NOVEMBER NONO: TwentyTWO, Obstacles

what’s in the way?

  • 1. Obstreperous. Obtuse.
  • 2. I can’t always make a decision. I’m often fine with just going along, and one, it makes someone else happy or two, it frustrates someone. but truly, if i can’t make a decision about something, its because I don’t frigging care. What’s for dinner? I do not care. Almost always, I do not care.
  • 3. Fear. “I can’t do that really well right off the bat, so I’m not going to.”
  • 4. Insecurity holds hands with fear and fear leads it into a swamp full of gators and snakes.
  • 5. Desire is not an obstacle, in and of itself. But when there is desire, one can chew one’s own arm off in the pursuit of its satisfaction, and that knowing can become an obstacle TO the desire, in the first place. Dig that one? Convoluted but still true. Takes some age to get that one.
  • 6. Fear. “If I try that, I might not succeed and everyone will know I am a loser.”
  • 7. Exhaustion. Seriously. Enough already.
  • 8. Fear. “Too many changes. Too many changes. I can’t handle anymore.”
  • 9. The sheer number of chairs I have in my house is an obstacle. I mean, what the hell? How did that happen?
  • 10. Mess. Mess. I used to not be afraid of it, and now I have to consider if the mess is worth the cleanup. This is a sea change. I’m getting old.

Don’t worry about me because I write morose stuff. Soon I’ll hit the ‘how to blow up fears’ list. Its just a moment, a prompt. Chill.

amphibian animal close up color
Photo by Pixabay on


Apologies ahead of time.

I’m not even doing this one in my journal first, its straight to the presses. good luck, readers.

  1. Its Veterans Day here. My dad, my former father-in-law, all of my uncles, two of the men I have dated and cared for, old friends, cousins, these are the men and women who have been willing to do what I cannot. I don’t forget them, or their choices.
  2. My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow. 8 years old. My baby. The times they are a-changing. I’ll be fine.
  3. Its supernaturally warm here, for November and I really desperately want to believe its a totally natural ‘Indian Summer’ but its freaking me out. There is too much to freak out about, still, and I want to punch Donald Trump in his fat head. Get out already. Don’t do some skeevy ‘destroy the country’ move. Don’t. See number one. Be like that.
  4. I’m ducking the real work I have to be doing, and this is like day 4 of that. I have no good excuse but man, I am dodging. I’m afraid I’ll do the work and it still won’t be good enough. that’s the key.
  5. My kids want a real tree this year, which is giving me agita. I switched to a fake tree when the idea of going to a tree farm on my own and figuring out how to put up a huge honker and not have it be a live flame in my living room was too too much. fake is fantastic. but i concede (unlike the fucker.) that there is no smell, and the whiff of cold and Christmas tree is an honest to goodness wonder. Tomten softness and quiet, if you know what I mean, you know. I don’t want to cut anything down, I mean, really. (see #3- hello, we need trees – globally freaky weather) I will sort it out somehow. I do like to keep the damn kids happy.
  6. When you know you are a people pleaser and you can see yourself reacting to someone’s displeasure with guilt and self-flagellation and you can’t stop it. but if you just give yourself another 5 minutes, you can stop and think again. and then you know that time in therapy is effective after all. 5 minutes, as opposed to 5 days. win.
  7. One of the significant sucks about being so profoundly hearing impaired is that I can hear a sound but not be able to identify what it is, and not know where it is coming from. So, living in an old farmhouse with two animals and three children and probably a slew of mice means that I am occasionally in full twitch, trying to figure out sounds to see if I need to respond. Was that a breaking sound? Something fell. Where? Was it a person? Was it a plant?
  8. I took a beautiful bath yesterday. I cannot tell you how long it has been. Literally cannot. My brain shattered all over the yard in the buildup and wait of this election cycle. It is not entirely gathered up yet. Self-care was a grenade in the shed, and the walls are gone.
  9. I’m a little bit proud that I’ve made it this far in the month. Eleven days of writing. Chuffed.
  10. I’m trying to figure out a way to console my Republican friends that involves making politics personal, and its not about Orangeman, its about their serious and stable fear that Democrats are some sort of devil. I just want them to see me as a model somehow, of a different perspective, but not scary. Fear is what is running all of this. It started in September 2001, and we’ve not shaken it yet.

let me reassure you.

let’s be frank, shall we?

i am not going to learn a new language during my stayathome pandemica.

i am going to read more books. many of them will contain dwarves or thwarted knights, or possibly detectives. None of them will address racial inequity or the doomed American government.

