Midnight Thoughts

That moment when you finally open your laptop and your email greets you. The same email that you didn’t pay attention to on your phone earlier because sometimes you need to disconnect.

You do a double-take as you scroll through your new mail, suddenly realizing that there’s an email there from a friend who lives in Europe. And it brings you to tears as you read her heartfelt sentiments and smile at the beautiful pictures of her family. You think of how much you miss her and how fortunate you are to have her in your life.

You stop for a moment because you need to wipe the tears from your eyes and regain your composure. So you sit for a moment and take stock. The silence of the winter night is upon you, and you curl up listening to the sweet sounds of your dog and husband sleeping. Only to be accompanied by the occasional snowplow working diligently to tend to Mother Nature’s follies.

You wonder how a heart can feel so many emotions all at once. It reminds you of how the rain fell with such intent in the early morning- intricately glazing the roads. And how it transformed in the blink of an eye into big flakes of snow, mischievously peppering the trees with a menagerie of icicles and snow dust. Strangely it felt like a nod to how life changes so damn fast; and how it doesn’t.

At that moment, you reflect on timing and serendipity. What if the catalyst that made you say “I’ve had enough” had never happened? What if you hadn’t picked up your laptop and seen that email? What if you finally decided to stop living for “what if?” and just started living? You’ve felt off balance. Your heart has been yearning to put it all down, but your mind has been fighting it. Admittance can be so hard. But it can also be freeing.

Your thoughts drift back to one of your dear friends who called you brave because you made such a big leap. You had never really thought of yourself as courageous. Strong yes, but brave not so much; until you remembered your vulnerability. You think about your other dear friend who talked you down from the ledge when your anxiety-riddled you with hesitation, more what-ifs, and why me? And how she calmed you down and made you laugh. When she said, “why not you?” you took a deep breath, smiled, and for the first time, you thought it too.

You smile when you remember the moments that have been such an integral part of your being, each one reminding you that with each breath and each exchange, there’s an opportunity. And you can act upon it. You realize that you’ve chosen to surround yourself with people who hold you up and not drag you down.

You think about all the dear friends who had continued to support and encourage you – believing in you, even when you didn’t believe in yourself. Until you did, that is. You think about how they have made you laugh, made you feel, and even called you out. And when you took the road less traveled, messed it up royally, or just detached yourself for a while, well, they never left your side. They never passed judgment. We are who we are — imperfect creatures just trying to make our way on the silly boat (and occasionally jumping into the sea of ridiculousness). You think about how hard it would be to navigate without them and count your blessings because they are in your life.

And when you reflect on the moments that led you to where you are right now, you are mystified at how the universe works. It’s always at play.

As the night wears on, you think about the unconditional love from a husband who told you how proud he is of you and inside you smile because you are proud of yourself too. Suddenly, you jolted back to that scary night a couple of weeks ago when you ended up in the ER; and when you had a break down one morning because you felt so defeated by your own body (and maybe even your spirit too). At that moment, your hero hugged you and told you it would all be okay. You cried a little harder because that’s what you needed to hear. And you persevered.

You think for a moment, “wow, should I be sharing all this?” But you keep going because this is who you are. So what if you have a big heart and compassion. So what if you cry. It doesn’t make you weak. And don’t ever for one moment think that it does. You do you because no one does it better.

Suddenly your thoughts drift to your sister-in-law, who understands that it isn’t all hearts and flowers and fantastically beautiful the minute you flip the switch. But it is better. It is good. In the meantime, cut yourself some slack for the sake of your sanity. Practice self-care because, quite frankly, you owe it to yourself.

After all, you made a massive change: You followed through. You broke the cycle and the mold. But you knew you had to. You knew in your heart of hearts that your happiness is what is essential and that you play a significant hand in creating it. Your brother reminded you of that, remember?

As you continue to type, you lose your train of thought for a moment. What was it that you were going to write? You chuckle because you realize that your thoughts can be fleeting at times. That good old CRS syndrome is rearing its head. You know that you are not on top of your game the way you used to be. But as your sister-in-law said, “it’s okay because it’s a new game.”

