in which i call bullshit on myself.

It is what it is.

I’m a pleaser. I want the people around me to be happy. I want to smooth their way forward in life. I want to leave behind a satisfied grin. I want to be the hidden favorite, the one who brings a smile. the generous one. the good one.

After I do this pleasing, smoothing thing for a while, with adults, I feel the ting and tang of loss. What have I been given, for all that giving? Have they just taken it all and run? what do they know of me?

You know what? This cycle doesn’t really do me a lot of good. It’s gross. You ever hear of a male artist who spent his free time smoothing the way for others? No? You don’t think Hemingway gave a shit if the kitchen counters were clean do you? You think he gave a shit for anything besides his beer and his next adventure?

Almost all the famous women artists that you know of? No kids.

I don’t even have the energy today to call myself an artist. I fight it, in my head, pointing to other people instead. But you know what?! I call bullshit on that.

Just because I don’t have the myopic self-absorption of a male artist? I’m constantly distracted from thought and doing by children and house and family, constantly. and I don’t want to give that up, or choose otherwise. (i mean, i’d give up the distractability, but not the kids and their lives, right?)

They’re growing, I don’t have anyone physically attached to me anymore, so it is easing. Their demands are for presence and food. And the presence has to be close, but not too close. And I laugh as I type, because its true now of all of them, even the 8 year old girl. I’m the favorite sofa. Necessary at times, but not especially expected to speak. I’m the witness and the solidity. (and that might be the best thing i have ever written about the way i’m parenting these kids. although i need to squish flexible into the solidity somehow and I’ll work on that tomorrow. )

I don’t make enough currently with my writing. I’m still supported by alimony and child support. I’m going to have to get a higher paying job to manage without them. When then will I have the time for the writing and the thinking? I’m not at all digging where my mood is taking me right now.

it is the way it is.

and it’s my whole gig right now, to imagine something else.

my daughter asked me what my dream job would be. just this morning. no lie. and i told her, ‘mom’ and then for the second, i was stuck. but also very very dreamy. what is it? what’s the feeling i want when i go to work, what’s the subject i want to be working with? thinking with? hmm?

I need to get more dreamy.

This is a rambler. I’m working shit out, I think. Maybe next time I’ll write it somewhere else first and come here with something more cohesive.

but i wouldn’t want to shock you too much. heh.

hmmm. thought-filled.

love, love,



December Deservings

Do you have problems buying during this time? I do. All of the things that I slightly crave during the year are suddenly on sale and suddenly in front of my social media eyes on the daily. Its so easy just to click. I find it hard to not compulsively buy things. And because there is a massive buy on the part of the kids, and i don’t have presents under the tree unless my siblings and mother are here, sometimes i think i am ‘owed’.


This year I am countering the impulse with the knowledge that many of my friends and neighbors are actually suffering. Marriages are strained and worse, jobs are scarce and there are kids that will not have what they need this year for food, forget presents. So I gave a part of my ‘covid’ payment to the Woman’s Shelter and I’ve given more to foster families, and mentorship programs, and veteran’s coat drives and the food banks and all these little bits are better than feeling pinched because my kid has another pair of leggings.

I don’t think its enough, and I hope its helped a little. If you are not dead, you know where to give your money, if you have it.

Please do that.



What have you learned this week?

