4/2/2017

Becoming Unstuck

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There’s a great quote about getting unstuck by Pema Chodron. “We don’t hear hear much about how painful it is to go from being completely stuck to becoming unstuck. The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality, like changing your DNA."

Or, as Tracy Jordan once said on 30Rock, "Stop eating people's old French fries, pigeon. Have some self respect! Don't you know you can fly?”

I think we frequently forget we can fly. HANG ON, I don’t mean literally fly, step back from the ledge there, mister. I mean we forget we’re heroes and souls and beautiful memories and inspired ideas and we’re not just this lump of collagen layered over calcium deposits holding in a bunch of water and other stuff. (I got a degree in the human body and paid a lot of money to know that level of detail so I don’t expect you to retain all of this.)

In These Great United States Of The Americas, we focus so much attention on the outsides. Flabby arms? We have a video of entertainingly fit people you can watch and hate yourself for that will surely fix that flabby arms if you could only just Do These Imposible Exercises Every Day! Baggy under eyeball puffiness? (How are these two things able to coexist, I’m not sure, but I tend to have both at the same time.) There’s a surgery for puffy, baggy eye skin! Want to lose that belly? Take this pill that makes you pee out your butthole and maybe stop wearing white and select dark pants for the duration of the program. Success Guaranteed!

We sell ourselves misery shaped items to fill all the misery shaped holes in our lives. They come in a lot of shapes and sizes but the misery shaped hole expands and grows and the misery-plugs stop working so we look for more Stuff. Continue...

3/22/2017

Teethless in Seattle

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(See what I did there? I mean, technically I *am* ‘teethless’ since I’m missing 1,2 and now 9, but this post is only about one tooth, number 9 specifically. The pun only fits with the plural, though, so I had to improvise. God what I’ll do for a pun.)

A few months ago I fell and bonked my front left tooth and it hurt. That’s the most boring blog post (or tweet for that matter) I could possibly think of. It was such a non-thing that I didn’t even think to care about it when it happened. I cared, in that I couldn’t eat with that tooth for a  while because it hurt a bit, but other than that, one gets pretty used to things and moves forward with life in general. 

That tooth was never the same again. It always sat in the wrong space and because it moved (without sending me a new address), I’d bump in to it from time to time. “Oh! Shoot! I forgot you’re here now!” I’d apologize every time. It was almost always a glass that I mis-calculated as I went to drink and would bonk the new-position of that tooth. It would send me a zinger of a reminder that it’s moved and for godsake, get a plastic water bottle, not these fancy glass ones.

This correspondence went on for some time until one day the tooth got pissed. I’d hit it one too many times and it grew a little white nodule on the gum as a warning sign. And then, because warning signs aren’t really my forte, it cracked completely in half, just above the gum, when I bit in to a sandwich.

Now I was listening. Continue...

1/6/2013

Re-imagining history

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“You walk very fast.” I hear the words at the same time a wet nose bumps my calves. I turn to find an older woman walking on the trail next to me. I had slowed down to text a friend briefly when she unexpectedly popped in to my path during my walk. She smiles, “I wasn’t able to catch you until now. It’s why I said something. Usually I’m way ahead of everyone but you walk as quickly as I do.”

We enjoy a nice chat as I pace along side her. I explain that I used to run but now walk because of my bad knees. She confesses she used to run marathons and was unsure about this walking business but really enjoys it. We both agree we can’t run to save our lives now and not ironically, that’s when she asks if I’ve seen the coyotes. We both agree perhaps we should carry pepper spray.

It’s about ten minutes, my time with her, this older woman in her late fifties? Early sixties? She has amazing legs and a warm, kind, lovely face. I think she never wore makeup and I identify with this. I ponder myself at her age, if I would still be walking on this trail. Would I let myself be natural and light and would I still talk lightly to another woman, a stranger?

She graciously explains she has dinner guests coming soon so she must turn here but he will keep a look out for me in the future. She tells me her name and I tell her mine. We wave as we part.

Something about her strikes me. Lately I’ve been so flustered at work. I feel so tired, exhausted, and overwhelmed. There are both wonderful, and challenging, parts of life right now and desperation consumes the harder times and a flood of light fill the good ones. Continue...

7/4/2012

Based On A True Story. Or Not.

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I’m sure you’ve read this story. Like a lot of the trends in the world I tend to be one of the last to catch up. So when I saw the picture of the black lab sleeping on a sofa with a heart felt story attached, I read it.

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I’m a sucker like that.

I read the entire post*. I teared up at the end. It was a lovely story, I had to share this. I clicked “Share” when I realized I should check my facts first.

