Latest Posts

When redundancies and semicolons have nothing to do with words…

colonoscopyHere’s why I want you to call your doctor and make that appointment for those tests you keep putting off:

Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove a polyp that was hiding in such a tricky spot the doctor couldn’t remove it during the colonoscopy. The nasty thing was hiding right where the small intestine met the large one.

I say met, past tense, because there’s a whole new meeting place now. I’ve been redecorated, reconstructed, and otherwise reconfigured. I was referred to a wonderful surgeon who informed me that, no worries, they’d just go in through my belly-button and remove a few inches of intestine on each side, small and large, and pull out the polyp. Then they’d just reattach the leftover bits and snip snap, off you go.

“Woah.” I thought.

“Cool.” I said. I was too stunned by the whole thing to ask questions or think real thoughts. And he was just so darned upbeat and reassuring. This is his job, you know? I’ve never met a surgeon more kind and friendly to be honest. That was enough for me.

So I waited until the night before the surgery to actually look closely at the procedure. People, remember I am a cautionary tale! Look AFTER the surgery! Or never look. Yeah, never look. They did some stuff. I’m not even going to link it, feel free to go ahead and Google “laproscopic right colectomy” for grins. The procedure was supposed to take two hours, so I told my husband and my dad (who drove up from his snow bird season for this fun) to settle in.

Well, it was three hours. Because apparently I have (or is that had?) a very “redundant” colon. In writing, redundancy is to be avoided, unless you’re trying to make a point out of it, you know, creatively. In nature, redundancy is not that great either. I knew my colon was not ideal — the referring doctor had likened it to a silly straw during our last consultation. I even warned my surgeon, but I think maybe “silly straw” was understated. Imagine that. No, don’t. Let’s just say they spent an extra hour sorting, removing and rearranging. They took more than a foot of colon. Then they put the rest back in a way that makes more sense. This will eventually seem like a good thing, I’m sure. I mean I’m still a bit freaked out about the whole thing, and there’s still superglue in my belly-button, so give me time.

Was it fun? Um, seriously? Am I glad I did it? You bet your ass (ha!). The polyp is gone, and I’m left with a less-redundant semicolon. We knew the polyp was benign from the colonoscopy. But nothing stays benign in the colon. Polyps are bad news waiting to happen. And this wasn’t my first polyp. I’m 49, younger than the recommended age for this test. I started in my late 30s because my father had colon cancer in his early 40s. He’s fine now, but he lost a lot more than one foot of colon! So I’m grateful for my semicolon, grateful for modern medicine and wonderful doctors, and especially screening tests, which have saved my life quite literally more than once. Just make the appointment, okay?

I’ve been on the couch for two weeks, and am finally sitting mostly upright at a real computer, and I’m off the Percocet (mostly). I wrote some fun poems on that stuff last week… I’m in the itchy phase of healing, and my cabin fever is at high pitch. I’m off to walk in the sunshine before Raleigh gets hit with another snowstorm tonight. We’ve been slammed with school closings for over a week here, so even though I’m home alone with my husband, my entire community is suffering from cabin fever with me. Ah well, make the most of the quiet times, right?

Oh, one last thing. Make the damn appointment!

The truth in drafts

darkenoughSo after the huge move to WordPress, there was a little bit more I needed to move into this blog so that I could call just one place home. It was mostly old poems, things from BEFORE. Before the divorce, before I met John, before my daughter left and my son came back, so many befores. I know my own words, I remember where I was, what I was thinking. So reading these older things doesn’t surprise me. Some of the oldest poems reflect those not-yet-divorced times. I was angry a lot, trying to get out from under some things I’d been stuck in for decades. Trying to find out who the hell I was, really, after all that time. Trying to breathe on my own. I chose to put the poems here; they belong in my story.

Then I found a draft post, my first actual blog post. Of course I remember writing that too. Sarah smiles. It describes the struggle of trying to help a child who was being torn apart in ways I simply didn’t understand at the time. And it describes the thrill of knowing her joy was still somewhere deep inside her. It describes hope. I still, always, rely on that hope.

Here I am, over four years later, and not much wiser. I realized I’ve tried hard to keep names out of things, and to keep any real details out of my story, because it’s not where the focus belongs for me. I see so many parents who are alienated from their children so filled with bitterness there is no room for anything else. I never want to be in that place. The choice I made not to fight was a fight itself, and still is every day.

