Anxiety Busters


I don’t know about you but I have been having a lot of anxiety lately.  I am so thankful that I already had a prescription for an anxiety medicine before the pandemic hit.  Some days, as always, are better than others.  Overall I would say that the Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on my nerves.

I have noticed some things that ease the tension.

  • Not tuning in to every news headline.
    • In the early weeks of being homebound I was on my phone all day.  From the moment I woke to the moment I closed my eyes at night I was tuned in.  I did not want to miss a thing and my brain paid dearly.  I was wound as tight as a guitar string.  As time has passed and this turns into a marathon and not a sprint I am finding that I need to unplug and just “be.”  There is only so much that can be said each day and I am not going to miss anything if I only check the news once or twice.  I would probably be honestly happier if I only checked in every other day but I don’t have that kind of will power right now.  HA!
  • Taking it easy on the kids.
    • While I wish I were super mom with every moment of my children’s days filled with enriching, learning experiences I know that I am not.  And trying to be something I am not was only making me into a crankier mom.  We are letting some things go, as far as school work is concerned.  We decide together when enough is enough.  Some days we do all of the work that has been assigned.  Other days we do not and that is okay.
  • Getting Outside
    • The first weeks of the stay-at-home order were cold and rainy.  Those were hard but I am thankful they were the early weeks.  The kids were still excited to be at home and the official school work had not started to come in yet.  I have found it incredibly important for me to spend as much time outside as possible.  I love walking the dogs, working in the garden and working on outdoor house projects which leads me into my next brain-saving tip
  • House Projects
    • I have lived in this house for nearly 8 years and we still have so many house projects.  I’m so thankful for my partner who has been my superstar banging out house projects.  It feels so good and productive to get all of those little things that have been bugging me for ages.
  • Writing
    • I am a no-talent kind of writer BUT some days I just have to do a brain dump.  Sometimes I cannot put my finger on exactly what is bugging me but putting my thoughts to paper help me either clarify or let go of my demons.
  • Connecting
    • Marco Polo is my friend as is Zoom and FaceTime.  Thank god for technology.
  • A Clean Sanctuary
    • Having four children makes it pretty difficult to have my whole house tidy.  Honestly, my whole house is NEVER all tidy but it has become very important for me to have at least one clean room I can retreat to.  I have massively decluttered my bedroom so it is a lot easier to clean up.  My foxy mister also hung a swinging chair in there for me so I have a soothing spot to swing my cares away.  Outside my bedroom I also try to keep either the kitchen or the family room clean.  I can never quite get both done in one day.  HA!
  • SEX
    • I know that isn’t for everyone but sex is a sanity saver.  Some days I’m just not up for it but at least a few times a week we have to do it and I am always glad we did.  It releases stress and helps me reconnect with my partner.

How about you?  What are you doing to keep your brain sane these days?


I am Enough

As a (nearly) middle-age woman living today it’s hard to ignore the influences of media/social media/advertising etc.  It’s hard not to notice the message that I “should be” thin and muscular and beautiful and young and well dressed and tall and on and on and on.  It is hard to feel self worth when nearly everything around us is telling us we are not enough.

But I am FED UP!  I am done feeling like I am not enough as I am.  I REFUSE to be held hostage by others standards of what I should or should not be.  I am sick and tired of worrying about what I put in my mouth.  Not for health reasons but because I am worried about gaining weight.

Guess what?

  • I have cellulite on my thighs.
  • I am not young.
  • I have a squishy tummy.
  • I have wrinkles.
  • I have large pores.
  • Sometimes I have hairy legs and armpits.
  • I have skinny, weak arms.
  • I have veiny hands.
  • I have a round face.

And I. AM. ENOUGH.  I am beautiful the way I am.

Those thighs with cellulite?  They are strong and carry me where I need to go.  My squishy stomach?  It has carried 4 (FOUR!!!) beautiful babies in it.  My age?  I have earned every goddam year of it.

I am who I am and I love who that is.  I worked hard to make it here to middle age. I will take care of this beautiful body because I love it.  I will try to grow and develop and nourish this vessel of mine, not because it is not good enough but BECAUSE it is perfect and wonderful.  Because I love what I have and I am thankful for what I am.

I am ready to practice some radical self love.  Are you with me?

So Many Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to hop on here and write for a long time.  I’m not sure why I never seem to get past the wanting and get to the doing part.  Today is a new day.  Hopefully a new start of more doing.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions.  More specifically about making our own traditions.  I’ve been feeling trapped by our society’s idea that our traditions need to be the same.  I hate the guilt that’s heaped on us if we don’t make every goddam holiday “magical” for our kids full of store bought candy, plastic garbage and meaningless trinkets that some asshole is making bank off because he came up with the idea that everyone “needed” this to properly celebrate this holiday.  I am sick of the guilt I feel because I didn’t do it the way everyone else does it.  I hate it.

