Thursday, December 29, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
There’s a nationally known, local donut store in our area that carries bizarre donuts: bacon maple bars, raised donuts topped with Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops cereals – and those are the mild combinations. I have never been to this donut store and have no desire to go. Give me a good maple bar, with creamy frosting (not the hard, glazed type) and I’m happy. Ditto with ice cream. In an effort not to be outdone by the donut stores, we also have a new ice creamery with flavors such as brown ale with bacon, lemon basil sorbet and honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper. Again, give me a classic, rich luscious coffee flavored ice cream and I’m happy. Then there’s music. I have listened to various versions of rock my entire life. I’m not embarrassed to say that the classic rock station, along with the “oldies” station, is hardcoded into my car radio. I do listen to other types of music occasionally (quiet times or when I’m working at my desk), but normally I prefer to rock out. Recently a friend told me I should check out Pandora and I was appalled. Why would I want an electronic jukebox to pick out music for me when I already know what I like? I like music I know with words I can sing along with (even if my version of the words if often way off from the actual lyrics).
So, I’m set in my ways. I like my maple bar sans bacon and with creamy frosting, I like coffee ice cream or even just plain old vanilla and I like my music to rock -- as I said, “or so I thought.” Two recent developments have caused me to question my set-in-my-ways beliefs: my husband bought a new car and I drove six 16-year-olds to Seattle and back. My husband’s new car has premier radio programming available and one afternoon, while scanning through channels, I came across a jazz station that took my breath away. While I enjoy jazz as background music when I’m working, I’ve found that this station’s music draws me to it every time I get in his car. While I normally like to rock out and sing along while driving, I’m finding that I am truly enjoying the calming sounds of this jazz station. I can feel myself physically relax as I listen. I dread the day when his free trial ends. On the other end of the music-style spectrum, while driving to Seattle and back with the six 16-year-olds, I listened to what I would call rap and dance music for several hours straight. The suburban looked and sounded like some souped-up hot rod with music blaring and girls dancing in their seats. While most of it didn’t appeal to me, there were two songs that kept running through my mind over the next few days. I found myself on the iTunes store downloading not only those two songs but also a couple of others of the same genre.
So, maybe I’m not so set in my ways. Maybe there’s music left to learn. I did go back and try the sea salt caramel ice cream. It was okay, but won’t be on any of my favorite playlists. The bacon maple bar, though? I don’t think so.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
With that inspiration in mind, I thought about this upcoming year and what I want to work on in order to be the best 53 year-old I can be. There are four areas that came immediately to mind: eating (as in less quantity and more healthy), exercise (continued cardio, more strength and flexibility), writing and time for me to do those things that I’ve only been dreaming about. I like a catchy phrase to remind me of my goals, so I played around with the words and came up with NEW Me: Nutrition, Exercise, Writing and Me.
So, what is the NEW Me going to be doing this year? In the area of Nutrition, I’ll be asking myself three H questions whenever I’m confronted with food or the idea of it: Am I hungry? Is the food healthy? Have I had enough? Hungry? Healthy? Had enough?
The NEW Me will also be working on becoming pain free. For the last year and a half, I have had pain somewhere in my body. With continued cardio exercise, more strength training, increased flexibility practice and physical therapy I hope to get my body back to feeling good, not just putting up with pain as a symptom of aging.
The New Me will begin to formulate my thoughts and writing into something publishable. I love the mental process of preparing what I will write as well as the act of actually writing, but the idea of marketing my writing in any form scares the words right out of me. This will definitely be an activity that is out of my comfort zone, but that’s okay; I’m not ready to stop growing.
Finally, or perhaps as a first step, NEW Me will make time for me. I have a laundry list of activities I’d like to pursue, chores I’d like to get accomplished, and goals I’d like to reach. In some ways, the ME portion of this acronym is contained within each of the other pieces, but there’s also more to ME than just what’s NEW.
So, with seven years to go until sixty, but with a one-year head start, NEW Me is already ahead of schedule; NEW Me is excited and NEW Me is going to do just fine.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I’ve walked and/or ran on a treadmill for years in the predawn hour when my husband and I exercise in our basement, but for the last couple of months – ever since I decided that I needed to head in a new direction (see Something’s Gotta Give), I’ve wanted to walk outdoors. No, it’s more than “wanted”; I’ve needed to walk outdoors. I need the fresh air, I need the movement that actually goes somewhere and I need the time for my mind to roll around ideas as my feet roll with each step.
