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Writer, Mental Health Advocate, Mother, Runner, Healthy Living Advocate and “Yaya”
Image of the author, by the author

Though my name is Lisa, it is slowly being overtaken by those who now call me Yaya.

I originally hail from southern New Jersey and have lived in Florida for 11 years now. I am 56 and have 3 adult children, 21, 25 & 27 years old. My 2 grandchildren are 3 1/2 years old and 9 months.

The New Jersey I was raised in is nothing like the Real Housewives of New Jersey or The Jersey Shore show. We were a stone’s throw from Philadelphia and hours, lots of hours, from New York City.

I don’t fistfight, throw down…

I had ’80s hair for 30 years because I am too polite

Image by Bianca van Dijk from Pixabay

I have a lot of thick hair.

My teen years were filled with hairspray to keep the teased and elevated hair locked in place. All the trying-too-hard-to-be glamorous girls were doing it. I did it so well that I continued into my 20s, 30s, and even a little beyond my 40s.

Okay, I maintained this process past my 40s and into the early stages of being a 50 year old.

“The higher the hair, the closer to God.” ― Karin Gillespie, A Dollar Short: The Bottom Dollar Girls Go Hollywood

The Rockin’ 80s

Back in the day, in the ’70s and ’80s, there seemed to be two choices:

  1. Lots and…

It’s totally worth it, and I’ll tell you why

Image by alfred mzigula from Pixabay

I lied to my kids early on and I wouldn’t change a thing. I swear.

It seems like I am being pressured to do some atoning, though.

Apparently, my motherly sins (a totally subjective term, mind you) were plentiful.

Now that my kids are in their early to mid-20s, some interesting revelations are being made.

They now discuss how much they were lied to as kids. But, let’s face it, my comeback was, “You guys lied just as much, to your Dad and me, about worse things!”

Looks like, upon further inspection, that whoever lied did so for survival. We all were just a bunch of lying fools. …

You may be surprised what this old lady thinks

Image by Busani Ncube from Pixabay

There is a joy in being referred to as a GILF

As a grandmother, twice over, I feel a sense of pride in the backhanded compliment.

There can be drawbacks.

The popularity of MILF took hold over almost two decades ago. Depending on how you were raised, your personal life experiences, and maybe even your moral barometer, the initial reactions ranged from gasps to snickers. In the classic form of acronyms, the more it was used over time, the less sensational the reaction.

Let’s face it, the F word evokes feelings. Some good, some bad, but definite reactions come to the forefront upon hearing the word.

I never took offense if…

But I really didn’t want to

Image by David Karich from Pixabay

Autumn in New Jersey, a small state on the east coast of the United States, is stunning with the array of colors offered by the changing leaves and quite crisp. We lived in a quintessential Victorian town, Wenonah, that could have been the backdrop for a Normal Rockwell painting. It had tree-lined streets, a centrally located park to hold the annual town celebrations, and an elementary school. Every offering was easily within walking distance in this 1.1 square mile town.

My husband was raised in Wenonah and loved that his own kids were going to his childhood school. …

I need feedback for the best choice

Image by efes from Pixabay

Yes, that girl is me. I have a name, and I have choices, but nothing feels quite right. Putting on jeans, with all that structure involved, is doable but do they feel as right as my bleach-stained yoga pants?

They both work, but which is preferable when neither one is 100%? I crave a perfect answer, not just a quick fix like throwing on pants because someone is at the door.

Not just any name will do.

Do I go back to my maiden name?

It’s the stupid stuff that keeps me awake at night. Of course, stupidity is subjective. …

The names may change but the story is the same

Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash

The straw spun aimlessly on its own. The remaining slivers of ice cubes swirled as the vodka with club soda diluted in the late afternoon warmth. The curse of a sunny waterfront patio bar never outweighed the visual magnificence of the super-yachts docked all around it. Mentally a thousand miles away, her eyes weren’t focused on the setting sun leaving its magic across the water. Brilliant reds and oranges danced across the top of the slow-moving current.

The heaviness in her heart was off-putting. She despised succumbing to emotional weakness and did her best to avoid it. …

Image by stefanopanizzo from Pixabay

I am not the nicest person.

I had no idea until today.

Penelope Mayfield is much nicer.

Apparently, she suffers from the same malady involving a misinterpretation of the claps on our stories. Deep inside, we all know that our earnings on Medium are based on internal reading times.

But let’s discuss our very sensitive psyches.

I, like Penelope, extend 50 claps. I show my support for fighting the good fight. It’s not easy being a writer. I appreciate you.

Claps are not report cards.

But, they matter.

Crestfallen when I receive a strange number; I grieve. …

I don’t understand their philosophy

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Inclusion means equal acceptance of everything.

The exclusion of people is a thing, too.


It seems that some are so inclusionary that they include excluding others.

At least that’s the vibe I get from those who cry for inclusivity while loudly protesting, with anger or disdain, those who don’t fall in line with their own personal agenda.

How does that work?

The definition of inclusivity uses “not excluding” for examples in social welfare, sociology, and government, politics & diplomacy.

By default, I am less likely to back your cause while you step on mine.

Where does denigrating others fit in your battle cry for inclusivity?

Live and let live.

The rewards of this job will outweigh the pain one day

Image by giselaatje from Pixabay

There’s nothing to see here, folks, so move along.

Oh, many weren’t looking anyway. So many never really do. This job is confusing to most people. They make their quick determinations based on surface speculations and go on with their lives. They discount the difficulty and are seemingly unaware of the devotion and dedication required.

People don’t realize that close to 3 million of us in the United States hold this coveted position. Yes, I am merely a drop in the ocean of millions.

But, I matter.

Even as just a droplet, I will make unending ripples in the sea…

Lisa Gerard Braun

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