This is the year I’m hoping to break the cycle, starting with today, Easter.  I don’t want my house full of crap.  We have a relatively small home for a family of six.  We already have too much stuff.  So I didn’t do the usual.  I didn’t buy ANYTHING for Easter.  I still feel guilty but I’m hoping to work past that.  I talked to the boys and we decided we are going to make our own tradition to celebrate spring.  We can’t go anywhere this year but we can look forward to next year and making our own way.  Maybe we’ll visit tide pools, maybe we’ll go to a museum.  Maybe we will work on our garden, like we are going to do today.  The important thing to me is that WE are going to decide.  WE are going to make spring special to us.  WE will not be trapped by what anyone else says we should be doing today.

Whew! That felt good.  I needed to get that off my chest.

Hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow.

Chasing Simple

After Nathan died our little family went into survival mode.  My days were broken down into surviving the next hour or, if that was too overwhelming, the next minute.  I could not think past right now. It was just too overwhelming.  Beyond that, I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to face life without my other half.  I didn’t want to look forward, let alone, move forward with life.  I was stuck looking back.  It was not a bad thing.  It was what I needed right then and it was how I survived.

As time passed I became capable of moving my sights forward.  It started with a couple of hours.  Then it became tomorrow.  I can think about tomorrow.  There were times when I fell back into “one minute at a time” but as time passed those became further apart.  It was a really big deal for me when I started to have dreams for my new life with just me and the boys again.  Things I wanted for them and for myself.  I wanted to live again.

Now, nearly four years later, I am taking another step forward.  I am wanting even more out of life.  I am wanting to live a more deliberate life.  I want to make each day count.

For a while now I’ve been trying to say yes to more.  I said no to nearly everything for the whole year after Nathan died.  I could not commit to anything.  To make that up to the boys I’ve been trying to say yes to more and things have gotten out of hand.  Life is so BUSY.  It feels like everyone is busy and, you know what? I HATE busy.  I hate clutter.  I don’t really like more for the sake of more.

So I have a new goal for 2020.  I want to spend more time:

Chasing Simple

Hopefully I’ll make more time to spend here because I really do find putting my thoughts down therapeutic and hopefully helpful to someone else out there.  If not, it’s helpful to me.

More thoughts to come.

Funny Story

I told a funny story today. A story I have told a number of times in the last six months. A story that never fails to make me laugh; sometimes from discomfort, other times from the sheer  absurdity of it all.

Mr. P’s friend’s father announced that congratulations were in order.


I knew this was coming but it’s something that, for some reason, I find incredibly awkward to talk about.

At the time of Nathan’s accident My two boys attended the same school. Everyone was wonderful and supportive and helpful. And because it was such a public tragedy I never had to explain our situation.

Then mister P moved schools.

This means in a single conversation I’ve explained how I was widowed, am now remarried, and, yes, I am pregnant with my fourth boy! Oh, and did I mention that my new husband is also my brother-in-law? Yes, my kids do occasionally call my husband uncle-daddy!

Like I said, it’s complicated.

But also lovely.

And Preston’s friend’s dad? He said he thought it was pretty cool.

Thanks for being awesome.


The Abyss

I’m not going to lie, things are rough right now.  I’ve always been a little anxious but this is a new feeling.  Being on the edge of sanity and staring out over the abyss.  I’m teetering and it’s frightening.


I write blog posts in my head ALL. THE. TIME. My mind is constantly buzzing with strange thoughts and feelings that I know would make more sense if I wrote them down. Unfortunately, by the time children are down for the night and my evening checklist is complete I find my mind void of anything to write at all.

Now, if I could only find that list of ideas buzzing in my head earlier…

Right. Left.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” I roll over and hit snooze on the alarm.  Joshua comes in dragging his star blankie.

“Moooom.  Can I sleep with you?” he asks.

“Sure,” I say and roll over to make room for him.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” The alarm blares again.

“I want to turn it off!” Josh announces and hits the snooze button again.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” it sounds once more. I roll over and turn it off once and for all but continue to lay there.  I’m exhausted despite the sleeping pill and full 8 hours of sleep I’ve had.  I feel dark and lonely and sad.

Time passes.  I don’t know how much exactly but I feel like we really should be getting up.

“Joshy, it’s time to get ready for school,” I whisper.

