blogging Mental Health Writing

Oh Hey, May

That moment when you blink and some months have passed.

I’m now 36. My husband is now 35.

I’ve now gone on my first cruise and we’ve decided that, yeah, we’re “cruise people.”

We’re in the middle of baseball season which means I’m simultaneously loving it, praying for rain, cursing the fact that I’m missing Penguins playoff games, sweating, freezing, mumbling under my breath, clapping, holding babies, and eating soft pretzels with cheese.

I love soft pretzels with cheese.

School ends on Friday. On Monday, our oldest son went to the middle school for a tour while I cried into my coffee at home. Today Marley went to school so our oldest son could do a presentation for “Teach the Teachers” on White German Shepherd Dogs. I have no pictures because children swarmed us. Marley thought it was the best thing ever while I practiced deep breathing. Tomorrow that same kid goes to Akron to watch a minor league baseball game. He’s so excited he could burst. Thursday brings the Awards Ceremony and Friday is Fun Day.


Remember in past years when I was all, “blah, blah, we don’t do summer bucket lists or any bucket lists,” or something anti-whatever-is-currently-popular because I’m sometimes a jagoff? Well, this summer I want to do all of the things. My bucket list bucket is so deep I’m not sure how we’ll do all the things, but we’re gonna give it our best.

I sit on my front porch a lot lately, mainly because I planted all of the flowers, including our first every Fairy Garden which ended up in two big pots because I over-purchased. I still have a few things I want to purchase for the front porch, but it’s slowly becoming the porch I imagined when we bought the house five years ago.

Five. Years. Ago.

I’m hoping to get the new deck built by the end of summer. We’re, SURPRISE!, going on vacation with my family to the beach this summer. The boys got to go last summer while the parental units (us) stayed home and worked. Life is different now, so we get to go, but that involved moving money from our Early Summer Deck Rebuild Fund to the June Vacation Fund. The Late Summer Deck Rebuild will be just fine.

I’m back in yoga. Which means my arms and shoulders and abs and FEMURS kind of hate me. But I needed yoga in about eight different ways. A new studio opened in Zanesville, and I’ve fallen back in love with my body and the weirdly strong things it can do even though it’s been over a year since I regularly practiced yoga. I assume my arms will stop aching right about the time we go to build the new deck which will, yes, cause them to ache again.

It’s a cycle, this life.

I mentioned on Twitter (which, btw, is still alive and kicking and where you can keep up with the complete downfall of our current government) that I receieved my first rejection letter of 2017. Which means, yes, I’m writing again. It feels good. It feels right. Now is the time to do so. And so I am.

I can still do hard things.

I still have hard days, but I’m allowing them to be solitary and not take over entire weeks or months. Mother’s Day and the dreaded day before felt really hard this year for so many reasons. Then I woke up on Monday, went to yoga, and allowed myself the grace of starting again. In short: My medication, therapy, and positive affirmations seem to be working. I’ll stick with them and thank everyone and thing that brought this current state into my life—some of whom are you, so thank you.

I have pieces for this blog rattling around in my head and on various pieces of Post-Its and journal pages. They’re coming, all the words. I move a little slower with them now, think a little more, weigh the words before and as I type them, but oh, they’re there. It’s a really, really great feeling to move from black nothingness in my head to the creative space I prefer to dwell. I like it here.

All this to say: I’m here. I’m okay. I’m a blonde now. And most days, save for Hallmark holidays, I am happy.

Who would’ve thunk it?


The Speed of Summer

The Speed of Summer

Nothing like a summer cold to slow you right down, to plop you back into bed allowing you to watch the clouds float by the window above your bed.

Because summer moves much too quickly.

Whether you’re vacationing or your kids travel somewhere without you; whether you’re playing baseball or watching endless baseball games; whether you’re swimming in a pool or an ocean or a lake or your own sweat; whether you’re trying to run outdoors in the heat or indoors on the treadmill or maybe not at all; whether you let the kids stay up late to chase lightning bugs and make S’mores or send them to bed early because omg, sometimes you just need a little peace; whether you’re grilling steaks or grazing on veggie plates or eating sandwiches or going out to dinner; whether you ever catch up on the laundry—or not; whether you make time to see your friends or the busy nature of summer schedules steals them away until fall; whether you have time off or spend your days in an air conditioned cubicle or office; whether you take time to smell the flowers or they given you allergies; whether you’re chasing Pokemon or complaining about others having fun; whether it’s your favorite season or your least, summer speeds right on by.

Right. On. By.

I’m reminded of my late grandmother’s warning about how time only moves faster and faster.

When you’re a teenager, that doesn’t seem to make any sense. Time is a set standard, based on the Earth’s rotation, right? How could it move faster?

And while I run the risk of sounding sappy, I must agree her advice rings true. Maybe not on the hardest days of parenting. Oh, those days seem to drag on for years. Trying to raise two sons to act with respect and compassion feels like an endless dance on hot coals with society throwing flaming hot daggers to make it all the more interesting; difficult.

But the boys came home from traveling with my parents at least an inch taller each. Once, when I talked to our older son on the phone, he carried on a legitimate conversation that included phrases like, “Well, that’s very interesting.” I’m sorry. What? Who are you?

Time keeps spinning out of my control. I can’t seem to stay on top of my cleaning schedule, my day job, my night-job, my kids’ social schedule, my social schedule, date night, the gray in my hair, the hair on my legs, bodily hair in general (omg, my eyebrows), the news, politics, the latest technology my kids find interesting, the latest warnings about the technology my kids find interesting, the garden, the flowers, the dog’s brushing schedule, when did the dog last get a bath?, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, why do we require food sustenance every single day?, multiple times per day?, we’ve only been to the pool three times, overdue library books, and hey, sometimes I like to write because it makes me feel good, like I’ve accomplished something when everything else seems mostly half-assed.

And so I sit in my rocking chair, blowing my nose and coughing up gunk, watching the clouds float by the other bedroom window. I sit and breathe ohsoslow so as not to start off a coughing jag. I drink my water. The boys run in, as fast as the summer speeds by, to check on me. I rock and remember a time when I felt so overwhelmed by the length of the days, those early newborn days spent in a haze of half-awake, half-asleep, mostly lost.

There’s too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. Yes, being sick on top of it all feels like some kind of punishment for enjoying summer so far. But despite a lengthy to-do list and a growing pile of tissues, I kind of feel like this summer is maybe, almost, perhaps just the right speed. For this year. For us.