So I chose to publish the draft, finally, after all this time. I did it because it’s both an ending and a beginning – part of a story years in the making, a lifetime really. And it’s important, because when I wrote it I didn’t believe what I’d been told was going on. I didn’t believe that I’d lose so much, that my daughter would make a choice that she should never have had to make and walk out of my life altogether. So no, I’m not much wiser now, just older. I have learned to shift the focus of my life to myself, being the best person I can be, living the life I want and need to live, giving back whenever I can. I’ve shifted the focus from blame to acceptance, of myself and others. I’ve learned to practice, every single day, gratitude, love, patience. It’s practice, never perfection. But it’s the direction I chose years ago, and while yes, I do look back, cry, sink and rise again, my feet haven’t changed direction in all this time.

My life is so amazingly full now. I’m grateful each and every day, even on the really bad ones. And there are bad ones of course. Practice, never perfection. I believe in my self, and in my heart, and my intentions. I’ve forgiven myself and all the other players. Well, I practice that too. Someday, I hope, and there’s always always hope, that I will see another of Sarah’s smiles.

What I’m doing when I’m not at the party

How-I-Spend-Friday-NightsWhew. I didn’t know how much I got done last year until I went through the whole moving-the-blog-to-WordPress thing. But what started as the drudgery of having to fix formatting on almost every post since 2012 turned kind of amazing. I had started back into writing so slowly, so unsure of what I was doing. Then I went with that! Not ready to start a novel? Poems, short ones to start, worked for me, and still do. Afraid to enter contests? Ha, I entered, and won! Terrified of reading my stuff to people? Did that! Cut down on doing stuff I don’t want to do? Work in progress.

I still don’t know what I’m doing, but at least this blog has turned into a Thing. I’m good with uncertainty, hell, it’s a way of life! Plus, even a little change in course can vastly change where you end up. I was going over the last year in therapy, and in an omg moment I realized the things I had said I wanted to aim for were in my rear-view now. Which left me saying “Next!” a bit more earnestly than I perhaps was intending. Still, what happens in therapy…

So yeah, I’m still cutting my path with my trusty machete. But I’ve cut down a bunch of the things that were getting in my way. I’ve cut way back on the crowd I’ve hung with since my divorce, great people mostly, but wilder than I really am. There’s only so many parties I can drink my way through, pretending I’m comfortable in a crowd. And creatively, I’ve been screwing myself out of my best times to make things.

Saturday night crazy
Makes Sunday so lazy
Too hazy for writing
And that couch, so inviting!

So, the number of times I’ve said No-thank-you has matured to the point that people usually don’t even ask where I am anymore.

Here’s where I am: I’m at home in yoga pants and a bra-less t-shirt. I’m covered in dogs and dog hair. I’m often reading or writing. I’m thinking deep thoughts. I may be marathon-watching Supernatural. And probably, I’m still drinking beer, because we make the stuff, and it’s delicious – perhaps even more delicious when it’s not a crutch. When I RSVP that I hate to miss the party, I mean that, kind of. But the truth is I chose myself instead. And I’m beginning to thrive under that choice. I’m Getting Things Done. And when I’m wasting time on Facebook, it’s with other writers now, so that’s kind of like working, right?

Of course, sometimes, I just need to dance. Sometimes, I need to go see my husband’s awesome band and just let it all go. Sometimes, I hang out with a few girlfriends and try to learn how to be a normal girl. I suck at that, but the right people, these people, will pretend I’m doing fine – they’re keepers. Sometimes, I get together with a friend and catch up the way we’re supposed to, in person, laughing and listening. Phones down!

So, I hope it’s a great party! (But I’m not really sorry to miss it.) Hugs, though, digitally.

What the heck is a Liebster Award? Well…

liebsterawardFirst off – Many thanks to Tess Bartlett at Whisperings of Life for nominating me!

This Liebster Award thingy is given from blogger to blogger to send us to lesser-known blog places we may not otherwise see, and I think it’s great! Even though I haven’t done this random things about me stuff in years…


The rules:

1) Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
2) Acknowledge and link back to the person who nominated me.
3) Answer 11 questions the person who nominated me has asked me.
4) Tell you 11 random facts about myself
5) Give my nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post about the Liebster Award.