“NO!” is his immediate reply.

I roll over.  “I don’t really want to get up either,” I think.

Finally I look at the clock.  Oh yes.  We really must get up or we all will be late.

I roll out of bed and Joshy comes too.  I look out the window.  It’s gray and dismal, just like my mood.

I race around the house trying to get everything ready.  I get Josh dressed.  I dress Wyatt too because he’s taking too long.  All of the bread is in the freezer so it’s cereal for everyone. (Thank goodness because toast takes longer.)  I’m just so stressed about something but I’m not quite sure what it is.

Rush. RUsh. RUSH.  Run. RUn. RUN.  Ugh.  The older two are going to be tardy.  I yell and then I feel horrible.

We all jump in the car. We’re going to make it.  I drive them to school and drop them off.  No time to walk Wyatt to class.  I hate that.  Then we are off to pick up a cousin so they can go to preschool.

Preschool drop-off goes well. No hiccups. I rush back to the car.  Why am I rushing?  It’s that stress.  It makes me feel like I need to hurry but I don’t know why.  I race to Target for a couple of things then head home.

“I need to go for a run,” I think.  It will help.  But I don’t want to run.  I want to curl up in bed and cry.  “That means you need to run!” I think more sternly to myself.  I arrive home and walk straight to my room.  I pull out some leggings, a sports bra, a long sleeve shirt and a fleece headband.  I undress in the cold of my bedroom.  At least my shoes feel sunny.  Over the weekend I went to Big 5 with Pres to get him so Futsal shoes and found the perfect pair of running shoes for me. Bright purple to match my hair.

I lace up and head for the door.  I hesitate for a moment.

“I don’t really want to go.  It’s cold out there,” I think.
“Go,” something whispers from deep within and I know it’s right.  I strap on my armband and go.

“Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.”  My feet say. I quickly find my rhythm. It’s slow and steady but it is forward.

“Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left,” becomes my mantra.  Just keep going.  Keep moving forward.  Soon I’m warm all over. My purple braids are bouncing, keeping rhythm with a new song playing through my headphones.

Before I know it I’m back home.  Three miles down in the blink of an eye.  I’m sweaty AND I’m stinky but I’m also smiling.  That’s something worth running for.


Me, my purple shoes and a kick ass playlist

The Upside Down



Losing someone very close to you feels like you are living in a parallel universe.  Everyone around you is traveling along as usual and there you are trying to figure out why everything, and I mean everything, feels wrong.  Sure, your surroundings look the same but they feel different.

It reminds me “the Upside Down” in “Stranger Things.”  Physically everything around you is the same but it all feels awful.  The colors are off.  The sounds are wrong.  Everything tastes bland.  Your existence is wrong.  And you look around wondering how everyone else can pretend that things are right.

After my dad died I remember things being off for a while.  When my nephew drowned things were wrong for a long time.  But this, losing Nate, it’s a whole other entity.  My life revolved around my husband.  Everything I did, or wanted to do, I wanted to do with him.  Coming to grips with this life altering change is going to take time.   A LOT of time.

I’m now 8 months into this parallel journey.  8 months since I heard his voice.  8 months since I held his hand.  8 months without the person I loved more than life itself.  It’s been a rough journey but I have to say I am beginning to feel flickers of hope.  I have the desire to find joy again.

I am most certainly still riding the ebb and flow of grief.  There are still long periods where I can’t see past the pain but then it breaks, even if only for a moment, and I can see beauty again.  Someday  I hope to live where the sun shines again but for now I’ll keep walking towards the tiny stream of light shining through the forrest.  The important thing is that I’m still moving.  I’m still going, one step at a time.


I Keep Myself Busy


I’m 3.5 months in to this nightmare and I still feel like I can’t really wrap my mind around what happened. I find myself staring pictures of him and noticing all the reasons it can’t be true. But he’s so big. He’s so strong. He’s right there. He’s right here in this picture I took not that long ago. He’s smiling that sweet, smirky smile.

I’ve been trying to fill my life with distractions. Anything to keep my mind from fixating on my new reality. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job but then night comes. It’s getting easier but there’s a long way to go before I enjoy my solo evenings again.

I used to look  forward to the quiet of night. Even if my love was going to be working I enjoyed the peace of night. Now I fill it with noise. I’m happy to have a break from my mothering duties but my world feels empty. I so long for the comfort of the love of my life. I long for my tv companion. What I’d give to have my bed companion.

I miss our long talks. I miss his warm strong body. I miss his soft green/brown eyes. I miss his mirthful smile. I miss his big hands holding mine. I miss his love and comfort.

I miss my love.