Day #8

two people walking down a streetIt was 80 degrees today. They said we broke a record. The last day of November, the first day of Christmas decorations and it feels like Spring. It was so off…

She came home at 3pm. Five days later and she finally came home. She hid behind her dad’s legs. She refused to look at me. She came in her own home begrudgingly.

I knew it would happen; it happens every time, especially when it’s not her usual weekend only visit. I try to prepare myself before she gets here; protect myself emotionally. But it just feels wrong…

We walk, me and my family, to my mom’s around the corner. She talks and skips and dances. My Love and I hold hands. And although the edge is still on her voice and the uncertainty stays etched in her face, I feel the world righting itself again. My baby is home and a cold front is coming…

Day #7

Today I was asked to help start a group.

A good and helpful endeavor with pleasant people that would benefit a number of others. And I cringed inside. This project is much like two other projects I helped with in my twenties. They ate me alive both times. They were all-consuming and always took more than I wanted to give… more money, more time, more resources. But I was devoted and it was for the good of all. Except for the good of me–but really, who’s counting.

As I walked today I felt stressed. I had just spent six hours cleaning the living room… one room!! I had so many more things to check off. The rest of the house needs to shine, work and grades will not get done without me, I have lists to make (elf on the shelf, Grinchmas Party next weekend, groceries for the week), and then there is the putting-away of Thanksgiving and the beauty of Christmas to display.

I walked hunched with mind racing and anxiety turning in my stomach. But I chose to walk, and as always, it worked it’s calming magic (sure there is a lot of science about wautum-colored leaveshy this helps but I prefer magic).

Day #5

Today was busy.

The hustle and bustle of family and food. Macy’s Thanksgiving parade to watch. Pies to cook. Places to be. And oh the roles we play. Wife, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, mother, friend were just a few of mine today.

We talked and shared, laughed and cried. We ate and then ate more. We connected in superficial ways and meaningful ways, and all the ways in between. We drank wine and dissected ads and solved all the worlds problem. Family togetherness…fleeting but beautiful in all its bursts of color.

And then the Love and I came home. It was already dark and cold outside.

“I didn’t get to walk today,” I said.

“Well, let’s go.”

And we changed shoes, bundled up, and walked. Not long and not too far-but enough. The dark and quiet after such a full day was enormous in my head. The moon and the stars twinkled at me and the cold chill made my skin come alive. As I walked, I thought about a piece of advice recently shared with me.

She said:

“Imagine you are sitting on a bench holding balloons of all that labels what you are: mother, wife, friend, worker, etc. Now imagine letting go of each balloon until they are gone. What are you left with?”

Just me,” I had whispered then.

A couple's shadows cast upon the pavement.And “Just me” I whisper now. I look at our shadows, long in street lights. I see the most stark version of myself staring back at me. The version without color, accomplishments, superego, or beliefs. It’s just me. I am grateful to be at a place in my life where I can finally enjoy just me in just this moment.

Happy Thanksgiving, my gentle readers…

Day #3

heart-shaped-rockLove.

It’s the one thing that when all else is stripped away, I still believe. And I know it comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. I’ve witnessed the beautiful, the magical and the absurd. And love has found its way to me… it came unexpected and surprised this broken heart.

But that has been some time ago and as I walk hand-in-hand with my Love today, I ask him: “Well it’s almost Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?” He looks at me sideways and grins, “Well, you, of course.” And I know he’s teasing but I also know he is speaking complete truth because he tells me every day in a thousand different ways. He loves so hard and thoroughly and playfully. I never go one day without laughing, smiling, blushing, and feeling certain my heart will burst with joy.

Seriously, everyday.

We continue walking and I push a little harder (because it’s what I do),”Why are you thankful for me?” He walked in silence hand still tight on mine. “Because I can just be me with you.” And isn’t that all we really ever want?  I feel inexplicable happiness with this statement because it means I am his soft-and-safe place. To be silly or to cry or to be angry about the cards that have been dealt… it doesn’t matter because he knows I have the empathy and the courage to stare all of him in the face and just love.

And love is all I know for certain, so it’s what I choose… every time.