I Hit a Wall on Thursday Before Dawn: An Honest Post About Mental Illness, Steps to Take When You’re Down and Out, and What It’s Like to Call a Crisis Hotline

{CW: Depression, Mental Illness, Suicide Ideation}

I want to write about my kid’s engagement party, how to throw one that’s pretty and cheap, and how to show up for each other and celebrate well. The post is drafted. Finished but for a final read. But it’s going to have to wait, because I’m writing this instead.

I want to write about the dog we found… inside our car… because that’s a normal place to find a dog you’ve never met before. I have pics and a story about being lost and found, and starting over and redemption, and somehow finding our way home. But I’m writing this instead. ...  read more

A Severe Case of the Not Enoughs: An Opportunity

Sometimes, I feel pretty good about Me. I suspect it’s a result of getting older and giving fewer shits. Like, take me or leave me, you know? I know who I am. I know where I fall short. I’m doing my best except when I’m doing my mediocre, which, let’s be honest, is way more often, but I’ve also realized that doing my best on Every Single Thing is unrealistic and, frankly, unhealthy. Do I REALLY want to do my best while grocery shopping? Or do I just want to run in, grab eggs and milk and off-brand bread, and call it a day so I can save my “best” energy for more important things, like handling the 47th question from my children about the Exact Same Thing and still choosing not to run screaming into the night? “I STILL DO NOT KNOW WHAT’S FOR DINNER, CHILDREN. I THINK I’VE MADE IT CLEAR HOW TO FIND THE CEREAL, THOUGH, SO — GREAT NEWS — NO STARVING FOR YOU TODAY.”  ...  read more

We Have a New Puppy But This Isn’t Really About That

I’ve been quiet for a couple weeks around here. We adopted a new baby dog, and I thought I’d just jot down the story for you the day after we brought her home. Instead, Giant Feelings swallowed me whole with their gaping maws, and it’s taken me this long to figure out where they came from and why telling you about a Tiny Puppy overwhelmed me completely. ...  read more

10 Things I Used to Think… What About You?

1. I used to think brindle colored dogs were ugly, and tortoise shell cats, too, like a coven of hyenas held a secret midnight seance and magicked bits of their coats onto domesticated animals to make them mottled and homely and less likely to be adored than other, more beguiling creatures, but then I realized I was the one busy assigning worth based on appearance which seems to me now to be both silly and reprehensible, and I wonder what else I’ve gotten wrong. ...  read more

I’ve Been Thinking About Kindness a Lot Lately. Really, I’d Say It’s All I Think About Anymore.

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately. Really, I’d say it’s all I think about anymore. Kindness and strangers. Kindness and kids. Kindness and politics. Kindness and cages. Kindness and marriage. Kindness and sex. Kindness and time. Kindness and self. And kindness and how to push more into the universe like a brilliant shaft of light from my belly, Care Bear style.  ...  read more

Your Thoughts Requested: Democratic Presidential Candidates (Also Some Thoughts on Cash Ransoms that Have Zero to do with Anything Else. You’re welcome.)

Alrighty. I’ve learned two important things in the last two days, as follows:

1. I’ll never be able to pay a significant cash ransom should any of my people be kidnapped, so cross fingers that doesn’t happen.

and

2. I just turned I Have to Be Home in Time for the Democratic Debates years old. 

Regarding Thing #1 — free tip from me to you — do NOT try to do bookkeeping in your head. Or, if you DO try to do bookkeeping in your head, be better at remembering expenses than I am. 🙄 Here’s the sitch… I paid a big farm bill via check. And I was pretty sure I had enough dollars in the farm checking account to cover it. So I didn’t double check. And then, in a shock to me and to zero other people because everyone else seems to understand my brain better than I do, there were NOT enough dollars in the account to cover it. That’s because I left the dollars in a different account. And did you know if you write a check without enough dollars in your account that the bank WILL NOT COVER IT just out of the goodness and generosity of their hearts? IT’S TRUE, friends. THEY WILL NOT. And then, because you don’t want to be more of an asshole to the People You Were Supposed to Pay than you’ve already been by writing a bad check, you will try to pull out All the Monies in cash so you can hand them a wad of bills like a drug deal instead of another check they may or may not want to trust. ...  read more

You Don’t Need the Oxford Dictionary to Go Hiking: Some Thoughts on Walking and Life

I had a dream the other night. I was hiking with friends, and there was something in my shoe stuck to my sock just past the ball of my left foot. Not enough to hurt me immediately but enough to be irritating and cause a problem if I left it there too long.

I sat down in the middle of the trail in my nylon runner’s short shorts, navy blue with white trim like the kind I wore to Ladera Elementary School in the 4th grade when I got called into the principal’s office for being immodest by showing off too much of my nine-year-old legs. I sat down in the dry dust on the mountain pass, and my friends stopped, too, and I pulled off my shoe to examine my sock and find the burr or the rock or the gritty ball of sap stuck there. ...  read more