A lot of you know that I moved to Missouri back in November. One thing I miss the most about Phoenix is the hiking trails. Prior to moving, I had gotten into hiking again, which felt amazing. I did the Piestewa Peak Circumference Trail/Freedom Trail 302 regularly, which is about 3.5-4 miles with a 1200ft cumulative elevation gain. It meets up with the Summit trail from the back side of the mountain and then goes back around and down. I was starting to get back into shape, and it was positively affecting my mental health. It’s been tough.
This weekend on a whim, I decided to head down to Lake of the Ozarks to get out of town and check out the hiking. Jade and I went to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and hiked 2.5 miles total of the Castle and Quarry Trails. I am SUCH a proud Mama. Jade was a rockstar. I did a couple of minutes of light jogging throughout, and it was only a little sore.
Something else I want to mention is my hiatus from social media over the past several months. The toxicity is real, and my mental health needed a break. Being a healthcare professional in the middle of a global pandemic is hard enough. Seeing the internet become a source of contention for the very things I do every day to protect and heal people was too much. It’s one thing to share personal stories in an effort to raise awareness. It is irresponsible to share influential stories and not put them into context. What I mean by that is if I am going to share something that happened to me with the goal of helping people, I am also going to be transparent about the actual risk of said event happening (in this case, 1 to 2 out of every 1,000,000 influenza vaccinations). This way, people can make an informed decision as opposed to an emotional one based on the story of someone they know on the internet that failed to mention that the odds of it happening to them are, well, what I said above. I will also add that putting yourself out there online opens one up to the shower of feedback, opinions, and also trolls and hatred unfortunately. If you don’t want other people’s opinions and comments, don’t post on the internet. (And don’t tell someone it’s not their arena to respond because it’s someone else’s wall. Again, you post it, you open that door.) The other issue I want to address is jumping straight to telling someone they’re gaslighting when they’re not. It makes no sense to tell someone their actual story is misinformation. Right? Who does that? Giving feedback to suggest being more responsible with the context of a legitimate (and significantly disturbing) experience in a time where misinformation is rampant and deciding to interpret that as gaslighting is gaslighting in and of itself. It makes me sad that I even have to talk about this, but I have had a lot of thoughts brewing during these last few months and I am done staying silent. I have learned that jumping into the comments section of things like this doesn’t serve me or the people reading. Nobody wants to hear anything that doesn’t fit their narrative. It all falls on deaf ears and/or gets misinterpreted. I also know that sometimes no matter how hard I try to be clear, my message doesn’t always come across how I intend it to when put into words in a text, email, chat, or online forum. I am much better having actual conversations with people. For those who were compassionate and emotionally intelligent with their comments, thank you. The world needs more people like you. <3 For those of you who weren’t, I hope you have the day you deserve.
Now that I have that off of my chest, let’s talk about how gorgeous Lake of the Ozarks is! I am staying in a condo on Osage Beach overlooking the lake. I needed this for my mental health. This move has not been a cake walk. I am grateful AF for what I have, but I have moved to a new town that is small where I know next to no one, and my favorite source for physical fitness is all but nonexistant. Thank God for Jade and good friends even if they are 2000 miles away ◡̈ .
Bedroom Lake View
No matter where she goes. she finds a Couch Perch.
I discovered quite possibly the BEST Clam Chowder I have every had in my life last night. Tucker’s Shuckers Oyster and Tap here in Osage Beach makes it. I am heading out the door now to go get some more. After all, I hiked 2.5 miles today! Ya’ll take care, be kind to one another, and I will see you again soon.
Stacey and Jade