Survival in Pandemonium…

Survival in Pandemonium… my return to the cookie jar

Way back when, as a much younger freelance contributor for the now retired (online news platform) and the times before, I was able to run to the cookie jar. The cookie jar was a WordPress site I maintained. Even when I wasn’t actively blogging, I continued to visit the site often, if only to listen to music. The cookie jar was my escape from a very busy and all-consuming professional life that crept into so many spaces…

For those less familiar: I was a domestic violence advocate who spent many years within the silos (walls) of a confidential domestic violence shelter. Since I first entered the movement of helping survivors of many sorts (e.g., individuals and families labeled by someone’s standards as chronically homeless, survivors of sexual assault and/or human trafficking, etc.), I went on to serve as trainer, compliance manager, and several titles starting with director.  Needless to say I’ve seen a lot, heard even more.

By the very nature of the work, which spanned over a couple of decades, you could say that I’ve witnessed a lot of shifts in the social service and advocacy movements. Yes, I’ve seen my fair share of everyday disruptions and societal changes; many outside of our control. This includes me working nearly 60 hours each week, including on-call hours at the onset and throughout our times of COVID-19.

I can’t tell you how many days, nights, or hours I spent working with those who needed safety. I can only hope that I made a positive impact in the lives of the many wonderful people I encountered along the way. Fast forward to today. I’ve decided to share the next chapter of the lessons I’ve learned through photos I’ve taken over the years and lessons learned towards healing and self care. My travel time with loved ones, and infinite off days* is what has given me the most peace. I hope my journey and tips bring you peace as well.

*”…infinite off days…” is the term one of my daughters used to describe how proud of me she was for quitting my day job and starting my own. This is my way of climbing back into the cookie jar with a super-supportive community of others seeking and finding their truth.

Photo: Alconbury, a village in Cambridgeshire, England (approx. 1-1/2 hour from London)

Copyright © 2020 CJ/ All rights reserved. For blog and photograph terms of use, contact


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