One google search and I found out this wasn’t a true story at all. Continue...

10/10/2011

On living other’s dogma

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The alarm went off at 7AM for the first day of fifth grade. My dad was in his suit walking out the door as he heard me grumble and get up. “Life sucks and then you die,” he greeted me.

This is the first of a thousand similar morning greetings he would say as he suited up and walked out the door to work.

Me 10 years old

I always thought this was just my Dad’s “thang.” Like he loved the Aggie’s football or playing war games on the computer. I thought it was sort of just something he muttered like when he sneezed “Jesus Christ on a commode.” It was one of his quirks, those parts of Dad that made him… well, Dad.

Years and years later, at thirty-five, I sit talking across an impossible valley. As it turns out, my dad is not the only one to say this as he went to work each morning. In fact, it’s something many dads said as they embarked on their early morning trek. It was not just dads in suits, or dads at mills, or dads with fancy cars or frequent flyer miles. It’s an attitude of a generation. The norm for our children’s grandparents is a rut-filled expectation of misery and eventually death. Our children’s parents, now in their mid-thirties or early forties, are just now rebelling against mid-life. We are just coming in to our own careers and now, as we walk out the door in the early morning dawn, we are asking why. WHY do we have to live our father’s mantra “life sucks and then you die.” Continue...

8/12/2011

On darkness.. and light

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One of my favorite episodes of my favorite TV show ever is “Northern Lights” of Northern Exposure Episode 4:3. It’s an analogy of light within the depths of darkness.

Goethe’s final words: “More Light”. Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime,  that’s been our unifying cry. More light. Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon, incandescent… Lights to banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the nigthgames at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlight for the books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep.
Light is more than watts and foot candles. Light is metaphor. Thy word is a lamp under my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou [You] me on. The night is dark and I am far from home. Lead Thou me on. Arise, shine for thy light has come. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.

We’re entering the darkest time here in the Pacific Northwest. The time where the sunlight dips to unseen beds at 4pm and doesn’t rise again until 8AM. The hibernation of man becomes a reality and people in coffee shops talk about the endless darkness.

We are a collective bear’s den: Nestling down for the winter months, comparing caves and scarves and nuts.

It is during the darkest hours of winter that we seek the Light. To me this is found in humanity. In the imperfect solace of friendships, of community, of tree lightings and holiday festivities. Later we will find this in the houses of those we know: lights of comfort, of discussion: of future plans. This is the time of reflection, of seeking, of finding. And hopefully, as the new year comes upon us, even in darkness, it is a time of light and hope; however that may look in a different new year light. Continue...

3/2/2011

It’s like starting all over again. You can be whomever you want to be. And other lies.

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It’s funny the things people will say when you enter a difficult situation. My family was uprooted from the upper-middle-class subburbs of a major metropolitan city with 300 days of sun at the end of Jr. High.  We settled in a mill town in a small rural area of a state that sees 30 days of sun a year. The entire time my parents sang chorusses of “But you can remake yourself! You can be anything you want! You get to start fresh!”

Dude, I was 13. I was fresh. I had no idea who I was in the first place. Also, these people don’t peg their pants like we do and why aren’t they wearing neon?

Did I mention it was 1989?

Similar in a way only I could make the metaphorical leap, learning Java in grad school brought me to tears. I remember telling people I’d rather have sharp pins stuck under the bed of my toe nail for fun. “But you’ll refresh yourself! You’ll learn something so useful! You’ll be renewed!”

Did I mention it was 2004 and Java was the de facto language for All Things Ever? And oh, memorize this chart and create a program like pong. Thank you. Continue...

11/7/2010

It’s funny, the things you regret

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We got married on the top of a small mountain on a tiny island off the north-western corner of the “lower forty-eight” states. My dress was twenty dollars from Ross and I wore my favorite combat boots I purchased at a consignment store for six dollars. It was November and a tiny group of our closest friends stood outside in the freezing cold with us.

I have never, once, ever regretted not having a big fancy white-dress wedding.

Ever.

With increasing frequency, however, the subject of my Dissertation has entered casual conversation. I submitted a proposal I still have a passion for, so much so that when a poor soul asks me about it I launch in to an entire discussion until their eyes glaze over and they begin to drool. It’s a great topic, honestly. I deferred after getting pregnant with my first and again when we moved from Oregon to Seattle. It was at this point I had our second child and safely placed that dream on a high shelf in the nursery.

I keep going back to that shelf, however. Continue...

5/7/2010

In Flight: A tale of a mid-life crisis at thirty-four

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A truth I’ve known about myself for years: I have a very strong flight instinct. Some people stay and fight, some people flee. I am of the latter.

