Saturday, March 3, 2018

Juice Boxes and Printer Ink

Gwyneth Paltrow has a magazine. You can pick up a copy of Goop for $14.99.

Rest in that for a minute.

She's a talented, award winning actress. She cleverly recommends restaurants and places to shop in cities around the world. She's a fan of cupping. She has written a lifestyle book that includes recipes which require some shopping that is not for the faint of hear.

And, now she has a magazine.

I'm not jealous. I'm in awe.

Today, I have not put on makeup. Instead, I slapped on some banana honey mask G placed in my stocking and watched the Baylor men's basketball team lose to Kansas State.

(This season has about wrecked me. The talent we have. The coach who I like. The timeouts we never seem to keep for the entirety of the game. Oh, I'm so hopeful for a bid to the Big Dance. And, then, I'll have Baylor go all the way in my bracket, anxiously awaiting for them to arrive at the Final Four here in San Antonio.)

(Probably won't happen.)

I saw the Gwyneth magazine while running an after-work errand at Target. My family was dispersed to different activities. G was at school manning the weight room. Camille/Simone was at gymnastics. Caroline was at Wednesday night supper and Awanas.

I arrived home from work with two items remaining in my third part. Vote in the primary, and pick up printer ink and juice boxes.

With voter card in hand and actively participating in a group text with like-minded co-workers, I arrived at my early voting polling location. No line. No surprise. I walked out after a few quick screen taps with a sticker that reads 'I voted.' I don't have to wear that sticker because, duh, I voted.

My parents raised my sisters and I to vote. I remember receiving ballots at school in the mail with my dad's instructions on how to vote. Impressionable then and influenced by my parent's political beliefs, I typically adhered to his instructions. Now, he doesn't even try to suggest candidates for my selection. We differ slightly in how we vote. That's a big slightly difference.

Guess what I did this year? I ordered Chris a mail-in ballot. It is being sent up to him at school. I won't send along instructions, but I will encourage, nudge, pester him to fill it out and mail back.

Y'all, voting takes no time. It's important. People went to jail for me to have the right to vote. There were some people who thought my husband, son and soon, my daughters couldn't be informed voters because of the color of their skin. Go vote. Really. Vote.

Seriously, vote. Make sure your voice is heard. I mean, Gwyneth is using her voice to share thoughts on some bee-venom treatments so please, use your voice to decide who represents you and your family.

After voting, I headed over to Target to pick up a carton of juice boxes and black printer ink. Knowing the printer ink was a significant investment, I tried to limit my 'because I'm at Target so why not stroll every aisle and find unnecessary in reality, but so necessary in fantasy' items. I ended up getting some Easter basket goodies (a full month away) and some other groceries along with the required purchases.

As I walked up to check out, I noticed Goop the magazine. In the middle of the group text, which is extremely entertaining because it is our outlet to share thoughts, gifs and memes we wouldn't put out on social media, I added the line about the expense of a Goop magazine. It came after a sentence on debunking a story a current candidate is promoting. I still voted for said candidate but his belief on an issue that is not really related to the position for which he is running made me take pause.

There are so many thoughts, ideas, opinions, stories, websites, blog posts and the like on more topics we could care to know about. From why curling is the up and coming sport of choice to how Baylor men's basketball can make the NCAA tournament, there are many, many words.

I find that in my fourth parts I can get lost in the words. If I'm not careful, I can find myself deep on a trail that leads to frustration, profanity and tears. I mean it is hard not to get wrapped up in thoughts that have very little meaning or importance to me, my life, my family, my religion, my beliefs, my everything. Yet, there I go sometimes. Clicking here, there and everywhere.

Take juice boxes. I mean, my girls need a beverage at lunch. While I would prefer they thermos up some organic, untreated by hormone milk, the reality is they prefer a sleeve of the most artificially-flavored juice. It's a sip or two of dyes and sugar with water. My girls show more care on the type of container the juice comes in than the healthiness of it. (We do not like the kind that you stab the straw between the top fold of the the package. I cannot even get it in there. I end up poking a couple of holes and juice starts leaking. For the record, we are straight up Capri Sun people.)

If I searched for juice boxes in Google, I'd find places to purchase and the top 10 or the most flavorful or the best for 8-year-old girls. If I searched for juice boxes in Pinterest, I would find how to create my own with labeling and recipes. (Lord.) If I searched for juice boxes on Twitter, I'm sure I could see lots of thought on the good and the bad. If I searched for juice boxes on Instagram, I would see some pretty amazing staged, filtered pictures of sweet children wearing white drinking and not spilling while sitting in a field of daisies not in the middle of a loud cafeteria.

Let's be clear, I'm not searching for juice boxes anywhere but Target or the grocery store.

Just like I'm not searching for information from Gwyneth and her $14.99 magazine.

But I will share information with my co-workers in our group text on politics. I will also share thoughts on how it is critical we vote.

I'd like to think the reason we were out of black printer ink is because I had printed off letters to my senators and representatives sharing my thoughts. I've got lots of information to share with them. Rather, I think the printer ink ran out because of school projects.

It didn't run out because I was printing up my own magazine.

I wish the ink ran out because I was printing off chapters of the book I know I have in me. I want to add to the words, thoughts and opinions out there. I want to share mine.

I haven't slept well the last few nights and for the past couple of weeks I've been hearing a voice, feeling a nudge and having a feeling. It's kind of an un-rest kind of thing. It's a stirring of emotion around my words.

I enjoy writing. I like the feeling of my fingers quickly tapping on the keyboard trying to keep up with the thoughts in my head. I enjoy the challenge of sticking to one tense in a sentence (it's a challenge for me, people) and using active voice. I strive to be funnier and more clever in my words.

So, when I see Gwyneth on the cover of a $14.99 magazine and I tap out a text to my co-workers, I put words out there.

Get ready for my words. They're coming. I'm going to share. I'm going to be brave. I'm going to use my voice.

My fourth parts will never be more fulfilling and fruitful then they will be in these next months.

Maybe I'll submit an article to Goop.