twice her weight. What she lacked in sheer body size, she gained in her polite stare that made you follow her gaze panicking, “Oh cripe! Is that an axe murderer, a moth, or a friggin’ cat-fur tumbleweed?” And heck, with those four big-boy felines, she knew how to swat back. I always taught my girls that hands were for hugging. But I think this girl understood that there were moments when a decisive paw smack at one of the boys would be a helluva lot more effective than an ear licking. And yet she gave them all baths – like it or not, need it or not. She was that kind of lady: a lover and a fighter.

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She was quirky. I couldn’t run the cannister vacuum without her screaming at me. Loudly. Over the vacuum’s whir-suck-shtzzzzz sound. She’d dodge in front of the vac’s long arm. Oddly, she wasn’t trying to protect me and she wasn’t trying to stop me; she was just pleading with me to vacuum her! Head to paws. Belly and back. She’d practically get sucked into the hose and she’d complain louder still when I had to move on to dusting which didn’t much interest her.

And she was a foot flopper: If I stood still long enough, she’d weave in and out and then flop over on top of my feet for belly rubs. If I moved away without giving her the full two-handed massage, then I moved away with tremendous guilt and I knew I’d hear about it later. (I think she had heard Sad Cat Diary. She was, at the very least, one of the contributors.)

Her main follow-me goal, however, was to wait for me to lie down. She was right there. Every time. Catnap, full-on overnight, or days in bed with the flu – it made no difference. She scouted which side she wanted to claim and then nose-dived under the covers, somehow turning around “down there” and burrowing back toward the head of the bed, coming to rest just short of my pillow and instead nuzzling into my armpit with her chin nestled comfortably just above. Now I was her pillow. And this would be my designated position for the remainder of such horizontal time. Prrr and good night. For more than 10 of her 12 years of yesterdays, this was how we slept together. It was how I slept.

She could read me, too, and knew what to do. Was I having a productive day? She’d be in my lap or she’d be on my desk trying to help me type (or edit by un-typing). Was I laughing with the kids? She’d turn into psycho kitty and go whizzing by us at full speed, fly to a sudden squatted stop, glance around with owl ears, and then dash off in another direction, stopping only to chase cat toys that normally collected dust; she was the entertainment. Was I confused and struggling? She’d hang out and talk and weave around me until I remembered to turn on my music for us both. Was I having a particularly rough day? I’d lie down and find her not in the usual armpit formation, but on me, paws over my shoulder, holding me down, body pressed tightly leaning into my tear-stained face so that I could clearly hear her the hum of her prrr: “You stay here until you’re better, okay? I’ve got you covered on this one.”

And then, she had troubles of her own, and they weren’t getting better.

There were so many signs beyond the obvious that she was not well. The other cats had stopped bothering her these past few weeks. Instead, they actually seemed to protect her as she began to hide. And the boys talked with me more. The tabby yowled and would appear in her place when I was horizontal. Our orange boy was even more unsettled, unusually more visible, and had increased his vocabulary and acoustic level considerably. The muted guy had taken to staring me down in the closet having decided to be her daytime guardian; he’d watch over her as they lay close together, nose-to-butt, no longer having sudden squabbles over whose nose to whose butt as she rarely changed positions any more. I slowly began to consider whether they knew what I was desperate not to know.

It was true that bits and bobs of her had been failing in these last few months. She was more wobbly, but she prevailed with this almost sexy cat walk to compensate for her weakening hind quarters. She was getting leaky, but cat diapers exist. (Really, they make cat diapers. Hole for the tail and everything. Who knew?) And still other odd things. Nothing seemed related. Her vet was concerned but “watchful” seemed like the appropriate action plan. She could have years still. That’s what I thought the vet thought. Or, maybe that’s what I hoped my armpit cat thought: years left, right?

Her routine slowed but stayed steady until this last week. She was suddenly more visible even as she was trying so hard not to be. But then I noticed she was done. She just couldn’t keep at it. Systems were failing without reason. With every reason. Just without logical reason. And without concern for me or my girls – as if her humans and her vet had any say at all. We didn’t.

Her body just gave up.

Today, I held her and sobbed as my youngest daughter stroked our cat of the last 10+ years and my oldest talked to her over the phone. Surreal. I’m sure that the whole world heard me screaming, “I’M NOT READY!”; I just hoped that she couldn’t hear me struggle. I was trying to be calm and not worry her, to tell her I loved her, to repeat over and over again how many people adored her and why. And I was trying to fight the urge to beg her to stay forever young. Forever well. I couldn’t do anything but sob and beg and sob and love and sob and calmly talk with her and . . . sob . . . I couldn’t get the damn balance right and I hoped she understood. It was all love. Every bit of what she last heard in this world was love. Garbled and heartfelt and messy and rushed and confused and hurt . . . but love. Lots of love.

And now I cannot understand how I will sleep without her.

