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Monday Morning Musings… Anniversaries

on Nov 16, 2015

When you’re young, they’re something to anticipate. At 16, there’s such a thrill in marking one month with your first boyfriend, then two. If you’re lucky, one year. “Until death do us part…” promises many. But as we get older, some will lose their flavor. Become bitter. A mis-carriage. A child given up for adoption. A divorce. The loss of a parent, or a grandparent. Or, unthinkably, a child. Anniversaries etch a moment in time indelibly into our hearts and minds. I’m generally not one who is tied religiously to dates; I put much more stock in the moment or the experience than the number on a calendar. I have a divorce anniversary, but for the life of me I can’t remember the specific day the decree was issued. That paper is tucked away somewhere in a file drawer in my office. But memories of it are intertwined in years of going through it and doing hard things and coming out the other...

Monday Morning Musings… O.M.G!

on Aug 18, 2015

My children were banned from electronics today. No iPods, no iPads, no computers, no Youtube. They are the most miserable, pathetic creatures you have ever seen in your life. Seriously. I can’t even. On a warm and sunny day, they would be down at the water, splashing and keeping cool. But it’s kind of chilly today. Not water weather in any case. The lake is quiet. Their dad is puttering away at some outside stuff and I’m still recuperating from a recent surgery, so taking it a little easier than I normally would be. (Hard to believe that there is an “easier” mode than the one I live on in the summer, isn’t it?) I knew it would be a hard day for them. But I had no idea how bad things had become. When I came home from the hospital on Thursday, it was pretty quiet here. I was feeling poorly and still in recovery mode trying to regain my strength. There was a friend here also, which helped...

Misery loves company… the positive side of the comparison trap

on Aug 2, 2015

It’s no secret that I’m a reader. In addition to the pile of books on my nightstand, the daily newspaper and various online publications, I subscribe to a number of blogs, so with regular frequency—like every.single.day—I enjoy the writing of others. (It’s a wonder I get anything done!) My favourite bloggers are the ones who are honest about themselves, their lives, their bodies, their marriages, their parenting. You know, all the hard things. I especially love it if the author can offer some perspective through a lens of humour. But, I confess, as much as I love reading the work of others, it takes a toll on my aspirations as a writer. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap. To entertain the thought that I have nothing new or unique to offer. It’s all been said before, and much more eloquently or humorously than I could dream of saying it. So why bother? Facebook can be a...

The (dumb) Dog Door

on Jul 28, 2015

I like animals. Dogs are great. Cute. Loyal. Cuddly. And I love them more when they go home with their owners. Many of you know that I have a cat. And some fish. We used to have hamsters. I’m a fan of pets in general. I just don’t want any more than I currently have. My kids (well, mostly the youngest one) beg regularly for a dog. In fact, she’s put random reminders in my iPhone that pop up every few months that read “Get Leah a Dog.” I appreciate her resourcefulness. But the answer is still no. Usually, I deflect her case with the argument that our almost-15-year-old cat would hate it. He’s old. He’s grumpy. The stress would kill him. But, given that the cat is almost 15, I probably won’t be able to use that excuse for too many more years. My second line of defense is that I simply cannot keep any more living things alive. With four kids, a husband, a cat, several fish and two...

Monday Morning Musings… Whirlwind

on Jun 8, 2015

Life is a whirlwind. It starts moving—slowly in the mornings—with a groggy cup of coffee. Aging eyes that take longer to focus make the newspaper a challenge some days. A pen, my journal, an open heart, an open mind. In the summer, an open window and the lilt of songbirds are my soundtrack. The coffee starts to kick in and the eyes figure out what it means to be open again and then things start to pick up pace. Gaining momentum when the kids wake up and things begin to whirl. Get dressed. Make breakfast. Make lunches. Brush your hair. Pack your bags. Remember this. Do you have that? Quick, into the car, and off we go. And it continues, faster. There’s always something that needs to be done. Laundry to do. Tidying the house. Errands to run. Meals to plan. Groceries to shop. Appointments to keep. Kids to pick up. Dinner to make. Activities to attend. The hours in the day disappear. And...

