Inside


These are the days of looking inside everyone’s life through social media. You’re looking at their beautiful children and their perfect marriage. You see all the fun they’re having. You see all of their wonderful times out with friends, vacations and new toys. You notice how perfect they are and you cringe because you know you aren’t like them. 

You tend to forget that people don’t live their inside outside. It’s so much pressure to be perfectly perfect, isn’t it? You must have it all. You’re failing if you don’t. The truth is that no one truly has it all. 

The older I get the more I realize that people aren’t who they seem. People aren’t perfect, with perfect children and perfect marriages. That’s all for show. That’s the outside. 

I just read an article about being a mother in your 20’s and 30’s. It was perhaps a relevant topic to me at one point, because at one point I was in my 20’s and 30’s. A mother working, balancing house and career. I worried that I wasn’t doing it right. I worried because of ear infections, bullying, giving enough of myself to this person and that person. I worried. 

The same is true of me now, the woman in her 40’s. The topics change, the worries shift, the balancing is different. I’d almost like to go back to those days. Those are the days that you should slow down the most. Nurture your children, love your spouse, instill strength and self love, take care of yourself, find who you are. 

The woman I am now in her 40’s is finding that perhaps this is actually the real shit. The real hard shit. See, it’s just relevant. 

My father lives with us and I continually am reminded of how sad his life is. It’s frustrating beyond belief to have to face his mental illness day in and day out. Choices. I made the choice to move him into my home. 

My daughter is utterly exciting to watch as she spreads her wings. As she speaks of moving, life without me, I can’t help but have a tinge of jealousy. Sometimes I want to spread my wings. That’s exactly why I am all for her becoming the self she wants to be. No regrets. No, I wish I would haves. 

My son struggles day in and day out. I can’t fix him. I’m no longer the mom in her 30’s who could have at one point hugged him tight and made it all better just by being mommy. This shit is hard. 

I no longer have hugs and snuggles. I no longer have someone needing me like they once did. There is no more helping with homework, fixing snacks, playing Disney movies a million times or kissing a hurt knee. Both of my children are finding their own way and it’s starting to feel like I have little to do with that. I have to remember that the woman I was in her 20’s and 30’s has a lot to do with that. 

Each stage of life is hard. It’s all hard. Its relevance to you is undeniable. Don’t forget that people show their outside to you. They struggle as well. Perhaps their struggles aren’t like yours, but again…. relevance is key here. 

Years from now you’ll look back and find yourself realizing you made it through. You made it to the next stage. For that, let your inside be thankful.

The Deepest Love


There are times in our lives that some of us unfortunately experience that take our breath away. Not in a good way. No romance here, enlightenment or euphoria. I’m talking about those times that punch your chest; and instead of reminding you that you’re alive, you barely feel alive. 

You wake up each day dreading the feeling of the floor under your feet. The aches and pains set in from your restless night of worry. 

Have no fear that I am tore asunder. I am a woman, a wife and most importantly, a mother. I am a person of strength; yet strength shall see weakness from time to time.  Those that I carry on my shoulders may at times carry me. We may find ourselves at times entangled together. When we do, have faith that we shall find a way to once again stand.

I will never let you fall. 

I love you

Intense Discomfort


It’s been 7 months since my father was moved into our home. I can’t stop thinking lately about how I feel that now is the most awkward part of this yet. 

One might think that having your father outside your home dancing in Native American Pow Wow fashion would be uncomfortable. Or perhaps begging your father to eat. The reality for me is that right now is boring. It’s uncomfortable. 

My father does the exact same routine everyday. 

E .V. E. R. Y. 

D. A. M. N.

D. A. Y.

This means I get to live through the same day everyday. 

He mutters perhaps two or three sentences each day that aren’t coaxed out of him. That’s it. Every other minute is watching T.V. or eating. I can’t get him to do anything unless we have to go out for an appointment. He did ride with me today to Petco. He stayed in the car. It’s a start.

I feel like I’m just complaining, but please note that I am not. I’m fascinated by this and albeit sad and sometimes mind blowing irritating, I’m not complaining.

