Acting out


I saw this on Pinterest this week. I think someone intended it to be funny, but when I saw it I thought, Yeah, that’s exactly the way I feel.

Going through the motions, trying just to get through the day. Whatever. So much has happened in the last few weeks, starting with Clare’s ear thing, and escalating from there – Sunday the hot water heater at my house (not the house I live in) gave up the ghost – that I’m just running from one disaster to another, putting out the flames, mopping up the water (literally), trying to put everything right again.

It’s not a life, really, just a list of things that need attention and going from one thing to the next and watching as the list just gets longer and longer. Beginning with my mother, who is really a huge soul-sucking abyss of need, and going on from there.

I’m so over all of it. That doesn’t make it stop, though. It just goes on. Even without the disasters regular life is just one thing after another. No thought required. No choice. No interest. Just what needs to be done.


That’s just the way it is for women, isn’t it? We clean up the messes. We put others first. We do what needs to be done.  It’s both the best and the worst of who we are.

If the women in this country – in the world – finally stood up and said to the privileged white frat boys who run it — f*ck you — what do you think would happen? If we stopped fixing things, smoothing over, cleaning up the messes, and keeping quiet about it all – what do you think would happen? If we started taking an ACTIVE ROLE in the fate of this country and the world – what would happen?

What if women, and the ways they suffer in our society, mattered? What if the voters had rejected Donald Trump because of the the kind of man he is and the way he treats people, especially women? What if the Senate rejected Brett Kavanaugh because of the disdain he has shown for women in his life? What if women stood up for each other and didn’t give men like that power? What if?


It won’t happen any time soon. I’m really struggling with all the ways I’m not active in my life the last few years – all the situations in which I’m not in control of my experience. I’m unable to make choices about a lot of the things that determine my happiness and feelings of safety and wholeness, including what’s going on in the United States government.

I’m not taking an ACTIVE ROLE in my life in any way that matters to me either because I can’t change things without doing damage to myself – where I live or the job I have because of my mother – or, because I don’t have the power to change things – like what’s going on in Washington.

So I’m left just trying to get through until a better time. Taking care of things as they come up, always on alert, trying to be ready for anything all the time. Totally reactive, not at all proactive, or creative.

So, whatever. In some ways it’s better not to think than to feel defeated and hopeless all the time. I don’t have time or the inclination to keep up with the news, and that’s probably better than having my worst fears about what’s going on confirmed by every news story with a Washington, DC dateline.

I just keep going on – the water heater is being installed next week. The car will get fixed at some point next week. Clare is fine. Mom is feeling better. I have a plan to take care of a couple of the less urgent things when I have more money. The list for the weekend is pretty light, so I’m hoping for some reading time and a walk or two in between rain storms.

I can’t do anything about Brett Kavanaugh or the way women are devalued in this country and around the world. Or guns. Or poverty. Or racism.

Except VOTE. I can take an active role in that, and I will.




All or nothing at all


I’ve been working hard this year on accepting what is. It hasn’t been easy, as most of what is is not what I would like it to be. Resisting is not only demoralizing, but exhausting, however, so I’ve been trying to just let things be and rest in the NOW.

As is. All of it.

I say “trying” because I’m not really very good at it. Mostly I’m overwhelmed at how wrong everything seems and how unhappy I am with most of the circumstances in my life, and then I feel ashamed because I don’t have it as bad as a lot of people; those in North Carolina who just lost their homes, for example, or several people I know who have died suddenly lately and left families and friends grieving their loss.

It’s kind of a spiral I get caught in fairly regularly, and though I try to just be still and grateful in order to stop my brain from spinning out of control, it doesn’t last long, if it works at all in the first place. Feel bad, beat myself up for feeling bad, feel worse.

Over and over again.

And now here it’s Fall. The end of everything that I enjoy about life, and the beginning of suffering through cold and ice and no color and no life for 8 months or so. Last winter was so bad for me I get choked up when I think about going through it again.