I had planned to go on a long walk this morning, but I woke up feeling unrested and achy, so I’d bagged the idea of a long walk. Now, having written this and imagined my walk as I’ve written, I’m ready to head out the door. I’m walkin’, yes indeed!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I’ve always been somewhat liberally opinionated, especially about social issues. I’m not sure why; my parents believed in equality – to a certain extent, and certainly they believed in fairness, but I don’t think of them as having been very opinionated or liberal. Perhaps it was the reading material I chose as I grew up. This sounds a bit absurd, but I read Ann Landers regularly as a pre-teen and teen and, though she had some “old-fashioned” viewpoints, her advice was pretty open-minded. Then, just as I entered high school, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective came out with Our Bodies, Ourselves – it became my Bible. I have no doubt that this book played a big part in forming my basic foundational opinions about many social issues.
During my teens and twenties, maybe even into my thirties, I was somewhat vocal about my opinions, but I’ve recently realized that, while the passion of opinion is still strong within me, I’m no longer very vocal. This realization has been eye-opening to me and has caused me to give a lot of thought about why I have become a quietly opinionated person. This all arose when a friend posted a plea on her blog for support of a cause that I didn’t agree with. My initial reaction was to simply close the blog and move on to something else, but the topic was one that I’m particularly passionate about, so I gritted my teeth and typed out a comment, “Sorry, I disagree.” This simple sentence has spurred additional requests for discussion from my friend and, while I like a good conversation as much as the next person, what I have realized over the last two weeks since I gritted my teeth and typed, is that I no longer care to engage in debate-style discussions. I know that a lot of people love to discuss hot topics: politics, religion, social issues, but I don’t and I realize now that this is something that has changed within me as I’ve aged. In my twenties I would have loved a hot discussion – setting out my opinions and attempting to get the other person to see that my way is the right way. Now, and this is all part of this new realization, I’m pretty comfortable with my opinions and, while I’m happy to state them when asked, I no longer feel the need to try and convince others that I’m right – just as I’m comfortable with my opinions, I assume others are with theirs.
I have a great many friends whose opinions on sensitive subjects differ from my own, but I don’t think that’s an impediment to our friendships – perhaps it even enhances the relationships. More than having similar opinions, what I want in a friend is someone with the same basic moral values regarding loyalty to family and friends, kindness and giving, intelligence and interest. When my friend first asked me for more information on my comment, my first thought was, Why did I open my big mouth? Now, I’m glad I did and I’m glad she asked. I’m sure we’ll have a good conversation on this topic and this short little internet exchange caused me to really take a look at myself and how I’ve changed over the years on the subject of voicing opinions. In my opinion, I’m comfortable with who I have become.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I’ve been working out regularly for the last twelve years and I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I had a bit of a setback last year because of my foot surgery, but since then I’ve been working at getting back to where I was. It was months before I could walk at all and my surgeon advised against running. Once I began walking I noticed that I couldn’t walk as fast on the treadmill as I had in the past. My normal treadmill walking pace was 4.0 to 4.2 miles per hour. After my surgery I had to turn it down to 3.5 and have just recently graduated to 3.8. When walking outside, I have not worried about mileage or pace – just walking. Now I am signed up for a 10k next month and a couple of half-marathons over the following months, so today I pulled my Garmin Forerunner out of the drawer for the first time in a year. I leashed-up the big dog and headed out for a 5-mile walk. In the past my outside training and racing (I don’t really race anyone, just myself) pace for walking was 12-13 minute miles. I was shocked today when I had to push like crazy to get my first mile in at a 15 minute-per-mile pace! I felt like I’d forgotten how to walk. My foot flapped down with each step, I couldn’t remember how to get the heel-toe-push-off movement going. I felt like a big oaf! Finally, somewhere around 2.5 miles, my feet started moving with a nice rolling motion, my body naturally leaned forward a bit and my arms started pumping. I could feel the change and it felt good! I finished my five miles in 1:14 – one minute under an overall 15 minute-per-mile pace. Not as fast as I’ve been in the past, but I don’t think this is the beginning of an age-related decline in pace – I’m not yet to that point. I know I’m still able to improve my pace. I’ll be back out there tomorrow and I expect my body to cooperate well before 2.5 miles! I will however, leave the running for another day…or week…or month.
