I am far from saintly, imbued with a weakness for the profane, for excess, and more than my fair share of debauchery. However, when it comes to my health I am the model of good intentions: I exercise mindfully every single day. I eat healthy foods, meditate, pray, and hug people all of the time (which we know thanks to science hugs help you live a longer, happier life. The more the better!). Hell, I even stretch after exercising. I even stretch after sleeping! However there is still the nagging fact that I am imperfectly made in my human design. All those ounces of prevention do me a world of good, but are no immunization for aging and genetics and general “well that’s life-ness”. Still I soldier on cheerfully. Mostly cheerfully. Ok, I get monstrous at times. It makes me appear mysterious and keeps my family guessing. This morning I had 4 more injections into the base of my spine, just four weeks after having the same procedure done, with the same flat on my ass, nausea filled recovery. My kids are awesome. They know mom’s not ever down on the mats like this easily or often and they nurture my peaked spirit with such tenderness and love. They stepped into every role plus their own, and made giving in to a long day of fitful sleep, guiltless and easier. I know my hubby longs to be here to be superman for me but he is currently taking the capital by storm with our 4th son and the entire 8th grade class on a week long field trip. Somehow I feel I got the easier deal, but he really loves stuff like that. So I am curled up with pillows and ice packs, and treated to snuggles and whispered stories of the day in my cool, darkened room while it spins slowly on towards tomorrow, and one more step closer to healing.
“Mamma said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this my mamma said”. Truth. That’s what just dropped my friends, TRUTH. Every single one of us has had that moment when the fates conspire against you. When you smack your little toe against the table leg of life and before you can call your words back, out they fly like a boomerang that is DEFINITELY going to come back to bite you. Well, when it happens, (and happen it will, I promise you this) just breathe deeply and try to recall these sage words, these pearls of wisdom, these nuggets of gold I am sharing with you now:
1. Unless your rage fueled moment of weakness left a body to hide, it’s going to be fine. It will pass. Probably like a kidney stone, but this too shall pass. Your kids won’t be scarred for life, they probably won’t even need all that much therapy. Your partner may occasionally look at you like they just woke up in the twilight zone, but that’s ok, they’re probably a bit freaky too. Hey, look at it this way, your moment of human imperfection has provided them with a great ice breaker story for later in life at the very least. Probably a bit of fuel for your commitment hearings, but a hell of a story too. If there is a body, you’re on your own.
2. Everyone boomerangs in life. You’re not alone. The entire human race has had their own private Idaho moment where better judgement did not prevail, and that action, those words came flying back. Remember recess? Hell, not a kid on that playground escaped middle school without the requisite poor judgment skills that go neatly hand in hand with the acne and the rapid, awkward body changes. Spilled secrets, terribly chosen alliances all are the hallmarks of our adolescence. It’s probably where they got the idea for “Survivor”. My point is, you and a couple billion unique individuals exactly like you (yes, that was intentional) all struggle in moments of weakness and sometimes we lose. Pick yourself up, dust your self off, clean up your mess and then move on. Leave the boomerang analogy there. Plainly put: don’t keep coming back to your mistake. You got your mess cleaned up? Lesson learned? You’re good.
3. Here I’ve saved the best for last. Be the first to tell your story. Don’t let fear of your past keep you hostage. Be brave. Let others see your strength by seeing that you wade through the same stuff everyone else does. Laugh at your self, at your real person status, and then feel good that you aren’t cloaking yourself in shame at your startling lack of awesomeness at times. That’s what makes you great. You really ARE amazing. You’re messy and lovely, and complexly put together. If you’re going to keep boomeranging anything, let it be your light.
If you still have that body we talked about earlier, give me a call. I might know a guy. Damn. I sure hope that doesn’t come back to bite me…..