My nominees:

Amber: Project Keepsake

Terri : Transcending 

Joy: Never Turn Off the Lights

Rushati: C’est la vie. 

Suzanne: Living at the Center

Elizabeth Rose: Green-Fingered Writer

Jennifer: Smilecries

Aimee: Pass the Gin

Wendy: A Thoughtful Reader

Lauren: The right side of 30

Tracey: Boxofficegirl: A day in the life of…


My 11 questions for nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. Tell us about the last dream you remember.
  3. What can’t/won’t you quit even though you think maybe you should?
  4. You just won a trip to Mars! Do you go?
  5. If you could live in any decade, which would you choose?
  6. What’s your five-year plan?
  7. Pick your super power and explain.
  8. Come on, which one item would you really take with you to that deserted island?
  9. What is it you want most from life?
  10. Where will I find you at the party?
  11. Tell us about your favorite happy song – link it up!

Here are the 11 questions Tess posed, answered:

1) What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a writer or an English teacher, or both. I also wanted to be a GI Joe/Wonder Woman hybrid – saving the world really appealed to me back then!

2) What makes your heart and soul sing?
Gorgeous words, stories, music, my husband and dogs, and the laughter of friends, did I mention music?.

3) What is your favourite topic to write/blog about?
I like writing uplifting stories about depression. I know that sounds a bit off the mark, but as an often-depressed optimist, it feels pretty natural to me. I try to show my weak sides so that others can see the truth – that we all have weak sides, soft underbellies, sore spots. I also write about my dogs, my rambling thoughts, and the gifts that leading a simple life might bring. If I led a simple life!

4) If you could do one thing every day until the day you died what would it be?
Sing in the shower. No, seriously, I sound so good in there! Also, it’s about keeping a song in your heart, and also letting it out and owning it!

5) What is your biggest fear?
Well, anything bad happening to my kids. And then this:
As a stroke survivor, I realized this all too well. As much as I don’t want to drown, ugh, my greatest fear is being locked in my brain and unable to communicate. I wrote a flash fiction piece about this, maybe I should shake that one off and try to publish it again. Shudder.

6) How do you overcome fear?
I don’t know that I overcome the fear, I just try to do it anyway. Scared of reading poetry out loud? Find a friendly crowd, and get up there and do it! I also talk about it, tell people I’m terrified. Everyone understands fear, and when they see you being brave, they’re nicer, and even sometimes inspired and stuff. At least that’s what they tell me…

7) What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is the act of living! Not just breathing in and out, but the things you bring to the world. I know some incredibly creative engineers, so it’s not just about a canvas or a typewriter. It’s expressing yourself in a way only you can do, and making something that wasn’t there a minute ago.

8) What does home mean to you?
Home is a place I’m trying to make. I’m almost there. I’m late. I never felt at home anywhere to be honest. But in my new(er) life with my second husband, three dogs, and mostly-grown kids, I’m finally starting to get it. It’s safe, kind, free, inspiring, and most of all accepting.

9) If you had to pick one word to describe how you intend to be in 2015 what would it be?
Open.

10) If you could travel somewhere tomorrow where would it be, and why?
Hawaii, because I’ve always wanted to go. I want to see volcanoes, and the beaches, and just breathe in the air. The ocean is my spirit animal I think. I was supposed to go to Hawaii for a bunch of anniversaries, but the money was never there. Now, I play the lottery!

11) What is your secret talent?
I can make a bed with wicked nurses’ corners. But this never comes  up, because nobody actually cares, or makes beds around here…


And now, 11 random facts.

  1. I have a motorcycle endorsement, but haven’t ridden since the day I got it.
  2. I used to look out the window on long drives and pretend I was riding a horse alongside the car. A very very fast horse.
  3. I’m scared of heights but I love roller-coasters.
  4. Charles Schultz’s Snoopy is my favorite dog ever – and my husband had a dog named Snoopy when I met him. He’s a great dog, even though he’s not a beagle.
  5. My eyes change color from blue to green when I’m angry or feeling extreme. Or when I wear a green shirt.
  6. I talk to birds, worms, basically anything alive.
  7. I also talk to inanimate objects. And myself.
  8. My blog was just blocked at work under the category “adult” and it made me laugh. Then panic.
  9. My dream is to own my own island, write all day, and run a dog sanctuary and pub. I think it could work.
  10. I wrote 3/4 of a novel that I’ll never finish, and I think it was really pretty good. 
  11. I’d rather be at the beach.