I’m fascinated by the fact that for three weeks straight my father will eat waffles for breakfast. Then for another few weeks he’ll switch it up to scrambled eggs and a piece of toast. Same for lunch and same for television. It’s all or nothing with him. Routine, routine, routine. 

It’s really rather boring. I made a choice to leave this past Saturday and take my daughter shopping. I left him home alone. He called me once to see if he could let my dogs outside and one other time to tell me he can’t find the spaghetti I put in the fridge. He actually said, “Well I see spaghetti, but it’s not on a plate.” Okay dad, really. That’s your spaghetti and I’m sorry I didn’t do the entire process of food on plate for you. 

This is why I decided to leave and spend time with my daughter. 

Filling in the rest of the day is shame. Lots and lots of shame. For some reason I’ve been thinking about a situation I was in when I was 14. I was on vacation in Florida. I got inside the elevator to go up to our condo. There was myself, two guys probably in their 30’s and two other young girls my age. The elevator broke down. I can’t remember just exactly how long we were in there, but I can tell you that it was a long time and something horrifying happened in there. 

One of the young girls started crying and long story short, it turns out she was going up to her room because she had to poop. Yep, I just said that. This was like 30 years ago, so no one was in a damn hurry to get us out of there. It got to the point that we were all consoling her and telling her we understood. I mean, she really had to go. So she did. Literally.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because it’s one of those awkward moments in life that just by weird chance I was part of. I don’t know that girl, couldn’t tell you what she looked like, but I can remember what happened. I wonder if she remembers us… I would be willing to bet she remembers all of our faces. It’s probably one of the most vivid, horrid, embarrassing memories this person has of her adolescence. 

What a strange thing to compare my father with, but that’s how my brain works. I feel like when I look at my father holding his hand over his forehead, he’s thinking about all the times he’s shit in his pants. Figuratively. 

My Son, Part 3 of Gratefulness 


Where do I begin, Seth. You’re a hard one. Even finding a photo of you is next to impossible, my secretive son. I’d give anything to be inside your head for a day. 

As a small boy, you’d walk around the house creating stories. Dressed to the nines with matching pajamas, slippers and the toys to go with their theme for the day. Neat. Clean eating. Bedtime regime, without parental guidance. 

It’s like you knew who you were already. Sitting in the recliner watching television upside down. Drawing, upside down. Crowds made you scream. Water frightened you. You were and are eccentric. A spy maybe? Or maybe someone who just likes to view the world a little differently. From within.

You lost a friend when you were young. His death was tragic and even more so since it was by his father’s hand. I felt a piece of you leave Earth after that. I’m so sorry. 

Your talent in art is nothing short of incredible and I hope someday you will let the world see it. 

Your mind is photogenic and always learning. Without you, I’d never know Mike the Headless Chicken ever existed.

I remember a day that I was snuggling with my soon to be husband, Joe… the one you called Joe Mama. We were in our own little heaven and you walked by us and said quietly something I won’t share. I’m keeping it. It was then however, that I discovered your talent for dark humor and I got you. I get you. I love you. 

Good morning, morning.

I started counseling. I’m on my third counselor. The first woman sent me to another counselor she felt best suited for me. That’s okay, she had a mullet and I can’t take that seriously. 

The man counselor always sat with his back arched in his extendable office chair with his hands interwoven behind his head. He grunted a lot. I think he used to be a linebacker. I need a softer touch.

My new counselor has a huge office. All the furniture is Mid Century modern in the softest shades of grays and blues. The Kleenex box is inside another fancy box and I actually think she uses the real deal-Kleenex with lotion. Ahhh. 

She asked me to practice gratefulness. 

Okay-I have to admit to something. Yesterday I was in the yard pulling up weeds and just piddling around. I had this idea to be grateful for finding a four leaf clover, only I never did. 

Then I realized I was doing it again… I was trying to control. I was even controlling  my own gratitude based on what I specifically thought I should be thankful for. What a power struggle inside my mind. 

I took a moment to readjust my brain and lay on the grass for a moment in the sunshine. I said silently to myself over and over, “I am thankful for this peaceful moment and for having my own yard to have this moment in.”

I’m getting there.