Friday, August 18, 2017



It is such an interesting word.  And it means so many things, all depending on who you are.

College acceptance letter.
Acceptance of family members lifestyles that do not jive with our own.
Acceptance of losses, whether family, job, dream, whatever kind of loss.

Sometimes it is a happy thing.  We are accepted into a program or college we are so excited about.

Sometimes it is a complicated thing.  A sibling walks away from the life the whole family has built to pursue their own course, and everyone is left wondering what happened and who is right, if anyone. 

Sometimes it is the only way to move forward.  Someone we love dies, leaving our hearts broken.  We get fired, and wonder how we will take care of our family.  We find out that we cannot have kids, and wonder if the universe thinks we will be terrible parents.   At some stage we learn to accept and allow our selves to heal from these kinds of trauma, but they do their best to kill us first.

Usually when we talk about acceptance, it has to do with bad things, hard things, things that push us to our limits and make us wonder if there is anything good out there for us; or are we doomed to a life of hard things, of moments that make us wonder what comes next, knowing that it can get worse.

And yes, I am aware that that is a run-on sentence. I accept it.

Perhaps in the end it does all mean the same thing; acceptance means moving forward, moving on.  Seeing the past only as somewhere we have been, but not where we are, and most definitely not where we are headed. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Understanding (or rather the lack therof)

I am feeling....strange this week.

Strange is not quite right, but it is al close as I can come just at the moment.  The weather has been all over the place, and my mood seems to mimic that. 

Do you ever have a moment where you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and have to look again, because the person you see is you, but not you at the same time?

That happened to me today.  I had to look again, because the woman I saw is one I have only seen a few times in my life; she is the woman I want to be.  She is the voice in my head telling me that there is a better way, a higher way, than the way I am taking now.  She tells me that I can get there, she tells me to keep going, especially when things are hardest. 

I have been thinking a great deal recently about what it means to be an adult.  I will be thirty-one this summer, and have a sister who is ten years my junior.  She is emphatic about how she Is An Adult, capital letters audible.  I know, without a doubt, that I felt rather the same way when I was her age, but I am not sure I was so rude about it.  I understand her desire to not be treated like a child, she is not one.  But, again, I am not sure she really knows what it means to be an adult either.  She demands to be heard, but does not listen.  She hates that our mother is passive aggressive, but uses the same tactics in a manner that seems so calculated, which our mother has not.

She and I had a fight recently, and she was asserting that she had a right to defend herself, but refused to allow that I had the same right.  I admit that I was very angry and tired, and am certain I was coming across much more harshly than I intended, but was not attacking.  She attacked me before I finished a sentence, sure of what was coming out of my mouth.  My tone was wrong, but she was wrong to attack.  And I got defensive, when I should have walked away.  I knew I was wrong, and I apologized for being angry.  She kept yelling. 

It is almost funny, she sees that she had to defend herself, but cannot see that my angry response was me defending myself. 

That woman I saw in the mirror today, the one I want to be, she would know what to do.  She would know how to let go and move on. 

But I am not her, and I am having the hardest time letting go of this. 

I am so tired of being misunderstood, and of not being able to fully understand. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Thoughts on January

My brain was half way through a really good post, but I really needed to finish the dishes.

And as I finally sat down to write, my brain turned off.

*sighs heavily*

And this is bizarrely indicative of my life just now.  Too many things going on;  too many thoughts, too many emotions, too many, too many, too many.

To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement; to say I am exhausted to the point of wondering if one can die from anxiety and expectation is much closer to reality. 

I hate January.  We are getting record amounts of snow, and I am getting sick of the temperature being in the single digits.  I am a lizard, according to my husband;  I look fore warm spots, preferably in the sun, and bask.  There is a possibly I am a cat, since my kitties are the same way.  I suppose the telling point is that I am always cold, which I do not think my girls are.  I will also say that I do recognize that there are places that get much colder (I remember waking up in college on multiple occasions to the very chipper voice of a radio morning show host saying it was only -25, which was up from the previous day, -30.) but that does not make me any happier about temperatures that hover around 0.

Either way, I hate January. 

