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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Little things…

Fall is coming to a close around here. We’ve moved through the darkest, rainiest month. Everyone else complained about the gloom. The wet made me feel like home. The deep cold and dark pushed us inside, the wood stove’s glow pushes back against the raw damp. This season of transition moves us steadily toward the dark cold of winter. Continue reading

Mountain Day…

Each October, students at my alma mater wait expectantly for the president to call Mountain Day. An annual tradition, the bells ring out to announce the cancelation of the day’s classes. Students spend the day enjoying the glorious autumn countryside. Tradition encourages students to climb a nearby peak where ice cream is served at the top (Hoodsie Cups all around). The view is spectacular, the company is friendly, and the tradition is an important part of the fall semester. Continue reading

Small goals…

I am a big goal setter. We’ve spent the better part of thirty years crossing large goals off the list. Earn my degree. Visit New Orleans. Plan cross-country trip with my kids. Create a magical wedding. Buy our dream house. Each of these goals included layers of planning, orchestration, and implementation. Spreadsheets, color-coded keys, and planning grids have helped to make these dreams a reality. Continue reading

Cultivating quiet…

We live in a noisy age. The phone beeps, the TV bellows, Alexa voices her opinion from the corner, the oven timer buzzes, and even the washing machine chimes let me know when it needs my attention. Beyond the actual noise in the house, our schedules often demand more than is reasonable. We can get pulled along in the rush of activities until our soul is battered and bruised by the sheer pace of our lives. Continue reading

Fear of missing out…

I can’t sleep when I travel. Instead of laying my head back and resting my eyes from the passenger seat, I drive. A few years ago, Keith and I drove to Oregon and back for our summer vacation. I drove almost the whole six thousand miles. I don’t fall asleep with the television on. I can’t relax while things are happening. I could lay on the sofa, but I would just listen to what was happening, afraid I might miss something. I can’t even fall asleep with music on. My brain is wired to pay attention. As a child, I would linger at the bedroom door, listening to adults talking in the other room, while I was supposed to be sleeping. I never wanted to miss a thing. Continue reading

By the sea…

As I walked down the misty beach, I was reminded of so many other days spent walking with my feet covered in sand, my hair blown back, and the worries of the world pushed away by the rolling surf and clear horizon. It wasn’t your traditional beach day, fog and mist held the temperatures down and the sun struggled to break free from the gray. But, for me, it was a perfect beach day. A day to reconnect me, to myself and the younger me who walked miles and miles on empty beaches letting the sharp edges of life be worn smooth by the effect of wind, sand, and sea. Continue reading

Savoring August…

After almost thirty years in New England, I recently realized that although I am a fan of both October and May, it is August that has my heart. From beginning to end, August fills my soul. This year, I have enjoyed each of the 31 days, rolling them around in my mind like penny candy. Although it is my nature to jump ahead, this summer I’ve lingered over the golden light of August and allowed my senses to fully attend to sights, sounds, and delights of late summer. Continue reading

A new rhythm…

One of the unintended consequences of my recent trauma has been a profound sense of disconnection from my life. I’m certain there are lots of reasons for this. Life literally stopped for a couple months, weakness and pain kept me close to home, and dealing with the emotional, physical, and spiritual aftermath has been no joke. I have been so grateful for the space, the time, and the grace to move through my own process of healing. I’ve found the silence healing. I’ve spent time reading. I’ve snuggled close to my husband and children. It feels as though I’ve let go, somehow, and just life move on without me. Continue reading

Play time…

Monday morning, before the sun was high in the sky, Teddy and I were at the playground. I forgot that the plastic play structure would still be covered in dew. He was so excited, it didn’t even matter. He climbed, steered, stomped, and slid for over an hour. His little muscles worked, his brain made connections, and I got to bear witness to the miracle of a growing toddler. By the time we returned to the car, he was dirty and soaking wet. My work here was done. Continue reading