This evening my crotch cat (the yowling tabby) is curled between my legs. The orange scaredy cat talked to me earlier, then dove under the bed where no one is supposed to know that he hides. And the guardian spent the latter part of today sitting and staring at the now-empty space in the depths of my closed that his buddy had claimed in her last days.

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The boys are making their peace.

My girls are sharing pictures and memories that make us all laugh and then cry and they are baking cookies – which you will soon understand. They are finding ways to grieve.

Me? I can't give her editing rights to random typos anymore. I can’t ever use the moisturizer on my desk. But I’ll never throw it out. Vacuuming will be easier. And harder.

And my armpits will never be warm again.

***

~ with love for Cookie, my little Siamese chattercat. I had searched the world for you. Who knew you’d find me in Singapore? You helped me through my many sleepless nights and my far too many fearful ones. I suspect you thought perhaps I’d be fine now without you; and that you knew I would always sense your presence in your absence. Every night. Though I miss you, I know you are with me.

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***

Kat Rowan, CEO and Creative Director of TiffinTalk, a card company dedicated to help people talk face-to-face. TiffinTalk’s many card lines includes FindingYourVoice for mental health professionals to give to their clients. She had long ago considered writing the set for “Grief and the Loss of a Pet”, a topic so many understand but feel they have to search for “the others” as we still stay closeted, somehow embarrassed or ashamed to be struggling with the loss of a non-human. She is reconsidering how to write this set in memory of Cookie. You can always talk to Kat. Reach her via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at 610-299-1107. And look at TiffinTalk online.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 22:44

 69 cards 02

  1. on a pillow
  2. under a pillow
    69 cards number 02
  3. under a sheet
  4. on a nightstand
  5. in the medicine cabinet
  6. tucked in the bathroom mirror
  7. on a toilet seat top
  8. in a pocket of pjs / robe
  9. tucked into exercise clothes
  10. in a shoe
  11. in a bagged lunch
  12. in a diaper bag
  13. in a briefcase / purse
  14. in a backpack
  15. placed against the laptop screen
  16. peeking out from under a keyboard
  17. tucked into an ipad case
  18. peeking out of that junk drawer
  19. in a coffee mug or taped to the bottom
  20. on a window sill
  21. in the fridge (under a recently purchased fav desert might be sweet)
  22. in the coffee canister
  23. clipped to the wall calendar (or tucked into the day-to-day calendar pages)
  24. tacked on the fridge
  25. taped to a cereal box, egg carton, breakfast bar, smoothie maker
  26. tacked to the kitchen cabinet
  27. in the silverware drawer
  28. in the underwear drawer
  29. tucked with a bookmark in a current book
  30. tucked into the morning newspaper
  31. on the dashboard
  32. on the front seat of the car
  33. on the windshield
  34. on a high chair / baby bouncer (out of reach of baby)
  35. taped to the tv
  36. threaded through a phone charger
  37. tucked under a dinner plate
  38. rubberbanded / taped to a wine bottle
  39. taped to the lawn mower engine or starter
  40. taped to the top of the grill (ummm . . . not inside, please)
  41. tacked to the lawn furniture / hammock / patio chair
  42. taped to the front door
  43. on top of or not-so-obviously hidden in your (not kids') bathroom reading material
  44. tacked to outer side of the shower curtain
  45. taped to a shower faucet (however, fyi: cards are not water proof)
  46. peaking out of a filing cabinet
  47. taped to the floor between bed and bath
  48. left by the jewelry or makeup
  49. left WITH (new) jewelry or makeup
  50. attached to Fido's collar (or tucked under his chin?)
    69 cards number 50
  51. visibly behind the fish tank / goldfish bowl or next to the cat's food bowl
  52. left inside the microwave
  53. tucked into bra or beltline
  54. taped to a light switch
  55. on the mantle
  56. taped to the top of takeout delivery (arranged in advance or immediately at the door)
  57. in a shirt breast pocket
    69 cards number 57
  58. in a sock drawer
  59. in the drapes/blinds
  60. on a windowpane
  61. in a coat pocket
  62. in the middle of a large stack of mail
  63. next to the razor / shaver or behind the toothbrushes
  64. in a ziploc bag in the freezer
  65. on a desk chair
  66. taped to the inside of the washing machine lid
  67. with an often-used sex toy, lube, book, or movie
  68. taped to the ceiling
  69. covering a just-the-two-of-you photo

That was 69 Places to . . .

Leave a Love Note.

Try it.

Don’t text it.

Trust me. Texting has it’s ooh moments.

But texts can also appear at THE most inappropriate times

and

the lack of an immediate reply can immediately be misinterpreted.

Plus, what about some immediate action to go with that immediate reaction?

If you can’t find just the cards you want,

try TiffinTalk’s Heart2Heart boxed set of 69 romantic, silly, sexy, intimate, loving cards

for 69 places and 69 ways to say (and remember how to say): I love you . . .

. . . and be loved right back.

 

Lovers love the message, not the text.

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