Focusing on what is…

Focusing on what is…

If I throw a party and 30 people tell me they are coming, I will still grieve the several who say they can’t make it. If I write a paper and it earns an A-, I will focus on the points I lost. If I follow my fitness plan and walk two days this week, I will brood about the day I missed. If I am forced to choose between two good options, I will often pine over the one left behind. If I am appreciated and loved by five people, I will still focus on the one I can’t charm. The topic doesn’t really matter, I will inevitably focus on what isn’t.

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Imperfect gatherings…

Imperfect gatherings…

When my kids gather around our table these days, it is a bit of a bumpy ride. The three born to us, could not be more different. Their personalities barely fit in the room. One never knows what will spark a yelling match (politics is often the culprit), a wrestling match (a tussle over a cellphone and a mysterious Facebook friend), or mayhem of one kind or another. We’ve had good natured (mostly) water fights in the living room, blow ups that send one or another out the front door, and just a general sense of excitement that underlies both big gatherings and small.

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Advent…

Advent…

I’ve been thinking about the way the twinkle lights on the houses on my drive home each night brighten the long winding road. Lights strung over the roof line, across the fence, or along the front porch provide cheerful relief to the dark and gloomy drive. The thirty-seven miles between my office and my house afford me the chance to appreciate the way the light brightens the darkness. I am grateful. Continue reading “Advent…”

What I want…

What I want…

At this time of year, as the calendar accelerates toward the holidays, I’ve been known to lose my footing. I never decided to over extend us financially, but I couldn’t decide if it was enough. You know, enough gifts, enough money, enough magic. I didn’t want to wake up on Christmas morning feeling hung over from too much… everything. Too many cookies, too much rich food, too many late nights and early mornings, and too many parties, events, and outings.  I didn’t want my children to groan, “No mom, not pizza again.” I didn’t want to wish away the wonder of the season, but the pace and scope of my expectations pressed in until I felt crushed by them. I didn’t want to be crabby and cross with the people I love best, but I was pulled thin across too much and they were the ones who came up empty. Continue reading “What I want…”

Fancy friends…

Fancy friends…

This past weekend, we joined a small group of friends and family to celebrate a new beginning. My friend’s handsome son walked her down the aisle to a man whose love for her was evident across the room. From the 33rd floor of a beautiful building in downtown Boston, we enjoyed stunning views. We could see the city splayed out before us as the light gave way to evening. We watched the trees light up below. We danced like no one was watching. We toasted to new beginnings and true love. We laughed in the face of their joy. It was a night I won’t soon forget. Continue reading “Fancy friends…”

Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving…

Most families we know are gathering around the table today. As I write this, last minute preparations are being made, check lists are being marked off, and dashes to the store for a forgotten ingredient are underway. For my family, Thanksgiving falls on a workday. As we do, we made the holiday adjust to our reality and celebrated last weekend. We gathered and feasted and enjoyed one another. Today, we will finish the last of the turkey soup. Continue reading “Thanksgiving…”

Light in the darkness…

Light in the darkness…

In my family, we are counting down the days until the end of 2018. By any account, it has been a grueling year. We’ve said heart breaking goodbyes, faced life shattering diagnoses, and found that there is still time for another curve ball to be thrown. As the hits have kept coming, we’ve lived through two new cancer diagnosis in the last month… We just keep moving forward. We simply don’t know what else to do. Continue reading “Light in the darkness…”

Six month follow up…

Six month follow up…

I laid there with my arms over my head, an IV dripping into a vein in the crook of my arm. My knees were bent with a foam wedge under them. As my body moved in and out of the round tube, my body rushed with the chemicals they pumped into my arm. A plastic voice ordered, “take a big breath and hold it.” And then later, “breathe.” While magnets whirred around my body, I could feel the anxiety rising, threatening to close off my airway. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. A few minutes later, the Tech said, “are you okay?” I nodded yes, of course. I’m fine. But I thought, I don’t know. That’s why I am here. Continue reading “Six month follow up…”

An act of defiance…

An act of defiance…

It seems as though the world has become harsher, all sharp corners and ragged edges. The news seems to be all bad these days with more violence, and more hatred than one heart can handle. In the face of all this, it feels like the only option is to withdraw. For me, this reality has left me feeling isolated and afraid to reach out. From this place, it is easier to hold my tongue and keep the peace. And yet this withdrawal has pushed us away from each other, into groups of people who agree with us. Continue reading “An act of defiance…”