  1. My mom likes me, doesn’t always get me but loves me anyhow.
  2. Sometimes i am too quick.
  3. You CAN eat too many mushrooms.
  4. Its hard to stay up til midnight waiting to see if you can get a ps5. I don’t have the stamina and I don’t care and $500 is a fuckton of money for videogames. He’s going to get a blanket and and IOU for Christmas. Are people really nonchalant about $500? I’m not feeling nonchalant and I’m glad I couldn’t find it, but don’t tell him. I’d be happy to spread the cost out over another month. I’m not proud of this sharing, as I think I basically don’t want to buy this thing, and am anyhow. This is complicated and look how stupidly lucky I am to hem and haw over it.
  5. I need help this Christmas. Not with money, but with thought. The kids will have significantly less under the tree because we will have no guests, and so the mom in me is trying hard to envision ways to make it special. They have an unwrapping day at their dads the day before, so I’m already playing catchup and fill in the blanks here. I’m feeling overly ‘singlemom’ about this. How do I make magic??
  6. Every year I kindof think I will do something on Black Friday but every year I stay in my pajamas. and this year? Jesus. of course I’m home.
  7. Christmas crackers? Those British cylinders of goodness that whacko Americans are co-opting for some holiday pleasure? They are called crackers because they make noise. Deafie here never knew. Always wondered but never knew. Learning curves are dizzying.
  8. Pajamas with the addition of my apple dress for warmth mean I look entirely nutso. I think I’m going to go hang out on the porch with a martini glass and just shoot the shit with the birds. Glass will be empty because I don’t really drink and my god, its the morning, and really, martinis have made me vomit in the past. I just want to entertain the neighbors driving by. I’m generous like that.
  9. I can’t always access my inner life. Like, that golden bit in the middle? I’m working on it, honestly, but half-heartedly at the same time, because it can be overwhelming to be in touch with it. Burning bush, right? Doesn’t actually sound that appealing, does it?
  10. I love puzzles. I do. I forget they exist, all the time, even when the puzzle table is just three feet away. But when I remember them, I have to fight myself not to do them all in one sitting. This one, currently, is my littlest’s, and finishing it would be flat-out cruel. But I want to, and I’m perseverating on it. Damn devil of a thing.

Thats all, these are the things I am learning, have learned, am in the process of sharing, with you, who are also learning.

Sigh. What have you learned, my troops? What have you learned today, this week?

Apple dress. Clearly not feeling vain today. (omg)

Do you still dream of escape?

I have been, lately. I think that suddenly doing the quarantine singly has thrown me back in time a little. I did this dreaming when the kids were little, when the marriage was sucking me dry and not giving me anything in return. I was thirsting for something, and my dreams of escape were daily and full of despair. I was just drowning, all the time, and the shore seemed like heaven.

I’m back to dreaming of escape. My only resource, really, is this house and the equity I will have in it when the kids are grown. So, it’ll be for sale. No home for the grandkids here. Which fills me with all sorts of sadness of the future grief sort. Not to mention the weight of an imagined future grief of the kids.

And its not the same kind of escape as before. Its not an escape because my life is horrendous. Its an escape because of circumstance, and change. And that’s an entire world, you dig?

I don’t know what will happen. I don’t envision finding a partner who wants to take on the financial burden of this place, even if I got the mortgage down to a reasonable rate. Hello, quarantine/reopeningbedamned makes it pretty unlikely i’m going to be making plans of any kind for a while. (good and bad here. patience is a lesson I am always learning.)

AND, I also want to allow that my kids will be fine, that they may not have kids, might not need me to have a net for them for the rest of their lives, as much as I want to spend the rest of my life providing one. Imagining the weight of future grief doesn’t seem like the best use of my life’s moments.

And so I am thinking about what I will do then, when the littlest heads off to college or whathaveyou. Will I buy an RV to live in for the remainder of my days? (nah, probably not)

The idea that I could go anywhere, try anything, be anywhere? Its pretty inspiring. and the reality is slightly scary. Presuming that I don’t have family besides siblings at that point, will I try to get closer to them? Will I head for natural beauty? Will I aim for the small town at the center of every picturesque whitey American novel? With the little community coffee shop bustling with gourmet treats and artistic flair?

Will I just buy a little house and try to stay healthy til I die? I mean, its all the rage to be middle-aged, right? But then comes older than that.

I think I need to widen my angle a little. Maybe I’ll have a real income earning job and I can host lots of ladies here, to rest and rejuvenate and chase chickens for their own betterment. I mean, I could do that too.

There are more possibilities than I know about. I have to keep that in mind, and keep my eyes open. Dreaming of escape without despair? Should be dreamy, right?


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.
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