With today being the last day of the month, I really need to work on this hatred, as it in not helpful to me or to my next few months.  And it is not really the fault of January; the fault is really mostly mine for choosing to live in a climate that has a tendency for cold winters and hot summers. 

And this is only one of my too many things going on right now.  The rest I cannot even bring myself to talk about, since my current response to them is to get angry or to start crying. 

And right now, I do not have the energy for either of those things.

*sighs heavily again*

My shoulders are getting tense.  I think it is time for mindfulness practice. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bricks and Floating

#truestory #depression #quotes:  

This is where I am today.

 That place that only exists for me, that place where you have no idea what will help you but where you are so very alone.

I am so tired of being alone; so tired of not being able to say what I need; so tired of not knowing what comes next.

I was telling my husband today that I am not sure how much of what I am doing is helpful for what is going on, but how I am utterly terrified of changing my habits; because what happens if I make a change and it just makes everything worse?

I was on a new medicine for the migraines that have been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years, and it pushed me to the edge of my breaking point.  In four days I went from functioning better than I have in a long time to being as close to suicidal as I have been in years.  Four days, and the last dose I took of that was six days ago.  How is it that four days worth of a med made me feel crazy and six days off is not enough to make me feel even remotely normal?  

All I want is to go back, to know ahead of time that taking that medication would set me back; that four days would take away all the energy I have accumulated over the last few months and destroy it.  

There is a book I love, and at one point the heroine says that she is feeling that the task at hand is impossible, not because they have to make new bricks with which to build things back up, but because the bricks that were being used were destroyed.  If it were only a matter of making new bricks, it could be done.  "What she...had been given wasn't even the onus of building bricks without straw; the bricks had existed and been shattered. You can't make bricks out of broken bricks." (Chalice, Robin McKinley)

So the task becomes finding a way to survive.  I am slowly getting better, but the battle is so very lonely and so very up-hill.  Up-hill both ways in 10 feet of snow.  And I hate being cold.

Today I am just trying to stay afloat, and really, that is enough.  One of my favorite things to do in a pool is float on my back, ears under water, and just breathe.  So today I am doing the home equivalent of that; I am giving myself a rest.  Doing just enough to stay breathing, but letting the rest go, allowing myself to simply be.

Is it hell if you are at peace with it?  Or is it only hell if you are fighting against it?  If today I give myself the grace to simply float where I am, can that perhaps be a small part of heaven instead? 

I choose to sit with my aching heart today; to allow myself to be real and to been seen with all the crazy, messy, complicated, broken parts of me held in that aching heart. And today, I am not asking for change, not asking to rebuild that which has been shattered.  Today, all I ask is to see all my hurt and give it a place to rest, a place where the water is warm and where those hurts can heal in their own time.

Making hell into heaven. 

And that is more than I thought I was capable of today, so it is more than enough for today.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


I turned thirty this last month, and while I am not bothered by being thirty, it has made me reevaluate my life.

I feel like I have been sleepwalking for the last six or seven years, and woke up just after my birthday to realize that my life looks nothing like I thought it did.  I thought it was fine, I thought I was fine.

But the truth of the matter is that my life does not fit me anymore. 

Parts of it are good still, but there are so many things that no longer serve the person I want to be.

I hate most of my clothing, purchased in my early to mid twenties.  The few pieces I love have been purchased in the last year.

I look at my books and love them, but have little to no interest in reading them again.  My shelves tell the story of who I have been, but the dust on top of those books tells how long it has been since I picked them up.

My office/craft room is full of things I want to let go of, because those projects no longer make me happy to work on. 

My list of music I have played on repeat for so long no longer tells people where I am when I cannot. 

My life does not fit me anymore.

Am I allowed to pack everything up?  I am not running away; that would only be a temporary solution.  But how interesting it would be to pack up my life and then unpack only the things that I really wanted?  To pretend to be a newlywed again, slowly finding new things to fit onto a new life? 

And since my husband is one of the few people who I feel still fits who I want to be and someone I know will be an asset in helping me be who I want to become, starting over as newlyweds sounds nice. 

