Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summing Up as of Now

All I can say is that I am lumbering through. When I look at my immediate surroundings, I am more or less holding my own. The flower beds leap with color, hemlock trees sprayed to curb the onslaught of woolly adelgid, the grass cut and if there are more weeds- well- my motivation and desire to use chemicals is non-existent. A third of an acre with over 30 trees, mature shrubs, mini vegetable garden, numerous flower beds- the maintenance piece only goes so deep.

In August, it will be a year since my divorce was final and I am slowly decompressing from the stress. In my mind, there are three distinct eras to this spell of anxiety- Part A was the long period of realization that the marriage was failing and I needed to be thinking about life on my own, Part B was the legal piece, the physical separation piece, the accounting piece and the negotiating piece where lawyers and the court were the agents of change, and Part C is the part that comes after where you realize those years are in the past. (Hopefully a new relationship hovers in the future. I miss sharing meals and confidences, pillow talk and working as a team. The affection piece is sorely desired as well!)

Now I am an unattached independent woman trying to keep everything going for myself and my kids. As young adults, I am needed more on occasion and not frequently- they are seeking their way as I must seek mine. It's a scary time and thought heavy. Many nights I ponder events which provides very little relief- I'm retraining my brain to look forward and accept things that I was unable to improve, influence or understand.

Summer has always been a special season, the leafy trees and voluminous flowers, the swimming, long days, fresh produce, bird song and whirring of insects which are my lullaby at night. I sleep in no one's arms dreaming of someone currently unknown. I didn't imagine this all those years ago when I said "I do" but I accept what had to happen and am hopeful that the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


I have left Sleepy Hollow and made my way to Rome in quest of the age old desire to see new things and be some place different- a much needed change from the turmoil of recent events and while we carry our problems wherever we go, it's easy to be delighted by the sights, tastes and smells of this lively urban center. I am visiting a good friend who has been gracious to organize outings and itineraries prompting us to head out each day and explore. We have been fortified by many thirst quenching aperitivo while consuming small tasty plates-I feeling myself slowly unfurling from the dense pain of the last two years.

Rome abounds in antiquities as its citizens hurry past mindful of their modern lives among the splendor of the ruins. I still have a lot of healing to do as I examine the stones and columns that predate Christianity and I imagine these earlier city dwellers must have worried (just like me) about their fate, the fate of their offspring and the well being of their ancestors. As a wise person, much wiser than me I imagine once said, "Perspective is everything."

So here is to la dolce vita and to our ability to enjoy it.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Nostaglia and me

Back then, taking care of three kids kept me plenty busy so at times, the thought of not chasing a toddler, of not supervising their screen time, of not holding myself accountable for their behavior, nutrition and academic success was a prospect that loomed pleasantly in the future. The mind wandered to an unknown chapter where the need to manage them would be relegated to their own arsenal of self preservation.

I'm not looking back as much as looking at what is now, what is required of me, and do have a nostalgia for a simpler time where making sure the kids were still alive at the end of the day was my main responsibility. Now I'm often scattered with goals, obligations, concerns and desires- all the while worried constantly about the fate of our world.

In retrospect, making sure a two year old steered clear of potential dangers was a lot easier than worrying about the two year old masquerading as an adult in the White House.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thinking like an Olympian

Like our Olympic hopefuls, I am putting my best foot forward when performance is most critical (or in my case, the waking hours) in order to be my best self, keep the wheels of life turning (earn money, pay bills, taxes, have insurance, a roof over our heads, a car in the driveway, food on the table and recycle). Add in my job, family matters, community service, exercising (something I like to avoid unless it involves walking or swimming) and having any kind of social life- well, I am in awe of these talented individuals who have committed themselves tirelessly to training, regimens, goals, personal sacrifices and likely getting up early most days, concerned with their bodies, their talent and their nutrition, addressing their psychological ability to compete effectively by hiring the right coach, nutritionist, massage therapist, and agent to help them on their journey all the while traveling to compete in countless events to attain the status that has led them to be at the Olympics as a participant.

I'm not trying to get to the Olympics. For years I was happy to see my kids grow and mature to young adults capable of navigating the world on their own most of the time.  And like many empty nesters, my role has morphed to helpful bystander from full time caregiver.  So what is thinking like an Olympian for me now? Maybe it's doing what I dread at times, being responsible at all times and the grace to accept my self despite my shortcomings and pressing on no matter how nutty the going gets. 
Maybe an Olympic medal in civility, perseverance and clarity. That's a medal I would chase for sure.

with credit to the amazing Chang Lee of the NYTimes for the photo

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Looking back

Hardest year ever. After putting things in perspective, I must re-frame. Compared to the awful events that transpired in 2017, my problems are snafus of personal difficulty I will ultimately resolve or not. My three offspring are all able bodied, with some means (if only part time) of employment, can prepare food, use a car legally, understand the limits of a credit card and how to behave when a true authority figure crosses their path. One could say that while I am still their financial rock, they are on their way to adulthood and my job is winding down. Yet with two kids currently at home and only one vehicle, we are bound by necessity to coordinate our daily activities.  Our biggest source of mutual concern- other than food and when are you shopping next- is the car's availability.

During the throes of marital demise, you imagine the day when you feel less pain. Seated across a table in the county courthouse aside our respective attorneys was a surreal send up of whatever forces drew us together all those years ago. The person with whom you once shared your life is now your greatest adversary. 

There are lots of residual hurts. Emotional hurts, financial woes, and house problems that all need attention. After my ex's departure, I spent the year taming the chaos and shaping the landscape anew. Now the next set of tasks jump out at me. Fix me. Paint me. Restore me. Listen to me.

I'm allowed right? To be dismayed as I remind myself to feel lucky because we were both in agreement that we go our separate ways. If lucky is the word for it.

Well suited we were not as neglect became our management style. Not a happy state of affairs no matter how you spin it. Back to my studies then as I have a lot to learn.
Wish me luck.