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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Dinner Parties, Tattoos, and Certifications

Where is she going with this is; is what some of you may be thinking with that title... Is she finally going to admit that she is certifiable? Remember, I had a friend threaten to have me committed if I did not willing seek help for suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, I have managed to avoid being certifiable...for now. I am sure that friend on occasion may wish they had committed me. To know me is to love me....


Well here we are rounding the bend into August, I am starting to believe one of the symptoms of COVID is losing track of time. I swear I was just putting away Christmas decorations. Now I am buying school supplies for when we open Morris Academy next month. Our wonderful nanny who is such a blessing to our family has agreed to be the official headmaster. We are so fortunate to have a person who loves our children as much as we do. Monster tendencies and all.


It is bizarre to feel some level of confidence that you can provide an enriching environment without sending your kids to school. If you had asked me this when I was putting away my holiday decorations I would have thought you were certifiable. A level of peace in knowing that my kids are a decade plus away from college and that zoom will be the unofficial hero of 2020 ( along with our nanny). We are really settling in to this level of normal. Mask wearing, social distancing, remote learning, remote working, slower way of life. A time to try and integrate in the things you missed pre COVID and in my case pre suicide.


Tonight we are having people over for dinner. A real deal dinner party. People who are part of our bubble. Nothing fancy, Mexican themed because it really is a fiesta of sorts. I love to host dinner parties. Fortunately my husband supports this love of mine. I love to plan menus' , tablescape, and focus on all the little details that make people feel welcomed. I do this is even if its just pizza. In my opinion it is the little things and bits of happy that make people feel special. Something normal for me and for us.


School and dinner parties....a bit of routine on how us Morris' roll.


If you know me professionally you know I am high achieving. I have advanced degrees, a penchant for tackling the project everyone avoids, a passion for bird-dogging the finest of details to provide the most comprehensive overview. If I am going to do something I am going to do it right. I learned this from my first boss who is a force of nature. She is someone I will always respect and admired. She taught me how to be strong and that I could run with the boys. A tenacity that I will be forever grateful for. I have been fortunate that my subsequent bosses have supported me in that. Have always encouraged my drive and want for learning more and growing.


This summer my goal was to earn my CHFP and CSAF; two healthcare finance certifications. Well...I passed my CSAF and failed my CHFP by .7 tenths of a point. I shared this with my boss who replied " im not surprised you failed, no one understand the US health finance system," this made me smile. As much as my bosses drive me crazy, they support me and push me to grow and succeed. While I am annoyed I failed, I actually laughed when I got the results. It was such a moment of who the hell thought Id be here 9 months ago. I was on a fast track to rock bottom last summer. Here I am earning finance certifications. Here I am doing something that means the world to me. Professional growth. These four letters which truly don't mean much, mean the world to me. It gave me a confidence that I have been missing. That my spirit is still very much inside. The strength I have been struggling to see in myself is there. The strength I know I will need as I navigate the waves of highs and lows. The strength to actually talk to my friends when things are shaky versus waiting till it gets to be too much.


I have been toying with the idea of getting some new ink. I already have a few tattoos, nothing scandalous, they are on my back. Back when I wasn't worried about frightening beach goers in a two piece, you could see them. This weekend I made the decision to add to my collection. The ink I am getting is a semi colon. This is not due to my love of words and grammar. Maybe you are familiar with #projectsemicolon. The semi colon tattoo is symbolic of those who have survived, support, or battle suicide, depression, addiction, and mental health issues. It symbolizes that our stories aren't over. I am getting it on the inside wrist of my left wrist. The hand that contains your "vena amoris" or vein of love. The same hand my wedding bands lie on. A tangible of my battle. A place to hold or rub when I need a reminder of how far I have come on my journey. A reminder of how far I have yet to go. Grammar dictates that only one semi colon should be used in a sentence as you are bridging two clauses together. If you need more than make one period and add more sentences. My life is not going to be grammatically correct. My life is going to be a series of clauses bridged together. The more semi colons I add the longer my story goes on.


For now my clause contains certifications, dinner parties, and tattoos. An odd combination but like I said before, I am not living a grammatically correct life. I am simply living.

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