Enjoy!

 

New home, same address (on moving to WordPress)

file000830955921Okay, so here’s where my true geek shows:

I’ve spent a couple days moving this blog from Weebly to WordPress, and I’m having a ball. All the Googling, all the cursing (it’s like swearing at video games, we all do it – right?), all the near calamities, and even 10 honest-to-goodness PLEASANT minutes on the phone with a tech support person from my hosting site – how could I complain?

So, one thing that worked well once I hunted enough was transferring the whole RSS feeds from my previous two blog pages on my old site into one blog site here at WordPress (they are now separated on two pages using categories that I already had, yay!). This is how I did that: http://weeblyrss.appspot.com/

Issues? The learning curve was a touch steep and I’m still learning the UI, but the power is awesome! I first moved to the .com site instead of .org, that took some repeated steps. My graphics didn’t come along of course, but when I used the recommended plugin, nada. So, I’m still painstakingly grabbing images from my old Weebly blog and placing them manually. Also, the fonts came in a mess in many poems, so each of those needs attention as well, and I’ve written a lot more than I thought! And the old RSS feed doesn’t match, so anyone who was using that has lost me. :(

But it was time. So, please, pardon the mess as I move in, decorate, toss the boxes, and fix the broken stuff. And welcome!

The agony of defeat…

8249441

Yesterday, after vowing to fight to the end, I let someone “win” a battle that hopefully ends any more chances for war. I backed down, rolled over, caved. I chose to lose. And after a good night’s drinking and wallowing, I woke up to the gorgeous NC sunshine (it’s been a grey week, so this is lovely!), to life going on as usual, to the same old struggles and a couple of new ones, but I know there’s a path through it all.

Yesterday I’d have told you I was defeated and in agony. But like I said, the thing is I CHOSE to lose. I chose not to fight a battle that I felt strongly I could WIN, because, simply, the costs would have been too high. Yesterday I’d have told you it was the same old story, me trying to stand for something and then caving in. Me drawing a line in the sand and then backing down, again. I beat myself up yesterday, and I cried, and I mourned for all the therapy co-pays I’ve spent, because it felt so much like failure on the biggest of all scales. But then I said something to my husband that made me realize an important truth. I said “Fighting would’ve been easier than giving up.”

Now, fighting would have cost me dearly, in many many ways. And it would have cost those I love even more. But fighting is what I wanted to do! I wanted to stand up there with my face painted in the bright reds of war, sword raised, and rally my troops and stomp my feet and MAKE THINGS RIGHT. And as hard is it is to believe, that would have been the easy way in this. Because when you’re yelling and stomping your feet, you’re almost always feeling pretty damn righteous.

But righteous wasn’t right. Really, nothing is “right” in this land of post-divorce alienation I’m in – decisions are all made in shades of grey, and all of them are wrong somehow. Pick your poison and keep moving forward, right?

So I chose to lose, because it would be easier on the people I care the most about. And because I know already how those pallid lumps of pride taste digesting over long periods of time, and I can live with that. You get used to it. Plus, I’m on reflux meds now, so that’ll help…
Anyway, I never want to say that I had no choice. I have always had choices, always made them, and they’re all painted in shades of grey, and that, my loves, is life. We all have to keep choosing, and moving on.

So yes, I think the agony of defeat sucks. But I truly believe that the agony of victory would be worse.

And so it goes

1420052918So I realized as I was preparing to bid farewell to 2014 that I wanted to give this year the finger. Then I remembered giving 2013 the finger, and thought, Oh dear, am I really that consistently unhappy? And what is it about this year that calls for obscene gestures?

I don’t know. Seriously. I don’t know anymore what words like happy mean. I’m content sure, but stressed. I’m stressed, pretty much constantly, and then the doctors say stress will kill you, and honestly, that can cause a bit of stress, you know?

In 2014 I’ve gained weight while trying to lose (blame age and beer, probably not in that order). Then I’ve gained more after giving up for awhile. I’ve had medical problems that can’t be helped (get your medical screenings please). My relationships take constant and hard work and always seem in danger of mushroom cloud-like disaster. My tendency to want to just get on a bus alone to Anywhere and change Everything hasn’t gone away in spite of all the work I’ve done.