Game. Set. Match.

You think about what it was like to walk out the door for the last time – a door that you had entered and exited for almost 16 years. You never imagined it would be so easy and so hard at the same time. But you knew it was right. You knew you were ready. When you asked yourself, “what are you going to do?” You finally did it. And you did it with conviction, grace, and style.

You think about the chapters you have written over the years. And how, at times, you’ve felt like a drifter. You did feel lost, but then you started to wander and wonder. And that’s when you began to realize that even the treacherous roads led you to here; and that you are no worse for the wear. You are stronger because of it.

As the night lingers on and the clock nears midnight, you have a realization. No. You have two. The first is that your eyes are tired and getting heavy, but your thoughts keep flowing. The second one, well, that’s the big one. You finally acknowledge that one of the hardest aspects of this life change was not being able to share it with your mom.

It was like having to relive her loss all over again. She always had the right words (even when you didn’t want to hear them). You remember crying alone at home, in your car, on a walk because you were conflicted and would have given anything to listen to her voice. To hear her say, “what are you going to do?”

And then it happened. You knew that mom was there all along. Except that at that moment, you didn’t connect the dots. She was with you at the first meeting, and she was there again at the second one. She was even there on your first day guiding you along your new path and shining brightly as she always did. She called you her “sunshine,” and on each of those days at just the right moment, she was yours.

Don’t you remember how the sun was shining so brightly on you? Surely you remember its warmth as it caressed your soul: gently nudging you, guiding you. But most of all reminding you to shine because “you are made of good stuff.”

With that, you invested your stock in faith. You finally tossed the worry aside and unleashed your courage. You said, “yes.” And you ignited a new flame to guide you in your journey. Although you may not know the destination, you know that in casting aside the doubts, the fears, and the what-ifs that you finally started living.


Laura Mikolaitis
Laura Mikolaitis
Laura credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Writing unabashedly from the heart and inspired by millions of moments, three tenets of evergreen advice that her mom always shared with her are her guiding principles. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. Laura’s creativity also comes to life in her passion for photography. Her ongoing love affair with the moon, her joy for family and friends, her connection to nature, and being a loving canine mom often become some of her best subjects. Laura has held many roles throughout her professional career, including Brand Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. In addition, she has a background in consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing, and textiles. Laura currently works in biotechnology for Berkshire Corporation as their Product Marketing Manager. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego. Originally from Northern NY, Laura resides with her husband and canine child in a small town in Massachusetts that captured her heart years ago.

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  1. Laura, your sentiements and words brought back memories of losing my mom at 13, not having had a great relationship with her, but somehow, I knew she was sick and not the monster others would have labled her as. Bless you dear.

    • Lynn, thank you for the blessings. I’ll gladly accept them. I appreciate you being here, and I am ever so grateful for the kind words and encouragement.

  2. I suspect your big heart and your courage to share it ARE your strength, Laura. Loved this reminder: “with each breath and each exchange, there’s an opportunity.” The perfect reminder of what I always tell myself – our brave unfolds one situation at a time.

    • Thank you, Kimberly. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but perhaps you are right. Thank you for giving me this insight today. It’s exactly what I needed and I know it will help me as I move forward. Our brave does unfold one situation at a time it seems. I’m learning that more and more each day.

      I appreciate you being here, Kimberly and thank you again for your kind sentiments.

  3. Laura – I have a favorite path-for-reflection I walk in the woods near our home. Whenever I read your from-the-heart messages, I feel you’re walking next to me, sharing. What an honor to walk next to you.

    This sentence left me shaking my head with “Yup.”

    “We are who we are — imperfect creatures just trying to make our way on the silly boat (and occasionally jumping into the sea of ridiculousness).”

    • Jeff, wow! It is an honor to walk next to you also. Thank you for such kind words. I have a favorite path for reflection near our home also. We live in the country so it is the loop walk around the river. My favorite country mile plus a couple of extras. It’s always a great source of reflection.