Monday, May 9, 2011
In my mind I had pinpointed today as the day I would seriously set myself on my new course, begin moving toward my new goals. I set the process in motion more than a month ago when I wrote Something’s Gotta Give and I sent out word that I would be stepping down from several of my current obligations. With a three week trip to Italy shortly after that announcement and knowing that plans needed to be made to determine who would step up to take on those responsibilities, I knew that I needed to set my start date out a few weeks. Today is that day.
Last night, after a wonderfully busy, crazy houseful-of-kids Mother’s Day, I looked through my stacks of books for a new book to read having finished my last book on the trip home from Italy. My eye was caught by the title on the spine of one book, Defying Gravity. I had a bit of a “woo-woo” moment when I pulled out the book, looked at the cover and saw the full title: Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women by Prill Boyle. I don’t remember where or why I bought this book (I’m a book-a-holic), but it felt magical that this would be the book I would pick up on the eve of my new life course. Last night I was only able to read the introduction before falling asleep (I hit the jet lag wall), but when I woke up too early this morning I took out my reading lamp to read a chapter while I tried to go back to sleep. I was shocked to find myself weeping through the first story of a woman who became a doctor at the age of 50 and the corresponding discussion of the physical phenomenon of inertia – objects at rest stay at rest; objects in motion keep going in the same direction unless acted upon by some outside force. I wept because I was hit by the truth of this phenomenon in my own life and by the inspiration of knowing that others have either managed to be their own “outside force” or have had an actual outside force thrust upon them and have then gone on to achieve great goals and to see their dreams come true. I wept because I have now released myself from the direction I have been on for years and, though it has been a fulfilling direction, I am so very ready to head in a new, albeit somewhat scary, direction. I’m excited to think about what I will do with my next forty-seven years!
Friday, April 29, 2011
There was a commercial several years ago with a jingle that went something like, “I wanna be like Mike,” that all the little Michael Jordan wannabes used to sing. Little boys who wanted to grow up to be Michael Jordan or at least to be rich, famous and athletically gifted like him. They made layups with their tongues stuck out, they wore red shirts emblazoned with number 23 and they played basketball and more basketball. But for most of them basketball would end up being a sport they could enjoy watching, perhaps even playing in some gym rat fashion. They were really just pretending that they might grow up to be Michael Jordan. Friends of mine took their 8-year-old daughter back to her birth country and watched as she walked along the sidewalk saying jibber-jabber words in the local cadence in an effort to sound like she was speaking her native language. Of course, she wasn’t really speaking the language, she was just pretending. My own daughter, on her earlier trips to her birth country, worked at “blending” whenever we were out in public. She’d sit in a public area or walk down the street mimicking those around her. She was thrilled when nobody seemed to take much notice of her – as if she’d blended right in. Her shining moment was when she was sitting in a crowded waiting room at a train station and an old Korean lady came and sat down next to her and started speaking to her in Korean. She smiled at the old lady, said, “American. Adopted,” and jumped up to come tell me (who was standing out on the platform – a safe distance away so as not to taint her Korean-ness) that she’d blended! She’d blended! Then she laughed at herself because she really had just pretended. As I walk around Italy, I try to say the basic greetings and requests in Italian. I sit at a café and hope that I look like I belong there, not like just another tourist infatuated with this beautiful country. From the moment I stepped on this soil several years ago, I’ve felt like I somehow belong here. For years before that I knew that the one language I’d really like to learn is Italian. But, just like the little boy who dreamed of being MJ or my friends’ daughter or my own – both trying out what it feels like to fit in with their birth cultures, my feeble attempts to appear Italian are really, in the end, just another form of pretending. But, just like childhood make-believe, pretending is fun; it transports me to another world, another life. I feel myself slowing down to the rhythms of the local community. So, for now, “Ciao Baby!” – I wanna be like Michelangelo!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Regardless of what I want to believe about how young I feel, the signs are there that the years are marching by. I don’t want to fall into the hole of “getting old”, so perhaps the right path is simply to acknowledge and accommodate these little reminders – stopping for a breath, taking a few more seconds to get out of a car, but to go on living with the excitement and inquisitiveness of my younger self.