I’d make a fantastic bird.

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!” - Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

There is a culmination of events recently taken place that leads me back to this instinct. When trying to remember exactly what happened, or when perhaps, I can only begin a long list of items bringing me to this truth: I want to leave. I want to leave. I want to leave.

In searching for my most beloved books, as I always do when complex thoughts dominate my mind-space, I realize I’ve read no less than dozens and dozens of traveling books. Essays of people who experience a world, write about it, and sell it to housewives and mothers of small children grounded in their piles of laundry and diapers and weeding. This single fact never yelled at me louder than it does at this time. I want to leave. I want to leave. I want to leave. Continue...

Northwest Profile: Runs Barefoot In The Rain Gal

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You probably don’t know the “northwest profile” commercials from Pemco, unless you live here. Or you listen to Seattle Internet Radio in an effort to step up your coolness. Or you’re a seattle northwest wannabe. (Or, rather, soon-to-be Seattle-ites.)

However, if you’re from the Northwest, these profiles sort of hit home.

Really close to home, actually.

As in: Me.

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen, Northwest Profile #39: Runs Barefoot In The Rain Gal. Continue...

12/7/2009

A tale of a mid-life crisis at thirty-four part 2

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Part One Here

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”—The Princess Bride

I am an obvious romantic. Spontaneous to a flaw at times. These are not new traits, but rather old traits finally given the freedom to come bubbling back to the surface.

This morning it hits me: I am nearly three months from turning thirty-five. Three months and nine days, actually. I believe it is this deadline, this unspoken milestone, that I can either harness or buckle under. I’m choosing to harness it.

A very dear friend of mine, also undergoing a mid-life crisis, spoke to someone about it. “Ahhhh,” the therapist said, “A mid-life crisis. Yes. Those are great. They move you forward.” Continue...

9/8/2009

Ellis

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I have a sound clip from 1997 that features my college roommates and I interviewing each other on “what we wanted to be doing in five years.” I’ve stumbled across that clip a few times since graduation, always giggling to myself and wondering if any of the other girls thought about those goals.

Us_June97_2
(1997)

“I’ll probably be teaching” G stated, matter of fact.
(She was.)

“I’ll be hiking or something,” Nicole mused. (She was.)

“I’ll be servicing humans,” (insert fits of laughter here for our Human Service Major friend wasn’t kidding) Paige giggled. Continue...

My brush, literally, with fame (a blogHer tale)

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**April, 2013** Hello and welcome! If this is your first time here, I’d love to meet you. I’ve recently written about being diagnosed with Adult ADHD, spent much of last year traveling and went back to work full time as a Program Manager for Media at a large global company. My children are 8 and 6 and I love talking to people with similar stories. Be sure to say hi and pull up a chair. I’ll grab the coffee. (Or tea for my UK friends with milk and sugar.)**


I walked in to the keynote, searching the thousands of faces to find “my people.” I wonder in and out of tables bumping in to elbows and computers. I recognize a few features but I continue to bump, walk, bump, walk looking for my table.

I spot the table of women more familiar than their pictures or email addresses. Vivaciously, as only I am known to do, I yell out, “There are MAH BEESHES! Wuz up Mothah Fuckahs!” I glance around the table taking in each face that I adore. I see Angie, Dawn, Molly, Shonda, Sam and Karen and…. who’s this? I don’t recognize the lovely lady in the red hair so poised next to my flamboyant friends. “Hi! I’m Mrs…” It hits me about the same time Angie pipes up, “This is Ree Drummond? THE PIONEER WOMAN.”

There is a silence and my mouth hits the floor.

I stumble over to hug her, gush, possibly lick her feet. She says in her polite southern accent, “I was just admiring your belly.” I laugh as she touches my two year postpartum belly. “This?” I exclaim, “This is old left over from before.” I can tell she feels bad. She recovers and says, “At least yours is in the front, mine is all in the rear.” Continue...

8/9/2009

Change- A Type A Mom Con Story

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I stepped off the plane in Seattle to a cold wind and sun. When I left, only four days earlier, summer was still raging and children played in sprinklers. However, fall noticeably bustled in during my absece, taking over the breezes and leaves, making the air chilly and my unused jacket necessary.

I felt just as different as the weather.

Four days ago I stepped on a flight to Ashville, NC. The 48 hours I spent at Type-A-Mom was a transcendent experience.

