Focus on Abilene: Key City Rhythm and Blues

Y’all I’m sitting out here at the Fedtival Gardens across from the Abilene Zoo listening to Kirk House and good lawdy this man has some soul! 


Key City Rhythm and Blues is a blues festival benefitting the United Way of Abilene. Kirk House is only the second act to go on and my money is very well spent! Get on out here and enjoy this beautiful weather and amazing music, and support your local community while you’re at!

If you can’t get out here, follow me on Insta for pics through the night!  

The Food Truck Park- More Than Just a Place to Eat

I’m sitting here at the Food Truck Park downtown on the corner of South First and Sycamore and I’ve got to admit, I’m kinda in love. 

  

If you’ve been living under a proverbial rock (or maybe a real one), the Food Truck Park is an awesome area with a rotating schedule of food trucks local to the Abilene area that come and serve lunch through the week and dinner on weekends and special events. It’s nothing too fancy, some rustic tables and a circle of food trucks, but what happens here, well, it’s magic. 

When you come to the Food Truck Park you can expect to enjoy the glorious Abilene weather and support some local businesses. They also have a lot of local musicians stop by to enhance your dining experience. 

But what might surprise you, is what happens once you get here. Yes the food is yummy and the music amazing (Andrew Holmes is playing tonight, and I love his sound), but that’s just the beginning. 

The real magic of this place comes in small children dancing with their grandparents in the grass. It’s young families sharing tables with retired military officers. It’s a pregnant woman with perfect hair and high heels sharing a meal with a young man in torn jeans and hemp sandals. It’s old friends meeting by chance and young lovers sharing ice cream under the strings of lights. 

The Food Truck Park is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat, it’s a place to build community. It’s a place where Abilenians can come together, share a bite, and share life. 

Check out their Facebook here

Sorry, not sorry

Back in September, I lost a pregnancy. It was an unexpected pregnancy and due to its nature was quite high risk, but the loss still shook me to my core. After the miscarriage, I went back on oral contraceptives. The artificial hormones mixed with the existing grief and I found myself falling quite quickly into a depressive state. 

I have an amazing husband and a few truly exceptional friends who have helped me through this and in the past month or so, I’ve started to finally feel more like myself. 

That being said, my self-care has had to be a very high priority for me and part of that self-care is not allowing negative people in my life whenever I can help it. If someone’s presence in my life brings more pain than joy, I find myself seriously considering if the relationship is something that I need right now, and frankly the answer might just be “no”.

So I’ve stopped spending time with some people and I’m quick with the “unfollow” and “unfriend” buttons, but that has been upsetting to some people. I can understand that. I’m sure it doesn’t feel particularly nice to be on the receiving end of that, but I’m sorry, I’m not sorry about that. 

I’m not trying to be rude or mean or cruel, but I have to look out for me right now. My husband and my sons deserve for me to be happy. I deserve to be happy. And right now, I just don’t have the free mind space for added negativity. 

Further, I shouldn’t feel sorry for looking out for myself. I do not owe any apologies for putting my own mental health first. 

I’m not writing this to stir the pot (though I’m sure some will see it that way). I’m writing this because there just may be someone else out there who is struggling to put themselves first, struggling to make their mental health a higher priority than avoiding stepping on any toes; and I want that person to know that it’s okay. 

It’s okay to look after yourself unapologetically. It’s okay to put yourself first. It’s okay to not be okay and you don’t owe anyone an apology for it. 

The Reason Everyone is So Easily Offended

The silly Starbucks cup has brought about another surge of incredibly offended people crying in outrage that they and their beliefs are being persecuted. Some folks though are noticing how easily offended people seem to be these days. After all, whether or not your coffee cup has a snowflake on it, really doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of the world. There are starving children who could eat for a month on the $5 you spent on your horribly offensive latte. People are outraged by the lack of a snowman but no one bats an eye at childhood hunger in what is supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the planet. 
I don’t blame the latte lobbyists. I don’t condemn them for their lack of world view. Instead, I see them as a sign of a much bigger problem in our society. 
We live in a society which thrives on being offended, outraged, and just plain angry all the time. There’s always something to complain about and always someone doing wrong by someone else. All this anger and grief isn’t the problem though. It’s the symptom. 
I’m reminded of this quote from Adolf Huxley: “Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

Our society has spent years and countless dollars selling us the lies of overcompensation and the “glamour of a good fight”. That’s all we watch on television. It’s all we want to hear about in music. We want the fight, the fear, the fleeting sense of adrenaline. We want the super dramatic life, because we’ve been conditioned to think that that’s where happiness can be found.

We’re so easily offended because we walk around looking for a fight so that if we win we might have a fleeting moment of happiness within the bloody victory. 

My friends, that is not true happiness. This jumping from one fight to another, that will never bring contentedness. True happiness, that true place of feeling perfectly content just as you are, is much simpler to find. 

It comes with the simplicity of a good meal shared with friends. It’s found in a child’s mud-covered smile. Happiness is found in living your day to day life with simplicity, kindness, and love. It’s not found in fancy things like red cup with snowflakes but in simple gestures like sharing a cup of plain black coffee with a stranger on the street corner, reading with an old woman, playing checkers with a veteran just returning home. 

No amount of Christmas decoration on a paper cup will fill the void that’s found in an unfulfilled life, but a little charity, maybe even some grace, those will make all the difference.