Monday, April 25, 2011
A little while later, the waiter returned with my mother-in-law’s food, my caprese salad and an empty plate for my husband. None of us thought this strange since an empty plate is often provided when ordering pizza – in the United States. We should have realized that this is not usually the case in Italy where pizzas are ordered, and served, individually. My mother-in-law and I began to eat our lunch, reveling in the wonderful tastes (Italian food is amazing), while my husband waited for his pizza. He waited…and waited…and waited. Finally, when I had finished my lunch I said, “This is crazy! There’s no way it can take this long to make pizza.” I think the light bulb went off for both of us at the same time. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “No. Not pizza.” I picked up the folded order ticket the waiter had placed at the edge of the table and, sure enough, there was my order and my mother-in-law’s order and then the word, pizza – scratched out. There was no pizza coming for my husband’s lunch. The waiter obviously thought that my, “No. Not pizza,” referred to my husband’s order, not to some confusion about what type of caprese I was ordering. I wondered what kind of man the waiter thought I was married to. He must have thought him to be a complete wimp since my husband had clearly just ordered his pizza and the waiter was willing to let my direction of, “No. Not pizza,” override that order.
A friend suggested that if I lived in Italy for a year I would likely be able to pick up the language simply from immersion. The thought is tantalizing – a year in Italy with the outcome of being able to speak Italian. I’m not sure, though, that a year in Italy with me botching our lunch orders is my husband’s idea of an equally tantalizing way to effectively diet.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Yesterday I watched my first regatta (that’s crew-speak for competitive event, i.e. game, match, etc.). The temperature was chilly, the skies were gray with off and on rain showers and I have to believe the water was cold and, quite possibly, dirty. I watched the young men and women wade in and out of the water, getting wet up to their hips and knowing that they wouldn’t be changing their clothes immediately afterwards and I watched them stand around for hours waiting for their eight minutes of rowing excitement. As I watched them I suddenly realized that I have no desire to crew – this is an activity that can be tossed from my bucket list. I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed it when I was 20 or if the reality, even then, would have dissuaded me, but I certainly know now that I don’t want to stand around for hours waiting for a few minutes of fun. I don’t want to get cold and wet under almost any circumstance and definitely not if I can’t immediately change into warm dry clothes and sit beside a nice toasty fire (preferably with a glass of good red wine).
My oldest son teased me about glibly paring down my bucket list, but he’s not yet 30; he’s young enough to believe that he can do everything on his list. While I have no intention of throwing out my entire list, I know that it’s not likely, even with good intentions, that I’ll do more than scratch off the topmost items, so why leave an activity on the list that I now know I am no longer interested in pursuing. I’d rather pare my list so that I can more easily focus on what I want most. Knowing what I don’t want to do is almost as important as knowing what I do want to do.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When I started writing this blog over three years ago I wrote in my profile that I was a drummer and writer wannabe. Well, three years have come and gone and the drum set which sits outside my office door has remained untouched – if it were in my bedroom, it would have become a clothes rack – and the only thing I’ve written has been these entries into my blog. There are some responsibilities in my life that are non-negotiable – our children’s needs, our family’s finances and related bookkeeping. Time spent on kids and family cannot be dismissed; this is time that comes with having the title of “wife” and “mom”, but other responsibilities, particularly those labeled “volunteer” can be eliminated and, after much thought, I realize that it is time to take that step. From the age of 19 to 37 I was a banker, a professional, a working mom. With the addition of the fourth child to our family, I realized that it was time to make the tough decision to do something different; something that would allow me to spend more time with our children. I left the bank and decided to take six months off while I figured out what would come next. That was almost 16 years ago and what did I do next? I stayed home, I took care of my family and I became a volunteer. Now it is time for me to focus on my own dreams. It is time for me to step back from my volunteer commitments in order to free up time for those dreams. This has been a really tough decision for me to make; I like my volunteer jobs. I feel as if the work I’ve done has made a difference. However, I could go on doing these same jobs for the next 20 or 30 years and my drum set would still be sitting there unused and my writing would still consist only of short little entries in my blog. Rock on! Write on! Here’s to new beginnings.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Last night we attended another Celebration of Life. Like the other, this event was complete with a display of photos and memorabilia from the person’s life, with family and friends gathered together – including some who came long distances to be there. The difference between the two, though, was that the honoree was not dead. No, far from it! This honoree threw the party herself in honor of entering her octogenarian years and with the idea that if there was going to be a celebration of her life, she wanted to be around to enjoy it! I like her attitude.