Monday Morning Musings… My pants don’t fit–Second instalment

on May 25, 2015

Was it just nine months ago that I lamented on this blog that my pants no longer fit after a summer of lazing and lounging by the lake? You may recall that, at that point, I determined that in the coming months, I would move my body more—in an effort to once again squeeze myself back into my pants. Well, I am an enthusiastic starter and let me tell you, once the kids started back at school, I started walking, and—thanks to the accountability offered by a friend—began yoga. I was optimistic and ready to change my life! Or, at least the size of my pants! Fast forward nine months. I had a sobering run-in with my closet this past weekend. I needed a dress to wear to a Gala, our girls’ swim club wrap-up event. You can imagine my dismay when, dress after dress, each one I pulled out and tried on was just a little bit (or, in some cases, a LOT) too snug. Instead of LOSING pounds and inches,...

I need to get something off my chest

on May 13, 2015

This is such a difficult post to write.  I’ve been thinking about it—and putting it off—for almost seven months now. It’s not one of those things that just easily rolls off the tongue and into conversation. But it fills my head and my heart constantly. And maybe, if I just throw it out there, we can all just deal with it, then forget about it and move on with our lives. Do we have a deal? Great! I have cancer. There. I said it. Let’s just take a moment to let the words sink in. (Insert moment of stunned silence here…) Those of you who already know this information, you can just be patient for a bit… Are we good now? Awesome! I’m so glad we’ve had a chance to have this little talk. So, why have I been putting that off for so long?  It wasn’t actually that bad, now was it? But I’m sure you have questions. I had questions. So, we can talk some more if you’d like. I’m mostly ok with it....

I’m turning into my mother…

on Mar 17, 2015

The inevitable is happening. I’m turning into my mother. We used to mock her. Family nights, watching TV. The sappy commercials would come on in the middle of Matlock or Carol Burnett—something as simple as a girl calling her dad long distance on his birthday—and cue the tears. As the wistful strains of a violin or some other emotion-provoking soundtrack would play, we’d all knowingly turn our gaze to mom to see her eyes welling and tears rolling. As would our eyeballs. Really mom? It’s a long-distance commercial. (And the mockery would continue.) So, the other evening, as I was folding laundry in front of the TV, watching PVR’d episodes of Fixer Upper (or some other HGTV fodder, where designers change people’s lives while changing their homes) you can imagine my surprise when I felt something wet roll down my cheek. The host threw her husband a surprise 40th party, combined with the...

Living legacies…

on Mar 12, 2015

I ran into a friend from my past at the grocery store recently. Our daughters went to elementary school together, but when mine switched schools in fifth grade, we lost touch. Thirteen years later, we still live in the same community but only run into each other very occasionally. When we do meet up though, it’s always a good conversation. She’s an energetic and animated woman. I love talking with her, catching up on what the years between our meetings have brought. There we stood, chatting in the aisle between the bakery and the produce, when she gently took my arm, leaned in, looked into my eyes and said, “I’ll never forget something you told me once. “ Thoughts began swirling. What profound thing might I have said that required her to grab my arm and change her posture? What legacy of wise counsel was I doling out all those years ago? I couldn’t think of a thing. And then she told...

From worthless to worthy

on Jan 31, 2015

Source It’s taking me longer to navigate my journals than I anticipated; I’m still meditating my way through the first one. I suppose I shouldn’t expect that a journey of two decades would be digested in a matter of days or weeks. I suspected that the reading would be simple, but I keep getting stuck on themes. Or, maybe, one theme characterized by many different words. Discouraged. Inferior. Hopeless. Lonely. Desperate. Worthless. The theme plays itself out day after day after day. At one point, I wrote, “I don’t know how much longer I can live like this.” Oh, let me tell you, dear, sweet, naïve 27-year-old me, you can (and will) live like this for a long time. These days that, right now, feel like weeks will extend into months and drag on for years. But, hindsight is beautiful thing and I can also tell you that these days will get easier. Your desperate hope for reconciliation in...