I keep trying to think of a way out – a way to “fix” what seems wrong, or a way to “disappear” that wouldn’t hurt anyone else. Sometimes I feel desperate for change.

But, I know, there is no way out.

There is only a way through, and that’s what I’m working on. Acceptance. Day to day, minute to minute. I have to remind myself constantly that all I really have to worry about is right now. Friday morning. Not winter. Not next month, or next week, or even tomorrow.

Just today.

It’s Friday and the sun is shining.  I’m not in danger, I’m not ill, I’m not homeless. I have a job, money, and plenty of food. I’m alive.

Easy to accept the good, harder to embrace the rest. It’s all there, though; it’s all life. A package deal. Never all good, never all bad. A mix of both, always. All or nothing. Not in equal measure, but both always there. I hate the expression, “It’s all good,” cuz it’s not all good. Clearly. But it’s all now. Present in every moment. All the good and all the bad.

Here. Now.

Life. Accept it.


Scary Clarey


This is Clare. Notice how her right ear looks a little odd? Well, we had quite an adventure with that ear 10 days ago, or so. If she could talk, I’m sure she’d tell you all about it. It was a small thing that turned into a very big deal.

She has trouble with her ears fairly often. Week before last she was going after her right ear with a vengeance and the things I do normally to give her some relief weren’t helping. Then she started acting like she didn’t feel well, so I called the vet. We went to see Dr. Rob on that Friday, and he discovered that she had a sizeable hematoma in that ear and an infection. She would need surgery.

So I left her there and went to work, and planned to pick her up later that afternoon. They called me after the surgery and said that all went well, and that she would be ready to come home about 4:00 pm.

A couple of hours later Dr. Rob called me. He started out the conversation by saying, “I don’t think it’s anything to worry about, but…” So, of course, I was instantly panicked. “Clare seems to be having trouble waking up from the anesthetic.”

My heart in my throat, blood pressure pounding in my ears. My baby! What have they done to my sweet girl?!

So, he said, she’ll need to stay overnight, but we think it would be good if you came to visit her this afternoon.

I rushed out there right after work. She was in a cage, and she looked so small. I petted her and talked to her and told her when she came home she could have all the treats she wanted, and that we were all waiting for her and we missed her. She opened her eyes, but she couldn’t focus, and she could barely hold her head up.

The vet was next to me saying he thought maybe she was just sensitive to the anesthetic and that it was just going to take a little longer for her to wake up. Okay, I’ll go with that. He seemed worried, though, and that scared me. They told me the next morning that he stayed late with her and hand fed her cuz she was still half asleep. He’s a good guy, and a good vet, and I think he was just as worried as I was.

The next morning was Saturday and I went to get Clare as soon as they opened. She was awake, and pissed. When I brought her in the house, she paused briefly next to her treat spot, scarfed a couple down, and headed upstairs. She went in a closet and didn’t come out except to use her litterbox and to eat for the whole weekend. She hissed at Grace whenever she ventured near, and she completely ignored mom and me.

Fast forward to this weekend and she’s doing really well. Her ear is healing nicely and she’s more her regular sweet gentle self. I have gunk I have to put in the ear once a day and she’s even been a good sport about that. Slowly over the course of the week she has forgiven us and life has gone back to normal, for the most part. She has to go back next Friday to have the stitches taken out, and that might be a little scary for her, but she won’t have to stay and she’ll get treats when she gets home, so not a big deal.

It all worked out well and this event will just be a scary memory. We were lucky, because certainly things can and do go wrong very quickly all the time. I think it’s good to be scared like that once in a while. This was a good reminder that you can lose something important to you in a heartbeat, and you probably won’t see it coming. Life can be so harsh, and unlike in the movies, there isn’t always a happy ending.

Just like that what really matters jumps into sharp focus and puts everything else into perspective. Scary, but I’m grateful for the jolt. I’m grateful for our good and caring Dr. Rob, and I’m grateful for my sweet little Clare and her willingness to forgive and forget and just get on with it.

Treats all around!