I think it goes back to this post.  I have to figure out what I really want, and then go do that.

As I sit here, my brain did a funny thing:  I was thinking that I needed to do something as an outward gesture to show myself and everyone else that I am making changes. 

Brain: Haircut tomorrow... maybe we should get it colored too!  OOOhhhh... maybe that really cool purple we love so much!  Maybe a dark red!! 

When I worked at Target years ago, one of the guys noticed that the girls tended to make crazy changes to hair and nails.  He asked why we did that.  I responded that girls change things like nails because we have control over what color our nails are, and so when we feel like things are out of control in other parts of our lives, we change our nails.  He said, okay, but what about the hair?  I gave him The Look and said: We change our hair when changing our nails is not enough of taking control. 

So, in order to make my life fit who I want to be, I suppose it is important to know how I want that version of me to look. 

I might need to go play with hair styles on Pinterest.  My hair appointment is early tomorrow.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Convoluted Middles

I have four unfinished posts waiting to be finished.  FOUR.  All different, yet all sitting and waiting for me to figure out where they are going. 

My life feels this way right now.  Lists of things I need to finish.

Even this post has taken me weeks of looking at to understand.

So instead of worrying about how things are not done, I am working on embracing being in the middle of things.

I have a pile of books 8 or 9 high on my night stand, and I am in the middle of all of them.

I have at least four quilts I am in various stages of finishing.

I am always in the middle of laundry, so I am not sure that counts.

My house is in the middle of being rearranged, so half the closet is in the living room and the other half is in my office. (Moveable closets are both a blessing and a curse, especially for someone like me who loves to rearrange furniture.) Half the bedroom is also in the living room, and half of my husband's office is in the bedroom.

I am even in the middle of a huge work project, which should have been finished, but the part of the job that the company who contracted me was supposed to supply is not ready yet.

That is a terribly convoluted sentence.  It is accurate, however, to the whole point I am trying to make.

Middles are messy and convoluted, but they are also where things change and where miracles happen.  To forgo the middle would be to lose the chance at better things, the chance to see the mess come together and begin to shape the future.

Except for the middle of the laundry.  That is just a fact of life.  And really, even that is okay.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shifted Perspective

I have a random piece of paper sitting on my desk.  It is part of an envelope for my utility bill, according to the return address.  Written on it is a quote from Grey's Anatomy that I love:

"Sometimes a shifted perspective just lets us see what we've lost."

Some days I am desperate to have a change in perspective, since, as an art history major, I very much understand how looking at something from different angles changes things.

One of my favorite sculptures is called "The Burghers of Calais".

The background to this is that Calais was under siege by the English and told by King Phillip to hold out at all costs.  After over a year of holding off the English, Calais surrendered, unable to hold out any longer.  Six of the leaders of the city walked, with keys to the city in hand and nooses around their necks, to officially surrender to the English.  Their surrender and probable death was to save the rest of Calais from destruction.

The sculpture is brilliant.  Created by Auguste Rodin, it shows all six burghers in full round, each facing a different direction. Each bare a different expression, varying from righteous self sacrifice to utter despair to anger. 

Having only seen pictures, I am aware that my view is limited, but the beauty and feeling of it still strike me.  Every view is different.  Even just a small shift of a few inches one way or another changes what you see of each man. 

I have looked in vain for a picture that does justice to genius of this sculpture, but cannot find one that properly captures why I love it so much.  So, go search Google images and look at ALL of them.  It is the only way to really understand the magnificence of Rodin's brilliance.

The point of all this is that as we go through life, we change.  We grow, we lose, we find, we progress, we digress.  Every choice we make has an effect in our life, whether we can see it at the time or not.

And so often it is the tiny things we do every day that have the greatest impact on who we become and how we relate to the rest of the world.

Lately, there seem to be so many things that I have lost rather than gained.  I am working on a new view of the world, but can only see what will change in ways I am not looking forward to.  I cannot seem to find the good parts that will change.

Bizarrely enough, I still know that the changes I am making, the new perspective I am seeking, is the right thing for me right now.  It does not make things much easier, but it does give me space to grieve for the things I have lost and then let them go.