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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Self care…

It’s an “execute” week in my life. That means, I am deep in the weeds of a project. I am hosting three days of workshops, in multiple locations, with the help of 2 undergraduate students. My days are long. My weekend was short. My body is tired. 

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One Word…

I love the idea of capturing my hopes and intentions for the New Year in a single word. Although I am a huge fan of using the turning of the calendar for reflection and goal setting, I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I have found that smaller goals work better for me, so I focus on the seasonal, monthly, and weekly goals to get me to the longer term vision. And yet, distilling my hopes into a single word, captures my imagination. So, I’ve spent the past few weeks rolling words over in my mind trying to capture just the right one. 

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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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Merry Christmas…

For most families I know, Christmas morning brings the rush and tumble of crumpled paper, empty boxes, and delight. This year, we will be waiting until the end of the day to unwrap gifts. EMS doesn’t wait for Christmas mornings and we know that when isn’t as important as with whom. So, we will make it a lazy day, followed by a boisterous night.

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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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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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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