I met some fantastic women. I found some wonderful opportunities to grow and expand, both in my career and in my personal relationships. I held deep and wonderful conversations with some of my most favorite bloggers. These women, plus some new favorites, and old friends, friendly faces, and encouraging smiles, gave me the courage to stand up during the “Town Hall Meeting” and say something that is near and dear to my life as a blogger:

Be who you are and you will find companies who will want to work with you because of it. You can dress it up a touch, maybe make it a touch classy, but don’t change yourself. The companies that love you for who you are will be a much better, long lasting relationship than the ones that require changes to you or your blog.

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Photo copyright Rick of Tiny Prints used with permission Continue...

8/6/2009

Confessing

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I’ve been sitting here ignoring most everything a grown up should focus on: Kids, Bills, Work, Laundry, Dishes, Life. I’ve been sitting here scouring the Internet looking for something.

Or someone.

I’ve been retracing the last thirty-three years of my life and watching images of memories. I’ve been seeking people I know and love online and the community I’ve grown so fond of. I’ve been re-reading comments and emails from my college friends looking for any signs of endings.

I can’t find them.

I can’t seem to focus on anything today. Continue...

3/11/2009

Mid-Life Crisis

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As a little girl, I wanted to be a famous ballerina. All little girls want to be famous ballerinas. We dance and twirl and pretend we’re beautiful and light as a swan.

Then we grow up.

We graduate college with a single task in mind: Make a living.

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Maybe we add on there to “Have a house! Get married! Make babies!” and then we happen to meet someone who has the same dreams and you work together to make them come true. Continue...

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I wanna

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I silently prayed that I would not spend my 31st birthday this weekend sitting in a dark corner bawling over a baby I lost. I prayed every day since I found out I’d be seen this week, that I did not want to hear bad news days before my birthday. Not that 31 means anything. Actually, it means pretty much nothing. Just another year in the bag, another day in the pot, an excuse for a pregnant lady to eat cheesecake, maybe, but over all just not much more than 24 hours and 31 years of life marked “finished.”

As fate would have it, I’ll be bawling any way.

I’ve been crying most of the past two weeks or so. This is very confusing for LB. “Mommy sad?” she’ll ask. “No. Mommy is happy, sweetie. See?” I cry when I remember I’m pregnant. I cry when I’m so tired I feel woozy and dizzy. I cry when I’m nauseated, which is about 20 hours a day, and I cry when I see a tiny baby, or baby clothes, or baby socks, or baby blankets (you get the idea here) because I want another one. And I get to have that.

And oh my god we are having another baby.

I read tonight that there’s now less than a 10% chance of miscarriage. Guess what? I cried. That’s awesome. I’m thrilled. I’m relieved. I’m also crying. I cry because I’m so tired already, so impatient with LB now and so fragile to my core. Who is this weepy lady? Who is the thickening woman sitting on the couch crying at a commercial. It’s so stereo-typical, it’s a bit sad. Continue...

6/11/2006

And a parachute

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I admit I’m a wee bit preoccupied with things of the uterus, gagging, farts and boobs (mostly mine). You wouldn’t think this would be the prerequisite for the line, “which reminds me of that time…” but it is. Did I ever tell you about that time… (stop me if you heard this)...

One Thanksgiving a long long time ago, perhaps 15 years or so, The Pre-Flinger Family were in Salem (that’s in Oregon.. pronounce OR-GAN) visiting the Ancient Flingers. As it was, the Ancient Flinger’s home was booked full of relatives so the Pre-Flinger Family stayed in a hotel. Oma Flinger was so enjoying her time with Ancient Flingers that Pappa Flinger and I decided to head back to the hotel early with my sister to catch some TV and relax without the old people chatter. (You know how you really care about old people chatter at 16? Or 42 if they’re not your parents?)

So there we are in the hotel, Pappa Flinger, my sister and myself. Now, Pappa Flinger had some bad gas. Like Paint-Peeling gas. Like “OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO PASS OUT” gas. You think pregnancy gas is bad? This is gagging power without high levels of HCG and Estrogen causing your nose to inhale at 500% maximum power. The man could work for the CIA as a natural toxin. He’s proud of this fact.

As I recall, the gas was horrid that night at the hotel. In fact, it was so horrid we opened up the window in between yelling, “Dadddd! GROSS!” The heavy hotel drapes weren’t letting enough of the sub 40’s air in, though, so I took off my bra and tied the drapes with it to allow more air in. That’s right, Internet, I tied my 38 Double D, pre-breast-reduction bra around the curtains to let in air.

About thirty minutes later Oma comes in laughing so loudly we heard her coming down the hall. “What’s so funny?” we ask her. Between her gulps and giggles she spits out, “I didn’t have to ask which hotel room was ours. I pulled up, saw the braw around the curtains and knew where to go.” Continue...