Once upon a time a girl met a boy and fell in love. It was that young, rash, throw caution to the wind, deeply, madly, wildly in love kind of love. The sort that fairy tales are made of. It was just the beginning, only the beginning, because so much lay ahead for this boy and this girl. They were blessed because behind them, surrounding them, lifting them up was a village of people who loved them. They would be there to guide, to share joys and sorrows, to hold and lift them up when they needed it. And so they were blessed. 21 years later, 5 amazing children, and their village still lifting them and loving them. But blessed most of all because that boy asked, and that girl said yes, yes with all her heart. ❤️
This. Just…THIS. This night sky greeted my eyes moments ago when I gingerly stepped outside for a slow, cool, soothing breath. Today I had 4 shots in my spine to abate the chronic pain and inflammation that I refuse to give in to. I thought, with great hubris, that my husband, Dale, would be able to simply pick me up from my work and take me back after the procedure with this small inconvenience only a blip on my screen for the day. I had plans, but hubris, that’s what I had more of. Getting up from the table I was met with the unplanned, the un-allotted for, the how-dare-I-be-human reality. It was more painful than I expected, but I’ve had 5 kids, so this is small potatoes. If hubris is my fatal flaw, perspective levels the field as my dear companion. This won’t take me down, there are much worse things that could happen. I’ll carry this one gladly. However, nausea, deep, sweeping nausea from my toes to the hair in my head, met me. Unceasing, sweaty, dizzying nausea that I know with certainty will be a faint memory in a matter of days, hopefully replaced by a spine that won’t defy me all the time, met me with a desperate intensity sending me home and banishing me to my bed. But this nausea is so overwhelming, and the dull ache in my back and legs cause a restlessness and drive me out of my bed and into the evenings embrace for fresh air and peace. And with that first, slow, cold breath filling my lungs I opened my eyes and saw this beautiful, brilliant sunset. This. Here. Now. Peace.
Our wee little chicks have out grown their kitchen based domicile. Being still quite small compared with those big boned gals in the coop-de-ville, an interim base camp was needed. With hubby away, and the itty bitties bursting at the seems inside, I headed to the local hardware store armed only with desperation and a half baked, hair brained idea taking form. Lacking a working knowledge of the tools in our shed, strong spacial skills, basic math abilities, and solid upper body strength, I decided to rely solely on materials I could tie together and drag around the yard myself. The plan was simple: construct a basic rectangular box out of PVC pipes and 3 way joints to connect them, at which point I planned to wrap the entire thing in old chicken wire, held to the form with the 3 zip ties I found rummaging around the house, a 5 foot length of wire I found stumbling around the poorly lit shed, and a huge pile of twisters I usually reserve for tying Christmas lights to the eves. It was fool proof! A kindly gentleman at the store, blessed with the patience usually required by parents of 4th graders the night before a science project is due, listened while I used wild hand gestures and vague descriptions to communicate my “blueprint”. Amazingly he understood enough of my native language (utter hooey) to help me gather the required supplies, even cutting the pipes to my non specific, arms stretched out to indicate lengths, directions. I was on fire. Upon arriving back home I enlisted the help of the two unlucky children not otherwise engaged, and used the same eloquent articulation to convey the plan. Less than half an hour later, I stood proudly gazing at our handiwork, my hands and arms covered in a multitude of tiny cuts because I refused to use common sense and wear protective gloves to handle the chicken wire (a hellish mistress with a devil of a temper), pride swelling in my heart. The result is a fantastic, inexpensive , light weight and portable “mini coop” that can even fit into the big coop at night, and most impressively, is so simple to assemble, even a team of reluctant monkeys can do it. Success!
*For anyone facing a similar dilemma and as apt at “construction” as I am, the PVC pipes are 1/2″, are sold 10 feet long at less than $3 a length. The one I made is 5 feet long by 3’4″‘s wide, 3’4″s high. The odd measurements are because I had the guy cut 2 of the poles in half (5′ each half), and three other poles equally in 3rds (hence the strange 3’4″ lengths! A side note: you only need 8 of them so you end up with an extra 3’4″ length). I used eight 3 way connectors (4 at each end) to make squares and then connected the squares with the 5’ poles. One roll of chicken wire will cover 4 sides and the top. I HIGHLY recommend coughing up the extra money for a big bag of zip ties, way faster and easier than twisting a million actual twisters all around the thing to hold the wire to the frame!
She’s a complicated girl. I think that’s what I love most about this picture. It says everything you need to know about this time in a young persons life. A foot in each world: the child and the adult circling around in one body, trying to make peace with each other, trying to find where each one stands, trying to find that elusive balance that will free you to go forward without losing sight of all the magic and joy that comes from those moments of wild abandon and limitless dreams.
I am happy I have crows feet around my eyes that tell everyone immediately at a distance that I laugh. I laugh A LOT. Laughter makes everything so much more manageable and the unmanageable stuff, well slightly better. I am happy I have a belly that hangs a bit over my pants, and bulges a bit at the hips like a delicious doughnut that proclaims I break bread with my family and friends on a regular basis. I may not grace the covers of swimsuit magazines, but I happily salute any woman comfortable enough in her own skin that she lets herself shed layers and revel in sunshine and water in a bikini or even a one piece if that’s daring enough for her to manage. It took a while but I made my peace with the silver hairs that sprout by the dozens around my temples. They testify that I have lived long enough and interestingly enough to have earned them. Truth be told, I am more than a little amazed to have made it so far. ❤️