Another way…

Another way…

Yesterday, I climbed out of bed and stumbled downstairs as though I had a hangover. My head hurt, my body ached, and I felt a little woozy. I curled up under a blanket and began to sort through the emails that had been stacking up for the past couple weeks. By 10am I had retreated to my comfy chair to journal and begin to unfold my life from the crash of the past few days. By 11am I was back at my computer, trouble shooting and desperately trying to make a deadline. When the dust settled, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and went to bed. I slept like the dead, but when I awoke, I felt more human. This morning, I awoke and felt like a whole person. I find the process of putting myself back together much harder than the process of working myself into oblivion.

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My Year in Books…

My Year in Books…

When the life gets tough, I turn to books. As a child, I retreated into fictional worlds to avoid the hard stuff, whenever I could. It has been the same through every age of my life. As a teen, I fell into series set in the old west, medieval Europe, the antebellum south, and many others. This year, I have retreated into the pages of books to process grief, cancer, and aging. Books continue to help me through.

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Good enough…

Good enough…

I earned my master’s degree at 43. My children were 23, 21, and 19. There was not a more difficult time in my life as a mother. No one should have to take developmental psychology when their children have already grown. I sat with a textbook detailing all of the ways I had failed to meet my children’s developmental needs from infancy through young adulthood. I recognized a multitude of areas I had fallen short, identified issues I should have addressed, and found too many areas I could have not worried about, but did anyway. If only I had known. 

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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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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…”

An alpaca farmer…

An alpaca farmer…

For a dozen years my sweet husband has had a secret love. He’s been dreaming of the day when he might become an alpaca farmer. He fell in love when he helped his cousin on her alpaca farm and has been talking about it ever since. We’ve visited farms. He’s researched online. We’ve talked about the possibilities and discussed the challenges. We purchased our home with the thought that “someday” we might add alpacas. Continue reading “An alpaca farmer…”

All the words…

All the words…

The summer I graduated from college (at forty), I spent weeks hiding from my kids on the screened in back porch. I gathered armfuls of books from the library, and spent my days sipping iced tea, and gulping down books. I read as though my life depended on it. When I finished a book, I laid on the sofa and watched puffy white clouds float by. And then… I started another. Continue reading “All the words…”

Aftermath…

Aftermath…

When my doctor walked into the room she wrapped me in a hug and said, “So much has happened since I last saw you.” I was undone. She offered me tissues as I wiped the makeup from under my chin, and tried to croak out words to reassure her that I am really fine, just fine. Thirty minutes later, she made several referrals and instructed me to call if I had any further questions. She hugged me again as I left. Continue reading “Aftermath…”

Body language…

Body language…

A few years ago, I came down with chest cold. I was sick, very sick. When I went to the doctor, she told me it was just a virus, to take over the counter medicine, and call her if I wasn’t better in a week. So, I did. I took all the medicine and reported to work the next day. My eyes were glassy, I was very pale, and everyone could see that I was too sick to be there. Everyone, that is, except me. It wasn’t until the end of the day, when the medicine wore off, that I realized how sick I was. So, I went home and waited to get better. After a few more days, and some feverish Facebook rambling, my nurse friend called to say, “I don’t care what the doctor told you. You are too old to have a fever for this long. You need to be seen again.” Continue reading “Body language…”