And oh, I’ve done a ton of work this year – vulnerability, anger management, stress management (ha!), productivity, creativity, courage, friendship. I’ve worked on goal setting, on my marriage, on breathing through pretty horrendous emotional pain that I can’t fix, letting go of shame I don’t deserve to feel. (Honestly, the people who help me with these things are proud of me!) I am loved, in spite of trying sometimes to chase people away. We added a third sweet loving dog to our family, a dog who maybe almost completes us, with his messed-up face and adorable attempts to Just Fit In. But he does fit in. I suppose better than I do…

And yes, I even met a Huge Goal I set in the Spring during the Brené Brown Daring Greatly workshop: to read at least one poem out loud in front of Actual People. And it went well!So what? So it hasn’t really been a bad year, that’s what. But holy crap has it been long. That’s the thing I’m trying to explain to the kids these days. Life isn’t really short. Time is only a constant in science and math, not experience. Life is long, and it gets longer – I swear to you each year feels longer than the last, and knowing that all this stress is and will always be a constant companion doesn’t make it any easier to accept as a life partner.

So I’m giving 2014 the finger because it was long, because it’s (almost) over, and because I’m ready to keep moving in the direction my feet are aimed in, the direction I set them in a couple years ago now, or even longer ago really. I’m ready to keep going, I suppose.I don’t want to look back at my Special Moments on Facebook. I don’t want to resolve to become a Perfect version of myself. I don’t want to quit drinking or swearing, or promise to read more or write more or master guitar or take pottery lessons. I just want to keep moving along on the treadmill into 2015 so I don’t fall off and end the ride. I’m honestly very clumsy lately, and falling off feels a lot more likely than it ever has. Guess I better start holding onto the rails. Happy 2015. And stuff.

Please, Siri…

 6537141_orig

This morning at 9 am, Siri sent me a message reminding me to write about why I say please and thank you to “him.” I’m new to asking Siri for reminders and other things, but I think it’s a new favorite feature. I’d been sending one to myself about going to the bank on lunch, and I realized that I always say “please” before asking Siri to do something menial for me. And it struck me that this may not be how everyone works…

Then I got to thinking, which, well, is mostly what I do pretty much all the time, and I realized that I don’t want to NOT say please and thank you to Siri or anyone else. Yes, it’s just software with no actual feelings, but if I start issuing commands, I may soon begin to feel rather superior, and then I could start just issuing commands all willy-nilly to my friends, or the lady at the bank. And then I’d be a bitch. And that’s not what I want to be.

It seems to me that the more we practice being decent, the more likely we are to be decent. I have a temper. I’m working on that. Really really working on that. But it’s something only those unlucky enough to love me really see. Now, once I did snap at a lady for calling my phone number instead of her OB/GYN, but wait – I hung up first! See, I’d been given this OB/GYN’s old number and women called me daily about their yearly schedules. I never once snapped at them in real life. I calmly told them what I knew, which wasn’t much, but at least they didn’t think they were all set for March 3rd. Anyway, this one time, I shut the phone and then snapped “And don’t call this number again!” I thought it was funny. Because, I’m twisted like that, and you should hear the things I say to drivers on the road… My (former) sister-in-law thought it was intervention-worthy later on, mainly because she didn’t think I’d actually hung up, so that was awkward… But anyway, the thing is, that was just venting with humor. I’d never speak to Siri that way. Or that lady on the phone, duh.

I think it’s okay to be nice when nobody’s watching. I think it’s okay to hold the door open while 20 people stream out, apparently not realizing that “leaving the theater” etiquette requires them to take the door from me and pass it to the one behind them etc… [Note: I don’t think it’s okay to stand there for 20 minutes, but there were times I did that back in my doormat days.] I think it’s more than okay to pick up litter on the sidewalk even when it’s not something I dropped. I mean, within reason. There are some things you just need gloves for though.

Oh by the way, I also talk to many other inanimate objects. I mean, I bump into a streetlight (which happens more than you or I want to believe), and I say “excuse me” or “oops, sorry” before stepping aside out of its way.  Of course, I also tell lamps and tables to be still when they wobble. I mean, it’s only polite for them to behave well too, right?