it has been noticed, that LM, in anxiety/frustration/pandemica exhaustion, will stab frozen ricotta. he does not stab people, which is what i want you to know. but ricotta? that sucka died.

i have purchased a new lawnmower, because i have saved so much money in having all my vacations cancelled. and while i hate that one night at a waterpark hotel is the equivalent of a garden tool that i will use for at least 5 years, and that one night is what ‘all my vacations’ consist of.

i’m probably not going to figure out how to cook Indian food.

my kids are going to watch too many screens, way way too many.

i’m not going to think good thoughts about men. they suck. too many of them have jobs that directly affect my life. i’m talking politicians here. they suck. across the board. it is not time to pretend that the women are just the same. what women?

there are these perfect, golden shard of light moments that keep happening. almost every day. i’m just trying to stay alive to catch them. i can’t collect them, or share them, they just melt away, but they are sustaining me.

one of my 7-year-old’s teachers is reading ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ by C.S.Lewis for the class on youtube.  I can’t get over how much I love listening to it with her. Its fulfilling my life’s purpose that at least one of my children will get my love for C.S.Lewis before adulthood.

so, golden shards, stabbing ricotta, lawnmowing in circles.

got it?

love you. hang in there.


Old Mower Unwifedmotherexpletive



Divorce, Humanity


  • into this space please insert all the things i cannot and willnot leave behind for posterity about the many things i feel about the man who I divorced. let that be as powerful as saying I married him. why should i keep valuing one over the other?
  • i’ve got pizza sitting next to me that crisped up in the oven and i’m debating very seriously whether burning the roof of my mouth is worth it.
  • i’m planting things but have zero faith that i will ever get them into the ground because they are so spindly. and i am thrilled that the word ‘spindly’ is still around.
  • plus, how many carrots will my kids eat, realistically?
  • i wish i really drank, like on the regular, so that it was part of my life. isn’t that an absurd wish? now, when stressed or emotionally stretched out, i don’t have an easy fix… or if i do have a glass of wine, i have a headache before i even feel a buzz. so. that seems a miss. but i miss it, that brain shutdown, what we call the fall of ‘inhibitions’ but are really just normally healthy boundaries? i want to shed them more often and still manage to watch out for my kids, as a functioning fucked up adult. Does that make sense?
  •  I am worried that i’m not going to regain my proofreading clients when this is done, and that i’ll be back to a square i don’t want to be on.
  •  I am aware that if I were isolated like this and still married like I was, that I would be one of the people you should be worried about, the isolation and the misery combining to unsafe.
  •  The mental health of all of us in my house right now is becoming my ringadembells item, and i’m just as unhinged as they are, but am the grownup.  I am reminding them that all the feelings are okay and that they all will pass, with time, and that nobody has a ‘right’ way to be. its all i can do, that and feed them.
  • my kids have too much screen time. i’ll care later. i obviously care now, but see item previous item, and include ‘screentime guilt’ on the list of feelings that moms are allowed to have and to let pass.
  •  my eyes constantly fill with tears for and of these kids and these times… sometimes it is overwhelm, and disbelief, and sometimes it is laughter and those are the best times.
  • Pitchfork Unwifedmotherexpletive



My 7-year-old plays Fortnite now.

and holy shit guys.

what’re you up to now that the world has shut down?

in truth, so far, about once a week I have a complete sobbing meltdown. the fear, the anxiety, the worry for the kids, for LM, for my mom and for everysingleperson.

LM is here, as he has severely compromised lungs and my place is best for not being full of germshare.

my kids dad doesn’t believe in the benefits of social isolation, so gave them to friends for a sleepover a little over a week ago.  he does not have much respect for my being an informed adult and seems to think i am a hysteric who gets her news from gossip.

so i am doing all that i can when i can and cursing his soul.  i hope he feels it. and yes, i am a little kidding, and some of me is not kidding at all.

and then there is hope. because, as hard as it is for me to believe, beneath all the layers of fear, anxiety, cynicism, despair, niggling worries, fear of schooling my children and deep betrayal lies a golden molten core of beauty and brilliant LIGHT that, evidently, cannot be dimmed.

and so she SHINES.

sometimes. when the night is dark and dreary, she flashes.  and i’m seeking her out, and holding hands, and


and i think it is saving me, and so there is that.

Carrots Unwifedmotherexpletive

and i’m hoping to re-enter this world here more often. but lets not hold our breaths.