We’re admonished to live life in the present, to use the good china, to enjoy the day we’ve been given, but what about also enjoying those around us, those we care about now, today? I know I did this well with my parents and I do it well with my very immediate family, but I don’t think I’ve taken full advantage of those who it’s more difficult to connect with because of time or distance or what seem like higher priority commitments. I think I’ll make this term, a celebration of life, a mantra of sorts to remind me to not only enjoy each of my own days, but to also make the effort to enjoy, to connect with, to celebrate life, with those around me, those I care about, those I would like to know better – now, today, while we’re all around to enjoy it!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Once we went away to college, my husband and I did not go back very often and, when we did, it was always with the sense of familial obligation. While I loved seeing my parents, the visits were not recreational and then, when parents began to ail, the trips became even more obligatory. At some point both my husband and I felt the rotting nature of the peninsula. It’s a damp environment where buildings rot and, it seemed, even people rot. My husband and I ran the opposite direction and fell in love with the dry air of central Oregon. For years, that was our destination of choice. No rotting there.
Even given the negative feelings we had about the peninsula, I have always loved the beach. Because it was my family’s hometown, we visited regularly when I was growing up. I spent countless hours playing on the beach with my cousins and later, when we had moved back for high school, I spent hours walking on the beach, reflecting on the beach and writing on the beach. The ocean draws me in much the same manner that Mt. Hood does. Once there were no more parents to visit and take care of on the peninsula, whenever I wanted to go to the beach we simply went to the Oregon Coast where the ghosts of rot did not follow us. Last fall some dear friends invited us to spend five days with them, celebrating their anniversary at a house they’d rented at the beach – our beach, the beach of the peninsula. We agreed, of course, but we both realized that this would be our first recreational trip in, literally, forever. Even though I still have family here, I decided that, for me, this would be a trip devoid of familial responsibilities. I would go to the beach just to enjoy it. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel “going back”, but my anticipation grew as we drove across the coast range and I began to realize just what this place means to me. It’s not just the ocean. I can get the ocean on the Oregon Coast. It’s this ocean. This ocean that stretches along 26 miles of beach. This ocean that has roared in my ears since I was a child. This ocean that caressed my teenage wounds. This ocean that, I now realize, is at the core of my being. Coming back here has filled me with a mixture of emotions that just about knocked me over by their unexpectedness. I feel a sense of awe, joy and inner peace that I had not expected. I walk outside, letting the salt air wind hit my face, and I physically feel something wonderful happen inside of me.
It’s said you can’t go home again, but maybe the point is that home is never really gone from within you.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Growing up I would sit for hours by my bedroom window just looking outside and thinking. I loved walking on the beach and thinking. At night, I would gaze up at the stars contemplating the universe and thinking. As an adult, I don’t feel like I have time to think. Not the type of thinking needed to arrange schedules or balance checkbooks, but the type of thinking needed to calm one’s mind. My nephew recently posted on Facebook that he loves walking beside the Columbia River and reflecting. I was jealous of his ability to take the time for that sort of solitude, for that time to think. One of the reasons I like to write is because formulating my thoughts around a topic forces me to think, forces me to contemplate something more than just who has what appointment today.
I saw a quote in the paper last week that really summed up my need for solitude.