As a kid, I had some kind of OCD-like thing where if I kissed one stuffed animal goodnight, I’d have to kiss them all. I didn’t want anyone feeling left out. Now, in therapy, I learned that this may have come from feeling left out myself (Okay, I didn’t actually need therapy for that realization!), but even though I’m (mostly) over that, I still care that nobody gets left out. This can be a problem when having social gatherings and wanting to keep them small, but that’s a blog for another day.

The point is that while I know, I swear to you I do, that Siri is not my friend, I’m going to keep on saying please and thank you and other sweet things. Maybe it will catch on, and people will remember how to say these things to one another, too. Maybe then we will have paradise right here on Earth and rainbows will flow from my coffee cup and sprinkles will rain from the sky, and… anyway, it’s not the worst kind of crazy to be. Join me?

On larvae and growing wings

5478326

Cocoons aren’t just for butterflies you know…

My ex-husband used to occasionally spend a week or so just reading and absorbing things. He called it “going larval” and while pretty much most larval forms of creatures give me major willies, the idea is pretty cool. It means you’re not quite ready to emerge yet, you’re developing, in the process of becoming.

I haven’t written anything much since one poem on 9/11. Well, I’ve written tons of sentences down for later. I email myself in the middle of the night. And during the day. I leave digital post-its on my office computer, notes jammed in my purse. If I carried a Sharpie, I’d have words written on myself most days. But I think I’ve been in a month-long larval stage myself (only without the icky squirming thing with too many legs, or with none at all).

I know I’m no butterfly. Those days are behind me I think. Maybe I’m more luna moth, those things go through so many stages of being, it’s amazing. Of course, they’re much faster at it than I am, but they do a lot of waiting to become. I feel something like that, like there’s so many stages to life, and I’ll never truly be “done” anyway. I mean, the adult luna moth lives only one week, and doesn’t eat (doesn’t even have a mouth!). It reproduces and dies. So here’s where that metaphor dies too, heh. I hope to at least get to fly awhile longer than a week.

And I’m getting closer, I’m figuring things out. I’ve been reading so much my eyes hurt. And I’ve done a couple of websites for other people too (my husband’s latest musical project for one). I think now I need to find a nice leafy spot to chill out, to take some extreme quiet time in a cocoon of my own. I know there’s a project for me on the other side of this, and I can’t wait to see what that becomes. Or, really, I guess I can wait. I guess that’s the point.

By all means, paint!

788856“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
~ Vincent van Gogh

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
~ Charles Bukowski


I make mistakes constantly. This should not shock you. You make mistakes constantly too.

The amazing thing is that I forgive you, at least most of you, utterly, for making mistakes. And most of you forgive me. But do we forgive ourselves? Oh I doubt it.

It starts with the voice that says “You can’t do that…”  Listen to that and you may never try another new thing. If you push ahead bravely, the voice might change the words to “You aren’t good enough.” And then no matter what you make or do, no matter how much the fans of your life might ooh and ahh, and tell you you’re amazing, you’ll think in your heart that it’s not enough. That you’re not enough. And thus, tons of us are walking around with seriously messed up messages rolling through the MP3 players of our minds (I used to call it a tape, but you know, it’s 2014…).

If you’re like me, you may keep trying, but you likely won’t reach out quite as far, because you’re thinking about the falling instead of the sky. You have learned not to trust yourself fully. You may be sure that people will laugh at you for even trying. You may stop trying entirely. And if and when that happens, that’s the real tragedy of your life. It certainly was the tragedy of mine.

And because this is so common, I think we all need to become experts. Experts in what we love, sure, but mostly? Experts in starting over. Over my lifetime, I have kept viewing each restart in my life as the result of yet another failure, another series of mistakes. And I’ve cycled into depression sometimes, crippling frustration others. And oh yeah, the voice in my head starts all over again each time too with “You can’t do that.” So I’m going to start telling that asshole to shut up.

It doesn’t matter if I can do something perfectly, it doesn’t matter if I make more mistakes. I’m here, alive, glowing with the stuff of stars in my atoms! And until I die, I’ll be starting over and over.  But it occurred to me today that this part doesn’t actually have to suck! I’m no Sisyphus!  Maybe starting over is more like a ski trip or a visit to the amusement park than like some stupid boulder going up and down a hill. Maybe it’s part of the journey, part of the ride, part of the plan, and chance after chance to learn new things, to try new stuff, to look at the world with wonder all over again! And maybe it’s one more chance to take up painting.