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Monday, September 9, 2019

thoughts on unravelling, authenticity, and wonder

So it is fall. You know my love of September. Schedules. Rhythm. Routine. Not to mention, now that I am back in the Midwest, digging out cozy sweaters, making tea mid-afternoon, all that.

What a weird year this is though.

Instead of hustling kids to get out there books and schoolwork, juggling toddler and home duties and canning the end of year garden produce.

Instead. Well, that hasn't been my September in a couple of years. Still, it feels like it SHOULD be my September.

Instead I am hustling big kids out the door to catch the bus a block away. They are big enough to set their own alarms, make their own toast, put together their own lunches (really they do!) Little guy and Green into the minivan, the clouds and sun mixing into shadows on the drive down our big hill to the elementary school and the little preschool next door. And then I go back home. Flip open my laptop. And work. Some calls. Some errands. Scheduling out my week. What deadline is approaching. What work is looming. What work I need to hustle to find. Then pick up the littles. Big kids come home. Victorious or not at another day in another new school. Swim practice. Dinner prep. A half a glass of wine as the wind swirls outside, leaves shuffling around the yard. Bring in the trash cans. Bath time. Bed.

Big sigh.

The day in and day out of life, as a single mom.

And yet. And yet. The emails from friends. Texts from colleagues. Intriguing ideas to float. New projects on the horizon. The ever present novel manuscript that needs revising (again).

It fills me.

I find myself surprisingly, able. Able. Somedays more than others. There is no panic, on the other days. Just a sense of exhausted pondering. Am I doing too much. Am I giving enough energy and time to the kids (the answers always feel yes, and no).

But I sit down with a friend for a glass of wine. We walk down to the river and talk. And I hear the heartache. The unraveling of bullshit that happens in the 40s seems to be all around me. Therapists and heart searching. Boundaries and bravery.

This is what it is.


The real.

I may not be crafting wooly hats for babies. Or writing funny posts about misadventures with applesauce canning any longer. Instead the "real" of this era of my life pushes into my present. So, I must write REAL. Not that I didn't before. There is so much goddam real in early years of motherhood. But instead, I realize, that part feels capable. I mean, I made a kick ass apple pie the other day. Two of them. With apples the kids and I picked on the way home from church one day. I mean, holy fucking June Cleaver of me, right??

Friends. I made the apple pies from scratch, no recipe. And they were amazing.

But. How do you write real, expose it, let it breathe out there in the open? I have been thinking so much about this era of unravelling. Is it in the air of the nation? Are we all kind of feeling the "real"? Or, am I hyper aware of it, now that my unravelling has happened, my story changed from the ending I thought I knew was coming, into something new? Something unexpected? Something liberatingly unknown?

The unknown is terrifying. But it is also insanely freeing.

As we open up to each other. About the real. The unknown. The unravelling. We find each other. And in that we find ourselves. And, I have discovered, we can still give, even as we feel undone. It is so possible. So beautiful. SO much more authentic.

Here is my realization for you in this month of September. This, the importance of LETTING EACH OTHER SEE OUR UNRAVELLING, but also. This.

When I find myself, now that my life has stabilized into a norm (work comes in, checks follow, bills get paid, and etc.) I realize my gratitude gets stabilized too. Now, I am not talking about gratitude, sure sure, healthy kids, place to live, meaningful work, no. Not that.

I am talking sheer WONDER, AMAZEMENT at life and how it is unfolding.

This is the gratitude I find myself need to go to. Gratitude is a cliche these days. So, yea, let's call it wonder. Eyes wide open, taking in the unbelievable goodness at life, in a wondering attitude of blessing, even amidst the shit life is always throwing. That goodness is there for the taking. GRAB ONTO IT.

Friends, who text to say GIRL, LETS GET A DRINK or, sure you can randomly stop by with your four kids for some coffee! Colleagues who say, OMG let's do this awesome cool thing together. Work that comes in from people who believe in my abilities and want TO PAY ME TO DO IT.

Wonder. Wonder and authenticity.

These are my words for this month.

Go and conquer friends. And, if you need an ear. Message me. We are all in this together. Maybe you are being asked to move a mountain to show someone else how it can be done.


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