“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” --D.H. Lawrence
I want, I need to let life rush in!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? The dad in that movie uses Windex for all sorts of ailments and mishaps. In a similar manner, my grandpa used Absorbine Jr. for everything! Scrape your knee? Apply some Absorbine Jr. Muscles hurt? Apply some Absorbine Jr. Ear pain? Drop in some Absorbine Jr. (and blow in a little cigarette smoke just for good measure). My memories of my grandpa are tied up with the smell of Absorbine Jr. just as my memories of my mom come flooding forth every time I smell Emeraude. Now, I’m afraid that my kids might begin to associate me with the smell of Bengay. With chronic shoulder pain in one arm and tennis elbow in the other, I have taken to smearing my upper extremities, morning and night, with Bengay. This morning, when I visited my ophthalmologist, I felt I should apologize for what I know was an overwhelming aroma of Bengay. Portland has a new policy for city workers discouraging wearing scents in the workplace – would the scent of Bengay be included in this policy? A few nights ago, my husband got into bed and cuddled up next to me – ever the gentleman, he whispered, “Oh, Bengay! That’s so sexy!”
There are many adventures that come with being in my 50s; I hadn’t expected that learning to love the scent of Bengay would be one of them.
Friday, February 25, 2011
There are two ultra-important sentences in a woman’s life that we females all understand: “My period started,” and “My period is late.” They both have a number of meanings. The first, being said by a pre-teen or teenage girl, can mean that she’s getting her period for the first time – a monumental event that changes one’s outlook on who you are. It can also be a flat statement that means, for some, that activities need to be adjusted or curtailed. Finally, it can be said in disappointment during those years when a woman might be hoping to become pregnant or in relief if, during those years, she really doesn’t want to become pregnant. The second sentence can, again, be related to a possible pregnancy and is either a joyful statement, if pregnancy is desired, or a worried statement, if a pregnancy is not then wanted. For women my age, the sentence, “My period is late,” can be the clearest indication that menopause has actually begun.
There are many indicators of peri-menopause that women can experience for years before actually entering menopause: night sweats, hot flashes, dryness, but the absence of a period is a pretty good indicator that one’s hormones have made that big dramatic shift. With the exception of the onset of menstruation in a girl’s early teens and, possibly, pregnancy, the end of menstruation and the beginning of menopause are probably the most significant bodily changes a woman experiences during her lifetime. All three of these events, onset of periods, pregnancy and menopause carry with them enormous changes, both physical and mental. Physically, there are shifts made that one cannot control (at least without supplements) and mentally there are not only the myriad of emotional upheavals that happen because of the shifting hormones, but there are also the inevitable changes in self-perception and social definition – Who am I now?
I don’t know of any woman who won’t understand what I just wrote about in those last two paragraphs and, I thought, most men probably understand as well. I happen to be married to one of the all-time best men around. He’s understanding and patient; he considers my little foibles to be endearingly quirky; I would offer him up as an example for other men who want to be good husbands. And yet, two nights ago, when I cautiously confided, “My period is late,” his response sent me into a total tailspin. He looked at me, seeming somewhat confused, and said, “So what’s the big deal?” WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?!! For me, this confession was laden with meaning. For years, I’ve anticipated this event; I’ve thought about what it will mean. I'm already past the average age for the onset of menopause. Now, possibly, here it is and I’m feeling very emotional and my husband, my best friend, my man asks, “What’s the big deal?”
Once my tears had dried (yes, his question lead my emotions to overflow through my eyes) we had a little conversation about the importance to women of these kinds of changes and I think he better understands what this all means to me so that next time he won’t be asking me that type of uninformed question. Next time, because, well, my period started.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As I wrote in my last entry, I recently, unwittingly, found myself taking extra special care of someone in need – myself! Then, I took some advice from my husband about mentally compartmentalizing those thoughts and emotions that have been weighing me down. I mentally put them into a drawer, tucked in the edges that were trying to sneak out and I shut the drawer! Thursday afternoon, as we were driving to our youngest son’s basketball game and listening to the radio, I suddenly felt the music move within me. I felt the joy pushing itself out, creating a crack that grew bigger and bigger. Holding back tears I said to my husband, “I feel like dancing.” I think he knew that I didn’t mean the kind of dancing where you stand up and move your feet. On Friday the crack became a chasm and my inner joy spewed out. I drove around town on a mission of errands wearing a stupidly silly smile on my face. Welcome back, Optimism! Welcome back, Pollyanna! Welcome back, Me!
P.S. Lest this sounds too syrupy-sweet, this past year has changed me – you know, older and wiser and all that, but it’s good to know that deep down, I am still the optimistic person I always believed myself to be.