      As for the silly boat reference, I have to give credit where its due. It was something a colleague shared with me several years ago. And shared with him by his young son. At the time, it was a perfect explanation for our work situation. That kid was onto something and its context continues to evolve.

      Thanks for taking the time to be here, Jeff. I really appreciate it.

  4. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your emotion-filled and poetic article. Life takes us through many emotions and experiences along the journey through it. We hope there will be more pleasant memories or experiences than bad ones but that is not guaranteed. One should always be thankful for all that is good and right in their life.

    • Joel, thank you for joining the conversation and sharing your insight with me. It is always a pleasure when you chime in. I agree that we should always be thankful for all that is good and right in our life. Life is too short not to be. Although, distractions would like us to do otherwise. It’s a delicate balance but one that is worth it.

    • Laura, thank you for your kind reply. I try to comment in a way that is meaningful although I fall far short of that goal on many occasions. Here is a link to an article I just finished writing around 6:00 am this morning. I hope you will read it but I understand time does not always allow us to do those things we want to do. Anyway, here is the link:

    • Thanks for letting me know about this article, Joel. I did read it and left a comment. I appreciate you and the insight you bring to the table.

    • Thanks so much, Larry! I do have many midnight revelations but I don’t always get to capture them. However, when I do they usually don’t steer me wrong. Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, but therein lies the beauty. I appreciate your engagement, Larry and here’s to more of those enchanting and captivating thoughts.

  5. Oh, Laura, this stream of beautiful words have connected deeply to my heart. I could see myself in your wondering, wanderings, and realizations. Looking at our lives through the lens of gratitude helps us realize what continues to be at play-the birthing of awakened souls, bright beings who know they get to shine brightly in our world with strength, courage, and resilience. I’m right there with you. Your mom’s love surrounds every word that you type. I feel her all around you. You are so blessed to have her love with you at all times…in your grieflove when her body exited the planet, when she was alive calling your her “sunshine.” and now in this heart-lifting essay. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and wisdom with all of us. Thank you for sharing your mom’s love and light and your own.

    • Laura, thank you for these beautiful and uplifting words. I trust that you do feel her all around me, and it is reassuring. She inspires so much of what I do, but especially she is the fuel behind my writing. I only wish I had discovered it prior to her passing. But perhaps I wasn’t meant to do so. Maybe she knew that this would be my path and that I would need it after she left this earth. At least, that’s what I like to believe.

      As I sit here reading and writing this afternoon, it is from a place of calm. The sun is shining brightly on my back as I write, and I know this is what I meant to do. I haven’t felt that in a while. Perhaps being home sidelined by the “ick” has given me a chance to reflect. Regardless, I’m enjoying the subtle signs being sent my way today. Maybe it is time to embrace them.

      Thank you for being such a positive force, Laura. I am always uplifted by your kind and loving heart.

  6. Laura, I’m going to borrow from the comments left here by Yvonne Jones: “When a writer can evoke intense emotion from the reader…you know you have achieved a higher level in your writing skills.”

    This is such a beautifully evocative, reflective piece of writing. It’s almost stream of consciousness, except that every dot connects with every other dot. It’s a complete, coherent contemplation. It’s one of those pieces of writing that can’t be planned. It can only be written.

    Can I get away with being proud of you? Am I entitled to that? I’ll take my cue from you: “You finally tossed the worry aside and unleashed your courage. You said, ‘yes.’” Yes. I’m so very proud of you for writing this. And I’m grateful to you for sharing it with us.

    Thank you.

    • Mark, as someone who I admire as a person and a talented writer, yes, you can get away with saying you are proud of me. It means so much. Thank you!

      I must confess that I wrote this piece two years ago after I embarked on a significant life change. I distinctly remember the night that I wrote it. We were visiting my family in Northern NY for Christmas and the winter evening enchanted me. When you say stream of consciousness, that’s exactly how it unfolded. I remember feeling such peace as I wrote with each word encompassing my heart. That night, all the inhibitions subsided. This piece is one of my favorites and one that I am proud of also.

