Showing posts from 2018

From the Flame to the Fire

This last few weeks in Portland have been scorching hot. Well, for Portland it's been hot, well into the 90's. Luckily I was out of town last week at a conference in Seattle, where it was a bit cooler, while people in Portland were boiling through temperatures in the  high 90's. This week has been pretty hot too. My third floor apartment, without air conditioning, has been sweltering. I sit on the couch, sweating as if I am in the full sun, sticking to my couch. It has been a humbling experience. Air conditioning....a simple thing that can be something that defines where you fall in the income standings. This is the first time in more than twenty years that I have not had air conditioning. The eighteen years of my marriage and the time before involved air conditioning. Previous to being married, I didn't have it, but I was also a single parent living near my parents so my daughter could go to an acceptable school. I was spending sixty-percent of my income to make it w

Summer of Love

Looking back on my blog history, I realize that it has been since March since I have written. For someone who was a consistent writer, this is a lifetime. For anyone who knows me, you know that this year has been a challenge, well, really the last three years have been a struggle, physically, emotionally, personally and professionally. I have been doing a lot of reflection recently, looking at myself in ways that I haven't had the courage to do before. There have always been areas about myself that I have been less than thrilled about, physically as well as emotionally, and I have realized that it is time to move forward. It is time to shed some of the negative that I have dragged with me for years. To give a bit of mother (like the one that gave birth to me rather than the mom of my heart), who I have written about before, raised me with some unique beliefs about myself, my body, my emotional health. I am not looking for sympathy, no pity parties here, just giv

Lean In...

When times seem most challenging, we often want to pull away. These times, when it seems that we can't bear it, are the times we must lean in . This last week was filled with memories that consumed my brain. Friday was the three year anniversary of Javad's seizure, the day that changed everyone's life in our family. Thinking back to that time, I realize that much of the time is a fog. I vividly remember driving to meet Javad at the hospital and within 24 hours my life was forever changed. My son, a sweet boy who, although affected with a rare muscle disease, had been incredibly strong for his age. Holding his hand in the ER and watching his eyes flutter to sleep, I had no idea that I would not see light in those eyes for months to come. I know that there is so much trauma surrounding this event in our lives. We all felt this ripple in our life, a deep chasm of sorrow that soon followed. In some ways it seems like this was all just moments ago, then at others it seems so

Pioneer Woman

When I was about twelve years old, my father began dating a woman who would become his wife. On our first trip together (when I was actually spending some time together), we went rafting and camping. I was fiercely attached to my dad, was a grouchy twelve year old (I know...hard to and, frankly, I was not thrilled that he was serious about anyone... Anyway, long story short, after a flipped over raft (with her and my father in it), a hysterical twelve year old (I know...hard to, and a bunch of soaking wet people, she (off the cuff) invented the Pioneer Women's Club. She explained that in the olden days, women were required to be brave and conquer hard situations. Sometimes things didn't work as planned, and Pioneer Women would work hard to make things better. She explained that we were like Pioneer Women in this situation. My twelve-year-old self bought into the story, making us part of a club that now sports members that include all the women in

Progress, not Perfection

For the last few years I have been slowly working through grief and sorrow. While walking this path, I find that I beat myself up because I haven't "made it." I vividly remember hiking up Mt. St. Helen's with an amazing and supportive group of people talking trash to myself because I was tired, hot, and not feeling my best. Each step, about halfway up the mountain, I was telling myself that if I was thinner, it would be easier... if I was nicer, it would be was never about the fact that the climb is was about me, as a person. Now I look back and realize what a pivotal moment that was in my life. It was when I realized that I was not as healthy as I wanted to be, physically and mentally. It was the beginning of a journey to find me. I have a great friend who loves to cite the phrase, "Progress not Perfection." It is truly one that I want to embody moving forward. Trying to be "perfect" has been a lifelong struggle. Although,

Giving yourself permission

I just finished the book Pound the Stone by Joshua Medcalf, which I highly recommend, and have now begun listening to Braving the Wilderness by Brene` Brown. Both of these books have spoken to me in a deep place. In Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic, she speaks of giving yourself permission. Permission to live a creative and amazing life. "You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life. Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip - THERE, I just gave it to you. I just wrote it on the back of an old shopping list. Consider yourself fully accredited. Now go make something." Brene` Brown also speaks of giving yourself permission. I related to her feelings of not fitting in throughout her life. It is difficult when you feel like an odd duck within your family and friends, not connected and yet still a part. Looking down on the life you are living, floating above, unattached. For years I have felt frustrated and ashamed t