I stumbled across this on Instagram the other day.  No idea who authored it.  Only 17 words and 3 puncuation marks and yet it made enough of an impact on me to save it, ponder it and, now, write about it.

The first two words jumped off my screen; capturing my attention immediately.  Your mission.  My first thoughts….my mission?  I have a mission.  I have a mission?  Do I have a mission?  I don’t think I have a mission.  I don’t have a mission, do I?  I don’t have a mission.  No mission for me.  Nope. <Anyone who knows me well knows this is how fast my brain works all the damn time>

Be so busy.  Next thought…nailed it.  I couldn’t get any busier if I tried and, trust me when I tell you, I’ve tried.  One husband, two kids, one dog, 11 chickens, two rabbits, two cats, three jobs, one blog, one obsession for poetry writing, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Had to throw in a Christmas reference. Sorry and let me issue this warning now…a Christmas blog is coming.

I barely have time most days to sit and just be.  Without thinking. Without wondering what else I could be doing or should be doing.  So I’ve nailed the “being so busy” part.

Loving your life.  Oh….be so busy loving your life.  Had to stop and think about that one.  I do love my life.  I have been blessed with incredible people to love, a roof over my head, food on my table, coffee at the ready, dancing, writing. I could go on. And on. And on.  I’m grateful.

But, what stopped me in my tracks, what made me sit and think about this picture, was the the next thought that entered my mind.  Am I so busy loving my life?  Or am I so busy doing other things that I fail to appreciate all the little wonders that appear before me every day?

Shit.  There’s a real possibiltity that the question I asked myself could be answered with a resounding yes.  When was the last time, I woke up in the morning, sat on the couch, coffeee in hand and enjoyed the fire in front of me.   Can’t remember.

When was the last time I walked along the trail and stopped to take in the sights, smells, and sounds.  Well, let’s see.  There was that one time…no…wait.  Just the other day I stopped and…nope.  I’m usually thinking aobut how I should be running or should be home doing something else.

So far, I’m failing.  Mission – nope.  Busy – yes.  Busy loving your life – nope.  Fuck.  Sorry.  I really try not to curse but I can’t help it.  I’m never good at editing myself in person and even though when I write I possess the power to backspace and delete, I don’t.  It’s me.  Get over it.

Moving on….you have no time for hate, regret or fear.  I don’t hate.  I used to.  I hated people and certain situations.  It took getting older and wiser to realize that having hate inside of you only does damage to your internal happiness not to anyone externally.

Regret.  Double edged sword for me. I try to live my life without feeling regret.  And I can say that I rarely ever regret my actions.  I act on my gut. In the moment.  Doing what feels right.  Trying to experience everything that is put in my path.

What I do regret is how my actions affect others. Or is it effect.  As long as I live I will never get those two right.  I do regret when I’ve hurt others because I haven’t thought about how my regret free actions impact those who have chosen to love me.

Fear.  Yikes.  I fear.  I fear all the time.  I fear the tangible. Heights. Bugs. Birds.  I fear what I cannot touch.  I fear failing.  I fear being hurt.  Hurting others.  I’m a walking contradicition, I know.  I fear letting people in who can change my life.  I fear change.

I’m all right with all of this because I try not to let the fear stop me.  That’s where the no regrets part comes in.  My desire to live life without regret outweighs my fears.

At the end of the day, I’m not nailing this mission.  Yes, I’ve made it my mission. I’m doing the best I can.  I am a work in progress.  I’m okay with that.

It’s a beautiful madness.  And it’s all mine.



I have for a long time written personal essays. Never really choosing to attempt anything new. Staying in my comfort zone.

I hate my comfort zone. It keeps me sane but very bored. I’ll never know what’s out there waiting for me if I don’t jump into the unknown.

So, I’m a poet. It may not be your cup of tea but I write for me. I enjoy when others enjoy it but it is for me.

I feel a lot. I think a lot. I write a lot. So if you feel inclined, follow me on Instagram at michellepjoyce. 


Childing 101


I love that we have begun using “adult” as a verb.  Take note of this definition from Urban Dictionary:

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.

Used in a sentence: Jane is adulting quite well today as she is on time for work promptly at 8am and appears well groomed.

Here’s the thing:  I think I’m actually moving backwards. Regressing.  Retreating.  Re…childing.  Is that a thing?  Maybe I’m not adulting anymore.  Maybe I’m childing.  I feel more like a child today than I ever have.  As the old saying goes…the proof is in the pudding.

Here’s my pudding.

College Michelle – worked full time, didn’t drink, didn’t sleep around, was in a serious, committed relationship, managed a 4.0 most of the time, had an apartment, a car payment and a dog, showed up for my 8 am classes smelling and looking good

“Adult” Michelle – works random part time jobs, drinks a little most times, drinks a lot sometimes, flirts all the time (my husband is aware), doesn’t really pay any bills, spends her time writing angry poetry, spends her time working on a novel, goes to the bus stop in pajamas with crazy bed head and is obsessed with running

What the hell happened?  Did I adult too young?  I think the answer is yes.  I didn’t have the typical college experience. Not to say that everyone has to go out and get rowdy to have a good time in college, but, the truth of the matter is, I love to get rowdy.  So why didn’t I?  I don’t know how to answer that.

