Thank you for stopping by my page. My name is Maria and I’m a social worker working with aging adults to help them live their best lives. I’m also a wife and mother, a lover of swimming and the Beach Boys, and an aspirational knitter/crocheter (I can start projects but I can’t finish them).

My Publication

Wise Blood: Uplifting stories about the encounters that change us. I just started this publication! Please get in touch (maria.fs.medium at gmail) if you’d like to be a writer. I’d be honored to have you.

Most Popular Posts

I, Too, Miss the Bodies of Strangers

I Chose a Downsized…

Not that anybody asked

(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

Victoria Leigh Soto was an eighth-grader in Stratford, Connecticut on April 20, 1999, when two students opened fire on their Colorado high school classmates, murdering 12 students and a teacher. Five miles away from Vicki, I was a freshman in high school.

In 2004, Vicki Soto graduated from Stratford High School. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree in both education and history from Eastern Connecticut State University and became an elementary school teacher. Vicki was 27 years old when on December 14, 2012, another gunman opened fire, this time in her own classroom, killing her with her first-grade…

Jumpstart your creativity

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

I’ve been keeping a diary/journal since I was 9 years old. Sometimes it’s the only way I know how I feel or what I think! If you are uncertain about writing because you “don’t know what to say” (as my friend once said), here are some prompts to help you get started.

  1. What are three wonderful things that happened today?

2. Describe a time when you had to ask for and receive help from someone. How did it feel to ask for it? How did it feel to receive it? Did you get what you asked for…

I got the bonus, too. What does it mean?!?!?

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

I check my stats and my medium email address way too often. So I was nth email refresh of the day when I saw that Medium was depositing $500 into my account.

My first instinct was to panic, because what happened to the real money that I earned (nowhere near $500)? Then I continued reading and realized this was just an awesome gift.

After reading many others’ reactions to this surprise, I decided to write my own. I think there is a lot of speculation and even suspicion of why Medium pulled this move. We’re all adults. …

Here’s why and how it’s gone so far

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

When I started thinking about 2021 New Year’s resolutions, we were at the bottom of the pandemic. Buried under months of rising and falling cases, positive tests of loved ones, coworkers, and friends, the promise of a vaccine on the horizon, I clung to stubborn hope that spring would be better.

I love setting ambitious goals. I love making lists of future life achievements. I love imagining what’s possible, what new, upgraded version of myself I could be. I always need to know I’m growing.

But at the end of 2020, I was afraid to define anything. What could I…

Is there more to these still, small moments than meets the eye?

Photo by Taylor Brandon on Unsplash

Last Sunday afternoon, I blew through the Y’s double doors in my usual frenzy, aware of the clock counting down on my 45-minute lap lane reservation. I made it as far as the front desk, at which point I had to stop and make eye contact with the adolescent behind the computer. I needed his blessing.

We paused for a moment together as he extended his hand to my forehead. For a second, both of us stood absolutely still, facing one another but also somehow avoiding eye contact.

Beep! The touchless thermometer sounded. “You’re good to go!” he said. I…

The feelings I sat on for 12 months won’t wait any longer

(Photo by Christoph von Gellhorn on Unsplash)

Today was hot, the first summery day of 2021 where I live. It started out in the low 60’s but by mid-afternoon my car thermometer was reading 94.

For no clear reason, I started feeling overwhelmed and irritable. I felt a familiar ache in my jaw, and realized I was clenching it. My jaw hasn’t ached since last summer.

Suddenly I realized what was happening, because it happened a few weeks ago, too. I don’t know if it’s textbook PTSD, but changes in weather and daylight have triggered all those terrible feelings from one year ago.

In March, it was…

“Let’s just stay here all night and sing every song. “ — Peter Allen

Photo of author and author’s fridge, by author.

Thank you for dropping in! My name is Maria and I’m 36 years old. I’ve been writing on Medium since March 2021 but have been a reader for a couple of years.

When I’m not writing on Medium or home with my family, I’m either working with adults with intellectual disabilities, swimming, listening to The Tim Ferriss Show, playing the piano or ukulele, or singing along to songs in my 2007 Corolla like I’m auditioning for The Voice.

Some Background

My early childhood was in Queens, NY and I grew up in Connecticut, the child of second-generation Irish (dad) and Italian (mom)…

What it’s like living with “sound rage”

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Call me unreasonable.

As a little kid, I was so frightened by the sound of whipped cream coming out of a can that grown-ups would warn me beforehand so I could leave the room.

A few years later, I became totally intolerant of the sound of chewing. I dealt with the dinner table by coming up with subtle strategies to interfere with the offending noises. I’d quietly hum, rustle my napkin, or cover my ear in a way that looked like I was resting my head on my hand. …

Maria FS

Social worker, mother, chronic Whole 30-er. I write about work, life, memories, and of course COVID.

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