      I felt a nudge to share this piece again. I’m not sure why now, but my heart tugged and I answered its call. Always grateful to Dennis and the BC360 team for their support, and for recirculating this one for me. I’ve been sidelined by what I’m calling the “plague” since Monday. Reading all these beautiful sentiments are definitely helping me to recuperate.

      As always, thanks for your support and encouragement, Mark. I’m so glad that the universe put you into my orbit.

    • You’re no more glad or grateful than I am, Laura. In one of our recent exchanges, you said something about wanting to write a book. Do you want to know how to do that? It’s right here: “Feeling such peace as I wrote with each word encompassing my heart. That night, all the inhibitions subsided.” The only thing is, the cause and effect are backward: By letting go of your inhibitions, you will write peacefully from the heart.

      When you get there, please let me know. I’ll be the guy in the front row giving you a standing ovation.

      Thank you, Laura. Thank you, universe.

    • Mark, I could hug you! You have this uncanny way of always making me smile. And today it’s a big one. “By letting go of your inhibitions, you will write peacefully from the heart.” – thank you for this beautifully reconstructed sentence. It’s a treasure, as are you.

      I have a small confession. Last week before I succumbed to the “plague,” I had an “aha” moment about a book. It was there all along, this much I know. It is about the three pieces of advice my mom gave me, and the contexts. Three also happens to be my life path number, and I have three distinct dots or freckles on my wrist, which form a triangle, a “V,” or an “L.” It all feels connected, and I feel compelled to write about it.

      I figure if I could write a novel during NaNoWriMo, I can do this too. Now to stay motivated.

    • I don’t know if you have to STAY motivated, Laura. As my older son, Sean, who started playing basketball when he was nine and coaches it now at 36 once told me, “I can’t stay passionate about one thing 12 months a year.” I think periodic moments of inspiration might be more constructive. And accepting them as they come takes the pressure off. At least that’s how one Irishman I know goes about it. 😆

  7. Laura, as always, your hauntingly beautiful prose touches the heart and soul. You are incredibly courageous, which Aristotle considered being the highest virtue.

    Your mother is smiling from afar as I often refer to my mother and father. I am sorry for your loss. When you are close, it feels as if your heart has been stabbed, and although splinters will remain, the pain will be less palpable over time. My mother took her one-way flight to heaven five years ago on February 4th. I can still see, hear, feel, and smell her.

    Being a human being is a strange experience, we must attach firmly to be able to connect and love, but eventually, we are forced to disconnect and say goodbye.

    No words of comfort will suffice, but know that you through your writing makes an impression on others in ways you may never know. Thank you for this dear Laura!💖

    • Darlene, thank you for your kind words that will reside in a special place in my heart. I’m home under the weather today but I can feel my mom smiling upon me as I sit in my favorite chair and feel the sun warming my neck. She is always my sunshine, and today I believe this is her nod to me letting me know she’s there each step of the way.

      I am sorry for your losses, Darlene. My mom took her one-way flight six years ago on January 20th – also my birthday. She will forever be embedded in my heart and the inspiration behind all that I do.

      Thanks for being here, Darlene. It means a great deal to me.

    • Laura,

      Thank you for your lovely reply. Feel better! Maybe our mothers have met as they smile at us from afar.

      With a smile and a hug,


  8. Laura, your transparency and everything you wrote connected with me deeply, including the loss of your mom. By the time I finished reading, I’ll frankly admit I was in tears…yet your article was not intended to depress but to empower.

    But then…that’s the important point I want you to take from my comment. When a writer can evoke intense emotion from the reader…you know you have achieved a higher level in your writing skills. Loved the article.

    • Yvonne, thank you for taking the time to read “Midnight Thoughts” and for sharing so eloquently here in the conversation. I wrote this piece two years ago just after I had embarked on a significant change in my life. It felt timely to revisit it and I am ever so grateful for Dennis and the BC360 family for giving me the opportunity to do so.

      I am humbled by your comments and so thankful for your contribution here.