Why have I reverted now?  Well, I’m sure that question is best answered by my therapist, but maybe I feel like I missed out on something.  I didn’t indulge in the selfish behavior one is supposed to indulge in during their 20s so they can get it out of their system.

Perhaps my “childing” is a result of feeling like I never got to be selfish.  The problem is….I have kids, and a husband.  I really can’t afford to be really selfish.  So, I take my selfishness where I can get it.  I write, I run, I drink, I flirt.  And I try to balance it all with taking care of my family.

These are all total random thoughts brought on by a conversation I had with a friend this morning about sleeping in. They said,”I had my fair share of sleeping in days.”  My first thought was I didn’t.  I never did.  I was responsible.  So, today perhaps I will lay in bed, watch movies, nap, eat nachos.

That would be childing 101….hiding in bed to avoid whatever it is I’m trying to avoid.  Alas, there are things to be done. So maybe I will write and lay in bed before I run.

I need a new verb.  I’m not adulting yet I can’t fully child. Any suggestions?

Random thoughts about weirdness

I’m weird.  I admit this.  I accept this. I embrace it.  Hell, I enjoy my weirdness.

I label myself with the title weird because this is how I think some people view me.  What seems “weird” to them is just who I am. I say what I feel, I won’t lie about it, and I won’t tell you something because I think you want to hear it.  I don’t have much of a filter.  I love meeting new people and, if I think you are fun, I will tell you and ask you everything I’ve ever wanted to know about you within 30 seconds of meeting you.  I love my family and friends with a passion and will do whatever to protect them.  I love to have fun.  If I see an empty laundry cart at a hotel and I think I can get away with it and won’t damage it, I will jump in it and ride it up and down the hallways.  I want to go everywhere and see everything.

I’m intense. This can be overwhelming to some people and I should apologize for it if it makes them uncomfortable, but I can’t.  This is me.  Accept it.  Embrace it or don’t embrace it.  Doesn’t much matter to me.  I’m not changing and if you are waiting for that to happen, well don’t hold your breath.  I’m 40 and I’m really comfortable in my own skin.

Now, for the best part.  My kids are weird.  They let their weirdness shine wherever we are and I look at this as a testament to good parenting. They are comfortable enough with themselves to let the weird out in front of anyone.  Honestly, I think it’s because they don’t know any different.  Mommy doesn’t much filter the stuff she says or the things she does, so why should they?

So, if you see me in the grocery store dancing up and down the aisles, if we run into each other at Walmart and I am calling to my children using our secret signal, if I meet you and ask you where you grew up, if you have any pets and if you want to get together and watch scary movies, I’m not sorry.  It’s me.


The Un-Decision

A few days ago would have been my 15th wedding anniversary to my first husband.  Keywords in that sentence: would, have and first.  My marriage didn’t last.  In fact, it was over in record time.  Okay, not Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries time, but, when you expect it to last forever, two years seems like a really short time to be married.

I think about my first marriage every October 28th.  Not because I long for what once was. <insert laughing> My marriage sucked.  My relationship sucked.  There was nothing that would cause longing in me.  I think about it because I am truly amazed at how far I’ve come in the last 13 years.

Thirteen years ago a decision was made.  A decision to end my marriage.  It was the best decision that was ever made for me.  That’s right, I didn’t make it.  My first husband and the woman he was sleeping with for six months of our two-year marriage decided they loved each other and wanted to be together.

Okay, it was not that cut and dry.  I caught them cheating.  He left and after months of indecision about the state of our marriage, he decided to leave me and pursue a relationship with her.

I fought for my marriage.  As insane as it seems, I wanted to stay in that miserable relationship.  I was not one who gave up easily.  I wanted to make it work so I wouldn’t be a statistic.  Granted, this is not a great reason to stay in a relationship but it was my reason and I was sticking with it.

Alas, it was not solely my decision and he chose otherwise.  It’s what I have started to refer to as my un-decision.  A decision for which I had no choice but to accept the consequences. It was this decision that turned out to be the best decision of my life.

I had spent eight long years in a relationship in which I felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole.  I was emotionally and verbally abused.  I was too weak to make the change I knew I needed to make.  

His decision for me led me to the three greatest decisions of my life. Decisions I chose this time.  They are, in order of appearance: Kevin, Maddie, and Jane.  Without being forced out of my first marriage, I never would have had the chance to start a relationship with someone who truly accepts me and my special brand of craziness.  Without him, I would never had the joy of giving birth to the two most precious gifts God has ever bestowed upon me.  All of these wonderful things started with the un-decision.

So on October 28th, I choose to celebrate the un-decision.  As a type A, control freak, I am not one who likes to give up decision-making.  I long to believe that I am in control of my life at all times. This vastly differs from what I know to be true.  Yet, I hang on to the illusion that I know what I’m doing.  

For the most part I do.  I make little, inconsequential decisions every day.  I make big decisions sometimes.  And other times, they are made for me. I’ve learned to embrace it.  For the best moments of my life could come from someone else deciding something for me.   And at the end of the day I have learned how to cope, adapt, persevere.  I’ve learned to be okay with whatever happens.

be okay