Meet gifted writer, Meg Ounsworth Steere whose blog is “about taking a deep breath living authentically and bravely and changing the narrative by finding hope and courage.” Meg’s work has been published in HuffPost, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and the journal for planning Education and Research, Sky Island Journal, Maria Shriver’s Sunday paper and on her blog: putyourownoxygenmaskonfirst.com. In this conversation, Meg speaks candidly, vulnerably about being a part of the “sandwich generation” and managing her own Rheumatoid Arthritis while caring for a mother diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer and also raising children.
Meg holds a BA in French Language and Literature and a Master's in Regional Planning, with a focus on community and economic development. The two places that have most influenced her life are Baxter State Park in northern Maine, where she was a park ranger, and the country of Madagascar, where she lived during college. These days, Meg spends her time writing, managing historic preservation projects, planning her next adventure, shuttling her kids to their activities, and volunteering for a variety of nonprofits. One of her nonprofit passions is being part of the US board for the Maya impact school in Guatemala, the first female indigenous-led Secondary School in Central America.
Highlights from the interview include:
“I took some time and worked through the guilt of not being the professional working mom, I thought I was going to be and that image of myself - if I don't earn a wage then I'm not valuable, and not contributing, and so it took a lot of practice to get beyond that.”
“I felt torn between being a sandwich generationer - I had very young kids and my mom was really young when she was diagnosed. And, I felt really stuck, to be honest, between the two and I couldn't give enough to either. And there was nothing left for me.”
“If you don't make room for exercise, now, you'll have to make room for illness later…. I woke up and said, “Today, I'm going to go for a walk and everything else took priority, right and all of a sudden it's five o'clock and it's not going to happen. But if I had a doctor's appointment, I would go. It was on the calendar. So I started scheduling exercise on the calendar, this is for my mental well being at this point. I would walk five minutes, and I just start streaming with tears, like, just so overwhelmed by life and the responsibility and sadness, guilt and grief, like all the feelings. And I just realized I had all these toxic emotional poisons just running through my body with no exit. And that is then fueling, of course, my rheumatoid arthritis.”
“"Every path has a puddle or two."
Find out more information about Meg:
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Instagram @megsteere5335; twitter @Misste259
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